Looking back at the Spring Term
This Spring Term has not only been a busy one but a successful one. Following the publication of the schools’ league performance tables, we were delighted to announce that Grittleton House School is the top performing non-selective school in Wiltshire. This was an exceptionally proud moment for us all and I am especially proud of the staff and pupils because, as a school, we exceeded our own target pass rate. This means that our added value is second to none.
Whilst our 2015 leavers may have moved on, they have certainly not forgotten us. Students have been back to visit on numerous occasions, some came just to say ‘hello’ and see the new gym area. Whilst others took part in the very successful Open Mic Night and performed to current pupils and their parents. For last year’s ‘charity of the year’, Marie Curie, pupils raised £843! We were delighted to welcome back a few of the fund-raisers to present a cheque to a representative from the charity for their fundraising efforts. And there were a few who simply came to sample the school lunches! Whatever the reason we love seeing you all, so please keep visiting.
The after school extra-curricular/enrichment hour continues to go from strength to strength. The Spring Term, activities included fencing, computer coding, junior medic, learn to touch type, fitness in French, Duke of Edinburgh to name but a few. I am excited to say that we have bell ringing, horse care, shooting and plenty of SATs and GCSE booster time.
The Science Department organised the annual STEM Week – STEM South West ran science and engineering challenges to raise the profile of science, technology, engineering and maths. Years 8, 9 & 10 worked on a hydroelectricity challenge relating to renewable energy. Whilst Years 5, 6 & 7 were kept busy working on a car crash challenge. Pupils were encouraged to consider aspects of hydro electrical engineering, renewable energy, structural engineering and structural forces. Each challenge provided opportunities for lateral thinking, problem solving and team work.
Once again a team of mathematicians took part in the annual UK Maths Team Challenge and the drama department achieved a Distinction for the Year 7s performance at the Mid-Somerset Festival – making it 6 years in a row! Belle Pass (Year 7), showing initiative as well as determination, wanted to raise awareness and funds for the National Autistic Society. She organised a mufti day and an obstacle course for pupils – she raised an incredible £170.
As part of our extra-curricular Critical Thinking GCSE, thirteen of our Year 7, 8 and 9 pupils visited Oxford University. They were met by former Grittletonian, Guy Pilbeam, who is currently studying for his Masters in Public Relations and Politics. Guy took them on a guided tour of Hertford College and also showed them other famous Oxford landmarks.
Half Term took us to Alpe d’Huez, for the annual ski trip, where we were fortunate to experience good weather and, more importantly, good snow! The ski trip has operated for more than 20 years, and is a firm favourite in the school calendar.
Year 10 and 11 benefited from a talk on memory mnemonics given by Elevate Education. James, the energetic speaker, spoke to pupils about how best to approach revising and preparing for exams. The talk received a resounding ‘thumbs up’ from all who participated. Our Year 10 pupils will also have one eye on applying for sixth form. In order to prepare them for an impending interview, they were invited to attend a mock interview for a place at the ‘New Horizons Sixth Form’. I would like to thank Mick Devonport and Janet Cundall for giving up their time to interview pupils. I feel it was a very worthwhile exercise and will prove to be a huge benefit to those who took part.
I like to celebrate the success and achievements of our pupils outside of school too. There have been some notable performances during the Spring term, Charles (Year 3) took part in the southern region fencing competition coming second in his category, Gabriel (Year 8) took part in the ISFA football trials and has subsequently been selected to represent the south west region, goalkeeper Cameron (Year 9) has been selected to represent ISFA England, Katie (Year 9) is going from strength to strength at her Figure Skating Club, Tom (Year 7) was awarded 2nd place out of 70+ runners in the North Wiltshire School X-Country event, Mark (Year 7) has been invited to trial for the England Under 13 ice hockey team and our fishing expert Charlie (Year 11) is now an international competitor and national champion.
Looking Forward to the Summer Term
The summer term is upon us with much to fit in over the coming weeks. We will kick off the term with the Spring Fair. The children are involved in devising, creating and running their own stalls. It will be a great chance to develop those entrepreneurial skills much needed in the modern world – not to mention team work and collaboration.
Both years 6 and 11 are fully prepared for their forthcoming SATs and GCSEs, time will be spent going over past papers and revising. We wish them all well, and assure them that all their hard work will be rewarded.
Within the PE department we will focus on athletics, swimming, tennis and rounders. The Area Athletics Championships will be held at Bath University and we look forward to seeing our top athletes competing there. Of course, towards the end of term we will hold our annual sports days and swimming galas.
The Drama department are planning a ‘Midsummer Madness’ at the end of this term. We will be hoping for fair weather as this will take place at the Horizon Theatre! The Music department will also be enthralling us once again with their end of year performance. More information will follow on both of these events.
Year 6 are already looking forward to Venture week, followed by the year 5 and 6 disco and of course, when all of the hard work is over, the Year 11 Leavers’ Dinner.
Following the success of last year’s Senior Prize Giving Day we have once again secured Malmesbury Abbey as our venue (Friday 1st July). I am very pleased to announce that our guest speaker will be Guy Pilbeam, ex Grittletonian who, as mentioned earlier, is now studying for his Masters at Oxford University.
Finally a new date for your diary we will be opening the House and Grounds on Sunday July 3rd 2016, 12 – 5pm. The school doors will be open for guided tours, (a necessary trip down memory lane for some). Join us for an informal game of rounders (maybe we can get the houses to compete?), bring your own picnic and refreshments. We would love to see pupils old and new, family and friends all welcome. For the younger members the swimming pool will be heated, bring your bikes, skateboards etc.