I hope you have all been able to have a great week. As you will know we have had four positive COVID cases over the last couple of weeks within the school, but we are really pleased that all the bubbles of students will now be back for Activities Week.
The excitement this week has certainly been building with some students looking forward to trips to Water Parks, Thorpe Park and Kidzania and others looking forward to more locally based activities, both in and out of school. Do keep an eye on our school facebook page for photos! I am really grateful to the staff that have organised the week as it will be a fantastic way to finish a very challenging year.
On Friday next week, all students will return to school. This will be a non-uniform day and the students will finish at 12:25pm. Buses will arrive at their normal times so if possible can arrangements be made to collect your child at 12.25pm. Should this not be possible, students will be able to wait in reception.
During this week we have been able to enjoy a range of additional activities relating to our Literacy Festival. Earlier in the week The Wiltshire Times also included an article about the festival: school-festival-set-spotlight-literature/
Many thanks go to sponsors of The Word – our first literature festival. Their support covered prizes for students and helped to create a festival feel in school!
Thank you to those parents that have responded so positively to the new ‘morning welcome’ that will be starting in September. We believe this will be a really positive addition to our school day. As a reminder, from September our school day will start at 8:35am. Students are asked to arrive at 8:30am daily.
In addition to this newsletter, information has also been sent out to parents and carers about the new arrangements for contact tracing and testing in schools. changes in contact tracing arrangements
As always I hope you are able to enjoy this weekend, especially in this lovely sunshine. Long may it remain!
Our last day of term is Friday 23rd July, and we will be finishing early at 12:25pm.
The Word festival culminates in belated celebration of World Book Day
We are thrilled to have staged a new festival called The Word, which celebrated the joy of the spoken and written word across year groups with a mix of major events and fringe activities. Students enjoyed headline sessions with champion slam poet, Ash Dickinson and, Carnegie Shortlisted Author, Chris Vick. The final event of the festival was a belated celebration of World Book Day.
On Monday 12th July, the spirits of some 200 year 8 students were lifted by Ash Dickinson’s energised poetry performances of 'Page Against The Machine', 'Mango, The Reading Retriever' and 'Shadow Boxing Snowflakes'. Using the format of the Spanish Shadorma, he then coached the children in crafting poems ranging from England's defeat in the Euros, unusual pets and plastic in our oceans. Prizes were awarded to those who showed the courage to read their poems and to those who crafted the most inspired work.
Ash comments: "This was only my ninth face-to-face visit since the pandemic struck - under normal circumstances I might have achieved that in a fortnight. Accordingly, I was as happy to see them as Year 8 seemed to be to see me. Certainly they used the catharsis of poetry to ease the heartache of England's Euros defeat the night before! Some terrific poetry was written in a short space of time."
On Tuesday 13th July, Chris Vick delivered engaging author talks to year 7 and year 9 students. Covering his life as a writer and his love of surfing, Cornwall and Morocco, he guided students on the essential ingredients of stories. Students asked an array of questions from finding inspiration to getting published. Many year 7s had copies of the acclaimed Girl. Boy. Sea. for Chris to sign.
In addition, a trip to see the terrifying The Woman in Black at Theatre Royal in Bath saw 45 year 10 students gripped by the ghostly plot. Dr. Clayton, trip organiser, praised the students for their excellent theatre etiquette, adding: “After the long closure of the theatres, it was heart-warming to see our students literally on the edge of their seats, fully engrossed in a live performance.”
On Wednesday 14th July, the festival culminated in a celebration of The World Book Days missed to Covid, seeing staff dressed up in literary costumes. With 300 nearly new teen books donated, a Book and Bake Takeaway was also held in the library. Ulrika Bruton, Learning Resources Manager and The Queen of Hearts, says: “We hope students will be inspired to keep reading over the summer – especially those who may not have access to many books at home.”
A central activity across the festival was a competition for students to write 100 words on the falcon – the school’s majestic icon and royal badge linked historically to John of Gaunt. £35 in vouchers for each year group were given to the strongest entries.
Headteacher, Paul Skipp, concludes: “It was fantastic to see our students engaging so well with the visiting authors and poets. I extend my thanks to Garston Vets www.garstonvets.co.uk Tymbark Supermarket, and We Love Pets Trowbridge www.we-love-pets.co.uk/areas-covered/trowbridge for sponsoring The Word. Hopefully, the festival will grow year-on-year.
Next…our end of term Activities Week.”
Future Friendby David Baddiel
The year is 3020. Pip@256X#YY.3_7 is lonely and bored: she goes to virtual school on her G-Glasses, she has only a talking cat and parrot to hang out with and she can’t even leave her LivingSpace due to the extreme heat and floods outside. Until the day that Pip explores a glowing ring in a lab and finds herself in a warehouse, in 2019. Where she meets boy-inventor Rahul – who is also lonely and bored.
Together, Rahul and Pip are no longer lonely. But they have a whole load of new problems, including hiding talking animals from Rahul’s parents and finding a way back to the future. Plus – just maybe – saving the world....
Future Friend is a terrifically entertaining time-slip adventure that combines action, laugh-out-loud humour and the importance of friendship, in a story that asks the question – what would happen if your best friend came from the future?
Supporting Careers Education, Information Advice and Guidance at JoG
In 2014, the United Nations General Assembly declared 15 July as World Youth Skills Day, to celebrate the strategic importance of equipping young people with skills for employment, decent work and entrepreneurship.
For more information on how to support your child with their future careers and skill development listen to the new careers podcast from Amazing Apprenticeships.
Explore which careers are available today
Showcase the experiences of interesting and diverse role models
Provide real-time insights into how the world of work is changing
Do you work for/own a business that would be interested in showcasing your industry and potential career and apprenticeship opportunities to JoG students?
We are planning a Careers and Next Steps Fair in school on Wednesday 13th October and are looking for employers to inspire and inform students to think about the variety of opportunities available to them beyond school.
If you would like to have a space or know of a business who would, please get in touch: email@example.com
Supporting Careers Education, Information Advice and Guidance at JoG
CAREER of the WEEK
Opportunity for a school-leaver with Wiltshire Council