It has been great to welcome the whole school back after the Christmas break, and we are all really pleased to see how quickly everyone has settled back into their routines. Fortunately we only had a handful of positive case when we undertook the lateral flow testing, and currently we do not have any staff away from school with Covid. That said, we know this scenario can quickly change. This week has been an important week for our Year 9 students who have been thinking about their options for next year. Students were able to have some sample lessons in option subjects as well as time in assemblies to understand about the process. Whilst it has been a shame we haven’t been able to hold our in person options evenings we are pleased that our website now has all the videos and information about every subject area, these can be found here KS4 Options
At the start of this term it is great to be able to share our extra-curricular programme. I am really pleased this is now increasing in size. There are a whole range of activities after school, so please do encourage your children to be involved.
This week has also seen many of our Year 11 and Year 13 students take their external component exam of their vocational courses. We have all been really impressed with the students, particularly as so many of them worked so hard revising over the Christmas holiday.
As always, I hope you have a relaxing (warm) weekend
Our goats have enjoyed "recycling" Christmas trees donated by the staff this week.
The trees are multi-functional being used as scratching posts and also a crunchy snack. The bark provides good roughage and the needles are a great source of vitamin C.
Year 7 have been having great fun in Science learning about our solar system and creating models of the planets.
Year 10 Food Nutrition & Preparation
Today we have been developing our level 7 - 9 practical skills by making and shaping pasta, students had the opportunity to make tagliatelle (level 7), ravioli (level 8) and tortellini (level 9) and as you can see not only have they succeeded, but they had a fantastic time whilst making. Mrs Beattie
Welcome to the bi-weekly food newsletter! Full of tips and information for your mind and belly. January is always the month for giving things up or trying new diets or fads. Veganuary is always a popular one. Challenge yourself to go a few days, week or even the whole month eating Vegan food. There is so much inspiration out there now for plant-based eating! Check out Richa Hingle and Chloe Coscarelli for some delicious recipes and food. A few famous sports vegans are Lewis Hamilton, the Williams sisters and Novak Djokovic.
Produce of the month: January is always a great time for root vegetables in the UK, try some warming soups or curries using Parsnip, carrots and Celeriac.
Also, this month is The Platinum Pudding Competition.
Would you like to see your pudding creation served up at street parties and other celebrations up and down the country? Fortnum & Mason is inviting you to invent the Jubilee Pudding for The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee in 2022. The winning pudding will be an important part of the celebrations marking Her Majesty’s 70 years as Monarch. And the creator of the winning pudding will be invited to be at the centre of the celebrations.
The competition opens on the 10th January and closes 4th February. Get cooking!
The latest Ten Tors 2022 training expedition took place on Saturday 8th January 2022. It felt great to get the new-year started by getting some chalky miles under our boots up in the Marlborough Downs. The forecast was absolutely terrible (ongoing torrential rain), so much so that the persistent drizzle, chilly wind and occasional showers were actually somewhat welcome - our first opportunity thus far to evaluate our waterproofs! The hilly tracks were also irritatingly wet, muddy and slippery and a few students painted themselves brown (you know who you are!).
We toured the multiple historic sites in the Avebury area, mainly Neolithic (Longstones: Adam & Eve, Avebury Stone Circle, The Avenue, Silbury Hill, West Kennet Long Barrow, The Sanctuary, The Ridgeway track and then Fyfield Down's beguiling valley of the rocks leading to the Devil's Den dolmen. Mr Gray was seen to hug a 23 million-year-old Sarsen stone.
The weather and the larger bags took their toll, and some students found the going increasingly difficult. Full respect to those who battled through until the very end (even choosing to add 4km on at the end to 'get back to the bus'). I loved it and hope it's prepared the students for the famously gruelling Imber Range Expedition next weekend.
As always, huge thanks to those who made it all possible - Mr Lord, Mrs Brooks and
volunteer Iain Richards.
How to Grow a Grown-up - Parenting in a Pandemic
On Thursday 3 February from 6.30 pm we yet again have Dr Dominique Thompson giving a talk on how best to support your child particularly since lock down.
Dominique is an award-winning GP, young people's mental health and parenting support expert, TEDx speaker, author and educator, with two decades of clinical experience.
She is co-author of How to Grow a Grown Up (PenguinRandomHouse), a book written to support parents to raise independent and resilient young people in the 21st century.
To support parents further
Dominique hosts a private Facebook community for parents to create safe spaces to share their concerns or ask for help, and she writes regular blogs on a vast array of parenting topics. She also hosts webinars for parents on supporting their child’s mental health, and writes a regular free newsletter for parents.
We hope that many parents will attend. On previous occasions parents have given positive feedback regarding Dominique's talk and Q&A sessions afterwards.
Supporting our Young Carers
A young carer is a young person aged 5 – 16 who looks after someone who couldn’t manage without their help. This could mean looking after a parent, brother or sister, grandparent or family friend who has a disability, long term illness, or drug and alcohol related issues.
There are as many as one in 12 pupils that could be considered as a young carer and may struggle with many aspects of school life. Some young carers worry about their attendance due to their caring activities, may be tired, worried, find it difficult to concentrate and have limited time for friendships and activities after school. If this is the case, we can help.
John of Gaunt can provide extra help for young carers? By offering extra help with homework, flexibility around calling home, advice about how to get your child into school where transport may be an issue, a teacher to talk to and alternatives to after school activities. We also have a Young Carers Support Group and have regular meetings to check how our Young Carers are doing and whether they need any additional help.
Do you think you have a Young Carer in your household? If so please contact Luisa Mitchell (email@example.com) who is our Young Carers Lead.