If you are really observant you will see that Mr Woodville has allowed me to write the introduction to our newsletter this week.
For those that do not know me, I am Helen Kerr, and as Assistant Headteacher I work closely with staff to support the behaviour and wellbeing of students and look after the transition of primary students to our secondary setting. I have been here for 20 years at Easter and may even have taught some of you which can prove to be interesting on parents' evening!
We are now over halfway through the academic year and for Year 11 and our sixth form, we are into the final stretch of time in school before the exams start in earnest in May. As a senior team we met individually with all year 11 last week to have a final check in with them, offer additional last-minute support and ensure that their plans are all in place for whatever they are moving on to in September.
One of the really exciting events we have already had this term was a day spent with our new Equa ‘family of schools’ on the first day back after the half-term break.
Although students were not in school that day, they were very much part of all of our conversations, looking at how we can work together in all areas of school life to benefit our students, now and in the future. Although you may not notice much change in those first few terms I am sure that working alongside colleagues in other schools is going to really help us build opportunities for staff and students alike to have an even better time here at The John of Gaunt School.
The idea of growth and new beginnings is very timely as the first signs of spring start to appear. We have fenced off some of our grassed areas which became very muddy and bare over the winter months and this will allow the new shoots to appear and allow the school to start to show its summer colours. In the next few weeks we will be sending out our packs of sunflower seeds to our Year 7 students and those who are in year 6 and will be joining us next year, so they can see the time passing as their plants grow taller. I am sure that speaking to some of the older students they would say that the time passes much more quickly than can be imagined by those primary students looking towards September.
In the next week or so, we will be looking at consulting parents, students, staff and Governors about possible changes to uniform. This is something we do regularly to make sure that our uniform is as we want it to be. Look out for the consultation survey which should take less than 5 minutes to complete.
It has been a real honour to write to you all this week.
We have noticed a number of students have been accessing the school site outside the school day, during evenings, weekends and holidays.
We would like to clarify that no student or young person should be on the school site, using any sports facilities, the all-weather astro pitch or in school buildings outside of school hours (8am – 3.30pm on school days) without permission from a member of staff or as unless they are taking part of a planned enrichment activity run by the school or another agreed group booking.
If you are unclear regarding whether your child is able to come to school outside the school day please contact their tutor or head of year.
Helen Kerr, Assistant Headteacher
Cooking with Trowbridge 6th Cubs Group
JOG had the absolute pleasure of hosting a cooking event with the Cubs, we had a fantastic evening making pizzas and lots of fun was had by all.
I would like to thank all the cubs and the leaders, you were an absolute pleasure.
What a fantastic achievement! We have managed to raise a massive £541 from all the fund-raising events we did last term including the School disco and tuck shop.
Thank you to everyone involved in organising these events; to the parents/carers for providing the money and our students for spending it.
I am beyond proud of my Year group and this money will do wonderful things, so thank you!
Congratulations to the 86 year 9 and 10 students who sat the recent national UKMT Maths Challenge.
A large number will be presented with certificates next week, commending their achievement.
A special mention, however, for Kyle Williams (year 9), who not only achieved "Best in School", but who has been invited to participate in the next round of the competition.
Lewis Adams achieved the "Best in Year 10" award.
A new lunchtime club called Glow is being launched!
Monday lunchtimes in Mr Heard's classroom C17 (DT Workshop).
Come with your lunch for a chat, games, chocolate biscuits and colouring.
Would love to see you there!
Flood Defence Investigation
On Thursday, two Civil Engineers visited the maths department, to work with 3 classes of Year 8 students.
They looked at how buildings at risk of flooding, can be protected from damage.
Following their presentation, students worked in groups, using set resources to design structures that would keep the resident dry given a flood.
The models were then tested to see how they performed.
Ten Tors 2023 - A wonderful weekend!
Last weekend saw our second visit to Dartmoor, this time braving the sub-zero temperatures to complete a variety of routes on the South Moor around the Hexworthy and Princetown area.
The weather was very windy but clear, and the visibility was excellent, both during the day in which the coast could clearly be visible and during the night with excellent views afforded of Venus, Jupiter and Mars. The moorland itself was looking beautiful, a stunning glorious yellow and also mostly dry which was virtually perfect conditions for hiking.
We camped at a small riverside farm on the edge of the moor and Smokey Bill's Grill was set up in the corner to supply the students with a lovely full-English breakfast on Saturday morning (served at sunrise) and had lovely views over the surrounding hills bathed in a gorgeous unpolluted light.
Aside from a few mishaps involving lost keys and getting the minibus stuck in some marsh, the weekend passed without drama. Some students found the terrain and distance very challenging, but most completed their routes enjoying some of the highlights of the South Moor (Foxtor Mire - Grimpen Mire from Hound of the Baskervilles, the famous stone crosses, Crazy Well Pool, Childe's Tomb, and the extensive Ditsworthy Neolithic settlement, and Princetown prison). A significant amount of miles were done over the weekend (around 30 for the younger group and 40 for the older group) and we are looking forward to the 31-mile single day hike on Saturday. The icing on the cake was the sighting of a rare (and massive) White-tailed Sea Eagle as we drove over the moor on the way home.
Many thanks as always to the people that made this weekend possible - Iain Richards, Bill & Jasmine Smith, Xavier Lord and Mrs Brooks and also to the Chapel of St. Raphael in Hexworthy for use of their log-burner and church facilities.
For more impressive photographs please click here.