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Headteacher's Blog

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Jan 2017

Headteachers Blog January 2017

 

Happy New Year to you all, I hope you all had a great Christmas and the New Year has started positively. All has started well for Wildern with our Year 11 students focused and driving forward for those final pieces of controlled assessments and the big push for May when once again the GCSE examinations start. With so many changes it is hard to predict what the new use of numbers for English and Maths will look like, we have a wealth of data which will, as always, help us to target the interventions needed for each student.

 

Year 8 are preparing for their Pathways assemblies and information will be coming home with all the information parents and students will need. The key is to listen to the presentations and read the information sent home so they can make an informed choice for those additional subjects they can choose.

 

We will be writing to parents to inform each year group of the new scheduled Information evenings we will be introducing for each year group. Some will fall in July and others in early September. I would, of course, encourage all parents to look out for these dates as they will be specifically focused on the coming year for each cohort and will offer useful information.

 

As some of you may be aware, we recently had the second phase of our Ofsted inspection of our SCITT (Teacher Training Programme). Phase one was in June and phase two was in October. The result was excellent with us graded as Outstanding. The report is on our website if you would like to know more. Certainly if you know of anyone interested in joining this very rewarding profession then please encourage them to contact Fiona Mitchell at Wildern who can tell them all about the programme and bursaries etc.

 

On that note, if I could kindly remind all parents visiting the school site for an event to be mindful of the parking. We do, thanks to the Borough Council, have two park and stride car parks, one at B&Q and another at Turnpike Way.  Clearly the school is not in a position to dictate where parents park but I would ask you to be mindful of our local residents both in the evening and at the beginning and end of the day. Allen Road in particular is often congested which does cause considerable disruption and upset to the residents. Thank you in anticipation of your support.

 

Finally, as part of our safeguarding regulations we will shortly be introducing the need for visitors attending a meeting at the school to produce a photo ID (e.g driving licence). This is being adopted by many schools as another measure in keeping students safe. Clearly this would not be possible for big events and so will apply purely for visitors. Our Receptionist may ask you for photo ID if you are visiting the school.

 

 

Following on from the theme of safety “The Morning Drop Off”. Wildern enjoys a very good safety record – please help us to keep it that way.

 

Recently there have been a couple of ‘near misses’ and even two incidents of vehicles driving over warning signs. People are often in a rush but the safety of our students is paramount. So could I respectfully ask that you always put safety first every time you enter the school grounds. We really appreciate your support.

 

Plastic and Pirates Science Trip to Germany:

During November 2016, 15 of our Year 9 and 10 Science students and 15 students from our German partner school participated in a citizen science project entitled 'Plastic Pirates'. As part of Germany's Science Year 2016-17, UK schools were invited to visit their German partner school to investigate the impact of plastic pollution upon German rivers.

 

During our students' week long stay in Kornwestheim, near Stuttgart, they collaboratively planned, executed and analysed their project work, studying the rivers Neckar, Rems and Enz, with their counterparts from Wildern's partner school, Ernst-Sigle-Gymnasium. Students looked for accumulation of both micro- and macro-plastics in the rivers and along their banks, whilst assessing the variety and abundance of flora and fauna in each location. Data collected by the students was uploaded to the Plastic Pirates national database, for further analysis by the Kiel Research Workshop, enabling researchers to identify river sections that are most significantly affected by plastic waste.

 

During their fieldwork, our students were interviewed by the local German media to help spread the word about the importance of the Plastic Pirates project, with the Wildern School/Ernst-Sigle Gymnasium research team featuring in two separate newspaper articles.

 

Funding for travel and accommodation was generously provided by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research.

Solent Kestrels’ Basketball Team Support Primary Basketball Competition at Wildern

On Tuesday 17th January Wildern hosted a Primary Schools Level 2 Basketball Competition, the winners of which will represent Eastleigh and Winchester at the Hampshire School Games.

 

Players and coaches from the Solent Kestrels Basketball Team were at Wildern to support and referee at the event. The Kestrels play in Division 1 of the National League and both its Mens and Womens teams are playing in this year’s National Finals.

 

The competition, attended by 10 of our local Primary Schools, was a brilliant event with some fantastic individual and team performances from the primary students.

 

Thanks to the Kestrels for helping to make the event such a brilliant success.

 

Good luck to both the Primary students and the Kestrels in their forthcoming finals.

Wildern Well Being Week:

 

During the week of the 16th January the Mind, Body and Soul Focus Group organised Wildern Wellbeing Week in order to promote the importance of positive mental wellbeing and share practical ways to help students achieve this.

 

Every morning during tutor time students explored one of five coping strategies that were given to students from the Focus Group when they attended the Eastleigh Emotional Health and Wellbeing conference last November.  The strategies were:

 

  • Food – research has shown there is a strong link between mental health and diet so we promoted the importance of having a healthy breakfast to set you up for the day
  • Drink – we looked at how your brain needs to be kept hydrated so it can work properly
  • Exercise – we explained the benefits of exercise in helping to reduce feelings of anxiety and stress and create happier moods, feelings of calm and clearer thinking
  • Sleep – there is also a close relationship between sleep and mental health so students discussed the importance of a bedtime routine and getting enough sleep
  • Talk – we also looked at how we should talk to people we trust about how we feel and how we should listen to and support others

 

Wellbeing Week culminated with Food Friday where during tutor time students were asked to bring in a healthy breakfast to eat together whilst they completed their final tutor session on talk.   It was brilliant to see the vast array of healthy breakfast snacks students brought in – from homemade cranberry and oat bars to fruit salads!

 

Students also received a PL/CSI lesson on mental health and wellbeing during the week.

 

 

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Dec 2016

Headteacher Blog: December 2016

 

Another term has swiftly passed and yet again the Christmas trees and decorations are up. What I find most impressive as I drive through the village in the morning and after school is the stunning lights in the village centre, they really are quite spectacular.

 

I will not repeat the extensive information in the end of term newsletter, it is a good read and shares many of the successes and stories of the term. From shows to trips to sporting achievements and individual stories of success.

 

The end of term saw our celebration of Dance with a range of performers from the lower school to our very accomplished GCSE pieces which were stunning. Our annual Christmas Concert in The Berry which was, as always, a delight with a fabulous orchestra and singing from a large choir. While we have lost a number of key musicians it was fabulous to see the younger students coming through, often with instruments bigger than them!

 

We continue to move forward with the Free School development and are currently waiting for a call to London for the interview for the Boorley Green school. I have and will update the section on the website relating to this especially the proposed changes to the Horton Heath project.

 

I have had the pleasure of attending two of our four celebration assemblies this week, all different and unique in their own way. We have had dancing, singing (a personal favourite) and incredible individual performances on the drums and dance floor. It is always a challenge performing in front of your peers but the students are receptive and respectful of the talent in front of them. Thursday is our Mock Results Day for Year 11 when they will receive their results. They will be reminded to think and talk about the outcomes and use whatever advice they are given to steer them towards the final exams. There will be additional practice exams in English and Maths in March to help settle their nerves and further build confidence.

 

We have run a successful Learning Hub from The Box for a number of years and I am delighted to say this very successful provision is now moving across to what was formally The Nest. We will retain The Box which we lease from the Local Authority as we intend to use this space to support some of our additional work and offer a space to Health and the Youth team as we do now.

 

Basic Banks:

As always our children always give generously to worthy causes. This year again we have collected food for the Basic Bank, as I type there are boxes and boxes of goodies waiting to be delivered. Half have already gone to the KCC Food Bank this morning who were absolutely delighted and send heartfelt thanks to everyone. The remaining bits and pieces will be delivered to the Southampton Mission.

 

Annual Uniformed Services Competition at Itchen College

On Thursday 8th December an all-girls team of seven Year 10 students took part in the Annual Uniformed Services Competition at Itchen College.

 

The competition, against nine other schools, involved a series of physical and mental challenges. The challenges involved events such as an assault course, a tyres challenge, a blind-fold water carrying challenge and a stretcher carrying event, as well as having to use clues to break a secret code.

 

The girls, who were the only all-girl team, took on each challenge with determination and enthusiasm and emerged as winners – eventually beating last year’s winners – King Edward VI School – in a closely contested competition.

 

The Team: Megan Brook, Hollie Dawson, Katie Osborne, Grace Jenman, Macy Hine, Laura Towler, Megan Maffey.

 

Well done girls…. a fantastic day and a well deserved victory!

Spilling Ink

Just want to share some good news, out of 17 students who sent in a poem for the Young Writer's 'Busta Rhyme' competition, 15 students have been put forward to be published in the book to celebrate their work! Their names and the topic they chose for their poems are:

 

Katie Ridout                          A Matter Of Life

Robyn Harfield                     War

Tegan Butler-Moore            Trump

Beth Pugh                             Syria Crisis

Isabella Packman                I’M Useless

Mia Packman                        You Can Find It

Victoria De Bruijn                 Are We The Same?

Madeline Bendell                 Hurricane Matthew

Mia Gregory                          401 Marathon

Holly Godden                        They Are Alone, Worried And Scared

Chloe Headland                   Pandas Are Not Endangered Anymore

Tia Lucking                           Animal Crisis

Will Robinson                       Is It True?

Esme Thompsett                  A Sense Of Belonging

Jake Harvey                          They’re Free

 

Further success was with a creative writing competition prior to the summer break. Before the summer holidays, other Spilling Ink writers entered a competition that was rolled out to the whole department for KS3. Students were required to write a 100-word mini saga that would be suitable for a collection of mini sagas in a book entitled 'Spine Chillers - Into the Dark'.

 

 

 

 

 

After numerous entries were sent off to Young Writers, we received confirmation that 12 of our students (across Year 7 and Year 8 last academic year) would be published in a book, which we have since received. Each student was notified of their success during the summer holidays and will be receiving their very own copy of this text (which can also be found in The British Library, as well as a huge number of schools & libraries across the UK and ROI).

 

Below are the list of students involved, who of course are now Year 8 and Year 9 students

 

Year 9

Madison Hawkes

Alex Webb

Bradley Light

Emma Doncom

Fin Coombs

Maisy Stewart

Jonathan McCusker

Yazmine Petterson

Layla Neale

Leo Masters

 

Year 8:

Mia McCue

Romana Ismail

 

Cologne Trip:

On the weekend of 10th & 11th December the Geography department took 40 Year 11 students to experience the beautiful Christmas markets in Cologne.  They managed to explore 4 markets during their time there and sample popular dishes like currywurst and hot smoked salmon.  On the Sunday they had a tour of the Lindt Chocolate museum and of course the Lindt shop to purchase some last minute Christmas treats.  They had a wonderful time exploring the city centre and getting festive with singing carols and enjoying live music.  

 

Individual Stories:

Grace Jenman

Congratulations to Grace who has been selected for Hampshire Under 16 girls football squad.

 

Madeline Cooper - Triathlon Superstar

Well done to Madeline who qualified and came 1st in the South of England at Aldershot in the Modern Biathlon Championships. One for us to watch in the future!

   

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Nov 2016

Headteachers Blog November 2016

 

I am not quite sure where the first half term went, it flew by with so much packed into it, much of which I will touch on below. In December you will receive the Christmas newsletter which will share, in more detail, the huge range of activities and events that have taken place.

 

It is a busy term for all year groups but none more so than Year 11 who from 7th November embark on their Practice Exams. These are as close to the real thing as they will get and will offer them a clear indication of where they are and what they need to do to achieve their potential in their final exams. They are all clear that we will support them through each stage, but that this has to be heads down and all about learning.

 

Last term saw a significant input from the local colleges where they had a week of assemblies. We have felt over the years that hearing from the different range of offers during one week supports their understanding better than being spread over several weeks. This was then followed by a Careers Fair which many parents attended. Of course, it isn’t just Year 11, Year 10 have also had Careers input and advice as they begin the final stage of their journey.

 

Each year group has its own unique focus from dealing with transition in Year 7 to pathways in Year 8 and the start of KS4 in Year 9. Keeping parents and students fully informed of the significance of each year is critical and we will be looking this year as to how we develop this even further. In light of so many significant changes in education regular updates about these changes for each year group we know will help parents and students.

 

Secondary Geography Quality Mark:

In June the Geography Department made an application to gain a Quality Mark for teaching Secondary Geography, this was awarded to us in September - Secondary Geography Quality Mark - by the Geographical Association.

 

Annie:

WOW!!! Another amazing show that again would not have been out of place in the West End. I sit every year in complete awe of what unfolds before me at only 5ft 4” I get taller and taller in my seat with pride, I can only imagine how proud you as parents must be. Such incredible talent and commitment from the students and indeed our staff. They have all worked tirelessly from July on pulling together such a professional show. Performing on a professional stage with an amazing set is no less than they deserve, anything less now would do them all a dis-service. To steal a quote from ‘Strictly’ I didn’t like it I LOVED It!!!!

 

BBC Proms:

During the summer term the BBC Proms Education Team contacted Mrs Simmons after submitting a dance to their website for the BBC 10 Pieces project. The BBC invited the dancers to perform as part of the BBC Ten Pieces Prom at the Royal Albert Hall in July. 14 dancers worked alongside choreographer Denni Sayers to create a performance to Shostakovich's Symphony No.10 (2nd movement).

 

The dancers stayed in London accompanied by Mrs Simmons and Miss Wyatt from 21st - 24th July rehearsing the performance as well as seeing Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and going backstage! They performed at The Royal Albert Hall on 23rd and 24th July with presenters Naomi Wilkinson, Lemn Sissay and Dion Dublin.

 

It was the most amazing experience for these talented students and something they and we will never forget.

 

The Telegraph commented on their performance 'An expressive, disciplined bunch of dancers from Wildern School in Southampton were great...'

Charity events:

As many of you know the school and, in particular, the students are very active in supporting various charities. In fact their/your generosity is always amazing.

 

This year again we held our annual Jeans for Genes event which all of us supported, even I put on my jeans.

 

Recently we took part in the national Stand up to Cancer fundraising event which has sadly affected so many of us both family, students and colleagues.

 

Rotary Shoe Box Appeal, as I type this the shoe boxes so caringly put together by our students are being gathered ready for collection.

One of our colleagues arranges an annual charity ball in aid of Breast Cancer and Southampton Hospital Charity.

 

Date is 7th October 2017

Venue Hilton Hotel, Ageas Bowl West End.

Tickets are £55pp or table of 10 for £500

This year’s theme is 1950's American Diner

 

The Battle of the Somme:

Our accelerated Year 11 History GCSE students have been working on a project at Royal Victoria Country Park in conjunction with the Commonwealth War Graves Commission and the Royal British Legion.  This is part of the national 'Every Man Remembered' project to commemorate the centenary of The Battle of The Somme.  The former hospital at Royal Victoria Country Park was used throughout the duration of the Battle to treat casualties from the front line who were sent from France via rail and sea.  Sadly, there are over 150 graves of men who lost their lives despite surviving the journey back from France and these men have never been officially recognised as casualties of the Battle of The Somme.  Our students have been working with local historians to identify more about the men and prove that they were veterans of The Somme.  They have uncovered some fascinating stories about the men from as far away as Australia and these will be published in the new year so that future generations and potentially relatives of the men will have a more accurate picture of the soldiers buried in the cemetery at Royal Victoria Country Park.

Duke of Edinburgh Award:

Another great start to D of E this year with our biggest yet cohort of 45 Year 10 students signing up. The groups have been on their first day walk, on 15th October in and around Queen Elizabeth Country Park, where they learned basic compass and navigation skills with members of staff. The next trip they will be off to the New Forest, learning important camp skills, in preparation for their practice weekend up on the South Downs and the assessment weekend back in the New Forest later next year.

 

All the groups made a great first impression on the staff that accompanied them on the first trip out. Hopefully this good positive attitude will lead to another successful year of Wildern D of E students passing their Bronze Award. My sincere thanks to all the staff who volunteer in their own time generally at weekends to do this work with our students

Trips:

 

Olympic trip to Germany:

In September students from Years 8 and 10 along with Mr Horton, Mr Pike and Miss Stride embarked on an Olympic style sporting extravaganza in Kornwesthiem to be part of their Partner Schools Olympic games. This is something we have been involved in twice before both in Germany and here in Southampton.

 

The athletes took part in a wide range of sports, our very own Maddie Cooper mentioned later in my Blog was one of them.

 

Four wonderful days were had by all and it was yet again a further example of our strong international links and a partnership we have enjoyed for many years. Watch out for a full account of the whole trip in the Christmas newsletter.

 

New York:

From visiting the Empire State Building at night to see the beauty of the city and sheer scale of Manhattan and surrounding boroughs to taking the cable car over to Roosevelt Island our students in their recent visit to New York saw the city from all angles.


The urban issues of such a rapidly growing city were considered first hand as they visited the site of the 'Yard' the 13 skyscraper complex being built above the Hudson railway yard where the air rights alone cost $1billion.  In contrast they walked the Highline, a community project which has turned 22 blocks of disused elevated railway track into a beautiful green and cultural space full of artwork and planting, which was achieved through people volunteering their time and donating to the cause.

 

No Wildern trip to NYC is complete without a visit to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island and after this the group spent some reflective time at the 9/11 memorial before walking around the financial district and Wall Street.

 

At night they ate in restaurants in Times Square enjoying the singing waiters at Ellen Stardust and of course the burgers.  When it comes to food, the students tried every 'delicacy' from the huge pretzels and hot dogs to authentic dunkin' donuts and huge sandwiches!

 

My thanks go to the teachers who gave up their time to support this trip: Firstly Mrs Broadribb who plans this trip down to the fine detail, this along with the many other trips she arranges or attends. My thanks also on her behalf to Mr Hastings, Mrs Fearon and Mr Rodriguez who supported her brilliantly on the trip.

 

There has to be a huge shout out to all the students on this trip, everywhere they went they were praised for their manners, courtesy and brilliant attitudes, they made this trip a total success - thank you!

Battlefields:

Our annual visit to the Battlefields took place between 16-19th September with 44 students. During this trip they visited numerous WW1 sites:

 

Vimy Ridge with trenches, memorial to all fallen Canadians in the war, the underground tunnels there and at nearby Arras.

 

Many sites around Ypres the British centre of resistance. Trenches at Sanctuary Wood, Tyne Cot cemetery which with nearly 12,000 graves and 30,000 names of soldiers whose bodies have never been recovered is the biggest commonwealth one in the world. Essex Farm cemetery where John McCrae wrote 'In Flanders Fields' poem.

 

They also visited to the Somme to celebrate the 100 year anniversary. Focusing on Thiepval memorial to the lost British soldiers in the battle and other memorials and trenches. The highlight of the trip would be the involvement of students in the Menin Gate ceremony where they laid a wreath to represent Wildern School.

Joe Parkinson’s reflections of the trip

 

The Belgium trip all in all, was a great experience. It was a very emotional trip at times, but I had great fun as well. The places we went to were not only moving but eye opening, as we saw the scale of the sheer amount of lives that were lost during World War One. When the group went to Tyne Cot cemetery, the resting place of over 11,000 servicemen, it was very moving and made us feel grateful that the brave soldiers who gave their lives for their country’s wellbeing. The Memorial also showed how many different nations took part in the war to help out Britain. I was very honoured on the Sunday night, as I and two other girls laid a wreath at the Menin gate ceremony which has happened every night since World War One, apart from when the Nazis occupied the area in World War Two. The ceremony was held in a beautiful town called Ypres. Overall I loved the trip and it was a great experience which I would love to do again.

Update on the New School:

Things are progressing as we continue to work with the DfE and Hampshire County Council re developing the building design and site. We have our ‘Kick-off’ meeting in London in a few weeks when we will meet some of the key people working with us to develop this exciting project. We will keep you posted and when we are able share more details about the design and timeline.

 

Individual Successes:

 

Madeline Cooper:

Madeline continues to excel in triathlon. She has taken part in Glasgow in the Inter Regional Championships throughout all of U.K.

 

She has also taken part at Chantilly in France despite some tough International competition Madeline had a great race and came 1st with breaking the Course record.

 

More recently Madeline swam and ran at a Triathlon Trial in Oxford and has qualified for the Triathlon Academy and is now on the G.B. Pathway! Fantastic achievement well done.

 

Charlotte Dack:

Charlotte came 2nd in the UK Crown Golf Junior Championship. With nearest the pin and longest drive, one for us to watch for the future.

 

Poppy-Jay Watkins:

Poppy-Jay Watkins (PJay) is a young budding cricketer who has recently been selected, for the second year running, for the Hampshire Under 13 Girls Cricket Squad. Following a great season last year she has now been selected for EPP, the county's Emerging Players Programme, which is a programme for players who are deemed to have a possible elite future in cricket. Only 4 girls from the county were selected. An amazing achievement.

 

If that wasn’t enough she is also currently having JDC trials for under 13 County hockey, a young girl with many talents!

 

Ben Smith:

Another budding cricketer recently etched his name into the NatWest Under-16 Indoor Cricket League annals by becoming probably the youngest player to make a half-century in the competition’s 15-year history.


Holly Pepper:

Holly is a budding young Taekwondo star who is making her mark in this fascinating sport. Recently Holly won all of her fights and became national champion of her weight division. All her hard work and dedication paid off, recently she fought three fights first winning 22-0, second 23-2 and third she won on golden point against a girl who was nearly a foot taller than her!!


She also had the opportunity to meet Jade Jones, Lutalo Muhummed and she got to train with Ben Haines who is part of team GB.



   

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Sep 2016

Headteachers Blog September 2016:


Welcome back to another academic year, three weeks in already. I hope you all had a great summer break and enjoyed some of the splendid weather we had.


The term has started well despite the tragic news of the sad death of one of our previous Year 11 students. This certainly rocked us as a school and our young people. The tributes left for Zenon by so many was heart-warming and a comfort to the family. The lovely flowers were taken to a number of the care homes in the area at the family’s request.


Year 7 have settled in very well and look excited and happy at their new school. All year groups have returned focused and ready to work. I would like to congratulate them all and thank you the parents for the exemplary uniform we have seen. Your response to our shoe guidance has been fantastic and a reflection of your commitment to this partnership. Thank you, we have had only a few minor issues. On that note I would like to congratulate every student for their compliance and support of the mobile phone rule introduced last July. In a school of 1,900 students we are collecting on average maybe one or two phones a day and on several days none at all which is excellent and represents the nature of our students and culture of the school.


We have our annual Open day and evening on 28th September when again we will welcome many of you and indeed new parents to look around the school. It is an opportunity on this visit to see the school working and experience some taster lessons, it is certainly worth a visit if you haven’t been before.


As many of you will be aware we submitted an application to the DfE for a new all-through school at Horton Heath due to open in 2019. I am delighted to inform you that we were successful in our application and will now be working with the DfE and Hampshire Architects to build the new school. This is an exciting project that will support the education of so many of our youngsters. We hope to replicate the excellent provision we offer at Wildern with the additional excitement of primary provision. We will keep you posted as we move forward.


Developments of the site have seen a redecoration of the external paintwork on the D@rt and general maintenance around the site. The most exciting addition is the new Astro-Turf. This will add another excellent facility for the students during PE, but also an additional space for our community to hire.


This week we ran our first ‘Fresher’s Fair’ for Year 7 it was a huge success with over 300 parents and students in Year 7 finding out about all the clubs and opportunities available and indeed signing up to join the clubs available. This will, I am sure, now become an annual event for new Year 7.


We enjoyed celebrating the outstanding achievements of our students sporting prowess at our annual Wildern Sports Personality of The Year. As always, I would like to remind you any achievements you feel worthy of a mention please send me an email ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ) as I would love to include these in my monthly blog. They can be any achievement not simply sport related.

We look forward as always to working with you over the coming year and I will endeavour to update my Blog each month with news and updates.


Forthcoming Key Dates:



28th September

Open Day/Evening – early closure 1.15 pm

26th September – 7th October

PLR Fortnight

5th October

WINK - Years 10 and 11 Careers Fair

10th October

CPD DAY

11th October

WINK - Introduction to Wildern

12th October

Year 11 Parent's Evening No.1

19th - 21st October

School Production

   

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July 2016

And so farewell to another fabulous year full of individual, team and whole successes. So much has happened this year that I hope I have been able to capture some of those moments in my Blog. Thank you all for the information that you either send to me personally or to the Year teams.

As you will know we have submitted our application for the proposed new school at Horton Heath and on 4th July were invited to an interview at the DfE, we will find out the outcome in September. We are also submitting a bid for the new primary school at Boorley Green, if we are successful both schools will join the Wildern MAT. Our ambition for our community continues to be our drive. We will keep you posted as we move forward.

Mobile phones in the life of a Headteacher can have its moments of challenge and when you re-launch a rule on mobile phones you do take a deep breath. I didn’t need to worry because the students and parents response has been amazing. While we are still confiscating the odd phone this is now down to single figures which in a school of 1900 is incredible. WELL DONE to all year groups I am so proud of you.

What staff have commented on is how fabulous it is to see students at lunchtime engaged in a conversation with friends rather than looking at a screen.

You will have received my recent uniform letter re. black shoes. You may recall last year we had an issue with what was being marketed by the shoe shops which did pose a challenge for us in September. This led to two communications home. In January I said I would write home before the end of this term to confirm our position so we did not begin with any confusion. I hope you have all received a copy and are now clear on what we will accept. The confusion was always around sports brands so by taking them completely out of the equation we hope now the position is clear. Even if a shoe looks plain black, if it is made by a sports company they will not be permitted. Thank you to all the parents who have already confirmed their support.

Enjoy the final stories for this academic year. We look forward to working with you all next term. For now, have a wonderful holiday wherever it may take you.

Year 9 Well-Being Seminar

Well Being

On Tuesday 12th July all Year 9 students took part in a Well-Being Seminar. This session was aimed at exploring strategies that could be used to develop resilience and encourage students to adopt a healthier approach in order to tackle challenging situations such as exam stress. Being active plays a huge part in Well-being and therefore all students had the opportunity to take part in a Choi Kwang Do (martial arts) lesson in order to clear their minds. Much fun was had by all and a few staff joined in too.

Eden school trip

Eden Project

On 17th June a group of Year 9 students went on a trip to the Eden Project, Cornwall. The trip was fantastic they went rock climbing and tree top climbing, the aquarium and a trip to Fowey. They slept apparently in little rooms called Snooze Boxes which were really cramped and small but to quote the students very cool (that either means cold or trendy not sure which!)  One of the favourite parts of the trip was the actual Eden project where staff cooked them breakfast and dinner and even made their lunch which was a great experience. The group had the whole place to themselves and one of the best views was apparently the Eden Project empty. An amazing trip had by all.

Trip to the Houses of Parliament

Katherine Feest and Holly Whale recently visited the Houses of Parliament where they went to talk to a range of businesses about getting young girls into the world of technology. The start of their day began with a ride on the London Eye as a treat then they went across to the Houses of Parliament and set to work.

The key note speakers were Karen Price, CEO of Tech Partnership; Jacqui Ferguson, CEO of HPE (and sponsor); Ed Vaizey who sponsored them being there; and then followed up with Katherine doing her speech with Holly by her side. I am informed both girls were fab and Katherine’s speech was amazing. So many employers remarked how amazing Katherine was as a speaker, and all felt she was incredibly confident.

The whole thing lasted ½ an hour, so 1 ½ hours was then taken up with networking, and where Mrs Feest informed us they were fantastic ambassadors for the school. They shone out as being the most articulate, happy to mingle and chat with the guests, and really showed themselves off well. It was finished perfectly for them by Mims Davies coming down and offering to take them on a tour. They spent ½ an hour going into a debating chamber, being taken to all the areas restricted only to MPs, and Mims did a fantastic job telling them various stories about the rooms and the history. A truly brilliant experience.

What was particularly interesting was that I was in London on that day and standing with our Chair of Governors and colleagues from Hampshire at Waterloo Station when the girls walked past me. I didn’t see them until they had gone by but my colleagues did so I did some digging when I got back to find out what they had been doing. Little did I know what an adventure they had had. Well done girls.

Wildern Young Sports Ambassadors

Wildern Young Sports Ambassadors did a fantastic job running the Level 3 Tri-Golf Competition at this year’s Hampshire School Games. The event was attended by 32

Primary Schools from around the county. Well done to them – for making the event so enjoyable for both students and staff. They did such a great job they have been invited to run the event again.

Primary Handball Event

handball

Wildern hosted a new event for our Cluster Primary Schools this term – The event was supported by a coach from England Handball. As well as learning some new skills – all the students had a brilliant time. As it was such a success we will be looking to host some more Handball in the future – watch this space.

Sustainability Forum

On 14th July, Wildern hosted the Eastleigh Borough Council Sustainability Forum. 40 students visited from 7 different local Primary Schools to take part in activities to encourage them to become Eco Schools. These activities included; A presentation from KoolSkools encouraging students to buy Fairtrade uniforms; Recycle4EBC showing students how to recycle; Southern Water demonstrating how students can save water and the Wildlife trust held stream dipping and mini-beasting activities in our school grounds. The highlight was the Wildern Waste Challenge, which was a competition, judged by the Mayor of Eastleigh; for the Primary Schools to assess the waste they produce as a school; find a creative way to use it and then reduce it. The Cresent Primary School produced the winning entry, creating Tin Animals from waste, which were amazing. The day was a great success and the schools went away with lots of ideas and inspiration for how they can become Eco Schools and have a positive impact on their environment.

Librarians Trip to Waterstones Southampton

Librarians

On 12th July, 8 Wildern student librarians visited the Southampton West Quay branch of Waterstones to give their opinions, offer positive feedback and constructive criticism to their Young Adult section. They were made to feel very welcome in the newly redecorated store, and they all thoroughly enjoyed looking at all the books and taking notes on how they can improve their appeal to teens as well as some ideas for our very own LRC. It was an excellent opportunity to see what Southampton has to offer teenagers and young adults to read.  It will be great to see Waterstones put our suggestions into practice.

Individual Successes

Sophie Parris

Sophie-Parris

Sophie recently had amazing success at the 2016 International Dance World Cup in Jersey.  She entered 2 dance genres - Tap Solo and Classical Greek Solo. She won a silver medal in both, brilliant!! She was "best female under 14 years tap dancer in the world!" This also meant she gained points for Team England! Despite injuring herself in PE before performing she still went on to win medals.

After a week of spectacular entertainment with outstandingly talented dancers, in all genres of dance and with competitors from 36 countries around the world, the England team were also, the overall winning team, of the Dance World Cup!!  What a fantastic achievement for Sophie and her team mates.

Sophie has been invited to audition new dances and to represent England in the 2017 Dance World Cup in Germany. We wish her all the very best and look forward to sharing more stories of success next term.

Ellie Hodgson, Emma Froome and Mrs Thurgood

Ellie-Hodgson

At the English Schools Athletics Championships Ellie Hodgson made the semi finals of the 100 metres but missed out on the final by 200ths of a second. Emma Froome made the final cut of the shot and came 10th overall. The girls were a real credit to the school. To be fair I am informed by Mrs Thurgood, the team manager, that the girls and all the Hampshire athletes were fantastic and it was a real pleasure to be a team manager for the weekend.

Sydney Letchford

Our brilliant gymnast Sydney took part in a Gym competition in Spain achieving a personal best. Dynamo’s Senior Team travelled to Madrid for 4 days, for the Gimnasia Artistica Pozuelo International Competition. The girls travelled along with coaches, Kerri Upton and Emma Beales.  After an early start on Friday morning, the girls settled into the surroundings, conditioning and stretching out in the park opposite the hotel before collecting the accreditations needed from the competition. Saturday was competition day, with Sydney Letchford competing in the youngsters round. After a wobbly start on beam Sydney picked up and put out strong Vaults and Bar routines. Sydney finished with a score of 46.60 for 21st position overall and a 5th place on Vault with 12. Well done again Sydney, more to follow next term.

   

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