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Headteacher's Blog

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Mar 2017

Headteacher Blog March 2017

 

With three weeks to go before Easter I thought I would post my last Blog until we return in April. Below are a few updates on some individual successes in particular our success in the Youth Speaks competition, with our students going forward to represent the County.

 

Much has happened this term and will be highlighted in our termly newsletter. We are currently in the middle of Year 10 practice exams with some additional Maths and English additional practice for Year 11. They are working hard in what we know is a very stressful time for them, lots of kindness and support will be needed as we steer them through this final part of their journey. This includes the ESP sessions run after school and Easter revision which will give them the final boost and support they will need.

 

SCITT

As many of you know Wildern runs its own cross phase teacher training facility (SCITT). Having achieved an outstanding Ofsted Grade last October we held another inspirational day at the Wildern Partnership SCITT with motivational speaker Sir John Jones.

 

Youth Speaks

We have, for several years, taken part in the ‘Youth Speaks’ competition organised by the Rotary Club. I had the great pleasure again this year of attending the heats at Wildern where the winners were chosen to then go through to the Local and then District Finals. The standard of speeches was incredibly impressive given that this is a hard thing to do when you are experienced, let alone 13 years old. All those who took part gave a compelling speech about a topic of their choice.

 

The winning group, in the Intermediate category (11-14), were Elizabeth Addis, Elizabeth Qi and Amelia Ngumuo. The topic of their speech was “What is true beauty and can it be defined?"

 

This speech had to be performed in every round - We have passed through 3 rounds, Club, Local and District Final. On Saturday the girls were successful again and now go through to the Regional Finals representing Hampshire on Saturday 25th March at Exmouth, we wish them every success.


 

 

Science Fair

As part of British Science week, Wildern held the annual Science Fair, which looked at finding the next greatest invention to solve a problem.

 

The Fair enabled students to think for themselves, be creative, encouraged teamwork and improve upon presentation skills. The Fair was judged by the University of Southampton as well as the Head of Science. The ideas created by the students were amazing; each group putting in such creativity, with ideas from a Candy Carrot to encourage children to eat their vegetables to using ethanol as a bio fuel.  Unfortunately, we could only have 3 winners for their brilliant inventions and amazing presentation skills. Harvey Clarke and Callum Swain 1st Place, Beth Wilkinson and Robin Stalley 2nd Place, Jacob Blair and Oliver Crighton–Lee 3rd Place. This year as part of the prize, the winning students will present their work at the University of Southampton Science and Engineering Fair on Saturday 18th March which will have around 4,000 visitors. This is a great privilege as they are the only secondary school invited. Also this year as part of Science Week, we held a STEM Fair at Freegrounds Junior School. The ideas were incredible, but again we could only have 1 winner. The winners of this have also been invited to present at The Science and Engineering Fair. The winners were Eloise Fulker, Euan Snelgar and Jack Bee. They made a brilliant invention called the Rain–o–matic which saved your washing from getting wet! I would also like to give a special mention to Poppy Cannon and Emma Doncom who came to the Freegrounds Stem group to support the Freegrounds students. We were also lucky enough to be invited to design the wrist bands for the Southampton Science Fair, this competition was open to all Year 8’s. Leia Banerjee produced an amazing design, and it looks amazing!

 

Maths Challenge:

Every year we take part in the UKMT Intermediate Maths Challenge. This year 54 students in Years 9 and 10 took part and 17 students have been awarded certificates.

 

Year 9 certificates: Gold 1, Silver 5, Bronze 3

Year 10 certificates: Gold 1, Silver 3, Bronze 4

 

Special mention to Sam Deacon who was Best in School and Best in Year 9 and George Whiting who was Best in Year 10. Sam Deacon and Constance Smith have made it through to the next round which will take place in March.

 

ART:

Below is a piece written by Alex Ritzema about his art work as part of the Peoples Portrait Project

 

Small Faces Exhibition - Peoples Portrait Project - Solent Showcase Gallery

For my small face portrait I decided it to be a self-portrait and to use the media of spray paint with a single stencil. The project didn't take long and it didn't need to as the exhibition is primarily about creativity and individualism. It could have been abstract or photographic, the only thing that mattered was the face.

 

I created the spray paint by first taking a range of pictures then decided which one I was to use based on the lighting and what kind of facial expiration I wanted. Then I printed it off and began to cut out the significantly dark or defined parts of the portrait remembering to use and A6 sized photo on the paper. For this I’d recommend using Microsoft Publisher as you can scale your pictures. After this I began to bring in my spray paint.

 

I stuck my paper down onto a wooden board using masking tape and gave it a first spray of blank white or a clear effect. The “Pepper” effect as I call it was achieved by then using black in dashes across the page and then going over it in white again. This is how I came up with the name as well as the funny fact that my pet cat, called Pepper, constantly tried to stand on the wooden board for attention. This making the name ironic.

 

Alex Ritzema

 

The Exhibition Post Details Are as Follows:

 

Small Faces Exhibition, Solent Showcase Gallery, East Park Terrace, Southampton.-SO14 0YN

 

 

 

RE:

Wildern Students Praise Quality of Religious Education at County Council Meeting

Four Year 10 students attended the SACRE Youth Voice meeting at the Hampshire County Council offices in Winchester on 1st March with Mrs Knight. Jas Bassi, Tiffany Biles, Isabella Grogan and Isobel Kipling represented our school brilliantly and worked really well with students from other schools in the County to provide valuable feedback and ideas to the Hampshire SACRE Group.

 

The Standing Advisory Council for RE (SACRE) is an organisation set up to ensure RE is up to scratch and reflects the diversity of religion in our County and they really value the SACRE Youth Voice’s feedback. The Youth Voice group also plan and facilitate a thought provoking Youth Conference every July for Year 8 students.

 

In this meeting, our students from Wildern discussed what they had been recently studying and what they had particularly enjoyed - for our Year 10s it was the Euthanasia topic and in particular how they enjoyed lively classroom discussions on the issue. They also discussed how positive they felt about the subject overall and what actions they should make to not only improve it further but also raise awareness about it to help other people see the benefits of it. Isobel Kipling said, ‘we want to raise certain points to our parents including what is actually taught in school as some parents believe that it is not necessary whereas it is a very valuable subject to study’.

They have big ideas for our summer conference and have decided to base it around the topic of religion in the media. They also want the students to think about other influences that affect their views on religion (school, family, friends, social media etc.). To do this, the students decided they will have the main intriguing question “What is the biggest influence on people’s views on religion?”


The group have one more planning meeting in May before the conference is held in July.

 

Rock Challenge:

On Monday 27th February just under 100 students participated in the Rock Challenge competition at The Portsmouth Guildhall.

 

This year our piece was called 'To live would be an awfully big adventure' and focused on the effects of social media and mobile phones through the theme of Peter Pan.  

 

Wildern's performance was outstanding and we won awards of excellence in:

 

Set Design and Function

Performance Skills 

Drama Skills

Use of Stage

Costuming Character

Video Performance

Visual Enhancement

Entertainment

 

Congratulations to all involved!

 

Wildern students experience Paralympic Sport with Great Britain Coach.

Students from Wildern had a taste of what it is like to play a Paralympic sport – thanks to GB Sitting Volleyball Coach Richard Osborne.

 

Richard, who coaches the GB Sitting Volleyball Team, spent the whole day at Wildern coaching students and helping them develop their sitting volleyball skills.

 

All the students clearly had a great time, but many also realised the hard work and training that goes into competing at the highest levels.

 

Many thanks to Richard, who we hope to see again in the future.

 

Individual Achievements:

 

Cricket:

Poppy-Jay Watkins has continued to enjoy successful cricket and has been selected as Captain for the County Under 13 girls cricket team for this season.  She has trained hard all winter and is looking forward to the County matches starting in May.

 

 

 

 

 

Dance:

Sophie Parris has been performing across the Country and achieving outstandingly. Her most recent achievements are:

 

Sept 2016 :-

TUDOR ROSE DANCE FESTIVAL .(Fleet and London based )

Along with winning several medals, Sophie was awarded Adjudicator’s choice, Special Cup (senior bursary) YOUNG DANCER OF THE YEAR


Oct 2016

UK TAP CHAMPIONSHIPS- 

1st place in semi –finals, then won the Final to be overall UK TAP CHAMPION! 


Oct 2016

GOSPORT DANCE FESTIVAL.

Gold medals in Modern, Tap and National (Ukrainian)

Silver medal in Greek 


Awarded Special Cup for MOST OUTSTANDING TAP PERFORMANCE 


Feb 2017:-

PORTSMOUTH DANCE FESTIVAL 

Gold medals in Tap, National and Greek group (under 21)


Silver medals in Greek, Character and Greek group (under 14)


Bronze medals in Ballet, Lyrical and Modern

Awarded 2 special Cups for Highest mark in Tap and Best performance in age group.

 

Girls Football – England Trial

Well done to Grace Jenman who is currently playing in goal for Hampshire Girls Football Team.

After a recent game against Berkshire – she was asked to attend a trial for a potential place in the England Squad.

 

 

 

 

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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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