Our Year 11 students have had their last full day at school before embarking on study leave in order to prepare for their GCSEs. The tradition of the signing of the shirts was evident in the playground, followed by a special assembly. This year the speaker for our assembly was Fiona Millar, journalist, Education campaigner and political activist, who inspired the students with her stories of working at No 10 Downing Street, her career path into journalism and the challenges of reaching the highest levels of leadership as a working mother. This was followed by the presentation of the Diplôme du Citoyen certificates given to those students who achieved Distinction. We also had performances from Adam Clarke and Anthony Lung, Hugo Bragg and Lottie Bradford and a vote of thanks from Honorata Hoffman. The event ended with a memorable performance from the Sixth Form Band.
Congratulations to all of the students who sent a story entry to the BBC Radio 2, 500 Words Short Story Writing Competition, especially Jessica Wood whose story was picked to go through to the next round. The Librarians and English teachers helped over 300 youngsters download their stories onto the BBC website. The library, with the collaboration of the English Department, get involved in this event every year with students in year 7 and 8. We also hold our own in-house competition in the library to give the students another chance of success within the school. This years’ winners were:
Jessica Wood – 1st Place
Ada Bakker-Muller – 2nd Place
Freya Baumber – 3rd Place
Sam Bland, Oliver Cvetkovic and Jannik Weyland, of year 7 all received certificates for Highly Recommended Stories.
The students wrote in a variety of genres and showed great promise as young writers; look out for their stories on book shop shelves in the next few years! The winning entries will be displayed in the library and all of the winning students will receive prizes from the library for their hard work
On Friday 28th April, Charities Week concluded with our annual Year 8 led G Nation fundraiser. Year 8 were charged with the responsibility of coming up with enterprising ideas to raise money for the school charities. This year, our charities included Amnesty International, Marie Curie, Lesotho, Aloysian Boys Home, Oxfam and Centre Point. Ideas for raising money included selling hundreds of samosas, sponging the teacher, sports games, craft keepsakes and many food and drink stalls. The G Nation event runs in conjunction with Charities Week and forms part of the Year 8 Citizenship unit on charity and giving.
This year, the total raised was a whopping, record setting £1275.70. The total last year was also record setting at £871.19.
Mr Hills (Head of Citizenship) who helped to organise the event commented, “This is a fantastic amount of money to raise for so many good causes. There were some fantastic, enterprising ideas. I would personally like to thank the pupils, staff and the many parents (who no doubt were supporting the preparation) as well as the hundreds of pupils and many staff who spent money or allowed themselves to help make money for this event”.
We are very pleased to send you a link to our recent OfSTED report which will go live on their website on 25th April. https://reports.ofsted.gov.uk/inspection-reports/find-inspection-report/provider/ELS/137727
We were delighted with the outcome and it has given us the most positive endorsement of our distinctive ethos and provision that OfSTED have ever given us, recognising our “deep, rich” curriculum as being “exceptional”, which prepares students effectively for a globalised world. Our Sixth Form has once again been rated “outstanding”, for what is now the sixth consecutive inspection. We are one of only three schools in Essex to have achieved this under the current OfSTED schedule. Leadership and Management, safeguarding, enterprise education, and personal development and welfare have also all been judged ‘outstanding’. In addition, they recognised that student outcomes, in terms of examination results, were outstanding and noted particularly the unique educational experience our students gain through the extensive extra-curricular offer, language provision and visits programme.
The lead inspector, Sean Harford (also Director of Education for OfSTED) described the school as providing “a great education” and recognised the school’s resilience, courage and determination in maintaining our distinctive provision for over 40 years, in the face of so many external, political and financial pressures.
All inspections give us food for thought and this is no exception. Our planning and development for the next three years will focus on those issues we have already identified and that this report has verified. We are the school we are because we are not complacent. We look forward to working with our staff, students and parents in the coming years to continue the work of this very distinctive school of which we should all be justly proud. Thank you for your support during the inspection; the parental and student voice was strong, reflected your on-going commitment to its ethos and vision and was very much appreciated.
Students in the Sixth Form were given an opportunity to take a break from the stress and worry of upcoming exams and enjoy an hour of therapeutic yoga in The Sanctuary. They were taught about the importance of breathing and stretching in order to relieve tension and anxiety and it gave them a chance to quietly reflect. The Sanctuary provided the perfect environment for a moment of calm away from the hustle and bustle of the rest of the school. Although this was just a taster session, there was overwhelming support for more yoga to be offered. We are grateful to Stephanie from Holistic Life Yoga for coming in and working with our students and we hope to make it a regular extra-curricular offer. Find about more about yoga and Stephanie’s practice at www.holisticlifeyoga.com
After the 2011 London riots, photographer Julian Mahrlein set out on a project to capture the faces of inner-city teenagers.
He began wandering across the city, approaching young people who caught his eye, wanting to photograph them in an uncontrived, natural, positive way.
“The portraits, shot on the streets with natural light, reveal a tender side to a generation so often misrepresented and who face a world in profound flux,” says Mahrlein, whose work has just been published.
You can read the article and view the pictures here http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/in-pictures-39628369 Two of our students, Gustavo Neves Mateus, Year 11 and Juan O’Carroll, Year 10 are featured amongst these photos and today Mr Barrs asked them to autograph the book of photos that is going to take pride of place in our Library.
Our Year 8 girls and boys have taken part in an initiative through the England Squash and Racketball Foundation to give students an opportunity to play squash. They have been given coaching from a qualified England squash coach on the basic rules and skills and games play. They hope to motivate young people to remain healthy via an introduction to a racket sport they may not have had chance to play. Nigel Bacon from Canada – UK Chamber of Commerce has been the driving force behind this initiative. Their teacher Mrs Gregory who organised this initiative has herself played squash on the Masters National circuit as well as the British Open (reaching the quarter finals) and the British closed (again reaching the quarter finals) and many regional competitions (where her best placed position was 3rd). Her overall success gained her selection to the England Squad, so she is highly qualified in this particular sport and we and the students are fortunate to have benefitted from her expertise and this wonderful opportunity.
Following our World of Work day in January, TMW were so impressed with our students they offered the opportunity for some Year 11 students to apply for a 2 week work placement. TMW Unlimited are a Customer Engagement Agency based in the West End of London. Students were asked to tweet something that shows or tells TMW how their generation is unique to all others. TMW were extremely impressed with the calibre of all of the applications but have now selected the 5 successful students with 3 in reserve. Congratulations to all of our tweeters for putting themselves out there and applying, especially to the 5 who have been successful in securing this amazing 2 week work experience placement. The successful students are Sophie Ashitaka, Oliver Hegedus, Lara Jaques, Amber Kirwan and Tom Thwaites.