“Francoise and her story”, article written by Upper Sixth student Evie Shaw

On the 28th September, our Upper Sixth French A-level students were visited by a very special, French guest. Françoise Palmer kindly shared her fascinating experience of her life during occupied France in the 1940s. This story entailed her birth in Paris, fleeing to Versailles during the occupation period, continuing on to the Pyrenees and finally moving to the UK. The escape from the Germans was tough for Françoise and her family, especially as they wanted to exploit her father for his utilitarian skills, and the transition from one French area to another made aspects of education hard, along with general stability and settling. Françoise explained that rationing was extremely difficult, and something that we no doubt nowadays take for granted! From remembering her first ice cream, to eating two chocolate Cadbury fingers at a birthday party, this was deemed such a luxury.

After moving to the United Kingdom after the war at the age of seven, Françoise spent these two years seeking safety and reconnecting with family. Although her adventure did not stop there, as she later spent time in the US, in Washington DC, along with time in South America, in Chile. Françoise was lucky enough to experience school life and education in France, England, America and Chile, despite some of these memories being hazy; she certainly did not forget both the good and the bad school experiences. Our A-level students were therefore interested in her travelling experience, more so during the occupation and the restrictions that she faced.

With lots of questions and French conversations, students were able to gain an enriching experience and discover what life was like during this difficult period. Moving on, Françoise’s childhood experience and stories will be beneficial when students begin to learn about ‘L’Occupation’ and ‘La Résistance’ for their French A-level course. Students have also kindly been offered ‘bavarder’ (chitchat) sessions in French with Françoise to encourage and improve French, every-day conversational skills. Overall, Françoise described the school atmosphere as “excellent” and stated that “the students were very polite in the face of an inexperienced old lady, altogether a day to remember for all the right reasons!”

Language of the Month – Arabic

This month saw the start of our Language of the Month programme. Throughout September we have been exploring the newest addition to our languages curriculum, Arabic. This is now the fourth year we have been teaching Arabic and the numbers of attendees to our Arabic clubs are very pleasing. We are continuously building our provision and now have both Mrs Asad and Mrs Eliot teaching Arabic and in 2023 will launch our IB ab initio Arabic class. Students have been exploring Arabic across the curriculum, learning about Arabic numerals and the history of algebra in Maths, Islamic medicine in History, the Qur’an as a source of authority for Muslims in Religious Studies, Arabic language taster lessons and quizzes in form time. A particular highlight of our Arabic month was the musical performance for year 7 and 8 students. Maya Youssef, a Syrian Qanun player performed her music for us as she shared how she was determined to play this traditional Arabic instrument despite being told “it’s an instrument for boys”. She went on to open up about how the Syrian war led her to start composing, the story of her dream of bombs falling down onto her and turning into white petals was particularly eye-opening and led to her composing “Bombs Turn into Roses”. Students enjoyed experiencing one of the many facets of Arabic culture first-hand and year 7, especially, were full of questions for Maya. Additionally, this month, we have also had a special culinary focus on Arabic cuisine. With huge thanks to Mrs Green and her team in the kitchen, the students and staff enjoyed Ras-el-Hanout Chicken tray bake, Shakshuka with Mahalabia dessert for a special themed lunch this week.

Anglo is currently working with the British Council, the Qatar Foundation and Dragon Training to develop on-line resources for Arabic language development in the primary sector. In the wake of the football world cup in Qatar, we know there will be increasing interest in this wonderful language and culture. Our KS3 students are really enjoying their lunchtime Arabic club and developing language skills that will set them apart as unique and distinctive.

Another year of outstanding results for Anglo European. Well done class of 2021!

Congratulations to our A-Level, IBCP and AIB students who have achieved outstanding A Level results today. This year, following the cancellation of exams, grades were awarded through a process of teacher assessed grades, against a national standard and approved and awarded by the exam boards, using a randomly selected sample of assessed work. We celebrate and applaud these outcomes, particularly recognising the huge disruption to teaching and learning caused by two affected academic years of Covid 19. Despite the challenges and constant interruptions, this year group has embraced the blended learning experience, which combined innovative remote learning strategies and traditional classroom learning. They showed huge resilience and developed independent learning skills which will have prepared them well for their next stage of learning at university or on apprenticeship courses. Stuart Newton, Director of Sixth Form, said “I’m extremely proud of this year group, not only in terms of the outstanding resilience they have demonstrated but also in terms of their desire to take all the challenges they have faced head on and produce an excellent set of results. We know wherever they go next, including some of the best universities in the world, the unique international education they have received at the Anglo will prepare them well for a globalised workplace and we wish them all the best with the next stage of their academic journeys” 

Notable achievers were Nicholas Champness who achieved 4 A*s to progress to study German at the University of Oxford, and Torsten Archer who achieved 3 A*s and 1 A who will take up a place at the University of Cambridge to study Law.  Lula Dune Fletcher achieved 1 A* and 3 As and Linnae Abraham and Sienna Federman and all achieved 2A*s, 1A and a B. Ella Ratteray-Drover was awarded 3 As and a B. To achieve 4 A Levels with such high grades deserves huge recognition and congratulations.  

Torsten Archer said: “I was delighted to receive my results this morning after a testing two years. I would just like to thank the wonderful teachers for all their hard work in helping me to reach this point. I will be thrilled to continue on my educational journey with my law degree at Cambridge.” 

Lula Dune Fletcher was incredibly happy with her achievements and has decided to take a gap year.  “I joined Anglo in Year 7 and I feel that the school provided me with experiences and unforgettable opportunities.  My results are not only the result of my hard work but also reflects the support the school gave me in order to succeed.” 

From the AIB cohort who chose to study a combination of A Levels and IB Standard courses, special congratulations to Ellie Thackeray with 2 A*s, an A and an IBS 6, to Alissa Mainstone who achieved 1 A*, 2 As and an IBS 7 and Emily Morse who was awarded 1A*, 2 Bs and 2 IBS 6s. 

Ellie Thackeray has secured a place at Nottingham University where she will be studying Law.  “I really enjoyed my time at Anglo, especially the exchange visits.  My favourite was visiting China in Year 10.  I am glad that these opportunities were available to me.  I am really looking forward to starting university in September.”  

We are always especially proud of those who exceed the expectations of the progress data generated from GCSE achievements and excel beyond such predications. These achievements are often the result of extremely hard work and dedication to their studies. This year, A level progress scores were exceptional for Bee Balfourth, Jessica Ubaka, Maia Vidal-Garner, Mollie Penn, Cline Mangwana, Amelia Delves, Annabel Denton, Robyn Gracia-Thomas and Anita Ghosh. Anglo is particularly proud of your success.  

Jessica Ubaka said: “I would like to say a huge thank you to the Anglo, without whom I would not have found out who I am today.  I came to school as an external student without a sense of who I was and the Sixth Form teachers helped show me that I can be whoever I want to be.  If I could give one piece of advice it would be to trust the teachers, ask questions and work in the study room.   I would like to become a published author and will go on to study English Literature and Creative Writing at the University of Exeter.”  

This is an outstanding set of results for our students and they should be incredibly proud of their achievements. Our A Level results reflect the excellent commitment of our students, the expertise and dedicated support from their teachers under hugely challenging circumstances this year and the notable support and encouragement from our parents, in a year where home learning took on whole new meaning! Anglo students have been justly rewarded with outstanding results at both A Level and through the previously awarded IB Diploma, where the school exceeded global averages once again.  

What is equally impressive is that these results have been achieved across the possible 71 A Level and IB subjects that we offer our students in such a broad, challenging and balanced curriculum. Our students not only achieved A Level, IB, BTEC and Financial Studies Diploma results but also accomplished the most incredible achievements in Creativity Action Service, Theory of Knowledge, international visits and exchanges and through intensive research projects for EPQ and the Extended Essay which covered broad topics of enquiry such as ‘Personhood in relation to Artificial Intelligence’ and ‘The impacts of an oligopolistic vaccine market on US and Nigerian living standards’. These skills are highly valued by our colleagues in Higher Education and we are thrilled that 80% of our students will be progressing to their first choice Universities; 43% to Russell Group Universities with successful application to both the USA and countries as far away as the Ukraine. We have also had successful applications for a number of Higher Level Apprenticeships in areas such as banking and the automotive industry.  

Lily Parris

Lily Parris, who has secured a place a Princeton University in the USA, where she will major in Medical Anthropology whilst taking up an athletics scholarship said, “I thoroughly enjoyed the international atmosphere and the mix of cultures, which is an environment that I wanted to replicate when looking for places at overseas universities” 

Jody Gee, Headteacher said: “We are incredibly proud of all the intense commitment and dedication of our students under such difficult and challenging circumstances this year. These outstanding outcomes are very well deserved. We are grateful to the incredible team of teaching and professional support staff in the Sixth Form who have worked tirelessly to ensure students have been supported pastorally and academically to achieve the outcomes they truly deserve and which allows them to progress onto their chosen pathways through further education and study. We are immensely proud of them and look forward to seeing them go on to do even greater things in the future.”  

Mr Barrs, Headteacher said:” This is my 17th and final set of results before I retire.  Both the students and I move on to our next chapter and do so with very strong foundations to build on.  I am also sure that we will all “fly off the cliff” with confidence!  I am very proud of all that they have achieved and the challenges they have overcome including the most disruption caused to the education of any generation in present time.  I wish them every success”. 

Congratulations to the IB Class of 2021!

After a tough year of uncertainty and unusual pressures, the Anglo IB cohort of 2021 have achieved record-breaking results with a 100% pass rate. Our average Diploma points score is 36 which is 3 points above the global average. All of our IB Career-related (CP) Programme students have been awarded the Certificate.

More than a quarter of our Diploma candidates scored 40 points or more, and one student scored an incredible 44 points, which is truly outstanding. The IB issued allocations for Predicted Grades to help teachers to ensure that this year’s results were in line with previous years, offering the school the chance to appeal the allocation, where we had evidence to justify the change. Staff worked extensively in March and April to appeal the allocations where necessary, and to ensure a thorough quality assurance process was in place to provide evidence-based final Predicted Grades in line with the IB Organisation guidelines. The IB then assessed coursework for every student for every subject to ensure grades would be valued by Higher Education Institutions worldwide.

Headteacher, David Barrs said, “This is a remarkable set of results which the entire community can be justly proud, not least the students themselves. Along with the broad, enriched education they have received they now represent a generation of young people who are very well-placed to help our communities, locally and globally, to build back better after the challenges we have all faced over the last year or so. I wish them all every success.”

Susannah Porsz, IB Curriculum Manager said, “I could not be prouder of this cohort of students. The non-exam route poses particular challenges for students with the cancellation of examinations yet a need for evidence, and they did extremely well in March and April, despite having just come out of lockdown. Some elements of the Diploma were externally assessed as usual and the fact that all coursework has been marked by IB examiners only strengthens these results and makes them all the more impressive. The IB worked hard with schools, universities and Ofqual to ensure that these results would compare globally and locally with previous years, despite the unusual circumstances, and to ensure parity between the non-examination and the examination routes. We are elated with the outcomes that reflect the hard work of our students throughout the past two years.”

Mrs Gee, Headteacher concluded, “This is a truly world-class set of results and our IB students should be incredibly proud of their achievements in an unprecedented, challenging year. These results are reflective of their incredible resilience and determination to succeed, achieve their academic potential and reach some very impressive destinations including those who will take up their Russell Group and Oxbridge University offers. We’re grateful to the relentless support of our IB Leadership Team and our outstanding teachers, whose expertise and dedicated support both in school and remotely, during lockdown, has been hugely appreciated.

Retirement of Anglo European Headteacher

David Barrs, Headteacher of the Anglo European School in Ingatestone, is standing down at the age of 66 after 17 years as headteacher.  David’s career stretches back 44 years , 27 of which have been at the Anglo which amounts to over half the life of the school, which was established in 1973.

“It has been an interesting and very enjoyable journey through Essex in that time from my first role as assistant warden at Wicken House, a county residential field study centre now closed.  I then moved to be a Geography teacher at Saffron Walden County High School before becoming Head of Humanities at Barstable School in Basildon, now part of the Basildon Academy”.

He has seen many changes in education; the rise of social media, the challenges of increasing mental health, the increasing reliance on examinations to measure children, the dominance of data over values as a means of deciding on priorities, the increased accountability of schools which had once inhabited their own secret garden plus, of course, the advent of emails and the mobile phone!

But some things never change – education as a political football, the lack of adequate funding, the vagaries of teacher supply and yet, still, the joy of working in a school community and seeing children mature and progress.  The other thing that hasn’t changed is the children themselves- their charm, unpredictability, energy and their humanity with all their talents and weaknesses.

“It is the Anglo that has shaped me, and, in turn, I hope it has helped me create an environment where we can shape children and encourage them to make a difference in the world.  The Anglo is different and has inspired me throughout my time – my colleagues and the children have been deeply influential, and the school’s values will stay with me whatever happens next.”

In his retirement, David intends to do some work with the International Baccalaureate Organisation, as well as write a book on the school as a contribution to the debate about “building back better” as we recover from the COVID pandemic.  “My one regret is that I will not be in quite such an influential position, as a Headteacher is, to influence the debate about what needs to be done to make our education system truly world class. I hope to still be vocal in that continued debate.”

Mrs Hannah Latimer, Head of Languages at Anglo European School, said: “Mr Barrs has played a key role in my education and teaching career to date. I remember fondly our Geography lessons, especially our French field trip and UN summit on deforestation. His ambition to make the world a better place has always shone through and his love of all things international has helped make the Anglo what it is today. On behalf of all the alumni in the Anglo family, I would like to thank Mr Barrs and wish him a very happy retirement. 

Mrs Gee, Headteacher said: “David has played a key role in the development of the vision, ethos and values of the Anglo European School, which he has tirelessly promoted and helped to enhance and refine. His absence from the leadership team will be greatly missed, as will his teaching contribution to the Geography and Citizenship Departments. We will all miss his gentle, thought-provoking and deeply values-driven style of leadership and the sensitivity, kindness and generosity of spirit he has shown to us all over the years. He has tempered many conflicts, stood firm in many educational and political storms and staunchly supported the internationalist principles of the IB philosophy which underpins so much of what we do at Anglo.”

Good luck to our Year 11 students

This week, we say farewell to our Year 11. What a challenging year they have had, but they have met this challenge with courage, tenacity and great dignity. They completed their final assessments this week and took part in a programme of events on Thursday and Friday morning.  Over the next few weeks they will participate in a remote programme of preparation for the next stage of their education and training. This includes accredited courses, wider reading and research and on-line tasks which will bridge gaps in their knowledge and prepare them for the courses they wish to pursue in September.

We are looking forward to welcoming back some of our students to Anglo’s International Sixth Form and will enjoy seeing them at their induction days on Tuesday 6th and Wednesday 7th July and of course at the Annual Prom.

Mrs Gee said “We have really enjoyed our last week with our fabulous Year 11 and will miss them next term. We wish them every success with the results from their GCSEs and hope they continue to achieve beyond expectation in whatever path they choose. They have been an extraordinarily resilient and courageous year group who we have really enjoyed teaching over the last 5 years.”

Mr Barrs said “We are pushing you off that cliff now and we will watch you fly, some of you back to our Sixth Form, some of you to pastures new.  We hope we have made a difference so you so you, in turn, can make a difference.  Good luck to all of you”

Good luck Year 11 2021!

Farewell to our Upper Sixth students

This has been a particularly tough two years for this cohort who have risen to the challenges that have been placed before them, and acted in a mature and reflective manner through what have been unprecedented times in education. They will have learnt things about themselves and others that they didn’t know before, and picked up new skills along the way because of the circumstances they have found themselves in. We are very proud of how they have coped with these two years and know that they will go on to be part of the generation that will change the world, even by a small part, for the better.

Our Upper Sixth students enjoyed a fantastic last day in school. The fancy dress was as impressive as always, but the conduct of the students in making this a fun and enjoyable day was greatly appreciated by all the staff. We look forward to seeing them again at the Sixth Form picnic and Prom shortly.

MEP Students meet Rt Hon Nick Gibb MP

On Monday, 24th May, Alex Morgan (Yr 10) Yan Morris (Yr 11) and Mrs Gee, Headteacher had a video call with the Rt Hon Nick Gibb MP, Minster for School Standards, Mark Herbert, Director Schools and Skills at the British Council and Katharine Curruthers OBE, Director of UCL IOE along with representatives from 4 other MEP schools. Minister Gibb spoke with each school in turn, thanking the Headteachers and Chinese teachers for their contributions to the success of the programme and then talking to each student in turn about their experiences and their achievements. Mrs Gee, who chairs the National Headteachers’ Strategy Group for MEP, spoke to Minister Gibb about the impact the government support has had on the success of this prestigious project and what a pleasure it has been to see our first cohort, now in Year 11, about to qualify with GCSEs and an HSK 3 qualification in Chinese Mandarin this year.

Minister Gibb spoke to Yan Morris about his assessments at the end of Year 11, his experience of HSK 3 and congratulated him on achieving Gold, the highest award given in this qualification. Yan said, “It was a great opportunity to speak to Nick Gibb MP about the Mandarin Excellence Programme and to hear from other students who share the same passion and enthusiasm for learning Mandarin. I have thoroughly enjoyed learning Mandarin on the Mandarin Excellence Programme, which included the trips to China and Nottingham, visit to the Foreign Office and House of Lords, as well as taking part in the Mandarin Speaking competition. I hope to study Mandarin further in our Sixth Form, then at University. My aspiration is to become a Chinese teacher.”

He then spoke to Alex Morgan to congratulate him on his recent success in the National Mandarin Speech Competition, organised annually by the British Council and held virtually this year on May 5th 2021. Alex said, “The competition was a great way for me to practise and improve my confidence and Mandarin speaking skills, I thoroughly enjoyed it.”

Anglo’s success in this competition is notable; candidates from schools all over the UK joined the first round in March. Our students Alex Morgan (10C) and Yan Morris (11C) both made it to the final. Last week, we learnt that Alex had been awarded third place in the Intermediate Plus Level, which is hugely impressive. The judges complimented Alex on his “very organised responses with good structures.” and his use of “complex conjunctions …in the final performance.”

Our CLEC Chinese Language Teacher Tina Dai said, “We prepared the competition together from the heats to finals. It was a pleasure to train such brilliant boys who are so hardworking and full of creative ideas.” Mrs Gee added, “Many congratulations to both students for their amazing success in this national competition. They have worked extremely hard on this very demanding and intense programme of Chinese study. To listen to their confident, fluent and eloquent performances in this challenging competition and to listen to the reaction of the judges made us all very proud.”

The MEP programme, with Minister Gibb’s support, is hoping to secure another 5 years of funding to continue the excellent work that Anglo, along with 13 pioneer schools began back in 2015. There are now over 80 schools involved and the programme has exceeded its targets of securing 5000 fluent speakers of Chinese by 2021 and continues to enhance the curriculum with enrichment, immersive study visits to China, university residentials, and virtual tours. In Phase 2, we hope to enhance our primary liaison and support, connections with business and enterprise, work experience opportunities and a continuation of enriched provision into the Sixth Form and beyond, working with Higher Education institutions to enable our MEP students to achieve their ambitious goals.