Good luck Upper Sixth!

We celebrated with our Upper Sixth students today in their customary Leavers’ assembly. They enjoyed wearing their fancy dress outfits to the theme of heroes and villains. We wish them the best of luck with their upcoming exams and look forward to celebrating with them at the prom.

Celebrating Eisteddfod once again …

This year’s Eisteddfod was a very special event, after two years missing from our calendar, this very unique celebration of international arts, literature and languages returned to our stage. This year, we were joined by Adam Morris of Royal Opera House Bridge, our special guest for the Wednesday evening who presented Miss Jessop with the Platinum Award for achievement in arts education. To put this in context, there are 4,375 Artsmark recognised schools in the UK and only 17 have achieved platinum and only 2 are in the eastern region. This is a remarkable achievement, given the limited resources our current budget affords us to spend on the Arts.

The Eisteddfod is a remarkable evening which demonstrates our students’ commitment and dedication to their Arts education. It is clear from the hours of rehearsals, the serious approach to their entries and the depth of thought and innovation that is given to each performance how much they value this aspect of their learning. Many of the Upper Sixth students performing tonight are progressing to art colleges, schools of performing arts, and Higher Education courses which support their love of arts, literature and Languages. As each year passes, we watch them nostalgically and remember those early Year 7 performances and wonder at the journey they have taken and the confidence and skills they have developed across the 7 years with us. One student, Marleen has been in every Eisteddfod performance since Year 7 and has performed in multiple numbers each time, dancing, singing and playing the piano. She received the Special Contribution Award this year.

As the older students progress, they also nurture and support the younger students on their journey. The warmth of the student support for their fellow performers, the emotional support given, sometimes on the stage and sometimes in those minutes before they perform off stage always shows the best of the Anglo family’s care and encouragement.

This year was ground breaking; the lower school certainly dominated our attention and the performances from Year 7 were exceptional. One member of the audience commented that the future of the arts in this school was “frighteningly exciting” given the future potential of these students. The Palme D’or this year was presented to the Year 9 Band for their amazing performance of Radiohead’s “Creep”.

Adam Morris, commented in his review of the evening, “The Year 7 and 8 poets were phenomenal – such creativity, depth of meaning and sense of dramatic delivery. The dance contributions were of a top standard and delivered with enthusiasm and great sense of stage presence, as were the music, language and drama contributions. This was a spine-tingling night and one I’m honoured to have been invited to….This event is a shining example of what a Platinum Artsmark school should be: authentic, inspiring, engaging and providing true quality.”

Our grateful thanks, as ever, go to our Arts staff, who give up their time willingly and selflessly to support students to reach such amazing standards, led brilliantly by Miss Jessop who directed this year’s Eisteddfod. Well done to all our performers, those who won awards and those who aspire to next year. You all contributed to a very special unique evening of entertainment.

Anglo International Day 2022

International Day: What a fabulous day the staff and students experienced at the Anglo International Day. It was a joy to see so many different cultures proudly on display and students being creative in their thinking of how best to represent their country and heritage. We even had one Sixth Former dressed as a tea bag! This is an important day in our school calendar and a very visual reminder of the incredible diversity of our school population which is our greatest strength. It’s a day of vibrant celebration. Congratulations to our Sixth Form students who took leadership of this special day: this year the notable additions of the international fashion show, literature, music and multi-cultural cuisine have whet our appetite for the culmination of international Anglo festivals in the International Eisteddfod.

Lower Sixth Geography Residential to Slapton

We are delighted to announce that our first residential visit in two years set off on Monday 21st February. The Lower Sixth Geography students excitedly met very early in the morning with Dr Frampton and Miss King to make their journey down to Devon until Friday. We wish them a very educational and enjoyable visit.

We look forward to sending more students on their residentials as below:

Year 7 – On this visit, students will be staying in a hotel reserved for our exclusive use in Sandown, very near the beach. Students will be going to study Osbourne house and Carisbrooke Castle. They will be doing a dinosaur expedition fossil hunt and sailing on a cruise to the Needles. They will also be having a bespoke programme of evening activities. The parent/carer briefing is to be held virtually on Tuesday 22nd March at 18:30.

Year 8 – Students will be staying at the PGL centre in Liddington. They will be going to Bleinham Palace, Clifden Suspension Bridge, Bristol Museum, the Ashmolean in Oxford and doing a programme of activities on site. The parent/carer briefing is to be held virtually on Tuesday 3rd May at 18:30.

Year 9 – Students will staying at the PGL centre in Caythorpe in Lincolnshire. They will be going to Wimpole Hall, the National Justice Museum for Crime and Punishment workshops and mock Court sessions, the National Space centre and Loughborough University for a campus tour and meet and greet with students. They will be doing a programme of activities on site as well. The parent/carer briefing is to be held virtually on Tuesday 14th June at 18:30.

Year 10 – GCSE History students will be staying at the University of York St Johns. They will be visiting Fountains Abbey, Beverley Minster, York Minster, the Viking Centre at Jorvik and Cliffords Tower. The parent/carer briefing is to be held virtually on Tuesday 21st June at 18:30.

Language of the Month – Chinese

Throughout February, we at the Anglo European School have been celebrating Chinese language and culture.

We kick started our celebrations with a Globe from Home virtual trip to China where we met families who shared their Chinese New Year festivities with us, the performed dances, sang to us and showed us how to make authentic dumplings.

Seeing all the food made our students hungry, and fortunately for them, there was a Chinese feast waiting for them in the canteen, so our students enjoyed a Chinese themed menu prepared for them by our catering team, the sweet and sour children with noodle and duck rolls proved very popular.

Students in 7C and 8C then participated in a Chinese dance workshop. Students learnt to dance using traditional fans and parasols, creating a routine to perform for each other. Mrs Gee also came along to have a turn. At the end of the workshop students were able to try out the dragon and lion costumes and weave around the hall to Chinese music.

The creativity continued as 7C moved onto a ceramic painting session, creating their own Chinese New Year plate, featuring dragons, blossom and mandarin characters. One student in 7C said, “I really enjoyed the dancing, it was really fun being the dragon and I enjoyed being creative in the painting session.”

To end the half term, we welcomed the band ‘Transition’, who previously lived in Taiwan and compose in Chinese. They have made a name for themselves in the Chinese speaking world for their music. All students in 7C, 8C, 9C and 10C participated in a music workshop with the band and the whole of Year 7 were treated to a performance of some of their favourite songs.   This event was filmed by a student from UCL who was making a documentary on the band.  Students were inspired, one commenting “it’s amazing how they learnt Mandarin from scratch like us and now they have a huge following and are travelling around performing in the language”.  An exciting end to this half term and the Chinese celebrations.

Our celebrations went beyond our immediate school community and into our local feeder schools as part of our Confucius classroom outreach. These schools also enjoyed a special themed day of Chinese activities run by our CLEC teachers on behalf of the Confucius institute. Year 5 & 6 students at Roxwell Primary School and Margaretting C of E Primary school also participated in the traditional dancing, ceramic painting and craft sessions and Chinese taster lessons. We look forward to seeing some of these students joining our future MEP cohorts.

“Moana” – A Tropical Triumph!

The cast worked incredibly hard over 18 months to produce this amazing production and despite all the restrictions and challenges of producing this play during an international pandemic, their resilience and stoicism paid off. We all forgot, for an hour and a half, that it was very cold outside, as we were transported to tropical islands and the ocean’s shores to celebrate the bravery and leadership of a young woman who faces the most dangerous seas to overcome her fears and do what is right for her family and villagers. It really is a heart-warming and inspirational tale and our students moved us to laughter and tears as they took us on this very emotive journey. To see the pure joy on students’ faces as they danced, laughed and sang was a huge tonic at the end of a long and challenging term, reminding us all of our core purpose as teachers, to inspire learning and create a stimulating environment where students love to study and thrive. Huge thanks to the Arts staff who worked tirelessly alongside the students to enable them to achieve such incredible performances.

Miss Jessop, Head of Arts said “With over 140 students from different year groups in the cast, the Anglo’s recent production of Moana was a fabulous burst of colour and energy. Parents and friends travelled from far and wide to feel the warmth of the tropical island from where Moana sets off on her travels across the sea. With the rather unusual travel companions of chickens and a pig, the show was a riot of singing and craziness. The incredible costumes were designed and made by the A level Textiles students and Art students helped to make the props. With some beautiful solo dance performances as well as energetic dance routines involving the whole cast it’s no wonder that the show was performed to a full house on all four nights. It was a real joy to hear the students singing and clearly enjoying being part of something so special.”

Parents and the local community added:

I thought the production was excellent and the children were brilliant on stage. It proved to be a lot of fun and the singing, dancing and acting was of a high standard. Mr Rafiq should be proud of the way the children have grown into their parts and brought the stage to life. I would like to pass on our congratulations to all the staff and children for putting on an enjoyable show.”

I just wanted to emphasize how much I loved the show. It is obvious how much hard work went into it and by the looks of it all the effort has paid off!

How wonderful it was to see the main hall alive again with the sound of music and singing. It was truly joyous!

Community “Hidden Figures Project” with artist Danny Bench

During half term, our EDI Student Committee launched our community arts project with Ingatestone community. With the help of Jane Winter and the Parish Council, we have secured funding to support a joint collaboration to promote diversity, equality and Inclusion on our High Street and in school. The EDI committee chose 12 inspirational figures who represent the 12 protected characteristics. They are “hidden” because they have often led, created or achieved amazing things with comparatively little recognition for their significant contribution to society. Our students have been exploring their lives and ensuring that their faces are visible in our school and local communities, using their lives to promote inclusion and celebrating their diversity and their contribution to our lives, giving them the recognition they deserve.

The hidden figures chosen by our students are:-

The project has involved creating designs with our EDI Committee to create a unique design outside the main hall celebrating our learner profile attributes, a black stencil image of Malala with the slogan “Use Your Voice” to promote the importance of student voice in the school, 5 stencil pictures of key figures “Banksy style” in the dining room to promote diversity and inclusion and two larger boards promoting our hidden figures and the importance of community in supporting inclusion. These will be displayed in the shop windows in the Co-operative in Ingatestone and then transfer to the school site.

These have caused quite a reaction from both students and staff. Below are some quotes from students:

I think Danny and all the students that participated did an excellent job and I love how the school looks, its nice to see inspiring faces around the school.”

In my opinion, I think the artwork around the school makes the school environment more welcoming and reflects on the diversity, equality and inclusion we share as a whole at Anglo European School. Making awareness of people who are an inspiration is very important. I think through the wonderful artwork Danny Bench has done around the school, Anglo is now able to showcase these inspirational people in a wonderful and artistic way.”

I think these artworks are an excellent representation of what Anglo’s mindset is about. It is important to keep embracing the unique diversity and cultures we have in our school, and the inspiring figures are a good representation of this.”

They really allow a lot of our students to connect with Anglo, find inspiration and grow some degree of confidence that they can be the next best success story. The murals have shaped Anglo further into a creative but comfortable atmosphere, and even showcases the diversity and cultural differences within the students at our school, which adds to our uniqueness and international ethos.”

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!