Another busy fortnight has passed following the autumn break. Year 9 have been exposed to the various curriculum pathways and new specifications that they might study in Years 10 and 11, with staff offering sample lessons and sharing the types of learning that students might expect. Beginning this process now invites students to discuss future career aspirations with their tutor, subject teachers, our external careers advisor, parents/carers and fellow tutees who have already been through this process, well in advance of the KS4 Pathways Evening in January 2017.
Our Year 12 students visited the Hexagon for the annual ‘Safe Drive, Stay Alive’ presentation. The aim of the campaign is to reach new and pre-drivers in an emotive and hard-hitting way which the team hope will influence young people’s behaviour and attitudes on the roads. Speaking to our students, the team certainly achieved their aim.
As many of you will be aware we are now enjoying our fourth year in partnership with Pangbourne College and the CCF. Every week our cohorts of Year 10 and Year 11 students, travel to Pangbourne College to participate in a number of activities and, throughout the academic year, there are opportunities to attend Field Days. At the most recent of these, our cadets experienced orienteering, fieldcraft, archery and clay-pigeon shooting, which they thoroughly embraced. Students were, as usual, reported to be a credit to Denefield School; well done to all involved and thanks to Mrs Bishop and Miss Mace for attending with them.
As we are all aware, today is Armistice Day. At 11.11am the school community fell silent as we stood together in the Da Vinci area to remember. Four students demonstrated great confidence and empathy as they read a selection of war poetry, as the rest of the school looked on and listened. The Last Post was played on the bugle to mark the end of the period of silence and shortly after students filed respectfully back to their classrooms. The event was extremely moving and I am sure I was not the only person in the room to feel a sense of pride in the evident supportive attitude of our community.
Continuing the theme of pride, our Acts of Kindness continue to emphasise how this community thinks of others first and I am sure that, with Children in Need fast approaching, students will dig deep to support a worthy national cause through participating in our non-uniform day. This will be held on Thursday 17 November 2016, one day earlier than the national day due to our Year 7 review afternoon and early closure on Friday 18 November. A group of students took part in our Autumn Clean Up on Thursday, picking up litter and tidying the streets around Cotswold Park so that local residents and children can enjoy this green space. I would like to extend my thanks to those of you that supported the recent Foodbank collection. We have received feedback from the Collections Manager who informed us that our donations provided the equivalent of 103 meals for people in desperate circumstances. A great achievement.
Finally, rehearsals are well under way for the school musical ‘Fame’ for which you will all be able to purchase tickets in the spring term. Students across all year groups are supporting one another to learn their lines, lyrics and choreograph routines. It takes enormous commitment from staff and students alike to enable a show of this magnitude to come to life. I wish all involved every success with the preparations and I personally cannot wait to see the show early next year!
Dates for your diary:
Children in Need non-uniform day 17 November 2016
Year 11 Futures Day 18 November 2016
Year 7 Review Afternoon 18 November 2016 School closes 1.00pm
Year 10 Parents’ Evening 24 November 2016
Parent/Carer and staff PTA quiz night 25 November 2016 7.00pm – 11.00pm
Christmas Market 1 December 2016
Christmas Concert 8 December 2016
KS2 Super Learning Day 9 December 2016
Miss L Dawe