This year saw the third year of the Swindon Maths League. This league is open to just Year 7 and 8 students from across the borough, and this year 8 different schools competed. The first round was hosted by The Ridgeway School in January, and was really well attended! Over 60 different Key Stage 3 students attended, and competed in such diverse challenges as cross numbers, problem solving and a round involving IT. As we had such a strong team spirit, I decided to stick with the same core students throughout the year, and so twelve students travelled to Nova Hreod Academy for the next round in May as well as travelling to Kingsdown School in June. Each round was closely contended, and although we did really well in each round (coming second each time) it was our consistency overall which led to being declared league champions at the last event at the end of June. As always, it has been a privilege and honour to take The Ridgeway students out to other schools – and I look forward to defending our title next year! Congratulations to them all.
On Friday 1st July the Year 13 students held their Leavers’ Ball at Lydiard House. It was a wonderful occasion during which staff and students shared in dinner, dancing and the obligatory banter that is so often present in the Sixth Form. The evening saw many student chosen ‘awards’ presented and culminated in speeches from our outgoing Head Boy and Girl, Dan Thomson and Amal Ibrihim. It was a fantastic evening which encapsulated the friendly, supportive and intimate nature of our Sixth Form.
On Tuesday 12th July Year 8 students from the Language Studies class gave a short presentation on Paris. They have been studying the French capital city over the past year learning more about its history, culture and magic and recreating their own models of the sites. Students spoke in both French and English about the many famous monuments of Paris including the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe, Le louvre and Notre Dame. They were very proud (if not a little nervous!) to present to several members of staff including Mr Povoas. The staff then joined the students is a small celebration of French goodies including 2 delicious cakes made by Charlotte and Matthew! A truly special Ridgeway moment and I am so proud of the whole class! Great achievement!
Languages week hit the ground running on Monday 4th July , Year 10 linguists started the day with a talk from a member of GCHQ on how languages are used in their workplace, followed by Russian taster lessons! On Wednesday we welcomed our Japanese friends, 18 Japanese ladies came in and gave Year 9 and Year 7 a taste of Japan with everything from traditional dress to origami, calligraphy and chopstick games! The students had so much fun and learnt a lot about the cultural differences between the UK and Japan. We also welcomed back two ex-students, Darryl Hallard and Charlotte Grace, who have studied German and Chinese at University – both graduating this year with a 2:1. They came in and spoke to Years 7 and 9 about their experiences learning a foreign language at University and the opportunities that it gave them and then on Thursday they came back and taught some Chinese! Mrs Dixon and Mr Hurd took ten Year 8 students to a Languages taster day at Bath University on Wednesday! All this and the German Exchange were here too!! The week was an amazing success. Not only did our students learn a lot from the variety of lessons, visitors and trips, but they also did us proud in their excellent attitude towards visitors and everything on offer.
Students from Years 9 – 11 who took part in the exchange trip said their fond farewells to their exchange partners on Sunday morning, outside the school after a fun-filled week! They were probably intent on sleeping and a little me-time after the intensity of the week, including a school trip to Bath, a night of skittles (badly beaten by the Germans there!), some time in school and even some learning a little Japanese as part of our Languages Week. The German group also visited Stonehenge, Salisbury and Oxford. Hopefully some lifelong friendships will have started here after this trip and a thirst to travel, to visit other places and make other international friends has been initiated!
The Gr8 Book Debate came to a nail-biting conclusion this term, with Shine by Candy Gourlay being declared the winner. After several months of training which had obviously included reading the books as well as attending 3B (Books, and biscuits at break), opinions were put forward, arguments heard, and questions posed, as we welcomed students from Isambard and Nova to join us for the debate. A massive thankyou to Booktrust for providing the books, and to Chloe Clark, their School Programme Coordinator who joined us for the event. If you would like to take a look at the YouTube video Candy sent our students please go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X18xovWMxHs – it was shown to the students after the secret ballot to avoid influencing the vote!
Did you spot our entry for the Wroughton Scarecrow Trail?
When taxed with the theme ‘Heroes’, English teacher Mrs Beadsworth was quick to suggest Paddington Bear. He may be a fictional character from children’s literature but his deeds and legacy are indeed heroic.Paddington first appeared on 13 October 1958 and was subsequently featured in more than twenty books written by Michael Bond. This polite bear from deepest darkest Peru, with his old hat, battered suitcase, duffle coat and love of marmalade has become a classic character from English children’s literature.Paddington books have been translated into 30 languages across 70 titles and sold more than 30 million copies worldwide. A big thank you to Mrs Lane and Mrs Sheppard for their help with modelling a very convincing head for ‘our’ Paddington.
On 6th July we performed The Tempest to a number of primary schools who are part of the White Horse Federation and proudly represented our school. The 27 Year 7 students all boarded the mini bus, hugging heaps of the wonderful handmade props. We were greeted with a very warm welcome at Croft Primary School. After a quick run through of The Tempest, we began. The schools watched us perform on the outdoor theatre and everything was perfect. Everyone looked amazing in their costumes and the schools enjoys it. Then, they were given the opportunity to perform it themselves and participate in workshops. I worked with a few other students as we taught the Year 2 students different dances for the play. They were very perservering and worked hard. They all looked really good in the play! Overall the day at Croft was amazing but tiring. I really enjoyed it and got to learn more about The Tempest. It was an amazing experience for everyone and we all enjoyed it.
“The talent of the students at The Ridgeway School knows no bounds!” – That was the response from one of the audience members after this week’s KS3 Theatre Project performances. On Wednesday 14th and Thursday 15th July, twenty KS3 Theatre students put on a fantastic show for the public in the main school hall. They worked on extracts from two plays; ‘Too Fast’ and ‘Sunday Morning’. The first detailed the life and death of Ali Monroe, and the aspirations of Sensation Nation, the band playing at her funeral. The play is full of witty one liners, some brilliant naturalistic moments as well as beautiful physical sequences. The second play was focused around the lives and events occurring on a Sunday morning in the East End of London. The characters were exaggerated stereotypes and brought a lot of laughter to the performance. Elaborate costumes paired with hilarious accents transported the audience on a journey and gave them an evening never to forget. Well done to all involved for putting on such a professional performance.
Never heard of this? Well our STAR students and Word Millionaires (some multi-millionaires) did just this as an end of year reward for their fantastic achievements and progress with Accelerated Reader. Thank you to Mrs Middlemass, Mrs Williams, Mrs Siebeneller and Jess for donning their aprons to serve up the ice cream, and to Miss Dalley for allowing us to use her cookery room. If you find yourself with some spare time over the summer, try this yourself or have a go at the concoctions the students created.
The Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – chocolate ice-cream, chocolate buttons, chocolate sauce.
The Golden Ticket – Vanilla and strawberry ice-cream, chocolate buttons and strawberry sauce.
The Hunger Games – a highly calorific number for obvious reasons. A brownie, topped with chocolate ice-cream and sprinkles, topped with vanilla ice-cream and sprinkles, topped with chocolate buttons and chocolate sauce. Or the alternative is to just put anything edible in the sundae glass and then eat!
The Point Blanc – any ice-cream topped with strawberries, point upwards.
Holes – fill the “hole” in the sundae glass with ice cream and eat!
The Great Gatsby – a sophisticated sundae of vanilla ice-cream, topped with whipped cream and a strawberry.