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Principal Blog 10th December

10 December 2021
Principal Blog 10th December

RIDGEWAY SCHOOL CHRISTMAS FAYRE… The newly formed FORCE (Friends of Ridgeway: Community and Events) ran their first event, our Christmas Fayre, on Saturday 4th December 2021, where we had a variety of stalls, raffles and tombolas, refreshments and even Father Christmas himself! It was with both nervousness and excitement that we opened the doors just before 2pm to the public and at first there was a slow flow of people, which then increased to a steady stream up until about 5.30pm. At 6pm, those who were here got to enjoy a variety of carols played by the Wroughton Silver Band. Throughout the day there was a great feeling, and it was wonderful to see so many members of the local community.

It goes without saying, (but I am going to do it anyway) that this event would not have been possible without a range of people. Firstly, thank you to the stallholders who put their faith in us to be at the event – they sold such a fantastic array of craft and bespoke items and I could not stop wandering around the stalls picking items out to buy myself! We also had a wonderful group of staff and parent volunteers who gave up their Saturday to help decorate and set up, run the refreshments, run the tombolas and raffle and keep Father Christmas company! Then there were our amazing student volunteers…I love working at the Ridgeway School and the main reason is our students. They were fantastic ambassadors for the school and made sure that the event ran smoothly, carrying out every job we gave them without any fuss. Finally, we thank the public for coming and supporting the event.

There are two aims for FORCE; raising additional funds for the school whilst providing a range of events for local people, bring the school and community closer together. We genuinely feel that this is exactly what this event did. Please keep your eye out for future events including a Summer Fete!

CHRISTMAS CRAFTS IN SILVER BLOCK… There’s nothing quite like arts and crafts for some creative downtime, and Christmas has given the ASC students in Silver Block a wider scope for producing some bright, fun decorations. Intricate snips and folds make paper lanterns, wreaths and stars and bright colours added to wooden laser cuts make beautiful tree decorations. Of course, it’s not downtime if you have a high sensitivity to glues or sticky paints and all the crafts need them, so instead we have a wide variety of options, some that produce lots of mess and others that produce little or none, depending on the students’ sensory preferences. These activities, sometimes strongly avoided before joining Silver Block, can blossom an unexpected talent in some students who go on to produce high-quality work in art, design and textiles as they move up through the school. Merry Christmas everyone, from all of us in Silver Block ASC SRP!

COMMUNITY CHAMPIONS UPDATE… This year has been the first year that we have recruited Community Champions. These are a group of Year 10 students who successfully went through an application and interview process and are now part of the student leadership programme, proudly wearing a silver tie.

The students are split into three teams:

Events management are learning about organising by supporting Literature Festival and are currently running a Christmas competition.

Transition team get involved with the primary events such as Year 6 open mornings

PR Team research, recommend and promote new books and are ambassadors of the LRC, its services, and reading for pleasure.

All the Community Champions are rota’d once a week onto library duties either break or lunchtime, where they carry out a variety of activities, depending on what needs doing, and they participate in a weekly which alternates training and planning time.

Already Mrs Tonkin, Mrs Day and Miss Ornov can’t imagine how we managed without them! They are all enthusiastic, hard-working and an asset to the school. We’re so proud!

YEAR 8 BRAVE THE COLD… Last week the whole of Year 8 braved the freezing conditions to enjoy two days of team building outdoor activities. From Fire building to shelters, raft building to orienteering, layers were shed as the students (and staff, Mr Adair..) got stuck in. Students enjoyed a variety of different mentally and physically challenging activities whilst working with their mentor groups. This was the first opportunity Year 8 had to bond together after COVID affected last year’s Year 7 Camp and boy did they make up for it. Behaviour across the two days was fantastic and the whole year did themselves proud. Well done Year 8, you smashed it!!

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