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Principal Blog 13th November 2020

13 November 2020
Principal Blog 13th November 2020


Last Sunday,the Head Boy, Finley and I laid a wreath at Wroughton cenotaph on behalf of The Ridgeway School. We were joined by many members of the local community paying their respects to those who sacrificed their lives for ours. The ceremony was particularly poignant this year as it fell on the centenary of Remembrance Day and the 80 year anniversary of the Battle of Britain. After the strange year we’ve had, the familiarity and solidarity that Remembrance Day brings was warmly welcomed. Despite the socially distanced ceremony, it was an honour to pay our respects to the service men and women who fought and continue to fight for our freedom. Gaby Craven-Jones (Head Girl)


This year we have launched a new celebration of student success- the Principal’s Wall. It’s designed to celebrate students whose efforts in both school and the wider community go above and beyond expectations, and inspire others to do the same. Each of our secure bubbles have a display wall where the nominated students are displayed and applauded, and every nominated student or group will also be recognised in our Pride of the Ridgeway awards later in the year.

So far we have seen nominations for Oliver O’Driscoll and his work on a fantastic art mural on Theatre Square, Alexa McInstry & Estella Smith for their incredible creative film project on Sherlock Holmes, and the mentor group of 11A1 for their beautiful poppy display for Remembrance Day. More nominations will follow and I’m sure you’ll all join me in congratulating these tremendous efforts.


This week’s house competition was a chance for the students to show their artistic side. Their task was to design and make a poppy in their mentor group. These were done individually and collectively as mentor groups. We are really impressed with our students and what they have produced for remembrance day. Please do pop by and look at the amazing display that they have formed at the front at school if you get a chance.


As with everything in 2020, the annual Swindon Youth Festival of Literature has gone virtual! It’s strange for all of us not seeing the authors/poets in person, not going to the theatre and not seeing hundreds of excitable Year 5s in the main hall, but students throughout the school and beyond have been able to experience interactive author talks, competitions and the opportunity to buy signed books as usual, from the comfort of their classroom, and by being virtual, even more students than normal have been able to take part.

Sally Gardner, prize winner, popular author and dyslexia spokesperson presented to Year 8 and 9 students with one student afterwards saying "This video made us more empathetic to others around us". Who can ask for more?

Ash Dickinson, poet, who many of you will remember from visits over the last decade, has had Year 7 students in stitches with laughter as well as all being inspired to write their own poetry.

Our link primary schools have been experiencing the very funny and talented Ben Lyttleton, and who co-writes non-fiction football focussed books which are cleverly and subtly very cross curricular, and because we missed seeing them here in school, each school was given a gift of a set of Ben’s books.

Finally, not only are we doing this a bit differently by having a virtual Litfest but we went a bit off-piste with our final author visit. Julian Sayarer an environmentalist who cycles around Europe to tell his story, weaving in anecdotes that touch on politics, Geography and other world issues. The fact that his videos were filmed in sunny Portugal really set the scene, and he has been “visiting” KS3 Geography as well as a number of R6 classes. We were really excited to be able to snag Julian (and so disappointed that he won’t be coming in person) because he is inspiring, interesting and very different from other author talks.

However, the normal part of LitFest has been the competitions and the in-school winners are detailed below. They have all been notified and they will received their in-school prizes next week. All of the winners have gone forward to the Swindon competition which includes 11 other schools and we are waiting for the results on this one. The in-school winners are –

Year 9-11 Creative Writing Winner – Massa Maraqa (Year 10)

Year 9-11 Poetry Winner – Eliza Shortridge (Year 10)

Year 7-8 Poetry Winner – Thomas Reeves (Year 7)

Year 7-8 Creative Writing Winner – Jaina Arora (Year 7)


We are delighted to highlight that Georgia Walters, ex Ridgeway student was selected again for the Wales Ladies team that played in the European Championships Qualifiers recently! What a wonderful achievement and role model for younger Ridgeway students to aspire to. Well done Georgia and wish you all the very best in future games.

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