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Principal Blog 28th February 2020

28 February 2020
Principal Blog 28th February 2020


Core Maths students took part in a workshop this morning with staff and ambassadors from UWE. The students looked at the application of Maths in an A to Z of careers; from Games Developer to Ethologist to Logistics Planner. An engaging and informative morning was had by all.


One of the biggest challenges – and drains on resilience – for our autistic students when accessing mainstream school is being jostled along a noisy corridor between lessons. There is therefore a trade-off between either arriving/leaving on time for lessons or arriving with the capacity to learn. We opt for the latter by staggering the time at which the students arrive at and leave lessons, so they can avoid the peak movement time. However, this resilience does need to be built up in a way that does not build up negativity and resistance. This week, we took our ASC students to Zorb Football where they could learn the fun that can be had with jostling and collisions! Not all the students could bring themselves to be inserted into the inflated ball-cocoons used in this activity, but felt quite able to give a shove to those who did! As well as adding resilience for physical interaction, this activity provided novelty (another challenge for ASC) in both environment and activity. By taking the ASC students to such venues when they are reasonably quiet, gives space for the students to adapt to the environment and have fun without the full-on noise and busyness experienced at peak times. They are also strengthened by being in the company of the rest of the Silver Block students charging at them inside inflatable balls rather than strangers, and every student reported that they had a great time! During these sessions, staff take note of anything they notice that is either edifying or challenging for our students, in order to adjust and improve interventions back in Silver Block.


The Head of House team are very excited to introduce the new head of Kennet House, Mr Shephard! Mr Shepard is very excited to be taking over this new role and helping Kennet to be the best they can be for the remainder of the year. The House team would like to thank Miss Marlow for her brilliant contribution to the House team and being an amazing head of Kennet.


We are in week 2 of Race Across America! It has been brilliant to see and hear so many students engaging in the challenge and continuing to count their steps, from The Ridgeway School, to the far side of America and back!

Silbury have stormed into the lead, racking up an impressive 4,601,045 steps, which works out 2,300 miles! Avebury are in 2nd having travelled 1,933 miles, followed by Kennet with 1,424 miles, with Barbury on 423 miles. Make sure you count and tell your mentor how many steps you have done over the course of the week! A massive well done to all students so far – keep this up as the race is getting very close!

On Friday 14th February, Avebury completed their physical challenge in the sports hall and main hall. This consisted of hurdles, skipping, running through ladders and star jumps. Avebury students engaged in this really well and racked up a large total – massive well done to all who took part. This week Barbury have their opportunity to boost their step total during the race.

When students are in mentoring sessions on a Friday, they have been tasked to create a model of a famous American landmark or the route it would take them across America. We have seen some creative and brilliant ideas so far so students make sure you continue this.

All students have been asked to collect sponsorship for their house charities. Please encourage them to do this using their sponsorship forms, for the four great causes, as chosen by the students themselves.

1 Silbury - total steps 4,601,045 (2,300 miles)

2 Avebury - total steps 3,865,543 (1,933 miles)

3 Kennet - total steps 2,847,481 (1,424 miles)

4 Barbury - total steps 846,000 (423 miles)


The new audiobook titles are below and are already proving really popular! Which one do you want to listen to?

Don’t Read The Comments by Eric Smith

Day Zero by Kelly deVos

Rogue Princess by BR Myers

Inifinity Son by Adam Silvera

Going the Distance by Beth Reekles

Three Things I Know by Betty Culley

Loveboat, Taipei by Abigail Wen

Paul, Big and Small by David Robb

All the Wandering Light by Heather Fawcett

Lords of Badassery by Reinhardt Suarez

If you need a reminder of how to use the audiobooks then all you need to know is here:

How to use. Those of you who have students in Year 8 and above will remember the audio book launch last year so this is just a reminder. For Year 7, this is something that we’ve mentioned in library lessons and many are keen to give it a go.

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