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Principal Blog 6th March 2020

6 March 2020
Principal Blog 6th March 2020


On the 12th February, we hosted our preliminary ‘Chance to Shine’ Wiltshire Schools Indoor Cricket competition against St John's Marlborough.

Indoor Cricket is a fast-paced game and the rules are as follows:

  • Eight players in a team.
  • Eight overs a side, six balls an over.
  • Batters score 1 for hitting any of the side walls, ceiling or wall behind the wicket keeper – but can be caught off any of these walls.
  • Batter score 4 for hitting the wall behind the bowler along the floor or 4 for hitting the wall behind the bowler without the ball touching the ground or any other wall first.
  • Batters can be out – bowled, caught, hit wicket, run out or stumped.
  • Bowlers may bowl a maximum of two overs each.
  • Wides and no balls will add 2 runs to the batting teams score, but extra balls will only be bowled in the eighth over of the innings.
  • Batters who score 15 runs or more will have to retire and may return at the end of the innings, should there be any balls remaining.
  • If there is one batter left at the end of the innings, with balls remaining, that batter may continue batting with another batter running at the other end. NB – In this instance, either batter can be run out.

Ridgeway batted first and with all players contributing (Adam Rafiq top scoring with 16) we scored a very challenging 76-6 off of our 48 deliveries.

We then rose to the challenge of containing the St John's run chase. Cameron Oliver, bowling leg spin set us off with a fantastic over taking 2 wickets for 0 runs!! Our fielding was tremendous seeing 3 run outs from sensible throws and great catching behind the stumpos by Sam Crossley and Zak Rawlins. Tight bowling from Danyal Rafiq, Ameen Khan (1 wicket), Bruno Tweedale (1 wicket) and Angus Eastell saw St John's all out for 31 with only 5 wides conceded compared to 33 extra runs by St John's.

Well done lads, and we are through to the finals at the Chippenham Dome on 17th March.


It’s Gym & Dance week at Ridgeway! Students and staff have worked hard to put on the best possible performances on Thursday 5th and Friday 6th March. Last night was the first night of the shows, which went brilliantly! The effort, enthusiasm and energy from the students was fantastic. Everybody was very impressed with the standard of the gymnastic and dance performances. Well done to all students involved!


The football season is well and truly underway at Ridgeway. It has been great to see so many students at training at Monday lunchtime and Tuesday after school. We have had over 80 boys and girls at training, who have been keen to represent the school football teams, which is fantastic! Although the recent weather has been an issue with fixtures, the girls and boys teams have got stuck into the season.


Year 7 Boys: Drew 3-3 vs The Deanery, Lost 4-0 vs Warneford (Cup)

Year 8 Boys: Lost 2-1 vs Abbey Park, Lost 2-0 vs GWA

Year 9 Boys: Won 3-1 vs Nova Hreod, Won 4-0 vs Abbey Park (Cup – into Quarter Final)

Upcoming Fixtures:

Year 7 Boys vs Lawn Manor – Away (Tuesday 24th March)

Year 8 Boys in Cup Quarter Final - Away (w/c 16th March)

Year 9 Boys vs Lawn Manor – Away (Wednesday 11th March)

U16 Boys vs Dorcan – Home (Tuesday 10th March)


We are halfway through our Race Across America challenge, and the students have engaged in this fantastically by counting their steps and competing amongst their houses. Well done to all students so far – keep this up!

Silbury are miles ahead (literally!) with a hugely impressive total of 16,788,913, equalling a massive 8,395! Kennet have moved up to 2nd place with 3,960 miles, Avebury dropped down into 3rd with 2,663 miles followed closely by Barbury with 2,499 miles.

On Friday 28th February, Barbury completed their physical challenges in the sports hall and gym. This consisted of hurdles, skipping, running through ladders and star jumps. Barbury students engaged in this really well and racked up a large total – massive well done to all who took part, all students received This week Kennet have their opportunity to boost their step total during the race.

Just a reminder, 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. Have a great weekend everybody.


On Thursday 13th February, I flew to Canada as part of the Swindon Pumas Hockey Team, my position in the team is Netminder (Goalie). We had a great opportunity of competing in the Pee Wee Tournament in Quebec.

The Pee Wee Tournament is a huge event for Under 13’s and takes place each year, the tournament first started in 1960 and our Head Coach, Ken, competed in this tournament 31 years ago. There were 120 teams in the competition with teams from Australia, Japan, South Korea, Mexico and dozens from Canada and the USA. The major competition was won by Czech Knights. We were lucky enough to represent the United Kingdom as only one team from the UK can compete each year.

Our first competitive match was against Veneto from Italy in the Videotron Centre, the Videotron is a 19,000 seat ice arena and it was huge. We won the match 2-1, which meant we would play in the Videotron again. Our next competitive match was against Vasas Budapest from Hungary, this was a tough match. Budapest were 1 goal up and with 24 seconds to go we scored the equaliser to send it into overtime (which is like golden point in football). Unfortunately, Budapest beat us which meant that we were out of the tournament.

We did have an opportunity to play 5 exhibition games at different ice rinks in and around Quebec. We played against teams from Atlanta Georgia, Palm Beach Florida, San Diego California, Caen in Normandy and Beauce-Nord Bellechasse from Quebec.

A great part of the experience was staying with a French/Canadian family for the 10 days and experiencing their way of life and culture. The family I stayed with taught me to snowboard and we played pond hockey together, I was also able to practice my French. I have also never seen so much snow in my life, they have around 15cms a night and the temperature dropped to -38.9oc which was very cold.

I experienced different foods one of my favourite things was poutine which is fries with cheese curd and gravy. We found out when we got home that we came 10th out of 23 teams in our group which was a great achievement. The memories and experiences that I have gained from the trip will stay with me forever and I have made some really great friends. - Sam Ellis 7S2


This term we have had our Swedish exchange friends over and had a great time. We have done sport at the Ridgeway Leisure Centre and trampoline park. Whilst here we uncovered many people’s talents of running on walls. We have been to the outlet centre, shopping and showing them the best Swindon has to offer. Although, whilst there we were interrupted by a fire alarm. It was very exciting!

We had them in our lessons where they learnt some A-Level content. Whilst at school, they also tried some British cuisine, everything from Marmite to custard creams as well as immersing themselves into lessons such as Art, Computer Science, Biology, History and PE with a classic game of benchball. Finally, we took them to Nando’s to show them fine, fabulous dining. They all enjoyed it and we said our final goodbyes. We hope to see them again soon.


The week of the 2nd March saw us welcoming visitors, not only in the form of OfSTED inspectors, but also a group of 15 students from our partner school in Freigericht near Frankfurt in Germany. This was the first exchange between our schools and a group from Ridgeway were in Frankfurt in June 2019.

As well as coming into lessons with their partners, there were day trips to Bath, London, Stonehenge and activities where the students had to navigate their way around Wroughton. The exchange is a wonderful way to make friends, but students also commented on how great it has been as an opportunity to improve their German. We look forward to heading back out to Germany later in the year. Well done to all of those students who participated and entered into the spirit of the exchange; you were such excellent hosts.


Miss Smalley led a chocolate-making session in Silver Block this week. Using silicone chocolate moulds she patiently taught the students how to make chocolate fillings, create the chocolate casing and carefully layer the fillings to make their own bespoke chocolates. Miss Smalley brought several different moulds, from hearts to dinosaurs, which helped to identify the fillings. There was enough chocolate left to make chocolate shredded wheat mini-egg cup cakes. Kitchen skills are a major tool for getting our autistic students to try new flavours and expand their diets, as well as helping teach aspects of independence and health & safety. Expanding diets often involves preparing fruit and vegetables with an emphasis on the dreaded green. However, sessions like the one Miss Smalley organised not only teach multi-step skills (readily engaged in because of the end product) they also punctuate the ‘healthy eating’ agenda with treats, emphasising that nutrition involves all the food groups, albeit in different ratios than our students might prefer or be used to.


The ASC Students visited multinational corporation Intel, which supplies semiconductors and processors for computer systems such as Apple, Lenovo, HP and Dell. They are initiating an educational programme and invited our to visit their Swindon headquarters and try out the new initiative. The tour of Intel’s offices included a visit to an anechoic chamber, which is so silent you can hear your own heartbeat and the movement of your joints. The instructional element involved learning how to handle and program Intel’s Micrypython Pyboard, a python-based single board computer with similar functions to a Raspberry Pi. After being taught how to code and synch their Pyboards, the students were each gifted one to take home so they can code in their own features. Intel is keen to liaise with schools and are aware of the advantages that autism endows when it comes to logic based systems and processes. Our students all enjoyed their visit and arrived back to school feeling they had been fully engaged and valued.

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