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Principal's Blog 11th March 2022

11 March 2022
Principal's Blog 11th March 2022


The start of 2022 heralded lots of lovely new books, chosen by our students for our students. Whether students have been given a recommendation by a friend, family member, staff member or Tik Tok, we always try to meet student requests! Holocaust Memorial Day in January reminded us to “Never Forget Never Again” and a wide range of related literature was displayed to encourage fact finding and fictional texts linked to this important topic. On a lighter note, Book Blind Date celebrated Valentine’s Day with students challenged to read a book choosing blind. Would this lead to a red hot riveting read or a red herring? Whatever the result, it’s always good to get out of our reading comfort zone and try a new genre. Our most popular extra-curricular club is Board Games and on a Monday and a Friday, whether it’s Scrabble, Bananagrams, or Battleships, students meet and compete to their hearts content. The pop-up library appears every morning before school at the entrance to Blue Block staffed by year 10 Community Champions, and Year 9 students have been “Bringing their Mentor to the Library” on a rotational basis to share recommendations and look at the latest additions to our catalogue. A permanent display of Wellbeing books was highlighted as part of Children’s Mental Health Week; we particularly recommend books by Nicola Morgan who is an expert on the teenage brain! We have lots of books overdue and as an inducement to return them, we had a daily draw for a coveted Front of the Line Lunch Pass. We had plenty of books returned but we still have lots more we would love to be reacquainted with, so please encourage your students to look under the bed, check the bookcase or old school bag. In Term 4 we are looking forward to World Book Week – a week- long celebration of everything bookish and this year we have chosen a murder mystery theme – it’s what all the students want to read. True crime podcasts have a lot to answer for! Mrs Day & Mrs Tonkin


As part of our Super-Curricular programme, we were very excited to welcome Jos Buttler into school on Monday 14th March. Jos is a professional Cricket player who was on the England World Cup Winning team in 2019. Students and staff were enthralled listening to Jos talk about his career and how to remain focussed and resilient when facing challenges. It was a fascinating morning and over 100 students were able to capture photographs with and an autograph from this sporting legend. Thank you so much to Jos for coming in and taking the time to inspire our young people. The Super-Curricular programme of talks takes place every Monday morning and covers a huge variety of topics. All students are welcome to attend – and tickets for each talk are available from the LRC from the Wednesday of the previous week. Please ask mentors for more information.


During a walk around the school field, Silver Block staff and students discovered what they thought was a dead hedgehog entangled in the cricket netting. They disentangled it and brought it back to Silver Block where it began to show signs of life, and what looked like being a funerary event turned into rescue and resuscitation. With staff help, Connor and Lewis built a makeshift nest from boxes and towelling; they then researched what it might like to eat. The nest was darkened with another towel so the recovering animal didn’t get too stressed. The hedgehog showed good signs of recovery but it was decided that the school field probably wasn’t the safest place for it, so Ms Gray contacted Oak and Furrows Wildlife Rescue who took it in for further recuperation and, eventually, release back into the wild. Mrs J Georgiou


The following students made the Year 9 Swindon Schools Basketball Final held at Bradon Forest School v Commonweal School.

Ned Drummond, Ben Waite, Sam Boachie, Sam Woodhead, Matthew Sheppard, Oliver Spurgeon and Sam Ellis.

In the semi-final at Ridgeway v Great Western Academy, the lads played superbly in a very tight game which saw the game fluctuate by 2 points frequently throughout the first 3 quarters. Then some very calm team play between boys saw us pass with much more fluency and consistency to stretch our lead and to eventually win by 8 points. This was a key indicator of how the boys played all year, when they needed to pull together when the pressure was on they did so brilliantly and really played for each other in both defence and attack.

So, into the final we went! It was great to be back playing in a final after the last few years with COVID and the game did not disappoint. 2 very evenly matched teams played the entire game with a maximum of 8 points between the sides. Going into the final quarter we trailed by 6 points and drew level with 2 minutes left! We then found ourselves 4 pts adrift with 1 minute to go! But true to the spirit of the side we pulled it back to 2pts and with the final 20 seconds defended brilliantly to regain possession for our final attempt at drawing us level. Unfortunately we tried and came up short.

What a game – 56 – 58

I shared a handshake with Mr Staff (Head of PE at Commonweal) and we said “that’s why we do what we do”. Thank you lads it was a great few weeks, always good company, some great basketball played and effort levels through the roof.

All the lads trained and played superbly – Matthew – fantastic layups and excellent point scoring consistently, Ned fantastic layups, Oliver – brilliant in both defence and attack, Sam Ellis – wonderful passing and creativity, Ben – tirelessly working for the team, Sam Boachie gaining in confidence each week, cannot wait to see you next year and Sam Woodhead always chasing and never giving up in defence! It was a pleasure to watch both the semi-final and final, next year we have to go one better, you deserve it! Well played.

Mr McMeeking

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