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Principal's Blog 14th February 2020

14 February 2020
Principal's Blog 14th February 2020

Harry Potter Night

A group of 40 students and assorted adults from across the school gathered on Thursday evening to celebrate their love of Harry Potter. We had a magical evening taking JK Rowling’s hero cross-curricular with Quidditch for our PE lesson and origami golden snitches for Art & Design.

The linguists amongst us, got to play with Runes and looking at the Latin behind the spells, physics was covered off with designing paper aeroplanes to target at the Goblet of Fire and catering was not left out as Butter-beer was created and tasted. Obviously, this was all woven together with literacy: writing letters to be sent via Owl Post, word-searches, quotations and a big quiz where only the geekiest could hope to triumph. Thank you to all who helped and attended. Roll on next year!


On Tuesday 4th February, we went to the Jobfest careers and apprenticeships fayre held by Swindon Borough Council.

The fayre included a talk from a new apprentice from Capita who had joined them following his GCSEs and he explained the process and experiences of applying and becoming an apprentice.

In total, there were over sixty different apprenticeship and careers stands from McDonalds, Beaverbrooks, The Army, Metro Bank to the National Trust. It was great to see our students engaging so positively with employers and handing over their CVs to provide themselves with the best next step chances for their future careers.

Face Across America

Race Across America is underway! It has been fantastic to see so many students engaging in the activity and counting their steps. Over the coming weeks, each house will take it in turns to come down to the sports hall and gym during a Friday mentoring session. This is where they can complete physical challenges to help boost their steps to see who can get from The Ridgeway to the other side of America and back first!

Please continue to encourage all students and collect sponsorship using the forms provided for the house charities as chosen by the students themselves (please see below).

Avebury – Macmillan Cancer Support

Barbury – Wiltshire Wildlife Trust

Kennet – Jessie May Children’s Hospice

Silbury – Rethink Mental Illness

Have a great half term everyone! The House Team

Swedish Exchange

The Swedish exchange was a brilliant trip, quite easily one of the best Ridgeway trips I’ve ever been on. Our time was filled with fun Swedish activities yet we also had a good amount of free time - it was a great balance! The relationships we built with the Swedish students was special and we are all very excited for their visit to Swindon in the coming weeks.

We started our journey with a very early morning, landing in Stockholm around 11 - unfortunately to no snow! We spent the day travelling across Sweden and stopped for lunch in the picturesque city of Örebro. I certainly noticed how peaceful and spacious Sweden was after travelling through it. We arrived at the accommodation to kitchens full of breakfast supplies, which was lovely! That night, we enjoyed meeting the students at one of their houses. It was slightly awkward to start with however, once we had reassured the Swedes their English was far better than our Swedish, we got along very well!

Our first full day in Sweden brought welcoming activities at Degerfors school with the students. Mats led a fun and interesting session filled with ice breaking games. In the afternoon, we stopped off at a brilliant pizza buffet with enormous slices of pizza before heading to the local ice rink. There we had the choices of ice skating, watching an ice hockey game, bowling and even a table tennis hall! We all had a lovely afternoon making new friends.

On Monday and Tuesday we immersed ourselves in Swedish school life; taking part in English, Art, Football and Communications lessons. In some lessons, the Swedish students led activities - we were all so impressed by their amazing and confident English. On Tuesday night we headed to Bodaborg, which was a brilliant night - Miss Barnes has not been over exaggerating when she told us how much she loved it! We were in mixed Swedish/English groups and the problem solving nature of Bodaborg was a great way to bond.

We kicked off our last day in Degerfors with PE with the class that are coming to Swindon. On Wednesday afternoon, we went to a Japanese Budo class where we learnt some self-defence! After getting over the initial hilarity of pinning your friend to the ground, we learnt some useful skills and techniques. Later that evening, we said our farewells to the Swedish students at a dinner held by them at the school. We ate food, played games and listened to lots of ABBA and Avicii in true Swedish style!

On Thursday morning, we travelled back to Stockholm in a lovely warm coach - we spent the day exploring the beautiful city. One thing that we all noticed was what a clean and friendly city Stockholm is! We thoroughly enjoyed our Swedish visit and look forward to seeing them soon! I cannot recommend the trip enough. Gaby Craven-Jones

Scout Success

We would like to send our congratulations to 1st Wroughton Scout success on the weekend in the Cotswold marathon. Lawrie, Seth and Alex were fastest male team in Bronze Class. They hiked thirteen miles in just under three hours with full rucksacks.

Matt, Finley and Matt had similar success in the Silver Class, where they walked twenty miles.

Cross Country

Following great performances at the South West Cross Country in Bournemouth last weekend, the following students have been selected to represent Wiltshire at the National Cross Country Championships. Freya came 21st and Harry 30th of over 100 competitors securing their places in the Wiltshire team. We wish them both luck in Liverpool on the 14th March.

Freya (Year 8)

Harry (Year 11)

Maddy (Year 13)

Silver Block Tenpin Bowling

Silver Block chose to challenge their autistic students with a trip to the Shaw Ridge tenpin bowling lanes, where the echoing noise, crowds of strangers and bright lights, were offset by the enjoyment of the bowling and teamwork. They had the additional challenge of learning how to react to winning or losing in a socially acceptable way. The students who struggle with gross motor skills and co-ordination had their own challenges, trying to get the ball to the other end of the lane; a challenge they rose to with good cheer and a modicum of success.

They all worked well in their teams and encouraged each other in what was, for many, an entirely new skill. The problem of wearing hired shoes that others had worn was not an issue as the footwear rules have been relaxed in recent years; we tried not to mention the fact that the bowling balls were also communal!

Everyone had a great time and the students were well behaved, both on the journey to and from the venue and inside where their activities were limited to the bowling lanes (for this activity, the alluring arcade games were off limits, which was accepted by all with good grace).

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