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Principal's Blog 23rd October 2019

23 October 2019
Principal's Blog 23rd October 2019

Year 6 Transition Experience

We were pleased that the Year 6 students form Wroughton Junior School visited on Friday 18th October. Most of their peers were on camp in Wales, but the remaining Year 7s didn’t miss out!

The students used spicy sausage and potato to make a delicious pastry snack before attempting to make a chocolate marble sponge with either pear or apples.

It is always a pleasure to work with students who may be part of The Ridgeway School next year, should they decide to make this their secondary school of choice. There is much talent in the year group if the splendid finished results were anything to go by!

Using Fruit & Vegetables in Season

It was a pleasure to work with some of the students in Silver Block when we explored fruit and vegetables in season. This time of the year there is an abundance of vegetables in the gardens, including leeks, carrots, tomatoes, onions and even some last courgettes. It’s great to be able to use these ingredients and provide vitamins and minerals in our diet.

Apples and pears, are also being harvested to enjoy now and to be stored throughout the forthcoming months. We focused on ways to use cooking apples, Bramley apples being the favourite apple to use in cooking.

High-level skills were in evidence as students carefully grated apples, weighed ingredients and rubbed fat into flour, in order to make an apple and sultana scone round, glazed with egg and demerara sugar.

Their superb results were photographed, before being taken to be shared with others at break time.

Year 12 Visit Pure Gym

The Year 12 BTEC Sport students as part of their Business in Sport module enjoyed a visit to Pure Gym in Swindon.

They met the manager who explained how the facility is run as a business and how they aim to provide a great service for customers across Swindon.

The students were able to look at the structure of the business and the cash come in and out monthly.

Finally they had a tour of the facility which the students enjoyed and are now able to compare and contrast in an exam scenario.

ASC SRP Weekly Outing

The ASC SRP outing to The Williams Heritage Collection this week was joined by a couple of students from mainstream SEN. The collection is housed in the Williams Formula 1 headquarters conference centre. The dauntingly impressive entrance lobby houses a complete, heritage Williams F1 car with a central steel stairway running up towards the Williams corporate logo. It helped to have two Williams employees guiding the tour, reinforcing the need for quiet as we made our way through the building (other meetings were going on) so the students realised that this is not just a school thing.

The students were ushered upstairs to a plush meeting room for refreshments before our guides led the way to the main exhibition centre. They learned all about the history of Williams Formula 1 team, the different tyres needed for varying conditions and how the pit-stop teams can change four tyres (costing £3,000 each and lasting for eight laps) in less than two seconds!

The main exhibition was impressive and the students asked many intelligent questions about the evolution of the racing car. They also got up close to the Williams/Jaguar collaboration prototype car that was used as the villain car in the James Bond film ‘Spectre’. Our students conducted themselves very well, obeying the ‘don’t climb’ rules (so different from the tank museum!) and taking lots of photos.

The gift shop was not as expected, seeming more like a corporate reception area with display cabinets; one had to request the purchase at the counter. Many of our students would have left with nothing if we had not understood that the setup was too intimidating for them to deal with alone (even with the best items being discounted, plus another 20% off!). Those who braved the counter, with or without staff, were further rewarded with a cool Williams cardboard carrier bag; even if the purchase was a humble wrist band!

After posing by the car in the lobby for a group photo, we set off back to school with a fresh insight into Formula 1 and the engineering and planning that goes into it.

The Williams Heritage Collection website: https://www.williamsf1.com/heritage

Year 7 Team Building Day

On Wednesday the 16th of June, 19 Year 7 students who were not attending the residential spent the day with Miss Barnes, Miss Marlow, Miss Gulliford and Mr Burcombe taking part in team building activities to earn house points and lots of sweets!

The first activity of the day involved creating House themed biscuits with Miss Gulliford and Mr Burcombe. The quality of these were amazing, with lots of Kennet Koala’s and Avebury Assemble, although most of these didn’t last long!

Students then planned their dream holiday, exploring all the places they would love to go, flying first class to Bora Bora and lots of Disney holidays!

Balloon races with Miss Marlow and Miss Barnes was dominated by the Kennet Koala’s and created some amazing designs, even if some went slightly better than others!

Mr Burcombe ran a mini Olympics, which saw students competing in long jump, shuttle runs and shuttlecock javelin. The day rounded off with a giant quiz, testing the student’s general knowledge, and Mr Burcombe’s ability to remember Snow White's seven Dwarfs!

Overall, everyone had a great day, with laughs and lots of sugar!

Junior Team Golf

The Wrag Barn Junior Team progressed to the National Final of the Junior Team Golf competition with a convincing win in the National Semi Final played at Studley Wood, this rain affected competition and so was reduced to a nine hole competition with 1x "Gross" and 4 x "Nett" scores counting towards the team total. The Wrag Barnteam won the competition with 191 shots. We wish James and the rest of the team good luck at the National Final next weekend.

Ridgeway Rugby End Of Season Reports

Rugby at The Ridgeway School has been a growing sport and the PE faculty are pleased with the effort, commitment and enthusiasm from all rugby players representing the school. All years have worked hard in training and improved massively since the start of the year.

Year 7

The Year 7s have shown consistent improvement throughout their first rugby season at The Ridgeway. The high numbers to training, enthusiasm and determination has shone through and the boys should be proud of themselves. This was shown in the small tournament with The Deanery and Lydiard Park Academy and fixture vs Commonweal where the effort was brilliant. In terms of performance, the team displayed good handing and improved tackling skills, showing lots of heart when representing their school, where they were rewarded by scoring some fantastic tries. Well done to all Year 7s who have been involved in the rugby team this year!

Year 8

The Year 8s have really impressed the PE faculty this year with having consistent high numbers to training each week, how they apply themselves and the huge improvement shown in their fixtures. The highlight of their season (so far) was a fantastic 25-5 win over a competitive Royal Wootton Bassett Academy side. Our attacking play, especially offloading the ball and finding the space in their defence. This was rewarded with five excellent well-worked tries and a massive effort in defence, where our rucking and scrum was brilliant to secure the ball.

The Year 8 team’s season is not over as they have their Swindon Cup semi-final to prepare for next term. It is important the boys continue to work hard in training to give themselves the best chance of getting to the final. Well done so far on the season boys – keep it up!

Year 9

It has been a pleasure to take charge of the Y9 Rugby fixtures this year. As a year group we have three students who regularly attend a Rugby club in the local area. With this in mind, I have been incredibly impressed by our students’ effort, commitment and perseverance in all of our fixtures. The physicality of rugby asks many questions when you are playing and especially when you are losing. The character and sheer guts shown by our Y9s was first class.

Our first fixture was away at St John’s Marlborough where the entire squad of players all played for Marlborough rugby club and their school side is refereed and coached by Marlborough Rugby club staff which is superb to witness. Playing against a well-drilled and experienced side we lost 35-10 but never stopped tackling and playing till the last minute, a point a I will reflect on later. The commitment and two tries that we scored were praised not only by myself but the referee and coaches from St John's. Ashton Payne and James Mees were our try scorers.

Our second game was against LPA who again were very strong and many of their players played for RWB, Supermarine or Swindon RFC. We lost this game 30-15 but we became more disciplined, better in the contact area and our off-loading was improving.

The third game saw us away at Royal Wootton Bassett where after ten minutes we were 12 – 0 down conceding two early tries. Just before the half time break we scored our own try through a great run from Ashton Payne and converted by Elliott Price. RWB again stretched the lead in the second half with their third try making it 17-7. Josaia Ratukalou with a typical barnstorming run pegged us closer again and with Elliott’s second conversion we were three points adrift at 14-17. In the last minute Kenji Olaguar made a break for the Bassett try line but was caught just short of the line. It was a fantastic match, which I think gave us great hope for our final fixture. A special mention to Harvey Spurgeon who was ‘water-boy’ for the fixture as although injured wanted to come and support his team!

This Wednesday we were away at Abbey Park for our final game. Once again, we were quickly a try down but instantly hit back in our first attack through a great try by Josaia Ratukalou. A tight period followed where we stuck in there through great tackling and desperation at times. Abbey Park took the lead again before two tries through Ashton Payne and Josaia again saw us take a half time lead of 10-15! The confidence was flowing and the first try after the break would be vital. Well we need not have worried because we completely overpowered Abbey Park winning the second half 20-5 with four tries for Josaia, a brace for Aston Payne and 1 for Michael Ukpoju. Our game was cut short because some of our opposition could not control themselves appropriately, which was a shame.

I was so pleased for the lads as their effort and commitment in all games was rewarded with a deserved victory. They were a credit to themselves and the school, never giving up or losing control all season!

Well done to all the students and Mr Mees, and Mr and Mrs Payne for their invaluable support at fixtures it is much appreciated.

Year 10

The Year 10 rugby team has developed massively over this season, impressing with their commitment, effort and enthusiasm at all training sessions and matches. The boys have rallied together and represented the school in true Ridgeway Spirit. Training consistently after-school and during lunchtime, the boys have shown a huge improvement, especially in their tackling and rucking. This was shown in their fixture against a strong Royal Wootton Bassett Academy. The result did not go our way as the boys lost 29-10, but the score line does not reflect the performance. Our boys’ defence was brilliant and significantly improved with some fantastic tackling and rucking which led to the lads scored two outstanding tries. Well done to all Year 10 rugby players this season.

Please keep up to date with all PE information regarding fixtures, training and other extra-curricular clubs through the PE Twitter page: @RidgewayschPE

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