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Principal's Blog 25th January 2019

25 January 2019
Principal's Blog 25th January 2019

Year 7 Special January Event

Parents, staff and guests who attended the coffee morning for which a group of Year 7 students worked in the food room, were astonished at the very high standard of the food and presentation skills shown.

In small teams the students had planned a range of foods to cook and serve to the invited guests. Keeping within a budget they managed to produce a brilliant range of dishes including sausage rolls, cheese and sultana scones as well as a number of sweet dishes. Students, meeting and greeting the guests offered them drinks, before showing off the food they had made. This enabled the students to practice their communication skills and enjoy finding out peoples like and dislikes-some loved the Marmite whirls while other did not!

This very successful event was due to the industry and team work of our students who all worked together in order to achieve such a pleasing result.

Immersion Day 2

Wednesday 23rd Jan saw the Second of four Immersion days for this year. The school was alive with wonderful activities and experiences for the students and their engagement and attitude was wonderful to see throughout the school.

Year 7 had a wonderful day of sport based activities thanks to Mr McMeeking and the PE department; the noise from the Swimming Gala could be heard all of school – such enthusiasm and skill was excellent to see – well done Year 7!

Year 8 were given an insight into a variety of cultures and languages led by the MFL Team, they were creating the European bake off, planning weddings from all sorts of cultures and learning about the noises animals make all over the world!! Excellent work Year 8!

Year 9 had a thoroughly informative day looking at CV writing and the future, with some opportunities to talk to GCSE course teachers and opt-in to sessions on subjects, which they may choose for Year 10 and 11. The day ended with an introduction to the options process from Mr Wakefield – some really thought provoking stuff!

Year 10 spent the day thinking about their health and wellbeing, the smell of herbal teas filled the corridors and Mr Bister’s laid back relaxation room was a dream! The day also looked at a little bit of first aid training to ensure our students have a good insight into how to deal with some tricky situations.

Year 11 spent a really useful day rotating through 3 sessions of core studies, 1 hour 40 each with English, Maths and Science, this extra opportunity to ensure readiness for the next few months and the looming exams was thoroughly beneficial!

Year 12 spent immersion day ‘careering’! The focus was on identifying the transferable skills that make people stand out from the crowd when job hunting. Students completed the MBTI survey ahead of the day which categorised them into personality types. This test is used by many industries to help companies better understand their employees’ strength, weaknesses and the way they perceive and process information. Our guest speaker, David Mitchell who currently works with the F1 team, took the students careering through an engaging presentation about how to make themselves more marketable. Some time was spent reflecting on the transferable skills students already had before they signed up the online tool Unifrog. This is a complete progression platform: which both makes it easy for students to find and apply for the best university courses and apprenticeships for them. The day finished with a presentation on apprenticeships given by Becky Bryant of Historic England and opportunity to quiz employers from a variety of local businesses about their job roles. Fast paced and full of activity, students are now much better prepared to start thinking about their next steps. Our next immersion day sees Year 12 going to the UCAS convention at Worcester University.

Year 13 spent the day either working with their subject teachers or independently following feedback from their recent PPEs. It was a great opportunity for the students to really focus and take advantage of time to reflect on their performance. The countdown is on! 13 more school weeks until study leave!

Many thanks to all of the staff and students involved in the day, which was a resounding success and a joy to be a part of. Next Immersion day in March 21st – I wonder what it will bring?!

Budding Medical Students

On Tuesday, seven Year 12 students attended a Medical Mavericks Study Higher conference. The students all have an interest in a medical career path and the conference discussed the various careers that students could choose within the NHS. There are thousands of different routes and lots of opportunities for the students.

They then had the chance to use some medical equipment – from using surgical equipment in keyhole surgery to using the Vein finder. There were also stalls from higher education providers which gave the students an opportunity to discuss which courses they should select in order to follow their career path. It was a great morning and we have some budding anesthetists and surgeons in R6!

Art Update


A huge well done to our Year 13 artists who completed a five hour mock Art exam this week. The pressure was on as this does actually count as part of their coursework mark which is 60% of their final grade. They all performed exceptionally well and we are so looking forward to what brilliant ideas and techniques they come up with in their real exam. Please follow us on social media for more outstanding student art work from all year groups and for general inspiration.

Instagram: watts.mrs
Ridge Way to the Arts
Facebook: Creative & Performing Arts at the Ridgeway School
Twitter: The Ridgeway School Art Department @art_ridgeway

GCSE Business Parents Evening

Year 11 are preparing for their GCSE exams, with practice exams scheduled for next week and the week after. To help parents understand the demands of the Business exam papers, parents and students were invited in this week for an evening session in which two R6 students, Ollie Jackman and Jay Patel, explained what they had both done to get grade AS last year, before the parents and students considered the format of the exams and tried to answer questions with teachers providing advice on what the exam board is looking for. The session was interactive, with Tom Hayes answering a 3-mark question in real-time, with his answers shown live on the screen by means of a visualiser, and Bradley Coe explaining what is required to answer a 9-mark question and do well. There were lots of questions from the floor and the session was well received by parents.

LRC News

One of our library initiatives is the very popular AR Class League, where each class tries to get to the top of the league by reading and quizzing on books that they have read within their ability. It’s all currently very close so anyone could win the sweeties that the winning class will be presented with. Latest results will be published later today…

We encourage reading for lots of reasons but Mrs Tonkin and Mrs Day firmly believe that curling up with a good book is a great way to relax for students and parents. Parents, guardians, grandparents – why not ask your young people what they are reading and maybe read it yourselves?

Cross Country Championships

On Saturday 19th January, fifteen Year 9 Sports Leaders were given the opportunity to travel across to Sheldon School in Chippenham to help out at the annual County Cross Country Championships. They helped out selling cakes, making refreshment, processing results, and selling programmes, taking a total of £750 throughout the day. So many staff members from other Wiltshire schools commented on how enthusiastic they were in weather conditions that were not the best. Without the help of these sports leaders, this event would not have been possible. Well done to all involved.

A huge congratulations to Freya on her selection for the South West Cross Country held in Bath on Saturday 2nd February.

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