On Sunday 21st April, six boys from Writhlington School entered the annual LTA Avon School Doubles Tournament held in Bristol.
Siddhartha Lethbridge (yr 13) and Tom Hunt (yr 11) had an amazing run and won their round robin box matches easily, then came up against Beechen Cliff in the semi final, they were due to play the Gibbs twins, a renowned doubles team. Tom & Siddhartha were under pressure to start with going down 3-0, and then they managed to swing the advantage and momentum of the game and came out the winners 6-4. With Tom placing some unforgettable volleys and Siddhartha powering his serves at the opposition.
In the final the Writhlington students faced Colstons School, who they had already played in their box and had won easily, but this time they did not get such an easy time. Winning the first set 6-4, they were cruising through the second when Harry Coulthard from Colstons pulled out some amazing serves and changed the set into Colston’s favour, winning in 6-3. The final set was then a championship tiebreak to 10.
With the rest of the Writhlington boys watching, a tense tiebreak ensued and at 8-4 down, Tom & Siddhartha thought all was lost, but again some great rallying & tight play turned the match again and at 9-9 everyone was tense. A final score of 11-9 in Writhlington favour was a fantastic result for Writhlington School.
Siddhartha commented ‘I thought we were gone in the tiebreak, but Tom pulled out some excellent net play and we managed to hang in against two match points when the opposition unfortunately did two double faults, then we turned it round for the final few points’
Also playing were Ross Harding & Luke Reddington for the Junior Boys (yr 7 & 8) and Jack Sparks and partner Ryan Harris for the intermediate boys (yr 9 & 10). Both teams gave a good account of themselves but the wind and change of playing surface were elements that slightly ‘foxed’ the boys and they did not progress further than the round robin stages.
Writhlington students have been relaxing their bodies and minds by taking part in a new after school yoga class, which began this term.
The club is for students of all ages and takes place in Fitness Studio 2 on a Wednesday, between 3.45 -4.45pm. Anyone wishing to take part is welcome to come along. The club is highly recommended for anyone with exams approaching, as yoga can help to alleviate stress and clear the mind.
On Thursday 22nd of April, 9 Writhlington school pupils attended the Playground to Podium Sports Day at Bath University.
The students took part in a variety of different sports including karate, tennis, trampolining, athletics, boccia & multi-skills.
Sarah O'Connell said, "karate was my favourite activity as I hadn't done it before and I might have to use some of the skills I've learnt one day!"
All of the pupils involved were a credit to the school for the way they conducted themselves and for giving 100% throughout the day.
Writhlington School Combined Cadet Force was visited by General Sir Jack Deverell KCB OBE for the Biennial inspection where he observed all aspects of the Cadet force.
The day was split between two locations. Some of the cadets were taken to Vobster quarry where they took part in activities such as kayaking, canoeing and Diving.
The rest of the cadets remained at school to engage in First aid (where the cadets had to deal with a road traffic accident), Skill at arms, climbing and the Army Careers stand.
‘It was a very successful day and all of the cadets thoroughly enjoyed all the activities on offer’
After the great success of last year’s kit collection, Writhlington School will again be taking in part in LV SOS Kit Aid.
Kit Aid is an organisation set up to send unused sports kit to disadvantaged children in the UK and overseas. Since 2001 the project has sent £3.5 million pounds of recycled kit to 20 emerging countries in Africa and Eastern Europe, benefitting over 135,000 children.
Writhlington is asking students to bring in any unused or old sporting items, over the next four weeks, which could be re-used by other less fortunate children. Kit Aid accepts a diverse range of sporting goods whether it be clothing or old sports equipment.
If you are interested in donating or would like further information please contact Mr Mann at Writhlington
Writhlington is delighted to announce that the school has signed up to become members of NSEA (the National School Equestrian Association) and will compete against other schools across the country.
There has been huge interest in joining the team, with approximately 40 students attending assessment events, held at Hill House Farm by kind sponsorship of Heather Larson. Mark Everett, Headteacher, would like to thank Mrs Angela Yeoman OBE and Mrs Susan Larson for supporting Writhlington’s application for membership into NSEA. Trainers for the assessment events were Andy Carter and Catt Benson.
Students were split into groups according to their riding ability and the assessments included flat work and jumping. Although many students already compete with Wylye Valley Pony Club, the Riding Club and local shows, Writhlington is very keen to give those who have not competed the opportunity to be included. The standard of the students was excellent and the trainers were very impressed with everyone involved.
There will be various teams competing for the school in the various equestrian disciplines. Students have entered for the Junior Tetrathlon which will take place at Sandroyd Prep School on Sunday 28 April 2013.
Writhlington Equestrian Team has a school ‘inspiration’ horse whose progress the students will follow in future competitions. Wizard XI, who will compete bearing the school’s logo, was purchased by Jayne Andrews as a six month foal. Ridden by Kathy Emery, a local freelance rider and instructor, who specialises in bringing on young horses, Wizard XI will be in action at Badminton Grassroots in May.
Each spring the Royal Horticultural Society hosts the London International Orchid Show featuring the best orchid nurseries from across Europe including our own Writhlington School Orchid Project.
Fourteen year old pupil, Georgia Hughes, explained, “Writhlington has been displaying at the show since 2003 and this year was our most successful yet. Our display won a coveted RHS Gold Medal and we carried off both of the top plant awards at the show.”
Chair of the RHS orchid judging committee, Johan Hermans, described the Writhlington display as outstanding especially in terms of the beautifully grown specimen plants, the quality of finish and the excellent information about the school’s conservation work in Rwanda.
The top plant awards at the show are ‘Best specimen plant’ which Writhlington won for the third year in succession, this time with an enormous plant of Coelogyne cristata, and ‘Best Orchid’ won by Writhlington’s Dendrobium thyrsiflorum.
Tom Forsythe, part of the set up team, noted “We are fortunate that after twenty two years of the orchid project we have grown some real monster plants. The only problem is that these plants are really difficult to transport to London and our Coelogyne now needs four people to carry it.
The next chance to see Writhlington School’s orchids and orchid growers will be on July 4th when the school hosts the British premier of a new David Attenborough film about orchids, featuring the school. More details can be found from the school on 01761 433581.
Writhlington is always proud to welcome past alumni back to the School, and this year’s production of the Broadway Musical, ‘Little Women’ will be the opportunity to do exactly that.
After the hugely successful production of My Fair Lady, Director James Moore returns to Writhlington to lead a talented group of Sixth Form students in their final unit of study.
James has gathered a team of Writhlington leavers and Alumni professionals to work closely with the students, helping them create what is shaping up to be a very memorable performance.
This beautiful musical, charts the trials and tribulations of the four March sisters, Meg, Jo, Amy and Beth - four "little women" enduring hardships and enjoying adventures in Civil War New England. The book is an inspiring tale of loss, true love and is a family drama that validates virtue over wealth. This beautiful musical allows the stories of each of the four girls to unfold, masterfully weaving relationships and romance into their simple lives.
Director James Moore commented, “It’s rare to find a musical based on a piece of literature that conveys the true emotion found in the pages of its physical counterpart, but in Little Women, the expert writing team has managed to weave the wonder, excitement and sorrow of Louisa May Alcott’s classic 1869 semi-autobiographical novel into the soaring score and haunting melodies of this show”
Ed Hill, Theatre Manager and also a former student, has relished the opportunity to use the school’s state of-the-art Prospect Theatre to its full capability, proving students and the community with a professional experience.
The on stage talent will be accompanied by a twelve piece orchestra, comprising of some of the school’s past and present students and being expertly lead by one of the South West’s most sought after Musical Directors, Harry Burt. This show is set to be a fantastic evening’s entertainment for the whole family.
The show runs for three nights from 2nd to the 4th of May 2013. The show starts at 7:30, but the Prospect Bar will be open from 7 onwards.
Tickets cost £7 (Adults) and £5 (Concessions)
Tickets Available online from www.prospecttheatre.co.uk, or by calling the Prospect theatre Box Office on 01761 438562.
In May half term, Writhlington student Zoe Barnes will be hiking up Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Snowdon in aid of the charity Shelter. The big challenge is to climb one a day over three days. Zoe would love your support and if you would like to sponsor her please visit her justgiving page.
As part of World Down Syndrome day, held annually on 21st March, Writhlington ran a Mufti collection to raise money and awareness for local Down Syndrome charity Ups and Downs.
World Down Syndrome Day is a global awareness day which has been officially observed by the United Nations since 2012. Each year the voice of people with Down syndrome and those who live and work with them, grows louder.
A total of £668.50 was raised by Writhlington and presented to Ups and Downs Southwest, a local charity that supports families, schools and people with Down Syndrome.
David Cudworth, Specialist Advisory Teacher for Ups and Downs, visited Writhlington to receive the donation. The check was presented by Sarah (Year 8) and Sam (Year 10), two students with Down Syndrome, who are currently studying at Writhlington.
David commented, ‘It means an awful lot to us as an organisation because we exist solely on funding and donations’. ‘This money could be used to fund the schools’ advisory service for a week or to pay for 14 visits from a family support worker to homes or hospitals when a child is born with downs. It all makes a huge difference’.
Eight Writhlington students battled through a weekend of wet and windy conditions on Dartmoor as they trained for the forthcoming annual Ten Tors challenge, held in May.
The Ten Tors challenge involves 2400 young hikers and explorers from across the UK. They compete in groups of 6 to navigate, 35, 45 or 55 mile routes across the moors.
Training intensified as the remaining 8 students in contention for a place set out across Dartmoor for their penultimate training session. After a gruelling 8 hours of walking in the constant rain, thick fog and poor visibility, students remained in good spirits and endeavored to stay on for the second day despite the drop out of many of the other schools.
‘The students were inspirational. Despite aches, pains and tears, they all insisted that they could make it through the second day’ said a member of staff.
As the last training weekend approaches and with only 6 places available in the final team, students will have to battle their way not only across the moors but also with each other to obtain the final spots and participate in the final challenge.
On Easter Saturday, Marianne Veater (y11), Tom Hunt (y11), Kira Harding (y12) and George Beechener (y13), who are all longstanding members of Writhlington Tennis club, were invited to attend a 'regional young volunteers forum' at Bath University. The course, which was provided by the LTA (Lawn Tennis Association - the Governing body for UK tennis), aimed to promote the potential career paths available in the sport.
Andy Trott, one of the LTA's Tennis Development Officers, emphasised that ‘sports coaching is not the only option open for young people’. There are many ways to pursue a career in tennis, - or any sport for that matter. Pathways now include marketing, running your own club, working for the LTA or even developing new tennis 'products' that aim to increase participation in the sport.
The regional forum offered students a chance to get involved in a range of activities and group sessions. Some of these varied activities included, running a 'mini tennis' tournament, and designing a viable and profitable tennis club, which culminated in a Dragons’ Den style presentation to the group.
As part of their A level choices, two of the students will also be starting Withington’s new Sixth Form Tennis Pathway which is set to launch in September. Through their contribution at the forum and active involvement in Writhlington tennis, it is hoped that they can help increase tennis participation throughout the school and offer all students the opportunity to further get involved with the sport.
This summer will mark the graduation of a Writhlington class, which began as an experiment and has become a community.
At the start of Year 9 a select group of boys was brought together to be taught English in a single-sex environment. The experiment was undertaken in order to ascertain whether a change in learning environment could lead to a marked improvement in results.
Academically each student achieved incredibly well and everybody should feel very proud of this. However, it is their social and personal achievements that are the real cause for applause. Over the past three years, a very positive, supportive and purposeful dynamic has grown between the group and it still continues to develop now.
Mr Fieldhouse, English Teacher commented “as a group they are focused, and actively engage with whatever text or task they are confronted with. Without exception, the young men of 11x/En2 have become mature, thoughtful and diligent individuals and I feel honoured to have witnessed this”.
On March 22nd, 41 students, years 9-13, and 7 members of staff embarked on a 24-hour coach journey to the Austrian ski resort of Kaprun, situated above the beautiful town of Zell Am See.
The Zell am See area is the perfect Easter ski location as the glacier offers great conditions throughout the whole season. This year proved to be no exception as the ski conditions were some of the best seen in years.
The students spent their days taking ski lessons and exploring the resorts’ various pistes, which are perfectly suited for all skill levels and which offer a diverse terrain. In the evening there was a varied assortment of Apres Ski activities, including curling, trampolining, indoor football and ten pin bowling.
Mr Edwards, one of the staff on the trip commented “It is great to have been able to offer this opportunity to students again. It has always been an excellent break and this year was no exception”.
All the students show excellent progression and by day two the beginners were starting to ski down blue slopes. By the final day both the intermediates and advanced groups progressed to an extremely high standard.
Mrs Chivers, a member of the staff, commented “All 41 students were absolutely amazing, both on and off the slopes. Everybody encouraged each other, mixed well, were polite and a real pleasure to spend the week with, they are fantastic ambassadors for Writhlington school and a real credit to their parents”.
Writhlington inclusive zone basketball (IZB) team has again emerged as the best in the Southwest after winning the Regional Schools Competition for the second year running.
Involving wheelchair and running basketball, IZB combines players with a mixed range of physical disability alongside their non-disabled classmates in a fast-paced adaption of the traditional basketball game.
Defending national champions Writhlington, were joined at the regionals by Bath’s, Ralph Allen School and Pool Academy from Cornwall. The teams were fighting to gain a precious place in the national finals, held at Worcester Arena on May 1st.
With only a few of last years Writhlington’s national winning team returning, Writhlington had a shaky start but managed to advance through to face Ralph Allen in the final. The Writhlington team stepped up a gear and achieved a convincing 4-0 victory to secure a second successive South West title and lock down their place at the national finals.
British Wheelchair Basketball education officer Matt Gibbs said: "It's a great testament to these schools in the region, building on the great coverage of wheelchair basketball and the Paralympic Games to create a real sporting legacy.”
Writhlington student, Aaron Griffiths, who assisted a roadside collision, has been given an award recognizing his bravery.
Aaron Griffiths attended a ceremony which celebrated the quick thinking and bravery demonstrated when faced with a car collision on his way to school. After witnessing the crash, Aaron rushed over to safe-guard the situation and perform first aid on the injured.
Aaron said “My cadet training kicked in straight away. I knew I had to make sure there was no further risk of danger from the cars and to assess the injuries of the passengers. After calling for an ambulance I attended those with head injuries, assuring they were comfortable and not at further risk”.
The Midsummer Norton platoon was pleased to hear of Aaron’s actions and were very proud to nominate him for the award.
“Aaron has been a pleasure to have in the platoon. He is a team player and is always first to offer assistance.’
Aaron was presented the Outstanding Cadet award by Rob Appleyard, Chairman of B&NES Council and Lady Gass, Lord Lieutenant of Somerset.
Seven Writhlington students have just returned from an expedition to the remote North Eastern Indian state of Sikkim to share knowledge and skills with local children as well as researching Himalayan orchid species.
The students, who are all part of the Writhlington School Orchid Project, worked with students and staff of the Taktse International School in Gangok to help develop Taktse's own orchid project.
Sixteen year old Matthew Bell explained, "We started by spending a day trekking in Fambong Lho forest reserve where we introduced the Sikkim students to the field identification of Himalayan orchid species. The next day we worked in Taktse school to build on the initial learning from the first day."
The group also trained Taktse students and staff to use data logging equipment to enhance science teaching and learning. Teacher Simon Pugh-Jones MBE described the group’s work in Sikkim as "very significant for the futures of the Gangtok students and an example of the very best of British students sharing there skills and knowledge to support the learning of others."
Writhlington's young orchid experts also spent a day at the Himalayan Institute for Natural History Art with internationally acclaimed artist Hemlata Pradhan and a group of her students. Sixteen year old Georgia Grant described the day as "Inspiring. Sharing our knowledge of orchids with the students and there knowledge of art showed us how art can play a significant part in conservation work".
Teacher, Sophie McDonnell commented that this was “the beginning of a lasting partnership between Writhlington School, Taktse School and the Himalayan Institute. Working together will benefit the students of all three institutions and we hope that these three schools together with our partner schools in Rwanda will form the basis of an international network of Orchid Schools working for conservation, sustainable development and educational excellence.”
As well as working in schools, the expedition to Sikkim gave Writhlington pupils an opportunity to observe Himalayan orchid populations. The target is to publish articles comparing conditions plants experience in the wild with the way students grow them in the Writhlington greenhouses. Sixteen year old Devin Read explained "I am studying Cymbidium devonianum which is an impressive orchid that I have been growing at Writhlington for five years. It was very interesting to see it in the wild and I am sure that my observations will help growers to get the best out of their plants."
Kew botanist, Dr Lauren Gardiner who accompanied the trip, noted the importance of the students’ field research, "Not only will the work help orchid growers but the experience of publishing articles will prepare Writhlington students for future scientific research."
An Internet blog is being set up to allow continued communication and cooperation with students until Writhlingon's next trip to Sikkim in 2015.
Three amazing geographers from Year 10 took part in the annual B&NES Worldwise Quiz against other local schools. The quiz is provided by the Geographical Association and the Writhlington Team fought through the first round to be placed a respectable fifth overall. Congratulations to Laura Heal, Oliver Beechener and Rosie Wadsworth pictured.
This month Aalsmeer, Holland, the ‘Flower Capital of the World’, turned into a hub for Elite International Trampoline Gymnasts. The small town just outside Amsterdam hosted the biannual International Trampoline Tournament seeing world-class Gymnasts compete together with those new to International Competitions.
Both Clubs and National Teams sent their best individual trampolinists in the Junior/Senior and Men’s/Women’s categories to compete in the International Aalsmeer Flower Cup. Emily who has been trampolining since 2011 competed alongside gymnasts from 21 different countries and gained valuable competition experience for future European and World Class events.
Having passed her first Trampoline Regional Grade in May 2011 Emily was promoted to National Grade C in February and subsequently was invited to compete at this International Competition. Emily is now looking forward to competing around the world.
Fine Art Textile students were treated to a workshop based on the Dung Beetle. Local artist Emma Carpenter uses the beetle as inspiration for her work and used it as a framework to encourage students to explore a theme taking drawings on a piece of canvas into batik and then quickly taking the same pieces through different techniques and processes in order to draw out their creativity.
It was a perfect demonstration of allowing work to evolve imaginatively. The students just said ‘ Can we do another workshop soon’ . Their work will be available for sale at the Chilcompton Fayre in July. (Photo shows art by Beth Williams)
Writhlington’s Key Stage 3 dancers shone at the B&NES Dance Umbrella on March 14th at Bath Forum in their piece to Rhianna’s “Diamond’s” pop song. The twelve students, both boys and girls, have been working towards the performance in Dance Club since January and the hard work paid off when they produced a confident performance in front of a sold out audience.
A total of 55 primary, secondary and special schools took part this year over three evenings with performances ranging from Key Stage 1 to A level. The evening was both enjoyable and inspiring and has given the students lots of ideas for the next piece of work.
Anyone who would like to get involved in dance club can e-mail Mrs Wilson for more details email@example.com
Writhlington Shop is a business established and run by students. The shop originally started just over a year ago with a handful of students and the support from teachers. The business has dramatically improved since then with a refurbishment of the shop premises, a wider product range and a doubling in the number of customers.
The team consists of ten students ranging from years 8 to 13. Working in Writhlington Shop allows the team to develop a variety of business skills and learn the real life aspects of running a business. At the shop each has a different role and responsibility but all share shifts to serve customers. The team is focussed on providing an excellent service and team members take all their responsibilities seriously including cleaning of the shop, ordering the stock and monitoring finances. The school shop is open every day during morning break and both lunch times to students and staff. The school shop sells a wide range of products from drinks such as 'Simply Fruity' to healthy snacks such as Apple Nutrigrain bars.
The team is constantly working to improve the school shop. We take pride in the role that we have within the school. The shop not only promotes the ability to take on responsibilities but also brings students closer together as a result. The team meets every week and the members have had a chance to get to know each other and form friendships across year groups. New members are always welcome, if you are interested please speak to one of the team at the shop.
The shop is located opposite the IT student support desk next to the dining room. Currently the shop only accepts payment by cash but hopes to accept student card payments in the near future. There are also plans to develop the product range further – please look out for the survey monkey.
Writhlington’s Sam Harvey is probably one of the youngest shepherds in the country. He currently has a small flock but is ambitious and has dreams of one day running a farm shop. Sam’s interest in farming began when he visited a commercial pig farm and decided to have a go himself. Sam has earned the money to buy livestock through part time jobs and also by applying for a grant from Timsbury Parish Council.
As well as studying for GCSEs at Writhlington, Sam is taking Environment and Land-based Studies at Norton Radstock College and is a member of Farrington Gurney’s Young Farmers’ Club. Sam works long hours to ensure his flock is well cared for and has a great future in farming.
Sam is pictured here with Headteacher, Mark Everett.
A group of Writhlington students were delighted to receive a letter from the British Heart Foundation thanking them for their donation of £159.19. The letter confirmed that heart disease is the nation’s biggest killer and that the money raised goes towards research to help beat the disease.
The students organized themselves to complete a charity cycling event in the school’s atrium using spin-bikes kindly loaned by Writhlington Sports Centre. Said Oliver Johnston, the teacher supporting the group “the students were very focused on raising the money and put a lot of effort into organizing their event which was a great success” (picture shows charity cycle organizers)
Four students from Years 8 and 9 recently took part in the Junior Team Maths Challenge at Millfield School, Street.
This is a well established and highly competitive event attracting state and private schools from all over the local area. Our team can be proud of how well they acquitted themselves, especially as there were some last minute replacements to the line-up. They enjoyed the challenge this event provided as it really made them think about and apply the Maths they have learned to different situations. They worked very well as a team and are looking forward to using what they have learned in similar events next year.
This year has seen the re-launch of an Eco group at Writhlington. It started with "Switch Off Fortnight" before Christmas which saw students and staff save energy, money and the environment by switching off lights and equipment when they were not in use. Recently the Eco team has started a recycling scheme which they hope to build on and expand in the near future. They are also looking at how to make the school more sustainable and environmentally friendly.
Writhlington’s prestigious Football Academy team is currently in the midst of its strongest performing season to date – with many team based and individual player achievements being stacked up to add to their repertoire of experience.
Since the disappointing home loss to Millfield School in the later stages of the English Schools’ Cup, Writhlington got back on an even keel by beating them during the Somerset Schools’ Cup with a comfortable 4-1 victory, putting them into the quarter final of a competition which they have won for the past two years. The team also currently holds the top spot in the South West Counties Youth League, five points ahead of the nearest rival and with four games left to play.
Players Ryan Mitchell, Mitch Harrison, Lewis Shipp, Morgan Marsh and Sam Babatunde have also been regular players in Bath City’s under 21 development group this season. Ryan, Mitch, Lewis and Sam also made appearances with the Bath City first team on Tuesday 26th March, representing the team in the Somerset Senior Cup. They helped the team secure victory to reach the semi final. Morgan is also acting as Captain for the Somerset County Representatives side, and is joined by his fellow Writhlington teammates Sam, Nathan Legge and Matt McCarthy. In addition to this, Morgan and fellow team mate Joe Raynes have been offered scholarships to play and study in the United States!
Out of Writhlington Alumni who used to play for the team, both Martin Lenihan and Will Hailston are currently studying on the performance course at Bath University, and regularly play for the University team and Bath City under 21’s team
These exciting developments show that Writhlington continues to produce outstanding athletes and is doing all that it can to aid students who wish to take sport seriously. Congratulations to all of the students involved for giving it their all and doing us proud.
Writhlington School was delighted to host a presentation and a reading from author/ actor John Barrowman. John, famously renowned for his portrayal of Captain Jack Harkness in BBC 1’s Dr Who and Torchwood was accompanied by his sister Carole Barrowman, a professor of English and a reviewer of crime fiction and also co- author of John’s books including his 2008 autobiography ‘ Anything Goes’.
John and Carole spent Tuesday morning in Withington’s Prospect theatre, where they talked about their new book ‘Bone Quill’ which is set in the Middle Ages.
They addressed all the students in Year 8 about the novel’s plot, concept and characterisation. The students were asked to participate in an opportunity to create their own Art work, embracing John’s impression of the Middle Ages and to depict a mythological creature describe in the novel. Students were invited to send their Art work to John and Carole, where they will be displayed in their ‘Beast Gallery’.
The Barrowmans signed books for the students before they rushed off to a public promotional book signing at Waterstone’s in Bath.
Writhlington School also hosted published children and teenage author Karen Saunders the day before. Karen addressed the Year 7 students about her new novel ‘ME, Suzy P’, a hilarious tale of a teenager trying to navigate the perils of school, families and boys!
The annual Chairman’s Awards took place at The Guildhall, Bath, on 27th February with representatives from Writhlington nominated across three categories.
Chairman of Bath and North East Somerset Council, Councillor Rob Appleyard and Stephanie Millward, Paralympic swimmer and London 2012 five times medallist, presented awards and had photographs taken with all the nominees.
Congratulations to Paul Hurley (pictured), nominated for “Coach of the Year”; Daisy Johnson, nominated for “Young Volunteer of the Year” and Corey Walkes, nominated for “Young Achiever in Sport”.
Last week saw two teams from Writhlington enter the Year 10 Maths Team Challenge event that took place at Abbeyfield School, Chippenham. The students enjoyed the challenge an event like this provides as it really does stretch and test the most able mathematicians. Congratulations to both teams who worked well both as individuals and as teams and who held their own against state and public schools in this regional final. This is the first time this event has taken place and they are already looking forward to the year 11 competition next year.
Congratulations to 7JW who won the first Year 7 tutor group sports competition organised by our new Sixth Form Sports Management Team. This term the event was indoor athletics, tutors sent 6 representatives from their tutor group to take part in the following events: Shot Putt, Standing Long Jump, Standing Triple Jump, Vertical Jump, Speed Bounce and 6 lap relay.
Points were awarded to the tutor groups whose competitors came first, second and third in their events. 7JW scored 25, followed closely by 7JCO with 24, 7PJM came in third place with 19, 7HEA achieved fourth with 15, 7FCS/7SMC/7AWE all scored 10 points and 7PAH/7MJW came in joint ninth place with 7 points.
Well done to all Year 7’s who took part and to the Sports Management Team who organised it. We are hoping to organise another event soon so look out for details. If there are any other sixth formers who would like to get involved with our Sports Management Team then please contact Mrs Wilson –firstname.lastname@example.org
Forty five pupils from nine local primary schools enjoyed an afternoon of Gymnastics, hosted and organised by Writhlington School on Monday 25th February.
The nine schools, all members of the Midsomer Norton Games Association, came together for the annual Year 3/ 4 Gymnastics Competition. During the afternoon pupils competed a floor routine and vault that they had all been busy practicing and perfecting during and after school since January. They were also given the opportunity to explore some of the other pieces of equipment on offer in the Gymnastics Centre and participated in a variety of activities led by students from Writhlington.
The pupils performed with confidence and panache and were a credit to their schools and teachers. The afternoon finished with a presentation of medals confirming the team from Farrington Gurney as the Level 1 winners and the all male team from Westfield as the Level 2 winners.
Writhlington will also be hosting the Y5/6 competition on April 15th if there are any Writhlington students who would like to get involved please contact Mrs Wilson - email@example.com
The Year 10 rugby team has continued its unbeaten run in the Super 8 State Schools' Cup by beating Beechen Cliff in the Semi-final 12-0. This is a fantastic result - match report to follow.
Students from Writhlington School have just returned from a ground breaking visit to Rwanda in Central Africa where they have been working to set up orchid projects in Rwandan Schools.
Zoe Parfitt, aged seventeen, described the trip as the most amazing week of her life saying, “We visited four schools and in each one gave presentations and workshops to staff and students about the possibilities of setting up orchid propagation laboratories to develop education and conservation. We were overwhelmed by the enthusiasm and interest of the students and the future for the project looks really exciting.”
The students lead by teacher Simon Pugh-Jones were all experts in orchids thanks to their involvement in Writhlington School’s Orchid Project. The project combines science horticulture and student enterprise and is currently working with conservation partners in India and Laos. Since 2011 teachers and students have been working to develop a new initiative in Rwanda in Central Africa. The target for this months’ expedition, to Rwanda, was to establish partner organisations and support networks for the development of a project based on setting up specialist laboratories in the country.
As well as visiting schools, the group explored the Nyungwe National Park, Africa’s largest mountain rainforest reserve, and the worked at the Kitabi Conservation College.
Simon Pugh-Jones, explained “Rwanda is a remarkable country with great biodiversity especially in orchid species. Nyungwe forest is a majestic tropical forest and has the potential to act as a focus for effective science and conservation education in Rwandan schools and beyond. Kitabi College is a regional centre of excellence and it was a pleasure to work with acting principle Richard Nasasira and Diploma students to share our knowledge of orchids and their propagation.”
Writhlington School’s initiative is supported by the Rwandan Education Board and during the trip students held meetings with several officials including the State Minister for Primary and Secondary Education Mathias Harebamungu.
The visit also attracted the interest of the national Rwandan media with Writhlington students appearing on Rwandan TV and in the national newspaper.
Fifteen year old Zoe Barnes who manages Writhlington’s orchid propagation laboratory explained, “It was great to be on TV and in the newspapers but the best part was meeting lots of Rwandan School children and having the chance to share our enthusiasm for orchids with them.”
Zoe also enjoyed exploring the rainforest, “Nyungwe forest was amazing. We found and photographed some really special orchid species, saw incredible birds and primates and experienced the heaviest rain I have ever seen. I guess that that is why it’s called a rainforest.”
By the end of the expedition five schools and colleges had committed to joining the project. The next stage will be in July 2013 when teachers and scientists from Rwanda fly to the UK to learn techniques from Writhlington students and meet Writhlington’s partner scientists at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and Bristol University. This visit will be followed in 2014 by the next Writhlington student visit to Rwanda to commission six orchid propagation laboratories and share laboratory skills with Rwandan school children.
The Writhlington Orchid Project has an open morning from 10am to 1pm on Saturday March 9th when the public can learn all about the Rwandan expedition as well as seeing the school orchids at their best and having a chance to buy orchids and Rwandan crafts for Mothers Day.
Former sixth form student, Alexandra Hull, has reported back from New Zealand where she and compatriot Jack Greenwood, are working as tennis coaches during a gap year. Alex tells us what it is like coaching on the other side of the world and how Writhlington's Tennis Centre helped both of them gain vital experience in the sport they love.
She says “Both Jack and I have been playing tennis from a young age and we were given the opportunity to achieve coaching qualifications at Writhlington's Tennis Centre. Our coaching was sponsored by Malcolm Eglin until we were 16 years old. As well as this we took part in the Tennis Leaders’ course, run by Mandy Stonier, which gave us an insight into the world of tennis coaching. We both had a great time on the course and we quickly clocked up our volunteer hours. We later completed our LTA Levels 1 and 2 coaching qualifications, which gave us the knowledge and skills required to be better coaches as well as opening the door for future opportunities - and getting paid for it was a bonus!
Having the Tennis Centre at Writhlington has made a real difference to us. We started as assistants to coaches Patrick Lodge and Tom Entwhistle, learning from their techniques and methods of coaching. We learned how to teach groups of different ages, abilities and sizes. Patrick acted as our mentor and was happy to help and guide us through all our questions. He gave us advice about how to prepare lessons to suit the needs of particular players. He had many great ideas and it was fantastic that we had the opportunity to learn from him.
Living in a different country without our family nearby means that we have to act and think more independently than we would at home. We have learned quickly about budgeting, self management and how to be very organised. We have a tight schedule where we coach at many different clubs and we look after public enquiries in the absence of the manager so are picking up all sorts of skills and broadening our experience.
I definitely feel that it was the right decision for me to have a gap year. I am doing something I love and at the same time have the opportunity to travel and experience a different culture. I am learning what full time coaching would be like as a career. I think the Universities I apply for will recognise that I am more mature, independent and ready for university.
A Year 7 student at Writhlington has continued the school's tradition of producing outstanding athletes by winning a prestigious golf tournament. Ben Daymond, (aged 12), won The Secretaries Cup for 2012 (a men's competition), with a gross score of 73 and a net score of 63. The silver cup has to remain at West Wiltshire Golf Club, but Ben has brought home a silver medal to keep as a memento of his success.
Ben's handicap is now 9, and he is receiving coaching from John Jacobs at Cumberwell Golf Club. He will be representing Wiltshire County when their games begin in the spring. Clearly an athlete to look out for in the future.
As project X Launched at Writhlington, students were given the opportunity to apply to become creative ambassadors for their peers. Students will be working with Writhlington teachers and will also be joined by artist Lucy Cassidy of 5x5x5 Creative, an independent arts-based research organisation which aims to push creativity in young people. Over the next five weeks, they will create a series of unique pieces of work which will showcase their creativity.
On their first mission, students embarked on an adventure, taking to the streets of Bath on a treasure hunt. From Caesar Cipher and Morse code to secret passageways, students were challenged through a series of mystery activities to develop their creativity and independent thinking. They collected artefacts, images, sounds and smells throughout the day and presented these in their own mini galleries at the Ustinov Theatre.
It was inspiring to see students so engaged in their work, so keen to explore new ideas and so enthused by the opportunity to take ownership for their own learning
Members of Writhlington School’s Orchid Project will be heading out to the African nation of Rwanda for an expedition on Saturday 9th February. The expedition team will consist of 3 students and 2 staff, who will be taking Orchids grown at Writhlington along with them.
The trip will be covered by the team and regular updates will be featured on the group’s blog.
Best of luck to everyone involved and we look forward to reading their updates!
Jessica Young in Year 7 loves music. She started learning the trombone in September last year and is already a great enthusiast. Having an iPad has brought an additional dimension to her love of music. Jessica has the app “GarageBand” on her iPad and has been composing her own music using the instruments on the app and pre-recorded loops. Jessica is trying to encourage others to have a go and wants to share her music as examples of what can be done. Jessica says “These are just two of the pieces I have composed. One is called “Around the World" and the other is called “Emotions”. I hope you like them!”
If you would like to hear Jessica's songs, please copy and paste the following links into your browser.
Writhlington has a dedicated group of year 8 students learning Mandarin and last week they had an opportunity to develop their language skills and knowledge of Chinese culture exploring the British Museum and London's China Town.
The British Museum's impressive Chinese collections were the focus of students work. The Museum's China Consultant, James Trapp, introduced the diversity and splendour of 4000 years of Chinese art and culture.
James was impressed by the commitment of the group and the trip is the first step in setting up some exciting collaborations between the Museum and Writhlington School.
On Thursday 17th January, a group of Year 7 and 8 students from Writhlington were entered in the B&NES Indoor Athletics Competition, taking place at Wellsway School. The all-girl group represented Writhlington brilliantly by putting on a wonderful performance that would ultimately land them second place and give them the opportunity to join the Year 7 boys’ team in representing B&NES at the Avon final.
Year 7 student, Rose Vallis, came in first place during both the six lap race and the shot put, whilst Flossie Ahmet won her triple jump event. Other notable performances came from Megan Davis in the two lap race, and Lizzie Finch in the four lap race.
The final was held on the 28th January at the University of West England. There was one change to the Year 7 girls’ team for the final, with Lowri Bryant-Young replacing Chloe McGiveron. Once again the Writhlington students gave it their all, and were able to put on some fantastic performances in the face of excellent competition.
The boys did very well, with Tuso Makombe winning all of his events and helping Writhlington to secure victory in the 4x2 relay. Gene Norris also excelled, winning the shot put competition convincingly. Boys Captain, Iwan Tudor, also came in at a very respectable second place in the six lap race.
The year 7 girls came in seventh place overall, while the boys only just missed out on a Bronze medal by coming in 4th. All students involved in the competition have now been given the opportunity to attend the Avon individual trials next month. We'd like to say a big well done to all of the students involved for doing so well and representing the school with such pride!
Year 7 Boys team: Iwan Tudor (Captian), Tuso makombe (Vice-captain), Charlie Hall, Oliver Swales, Gene Norris, Daniel Rees, Corey walkes, Lewis Bon Kendall
Year 7 Girls team: Katie Duffy (Captain), Florence Ahmet (Vice-captain), Isabelle Davila, Megan Davis, Shayla Ineiyeri, Mia Church, Rose Vallis, Chloe Mcgiveron
Year 8 Girls team: Lydia Simmonds (Captain), Tegan Rush (Vice-Captain), Lizzie Finch, Kaya Fox, Olivia Collins, Rio-tchi Montgomery
This week, Year 10 Business Studies students at Writhlington were visited by guest speakers from Zest Media, a local media planning agency. Zest specialises in media planning as well as advertising and buying, and mainly supplies services to independent businesses and local schools. Representatives of the agency were on hand to give the students valuable presentations on the power of advertising, discuss the methods of driving sales, and offer them step by step information on what it takes to start your own business in the economic climate of today.
Zest has also given the classes an amazing opportunity by involving them in a competition to create a new slogan for the company. The winning slogan will be featured on the Zest Media website, and the winning group will be featured in the local press and newspapers as well as receiving a £50 Itunes voucher for their efforts. We'd like to thank Zest for visiting us, and we are looking forward to seeing what the students can come up with!
After their highly successful run of this show in Bath, Award Winning Exit Stage Left are restaging this show at Writhlington’s Prospect Theatre on 23rd February at 7.30pm to raise funds for the company.
Following from the acclaim that the show received in August, and building on the success of award winning production ’A New Brain’ last year, Exit Stage Left return with the longest running off-Broadway musical; I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change. The show astutely charts the trials and tribulations of being single, dating, marriage, loss and heartbreak, and will leave you thinking, were they talking about me? The show contains adult themes which may not be suitable for the under 12s.
Exit Stage Left is a company of Actors, Musicians and Performers who aim to produce New and Exciting Theatre. So please, support the company by coming to watch the ONE NIGHT ONLY production of I Love You, You’re Perfect Now Change.
All tickets available from Andrew English on 07540 554755.
"An energetic, slick, focused and truly wonderful production"
"It is always so lovely to write about a production that I have genuinely enjoyed from start to finish. I loved it. 'Twas Perfect. Don't change."
- Rosebowl Review 2012
Ticket £9.50 or £7.50 (Students and OAPs)
Writhlington's part in the ESFA Cup was set in motion with an away game at John O'Gaunt School, Trowbridge. This second round game saw Writhlington asserting themselves early on and finishing the match with a comfortable 8-0 victory over their hosts. The next match in the tournament took place on home turf against Chew Valley School, which fell on a day when the team was also participating in a College fixture. The squad was stretched and found its ranks thinned as a result, but the team was able to call up reserves in the form of Matt Spencer and Reece Croker, who were drafted in from the Cricket Academy. A 3-0 victory over the visitors saw Writhington propelled into the third round, earning themselves another away fixture in Oxford, to play against King Alfred's Academy.
Despite conceding a goal during the first half, Writhlington came back in style with goals from Sam Babatunde, Matt McCarthy and Morgan Marsh, who capitalized on the two goals scored by Eliot Gibbens. By the time the final whistle was blown, the score was 5-2 to Writhlington. The victory not only secured Writhlington's place in the fifth round, it also cemented the confidence of the team and gave the players focus, the realization that getting to such a stage in a prestigious national competition was an excellent opportunity.
Writhlington's fifth round appearance was yet another away game, this time in Reading against Little Heath School. This was a symbolic match for player Godsen Umeh, as he was returning to his former school as a member of the opposing team. Little Heath took the lead early on, but this did not discourage Writhlington, who quickly equalized. Man of the Match, Jordan Ricketts, belted the ball into the back of the net on two occasions, adding to goals by Nathan Legge and Josh Williams. A final score of 4-1 meant that Writhlington was through to the sixth round.
The sixth round saw Writhlington playing away from home for a third consecutive game as they took on St Peter's School in Bournemouth. The boys initially had a rough time, struggling to make chances or create space on a difficult pitch, but the team drew on their experience from previous games and quickly found their rhythm. Prominent goalscorer Matt McCarthy was able to prod one in from a set piece while Jordan Ricketts scored yet again, making him Writhlington's top scorer of the season. The final whistle was delayed due to an injury but ultimately Writhlington were to prevail, beating their opponents 2-0 and earning themselves place in round seven.
The seventh round qualifier saw Writhlington's first home appearance for 4 games time as they were due to play against Millfield School of Somerset. Heavy frost initially looked as though it would prevent the game from being played on the pitch, but with some help from the site technicians, Mrs Passingham's class of year 8 girls and every available brush that could be found, the frost covering was brushed away and the game was able to go ahead thanks to the excellent community spirit of both site staff and students.
Writhington began the game with a strong performance, creating multiple opportunities while attacking confidently, but never quite managing to follow through and score. A few more missed chances led to a boost of confidence in the Millfield ranks and they were able to counter-attack, and score with a runaway goal 55 minutes into the game. Unfortunately, Writhlington were not able to equalize in due course and Millfield took the game 1-0.
Despite feeling deflated at the loss and knowing the game was close and could have gone either way, the Writhlington players exited the competition with their heads held high, knowing that they had made it to the final sixteen in a tournament that initially began with 578 schools.
Best of luck to Millfield in the quarter finals, and we look forward to participating again next year!
Writhlington played host to the local rounds of the Lady Taverners Cricket Tournament at both Under 13 and Under 15 age groups. The Under 13 tournament began with teams from Wellsway, King Edward's and Millfield Preparatory Schools. Writhlington, 68 runs for 1 wicket, defeated King Edward's, 55 runs for 6 wickets, in their first game; Abi Tonks and Ashleigh Summerell batting particularly well and being forced to retire as they reached their maximum score. Unfortunately they were unable to reproduce the result in the final against Millfield and despite putting up a valiant effort were defeated by 23 runs.
Writhlington Under 15 side was up against Wellsway School. A slightly different format was used with both teams playing two innings of 6 overs. After the first innings Writhlington had control finishing on 62 to Wellsway’s 58; a very tense match followed but great batting and fielding from the entire team saw Writhlington home by 20 runs.
Writhlington are now through to the B&NES final and await news of their opponent. Particular mentions must go to Emily Finch who had to retire on maximum score in both innings, Alice Stockley for "the catch of the day" and Katie Buurman for disposing of key players by great throwing to run them out.
Although the snow and ice can make life difficult for some, Writhlington students took the opportunity during break and lunch to have fun and keep warm whilst building a series of snowmen. Here are some of their creations. Click on the thumbnails to see the full size image.
Year 10 Business groups have recently Skyped during their lesson with Neil Westwood, the Managing Director of Magic Whiteboard. The company has an innovative product creating a whiteboard from a roll, which grabbed the imagination of the Dragons. (http://www.magicwhiteboard.co.uk/)
Neil gave the students an insight into what is involved in running and owning a business, being an entrepreneur and the ups and downs of getting a new product to market. He also spoke in depth about working with Theo Phaphitis and Deborah Meaden, the Dragons who had chosen to invest in the company.
On a very cold afternoon, Writhlington Year 10 rugby squad headed across to Stothert and Pitt RFC for the Regional Rugby Cup final against Beechen Cliff School.
After easily beating their opponents earlier on in the season, Writhlington were not expecting the difficult and hard fought match that followed. Both teams defended well and with the first half ending 0-0, the match was too close to call.
For a long time, both teams failed to capitalize on the few opportunities that they were granted, until with eight minutes remaining Beechen Cliff were awarded a penalty in front of the posts, they choose to kick and scored 3 points.
Writhlington had to dig deep and tried to find a way back into the game. With just one minute remaining Writhlington were awarded a penalty 25 meters out of the opposition’s posts. Ollie Lakey stepped up to take the kick; he lined it up, took some deep breaths and struck it coolly and calmly. The ball rose over the cross bar between the sticks.
The score was tied at 3-3. It was agreed that both teams had played admirably so the trophy was shared.
Writhlington coach Paul Hurley commented “the squad is fantastic and the school should be so proud of all the boys have achieved.”
Writhlington Year 7 student Corey Walkes did an excellent job of representing the school, by winning the Southern Zonal Schools Trampoline Championships in the under 13 boys elite group.
The regional Championship was held in Bristol on Sunday 13th of January. His victory now means that he progresses through to the British Schools National Championships on March 9th in Canning, Staffordshire.
To find out more about Corey’s progression to this stage visit:
Iwan Tudor in Year 7 achieved third place out of 37 runners at the Avon Schools’ Cross Country at Blaise Castle.
The competition comprised of the top runners from the counties of Bath and North East Somerset, South Gloucestershire, North Somerset and Bristol.
Iwan gained his place at the championships when he won the Bath and North East Somerset Schools Cross Country Championships last November a whole minute ahead of the next competitor.
At the Avon Schools Championships at Blaise Castle, the 2800 metre course challenged the runners with open grassland, rocky woodland and ankle deep mud in many places.
Iwan and the runners who came first and second ran ahead of the field for the entire race, breaking away from the rest of the field by approximately 30 metres.
By finishing third Iwan qualified for the South West Schools’ Cross Country Championships on 2nd February where he will compete against the best runners from the South West counties, including some boys over a year older than him.