Hardenhuish Headlines

Welcome back to Term 2 and what a first week back it has been!

As you know we received the Ofsted call on Monday morning and inspectors were in school on Tuesday and Wednesday. Thank you to all those parents who provided feedback via the survey and sent in messages of support, these have been much appreciated. We are pleased with the positive feedback we received and I will share the report with you , which will be published in about 30 days, as soon as I am able.

On Thursday we held our first Successful Lives Day of the year and our young people and their teachers had the opportunity of learning in different ways:

  • Year 7 had the experience of setting up a business and marketing their product in Smoothie Day
  • Year 8 spent the day using various code cracking and forensic skills trying to find out who murdered me(!) in Cluedo Day
  • Year 9 were immersed in various aspects of World War 1
  • Year 10 spent the day honing their study skills and setting themselves up for success with the support of Elevate for their GCSE years
  • Year 11 continued with their mock exams
  • Year 12 took part in an enterprise day
  • and Year 13 had the opportunity to meet with their tutors to discuss their post-Year 13 options.

I am delighted to announce that we have achieved the Wiltshire Council Healthy Schools Gold Award again which recognises the work that we do to support healthy lifestyles for everyone at Hardenhuish. A huge thank you and congratulations to Mrs Barton and the team who have done such a great job in making this happen.

Please pass on my thanks to your wonderful young people who have been awesome this week -they are what makes Hardenhuish such a special place!

Lisa Percy


News Items

Focus on… School Parliament and Student Voice 

We believe it is really important to hear our students’ views and ideas about the school, and there are lots of opportunities for student voice throughout the year. Every term in week two, representatives from each tutor group attend a Year Council meeting and the following week, two representatives from each Year Council attend School Parliament. These forums allow students to share their thoughts about a whole range of school issues and to put forward their ideas. Students also have the chance to join groups such as Sustainability Group to have their say on specific issues, and have the chance to get involved in the wider school by becoming a Student Ambassador.  

One of the key aims of School Parliament is to raise money for our school charity. This year School Parliament selected two charities – Teenage Cancer Trust and Dorothy House, and we will be hosting events to raise money for them throughout the year.  

Upcoming events  

  • There will be non-uniform days on Thursday 16th November 2023, Friday 22nd March 2024, and Thursday 11th July 2024. There is also a Christmas jumper day on Friday 8th December 2023.   
  • UK Parliament Week is next week, with activities planned to encourage students to learn more about UK Parliament.   
  • Charity Week starts the week commencing 18th March 2024 and is filled with fun events to raise money for our school charities.   

UK Parliament Week 

On the week commencing 6th November, students at Hardenhuish will be celebrating UK Parliament Week. This annual event aims to raise awareness about what Parliament is, what it does, and how you can get involved. During the week, students have the opportunity to get involved in a variety of different activities and events and can sign up at their year office. We hope it will be a fun and informative week. 

Monday 6th November Tuesday 7th November Wednesday 8th November Thursday 9th November Friday 10th November 
Tutor activities including the UKPW quiz and a 360˚ tour of UK Parliament.    Sixth Form voting display and advice.  Webinar with Tomas Williams from UK Parliament exploring the work of the House of Commons and the House of Lords, how decisions made at UK Parliament affect us every day, and how students can get their voice heard. Watch a debate with Hardenhuish debate teams discussing whether the voting age in the UK should be lowered to 16, then take part in a vote to determine the winners. Take part in ‘The Ayes have it’ board game in Board Game Club. Michelle Donelan talk and meeting.    Book Club discussion on books about politics and democracy. 

Blakehill Farm Visit

This week some of our Year 9 pupils enjoyed a sunny day at Blake Hill Nature Reserve, near Cricklade.  This was hosted by Wiltshire Wildlife Trust.  Blakehill Farm was once an airfield during the second world war.  It is now the UK’s largest grassland restoration project and one of Wiltshire Wildlife Trust’s largest reserves.  The pupils took part in a variety of activities to learn about conservation farming and careers in agriculture.  This included a tour of the farm by the Farmer and Farm Officer and working as a team to move the hay to feed the cows.

Resource Centre news

It has been a pleasure to start handing out the Bookbuzz choices during Year 7 library lessons this week and we hope those who have already received their free book are really enjoying it. The remaining Year 7 books will be handed out next week and then Year 8s will follow shortly afterwards as we head through November. The horror novel ‘Dread Wood’ by Jennifer Killick was unquestionably the most popular selection this year across both year groups – perfect timing for Hallowe’en earlier in the week!

This time of year is always packed with new releases in the children’s book world and 2023 is no exception. The latest in popular series like ‘Diary of a Wimpy Kid’, ‘Tom Gates’, ‘Alex Rider’, ‘Wings of Fire’, plus new novels from Maz Evans, Karen McManus and David Walliams were all available to borrow here from Monday and have proven extremely popular already. There’s lots of new Manga and graphic novels as well and plenty more additions to come during the rest of term 2.

The Hardenhuish Book Group meet again next Friday lunchtime, to tie in with Parliament week, and there will be a brilliant selection of politically-themed or activism-related reads to select from. We look forward to seeing lots of you there! Last term you may remember we were looking at some old favourites, and here are some of the group’s thoughts:

“Heartstopper is the series that started me out in graphic novels and I’ve loved them ever since: 100/10”.

“Sophie Anderson’s books are very cool. They reminded me of fairy tales and were thrilling and enjoyable”.

“The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness is the most heart-warming cry-your-eyes-out action story I have ever read”.

And finally, “The House in the Cerulean Sea is an amazing story with great characters. It’s a book I loved first-time and have continued to re-read again – one of my favourite books and authors ever”.

High praise indeed for all four of those titles! Make sure you come along next Friday to see what this term’s selection has in store.

Mr Southwood

Badminton Success

Year 8 pupil Imogen Drew recently competed in the Badminton England U17 Hampshire tournament, winning Gold in girls doubles and Bronze in girls singles. She played really well, winning some tough close matches. 

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