Hardenhuish Headlines

Happy New Year and welcome back to Term 3!

I hope that you had a restful Christmas break and that your young people have had a good first couple of days back in school.

A huge thank you to the Music Department and our amazing peripatetic team for all of their hard work in making our Carol Concert so special at the end of last term. St Paul’s was packed and, as well as enjoying some amazing music, raised a fantastic £554.30 for Doorway. Thank you to all those who performed and attended and please congratulate any of your young people who were involved.

Thank you very much for your kind donations to The Salvation Army Chippenham Foodbank. Overall, 9 crates of food were donated by Hardenhuish students. We know your generosity will have had a really positive impact on our community.

Further to requests from parents, the first drop by boot exchange session will be held on Tuesday 16 Jan 2024 between 3.15pm & 4pm outside PE where students will have the opportunity to try on boots for size. These can either be purchased for £5.00 or exchanged for £1.00 and a pair of good clean boots. Payment can be made by cash or card. Boots are available on a first come first served basis and we may not have all sizes available. Depending on take up we are hoping to run a session each term at a similar time and any donations of boots to keep the exchange running are very welcome.

We have decided to work alongside Malmesbury School to welcome a group of young people from Yiwu Qunxing Foreign Language School, China in June 2024. Please see details here; a form is linked in the letter to express an interest if you would like to consider helping to host our visitors.

Good luck to Year 8 who start their exams next week. I am sure they ill use the opportunity to demonstrate all they have learnt since joining us.

Have a good weekend – hopefully a little drier than the last few days!

Lisa Percy


News Items

Year 7 Poetry Slam 2023

On Thursday 30 November and Friday 1 December, Year 7 took part in an exciting poetry workshop led by professional poet Sara-Jane Arbury. After showing off their performance prowess in a series of drama games, they set about writing two poems: an alphabet story, and a poem about anything of their choosing.

Following a competitive judging process, the very best poets made it through to the 12th Annual Hardenhuish Poetry Slam! The standard of poetry this year was outstanding: from poems about the elements, to school life, to politics, to a memorable poem that gave voice to the school bell, our Year 7s dazzled with their poetic skill. Students performed to a packed audience of their friends and family, as well as a formidable panel of judges who scored students on their performance, writing and the overall impression the poem gave.

Students battled it out to the very end, when two teams emerged triumphant:

The Super Stags won the slam with their amazing rhythm and performance skills of their winning poem about the animal kingdom.

The Preposterous Poets won the alphabet story round with a creative and enthusiastic performance of their poem.

Students, parents, and staff left in incredibly high spirits having witnessed a fantastic evening of entertainment.


The Super Stags’ captivating performance.
The Rocky Roads performing their poem from the perspective of the school bell.
The Rugby Boys tearing up their stage with the poem about celebrating individuality.

Foodbank Donations

Thank you very much for your kind donations to The Salvation Army Chippenham Foodbank. Overall, 9 crates of food were donated by Hardenhuish students. We know your generosity will have a really positive impact on our community.

Year 13 Business Trip

Year 13 Business students attended Littelfuse in Chippenham on Friday 1 December, to discuss sustainable business practice and a myriad of other relevant business issues. The trip was a great success, and I would like to take the opportunity to thank the students for their excellent conduct and the quality of the questions they asked. Also, to thank Phil Townsend from Littelfuse and a Hardenhuish Governor for his time in making this such a valuable educational experience.

Stephen Lamb

Resource Centre news

We start 2024 with a great selection of new titles now available, including the latest novels from Katherine Rundell, Simon James Green, Holly Bourne, Marcus Rashford, Benjamin Dean and Dav Pilkey’s ‘Cat Kid Comic Club’ series. There’s also lots more Manga additions and new non-fiction on gaming, football and autobiographies, so plenty to enjoy as we head through these early weeks of the new year.

Last term, our Book Group were looking at novels that had a political or activist theme to link in with School Parliament week in November. These were a real hit – firstly our Year 7 choice ‘A Kind Of Spark’ by Elle McNicoll was described as “a great book with amazing characters”. Our Year 8 choice ‘I Must Betray You’ by Ruta Sepetys also proved extremely popular, with one student saying how this was a book where “you genuinely care about the characters, combined with a well-structured and interesting plot about Communist Romania in the late 1980s which really opened my eyes”. Finally, our Year 9+ choice was ‘The Hate U Give’ by Angie Thomas which was described as “an absolutely amazing book, focussing on extremely deep topics but so well-written and bringing to light things which are not talked about enough”. If you like the sound of these titles, please come along and check them out.

This term, Book Group are focussing on murder mysteries – probably the most in-demand genre at the moment across KS3. We are looking at ‘Waiting For Murder’ by Fleur Hitchcock, ‘Murder Most Unladylike’ by Robin Stevens, ‘A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder’ by Holly Jackson, the ‘One Of Us Is Lying’ series by Karen McManus and finally ‘Ace Of Spades’ by Faridah Abike-Iyimide. If you want to sample the cream of modern who-done-its but missed today’s meeting, make sure you see Mr Southwood in the weeks ahead.

Finally our top 10 most borrowed going into 2024 saw a slight surprise at the top with ‘Heartstopper’ overtaken by another graphic novel…’Girl From The Sea’ by Molly Knox Ostertag. This author and title have been steadily growing in popularity throughout the past couple of years and it is lovely to see it climb all the way to number 1. It will do well however to hold off the charge this term from ‘Heartstopper Volume 5’ – published in early December, this latest instalment of the literary phenomenon of the 2020s already has an incredible reserve list building up so we are fully expecting that to challenge by the end of term 3. The full top 10 can be seen below and we’ll keep you updated on all this term’s literary trends in a future edition of Headlines.

Sixth Form Forge Motorsport Visit

The team at Forge Motorsport provide a captivating and inspirational tour of their business from concept design to the packaged product.

On Wednesday 13 December students from Years 12 and 13 had the privilege to visit Forge Motorsport in Gloucester. The company was founded in 1996 with innovation, clever design, and manufacturing to the highest quality at its heart.

On our arrival the Business Development Manager gave us an informative talk on the history of the company and in particular how and why it evolved from Forge Engineering to Forge Motorsports in 1996, thus highlighting the importance of understanding the market, your clients, and the need to be adaptive in business.

Following the talk, we were given a thought-provoking tour of the machine workshop. Here students were shown how the various 3 and 5 axle milling machines were programmed to machine some of their products. Whilst demonstrating how the machines functioned, our guides provided an array of examples of how the designs had evolved, how new processing techniques had been implemented and how the company meets the needs of their clients through the use of different materials and finishes. This was most evident when we arrived at the design and rapid prototyping area. Here our students were able to hold mock-ups, first and second-generation prototypes and 3D printed parts. Our guides at this stage provided extensive evidence of how they go about designing and developing a product, including allowing our students to map an engine bay using their 3D scanner and inspect the underside of a BMW.

Moving through the site we then arrived at the quality control centre where our students could see first-hand how parts are monitored, and their tolerances checked. Naturally, this then led us to the assembly line where we were shown how a couple of their products are assembled and packaged.

The tour concluded with a mini assembly line where we competed against one another to assemble one of Forge Motorsports valves in record time. Needless to say, once the demonstration was over the group went silent and became highly competitive.

On reflection the day was brimming with inspirational moments and was a wonderful demonstration of how creativity and innovation lead to the manufacture of high-quality products meeting many different needs.

We are very grateful to have had the opportunity to spend a day at Forge Motorsport and look forward to future visits and an ongoing partnership with Hardenhuish School.

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