Hardenhuish Headlines

Dear Parents

It has been lovey to report on our first month of usage figures for the Gym this week and to see how much this amazing new space is being used and encouraging our young people to look after their physical and mental health.

Thank you for helping us to maintain our high standards of uniform as the weather starts to improve. Please remind young people about bringing a waterproof coat and that hoodies are not acceptable as part of our uniform.

I am looking forward to seeing Alice by Heart next week and thanks to all of the staff and young people who have worked so hard to make this happen – break a leg!

Lisa Percy


News Items

Focus on …. Examinations and Non Examined Assessment

Most GCSE and A Level courses are assessed linearly, which means all examinations take place at the end of the course. This means that pupils will have the vast majority of their examinations at the end of Year 11 and Year 13 will not have the opportunity to resit examinations before results are published. To ensure pupils and students are well prepared for this, we have introduced exam fortnights in Year 8 and Year 9 as well as Mock exams in Year 10, Year 11, Year 12 and Year 13. This regular practice of sitting exams helps pupils to manage any difficulties with exam stress and gives them practice of the key revision skills they need to be able to retrieve large amounts of information they need to be successful in an exam.

Formal public examinations usually take place in the Sports Hall or another suitably large space and are managed by a team of invigilators who ensure exam regulations are followed. Some pupils will qualify for access arrangements for their exams, such as a reader or a scribe or extra time. This will depend on any diagnosed special needs and their usual way of working. In such instances, pupils usually sit their exams in smaller spaces. Assessments to determine who is entitled to exam access arrangements can only happen within 2 years of the exam season and so happen at the end of Year 9 and beginning of Year 10 for GCSEs and in Year 12/Year 13 for A Levels.

The other main form of assessment in GCSE and A Level courses is called non-examination assessment (NEA), which is coursework completed in class, usually under the supervision of the class teacher. Non-examination assessment is only used in some GCSES, Cambridge Nationals and A Levels. The percentage towards the overall grade varies from subject to subject but all courses must have at least 25% of their final grade determined by an exam as outlined above. More details about the nature of non-examination assessment for each course and the contribution it makes to the overall grade can be found in the subject pages of our Year 9 and Sixth Form Options information.

Mayor of Chippenham Attends Wiltshire Youth Councillors Hustings!

Wiltshire Youth Council is a group of young people elected by their peers to represent their school. Last week, our six prospective Wiltshire Youth Councillors from Hardenhuish took part in a week of campaigning ahead of the elections to select two Youth Councillors and a Deputy. On Friday, alongside the Mayor of Chippenham Cllr Declan Baseley, the candidates took part in a hustings where voters could find out more about their views and how they hope to represent their peers. This week, students have been voting for their preferred candidate during tutor time. Results will be announced on 5 February.

I Can and I Am Workshops

Over the last week and a half we have been lucky enough to welcome the charity I Can and I Am back to Hardenhuish. They have been busy running self-belief workshops with all of our year 8’s. These workshops involve pizza making, followed a reflection session looking at personal strengths and goal setting. The feedback from pupils has been extremely positive and we hope that our pupils can use some of the strategies they learnt in the future.

Year 8 Girls in Mathematics Trip

This week, 15 Year 8 girls went on a Maths inspiration trip to Bath University. The students enjoyed finding out about what life is like studying Mathematics at University and their potential career options as a mathematician.

The girls enjoyed the opportunity to “chase storms” and predict weather warnings alongside exploring how statistics can be illustrated in fun and emotive ways. The students produced some amazing displays of data influenced by the work of Florence Nightingale. The girls found out more about interesting shapes and especially enjoyed watching smoke rings being produced and catapulted over their heads! It was great to hear they’d had a fun and interactive day learning about Mathematics outside the curriculum.

Model United Nations Conference

On Sunday 28 January, 220 pupils from 18 schools gathered at Bristol Grammar School for the annual BGS Model United Nations conference. Eight Hardenhuish students from Years 9, 12 and 13 attended the conference and represented our school magnificently, forming two delegations – Iran and Syria.

In the morning session, the students sat in their committee, based historically in 1979 where the discussed the issue of Rhodesia transitioning to become Zimbabwe. Within this morning session, one of our Year 12 students got up and spoke against a resolution put forward by another school, answering questions from the floor. After this strong start, an emergency historical issue was tabled. This issue involved the Iranian Revolution and again, our students did a fantastic job of defending their positions as Iran and Syria, speaking in front of the committee.

For the afternoon session, students came back together as a large group in a full General Assembly meeting. Delegations were faced with a hypothetical emergency of a second American Civil War caused by accusations of electoral fraud between Donald Trump and Kamala Harris. A ‘Patriotic State of America’ is formed with Donald Trump as president and Harris promises to reunite the now ‘Dis’United States of America, by any means necessary. The situation was described to students as highly unstable militarily and socially, and they were given time over lunch to consider how their delegation might respond. Again, the delegations from Hardenhuish took the opportunity to involve themselves fully in this session, lobbying other countries to support their proposals and voting on clauses put forward by students from other schools.

Overall, the students had a fantastic day of debate, networking and expanding their global knowledge and interest. They should be very proud of themselves and their achievement!

Year 10 Vocational Studies

The Year 10 Vocational Studies Group have enjoyed a tour of the Wiltshire College campuses in Chippenham and Lackham in the past two weeks.  They learnt about the range of courses they do and college life in general.  As well as meeting many of the animals, including reptiles and marmosets, they were able to see many of the vocational lessons in action.  These  included Agricultural Engineering, Hairdressing and Barbering, Film and Media and Bricklaying.  Many thanks to Michael Bayley and the wider College team for being such enthusiastic and welcoming hosts.

The Year 11 Health and Social Care class enjoyed a visit from Katie Guthrie, a Solution Focused Hypnotherapist, last Friday, to help inform their coursework for the Creative and Therapeutic Activities Unit.  The students learnt about the physical, intellectual, emotional and social benefits of hypnotherapy for the range of clients she supports and had the chance to learn about some of the techniques used and to experience the benefits of the Gamma Mindset.   Thank you Katie for your visit – the students loved their time with you and this will prove to be invaluable for their studies in more ways than one!

Hardenhuish Alumni

Exciting times lie ahead for alumni Katie Whiting , recipient of the Alexis le Duc Expressive Art award 2019 and the Toby Hearn Award for Performing Arts 2021 award at Hardenhuish.  Her debut single was released on 1 February and is called ‘Tease’  by Katie Ember.

Year 7 Netball Tournament

On Wednesday 31 January some of our Year 7 netballers travelled to Lavington School for their area tournament. Despite not having played netball since before Christmas each of the girls challenged themselves throughout the games and made progress as the tournament went on. It was a tough tournament, with 6 games back to back and only a 90 second rest in between, however, I was really impressed with the way each player gave 100% and supported each other throughout. The team won the majority of their matches and earned a well deserved 2nd place out of the 7 schools who attended.

Let’s Move It!

Street tag is a free, easy to use app promoting fitness through physical activities for schools and families. click on the link below for further details:


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