Hardenhuish Headlines

Dear Parents

Welcome back to Term 4!

The young people have settled back in to school life really well which is so good to see now that we are half-way through the academic year.

Alice by Heart was an incredible show and I am in awe of all involved for the amazing performances both sides of the break. Thank you to you all staff and young people involved in bringing together such a brilliant and complex production and to you as parents for your support of the rehearsals and preparations these events require.

Please find further down in this week’s Headlines, information about the Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Authority – Consultation of draft Community Safety Plan 2024-28 that we have been requested to circulate for your consideration.

Have a good weekend.

Lisa Percy

News Items

Focus on .. Trips and Visits

At Hardenhuish we pride ourselves on the wide and varied opportunities we offer young people to participate in outside of the classroom as these enhance their learning and often bring a different dimension to their learning.

Our trips range from visits to local companies and colleges through to residential trips abroad. Trips are costed to ensure that they are as minimal as possible to allow wide participation and are managed on a random selection basis from those expressing an interest. Please can I take this opportunity to thank you for your support in making these trips and visits possible through your voluntary contributions (covering curriculum led  trips which take place during the school day and which may not continue to take place should there not be enough voluntary contributions) and your support of our trips and visits further afield and outside of school hours.

I have attached the list of trips and visits for 2023/4 as shared before Christmas and plan to publish one for 2024/5 before the summer as although this does not give details of all trips, it gives an overview and may help you to plan and discuss with your young people the trips and visits that are coming up and appropriate to them.

Trips and Visits 2023 24

Wiltshire’s Children and Young People’s Emotional Wellbeing Survey 2024

Hardenhuish School is taking part in a short, anonymous Wiltshire-wide survey of children and young people in Years 8, 10 and 12 focussed on emotional wellbeing. It is expected that thousands of children and young people will complete this survey across Wiltshire, which will be carried out during Term 4. The information will help schools, and those planning and delivering services across the county, to gain an understanding of the experience of children and young people so we can promote emotional wellbeing and provide support that best meets their needs. Please get in touch if you would like more information.

Sixth Form Biology Competitions

This year a number of our A Level Biologists have been representing themselves and the school in a pair of national Biology competitions.

Firstly Homerton College, Cambridge have launched the ‘Cambridge Biology Challenge’, a competition open to sixth from students across the country.  Each month the competition poses a question, and students submit a piece of research in teams.  For the opening month students were posed the question ‘Why don’t animals have wheels?’.  Next month teams will tackle the question ‘Are humans still evolving?’.

Two of the students also took part in the Biology Olympiad last term, despite the two 45 minute papers falling during their mock week in term 3.  Both achieved Gold certificates and have been invited to take part in international Biology Olympiad team selection in March- congratulation!

Rob Kelland- Lead Biology Teacher

Music Therapy

At the end of last term, the Year 11 Health and Social Care students enjoyed a visit from Will Lawton, a Music Therapist from The Rhythm Practice, based at The Pound Arts Centre in Cosham.

Will talked about how and why he became a Music Therapist, what the work entails and the physical, intellectual, emotional and social benefits of it for those he works with.  As part of the workshop, the students had  the chance to listen to music Will and others had composed and to reflect on personal songs that have  special significance for them.    The students really enjoyed Will’s visit and this will prove invaluable for their final coursework task for Creative and Therapeutic activities, with many already deciding to research Music Therapy further.

Thank you Will for your time with us!

Resource Centre News

Term 4 as always is shaping up to be a very busy few weeks in the literary world. We have World Book Day to look forward to on Thursday 7th March, the Carnegie shadowing scheme starting in mid-March and our annual Scholastic Book Fair taking place between Tuesday 12th and Monday 18th March. Full details to follow on all these events in a future edition of Headlines!

Last term, our Book Group were focussing on the murder mystery genre – one of the most regular requests we get. ‘Waiting For Murder’ by Fleur Hitchcock, one of our Lit Fest visitors last summer, remains consistently popular whilst the ‘Murder Most Unladylike’ series by Robin Stevens was described as “very murdery and we would highly recommend it”. The Year 8 choices – ‘A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder’ and ‘One Of Us Is Lying’, by Holly Jackson and Karen McManus respectively, were both described as “gripping mysteries full of suspense”. Finally the Year 9 upwards choice was ‘Ace Of Spades’ by Faridah Abike-Imiyide. One of our group gave this brilliant review: “Once I picked this book up, I could not put it down. Full of psychological mind-boggling plot twists. Now in my top ten books and would re-read it as many times as I could”.

If you like the sound of any of those titles, please let Mr Southwood know. Fans of ‘Ace Of Spades’ will also be interested to know that the author’s new novel ‘Where Sleeping Girls Lie’ is due out in just a few weeks time and she has a special World Book Day publication out now as well entitled ‘The Doomsday Date’. Look out for that title, along with several of the other special £1 books, on the library shelves over the coming days.

This term Book Group will be looking at award winners – six books covering prizes ranging from the Carnegie Award to the Waterstones Children’s Book of the year. We always have titles suitable from Year 7 to Year 9 upwards and this term’s selections are:

‘The Boy at the Back of the Class’ by Onjali Rauf (Waterstone’s Award 2019)

‘When The Sky Falls’ by Phil Earle (Children’s Book of the Year 2022)

‘October October’ by Katya Balen (Carnegie Award 2022)

‘The Blue Book of Nebo’ by Manon Steffan Ros (Carnegie Award 2023)

‘After The Fire’ by Will Hill (YA Book Prize 2018)

‘Loveless’ by Alice Oseman (YA Book Prize 2021)

If you missed out today, let Mr Southwood know and you can select from the copies that are left. Our next Book Group meeting, where we will be discussing what we thought of these award winners, will be on Friday 22nd March.

Finally, it was no surprise at all that our most borrowed book for term 3 went to ‘Heartstopper Volume 5’. Hugely anticipated for over a year, its publication just before Christmas led to substantial demand throughout last term. Will it retain its hold on the top spot throughout the spring?

Enjoy your reading over the coming weeks and look out for more details about World Book Day and the Book Fair very soon.


This week Dr Jemma Rowlandson from Bristol University’s School of Engineering visited Hardenhuish to talk about her PHD and career in the field. Dr Jem gave an engaging and interactive session where she showed various aspects of her role before lecturing, which involved chemical engineering, and showed how important engineering is for solving real world problems.

During the session, our young people were able to learn about and experience a range of problem-solving considerations that are vital in the realm of engineering including the challenges of preparing and transporting hydrogen safely and efficiently.

Students engaged in live polls and a hydrogen adsorbtion (not absorbtion) demonstration after learning about this process briefly, before Dr Jem then showed us how to separate hydrogen and oxygen from water for the purpose of using it in fuel cells for the cars of the future.

A huge thank you to Dr Rowlandson for coming in to visit us and presenting such an engaging talk about her exciting career in STEM!

National Space Agency Visit

Last term some of our Year 9 pupils attended a terrific workshop in school delivered by the outreach project: Space to Learn, run by the National Space Agency.

The workshop was hugely engaging, touching on aspects of several science topics in one afternoon as well as introducing new concepts and possible careers in STEM related subjects. A couple of standout moments from the workshop included pupils measuring the focal length of different lenses which they then used to build into telescopes, and an innovative demonstration on gravity’s role in the formation of main sequence stars and lastly trying on space suits.

 Well done to all those involved. 


It has been an amazing few days for Year 8 pupil Imogen Drew, starting in Hampshire where she won Silver in the U17 Silver Badminton England ( BE) tournament, before heading off to Devon where she competed in the U19 Silver BE tournament and winning Gold in Girls Singles and and Silver in Mixed Doubles. Finally Imogen then played in the U17 Silver tournament and won Doubles Gold (in singles and doubles). So came away with 3 golds and a Silver. Well done Imogen!

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