Hardenhuish Headlines

Welcome back to Term 6 and what a week it has been!

It has been an absolute joy to welcome our Chinese young people and staff this week and help them to settle in to life in the UK, Wiltshire and Hardenhuish. Thank you to all of our host families and in-school buddies who have made them so welcome and a massive thank you to Kerry Irwin for all of her hard work in putting together such a wonderful programme of activities for them while they are with us.

Yesterday, we commemorated D Day with National Fish and Chip Day and those young people in uniformed organisations, wearing their uniforms with pride as a mark of respect. Thank you to Mr Langley, our Catering Manager for organising this and Mr Arkinstall who is doing assemblies next week to build on the tutor activities completed this week.

We hosted our final Year 5 Taster Day on Thursday, welcoming 42 young people from a range of primary schools to get a taste of what life at secondary school is like. Thank you to Alyson Thurlow for organising our Primary Taster days and making our primary young people and teachers so welcome throughout the year.

This week has also been our busiest exam week of the year with Year 9 and 12 exams taking place as well as Year 10 Statistics alongside the GCSEs and A Levels. All of the young people have conducted themselves brilliantly and have demonstrated real maturity and resilience. We continue to encourage our young people to look after themselves and talk to their year teams if they need to during the exam period.

I am looking forward to our Literature Festival next week and all the wonderful opportunities this opens up for our young people.

While we acknowledge that many pupils bring a mobile phone to school, pupils are responsible for making sure that phones are switched off from 8:30 am to 3:00 pm, including break and lunch time. Please do not make contact with your child directly during the school day and if you receive any communication of concern from your child during the school day, please contact school in the first instance so that we are able to provide support where needed.

As always our extra-curricular offer for Term 6 is extensive Extra-Curricular – Hardenhuish School. Please encourage your young people to get involved in as much as possible.

Our upcoming Sports Week on the week commencing Tuesday 25 June will be a fun-filled week of activities for students to get involved in, culminating in an Olympic-themed Sports Day. During the week, School Parliament will be fundraising for the refurbishment of our new gym changing rooms. As part of Sports Week, staff will be taking part in a sponsored ride & row the distance from Hardenhuish to the Olympic Games in Paris. We would be very grateful if you could sponsor our staff team on their ‘journey to Paris’; please visit the Arbor School Shop to donate.  

Lisa Percy – Headteacher

News Items

Focus on … Literature Festival

Each year, Hardenhuish’s English department organise their very own Literature Festival: a week to celebrate the joy that is reading! This year, we have been lucky enough to secure three fantastic authors to speak to our young people.

Literature Festival takes place the week commencing 10 June and promises to be an engaging and thought-provoking week. For Year 7 and 8, local Bath-based author Sophie Cleverly will be uncovering the secrets behind her tales of sudden disappearances, adrenaline-inducing twists and turns and how she builds worlds in such intricate details. Winner of the Costa Children’s Book Award 2021, Manjeet Mann will be taking the time to speak to our Year 9s and 10s too. Her books – The Crossing and Run Rebel – take challenging social issues such as the refugee crisis and frame them against a teenager’s experience, teaching empathy, resilience and coping mechanisms in the face of adversity. Finally, our very own Luke Palmer – author of Carnegie long-listed novel Grow and his most recent instalment Play – will be having his Hardenhuish Radio debut, answering the students’ questions about what it’s really like to be an author (and a teacher at the same time!).

All talks will take place during students’ lessons and are funded by the English department. Students will be told when their sessions are in their English lessons this week and they’re sure to get a lot out of them! Books of all the visiting authors are available to borrow from the library too – just go and visit Mr Southwood!

Year 7 pupils enjoyed a trip to Blake Hill Farm this week thanks, in part, to funding from the Hardenhuish Educational Trust.  This was hosted by staff who work for the Wiltshire Wildlife Trust.

Blakehill Farm was once an airfield during the second world war and many aircraft took off from here as part of the D Day landings.  It is now the UK’s largest grassland restoration project and one of Wiltshire Wildlife Trust’s largest reserves. 

During the trip the pupils took part in a nature hunt and had a tour of the farm site to learn about the equipment they use to care for the land and the cattle.  They also enjoyed the opportunity to explore the surrounding meadows and plant, insect and bird life.  A big thanks to our hosts and the Trust for funding the trip.  The pupils had a great day and some have been inspired to consider careers within agriculture as  a result.

Biology A Level Competitions Update

Our A Level Biologists have continued to take part in the Homerton College, Cambridge Biology competition throughout this academic year.  A team from Year 12 and another from Year 13 have been posed a number of challenging interview-style questions, including: ‘Are humans still evolving?’, ‘If alien life exists, what might we predict about their biology?’

Both teams have consistently been judged amongst the best entries in every round, and sit near the top of the national leaderboard of over 500 competing teams.  Last term’s question posed the challenge ‘What species in your local area has the most incredible biology?’ Congratulations to our Year 13 team, who received a special mention in the results webinar for the best video entry.

The Year 13s will now have to hang up their video editing boots, but I am sure the Year 12 team will continue to impress into the next academic year, and hopefully be joined by new teams from our new A Level cohort in September.

Mr R Kelland
Lead Biology Teacher

Sporting Grant Recipient

Kaci Sweeney was lucky enough to receive a sporting grant from Wiltshire council last week for all her effort and commitment to her sport. She was also very lucky to have met Paralympic gold medallist Piers Gulliver MBE, wheelchair fencer who took Gold in Tokyo.

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