Hardenhuish Headlines

Dear Parents

As we head towards the end of term, the weeks do not seem to be getting any less busy.

We have had Languages Week this week with lots of language-based activities both in lessons and beyond. Thank you to the MFL Team for all of their hard work in making this happen. I particularly enjoyed the Francophile treasure hunt!

Sports Day on Friday was a wonderful Olympic celebration. Thank you to everyone who contributed to what was a lovely community atmosphere. Any donations towards our changing room refurbishment gratefully received:  Hardenhuish Sports Week – JustGiving.

The Dance Show on Monday was a great showcase of the students’ talents. A huge thank you to Emily Birchall for organising this fantastic event and to all staff and parents who supported the event.

The Year 13 prom on Wednesday was great fun, and everyone had an amazing time. A wonderful celebration of a fantastic year group! I would like to take the opportunity to thank Mike Heffernan, Chris Wiggall , Jackie Todd , Vicky Pike, Vicky Brenton, Caleb Rowe, the 6th Form Tutor and teaching team for all of their hard work with Year 13 and supporting them so well during their time in 6th Form. They leave us as well-rounded young people due to the support and care that they have been given. Thank you also to all of the Year 13 Parents, many of whom have worked with us for 7 years to support their young people. We look forward to celebrating the many successes we know there will be later in the summer.

A big thank you to Mrs Bush for organising the Young Carers’ Picnic on Tuesday. It was lovely to see an ex-pupil who was instrumental in setting this up come back to see the impact her idea to have a support group for Young Carers has had on so many young people at Hardenhuish.

Open Evening last night was very well attended and was a great opportunity to show off how amazing Hardenhuish is. Thank you to all of the young people who acted as tour guides or supported curriculum areas in talking to our prospective young people and their parents.

Thank you to Mr Arkinstall and the Year 12 Politics group for organising our mock election yesterday. Please see the article below to compare the Hardenhuish vote with that of our local area and the rest of the country.

A reminder that pupils and students are not in school next Friday as it is new Y7 and 12 Induction Day.

Have a good weekend – only two more weeks to go!

Lisa Percy


News Items

Focus on… end of year arrangements

As we approach the end of the academic year, please find below confirmation our arrangement for the last couple of weeks.

  • On 12 July we have an induction day for our new Year 7 and 12 meaning that our young people are not in school for this day.
  • Our last day of school is Friday 19 July when we have Activities Day for Years 7 and 8, Year 9 are either at Alton Towers or on Activities Days in school for 18/19 July and Year 10 are on Work Experience all week.

Thank you for your continued support this year. A reminder that our first day back for new Year 7 and 12 is Tuesday 3 September and the rest of the school start back on Wednesday 4 September. Have a wonderful Summer break!

Year 8 Citizenship Challenge

Over the last two months, Year 8 pupils have been taking part in a Citizenship Challenge based around the idea of being a good citizen and helping out others. All Year 8s were asked to commit to do their own personal challenge to show the qualities of respect, kindness, responsibility and belonging.

There were a huge variety of different pledges, ranging from charity donation, litter picking, volunteering, helping the school community, sports coaching and helping out at home. Tutors, the year team and Mr Kain were really impressed by the amount of effort the year group put into the challenge. Loads of Citizenship ACEs were awarded to those who put lots of effort to the challenge and the year group really proved that they are all great citizens – well done Year 8!

Summer Concert 2024

On Tuesday 25 June our fantastic musicians rehearsed outside in the baking sun ready for our Summer Concert 2024 that evening.  The atmosphere all day was great and  this carried on into the evening concert.  Musicians from Years 7 – 13 performed out on the Flag Field and really rose to the occasion. The Samba band kicked off the evening followed by some lovely performances from some student run bands and  our regulars like String Group, Clarinet and Saxophone Group, Singing Club, Flute Group, Jazz Band and Orchestra.  We also had a debut performance from the Year 7 African Drumming ensemble. Well done to everyone involved. 

The Music staff involved were really impressed with the performances but also how lovely the students were to work with and how supportive and encouraging they were to each other.  We look forward to more performances next year.

Music Exam Result

Year 7 pupil Esther Oldacres: Grade 4 trumpet exam – merit pass.

Young Carers Summer Picnic

On Tuesday 2 July we welcomed Ellie-May Farr back to school as a special guest at our Young Carers Summer picnic. Ellie is an ex-pupil who recognised the need for support in school for Young Carers. After Ellie suggested this to Mrs Percy, a Young Carers Group was set up.

Over the last year we have had weekly Drop-in Sessions, an Arts Day with pizza and a delicious Christmas Lunch with Creative writing and Christmas Crafts.

Young Carers invited other pupils as their guests and enjoyed a delicious picnic on the flagpole field.

We were assisted by our wonderful Young Carers Ambassador, pictured above who, as always, helped run the event.

Mrs Bush

Business and Social Sciences Talk

Business and Social Science Sixth Form students had the opportunity to talk to independent businesswomen Shona Forbes. Shona developed her eco-friendly food wraps when her children were young and has since expanded the company. When orders started to increase Shona investigated ways to meet a higher demand but wanted to produce locally in Scotland, rather than outsource abroad. A suggestion from a friend led her to Kilmarnock Prison.

The working prison has a rehabilitation programme to support prisoners in developing skills and qualifications to help them thrive after they have served their sentence. Shona’s company ‘rewrap it’ makes up one of the six work units in the prison. Prisoners are paid for their work and achieve an industrial sewing qualification; something that can change their future, as Shona told us the story of an ex-prisoner who broke free from the cycle of crime and opened his own handmade curtain business upon release. Students and staff enjoyed the informative and interactive talk and look forward to welcoming her in the future.

Mock Election 2024

The politics students helped organise and run the mock election this year, held 4 July at lunchtime in Peter Thompson Hall. The students put together party election videos, held a debate and ran the election by manning a polling station. The turn out was very good with 485 coming to cast their vote. The year group who came out to vote the most was Year 10, followed by Year 12 and Year 9. The final result from Hardenhuish students was… a Liberal Democrat victory (180 votes). The remaining results are below:

Liberal Democrat – 180
Reform – 119
Conservative – 70
Labour – 60
Green – 56

By the time you read this, you will know the result of the country’s general election.

Year 12 Biology Field Trip- North Devon

This week 21 Year 12 Biology students went on our annual three-day residential trip to the beautiful North Devon coastline to study ecology and organism adaptations across a range of habitats as part of their A Level studies.

Setting off early on Monday, our first day took in the contrasting adaptations found in freshwater habitats using a range of ecological sampling techniques.  Students observed first-hand the savage world of a pond ecosystem, with predatory water boatmen and xenomorph-like dragonfly nymphs having to be kept separate from more docile juvenile newts.  This was then contrasted with river dwelling mayfly nymphs and cased-caddis fly larvae, existing in a vastly different, but still challenging ecosystem.  A particular highlight was the biomimicry on display in the moth trap, although some students did not find our six-legged specimens endearing. We would like to offer our thanks to Monkton Combe School for allowing us use of their facilities and being so accommodating during our visit to the site.

Our day ended with our arrival after a long but fulfilling day at The Ocean Backpackers Youth Hostel in Ilfracombe.  Students had the opportunity to explore the town for a couple of hours in the evening, enjoying Damien Hirst’s sculpture ‘Verity’ and the views out over the North Devon Coast. But mostly the opportunity for a sneaky ice cream, despite the unseasonable July weather.

Day two was spent at Braunton Burrows, a UNESCO Designated Biosphere Reserve and area of outstanding natural beauty. This vast sand dune is home to over 450 species of rare plants and flowers. Following a more entertaining coach journey than we had anticipated, navigating the narrow lanes of North Devon, the students enjoyed lunch on the beach, before conducting a series of quadrat samples back across the sand dunes.  Our focus for the day was on sampling methodology, but also on gaining a greater appreciation for the myriad of plant species on the sand dunes, and how they compete and succeed each other as the dunes evolve.

The final day involved an earlier rise to catch low tide, as we set out on the rocky shore at Abbotsham, just down the coast from Westward Ho!  The students had to put into practice everything they had learned over the previous two days to conduct an ecological study of the seaweeds and molluscs living in this extreme environment (made more extreme by the less than welcoming weather conditions).  They were quickly able to spot their Fucus vesiculosis from their Fucus spiralis and could tell you about the differences between a purple top shell and a common periwinkle.  We are looking forward to reading their project reports over the next few weeks!

All staff involved agree this was the best group of students we have taken on this trip in many years, both in terms of their exemplary behaviour and enthusiasm for ecology. Thank you for representing the school so well during the trip. We hope that this is an experience you will look back on with fond memories for many years to come.  A massive thank you to Dr Ford for her tireless organisation of the trip- it would not be able to run without her dedication and thoroughness, and I know the students appreciate the time and effort Dr Ford puts in to making this such a memorable trip.

Mr R. Kelland
Lead Biology Teacher

Level 2 First Aid Award

Health and Social Care students have completed a Qualsafe Level 2 Award in First Aid Essentials this term.  They have learnt about the role of a First Aider and taken part in practical assessments to demonstrate their knowledge of the primary survey,  how to help someone who is choking, managing bleeds, CPR and how to manage a casualty who is unresponsive but breathing.  They have put in so much effort and we have been very impressed by how well they have demonstrated what they have learnt.  This is a really useful life skill, as well as fantastic qualification for employability.  Well done to all of them for their fantastic achievements!

Hardenhuish Boys win Avon Valley Relays

On Saturday 29 June, four students from Hardenhuish took part in the Avon Valley Relays which involved running a 4 leg, 17 mile relay race from Bradford on Avon Rugby Club to Trowbridge Rugby Club.

In scorching temperatures the team of four all from Hardenhuish were the first to cross the finish line overall as well as winning the first junior team prize for Chippenham Harriers Youth. Each leg was self-navigated which added an extra challenge to the day. Congratulations on this achievement.

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