Hardenhuish Headlines

Dear Parents

An early Headlines again this week which will also be the case for the next two weeks due to Induction Day (14.7.23) when pupils are not expected in school and Activities Day (21.7.23) when pupils will be involved in various trips and experiences to end their school year.

This week has again been eventful. The Dance Showcase on Monday was an incredible display of the dance and creative talents of our young people – and some of our staff! A massive thank you and well done to Miss Birchall as this was her first dance event at Hardenhuish.

Celebrating Success assemblies took place on Tuesday and provided each year group the opportunity to share their successes and celebrate all that they have achieved. A massive thank you to our Learning and Pastoral Managers for the time and effort that goes in to these assemblies and for encouraging our young people to share and be proud of their amazing skills and talents both in and beyond the classroom.

It is Open Evening this evening and we are looking forward to welcoming the future Year 7 of 2024. Thank you to you as parents for sharing our reputation in such a positive way and to all staff and young people for making our school the wonderful place that it is to work and learn and for sharing their enthusiasm with our visitors this evening.

Lisa Percy


News Items

Year 12 Biology Trip – North Devon

Last week, 26 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 bright and early on Tuesday, 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 very different, but still challenging ecosystem.  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 Elmscott Youth hostel in North Devon.  Thank you to the owners and volunteer wardens who made our stay so enjoyable at this idyllic spot, with great views out over Lundy Island and the surrounding countryside.

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.  Our coach driver did an exceptional job navigating the narrow lanes, despite hurdles ranging from tractors to fallen tree branches.  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 sand dunes evolve.

The final day involved an early 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.  They were quickly able to spot their Fucus vesiculosis from their Fucus spiralis, and could tell you the differences between a purple top shell and a common periwinkle.  We are looking forward to reading your project reports over the next few weeks!

Thank you to an impressive group of students for a fabulous three days, and for representing the school so well during the trip.  We hope that this is an experience that you will look back on with fond memories for many years to come.  Also a massive thank you to Dr Ford for her tireless organisation of the trip- it would not be able to run without your dedication and thoroughness, and I know the students greatly appreciate the time and effort you put in to making this such a memorable part of the A Level course.

Mr R. Kellan
Lead Biology Teacher

Chalke Valley History Festival June 2023

Back in June Year 12 historians attended the Chalke Valley History Festival. It was the first time we have attended the day and it included a variety of lectures by renowned historians such as Tracy Borman and Mark Stoyle. The lectures gave them information about their current topics being studied; The Tudors and Cold War, whilst introducing them to note taking at university. They also had free time to wander through the living history stalls and get books signed by authors present. The experience led one student to return the following Friday to do it again with family.

An excellent day surrounded by history

Y8, Y9 and Y12 girls were given an opportunity to work with a Hardenhuish Alumni, Jemma Clark on a research project for her master’s degree in City Planning at Queens University, Belfast.

The thesis research has allowed Jemma to work alongside the charity Make Space for Girls, who campaign for facilities and public spaces for teenage girls, she is also working with Wiltshire Council. The aim of the thesis was to conduct workshops with girls between the ages of 13-17 to get their views on public spaces and parks available for them around Chippenham, feeding into an overall study of how girls use these spaces and what they would like to see improved in Chippenham.

The girls reviewed maps of the area, identifying safe spaces and areas for concern; in the second session they were able to build mood boards for an ideal safe space for the area.

It was great to see the girls taking part in these workshops, showing enthusiasm for the future and for positive change in the local area.

As is always the case it was a pleasure to work with a  past pupil and to see how they have progressed and flourished since leaving Hardenhuish School, not to mention a great opportunity for our current pupils to see the lifelong partnership between pupil and teachers.

Thank you to Jemma for thinking of Hardenhuish and giving our pupils the chance to get involved in this project.

Mrs Parry-Jones and Mr Fennell

Summer Concert

On Tuesday 27 June we held our Annual Summer concert. 

Although it wasn’t the sunny evening we had hoped for the pupils from Years 7 to 13 gave a fantastic performance out on the flag field and the wind and a few spots of rain did not put them off providing an amazing evening’s entertainment.  Our regular ensembles of Flute Group, Clarinet and Saxophone Group, Strings, Jazz Club, Orchestra and KS3 Singing Club all performed alongside several student run Bands and some performances of class work.  It was great to showcase our newly formed Year 7 Samba Band which was is exciting new addition to our school ensembles. The evening ended with several Year 7 pupils, KS3 singing club and staff choir leading a Queen Medley.  Well done to everyone who performed for their hard work and enthusiasm.  We look forward to the next concert.

Music Staff

County Badminton Triumph

A huge congratulations to KS4 Girls Badminton team who finished 3rd at the County Finals. The day was a fantastic opportunity for the girls to showcase their badminton skills which they had been practicing  for on a weekly basis. They worked well as a team and were able to produce some fantastic passages of play by beating RWBA, then there was a closely contest against Warminister school with the girls narrowly missing out in this match but competed from start to finish. The final game was against the overall tournament winners SWGS with all games being close but SWGS just takin the win. Well done to the girls taking part and I know they are very determined to be back next year to play again!

Chance to Compete Regional Finals 2023

The U15 girls cricket squad represented Wiltshire County this week in a regional final in Eastleigh. The girls were very determined to do themselves justice in this competition. They started the tournament with a close match where they lost  by 2 runs, however, this gave the girls the determination to go on and win the rest of their matches by making sure they were batting strongly, hitting boundaries and posting scores for the other teams to chase. The bowling figures were fantastic with 8 different bowlers taking wickets, field placement was controlled by Ottie who really made the opponents go for their shots!

Results                                                                                                      Bowling Figures                                             Batting Figures

Hardenhuish vs Toynbee Lost by 2 runs                                         Emily-4 wickets               Ottie-2 wickets                Ottie-62 Runs    Erin-12 Runs

Hardenhuish vs The Island Free School won by 33 runs                  Sophie-4 wickets Verity-2 wickets              Emily-55 Runs   Lily L-8 Runs

Hardenhuish vs Charters School won by 49 runs                            Lily S-3 wickets               Isla-1 wicket                     Sophie-49 Runs

Hardenhuish vs Bohunt School won 53 runs                                   Lily L-3 wickets               Erin-1 wicket                    Lily S-22 Runs

The rain hampered the matches in the afternoon and the Hardenhuish Girls found themselves in a 3 way tie, so it came to wickets taken and runs scored; as you can see from the figures above the girls figures were sublime which helped the girls go on to be crowned Regional Champions. Well done Girls-as always you made Hardenhuish proud!

U15 Silver Dorset Badminton Tournament

Year 7 pupil Imogen Drew recently competed in the U15 Silver Dorset Badminton England Tournament, winning Silver in Mixed and Silver in Girls Doubles, losing in the Singles to the eventual winner. Well done Imogen.


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