Thank you very much for all of your support this term with Year 8 exams, Year 13 mocks, the school production on Tuesday (apologies for the subsequent postponement) and our increasing extra-curricular offer as well as all that takes place in a normal school day! Today is a bumper Headlines with lots of successes shared.
I am delighted that our junior team of Rotarians won the first round of the Youth Speaks competition last Tuesday, beating the hosts at Stonar School to secure a place in the regional round in Cheddar on Saturday 2nd March! A massive thank you to Miss Bingham for all of her work and time in getting them prepared for this exciting opportunity.
It is also great to share that Henri Cotineau, Tobi Loughlin and Dan Phelps have made it through to the English School Cross Country national finals (Tobi and Dan running as year 10s against year 11s!). We are very proud of our athletes and look forward to hearing all about their experience at a national competition.
Thank you to those parents who attended our China launch meeting on Tuesday evening. We are very excited that plans are now firming up and look forward to welcoming our visitors in June.
Have a lovely February break and I look forward to welcoming our young people back on 19 February refreshed and ready for all that Term 4 will bring.
Focus on…..50 Things to Do at Hardenhuish School
As an opportunity to encourage our young people to get involved in as many opportunities as possible, we have designed a “50 things to do before you leave Hardenhuish”. This is shared with pupils at the beginning of each year with the idea that they consider what they could do and then review throughout the year to see how many they can complete. It is a good prompt and encouragement to get involved with as much as possible as well as an opportunity to celebrate everything that they have done.
Year 12 Students Support Year 7 Readers
This term has seen another fantastic round of Reading Coaching taking place in the library. Here, a team of wonderful Year 12 volunteers sit and listen to some of our Year 7s read. A peaceful and focused start to a Friday that helps to develop students’ verbal fluency and love of reading. Thank you Year 12s and 7s for making it such a lovely experience!
Safer Internet Day 2024
This week the school celebrated ‘Safer Internet day’, a day designed to get young people thinking about their digital habits and to reflect on their conduct and actions in a digital world. The ICT department delivered assemblies to all year groups over the course of the week, discussing the impact of a ‘digital footprint’, and how actions using technology can have real world consequences. Although Safer Internet Day is only one day, at Hardenhuish we like to encourage young people to make positive choices with their uses of technology on a daily basis, which is backed up through the education the receive in their ICT and PSHCE curriculum.
On Tuesday during tutor time pupils were asked to reflect on the following questions:
- Are your social media accounts set to private?
- Do we know everyone who is in your friend/follower lists online?
- Do you have old, redundant social media accounts that you do not use anymore still active?
- Are you careful when opening emails and messages from unknown sources?
- Do you make use of additional security features on our accounts, such as ‘two step verification’?
- When we receive phone calls from companies/organisations – do you hang up and call them back via the official number on their website?
- Do you know what is held about you online if you do a simple Google search?
The rapid growth and change in technology is creating both opportunities and concerns for our young people. The use of social media, communication apps and online platforms can at times be a whirlwind to try to understand how it all works. To help support you with understanding the risks that exist and how to keep your child safe, please find below a handful of links to some informative documents provided by the ‘National online safety (NOS)’ relating to some of the more popular social media platforms:
It is important to remember that technology is a major part of many young people’s lives and will be a great tool in both their education and the workplace. Having open conversations about the appropriate ways to use technology in school and at home will hopefully help young people make sensible choices with how they conduct themselves online.
If you require any further help or support the following websites are also great resources for general help and advice for both adults and young people:
Tim Phillips – Curriculum Leader for ICT & Computer Science
Internet Filtering – Smoothwall Monitoring Update
At Hardenhuish school we use a network filtering system known as ‘Smoothwall’ which has been in place for many years. The main aim of Smoothwall is to monitor the school network, and linked with the ‘South West Grid for Learning (SWGFL)’, ensure that the pupils are protected and safe whilst using the schools Computers, laptops and iPads. Smoothwall tracks the activity of pupils when using devices, and logs anything that it deems to be a concern based on key words. Many of these logs are not a worry, and are often contextual to what pupils are learning about in their subjects. There are occasions however when something is flagged that needs to be investigated to ensure the young person is either safe, or using the school network appropriately.
Over the past few weeks, we have been trialing an upgrade to Smoothwall known as ‘Smoothwall monitor, this new system makes use of AI to evaluate the logs and streamline the process to ensure any worries or concerns are captured and evaluated efficiently. Although AI will be a major advancement in the monitoring process, it is important to note that all logs deemed a concern will still be evaluated by a human before any action is taken.
The purpose of Smoothwall is not changing, and the process of evaluating how pupils use the schools devices is still the same, the addition of ‘monitor’ will just improve how the school can react to any concerns raised and ensure that pupils are kept safe in a timely and efficient manner. The use of Smoothwall monitor extends to all school devices, including school laptops that some pupils may take home to support their learning. Smoothwall monitor will be in place for the start of term 4, and we felt it was important to relay to parents and carers the same message that pupils have also received this week.
Green Team Update
The team has gone from strength to strength this term having doubled our numbers with students attending from years seven to ten and thirteen. As the days have become lighter the team has been able to tackle the allotment area and have spent the last few weeks preparing it in readiness for planting next term. The team hopes to grow a variety of fruit, veg and flowers to sell to staff, students and parents so that the team can become self-sufficient. To aid this process we are looking for donations consisting of some of the following:
We would be incredibly grateful for any donations given and are very much looking forward to making the allotment area something we’re proud of.
The Green Team and Mr Nattrass
Alice By Heart
Huge congratulations to all the cast, crew, band, dancers and staff involved in the show for a fabulous first night – it was awesome!
As you know illness derailed our plans for the rest of the week but we are hoping that the final two performances will go ahead after half term, details to be confirmed.
Thank you for everyone’s support and understanding – the show will go on!
Hardenhuish Year 7s Victorious at Rotary Youth Speaks
Now that the dust has settled on the Youth Speaks victory for our Year 7 team from Hardenhuish, we can celebrate the outstanding achievement of three wonderful students in a glittering competition hosted by Stonar School. Our plucky team of Davids – stones at the ready – took down rival team Stonar with composure, skill, and talent.
Year 7s Ollie Hughes, William Skinner and Toby Matthews logged into the competition with their wonderful, witty and relatable speech on the topic of young people playing age appropriate video games. Like the brave knights of Camelot, Hardenhuish’s team waded into the belly of the opposing team (who had been supplying the judges with food) and walked away, victorious. Stonar defeated.
The Stags: triumphant.
This all resulted in a well-deserved Level Up as our team stormed through this round and have qualified for the next round in Cheddar. Best of luck for the next level!
Friends of Hardenhuish Quiz Night
Do you have what it takes to be the ultimate quiz champion?
Then gather your family and friends and join us for a Quiz Night on Friday 15 March at 7pm.
Licenced bar and snacks available on the night. Tickets now available via Arbor or reception, £20 per team (up to 6 people).
On Thursday this week, the Year 11 Health and Social Care students enjoyed a visit from Hypnotherapist, Viv Kenchington, who shared the solution focused hypnotherapy approach and the wealth of benefits this therapy has had for the clients she supports. The students also had the chance to experience a positive thinking activity they could put into action themselves for their exams. As a result of her visit, many of the students were inspired to explore hypnotherapy more for their coursework case studies. Thank you Viv!
Hardenhuish Fitness Suite/Gym
Please click on the link below for an article about our fantastic refurbished gym:
Charity Week Raffle Donations
During Charity Week, commencing 18 March, School Parliament will be hosting an Easter Egg raffle to raise money for our school charities Dorothy House and Teenage Cancer Trust. We would be really grateful if you could donate an Easter-themed chocolate prize for our raffle. Please can students bring any donations to Mrs Auld in A8 by 11 March.
Many thanks, School Parliament
This term our Sports Leaders in Years 9 and 12, plus our Sports Ambassadors in Year 8, have been involved in leading two multi skills events with local primaries.
Year 12s have been looking at how the events are organised, rather than just leading sports activities and have taken on more challenging roles to support the primary pupils. For both of the events we were really impressed with the enthusiasm and energy that was demonstrated by our Hardenhuish leaders. They were fantastic role models and had such a positive impact on the visiting pupils – it was lovely to see smiles all round!
We would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has supported events so far this year!
Chippenham Dance Festival
On Monday and Tuesday evening this week dance troupes from local primary schools took to the stage at the Neeld Hall to take place in Chippenham’s Sport Partnership’s annual dance festival.
As part of this event each of the secondary schools are invited to showcase their talent and inspire the younger pupils. The Hardenhuish dancers were exceptional and performed their dances with grace, flair and control. Each dance was thought provoking and emotional in places and had the sell out audience captivated.
Many congratulations to those who took part!
Year 10 Pupil Evan Watt recently competed in 6 events at the County Championships, winning a medal in every event.
He won 2 x Bronze, 3 x Silver and 1 x Gold. He also gained 2 regional consideration times, so will hopefully be heading to the Plymouth Life Centre in May for the South West competition.
Congratulations on this fantastic achievement Evan.
South West Fencing Regional Championships
Hardenhuish 6th Former Zac Crabbe recently came a very close second at the South West U18 Regional Fencing Championships, giving him a place to compete at the British Youth Championships in Sheffield in May. Well done Zac!
Year 10 pupil Bryn Harp recently achieved and A grade in his 1st Dan Kickboxing Black Belt Grading.
To achieve this he completed a 500 word essay on what a black belt would mean to him, a written test on the body, nutrition and running kickboxing lessons. He then completed his fitness tests which included as many press ups, sit-ups and squats in two minutes per exercise. He then ran 3 miles which incorporated 10 hill runs up wet and extremely muddy hills. He then completed his sparring which included 10 rounds of points (light contact), ten round of continuous sparring then three 3 minute rounds of full contact continuous kickboxing. He then did 1 round of two black belts on him! To finish he did a 5 minute round of grappling with a black belt.
On the second day he completed over 3 hours of technique testing and was continually assessed throughout the weekend. Well done Bryn on this acheivement!
Please click on the link below to view the current list of lost property we hold. If any of these items belong to you, please could you ask your child to collect from the First Aid Room in the House.