Welcome back to Term 1!
I hope that you and your families are well and you have enjoyed the summer break.
Hardenhuish staff have spent the last few days preparing for the beginning of the term and we are all really looking forward to welcoming the whole school back on Monday.
The Year 7 have settled well and have really benefitted from having the site to themselves over the last couple of days and time to get to know their tutors and each other. Welcome to all new Year 7 parents – I hope that you have found the last couple of days ok particularly in these challenging circumstances and your young people are beginning to feel at home. Please do contact the Year 7 Office if you have any queries or questions (Mr Winter CCW@hardenhuish.wilts.sch.uk Learning Manager or Mrs Graham JPG@hardenhuish.wilts.sch.uk Pastoral Manager).
We also welcome the parents of the Year 12s joining our Sixth Form today. Refurbishments to A Centre over the summer are complete and they have fantastic facilities to take advantage of as they begin their Sixth Form studies. Again please do contact the Sixth Form Team should you have any queries or questions ( Mr Heffernan, Director of Sixth Form MMH@hardenhuish.wilts.sch.uk, Mr Wiggall, Deputy Director of Sixth Form, CMW@hardenhuish.wilts.sch.uk or Mrs Todd, Pastoral Manager JRT@hardenhuish.wilts.sch.uk ).
I have linked HERE our updated return to school guidance, marking the updates in red for ease. Please note I have hyper-linked the updated Risk Assessment from the website on the front page. Please talk this through with your young person and we will also spend time on Monday making sure that they are aware of and understand our expectations related to Covid.
Please can I remind you to be considerate and Covid aware when dropping off and picking up pupils. This should happen from the drop-off zone, not the house and safe locations off site to try to reduce congestion.
Please could I ask you to remind pupils and students to bring a waterproof coat to school as the weather is already turning Autumnal!
I hope that the first few days back go as well for you as they have for us. Have a restful weekend and we look forward to getting the whole school in and back to learning next week.
NSEA Hickstead Championships by Amelia
On Tuesday 25 August, the Hardenhuish Equestrian Team woke up early for the NSEA Hickstead Championships. Surrounded by our competitors, everyone was nervous. We prepared for the big day ahead, which was unfortunately in the pouring rain and gale force winds. We had 2 classes at Hickstead, a show jumping qualifier for the NSEA (National Schools Equestrian Association) Championships and the Eventers’ Challenges Championships.
At around 8:45am (after tacking the ponies up) we began walking down to the collecting arena. Our ponies were extremely fresh in the freezing weather, making them more uncontrollable for us to ride.
First up was the show jumping qualifier, the nerves started building up as we ran through the course in our head’s, making sure we rode the right lines, did the correct turns, and rode a clear round.
Hardenhuish had a significant disadvantage as we were a team of 3 competitors, most teams had 4 (the maximum). The judges take the best 3 results which decides where the teams are placed. By having 4 riders if one makes a mistake, they have a backup. Only having 3 riders meant that if anyone made a mistake, we were out of the entire competition; the pressure was on!
As Hardenhuish was called for the final time, we mentally prepared ourselves and our ponies. We watched as the last competitor from the previous team finished their round. We were up next, we’d travelled over 3 hours the day before, barely slept at all, plaited, scrubbed and washed the ponies, all for this moment!
First was Darcy, she entered the arena and waited for the bell to go signalling for her to start. Abigail and I watched in awe as she rode a spectacular round, nailing every turn, every line and in such a fast time. Patch soared over the jumps giving Hardenhuish its first clear round! The bar was set really high making us push ourselves even more. Abigail was next, taking angles to every jump making her time another swift one, Smartie did incredible turns giving Hardenhuish its 2nd Clear! I was next, doing my round was really exciting and a lot of fun, I remember galloping to the last jump and then after realising Hardenhuish got 3 clears, I was so happy!
Finishing on a high, we went to do our Eventers’ Challenge, Arena Eventing is a combination of a show jumping and a cross-country course. To win you need to go round clear at an optimum time set by the judges, but the riders don’t know what that time is. There were 97 competitors in this class who had all qualified so the standard of riding was high. The ponies were tired from doing the show jumping so it was much harder to ride a clear round. Darcy and Abigail both did super stylish rounds but unfortunately knocked a few poles so the team was out. I previously had qualified as an individual as well as part of the team so I had a chance of getting placed individually.
On the way home I tracked the results and realising that Hardenhuish had won the show jumping and were off to Addington for the second time, was amazing. We were all placed in the top 10, I came 1st, Darcy 3rd and Abigail 7th out of 67 competitors! In the Eventers’ Challenge we later found out the optimum time was 109 seconds and I completed the course in 109.48! This was the closest time so I was the winner of the Eventers’ Challenge Championship. Tired and wet we began the long trip home, proud of ourselves and our ponies, it was an excellent experience.