Week ending 8th December 2017
In spite of the cold weather, I have been really impressed by the way the boys are working. There is a calm and purposeful atmosphere in the school, in spite of the disruption being caused by the renovation work to the toilets, which has at times been a little noisy!
Our Ofsted report has now been published and can be found here. We were pleased with the outcome which highlights not only the strengths of the school but also the way we are working to make it even better. I feel very lucky to be the Headteacher here and to work for a community of pupils, families and staff who want the very best from the school. We are certainly not complacent and we expect to see the improvements we are making continue to bear fruit. Thank you for your support and for the kind messages I have received since the report was published.
Last week WGSB were fortunate enough to assist The Royal Protection Team by allowing the royal flight to land on the school field. HRH the Princess Royal was carrying out two engagements in the local area and needed a convenient space in which to land the helicopter. Whilst on the ground the flight team spoke to a number of our Engineering students about the helicopter and its capabilities. When HRH left the grounds the whole school were able to be on the field to see the helicopter manoeuvring and subsequently take off. It was a real privilege for the school to be chosen to assist the Royal household and I am sure it will be an occasion that the boys will remember for a long time.
SENIOR MATHS CHALLENGE
The senior mathematics challenge, involving year 12 and 13 students studying mathematics, took place earlier in the month and the results are out. Congratulations to
Adam W, Christopher O, Tom C, Amarachi N, Bethany B, Matthew V, Alex N, Charles P, Lucy O, Josh K, Charles C, Reuben M, George H, Jesulope E, Daniel G, Sophie R, Emily L who will be receiving certificates for their success.
Special congratulations to Adam W and Christopher O for qualifying for the follow on round, the senior kangaroo, which is by invitation only.
The Wilmington Grammar Schools have been delighted to welcome their host partner industries, Laing O Rourke and Whitecode to the official handover meetings for the launch of the new Design, Engineer, Construct (DEC!) programme. The new course which is being studied at both Level 2 and Level 3 helps to prepare students for careers in the construction industry. Locally, nationally and internationally, businesses in this growth sector are crying out for architects, surveyors, electro mechanical engineers and civil engineers. The ‘adopt a school’ programme gives the students a competitive advantage and a foothold into this sector by allowing them to work with industry specialists using industry standard software on real life projects. Equally popular with girls and boys, we look forward to seeing some amazing constructions emanating from Wilmington in the future. Move over Norman Foster, your Gherkin may soon be overshadowed!
Over the Summer we had a renovation project to help revamp the school in areas. The big blue wall was knocked down outside the main school reception (a big thanks to Whitecode Design for that), the Humanities corridor was given a flick of colour (a big thanks to parents, students, siblings that donned their overalls and raised their paint brushes and tried not to paint the floors as much as the walls!) and the DT block and classrooms that also saw a fresh coating (a big thanks to BT Community Outreach and Mrs Blew for organising the supporters). If you’ve ever had the joy of visiting the staff/visitor toilets, we can only apologise! Good news! Just before the Summer break we were successful in a bid to replace the toilets (visitors, girls’ and boys’ toilets – opposite the library) and I am pleased to report the works on their refurbishment have commenced.
STONE LODGE - NEW SCHOOL PROGRESS
On the evening of 7th December, Mrs Lodge, CEO and Ms Burchett, Director of Finance were invited to attend a Christmas Party at The Garden Museum in London.
This event was being hosted by the New Schools Network and provided colleagues who have been given the responsibility for starting up new schools with an opportunity to talk through their projects with representatives from the Department for Education, the Government and staff at the NSN. Justine Greening (Secretary of State for Education) addressed the gathering.
The educational aspects of planning for the Trust’s new school, Stone Lodge are progressing well. The land transfer from Dartford Borough Council to the DfE appears to be moving at a frustratingly slow pace however. We remain optimistic nevertheless, that the plans to occupy a fully completed new building in September 2020 with the opportunity to open in temporary accommodation in 2019 should still be realised, although the opening dates are reliant on factors which are outside of our hands.
PTA CHRISTMAS FAIR
Our annual Christmas Fair kindly arranged by our PTA was a great success with lots of visitors ready to support the school by parting with their well-earned cash. The total for funds raised on the day was £2,500 which I am sure you will agree is a fantastic sum of money and this will be put to good use around the school in due course.
Two of our students won main prizes: 1st prize £150 Bluewater vouchers (Yr 9) and 3rd prize Amazon Echo Dot (Yr 10). A family friend of a student here won the 2nd prize, £100 National Theatre tickets.
YEAR 13 – FOOTBALL
Our First XI won a very tight contest against Hayes 2-1 on Dec 6th sending WGSB into the last 8 of the U19 Kent Cup. At present we are unable to field our strongest teams due to timetable constraints meaning many players are timetabled for lessons when the games are on but the boys selected have worked extremely hard and we received some great feedback from the Hayes manager today. Hayes have a link with Chrystal Palace Football Club and had a few academy boys playing for them today as well as being strong competitors in the Kent U19 league. The WGSB team was: James B ©, Joe B, Dotun O, Toyo O, Jesse K, Arron A, Michael C, Tom C, Alex H, James G, Joel A, Jacob S (Yr 11), Alex G (Yr 11), Ryan F
Daniel J played in the U13 Kent A team on 19th November at Finchley where he played Middlesex, Surrey and Hertfordshire. This was the 2nd round of the competition which they all desperately wanted to win to take them to the National final in January at Nottingham. Daniel won all of his games 3-0 and with the rest of the team winning the majority of their games they are now off to Nottingham on 13th January. This is will be an amazing experience for all of them with some very tough competition.
Luke J played yesterday in the U17B 1st team, an inter county competition at Poultwood. The team was made up of 2 girls and 2 boys. Luke played Middlesex winning 3-0 Essex 1 winning 2-1, Essex 2 winning 3-0 and Kent 2 winning 2-1 and his team won overall seeing themselves in the Final in March.
Monday 11th December
Church carol concert 6.30pm – 9.30pm at St Michaels, Wilmington
Wednesday 13th December
Keith White Memorial Rugby match 1st XV versus Old Boys KO 12.30pm
Thursday 14th December
Christmas Dinner for Years 7, 9 and 11
Year 7 visit to St Michaels Church, Wilmington for a Christmas Service during P3 and 4
Friday 15th December
Christmas Dinner for Years 8, 10 and WG6
NSPCC Christmas Jumper Day
Wed 20th December
Last day of term 2 school finishes at 2.30pm