Headteacher's Weekly Bulletin
Friday 30th September 2016
It’s been a shorter week, of course, but what a week! I’m not one for hyperbole nor the excessive use of superlatives, however, on this occasion both are merited. Our new format Awards Evening was undoubtedly our best ever: a great turn-out from students, their families, staff and Governors; music of the highest (and I mean highest) order; great speeches from our guest Jimmy Wagg and our 6th Formers Emma and Lachlan; recognition of our outstanding fundraising achievements for the Teenage Cancer Trust; tears of joy; humour in abundance (thought Mr Fenwick was particularly sharp this year); a genuine celebration of the success of Wellington School and all in 1 hour 50 minutes! The feedback from parents since Tuesday (also from colleagues for that matter) has been overwhelming; Laura and Joe singing ‘The Prayer’ was the highlight for many but parents have commented on how proud they felt of their child(ren) and the School and how grateful they are for the dedication, excellence and caring nature of the Wellington staff. The phrase ‘going above and beyond’ was used by several correspondents.
Well done to all our award winners and those being acknowledged for their performance at GCSE and A level, but I also appreciate that many more students at Wellington do so much, achieve great things and are deserving of ‘awards’. We are, of course, limited to the numbers we can invite to the Bridgewater Hall but I hope all our students realise how proud we are of all their achievements. It’s been one of those weeks when, despite the ups and downs, one has to conclude that Wellington is a fabulous place to teach, learn and spend time together. One parent said she already looking forward to next year’s Awards Evening but doubted we could match Tuesday; now there’s a challenge.
Those of you at the Bridgewater will have been moved / blown away by the musical performances, so don’t miss out on our school show ‘What’s in a musical?’ on Wednesday 19th and Thursday 20th October (see Music section below). I have a feeling the tickets will sell a little faster this year.
Looking ahead to next week, and on the subject of school events, we have had a fabulous response to next Thursday’s Family Fun (Bingo and Quiz) Night. We can squeeze a few more in, so why not come along to show off what a clever-clogs you are, have a drink, catch up with friends and maybe win a few pennies!
Mrs McDonnell launched the inaugural Macmillan coffee morning at Wellington four years ago and it’s grown in size, status, competitiveness and fundraising clout each year. Here are a few words to sum up this year’s event from Mrs McDonnell herself; “It’s been a fantastic morning in the staffroom, with Wellington staff once again rising to the challenge of baking kings and queens! Every department has kindly donated cakes for the Macmillan Coffee Morning and it’s been brilliant to see so much creativity! We’ve had cakes in the shape of mugs, piñata cakes, floral pieces, theatre stages, an Alice in Wonderland inspired creation and even one with the Art department faces on! I’d like to thank everyone for supporting this charity and will look forward to counting up the money raised this weekend.”
Thank you, Miss, for finding the time to organise this now fixture of the Wellington calendar for such a great cause. We sometimes forget that in addition to the huge amount raised each year for our principal charity on sponsored walk day, the Wellington community also raises around £4,000 each year via other smaller events.
Mrs Copeland writes this report about her visit to Croatia as part of the European-wide ‘Enable’ project which I referred to last Friday:
“In October 2015, I was asked by Alistair Black, Attendance and Behaviour Consultant for Trafford and UK Anti-Bullying Ambassador, if Wellington would be interested in being one of the 14 UK schools to take part in the Enable Project, a European anti-bullying project funded by the EU and associate partners including: Facebook, Vodafone, Icelandic Red Cross, Portugal Ministry of Education and the Daphne Programme of the European Union.
Due to the success of the project at Wellington, we were invited to take part in the Enable 2 Act Conference in Zagreb from the 21st to the 23rd September 2016 with 125 delegates from all over the world including: Parry Aftab, Executive Director of “Stop Cyberbullying”, USA, Donna Cross, Professor at the University of Western Australia and Australian “Woman of the Year”, Tito de Morais, author from Portugal. Other countries represented included Belgium, Croatia, Spain, Switzerland, Russia, Greece, Italy and Hungary.
It was an amazing experience. The two pupils who accompanied me were Armeen Shezhad and Leah Moghimi, both fantastic examples of Peer Supporters / Anti-Bullying Ambassadors. I was extremely proud of both girls who spoke beautifully at the conference. I, too, had the opportunity to talk to the delegates about the work Wellington has undertaken with the Enable projects, including the training of 48 anti-bullying ambassadors and the fantastic work the PSHE department have undertaken in embedding the Enable lessons in to their Year 7 curriculum”
Under the leadership and guidance of Mrs Cook in 2016-17 I am the project will continue to go from strength to strength.”
“What a fantastic week for the drama department,” reports Miss Foster. “This week, Year 7 and 8 have really enjoyed experimenting with the lighting in the Vale Hall. Students were able to add a new dimension to their mime and movement performances and enjoyed experimenting with different colours to show different emotions. KS3 students have really progressed their mime and movement skills. There have been moments of complete silence (a rarity in the drama classroom) with real focus and commitment to their work. Students were also given the opportunity to be highly over dramatic whilst exploring melodrama. This was a chance for students to be loud and flamboyant as a whole class. It meant that confidence was incredibly high for most students which is a big focus for the department this year.
I would also like to take a moment to reflect on the commitment, passion and sheer talent from the Year 10 GCSE cohort. Within 3 lessons, students had taken a piece of music and created a piece of physical theatre which was inspired by frantic assembly. Students were asked to perform their short piece in front of their first ever audience and there was not a nervous student in sight. Year 10 were composed and gave everything they had to their short performance. I tried to film it but was too moved by their work. I am and will continue to be incredibly proud of our first ever GCSE cohort here at Wellington.
Thank you Year 7, 8 and 10 for a busy but thrilling week!”
When I decided to introduce Drama, this was exactly the student response I envisaged and hoped for. Well done Miss Foster and Mrs Simpson; you really do seem to have the students inspired.
Mrs English just wanted to say how impressed she is with 9-9 in recent lessons. “Students have really thought hard about the impacts of tourism on different places and started to look properly about how humans damage our planet. Today the students came up with a variety of ways to try and manage the environmental and social impacts of tourism. Some of them decided that the problems actually outweigh the economic benefits. They all worked super hard and next week we will be writing to the tourist board in Majorca with their fantastic suggestions! Well done 9-9 a fantastic start to the year!”
Our Mathematics Stars of the Week this week are …
“Ben Lewis in Year 7; Miss Craddick comments that Ben has made a fantastic start to Year 7. He has really impressed her with the amount of effort he puts into all of his work. Ben shows great enthusiasm and makes excellent contributions. Well done Ben, keep it up!
Mrs Lewis awards Shahed Bawadekji. She comments Shahed has made an excellent start in her Maths lessons this year. She tries her best every lesson and is pleasant and helpful. Her book work is neat and she contributes to class discussions with enthusiasm. Shahed does not always find Maths easy but she walks in with a smile, makes every effort to learn as much as possible, and leaves with a smile. She has been a pleasure to teach so far this year and Mrs Lewis is looking forward to the rest of the year! Well done Shahed.
Mr Fellowes would like to nominate Faye Gardiner in Year 7. He comments that when dealing with square numbers the class were introduced to squaring a negative number. Before he explained how to do the task, Faye was really impressive in figuring out how we would approach the question and answered it giving a great explanation. Mr Fellowes was very impressed! Well done Faye.
Mrs Heaton nominates Eleanor Cole in Year 13 for her award. Eleanor has been working hard to gain a strong understanding of solving trigonometric equations containing sec x, coesc x and cot x. Mrs Heaton is very impressed by Eleanor’s work ethic and is excited for what this year holds for Eleanor. Well done.
Miss Dalton awards Hamish Erskine in Year 7. She comments that Hamish has been fully committed to his lessons this week, tackling some tricky problem solving questions. He has been seeking support to develop his understanding further and showing excellent resilience. Well done Hamish!”
Thanks to the Maths department for their update and well done to all those who received the accolades on this occasion.
Mrs Stevens wanted to let us know what the MFL pupils in Year 8 have been up to.
“8Y1/F have been paired with a school in SW France for a pen pal exchange through e-twinnings (British Council). They have written their first letters and we are hoping to send them early next week. The pupils wrote about themselves, their families, their likes and dislikes and even included a short paragraph about their summer holidays. We are very excited to get the replies in the next few weeks or so.”
I think I’ve still got my French ‘pen pal’ letters somewhere at my mum’s house. I’m sure our Year 8s are more fluent than I was at their age (says the French teacher!).
This from the tireless and indomitable Mrs Moorhouse: “It’s been a very busy week in the Music Department. Our first showcase of the year was Awards Evening on Tuesday, and each and every ensemble performed out of their skins for this celebration of achievement. All the performances struck some sort of chord: Year 7s blasting out ‘When I Grow Up’; the Year 11 GCSE group with their heartfelt arrangement of ‘Imagine’; Wellington School Band’s uplifting and invigorating performance of ‘Shake It Off’; Sing showing off their a cappella skills with ‘Wake Me Up’. And who cannot forget Joseph & Laura’s duet. They fully deserved their standing ovation with their performance of ‘The Prayer’, which brings me to the other event we are also busy preparing for. ‘What’s In a Musical?’ will be taking place at the end of this half term, Wednesday 19th and Thursday 20th October, and rehearsals have now stepped up a gear. Students are busy polishing up their tap shoes, warming up their jazz hands, and practising their vibrato in preparation for our musical celebration of all things musical theatre. Tickets go on sale this week, priced very reasonably at £4 for adults and £2 for children. These will be available from Mrs Hoogenberg up in the Lynton Building. Make sure you get your tickets early so you don’t miss out on even more amazing performances from our students – including a new duet from our very own Joseph and Laura.”
Year 10 Football
This from Mr Tomlinson; ‘a bit wordy but we were brilliant’ is how he introduces his match report:
“The Year 10 team started their league campaign on Thursday against our rivals Sale Grammar. We were going into the game following a semi-final defeat to them last year. We had trained well leading up to the game working on a new strategy and formation - it worked a treat. We pressed with energy and a renewed team spirit that typified our mindset for the season. We kept the ball well but did it with purpose and penetration. Adam Brownhill and Aaron Edwards were making their debuts for the team and slotted in perfectly. Louis Wright had a big job at centre half and did it with the poise and bravery required of him. Dan Flisk filled in manfully at left back alongside Jordan Ruchat at centre half with Henry Howarth marshalling the team as captain this year. That left our potent attacking threat - the energy of George Stelfox and James Buckley either side of Jayden Barrington with Tom Carr and Jayden Brady up front. To put it simply we were devastating with our football - Adam Brownhill with the one of the passes of the game released Tom Carr for 1-0, two minutes later a repeat by Adam but more of a clearance fell to Jayden Brady, 2-0. We pressed and stamped our authority on the game - Ruchat to Buckley to Barrington (all first time) Barrington slipped a ball through the defence to Stelfox whose first time cross found Carr for 3-0. Even their spectators and referee applauded our play. Half time - a few things to iron out positionally and playing speed. Against the wind was always going to be a challenge and Sale had the better of the opening exchanges and scored to make it 3-1. We calmed our approach and re-established ourselves with the goal of the game. Brownhill to Brady to Carr who laid it off to Barrington who threaded a pass through to Stelfox for 4-1. Ethan Pearce and James Drummond (who could have scored two himself) came on to firm things up and we ran out comfortable winners. Good start boys!”
From Miss Richards; “Nicole, who is linked with Salford Red Devils Rugby League Club, joined us in PE on Thursday to teach us a new dance. Nicole has danced all over the world and said we could choose any style we wanted. We chose to do street dance and after a gruelling warm up we learned the set routine. Some of the steps were really fast to begin with but we all really enjoyed the session and look forward to seeing her again.”
Nicole’s contribution to PE is thanks to a collaboration with Salford that includes classroom-based activities, cheerleading, rugby coaching, sports’ leader opportunities and many other activities and opportunities. We wish Salford luck tomorrow as they face Hull Kingston Rovers in the relegation battle dubbed ‘the million-pound game’.
The first bit of ‘news from beyond the gates’ for 2016-17 (let’s have more, folks!). This from Mrs Lynott, mother of Sam in Year 8, as youngsters aren’t always keen to blow their own trumpet: “I thought you would be interested to know that Sam took part in the U13s Cheshire County rugby trials tonight. He had a great night! Sam was selected via his performance at Bowdon and tonight he joined about 50 boys from all over the area to be put through his paces at Wilmslow Rugby Club for 2 and a half hours. He will hear in a couple of weeks whether he is successfully through to the next round but I think just getting selected for trials is an achievement in itself. And of course has given him valuable experience to bring back to the Wellington team too!”
Well done, Sam. I’m sure there must have been other Wellington rugby players involved, so please let me know.
A second offering from Mr Tomlinson with one of his other hats on: “We have launched a new initiative for our Year 8 students this year in an attempt to give them ‘the edge’ in terms of life skills and employability. We have started an initiative called "PiXL Edge" - The PiXL Edge is a framework for schools to develop and accredit students’ personal attributes essential for employability and life.
The scheme will focus on five key attributes; Leadership, Organisation, Resilience, Initiative and Communication. Year 8 Students will qualify at Level 1 (Apprentice). At this level, there are a variety of approved activities that students can undertake for each of the key attributes - students have to complete 2 activities from each area (10 in total). It is our intention that we can work together to achieve the highest outcomes for students and to improve their life chances, therefore enabling every member of our community to flourish in an environment where high expectations are expected and ‘character’ is acknowledged as the foundation of success (to quote from our Mission Statement). We want our Year 8 students to understand our values of endeavour, honesty and community to develop the skills and attributes to live in tomorrow’s global society and become happy, successful young people contributing to our community. Letters to parents to explain this further are to follow next week after the launch period that ends today.”
Thank you for all your support of Wellington and its wonderful students again this week; we genuinely couldn’t do it without you. It has been a week to make one feel immensely proud and privileged to be part of our ever expanding and flourishing community. Tuesday night’s Awards Evening was truly inspiring and I hope all those students present were inspired to take up singing, learn an instrument, try a new sport, develop public speaking skills or just try that bit harder in lessons. One of the emails I received this week inspired me no end and confirmed I have one of the best’s jobs in education for so many reasons. The parent in question was exceedingly complimentary about the Awards Evening where the two of her children still at Wellington both received awards and many other aspects of what we do here but I particularly liked what she had to say about her eldest daughter, now in Year 11; “… she loves school and was certainly given a boost when she attended school in the summer to pick up her core science results in which she got a well-earned ‘B’. Do you know, Mr Beeley, when she got home she was so enthusiastic and explained to me that seeing all the Year 11s receiving their results and watching them get emotional as they opened their envelopes to good results really gave her a boost and has made her more determined than ever to work hard to achieve a happy results day!”
Inspiring the next generation, indeed – to quote a slogan!
Anyway, it’s looking like I might finish the bulletin in record time this week as it’s only 16:32 on my clock, and a leisurely cycle home awaits.
Have a lovely weekend whatever you have planned and I hope the kids weren’t a nuisance on Wednesday!
S P Beeley
Welcome to Wellington School
Thank you for taking the time to view our website. I would like to begin by saying what an absolute honour it is to be the Headteacher of such an outstanding school. I relish the challenge of maintaining the exceptional standards established over many years and, indeed, moving Wellington forward in the future.
Wellington School is an 11 – 18 Academy with Humanities Specialism. Our motto is ‘Excellence in Everything’ and that is our aim in everything we do. To achieve this, high standards are expected of all our students and staff. All of our work is anchored in the values of mutual respect, responsibility, discipline, care for the individual and high achievement.
We are proud of our school and the achievements of our students, and our success is reflected in our popularity. High levels of student attendance and above average academic achievement – compared to schools both locally and nationally – are a clear sign of the value students and parents place on the experience of being part of Wellington School community.
We hope you enjoy our website and find it both informative and useful.
Stuart Beeley, Headteacher