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News from the Senior Department

Message from Mrs Wright

Pupils are already talking about Christmas, and even – can you believe it – Pi Day! We all have a favourite time of the year (Barvember, anyone?) but what about your favourite time of the week, or even day?

For me, this week, it was my Monday morning duty on the steps of the Main Entrance. I love greeting the pupils and welcoming them back and hearing about their weekend. It’s also a great opportunity for parents to have a quick chat and fill me in on any news I need to know; or to ask me questions about the week ahead.
I also enjoy asking the Senior Department pupils at lunchtime how their day is going. It’s a lovely opportunity to have a ‘Family Lunch’ together. I learn all sorts of things and they always make me smile.
There are so many benefits to eating and chatting together at school and at home:
  • For children, dinnertime conversation boosts vocabulary even more than being read aloud to
  • For adolescents, it is a powerful predictor of high academic achievement scores
  • Associated with more positive moods and positive view of the future
  • Associated with reduction of high-risk behaviours such as drugs and violence
  • Improved active listening skills
  • Enhanced logical reasoning
  • Stronger negotiating skills
  • Creative problem solving
I find asking the question “what was your favourite part of today” is enough to get the conversation flowing.
I hope you have all had a favourite time of the week to discuss at family mealtimes this weekend; and I look forward to seeing you all on Monday morning!
Marion Wright
Head of Senior Department

Theology, Philosophy and Religion

This term, Year Six pupils have been studying some of the first stories of Jesus.

For their holiday homework, they were challenged to be as creative as possible and produce a letter, diary entry, first-person account, or a newspaper article. There were some amazing efforts across the year and a couple of Head’s Commendations were awarded for outstanding work. One of these was a short-animated Lego movie by Charlotte F; as you can see below, not only is Charlotte’s video exceedingly good, but it shows great technical know-how and humour.  You can watch the video here


Well done to everyone whose work is on display in the TPR Room – and to Charlotte too, of course.

Year 7 English – Mr Owen’s Pocket Book

On Friday 11th November, Year 7 were treated to a performance of Mr. Owen’s Pocketbook by Redheart Theatre company. The production was a one man show exploring Wilfred Owen’s experience of war through his poetry and the poetry of his contemporaries.

An officer travels from Allied HQ to the Western Front, one week before Armistice, and discovers the pocket book of a young lieutenant killed that day. And so, we journey through the poetry of Wilfred Owen, Siegfried Sassoon, John McCrae, Jessie Pope and many others.

The show is written and directed by award-wining writer Justin Butcher and performed by experienced, professional actor, Rupert Mason.

It was an enriching, moving and memorable experience for the pupils in Year 7 who are currently studying the poetry of the First World War. Even more poignant was the fact that Mason performed the show on Armistice Day.

It was an enthralling performance, which brought the grittiness and rawness of World War 1 to life.

Mr Owen's Pocket Book Nov 2022


This week in Maths we have been enjoying the challenges and puzzles that have been set by the wonderful mathematicians at Maths Week England HQ. Maths Week England was set up 2019 with the goal of ensuring that no children miss out on the opportunities that being a confident competent mathematician can give them. In 2021 it became the largest national maths festival in the world!
This week we have puzzled over how long it takes a dog; cat; panda and chicken to cross a bridge (; taken part in the Times Table Rock Stars Competition (more to come on that…); and considered how many times you need to fold a piece of paper before it would reach the moon…
Why not watch this wonderful video from Ally M in 7LD on the Power of Two!


Year 7 and Top Form have had a “hands on” Science week this week.  Top Form have been studying respiration, and in particular, how exercise impacts our breathing rate.
Meanwhile, Year 7 have been furthering their knowledge of density, studying and then putting into practice how we can measure the density of a range of different objects.
Have a look at some our these interactive lessons below:

Senior Department Science 18 N0v 2022

Top Form Geography

In today’s Geography lesson, Top B2 Geographers ventured out to the School forest to join in the tree planting in honour of HM The Queen’s “Green Canopy” initiative. Here they are in action planting the saplings kindly donated by The Woodlands Trust:

Top Form Geography Tree Planting Nov 2022

Year 6 Art and Design

Year 6 have been working hard on their pottery this term and have a produced these wonderful coil pots:

Year 6 Coil Pots Nov 2022


For Top Form Parents from the Science Department

The Science Department will be sending home a revision package this weekend which was discussed during the recent Parents’ Evening.

Please look out for it, and ask your child to have a look at it over the weekend and keep it safe.

Thank you

Ms Begley
Head of Science

From the Senior Library

Dogs of the Deadlands by Anthony McGowan

Set against the backdrop of the Chernobyl disaster, Dogs of the Deadlands follows Natasha and her puppy Zoya, who was abandoned in the evacuation.

Natasha is heartbroken by her loss, and Zoya is forced to survive in a fierce, cold and terrifying landscape. Amazingly she does and mates with a wolf, raising two cubs, Misha and the radiation damaged Bratan. When she is finally killed in a battle with a lynx the story becomes theirs. They need to learn how to live wild and fast. Creatures with sharp teeth, scythe-like claws and yellow eyes lurk in the overgrown woods. And they’re watching them.

This exciting, brutal book, from Carnegie award winning McGowan, is certainly not for the fainthearted, however the deep heartbreak is ultimately rewarded.


Congratulations to this week’s recipients of Mr Balfour’s Commendations:

Nurture Engage Inspire
Year 6 - Joe K, George F, Joseph K, Jasmine E
Year 7 - - Arisa T,
Top Form - - Reuben W, Edward GS