Posted on Friday 19th July 2019
Welcome to the final blog of the 2018/19 academic year! As you would expect, it has been an incredibly busy final week, with so many educational experiences both within school and outside of school for our “CanDo” programme. At times, we have only had 1 in 5 students in the building, as so many have been out on trips with school.
Over 100 Year 7s have been at our annual camp in Sheffield, with the remainder taking part in an activities programme in school. 122 of our Year 8s have been in Paris at Disneyland, and the remainder have been following a varied programme of skill development in schools, culminating in an exciting trip to Crocky Trail on Thursday. Year 9s have followed a healthy minds programme, with some Year 9s visiting Staffordshire on an outward bounds experience. And Year 10 have followed a programme of preparing for Year 11 and beyond with talks from further education and Adidas to help them with CV writing, and then experienced a Dragons Den style Enterprise Day on Thursday creating a new fruit drink.
Added in to those experiences have been trips to a variety of local and further flung experiences ranging from Paris to Sheffield, park visits to law experience days. Our students have received consistently positive reviews from their teachers about their positive approach to the events.
Reports from staff on educational visits and trips this week:
Etherow Park: Mrs Palmer comments that “the SEN Group in A7 have made grass heads and biscuits this week. The theme has been 'nature' and we visited Etherow Park where we made human faces out of natural materials, such as fallen branches, rocks, leaves, logs and grass. We also learned how to skim rocks across the river. The weather was kind to us and we all had a good time.”.
It was lovely for me to receive an email from an ex-member of staff Mrs Biggam who complimented this group of our students … “I just wanted to let you know what a credit the pupils and staff were to Werneth School today during their visit to Etherow Country Park. I was invited to act as a ‘guide’ by Mrs Palmer and it was an absolute joy to meet the young people and to see their respect for the staff and general public with whom they came into contact. Their manners were great and knowing, as I do, that this group of students experience difficulties to a greater or lesser degree it was further testament to their behaviour today. The students’ manners towards the staff at Etherow cafe and The Visitor Centre were noted and commented on in a very favourable way. It was a lovely day and I hope that you could pass this message to the staff and governors.”
Chester Zoo: Mr McAllister: “this week we have been working with a group of Young Carers looking at conservation and the impacts of our environment around the world. This culminated in a visit to Chester Zoo on Wednesday where it was great to see them supporting each other, sharing their life stories and just having time for themselves. Great day for all.”
Year 10 Law Visits: Mr Mujagic and Miss Moseley: “Year 10 pupils had a fantastic day at the University of Manchester. They have acted out a court case and had the opportunity to speak to a law student. Pupils have been a credit to Werneth.”
Year 9 Outward Bounds: Mrs Tonge: “We arrived at Kingswood in Staffordshire this week for an action packed week of rock climbing, abseiling, orienteering and much more! The students were active from the start and experienced a number of activity never done before. Some pushing themselves past fear. We took part in a mini Olympics where the losers face a punishment. Unfortunately Harry’s team forfeited their last race and were drenched in water. Movie night went down a treat and after Sunset we cosied down to ‘MEG’. A great atmosphere with lots of jumps and screams. Amazing effort from all the teams as they took on the assault course, zip wire and laser. Year 9 have had a blast and as I write this 46 year 9 are all sound asleep on the coach journey home. Including the staff. We are So proud of you all. Overcoming fears, pushing boundaries, having fun and making memories. Have a great summer. Mrs Tonge, Mr Millson, Mr Astles, Mr Brighton and Mr Willis.”
Year 7 Camp: Mrs Heyes: “123 year 7 students have enjoyed 2 nights on Summer Camp at Hesley Wood Scout Camp in Chapeltown near Sheffield. In a beautiful setting of fields and woodlands, the students experienced a range of activities including climbing wall, driving segways, rifle shooting and survival skills. Students learned valuable life skills in organising themselves … washing their plates and sleeping in tents. They also joined in with team games and challenges such as treasure hunting, log run, water slides, whacky races and the infamous "Manhunt". They earned "euros" for successes, good manners, kindness and teamwork. These added up over the 3 days to determine a winning team - congratulations Team 3! A special mention to Lily Dobbyn who scored the highest EVER total on the Rifle shooting that the activity leader had ever seen! 26 year 10 students developed their leadership acting as assistant teachers at Summer Camp. All students were a credit to themselves and to the school. Well done to students and all of the staff!”
Year 7 CANDO in school: Miss Hibbert: “Well what an exciting 3 days of year 7 Can-do. From rock painting to canvas painting, games, team builders, circus skills, marshmallow towers, treasure hunts and student/staff races on the inflatable assault course. Our year 7 team have had so much fun! Thank you to all our year 10 leaders for being superstars in all the activities. Have a lovely summer! #MAKINGMEMORIES”
Year 8 Paris/Disney Trip: Mrs Holden: We are back exhausted from a full-on trip to Paris. The children have had a wonderful time and behaviour has been excellent. I’m so proud of them. It was a lovely gesture that the students bought their teachers presents at the end of the trip to show how much they had enjoyed it. It has been a whirlwind tour and we haven’t stopped, but I think we would all do it again!”
Year 8 Crocky Trail: Mrs Kennedy: “Year 8 had an amazing time at Crocky Trail on Thursday. Students ran and ran until exhaustion, and a great, fun day was had by all!”
Thank you to all staff who have worked so hard to give our students such a range of experiences in this hectic final week.
Thank you also to those parents who have taken the time to comment favourably on the changes that we have made and continue to make in terms of tougher expectations. A reminder that the mobile phones ban now applies when we return in September.
We continue to work hard to improve our school, and have invested in new technology, new learning resources, a new external seating area and a range of additional staff to start with us in September. In addition to a fully staffed teaching body, we are employing additional members of our SEN department, an aspirational mentor, teaching mentors to provide individual support in Mathematics and Science and a new attendance team to tackle persistent attendance problems. Look out for changes as well to our catering facilities in the Autumn, with a new catering company to refresh our current menus. Our catering team were inspected by environmental health as well this week, and achieved the highest category of 5 stars.
As ever at this time of year, we say goodbye to a number of staff who are leaving us for pastures new. Assistant Headteacher Mr Bolland retires after 24 years’ service at the school, and Mrs Houghton from our pastoral team also retires. Teachers moving onto new positions elsewhere, promotions or leaving the teaching profession are Mrs Rowland, Mr Heaton, Mr Horobin, Mr McNulty, Mrs Harrison, Mrs Perrins, Mrs Mood, Mrs Morris and Mrs Palmer. All have been replaced for September. Two of our teaching assistants also leave us to train to become teachers in September, Mr Betton and Mr Jones. We wish them all every success for the future, and thank them for their services to Werneth School.
A reminder also of the return dates in September:
Year 7 and Year 11 return for an 8.40am start on Monday 2nd September, with every year group in school the following day.
Years 8, 9 and 10 return on 3rd September therefore.
Finally, thank you as ever to anyone associated with our school from parents, staff, students, governors and external partners. We wish you all a very happy and safe summer break, and see you in September!