The County Harvest Festival Service
With Suffolk still a largely rural county having agriculture at its heart, the annual Harvest Festival Service in St Edmundsbury Cathedral is an important celebration of our county’s life. Tollgate and County Upper were therefore proud and privileged to represent our Trust at the Service. This was led by the Bishop of Dunwich and the Dean with a large congregation including the Lord Lieutenant, the High Sheriff, our MP and a number of civic dignitaries. Art work from Tollgate pupils was displayed in the cloisters. Pupils from Tollgate and County Upper walked in the procession from The Arc to the Cathedral and then read lessons and prayers during the service. All those who took part were excellent ambassadors for the Trust and were rightly much complimented afterwards.
The Trust’s Science Days
The first of the termly days took place in November when year four pupils went to Horringer Court and year six pupils went to County Upper. At Horringer Court, year seven pupils expertly guided year four pupils through a number of investigations. They made and used plant indicators to classify chemicals as well as observing their own cells under the Microscope. Great fun was had by all, the pupils showed super science skills and the older ones were impressive leaders. Meanwhile at County, science ambassadors worked with year six pupils from across our middle phase. They needed to use their understanding of forces and electrical circuits as well as some logical thinking to build a chain of events starting with a marble on a slope and finishing with a candle being lit. The whole activity resembled the Mousetrap game and was hugely enjoyable as well as scientifically challenging. All the students were a credit to the Trust. We thank Mrs De Jongh, Dr Hanfrey and all the science staff who made the day such a success.
All the music for Christmas
As well as all the traditional concerts and services arranged by each campus, the Trust’s musicians also came together to perform in the community. The annual EACH service was held in St Edmundsbury Cathedral and Westley’s choir, signing choir and County’s chamber choir performed to a large, appreciative audience. At the Christmas Fayre, County’s swing band and Tollgate’s choir performed and Horringer Court took part in the opening parade. Meanwhile, County’s choirs and brass ensemble and Horringer Court’s musicians took part in services in St Mary’s and Westley held a carol service in All Saints Church. Horringer Court and Westley pupils entertained residents at Glastonbury Court and shoppers at Tesco. Tollgate and Westley’s choirs were much praised at Manson House. Across the Trust, musicians also entertained at the Gala Pantomime performance at the Theatre Royal, Newmarket Hospital, St Peter’s care home and Lackford Lakes. We thank the music staff across the Trust and congratulate all our musicians.
The Model United Nations Conference
Pupils from the middle and upper phases had their first experience of this event in July when they learned how the United Nations operate and spent a day practising being delegates. This half term, the pupils reconvened at County and spent a day following the format of an actual conference in New York. All the pupils dressed smartly for the occasion and participated in a number of planned and emergency debates following UN protocol. The sixth formers at County did an excellent job of leading the day and the younger pupils responded magnificently. We congratulate them all and thank the staff led by Ms Rehahn who organised it.
The Trust Drama Festival
This year’s festival at the Theatre Royal took place just before half term. The theme was ‘Future 2020’ and each campus devised its own pieces with support from Hayley Murrow and Katie Wright at the Theatre. Katie is a former Trust pupil and we were delighted to be working with her. The pieces were devised in extra-curricular drama time and culminated in a day’s workshop at the theatre. The younger pupils gained hugely from seeing what the older students can do while for the older ones it was an excellent chance to practise their leadership skills. Over a hundred pupils from across our age range gave a thoughtful and entertaining glimpse into our future and our relationship with technology in particular, all skilfully woven together by four narrators from the upper phase. We congratulate all who took part and thank all the trust staff led by Mrs Lacey for an excellent project and a performance that was thoroughly enjoyed by a large audience.
National Poetry Day
To celebrate this day, we were delighted to welcome back performance poet, Joshua Seigal. Pupils from all four campuses spent the day at County Upper with Mr Seigal who is highly regarded as a professional poet, performer and educator who uses poetry to develop literacy skills, confidence and creativity in communication. As a National Poetry Day ambassador, he was well placed to work on this year’s theme of ‘Truth’. Throughout the day, pupils worked in groups on their own poems and gave presentations, interspersed with contributions from Mr Seigal. At the end, he took questions about his life and how he became a poet. Everyone really enjoyed the day and Mr Seigal was full of compliments. We thank Mrs Dowsing and Miss Stannard for organising it and the English staff across the Trust for their work before and on the day.
National Poetry Day
To celebrate this day, we were delighted to welcome back performance poet, Joshua Seigal. Pupils from all four campuses spent the day at County Upper with Mr Seigal who is highly regarded as a professional poet, performer and educator who uses poetry to develop literacy skills, confidence and creativity in communication. As a National Poetry Day ambassador, he was well placed to work on this year’s theme of ‘Truth’. Throughout the day, pupils worked in groups on their own poems and gave presentations, interspersed with contributions from Mr Seigal. At the end, he took questions about his life and how he became a poet. Everyone really enjoyed the day and Mr Seigal was full of compliments. We thank Mrs Dowsing and Miss Stannard for organising it and the English staff across the Trust for their work before and on the day
Learning from each other
Trust pupils ended the year with performances of ‘High School Musical’ at The Apex and ‘We Will Rock You’ at County Upper. Pupils from different campuses assisted and/ or watched performances to support each other and to learn from what each other can do. Both shows were very well received and we congratulate all who took part. We thank the large number of staff involved for giving the pupils such a worthwhile experience.
Following the activity days at County for our Westley campus pupils in May, in June students from Horringer Court spent part of their Activity Week at County. Pupils undertook a carousel of activities including science, drama and sport all of which were very much enjoyed. The middle phase pupils were extremely receptive and enthusiastic and the upper school leaders did an excellent job. Well done!
The model United Nations day
County Upper continues to take part very successfully in the national model United Nations conference weekend which this year was in Essex. The whole Trust then benefits from this experience by replicating it across two days in the Trust calendar. One of two special days was held this half term. Year eleven and sixth form students ran the event for pupils across years six to ten in our middle and upper phases. The whole day was run as if it were a real UN conference and ‘delegates’ arrived having been briefed on this year’s theme of the international response to natural disasters in the poorer regions of the world. Teams from across the age and campus range represented the countries which make up the UN and spent the morning researching and preparing their response to the resolution. Pupils certainly came to realise how lucky they are to grow up here. At the end of the day there was an emergency debate about the Donald Trump’s remarks about four Democratic representatives in the United States. All the participants engaged superbly with the day and the leadership exemplified by the older students was excellent. We thank all the staff across the Trust for an excellent day.
The Trust Astronomy Evening
Once again GCSE Astronomy students and Trust STEM Ambassadors worked with The University of Hertfordshire to run an evening for the community. All the places in the planetarium were booked and families were also able to observe the night sky through a range of telescopes. Students led a range of other activities including opportunities to build a rocket, a star chart and a clockwork model of the solar system. There was an interactive quiz and a range of practical experiments including flame tests and spectroscopy.
Well done to the students who were excellent ambassadors for the Trust and to the staff, led by Mr Western, who made it possible.
A fantastic sporting programme
This half term we have had all our regular clubs and fixtures and another six week block of trampolining for years three and four. Our sports leaders have been in action across the campuses once again and always impress staff and pupils alike.
Alongside all this we have been able to introduce new clubs for archery, fitness, football and gymnastics at Horringer Court, archery and table tennis at Westley and dodgeball and Saturday morning football at Tollgate. The numbers attending have been excellent demonstrating that fun and fitness go ‘hand in hand!’
The Trust in Performance Drama Festival
On the eve of St Valentine’s Day, the theme had to be Love! It provided the students across the campuses with a fun and engaging theme to work with. The evening featured pieces produced in lessons and drama clubs across the Trust. Some of the performances were devised and created by the students themselves while others were based on published scripts or poems.
During the day of the performance, students were able to work together on a joint piece and support each other in two workshops with professional facilitators.
The festival introduced the audience to the modern day Puck and Oberon from ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ who guided everyone through all the pieces on our journey of love in order that Oberon could woo back Titania. Over one hundred performers took part. We congratulate them all on an excellent evening and thank Miss Cramer, Mr Morris, Mrs Stevens, Mrs Stoten, Mr Young and the show’s director, Miss Lacey for providing the pupils with such a valuable opportunity
The Poetry Day
This year we welcomed a new performance poet to this established event. Joshua Seigal is a published poet who includes anthologies for children among his works. He visits schools across the country to encourage pupils to appreciate poetry, to write their own poems and, in so doing, to learn about techniques and figures of speech in an entertaining way. Eighty students The Poetry Day from years seven, eight and nine came together to work in mixed groups writing and performing poems as well as enjoying Mr Seigal’s readings. The final pieces – love poems to favourite foods – were a fitting end to a great day. Well done to all who took part and we thank the English teachers across the Trust, led by Mrs Lewis, for providing this opportunity.
The mathematics/ business day
Pupils from across year eight came together at County to demonstrate their entrepreneurial skills and to consolidate their recent work in mathematics. This took the form of a quiz with mixed teams from Horringer Court and Westley working through a series of rounds. These included quickfire starts, logic problems, problem solving, multiple choice questions and functional maths investigations. Our sixth form Captains of Mathematics marked each round and provided the cumulative scores which served to increase the element of competition and a number of teams remained very close through to the bitter end! The business element of the day gave teams a choice of two activities. Either they looked to run a fundraiser or to set up an ice cream van. Teams looked at starting up their business by considering factors such as capital outlay and their fixed and variable costs. Each group gave a presentation aided by posters they had made and there were prizes for the most points, the best team-working and the best presentation. Throughout the day, year ten mathematics ambassadors from County supported the year eight pupils and everyone involved was a real credit to the Trust. We congratulate them all and thank Mrs Ibrahim, Mrs Crichton and Miss Scott for arranging the day.
The termly science day
This term’s day was for pupils in year six across our middle phase who worked together at County on a ‘Mousetrap-style challenge.’ Pupils needed to use their understanding of forces and electrical circuits to complete a ‘chain reaction’ which started with a ball on a slope and culminated in a candle being lit. Throughout the day pupils were helped by year nine STEM Ambassadors at County who did an excellent job. The younger pupils worked with interest, enthusiasm and skill to complete the challenge. We thank the science staff, especially Mrs Bradfield and Mr Rande, who in turn congratulate all who took part.
A Wealth of Sport
Our All-Through Trust Sports Partnership enjoys an excellent reputation and deservedly so. This half term it has excelled with Action Days, Clubs and Festivals. The whole of year three has been to Westley and experienced archery, basketball and netball.
In years five and eight, every pupil has also had an ‘Action Day’ at County where they rotated between Archery, Basketball, Body Combat Fitness, Dance, Football, Handball and Trampolining. At all these days, the sports leaders did an excellent job of helping to run activities, some of which the sixth formers led with distinction.
This half term has also seen a trampolining festival for years three and four at County which they absolutely loved and the weekly netball and handball Connexus clubs for pupils at Horringer, Westley and County continue to be hugely enjoyed. The whole of Tollgate campus led by County’s sports leaders took part in a special ‘Skip2BFit’ day which was an excellent contribution to teaching them about healthy lifestyles and was also great fun! All this is complemented by the excellent provision on each campus which is enhanced by sharing staff and resources.
We thank our Director of Sport, Mr Marshall for co-ordinating it.
The Rainforest Experience
Year four pupils at Tollgate joined with year six students from Horringer Court and Westley at Horringer for a special day designed to complement and extend their geography studies. The pupils were introduced to the animals which can be found in the different layers of the forest as well as learning about the habitats in each layer. By the end of the day, pupils had produced posters and artistic representations of the animals and their habitats which they presented to the group. Some excellent work was generated and we congratulate all who took part. We thank Mrs Bateman, Mrs Kemp and Mr Whitwell for running the day.
The Model United Nations Conference
County is always invited to participate in the national conference and we have replicated this across our middle and upper phases. In September the Trust held the second of two days which replicate exactly the format used by the UN. The first day was in July and ‘delegates’ convened again last month. The event was led superbly by sixth formers and involved pupils from year six through to year thirteen. They all came smartly dressed for the day and worked in mixed-aged teams. Each team represented a country and all the debates and resolutions centred on climate change and emissions levels. As always, we enjoyed a fantastically high standard of discussion and all the students were a credit to the Trust. We thank Mrs Rehahn for co-ordinating it.
The STEM Conference
It has been a superb year for STEM activity across the Trust. It culminated with a special conference day offered to pupils across the region. Pupils from the Trust’s middle and upper phases participated enthusiastically while the senior students were excellent ambassadors helping throughout. The Institute of Physics and twenty STEM companies were involved and there was a mix of practical activities and careers information with an emphasis on avoiding gender stereotyping throughout.
We congratulate all who took part and thank the staff who made it possible.
The model United Nations day
County have continued to participate very successfully in the national model United Nations conference weekend and, once again, this experience was extended across the Trust with one of two special days held this half term. Year eleven and sixth form students ran the event for pupils across years six to ten.
The whole day was run as if it were a real UN conference and ‘delegates’ arrived having been briefed on this year’s theme of child slavery. The resolution which was debated was a proposal to make education compulsory to age fourteen across the world and certainly made all those who took part think about how lucky they are. We were proud of the way all the participants engaged with the day and the leadership exemplified by the older students was superb.
We thank all the staff across the Trust for an excellent day.
The able and talented day for Art
Year seven students from across our middle phase worked with staff and students from County on two projects devised by year nine students as part of their Arts Award from Trinity Guildhall. The day involved drawing and different types of printing in the style of famous artists. Everyone completed some very successful work to take back to their home campuses for display.
We thank Mrs Masterman for organising it.
The Football Festival
This half term’s focus has been on basketball and football. Younger pupils in the Trust have been much inspired by the success of the basketball teams in the middle and upper phases all through the season. Sixth form students have also given much encouragement to the primary phase footballers. Years four and five came together at County for a football festival to conclude the half term. They were excellent and had a lot of fun while the Westley Year 7 and County Year 9 and 10 Sports Leaders did a superb job of hosting it. The event was organised by Charlie Cook in year twelve. Well done to everyone involved and our thanks to Mr Marshall for co-ordinating this half term’s events.
The annual Diocesan Art Exhibition
All the Trust’s campuses were involved in the Respect 2018 exhibition, entitled Choices. It encouraged participants to focus on choices we make in life, both positive and those that are challenging.
Pupils worked collaboratively, creating their own 2D and 3D card and fabric designs to make shapes and symbols which were attached to floor standing screens. All the work was displayed in St Edmundsbury Cathedral in March and the Trust’s five campuses contributed a third of the work from across Suffolk. We congratulate all who took part and thank the Trust’s art staff who made it possible.
The Maths Problem Solving Day
This term’s day was held at Horringer Court and focussed on The Old Man’s Legacy from a book by Alan Parr.
It involved pupils from years four and five across Barrow, Tollgate, Horringer Court and Westley. Pupils were supported by year nine students from County Upper. In mixed groups, pupils completed some icebreakers before going onto the problems linked to the book which involved finding Blackbeard’s treasure. These required pupils to solve co-ordinate, logic, number and word questions.
The date was chosen to coincide with World Maths Day and the Trust celebrated it in true style. As always, all the pupils were a credit to the Trust and worked extremely well together. We thank Mrs Crichton for organising it.
More success in mathematics!
Trust pupils took part in the UK primary and intermediate Maths Challenges, gaining a number of bronze, silver and gold awards. We especially congratulate Peter Hyde on progressing to the next round of the primary competition and Riley Hutt, Marla Ind, Mario Saenz de Villaverde and Stella Wilkinson who progressed at Intermediate level.
The Evening of Dance
The Trust’s PE and Dance specialists have worked for weeks with our coordinator, Mrs Stoten, to prepare for this annual event. Well over a hundred performers created a fantastic show with all the creativity, variety, discipline and professionalism for which our dance is renowned. Every campus provided its own pieces, there were a number of cross-phase items and the show opened and closed with Trust numbers involving every performer. The audience loved the whole evening and we congratulate all who took part. We thank all the staff who helped and, especially, Mrs Stoten for producing such a vibrant, highquality show.
The Able and Talented Musicians Day
We were delighted to welcome a team from Aldeburgh to work with the most talented musicians in the middle phase and years nine and ten at County. The musicians had both composition and playing workshops. By the end of the day, the pupils had written a piece which they then performed. The pupils demonstrated an excellent standard and thoroughly enjoyed the day. They were congratulated by the team from Aldeburgh who we thank, together with Mr Jermy our Trust Music Co-ordinator and Miss Green for making it possible.
Astronomy in Action
In what has become an annual event, science staff from the Trust joined forces with the renowned Astrophysics department at the University of Hertfordshire to run an evening for families across our age range. This year the university brought its large pop-up planetarium and successfully stationed it on the County Upper astroturf. It was fully booked with two hundred and forty visitors and they were joined by more than a hundred other guests to enjoy the remaining activities. These included viewing the night sky through a powerful telescope, building an orrery, a star chart and a rocket, using spectroscopy and much more! The Trust’s science ambassadors were excellent all evening and much complimented by our visitors.
We thank them and the science staff led by Mr Western for an excellent evening.
The Business and Mathematics Day
Pupils from across year eight of the Trust came to County and worked with year ten mathematics ambassadors. Each group comprised pupils from Horringer Court, Westley and County which allowed them to work well with students they didn’t know. For the mathematics tasks, teams worked on quick-fire starters, multiple choice questions, logic problems, functional maths investigations and
The town’s Christmas events
The Trust made another excellent contribution to the music for Christmas this year. The East Anglian Children’s Hospices (EACH) held their carol service in St Edmundsbury Cathedral with performances which included Westley’s choir and signing choir and County’s chamber choir. At the St Edmundsbury Christmas Fayre, visitors were entertained on Angel Hill by the choirs from Tollgate and Westley and by County’s Swing Band. St Mary’s is the town’s civic church, hosting all the main civic services throughout the year. Horringer Court and County both represented our Trust with carol services there. The pupils’ contributions were much admired and complimented and it is always good for them to see their counterparts across the Trust perform.
The autumn Science Day
Our regular year six day took place in November. Pupils from across the Trust enjoyed a day of investigations based on the theme of sweets. Their Physics investigation involved testing the stretching properties of different types of sweets to determine if they were elastic, plastic or brittle. In the Biology investigation they described the different tastes of sweets and explored which parts of the tongue were sensitive to each taste. Finally, in Chemistry, they planned their own investigations to find the endothermic properties of lemon sherbet. The students demonstrated excellent investigative skills and were confidently supported by our Year 9 and Year 10 science ambassadors.
The music day
The very successful music playing day took place at County.
Pupils formed a string orchestra, wind band, jazz band and full orchestra on the day and rehearsed five pieces to perform at the end. The standard was widely commended and gave pupils the chance to perform to a live audience as well as to participate in the very different experience of a live recording.
Everyone enjoyed the day and the younger pupils certainly benefited from the musicianship of the older ones.
We thank Mr Jermy, Mrs Bradley, Miss Green and Mr Jarvis for an excellent day
The United Nations model conference
Following a second successful year for County Upper at the national conference for schools and our Trust’s successful event last year, we decided to give pupils across years six to ten the chance to participate in a model conference run by years eleven and twelve.
The day replicated an actual UN conference and participants arrived fully prepared having worked on their briefing pack. This year’s resolution was prepared by the Energy and Ecology Council and related to Climate Change. Each of the countries represented researched its position before a formal debate.
All those who participated did extremely well and the young leaders demonstrated leadership at its best. We thank all the staff across the Trust who made such an educational day possible.
The able and talented Art day
This was the last of the Trust’s curriculum days. Middle phase students worked with staff and students at County on a project based on portraiture and collography printing.
Pupils looked at a variety of artists’ work around the theme of landscapes. The County students planned and led the day as part of their silver Arts Award. By the end, some exciting photo montages and collography prints were ready for display and an enjoyable, worthwhile time had been experienced by all.
We thank Mrs Masterman for co-ordinating it.
British Science Week
This is a ten-day celebration of science, technology, engineering and maths featuring fascinating, entertaining and engaging events and activities across the UK for people of all ages. Our All-Through Trust certainly celebrated it in style led by our STEM ambassadors who attend the Trust’s weekly club for the middle and upper phase, our astronomy club members and sixth formers.
The primary phase focused on Ecology, while the middle phase went to a STEM day at Adastral Park. County Upper was again selected by the Japanese Embassy and the Department for Education as one of the top five
The Apex Concert
180 pupils from the Trust took part in the Trust’s annual concert at The Apex. The youngest performer, aged four, opened the proceedings with a magnificent strike of a huge gong to preface the March of the Siamese Children from The King and I. He was joined on stage by all the performers, aged from four to eighteen, who opened and closed the evening as a massed choir. The concert featured Songs from The Shows. Alongside the whole Trust performances, Barrow, Tollgate, Horringer Court, Westley and County Upper ensured a packed audience also thoroughly enjoyed pieces from ‘Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat’, ‘Beauty and the Beast’, ‘The Lion King’, ‘Oliver!’, ‘The Sound of Music’ and a specially arranged compilation of songs entitled ‘Disney on Stage.’
A pit orchestra with some of the musicians from County was formed especially for the concert. They
We congratulate all who took part on an excellent evening and thank the music staff led by the Trust’s music co-ordinator, Mr Jermy for providing such an excellent experience.
The Able and Talented History Day
Students from across the middle phase of our Trust spent a day at County with their peers from Moreton Hall and South Lee. The theme, very topically, was fake news and in mixed groups, the pupils considered a range of events from the past and how they might have been recorded. Throughout the day, some of our year twelve ‘A’ level historians worked with the pupils and showed excellent leadership, much inspiring the younger children.
We congratulate all who took part and thank Mrs Grainger and Miss Longden for organising it.
The Evening of Dance
This has been the centrepiece of our Sports Trust programme for this half term. Alongside the work of our PE staff, Mrs Stoten, the Trust’s Dance Co-ordinator, once again pulled together an amazingly slick show with pieces from every campus, joint and cross-phase performances and an opening and closing number involving all two hundred pupils. The quality, discipline, variety, visual effect and professionalism were well up to the standard we have come to expect and the audience was left wanting more, having thoroughly enjoyed the evening from start to finish. We congratulate all who took part and thank the numerous staff who helped.
We especially thank Mrs Stoten for putting together such a highclass show.
The Able and Talented Languages Day
Students in year seven of our middle phase were joined by their counterparts at Moreton Hall and South Lee Schools to enhance and broaden their language skills in a special day at County Upper. In mixed groups, pupils improved their Spanish and Latin as well as learning some basic Japanese. They all participated in a range of activities and enjoyed improving their language skills in a fun way.
Our middle and upper phase Latin classes have all continued this half term. The joint club for the middle phase has continued to be very well attended and the pupils have just successfully completed their first external test. We look forward to presenting the certificates before Easter.
The Trust’s Astronomy Evening
This has become an annual event organised by County Upper and the University of Hertfordshire. STEM ambassadors from across the middle and upper phases ran a series of activities for young families. Year thirteen student, Billy Riddick, gave a presentation and there were opportunities to view the night sky through powerful telescopes. The University’s pop-up planetarium was also extremely popular and was fully booked. In total, over a hundred visitors had a fascinating evening and were very complimentary about all the students involved.
Well done to all who took part.
Crumble-Bot in the middle phase
Years five and six travelled to Adastral Park for a special day of programming. Pupils were prepared by Dr Hughes from County Upper who was involved in BT’s special event.As a Master teacher for the National Computing in Schools scheme, she ensures pupils across the Trust benefit from exciting and cutting edge computing experiences. All those who took part were a credit to the Trust.
The Trust’s autumn Science Day
Year six pupils from across our middle phase were joined by pupils from South Lee for a problem solving day at County.
Pupils needed to understand a range of topics from across the sciences in order to solve ‘The Mouse Trap Challenge’. Having spent the day exploring these topics, they put their new found practical knowledge into action in order to execute their own ‘chain reaction’. They devised some excellent solutions which each team presented to the group at the end.
We thank Mr Randé and Mrs Walker for organising i.
The CoSpace Day
CoSpace introduces students to programming and robotics. County Upper hosted a day for over sixty middle phase pupils in conjunction with a team from the BT labs at Adastral Park.
The middle phase pupils were supported by year nine and ten students from County throughout an excellent day. Jonathan Legh-Smith, Head of Partnerships and Strategic Research at BT commented that “it was an amazing event, with such enthusiastic pupils and the number of girls taking part certainly bucked the national trend.”
Well done to all who participated and thank you to all the staff led by Dr Hughes and Mr Holmes.
Science continues to flourish
A number of science activities have taken place for the whole age range. This half term, the Trust was given a special commendation for its STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) ambassador programme and a number of pupils across the age range were given special badges denoting them as ambassadors.
In particular, its Monday Club was highlighted where 6th formers run a programme of practical activities for pupils across the middle phase, ably assisted by students across the lower years at County. This half term the focus has been on microbiology including modern techniques used by our STEM partner companies. We thank Mrs Payne, Dr Hanfrey and Mr Price for running the programme. County Upper was the first school in the country to gain the new DfE Science mark at Gold last year. This half term, the primary and middle phases were awarded the new DfE Enthuse mark for younger pupils. We thank all the Trust’s science teachers for their hard work to ensure all pupils are introduced to the fascinating world of science from reception to sixth form!
The United Nations’ delegates meet again
Following last term’s model United Nations Conference, the ‘delegates’ from across the middle and upper phases met again to re-create a UN-style debate.
Having researched the topics and practised debating before the day, all the pupils aged from 10 to 18 wore business dress to discuss international migration and to debate the impact of people on the move, whether as economic migrants or refugees. As part of the day students were divided into UN councils on Security, Health and Welfare, Economy, Environment and Human Rights to enable them to focus on those specific areas in relation to international migration.
We thank the large number of staff from across the Trust who worked extremely hard to produce a superb event which left the students ‘buzzing.’ We congratulate them on a very positive day.
National Poetry Day
Pupils from Year 5 through to Year 9 came together for a special poetry day with Performance Poet, Ash Dickinson who works with the Trust.
This half term’s theme was ‘Messages’ to link in with the theme of this year’s National Poetry Day. Pupils worked in mixed groups towrite their own poems, which they performed to everyone at the end. Mr Dickinson was hugely impressed with the poems which ranged from reflective pieces on the war years through to an ‘Ode to a Biscuit!’.
We thank the English staff across the Trust, led by Miss Phillips on this project, and congratulate all the pupils on an excellent day.
The music playing day
Over one hundred and eighty pupils from years five to thirteen across the Trust converged on the County campus for an exciting music day. They were joined by year eight students from other schools who move up to County in September. The musicians varied in standard from grade one to grade eight and formed a wind band and an orchestra for the day. Taking the BBC’s Ten Pieces as their starting point, each ensemble prepared three items for performance at the end of the afternoon. The audience of parents and staff thoroughly enjoyed all six pieces and were genuinely impressed by what had been achieved. All the pupils enjoyed their day and were ‘buzzing with excitement’, pleased with their accomplishments. We congratulate all who took part.
The United Nations model conference
The first event took place at the UN Geneva in 1953 to ensure that the youth of the day did not make the same mistakes as their ancestors. Today, it is as relevant as ever and students from across the middle and upper phases had an excellent day replicating a UN conference. The day was led by year twelve students. Mixed groups of students, led by years ten and eleven, represented each country and addressed a resolution concerning the outbreak of the Zika virus and the 2016 Olympic games. After suitable research, each country presented its recommendations and the motion was debated. All the staff present were very impressed with the pupils work throughout the day and the high quality of the debate
The able and talented art day
Pupils from across years seven and eight came together at County for a day in which they learned a new printing technique. Taking fish as their motif, pupils quickly picked up the art of collagraphy and by the end of the day, each mixed group had produced an excellent, colourful banner. We congratulate all who attended.
Sporting activity everywhere!
Concert at The Apex
Almost a hundred of the Trust’s senior musicians from our County Campus dominated the Eastern Region Music for Youth Festival at Snape on Saturday 6th February and received phenomenal comments from the international adjudicators. However, they had no time to reflect on their achievement as five days later they led the Trust concert on The Apex stage. With a theme of ‘around the world’, the audience was treated to music on steel pans, African drums and samba drums as well as pieces on a geographical theme from traditional choirs and jazz bands.
Year six students visited the University of Hertfordshire to see live the launch of astronaut, Major Tim Peake, into space. The pupils had a live question and answer session via Skype to NASA in the USA and then watched the launch itself live on huge screens. For the rest of the day, pupils made their own rockets; visited a radio telescope and had the chance to operate it; experienced some of the fitness training activities which astronauts undergo; watched a comet being made from dry ice and saw what it was like to be inside the space station. The pupils described it as, “terrific – a once in a lifetime sort of experience”.
Dance, Dance, Dance!
Students from across the Trust came together for the annual Suffolk Dance Festival. The dancers gained a huge number of awards with solo, duet and group pieces all being placed in the top three:
We congratulate Daisy Barker, Leah Barker, Sarah Burns, Sasha Campbell, Millie Cooke Wharton, Philippa Corley, Olivia Hammond, Charlene Moulds, Elizabeth Sanders, Mollie Smith, Grace Stoten, Emily Thomas and Megan Warnock.
Art & Design - All-Through
A celebration of art and design work by students from every campus of the All-Through Trust is on display in The Apex between the 29th September and 1st November 2015.
PTAs Unite to Fund a Trust Minibus
The Parent–Teacher Associations (PTAs) from each campus of the Bury St Edmunds All-Through Trust – that’s Barrow, Tollgate, Horringer Court, Westley, Howard and County - are uniting to support the funding of a Trust minibus that can be used by every campus and so potentially benefit every child. Whether it’s a Trust trip to Lackford Lakes to look at newts and frogs, team transport for Trust sports events or a late bus home for students staying late for after-school activities, the potential benefits to the children are many and varied. Our first Spring Grand Draw will take place after Easter, and tickets will be sent home to students on 14 April.
We are actively seeking donors of prizes for our first All-Through Trust Grand Draw, which will take place after Easter. If you can help us, please contact email@example.com.
Pupils at Barrow Primary School took part in an Academy Science day funded by the Trust's Rolls Royce Science Prize finalist's grant, learning about the science behind rockets and the origins of craters.
The Green Light Trust
Autumn 2014 saw the culmination of the first stage of the Trust’s partnership with The Green Light Trust to support our all-through science curriculum using Frithy Wood in Lawshall.
Our two year partnership was marked with a full page celebratory article in the local press and a special day for forty-four year six scientists across our middle phase supported by Science Captains from County Upper’s sixth form. The pupils carried out a number of tasks related to plant surveying, food webs and tree coppicing. Each was given a special wooden disc as a memento.
The Great Jewellery Theft Challenge
Almost 200 pupils from years four and five across the Trust schools spent a morning at Horringer Court working on "The Great Jewellery Theft Challenge". The Challenge was devised to test this term's maths; to give pupils the confidence to apply their maths and to underline that maths is fun. The pupils worked very well together in mixed age and mixed school groups.
Tasked to be detectives, a number of mathematical clues unmasked the criminal. Jack Warboys and Ella Bell, Head Boy and Head Girl at Horringer Court, did a superb job as the Chief Inspectors and a group of year 9 students from County Upper made excellent maths leaders, supporting the teams throughout the morning.
Budding thespians were given a taste of the Bard when they took to the stage in our two day Shakespeare Festival.
Sharing skills in maths
Year 10 pupils from our County Upper Campus shared their mathematical know-how with younger students from within the All-Through Trust during a maths morning at the school on Thursday 2nd October 2014.
Headteacher at County Upper Campus, Vicky Neale, said both year groups took to the tasks, which involved problem-solving challenges to ‘put maths in a practical context’.
Trust Open Events
Any child in Year 4 who is not already in our system can choose to move into the All-Through Trust. Indeed, parents with children of all ages are very welcome to attend one of our open events and/or to have an individual tour and to discuss their children’s futures.
See more information on the open events...
In a new development for our Trust, this month has seen
As the culmination of all the weekly activity there
The Academy Trust Netball Festival
This month saw all the weekly sessions continue across the Trust schools. One of the sports given a particular focus this half term was netball culminating in a festival here at the end of January. Well done to all the pupils who participated from Horringer Court and Westley and thank you to the County Upper sports leaders who did an excellent job of running this event.
Participants included: Suzannah Brawn, Chloe Cuningham, Alba deSaenz Villaverde, Rosie Hudson, Ella Jackson, Lydia Miranda, Chloe Mitchell, Charlotte Orriss, Mikayela Sealby, Deanna Stephenson, Chloe White, Chloe Smith, Maddie Albon, Megan Clutterham, Isabel Whiting, Ellie Silverwood, Stephanie Greening, Anna Carnegie, Megan Stabler, Mia Barker, Chloe Ashman, Deanna Hollings, Katie Lloyd, Antonia Stephenson, Amy Silverwood, Amber Cornish, Becca Taylor, Ella Chaplin and Zara Brooks.
Academy Trust Cup Stacking
This month has also seen our Trust Sports Co-ordinator start a new club at Barrow. Cup stacking teaches and practices a number of skills and the children have had great fun progressing from three cups to twelve cups in no time!
The Academy Trust Basketball Club
As part of our well established weekly 4-19 sports programme, on Friday evenings we run a mixed basketball club for pupils under twelve. The sessions work on the players’ fitness, basketball skills, team play and also include fun activities. On average, forty children take part each week and the sessions are run by Coach Beddow and County Upper students who serve as basketball leaders. As they started their second term, the participants reflected on how well their skills are developing, their increased confidence and the new friends they have made. Well done to all who come and to the County Upper sports leaders. We thank them and Coach Beddow for giving up their Friday evenings.
Our Patron of Reading’s first Academy Trust day
World-wide storyteller and author, Patrick Ryan, ran his first day for our Trust schools this month. The day included an excellent training session for staff teaching across the 4-19 age range. County Upper sixth formers were trained to help younger pupils in the Trust schools with their reading and wider literacy skills.
In the main sessions, one hundred and twenty pupils from the Trust schools enjoyed interactive workshops which developed their literacy skills in an imaginative presentation. Mr Ryan’s renowned ability had all the pupils spellbound and included everything from fairy tales to Shakespeare. All those involved were fully engaged in the workshops and learned a lot whilst having fun and gaining confidence. Well done to all who took part and thank you to Ms Thomas and Mrs Loughton who arranged it.
December saw the latest day in our programme of mathematics events. This time year four from Barrow joined year five from Horringer Court and Westley at Horringer Court for a morning of problem solving. The pupils worked in mixed groups and each member of the team had a specific role. All the pupils immediately gelled in their teams and were ready to beat the other teams. The problems focused on number, rotating shape and organising data. Twenty County Upper year nine students acted as leaders and guides, particularly making sure each group worked as a team.
There was no doubt that the morning developed the pupils’ logic, reasoning skills and teamwork as well as their understanding of specific mathematics topics. When the time was up, the pupils wanted to continue. At the end, the groups were asked what their favourite activity was. Group Two summed up everyone’s thoughts when they said they couldn’t choose as they were all good! We thank Mrs Guenigault who leads our 4-19 mathematics work and who organised the day with the staff from the Trust schools.
All the Music for Christmas
December saw the culmination of the Trust’s music programme for this half term with musicians from Barrow, Horringer Court and Westley joining County Upper instrumentalists for a traditional Christmas Concert. Following on from Noye’s Fludde, the Trust’s focus has been on singing with Mrs Davids continuing to teach the pupils across the schools. This led to a finale with two hundred voices, accompanied by the County Upper steel pan group, perfoming a traditional version of ‘The Virgin Mary had a Baby Boy’.
The evening enabled the younger pupils to perform on a stage in front of a large audience and to see the standard they can aspire to by watching the County Upper wind band, swing band and other instrumental ensembles. For the students, it was another opportunity to demonstrate leadership and musicianship. For many parents, it was a chance to see all their children across the age range perform together. Above all, for everyone it was an excellent introduction to the festive season much enjoyed by all and we thank the music staff in all our schools.
Another great month for Academy Trust Sport
This month has seen continued coaching and match play in Bbadminton, basketball, hockey and trampolining with students of all ages across the schools benefitting and County Upper sports leaders much in demand and complimented by all. In addition the Academy Trust Young Leaders' Programme continues each week and festivals in all the sports selected for particular focus provide an exciting culmination to the work. We are particularly grateful to Miss Holton for hockey training, to Mr Beddow for the Friday evening basketball, to Mrs Stoten for the dance and to Mr Marshall for overseeing the whole programme.
The Acceler8 dance group continues to prepare for next term’s performance and, this month, had a visit from former student, Katie Thomas, who is studying dance at the renowned Laine School of Theatre Arts in Surrey.
World Class Schools Quality Mark
We were delighted to learn this month that our all-through Trust is one of eight schools in the country selected to be the first recipient of a new award for "exceptional schools, rivalling top schools internationally that are innovative in their ability to develop world class students." Three of our key strengths are highlighted:
We will attend a special event at Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge in February to celebrate our success.
Monsters on the planet!
This month saw the Academy Trust schools welcome year seven pupils from Hardwick, Howard, St Louis and St James to County Upper. More than seventy pupils worked exceptionally well in groups from across the schools to investigate whether King Kong could really have lived? In a mix of experiments and research, the day certainly extended their problem solving abilities in a fun, challenging way. We congratulate all who took part, the County Upper sixth form Science captains and staff who ran the day and Mr Kemp, the enrichment Co-ordinator.
This month saw the culmination of a focus on badminton in the Trust schools. Year seven, eight and nine students from across the schools took part in a singles and doubles tournament involving mixed teams. The competition was led by County Upper year eleven students who were assessed for their badminton officiating qualification. We thank all the staff, especially our badminton coach, Miss Hughes, and congratulate all who competed.
This half term's second highlighted sport was trampolining. Pupils from years four, five and six across the Trust enjoyed joint sessions at County Upper with all four fullsized trampolines in action. We thank the staff involved and County Upper year ten sports leaders who helped to run the sessions and demonstrated all the moves.
Early Morning Club for talented students
This month’s focus has been at Horringer Court where students have been extending their ability in traditional sports and looking at alternative sports starting with handball as part of the Olympic Legacy.
Acceler8 Dance Club launch
This month has seen the start of a new, advanced dance club for students across the schools. Held at County Upper and run by Mrs Stoten with some of our talented dancers, this group will meet fortnightly and prepare pieces to contribute to the Trust Evenings of Dance throughout the year and the County Upper performance with our American guests at The Apex in June. We congratulate all those who have been selected.
Suffolk Dance Festival
This month saw our Academy dancers enjoy huge success at this annual festival. We congratulate all who took part from across Barrow, Horringer Court, Westley and County Upper:
Every student took at least one first place in a group performance. We were delighted to win several trophies. These were as overall winners in the senior modern and intermediate groups. The senior group also took the trophy for the most outstanding, memorable performance. Charlene Moulds, Grace Stoten and Emily Thomas won best senior modern trio while individual trophies went to:
Art and Design All-through curriculum day
Students from Barrow Primary, Horringer Court and Westley spent a day with County Upper sixth form art students as the culmination of a project on ‘working together. Everyone arrived with photo images which they had already taken to prepare a large montage based on the work of Hannah Höch and Peter Kennard. In mixed groups, the children selected images to put on large letters. At the end of the day, all the letters were laid out on our field to form Bury St Edmunds Academy. It truly was a project which involved working together and we thank Mr Hodgson and Mr Taylor from County Upper together with the sixth formers.
The Schools Shakespeare Festival
This is the United Kingdom’s largest Youth Drama Festival supported by a host of actors, playwrights, directors and authors led by Dame Judi Dench. The Academy Trust was privileged and honoured to be selected for the West Suffolk project which opened the national 2013 festival in the presence of its Artistic Director.
All four schools in the Trust took part together with South Lee who joined us through our Teaching School Alliance for this project. The pupils, aged from year three to year thirteen, gained a huge amount from very high quality workshops between May and October. This culminated in two nights of performances at The Theatre Royal which saw thirty minute extracts from each of eight of Shakespeare’s plays. We contributed ‘A Comedy of Errors’, ‘Much Ado about Nothing’ and ‘Twelfth Night’ to two excellent evenings, which also saw performances of Antony and Cleopatra, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Hamlet, Macbeth and Romeo and Juliet. We thank and congratulate Mrs Stevens and Miss Lacey together with the staff and students from all the schools. In total there were almost two hundred students involved in this project and it was a real triumph for the Academy Trust.
The Academy Trust was thrilled to be invited to give the Britten centenary performances of Noye’s Fludde in St Mary’s Church this month. It was the perfect project for our all-through Trust as Britten wrote parts for all ages. We provided the orchestra, dancers and some of the vocal soloists while other soloists and the animals going into the ark were played by children from across the Trusts primary and middle schools. The schools had all worked together to design and make the animal masks and posters last term.
The students gained a huge amount from working with professional soloists. We especially congratulate soloists: Shannon-Marie Clerkin, Bethany Hall, Sam Hill, Olivia Humphreys and Katrina Miller together with Emma Bradley, Edwina d’Almeida and Ruby Smith who had vocal parts and Sebastian Perez, Michael Apichella, Ellen Wappett and Amy Emms from the technical team. Twenty-nine of the orchestra were from County Upper school and fourteen of our sixth formers acted as chperones for the Barrow children. We thank Mrs Davids, our Academy Trust Music Co-ordinator and Mrs Stevens for directing the performance.
Languages in action
As the teaching of German and Spanish were introduced into the other schools in the Trust, pupils from all the schools came together to consolidate this half term’s work with a fun morning at Horringer Court. County Upper students were excellent leaders, helping the younger ones. Well done!
Maths All-through curriculum day
As our 4-18 curriculum takes effect, more and more joint working goes on as the norm in our Trust schools. The whole of year 8 across the Trust joined with over forty of County Upper year ten students for a morning of problem solving challenges in maths. Fiercely competitive and covering all the topics from this half term, mixed teams proved that maths is fun. Well done to all those who took part and to Ruth Newton and Scott Ransom, County Upper Captains of Mathematics who organised all the scoring. We thank the mathematics staff across the Trust, particularly Mrs Guenigault for putting the activity together.
Science All-through curriculum day
Pupils from all four schools worked in mixed groups on a biology day at Lackford Lakes. The theme was habitats and diversity with an emphasis on collecting data which will be analysed as part of ongoing work in each of the schools. County Upper year ten students were exemplary all day and will use what they collected in their GCSE Biology investigative work. The data will also be used to help the other schools both with the new primary science curriculum and new GCSE controlled assessments through our Teaching School Alliance.
All those who took part enjoyed bird watching, invertebrate sampling and other experiments in both aquatic and meadow habitats. Well done to all who took part and thank you to the staff, Mrs Payne, Mrs Cook and Miss Clayden who made the participation possible.
The Olympic Legacy Events
One year on from the start of our monthly Trust events, the whole of year eight from both Horringer Court and Westley revisited the Olympic values and enjoyed sessions in basketball, handball and trampolining. These gave them opportunities to try new sports, to reflect team values and to push themselves to new limits. Over two hundred pupils took part and the staff were helped by a strong team of County Upper year ten sports leaders. Well done to all who took part!
Academy Trust Young Leaders Programme
This new programme was launched this month. Students from both Horringer Court and Westley are being trained to act as young leaders in primary schools. They are working closely with County Upper students, who are acting as mentors for them. The ATYLP will also help the students when they have the opportunity to take the Sports Leaders UK qualification in year ten at County Upper.
The Academy Football Festivals
Two festivals were organised as the culmination of this half term’s extra-curricular programme. In the first, pupils from years three, four, five and six took part, while students in years seven, eight and nine enjoyed the second.
County Upper Suffolk FA referees and year ten sports leaders made an excellent job of running the competitions. Well done to them all!
The Academy Trust Rugby Festival
Pupils from the Trust schools have been joined by pupils from across the town for a five week festival during which they have developed their skills and match play working with Mr Hamill, Mr Kent and Mr Snelling from the Trust Schools and Andy Spetch from Bury Rugby Club. The sessions will resume later in the academic year and culminate with a mini tournament at the Rugby Club. We thank the staff and congratulate County Upper year ten rugby leaders, Harvey Newman, Andrew Hodgson and our Captain of Rugby, Ed Spetch.
The First All-through curriculum days
The first of this year’s ACTION Days saw pupils from across our 4-18 age range work togther in three subjects. The MFL day coincided with European Languages Day and the pupils enjoyed a carousel of different activities in a range of languages. We particularly congratulate Alba Saenz de Villaverde in year ten at County Upper who led the Spanish teaching.
In PE, students from all the Trust schools enjoyed a hockey festival with coaching and tournaments. The day included sessions with international hockey player, Mariette Rix.
A group of students from across the schools formed a journalism team to cover the events. Using the latest technology, they produced a video and report by the end of the day. Ed Allan, Will Dixon, Georgie Pailes and Christy Williams were excellent role models for the younger Academy pupils.
Well done to all the staff and students involved. All the events went really well and everyone is looking forward to next month’s days for Science and Art and Design.