All Through Schooling in Bury St Edmunds
This is a time of great change in education nationally. While other schools locally are adjusting to their recent move to a two-tier system, our schools are already established and very confident with the forward looking All-Through system. As a result, all the schools in our Trust are able to focus solely on our core mission of helping every pupil to reach his or her potential by providing a seamless education from 4-19. If you are interested in understanding our approach better, you can read more about how the Trust works. To visit a Trust school web site click on the links at the top of the page.
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.
Clubs, Clubs, Clubs!
A strong extra-curricular offering remains at the heart of the Trust vision and there are over a 100 clubs a week in the upper phase alone. One of the many advantages of our all-through approach is that it offers the chance for pupils to work across a bigger age range and for the older ones to develop their leadership skills. Already this term, in addition to the many sports clubs, Trust drama, gardening and Latin clubs are already well established and pupils are very enthusiastic participants. We thank all the staff involved.
A Sporting Half-Term
Our All-Through Trust Sports Partnership continues to be very well-regarded by the Department for Education and sports organisations. A mix of action days and clubs have permeated the half term and the whole of year three and year eight have already had a great day. Year 3 worked with Horringer Court dancers to choreograph a short dance. Each group was led by the Horringer Court pupils and choreographed a short section before putting them together to create a class piece. Meanwhile year eight were able to play handball, experience basketball with a professional coach, try trampolining on a full sized trampoline and, after some Zumba and dance practice, prepare and perform their own haku to coincide with the rugby world cup. The Trust has also been reaccredited with the School Games Mark from the Department for Education. County, Horringer and Westley have retained their gold mark, the highest level, while Tollgate has moved up to bronze/silver. This recognises our commitments to ensuring competition across the age range and is testament to our commitment to both collaboration and competition. We thank all the PE staff for the quality and quantity of sport we enjoy.
The Rainforest Experience
Pupils from across the middle phase joined with pupils from Tollgate at Horringer Court for the first of this year’s subject days. The focus was the geography of the forest and reinforced and extended the curriculum. Pupils looked at the different layers of the forest, examining the types of habitats and the animals which are found there. Having increased their knowledge, pupils then worked in mixed groups to prepare posters and diagrams of the animals, their habitats and how they contribute to the rainforest. Each group then used their material as part of their presentation to everyone. At the end of the day, there was some superb work and we congratulate all who took part. We thank Mrs Bateman, Mrs Kemp and Mr Whitwell for organising and running this event.
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