Principal's Blog

5 - 9 February 2018:

This blog will be issued fortnightly, every other Friday, to highlight what pupils across the alliance have been involved with during school. It replaces the separate weekly blogs as we have found that many of the items are shared experiences for the boys and girls across the two schools. I hope that you welcome this slight change and find all the items interesting to read about life across the alliance.

Sixth Form News:

On Monday 5 February pupils from year 11 across the alliance, and also from other local schools, were welcomed to the Sixth Form Taster Evening. Mrs Beattie, Director of Sixth Form, and the rest of the team were on hand to give guidance about the options available at A-level standard. Subject teachers went through what to expect and how we can support each of our pupils as they enter the next stage of their educational journey. I hope that the year 11s found it helpful when thinking about what they would like to study for further education. Please remember, should you have any questions about life at Fenwick House, Miss Rayer, Sixth Form Assistant, is available to answer them using Thank you to all the pupils who attended, we were very pleased with the enthusiastic response, and also remember that there is another opportunity for pupils and their families to view the Sixth Form on Saturday 3 March 2018 at midday.

Charity News:

We are supporting Helping Rhinos. This charity was chosen because one of our year 4 pupils, George Simmonds, is a keen supporter of it and over the past couple of years has helped to raise funds to save the rhinos. Rhino poaching has increased from 13 in 2007 to 1,215 in 2014. Helping Rhinos believe the problem is too big for any individual organisation to combat and that working together is the key to any long term success. Helping Rhinos is leading innovative conservation and education initiatives that will ensure the long-term survival of the rhino. We would like to thank George for introducing us to this wonderful charity and we are pleased to support it. George was delighted to be able to invite a representative from the charity to Rushmoor’s assembly today, 9 February, to speak to us about their aims. The junior school pupils were invited to come into school in mufti clothes and contribute £1 to raise funds for this worthy cause. We will aim to introduce this subject to the pupils at St Andrew’s too.

Valentine Disco:

This evening girls and boys from years 7, 8 and 9 across the alliance will enjoy a disco being held in Rushmoor’s Randall Hall. Proceeds from ticket sales will be donated to Helping Rhinos. Thank you to the staff and PTFA members for volunteering to help out tonight.


Today the interim reports will be issued electronically for years 3 to 11. These reports give the current attainment grade and a brief comment from the form teacher. If you have any questions regarding the reports you may contact the subject teacher using their email address, all of which are listed on the school websites.

Option Evenings:

A reminder that year 9 boys will have their option evening on 28 February at Rushmoor and we hosted the year 9 girls’ evening this Tuesday at St Andrew’s. This is a very important evening with the opportunity to speak to the specialist subject teachers. Remember, when selecting GCSE options, it is important to look at your child’s general ability, track record in examinations and overall performance in a specific subject. Enjoyment and enthusiasm for the subject are strong indicators that a subject is a good choice. Their enjoyment may correlate directly with a teacher who has particularly inspired them, so check who will be teaching the subject at GCSE level. The aim is to have a suitable mixture of subject choices to maintain breadth of study for as long as possible.


Half-term is a time for a bit of relaxation, but for our older pupils across the alliance it is vitally important that they use some of the holiday period to get to grips with revision. Those taking GCSE and A-levels must put together a sensible half-term revision time table and really stick to it. Any queries can then be raised with teaching staff after the half-term break.

Please remember that some subjects are providing half-term revision sessions, which I would encourage pupils to attend.

Staff News:

Sadly I have two departures to announce. Mrs Pierce, who teaches year 5 at Rushmoor, will be leaving us at Easter having made the decision to spend more time with her young family. We would like to wish her the very best for the future and thank her for her time at Rushmoor. Mrs Pierce will be replaced by Rebecca Shribbs who joins us from Wootton Upper School. Parents of pupils in year 5 will have the opportunity to meet Ms Shribbs during this term.

Mr Walker has also decided to leave as he is relocating to be nearer to his family. Mr Walker has been a real asset to the PE Department during his time at Rushmoor and has been instrumental in organising many fixtures and events. He will be sorely missed by the pupils and his colleagues. We wish him and his family the very best for the future and hope the move is successful. We have appointed Mr Breeze to support Mr Hawken in the PE department and also to teacher science/IT in the middle years. Mr Breeze is an experienced teacher who joins us from a local academy.

Sports News:

Our Year 5s had a fantastic week of football with three wins out of three. Yesterday our A team dominated their match against Castle Newnham, winning comprehensively. There has been a tactical re-shuffle and the boys looked very accomplished in their new positions. It was good preparation for the County Cup which takes place the first week back after half term.

Our year 5 B & C team played Bedford School on Wednesday. Both teams were superb throughout and both won very convincingly, playing some excellent football in the process. Every outfield player scored for the B team which has never happened in a match that I have coached before. I was very proud of all involved who represented the school impeccably.

The year 5s have another busy footballing week after half term, with the A,B,C & D teams all in competitive action.

On Tuesday our Year 11 football team made the long journey to Pitsford School for their first game of the season. The game turned out to be a thrilling end to end battle with both teams creating a number of opportunities to score. Rushmoor took an early lead when Rylee Kotecha latched onto a loose ball in the area, Pitsford, however, fought back and two goals in quick succession saw them go into half time with a 2-1 lead. In the second half Rushmoor dominated possession and territory and eventually got rewarded by a good finish from Ieuen Daniel. That set up a frantic finish which ended with Adnan Adil first earning, then converting, a penalty in the final minutes to give Rushmoor an entertaining 3-2 victory.

Wednesday saw the next round of the national schools cross-country with the Bedfordshire event taking place at a sunny but brisk Ampthill Park. The runners taking part had qualified from last week’s North Beds trials and both the standard and difficulty of the course had taken a big step up. Unfortunately illness stopped three of our strong runners attending which left us with three representatives in the competition. Oscar Smith performed very well in a tough Junior boys race, working hard to secure a very respectable 23rd place. In the intermediate boys race both Jamie Webster and Mo Tassadaq performed excellently with Jamie finishing 6th and Mo 7th to both qualify for the English Schools cross-country event to be held in March.

Year 3 had a fantastic game of football at Bedford Modern School today. The A team drew 0-0, the B also drew 2-2 and the C team won 2-0. Good luck to the Year 7 football team who are currently playing at Goldington Academy.

It has now been announced that St Andrew’s are District Champions for year 7/8 hockey. This is a tremendous achievement for PE staff and the girls.

At District Cross-Country St Andrew’s were runners up in the year 6/7 team event - beating Lincroft which has never happened before!! This is another huge achievement for PE staff and the girls involved. Four St Andrew’s girls qualified for the Cross Country County Championships held at Ampthill Park on Wednesday. Rosie Foster-Glennon had an extremely good run finishing first in the year 6/7 event which makes her County Champion. Amelia Baker also ran very well finishing fourth in the year 8/9 event. Congratulations to Kasey Darnton and Anusha Kambli for running well against tough opposition.
A group of St Andrew’s girls took part in the Active Girls initiative again, this week thoroughly enjoying a yoga session, to help improve muscle strength and flexibility.

EYFS News:

In Rushmoor EYFS this week their learning has been based around the book, ‘We’re going on a bear hunt.’ The children were very excited when they came into school and discovered a letter that had been left by the bear. The bear explained in his letter that he had left a bear hunt for the children to explore. The children took part in the bear hunt, exploring a range of textures under their feet. The children were retelling the story as they went on their hunt.

The children decided they wanted to write letters back to the bear, to thank him for their bear hunt.

It has been another busy week for the St Andrew’s Nursery children. In the Toddler room they have been working on building strong arms as they have been enjoying using potato mashers to squash peas or to make interesting prints on paper. It is important that children build up their muscular strength in order to perform every day functions e.g. holding a pencil appropriately, pulling up their sleeves to wash their hands or to chop up their own snack. Activities such as these also help children to understand their body and what it is able to do in relation to spaces and objects, as well as to improve coordination which will help them with games such as kicking or throwing a ball, threading or jumping in and out of hoops.

Another way in which children develop their hand eye
co-ordination is to enjoy small world play with tracks which the staff have made from different coloured tape. The children concentrate as they follow the road and enjoy talking with the staff about what shapes they can see.

The pre-school children have been learning about the letter ‘M’ and enjoyed mountain rescue role play in their PE session- the children were armed with compasses and hats and had to balance their way over the mountain to rescue poor Teddy who was stranded at the end.

Junior News:

Year 3 and 4 have been having fun in their science lessons and have been looking at ways in which they can clean dirty water using filters. They were fairly successful but decided against tasting the ‘clean’ water!

Year 5 have learnt that light travels in straight lines, and have made their own periscopes to see this in action.

Tuesday this week was Safer Internet Day and so this was naturally the theme for the Junior School assembly. Every year there is a different focus for the day and this year it was 'Create, Connect and Share Respect. A better internet starts with you’. During the assembly it became apparent that even the youngest pupils use the internet on a regular basis and that as the pupils become older they view connecting with other people online as a very normal activity. Luckily our pupils have a very good understanding of how to connect online safely and know not to ever share personal information or communicate with people they do not know in real life. A key message of the assembly was to consider carefully what they should do with information that other people have shared online. Just because someone has shared something with you does not necessarily mean that it is right for you to share it with others. At the end of the assembly the children were given a jigsaw shaped sheet on which to create their own online safety message. The staff and children are now looking forward to being able to display these in Walmsley House.

Junior School Stars:

St Andrew’s Week:

9 February 2018

Reception Dylan Gilbey

Year 1 Ruby Parrish

Year 2 Maddie Enright

3/4 Elizabeth Seddon

Year 5 Isabelle Burt

Year 6 Demi Sunda

Rushmoor Week:

9 February 2018

Reception Henry Kotecha 

1TS Stephen Muniu 

2EB Danushka Gunasekara 

3JM Jacob O’Neill Year 

3ST Charlie Chamberlain 

4AB Oscar O’Connor 

4ET Ali Ghazzawi

5CL Jacob Mead

5CR Samir Lockhat

5JP Jonas Lee

Principal’s Awards:

Jessica Sample in year 10 for her excellent homework in History.

Eliza Aldridge in year 4 for her superb effort and attainment in Maths.

Congratulations to Jude Brown, Binyamin Abubakar, Kieran Knuffel, T’nnox M'gitonga, Noah Broomfield and Oliver Codrington for receiving a Principal’s award this week.


After the half-term break we have the PTFA Quiz Night being held at St Andrew’s School on Friday 23 February 2018. Full details and tickets are available from each school office.

We have World Book Day taking place for the junior pupils across the alliance on Friday 2 March 2018. Pupils have been invited to dress up as their favourite book characters, so half-term might be a great opportunity to decide upon a suitable character’s outfit.

Open Morning will take place at both schools on Saturday 3 March 2018 and I would like to thank those who have already returned their slips to confirm their support on the morning.

The Rushmoor Centenary Party for former Rushmoor pupils will take place on Friday 11 May, please contact Gina at Rushmoor if you would like to attend the hog roast.

The Alliance Summer Ball takes place on Friday 6 July 2018 at The Sharnbrook Hotel; tickets are £35 per person and can be purchased from the school offices.

I hope you enjoy a lovely half-term break and I look forward to seeing the children back at school on Monday 19 February 2018.

Kind regards

I M Daniel, BA (QTS), NPQH


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