About Victoria

Director at Guide to independent Schools Ltd

LVS Ascot Reception Class Begin School WithNew Diploma And Dining Hall

Ten new pupils began their school adventure at LVS Ascot on Wednesday 5thSeptember, forming the Reception class at theInfant & Junior Schoolaccompanied by their proud parents. As well as experiencing school for the first time,they will also be taking part in a brand new initiative introduced by the independent all-ability school – the LVS Ascot Junior School Diploma– and have already enjoyed the school’s impressive £820,000 dining hall refurbishment that was unveiled last week.

Each section of the diploma is linked to a pair of the LVS values and skills: curiosity and creativity, resilience and risk-taking, empathy and reflection, initiative and independence and collaboration and self-confidence. The unique course will fully embed the values and skills into pupils’ way of life from Reception class right up to Year 6 so they can build character qualities and develop key life skills, with diplomas presented at the end of their final year before moving up to LVS Ascot senior school.

Criteria will include items such as learning to play an instrument, contributing to school council meetings and cooking a meal for their families. Head of LVS Ascot Infant and Junior School Rachael Cox said:“Our aim is to deliver a unique and vibrant education that inspires young people to exceed their expectations. The Junior School Diploma will reinforce that and help develop our pupils”.

The new pupils have already joined their older peers from the Senior School and Sixth Form in enjoying the superb new facilities available to them at lunchtimesafter a major£820,000 refurbishment of the dining hall. The improvements made over the summer have created a much better user experience, transforming a standard school canteen into a high-end restaurant quality space. With meals provided by Sodexo included in the fees at the independent school, and a focus on healthy nutritious eating, the dining hall is an important area of the school and has had a complete makeover. A 20% increase in size has been created to comfortably accommodate the 850 pupils, along with new furniture and booth seating, and an increase in natural lighting due to the insertion of skylights and slimlinealuminium windows.

The new dining hall has suspended acoustic ceiling panels to help with sound deadening and improve conversation, and a servery that includes a theatre cooking suite for demonstrational cooking. LVS Ascot Principal Christine Cunniffe said:“We are continually looking to improve our facilities to provide the best learning environment so our students can maximise their achievements. Last September we opened a new sixth form centre and last week’s unveiling of the new dining hall drew equally high praise from students. The outstanding facilities on offer to students here really do provide superb support to help them excel and develop”.

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See work of creative young King’s Ely artists

TALENTED Art and Design students at King’s Ely are exhibiting their work across the border in Suffolkthis autumn.

Members of the public are invited to attend the exhibition, which is being held at the Apex Gallery in Bury St Edmunds until Sunday, October 7th.

A broad range of Fashion and Textiles, Fine Art and Photography will be on display, including examples of exam and coursework. The exhibition has been organised to celebrate the high quality work produced by students throughout the year groups at King’s Ely Senior.

The Art Department at King’s Ely is a thriving, inspiring environment where all students are encouraged to engage fully with the state-of-the-art facilities available. The Department specialises in Fashion and Textiles, Fine Art, Sculpture and Photography, and students realise ambitious outcomes, regularly achieving some of the highest exam marks in the country.In July, King’s Ely also won the Art and Craft Award at the prestigious Education Business Awards.

The exhibition at the Apex Gallery will be open every day from 10am-4pm and admission is free. For more information, please visit: www.theapex.co.uk.

Abingdon School opens new Sixth Form Centre

Sixth formers at the start of the new term at Abingdon School were very appreciative of the impressive new Sixth Form Centre that opened its doors for the first time this September. The Sixth Form Centre occupies the ground floor of a new three-story building, Beech Court, that also houses a new library and art space.

Abingdon student, Howard Hawkes said, ‘It’s a perfect place to work or just be with friends. I’ve never really had a similar place before at school so it’s really welcome.’
Talking about the new facilities, the Headmaster Michael Windsor said, “Beech Court has transformed what we can offer our Sixth Form. The careers office, UCAS team and sixth form staff and students are all on the same floor with easy access to the library, café, sports centre, science block and art and drama facilities.
“The new centre is designed to mark the transition from Middle School to the Sixth Form where students have more independence, take on more responsibility for their own learning and enjoy a relationship with the school and staff that more closely resembles university education.”
Beech Court took 18 months to complete and is the latest in a phase of building development that began with the opening of a new Science Centre in 2015.
Budding artists have welcomed the huge expansion of the School’s art space with a new kiln room, dark room, ceramics studio, sixth form studio, exhibition space and purpose-built art rooms.
The new library is quite a contrast to the School’s previous library which was housed in the original Victorian school room. The bright, open plan space has areas for reading for pleasure, quiet group work and silent study.
Michael Windsor continues, “I believe Beech Court and the additional refurbishment will have a palpable effect on the quality of learning, and I know our students will appreciate and enjoy these new spaces.”

FARNBOROUGH HILL PUPILS RECEIVE OUTSTANDING EXTENDED PROJECT QUALIFICATION RESULTS

DSC_0060The return to school brought great news for 27 of the Year 10s,who achievedoutstanding results in their Extended Projectswhich they completed before the summer break. Tengirls earntan A*, 15an A and two achievedB grades.

The Extended Project Qualification(EPQ)Level 1 allows the girls to choose an area of study which is of particular interest to them, and gain a qualification in recognition of the research they do in this area. They must work independently on their project, spending time planning and researching, before then presenting their work to an audience of teachers and peers.

The scope for the EPQ is endless: this year’s project titles ranged from Who was the most influential fashion designer of the 20th century and are they still today?to Should parents be prosecuted for letting children use social media under the age of 13?Some girls used their passion for sport as a starting point, for example How do athletes overcome significant setbacks?,while others took inspiration from their love of music: Do different types of music affect studying?. The girls’ reasons for undertaking such a challenging qualification were equally diverse. Charlotte commented: ‘I thought doing an EPQ would stretch my learning and also improve my organisational skills in preparation for my GCSEs and the future’, while Lucy added: ‘I wanted to face my fear of public speaking’.

Mrs Alexandra Neil, Head,is delighted for the girls, saying: ‘It was wonderfulto welcome the girls back this morning. I am thrilled their voluntary hard work has been rewarded with theseexcellent results. I had thoroughly enjoyed the presentations on such interesting and wide-ranging subjects and I was extremely impressed with the standard of the work produced. The girls are now a step ahead with the development ofkey life skills, including time management and organisation, and the lessons learnt by undertaking anEPQ will see them throughtheir GCSEsandA levels touniversityand beyond.’

King’s Ely golfers win National ISGA Plate Finals

King's Ely Golf Success July

THE King’s Ely Golf Academy has done it again – this time being crowned winners of the National Independent Schools Golf Association’s (ISGA) Plate Finals at CollingtreePark Golf Club.

The talented team – made up of King’s Ely Senior students David Harris and Tom Stiff,and King’s Ely Junior pupil Paul Collington– broughtthe silverware home with a superb team score of 115 points.

In May, Paul CollingtonandBen Collier, both King’s Ely Junior pupils,competed at the ISGA Junior Stablefordat SunningdaleHeath Golf Club. Ben won the individual Net Prize on the day and the pair camesecond overall.

Just weeks before that, Paul won the prestigious Wellington College Silver Salver Team Nett Prize, andBen won the Nett Division on the day. Fellow Golf Academy member, Thomas Jackson, claimed second in the Individual Division.

Golf is a very popular choice of sport amongKing’s Elystudents, who enjoy a wide a range of sporting experiences, whilst at the same time making the most of every opportunity to excel.

Headmaster Called to ‘The Other’ Number 10 – Bishop’s Stortford College

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Usually based at 10 Maze Green Road, on 5th July, Jeremy Gladwin, Headmaster of Bishop’s Stortford College, was invited, together with 16 other Heads of the “big hitting” Independent Schools, to 10 Downing Street.

The two hour Roundtable discussion with Damian Hinds, the Secretary of State for Education, Lord Agnew the Independent Schools’ Minister, members of the Department for Education and Policy Advisors to the Prime Minister was called in order for Government Education officials to hear about the characteristics of successful partnerships,  and to consider how the DfE might help.

The Head of the No 10 Policy Unit has recognised that, as independent education providers, independent schools are often more than just schools and actively contribute to the community. The Secretary of State was particularly complimentary about the Bishop’s Stortford Educational Trust (BSET), set up four years ago of which the College is a founding member, as a vehicle to support the children of Bishop’s Stortford.

BSET is a State/Independent partnership of equals between the College, Bishop’s Stortford High School, Birchwood, Hockerill, Leventhorpe and St Mary’s, together with representatives of the local consortium of Primary Heads, where all parties benefit from mutual cooperation and support.

The College Headmaster, Jeremy Gladwin, said, “I am very proud to represent BSET and have shared with the Secretary of State the good work going on between our local schools.  The Department for Education are excited by what we are doing together, here in Bishop’s Stortford, and will be sharing our model with other schools in other towns across the country as an example of good practice in State/Independent cooperation. He recognises us as a group of Head teachers who are all determined to work together for the good of all member schools.” Mr Gladwin went on to say, “I have encouraged the Secretary of State to meet further with my state school counterparts to hear at first-hand about the benefits of our cooperative model to include Initial Teacher Training, the Continuing Professional Development of our staff and the opportunities for working together with a Multi Academy Trust model at the heart of future planning.  The Department for Education responded that they would try to achieve such a meeting in the near future.”

Mr Gladwin continued, “We are fortunate to live in a town, where the educational provision is so broad and so good.  All the schools in our town provide a superb education for the children of the local area and the close cooperation between the Head teachers is investing time and resources in an even brighter future for Bishop’s Stortford as a hub of educational excellence.”

The College Headmaster will continue to work closely with the Department for Education to produce a model of partnership work that can be replicated across the country and to encourage all schools, of whatever type, to work together in the best interests of and for the education of children.

Discovery Festival – Warwick School

Warwick School’s inaugural ‘Discovery Festival’ was a storming success, with the completion of the kraken monster, just one of the many highlights. Recognising the importance of creativity, every boy had the opportunity to experience workshops and activities.

Warwick Junior School had a ‘Big Draw’ in their playground, producing portraits of themselves; they enjoyed mask making, drumming workshops, instrument making and learning about willow sculpture, making teeth for the kraken monster.

The Senior School pupils had some amazing opportunities too, with residenciesfrom Birmingham Conservatoire, dance company Motionhouseand Two Circles Design.

Boys have learnt how to create music using sounds, html coding and voice. They have used the ‘Woofyt’ an amazing home-made musical instrument of wood and pipes, with valves and bellows. They have learnt that dancing is much more than it may appear on the surface and that core strength and physicality plays an important role. Two Circles Design have facilitated the most amazing kraken sea monsterwhich all the boys have thoroughly enjoyed creatingout of willow. It has grown progressively during the week and was unveiled on Saturday and enjoyed by the whole community.

Saturday’s finale was a dayfullof music, art, danceand drama across the school campus. There were drama performances from Warwick School boysincluding Lock Downand The Epic of Gilgamesh.

Music was playedduring the day from the Foundation Symphony Orchestra, The Wind Band, JazzBand and a Year 7 music concertwhich is the culmination of a music scheme whereby all of the boys learn to play a musical instrument throughout their first year at Warwick.

Motionhouseperformed ‘Underground’, an interesting insight as to what it may feel like to have your personal space invaded in an underground carriage.

Mike Perry, Director of Drama at Warwick School said “The arts team can all be very proud of the discoveries that were made by the Warwick School community last week. The months of planning paid off brilliantly and the challenges ignited powerful new skills and passions in many of the boys.”

The spirit of adventure was truly on show in this first Discovery Festival, which Warwick School anticipate to become a biennial event.

Student raises funds for Charity – The Royal School

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Mya Patel, a Year 8 student at The Royal School in Wolverhampton, recently took it upon herself to raise funds for two charities: Danny Batth’s Foundation DB and Cure Leukaemia. Mya organised a non-uniform day and a samosa sale raising £600 which was split between the two foundations.

As an added bonus, Wolves Captain Danny Batth, who established Foundation DB,came to The Royal to meet Mya and accept the cheques on behalf of both charities. A very well done to Mya for her hard work and selflessness.

Mya first metBatth in December, 2015, when he wasselling The Big Issue in Wolverhampton town centre for the homeless.Since then she hasfollowed his charity workand been inspired by what he has achieved.

Batth recently set up Foundation DB which supports three charities, one being a charity in Northern India called Yuwa Academy for young girls about which he recently made a documentary called ‘Married to the game’ and where he travelled to the academy showing how football and education helps the girls.

“As a Wolves supporter andthe recent illness of our goal keeper Carl Ikeme with Leukaemia inspired me to arrange a non-uniform day along with a samosa sale with the help of my family,” said Mya.

With this year’s success, Mya has said she plans to do it again next year to raise even more money for Foundation DB.

The Royal School has a set of values: Respect, Trust, Initiative, Risk and Community which guide everything the School and its students do. Mya has truly exemplified these values as do many of the other activities, both student and staff led, that occur at The Royal. The school’s Interact club regularly raises funds for Compton Hospice and a book scheme for a school in Africais just anotherset of examples.There is a strong sense of community and charity at the school having once been an orphanage.

In fact, many of The Royal’s core values date back to its history as an orphanage, founded in 1850 by local philanthropist and businessman, John Lees. As well as compassion and caring for others, it was his intention to help and support the most vulnerable in society and that ethos remains as strong today.

The RoyalSchool, founded in 1850, is now a free, co-educational,independent day and boarding schoolserving more than 1100 studentsacross the Primaryand Senior Schools.  It is a unique school where students from the West Midlands, Great Britain and the world meet, learn, and achieve both academicallyand personally. It is a community in which each individual’s strengths are identified, nurtured, and celebrated in order to exceed each child’s expectations and to fully prepare them for a successful life beyond the school.

Sarah, Duchess of York, presents prizes to New Hall students

On Thursday 28 June, New Hall School was honoured to welcome Sarah, Duchess of York, to present prizes at their Senior Prize Giving for students in Years 10-13. The Duchess addressed the attending parents, staff and students as Guest of Honour, reflecting on the importance of charity work and service to others, as well as speaking about her life-long friendship with a former New Hall student, Lady Tang, whom the school were delighted to welcome back for the evening. The Prize Giving marked a wonderful end to the year and included excellent musical performances from talented students. There was also a moving Commissioning of the Year 13 leavers, as the school community thanked them for their contribution to New Hall and marked this next step on their journey with prayers, gifts and good wishes.

Alongside a successful academic programme, New Hall School provides excellent facilities and training for budding sports stars and fantastic music and performing arts provision.  The Catholic boarding and day school for students aged 3-18 has a distinctive ‘diamond model’ structure and a strong ethos of pastoral care which supports students in their endeavours, allowing them to achieve success in a wide variety of fields.

 

Sarah, Duchess of York, Heads of School

 

Years 10-13 Prize Giving

Ship Ahoy!

With the installation of a boat,Warwick School has launched its inaugural‘DiscoveryFestival’.About as far away from the sea as you can get the boat will be at the helm of the festivaland promises to turn a few heads.

The theme for this first year is aptly ‘Discovery’, encompassing the spirit of adventure to try something new. There will be the opportunity to experience new theatre, visual art, music, dance and much more, week commencing 1 July, 2018.

 James Ramsay, Head of Art at Warwick School commented, “The boat, which is a Falmouth Pilot model from the 1960s,sourced from a dock on the south coast, arrived on a 40ft lorryback in May. Weighing in at 6 tonnes the boat had to be sunk 4 feetinto the ground and so a trench was dug to accommodate its hull. The remaining earth was then piled intothe cavities underneath and next to the hull on the surface to emulatelapping water.”

 The boys at Warwick School are incredibly excited about this installation and being let loose to create a kraken, a legendary sea monster that willemerge up outof the ground to grab the boat. The students will be taught how to work with willow as a sculpture medium by visiting Artists,Mark and Rebecca Ford from ‘Two Circles Design’. They will facilitate the installation but the work will be created by the boys in a number of workshops across the week,to whicheveryone will havethe opportunity to contribute.

 Mark and Rebecca said “We are extremely excited with this forthcoming project, in bringing ancient traditions and sculptural techniques of willow craft to the students at WarwickSchool. Although some of the material is supplied from growers in Somerset much has been harvested by ourselves in the Sussex countryside. Art has the power to change the way we view the world and it questions our role within it.”