This last week of the Spring term has been an exciting one with lots of student successes to report.

Four students from our STEM club entered a competition run by the EDT (Engineering Development Trust) at the Department for Engineering, University of Cambridge.

The students produced a detailed report in which they used STEM ideas to identify and overcome various problems to promote a sustainable and environmentally friendly school as an Island. They then translated this into a physical model and presented their ideas and research to a panel of professionals from the STEM industry.

Aleena Bhatti, Cameron Goodwin, Katie Neagle and Adrian Wood not only engaged with STEM, they also developed interpersonal, project management, leadership, creativity, and problem solving skills. Over a 12-week period, these students worked hard in their own time to develop the project.

The team were highly commended for their project and presentation style. There were 10 strong teams competing and we are delighted to announce that the Stratton team won The People’s Choice Award! The students involved have now graduated as industrial cadets at bronze level, which is a nationally recognised award. They did an amazing job and were outstanding ambassadors for the school; we are very proud of them.

I would like to say thank you to Ms Stanton for her work with and encouragement of the STEM club and to our project mentor, Jenny Smith who is a mechanical engineer working for MBDA, a defence company based in Stevenage.

On Tuesday night, we celebrated Stratton's diverse musical talents at the Spring Festival of Music. We had performances from Rock bands to solo singers, Beethoven to Rage Against The Machine. We had performers from all year groups including Year 7 & 8 students from Biggleswade Academy, Edward Peake and Henlow Academy. The evening was enjoyed by an audience of over 100 family and friends and helped to raise money towards creating a recording studio in the Music Centre. Well done to everyone who performed and to all the staff who helped make the evening such a success

On Wednesday 3rd April, Miss Maley took some Year 9 and 10 female students to Cambridge University’s Department of Engineering. The students had a tour, visited the Whipple Museum, and took part in a History of Medicine talk. Students had the chance to look around the whole engineering department, which was really inspirational and opened the girls eyes to possibilities related to maths and physics, which they had not considered before. During the History of Medicine talk, the students demonstrated great talent, a passion for history and got involved in answering questions. They were a credit to the school.

Ending the term on a high!

The Year 11 football team managed to successfully finish the football calendar on a high for Stratton. Thursday 4th April saw the team take on Samuel Whitbread to be crowned league 1 champions. The team were not in need of any extra motivation as they are all very competitive; however with this being their last game and Mr Evans’ last fixture for Stratton they were most definitely fired up!
The game was a testimony of both sides looking to play progressive football. Stratton dominated possession for high periods of the game and early on were unable to break the dead lock. Late in the first half Stratton went 1-0 up with some classy work by Josh Byrne. The second half going up the slope saw much of the same. Stratton carved out a few half chances but did not capitalise on these until Josh Roberts broke through from midfield and slotted home. 2-0 and comfortable the team began to relax and as a result were put under spells of attack from Sam Whit but they did not manage to take any opportunities thanks to some robust defending from Kye Barker and Cameron Godfrey. Later in the second half Sam Whit managed to claw one goal back from a corner, but thanks to some great tactical substitutions by Mr Evans, Stratton were able to see the game to the end and finish 2-1 winners. Champions!

The full team were to be congratulated: Kai Dawson, Kai Etienne, Kye Barker, Cameron Godfrey, Dan Hemming, Karim Khedjari, Josh Byrne, Leon Isaacs, Josh Roberts, Alfie O’Dell, Sam Oakins, Max Taylor, Giuseppe Newman, Tommy Wilkinson and Cobi Binks

The game was hosted by Biggleswade United and as always provided excellent facilities.

I would like to wish all our families a restful and enjoyable Easter break and look forward to welcoming students back to school on Tuesday 23rd April.

Ms Roz Hodges

Interim Headteacher

 

You will be aware that the book fair has been in the library for a while. It has now finished but more than £325 worth of books were sold meaning that we have earnt nearly £90 commission. The student librarians have chosen the books they wanted from the fair which are now in the library. 

Sixth Form students have once again performed a successful Murder Mystery event for the Rotary Club. The event raised over £1000 and the Rotary have donated £100 to the Drama department for which we are very grateful. The next performance will be for the Willington History Society on the 30th April and the students involved are Poppy Kennedy, Katie Walmsley – Smith, Isobel Frost, Grace Robinson, Bethan Thomas, Georgia Carter, Holly Daldry and Kieran Hazell-Luttman.  The Tech team consists of Jacob Tufts, Daniel Anderson and Jasper Hare.

Thank you to everyone who attended the Parents’ Forum on Wednesday evening. As always, it was a pleasure to hear views and have an open discussion. Two members of the Cambridge Meridian Academies Trust (CMAT) Executive presented information about the Trust, its values and ethos and how they support schools who are part of the CMAT family. There were a number of questions about the process for joining a new trust and we will keep all parents informed of progress over the next few months.  Please see below for the link to the Presentation from the evening; you can also visit the CMAT’s website here.
https://www.cmatrust.co.uk/ 

Also on Wednesday evening, members of the band ‘The Underfunded Part Deux’ performed at Battle of the Bands at The Stables in Milton Keynes.  I would like to congratulate Ben Coyles, Josh Stevenson, Tom Tunnard, Stephen Day, Matt Pittkin and Lucy Paget for an absolutely fabulous performance. We are very proud of you all.

A reminder that the Spring Concert is on Tuesday 2nd April at 7.00 pm in the Hall. It would be lovely for the students to see lots of people in the audience, so please join us if you can.
 

Ms Roz Hodges
Interim Headteacher
 
All parents should have received a letter yesterday from Mrs Russell, Chairman of Stratton Education Trust, regarding our plans to join another Multi Academy Trust. You will find a link to the letter here https://www.stratton.beds.sch.uk/index.php/parents/letters-home/241-communication-madeline-russell-chairman-stratton-education-trust . I would also like to remind parents that there is a Parents’ Forum meeting on Wednesday 27th March at 6:30pm at which there will be an opportunity for discussion, although the process is still at a very early stage.
 
The Staff vs Students rowing challenge for Comic Relief last Friday 15th March raised over £158. Of course, our energetic students were victorious but the staff team put in a magnificent effort.  In total the student team rowed 89000m, 6000m ahead of the staff team.  The event was well supported with lots of students and staff taking part.  A fabulous end to the week.
 
On Wednesday, there was a great turn out of Year 10 parents and students for our Revision Information Evening.  As Year 10 mock exams take place after Easter, this was a good time for us to share advice on how to revise well for embedding learning long term as well as how to manage stress and be mentally prepared for exams. Hopefully students will use these techniques regularly so good habits are set in time for Year 11 full GCSE exams.
 
On Tuesday and Thursday evenings this week I had the pleasure of being reminded of just how many very talented students we have at Stratton. There was a good audience for the students to perform to at both the Dance Showcase and the A level Music Recital. Performing to an audience is such an important part of these qualifications so we are very grateful for your support and for the work and professional expertise of the dedicated staff in Performing Arts.
 
Ms Roz Hodges
Interim Headteacher

Science Week
During science week we have been fortunate to have:

  • The Bosch Group giving an assembly on hydraulics.
  • The Sixth form had a talk on Astronomy with Matt Bothwell from the Institute of Astronomy, University of Cambridge
  • Year 9 have taken part in a Technology Tournament
  • Students were able to dissect eyeballs, hearts and octopi in the Dissection Club
  • On Thursday, the Sixth form had a Science talk
  • Today year 9 are out at the Big Bang Fair

Performing Arts News
We were delighted to hear that Kieran Hazell-Luttman came first in the Solo/Duet over 16 singing class at the Bedfordshire Festival of Music, Speech and Drama, receiving some excellent comments and encouragement from the adjudicator.

We should also plug that Georgina Carter’s new single was played on the BBC Introducing this week and can be found at http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p070mt25

Sixth Form Events
It has been a busy and exciting week in the Sixth Form for the Year 12 students.
On Tuesday Personal Development sessions were held on Cooking on a Budget, First Aid, Self Defence and Well-Being/Mental Health.
During Wednesday, Year 12 went to the Apprenticeship Fair in Milton Keynes Area.
Thursday saw the Sixth Form hold an Industry Experts day where global and local companies/higher education providers presented careers information to students.
On Friday we held CV writing sessions, UCAS guidance groups and Personal Statement Writing Workshops.

For Comic Relief the Sixth Form challenged the teachers to a rowing competition - results to be announced next week!

Ms Roz Hodges

Interim Headteacher

 

A number of exciting things are happening next week:
British Science Week starts today and is a ten-day celebration of science, technology, engineering and maths with a huge number of events taking place across the country. The Stratton Science department have been planning a number of activities and trips for next week including talks from the Institute of Astronomy and Glaxo Smith Kline, a technology tournament, dissection club and a Year 9 trip to the Big Bang Fair in Birmingham.

During the course of next week, the Sixth Form will be taking part in a number of events focused on skills and careers including an apprenticeship fair, careers day, technology challenge, first aid training, self-defence, cooking on a budget and a mental and physical wellbeing workshop.

As if that wasn’t enough, Friday 15th March is also Comic Relief and the Sixth Form Student Leadership Team have organised a staff vs students rowing competition and other events to raise money for this charity, which we are always proud to support. Students in Years 9 - 11 are expected to be in full uniform as usual on Friday 15th.

Therefore, next week looks set to be an engaging as well as fun and exciting week across the school for both students and staff.

On a more serious note, Year 11 Core Mocks start on Tuesday 12th March and run until Friday 15th March. Students have been focused on revision and preparing for these assessments in their English, maths and science lessons. We wish them luck, as every bit of preparation they do now will be beneficial for the summer exams.

Ms Roz Hodges
Interim Headteacher
 
Revision Information and Strategies
Thank you to all parents and students in Year 11 who attended the revision information evening on Thursday. We have had some positive feedback from those who have attended and we have sent the slides used to all Year 11 parents and they are also available on the website http://www.stratton.beds.sch.uk/index.php/news/latest-news/219-revision-evening-a-guide-for-parents . We will be running the evening again for parents of Year 10 students on Wednesday 20th March at 6pm so please do come along, we would love to see you there.
 
World Book Day 7th March
The Library at Stratton is celebrating World Book Day with activities throughout the month of March.  Students will be given a World Book Day token during their English lessons over the coming week which can be exchanged at Sainsbury’s in Biggleswade for one of the special World Book Day books or used for £1 off a book at the book fair taking place in the Library from 20th - 25th March.  There are book-related quizzes, a bookmark making competition and a book cover designing competition taking place in the Library until the end of March – students can come to the Library and pick up a bookmark and/or book cover template and join in! There are prizes for the winning entry and treats for everyone who takes part.  Parents are welcome to visit the book fair after school any day between 20th and 25th March when it will be open until 4pm and until 6pm on Thursday 21st March only.
 
FREE workshops for parents on mental wellbeing
Please see the flyer providing details of a programme of free parent workshops on mental health and wellbeing together with a flyer for the first workshop on 'anxiety and panic', provided by Bedfordshire CAMHS.  These workshops are open to any parent who is registered with a Bedfordshire GP.  Parents do not need to have a child open to CAMHS. Please contact: Sarah James - Public Health Senior Practitioner, Children and Young People, Telephone - 0300 3004109.

Ms Roz Hodges
Interim Headteacher
The school commissioned an external review to provide feedback on our progress since the Ofsted Inspection in April last year. The review took place on Thursday and we welcomed Stephanie Benbow, the Consultant Headteacher who worked with us last term, back to the school with her Deputy Alyson Grindley. They visited 17 lessons, spoke with students, both informally as well as part of a focus group and met with members of the senior and middle leadership of the school. We will receive their feedback in due course and I look forward to sharing the headlines with parents at the next Parents’ Forum meeting, which will take place on Wednesday 27th March at 6pm.  Please contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by Wednesday 20th March if you would like to attend this meeting so that we can make sure we can accommodate everyone who wishes to attend.

Year 11 parents should be aware of the Revision Information evening on Wednesday 27th February at 6pm. We are very much looking forward to sharing some strategies and revision techniques as well as ideas on how you as parents can support your children. I hope to see as many of you as possible on Thursday evening next week.
 
Ms Roz Hodges
Interim Headteacher
Although this half term has only been just over 5 weeks long we certainly have packed a lot into the time. All year groups have been actively taking part in trips and visits, clubs and performances. Year 12 and Year 13 have also been busy with their mock exams this half term.
 
Year 9 have been considering their future options with a range of informative and supportive events and activities in the lead up to choosing their final GCSE subjects. Please remember that all Year 9 GCSE Option Forms are due in by Wednesday 20th February and must be signed by a parent/carer.
 
There was an impressive turn out at the Year 10 subject parents’ evening last night.  We are pleased with the engagement of Year 10 students and I was delighted to hear so many positive conversations about the progress students are making with their studies.
 
Year 11 parents/carers will have received a letter inviting them and their children to a Revision Information Evening on Wednesday 27th February 2019 at 6.00pm. We would like to share with you the current thinking about what it means to revise effectively as well as give hints and tips for revision and what parents/carers can do to support at home. Families can have a huge impact on the success of young people’s performance in exams and we therefore hope to see as many of you as possible on the evening.
 
Please look out for the date of the next Parents’ Forum evening which will be publicised after half-term. It’s always a pleasure to meet with parents to hear views and opinions on how we can support our students better.
 
I would like to wish all our families a wonderful half-term break and look forward to welcoming students back at school on Monday 18th February.

Ms Roz Hodges
Interim Headteacher

We were delighted to welcome Year 9 to the GCSE options information evening last night and pleased that so many turned out with their parents, on a very cold evening to visit subject areas and receive advice and guidance from their tutors. A reminder that Options Forms, signed by parents, need to be back in school on 20th February 2019. In the meantime, please do not hesitate to contact subject teachers or your child’s Form Tutor if you have any questions at all.

Parents may find it useful to be aware of all the support that is available for Year 11 students between now and the summer exams. Explore the document below to find out what is on offer and please encourage your children to make the most of these opportunities.

Teachers are always available to help and students need to practice and take responsibility for their own learning as they develop as independent learners.

 

We are delighted to announce that Sally Litchfield and Mike Jeffries have been appointed on a short-term basis to deliver targeted interventions in the maths and English departments for Year 11 students. Both Sally and Mike are very experienced tutors who specialise in working with small groups of students and preparing them for GCSE exams. We are very pleased to have them on board and feel that they will make a valuable contribution to both departments.

 

Parents are warmly invited to our Year 10 parents’ subject evening on Thursday 7th February where you will have the opportunity to discuss your child’s progress with their subject teachers. Please make your appointments online, if you have not already done so please visit https://strattonupper.parentseveningsystem.co.uk/ to book your appointments. Should you wish to make an appointment with a member of the Senior Leadership Team please contact the school by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Please only request these once you have booked your other appointments online, and specify your availability start and end times. Please include in your email a brief outline of your concerns when requesting to see one of our senior team as this will assist us in booking the right person and time slot.

 

I am grateful to the site team who were out very early this morning to ensure the paths around school were cleared and gritted following last night’s snowfall. The school site looks beautiful in the snow and I am pleased that we are able to remain open and operate safely due to the commitment of our staff.

 

Ms Roz Hodges Interim Headteacher

Science, Technology Engineering and Maths (STEM)
We are in a really exciting time at Stratton as we get involved with STEM initiatives to give our students the best experiences possible. Every week, students are involved in a wide variety of clubs, from coding and robotics to our dissection club. It is a pleasure to see students exploring the latest technology and spending time out of the classroom learning STEM subjects. Our latest STEM project involves a team of Year 9 students who are working on a competition against other schools organised by Go4Set to design and innovate a solution to a real-life problem. We are looking forward to hearing how they get on in due course.
 
Young Enterprise Success
We were delighted to hear about the success of our Young Enterprise team ‘elevate¬_YE’ last weekend at the Young Enterprise Trade Fair in Milton Keynes. The team of six Sixth Form students Tommy Hastilow, Jack Wright, Jenson Twiss, Tom Turner, Sam Lingwood and Billy Humphries achieved three first place awards for best overall company, best sustainability and best customer focus. They even managed to get their picture taken with Joe Wicks, The Body Coach, who liked their products so much he bought one of their lion clocks!  Congratulations and well done to the whole team.
 
Year 9 GCSE Options
Mrs Vincent and I were pleased to be able to address a packed Hall on Tuesday evening to explain the GCSE options process to parents of Year 9. Students are today taking part in a number of 25-minute taster lessons so they can have a good insight into what GCSE subjects are really like and make informed decisions on their options. We look forward to welcoming all Year 9 students and their parents to our full subject Options Evening next Thursday 31st January. The event runs from 5pm – 7:30pm and Form Tutors are also available for appointments during the evening. If you and your child would like further advice and guidance, please make an appointment.
 
Ms Roz Hodges
Interim Headteacher