We are fast approaching the end of the exam season with the final GCSE exam on Tuesday and the A level exams will be finishing on 24th June. We wish all our Year 11 and 13 students a wonderful summer when they are finally able to relax.
On Thursday we were delighted to host our local Year 7 & 8 middle school pupils in the 4th annual Bake off competition. We had some fantastic entries by the students, so the judges had a very difficult decision to make, but thoroughly enjoyed the process. The winning cake was number 5.
Mrs Walton and Mr Warburton took a number of Year 9 and 10 students to Oxford University this week. They visited St. Edmund Hall at Oxford University. Whilst there they had a tour of the college which included the beautiful quad, the library (where they have every book ever published in the UK) and the servery. The students had the opportunity to meet with current Oxford students to find out what life is really like at one of the most prestigious universities in the world. They were told that their GCSE results were of key importance for any Oxbridge application. They are looking for committed and enthusiastic students who go above and beyond the GCSE and A Level course requirements. They were encouraged to read around the subjects, look for summer courses run by both Oxford and Cambridge, attend extra-curricular clubs and have an awareness of developments in their subject. It was a great day and the students were a real credit to the school.
Finally we are very excited to be running our first ever Stratton Festival! So please do remember the date is next Thursday, 20th June. We are keeping our fingers crossed for good weather and would love to see as many of you there as possible. Please buy your tickets now from www.ticketsource.co.uk/strattonupperschool to avoid disappointment.
It’s been a great start to the final half term of the academic year. There is tremendous focus and energy in lessons as students are now on their timetables for the new academic year, which is particularly exciting for Year 9 starting their GCSE courses.
I thought it would be good to share some highlights from the fantastic week of fun, mud and water that was shared by 44 Year 9 students and 4 staff members on the Blue Peris trip. Students learnt many new skills and I am sure that parents were particularly pleased that this included making their own beds, washing up and using a vacuum cleaner.
Activities included canoe paddling on the local Llyn Padern, learning to trust and help others although many students struggled to stay dry. The pass of Llanberis enabled students to work on pushing themselves out of their comfort zone and all managed the climb with many overcoming their fear of heights! At Afon Ddu Gorge, pupils enjoyed scrambling over the rocks, crawling through crevices and sliding down waterfalls. Coasteering gave the thrill seekers of the group a chance to leap from cliffs and traverse the rocky shoreline.
The week was finished off with an evening of karaoke that the group will never forget and ended with an epic group rendition of Bohemian Rhapsody.
All students were a real credit to the school and made the trip a week to remember. Although very enjoyable, it is also hard work for staff and I would like to thank Mr Lattimer, Miss Parmar, Miss Webb and Mr Stevenson for giving their time and energy to make the trip such a success.
On Thursday we were very proud of some excellent performances from all our athletes who attended the Bedford School Multi Athletics event. Well done to everyone involved.
This week we are very proud of our Year 10 cricket team who on Tuesday beat Redborne Upper School by 11 runs. Tom and Ronan deserve a special mention for being top for wickets taken and runs scored respectively.
The Year 9 students at Blue Peris are getting stuck into all the activities and it’s great to see them really challenging themselves while having lots of fun along the way. You can follow them on Instagram http://www.instagram.com/strattonupper
I am sure that all our Year 11 and sixth form students will be glad of the break from exams next week and we would like to remind them that the pre-exam breakfasts for morning exams will continue after half-term.
Wishing you a fabulous bank holiday weekend and we look forward to students returning to school on Monday 3rd June.
The summer exam season is now in full swing and we are very proud of the way Year 11 and our A level students have approached their exams. With a good number of core GCSE exams this week, it is good to see the students smiling and generally feeling confident. Next stop, the Year 11 prom and Year 13 leavers’ ball which I know they are all looking forward to.
Mrs Lawrence, our school Librarian needs your help!
Stratton School has an amazing Library for our students and we would like your help in our quest to make it even more amazing. We would be grateful if you could fill in the nomination form in the link below to help us get even more books for our Library (the more nominations we get the more likely we are to win). If we get the most nominations, it will mean £5,000 worth of new books for our Library, an amazing resource for our students. https://www.nationalbooktokens.com/schools#.facebook.
Thank you in advance for all your support of our school Library.
With one more week to go before the half term break, I would like to take the opportunity to remind parents that we roll our timetable over to next year’s from June, so Year 9 will be starting their GCSE courses in earnest from then. I know many Year 9 students are looking forward to Blue Peris next week and we wish them well for their outdoor adventures.
Today we formally say good-bye to our Year 13 and Year 11 students who begin study leave in preparation for their GCSE and A level exams that start in earnest next week.
As Year 13 depart, we are delighted to announce our new Head Students Andrew Barnes, Emmanuel Chapman, Katie Walmsley Smith, Elsinea De Beer, Finlay Woodward and Ava Kernan. Following a rigorous selection process, we are convinced that this team of students will contribute to the whole school community and be excellent role models for the younger years.
Each year group celebrates in their own unique way to share memories, commemorate their time at Stratton and applaud individual achievements. It is a day of mixed emotions for students as well as staff; we will miss them but wish everyone all the very best of luck for the exams and whatever they aspire for in the future.
Over the Easter break the Science Department hosted a team from Cambridge Assessment International Education who came to record their new video resources for their international science qualifications. The team were very impressed with the new facilities in the Stratton Science Centre, which they said provided a fabulous setting for the filming. Liz Duncombe, the Development Manager and former teacher at Stratton, was also very complementary about the Science Technicians, Andrew Peacock and Jackie Cooper who liaised with the team in advance and supported them throughout the project. We are very grateful that the Cambridge International team generously donated a significant amount of equipment that will be used for practical work at GCSE and A level.
On Tuesday 30th April, Year 12 drama students went over to Willington Peace Memorial hall to perform the murder mystery again, this time for Willington History Society. The group had a lovely evening and the performance was superb, only 2 teams managed to work out who the killer was! Thank you to the History Society for inviting the students to perform and for the donation of £50 towards new equipment for the drama studio.
GCSE and A level practical and oral language exams have been taking place over recent weeks and the written papers start in force from the 13th May. We therefore will be seeing Year 11 and 13 off on study leave next Friday 10th May. This is always an emotional as well as happy and exciting occasion for both staff as well as students. Year 11 will be dressed in formal attire and will have a farewell assembly after break. Year 13 will be dressed in Hawaiian outfits and from period 3 will take part in activities, followed by a farewell lunch and assembly in a suitably decorated common room. We wish both year groups a focussed and enjoyable final week of formal studies.
Ms Roz Hodges Interim Headteacher
Drama students dressed up ready to play their part in the murder mystery evening.
Welcome back to the summer term. I hope all our families enjoyed the sunny weather and had a good break over the Easter holidays.
Year 10 begin their internal exams today. This is an opportunity for them to experience GCSE level exams in all their subjects and assess their progress to date. The majority of students have been working hard and preparing well for these exams and we wish them well.
On the last two days of term, Ms Doig, Ms Walton and Mr McIntosh took 18 Year 10s on the first ever Stratton Upper Core Camping Trip. This camp was to provide students with two days of core skills both in life and for the curriculum in their core subjects. Over the two days, the students were split into teams; where they had to put up their own tents, learn to build campfires and how to cook on them. Each team worked to gain enough money to eat in the evening by completing a series of challenges, all of which were based around what they have been studying in maths, English and science. The idea of this was to build confidence in themselves, whilst helping them to make links between their core subjects and real life. All students enjoyed the trip and Ms Doig, their Head of Year, was incredibly impressed by the resilience and perseverance in completing tasks they had never done before. Ms Doig reported that a particular highlight was seeing the pride students felt in themselves after having earned and cooked their evening meals on an open fire. Our hope is, that as we enter the Year 10 mock exam period, these students remember what they are capable of and begin to reap the rewards of the effort they put into their exams.
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.
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.
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.