Our School, Our Week - 17 December 2021
In this issue:
- A message from Claire Giblin
- Student news
- Design and Technology
- Christmas card competition
- New science block
- House dance
- Foodbank collection
- Sporting Success
- Carol Concert Link
Our School, Our Week
A message from Claire Giblin
Here we are, the end of term 2 and what an enormous amount we have packed into those weeks. In reflecting on this academic year so far – I will focus on one thing…...enrichment is back.
We’ve been able to get out! - Croft Farm, Black Country Museum, Maths Inspiration lectures, Netball PGL, preparing for UCAS, Under 16 Hockey tournament, Under 14 and Under 19 Netball tournaments, numerous sporting fixtures, Wuthering Heights at the Old Vic, Bristol to name a few.
And, here at Denmark, we’ve been busy on site with book club, netball club, chess club, Indian head massage, jewellery making, AWS App development, young writers club and many more. With a forward look to up-coming adventures in Kenya and on World Challenge we’ve had two fundraising activities recently too. Year 7 & 8 busted some moves at their disco last week and then last night chilled with pizza, a quiz and a film.
And, of course, we’ve had celebration of languages on European Languages Day, of religion and culture with our student-led Diwali celebrations, of poetry on National Poetry Day. On a national stage, at conference streamed to schools across the country, we heard the voices and experiences of our students of colour.
And cake sales. At Denmark Road there are always cake sales.
It’s been a busy time for the music department, with all the groups back up and running. The Christmas Carol service enabled us to see the magnificent fruits of their labour. Live performances were back. We were treated to the floating notes of the Flute Choir playing ‘Let it Snow’, the robust hug and smooth as chocolate performance of ‘Deck the Halls’ by the Brass Group and the playful rendition of ‘It’s Beginning to look a lot like Christmas’ by the String Quartet. Ella Bowman warmed our hearts with her beautiful and rich solo at the start of ‘Once in Royal David’s City’. Evie Perfect showcased her talent by playing the church organ, rousing the congregation to crank up the volume in order to be heard. She then conducted various choral pieces, Evie your talent and leadership is immense. Every reading by every student, every choir performance, every group performance was expert, and as always the descant on Hark the Herald made me cry. You can watch a recording of the concert on YouTube here:
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I must give a special mention to the House Captains who organised such a musical treat for us with House music. I love this event. It showcases leadership as it is entirely down to the Sixth Form House Officials to organise. The event delights us with music and drama interludes from across the school and year groups. This year, as in all years, we were amazed by existing talent and discovered others for the first time.
It has also been a busy start to the year in STEM related activities.
Year 12 students are involved in an engineering project and the sixth form have been busy running the KS3 Biology club. We have had a very successful start to the regional rounds of Cyber First School’s Award where our team ‘The Mini Marshmallows’ have been notified last week that they were the top scoring team in the South West Girls’ Competition 2022. They have been invited to the National finals which are due to be held in January. Well done team!
We have had an extremely popular Chess club running all year who have continued to meet weekly for practice sessions and have taken part in competitions online. We are pleased to recognise the following students as Highly Commended for dedication and commitment to Chess Club:
Full STEM colours are awarded to Jaime Ashworth for successfully running and overseeing Chess Club. Thank you for your dedication and leadership.
Student participation in the life of the school not only enriches them, but is marked with the accumulation of House Points.
The totals to date are as follows:
Enrichment is a beautiful word. It encapsulates a beautiful thing. Enrichment enables us to engage in things we might not usually do, or to deepen a passion. It encourages us to challenge ourselves, to be creative, to immerse ourselves in another world, to satisfy our being, our souls.
With many events yet to come the leaderboard may change remarkably over the coming terms. All to play for!
Enrichment is about going beyond.
It embodies freedom, personality, individuality.
This academic year is the year of enrichment. Of continuing to enhance our offer to introduce our young people to the best that has been thought and said. Ambitious as ever, perhaps even to create what others will contemplate with awe and aspire to and wonder.
My message to students, well actually to all of us: If you’ve been meaning go to a new club or take up a new challenge – do it. If you enjoy a club or activity but your friends don’t – do it anyway. If you’ve tried but haven’t been selected for the team yet – stick with it. If there isn’t yet a club or group you want – create it.
We are looking forward to more enriching times in 2022. In the meantime, make the most of your well-earned holiday. Look after yourselves, make time for people you enjoy spending time with and things that make you happy.
Happy holidays one and all.
Jasmine Went 8M
Jasmine Went in 8M has achieved a distinction for both her ABRSM Grade 8 Piano and Grade 8 Clarinet exams.
She also recently auditioned to perform in the West End where she was successful. She will be performing in ‘ West End does Christmas 2021’ hosted by Maureen Lipman with performances
by all the lead stars of the West End shows.
As it is coming up to Christmas Lily Wainwright 7M and her family made a wreath themselves made out of ferns, leaves, cooked orange and other pieces of nature.
Design and Technology
In preparation for Christmas celebrations around the world, Year 7 and Year 8 students are participating in a 'Gingerbread Challenge' in their single one hour lessons. In groups of up to three they are mixing ingredients, cutting, baking and icing their creations.
Year 7 have been busy this term creating their self-portrait final pieces inspired by the artist Amedeo Modigliani.
Year 9 have worked hard this term to complete their mixed media final pieces, developing their creativity, independence and understanding of a variety of techniques and materials.
Christmas Card Competition
Below are some fantastic entries in our Christmas Card Competition.
Digital Elves - Julia Koczorowska
Christmas wreath - Catherine Bailey
Christmas mug - Rajneet Gill
Denmark Road tree - Jasmine Ravishankar
Christmas tree and Santa sleigh - Josie Yee
It was a difficult choice, but we are pleased to announce that this year's winning entry goes to:
Josie Yee (Christmas Tree and Santa Sleigh)
Some of our Year 7 Music classes have been learning a festive song during December, and although they did not get to officially perform the song they all had lots of fun singing 'Winter Wonderland /Here Comes Santa Claus' during the lesson
The orchestra have been working hard this term preparing for the charity concert next term on the 8th February. For our final rehearsal of the year we performed 'A Christmas Festival' by Anderson. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our wonderful musicians who have attended orchestra rehearsals this year. It is a real privilege to have live music back in the Music department again after such a long time.
Year 7 have been doing a map skills unit in geography, and as part of their work on relief, 7H had a homework task to create their own 3D model, using the layer colouring technique they had studied in the lesson. Here is an excellent example by Rosie Jones, who produced a model of Cadair Idris, along with a photo of when she went there herself. Well done Rosie, and all of 7H, on some excellent work.
Students in year 7 have been studying the work of Sophie Standing, an internationally renowned textiles artist. They will be making kimonos to include imagery of animals studied, inspired by Standing next term.
Students are currently working on completing kimonos as part of their coursework. Fantastic outcomes from their practical days.
We also have a couple of pieces from GCSE students, an artist study and practical developments.
As part of our English curriculum, Year 7 students are studying "A Christmas Carol" by Charles Dickens.
There is a great description of a high street just before Christmas, where various shopkeepers display their wares. The following is all one sentence:
"There were pears and apples clustered high in blooming pyramids; there were bunches of grapes, made, in the shopkeepers’ benevolence, to dangle from conspicuous hooks that people’s mouths might water gratis as they passed; there were piles of filberts, mossy and brown, recalling, in their fragrance, ancient walks among the woods, and pleasant shufflings ankle deep through withered leaves; there were Norfolk Biffins, squab and swarthy, setting off the yellow of the oranges and lemons, and, in the great compactness of their juicy persons, urgently entreating and beseeching to be carried home in paper bags and eaten after dinner. "
Dickens loved a particular apple called a "Norfolk Biffin", a type of cooking apple that is now quite rare. 7BA tried out this apple to see if they agree with Dickens about how tasty this apple is:
"They tasted like stewed apples"
"They were delicious."
"They are amazing."
"They were sweet and juicy."
All agreed that the apples were entreating and beseeching to be eaten.
Year 7 Craft Club with Art Leaders
Students have loved creating a variety of crafts at our weekly lunchtime club organised by our amazing Year 13 Art leaders, Esha, Holly and Fliss.
Jewellery making is still going on - we have had 83 students attend. Many have attended multiple workshops. Due to exceptional demand this will be continuing next term.
Carol Concert Link
On Wednesday 15th December we held our Christmas Carol concert at St Catharine's Church. It was an evening full of festive cheer with beautiful performances by our talented Students and Staff. We have been lucky enough to obtain a copy of the recording and are delighted to share this with you below.
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The term is coming to a busy close in the LRC. The Library Prefects have worked so hard choosing Mystery Loans and wrapping them up for the enjoyment of students and staff during the holidays – 64 requests, each with multiple genres when the form closed on Monday. Students are now letting me know they want materials to make bookmarks too. The joke slips are on my desk, awaiting students filling them in and several tutor groups are taking part in the daily LRC Quiz. Please encourage your child to return, renew or replace any overdue items, so their tutor group is eligible for a reward in the New Year.
One of my School Librarian colleagues, Helen Smith of Eckington School near Sheffield, takes on the mammoth task of compiling a TV film guide for the holidays, including relevant book information, and this year, a selection of books that school librarians around the country think should be made into films. Here is the link, which appears on the School Library Association website: https://www.sla.org.uk/support-for-secondary-schools and it is the 6th item on the list. Do take a look – there’s so much information on there.
Here’s a small selection of titles in the LRC which are also movies or TV series:
All of these are available from the LRC using Click and Collect. Please remember that all the LRC’s online resources are available from home, via students’ Gmail accounts, but if there are any issues with logging in, they should let me know.
Gloucestershire Libraries are running various seasonal activities over the holidays. Take a look at their website to book and to check opening hours: https://gloucestershire.spydus.co.uk/cgi-bin/spydus.exe/MSGTRN/WPAC/HOME
They have a wealth of books, e-books and e-audiobooks, as well as online resources for study and research. This is the same for all our incredible county library systems, so please take a look. Links to other systems can be found in previous Emails and you can easily search for them online.
Just a final thanks for your support this year and a wish that you all have a great holiday and manage to read a lot to rest and refresh your minds. Here is the amazing Christmas tree, created by Year 12 and 13 Library Prefects and friends.
Ms Carol Cordall, School Librarian
Follow the LRC on Twitter @DRHS_LRC and Instagram drhs_lrc
Our new science block
The new Science block is taking shape and having the roof frame put on.
A selection of our Sixth Form students organised a collection for Gloucester Foodbank. Thank you to everyone who donated items to such a worthy cause.
Below are the house totals:
Bearland - 152 items
Kyneburga - 60 items
Hartland - 60 items
Barwell - 46 items
Mynd - 48 items
Well done to the following students who have been selected for Gloucestershire:
Gabby Russell (Year 9) who has been selected for the County Netball Squad.
Amelia Moore (Year 9) who has moved up to the County Hockey Squad.
Aaliyah Yussuf, Lizzie Davey and Eden Gough (Year 10) have had great success with their U15 rugby team, Cheltenham North. They have won the Midlands Pool in the National Cup competition after beating Worcester and Old Halesonians, meaning they are now in the last 16 teams in the country, which is a first for their club.
House Dance 2022
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Dates for the Diary
17TH December – End of Term 1:30pm finish
4th January - Start of term and return to school
20th January - Sixth Form Open Evening
26th January - Securing Excellence Evening
26th January - 28th January - Flu Inoculation for years 7-11
Follow me @DenmarkRoad365
Please follow me on Instagram at drhshead and Twitter @denmarkroad365. You will see a snapshot into DenmarkRoad365 and the life of a Headteacher at one of the most amazing schools in the country. - Claire Giblin