Newsletter December 08

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Newsletter December 08

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End of term newsletter December 2008Community CohesionNovember and December havehighlighted the excellent work thatstudents and staff undertake withinthe community, both at a local leveland national level. Indeed, at a timewhen selective schools are beingasked to integrate more effectivelywith the wider community, Churston isa leading light in community cohesion.In November Year 10 students hosteda Badminton Festival for almost 100Year 3 students from our local primaryschools. The all-day event wasplanned and led by the students andthey displayed remarkable levels ofmaturity and great creativity. Studentsfrom Hayes Primary School wereinvolved in our Poetry Evening, thehighlight of which was a group poemcreated by the two hundred strongaudience. Drama students organised ahealthy living workshop for primarystudents and numerous gifted andtalented students from the localcommunity have benefited fromextension work in humanities, ICTand maths.Sasha Hare, Zanalee Jago-Barton andCharlotte Hussey took their campaignfor greater consistency in diabetescare in schools to the House ofCommons at the end of November.The three students spoke with passionabout their positive experiences atChurston and their commitment toensure that young people withdiabetes receive similar levels ofsupport in all schools across thecountry.The wider community was alsobrought together by two eveningsorganised by the Music Department.The Year 7 Concert held at school wasa delight and gave us an insight intothe musical talent that we will beenjoying for the next seven years. TheChristmas Concert at All Saints Churchin Brixham was superb and our thanksgo to all those who contributed to theabove events.Students have also strengthened ourlinks with the international community.Stacey Kemp, Josh Callaghan, ShaunGray and Caitlin Whytock visitedEstonia for a week and established theground work for our collaborativeclimate change project. Year 7students have produced our Perucalendar and all proceeds from thesale of the calendars (please purchaseone!) will go towards refurbishing ourpartner school in Peru. A sculpturedesign by Jessica Jones was selectedby students to stand at the entrance tothe Cube. The design represents ourcommitment to sustainable learning.Students have also raised money forChildren in Need, the MacmillanCancer Trust and Childline duringNovember.Clearly those who suggest selectiveschools dont integrate effectively withthe community have yet to visitChurston Ferrers!2008 was another very successful yearfor all those involved with Churstonand I wish everyone a happyChristmas and a successful New Year.R OWERSHEADTEACHERROWING SUCCESS CHURSTON CHAMPIONSOn Friday 12th September 2008, three pupils from ChurstonFerrers Grammar School represented the West of England at thethird South Coast Junior Rowing Championships. This year theevent was held in Plymouth.Richard Jeffs and Michael Tilley raced in the mens under-16 coxedquadruple sculls. The crew were fast to start and continued to pullaway to take the race by a clear lead of six lengths and give themthe title of South Coast Champions.Samantha Tilley rowed twice in the ladies under-18 level. In thedouble sculls Sam took the race by two lengths and in the ladiessingle sculls she again gave an impressive performance to take thetitle by another comfortable win.Michael , Richard and Sam all row for Dartmouth Amateur Rowing Club. Samantha has been rowing since 2002, with Michael joiningin 2004 and Richard in 2006.The clubs strict training regime paid off as the boys rowed in the Mens under-16 coxed quadruple sculls in the West of England ARAChampionship series, which consists of ten regattas. By winning the 2008 Championship they were eligible to represent the West ofEngland at Plymouth.Sam rowed in several classes ranging from Womens Junior 18 to Open Adult races during the West of England series, eventually takingthe Championship for Womens Under-18 Single Scull.Continuing their success of last year, West of England ARA Champions and now South Coast Champions a fitting end to a verysuccessful season.Congratulations to Matthew Machin, a Year13 student at Churston Ferrers GrammarSchool for passing the Admiralty InterviewBoard at Gosport in September.This was a two day officer selection processfor the Royal Navy, which included bothmental and physical tests.Matthew will bejoining the Royal Navyin 2012 after beingsponsored atuniversity where hewill be studyingMechanicalEngineering for 3years.Churston Ferrers Grammar School students raised awareness of AntiBullying week today by selling anti bullying blue ribbons to fellowstudents and staff, in excess of 150 has been raised for Childline sofar. Thank you to everyone who supported this event.The theme of this anti bullying week Being different, belongingtogether provided teachers with the opportunity to explore andcelebrate all our differences.Students have been involved in making their own Anti Bullying Postersduring PSME lessons and anti bullying assemblies have taken placeover the last few days.At Churston there are many fiction books that deal with bullyingavailable for the students to borrow from the study centre. The topic ofthis weeks reading group will be Bad Girls by Jacqueline Wilson, whichdeals lightly but sensitively with the terrible pain suffered by a 10 yearold girl when she becomes the victim of vicious bullying at school.Should students wish to discuss any matters that have been raised, Listeners and Prefects are available for informal chats duringbreak and lunchtimes everyday.What is Books for Schools?Each day during the school term in 2009, readers of The Times and The SundayTimes can collect tokens that can be redeemed for free books. With booksavailable for as little as ten tokens, our school could benefit from hundreds ofbooks next year.With some fantastic titles available for as little as ten tokens, one person readingThe Times and The Sunday Times could put up to 43 books into a school libraryduring the promotion.Please give any tokens you collect from the newspaper to your child to add tothe schools token collection. At the end of the first phase of the Books forSchools scheme we should have collected enough tokens to exchange forhundreds of free books.National Anti Bullying Week 17-21 November 2008Being different, belonging togetherChurston Ferrers Grammar Schools goal of achieving the full International Schools Award has madeconsiderable progress over the last few weeks.On 7 November we ran an International Day for years 7 and 8 to both promote the importance oflearning about global communities and to develop skills in teamwork, resourcefulness andadaptability.The day centered mainly on our link school in Peru and our students had the opportunity to learnsomething about: the geography and culture of Peru, international food cocoa/chocolate production and how Fair Trade works the Spanish language.The week commencing Monday 10 November saw the Heads of Years 7 and 8, Dr King and Mr Kingrespectively, together with four students from Year 12 Stacey Kemp, Caitlin Whytock, Shaun Grayand Josh Callaghan fly to Estonia to spend the week in the capital Tallinn. This trip took place aspart of the Comenius Partnership Project, working with our link countries Spain, Finland and Estonia.The four Year 12 students are members of our Lead Learners team of 21 students who will beworking with Year 7 and 8 students on a two year project, centered on climate change, inconjunction with students at our partner schools.Later in November, a further day took place, heavily involving both our Year 11 GCSE Dramastudents and 24 Year 4, 5 and 6 students from some of our feeder schools White Rock, Eden Park,Collaton St. Mary and Galmpton. The aim of the day was to help the primary school studentsunderstand the meaning of Sustainable Living through the medium of drama, and was led, in themain, by the Year 11s. The whole day was hugely successful, a comment from one of the primaryschool children was it has been lots of fun and I have learnt what sustainability is and what I cando to help the world.All of the above activities are, additionally, instrumental in enhancing the very important key skillsneeded in later life leadership, team work, presentation, confidence, risk-taking, creativity,decision-making, enterprise and resilience.BINGE:There Must Be More Than This?On Friday October 24 Saltmine Theatre Company visited school with their newproduction Binge: There Must Be More Than This?This new play follows on the success of Saltmines drug awareness productionEcstasy- The Leah Betts Story which has been seen by over 17000 pupilsnationwide. Students saw the Leah Betts production and the impact was amazing.Saltmine Theatre Company are committed to producing professional theatre thatraises awareness of issues facing young people of today. The show follows a group ofindividuals, all with different problems concerning alcohol and each discovering theeffect it is having on their lives. After the performance Drama students took part in aworkshop run by the theatre company.Christmas Shoe BoxesThis is the fourth year running that Churstonstudents have helped disadvantaged childrenthroughout the world. Some of these childrenhave never received a Christmas gift in theirentire lives.Overall 46 boxes were donated and are currentlyspeeding their way by plane, boat, lorry, andcamel to countries such as Swaziland,Kyrgygstan, India and Ukrane just to mention afew.This was part of the schools Children In Needfundraising events.Thank you to everyone who contributed to thisworthwhile cause.Army Sixth Form ScholarshipHenry Lyne, a Year 12 student has just qualified for anArmy Scholarship.Henry attended a 24 hour assessment at the ArmyOfficer Selection Board in October with other studentsfrom all over Britain. The assessment comprised ofeducational interviews, a formal board interview, aplanning exercise, aptitude tests, an assault course,command tasks and a 500m run and Henry was theonly student from the South West to receive ascholarship. Henry said I have always had ambitions to be an Army Officer and I was recommended toapply by my Army Careers Officer. As an Army scholar I am guaranteed a place at TheRoyal Military Academy, Sandhurst, after I graduate from University.Scholarships are awarded on merit, irrespective of background or method of schooling.There are two Army Scholarship Competitions each year, and you need to be aged between16-16 years 6 months to apply. The 100 scholarships are highly sought after with over 500students applying each year.Article written by Henry Lyne 12XIf you are interested in learning to play theViolin, please contact Mrs SusannaBurnett 01803 862940 for furtherinformation.Fir TreesFir trees rattle off snowWhite snowflakes whistletheir merry winter tunesonto the muddy groundwhere they are troddenby the ever jolly Santaand his coffee brown reindeerAs you can guessthis is no ordinarytime of year. Why?It's ChristmasLaurence Pettitt 8ARelationships and Sex Educationlessons take place for every yeargroup as part of the Personal, Social,Moral and Economic EducationProgramme. It is the School's policy,approved by the governing body,that all students attend theselessons.The Head of the PSME departmentMrs Mills is available to discuss theprogramme in detail if feltappropriate.2008/2009 Academic Year - School Term and Holiday DatesJanuary 5th Non pupil dayJanuary 6th Start of Spring TermFebruary 16th to February 20th (inc) Half TermApril 1st Last day of Spring TermApril 2nd and 3rd Non pupil daysApril 20th Start of Summer TermMay 4th May DayMay 25th to May 29th (inc) Half TermJuly 22nd End of Summer Term. Students dismissed at 1.30pm.Absence ReportingIf your child is absent from school due to illness, medical appointmentetc, please leave a message on the 24 hour absence line number01803 845781 before 9.30 a.m. Please also phone on each day ofabsence. Thank you.Mrs B Pargeter(Attendance Officer)Imperial National OpenTae Kwon Do ChampionshipsJordan Rowland a Year 7 student took part in the Imperial National Open Tae KwonDo Championships in Reading.Jordan won a Silver medal in her first Sparring competition and a Gold medal inPatterns. The Championships were open to all Tae Kwon Do clubs in the UK.Jordan is a yellow tag and competes in the Cadets section, 8-12 years.She has been learning Tae Kwon Do for nearly 2 years with Mr Grant Churchward atTorbay Tae Kwon Do and hopes to grade soon for her yellow belt.Article written by Jordan Rowland 7AMrs Mary King a Study Centre Assistantcompleted 25 years service at ChurstonFerrers Grammar School in November2008, she was presented with flowers ata surprise presentation in the seminarroom on Thursday 20 November.Mary has had a varied career atChurston, she started as a Meal TimeAssistant and has worked as a CoverSupervisor, Invigilator and now her placeof work is in the new study centre.25 YEARS SERVICE2009 Life in the Andes CalendarsFollowing on from the success of last years Life in the Andescalendar, we are pleased to announce that the 2009 calendar isnow on sale.Last years calendar was a big success and we were able todistribute the proceeds amongst our partner schools in Peru. Themoney was spent on buying resources for teaching and for class-rooms and all of the Peruvian teachers and students were thrilledthat their drawings had been used to produce such a professionalproduct.The project this year has been a student-run initiative and lots ofthe ideas for the design and the marketing of the calendar camefrom the students. A team of year 11 students organised meetingsand sponsorship and our editors worked extremely hard to puttogether the pages of the calendar.This year we have focused on the theme of the Eight Doorwaysto achieving sustainability in our schools. On each of the monthlypages you will find information about our views and the views ofour peers in Peru regarding different aspects of sustainability. It isinteresting to compare the ideas and pictures provided by studentsfrom different sides of the world. The drawings have been selectedfrom pupils in Peruvian schools and from pupils in our partnerprimary schools in Torbay. There is also a selection of photographsfrom Peru. The calendar is not only a very useful Christmaspresent; it also represents the dedication and enthusiasm of ourstudents and their commitment to making a difference in the livesof others.We really hope that you enjoy looking at the 2009 calendar andwe hope that you will support our project by purchasing one. Thecost is 3.50, and you can also fill out a Giftaid declaration form,enabling us to donate 4.48 from the sale of each calendar to thePeruvian schools. All of the money raised from the sales of thecalendars will go to Peru. If you are interested in purchasing a copyplease see Miss Matthews, Mr Lewis or one of the calendar salesreps at school.Parent Pay ( www.Parentpay.com)The online payment system, credit or debit card is now establishedfor new events and activities and is the preferred method of payment.If you have lost your activation code and unable to access youraccount please e mail julie.shears@churston.torbay.sch.uk for areplacement number stating student name and form.Churston TimesThe newspaper front pageproject has invited studentsfrom each year group to workas a team in gathering a rangeof news stories and reworkingthem for Churston Times.Three editions are available toview via a link from thehomepage of the schoolswebsite.Students here said theyenjoyed the groupdiscussion needed to arrive atthe selected news agenda fortheir day. One needed to bean international story andothers had to covernational and localtopics. One participantwrote afterwards Iwas surprised by howmuch a picture canaffect the importanceof an article. Ivelearned some of thequalities needed to bea newspaper editor.Sophie Morris (who was the Editor of that edition) Adam Edwards and Dulcie FentonThe School NetworkThe ICT facilities continue to be upgraded. The following act as a reminder of some important issues we feel you need to be aware of:Illegal and inappropriate materialIt is illegal to download music without paying for it. Jokes and personal images may also be inappropriate and should not be broughtinto school. Music or any executable file must not be loaded on to the school network. We are duty bound to ensure that we, as aschool, adhere to both the data protection and copyright acts. To this end we ask that you encourage your son/daughter to be mindfulof our request that only educational material should be stored on the network. Any member of the ICT team is available to advise onthe suitability of material, if in doubt leave it out. Any suspect files found on the system, without permission, will be automaticallydeleted after an investigation has taken place.BackupsWe encourage the students to save their work and have backups. Recently a number of substantial pieces of work have becomecorrupted. It is essential that your son/daughter takes ownership of their own work and makes regular copies to reduce this potentialrisk. The industry standard is to make three copies; these are alternatively saved onto, thus reducing the amount of important datathat might be lost. Can I ask you to encourage your son/daughter to look after their USB pen sticks and keep them safe. Placing themon a key ring with house keys on usually stops the USB pen being left in school.E Safety Do you help protect your child at home?Start here for an overview http://www.childnet-int.org/seminar-flash/main.swfAnd here http://www.thinkuknow.co.uk/Keeping your child safe and monitoring their use on the internetA great place to start is an honest conversation with your child. It is important that you agree a set of principles and rules. Thefollowing website; http://www.kidsmart.org.uk/ it provides free clear and realistic advice on a range of issues.Despite and regardless of the mutually agreed rules, there will come a time when more obtrusive methods are required. Beforeallowing your son/daughter to use the internet we recommend a stepped traffic light system:Green Discussing an agreed use and website activity set of rules Whenever possible placing a computer in a public part of the house Restricting access to clearly designated times of the dayAmber On a first offence remove the privilege of computer usage for a set period of time in the same way you would deal with anytoy/privilege. We have computers available before school, break-time, lunchtime and after school and thus the I have to domy school work is not a valid excuse. The easiest way to remove the privilege is to take the power cable away. Alternativelyyou can change their login password in Windows if you use usernames and login passwords.Red Repeat offences may require more drastic methods such as monitoring and controlling internet use using specialisedsoftware. There are two options available:Recording software keeping a record of their use. There will be a cost for this option. It is also a policing tool rather thanpreventative and should be seen as such. A comparative guide to a range of such software can be found at http://monitoring-software-review.toptenreviews.com/Restriction software the time, websites and access to the computer. Windows Vista has a parental control option. Alternativelystart at http://kids.getnetwise.org/ where you can find reviews on a range of products and excellent information.CrashIf the difficulty continues the ultimate sanction is to remove the computer or logon privilege for good. You should not feel that thiswill affect your childs education. We have enough computer availability in school to compensate for no computer access at home.Access is available in rooms 19, 20 & the study centre before school, at break time, lunchtime and after school until 4.30pm.