Headteacher’s Blog: 17th July 2017

The school can seem quite different once Year 11 and Year 13 students depart and their “proms” held
on the 29th June and 4th July respectively were a fitting celebration for all that these year groups have
achieved and contributed to Stowupland. Particular congratulations go to the organising committees:
Cameron Jarrold in Year 11 and Chloe Warnes, Emily Ray and Chelsea Hollocks in Year 13. We look
forward to seeing students again during August when GCSE, AS and A Level results are published (AS and A Level on Thursday 17th August,  GCSE on Thursday 24th August).
Our older students are not the only ones making plans for the future and 224 Year 6s spent Monday
10th and Tuesday 11th July with us, getting to know the school and experiencing a variety of lessons.
There was also the opportunity for parents/carers to meet key members of staff and we trust that
everyone now feels prepared for the year ahead. In keeping with previous years, the first day of the
new term, Wednesday 6th September, is for the new Year 7 and the sixth form only . The whole school
will return on Thursday 7th September.
PE activities have thrived in the warmer weather and on the 13th July, eleven students from Year 9
participated in a 4 team “Round Robin Tournament” against Stowmarket High School. We may not
have won the trophy, but the teams embodied the spirit of the game and contributed magnificently to
the principle of fair play.
I am also delighted that the Sports Council has been re-formed, providing students with the
opportunity to share ideas and voice opinions. The members of the council are:
Y7: Samuel Pile and Eloise Jackson
Y8: Lewis Leggett and Ella Denison
Y9: Harvey Norman and Emily Piper
Y10: Lewis Long and Lucy Ray
Y12: Jamie Smith and Paige Batram
These students will continue to meet with Ms Wardley throughout next year and will be joined by new
Year 7 representatives in September. Health and well-being forms an important and integral part of
the school’s personal development curriculum and we are continuing our work to provide
opportunities and experiences for students to develop a range of skills and attributes in addition to
academic attainment.
As the new year approaches, we have provided some key information in this bulletin, but please do
look out for the final newsletter of the year which will be published on Friday 21st July. On behalf of
staff and governors, I would like to take this opportunity to thank parents/carers for their support
throughout 2016/17 and to wish everyone a safe and refreshing summer break.
Mrs K Grimes

Headteacher’s Blog: 3rd July 2017

Before we begin to look towards Sports Day and the range of records just waiting to be broken,  we should take a few moments to celebrate the success of  the “Stowupland Stars” competition.  Twenty one students ranging from Year 7 through to Year 10 took to the stage at the end of June and performed for a panel of judges.

There were solo vocal performers, duets and group dances taking part in the competition and  the school’s fusion group performed two pieces to entertain the audience.    The judges were: Ms Clubb (Subject Leader for Music); Ms Dixie (Subject Leader for Drama) and Mr Holden (Progress Leader for Year 7).   All three judges were, quite rightly, extremely complimentary and constructive in their feedback and the rumour that Mr Holden was Simon Cowell in disguise proved to be completely unfounded!

The highest marks of the evening were awarded to:  Lily Ruscoe and Alisha Chittock (Year 7) and to Rosie The and Melodie Fiske (Year 9); these two acts then performed again for the audience vote.   Alisha and Lily were awarded first place, but all participants deserve congratulations on producing a thoroughly entertaining evening.  Many thanks also to Miss Buckley, Mrs Brand and Mr Edgar for organising the event, along with the student helpers.

A busy week lies ahead with Sports Day on the 4th July and also the Art and Design Exhibition which opens at 5.00pm on the same day.  Please do try and come along to see the wonderful creations from  both GCSE and A Level students.

And finally, the public examination season is officially over!   This means that, with effect from Monday 3rd July, we will revert to normal timings and breaktime will follow period 1 at 10.15am.

Headteacher’s Blog: 19th June 2017

The rush-hour concert which took place on  Wednesday 14th June was a great success with a refreshingly eclectic mix of instruments and musicians ranging from Year 7 through to Year 10.  The Ukulele ensemble began the early evening concert, but we were also treated to solos from Lottie Chapman (‘cello), Daniel Reeves (piano) and Samuel Taylor (banjo).  Finley Jaggard and Zoe Balaam performed a highly original brass duet composed by Zoe herself – very impressive indeed!  Well done to all our performers.

It has also been a period  of very successful sporting fixtures.  The Year 10 boys competed in the Western Area Athletics Competition and achieved some fantastic results.  Lewis Long won his 300m race, Morgan Morris was placed 2nd and Louis Fargher came 3rd in the 100m. The 4×4 100m relay team which consisted of Lewis Long, Jamie Chambers, Louis Farger and Morgan Morris was placed 3rd overall.

The Year 9 athletes also acquitted themselves extremely well competing in the following events: 100m, 200m, 300m, 800m, Hurdles (75m), Relay (4x100m), Long Jump, High Jump, Triple Jump, Shot Put, Discus and Javelin.  Some athletes achieved podium places such as Ella Dootson (1st in 300m), Emily Piper (2nd in Shot Put), Amy Alcock (3rd in Shot Put), Anya Williams (3rd in 200m) and Mia Lambert (3rd in High Jump).  Other  highly creditable performances came from: Connor Moore ( 800m), Sam Print (Shot Put), Ethan Bullman (High Jump) and Brylan Morris (Javelin).

And last, but by no means least, the Year 7 girls’ rounders team also attended their first ever tournament on Tuesday 13th, having completed only a few training sessions. The girls used the opportunity to experience playing in different fielding positions and the PE staff  feel that this is a very strong squad in the making.

 Mrs K Grimes

Headteacher’s Blog: 5th June 2017

Following the success reported in the Newsletter, I have seen some wonderful photographs of the final products created by Year 11 food Technology students for their GCSE examination.  The brief was to design an item suitable for a celebration and there were some superb examples. Wedding buffets and cakes feature prominently and photographs will be included in our July newsletter.

Not to be outdone, the Year 10 “Choux” challenge has been equally successful and I know that Miss Howlett is really looking forward to seeing what all these students will do next year. Particular congratulations go to Year 10 students Chloe Bloss, Nicole Boardman and Thomas Hawkins for creativity and presentation, and for ingredient combination the winners were Abbie Lambert, Mia-Simone Hitchcock and Chelsea Goodyear.

We have also been running a Year 7 project this academic year called “Accelerated Reader” which encourages independent reading throughout the secondary phase.  Miss Curtis reports that over 3 million words have been read as a result of the project and the current “champions” are 7JC with over 701,000 words.  Keep up the good work!

Next week’s Blog will be published as part of our first Home Bulletin and this should reach parents/carers before Monday 12th June.

Headteacher’s Blog: 22nd May 2017

Literacy is one of the most important skills students need to develop in life. Beyond subject lessons, we have cross-curricular literacy initiatives (including word of the week) and, last term, Mrs Parsons started the Stowupland Debating Society.

The group presently comprises mainly Year 10 and Year 11 students and debates follow the Cambridge Union structure with debaters working in teams to present their arguments.  Meeting in A05 each Friday lunchtime, students have engaged in several heated, but purposeful exchanges and the topics have included:  Should crime dramas be aired on T.V?  Are feminist ideas pro-equality? and Who are the greatest superheroes?    As Year 11 students will be fully occupied with exams for the remainder of the term, the Society is keen to recruit enthusiastic Year 9s, so if you are interested, please see Mrs Parsons!

Year 9 students have all received letters regarding their option choices for next academic year.  Blocks are being finalised and timetabling for 2017/18 is well underway.  If you have any queries or questions about options, these can sent to: upperschool@stowuplandhighschool.co.uk  for the attention of Miss Neal.

At some point, we do hope to be enjoying some summer weather and thoughts are turning to Activity Days which will take place on 19th and 20th July.  Progress Leaders are drawing up programmes and Year 7 parents/carers have already been consulted on a proposed trip to Colchester Zoo.  We also hope to be trying some new destinations and further details will be forthcoming.

Headteacher’s Blog: 15th May 2017

All parents and carers should have received notification of the temporary amendment to breaktime arrangements.  This marks the beginning of the period of written examinations for Years 11, 12 and 13.  Year 12 students, in fact, began their period of study leave on Friday, although many will continue to attend revision sessions and additional classes over the next few weeks.  With GCSE, AS and A Level examinations operating, we use practically every room and office in the school to house the candidates. The revised timing for break reduces movement during the morning exam period quite considerably and enables everyone to enjoy social times.

For all other year groups, it is business as usual and this week saw the fruition of the Year 9 project “Grow Your £2.00”.  Part of the tutorial programme, this project has been a challenge of enterprise, creativity and teamwork.  Forms have certainly risen to the challenge and congratulations to 9AH for securing victory.  Pease see the half-termly newsletter (published on 26th May) for further details and photographs.

Cake saleOn Friday 12th May, I worked alongside an independent consultant to undertake a book scrutiny looking at work completed by students from Years 7 – 10. This work is undertaken as part of the school’s programme of quality assurance and we were really impressed with the depth of learning being achieved by many of our students across a range of subjects.  High standards of presentation were also much in evidence and it was very pleasing to see the new national grading system of 1-9 operating effectively from Year 7 onwards.

In the week ahead, we welcome Year 7 parents into school for Parents’ Evening on Wednesday 17th May and final congratulations of the week go to Year 7 student, Steven Tovell.  With the help and support of his form, 7JC, Steven worked hard last week to organise a cake sale in order to raise money for Cancer Research UK.  This was a huge success and the magnificent sum of £70.00 was raised!


Headteacher’s Blog: Monday 8th May 2017

The Stowupland team played magnificently in the U18 final on Thursday 4th May.  It was a closely fought match, with the boys demonstrating real tenacity and determination to equal the score line early in the second half.  A few lucky breaks for Thomas Mills produced a final score of 4 – 2, but the entire school community is rightly proud of the team’s achievements across the competition.  A season to remember for all the right reasons!

Preparation for exams continues this week and, as part of these preparations, some students have experienced revision days delivered by PET-Xi – a nationally recognised training company which specialises in intensive GCSE revision sessions in schools.  Following favourable reports from one of our partner schools In Cambridge, Mrs Bennett (Director of Learning and Teaching) has been arranging these days across a range of subjects. The PET- Xi team has had nothing but praise for the Stowupland students, complimenting them for their commitment, courtesy and determination to succeed.

I am also delighted to report that we are now in the process of transferring information and policies to our new website. This should go “live” after May half-term and we will also be launching a new prospectus in September 2017. Although we have many excellent photographs upon which we can draw for our publications, the design of the new prospectus requires at least 50 headshots.  We will be asking for volunteers shortly!

Headteacher’s Blog: 2nd May 2017

Good Luck

Good luck to so many of our students this week as they either begin, or continue, both GCSE and A Level examinations.  GCSE Art students were busy working on their exam piece throughout Friday and they are joined this week by GCSE Dance students and AS Level Design.

Year 10 students are also hard at work with “mock” examinations in Science operating on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of this week.  These are externally set papers and will be marked by the exam board Edexcel.  Whilst our younger students continue their studies we are also aware that Year 6 students are preparing for their SATs next week.  We know that hard work will be rewarded and wish them all well in the days ahead.

U18 Football

I am also delighted to report on yet more success from the U18 football team. After the nail-biting quarter final, the semi-final was even more dramatic as extra time and penalties resulted in a draw.  It was “sudden death” and the Stowupland team emerged victorious. However, Thurston should also be commended for playing an excellent match.  The final takes place this week on Thursday 4th May at Whitton FC beginning at 5.30pm.  Irrespective of Thursday’s result, the team performance has been superb and congratulations must go to:

Tom Wood, Jacob Jack, Tommy Smith, Lewis Alderson, Ethan Bloomfield, Dan Tomlin, Daniel Chambers, Luke Pattison, Jamie Smith, Henry Harvey, Josh Barnes, Tom Lane, Alfie Norman, Ben Moyes and Malin Davis.

Headteacher’s Blog: 24th April 2017

We Will Rock You

The final week of the Spring Term saw the school production of “We will Rock You” come to fruition!  Featuring students from across all year groups, there were three spirited and talented performances, each complete with a live band thundering out the Queen classics together with a set design and some special effects which would not have been out of place in a professional production.   A superb way to finish the term and Friday 31st March was eerily quiet….

Under 18 Boys’ Football Team

Our actors and musicians were clearly following the winning lead of our sports teams as the U18 Boys’ Football Team produced yet another outstanding performance in the Suffolk Schools Cup competition. They won their quarter final match against KEGS in a tense penalty shootout; Malin Davis produced three fine saves in the Stowupland goal and Ethan Bloomfield scored the winning penalty. The team now moves forward to the semi-finals.

Revision Sessions

School was open for much of the Easter break with students from Years 11,12 and 13 attending additional classes and revision sessions across a range of subjects. Many students have clearly gained in confidence from this experience and this augurs well for the next few weeks.  Any questions or queries relating to examinations or revision should be addressed to: Ms Walton and Miss Neal (Upper School) and Mr Hill (Sixth Form).

Sky Sports

In addition to examination preparation, students in Years 10 and 12 began the new term with a visit from Rachel Laybourne – a professional Volleyball player who represented GB at the London 2012 Olympics.  Rachel is a Sky Sports Ambassador and, as well as speaking to the GCSE/BTEC groups, Rachel was also able to spend time with the Year 7 Sky Sports Club.  More visits are planned and Year 8 students are next in line.

Headteacher’s Blog: 20th March 2017

Although Stowupland has academy status, we remain closely involved with many initiatives linked to the Local Authority and, on Thursday 9th March, our musicians helped to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Schools’ Music at Snape Maltings.

As the only secondary school performing during the evening, it was wonderful for the primary schools present to be able to hear what years of practice could achieve (there were audible gasps when the brass ensemble began their performance); equally, though, our students have an amazing opportunity to perform at a world-class venue, with full technical support.

This year, the brass group played Sonata in A (Opus 7, no. 4 – de Boismortier) and there was also a complex vocal arrangement of “Scarborough Fayre”.  The Stowupland musicians were consummate professionals throughout the day and evening and were an absolute credit to the school.  Well done to: Owen Moye, Zoe Balaam, Nathan Croft and Jamie Potter-Steel (brass players) and to vocalists: Shannon Parsons, Annoushka Stoneham, Ria Fergusson, Shannon Hawes and Becky Scott.   Our thanks also to Ms Clubb, Mr Neary and Mr Leech  – the staff members who both supported and performed with the students.

Performance has continued to be a theme with 46 students attending the Excel Exhibition on Friday 10th March to take part in the “MOVE IT” dance convention. The day presented the opportunity to take part in classes (Stowupland choices included: “Aladdin the Musical”, “Musical Theatre” and “Diva Class”) as well as to hone acting and vocal skills.  Particular congratulations to Rose for performing on the Showcase Stage and to Mrs Brand for more photographs!

Although academic performance remains at the forefront of our work (Year 12 reports are just being finalised and Year 11 students have just finished their second “mock” exams), there will be a lighter moment on Friday 24th March as Stowupland goes mad for Comic Relief!  Many forms are planning particular fund-raising activities and the theme for the non-uniform day is: “Around the World” with a £1.00 donation collected for charity.

Mrs KD Grimes, Headteacher