Term 4 Newsletter

March 2018

Message from the Head of School

The shortest term in the school calendar has certainly been an eventful one!

With mocks exams, Year 9 options, Year 7 Bikeability, A level and GCSE rehearsals, Fairtrade Fortnight, the return visit to our French Exchange partners, Spring Sports Week, a visit from Ofsted and the disruption caused by the ‘Beast from the East’.

Fairtrade Fortnight was celebrated in the second week with us hosting a guest visitor, Urania from Nicaragua. It was a powerful and moving day to hear first-hand how Fairtrade had such a positive impact on a young lady, her family and community. Students engaged in activities through their curriculum and had opportunities to ask questions to further deepen their understanding. It was a reminder of the small things each of us can do to make a difference in the world.

Our community strand within the school continues to develop.  This term we have received thanks from the British Red Cross, Grand Appeal and Time for Change for our fundraising efforts that have raised nearly £1300.  Plus we started work on an environment project, that will look at different aspects of both our immediate environment and the impact of our actions on a global level. This piece of work is being driven by a group of Year 7 students.

Thank you to everyone who completed the parent/carer questionnaire. We value your feedback and comments which we will focus on to help us improve further. Our visit from Ofsted triggered another survey and thank you to everyone for responding so positively. It was pleasing to hear the summary provided by the Ofsted inspector. The full report will be published at the end of April and will be circulated to all parents and carers.

The snow disruption was unhelpful this term in putting some of our young people out of routines and we have been reinforcing the importance of attendance with our young people during this term. Despite the disruption, it was pleasing to see a significant increase in the number of students with 100% attendance in Term 4 and this reflects their resilience in not letting anything knock them off track. Thank you for your continued support with driving attendance.

I would like to wish you and your families a very enjoyable, relaxing Easter break.  Just a quick reminder that we have an INSET day at the end of the holiday and students are due back in school for Term 5 on Tuesday, 10 April.

Mr J Humphreys

St Katherine’s joins campaign to eradicate polio

Students Tara and Sadie Harvey,  Mr Southon, Deputy Headteacher and Tony Richards from Clifton Rotary Club admire the purple crocuses.

Community is one of St Katherine’s core values and we encourage students to consider how they can be active members of the community and make a positive impact on the world.

As part of this students supported Rotary International’s ‘Purple 4 Polio’ campaign, by planting crocus bulbs donated by the Rotary Club of Clifton in the school grounds. Developed in partnership with the Royal Horticultural Society, the campaign uses a purple crocus as its symbol to represent the purple dye used to mark the finger of a child who has been immunised.

Rotary has been committed to the eradication of polio across the world for over 30 years. In that time the amount of countries where polio is endemic has dropped from 125 to just one. Over 2.5 billion children have received vaccinations thanks to Rotary and recent support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Now, despite the best efforts of the recent snow, the crocuses are in bloom and are colourful, cheerful addition to the school flowerbeds.

Supporting this campaign has helped students learn about the challenges their peers face around the world and consider how even a small action, such as planting bulbs, can make a difference.

Help make the internet safer for your child

    As part of our regular updates on internet safety this term we’re sharing the latest issue of Vodafone’s Digital Parenting Magazine

    It includes helpful articles on various topics including:                                      

    • cyberbullying
    • how to develop your child’s digital resilience so they know when they are at risk online and what to do about it
    • spotting fake news online
    • expert advice on how to handle the negative impacts social media can have on body image
    • handling awkward conversations with young people about what they may see online
    • plus tips on setting up parental controls and privacy settings on social media, apps, live streaming and video platforms.
    Young photographer awards


    Students who took part in the Rotary Club Young Photographer of the Year competition received commemorative certificates from Portishead Rotary Club.  Special congratulations to Charley Saunders whose winning entry takes him on to the regional finals.

    Head Students’ blog

    The school council helped organise events for Fairtrade fortnight in school which well received by students and staff.  The council plans to take a bigger lead on Fairtrade fortnight in future years.

    Looking back over the last few months there has been an abundance of charitable work for amazing charities.  We have raised money for Fairtrade, Teenage Cancer Trust, and Bristol Children’s Hospital. We would like to thank everyone who has helped out with donations, or given their time to support our fundraising efforts.

    Now, as we focus on preparing for  upcoming exams our time as head students is drawing to a close and the election process for the next Student Leadership Team will start soon.  

    We’d like to thank the school council for their contributions of ideas and they have been a pleasure to work with. 

    Emily Marshall and Remi Khalif

    Treat yourself to a meal at The Leaf

    The consistently high standard of food prepared and served by our students has been getting five star reviews. 

    Check out this comment from a recent diner on TripAdvisor: 

    One of the nicest restaurants you could hope to visit. Very friendly, nicely laid out, great students and most of all excellent food. We regularly visit and are never disappointed. Incredible value for money as well.

    Next term The Leaf is  hosting a Wild West night on 26 April and Jazz event on 3 May with specially themed menus.

    Or come along on another Thursday evening and enjoy a high-quality three course meal for only £17.00.

    Book by calling 01275 373737 or email theleaf@stkaths.org.uk

    French exchange return trip to France


    Following a very successful visit by French exchange students in February, a group of St Katherine’s students travelled to France in early March to spend the week with their French hosts from Victor Duruy College in Mont-de-Masan, south west France.   

    As well as spending time in lessons,  the group honed their French skills as they explored the area including visits to Biarritz and Bordeaux. 

    A memorable, transformative week. 

    A thought-provoking visit during Fairtrade Fortnight

    Urania (left) and representatives from the Fairtrade Pill group were welcomed to St Katherine’s by Mr Humphreys and the MFL Faculty teachers

    St Katherine’s was thrilled to welcome Urania Liseth Hernandez from Nicaragua as part of her visit to the south west during Fairtrade Fortnight organised by Bristol Link with Nicaragua (BLINC).

    36 year old Urania is from the La Perla community and has been a member of her co-operative since 2002. Supported by a project that enables women to access and farm land she initially grew coffee on a hectare of land and the profits have allowed her to buy another 1.5 hectares where she now also grows cocoa.

    Urania spent the day at St Katherine’s and her presence prompted some interesting discussions as aspects of Fairtrade were taught and debated in lessons. After a Fairtrade breakfast in The Leaf, Urania took part in a Year 7 Geography lesson that reviewed the problems of the global banana trade and how Fairtrade is making it a fairer business for growers. She talked about starting a business with Year 10 business students before discussing Fairtrade as a strategy for Human Rights Intervention with Year 13 geography students. A Fairtrade lunch at The Leaf served by hospitality students rounded off Urania’s visit.

    The visit was very successful and thought-provoking. With Mrs Maringo translating, students learnt how buying Fairtrade products can help change the lives of local growers like Urania and their communities. The money has helped Urania’s community build a new school and church, it now has decent toilets and local children received free school items to help their study and education.

    Special thanks to Sue Tuckwell from Fairtrade Pill and Bob Langton from Carbon Gordano/Fairtrade for organising Urania’s visit.

    Mrs G Maringo, Head of Modern Foreign Languages

    Students commended by the Head of School this term
    Jules Mackilligin: English
    Adam Britton: MFL Student of the Term
    Tracie Francis: Art
    Amritveer Gill: Art
    Megan Hart-Jones: Art
    Elfie Lomax: Art
    Tikia Mack: Art
    Gabe Antolic-Furlong: International Football Tournament
    Courtney Hawkes: English

    Will Stratton: MFL Student of the Term
    Olivia Wilshire: MFL Student of the Term
    Max Stevens: MFL Student of the Term
    Molly Jackson: MFL Student of the Term
    Jimmy Church: MFL Student of the Term
    Kyra Beattie: Art
    Ruby Hodge: Art
    Bethia Brown: Art
    Judit Molnar: Art

    Term 4 news round-up

    Here’s a quick round-up of Term 4. We post regular updates throughout the year on the school website, Facebook and Twitter.

    Year 8 go Roman

    Year 8 were treated to an action-packed ride through the life of Roman legionary courtesy of Ben Kane, the critically-acclaimed, bestselling author of ‘Road to Rome’, ‘Spartacus: The Gladiator’ and many others.

    Kane, clad in historically-accurate garments and displaying a range of frightening-looking weapons, spared none of the details as he took us back to this brutal historical period – a perfect accompaniment to our current study of Latin and the Art of Writing.

    life drawing workshop

    Year 11, 12 and 13 students studying Art had the opportunity to take part in a life drawing class to hone their artistic abilities.

    Led by tutors from Weston College, the workshop helped students enhance their first hand observational drawing skills, an essential part of their coursework.  

    The students’ work will be submitted as part of their A Level and GCSE coursework.

    'Top of the bench' Chemistry

    Chemistry students from Year 9, 10 and 11 took part in the Royal Society of Chemistry’s ‘Top of the Bench’ competition at Bristol University.

    The competition aims to enthuse and excite children with chemistry and encourage them to consider the topic in their further education and careers.

    The students completed all tasks with accuracy and despite just missing out on a win thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

    PE and Sport News
    The Year 7 boys were crowned Country Sportshall Athletics Champions

    Somerset CC players Peter Trego and Jamie Overton congratulated the U13 Boys indoor cricket team on their second place in the County Finals

    It has been another busy term of sport.  There will be a full round-up in the PE and Sport Newsletter early next term but here are some of the highlights:

    • Our U13 Boys Cricket Team finished runners up in the indoor cricket County Finals – second best in Somerset!
    • The U19 Boys put up a great fight but went out to a strong Beechen Cliff side in the semi-finals of the Somerset Cupl
    • There have been numerous sports trips with students going to Bristol Flyers, Taunton RFC and Team Bath netball with the trip to the West Bromwich Albion Vs Swansea match during the Easter holidays
    • House Sport has been coming thick and fast with Year 11 competing in badminton, table tennis and basketball while the lower school took eachother on in football and hockey
    • The Sky Sports EPP group visited City Mazes. Both teams worked out their escape from a locked room with just minutes to spare!      

    Mr Cook, Head of PE.

    Key Dates for Term 5
    9th April:  INSET day 
    10th April:  Students in school for Term 5 
    11th April: Year 10 Future Quest trip to Bristol University 
    19th April:  Year 11 theatre trip to London  
    26th April: Year 10 Future Quest trip to UWE
    7th May: May Bank Holiday  
    14th May: GCSE exams start 
    23rd May: Performing Arts trip to Bristol Hippodrome 
    25th May:  End of Term 5 
    4th June:  Students back in school for Term 6

    keep in touch

    There isn’t enough space here to showcase the huge variety of student experiences and achievements this term. Keep up to date by visiting the ‘News and Events’ section on the school website, check the school Facebook page or follow us on Twitter @stkathsschool.

    People | Community | Excellence

    • Term 4 PE Newsletter - lots of sport and snow!
    • Ofsted report April 2018 - school media release
    • Student environment group champion eco-friendly school tie.
    • Purple flowers bloom at St Katherine’s School as part of battle against polio.
    • St Katherine's welcomes Nicaraguan farmer during Fairtrade Fortnight