Term 2 Newsletter

December 2017

Message from the Head of School

Another busy term draws to a close with the usually hive of activity taking place from The Adams Family school show, winter sports week and enrichment trips to SkySports.

Our school Christmas lunch is a wonderful occasion each year and it is always a pleasure to see students sharing memories and exchanging gifts with each other. Our wonderful canteen staff – ably helped by the sixth form – run a military style operation to ensure all students can enjoy their lunch together. Together they served 700 Christmas lunches in three hours! Thank you to everyone who worked hard to make it a truly memorable occasion for every tutor group.

Thank you for all your help with keeping our site safe at the end of the day during our busy pick up period. The new system is keeping everybody safe and the overflow car park is now the best place to collect children at the end of the day.

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year and I look forward to welcoming the students back on 3 January 2018.

Mr J Humphreys

Main stories

Woodspring Debate

Each year we enter teams into the Woodspring Debate which is a local parliamentary debating competition for schools. Against stiff competition we debated with strong arguments and got pipped by the animation and challenge from other teams.

This year’s motion was ‘Should charity begin at home?’ Jacob Kinsella-Freshwater and Lewis Mason along with Jasmine Mahesan and Eloise Wheeler were highly commended for their fluency and force of argument.

It was a great experience for our students who represented St Katherine’s with pride. Liam Fox commended our students’ performance and nominated Jasmine for speaker of the house.

Year 11 mocks

Year 11 students have had a busy ten days of mock exams which have provided both staff and students with a useful analysis of current strengths and areas to improve. We look forward to sharing their results in January during our mock results assembly, before the subject evening on the 11 January 2017. It was great to see our Year 11 students exploring their sixth form options and pathways at our Sixth Form Open Evening and meet our new Head of Sixth Form, Mr Colebourne.

Sixth formers consider their next steps

Sixth form students have been busy preparing for life beyond the sixth form. This year over two thirds of year 13 have applied to study a range of courses at university. Students are applying to a number of institutions including Oxford, Cambridge, Bristol, Cardiff, Leeds, Loughborough, Exeter and Sheffield. Equally diverse are the range of courses being applied to with students looking to undertake degrees in education, engineering, law, mathematics, sport, French, history and drama. Students will be receiving offers and interviews over the next coming months and we wish them all the best.

A number of students are also working to secure apprenticeship and employment opportunities in a range of sectors including the hospitality industry, business and finance, media and theatre production. These students have been working on developing CVs and cover letters during enrichment sessions and will be moving onto mock interview practice in the new year. Again, we wish them success in their applications.

And finally, students in our Duke of Edinburgh programme clocked up 117 hours volunteering in the local community during the last school year. That is equivalent to £468.00 in social value. What a great effort!

    Head student blog

    Head Students, Remi Khalif and Emily Marshall 

    During RAG week  the sixth form raised £313 for the Teenage Cancer Trust which is an amazing achievement and it was great to see everyone getting involved and making contributions. There was tutor cake sales held on Monday-Thursday break times and on the Friday the Business Enterprise team held sweet sales and kindly donated half of their profits to the RAG week fundraising.  The whole Sixth Form pyjama day was another success and a very comfy day for all the students.

    There have been a series of successful open evenings and open mornings both for the whole school and Sixth Form. It was an honour presenting to the visitors and telling them about our experiences studying at St Katherine’s.

    We also elected the new members of the whole school council. After our first meeting we are looking to put in place more clubs at lunchtimes and plan to these into place next term.  

    We represented the school at the Clifton Rotary Club in an effort to better our links with the wider community and hope to develop more connections with local businesses in the coming months.

    We’re already planning sixth form events for next term including Food Week…watch this space!

    ‘The Addams Family’ school production

    The Addams Family was a sell out on all three nights with every justification and we have been overwhelmed by the feedback from parents/carers and staff. Gomez and Morticia along with the rest of the cast were in character from start to finish, with perfect timing, providing laughter throughout.

    The cast and performing arts staff began their preparation many months ago and have been relentless in sticking to their rehearsal schedule and project plan, taking up many evenings and some weekends. The show is a great example of a wide range of students from across all year groups coming together as a team to deliver a truly outstanding performance.

    From the support crew, site team, DAT technician, full cast including the leading characters, everyone plays their part to pull off the performance on the evening. It is great to see past students continuing to support the show providing invaluable expertise in terms of choreography and programme content and design.

    Huge congratulations to Miss Tovey for providing such a stunning first show.

      World Champion Millie

      Did you know that we have a World Champion in our midst?!

      Millie McLoughlin from 8E triumphed at the World Karate and Kickboxing Championships in Albufeira, Portugal and brought home an impressive medal haul that included a gold medal, two silvers and a bronze.

      What an exceptional achievement especially considering Millie recently moved up a classification and was competing against girls a year or two older than her.

      Congratulations Millie.


      Millie and her medals

      Students commended by the Head of School this term
      Elana Titcombe:   Art
      Ayaan Hassan:  Art
      Jack Cross : Skill Development
      Ben Pritchard: Scouts trip to Nepal
      Charlie Shephard: Homeless Appeal
      Effie Lomax: Textiles Project
      Edith Powell:  WW1 Project
      Jessica Atkinson:  WW1 Project
      Tim Pomery:  Student Panel for Inclusion Manager interviews
      Paris Hatherall:  Student Panel for Inclusion Manager interviews
      Jess Butcher: Art
      Ben Pritchard: Art
      Jacob Deadman: Art
      Elio Fantini:  Art

      Term 2 news round-up

      It’s been another busy term with the Year 13 English trip to Howarth, ‘Restart a Heart Day’ when all of Year 8 learnt life-saving CPR skills, the Year 10 Business trip to St Nicholas market and a moving visit by poet Owen Sheers who spoke to Year 10 and 11 students about his work and gave them advice for their own creative writing. Read more about Term 2 in the stories below.

      Year 13 arts and media success

      Congratulations to three Year 13 students have given their ambitions to work in the arts and media a boost by securing places on prestigious extra-curricular courses with Bristol Old Vic and the Watershed Media Centre.

      Abdoulgani (Abs) Bulaleh and Tanya Hanlon have both been accepted onto a Bristol Old Vic programme where they will work with a team of professionals to create a short film.

      Ellie Sedlen’s success in securing with Watershed course gives her the opportunity to create a documentary and event for media centre in Bristol’s harbourside.

      Both courses are designed to open up pathways for young people interested in careers in the arts and are very competitive with hundreds of young people applying for places.

      Tanya is interested in theatrical make-up, Ellie has ambitions to work in the media while Abs plans to get his foot in the door as a runner on a film or theatre production and work his way up.

      Year 8s Classics triumph

      On a triumphant evening in the grand surroundings of the Wills Memorial Building, St Katherine’s Year 8 students emerged victorious in the Ovid In The West Country competition.

      The Bristol Classics Hub-led project, which involved schools from across the region, encouraged students to produce creative responses to Roman poet Ovid’s timeless tales of metamorphosis.

      Acclaimed storyteller Katy Cawkwell entertained the crowd with a compelling retelling of the myth of Theseus and the Minotaur, before the winners were announced.

      Of the three categories, St Katherine’s students claimed two, with Max Stephens being awarded ‘Best Written Piece’ and India Sydenham ‘Best Artefact.’ A wonderful achievement.

      Joel Wardingley was  Highly Commended while Phoebe Durrant, Evie Dexter, Ben Bohin and Ariel Rugman were Commended for their exceptional work.

      Well done everyone!

      Year 10 and 12 Art trip

      Year 10 and 12 Art students had a fantastic art trip in Bristol on Wednesday 8th November. The students visited the Royal west of England Academy and were also lucky enough to visit the Arnolfini to see the work of artist, Grayson Perry, well known for his dynamic approach to art which focuses on our culture, current political issues, gender and identity.

      Students enjoyed the day and seeing art work in the ‘flesh.’ They were an absolute credit to St Katherine’s School and their gallery visits will add value and help inspire them with their current art projects.

      Students were inspired by the trip commenting:
      “I was inspired by seeing so many abstract pieces that could still be seen as natural forms.” Lily Hannan, Year 10

      “I liked seeing the Art in person rather than from images because you can see the pieces close up and notice the texture.” Dan Powell, Year 10

      “I had a really good day out and it was so good to see real life art work.” Lauren Hooper, Year 10

      Library Resource Centre News

      Roald Dahl Day 2017

      Year 7 students celebrated our annual Roald Dahl Day on Thursday 19th October with a quiz in the LRC. 12 teams of students battled it out in two hotly contested rounds with some very impressive scoring this year! This was a very knowledgeable year with some close scores, ending up with the top team winning by just one point! The winning team all came from 7D – Scarlett Newby, Olivia Ring, Tacie-Ann Francis and Jamie Packham.

      The winning students each won loads of Roald Dahl stuff, including their choice of a Roald Dahl book.

      No Roald Dahl event is complete without a golden ticket, and this year we had planted one under one of the chairs for an extra prize for a lucky student – Matt Brennan (7A) was sitting in the lucky seat this year.

      Everyone taking part had a small prize, and it was brilliant to see so many students taking part in the first LRC event of the year. Congratulations go to everyone who took part in this fun, lively event!

      Ms Wyld, School Librarian

      Science Faculty update

      The Science Faculty have been challenging students with several enrichment activities this term.

      120 Year 9 students enjoyed a STEM day with the RAF and Engineering Trust. They tackled a challenge to build a radar tower made from paper and masking tape that could support weights at two heights. This was followed by a robot rescue activity with student working in teams to programme a robot that could navigate a ‘disaster zone’ course and reach stranded survivors. Any mistakes and the robots were taken away to have their codes rewritten.

      Students then designed, built and flew model aircraft capable of flying on elastic power. The scores were counted after all the challenges and the team of Fergus Creton, Charlie Ashdown, Courtney Dun and Daisy Cox came out winners.

      Year 10 and 11 triple science students enjoyed lessons about plant disease, probability and evolution with science students from UWE. Students used interactive games to model plant infection and resistance, before considering the evolutionary arms race between plants and their pathogens.

      Students also enjoyed ‘tea with a scientist’ when a nuclear submarine engineer, marine biologist, doctor and geologist spoke about their jobs, inspiring students to plan their own STEM careers.

      tyler shines on work experience

      Year 12 student Tyler Cornick impressed at a two-day work experience at Knowle West Media Centre.

      Tyler was given a task to design a clock for a client using computer aided design software and a laser cutter. The course leader commented on his artistic talent and praised how he was able to imagine an idea and then execute it so well throughout the whole design process.

      Tyler said, ‘I liked how involved it was and how we were constantly making and learning. The staff were empowering and boosted my confidence in using technology for design.”


      Tyler Cornick (far right) designed a creative clock with a cut-out design at the workshop.

      SKAMPS update

      A big thank you to the seven supporters of St Katherine’s Music (SKAMPS) who went on the annual Carol singing tour of the pubs of Clifton on 8 December.

      It was great fun, with the usual mixture of warmth and good humour coming from pub staff and revellers. They collected £150 in an hour and a half and received generous individual donations of £35 so altogether raised £185 for music at St Katherine’s.

      If you would like to find out more about SKAMPS and the fundraising they do to to give more students the opportunity to get involved in music please contact Head of Music Abi Adams adamsa@skdrive.org

      PE and Sport News
      The Year 8 Netball team were crowned North Somerset Champions

      The Year 8 Netball team were crowned North Somerset Champions

      It’s been a busy term in the PE faculty. There will be a full round-up in the PE newsletter early next term but here are some of the highlights:

      • Year 7 Girls and Boys teams qualified for North Somerset Finals. In their North Schools qualification round the girls finished second and boys finished first.
      • Year 8 Girls were crowned North Somerset Netball Champions
      • Josh Moore and Daisy Wilkinson (both Year 7) qualified to run for North Somerset at the Avon Schools Cross Country Championships as they both finished in the top 10 best in North Somerset
      • U19 Boys are through to the Quarter Finals of the Somerset Cup Football competition after the latest of winning goals
      • Our leaders have led 2 more events this term – a primary dodgeball festival and the North Somerset North Schools Sportshall Athletics Event
      • Our Y7 boys scored more tries than any other school in their NS rugby festival earlier this year
      • Our U13 Girls finished third in the BCFC Girls U13 Schools Tournament
      • We have topped and tailed the term with House Sport events; Autumn House Sport (dodgeball and benchball) at the start and Winter House Sport with students across the school competing for their houses. The most impressive participation figures so far come from year 8 where more than 80% of students have represented their house already!

      Mr Cook, Head of PE.

      The Leaf at Ham Green

      Come and enjoy a unique dining experience at The Leaf.

      It’s the only restaurant run by a secondary school in the UK and all meals are prepared, cooked and service by St Katherine’s Catering and Hospitality students. We pride ourselves on serving an excellent choice of freshly prepared, locally sourced seasonal dishes as well as offering superb value for money and excellent service. We’re regularly given five star ratings by our diners so if you are looking for a romantic meal for two or a pleasant evening out with friends, why not treat yourself to great dining experience.

      We’re open every Thursday during term time, have a fully licenced bar and it’s just £17 for three courses (cash only please)   To book please either call 01275 373737 or email theleaf@stkaths.org.uk

      If you’d like to receive updates about the termly menus and our popular themed evenings just email your details to theleaf@skaths.org.uk

      We look forward to seeing you soon.

      Paul Mingo-West, Hospitality and Chef Manager

      Key Dates for Term 3
      3rd January:    Start of Term 3
      10th January:  Krakow Trip Parent Meeting 6.00-6.30pm
      10th January:  Year 8 girls, first dose of HPV vaccination
      16th/17th January: School Chef of the Year at The Leaf (Regional Finals)
      23rd January:   Future Quest Bristol Old Vic workshop
      26th January:    Year 10 and 11 trip to Bath Pump Rooms
      26th January-2 February: Visit by French Exchange students
      29th January:    Science Live trip to Colston Hall
      8th February:    End of Term
      9th February:    INSET day
      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

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