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Headteacher's Blog 23-11-23

Students in Year 8 participated in the recent CyberFirst EmPower event 

It has been a busy few days in school.

Today we have had our Flexible learning Day. This has seen students participate in a wide range of activities. Our Year 11s have been visiting post 16 providers as part of helping them to finalise key choices for when they leave Severn Vale. Our Year 10s have been learning about employability skills, including taking part in mock interviews. Year 9s have been learning some key First Aid skills as well as taking part in a well-being session led by Young Minds Matter. In Year 8 students have been participating in a Multi-Faith event, whilst our Year 7s have been taking part in GCHQuedgeley. All in all, the day has provided students with some key learning opportunities which they have engaged with really well.

Our Year 10 Citizenship and Politics students recently headed to London to visit Westminster and have a tour of both the House of Commons and the House of Lords. Before heading into Parliament, they went on a tour of London, taking in some of the major political landmarks along the way, making sure to stop outside Downing Street to see if the PM was home! After their tour, the students took part in a workshop run by the parliament education service, where they explored the making of laws in this country. The day finished with a Q&A session with the help of our local MP, Richard Graham. As always, the students were a credit to the school, with their tour guides commenting on how extremely knowledgeable and informed they were. Something that comes as no surprise to us!

As part of our wider commitment to raising the profile of cyber in school, 23 Year 8 students had the opportunity to attend the CyberFirst EmPower event. This is an annual event hosted by CyberFirst with over 1000 Year 8 girls attending from schools across Gloucestershire. The students had an opportunity to take part in a Capture the Flag activity where they had to decipher codes to find passwords and complete a lockbox treasure trail which consisted of a series of small padlocked boxes which all contained different puzzles. Solving the puzzle in one box allowed them to open the next box. They programmed spheros to run through a maze using block programming and then Hack the VAR, a game where the objective is to hack VAR in a penalty shootout in order to win using Python coding. The girls were exceptional in their enthusiasm, ability and behaviour, being described as a credit to the school. They, alongside all the girls in Year 8, will now take part in the CyberFirst Girls' Competition 2023 which started on Monday 20th November. They have 10 days to crack codes and puzzles in order to score high enough to go through to the next round. Please wish them luck and support them in their quest.

Christmas is coming and once again Severn Vale will be supporting the Salvation Army with our annual gift drive.  For those who don't know, each year we ask as many as are able to buy one extra gift for a child that might otherwise go without. This year our collection day is Friday December 8th. Each year we collect over 700 gifts and make a huge difference to the lives of countless families.  We all know that times are challenging at the moment. Any small gift will make a difference. Thank you in advance for your generosity.

Sporting fixtures this week have included:

  • Year 7/8 Football – a Year 7 and a combined Year 7/8 team played two fixtures versus Churchdown this week. The girls emerged victorious in both fixtures: 2 – 0 and 5 – 0. Players of the Match went to Teanna M, Amber H and Brooke R. 

  • Year 9 Rugby – the Year 9 rugby boys travelled to Cirencester to play Kingshill School in the Quarter Final of EDF Cup. The boys lost 27 - 7 but that scoreline doesn’t reflect how tight the game was. There were outstanding performances from Harley T, Victor O and Kieron M.

 I include my weekly reminder about Free School Meals eligibility. If your financial circumstances have changed, your child may be eligible for Free School Meals. If you click on this link you will find guidance on the eligibility criteria and the application process. It's a quick process and we are notified of all FSM entitlements by Gloucestershire County Council each Monday. I would urge you to take a look if you think you may benefit from financial assistance.  

A reminder that tomorrow (Friday 24 November) is a staff Inset Day and the school will be closed to students.

Kind regards,

Richard Johnson