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Headteacher's Blog 2-2-24

Friday lunchtime means Just Dance time for our Year 7 and Year 11 students

The penultimate week of what is a short term is complete. It has been another busy one for the students.

On Wednesday, 50 students in Years 9, 10 and 11 took part in the UK Maths Trust’s Maths Challenge. The Maths Challenge encourages  mathematical reasoning,  precision of thought, and  fluency  in using basic mathematical techniques to solve interesting problems. The questions are  designed to make students think. Most are  accessible, yet still challenge those with more experience. We look forward to celebrating the outcomes when the results come back later in the academic year.  

Also on Wednesday, our Year 10 GCSE Music students attended a fascinating workshop given by musicians of the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra with composer and presenter, Patrick Bailey. The first session focused on the set works from the main GCSE exam boards, which included the 'Clarinet Concerto, 3rd Movement', by Mozart which our students study in Year 11. Students also learnt about the Baroque Concerto Grosso and the Minimalist Music of Steve Riech through an absorbing performance of 'Clapping Music' which will enhance their learning of the GCSE Music Areas of Study. The latter part of the session focused on composition with excellent relatable examples and advice, brilliantly played by the musicians. This included a worked example of music from the video game 'Little Orpheus', as well as a composition made from creative ideas by GCSE students. It was a real treat for the students to experience such high-quality music-making and guidance through such an invaluable session.

On Tuesday, the University of Gloucestershire came into school to run a Business Breakfast for Year 10 students interested in attending their Summer Residential Programme. Having arrived at school for an 8.00am sharp start and filled up on pain au chocolate & doughnuts, over 35 Year 10s found out more information on what the summer residential entails and how to apply. During the residential, students get to meet other students from across the country, live in hall of residence for 3 nights and try interactive subject tasters lead by university lecturers. This programme is heavily oversubscribed with over 300 applications for 60 spaces, and SV normally has around 6-8 students attend this programme each year. More information can be found at

As well as our focus on the serious business of lessons and learning, it is important to ensure there are plenty of opportunities for fun for our students. We have an expanding range of extracurricular clubs for them to take part in. To add to that is a new lunchtime tradition for our Year 7 and 11 students – Feel Good Fridays. These take the form of a Just Dance session in the main hall during Friday lunch breaks. The dancing is enthusiastically lead by Head of Year 11, Ms Evans and Deputy Head, Ms Harris while Mrs Martin, our Attendance Manager is the resident DJ! Just Dance is loaded up and we have a 20 minute burst of fun! All the Year 7s and 11s are invited to join in from 1:50pm - 2:10pm. The most popular songs so far include Waka Waka, Timber and Rasputin, however the Cossack style dancing needed for Rasputin is proving challenging for anybody older than 16!

Throughout the week this term’s Music performance platforms have been taking place. These saw another group of musicians keen to share their musical progress to others and a really good and ever increasing number in the audiences.  Typically, lots of solos and some duets have featured - singers (from Y7-11), some solo and duetting pianists in Y7 & 8 (Noah H / Rafael H) and a solo Y7 drummer (Laurence T) all performing really well. Rhythm ensemble and School Band have likewise started the new year well and been getting their "Rock" music chops going with some Steppenwolf (Born to be wild) and Smoke on the water (Deep Purple). As always, the students have followed their keen musical interests and the music department have really enjoyed all student chosen repertoire ranging from the quirky piano pieces, songs from musicals, Eurythmics, Zara Larsson and plenty of new emerging artists too, plus a song all about rats (Amelia K Y11). A week of fantastic variety!

Some dates for your diaries:

  • the next round of Order Exams is fast approaching for Maths and Science for our KS3 students. The students will also be completing assessment tasks in their English lessons. Work has been  set on Satchel One by their maths  and science teachers to help them prepare for these exams which will take place as follows:

    • Year 7 - Tuesday 27 February;

    • Year 8 – Wednesday 28 February;

    • Year 9 -Thursday 29 February.  

  • The Year 9 Parents Evening takes place next week on Thursday 8 February

A range of sporting fixtures took place this week, including:

  • Year 7 Football – on Tuesday evening we took some of our 7 players to Holmleigh Park for another participation game. Both teams played two games each, winning two and drawing two. Special mention to Toby W and Callum R for excellent games and some great goals.

  • Year 8 Football – the Year 8 boys played their second match of the season against St Peter’s at home this week. They battled really well despite going down 6 – 0.   Special mention to Alvin D for being a strong presence in midfield throughout the game, but the Player of the Match went to Taylor G for his unrelenting work rate and fantastic tackling.

  • Year 8 Netball – Our Year 8 Netball teams also played St Peter’s this week. The Year 8A team lost 10 - 8 in what was a very close game. There was a brilliant Player of the Match performance from Evie Hine. The Year 8B team won their game 7 - 4 They played some beautiful netball with 2 Players of the Match with Teanna and Elyssia 

  • Year 10 Football – the Year 10 boys travelled to St Peter’s for their fixture of the season. In a really competitive game the boys were so unlucky to come out on the wrong end of a 1 – 0 score line.  The boys were absolutely gutted but they know what they have to do to make it through to the Semi Finals

  • U14 Football - the U14 girls football team took part in the District Tournament hosted at Severn Vale. The team played 4 games: v Ribston (1-0 loss); v Gloucester Academy (2-0 win); v Henley Bank (2-0 loss); v Denmark Road (2-1 win). Henley Bank went on to win the tournament. Player of the Tournament for Severn Vale was Ava Rae L for her excellent work rate and goals scored.

As always, 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.  

Kind regards,

Richard Johnson