Letter From The Headteacher
What a year we have had, and at last we’ve been able to get out and about doing what we do best – having fun and enjoying life! You will see some of our events and activities highlighted in the newsletter to give you a bit of an insight into life at Alfriston.
The girls have also been working hard in their classes, and the older girls have sat their exams and completed their coursework for the year. School is beginning to feel a bit more like it used to, with a few changes to routines and habits, but great to be back and learning together.
At the end of every academic year, we have to say goodbye to some of our pupils and also to some staff before welcoming our new intake for September. Although it is a sad time when people leave, it is also a time for new beginnings and new adventures. I wish all our leavers lots of luck and happiness in the next stage of their lives, and hope that they can look back at their time at Alfriston with fond memories of friendships made and lessons learnt.
I’d like to make a special mention for Mrs Kendal, who has been at Alfriston for an amazing 23 years! Over this time she has made a huge impact on the whole school exuding her calm and positive vibes whilst helping our girls to prepare for their next steps into adulthood. Mrs Kendal will be leaving at the end of this year, and we wish her a long and happy retirement.
Thank you to all of the parents and pupils for your support through the hard times, and for your positive messages. We are looking forward to next year when we can meet again in person, and share the life and spirit of Alfriston.
Have a wonderful summer!
We have a few staff leaving us at the end of this term:
Mr VanDenBossche is relocating to Scotland, we wish him well with his move and future.
Miss Merison will be leaving us at the Autumn half term to spend more time with her family, however she will be working with us on on a supply basis in the new academic year. We hope she enjoys more family time and the school run!
Mrs Waite has a new exciting role working with the hearing impaired, we wish her well with her new role and hope she will be very happy.
Mrs Kendal is retiring after 23 years at Alfriston, we are sure she will enjoy a nice rest before she starts her new adventures.
Mrs Holmes is also retiring from her teaching role here at Alfriston after 30 years, however she will still be working with us with the Finance department.
Mrs Wattley is not returning after her maternity leave, we wish her well for the future.
Miss Parfitt our Student Placement Wellbeing Assistant will be going back to Uni to finish her degree, we wish her well with her studies and her future also!
In September we will welcome new staff to join us in the following roles;
Mr Battersbee will join us as Head of Maths, Mrs Galczynska will join us as Maths teacher, Mr Raja will be joining us as Maths Teacher, but not until November.
Mr Fox will be joining us as English Teacher, Mrs Younge will be our new Faculty Leader for Preparation for Adulthood and Assessment Lead.
Miss Gray will be our new Head of Wellbeing and working with Miss Kulanthan who is our new Student Placement Wellbeing Assistant.
We are looking forward to them all starting with us!
Reward Trip – Cycling
A group enjoyed a 16k cycle along the Kennet and Avon Canal near Reading as part of Rewards Day. Even though it was a very hot and sunny day they still managed to find some mud and very large puddles to ride through. The day was finished with a very refreshing ice-cold drink before the return journey home.
Boarders Day Out & Bike Rides
The boarders recently enjoyed a very successful trip into London, where they got to experience the delights the Captial has to offer. They’ve also been cycling away the evenings at various parks and trails around the county, covering some impressive distances and encountering all weathers.
Y7 Trip To Chiltern Open Air Museum
Year 7 had a fantastic day out at COAM earlier this term. They were super excited as this was (thanks to the Covid restrictions) their first trip out with Alfriston. It was a hot sunny day, despite the heat they managed to make butter which has made them very enthusiastic about making it themselves back in school. We made Stone Age spears which we were allowed to bring home and the afternoon was spent pond dipping. Catching tadpoles and larvae was great fun and we were sorry to have to return to school. The staff at COAM were very helpful and accommodating and we were extremely lucky to have the site to ourselves for most of the day. The girls had a great time and thoroughly enjoyed themselves. Their behaviour was praised by the COAM staff, which made the Alfriston staff very proud indeed.
On Thursday 15th July, we hosted our first ever Colour Run and what a success it was!! The afternoon started with a ‘Wake Up Shake Up’ style warm-up which was fantastic to see everyone excited about the activity ahead!
The event started in a cloud of smoke (literally) and before we knew it we couldn’t tell which pupil was which as everybody turned blue, purple, yellow, green, orange and pink!
The afternoon finished in a big musical colour explosion which was enjoyed by all! I hope you all had a wonderful time, I know the staff certainly did…even Ms Male!! It was fantastic to see so many smiley, colourful, happy faces all walking, jogging and running around!
The PE department cannot wait to do it all again soon!
Elite Swim Squad
2020/21 has seen the launch of our first ever ‘Elite Swim Squad’ at Alfriston School. We selected our very best swimmers to do some intense training in preparation for future swimming competitions and galas that we enter. The pupils have worked hard every Friday, giving up their lunchtimes to develop their fitness, stroke technique and gain a competitive edge! The team spirit has been fantastic.
Well done to all of those who have attended…Paige, Connie, Marie, Lily, Beth, Ell, Alizah, Layla, Chloe and Elizabeth. Bring on the gala’s!
After all their hard work and efforts this year the Ski Academy were finally able to make a visit to the Snow Centre in Hemel last week. Unfortunately skiing lessons were unable to be arranged but the girls were fortunate enough to be able to have go on the Ringos. They then soaked up some of the Apres Ski atmosphere in the cafe with a much needed Hot Chocolate whilst watching the skiiers on the slopes. There were a few anxious ones at first but after the first wizz down the slope all faces were covered in smiles and squeals of laughter could be heard – including Miss Leahy (much to the delight of all). They all said what a fabulous time they had had and hoped that they could all do it again and would love to have a real ski lesson next year if possible.
Find Your Tribe Project
The Find Your Tribe project is about engaging girls into a range of physical activities for a sustained period. The project is about student voice and listening to what they would like to do. It is a great opportunity to try new activities or activities that may normally be out of comfort zone. Our findings can then help to support both our school and other schools nationally with curriculum design and meeting pupils needs.
It is fair to say that we have had six fun weeks of activity that included: Walking at Wendover Woods, Bellboating at Dorney Lake, Tennis at Halton, Go Ape at Wendover, Snow Tubing at Hemel Hempstead and our final activity was Trampolining at Jump In. These have tested all of our courage at times – the ropes at Go ape are very high and the snow tubes were super fast!
Most of the students had a particular activity that was their favourite across the weeks and it would be great to see some more of you trying out some of these activities outside of school. We have seen the student’s confidence grow across the weeks, as well as lots of kindness, courage and huge smiles.
A huge well done to all.
Chiltern Rangers have been coming in regularly over the last term and working with 9Y during their Forest School sessions. The students have taken on some serious tasks in making our woodland better for everyone going forward. They have engaged with all the different activities and shown their potential to be future rangers.
Outdoor Cooking Block
The girls who chose to do Outdoor Cooking for the Block definitely didn’t bargain for wet weather each session, even hail one week! Despite this there were no complaints and over the weeks they grew in confidence to create some fantastic food. They made dough, cooked bread from scratch and had stuffed bananas and apples. The pizzas (again cooked and prepare from scratch) were incredible. On the final week they were asked to prepare the food for the Mad Hatters Tea Party in the Alice in Wonderland production. They made chocolate cake, stuffed oranges, sausage rolls, pancakes and fruit filled smores.
PE – DofE Bronze Award
Despite the challenging year we have had four Bronze groups complete their expeditions and therefore gain their Bronze Duke of Edinburgh Award. We had two groups canoeing back in March and two groups walking in June. Both groups experienced some interesting weather and definitely had to persevere. The expedition is just part of their award as they also had to complete their physical, skill and volunteering sections.
We had two groups move on and also complete their Silver D uke of Edinburgh Award this year. They experienced every weather condition possible! They had to complete most of their sections at home during lock downs so it was a relief for them to get to go out and complete their expeditions together.
In the English Department the girls have been helping to “upcycle” an old coffee table destined for the dump! They used the torn up pages old books that were also headed for the recycling bin, using the decoupage techniques they have learned about in Art and Design. This new feature table will be used to display new books, as well as magazines and newspapers, that the girls will be able to enjoy browsing through during their weekly library sessions.
Mrs Kendal is Retiring
Dear Parents and Pupils,
It was five years ago when the Government decided to raise the age of retirement from 60 to 66. At first it felt daunting to know that I would have to work another six years before retiring and perhaps it would have been disappointing had I not been working at Alfriston School.
I remember well the day I started teaching at Alfriston in 1998. I had a huge grin on my face and a spring in my step. The path from Willow House was a short jog from the main school building. I had a huge challenge ahead of me to create and develop a Post 16 Department from scratch!
With the help and support of my wonderful colleagues, The Post 16 Department has gone from strength to strength and I have finally reached retirement age. I have had the pleasure of teaching hundreds of girls over the last 23 years. Of course, I remember them all but not necessarily all of their names!
My teaching career began in 1977 – 44 years ago. Things were a little different in those days but change can often be a good thing and it keeps us on our toes and up for a challenge.
Now that I’m retiring, friends ask me what I will do with myself. Well, I have a long list of things to do that I have never had time for before because I’ve been so busy. I will, of course, still continue to practise Mindfulness but now I might find it a little easier to sit and do nothing for a little while.
I’m grateful for many things in my life and one of them is Alfriston School. I still have a spring in my step and a grin on my face as I contemplate what excitement the future will bring.
Thank you – I will miss you all.
GROWING FOOD CITIZENS: SUNFLOWER JOURNEY
Let us see your sunflowers!
Tell us how tall they are. Share your sunflower photos with the #sunflowerbucks and #foodcitizens hashtags on social media or email them to your school or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please don’t forget to update us through the summer holidays!
Save your sunflower heads for September seed saving.
Prize Giving 2021
This year we had prize giving and leaving day on the same day! So, a lot of us were very overcome with emotion. A footballer came in and gave a speech about never giving up. It was a particularly good speech about not giving up and believing in your dreams. A lot of people won awards and got books and shields it was amazing but sad because some of the year 11s and post 16 were leaving. There was a power point of photos of the leavers it was an amazing slideshow full of memories and nostalgia from the past. You can win a prize if you do well at a subject or for being friendly and kind. I really liked prize giving this year it was great and we all of us had an ice cream or an ice push up. It was a super day, and the weather was warm and sunny.
Prefects Reward Trip – Thorpe Park
On the 28th of June, the prefects and the teachers went to Thorpe Park. We left school after registration; it took us an hour to get there. When we got there the teachers showed us where we meet for lunch at 12:30. The teachers that came with us were Mrs Chapman, Mrs Younge, Miss Bale, Mrs Stevens and Miss Millins. After when the teachers showed us where to meet for lunch, we got into groups and in my group, I had, Mekeda, Aida and Emma. Some of the rides we went on were called Flying Fish, Angry Bird’s Dodgems, Storm Surge, Rumba Rapids. Then once my group went on the rides, we found a place to eat. And then we wandered and had a little walk around Thorpe Park and went on the same rides again. We left Thorpe Park around 3pm and we got back to school at 4:30pm for parents to pick us up. I had a great time also I was tired when I got back into the car.
The girls all had a fantastic time at Prom this year, with dinner and an awards ceremony followed by an evening of dancing.
Here are some of the girls experiences:
On Friday 2nd of July, we had prom. We had a whole day to get ready and we arrived at school at 7. Then we had loads of pictures with our friends. We went into the hall to have dinner then we sat down to have the rewards. After that we went into the performance space where we had a disco then we went outside to have a picture. We went back in the hall for the last song then we went outside to collect our things. Me and my friends walked up to our parents to collect us. I had a fabulous time with all my friends.
Year 11 and Post 16 had a prom on the 2/7/2021. We were all dressed up and everyone looked amazing even the teachers. I was wearing a black dress with knee-high heeled boots that were black and my makeup was not over the top. I had my hair cut and my nails done for the prom. We arrived there at 7pm and everyone was there. We all went on the red carpet and the parents were taking a lot of pictures even the teachers. We got to choose our tables and it had our names on it where we sat, and it had food in boxes on the table. There was a slideshow of us from years ago and it had some of the leavers on there. Mrs. Younge was handing out certificates to some people. Before we did that we got to choose our own ice cream sundae and it tasted amazing! People were taking pictures and we just had a blast! We just all had the time of our lives. We had such good songs to dance to, played by DJ Hines, then the parents came at 9:30 to pick us up. My feet were really hurting so I could not walk! It was a great night that I will never forget!
Everyone looked fabulous!
National Number Day 2021
Just after Easter the Maths department celebrated National Number Day with a whole day of fun Maths games and activities.
Competitions included a shopping activity where pupils had until the supermarket music stopped to fill their basket with items that came as close to £11.00 in total as possible.
Other activities included an activity based on globes and maps of earth and electronic games using Excel.
Many girls won prizes for their efforts on the day and a fun time was had by all!
Alfriston teams up with CAMHS to support young people in need with handmade wellness kits
This year the year 11 students chose to design and make a sensory based Wellness Kit to support other young people who are suffering with their mental health. They are hoping to raise awareness of this successful project to be able to do it again next year and help support others. Alfriston are teaming up with CAMHS so the Wellness Kits reach the young people who will benefit most from the use of the support pack.
The students at Alfriston have carried out their own research as well as consulting with their wellbeing department to fully understand the 5 senses of Sight, Sound, Smell, Taste, and Touch.
The pack consists of:
- A lovely handmade notebook: to help you get thoughts out of your head and store them somewhere else.
- A hand dyed bag with bells that softly chime to relax you.
- A range of aromatherapy scented products specifically chosen to lift senses and promote calmness.
- A hot chocolate treat because everyone needs chocolate!
- A handmade squishy pompom for those moments you’d like something to squish and beautiful worry beads to use at those times you need to fiddle in order to focus and think great thoughts with.
Along with a positive message to help lift your spirits when you are finding it hard to think positively and to know that we care about you. The kit is aimed to help young people be kind to themselves and take some time to look after themselves.
Happy Mail Penpal Project with the residents of Bury Lodge
Due to the restrictions 11Y have had to postpone the Vintage Tea Party until after September (It will still happen). In the meantime they have been getting to know the residents through sending letters and handmade cards. We hope to start a HAPPY MAIL penpal relationship with the residents until it is safe for us all to meet in person for tea and cake.
Alfriston Garden Project
Girls on Tuesday blocks, Nature Club and a few other lessons have helped create a lot of lovely produce this year!