A Message from Mrs Male
Welcome to the final newsletter of the year. We have enjoyed many events and activities, and have been pleased to be able to welcome you into the school to share some of these with us. I was delighted to see so many of you attend our annual prizegiving, and very proud to be able to celebrate some of the many achievements made by our girls.
One of our highlights was Sports Daywhen the girls competed in a wide range of sporting events, and we even had a bit of competition for which parent grabbed the last umbrella! Mr Fox provided us with a running commentary and the girls performed with their usual positive attitude and wonderful sportsmanship.
Not all our lessons are taught in the classroom. Events and activities can be such fun, but they are also a very important part of our curriculum providing opportunities for learning vital skills and experiences to help our girls to prepare for adulthood. You can read about some of our events in this newsletter, which is only a small sample of the many opportunities offered.
We have a busy last week, but we are also planning ahead for next year when we welcome our new pupils and some new staff. We will be holding our usual “Fun Day” near the start of the term, and this year our whole school day out for all the girls will be a trip to the seaside – look out for more information on these events in September.
Wishing you all a very happy holiday,
On Thursday 20th July, the whole school took part in a variety of school trips and activities to say a huge well done for all their hard work this year. They had zorbing activities out on the school field with the PE department, a trip to Kidzania in London, another group visited the Science Museum in South Kensington, a trip to the spooky Hellfire Caves in West Wycombe, a local walk to Bekonscot Model Railway, a trip to Thomley Park and the final group had splashy fun at Coral Reef in Bracknell!
Kidzania was a world of excitement where we got to explore different jobs, just like grown-ups! We dressed up as doctors, firefighters, police officers, chefs, and even pilots. Working together as a team, we had a blast experiencing what it’s like to have different careers.
While having fun, we also learnt about money. At Kidzania, we earned special currency called Kidzos for our hard work. With the Kidzos, we could buy cool treats and toys. It taught us the importance of working hard and saving money for the things we wanted.
You can see form the photos how much fun was had by everyone. A big thank you to all the staff for accompanying the pupils so they can have these amazing experiences, and to Mrs Rigby for organising each trip on everyone’s behalf.
Staffing Updates for September
At the end of this term we have some staff changes for the new academic year.
Miss Evans who has worked with us as a School Support Assistant for 2 years, covering forest school, PE and dance is leaving us to pursue her career in law. We would like to wish her well with her new ventures.
Miss Kerr, our Wellbeing Assistant, University Placement student will be leaving us to continue with her studies back at university. She has been a great support to the pupils over the last year and we wish her well with her future career too.
In September we have new staff joining our team here at Alfriston.
Mr Davidson will be joining us as Head of English, with a passion for reading he is looking forward to inspiring all the pupils to share his passion.
Miss Gonzalez will be joining us as a Classroom Teacher, she will be covering a variety of subjects including Maths and Humanities.
Mr Leighton and Miss Nelhams will be our new Wellbeing Assistants, University Placement Students.
The pupils have had the opportunity to meet with the new staff earlier this month and we are all looking forward to welcoming them to our school.
We are still recruiting for an Occupational Therapist and are hopeful to have someone in place for the new year.
We are also recruiting for a School Support Assistant, to cover Forest School, PE and Dance. If you know of anyone with relevant experience (but not with children in our school) please direct them to our school website for further information and to make their application.
Alfriston School reached the finals in the Goldsmiths Community Engagement Awards this year and were the first Special School to enter and reach the final. The awards were set up to recognise students’ sustained commitment to voluntary work within their local communities. The judges said “the commitment of Alfriston students was exemplary – particularly the way your daughter contributed to the presentation on behalf of the rest of the school, showing “passion and thoughtfulness”. ”
A small group represented the school in the final in London and were up against 8 other groups. You can read more about the awards here: https://www.thegoldsmiths.co.uk/charity/general-charity/goldsmiths-company-awards-for-community-engagement/
12th July 2023 brought another fantastic sports day extravaganza where pupils from all year groups got to show off their sporting prowess! Track and field events, archery, table cricket, trampolining and cycling ensured that there was something for everyone! The atmosphere was electric and competition was fierce. Some pupils were rewarded for their fantastic level of performance on the day and others were recognized for effort applied!
A group of 25 young people from Alfriston School embarked on a remarkable journey to Garsington Opera on Wednesday 12th July. Following a workshop with the opera group a few months ago, the students were treated to a captivating performance of “The Bartered Bride” and a workshop in the interval.
With anticipation in the air, the students were immersed in the mesmerizing show, enjoying brilliant views of the performance. For some, it was their first theatre or opera experience, proving to be a life-changing moment.
Expressing gratitude, one student said, “Thank you so much to the school and the Opera company for arranging this amazing opportunity.” The success of the trip has already sparked plans for a return visit next year.
This immersive experience left a lasting impression on their hearts and minds.
Alfriston School extends sincere thanks to Garsington Opera for their hospitality and dedication to the arts. The trip showcased the power of the arts in shaping lives and inspiring young minds.
As the school community reflects on this extraordinary outing, they celebrate the transformative nature of the arts and their commitment to providing enriching experiences for their students.Here’s to the magic of Garsington Opera and the profound impact it had on the students of Alfriston School.
A Magical End-of-Term Narnia-Themed Tea Party with Mr. Fox’s Year 10 English Class!
As the end of the term approaches, we wanted to ensure that our Year 10 students had a memorable and educational experience. In Mr. Fox’s English class, they delved into the captivating world of “The Chronicles of Narnia” by C.S. Lewis. To celebrate their journey through the enchanting story, the class organized a spectacular Narnia-themed tea party. It was a delightful occasion filled with literature, treats, and insightful discussions.
The Narnia-themed tea party evoking a sense of enchantment and wonder.
At the heart of the tea party was a delicious spread reminiscent of Narnia. Our students sipped on steaming hot chocolate, just like the characters in the book. They indulged in the mouthwatering treat of Turkish delight, the very same delicacy that tempted the character of Edmund. It was an opportunity for them to experience a small taste of the story and engage in meaningful discussions about its themes and characters.
During the tea party, students gathered in small groups to discuss the intriguing question: “Why did the character of Edmund betray his siblings in the story for the delicious Turkish delight?” It was a thought-provoking conversation that allowed them to analyse Edmund’s motivations, examine the consequences of his actions, and reflect on the complexities of human nature. These discussions not only developed their critical thinking skills but also fostered empathy and understanding.
The Narnia-themed tea party provided our Year 10 students with a unique and enjoyable way to conclude their English unit. It was a celebration of their literary exploration, encouraging them to dive deeper into the story and engage with its themes on a personal level. We are proud of their enthusiasm and intellectual curiosity.
National Sports Week
19th-25th June saw Alfriston get physical! Pupils were invited to an extended number of extra-curricular clubs and were invited to take part in all sorts of weird and wonderful new activities within their PE lessons. Pupils even got active in other areas of the curriculum too! There was a competition to see who could complete the most amount of active hours over the week and well down to the victorious 10O!
On Wednesday 5th July our annual Prizegiving event was held at Wycombe Abbey School to celebrate all the incredible achievements our students have been awarded this year. Liz Johnson, gold medalist at the 2012 Paralympics, was our guest of honour. She delivered an inspirational speech about her life experiences and which highlighted to our pupils what is possible and what they can achieve when they put their mind to something! The event was well attended by staff, governors, pupils and their families, and enjoyed by all.
Things to do in Buckinghamshire this Summer
As the summer holidays draw closer, there are lots of events, activities and day trips taking place throughout July and August that the whole family can enjoy. Please use the links below to discover what’s on in and around Buckinghamshire.
1. Love Exploring
Buckinghamshire Council Public Health have partnered with Love Exploring to deliver an app encouraging communities to explore their local area, parks and green spaces more through walking. Love Exploring have created bespoke activities to bring audio guides and augmented reality games in areas of Buckinghamshire. Free to all, the games and guided trails include quizzes that get the user hunting for clues as they explore the place they are visiting.
2. Outdoor Activities
3. Activities for SEND
School Sports Partnership
We have had a very busy few months in the sports partnership. This has involved delivering in schools and leading a number of events for both local schools, and schools across the County. Some of my favourite events take place during this time, and they are made even better if the sun is shining! Below is a little snippet of what we have been up to.
In the last two months we have had 826 children and young people attend our events. This doesn’t include the children we have reached in school delivery.
We have had events for all ages ranging from infant school through to secondary school age, and includes children in both mainstream and SEND settings.
Some of my favourite events that have taken place in the past two months, include: SEND climbing, Girls Football, Skipping festivals, Tri Golf festival and Quad kid athletics.
Written by Rachel Hutchinson
Leavers Day 2023
Post 16 students enjoyed a fun filled day in Windsor where they spent time swimming, shopping, socialising in the glorious sunshine and enjoying lunch outside the historic Windsor Castle walls. On returning to school, they attended the Leavers Assembly, where a fond farewell was said to our leavers who received their National Record of Achievements and a parting gift from Mrs. Male and their Pastoral teachers. We wish all of our leavers the very best for their future and look forward to hearing all about their adventures, they will be missed.
Year 11, 12 and 13 students took to the red carpet as they arrived at their Hollywood themed Prom. The students spent the day at home getting ready for their special evening and all arrived in high spirits and looking glamorous. Arrival drinks and a lovely buffet meal was followed by a Hollywood inspired Awards Ceremony, before it was time to hit the dance floor and dance the night away at DJ Fox’s disco. Photos on the tables of younger years allowed the students to reminisce while the photo booth helped them create even more everlasting memories with their friends.
For Coronation Day on 5th May, we celebrated with a whole school party with games, afternoon tea themed lunch and royal themed activities. It was a fantastic afternoon enjoyed by all, the photos speak for themselves!
On the 19th/20th June our annual Summer Show took place. The theme of ‘Around the World’ took the audience on a journey from France, to South Africa, to Brazil, to America and everywhere in between. The pupils all performed their songs and dances with great pride and effort, receiving fabulous reviews from everyone who came to watch. Well done everyone who took part!
The School Council have organised many events over the year, including Pancreatic Cancer coffee morning, PJ day, Comic Relief, International Women’s Day and many mufti days.
Here are pictures from some of the events that took place. We raised a lot of money for many charities and have had fun doing so. Our last event of the year is a Dance off where the Pastoral classes are fighting for the top spot! The Dance of videos will be shown on the last day of term where the winners will also be crowned.
There will be many activities from September, so keep a look out for these. We would like to thank you all or your continued support allowing the events to be successful. Have a lovely summer.
Winners at the Buckinghamshire School Awards!
Earlier this week, the first Buckinghamshire School Awards event was hosted at Pinewood Studios to celebrate teachers and school staff from all over the county.
“The awards are an opportunity for schools and the local community to celebrate the positive impact our schools make to children and young people across Buckinghamshire. This year we have 12 award categories with one award which was open to public nominations. Almost 150 nominations were received across the 12 categories.” – Judging panel, Buckinghamshire School Awards.
Our fabulous Preparation for Adulthood Team won the ‘Inspiring Futures Award’, sponsored by Bucks Skills Hub in partnership with Buckinghamshire Business First. This is a huge achievement for all the work they do with our pupils in the community, preparing them for life beyond Alfriston, and giving them the best chance to be successful in the workplace.
We are delighted to share that other members of staff were nominated for individual awards too. Mrs Blackburn won the ‘Teacher of the Year Award’, sponsored by Wycombe Wanderers, and Miss James was nominated for ‘Teaching Assistant of the Year Award’, sponsored by Buckinghamshire County Council.
“Bucks School Awards…..Alfriston were winners! Well done to the PFA team for winning the 2023 ‘Inspiring Futures Award’. Congratulations to Courtney and Claire for individual nominations too.” – Mrs Woodworth-Sturla
“This is brilliant and testament to all the hard work in PFA. Well done!” – Mrs Ayew
On Monday 22nd May, we went to watch a Super League netball game. Saracens Mavericks against team Bath at the Hertfordshire Sports Village. We were invited to go into the fan zone to play games, get faces painted, and meet some of the players before the game.
Lily was chosen to go onto centre court as the ball deliverer for the game. After a very close game the Mavericks lost 54-57. After the players had cooled down we got called up to have a photo with the team.
“Ready, Steady, Action!” Block
On Thursday the 13th October, Mrs Giles’ block group visited the National Film and Television School in Beaconsfield with ten students.
“The Film School was fascinating because it introduced us to new concepts and creative techniques. We had a guided tour which was lovely because the tour guides were incredibly friendly, and they showed us everything which the school has to offer. I particularly enjoyed the film sets as well as the detail used in model making for the animations. We were delighted to be able to watch the students work in the cinema. It was a brilliant trip!”
Written by Alice M, Year 11
Year 8 – Forest School
8Y had a brilliant lesson planting up and repurposing some old bath tubs which would have otherwise gone to waste.
They had to collect stones for the bottom of the bath before they could start planting.
They planted one with herbs and one with fruit and have taken on the responsibility of regularly watering them.
Year 9 Avon Tyrrell New Forest 2022
Our trip to Avon Tyrrell was fun, challenging and very rewarding. It was scary to spend the week away from our friends and family, with just a few teachers for company.
We had some highlights of the week including, an amazing disco where we dance all night. Indulging in face masks and popcorn whilst watching a movie on the last night.
Making it to the top of the Rock Climbing wall before pretending to be Mary Poppins on the way back down.
Not only having the courage to kayak and paddle our own hand crafted rafts on the lake but also being brave enough to jump in (if we wanted to) at the end.
The High Ropes were a bit of a challenge, as we got higher and higher into the trees.
The night walk was scary as it was our first activity and we didn’t have a clue what the centre looked like.
We also found sharing facilities and keeping things tidy a little tricky.
Even though we were pushed to our limits and scared at times, we have definitely gained more confidence, had fun and our proud of what we achieved whilst being away from home for the week.
Message From The Headteacher – Autumn Term
What a momentous start to the academic year.
We started the term well with a whole school trip to Cotswold Wildlife Park, where we could get to know each other better and enjoy the magnificent range of wildlife on show. This trip had been postponed from last year due to the heatwave, and proved to be a great day out. This was such a contrast to the very sad news of the death of our Queen. We have been finding out more about her reign and her life in our lessons, and have made tributes in her memory.
Our new year 7s have settled well, and some of our older girls have been elected to positions of responsibility within the school. We have appointed our sports leaders, school council and prefects, and our new head girl Jasmine and her deputy Darcey have been diligently taking on their duties, confidently speaking up in public.
In response to a request from parents, we have introduced a weekly bulletin to keep you informed and to share news. We have also increased our presence on social media. I hope you find this information useful, and enjoy a bit more of an insight into life at Alfriston.
The half term has been packed with events. I hope many of you were able to attend the Fun Day at the start of the term, when the sun shone on us and we all had a lovely time visiting the stalls, meeting friends and raising funds for the school. Thanks to the hard work of the Friends of Alfriston, and other staff and volunteers, we raised over £2000. Later in the term, we held a coffee morning in support of the Pancreatic Cancer Charity, in memory of Mandy who died last year.
Last week, our year 9 girls packed their bags and headed off to the New Forest for a week of fun and adventure. It was with a bit of trepidation mixed with excitement that they faced their week ahead. However, they all had an amazing time, with feats of courage and determination, and the staff who accompanied them were impressed with their independence and “can do” attitude, making it a trip to remember. Thank you to the staff who generously gave up their time to make this special experience happen.
The Harvest assembly last week was led by the Post 16 girls, inspired by the work that they had done with One Can. They led the assembly with confidence, and told us about how they had been helping in the community. We had many kind donations of cans and food that will be shared with those who need it most.
Our new Wellbeing log cabins are almost ready for use. The team will be moving out of their current room over the half term holiday, ready for the next half term. They are looking forward to their new habitat with a bit more space, and better facilities in which to carry out their work. I hope the girls enjoy their new surroundings, and continue to feel supported and safe in school.
We’re now looking forward to the next half term, which is the lead up to Christmas! Look out for news of more events and activities, and I hope to see many of you in the school joining in with our celebrations.
Wishing you all a very happy half term,
PE Department – Adapted Cycling Festival
A group of pupils were treated to a morning of inclusive cycling at the Westhorpe Athletics Track in Little Marlow.
They were given the freedom of the track to try a variety of bikes that encourage cycling for all. This included arm cycles as well as tricycles and adapted standard two-wheeled bikes.
They all demonstrated great curiosity and embraced the opportunity to be an independent as possible. It was a fun morning with everybody encouraging and supporting one another on their mission on conquer the track!
PE Department – Tennis Festival at Halton
We were very lucky to have Tennis coaching from professional coaches during a Tennis festival. We got to play inside a Tennis Dome, which was strange to begin with as the floor had sand on it. Joe was very good at giving us lots of different activities to try, which helped us to work on our co-ordination, footwork and Tennis shots. After a warm up we played some competitive games against each other, trying to gain as many points as possible. It was very enjoyable being able to play Tennis at a proper Tennis club and with professional coaches.
Stony Dean & Alfriston Street Dance Block
This half term, our collaborative block with Stony Dean, our students have been street dancing! Professional street dancers, Luke and Maddie, have come in each week to teach the students a variety of street dance styles. They have learnt hip hop, house, popping and locking, with each of these styles providing new and challenging steps and techniques. Over the course of the six weeks, the students have put together a routine that includes sections of each street dance style. These segments have been filmed and put together to create a one-of-a-kind music video! It has been fantastic to watch the students grow in confidence as they progressed their dance skills each week and the enjoyment they got from filming their music video.
Year 7 – Forest School
7Y did some fantastic collaboration work in the woods making a crown in memory of Queen Elizabeth ll. They enjoyed finding all sorts of different items and textures to add to the design.
School Council – Charity Event
This term, School Council have organised a Coffee Morning in memory of Mrs. Levitt who passed away a year ago. We raised £676 for Pancreatic Cancer UK. This is an amazing amount of money and we know that Mrs. Levitt would have loved seeing how many people came together to celebrate her and all she did. We thank the staff and FOA parents for the cakes they donated for the day; without them, it would not have been as successful. We want to also thank you for being so generous allowing us to raise such an amount.
We will be organising more events throughout the year, so please look out for those.
Have a lovely break,
Mrs. Bentley and the School Council.
Art Department – The BIG Draw
The BIG draw is a national festival that celebrates the importance of drawing and aims to encourage everyone to draw. The festival runs every year throughout October and there are lots of events across the country. This year’s theme was #ComeBackToColour
To take part at Alfriston we have had several events taking place in October, including a lunch time BIG Draw out on the playgroup. Pupils took part by using chalk to draw all the things that bring joy and colour to their lives.
We have also had two competitions running to encourage our pupils to be creative and get drawing: our annual Christmas card competition and a competition that offers pupils the exciting chance to have artwork displayed in the performance space art gallery. This deadline for this second competition has been extended to Friday 4th November so there is still time to enter. Please see below for details. Mrs Griggs