As we approach the Easter break, we look forward to rest and rejuvenation. Easter is a time for new beginnings and re-focus. In the 40 days before Easter, Christians observe Lent by entering into a period of self-examination and repentance through prayer. It would be beneficial that all of our students reflect on the past term and their successes, but also that they think carefully about how they can improve and move forward in the next term to strive for excellence.
This is an important time for the year 11 and 13 students who have now completed their mock exams and are in the midst of their final preparations for the GCSE, BTEC and A level exams which start in May. As always we appreciate the support of our parents in ensuring that their son/daughter is fully aware of the exam schedule and is undertaking appropriate revision activities at home.
Staff and students have been working conscientiously in school to ensure high levels of success and achievement in the final exams. It has been wonderful to see such hard work and dedication from all.
Further support materials for students to use at home are available on the curriculum and examinations section of the school website. Easter revision sessions have also been planned for students in school in order to support our students even further in their studies. These sessions have proved highly popular and successful over the past three years. We therefore kindly ask parents to ensure that their son/daughter attends all of the sessions that have been offered so that they can benefit fully from this additional resource that the school has to offer. Copies of the Easter revision schedule can also be found on the school website.
We wish all of our students who are embarking on this busy yet exciting part of their educational journey, every success in both the run up to and completion of their final exams. Extra-Curricular Activities
Extra-curricular activities have proven to be very successful with our students this year. Students at Bishop Stopford’s have the opportunity to engage in a wide range of extra-curricular activities every day. A number of our students have enjoyed the physical activities every lunch and after school with some representing our school teams.
Year 7 Football Team
Our year 7 football team are an outstanding example of a team that is embracing our focus on positivity. The team had a poor start earlier in the year, but through their determination and persistence they are now one of the top teams in the league.
Year 8 Basketball Team
Our year 8 boys’ basketball team reached the semi-finals of the Borough Basketball Competition, narrowly missing a place in the final. The team performed extremely well throughout, showing incredible teamwork, tactical knowledge and skills. They are a fantastic team who have shown real commitment to each other and the school. They showed real dedication and we look forward to next year when they will be even stronger. All members of the team were a credit to the school throughout the competition and received a Stopfordian Ethos Award.
Creativity is a strength of the school and our art, dance, drama and music groups continue to engage large numbers of students outside of lessons. Steel pans, choir and solo singing students often showcase our school in and beyond the Borough.
Rhema Arts and Music and Poetry This term, we had a visit from Reggie Yates during the Rhema Arts Music and Poetry Workshop. Rhema Arts is a charity focused on supporting young people in developing their creative gifts. We are very proud to highlight that Rhema was set up by one of Bishop Stopford’s ex-students, Ruth Ekong. During his visit, Reggie announced that Rhema Arts had won this year’s Aviva Community Fund which will now continue to help us and other schools in delivering creative art workshops. LDBS Celebration – Visit to St Paul’s Cathedral
Selected students, members of our choir and staff attended a Celebration at St Paul’s Cathedral on Friday 25th January, 2019. The event was a celebration for the family of Church of England Schools and also coincided with the Cathedral’s Patronal Festival. LDBS schools from all boroughs attended. We were extremely proud of our students who are regularly selected to sing with the choirs at this most prestigious of all Cathedrals. Our students learn how to perform in very formal settings to thousands of people, which builds their confidence and the ability to perform well under pressure.
On 4th May, students, parents and staff were invited to a candlelight concert at Bishop Stopford’s School. A string quartet performed GCSE compositions written by our talented students. GCSE students impressed their audience with their singing and speeches were made by other students, staff and parents. The event was a real showcase for the very talented musicians and performers that we have in school.
Connecting with the world around us
At Bishop Stopford’s we value the opportunity to connect with work and society beyond school and have done this through IT, Engineering and Gardening clubs. We continue to engage in real experiences through trips with recent excursions to the Body Works Exhibition, Oxford University and West End Theatre shows.
On Monday 1st April 2019, students from Performing Arts and Drama GCSE/BTEC classes from Year 9 – 11, attended Piccadilly Theatre in the London theatre district to watch the highly acclaimed `Curious Incident of The Dog in the Night Time’. An amazing performance that follows the journey of Christopher, the lead character. The play is not only a moral tale about our individual gifts, but also one of set text used to support GCSE Drama and Performing Arts. Students really enjoyed exploring dramatic devices, the show’s lights, special effects, sounds, and of course the amazing actors.
A complete contrast to the trip on the 2nd November 2018, to the Royal Court Theatre to see `Ear to Eye’, which was a minimalist production.
Developing critical and political minds
A current focus for our clubs is to engage our students’ ability to problem solve and debate. This has proven extremely popular with a wide variety of students. Chess, board games and documentary clubs will be supplemented with a planned debate club in the next term. These additional clubs will complement our new status as a Parliamentary Ambassador School.
Our school is now one of a small group of schools across the entire UK who have been selected to have members of staff trained to become Parliamentary Ambassadors. Being a school with a Parliamentary Ambassador means we have stronger connections with politics and the way the country is governed. This means that our students are being offered even more opportunity to become aware of the world around them and their role in making changes for their futures.
New School Prefects
On Tuesday, 2nd April, 2019, new prefects were initiated during their year 10 assembly. They were given their prefect badges and gowns and were sworn in by the Head of Year 10 and myself. We are proud of our new prefects and I am sure they will be great ambassadors for the school by living each day through the schools values of respect, consideration, loyalty, responsibility and success.
End of term arrangements
The last day of term will be Friday, 5th April, 2019. Following whole school assemblies, all students will be dismissed from school by 12.30pm.
Summer Term Arrangements
Please be reminded that we return to school on Tuesday, 23rd April. Due to staff training, students are asked to arrive at the slightly later time of 09:30am.
Finally, I would like to wish everyone in our family a reflective and peaceful Easter.
Ms T. Day