This week RUSH week has brought the academic year to a fitting finale. Y10 completed their Silver DofE expedition whilst Y9 enjoyed camp at Croft Farm Water Park. London was explored, Newquay was surfed and the animation and design skills honed at school were seriously impressive. Caves were explored, horses ridden and prison breaks developed great team skills. The Drama Queens were whipped into shape by a west end choreographer and Matilda the musical and Harry Potter World were great highlights. It really has been a fabulous few day – pictures and videos are there for you to see on our social media platforms - Twitter and Facebook
Creating a stimulating, challenging and supporting environment for all of the students in the school is hard work, yet we believe that the learning experiences which go beyond the classroom support the kind of high performance environment in which young people thrive. Put simply, we want the students to make the exceptional an everyday occurrence.
Each year we feedback to the Governors all of the participation data whereby we report on the many activities students engage in. We aim to ensure that these learning experiences are available and accessed by as many students as possible.
• In Y7-9 100% of students have represented their House this year
• In Y7-9 over 50% of students have performed in a production or musical event
• In Y7-9 over 45% of all students have represented the school at sport
• Over 80% of students are involved in a club or wider school activity
• One of the stand out figures continues to be the success of the Duke of Edinburgh scheme in the school - 93% of Y9 have started the Bronze award
• 42% of Y10 have represented the school at sport
• 43% of Y10 students have a leadership role in school
• 80% have represented their House this year
• 20% of students have completed STEM projects with engineers via the Crest Award
• Over 50% of students are involved in the Silver DofE
• Over 60% of Sixth Form students are involved in volunteering and mentoring
• 26% have contributed represented civil society at the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women in New York, the Human Rights Council in Geneva and the Peace and Security Conference, once again in New York
• 19% of students are participating in Gold DofE. This is an astonishing number participating in the scheme.
• 20% of students participate in STEM and academic competitions
We remain the only school in Gloucestershire with 3 modern foreign language exchanges and an exchange to South Korea. We also lead 7 European schools in and Erasmus project focusing on the creative arts. Next year we are delighted to welcome Sir Thomas Riches as a new partner to our French exchange. In the Sixth Form our commitment to internationalism ensures over 60% of students access an international visit. In fact approximately 40% of all students from Y8 and above have travelled overseas with the school this year.
The school continues to develop these principles of active global citizenship and remain mindful that the timeframe for payments and the affordability remains an area of consistent attention. We continue to make sure that Pupil Premium allocations and available bursaries mean that all students can access support where required.
The founding year of the Stroud High School Historical Society has been extremely successful. They began by participating in Cheltenham Racecourse's 'Racing Remembers' where they raised awareness of Gloucestershire's women in World War 1. They met Princess Anne, Dame Janet Trotter (the Queen's representative) and many other high profile people.
A member of the Minchinhampton Historical Society came into talk about local history from WW1 and sources in the local area. At Christmas, they put on a Blackadder showing to raise funds for the society. At lunchtimes members explored their family history and presented their findings to the rest of the society. More recently Dr Pooley from Oxford University came in to give a lecture on childhood in the 19th and 29th century. Everyone who came found the lecture extremely interesting and the Q&A at the end of the session was the best Dr Pooley had ever had! Off the back of this, the SHSHS hosted an Oxford History Skills Workshop, run by an Oxford PhD student, for KS4 and KS5 for pupils from SHS, Marling, Pates, KLB, Ribston and Crypt. It was very interesting and helpful for those who want to go to Oxbridge.
Looking to the future, the SHSHS are looking to go to Gloucester History Festival, host more lectures and gain more members!
At this time of year we say goodbye and good luck to two members of staff. Firstly, Mrs Lakin – a former student and over the last 6 years Curriculum Team Leader for Sociology, Mrs Lakin has been at the centre of developing the teaching and learning of social sciences within the school. She has inspired her students to question the structures in our society today and she has developed the use of technology and social media to ensure she has been at the forefront of pedagogical developments within the school. Mrs Lakin will also be remembered by the main body of the school for her Couch to 5k group. Last weekend she inspired a team of staff and students to take on the challenge which they completed at the Stonehouse Parkrun. We wish Mrs Lakin and her family well as they begin a new adventure in a school in Italy.
Mrs Pauline Blacklock also leaves us after 21 years at the school. It is not sufficient enough to list the many roles she has undertaken at the school, she has been the rock upon which the support staff at the school has been built. Not only has she led the office team she has also overseen the admissions process for entry into the school helping families and students through this complicated and challenging process, from giving advice and support to managing the test process itself. She has been Clerk to Governors, and has been the linchpin for communication, advice and support within the school. We thank her for her immense contribution and wish her well for her retirement
School Birthday was a great occasion. I would like to thank Anna Corderoy for inspiring talk, specifically outlining her personal journey since she left Stroud High. Our student leaders lead the occasion with confidence and skill, outlining all of the highlights of the year. They really are an impressive group. Lizzie and Alyssia gave wonderful musical performances and I am still recovering from Sydney’s dressing down of all the failing witches in the room (you had to be there!).
Of course the quality of experience at the school is built by the contribution of each and every member of staff. As a group they are a privilege to lead and I am grateful to them for always having the humility to learn and the commitment to give their time to educational experience of each student. But more importantly I am indebted to them all for making the school the vibrant community it is. It is because of their hard work and talent that we are able to have a challenging learning environment and a happy community.
I do not formally acknowledge enough how impressed I am with the continued commitment and ability of the students in the school. They make the school a community to be proud of. As ever I would like to thank all parents and carers for their ongoing support. We continue to try and find ways to support your ability to contribute to the school and your feedback remains central to our ability to improve and develop.
Saturday 13 July was the SHS Couch to 5K graduation. Students from Y7-10 have completed the programme over two terms. 24 students and 9 members of staff completed the Stonehouse Parkrun with ease. Mrs Lakin and the other staff volunteers have been so proud of the students who have run through storms, heat waves and everything in between. They started by running for 2mins at a time and built up to between 30-40 minutes non-stop, a fantastic achievement!
We hope the girls have been inspired to continue their love of running and use their barcodes for some more Parkruns.
The 2nd annual Garden Party and Dog Show last Saturday was another fantastic day shared with students, staff and parents and the perfect way to end a week of celebrations at the school. We had on show some incredibly talented students and immensely dedicated staff and parents. A huge thank you to everyone. Last year's profit gave us Monty and early indications are we will double that total from Saturday's festival of music, fun and dogs! More details in the PSA newsletter, including dates for next year and about our target to fund the Library refurbishment.
On Wednesday 10 July the whole of Y7 was treated to a talk from local, global business 'Snow Business'. The talk demonstrated the use of computer aided design, research science, engineering and an environmental ethos to create a world-leading company and some iconic film scenes. The students then enjoyed experiencing falling 'snow' in the summer sunshine!
On Friday 28 June Art Textiles students studying GCSE and A Level travelled to Islington in London to the Business Design Centre to visit the ‘New Designers’ exhibition. New Designers showcases over 3000 of the very best new graduates from over 200 creative with stands from all the UK’s universities in one incredible exhibition. Week one focuses on Textiles, Fashion, costume, and accessories; students were not only treated to the inspirational work of thousands of talented designers, they were able to see the what the majority of the design courses available in the UK have to offer, with a chance to browse through portfolios, meet and chat to students and lecturers developing ideas for their own work and futures.
There was as always, a fantastic mix of visionary new design with a mix of traditional design crafts, new innovations and a socially responsive design thinking. Sixth formers in particular had an unrivalled opportunity to see what higher education has to offer in the creative sector and as well as pathways after graduation into the industry.
Everyone had a fantastic day and left brimming with ideas for their near- and longer-term futures in design and making.
As ever, should you have any questions or wish to book a time to come and talk about the school and your experiences do not hesitate to contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org.