Update from the Head

School Performance Tables
Many of you will have picked up in the press the success of the school in this year’s school performance tables. For the second year running progress from Key Stage 2 to GCSE was the highest in the county, and the Daily Telegraph positioned us as the 8th highest performing state school in the country. At A-Level, the performance of the girls was among the highest performing cohorts in the county. You can read more about this in the coverage in the local newspapers click here for GCSE and click here for A-Level. Government performance measures are only one indicator of the strength of learning experience for everyone at Stroud High School. Once again, this update will give you a flavour of the breadth of opportunities students are enjoying across the school.

Amazing Art

9D and 9F have been busy recently finishing off their Street/Pop Art self-portraits in Art. Their work expresses their teenage life and what they consume. Congratulations to these students who have achieved their personal best. They are now starting a new project based on team design and making. Their theme is all about up-cycling an art couture wearable sculpture based on bio-mimicry in the ocean, so watch this space!


FameLab Final

On Friday 25 January we held our 3rd SHS Famelab Academy final. This was the culmination of efforts by the whole of Year 9 over six science lessons staring in November in which they plan, research, write, practise and perform a talk which is then judged based on its content, clarity and charisma. The range of talks this year was again superb and those in the final ranged from the revolting habits of bees to global water supplies. Nine students were selected to take part in the final via in-class heats and presented their talks to an audience comprising the whole of year eight, some of the finalists' parents and the judges: Mr McShane, Elspeth Kenny (Cheltenham Science Festival Education coordinator) and Jade Thomas (EDF energy).

The task of selecting a winner and runners up was a difficult one but Jahoor Sembi goes on to the grand final against other Gloucestershire schools at EDF Barnwood on Thursday 21 March, with Orla Wright and Hattie Clark as runners up. We hope that the current Year 8 students have been inspired for their own talks next year.

Duke of Edinburgh Update

Over 130 Year 9 students participated in their Expedition Training with OceanRock this week. The feedback has been excellent and I am sure the students are feeling ready for the actual activities in May. We have a record number of Gold participants in the Sixth Form. We have two cohorts running with close to 60 students involved. All of them are targeting a royal appointment at St James Palace.

Sporting Success
The PE department have experienced a number of successes this term, across a number of activities. In Hockey, the U16 hockey team claimed a very convincing 5-0 victory over Sir William Romney's. We have had multiple wins in Netball with standout performances from the U12 Netball A Team who have been successful in all of their fixtures, and missed out by a single goal in the District Tournament. There has been greater success for the U13 Netball Squad who have remained undefeated in all of their fixtures, and were crowned District Champions. In the pool, the SHS Swim Team beat Westonbirt School in the recent head to head swim gala, and in the King Henry VIII Cross Country senior relays we finished seventh out of 38 teams in a very strong field that included international runners. Congratulations to everyone who contributes to extra-curricular clubs and teams.

House Activities
Houses have had a busy term with the changeover of House Leaders to Year 12. A productive bunch, there has already been an event run by Stanley house – Galentine’s Day. This is based on the idea that you send a note and a small chocolate gift to your friends to let them know how much you appreciate them. February has been designated #FebforMe month by the Head Girl Team so this has helped to promote the idea of personal wellbeing. House football took place this term; Year 7/8 and 11 winners were Kimmin, Griffin and Stanley respectively. Year 9/10 were Arundel and Stanley. Friday’s house family activities have changed to a more competitive nature – cookie face, origami, paper planes and quizzes to name a few – but students have just been consulted on what direction house families should take by a survey from the Head Girl Team; we will assess the results and continue to develop how they work.

School Production
Next term, we look forward to the staging of our annual school production: a Roald Dahl double bill of 'The Witches' and 'Matilda the Musical (in 20 minutes)'. There are over one hundred students involved in the cast and crew, all of whom have been working tirelessly in after-school and lunchtime rehearsals since they auditioned back in October. The cast is made up of Year 7 to Year 10 students, crewed by Year 10 - Year 13 students, including student choreographers, stage-managers, lighting designers and directors. Come and be wowed by the singing and dancing of the reduced musical as well as some splendid bald-cap wearing mouse mischief! Mrs Caselton is most excited about the use of the trap door on the stage - which not many people in school even knew existed, so we don't think has been opened in living memory!

The show runs from 4-6 March, starting at 6.30pm in the main school hall, and tickets are priced at £5 adults/ £3 concessions, available now from the Finance Office.

PSA Update
A huge thank you to the parents and students who attended last Friday's Year 7 Event and for raising just over £600. The evening started with the girls having a sing along to the Greatest Showman (with popcorn) in the 6th Form Lecture Theatre. They then joined their parents and staff in the canteen for pizza and a quiz, superbly delivered by the new 6th Form student leaders. The money raised will go towards the Library project and we are even more grateful to an anonymous parent, who has offered to match funds raised for all Year 7 events.

With that in mind Year 7 will be leading fundraising on World Book Day specifically for the Library project. A House World Book Day costume competition among numerous activities are already planned.

Start planning for your next evening out, with tickets going on sale after the half term at £10.00 per person (Adults only) for the St Patrick's Day Ceilidh, to be held in the Main Hall, on Saturday 16 March 7.30-10.30pm. Please lookout for the flyer in the next coming weeks.

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 head@stroudhigh.gloucs.sch.uk.

Mark McShane