more items on Sports Peeps, Performing Peeps and Young Peeps pages. Children in Need photos are in album in Gallery 2017
Nailsea School GCSE results up 10 per cent
It was big beams and a great buzz at Nailsea School on Thursday morning for its best ever GCSE results for nearly a decade.
With nearly three quarters of the students getting above average grades at English and maths it was the best set of exam results since pupils moved to the multi-million building in 2008-9.
Seventy four per cent of pupils gained Grade 4 or higher in English and maths, 52 per cent got Grade 5 or higher, 19 per cent got Grade 7 or higher and 10 per cent achieved Grade 8 or higher.
Head teacher Dee Elliot said: “This year has been one of huge change with a new examination system deliberately designed to be tougher.
“The fact that our school has had a fourth successive yearly increase in the core subject measure, with a 10 per cent improvement on 2016 is phenomenal.
“Breaking into the 70 per cent is a significant milestone for Nailsea School to have achieved.”
This year a new system for grading GCSE results is being used for the first time with the old A* to G grades being replaced with numbers from 9 to 1.
The first courses to use the new marking system are GCSE maths, English literature and English language exams taken this summer.
Next year this grading scheme will be extended to include GCSE science exams.
The new grading system scores pupils from 1 to 9, with Grade 9 being the highest mark and Grade 1 the lowest.
The Government predicts that a pupil who scored a C previously will receive a Grade 4 this year.
To get a level 9 is harder than getting an A*, meaning far fewer students will get the top mark.
Mrs Elliot added: “Today is a day for the students themselves who are rightly celebrating achievements at all levels.
“We work hard at Nailsea School to raise the aspirations and self-belief of all of our students so that they feel they can push themselves to do better than they think is possible.
“Today has demonstrated that this is the case.
“I am thrilled that the hard work of staff and students and the support of parents has culminated in these results today.
“I wish all students the best of luck in whatever the next stage of their education, employment or training is.
“Our 6th form curriculum means that we can offer any student a KS5 pathway, irrespective of GCSE results.
“It will be great to see more than 100 of the students returning to Year 12 at Nailsea in September.”
The new grading is only being rolled out in England with other countries in the UK sticking with the old A-G grading.
The young people getting their exam results at Nailsea School also collected the 2017 leavers Year Book which produced another round of big smiles.
Nationally it is reported the proportion of pupils achieving good GCSE passes in England has fallen this year, amid a blizzard of changes in exams and gradings, including the new nine-point scale in the key subjects of English and maths. There were weaker results in history, maths and geography than last year, but the picture was complicated by changing patterns of entries and some substantial increases in numbers taking the tests as schools adjusted to the new process. Overall, the proportion of students gaining at least a C, or a 4 under the new system, in England fell slightly, from 66.5% to 66.1%, but representatives of the examination boards said that in many subjects the results of older and younger pupils were affecting the national picture, reports Richard Adams and Sally Weale, for the Guardian newspaper.
Backwell School smashes GCSE benchmark
As changes to the GCSEs examinations and the new grading system for English and maths begins, Backwell School students continue to celebrate excellent GCSE results.
Eighty two per cent of students achieved a standard pass - Grade 4 or above - in both English and maths, while 66 per cent received a Grade 5 or higher in both subjects.
Overall 78 per cent of students achieved five A*-C grades including English and maths.
Forty five per cent of students achieved the very challenging combination of higher passes which earns them the English Baccalaureate.
Twenty seven of the new Grade 9 scores were received by Backwell students, who continue to reach the very highest levels of achievement.
One example of such excellence was Jemma Mayler, pictured top right, who achieved the highest grades available to her in every subject with nine A*s and three Grade 9s in English language, English literature and maths, and even found time to take an additional subject gaining an A* at A-level in creative writing.
Jemma couldn’t believe her results when she received them this morning.
She said: "It is all very surreal but it is also really affirming that all the hard work does pay off."
Jemma will be returning to Backwell sixth form in September working towards studying law at university.
Head teacher Jon Nunes said “I am extremely proud of the hard work and determination of our students.
"They have made fantastic progress during their five years with us, a great example being Proby Koskandawala.
"Proby’s final GCSE results were a collective 20 grades higher than expected – meaning that she averaged over two grades higher per subject than her targets – a truly incredible achievement.”
"We would like to congratulate our Year 11 students for all their achievements, both in and out of the classroom."
Backwell School key statistics
82% of students achieved Grade 4 in English and maths
66% of students achieved Grade 5 in English and maths
45% of students achieved the English Baccalaureate
78% of students achieved 5 A*-C grades including English and maths at Grade 4 or above
Our brilliant A-level year
It was mostly tears of joy and big smiles at Nailsea and Backwell secondary schools on Thursday, August 17, when students came to collect their A-level results.
Many already knew if the university of their choice was offering them a place after early morning emails.
And early morning it was at Backwell School as the doors opened at 8am for the young people to collect their envelopes.
Backwell School sixth formers were soon celebrating another excellent set of A-level results.
More than half of all exam entries were graded A* to B, with an impressive overall pass rate of 99.2 per cent.
Every single student achieved qualifications, with no fewer than 29 students achieving grades equivalent to AAA or higher.
Three students - Alice Griffiths, Jasmine Thomas and Alex Walder - gained at least three A* grades.
Also celebrating was head girl, Issie Dowse, who got the three A grades in chemistry, maths and biology she needs to go to veterinary school at Liverpool.
She said: “I have wanted to be a vet since I was 10 years old, and I am so excited to begin my training.”
Deputy head girl Jasmine Thomas is taking a gap year before heading off to Cambridge to read medicine.
And many other students at the village comprehensive are now looking forward to exciting future plans.
These include Katie Galbraith, who in December produced the sixth form production of Hairspray, which raised more than £4,000 for the Alzheimer’s Society.
She is heading to Essex University to further her knowledge of stage and production management, having easily surpassed their entry requirement of CDD with her results of ACC grades.
Outgoing head of sixth form, teacher Toby Rome, said: “I am incredibly proud of this group of students, who have not only achieved academic success, but also grown in so many other ways during the past two years.
“There are of course outstanding straight A* students, but these results also contain countless stories of individual successes against adversity.
“As a year group they have coped brilliantly with the disruption of ongoing changes to the structure of A-levels, and have consistently impressed me with their determination, good humour and thoughtfulness.”
An hour later and Nailsea School was ready to hand out its results.
On hand was head teacher Dee Elliot and head of sixth form Jon Reddiford.
Mrs Elliot said: “Year 13 students at Nailsea School are celebrating another year of superb A-level results, which are up for the third year in a row.
“The number of top grades were up as well with a quarter of A* or A grades being awarded.
“Following on from such great results students have been able to secure places on highly competitive courses at the most sought-after institutions.”
School president Josh Hayler is off to Oxford University to read music along with fellow straight A students Laura Packham and Alice Vaughan-Williams.
Laura will be reading Spanish and linguistics while for Alice Vaughan-Williams it will be maths.
The school maths results were outstanding.
Mrs Elliot added that in addition to this, other students have plans to take gaps years to travel before starting their university courses, joining the world of work or signing for apprenticeships.
Musical Anna Richardson who successfully completed A-levels in fine art and history is starting a song writing course while an ecstatic Charlotte Bray was over-the-moon to make the grade for a nursing degree.
Mr Reddiford said: "We are delighted and immensely proud of what our students have accomplished.
“Congratulations must also go to their teachers and parents for supporting students on achieving these fantastic results.”
After collecting their results many of the Nailsea and Backwell soon-to-be undergraduates headed for Wetherspoons at Nailsea for a well deserved celebratory breakfast.
College class success
Some North Somerset students including those from Nailsea and nearby decided to catch the special college bus and taken their further education qualifications at Weston-super-Mare.
And for many it is the right choice as A-level students at Weston College celebrated phenomenal results this year.
A total of 438 students took their A-levels this year with a pass rate of 99 per cent maintaining the outstanding pass rates the college has enjoyed year-on- year and showing the dedication of both staff and students to continually achieve.
There was more cause for celebration, with 49 per cent of students achieving the top grades of A*-B, and 80 per cent achieving A*-C.
Among the many success stories this year was Steven Eveleigh, who has achieved three A* grades in maths, law and geography and is its top performing student.
He has been offered a place at the University of Bath to read economics in September.
He said: “I’m so relieved to have gotten my results.
"I’ve loved my time at Weston College, and have met so many new people and have had some really amazing experiences.
"It’s definitely something I would do again.”
Katie Handley was also collecting her results today, and with be progressing to Bangor University for English literature with creative writing course.
Katie achieved two Bs in English literature and English language as well as media studies and communications.
She has described her experience at the college as 'so amazing'.
Katie said: “The teachers really helped me.
"I was worried in my first year, but because of the support I got I improved so much and that wouldn’t have been possible without the support of my teachers.”
Weston College group chief executive and principal Dr Paul Phillips said: "Once again our students have proved how they can go above and beyond, and our lecturers have shown that they can create a learning environment in which our students can thrive.
“Our results reflect our high standards of teaching and our commitment to our learners.
"We are proud to be one of the top performing colleges in the country and our continued successes are a promise that all future learners will get the
very best education from us.
“Our students achieve results well above national and international norms.”
Sport personality 2017
It was a glittering evening at Cadbury House when hundreds of sporting stars from Nailsea Schoop got to meet rugby ace Tom Varndell at its presentation evening.
There were lots of individual winners in a variety of disciplines but the overall winners were Jack and Hannah who got to go home with the shields.
Hannah is a county football player.
Rugby ace at premier school sports event
Nailsea School has secured a top signing for its annual sports personality presentation evening.
Guest speaker Tom Varndell is the inspirational English rugby union footballer who plays wing for newly promoted Aviva Premiership club Bristol Rugby.
Varndell also has caps for England and England Sevens as well as having represented other Aviva Premiership sides Leicester Tigers and Wasps.
He is currently the leading try scorer in the Aviva Premiership.
The event on Tuesday, July 18, is at Cadbury House Hotel.
The PE department at Nailsea School benefits from top of the range sport and dance facilities including:
a dance studio with sprung floor, mirrored wall, dance bar, retractable seating and full sound system;
sports hall including four full sized badminton/netball/volleyball courts/Indoor hockey pitch;
all weather pitch – the only one of its kind in the country, with underfloor drainage and full floodlighting;
Two multi-use games areas, housing six fenced in netball courts; and
sports pitch and playing fields at Golden Valley.
Find 41 scarecrows
A Superheroes Scarecrow Trail around Nailsea, raising funds for Golden Valley Primary School, is on Saturday and Sunday, July 15-16.
This year the annual PTA event is being organised by mum Franny Rutherford with a team of helpers.
Maps at £2 to find the 41 scarecrows are on sale at town centre outlets Coates House and the Royal Mail Delivery Centre or any Golden Valley School Association committee members.
The weekend trail runs from 9am to 8pm each day and as well as quessing who the hero is they is an opportunity to choose your favourite scarecrow.
The Scarecrow is a character in the fictional Land of Oz created by American author L Frank Baum and illustrator WW Denslow.
In his first appearance, the Scarecrow reveals that he lacks a brain and desires above all else to have one.
Happy 40th birthday Golden Valley
Golden Valley Primary School opened in Nailsea 40 years ago and all week it celebrated its four decades by invited parents, pupils and staff past and present to a series of assemblies and special exhibitions.
The Nailsea Park school actual 40th birthday was September 2016, the 13th to be exact.
But due to major building works last September the celebration was delayed until Saturday afternoon, July 1, 2017.
There was an exhibition of photographs and exercise books.
The carefully handwritten original class register of just over 100 pupils included details of their addresses, dates of birth, date of entry and where they were from plus their dates of leaving and destination.
Nailsea town and district councillor Jan Barber has been a school governor for 33 years.
She said: “It was all quite nostalgic for me as my younger daughter Fiona was number 70 in the register.
“The school has only had three headteachers, Richard Brock, Alan Shaw and Kevin Lynch which quite an achievement.
“Previous heads, Richard and Alan had taken assemblies during the week running up to Saturday and both were present at the event able to reflect on their experiences and relate various anecdotes to accompany the slide show featuring the original photographs.
“Two of the original five teachers were present, Angela Bellamy and Carol Langford.
Also several past teachers including Carys Legg, Wendy Davey and Rosemary Grainger, other staff members and a host of past pupils and their parents.
“We were able to see round the school and the various changes which have been made.
“The afternoon was rounded off with scones, cream and jam plus drinks in the new kitchen area.
“Altogether a most enjoyable occasion which certainly stirred many memories.
Leading up to the open day children have been doing various ‘history’ projects about the 1970s which made some former pupils feel quite ancient!
Another former parent David Britton went along and took lots of modern day photos.
He said: “Both our children went to Golden Valley, Simon started in 1977 and Sarah in 1979.
“Sarah came with me to the 40th anniversary open day, it was fine weather so we took a short cut across the Scotch Horn playing field through the Nailsea carnival fair crowds, we arrived at the school at about 2.30 just in time for a slide show of past old photos about Golden Valley school.
“We were in quite a crowded main hall where present head teacher Mr Lynch gave a humorous commentary about the photos assisted by previous heads – Mr Brock and Mr Shaw.
“We had a great time looking at loads of old photos and having a look around the school, I had to put a photo in of the excellent LS Lowry paintings the children had done and were displayed on the wall of one corridor.”
Felicity Brock, who is a former secondary school geography teacher, said: Golden Valley school opened early September 1976 but they could not have the party last September as the school was shrouded in scaffolding.
“Mr Lynch opened the proceedings on Saturday with a slide show of photos over the years, starting with a very young, looking Richard Brock, complete with flares, showing the way in.
“There were 101 pupils on roll covering all ages.
“After the slide show and commentary by Mr Lynch, Mr Shaw and Richard said a few words and then everyone started to mingle.
“The Hall had been laid out with displays of photos – events, teams, classes and staff.
“It was very interesting to see the changes in fashion!
“Richard had also taken a selection of mainly art work from the time he was there.
“Ex pupils enjoyed finding any they had produced.
“House captains and other pupils were on hand to give guided tours of the school.
“Richard and I found it fascinating to see the changes to the building we knew and were impressed with the additions and adaptations.
“Ex members of staff from the early days who attended were Mrs Bellamy, Mrs Langford, Mrs Thomas and Mrs Warry.
“There were other staff from the later years present as well but we only knew former deputy head teacher Jo Hopkinson.
“Richard was somewhat taken aback by the number of ex pupils and parents who wanted to speak to him.
“Among them was Jenny Nelms who had run the ballet school our daughters Debbie and Anne attended.
“The event started at 2pm and wound up at 4.30.
“Throughout the afternoon refreshments were on hand in the new studio area which were very welcome as the weather was so kind.
“Towards the end the huge birthday cake was cut.
“It was a lovely afternoon.
“In the week running up to the party first Richard and then Mr Shaw went in to the school and gave talks about their time in the school to all the pupils.”
School art exhibition makes big impression
From Picasso to Kandinsky, from in-your-face artwork to examples of modern finesse the annual art exhibition at Nailsea School was a masterpiece of creativity.
On show was work by Year 11 and 13 students plus KS3 projects and is was a jaw-dropping show of talent that could grace many a professional gallery.
Using all mediums of expression from oils to charcoal, digital to clay, wow,wow, wow.
Well done young people - excellent.
End of term, end of year, end of schooldays
more prom photos in Gallery 2017 click HERE
Juniors have a senior musical moment
Pupils from a North Somerset school performed a special concert for residents at Abbots Leigh Nursing Home, including songs from the musicals and traditional classics.
The junior choir, made up of children aged seven to 11-years from Fairfield School at Backwell, performed a programme of memorable favourites including We’ll Meet Again and Run Rabbit Run by Dame Vera Lynn, popular songs from the musicals including Let’s Go Fly a Kite and traditional pieces like Lord Of The Dance.
Fairfield School headmistress Lesley Barton, said: “The children performed to an exceptionally high standard and were praised for the quality of their voices.
“The song choices were perfect and the residents sang along with the choir, which was lovely. Everyone, young and old, thoroughly enjoyed the afternoon.”
For more information visit http://fairfield.school/
We're all going on a summer holiday
Children in the Early Years Foundation Stage at Fairfield School, Backwell, performed a special summer concert for parents and teachers.
The pupils in Lambs aged two to three; nursery aged three to four; and reception aged four to five, dressed up as bus, car and train drivers and holidaymakers to put on the show all relating to the whole school topic of journeys.
Singing songs around this theme, the children delighted the audience at the North Somerset independent school.
Fairfield School headmistress Lesley Barton said: “The children sang beautifully and enthusiastically and the concert was enjoyed by all!
“Everyone enjoyed the theme of Journeys as we prepare for the upcoming summer holidays ahead!”
Fairfield School is an independent co-educational school for children aged 2 to 11.
Class sizes are limited to a maximum of 22 at Fairfield School, with many much smaller and there is a very wide range of clubs and activities, sport, music and drama to cater for the interests of all pupils.
Fairfield is historically a PNEU School, which means it is affiliated to the Parents’ National Education Union.
There are PNEU schools throughout the UK and the world.
For more information click HERE.visit
What not to wear to school today
While some schools are being sticklers for rules insisting pupils wear their blazers in this heatwave – and being rewarded for their stupidity by being feature on the Mail Online - others like Nailsea School has a sensible (sun)hat on saying students can wear shorts and T-shirts while the soaring summer temperatures persist.
On Friday, June 23, however, the Mizzymead Road comprehensive has another fundraising non-uniform day and a different dress code is in place.
Nailsea School headteacher Dee Elliot said: “Due to the weather conditions of this week students will be able to wear PE kit as school uniform for Wednesday and Thursday, June 21-22.
“Students have the option of wearing school PE kit which must include appropriate shorts and approved school PE tops.
“If students do not feel comfortable wearing this then students can remain in normal uniform.
“It would be advisory that students also prepare for these days by using sun cream with appropriate factor level and ensuring students have a water bottle.
“A gentle reminder that the Friday will also be a non-uniform day to support the Grenfell tower charity.
“Students should consider the temperature when selecting the clothes for Friday.”
Nailsea School students, and staff can pay £1 to dress ‘green’ and raise money for the victims of the Grenfell Tower fire.
However, a note of caution as Mrs Elliot has put a ban on ‘onesies, morph suits’ or any clothing considered inappropriate.
Green For Grenfell is supported by church schools in London and is part of a wider campaign launched by the Evening Standard Dispossessed Fund on behalf of residents of Grenfell Tower.
The Evening Standard Dispossessed Fund was set up in 2010 to help grassroots charities tackling poverty, inequality and exclusion across the capital.
Since its launch in 2010, the Dispossessed Fund has raised £18.02 million from the public, business, government, Comic Relief and the Big Lottery.
This is the most money ever raised by a newspaper campaign outside of war or natural disaster.
So far it has distributed £11.96 million in 1,117 grants, helping more than 150,000 people across the capital.
STOP PRESS: On another note – who likes the new Backwell School uniform? Not as nice as St Trinians? The white polo shirts with curling collars seem to be 50 shades of grey after a few washes and ill-matched with tartan skirts #saynotouniformsdesignedbyteachers perhaps?
Fairfield pupil's have got talent
Teachers and pupils were treated to an afternoon of entertainment at Fairfield School’s for a talent show.
Pupils in Years 3-6 pulled out all the stops for Fairfield’s Got Talent, showcasing their skills in singing, dancing, magic, comedy, piano playing and puppetry.
Organised by the School Council at the Backwell school, the performance event was a roaring success with children praised for their confidence and professionalism on stage.
Fairfield School headmistress Lesley Barton said: “We’ve always known our lovely pupils are immensely talented but to see some of them up on stage doing a fantastic job of their chosen skill, was a proud moment for teachers.
“Their enthusiasm and confidence was a joy to behold and everyone thoroughly enjoyed the afternoon.
"We just hope they remember us when they’ve made the big time!”
Fairfield School is an independent co-educational school for children aged two to 11 years.
Class sizes are limited to a maximum of 22 at Fairfield School, with many much smaller and there is a very wide range of clubs and activities, sport, music and drama to cater for the interests of all pupils.
Fairfield is historically a PNEU School, which means it is affiliated to the Parents’ National Education Union. There are PNEU schools throughout the UK and the world.
For more information click HERE.
And the winners are...
Backwell School held a mock general election - here are its results.
Meanwhile at Nailsea School there were elections for the role of presidents and the head boys and girls of each house.
The following students were elected:
School president - Pedro Malheiros
Vice presidents - Charlie Cayzer and Jack Carlton
Head boy/girl Dragon House - Sam Bell and Annabelle Hanley
Deputy head boy/girl Dragon House - Lorenzo Milleri and Ellie Lloyd-Jones
Head boy/girl Griffin House - Charlie Williams and MacKenzie Edgell-Port
Deputy head boy/girl Dragon House - Sam Henley and Molly Draper
Head boy/girl Phoenix House - Ace Chandler and Grace Cook
Deputy head boy/girl Phoenix House - Jack Bidgood and Emily Napier
Head boy/girl Unicorn House - Finn Stephens and Mollie Pearce
Deputy head boy/girl Unicorn House - Dan Hardwell and Rachel Hill
To read Nailsea School summer bulletin with important term dates click HERE.
One 'giant leap’ for Nailsea physics teacher
Nailsea School physics teacher Tom Pearson has headed off to a brave new world this week with a very special invitation to the Space and Rocket Centre at Alabama in the US.
The comprehensive school science teacher was selected from hundreds of applicants to take part in a course specifically designed to inspire teachers and ignite a passion for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) learning in the class room.
Teachers from all around the world are invited to apply for the course in space science where, attendees have the opportunity to learn about living and working in microgravity, the international space station, rocketry, astronomy and astrophysics.
Mr Pearson is undergoing astronaut-style training sessions as well as space science related workshops that can be brought back into the classroom.
He was accepted onto the course in early January and has received a full scholarship which covers all his costs including flights, accommodation, the training course, tour of NASA and flight suit.
Space and Rocket Centre chief exectuive officer Deborah Barnhart hopes the experience will 'power up your classroom, reinforce the relationship of STEM education to workforce development and to prepare the next generation to lead us into the future'.
The course is a week and a half long.
Mr Pearson returns to Nailsea School in a fortnight when he has promised to share the experience with his students, fuelling their lessons with space-camp inspiration - including the possibility of learning about how to land a shuttle on the moon.
Headteacher Dee Elliott said: "We are very proud of Mr Pearson for following his ambition and are looking forward to his return, when he can share with the school this exceptional experience – which I am sure both staff and students will find truly aspirational.”
Golden Valley's 40th
Golden Valley Primary School at Nailsea is 40-years-old.
To celebrate its ruby anniversary the school is inviting pupils, teachers, parents, governors, PTA people and anyone else associated with the school past and present to join its celebrations on Saturday afternoon, July 1.
The event is from 2-4pm and all headteachers from Richard Brock to Alan Shaw and the present incumbent Kevin Lynch will be in attendance.
Only three head teachers in four decades is quite an acheivement.
Mr Brock opened the school and is known for his love of Morris dancing, Mr Shaw hails from Yorkshire and saw the school grow and Mr Lynch oversaw the huge extension and playing field fencing project.
Its latest Ofsted rates the school 'outstanding'.
Current house captains will give tours of the school and there will be an opportunity to view the school log books, look at displays and photographs from the archives.
Mr Lynch said: "The GVSA will be there to serve refreshments and hopefully the weather will be nice for us to enjoy the grounds too.
"We would also love to hear memories of your time at GV from any ex-pupils so that we can share them in assembly with the children in the week leading up to the weekend celebrations.
"If you would like to share some thoughts please email them through to firstname.lastname@example.org.
SCHOOLS OUT: Those crazy, lazy days of summer await because many of these Year 13 students celebrating the end of their formal schooling will be back after half term to take A-levels. The bouncy castle and fancy dress is a long established last day tradition at Nailsea School before the world of paid work or further education follows
Nailsea School sending support to Manchester
The Manchester Evening News led the way and now nearly £2 million has been donated for those affected by the Arena bombing.
Several crowdfunding campaigns have been set up to raise funds for the families and loved ones of the victims of the terrorist attack at Manchester Arena on Monday evening when 22 people - including children - were killed in an explosion that tore through fans leaving an Ariana Grande pop concert.
Dozens more were injured.
Following the horrific events Nailsea School staff were provided with information about how to support any students asking questions or feeling particularly affected.
The attack was discussed in school as it was obvious it had really resonated among the students who had identified with both the circumstances and the victims.
Two Year 10 students, Molly Draper and Rachel Hill felt strongly that they wanted to help and approached staff with their ideas.
Staff were more than happy to support the girls who were instrumental in organising a fundraising event including a massive cake sale on Friday, May 26.
More than £750 was raised and all the money will be given to support the families of those who have been directly affected in Manchester.
Head teacher Dee Elliott said: “Yet again, I have been overwhelmed by the spirit of the students at Nailsea and feel safe in the knowledge that the young people in our community will leave our doors and do their very best to make the world a better place.”
To give visit the crowdfunding page by clicking HERE.
Meet the midwife and more...
A new style of careers event was trialled at Nailsea School this term where students took part in a speed-dating style set-up.
Meet The Medics was an opportunity for students from all age groups to interview professionals from the medical sector.
The school worked with Tyntesfield Medical Group to organise the event and were extremely grateful to the surgery, Boots Opticians and also to a number of parents from the medical profession that got involved.
Experts included GPs, nurses, health visitors, opticians, medical students, radiographer, physiotherapist, phlebotomist, ward manager, midwife, clinical managers and more.
Both the medics and the students expressed how much they had enjoyed the career session and the experts appreciated the opportunity to share their knowledge and experience to help the students.
One medic said: "Students were really focussed, interested and asked some great questions.“
A nurse said: “My job is hard work particularly with all the cut backs and it feels so good to be able to help young people gather ideas in this way.”
Staff remarked how the atmosphere in the school atrium as students made their way around the room was really warm and engaging.
With many of the students asking for further events in this style there are now plans to repeat with other sectors including environment/conservation, creative arts and the leisure industries.
The events team will ask students to vote for their preferences but anyone from the community who is interested in getting involved please contact eents officer Annette Mrs Watts by email on email@example.com.
Musical recital at Nailsea School
Nailsea School music department hosted a fabulous night of entertainment with its Music Recital concert.
Students many having achieved Grade 8 with distinction of their musical instrument of choice performed a variety of classical pieces.
The talent at Nailsea School goes from strength to strength as new members take up the baton.
During the years sixth formers Alice Vaughan-Williams and Laura Packham have performed outstanding flute duets and trios.
On this occasion they opened the show with the Trio Of The Young Ishmaelites from l'enfance du Christ Op 25 by Berlioz and the audience were not disappointed.
The audience were treated to musical pieces by a range of performers and styles.
Sisters Abby Capern (Year 10) and Sophie Capern (Year 8) sang Someone Like You and the Letter.
Head of music Lynda Perkins said: "Their songs were heartfelt and their voices blended with musical vocal harmonies.”
Sam Schaefer playing the piano performed his AS recital pieces, entertaining the audience with pieces by Bach, Berkely and Joplin.
Meanwhile Velsemoy's Song by Halvorsen was performed by celloist Ellie Lloyd-Jone.
Mrs Perkin said Sam’s pieces were played with ‘pizazz’ and that Ellie’s rendition showed ‘great skill’.
Nocturno by Strauss was played on the French horn by Katherine Dumbell - a difficult piece.
Later Lydia Moore gave a stylish performance of a piece by Purcell on her trombone.
Pianist Joshua Hayler impressed the audience with his rendition of Beethoven's Pathetique Sonata.
Mrs Perkins said: “Josh, showed excellent technical ability and mastered the music with ease.”
The recital was brought to a close by flautists Alice Vaughan-Williams and Laura Packham who played Caliente by Callende.
Mrs Perkins added: “The recital has been an overwhelming success with brilliant contributions from all of our participants – I am extremely proud of the quality of their performances.”
Some of the music department’s stalwart members leave Nailsea School this summer, and three of them, Alice, Joshua and Laura head off to Oxford University.
This recital proves there are further significant contributions to be made from the next pool of talent at Nailsea School.
Backwell School in national dance off
Backwell School Year 7 Dance Club has made it through to the national grand final of the Great Big Dance Off.
The troupe of 22 students competed in the regional finals at St Georges on Thursday, April 28.
The students have worked extremely hard, just one lunchtime a week, to make their performance piece so impressive.
Having also performed in assemblies and in the North Somerset Dance Festival the same week they thoroughly deserve the opportunity to compete against schools around the country.
Their performance, to Waka Waka by Shakira, meant the group won their KS3 category meaning they secured their place in the final on Monday, July 3, at Wellingborough.
Maths teacher Megan Hayward, who is the dance club coach and choreographer, said: "The dedication and commitment the girls have shown is fantastic.
"They have all worked incredibly hard and have been rewarded - well done girls.
"We are all looking forward to the final stage of the competition.”
The team are already practicing for the grand final and the school (and Nailsea People) is wishing them the best of luck.
The Great Big Dance Off is a popular national dance competition open to schools all across England and Wales.
It is the only national dance competition aimed solely at schools.
Its vision is to create an exciting competition bringing together children of all ages and abilities where the emphasis is on having a good time.
Each school can enter as many teams as it likes.
Whatever preferred style of dancing, or level of experience it looks for imagination, dedication and teamwork which the Backwell School team proved they had in buckets.
First class first aid
Ten Nailsea School sixth form students have succcessfully completed an emergency first aid at work training course.
They learned how to deal with burns, choking and how to use a defibrillator as well as managing patients coping with seizures, shock and bleeding as well as other emergency skills.
As part of the course, students practised the resuscitation technique (CPR) on a Resusci- Anne doll.
The training was given undertaken by in-house expert Chris Perry who trained to teach the course in 2016.
Students were invited to attend the course on a voluntary basis during the Easter holiday as an opportunity to help expand their CV.
Operations manager Mr Perry said “I am impressed by the commitment of the students, first aid training is a very useful skill, not only in the workplace but wherever a situation might occur.”
Nailsea School students stand together at Westminster
Nailsea School student council experienced a thought provoking trip to London this week taking in the London Eye, a boat trip along the Thames and the Palace of Westminster.
Nailsea School was one of the first groups to visit Parliament following the horrific attack last week.
A number of parliamentary workers expressed their appreciation that Nailsea’s trip had continued as planned following the many cancellations they had received since the attack.
Many of the students expressed determination that they would not be deterred from visiting London despite the unsettling events just days before.
It was clear security had been heightened and flowers and tributes were a very poignant reminder of the recent terrible events.
Nailsea School staff were proud students responded with typical maturity and sensitivity particularly when in the vicinity of Parliament and the parliamentary staff were clearly very thankful of the support.
Students had the fantastic opportunity of seeing live debates in both the House of Commons and the House of Lords as part of their tour of the historic buildings.
This was followed up with a workshop where the students were set a number of challenges to focus their learning on democracy and how laws are made.
Students split into two sides, each with a Leader, and set about proposing a bill. One of the head boys, Ben, acted as Speaker to call for 'order' and manage the debate as students lobbied for a change in the funding of higher education.
After Ben added up the 'ayes' to the right and 'nos' to the left students were interested to find out the House of Commons at exactly the same time had also experienced a division and members were voting in exactly the same way.
Events officer Annette Watts, said “The trip is an amazing behind the scenes chance to witness first-hand the parliamentary system at work.
"The parliamentary guides and workshops are outstanding and students learn in a very practical way.
"Given that the student ages range from 11 to 18 students work together very well and everyone learnt new facts about democracy and the complex, rigorous systems used in government.”
POLICE SESSIONS: Young people at Nailsea School listened and learned about the dangers of nitrous oxide (laughing gas) and the psychedelic drug ASB from police community beat and response officers in an awareness session at the Mizzymead Road campus this week.
Nailsea School Red Nose Day 2017
FILM FUN: Schools just wanna have fun while raising monies for Comic Relief. At Nailsea School it was the staff who wore regulation uniform to raise funds and paid the penalty for the many violations including coloured hair extensions, high definition eyebrows and the cardinal sin of sporting trainers. The clothes swap saw students wearing something red or mufti outifts. It was the student council which set the fundraising policy and imposed on-the-spot fines for any deviants.There was also a cake sale and two Year 11 students took part in a sponsored leg waxing during break time. A lip synching battle between teachers the day before Red Nose Day saw teachers go head to head in a dramatic battle of mime. A BBC cameraman filmed the event and it is hoped clips will be broadcast during the live televised programme. Other schools Comic Relief Day fundraisers included at Grove junior and Hannah More infant schools on Friday a non uniform day with the younger children manning a secondhand book stall at Whiteoak Way. St Francis RC Primary School at Station Road sold out of red noses days before the big event. For a donation of £1 the children added a red T-shirt, socks or ribbon to their school uniform. Primary aged children at Kingshill Church School, at Pound Lane, paid £1 to come to school dressed in red and Backwell School students ditched the tartan skirts and polo shirts for a non-uniform day on Friday for for Comic Relief.
Nailsea School life of Pi
Students across Nailsea School were invited by the maths department to celebrate Pi day this week.
The day which is celebrated around the globe was established in the US in 1988.
March 14 was chosen because of its significance in relation to the number of Pi - 3.14.
A number of challenges were set around the school including Guess The Pi – a catchphrase game.
where illustrations represent a commonly used term – for example Pumpkin Pie.
Pictures of the ‘dingbats’ were dotted around the school for students to take part in a Pi treasure trail.
A competition was also held at lunchtime with students being challenged to remember the most
digits of Pi, competitors were awarded for their efforts with a delicious pie!
A quiz was also available for students to take part in – with more pies for prizes!
Maths teacher Bethan Plaw helped organized the day.
She said:"Pi day is a great excuse to celebrate maths.
"This year it has been bigger and better than ever.
"It's been so lovely to see so many students enjoying themselves doing the various Pi activities".
The finale of the day included an after school masterclass in Pi for some of the schools 'more able and talented' students from Years 7-9.
School holiday dates 2018-19
Term dates for the 2018-19 school year are now under review and anyone with an interest in children and young people’s education is invited to have their say.
Every year North Somerset Council discusses the proposed term and holiday dates for the school year due to start in just under two years’ time.
North Somerset executive member with responsibility for children and young people and Nailsea district councillor Jan Barber said: "Parents, carers, teachers, support staff, governors, head teachers and anyone with an interest in our children and young people’s education are invited to have their say.
“Although some schools are permitted to set their own term dates, many have asked the council to continue to suggest dates to provide a basis for school level decisions.”
The dates being proposed for 2018-19 are based on a calendar of 195 days, which allows for staff development days to be set within term time, and are as follows:
Term 1: Monday to Friday, September 3-October 26, 2018 (40 days)
Term 2: Monday to Friday, November 5-December 21 2018 (35 days)
Term 3: Monday to Friday, January 7-February 15, 2019 (30 days)
Term 4: Monday to Friday, February 25-April 5, 2019 (30 days)
Term 5 Tuesday to Friday, April 23-May 24, 2019 (23 days)
Term 6 Monday to Tuesday, June 3-July 23, 2019 (37 days)
Comments on the proposed dates should be made on the council’s website by clicking HERE.
All comments and suggestions must be submitted by Friday, April 7, this year.
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Stacking up school numbers
Backwell School will be full up this September and Nailsea School will only have two spare spaces for children moving up from primary education.
But most North Somerset children moving from primary to secondary school this September are going to their first choice school.
Local authority figures released on Wednesday, March 1, show it is only the Weston-super-Mare schools with lots of unallocated places although St Katherine's (31) and Clevedon (21) school still have space.
Gordano is the largest school in the area and it has only one space.
While Nailsea, which has the most modern building and state-of-the-art facilities is among the smaller community secondaries, it has room to expand should the proposed hundreds of new homes get built int he town.
School budgets are based on being paid a set amount for each pupil by the local authority with add-ons for students with 'additional needs' .
Schools nearer London and in areas of social deprivation get more.
Currently the figure varies from just over £4,000 in Wokingham, Berkshire, to just under £7,000 in the London borough of Tower Hamlets.
There are, however, other sources of income for schools including post-16, high need, early years and pupil premium funding.
Could 11+ exam return?
Secondary head teachers in North Somerset have written to Prime Minister Theresa May, urging her to reconsider proposals for new grammar schools, writes Judith Burns for the BBC.
North Somerset is one of only six areas identified by one think tank as likely to benefit from selection - to read full report click HERE.
This could see the return of the dreaded 11+ exam.
The original secondary modern school at Backwell was founded by Somerset County Council in 1954.
Nailsea School opened as a grammar school in 1959 with just 90 pupils.
Both became comprehensive schools in the 1970s when the tripartite education system was abolished in the area.
Pictured top is Nailsea School Year 11 photocall.
This is the old fifth form and pupils will either be going on to do A-levels in the sixth form, taking up an apprenticeship or joining a college course after the summer break which seems a long way away.
Ready, steady cook
The heat was on for eight students completing for the title of Nailsea School Young Chef Of The Year.
The event was supported by Nailsea and Backwell Rotary Club and was the first time the competition had been held at the Mizzymead Road campus.
The young chefs had to cook a two-course meal, consisting of lasagna as a main course followed by a cheesecake.
The ingredients of the lasagna were the same, but the cheesecake all had the same basic recipe but students were encouraged to be innovative with their choice of biscuit base, and the flavourings added to the cheesecake filling.
A range of culinary delights were created including a zesty lemon and lime cheesecake accompanied by hand made star biscuits made by Mia Birdseye.
The ingredients were funded by the Rotary Club whose nominated taste tester was Peter Hoare.
Mr Hoare and headteacher Dee Elliott judged the entries on their presentation and on their taste while scores were also given by teacher Catherine Hounsell for their work in the kitchen including good practice and technique.
Mr Hoare presented the awards of £30 and a winner’s apron for first prize, £20 for second prize and £10 for third prize.