Newsletter 30 September 2009

Vision Works

Earlier this month Janet Grant (co-author of Vision Works, the emotional intelligence programme we teach in tutor time), was invited to present a workshop at a 3 day conference in Turkey. The conference was organised by ENSEC the European Network for Social and Emotional Competence and it was an opportunity for teachers and researchers who are promoting social and emotional education to explore evidence based practice. Mrs Grant met delegates from all over the world and heard about the rigorous research that conclusively shows that children who are taught to be emotionally intelligent invariably become more fulfilled adults. Her workshop was well received and she said it was exciting to share Vision Works with people from places such as Turkey, Iran, Bangladesh, Malta, Norway, and Greece.


“Plain Sailing”: An English Team Reading Initiative

“Plain Sailing” is a new initiative developed, funded and resourced by the English Team. It is a scheme which is designed to help reluctant readers select and read books that are reading age appropriate, engaging and fun to read. The new books are all displayed in new glass fronted cabinets in R Block which withdrawal group students will have access to during English lessons. Many of the students themselves have been involved in the Making Room in designing and creating the signs and display materials that will adorn the walls above the new cabinets. 

ELE and Website
Work is well under way with the development of the Parent Portal on ELE. This will allow all Parents/ Carers to login to ELE with a username and password specific to their child/ children. You will see up to date information on attendance, a list of teachers and timetable relevant to your child, useful contact details plus lots more information to help you support your child’s learning at school. Once testing is complete, you will be invited along to an evening where we will give you an overview of the portal along with your login details.

During the summer the Website Gallery was updated with the best art, textiles and photography from the past year. It is well worth a visit if you haven’t already had a look.

Remember that any new pages or updates, on the Website, will have ‘new’ written next to them in the Site Map.


World FlagsEuropean Day of Languages

On 26 September The Corsham School once again joined the annual celebration of languages that takes place across Europe (although this year a day early as it fell on a Saturday). Year 7 students were invited to enter a very challenging online quiz about language. Congratulations to Anya Taylor and Darcy Williamson our two prize winners. Tutor groups across the school competed to identify the languages of songs.We were very grateful to members of the community who responded to our message on our website and offered to speak to students about their experiences using foreign languages “in the real world”. Again this year, teachers across the school demonstrated their linguistic prowess by using foreign languages in their teaching (from Turkish to Welsh, via a little French and German). Some 7 students had a taster Italian lesson and Year 8 students are learning a traditional welsh song ‘Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch’ in their music lessons. In Languages lessons students have had the chance to learn a little about the many and varied languages that are spoken worldwide. We hope that this has been an informative and thought provoking experience for all involved.


On October 7 Year 10 GCSE students will visit Bristol to look at the CBD and Docklands redevelopment.

On October 12 -15 Year 12 Geographers will accompany Mr Balu and Mrs Gathercole on a residential trip investigating the geography of Dorset.

Making Room

Starting in November, the Making Room will be running another free evening class open to all. Artist Julie Starks will be here on 6 consecutive Thursday evenings teaching techniques for creating wonderful sculptures using willow and dogwood. Julie has years of experience in this field, and has run successful courses here in the past.

There will be a small charge to cover the cost of materials (around £20 according to the size of work produced). To see samples of Julie’s own work, have a look at

If you’d like a place on this course, ring the school to book. There are only 12 places available – don’t delay.

Outreach Art Department

Mazy Bartlett has spent a large part of September working in The Corsham School’s partner primary schools. She has been working with a group of artists called the APE project, which stands for Art Play and Environment. These Bristol based artists are involved in spreading the message of sustainable energy by the simple method of pedal-powering their workshops.

The children have made fabulous spin-paintings and blended ‘fruitilicious smoothies’, as well as pedalling the trike to the sound of a patchwork gramophone powered by solar rays.

The tandem is re-cycled. It was fished out of the River Avon, and then rebuilt using old bed frames.

APE project also did a session during the Open Evening, which was really successful. The experience has been quite magical, whilst sending a serious message.

There will be on-going after-school workshops at the primary schools, to continue the theme and help to get a better understanding of the `sustainable community’.

Art Surgery has started up again, and is fully-booked.

Family learning sessions, run by Mazy Bartlett have begun again at The Pound Centre. Saturday 26 September saw us making 3d portraits using scrap materials to reflect the photographic exhibition currently being shown.

The next workshop will take place on October 17.

Finally keep an eye out in Corsham as the results of the textile students’ project with Oxfam will be on display in the charity shop window. We are hoping that the window will be in place at the start of October and you will be able to see the truly amazing pieces our students created using the second hand clothes kindly donated by Oxfam.

Pupil Reception
Names to belongings. Even this early into the new school year, we already have many items of uniform and coats that are not named. Please can we urge parents, carers and students to spend a few minutes writing the owners name on garment labels.
This will ensure that we are able to return items to the students straight away. Lockers, We still have some of the new coded lockers available for students in Years
7 – 11. These are operated by a unique security code for each locker. There is a £5.00 charge which will be refunded in full at the end of July 2010, or before if the student leaves the school

Open Working Morning

Thursday 8 October 2009

You are cordially invited to our Open Working Morning which start at 9.00 am. Please park in the Springfield Centre Car Park and then gather in the Science Block Hall. At 9.15 am there will be a guided tour of the school and displays, with opportunities to ask questions after the tour. If the date of the Open Working Morning is inconvenient, arrangements can be made for you to visit at other times throughout the school year.

There will be an opportunity for parents of students in Primary schools to speak to the Headteacher, Mr M Williams about the school, and to Mrs V Powell (Primary Liaison) about liaison with the Primary schools and the children’s transfer into secondary education.

Parents of present students, and those from outside the immediate area, are most welcome to come the Open Working Morning.

Dates for the Diary

October 5-7 A7 at Oxenwood

October 7-9 W7 at Oxenwood

October 7 Y10 Geography field work

October 8 Open Working Morning

October 12 7.00pm Yr 9 Curriculum Information Evening

October 13-15 Yr 12 Geography field trip

October 14 7.00pm Y7 Curriculum Information Evening

October 15 7.00pm GCSE Drama presentation (S Block Hall)

October 19 7.00pm History trip to Ypres Evening for Parents (S Block Hall)

October 20 5.00-7.30pm Yr 11 Parents’Evening (R Block)

October 21 Teacher Development Day

October 21 Term 1 ends