Wheatley Park School
Welcome to our first full newsletter of the 2019-20 academic year. I hope it will give you a flavour of two exciting terms at Wheatley Park School packed with both in-lesson and out-of-lesson achievements.
Everyone Caring: Being Respectful
Respect continues to be symbolised by the warm Wheatley Park handshakes offered to all students on entry to every lesson which are now very much part of our culture. However, we have a particular whole-school focus on respect this year as reflected in a number or recent events.
In November, for example, we marked Anti-Bullying Week with a series of powerful activities that included students watching video clips of staff sharing their own experiences of bullying. Of course, respect for others is expected all year round, and students are more confident than ever to report any instances of bullying behaviour via our Safe@School system. This information is reviewed daily by our dedicated Safe@School team who put in place rapid and appropriate follow-up actions.
Meanwhile, the decision to restrict mobile phones from being used at breaktimes, lunchtimes and between lessons from after Christmas, will help further safeguard students from the possibility of any disrespectful online interaction during the school day.
A different form of respect for others was recently demonstrated en masse by Year 8. They showed both respect and compassion for the plight of cancer sufferers by raising an astounding £3,992.59 for Cancer Research through a sponsored 5K run. Participating in such a worthwhile challenge, which was heavily student-led, will no doubt have boosted their self-respect, too.
Finally, our very own Green Teens have been proactively reminding us to respect our environment. In addition to planting thirty saplings (obtained from the Woodland Trust) on our site the other day, they have also launched a high-profile recycling campaign in collaboration with our catering company.
Ultimately, we believe that establishing a powerful climate of respect in all its guises is an essential component of Everyone Caring. It’s no surprise that as our students feel ever more cared for and respected, we see them working even harder towards the goal of Everyone Learning as successfully as possible.
Thank you to all parents/carers for helping us get off to such a positive start this year and have a wonderful Christmas.
Terms 1 and 2 Newsletter
Dear Students, Staff, Parents and Carers,
The really fantastic GSCE and A Level results that were announced last summer were truly a reflection of the massive effort that everyone – students, staff, parents and carers – put into achieving them. The sense of pride is tangible on our school’s campus. The full Year 7 and the record numbers in our Sixth Form are testaments to the journey of continuous improvement that Wheatley Park is undergoing. Very many congratulations to all concerned!
Regarding continuous improvement, in our newsletter last Christmas we wrote about the audit of your Governing Body by the Head of Governance at the River Learning Trust and the Chair of Governors from the Marlborough School. That rigorous process resulted in a number of action points that we agreed would help improve governance of your school, including a greater emphasis on us, as Governors, holding Wheatley Park School’s senior leadership team to account for the goals that the School Improvement Plan (SIP) aims to achieve, greater involvement of all your governors in the life of the school particularly with regards to the links each of us have to the SIP, and instigating pre-Ofsted training as we are due to be inspected this academic year. In total there were 12 recommendations and all of them are being adopted in one form or another.
We also warmly welcome three new community governors to our Governing Body, Chista Kermani, Dorothy Makin and Allen Gibbons, whose appointments are pending formal approval by the River Learning Trust, and Annemarie Wintle-Gregory – who is well known to many of you – as our newly elected staff governor. They are all giving their time voluntarily to help improve your school and we are very grateful that they have agreed to join us.
With best wishes for the festive season, plenty of rest over the holidays and a very happy New Year.
Philip Baillieu & Richard Cave, Chair and Vice-Chair of Governors
As you know from our recent letter home, we are changing our mobile phone policy from January onwards and our countdown has begun! From January, mobile phones must not be seen or heard; students must ensure they are switched off and placed in bags between the hours of 8.30 and 3pm.
Why change the rules?
Unlike our tightly managed Chromebooks, it is impossible for us to restrict or monitor what students are able to access on their smartphones via their own mobile data plans when at school. This leads to a variety of safeguarding risks.
We are concerned that some students are spending an unhealthy amount of time on their phones to the detriment of their wellbeing. We want to help students develop social skills by promoting face-to-face interaction with peers.
As mentioned to students in assemblies, we will support students during this habit change by offering a 'grace period'. Between January and February half-term, students will be asked to switch off their phone and put it in their bag if it is seen or heard. However, after February half-term, phones will be confiscated if seen or heard during the school day.
This change in policy brings us in line with many other good and outstanding schools in the county. We are certain that it will further enhance and improve our student experiences moving forward, making us a more respectful and better connected community with the real world as well as the cyber world!
Mrs S Kendall
Mobile Phone Policy
Old uniform from Wheatley Park School reaches Africa and Sponsorship for our new school team kits.
Many thanks to all the students and parents who donated their old items of uniform to our appeal. They have now arrived in Africa and will be allocated to a country and a specific school. We will be finding out which out in the New Year.
Unfortunately our link school of Siyabonga in Soweteo were not allowed to receive textiles, including uniform, as South Africa have a very strict tariffs on clothes from abroad in order to protect their own textiles industry.
Stevensons, our uniform supplier, did step in as they have a charitable scheme that sends old uniform to schools across Africa. Many thanks to them for arranging this. They are also sponsoring, along with Taylors Services of Wheatley, the new team shirts for our Sports Teams.
We are very grateful for their generous support as this is the first time for 17 years that we have had new sponsored team kits!!!! (They had been previously sponsored by Honda)
The kits are under design at the moment and we will be showcasing them at Easter.
Mr K Heritage
Old Uniforms Appeal
Year 8 Fundraising Success Story!
We are very proud to report that Year 8 have taken our school value of Everybody Caring to a new level this term with their sponsored 5K run for Cancer Research. The event was led by Year 8 student volunteers and we were incredibly impressed with the cohort's involvement in trying to raise as many funds as possible for such a worthy charity. The year group target was to raise £100 per form group, which would total £600 and we were completely overwhelmed with the commitment and generosity shown, as we managed to raise a massive £3,992.59!!!! Of course, thanks must go to all the students for making the event such a success but I would also like to extend my thanks to both form tutors and parents for their support in raising such a large sum of money! As a year group we are very passionate about organising fundraising events and we welcome any suggestions and challenges for the New Year.
Head of Year 8
Green Tree Planting
Every day, carbon dioxide levels are rising higher and higher, so on a Thursday early in December, 15 Green Teens decided to take responsibility for the climate crisis we are facing. We went around the school grounds, planting trees. In total, 30 saplings were planted throughout our school fields - Wild Cherry Trees, Silver Birches & Rowans. We had so much fun, and hope that the trees survive the winter so they can continue to cleanse our polluted air.
Edie-May Barulis and Zoe Evans
Inspirational Philippa Stroud on target for shooting success despite life-threatening illness
Philippa Stroud in Year 9 recently finished third in a national clay pigeon shooting competition. Philippa (who is keen to remind everyone that the targets are not real pigeons but discs of clay) was up against much older competitors in The School’s Challenge. She was representing Wheatley Park as one of only a handful of state schools amongst over 100 participating schools.
This would be an awesome feat in its own right, but what makes Philippa’s achievement truly inspiring is the fact that she has recently battled back from a life-threatening illness. Just over a year ago, a trip to the opticians ended in the shocking diagnosis that Philippa had developed a brain tumour. Following two emergency operations totalling 19 hours, Phillipa showed extraordinary bravery and resilience to make a strong recovery. Despite suffering from double vision initially, Phillipa was quickly able to return to clay pigeon shooting at the very highest levels.
Unsurprisingly, Philippa’s story has gained some media attention as you can see in this video and this article. She has harnessed this in a really positive way, organising a fund-raising shoot and raising over £6,000 for The Brain Tumour Charity to date.
Philippa has been accepted on an Olympic pathway programme for her shooting, and we all wish this remarkable young Wheatley Parker every future success!
This term Year 12 and 13 went to The Oxford Playhouse to see The Lovely Bones - its use of an innovative mirrored set has inspired practical work in the classroom. We were also privileged to host Splendid Productions again. They did a workshop on physical storytelling inspired by the techniques of Brecht and performed their latest production of Faustus for years 9-13. It was an enriching and enjoyable evening.
Our rehearsals for Little Shop of Horrors are coming on well. Little Shop of Horrors is a horror comedy rock musical following the story of a hapless florist shop worker who raises a plant that feeds on human blood and flesh. The plant looks to take over the world! The whole cast have been working so hard learning lines, dances and songs. The production is on 5-8th February and tickets will be on sale after Christmas.
The Lovely Bones
Martha and Claudia
WPS FAIRTRADE BAKEOFF: ROUND 2
Congratulations to Martha Block and Claudia Bernstorm on winning the Week 2 technical challenge by making the best Dark chocolate shortbread biscuits, that were very tasty and delicious!
Look out for further news about this amazing event in the local press to help all of us to change our own purchasing habits to make life fairer for those in developing countries on whose goods we depend.
WPS Fairtrade Bakeoff: Rounds 1 & 2
Pearl and Trinity
As part of Wheatley's campaign to become a Fairtrade Village, Year 8 and 9 students are baking their way to fame by competing to be the Wheatley Bakeoff Champion.
The competition in Round 1 was fierce but Pearl and Trinity were thought by the judges to have pipped the others to the post because of their attention to the detailed brief, which looked for originality, colour and taste.
Congratulations to Martha and Claudia on winning the Week 2 technical challenge by making the best Dark chocolate shortbread biscuits, that were very tasty and delicious!
Look out for further news about this amazing event in the local press to help all of us to change our own purchasing habits to make life fairer for those in developing countries on whose goods we depend.
On Thursday 24th October we celebrated the achievements of students in Years 11, 12 and 13 with the annual Prize Giving evening. We would like to congratulate all of the students who received prizes and thank our speaker Michael Betteridge, a former student and now eminent composer, and our sponsors whose kind presence and donations make this wonderful evening possible year after year.
Below is a small selection of photographs from the event.
This term in careers….
...we have focused on supporting Year 11 students with their plans for when they reach the end of the year. Many students will be considering sixth form or going to a college and it is at this time of year that most schools and all the colleges will hold open events for students to visit and find out more about the courses offered, look at facilities and see if it is the right choice for them. Dates have been advertised in tutor times, the library and in the careers room, but if any student is unclear please ask!
Other students may be considering apprenticeships. For this reason we will be running apprenticeship workshops in the Spring term to support them. This will include inviting apprenticeship providers into school to meet with students.
All Year 11 students are offered a time to meet with the careers adviser to find out about all their options and develop a careers action plan. Students can request a meeting if they have not already had one, or would like another one!
The careers adviser can help students to find out about:
Options at the end of Year 11 and Year 13 including university, apprenticeships, sixth form, college and employment
When and how to apply for any option, including finding out about open days and taster events
Exploring available careers, what they involve and different routes into them
What employers are looking for and how to write CVs, letters of application and interviews
Mrs Lanczak is our new careers assistant and school librarian. She is based in the library, where a new Careers Zone is available for students to access takeaway careers leaflets, resources and a new careers dedicated resource computer.
Students also have access to:
Fast Tomato - an online careers suggestions tool with information about how to get into careers, university courses and apprenticeships vacancies. Our password is WPSH.
Students create their own account that they can revisit as often as they like to plan their futures.
Parents are also welcome to use the site - but if you register please add ‘parent; to your name whilst registering so we do not confuse parents and students!
EClips - an online database of careers information - our password is WHEAT2017
Anyone can access this site by using the password - find out more about careers available, qualifications needed to get into them and labour market trends including salary information.
And Icould.com - a bank of careers films with people talking about their jobs and the Buzz Test!
We are developing links with a number of local employers who are helping us to run careers events in school and offer a range of opportunities including apprenticeships, work experience, practice interviews, site visits and so on. We are inviting local employers to a breakfast meeting in December to support this work and are in the middle of planning a Year 7 Career Detectives event, a Year 8 Human Library, some careers sector visits for Year 9 and mock interviews for Year 10.
If you have any queries relating to careers and progression please email Alison Bennett at: firstname.lastname@example.org
On Monday 9th and Tuesday 10th of December we took 90 Year 9 students to watch the Science Christmas Lectures at the Oxford University Museum of Natural History. Our day on Tuesday started off watching the Galaxy Zoo lecture, learning about the different types of spiral galaxies found in the universe and how they are classified. We then learnt about a website where you can support scientists in helping to classify the many galaxies found in the universe. We then had the opportunity to look around the museum where we saw many different exhibits, such as skeletons of a T-Rex and arachnids - even a live tarantula! We ended the day with a lecture learning about the enzymes that help digest our Christmas dinner and watching a practical which demonstrated food being broken down; our favourite fact from this lecture was learning how there are no enzymes that can break down brussel sprouts! We had a fantastic day at the Museum and it was great to get into the festive spirit.
Martha Block and Ellie Hale - 9KBO
Year 9 Christmas Science Lectures
The Interact Club works to raise money to better our local community. The main way we do this is by choosing a charity to focus on each year, and then organising fundraising events for that charity.
Last year we decided to raise money for the national charity CLIC Sargent, specifically their Oxford ‘home from home’ which gives free accommodation and support for young cancer patients and their families during their treatment at a nearby hospital (in this case, the John Radcliffe). CLIC Sargent is a leading charity that aims to improve the lives of children, teens, and young adults with cancer, by providing support in many ways to both the person with cancer and their families. To find out more about CLIC Sargent you can visit their website:
We managed to raise a total of £1,200 for CLIC Sargent, contributed towards raising over £35,000 for Children in Need last November, and bought a shelterbox to be sent to a war-torn area, which contained life-saving items such as mosquito nets, water fillers, a family tent, ground sheets, a solar light, a school / literacy pack, and much more. These boxes can also be sent to areas that have fallen victim to our ever-growing climate crisis. For more information on shelterboxes (e.g. what’s inside them, how or who they help, why they’re vital), you can visit this website: https://www.shelterbox.org/.
This year, after increasing our membership to over 40 students, we hope to exceed last year’s success and raise money for not just one, but two charities. We have decided to support ROSY, who aim to help the families of children in Oxfordshire with severe disabilities or chronic or terminal illnesses, and Cancer Research UK, a leading cancer charity at the forefront of research that aim to beat cancer once and for all.
Our plans so far include busking, bag-packing, organising a Christmas jumper day, various non-uniform days, a talent show, selling roses and cards for Valentine's Day, having some bake sales and much more! We would really appreciate it if you could support us wherever possible, so to find out more about the Interact Club head over to our Instagram (@wps.interactclub) come to one of our meetings in H5 during a Monday lunchtime.
We’d absolutely love to see you! :)
Sixth Form News
We are at the end of what has been a very positive term for both Year 12 and 13.
Preparing students for the future beyond school is an essential strand of what we focus on in the sixth form. Our employer mentoring scheme has doubled in size this year with over 25 students and 13 mentors from Pearson Education. Students who opted into this scheme have had 4, one to one sessions of 30 minutes each, helping students to think about their future. It has been a very positive experience for both the students and the mentors who speak very highly of our young people.
National figures for students going onto further education show great disparity and many groups are hugely under-represented according to ethnic origin, where you live, household income, special educational needs, if parents did not go to university and a number of others. We are keen to try and address this and to widen access to higher education. Therefore, many opportunities that we advertise are for under-represented groups. Just today, 11th December, we are having a workshop in school on post-18 options for all these students delivered by an organisation called IntoUniversity. This is looking not only at the traditional degree at university, but also foundation degrees, degree apprenticeships and other options.
We are also keen to raise the aspirations of our students and over the last year we have put in place a lot of actions to help support our Oxbridge applicants. This has resulted in 10% of the current Year 13 applying to either Oxford or Cambridge, with a very impressive 78% of them being shortlisted for interview. On average Oxford only interview 46% of applicants and Cambridge 75%. These numbers are unprecedented for our school and these students have done incredibly well to get so far. We wish them the very best in a process where competition to enter two of the best universities in the world is both intense and global. We aim to increase the number of applicants next year with our current Year 12. To this end, 17 students have already been on a very well received visit to Trinity College in Oxford last month and 7 students have been accepted onto the Oxbridge Mentoring Scheme, with another scheme still in the application process. Lots of other support will be put in place.
Mr G West
Head of Sixth Form
On Friday November 22nd sixth form students held the annual Fashion Show .
Wilfred Steane and Ocean Down did a great job at presenting the evening, which had the aim to raise money for our chosen local charity ROSY (Respite nursing for Oxfordshire Sick Youngsters), whose team offers respite nursing to terminally, acutely, or chronically ill children and babies in their homes. The charity's treasurer, Mr Michael Goringe, joined us and gave a speech to the audience explaining what the charity is about and the difference it makes to these young people's lives and their families.
Year 12 and 13 students walked down the catwalk wearing a selection of clothes kindly lent to us by New Look, Fresh Clothing, Retro Room and Tiger Lily, whom we thank for their generosity.
We also had a sports segment, where students wore their own sport gear representing their chosen sports; a home-made clothes segment and students' own ballroom frocks.
All of this was supported by musical acts, which included the Year 11 and the Year 13 band and some amazing vocal performances and, last but not least, a raffle.
The show also featured a spectacular Spice Girls 'secret act', which saw Charlie Collier, Ailish Cuffe, Tariq Saeed, Wilfred Steane and Ross Thompson dress up as the Spice Girls and give a very well rehearsed and funny dance performance.
The sale of the tickets, refreshments and raffle all contributed to raise over £700 which will all be donated to this cause. Thank you to all who contributed to make this evening a great success.
On Friday 6th December around 7pm, students started to gather in their lovely outfits, ready to begin the festive season celebrations at Magnolia Park Hotel and Golf Club in Boarstall.
The atmosphere was beautiful; stepping into the venue, with its high wooden ceilings, stone fireplace and a floor to ceiling Christmas tree, was slightly reminiscent of an Alpine retreat.
After a welcome drink (juice for the under 18s), we sat down for a tasty Christmas dinner with all the trimmings and later, after a the sixth form awards presentation, a few tables were cleared to make space for the dancing that was to follow.
Great fun was had by all, the students behaved very well, which was not unexpected of course, and made the supervision by the members of staff who took part a pleasure.
Thank you to Mrs Weir for organising this event.
Sixth Form Senior Administrator
Sixth Form News cont.
“Physical books are tough, hard to destroy, bath resistant, solar operated, feel good in your hand: they are good at being books, and there will always be a place for them” - Neil Gaiman
The library has gone through a transformation this year; it is now a calm and impressive space that is well-stocked with tempting books for students to choose and read. Year 7 and 8 reading lessons in English are focused on reading for pleasure, and to help with this we have introduced the reading program Accelerated Reader. This is a program that is designed to help students find the right level of book, encourage wider reading and experience rewards as they improve their key reading skills. Our Accelerated Reader information evening this term was well attended; we talked about the program and reading in general. Well done to the teams of parents and students who scored so highly in the quizzes! If you were unable to attend, a parent’s guide to Accelerated Reader can be found on the Renaissance Learning website:
Kids Lit Quiz. (E.g. ‘Who was the female reporter from the ‘Daily Prophet’’? - answer at the bottom*)
Congratulations to the following students who entered the Oxfordshire heat of the Kids Lit Quiz: Thomas Hinks, Eva Thatcher, Edie Owens Gibb, Hannah Betts, Edie-May Barulis, Hadley Morrison, Tomos Hawkins and Zoe Evans. The two teams did brilliantly. The questions were tough at times and very varied. Once again, Wheatley Park were the highest-placed state school in the competition. Well done in particular to the year 7 team who were only half a mark from coming third!!
Half Price Scholastic Book Fair
The scholastic book fair has been very popular with parents and students this term. Thank you to everyone that purchased books - this earned us some free new books for the library. We were able to choose a diverse range of titles, both traditional books and graphic novels, that we hope will appeal to our full range of students at Wheatley.
(*Answer - Rita Skeeter)
School Librarian and Careers Administrator
Trip to Lille
Delicious artisan waffles
At the waffle factory
For the Lille trip, we all had to wake up at the crack of dawn, which is also known as 3am. It was not fun! We all met at the sixth form car park then left at around 4:30am and on the way there, people slept for a bit which was a relief for the teachers!
Our coach visited the waffle factory first, La Gaufre du Pays Flamand, which was a 6 - 7 hour trip from Wheatley Park. The other coach went to Lille first and visited the Christmas market before the waffle tasting!
We had a great day no matter where we went to first - I think we all had a whale of a time exploring the streets of Lille and tasting local foods. The Christmas market was of course AMAZING!!!! The smell of food wafted from every which direction. It rained at times but it was mostly a nice sunny trip. Nothing could ruin our trip.
We then had to make our way back to Wheatley Park at around 4pm. We arrived back at around 9pm, pockets full of waffles and ready for a good night’s sleep after a busy and exciting day, full of French culture and Christmas joy! :)
Robin Cave (report) and Ms. Walsh (photos)
A visit to French McDo!
In the center of Lille Christmas market
Every two years Wheatley Parks runs a month long expedition for students in Years 11 - 13 through a company called World Challenge. The expeditions are student led and help students tap into their own potential focusing on leadership, resilience and teamwork. Students will experience a world of challenges, from tackling tough treks, handling budgets, planning and cooking meals, booking accommodation, taking care of logistics right through to contributing to community led activities. These are the kinds of experiences that students walk away from with an enriched view of self and improved confidence to take on life after secondary school.
This summer a group of 27 Year 11s and 12s will embark on a month long expedition to Eswatini (Swaziland) and Mozambique. The students are split into two teams and each team has two teachers and a world challenge leader accompanying them. Eswatini and Mozambique are southern African countries that face challenges with poverty and HIV/AIDS. Eswatini has the highest rate of HIV/AIDS in the world with an estimated 27% of the population being infected and 25% of the population's children are categorized as orphaned or vulnerable children. Many of these children are cared for by chronically ill parents or extended family who struggle to meet their households basic needs, which is difficult for the state to deal with due to the aforementioned poverty.
During the expedition our students will undergo two projects to support the challenges both of these countries face. In Eswatini students will work within a community to support the vulnerable children who live there. This could range from supporting the building of classrooms for a school, setting up community care points within villages where families can access resources like food, or supporting the building of water pumps so communities can access safe water. For their second project students will work on the conservation of Whale Sharks in Mozambique. It is understood that Whale Sharks are keystone species with key ecological roles in the ocean environment. The project involved the study of behaviours and seeks to develop sustainable tourism regulations to ensure that the animals and associated livelihoods are protected in the long run as tourism is an important part of the country's income.
Alongside the two projects our teams will embark on two physically challenging treks as well as a safari at Kruger National Park and some rest and relaxation by the beach. The whole month will be packed with amazing experiences!
The build up to the expedition actually starts 18 months prior, as part of the experience is that students fundraise to pay money towards the cost of the trip themselves. Lots of our students have taken on part time jobs, baby sitting or odd jobs such as cutting grass or washing cars for neighbours. We have done some team fundraising to raise money to pay for a coach to get to the airport as well as extra money to spend on the expedition for nice meals, treats or extra activities such as a night time safari.
Sam Taylor, Year 12, has written about our fundraising efforts so far:
‘We have been working hard to raise as much money as possible so we can get the maximum enjoyment out of the trip. We have committed to regular meetings to organise fundraising and so far we have organised a successful Year 7 and 8 Disco that raised around £620. In the future we’re planning a Winter Ball for Year 7 and 8 and a Parent and Staff Quiz Night.
Through our fundraising so far we have gained skills that are vital for later on in life, such as teamwork and organisation.’
Below; photos from our Year 7 and 8 Disco in July and photos of our two current world challenge teams.
World Challenge - Swaziland & Monzambique 2020 2020
Year 7 Netball
Year 7 have started their netball careers at Wheatley Park with great enthusiasm, commitment to training and fantastic teamwork. There has been an amazing improvement in skill on the court as has been demonstrated in their 3 netball fixtures so far. Winning 2 of the 3 fixtures is a great start to the year. A special mention to the players of the match (given by the opposition): Isabel Millet-Clay and Phoebe Bennett (when playing Cherwell), Maddie Bungay-Hill (when play Swan School), and Susie Mackrory and Isabel Millet-Clay (when playing TOA).
Year 8 Netball
Once again we have been incredibly impressed with the number of students in Year 8 who have shown commitment to netball training. The progress they have made since they started in Year 7 is phenomenal and can definitely be attributed to their excellent team spirit and willingness to develop their skills.
Year 8 have already had two fixtures and it is fair to say the outcomes were somewhat mixed, but regardless of this, the sportsmanship displayed makes me incredibly proud to have these students representing Wheatley Park.
In their first fixture they faced the very well drilled Cherwell A and B teams, but unfortunately they were outplayed and Cherwell convincingly won both games. This didn’t dampen their spirits and they all still enjoyed the physical challenge and the social!! A special mention must go to Mila and to Poppy who were nominated player of the match by the opposition for their resilience and physical prowess displayed.
In our second fixture against TOA the A team began slowly as the shooters were not confident after the last game against Cherwell. However, once they built up some momentum, Ellie and Molly provided the ball to the shooters and they calmly scored goal after goal and ultimately the A team convincingly won 19-0! The B team were quietly confident after the A team had just secured such an easy win and we soon took the lead! Some excellent defence by goalkeeper Ella and some outstanding passing in and around the circle from shooters by Rosie and Hailey culminated in a solid 7-1 win by the B team. Well done all to all Year 8 netballers, your attendance at training is clearly paying off!
Year 9 Netball
We’ve had record numbers for Year 9 at netball training since September, which is amazing! So the challenge has been to ensure all 32 of them have at least one opportunity to play in a game against another school!
Our first games were played against Cherwell and it’s fair to say this was a tough start to our year. Two teams took on their A side and battled admirably against a fine display of passing and movement across the court from the Cherwell side. I was proud of the WPS team display of sportsmanship as they celebrated their conciliatory goals with the pride they deserved. Amy Darnell and Georgia were nominated Players of the Match.
Next we face The Oxford Academy…..
Year 10 Netball
The Year 10 team will join forces with some Year 9s to take on the combined A team from TOA, we look forward to updating you on the results!
Year 11 Netball
Our Year 11 netball team have understandably cut back on their training time this year but it has been an absolute pleasure to see them merrily arrive for the final 15 minutes each week after their revision sessions to get a quick run around in! You will always be welcome,
Since September we have been focusing on the transition of our younger Sports Leaders roles within events, the first one being our Year 5/6 Netball tournament. Our Year 9 students took on key operational roles at the event and supported all of the schools throughout, be it with bibs, positions, rules or timings. It was these efforts that ensured that the event ran smoothly and to time! Our Year 11 Leaders took the helm as umpires for the final time and mentored our new leaders in managing expectations and pressures in a competitive environment. I am so proud of their commitment and contribution, not just at this event, but since they began developing their role in Year 9. They have been a pleasure to work with and their support has been invaluable. I am so grateful of the time they have given and the care they showed others continuing and it isn’t an understatement to say I was a little emotional as this leadership handover began.
Thank you all,
We have been packing in the interform opportunities since September with the aim to involve all students in a competitive game through participation and supporting roles.
As ever the competitive spirit comes out in everyone, including the tutors! We have been so pleased with engagement and team spirit shown in all aspects of the competition and there is still more to come!
Cross Country launched the year and saw students follow our course and make personal progress across a number of lessons, the change in perception and belief was impressive to see.
This year’s winners for the Cross Country event were;
Year 7: 1st - LBL 2nd - NGR 3rd - AWI
Year 8: 1st - KWT 2nd - DCH 3rd - ERO
Year 9: 1st - DBA 2nd - AMO 3rd - GWA
Do look out for more details of Cross Country success in this newsletter with our involvement in the South Competition!
Netball brought out even more competitive spirit but what stood out was the communication and support across the teams and their players. Noticeably students were helping others with positioning and roles and it was this element of the competition that perhaps deserves most recognition as emulating the school values.
As is the nature of competition, a final was the place teams desired to be and there were some closely fought games along the way, including a shoot off after extra time for Year 7!
Well represented throughout, the teams took their positions in the Sports Hall and the competition reached its conclusion. Congratulations to all involved. Victorious tutor groups this year were 7 LBL, 8 KTW, 9 JCP.
The first lunchtime interform competition saw Year 7 take to the footballing arena with mixed teams battling it out through their leagues in a bid to reach the final! In true style the final between PSI and RSA ended in penalties after a very close game! Fantastic passion, inclusivity and sportsmanship was shown by all and it was PSI that walked away with this year’s trophy!
The football demonstrated by the current crop of Year 10 and Year 11 students has paved the way for future students at WPS. This year both teams look to build on their success. The Year 10 team won their first game in the National Cup 1-0 against The Piggot School. Despite the game going to extra time Jona Munyeza scored the vital goal and a man of the match performance went to Hagen Oxley. The team then travelled to Reading Boys School and in a game where they dominated large periods, they found themselves 1 - 0 down with 10 minutes left. Dom Enwonwu became the hero of the hour with 2 strikes in quick succession that led to a 2-1 win. The team eventually lost in the 3rd round to Devizes School. In a very close game, two lapses in concentration early in the second half allowed Devizes to take the lead. Despite a lot of pressure from the team who showed great character they only managed to get one goal back losing 2-1. The team will focus on winning the county cup in the new year.
The Year 11 team have continued their form in the National Cup which took them to the last 8 in 2018. They secured a 2-1 victory in the dying minutes against St Michael’s School. Ben Vernede scored the first goal before Chima Iwuchukwu scored with the last kick of extra time to send them to the third round. The county cup has also started for Year 11 with them beating Matthew Arnold 5-0, including Auzzie scoring from around 30 yards out and MOM Matty scoring a hat-trick. The next round saw them come up against St Gregg’s. Despite only having 10 men a superb performance from all of the students resulted in a comfortable 5-1 win, with Adam Smith scoring 4 goals.
The boys Year 7 rugby team made a superb start to their rugby time at WPS. Despite having limited time training, a group of 16 boys put themselves forward to take part in the South Oxfordshire Schools Tournament. Things didn’t get off to the best start after losing in the first game to eventual champions Lord Williams. However, the boys quickly got into the swing of things and started to demonstrate what they can do. They remained undefeated for the rest of the tournament and eventually ended up in 4th place. Some really impressive rugby was on show. Developmental fixtures against The Swan School and St Birinus helped develop the skills of the team so they were ready for the county tournament at Banbury Rugby Club. Some excellent rugby was played with the team winning all of their games. Mukeah Turay was the man of the tournament with an outstanding all round performance but every player did themselves really proud.
The enthusiasm for rugby in Year 8 has continued to grow ready for entering the county tournament next year whist the year 9 and 10 team managed to progress through the first round of their county cup beating Carterton. The second round draw saw them play Cokethorpe School. The experience of playing at a private school with a very well drilled team will be remembered even if the result did not go their way.
The district cross country meet was also hugely successful with both the u14 boys and u12 girls teams both reaching the county finals to be held at Radley School. The other teams were unfortunate to finish 3rd in their categories, as only the top two could progress to this later stage.
The nerves were clear for all to see as the U16 team headed to the South Tournament. Their determination to do the best they could was also evident as they supported one another with tips, reminders and tactics right up to the point of stepping onto the court!
There was a need for resilience in the early stages of the competition as they faced some tough opposition but they dug deep, stuck to their plan and supported each other in singles play and showed teamwork in doubles. The level of skills displayed was fantastic and a pleasure to watch even if difficult to play against! They still doubted their performance and were keen to hear the final results be called. They needn’t have worried and the reaction was priceless. Congratulations to our U16 Boys who are South Champions who now play in the County final in December and to our U16 Girls who earned second place school in the competition.
The U14 badminton team went to the South Oxfordshire tournament with high hopes. All players worked hard and played well. Both the girls and boys teams came 3rd in the area. Well done all.
Sports News - Terms 1 and 2
Sports News cont
Yr8 - KTW
Yr9 - JCP
Yr7 - LBL
For the full calendar please refer to our website or follow this link:
INSET DAY 4
Beginning of Term 3
Year 9 Parents' Evening, 4.30-7.30pm
Full Governing Body
THINGS TO LOOK FORWARD TO NEXT TERM
END OF TERM 3
Year 7 Parents' Evening, 4.30-7.30pm