Canbury School Newsletter 24th September 2021. ISSUE 244

Dear Families, Friends, Students and Staff

We have been very social this week at Canbury and the Hall has been buzzing with the sound of parents - who have not seen each other for a long time - catching up. Incredibly, some parents were entering the School, in person, for the first time since their tour of the School as prospective parents. It was a great pleasure to meet you all and I hope for many more social events in the months ahead and, perhaps, even the resumption of the PTA. If you have any ideas for events or fundraisers, please do be in touch.

On the note of social events and looking ahead to Christmas (already), I can predict a hilarious MAD Winter Festival with Mr Batten at the helm. I caught a bit of the read-through for the Year 8 pantomime and I think we have a treat in store! As Mr Batten said, “You can trust the writer” (I believe the writer is also a Drama teacher in a small school in Kingston!)

This week, there have also been opportunities for students to mix. Ten-pin bowling with Mr Wallbank attracted students from Year 7 to 12. Students from other year groups brushed up their table tennis skills on Wednesday evening with Mr Barnes and there will be more of the same in the next few weeks ahead. Do let us know if your child would like to join in the fun.

The highlight of the week, however, was the overnight to High Ashurst with the weather holding fair for the entire trip. Scroll down for Mr McGregor’s report and some glorious photographs. This Indian summer is, at least, some compensation for the rather damp holidays this year. Many thanks to all the staff who organised the trip and accompanied the students.

Today, the whole school came together to support Jeans for Genes Day. Charity prefect, Hannah, with the help of Mrs Rich and Ms Chorazyczewska, organised our first charity event this term. It is difficult to find a garment as widely embraced, worn and loved the world over as jeans. That is unless you are Mr Goodyear who does not own a single pair but arrived splendid in green (see below) and was sitting with Ain who owns a mere 16 pairs. One in 20 children are born with a birth defect or genetic disease, such as cancer, cystic fibrosis, and metabolic disorders. The aim of Jeans for Genes Day is to help the scientists find cures.

I have been getting to know more students this week, and have been impressed by the work ethic of Seb in Year 12 who produced a whole episode of his newspaper ‘The Stag’, single-handedly over last weekend. It would be terrific if more students could join the editorial team. I was also delighted to hear about sixth formers Victor and Armani’s cartoon strip, depicting the Pythonesque exploits of a medieval baron at war - very original and terrific teamwork.

Tomorrow we host our annual Open Morning when we showcase the very best of Canbury to prospective parents, carers and students. I am looking forward to seeing all our students here, smart and in uniform, for a 10am start (ideally arriving at 9.30am to settle in). This is an excellent opportunity to give something back to the School.

Have a very good weekend.

Ms Yates.


Students of the week

Year 7

Rory, Bethany, Francesca and Evan for their enthusiasm and hard work at High Ashurst. For conquering their fears and for pushing themselves out of their comfort zones - well done! Also for making Lloyd feel so welcomed into the Canbury family.

All students for their insightful comments and effort in the Wellbeing lesson.

Bethany, Rory and Evan for their excellent discussion on what makes a good pictogram in Maths on Thursday.

Evan for showing fantastic anatomical knowledge in PE.

Year 8

Liz, Morgan, Reenie, Ethan and Brendan for their excellent, patient listening and insightful conversation in their session with Ms Chorazyczewska.

Sam S, Liz, Ethan and Reenie for their focused work in Wellbeing.

Reenie, Ethan, William, Morgan, Alex, Brendan, Logan and Matthew for their hard work at High Ashurst, for supporting and encouraging each other, for pushing boundaries and trying new things.

Alex for achieving over 300 points on Dr Frost Maths this week.

Morgan, Sam S, Matthew and Ethan for their hard work simplifying expressions this week.

Year 9

Freddie, Thomas, Olivia, Angus, Ollie, Chloe, Layla, Karim and Louis for their excellent understanding of the laws of indices in Maths this week.

All Year 9s for their mature manner and thoughtful discussions in PSHE lessons. There was lots of interesting conversation and work around gangs and knife crime. Well done.

All Year 9s for their hard work in ICT this week (and their very funny celebrity stories…). Mrs Burt says the ice-breaker games are really helping her get to know you all a little better.

Karim for showing much improved consistency in table tennis.

Year 10

All GCSE ICT students - you’ve responded super well to feedback. Mrs Burt says she's impressed.

All Year 10 GCSE mathematicians for their hard work this week calculating the averages of data in frequency tables.

Carl for making big improvements in table tennis.

Year 11

A big well done to Otti for her creativity and efforts this week in Photography.

Phoebe, Ain and Alannah for their hard work in Maths this week.

Harry A for his positive approach to inequalities and quadratic equations.

Alannah for achieving a topic medal on Dr Frost Maths.

Year 12

All GCSE ICT students - you’re showing an excellent work ethic, well done.

Rhian and Seb for producing good quality work to a tight deadline in BTEC Sport.

Year 13

Emily for her hard work and understanding of how to test hypotheses in A level Maths.

Joe for consistently hitting his BTEC Sport assignment deadlines.

High fives for the High Ashurst participants. What an experience they had.

Tuesday morning the intrepid Year 7s and Year 8s were bundled, along with their kit, into the minibus for their journey down to High Ashurst. The students were full of excitement - never a quiet moment on the bus with some of the students carefully watching the sat-nav counting down the miles and minutes until we reached our destination.

No time to settle in though - we were straight into our activities. The students were split into two groups, and straight away plunged into tough questions such as why were we there and what were the outcomes we wanted to achieve? Questions answered, activities started. With some amazing thinking outside the box from both groups, the Spider's Web, the Hexagon Challenge and Towers of Hanoi were swiftly pushed to one side.

All in a day (and a night) at High Ashurst. A 2021 residential like no other.

After lunch we had to conquer the High Ropes course - platforms suspended 15m in the air, students held safely by nothing more than rope and a super safe system of knots. Leaps of faith, cat walks, incline logs proved no issue, and with students setting their own challenges everyone proved their worth.

An amazing dinner cooked fresh for us - spag bol for those who like the important things - we then set off for the challenge course. Set only a foot off the ground, with a floor of lava, man eating sharks, piranhas and electric eels, students had to traverse their way across swinging rope bridges, working out problems and how to defeat the puzzles.

A good night’s sleep in some teepees followed by a lovely full English breakfast gave us the fuel to attack the last two activities - archery and woodland skills where we learnt how to start safe woodland fires and even cooked popcorn over an open fire. All in all an amazing trip - but importantly lots learnt about others and lots of skills gained. Communication, politeness, checking understanding with others, listening, thinking differently and perhaps most importantly, making sure that everyone is included.

Mr McGregor.

Thoughtful work from Year 10 drama students today.

"Young offenders" was the theme today for Year 10 drama students. Mr Batten says they played their parts with aplomb. We particularly liked the inventive use of the lunch time tables.....

Digital Detox - it's time for change.

Mrs Rich gave a fascinating, some might even think shocking, assembly today on the way screens are taking over our lives. It really was startling food for thought. From using our phones as alarm clocks (and therefore book-ending each day with your screen), to 'phubbing' our friends (snubbing the person you are having a real physical conversation with by constantly looking at your phone) - it's time for a digital detox!

We were given seven simple steps to help with this. Do please find time at the dinner table this weekend to chat through with your young person what they think about the idea of having a digital detox. To help start the conversation, here the the seven steps:

1. Turn off push notifications.

2. Put away your phone during meals.

3. Designate tech-free hours.

4. Make your bedroom a no-tech zone.

5. Rediscover paper - writing a card, reading a book.

6. Limit yourself to one screen at a time.

7. Spring clean your social media accounts.

Ollie and Annie - a perfect match.

A school visit to Hampton Hill Theatre before we broke for the summer holidays proved the perfect opportunity for Ollie B to pen a report of the day. The ensuing copy made it into the pages of "Theatre", the magazine of Teddington Theatre Club (who run Hampton Hill). Mr Batten, our all-singing, all-dancing English and Drama teacher was so thrilled to receive Ollie's contribution that he thought we should share it here in the Newsletter. Well done Ollie!

Our Ollie.

My Trip To Drama Cube, By Ollie B

To say that I was lucky would be an understatement, as my whole key stage was given the amazing opportunity to visit my teacher, Mr Batten’s, drama workplace. We were welcomed warmly by a man called Steve who was the owner of Drama Cube; he taught us some drama techniques and also played some fun games.

Mr Batten was also kind enough to give us a tour of where he had performed in his theatre taking us backstage to where all the magic comes from; seeing the changing rooms and costumes was all very interesting especially from an inspired actress in the making. It was very intriguing.

Then on to the main event, we were given a section of the script from 'Annie', put into small groups and, within only a couple of hours, had to learn the lines of our designated parts. Thrilling and frightening are the emotions that come to my mind thinking about it now.

It was amazing to be able to perform our section of 'Annie' on stage. Props and a true background setting really brought the acting to life and was incredible. To even try to think of only one thing that was my favourite is a hard task but then being able to perform in front of my peers was such a confidence boost for me and my stage fright.

I learnt so much with Steve and Mr Batten, such as different accents including the New York style; it was definitely a challenge but then manageable.

So, in short, the trip was amazing, the staff were lovely and kind and overall I learnt so much and had lots of fun! And also a massive 'thank you' to Steve and the Canbury staff for putting on this trip during such a difficult time with the Pandemic!

Sport round-up

Writes Mr Barnes: "We’ve started PE lessons this term with a bang, with the majority of students in the school learning about the high paced sport of dodgeball! This week students have been exploring how to throw the ball with greater power and accuracy. Everyone has been loving the non-stop nature of the game and these lessons will be great preparation for the inter school dodgeball tournament which will hopefully be happening next half-term.

Dodge ballers and stand up paddle boarders.

In Games we’ve reached the half-way point of our Thames Young Mariners sessions. Highlights this week have been Group 1 in Key Stage 3 getting out on the rafted canoes and the KS4/5 paddle boarders having a go on the 6 person group paddleboard. Just a note to say that the weather doesn’t look as promising next week and students are reminded that they can bring jumpers or thin waterproofs to keep them warm, if needed."

Chloe - Canbury's very own dancing queen.

Chloe brought in two awards from her dance class at the weekend. One was for her cha cha and one was for her waltz, both of which she scored 'highly commended' for in her exam. Year 9 Chloe also contributed to her team winning a competition. A very well done.

Nice to meet you!

Our three "meet the new head mistress" events this week were well attended and achieved just what they were intended to do.

House awards and News

Bethany - Blue star award 15HPs.

Francesca - Blue star award 15HPs.

The first House Event of the school year takes place on Tuesday 27th September in the Art Room at 1pm. The ever-popular spaghetti and marshmallow challenge awaits all Key stages. Which House will emerge front runners in the HP stakes? The field is wide open.....

Jeans for Genes Day - Harry does the double and Mr Goodyear bucks the trend!

Thanks for Charity Prefect Hannah for organising such a marvellous Jeans for Genes day today. We threw ourselves into proceedings and will tell you next Friday how much money has been raised for this worthy cause. Birthday Girl, Hannah, even took these pictures of us in our denim and of the fabulous event in the wellbeing hub at lunch - it was tie-dye heaven! There's still time to donate if you forgot your mufti money. Head over to: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/pippa-rich

And finally.....

  • As the students wishing to join book club are younger than last year, we will not now be reading Tess of the D’Urbervilles but another book, yet to be chosen. In the meantime, if you wish to join Book Club, please bring with you a book which you have enjoyed. We meet at 1pm on Thursdays in the Literacy Room, next to Spanish. All welcome.
  • Poor Mrs Burt must feel like she is repeating herself - she says again this week: "Don’t forget, if you have headphones you can bring to the lesson, that would be great. Thank you". Something tells us not all students have been able to do that so far. However in other good news she says it's been another excellent week of work from students in ICT. GCSE students are beginning to think about topics for their evidencing work and Year 9 have made good progress with their coding.
  • Achieving for Children (AfC) have been making some changes to its website, including the SEND Local Offer details. This follows feedback from parents across the two local authorities of Kingston and Richmond. The site will be offline from 27th September and is expected to be back up and running by 4 October. During this time there will be a holding page in place with contact details for AfC services.