Leweston life winter 2014

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Winter 2014

Leweston Life

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Cover photography by Millie Pilkington


Heads’ Welcome


Academic News




South Africa Tour




Duke of Edinburgh


Senior Sport


Fashion Show




Prep News


Leweston Toddler Group


Leweston Nursery


Prep Sport


Boarding Bliss


Trips and Visits


Young Arts Grant


Dates for your Diary



Welcome from the Heads 2013 has been another fantastic year at Leweston, with records broken and outstanding achievements across the board. Academically, the girls continued to excel, leading to our fourth set of record GCSE results in five years. Once again, we were delighted to discover that more girls than ever achieved 9 or more A or A* grades. Our Sixth Form pupils also celebrated record AS and A Level results, with girls achieving a 100% pass rate and a record number passing at A* grade or Pre-U equivalent. One pupil also achieved the school’s first ever D1 at Cambridge Pre-U, a grade above an A*. These results have enabled almost all of Leweston’s leavers to win places at their chosen universities or specialist colleges, and we are thrilled that all of our Oxbridge and medical school candidates have been successful in meeting their offers. The Sports Department has seen another action packed term and continues to deliver exceptional results. Our ‘athlon’ sports programme continues to go from strength to strength, inspiring amazing results across campus, including gold medals at the World Biathle Championships and a win for the U17 team at the National Championships.

This term the Art and Design Department produced another spectacular fashion show, demonstrating the diverse range of work designed and produced by the lower school, exam years and extra-curricular textiles club. A great collaborative effort from staff and pupils meant that it was a very successful and professional show. The English Department has had another fantastic term, with highlights for the girls including a win at the Sherborne Literary Festival and the selection of the School Poetry by Heart Champion, who will go on to compete in the next round of this prestigious national competition. We were delighted to welcome Sally Turner as the new Childcare Manager at the Nursery. Sally has reinvigorated the Nursery, restocking the toys and equipment, creating new individual learning paths for each child, and implementing the plan to open the Nursery for 50 weeks of the year. Sally’s reflections on her first busy and productive months in the role can be read on page 25. After another strong and record breaking academic year for Leweston, we look forward to 2014 with confidence and a desire to make it our best year yet.

The Drama Department has also had a busy term. Senior School girls performed William Shakespeare’s magical play The Tempest to great acclaim with audiences enchanted across both nights. Many spectators even commented that it was the School’s best production ever!

Adrian Aylward Headmaster

James Savile Head of Leweston Prep


Another Year of Record Results for Leweston Sixth Formers 2013 has seen record AS and A Level results for the second time in three years. Sixth Form girls achieved a 100% pass rate and 72% of the A Levels were passed at grade A* to B or Pre-U equivalent with a record 20% of the results passed at A* grade or Pre-U equivalent. 52% of the results were passed at A* or A grades or Pre-U equivalent, double the national average. Leweston is delighted that a pupil has achieved the school’s first ever D1 at Cambridge Pre-U. This exceptional grade is above the standard required for an A* at A Level and is a truly outstanding achievement. These results have enabled almost all Leweston’s leavers to win places at their chosen universities or specialist colleges. Particular mention goes to Siobhan Stewart who has taken up her place at Brasenose College Oxford studying Biological Sciences, to Rebecca Clayton who is studying English

and Drama at Homerton College Cambridge, and to Monika Dec who is now reading Mathematics at Trinity College Cambridge.

“I am delighted with what is another strong set of results at Leweston across the whole ability range. I am particularly pleased that all our Oxbridge and medical school candidates have been successful in meeting their offers, further building on our record of success in this area. These outstanding achievements pay testament to the hard work of the students and the work ethic of the school.” Adrian Aylward - Headmaster


Leweston is celebrating its fourth set of record breaking GCSE results in five years An unprecedented 41% of examinations were passed at A* with 69% of all entries passed at A* or A. 91% of examinations passed at A*, A or B, also a record. Congratulations to the 41% of all candidates who achieved 9 or more A or A* grades and to the 17% of girls who got 9 A* grades or more. 98% of all examinations were passed at Grade A* to C. These record results, particularly at A* (41%), are notably impressive in the light of the national fall in the percentages of A* and A grades and the overall pass rate.

Prize winners at the Sherborne Literary Festival were presented with their certificates by the children’s author, Ian Whybrow in October. It was very exciting for these young writers to hear their work read aloud and to receive such encouraging comments from a published writer.

Emily Davis (Year 7) took first place with her poem on “Dogs and Cats” followed by second place going to Daisy Pilkington (Year 7) and third place going to Freya Jacques (Year 7). Well done to Eliza Dawson (Year 9) and Eve Southcombe (Year 9) who won places in the short story competition with the title “The radio crackled and then went silent...”

Congratulations to 2013 Leweston leaver Michi Wong who has been awarded one of only 20 scholarships offered by Cardiff University. Michi achieved an A in her Psychology A Level and beat 1000 other applicants to the award which is worth approximately £15,000. Michi has started her Psychology BSc at Cardiff where she will undoubtedly continue to excel. Shelia Hunt, Head of Psychology at Leweston commented: “I am thrilled to hear of Michi’s award of such a prestigious Psychology scholarship at Cardiff. She has promised to come back to Leweston and share her experiences with current and future Psychology students and I look forward to welcoming her back soon!”


Leweston Success in the Sherborne Literary Festival Poetry Competition

Physics in Action Physicists from Years 12 and 13 visited the Institute of Education in London for a series of lectures on Physics in Action. Speakers at the cutting edge of physics gave entertaining talks that covered cosmic dust, the amazing applications of bubbles, materials science and the funniest aspects of physics. The lectures were: • Meteorites and Cosmic Dust: The Physics of Bangs in the Night Dr Matthew Genge, Imperial College • Bubble Science: Dr Eleanor Stride, University of Oxford • Stuff Matters: Professor Mark Miodownik, UCL • Physics - The Best and Funniest Bits: Ian Dunne


Paired Reading Scheme Launched at Leweston The paired reading initiative that was launched at the start of term has been a great success. The scheme involves girls in Year 12 spending time every week reading with some of the younger girls in the school from Years 7-9. The initiative is based on research by Professor Keith Topping, Director of the Centre for Peer Learning at Dundee University, internationally known for its pioneering tutoring systems, such as the paired reading schemes, which are active and interactive.

Sixth Formers Compete in the UKMT Senior Maths Challenge and British Mathematics Olympiad Round One 39 Sixth Formers competed in the UKMT Senior Maths Challenge this term. The results were very encouraging and four students in particular did well enough to progress to the next stage of the competition, the British Mathematics Olympiad Round 1.


The aim of the scheme is to improve the girls’ reading and confidence whilst also providing them with a mentor and role model from the Sixth Form. The girls are finding the sessions very rewarding; they have all bonded well and the EAL girls have really benefitted from the chance to talk about their books and to further develop their vocabulary. The schemes are designed so that both tutees and tutors gain from the experience and the time the Year 12 girls put in will also count towards the volunteering section of their Duke of Edinburgh Award.


Pupils in Years 9, 10, 11 and Sixth Form experienced a live performance of Shakespeare’s Richard II by the Royal Shakespeare Company, without having to leave the school grounds! Broadcast directly from Stratford-upon-Avon and starring David Tennant in the title role, the production was viewed by 60,000 students across the UK. The broadcast was followed by a live Question and Answer session with members of the creative team, including David and Gregory Doran, the RSC’s Artistic Director, and Director of this production. Alongside the webcast, Leweston teachers and pupils now have access to an extensive package of online resources created by the RSC to support the series.

Pupils take part in the first round of the Poetry by Heart competition

‘La Casa de Bernarda Alba’

OUTSTANDING LAMDA SPEECH AND DRAMA RESULTS FOR LEWESTON GIRLS Leweston girls achieved a 100% pass rate in their LAMDA speech and drama exams taken in the summer term, which was a fantastic achievement.

60% of all entries were passed at Distinction and 25% at Merit.

Sixth Form Attend Modern Foreign Language Workshop Sixth Form students attended a Modern Foreign Language workshop with pupils from many other local schools at the Gryphon School in Sherborne. The programme involved two speakers from British universities and language head-hunters from Europe. Students were also able to work in various groups using the prescribed skills for translation and interpretation in different languages.

The whole activity was highly relevant and fun, offering new ideas and opening new opportunities for future careers.

A number of performances stood out, meaning that the judges had a tough time selecting a top three. Weronika Mlodzikowska (Year 12) who was our chosen winner will now go forward to round two of the competition at county level where she will represent Leweston against School Champions from across Dorset.

Upper Sixth Spanish students travelled to London to see a matinee performance of wellknown Spanish playwright Lorca’s play La Casa de Bernarda Alba. The play was performed brilliantly and was completely engaging, moving Mrs Bryson, Head of Modern languages to tears! The girls were amazed by how much they understood following their studies of the play text in their lessons and they had the wonderful opportunity to meet and chat to some of the Spanish actors afterwards about the play’s content.

Thirteen girls from all years went head to head in front of the whole school, reciting their chosen poem from the anthology available on the Poetry by Heart website. The standard was incredibly high, with each girl rising to the challenge. The pressure of performing in front of a full house affected a few, but most took it in their stride, giving impressive and confident recitals.

A Sixth Form Student


Leweston’s Autumn Production of The Tempest

“The Tempest has been a journey in many different respects: Prospero’s emotional voyage, the cast’s journey to the opening night, individuals growing in confidence and talent, and my own journey towards the end of my school productions. With a strong group of Upper Sixth behind me and of course the many teachers involved, things slowly but surely came together. Both nights were magical and this could only have been achieved through working as a team: from the tech crew, to Mr Bush’s set design team and all the cast supporting each other. As I will be going on to study Drama and then on to acting, I am sure this will not be the last time you shall see me. As for everyone else, this was an incredible experience. Thank you… ‘Our revels now are ended’.” Sarah Warham (Year 13), Prospero

Leweston’s Senior School girls performed William Shakespeare’s magical play The Tempest, to great acclaim. This year, actors from Years 10, 11 and the Sixth Form graced the stage and a large number of girls were involved backstage and in the design processes. The starting point was the concept of a chess game that Prospero would win. The Tempest is the only play that figures chess players on stage and the company wanted to cast their own dramatic spell around this central notion. Head of Drama, Anthony Irvine commented: “Opening night was a fantastic experience. There was a full house and the actors rose to the challenge of performing in front of a packed audience for the first time. There was a real sense of ensemble and the smaller roles were executed with the same vigour as the larger ones. Each character performed with confidence, clarity and commitment, and the dances, music and verse combined to create a fantastic spectacle. The closing night saw another wonderful performance. All the elements coalesced - the acting, the lighting, the sound, the visual design, the costume, the props, the special effects. The symbolic Chess Kings designed by Finn Bush, part of Leweston’s Art Department, and his set design team highlighted the director’s concept of Prospero as the Chess Master perfectly. Our approach worked because a real collaborative and creative ensemble developed over the rehearsal period with the Sixth Formers leading the whole process. Sarah Warham (Year 13), who was playing Prospero, enchanted the audience and led the whole company with commitment and creativity. It was magic!” 9

South Africa Choir and Netball Tour July 2013

“A spontaneous song soon attracted local children who joined the girls in song and this quickly descended into frivolity! The girls mingled with the children giving piggyback races and attempting to learn the local dialect with the netballers joining in as they finished their matches.” 10

Leweston’s inaugural Choir and Netball tour to South Africa took place in July. During the tour’s 12 day duration, the 30 girls involved visited schools in Cape Town and played 12 sports fixtures against schools and local teams. The trip also involved five public performances by the Leweston Tour Choir at host schools, local parish churches and the V&A waterfront amphitheatre in Cape Town. The girls and members of staff had a wonderful time and were lucky enough to fit visits to a number of different towns and places of interest, around their Netball and Schola commitments. Early in the trip, they visited Robben Island, the location of

Nelson Mandela’s imprisonment during the apartheid, and were very kindly put up by host families from Wynburg School. They then stayed in a small town on the Garden Route called Knysna, where they took a cruise around the beautiful Knysna Lagoon. En route to Port Elizabeth, they stopped at a leopard rehabilitation and education centre, where the girls were able to see a number of Africa’s wild cats and were even allowed to walk into the pens with them. On arrival at Port Elizabeth, they met their new host families from Collegiate High. On both occasions the girls had a super time being hosted and were reluctant to leave their families, who had been so warm, welcoming and generous. The final leg of the trip involved a visit to

Addo Elephant Park, and then it was on to Kariega Game Park, where the girls experienced two incredible game drives over two days. Netball results – The A, B and C teams played fantastic netball across the board and were met by consistently strong opposition. The A and B teams displayed skill and determination to win three out of four of their matches, and the C team showed tremendous resilience to bounce back from a shaky start and win two out of four of their matches. Pupils and parents worked extremely hard to raise funds totalling £17,000 to support the tour. This impressive sum was raised through the sale of tour

“Our first stop on day two was the Makone Primary School where the girls particularly enjoyed meeting the children.”

brochures, a quiz and curry night, the Christmas Concert at Chideock Church, the Zimbe! concert in March and a textile recycling scheme. The girls also made and sold cakes and refreshments at Leweston’s café at large sporting events held at Leweston over the year, and held a ticketed social at Leweston featuring the Lady As, a band consisting of some of Leweston’s Year 10 girls. Thank you also to the tour’s generous sponsors.

“The smiles on the girls’ faces after the matches said it all.” “We met two Old Antonians, one of whom had travelled all the way from Johannesburg to see us perform!” 11


Leweston Christmas Concert at St Luke’s and St Teresa’s Catholic Church, Wincanton The church was filled with family and friends of the school and with local parishioners who came to show their support. The concert featured a packed schedule of festive performances by Leweston Schola, the Baroque, Vocal and Cello ensembles, Year 8 and Year 13 soloists, the Wind and String Quartets, the Jazz Band, the Sixth Form Choir, the Lady As and the Leweston Belles.

GCSE and A Level Music Drumming Workshop GCSE and A Level music students enjoyed a drumming workshop led by the professionals from the Skins and Feet Drumming and Dance Company. The girls study world music as part of both the GCSE and A Level syllabuses and enjoyed finding out more about the rhythms of African music. The workshop was broken up into an introductory session on African culture as well as rhythm games and plenty of hands on experience for each participant. This workshop was perhaps particularly relevant after Leweston’s Choral Society performance of Zimbe! (sing the songs of Africa) in March.

Eight pupils took part in the Taunton Music, Drama and Dance Festival Eight singing students from Dr Milestone’s group took part in the 100th Taunton and Somerset Music, Drama and Dance Festival at Queen’s College, Taunton. All the girls received fantastic feedback from the adjudicators with Evie Davies and Lizzie Davis winning the 14 and under duet trophy, Madeline Kirby winning the 18 and under folk song trophy and Hannah O’Toole-Thrower winning the 18 and under British art song trophy. All the girls found it to be a very positive experience and were delighted with their results.

DofE Silver Assessment in the New Forest The Silver DofE Assessment was held in the New Forest where the navigation can prove difficult due to a multitude of tracks not featured on the maps. The girls set off for the final expedition on a damp and overcast day. Indeed, this caused some consternation to the Blue Team during their second day when they added a few hours to their journey. The first day was extremely wet with a wild night and there were some damp souls on the Saturday morning. But a little sunshine appeared to do the trick and the Green Team came storming into the campsite right on time. Despite the slight detour on day two the Blue Team had a fabulous day on the Sunday, finishing in a very good time. The Green Team were strong throughout and they deserved the praise of the assessor who remarked on the stoic nature of both teams. Both teams showed themselves capable and passed in good style.

YEAR 11 PUPIL CREATES COLOURFUL MURAL FOR HER VILLAGE STORE Amelia Bailey in Year 11 created a mural for her village store, after a chance remark about the community run shop looking for something to brighten the front counter gave her the idea to create the mural as part of her Bronze Duke of Edinburgh award. She also suggested getting some of the pupils at the nearby primary school involved. Amelia commented: “I painted the background and then gave it to the primary school with the sketched outlines on the front, and advised them on what colours to use to paint it. They suggested painting the letters in the Dorset flag colours. I was delighted to be able to create something which would benefit the local community. ” The young painters from the primary school said they enjoyed painting the mural and it has also had plenty of compliments from local shoppers. Amelia has now completed her Bronze Duke of Edinburgh Award and is starting on her Silver award.

STOP PRESS - FOR THE GOLD AWARD… A group of Year 12 students are planning a trip to Peru in the summer to complete their Duke of Edinburgh Award. They are currently in the process of fundraising for the trip and are organising a teachers’ talent show to get the ball rolling!


Senior Sport

Leweston Pupils Win Gold as Part of Team GB at World Biathle Championships Leweston pupils Anya Evans, Elektra Covell and Victoria Halford have assured their status as international athletes by helping the Great Britain team come top of the medal table at the World Biathle Championships held in Limassol, Cyprus in October. The girls have been training with other GB athletes and Mick Flaherty, Leweston and GB coach, for the last few months and their hard work certainly paid off with the girls putting in some great individual performances to help the GB team clinch gold in 14 of the possible 20 age categories. Year 5 pupil Anya came 8th individually in the 10 years and under girls race with Year 6 pupil 14

Elektra coming 12th to help the British team win gold in this age group. Year 12 pupil Victoria came 4th individually in the U16 race, which was also won by the GB team. Although international representation was a new experience for Elektra and Anya, it was not a first for Leweston Sixth Former Victoria; this was her 7th successive year representing Great Britain at these World Championships where she first competed in the U10 category. In the last year Leweston has hosted two biathle/tetrathlon/ triathlon training camps for young athletes aged 10 to 18 incorporating the sports of

shooting, swimming, running, fencing and cycling. Leweston has also hosted three regional biathle competitions and in 2014, in addition to its Easter and Summer camps, the School will be hosting the inaugural British Schools’ Biathle Championships on Sunday 22nd June which will be open to pupils from both independent and state schools. The national biathle coach, Mick Flaherty, who accompanied the team to Cyprus, has been the biathlon, swimming and modern pentahlon coach at Leweston since September 2012.

Leweston Pupils Fence their way to Victory

Leweston Pupils Excel at National Biathlon Championships in Solihull 13 girls from Leweston took part in the finals representing Dorset Pentathletes and the School, with all the girls improving their national ranking, and enjoying great success. Leading the charge were the Leweston team of Victoria Halford, Rebecca Bowles and Georgie Watson, who pulled clear of their nearest rivals by 266 points to claim the title of U17 national team champions. Victoria also received the individual bronze medal. Olivia Manson (Year 10) was part of the victorious Dorset Pentathletes team, who took home gold for the U15s and Anya Evans from the Prep School helped the Dorset Pentathletes to another win, this time in the U10 team category. Aoife McCarthy, Amelia Bailey and Connie Reynolds represented Leweston in the U16s. Here they

were placed 4th and were the highest placed school in their age group. In order to even qualify for this the athletes needed to take part in biathlons throughout the country and the top ranked athletes were put through to the finals. There were over 800 competitors in the various age categories. Leweston GB biathle coach, Mick Flaherty commented: “This was a fantastic way for Leweston to round off a successful 2013 season. The girls have shown true dedication to the sport and this has been reflected in their impressive achievements. After these strong results, we hope to see girls qualifying for the National Schools Biathlon Finals in April 2014 which take place at the Olympic Park in London.�

Pupils from Leweston were successful at the inaugural Sherborne Girls Fencing Competition at Oxley Sports Centre in November, bringing home two medals. Representing Year 10, Natalie Tam was dominant throughout, fending off all comers to win the much coveted gold in the foil. Rose Sullivan (Year 12) also performed very well to secure the bronze in the sabre division.

We are delighted with the success of our fencing team. The girls displayed talent and skill and were gracious competitors throughout. Their accomplishments are a testament to their hard work and to a competitive Sports Department that encourages pupils to achieve their sporting potential. Paul Miles, Director of Sport


Swimming training has become more popular than ever... With girls benefiting from the option to swim all year round. There are four sessions a week, including two early morning swims which certainly invigorate swimmers for the day ahead. Pupils continue to improve their times, technique, stamina and strength, and all teams from the Prep School to the U13s, U15s and Seniors have shown a marked improvement in their performance at competitions this term. The swimming training has helped pupils improve their general fitness for other sports offered in the curriculum and has also given pupils the chance to improve their swimming even if they choose not to use the training for competitions.

Rugby Master Class with Alex Brown Two of Leweston’s aspiring rugby players in the Sixth Form were given the opportunity to receive a master class in front row play from Alex Brown from the Exeter Chiefs. Both girls were put through their paces and were given excellent tips to improve their games. Both Phillipa and Maddie play for North Dorset RFC and Maddie also represents Dorset and Wilts U18s.

Cross Country Relays 66 teams participated in the ninth Leweston Relays. 44 girls represented the school in various teams across the age groups. The Minor girls finished second out of 15 teams, the Junior girls finished fourth out of 25 teams with the Senior team finishing fifth out of 25 teams. Leweston Senior B team finished in a very creditable eighth place ahead of both Bryanston and St Mary’s Shaftesbury A teams. Well done. 16

Inter-Schools Show Jumping Competition Leweston held another successful Inter-Schools Show Jumping Competition in September. This ever popular event saw over 140 riders represent schools from all over the South West. Hosts Leweston School did exceptionally well in the team results winning class 3 and coming second in Class 2. Well done also to Year 6 pupil Perdi Digby who came first individually in Class 2 and third individually in Class 3.

National Show Jumping Competition takes place in Buckinghamshire In October Leweston sent a team to compete at the National Schools Equestrian Association Show Jumping Championships at Addington Manor Equestrian Centre in Buckinghamshire. Jumping first, the four girls and their mounts were unperturbed, producing three stylish clear rounds and blazing an impressive trail. However, the teams that followed had the advantage of assessing the going and stepped up the pace accordingly. With speed becoming the defining factor, our talented team only narrowly missed out on qualifying for the final and finished an impressive tenth place out of 28 teams. The girls were pleased with their performance and proud to represent their school against such strong teams from across the whole of the UK. 17

Model Students: Leweston Girls Light Up the Catwalk with their Stunning Creations 18

At Leweston the Art and Design Department aims to coordinate its creative curriculum to include a showcase for each year group’s numerous projects. This term, the girls produced another fantastic fashion show to exhibit their outstanding range of work. On the night, the show’s creative direction and production were overseen by Miss Lacey with special assistance from Sixth Former Alice Hague. The girls produced a fantastic show demonstrating the work designed and produced by the lower school, exam years and extracurricular textiles club. This year girls of all years, including those not involved directly in art and design courses, worked together to produce the show and created all the garments showcased on the runway. To involve the wider school, Sixth Formers were heavily involved in modelling the collections and working backstage. Some even had the honour of attending a private tutorial session with a London College of Fashion graduate, in order to hone their hair and make-up skills for the show. The technical team at Leweston coordinated the lights and music, to add the finishing flourish to what was a very successful and astoundingly professional show. We are very proud that our pupils have the opportunity to create and exhibit their own design work every year.

Visits to the Victoria and Albert Museum

Year 10 Fine Art Trip to Cornwall

Year 12 and 13 girls studying textiles visited the V&A to see the fashion exhibition “Club to Catwalk: London Fashion in the 1980s”. Through more than 85 outfits, the exhibition showcases the bold and exciting new looks by the most experimental young designers of the decade, including Betty Jackson, Katharine Hamnett, Wendy Dagworthy and John Galliano.

GCSE pupils had the opportunity in October to make a visit to Cornwall as part of their coursework project. First stop was Priests Cove on the Cape of Cornwall. This was chosen as it is the location of the artist the girls have been studying, Kurt Jackson, who lives locally. It was an amazing place and they were all captivated by the ever changing weather conditions, but luckily they experienced only a light mist of rain. The girls produced drawings using charcoal, graphite and pastel and took lots of photographs. Next stop was Penlee House Art Gallery to see an exhibition of Graham Sutherland’s work based on images of the Cornish tin mining industry during the

Second World War, as an official war artist. The girls were particularly struck by his use of strong pinky reds and mustard yellow and studied his use of mark making. Whilst there they also had the opportunity to see the work of 19th century artists who were part of the Newlyn School. The next day they travelled to Newlyn where they were split into two groups. One group visited the Newlyn Art Gallery and the other group took part in an experimental drawing and painting workshop at the Newlyn Art School. The girls returned to school with a wealth of drawings, photographs, notes and ideas and we look forward to showing all their coursework in next year’s summer show.

The girls also took part in a fashion workshop led by one of the designers who exhibited her work, which they found fascinating and useful. Year 11 also visited the V&A to see the exhibition “Ballgowns: British Glamour Since 1950”. The exhibition showcased beautiful ballgowns, red carpet evening dresses and catwalk showstoppers. Displayed over two floors, the exhibition featured more than sixty designs for social events such as private parties, royal balls, state occasions and opening nights.



Leweston Prep celebrates 20 Years on Campus This September saw Leweston Prep School celebrate its 20th year at its current location on the Leweston campus. In celebration the pupils and staff enjoyed a celebratory tea and buried a time capsule in the school grounds to act as record for pupils of the future. Since the school joined its Senior counterpart at Leweston 20 years ago in a newly developed coach house, it has continued to improve its facilities and has since opened a new kitchen, dining room, library, allweather pitch and swimming pool. This September also saw the Prep extend its provision, so that the Nursery will be open all year round from 8am–6pm daily to enable more families to access the exceptional education at Leweston Prep. Headmaster of Leweston Prep James Savile commented: “We are delighted to be celebrating 20 years at Leweston. We are proud of our school which is renowned for its caring and gentle ethos where children are encouraged to take on responsibilities and to respect others. Our principal aim at Leweston is to inspire the mind and instil a lifelong love of learning and we look forward to continuing to work to achieve this over the next 20 years.

Children in Need

Pupils and staff of the Prep School came dressed in Pink and Blue to raise funds for Children in Need. They have made a tremendous donation of £83 which includes the funds raised from the Year 3 Tiffin sale. Well done to everybody.

Junior House Boarding Taster Weekend "On Safari!" The jungle themed weekend was a great success with 34 girls taking part. Activities in Junior House (or base camp as it became known) included heading outside for games and safari craft activities followed by Disney’s The Jungle Book. After a very busy and energetic day the girls all settled well in their bunks and had a peaceful night! The following morning the girls decorated their faces with neon war-paint and set off for their safari themed expedition to Longleat Safari Park. Despite the weather the zebras, lions, tigers, cheetahs, rhinos, elephants and giraffes were very obliging and could be easily spotted and photographed from the safety of the coach. The girls also enjoyed taking a jungle cruise to Gorilla Island and getting lost in the world famous Longleat maze! After a busy weekend the happy

explorers were ready to go back to ‘base camp’ where they ended another successful and happy

boarding experience with a jungle tea and said a rather sad goodbye to new friends. 21

Operation Pop-Up Market takes place at Leweston Prep During the Year 6 Young Enterprise project the pupils received expert advice from Mrs Sadler and her marketing manager, Mrs Morris. Both ladies visited the Year 6 classroom on several sessions during the project to share their wealth of real world experiences with a view to supporting both Year 6 project teams as they set about creating their own confectionary businesses from scratch. THE CHILDREN IN THE PRE-PREP DELIGHTED THE AUDIENCE OF FAMILY AND FRIENDS WITH THEIR NATIVITY PLAY. THE PERFORMANCE FEATURED NARRATION DELIVERED WITH CONFIDENCE AND CLARITY, STUNNING MUSICAL PERFORMANCES AND EVEN THE NURSERY CHILDREN SINGING THEIR OWN SOLO. WELL DONE TO ALL THOSE INVOLVED.


The sessions of work included market research, product design and packaging, pricing, finance, selling tips and marketing advice. The pupils learnt a great deal from their time with their special advisors and, as a result of this help and a great deal of hard team work, Team “AICE” and Team “Candy Queens” both launched their stalls on a Friday morning break to the expectant public. The grand opening was a great success and the customers (everyone from Nursery to Year 5 plus a few members of staff!) enjoyed their first trip to this new Friday market. Both teams’ takings on the day were most impressive and they are now looking forward to paying back the start-up loans that Mr Savile kindly gave to them, before they can begin to make profits which will be channelled into their chosen charities.

Grandparents’ Celebration Day We were delighted to welcome some of our grandparents back to school for our Grandparents’ Celebration Day. The morning saw all sorts of activities and adventures for the grandparents with their grandchildren in their classrooms, as well a service in the School Chapel with special hymns and prayers selected and created by Leweston Prep pupils. Tired grandparents enjoyed a revitalising lunch before heading home. We look forward to seeing you all again next year!

Year 3 Tiffin Sale in Aid of Children in Need:

OUTSTANDING LAMDA RESULTS FOR LEWESTON PREP PUPILS Group drama is always a popular choice of extracurricular activity for Leweston pupils and the LAMDA syllabus provides an excellent opportunity for those wanting to develop their performance and communication skills in a fun environment. In June this year 24 pupils were entered for their group exams. Such was their level of confidence that, while waiting to showcase their talent to the visiting LAMDA examiner, the only person to show any sign of nervous apprehension was their teacher! Congratulations to all the Leweston Prep pupils who were entered for the Group Acting exam, with 22 children passing with distinction and two with merit. Well done all!

Leweston Prep’s Year 3 Tiffin Sale was a huge success and every bag was sold, raising a total of £29.70 for Children in Need. The sale was the culmination of a cross-curricular project that Year 3 had been working on all term in DT. Each of the groups developed their individual recipe following a market research session with other classes. In maths, they had to double their recipe so that enough could be made for everyone in the school. In ICT they perfected their food photography and created posters that included their company and product logo and a catchy slogan, all in a house style to attract the customer. The bags of tiffin were sold with labels that had been carefully cut out and glued and the tiffin itself had been made, decorated and packaged with precision.


Leweston Toddler Group The Toddler group at Leweston gathers together on Thursday mornings. Parents, grandparents and child-minders are all welcome to join us for an informal and relaxed morning session with their babies and toddlers. The aim of the group is to introduce your young child to a social environment with other children. They are never too young to come along and it is a lovely opportunity for new parents to meet other parents and families as well. Developmentally your child will be experimenting in many ways, socially, physically, and verbally. There are lots of opportunities during the session to let your child explore, experiment or to just observe. At this stage your child is becoming aware of others and this is a great opportunity to begin learning those valuable social skills such as communicating, listening, sharing and joining in. 24

We were delighted to welcome many local families to our “Forest Skills” nursery activity morning as well as the “Christmas Jingle” which took place at the end of this term. The participating children and their parents made the most of all the activities and both mornings proved to be great fun for all those involved. We look forward to next term’s activity morning “On Safari” on Thursday 5 February.

All Early Years learning is done through play and enjoyment, building confidences and experiences in a positive and fun way. Activities at the Toddler group might include hand painting, clay play, sticking and gluing, construction, food fun, music and creative dance sessions, walks and outside learning and play in the enchanted wood. Toddler Group makes full use of the grounds at Leweston and we enjoy activities such as treasure hunts and walks, teddy bear picnics, autumn foraging, parachute play and just a good run around and explore. Lorraine Roberts, Toddler Group

The Toddler Group together with the Pre-Prep visited Santa and his reindeer

Newly appointed Childcare Manager, Sally Turner reflects on a successful first term in the Nursery…



I have found it very easy to settle into life at Leweston Nursery and I am thoroughly enjoying getting to know the children and their families. There is a wonderful sense of community at Leweston; everybody knows each other by name and the children are able to interact with their older counterparts from the Prep School regularly. This allows them to grow in confidence and to feel part of the School as a whole. The facilities at Leweston are first class. We have recently restocked the Nursery with new toys and equipment and aim to do this regularly to ensure the children are constantly inspired to play and learn. During their time in the Nursery, children will find the Early Years Foundation Stage engaging and challenging. They will be taught by experienced and committed staff and will receive specialist teaching in French, Music and P.E. Each child now has an individual learning journey, allowing us to monitor their progress within the key areas of the curriculum. The children also benefit immensely from the Nursery’s location: it is well placed, with secure south facing gardens and well equipped play areas. We have also introduced “free-flow”, which allows children to go in and out independently, whilst always remaining under supervision within the confines of the classroom or play areas. This gives children the confidence to take control of their own learning, and the freedom to decide whether they want to learn inside or outside.

Outside of the classroom, the 46 acres of stunning parkland in which the school sits, as well as the Prep School’s “Enchanted Wood”, provide endless opportunities for more outdoor learning and the children have the freedom to explore and discover. We take the children on regular trips to expand their horizons beyond the school grounds. Young children thrive in the happy, purposeful environment of our Nursery. We provide a warm and welcoming environment in which children can develop as individuals, growing in confidence and independence during their foundation

learning. After their time in Nursery, pupils continue their education at Leweston Pre-Prep well equipped with the confidence and skills they will need to excel. In September we made the decision to open the Nursery for 50 weeks of the year. It is now open from 8am-6pm daily. This has been very well received by parents during term time and holidays and we are delighted that we can enable more families to access the exceptional education offered at Leweston Prep. Going forward, we will keep working with outside agencies to support learning and development and will ensure that our Nursery team remains the best that it can be, offering outstanding levels of education and care. We are looking forward to welcoming two new part-time members of staff to the team in the New Year, and are sure that they will help us continue to grow successfully over the years to come. 25

Prep School Christmas Concert The annual Christmas concert of the Prep School saw children in Years 3 to 6 perform throughout the afternoon. It was an absolute joy for all of our visitors with a mixture of music and performing arts. The children worked individually and in groups to entertain the parents and friends of the school with their festive performances. We have so much talent in the Prep School, and our pupils relish every opportunity to showcase their abilities. The children worked so hard and they are a credit to the staff who have given so much this term.

Year 6 Geography Trip to Lulworth Cove Year 6 pupils took part in a field trip to Lulworth Cove on Dorset’s famous Jurassic coast to study rock formations and coastal erosion as part of their autumn term geography unit of work. The 26

Lulworth Rangers were most informative when teaching about how the landscape had been formed and the children engaged in sevaral practical field study tasks including making coastal

sketches of Stair Hole and the Lulworth Crumple. They also measured pathway locations on the journey to Durdle Door to test for signs of erosion.

Finding Fossils! Pupils in Year 3 enjoyed a visit to Lyme Regis as part of their science curriculum. During their day trip the pupils heard from experts at Lyme Regis’s fossil museum, participated in a fossil walk along the beach and enjoyed identifying the many different species of flora and fauna in the abundant rock pools.

Year 4 Enjoyed a Day at the @Bristol Science Centre Year 4 travelled to the @Bristol Science Centre. They had the opportunity to explore the different scientific concepts on display and enjoyed a show in the Planetarium. As the only group to be viewing the “Solar System” show, we had the whole Planetarium to ourselves! The show was fantastic and was full of amazing visual effects that helped consolidate the children’s learning from their Earth, Sun and Moon science unit during the Autumn term. 27

Prep Sport

LEWESTON PUPILS WIN GOLD AS PART OF TEAM GB AT WORLD BIATHLE CHAMPIONSHIPS! Leweston pupils Anya Evans and Elektra Covell have assured their status as international athletes by helping the Great Britain team come top of the medal table at the World Biathle Championships held in Limassol, Cyprus in October. The girls have been training with other GB athletes and Mick Flaherty, Leweston and GB coach, and their hard work certainly paid off with the girls putting in some great individual performances to help the GB Team clinch gold in 14 of the possible 20 age categories. Year 5 pupil Anya came 8th individually in the 10 years and under girls race with Year 6 pupil Elektra coming 12th to help the British team win gold in this age group.

E PREP PUPILS COMPET S UB AT NATIONAL CL BIATHLON FINALS to Five Prep girls travelled Clubs nal tio Na Solihull for the 800m ran y The . Biathlon Finals in the im sw followed by a 50m ups. gro U10, U11 and U12 age Representing Dorset won Pentathletes Anya Evans team gold in the U11 age al group along with two loc girls. luded Individual positions inc h, 37t 0 Erin Cassingham U1 ya An h, Elektra Covell U11 49t Evans U11 30th, Alice and Southcombe U12 76th d. 82n 2 U1 es Jon d Anghara it to The girls now have to wa h hig re we see if their scores s nce ma enough and perfor ma good enough to earn the ls oo place in the National Sch Finals being held at the in Olympic Aquatics Centre ril. Ap Stratford in

Leweston Pupils Fence their way to Victory Pupils were successful at the inaugural Sherborne Girls Fencing Competition at Oxley Sports Centre on November 30th, bringing home two medals. An all Leweston final in the Under 9 sabre meant that the tension was great but Hector Digby (Year 3) pulled ahead with an impressive display of talent and skill to clinch the gold. Chasing closely at his heels was William Macewan (Year 3), who fenced bravely and showed true ability to win the silver. Special mention must also go to Fiennes Harris (Year 3), who exhibited competence in a tough group and just missed out on the medals, placing a creditable 4th.

“We are delighted with the success of our fencing team. All boys displayed talent and skill and were gracious competitors throughout. Their accomplishments are a testament to their hard work and to a competitive Sports Department that encourages pupils to achieve their sporting potential.”

Good luck girls!


Paul Miles, Director of Sport

IAPS National Inland Sailing Regatta 2013 On Friday 8th November two crews from Leweston Prep travelled up to Farmoor Reservoir on the outskirts of Oxford to participate in the second edition of the IAPS Inland Sailing Regatta. The event has grown in capacity and prestige since the inaugral competition was held last November. A fleet of 52 Laser Picos took part in this year’s races, nearly double that of last year. Again, being a national event, the entrants came from as far afield as London / South East, East Anglia, the South West and the Lake District - with several RYA regional zone squad members and regular club racers among the number. Our two crews were eager to compete for the first time against national opposition, having recently gained their next RYA youth sailing stages. Elektra Covell (Helm) and Grace Pilkington (Crew) had a good day on the water and competed well against the opposition, especially as Grace was entering the regatta at a younger Year 5 age, alongside her more experienced Year 6 team mate. They successfully completed three out of the four races finishing in mid field placings and retired half way through the afternoon with their heads held high. Leweston Prep’s other crew, comprising of Angharad Jones (Helm) and Grace Milbank (Crew) persevered at their sailing throughout the day, successfully completing all four races against determined opposition. The girls worked hard to make up places in each race and finished the event in a highly commendable 11th position overall (out of the 24 Under 11 crews on the water). The girls now look forward to next summer’s IAPS National Sailing Regatta at Weymouth with a view to improving on their national standings. Mark McCloskey, Sailing Co-ordinator would like to thank all the Year 5 and Year 6 sailing parents for supporting their children through recent weeks’ sailing lessons at SailLaser, and Mrs Pilkington/Mrs Jones for accompanying the IAPS sailing team on their trip to Oxford. The Year 5 and Year 6 sailors have all achieved amazing results in their personal sailing journeys during the first half term and these achievements are reflected in the RYA youth sailing certificates they have all gained.



Boarding Bliss!

“Friendship is the hardest thing in the world to explain. It’s not something you learn in school, but it is often in school when lifelong friends are made. If you haven’t learned the meaning of friendship, you really haven’t learned anything.” This quote perfectly sums up what boarding at Leweston is all about. The community and the friendships the girls make here are central to everything. The girls feel secure and are able to take measured risks. Not only do they excel academically, but they are able to experience different activities and cultural trips on a regular basis. We welcome girls from many different cultural backgrounds and encourage everyone to mix socially and to learn from each other. Here girls can discover that there is a whole world out there, and that it is a world in which they can truly make a difference. Boarding numbers are at the highest they have been for some time with an increase of over 20% in the last two years alone. We are bucking the national trend, as here at Leweston the boarding community is thriving. The community is well integrated and all options of boarding (full, weekly and flexi) are popular within the school. Our Sixth Form is full; independent learning, supported study and facilities that encourage every girl to find their own talent, have been factors in helping this community to grow. The creation of the new Sixth Form centre was an important step towards developing an atmosphere where the girls could take responsibility for their own learning. Here the environment is sophisticated and welcoming; it is an inspirational area where the girls are encouraged to be themselves and achieve their goals. At Leweston, we pride ourselves on knowing each girl individually and cater for everyone’s individual needs. We also build strong relationships with parents and guardians, so that they are safe in the knowledge that their children are in the very best hands. Lyndsay Fielding, Director of Boarding

BOARDING STAFF COMPLETE 500 MILE PILGRIMAGE AND RAISE IMPRESSIVE SUMS FOR CHARITY! After 500 long and hard miles, but with as many memories, adventures and stories to tell, Miss Fielding and Miss Flannery were delighted to return to Leweston safely following their completion of the Camino de Santiago de Compostela, the ancient pilgrimage across Northern Spain.


Kingston Lacey This term, the boarders have enjoyed fun-filled weekends with outings across the South West. Junior and Middle House enjoyed an action-packed day riding ringos on the ski-slopes of Warmwell Snowsports. Here shrieks of laughter echoed around the woodland holiday park as the girls repeatedly climbed to the top and threw themselves down the slippery slopes.

Junior House Christingle Pyjama Prayers The Junior House Boarders made Christingles with Miss MackainBremner and then took them to the Chapel to learn the symbolic meaning of the orange, red ribbon, four sticks, candles and sweets. They had four prayers and then time for their own reflective thinking.

Junior House also ventured to Butterfly Beads in Sherborne to experience some of their very own jewellery making. Some of the girls learned they had a real talent, not only for making the jewellery itself, but for designing it too.

All inclusive House trips for Junior, Middle and Senior Houses have taken place throughout this term: taking in visits to the cinema, to the historic cities of Bath, Dorchester and Salisbury and the infamous shopping and ice skating excursions.

The next day the Junior House girls were taken to Kingston Lacey house and gardens. Upon arrival they split into groups and began their exploration of the house. The house itself was filled with historical pieces and the girls relished learning about them and taking photographs. 33

Culinary Success Year 11 pupils Megan Rowe and Freya Logan both put in an excellent performance at the South West regional final of the Make It with Mince Young Chef Challenge 2013. Megan achieved a very well deserved third place and Freya was highly commended. The girls cooked in a professional catering kitchen at Bristol Catering College under the watchful eye of celebrity chef James Martin, who judged the competition on skill, taste and presentation.

Berlin Trip A group of girls from Years 11 and 12 recently went on an action packed trip to Berlin. Berlin is known for its rich culture and history and the girls enjoyed taking in its many sights and learning about its heritage during their three day stay. Germanists also made the most of the opportunities to practise the language. Highlights for the girls included visiting the Reichstag building, the Museumsinsel (Museum Island) galleries, Potsdamer Platz, Check Point Charlie (the best-known Berlin Wall crossing point between East Berlin and West Berlin during the Cold War) and the preserved section of the Berlin Wall. The girls were also treated to a private tour of an underground nuclear bunker and spent some time at the Holocaust Museum.


Maddie Kirby awarded NADFAS Young Arts Grant Maddie Kirby has been selected by NADFAS (National Association of Decorative and Fine Arts Society) to receive a coveted £500 grant. The grant will enable Maddie to attend next summer’s esteemed Dorset Opera Festival. Currently in Year 12, Maddie is a talented Grade 8 singer and musician who plays both the piano and the harp, and hopes to study music at university. NADFAS is a leading international arts society which opens up the world of arts through a network of affiliated groups and national events. Each year, the Sherborne branch of NADFAS allocates £1000 to young arts in the region and this year, they felt that Maddie was the deserving recipient of 50% of the available fund. Jude Coggins, representing the Sherborne branch of NADFAS, commented that:

“The Sherborne branch of the NADFAS Young Arts Project is delighted to have the opportunity to sponsor the rising talent of Leweston School’s Madeline Kirby through Dorset Opera Festival. As a society, we are very keen to promote and inspire young people involved in all forms of art. Maddie has come to our attention as a brilliant and inspired young musician, and we as a local society will be very proud to assist her development.” Maddie is delighted to be able to realise her dream of attending the Dorset Opera Festival’s summer school for a second year. The summer school is a two week

residential course held at Bryanston School, where Maddie will take part in two operas, working with a professional cast and a large chorus. Maddie commented that:

“I am very grateful to NADFAS for this opportunity. Dorset Opera Festival is a wonderful experience, giving me the chance to work with a professional cast. I have developed my love of singing throughout my time at Leweston, and hope that partaking in the Dorset Opera Festival will allow me to further cultivate my singing skills and help me to learn more about the industry in which I want to work.”

Dates for your Diary… Monday 27th January - Tuesday 28th January 11+, 12+, 13+ Scholarship Days (September 2014 entry) Friday 31st January – Saturday 1st February Year 8 Boarding Taster Saturday 8th February Sixth Form Ball Sunday 2nd March 7.30pm Choral Society Concert, Mozart’s Requiem in Leweston Chapel Friday 14th March Nursery and Prep Open Morning 10am - 12 noon Saturday 22nd March Anglican Confirmation at Sherborne Abbey 11am

Monday 7th April - Thursday 10th April Easter Fun Club Bank Holiday Monday 5th May Joint Schools Open Day 9.45am - 2.00pm Saturday 10 May Gaudy Reunion for various leaver years (please see www.leweston.co.uk for more information) Weekly Events: Parent and Toddler: Every Thursday from 9 -11am at the Prep School For more information about any of these events, or to register your attendance, please call 01963 210783 or email office@leweston.dorset.sch.uk

Monday 7th – Saturday 12th April Biathle camp for the week hosted at Leweston

Leweston is a registered charity number 295175


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