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Trips 5

Sixth Form 7

Gryphon Summer 2013

Sports Award winners inspired by Atlantic rower

Year 13 celebrate

We have just held our fifth Annual Sports Award Evening and once again pupils were recognised for their sporting achievements both inside and outside of School. This year’s guest speaker Neil Heritage, who is an Atlantic Rower, provided an inspirational speech on the challenges he faced when completing his epic voyage for the charity Row2Recovery. Neil served for just over 10 years in the Royal Signals Electronic Counter Measures Team. He was critically injured by a suicide bomber. As a result Neil had to learn to walk again using prosthetic limbs and, together with other injured soldiers, decided to take on the Row2Recovery Challenge across the Atlantic Ocean. Pupils were both captivated and inspired by Neil’s story and it showed them that facing challenges shouldn’t discourage you from reaching your dreams. At the ceremony Ben Morton and Kelly Coombes were named as Senior Sports Personalities of the Year, with Carl Rowlands and Caitlin Waller receiving the Junior Sports Personality Awards. There were some additional awards this year which included the Outstanding Contribution to School Sport Awards, going to Joel Roper and Lisa Blatchford. The Outstanding Individual Performer Award went to Ross McFarlane for his efforts in sailing and the Outstanding Team of the Year Award went to the Year 11 Netball Team for their unbeaten record over the five years of playing for the School. Alan Cummings – Joint Head of PE and Sport

Outstanding in Every Way The Little Gryphons’ Nursery has been declared outstanding in all areas by Ofsted. Following an inspection in early April, the Ofsted report has nothing but praise for the nursery. It says children thrive at Little Gryphons in an exceptionally vibrant and evolving environment. Children are ‘very happy and settled and develop extremely warm and trusting relationships with the staff’. This is the second time the Nursery has received an outstanding grade. Its last inspection was in 2010 when both the Nursery and The Gryphon School were found to be outstanding. In this latest report, staff are praised for being extremely responsive to children’s emerging interests and for providing resources and experiences to bring their ideas to life. It says the children are highly valued as individuals and are developing exceptional independence, self-confidence and self-esteem.

From The Gryphon to Albert Square A former Gryphon student has made his debut in the BBC’s soap opera, Eastenders. Ben Jones, whose stage name is Ben Hardy, is playing Peter Beale, the son of Ian, and he joined the cast in July. Ben took part in many school productions while he was here, notably as Sergeant Troy in our 2009 film production of Far From the Madding Crowd. Ben, who grew up in Sherborne, left the School in 2009 and went to study drama in London before getting this high profile part in Eastenders. It is wonderful to see the achievements of another Gryphon School student on the national stage. We are thrilled to see his career going so well and wish him every success. Jane Tutton Director of Sixth Form

Inspectors noted that the children use their imaginations to act out real-life experiences in a wealth of activities both inside and out and are developing an excellent understanding of the world. The inspectors noted that links with The Gryphon School prepare the nursery children very well for their move to school. The effectiveness of the leadership and management of the Nursery is also classed as outstanding and the report goes on to say that the Nursery’s ‘partnerships with parents are inspirational’. Nursery Manager, Sally Barrett, says ‘I am delighted that Little Gryphons has been recognised for our continual hard work and commitment to all our children and families. Staff work tirelessly to ensure every child is given opportunities to support their learning and development in addition to having their individual needs met.’ See The Gryphon School website or the Ofsted website for the full report.

Date for Your Diary Saturday 21September 2013 Abbey Celebration Come and celebrate the achievements of our Year 11 and Year 13 students. All students and parents are invited to join this special ceremony in Sherborne Abbey. It will start at 11am and last just over an hour. Prize winners will be notified in advance.


The Gryphon School Improvements The Gryphon School has been given the goahead for two projects to create more space for our students. It’s been made possible by funding from the Government’s Academy Capital Maintenance Fund. The School has been awarded a total of £540,000 to make improvements to the School and to improve fitness facilities for the town. Headteacher, Steve Hillier, says he is delighted that The Gryphon has received the grants saying one of the aims of becoming an Academy was to be able to make improvements to the School’s facilities.

Zombies and Timeriders at The Gryphon School This term has seen visits to the School by two renowned children’s authors. The first was from Charlie Higson, author of the Young Bond books and The Enemy series about zombies, (and star of the Fast Show for those old enough to remember it!). Then, a week later, Alex Scarrow, the author of the TimesRiders series, came and described how he came to be a writer. Pupils from Year 9 and staff met with and listened to Charlie Higson share his tales of why he became an author. ‘Writing is something anyone can do’, he enthused. ‘All you need is a pen, paper and a good idea of what the story is going to be about.’ Charlie went on to talk about how he started writing and admitted, ‘I wrote stories to entertain myself. When I was offered to write The Young Bond series, I thought it was an amazing opportunity.’ He said that he ‘enjoyed it and was very lucky’. It gave him a chance to ‘spend more time at home’ with his three sons. Charlie told us he uses them as ‘guinea pigs’ for his books, especially The Enemy horror series. There was also a chance for book signing and photos with Charlie. He also shared his thoughts on what books fans can expect in the future. He is planning two further fast paced zombie-style quests in his latest chain of horror stories and has ideas to write a modern fantasy series. This memorable visit to The Gryphon School gave pupils and staff an inspiring and refreshing understanding of modern literature in the making. Matthew Vear – Year 9

LITTLE GRYPHON GETS VITAL WALKING FRAME Three year old Louis Budden, who attends the Little Gryphons’ Nursery School, has been bought a vital piece of equipment to help him stand and walk. Louis has Global Development Delay, which means he develops key skills at a slower than average rate. This makes it difficult for him to take part in many of the activities the other children enjoy. However, his friends and family have worked hard to raise money to buy a standing

and walking frame and, with the help of local business, Tetrapak, and Sherborne Lions, they reached the £1300 target needed. Now Louis can join his peers in their games. Mrs Sally Barrett, Manager of Little Gryphons, says it has been an enormous help. ‘Now Louis is taking part in more activities and developing more skills. The frame grows with him and gets bigger as he develops so he will be able to move up to the next class.’

Gryphon Team on Trial Seventeen Year 9 Gryphon students took part in the local heat of the ‘Magistrates’ Mock Trial’ event at Bournemouth Crown Court at the end of last term. This event was attended by a host of local dignitaries including the Lord Lieutenant and High Sheriff of Dorset and was judged by Crown Court Judges and County Magistrates. The Gryphon team was third overall and took part in two rounds against Christ the King College from the Isle of Wight and Harewood College, Bournemouth. The case concerned a charge of common assault and was ably enacted by our students who took on the roles of lawyers, magistrates, witnesses, a defendant and other court officials including a legal advisor, usher, court artist and court reporter. The Gryphon students showed a great deal of commitment in their preparations for the competition and received high praise from the

judges. In the run-up to the event a trip to Rebecca Anderson-Deas – Yeovil Magistrates’ Court had allowed our The Gryphon School PTA students to witness, first hand, the reality of a live court in action and an additional opportunity to practise at Sherborne Town Council Chamber had proved invaluable in preparing the students for this competition. Sally Hall – English

Gryphon/Sherborne Girls Exchange

Alex Scarrow has just finished book No 7 of his series TimeRiders. He told Years 7 and 8 that there will be nine books in total and revealed he knew how the last book would end when he started writing the series, the first of which was published in 2010. Alex started his career designing computer games but changed course when his games didn’t sell. The books are about time travel and what people could do to change history. The TimeRiders prevent time travel destroying the world. Alex talked about his main characters and read from his first book to encourage more students to give the series a try. He was enthusiastic and energetic, and currently we have none of the TimeRiders books available to borrow in the LRC, even though we have three sets of each of the first seven books! Julie Hoskins – LRC Manager


This term two girls from Years 7 and 8 at The Gryphon School joined together with two girls from Years 7 and 8 at Sherborne Girls for an exchange that involved spending a day in each other’s school. This Exchange Programme is in its third year and has been a wonderful experience for the girls involved from both schools. Meal times, mixed class teaching and extra-curricular activities are a few of the differences that provided a new experience for them all. The Exchange culminated in all eight girls joining together to write about their experiences, with the difference in size and the presence of boys making the biggest impression. All eight girls said they had really enjoyed their time at each other’s school and hope the programme continues next year. Mrs Lizzie Kingsbury, our Community Development Manager, and a husky, reading @Gryphon while waiting for a sledge in Sevettijarvi, Northern Lapland, 50 km from Murmansk (Russia). Can you beat this for reading the newsletter in strange or far flung places? Please send your photos to Just remember to include your name and tell us about the picture.

£280,000 will fund a new extension for two new classrooms and a much needed new lift at the far end of the School. A further £260,000 grant will be used to upgrade and refurbish the facilities available to both the community and the students at The Gryphon Leisure Centre. The building is used during the day by the School and is available to the community during evenings, weekends and holidays. A new improved fitness suite will be built which will be larger than the current one. The two squash courts will be converted with the ground floor becoming a more easily accessible fitness centre and the upper area will be used to create two large classrooms, also available for external bookings. There will also be two more classrooms and an office area created out of the current fitness suite. The Leisure Centre will remain open for the people of Sherborne out of school hours. The School was originally built to accommodate 800 students but now has over 1600. The plans for the Leisure Centre will help solve the problem of overcrowding for the School but will also mean much improved facilities for the people of Sherborne. Both these projects have now been granted planning permission by West Dorset District Council. Work will begin over the summer holidays and it should all be finished by the end of the Spring Term. We will work with the council to minimise disruption and the Summer Programme for children will be running during the school holidays.

Mindfulness: what is it? Many people are talking about it and making great claims as to what it can do, but what is it and how can it be of use to us at The Gryphon? Mindfulness is the purposeful paying of attention to what is happening in the present moment. It can help you to respond to difficulties and emotions rather than reacting without awareness. It can develop better focus and concentration and therefore has great uses in an educational context. Here at The Gryphon we run a course for students started by the Mindfulness in Schools Project (MiSP) called ‘.b’. The course aims to introduce young people to different techniques for developing mindfulness and presents them with the possibilities that it can bring. It helps focus their attention, recognise what causes stress and learn to respond effectively to difficult emotions. There has recently been a great deal of research into the efficacy of mindfulness. The latest research (Prof. Willhelm Kuyken, Exeter Univesity, 2013) has found that students who practised mindfulness during exam periods have better mental well-being and pay better attention than those in a control group. If you would like to know more or have any questions about mindfulness, please do not hesitate to contact me on Jem Shackleford

Farewells and Welcomes A number of teachers and support staff will be leaving us at the end of this academic year. As ever we really appreciate all their hard work and contribution to the successes of the School.

Drama in the Open

One colleague is leaving us who has been teaching for 36 years. Non Davies has been teaching since 1977, joining The Gryphon School as Head of Music in 1992 from one of its predecessor schools, St Aldhelm’s. For many years, the School has been justly proud of the achievements of its vibrant, successful and lively Music Department. This, in no small part, has been due to Non’s enthusiasm, creativity and professionalism. In 2009, Non relinquished her post as Head of Music to focus on her duties as an Advanced Skills Teacher, supporting whole school priorities and music across the County. Whilst the Music Department has been the subject of so many memorable achievements, particular mention must be made of the success of the Senior Girls’ Choir in reaching the final of the BBC Songs of Praise Choir of the Year competition, the annual Carol Service in Sherborne Abbey, and the numerous joint productions with the Drama Department. Non also had a huge part to play in the School achieving Artsmark Gold in 2009. Non will always be remembered with great affection and will be missed by all her students and friends at the School, as well as members of the wider community. We wish her every happiness in the future. Best wishes and great thanks also go to James Biddiscombe, Sophie Durant, Leah Frost, Will Garrett, Sarah Hoblyn, Gareth Marks, Darren Mumford, Nicola Shearing, Jon Stuart, Jennifer Walsh and Aileen Watson who are also leaving us either for promotions in other schools or for personal reasons. One member of our Support Staff is retiring after 16 years in the Learning Support Department. Laura O’Gorman joined the School on a voluntary basis in the Learning Support Department in April 1997. She secured the post of Midday Supervisor in September 1997, and became a Learning Support Assistant in October of that year. In September 2001, Laura was appointed as a Learning Support Manager, a position she held until August 2010 when she decided to retire. However, not wishing to retire completely, she re-joined the School in September 2010, where she has remained as a loyal member of staff, loved by all those who have worked with, or been helped by, her. We wish her a very happy, ‘proper’ retirement. Support staff who have left during the course of the year are Chris Hayter and Lizzie McCready. Fenella Parker and Jade Scard leave at the end of the year. The following new teachers will be joining us in September: Caroline Dallimore as Head of Science; Tanya Pakijavan as Head of Year 7 and Jen Jacklin as Head of Year 12; Robin Prince, Kim Steer and Hannah White in Mathematics; Martin Dench, Emma Baker and Sarah Bradford in Science; Gillian Wisener in Music; Jonathan Hodge and Henry Dagger in RE; Peter Andrews in History; Elly Oulds in Modern Foreign Languages; and Holly Young in Drama. There is a new colleague, Anthony Boland, in our site team, and Kiloran Buckler, Lucy-Anne Howchin and Gillian Ward in our Learning Support team. Lauren Ayres and Kitt Thomas-Peter will also join them in September. Steve Hillier – Headteacher

Earlier this term 21 Year 9 and 10 Gifted and Talented Drama students took part in an outside performance of ‘At the Bridge’ by Adrian Wood. The performance took place at Gore Farm in Trent and centred around an old stone bridge. The students had spent three months rehearsing and composing the music for the event which then culminated in all day rehearsals and an evening performance. Throughout the rehearsal process students developed the story using their own ideas and acting skills. They worked closely with Adrian Wood to compose the musical accompaniment in which the students took on roles of instrumentalists and singers. The evening’s performance was a fantastic success. The students performed extremely well and the sun came out for us! The performance was truly magical! The whole event was an excellent learning experience for the students; it enabled them to develop their dramatic skills and also gave them an opportunity to perform in an exquisite location.

Year 6 Primary Maths Challenge Last term The Gryphon School hosted a Team Maths Challenge for our feeder primary schools. 36 students took part in the day long competition, completing five different rounds. The questions ranged from logic problems to speed questions, with everyone getting very involved and excited. The competition was closely contested, with only one point separating first and second place! The overall winners were Timothy Dunning, Alan Flechon, Alexander Macey, and Oskar Maitland, from Sherborne County Primary, with Fraser Cooke, Rory and Tara Fielden-Carter, and Sam Hutchinson from Trent Young’s Endowed Primary School very close runners up. A big thank you goes out to the eight members of Year 9 who helped ensure the smooth running of a fantastic day! Leah Frost – Maths

Jessica Brooks – Head of Drama

BBC News Report

Gryphon School in PM’s Dementia Challenge The Gryphon School is one of only eight secondary schools in England to take part in The Prime Minister’s Challenge on Dementia Awareness and Intergenerational Exchange in Schools. This is a national schools pilot project to remove the stigma of dementia by educating children about the condition, better to deliver community support, now and in the future. Our Year 10 Health and Social Care students began by completing a questionnaire on their knowledge and understanding of dementia. The University of Worcester is collating all the research and work undertaken. Through this project the students were given the opportunity to meet a range of people who work, support, care for and treat people who suffer from dementia. The range of visits and speakers has been varied and was a wonderful opportunity, all made possible by the hard work of Mrs Lizzie Kingsbury who has been very much involved, attending all the sessions with the students and myself. The students have learnt a considerable amount about this illness and how it affects so many people in varying ways. After completing their second questionnaire about what they now know and understand, later this term, as work experience, all of the students are going to a care home to put their newly learned skills and understanding of dementia into practice. We hope to develop the project as the students move into Year 11 and complete their final unit of study based upon Health and Social Care Services and would like to thank everyone who has helped make this possible by giving so much time, support and amazing resources. Jackie Brighouse Head of Health and Social Care

In March a group of Year 9 students joined many other students across the country in taking part in BBC News School Report. The scheme, offered by the BBC and implemented by the School, is an excellent opportunity for young people aged 11-16 to get involved with journalism and develop a wide range of associated skills. As part of the process ‘news teams’ are given the freedom to produce a report on an item of their choice. One of our Year 9 reporters, Megan O’Neil, has reflected on her experience: BBC News School Report is a fantastic opportunity for anyone interested in the world and provided us with a brilliant introduction to journalism. 'News Day’ is the given deadline to publish all articles on The Gryphon website and have them linked to BBC News. To meet that

deadline, we worked after school for numerous weeks and often met during lunchtime, when our teacher, Miss Durant, supported us in developing our content. We worked together in Citizenship to produce several reports including ones on Msaada, marriage equality, Red Nose Day and the horsemeat scandal. BBC School Report allows young people a voice, and an opportunity to put forward our perspective on world issues. We learnt about the structure of the press and how to formulate an effective, engaging and unbiased piece. It was a fantastic project to participate in. I strongly believe that young people have an important place in the media, and being given the chance to learn about and partake in it was truly special. Megan O’Neil – Year 9

Freeflying into the Record Books One of our Maths teachers, Miss Leah Frost, who is third from the left, taking part in jump which set a new British women’s Vertical Head Down skydiving record on the May Bank Holiday.


music This Term The Gryphon Big Band once again took part in Sherborne’s annual and prestigious Abbey Music Festival. Students performed a varied forty-five minute programme to a packed Digby Church Hall. The high standard of performance was especially admirable as all of our Year 11 and most Year 13 members were not playing because of exam revision classes. Well done Year 7 to 10 students who stepped up to the challenge. The Music Department gave two onehour concerts to a large audience of visiting local Primary Schools early this month. The Year 5 and 6 students really enjoyed seeing our Gryphon students perform a wide variety of music which we hope will help inspire them to learn an instrument or join an ensemble once they come to The Gryphon. Our Violin Teacher Karen Lewendon is leaving after many years at the School. Over the years she has inspired many students to persevere and succeed on one of the most difficult instruments and has developed our String Ensemble into one of the most accomplished secondary school string ensembles in Dorset. We offer her our deepest thanks and gratitude and wish her every success for the future.

Finally, I would like to add to Mr Hillier’s comments about Non Davies, our superb Music AST, who is leaving us this summer after many years inspiring students from both The Gryphon and across Dorset. She established The Gryphon School Music Department from scratch and created an enviable reputation for choral training/direction. Miss Davies will forever be remembered for leading the Senor Girls’ Choir to the final of the BBC Songs of Praise Choir of the Year Competition – a supreme achievement. All who have ever been conducted by Miss Davies will know her uncompromising attitude to standards and will remember her mantra: ‘You Are Only As Good As Your Last Performance…’. Certainly her ‘performance’ at the Gryphon will be much missed - it has been of the highest quality and will be a hard act to follow. We all wish Miss Davies every success for the future. Val Mizen – Head of Music

Singing at The Royal Albert Hall

charities Year 7 Fund-raising Activities Year 7 have been raising funds for 2 different charities this year – one local; Julia’s House, and one national; Guide Dogs. They have organised and taken part in a variety of activities including: • • • • • •

hosting a Charity Fair with a wide range of stalls and competitions in February walking, jogging or running The Gryphon Mile in May munching their way through numerous delicious cake sales dancing their socks off at a disco organised by Year 10 gleefully flinging wet sponges at volunteers on a sunny winter’s day sporting sublimely ridiculous hair-styles

and all in the name of good causes that are at work, right here in our local community. As well as much fun and laughter, the combined efforts of students and staff have raised an incredible £1,000 for the chosen charities. During the year, representatives from both organisations came to Year 7 assemblies to explain just how important the funds raised would be and how the monies might be used. Penny Mogg from Julia’s House showed a short film and talked about this charity’s work in Dorset. Merial Booth, her husband Dylan and her guide dog, Halle, came along to tell Year 7 about the support that Guide Dogs provides for thousands of people and the rigorous dog training process. Year 7 were delighted to be able to present two cheques, for £500 each, to their chosen charities and would like to thank everyone who has supported them in their efforts this year. Adele Sampson – Year 7 Tutor

Early this term 54 members of the Whole School Choir travelled to London to participate in a Dorset Music extravaganza in The Royal Albert Hall. The day was long but exceptionally exciting. Accompanying the Choir were 43 supporters consisting of family and friends armed with enough food and drink to last over 15 hours. The performers were committed to a four and a half hour rehearsal before performing in the Evening Concert. It was an amazing sight to see over 1400 students from primary and secondary schools across the whole of Dorset and the standard of all the performances reflected the hours of rehearsal undertaken since November 2012. As expected, Gryphon students conducted themselves as true professionals. They were a credit to themselves and the School and made a massive contribution to the overall choral sound. Lucky members of the trip were able to stay in London but some of us made the long coach journey home, falling into bed early on Saturday morning. The students are great to be with on such events and I am always left feeling proud of their achievements. I shall have clear memories of the students who were the quietest I have ever known them as they slept on the homeward journey.....the first Choir Practice after the event, they reverted to their usual, lively selves. It is very satisfying to be able to say that this is the FIFTH time over the years since 2000 that members of The Gryphon Choirs have performed in The Royal Albert Hall - one of the greatest and most famous Concert Halls in the world. Non Davies – AST Music

Summer Concert The Gryphon Music Department’s Summer Concert has showcased, yet again, the wealth of musical talent at the school. Over 130 students confidently performed to a packed audience in Quarr Hall. The camaraderie was tangible with performers representing all Year Groups from 7 – 13. For Year 7 students it was great to hear those from Year 13, some of whom are soon to embark on music courses at University. Massive congratulations must go to every student who performed as a soloist or as a member of a smaller, self-rehearsed ensemble.

Money for Msaada Sixth Form students from The Gryphon School have presented a cheque for more than £3000 to the Dorset based charity Msaada. The money was raised by holding a Cow Ball at the Eastbury Hotel in Sherborne last term and by a school based photographic competition.

Days Non Uniform

All ensembles, who rehearse every week, were represented and a big THANK YOU must go to the Instrumental Teachers who visit every week and rehearse our students. Without them students would not achieve all that they do. We must also recognise the dedication to the Music Department over the years, of our Year 13 students for whom this was their last concert. We wish to thank them for their commitment, loyalty and willingness to share their love of music with us over the years and wish them luck in all they aim to achieve in the future. Non Davies AST Music

Cake Sale for Coeliac UK Year 8 students, Kara Mitchell, Sophie Dewberry, Emily Lewin, Molly Scott and Isobel Swann who held a cake sale this term to support Coeliac Awareness Week. Sophie made more than 100 cupcakes to sell during a break time. 4

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trips On a very early and misty morning in June, 42 very excited Year 8 students and four equally excited teachers set off on their French adventure.

Eden Project Year 8s had the opportunity to escape the cold weather and experience an altogether warmer climate on their visit to the Eden Project last term. The work carried out on this visit provided students with an introduction to still life drawing for Art and allowed them to gather valuable information for their tropical rainforest assessment in Geography. Students spent time exploring the Eden Project’s outside space to find inspiration from nature. They completed detailed sketches of flowers and plants which were to be developed into William Morris style prints on their return to the art studio.

The group travelled from dawn to late afternoon from the white cliffs of Dover to the leafy suburbs of Paris where their base for the next few days-the grand chateau de Grande Romaine-was awaiting them. The sight of this and the unexpected comfort of the accommodation provoked the first of the trip’s many squeals of delight. Over the next few days, there were many more moments of excitement, laughter and sheer amazement: cruising down the River Seine, seeing the sights of Paris bathed in beautiful sunshine; wondering if the ‘gorillas’ in the park by the Eiffel Tower were going to take our picnics; bartering in French for the most unusual articles at the French market (just why did Charlie need a giant empty bottle?!); making crepes; eating snails for the first

French Adventure

time…the list of memorable moments could go on and on. Of course, nobody will forget our ‘grand finale’ to the trip: the visit to the Parc Asterix, a French theme park near Paris. Even the most cowardly (the teachers!) and the most inexperienced of park-goers had to admit that the lure of the rides,

For their work in Geography, the Eden Project’s Tropical Biome provided students with an invaluable opportunity to experience tropical rainforest conditions and study the plants found in rainforests across the world. On their hour long trek through the hot and humid biome, students gathered data to enable them to answer the assessment question: Why should we protect the rainforest from those who want to cut it down?

The Snow is Always White!

Although the conditions in the Tropical Biome were challenging, students worked hard in their groups and collected some very valuable information. High levels of enthusiasm and good behaviour made it a thoroughly enjoyable day. Sophie Durant – Geography


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Year 7 went on the Geography Field Trip to Exeter earlier this term to study the flood defences in place along the River Exe. All students worked well to analyse how the different flood defences worked. We all enjoyed the sight of swans with cygnets, and ducks with chicks whilst marvelling at the force of the river as it passed over the weirs. This year’s groups were very imaginative when deciding the best ways to improve the country park. They came up with many sustainable and appropriate uses for the flood relief channel and floodplain. I particularly liked the idea of water zorbing. All students conducted various pieces of fieldwork from environmental surveys to the analysis of the different types of bridges along the Exe. A good time was had by all. Shelley Coombs – Head of Geography

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water or no water, loops and more loops, was too great to resist. Certainly, a brilliant way to end our French adventure. Thank you very much to all who took part, both my fellow staff and the 42 students. You were all such a pleasure to be with and helped to make it such a ‘supergénial’ trip. MERCI à Paris et MERCI à vous! Helen Pardoe – Head of French

German Exchange 2013 The German invasion started at the end of the Easter Holidays: Herr Jobst, Frau Maier and 16 students from the Realschule in Bad Kötzting arrived in Sherborne during the last week of the school holidays. They spent a few days at Sherborne Preparatory School, so they could take trips to local tourist attractions, such as Bath and Durdle Door. Bad Kötzting is near the Alps so it is a long way from the coast and, for many of our Germany visitors, it is the first time that they have ever seen the sea! A group of Gryphon students from Years 9-13 and members of the Douzelage Committee hosted the German students. They had already started to correspond via email, Skype and Facebook, so they easily recognised each other when we brought them together for the first time. Some families took their German visitor out for the day, whilst the rest of us took up the kind invitation from the Ridout family to a barbeque and a variety of very English activities ranging from skittles to welly boot throwing. Unfortunately, the Dorset Knob Throwing Event was cancelled due to strong winds but everybody enjoyed the opportunity to taste them. We all had an enjoyable day and a lot of laughs. The following day was spent in school, shadowing Gryphon students. The German students always find this interesting and are always stunned by the size of The Gryphon – we have around 1,500 students and they have 600! They had one more night with

their hosts before going to London to see the sights there. Sadly, there will be no return visit this year as there were not enough Gryphon students able spend a week in Germany, much to the disappointment of the German group. Hopefully, it will be possible to go to Germany next year. The last two visits were very successful and some real friendships were made.

Having travelled to Saas Fee in Switzerland for the past six years this year’s Ski Trip was different – we went to Passo Tonale in Italy. Following a reasonably long, but nevertheless bearable, journey on a very futuristic looking coach, the pupils and staff were anxious to see what the conditions would be like. As we went up into the mountains it soon became clear that there was plenty of snow and as our hotel was at the foot of the slopes, it was the ideal setting. Everyone took to the slopes like ducks to water on the first day, though there were a few comical wipe-outs including that of Miss Sampson who took out a stop sign at the bottom of the piste. The snow proved to be absolutely brilliant all week and there was a wide range of runs available. The weather was another treat. We had blue skies and sun which gave pupils a taste of just what this sport is all about. With some great instruction all week and pupils performing brilliantly with confidence and style, the final day culminated in the traditional slalom race for each group of skiers. This was a chance for pupils and staff to show off what they had learnt and proved to be a closely fought contest. Once again we had a highly successful trip with great fun and enjoyment had by all. The quote of the week came from one of the instructors: ‘it doesn’t matter if the slope is a black, red or blue run, the snow is always white!’ Many thanks to all those who helped out both prior to and during the week. Alan Cummings – Joint Head of PE and Sport

Once again, many thanks to all of you who hosted German students. Some took in several and some were doing this for the second or third time! Also, many thanks to Herr Jobst for keeping up this valuable contact and to the Waterfall and Jelbert families of the Douzelage for providing accommodation for some German students. They had a wonderful time and have many happy memories to treasure. Sarah Slade Head of German


news Youth Speaks Our Youth Speaks teams have enjoyed great success this year in the Rotary Club competition. The Seniors were represented by an enthusiastic team speaking on the paradoxical subject of ‘Tolerating Intolerance’. Wade Elgee, Louisa Cary and Freya Hoppe, competing against older teams, won their first-round competition and went on to the District competition at Beaminster School.

Year 11’s Last Day Year 8 fielded two teams with contrasting presentations: the first, ‘Dare2Dream’: an inspirational speech delivered in impassioned style by Charlie Rohde, ably supported by Amelia Monaghan and Caroline Hawkins, was followed by ‘Don’t You Just Hate it When…?’ an amusing survey of those annoying habits we all love to hate. This was delivered by Callum Morley, Curtis Pope and Rory Baird, and went down a storm with both audience and judges, being placed first. Both main speakers, Callum and Louisa, were awarded the ‘Best Individual Speaker’ in their respective competitions. Callum, Curtis and Rory were runners-up in the District Semi-Final, (Callum again Best Individual Speaker) and participated in the District Final at St Gregory’s College in Bath, where they gained experience of the big occasion and did themselves and the School credit by their confident demeanour. Well done to all nine of our speakers! Linda Mumford – Head of English

I feel like I’m in good company as Alex Ferguson and David Beckham are also standing down from the jobs they’ve been doing for longer than I’ve been a Head of Year. David Beckham is a great favourite in my home and when he announced his retirement a commentator asked him how he wanted to be remembered and his response was ‘as a hard working footballer’. I’m going to remember Year 11 as hard working students and I hope that they’ll remember me as a hard working Head of Year. I don’t think we could pay each other a better compliment! I’ve had so much fun laughing with Year 11 rather than at them….. as well as sharing some of their most challenging moments and being trusted to help. A favourite film of mine is ‘Dead Poet’s Society’ where Robin Williams plays a teacher who attempts to inspire a group of terribly nice American lads to ‘love’ English. The ending of the film is bitter sweet as he encourages these lads to’ seize the day’ and I can’t think of any better way to end Year 11 by encouraging these amazing young people to do exactly the same as they move on to their next big challenges. What makes my job ‘simply the best’? THE STUDENTS DO! Sue Thomas-Peter – Head of Year 11

Year 11 Ball

Salter’s Festival of Chemistry

Four of our Year 8 students spent a fantastic day at the University of Bath Chemistry Department, competing in the annual Salter’s Festival of Chemistry. Noah Keedle-Isack, Curtis Pope, Antonia Stone and Isobel Swann made up The Gryphon Team who were competing against 14 other schools from across the South-West. The students had to complete two rigorous scientific challenges and teams were judged by members of the University’s Chemistry Department on analytical skill, team work and safe working practice. Although they narrowly missed out on one of the top three places, coming a respectable fifth, all four students thoroughly enjoyed the day and gained valuable experience working in a university laboratory. The day was finished off with a fun ‘pops and bangs’ lecture which was an explosion of colour and light! Teresa Bramley – Science

A beautiful summer evening at Haselbury Mill provided a stunning backdrop for the Year 11 Ball. I was so proud of the young people who arrived in various modes of transport including a wonderful old bus straight out of a Miss Marple episode, a bright red beetle convertible, a ferrari and a tractor. The guys ‘brushed up’ wonderfully in tuxedos, lounge and dinner suits having discovered aftershave…WOW the aroma was overpowering! The girls looked a ‘million dollars’ in short, midi and long dresses of so many different colours and not one the same! Without exception the behaviour and manners of our students were impeccable and the staff at Haselbury Mill were swift to comment on the way they conducted themselves and their excellent appetites. I want to thank these young people and their parents, my colleagues, DJ, photographers and Haselbury Mill staff for making the Year 11 Ball such a memorable occasion. Sue Thomas-Peter 6

up o r G rs e v a Le m r o F h t Six

ll a B 3 1 r a Ye

h t x i s

m r fo Gryphon Sixth Formers Honoured by Sherborne Rotary Club

Off to the States We are delighted to announce that Mrs Philippa Huggins had a girl, Grace Irene, on 3 July. Year 12 students bid farewell to Mrs Huggins before their study leave in May. Mrs Huggins will be on maternity leave until Christmas. Mrs Anna Mearns, Head of Media, will be acting Head of Year 12/13 until Mrs Huggins returns. Our Year 13 students have had a marvellous send off with their leaver's event in school in May and a wonderful Venetian Masquerade ball in June. The ball, our biggest ever, saw over 150 students and 40 members of staff enjoying an enchanting Venetian themed evening at Haselbury Mill, including a dinner and disco late into the night. Our thanks to Mrs Tracy Lapping, Danielle Stringer, Katy Strange and Abi Rostron who helped organise it. Year 12 students have returned from AS exams to a busy seven weeks of A2 work interrupted by enrichment events. These included our Post-18 Progression Day, ‘Apprentice’ style enterprise challenge and our Rights Respecting Schools’ event which involved a talk by Nick Yarris, from Pennsylvania, who was the first person on Death Row to be exonerated on DNA evidence. He now campaigns for Reprieve. Nick gave a fascinating talk which evoked many questions from the students. Although the term is drawing to a close, in the Sixth Form, we are looking forward to a busy summer with what are predicted to be our best ever exam results and our biggest intake of Year 12 students on Enrolment Day.

A Sixth Form student from The Gryphon School has been selected for a highly competitive place to go to a top American university to learn more about studying in the States. Natasha Glendening, who is 16 and in Year 12, has been chosen to attend a week-long Summer School at Yale as part of this year’s Sutton Trust US Programme. Natasha is one of 150 students chosen from over 1,200 eligible applicants. In the US she will attend lectures, meet admissions staff and visit other American universities including Harvard. Natasha hopes this amazing opportunity will help her gain a coveted place to attend an American university when she finishes school.

Two students have been awarded this year’s Aubrey Allen Awards by the town’s Rotary Club. Lewis Bainbridge and Heather Yeadon, who are both in Year 13, were nominated for their outstanding contribution to the Sherborne Community.

Sherborne’s new Skate Park in action photo by Harry Mcculloch, Year 9

Lewis has been a prime mover in the campaign for a new Skate Park in the town. With many other students, he organised fund raising events, met with Skate Park designers, was involved in finalising the design and helped raise a total of £187,000 which led, ultimately, to a new Skate Park being built. Heather has also contributed tirelessly to the Sherborne Community and earlier this year was given a national ‘Diana Award’ as a Champion Volunteer. She runs a crèche and helps at Sunday School at her local church and runs sessions and leads camps for the Girl Guides and Brownies. Heather is also a Youth Worker at Sherborne Youth Centre in Tinney’s Lane and volunteers at ‘Open Gate’ where she runs skills training and social activities for a group of adults with various disabilities.

Jane Tutton Director of Sixth Form


sport School Sports Week

on t start to the seas e another grea ad ne m O ol ls. ho ia Sc Tr e Gryphon for County being selected Athletes from Th e 10 er 7Th s . ar ol Ye ho m pupils fro yanston Sc mpetition at Br with numerous co 10 p 9/ To . ar ne Ye hi e s was th ed in suns of the highlight event was bath new phere and the os m where he set a at us 0m io 10 or e th in on was a gl ns bi ent with a me from John Ro the long jump ev on w so performances ca al e H Year 10 4x100m 11.20 seconds! the day saw the of t personal best of en ev al fin great start from metres. The position. With a op distance of 5.44 g on the str t ns peting agai d Jordan Bishop m Tom Cuff an Relay Team com fro s ce hn Jo an rm rm True to fo , solid perfo place position. James Budden y in John in a third to n to and win the rela e ba lin e e th sition on th team gave ces po an op e rm th rfo at pe l be owd to ere exceptiona w e er th electrified the cr d an t ou as a great day great style. It w d. from all involve

Gryphon Games The whole school including all staff and Sixth Formers took part in the Gryphon Games, our version of Sports Day. Despite having to start an hour late due to some unexpected rain, the day was a great success. Students took part in a rotation of athletic events, alternative events, indoor sports and team sports. The day is designed to appeal to all students with the wide range of activity choices. The activities included, amongst others, Tri Golf, Spinning, Meditation and Yoga. The Catering students sold homemade cakes and fruit kebabs and the Business students sold Gryphon Games merchandise. Many thanks to all staff and Sixth Formers who helped run all the events.

tigious part in the pres is in Year 9, took ho Hall in w , n ss to Bi at l C ae Mich pionships at m ha C ry Earlier this year nt ou C uddy. School’s Cross ribed as very m National English uld only be desc co ed field. e ck er th pa a ns in tio di taking part es tiv ta Derbyshire. Con en es pr a solid bit of e of Dorset’s re a clear line and ck pi Michael was on ble to rd ha it finish a respecta part found n a solid race to ra Those who took l ae ich M er . Howev ground to run on m course. 2k 4. e 291st on th

Sky Sports Living for Sport We are in our second year of running the Sky Sports Living for Sport programme which is an initiative designed to get more people into sport. We are working with a group of Year 8 and 9 students over a six week programme. They have already taken part in swimming and jujitsu activities. They have also had a visit from Paralympic swimmer Kate Grey. She told us her inspirational story. When she was two years old, she lost her hand and part of her arm in an accident. Her positivity and enthusiasm for life demonstrated how to achieve a dream.

Thinus Delport, a former South African Rugby player, also visited us during School Sports Week. He met with the Project Group, did an assembly with Gifted and Talented sports students and ran rugby coaching sessions for each Year Group. It was great to hear his story and see him in action. I have no doubt he inspired our students. Rachael Troughton Joint Head of PE and Sport

Community Clubs Day: The PE department invited a number of local sports clubs to come and work with our Year 7, 8 and 9 students in their PE lessons. We had representatives from Sherborne Rugby Club, Yeovil Netball Club, the South Coast Tigers Basketball Club, Sherborne Tennis Club, Mr Duke running Jujitsu sessions, Mr Gray running Tchoukball sessions and a representative from Lloyds TSB running boys football. It was a great opportunity for our students to try out a range of different activities, and to gather information about the local clubs in the area. The PE Department hopes to run this event every year.

Lacrosse Coaching During School Sports Week, we invited Ryan Garnsworthy in from Sherborne Girls. Ryan is an ex Australian Lacrosse captain, so it was fantastic to see his skills. He ran some lacrosse coaching sessions with Years 7, 8 and 9. They loved taking part in the sport and are really keen to start a club next term.

Panthers Martial Arts Panthers Martial Arts club also ran some taster sessions during School Sports Week to promote their club. The students really enjoyed taking part in this new sport. If anybody is interested in joining their club, we have leaflets in the PE office. The Gryphon School, Bristol Road, Sherborne, Dorset DT9 4EQ School and Sixth Form – T: 01935 813122 • F: 01935 816992 • E: Conference Centre – T: 01935 810103 • F: 01935 816992 • E:

Nursery – T: 01935 810112 • F: 01935 816992 • E:

The Gryphon School is a company limited by guarantee • Registered in England with Company Number 08130468

Editor: Liz Oatts

Teams in Years good weather. of x flu in e th n. The links with on began with t local oppositio ns ai The cricket seas ag n tio ac e are ve all been in ry valuable as w 7,8,9 and 10 ha proving to be ve is ogresses. No ol pr ho on Sc as e se th ayers as the local clubs to pl ed lism nt le ta e or and professiona e and m such enthusiasm discovering mor ith w w llo fo on will so doubt the results lved. PE and Sport the players invo by d ye la – Joint Head of sp gs in m being di m Cu Alan s School student Three Gryphon s ol ho set Sc entered the Dor for the third year tta ga Re Sailing at ent took place running. The ev iling venue, the Olympic sa Portland d Weymouth an Academy.The g ilin National Sa joyed racing in competitors en er despite there the lovely weath n seventh positio hool Team took Sc on a ph m ry Em G e e er team w wind. Th entered. On the not being much at th te not s pi ol es D ho . sc 7) t e Dorse l Kidd (Year ue m Sa d an overall out of th 8) ar d had lots ex McFarlane (Ye did very well an Kidd (Year 7), Al n the Team still io sit po ne – um di po Alex McFarla finishing with a Year 8 of fun!

Summer 2013 newsletter  

The Gryphon School Newsletter Summer 2013

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