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As we approach the end of the Spring Term 2011 may I thank all students and staff for their hard work. It has been an unusually lengthy term with so much going on. Simon Balle continues to have an excellent reputation, so many talented young people displaying outstanding work in a wealth of areas both inside and outside the classroom. Sport has gone from strength to strength with many trophies won and teams playing at County and National level. Our music is at the envy of most Headteachers in Hertfordshire both in terms of quality and breadth. Whilst inside the classroom the quality of work continues to impress. Of equal note is dance and drama, once again we have seen such talented young students perform. And yet what perhaps is even more important is how our young people develop and mature into articulate, polite, well-rounded individuals. Our school is always looking forward, looking to provide opportunities for our young people to develop the skills they will need in order to be highly successful adults. What makes us stand out from other schools is how we look at the individual, how each student is valued for who they are and it is our privilege to work with you as parents to see them grow and develop, achieving far beyond what we could ever dream. Spring is a time for new beginnings, a time of growth. There is so much evidence of this at Simon Balle. May I wish you all a Happy Easter. Uniform reminders Can I please remind all parents of our uniform. Over the past few weeks we have seen some ‘sloppy’ examples. Coats-please do not send students into school wearing coats with bold logos. Hoodies or casual jackets are not acceptable. Girls should not wear footless leggings or tights, even if they wear socks over them. Skirts should be knee length. Boys can wear the summer uniform after Easter i.e. a school summer shirt and no tie. However, they should wear jumpers or cardigans for more formal occasions including assemblies. Shoes, not boots, black leather. Piercings-only ear piercings are allowed, a maximum of two. Aerosols Please be aware that the following has been sent out to students: “Due to some of your fellow students being allergic to deodorants the following measures must be followed at all times: • No deodorants are to be sprayed in any classroom • No deodorants are to be sprayed in corridors Even if nobody else is in the room when spraying, the vapour left in the air can still cause distress, discomfort and breathing problems.” Mr Moss

Dates for your diary 11-25 April 26 April 29 April – 2 May 3 May 12 May 30 May-3 June

Easter Holidays School resumes Bank Holiday Weekend School continues Year 8 Parents evening Half Term

Assessment Review This is just a quick reminder about the school’s Assessment Review. It is not too late to share your views about how assessment works currently! The key questions are: 1. Is the information you currently receive about your child’s progress, in the form of a written report at the end of the year, a data capture sheet at parents’ evening and information in the student planner, as clear as you would like it to be? 2. What further information, if any, would you like to have about how your child’s work is assessed? Please take a few moments to let us have your views, either in a letter or by email to admin@simonballe.herts.sch.uk . If possible, please let us have your response by the end of term and indicate which year group your child is in. Many thanks for your support with this. Liz Ellis, Deputy Headteacher


Governors Grapevine My name is Bonnie Bristow and I have been a Community Governor since 2007. Having three children myself, I am very interested in the education of young people and am pleased to use my skills as an Event Organiser as best I can for the benefit of Simon Balle School. I serve on both the Standards & Attainments committee as well as the Personnel committee, plus I am the Link Governor for Training, ensuring that all our governors are fully up to date with their training and, where necessary, organise in-house training sessions tailor made to our school. For the past three years I have organised our very successful annual Governor conference in July. Should you wish to contact me, please email governors@simonballe.herts.sch.uk EPQ Exhibition – Wednesday 30th March On Wednesday evening our Sixth Form EPQ students celebrated the conclusion of many months of independent research at the EPQ Exhibition. Having successfully completed our 5,000 word reports, we each set up our own display in the Sixth Form common room and presented our findings and experiences to our supervisor, various Simon Balle staff, our families and guests, Year 11 students and their parents (including lots from other schools) and numerous representatives from the community. We were truly amazed by the large number in attendance and felt that this was a reward for all our efforts during this academic year. We all thoroughly enjoyed the process of independently identifying, researching and developing our Extended Project and relished the opportunity to tell others at the Exhibition what we had learnt. Some of the questions we fielded tested our depth of understanding, but it felt good to know more on our specific topic than anyone else in attendance! We all feel that we have gained a lot from the EPQ course and would recommend it to our fellow students in Year 11. We are certain that the skills we have developed will benefit us as we continue our studies at A Level and beyond and hope that it will enhance our UCAS applications. We wish to thank Mr Tzellos, Mr Jones and Mr Allard for co-ordinating the course and supporting us throughout. A special mention must also go to our supervisors and our families. On behalf of all the Year 12 EPQ students, Charlotte Boulton

PSA NEWS The PSA were delighted with their successful Auction of Promises event that took place at the weekend. Parents, students and staff were entertained by the community choir Take Note and also performances by students from Musical Theatre. Ben Miller - our auctioneer for the night - made sure the evening was lots of fun and kept everyone entertained with his animated slides complimenting each 'lot' for sale. Debs Bonfield (chair of the PSA) said she was delighted by the response on the evening. "Even in these tough financial times the support for Simon Balle was as strong as ever. Many parents have contacted me to share how much fun they had on the night." Thanks to the hard work by the PSA and all of those who attended the event we have raised ÂŁ3189! THANK YOU ALL! Reminder - the PSA will be selling second hand uniform in the dining room from 3pm on Thursday 7th April. If you have any clean uniform to donate please drop it in to the school office. Library Events The Library is running a series of Friday Lunch Time Talks which is proving very popular. On 18th March Mr Hollerin talked about 'The Brontes' and on 25th March Mr Salmons gave a presentation on his visit to South America. Please look at the Library's website and posters around school promoting these talks. Thank you. Mrs Syme (Librarian)


Food Inspiration Day On Wednesday 23 March the Turkey Federation visited Simon Balle. A few weeks ago we were approached by the federation and asked if we would host the day to promote turkey as part of a healthy diet. Turkey is still a very popular choice of meat for Christmas celebrations but is not always the first choice for the rest of the year. In addition to working with the students the team met with Mrs Gregory, our Catering manager and Jane Sherlock, Hertfordshire County Catering Manager to discuss the choice of ingredients used for school lunches. They were very impressed by the wide choice of healthy dishes served in our school kitchen and felt that we were very fortunate at Simon Balle to have such an excellent choice of menu and commented on the high quality of ingredients used – particularly our fresh supplies of meat. We are very lucky to have Mrs Gregory. The focus for the day was to encourage us to eat more turkey during the year. Mr Lee Maycock, a chef from the Guild of Master Chefs demonstrated a number of dishes to Year 9 and 10 students to show how versatile turkey is as an ingredient to use in our cooking. Students were intrigued by his exciting previous role as a chef. Lee had worked for some years with George Lucas on film sets including Indiana Jones and Star Wars – how did Darth Vader eat his food? What did he eat? Lee and the representatives from the Turkey Federation were then treated to some outstanding practical cooking from our students. They chose from a wide range of ingredients to produce a selection of dishes and products using turkey, introducing some different flavours from around the world. Our visitors commented on how impressed they were by the standard of work the students produced and how creative they had been when developing their own recipe ideas when producing their turkey dishes. I never cease to be amazed by just how easily our students have learnt to adapt their skills and was, as always, very proud of them. They were all amazing!! Thank you to the Year 9 and 10 students who took part. We were very fortunate to be provided with all free ingredients to use on the day including a vast supply of fresh turkey meat delivered to our door directly from Norfolk. Students were also treated to a range of free gifts at the end of each session – books, aprons and information packs.

Turkey day 23-3-2011 The technology group made up of 9CW took part in a turkey promotion day last Wednesday. It was an enjoyable day. Our session was on the first two periods and half of break. There was a short history of turkey in the UK, a demonstration by a professional chef and an hour long practical section. Mr Maycock one of the chefs that cooked for the England foot ball team in South Africa, was there to demonstrate different ways in which turkey could be used in cooking. He also over saw the practical session to see what we could make from select ingredients. He demonstrated turkey kebabs and turkey meat balls and allowed us a taste. The section for the history of turkey was very interesting. It explained where turkeys originally came from, who brought them to England and who introduced them as a popular meat. It also explains how healthy turkeys are as a meat and how many different types there are of the bird. The practical session was good as we could use a range of ingredients and didn’t have to stick to the recipes that were given to us. One group made kebabs, one made meatballs and our group made turkey burgers and chilli peppers. On the whole it was a really good day enjoyed by every one. It was also a privilege that every one learnt from. Thomas Dyke 9CW Borrowed containers A number of students have borrowed containers to transport work home. Please could I ask that the containers are returned to school as they are needed for use in other lessons? Many thanks L Jones


Year 8 - Family Food Inspiration survey and workshops We have been approached by Mr Mark Rigby a member of the Craft Guild of Chefs and Premier Foods. The Craft Guild of Chefs has developed a ‘Food Appreciation Workshop’ which brings the knowledge of professional chefs into the school environment and then works with both the children and parents or guardians of each child to take their acquired knowledge back home. We are sending questionnaires and letters home to Year 8 parents and guardians. You are not required to put your name on the questionnaire. We look forward to welcoming some of our families to work in the food room with Mark and other chefs from the Guild later in May. Please ask your son / daughter for the letter and questionnaire. We first met Mark when he opened our new food room last November and we are very excited to have been selected as one of only a small number of schools to take part in these workshops. Miss Traynor’s Half Marathon Now the pain of my blisters have all but gone, I would like to thank the countless amount of people who supported me both emotionally and financially for my recent half marathon. I found it tough, and certainly won't be winning any trophies any time soon for the quickness of my time, but I always had in the back of my mind that I was doing it for such a good cause. I am delighted to report that nearly £1200 was raised for Christopher and I know that this will go towards making both his and his families lives a little bit easier. Thank you to all those who gave generously. Next year, hopefully the London Marathon........................... Music News In the past 2 weeks, it has been a very busy time in the Music Department We had practice performances from our Musical Theatre students prior to their Grade 5 and 8 exams. Standards were extremely high - many thanks to Mrs Kemp and well done to all the students who gave valuable input to support and improve each other’s performances as well as working on their own pieces. 12 students took their exams on 18th March. On 15th March we had a very successful Trinity Guildhall exam session, with our candidates achieving one Distinction, 11 Merits and three Passes. Congratulations to everyone and thanks to families for supporting the teachers in preparing them, it really does make a difference. NAME Monique Andrews Andrew Austin Emily Baker Grace Boronte Freya-Jade Bradford Abbey Clark Alex Delameilleure Grace Durbridge Adam Gill Georgia Griffiths Philip Murphy Jasmine Nesbitt-Larking James Rider Molly Smallwood-Conway Laura Watson

FORM 10CJA 7TR 11AC 9HC 10JB 7LMC 8BM 9HC 9HC 9CW 10PT 9SC 7TR 9LH 7TR

INSTRUMENT Flute Saxophone Tenor Sax Piano Bassoon Flute Bassoon Oboe Clarinet Oboe Clarinet Bassoon Clarinet Saxophone Clarinet

GRADE 4 3 7 1 3 3 2 3 5 3 6 4 3 3 3

RESULT Merit Distinction Merit Merit Merit Pass Merit Merit Pass Merit Merit Merit Pass Merit Merit

We have a further 34 entries for the Associated Board exams at the end of the Spring term. Many more of our 300+ instrumental and singing students will be taking exams in the Summer term, with sessions already planned for Trinity, Associated Board, Drum Kit and Rockschool.


Our adult choir Take Note entertained the audience and helped to raise money at the PSA Auction; thanks to all those who came along and helped to make this such a fun evening. Meanwhile the Big Band provided after-dinner entertainment at The Mayor of Ware’s Civic Supper, and received many compliments on their professionalism and the high standard of performance. We are very grateful to their families for transporting them and ensuring they looked the part. Visitors to the Music Department will notice we have a stunning selection of new photographs on display. These are the work of Year 9 student James Begg – do come over and have a look! Africa Day Thursday 24th March saw us hold our annual Africa Day for Year 7. We once again welcomed George and Kenny to show Year 7 how dance and music are used as a communication tool as well as an important part of the African culture. Students commented on how much they appreciated the input from George and Kenny as they are talking about their own experiences. Students also took part in a range of activities. Science teachers taught lessons about diseases affecting people in different parts of Africa, Mr Jones showed some traditional African Games, the art and technology departments put on a variety of activities including African food and mask making. Students also learnt about our link school in South Africa. Here are some comments from the Year 7 students: “I really enjoyed it and want to do it again. Especially gumboot dancing and hopefully we will all get to see Kenny (the gumboot dancer) again. And thank you to the school for organising it.” “I enjoyed Africa day very much and learnt many new things about the culture.” “It was fun and its great to know that we are linked to another school that is so different to us.” Thank you to all staff who helped put on such a fantastic day. Miss Baynham


House Performing Arts Competition 31st March & 1st April Another successful and enjoyable event that showcased the commitment and talent of over 130 students in the school. Thursday evenings’ performances opened with an excellent offering from Ashbourne. ‘Monty Python’ was a cleverly constructed script, delivered with pace, a creative use of space and outstanding comic timing. A confident and committed performance from the whole cast with special mention going to Luke Davis and his bravely dressed lumberjack. The French knights displayed excellent timing coupled with their hilarious ‘outrageous French accents’. Well done also to Hazel Brown, Nick Stokes and Tessa ‘funny walk’ Shaddock. Top costumes and scenery and evidence of a strong directorial hand from George Bootman and Katie Irwin. Second up was ‘Shrek’ that opened with a rousing number that showed off vibrant, colourful costumes. Director Beth Wischussen displayed a high level of stage craft with her direction and had chosen her cast well. Both Shrek (Jack Edwards) and Donkey (George Clark) provided excellent mimicry, comic timing and pace. Both actors sustained convincing accents throughout. The play was well set and we enjoyed the Gingerbread man’s signposting of the scenes. I must highlight Katie Kelson in her debut role as the Gingerbread man – a great stage presence. The final musical number brought this piece to a successful and entertaining conclusion. The final performance of the evening came from Mimram, performing ‘The Nightmare Before Christmas’. This ambitious choice opened with a great ensemble musical number from the whole cast; again showing off lovely costumes and impressive make-up. All the cast demonstrated great commitment to the piece with special mention to Lara Shilston, who captured the stage with her maturity and confidence in delivering the part of Jack. We enjoyed the performances of Lock, Stock and Barrel – confidently led by Jas NesbittLarking. We were impressed with the performance and singing of Tom Collins as the Boogie Woogie man and the lovely song delivered by Georgina Braggins as Rag Doll. A big well done to Holly Shilston and Jess Moor for taking on so many musical numbers with clear direction and top choreography. Friday evening opened with Rib’s Roald Dahl’s ‘Revolting Rhymes’. Here we saw a really impressive piece of direction from Grace Carter, Olivia Figgis, Zac Barber and Kendall Francis. There was excellent use of set, music, stage and hall space. Super performances from Ellen McCloud, Judith Pickett and Victoria Boulton. We also had three lovely little pigs and good visual humour from Cinderella and her fairy Godmother. Enjoyable audience participation with tight choreography and song. Next up we had Beane and ‘Footloose’. Another ambitious choice that Josh Oakes-Rogers, Sophie Cooper and Damini Kotetcha put together well. We had some really excellent choreography and well rehearsed, fun musical numbers. A lovely cameo performance from Alex Delameilleure. Sophie Milne, Victoria Andrews and Bron Willoughby-Richards gave confident delivery as the girls of the town. Libby Harding stole the show with her Willard who showed a great stage presence and top comic timing; especially in the fight scene. A good use of lighting and sound. Well done. The competition ended with New and ‘Little Shop of Horrors’. We were not to be disappointed. Well done to Jess Journo for her strong direction; again showing good use of stage and hall space. We had a lovely introduction from the trio of girls in front of the curtain. There was also a very strong chemistry between Seymour (Harry York) and Audrey (Katie Roberts) who both delivered acting and singing with assurance and excellent comic timing. A good ‘Skid Row’ number that was clearly well rehearsed, demonstrating good characterisation and focus from the whole ensemble. I was only sorry not to have a prize for best prop as it would have been won by Audrey 2 who was an impressive man – eating plant, vocalised to great comic effect by Ed Pettifer. Given the extremely high standard of this year’s competition it was a difficult task to choose the eventual winners. However the prizes were awarded as follows: Contribution to House Plays 2011 – Tyler Baxter Audience Appreciation Award (Thursday) – Ashbourne Audience Appreciation Award (Friday) – Rib Best Newcomers – Katie Kelson (Lea) & Libby Harding (Beane) Outstanding individual Performer – Harry York (New) Overall Winner 2011 – Ashbourne With special thanks to all those students and staff who made this event possible. Sarah Cornell, Head of Performing Arts


Digital Leaders As you are aware, staff are spending the day on Friday training to utilise the new digital Learning Platform (the Simon Balle Smart Cloud). This innovation will allow us to take learning into the digital age and enable us to be one of the first schools to embrace the latest technology. A development from this and following a conference I attended last week in Birmingham, we will be looking to students to become Digital Leaders and support the use of the new system and become involved in some planning for new forms of teaching and assessment. The posts will carry quite a deal of responsibility and be an opportunity to develop leadership skills. Advertisements asking for applications for these posts will be announced in the summer term. Mr Klippel

SIMON BALLE SCHOOL makes the news with help from the BBC BBC News School Report is a BBC project which aims to engage 11-14-year-olds in the news and follows on from a Scheme of Work in English lessons. On 24th March, 9 pupils on the Gifted and Talented Register from Simon Balle School joined up with around 500 schools across the UK making the news. It is the fourth year running that Simon Balle has taken part and every year the reports get more and more professional This year, the annual event coincided with ‘Africa Day’ so we were able to report on the workshops to find out more about life and issues in Africa. It was a great opportunity for teachers from different departments to work together and although English led the project, input from Music (Miss Finch and Mr Endersby) and Humanities (Miss Baynham) helped make the day so successful. We even made contact with the link teacher from Kimbili, South Africa to ask about the legacy of the World Cup. Other news items they reported on the day included sexism in sport, reflection on the World Cup and 2012 Olympics, 3D movies and a funny “And finally.” item on the most useless thing teachers and students had ever bought! To see the report either go to the BBC website www.bbc.co.uk/schoolreport and find Simon Balle School on the interactive map which links to this year’s report or check out the link on the schools website.

What a fantastic 10 days it has been for Sport at Simon Balle School. From athletics county champions to district football champions to regional representation. As Mr. Pooley has said many times ‘success breeds success’ and how right he has been. The sporting success that has been achieved so far this season is a result of lots of hard work both from students and staff. A big thank you must also go to the support that we have received at various competitions from staff, parents & students. The PE department wishes you all a happy Easter. Mr. Brennan Senior Boys 1st XI Boys win District Cup for the first time in 13 years. The boys played Broxbourne in a closely contested final at Cheshunt football grounds. To reach this final Simon Balle beat Richard Hale, the county champions, 4-1. They then went to St. Mary’s without their leading goal-scorer to play an exciting semi-final. Simon Balle went 1-0 up only to concede a late goal to take the game into extra-time. Still level after extra-time the game went to penalties which Simon Balle finished up winning 3-2 and reached their first final for 13 years. The final against Broxbourne began poorly for Simon Balle going 1-0 down early on. However buoyed on by the travelling support the boys pulled it back to 1-1 with a goal from Eddy Barton. The game was on a knife edge as both teams hit the wood-work on numerous occasions, then Broxbourne had the ball cleared off the line twice in the space of a few seconds and then Eddy Barton came close towards the end. It was looking


good for Simon Balle as they appeared the stronger attacking team throughout with Barton and Richards causing havoc up front. Into extra-time it went and up popped Joe Brooks to put Simon Balle into a 2-1 lead and after this the lads never looked back with Nathan Marvell making it 3-1 to clinch the cup for Simon Balle School. A fully deserved win for Simon Balle and big congratulations to manager Mr Stobbart. Also a big thank you to all the support from parents, staff and students who attended the game and provided such a fantastic atmosphere. Year 8 Girls County Champions – Sportshall Athletics The Year 8 Sportshall athletics team became County Champions last week and an elated Miss Jones had the following to say; “What an absolutely fantastic result tonight for Simon Balle. Not only did the Year 8 girls prove to be strong competition for the rest of Hertfordshire, they are now through to the regional competition next Thursday representing Hertfordshire! Winning tonight was definitely not expected but credit to the girls they were the most competitive and determined I have ever seen them. An absolute credit to the school and just brilliant that we are making a bit of a name for ourselves! This is definitely one of the girls department’s biggest achievements in the last few years and we are all very proud. The following girls made up the triumphant team; Chloe Ring Talia Francis Maddy Twyning Ellie Yeardye Sophie Rawlinson Abbie Benstead Francesca Hodges Flo Fyfe Year 8 Girls footballers win District Cup On Wednesday the year 8 girls played John Warner in the final of the District cup. The girls went 1-0 down early in the match; however within minutes the girls equalised and went on to win 6-1 to take the trophy back to Simon Balle School. Another great achievement for the girls and Mr. Carter who now play in the County final on May 10th. We wish Mr. Carter and the girls good luck. Year 8 Girls win District Hockey tournament The year 8 girls added more silverware to their collection last week when they won the District Grass Hockey Tournament. Congratulations to Miss Jones and the girls. Miss Jones had the following to say; “The very talented yr 8 girls have just returned victorious, leaving a very shocked Presdales runners up in the district tournament. Winning all their games there was no doubting the SB power! The girls like the yr 10's have been so dedicated to training as a team and so deserved this result. Thank you Mr Trueman for your pre game team talks!” Year 7 Girls reach Semi – Finals of Netball Tournament Last week the year 7 girls represented Simon Balle in a District Netball tournament at Wormley. The girls played fantastically, winning all their group games and reaching the semi-finals with ease. The girls met a Goff’s team in the semi-final who proved too strong and came away winners. To reach a semi-final in any tournament is a great achievement so a big well done to the girls. Yr 9 Girls Football Our Year 9 girls played John Warner in the semi-final of the District cup last week. The girls played fantastically and just lost out by 2 goals to 1. Boys Football Saturday Football Results Results are as follows; • Year 8 v Sele – 5-0 win • Year 10 v Sele – 4-0 win This now brings to a close Saturday fixtures until next season. Last Wednesday the year 7 boys played their final game of the season against Broxbourne. 19 Simon Balle players attended this match and all players played a part in a great end of season game. Simon Balle was defeated 4-0 in the end to a strong Broxbourne team. Girls Cricket – Regional Finals On Tuesday the 29th March the U13 girls represented Hertfordshire in the South East & London Lady Taverner Cricket finals. This was a big step up for the girls who won one match and lost two. This was a great experience and we look forward next year to competing at this level again. Congratulations to the girls for reaching this stage.


Herts Youth Games The following pupils swam for Hertford and Ware on Monday the 28th March. They put in some very good performances, notably Bethany Baxter winning 3 medals along with Sophie and Patrick winning medals as part of relay teams. Congratulations to all who competed. Sophie Rawlinson yr 8 Bethany Baxter yr 8 Sarah O'Brien yr 9 Patrick Tarry yr 8 Phil Murphy yr 10 Golf Louix Monk in Year 8 represented Simon Balle in the Hertfordshire Golf Competition last Friday at Redbourn Golf Club and came 1st in the U16 category. Well done! Parkour Gymnastics On Tuesday 29th March Team Kinnetix spent the day delivering workshops to students across Key Stage 3. Unfortunately their equipment had got stuck in Europe, but they were able to utilise the school gym and its wall bars, benches and crash mats to instruct the students in the basic skills of Parkour. Parkour is a non-competitive, physical discipline of French origin in which participants run along a route, attempting to negotiate obstacles in the most efficient way possible, using only their bodies. Skills such as jumping, climbing, vaulting, rolling, swinging and wall scaling are employed. By the end of the session students were able to jump-land-roll, leap across a wide gap from one bench to another, launch themselves, cat-like onto the wall bars and perform impressive full somersaults from a trampet. All participants were pretty hot and sweaty by the end of their hour and wanted to learn more. Courses are available locally - check on www.teamkinetix.co.uk for more details. Upcoming Competitions/ Curriculum information Mon 4th April - Round 4 of the District Swimming Gala Wed 6th April – Senior boys football – County League Thurs 7th April – Regional Sportshall Athletics Finals Tues 3rd May – Round 1 County Athletics League Tues 3rd May – GCSE PE Moderation Friday 6th May – District Aquathlon at Simon Balle School


newSBytes 5th April 2011