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20th December 2012

newSBytes

I would like to start by thanking all staff, students and parents for what has been an incredibly busy term. So much has happened and so many successes for individuals, groups and the whole school. Many sporting wins, house plays, concerts, trips, visitors into school, to name but a few. However, it is the pleasure in the day to day learning which is so important. The achievement and joy seen in lessons, book week, form times and conversations around school with students about what they are now able to do! Open Evenings were a great testament to the community of Simon Balle and this year we had 876 families applying to us with an amazing 221 first choices. The Sixth from open evening was even more popular this year with over 70 applications from students outside of our school.

Dates for your diary: 7th Jan

- Start of Spring Term

3/2 Split from 9th January as we enter into a month of formal external exams 11th Jan

- Mock results day Y11

15th Jan

- Y11 Parents Evening

7th Feb

- Y9 Parents Evening

18-22nd

- February Half

Term This week has been so special; for the first time since I have been head teacher we ‘repeated’ our school carol concert on Wednesday morning so that our Year 7s & 8s could attend with staff. This was a very memorable and moving experience and a fantastic showcase for our talented musicians. And then on to the Christmas lunch with crackers, decorations, hats and turkey accompanied by our very own jazz group. Fantastic!

So, it is only left for me to wish everyone a happy and peaceful Christmas, remembering that is is “giving” of ourselves, our time, our energy and our emotions, that we are able to truly receive. We return to school on Monday 7th January 2013. May I also take this opportunity to wish Mr Hill (Maths) our best wishes as he leaves us for ‘pastures new’ Alison Saunders Headteacher


PERFORMING ARTS NEWS This year’s Shakespeare Festival was another success for us. Year 10 GCSE drama students worked as a fantastic ensemble to present our version of ‘Macbeth’. A big well done to all and below is an extract of the letter I received from the Festival organisers: ‘I wanted to write to say congratulations to you and your cast for your wonderful production of Macbeth at The Gordon Craig Theatre. Simon Balle School were one of 700 Schools that performed Shakespeare in professional theatres throughout the UK this Autumn. This is an enormous feat and you and your cast should be very proud. It was a charming evening of theatre. Your cast were a pleasure to work with backstage, behaving with a professionalism beyond their years and they threw themselves into their performance with enthusiasm and talent, pulling off a detailed and exciting rendition of this classic play. Your cast had a fantastic grasp of the language and story, communicating both to the audience with clarity and depth of emotion. The stripped back staging allowed for the strength of their performances to shine through and we were very impressed with them. I do hope that your cast all enjoyed this experience and that they are proud of what they’ve achieved’. The 29th of November saw the annual House Performance competition. A really good fun evening. Please find below the full adjudication:

House Performing Arts – Adjudication 29th November 2012 We opened with a lovely performance from Rib. 'Alice in wonderland' sported some super costumes and make-up. The staging was ingenious and we enjoyed the musical accompaniment to the table laying for the unbirthday party. We had performances of note from Jessie Ensum and Helen House as Tweedledum and Tweedledee and from Caprice Sultana as the White Rabbit. A great costume and cameo role as the Caterpiller from Georgia Griffiths and Yasmin Scott-Gray gave us a confident Queen of Hearts. We had two lovely Alices (Sophie Tarry and Rebecca Hill) and another confident performance from Eden Maydale as the Mad Hatter. A technical problem at 'the end' made for a great conclusion. Well done to directors Judith Pickett, Victoria Boulton and Ruby Porter. Next up we had 'The Lion King' from New. This was a modern interpretation that used excellent drama Technique throughout. A strong opening picture and lively opening music led us into a great performance. The vocal performances were particularly noteworthy. Sophie Noxon held us spellbound with her clear narration and Annaliese Raniere combined her 'evil' laugh with good, clear diction and performance. There was some very strong comic delivery in this piece, both vocally and physically, particularly from Timon and Pumba (Lauren Cooper and Imogen Turner) as well as Jonathan Wallis whose dry wit worked particularly well as Zazu. Of note was the stunning make-up - so well done to the back stage crew as well as to directors Millie Pinder, Honor Feeney and Aimee Higgs. A big thank you to Ellen McLeod who stepped in at the last moment.


Mimram tackled John Godber's 'Teechers' well. There was some good, lively choreography at the beginning and the three leading characters were well delivered by Elspeth McClymont-Cornell, Erin Lawson and Jazz Nesbitt-Larking. We also saw lovely comic performance from Rachael Janes and Charlotte Adams as Mrs Parry and Oggy Moxon. Stealing the show was the entrance of Tom Collins as the drama teacher and of course Louis Farrelly' s Mr Basford dance will stay in the memory forever. A well-staged performance from directors Kate Hoare and Sadie Caswell. 'Monsters Inc' was the surreal offering from Lea. It proved to be a quirky piece that held some particularly strong performances. Adam Mitchell was loud and confident and he displayed impressive physical comedy and timing. Katie Kelson committed to her role totally and with great confidence (shades of the Wicked Witch of the West here). Georgia Griffiths and Joseph Vinton both commanded the stage with their clear diction and delivery. Jack Edwards directed this piece well and had developed striking characters who were delivered with 'spot on' timing. A rousing finale concluded the performance with enthusiasm. Great make-up and 'dusty' green hair all added to the piece that was delivered with gusto. Our final piece was from Beane House. 'Snow White and the Seven Dwarves' started with a stunning Alex Delameilleure as the wicked stepmother and her dismissive, deadpan mirror (Jesse McMahon). Bronwen Willoughby-Richards was great with her modern characterisation of a Snow White with 'attitude'. Alex Salter appears to be becoming typecast in the 'stud' role that he does so well - an audience favourite, delivered with aplomb. This was a great ensemble piece with each of the seven dwarves offering us distinctive characterisation. Of particular note was Max Lawrence, Bashful no more. A great start to his acting career at SBS. Well done on the number of students included here. We also saw a lively choreography with impressive arm action. A big well done to Sophie Milne and Jess Sizeland. A great end to a great evening. Prizes Best individual performance - Katie Kelson (Monsters Inc – Lea) Audience appreciation - 'Snow White and the Seven Dwarves' (Beane) Best overall – ‘The Lion King’ (New) Sarah Cornell Head of Performing Arts


EXAM CERTFICATES ARE NOW READY FOR COLLECTION Unfortunately it is not possible for us to send certificates to you by post as they have to be signed for. However, if you would like to arrange for a family member to collect your certificates on your behalf please ask them to call into the exams office between the hours of 9am and 3pm. Please note that we are only obliged to hold certificates for one year after the issue date and after that time they can be destroyed. Thank you Mrs Booth Exams Office

FOOD TECHNOLOGY We would welcome any unwanted sweet / biscuit tins to use in Food Technology (empty or full - all welcome) .

GYM AND DANCE DISPLAY 2013 The annual Gym and Dance production will be on Wednesday March 13th 2013. Mrs Palmer and Mr Pooley will be co-ordinating the event and will be looking for suitable dance and gymnastic performances to include into the programme. We will be holding a meeting for all pupils interested in getting involved on Friday 11th January at 1.30pm in the Drama Studio. As always, we are looking at a whole variety of dance and gymnastic styles, solos, duets and group performances. There will also be gymnastic and dance work that has evolved from clubs and lessons included. Last year we had over 100 students involved....can we make the next performance even bigger and better? Why not use the Christmas holidays to make up a dance with your friend, watch the final of "Strictly" or re-watch the fantastic Olympic gymnastics to get you inspired?!

MATHS VACANCY Good Maths teachers are in high demand and a career in teaching Maths constantly presents fresh challenges that reap high levels of job satisfaction. We have been trying for several months to recruit a suitably qualified Maths teacher. On two separate occasions we have placed an advert in the Mercury and associated publications. We have also been in contact with many Hertfordshire teaching supply agencies looking for either long term supply or permanent teachers. Unfortunately we have been unable to fill our vacancy. We will be trying again after the Christmas break, but in the meantime, if you know of anyone who is qualified and is looking for either a full time or part time position please contact Jo Martin on 01992 410400 Ext 248 or email recruitment@simonballe.herts.sch.uk or visit the school website navigating the staff/vacancies menu.


GOING ONCE, GOING TWICE, SOLD! The PSA Alternative Christmas Auction raised over £2,400. There were 30 lots donated and we received over 130 bids. The lowest winning bid was £5. We would like to thank everyone who donated a 'lot' or put in a bid for making it such a roaring success!'

SOCIOLOGY REPORT On the 6th December the Year 12 Sociology students were lucky enough to be a part of an AS revision conference in preparation for the January examination. We had a presentation and talk on ways to help us plan our revision and a summary of the unit content. We looked at sample questions and answers, practice papers, revision helpers and practiced marking scripts. The conference really helped us a lot as it allowed us to feel more confident on what we had to revise and it gave us a look into how the exam will run. When looking at the practice papers we did peer assessment which helped to give us ideas on what we could write in our own exam. The marking of these papers also helped as we knew how it would be marked, giving us better knowledge of the criteria. We think this will help us in our exam as it will provide us with a broader idea of the structure and layout of our answers therefore giving us a better chance of doing well in our exam. To help us in the exam even more we had a look at our pre-release which is going to be used in our January exam. This helped as we got more ideas and information on the subject therefore allowing us to plan our answers with the detailed context he helped us produce. We would like to thank Max Kay for coming in and helping us to feel more confident about our exam as he gave us plenty of ideas and thoughts on how to write our answers. Gabriela Kania and Libby Gifford Year 12

HOMEWORK UPDATE As you know, we have taken some time to look carefully at the way homework is organised and set at Simon Balle. In Year 7 we have set up the system so that teachers set homework on Google and students have it recorded on their calendar and by email. This has worked extremely well as parents and carers can now see exactly what homework has been set when, with guidance and resources often provided for students as well. Now we want to extend this system across the school. From January, all students will continue to use their planners, but will also have homework set electronically. You will be able to see all the work that is set by checking your child’s school calendar and email. You will receive more guidance about how this works in the new term. We have also listened to what students and parents are saying about the homework timetables. Most students at KS3 feel the timetable is not perfect but does give a way to manage workload. However, the KS4 timetable is complicated to use because of all the subject options and groups, so from January we will revisit this, with core subjects (English, Maths and Science) set on particular nights across the year and option subjects having more flexibility. Teachers will agree with classes which night(s) will best suit that subject and parents will be able to monitor how that is working through the electronic recording. We will also now have accurate and complete electronic information about homework being set so that we can intervene quickly if an issue arises. We are always looking for ways to improve the quality of students’ learning and your feedback is important. Once the adjusted system is in place in January I will be sending out an online survey for parents and students to complete. Please take a few moments to fill it in and contact us directly if you have any feedback about homework or any aspect of your child’s learning. Mrs L Ellis Deputy Head


BETH TWEDDLE & GSK VISIT We very quite fortunate to be visited by Beth Tweddle on Tuesday. Beth is a 3 time World champion, 6 time European champion, Commonwealth champion as well as being the current Olympic Bronze medallist for the uneven bars. Our GCSE PE students and Gymnasts were present in the Gymnasium for this absorbing talk. She spoke about her Olympic experience especially the feeling of winning the bronze medal. She also spoke about her journey to winning the medal, a typical training day, the Olympic Village and finally her hopes for the future. Beth Tweddle spoke very well and was kind enough to sign some autographs and pictures at the end. Mr D Brennan Head of PE

As part of the legacy from the 2012 Olympics, GSK ran a 2 hour session with our Year 7 students on drug testing in sport. They found out about the different types of performance enhancing drugs that have been used. Following a mock race, students tested ‘urine’ samples for steroids and beta blockers and finally disqualified the drug cheats from the medal ceremony. They were also incredibly lucky to have a talk by London 2012 bronze medallist, Beth Tweddle about her Olympic experience and details about the drug testing process from the athlete’s perspective. The session finished with a debate about the different penalties that should be used for drug cheats. Mr S Radajewski Science

Student comments: ‘I liked the talk with Beth Tweddle because she said what scientists do to make sure that no one is cheating and the smart ways they solve it’ ‘I also liked the fact that I could see her medal because it was cool to think that there was only one for that event and it was in our school’ ‘My favourite part of the day was the drug debate because it let us give our own opinion. I also loved seeing and hearing about Beth Tweddle because her Olympic journey is very interesting and she is my favourite gymnast’


MUSIC NEWS A busy term for the Music Department was rounded off with a series of seasonal events. Rockschool took over the Corn Exchange for a fantastic gig with a great selection of bands playing, from the newly formed Year 7 and Year 12 bands to two of the more experienced Year 11 bands. It was fantastic to see so many students and former students there to support their friends, in addition to a large number of parents and other family members. Congratulations to the bands – Riot, Airborn, Fluorescence, Fuze, Drop The Sky, The Follow, ABH, Drive, Street Legal and Phaser Whale for a remarkable evening’s entertainment! Our clarinet recital gave a solo performance opportunity for Mr Pennock’s exam candidates to demonstrate the results of all their hard work, and also included some enjoyable ensemble pieces. Mrs Taylor took a saxophone quintet to play at Amwell View School’s Christmas evening and we have received a lovely selection of thank you cards from their students. Our Community Choir Take Note directed by Deborah Kemp held a hugely successful Winter Concert at St Andrew’s Church last Saturday, raising funds for Crisis. Four years on, the choir has attained an amazingly high standard across a wide repertoire. Highlights on Saturday included Jerusalem, O Holy Night, and The Ding Dong Swing which was arranged especially for the men by our own Keith Willis. The audience joined the choir to round off the evening with a Christmas medley. There was more singing when Coro were invited to entertain staff at Tesco’s Welwyn site with a selection of popular seasonal favourites. Finally this week our ensembles and choirs took part in our Carol Services at All Saints’ Church. Tuesday evening’s performance was much enjoyed by a large audience and the service was then repeated for our Year 7s and 8s on Wednesday. Special thanks to the musicians who ran up the hill in time to play for the Christmas lunch! In the midst of all this activity, our exam candidates performed really well and we congratulate them on their terrific results: NAME

FORM

INSTRUMENT

GRADE

RESULT

KATIE GRESTY

9JK

CLARINET

4

MERIT

CHARLIE SUTTON

9DB

CLARINET

4

MERIT

CHARLOTTE BENHAM

10EN

CLARINET

5

MERIT

AMY BARKER

13CT

CLARINET

6

MERIT

ALEX THOMSON

11SDP

CLARINET

6

MERIT

PHILIP MURPHY

12PT

CLARINET

7

PASS

ALICE TWYNING

12EO

CLARINET

8

MERIT

REBECCA SPOONER

7JT

FLUTE

1

DISTINCTION

LAURA BOLES

7TO

FLUTE

2

MERIT

ANNA HOGG

7DA

FLUTE

3

MERIT

MONIQUE ANDREWS

12HA

FLUTE

5

PASS

CHARLOTTE JANES

11SC

FLUTE

5

PASS

LAUREN CRADDOCK

11HC

GUITAR

1

PASS

JOE LEGGETT

10BW

GUITAR

2

MERIT

DANIEL CLARK

10JM

GUITAR

4

MERIT

GEORGIA GRIFFITHS

11GJ

OBOE

5

MERIT

CHLOE BELLE PRIOR

9JK

PIANO

2

PASS

GRACE BORONTE

11HC

PIANO

5

PASS

JUDITH PICKETT

12RT

SAXOPHONE

7

MERIT

SAM SWINDELL

12HA

JAZZ SAXOPHONE

7

MERIT


ATHLETICS UPDATE Last Thursday the year 7 & 8 girls competed at the Herts & Ware Sportshall Athletics Championships. Both teams performed very well with the Year 8 team winning and in doing so they qualify for the County School Games in March. The Year 7 team finished as joint winners with Presdales who will now go on to represent Herts & Ware at the school games in March. The year 7 & 8 boys compete today and hope to emulate the girls in their fantastic achievement. The Year 9 & 10 District Combined Sportshall Championships took place last Friday at Wodson. The results are as follows; Year 9 Boys team – 2nd Year 10 Boys – 2nd Year 9 Girls – 3rd Tor Hill finished 3rd overall Year 10 Girls – 2nd Maddy Twyning finished 2nd overall Well done to all who competed.

GIRLS FOOTBALL The Year 9/10 girls played King John School from South East Essex on Tuesday performing very well to win 3-1 and reach the last 16 of the National cup. Flo Fyffe and Abbie Benstead scored in the first half to make it 2-0, with Flo adding another goal to this in the second half. Well done to all the girls who now play Sprowston High School from Norwich at home in January.

BASKETBALL UPDATE The Year 9 Boys finished off the Basketball season with a win over Chauncy to finish a good campaign for the boys. Presently the year 7 boys are unbeaten in the District league with two more fixtures remaining. A full report will be available in the next issue of PE News.

HOCKEY UPDATE Please see the PE learning Showcase for Hockey News.

BOYS FOOTBALL UPDATE Year 7 Boys - District 6-a-side Champions The Year 7 Boys football team became District Champions and won the first trophy of their Simon Balle careers! In testing conditions we won our first game against Cheshunt School 2-0 and drew against Sheredes and John Warner. After finishing level on points with Sheredes we needed a penalty shoot-out win to see us through to the Semi-final. The semi-final saw us play the hosts Turnford. After a 0-0 draw and extra time we again won on a penalty shoot-out. On to the final where an excellent John Warner side played good football. We defended well and managed to score early through Jack Stodel and win the final 1-0.Aeron made some magnificent saves throughout the tournament and the whole team were a credit to the school. Congratulations to Aeron Phipps, Josh Hill, Dan Tarry (c), Dylan Carr, Cameron McLeod, Sam Belshaw, Luke McCurry and Jack Stodel. Mr. Pooley


SWIMMING UPDATE On Monday Simon Balle participated in the 2nd round of the District Swimming Gala. The year 9/10 girls finished joint 2nd on the night with Bethany Baxtor winning the back-stroke and was runner-up in the butterfly. The year 9/10 boys finished 3rd overall with Patrick Tarry and Jonathon Goodson finishing 2nd in the back stroke and free style races respectively. The boys also finished a fine 2nd in the relay. The Year 7/8 boys team finished a strong 3rd overall and Louise Reilly who was the sole representative for the Year 7/8 girls swam well in the freestyle to finish 3rd. Well done to all who competed, the next gala takes place in February.

RUGBY UPDATE On Monday 10th December the year 7’s played Sheredes winning 46-0 with a fantastic performance from Captain Cameron McLeod. The remaining District League matches will be played between January and the February half term.

NEWS The District Sportshall Championships takes place in January. The Spring Extra-curricular Programme will be out on the PE website at the beginning of January.

The PE Department wishes you all a happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year.

newSBytes 20th December 2012  

newSBytes 20th December 2012

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