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A review of student life and activities at Sibford School 2018/2019


The Sibfordian 2019


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A very warm welcome to our Sibfordian for 2019. The editorial team here at Sibford have put a great deal of work into the design and collation of materials and we very much hope that you enjoy the final product! As you flick through the pages the contents will speak for themselves. What we have endeavored to capture is a snapshot of our community in 2019 – a community focused upon the individual talents of each child, brought into the collective whole by our Quaker ethos and values. It is no mean feat to capture a flavour of the energetic, progressive and family orientated community that we are! It has been quite a year in education. From the Climate Strikes which our pupils and staff have been involved in to the political and economic uncertainty surrounding Brexit, there has been a lot on our plate. The extraordinary becomes the ordinary in comparison to some of the wider issues surrounding our planet. Against this backdrop we forge ahead and I would wish to commend the whole team here at Sibford for delivering a first-class education which allows pupils to progress both within school and, eventually, without, into the world as well-rounded, measured and considerate members of society. We currently educate 440 children from the ages of 3 – 18 of which approximately 100 are in the Junior School and 80 in the Sixth Form – it makes for a genuine family atmosphere across the community.

The Sibfordian 2019

As you read ahead you might consider a recent educational article which suggested that around 85% of the jobs which will exist in 2030 do not currently exist today. A sobering thought for any educationalist. As we endeavour to prepare our children for this bright and unknown future I am confident that our focus upon high academic expectations within a framework of Quaker values, broad extra-curricular activities and strong pastoral care is the best that any school can offer.

Toby Spence Head


If you want to keep up to date with the daily goings on from inside the classroom, then make sure you are following some of the many Sibford School Twitter accounts. Each subject area and department now has it’s own dedicated Twitter account to showcase the exciting lesson content taking place on a daily basis.

Introducing the new faces who joined Sibford School in the last academic year.

Here is a directory of all our current twitter accounts: Key accounts

Year Groups

Main School – @SibfordOxon

Eary Years – @SibfordEYFS

Toby Spence –@SibfordHead

Junior School – @SibfordJunior

Boarding – @SibfordBoarding

Sixth Form – @SibfordSixth

Subjects Sports – @SibfordSport

DT – @SibfordDT

Geography – @SibfordGeography

Creative Arts – @SibfordCreative

Outdoors – @SibfordOutdoors

Maths – @SibfordMaths

History – @SibfordHistory

Modern Foreign Languages – @SibfordMFL

English – @SibfordEnglish

Religious Studies – @SibfordRS

Science – @SibfordScience

Food and Nutrition – @SibfordFood

Departments Grounds – @SibfordGrounds

Pastoral – @SibfordPastoral

Catering – @SibfordCatering

Library – @SibfordLibrary

Trips and Adventures – @SibfordTrips

Community and Leisure – @SibfordCommLeis

Support for Learning – @SibfordSfL

Gifted and Talented – @SibfordGifted


Ally Lynch, Business Manager

Andy Downes, Science Teacher

Sarah Swainson, Examinations Officer

Sally Ward, Head of English

Rachel Hammersley, Administrative Assistant

Michelle Aylott, Textiles Teacher

Greg Symes, Head of Design and Technology / Houseparent

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Sukey Symes, Head of Early Years / Houseparent

Aoife Mannix, Music and Drama Administrator

Lee Riley, PE Teacher

Helen Gormley, Head of Geography

Harriet Canavan, Marketing Manager

Caroline Rouse, School Receptionist and Administrator


Matt Dickinson, an award-winning author, film maker and mountaineer visited Sibford school to give a talk to students. Matt, who previously worked for National Geographic and the Discovery Channel, is now a celebrated author. He visited Sibford School as a belated World Book Day treat for students, to promote his series of books titled ‘The Everest Files’. Children from four local schools, as well as Sibford School enjoyed listening to Matt talk all about his Everest adventures. Matt got the children involved by telling them to ‘forget about’ school for an hour and transported them to Everest base camp by sharing both videos and photos from his numerous expeditions. Matt spoke enthusiastically about his own adventures and encouraged his audience to follow their own dreams, ‘no matter how crazy they may be’. Sibford School encourages children to ‘live adventurously’ so a visit from Matt certainly helped


to inspire the children in attendance. Frances King, Librarian at Sibford School, organised the visit and said “Matt has truly inspired the students in an author talk. He also ran an expert advice session for our media students and two creative writing workshops. Reading started him on the

journey of his adventurous life, proving that books can take you out of your world!” Tabitha, age 11 attended one of the creative writing workshops that Matt ran. “It was great fun doing the writing workshop as it inspired me to write about a pyramid archaeologist battling a sandstorm”.

Sibford Early Years now run regular stay and play sessions on the second Friday of every month to showcase our great Early Years offering to prospective parents.’ Sukey Symes, Head of Early Years said, ‘These sessions help children aged three – five and their families to get a taste of what Early Years at Sibford is really like. Starting school can be a very big step but through stay & play we offer the chance for families to see their child interact with other children and learn through play in a relaxed environment.’ The Sibfordian 2019


Children across the Junior School have enjoyed many school trips over the last year including trips to:

• Cotswold Wildlife Park • Lakeside off the shores of Lake Windemere

• Sailing at Farmoor Reservoir • Bath Spa • Pizza making

The entire Junior School got involved with a creative curriculum based on ‘Around the World in 80 Days’ which saw Years 1 – 6 embark on a vertical learning morning with four activities meaning they all braved the frozen polar wastes on multi person skis while being buffeted by the harsh southern winds (a leaf blower!), broke their way through a seemingly impenetrable jungle, transported water effectively across a desert and built a Da Vinci bridge to span a ravine. The foundation children explored different modes of transport and with the help of a collection of boxes, made their own cars and buses.

Firstly we had to face the 24 hour journey! We were exhausted when we got there, but after a good sleep we were ready to go skiing. Day one: We got sorted into our groups and put our boots and skis on. After that we headed to the slopes in our groups and off we went. It was very nerve-racking at the start and we all fell over, but when we got the hang of it, it was great. After that we were very tired so went to bed.


Day two: We got woken up at 7 (which was too early) and had a good breakfast that woke us up! Soon we were on the snow racing down the mountain and having great fun with our instructors and learning new things; such as parallel turns and if you’re a beginner how to stop, which Mintian didn’t master too fast!

couldn’t see two feet in front of you. We were at the jump, when Ryan fell off the ski jump. His ski fell off and instead of moving them, he left them in the middle of the jump, not knowing Lara wasn’t far behind. It was too late! She fell over the skis and landed with a broken thumb - that was the end of Lara skiing. At the hospital they couldn’t read Ed Rossiter’s handwriting so she got counted as a male! We all had a really good time and can’t wait until next year!

Day three: Same time woken up (which I still thought was too early) this day was a bit how do you put, well… severe. It was very foggy you The Sibfordian 2019


World Book Day on Thursday 7 March saw Sibford School students and teachers dressing up, taking part in themed activities and even a murder mystery in the library! Children at Sibford Junior School took part in a vertical learning session, where students from reception, up to Year 6 were split into groups to work through set book themed activities. These included getting outside to complete the Gruffalo trail and a dance class where children could get creative and reinact parts of famous books such as The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe; Matilda and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, through the medium of dance. Some students also had the opportunity to visit JaffĂŠ and Neale Bookshop in Chipping Norton to explore the books and listen to some readings. The theme for this years fancy dress was ‘Myths and Legends’ and both our students and teachers wowed with their creative outfits! Students also had the chance to


solve the murder mystery in the library by following clues to track down the culprit who left a body for our Librarian, Frances to find! A fantastic World Book Day and we look forward to what is in store in 2020!

Children from Years 5-8 had the opportunity to take part in a new scheme bespoke to Sibford. The Discovery Award uses famous quotes drawn from Advices and Queries to challenge young people to support their communities, learn new skills, address environmental issues, work with younger pupils and plan and complete an expedition. The first cohorts for the silver level (Year 5 and 6) and gold level (Year 7 and 8) successfully finished the year long course and were able to reflect on some pretty significant achievements in our awards ceremony.

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Highlights included raising large amounts for local charities, carrying out litter picks with senior politicians, a campaign for road safety that resulted in a dangerous junction being repaired and, of course, navigating a

10km route safely. Perhaps more important than these achievements though is what the children discovered about themselves: they are all independent, thoughtful, determined and creative individuals!


In February, a squad of 16 senior players from Years 10 -13 arrived in Eindhoven in Holland, to kick off the 2019 Hockey Tour. Entering the hotel, we were delighted to find it had a slide, ball pit, indoor hockey and tennis courts, gym, bowling alley, pool and much more – all of which we enjoyed immensely in our free time.

Sixth Form students, Shae Wallis and Phoebe Edmonds wrote an account of the senior girls hockey trip to Holland that took place in February 2019.

Over the course of the following 2 days our team was coached by players from the professional Oranje-Rood hockey teams for a total of 6 intense hours, in which all of us improved our techniques, learned new training drills, while our team dynamics improved hugely. At the end of both days we had fixtures against two Oranje-Rood club teams, in which both teams were closely matched for ball possession and skill level. On the final day we went to Efteling, a fantasythemed amusement park in Kaatsheuvel. It was great fun, and a chance to make friends with new people whilst enjoying the rides (as long as you didn’t go on straight after lunch like someone…). Lunch was a mixture of


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different foods traditional to Holland, which we loved to try and enjoy. There was also a great pancake restaurant in the heart of the park, which many of us appreciated a visit to. As well as large rides outside, a fond favourite was the boat tour inside a fairy tale world, and the pitch-black rollercoaster underground. In addition, there were also some quieter rides, such as the Carousel, for those less fond of the larger ones.’ PE teacher, Tara Louise Cheetham was one of the members of staff who accompanied the team to Holland. ‘This was a fantastic opportunity for our pupils, who got to experience being at one of Holland’s top professional hockey clubs. Pupils benefitted from not only training and playing a competitive fixture on 1/5 water based astro-turf, but also got to experience watching Oranje Rood’s elite teams in their down time. I would like to thank Inspiresport who were fantastic in making us a tailor-made tour and everything from the sports specific hotel to the coaching hugely benefitted our pupils.’


Our equestrian teams had a fantastic year with a number of great achievements. The school year began in September 2018 with a 1st place for Sibford in the 80cm and 90cm ODE at Swalcliffe.

The Sibford team then proudly took 1st place at an NSEA Show Jumping with Maizey claiming overall 1st in the competition. The team were then eligible to compete and were finalists at the Royal Windsor Horse show in May. In October 2018 two Sibford teams took 1st place at the Beachborough eventer challenge in the 80cm and 90cm. This event was a qualifier for the NSEA National


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Championships at Hickstead in May 2019. The 80cm team placed 8th nationally and the 90cm team came in with a super impressive 1st place. Once the eventing season was underway in April 2019 many of our competitors turned out for the Schools Equestrian games ODE at Swalcliffe with Emma taking 1st place in the 80cm.


Back in March and April, Sibford School held the 21st Rugby Sevens tournament. Launched in 1999, the inaugural Sibford Sevens was a one-day event restricted to just boys playing in the under 12s category and featured a total of 16 teams from neighbouring schools. Fast forward 21 years and the Sibford Sevens is now spread over 7 days, with one dedicated to the girl’s tournament. The teams now range from under 12’s to under 18’s. The 2019 event featured over 100 teams coming as far away as Bath.


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The annual Sports Awards event was held at Walton Hall Hotel in May to celebrate the sporting commitment, enthusiasm and achievements of our pupils.

The evening started with a red carpet, fruit punch arrival in the beautiful manor house, followed by a three-course meal, awards presentation and disco in the Courtyard Suite. Many pupils were awarded half or full colours in numerous sports which are based on our core values of teamwork, determination, leadership, progression and excellence.


Huge congratulations to Phoebe, Year 12, who was awarded Sports Person of the Year. The Year 9 Boys Rugby team won Team of the Year. Intermediate Sportsman was awarded to Tane in Year 10, and Intermediate Sportswoman was given to Darcie in Year 10. Senior Sportsman went to George in Year 13 and Senior Sportswoman was Esther in Year 11.

It was a fantastic evening which was enjoyed by all. Special thanks must go to Reuben, Shae, Phoebe and Eloise for all their help in organising such a lovely event.

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Former student, Millie Stewart successfully ran the London Marathon in April 2019 in 5 hours and 12 minutes on behalf of CLIC Sargent, raising £2,240. Millie ran in memory of her late boyfriend, and fellow Sibford Sixth Former, Angus Oakey. Angus died in March 2016 from acute myeloid leukaemia while still a pupil at the school. “Angus was a phenomenal young man who brought happiness and laughter to everyone he met,” said Emily. “CLIC Sargent was one of the charities that supported him when he was sick.

On Sunday 31 March, the ‘Sixth Form Leadership Team’ and SOSA hosted a charity football match in memory of Angus Oakey. The Sixth Form team battled valiantly against SOSA and also raised funds for CLIC Sargent. A windy but beautiful afternoon saw a wide range of recent scholars return to Sibford to commemorate and remember Angus. Angus’s


mother and grandmother, alongside CLIC Sargent representatives were in attendance and everyone appreciated the opportunity to meet with Angus’s friends and teachers. It was a lovely, and poignant occasion and the sense of community and

friendship was evident in every conversation, every cheer and every donation. The aim is to make this an annual event, jointly organised by SOSA and the Sixth Form.

“Day to day life doesn’t stop when you have cancer but CLIC Sargent provides support for the fear and confusion a diagnosis brings. They offer financial support to families, provide personal care at home and help young people plan for the future so that they can think beyond cancer, helping them thrive not just survive. And, if the unthinkable does happen, they help young people and their families prepare for death and deal with grief. Put simply they help families cope.”

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Emily left Sibford in the summer of 2016 to begin an Integrated Masters in Pharmacology at the University of Bath. She is treasurer of the University of Bath Triathlon Club and has

completed two 70.3 Ironman competitions. She also volunteers for Bath Marrow, a charity that collects DNA from the public to find matches for people in need of bone marrow.


FIRST PRIZE FOR THE SIBFORD CHAMBER CHOIR Sibford School came away with two trophies after competing at the Banbury Rotary Club Young Musician of the Year competition finals on Saturday 2 March. The Chamber Choir came first in their class in the competition, as well as being the highest point scoring ensemble / choir group on the day.

Summer, Daisy, Alisa, Ava, Isobel, Abigail and India. Kristie, who assisted in getting the choir through the heats, unfortunately missed the finals. Sibford School was also represented by Isobel, who came second in the Intermediate Singers final.

The choir consisted of students from varying year groups from Year 7 - 12;

TRIATHLON SUCCESS FOR KATIE! Sixth Form student Katie, placed silver in the Age Group British Triathlon Championships in Nottingham in June 2019.

Katie was one of the youngest in the U20’s category and came in 2nd after the first run and managed to maintain this position throughout the race.

SIBFORD STUDENTS WALK 102 MILES FOR CYSTIC FIBROSIS TRUST Sixth Formers Dominic Mills and Henry Burton set off from Bath Abbey in the early hours of the morning on Saturday 6 April and walked the Cotswold Way, virtually non-stop, through the night all the way to Chipping Campden. Dominic said ‘The walk was great, but very tough. We did end up having to sleep for two hours from 5am until 7am. We finished the walk at 10pm on the Sunday night meaning in total we walked for 37 hours. We did struggle in parts, but we managed to keep going.’ Toby Spence said ‘This is a brilliant achievement. I never doubted them, what a remarkable feat of endurance!’ The pair managed to raise over £5,700 for Cystic Fibrosis Trust.


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TOP GRADES FOR COUNTRYSIDE MANAGEMENT STUDENTS Last year’s Year 13 students celebrated their achievements in BTEC Countryside Management after obtaining a Distinction*, Distinction and Merit. This is the equivalent to an A*, 2 A’s and a C at A level. Throughout their studies, the students enjoyed practical conservation tasks both on and off the school site, including coppicing trees, planting native hedgerow, clearing scrub in a wildflower meadow and renovating the school’s wildlife pond. Countryside Management teacher, Hannah Copping said ‘I am delighted with the achievements of my students and the hard work they have put in to achieve these outstanding results! Henry is even going on to study a related course at Harper Adams University in September 2020.’

STUDENTS GIVE POND A SPRING CLEAN CHARLOTTE WOWS AT NATIONAL GIRLS ENGINEERING COMPETITION Sibford student, Charlotte, came a magnificent second place at the 2019 National Engineering Competition for Girls. She presented her design at the Big Bang Fair at the National Exhibition Centre where she received her certificate and a £300 prize from BBC science reporter, Marty Jopson. The competition sponsors, Rolls Royce Aero Engines and Pepsico, also invited Charlotte and the other winners to attend exclusive behind-the-scenes tours. Tasked with a brief to solve key challenges of the 21st century, Charlottes’ prize-winning robot uses tablet computers to provide access to teachers and teaching materials for young people while they undergo hospital treatment. Charlotte developed several prototypes and


wrote extensive computer code in order to produce her demonstrator robot. Toby Spence said ‘We were thrilled by Charlotte’s success in this competition. Charlotte is a highly motivated student who brings a ‘can do’ attitude to all that she does. We know Charlotte to be both creative and tenacious and her award is a tremendous credit for her endeavours. The practical potential of Charlotte’s design are significant and we look forward to seeing where her engineering skills take her next.’ Charlotte was also delighted to be approached at the fair by the head of paediatric medicine at a major UK hospital, who would like to explore taking her proof-ofconcept into design development.

A group of four Sixth Form students spent their lessons standing knee-deep in water in a bid to improve the biodiversity of the school’s wildlife sanctuary. As part of their BTEC Countryside Management course, the students carried out an investigative project on the school pond and as a result cleared both the banks and the water of overgrown vegetation and invasive species. Student Charlotte said: “We assessed and surveyed the pond in early January to identify the biodiversity present. It was evident that the pond was in a healthy condition as even at this time of year we found a range of species including dragonfly larvae, daphnia, water boatman and leeches. “However it was clear that if these and other species were to flourish urgent work was required.”

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At the back end of January therefore the students went into the pond with waders to remove invasive species such as bogbean and reed mace. They also cleared the banks of overgrowing weeds and scrub. “Cleaning the pond was a challenge as it was partially frozen!” said Charlotte. “But despite the cold we managed to get all the work completed and hopefully these improvements will allow a greater variety of species to flourish in the future.”


Students Maia and Lily made the ‘Create and Cook’ Oxfordshire finals back in May at the Banbury and Bicester College. Their menu was homemade tacos filled with seasonal vegetables and crème fraiche, plus eton mess as a desert. Emma Crocker, Head of Food Preparation and Nutrition said ‘This was a major achievement as we have never entered the competition before and with only four from each county being chosen, their passion really shone in their menu.’

The annual Create and Cook competition aims to encourage young cooks to discover their local food and to develop the next generation’s cooking skills.

In March, Year 10 Media Studies students had the opportunity to spend the day at the SKY Academy. The day involved working together to write, direct, present and then film their own news feature. Head of Media Studies, Andy Foakes said ‘As well as working in small groups to produce a factual TV presentation we got a tour of the SKY studios. This was a good opportunity for students to see a media organisation at work and to experience the reality of television production. Everyone had a great day and learnt lots of new technical skills.’


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Following the February climate change protests, I was asked to contribute to an article in the Guardian relating to teenagers involving themselves in campaigns and indeed, strike action. In particular I was asked to consider my views upon the recent ‘school strike’ for climate change initiated by Greta Thunberg and the impact any absent pupils would have on school data. I would add that a number of staff indicated a desire to take part.

A group of students from Sibford School travelled to Oxford on Friday 15 February to join the Youth Strike 4 Climate protest. Organised by the UK Student Climate Network, the march was one of many taking place across the country in protest against the lack of government action being taken to combat climate crisis. Student Ethan said: “We chanted ‘What do we want, climate action. When do we want it, now’ because the current Government isn’t listening to what needs to happen in the world today. “It’s our future and we feel it is really important that we take a stand on this issue. Today was brilliant. There were thousands of us walking through the streets of Oxford and everyone was taking notice of us.”


As a school we put great store by our pupil voice and we welcome the views of all members of our community in both our morning meetings and throughout the school day. Our pupils are encouraged to take a lead and get involved – they never cease to amaze me with their initiatives, drive and determination be it for a charitable, political or other cause. The Quaker values that underpin all that we do guide us towards a simple life and respectful stewardship of the earth. To this end I was not the least bit surprised when a group of students approached me to ask whether I would support them in taking part in the climate change strike on 15 February. This is what I wrote for the Guardian: “Every pupil who I knew of who took part in the recent ClimateChange strike (last Friday) was an authorised absence. There were two ‘groups’ of pupils here – those whose parents had contacted me to let me know that they wanted their child to join the strike (some went to London or Oxford) and another group who went as part of an organised The Sibfordian 2019

school trip to Oxford. These pupils had come forwards themselves and asked to take part in the strike. As a Quaker school who takes its responsibility towards the environment seriously, I believe that it is incumbent upon us to support the children of today in making their voices heard. Quakers believe that: We do not own the world, and its riches are not ours to dispose of at will. Show a loving consideration for all creatures and seek to maintain the beauty and variety of the world. Work to ensure that our increasing power over nature is used responsibly, with reverence for life. (Advices and Queries 42) Personally, I agree with one of the fundamental drivers of this campaign which asks, ‘What is education all about’? If we do not have a planet to live on and live in, then there is not a lot of point in learning about Pythagoras or Shakespeare. I also agree that, whatever the debate about climate change there is clear and troubling scientific evidence which cannot be ignored. Many children rightly have a sense of urgency and they absolutely should have a voice. I sense a great deal of exasperation from school children that political leaders of the world today seem to be unable or unwilling to take decisive and unilateral action on climate change. Instant gratification and myopic political point scoring blindly trumps all. Going on strike on a school day sends a message and I believe that a day out of lessons is a small price to pay for a greater cause.”


Overseas students at Sibford School enjoyed a quintessential English tradition when they made, baked, served and ate a typical afternoon tea. Out came the bone china cups and saucers; the tea pot was warmed; and there was a tasty offering of dainty finger sandwiches, cupcakes and scones, complete with clotted cream and strawberry jam. The students even discovered

discussing whether they preferred their jam on top of the cream or below.

the contrasting traditions of Devon and Cornwall …

Written by Emily, Year 12

Student Emily, whose home is in Markkleeberg, said “It was a great lesson and really enjoyable. We learnt all about the different types of food that make up a typical English afternoon tea. I am now looking forward to making some scones for my brother next time I go back home to Germany.”

Back in March 2019 The ‘Sound of Sibford’ once again rocked the Mill Arts Centre, Banbury. There were many outstanding performances from our Senior musicians, showcasing the inspiring musical talent of Sibford School students.

In April, the GCSE MFL and Food and Nutrition students set off on a trip to the city of Barcelona. We spent four days taking part in many different activities. First we were taken on a guided tour of the famous La Boquería market where we bought local produce. We then had the chance to learn how to cook like a Spaniard taking part in a cooking workshop. As a group, we all learned how to make gazpacho, paella, pan con tomate and crema catalana, which was delicious. We would really like to thank Seren Wildwood’s sister who provided us with a


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fantastic tapas lunch at Ziryab, a SpanishLebanese fusion restaurant in the heart of the Barrio Gótico. As well as this, we soaked up the atmosphere in Barcelona by taking in the night time display at the magic fountains, the astonishing Sagrada Familia and Parque Güell. We even had time to play football on the beach. Overall, it was a fantastic trip and particularly interesting experience to immerse ourselves in the culture for both the Spanish and Food and Nutrition students. Our thanks goes to Debbie Simpkins, Emma Crocker and Conrad Perry.


A selection of our student’s Art, Textiles and Pottery work


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PLANTING TO REMEMBER Pupils at Sibford School planted remembrance saplings to commemorate the centenary of the Armistice. Every year since 1984, Year 7 students have been invited to make their mark on the Sibford landscape by planting trees or hedgerow plants. But the 2019 planting was especially significant as the school decided to coincide it with the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I.

FRIENDS IN FLANDERS Staff and pupils at Sibford School launched a week of events to mark the 100th anniversary of the Armistice in November 2019, by welcoming Linda Palfreeman, author of the book ‘Friends in Flanders’.

The event was organised by Sibford Sixth Form students who are studying Countryside Management. Prior to the planting they read the Laurence Binyon poem ‘For the Fallen’ following which the pupils held a short silence before picking up their spades to start planting.

Linda spoke to pupils about the work undertaken by the Friends Ambulance Unit (FAU) during the First World War. “Most Quakers were of the opinion that any war was directly opposed to their beliefs and to the ‘law of love’,” she explained. “However many of the younger men in particular were anxious to carry out work in the war zones. They wanted to share the dangers and the deprivations being suffered by their countrymen who were risking their lives at the front and they believed that one way of being able to do this was by creating an ambulance unit.” Linda went on to outline some of the work undertaken by the FAU, particularly in Ypres where the men worked tirelessly to try to alleviate the suffering of the townsfolk and where they faced the added challenge of a typhoid epidemic. “In collaboration with the British Army, the FAU undertook three systematic measures to deal with the situation in and around Ypres,” she told pupils. “It was to identify all civilian typhoid sufferers and transport them to hospitals; to purify the water supply; and to open inoculation centres.”


Countryside Management teacher, Hannah

Copping, said: “Planting living species is a poignant way to remember those who have died and we therefore wanted to dedicate this year’s planting to all who lost their lives in World War 1 and other conflicts since.” “It is great to be able walk around the campus and to see the trees and hedgerows that have been planted over the past 30 plus years and I hope that this tradition will continue at Sibford School for many more years to come.”

ACCRINGTON PALS As another activity to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Armistice, students performed ‘The Accrington Pals’. Written in 1982 by Peter Whelan, the play is set in Accrington during the first few years of World War I and questions peoples morality and attitudes to war. Unlike most other war-related pieces of theatre, The Accrington Pals not only focuses on the men fighting, but also on the women left behind and their viewpoints and struggles as they adjust to life without their fathers, husbands, brothers or sweethearts.

The FAU’s actions were greatly appreciated by the people of Ypres as a letter subsequently published in the Quaker magazine ‘The Friend’ reveals: ‘Neither ourselves nor our poor will ever forget your generosity towards us,’ it reads. ‘We shall always keep a very happy memory of the English Ambulance, its only object had been to spread benefits around us and to distribute true comfort during these mournful days.’ Anna Jo Mathers, Sibford’s Assistant Head Learning and Teaching, said: “It was a real pleasure to welcome Linda. Not only did she inspire our pupils but she also stayed on to give a second talk at which we were joined by parents and members of the public.”

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A LEVEL RESULTS Many of the class of 2019 achieved places to study at their first choice universities, with almost half of Year 13 students gaining A* - B grades in their A Level and BTEC exams.

August 2019 saw many of our hard-working students celebrating their well-earned GCSE and A Level results. GCSE RESULTS Many of our GCSE students received impressive GCSE results with a strong showing of top Grade 9s, 8s and 7s alongside A* and A grades. Overall, top tier grades were received in a total of 20 subjects, with 80% of pupils gaining five or more grades at 9 – 4 (or A* - C). All students studying Level 2 BTEC (equivalent to GCSE) in ICT gained 100% Distinctions. The exceptional results were achieved across a variety of subject areas such as Science, Languages, History and the Arts – illustrating the great depth of talent across all quarters of Sibford School.


Students that studied for BTECs also achieved fantastic results. Charlotte Kirk gained Distinction* (the equivalent of an A* at A Level) in her BTEC Countryside Management and George Clarke achieved Distinction* in his IT BTEC. Collectively there were another 6 Distinctions and 8 Merits for BTECs across Media, Sport, IT, Business and Countryside Management. Toby Spence said: “A Level results day saw our students celebrating personal achievements and I was not only thrilled with those who achieved As and A*s but also those who exceeded their expectations in many other areas.

GCSE Results - Harry and his delighted mother open his results

A Level Results - Ed Goundrey and George Clarke celebrate

Special mention goes to Ethan who received an outstanding result of 9 in seven subjects, including Biology, Chemistry, Physics, English and Maths, plus an additional A* in Further Maths. Charlotte also received 9s and 8s across nine different subject areas, including top marks in Physics. This follows her second-place success at the 2019 National Engineering Competition for Girls in March of this year. Both students have gone on to study for their A-Levels at Sibford School Sixth Form. GCSE Results - Toby with Ethan and Charlotte

Ed Goundrey and Iain Monaghan both gained 2 A*s and a B at A Level, with Ed heading off to study English at York University and Iain off to Southampton University to study Electrical Engineering.

‘I was also delighted for the many students who opted to take one or more BTEC examinations with the majority achieving results of either Merit or Distinction. Staff are very proud of the wide range of destinations and pathways that our students went on to pursue – from those who headed to ‘Russell Group’ universities such as York, Warwick, Southampton and Queen Mary’s to those who are chose to further their careers in a wide range of vocations such as fashion, sport, media, land management, music and marketing. The class of 2019 reflected the diverse and thriving community that is found at Sibford School.”

A Level Results - Iain Monaghan with his mother and Toby

Toby Spence said ‘GCSE results morning saw many pupils exceed their expected grades and we were very proud of the tremendous commitment to their studies that they have demonstrated.’ The Sibfordian 2019


The 2019 Year 13 leaving ceremony was a fantastic opportunity to celebrate the success and endeavour of our wonderful Year 13 leavers. Head of Sixth Form, Cate Mallalieu-Needle said ‘It was a delightful evening of celebration to honour the significant achievements of this year group after all their hard work over the past 2 years. It was the opportunity to wish the students well with all their wonderful future plans and ambitions; to university, to employment, to gap years and to travelling the globe.’


The Sibfordian 2019


As always after a year of hard work, term ended with Curriculum Enrichment Week for the majority of those in our Senior School. Students were taken off the normal timetable and given the opportunity to try an activity that is new, exciting and perhaps something that they would not normally undertake. This year‌ Year 7 enjoyed a three-night activity holiday at the Manor House Hotel on the foothills of Dartmoor National Park. Year 8 went on the very popular five-day residential boating trip on the Norfolk Broads. Students arrived at Herbert Woods boatyard in Potter Heigham where they had six 10-berth cruisers booked. Students enjoyed learning life skills, cooking, shopping, cleaning, teamwork, driving the boats by day and rope skills when mooring. Each boat towed one dinghy which students were allowed to row in if not on duty when moored! Year 9 started the week with school-based preparation work. Then on the Tuesday, they set off on a three-day trip to the Somme and Ypres to visit the Battlefields of World War 1. Year 10 visited Christchurch Harbour where they spent the week at Hengistbury Head Outdoor Education Centre enjoying activities such a kayaking.


The Sibfordian 2019


The Sibfordian is the official magazine of Sibford School Sibford School Sibford Ferris I Banbury I Oxfordshire I OX15 5QL For general enquiries: office@sibfordschool.co.uk For admissions enquiries: admissions@sibfordschool.co.uk SibfordOxon



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The Sibfordian 2019  

A review of student life and activities at Sibford School 2018/2019

The Sibfordian 2019  

A review of student life and activities at Sibford School 2018/2019