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The Piggott School

A Church of England Academy

Piggott Blog

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  • Christmas is coming!

    Published 15/12/21, by Allison Holloway

    As I write, I am looking out of my office window at the students enjoying the Mince Pie Relay on the Wargrave field. It is wonderful to see them having fun and showing team spirit but the best part is hearing their laughter at the end of a long autumn term.

    Christmas is coming!

    It has been a busy term, and despite the obvious challenges from COVID, the school community should be really proud of all that it has achieved. Staff and students alike have worked very hard to set the pace for this new academic year, determined to keep expectations high and achieve the very best outcomes for everyone. The pace has been fast and the commitment to learning has been relentless. You have all modelled our school values of courage and dedication superbly. It can be hard to maintain stability in school, when the COVID landscape is so unpredictable, but together we are stronger and we will continue to plan for the very best learning experience in school for everyone.

    The Autumn term is traditionally the busiest for events in the school calendar. This year, events have included Virtual Welcome Evenings for prospective Year 7 and Year 12 students, Post-16 career interviews with friends of the school from the world of work and visiting drama companies educating our students about the dangers of peer-on-peer abuse.

     

     

    There has been success in sport and music and we were able to, once again, enjoy offsite learning on activities day. Our students have supported us with tours around the school and their feedback has been very much valued when interviewing prospective staff. They remain our very best ambassadors and we are extremely proud of them.

     

     

    In November, it was with a heavy heart that we decided to cancel the Christmas Fayre due to safety concerns. We know that all of the students, and the staff, really enjoy this event and it is usually a very strong fund raiser. With a newly formed PSA (Piggott School Association), this was particularly disappointing for the parents who had come on board this term to support us. Not to be beaten, we looked for alternative options and, on the 3rd December, the new PSA co-ordinated an ‘Outdoors and COVID friendly’ Christmas Fayre for Year 7. It was wonderful. It had to be seen to be believed but approximately 220 students designed, managed and enjoyed a variety of stalls in the netball courts raising money whilst having fun. There was a hot chocolate stand, a chance for Christmas selfies, lots of cake and even a chance to shoot a goal. It was a brilliant afternoon and we are so grateful to all of the parents and friends of the school who made it such a success. We are looking forward to the next project!

    On Friday, at approximately 12.40pm, our school will close for the Christmas break. A well-deserved break for all. There will be mixed emotions from staff. The prospect of a pause from planning and marking will be welcomed but I know that they will miss and think of our students many times over the two-week period. The partnership and relationships built in a school are the foundation of why teaching is so special.

    Our Christmas Service this year has been recorded and it is my pleasure to share it with you today. This year the theme focuses on peace and being ‘stronger together’. Periods of isolation have been difficult for us all and we must remind one another that we will find strength in each other when we need it. I hope that you enjoy it.

    Finally, I would like to say thank you. We are so grateful to have such a supportive parent community. It has been a difficult time for us all, in many different ways. Each of our challenges are real and we must never be afraid to ask for help. As the holiday season begins, many of us will pause in gratitude for all that we have but there will be those who find this time difficult. Worry, stress, grief and loneliness can be significant hurdles in our lives and we must stay vigilant to those around us, showing kindness and compassion when it is needed. We may also carry COVID related anxiety. For this, I turn to Charlie Mackesy for guidance.

    He says ‘When the big things feel out of control, focus on what you love right under your nose’. Surround yourself with those you love. Some might say that it is not about the journey or the destination in life but more about the company.

    We wish you a wonderful and restful Christmas. We will look forward to seeing you in the new year.

    Yours sincerely

    Rebecca Alexander

    Deputy Headteacher

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  • A break from the norm - Activities Day 2021

    Published 17/11/21, by Allison Holloway
    Activities Day 2021

    The week before half-term was full of fun and adventure for students who have long awaited a trip beyond the school gates!

    On Thursday 14 October, more than 710 students across Years 7, 9 and 13 had the opportunity to venture out of the classroom to enjoy a change of scenery with friends. Meanwhile, students in Years 8, 10, 11 and 12 took part in a range of activities on site.

    Marwell Zoo – Year 7

    215 Year 7 students visited Marwell Zoo and were mostly excited about the freedom they had to explore the zoo with their friends. I enjoyed “getting to go around the park with my classmates and having some freedom over what we did over the day.”

    The giraffes and sloths were a particular hit.  “I enjoyed seeing lots of different animals but especially the sloths and the giraffes. Sloths are my favourite animals” and “I enjoyed the rainforest section because it was realistic, and I saw a really cool sloth!”

    Business and Media Day – Year 8

    Year 8 students stayed onsite on activities day but had a busy day engaging in creative group tasks and learning more about the GCSE subjects of business and media. Below is an account of the day by three Year 8 students:

    The purpose of this day was to create interest and let us learn what some of the most common GCSE topics were about. This included Business and Media. During the day we worked on creating a pitch and presentation for our own custom subscription box, which included aspects of Business and Media during each of the sessions. We switched between the two subjects adding different elements to each of them until the end of the day when we decided who had created the best pitch and subscription box out of the year group. This day has taught us how to create an effective and persuasive pitch, come up with reasonable prices, target audiences and advertisements. We also showed compatible cooperation within our team and worked together so that everyone could achieve more. We all enjoyed activities day because it brought out our hidden problem- solving skills and our teamwork together.

    By Milla, Chloe and Archie, Year 8

    Year 8 Activities Day Gallery 2021

    Thorpe Park – Year 9

    192 students Year 9 students had an adrenaline pumping day riding the rollercoasters of Thorpe Park on Activities Day and many students surprised themselves with their courage to try something new.

    One student commented, “The best thing was coming way out of my comfort zone and trying new things. (In this case it was rollercoasters)”. Another student admitted that the best part of the day was “going on rides that I would not normally go on as I am scared of heights, but I enjoyed them and my friends helped me get over my fear.”

    Students relished the freedom of walking around the park without supervision, for one student the highlight was “being able to do anything once we got there with friends and being able to be on our own without teachers.”

    Overall, this student summed up the day as a success because it was a “chance to take a break from learning and spend time with my friends outside of an educational environment.”

    Positively Mad – Year 11

    Positively Mad motivational speaker, Jay had Year 12 students eating out of his hand by the end of the day with his inspiring and dynamic delivery providing a multisensory, interactive experience challenging students to see learning in a new light and to see their learning as a positive, enriching experience.

     

    Bath and Royal Holloway University – Year 13

    Most of our Year 13 students had a glimpse of university life with a visit to Bath and Royal Holloway University. While there, students had first-hand experience of a university lecture, had the chance to ask students and staff questions in a Q&A session and were about to take a look around the campus facilities and get a feel for life on campus.

    The highlight was “talking with some of the students about their experience at Bath”, “asking the ambassador questions about my specific subject” and “experiencing a lecture to get a feel for how they are given.”

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  • It's good to be back

    Published 10/09/21, by Allison Holloway

    As I write, I am looking out of my office window at the rain falling. It appears that summer has gone! I am writing to offer a warm welcome to all of our families at the start of the new academic year. I hope that the summer break provided our students with some time for relaxation and recuperation. It has been such challenging 18 months in many ways for us all. We are mindful that the pandemic has taken its toll on the mental health of many members of our community and we will continue to do all that we can to facilitate our students and staff in securing their resilience through partnership, friendship and support.

    It was wonderful to see all of Year 7 to 11 arriving for school this morning. Beautifully presented and ready to learn. We are very much looking forward to a full house on Monday when Year 12 and 13 join us. We have been grateful for your patience and understanding regarding the staggered start to term. Safety remains our priority and we are committed to following the guidance from the Department for Education. The testing centre has, once again, been instrumental in ensuring that we have identified asymptomatic cases and minimised the risk of transmitting the virus amongst the school community. We have registered 39 positive cases amongst the staff and student body. This large number could have resulted in a local outbreak in school but the staggered start has prevented that from happening. Our risks assessments have been updated and are available on the website if you wish to view them. We will continue to ensure that we are focused on hygiene, distancing and ventilation as crucial control measures on our site. The wellbeing and safety of all will remain at the centre of our decision-making and planning moving forward.

    The return of the students today has brought laughter, energy and renewed purpose back into our school. We are extremely proud of the young people we work with and our staff consider it a privilege to be part of their learning journey. As a Church of England School, we have a strong vision for the personal development of our students. Our vision comes from the teaching of the Parable of the Good Samaritan. It is ‘Go and do likewise’. We will encourage and empower our students to live their lives with love and compassion whilst asking for help when they need it. As a school, we are focused on the very best outcomes for our students, both academically and personally. All that we do aims to provide opportunity for personal growth, spirituality and happiness.

    The Piggott Church of England School is a company limited by guarantee Registered in England and Wales, registration number 7682284 The Piggott Church of England School is an exempt charity. Through our curriculum, assemblies and tutor time, we will be encouraging our students to develop their own values and beliefs. Our school values of Courage, Respect, Honesty, Dedication, Equality and Love define our behaviours towards each other. This year, we will continue to provide space and time for our students to learn about the world around them. We will encourage them to be curious, articulate and forward thinking. They will learn to advocate for what they believe is right, listen to others and develop an understanding of how to lead change through educating those around them. All of these skills will empower them to ‘Go and do likewise.’

    Whilst it has been impossible to welcome you into school in recent months, we are committed to the partnership that we have with you as parents. We are a team around your son or daughter and we value working alongside you to support them holistically with their learning and development. I am extremely lucky to work with a committed and hardworking pastoral team who take pride in doing all that they can to support the students in their year groups. If you are concerned about the welfare of your son or daughter, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Your child’s tutor is the first point of contact and then relevant Head of Year will support moving forward. If your concern is a safety related, please contact Jo Colby, our Safeguarding and Child Protection Officer. We are ready to support you. Please be assured that all contact and information will be managed sensitively and next steps will always be agreed in partnership.

    Thank you for your continued support of the school. We are excited to see what this term will bring. I believe that I speak for the majority of students, staff and parents, when I say that we are hoping for some ‘normality’ to return. We shall see! I hope that you have a restful weekend.

    Yours sincerely

    Rebecca Alexander

    Deputy Headteacher

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