It was a very welcome Easter break after my first term as Headteacher of The Buckingham School. However, the school was far from closed and I will start this piece by thanking my colleagues on behalf of the examination students for running so many revision sessions during the break. I was very grateful to receive emails of thanks from parents, and I happily passed on their gratitude to my colleagues. We thank our parents for their support in our mission to provide their children a diet of nothing but support and positivity.
After my many years in the Independent sector, I well understand the “secret” of Independent schools. It is a simple thing – stability of staff – so I will always strive to foster an environment at The Buckingham School whereby it is one of the first choice schools in the wider area to work. The students are what we are all about, but the staff are our most important asset, and so should feel valued, supported and given opportunities to develop personally and professionally. How timely then to be able to congratulate Mr Joe Ryan for his ten years of loyal service to the school!
Also on the staffing front, I endeavour to grow the staff, as the school gently grows. Mrs Anita Baxter has been appointed to the Senior Leadership Team, to continue her excellent work on promoting literacy in local primary schools and also to ensure that all students who join our school quickly have any gaps on that front filled. Her role now extends to that of SENDCo, as well as an important lead in ensuring that all of our students are able to make the most of the opportunities that we provide to grow and flourish as young people. Further, this term, Mr Dan Fox took up post as Assistant Headteacher for Teaching and Learning. His remit is to ensure that the quality of teaching in the school brings our vision to life: “Success for All, through Achievement, Challenge and Enjoyment.”
It is the time of year when our transition programme for new year 7 students in September (currently in Year 6 in their primary schools) is well underway. Our primary visits started this week, as we start the process of ensuring our next Year 7 have a flying start in September. With its refreshed reputation, the school is over-subscribed by more than ever for September and we are under pressure from the Local Authority to increase our intake.
I am committed to working with my colleagues with the aim of ensuring that next year is the most successful yet for the school.
Mr A McGinnes
UK Mathematics Trust – Maths Junior Challenge 2018 Regional Final
The Buckingham School took a team of four students to the Regional Finals of The UK Mathematics Trust (UKMT) Junior Challenge. All teams consisted of two Year 8 and two Year 9 students and were put through a series of tasks designed to stretch the greatest of mathematical thinkers. This year, we were represented by Lily Lambourne, Leo Maskou, Daniel Pepler, and Rhiannon Price.
The team had been practising the different skills required over the past few months and performed well across the four challenges. This year’s relay was particularly difficult with only a couple of teams scoring more than half marks. Our team, performed extremely well, but did not make the top three to progress to the Nationals. The Challenge was a great experience, and the team are now well prepared for the Senior Challenge which they can enter in Year 11.
Congratulations to our team for participating and representing our school!
Mr Beaumont, Curriculum Leader for Maths
For the second year running, The Buckingham School participated in National Careers Week giving students an insight into the current job market alongside the various routes into employment. The week started with all students from Years 7-10 being actively involved in question and answer sessions with local business representatives about their jobs and the path they had taken since leaving school. All our students found this a stimulating experience as it gave them first-hand knowledge of the various opportunities open to them and the routes they could take. Many thanks to all the business representatives who contributed to this successful event.
Throughout the week, subject areas led lessons on employment opportunities in their area together with routes into these roles. Health & Social Care had a representative from the National Health Service provide a talk to students on the jobs within this area, skills required and how they could enhance their employment opportunities. Psychology had a visitor from Buckingham University who talked about routes into employment, alongside the job roles involved. Performing Arts had working actors come to lessons to talk about the opportunities available in this field. These type of activities were carried out across the curriculum giving students a clear insight into future paths they might wish to pursue.
CFE students were given an assembly by an apprentice from a local firm who is currently working towards her Level 5 qualification which gave students a clear comparison of this potential route against the more academic pathway through university. This firm are also mentoring a team of students in a countywide sales challenge, the final of which is at Pinewood studios in High Wycombe. This event started with all Year 12 students being involved in an ’in-school’ challenge with the winning team moving on to represent the CFE in the final.
Alongside these activities, a group of student from Years 10, 11, 12 and 13 also visited the National Apprenticeship Show in Milton Keynes. This was an invaluable opportunity for them to talk face to face with over at a hundred of the country’s largest apprenticeship providers giving the chance to find out about potential vacancies, job roles and the qualification frameworks involved. It was clear from speaking to students on their return that they found that the experience had widened their knowledge of the opportunities in apprenticeships.
The activities involved in Careers Week run alongside the many other opportunities students have throughout their time at The Buckingham School to meet and engage with employers, training providers and universities. Maths, Science and Computer Studies have recently had very successful days involving STEM challenges in their specific disciplines and plans are currently in place for Year 12 to visit the UCAS Fair at Bedford University and for the annual Careers Fair, attended by all students from Year 9 onwards, which takes place in June.
Watch out for details of the ever-expanding opportunities students have for Careers Advice at The Buckingham School.
Mr P Cunningham, Vocactional Co-ordinator
Parker Solar Probe – The Buckingham School will be part of this exciting mission!
This summer, NASA is launching an historic Parker Solar Probe mission. The mission will travel through the Sun’s atmosphere, facing brutal heat and radiation conditions.
Understanding the Sun has always been a top priority for space scientists. Studying how the Sun affects space and the space environment of planets is the field known as heliophysics. The field is not only vital to understanding Earth’s most important and life-sustaining star, it supports exploration in the solar system and beyond.
The spacecraft, about the size of a small car, will travel directly into the Sun’s atmosphere about 4 million miles from the star’s surface. The primary science goals for the mission are to trace how energy and heat move through the solar corona and to explore what accelerates the solar wind as well as solar energetic particles. The mission will revolutionize our understanding of the Sun, where changing conditions can spread out into the solar system, affecting Earth and other worlds.
The spacecraft speed is so fast, at its closest approach it will be going at approximately 430,000 mph. That’s fast enough to get from Washington, D.C., to Tokyo in under a minute.
“Parker Solar Probe is, quite literally, the fastest, hottest — and, to me, coolest — mission under the Sun,” said project scientist Nicola Fox, of the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory. “This incredible spacecraft is going to reveal so much about our star and how it works that we’ve not been able to understand.”
The Buckingham School will be part of it. Our name will be included in a memory card that will fly aboard Parker Solar Probe spacecraft.
This weekend the School Equestrian team were out in action at Bury Farm, competing at the NSEA County Dressage and Show Jumping Championships.
Well done to Katie Robinson, on her pony Merlin competing as an individual in Dressage, being County Champion for Buckinghamshire. Unfortunately, Katie didn’t get placed but got an amazing score of 72.5%.
Sunday saw the Show Jumping team out in action competing in the 90/95cm, again, jumping as Buckinghamshire County Champions. Well done to Amelie Gregory, Hollie Anne Heir, Katie Gilsenan and Lauren smith.
They all rode some amazing rounds, working hard as a team. The Buckingham School Equestrian Team finished 6th place out of 29 school teams competing. This was an amazing achievement - well done, girls you should all be proud.
If you are interested in joining the school team, then please get in touch.
Here’s a couple of photos. More pics can be seen on facebook.
Bittersweet Music Buckingham co-hosted a musical evening alongside Buckingham Learning Trust Music at Stowe School.Suzy of Bittersweet Music would just like to say how fantastically the following Buckingham School students performed.
Charlotte Davidson wowed the audience with her delightful rendition of ‘City of Stars’ from La La Land - accompanied by Suzy on guitar. Faye Barber lead the Buckingham Children’s Choir in their version of Snow Patrol’s ‘Chasing Cars’ - a very confident performance from all and beautiful vocals from Faye.
Buckingham Children’s Choir rehearse every Wednesday evening at The Centre, Verney Close, Buckingham. The Choir welcome all young singers and guitarists!
Free Taster Sessions available. Contact Suzy via email firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.
Suzy also teaches singing at The Buckingham School. If you are interested, get in touch now!
Good Luck Miss Collie - Women’s Rugby Alliance Cup Final
We are today taking a group of female students to the home of Northampton Saints Rugby Club, to watch Bletchley Ladies and Olney Ladies who will come head to head in the Alliance Cup Final. Our very own Miss Collie (PE Teacher & Head of Year 7), will personally be playing in the match.
The Buckingham School is working closely with the RFU to increase the number of young females playing Rugby in and out of school. The RFU are running a number of Inner Warrior Rugby Sessions for young females across England at local rugby clubs and The Buckingham School will be playing a vital part in this RFU campaign over the coming year.
As we publish this Bulletin, The Young Shakespeare Company are performing Romeo and Juliet to a group of Year 11 students. The Young Shakespeare Company are a team of professional actors and storytellers who perform Shakespeare’s plays for young people in schools and theatres across the country.
The performance looks amazing!
Head Boy and Head Girl
We are currently in the process of appointing a Head Boy and Head Girl for the school. The Senior Student Leadership Team are a dedicated group of students, working together to run Student Voice in our school. The SSLT have debated and agreed that they would like a Head Boy and Head Girl in place, and the Senior Leadership Team have supported this decision.
Look out, hopefully, in our next edition for news of the successful Head Boy and Head Girl appointments!
The Summer 2018 Written Examination timetable is now available on the website and can be viewed below, for ease of reference. There is a section on the website (Exams and Study Information) which contains important and useful informtion relating to exams.