So here we are – another school year has seemingly whizzed by.
It all seems to be going so fast… so perhaps now is a good time to take stock of some of the things that have happened this year and consider what they show about our school.
Well 2015/16 has marked plenty of changes: there’s a new headteacher for a start (well, you can’t win them all)… we’ve also got a new I.T suite in S14 and a wonderful new state of the art DT cookery room in S15. If we go back to the I.T suite – the £20K needed to pay for it has been raised by the Friends of All Saints School through barn dances, quiz nights, auctions and, of course, the wonderful music and arts festival. I love the fact that such a valuable school resource has been funded through people enjoying themselves. But of course we are not a community who only look to feather our own nest – over the last year we have raised thousands of pounds to support a wide range of charities and again in the most enjoyable of ways – although I still have nightmares about the chaps from the Maths department performing in the lip sync battle as part of House Charity Week.
2015/16 has seen another successful round of the Duke of Edinburgh Award – the pupils taking part surprisingly not put off by being rained on permanently during their practice expedition.
2015/16 has also been another year where All Saints has punched well above its weight in the sporting arena: at a time when the English football team have flopped so dramatically it’s good to hear that all is not lost: our Year 8 boys not only took the Area Cup but went on to win the County Cup as well. In fact our Year 8’s are so strong that Mr Hyde tells me that we might be entering two teams into the area cup next year so that the final could be All Saints A vs All Saints B… and our under 13 female footballers came second in the area and represented the SW in the Dorset schools games. Hockey and rounders results have been excellent with some big score margins recorded in hockey over both Colfox and Budmouth. The Year 10 rugby team came third in the Dorset County tournament in March and students from Years 7, 8 and 10 have qualified for the South West Dorset Athletics team this year. We’re also competing with ever stronger and larger teams in Windsurfing and Sailing – in fact we have the largest school sailing team in Dorset.
Some individual achievements to be proud of are: Tom Carney (Yr 9) representing Great Britain in Taekwondo, Bethany Plummer (Yr 9) representing Dorset in football, Freya Stanger (also Yr9) gaining a silver medal in the National Biathlon Championships for her age group and Izzy Adcock (you’ve guessed it: Yr 9) coming 1st in the Gold Fleet windsurfing competition, with All Saints coming overall third in Dorset. Izzy, by the way, is currently No.1 in the GB squad on the Bic Techno U15 class and we have many others representing their sports at extremely high levels week in week out. I think it’s fair to say that All Saints has had another fantastic year in the various sporting arenas in which we take part.
And then there’s our performance work… Last Summer we were all following the yellow brick road with the ‘Wizard of Oz’, whilst at Christmas the streets were thick with a Victorian London pea-souper as we visited the world of Dicken’s ‘A Christmas Carol’ and this summer we got to breathe some Alpine air as our performers took on the ‘Sound of Music’…. And the thing that gets me about our performances is fourfold: the quality of the work, the dedication of everyone involved, the support of friends and family who make up our audiences and the sheer number of pupils that get involved… the hills really have been alive with the sound of set design, rehearsal and of course music!!
And trips – there’s been plenty of trips… trips near and far from Poundbury – as an example of Urban Planning to skiing in Switzerland. From Cerne Abbas as part of a retreat day to Cern in Switzerland to see the Hedron Collider… from the Rhineland as part of our ALE days to Poundland as part of Geography fieldwork… and all the while the World Challenge group have been organising fundraising events to help fund their expedition to Nicaragua next year. Year 7 and 8 have experienced another ALE week to be envied whilst Years 9 and 10 have had their eyes opened to the world of work through careers’ college. We are an outward looking school – our outreach programme reaches out to over 1000 primary school pupils each year – and through the opportunities afforded them our students get to see themselves in a local context, a national context and a global context… and they remain our greatest ambassadors.
In April Year 11 pulled off one of the best Spring Balls I’ve ever attended. They looked fantastic, they behaved impeccably, they danced en-masse and they didn’t want to go home. They were a credit to themselves and the school – and set a high bar for the new Year 11 to emulate. Dr Rachel Furley MBE was our guest of honour at Awards day – she is an inspirational ex-student who has advanced in the world of paediatrics and devoted much of her time to leading a charity called: ‘Bridges to Belarus’ despite being wheelchair bound since her twenties. It is great for our current students to see just how far an All Saints student can go in the world and how disability need not be a barrier to advancement in the work-place or in terms of personal achievement.
We say goodbye to a number of staff this year: Miss Williams, Miss Mercer and Mrs Hutchinson leave our Learning Support Department, Mr Everington finishes his contract with us, Miss Green moves on to take up the Head of Science post at The Royal Ballet School, Mrs Morgan takes up a post at Hardyes School, Mr Razzell leaves us for a promotion on Guernsey, Miss Pearson is relocating schools closer to Bristol in order to pursue her football refereeing career and finally we say goodbye to Mr Hocking who is retiring after 15 amazing years at All Saints. We wish them all the very best for their respective futures and thank them all for their outstanding service to our pupils.
What’s left is to wish you all a pleasant and safe summer… as we start to plan for the academic year 2016/17.
God Bless you all.