Issue 58 - 29 November 2012

Welcome from Mr Locke

Dear Parents and Students,

I know it seems impossible but we have only three school weeks to go before our Christmas break.  This is always an extremely busy and fun time in school but it is good to see that students and staff are continuing to work hard.  Our annual Christmas concert is fast approaching and will take place on Wednesday 5th December.  Mrs Oliver, our new Head of Music, has planned for an even more interactive experience so I really look forward to joining in!  There are still some tickets available so if you have not already done so, I recommend that you buy a ticket and come along.  Our school Christmas lunch takes place next Thursday and is always very popular due to the fantastic value it offers.  If your son or daughter has not already bought a ticket please remind them that tomorrow is the final opportunity.

In the past fortnight students and staff have been just as busy as always.  There have been a number of trips; Year 12/13 Sociology students attended a national conference in London; Drama students went to see War Horse in the West End and a selection of Sixth Form Geographers went to Cambridge to attend a Geographical Society lecture.  Our mini-tycoons have moved into the top 10 in the national tycoon league tables thanks to Mr Williams’ mentoring with the Kupcake Kiosk (Megan and Lucy from Year 7) being particularly successful, they are definitely entrepreneurs of the future.  Yesterday all 115 of our Year 11 Technology students spent the entire day working on their coursework.  I visited all of the groups during the day and was incredibly impressed with the drive and determination demonstrated by all of the students.  They clearly all gained a great day from this focussed time and I would like to thank all of the Technology staff for their hard work which enabled this to take place.

I would also like to thank all of the staff and students who were involved in our Sixth Form Open Evening on Monday 19th November.  As always, the school looked fantastic but the most impressive aspect was the way our Sixth Form students conducted themselves.  We have received a great deal of positive feedback and it is heartening to see how proud the students are of their school.  We will review how the evening went by taking views from staff and students.  I would also welcome any views of parents who visited on that evening.  So if you attended and feel any aspect of the evening was particularly successful or not up to scratch, please could you email me using the school email address.

Finally, recent weather reports seem to suggest that we might be facing snow before Christmas.  I would therefore like to clarify our procedure in the event that we need to close the school.

  1. Presume we are open unless you hear otherwise.  We will always aim to open.
  2. Check the school website and the VLE for information.  We will aim to update these before 7.00am if we intend to close the school.  You can also check the Herts County Council website, but this may not be as frequently updated as our website.
  3. We will send a ‘schoolcomms’ message to all parents.  This will be both an email and text message.  We will aim to do this before 7.00am on the day we need to close and only send a message if we are closing.

If you do not receive schoolcomms messages it is likely to be because we do not have your correct contact information.  If this is the case please contact the main office so that we can update our database with your current email address and mobile telephone number.

Jon Locke

News and Notices

Christmas Lunch 2012, Thursday 6th December

Friday 30th November is the last chance to buy tickets for our annual Christmas Lunch!  They are available from the Dining Hall cashiers at £3.25.

xmas menu1

Christmas Concert 2012

The orchestra is tuning up, the choir is harmonising, the rock band is rocking!  We are looking forward to getting the Season going with our Christmas Show on Wednesday 5th December at 7pm in the Main Hall. The students have been preparing some lovely musical performances to share with you and really hope to see you there!  The concert is fully participatory, with on/off-beat toe-tapping and free-style head nodding encouraged throughout, and the opportunity to dust off those vocal chords with a carol or two (three in fact!). 

Tickets are £3.00 for adults, £2.00 Concessions and £1.00 for Under 18s. An absolute bargain given the musical talent we have here, and a wonderful way to get stuck into the musical season. Please contact reception on 01279 836633 to book tickets. 

Mrs Oliver, Head of Music

Leventhorpe Wishing Tree

baublesWhen you come into school next week, you will see a real tree adorned with festive lights in the reception area.  This is our Wishing Tree, which we will put up in order to help us raise money for the Teenage Cancer Trust.  

The Sixth Form Community Group will be encouraging students of all ages to make or contribute to decorations for the tree and each decoration will represent a wish. The decoration can encapsulate the wish or the wish can be written on a decorative star and hung on the tree.  A collection bucket will be next to the tree in reception and each decoration will be accompanied with a small financial contribution.  Everyone can join in - students, parents and staff.

Please help us raise money for this good cause.  The Community Group contacts will be Christian Rose and Ruby Pease in Year 12.

Mr Judge, Head of Psychology

children in need logoCommunity Group's Contribution to Children in Need

On Friday 16th November, the Sixth Form Community Group held a bake sale for Children in Need and did extremely well, raising £124.15 for the charity.

School Premises Hire

Please note that a variety of our rooms are available to hire for the general public, including our

  • Hall
  • Dining Room
  • Kitchen
  • Classrooms
  • New large meeting room
  • Drama Studio

various photos 003 various photos 032


These areas are available for hire after school hours or at weekends during term time. For all enquiries please contact Susan Miller, Premises Co-ordinator on 01279 836633 or by email.

Library News

TS Eliot Shadowing Schemedaljit nagra book

Every year the Poetry Book Society awards the T S Eliot prize for Poetry, described by the Irish Independent as ‘the world’s top poetry award’.  Ten collections of poetry, published that year, are shortlisted. The Shadowing Scheme enables students to take part in shadowing the judges of this year’s prize to select the poet they think should win well before the judges’ final decision.

The Leventhorpe TS Eliot shadowing group continues to meet every Tuesday and we have now read eight out of the ten poets so far.  It is a good opportunity to read new material, some are very strange and unfathomable whilst others are more accessible. We prefer the latter. 

Last week we went to hear Daljit Nagra read some of his poems which are scintillating snapshots of British Asian culture and very entertaining.  He also signed our library copies of his poems. He was shortlisted for the TS Eliot prize last year so could tell us about the ceremony at the Southbank and how it felt to be a contender.  This year the award will be given on January 14th but sadly not by TS Eliot's widow, Valerie Eliot, who died on November 9th this year.

“Valerie Eliot's death deprives poetry of its strongest advocate. She was one of the most generous patrons of poetry of recent time. From 1993, Valerie Eliot donated the prize money (now £15,000) for the TS Eliot prize for poetry awarded by the Poetry Book Society.”  David Morley writing in the Guardian. 

If you would like to follow the prize, you can check the TS Eliot Shadowing Scheme website.

The Shadowing Group


Business News

Young Tycoons meet Peter Jones Representative

young tycoons

On Tuesday 27th November Gareth Nolan, Network Manager for the Peter Jones Foundation, came to Leventhorpe to meet our Young Tycoons, who are all working hard at their individual businesses.  Gareth met with Year 7 students Lucy Evans and Megan Rogers, (Kupcake Kiosk), Abigail Allen and Nia Powell (Handmade Christmas); Year 10 student Thomas Galwey and Year 7 boys Harry Mouser, William Renals and Ben Arrowsmith (Stocking Up for Christmas); Year 8 girls Isla Pinnell, Eleanor Sharpe and Holly Townsend (Mini Monsters) and finally Year 12 students Sian Raynor, Hannah Williams and Eleanor Spray (Company Festive HSE).

Stocking Up For Christmas - showing true entrepreneurial zeal - have spotted a gap in the market and are now selling their new range of delicately scented soaps.  The soap bars are on sale for £1.50 and mini character soaps are available for 50p each. Both make excellent stocking fillers!

Handmade Christmas have been busy selling their beautiful cards, bookmarks and gift tags at Richard Whittington School Christmas Fayre.  Nia and Abigail’s profits are all going to the Teenage Cancer Trust and Children In Need.  As you can see from the picture they have gone to a fantastic effort.

handmade xmas2 keyring2

Handmade Christmas                                                      Mini Monsters!

They will be joined by Mini Monsters! at the Sawbridgeworth Christmas Lights event on Friday evening as part of their push in this year’s inaugural Tycoon in Schools Challenge.  I am so proud of how hard they are all working, in their own time, to take on teams of older students from other schools around the country. 

There are many schools taking part in the Tycoon in Schools enterprise challenge and the teams will be judged according to the following five criteria: Viability, Concept, Market, Planning and Profitability.  If you check the Tycoons in Schools website, you can find much more information about the challenge.  Well done to Kupcake Kiosk who are currently number 11 on the website's league table!

Mr Williams, Business / Economics / ICT Teacher

BTEC Enterprise – Wenta Workshop

businesspic classroom

Wednesday saw the BTEC Enterprise group take part in a morning workshop with Sharon Gaffney from WENTA (Watford Enterprise Agency).  Sharon took the students through many of the considerations they have to take into account when starting their own businesses.  She was extremely complimentary about how the group worked together and is actively looking to support the students in developing their business ideas.  Her parting comment was “how friendly and polite everyone is here at Leventhorpe”.  The students really enjoyed the event, especially as it took place in our fabulous new meeting room.

Mr Williams, Business, Economics, ICT Teacher

English & Drama News

Year 8's Flanimals

leventhorpe flanimal1

Year 8 English students have just completed a very creative competition, which involved making their own unique and creative "Flanimal" and writing an imaginative and detailed description of their creation.  The English Faculty was inspired by Ricky Gervais’ book - Flanimals - illustrated by the American artist, Rob Steen and featuring funny images and descriptions of monstrous-looking 'flanimals'.  Thanks to Miss Nathan, who made contact with the illustrator and told him about our competition, Rob Steen has designed our very own Leventhorpe Flanimal - 'Leventhorpius Gelatinous' - and has agreed to showcase the students' work on his website.  (The creations are not on the website as yet).

English teachers then had to pick out a winner from each form and Mrs Grange was chosen to pick out the overall winner for the whole year group - not an easy task as there were so many fantastic creations. 

The winners were Katharine Fox, 8L, Lottie Glendenning, 8C, Finlay MacFarlane, 8N, Lauren Powell, 8R, Nathan Mendel, 8F and Zoe Austin 8B who was also the overall year group winner - so well done to all!  Each form winner received a Flanimal figurine and the only copies of the Leventhorpe Flanimal and Zoe also received a copy of Ricky Gervais' book. 

flanimal winners

Form Winners with their Certificates

zoe austin winner zoe 3 

Zoe Austin, Year Group Winner, and her Flanimal

If you would like to view all the winning creations, please click here. Miss Nathan, Year 8 Co-ordinator, said that "Year 8 have created some amazing Flanimals, which demonstrate excellent imagination and creativity. Their descriptions are brilliant too and some even chose to make up words, similarly to the book. They have done fantastically well and all entries were of a high standard; it made choosing a winner very hard!  So well done Year 8!”

A Level Drama Performance

Year 13 Drama students are performing their devised A Level pieces on Thursday 29th November at 7pm in the Drama Studio. The students will perform three twenty minute plays.

English Faculty

Food Technology News

Swell Swiss Rolls

Year 10 learnt how to make Swiss Rolls in Food Technology last week. They had tremendously successful results with beautifully light textures to their finished products. Well done Year 10!


foodtech41 foodtech23 foodtech32 

Ms Pagram, Head of Food Technology


Geography News

Year 11 Visit to Olympic Site

On Tuesday 6th November Year 11 Geography students went to London to examine the issue of sustainable urban planning. We visited the Stratford Olympic Site, a place we have seen develop over many years and numerous visits. The difference this time was that Summer 2012 has passed, and now we really start to look at whether the legacy of the Games will be to revitalise East London. We saw the athletes' village now being turned into housing for up to 10,000 people. On the other side of the park at Hackney Wick new developments could see the population of the area grow to 28,000.

Students were required to think about how settlements, urban areas in particular, can cope with the pressures of crime, employment, education and health services. This will help them to prepare for the January decision-making exam which will focus on planning for sustainable settlements. In the afternoon we visited a new exhibition opened only 6 weeks ago and funded by Siemens. “The Crystal” is a fantastic new exhibit on building cities of the future, and we are very excited about taking other Geography students in the future to this specialised new attraction.

emirates cable car

The day was rounded off with a trip back across the Thames in the new “Emirates Airline” cable car – the views were fantastic despite the grey skies and rain!

Mr B Clawson, Geography Department

ICT News

ICT Awards

Well done to the following winners of the ICT Faculty Awards for November:

  • Year 7                                                                                                               
    Oliver Stacey
    Highly Commended
    James Ballard, Roman Dalton, Tiegan Claridge
  • Year 8 
    Isla Pinnell
    Highly Commended 
    Luis Pestana, Emma Hoy, Lee MacDonald, Connor Crout, Lily Hamilton
  • Year 9
    Charlie Taylor 
    Highly Commended
    Chloe Burrell, Joe Leak, Callum Moss
  • Year 10
    Thomas Williams
    Highly Commended
    Cameron Anderson, Ho-Yee Lee, Charlotte White,
    Sam Clucas
  • Year 11
    Reece Banham
    Highly Commended
    Jack Hanrahan
  • Year 12/13
    Nicole Harris
    Highly Commended
    Zoe Benham

ICT Faculty

MFL News

French Students and Teachers at Leventhorpe

On Tuesday 27th and Thursday 29th November we hosted the return leg of an exchange visit with Lycée Mongrand in France. The French students were paired with Leventhorpe students who they then accompanied to their lessons throughout the two days, to get a flavour of what an English school day is like.  Leventhorpe Sixth Formers visited Lycée Mongrand in Port de Bouc in Procence in March this year.

french group greetings book

Ms Reynolds, Head of MFL

Introduction to Spanish Cinema

Twenty-nine Year 12 and Year 13 students are spending the day at the British Film Institute on Thursday 29th November for an "Introduction to Spanish Cinema for A Level Spanish Students", accompanied by Ms Reynolds.   The day provides an opportunity to "study films in their historical context from the classic El espíritu de la colmena (1973) to El laberinto del fauno (2006) and the recent sci-fi movie Eva (2011) as well as analysing questions of genre, film shots and point of view".

Ms Reynolds, Head of MFL

Music News

Leventhorpe Students Take Part in Sawbridgeworth Christmas Event

xmas image

The Leventhorpe Choir, Ukulele Band and Year 11 student Lauren Lawless will be performing at Sawbridgeworth's Fayre and Lights Christmas event on Friday 30th November. Leventhorpe will be sharing a music slot with Reedings and Spellbrook Primary Schools. 

If you would like to find out more about the Sawbridgeworth Christmas Fayre and Lights Event please just click on the image above to view the poster.

Piano Available

A parent has very kindly offered to give their piano free to a good home. It is a well-looked after instrument, which is totally playable, in tune, and would provide a student/family a great opportunity to play and practice their musical skills, whether or not they have instrumental lessons. It is a lovely looking instrument and in good working order. The owner lives in Sawbridgeworth. Please contact Mrs Oliver, Head of Music if you would like further information.


PE News

Leventhorpe Scores a Slam Dunk

Following their participation in an England Basketball Refereeing Qualification, Sports Leaders from Yr 13 took charge of the Girls District Basketball Competition.  Competing in the event were teams from Years 7 and Year 9, all of whom showed great commitment and effort throughout the afternoon.

The Year 7 Girls, who for the most part were performing in their first basketball event ever, did themselves proud with a hard fought victory against Birchwood and some close results against St Mary’s, Herts and Essex and the eventual winners Hockerill, finishing up in 4th position.

year 7 basketball2 basketballyear 9_2

Year 7 Basketball Team                  Year 9 Basketball Team

The Yr 9 Girls were attempting  to reproduce their success from last year where they joined up with some more experienced players to win through to the county finals.  Led by the scoring of Abbie Campbell and Lauren Ayers the Year 9s secured victories against Herts and Essex and Birchwood. The girls claimed 2nd place overall having narrowly missed out to St Mary’s, whose squad contained a trio of county players.

Congratulations to all who took part, especially Claudia Lee (Year9) and Hannah Alcock (Year 7) for star performances.  Also a big thankyou to the ten Sports Leaders who helped to run the competition through refereeing matches and officiating on the scoring table.

Mr Hore, PE

Sports Fixtures

A schedule of our upcoming sports fixtures is now on the school website if you would like to take a look.  Please bear in mind that all fixtures are subject to change due to unforseen circumstances, including the weather or cancellation of matches by the opposition.

House Hockey and Rugby

This week saw students taking part in House Rugby and Hockey events. There was some fantastic sport played by our students with an almost total representation for the Houses across each competition.

Congratulations to all participants especially those who managed to secure victories for their Houses.
Unfortunately, due to poor weather, three of the competitions have had to be postponed until later this week and next week.  The Year 10 competitions are scheduled to take place tomorrow lunchtime with the Seniors' matches postponed until next Tuesday lunchtime and the Year 8 matches taking place on Wednesday morning.

House Rugby Winners:

  • Yr 7: Newsome
  • Yr 9: Barnard

House Hockey Winners:

  • Yr 7 - postponed due to bad weather
  • Yr 9: Fawbert

Sports Stars' Awards December 2012petrophy2

To recognize the commitment and efforts made by students to Leventhorpe’s sports teams and extra-curricular clubs, the PE Faculty have decided to issue the ‘Sports Stars’ Award to the most deserving students each month.

A number of factors are taken into consideration including attendance to extra-curricular clubs, effort in PE lessons & contributions to School Sport. 

We are looking to start awarding the prize at the end of each month, starting in December.  Make sure you get yourselves out to as many extra-curricular sports clubs as you can keep putting in maximum effort to your PE!

Good luck!

Mr Hore, PE

Meet the Athletesriddell

  • Name:
    Andre Riddell, Yr 13
  • Role:
    Senior Rugby Captain
    Sports Captain (Newsome)
    Level 2 Sports Leader
  • Sports/ Activities:
    Rugby, Cricket
    Sports Leaders
  • What has school sport done for me?
    School sport gave me the confidence to try new activities! Get yourselves involved!!!
  • Representation:
    Leventhorpe School Rugby
    Leventhorpe School Cricket
    Harlow RUFC
    District Cricket

Swim the Channel Update

aspireWe are into the eighth week of the swimming challenge and two teams have now reached the coast of France.  Rivers were the first to swim the 1416 lengths across and now Barnard have swum the distance too, helped greatly by the efforts of Zia Maertens Collyer, Megan Rogers and Nia Powell.

In third place currently are Newsom, just 95 lengths away from swimming the 22 mile distance and Cutforth is a very close fourth, just 409 lengths behind Newsom.  Well done to Fawbert who have managed to get a good team together of fourteen swimmers after a 'lonely' start to the competition with only three in the team. They have swum 715 lengths and so are more than half way!   This leaves Lawrence battling the rough waters at the back, having covered 440 lengths - Lawrence House need to get swimming! 

Its not too late to start attending - come and take part on Thursday lunchtimes at the pool. Please check the notice board by the resource centre to keep track of your houses progress.

Mrs Castle and Mr Judge, Channel Officials

Extra-Curricular Clubs

Despite the weather closing in over recent weeks, the PE extra-curricular clubs are still going ahead with activities ranging from Rugby and Hockey to Badminton and Table Tennis. Why not take the opportunity to get out of the rain and dive into the pool to help your House Swim the channel, or throw yourselves into one of the sports hall activities on offer? Alternatively, get yourself outside and brace the elements!!  For information about any of the clubs on offer, check out the PE notice boards or speak to a member of staff:

  • Rugby: Mr Hore
  • Hockey: Mrs Brown
  • Basketball: Mr Hore
  • Football: Mr Marsh
  • Girls Football: Mrs Castle
  • Swimming: Mrs Castle
  • Table Tennis: Mrs Loughran/ Mr Kitson
  • Badminton: Mr Hore
  • Netball: Mrs Castle

Remember - by getting yourself involved, you can get those merit totals up!!!  We look forward to seeing you there!

Mr Hore

Futures & Careers News

Year 10 Work Experience: Information for parents and students

Over the last three weeks I have been speaking with Year 10 students about work experience, particularly in terms of what they may learn and how they can use that gained information in the future. Letters will be going out in the next couple of weeks explaining the process but you can certainly start to make enquiries with family and friends on possible work experience placements.

For more information about the work experience process please visit the Futures page of the school website.

Mr Bowen, Futures Adviser

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