Issue 61 - 31 January 2013

Welcome from Mr Locke

Dear Parents and Students,

Things are really hotting up as we prepare for our school production of Oliver.  Rehearsals are sounding great and there is a nervous buzz about the school as everyone prepares for the first night on Monday 11th February.  Performances will take place over three nights - Monday 11th, Tuesday 12th and Wednesday 13th February, so if you would like to come please make sure you get your tickets as soon as they become available.  Tickets will cost £5 and £3 for concessions.  Students can buy them from the front office from Tuesday 5th February at break times.  All three evenings were sold out last year so I would advise you to buy your tickets in advance if possible.

Last week we ran our Year 9 options information evening for parents and students which was followed by our parental consultation this week.  This begins the process in which students decide the subjects they would like to study at GCSE.  All students will also have a one to one discussion with their tutor before making their final choices.  I would like to re-emphasise that we approach the options process by trying to maximize the number of students who can follow their preferred options.  This is a little more complicated but means that we have more students able to study exactly what they want.  The first stage is to ask students what they would like to do.  We then use these choices to create the best fit for the options blocks.  If you have any questions about the process or about your choices please contact your child’s tutor, Mr Reeve or myself.

Many of our Year 13 students are awaiting news from universities, having made their UCAS applications.  This is an exciting and nervous time for students in the Sixth Form so the Sixth Form team and Mr Bowen (Leventhorpe School Futures Advisor) have spent a great deal of effort advising and helping individual students (please see Mrs Castle's Sixth Form article in this Newsletter).  If any parents have questions or concerns please let us know.  I look forward to hearing of our students’ successes as the term moves on.

I would like to congratulate the students who represented Leventhorpe at this year’s District swimming competition at Bishop's Stortford College.

Girls' Team

  • Year 7
    Win Sze Kwok, Jamie-Rose Tucker, Megan Learmonth and Megan Rogers
  • Year 8/9
    Rebecca Vears, Kirsty Vears, Megan Wickham and Lottie Glendenning
  • Year 10/11
    Lucy Dearman, Lucy Hibberd, Alice Wang and Maisy Hunt

Boys' Team

  • Year 7
    Luis Wright, Freddy Baker, Tom Ramsey and William Renals
  • Year 8/9
    Oli Holding, Joe Collins, Frankie Dutton and Nathan Parry-Davies

Finally, I am delighted to inform you that Leventhorpe has been recognised as being among the top 100 non-selective schools in the country, based on students’ excellent GCSE results in 2012.  The school’s place in the performance tables is based on the performance of students in five GCSE’s: English, Maths and their three best other GCSEs.  These figures also show that Leventhorpe is in the top 100 non-selective schools in terms of progress our students make between Key stage 2 and their GCSE results.  Our recent record Value Added measure of 1014 further demonstrates this progress with both boys (value added score of 1008) and girls (score of 1019) scoring way above many schools.  In a letter congratulating us on our performance, David Laws MP writes that "it is clear that your school has equipped its pupils to be successful hereafter, both in terms of their readiness for further study, and in terms of their readiness to enter the world of work in due course".  He goes on to congratulate our "staff, governors and pupils for their hard work and success" and to thank Mr Locke for his "leadership in continuing the drive towards high standards of educational achievement".  So a huge well done to all our students!

Jon Locke

Latest News and Events



Rehearsals are progressing well and Sunday rehearsals for the next two weeks are helping to get the show together. Staff and students have been working hard to develop the costumes, music and the set and although not ready yet, we are getting there!

Some fantastic actors and singers from Year 7 through to Year 13 are involved in a variety of ways and I would like to thank everyone for their hard work and commitment to the production. Parents who have been coming out in cold snowy weather to provide the taxi service home are also vital to the success in two weeks' time! Thank you.

Tickets will be on sale from the front office next week so get yours before they sell out!

Sue Jeffries, Head of Art

Events Schedule

The list below includes all the main events and trips taking place between now and the summer holidays.  It does not include sports fixtures, which can all be found on the News and Events area of the website, or individual exams, which can be found on the main Calendar on the website.  Please note that the events below may be subject to change so it is always a good idea to keep an eye on the website calendar as well.  Precise timings of some of the later events will also be confirmed nearer the time.


Event Date
Oliver! Production  Monday 11th, Tuesday 12th and Wednesday 13th
Canadian Exchange Trip - Year 11 Business Thursday 14th -  Friday 22nd
Leysin Ski Trip Friday 15th - Saturday 23rd


Event Date
Year 7 Parents’ Consultations Wednesday 6th (School Closes 1:30pm)
Year 9 Humanities Trip to Krakow Thursday 7th – Saturday 9th
Violons de Bry / Leventhorpe Concert Saturday 16th
Charity Week Monday 18th – Friday 22nd
Year 10 Parents’ Consultations Tuesday 19th (School Closes 1:30pm)
End of Term Thursday 28th  (School Closes 12:50pm) 


Event Date
Start of Summer Term Monday 15th
Year 10 Spanish Trip to Benalmadena  Monday 15th – Friday 19th                       


Event Date
Fashion & Technology Show Thursday 2nd, 7-9pm
External Exam Period Starts Monday 13th
Year 12 Study Leave Starts Monday 13th
Year 11 Leavers’ Assembly Thursday 16th
Year 11 Study Leave Starts Friday 17th
Year 7 X Band to Rochester Monday 20th
Year 7 Y Band to Rochester    Tuesday 21st
Summer Half Term Monday 27th – Friday 31st          


Event Date
Year 13 Study Leave Starts Monday 3rd
Year 8 Battlefields Trip Tuesday 11th – Friday 14th
Year 9 to see Warhorse Production 12-7pm, Thursday 20th
Year 11 Celebration Ceremony Friday 21st, 1:30-3:30pm
Last Official GCSE Exam Date Saturday 22nd
Year 9 Insight to Industry Monday 24th – Wednesday 26th                           
Year 12 to UCAS Higher Education Convention Thursday 27th


Event Date
Sixth Form Induction Mon 1st – 3rd
Sports Afternoon Thursday 4th
Sports Day Friday 5th
Year 10 Work Experience Monday 8th – Friday 12th
Year 7 Citizenship Camp Saturday13th – Thursday 18th
Years 7-10 Celebration Ceremony    Friday 19th July, 10:50am – 12:50pm
End of Term Friday 19th (School Closes 12:50pm)  

Save the Date!

Saturday 6th July 2013 from 4-10pm - this is when the Sawbridgeworth Summer Proms and Firework Extravaganza, in association with Leventhorpe and Town Council, is taking place.  More information to follow.

Custom-Made Revision Timetable

With the exam period looming, the GetRevising website may be useful - it is free and helps students create a personalised revision timetable.

Library News

Book Club News

book club image 5

We have now had our first meeting and made a list of all the favourite books that we have read recently.  The first two books we are going to read are the Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman and The Pig Heart Boy by Malorie Blackman, which we will meet to discuss in a couple of weeks.  All new members welcome, especially from Year 7, so please come along on a Thursday lunchtime and join in!

From the Book Club Members

Student News

A very brave Aaron Humphreys (12C) shaved his hair during lunchtime today to raise money for the Teenage Cancer Trust charity.

 SANY00022 SANY00035



English News

English Corner

Isabella Day, a Year 10 student, gives her take on the current unit she is studing in English:
"In English we are currently studying spoken language. We have watched two clips about Lady Gaga and compared Lady Gaga's behaviour in each of them. I really enjoy learning about spoken language because we are learning how people react in completely different ways with different people in different environments."

Food Tech News

Multi-Cultural Cooking in Year 9

Year 9 have been working on a range of multi-cultural products in Food Technology and made the most delicious Moroccan Chicken Pies last week. Very well done Year 9.


 multicultural2 multicultural3

Year 8 Stir Fries

Year 8 were concentrating so hard in their Food Technology this week, practising their chopping skills to ensure they achieved outstanding stir fry results. All the students were suprised by how easy the stir fries were to make and much more delicious than a take away and healthier too!

stirfry4 stirfry33

 stirfry1thinner stirfry2thinner 

Mrs Pagram, Head of Food Technology

ICT News


Well done to the following students who have worked hard in ICT this month and been awarded the ICT Faculty Award:

Year 7

  • Alice Redgewell

Highly Commended

  • Rajyapriyan Murugaiyan
  • Zoe Marks
  • Jack Wheatley-Davis
  • Amalia Biddiscombe

Year 8

  • Georgina Hughes

Highly Commended

  • Isabelle Beasley
  • Nathan Mendell
  • Hannah Gillman

Year 9

  • Ella Aukett

Highly Commended

  • James Fiddes
  • Tanyel Mustafa
  • Dan Cox
  • Claudia Lee
  • Tom Colby

Year 10

  • Daniel Dredge

Highly Commended

  • Michael Kent
  • Sky Borland
  • Sullivan Ashcroft
  • Daniel Smith

Year 11

  • David Uncle

Highly Commended

  • Sam Williams
  • Georgia Youngs

Year 12/13

  • Katie Grace

Highly Commended

  • James White

PE News

Well Done to Swimmers

Following the roaring success that was the Leventhorpe House Swimming Competition, a number of Leventhorpe students were selected to represent the school at the annual District Swimming competition held on the 17th January 2013 at Bishop's Stortford College Swimming Pool.  Leventhorpe entered a talented squad of swimmers and we had some extremely successful swims. All swimmers swam their best on the day and we were very impressed with their commitment to the team. Leventhorpe managed to gain a place in seven individual finals and five relay finals!  

Joe Collins, 9N, swam an outstanding race which was very close.  He is now 2nd in the district at 50m Breaststroke while Kirsty Vears, 9B, is 3rd in the district, also at 50m Breaststroke. Well done to both!

The relay finals were great to watch too – the Year 7 girls came 4th in the district, the Year 8 and 9 girls  came 5th, the Year 8 and 9 boys came 3rd and the Year 10 girls came 5th, so an outstanding achievement.  The Year 8 and 9 boys were the only team to make it to the final of the freestyle relay and they are now 4th in the district.

Congratulations to all who took part!

Swim, Cycle and Run like an Olympian!

brownlee1Alistair Brownlee, pictured left, won a Gold Medal in the Triathlon at the Summer Games 2012 and is also on Team GB while his brother Jonathan won the Bronze Medal. So now that we have successfully completed our Channel swim, Leventhorpe's PE Faculty is inviting students and staff to take on a new challenge: completing an Olympic Distance Triathlon! 

So far we have had great interest in the challenge. It takes place every Thursday and will involve four weeks of swimming, four weeks of cycling in the gym and four weeks of running in the gym. Participants will count their lengths and miles and we will record their times during these sessions. The distances for the Olympic Triathlon are:

  • Swim 1500m (60 lengths) - Brownlee's time was 17:04 in the Olympic Games!                
  • Cycle 43km (27 miles) - Brownlee's time was 59:08 in the Games                       
  • Run 10km (6.2 miles) -  Brownlee's time was 29.07 in the Games                                        

Remember: you don’t have to do it all in one go! 

*If any parents would like to join in then please feel free to compete the task in your spare time and email me your distances and times!

Mrs Castle,

Leventhorpe Rugby Champions

January has seen the launch of a brand new initiative being run by the Leventhorpe PE Faculty: Leventhorpe Rugby Champions. Designed to encourage more students to be physically active and engaged with rugby at Leventhorpe, the Rugby Champions initiative is being run with our current cohort of Year 7 students.

Rugby Champions tracks how often an individual participates in rugby and rewards them for participation with points that contribute to an overall league total.  At the end of each term, those students will be awarded prizes to congratulate them on the commitment that they have shown to rugby at Leventhorpe.
Students are awarded points for attending training sessions, participating in school fixtures, participation in house fixtures, exceptional play and leadership in rugby lessons.  Hopefully, the initiative will help students of all abilities to get involved as players, future referees and keen leaders or coaches.

The second aim of the initiative is to help students realise that you do not have to be the biggest or fastest person to play rugby. It is a game that takes all shapes, sizes  and abilities.   The aim is for more students to take part in regular physical activity and to drive up some participation links with our local clubs in the Harlow and Bishops Stortford areas.

It would be fantastic to see as many of our Year 7 students as possible getting involved in Rugby Champions so if you have not been there is not too late to start!!!

We look forward to seeing you there!!!

House Swimming

House Swimming took place on 10th and 11th of January and provided a fantastic opportunity for students to compete in another house event. The PE Faculty and many other teachers who came to watch including Mr Locke, saw some excellent swimming and great enthusiasm from everyone who took part. Each form group entered four girls and four boys to represent their house and each swimmer swam an individual race and two relay events too.  The results are as follows:

Houses Place (Girls) Place (Boys) Overall Points Overall Place
Newsom 1 2 198 1st
Lawrence 4 1 189 2nd
Fawbert 2 4 185 3rd
Barnard 3 3 184 4th
Cutforth 5 6 153 5th
Rivers 6 5 141 6th

Well done to all swimmers! Especially NEWSOM for being overall House Swimming 2013 champions!!  If you would like to see the names of those students who swam in the finals please click here.


Due to the snow, the Year 7 and 8 netball matches against Birchwood were postponed. The Year 8, 9 and 10 matches on the 24th January were also postponed as Herts and Essex could not travel to Leventhorpe due to the extreme weather conditions.

Year 8, 9 and 10 have a home match on Thursday 31st January against Hockerill.  Having had a couple of weeks without any games they are looking forward to getting outside to play! Good luck to all teams! We will publish the results in the next newsletter.

The netball squads have their district tournaments approaching so players must attend all training sessions if they would like to be considered for this competition. Do not miss your netball practice! This takes place as follows:

  • Monday Lunch – Years 8 and 9
  • Tuesday Lunch – Year 7
  • Tuesday after school – All years
  • Friday Lunch – Year 10, 11 and Seniors

Netball Tour

In June, Years 9 and 10 will be going on tour to Butlins in Bognor Regis where they will compete in a ‘Netball Festival’ against 60 + teams from all over the country as well as competing in a fancy dress competition! It is essential that all netball players come to training sessions to prepare for this.

Mrs Castle

Meet the Athleteconor martin

Name: Conor Martin

Role: AS Level PE, Senior Football Team, Senior Athletics Team

Sports/ Activities: Athletics, Football

What has school sport done for me? School sport gave me the opportunity to get a solid base from which I have been able to reach the standard I am at today.

Representation: England Schools Athletics (Javelin), District Javelin Champion, Various School Teams

Recent Results

Unfortunately due to poor weather many of our sports fixtures have been postponed. However, those that have survived through the Snow include:

Seniors Vs TBSHS 4-1 (W)

Year 10 Vs Friends School 19-18 (W)
Seniors Vs TBSHS  34-26 (W)
Seniors Vs St Mary’s 18-16 (W)

House Swimming
(Overall Results)

  • 1st Place: Newsome
  • 2nd Place: Lawrence
  • 3rd Place: Fawbert
  • 4th Place: Barnard
  • 5th Place: Cutforth
  • 6th Place: Rivers

Remember to check the Fixtures List on the website for upcoming fixtures!

PE Faculty

Psychology News

Offender Profiling Talk

offender profilingYear 13 Psychology students - as well as interested A Level Sociology students and those interested in a career in law, forensics, criminology or the police - will be attending a talk on offender profiling on Friday 1st February when former police assistant chief constable, Paul Dockley, comes in to school.  Mr Dockley was directly involved in the profiling and conviction of a notorious rape and murder case in London in the 1980s and will use a case study to illustrate some of the techniques used in offender profiling.

This is not the first time that Mr Dockley has visited Leventhorpe; he also gave a fascinating talk to last year's A Level students in April 2012.

Look out for the follow-up in the next Newsletter!

Ms Baker, Psychology

Sociology News

Sociology Degree Write-Up

Leventhorpe made history last September when it became the first state secondary school in the country to offer a full degree programme - a BSc Sociology Degree.  The course is now up and running and students will soon be sitting their exams in London.  An article in the online magazine of the University of London International Programmes, London Connection, features a great article on the course including interviews with some of the students and Mrs Jackson.  Please click on the image below to read the article.


Mrs Jackson, Head of Sociology

Textiles News

Preparing for Oliver

textiles textiles

With rehearsals in full swing and the Music Department finalising the catchy numbers for the show, Room 15 has been turned into a costume manufacturing department with AS and A Level students and a number of staff helping to produce the large number of costumes required for the show.  Charlii Thornton, Amy Hills, Sofia Targova and Hannah Babb have spent many hours cutting, sewing and distressing the costumes, which will be ready for the show if things go to plan! Thanks also to Debbie Bodhanya, Jenny Grange and Karen Quelch who are also helping with the making.

Mrs Hayward-Peel, Head of Textiles

Sixth Form News

Applying for Student Finance

Students who have applied for university can now start applying for student finance.  For information about how you apply and what funding you are eligible for in terms of grants and loans please visit: and to apply:  A letter will be going home to parents in the next few days with some more information. 

It must be noted that the completion of the student finanace application form is not the responsibility of the school. It needs to be completed at home with together with your parents. It is now the students' responsibility to fill in the form although Mrs Castle will always be able to give advice and help with the application.   To book an appointment students can email Mrs Castle.  

University Application News

The deadline to send off university applications was the 15th January.  This year, 124 out of the 156 students in Year 13 (79%) have applied to university, a very similar figure to last year.  Even though the national UCAS deadline has only just been, 90 students have already received one or more conditional offers from their chosen universities.

Melanie Abegglen and Claire Leadbeatter have been given conditional offers by Cambridge and Oxford respectively. Melanie wishes to study Natural Sciences and Claire is hopinng to read History and English. Sam Berwick has had an interview for Veterinary Science and we are still waiting to hear back from the medicine schools for Sara Al-Refaie, Suliman Ahmed and Lois Camp and a Veterinary Course for Yasmin Hatt

Students have applied for a variety of courses, including nursing, physiotherapy, psychology, sports studies, journalism, law and many more.  Jordan Ferne reapplied to university this year and is starting his course in Civil Engineering at the University of East Anglia at the end of the month.

Hopefully now that offers are coming their way Year 13s will maintain their hard work and focus in their studies to help them achieve those grades they deserve in their subjects.

What to do next?

Once students have heard back from the universities with either an unconditional offer, a conditional offer or a rejection, they will need to start thinking about making a:

  1. Firm choice (favourite choice) and an
  2. Insurance choice (a back up if you do not get the conditions for your firm offer) 
  3. Then decline your other offers

If they get the grades for their firm offer then they will be accepted but if they do not get the required grades for their firm offer then they may get rejected; therefore students' insurance choice must have a lower grade entry than their firm choice to ensure a place on a course.  The deadline to do this is not until May so there is plenty of time to think very carefully about which university and course to choose as the firm choice. The Form Tutor or Head of Year can help give advice.  

UCAS reports 3.5% increase in applications to higher education. 

Earlier this week UCAS published statistics on applicants for full-time undergraduate higher education in the 2013 application cycle. They include all applications considered 'on time' for the 15 January deadline and give the first reliable indication of demand for higher education in the UK this year.
These figures show a 3.5% headline increase in the number of applicants to institutions across the UK compared to the same point last year.
Application rates, which take population changes into account, show that the proportion of English 18 year olds applying in 2013 has increased by one percentage point. The application rates of 18 year olds across the UK are at, or near, their highest recorded levels. Application rates from disadvantaged 18 year olds are also at, or close to, record levels. International applications are up, as are those from mature groups.

If you click here you can view the table of total applicants for all courses (2006-2013) by domicile of applicant.

Mrs Castle, Head of Year 13

Community News

Parenting a Child with Additional Needs

This free 7-session course is an opportunity for parents of children aged 0-11 years to share feelings and experiences and discover solutions to problems based on what works - not what's meant to work!

The lead facilitator has first hand experience of a child with special needs.  Topics include:

  • Home/school issues
  • Understanding and managing behaviour
  • Discovering new and recognised ways of managing behaviour
  • Coping with feelings and the wider family

Dates: Monday 22nd April - Monday 10th June (No session on 27th May).
Time: 7-9pm

Windhill & Little Squirrels Children's Centres
Windhill Primary School
Bishop's Stortford CM23 2NL

To book your place call Jackie on 01279 696 853

Please note that the maximum number of places is 12 and that 7 of these have already been taken!

natural flair windhill childrens centre


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