On a very wet Sunday in March a team of 8 girls from the Combined Cadet Force went to Bovington to compete in Dorset Challenge. The event consisted of a shoot, a 3km run with a rifle in combats which included running through a ford, and finally an obstacle course with a 10ft wall. Despite the terrible weather, with great motivation and real teamwork they came third in the obstacle course and shoot and 1st in the run, finishing 1st overall in the female competition.
Recently a group of years 12 and 13 students taking ICT or Computing A Level visited The National Museum of Computing at Bletchley Park near Milton Keynes. The girls had a great time:
“The highlight of the museum was the Colossus machine which was a huge turn-around for the British forces during World War Two as it allowed them to crack highly complex Nazi ciphers; women ran these machines and so we were able to get a better picture of the role that women played during the war and the hardships they went through to keep the machine running.”
“We also saw the recently renovated WITCH computer - which fills a room and has the computing power of a pocket calculator! We got a chance to see computers as they developed through the 1960s till the 1990s. At the end of the day, we coded a game on some BBC Micros, just as teenagers would have done in the 1980s. “
Well done Georgia Zelly who, just before Easter, participated in the national ‘ARTiculation Prize’ (which invites sixth form students to give a talk, between five and ten minutes, on a work of art of their choice to an audience of teachers and fellow students). Georgia gave an excellent talk on the photographic work of Bill Henson which was thought-provoking, informative and professional and impressed both the audience and the judge, artist Laura Ford.
Twenty students visited Rome and the Vatican over February half term. We spent the first day visiting sites such as the Coliseum, the Trevi fountain, Spanish steps, Pantheon, Castle St Angelo and the Cappucin crypt, and then a day vising the Vatican, including the basilica, Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel. Crammed in between the sightseeing were regular stops for souvenir shopping and consuming large quantities of ice cream and pizza!
At the end of February, Year 12 geographers enjoyed a residential field visit to East London, studying rebranding in London Docklands and investigating the impact of the London 2012 Olympics on the Stratford area. As in previous years, we were most fortunate to have Bob Digby, President of the Geographical Association, to lead our fieldwork.
The Chamber Choir gave a very successful Lunchtime Concert at Highcliffe Castle on Wednesday 6th March. This was one of the first lunchtime concerts to be given at this venue and was performed in front of good-sized and very appreciative audience. The choir has been asked to give another concert at this venue in the near future.
Year 12 BTEC students gave a Solos Lunchtime Concert on Friday 8th March in the Performing Arts Centre. This forms part of the students’ portfolio of performance work throughout the year. Performances were given by Jess Bichard, Charli Phillips, Lucy Henley, Mhairi McDonald, Anna Searle, Annalise Slocock and Katy Wallis (pictured).
It has been a particular privilege to interview over 60 students from Year 12 who applied to be a part of our senior prefect team. I am always humbled at the sheer range of talent and involvement in both the school and wider community which so many girls show.
Thanks go to our outgoing senior team who have done sterling service this year and best wishes to the new incoming senior team.
Entrepreneurs in finals
It was a special pleasure to attend the Awards ceremony of the Enterprise Challenge competition recently when our Sixth Formers gave presentations about their businesses at an evening reception in front of their parents and a judging panel drawn from local industry and senior staff of Bournemouth University. Congratulations to all girls involved in the event!.
Over half term break BSG pupils travelled far and wide. We had a ski trip to Austria, an RS study visit to Rome and a Spanish exchange visit to Barcelona. My grateful thanks to all staff accompanying these visits who give of their time so freely for the benefit of the girls.
Congratulations to Helen Spokes who has won the first annual South West Academic Trust (SWAT) History Essay Competition, beating off some stiff competition from other SWAT grammar schools such as Colyton and Torquay Girls. Essay titles were set by Exeter University and the essays written over the summer holidays.
Helen chose to answer the question, ‘To what extent was Stalin’s power based upon his perceived moderation and popularity?’ The university commented:
We were impressed by the fluency of this essay, its attempt to back up statements by references in footnotes, and (in particular) by the subtlety of the argument, which considered Stalin’s self-presentation alongside his political tactics, in order to produce the most complete answer. This essay also began to take the next step in the construction of historical argument, which is to consider the question in the light of different schools of historical interpretation.
Well done to Helen, who wins £75 in book tokens.
Year 12 music students recently organised and performed in a gig in Bournemouth’s ‘On the Rocks’ venue as part of their BTEC Music Project assignment. They had to rehearsed hard and gave a really impressive performance.
Lucy, Jess and Charlie on stage at ‘On the Rocks’
Recently some year 12 students have started to attend French conferences taking place in St. Andrew’s United Reformed Church as an active way of developing their knowledge. The widespread variety of topics included French literature and how to be polite and impolite in France. This provided us with a great insight into French culture, such as how to lay the table for a dinner party, French mannerisms and even French gallantry. We also had the opportunity to mingle with people fluent in the language who are familiar with the culture, having already lived in France – the perfect way to put skills learned in class into practice. Listening to speech at a higher level of French and a faster speed stretches your vocabulary and improves your listening skills far beyond any listening exercise in lessons. We look forward to attending future conferences on fashion, which complements A Level topics.
It was good to welcome older friends of the school to our annual tea party organised by members of the sixth form. They then joined our year 7-9 pupils for their carol service. We were pleased, too, to welcome Mr and Mrs Begley of the Salvation Army at Boscombe. The senior team also organised a collection of soup tins for the Salvation Army. Over 500 tins were donated.
Founders' day celebrations
Founders' Day was again an opportunity to celebrate and share in the successes of so many of our pupils in academic work and the wider life of the school. This year the prizes and certificates were awarded by the Deputy Mayor and Mayoress of Bournemouth and Lucy Macgregor, former pupil of the school who competed in the Olympics at Weymouth this summer. We also saw the presentation of certificates to the pupils who have completed the Duke of Edinburgh's Award at school. Congratulations to all girls who participated in any way to make this such a memorable occasion.
Film making success
Ellie Cook (Year 13) has been shortlisted for a national competition organised by ITV. ‘Nativity Factor' asks for short films of the nativity story to be made and uploaded onto www.nativityfactor.com, where all entries are then subject to a public vote. The most popular entries make a shortlist for a panel of judges to decide upon a winner, to be announced on 17th December. Prizes include £5000, and a tour of the ITV studios. Ellie's film, Playmobil nativity, is a ‘stop motion' film accompanied by music written and performed by two other BSG students, Lily and Violet Adams. Ellie has made a number of films, including some philosophical ones as part of her studies in A level Religious Studies, which have been very well received by her class, and she is planning to study film making and production at degree level.
According to the latest Sunday Times 2012 Parentpower survey, Bournemouth School for Girls is for the second year running, top performing state school in Dorset and Hampshire. Based on both A level and GCSE results achieved in the summer BSG is ranked 95th in the country. Parkstone Grammar School is the only other local state school to make it in to the top 100, reaching 98th. Alistair Brien, Headteacher at BSG said: ‘It's great to have this further accolade following on from our Outstanding OFSTED inspection visit in October.'
From the sixth form office
The sixth form staff and tutors are just emerging from the deluge of UCAS (university) application forms that have been handed in during November and December. To date we have processed 113 applications for degrees in everything from Architecture to Zoology. It is an exciting time for the students, many of whom quickly receive offers from university. We are especially delighted that seven girls have this year received offers to study at Oxford and Cambridge Universities.
The Amnesty Group has organized one of our most successful Christmas events ever, raising £165.09! Many thanks to Lottie, Nawshin, Tash, Olivia, Emily and Liz who masterminded the event. We are now in the process of sending a cheque for £300 to Amnesty for their appeal for Syria.
Year 12 AS Art Visit to Cornwall
Art students recently travelled to Penzance & St Ives and had the chance to experience a vast changing landscape. It was an artist’s paradise. They all had experience of working in the great Cornish outdoors, constantly battling with the elements. They also visited a variety of galleries and museums and were exposed to a range of unusual but thought provoking artwork. Throughout the trip girls collaborated as a group to produce developments and experiments which pushed their creative boundaries and together they stepped out of their comfort zones to produce more sophisticated work. A jam-packed and rewarding trip!
Rossetti show support for injured veterans
Last year Rossetti house supported the DMRC Headley Court charity. Headley is a military rehabilitation centre which aims to rehabilitate and support injured soldiers. The most common injuries are single or double amputations and abdominal injuries, thus the patients require 24hr medical supervision and support. Because Headley is not well known, the money it receives in comparison to other charities is minimal. Sixth former Kayleigh went to Headley Court to present our cheque for £625 which has gone towards the Patient Welfare Fund, helping improve the quality of life of the residents living there.
Sixth form politics students had the chance to look around the Houses of Parliament and meet with our MP Tobias Ellwood on a recent visit to London. A surprise encounter with Ed Milliband, leader of the opposition, helped make for a highly informative and interesting visit!
‘Students are motivated, inspired and enthused by an outstanding quality of teaching.’
‘The outstanding sixth form is characterised by high achievement, high recruitment and retention and by a set of highly articulate and determined young women.’
‘Students’ achievements in the sixth form are outstanding.
‘ Students’ achievements in the sixth form are outstanding. The proportion gaining A* to B grades is well above the national average. The students’ outstanding achievements can be linked to the high quality of advice they are given about their sixth form options and the quality of the monitoring procedures that are in place to secure such excellent outcomes.’
‘Students are prepared very well for the next stage in their education, training or employment. Provision ranges from high-quality careers advice to support in gaining entrance to all the top universities, including Oxbridge. Students are prepared very well for the next stage in their education, training or employment. Provision ranges from high-quality careers advice to support in gaining entrance to all the top universities, including Oxbridge.’
‘A positive atmosphere permeates the school. This is because of the mutual respect that exists between students themselves and between staff and students. Many students commented that the house system is successful in bringing together students from different year groups, helping the school to function cohesively.’
‘As the Chair of the Governing Body stated:
‘Our aim is to provide an outstanding education so that when they leave us our students will go on to set the world alight.’ In all years, and especially the sixth form, students are provided with outstanding and memorable opportunities to learn, to be creative and to be enterprising. They are thoroughly prepared for the next steps in their lives and can aim high with confidence.’
‘Students are highly enthusiastic and motivated learners.’
‘ The students’ behaviour is nothing short of exemplary. They are considerate, courteous and polite and, as a result, the school is calm and welcoming.’
‘Students are proud of their school and its work. They cherish the many and varied opportunities they have to take responsibility. Sixth form students, for example , act as tremendous mentors and role models for younger students.’
‘Students commented that the school is happy and harmonious. A positive atmosphere permeates the school.’
‘Parents and carers agree that this is an outstanding school that is led and managed extraordinarily well.’
Congratulations to all our students who sat A levels this summer. We are proud of all our girls and their results which reflect a tremendous amount of hard work and dedication both by them and their teachers. The results achieved are amongst our very best ever with 72.18% of exams passed at A*, A or B grades and 99.28% of exams passed at A-E grades. The number of A and A* grades achieved is up on last year with 36 students gaining 3 or more A/A* grades at A level. All four students holding offers at Oxford or Cambridge secured their places as did all six girls wanting to study medicine. We wish all our students the very best as they move on to the next stage of their lives.
Year 12 students also achieved outstanding AS results. In all, 44 students obtained 3 or more A grades at AS level, with one third of all entries being awarded the top grade. Ten students distinguished themselves by achieving A grades in five or even six subjects (the study of four subjects being the national bench mark). Overall the A/B grade pass rate at AS level rose from 48% to 56%, bucking all national trends. Again warmest congratulations to all our year 12 students on their great achievement!
Mr Brien welcomed the visitors, followed by Zoë Umpleby (Year 13 student) who introduced the eventwith her experiences of visiting Auschwitz-Birkeneau with the 'Lessons from Auschwitz Project'. The guest speaker Steven Frank gave a very moving although horrific account of life within the camp and the cruelty of the Nazi regime towards the prisoners.
The purpose of the event was a ceremonial planting of a sycamore tree which will act as a permanent memorial at BSG to the prisoners murdered in the Holocaust and as a symbol of the dedication to keeping alive the messages and lessons of the Holocaust itself.
Following a presentation evening about the Open University Young Applicants in Schools Scheme, students in Year 12 have shown interest in a range of courses including: Molecules, Medicines and Drugs, Volcanoes, Earthquakes and Tsunamis and An Introduction to Shakespearse. The courses are at undergraduate level and help students to develop their independent learning skills using the superb distance learning resources from the OU.
Life Drawing Workshops
The girls explored a range of approaches to drawing, working directly from a life model, and were pleasantly surprised by how much progress they made over these two stimulating, challenging and very rewarding sessions.
"By doing observational Life Drawings, not only did we learn new drawing techniques, but we were able to strengthen our observation skills-spending a long period of time focussing and analysing the lines and form of the body. I have also been introduced to some new artists I hadn't come across before."
'Red Bull has run a national animation competition called "Red Bull Canimation".
As animation is a career path that I want to pursue after university, I decided to enter. However, I was not eligible for the student competition, as I am not a current university student so had to enter the open category where I would be competing with post-graduates and professionals in the industry.
I made a short animation using the very basic frame to frame method. This required a lot of work and took over 300 drawings to create a film that was only 30 seconds long. The film is as random as I could make it involving a bird, a whale, three legged polar beer and a killer chicken. After receiving over 2000 views on the internet from the hundreds that applied, I was in the top ten. The films are then watched and judged by top professionals and giants of the animation industry.
I was invited to the Awards Ceremony at the Empire Cinema in Leicester Square, where my film was premièred!'
Sixth form parents evening and key dates
Readers of the Daily Telegraph were recently able to discover the top twenty hotspots for good schools in the country. Amongst them was Bournemouth, noted for an ' impressive clutch of grammar schools spearheaded by Bournemouth School for Girls'. To read the full article click here.