A few photos cannot do justice to the mix of reflection, celebration and fun during the last few days of term, but I hope that they give at least a flavour !
At Clyst Vale our whole ethos is based on strong relationships, so students seeing staff in a different context (sometimes !) and vice versa is very important. For instance, Green School were treated to a rendition of “Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer” by their tutor team…
On the last day of term, two teams of well-honed athletes competed in a staff-student basketball match, which raised £90 for the Kenya Fund. For many years, age and treachery has secured a staff victory, but the tables were turned with a 44-5 win for the students. In fairness, we do have some fantastic basketball players in Year 12, and as one teacher wryly observed, “each year we play they’re still 17, but we’re always a year older…”.
We’re not a Church school, but we do not neglect the spiritual aspect of Christmas, and of course a proportion of our students and staff are practising Christians. The main event is our Carol Service, held on Wednesday. It was a lovely evening, held in the country parish church of St Mary’s, Whimple. The setting alone was evocative, and of course Whimple is one of our catchment villages. Although the evening was informal in many ways, the performances and readings were well-rehearsed and of high quality. It is always great to see the emerging talent of some of our younger students, too. Many thanks to students, parents and friends of the College for attending; to Mr Arkell and Mrs Sprenkel for rehearsing the musicians, to Mr Green for rehearsing the readers and overall coordination, to the PTFA for providing refreshments, and to the Revd Chris Martin for allowing us to hold the evening at Whimple.
We have used the festive season to promote some positive inter-School rivalry. A student in Yellow School won the Christmas Card competition (the rules are it must be in black-and-white !) for this design.
There was fierce competition over the best-dressed tutor room competition, which had to incorporate proper regard to health and safety. It was a tie, shared between 8RGG and 7YJKi. These are some of the innovative designs – each of the crackers hanging over the periodic table is personalised to a member of the tutor group. The serious aspect to this is getting the groups to work together, and use their skills of creativity, teamwork and leadership.
Christmas wouldn’t seem right without a panto, and each of the Year 7 groups staged a performance of either Cinderella which they had been rehearsing in Performing Arts lessons. Again, this combined fun with background learning about pantomimes, techniques, and again working as a team. This is 7SLA.
During the week we also reflected on the “Unsung Heroes” of Clyst Vale. Each School identified forty students who always work hard, try their best, behave well, remain positive, support their friends, but may not be the highest achievers or the most sporty. These are the sort of students who sometimes are “under the radar”, so each School organised a special presentation event with certificates and a Christmas Quiz.
Developing positive values is very important to us, and this was the theme of the Final Assembly. Many activities this week have been to raise money for charity, including our international partnership with Ndururumo High School in Kenya; that is where the proceeds of the non-uniform day will go. (The photo includes an angelic Mrs Battishill).
So, it has been an excellent last week. Even so, it was nice to see the last bus turn out of the coach park…