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Year 9 News - 2nd December 2016

01 December 2016

Find out what's been happening in Year 9

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A word from the Year Leader.

Another busy week for our students in Year 9! It was lovely seeing so many of you kicking off the festive season at the annual Christmas Bazaar. With Christmas music blasting out all over the school, the delicious scents of roasted turkey, yummy mince pies and spiced drinks everyone had a smile on their face. And for once the sun decided to shine! It was a fantastic day for everyone involved. A special thank you to our community group for organising and of course to all of our student helpers. This year, Year 9 helped out on cookie decorating, face painting and hair braiding. House points for those helpers! And of course the Christmas Bazaar wouldn’t be complete without a trip to see old Santa Claus. I was happy to see lots of Year 9 still enjoying a visit to Santa’s grotto.

We had a special assembly on Monday to reflect on Project Week and celebrate achievement and share the experiences of each of the different trips. We were treated to stories of feeding the Panda, and trekking in the mountains – things to look forward to in Years 10 and 11! Students also remembered the trips to Xiamen and Yangshou as we listened to the Year 7 and 8 students talk of their trips. Well done to Olivia Mills, Isabella Van der Putten, Danny Ren and Alejandro Martin for presenting the Year 9 trip to the rest of the school and a very special thank you and well done to Michaela Jang for creating and sharing the video from the trip. Please make sure you see the video. Its fab!

And then it was so nice to see so many of you again on Wednesday night for GCSE Options evening. With almost 100% of our students attending with their parents it again reminds me how mature and conscientious the students are. I have included the key dates for the process later in the newsletter.

The students are completing their first Assessment cycle and most are very positive about their learning. Please can I ask that you continue to support your child by ensuring that they have the correct equipment for school each day and that they complete their homework. You can refer to the student planner and make sure that everything is complete. Thank you for your continued support.

GSCE Options

We began the Options process last week in Guidance when the students received the preliminary choice forms. It was positive to see so many of the students begin their research on Wednesday night as they collected information from their subject teachers to help them to make informed choices. The students will be supported throughout the process by their tutors, myself and Mr Siccardi and can come to see us at anything to ask questions or clarify things. In guidance we will begin to explore higher education and careers and this will help the students in their decisions. Remember that the preliminary option for is due back next week but it is just a preliminary form. There is plenty of time to make the final decision. Here is a reminder of the do’s and don’ts fro making your choices and the key dates for the process.


  • choose subjects because your friends are choosing them.
  • choose a subject because your older brother or sister did it.
  • choose a subject because you like the teacher you might have.


  • find out about what the subjects actually entails.
  • choose subjects which interest you.
  • choose subjects you are good at.
  • ask your teachers for advice.
  • consult our IB Co-ordinator and Higher Education Adviser

Guidance Lessons

21st November and other lessons throughout the process

Preliminary form submitted by students

Monday 5th December

Options interview – individual appointments

1st December to 19th January

Academic Review Evening

Tuesday 17th January

Thursday 19th January

Option Form submitted by students

Monday 23rd January

Confirmation of option choices and any follow up discussions

February and March

House Update

The House System got off to a flying start this term with the opening ‘Teamwork Thursday’ house competition. Students across the Secondary School competed in many different team-based activities in which house point were awarded to teams who collaborated the best.  Dao were the winners of this competition and led the leader board for about a week until the Dodgeball competition, where De house took the overall win that boosted them to the top of the leader board!

De also won the Internationalism Quiz that was run by the Senior Student Leaders, however it was Li house that pushed into the lead. Reason; well, it’s not simply the big competitions that put house points on the board. Students are constantly achieving House Points in class, in and around the school for good work, on an individual basis. These House Points are totalled every two weeks and added to the accumulator. Students in Li house were doing a great job inside the classroom and edged into the lead because of it!

De house soon pushed back into the lead with a win in the Perfect Pylons MIT competition. Though, once again, the battle at the top bounced back to Li after a big win in the Xmas card completion. After the count from Form Tutors this week though, it seems that De house have edged their way back to the top.

Who can predict what will happen next as students will battle it out for the best decorated Christmas tree in the house Christmas Tree competition. Over the next two weeks, students will have the chance to bring in their decorations and place them into the house box. On Friday 9th December, students will have 20 minutes to decorate their tree. The winners will be judged by Mrs Wallace, Mr Lawrence and the Senior Student Leadership team. Good luck to all! Here are the latest scores on the doors:

1st Place              De          4529 points

2nd Place             Li             4374 points

3rd Place              Qi            4095 points        

4th Place              Dao        3913 Points