Head’s Newsletter – 14th July2023

Dear parents and carers

It has been another busy week at Wollaston with the Year 11 prom last night, the sixth form ball this evening, sports day as well as a visit from holocaust survivor, Hannah Lewis MBE. She spoke to an audience of about 250 members of our community about her experiences during World War 2 at a labour camp in Poland under Nazi occupation where most of her family were murdered by the Einsatzgruppen, the Nazis’ mobile killing unit responsible for the mass shooting of Jews. It was an incredibly moving story and a real privilege to welcome her to Wollaston School. Thanks to Mr Hopkins for organising the evening and also to the amazing students who introduced the evening and spoke about their trip to Auschwitz earlier in the year.


Final Week of Term

Please be reminded that we break for the summer holidays next Friday at 11.50 am. Buses will run as normal and will depart Wollaston at midday. School returns for all students on Tuesday 5th September.


Sports News

Mr Bennett writes: “This week’s sports news includes the following events and activities. Monday 10th July saw our Year 7 and 8 leaders support the Irchester Primary school sports day. Feedback from the event was full of praise and support for the leaders and it was wonderful to hear of the students really helping so well. Sadly, the Wollaston Primary school sports day was cancelled and thus not held on Tuesday due to poor weather. We really hope that we can host and support Wollaston Primary school soon and continue to support them in their sporting events and activities.

On Wednesday we held our annual sports day, and it was a really great day. The morning was a combination of year groups and different activities. The students’ levels of engagement and physical activity were superb, and it was wonderful to look across all the activities and fields and see such engagement in the sport being played. Sixth form students held a badminton tournament in the sports hall during the whole morning and played continuously throughout. A select group of sixth form students also assisted the lower school through refereeing the football and providing coaching and support. The afternoon saw the whole school move to the track and with both sides of the track filled with spectators full of anticipation, the races could begin. One of the highlights was the wonderfully happy and positive atmosphere from everyone involved and the willingness of the students who volunteered to run and compete for their house was also a real boost. All the races and events were filled with competitors in every age group and even a Year 12, 200m race was held.  The relay races were the last event and were swiftly completed. The sports day this year was such a happy and positive event. The students’ behaviour and engagement were high and truly added to the day. The winning house was Austen so well done to them and a big thank you to the whole school community for a brilliant day.”


Ready, Steady, Cook! (Royal Navy edition)

Jess and Skye write: “Have you ever wondered what it’s like cooking for the Navy?

On Monday 10th of July, 3 members of the logistics team from the Royal Navy came into Wollaston School and gave us a challenge. Not only was it a challenge but it was a fierce competition between 6 teams!

They started with a very interesting and informative presentation about all the different roles and opportunities the Navy can provide during your time and after you leave. This involved information like the process you would have to go through to enrol, the sports opportunities from the navy (which included even going as far as competing in the Olympics) and most importantly the discounts in shops and restaurants! We also got an insight into the other job roles the Navy has to offer like the Royal Marines, health care, engineering roles and being a chef, which is what we focused on. It was great to hear from the perspective of current recruits as they could talk about their opinions and experiences from a first-hand point of view.

After the presentation they split us up into groups of 5, and gave us a challenge of preparing, cooking and presenting spaghetti and meatballs and also pavlova. We had to use a lot of teamwork and communication skills, just like in the Navy. To exceed in this challenge, we needed to come up with creative ways to upskill the taste and presentation of the dishes. We were under pressure not only from the timings but also from the piercing eyes of the recruits walking around the kitchen. The other teams also added an extra weight on our shoulders as we were reminded of the time constraint with the clock continuing to tick down to the final 10 minutes. These closing minutes were vital for the presentation of our dishes, making sure it was exquisite enough for the Navy recruits. We also wanted to demonstrate our skills, so we all combined our efforts and used our creative skills to assemble the best looking and best tasting meal we’ve ever produced.                                                      

Then came decision time. All 6 teams carefully placed their 2 final dishes in a line waiting anxiously for the results. The Navy recruits harshly critiqued everyone’s food, occasionally giving out positive feedback to those who deserved it. After they had finished examining each group’s food they decided on a champion. When this was announced a roar erupted from the winning team, as the rest of us were disappointed we hadn’t succeeded.

We all really enjoyed this experience and got a good perception and understanding of what it would be like to cook in the navy. We massively appreciate the time and effort from the Navy team coming in and informing us about their job and the navy in general.”

Student Ambassadors Conference

Max Pittham and Evie Bush – Community Ambassadors write: “These conferences have developed our leadership skills and teamwork which is all because of you and your idea to start the student ambassadors. We think this has made an immense difference to our school and us as individuals. Our confidence has grown due to the assemblies we have done even though it was a bit nerve wracking to begin with. Our ability to work as a team has strengthened us as community ambassadors and even since the first conference we have seen a big difference in our attitude towards each other, trying to make a difference towards our community.

Conference 3 began with a warm welcome from Miss Ayres, and we reviewed all our plans we had made during conference 1 back in November. We discussed as groups what goals we had achieved and also what we had not. Reflecting shows what we can improve on next year, but also what we have already accomplished. As ambassadors Miss Ayres explained that we would have more control over house competitions, so we wrote down some ideas of new competitions we could incorporate into next year and additionally how the ambassadors could get involved and help out.

After break we discussed all things rewards including, what went well and the even better ifs. There was lots to be talked about as students had lots of different ideas and opinions on the matter. We came up with some new and improved awards that will hopefully come into play next year. Finally, to finish off conference 3, we filled out a sheet reflecting on our achievements throughout the year.”

Darla Goodes – learning ambassador writes: “The Student Ambassador conference was very interactive and allowed us to know each other better as a group. I feel all the groups had come up with ideas that really support the school community. I would like to have an extra thanks to Miss Ayres as she has done an amazing job of putting the ambassador team together, she has also been amazing with helping the groups expand their ideas. In my personal experience so far, the learning ambassadors have been getting more comfortable with each other which allows us to express our ideas. I loved this year and what we all have achieved.”

Best wishes for the week ahead.

Simon Anderson