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Year 9 Residential 2015 - Day Four



Students building a fire

Today was an amazing day, we went rock pooling, coasteering and climbing. It was a great experience and an amazing day out on the coast, even though it was raining.

I managed to get an amazing work experience offer here for showing my gratitude to other students and helping them through their fears. When I was climbing I saw another student in a terrible state trying to get down the cliff where we were climbing. She was shaking and looked very nervous, so I decided to be patient with her and helped her get down within a couple of minutes. Everyone thanked me for what I had done.

We went through tight caves, lit fires, found crabs and were even taught how to hypnotise them! It was great!

After all this fun we went home and on to the zip wire which was scary, but tremendous at the same time.

And that was my day...

- Kaine, Year 9

Students making sandwiches for yenworthy group

Duties and Daily Routine

Serving - serving the tables at breakfast and dinner with food and water. When your table is finished you have to take the dishes and glasses up to the cooks to be washed.

Cleaning - the boot room, lounge and work room. Which consists of using the hoover and sweeping up the floor to keep it clean and tidy.

Making sandwiches - you make the sandwiches for other people and yourself for lunch.

Eco warriors - recycling, composting and feeding the birds.

I've learnt how to look after myself more and work within a community environment.

I think we do these duties to teach us skills when working in a community and working for yourself.

- Harvey, Year 9

Teacher checking rooms

Teachers View from Yenworthy

You know how it is with getting teenagers to keep their rooms tidy. Imagine 36 crammed into small rooms with bunk beds. Even harder you'd say. Well at Yenworthy they have an ingenious system of morning room inspections, where teachers get to check students rooms for tidiness. Beds are perfectly made, floors clean and sinks sparkling and a score is given out of 10. As a parent as well as a teacher I didn't believe it would work, but it did. Although we did have to ask the boys twice!

So when your teenager says they can't keep their room tidy, don't believe them. We have photographic evidence.

I wish I'd thought of this with my kids!

- Mr Robinson


Year 9 Residential 2015 - Day Three



Students out on canoe's and gorge walking yesterday...

Students canoeing Yenworthy

Two students in canoe, Yenworthy Student being pulled along in canoe

Students splashing around in lake after canoeing Student floating in water afte gorge walking

Student floating after jumping from waterfall Student jumping from waterfall


Students kayaking, Yenworthy

Conquering Fears

I was scared of water and swimming. However today I got into the water and when we capsized I was no longer afraid because there really wasn't anything for me to be scared about!

Group A went kayaking today at Wimbleball Lake, everyone had fun and we all were slashing and dunking each other. We all participated and shared a kayak with someone. I shared with Mr Bhuva and Charlotte. I really enjoyed it apart from having to put a small wet suit on...we couldn't zip it up! We also had to wear a buoyancy aid, which made me feel safe because I knew I would float if I fell in.

- Rebecca, Year 9


Student climbing, Yenworthy Student on zip wire, Yenworthy

Today, Group C and Group B went rock climbing, several of us with a fear of heights. We were led by Pete who showed us the three different places that we would climb, all of which were at least 20ft tall. We were split into three groups for the corresponding climbs, the people in these groups took it in turns to climb, anchor and belay. Me and several others have vertigo, otherwise known as a fear of heights; we had to conquer our fear of heights in order to progress in the activities. I managed to climb two of the three different climbs and had fun doing it as well, everybody attempted to climb at least one of the climbs regardless of whether they had a fear of heights.

At 4:30 after we had arrived back at Yenworthy, we were taken to the side of the hard court where there is a zip line from the top of the hill down to the pond at the bottom. We formed a line and went down one after the other. We could choose if we wanted to go down facing forwards or backwards, I chose backwards as I didn't have to look at the ground below me. It was faster than I thought it would be, but I managed not to shout too loudly.

I'm happy that I've conquered my fear of heights as it allows me to take more opportunities in the future.

- Will, Year 9


Year 9 Residential 2015 - Day Two



Gourp student photograph mountain walking, Woodlands

Today(Tuesday) students were allowed the slightly more generous wake-up call of 7:30. The different activity groups have been embarking on a variety of tasks: caving, gorge walking, mountain walking and canoeing. Several excellent examples of leadership, communication and enthusiasm have been shown, which is most suitable following last week's Be The Best You Can Be celebration evening.


Group evening activity, Kilvrough 2015

Relaxing in the evening sun after a hard days caving, surfing and kayaking.


Group photograph of students with surf boards, Yenworthy

Today two of our groups were lucky enough to adventure into the sea. Firstly we were told how to body surf and after mastering the skill we learnt how to properly stand on the board. Everyone crashed and burned at some point, but eventually we got the hang of it and rode some waves dude! Mr Robinson made me put 'dude' :)

Student surfing, Yenworthy Students surfing, Yenworthy

The weather conditions were perfect letting us catch some huge waves. With the help of my partner I was able to 'shred' some waves, which was extremely fun and it was an amazing experience. I really hope to surf again.

- Jess, Year 9


Students in kayaks, Yenworthy

We started in a group and were told about the basic setup of the paddles and kayaks. Then we got into the water and paddled around for a while until we all started capsizing and falling into the lake.

We all got back into our kayaks and raced to the other side of the lake. Ryan, Harvey and I came last, but its the taking part that counts! We all jumped into the lake and swam around. Jarik tried to escape, but he failed.

Once we had all cooled off we paddled back. It was all very tiring, but a nice day overall. The weather was perfect for it and there wasn't much wind.

- Sam, Year 9

Students swimming in lake, Yenworthy





Year 9 Residential 2015 - Day One


A few team building activities to start the week...

Year 9 student group photo at Kilvrough

Team challenge at Kilvrough Students on tyre cours at Kilvrough


Here are a few pictures of our group challenge, we had to take a bowl of water over a rope course with lots of challenges including doing a flip through a tyre and climbing a wall with no rope! With a little teamwork we were able to help to push and support each other across the wall, so a lot of trust went into this.

This has been a brilliant first day!

- Chloe, Year 9

Year 9 students on rope course at Yenworthy 


People were to scale a wall, shown behind us about eight foot high. The skills involved were teamwork and communication both crucial to succeed in this challenge even if just climbing with all the time in the world BUT...three teams were to compete against each other trying to get the best time!

Planning for the challenge involved thinking about who was the easiest to lift and when we should be lifting them to the top because the last person on the wall had no one underneath them to push them up and the first had no one to lift. To make the challenge even more difficult we had to carry the bucket of water used in the previous challenges over the wall too...without spilling!

Little did we know it would be our fate if we lost. As you can see our team were told ''ok losing team, your photo first'' . I'll leave you there ...

- Jack, Year 9

Year 9 student loosing team with buckets of water poured over heads



Students on climbing wall at woodlands 2015

After a swift departure from school on Monday morning, we arrived at Woodlands at midday for the week. After settling in and the assigning of duties and activity groups, things got quickly underway with the first set of activities. Students made the most of the high ropes course, zip wire and climbing wall that the centre boasts. At the end of a long day, bedtime was welcomed by most.

Student on a zip wire at Woodlands



Year 7 - Marwell Zoo Trip

Penguin swimming underwater Students watching penguins swimming

On Friday 26th June, the whole of Year 7 were offered the chance to visit Marwell Zoo in Hampshire organised by the Art Department. When I heard about the trip I initially questioned why we would be visiting a zoo? Soon after, our Head of Art explained the reason for the outing. The aim of the trip was to focus on our techniques in Art, improve sketching and balanced proportion when drawing live objects. In preparation for the excursion, each one of us was handed our very own brand new sketch book. I started to feel excited as Art is one of my favourite subjects.

Student group selfie at marwell zoo Giraffes outside at Marwell Zoo

Nearly two hundred pupils boarded the 4 private coaches on the Friday morning. As we arrived at Marwell in the glorious sunshine, I was thankful that I had remembered my sun cream! The zoo was so much bigger than I had imagined, with acres and acres of land and over 1,200 different animals to see. Suddenly I saw some elegant, long-necked giraffes galloping strikingly in the distance. Watching them, I felt butterflies and for a split second I experienced how exciting it must be to live in Africa. I soon opened my sketch book and began to draw.

Penguin enclosure at Marwell Zoo Meerkats sheltering from the sun at Marwell Zoo

Our group continued for hours walking and sketching in the sunshine, penguins, tigers, meerkats, monkeys, snow leopards, cheetahs, rhino, hippos and more! The Art teachers advised as we went along on technique and ideas. My hands began to ache after a while. We stopped for a picnic lunch and in the afternoon had the chance to experience how it really feels to be a monkey as we climbed and messed about with the rest of the year group in the adventure playground. The trip had been so much more enjoyable, exciting and entertaining than I had expected. The teachers were more relaxed and fun outside of school too! On my way back I wondered to myself what the next Wallingford school trip would be!

- Olivia, 7KG

Head Boy & Girl at Founder's Day 2015

Head Girl speech at Founders day 2015

Ladies and gentleman, on behalf of the new school officers, we would like to thank and congratulate the previous set of officers for their hard work, dedication and numerous achievements. Our particular thanks go to head boy, Will, and head girl, Liddy (who I must mention is clubbing in Malia as we speak), for leading them so effectively. What most impressed about the officers last year was their drive for political awareness in sixth form, which culminated in the hustings event prior to the general election. This event was incredibly successful, and what was perhaps most remarkable was that many of those who had previously been disengaged with politics developed a real passion for it. Hopefully, we, the new set of officers will be just as successful, and we have many ideas about how to make the school a more happy and prosperous environment for all.

These include a variety of initiatives, such as; making a positive and lasting change in the energy efficiency of the school by encouraging simple changes that both staff and students can make in order to help reduce energy usage, reforming the schools approach to sex education by expanding the range of subjects discussed, providing extra support and guidance to year 11s when they are choosing their AS subjects and perhaps most importantly, tackling the invisible burden of mental illness amongst students. We are both excited and proud to be able to work for and represent the school and must therefore thank the current year 12 who elected us to this position. It means a lot to us that we were chosen by our peers as well as our teachers.

Student receives a prize at Founder's Day 2015 Student receives a prize at Founder's Day 2015

As officers, the School Council is one of our biggest responsibilities as we are the voice between the students and Mr. Willis. We hope to reform the school council to make it a more formal and prominent body within the school. We believe this will strengthen the relationship between us, as officers, and students from every year group, thus allowing us to truly represent every student and therefore the school. As your head boy and head girl, we are directly responsible for making sure that the school council is used to its full potential. As well as this, our role also incorporates running the sixth form taster days, attending Merchant Taylor dinners and thoroughly boring large audiences.

The seven of us feel privileged to have the opportunity to work in these roles as we have great belief in our school and respect for those who make it the vibrant learning environment that it is. We are so pleased to get the chance to work alongside some of these people and hope that we will be able to play our part in making it even better.

So here's to the coming year...

- Mabel (Head Girl) & Oli (Head Boy)

Student receives a prize at Founder's Day 2015 Student receives a prize at Founder's Day 2015

Year 9 Race for Life

Year 9 Race for Life student group photograp

At the start of this year, I wanted to run the Race For Life to raise money for Cancer Research UK in memory of my Grandma who sadly lost her battle against cancer.

I wanted more people to get involved because more people participating meant more money could be raised. So I had the idea of getting my whole year group together and holding our very own Race For Life. Last Friday I made this idea become reality.

Students dressed in pink in aid of Race for Life group photo of 9JL before Race for Life

It was a very successful day and we worked together as a year group to raise over £2500.

We had many.....interesting costumes (Ms. Kershaw) and Mr. Lee enjoyed bringing out his feminine side.

To start the afternoon we all participated in a Zumba warm up and had many laughs (thanks Yaz Light).

Year 9 Zumba before Race for Life 5k Year 9 student warm up for 5k run with zumba

We then set off in the boiling heat to start our 5k journey. Everyone pushed themselves and crossed the finish line to receive their medal.

I couldn't have achieved this without the help of my family and friends, Mrs. Paterson and Mr. Lee. And of course Year 9 for supporting me with my crazy idea!

- Naomi, Year 9

Year 9 students running 5k for Race for Life Students crossing the finish line for Race for Life

Year 7 Boulogne Trip 2015

Two students wearing Beret's in Boulogne Students walking through a park in Boulogne

On Friday 12th June, at approximately 4:20am, the Y7's who have been learning French this year, trudged onto one of the two coaches parked in the bus bays. The main aim of this trip was for us to practise our French, as well as seeing what France is like. When we were all on the coach we were given a booklet, which contained questions that we would find the answers to throughout the day, we were also given Wallingford School wristbands in case we got lost.

As the journey to Dover was going to take at least three hours, some people took the opportunity to catch up on some sleep while others chose to chat. Everyone who was awake seemed very excited, perhaps because some of us had never been to France, been on a ferry or perhaps just something as simple as spending a whole day with their friends. About half way there, we stopped at a service station in order to get some fresh air and eat our second breakfast!

Students on Ferry to France with Madame Audemard Students in Boulogne ramparts

Finally, we arrived in Dover, where we saw many other vehicles queuing to get onto a ferry. What felt like quite a while later, the coaches started slowly moving forward onto a bridge, which was attached to the ferry. Once we had boarded the ferry (at about 8:15am), we were told to make our way up some very steep steps and follow our group leader. We were then allowed to have a wander around the ferry in groups of three for the next hour.

The boat transporting us to France was managed by P & O Ferries, it was called the Pride of Kent. 8:25am, was the approximate time that the Pride of Kent departed the Port of Dover, headed for Calais. There were many places to explore on the very crowded ferry: shops, cafés, the deck and quite a lot of other places. We came across a lot of other children who were also on a school trip.

Student completing French work book Students walking through the town in Boulogne

On arriving at the Hypermarket, which was absolutely massive, our group leaders told us a time at which we should meet them, then we set off to do some shopping and to use our French. Situated in the Hypermarket was a humongous supermarket and many small shops. Whilst doing our shopping, we noticed that the majority of items were a lot cheaper in France than they are in England. Many very different and interesting products were bought.

Next, we piled ourselves back onto the coaches with our new purchases and set off for Boulogne itself. Boulogne was boiling! Our first activity was to fill in the answers for a couple of questions in our booklets. Because we were all starving, we made our way up onto the ramparts to eat our lunch, from which we got amazing views of small towns located on hills in the distance.

Students investigating Boulogne Cathedral Inside Boulogne Cathedral

Afterwards, we continued our walk along the ramparts, we were almost the same height as the trees; by looking over the walls we could see some tennis courts surrounded by trees, a maze and many cobbled streets. Soon we approached the main castle, which was built by Count Philippe Hurepel, it was completed in 1234. There were many windows in the circular courtyard of the castle,too many to count!

Our time in Boulogne flew past and soon it was time to leave. On our way back to the coaches, we saw the cathedral; we also bought souvenirs and ice creams (which involved us speaking a bit of French) from a street full of shops. As it had been so hot all day we had been longing for some respite and just as we were getting on the coaches it started to rain!

Students sporting beret's Students answering questions in French work book

When we arrived at the port, unlike last time, we had to go through border control which took quite a while; we were then stuck in a queue to get onto the ferry, again. We embarked at about 6:45pm in French time; it was raining a lot whilst we were on the ferry, meaning the windows started to steam up. However, we sill got to have a glimpse of the white cliffs of Dover. On the way back to school, most people were exhausted due to the fact that we had had to wake up incredibly early, so the coaches were reasonably quiet.

All our parents were standing by the bus bays waiting for us to return. We finally arrived back at school at about 10:15pm, only 45 minutes later than expected – not bad. We shuffled off the coaches, taking all our belongings with us. Our day in Boulogne was a great experience, a fun, but tiring day out and we all really enjoyed it!

- Martha, Year 7

Our Trip to the Houses of Parliament

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On Wednesday 17th June, we were lucky enough to be given the opportunity to visit Europe House and the Houses of Parliament. It was a really enjoyable and beneficial day for everyone involved.

We began our day by visiting Europe House, home to the European Parliament and the European Commission. We were all given lanyards which showed a Member of European Parliament and information about their country, we used these to complete Europe bingo, an undoubtedly competitive event, by filling in facts about countries in the European Union. We also chose a picture from those scattered around a room which we believe most represented the EU and explained why. Pictures ranged from hedgehogs to blood vessels. We then had a talk from Asher who taught us about what countries are in the EU and how the European Parliament is run alongside background context of why the EU formed. Our final activity at Europe House was to organise into our political parties and make a speech on whether Turkey should be allowed to join the EU. Fantastic speeches were made by all the parties but after casting our votes the decision was made against Turkey joining the EU.

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After we left Europe House, we travelled to the Houses of Parliament where we all had to hand in our phones, something very stressful for us teenagers! We began by watching a debate which we all found very exciting and coincidentally made by the Henley MP, talking about colleges and apprenticeships, something very fitting for those of us soon contemplating leaving school. We then had a tour of the building and learnt about how the government is made up and ran. We then were split into political parties where we had to create a manifesto and try to win seats for our MP's. We learnt a great deal about the political system in England such as methods of voting, including, first past the post and proportional representation. We cast our votes within our constituencies and failed to reach a majority so formed a coalition between the APT Party and the Civic Party. Finally, we were able to meet our MP, Ed Vaizey. He spoke to us about his role as both an MP and in government as well as happily answering any questions we had for him.

We all found the day very interesting and it improved our knowledge on the running and formation of parliament. We are all very grateful to have participated in the trip and had a really lovely day.

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Salters' Festival of Chemistry 2015

Students outside University of Oxford Chemistry lab. Students completing a science experiment

The Salters' Festival of Chemistry is a series of Chemistry competitions organised by the Salters' Institute and hosted by University Chemistry departments around the country. Teams of 4 students from independent and state schools compete in two practical challenges. The Year 8 team of Stuart, Marita, Tobiah and Hollie showed excellent Chemistry skills and great teamwork and were awarded with first prize in the 'University Challenge'. The students were then treated to a demonstration of explosions and fun experiments and got to sample ice cream made with liquid nitrogen.

Marita and Hollie working hard on science experiemnt Students having a well earned lunch break in University parks.

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