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Re-Flex Canoe Trip

Student and teacher canoeing

We got dropped off by Miss Dow on Thursday, and were met by a man called Andy. He gave us the safety equipment for canoeing, and we got into pairs for the canoes. We set off and I had to go with Mr Smith. He had to steer at the back of the canoe and I was at the front. I was the engine, and had to be quick and pacey. When we were drifting down the river I saw a lightening blue streak in the air, and there it was the famous king fisher. It was really quick, and Miss Dow said whoever saw one first would win a prize! (I got a malteaser chocolate bar).

I got really good at the canoeing. Mr Smith and I were a really good pair, and managed to keep at the front for most of the journey. I found it really interesting, and I was glad that I picked Mr Smith because he was quick too. He was the right person to go with, because he had good stamina and agility, so it meant it was easier for us to keep up front. I enjoyed it, and it was really educational because I learnt about the wildlife.

Students canoeing Students running into river

It was really relaxing and nice to explore new places. We got to camp after six hours of canoeing through the lovely stream and the sun was beginning to set. I felt really tired and exhausted but then we had to set up the campsite. We had to make a fire and get the tents up. I shared a tent with Mitch and Charlie. It took a long time to put up, and we started getting a bit frustrated because it was hard. We asked for a bit of help from Miss Calvert and Miss Gration, and I helped them to put their tent up too. After we put our tents up we got some food and a drink. We all sat down and had a nice group chat, and then we had 10 minutes of madness. Then we went to bed. All I could hear was Mr Smith snoring all night. He was really annoying and I thought he sounded like a dying whale. Then we went to Miss Gration's and Miss Calvert's tent to see what they were doing. They sent us back to our tents. We didn't want to sleep yet, so I started to watch Top Gear on my phone before I went to sleep. I couldn't get to sleep for the whole time because I kept being woken up by strange sounds.

Students chopping wood for campfire Student cooking breakfast on campsite

I checked my phone, and it was three o'clock! I nudged Charlie, and then he woke up. I couldn't get to sleep, because I could hear loads of birds chirping, and dogs barking. Then I kind of dosed off. The next morning when I woke up it was all bright. I was shattered and I couldn't feel my legs I was that tried. Then I had my tablet and had a bacon roll and a nice drink then I got changed. That made me feel a bit better, so I wanted to get canoeing again. I went with Mitch and Jess this time round and we canoed down to Mapledurham and got an ice cream. When we got back to the campsite, we all worked together to pack everything away, and then Miss Dow came to pick us up and we all went back to school.

- King, Year 9

Students canoeing

Year 6 Taster Day 2015 - Reported by Year 7 Students

Year 7 student reporters group photograph

Samuel's Group

Group One was a lovely group who had all the right qualities to be great Wallingford school students. Any teacher that has them next year is really lucky. I think they will move on to be great, intelligent students when they are older!

In their first period, whenever Ms Lee asked a question, every single hand went up. Their enthusiasm and confidence was unbelievable! They learnt where five countries were. Whenever Ms Lee started talking, they would all listen to her straight away. If they had a question, they would always have enough courage, no matter how embarrassing it was! That was probably their best period, although every period was nearly as good.

Group one were always ready to learn, whenever they answered a question (which they frequently did), it was always imaginative and correct! They always got on with the task that was set and there were no complaints at all. Any positive comment that you can think of will apply to this wonderful group! It was a pleasure to be able to lead them!

Read more: Year 6 Taster Day 2015 - Reported by Year 7 Students

SEND Parents’ Forum Year 6 Welcome Evening

Parents at SEN ForumParents at SEN Forum

We were delighted to see so many of our incoming families this week for their introductory SEND forum hosted by Mrs Monaghan, Teaching Assistants and some of our current families. The new families were able to ask lots of questions and find out about secondary school life. Ms Dudding joined us, as Head of Year 7 (to be in September) and Mr Eales, our SEND Governor and we all enjoyed a little glass of wine too.

Student nad teaching assistant at SEN Forum

Here are our frequently asked questions:

Q Where can my child go at breaks if he/ she is vulnerable?

A The SEND base, M1, is always open and supervised by teaching assistants. Homework can be done, board games played etc. Mrs Monaghan runs a lunch club - students are able to eat with her in M1.

Q How is homework supported?

A There is a homework club on Tues and Weds each week from 3.15 to 4pm in M1. Students are supported by a teaching assistant. Homework can also be done at breaks.

Q What happens if my child gets lost in school?

A Staff and older students keep an eye out for new Year 7s and will always guide them to the right place.

Q Will my child miss lessons to have interventions?

A Yes, but wherever possible we do not take pupils out of Engish, Maths, Languages or PE lessons.

Q Who should I contact if I have a concern?

A Mrs Monaghan is happy for parents to phone her at any time. Your child's form tutor is another good point of contact.


Appeal for Host Family

A young man is joining us from Spain, probably for a year, from September. He will be in Year 9. He is from a very good family that we have worked with for a number of years and he already speaks very good English. His sister has just spent a year with us, so he has a clear idea of what it entails and we are pretty sure he will be a very pleasant young man to have around.

It is hoped that we may be able to find a family with a child in his year group he could live with for the duration of his stay. That way he would make friends more quickly and learn more about how we go about things in this part of the world. He is interested in football.

The host family would gain obvious benefits from having a young man they can trust in their home from a different culture to our own. The boy's parents are prepared to pay the host family for their trouble. They are also very open to the idea of developing a relationship with the host family that could include exchanges and visits to Spain.

We would not expect a commitment at this stage, but if you find the idea attractive and would like us to put you in touch with the family please contact Bee Hibbin at school and we will do so, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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

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