Wheatley Park School
Welcome to a bumper edition of our newsletter! I’m incredibly proud of the many and varied student achievements reported within. As you read through, I hope you’ll agree that our school values of Everyone Learning and Everyone Caring are highly evident.
Parent Survey 2019
Most parents/carers kindly fill in a quick survey for us on Parents’ Evenings. This provides valuable numerical feedback on how well we’re doing as a school. However, these surveys don’t give parents/carers the chance to offer more detailed feedback or specific suggestions for further improving the school. Therefore, I’m inviting all parents/carers to complete this online survey by Friday 26 April. (Contact the school to request a paper copy instead.) To thank you for giving up your time, all respondents can choose to be entered into a free prize draw for £50 of Amazon vouchers kindly sponsored by the PTA.
In addition to general feedback, leaders and governors are keen to seek your views on three areas in particular:
1. The new school uniform
Governors are eager to review the new school uniform now that it has been in place for seven months. Your views, along with those of staff and students, will help inform future uniform policy.
2. A proposal for students to leave school slightly earlier on Friday afternoons from September 2019
School leaders and governors are considering this proposal as one way of making essential savings as well as providing teachers more opportunities to develop a higher quality curriculum and lessons. As this would represent quite a significant change for the school, more detailed information is provided later in this newsletter. Parents/carers are also invited to an information evening about this proposal from 6:00pm - 7:00pm on Wednesday 24 April in the Farndell Library.
3. A proposal to further restrict student mobile phone usage at school from September 2019
Currently, Wheatley Park students are banned from using their mobile phones during lessons but allowed to use them at other times. We are considering extending this ban to encourage more face-to-face socialising and reduce opportunities for unhelpful online behaviour.
Thank you in advance for sharing your views and for your continued support for the school.
Have a lovely Easter.
Linda Turner is leaving us this Easter after twenty one years of sterling service to Wheatley Park, initially as our receptionist and most recently as a Senior Staff Administrator. In that time, Linda has been a true team player, respected and loved by all. We thank her for her enormous contributions to Wheatley Park School and wish her all the best as she retires to spend more time with her grandchildren.
Tammy Jenkins is also leaving us this Easter after almost four years here. After joining as Head of History, Tammy quickly took on a pastoral role as Head of Year to the current Year 9. Tammy has excelled in this role, building incredibly strong and supportive relationships with her year group thanks to her endless reserves of patience and care. These qualities will serve her well as she begins a transition to a career in social work. We wish her every success.
Ellie Payne, who leads our Space2Be provision, recently received a prestigious award from the High Sheriff of Oxford, Richard Venables. Ellie’s award recognised her extraordinary commitment to supporting young people, both in her role at Wheatley Park but also as a governor at local primary and secondary schools.
Governors and school leaders are currently considering the proposal above and have recently consulted with school staff. We now present this proposal to parents/carers and the wider community for feedback.
What exactly is being proposed?
It is proposed that from September 2019, Wheatley Park School students would leave school at a slightly earlier time every Friday. For example, lunchtime could be moved forward on Fridays to follow on from the end of Period 3 and students would go home at the end of Period 4 instead of Period 5, one hour earlier than usual. School would continue to start at 8:30am every morning and finish at 3:00pm every afternoon except on Fridays.
Why is this being proposed?
The primary reason is to save money. As has been widely reported, school budgets are under enormous pressure and our own is no exception. The school currently has some funds in reserve but will quickly tip into deficit unless we can find further ways to reduce costs significantly. At the same time, an early finish on Fridays would allow staff more opportunities to work on collaborative lesson planning and curriculum development - a key school improvement priority.
How would this help cut costs?
Reducing the school week by one period would mean fewer lessons needed to be taught overall, which in turn would mean fewer teachers would be needed to staff the school. The total number or teachers would be reduced via natural wastage leading to significant savings since, as in most schools, staffing represents 80% of our total budget.
What has already been done to cut costs?
We have already taken several measures to cut costs and run the school as efficiently as possible over the last few years. These include, but are by no means limited to:
Reducing the overall number of support staff (for example, we combined the role of librarian and careers administrator this year)
Finding cheaper suppliers for essential services such as cleaning and photocopying
Continuing our Chromebook programme which saves money on printing and ICT maintenance
Replacing all worn-out furniture with second hand items kindly donated by a local company
Cutting department budgets heavily in the last two years
Are there alternative ways of cutting costs or generating income?
There are some alternatives but these often have drawbacks:
Increasing class sizes
We could staff the school more efficiently by further increasing class sizes. However, we already have class sizes of up to 34 in some year groups within core subjects; we are physically limited by the size of our classrooms; and health and safety considerations limit class sizes in certain subjects.
Reducing the number of subjects on offer to students
We continue to run some subjects at GCSE and A-level despite relatively low numbers of students taking them. By cutting these subjects from the curriculum altogether, we could make savings by staffing the school more efficiently. However, leaders and governors believe that retaining a broad curriculum offer is fundamental to our vision of becoming a sustainably outstanding school.
Generating income by requesting financial support from parents/carers
Unlike other schools, so far leaders and governors have discounted this option on principle and will continue to do so unless clear strength of feeling otherwise is expressed by parents/carers. Otherwise, this option would only be considered as an absolute last resort.
Generating income through fundraising
The school will continue to explore all means to raise income from sources in addition to our direct funding from the Government in collaboration with the PTA and other organisations. The sums needed to be raised are challenging.
Will this proposal damage my child’s education?
Parents/carers may rightly be concerned that having 24 instead of 25 lessons a week would be detrimental to their child(ren)’s education, particularly given the strong emphasis the school places on good attendance. However, the school would seek to minimise any negative impact on students’ learning by protecting lessons in the core subjects. Moreover, we anticipate that more collaborative planning amongst staff on Friday afternoons would increase the quality of lessons, offsetting the reduction in quantity. This appears to have been the case at Didcot Girls’ School, for example, where an early finish on Fridays was adopted some years ago.
If this proposal went ahead, would it ever be reversed in the future?
Yes, if school funding increased sufficiently in the future then this proposal could be reversed, in which case further consultation would take place and adequate notice would be given.
Why an early finish instead of a late start?
Although there is some evidence to suggest that a later start might benefit student learning more than an early finish, it is felt that the former would be more disruptive to family routines.
Why finish early on a Friday rather than another day of the week?
School sporting fixtures would not be disrupted and Friday potentially fits best with family routines. It may also be argued that learners (and teachers) are at their least fresh on Friday afternoons and therefore less learning might be lost by eliminating Friday Period 5 than, say, Monday Period 5.
How would the school mitigate any disruption caused to families if this proposal goes ahead?
Being a secondary as opposed to a primary school, we anticipate that the majority of families would not be unduly inconvenienced by this change. However, we are aware that an earlier finish might cause transport or supervision issues for some families. In such cases, we would always seek to find a solution with the individual families concerned. It is possible, for example, that limited supervision for extra-curricular activities or homework completion might be made available up to 3:00pm.
My child travels to school by bus. How would this proposal affect them?
We are consulting with the school transport department to ensure that school bus times would be altered accordingly if this proposal went ahead. Students travelling to school by public bus would be unaffected as the main services run at regular intervals throughout the day.
What will be the likely impact on the local community?
We do not anticipate a significant impact on the local community. The vast majority of our student body are pleasant and responsible young people who behave responsibly both in school and out of school. We would continue to expect the same high standards of behaviour outside school in the local area at all times.
How can I find out more about this proposal?
Attend the information evening at 6:00pm - 7:00pm on Wednesday 24 April in the Farndell Library for an opportunity to find out more and ask questions. If you have questions but are unable to attend, please contact the governors’ clerk by email:
or in writing via the school.
How can I respond to this proposal?
If you are a parent/carer, there is a section for you to respond to this proposal in the current parent/carer survey accessible via this link to be completed by Friday 26 April. (Hard copies of the survey are available on request.) If you are a member of the local community, please send your response to the governors’ clerk as detailed above.
What happens next?
The school will continue to present this proposal to a range of stakeholders over the next few weeks. You may or may not be pleased to learn we are not intending to hold a referendum on this proposal. Instead, school leaders and governors will decide whether or not to go ahead based on what is in the overall best interests of the students. However, the views of parents/carers and the local community will very much be taken into account. It is expected that the final decision will be made and communicated to all before June 2019.
Tim Martin, Headteacher, and Philip Baillieu, Chair of Governors - 24 March 2019
Term 4 Newsletter
Ellie Payne being presented her award by the High Sheriff with Suz Butters and Louise Yendole from our Space2Be team.
PROPOSAL FOR WPS STUDENTS TO LEAVE EARLIER ON FRIDAYS FROM SEPTEMBER 2019
World Book Day
On Thursday 7th March, Sixth Form students and staff, came to school ready to celebrate World Book Day in style by dressing up as a book character. We saw outfits that ranged from children books to literature classics. In Mr West's case, it was almost impossible to distinguish between him and the real Mr Bump; see if you can tell the difference:
Sixth Form News
Sixth Form News cont
Fashion Show - in aid of ROSY
On Friday 15th March our Sixth Form students opened the doors to the annual WPS Fashion Show. The Fashion Show is an enjoyable and entertaining evening with a serious aim of raising funds for our chosen charity, ROSY (Respite Nursing for Oxfordshire’s Sick Youngsters), a local charity which supports the work of children’s respite teams, who provide an opportunity for parents and carers of seriously ill children to have a short break from their caring responsibilities.
This year's models wore outfits kindly loaned by New Look, Fresh, Tiger Lily and The Ballroom Emporium.
The evening, presented by Grace Noble and Emma Kemp started off with all models performing an 'Abba Medley', after which the chairman of ROSY, Mr Hedges, talked about what the charity is about and how the money that we and other fundraisers donate, is very much appreciated and put to good use.
After catwalks, interval, raffle (for which we were donated some truly amazing prizes) and wonderful musical interludes it was time for the 'secret act', in which Morgan, Alfie, Oscar and Varun aptly recreated on stage, the original video 'I want to break free' by Queen.
Thank you again to New Look, Fresh, Tiger Lily and the Ballroom Emporium for allowing us to use their clothes and all those who donated raffle prizes.
On 27th March we were delighted to present Mr Hedges, during Sixth Form assembly, with a cheque for £ 800 for Rosy, for which he was very grateful.
Mrs R Walton
Trip to Emirates Stadium
On the 1st March the whole of Year 12 visited the Emirates Stadium in London, not for a football match, but for a university and apprenticeship fair. This gave our students the opportunity to investigate the different options post-18. There were also various seminars running on subjects such as student finance and applying to Oxbridge. Comments from students included 'it opened our eyes about universities and apprenticeships and the options you have after the sixth form' whilst others were clearly excited about the location: 'it was in a brilliant stadium!'.
Mr G West
Over the last 2 terms the Interact Club have been involved in many fundraisers, from bake sales to swimathons. On 4th of February the Interact did a bake sale in the bistro for World Cancer Day, and there was an array of wonderful homemade cakes. In total we raised £105 but we could not have done that without the people who baked cakes, bought cakes and donated money, so thank you.
As many students know we did a rose sale for Valentines day. I know a lot of time was put in after school to make the delivery of roses as successful as possible, some people making rose holders, some putting bows onto the holders and some people sorting the cards. We ended up raising a total of £100 which will help Clic Sargent so much. It wouldn’t have run like clockwork without the help of Tayah and Tariq who ordered the roses and made all of the spreadsheets.
A few weeks ago Mr Pearson undertook the challenge of an ultra marathon, called the Green Man, which is 45 miles! This took him an incredible 9 hours and 35 minutes and he came in the top 100 and he has got a fantastic medal. In the same weekend the interact club took part in a Swimathon at Thame Leisure Centre, where the aim was to swim as many lengths as possible in 55 minutes. The team, which consisted of Issy Bartlett, Charlie Bartlett and Hannah Austen, swam an incredible 131 lengths; this means they swam 3.3 km in 55 minutes, which is truly amazing.
We are always looking for new members to join us to help raise money for Clic Sargent, a young person cancer charity; we meet in H5 on Monday lunch times.
Scott Campbell - Yr 12
A Level Exmoor Residential
A level geographers went to Exmoor National Park in which they investigated carbon stores and flows of the peat bogs and rivers on top of Exmoor. They also completed beach profiles and considered coastal defences. They spent the evenings writing up their fieldwork, completing statistical analysis and playing pool. Fun was had by all!
This residential will help them in their upcoming exams, when they'll be asked questions about their fieldwork.
Careers and employability is based in the John Milton Centre in Room E12. Careers Advisers are available to offer careers guidance for any student from Years 8 - 13.
We can help students to find out about:
Options at the end of Year 11 and Year 13 including university, apprenticeships, sixth form, college and employment
When and how to apply for any option, including finding out about open days and taster events
Choosing GCSE options
Exploring available careers, what they involve and different routes into them
What employers are looking for and how to write CVs, letters of application and interviews
Students can access personalised support at a careers meeting with a professional careers adviser who will develop a careers action plan with them. All students will meet with an adviser by the end of Year 11, but they can request to see an adviser at anytime when whilst they are in school.
Students also have access to:
Online resources that can be accessed from anywhere and a developing hard copy careers resource area in the careers and employability in room E12
Fast Tomato - an online careers suggestions tool with information about how to get into careers, university courses and apprenticeships vacancies. Our password is WPSH.
Students create their own account that they can revisit as often as they like to plan their futures.
Parents are also welcome to use the site - but if you register please add ‘parent; to your name whilst registering so we do not confuse parents and students!
EClips - an online database of careers information - our password is WHEAT2017
Anyone can access this site by using the password - find out more about careers available, qualifications needed to get into them and labour market trends including salary information.
And Icould.com - a bank of careers films with people talking about their jobs and the Buzz Test!
Opportunities to attend external careers events such as open days at colleges, taster events and work experiences offered by employers and colleges - These are advertised in the careers room and in Purple Pages.
In school based activities such as our recent Year 9 Human Library (see image right!)
We are developing links with a number of local employers who are helping us to run careers events in school and offer a range of opportunities including apprenticeships, work experience, practice interviews, site visits and so on. Any queries relating to careers and progression please email Alison Bennett at:
In order to further raise awareness of the importance of good attendance here is the third update this academic year regarding attendance at Wheatley Park.
Since Christmas there have been 48 school days (up until 22nd March) meaning that for students to achieve our attendance target of being over 96% they need to have been present for 93 out of 96 sessions.
As mentioned previously achieving 96% or over means they are more likely to perform, on average, significantly better in their exams providing them with many more opportunities when moving on to their next destinations. The great news is that:
610 students in Years 7 to 11 (66%) achieved over our target of 96% attendance since Christmas.
56% of students have improved their attendance or remained at 100% attendance from Christmas to 22nd March
279 students in Years 7 to 11 (30%) achieved 100% attendance from Christmas to 22nd March.
14% of students in Years 7 to 11 have achieved 100% attendance since September with our Year 8 cohort leading the way with 17% achieving this milestone.
The average attendance for all students across years 7-11 is now just under 94% with our Year 7 cohort still leading the way with an impressive average of 96.4%!
Next term students will be recognised once again for their good attendance and improvement in attendance as normal through certificates, special mentions during assemblies alongside opportunities to win various further reward experiences. Finally, here are a few reminders:
You should make contact every day when your child is not in school using the school absence line 01865 877623 or the online form via the school website.
If your child needs a medical appointment please make this either early in the morning or as late as possible in the afternoon with the expectation being for the child to attend school for the rest of the day.
Don’t forget students can get a free breakfast in the bistro every morning from 7.45am
For support you can view the following leaflets from the OCC County Attendance Team by clicking on the links:
A Parent’s Guide to Managing Sickness
Let’s talk cold hard cash
Careers and employability
Attendance: Everyone Learning, Every Day
On Monday 28 January some Chinese students were hosted by us for the week. Most of them were all older than us but that was all ok because we still had lots of fun . They went to all our lessons and when we had our debate on Thursday we talked about what they did in China and their day at school. It is totally different to ours as they live where they learn, which means they could be at school for up to 15 hours a day. They only see their families once a month for three hours and then they have to go back to school, which I don't think any of us could do. Their day plan is that they wake up, have to run, then they have five lessons then lunch, then more lessons, then do their homework and then they have to go to sleep. It is so fascinating to find out about how other people live.
They all wanted to take English gifts back to China which is so kind; in fact all of the Chinese people were kind and respectful to the staff and it was such a pleasure having a Chinese student to host. I learnt so much out about China and it is an amazing place.
I hosted a girl called Belinda (her English name) who lived in the countryside of China: it was so beautiful, she showed us a video and was so kind and polite.
It was such an amazing week and I think we all enjoyed hosting a person from another culture. I think we have made real friends and I think most of us will stay in contact with them for a long time. Who knows we might visit China one day!!
Maddie Oretagu, Year 8
After an early departure and a 10 hour journey we arrived in Puerto Santa Maria, accompanied by our chaperone, Rafa. After such a journey the only thing we wanted to do was to rest and play, so we walked down to the beach. The waves were treacherous and more than one who intended to just dip their feet in, ended up wet up to their knees. Some avoided that problem by fully getting into the water.
The next day was as full as the first. After one hour of lesson we visited the town and managed to find the time to go back to the beach for an hour or so to, before returning to the school, where we learnt to dance Flamenco and cook paella. Learning Sevillana was quite awkward to start with but everyone joined in and quite a few people found that mastering the steps was an achievement they were proud of.
Our last full day was spent in the beautiful town of Cadiz. We were supposed to go by boat, but the wind was so strong that we had to take the bus instead- this was the day when the BA flight couldn't land in Gibraltar because of the wind. We went shopping before lunch (Mr Wheeler got the most beautiful mug for Mrs Pearson), ate churros and visited a camera obscura (where through a simple game of mirrors, we could see the entire town of Cadiz like a live GoogleMap). We spent the rest of the day at El Parque Genovés. During the trip the students really took on the challenge of talking Spanish: each attempt was recompensed by a token. These tokens were then collected and each student was randomly put in a team. It was a well deserved win by the Blue Team who were followed closely by the Red and the Green Teams. Everyone at the team at Sparks (our school and lodger) was really surprised by the students' enthusiasm, as well as their politeness and extreme punctuality!
Poetry Competition Winners
In February, Kit Arnold Poetry Competition judges awarded year eight student Isobel Jeffries first prize for her original, thought-provoking narrative poem, ‘There are Children Here’.
Kayla Helsby’s ‘In the Forest’ and Evelyn Johns’ ‘Love is Seashells’ were also singled out, receiving special commendations.
Students explored the theme of ‘love, wherever it is found’ to great effect, drafting and redrafting their poems over a series of workshops which took place in the English department. The results of their efforts are a testament to their creativity and hard work.
‘There are Children Here’ by Isobel Jeffries
The two men stand in front of us
One of them leans across the other and points to the glass animals on the stand.
He whispers a question, his words turning to ice in the frozen air.
The other laughs;
Puffs of steam floating in the wake of his words.
A woman walks past, beige coat flapping in the November wind,
Brown lace ups clicking on the cobblestones.
Between the flurry of coats and umbrellas
Through the clouds of cigarette smoke and frozen breath
She spies the two clasped hands: one porcelain white; one coffee brown.
The two men see her staring,
Shift in the queue.
We watch her mouth fold in half,
Her eyes muddy ice.
“Can we help you, ma’m?”
The woman puffs like a pigeon in the cold.
That come out
“There are children here, you know.”
She gestures to me and my friends across the path as if she is our guardian angel.
But the men were children once.
Two kids, holding hands after class,
Sharing glances across the lunch hall.
Two kids sharing awkward kisses at a friend’s party
Or standing as we are now
Beside stalls in the Christmas market
Peering at the things on sale.
She has no idea that one of the girls she just gestured at came out to me just a few weeks ago
In the frozen hours of the morning.
She has no idea that I might be one of the couples she sneers at in the future.
She has no idea that not one of my friends cares about two men holding hands.
She has no idea.
The two men tighten their grip on each other.
Knuckles stand out, skin stretched over bone.
In that simple action, there is a story.
A story of fights with parents.
Of walks in the park.
Of screams in the night.
Of hugging and apologies.
The woman doesn’t see that though.
She sees through a funhouse mirror, foggy and distorted,
Their innocence never theirs to begin with.
Maybe some people will never see past the fog.
But some of us do.
The children do.
There are children here.
And none of us care.
Kit Arnold Poetry Competition
History - 'Great Debate' Final
On 30th March, Year 10 historian Ryan Helsby competed at the National Great History Debate at Windsor Castle. Ryan finished in an excellent second place, making it an unbelievable achievement to finish second and the highest placed state school in the country.
Ryan previously claimed victory at the Oxfordshire (regional) finals at Magdalen College, competing against many other passionate young historians in the Oxfordshire area. His fabulous speech centred on the ‘Age of Revolutions: 1775-1848’. Ryan was asked to explore the era to find the greatest ‘failure’ within this historical setting. Other candidates centred on the actual events of the 18 - 19th centuries while Ryan’s piece was more penetrative and ambitious. Throughout his speech, Ryan energetically criticised historians such as Eric Hobsbawm, suggesting Hobsbawm’s western-centric and euro-centric biases have skewed our understanding of the era.
The judges were astounded by the quality, detail and subtle nuances of his talk, as well as his passion for historiography. He was named the outright winner for Oxfordshire and second nationally after delivering a ‘Churchillian’ speech at Windsor Castle.
This is an exceptional achievement, not only for Ryan but for the History department and Wheatley Park School. The Historical Association is a hugely important and prestigious institution that has considerable influence in setting the agenda for history teaching and historical matters more generally in this country. Wheatley Park School now has its own national runner-up - a fact which should be celebrated.
If you do see Ryan around school, please give him your best wishes - this truly is a fantastic achievement.
Year 9 Battlefields trip
The annual Belgium Battlefields trip took place once again earlier in February. 46 budding Year 9 historians embarked on their adventure to see iconic sites and memorials from the Western Front of World War One.
Shortly after arriving in Ypres, we set out on our first visit to the Menin Gate. Here students were part of the poignant Last Post ceremony whilst surrounded by the thousands of names on the Memorial to the Missing. This was an excellent way to start our trip as the reality of loss and war was made very real to them. We then took time to explore the memorial and reflect on the names and places engraved on the walls.
Highlights of this year’s trip included visiting both German and British trenches at Bayernwald and Hill 62. Students were able to explore the trenches for themselves, and imagine what it must have been like for hundreds of thousands of soldiers on both sides. Students were also able to contrast the grand Tyne Cot Britsh War Graves Cemetery, with the sombre German Langemark cemetery. During the cemetery visits students were given the stories of individual soldiers who had lost their lives serving on the Western Front and searched the cemeteries to find the graves of these individuals and pay their respects. The grave of nurse Nellie Spindler was particularly significant as she was the only woman to have been buried with full military honours at Passchendaele.
The Year 9 students of the 2019 Battlefield trip were amazing! They acted with real respect and maturity, and asked lots of historical questions about where we were visiting. They were also a lot of fun! On the Sunday evening we had the delights of chocolate shopping in Ypres, and on Monday evening students embraced a night of team games and challenges. As a special treat, and thanks to our brilliant coach driver, we were able to make a detour to the beaches of Dunkirk on the way home.
Well done to all those who were part of this trip. I am sure the memories that you made will stay with you for a very long time.
School Production - HAIRSPRAY
Flashback to 6 weeks ago, we were preparing for our opening night of Hairspray! Looking back it was a huge success and everyone involved came together to produce a fantastic show! With a cast consisting of students from every year group, there was a real sense of companionship and camaraderie, with everyone supporting one another, which being some of the oldest members in the cast was really lovely to see. Audiences were very impressed with the standard of performances from everyone: the energetic dances, wonderful singing and humorous yet meaningful storyline. It was a perfect way to end our time doing the shows at Wheatley Park and we can honestly say that they are one of our highlights of each school year! Thank you to all the teachers who gave up their time to help create our amazing show alongside putting up with us all!! We look forward to next year when we’ll be cheering everyone on from the audience!
Amber, Estelle, Kiera, Lottie, Sophie and Cydney
Hairspray was advertised in the Oxford Mail follow this link if you would like to read it:
Wheatley Park School Music Department
If you would like to learn an instrument here at Wheatley Park, we have lessons available in the following: Piano, Violin, Drums, Soul Band Singing, Flute and Guitar.
Please collect a 'Learning an Instrument' application form from Mrs Simms or your Music teacher.
TATE Gallery Art Trip - February 2019
On 7th February the art department took all GCSE art students to the Tate modern, London, to enable them to gain ideas and inspiration for their forthcoming art exam in April. We had a few hours to take in the immensity of the building and the incredible range of fascinating, sometimes challenging modern art it contains.
Arts News cont.
These is just a small selection of photographs produced by WPS AS and A level Photography students. Photography is a fine art course, where students are encouraged to use their creativity to communicate a theme, issue or idea using a camera as a tool.
Congratulations to Wynne-Mae Norridge, 10MPL, for being awarded 1st place in the 'Design a Mural' competition run by Albany Welch in Year 12 as part of her Silver Arts Award.
Also well done to all runners up, (Jude Prichard, Harry Finch, Rayanne Khudari-Eisa , Evelyn Johns and Ellie Dawson) it was a really tough decision.. all of your designs not only met the brief, but showed real artistic flare!
Look out for pictures of the finished mural coming soon!
This year's of Duke of Edinburgh participants have proven themselves to be a highly motivated and diverse group of individuals, choosing to undertake various different activities in order to complete the physical section of their awards. From water aerobics and lacrosse to table tennis and karate, between them they have a wide range of sports. The residentials they have decided to embark on, cover not only multiple different activities, but also multiple different countries as one student plans on travelling to South Africa to volunteer for marine conservation, another doing the same in Italy whilst a different residential consists of an orchestra tour.
In preparation for the two expeditions which will happen later in the year, in January the group 'dragged' themselves into school on a Saturday, to go on a day long walk, suffering the miserable British weather, to make sure they could deal with possible injuries and endure Wales without any accidents. After walking through the area around the school, they managed the herculean feat of putting up tents and cooking pasta.
For the practice expedition, 2019’s Duke of Edinburgh participants will spend 4 days in the Brecon Beacons, during which they will have to do a lot of walking and prepare edible meals. This will lead up to an October expedition in Snowdonia where they will spend another 4 days walking whilst taking in beautiful sights, bonding as a group and completing a project of their choosing.
At the end of two years, these students hope to have acquired key life skills such as coordination, map reading and using a compass as well as solidifying their teamwork and boosting their confidence and determination. For some of them it is also an opportunity to participate in and help their community through the volunteering section of the award, whether it be working in a charity shop, or helping around the school by supporting teachers or maintaining the grounds. All in all they are aiming to finish the award with more than just an addition to their CVs.
Jasmine Aris - Yr 12
2019 Duke of Edinburgh Gold
Where to start? What a wonderful term it has been for the Year 10 boys football team. They continued their superb run in the National Cup eventually reaching the quarter final of the competition!
Since the last edition of the newsletter, they continued to be successful both at home and away. In round 5 they travelled to Highworth Warneford School where a superb all round performance secured a 3-1 victory. Round 6 saw a long journey to Bristol to face Gordano School. After a slow start the boys soon sprung into action and through the ever dangerous Adam Smith, blew the opposition away in the second half. Eventually ending up 4-1 victors and finally being given a home match.
After a snowfall the team hosted St Peter’s CofE school; Mr Palmer and Mr Barnes put in the hard work of sweeping the ice and water off the pitch and the game was finally ready to start. In front of a good home crowd, WPS raced into a 2-0 lead at half time, both goals courtesy of Adam. After a slow start to the second half, WPS came away with a 2-1 win thanks to some fantastic defensive work from the back four and Timmy.
Unfortunately the bubble was burst in the next round against a very organised opposition in the form of All Hallows School from Aldershot. Despite giving it our best shot, the opposition were just too good at the back and nullified any attacking threat we possessed. The students can nevertheless be immensely proud of what they have achieved throughout this term.
To further add to their success the boys have also reached the second round of the County Cup. As defending champions it is hoped they can continue their dominance of Oxfordshire Schools.
This year saw a slight change to the annual rowing challenge. With fewer rowers the day was adapted to run as two separate two hour challenges. A huge thank you to all students who took part throughout the day. An impressive £1700 was raised from students entering. A big thank you to all staff who took part in the staff fancy dress row, congratulations to Mr Barnes, AKA Freddie Mercury, who managed to reclaim his crown.
Year 7 Football
Wheatley Park's Year 7 boys first football game was a success! The 13 man squad finished the first half leading 1-0. In the second half Larkmead equalised but Wheatley Park put another ball in the net to make the score 2-1. The Wheatley team were looking for an easy win, but from a free kick Larkmead made it level pegging. The full time whistle blew, extra time! In the first half of extra time Larkmead gained a corner and headed into the net, 3-2. The second half went like any comeback story. Wheatley played with a sudden quickness. It payed off, Larkmead defence couldn't handle the runs and Wheatley created an equaliser. Still, the push wouldn't stop, leaving the Larkmead defence dazed and Wheatley in joy, 4-3. Wheatley sat back for a few minutes to try and keep their lead. The ball was moved upfield to try and increase Wheatley's lead, a scramble on the goaline was finished off with Wheatley's fifth goal of the game! As the final whistle blew the players shouted out, their first match was a success!
Jamie Foster - Yr 7
A solid team performance sees Wheatley Park beat Langtree 1-0.
Wheatley’s starting XI for this fixture: Jamie (C), Rhiver, Stefan, Finn, Dexter, Albert, Oscar, Callum, Koya, Jesse, Oski and Rayaan.
During the first half, Wheatley created plenty of chances, dominating possession. Towards the closing stages of the first half Rayaan’s quick reaction on a rebound saw him tuck the ball neatly into the bottom left corner to put Wheatley 1-0 up.
The second half saw Langtree desperately trying to find an equaliser, but Wheatley’s defence held strong - in particular Jesse Claridge, who was superb playing at centre back.
Rayaan was awarded man of the match. Thank you to Mr Barnes and the three Year 10s for their help.
Overall, a positive result for the Year 7 team, captained by Jamie Foster.
Rayaan Dogar - Yr 7
Year 10 Netball
Congratulations to the Year 10 Netball team for coming 4th in the South Area Tournament, it should be noted they beat the 2nd place team and only lost by one goal to 3rd place! They faced some tough opposition but managed to hold their nerve and play some fantastic netball and were complimented on their play by another member of staff. As a measure of their team performance a number of the players were awarded player of the match but special mention should go to Shemiah for being chosen twice across the tournament.
Well done Year 10 from a very proud Mrs Strange.
Year 10 went on to face two Lord Williams's teams. WPS were determined to showcase their best netball skills with focus around calmness in the early stages of a match. They did this well and held Lord Bills off by a 3 goal lead in the first quarter. Bills came back fighting and dominated, but WPS were undeterred and pulled out a showcase of defensive strategies with some fantastic turn over in possession. A change over of teams at half time saw the scores reset and the challenge begin again. WPS stuck to their style of play, they seized all opportunities and it was a real team effort that saw them end the quarter with another 3 goal lead, the challenge now was to hold on to it. Nerves jangled but play stayed strong as goals continued to be scored for both sides and with a one goal lead WPS just took the win at the end of the half. It was a really tight game and the performance was appreciated by all staff, congratulations to Lucy and Lily named POM.
Well done Year 10 you have made fantastic progress this year both individually and as a team. I’m proud of your commitment to the team and love seeing your confidence grow, here’s to what next year can bring!
Year 7 Netball
With the netball season coming to an end, this is an opportune moment to congratulate all Year 7 students who have attended netball club this academic year. The commitment to Year 7 netball club has been fantastic, we have regularly had over 20 students attending and this dedication bodes very well for their future netball careers here at WP. They have all made excellent progress from the start of the academic year and deserve to be commended for their fantastic attitude to learning and team spirit displayed.
Well done to all students who participated in the Oxon tournament, it was wonderful to witness them rise to the challenge of the local competition and display such fantastic sportsmanship, they really did make me very proud.
The A team finished 6th in their tournament and the B team finished a very respectable 3rd position. Well done Year 7 netballers, I am looking forward to next season already!
Year 8 Netball
The Year 8 netball squad have been dedicated to training every week. For all matches and tournaments this year we have entered two teams, which shows how much enjoyment has been had by all. Both teams were 5th in their tournaments showing teamwork, versatility and sportsmanship in every match.
Well done Year 8.
In January Wheatley Park for the second year entered the South Oxfordshire swimming gala in the hope of replicating last year's success. This year we entered 5 teams increasing from the 3 teams in 2018. All swimmers swam amazingly with the year 10/11 girls qualifying for the county finals at the end of April. Year 7 girls, Year 7 boys and Year 8/9 girls missed out on the finals by one place, which shows promise for 2020! Well done to all participants.
Year 7 Sportshall Athletics
Many congratulations to all the Year 7 students who were selected for the South Sportshall Athletics competition at Icknield College. They all put on a fantastic show and the team spirit was exemplary. A special well done to Mila Burovska and Rayaan Dogar for their outstanding individual performances. Given such fierce competition, I am very proud to report that both teams finished on the podium! The boys team came home with the bronze medal and the girls team convincingly ended up on the top of the podium! Due to the significance of this win, the girls will now progress to the School Games County Finals on 29th April.
Well done all, you all played your part in what was a very successful competition and best of luck to the girls team for the next round of competition.
Year 8 Sportshall Athletics
A team of 16 students travelled to Didcot Girls Schools to compete in the South Sportshall Athletics competition.
Their combined consistent performance throughout the tournament earned them 4th place for boys, 4th place for girls and overall 4th place.
We witnessed some fantastic WPS team performances placing the girls 2nd and the boys 3rd in the obstacle relay. A great comeback after a baton changeover issue, led to 2nd place overall in the mixed over/under relay.
Amy Darnell finished 1st in the 4 lap race and then teamed with Ellie Hale to complete the 8 lap race finishing 2nd in this race.
I would also like to add an extra mention to a team member that didn't travel with us on the day but showed great thoughtfulness and selflessness towards a fellow competitor, something I have never witnessed before but felt proud to see and a great reflection of the school values in action.
It’s been a busy start to 2019 for the Wheatley Area Partnerships Sports schools so far.
We started with the swimming gala in January which proved to be great fun for all involved and some very competitive times by some of the swimmers. We were lucky enough to be helped by some of our own swimmers who oversaw the start and finish of races very efficiently, thankfully only one stopwatch found its way into the pool and as the leaders were so fabulous, I forgave them!
Sportshall Athletics is always a popular event and this year didn’t disappoint! The traditional races were performed with great commitment and determination and this put the pressure on our place markers! The key factor here was that no one gave up and there were some races where this proved the defining moment. It was a very close competition with points literally separating the teams.
Year 3 and Year 4 Football was held at the end of February with some great competition again, there’s something about football that brings out a special something in all involved and we certainly saw some skills on the pitch. The outstanding factor however, were those students that showed what being part of a team really means and took their turn in all positions on the pitch recognising the need and value of all players, there are some Premier League stars that could learn a lot from you, well done.
We are concluding this term with a revival of a Key Stage 1 event focusing on teamwork and team building activities for Year 1 and Year 2 students. Our PE leaders will be involved again guiding the students around a number of sporting stations, challenging them to complete sporting tasks with new friends.
Interform has continued to be in full flow throughout the last two terms. A big thank you to all teams who took part and the many students who came to watch week in week out. Congratulations to 8KTA and 9HAL who were champions for their respective years.
Sports News - terms 3 and 4
Year 10 Footballers reach last eight in Country
Sports News cont
END OF TERM 4, 3pm
BEGINNING OF TERM 5, WEEK 2
END OF TERM 5
BEGINNING OF TERM 6
END OF TERM 6
For the full calendar please refer to our website or follow this link:
WEDNESDAY 17 - THURSDAY 18.07.19
BIG LEARNING DAYS
MONDAY 8 -TUESDAY 09.07.19
THINGS TO LOOK FORWARD TO NEXT TERM
GCSE AND A LEVEL EXAM SEASON BEGINS