John O’Gaunt School News – July 2021

John O'Gaunt School ext

We’re into the last few weeks of another strange year, and packing plenty in, continuing to evolve and innovate under Covid restrictions.

It’s been lovely to welcome next year’s cohort into school for Treasure Hunt Transition Tours within their primary school bubbles. It was a challenge, but we’re always up for that – and the effervescent, ever-energetic Miss Harris (Year 7 Progress Lead and Science Teacher) made it happen, ensuring the students felt welcomed and were confident, comfortable, excited and knew what to expect when they join our JOG Family in September.

In an exciting new initiative, we also welcomed and hosted a wonderful group of interns from our award-winning Excalibur Academy Teaching School Alliance. Alongside observations and mentoring, they spoke to some of our students who, though very capable, may not have considered university before. Some powerful and aspirational conversations were had around further education, gap years, broadening horizons and taking all the opportunities out there, dreaming big and breaking down barriers. Very much part of our ‘big school ambition, small school care’ ethos in action!

Similarly, some of our Year 11 Leavers have come back into school to take part in our ‘Step Up’ programme of workshops, where staff have shared their passion for their subjects, helping to prepare (and enthuse) students for their next steps at ‘A’ Levels or College.

Next week is our inaugural Visual Arts Week, which we’re really excited about! There will be opportunities for all, including a silversmithing workshop, a STEM challenge, designing, building then racing super-powered rocket cars, workshops on customising clothing, a staff Technical Challenge Bake Off, an Art Exhibition, and more! We hope to share this with you next time.

 

Black Out Poetry

As a taster, here is some ‘Black Out Poetry’ artwork inspired by our Y9 Art Students, inspired by artist Tom Phillips (who approved it personally with a tweet, which we were THRILLED about!) and pages from the book The Wolf Wilder, by Katherine Rundell. 

This is what happens with a professional artist leading the Art Department!

Mental Health: Surviving to Thriving – Creating a Quiet Garden to support our children

Thanks to the organisation and fundraising efforts of John O’Gaunt’s Parent Staff Association (PSA), an unused area of the school will be transformed into a beautiful and calming Quiet Garden. 

The Quiet Garden will have seating, plants and a canopy and provide a safe, relaxing environment for reflection and reset, that students can visit during school hours and beyond. 

Run by the Student Services Team, The Quiet Garden has been funded by the PSA, with generous donations and grants from the Miss Lawrence Trust, Hungerford Town Council, Jon Shatford Bookkeeping, and match funded by The Good Exchange, Greenham Common Trust, for which we are extremely grateful.

Nicola Chester
Librarian, Marketing Officer (& Writer in Residence

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Covering: Hungerford, Marlborough, Wantage,   Lambourn, Newbury, Thatcham & Theale