Richard Gilpin - Acting Headteachers Blog

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Primary School Football Festival

It was a Yr 4 Football festival with our four cluster schools they were Oakwood, Dunnalley, St Johns and Holy trinity. Each primary school brought up the whole year group and we had three teams from each school in three different leagues. I organized the event but on the day it was run by our BTEC students. They referred the games and each team had there own manager/coach. It was a very successful festival, all of the primary students had a great time and our BTEC students were brill. The Primary school teachers praised our students and were really impressed with there attitudes and how they interacted with the students.

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Year 11 Mock English Literature Exam 27th March Thursday, February 12, 2015

Please see the letter below

English Literature Mock Exam 27th March 2015

House Colour Charity Day Tuesday, February 03, 2015
On Friday 6th February 2015 Pittville School will be holding a ‘house charity day’. Students will be able to wear the colour of their house in order to support their nominated house charity.

• Livingstone House students will wear purple to support Macmillan Cancer Research.
• Abbott House students will wear red to support the British Heart Foundation.
• Aston House will wear green to support the Aston Project.

In order to take part in the day students will pay a £1.00 to wear as much of their house colour as they would like. If students only wish to wear a small amount of colour (jewellery etc) then they should still wear their uniform. Students not taking part should also wear their normal uniform.

All the funds raised will go to the respective charities. Money will be collected during week beginning 2nd February 2015. This money should be handed into tutors.
Year 11 Parents' Evening 11th Feb Friday, January 30, 2015
Year 11 Parents' Evening 11th Feb
Year 11 Half Term Revision Timetable Friday, January 30, 2015
Y11 Feb Half Term Revision Timetable
Year 11 Revision Support Thursday, January 29, 2015

Please see below

Year 11 revision

Example of Revision Timetable

PTFA Quiz Night 6th February 2015 Thursday, January 22, 2015
PTFA Quiz Night - 6th February 2015
Literacy Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Literacy is an important part of pupils' learning at Pittville. Literacy at home also has a vital role to play. We have put together some resources to help your child with vital literacy skills.

Firstly, have a look at the subject specific reading lists for some fantastic ideas of books for your child to read. Maybe your child prefers to listen to audiobooks, there are some fantastic links to places where you can listen to books online - for free.

Have a look with your child at the punctuation booklet - work with them to do some writing practise. Or you could have a look at the external websites list if you want to direct your child to some great websites where you will find games and activities - or find out information about literacy for yourself.

If you have any other questions about Literacy at Pittville then please call or email the school and ask for Mrs Green.

Audio Book Links

Links to External Websites

Literacy - punctuation

Reading Tips

School Reading Lists


Spoz visits Pittville School Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Spoz is not his real name. It’s actually Giovanni Esposito. ‘Spoz’ being the bit between the ‘E’ and the ‘ito’ (kind of).

Spoz is … a sort of poet. The sort, in fact, that has been published, recorded, been on the radio, won awards, was a member of the renowned ‘New October Poets’, is a director of youth engagement consultancy, Beatfreeks, and mentor of the Beatfreeks spin-off poetry collective, Beatroot. He has taken part in so many festivals, he’s lost count and even had a commission from the BBC. Spoz spent a day with Year 8 on Friday 16th January.  The students thoroughly enjoyed working with him and the winners of the poetry slam will perform at the Cheltenham Poetry Festival due to take place later in the year at Cheltenham Town Hall.

Examination Results 2014 Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Please see below

Examination Results 2014

Girls' PE Results - September 2014 Tuesday, October 14, 2014
Girls' PE Results September 2014
February 2015 Thursday, February 12, 2015

Dear Parents/Carers

As we approach February half term I would like to update you on what has been happening and to inform you of some future events.

Please follow us on ‘Twitter’ @PittvilleSchool. We are using this method of communication more and more to get important messages out to the community.

Year 11 Attendance
For the attention of all year 11 parents/carers
When we return after half term, year 11 students have less than 50 teaching days before their summer exams begin. Excellent attendance is vital if they are to succeed in these exams. Please support us to support the students.

Year 11 Interviews
Year 11 students are in the middle of their interviews for 6th form places. We wish them the best of luck for their interviews.

Poetry Slam
The Poetry Slam on 16th January 2015 was a successful event for the year 8 cohort. 'Spoz' spent the morning building the confidence of a very quiet group of students, taking them through rhyming words and rhythm. As their confidence grew, the year 8s began to perform little snippets of their work to each other and built up a selection of poetry techniques they could use for the final performance - the buzz as they worked was very exciting indeed! In the afternoon, students created their own poem around the topic, 'It's good to be me.' All the students got involved and performed their final poems to a panel of staff judges. The winners of this will go on to compete in a Poetry Slam event at Cheltenham Town Hall in mid-April. The students loved the day, engaging in poetry and getting involved in working together.

A Family Bingo Night will be held on 17th April 2015 7pm start. There will be a raffle with the first prize being a family ticket to the Wychwood Festival for 2 adults and 2 children.

So far the PTFA have contributed to the following:
• £1,000 towards the September 2014 rewards trip
• £1,000 towards the revision prom tickets reward initiative
• £500 towards a new trampoline
• £600 for drama department to buy Apple Mac Book Pro
• £132 for English Department’s iGCSE activity packs with an additional £1,000 pledged pending a detailed proposal from English Department.

If you would like to comment on the work of the PTFA or have ideas for fundraising please go along to any meeting (next one on 3rd March) or email them on

Summer Uniform
Students are able to wear their Pittville polo shirt from Easter 2015. Only polo shirts with the Pittville School logo are allowed, not plain white polo shirts. Students are still expected to wear their blazer with the polo shirt. Polo shirts are available from ‘School Togs’.

Photographing/filming Students
Occasionally, we may need to take photographs of your son/daughter. This may be necessary in view of the course your child has chosen to take or because they have been involved in an event in school. These photographs may be used on our website or shared with the Gloucestershire Echo. If you do not wish these photographs to be taken please inform the school.

Design Award
David Myerson from Cheltenham Design Academy came to Pittville School on Wednesday 4th February 2015. David is the Head of the Design Academy. He also runs a very successful design practice called Hurricane Design based in Cheltenham. The Design Academy invited schools to send suitable students to attend design workshops that are tutored by leading designers. Leo Guidetti won a competition to design a bottle for a soft drink (Dr Pepper). The design has been produced as a 3d print and as an illustration.

Abbott House Report
Abbott House welcomed Rachel Davis from the British Heart Foundation this term. Rachel came to speak to the Abbott students about the work the British Heart Foundation does, how they raise money and how they use money to fund research and equipment. Abbott House students voted to select the British Heart Foundation as their house charity at the beginning of this academic year, and all of the Abbott students participated in the 'Wear it Red Day' on February 6th.

Aston House Report
This term saw some fantastic performances in the house rugby and netball. Well done to all who took part. Friday 6th February saw the first ‘House Colours Day’ and there were some fantastic green outfits and some crazy green wigs! Many Aston students took part in the annual PTFA quiz. Thank you to those who represented Aston House. When we return after the break our year 11's will be increasingly focused on their exams. In view of this a selection of year 10 students will begin their trials as new prefects. It is a fantastic accolade to be chosen to represent the school and I send a ‘well done’ to the students chosen to represent Aston House. Hope you all have a restful and enjoyable break and I look forward to seeing you all back safe and healthy in the new term.

Livingstone House Report
We all need things to cheer us up at this time of year. January seems to go on forever!! But we’ve finally got into February and the sun is shining!! Gloom lifted! It’s been great to see so many of our year 11’s in Livingstone staying late to make the most of their opportunities and time left here. Free tea and treats obviously help!! I have been so impressed with my year 10’s too. I have many prefect applications to go through!! For our house charity this term we are looking to sell Livingstone staff ‘soup recipes’ and also create a guess the father of the staff competition (Who’s the Daddy?) with a prize for the winners. Finally, what lifted the ‘January blues’ was the great number of students who got involved in our ‘Wear your House Colour’ on Friday 6th, with all Livingstone monies going to Macmillan Cancer Support. I hope you all have a good half term catching up with family and friends.

PE report
Unfortunately, we have had a few fixtures cancelled this term due to poor weather conditions, which has been a shame. However, we have still taken part in some great netball and football matches. A highlight was the fantastic win by the year 10 netball team against St Edwards School. The team consisted of three year 9 players challenging themselves in this more experienced game and I’m pleased to say that Abi Brown-Stark, Tiara Cowley and Miki Trbojevich, did themselves and Pittville proud. There were no house matches this term, but we are looking forward to holding house football for both the girls and the boys at the end of next term.

Diary Dates
• 3rd March – Pittville plays host to a class of Japanese students
• 5th March – World Book Day
• 18th March – SEN workshop 4-6.30pm
• 19th March – Y7 PSCHE World Health Day
• 23rd – 26th March – Trip to Paris
• 27th March – Inservice day. School closed for students

I hope you have a very enjoyable break.

R Gilpin
December 2014 Friday, December 19, 2014

December 2014

Dear Parents/Carers

Follow the school on Twitter and receive regular updates on what is happening in and around school. @PittvilleSchool.

Reporting Absence
Parents of students in all year groups should report an absence by leaving a message on the Attendance Office phone, 01242 548717. Parents should contact the attendance office on the first day of absence. Any students arriving at school after registration must sign in with reception indicating the reason why they are signing in late. Thank you.

Student Voice
On 24th October 2014 our year 10 and 11 MPs visited Gloucester Crown Court to watch the court in session. It was so interesting to see how a Court works. Afterwards they had a question and answer session with the judge and were able to ask questions about what they had witnessed.

Houses of Parliament Trip
On 6th November 2014 last year’s MPs were rewarded for their hard work and effort with an exciting visit to the Houses of Parliament. They travelled to London by coach and had a memorable tour, where they got to see both the House of Commons and the House of Lords in action. In the afternoon they also took part in a seminar all about law making. They were able to make up their own law and debate whether the bill should be passed.

Abbott House – Miss Addison
It has been another busy half term for Abbott House. Miss Addison was delighted with the Abbott students’ response to ‘Wear It Pink’ day. There were some incredible outfits, not least of all from the Abbott House staff! Abbott House also ran a festive gathering (with cakes and gifts to buy) to raise money for our house charity – the British Heart Foundation. Lots of Abbott students participated in the art department Christmas card competition and the standard of entries was very high – another closely fought house competition! Abbott House students also supported the school PTFA with their disco and at the Christmas Fair. Miss Addison and the Abbott House team would like to take this opportunity to wish all their students and parents a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Aston House – Mr Watkins
Another term and another successful year has come to a close. This week has seen many of our pupils taking part in house matches, competing and gaining house points for Aston House. So well done and thank you to all pupils. Last week’s Christmas Concert saw many Aston pupils participating, most notably Keenan Sayce's solo and Gosia Antosiewicz’ duet with Vicky Locke. This term has also seen Blayne Cullen and Jasmine Windsor, in their roles as Aston House Captains, present their review of the year at Achievement Evening. They may have been nervous, but they came across clearly and confidently, so well done both. All that leaves me to say is, enjoy your time off, enjoy the time with your friends and family and have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Livingstone House – Mr Kavanagh
There has been a lot going on in Livingstone House this term. Last week we held a Christmas fundraiser. We had mince pies, played games and sang carols, all to raise money for our house charity Macmillan Cancer Support. Mr Kavanagh and Mr Litherland would like to thank all of the staff and students who attended. Mr Litherland also completed a half marathon, raising even more money through sponsorship. Livingstone students have been involved in house matches over the past two weeks. It is too early to announce all the results but Mr Kavanagh has a smile on his face at the moment! The Livingstone House team would like to wish all our students and parents, a very Merry Christmas!

PE Report
This term girls’ PE have competed in many fixtures and tournaments with successes along the way. These successes include our Y9/10 hockey team beating Cheltenham Bournside 3-0 and our Y7 netball team played Pates winning 9-4. The boys have also had a busy term, with the Y9 rugby team losing only one game to Pates. Y7 have four fixtures booked after Christmas and have been training hard for them. After Christmas the PE department are looking to hold a non-school uniform day to help raise money for a new trampoline. Details of this to follow.

Gaza Fundraising for Christian Aid
Year 11 RE students put together a concert in aid of the civilians of the Gaza Strip. Gaza has been devastated by war and civilians, including many children, have lost their lives. The Christian Aid Appeal is raising funds to re-build houses, schools and hospitals as well as providing desperately needed resources, including food and medicine. Students met weekly to organise the concert. They put together the promotional materials and organised and ran assemblies to put on the show. Others were involved in backstage and technical roles, such as lighting and sound, as well as creating a promotional video for the assemblies. This event raised £72.90.

WW1 Remembrance
On Friday 12th December 2014 all KS3 students were treated to an array of activities and tasks linked to the Christmas Truce of 1914. Students learnt about the importance of this historic event and even re-enacted the famous football match on the school field in costume. A photo of the teams was then tweeted to the Football Remembers website in honour of those who died and fought in battle. Students were captivated and intrigued by what they had learnt and produced some superb work linked to this historic occasion.

Pittville School Parents, Teachers and Friends Association have had a busy time this term. We held our 3rd Annual Christmas Craft Fair, which was very successful. Students, staff and parents came together to enjoy a festive fair: full of wonderful gifts to buy, food and drink to consume and fantastic entertainment from the Pittville Cappellas and Pittville Soul Band. The evening raised over £850, which will be used to enhance the school life of all pupils. The P.T.F.A. now serve refreshments at Parents’ Evenings, and are pleased to have a chance to raise their profile and talk to parents about the role of the PTFA. We also served refreshments and ran a Christmas Raffle at the recent Christmas Concert, organised by the Music Dept. Our next main event is our Family Quiz Night, on Friday 6th February 2015, in the school dining hall, at 7.00pm. Following that, we have a Family Bingo Night on 17th April, 2015. Please feel free to join us at our next meeting which will be at Café MooChoo (in the Strand, Cheltenham) at 7.00pm, on 6th January 2015. Our following meeting will be in the School Library, at 4.30pm on 2nd February 2015.
Merry Christmas!

Wear it Pink Day
This year’s “Wear it Pink” Day raised over £665 for Cancer Research. Thank you to all those who took part.

Mock Interviews – Year 11
On Wednesday 26th November 2014 Year 11 students each had a 15 minute mock interview with Enterprise Business Partnership. They received feedback on their application and interview form.

Parent View
We encourage parents and carers to give their views of our school at any time of the year using the online questionnaire called Parent View. You can register to do this simply by visiting our school website and clicking on the parent view link. We have enclosed a letter with further information about Parent View.

This term we say goodbye to Vickie Phillips, Assistant Headteacher. Vickie joined Pittville in 1997 as Head of English, later becoming Assistant Headteacher with responsibility of the Performing Arts specialism (Vickie was responsible for writing the bid for the application for arts status). More recently Vickie has taken responsibility for teaching and learning, the Gitep scheme and the mentoring of NQTs. Vickie has continued to teach English and her results have always been superb. Vickie’s departure will be a tremendous loss for the school. We wish her well for her retirement.

We also said goodbye to Liz Ellis from the Support Department, Fiona McLeod the Clerk to the Governors and Carly Newman from English.

New Staff
We welcome Lily Doyle to English Department, Nicola Sharkey-Esswood to Humanities, Helen Roach to Support and Maria Taylor to Technology. In addition we have a new Clerk to the Governors, Mike Warner.

On Thursday 11th December 2014 we held a very successful Christmas Concert and our Year 7’s also held their carol service on Friday 5th December 2014.

May I take this opportunity to thank all parents and carers for their support this term. Have a lovely safe Christmas break. School re-opens on Monday 5th January 2015.

R Gilpin

Newsletter September 2014 Thursday, September 11, 2014
September 2014

Dear Parents/Carers

Welcome back to you all after the summer holidays and a warm welcome to all our new Year 7 parents. I hope that you had an enjoyable summer. I would like to take this opportunity to update you on the latest developments here at Pittville.

Year 7
Our new Year 7 intake have settled in well to life at Pittville. Staff are delighted with how they are working in lessons and report that are they are a tremendously enthusiastic year group.

Year 7 Tutor Evening – 4-6 pm
This will take place on 15th October 2014. Year 7 parents will have the opportunity to meet with their child’s tutor and discuss how well they are settling in at Pittville.

Exam results
We are pleased to report continued improvement with our exam results. This year 71% of students achieved 5A*-C and this included improved results in the following GCSE subjects maths, English Literature, geography, history, statistics, ICT, catering, drama and science. We took our first further maths cohort through with 78% of students achieving A*-C. Students gained more high grades at GCSE than ever before. We were delighted with these results as they show that more of our students are achieving the grades necessary to progress on to sixth forms and other post-16 institutions.

New staff
We welcome Mr Marsh as the new Head of Design Technology, Miss Taylor into Humanities, Ms Harte into Modern Foreign Languages and Miss Barrett into PE.

Open Week and Open Evening
Our Open Week begins on Monday 6th October 2014. Open Evening is between 6pm and 8pm on Tuesday 7th October 2014. We will finish school at 1.00 pm on Tuesday 7th October 2014 so as to give staff time to prepare for Open Evening.

School website
Please continue to check our school website for up to date information and advice.

We are no longer able to authorise any holiday taken during term unless the circumstances are exceptional. Please inform us promptly if your child is going to be absent. We ask that you telephone the school before 9am and inform us of the reason. A copy of our attendance policy is available on the school website.

Yours sincerely

R Gilpin
Newsletter July 2014 Monday, July 21, 2014

July 2014
Dear Parents/Carers
As we approach the end of another successful year at Pittville I thought I would take the opportunity to thank you for all your support and to wish you a wonderful summer break (let’s hope the weather is kind to us all!). I would like to update you on all the exciting events that have taken place over the last term. We have many reasons to be ‘Proud of Pittville’.

Year 11 Prom
This was held at Cheltenham Racecourse on Friday 27th June 2014. It was well attended by students and staff and everyone had a great time. The staff at the racecourse were full of praise for the way our students conducted themselves. They were a real credit to the school. My thanks go to Mrs Cooper for all the effort she put in to organising what is always a terrific event.

Year 10 Work Experience
Year 10 students have just returned from their work experience visits. The feedback from their placements has been very positive. Well done to all the students.

Year 11 Appointments
Congratulations to Ben Pegler, Head Boy and Scarlett Elliott, Head Girl. We have a very talented student leadership team in the school. Well done to each of them and to all the students who applied for the posts. Quite an achievement.

Pittville PTFA would like to thank everyone - students, staff, parents and friends - for all the hard work that went into supporting all the fund-raising efforts this year. I think we can all agree that a lot of fun was had whilst helping to raise much-needed funds to help support the school in the amazing work that goes on here. Particular thanks must go to Carol Hawling for running the Quiz Night and putting together all the questions - she does assure us that the next one will be a bit easier! Less taxing on the brain was our very successful inaugural running of a Bingo Night. Remember to look out for us at all future Parents’ Evenings where tea, coffee and a little something to nibble on will be provided. If you would like to take a more active role in the PTFA all our meetings are calendared on the web-site - we would love to see you! Feel free to come along - kids welcome too.

Art Exhibition
On Thursday, 26th June 2014 the art department were proud to present a summer exhibition of Year 11 Art and Photography work. Guests were able to enjoy canapés and beverages whilst admiring some of the inspiring work on display. The art department would like to thank everyone that came along and helped to make the event a success.

Literacy Owl
The Literacy Owl has been named ‘Gandowlf!’ Congratulations to 10LI2. This mascot will be used as a logo for literacy initiatives and will be something to capture the students’ imaginations – reminding them that their literacy skills are vital to success in every lesson.

Sports Day
Sports Day was again held at the Prince of Wales Stadium this year and was another success! The students showed great team spirit and conducted themselves extremely well throughout the course of the day. Over 150 students participated in the 18 events that took place on the day. Not only did the athletes compete well, the spectators were extremely encouraging of their houses, cheering them along the way. PE and PA prefects were fantastic with the support they gave to the staff to enable all events to run smoothly and encouraged and supported the participants throughout their events. The staff race was probably the highlight of the day with a tense last leg of the relay. The overall winner on the day was Livingstone House! Well done to all involved!

Summer School
A number of Year 6 and 7 students will be attending a literacy ’Summer School’ here at Pittville. The week will consist of lessons based around reading and writing skills – an intensive literacy programme which will aim to address the specific needs of each child. This will allow teachers to work with individuals; to diagnose their particular literacy needs and plan a succession of interventions designed to make them both more confident and more effective in the classroom. For the Year 6 students this will help support their transition process.

Performance by Nicholas McCarthy
Nicholas McCarthy began to play the piano at the age of 14. Born without his right hand, he is one of a few left-handed pianists worldwide and at present is the youngest sole left-handed concert pianist in the world. Nicholas studied at the prestigious Royal College of Music in London. His graduation in July 2012 made history and drew press headlines worldwide, being the only left-hand alone pianist to graduate from the Royal College of Music in its 130 year history. One of Nicholas's proudest moments was performing with the British Paraorchestra at the Closing Ceremony of the 2012 Paralympic games where they played alongside Coldplay and gave a rendition of the Paralympic anthem in front of an audience of 86,000 people and half a billion worldwide viewers. We were very lucky to have him in school to take 2 year 8 music groups.

What is your Favourite Book?
Staff were asked to bring in their favourite book. Two photographs were then taken. One with the book covering their face and the other holding the book with their face revealed! Students were asked to guess who everyone was and the students with the most right won a prize!

Over 100 pupils from Pittville School and Swindon Village and Holy Trinity primaries were involved in the performances of Oliver, not to mention 2 members of Pittville staff - Mr Edwards and Miss Dring. Both performances were a great success, with near sell out audiences. Pupils have been working hard since January to put together the show, as actors, musicians and crew. The young but talented cast were brilliant and so supportive of each other backstage. Notable performances include Ashley Stanton as Oliver, Tristan Chesters as The Artful Dodger, Jacob Nairn-Clifford as Fagin and Brittany Sutton-Page as Nancy. All the cast deserve credit for their performances however and Miss Underhill is a very happy director. Thank you to everyone who has been involved - it really was a team effort.

Poetry Games
This term a group of talented writers in Year 8 succeeded in becoming published poets as they were able to see their own poems in print as a result of participating in the Poetry Games competition. They used their imagination as well as the skills they had studied in the classroom to create poems about key issues that had an effect on them. 14 poems were chosen to be included in a National Poetry Anthology. A great effort.

Visit from Judo Olympic Medallist
PE Department’s “Get Set to Make a Change” group won a competition based on their involvement within the community and their prize was a visit from Karina Bryant, Judo Olympic Bronze Medallist. Karina spent the day in school with a film crew and worked with the group of students.

Pittville ‘Bake Off!’
On the week starting the 30th June, Pittville School held their first official house bake off. It was an exciting event where Abbott, Aston and Livingstone staff and students competed against each other to make the greatest cupcakes the school has ever seen. Pupils had to ask a member of staff to be their partner and together they planned their recipes, baked and displayed their masterpieces. Over sixty-eight teachers and pupils took part in the three day event where the Headteacher Mr Gilpin tasted ALL the cakes and decided the winning teams. Abbott House was in third place with Miss Duffas, Naomi Barton and Victoria Locke, Aston House was in second place with Mr Watkins and Jack Taylor and winning the Competition was Livingstone House with Miss Vedmore and Holly Penman. Well done to all who took part, it was a fantastic and exciting few days. Thank you all for your enthusiasm and team work.

House News
Aston House
Another successful year draws to a close for Aston House. It has been a great year that has flown by. A very busy term so I will try and give you a brief flavour of what has happened. Firstly, we waved goodbye to our old year 11's, our Head Girl, Jade Mason, our House Captains Natasha Chinyowa and Kerry-Ann Johnson and all our prefects who have worked so hard completing their duties around the school. Recently we have appointed new prefects and House Captains for Aston House who are Jasmine Windsor and Blayne Cullen. We are also privileged to have Ben Pegler appointed as Head Boy. Well done to you all. Two weeks ago we saw another successful sports day at the Prince of Wales stadium, with lots of pupils competing in events and staff dressed in various forms of green. Aston House finished a very close second, with the final result all being decided on the relay. Other notable successes saw Aston House finish second in the Pittville School Bake-Off, with Mr Watkins cooking with Jack Taylor, and Keanan Sayce singing very confidently and wowing the crowds at Cheltenham Jazz Festival. As the year draws to a close, Aston House says goodbye to Miss Mitchell who is off to pastures new, we all wish her good luck. Finally I would like to thank all the Aston House staff who have worked tirelessly and wish all pupils a happy, safe and fun summer. See you all in September. Mr Watkins.

Livingstone House
I would like to thank everyone, children and staff, for all their hard work this term. It has been hugely successful. Sports day went to the wire!! We came out winners just pipping Aston House to be the newly crowned champions!! Well done to everyone who took part and to our house for their support on the day!! The ‘Great Pittville Bake Off’ was a huge success. Thank you to Miss Guinan (AHOH Abbott) and Mrs Brookes for organising the three day event. Again we came out victorious with Hollie Penman 9Li1 and Miss Vedmore creating the winning cupcake! On behalf of everyone in Livingstone House I would like to say a huge ‘thank you’ to Miss Bury and Mr Beer. We will miss them and they leave with all our best wishes for the future in their new schools. I would also like to thank our house captains, Charis Pardoe and Sophie Brewer, who did a sterling job over the course of the year, they were great ambassadors and role models throughout. Well done girls! On reflection I feel that this year has been incredible. Next year we will try and build on the successes we have had. Livingstone is a happy house and I am very proud of all who are in it! Mr Kavanagh.

Abbott House
It has been another fantastic year for Abbott House. The Abbott House team would like to thank all of those students and staff who got involved in sports day and although the result didn't go exactly to plan, the atmosphere was wonderful! Abbott were well represented at the House Bake off. The level of competition was fierce - with students and staff taking their cakes very seriously! A huge thank you to Miss Guinan for organising the competition. It has been a fantastic last term in school and I have been delighted to see so many Abbott students representing the school in different ways. Students attending the Barcelona, Lille and Croft Farm trips were all superb. As the year draws to an end, Abbott House would like to say a huge thank you all of our tutors, and our Pastoral Manager, Mrs Davies. We would like to say good luck and goodbye to Miss Duffas, a huge thank you to Mr Apperley-Tibbotts and finally to Miss Guinan who has done an incredible job as Assistant Head of House this year. We hope that all of the Abbott students have a wonderful summer holiday. Miss Addison.

Barcelona Art & Geography Trip 2014
Barcelona, Spain was the destination for 16 Pittville students. The aim was for the students to immerse themselves in Catalan life and culture, and come back with life long memories and the desire to carry on experiencing new places. We succeeded. We spent 5 days exploring the streets of the different districts in
Barcelona, each with its unique geography and identity. From Park Guell to the Sagrada Familia, the beachfront to the hilly Olympic site of Montjuic. Food was an important part of this trip, and the students ate and tried new foods in various styles of restaurants from Argentinian steak houses to an authentic
Italian pizzeria. The Boqueria food market was a perfect opportunity for students to capture some eye-catching images. This is a school trip that I am sure will run again, to allow other Pittville students this fantastic experience.

Staff Farewells and Appointments
We say farewell to the following staff:
• Severine Duffas (MFL)
• Rose Mitchell (RE)
• Tom Beer (DT)
• Corinne Bury (PE)
• Tina Patel (HLTA)

I would like to say thank you for all that these staff have done for Pittville and on behalf of all the staff, students and governors we wish them all the very best for the future.

We welcome:
• Adam Marsh (DT)
• Hannah Taylor (Humanities)
• Hannah Barrett (PE)
• Roisin Harte (MFL)
• Nicola Hume (Finance)

We return to school after the summer on Tuesday 2nd September 2014 for Years 7 and 11 and Wednesday the 3rd September 2014 for years 8, 9 and 10. Please note that winter uniform should be worn from September – no polo shirts. We would like to give you early notification that school will close earlier than normal at 12.00pm on Friday 5th September 2014 for staff training.

I wish you all a great summer.

R Gilpin

May 2014 Tuesday, May 27, 2014
MAY 2014

Dear Parents/Carers

Thank you for all your support this term. It has been very busy. Y11 are working hard as the exam season is upon us again. Good luck to them all. We look forward to meeting our new Y7 students later next term during our induction evening. We are delighted to announce that we have received £153,000 to update our catering rooms in the Technology block. Very exciting times! Have a lovely half term and I do hope the sun continues to shine.

Year 11 Study Support
Y11 students have been given information about extra study support sessions that staff are offering during the half-term break. Please encourage students to attend these sessions and to keep revising over half term.

Proposed Changes to school day
We are currently reviewing our school day and would like to consult with parents over some possible changes. The main change will affect the end of the school day which we are looking to extend by 15 minutes, therefore finishing at 3.15pm. The start time will not change. The main reason for extending the school day is to enable us to have a longer lunch break. This will enable students to attend clubs during their lunch time and will allow us to offer a number of enrichment activities. These proposed changes would not come into effect until September 2014. However, we will trial the changes to lunch arrangements during the second half of this term. The other change that we are considering is to allow students to have an extra 5 minutes at break time. A larger selection of snacks will be available during that time.

Parent View
We encourage parents and carers to give their views of our school at any time of the year using the online questionnaire called Parent View. You can register to do this simply by visiting our school website and clicking on the parent view link. We have enclosed a letter with further information about Parent View.

Report on Annecy - A Trés Bon time!
As Easter approached, 16 students and their French teachers visited the picturesque town of Annecy for 5 days, as part of the Twin Association. Annecy is a beautiful town, bordering Geneva in Switzerland. It was an amazing experience to travel to Annecy and learn about French culture. One of the main activities was to visit the school, where students spent the day with their pen pals. There were significant differences between life at Pittville in the UK and the French school. For example, the school day is longer (until 5.30pm) and there is no uniform – plus the students get Wednesdays off! Everyone at the school was so kind and welcoming and seemed really curious about England and our culture. So as well as us learning about their culture, we were also teaching them about ours. The most common question was: is England cold?!

Laura Mvula
Students were surprised by a visit from singer/songwriter Laura Mvula who dropped in for an impromptu performance ahead of her appearance in the Cheltenham Jazz Festival. The Soul Band perform in the Jazz Festival every year and this year were lucky enough to meet Jamie Cullum in the VIP lounge and Laura Mvula. Laura performed 'Father, Father' from her album 'Sing to the Moon.' and answered students’ questions in front of local radio, press and the BBC Midlands Today crew. What an inspiration to our young musicians! Students really enjoyed Laura's friendly and engaging manner. She gave us a real insight into the music industry and reminded us that even successful artists get star struck. We wish her every success with her forthcoming Ivor Novello nomination.

Playing Safe
On 9th May years 7 and 8 watched a piece of Theatre in Education which aimed to raise the awareness of the importance of sexual health for young people in secondary education. Its fun approach and contemporary performance techniques allowed the audience to think about this issue in a safe and confident way.

Jazz Festival
Pittville School Soul Band performed in ‘Jazz it Up’ which is the youth weekend of the internationally renowned Cheltenham Jazz Festival on Saturday 3rd May 2014. ‘Jazz it Up’ is a fantastic event in the Jazz Festival’s calendar. We performed alongside the jazz bands of other local schools. It was a free outdoor event with various food and drink stalls which really help to give the event a genuine festival atmosphere. The event was extremely well supported with lots of staff and students watching.

Geography Field Visit to Jazz Festival
All students currently following the Geography GCSE Course are required to submit a piece of fieldwork, which accounts for 15% of their total mark. The fieldwork is an investigation using primary (first hand) data collected by the student. With this in mind, students collected data at the Jazz Festival. Students were given guidance, mini-deadlines to complete sections and time in lessons to work on this coursework.

Oliver – 9th and 10th July 2014
This year’s musical takes place on Wednesday 9th and Thursday 10th July 2014 at 7pm. The cast includes members of staff and primary school pupils from Holy Trinity and Swindon Village. Weekly rehearsals started back in January and Miss Underhill visits the primary schools every other week to rehearse their parts. We hope you are able to come along and support the production which promises to showcase some stars of the future. Tickets are priced at £3.50 for adults and £2.50 for concessions and will go on sale after half term. If any nimble-fingered parents are willing and able to help with costumes, please get in touch!

Artist in Residence
The art department have been delighted to welcome the artist James O'Hanlon for a week's residency. James is taking part in the Open West art exhibition at the Wilson Gallery in Cheltenham and produces incredible paintings based on cityscapes. Miss Addison and Miss Stewart selected a group of students from years 9 and 10 who show outstanding passion and creativity in their art lessons to take part. This has been an incredible opportunity for students to gain experience of meeting, working with and learning from a contemporary artist. The students have had a wonderful week and they have certainly learnt a lot from James. Miss Addison would like to thank James and Open West and hope it has inspired Pittville art students to move forward into a career in the creative industries.

Pittville Press Visit Echo offices
Pittville Press were invited to the offices of the Gloucestershire Echo newspaper for a morning of journalism-related activities on Wednesday 21st May 2014. 4 students attended the daily editorial meeting and shadowed journalists as they worked. This was a valuable trip which rewarded the students’ commitment to Pittville Press but also gave them a valuable insight into the world of journalism.

Pittville Parliament
Pittville Parliament met on Thursday 15th May 2014 and were delighted to welcome in Georgia Taylor from Vivo. She was here to discuss the ‘vivo’ system which is used in school. The MP's had already asked their fellow tutees for their views on ‘vivo’. They fed back ideas and suggestions to Georgia, who came away with lots of notes! The next meeting will take place after the holidays.

Trip to @Bristol
On Monday 12th May 2014, 12 students from 7SC1 went to “@Bristol” with their teacher on a gifted and talented educational trip to broaden their knowledge of particular topics within science. They attended two workshops “How Your Body Works” and “The Planetarium”. The students said it was the best trip ever!

PE News
On 15th May 2014 Pittville entered 3 teams into an indoor rowing competition at All Saints Academy. The Y7-8 team won 3 out of 4 of their races and came second in the other. This was a really tough event where students had to exert themselves fully. Y7 and Y9 girls’ football teams played a match against Cotswold School on the 30th April. The Y9 game was close. However, the girls took their eyes off the ball for a few seconds allowing Cotswold to score. The Y7 team played really well winning their match 2-0. Well done to Paige Nelder for scoring both goals.

On Tuesday 6th May 2014 the PE fundraising group ran a car wash for staff after school. They raised just over £40 and are hoping to hold another before the end of term.

British Heart Foundation
On Sunday 18th May 2014 Mr Gilpin completed the 40 mile Cotswold Bike Ride. He has raised over £200 for the British Heart Foundation.

As You Like It Workshop and Performance
The Everyman Theatre invited pupils from Pittville to take part in a workshop with The Tobacco Factory Theatre Company exploring the Shakespeare play, “As You Like It”. 15 pupils from year 9 took part in a range of drama games and activities to explore the themes of the play and Shakespearean language, led by Sophie and Peter from The Tobacco Factory. Pupils then had the opportunity to ask questions about all aspects of acting, from how to learn lines to coping with nerves. Following the workshop, pupils then attended the matinee performance of As You Like It where they got to see Sophie and Peter in action. The pupils were really enthusiastic throughout the day and staff at The Everyman commented on their fantastic attitude and behaviour.

School Uniform
10% off school uniform from "Schooltogs" between 7th July – 19th July 2014.

We are sad to be saying goodbye to Linda Bowles our Senior Finance Officer. Mrs Bowles is taking up a new post as Business manager at the Aspire school in Worcester. We know she will be a great success in her new role and would like to thank her for all she has contributed to the school. We wish her all the very best.

Have a great half term

R Gilpin
April 2014 Newsletter Thursday, April 03, 2014


Dear Parents/Carers
It has been a very busy term. I would like to update you on the many events that have taken place. The new term begins on Tuesday 22nd April 2014.

Year 11 Easter Revision
There are a number of revision sessions taking place for Year 11 students during the school holidays. I know that these will be well attended by students. Year 11 students need to keep up the hard work as we move closer to their final examinations this summer.

We continue to work hard as a school to raise the profile of attendance and the link between good attendance and excellent performance at GCSE. It is vitally important that we work in partnership with parents to ensure that our students’ attendance remains high so that they continue to make excellent progress at Pittville.

Japanese Students
On Thursday 6th March 2014 we played host to 36 Japanese students from the Reitaku High School in Tokyo. They were part of a 60 strong party on a visit to England organised by Inlingua of Cheltenham. The Japanese students met their Year 8 and 9 student 'hosts' and were given a tour of the school. They then took part in a question and answer session where both sets of students found out about each other's school and culture. The visiting students then spent two lessons in various faculties to get a taste of what an English school is like. At the end of the day the visitors performed to Year 7 students and their hosts. They did a presentation and sang songs. Students were then able to try various cultural games such as Shuji (Japanese Calligraphy), Origami (paper craft) and Hanetsuki (badminton with wooden paddles and a shuttlecock).

Photography Trip to Bristol
On Tuesday 25th February 2014 our Year 10 photography students went to photograph architecture in Bristol. The trip forms part of their GCSE and allows images to be taken of gritty urban landscapes. The students were given a tour of the waterfront areas, museums and shipping architecture and then were left to their own creative devices. This ‘landscape’ aspect of their coursework forms a part of a range of different skills and genres they will cover over their two year course.

Maths Challenge
Students from Years 9-11 took part in the intermediate maths challenge which is run by the UK Mathematics Trust. The challenge involved answering 25 multiple choice questions in one hour under exam conditions. No calculators are allowed! The top 40% of students nationally receive a gold, silver or bronze certificate. 16 of our students received these awards. Josh Daniel did particularly well (especially as he is still in Year 9) and will be invited to sit the European Kangaroo paper. This is sat by students from 30 countries worldwide. Years 7 and 8 maths set 1 will be able to try the junior challenge in May.

PE Leadership Academy
A number of students attend Leadership Academy Training at Pates Grammar School. The leaders, including our two young ambassadors Abir Ahmed and Brittany Sutton-Page, had a glowing report back after the primary schools badminton coaching. A credit to the school!

Iris Long Talk at Dean Close
Year 11 students recently attended the ‘Iris Long’ talk at Dean Close School by Katie Piper. The ‘Iris Long’ talks are specifically targeted at young people and aim to inspire a new generation to challenge themselves beyond their own expectations. Katie Piper is a television presenter and former model. She had hoped to have a full-time career in the media, but in March 2008 sulphuric acid was thrown in her face. The attack left Katie blinded in one eye. The students found her talk truly inspirational and left many of them in tears. We hope to attend further talks at Dean Close School in the future.

PE Update
The PE department’s ‘Get set to make a Change' group are planning their next inspiring session. They are in the process of planning an event at a local nursery school and will be sending the message to 3-5 year olds about what is healthy and what is not. The session will involve an interactive presentation and healthy sandwich making with the children. The Btec Sports students have been busy this term planning and leading their activities too. These events are part of their coursework and they have been extremely successful. Some of the events that they have undertaken are a two week table tennis club for Years 7 and 8, a primary school training session and games, a house tag-rugby competition for Years 9 and 10 and a staff house netball match.

Summer Uniform
The summer polo shirts are now available to purchase from ‘Schooltogs’. They cost £7.50 for ages 11-15 and £9.95 for small, medium and large. They can be worn after the Easter holidays.

Schools’ Drama Festival
On Wednesday 26th February 2014, 10 Year 7 students took part in the Schools’ Drama Festival held at The Bacon Theatre. Students performed Alice in Wonderland alongside 5 local schools. Each school performed a 15 minute extract which when joined together told the whole story. The students had been rehearsing in a 20 minute slot during their lunchtimes and worked really hard to learn their lines and create their scene. Our scene was the final one, there was a lot of pressure to live up to. Pittville students didn’t disappoint. The organiser commented on how high the standard was and that she was surprised that our students were only Year 7. We are looking forward to taking part again next year when a Key Stage 3 Festival is planned.

Poetry Live
On 7th March 2014, the English department took 36 Year 10 and 11 students to Westminster Central Hall for the National Poetry Live event. Students had a fantastic day watching their favourite poets perform and recite their work. Some world famous poets, such as Simon Armitage, John Agard and Carol Ann Duffy, really got the students engaged and gave them some valuable advice regarding the English exam that Year 11 will be sitting in May. They had the opportunity to ask questions and listen to the poets’ own take on their poems as well. Students also got to hear the chief examiner for English Literature give some guidance regarding the exam. This was a wonderful and inspirational day, which all students thoroughly enjoyed and found useful heading towards their exams.

Geography Fieldtrip
On 11th March 2014 the geography department took a group of Year 7 students to the Playhouse Theatre. They participated in several river based workshops based on a ‘Love Your River Chelt’ project with the Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust. These interactive workshops culminated in the students staging a presentation of their ideas to the remainder of Year 7.

Art Department Visit to Glenfall Primary School
Miss Addison was delighted to visit Year 5 students at Glenfall Primary School. The students at Glenfall had been working on a project based around Cheltenham and their local area. Miss Addison and the students worked on creating mixed media collages using maps, text and creating drawing based on local landmarks. The work produced by the Year 5 students was of a fantastic quality and we look forward to working with them again.

Young Writers ‘Poetry Games 2014’ Competition
Pittville School recently entered the Poetry Games 2014 competition. 18 students have been successful and now have the opportunity of having their poems published within a special anthology. A copy of the book “The Poetry Games” will be sent to the British Library and further libraries across the UK providing a lasting record of their achievement. Pittville School will receive a copy of the book which is scheduled for publication on 30th June 2014. This is a great achievement and something that we and the students are very proud of.

By Design
On Friday 21st March 2014, a company called ‘By Design’ came into school to work with the whole of Year 9 on a series of workshops entitled ‘Tomorrow’s Engineers’. The aim of the day was to raise awareness about the wide range of careers in engineering enabling students to make informed choices about their future. The day ran very smoothly and students and staff thoroughly enjoyed taking part in the activities and learned a lot about engineers and careers in engineering. The presenters commented on the good behaviour and enthusiasm of the students.

Go Karting
Pittville recently finished a series of 6 timed races with a crew of three in a gallant 4th place. An amazing achievement as the other three teams were all sixth formers with karting experience. A great win for Robbie Ede who won the fifth race in style – flag to flag! Shaq Marks worked his magic and zoomed from 4th to 2nd in the third race! A great display by Pittville; wonderful behaviour, competitive spirit and team work! Well done Robbie Ede, Shaq Marks and Jason Welby!

Science Fair
Over the past 7 weeks a group of students have been working on an after school project based around the title 'A mission to Mars'. The idea of the project was aimed at how we could provide an environment in which man could inhabit Mars in the future. The students have been investigating the effectiveness of different sun creams for protection against the Sun's harmful UV rays, and which sun cream would offer the best protection once on Mars. The students were invited to present their work at the Triple Science STEM Fair hosted by All Saints Academy. The highlight of the day was the fact that Pittville School won! The students were given first place for their presentation of their work and they won the Science quiz with a fantastic 35/37. To then top this all off the one group from our school made up of Krishan Diyar, Molly Johnstone, Pearse McGuigan, Xiao Pan, Josie Robinson and Ellie Carruthers, managed to win the award for 'Overall winners of the Science Fair'. A brilliant day topped off with a fantastic result for a lot of hard work and effort.

Dance Gala - ‘Dance through the ages’
This year’s dance gala was a huge success with over 90 students from Years 7 – 11 taking part. The dancers put on a fabulous show full of energy and entertainment. We saw many dance styles from Shaq Marks and George Mubayiwa’s street routine to a beautiful ballet performance by Lauren-Summer Cresswell. Thank you to all the staff, students, the PTFA and parents for their support with the night. We are already looking forward to next year’s show!

Abbott House
It has been another busy term for Abbott House. Abbott House was well represented at the PTFA annual quiz by a large team of students and staff. Miss Underhill, Miss Guinan and Miss Addison represented the staff. A really enjoyable evening was had by all, and although Abbott did not win, we were happy with our position and pleased to be able to support the PTFA. Abbott House also held their own fantastic fundraising event. Miss Guinan organised a ‘zumbathon’ in the hall. Students from every year group attended as well as some staff, all of whom paid £1 to enter which will be donated to ‘Sugarloaf’, Abbott's chosen charity. The event was a fantastic success.

Aston House
Since the Christmas break lots of things have taken place in Aston House. The highlight was the Valentine’s Day “Last Rolo” event being organised by 9as1 and 9as2, which caused much amusement and laughter and managed to raise over £50 for our house charity, The Aston Project. Following on from this event, two local police officers came into a house assembly to collect the cheque and speak about where the monies will go and the great work the Aston Project does. The next main highlight of the term was the PTFA quiz, where Aston fielded a house team of staff and students. Although we did not win, it was a very enjoyable evening and I must say thank you to all the Aston students who attended and rescued Miss Davis and Mr Watkins from embarrassment in many of the rounds! We hope you all have a lovely relaxing Easter holidays.

Livingstone House
The PTFA quiz evening on 7th February 2014 proved to be a fun and very competitive time for all houses. From ‘picture rounds’ and ‘guess the objects’ to ‘music from days gone by’. The evening built up into a tightly fought contest. Aston and Abbott Houses began to feel the pressure as the evening progressed (the youth in their teams proving a disadvantage in some rounds!!). I am proud to report that the Livingstone quiz team came out on top in our mini-house competition, finishing 4th overall. On behalf of Livingstone house I would like to thank all the children who got involved, Mr Poole for his contribution to our house answers (some were wrong!!) and of course Mr Edwards and Mrs Hawling for organising the event. On Thursday 13th March 2014, students from Livingstone and Abbott joined together to make cakes for Livingstone’s cake sale on Friday. Mrs Brookes helped us to create over 60 cakes to sell and she personally decorated the cakes to provide a homemade feel. On Friday, Livingstone students from Years 11 and 8 ran the cake stand in the school canteen and managed to make a whopping £52 for the Gloucestershire Air Ambulance - a very worthwhile charity. It was an enjoyable 2 days for everyone.

Dunalley University
At the beginning of the academic year Dunalley Primary School launched ‘Dunalley University’. On Friday 21st March 2014 we were very pleased to play host to their graduation ceremony. The initiative aims to extend the experience of their children and open up a wider range of opportunities where children can succeed. 180 children from Dunalley visited Pittville School and celebrated their achievements. We were delighted that over 100 Dunalley parents were also able to attend. We hope that this will become a regular event.

French Trip to Annecy
16 of our students are currently in Annecy, France. They are spending time in a French school and taking part in many other cultural activities. A full report will be in the next newsletter.

Staff Goodbyes
We say goodbye to Miss Purnell from the Performing Arts Department. We would like to thank her for all her hard work and wish her all the best for the future.

May I take this opportunity to thank you for your continued support and would like to wish everyone a happy Easter break. See you next term.

Mr Gilpin

February 2014 Newsletter Wednesday, February 19, 2014


Dear Parents/Carers

As we approach February half term I would like to update you on what has been happening and to inform you of some future events.

Please follow us on ‘Twitter’ @PittvilleSchool. We are using this method of communication more and more to get important messages out to the community.

Year 11 Attendance
For the attention of all year 11 parents/carers
When we return after half term, year 11 students have less than 50 teaching days before their summer exams begin. Excellent attendance is vital if they are to succeed in these exams. Please support us to support the students.

Year 11 Study Support
A revision timetable for Year 11 has been sent home. A copy is available on the website. Please can this be checked carefully as it is essential that students attend the revision sessions set for the February holidays.

Year 11 interviews
Year 11 students are in the middle of their interviews for 6th form places. We wish them the best of luck for their interviews.

Early Entry Maths Results
Pittville students enjoyed some early GCSE success. 80 students in year 11 have already achieved an A*-C in their GCSE maths. Well done to those students on achieving this before the summer.

Year 7 Literacy Week
Year 7 Literacy Week involved students completing a 10-15 minute literacy based starter activity at the beginning of every lesson. Students raced against the clock in maths where they had 'dictionary races’. They revised the use of the apostrophe in French and wrote detailed paragraphs about their Science equipment! Students were engaged and interested and were able to see how literacy is relevant in all subjects. A success!

InfoBuzz aims to promote positive change in the lives of young people through providing individual support around drugs & emotional health issues, learning opportunities for groups focusing on the development of personal & social skills, and information & support around substance misuse. They are an educational charity that work with young people and liaise with schools by offering workshops for PSHE based themes. This year, we were lucky enough to be one of several schools in the county to take part in a workshop called "Is there anybody out there?" which involved a performance from 6th Form Theatre Studies students from Farmor’s School and a feedback and discussion session. Students found this an informative and engaging way to explore a subject that is often left un-addressed.

Martin Horwood MP
On Friday 17th January 2014 all the MP's in Pittville Parliament were lucky enough to meet MP Martin Horwood. Mr Horwood came in to tell the Pittville MP's all about his role as an MP and what it entails. He then offered to answer questions from the students. Mr Horwood commented on how impressed he was with the students he met. Pittville Parliament would like to thank Mr Horwood for coming in to visit them!

Poetry Slam
On 5th February 2014, year 8 spent a whole poetry-packed day with Birmingham’s Poet Laureate, Giovanni ‘Spoz’ Esposito. In the morning the students created their own poems about chocolate and competed in a group Poetry Slam against each other in the afternoon. The atmosphere was electric as the winning group was announced and this group will now compete against other schools at the Cheltenham Poetry Festival on the 25th March 2014. The students had an exciting day. Tickets can be purchased from the Town Hall box office on 0844 576 2210 or via the festival website at priced at £5.00 adults and £3.00 concessions.

Year 10 Trip to University of Gloucestershire
A group of Year 10 students attended the University of Gloucestershire Higher Education Aspiration Road Show at Francis Close Hall. They took part in three workshops with the aim to inspire and raise aspirations.

PTFA Quiz Night – 7th February 2014
Our Parent, Teacher and Friends Association ran a very successful quiz night recently, at which about 100 adults and students enjoyed themselves. Some teams were representing their school houses to gain points, and some were just there to have fun. The P.T.F.A. served home-made soup with crusty bread, and there was a tuck shop, bar and raffle. The scoring was very close all the way through, but the eventual winners were a team compiled of both parents and students. There was a lot of positive feed-back from the competitors, and the evening raised between £400 and £500 for the school. Pittville School P.T.F.A. run regular fund-raising events to help the school, and have a lot of fun in the process. If you would like to know more about our P.T.F.A., please contact us at , or come to our next meeting on Tuesday 4th March 2014 7.00pm at The Strand pub.

Summer Uniform
Students are able to wear their Pittville polo shirt from Easter 2014. Only polo shirts with the Pittville School logo are allowed, not plain white polo shirts. Students are still expected to wear their blazer with the polo shirt. Polo shirts are available from ‘School Togs’.

Flying Start Project
A group of year 7 students have taken part in a STEM activity at Dowty Aerospace on 12th February 2014. The activity required the students to design and build a self-propelled glider. Participants were then invited to take part in a ‘Fly Off’ competition.

PE report
Years 7, 8, 9 and 11 girls have played 50 netball, hockey and football fixtures since September. The girls have done fantastically well winning 28 out of 50, giving us a 56% win rate. Notable wins have come from the year 7 netball team who have beaten Winchcombe, Cleeve, All Saints Academy and St Edwards and from the year 9 girls’ football team who are undefeated for the third year in a row in the Cheltenham League! Our years 7, 8 and 9 netball teams have beaten Bournside and the year 9 netball team also had a great 18-2 victory over St Edwards. Outstanding results! Well done girls!

Unfortunately, most of the boys’ fixtures have been postponed due to the bad weather. These fixtures will be rearranged as soon as we are able! On a positive note, 45 boys from years 7, 8 and 9 have been regularly turning up on Monday nights for football training.

Next Term

27th February 2014 Iris Long talks at Dean Close for Year 11
3rd March 2014 Bournside 6th Form interviews
4th March 2014 GlosCol interviews
6th March 2014 Japanese students visiting
11th – 13th March 2014 Y11 mock exams
19th March 2014 Year 11 C/D Borderline Evening
20th March 2014 Pittville’s Got Talent
4th April 2014 Inservice Day – school closed to students

December 2013 Tuesday, January 07, 2014



December 2013

Dear Parents/Carers

Year 7

Our Year 7 students have settled into school life. They are integrating well into the school and the Year 7 Tutor Evening was a huge success.

Open Evening

Thank you to everyone who helped to make Open Evening such a good showcase for the school. This includes our teachers, support staff and all the students who came in to work in departments, act as guides or help in other ways, and you as parents for giving them lifts to and from school.

School Calendar

The school calendar is now available to be viewed on the school website. This is a live calendar and will keep parents up to date with all the events that take place at Pittville. It also has important term dates such as the end of term and INSET days, as well as trip dates and exam dates.


Follow the school on Twitter and receive regular updates on what is happening in and around school.  @PittvilleSchool.

Reporting Absence

Parents of students in all year groups should report an absence by leaving a message on the Attendance Office phone, 01242 548717. Parents should contact the attendance office on the first day of absence.  Any students arriving at school after registration must sign in with reception indicating the reason why they are signing in late. Thank you.

Reward Trip

Monday 7th October 2013 proved to be another fantastic reward trip day out at Drayton Manor Park and Zoo. Students earned a place on the trip through their hard work and effort last year. They needed to have earned at least 100 house points, have 95% attendance and zero behaviour points. We had to take 3 coaches to carry the 187 students who went on the trip. Staff and students always look forward to the annual trip to Staffordshire where the theme park offers rollercoasters for the braver ones and Thomas Land for the younger (and some older!!) less brave ones! Some of our students and staff also took a break from the noise of the rides and looked around the Zoo. The students thoroughly enjoyed their time, going many times on a variety of rides so that they got full value out of their day. It was particularly noticeable that the biggest queue was for the dodgems where Mr Watkins was targeted!! I would like to thank the staff who went on the trip for all their help, the staff who helped organise things behind the scenes at school and of course our children for making the day a huge success!

Cricket Opening Ceremony

The Cricket Opening Ceremony was a great success! Students supported the event by paying to watch and money was also raised from selling scones with jam and cream, face painting and a nail bar. As a school, we raised just under £400.

Student Voice

Our new term has seen all of the tutor groups in the school taking part in a democratic vote to elect their new MP to represent them in Pittville Parliament this year. Miss Addison and Miss Davis, who lead student voice in the school, were delighted with the enthusiasm with which students took part in this process. In their first meeting, our MP's looked at the themes and topics which they will be discussing and debating this year. A quick start to assisting vital decisions in the school was made, with a vote on lunchtime arrangements. MP's also went back to discuss this with their tutor groups and our tutors kindly documented these discussions for us. Our MP's have made a superb start to the new term. Follow their progress by looking at the updates on the website.

Parliament trip

On Wednesday 2nd October 2013 Miss Addison took a group of our Pittville Parliament MP's to the Houses of Parliament in London. The students from years 8-11 were given a tour of Parliament and learnt a lot about how Parliament functions. Students were allowed to stand in both the House of Commons and the House of Lords. However we were told very firmly that there was no sitting allowed on the MP's benches! All of the students, and Miss Addison, found it very exciting to be stood exactly where our Prime Minister stands and where such important decisions are made. The Pittville Parliament MP's then participated in an ‘election and voting workshop’ in the afternoon. Our MP's learnt a great deal about government and politics in general which they will be able to apply to their own roles in school.

Abbott House

The new school year saw the arrival of several new staff into the Abbott House team. Miss Addison took over from Mr Poole as acting Head of House, with Miss Guinan starting as Assistant Head of House. They will be working with Miss Davies the pastoral manager. Abbott House welcomes Mr Hackman, Miss Wheelwright and Miss Underhill. Abbott House students have been busy this term working with their tutors to nominate our house charity for the year. In addition to this Abbott House launched their ‘ethos project’ this half term. All of our tutor groups are working together to devise a motto or phrase which encapsulates the ethos of Abbott House. We have already had some fantastic ideas and the house team looks forward to seeing what else the students can devise!

Aston House

A super successful end to the last school year, where we witnessed some amazing performances at sports day from Aston House, which nearly saw a clean sweep of winning every year group.  I was immensely proud and I would like to say ‘well done’ to all who took part and made it such a successful day.  At the end of last term we waved goodbye to Miss Storey our Assistant Head of House, however Miss Davis has been appointed into this position and has already been busy, organising the “buddy reading scheme” and training up our new House Captains, Kerry Ann Johnson and Natasha Chinyowa.  The new school year has seen us say hello to new staff joining the house, Miss Brown, Miss Purnell and Miss Stewart.  At a recent assembly Morgan Gordon, a local PCSO, came to speak to us about our house charity, the ‘Aston Project’.  This was a really interesting assembly and evidently it inspired many of you to sign up and join.  I look forward to hearing all about the fun things you get up to!  Aston students ran a stall at Pittville’s Christmas Craft fair where they raised over £85 selling hand-made bunting and freshly baked mince pies. A group of dedicated year 9 students spent two weeks giving up their lunchtime to make all of the Christmas themed bunting, and all of the money they made will go towards Aston House’s charity.

Livingstone House

On behalf of Livingstone House I would like to welcome our new Year 7 students.  7Li1 have settled in really well with their tutor Miss James. I would also like to welcome Miss Bury who has taken over from Miss Addison as my Assistant Head of Livingstone House. I would like to thank Miss Addison for all her support and hard work as my assistant since the re-introduction of the house system here at Pittville. Livingstone House students have been busy this term working with their tutors to win the first house competition.  Livingstone also won the ‘Rotary Club Mile of Coins’ competition, well done everyone! We are now looking forward to the house cross country competition. My house captains, Sophie Brewer and Charis Pardoe have settled into their role well, assisting in uniform checks and coming up with great new ideas for our house so that every student has the chance to be recognised. The ‘Spirit of Livingstone’ is an idea, from my house captains, where students and staff can nominate students for something they have seen or been impressed with and place their nominations in tutor boxes for me to award a certificate (and chocolate!) to the winners.

PE Report

We have had a successful term this year with the girls’ fixtures. The Year 8/9 football team are currently undefeated, having won all of their matches so far in the league. Results of these matches were; Cleeve 1-0, Bournside 5-0, All Saints 3-0. A special mention goes to Naomi Price for scoring a hatrick in the match against Bournside. Four netball matches have been played so far, resulting in two wins and two defeats. Unfortunately due to the rain last term, not as many netball fixtures have been played, all of these have been rearranged for this term. The girls have had two block fixtures of hockey against Bournside and played 5, winning four of their 5 games. The girls' success rate is increasing every year, currently we have won 80% of all our fixtures. We look forward to matches against Tewkesbury, Cotswold, Winchcombe, St. Edwards, King's and Balcarras in the weeks to come. Well done to all students who have taken part in fixtures!!


Year 7 have made a massive amount of progress considering this is their first season of contact rugby.  They competed well at the Balcarras Tournament with three narrow defeats, all within 5 points.  A special mention for Sam Meredith (Year 7) who has led the team brilliantly and has also played for the Year 8 team.  The Year 8 team have had an exceptional season.  They won the Emerging Schools Rugby Tournament at the Prince of Wales Stadium, playing Winchcombe, Pates, All Saints and Chosen Hill in the group stages and beating Cleeve 15-10 in the final.  Special mention to Scott Crombie and Marian Vu for their outstanding performances.  Year 9 have had a topsy turvy season, putting in some brave performances against some very rugby traditional schools, especially Churchdown who knocked us out of the EDF Cup.  Special mention to Josh Daniel who led by example, never gave up and wore his heart on his sleeve.

Year 8 Geography Trip

As part of the geography course we visited Southam to undertake an enquiry into whether a wind farm should be built at Southam.  Students spent time collecting data which was then analysed when they returned to school.

PTFA Christmas Craft Fair

This took place on Wednesday 27th November 2013 6.00 – 9.00pm and raised approximately £500.

European Languages Day

This took place on Thursday 26th September 2013.  All lessons began with a 5-10 minute starter activity as well as activities during tutor time.  The canteen menu for that day was devised with a ‘world food’ theme.  A very successful day. 

Maths Trip to Racecourse

As part of our on-going partnership with Cheltenham Racecourse, we were given the opportunity to take a group of Year 7 maths students to visit the racecourse on Friday 18th October 2013.  ‘Maths in Action’ gave the students the opportunity to experience a variety of activities related to maths in connection with horse racing.

Year 11 Information Evenings

Last term we held two Year 11 information evenings.  One targeting high achievers and the other the C/D borderline students.  Both evenings were a great success and very informative for both parents and students.  

Achievement Evening

This was held on Tuesday 22nd October 2013.  Over 60 students, past and present, won awards for achievement and progress at KS3 and KS4 in each subject area.  There were also special house awards, sports awards and a number of surprise awards which were presented by Justice Williams MBE.

Wear it Pink Day

On Friday 25th November 2013 staff and students alike wore the colour pink for ‘Wear it Pink Day’.  £450 was raised for Cancer Research and the award for the funniest costume must go to Miss Underhill for wearing a pink pig costume and tutu!

Mock Interviews – Year 11

On Wednesday 27th November 2013 Year 11 had a 15 minute mock interview with Enterprise Business Partnership.  They  received feedback on their interview and application form.

Students meet Prince Charles

Two Students from Pittville School were delighted to meet HRH Prince of Wales during a Royal visit to the region.  The Prince spent time discussing the benefits of BITC’s (Business in the Community’s) Business Class scheme where local business support students through developing their employability skills, providing work placements and running mock interview sessions.

Art Auction

Thank you so much to those people that came along to support the art auction on 4th December 2013.  The support and generosity that people have shown is incredible.  We raised an incredible £277.44 for the three house charities! What a fantastic amount!  The total raised will be split between the charities selected by each of the houses.

Radio Interview

Nine Pittville students entered a competition called ‘The Poetry Games’ a national poetry competition, and were lucky enough to have their poems published.   James Lambert, Liam Seabright and Sophie Overton, along with Miss Wheelwright, were interviewed by Winchcombe Radio.  They had the opportunity to read out their poems and this was broadcast on Saturday 16th November 2013.

Able, Gifted and Talented STEM day – 24th October 2013

A group of Year 9 students attended Winchcombe School for a STEM Challenge Day.   The task was to design and build a system for sending a secret message.   Students each had to work on a specific task and were given three hours to construct and test their systems before presenting them to the whole group.

British Ballet Organisation

Lauren Cresswell in Year 8 attended the British Ballet Organisation on the 10th November 2013 for an audition and has been offered a place to start in 2014.  Very well done!


We say goodbye to Carly Newman who starts her maternity leave and wish her well for the new arrival. We also say goodbye to Jamie McLaren (science technician) and wish him well for the future.


On Friday 13th December 2013 we held a very successful Christmas Concert and our Year 7’s also held their carol service on Wednesday 18th December 2013.  

Please note that school will finish at 12.15pm on Friday the 20th December 2013, buses have been booked for 12.30pm.

May I take this opportunity to thank all parents and carers for their support this term.  Have a lovely safe Christmas break.  School re-opens on Tuesday 7th January 2014.

R Gilpin


July 2013 Friday, July 19, 2013

July 2013

Dear Parents/Carers

As we approach the end of another successful year at Pittville I thought I would take the opportunity to thank you for all your support and to wish you a wonderful summer break (let’s hope the weather is kind to us all!). I would like to update you on all the exciting events that have taken place over the last term. We have many reasons to be ‘Proud of Pittville’.

Year 11 Prom
This was held at Cheltenham Racecourse on Friday 28th June 2013. It was well attended by students and staff and everyone had a great time. The staff at the racecourse were full of praise for the way our students conducted themselves. They were a real credit to the school. My thanks go to Mrs Cooper for all the effort she put in to organising what is always a terrific event.

Year 10 Work Experience
Year 10 students have just returned from their work experience visits. The feedback from their placements has been very positive. Well done to all the students.

Year 11 Appointments
Congratulations to Jamie Davis, Head Boy, Jade Mason, Head Girl, Shannon Power and Ryan Hearn, Deputies. We have a very talented student leadership team in the school. Well done to each of them and to all the students who applied for the posts. Quite an achievement.

Year 7 Science trip to the ‘Think Tank’ at Birmingham Science Museum
On Friday 14th June 2013 the science department took 75 of our Year 7 students on a day trip to the ‘Think Tank’ centre at Birmingham Science Museum. This day allowed the students the opportunity to expand their experience of science outside of the classroom and help them progress their learning and understanding. During the day the students had the opportunity to take part in three workshops looking at different areas of science. During workshop one they went ‘into orbit’ in the planetarium, where they discovered why we get seasons on Earth and how we can use the stars to help us find our way home. In the second workshop the students were put through their paces as ‘Forensic Investigators’. They gathered, analysed, recorded and evaluated different evidence from a crime scene using microscopes, computer programs and authentic fingerprinting techniques to help them to solve a crime. In the third and final workshop ‘Actions and Reactions’ the students had the chance to take part in hands on activities designed to demonstrate the effects that alcohol, drugs and a poor diet can have on the body. This activity enabled them to more fully appreciate the scientific risks associated with substance misuse. A hugely successful day enjoyed by all, which we hope to be able to run again in the future!

Glenfall Sports Day – 2nd July 2013
A number of students helped at Glenfall Primary School with their sports day. They were fantastic representatives of our school and were superb supporting the Glenfall staff in organising the afternoon and ensuring its smooth running.

The PTFA will hold its first meeting of the new term on Tuesday, 17th September 2013 at 7.00pm. All are welcome.

Art Exhibition
On Thursday, 4th July 2013 the art department were proud to present a summer exhibition of Year 11 Art and Photography work. Invitations were sent out to students, families, staff, governors and local schools and there was a fantastic turn out. Guests were able to enjoy canapés and beverages whilst admiring some of the inspiring work on display. The art department would like to thank everyone that came along and helped to make the evening a success.

Careers Pod for Year 9
On Wednesday, 10th July 2013 selected Year 9 students were invited to have a careers session in the ‘Yes Skills Pod’. This was a large inflatable classroom which is Wi-Fi enabled with various multi-media resources. The idea behind the pod was to help engage students and have the opportunity to talk to an expert adviser who delivered careers and employability sessions for students.

Japanese Students
On Friday, 5th July 2013 we hosted a visit by 31 Japanese students from Kosei High School in Tokyo. The Japanese students met their Year 10 student 'hosts' and were given a tour of the school. They then
spent time in maths and technology lessons and found out about each other's school and culture. At the end of the day the visitors performed to Year 7 students and their hosts. They did speeches and sang a song. Students were then able to try origami (paper craft) and calligraphy. In exchange a number of Year 10 girls performed a dance to ‘One Direction’!

Sports Day
This year, Sports Day was held at the Prince of Wales Stadium and was a great success. Over 150 students participated in the 16 events that took place on the day. Not only did the athletes compete well, the spectators were extremely encouraging of their houses, cheering them along the way. PE and PA prefects were fantastic with the support they gave to the staff to enable all events to run smoothly and encouraged and supported the participants throughout their events. We are proud to announce that two school records were beaten on the day by Brittany Sutton-Page for the shot put and Ross Barnes for the 200m. We are planning to hold Sports Day at the stadium again next year. We have had a successful rounders’ season with 25 fixtures taking place, winning approximately 50% of all matches. Notable wins came when Years 7, 8 and 10 beat Winchcombe and Bournside. A special mention to Sophie Mustoe, Nathan Beames, Danny T and Brendan Street for 100% attendance to the Sportsability Club.

New Cricket Wicket
Pittville is extremely pleased with the installation of our new non-turf match cricket pitch and 2 bay practice facilities. The completion of the project was funded by the school, a grant from the Lords Taverners and money kindly donated by the PTFA. The pitch will be officially opened in September with a staff vs. governor cricket match organised by the PE department.

Practical Citizenship Day
On Thursday 27th June 2013, 27 students from Pittville School took part in a ‘Practical Citizenship Day’ hosted by Dean Close School along with students from other Gloucestershire schools. Students from years 7-10 from a variety of different backgrounds and ethnicities took part in a range of different activities throughout the day including African dancing, comic making and arts and crafts.

Popes Close
The residents of Popes Close came to visit Pittville earlier this term. They were very impressed with what they saw. Since the visit we have arranged for the residents to have ICT lessons with students from school.

Gloucestershire Youth Choir
Two Pittville students, Zoe Daniels and Grace Tomlin, performed at this year’s Music for Youth’s National Festival on 3rd July 2013. This prestigious event provides young and talented musicians with the opportunity to perform at the highest level of youth music making and to represent their county.

Many students have been keenly following the fortunes of the Pittville ducks. I am pleased to announce that three ducklings have survived and we hope to relocate them to a nearby lake.
School Nurse
The School Nurse Service offers a confidential drop-in service for children on Mondays between 1-2pm. In addition, they also undertake the immunisations in school. The HPV vaccination is offered routinely to all 12-13 year old girls to protect them from cervical cancer later in life. All children are offered a routine booster for diphtheria, tetanus and polio given as a single jab. They also accept requests for school nursing support from school where they have concerns about a student. More information can be found on

Summer School
A number of Year 7 students will be attending a literacy ’Summer School’ here at Pittville. The week will consist of lessons based around reading and writing skills – an intensive literacy programme which will aim to address the specific needs of each child. This will allow teachers to work with individuals; to diagnose their particular literacy needs and plan a succession of interventions designed to make them both more confident and more effective in the classroom.

Gloucester Road Playgroup
Gloucester Road Playgroup is holding a celebration and reunion on Saturday 17th August 2013 at St Marks Methodist Church between 2pm – 5pm. If you, or someone you know, has been connected with the playgroup over the last 40 years please call in for a cup of tea. Further information can be obtained by ringing 01242 583613.

House News
Aston House
Most recently in our minds are the tremendous performances put in by all the competitors enabling us to win not only the overall Sports Day cup, but to also claim the prizes for Years 8, 9 and 10. Special thanks must go to the tremendous support from the crowd, cheering the competitors on and the support of our staff, all dressed in our house colour of green. Another notable achievement this year has been the successful implementation of the "buddy reading scheme." A number of Year 10 students have been helping Year 7 students to read at lunch time. Aston has also seen success this term in the Art Competition and considerable success during the cricket house matches, in particular the Year 10 boys’ team, which witnessed some demon bowling from James Gill. We have appointed 20 new house prefects, and also seen Jade Mason appointed to the role of head girl. Well done Jade! We also say goodbye and thank you to Jake and Ella, our outgoing House Captains, who have been replaced by Natasha Chinyowa and Kerry- Anne Johnson. During their interviews both girls showed excellent maturity and have some great ideas for the future and I look forward to working with them. We are losing a valuable member of our house team this term by saying goodbye to our assistant head of house Miss Storey, who is off to pastures new and on behalf of the house I would like to say, you will be missed, good luck and thank you! Finally, thank you to all students and staff for your hard work and support towards the success of Aston House this year and I wish you a very happy summer holiday.
Mr Watkins - Head of Aston House

Livingstone House
The Livingstone charity bash took place on Thursday 4th July 2013 in the school theatre. John Ganner (lead singer of the red hot band ‘Chilliface’ organised and promoted this charity gig). Our very own Ed Sheerin - Darcy Haken (Year 10) opened with an acoustic set which warmed up the crowd nicely. Dante Miller (Year 11) then gave the audience a medley of songs both on piano and guitar engaging brilliantly with the crowd with his cheeky humour and great voice. Gareth Morgan (compere) linked together the acts with funny anecdotes and banter. He then introduced the superb Sadie Roach. This was the final performance at school from our much admired Sadie. She plays the piano so beautifully in a ‘Jazz style’ and sings with a voice so mature for her years. The four numbers she played were recorded on the audience’s phones as Sadie is sure to go on to great things when she leaves us to pursue her music scholarship in the United States. An emotional farewell from Sadie and a standing ovation followed. The genre of musical talent then changed….. Chiiliface had arrived!! Matthew Marsh on drums donning a velvet Mario suit, Dennis Harrop on guitar looking cool in his striking white Elvis suit and lead singer John Ganner in his banana outfit!! Enough said!! From ‘One Direction’ covers to the classic ’Barbie Girl’ by Aqua. The crowd were by now out of their seats dancing near their idols at the front of the stage. Everyone left happy (with ears ringing!!). I would like to thank all the students involved in what I hope to be an annual charity event. Thank you to the staff in Livingstone that supported us in particular Mr Litherland for collecting money and Mr Edwards for recording the event. Thank you to those students who bought tickets and attended. Finally, huge thanks to Mr Ash who along with Livingstone’s John Ganner did a great job!! Well done!! I look forward to next year’s bash!!
Mr Kavanagh - Head of Livingstone House

Abbott House
Abbott’s Got Talent!
Some of our finest musicians and performers took to the stage in June in support of the Three Charities Concert produced by John Garner (of Livingstone House). Three of the four acts on stage were from Abbott with Dante Miller giving his final ever Pittville performance; Darcy Haken delighting the crowd with an acoustic set; and Sadie Roach showcasing her immense musical talent one last time before her move to the Duke Ellington School of the Arts next year. We will all miss Sadie very much and wish her all the best for the future.
Abbott Triumphant Again!
For a second year running Abbott House have been crowned inter-house champions. Despite a determined final push from Aston House, who closed the gap with a fine display on sports day, Abbott have retained the Richard Gilpin Trophy which they won in the inaugural competition last year. The final tally of house points showed Abbot with 161.29; Aston with 151.28; and Livingstone bringing up the rear with 147.58. Mr Poole sends his congratulations to all students in Abbott House for another successful year. Mr Watkins and Mr Kavanagh were not available for comment.
Mr Poole – Head of Abbott House

Staff Farewells and Appointments
We say farewell to the following staff:
• Mrs Buckingham, assistant headteacher, who has decided to resign and will not be returning to school in September.
• Miss Oakes in Drama, Mr Boulton in ICT and Mr Selman in English.
• Two of our Achievement For All workers, Helen Mitchell and Alex Boonham-Payne, together with Miss Storey, Assistant Head of Aston House, who are all going on to train to be teachers in September. We wish them all the best with their careers.
• We also say goodbye to AFA assistant Mr Jones.
• Mrs Croft who has been with the science department is also leaving us.

I would like to say thank you for all that these staff have done for Pittville and on behalf of all the staff, students and governors we wish them all the very best for the future.

We welcome:
• Rachel Lewis (SENCO)
• Mike Hackman (Business Studies)
• Clare Wheelwright (English)
• Zea Purnell (Drama)
• Carly Brown and Maggie Shaw (Science)
• Amelia Stewart (Art)

We return to school after the summer on Tuesday 3rd September 2013 for Years 7 and 11 and Wednesday the 4th September 2013 for years 8, 9 and 10. Please note that winter uniform should be worn from September – no polo shirts. We would like to give you early notification that school will close earlier than normal at 12.00pm on Friday 6th September 2013 for staff training.

I wish you all a great summer.

R Gilpin

May 2013 Friday, May 24, 2013


MAY 2013


Dear Parents/Carers


I am delighted to be welcoming Karen Foster to Pittville as our new deputy Headteacher.  As I am sure you are aware Karen is joining us from Balcarras. She joins the school officially after half-term.

Year 11 Study Support

Year 11 students have been given information about extra study support sessions that staff are offering during the half-term break. Please encourage students to attend these sessions.


Cotswold Bike Ride

Congratulations to Mr Gilpin who completed the 40 mile Cotswold Bike ride on Sunday 19th May 2013 in record time (at least that is what he is telling everyone).  Currently he has raised over £150 for the British Heart Foundation.


Jazz Festival

On Sunday, 5th May 2013, the Soul Band took to the stage at Cheltenham Jazz Festival for the "Jazz It Up" event in Montpellier Gardens.  Each year, jazz ensembles from local schools are able to perform as part of this prestigious event.  The Soul Band performed five songs, led by Greg Davies (who is leading the band whilst Mrs Smith is on maternity leave), to a large audience, including many staff, parents and pupils, as well as members of the public.  Kyle Gamble made his debut on the bass after learning the instrument for a matter of weeks and only joining the Soul Band a month before the performance. It was, sadly, one of the last chances to see the Soul Band in its current format as we are saying goodbye to the Year 11s.  Thank you to everyone who came and supported and we hope to see even more of you next year!


Geography Field Trip to Dorset

16 students and 4 members of staff enjoyed a sunny weekend in Dorset. Students explored and investigated the River Wey from source to mouth, and looked at the processes of coastal erosion which have created magnificent land forms such as Durdle Door and Lulworth Cove. It wasn't all geography though; students and staff enjoyed fish and chips on Weymouth beach and held a very competitive game of beach volleyball! Every opportunity was taken to consume ice cream in the warm sunshine. An enjoyable fieldtrip, which will give these students invaluable, hands on understanding of fluvial and coastal processes.


Summer Fair – Saturday 22nd June 2013

Pittville School’s P.T.F.A. is delighted to announce that they will be holding a Summer Fair on Saturday 22nd June 2013, between 12.00 and 2.30pm.  Admission is free. There will be stalls, performances, competitions, inflatables, light refreshments, raffle and bar to name but a few.  Entertainment and fun for all!  Please support this major fund-raising event.


Impact – After School Literacy Workshops

This term we have successfully implemented our after school literacy club, IMPACT.  We have been joined every Tuesday afternoon by up to seven students and two sets of parents.  The students have been learning and consolidating their knowledge through lessons focussing on spelling strategies, how to use capital letters, how to choose the correct homophone and have developed their writing skills in line with the whole school literacy targets.  Students have shown excellent levels of commitment and parents have been extremely supportive.  These sessions involved paired work, small group work and one-to-one support.  The students approach activities with enthusiasm and always achieve the challenge learning aims.  These workshops will continue after half-term and begin again in October with the new year 7 and year 8 students.  If you would like to be involved, please contact Mrs R Green or Mrs L Gough.     

Accelerated Reading Scheme

The Accelerated Reading Scheme has been running for a whole year now.  We have been pleasantly surprised by the success of the scheme so far, and have decided to include next year’s Year 9s, so that we have all our Key Stage 3 students being encouraged to read more.  This will impact on all their school work, as an ability to enjoy reading will give them more confidence and set them up for better exam grades and therefore a better future.  We have seven pupils (3 Year 7s and 4 Year 8s) who are word millionaires, i.e. they have read over a million words since September 2012, and two of our Year 7s have read over two million words! Every time a student takes a quiz on a book which they have read, they will get points, depending on how well they do in the quiz.  We have linked the rewards which students receive for successful answers into the school’s Vivos reward scheme, so pupils can see an immediate reward for their efforts and be encouraged to read more books and get more points from quizzes. Please help us by encouraging your child to read at every opportunity and together we can give them a better future.


Dance Gala

Congratulations to all the students who performed in Pittville’s annual dance gala, ‘Got 2 Dance’ on the 18th March 2013. Over 70 students dazzled us with their dancing skills, performing all different styles of dance ranging from contemporary to street and breakdance. It was a very successful evening and the students were fantastic. Thank you to everyone who came and supported the show, we hope to see you next year.


Little Shop of Horrors

Pittville students recently performed in the iconic musical, ‘Little Shop Of Horrors’. Both nights were very well received, with people dancing in the isles to the catchy tunes conducted by Miss Underhill. The leads of the show did a fantastic and professional job and were supported by an enthusiastic and energetic chorus. Overall the experience was wonderful with the entire cast and crew coming together to produce a memorable show.  


French Students

On Thursday 25th April 2013 we welcomed 32 French students from the outskirts of Paris into the school. Our year 10 students gave them a tour of the school and spent the morning talking to them, then the students joined together to teach nursery rhymes from each language and to write songs. In the afternoon the French students gave a presentation about their school and about the French Candlemas celebration. Both our students and the French students thoroughly enjoyed the day and many friends were made. The French students and teachers also came to watch Little Shop of Horrors and were amazed at our students' performance. All in all a great day for Pittville!

Glenfall Primary School

The Art department visited Glenfall Primary School this term to run a ‘pattern portraits’ workshop. This was part of a week-long exploration into the theme of pattern by Year 5 students at Glenfall. Miss Addison, along with Tallulah Palmer-Wilcock and Niracha Singchaiyapoom from Year 8, were delighted to be able to go along and take part. Students created their own collaged portraits of famous Artists before adding patterns using a range of different materials. Miss Addison and the Pittville students were incredibly impressed with the work that the Glenfall students produced. The art department welcomed the Year 5 students back to Pittville on Monday 20th May 2013 to participate in a clay workshop.


Swindon Village Primary School

Students from Swindon Village Primary school attended a Photography & Art workshop. The students from years 2-6 learnt how to take professional portrait shots using a DSLR and studio lighting. Once the photos had been taken they worked with them to create unique, interesting self-portraits.


Scaling the Peak

On 10th and 12th April 2013 we hosted an event for trainee teachers at the University of Gloucestershire which culminated in some very creative and inspirational lessons being taught to some of our KS3 classes during the afternoons. One of the lessons, for example, involved simulating an evacuation in the event of a missile strike from North Korea! Our students responded very positively to the event and gained some useful knowledge about current affairs. All of the trainee teachers commented on the positive learning climate which they experienced at Pittville.


Flying Start

"Flying Start" is a group of KS3 students working in teams in collaboration with GE Aviation to manufacture a glider, this exciting project has now led to an increased uptake to the Technology Club. The club runs every Thursday after school in Room 42 with Mr Simkiss.


House Art Competition

Students and Staff continue to enter House Art competitions. The calibre and quality of the work is improving with each competition. The results are hugely varied with some fantastically creative images/work created. See the school's website for an online gallery of the work.

PE News

Congratulations to Brittany Sutton-Page who has been selected to join the South West regional hockey squad and to Ross Barnes who has been offered a place on a 2-day training course at a south-west camp for England rugby.  Well done!


We have a busy half term coming up. Listed below are some of the events as a reminder for students and parents:


  • Year 7 science trip to Bristol 14th June 2013
  • Sports Day 1st July 2013
  • Work Experience week 8th – 12th July 2013
  • YES Pod – Year 9 – 10th July 2013
  • Pittville’s Got Talent – 11th July 2013
  • Activities week 15th – 19th July 2013


Bike It

After half term we are launching 'Bike It.'' Our 'Bike It' team have been working hard to create a promotional video clip to encourage more students and staff to cycle to work. We are starting a cycling club next term which will be on a first come, first serve basis. So make sure you get your letter back in to the PE department as soon as possible. Another initiative that is taking place is 'Golden Lock.' This is where a golden lock will be randomly placed on a bike - whoever's bike it is gets a prize!



On the 20th June 2013 there will be a STEM event after school. Run in conjunction with "Young Engineers" the project will be looking for budding engineers and designers to work in teams to design and make a "device" for moving water. Look out for a letter inviting you and your child. The session will run from 3 - 5.30pm.


Art Exhibition

The Year 11 Art and Photography students will have their work displayed in an end of term Exhibition in Studio 46. The work will be on display for the week 1st July - 5th July 2013 and there will be a private viewing for students, parents and governors on the evening of Thursday 4th July 2013 from 3-5pm.



We say goodbye to Miss Chrishop, Miss Simeon and Mrs Crighton.  On behalf of all the staff, students and governors I would like to thank them for their contribution to the school.  We send our best wishes for their future.



R Gilpin



Pittville Parliament meet Martin Horwood MP Wednesday, January 22, 2014

On Friday 17th January 2014 all the MP's in Pittville Parliament were lucky enough to meet their own MP Martin Horwood. Mr Horwood came in to tell the Pittville MP's all about his role as an MP and what it entails. He then offered to answer any questions that the students may have. Miss Addison and Miss Davis were incredibly impressed with the fantastic questions that the Pittville MP's asked and Mr Horwood commented on how impressed he was with the students he met. Pittville Parliament would like to thank Mr Horwood for coming in to visit them!



Parliament Meeting - 5th December Monday, December 09, 2013
This term the Parliament has been working on the theme 'changes to our school'. The MP's worked in year group teams to develop presentations on the five most popular changes that Pittville students would like to see made. Governors and SLT were invited to the meeting and the Parliament presented to SLT on Thursday 5th December, with a hope that they will see some of their proposals considered.

Mr Gilpin, Mrs Phillips and Mr Lintern-Mole all attended the meeting and listened carefully to students presentations as well as asking lots of questions. They were given a copy of the presentations that students put together. SLT will now considered the proposals that the students have put forward and MP's were also asked to conduct some further research into some ideas.

Miss Addison and Miss Davis would like to thank all of the MP's for all of their hard work and their excellent presentations.

Pittville Parliament November Update Monday, November 11, 2013
Pittville MP's met on 7th November 2013 to begin conducting research into the different 'changes to our school' that their fellow tutees had voted for. Students are working in year group teams and will produce a power point presentation as well as a document with relevant research in. These will be presented to Senior Leadership Team at the beginning of December. Miss Davis and Miss Addison were delighted with the start that the MP's made to their research presentations and are really looking forward to the outcomes.
Pittville Parliament Meeting - 18th October 2013 Friday, October 25, 2013
During the latest parliament meeting Pittville MP’s brought with them the opinions and ideas of their fellow students on changes they would like to see in our school. MP’s had held their own sessions with their tutor groups, prior to the parliament meeting asking for feedback and ideas. MP’s discussed the broad range of ideas and then worked together to narrow these down and to a select few based on popularity. Over the coming weeks the MP’s will be working in year group teams to devise presentations based on one of the ‘changes’ that Pittville students would like to see. Miss Addison and Miss Davis are really looking forward to working with the students on their presentations and seeing what they come up with!
Pittville Parliament Visit to Houses of Parliament Thursday, October 03, 2013
On Wednesday 2nd October 2013, members of Pittville Parliament travelled down to London to take part in a trip to the Houses of Parliament. Students worked hard last year to raise the money required to fund the trip, through cake sales, running a stall at the summer fair and the very successful Art Auction.

Students left Pittville first thing in the morning to travel down to Parliament Square in London. Once Miss Addison had gone through security, much to the amusement of the students, we entered the Parliament buildings and were given our official visitor badges. We began the day with a fantastic tour of Parliament which included going into both the Houses of Commons and the Houses of Lords. We were told that under no circumstances were we allowed to sit down on the benches! The students asked lots of fantastic questions and really got a sense of what day to day life in Parliament is really like.

The students then took part in a workshop on elections and voting. The workshop was very hands on and the Pittville MP's learnt about different voting systems as well as taking part in their very own vote. Miss Addison was very proud of the superb questions that the students asked and impressed by their knowledge of politics.
First Parliament Meeting - September 2013 Friday, September 27, 2013
Pittville Parliament's first meeting of the year.

Thursday 26th September saw the first meeting this term of Pittville Parliament. All of the newly or re-elected MP's attended and were welcomed to the new year by Miss Addison and Miss Davis. MP's were told about the changes in structure to Pittville Parliament. Students will be looking at a range of whole school issues across the coming months.

Mr Poole attended the first parliament meeting to discuss the school's lunchtime arrangements with students. The MP's were very vocal and had some very constructive discussions, generating a range of good ideas. MP's will be returning to their tutor groups to seek the opinions of their fellow tutees before returning to Parliament on the 3rd October.
Art Auction June 2013 Thursday, July 04, 2013

On Thursday 27th June, Pittville Parliament held an Art auction to raise money to help the students travel to London in October to visit the Houses of Parliament. There was artwork from Miss Addison, Mr Beer, Miss Storey, Miss Duffas and Mr Simkiss, and a secret bidding process took place to decide who would walk away with the artwork. There was a fantastic turn out of staff and students to the event  and an incredible £189 was raised all together. Miss Addison and the Parliament MP’s were truly overwhelmed by the amount they managed to raise and would like to say a big thank you to everyone that came along and supported the event!


Pittville Parliament Meeting - Wednesday 15th May 2013 Wednesday, May 15, 2013

At today's Parliament Meeting the School Parliament were discussing fundraising opportunities and will be working with Miss Storey, Miss Addison and Mr Downing over the coming months in order to fund their transport down to the Houses of Parliament next October. So look out for a range of events throughout June and July!

Student Parliament meet Martin Horwood Thursday, February 07, 2013

On 1st February we held another meeting of the Pittville Parliament.  Earlier this year, every tutor group took part in a democratic process to vote for an MP to represent their views, opinions and ideas about Pittville School.  MP's wear badges to represent the important role that they play in giving all of the students of Pittville a 'voice'.

The meeting was particularly special as Pittville's MP's were visited by their own MP for Cheltenham, Martin Horwood.  Mr Horwood was invited into school to tell students about what his job as an MP entails.  Students had worked together in their last parliament meeting to think about some interesting and challenging questions to pose to Mr Horwood and students had the opportunity to learn about the breadth of different responsibilities that comes with being an MP.  Mr Horwood was very interested in how the roles and duties of a Pittville MP compared to those of his own.

The visit from Mr Horwood represents a fantastic opportunity for our students to gain an insight into government and current day politics as well as understanding the many varied responsibilities that MP's have.  the students learnt an incredible amount from Mr Horwood and we were very impressed with their thoughtful and inquisitive questions.  Pittville Parliament is very grateful to Mr Horwood for giving up his time to come and visit us.

Penny Addison - Pittville Parliament