NEWS - Taunton School

18th October 2013

2016 A Level Results

Taunton School is delighted with this year’s A Level results.  Our sixth form students have excelled themselves and have significantly outperformed last year’s cohort.  We are equally proud of the achievements of our BTEC students and those who have studied the International Baccalaureate (IB), the latter becoming increasingly popular. 

With an overall pass rate of over 98%, an A*-C rate of 85% and A*-B rate of 68%, Taunton School has shown itself as an academic leader.  Students achieved a 100% pass rate in 26 out of the 30 subjects offered on the A-Level course.
Individually, 28 students achieved 3 As or better with Head Boy Liam Travers, obtaining the equivalent of 4 A* in the IB Diploma. We have every confidence that these statistics herald the birth of exciting and lasting growth in academic performance at Taunton School.

“The list of other students who achieved outstanding results was lengthy, although the success of the entire cohort is to be celebrated” commented Mr Lee Glaser (Head of Taunton School),
“These are excellent results and I am extremely proud of all of our students. They have shown that their hard work, alongside committed teachers and supportive parents, really does pay dividends. I am particularly delighted with the increase in the number of A* -B grades, 68% is an outstanding achievement and the highest since 2009. I am committed to ensuring that we will continue to build on this momentum and our academic depth across all subjects.  Our teachers have delivered academic depth, exceptional support and demonstrated why Taunton School is the right choice for so many students at Sixth Form. That said, it is the students who have backed that up with hard work and their success is greatly deserved.”

The vast majority of all our students are going on to their top choice university, including King's College London, University College London, Bath and Exeter. Our diversity and global outlook has further led to students obtaining university places in eight different countries across Europe, in the USA and in Canada. 

In its inaugural year, BTEC Sport and Exercise Science saw very strong results with a third obtaining the maximum grade - triple star distinction, which equates to 3 A*. Hayley Mortimer, the school’s Director of Sport said:

“All students achieved excellent results. The BTEC course has enabled pupils to gain sought after places at the University of Bath, currently ranked top for its Sports provision. Pupils with a BTEC are better prepared for the style of learning at university as well as becoming more independent in their own journey.”

The popular Taunton School Pre-Med programme was also very successful with all future Medics, Dentists and Vets obtaining their first choice university. 

“All students not only met but exceeded their university offer requirements.  They are a group of highly dedicated and motivated young adults who thoroughly deserve their success – a record breaking year!” Caro Wedgwood, Head of Biology and Pre-Med programme.
 
Our 2016 results illustrate the breadth of excellence amongst our sixth form students. This year's leavers are going on to study subjects ranging from medicine, aeronautical engineering to psychology, music, veterinary medicine, sport science, languages, arts and humanities. Taunton School truly provides opportunities for everyone. 

23/08/16

18th October 2013

English Schools Athletics Champs in Gateshead

Alex Brown competed at the weekend in the Junior Boys High Jump did very well indeed to finish 7th out of 17, jumping 1m72cm. Although this was down on his best of 1m78cm competitors across the board faced unfavourable conditions, and Alex, in his first major championship, had a great result.

Laurie Dawkins competed in the Senior Girls javelin. With a year in hand in this age group, and with mixed form leading up to the event, Laurie threw a very impressive 41m05cm (National Standard) to take 3rd place and to reassert herself as one of the very best in her age group in the country.

An excellent showing from the two Taunton School athletes!

13/07/16

18th October 2013

Taunton School coach pickup/drop off - NEW STOPS

Taunton School is pleased to offer a trial service of 3 additional stops within a 4-mile radius of Taunton school, on the daily coach routes in and out of School.  The trial will run through the Autumn 2016 term and if successful, will be part of a wider review of transport services, that may see Tube-style zoning, with more stops and affordable daily transport options being offered.

The stops will be;

Sheppy’s Cider Farm (A38)
Pick up @ 0755           Drop off @ 1740

Hankridge Retail Park
Pick up @ 0758           Drop off @ 1725

Bishops Lydeard (A358/Station Road Junction)
Pick up @ 0755           Drop off @ 1740

The cost of the service will be a flat fee of £2 per day for a guaranteed pre-booked seat.  If you would like to take advantage of this service please contact transport@tauntonschool.co.uk

 

08/07/16

18th October 2013

Taunton School delighted with 2016 IB success!

Over 200 students have attained the IB Diploma at Taunton School since we became an IB World School in 2007, and the cohort of 2016 produced some wonderful results.

Twenty six students passed the Diploma with an average score per candidate of 33 points and almost all of them met the offer conditions for their first-choice university.

Head Boy Liam Travers, a scholarship recipient from Hemyock, scored a massive 43 points out of a possible 45 and is looking forward to taking up his place at LSE to study Geography.  43 IB points is equivalent to 5 A Levels – 3 x A* and 2 x A.

Hera Bradly, our Head Girl, from Minehead, was one of four students who obtained a very impressive 39 points. Hera met her offer to study Medicine at UCL – one of the most competitive courses in the country.

Other successful IB candidates are moving on to study at Bristol, Cardiff and East Anglia as well as universities in Europe and North America. Several are embarking on gap years, and one German student will be taking up a prestigious BMW internship.

IB Coordinator, Mr Martin Bluemel said:

I am very pleased with this, our ninth set of Diploma results. IB has become a distinctive part of what Taunton School is about and our students, whether they hail from near or far, have once again impressed me with their willingness to aim high and extend themselves beyond the confines of a ‘normal’ sixth form curriculum.

Taunton School Headmaster, Mr Lee Glaser said:

These results show that our students are working at a very high standard. I am extremely proud of their efforts and also of the efforts of their teachers and the support they have provided, throughout this academically challenging course. Taunton School is driving forward in line with its vision of excellence and we look forward to news of further successes later this summer.

The IB Diploma is one of three Sixth Form routes available to Taunton School students, along with A Levels and BTEC Sports and Exercise Science. Students have a free choice of pathway and whilst there is no ‘typical’ IB student, those who choose IB enjoy its breadth and global perspective, as well as the opportunities it offers for making links between subjects.

The Diploma Programme consists of nine elements: six academic subjects and three core components called Theory of Knowledge, the Extended Essay, and a self-development course called Creativity, Activity and Service. 

07/07/16

18th October 2013

TPS Students take to Channel waters for national challenge

Taunton Prep School students featured in the ITV News last night as they prepare for a Charity race across the Channel against the Royal Marines!

They are doing incredibly well with their training and money raised will be going to The Royal Marines Charity. Read the story on their JustGiving page, and if you have some pennies to spare, they would love your support.

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Taunton-Prep-School-Channel-Titan-16

https://www.facebook.com/ITVWestcountry/posts/1217626334936646 

06/07/16

10th October 2013

18th October 2013

Ending the year with a bang!

TUESDAY, June 28th is the date for the Fireworks concert which this year features a dome stage on the front of school. 

The Prep School will take the first hour from 6:15 leading into the senior school musicians playing a variety of wonderful music in many different styles – from orchestra playing Schubert and ET, to the girls choir singing Lady Marmalade, big band, rock bands, funk bands, string quartet, chapel choir, Brazilian percussion ensemble, the list goes on.  

It will all climax with a 20 minute popular medley of David Bowie alongside other great pop and rock standards performed by the orchestra, rock band and choirs. 

Fireworks will be set off over the school in the final ten minutes to this music creating a wonderful celebration of the musical life of our school.  

Parents, Staff, Governors, pupils and anyone with a love of music is invited to come along, bring a picnic and some champagne to enjoy what will be a wonderful, sunny and highly enjoyable evening of entertainment in the surroundings of our lovely school.  

 Book your ticket today... http://www.tauntonboxoffice.co.uk/

 

23/06/16

18th October 2013

Taunton Preparatory School appoints new headmaster

THE Board of Governors of Taunton School are pleased to announce that, after an extensive recruitment process from a very strong field of candidates, they have appointed Mr Andrew Edwards as Headmaster of Taunton Preparatory School from 1st September 2017.

Andrew is currently Head of Park School in Bournemouth where he has served since 2011.  Previously he was Director of Studies and Head of Modern Languages at Castle Court Prep School and was Head of Modern Languages at Port Regis School for six years.

Having gained a BA Hons in French with German at the University of Manchester, Andrew went on to qualify as a lawyer and started his working life with a City of London law firm before deciding that his future lay in education.

Andrew holds an Associate Diploma from the London College of Music in the cello and is a qualified coach in cricket, tennis and football. He is married to Robyn (Sport, French and primary school class teacher) and they have two sons aged 13 and 11.

Andrew commented “Taunton Preparatory School is a terrific school and it is great honour to be asked by the Governors and by Mr Lee Glaser to continue the excellent work being done by Mr Duncan Sinclair.

As part of the very rigorous selection process, I spent three days in Taunton, during which time I was hugely impressed by the many pupils and staff whom I had the pleasure of meeting.  

The breadth of opportunity for all, the drive for excellence and a wonderfully warm ethos of respect and good manners are just a few of the many reasons why I am so excited about joining the school.  Before starting as Head in September 2017, there will be plenty of opportunities, I am sure, for me to meet pupils, staff and parents so that I will be fully prepared to hit the ground running.”

Lee Glaser added “I am very excited about working with Andrew. We have a shared vision for the whole school and we will work together closely to ensure that our agreed strategy is implemented effectively.”

 

 

21/06/16

10th October 2013

18th October 2013

Empowering students at Taunton School to have a voice

AFTER seeing the headlines about sexual harassment in schools, Ed Burnett, Deputy Headmaster-Pastoral wrote the following for the Independent Schools Council's blog declaring teachers must listen to the voices of their pupils and address their real issues.

'As for many people, I imagine, 'everyday sexual terrorisation' sprang out at me from the online education news last week, filling me with anxiety about the fate of my own child and triggering a bout of self-interrogation: What are we getting so wrong with our young people, if one in eight pupils has been sexually assaulted and one in three feels unsafe walking home?

I am sure there will be doubters and those who claim that the situation is being exaggerated. However, I would say that these figures do fairly represent the damage done to this generation of children.

As recent findings demonstrate so starkly, it has become common for young people to behave in ways which would simply have been unacceptable when I was growing up in the 1980s. Now, acts which even 20 years ago would have happened only in the farthest realms of our imaginations have become normalised.

Of course, social media has a huge role to play here and even the best informed schools cannot fully appreciate how deep-seated this problem is because it is so well concealed behind the sleek facade of their students' digital devices.

The 'horseplay' referred to in the articles is just the tip of the iceberg and I do share these worries about how some schools may be condoning a culture of bullying with their language and how they respond to reports of trouble.

So what can we do about it? Top quality personal, social, health and economic education (PSHEE) lessons, staffed by specialist teachers rather than those with periods to fill on their timetable, are a start. However, too often PSHEE programmes are not relevant to students' real issues.

In order to know what to deliver during these lessons, schools need to walk in the shoes of their pupils and understand the pressures they are under every day.

Student feedback, or 'voice', must be ingrained into the fabric of school life. Strong prefect bodies must be developed. These need to have reach into lower year groups, and to be trained to flag issues as they occur, with the aim of creating an atmosphere for positive change. Each prefect group should foster good behaviour and a trend of aspiration. The prefects should have pride in the legacy they leave behind.

Schools must empower pupils and encourage them to found and run their own societies, thereby building a campaign culture. At Taunton School the recently-formed feminist society was created from just such a belief, rather than being plucked out of the air by a teacher. Campaigning pupils have persuasive powers ten times greater than the most inspirational teacher.

Therefore, I was delighted to be told in no uncertain terms by a group of year 9-11 pupils to "stop banging on about banter versus bullying" and address the real issue they were grappling with - body image.

I had a huge slice of luck with my subsequent phone call to Natasha Devon, who happened to be free at very short notice, and came to deliver her powerful message to our students within a week of them asking to have guidance on the matter.

No school is perfect, and Taunton School has its share of gender conflict, but we do know that to beat 'everyday sexual terrorisation' we need to do a lot more than merely keep an eye on it.

The key to eradicating this scourge is to recognise that our pupils are our most important resource both in terms of explaining the issues which need to be addressed and also for delivering deep-rooted change. I am also sure that that this sort of bottom-up revolution is vital if an institution is going to throw off its old habits.

Yes, all staff must start to appreciate that their language and first instinctive response to situations are vital in setting and maintaining the high standards which young people want from their schools. A really simple example of this came in the recent talk by Natasha Devon, when we considered the potential damage that could be caused by thoughtlessly banding about old adages like telling a boy "don't cry - crying is for girls".

Guarding against this sort of unhelpful language is as important as anything else we can put in place to ensure the happiness of our young people while they are at school'.

Pictured: Ed Burnett and Natasha Devon 

 

13/06/16

18th October 2013

Shield maidens and warriors bring viking history to life in Year 3

LAST week, Year 3 enjoyed a Viking morning, where the day began with Mr McCarthy creating a Shieldwall (using rugby tackle bags!) for the ‘Battle of Ethandon’ re-enactment, where King Alfred beats the Vikings! 
 
In addition, they designed and made their own shields and pendants.  
 
To end the morning, children produced a longship collage scene, under the guidance of Mr Ashmore.
All of this work will be on display for our Parents’ Day celebrations, so do pop down to the Junior Corridor to take a look!
 
Bryony Finch

13/06/16

18th October 2013

Year 4 take a walk on the wild side

ON the Tuesday before the half-term holiday, the Year 4 children set off on an adventure to Bristol Zoo to link in with their cross-curricular topic this term, the Rainforest. The day was a huge success, with the sun shining as an added bonus! 
 
The children were lucky enough to take part in a ‘Rainforest Experience’ workshop run by some of the Educational Team at the zoo. This talk took place in the Education and Conservation Centre and was a great opportunity for the children to show off their learning. They also got to see and touch some real creepy crawlies, including a hissing cockroach and a giant thorny stick insect! 
 
Year 4 discussed why the rainforest habitat is teeming with life, and explored what we can do as individuals to protect the rainforests of the world, which are rapidly disappearing. The children all participated with enthusiasm, with some ‘digging deep’ in order to find the courage to hold a hissing cockroach! 
 
We stopped for a picnic lunch on one of the beautiful lawns, which was followed by the opportunity to explore the different zones in the zoo. A great day was had by all, with the children representing TPS very well. In fact, one lady in the Butterfly House remarked, “I have never seen a better behaved group of children”. Well done, Year 4!
 
Laura Page

13/06/16

18th October 2013

The RAF fly in for STEM morning

OUR Year 8 pupils started the final half of the Summer term with an energetic and exciting show from the RAF STEM presentation team. 
 
The theme was ‘The Theory of Flight’ and there were lots of demonstrations including a camera drone, a jet stream and a pair of miniature jet engines that span at 200,000 RPM and made so much noise that the rest of the school thought a helicopter had landed. 
 
The show was fast-paced and interspersed with lots of fantastic video clips of RAF aircraft. As expected, there were plenty of volunteers for the interactive parts. The bonus at the end was to see how fast toilet paper can be unrolled in a jet stream.
 
Simon Williams

13/06/16

18th October 2013

Fighter pilot visits CCF

LIEUTENANT Colonel Phil Kelly of the Royal Marines came to TS recently to talk about his career as a Military Pilot.
 
Phil Kelly has enjoyed a varied and exciting time in the Royal Marines and is the only RM Officer qualified to fly the F18 Super Hornet. 
 
Most aviators are by nature outgoing and Colonel Phil gave an interesting and amusing talk about flying which all the cadets enjoyed and even Phil’s daughter Mary refrained from uttering those immortal words, “Daddy you are so embarrassing!”
 
Phil’s main message was that given grit and determination young people can achieve much in life whilst having fun into the bargain.  
 
Simon Nicholson

13/06/16

18th October 2013

Scandal in the Old Library

ON May 27th, The Jemima Layzell Trust held a charity Murder Mystery night at Taunton School where Old Tauntonians, current Tauntonians and Make Performing Arts tutors put on a fantastic performance of Agatha Christies ‘The Patient’ under the capable direction of Sam Dunn (OT).
 
Guests dressed in 1920s black tie, started with welcome drinks where they mingled with the cast and were introduced to the characters. Following a two course buffet the plot began to unfold with guests interrogating the suspects before entering their guesses into a draw. 
 
Thank you to everyone who supportedthe night, the charity had hoped to raise £400/500 at this event but raised a tremendous £700. They have now raised 21% of their target for 'Seat Support'- specialist seating for children with brain injury as requested by nurses and Occupational Therapist Louise who works at Bristol Children’s Hospital.
 
Taunton School and The Jemima Layzell Trust would like to say a special thank you to the Murder Mystery cast and The IOUs who played for free and remained right until the very end of the evening.
Thanks also to the event sponsors AR Blaze and all those who donated prizes (Muddy Dog, Hi Ho Silver, the Brewhouse, Mark and Janine Harris, RG Spillers, Linda Vijay and the Fisher family).
 
What a wonderful night! 

13/06/16

10th October 2013

10th October 2013

10th October 2013

17th October 2013

01/06/16

18th October 2013

TSLDSC brave the Black Waters of Clevedon

PUPILS from Taunton School Long Distance Swimming Club took to the cold water at Clevedon Marine Lake for their inaugural sea swim of the new season.  
 
The ensemble were split into two groups, the initial foray of experienced Solent swimmers quick to rekindle their prowess in the open water efficiently completed their 3-4 laps in 30 minutes. 
 
They were followed by a second group of novices from Years 7 to 9 who, despite initial nervousness on entering the sea, quickly proved their mettle completing over 30 minutes and exhausting 'the old man of the sea' Mr McCarthy as he challenged Sophia Wilson and Hetty James to a final dash to the steps.
 
Key to successful safe open water swimming is an effective safety organisation and for this swim the ever vigilant Mr Coleman, on escort kayak, was joined by Miss Mortimer as our beachmaster providing over watch for all pupils entering and exiting the sea lake.  
 
The arrival of the clubs’ new tethered orange floatation aids facilitates yet another layer of safety for the club as they train ready for the St. Michaels Mount and English Channel challenges that lie ahead. These not only improve visibility of swimmers but also allow something to hold onto if participants feel the need to discuss stroke technique or the 'chocolate hue' of the sea in this particular area of the South West.
 
The new training venue is excellent for the club's preparation as it facilitates a 500m circuit in a safe, shallow, walled Victorian sea pool where parents and pupils alike can watch and encourage the efforts of their team mates. 
 
For this initial swim all participants wore wetsuits of a kind, less two sturdy masters leading from the back of the pack, who lacking modesty, braved the chilly waters in just their swimsuits one notably remarking afterwards that it was quite unlike anything he had previously experienced in South Africa. Luckily the waters of the Bristol Channel are notoriously murky and only their brightly coloured hats were on show, the rest thankfully covered by the Clevedon black water!                          
 
Hamish McCarthy

01/06/16

10th October 2013

10th October 2013

17th October 2013

01/06/16

18th October 2013

Year 3 get back to nature

YEAR 3 enjoyed a day out of the classroom where they were able to see some of their learning in ‘real life!’ 
 
In Science, the children have been studying 'Plants and Growth', and walking around the beautiful grounds of Hestercombe allowed them to see pollination and seed dispersal ‘in action’.  
 
They also went on a scavenger hunt to collect items for their Art challenge in the afternoon. We had some wonderfully creative ideas, using leaves, pine cones, flowers, twigs etc. These included a fairy, an under-water scene, a mountain, a dinosaur and a waterfall. 
 
There was also lots of fun playing near the waterfall; building dams, splashing around and going on a rock hunt!
 
The weather was just perfect, not too hot, nor too cold, so all-in-all, Year 3 had a great day out!      
 
Bryony Finch

01/06/16

10th October 2013

18th October 2013

Rebels, brandy and fossils

ON the best day of the Spring to date, Year 6 enjoyed a combined History and Geography trip to Lyme Regis. 
 
Putting classroom theory into practice pupils learned about the birthplace of palaeontology, the town's smuggling past and the importance to science of Mary Anning. As a woman she received small opportunity to enjoy much scientific credit or plaudits for her discovery and for the development of the new science of Palaeontology.  
 
The field trip was split into two groups. Focussing on the more recent history, a local history guide, Christopher, took us on a guided tour of Lyme Regis, where he entertained us with fantastically interesting stories about the local area; who would have known the first Governor of Bermuda came from Lyme?! Sir Walter Raleigh was a frequent visitor to the port of Lyme Regis? Smugglers hid barrels of brandy in the graves in the cemetery and that the town was a ‘hotbed’ of rebels, both during the English Civil War and during the Monmouthshire Rebellion. 
 
The pupils thoroughly enjoyed the chance to step outside the traditional classroom environment and experience “hands on” History outside. All embraced the chance to really look at the History around them and marry the knowledge gained in the classroom to an outdoor setting.
 
 Looking further back into History, this term Year 6 Geographers have been conducting group PSB enquiries into the development of life on the Earth and the mass extinction events that have changed the direction of the evolutionary tree. Crucial to their studies has been examining and researching the fossil remains of creatures that previously, swam, crawled and roamed our planet.  
 
After a quick review of what they have learned so far, a short brief on the Geology and Palaeontology of the region, we went into the Lyme Regis Fossil Museum to examine some of their excellent finds and learn about Mary Anning.  
 
The knowledge collected here has added the final chapter to their forthcoming group presentations. Never forgoing the opportunity to dress up some of the boys and girls donned the garb of the Victorians who not only came to Lyme Regis to collect fossils but also to 'drink' the sea water...for its health benefits apparently. Not convinced of the benefits of drinking sea water the pupils also enjoyed a picnic on the beach and the obligatory ice-cream. 
 
H McCarthy & Mrs J Hall-Tomkin

01/06/16

10th October 2013

18th October 2013

Breakfast in France

CHILDREN in Reception enjoyed a French breakfast of croissants, pains au chocolat, jam and fromage outside in the Pre-Prep playground. 
 
Mael and Paul in Year 6 told the children about what they eat for breakfast in France and answered questions from the children about French food, including snails and frogs’ legs. 
 
Louise Ashmore

01/06/16

18th October 2013

Practice makes perfect

LAST week, the Dance GCSE students completed their practical assessments. Each dancer performed fantastically with confidence and enthusiasm. They were extremely professional and the moderator had nothing but praise for their work. 
 
The dancers performed their group work, solos and one another's choreographies. Each dancer has completed four practical dance units with the written exam left to do after half term. 
 
Thank you to everyone who has supported the group. 
 
Emma Mannings

01/06/16

18th October 2013

Mr Fil Came demonstrates the challenges children can face to learn

A large group of people including parents, teachers throughout the whole school and the heads attended a PTA meeting in the Old Library to hear a talk on educating children of all abilities. The speaker was internationally renowned education speaker, Mr. Fil Came from Learning Works.
 
The evening included a presentation, videos, as well as a series of interactive exercises designed to show parents the difficulties some children face. These included carrying out simple tasks with gloves on which demonstrated some of the issues that children with dyslexia may face and learning to juggle, a task designed to show how taking on new instructions and undertaking a new task at the same time may confuse those with dyslexia.
 
Future PTA meetings will feature an evening on IT and Internet safety and a presentation on how parents can create the correct atmosphere for their children as they prepare for exams.
 
Paul Billings

01/06/16

18th October 2013

Engineering is everyone's game

Eleven girls from Years 10 and 12  joined girls from other schools at a conference held at Red Maids School in Bristol. 
 
The focus was women into engineering and science and the day included two inspiring presentations from engineers as well as practical workshops ranging from medical diagnosis to robotics and solar panel construction. 
 
The girls gained a lot from this experience, with some useful contacts being made and many things to follow up. This was a very enjoyable day and the girls were super ambassadors for Taunton School.
 
Dr James Penny

01/06/16

18th October 2013

PTA join forces for Summer Fair

AS I write this everyone at the PTA has their fingers crossed for good weather on Thursday, May 26th, the day of the Summer Fair. This year’s summer fair promises to be the best yet, with new and exciting events for the children to take part in, as well as the traditional favourites.  
 
We are delighted that with the help of Hamish McCarthy, the Royal Marines will be in attendance, giving a weapons display and also bringing their climbing wall, something I am sure that will prove to be exceptionally popular. They will not be the only one of Her Majesty's forces present as we will also be visited by the local constabulary, who will be bringing a modern Hi-Tec police car for the children to view.  
 
Of course the old favourites will also be there, Soak the Teacher (the teachers will be hoping for a warm day!), Sumo Wrestling, a Pimms tent and the ever popular Tombola and Raffle. The children will also take part and we look forward to seeing their innovative stall ideas. 
 
The PTA organised a hog roast, which will also be available at the Prep School sports and parents days.
Special thanks this year should go to Donna King who has put in huge amounts of energy and time in to organising the Fair, without parents prepared to help out this type of event, that the children love so much, would not take place.
 
I hope you all had a great day and the sun shone!
 
Paul Billings

26/05/16

18th October 2013

Plenty to celebrate in Junior Maths Challenge

THIS year we have had an excellent set of results. An amazing 25 pupils gained a certificate. An increase of 56% on last year! Very well done to all pupils who participated.
Ron Hornsby 

Bronze:
Will Andrews, Flora Collier, Edward Cousins , Max Davies, Max Fletcher, Oliver Halliday, Charlotte Hicks, Annabelle Lewes, Calum Pinn, Philip Pullicino and Katelyn Quantick.

Silver: 
Jonathan Cole, Daisy Downham, Jesper Harrington, Ben Pomeroy, Maisie Raven, Elen Roberts, Adi Sharma, Ben Shattock, Luc Simon and Sam Stevenson
 
Gold: Skyla Coate, Kate Foster, Izzy Glaser, Kit Lloyd.

 

23/05/16

18th October 2013

Preparing for the wider world

FROM sunglasses to pens, cups to badges, there were plenty of freebies on offer at our North American University Fair. However, more importantly students from across our Taunton site and from the local area, were able to take up the opportunity to learn more about USA and Canadian university systems. 
 
One size certainly does not fit all and although most of our students continue on to British universities the afternoon allowed clear comparisons to be made. With the threat of increasing UK fees and large numbers of graduates applying for the same jobs, studying overseas is one of a number of ways to make your CV stand out from the crowd. 
 
The American Liberal Arts Programme allows students to study a broad range of subjects for two years before specialising. This allows you to try new subjects before selecting your specialism. 
 
In Canada many CO-OP courses offer multiple paid work experience which are an integral part of a degree and are assessed. Employability is the latest buzz word in the world of recruitment and any degree course which equips you for the world of work is worth careful consideration.
 
A global education equips young adults to thrive as global citizens in a global economy. I would encourage all students to consider all options for their next step beyond Taunton School. Parents are always welcome at our careers events to learn about all the opportunities their sons and daughters have in the coming years. 
 
Next term we will be hosting two events, the Student World UK Tour by a group of international universities and a Business, Law and Finance Careers Fair.
 
Richard Judd,
Head of Careers 

23/05/16

18th October 2013

Nursery 4 enjoy Pirate week

SHIPS Ahoy!! The Pirates landed in Nursery Four last week.

As part of their 'Commotion in the Ocean' topic the children enjoyed a week of pirate activities.

On Thursday children followed maps, made earlier in the week, to find hidden treasure around the school grounds and Friday they leart about the story of  Peter Pan and Captain Hook with Mr Riggs. 

Karen McGough 

23/05/16

18th October 2013

Heckie the Superdog pays a visit

THE children in Nursery 3 had a special visit from Heckie the super dog! Eva Dixon, mum to Patrick from Nursery 3, kindly performed an amazing show with her very talented dog. 
 
Heckie showed us a range of tricks, he gave us cuddles, helped tidy up, emptied the washing machine and even had a little snooze with his blanket and dummy. 
 
Many thanks for an entertaining and informative morning. Great fun was had by all. 
 
Jodie Maven

23/05/16

18th October 2013

TSIMS May Fayre is a great success

ON Saturday, May 7th, the annual TSIMS May Fayre was held at The Grange. This year, the staff and students had chosen to raise money for the Piers Simon Appeal “School In A Bag” initiative and Children’s Hospice South West.  
 
Despite a drizzly start to the day, we were lucky enough to enjoy the beautiful sunshine for the majority of the afternoon, which made for a very enjoyable fayre. We were joined by students and staff from other parts of the school, as well as many local people from Kingston St Mary and the surrounding areas. 
 
Activities on the afternoon included six stalls led by our six tutor groups, including a penalty shoot out. There was also a cake and ice cream sale, and an inflatable “Gladiator Battle”, enjoyed by all, including Mr Hallworth.   
 
Alongside this, our school choir and a handful of other musicians performed in our Forest Classroom to a packed audience. 
 
The grand total raised for our charities was £851.36. Our thanks go to all who came to support TSIMS and our charities on the day, and to Lis Foy, a representative from ‘School In A Bag’ who was able to join us and speak to our guests about the great work being done by the Piers Simon Appeal. 
 
Rebecca Goddard

23/05/16

18th October 2013

Stepping into Coleridge's shoes

YEAR 7 enjoyed a trip to Coleridge Cottage in Nether Stowey. We had an interesting and informative tour of the cottage where the Romantic poet, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, lived between 1797 and 1800.
 
We were lucky to have some very enthusiastic and knowledgeable guides who were able to tell us what life would have been like for Coleridge and his family when they moved here. We even had a go at writing with quills, which we discovered was quite tricky and extremely messy! 
 
After the tour we walked the start of the Coleridge Way and stopped at the site of Stowey Castle to think about the nature around us and to start drafting some poetry of our own – with pens this time! 
 
After a very relaxed lunch in the sunshine in Coleridge’s garden, we headed to the ancient harbour at Watchet to view the landscape that inspired Coleridge to write his famous poem, ‘Rime of the Ancient Mariner’. We also formed a very long and eager queue at the ice-cream shop!
 
In English lessons last week, pupils composed their own poetry about nature. The finished poems will soon be on display in the corridor outside Mrs Burton’s room in Weirfield – please come and take a look. 
 
Jane Burton

23/05/16

18th October 2013

TPS concert transports audience

OVER 120 children, more than an hour’s glorious entertainment, with 14 different musical ensembles - it can only mean one thing, the TPS summer concert in the chapel. 
 
This year's concert embodied the theme “Of Wheels and Wings and Sails and things” aka, anything to do with transport and movement. Sure enough, the audience was suitably moved, indeed transported, by an evening’s fabulous musical entertainment whereby our thriving music department was proudly represented.
 
For the Year 8s involved in the concert, this event was their “swan song” before they leave for pastures new. For the Year 3s, this represented the culmination of a year-long musical adventure whereby they have acclimatised to the busy routine of music making at TPS. 
 
We keep our children so busy with such great opportunities to make music, working and playing collaboratively. The success of this concert puts the hard work into perspective for all our talented musicians, young and old.
 
Echoing the words of thanks given by Mr Newman at the close of the event, it is with heartfelt joy and pride that we honour our hardworking team of visiting music teachers who trained our young stars towards the success of the concert.
 
The children did themselves so proud and we congratulate them on their efforts and thank all parents for their support.
 
Sam Baker

23/05/16

10th October 2013

18th October 2013

TSLDSC qualify for sea swimming

OVER the period May 4th-6th Taunton School Long Distance Swimming Club Year 7,8 & 9 pupils braved chilly waters to qualify for sea swimming training. This involved swimming one kilometre without rest in the Wiveliscombe outdoor pool where on the first day the heating had only been turned on for two days. Water temperatures, cooled further by a wind-chill, were seven degrees lower than our two indoor pools on the first day. 
 
TSLDSC has two consecutive long distance challenges this summer swim season. The first will involve the whole team swimming the 2.5km around St Michaels Mount in aid of the Chestnut Charity (raising money to fight prostrate cancer) and the major event in September The Channel Titan relay race against the Royal Marines and a team of Staff drawn from the whole school.  
 
During this first and subsequent training sessions pupils got to have a look at the swimming prowess of some of the staff team. On a warm Friday evening the Preparatory School Headmaster joined team members for his 'mile qualification' swim laying down the gauntlet by either miscounting his lengths, showing his age or simply showing off.  
 
Emily Lawton was heard to say that she 'was initially impressed' but thinks, he like most of the staff, will need to 'work on their endurance' if they are to provide creditable opposition'; This, something she felt confidant enough to pass onto Mr Sinclair as she lapped him once again whilst he 'posed' for media opportunities. 
 
The training focus shifts to Lyme Regis Bay now with regular training in wetsuits until the end of May or until sea temperatures warm sufficiently.  
 
The next hurdle for The Channel swimmers is the two hour qualification non wetsuit swim required by the Channel Swimming & Pilot Federation which participants will complete before the end of term.  
 
Weekly training sessions will continue throughout the Summer Holidays with a punishing schedule of up to two seas swims per day. Nothing great is easy, but an upside to open water swimming is that hot chocolates, cake and ice-cream will need to be consumed in large quantities to restore energy burned whilst sea swimming. 
 
Hamish McCarthy

17/05/16

18th October 2013

Teams prevail on the Ten Tors

THE largest youth challenge in the UK took place on Dartmoor with 2,400 teenagers accepting the Ten Tors Challenge. Taunton School students were among them, with one team ready to walk a 35 mile route and another taking on the 45 mile route.
 
Both teams did really well and completed their challenges, with the 35 mile group finishing in four hours and 21 minutes and the 45 mile group crossing the line in nine hours and 16 minutes. 
 
Taunton School is tremendously proud of these students for displaying such hard work and perseverance. The Ten Tors is no easy feat but is an experience that will long be remembered by those who take part. 
 
35 mile challenge
 
OUR group’s experience of Ten tors was in short, quite possibly the most bonding thing for a group of friends to do - involving panicked encounters in bird nesting areas, the world’s most hated idea, and blundering around on misty tors. 
 
Relying solely on a compass bearing and the high vis tabards ahead, the most satisfying moments were cresting hills to see khaki army tents surrounded by trains of people, exhausted by the unending tussocks of moon grass and boggy traps threatening to devour trekkers. 
 
We shall forever remember the experience in the long term by the medals but for the short term, the bleeding blisters on our feet and ankles will do. 
 
Alex Griffiths - 35 mile team
 
45 mile challenge
 
THIS year was a successful one for Taunton School in the Ten Tors challenge. The 45 mile team composed of six teenagers of 16-17 years of age completed the training and were selected to represent the school in the challenge. 
 
Hunter Hailes, Saul Kurzman, Martha Beale, Tom James, Anna Glaser and from Warminster School, James Caldwell were the chosen team members and got down to Okehampton Camp on Friday evening prior to the event to register, complete the safety briefing and plot the route onto the maps.  
 
Saturday morning begun with the usual ‘Chariots of Fire’ wake up call and not long after all 2,400 walkers were lined up on the start line. The team led by Tom James got off to a good start, going through checkpoints 1, 2, 3 and 4 in good time. However James Caldwell had sustained a knee injury before Ten Tors and had aggravated it on the walk, so sadly had to pull out. A fantastic effort though and James should be proud of his efforts and contribution to the team. The team continued to push on to the end of the day just shy of checkpoint 7, setting themselves up well for the following day. 
 
Sunday came round and more bad news for the team. Saul had also injured himself the previous day with blisters and swollen feet, taking away his ability to walk. Saul managed to make it to the first checkpoint of the day where mountain rescue came to get to him. 
 
By pulling out, Saul saved the team and allowed them to continue in good pace to the finish. A tough moment for him but one that should commended. The team carried on and soon enough the finish line was in sight. The team of four crossed the finish line at 16:16. Due to the team not finishing with six people, the team certificate was not awarded to us, but the finishing team were awarded medals for the completion of the challenge. 
 
Overall the weekend was a huge success for the 45 mile team and one the will be remembered by the entire team for the experience. 
 
Tom James - 45 Mile team

17/05/16

10th October 2013

18th October 2013

Talking SATS...

THE beauty of an independent school education is the independent curriculum that goes with it and the opportunity afforded to take the best of tradition, research and options for assessment for learning, without being dictated to by the wider political agenda! Communication, knowledge, breadth and skills are all necessary to succeed. We do not have this dilemma about the SATS!
 
Already in our school today you will find researchers, communicators, reflective thinkers, top mathematicians, scientists, engineers, programmers, story writers, musicians, artists and even palaeontologists - we can go on and on! 
 
So what have we been studying this term? Down in Pre-Prep and Nursery, there have been dinosaur eggs hidden amongst the trees, a wow start to a lesson! A trail of magical fairy doors with glittery dust connecting them!
 
In the Reception classes you'll find some fantastic displays! Smelly sardines in a bucket, to inspire observation drawing and knowledge! Puffin Island and  films about the Farne Islands. The children have also been designing flip flops and soon we will be sending our designs to famous flip flop brand, Havianas.  
 
Our Year 1 children visited the County Castle Museum on Tuesday as part of their topic on tiaras and turrets. You can read the full report on page 5.   
 
Our students have been busy building hide outs in the forest school and learning about stone age fire making and cooking. Year 3 have been studying Vikings whilst Year 4 create a magical rainforest. 
 
All this activity leaves no time for teaching the SAT test facts that are then unable to be regurgitated or used in future learning or even connected to skills we need to use. 
 
However, in place you will find national PIPS and MIDYIS assessments and testing taking place in May, national cognitive profiling - all bench marked against national data and delivered in a sensitive age and stage appropriate way, strong grammatically correct prose, and a rigorous new maths curriculum.  
 
You will see problem solvers, independent thinkers and sparkly learners! You will see high expectations and target setting for the uniqueness of our children. You will see lots of drama, ethics and philosophy, music, art, sport and healthy competition. All underpinned by the PSB programme of skills starting from Year 1 through to Year 8.
 
The core skills of the PSB are: 
Thinking and reflection on learning
Reviewing and Improving – learning about failure too!
Communication – debating, organising and delegating
Leadership skills
Collaboration and Independence of thought - helping to build confidence.

Wellbeing is at the top of our agenda and research shows that happy children, playful children, safe risk takers and confident children who are excellent communicators are successful! Yes to assessment and tracking but no to stressful SATS that even a minister (who shall remain nameless) failed!
 
Kathy McLauchlan and Duncan Sinclair 

09/05/16

18th October 2013

Alicia qualifies for Nationals

SWIM Ireland’s Irish Open Swimming Championships kicked of on Thursday, April 28th, with Irish swimmers still on the hunt for Olympic and European qualification times.
 
400 swimmers from 73 clubs including 17 foreign clubs competed across four days of competition for national titles in 34 individual and six team events. 
 
As part of the Team Wales Youth Swimming Squad, Alicia Gallagher was selected to race at the Irish Open Swimming Championships in Dublin. Alicia completing in three events, 50 Breaststroke, 100 Breaststroke and the 200 Breaststroke. 
 
Having raced in the heats and semi-finals over four days Alicia had made it through to all finals with a PB in the 50 Breaststroke and season best in the 100 Breaststroke. The times achieved secure British Summer Nationals qualification which is being held in Sheffield later in the Year.

09/05/16

18th October 2013

National Maths Challenge finalists

AT the end of March a joint TS/TPS group of four pupils took part in the Regional Finals of the Team Mathematical Challenge, run by the UK Mathematics Trust (UKMT) and came second out of the 30 schools that entered. We were delighted to hear this week that we were one of the highest ‘second place’ scores in the country and have consequently been invited to take part in the National Finals in Westminster on the 20th June. Another congratulations to George, Kelly, Kit and Skyla for doing so well.
 
The UKMT has been running this Team Competition since 2003 and last year’s event was very enthusiastically received by over 600,000 pupils from 4,000 schools who took part in the three individual challenges. The competition combines mathematical, communication and teamwork skills and offers pupils another way to express and develop their enjoyment of Mathematics.
 
The Maths Challenge is tough and requires quick thinking, great team work and is perfect for pupils to show their independent learning skills. There is a Group Round where teams work to solve ten questions of varying type and difficulty in the time allowed. Each team must decide their own strategy: whether to work in pairs, individually or as a team. 
 
Round Two is the Crossnumber challenge - similar to a crossword but with numerical answers. Teams work in pairs; one pair has the across clues and the other pair has the down clues. The pairs work independently to complete the grid using logic and deduction. 
 
Round Three is called ‘Shuttle’. Teams compete against the clock to correctly answer a series of four questions. Question 1 can be solved independently of the others, but the answer to each subsequent question is dependent on the previous answer, so accuracy is vital.  
 
Next comes the Relay round, with teams split off into pairs, who take it in turns to solve problems. This round involves lots of movement as well as mathematics!  
 
For the National Final the Taunton School team will need to complete a Poster Competition too. Teams are sent information in advance about a topic for research and investigation. At the Final, teams make a poster incorporating materials that they have prepared while also addressing related questions given out on the day. Topics in previous years have included mathematical billiards and colouring. 

09/05/16

18th October 2013

Inspiring ideas to grow out of this world

YEAR 10 pupils at Taunton School have embarked upon on a voyage of discovery by growing seeds that have been into space.
 
In September, 2kg of rocket seeds were flown to the International Space Station (ISS) on Soyuz 44S where they spent several months in microgravity before returning to Earth in March 2016. The seeds were sent as part of Rocket Science, an educational project launched by the RHS Campaign for School Gardening and the UK Space Agency. 
 
Taunton School is one of up to 10,000 schools to receive a packet of 100 seeds from space, which they are growing alongside seeds that haven’t been to space and measure the differences over seven weeks.
 
The pupils don’t know which seed packet contains which seeds until all results have been collected by the RHS Campaign for School Gardening and analysed by professional biostatisticians. 
 
The out-of-this-world, nationwide science experiment will enable the pupils to think more about how we could preserve human life on another planet in the future, what astronauts need to survive long-term missions in space and the difficulties surrounding growing fresh food in challenging climates.
 
Caro Wedgwood, Head of Biology at Taunton School says: “We are very excited to be taking part in Rocket Science. This experiment is a fantastic way of teaching our pupils to think more scientifically and contribute to a large scale project where the data gathered will be instrumental in our understanding about the effects of microgravity”
 
Rocket Science is just one educational project from a programme developed by the UK Space Agency to celebrate British ESA astronaut Tim Peake’s Principia mission to the ISS and inspire young people to look into careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) subjects, including horticulture. 
 
You can follow the the project on Twitter: @RHSSchools #RocketScience.

09/05/16

18th October 2013

Concerto concert captivates

AN exceptional evening! On Friday, April 29th many TS ensembles took to the chapel for this year’s Concerto Concert. The evening featured many of our talented students, performing a varied and challenging repertoire.
 
The wind band, inspired by the recent workshop with the Band of the Royal Marines, opened the evening with a bang. They first performed Rimsky Korsakov’s Procession of the Nobles captivating the audience with the driving melody before the first featured item was introduced by the Saxophone Quartet. 
 
Liza by George Gershwin, and later Slip Reel by Cathrine Evison were both projected with style providing an interesting interpretation for Emily Buckland’s GCSE performance submission. Good luck Emily! 
 
Following this, the wind band chose to perform a lesser known item by Rimsky Korsakov featuring Toby Topp on clarinet. Here Toby performed the Concerto for Clarinet and Wind Band highlighting Korsakov’s romantic melodies.
 
The next featured item again showcased the many talents of Toby Topp, Clarinet, and Hera Bradley, Cello, performing the Brahms Clarinet trio with Tim Waller on piano. This performance of such serious music drew attention to our students and their ability to quickly adapt to the differing styles of each composer.
 
When the Orchestra took to the stage it was wonderful to see students from across the whole school on the edge of their seats in anticipation. Their excitement was marvellously displayed in Bizet’s Farandole before Hera Bradley quickly tugged at our heart strings with Ernest Bloch’s beautiful Prayer for Solo Cello. The orchestra finished their set by amazing the audience with an exciting performance of Schubert’s Symphony No.8.
 
The second half of the evening saw the Advanced Vocal Ensemble led by Fiona Baker perform Mendelssohn’s Laudate Pueri, and Joyful, Joyful arranged by Mervyn Warren transformed the choir from a classical setting into a foot tapping gospel rewrite of Beethoven’s iconic theme ‘Ode to joy’.
 
The final trio feature followed with a buzz still flowing through the audience from AVE. This item saw Amy and Daniel Lloyd-Jones perform with such maturity and aplomb they received quite exceptional comments following the concert. Well done to both Amy and Daniel in your rendition of Madeline Dring’s Trio for flute, oboe and piano!
 
After this wonderful trio had departed it was left to David Bridges and the Chapel Choir to give even more. Their performance of Ola Gjeilo’s Evening Prayer introduced Alto Saxophonist, Ross Conquer, to the choir performing an improvisatory solo in a more modern and inspiring turn to our programme.
 
All good things of course have to come to and end, but not until the Dance Band have their say. With such serious and detailed music flowing throughout the evening the finale brought the audience back to a little light jazz. Foot tapping their way through the speedy Salt Peanuts the Dance Band introduced a vocal set to round off a great evening, first with Emily Bosworth performing the Look of Love and finally Straighten Up and Fly Right sung by Upper Sixth music students Harry Acton, Rosemary Moss and Heidi Parsons.
 
As the TS music school have previously shown, they cannot resist the opportunity to do something extravagant. This concert was no different, with concertos, symphonies and other large scale works, yet again our audience were left awestruck. 
 
Well done to all the students who worked so hard to perform in this concert!
 
James Butterworth-Smith


09/05/16

10th October 2013