The Co-Curricular element of the school is still thriving, even though operating remotely.

The school community is still able to come together with Headmaster’s assemblies and chapels uploaded onto TEAMs and Firefly each week. Whilst not the way we would have liked to present them, congratulations to all students who were awarded colours, contributed to school events or earned individual awards or contributed to house successes in the End of Term Spring Assembly.

The Miles for MS campaign has started off really well with 47 students and staff signed up, and after a short time, the amount raised is already over £1700 with over 1000km’s chalked up already to the May total. It is still not too late to join and contribute to the school team (both on MS challenge or to the Taunton School Club on Strava).

Chapels are being uploaded on a weekly basis, and it has been great to receive one from Mr Bruce Izzett last week including a Taunton School favourite “Mighty to Save” within the service.

Some student activities have flourished during our remote period of co-curricular; the Young Enterprise group “BisCup” have just been announced winners of the Somerset YE company of the Year competition so have progressed to the Regional Round of the competition. Please look them up on Twitter and Instagram to follow their progress and find out more about their product.

The Amnesty International group are looking at fundraising opportunities to support an orphanage and supplying emergency kits including: daily essentials such as food, cooking oil and soap to some of the poorest people in Kenya.

Within are performing arts activities the TS Thespians in Drama are putting together a “Murder Mystery”– to be produced and performed later in the term.

In Music, Mr Cracknell and his team have been working hard with the Community Choir, with over 60 members of staff and students singing Michael Jackson’s “You are not Alone”. The Dance Band, Wind band and AVE and Barbershop choirs are still going strong and we are looking forward to producing a couple of pieces for the school to watch. The weekly tea-time concerts will be accessible beyond the Taunton School staff and student community, and the link will be available on social media.

In Art, we have seen the development of the #TSArtChallenge, whereby students and staff can take some time out to complete the daily challenge and send in by email to the art department or via the Twitter page @tsartdepartment.

In Debating, the first Burke Debate of the term was held with the motion “This house believes that political correctness has gone too far”, with Dan Travers and Joe Day proposing the motion and Hanna Wittek and Ed Cousins opposing the motion. Whilst as ever, in the Burke Debate, a pre and post vote was taken. The debate if anything made it more difficult for the audience to side with either the proposition or opposition with more of the audience deciding to abstain that vote. An interesting topic and we look forward to the next debate on “This house believes that the gender pay gap is a myth”.

In Sport, Mr Thompson completes his daily 5.00pm fitness sessions live on both Teams and the “tauntonsport”, which has had over 200 people tuning in some of the sessions. The weekly programme is advertised each week, so login to the days which suit you the best. The Heads of Sport, are well in to their daily challenges and skills being set on twitter and Instagram, with daily skills and weekly challenges to complete in a sport of your choice. Don’t be afraid to send in your videos, or upload them to the relevant sports pages for feedback. One-to-one support and guidance is still available from the Heads of Sport, so please contact them directly if you need some help or support with your exercise plans.

The Saturday Scholars programme, has over 200 students joining in to continue with their enrichment and challenge activities. The academic scholars have seen some excellent student talks and discussion from Ben Jackson, Max Davis and Kara Klimczak-Gange on the topics: “Does Everything Happen for a Reason? A Philosophical Enquiry”, “Storytelling: Its effect on history and human development” and “Teamwork”. The Drama scholars are putting together their own show reels and in Music they have been looking at different composers and also looking at online concerts. Within both computer science and design technology, they have been working on modelling and architecture and the sports scholars have created their own home circuits.

The CCF continues to add some interesting tasks on the Co-Curricular Team pages, the whole contingent are being challenged to perform some drill movements each week that Thomas Kitson-Herring turned into a stop motion animation. The Royal Navy have been challenged to knot tying competitions and some of the students have gained promotions at 2* or 3*. The RAF have been challenged on their aerodynamics with a paper aeroplane competition and finally the Army have been learning their phonetic alphabet and producing patrol orders.

Hayley Mortimer, Director of Co-curricular