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Headteacher Blog

what's happening at Chesham Grammar

Posted on: March 15th 2019

Head's Blog

Dear Parent,

I have just returned from Arbour Park Stadium in Slough where I watched our U16 girls' football team play their County Cup final v Shenley Brook End School.  It was a very close match and was 0-0 with around 20 minutes to play when a superb goal from Catherine put CGS ahead.  The celebration was short-lived, however, as SBE equalised soon after but a second goal from Megan put us ahead again and the girls managed to hold out until the final whistle.  It was a proud moment watching Catherine receive her Man of the Match award and then seeing the team lift the trophy.  All three girls' County Cup competitions, U13, U15 and U16, have been won by CGS this week: a clean sweep and what you could call total domination!  Earlier today the U13s thrashed Dr Challoner's High School 6-1 and on Wednesday, the U15s did the same v Wycombe High, beating them 6-0.  Of course DCHS and WHS are both single sex schools so will have double the number of girls we have in each year group making the girls' achievements even more impressive. My congratulations to all the girls and to Mr Finch and Mrs Fleming, the coaches. Let's hope our winning streak continues and that the U13s are successful in their semi-final match in the National Cup v Shenfield High School on Tuesday.  Good luck girls.

There have been plenty of other sporting successes this week for both boys and girls in rugby, netball and football. The Year 7 boys A and B football teams beat Chesham Prep and in the U15 District Netball Tournament we were the only school to field three teams.  Again, as a mixed school, this is really impressive.  The A team narrowly lost the Plate final.  All of this came after a very successful and enjoyable girls' PE tour last weekend attended by almost 50 Year 9 and 10 football and netball players.  

I have been out of school today at a Heads' Conference but I know that there was a good deal of fun during our mufti day which has raised money for Comic Relief and the NET Patient Foundation.  The former will be well known to everyone but many students and parents will not have heard of the NET Foundation.  We have three current and two ex-students, all siblings, who lost their mother to neuroendocrine cancer just before Christmas and we are helping them to raise money for a charity which supports those diagnosed with this.  I would like to thank Mr Pierce and Frankin House who organised and led all the fundraising events which took place today.  We will of course let you know how much was raised when we have a final total.

During the week, there has been a huge amount going on in the Science Faculty to celebrate British Science Week. From a session on the science of chocolate for Year 8 to the construction of water rockets by Year 9, the staff have worked hard to inspire the students.  We have also had talks from visiting speakers including Professor Brian Catchpole from the Royal Veterinary College and Ben Warner-Michel who left CGS in 2012, going on to Newcastle University to read Biomedical Genetics.  He is currently a trainee vascular scientist.  My thanks to the science staff who put a huge amount of time and effort in to the planning and execution of all these enrichment activities for the students.  

Last weekend, several students in Years 8 and 9 took place in the Magistrates Mock Trial Competition and I enjoyed meeting with them this week to hear all about it.  It was gratifying to hear that though they all found it challenging and a little terrifying, they gained a huge amount from the experience and enjoyed it.  This is a national competition designed to give the students a real insight into the legal system. Run by Young Citizens, it is a hugely engaging and memorable experience.  The students took part in a mock trial inside Wycombe Magistrates Court. The case was specially written and the students spent many hours in the run up preparing for the trial during which they had to take on the roles of magistrates, defendants, witnesses, lawyers, legal advisers and ushers, thus gaining an understanding of the workings of the legal system.  Well done to all involved with whom I met: Scarlet, Jessica, Rohan, Tobin, Madeleine, Freddie, Sophie, Dabrowka, Ewan, Adam, Daniel, Caspar and Kitty.  Many thanks to Miss Lindsay who organised this. 

Last night, the Chiltern Youth Awards took place in Amersham.  Raffi in Year 11 was asked to present the Sports and Healthy Lifestyle award which was a real honour.  Well done Raffi.  We were delighted that Olivia's incredible work for Liberty's Legacy was recognised.  She received the final award of the night, the Chairman's Award which was presented by Chairman Councillor Nigel Shepherd.  Olivia and her parents have spearheaded a campaign which has to date raised over £200,000 for Liberty's Legacy, which helps fund research into Ewing sarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer. We are so proud of Olivia.  The evening opened with a very moving performance from our Acapella Group and a number of our other students were recognised during the evening for the work they undertake. Well done to all those involved.

Every year, some Year 12 students take part in the Young Enterprise Company Programme, a national scheme designed to give them practical experience of the world of business.  Each team must set up and run a student company under the guidance of a business volunteer.  Students made all the decisions about their business, from deciding on the company name, managing the company finances and selling to the public.  This year we have two companies, both of which are enjoying a good deal of success.  One team, Team Nova, has produced a personalised safety alarm.  They donate money from each sale to Textile Exchange, have won an award for 'Best Trade Stand' and have recently been interviewed by Mix96.  More information about their company can be found here:  Our other team, OKO, has created a sustainable, plastic free, toiletries kit in a reusable linen wash bag.  They have won an award for 'Best Product Idea'.  More information about their company and the opportunity can be found here:  Later this month is the Young Enterprise Chiltern Area Showcase which is being held at CGS this year.  As the name suggests, this is an event which showcases and celebrates the achievements of every team in the local area.  During the day, each team also has to deliver a short presentation in front of an audience.  This is always absolutely fascinating and I am invariably blown away by the confidence, creativity and initiative of the students and by what they have achieved.  If you are interested in hearing about and seeing the products of the various teams from our area, please do come along on Sunday 24th March between 3 and 5.30pm.  Further details will follow.  The two student companies which win this event will progress to the next round of the Company of the Year Competition in May. We wish both the CGS teams the very best of luck.

Finally, happy 12th birthday to the following Year 7 students with whom I met this week: Tom, Orlaith, Olivia and Reuben.  

With best wishes for a relaxing weekend,

Annmarie McNaney