Murder Mysteries, Hats through History… the Spring Term Theme Day at is another great success

Posted by on Mar 31, 2014 in News | No Comments

By strange coincidence,’s most recent Ofsted inspection on 19th and 20th March followed the same pattern at its PE subject inspection back in June 2010, in that they both happened to take place when a Theme Day was scheduled.  Although this presented some logistical challenges on both occasions, the overall impression given by the Theme Days to the inspectors was that of a vibrant and exciting learning community.

During the Theme Day on the 19th March, students from across years 7-13 were given the opportunity to participate in a wide range of enrichment activities.  For the whole of year 7, it was a trip to Bristol on the agenda.  Organised as part of the Integrated Learning curriculum, the students were able to explore and develop their understanding of different forms of power, through visits to the M-Shed Museum of Slavery and the @Bristol Science Museum.  Also participating in a visit to Bristol were half of year 9, who were considering what links already exist or could be formed with the city.  Their visit included time at the SS Great Britain site, as well as a tour of the Banksy Trail where a consideration of how we can reflect our history and origins through Art was the main focus.

The rest of the year 9 group stayed back at school, but they certainly did not lose out!  They were given the chance to develop and strengthen their Modern Language skills through a unique Murder Mystery challenge created by teacher, Ben Rowe, and enacted by the whole of MFL department in appropriate costumes!  Not to be outdone in the dressing up stakes were the History department and half of year 8 who, along with a group of invited parents and grown-ups, spent the day looking at how hat wearing has changed and developed over time.  Their day culminated in an excellent ‘fashion show’ in the main hall.

The other half of year 8 turned their attention to a creative Geography project, making the most of the outdoor environment at Mount Edgcumbe and Saltram House.  For year 10 there was a Business and Enterprise theme.  Given the challenge of finding realistic, creative and imaginative ways of improving the school environment, they were somewhat surprised, but equally delighted when the BBC ‘Apprentice’ finalist of 2008 dropped in to see how they were doing and give them some tips on how to present their ideas.  Claire Young had been invited, once again, to to encourage and motivate students about to sit their GCSE exams this summer.  This, coupled with a session led by the school’s counsellors on managing stress and a focused revision strategies session, all led to a purposeful and timely day for the year 11 cohort.

For the 6th Form, it was a visit to Exeter University and the Higher Education Fair for year 12, and a day of ‘Life Skills’ for year 13, many of whom will be progressing to university this Autumn.

Reflecting on the success of the day, Director of Creativity, Jim Romain, said, ‘Inevitably, there was an element of risk involved in proceeding with our planned Theme Day when the Ofsted Inspection was taking place but our students and staff demonstrated so well what makes our school such a great place to learn.  It was also evident how our Theme Days are contributing to the high levels of academic success being achieved at’