There was a fantastic turnout at Isambard Community School's annual Lantern Parade last night. Thanks to Swindon Samba, to all the families who joined us and to all our willing helpers.
There were approximately 250 people at this year's parade and you all looked as if you were having fun. Please look out for announcements about next year's date and join us again.
On 12th February 2014 students from Isambard attended the ‘Super Sonic @ The Big Bang’ event at the University of the West of England. We were recognised for the outstanding work our students are doing in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).
Winner of the ‘Best Communicator’ award went to Calista and Ben won ‘Best Presentation’, they received the award from UWE’s Vice-Chancellor Professor Steve West.
Isambard Community School is pleased to receive The Prince’s Teaching Institute Mark for 2012/13.
The Prince’s Teaching Institute (PTI) launched the Schools Programme in 2007 to recognise and reward school departments that develop inspirational ideas and activities which enhance the teaching of Art, English, History, Geography, Science, Mathematics, Modern Foreign Languages and Music, regardless of their pupils’ backgrounds or abilities. It is run as a membership group for school departments that choose to commit to increasing the challenge of their subject provision.
The GCSE Art Show took place on Thursday 26th September 2013 and was a great success. A collection of work produced by all our Art and Design students in 2012/13 were displayed for visitors to peruse. The different GCSE's represented were:
Students all across the globe have been taking part in an “Hour of Code” as part of Computer Science Education Week (9-13th December 2013). So far 12,687,354 students around the world have taken part and we are pleased and proud of the Isambard students this number includes. The initiative has exposed over 12 million students to programming and over a quarter billion lines of code have been written during the week, by students in 170 countries.
On Tuesday 19th November 2013, Isambard hosted an information evening for parents of students in Year 10 to explain the changes happening in English and Maths this year. There was an opportunity for parents to talk to English and Maths teachers about the changes. These changes will affect Year 10 only. For those parents unable to attend, the presentation is available here.
On Monday 11th of November 2013, Isambard hosted the “Lions Club Peace Project” for the second time, and we are delighted to announce that Isambard Year 8 Student Cameron won the competition on a school level and will now progress to the national selection.
The long-awaited Swindon Youth Festival of Literature begins Monday 11th November with a week of book based visits and activities.
The best-selling author, Alexander Gordon Smith will be visiting us on Thursday 14th November and will be working with the whole of years 7 and 8 during his stay as well as leading a creative writing workshop with a lucky year 9 class. We have some of his books on sale in the LRC at discount prices.
The Science and Technology Facilities Council are supporting the UK astronomy community in touring an exhibition showcasing the Big Telescopes family – both ground and space based – focussing on the UK science expertise and economic benefits. The roadshow, entitled “Seeing the Universe in all its light”, features stunning science images and interactive exhibits bringing the universe to your fingertips.
The exhibition, currently on show at the House of Commons, will be at Isambard Community School week commencing 4th November.
On Wednesday 18th September 2013 we held our annual Prize Giving Ceremony for students currently in Years 8 to 11 to celebrate their achievements last academic year. We were thrilled to have special guest Kevin Gray, our Chair of Governors and Creative Director of Ipsos MORI, join us for the evening to help present the awards to students.
On Sunday 22nd September Isambard's under 16 netball team came first in the JCA Tournament, earning Isambard yet another trophy. Over the course of the weekend the team played 6 games, winning 5, scoring 91 goals in the process.
We would like to congratulate Sarah, Alex, Jess, Rosie, Hannah, Taylor, Lauren and Gael. Well done to you all!
In May 2013 students had the opportunity to visit the Museum of Brands in Nottinghill, London. This was a great visual experience for students to earn about the history of brands and marketing. The visit helped students fully comprehend the impact that business has in society through the years by reinforcing what they have been learning this year in the classroom.
In May 2013 55 students descended onto Twickenham Stadium. The visit began with a self guided walk through of the rugby museum. This was a timeline of the history of the sport to the current position today.
Students were then split up into 2 groups. One group were given a guided tour of the stadium.
In a recent competition at The Ridgeway School, Isambard Students came in both 1st and 2nd place with their engaging films on genetic engineering. This was a tough competition as Genetic Engineering is not covered in GCSE until Year 10, however Miss Lucas entered two teams of dedicated Year 9 students who were more than happy to accept the challenge. There were a total of 7 teams from schools across the area, including The Commonweal School, The Ridgeway School, and Dorcan Academy.
Isambard students joined dozens of other secondary school students at Swindon College to showcase their talent in a professional kitchen.
The judges were very impressed with the standard of the food this year saying it was the best they had seen since the competition began.
This year, two teams from Isambard Community School competed in Swindon’s Youth Poetry Slam at the Arts Centre. The boys (Tom and Harry) and the girls (Kelsie and Mia) had to perform poems they had written themselves.
The boys’ poem on fast food was delicious to watch and the girls’ poem on burnt toast certainly made an impression! Kelsie and Mia went through to the finals, with their ‘Ode to music’. All four students did a sterling job of representing the school and the English department is very proud of them.
On the 8th May Nick Grimshaw and the BBC Radio 1 Breakfast team broadcast their morning show from Isambard Community School as part of the Breakfast Tour.
Performing live to the nation from our main hall were Little Mix, Bastille, comedian Chris Ramsey and our very own band, The Hourglass Has Turned. It was a fantastic morning and we are very proud to have been part of the Breakfast Tour.
On the 1st of May Isambard Community School demonstrated our dominance in Schools football after victory in the Under 11's, Under 14's and Under 16's Wiltshire Schools Cup at Stanley Park. Both the U11's and U16's won convincingly with a 6-3 win over Lavinginton and a 4-1 win over Ridgeway respectivly, the U14's match was more of a nail biting affair with the final score 2-2 at full time - taking the game into extra time. In the final minute of extra time Tyreke snuck the ball past the keeper to secure victory. A notable performance was also made by Rhys who scored a hat trick in the U16's.
A selection of images from the 2013 skiing trip to Killington, Vermont.
Killington Resort is a four season destination that sits on 3,000 acres in the heart of the Green Mountains in Central Vermont. The Resort boasts more than 70 miles of diverse terrain spread across six peaks and offers an expansive lift network and snowmaking system. Furthermore, the numerous après, dining, shopping and lodging options have made Killington a world-class destination for East Coast skiers and riders for more than 50 years.
Our Year 7 students are doing extremely well this year, the year group currently has the highest amount of Brunels in the school.
Not only have they been doing well with their academic achievements, they also have had success in the talent shows, maths quizzes, world book day, representing the school on school trips and not forgetting our sporting achievements.
Several of our students are working with the English Department through the various grades of the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts (LAMDA) exams. With a strong emphasis on performance, students were given an opportunity to try out their skills in front of a live audience.
On the 27th February our Year 7 Maths team attended the first Maths League fixture of the season at Nova Hreod. They went on to record an overall victory against both Nova Hreod and St Joseph's.
We set off bright and early on Wednesday 16th June 2010 and made our way to the Channel Tunnel Crossing. Many students were excited having never travelled under the sea before and any student spotting a shark through the windows was offered a prize! We arrived in Belgium just after lunch and visited some sites in the local area. The most notable was the Yorkshire Trench which has just been excavated and preserved. Students saw the impact World War One has made on the landscape all around French and Belgium as the site was directly opposite a building site. On entering our coach a digger had just dug up two large war shells and we heard how during the building work they were still unearthing bodies of dead soldiers.
From the 17th to the 19th June 2009 the Humanities Department organised a residential trip to Belgium with 85 students in Year 8. We travelled across using the channel tunnel and went to a number of Battlefields and war memorials.
The students visited a variety of war cemeteries including Langemark and Tyne Cot to see for themselves the extent of soldiers killed in World War One. The highlight of the trip for the students was a walk in the preserved trenches and dug outs at Sanctuary Wood where they experienced first hand what life was like in the trenches.
Looking for an amazing way to spread the word during Brain Tumour Awareness Month? On Friday 1 March, we want everyone to wear a bandana and contribute £1 towards world-class research and support.
Students must still wear full uniform on Friday but have the option of wearing a bandana to help fund research into brain tumours and save lives.
Over 200 people turned up at dusk on the Wednesday before half-term to take part in our 4th Lantern Parade. Led by Swindon Samba, the happy procession weaved its way through the neighbourhood, the illuminated flags, Samba rhythms and glowing lanterns attracting quite a bit of interest from motorists and residents.
Participants described the experience as "brilliant" and "a spectacle". Most agreed that it was a fun event which brings the community together. Everyone who fed back to us said that they would recommend it to their friends and would be coming again next year.
Our Valentine's Ball to raise money for Prospect Hospice took place in the school hall on Thursday 14th February. The event was very well supported by staff, parents, governors and people from our local community. Entertainment on the evening was provided by Nathan Jones Allstars Jazz Band and the show opened with a performance of Skyfall by Simone Chamberlain.
On Tuesday 12th February 2013 ten gifted and talented students from Year 10 spent the day at Oxford University to find out about university life and Oxford in particular. They were shown around the city and Somerville College by undergraduates who had themselves been to state comprehensive schools. The undergraduates were keen to show our students that Oxford was an option they could consider and that it was neither elitist, expensive or just for geniuses.
On Tuesday 5th February 2013 year 7 students were given the opportunity to watch the Sustainable Travel and Road Safety TIE Show, a theatrical demonstration increasing students’ awareness of the hazards when out and about. The company talked to students about the benefits of walking and cycling to schools as well as the effects of car pollution and the importance of using public transport and car shares to reduce those effects.
Cancer affects many families in our school community and Prospect Hospice offer care and support to patients and their loved ones at the end of their life and beyond. The services that are offered by Prospect are offered and given without charge to anyone who needs them but in 2011/12 it cost £5.4million to run. With only 25% of their funding coming from statutory sources, the support of individuals, organisations and businesses throughout the community is vital. All money raised by our Valentines Ball on 14th February will go to support the work of Prospect. Tickets have all now been sold but if you would like to bid on any of our auction items please see this article for more information.
Isambard Community School are pleased to announce the opening of their Inclusion Centre from March 2013. Since the school opened in 2007 it has grown rapidly and has a maximum capacity of 1200 students, some of whom have complex and diverse learning and emotional needs. The Inclusion Centre has been functioning on a smaller scale since September 2012 but the move to its permanent location will enable the Inclusion Centre to function at full capacity. It has already proved to be invaluable at supporting hard to place students including those from other schools and settings. So far, during the initial pilot phase prior to expansion 60 students on roll have accessed this provision which equates to 5% of the student body.
On the 21st November 2012 the first ever group of students at Isambard Community School celebrated 5 years of hard work in our first Graduation Evening that was enjoyed by family, friends, staff and special guests.
This particular cohort of students were the first year group with us when we opened in 2007 and over the following years have been the first to experience life at Isambard. Audience members were shown video footage of the students throughout their time at Isambard on the big screen; it is safe to say there were a few embarrassed faces!
A video diary of our choirs tour around Costa Brava can be found in this article.
We all arrived at the coach for a 12.30pm departure, most of us in our pink and blue hoodies. We all got on the coach after shoving our bags in the side of the coach and giving in our passports and EHIC cards. We then started the journey and stopped at a service station in Dover to swap to our new drivers, Willy and Mike. Carrying on with the journey, we soon arrived at the ferry port. When we got onto the ferry we all rushed out for dinner and went to the duty free shop. It was really hard to walk around because I think that the captain may have been a bit drunk as we were rocking around everywhere, either that or the sea was a bit rough.
On the 21st June 2011 vocalist Loick Essien came to Isambard and performed his new single How We Roll during a lunchtime gig as part of our Artsblast programme. Students also enjoyed the performance of his earlier single Stuttering which featured popular act N-Dubz (who were not in attendance).
From September 2009 Isambard Community School has been awarded the prestigious International School Award in recognition of bringing the wider world into the schoolroom. On the 16 October 2009 James Turney, Lead Teacher for Modern Foreign Languages at Isambard, attended a high-profile ceremony in London that recognised the school’s outstanding work, and the successful winners were presented their Awards by BBC broadcaster and journalist George Alagiah.
Mr Bartlett visited our new partner school, Kaya Junior High School, in the Kyoto prefecture of Japan. Funded by the British Council, the trip allowed him to visit Kaya JHS (junior high school) and seven other Japanese schools; two junior highs (13-16 year olds) and five elementary schools (five to 12 year olds). The visit had two objectives, firstly to develop the relationship between Isambard and Kaya JHS and to observe Japanese education; how it is conducted differently.
Next week, the Swindon Youth Festival of Literature gets underway with author visits, poetry events, writing groups, competitions and workshops happening in the town's secondary schools. At Isambard, we are delighted to be welcoming back the brilliant Andy Briggs who will be talking to all our year 7 and 8 students about his exciting new Tarzan series. Andy also wrote the Hero.com series and the Villain.net anti-series for Young Adults. He writes for the screen, working on movies and TV shows both in the USA and around the world.
The Swindon Youth Festival of Literature will take place from 12th to 16th November 2012. At Isambard we will be joined by the author Andy Briggs and the performance poet Ash Dickinson. There will also be an opportunity to see The Two Steves at the Wyvern Theatre, to join a workshop with the illustrator, Fred Blunt and to join the Fastest Story in the West team and the Isambard Book Quiz team.
On the 10th May 2011 students from all year groups took part in Isambard's first Design and Technology show sponsored by Persimmon Homes.
A wide range of designs and products were on show from Graphic Products, Textiles, Resistant Materials and Food Technology. Parents and friends of the school had a good opportunity to look at the work before the main event - the Fashion Show.
Even if you don’t have a lantern, you can just turn up and take part in the Parade on Wednesday 24 October. We have spare lanterns to carry and glow-sticks to buy. Come and join in the fun which starts at 6pm from North Swindon Library.
Parents are more than welcome to attend to watch sports fixtures at Isambard Community School. However, there is no access to the sports pitches through the main school building. Parents are requested to use the Tadpole Lane entrance where there is ample parking. There have previously been issues with parents and other visitors arriving at the Isambard Way entrance and being annoyed to be asked to drive to Tadpole Lane. However, we are unable to allow visitors access through the school during the normal school day, which includes the enrichment time between 3:15pm and 6pm. We hope this clarifies the school’s position.
"This is a good and rapidly improving school. Students’ attendance is high and they behave well and flourish within the caring and supportive environment created by the headteacher and the staff. Students make an outstanding contribution to the school, contributing their views and taking on a very wide range of responsibilities, and to the local area where they engage in the work of many different groups. The school is a harmonious community and students’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development is outstanding."
We are proud and excited to present our second GCSE Art show, featuring the work of the class of 2012.
The show is taking place on Thursday 27th of September in the Main Hall and is running from 17:30 to 19:30, you are welcome any time during this period to view the work. The show is open to all, friends, family, and all students (particularly those who are taking art this year and thinking of taking art next year).
We are pleased to announce that our existing cashless catering system is being replaced by a new biometric system commencing 16 July 2012. The system is being installed in the week commencing 9 July and during that week the students will be asked to register their fingerprint image.
On Wednesday 12th September 2012 we held our annual Prize Giving Ceremony for students currently in years 8 to 11 to celebrate their achievements in the last academic year. We were thrilled to have special guest Eddie ‘The Eagle’ Edwards join us for the evening to help present the awards to students. Eddie was thrilled to be with us on such a special occasion and thoroughly enjoyed himself.
Our 20 students have just arrived back from a ten day cultural exchange with our partner school in Salzgitter, Germany. This visit was funded by the British Council through their Comenius programme.
Gifted and talented students from Isambard Community School have won an inter-school challenge. Two teams of 6 students took part in a challenge day for Swindon Schools at Nova Herod School on Wednesday 29th February.
There will be a fund-raising, non-uniform event happening at Isambard on Thursday 19th July 2012. We are asking students and staff to attend school wearing green in support of the NSPCC (National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children).
On Thursday the 12th July there will be a chance to see the amazing work produced by our Textiles, Resistant Materials, Food Technoology, Product Design and Graphics students.
Every Wednesday for the past four weeks a group of dedicated Year 7 students have been heading down to the main hall to greet and work with 75 year 4/5 Oakhurst students.
We are currently in the process of applying for an anti-bullying accreditation, with the aim of having achieved accreditation in early 2012.
Swindon Commercial Services (SCS) recently bought an eco-friendly car and challenged Swindon pupils to come up with an 'eco' design to highlight how environmentally friendly the vehicle is. Out of the 500 entrees submitted Isambard student Sean Elliot's striking design was selected as the winner.
We are pleased to announce Isambard's second dance showcase: 'A Night At The Movies'. We will take you through a large selection of dance routines performed to big hits from well known films.
The West End Musical hit Oliver! has been unveiled as the 2012 Isambard Community School Production.
Congratulations to the six students who completed their Grade 2 Level 1 LAMDA exams on Saturday 19th November.
In January we will be holding Isambard's talent show which is open for all years and house groups. If you are a solo singer, a solo dancer, group singers (all members must be in the same house), group dancers, musicians, bands or entertainers then fill out one of the sign up on the sheets found around the school.
58 students were awarded prizes at our annual Prizegiving ceremony on 27th September. Awards were presented for both academic achievement and outstanding contribution to the school. Headteacher, Rachael Mattey, said that it was such a wonderful opportunity to recognise the many talented, dedicated, hardworking, helpful and kind young people to counteract the negative image of today's youth often given out by the media.
We are very pleased with our first set of GCSE results - in English, for example, our A*/C grades for Year 10 exceeded both the Swindon and the National averages for Year 11. Well done Team English!
We are delighted to announce that the Secretary of State the Rt Hon Michael Gove MP has issued an Academy Order to enable the school to convert to an academy. The school will now undertake all the legal processes necessary for the conversion.
On 10th March 2010 the English department had the pleasure of welcoming 36 parents and many students to our very first information evening.
On the 28th and 29th June 2011 Isambard put on a fabulous performance of Guys & Dolls at the Wyvern Theatre.
The Swindon Youth Festival of Literature will take place from Monday 7th to Friday 11th of November.
On the 19th October the 2011 Isambard Lantern Parade will be taking place. Starting at North Swindon Library at around 18:20 we will make our way through the streets and across the road bridge, ending up at Isambard Community School where refreshments will be available.
Callum and the Air Prefects did an amazing job of organising Air House's first ever fundraiser gig on Wednesday 20th July. A grand total of £53.45 was raised for our charity of choice - St Dunstan's an organisation providing support for blind ex-servicemen and women.
Congratulations to seventeen Isambard students who have gained a silver or bronze Arts Award recently. These students have been working with the support of a mentor in school to produce a portfolio of work to submit for the qualification.
Members of The Isambard Community School Choir recently returned from the Music Department's very first international tour.
In the summer term of 2012, we will be taking 15 students from next year's KS4 to Germany for a 10 day exchange visit to Salzgitter. The visit will involve visits to our partner school in Salzgitter and day trips to Berlin and other interesting places in the region.
On the 10th May 2011 students from all year groups took part in Isambard's first Design and Technology show sponsored by Persimmon Homes...
On the 6th May, Mr Maxfield took Isambard's under 14s Girls Football Squad to represent North Wiltshire in the regional Futsal finals following their victory in the Swindon League...
On the 31st March students from Fire House put on a concert within Green Wing to raise money for charity.
Across the town colleges, schools and groups of artists were invited to create and produce a piece of artistic work which will help people appreciate the story of Easter.
Isambard’s performers did us proud in the sell-out finals of the 2011 Talent Show. Competing for house points and cash prizes, the singers, dancers and bands gave some memorable performances.
On the 29th March 2011 students from years 8 and 9 made up the Isambard under 14s girls squad which played in the Swindon Futsal Cup Final against Commonweal.
Miss Tucker from our English department organised a trip to Swindon Arts Centre to see one of the Year 8 set texts, Private Peaceful, brought to life on the stage. The students were captivated by the production, and were excellent ambassadors for Isambard throughout the trip. One of the students has written a review of the show...
Julian, a year 10 student, recently organised a DJ set where he and two other student DJs (Jack and Korim) performed for a hall full of excited students. The set was very professionally delivered with a thumping sound system and flashing lights.
Isambard students made an exciting contribution to the Mayor’s Show on Friday 21st January at the Wyvern Theatre.
On Tuesday the 7th December, Mrs Mattey was one of a select group of Headteachers invited to Clarence House to celebrate the work of the Prince’s Teaching Institute.
Brave Isambard student Amy Jolliffe had her head shaved in assembly on 14th December.
As a recognition of the high quality of arts provision at Isambard, Arts Council England has awarded us the Artsmark, their excellence kitemark, at the highest level.
Isambard Community School has been awarded specialist status as a Performing and Media Arts college.
Isambard students continue to excel - all those who entered the March Arts Award moderation have passed. Jordan McKenzie, aged 12, gained a silver and his work - which includes video from his time in the Prime Minister press corps - received a special mention.
The Prime Minister Gordon Brown officially opened Isambard Community School on the 9th January 2009.
Students from Isambard Community School in North Swindon brought home a First Light film award for best documentary at a star-studded oscars-syle ceremony at the Leicester Square Odeon on 4 March.
The latest letter from school, which includes the school's policy on holidays in term time and persistent absence can now be downloaded.
Isambard gets it's first weather station. Students will be able tell what the weather is like outside without leaving the classroom.
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