Today, we are pleased to welcome budding poets from Ridgeway who are joining our own wordsmiths for their heat of the Swindon Youth Slam. All topics are covered and anything is possible in the world of verse.
Yesterday, Swindon schools' Youth Engagement Officer, Mandi, took assemblies for all students in years 9 and 10 to promote awareness of Child Sexual Exploitation ahead of Friday's national awareness day.
Last week, members of the Student Leadership Team delivered assemblies to Years 7-10 to promote Isambard's ethos from a peer perspective. The team focussed on good work ethic and co-operation, independent learning, classroom behaviour and representing Isambard in a positive light. The assemblies were well received by the other year groups and have inspired some of the younger pupils to consider becoming student leaders in the future.
Former student, Harry Dennison, returned to Isambard last week to promote Civil Service Fast Track Apprenticeship Schemes. Along with his colleague, James Carter, Harry delivered a presentation to year eleven during assembly, giving information on the wide range of apprenticeships available in the Civil Service.
Prime Theatre recently visited Isambard to work with a year nine class and the Drama GCSE group. The workshop covered ‘verbatim theatre’ which documents the precise words of those interviewed. The students’ thoughts, concerns and ideas about their own lives were recorded as a stimulus for creating an engaging theatre piece and we were delighted to welcome the company back into school for a performance of the finished work.
Today, we were visited by broadcast journalist, Abigail Mobbs, from BBC Wiltshire who interviewed students live on air for the Jonathan Morrell show.
BBC News School Report fever has hit the Media Department! Classrooms and corridors around the school have become a hotbed of reporting, interviewing, filming and editing with stories as diverse as the new one-way system, the prom passport and the Oscars being debated and recorded on video.
Wiltshire Schools’ Athletic Association has informed us that Megan from Isambard has been selected to represent Wiltshire at the ESAA English Schools’ National Cross Country Championship. This will take place at Wollaton Park, Nottingham on Saturday 5th March.
Today is the start of Readathon at Isambard. If you would like to take part but have not yet collected your sponsor card and bookmark, then please see Mrs Rogers or Mrs Hopkins in the Learning Resources Centre.
Former student, Jordan Marvel, revisited Isambard on Friday 12th February and entertained staff and students with a vibrant guitar performance at lunchtime. He was joined by Lilli Hosking, a Year 11 student, to help raise awareness of the role Young Carers play.
Students from Isambard became real-life engineers for the day on Thursday 11th February when they took part in a Faraday Challenge Day. The IET Faraday Challenge Days are one day STEM activities delivered in schools across the country. At each event, teams compete to win a prize for themselves and a trophy for their school. The top teams from across the country get an all-expenses paid trip to the National Final to compete for a cash prize of up to £1,000 for their school.
Ellie Benge is, on the surface, just like any other year 7 student but her shy persona hides a very different character. For much of the week, Ellie transforms into the formidable Veruca Salt in the West End production of Charlie & the Chocolate Factory.
On Thursday 11th February, we will be holding a special film screening of The Theory of Everything, starring the Academy Award winning Eddie Redmayne.
Our students will become real-life engineers for the day when they research, design and build solutions to real engineering problems as part of The Institution of Engineering and Technology's (IET) Faraday Challenge Day on Thursday 11th February. Teams must race against the clock to solve engineering problems based on the BBC micro:bit - the small, programmable tool designed to introduce those in year seven to the world of coding and which can be used to create anything from games and animations to apps and scrolling stories.
On Monday 1st February, one hundred and sixteen students from year ten visited BBC Broadcasting House in London. Students toured around New Broadcasting House which included a look at The News Hub, the largest news room in Europe.
Over the past few months, teams of Key Stage Four Isambard students and their teachers have been competing alongside schools nationwide in the ifs Student Investor Challenge. Each team was given a virtual £100,000 to invest in the stock market.
On 27th January, the Humanities Department arranged for nine pupils to visit the Cenotaph in Regent Circus for a memorial service commemorating the lives of those lost in the Holocaust.
Many congratulations to Megan in year 8 who represented Swindon at the Wiltshire Schools Cross Country Championship last weekend. She came fourth overall in the year 8 category and finished sixth in the junior girls category.
Yesterday, we were visited by Katherine Sellgren, Senior Education Reporter for BBC News website and BBC School Report. She talked to students about her role and the part played by BBC School Report in representing the voice of young people. The scheme aims to raise community awareness and encourage young people to take an interest in the news and current affairs. During her visit, Katherine led workshops in how to choose a news story, how to conduct interviews and how to film using a smart phone.
Once a fortnight, the Able, Gifted and Talented students in Year 8 attend extra English sessions in the Learning Resources Centre. This is to further challenge them and develop their English skills outside the curriculum.
On Thursday and Friday of last week, four year 9 classes were visited by students from Bath Spa University and given a special lesson about the importance of studying geography.
Do you have a talent you would like to share? Can you sing, dance or play a musical instrument? Are you in a band? Do you have great comic timing and a gift for making people laugh? Do your magic tricks put Derren Brown to shame? Can you beat box with the best? Do you have a knack with circus tricks? Are you a gymnastics genius? Whatever your talent, we would like to hear from you!
The Maths Department was pleased to welcome over eighty Year 11 students to its ‘Past paper club’ session last Tuesday evening.
We are proud to announce that Mr Turney has been shortlisted for Secondary Languages Teacher of the Year Award 2016!
On 13th January 2016, twelve students from Isambard took part in the year 8 Able, Gifted & Talented (AG&T) Challenge Day held at Lydiard Park Academy. Participating schools were Commonweal, Kingsdown, Lydiard Park Academy, Warneford, Ridgeway, Saint Joseph’s and Isambard, with each school hosting one of the 7 challenges that pupils had to complete.
Sophie in year 10 has been doing some fantastic work in aid of her chosen charity. Here is her story.
As part of the new primary design and technology curriculum, students are asked to prepare a one portion meal. This can prove difficult within schools if resources and usable space are limited. With this in mind, Emma Pegg, who teaches food technology at Isambard, offered Red Oaks Primary School the use of Isambard’s food rooms as well as support in teaching the students how to make a cottage pie and a vegetable curry.
On the 16th December, I went on a trip to Warner Bros. Studio Tour London with my Business Studies class. It was an amazing day out and was very enjoyable!! By Lucy, Year 11.
At the end of every term, our D&T teachers will choose students who they feel have earned the title of ‘Designer of the Term’. To be considered for the title, students will have excelled in one, or all, of the following areas: Taking pride in their final outcomes, always working to the best of their ability, always contributing positively to lessons, trying to use as much technical vocabulary as possible and showing a passion for design and technology.
Our aim at Isambard is to help everyone fulfil their potential and reach their goals. This is not always easy, though, as life does not always go to plan. One of our year 11 students has put into words her gratitude for the help she has personally received from her Head of Year.
The eighth annual Swindon Youth Festival of Literature ran from the 9th to the 13th of November and began in style with a visit to Isambard from the fabulous author, Philip Reeve. Philip, whose best-selling novels include the Mortal Engines series, was on tour to promote his new book, Railhead, and we were especially delighted when he agreed to record an interview for Isambard TV. In his blog, Philip said, ‘the staff, pupils and facilities were great. It was great to see so many young people engaging with books and reading, and I’m grateful to ICS librarian Stella Rogers and her colleagues for asking me to be part of the festival. And thanks to everyone who listened, and everyone who bought a copy of Railhead.’
This year’s Lions Club Peace Project was on the theme of ‘Sharing Peace.’ Isambard students submitted over fifty entries of a high standard and it was a difficult task to shortlist them down. Twenty-five students and their families were invited to our Celebration Evening on 10th November to hear the winners announced.
We are thrilled to announce that on the 4th November Isambard and Red Oaks schools will be holding the first ever fireworks display on the Learning Campus.
Entrance for all attendees will be through the Red Oaks gate, the gates will open at 5:30pm with the show starting at 6:30pm. Everyone coming through the gate for this event will need a ticket, these will not be sold on the gate and there are limited numbers available so it will be on a first come first served basis. This is a family event so all children under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult.
Our Open Evening for prospective parents and their children will be taking place on tomorrow between 5:30pm and 8:30pm.
Talks with the Headteacher will be at 5:45pm and 6:45pm.
This year's Swindon Youth Festival of Literature promises to be the biggest and best yet! Between 6th and 13th November, we will play host to some of the finest authors for young adults in the country.
On Friday 10th July 2015, Isambard Community School was delighted to welcome Caroline Morgan and Ian Underwood from the NSPCC.
Earlier this year, students from the school took part in a ‘Go Green for the NSPCC’ day, swapping their black and gold uniforms for anything green. The event raised £592.86 and, for a special assembly, the charity came along to thank the students personally and to collect a cheque. Caroline talked about the charity’s work and showed two short videos entitled, ‘You can talk to us’ and ‘What happens when you call Childline?’ She explained about the NSPCC’s branch in Old Town and the work it does for families. It is one of the oldest branches in the charity’s one hundred and thirty year history.
On Tuesday 7th July, two teams of our gifted mathematicians took part in the final round of the Swindon Mathematics League at Lydiard Park Academy. There was stiff competition with fifteen teams from across the town. Students were faced with some tricky problems to solve. There was also a particularly challenging cross-number round - this involves puzzles that look deceptively easy until you realise how many clues depend on answers to other clues.
We were delighted to be joined by a group of able, gifted and talented Year 5 students from Bridlewood, Catherine Wayte and Red Oaks schools for our first ever STEM Robotics event here at Isambard. Two impressive arenas, each four feet by eight feet, were set up ready for our teams to compete against each other in a battle of strategy and skill.
Each team was tasked with building a chain reaction and there were points for the first team to finish with a working model. Teams had to work closely together and follow instructions which they did admirably. Afterwards, there was a plenary session to discuss any improvements that could have been made.
The phrase work related learning sounds dry and dull. However, when twelve of our students spent the day at WRc plc documenting its prestigious annual conference, the world of work became very real and exciting to them.
During the day, our specially chosen team of artists, photographers and film-makers had to plan, discuss, capture, interview, edit, collaborate and employ a hundred other real-life skills. Their work was skilfully edited into a three minute video which was shown to the 400 delegates at the end of the day and is available to view here.
In celebration of International Women’s Day 14 Able, Gifted and Talented students from Years 9, 10 and 11 took the opportunity to attend the BP Experience Event on 2nd March. The students got a chance to experience what it’s like to work for a multinational company - to think like businesswomen and to make meaningful connections with female professionals.
Joffre White, author and patron of reading & writing for Swindon Secondary Schools has launched the Patron’s Creative Writing Ambassador challenge. Students can enter by either writing a 400-500 word story or a 30-40 line poem on the challenge theme of 'tolerance'.
On the 12th & 13th of March there were two assessment days, where a number of candidates vying to become Isambard’s next Headteacher, undertook a wide range of activities involving students, staff and governors. As a result of this process the selection panel, which included representatives from the Governing Body, Local Authority and an independent former Headteacher from Gloucestershire, made the unanimous decision to appoint Sue Banks, Isambard’s current Acting Headteacher as their nomination for the substantive position.
In February we were visited by North Swindon MP Justin Tomlinson. During his visit students passed on a letter they had written for the Prime Minister about their work in support of the Send My Friend to School campaign which brings together thousands of children across the UK to speak up for the right to education, and remind world leaders of their promise that all children should get the chance to go to school.
As you may be aware our Headteacher for the last eight years retired at the end of the last school year. Since September, Mrs Banks has been promoted to Acting Headteacher while the governors go through the process of recruiting a new Headteacher.
Thursday 5th March saw a colourful array of costumes from students and staff alike as we joined together to celebrate our love of books and reading. Everyone was invited to dress as a character from their favourite book and we were treated to a wide range of costumes depicting everyone from Sherlock Holmes and James Bond to The Mad Hatter and Tintin. We were delighted to raise £291 which will be forwarded to the Send My Friend to School campaign.
Last term several of our Art students were selected to have their work displayed in an exhibition at Swindon Museum and Art Gallery as part of the annual 'Swindon Young Artist' competition.
Several Isambard GCSE students were selected by the Art department to participate in an exhibition with 6 other schools in the Swindon area. This exhibition is part of a new annual competition for one student to win the title of 'Swindon Young Artist Of The year 2015' and is a very exciting opportunity for students to share their artwork with the community.
What a fantastic show our students put on! 90 cast and crew and dozens of staff were involved in staging Grease at the Wyvern on the 15th & 16th June 2014. Since the final show wonderful feedback from our audience has been reaching us by tweet and email.
Some of our many Arts Award students were asked to contribute to a film about Artsbox, an online arts resource for young people. This film appears on the Art Award and Artsbox websites and will be shown in schools and arts settings across the country. This opportunity came about because the Arts Council loves the way Isambard Community School delivers the Arts Award to our young people and because we give our young people such fantastic access to digital technology.
On Wednesday 30th April 2014 Miss Kent & Mrs Winnan took a group of Year 9 students to the WRc plc for a poster design competition. Cameron, Wes, Jake, Will, Lydia, Laura, Amy and Aaliyah worked alongside staff from Water and Gas suppliers to produce their artwork. A panel chose a winning piece which will be used in future campaigns for the WRc that will be seen by utility supplies across the country. During the day the students were a credit to the school and did a fantastic job of liaising with adults create their posters.
On Friday 16th January there will be a series of Disney themed events to help raise money for our house charities.
Week commencing 8th December, all of Key Stage 3 and GCSE Computing and ICT students have once again taken part in 'The Hour of Code'.
Isambard students supported the Swindon Foodbank on Sunday 7th December raising funds and donations at Asda in West Swindon.
We were overwhelmed by the amount of support the community gave to all the students and we would like to express our sincere thanks to all those who donated. The Foodbank arrived at 3pm to collect what we had raised so far, and at that point, it was over half a ton of food, we also collected a lot after that which will be collected this week.
On Monday 24th November sixty of our Year 9 students spent a fantastic day with three engineers from First Great Western. The day was funded and run by the Smallpeice Trust, a charity working to engage students in STEM subjects; Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.
A team of Year 10 students volunteered to coordinate a series of food drops with Swindon Food Bank. There has been an amazing response to our Food Drop campaign and we would like to thank everyone for their very kind donations.
Each year, Lions clubs around the world proudly sponsor the Lions International Peace Poster Contest in local schools and youth groups. This art contest for kids encourages young people worldwide to express their visions of peace. For more than 25 years, millions of children from nearly 100 countries have participated in the contest. The theme of the 2014-15 Peace Poster Contest is "Peace, Love and Understanding."
The 7th annual Swindon Youth Festival of Literature will be running from the 10th to 14th November 2014. The Festival celebrates Reading, Writing and Creativity and is a collaborative project co-ordinated by the Librarians of the 11 Secondary Schools across Swindon. Throughout the festival week, students will have the opportunity to work with Authors, Poets and Illustrators who will visit schools for readings, performances and workshops.
After their first few weeks at Isambard we asked our new Year 7 students what they thought of Isambard so far.
It is nearly time for the annual Swindon Youth Festival of Literature (SYFL). Now in its eighth year, the Festival promises to be bigger and better than ever! Highlights this year include visiting authors, Simon Mayo, Julia Golding and Joffre White plus workshops with our old friends, Fred Blunt and Ash Dickinson. Full details will be available in this term's Newsletter but, in the meantime, two competitions are available for our students to enter right now.
On Friday 12th September 2014, 18 Isambard students and each head of house, Mr Child, Mr Hatcliffe, Mrs Humphrey and Miss Tucker ‘slept rough’ in the school street to raise awareness and money for Threshold, a Swindon based charity that supports homeless people around Swindon.
What a fantastic show our students put on! 90 cast and crew and dozens of staff were involved in staging Grease at the Wyvern on the 15th & 16th June. Since the final show wonderful feedback from our audience has been reaching us by tweet and email: Fantastic show tonight! Well done everyone :-), ...an amazing performance of Grease. Well done to all involved :)
Isambard has designed it's own online Reporting Tool (similar to the CEOP button). We can help and protect you both online and in and around school and your local community.
If someone has acted inappropriately online towards you or someone you know, you can report it directly to the school. It could be inappropriate chat online, being asked to do something that makes you feel uncomfortable or someone asking to meet up. It could also be that you feel unsafe in school or on the way home.
Some of our many Arts Award students were asked to contribute to a film about Artsbox, an online arts resource for young people. This film appears on the Art Award and Artsbox websites and will be shown in schools and arts settings across the country. This opportunity came about because the Arts Council loves the way Isambard Community School delivers the Arts Award to our young people and because we give our young people such fantastic access to digital technology. Follow the link and see what they had to say.
The first New York trip took place over the 2014 Easter holidays and was a roaring success. All 50 students Business Studies and Media Studies students had an enjoyable visit to the great city accompanied by 5 members of staff. Students were eager to do as much as they could in the few days we were there in addition to the scheduled activities.
Achieving Artsmark is a great accolade. It demonstrates that our arts provision is broad, balanced and of high quality and that our school is committed and dedicated to the development of the arts across our community.
We recently ran a ‘Careers Carousel’ event for our Year 10 students. With invaluable support from Vox PR, our students were given a short presentation by people from diverse workplaces in Swindon: an economist from Nationwide, a solicitor from Bevirs, a nurse from SEQOL, a lecturer in Media Make-up, developers from Crest Nicholson, a manager from Thamesdown Bus Company, a recruitment professional from Outsource and a senior manager from Intel. Students listened to a short presentation from the visitors and had the opportunity to question them about their working lives.
On Wednesday 30th April 2014 Miss Kent & Mrs Winnan took a group of Year 9 students to the WRc plc for a poster design competition. Cameron, Wes, Jake, Will, Lydia, Laura, Amy and Aaliyah worked along side staff from Water and Gas suppliers to produce their artwork. A panel chose a winning piece which will be used in future campaigns for the WRc that will be seen by utility supplies across the country. During the day the students were a credit to the school and did a fantastic job of liaising with adults create their posters.
The Isambard Spring Fair takes place on 23rd May 2014, between 5pm and 7pm. See full article for flyer containing more information.
On Monday 10th February 2014, the Business Department had the fantastic opportunity of visiting Warner Brothers Studio Tour of Harry Potter with 50 Business Studies students. The day was brilliant and gave the students a clearer picture of how the film industry is managed in relation to finance and marketing. The students were able to visualise the concepts that they have learnt in the classroom and see how they work in a real environment and also grasp the concept of a franchise and the entrepreneurial way that J.K Rowling has developed.
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!
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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