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  Term 4 Newsletter - April 2021  
  Message from Mr Humphreys, Headteacher  

Echoes of Ramadan Mubarak and Happy Easter have filled the air waves in the corridors and around the site this week as we approach the end of Term 4 - a term that has been like no other term that we have known. From testing in school, testing at home and managing the LFD tests, we will certainly remember this term for many years to come. Our community has stood tall and strong in the fight against COVID 19 and a huge thank you to everyone for playing their part.

The summer terms are a favourite time of year in the eyes of many students as they get to enjoy the wide open spaces we have at St Katherine’s and this year we expect this to be extra special given the restrictions we have all been living under.  Sport has been the first return to our wider co-curricular offer and we look forward to considering other options we can explore as and when it is safe to do so. Great to see some serious baking taking place this spring term as the Spring Bake Off set new standards as the competition continues to build each year.

It is at this time of year we begin preparing for our new Year 7 students and families who are looking forward to joining us for our induction and in September when the new academic year begins. We are delighted the school continues to grow and this year is again heavily oversubscribed.  

We will all have been shocked by the testimonies of women posted on the Everyone’s Invited website recently and widely reported this week.  We fully recognise our role as a school and will continue to actively educate our community about peer on peer abuse and take the opportunity next term to review our approach across the school.

Happy Easter, Ramadan Mubarak

Justin Humphreys, Headteacher

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Mars Rover Competition

Miss Ardell organised a house competition in response to the Mars Rover landing in February. Students were challenged to create something to celebrate the landing, - we received some fantastic entries!

First place was awarded to Jackson Burbidge, Year 7, with an imaginative animation, second place to Theeban Mahesan, Year 8, and third place to Ella Bartovsky, Year 7.

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Creative writing competitions

St Katherine's students have been recognised for their creative writing skills in external competitions. In December 2020 a house and regional competition to create a captivating piece of writing was launched by Portishead Rotary Club, as part of the national Young Writer Competition. Congratulations to Grace Jenkins, Year 7, Jack Palmer-Givan, Year 8, and Millie Stratton, Year 7, for receiving first, second and third places respectively. - Good luck for the national competition!

Unsolved was a creative writing competition run by the St Katherine's English department on behalf of Young Writers. Students had to submit entries of 100 words or less in the crime or mystery genres. Huge congratulations to Elodie Whalley and Theeban Mahesan, both Year 8, whose pieces "Hound" and "The Ball" were selected for publication in a national anthology! Well done!

  News from the library  
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World Book Day

World Book Day is always a highlight of the St Katherine's School calendar and despite most of the students Learning@Home there were still plenty of opportunities to celebrate our love of books and reading.

Ms Wyld organised a number of competitions for students to enter to earn house points including Lego book covers, guess the staff shelfie (students had to work out which bookshelf belonged to which staff member with a few well-placed clues) and a student selfie (with their chosen book of course!) competition.

Year 8 students had the opportunity to join a live author event with Robert Muchamore, along with other fans they were able to ask Robert questions about his characters, writing and inspiration.

Staff also dressed up to deliver Learning@Home lessons and classes for key worker students on the school site. It was so much fun seeing them all getting into character!

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Reading resources on our website

Ms Wyld, our school librarian, has been hard at work producing genre reading lists using our library stock and the eplatform. If you're feeling stuck in a reading rut and are looking for some new reading ideas, take a look at these track lists on the LRC website. Pick your favourite genre, choose a level that's right for you and explore some great recommendations!

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New reading millionaires

We use the Accelerated Reader programme in library lessons with Year 7 and 8 students to support our continuing drive to improve and expand reading for pleasure. This personalised scheme challenges students to read books that are suited to their individual ability, and rewards them for taking quizzes on each book they read.

Our amazing millionaires have read and quizzed at least a million words!  All the research into the area of young people's reading clearly shows the lasting and lifelong benefits of regularly reading for pleasure, and this scheme helps embed this with our students.

Huge congratulations to our term 4 millionaires:

Ella Johnson, 7Y, Felix Huertas, 7S1, Thomas Earle, 7T2 and Alani Clay, 7Y. 

  Foodie house competitions  
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Spring bake off

This term we introduced our first St Katherine's Spring Bake Off, we had an overwhelming number of entries into the competition and Miss Sutton was blown away with the standard of the bakes. Well done to everyone who took part.

Year 7: First: Issy Healy-Hart, second: Eva Stojalowski, Joint third: Skye Hooper and Hannah Green.

Year 8: First: Naomi Burr, second: Elodie Whalley, third: Evie Roberts

Year 9: Joint first: Sophia Harper and Angel Chinn, second: Winnie Fey, third: Paige Welsby

Year 10: First: Layla Clarke, second: Elyssia Douglas

Year 11: First: Jessica Stanley

Staff: First: Mr Thomas, second: Miss Robinson, third: Miss Ardell

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Tin of beans challenge

Miss Sutton organised a Tin of Beans challenge during Learning@Home for students and staff to compete against one another for house points. Using only a tin of beans and two slices of toast we were once again wowed by their creativity!

First place: Manon Herzog, Year 7 - right on brand!

Second Place: Theeban Mahesan, Year 8

Third Place: Grace Jenkins, Year 7

Staff winners were inspired by the subjects they teach:

First place: Miss Robinson with a world map

Second place: Miss Ardell with the solar system


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  Sixth Form Update  

Six weeks? Are you sure?

With the Easter break on the horizon, it is so important to look back over Term 4 and appreciate everything that we as a school, and a Sixth Form, have achieved. It’s almost impossible to believe that it’s only six weeks since the announcement of full school reopening was made, and the way the school, its staff and students, have responded to yet another ‘new normal’ is nothing short of astounding. 

With rigorous testing now in place alongside our pre-existing range of processes and procedures, we can be confident that St Katherine’s is a safe place to be, and our sixth formers have leapt back into it with aplomb. It’s difficult to overstate the pressures and challenges our young people have faced, and continue to face, due to the pandemic, and the resilience they continue to show day after day fills me with pride. As a sixth form team, we continue to employ a policy of relentless positivity. The days are getting a little longer and a little warmer, and despite the undoubted challenges ahead, we can be optimistic about the summer and beyond. 

In the wake of the tragic death of Sarah Everard, conversations around societal attitudes to women have become a growing theme across this term. Following a series of Wednesday afternoon summits, Head Student Stephanie Thomasset and I shared our thoughts with an assembly entitled ‘Why I’m a Feminist’, first within the sixth form, and subsequently with the wider school. Our EDI (Equality, Diversity and Inclusion) agenda continues to be at the forefront of our minds, and we believe that together, we can make a lasting difference. 

Our attention now turns toward our Year 13 students. On the other side of this two week break is Term 5, which we know will be full of trials and opportunities. Centre Assessed Grades, while no doubt the fairest means of producing A Level and BTEC grades, come with their own unique challenges. With staff, students and families working together, these students can end their time at St Katherine’s having achieved all their dreams and aspirations. If there’s one thing we can all learn from the Welsh rugby team, it’s that by working together, we can become more than the sum of our parts. 

Enjoy the holidays, and feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns - it’s what I’m here for.

Mr Davies, Head of Sixth Form


International Women's Day

To celebrate International Women's Day Ms Weatherson, Head of Media, created a short film of staff and students reading the poem Malala, by Michaela Morgan. It's a very moving piece which we hope to be able to share with the wider St Katherine's community soon.

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Trashion Show

Ms Kolkowska organised a Trashion Show, again with the opportunity for students to earn house points. Year 7 students got creative re-purposing used, thrown out and found items for clothing, jewellery and accessory designs.

Well done to Grace Jenkins for her winning entry of a bag and purse and a special mention to Alani Clay who filmed her modelled entry!

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Fair trade fortnight

This year's Fairtrade fortnight looked very different to pervious years as we were all in lockdown. An assembly was held to celebrate Fairtrade and educate students about the positive impact Fairtrade has on people's lives around the world. For the ten school days of Fairtrade Fortnight a video was shared of different farmers around the world. We look forward to next year's celebration! 

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Easter and Ramadan art competition

Mr Benchama, Head of Modern Foreign Languages, organised an art competition to celebrate Easter and Ramadan. Congratulations to the winners Ikran Issa, 8Y1, Muhammed Zikrrya, 8Y1, Victoria Reid, 7S1 and Manon Herzog, 7T2. 

  Headteacher commendations for term 4  

Key Stage 3

Year 7: 

Isobel Healy-Hart, Agata Szymial, Luke James, Maisie Bobby, Ella Johnson, Felix Huertas, Thomas Earle, Alani Clay and Agate Domingas.

Year 8:

Oscar Caton and Adam Milkins.

Year 9: 

Mattijs Korswagen, Leah Wardingley, Triston Williams, Frank McCann, Sophia Harper, Josh Cowley, Dillan Faulkner and Angel Chinn.



Key Stage 4 and 5

Year 10: 

Amber Howie, Will Stratton, Emily Want, Yursa Ahmed, Melissa Bartlett, Jamie Packham, Sadie Harvey, Eliza Shilton-Smith, Danielle Cameron, Jonathan Puati-Kambu, Freddie Chodkiewicz, Clara Thomasset and Alfie King.

Year 11:

Leah Porter, Joseph Williams, Yusra Hassan, Phoebe Durrant, Daniel Burt, George Petrie, Mushin Hassan and Issy Prime.

Sixth Form:

Stephanie Thomasset, Elise Caddick and Filipe Rodrigues Costa. 


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  House Championship  

Congratulations to Turing who extend their lead in the House Championship and finish Term 4 on top!

We are delighted to be back in school together and begin to compete against one another in person once again. There have been a huge range of competitions this term that have given students the chance to shine, and I am very grateful to all of the staff who have organised and judged competitions that have inspired and engaged students in new ways.

Early in the term, while we were still apart, the Heads of House hosted some lively online Kahoot quizzes and they very much enjoyed the opportunity to connect with students and indulge in some friendly rivalry. 

Miss Ardell was captivated by the images of the Mars Rover landing in February and hosted a competition where students submitted a creative response to the Perseverance Landing. Congratulations to Jackson Burbridge (Turing House) who won this competition with his excellent animation proposing that there may indeed be life on Mars!

In March we celebrated World Book Day with a range of competitions and activities for staff and students. Staff dressed up to deliver online lessons and those of us in Key Worker School enjoyed the effort and creativity that staff and students showed in their costumes -even Mr Thomas dressed up! Once again however, Turing House won the participation competition showing the strength of their team. Turing also won the Young Writer competition hosted by Miss McInerney showing a real breadth to their talents. 

We love competitions where staff and students can compete together and the Spring Bake Off, organised by Miss Sutton, was a superb opportunity for this. This competition saw another overall win for Turing House but there was a shock result in the staff competition where Mr Thomas's illusion cake pipped our very own Mary Berry (Miss Robinson), to first place. Well done Mr Thomas!

As always, the House Championship aims to reward what we value and our ethos competitions earn the most House points. This term's ethos competition was attendance and gave us the opportunity to include all students. The results were very close and just 0.2% separated first and second place. Stephenson house have made huge improvements and are rightly proud of their second place but Turing were on top again and took the 200 points associated with first prize. Turing therefore finish term 4 437 points ahead of Yousafzai who are in second place and Stephenson in a very close third.

Term 5 will bring more sporting competitions and as restrictions relax, we hope, more opportunities for students and staff to give their best for their House. Is Turing's lead unassailable? Mr Murdoch, Mr Thomas and Miss Andrews would say not. With two terms still to go, anything is possible!

Mrs Crocker, Assistant Headteacher

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  Pankhurst House Update  

It has been lovely to see Pankhurst students back in school after such a sustained break and it has been a busy and intense two weeks trying to settle everybody back into the school routine. There have been limited successes with regard to the House Championship and we have to take our hats off to Turing House who are on a real winning streak at the moment. 

We have celebrated a number of minor successes including victory in the year 7 and year 11 cup stacking competition and second place in the STEM creative writing competition (well done Keeleigh Large!). We also finished first in the accelerated reader competition which is excellent news; the more we read the richer we get. I was pleased to award 11P the Pankhurst tutor group of the term as I have been impressed by their positive attitude to the difficult situation they find themselves in. 

Emily Sell continues to lead the school in praise points earned, well done Emily! Hot on her heels with the second highest number of praise points is Hannah Green, well done Hannah! I'm certain that both students will earn over one thousand points this year which will be a staggering achievement. Our target for the next two terms is to catch Stephenson House who are 218 points ahead of us. Passion, perseverance and pride may see us get there!

Mr Murdoch, Head of Pankhurst House

  Stephenson House Update  

In what has been a strange term with students off for the majority of the time it has been great to see the young people in person since their return. Students have engaged and shown excellent determination in ensuring they engage in both home learning and in the classroom. A big focus of the term has been around equality and I have challenged the house to come up with a poem or song which represents Paul Stephenson and his beliefs. I am looking forward to seeing the work that students come up with about this and hope to show this to the school community.

This week Stephenson House has celebrated successes from term 4 during the celebration assemblies. It is always a pleasure to award students prizes for their hard work and determination. A special mention should go to Evelyn Staley and Felix Huertas who sit at the top of the highest praises for the academic year. They are neck and neck with 657 praise points with Victoria Reid not far behind. 

A big well done to the students below for representing Stephenson RED values in term 4.

Highest Praise earners term 4:

  • Maisie Bobby 117
  • Alfie Hirst 115
  • Felix Huertas 113
  • Joel Kambu 111
  • Evelyn Staley 111
  • Angel Chinn 103
  • Jack Palmer-Givan 103
  • Poppy Butler-Wheatcroft 102
  • Ari Westerberg 100
  • Cosmo Browne 91

Highest praise earners this academic year:

  • Evelyn Staley 657
  • Felix Huertas 657
  • Victoria Reid 642
  • Jack Palmer Givan 624
  • Josh Healy Hart 614
  • Benjamin Palmer 580
  • Fin Kelly 568
  • Ari Westerberg 551
  • Maisie Bobby 543
  • Joel Kambu 540

Most improved behaviour from term 2 to 4:

  • Jordan Hatherall
  • Safa Culuslow
  • Isra Sandhool
  • Daniel Young

Fun Fix Fridays have resumed and the first one took place last week. It was great to see Stephenson finish second in the cup stacking competition with some great performances from Oliver Belcher who finished first and Shannon Barker who came second. Cosmo Browne also finished second and was only pipped at the end.

A big focus for us this term has been to be in school everyday and to improve Stephenson’s attendance. As a result we have jumped up the table and finished second in attendance standings. I am proud of the students in Stephenson house for this and it is a credit to how they are determined to be in each day.

We are so close to Yousafzai in the house championship and as we await the results of further competitions I am proud of how the house has engaged in house competitions. Roll on term 5!

I trust you all have a good easter break and enjoy spending time with friends and family - outside!!!

Mr Thomas, Head of Stephenson House

  Turing House Update  

It has been fantastic to see all of the Turing House students back at school in Term 4. I have been really encouraged to witness the enthusiasm and determination that has been applied by Turing House members to their studies. Behind the scenes I continue to be supported in such a positive way by the tutor team, they have done an outstanding job in welcoming students back and picking up where we left off before Christmas.

It has been customary for me to use our House “Core Values” as headings to summarise the achievements from each term. I think it is a good way to remind everyone of these values, but at the same time demonstrate that they have true meaning to the students who perform so well in these identified areas. So I will once again highlight some fantastic achievements by Turing Students.

The Inter-House competition has brought out the best in Turing House even during these unprecedented times. Across a wide range of subjects, students in all houses had the opportunity to get involved and showcase their talents. And in true Turing style, Turing students have shown that the sky’s the limit for what they can achieve. I can proudly say that by demonstrating our core house value of unity, Turing took first place in eight of the ten competitions - “The strength of the team is each individual member, the strength of the member is the team.”

Special recognition should be given to Jackson Burbridge (7T2) and Ella Bartovsky (7T2) who receive first and third place in the Mars Rover Competition, and Grace Jenkins (7T1) for coming first in the Young Writer competition. Well done!

Fun Fix Fridays consisted of the “Cup Stacking Challenge” and “Kahoot Quizzes”. Each of these light hearted competitions saw Turing take first place, adding a further 48 points to our running total. These fun but competitive events always bring out the values of determination and unity, with Turing members supporting and encouraging their representatives in each event. 

During the Turing House end of term celebration virtual assembly it was a pleasure to recognise this term’s highest praise earners in each Turing tutor group, as well as the current highest praise earner since the start of the academic year. Each student should be commended for their determination during what have been turbulent times. Keep up the good work! 

Highest Praise earners term 4:

  • Grace Jenkins, 7T1
  • Ella Bartovsky, 7T2
  • Oscar Caton, 8T
  • Hope Roberts, 9T1
  • Solanah Morgan, 9T2
  • Nicole Conbeer, 10T
  • Ty Bristol, 11T1
  • Jessica Stanley, 11T2

Highest praise earners this academic year:

  • Marcus Perry, 7T1
  • Ella Bartovsky, 7T2
  • Oscar Caton, 8T
  • Hope Roberts, 9T1
  • Michael Sirrell, 9T2
  • Adam Britton, 10T
  • Ty Bristol, 11T1
  • Jessica Stanley, 11T2

It is also important that we recognise the Tremendous Weekly Turings since students returned to a full timetable on 15 March. These students have once again consistently demonstrated one or more of the core values of Turing (Unity, Acceptance and Determination). Their attitude and behaviour are an example to all students at St Katherine’s. Congratulations and well done to all those nominated by their tutor! 

  • Year 7: Skye Hooper, Joe Freeston, Anaiya Brady, Ella Bartovsky and Luke James.
  • Year 8: Riley Bristol and Sabira Caraye.
  • Year 9: Gabriella Marcovitch, Alex James, Henry Fairholm, Hannah Lange and Mikka Pittaway.
  • Year 10: Yusra Ahmed, Nicole Conbeer and Yusra Ahmed.
  • Year 11: Ty Bristol, Ruweeda Sahardid and Isobel Taylor.

In summary, I would like to emphasise how fantastic the House achievements have been so far. Turing students must take inspiration from these personal and team successes. Following the Easter break, students should return fresh and keen to build on these very solid foundations as we move into Term 5. 

Mrs Price, Head of Turing House

  Yousafzai House Update  

What a joy it has been to have the students back this term! I have been so impressed with Yousafzai students and how they have managed coming back to school after such a long time Learning@Home. 

As a house we have had a particular focus on reflecting on the last year and the lessons that we have learnt throughout the pandemic. We have been discussing Malala Yousafzai and her response to the hardship that she has faced in her life and how she is an example to us. In assembly we have been thinking through how we accept that life isn’t guaranteed to be easy, but through challenging circumstances, and by appreciating what we can be grateful for, we are shaped and changed into better versions of ourselves.  

We have just had our celebration of achievement assembly and have recognised both individuals and tutor groups for treasuring and valuing their education. Our Malala greats are students who tutors have identified as being exceptional this term:

  • 7Y - Alani Clay and Gavin Clapson
  • 8Y1  - Dulcie Donnelly and Ashton Dimambro
  • 8Y2  - Habiba Fatima and Daniel Hewett
  • 9Y - Noah Davis and Jemimah Douglas
  • 10Y1 - Daud Ismail and Poppy Baldwin-Brooks
  • 10Y2 - Will Stratton and Rama Kabia
  • 11Y  - Melissa Madamombe and Leah Porter

In the house competition, we are in battle with Mr Thomas and Stephenson House for second place - with only 5 points between us! Yousafzai students, staff and family worked so hard with the mileage challenge; our hard work paid off and we won that competition. Our KS3 students have been reading a lot and have won the reading competitions this term. Elyssia Douglas, Elodie Whalley and Naomi Burr made some epic entries for the spring bake off challenge. Naomi and Elodie came 1st and 2nd for year 8 and Elyssia won 2nd for year 10. A big well done! 

One of our biggest achievements is that Yousafzai have had the best behaviour ratio this term. We have been working on this for a long time and it was great to finally achieve it. Well done Yousafzai - let’s keep this up next term! 

I am so proud of the Yousafzai students and all they have achieved this term. We look forward to term 5 - with a hope of lots of sunshine. Again, thank you to all parents and carers for supporting our young people during the last term. 

I hope you all have a wonderful break - and for those who celebrate it - a very Happy Easter! 

Miss Andrews, Head of Yousafzai House

  Term 5 dates for your diary  
  • 19 April: START OF TERM 5
  • 27-29 April: Year 7 Bikeability
  • 28 April: Virtual Iftar, 7pm
  • 03 May: May Bank Holiday
  • 11 May: Early finish - buses leave at 12.40pm
  • 13 May: Year 9 vaccinations
  • 17 May: INSET DAY 7 - School closed to students
  • 28 May: END OF TERM 5
  • 07 June: Students in school for TERM 6
  Keep in touch  

There isn’t enough space here to showcase the huge variety of student experiences and achievements this term. Keep up to date by visiting the ‘News and Events’ section on the school website, check the school Facebook page or follow us on Twitter (@stkathsschool)