Issue: 17 | Friday 27th January 2023

Message from Mr Williams, Head

Dear Parents and Carers,

This week has been one of celebration and pride: one of our Year 13 students received an offer for Cambridge University and another performed at Carnegie Hall in New York. We may be a small school but our students continue to thrive as the school gets larger and our reputation continues to grow. Well done Jacopo and Cíara, we are proud of you both.

When you visit our website you will notice a few changes – our recent video is now embedded and there are quick links to our new Sports page: a centralised place where tournament dates and information, team selection, news articles and club links will be shared. You can also see our English Academy sign up and holiday camp information. These updates will allow you to find the information you need quickly and easily as well as being able to share more about GES with your friends and family.

At Primary, we have our reading information morning for Reception and KS1 parents on Tuesday morning after drop off. This session will tell you more about the new phonics programme and will give lots of valuable tips about how to use phonics to support your child when they are learning to read. A recording of the session will be made available on My School Portal (under Curriculum Information & resources: Primary) for any parents unable to attend.

Reading is one of the most important skills we can acquire and is key to academic success. Across the school from Early Years to Year 13 we encourage students to read different texts, both alone and in groups, in order to develop a love for reading. This year, we are dedicating a lot of time to developing the Library and new books are arriving all the time at both Primary and Secondary. Children across the school have also completed a reading age test so that we know their level and can use this to inform the types of books that will help them to advance their reading skills.

At Secondary, tutors read to their form twice a week from a selection of wonderful texts – these include classics from Fahrenheit 451 and Brave New World to contemporary releases such as Ghost Boys and Becoming. There are subject specific GES reading lists on My School Portal, including a KS3 English Recommended Reading list which is linked to themes in our curriculum. Here are some further links for recommendations when encouraging your child to read for their enjoyment:

You can also ask your child’s class teacher at Primary, or English teacher at Secondary, for any guidance on choosing a book.

I hope that you have a great weekend.

Matt Williams

Reading and Writing at Primary

Speaking of reading, our Primary pupils have been very busy this week using a wonderful range of stories as inspiration for their own work.

After exploring Ancient Greece and comparing their favourite Gods and Goddesses, Year 4 have been learning about the literary technique ‘personification’ from their current English book FArTHER by Grahame Baker Smith. The use of personification has massively enhanced their writing and we have been amazed by images such as: the leaves of the tree whispered secrets in the wind; the branches reached out like arms to protect; the stream bubbled with excitement and curiosity and the rock stood firm and unyielding.

In the meantime, Year 5 have been reading The Odyssey, Homer’s epic tale retold by Gillian Cross. They went on a historical treasure hunt seeking evidence for the legend of Theseus and the Minotaur.
Among the ‘finds’ were frescoes, artefacts, architectural plans and maps, but do any of these historical treasures help to prove that the legend might be true? How important was the palace of Knossos? Is there a link between the double-headed axe (labrys) and the labyrinth (house of double-headed axe)?
Let’s hope some of their questions are now answered!

Input from Secondary

Year 9 Holocaust Memorial Day, by Kitan & Chloe

Today for Holocaust Memorial Day, Year 9 students participated in a webinar hosted by award-winning writer, Tom Palmer, author of After The War in which he interviewed Holocaust survivor Mala Tribich. 

Mala was so young, just aged 9 when the war began. Despite radical changes to her everyday life (schooling stopped after she attended for only 3 years) she continued to adapt to life in a ghetto.

Mala was then away from the majority of her family for an extended period of time as she and her cousin were hidden at a house on the German border- an arrangement made by their parents. After this, Mala Tribich’s family experienced a lot of loss and hardship as they were forced out of their homes and into concentration camps where the living conditions were dire. For 18 months, she experienced forced, slave labour at the age of 12. She describes the concentration camps and how she lost her identity, “everyone looked the same” and there was not enough food. She was in Bergen-Belsen when it was liberated and then made her way to Sweden where she discovered her older brother was still alive.

Mala Tribich has demonstrated large amounts of resilience and courage, and while the events she experienced continue to impact her life, every day she strives ahead and reminds us the importance of helping and standing up for each other. 

Article rédigé par un nouvel étudiant

Ayant changé d’école (et de pays) au milieu de l’année scolaire, j’avais un peu peur de ce qui m’attendait. Normalement, dans les écoles avec de petites classes et des élèves qui sont là depuis le début de leur parcours scolaire, on s’attend à avoir des problèmes d’intégration. Mais pas du tout à GES. Dès le début, mes camarades de classe m’ont intégré dans tout ce qu’ils font et ils ont fait des efforts pour me mettre à l’aise. Ce sont des personnes accueillantes et ouvertes d’esprit qui sont toutes devenues de bons amis.
Pour les professeurs aussi, ce n’est pas toujours facile d’intégrer les nouveaux étudiants, surtout des élèves comme moi avec beaucoup de responsabilités hors de la classe aussi. Heureusement pour moi, ils sont compréhensifs quant à mes activités extra-scolaires et ils me donnent tout ce dont j’ai besoin pour m’aider à rattraper les cours.
Ça a été un changement positif pour moi qui va sûrement m’aider dans mes prochains projets académiques. 

All week: NSPCC Number week

30 Jan
Key Stage 2 Virtual Storytelling Event 11:30 - 12:05
31 Jan
Reading information session for Reception & KS1 parents 8:30 - 9:00
1 Feb
Intermediate Maths Challenge for Secondary
3 Feb
Year 4 Parent reading morning 8:30 - 9:00