It has been a successful half term, overall. A few bumps, but good things have come of those and we are proud that we have put forward a more robust anti-bullying action plan. Please see in a separate article, and read about Mrs Wallace’s key role. We would welcome your help and support in ruling out “banter” – and we certainly will not be tolerating any “banter” which is homophobic, racial or discriminatory on any other grounds. We thank you for your support in emphasising these values at home. One of the themes I have spoken to students about in the last week has widened the theme from bullying a little and asks them:
“You are the future of Buckingham. What sort of town do you want it to be?”
The community’s school meanwhile, is enjoying a purple patch. As I write, we are going to be over-subscribed (again) next year and around two-thirds of our new Year 7s will be students who made us their first choice. Meanwhile, applications for Sixth Form are higher than they have ever been, on the back of last summer’s stunning Sixth Form results.
Enjoy reading this snapshot of the last term, including the sad demise of the old red minibus, which was donated to the fire brigade!
Finally, I would like to wish our Year 11 and Year 13 students all the very best for a hard-working half term, and we look forward to some stunning performances in the final mocks, starting on Monday, 25 February! Remember, your reward and chance to relax will come this summer!
With best wishes,
Mr A McGinnes
New Anti-Bullying Initiative
We hope you have seen our recent communication about the launch of our new Anti-Bullying Initiative. Staff have been briefed and year group assemblies taken place this week.
We thought it important to highlight the following key points below about our stance on bullying and the procedures for reporting.
Pictured here is Mrs Wallace, our Anti-Bullying Co-ordinator.
The Buckingham School Definition of Bullying:
Any social aggression: hostile, verbal or physical behaviour, which means to insult, embarrass, humiliate or make the target feel “less than”. To be clear, this means that so-called banter is clearly banned by our definition, amongst many other behaviours. We are a school. We are here to educate and be educated. There are no blurred lines, such behaviour is unacceptable in our learning environment.
Procedures for Reporting:
A student can report bullying in person to a member of staff or an older student.
A student can make a written report, and place it in one of the anti-bullying boxes (outside Student office and outside Mr Fox’s office).
Anyone alleging that they are a victim will meet Mrs Wallace, the school's Anti-Bullying Co-ordinator, as soon as possible, and home will be contacted.
We will contact home and report on our findings within 48 hours.
If the victim is happy to do so, there will always be a restorative meeting between the perpetrator and victim. In every case the victim will be at the centre of our thinking, and will be kept informed of what is happening.
First offence of committing bullying: restorative meeting with the victim and perpetrator will be required to sign an anti-bullying contract. Second offence: restorative meeting, with parents/carers called into school for a meeting. Third offence: exclusion.
On Wednesday, 6 February, seven students from Years 7, 8, 9, 10 and 12 attended the Youth Voice Schools Event at The Gateway in Aylesbury. They discussed (with other schools) issues facing youth today in our area and presented their ideas to a panel of leaders from our community including the Mayor of Aylesbury, as pictured below.
This event is for young people to have the opportunity to share issues and concerns they have in order to develop solutions to inform change in local communities and schools. Our students also participated in a range of workshops throughout the day, including discussions and panel question time led by the Youth Service.
Mrs A Wallace, Student Voice Lead
STEM News - Monster Confidence
Twenty Buckingham School girls went to Birmingham to take part in the Monster Confidence conference. They had a fantastic time - meeting women in the industry, looking at improving their interview skills and learning about key apprenticeship and university opportunities that are available.
Both staff and students are very keen to attend the conference next year!
Open University's Moonlight Event
Our students were fortunate enough to attend The Open University’s 'Moonlight' event; a hands-on activity celebrating everything that has to do with the moon!
They were able to pilot a virtual Mars rover, hold actualmeteorites and attend a planetarium showcasing Google’s Lunar X prize. They were even walked through the steps on how to apply to hunt for their own meteorites, in Antarctica. The event was out of this world, which is not surprising for The Open University; world renown for their research into planetary sciences.
Christmas Lectures - Lecture Three
Our students were lucky to chat on a one-to-one basis and have a photo opportunity with Professor Alice Roberts, a Biologist and regular presenter with the BBC (short-listed twice for Strictly Come Dancing). All three lectures are available for viewing online - have a look and see whether you can spot The Buckingham School in Lecture three?
Egg Drop Project
Students attending the school’s Year 7 and 8 CaTS Club (Challenge and Think Students) are currently taking part in an in-depth engineering egg drop project. Students have been tasked with building the lightest contraption that will keep their precious cargo safe and sound. Students have already designed, built and tested their first draft (with 4 eggs so far).
Our next step is to take a look at the physiology of bonds - with the students naming and participating in activities with their new found egg baby. They will then throw off the balcony the very same egg baby….talk about high stakes!
As a final step, the club will then take what they’ve found and redecorate part of the school with their engineering project and record processes and explore emotions through creative responses. Hopefully, we can keep the obituaries down to a minimum - but it all comes down to their design process.
Lacey Townes, STEM Lead
Sixth Form Results
The national results for Post 16 education have just been published and we have received fantastic news regarding last year's results.
Our A Level results placed us 14th out of 64 schools in the county for progress – this means how much value was added to the students’ Level 2 (GCSE/BTEC) results. This positions us ahead of many of the county’s grammar schools, as well as Akeley Wood and Stowe, for progress at A Level.
Our Applied General results were even better. For BTEC Level 3, we were placed 5th out of 64 schools in the county, with our students averaging a Distinction grade.
Even those students who needed to retake either English or Mathematics GCSE in our Sixth Form, fared better than students in other establishments across the county.
How apt that these statistics are published, just as external students are applying to join us and our own students are being asked to firm up whether they are staying with us next year, to enjoy the widest range of subject choices that we have ever offered.
At the moment, around 20 subjects are being offered to current Year 11 students for next year – including the addition of Mathematics, Biology, French, Geography, Physics, Music and others.
Perhaps that’s why we have a record number of applications for September 2019 entry into our Sixth Form!
If you wish to speak with our Admissions Officer about applying for a place in Sixth Form, contact Kate Bones on 01280 818927 or email at email@example.com
On Saturday, 26 January, Buckingham School student Harry, along with a number of his Buckingham Rugby team mates did something amazing. Harry's cousin has been diagnosed with cancer and is currently, undergoing chemotherapy. With chairs lined up and barbers invited to Buckingham Rugby Club, Harry and a number of his team mates shaved their heads in support of his cousin and to raise money for the Teenage Cancer Trust.
Currently the total raised stands at £15,313 which is absolutely fantastic! Harry's cousin is a member of the Buckingham Colts team and after the match songs were sung, a DJ was present and Harry's cousin was contacted live via FaceTime to experience the support that has been put in place for him.
We are so proud of you Harry, you are an inspiration to us all. If you would like to donate please go to:
The Science department has recently relaunched its vision and mission to improve the provision of Science education at The Buckingham School. Science lessons are now taught with this new vision in mind and are being taught in three sections – engagement, discovery and success. Initial student reactions to these changes have been extremely positive, with students stating that it is improving their enjoyment and understanding of the subject.
Science Department Mission
At The Buckingham School we will teach lessons that are fun and engaging. Students will be encouraged to develop the curiosity they need to discover new concepts for themselves. Lessons will be taught with student engagementin mind and where possible we will use practical activities. Questioning will be encouraged, in particular, why and how?
Student effort will be rewarded and students will be aware of how their learning is progressing and be proud of their success. Students will be well prepared for a career in science should they wish or should be able to use the scientific skills they have acquired in whatever they choose to do in the future.
Engagement, Discovery and Success.
Mr J Dunckley, Curriculum Leader for Science
U13 Bucks FA Futsal Competition - 30 January 2019
The school's U13 boys teamtook part in the Bucks County FA Futsal tournament held at the Milton Keynes College. The boys played a total of four games on the day in a round robin tournament. Our first game was against the Mandeville School where the boys played some excellent futsal and managed to win the game 2-1 after some excellent saves from Max Hicks, in goal.
The second game proved to be the toughest test of the day where we eventually lost 3-0 to a very strong Dr Challoner’s team. The third game saw the boys draw 1-1 with Sir Henry Floyd, which included a ‘worldy’ free kick from Louie Cain from the half way line. The final game resulted in a tough 2-1 loss to Thorpe House which meant the boys finished the tournament in third place.
A fantastic effort from all throughout and all of the boys were a great credit to the school.
Bucks FA Futsal Competition on 8 February - U15 Boys
The Buckingham school's boys U15 team also had the opportunity to compete in the Bucks FA Futsal competition. Again, this was held at MK College with four other schools competing.
Our boys had never practised before and unfortunately, lost their first game to Sir William Ramsey School 5-2. After reconvening, getting a game plan in place, they went on to win two consecutive games, firstly against the Royal Latin School 7-1, then Misbourne School 4-1! The final game was a draw, 1-1 with Sir Henry Floyd Grammar School, as we conceded a goal in the dying minutes.
The boys were fantastic and were commended on their behaviour and sportsmanship. They narrowly finished second behind the eventual winners Sir William Ramsey School, missing the opportunity to represent the County at the national finals.
Commiserations boys, but what a fantastic effort!
Mr Ribbans - Head Coach
Great Britain Hockey Player Visit
On Wednesday, 23 January, Zoe Shipperley, Great Britain Hockey player, visited the school to deliver a presentation and practical sessions to a range of our PE students.
It was a great opportunity for some of our students to experience a new sport in hockey, and this resulted in a large number of students with the desire to participate in the sport outside of school.
Zoe shared her experiences on what it takes to get to the highest level of your profession, and encouraged all of our students to always strive to be the best that they can be. We would like to thank Zoe for her time and we know that the students took a lot away from her sessions.
On Thursday, 24 January, a group of our Year 12 Sports Leaders were involved in teaching a number of younger students from various primary schools from the surrounding area. This was a fantastic opportunity for our Sports Leaders to demonstrate their professionalism and leadership skills to help inspire the next generation to become leaders within their own schools.
The Buckingham School were in charge of the ‘Schools Sport Organising Crew’ and helped pass on their knowledge to the primary school leaders. Our Sports Leaders were an absolute credit to our school and we received numerous positive comments from parents, teachers and the primary school students themselves. Well done to all involved!
Buckinghamshire Schools Cross Country Championships at Stowe
On Wednesday, 6 February, a group of Buckingham School students competed at the Buckinghamshire Schools Cross Country Championships at Stowe. All students performed amazingly well on some very challenging and tough, hilly courses of varying distances. The following students completed the following distances:
Year 7 (minor boys) - Alistair Grass, Jay Bugai and Will Barnes completed a 2000m course.
Year 7 (minor girls) - Louise Evans and Ella Brothers completed a 2000m course.
Year 8/9 (junior boys) - Oli Herring and George Vincent completed a 3990m course.
Year 8/9 (junior girls) - Isabelle Ford completed a 3100m course.
Year 10/11 (inter-boys) - Oli Downham completed a very challenging 5600m course.
Year 10/11 (inter-girls) - April Barnes completed a 3990m course.
Fantastic running and well done to all!
English Schools Cross Country Championships
Congratulations to April Barnes, who has been selected to run for Buckinghamshire at the English Schools Cross Country Championships, in Leeds on 16 March. The selection to represent Buckinghamshire was based on her run at the Buckinghamshire Schools Cross Country Championships at Stowe.
April, who runs for Marshall Milton Keynes Athletic Club, has had a great season as she has also been selected to run for the Bucks team at the UK CAU Inter-Counties Cross Country Championships in Loughborough on 9 March. In December 2018, April ran with the Bucks team at the Southern Inter-Counties Cross Country Championships.
Brilliant news and good luck for the English Schools Cross Country Champs in March!
Pictured: Students competing at the Buckinghamshire Schools Cross Country Championships at Stowe
Elite Athlete Funding Grants
Did you see in a recent issue of the Buckingham and Winslow Advertiser, a piece about three of our students being awarded Elite Athlete Funding grants? The grants are based on their swimming achievements for Buckingham's Maxwell Swimming Club.
These grants will support the training and development of these three junior athletes to aid with the cost of training, competing etc.
Well done all of you!
The Royal Society of Chemistry delivered an engaging and inspiring session to our Year 11 students on spectroscopy. As well as covering the principles of spectroscopic techniques, activities included identifying unknown substances with infrared spectroscopy.
A big thank you to The Royal Society of Chemistry.
Our old school minibus has a new job! Now it has retired from active duties here at school, the fire station are 'training' on it. "Having a van has helped learn techniques on how to cut open a bigger than averaged car-sized vehicle."
Summer 2019 Examinations
Click on the button here to see the Examination timetables for all exams including Mocks starting Monday 25 February.
We have a communications project on the go at the moment and we are going to be in need of ten television screens to make it happen. They don’t have to be smart TV or anything fancy at all; as long as they have an HDMI connection, or something similar, then they will be perfect for us. So, if you have an old TV that you no longer use or need, that you would be happy to donate to us, we would be enormously grateful. (And if you could ask family and friends on our behalf too, that would be amazing!)
TikTok: Child Safety Factsheet for Parents
The TikTok factsheet is to help parents be aware of the main risks associated with the video-sharing app, TikTok. It includes practical steps that parents can take to protect their children:
Don't forget to look at our exciting enrichment programme which is available for all year groups. Your child might like to try a new activity not tried before, or develop a skill in a particular area, to even learn a new language.