A bit of a whirlwind!

The St.Jude Storm may have passed, but I've spent half term reflecting on a whirlwind of activity in the week before we broke up.

Storm image

What a week it was!

Two fantastic achievements stand out.

Firstly, the performance of our Year 12 Debating Team of Heather Barr, Gareth Carless, Tom Davis and Sam Forrest who won the regional round of the Debating Matters national public speaking competition in Reading on Tuesday evening.

Debating Matters Logo

Sponsored by the Institute of Ideas, the competition pits schools against each other in a series of rounds which test their rhetorical and presentational skills in proposing and opposing selected motions.  Despite the challenge of having to propose a motion advocating limiting freedom of speech, our team defeated schools from Wokingham and Windsor and Maidenhead to become Berkshire champions!  The next round, in which they will take on the other winning schools from across the south, takes place in the Spring Term.  And who's going to argue that they won't progress to the national final on current form!

The following evening Year 11 students from our PE Change Team were selected to travel to former LOCOG Offices in Stratford, East London to meet with Olympic and Paralympic Gold Medallists to discuss their ideas for ensuring a 2012 Legacy within local communities.

You can read the Newbury Weekly News account of their experience via here >>

Austin Jones and Sarah Naylor from Year 11, who are members of our brilliant PE Change Team - a group that looks to use PE and Sport in innovative ways for the benefit of the school and wider community.

Austin Jones and Sarah Naylor

As regular readers will be aware, we are currently the first and only school in the country to hold the 'Inspired by 2012' Mark for our commitment to ensuring a tangible Olympic and Paralympic Legacy. In particular, this has focused on building on the community spirit and positive approach to volunteering that resulted in three teams of Park House students being selected as Games Makers last summer. It was therefore with considerable pride that I learnt of their suggestion for the establishment of a range of projects to support older residents within the local community. I'm really looking forward to meeting the team on our return to school after half term to discuss how they propose to put their plans into practice.

The new term therefore promises to continue where the last left off...