NEWSLETTER – JUNE 2007 Dear Parent Welcome to a very full newsletter – so many events, so little time! Diamond Jubilee On 28th June, Moor House School was exactly 60 years old! On the following day (29th) we held a “Diamond Jubilee Celebration Day”, when ex-pupils and staff, professionals and parents from the past and present, together with friends and helpers of the school, were invited to attend a morning or afternoon session of celebration. Visitors were treated to a tour of the school, followed by events and activities in the Sports Hall – these included a fantastic gym display and imaginative drama productions, with Year 10s looking back at how school-life might be in the future and might have been in the past. Music was courtesy of the steel band, with 2MP joining them for a calypso-style song! The visitors were many and varied, including the Moor House Matron of 1949, one of our former Principals, John Lea, and Paul Evans, an original pupil from 1947. Everyone seemed to enjoy the day, with many people enjoying the opportunity to meet up again after so many years to reminisce about old times. We were also very fortunate to receive several kind and extremely generous donations. Guy Miller, a pupil at Moor House from 1982 to 1987, ran the London Marathon in April this year (completing it even though he injured a knee during the race) and has so far raised nearly £2,000 in sponsorship for our school; Mrs Taylor (mother of current pupil Harvey) very kindly made an initial donation of £2,500, courtesy of her employer, Abbey National, a sum which was immediately matched by Moor House School, to be spent on much-needed playground equipment. However, since then, Mrs Taylor has arranged for a massive further £4,159.60 to be released from her employer for this purpose! This will enable an exciting adventure trail to be planned within our grounds! Thank you so much both to Mrs Taylor and to Abbey National! Last, but not least, ex-pupil Jonathan King, now following a catering course at Westminster College, very aptly presented the school with a new cup – the King Cookery Cup - to be awarded annually to the student who shows most aptitude in cookery. He also gave us a smoothie maker, a popcorn maker and a juice extractor! A very heartfelt thank you to all who donated so generously. Thank you to everyone who helped to make our 60th birthday celebrations so memorable. Do look at our website to see some stunning photographs! (Click here) (Click here) Au Revoir Year 11s! Sadly but inevitably, each year we see our Year 11 students departing Moor House School for pastures new. Some go on to further specialist education, whilst some are ready to attend mainstream colleges, usually with support. It is always very sad to say goodbye to these students, who have become part of the Moor House family over the years; however, it is also an opportunity for us to be able to celebrate their time with us and to wish them good luck for the future. This year, for the first time, all the leavers left on the same day, which began with a “leavers‟ assembly” in the Sports Hall, to which all their parents were also invited. The event was a great success, featuring moving speeches from the students, presentation of cups and awards by Mrs Dobbie, an excellent DVD by our resident film producer, Mr Hart, a specially-commissioned leavers‟ song, sung by all the Year 11s with the audience joining in, and the shaking of hands and saying goodbye, in time-honoured Moor House tradition. Leavers‟ meetings were next, followed by a delicious finger buffet for the whole school, held in the quad (thank you to Terry and staff!). Finally, their cars bedecked by balloons, the leavers and their parents were waved goodbye as they drove solemnly through the car park of Moor House School for the final time, in a cavalcade. More than a few tears were shed but we know that Joshua, Luke, Aisha, Chris, Christian, Sean, Ali, Matthew, Sophie, Samantha, Philip, Julien, Jules, DJ, Alex and Lizzie will all make a big success of whatever they do next and will come back to see us soon. You can see some photos of the day on our website. (Click here) Leavers’ residential trip Mrs Sharp writes: “To celebrate the end of exams and to enjoy their final time as a group at Moor House school Year 11 students and staff enjoyed a short break in rural Sussex at the beginning of July. They stayed in Stafford House in Hassocks which is ideally placed for the South Downs but also for the delights of Brighton and Eastbourne. Stafford House offered excellent facilities - not least the food which was much enjoyed by all. As everyone will remember the weather at the beginning (and- as it turned out- the whole!) of July was not good. However Year 11 were blessed as the sun seemed to shine wherever they went over the 3 days! They were enjoying a picnic on the beach whilst everyone else left at school suffered downpours! Sadly, the conditions were not good enough to go out on the planned yacht trip from Brighton Marina. However everyone still enjoyed going to the Marina and relaxing in the waterside cafes before taking the Volks railway into the town to sample the Pier and shopping in The Lanes. Shopping trips were popular, whilst some more energetic students and staff walked from Ditchling Beacon (the highest point on the South Downs) to the Jack and Jill Windmills. There was one „at home‟ evening of riotous entertainment organised by Angela Bull and Jackie Gerety. Everyone took part and there were some hilarious moments! Best of all however was the pleasure that both staff and students took in each other‟s company, making it a happy and memorable time for all. Year 11 students and staff would like to thank Angela Bull for all her hard work in organising such a successful trip”. Click here for photos Au Revoir to staff! As well as having bid a sad farewell to 17 students, we will also be saying “au revoir” to 9 members of staff at the end of this term - Mr Saunders and Mrs Robertson from the Teaching Department; Mrs Sharp, Miss McEvoy and Miss Leniston from the Therapy Department; Mr Ranger, Miss Short and Miss Wheeler from Residential Care; as well as Mrs Watson-Ley (Accounts Manager) and last, but certainly not least, Mrs Lofts (School Secretary). Although it will be sad to see them go, we have already recruited some excellent staff for next term. We wish one and all happiness and success for the future! In September, we will welcome the following replacement staff: Staff Leaving: Replacement: Mr Ranger Mrs Brady Mrs Robertson Mr Carson Mr Saunders tbc Miss Short Ms Boyhan Miss Wheeler Mr Crowhurst Miss McEvoy Ms Smith Mrs Sharp Ms Maric Mrs Lofts Mrs Waterhouse Mrs Watson Ley Mrs Bamber Miss Leniston Mrs Pope Memory Lane .... Mr Saunders writes: “I arrived at Moor House on 1/1/1989 so have nearly 19 years‟ service, during which time I was Class Teacher until 2004, being ICT Co-ordinator from1993 to 2004, and also teaching PE from 1989 to 2000. I developed canoeing massively between 1989 and 1998. At one stage every student in the school had canoeing lessons, usually in the swimming pool, as part of their PE programme. Many students took part in canoeing expeditions and slalom competitions on rough water at many sites around the UK. I taught and coached track and field athletics/cross-country from 1989 to 2002, during which time the Moor House teams competed in the Surrey Leagues and the National Boys‟ Leagues. Many boys and some girls were selected to represent South Surrey Schools and a smaller, talented number represented Surrey County Schools and the Surrey AAA teams at National events between 1995 and 2002. I would stress that these were always mainstream events. The highlight of my teaching of ICT occurred in 2004 when 63% of my GCSE class obtained passes at grade C or above. Now - what am I doing next? I am going to spend 2 months doing kayak slaloms, taking lots of photographs, playing jazz on my trumpet and de-weeding my allotment. I will be doing a course learning to teach English to speakers of other languages during November and December. In the New Year I may teach English, either in the UK or possibly in a Spanish-speaking country. God Bless Moor House School and all who sail in her!!” Mr Ranger: “May I take this opportunity to announce that I will be leaving on 25th July due to family commitments back in Somerset. I have had a wonderful time at Moor House School - the staff, students and parents have made me feel extremely welcome. I have learnt a lot over the past year, as well as bringing a lot of knowledge and skills to my post, much of which will be in place in September. May I wish you and your children every success for the future. Kind regards”. Mrs Sharp: “This is the second time that I have left the staff of Moor House School! The first time was in December 1976 just before my first son was born. Four children, a few different places of work and quite a few years later I am now retiring. I have loved my work as a speech and language therapist. I have especially enjoyed working with the staff and students in Key Stage 4 at Moor House. It is very rewarding to see the success so many students make of their lives after their time with us. My husband and I are moving to the Lake District as we love walking in the fells. We also plan to do a fair amount of travelling and to do all the things we have never quite had time to do before!” Miss Short: “I have really enjoyed working with the senior girls for the last three years and it will be sad to say goodbye. I am off to travel and work in Australia for 6 months and then plan to return to a new job. I look forward to seeing everyone at next year‟s Fete and wish everyone well”. Miss Wheeler: “I have enjoyed my 5 years working at Moor House and take away many happy memories, both of the students and the staff I have worked with. Moor House was my first full-time job after university and I couldn‟t have wished for a better place to work. Having said this, I am looking forward to starting my new life in Essex, and starting a new job – whatever that may be! I wish everyone at Moor House my best wishes and luck for the future and hope to keep in touch”. Miss McEvoy: “Throughout my time at Moor House School I have been directly responsible for the caseload management of KS3 and KS4 pupils. It has been extremely rewarding to have been involved in the holistic management of the students‟ development, including direct speech and language therapy, curriculum support as well as the development of their social and independent life skills. I have particularly enjoyed working alongside the students as they become increasingly aware of their Speech and Language difficulties and in turn develop their ownership and use of the functional strategies that they will use to assist them in achieving their life long goals. I will soon be returning home to Australia and hope to develop similar holistic packages for young people with SLI. I certainly will miss the energy that the students possess and all the joys that come with working with them!” Mrs Watson Ley: “I have really enjoyed my time at Moor House School. Although I am quite excited about my new position as Bursar of the Moon Hall Schools‟ Educational Trust, I am a bit sad to leave the students at Moor House and all the wonderful people who work for the school. I hope to stay in touch with everyone and will see you next year when I volunteer to help at the fete!” Miss Leniston: “I came to the post of Speech and Language Therapy Assistant in September 2003, my first job after graduating from University and I couldn‟t have asked for a better introduction to working life! I have been privileged to work with so many excellent staff and students, and have made many lifelong friends along the way. However, I feel now is time for me to move onto pastures new, the first of which will be in Australia! I will be very sad to leave, but have so many happy memories to take away with me. The number of visitors on the Diamond Jubilee open day is a testament to the quality of the school and the fondness with which people remember it - Here‟s to the next 60 happy years!” Mrs Robertson: “I have been at Moor House School for 15 years. For thirteen of those years my husband was the Principal. We arrived in 1992 with our three children and took up residence in Moor Lodge where we were very happy. In 1997 I was persuaded by the Deputy Principal to do some much needed supply work for the school. It had never been my intention to work for my husband but once I had begun to delight in the teaching of such very special children I decided to apply for a full time teaching post and was appointed in 1998. I became a class teacher and had the extra responsibility of teaching Geography initially but then took over the teaching of Pottery. I have enjoyed every minute of teaching the pupils and have delighted in seeing many of them achieve excellent results at GCSE Pottery ranging from grade C to A*. Recently I have been looking for alternative employment, which I have now found. It is with great sadness that I am leaving the job which has given me so much pleasure but I am looking forward to a new challenge. I will always remember the pupils I have taught and would like to thank those members of staff and the parents who have been very supportive during my time at the school”. Students’ Awards Congratulations to the following students, who were presented with awards on 6th July: D J Oni – Neil Hewitt Language Endeavour Award (year 11s) Joshua Lake – Special Cup (Achievement) Jules O‟Neill – Mark Goddard Cup for achievement in independence training Sophie Gould – Rupert Vimpany Art Award Amy Price – The Pottery Cup Nicholas Bowen – Hodder Speech Award and OT Cup Luke Thorogood – Rodney Fairman Music Trophy Adam Craggs – Julian Lee Cup for Caring Senior Pupil (year 11s) and Collins Shield for Academic Progress (year 11s) Lizzie Young – Kyrke Smith Shield for improvement in social interaction Harley Wareham – the King Cookery Cup Matthew Cole – the Drama Cup Philip Jackson – the Jill Sharp Cup for literacy progress Sports Day – 22nd June You will not need reminding that Sports Day, in true British style, was spent ducking in and out of cover to avoid the showers! However, a very well-attended event was able to complete its programme with only one race having to be cancelled – the “Go To Bed Race”, which necessitates participants having to duck under a duvet at the finish!! Amongst the events and races enjoyed were inter-house rounders, senior and junior football matches, basketball and tug-o‟-war, as well as the tried and tested 3-legged, egg and spoon and glamour races! Blue House won the day and received the cup to loud appreciation, whilst congratulations must also go to the following: Tim D‟Urban and Alex Ball (joint Most-Improved Footballers) Joe Green (Football Player of the Year) Louise Sayer (Most Improved KS4 Athlete) Ken Suzuki-Layhe (Most Improved KS3 Athlete) Henry Ellis (Most Improved KS2 Athlete) (Click here for photos) Staff v Pupils’ Football Match – 27th June The annual, and always fiercely competitive, match was played on a rare dry day, but with slippery underfoot conditions, and was very closely contested, with the final deciding goal coming from Philip Jackson in the last 5 minutes. Congratulations to the Pupils for pipping the Staff!! Teams: Staff: Mr Crowhurst, Mr Ranger, Mr Conroy, Mr Carroll, Mr Hart and Mr Heine (no reserves). Pupils: Joshua Lake, Luke Thorogood, Philip Jackson, Ryan Gullin, Adam Craggs, Ali Boyall, Julien King, D J Oni (this includes 2 reserves) Assemblies On 18th June, 10B gave an assembly on the theme of peer pressure and “gangs”, illustrating how the latter can pressurise children into doing things against their will. They re-enacted a John Cleese/Monty Python sketch on the subject (Click here for photos) On 27th June, John Lea, Principal of Moor House School from 1975 to 1992 (and who also taught at Moor House from 1957 to 1972!), kindly came in to talk in Assembly about the school‟s history. As you can imagine, he had a wealth of knowledge to impart, and his fascinating talk held the students rapt! Trip to Hever Castle - 5th July Mr Hart writes: “On Thursday 5th July, the 3H students went to Hever Castle with their teaching team - Mr. Hart, Miss Jennings, Mrs. Thomas and special guest Mrs. Vinton (who drove the minibus). We spent two terms this year learning about the Tudors, and Hever Castle has an important history linked to this time. King Henry VIII spent time here getting to know his second wife, Anne Boleyn, who then gave birth to the future queen Elizabeth I. Later, after Anne Boleyn‟s execution, Henry gave the castle to his fourth wife, Anne of Cleves. When we arrived, we met our tour guide Patricia who gave us a private tour of the castle before anyone else was allowed in. Patricia was really good at explaining interesting things and very helpful at answering all the excellent questions that the students asked. It was wonderful to see how much information the students had retained from our work on this topic, and how much they had understood about this important time in British history. After our tour, we had a quick snack before going to the famous hedge maze, which had only just re-opened. The hedge maze is made out of Yew hedges, and rainy weather can make the paths very muddy which can cause damage to the roots. Luckily, the sun shone and we were the first visitors to this maze after a few days of solid rain! Jon, George, Nick, Ken and Tom did very well at finding their way to the centre of the maze. George was a helpful guide to those who got lost! We then visited a model exhibition that showed how houses have changed over the last 1000 years which was quite interesting; then we had lunch, a game of „it‟, and visited the adventure playground to solve the Henry VIII Tower Maze puzzle. Afterwards, we went on a walk around the beautiful Italian Gardens and bought some postcards to write to our friends and families. We finished the day by going to the Water Maze which is a special kind of maze – it is on a lake, and to get to the middle you have to walk on some raised platforms. However, some of the platforms are booby trapped and squirt water at you when you walk on them! The idea is to find the only path to the centre that does not cross one of these „water traps‟. Jon, Liz, Nick and Harry did really well at finding their way to the middle without getting wet. George, Tom, Caoimhe, Connor and Ken also found their way to the middle, but they accidentally on purpose got completely soaking wet in the process and looked like someone had tried to drown them. Luckily everyone had brought a warm top to put on at the end! This was a really enjoyable day out which allowed 3H to see for real and experience some of the things to do with the history that they had been learning about throughout the year. It was also good to get out as a class and enjoy each other‟s company for the day, as the year comes to a close. Our thanks go to Hever Castle for the wonderful tour, and to Mrs. Vinton who drove us there and back” Click here for photos Kids’ Day Out to Chessington World of Adventures – 13th June Mr Hart writes: “On Wednesday 13th June, 12 brave students and 5 daring members of staff journeyed to Chessington World of Adventures for an action-packed day of rollercoasters and rides, all organised by the Rotary Club as part of the national „Kids Out‟ activity day. The day started out quite gently, with many students admitting that they had some nervousness about going on the rides. Many students had not experienced stomach- churning thrill rides before and so were content to warm up with some smaller rides to begin with. However, it was then extremely encouraging to see nearly all the students graduating to altogether scarier and more intense rides such as the „Dragon‟s Fury‟, the „Vampire‟ and the fearsome swinging „Black Galleon‟. The look of sheer enjoyment on the face of Harry in particular has to have been seen to be believed! It was lovely to see students face their fears and have a go. Shaid conquered the „Vampire‟, and Jon and Liz managed to endure both the Runaway Train and the swinging pirate ship, although Jon did decide to close his eyes for most of the last ride! Kane and George both managed to successfully deal with the twisting and turning „Rameses Revenge‟ and come out smiling. Ken and Patrick also survived it, although they were considerably wetter from being held upside down in the water jets for roughly half a minute, and then having entire buckets of water chucked over them just to make sure they were completely soaked. Despite predictions of rain, which probably helped ensure the queue lines were always small, the day was warm enough to enjoy all the attractions – even the ones that left students feeling rather soggy. This was a hugely enjoyable day out which will be remembered for a long time by all who took part. Our thanks go to the local branch of Rotary for their generosity in funding the event and arranging for the lunches that were provided. The experience meant a lot to the children. Thanks also to the members of staff who attended, especially to Miss Jennings who faced her own fears and allowed herself to be taken onto the Runaway Train by Jon!” (Click here for photos) Sex Education Day – 28th June On the 28 June all Year 10 pupils took part in a very successful Sex Education Day as part of their PSHE curriculum. The day involved a number of workshops which the pupils attended in small groups. These workshops focused on topics such as contraception and relationships and were led by the Year 10 staff team and Mrs Broom, the school nurse. The day provided an opportunity for pupils to discuss sensitive but very important topics in a supportive environment as they begin to consider their lives in the future. Annual Fete - 16th June In spite of persistent downpours, the annual Fete was once again a most successful event in both financial as well as social terms, with overall takings being a profit of £4,427 compared to £5,371 last year and £5,254 in 2005. Although the takings were £944 down, at one stage during a particularly heavy downpour, the financial outlook seemed it might end up being a great deal worse, but attendance levels and monies raised held up well, in spite of the difficult situation. A great deal of preparatory work goes into organising this annual event, some starting in the Spring term, and without the dedication and loyalty of a hard core of staff, parents, and outsiders, it simply would not be possible to hold the event – so it is to them that Moor House owes a debt of gratitude. All in all it was a grand effort, the result of which is that the Welfare Fund is now the richer for it, in turn enabling more student extra curricula activities to be undertaken, as well as more facilities to be acquired for them. (Click here for photos) Surrey Youth Games On 23rd and 24th June, students from each key stage took part in the Surrey Youth Games on behalf of Tandridge. Congratulations to the following: Oliver Riley, Henry Ellis, Hamish Stuart and Michael Conlon (all of 2MP) who received a Gold Cup and medals for winning the junior Boccia. Alex Cuthbertson (3S), Tom Gerred and Connor Burns (both 3H) who won bronze medals in the senior Boccia Tim D‟Urban, Alex Ball, Nathan Selvendran (all 3S), Gavin Elliott, Jonathan Davies and Patrick Magee (all 3M), Louis Spenceley (4G), Joe Green and Darren Holt (both 4B), who between them received Bronze medals for the senior football. Well done to all! A few reminders ....... Sponsored Bounce – Monday, 23rd July May I remind everyone that, as part of our fun-filled activity day, on 23rd July, we are holding a fundraising sponsored bounce, to be held on the school‟s trampoline, with students and staff taking part. If you have not already done so, please support us by completing your form and returning it in time for the event! Every little bit helps! Parents’ Questionnaires Thank you to those of you who have returned questionnaires. They have provided valuable information for the Senior Management Team to plan for next year. However, there is still time to return any that are still outstanding; if you have mislaid your original form, please don‟t hesitate to contact school for a replacement. We value the view and comments of all parents – the more views we receive the better we can see if there are any developing trends. Changes of term dates You will shortly receive a letter informing you of an important change of calendar date in the autumn term. Students should return to school on the morning of Tuesday, 30th October (after half term week) – not the evening of Monday, 29th. School will be open from 9 am but for those of you have a long journey, we will not be starting full lessons until 10.45 am. However, please note also that all Year 10 pupils should return by 9.30 am, in time for Preparation for Transition Day. Children returning earlier than this will work on their own individual programmes, in classes. Please read the letter to learn further details. Security In order to continue to optimise the security of pupils and staff at Moor House School, may I remind all parents that, until 4.30 pm, the only access to the school on Fridays is via the main front door leading into reception. After 4.30 pm, admission can only be gained through the door on the south side of the school (near the staff room). On Sundays, the only admission will be through this side door. The door will be locked at all times and aces can be gained by ringing the bell for staff to open it for you. It would be appreciated if children do not return during supper on a Sunday (6.15 – 6.45 pm) as this will cause difficulties and disruption. Please also ensure that you sign yourself and your child in and out, using the book provided just inside the side door, as this will also help to improve security. Coming soon ..... in September, 2007 A new menu for evening meals. Terry Luff is designing a new and exciting menu, which will include homemade soup, baked potatoes, salads and savouries. Terry has many new recipes he wants to try but will be happy to receive new ideas! If your child has a favourite dish which contains healthy ingredients, why not email the recipe to Terry, on email@example.com.