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									          Sir John Lawes School Newsletter No 359
                        8 May 2009

There‟s a real tension in the air this week as our year 11 and 6 form students come ever
closer to their public exams and, for some, have their last ever lessons at SJL. As I write, year
11 are enjoying their traditional day out to Alton Towers (hope the weather improves!) before
their last full day on Monday and their leavers‟ ceremony on Tuesday, to which we hope to
welcome as many parents as possible. Our year 12 students begin their AS study leave today
and then just before half term we will say goodbye to our year 13 students. Good luck to you

Can I draw the attention of year 11 parents to the fact that, although formal lessons end on
Monday, we will have our normal programme of revision and study sessions running in school
after that so that students are as well prepared as possible for their exams. Attendance is
compulsory for members of the target group and highly recommended for everyone else! If
you have any questions about the timetable or the sessions please do contact the school.

Elsewhere in this newsletter you can find an account of another sporting first for SJL – Senior
County Athletics Champions for the first time! Congratulations to all those who took part –
we‟re definitely going to need more awards boards in the hall! Can I also take this opportunity
to congratulate Beth Barratt in year 12 who has been selected for the Great Britain Under-21
Ladies Canoe Polo team. This is a brilliant achievement for Beth and we wish her every
success in the upcoming European Championships in Essen, Germany.

More congratulations – but this time for SJL staff. Helen Gosnell, who has had such an
impact since her arrival at Sir John Lawes 4 years ago, has been shortlisted for Regional
Teacher of the Year in the Teaching Awards. She‟s horribly embarrassed by the attention but
we wish her every success in the finals in June! Finally the National College of School
Leadership has just designated Sir John Lawes a „National Support School‟. This is an award
that recognises primary and secondary organisations that do an exceptionally good job of
supporting other schools and is a considerable honour as there are fewer than 200 such
schools nationally and we are the first in Hertfordshire. Well done to all the staff on having
their hard work recognised in this way!

As always, if you have any comments or suggestions I would be pleased to hear from you,
please contact me at

                                                                                  Claire Robins



Some people may have experienced difficulties getting through to the school switchboard
over the last week or so. This problem has now been rectified and we apologise for any
inconvenience caused.


Autumn term 2009
Wednesday 2 & Thursday 3 September – INSET
Friday 4 September – Y7s and 6 form start back
Monday 7 September – whole school return


To parents of students in year 7 re BCG vaccinations.

The Ski Trip 2010 has now been launched and letters giving details of the trip have been
handed out in assemblies. We are going to Davos this year - one of Switzerland's more
famous ski resorts. It is situated at an altitude of over 1,200m and has lots of wide open
spaces, well-groomed runs and easy access. If you are interested in receiving a letter on the
trip please see Mrs Brown in the Admin Office or Mr Snaylam in PE.


if you currently receive one of the following benefits:

       Income support or
       Income-based jobseeker's allowance or
       Income-related employment and support allowance or
       Pension credit (guarantee credit) or
       Child Tax Credit with a taxable income of no more than £15,575 (or £16,040 2009)
        and not in receipt of Working Tax Credit

You may also be eligible to receive Free School Meals and other educational benefits such

       Help with music fees
       Help with cycle training fees
       Help with transport

The system for applying for Free School Meals has changed and it is now much easier all you
need to do is fill in your application form online or phone the Customer Service Centre the rest
will be done for you. Your application will be processed within 7 days.

To apply log on to or phone the Customer Service Centre on 01438
737370 or 01923 471370.

You do need to re-apply every year if your child is already receiving Free School Meals.

On Wednesday 22 April four students from year 12 attended the University of Hertfordshire
under the Engineering Education Scheme for the final presentation their design of a variable
drag structure to a panel of expert engineering judges.
                                                           The engineering education
                                                           scheme introduces 6 formers
                                                           to the world of engineering
                                                           through a programme of joint
                                                           projects between participating
                                                           schools and sponsoring
                                                           industrial companies and
                                                           encourages students to take up
                                                           a career in engineering by giving
                                                           them hands on experience of
                                                           solving a real engineering

                                                              Left: Elizabeth Barratt, Christopher
                                                              Booth, Christopher Easton and Robert
                                                              Tink at their stand

Sponsored by Selex Galileo, Luton, the students were tasked with designing, manufacturing
and testing a variable drag structure to stabilize a towed decoy at a variety of airspeeds. The

project which started six months ago involved the students in over 100 hours of extra work to
their normal studies, and included a three day residential course at the University of Brighton
last December.

During the day the students gave a 15 minute presentation to the assessors later answering
questions on their 56 page report while manning a display stand showing the existing decoy
with their proposed new extendable drag blades and copies of the design drawings, while a
projector showed film of the wind tunnel tests at Brighton.

The afternoon concluded with a Royal Academy of Engineering award certificate presented
by Guy Hammersley, BSc, MSc, C.Geol, FGS, Hon FABE, Chief Executive of BRE Venture

                                                                       Photograph shows the
                                                                       Decoy, three wind tunnel test
                                                                       models, four extendable
                                                                       blades for the drag cone, a
                                                                       single proof of concept model
                                                                       and a copy of the final report.

                                                            On Monday 23 March, year 7
                                                            experienced a Roman Immersion
                                                            Day set by the Sir John Lawes‟
                                                            design and technology staff. This
                                                            included a visiting Roman, small
                                                            group activities and even a yummy
                                                            Roman lunch, prepared by the
                                                            catering staff. We interviewed Chloe
                                                            about her day and this is what she
                                                            said: “I loved the small groups we
                                                            were put in, I had a few of my best
                                                            friends within it and this made it
                                                            more enjoyable. In the morning we
                                                            made some Roman shields, we
                                                            used plywood to make them, and
                                                            paint to decorate them. They ended
                                                            up looking amazing. Halfway
                                                            through our morning activity we went
down to the sports hall and met the Roman soldier. He showed us how the Roman army
worked, it was very factual and interesting listening to him. After lunch some people changed
groups and went to do other things but because our activity was hard to do, we spent all day
on it. This was okay because the activity was so much fun! My friend, Anne-Marie, made
some jewellery in the morning using wire and some things found at the beach, they looked so
nice. In the afternoon she made mosaic portraits of others; they were super. At the end of
the day the staff helped us put up a wall of all the things we did. It was interesting to know

what everyone else had been up to, although it was a tight squeeze for all of us to fit in the
library. It was a very successful end to the day. I loved Monday -I wouldn‟t change it at all!”

                                                                      Anne-Marie and Chloe, year 7


A long time ago in the famous city of Rome where the buildings were made from stone, some
pupils from SJL were visiting. Not in person, in fact they stayed at school, but instead they
visited their lifestyle and how their innovations affect modern day life. For the day, we
scrapped normal lessons and in groups visited different teachers who were dressed up. We
looked at the calendar and its roots and how to dress like a Roman. We made shields,
catapults, collages, jewellery and marble cake and watched Petronius fire arrows! We had a
great time and at the end off the day made one enormous wall of boxes all showing the work
produced. A day worthy of Julius Caesar himself!

                                                                                Oli and Zak, year 7


1. Thanks you to all parents who supported their sons/ daughters during the last fortnight's
Drama Practical exams in GCSE and A/S Level. The showcase evenings had a great
atmosphere of support and enjoyment and we were very proud and impressed with their

2. The year 8 / 9 Hairspray trip next Wednesday 13th May is now open to Year 7 students as
we have a number of places left! We leave at 5.15 by coach and return at 11.00pm and the
cost is £26.50. We have fabulous seats and Michael Ball is still in it!!

Many thanks.

                                                                      Tim Armitage / Head of Drama


Exam timetable, a reminder!

For a 9.00am start students need to be on the all weather pitch by 8.40 and for a 1.30pm start
by 1.10pm. This will allow time to have all students seated in the exam hall for the
appropriate start times.

All students must have equipment in a clear plastic bag or pencil case.

Mobile phones and electronic equipment are not allowed into the exam hall and I would
recommend that they are not brought to school that day.

Maths - Linear (Fast Track and Early Entry Students)
      - 18/5/09         Linear Paper 1          starts 1.30pm
        1/6/09          Linear Paper 2          starts 9.00am

        23/6/09           Modular Paper               starts 9.00am

Religious Studies -       12/ 5/09         starts 1.30pm

Physical Education -      14/05/09         starts 9.00am


Ideas in context - (all except triple students)       10/6/09          1.30pm start

Biology         all students                      14/05/09        1.30pm start
Physics         all student                       22/6/09         9.00am start
Chemistry       all students                      17/6/09         9.00am start

Fast Track French -                               3/6/09          1.30pm start


All set for a record beating year!

This year has been a fantastic one for the School Association. We have raised over £8,000
so far and hopefully by the end of the year we should reach around £11,500. This is all
thanks to YOU for having been so supportive. You have come to our events, splashed out on
raffle tickets, drunk with gay abandon and generally supported our endeavours throughout the
year. SO – a big thank you for ensuring that all of our children will benefit from the enhanced
facilities we can subsequently offer them.

But before you sit back and relax there are two more events before we break for the summer.
I would really appreciate your support for them:
Saturday June 6                  Hot and Spicy : curry and disco night
Sunday June 28                   Sponsored Skydive

Hot and Spicy : curry and disco night

The curry and disco will, I promise, be a great night out. We will be treated to a delicious 2
course Indian meal (various curries with all the trimmings of naan breads, bhajis, samosas
followed by a zingy lemon mousse or Belgian chocolate mousse). Club Tropicana, the disco,
treated us last year at our Summer Soiree. They have a great collection of music and provide
something special in the form of a demo and then a lesson in salsa dancing. This is great fun
and guarantees to get everyone dancing. Please order now as we have to confirm bookings
ASAP. Click on this link for a ticket order form. You can make up a table of 8-10 or come on
your own and we will mix you in.

Sponsored Skydive

Imagine standing at an open doorway of a plane at 10,000 feet and being told “JUMP!” The
you throw yourself out and freefall at 120mph through the sky and the clouds! This is what
our intrepid sports duo – Mr Battersby and Mr Alexander – have bravely agreed to do; all to
raise funds to develop our school‟s facilities. What they need now is for you to sponsor them.
Click on this link for a sponsorship form and let‟s see just how much we can raise: any
amount will be gratefully appreciated to bring them back to terra firma.


Another piece of SJL sporting history was created last night when our Senior Athletics squad
became combined Schools‟ District Champions for the first time ever. Both the Girls‟ and the
Boys‟ squads performed admirably, the girls missing out on the overall victory in their
competition by just a single point to STAGs and the boys only being headed by the single sex
schools of St Albans and St Columba‟s College.
The combined score presented SJL with victory by a considerable margin.
There were many outstanding individual performances but the highlight was definitely Hannah
Walker‟s new District record of 4.44mins in the 1500m. Unbelievable!
The following students were all crowned individual Champions:

Girls‟ relay team of Meghan Chapple, Georgia Naden, Ella Fuller and Stacey Chambers.

Ella Fuller              800m
Meghan Chapple           High Jump
Gemma Wright             Discus
Joe Burgess              200m
Ryan Goodland            400m
Lee Close                High Jump (new PB of 1.78m)
We are all really proud of everyone that competed and congratulations to you all!

Fixtures for next week
Tuesday        Year 7 and 9             District Athletics               Westminster Lodge
Wednesday      Year 8 and 10            Cricket v Birchwood              Away
               Year 7,8,9 Girls         Tennis v Beaumont                Home
Thursday       Year 8 an 10             County League Athletics          Jarman Park
Friday         Year 8, 9 and 10         Tennis v SAHS                    Away
               Year 8, 9, 10 boys       Tennis v Townsend                Home


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