Reading, designing and dengeneering provided the focus for a Gruffalo-inspired interdisciplinary ssession at Talbot Heath school.
22nd January 2020 — Julia Donaldson's popular book, 'The Gruffalo', inspired a week of Gruffalo themed tasks in Kindergarten recently. Particularly enjoyable for the children was a session in the Hub, where they delighted in some dengeneering. The girls were met with different animal footprints across the floor of the DT room; the girls were invited to investigate them to decide which footprint belonged to which Gruffalo character. Also lurking in the Hub was the Gruffalo’s own den, and the young dengeneers worked in teams to build one of the other characters a den that they would also love to inhabit.
Choosing from a variety of fabric and natural resources, the pupils were encouraged to problem solve and think critically when designing their animal's house. As a result, the snakes' log house had a drain pipe entrance, so only he could enter by slithering inside it, and the fox's house was underground through a box tunnel. Each of the teams did a fantastic job and had lots of fun in the process too. At the end of the session, they all got a chance to showcase their dens to one another and Mrs Holloway, giving an explanation of their design choices.
Thanks go to the staff who organised the event, in particular Jo Hunt and Andrew Morris. The day enhanced key skills for the girls, especially communication and language skills, as well as providing an opportunity to work as a team through problem solving and critical thinking.
Congratulations to Talbot Heath pupil Larissa Cuthbert, who will be representing England at the European Youth Rapidplay and Blitz Chess Championships in Estonia, later this month.
19th November 2019 — Congratulations to Talbot Heath pupil Larissa Cuthbert, who has recently been selected for the European Youth Rapidplay and Blitz Chess Championships in Tallinn, Estonia. The 11-year-old from Dorset, will be travelling to the championships at the end of November because she has been selected to play for England. This follows on from her selection in April 2019 for the World School's Chess championship in Turkey. She is currently a member of the Southbourne chess club and the members have generously provided her with some sponsorship for the Estonia trip. Larissa has played in a variety of tournaments and existing wins include the U11 section of the Godalming Junior Open Congress at the Aldro School in Shackleford, where Larissa won all 5 and was awarded the champions trophy for the section. She was one of only two players who achieved a 100% score across all age groups.
Larissa, who started playing at the age of 6 said, ‘Chess is not just about wining, there is so much more to it, mostly it's about learning.’
Remembrance Day Commemorations made real for Talbot Heath Pupils
Talbot Heath school marked the centenary of the end of the First World War, with a living history day for pupils and staff.
19th November 2018 — Thanks to the military style organisation of Talbot Heath’s History Faculty, expertly led by historian Francesca Saunders, the school marked the centenary of the end of the First World War, with two major commemorative events: a Senior School Service of Remembrance and a morning of related activities where pupils experienced an immersive living history event.
Pupils were given the opportunity to handle WWI artefacts such as uniforms and bullets; explore a trench, which had been deftly created by the art department and the grounds team, and learn about scientific and medical advances in a reconstructed field hospital. Sixth Form pupils, who are intending to pursue a career in Medicine, staffed the field hospital, gaining insight into the challenges of treatment at the front. The girls also learned about the recruitment process and watched moving drama performances showing how the lives of different classes of women were affected by the war.
Edgar Avins won the Military Cross at the Battle of Vraucourt in 1918, and originally joined the Royal Hampshire Regiment, but was later transferred to the First Tank Regiment where he became a 2nd Lieutenant. He was the great-great-great-uncle of Maddy Cohen in Lower 4, and formed one of the many family histories from the school community, who were remembered in the commemorations through a ‘First World War Family Stories’ display.
Mrs Holloway thanked the staff involved in bringing history to life for its pupils in ‘a dynamic and innovative way.’ Adding, ‘It was an incredibly vibrant and engaging event that will have made a lasting impression on the pupils, inspiring them and enhancing their learning in a unique way'
The school has a unique historical heritage; the archives contain school magazines from the past 133 years, offering a wonderful insight into historical events. At the school’s 133rd birthday celebrations this year, extracts were read from letters from the front near Ypres, written by a former pupil serving as a nurse, to the then headmistress Miss Broad. Talbot Heath’s World War II air raid shelter, which accommodated 125 pupils during bombing raids and was part of a network of four extensive underground shelters, was open to the public as part of the Dorset Heritage Weekend. Pupils regularly experience ‘living history’ by learning within this authentic structure and studying the artwork and accounts of pupils who studied and slept underground during WW2. Baroness Shirley Williams sheltered here as a pupil while the bombs dropped overhead. TH welcomes pupils and visitors from across Dorset who would like to use the amazing shelter as a teaching or learning resource.
Talbot Heath school were pleased to welcome Victoria Sargeant, Head of Commodity Management at Siemens Mobility, who hosted a Women in Industry speed mentoring event for the Lower 5 students recently.
14th November 2018 — Pupils listened to a presentation on the importance of diversity in industry, and the work of Siemens and the Women@ Mobility network, before taking part in the speed mentoring activity. Thirty-three women from a range of functions across Siemens Mobility and Intelligent Traffic Systems, as well as representatives from Dorset Chamber, Team Jobs and other local businesses took part in the event. The girls had ten minutes with each mentor, to ask questions about their careers and career paths, and to ask for advice on careers and progression opportunities. It was a lively and successful morning, with plenty of excellent learning taking place and the pupils said that they felt they understood how to be more confident in themselves as a result. One Lower 5 commented that it was a fun and informative event, ‘I didn’t realise there were so many different pathways and opportunities out there, and I’m glad that I do not need to feel I have everything planned, and can be flexible in my career path.’ Many of the girls were interested to hear about the range of opportunities available in a business like Siemens, which they had previously viewed as an engineering company and was only of interest if they planned to be an engineer, they learnt about a range of other opportunities such as IT, marketing and law. Thanks go to Victoria Sargeant and to all of the mentors, who made the event possible; the mentors said they had felt inspired by the students they had spoken to. Thanks also go to Mrs Northey-Dennis for organising the Speed Mentoring, and plans are already afoot to repeat this valuable opportunity next year.
Highlights from George Frederic Handel’s ‘Messiah’, were performed by the Talbot Heath school community at the weekend.
14th November 2018 — Members of the TH school community performed highlights from Handel’s ‘Messiah’, for the THOGA Big Sing event. Organised by Talbot Heath Old Girls Association, the 35 singers included five current pupils, members of the THOGA, governors, TH singing teachers Joy and Lynton Atkinson, and ten male singers, from the school community. Together they created an informal and friendly event, culminating in an evening performance to family and friends, after just two and a half hours of rehearsals. Many of the THOGA choir were experienced choral singers and a very high standard was achieved in a short space of time.
Particular thanks go to the following solo performers: former pupil Isabelle Atkinson sang the solo soprano Arias, Jessica Ellis (from Lower 5) sang 'He Shall Feed His Flock', and Andy Bond sang 'The Trumpet Shall Sound'. The choir was expertly directed by Head of Music, Andrew Hill, assisted by Elaine Williams, and Sean Tucker accompanied on the piano. Headteacher, Angharad Holloway also leant her soprano voice into the mix; she thanked the choir members for their time and talent to create, ‘an uplifting and enjoyable musical event.’ She added, ‘it was marvellous to see a wide range of the school community there especially former pupils alongside current girls.’ Plans for a 'Mamma Mia' Big Sing in the summer term are already underway.
Talbot Heath school were very proud to be a part of the Mary Shelley Festival in Bournemouth with a film premier and dramatic performances, celebrating the writer's monstrous literary creation.
2018 marks 200th anniversary of the publication of Mary Shelley’s ‘Frankenstein’ and Talbot Heath school are proud to have been a part of the celebrations of Mary Shelley’s literary achievement this week. A showing of a new short film ‘Her Right to Write’ was devised and acted by Talbot Heath pupils, under the guidance of Miss Peace. It was filmed by the Wilbee Film Company, and premiered as part of the Shelley Festival at St. Peter’s Church, Bournemouth. Shelley’s seminal work has been, and continues to be, the inspiration for literary, dramatic visual and philosophical enquiry in a wide range of languages and cultures. The film was supported by dramatic readings from ‘Frankenstein’ and Shelley’s letters and journals, by Taya, Lily, Gigi, Jasmine and Ariella, who brought to life her monstrous creation and turbulent life.
One of the four houses at Talbot Heath school was recently named after Mary Shelley, thanks to the overwhelming votes from the school community. Mrs Holloway said, ‘This anniversary has huge resonance for us here: Mary was the same age as our sixth formers when she wrote her great iconoclastic tale. We are proud to celebrate her gift to enthral but also her courage and feminism in literally going where no man had ever been before.’ She added: ‘At Talbot Heath we place literature at the heart of our education. Our ‘Spellbound’ Festival of Literature and Illustration has proven to be extremely popular and we offer our pupils an exciting array of writing workshops and reading events to engage and entrance throughout the year.’
Four years ago, the school worked collaboratively with the Arts University Bournemouth (AUB) to perform ‘Frankenstein: The Year Without a Summer’ written by Helen Davis, at the Shelley Manor - the private Dorset theatre, built by the son of Romantic poet Percy Bysshe Shelley and his wife Mary. The perfomances helped to raise funds to support the renovation work.
Thanks go to all of the staff who supported this event, in particular Miss Peace and Mrs Larman for giving up their time and placing Mary within the context of Bournemouth and Talbot Heath; making it very real for the pupils.