Awards & Achievements

Wheatfields Junior School - Karate

We were delighted to hear about Thomas in Year 5’s success in karate. Thomas has been attending the LVKA karate club for few years and he is currently at green belt. He recently attended the kata and kumite competition of the club and won the silver medal for the kata performance. He is deservedly proud of this achievement. Well done Thomas!

Wheatfields Infants' and Nursery School - CPRE Art Competition

We have received the following notification from CPRE children's art competition (Campaign to Protect Rural England) Hertfordshire, which is a charitable organisation, and are delighted to learn that one of our school entries was successful!

“We have been encouraged and uplifted by the art work that has been submitted. Thank you so much for entering and we hope that your school and the children have benefitted from taking part

Congratulations Sophie (Year 2, First Place, Certificate and £25 voucher)

'Hedgerows Up Close' led to great variety in the medium used, the creativity was inspiring and the interpretation of colour was enlightening; art teachers should take credit for enabling children to produce such creative pieces of work".


Verulam School - Pi Maths

On 14 March 2023 mathematicians across the world celebrated Pi Day.  Pi is the ratio of a circle's circumference to its diameter and is approximated to be 3.14, hence the celebrations on this day!  Our Mathematics department always look forward to this day and plan lots of fun activities for the students. 

To round off Pi Day, eight of our Year 10 students travelled to Barnwell School in Stevenage to take part in the AMSP Maths Feast Challenge. Four rounds of mathematical challenges tested our students on mathematical problem solving and even their team work skills. They were fantastic as we knew they would be and one of our teams even placed 3rd out of the 20 teams. 

Thank you and congratulations to: Daniel I, George G, Tom R, George B, Rachad B, Alex E, Marcus L and Victor A.

Garden Fields - Karate

Noah from Year 4 took part in the Karate 'TISKA National Kyu Grade (Colour Belt) Championship.'

Competing in his age group & with other green belts, he was awarded 2nd place for his individual Kata!

A fantastic achievement Noah!

Garden Fields JMI School - Photography Competition

I am delighted to say that Alex in Y3, entered the Rotary Young Photographer competition with the theme of 'The Beauty of Architecture' and has been selected to go forward to the district competition in the junior section.

This is his picture entitled ‘A building through a window’, which reflects St Pancras station off the British Library.

Great work, Alex - well done and good luck in the district junior competition!

Skyswood Primary & Nursery School - Gymnastics

Congratulations to Claire in Year 6 who has won two medals in her club gymnastic competition. Competing in the under-11 category, Claire performed a beautiful floor routine to win the silver medal and a special commendation for her presentation and artistry. She then went on to win a silver medal for her vault.

Well done, Claire a fantastic achievement!’

Sandringham School - U18 Bench Press Championships

A huge congratulations to Olly P in Year 12, who travelled to Ashington at the beginning of March to compete in the U18 British Bench Press Championships, and won! He has now been invited to represent Great Britain in both the European and World Championships later this year. This is a fantastic achievement which takes a lot of preparation and hard work so well done Olly- we are really proud of you.

Ridgeway Academy - Karate

Two Year 11 students have achieved great success in Karate. Beatrix S took part in the regional championships and achieved gold in kata and silver in kumite. Beatrix also got Student of the Year for karate. Aimee A got most improved student of 2022.

Since December Beatrix has become a green belt and is preparing for orange belt and likewise Aimee is a purple belt looking to become blue.

Incredible achievements, well done.

Ridgeway Academy - Swimming

Megan S in Year 13 and Daisy W in Year 8 took part in the East Regional Figure Competition in Stevenage for Artistic swimming (formally known as Synchronised swimming). They were both placed in the Top 3 in their category. Megan achieved a Bronze Medal for her Grade 4 Figures and Daisy achieved a Gold Medal for her Grade 2 Figures.

Before Christmas Megan also passed her Judging Exam, where she had the opportunity to Judge ungraded and Grade 1 Figures.

Congratulations to both girls. An amazing achievement.

Sandringham School - Netball

The U15 Netball team are District Champions! A fantastic performance from the whole squad to retain their title from last year! The tournament was formatted as a round robin so we played 8 games against each of the schools in the district. We beat all teams but STAHS who we drew with 9-9. We were still crowned district champions as they drew another game with STAGS. Player of the tournament for us was Charlotte Hannam for an outstanding performance in defence.

Sandringham School - Knole Run

A brilliant run from our superb senior girls at the beginning of term saw them end in second place in the Knole Run. This is a prestigious competition which goes back to the 1970’s.  At 9.4km in length and set within the hilly national trust park it is one of the toughest and most eagerly anticipated races of the season, attracting many of the top cross country schools from around the country.

Well done Zoe H, Beckie C, Martha D, Madeleine B, Annabel H and Lily T (Capt), we are very proud of you!

Garden Fields JMI School - Cross Country

We are delighted to report that 3 of our pupils finished in the top 10 of the Herts County School Cross Country Qualifiers at Verulamium Park, held on Saturday 4 February. They now qualify for the national finals!  Congratulations to Oliver, Victor and Sadie and a special mention to Josie who did brilliantly and only just finished outside the top 10 in eleventh place. 

We are very proud of you all.

Skyswood Primary & Nursery School - Maths

Our Year 4 class have really excelled in their National Rock Stars Competition, finishing in the top ten schools nationally (ninth) out of the 2,890 schools that have taken part. The Year 4 multiplication check takes place in the summer term but the class ‘average’ score is already 23/25 (well above Herts and National averages). 50% of the class achieved full marks. A special congratulations to those children in the picture as they completed the full hour (maximum time for any child within the competition).

Ridgeway Academy - Bowls

At the beginning of the year I took part in an international bowls event against many countries and in which I was in the pairs category. The first match was on Friday afternoon and me and my partner beat Wales. We then played the Chanel islands, also beating them, which guaranteed us a medal. Unfortunately Scotland won, but my partner and I came home with a bronze medal and England came second overall.

The best part except from getting a bronze is that it was my first time playing at international level indoor and my first series in which I got a medal, which is amazing and I'm very happy and hope to strive and improve and one day get a gold.

Rhianna R,  Sixth Form

Wellbeing & Community

Verulam School - PTA

A highlight of the Spring Term was the PTA quiz. It was wonderful to see so many parents and friends of the school attend – the hall was alive with the buzz of thoughtful discussion as we worked our way through Mr Bint’s fiendish quiz questions. 

The brilliant Mr Bint (an excellent maths teacher if you have not yet come across him) creates our quizzes around a school-based theme. This term’s theme was our new two-week timetable. We were treated to rounds based on curriculum subjects – and the timetable also included homework for us to do. It is safe to say that the teacher’s table struggled somewhat with their homework… anagrams are clearly not our forte.

The PTA don’t just put on an excellent quiz night, they also support a range of school events and by doing this they get a greater understanding of the whole school rather than just their son/daughter in Sixth Form’s school life. They also get to know other parents and enjoy the time they spend together. 

Wheatfields Junior School - Feel Good Week

Feel Good Week is an annual Hertfordshire wide event that encourages schools and the wider community to focus on and promote the wellbeing of pupils and staff in schools. This year at Wheatfields, we celebrated how we are all unique individually and how by coming together we can create wonderful things.

We enjoyed a whole school project where each child had the opportunity to design and paint their own pebble. We were delighted by the creativity and care shown by each child. Together we have created a beautiful, welcoming display at our main reception for all of our visitors to enjoy.

We are really proud of what we have created together.

Wheatfields Infants' and Nursery School - Daffodils

The daffodils that the children planted as part of our 50th Anniversary Celebrations have appeared again this year. The children are being very careful not to stand on them! 

Sandringham School - partner school in Gambia

Over February half term, 14 students from the Sixth Form travelled to The Gambia to visit Farafenni Senior Secondary School, our link school which we have worked with since 2008.

The purpose of the trip was for students from both schools to learn about each other and their ways of life and to understand the similarities and differences between both schools. We also took some resources to the school which had been bought using fundraised money, including science equipment, textbooks, sports equipment and funds for new chairs for the school hall.

While we were at the school, we spoke in assemblies, participated in lessons and got involved in a cultural show which the students performed in. Students from both schools became friends and discovered that despite cultural differences, they were in fact very similar and shared many interests.

Garden Fields JMI School - Wellbeing Wednesday

As part of Children’s Mental Health week this year on 6-12 February, and a theme covered in our KS1 and KS2 assemblies at the start of the week, we also had a special Wellbeing Wednesday on 8 Feburary.  Children had various wellbeing activities in class to aid their children’s mental health including for example Miss McLaughlin’s yoga session for Year 4 and Mr Berman’s speed stacking in Curlew class.

The Wellbeing Wednesday was organised by our Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE leads) Miss McLaughlin, Mrs Carrasco and our Deputy Head and Mental Health lead Miss Palmer.

Mrs Welton also organised the Blue Tangerine café which gave out coffee to both parents and staff - all paid for by our PTA who also had a pastries stall. It was a lovely day and the perfect beginning to the February Half-Term!

Skyswood Primary & Nursery School - Environmental area pond

Our School Council met and discussed plans with Heidi Carruthers (Herts and Essex wildlife Trust) to create a pond in the environmental area and increase biodiversity within the school grounds.  A generous parental donation has enabled us to fund this particular project and excavation work took place over the half-term break.

Our pond is a ‘stepped’ design, with steps at 20 and 40 cms and a maximum depth of 70 cms in the centre. It has been designed with both safety and biodiversity in mind, and will be set up to attract a range of wildlife, including the endangered species of great crested newt. We are looking forward to an official ‘opening’ of the pond at our Summer Fair, in June 2023.

Wheatfields Junior School - Plant Donation

The school received a generous donation just before the half term break. A large olive tree, three palm trees and a silver birch were kindly donated to the school from residents at Heritage Close in St Albans. School Council are planning where to put these lovely plants in the school grounds for all to enjoy and see.

Verulam School - Sports Hall of Fame

As a school, we love celebrating students, both past and present, who have gone on to achieve remarkable feats within the world of sport and physical activity. With this in mind, we wanted to create a display that inspired the young men and women who walk through the sports hall with inspirational figures that have attended Verulam.

A wide array of students both past and present were celebrated with an array of sports/achievements. From Tomas Galvez at Manchester City/Finland National team and Hayley Ladd at Manchester United Woman/Wales National team to Oli Stockwell a GB cyclist and Thomas Heath at GB fencing, the diversity and levels of achievement are huge.

Not only about participation, our hall of fame celebrated students who have gone on to successful careers in physiotherapy, personal training, sports podcasts and even our current student Jacob H in refereeing.

We hope this inspires our students to aim for the best and realise the opportunities that sport can provide.

Skyswood Primary & Nursery School - Community Visits

Nursery Friends joined Reception Friends to welcome two police community support officers into Nursery. PCO Chris explained that the police are there to help people and to help keep us safe. He showed us his walkie talkie and body camera. He explained that they wear bright yellow reinforced jackets because it is the brightest colour and it is important for people to be able to see the officers if they need them.

We also welcomed Mike, our lollipop man into Nursery. He explained that he uses his lollipop to stop traffic so that we can cross the road safely. He demonstrated how his bright yellow coat with reflective stripes makes him more visible to drivers. He even lent Nursery a lollipop stick and a bight coat so that Nursery Friends could practise good road safety.

Wheatfields Infants' and Nursery School - NSPCC

On the 3rd February the children took part in 'Dress up for Digits', raising money to support NSPCC services such as Childline. We had a fun-filled day of maths activities and games. Children were invited to wear or decorate a top, leggings with a number or numbers, in return for a donation to the NSPCC on school gateway. It was amazing to see such an array of colourful numbers in school and we were all very impressed by how articulate the children were in telling us about why they had chosen to wear that number.

Mrs Bushi did a great assembly using lots of numbers!

Well done to everyone - you raised an amazing £212.00!

Curriculum News

Skyswood Primary & Nursery School - History

Year 3 went back to the Stone Age when they visited Celtic Harmony and took part in some exciting ‘Stone Age’ experiences. They discovered how fire would have been started using the friction method. It was quite exhilarating to see the small puff of smoke become an ember and then, with a little oxygen, become a flame. They were then taken into the woods and given the opportunity to build their own shelters using Hazel sticks, brush and leaves.

After this, they went on a hunter-gatherer expedition, searching out what food the Stone Age people may have eaten. The class then tested their spear throwing by hunting a giant woolly mammoth. After lunch, they learnt about trading goods in prehistoric times. with wood, fur, goat horns, shells and hammer stones as their currency.  With a lesson in tool making, the guide demonstrated how pieces of flint were used to sharpen and cut, and how other tools would have been used. The day ended with making kale soup. Kale was crushed using a muddling stick and herbs such as lavender and thyme were added. 

Wheatfields Infants' and Nursery School - Music

After February half term each class enjoyed a music workshop run by the Hertfordshire Music Service. The workshop for Nursery and Reception explored samba music and instruments, Year 1 focused on rhythmical patterns using a range of percussion instruments and Year 2 took part in a drumming workshop using Djembe drums which is linked to their Geography topic this term and through which they will explore the continent of Africa.

River in Reception said "I was the chief of the Music. I held stop and play."

"You move the shaker slowly to make a quiet sound." Said Kayla in Year 1.

"I loved the drumming - it was fun! It made me feel happy. I liked the game the best -first him to drum and next us to copy!" said Kit in Year 2

Sandringham - ELD Mathematics

Year 7 had a great day working on problem solving for their Extended learning Day, (ELD) Mathematics challenge, "Location, Location." 

Their task was to find a suitable property for a family based on various criteria and budgets. Some of the students were quite surprised at just how expensive the cost of living can be! The day involved working on their own and also in pairs and finally presenting their findings to all larger group.

All of these are important life skills, and of course it was an opportunity to test their Maths knowledge at the same time. Thank you to the Mathematics Faculty for all your hard work- we are sure the students learnt a lot from the day.

Wheatfields Infants' and Nursery School - Science

Recently the children became fully immersed in their Science Week activities. Thank you to Vonnell O'Neil from Sandringham School and student Zainab for doing the 'Elephant Toothpaste' demonstration which involved adding yeast, dish soap and food colouring to hydrogen peroxide!

Professor Jones visited Year 2 classes and carried out different experiments to explore light and colour. We would like to say thank you to Mrs Campbell, for organising this amazing week. The children have done some fantastic experiments, and predicted, analysed, recorded and evaluated. Each class had been set a challenge based on a fairy tale. 

Year 1 enjoyed their recent trip to Stockwood Park, the focus of the trip was History and Science skills. The children took part in a workshop called ‘Two wheels to four wheels” through which they investigated how transport has changed over the years as well as thinking about the different ways transport is powered. Staff reported how proud they were of all of our children. It was great having conversations today with the children and asking which part of the trip they enjoyed, answers varied from the coach, the playground, the maze to the scavenger hunt!

Wheatfields Junior School - French

Children in Year 6 enjoyed making pancakes whilst learning how to say the ingredients in their French lessons. Mme Bresson is now inviting everyone to get cooking in making crepes at home with a prize for the most creative crepes! 

Verulam School - CED

The theme for the second of our Curriculum Enrichment Days this academic year was Religious Education. Students across all year groups and key stages took part in a range of activities, workshops and tasks with links to different faiths, representing a range of beliefs from today’s contemporary British society.

Year 7 spent the day working with STEP (The St Albans and Harpenden Christian Education Project). It is a statutory requirement of the Hertfordshire Agreed Syllabus for RE that through Key Stage 3, schools should undertake an in-depth study of Christianity. Verulam School is proud and lucky to have a strong working relationship with STEP to deliver a strong Christian education to our students. There have even been some follow up visits in classroom sessions to discuss and debate the existence of God.

Many Year 8 students visited The British Museum to partake in a religious artefacts treasure hunt, seeking treasures from all six major world religions – just like Indiana Jones! Students had the opportunity to explore and experience cultures across the globe from the dawn of human history to the present day. There were also many cross-curricular links to enrich other subject areas, including Art, Geography, History, D&T and Citizenship.

Other Year 8 students remained on site and completed some beautiful pieces of spirited arts, considering the relationship between religion and art. Students used different artistic styles, including Chinese paper lanterns, Buddhist mandalas, Islamic pattern stencils and stained-glass designs.

Verulam is a UCL Beacon School centre for Holocaust Education. Year 9 students received important Holocaust Education on this day in the lead up to Holocaust Memorial Day on Friday 27 January 2023. A challenging but necessary day of staff-led workshops covered the topics Being Human, What was the Holocaust?, Authentic Encounters and Resistance. They also watched a documentary with Holocaust survivor Freddie Knollers. This was further supported by an assembly the following week.

Year 10 were visited by a number of guests speakers for a multifaith panel. Guests from Humanists UK, Mitzvah Day (Judaism), Hinduism, Islam and Buddhism. It was a great opportunity for students to engage with different members from local faith communities. There will be some further works with Mitzvah Day in the Summer Term.

Two external companies presented to Year 11 students in support of their GCSE Religious Studies content and revision. Mitzvah Day spoke about Judaism and the Jewish beliefs concerning social action and justice. Stand Up! Education against Discrimination is an interfaith programme led by facilitators from Jewish and Muslim backgrounds, demonstrating how groups often perceived as oppositional can work together successfully. Through debunking myths and challenging stereotypes about the communities, young people's critical thinking skills are developed, enabling them to identify and counter discrimination safely and responsibly. Students also had the opportunity to develop their revision skills with a focus on their current GCSE philosophical unit of work about the existence of God and revelation.

A spiritually enriching day was had by all. Year 13 even managed to demonstrate mindfulness by practising yoga. Namaste.

Garden Fields JMI School - Geography

Year 2 have been studying a Coastline topic. So what better way to learn about coastlands than by visiting one!  And so they did - visiting Southend for the day to investigate.

They also had a Victorian Beach workshop where they wrote their own postcards, made souvenirs, played a variety of Victorian style games and ran their own beach café - all using old, Victorian money.

Skyswood Primary & Nursery School - Local History

Year 1 enjoyed a very fun filled trip to St Albans Cathedral at the beginning of term. They learnt all about the story of Saint Alban. Alban lived in the Roman city of Verulamium. He became a Saint because he gave shelter to a Christian priest, Amphibalus, and exchanged clothes with him so that Amphibalus could escape the Romans. Alban was then executed. The children had the opportunity to role play this story before having a well-deserved lunch. After lunch, they made their own mosaics. They planned their mosaic using a range of beautiful tiles before sticking them into place. It was a fabulous day and the class were a real credit to the school, well done Year 1!

Sandringham School - STEM

Members of our Future Tech Club meet every Tuesday to spend time coding and learning new programming languages. The group has grown in popularity and the students are enjoying using Scratch and Python. Some have even been trying C sharp, which is quite advanced for the KS3 students who attend.

A big thanks to Year 12 Computer Science students Katy S and Imogen R (pictured) who come every week to help lead the club. 

Skyswood Primary & Nursery School - D&T

Year 4 have produced some fabulous books to support their DT project on pop-up books and their literacy work around the story of Biscuit Bear. The children learnt about various pop-up mechanisms and took great care to illustrate their spooky pop-up stories, enjoying the opportunity to share them with some of our younger children. Their Biscuit Bear books were equally impressive.

Wheatfields Junior School - Science

Year 4 have just begun an exciting new Science topic on Electricity. The children had to decide whether a variety of circuits would work or not. Once they had made their predictions, they made the circuits to test whether they were correct. There was lots of discussion, exploration and satisfaction when they were successful in making the light bulbs glow!

Ridgeway Academy - Geography

Our Year 7 students have been learning how to use maps which included an investigation into a grid square on the local ordnance survey map. The students had to draw their square in detail and answer various questions, including one imagining that they were in the square and even making their own tour around the square. They have put their map skills to good use including using compass directions, grid references and using scale. 

Our Year 8 students have been learning all about coastal processes. They have learnt about different types of waves, processes of erosion, transport and deposition, coastal landslides and all about how the coast can be protected and managed. They have made posters or leaflets about the dangers on the coast. They are now investigating the weather and climate and have been designing their own houses to suit tropical, polar or desert regions of the World.

In Year 9 students have completed a unit of work all about development. This has included investigations into shanty towns and they have planned how they would help to improve life in the shanty towns and learnt how to help people to escape poverty. They have also been learning about the physical and human geography of Russia and took part in a carousel activity to investigate the Chenobyl disaster.

Year 10 GCSE students are working very hard and seem to be enjoying the course so far. They have learnt about earthquakes, volcanoes, tropical storms and global circulation, climate change, and urban issues and challenges. This has included studies on Nepal, Italy, The Philippines, and cities like Mumbai, India and London UK. Students are currently investigating sustainable living in Freiburg, Germany.

Ridgeway Academy - History

Year 9 have just had their Holocaust Education day, where they were off timetable having lessons designed by the UCL Holocaust Education Trust looking at the stories of people affected by the Holocaust. They were then privileged to be joined by Susan Pollack OBE, a Holocaust survivor, who shared her experiences and answered questions from the students.

This is a very challenging subject for students to learn about, and Year 9 were excellent in their engagement during the day.

Mrs N Picariello Head of History

Wheatfields Junior School - Geography

Year 6 have been taking part in Geography field trips to the Quadrant. The purpose was to look at the use of commercial land in our local area as part of their ‘Global Trade’ topic. The children planned the route on digimaps and conducted a risk assessment on the possible hazards during the journey. Once at the Quadrant, they looked at and recorded on a map using a key, the type of shops there were and if units were empty, considered why the shops may have closed down. They then discussed the reasons behind the placing of the shops. Finally, the children considered what type of shop they would open at the Quadrant if they had the chance


Sandringham School - Young Enterprise

Congratulations are in order for T.K.Minimum, our Year 12 Young Enterprise Company that gives new purpose to old clothes by modelling and selling them!

In a recent Dragon's Den-style Competition, they achieved Overall Winner for the East of England. First, a small group of them gave a presentation about their company and business model. To keep it interesting, two even modelled some of their merchandise. Then they had to tackle questions that such as how they ensure their stock is clean and how they will attract customers.

We're really proud of this sustainable enterprise's success. Well done.

Sandringham School - Sustainability projects

We have a ‘Sustainability Strategy’ which aims to further improve multiple aspects of the school. This year, we have put together a new travel plan as we aim to support all students and staff to make travel as sustainable as possible. We are working with the new student committee on projects in biodiversity and waste and subject areas continue to develop topics to bring in topics in sustainability. The school caterer is working closely with us to reduce the use of disposables, with plates being brought back in and food waste being separated. There will also be whole year group projects running in coming months to bring together community and action in sustainability.


Sandringham School - trip to Vietnam

The biannual Sixth Form Expedition saw 50 students and 6 staff following a packed itinerary exploring Vietnam and Cambodia over February half term. The trip began as soon as we left the airport, into the 30 degree heat, with a tour of Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia, and a visit to the Royal Palace before our first meal of rice and noodles.

Day 2 began with a very sombre morning visiting the Killing Fields and Teul Sleng, the genocide museum which explains the horrors of the Khmer Rouge under Pol Pot. A long coach journey to Siem Reap gave us all time to reflect, see more of the countryside and for the more adventurous, an opportunity to try fried spiders at a stop along the way. Our last day in Cambodia was an awe inspiring visit deep in the jungle to the vast temple complex built in the 12th century, Angkor Wat, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. 

Our arrival in Vietnam was no less hectic with a visit to the tunnels from the Vietnam war near Ho Chi Minh. Students crawled through tunnels, saw remnants of tanks and shells plus examples of the traps set by the Viet Cong in their bid for liberation. After a flight north to the busy city of Hanoi, we travelled to Ha Long bay, another UNESCO World Heritage Site, famed for its limestone pillars and islets. This was a great opportunity for some fun kayaking enjoying the boat journey around the bay. Another more sedate boat trip in Van Long broke up the journey to Cuc Phuong, a national park deep in the jungle where we were to undertake our conservation work. 

We were all grateful for the mosquito nets at our accommodation, particularly as we discovered a leech had attached itself to one student and seeing the various large venomous centipedes, golden tortoise beetle and other bugs in and around the area. After a tai chi session and breakfast, the students began their first of their conservation work sessions. This included working with endangered primates, turtles, deer and pangolin with students renovating enclosures to move primates, preparing food and feeding turtles, deer, cleaning out pangolin enclosures. The students learned why many of the species at the centre are critically endangered; loss of habitat, trafficking for pets or killed for alleged medicinal properties.

Students were absolutely superb, fully immersing themselves into the culture and making the most of every opportunity and inspiring many of them to plan their future travels. They were a pleasure to take away and fantastic ambassadors for the school. Thank you to all of the staff who accompanied the trip and to staff at school covering lessons. 

Verulam School - Gothic Tales Event

At the beginning of the term Year 9 had the opportunity to take part in an in-school event, ‘Gothic Tales’.

The workshop (run by Red Heart Theatre) incorporated the telling of 3 gothic tales from the golden age of gothic horror: The Red Room by H G Wells, The Signalman by Charles Dickens and The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allen Poe. The three pieces were all performed in full, period costume on a Victorian set, with ingenious, atmospheric lighting and sound effects.

The workshop provided a great introduction to the genre for our students who began studying ‘Jane Eyre’ following the Christmas break.

The Gothic tradition utilises elements such as supernatural encounters, remote locations, complicated family histories, ancient manor houses, dark secrets, and mysteries to create an atmosphere of suspense and terror. The plot of Jane Eyre includes most of these elements.

Students all thoroughly enjoyed the workshop and teaching staff have all utilised the sessions (thereafter) to effectively recall elements of the gothic, bringing these alive for our classes.

Garden Fields JMI School - Young Voices

Year 4 took part in the amazing O2 Young Voices Concert, which is the largest Children’s choir in the world with ages ranging from 6-13 and provides an opportunity for primary school children to perform all styles of music including folk, pop, rock and classical, unifying children from across the region, boosting their confidence and providing lifelong memories for them and their families. Choirs range from 4,500 to 8,500 children, all performing at the same time to capacity audiences of friends and family.

Teachers & Pupils practice the dance routines and learn the songs in their music lessons for many months before they excitedly come together for the show, combining the power of singing together as one, with accompaniment from a wide range of musicians and artists, to create an amazing performance.

Great thanks to Miss Wray, Miss Hayden and our Year 4 team for taking the children to the O2 for the Concert. This was such a fantastic experience for them to take part in - an actual live concert in a full arena! 

Verulam School - Sponsored Read

To celebrate and encourage a lifelong love of reading at home and at school, Verulam School participated in a two-week sponsored read event between Monday 6 March and Friday 17 March. The event was organised and supported by our local Usborne Book Publisher and all the money raised has gone towards brand new books for our school library.

In addition to the sponsorship money that pupils raised, Usborne Books donated 60% of the total raised in extra free books to the school. Our target was £600, and to date we have raised over £1,400 with sponsorship still coming in.  An amazing total!

Awards were given to the most amount of minutes read in each form, year group and overall. Some of the awards included House Points, Letters of Recognition and the chance to be invited to be part of Mr Pettitt’s Book Selection Committee to help choose the books we purchase from this event.

We look forward to having more books to read in the library!

AAT working together

A huge thank you to the staff who facilitated events and organised the logistics of the day and to all the delegates who embraced the event with enthusiasm and the made it a worthwhile experience.  Final comments go to those who took part:

It was a great event! Variety of workshops, good food, nice freebies!  Conference is certainly a highlight of the year.

It was the best one yet! Congratulations to all involved. It really motivated and inspired me and made me feel proud to be part of the AAT.

AAT Teaching and Learning Conference - Our Vision for Learning.

On Thursday 9 February we welcomed over 430 delegates from across all AAT schools to attend our Conference.  The day compromised of more than 60 workshop and networking events focusing on topics as diverse as ‘Unpicking and Supporting Spelling Difficulties’ and ‘Ethical and Empathetic Leadership’ and two keynote speakers, Lemn Sissay, OBE: poet playwright, memoirist performer and broadcaster and Steve Sallis, founder of who has worked extensively across business and elite sport for a number of years.


Goodbye to Garden Fields Head, Andrew Farrugia

We are sure you will join us in thanking Mr. Farrugia for his leadership of Garden Fields over the past 6 years. Mr. Farrugia has been instrumental in building on the previous performance of the school and further developing its reputation in the local area. He oversaw the transition for Garden Fields to join the Alban Academies Trust with the benefits that come from working in partnership with other local schools. He has been a great support and provided key guidance for all teachers at Garden Fields, not to mention being a kind and caring Headteacher for all the children. The AAT and Garden Fields will greatly miss his welcoming and inclusive approach to leadership and the encouragement and support he has given to so many people and we wish him every success in the future.

Workshops were facilitated by a range of experts from both external organisations and AAT schools.  The event was a great success and enabled delegates to further develop friendships, networks and professional relationships as we shared great practice and learnt from one another, embodying what we wanted to achieve as Our Vision for Learning