15th February 2016

Headteacher's News

Dear Parents and Carers,

Last term was incredibly short and busy but very productive!

Having been given a clear steer from stakeholder groups, we have engaged with students and used some of them as models to showcase three potential uniform choices. 62% of the three year groups affected - Years 7, 8 and 9 - voted in mocked-up voting booths, in itself an exercise in voting rights and the democratic process. The letters went home with the children last week. The school will provide financial support for families in receipt of free school meals. If any other family has difficulty funding the new uniform, please contact the school as we may be able to assist you.

We are gradually embarking on a period of rebranding, starting with the new logo. This features prominently on the new uniform and we are currently in the process of changing our official letterhead and signage.

There is a gradual programme of refurbishment - the next phase of this is to complete the work in the Sixth Form classroom spaces there, including the creation of a new opening into the Learning Resource Centre. We will also be refurbishing the DT room - DT0 - and turning this into a flexible meeting and conference space.

Senior staff have been involved in a lengthy process of interviewing all of the Year 11 sixth form applicants across the two schools. Necessarily, this is to check initial choices, map those against the blocks and reiterate the importance of meeting subject entry criteria. It has gone well.

We have in principle made the decision to move to a full House system in readiness for September 2016, with a workable structure to be in place in time for Term 6. This is a really exciting opportunity for Mangotsfield. There are real benefits to a fully integrated House system, particularly: to develop and build student leadership and responsibility; to encourage greater engagement through positive competition; to give students a greater sense of belonging.

Lastly, we are making major changes to our curriculum for students currently in Years 8 and 9. In essence, we are introducing a Pathway System so that students will do courses most appropriate for them. Year 8 will also take their options over three years, starting in September. There will be detailed information on the planned changes at the Pathways Options Evenings which are:

For Year 9: Thursday 3rd March

For Year 8: Wednesday 23rd March

Mr Spence

New Policy - Please Note

Mangotsfield School is now enforcing the rule that students will not be allowed to go to the toilet in lesson time, except for medical reasons, as it disrupts their own and others' learning.

No lesson is longer than 100 minutes so we do not think it is unreasonable to ask students not to go to the toilet during this time. Students need to organise themselves and visit the toilet before school, at break and lunchtime when there are toilets open in every block in the school; Brunel, DT and the main school building.

We are preparing students for the future, as in many jobs there are specified comfort breaks and employees are not able to leave their post whenever they want to.

If your child has a medical reason for having to use the toilet more frequently, they should request a toilet pass from their Head of Year.

Miss Chard

Financial Wizards in the Making

Students from Bristol outperform stock market to reach semi-final of national competition

A team of four students from Mangotsfield School has outperformed the stock market and secured their place in the semi-final of a national investment competition.

Competing against 10,000 other teams from across the UK, the “Carter & Co.” team secured their place in the ifs Student Investor Challenge, having made a virtual £7,000 in a three month period of online trading.

The team will now go on to represent Mangotsfield School in the next phase of the challenge, where they will be awarded points for accurately predicting the closing price of certain assets on a weekly basis, testing a whole new skillset.

If successful at the semi-final stage, they will have the chance of making it through to the national final in April where an all expenses paid educational trip to New York and £2,000 awaits the eventual winners.

The ifs Student Investor Challenge, run by financial education charity ifs University College, is the UK’s largest investment competition for schools in the UK. Free to enter, the competition provides teams with two virtual investment portfolios of £100,000 where they are challenged to make both short-term and strategic trades.

Jo Massey from Mangotsfield School said:

“The challenge has created a great sense of healthy competition amongst the group and shown that the students have a real ability to work together and develop their own skills both within the realms of their Finance course and the wider business environment. I am proud of what they have achieved.”

Alison Pask, Vice Principal at ifs University College, said:

After only three short months of trading, the team from Mangotsfield School has already demonstrated their abilities to understand and navigate the complex world of stock market investing. Now at the semi final stage, the competition will only become fiercer as a place in the national final beckons for those teams prepared to go the extra mile and hone their research, team working and communication skills even further.

“We wish the team from Mangotsfield School – and indeed all the teams competing – every success at the semi final stage.”

For more information about the ifs Student Investor Challenge, please visit:

About ifs University College

ifs University College is the university college for financial education. London-based, it is a registered charity incorporated by Royal Charter that exists to ensure a flow of talented individuals into the financial services industry and related sectors. Its qualifications enable individuals to reach their full professional potential and encourage appropriate and ethical practice. It also works to enhance the financial wellbeing of future generations through its unique personal finance qualifications and wider financial capability initiatives.

Art Exhibition at Bristol Cathedral

Some of our A level and GCSE Art and Photography students showcased their coursework final pieces at a prestigious public exhibition during the February break. This was a good opportunity for students to see their work on display alongside other students' A level work from a variety of schools. The Senior Schools Art Exhibition, at Bristol Cathedral on College Green, is open to the public until Tuesday 16th February.

By participating in the exhibition students are eligible for various awards. These are presented at a prize-giving ceremony during the evening of Tuesday 16th February. Those students who are awarded a commendation, highly commended or winning prize are invited to the ceremony to receive their award.

The students have been working hard and should be very proud of the high standard of work they have created.

Time4Reading Success

School Librarians from across South Gloucestershire met last week to be assessed for the Silver Standard in the Time4Reading scheme.

Eight schools including Mangotsfield achieved the Silver award and another two schools achieved the Bronze. Our sights are now set on the Gold Standard which will be assessed in July.

One of the criteria for the Gold Standard is to encourage reading throughout the local community by encouraging parents, grandparents, ex-students and staff to increase their reading and share their reading experiences by passing on books, or recommending titles to friends and family.

To this end, I would like anyone who has had a positive experience from reading a book which has changed the way they look at life, to e-mail me the title and a few sentences about it. The books can be fiction or non-fiction.

Mrs Wells

Accelerated Reader

Boys Ahead in Year 7

We have some outstanding readers in Year 7 who have amazing scores on the books they have read. However, the boys are taking the lead.

At the moment our top readers are: Sam Courthold 98.8% (8 books), Kieran King 98.0% (10 books), Callum Bees 96.7% (9 books), Ryan Eade 96.4% (14 books) and Oliver Callaghan-Lavis 94.4% (14 books). The Year 7 Word Millionaires are all boys too. So girls - you need to get reading!

Since September all students in Years 7 and 8 and groups in Years 9 and 10 have read over 2000 books with a count of approximately 36 million words.

Mrs Wells

Sport Update

Winter Games

Congratulations to the teams who participated in the Level 3 Winter Games at the Wise Campus recently. Teams were entered in the Rowing, Table Tennis and Girls' Football.

We had some amazing successes, with a Silver medal in Table Tennis and Gold and Silver medals in Rowing.

The Year 9 and 10 girls football team managed 2 losses and 2 draws. The girls really enjoyed themselves and Georgina (Gk) had some excellent comments from the organiser of the tournament who works for the Gloucester Football Association. She was outstanding.

World Challenge Fundraiser

The Quiz and Curry Night organised by the World Challenge students was a great success, contributing almost £800 towards their fundraising target.

The idea of using a winner's balloon to identify the leading team throughout the evening was a popular one, which will be repeated at the next quiz later in the school year.

Thanks to Mr Parsons for compering the evening and to Mrs Griffin for her continued hard work supporting the World Challenge students.

World Book Day - 3rd March

This year's World Book Day is on Thursday 3rd March. As usual there will be lots of activities going on to celebrate all things 'book'. There will be a 'dress as your favourite book character' competition to raise funds for Book Aid International.

All students need to remember to bring a £1 if they wish to participate. If students are not dressed as their favourite book character, they must be in full uniform.

Year 8 History Trip

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Science News

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Urgent Reminder!

Students who have yet to confirm placements for the Year 10 Work Experience Week, 13th to 17th June 2016, need to do so as soon as possible. This is to ensure that the school has sufficient time to confirm health and safety arrangements.

This is an exciting opportunity for students to obtain experience in the workplace, build their skills and gain an employer reference for the future. Information, example application letter and advice for students are all available on the school network.

Miss Phillips is your contact at school.

Careers Mail Out Group

Certain students in Year 11 and Sixth Form have opted in to an email group for apprenticeship and careers updates. If you would like to be included in a parent group for similar information, please do let Miss Phillips know by emailing

Apprenticeships Information Evening

On Thursday 18th February, from 5.00 pm – 6.00 pm, there will be a talk on Apprenticeships for Year 11 Parents/Carers and students.

There will shortly be a letter sent home for Year 11 students with a reply slip to fill in.

If you are the parent/carer of a Year 10 student and are interested in attending, please contact Miss Phillips, as available spaces are dependent on the uptake from Year 11 and will be allocated on a 'first come, first served' basis.

Ambitions+ for Year 12 Students

All our Year 12 students will be attending the Ambitions+ Careers event on 16th February in the afternoon; an essential careers event to explore options after sixth form - University, Employment, Apprenticeships, Volunteering, Gap Year and career opportunities sector by sector.

Miss Phillips

GKN Apprenticeship Event

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North Bristol NHS Trust Event

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Burges Salmon Law Information Days

Welcome to...

New staff:

Charlotte Strickland, Teacher of PE, and Loretta Lee, Teacher of D&T (Textiles).

Parent Governor Vacancy

Are you interested in becoming a Parent Governor at Mangotsfield School?

The Local Governing Body meets once per term in the evening. You would also be invited to serve on a committee responsible for a particular area of work such as finance or resources. In addition, governors are involved in monitoring school self-evaluation, interview panels to appoint new staff and the school’s disciplinary processes.

If you would like more information, please contact Julie Scull, Head’s PA, on 01454-862703.

Drum Kit

We have a former student who is offering a (free) drum kit to any aspiring drummer. Please contact Reception if you are interested.

Contact e-mail addresses

To ensure your emails get quickly to the right member of staff, and to respond to parental feedback, we have created the following dedicated e-mail addresses:

E-mails to any of these accounts will be directed immediately to the department concerned who will reply via that e-mail address. If you know the name of the teacher you wish to contact, please add it to the subject line to ensure a prompt reply.

Thank you.

Lunchbreak Supervisors

If you would like to join our team of Lunchbreak Supervisors, please contact the HR office on 01454-862740 for further details.

Term Dates 2016-17

Term 1

Thursday 1 September 2016

Friday 21 October 2016

Term 2

Monday 31 October 2016

Friday 16 December 2016

Term 3

Tuesday 3 January 2017

Friday 10 February 2017

Term 4

Monday 20 February 2017

Friday 7 April 2017

Term 5

Monday 24 April 2017

Friday 26 May 2017

Term 6

Monday 5 June 2017

Friday 21 July 2017


Thursday 18th February: Year 7 Parents' Subject Evening

Wednesday 24th February: Year 10 Parents' Subject Evening