24th March 2016

Headteacher's News

Dear Parents and Carers,

It never ceases to amaze me how quickly the year, especially since Christmas, has gone.

All the signs are that the idea of a combined Downend and Mangotsfield Sixth Form is popular with our Year 11's - in total we have interviewed 138 students for Sixth Form starting in September 2016. After the exams there will a preparation for Sixth Form day in June – we are planning this now. Enrolment will take place in August after the GCSE results day.

We are completing DT0 in March and turning this into a flexible meeting and conference space. Phase 2 of the work on the Sixth Form Block, finishing the classroom spaces and opening up access, will be completed over the Easter holiday. On uniform, we are firming up P.E kit and a formal pricing structure with Initially Yours before agreeing the timeline and specifics in regard to purchase of our new uniform for next year's years 7,8,9 and 10.

We are currently discussing a phasing-in of different student leadership roles and are aiming to organise a day in April working with Year 10 to enthuse them about the changes to our tutor system, training them up as the top leaders of the school and, at the same time, do some work on preparing them as Year 11's in waiting.

We took 13 Year 8 students to a Talent Day at Bath University to experience the training atmosphere of the Sports Village, attending 4 workshops run by GB/high level athletes and touring round the facilities.

In terms of Careers Education, highlights this term have been:

  • Visit to Oxford University for Year 10 and Year 11 students;

  • Evening talk for Year 10 parents and students on Apprenticeships;

  • Year 8 Enterprise Day;

  • Tenner Competition – tombola, movie lunchtime, T shirt printing and auction night;

  • 25 Science and Technology employers came into school for the day to network with Year 10 and 11 students;

  • Year 12 Ambitions event;

  • UWE campus visit for selected students.

For Year 11 we have run mock exams, mainly in the core subjects, across week commencing 14th March and again in specific secondary subjects from week beginning 25th April. A feature of this year continues to be the use of holiday time to focus on those students who need that extra push and support, with targeted and masterclass sessions planned to cater for borderline students as well as to help some achieve very top grades. Letters have been sent home.

Information from these meetings is also being used as part of the 4-for-4 mentoring, where senior staff will be targeting marginal students identified to ensure they are well supported in the lead up to exams. All Year 11 students attended an ‘Ace your Exams’ session, delivered by Elevate on 8th March, to provide further exam revision guidance which was well received. To boost confidence, in Science students took part in a Walking-Talking-Mock in the main hall. This is where students sit in an exam situation and are talked through and given hints and tips on each question before time being declared to answer this.

Our work to make Mangotsfield’s curriculum fit for purpose is moving forward. We have rewritten our Options process for Years 8 and 9. There are aspects of the options process which are intended to support a more individual approach, such as the pathways system and the 1:1 follow-up with every family. We are also in the midst of planning for a large-scale rethink of our assessment policy in Key Stage 3, as well as reviewing how and what we teach. This work is being conducted by Mr Planter (curriculum) and Mr Bowyer (teaching and learning).

Thank you for all your support.

Have a lovely holiday.

David Spence

Avon & Somerset Police

An Important Message to All Parents and Carers

March 21st 2016

Dear Parent/ Guardian

We are writing to inform you that there has been an increase in Anti-Social behaviour in and around the areas of Emerson’s Green and Lyde Green, where there have been large groups of up to 20 young people gathering. One group have caused £20,000 worth of damage to a building in the area. Another group have been causing distress to a number of residents by continually knocking doors and throwing mud at resident’s property. The age of the young people varies from 10 to 16 years old.

Avon and Somerset Police take a firm stand with anti-social behaviour and we would encourage you to report any incidents. Reporting can help to keep your neighbourhood safe by holding to account those individuals responsible. Information will be dealt with confidentially and can be reported anonymously.

We are also concerned for the welfare of young people in your area. As part of a large group a minority may cause anti-social behaviour, but others that are present will be viewed as guilty by association. It is also far more likely that a young person will be the victim of an assault when part of such a group. As the age of the group varies it is possible for those who are older to influence other members to become more involved in the criminal offences being committed.

Everyone has the right to live in a safe environment free of fear from harm. Victims of anti- social behaviour can become fearful inside and outside of their home. This can have a huge effect on individuals and the wider community’s quality of life. Young people are often the victims of anti-social behaviour.

If your child is the victim of such behaviour the first step is to talk to him or her and ask them to tell you what has been happening it is important to listen and reassure them. You may feel it necessary to report the ASB to the Police, your housing provider, or the South Gloucestershire Council ASB team.

If you are worried that your child is in danger of becoming part of such a group, talk to them about this and the risks involved. You should know what they are doing when out of the house, and discourage them to be involved in such large groups. They are at risk of coming to the notice of the police, and also becoming a victim.

Our aim is to reduce crime and disorder and the fear of crime in the locality. We ask for your continued support in tackling anti-social behaviour and minor crime.

Thank you for your support

Downend and Siston Neighbourhood Team

Useful Contact Information:


Tel: 101 (non emergency) or 999 (emergency

South Gloucestershire Council:

Tel: 01454862945 /

Victim Support:

Tel: 07950 892 945

Support Networks

Developing Health and Independence (DHI)

Tel: 01454868750 Child Self-referral Drugs and Alcohol

Tenner Competition

Earlier this term some of our Year 9 students signed up for the Tenner Challenge. In teams these students are given £10 each to set up a money-making enterprise and a charity of their own choice.

One of these teams, Archie Kenway and Joel Vadhyanath, decided to raise money for a brain cancer cause, 'Finlay's Journey'. Fin, a friend of Archie's, died just before Christmas last year, aged 11. The boys chose to organise a charity auction. They canvassed staff, students, family and friends, emailed and telephoned local businesses and visited local supermarkets and stores. They then printed and sold tickets for the auction.

On Friday 18th March they held the event in the school hall and raised a staggering £3,309.

The boys have since been interviewed by Emma Britton on BBC Bristol's breakfast programme. You can listen to their interview at (at 2hours 24 mins).

We wait to see how well the boys will do in the national competition along with the rest of the Mangotsfield teams taking part.

(If you would to learn more about 'Finlay's Journey' and/or make a donation, please take a look at Thank you).


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Thursday 3rd March saw staff and students dressing up for World Book Day. There were also lots of activities themed around reading and books throughout the week.

Year 7 took part in a find the book title quiz where they had to identify books from pictograms. The Year 8 students who had been reading the shortlisted books for the Concorde Book Award voted for the winner (see article below).

Staff also put posters on their classroom doors showing their favourite book and the book they were currently reading.

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Concorde Book Award

Year 8 students, Katie Hemmings and Isabella Challis, represented Mangotsfield School at the award ceremony held at the Emerson’s Green Science Park. The girls were part of a group of six able readers who read the shortlist.

The girls took part in a short group presentation giving a summary of each book.

Two of the shortlisted authors, Rob Lloyd Jones (Wild Boy) and Emma Pass (Fearless), attended the event and took part in a short question and answer session with a panel of students.

There was a very entertaining talk by local author Cavan Scott. He told how his passion for reading was triggered by a Dr. Who book when he was about 11. He now writes Dr. Who and Star Wars books, his latest title was one of this year’s World Book Day books - the sales of which had reached 52000 since publication on 3rd March.

Emma Pass won this year’s award and, with Rob Lloyd Jones, was available to sign copies of their books after the ceremony. The event was sponsored by the Bristol Post and Katie appeared in the photographs they later published on their website.

There are copies of 'Fearless' 'Wild Boy' and the other shortlisted books ('Apple & Rain' by Sarah Crossan, 'She is Not Invisible' by Marcus Sedgwick and ' Terror Kid' by Benjamin Zephaniah) available from the LRC.

Also at the ceremony, Mangotsfield was presented with a Time4Reading Silver Award certificate. We are currently working towards our Gold Award, which will be assessed in June. Taking an active part in the Concorde Book Award is one of the major criteria for the Gold award. There will shortly be a display in the LRC highlighting the top 200 books selected by Time4Reading. Each title must be read by at least one student over the last year to fulfil another criteria towards the gold.

Mrs. Wells

Use of Phones in School

We are currently looking at how phones can be safely used in school.

We would like to remind students and parents that the current expectation is that phones should not be visible in any way between 8.30 am and 4.00 pm on the school site.

We are planning to consult with parents and students regarding how phones could enhance learning at Mangotsfield School. We will keep you updated should the current rule change.

Science Week

The Great Science Bake Off

As part of Science Week students and staff were invited to take part in a cake competition. There were some amazing bakes. The competition was judged by Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood 'look-alikes' aka Miss Connolly and Mr Parsons who are shown with some of the brilliant entries.

The standard was very good all round, the overall winner being Zoe Stuart of Year 8 with a cake that showed a fluorine molecule with the correct number of neutrons, protons and electrons - it also tasted delicious!

Science, Engineering and Technology Careers

Representatives from local Science, Engineering and Technology businesses met with Mangotsfield students for a day recently. Miss L. Phillips (Science) organised the event and Miss C. Phillips (Careers) and the school's STEM Co-ordinator invited 25 industry representatives to enable students in Years 10 and 11 to find out about working in industries related to science, engineering and technology.

The event was set up as an opportunity to explore what types and levels of qualifications and aptitudes were needed for entry into the various jobs on show.

The students divided into groups for a timed session with each business - rather like speed-dating!

Tropical Inc.

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Year 7 and some of our local primary schools were lucky enough to get up close to some amazing animals last week, when the school was visited by Steve from Tropical Inc.

Meerkats, a skunk, bullfrog, horned owl, scorpion and a tarantula were all introduced to the students.

Milo, the horned owl, didn't want to leave and spent half an hour exploring the school hall and stage, perching on the speakers high up near the ceiling, before finally getting into his travelling box for the trip back to base in Worcester.

It was a fabulous experience for the students who learned a lot about the various animals, their habitats and physiology. Steve explained how, when Milo looks as though he is dancing, he is actually moving his head to focus his eyes. In fact his eyes are so big they cannot move in their sockets, so he has to move his head to look. This is why he can turn his head almost 180° to the left or right.

The bullfrog also caused quite a stir when the students were told that he would be double the size once fully grown. They also discovered that the meerkats were very smelly and the skunk did not really smell at all, as it only unleashes its smelly liquid when it feels threatened. The scorpion can be held by its tail, but will give a nasty pinch with its claws instead.

Thanks to the Science Department for organising such an enjoyable event.

Who Dunnit? - Forensics

As part of Science Week, we held a Forensics ‘Who Dunnit?’ evening session at Mangotsfield School.

Students from local primary schools and from our Year 7 were analysing evidence to work out who committed the crime!

Was it Tess Tube? Ray Box? Dr Bunsen? or Pip Ett?

Local Public Libraries - Consultation

South Gloucestershire Council is consulting with residents about changes to the library service, which are required because of reduced funding from government. The consultation is based on proposals that would allow the service to reduce funding by £650,000 a year, however it is important to note that no decisions have yet been made on how these savings could be delivered.

There are a range of options and proposals described in the consultation. It is anticipated, however, that by working with the user groups, town and parish councils and other community groups, alternative arrangements may be possible which mean some of the proposed changes, to opening hours for example, will not be necessary.

The current consultation runs for 12 weeks, until 13 May. During that time there will be a consultation form for people to make their views known and these are supported by a number of drop-in sessions at libraries to allow residents to find out more about the current proposals and to make their views known. The Emersons Green drop-in session is between 2pm and 8pm on Thursday 7th April. After this stage the council will be able to assess community feedback as well as any potential alternative solutions. The council will be able to explore in more detail any new ideas or proposals that have arisen through the consultation. Any service changes would not take place until October 2017.

The council is keen to hear from residents and particularly library users and other groups or organisations who wish to explore the proposals and alternative options. Full information about the consultation process, details of how to make your views known and taken into account in the decision-making process, and the drop-in sessions at each local library are available online at the

Music Success

Congratulations to the following students who have passed their music exams:

Zoe Stuart, 8.3, Passed grade 3 flute with merit

Lily Dyte, 9.7, passed entry level (level 3) piano with Distinction

Ms Borowski


Josh Donovan of Year 7 was the winner of a local competition to nominate the area's 'Most Awesome Teacher'. The competition was set by the Kip McGrath Education Centre to coincide with the opening of their new premises in Downend.

Josh's winning nomination was for Mangotsfield French teacher and tutor Yann Deplechin and his prize was a state-of-the-art Kindle. M. Deplechin was also rewarded with some wine and vouchers.

The winners, who were chosen by an independent panel, were awarded their prizes by former Mangotsfield teacher Jay Grocott, Centre Director of the Downend branch of Kip McGrath Education.


Visit to Lincoln & Brasenose Colleges Oxford

Twenty two of Mangotsfield's and Downend's most able Year 10 and 11 students went to visit Oxford University Colleges; Lincoln and Brasenose .

Based in and around Lincoln College, on what was lovely day, the students were given a tour of the living quarters, told why a Oxford degree was so sought after and chatted to several undergraduates who, naturally, were full of praise for all things Oxford University.

A sumptuous lunch was followed by 40 minute post prandial stroll around the lovely city. With all students miraculously returning 5 minutes ahead of time (a first in 20 years of teaching!) we returned for a more detailed presentation as to what makes a successful Oxford application and the characteristics that make a happy undergraduate. A whistle stop tour of Brasenose college with more delightful undergraduates ended a day that all students got something out of.

Many students have already found courses and colleges that they are interested in and are planning the steps they need to take to ensure they get where they want to be, post A-levels.

Mr. Haigh

Champion of the Most Able

Work Experience Forms to be returned ASAP!

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 after the Easter Holidays. 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.

UWE Visit

Mangotsfield students in Years 9 and 10 had the opportunity to sample university life at a recent taster day at the University of the West of England organised by Miss Phillips.

They sampled two mock tutorials on robotics and laboratory testing, as well as a tour of the campus and chance to discuss careers and university life in general.

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


We sadly say Goodbye and Thank You to Charlotte Woodhams (Teaching Assistant and Teacher of Geography) and Liz Schutte (Teacher of Design Technology - Food). We wish them all the best for the future.

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


Monday 11th April: School closed for INSET Day

Tuesday 12th April: School reopens for all students (Week A)