20th October 2016

Headteacher's News

Dear Parents

The warm glow of summer is well and truly gone now but there is still a very warm glow towards the end of Term 1. We celebrated our best ever GCSE results this year, which underlines that we are making excellent progress as a school.

Headlines are:

Basics measure (% English and maths) - 61%

Particularly pleasing was the spectacular English results: 76% (18% rise), with a sharp rise in performance by our boys.

Our Year 13 students made good progress too, and in the main secured their first choices in the next stage of their careers.

Well done to all and many thanks to our parents for helping our young people to realise their potential.

Our Open Evening (12th September) was a very successful event, with more visitors than previously. We ran three talks (1000+ visitors in total), and were keen to stress the ethos changes which were launched this term. Stars of the show were undoubtedly our students, particularly our 150 guides, who did us proud. We have been running Open Morning tours since then, which have been very busy!

The two major building projects were carried out simultaneously and completed on time.

We have built a new visitor reception, added much-needed meeting room capacity and totally refurbished the oldest part of the school from top to bottom. Our students need to be in the best possible learning environment, so it was long overdue.

The reaction in the community to our change of uniform has been extremely positive. We are delighted with the look - smart, professional and distinctive - and we know it has been welcomed by the current parent body. Every student attended in the new uniform on 5th September. We have received feedback from some parents about Intially Yours and have already fed that back to the manager.

We launched two other major ethos changes this term as well: Vertical Mentoring and our House System. Vertical Mentoring is still very new to us, but it is a deliberate move away from same-age tutor groups (of 32 students with 1 tutor), to a system of no more than 21 students, with two adult mentors where possible. This is all about building better and more productive relationships, as well as enhancing the quality of communication with home. Mentors will deliver what we are calling Academic Reviews, one 30 minute conversation, rather than parents having to attend a traditional subject evening over 2.5 hours. We are really enjoying our House System, which is helping to build a more competitive and engaging ethos - Pomphrey are leading the way so far but it’s early days! The core purpose is to offer more engaging opportunities for students to step up and participate in school life, learn new skills, feel part of their House and learn new leadership responsibilities.

Well done in particular to these exceptional students for their achievements, which I felt I needed to acknowledge publicly:

Exceptional students

· Ethan Szczelkun, Year 10, has been asked to go to Downing Street for a NSPCC event early next month

· Representing the school in rugby with distinction: Jack Gapper (Captain), James Warman, Jacob Golding, Louie Millard, Harry Simmons, Joe Beardwell (all Year 10).

· Sammy Bayou, Year 7, has just come back from Denmark playing in a football competition. His team qualified having won a similar competition in the summer. They played against professional clubs from around Europe.

· Ben Pockett, Year 11 – National/Southwest shooting competition – high scorer

· Katie Robbins, Year 11– Southwest athletics competitor/trains at University of Bath

· Archie Kenway, Year 10 – fundraising

· Codie Foster, Year 11 – swimming competitions for county

· Freya Sage, Year 11 - member of South Glos. Senior Wind Ensemble and Senior Flute Group

David Spence

World Challenge - Where Next?

"The things we pass off as insignificant are the things we remember most... World Challenge is a thousand of these little things rolled into one of the greatest months you'll ever experience" Challenger

We are now planning for our next World Challenge expedition in 2018 to Nicaragua.

As a school we are very excited about the opportunity this will give students to do something really unique that will make them stand out from the crowd. Participating students work together and take the lead to raise funds, plan their journey, set goals and take on leadership roles - both before and during the expedition. By taking charge, students walk away with key life and leadership skills which prepare them for life in the future.

We would like to invite parents/carers and students in Year 11 and Year 12 to join us for an informative Parents' Presentation, delivered by World Challenge. You will have the opportunity to hear all about the amazing challenges that your son/daughter will have the chance to experience; learn more about the fundraising opportunities for participating students; the expedition and destination; safety and the support that World Challenge offers.

See the article below by Sam Redfern, a Mangotsfield Student, who took part in this year's expedition to Borneo.

The Parents' Presentation is booked for:

Monday 17th October at 7.00 pm at Mangotsfield School

I hope you are able to join us and look forward to seeing you there!

Anne Griffin

World Challenge Borneo 2016

We arrived in Borneo on the 14th of July after a 14-hour flight to Kuala Lumpur followed by a further 2 hour flight to Miri. We were exhausted, yet excited about the experiences, cultural differences and challenges that lay ahead.

Having arranged our own transport, food and accommodation whilst in Miri, we hopped on the bus which took us from Miri to the Niah Caves National Park. The caves were deep, dark, and stunning. The boardwalk to the caves gave us our first experience of being in the rainforest surrounded by all the animal jungle sounds, the dense foliage and the high humidity – which took us all a few days to relax into.

After Niah, we travelled to the Lambir Hills National Park for our acclimatisation trek, which in 85% humidity was slow going at first, but our fascinating surroundings soon saw us focusing on the jungle rather than how hot and sticky we were. Drinking 2 litres of water whilst walking was essential!

We saw some amazing wildlife on this trek; including a millipede, green snake and many monitor lizards.

After two exhausting days in the Lambir hills, we returned to Miri to prepare for our flight to Kota Kinabalu, the capital of Borneo. This is a much larger city than Miri, with lively day and night markets and many fantastic restaurants. We spent two days here, planning our next week’s adventures - booking transport and accommodation to make it all possible, before leaving to go to an eco-camp on the Kinabatangan river – which was our favourite part of the trip.

Staying in open log cabins and surrounded by the jungle, we camped for several nights, going on morning and evening river cruises. It was on these cruises that we saw a huge range of wildlife including long-tailed monkeys, proboscis monkeys, crocodiles, hornbills and more. We were also lucky enough to see a wild orangutan, high in the canopy just 120 yards from our accommodation.

Whilst in Kinabatangan at the Eco lodge, we planted trees and cut down the jungle ivy with machetes in an attempt to help re-grow the rainforest, thus providing a habitat for the wonderful animals of Borneo. We also helped clear the Salvinia plant from the Ox-bow lakes; a parasite and serious threat to waterways and irrigation areas; as it disrupts aquatic ecosystems, seriously affecting native animals and plant life amongst other things.

We moved from the eco-camp to the world famous Orang-utan sanctuary, Sepilok. It’s a large sanctuary in a protected jungle area and is home to many rescued orangutans. It was incredibly interesting to see the work the conservationists do to help save the endangered species, eventually enabling them to live in the wild with their own kind.

We then returned to Kota Kinabalu to complete more administration and prepare for our main expedition jungle trek and project phase. Travelling into the jungle for many hours in 4x4 vehicles over rough terrain, we eventually arrived tired and exhausted at a small village called Long Pa’sia, where we stayed in ‘homestays’ (when not trekking in the jungle).

Laden down with heavy backpacks full of all provisions for the next 4 nights, we set off deep into the jungle. We trekked through the leech and mosquito infested areas and, carefully chopping a path through the jungle with the machete’s, made our way to the first overnight camp. Erecting hammocks was our first job, before collecting wood for the camp fire for our evening meal – usually pasta, noodles or rice!

Our jungle guide was excellent. He explained and taught us about jungle life; the flora and fauna, the poisonous plants and the animals we were likely to see. He carved cups, cutlery and medallions from the bamboo, as well as making water traps and animal traps. The highlight for some was learning how to make and then use a bamboo blow pipe to kill animals – he was better at this than us but we all had fun trying!

We completed our main project in the neighbouring village of Long Mio, a small community of 200 people, a 3km walk from our homestay. The project was to make a concrete base for a water container, providing the villagers with a clean supply of fresh water in the dry season. Many villagers came to see us working, offering us many cups of juice and yet more rice and noodles to keep us going. It was a pleasure to complete this project as the villagers were so grateful for our help.

Luckily whilst in Long Pa’sia, as well as engaging with the community, we were able to visit the local village school and teach in two of the classes – something amazingly rewarding that I will never forget.

Finally we returned to Kota Kinabalu for the last few days of our expedition, called ‘REST and RELAXATION.’

Our first day saw us white-water rafting and zip-wiring across a river, whilst our final day saw us travelling to Sapi Island off the Borneo coast in the South China Sea and snorkelling off shore. It was amazing! The coral was alive with an array of sea life, including ‘Nemo’ and his many friends! The highlight for me was when a small shark swam within a few feet of us!

My World Challenge adventure has provided me with the confidence, skills and

understanding of how to plan and travel independently—and I intend to do just that.

Sam Redfern

Cricket Without Boundaries - an Update

Thom Manning has recently returned from Rwanda where he distributed the old Mangotsfield uniform which our parents and students had donated. He sent us the following report of his visit.

'The trip went very well and the clothes donated by the school all went to a girls' shelter in Kayonza (Eastern Rwanda) called SACCA, the Streets Ahead Children's Centre Association. The shelter looks after girls who have lived on the streets, often victims of abuse and exploitation, and provides them with an education, food, clothing and vocational skills. In return the children cook their own meals, clean the centre and tend the vegetable garden. All of this aims to develops skills and socialisation for reintegration into their families and society'.

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Music Update

Exams Success

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

Laura Graham, Grade 2 Clarinet - Merit

April Winter-Alsop, Grade 5 - Merit

Freya Sage, Grade 6 Flute - Merit

Adele Skenderoff, Grade 6 Flute - Distinction

Ceinwen Baker Grade 6 Saxophone - Distinction

Ms Borowski

Sports Update

Year 7 Rugby Tournaments

Year 7 went to a fantastic rugby tournament. Our team showed great determination in our games. Unfortunately we lost one match but we never gave up.

The games were full of crunching tackles and speedy tries. The other teams that participated were really kind, abided by the rules and showed great sportsmanship.

On the whole, our team did very well. Everyone showed great determination and pure fight so we could push ourselves to the limit.

Tournament Results:

Mangotsfield beat:

Castle School, 15 - 2

Marlwood, 4 - 3

Abbeywood, 6 - 4

Lost to Bradley Stoke, 4 - 6

Reported by Jaden Brown (Chase 3) Year 7

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Five Team Tournament at Barton Hill RFC

Mangotsfield bravely entered a five team tournament at Barton Hill RFC. We went in with confidence after playing well in the last tournament and came back with three wins out of three games.

We were consistent in all our games, as we made crunching tackles and speedy tries with no opposition attempting to chase us. Everyone put their hearts into the game and nobody let the team down. Huge congratulations to Mangotsfield for a great tournament!

Reported by Bryce Gapper (Chase 8) and Ewan Smith (Siston 7) Year 7

Year 10 Rugby

Mangotsfield v. Sir Bernard Lovell 45-5

Another successful match for the Mango Boys! Ignoring the obvious points difference, the measure of success was in the manner of the victory. A great collective performance with special mentions to Sam, Jacob and Louie for their offensive display. A solid defence from all the boys as we stood strong against a sizeable SBL team. A man of the match performance from Scott 'the penalty machine' Morgan, but once again a great all-round team effort. Our next match is scheduled at Cleve RFC.

Reported by Captain Jack 'Gaps' Gapper (Chase 2) Year 10

Girls' Netball

Girls' latest Netball results:

Against Abbeywood

Year 7, Won 41-0

Year 8, Won 4- 0

Year 9, Won 14-8

Year 10/11, Lost 41-13

Against John Cabot

Year 7, Won 4-3, Player of the match Libby Weyman

Year 8, Won 8-2, Player of the match Lily Bailey

Year 9, Won 9-1, Player of the match Zoe Cox

Year 10/11, Won 10 -7, Player of the match Beth Donovan

Next Netball game scheduled against Sir Bernard Lovell School.


Tuesday after school, 3.10 - 4.10 pm, Netball training

Thursday after school, 3.10 - 4.10, Girls Football training

We would like to thank the girls for their hard work this term and commitment towards netball training and fixtures, and may our success continue next term.

Girls' P E Department

Football Success

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Archway v Mangotsfield 1 - 8, Year 10 Squad

A very good start to the campaign with an 8-1 victory. Superb performance from the Year 10 boys, which went underway with a brilliantly worked goal that found Max Williams 12 yards from goal. A right-footed finish off the post and into the top right corner of the goal! Then a push on Max Williams, again involved in the action, resulted in a penalty, which was tucked into the bottom right corner by Ollie Hulbert. Mr. Hulbert went on to score another 3 goals, probably taking his tally to at least 45 goals from Year 7 to now. The score at half-time was 3-0, the third goal finished by the captain Ryley Towler. In the second half, another 5 goals were added, with Max Williams and a well taken finish from Archie Kenway.

By Ollie Louch (Rodway 2) Year 10

Squad : Aidan Connelly, Ollie Louch, Riley Llewellyn, Harry Simons, Ryley Towler (1 goal),
Joel Vadhyanath, Archie Kenway (1 goal), Luke Bailey, Max Williams (2 goals), Louie Millard,
Ollie Hulbert (4 goals), Jai Macleod, Josh Parish

Premium Partners Launch

Things have been really busy since the start of the school year setting up the 'Premium Partners' scheme for both Downend and Mangotsfield Schools. They are pleased to report that the interest from local businesses has been great and a number of business partners have already been secured.

There will be an official launch of 'Premium Partners' on Thursday 24th November from 5.30 pm in The Innovation Centre at Downend School and many local businesses are being invited.

The launch will include a brief presentation by Mark Fuller and David Spence. There will also be the opportunity to see how the scheme works for the schools and businesses and finally there will be an opportunity to speak to some of the students and look at some of the amazing work they have produced.

If you are a business owner/decision maker and would like to attend this event, please email at

Many thanks

Lara Loomes

Premium Partners Co-ordinator

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Opportunities from Southern Brooks

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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.

Dates for Your Diary

Week beginning 17th October: Year 11 Academic Reviews

Friday 21st October: School closed for INSET Day

Monday 31st October: Start of Term 2, Week B

Tuesday 8th November: Year 11 meningitis vaccinations

Thursday 10th November: Sixth Form Information Evening for Year 11

Week beginning 14th November: Year 7 Academic Reviews

Thursday 24th November: Premium Partners Launch Evening

Thursday 1st December: Sixth Form Parents' Evening

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

Inset Days 2016 - 17

Thursday 1st September 2016
Friday 21st October 2016

Tuesday 3rd January 2017
Monday 20th February 2017
Monday 24th April 2017