Congratulations to our Year 13 Chemistry Student, Matthew, who was delighted to receive the Award for Best Sixth Form Chemist 2014 at a ceremony held at the University of Reading by the Society of Chemical Industry. Thirty schools from across Berkshire and Buckinghamshire and Surrey and East Sussex took part in the event, selecting one candidate each for the Best Sixth Form Chemist award. This event was a unique opportunity to reward excellent young chemists, but also to encourage them to take up a career in science.
Padworth students studying English literature and language GCSE and A level went to see Journey’s End by R. C. Sheriff at the Watermill Theatre which proved a poignant and thought provoking production set in a dug-out on the front line during the First World War. One of the students commented that “ the play was wonderful and very enjoyable and it helped me to get a better understanding of the drama section in my English course. Another student commented that, “the play was old fashioned but showed what life was really like in the trenches.”
Staff and students set off for PGL Liddington, a residential adventure centre in Wiltshire on Friday for an action-packed weekend for every student in the school, both day and boarding. The main aims of the weekend were to help all the students, old and new to get to know each other at the beginning of the new academic year and to develop teamwork and leadership skills. During the days, the students enjoyed plenty of exciting activities including raftbuilding, abseiling, archery, climbing and the zipwire. The full evening programme of wide games, sports and a campfire kept everyone engaged and interacting well into the evening. Pablo, a Year 11 student said, “It was so fun because we did lots of activities and my favourites were the rock climbing and the raftbuilding”; Another Year 11 student, Susan commented, “Although it was really tiring, I made lots of friends and had fun!” Many thanks to all the Padworth staff who accompanied the students and to the PGL staff for making the weekend such a great success! Click here to see more photos
To welcome all our students, new and old, the College hosted a BBQ on Friday evening – great fun was had on the bouncy castle and bucking bronco and later the students enjoyed the disco and karaoke party into the evening. A good time was had by all and it was a great way for new students to get to know everyone. Click here to see the photos
In his beginning of term newsletter, John Aguilar, Principal welcomes new and returning students and staff as well as giving an update on what’s been happening over the Summer. Click here to read his newsletter in full.
Carol Donner, Biology teacher at Padworth, met the scientist and broadcaster Professor Brian Cox at a gathering of science professionals in London. As a VIP guest Carol was invited to ask a question of the Professor in the public forum, which was a great honour. Professor Cox is famous for his TV series ‘Wonders of the Universe’, ‘Wonders of the Solar System’ and ‘Wonders of Life’. He is back on our TV screens soon with ‘The Human Universe’.
Students at Padworth College are to be congratulated on their good GCSE results with 72% of all entries achieving A* – C grades and nearly half the grades awarded (49%) achieving A*-B. The overall pass rate was 97%. Students of particular note were Shivam Patel, Amartya Vadlamani and Molly Brown who between them gained an impressive 19 A* and A grades. John Aguilar, Principal said, “We are proud of what our students have achieved – as a non-selective school, we are committed to enabling each individual student to fulfil their academic goals and we are delighted to see an improvement on last year’s results, not least with the increase in the number of top grades at A*/A this year to 27%.”
In this year’s A level results for the Sixth form students, 41% of exam entries were awarded A*/A/B grades; 64% of exam entries were awarded A* – C grades with an 88% pass rate. Of particular note were Ali Haji from Bahrain who achieved 3 A grades and will be taking up his place to study Accounting and Finance at the London School of Economics, Nam Wong from Hong Kong with 2 A* grades and a B who will be going to study Accounting at Bath University and Mandy Lam who, with A*, A and 2 B grades, has been successful in obtaining a place at Bath University to study Pharmacology. The University Access Foundation in Business students have also been successful in gaining places at Royal Holloway, Aston and Oxford Brookes. Principal, John Aguilar said, “We are proud of all of our students and their achievements this year. My thanks go to all of our teaching staff and in particular our Higher Education Advisor who has worked hard to ensure that all of our students go on to the universities of their choice. At Padworth, we endeavour to work very closely with students to achieve their individual academic goals and I should like to congratulate all of the students and wish them well in the next stage of their education.”
A group of students visited the Faculty of Physical Sciences and Engineering at Southampton University. They took part in an electronics workshop producing LED devices which when moved quickly displayed words. They had a guided tour of the faculty including an electronic rhino designed by undergraduates which responds to various stimuli and the “clean rooms” in which high level silicon chip and optic fibre research takes place. Over lunchtime, there was a tour of the university, including an immensely popular visit to the Bubble Tea bar. Afterwards, the students heard an inspiring talk from Shirin Dehghan, Founder and CEO of the telecommunications company, Arieso on the topics of Women in Engineering and Entrepreneurship. Shirin has won several awards in recent years for her work as a leading woman entrepreneur in the technology industry.
The Summer Art Exhibition gave staff and students a wonderful opportunity to view the A Level art students’ exam pieces presented in the Art Room – and it was a treat indeed! Our talented students who are taking A levels in Fine Art, Graphic Design and Textiles worked very hard to produce a very fine display which everyone enjoyed. A delicious Strawberry Cream Tea was served on the lawns outside which was also very popular! Please click here to see pictures of the Art Exhibition
Inter House matches in basketball and football as well as a staff v students netball match took place this week. Blessed with sunshine, the basketball match between Fison and Granary was end to end and the score close for much of the match – as the Fison players tired, Granary took advantage to take control and win the game. The final score was Granary 32 – Fison 20. Well played all the players and thank you to everyone who came and watched. The second event was the students v staff netball match. The rest of the school came out to witness a great tempo game of netball. The staff had a couple of bandits in their team which added more pressure on the student team but they made a great start leading 4 – 1 but as staff stepped up their level of play, the final score was 13 – 11 to the staff. All the players played their best especially Jenny Sam and Stefi Jenkins who were nominated best team players. Thank you to all who participated and to those who came to support. And finally, the football match between Fison and Granary House. The tension had been building up between the two houses all week as house honour was at stake! It was incredible to see the energy and determination from both teams and the excellent support everyone was giving to their teammates in any situation. The score was close at half time (2-2) but at the end Fison started to create mistakes and Granary were on the counter attack. Final score 4 – 2 to Granary House. A fantastic effort from all the players and yet another great turnout of the student community to watch. Please click here to see the photos from all three matches
The theme of this year’s Leavers’ Ball was Masquerade and it was wonderful to see so many amazing masques worn by both students and staff. The Leavers’ Ball was held at nearby Wokefield Park, a beautiful mansion house hotel which provided a delicious supper followed by dancing. The Head Boy, George and Head Girl, Mandy gave speeches thanking the staff for all their support and wishing everyone who is leaving great success in the future. To see the photos, please click here
The inclement English weather was kind to us on Presentation Day and the rain held off allowing the whole College to gather outside on the front lawns with parents, guardians and friends for the prizegiving ceremony. Following a spirited rendition of “Wade in the Water” by the Padworth Staff and Student Choir, the Principal, John Aguilar welcomed everyone and introduced the Guest Speaker, Dame Lynne Brindley, DBE and Master of Pembroke College who joined us for the afternoon. Dame Lynne presented the prizes and then spoke to the students about her own career and the influence of new technology in the digital age. She encouraged students to think of themselves as global citizens and to make the most of their opportunities at Padworth – and not to forget the importance of their achievements outside the classroom as well as getting good grades. The day ended on a high with a delicious cream tea served in the College Dining Room. The Principal’s Award was given to Ahmed Kagigi and the Fison Award in memory of Peter Fison, Founder of Padworth was given to George Krychylskyy. Click here to see the photos from the day.
Core Science students spent the day at Rushall Manor Organic Farm. In the morning, the students were able to do soil sampling and link their findings to crop rotation, as well as meeting the animals reared on the farm and gaining an understanding of how animals fit into the organic method of farming. The afternoon was spent river sampling in a tributary of the River Pang, and an introduction to bee-keeping.
Year 10 students visited the Young Vic Theatre in London to see a performance of Arthur Miller’s “A View from the Bridge” which they will be studying in Year 11. One of the students commented that the performance was “absolutely wonderful, the small stage and minimalist set really immersed me in the play. The dramatic ending was emotionally gripping and technically astounding”.
Eleven students from Padworth College joined other schools to visit the Systems Engineering Department at Reading University for a day packed with workshops on the application of electronics and computer systems. Amongst the highlights of the day were using the Haptic Dental drill, a training tool for dentists allowing them to practise drilling on computer generated teeth, going up and down the escalator in a life size simulation of the new London Underground station at Whitechapel, using a 3D Headset to fly through the planets of the solar system and creating origami versions of the solar panels used in spacecraft. The most exciting activity for all the students was using solder to make small robots programmed to follow a light and they were thrilled to be allowed to bring their robots home with them. The workshop gave the students a fascinating insight into a the world of virtual reality designed to inspire them as the engineers, mathematicians and scientists of the future.
It was a busy weekend for the boarders kicking off with a cinema trip to Basingstoke for 50 students on Friday night to see The Amazing Spiderman II Movie and Transcendence, both of which were greatly enjoyed. On Saturday, a group of A level Mathematics students went to nearby Reading College to take part in the Maths A level Examination Revision Course to help them prepare for their Summer A level examinations and provide them with successful revision and examination techniques in addition to subject revision. On Sunday, a group of students went for their weekly horseriding lesson at Hall Place Equestrian Centre – the inclement weather held for them although we certainly had our fair share of April showers here over the weekend! Later that day, the Boarders’ Forum took place chaired by Housemaster, Mike Powell. On the agenda was the forthcoming Sports Day and Student Prom at the end of May for which the Student Representatives had lots of ideas!. To finish off the weekend, Sunday evening saw students taking part in the newly formed Badminton Club.
A Level Biology and Geography students set off from Padworth in the Easter Holidays for the Dale Fort Field Study Centre near Haverford West in Pembrokeshire for a residential field trip which offers the opportunity for outdoor learning within a range of local habitats including the stunning coastline, rural and urban settlements and the moorland rivers. Dale Fort is an ideal base for exploring the spectacular scenery and wide variety of seashores of the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park and the students visited the famous off shore island of Skomer to witness and study the bird population. Field study is an important element of both A level Biology and Geography courses and the topics they have studied link closely with their course content and develop their practical research skills. Please click here to see the trip photographs.
Padworth’s Higher Education Counsellor, Sue McClaughry was invited to the Canadian High Commission in London for an event entitled “Imagine Education in Canada”. The evening was introduced by the Education Trade Commissioner, Allison Goodings, and there were talks by staff from the University of New Brunswick, Memorial University Newfoundland, St Thomas University also in New Brunswick and finally Seneca College. Toronto. As well as describing the opportunities at their own universities, the speakers explained the structure of Canadian degree courses, the application process, admission requirements, credits given for A level and IB subjects, visa issues, work placement opportunities and the whole Canadian way of life. Whilst the majority of Padworth students are aiming for university in the UK, Canada does provide another option to consider. For more information on the University counselling service provided to all Padworth students, please click here 24th March 2014
Dear Parents, Guardians, Students and Friends, As I sit in my study and write this newsletter, I hear the sound of laughter and happy voices. I look through the window and see a group of about 15 students of different ages and nationalities – Russian, Nigerian, British, Portuguese, Chinese, Libyan, Thai, Ukrainian and American. They are all enjoying playing Frisbee on the main lawn; there are no tensions, everyone is involved and as others go by, they too join in and play. Why do I begin in this manner? Well, the answer is because this is Padworth College. My opening words describe the uniqueness of Padworth – its simplicity, its acceptance of people as they are and its sense of fun. Despite the appalling weather throughout the first weeks of this term, the college community has maintained a strong sense of purpose and its sense of humour. Our students have much to be proud of as they develop and mature with each day. This term has literally flown by and once again, much has been achieved. I am delighted to report that the creation of a new gym facility on site has enabled our students to develop their fitness levels and enjoy work out sessions both in curriculum time and in between their periods of study. Continuing the sport theme, the boys have enjoyed their football fixtures, although unfortunately a number were cancelled because of the bad weather. In Netball, the girls’ practice paid off with some excellent performances, particularly against Downe House School where they were only just beaten by a more experienced and established side. Recently the College hosted its first ever cross country race, taking place on a route near the Kennet & Avon canal. A group of 35 students and staff participated; the sun shone and a memorable occasion was enjoyed by all, with some fast times set for future competitors to match or even beat. We look forward to further expansion of our sports provision next term, with the addition of golf offered to students for the first time. On the academic front, the College was delighted with its recent IGCSE Maths results with a superb 100% A*-B pass rate recorded by students. Many congratulations to all concerned. As we look ahead to this summer’s public exams I remind all students of the need to use the long holiday period wisely in order to prepare well for the challenges they will soon face. Students in Year 12 have benefited enormously from College organised visits to universities, including Bath and Bristol. These students also attended the Universities Workshop at Surrey University as we aim to raise early awareness of and engagement with the UCAS process and the array of options available in Higher Education. Next term representatives from the universities of Cardiff, UEA and Nottingham will visit the College to inform Year 12 students further about Higher Education. In College, many students have welcomed the opportunity to listen to invaluable careers advice from visiting speakers from … Continue reading
Year 12 visited the Surrey Higher Education Convention hosted by the University of Surrey which gave them the opportunity to talk to representatives from over 150 universities and to explore the huge range of possible courses and choices open to them by speaking directly to experienced admissions staff and current students.
The Chess Club was created this term and has become a big success. We as students find it quite amusing as we are able to use our time wisely with friends, developing several useful skills such as logical reasoning, patience, planning and calculating. During the time we have been playing chess, we have also been able to concentrate more on our studies and have had significantly improved our memory capacity. In addition, the Club has brought students of different nationalities together, which was helpful for improving our communicating skills as well as getting to know different people. We have started a knock-out tournament between students, which is satisfying as we are able to challenge ourselves. Not long ago, there was a match between a Vietnamese girl (Alixe) and a Russian guy (Alexander) and, to our surprise, after an hour of concentration, Alixe won. Another match was between Ali (one of the best maths students) and Mason, who was also pretty good at chess. There are several other matches between different students, some with plenty of experience and some with little experience. I, personally, find the chess club not only entertaining, but very useful as well, as I have had the opportunity to start playing chess again. Tanya Nguyen, Year 12 Student