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
International Evening is a highlight of the College’s calendar and this year the occasion proved to be a spectacular success with a record number of students entering the Cooking Competition in the afternoon which provided a delicious buffet of dishes from around the world for over 200 guests. The evening kicked off with a parade of students in their national dress. Students then entertained the guests with a varied programme including Spanish music, Indian and Vietnamese dancing, English and Ukrainian poetry, the fabulous Chinese Band and the Padworth Choir. The evening ended with everyone voting for their favourite dish – the American team won with the Indian students in Second Place and the Nigerians in Third Place. Special thanks go to Amit, our Head Chef whose expertise, skills and patience helped our students to cook their favourite dishes from back home. 11th March 2014 123►
Staff and students celebrated World Book Day with a Quiz during the weekly assembly. The students’ knowledge was impressive and the scores were very close but Team Leo Tolstoy were declared the winners. Students studying English Literature went to the Watermill Theatre in Newbury to see a production of ‘All My Sons’ by Arthur Miller. One of the students commented, “The performance was acted to a very high professional standard and I really enjoyed the play.” 10th March 2014
On Friday 7 March 2014, Padworth hosted its first ever Cross Country event and 35 students as well as 5 staff signed up for the challenge. The course was along the Kennet and Avon canal and the glorious weather made it an occasion to remember. At the end of the race, everyone was talking about it and the challenges they had managed to overcome. All the students enjoyed running the course and it was fascinating to see the competitive spirit emerging and a joy to see the motivation and enthusiasm generated as they ran to the finish to achieve the best possible time. Well done to all students and staff who took part in this event. A big thank you too to all the staff who helped to organise and marshall the race and those who helped record the times for each competitor. Next year we will make the course longer and even more challenging and aim to involve whole college participation. 7th March 2014
Our congratulations to Amit Perti, our Head Chef and his hard working catering team at Padworth who have been awarded a 5 Star Rating by West Berkshire and Wokingham Environmental Health and Licensing who inspect all of the food premises in this area. 7th March 2014
The GCSE Science students went to Science Live at Oxford where they were treated to some inspirational talks from eminent Scientists including: * Professor Robert Winston who showed amazing footage of ovulation and conception. *Professor Andrea Sella who showed some imaginative Chemistry. *Professor Mark Miodownik who gave a fascinating talk about amazing materials. The students were also coached on exam technique by a Chief Examiner from AQA.
Carol Donner, Biology Teacher at Padworth, has been busy filming for a spot on Channel 4’s ‘Sunday Brunch’ programme with celebrity chef, Simon Rimmer. Carol will be cooking her dish for staff and students at Padworth soon during our forthcoming International Evening. Look out for her on the television in the coming weeks.
Padworth College recently welcomed up and coming band The Parades to perform to the students during assembly. The band played a mix of their own songs and current songs, interspersed with positive messages to the students on drug abuse, alcohol abuse and the effects of smoking. The students really enjoyed listening to the message and the music, which was an excellent wake up alarm for a Monday morning!
The Padworth College netball team played Sherfield School away on Tuesday and won very convincingly 7-4. Despite atrocious weather conditions, the girls overcame all the odds to hold on to their early lead of 6-1 to finish on a high. Sherfield return to Padworth in the coming weeks when we hope, once more, for a thrilling match played at pace. Many congratulations to the whole team and to Timmy, voted the players’ player, for her tenacity, drive and inspiration!
All Padworth College A Level students took park in the UKMT’s (United Kingdom Mathematics Trust) Senior Maths Challenge on 6 November 2013. Year 13 Further Mathematician Tai produced an outstanding performance, achieving a Gold certificate and qualifying for the British Mathematical Olympiad. This places Tai in the top 1% of the approximate 100,000 participants! Tai’s classmate Ali also excelled, achieving a Gold certificate and qualifying for the Senior Kangaroo competition (placing him in the top 2% of participants). The College is very proud of the overall success of its A-level mathematicians, who achieved a total of 2 Gold, 3 Silver and 10 bronze certificates. The table below provides a full list of those students who achieved an award on the challenge. Year 13 Tai Best in School, Best in Year, Gold, Olympiad Ali Gold, Kangaroo Qinghao Silver Kamnam Bronze Enoch Bronze Mingfung Bronze Yasir Bronze Year 12 Jialiang Best in Year, Silver Pei Silver Alixe Bronze Man Hon Bronze Ran Bronze Luke Bronze Year 11 Amartya Best in Year, Bronze Molly Bronze Well done to all those who did so well on what is always a very difficult challenge.
In a move to develop our links with universities, Claire Ballard from Reading University International Admission team visited Padworth and gave a very interesting talk on all aspects of the university application process from choosing a course and university through to accepting offers. She also spoke about Reading itself and invited students to visit either individually or in groups at any time. She has offered to arrange tours and talks and has suggested that students should contact her directly to arrange visits.
A former Padworth College student, Huiping Yang has had her A level Graphics coursework featured in a national art supplies catalogue. She won a voucher to be spent on art supplies which she can use to create more fabulous artwork. While at Padworth College she gained A grades at A level in both Graphic Design and Fine Art. We wish her all the best for her continued success on her Foundation art course at University of the Arts, London which she is due to start in September 2014. ‘Hat Designs’ by Huiping Yang, 15yrs. Media fabric paint on silk, Photoshop and pencil mounted on foam board.
Padworth College has been named in the top 50 Independent Co-Ed Boarding Schools for 2013 for excellence in academic achievement (A Level and the number of pupils with exam success). Full details may be viewed at http://www.best-schools.co.uk The principal’s letter to parents, guardians, agents and alumni can be viewed at 140124-Principal’s letter.
Padworth recently welcomed Abdul, a musician from the Gambia who has been playing the drums for more than 30 years. He brought along his collection of 20 colourful Djembe drums and our students were treated to a demonstration on how to play them. Students then experienced for themselves the joys of drumming. They managed to create an energetic and exciting sound which reverberated around the main house, attracting a large audience. A sound to remember!
Dear Parents, guardians, students and friends, As my first term in post at Padworth draws to a close, I reflect back on the many happy and positive moments which endorse my view that the College is a very special place. There have been a host of achievements and successes to celebrate, with our students at the core of these. I am deeply conscious that what makes a really good school is not simply a list of achievements and successes, important as they are, but also the quality of life and the quality of relationships in our college community. This term I have seen countless acts of kindness, of honesty and of courtesy. I have also seen great examples of sportsmanship, compassion and concern for others and I have been impressed with the way in which our students have settled down to their academic work. During the term students have taken part in a wide range of extra-curricular activities and I am delighted to see so many enjoying the educational and social benefits of learning beyond the classroom. Students of History and Politics had a fascinating trip to the Houses of Parliament, while others have experienced visits to art galleries and museums like the Victoria and Albert, science trips to Harwell Research, a genetics workshop at London Zoo and lectures at Reading University. Alongside these trips there have also been numerous fun activities such as go-karting, paintballing, zumba dancing and a spectacular fireworks and bonfire night which was enjoyed by all the college community. There have been excellent team achievements against other schools in sport -particularly in football, basketball and netball – alongside individual successes such as Jade’s award for the Best Sixth Form Chemist 2013. In the recent Maths Challenge, two of our very promising mathematicians, Ali and Tai, were awarded Gold – a significant achievement in a very competitive field nationally. An area of growing interest in the College is debating; recently our students attended the Big Debate: ‘Art enhances the quality of life far more than Science’, held at a local school. It was an inspiring evening, where our students really tested the panel of experts with tough and taxing questions. The enthusiasm generated has led to Mason, one of our Year 12 students, forming the College UN debate group which is now hugely popular across the age groups. Other memorable highlights include the visit of author Mark Robson when students enjoyed a day of creative writing and storytelling, and the Manga and Art workshops. With the focus on university entrance high on the agenda for many, our students have benefitted from visits to the College from university admissions departments such as St George’s, London, where potential medical students from Pangbourne and Bradfield College also attended. Our Access students were afforded the opportunity to spend a day at Royal Holloway to see for themselves the courses and facilities on offer at the university. As a new initiative to raise awareness and appreciation of a global commemoration, on 11 … Continue reading
Padworth College 14 – 24 Newbury College ‘A mixture of emotions ran through the players before the game – nerves, excitement and motivation. As we arrived at Newbury College the boys were more intrigued on how big the College was than on the game ahead, but when we arrived at the sports hall, that all changed. They walked over as a team, changed as a team and at the end of all that, they looked like a team. The match began very fast in the first half, which shook the players a little. When we started playing and adapting towards the speed we were brilliant. If we kept that tempo up then we could have won. The boys were getting tired, levels of fitness and stamina were starting to show, especially in the second half. They kept at it and worked as a team. The main thing is that they didn’t give up! All players enjoyed it and came away with their heads high no matter what the score was. Well done all players!’ Michael and Ayobami
All the A level Chemistry students went to Reading University to celebrate Chemistry Week in November. They attended an interactive lecture on the development of light materials. Firstly, they looked at steel and aluminium alloys and then went on through the development of materials getting lighter and lighter making air travel more energy efficient. The lecture ended with the Dreamliner and a new carbon fibre plane due to be launched next year. Chris was the first to volunteer to help with a demonstration on the strength of intermolecular forces between stiff fibres in polymers such as KEVLAR.
At the end of September 2013 the college celebrated its 50th Anniversary. The College was founded in 1963 by Oxford University tutor, Peter Fison. His vision was to bring an informal tutorial atmosphere to school-level education. The day commenced when guests arrived for Reception drinks, followed by lunch in the marquee. Speeches were given by John Crawshaw – Chair of Trustees, John Aguilar – current Principal, Lord Moyne, past Principals and past pupils. Thereafter, there were tours of the College and a cream tea. In the evening there was buffet dinner, followed by a disco. This was a very special occasion for the College, as we welcomed back many alumni who had not seen each other for many years.
On Monday the College commemorated Remembrance by holding a special assembly for all students. This was followed later in the morning by a simple and short Act of Remembrance for the whole College community, where the Head Boy and Head Girl read poems, flowers were laid and The Last Post and Reveille were played.
Chris Randell joins Padworth from The English International School, Prague, where he has been Assistant Principal and has taught Modern Languages. Previously, Chris was Head of Modern Languages at Alderley Edge School for Girls in Cheshire. As well as bringing a wealth of educational experience, Chris is also a keen musician, sportsman and also enjoys gardening.