March 2015 - West Exe School


March 2015 - West Exe School
 West Exe School
March 2015
Vol 7 Issue 4
On 7th May 2015 the UK will take to the polling stations for our general
election, an event that takes place every 5 years. Here at West Exe on the
same day we will be holding a West Exe election where all pupils will have the
opportunity to vote for the MWP (Member of West Exe Parliament) they
choose. Yes, that is right, every pupil will get a vote!
This week in preparation for our West Exe election the real Exeter candidates
from all five parties have been in school to talk to Year 10 pupils in two special
assemblies. On Tuesday 24th March the Conservative candidate: Dom Morris,
the Green party candidate: Diana Moore, the Liberal Democrat candidate: Joel
Mason, and the UKIP candidate: Keith Crawford, came and took part in our
very own West Exe hustings. Each candidate had the opportunity to deliver a
short speech to the pupils before the pupils took the stand to ask the questions
they wanted answered.
The speeches were interesting with Dom Morris talking about growing up on a
farm and working for the Prince’s Trust, Joel Mason discussing what the Liberal
Democrats have achieved in the coalition government, Keith Crawford told us
why he thinks we shouldn’t be a member of the European Union and Diana
Moore took the opportunity to look at how women are massively underrepresented in parliament today and how
the Green party is looking to address this,
as well as give 16 year olds the vote. On
Friday our very own current Member of
Parliament (MP) for Exeter Ben Bradshaw
came in to talk to the year 10 pupils. He
had a really good knowledge of our school
and he answered the pupils questions
openly and honestly. He talked about how
Labour want to reduce the voting age to 16
and how they plan to reduce the cost of
university tuition fees.
page 4
Dear Parents, Carers and Students
I would like to take this opportunity to introduce myself to you as the
new Headteacher of West Exe School. It is a very special place, where
many exceptional students and staff learn and work and I appreciate how
much it means to people in the local community and especially to present
and former students and colleagues.
Born and educated in northern Germany, Devon has now been my home
for over twenty years. I am married with first-hand experience of being a
parent of two state-school educated children and believe in creating the
highest possible quality and inclusive learning experience for all our
young people.
Having taught in a number of secondaries in Devon since 1992, I was
delighted and very proud to be asked to take on the stewardship of a
school which is fully committed to nurturing learners of all abilities and
ages in a safe, happy and at the same time challenging, as well as
successful learning environment.
I live by Alexandre Dumas’ motto “One for all and all for one!” and set myself the mantra that ‘only my best is
good enough’. I believe that I set exceptionally high standards and have equally high expectations of and for all
members of our school. As such, I am now looking forward to working in very close partnership with you, West
Exe School staff and Governors, as well as members of the Exeter Learning Trust and the wider community.
As the first member of my family to go to university, I have a true passion for raising aspirations. At the same
time, I fully appreciate that Higher Education is not appropriate for all and that, in partnership with parents,
carers and local employers, we must take on the challenge of unlocking potential in all members of our learning
community and, therefore, enable them to find opportunities in which to excel and to embark on prosperous
future careers.
I strongly believe in providing all our children and young people with exciting, creative and meaningful learning
experiences; learners who develop an enthusiasm for life-long learning, thrive on mutual respect and value
positive relationships. Whatever opportunity in and out of the classroom or even outside school we can provide,
should help them to develop into inquiring and knowledgeable communicators, as well as principled, openminded and caring risk-takers, who will leave West Exe School balanced and well-prepared for their future.
Having had the privilege to spend time at the school, meeting many students, the staff and the Governors, as
well as to visit some of the local primary schools before I will officially join you after the Easter holidays, I hope
to ensure a smooth, efficient and effective change of leadership. During the summer term, I aim to get to know
the students, spending time with them whenever possible and finding out about their views of the school.
Similarly, I hope to meet many parents and carers so that I can fully appreciate your hopes and aspirations for
your children.
As Headteacher, I would like to emphasise that my door is ‘always open’ and I welcome your input. Please feel
free to contact me if you have any queries, worries or suggestions to help make our school the best in Exeter
and beyond.
Yours faithfully,
Sönke Beyer, Headteacher from April 2015 HEADTEACHER COFFEE ‘MORNINGS’
Our popular West Exe Headteacher Coffee ‘mornings’ continue next term, taking place during
both mornings and afternoons to give everyone the chance to attend. It’s your chance to ask
questions, express concerns, or just have a coffee or tea and a chat.
Come into Main Reception please. All parents welcome! Dates are:
23 April 2015
with Mr Beyer
11 June 2015
with Mr Beyer
Dear Parents and Friends
Undoubtedly schools and education will be a hot
topic of debate in the run up to the election,
although I have to say the schools described in
these sorts of discussions bear little resemblance
to what I see on a day to day basis at West Exe.
So in the interests of fairness to staff, students,
and parents, please excuse me for using a few
paragraphs to address some of the generalisations
and inaccuracies that we are likely to hear.
Firstly, well-done to the 96% of students who turn
up every day, on time, dressed appropriately, and
who consistently demonstrate positive attitudes to
their learning. These young people are in the main
a pleasure to teach.
A number of these students excel in academic,
sporting or artistic contexts. A recent example is Charlotte, Owen, and Ella, who last Sunday beat schools from
as far afield as Gloucester and Bournemouth to be crowned South West ‘Youth Speaks’ Champions.
Congratulations also to Robert C who found a child’s scooter in a local river. He not only traced the owner
through phone calls to all people with the surname engraved on the scooter, but cleaned and oiled it before
returning it to its owner. Similarly well done to the group of students (as yet, unidentified) who looked after a
lady who was shaken and injured when she fell off her bicycle. These, and many more acts of character and
kindness, serve to remind us of the dangers of stereotyping all young people.
A big thank you also to those staff who in the midst of a recent bout of illness at the school struggled in to
teach. Many of these teachers then showed additional commitment by offering after school, weekend, or
holiday classes, in order to give students the best possible chance of exam success.
A collective ‘well-done’ is also due to the teaching staff who have successfully developed their teaching (against
a range of measures) so that lessons are even more engaging. In a recent monitoring exercise 91% of lessons
observed were considered to be good or outstanding.
This newsletter contains many examples of adults, some employed at the school, and some as volunteers, who
give their time freely to organise and support a range of curriculum enrichments, and many thanks are due to
them. Whilst I am dishing out thanks I would also like to thank the vast majority of parents who have this year
attended parents’ evenings in record numbers. Your interest and support shown in this and other ways is
So when references in political debate are made to today’s ‘falling standards’ and ‘failing schools’ there may be
merit in reminding ourselves that by working together we have created a good school. If this smacks of
complacency, it is not meant to, as we acknowledge (in our soon-to-be-published School Improvement Plan) a
need to address a number of priorities. This challenge will be made all the easier by continuing to offer each
other constructive feedback and adopting a supportive approach wherever possible.
I hope you have a very enjoyable Easter holiday.
Rick Jolley, Acting Headteacher
Service children
Please email us if your child/children has/have a parent or parents who are Service personnel currently serving in regular HM Forces
military units of all forces, or in the Armed Forces of another nation and stationed in England, and exercising parental care/
This can be done by email to [email protected], or via the contact page on the school website. Please state your
child’s name, year and tutor group. If you don’t have an email account, can you please advise us in writing, and ask your child to
hand the note in to Student Services Reception?
Bringing learning to life
Our Year 10 pupils will apply to stand as an MWP
choosing one of the five parties to represent.
Labour, Liberal Democrat, Conservative, Green or
UKIP. The selected Year 10 pupils will have a
small team to work with and will be given the
chance to work with our local Exeter candidates to
form a campaign, prepare and deliver speeches
and be part of our very own West Exe question
All the candidates gave up their time to come and
talk to our Year 10 pupils knowing they are not of
voting age yet. Joel Mason explained when he
was at school (only three years ago), he was
involved in his school election and he is now
standing to be a real MP! So good luck to the Year
10s who apply to stand in the West Exe Election, we look forward to hearing more about your campaigns and
why we should vote for you. All other pupils, please get involved. Politics is for everyone! It is worth
remembering many people around the world do not have the opportunity to vote and many continue to fight for
that right. If we are not happy with the politics we see it is up to us to change it. Gandhi, the famous peaceful
warrior, once said: “You must be the change you wish to see in the World”
Hilda Merttens, Maths Department
Please visit the ‘Exams’ link on the West Exe
website to view essential documents for exam
candidates and their parents:
British Science Week (BSW) is a ten-day celebration of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths - featuring
fascinating, entertaining and engaging events and activities across the UK for people of all ages.
Here at West Exe, we had our own interactive talk and
demonstration given to classes of Year 9. External
visitors from the University of Surrey gave an
informative talk on engineering applications and the
important role that science has in becoming an
engineer. The researchers’ expertise include biomedical
engineering and mechanical engineering, designing
prosthetic limbs for humans and animals, improving
artificial organ design, advancing healthcare imaging
equipment being used in hospitals of today and the
future, experiences of car design and applications of 3D
printing in a variety of engineering disciplines.
After a presentation on their work, a 3D printer was
used to design a key ring. Key questions were asked so
that classes thought about how to overcome potential
problems, including how taking measurements varied
depending which student took the measurement. The
session ended with a group competition whereby the
audience was separated into small teams. Some groups
were required to build a tower to withstand adverse
weather conditions and the other groups needed to
design and make a self-propelled vehicle with some
crafts and paper provided. The designs were then
tested against the brief.
Visits like these boost the knowledge of how the sciences are applied in everyday life, as well as enthusing the
minds of the next generation towards careers in science and engineering in Britain; particularly our females who
are making a big, positive impact in a field which was once deemed an ‘all-male’ profession.
Natasha Jeynes, Trainee Science Teacher, SWTT HOW
We are celebrating the event of the solar eclipse on March 20th by having themed lessons for Year 7 and 8
in addition to a themed assembly for the whole school.
The ‘Edible eclipse’ competition - check out the school website and plasma screens for more information.
We will be hosting our own science fair ‘Big Bang’s Little Bang’ where Year 7 Students will be able to see
what our older students in Year 8 and 9 are currently working on in extra-curricular science projects
We will be taking a group of students to @Bristol to experience the exciting field of microbiology through
hands on lab work!
Watch this space for more news on all STEM events and activities taking place at West Exe!
Kate Aimable, Assistant Head of Science KS3 5
Bringing learning to life
Exeter City FC have supported progress and achievement at West Exe School again this term by offering forty
tickets for students to go and see the Exeter City vs Morecambe game on Saturday 28th March free. Staff were
asked to nominate students for the reward and this could be for attendance, improvement, progress and
contribution to the school. Their names will be printed in the programme on the day to celebrate their
achievements. Congratulations to all those nominated and we hope you enjoy the game! We hope this will be a
regular venture and we would like to thank Exeter City FC for their continued support of the school.
Year 11: Liam S; Will B; Sam R; Chloe W; Rachel S
Year 10: Sarah P; Karris F; Zoe M; John M; Chris W;
Year 9: James D; Charlie S; Aiden V; Rose T; Grace F
Year 8: Jenna W; Elliot C; Jack W
Year 7: Leo H; Jack C; Eliot B; Conor L
PE: Stella H; Ellie O’C; Max H; Sophie F ; Charlie M; Lucas W;
Levi E; Brad E; Harry W; Ollie S; Connor S; Jack C; James B;
Camille M; Olivia M; Esme O; Amelia G; Lucy L
Chris Davies, Head of PE
On Tuesday 3rd March a group of twenty-five PE Gifted and Talented students from Years 7-9 went to Bath
University to take part in their ‘Developing the Sports Performer’ day.
The day comprised three practical workshops which included a SAQ (Speed, Agility and Quickness) training
session, hand–eye session and a Judo session.
The SAQ session concentrated on speed and agility where our students were put through their paces with a
variety of tasks improving their ability to move quickly in different directions to gain an advantage on opponents.
Our students especially enjoyed the speed testing with all students being recorded on their speed up to 20
metres through the use of speed guns.
The hand-eye co-ordination training developed their decision making in a games situation.
The final session was a Judo session which everyone really enjoyed. This really helps to develop core strength
which is needed in every sport to help performers reach their potential.
Well done to all
students who attended
and please continue to
let myself or any other
members of the PE
department know of
your success stories, we
would really love to
celebrate with you.
Sarah Blackburn, PE Department
Robert C shares with us how he creates such accurate
creative models.
This week, inspired by History lessons on the Black
Death, he has created a medieval town….
Robert explains how it was done:
‘I made the walls out of special card and the support
beams are made out of match sticks
Then the roofs were made of cloth I found and painted
with acrylic paint which took ages to dry!
The smaller houses have a bit of plaster on them. I
used powder plaster in ratios of 1:2 plaster to water.
I couldn’t dig into the MDF base so I raised it up
The path was cut and black-washed. We are studying
the Black Death in History, and men really did call out
“Bring out your bodies”, so I decided to create a cart with lots of bodies. I also included a stretcher bearer
bringing out the bodies from the side alley.
The doors do open (with duck tape!) and I have daubed a red cross on the door as a sign for mercy from God.
Only the rich had a chimney, and so I included this to show that everyone was affected by the plague. Scatter
was made out of the tealeaves, and the open sewers have a special liquid that will eventually go see through.
The foliage is part of a brush painted green. I am really proud of this – it took me two weeks, but I am pleased
with it.
I researched this thoroughly - there are a couple of
medieval houses still standing in Alphington, and I used
this as a starting point.’
What do we think?
Fantastic creativity, and persistence and commitment
to see the project through. This has inspired us in the
History Department to set up our own model making
club. We’ll keep you posted on our Year 7 historians!
Sheila Baker, Head of History
Bringing learning to life
Over the last few months our Gifted and
Talented Year 9 students have been
given the mighty responsibility of
LESSON ARCHIVER. Their task .... to
archive by capturing the essential
learning styles within the lesson through
initiative and digital camera/iPad. They
are then expected to use these
photographs as a prompt and lesson
starter for the next lesson, to sharpen
their own understanding and curiosity
about what we learn, why we learn and
how we learn. Fascinating stuff!
Interestingly enough, the questions and
mini tasks that are being designed by
the students for the students have been
as exciting and focused as the archiving
itself. Bravo Year 9!
Year 8 magazine editors were given the ambitious task of producing their own lifestyle magazine for the
wealthy Georgian elite, considering such topics as fashion, foods, how the poor live and survive, and concerns
Georgians might have with their European neighbours!
The results were a fantastic and very diverse mix of observation, wit, and investigation. Well done Year 8!
Sheila Baker, History Department
This year a group of dedicated students
has been meeting weekly to try and
develop the school and the community
that they live in. We discuss elements
which are concerning students and ways
of trying to improve the school to make it
the best place it can be. Our first project
saw us raise money to help adopt a
In the future we are hoping to train the
whole of Year 7 to become ‘Dementia
Friends’ we will all learn about what
dementia is and how we can support
people in our local community. Everyone
is welcome to come along to the project
team and share their ideas. We meet in
G007 on Tuesday of Week 1 and Monday
of Week 2. You can bring your lunch with
you. Thank you from the Year 7 Project
Robyn Walton, Teacher of Health & Social Care
Students in Year 10 and 11 studying Health and Social Care
have received training from Gina Awad and are now ‘Dementia
Friends’. The Royal Voluntary Service has partnered with the
Alzheimer’s Society to support Dementia Friends, a government
backed campaign
offering people in
England the chance
to understand what
it might be like to
live with dementia and turn that understanding into action. It is
fortunate that Gina is a driving force in Exeter and we at West Exe
School are looking forward to working with her over the next few
months to train up the whole of our Year 7 co-hort.
Robyn Walton, Teacher of Health & Social Care
We are looking for creative and
inspiring posters to help promote
BNF Healthy Eating Week 2015!
There are some great prizes to be
won for the school, as well as being
an excellent opportunity to discuss
healthy eating!
We're looking for :
Entries that are original and imaginative, highlighting one or more of the BNF Healthy Eating Week themes. A4 or
A3 sized posters - either by individual pupils or groups (a maximum of five entries per school). These should
show ideas that are bold, bright and brilliant!
The themes are: Food provenance - where food comes from; traditional dishes; growing food; creative cooking;
healthy eating and drinking. To help create your poster, why not think about: 5 a day; Drink plenty; Be active;
Eat breakfast; Try a new food; Exploring where food comes from; Being safe in the kitchen
There are four fantastic £50 prizes for schools to
be won to support during BNF Healthy Eating
Week. The prize could be used to buy ingredients
or equipment for a cooking activity or support a
visit to a farm!
Winning entries will be posted on the BNF and
Food - a fact of life websites for everyone to see!
Entries to Mrs Quick by 25th April please.
Sarah Quick,
Teacher of Food
Bringing learning to life
Following a meeting with Active Devon, Wessex Rugby Club, and Exeter Chiefs, I am pleased to announce that
we are forming an exciting partnership to promote and support pathways into rugby this side of the Exe.
Rugby Opportunities:
Starting on Wednesday April 15th 2015 there are two new clubs which will be starting here at West Exe.
A new Girls Rugby practice will be run by Dave Turner and Exeter Chiefs
Wednesdays 3.00 - 4.00 pm on front field.
Year 7 Boys will have additional coaching from Exeter Chiefs and Wessex Rugby Club to help them
prepare for a competition in the lead up to the Rugby World Cup kick off in September. This means that
this year the season will be extended for this group, and those who have already been training with Mr
Quick/Mr Hutchinson and any newcomers should come along to these sessions.
Wednesdays 3.30 – 4.30 pm on front field.
This is part of a new partnership scheme between West Exe School, Wessex Rugby Club, Exeter Chiefs, and
Active Devon which we are hoping to develop to support rugby development and progression on this side of the
River Exe. There are some exciting opportunities planned for the future and this should support the legacy of
the forthcoming Rugby World Cup here in Exeter.
Chris Davies, Head of PE
Well done to the Under 14 Gymnastics squad who went
to Bideford on Sunday March 8th to compete in the
Regional Schools Gym competition. The standard was
very high and the girls were a credit to the school.
Holly S did exceptionally well finishing in 12th place out
of 54! We will now start training for next year. Gym
club is on Thursdays 3.00-4.00p.m in the gym.
Congratulations to Rose T, Ellie M, Maddie W and
Hannah S who were recently nominated for a Young
Leaders Award at Sandy Park for their work with West
Exe Netball Club.
The West Exe Netball Club Under 14 squad qualified
for the U 14 South Regional Netball Tournament held
at Exeter University. They won this and are now through to the Regional finals in Bath on March 21st . Good luck
to all involved. Rosie is the squad captain and Ellie M and Anna R is also in the squad .
Sophie F has been training with Devon cricket (winter squad) and hopes to make the Under 15 Girls summer
squad. She’s already a member of the Under 15 East Devon squad and she hopes that her recent trip to New
Zealand, where she met the West Indies team, will inspire her to similar successes of the England Women’s
Cricket team.
Chris Davies, Head of PE
The Under 15 Boys handball team travelled to Bideford on
March 11th to compete in the National Schools qualifying
tournament, with the top team going forward to Regional
rounds. The boys conducted themselves well in what is
essentially a new game to West Exe, finishing 3rd overall.
This is a great result and we learnt a lot about the rules
and interpretation of the rules at a competitive level. We
will now build on this and will look forward to the summer
term when the next competition is to be held.
At West Exe we are lucky to be one of the Devon Handball
satellite centres supported by Aym Dupuy (Devon Handball
coach and programme manager). Training takes place on
U15 Handball Team
Mondays with Under 15s from 3.15 - 4.15pm and Under
13s from 4.15 - 5.00pm. Aym is working with the primary
schools to recruit and support potential talent so they can
attend and feed into these clubs. There is an adult session on Thursdays at 6.00 pm in the sports hall and this
has proved quite popular. Please feel free to come and try handball at these sessions.
Earlier this month West Exe students were involved in Devon handball trials and the following students have
been selected to attend training camps. Congratulations to all involved.
U16: Jack C; James B; Joe M; Connor S; Will B; Luke B; Charlie E.
Chris Davies, Head of PE
Devon School Handball Tournament
Water polo:
Congratulations to Jack C who is also part of the GB water
polo team. We are very proud of him and hope that we
might see him in the 2020 Olympics!
Well done to the Hockey team who have qualified for the
CVL finals, and particularly to Brandon M who has been
selected to play Devon County Hockey for the second year
Chris Davies, Head of PE
Bringing learning to life
We had a great time at West Exe celebrating World Book Day on 5th March. The main event this year was a
‘Guess the Author’ competition. Giant clues representing 10 books were hung up around the school and the
challenge for students was to guess the title of each book and the author that connected them all, the answer
was Roald Dahl.
During the day classes came into the library to take
part in a book themed treasure hunt using the iPads.
Working in pairs students scanned QR codes hidden
around the library to take them to the next clue. They
also had to collect words that were used at the end of
the treasure hunt to make the titles of three famous
At lunchtime there was a ‘Book Bench Challenge’ quiz,
the aim was to guess as many of the books the
benches were representing as possible. The winning
team guessed 21 out of a possible 26.
After lunch the whole school took part in ‘Stop, Drop
and Read’ which meant we all got to read for 20
minutes at the start of the lesson.
The celebrations continued on Friday with a screening
of ‘The Fault in our Stars’ film in the hall after school.
All students were given a £1 book token that can be
used to receive one of the special World Book Day
books for free or to get £1 off another book of their
choice. The vouchers are valid until 29th March.
Emma Coombes,
Library assistant
After watching Leonardo Di Caprio give a speech to the United
Nations about the most significant threat to mankind of Global
Warming, Year 8 students were tasked with a follow up speech.
They needed to address the UN to explain and persuade them into
making their lives and the lives of their populations into taking steps
to reduce Carbon Dioxide emissions.
The speeches were conducted to their classmates who formed the
UN and also critical friends by offering each student individual
feedback on their speech. The key elements each person had to
show in their speech were the ability to explain ideas using
examples, repeat key points, give lists of three, and use personal
The speeches were excellent and the students showed how they have built their confidence in speaking over the
last term and a half. Almost every student delivered a clear, concise and informative speech. Subjects ranged
from how to reduce Carbon Dioxide emissions at home by turning off lights, only boiling enough water in a kettle
for the number of drinks to be made, and stop leaving appliances on standby. Other students spoke about life
style changes, for example, when going on holiday do not fly but ‘let the train take the strain when you go to
Spain’ as one student put it. Year 8s also spoke about the need for us all to ‘go and buy a bike’ and cycle to work
instead of driving.
Students have not only developed their ability to educate others about how we can tackle global warming, they
have also developed their confidence. They were able to show their investigative, proactive and communication
Rob Clemens, Head of Geography
If you love programming or computers in general then this club is
for you! Pi Club is a new session running every Friday after school
where you can come to Mr Tibbetts’ Room (F029) and learn to
Throughout the sessions, we will be using
the Raspberry Pi to program. The
Raspberry Pi (RPi) is a credit card sized
computer designed for programming. This
makes it great for teaching young people
coding and introducing them to computer
programming. We currently have 5 RPi
Computers for students to use.
For the first couple of sessions, we will
look at how the RPi can be programmed
and learn some basic code. Then, each
student will be able to decide what they
want to code. Once the student has decided what they want to
code, they will be given worksheets and personal lessons based
on their objective.
Pi Club is run by Luke C. (Year 9) and Oisin W-M. (Year 9) on
every Friday, starting after the Easter Holidays.
Bringing learning to life
As part of the events commemorating the 100 years since the First
World War, Ben S in Year 9 and Noah N in Year 8 were invited to
take part in a tour of the battlefields and memorials in Belgium and
The visit began with orientation in Kent where Ben and Noah
researched two local soldiers who had died during the First World
War and then examined various artefacts from the First World War.
The next day was
spent in Belgium
where we visited the
Cemetery, the Death
Cells at Poperinge,
the Menin Gate and
the In Flanders
Field’s Museum. In
the evening, we
returned to the
Menin Gate to be a
part of the Last Post
service where Noah
was given the honour of presenting a wreath during the service.
The third day was spent in France, focussing on the Battle of the Somme. The first place we visited was Neuve
Chapelle, a memorial to the Indian soldiers who lost their lives where we looked at the part the Indian Army
played in the First World War. Our next stop was the Beaumont Hamel Newfoundland Memorial Park, a
preserved battlefield. We walked through the trenches that the Newfoundland soldiers did 100 years before us
and looked at the tactics they used on the first day of the Battle of the Somme. In the afternoon, we visited the
Devonshire cemetery where we saw all graves from the soldiers of the Devonshire regiment who were killed in
the first battle of the Somme and the Thiepval Memorial, the largest memorial to British casualties of war in the
On the final day of the tour we visited the Hooge Crater cemetery, and the Memorial Museum at Passchendaele
where we walked through a reconstructed First World War dugout and reconstructed British and German
From the museum we travelled
to the Tyne Cot cemetery,
constructed in the area where
the Battle of Passchendaele
was fought. It is the largest
British and Commonwealth
War Cemetery in the world and
the sheer size of the cemetery
was staggering. The final place
we visited was the German
cemetery at Langemark. This
was very different to any of
the other cemeteries we visited
and was a fitting place to stop
and reflect before starting our
journey home.
See our Humanities Blog on
the school website for the full
Ben Lias, Assistant Head of Humanities
During this term, Year 7 students have been studying a
range of topics linking to food and famine. This
included a mixture ranging from renewable energy
sources, reproduction and different food sources. One
lesson in particular that excited the students was about
edible bugs, which included the opportunity to try some
rather interesting insects for themselves.
After students had researched about all of the many
types of insects that are eaten as a daily source of food
around the world students got to try some very
delicious looking mealworms, which according to
students tasted just like cornflakes.
This was an extremely fun and exciting lesson for
students to push their limits and try something very
different to what they are normally used to eating.
Tasty mealworms for students to try
Stephanie Taylor, Teacher of
Freya J getting her protein
intake from a tasty mealworm
Jessica C preparing herself to eat the
Jack T, Melanie J, Oscar E, Elliott B and Charney D
challenging their teacher Miss Taylor to eat one
Bringing learning to life
Well done to the Year 7 Girls Handball Team who had a great day of fun scoring some sensational goals at the
Devon Winter Games Handball Tournament.
Robyn Walton, PE Department
On Friday 13th March a group of Year 7 and Year 8 Netball players went to Bath University to watch a Super
League netball match with Team Bath versus Team Northumberland.
We left school at 4.30 and began our trip up to Bath. After a mad dash to the stadium, seats were chosen and
the atmosphere began. It was Team Bath’s last home game of the season, and a selection of national players
were on show for us to watch them play. The game was incredibly fast and extremely competitive, with both
sets of players going for every ball. Team Bath had a convincing win over their opponents.
It was really impressive to see so many great players to inspire our students to reach their potential. At the
end of the match we stayed for a while to get photos and autographs from the Team Bath players.
Well done to all Year 7 and Year 8 netball players, we have had a very successful season from a great group of
committed players.
Best of luck to the Year 8 netball team for Thursday's CVL finals day, and well done to the Year7 netball team,
who came second overall in their CVL fixtures I look forward to coaching you next season.
Sarah Blackburn, PE Department
On January 27th, events are held across the world to commemorate
Holocaust Memorial Day. This date was chosen to be Holocaust Memorial Day
because it was on this day in 1945 that the Auschwitz concentration camp
was liberated by the Russian army.
Year 8 students have been studying the tragic events of the Holocaust as part
of their CES lessons, and a small group represented the school at the
Holocaust Memorial Day event being held at Exeter Guildhall and
Southernhay United Reformed Church.
For the Guildhall, the students produced a
display focusing not on the horrors of the
Holocaust, but on the incredible strength and resilience of the Jews who were
imprisoned in the camps and ghettos. In the Guildhall, the students spoke
with members of Exeter’s Jewish community and the Lord Mayor before
giving a presentation at the Church. For their presentation, the students had
produced a moving and informative PowerPoint presentation and Charlotte M
presented a short speech about the Holocaust. The final part of the
presentation was a short film produced by Chelsea R and Rachel S which
featured a song they had written and produced themselves called ‘Keep the
memory alive’, the theme of this year’s Holocaust Memorial Day.
The Holocaust was a terrible event that must never be forgotten, and the school community is very proud of the
way these students represented West Exe, and how they communicated the truth about what happened in such
a sensitive and mature manner.
Ben Lias, Assistant Head of Humanities
We hear this and similar statements a lot, but is it fair to say that a
whole generation have no interest in democracy? Last year’s Scottish
referendum showed that many young people are, in fact, interested in
politics and this is certainly the case at West Exe.
In October, forty students attended a seminar led by a representative
of the UK Parliament’s education service. During the seminar they
were taught about how electoral system in the UK and the structure
of Parliament before participating in a very lively debate on the future
of the monarchy.
In November, eight students from Years 10 and 11 participated in a
local democracy event held in the Council Chamber of Exeter
Guildhall. During the event, the students debated issues such as the voting age and public transport in the city.
They also discussed the city council’s policies on green issues and homelessness, sharing their ideas with local
In January, thirty West Exe students travelled to London for a tour of
the Houses of Parliament. During the tour the learned more about the
democratic processes and sat in the public gallery to hear Members of
Parliament debate issues. Following the tour, the group participated
in a democracy workshop focussing on the different voting methods
and then formed their own election campaign before holding a
general election! Through all of these events, it has been evident how
well West Exe students can discuss complex issues and come up with
some inspired ideas. Councillors and MPs could learn a lot from them!
Ben Lias, Assistant Head of Humanities
Bringing learning to life
Year 7 students have been studying our new contextual module ‘Food and Famine’, based around the scenario
of refugee camps. Students have been exploring topics such as, healthy and alternative diets plus ways of
creating energy for their own refugee camp.
During this lesson students were set a challenge to cook an egg in thirty minutes using a limited number of
resources. The students needed to use prior knowledge to design the best method to cook an egg using only a
Tea light, Aluminium foil, metal bowl and a tripod. We saw some really creative designs and some really great
results. The eggs were then judged at the end based on whose egg had cooked the most.
A big well done to the whole 07x/Sc3 class for displaying great investigative skills. The winning team, who
managed an impressive 8.5/10 for their cooked egg, was Courtney H, Chloe D and Holly M
Stephanie Taylor, Science Department
27TH JUNE 2015
West Exe Amnesty group was delighted to learn this week that they have been nominated for two national
awards. The letter we received is below:
Dear West Exe Amnesty Group
Congratulations! I’m writing to let you know that your youth
group has been shortlisted for Amnesty International’s Youth
Awards 2015 in the categories: Young Human Rights
Campaigner Award - Most Committed Group andYoung Human
Rights Campaigner Award - Best Campaign and the judges were
incredibly impressed by the high standard of entries this year so
this is an excellent achievement, well done to everyone involved.
And what happens next?
Our Youth Awards judges will be presented with the top three
entries in each Campaigner and Fundraiser category. They will
have the tough job of deciding on the winner, who will be invited
to the Youth Awards ceremony on April 29th. We will be
announcing the winner after the Easter holidays.
Congratulations again and kind regards,
Whitney Otchere, Amnesty Youth Awards Team
Bringing learning to life
On Saturday, March 7th, a team of West Exe School students competed in the District (Devon) final of the
annual “Youth Speaks” public speaking competition organised by the Rotary International in Great Britain and
Ireland. This was the first time the West Exe team had reached this stage of the competition, having come
through two tough rounds involving teams from other Exeter schools.
The title of district winners was contested for by teams from all over the county speaking on a wide range of
topics from drone warfare to the myths told by mothers. The standard of the competition was very high and all
teams deserve credit for their performances. However, after an agonising wait while the judges deliberated,
West Exe School were announced as the winners for their presentation on adult misconceptions of teenagers.
As winners, the team progressed to the South West regional final in Shaftesbury on March 21st.
In the regional final, the West Exe team was competing against teams from Hampshire, Cornwall and
Somerset. As could be expected for this stage of the competition, every team was excellent and the standard
of the talks was very high. At the end of the day, there were two awards presented; best individual speaker
and the team award. The speaker award was for the best presentation not only from the age range West Exe
were competing in, but also the senior competition which included speakers from Year 13. Therefore, Owen
deserves much credit for winning this award. According to the chief judge, deciding the team winners was
relatively easy with all the judges unanimously voting that the South West regional winners are West Exe
School! Many congratulations to Owen, Charlotte and Ella and we wish them all the best when they compete in
the national final in May.
Ben Lias, Assistant Head of Humanities
At West Exe, we continue
to use and develop cooperative learning
strategies. For example,
a Year 10 History class
participated in a Market
Stall Activity to decide:
‘How did Hitler Come to
Power’. The "sellers"
have to sell their ideas
and theories to the rest
of the class, the "buyers"
who are visiting the
market stalls.
This was very successful and enjoyed by all.
Helen Towler-Williams, Director of Inclusion
Students from Years 7 and 8 have been working on their own inventive
sculptures on the theme of modern life. The club runs on Mondays after school
with a team of keen volunteers. We greatly appreciate their efforts.
We now have a vibrant and exciting art club well established for lower school
students on a Monday from 3 to 4 pm. All students and abilities are welcome. If
you need to learn more art skills and knowledge please come along, and if you
are average or gifted and talented we welcome you too. The sculptures being
constructed at the moment will be shown alongside the wire sculptures made by
Year 9 students. This exhibition will take place in the Summer term.
Princess Trezise, Head of Art
Police have recently received a significant number
of complaints relating to the illegal use of Balls
Farm Road, Doctors Walk and Little Johns Cross by
motorists in order to avoid traffic congestion. Upon
Police attendance it is clear that a number of these
motorists are parents dropping students at WestExe.
Parents are reminded that a traffic order prevents
the use of this road for anything other than access,
as a Policing team we are committed to periodically
checking compliance at the worst times of day with
a view to educating motorists and issuing tickets to
repeat offenders – please ensure you use other
Chris Conway – Neighbourhood Beat Manager
__________________________________________________________________________________________________ PC 6652 Chris CONWAY | Exeter Neighbourhood | Devon and Cornwall Constabulary [email protected] 21
Bringing learning to life
GCSE PE students at West Exe are involved in a research project at Exeter University looking at how different
types of exercise can change the way your body deals with a sugary drink both immediately after exercise and
during the days following it. This is important because when we eat or drink lots of sugar, the amount of sugar
in our blood increases. How well our body processes this sugar is related to development of a disease called
diabetes in later life. Childhood inactivity is linked to the development of chronic diseases such as type two
diabetes. Government Guidelines currently recommend adolescents to complete more than 60 minutes of
moderate to vigorous physical activity per day. However, this is only being achieved by one third of boys. There
is little evidence supporting these guidelines and since they are not being achieved by most, it is appropriate to
look at different approaches, such as time efficient high-intensity interval exercise (HIIE). Research has shown
HIIE to produce similar and possibly greater benefit to blood sugar control and insulin sensitivity compared to
moderate intensity exercise (MIE) in adolescent boys, immediately after a single exercise session. How long
these benefits last is however not known. This project will investigate the lasting effects of HIIE and MIE, 48
hours after a single exercise session, helping to gain insight into the best exercise for health outcomes in
children as well as the recommended frequency of exercise to maintain health benefits.
The pictures show
what Tom E, Bradley E
and William B did on
their first trip to the
university. The boys
took part in a fitness
test on a bike, known
as a “VO2 max test”
this was to assess their
personal fitness level
so that the exercise
they do over the next
few weeks is specific to
them. Everyone is
different so the same
exercise level for one
person may be a lot
harder or a lot easier for
Nicola Lewis , PE Department
someone else.
Following the introduction of the School Gateway system ( at the beginning of the
Autumn Term, parent/carers will receive letters, messages and requests for payment as an email or text via the
School Gateway. The School Gateway system operates using the email address or mobile number of the
parent/carer that you have registered with the school as having parental responsibility. Further guidance,
explaining who has parental responsibility, is available to read on the School website.
If you haven’t already done so, please can you register on the School Gateway as increasingly information will
be sent out in this way. Initial feedback from parents/carers has been extremely positive and we are seeing the
number of subscribers to the system increase on a daily basis; 62% of parents / carers have now activated their
login. If you would like to access the system but you are not sure how to go about it, please contact the school
and a member of staff will be able to provide support.
If you have not yet given the School your details, or you need to update your email or mobile number, please
email [email protected] or send a note in via Student Reception. If however you are now
receiving messages which you do not wish to receive, please contact us.
Ideally we would like to encourage all parents/carers to use the School Gateway. If you are
unable to access the system, please contact the School.
On Thursday 19th March
fifteen Year 8 and 9
students competed in the
annual Magistrates Court
Mock Trial competition
held at Newton Abbot
Courthouse. To prepare
for the competition the
team had spent many
hours preparing both the
prosecution and defence
arguments for a case of
alleged theft of a mobile
phone. During the
competition, the team
members played a
variety of roles from magistrates and court officials to lawyers and witnesses. In the first round, the West Exe
prosecution team played against the defence team of Braunton Academy. Not only did the West Exe team
secure a conviction, they also won the round in terms of the competition. In the next round, the West Exe
defence team played against the prosecution team of Colyton Grammar. Unfortunately, Ella was found guilty of
theft! However, in terms of the competition, West Exe were again the winners; meaning the day ended with an
impressive record of played two, won two. One of the judges, who are all practising magistrates, said the team
were exceptional. The team deserve a huge amount of credit for all their hard work and the way they performed
in the competition, with skill and maturity, but also in a very sporting manner, even helping one of the
opposition team at one point. Well done to everyone involved.
The Inclusion Hub provides a range of services in school including a breakfast club
and homework support.
We also provide aspects of the Thrive programme, including sessions in the poly
tunnel and craft activities.
The latest craft activities have had an Easter theme.
For further information, please see Mrs Towler-Williams.
Bringing learning to life
Handball at the Devon School Games:
On Thursday 19th March West Exe School took a boys Under 13 and
girls Under 13 handball team to Paignton Academy for the Devon
School Games. Both teams went through as the Exeter Schools
representatives. Whilst this is still a new game for West Exe both
teams did well with the boys team finishing in 4th place. Many of our
players were from Year 7, so they will have an opportunity to complete
again next year with the added experience from this year’s
competition. The students were a credit to the school and they got
better as they played more games. Students have an opportunity to
gain additional coaching from our Devon handball coach at West Exe
School on Mondays 4.15-5.00pm in the Sports hall.
Under 16 Boys Football Success:
Congratulations to our Under 16 football team who have managed to
progress to the semi-finals of the Devon Schools Cup. Levi E. scored a
hat-trick in both the St James and Okehampton games and we hope he
will be on form for the next rounds!
Won -6-1 v St James
Won 6-1 v Okehampton
Draw 2-2 V St Lukes
The Under 16 semi-finals between West Exe and St Peter’s will be played at Exeter College (Exwick Hub) by the
Thatch Pub on Tuesday 14th April 2015, kick off 4.00 pm. Please do come along and support our boys!
Roger Hutchinson , PE Department
The Department for Education’s policy for term time holidays - which applies to all state schools nationally - is
that pupils are not permitted to take days off school for this purpose in any except the most “exceptional
circumstances”. Unfortunately, being able to obtain a holiday more cheaply by booking for dates during the
school term does not come under these circumstances, and West Exe, in line with this national policy, has had to
decline requests that are made giving this reason. However, a number of travel companies are now responding
to the government’s regulations by offering discounts on deals that fall within schools’ holiday dates, and we are
pleased to include in this newsletter an example of such offers.
Tim Hann, Acting Deputy Headteacher
7 High Street, Exeter
[email protected]
0844 335 7269
Family of 4 Easter Deal.
28/03/2015, 10 nights
Bristol - Lanzarote staying All
Inclusive in a 1 bedroom apartment in
Costa Teguise.
£1595 total family price including
return airport transfers & luggage
based on 2 adults & 2 children.
Alton Towers Short Break.
08/04/2015 enjoy 2 nights stay and a
family 2 day entrance ticket into Alton
Towers. Staying at the Holiday Inn
Express, Bed & Breakfast in a family
£375 total family price, based on 2
adults & 2 children sharing based on
the children up to 15 years old.
May Half Term Getaway.
24/05/2015, 7 nights
Birmingham - Turkey staying Half
Board in a 2 bedroom family room at
the 4* hotel, Liberty Hisaronu.
£1949 total family price including
return airport transfers & luggage
based on 2 adults & 2 children.
Take a break in Cornwall this Easter.
Spend a long weekend from
03/04/2015 in Looe, Cornwall for 3
nights in a 2 bedroom caravan with an
Indoor pool to enjoy and also on site
entertainment. Fun for all the family to
£169 total party price for up to 6
people travelling.
** Please note, prices are subject to price & availability ** 25
Bringing learning to life
It is an absolute pleasure to work with the many talented students here at West Exe School, who put on a
stunning concert in aid of the charity ‘Guide Dogs for the Blind’ on Tuesday evening. I am immensely proud of
all of the students who performed, especially as some performers were performing in front of an audience for
the very first time. It is often easy to underestimate the guts that it takes to get up in front of an audience to
perform and they all did exceptionally well. Acting Headteacher Rick Jolley said “what impressed me most was
the overall atmosphere of support that is encouraging more and more young people to perform. That said I was
also impressed by the quality of the pieces on offer too. There was a lot of talent on show.”
A wide range of ages and styles were on show on Tuesday night in
the hall at West Exe School. The concert opened with the Year 7
Choir singing ‘Uptown Funk’ which was enthusiastically received by
the audience. Next came a flute duet performed by two of our KS4
students, Sarah B and Hannah C. Tia G was the first solo singer of
the evening delivering a fantastic performance of ‘Because of you’
followed by a very contrasting rock guitar duet performed by
Connor V and Lewis P. Next Ollie C performed ‘Jupiter’ by Holst on
tenor saxophone, accompanied by his saxophone teacher, Dave
Parsons. Ollie is in Year 7 and it is so wonderful to see talent at
such a young age. I am sure that we
will be hearing a lot more from him
in the future. The extremely talented Leah M, also in Year 7, performed next,
impressing the audience with a rendition of ‘To Make you Feel my Love’. Next
came an amazing performance by Chloe N who performed the extremely
challenging ‘Listen’. Her vocal dexterity and musical maturity never ceases to
amaze me. Laurel C and Xanthe S took to the stage next to give us a confident
performance of ‘Edelweiss’ and ‘The Flintstones’ on the flute. Next came two very
polished vocal duets from Sophie S and Maisie C in Year 10 whose voices blended
together so well to create a magical performance of ‘Meet You’ and ‘I Dreamed a
Dream’. Holly M was next to perform and blew us away with a powerful
performance of ‘Don’t You Remember’. She was accompanied by Lewis P who
next treated us to a very expressive and virtuosic performance of ‘Parisienne
Walkways’ on electric guitar. This was followed by a fantastic debut performance
from Emma B in year 11. The newly formed West Exe All Years Choir performed
next, led by Megan Watts. The choir have recently been working on harmonies in
their after school sessions and they delivered these particularly well in the
concert. Closing the first half was a stunningly slick rendition of ‘Sweet Child of
Mine’ and ‘This is the Life’ performed by our school Rock Band. They displayed
some very fine ensemble skills and I look forward to hearing more from them in the future.
The second half was largely performed by our renowned Senior Jazz Band, expertly led by Dave Parsons, who
performed six incredible pieces in two sets. Each set included a vocal number, one of which was ‘Lovely Day’
which featured the Year 7 Choir. Performing with a choir was a Jazz Band first, and the performance was very
well received by the audience. The second vocal performance was of the infamous ‘Feeling Good’ which featured
two of our most talented singers, Holly M and Chloe N who wowed the audience with their spectacular
performance. The Senior Jazz Band is currently going from strength to strength and the sound that they manage
to produce and the quality of their performances are next to none. Three solos
split up the two Jazz Band sets, first of which was performed by Jessie A in year
8. Jessie is due to take her Grade 3 saxophone this term and judging by her
performance is set to do very well. Next Harry L performed ‘Maple Leaf Rag’ on
our newly refurbished grand piano. His performance was truly inspirational and
really put our piano through its paces. Joe C ended the solo set performing ‘Doxy’
on the trombone. Joe, who achieved his grade 8 trombone in Year 9, also
featured earlier in the programme accompanying the solo singers on piano and
drums. ‘Oye Como Va’ was the final piece to be performed by the Jazz band. This
was a fitting end to such an impressive showcase of the amazing talent at West
Exe School.
Patricia Mahon, Head of Music
Calling all Year 11 Scientists
Have you started revising yet?
Why not check out the new resource a lot of you have been asking about. My GCSE
Science has arrived! This website includes numerous short video tutorials for Core,
Additional and Triple Science which form an excellent addition to your revision guides
and past papers to help prepare you for your final
exams. To activate your membership just follow
the easy steps below.
Go to and on
the home page, register for free.
Once you have received your confirmation
email, send an email to
[email protected] using the same email address you have
registered with. In the subject line put West Exe School, Year 11 and then ask for
an upgrade to the Additional/Triple package. Do NOT provide a password.
Allow 24/48 hours for the registration to be completed and then watch and revise
as much as you can.
Attend the revision sessions after school on a Thursday in preparation for the summer
exams. Remember, failure to prepare is preparing to fail! Good Luck.
Caroline Brothwood
Head of Science
Bringing learning to life
Thursday 23rd April 11.00-12.00 Headteacher Coffee Morning
with Mr Beyer
29th April-6th May Year 11 Tracking 3
Tuesday 5th May 4.00-7.00 Year 7 subject evening
Monday 11th May to Wednesday 24th June inclusive
GCSE Exams
Thursday 14th May 4.00-7.00 Year 10 subject evening
14th-20th May Year 9 Tracking 3
Tuesday 2nd June 6.15-9.00 Year 7 Celebration evening
4th-10th June Year 8 Tracking 3
Thursday 11th June 1.30-2.30 Headteacher Coffee Morning
Tuesday 16th June 6.15-9.00 Year 8 Celebration evening
15th-26th June Year 7, 8, 9 Internal Exams
Week of 15th June Technology Week
18th-24th June Year 7 Tracking 3
Week of 22nd June Expressive Arts Week
Wednesday 24th June 7.00-8.30 Year 10 Celebration evening
- Corn Exchange
TERM DATES 2014-15
Thursday 25th June Joint Jazz Concert at West Exe with
Exmouth College
25th-26th June Art Exhibition
25th June-1st July Year 10 Tracking 3
29th June Joint Jazz Concert at Exmouth College
30th June 6.15-9.00 Year 9 Celebration evening
Wednesday 1st July 6.00-7.00 Ability Games Celebration
Thursday 2nd July Year 6 Parents Induction evening
Week of 6th July Activities Week
Week of 6th July Year 10 Work Experience
Week of 13th July Maths Week
Thursday 16th July 7.00-9.00 Music Department Concert
Friday 17th July Year 11 Prom - Reed Hall
Tuesday 21st July last day of term, day ends at 2.10
Thursday 20th August Exams Results Day
2014-15 & 2015-16
TERM DATES 2015-16
Summer Term
Autumn Term
Term commences: Tuesday 14th April 2015
May Day Holiday: Monday 4th May 2015
Half Term: Monday 25th– Friday 29th May 2015 inclusive
Last day of term: Tuesday 21st July 2015
Term commences: Monday 7th September 2015
Half Term: Monday 26th – Friday 30th October 2015 inc
Friday 27th November 2015 Staff training day
Last day of term: Friday 18th December 2015
Spring Term
Term commences: Tuesday 5th January 2016
Half Term: Monday 15th – Friday 19th February 2016 inc
Last day of term: Thursday 24th March 2016
Summer Term
Term commences: Tuesday 12th April 2016
May Day Holiday: Monday 2nd May 2016
Half Term: Monday 30th May– Friday 3rd June 2016 inc
Last day of term: Friday 22nd July 2016
Moved house? New mobile no.? New email?
Please let us know if any of your contact details change. This can be done by email to [email protected] or via
the contact page on the school website. Please state your child’s name, year and tutor group, as well as the amended details. If you
don’t have an email account please let me know of any changes in writing and ask your child to hand the note in to Student RecepSarah Aldridge, Information Services
Autumn 2014
Year 7
Year 8
Year 9
Year 10
Year 11
SPT Evening
Spring 2015
Summer 2015
Subject Evening
Wed 17 Sept
Thurs 5 February
Subject Evening
Exams weeks
Tues 5 May
15 & 22 June
SPT Evening
Subject Evening
Wed 17 Sept
Tues 9 December
SPT Evening
Subject Evening
Options evening
Wed 17 Sept
Thurs 27 November
Tues 27 January
Tues 17 March
Subject Evening
Exams week
Subject Evening
Thurs 14 May
SPT Evening
Wed 17 Sept
Subject Evening
Exams weeks
Thurs 26 March
15 & 22 June
Subject Evening
Exams weeks
Tue 20 January
2 March
SPT Evening
Subject Evening
Autumn 2014
Subject Evening
Wed 17 Sept
Tues 11 November
Mock exams week
Thurs 5 March
15 & 22 June
1 December

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