Year 9 trip to France & Belgium

This half term, our Year 9 linguists and historians embarked on a cross-curricular visit to the Battlefields of France and Belgium and Boulogne-sur-Mer.

Year 9 pupils began their journey to France and Belgium in the early hours of the morning, journeying to Folkestone and crossing the channel using the Eurotunnel – a  first for many pupils.

The first stop was Lijssenthoek Cemetery where students explored the casualty chain, role of women and breadth of participation in the war. A poignant story, was that of Nurse Nellie Spindler. Nellie Spindler was a member of Queen Alexandra’s Imperial Military Nursing Service.

In August 1917, during the first three weeks of the Third Battle of Ypres, she was serving as a nurse with 44th Casualty Clearing Station (CCS). On 21st August 1917 the CCS at Brandhoek was hit by German artillery shells. Five nurses including Nellie, were concussed by the explosions. Nellie died later from an injury to her chest and her body was taken to the cemetery at Lijssenthoek for burial. She was just 26 and the daughter of George and Elizabeth Spindler from Wakefield, Yorkshire. Nellie was one of only two British female casualties of the First World War to be buried in Belgium.This really challenged our usual perspective of only men at the front line and also the sacrifices of many nurses who died throughout the war.

We then moved onto Hooge Crater Museum to explore the Ypres Salient and life in the trenches. Students explored full scale reconstructions of war scenes, an extended collection of weapons, war equipment and photos. The particular highlight for the group was their exposure to a reconstructed trench, which looked across the salient.

The following day, pupils started their journey to Boulogne-sur-Mer. Exploring the city and its historic ramparts, pupils arrived at the imposing Basilica of Notre-Dame de Boulogne. The crypt of the Notre Dame Cathedral at Boulogne-sur-Mer is the largest in France; theatrical, colourful and dating back to Roman times when the city was a strategic location from which Julius Caesar planned an invasion against England.

In the shadow of St Nicholas church, pupils explored the Le Jardin Ephemere, which changes design every year to reflect a particular theme or story. This years’ theme was “Fables of the Fontaine” and students were able to explore eight fables of Jean De La Fontaine. These fables of French childhood (such as the oak and the reed, the raven and the fox, the frog who wants to be as big as the ox, the pot of earth and the iron pot, the lion and the rat, the fox and the stork or the fox and the grapes) allowed students to contrast and compare with our cultural reference and find similarities with the funny animal stories with subtle moral messages of character traits of humans!

Pupils then arrived at the main attraction of the day, Nausicaä Centre National de la Mer, a public aquarium located in Boulogne-sur-Mer in France. It is the largest public aquarium of Europe and often described as a center of scientific and technical discovery of the marine environment, focusing primarily on the relationship between man and the sea.

The following day, pupils arrived at the Somme, starting at Vimy Ridge. This site commemorates the attack which was undertaken by the Canadian troops in April 1917. The Germans had held this important area since the outbreak of war in 1914 so this was a very important battle. The Canadian government now run the site and it is a memorial to their Forces who fought in the Great War.

Pupils made their way to Thiepval, which is the largest of the Memorials to the Missing men of the war. On the panels of the arches are the names of those who have no known grave and are thus ‘the Missing.’ There are over 70,000 names on the arches of men who died in the Battles of the Somme. The memorial was unveiled by the then Prince of Wales on the 1st of August, 1932. He made a speech partly in French and British and said that ‘our first thoughts should be with the relatives of those whose death has purchased our current freedom’. This was particularly moving as we found names of those from Studley listed or with some association to Studley High today. Mrs Wakeman great grandfather Dennis Mews was just one of the names listed on the memorial and being so far from home with yet so many connections to the Great War reinforced how global this conflict was. One of the highlights for the group was being able to trace Ethan’s great great uncle and place a wreath at his final resting place. Unlike many, Samuel Cutler’s resting plan is known and can be visited. This was one of the first times Samuel had been visited and it was an honour to offer  remembrance to him.

The next day, pupils explored Boulangerie Escoeilles where hosts took pupils  through their rustic and traditional bread making methods which attracts people from over 1 hour away! Discussion took place, in French, about the bread making process which was a fantastic and immersive cultural experience for all.

The final day was spent exploring Langemark German cemetery. This cemetery outlined a stark contrast to the bright and uplifting memorials we had just seen and many of us considered it to be a different experience altogether. This was a stark comparison to our second and final stop of the day at Tyne Cot allied cemetery.

A special mention must go to the Guild of Battlefields Guide, Andy Johnson, who offered the pupils a superbly academic rich history of WW1 and made each visit to each site personal and left the group with plenty to think about!

Nex stop – October 2019 when the French and Belgium cross-curricular tour will return bigger and better. Watch out for this fantastic opportunity for our new GCSE students!

This trip expanded my knowledge on the First World War, while giving me a real understanding of those who served by listening into their stories. One still sticks with me is the story of Nellie.


Purely Inspirational. Being part of the Menin Gate wreath laying ceremony is a once in a lifetime experience which I shall never forget.


It was great. It gave me a real opportunity to immerse in French culture. Having a chance to practise my French with real French people was really nerve wracking but has built my confidence massively. We even looked into the culture of the French and the stories/fables told when young. It is very similar to our “turtle and the hare” idea but was a side of France I had never even considered! MM

Studley @Christmas Market

Last Friday Mrs Page along with 6 members of Year 10 ran a stall at the local Studley Christmas market.

The Year 10s involved (Ella Jukes, Sam Houston, Chloe Kindon, Kirsty Horton, Ella Hawkesford and Jasmine Cox) were tasked with the job of preparing and selling a range of Christmas themed items to sell at the market, in order to raise funds for their Camps International Expedition in Summer 2020. Each pupil needs to raise a total of £4000 to fund the expedition to Tanzania, where they will be supporting local communities over a four-week journey.

The market was a huge success. Not only did the Year 10s produce a wealth of goods to sell, they also raised money for their trip. Over £400 was made at this one event alone!

Swim to Remember 1918-2018

Studley High Finance Manager, Carol Williams, joined open water swimmers in a unique tribute to the fallen on Remembrance Sunday. Over a hundred people from several countries took to the chilly waters of Cumbria to raise £6,000 for the Royal British Legion and Horseback UK, which works with wounded, injured and sick service veterans. In a silent 1km swim in Ullswater, Cumbria, participants aged from 17 to 82 were joined by friends and supporters to mark one hundred years since the ending of World War One.

The water was only 10 degrees, so, it was cold and uncomfortable – but nothing like the appalling conditions of the battlefield. We wanted to mark this special day and to raise funds for two very important organisations.

Graeme Sutton of Swim on the Wild Side, event organiser

The swim was incredibly difficult, but it was wonderful to be part of something so inspiring. I would like to thank my awesome colleagues and family who dug deep & have sponsored my efforts allowing me to raise almost £200 for the two worthy causes.

Mrs Williams

Studley gym team vault into the finals

We are delighted to report that the Studley gymnastics trio have won another Gold medal!

This weekend, our team of 3 Studley High pupils who compete in gymnastics competitions, representing the school, won a Gold medal in the West Midlands trio competition.

Ella rose Garratt (Y8), James Kirk (Y7) and Phoebe Hunt (Y8) won the gold medal in 2 vaults, a floor routine and a group routine.

James also won the gold medal in the U13 boys individual category.

The team have now secured a place at the Milano National Finals in March 2019, representing the West Midlands.

The Geography of Cake – SHINE session

Geography Shine session

“The geography of cake” was attended by an excitable group of pupils from years 7 – 10 last week.

During the session, the group investigated some very unusual foods from around the world and then learnt about what staple foods are eaten in different countries such as: rice, maize, sorghum and plantain. Importantly they looked at what different flours are used and then at a variety of typical national cakes such as Sacher-torte, basbousa and chocolate muffins.

The total distance traveled by the ingredients in the muffin was calculated at approximately 20,476km and students then discussed the environmental issues surrounding the enormous distance that our food travels.The session culminated in the all-important cake taste-testing and scoring, as students channeled their inner ‘Mary Berry’ or ‘Paul Hollywood’!

Thank you to all who attended for their enthusiasm and participation in the quizzes and puzzles.

Dan is a knockout for charity

Year 10 pupil, Dan Davis raised over £600 for charity last month, in a charity boxing match at The Chateau Impney .

Dan started attending Redditch MMA/10th Planet last year and was placed in the adult class, being 13 at the time. He currently trains for 10 hours a week, working between the boxing and MMA (mixed martial arts – Thai boxing, Jiu Jitsu and wrestling), circuit training he also helps run the Junior classes.

The charity event was for the Charlotte and Craig Saving Hearts Foundation. Dan has raised to date £386 plus £330 from the tickets he sold.
He won his MMA match against a 17 year old. Dan told us:

The sportsmanship in this sport is second to none. Everyone supports each other, winners or losers together it really doesn’t matter. I was proud to support the charity and represent my club. I have followed the sport for a while now and it is a sport I really enjoy, James Whiston, my trainer and club owner is excellent at what he does and I would highly recommend him. The first session is free to all ages so people can try out the sport first.

The next big charity event is in April and Dan is hoping to raise more than the £5900 raised at this event.
Congratulations Dan!

Pupils attend G&T book club

Last Friday, two Year 7 students – James Buzzard and Georgia Cooke visited St Mary’s Catholic Primary School, Studley, for a ‘Gifted & Talented’ book club.

Also joining them were Year 6 pupils from other local Primary schools.

The group had already read Railhead‘ by Phillip Reeve.
The novel is set in a future in which humanity has left Earth and settled many worlds. Interplanetary travel is not achieved by starships, however, but by a network of mysterious gateways through space that can only be crossed by special trains. These trains are fully sentient artificial intelligences, with thoughts and dreams and feelings. A railhead is someone who loves the trains and the infinite journeys they make possible. The story is about a young railhead named Zen, who is enlisted by an enigmatic outlaw to conduct a theft aboard a legendary train.

They discussed the novel in general and then formed into groups to explore how the author had created the futurist world in which the protagonist attempts to navigate his way.

Both pupils enjoyed the experience and liked working and learning with Primary pupils.

SHINE Book Club

Mrs Dyde has just launched the next novels for the Shine Book club at Studley High.

Pupils have just collected the novels and will be meeting after Christmas.

Mrs Dyde still has copies of The Terrible Thing that Happened to Barnaby Brocket if any keen year 8 readers are interested in participating.

The SHINE book club meet every Wednesday lunchtime at 12:45, in E3, to discuss a novel from a choice of three.

Speak to Mrs Dyde for more information.

Mrs Hill walks 15k!

Mrs Hill, one of our esteemed teaching assistants raised over £800 for The MS Society this month.

Not only is this an incredible amount to raise for a solo effort, but Mrs Hill came in the top 5% of fund raisers for Just Giving this month!

The night walk was organised by Action Challenge and involved a 15k walk, starting and ending in Bishop’s Park, London. Mrs Hill started at 7pm crossed the finish line at 10pm.

Congratulations Mrs Hill!

Year 8 to National Memorial Arboretum

This week, 80 Year 8 pupils visited the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire.

The National Memorial Arboretum is the UK’s all year-round centre of Remembrance; a spiritually uplifting place which honours the fallen, recognises service and sacrifice, and fosters pride in our country. It is a living and lasting memorial.

The Arboretum covers 150 acres of land and is a living tribute that will forever acknowledge the personal sacrifices made by the Armed Forces and civil services of this country.

The focus isn’t totally military. There is a large area devoted to Police who have fallen while on duty, as well as other areas devoted to the Fire and Rescue and Ambulance services. National charities representing those who have died in particular circumstances, including children, are also to be found in the Arboretum grounds.

The Arboretum was the brainchild of Commander David Childs CBE who wished to see established a national focus for Remembrance. Following a meeting with Group Captain Leonard Cheshire VC, an appeal was launched in 1994 by the then Prime Minister, John Major.

The trip supports the year group’s recent History modules and focused on a variety of aspects including World War One, the Holocaust and conflict in the Middle East.

Pupils toured the arboretum and also took part in a workshop where they investigated a variety of artefacts which were handed out to them to identify and predict what they represented. They then presented their findings to the rest of the group. All pupils took part in a memorial ceremony, remembering those who have fought in wars across the world. Pupils finally took part in a poppy session where they explored the concepts behind this and the place it has in commemoration today.

One particular thought-provoking memorial for the pupils, was the ‘shot at dawn’ memorial, which remembers the 309 British soldiers executed for desertion during World War One. Some of those shot at dawn were young soldiers who lied about their age to join up, such as Herbert Burden. Many of these soldiers may have been suffering from PTSD (Post-traumatic stress disorder) and this was recognised in 2006 with the Armed Forces Act 2006 allowing the soldiers to be pardoned posthumously.

The pupils showed great respect throughout the day and as ever and were credit to the school.