This half term – we spent 3 minutes with:

Mr Hobbis – Lead Teacher, History

1. What inspired you to teach?
I found myself naturally drawn to teaching. I completed work experience at Studley High School many moons ago, when I was at AGS, doing my A Levels and thought that this was something for me. This continued at University. I used to do tutoring and really enjoyed helping students achieve their goals. Also, I love History! I love the quote from Dan Snow that ‘History is the most exciting thing that has ever happened to anyone on this planet!’ and can’t agree more.

2. A day in the life of you….
I like to get up early and get into work for about 7:15am. I then prepare for the day ahead, obviously making a cuppa beforehand. I’ll attend any meetings and then it’s mainly teaching from 8:30-3pm. If I have any time to spare, I normally work with pupils or respond to emails. Once the day is finished, it’s back to planning ahead for the History department – including lessons, curriculum, assessments and of course, marking. This fills my time until about 6pm, when I leave work and head home. Then it all begins again the next day!

3. Proudest moment….
This is a tough one! Probably the graduation for my Masters. It is the culmination of the past 20 years of formal education…

4. What is your favourite food or place to eat? Wagamamas. I was lucky enough to spend 6 weeks travelling Japan a couple of summers ago and have had the taste ever since!

5. Last box set/film you watched
I’ve just finished watching ‘The Haunting of Hill House’ – not for the faint-hearted… I’m just about to move onto ‘Making of a Murderer’ – Season Two but need to finish Season Two of ‘The Sinner’ first.

6. No.1 item on your Christmas list
I’m not one for presents. I very rarely ask for much and can’t think of anything at the moment…I’ll go with the old saying “health and happiness”!

Year 7 to Warwick Castle

Last week, 128 Year 7 pupils visited Warwick Castle in order to help support their learning in History. Pupils learnt how the castle has changed over time, and found out more about the weaponry and armour that was used throughout the Middle Ages. In particular, pupils were looking at the Norman Conquest and what better place to visit than Warwick Castle, which was one of just 30 personally commissioned castles by William the Conqueror!

Upon arrival, pupils attended an informative talk from one of the Castle’s trebuchet operators. In the Middle Ages, trebuchets were used extensively during the Medieval period, particularly in siege warfare, as they could hurl projectiles of over 15 kg in weight at up 150 mph.  The trebuchet at Warwick castle is currently the largest working medieval weapon of its type and it stands at an impressive 18 metres high and weighs over 22 tonnes!

The guide explained how it was used to fire anything from flaming boulders to break castle walls, to beehives or even dead plague victims to try and target the people living inside a castle. Although, we couldn’t see the trebuchet in action, we still enjoyed finding out about how feared it was as a weapon in the Middle Ages.

Pupils were then left to explore the castle in groups. They were particular focused on the Norman invasion and how this impacted the castle landscape we see today. This was further supported by an excellent tour of the castle led by the Warwick Castle educational team, which took them through 1066 and the Battle of Hastings before moving into the impact of Norman rule.

Next, they went to explore the castle interior and its grounds.  Firstly, they climbed the castle walls, scaling the arduous, twisting spiral staircases – finally reaching the top. The views from the walls made the effort of climbing very worthwhile.  The highest tower in the castle was over 36 metres high and the pupils saw many arrow slits for both crossbows and longbows. Once they had climbed down, they made their way to the King’s Hall where there was a display of weaponry, including swords, guns and even full sets of armour.

Pupils were able to explore all aspects of the castle (including the Horrible Histories maze which many students enjoyed!). At lunch, they were treated to a birds of prey display and many pupils were left clutching their sandwiches as falcons and swooped in amongst the group!

Our guide explained how useful birds of prey were for hunting in the Medieval times, especially if there was a poor harvest, as people would depend on what the birds could hunt. Some birds were incredibly large and one of them, the Andean Condor, had a wingspan of over 3 metres. There were many highlights during the day as the students visited the state rooms, gaol and climbed the hundreds of steps around the castle’s fortifications. 




FAME – The Musical

This week, Year 9 and 10 Performing Arts pupils went to see Fame at the New Alexandra Theatre in Birmingham.
This is the 30th anniversary tour of Fame The Musical starring Keith Jack (Any Dream Will Do, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat), Mica Paris (Love Me Tender, Chicago, Mama I Want To Sing) and Jorgie Porter (Hollyoaks, Dancing On Ice).

The show is based on the 1980 pop culture film, Fame and follows the lives of students at New York’s High School For The Performing Arts, as they navigate their way through the highs and lows, the romances and the heartbreaks and the ultimate elation of life. This show explores the issues that confront many young people today: prejudice, identity, pride, literacy, sexuality and perseverance.

Our pupils returned to school and produced critiques, here are excerpts:
The vocals were outstanding..we were entertained throughout the entire performance..
Katelin Partridge & Riley Haywood
The set design and lighting was very well organised and timed
Lucy Bartlett & Charlotte Chambers
The way the set was formed was very clever; when the lockers were were turned, the other side was used for either a dance mirror or a chalk board. As it was a Proscenium arch stage we got a very clear view of all the stage.
Freya Kennedy & Grace Chapman
The setting was well transferred (by the cast) from one scene to another, at times it was very bright and grasped our attention.The background had pictures of previous students with a border that would light up.
Elyssa and Amy

Real Tennis with The Earl of Wessex

Earlier this month, Studley High School was invited to attend ‘Real Tennis Challenge’ by the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.

Throughout 2018 HRH The Earl of Wessex is playing every Real Tennis court in the world – to raise significant funds to enable more young people to start their DofE both in the UK and abroad. He is also visits schools and communities to celebrate young people who are doing their DofE

The following pupils went to the event:

James Hulland, Felix Ward, Nathan Weir, Michael H, Finley Coleman & Ashleigh Williams

On arrival at Leamington Tennis Court Club, the pupils joined 3 other local school, in taking part in a Real Tennis masterclass given by Ben Taylor-Matthews. When HRH The Earl of Wessex arrived, he was introduced to the pupils and joined in their masterclass, chatting to the pupils and offering tips and his own insights into the game, which he had originally taken up playing as a new interest in his own participation in the Duke of Edinburgh award. The pupils found him very interesting.

Both Micheal and Finlay told us that they really enjoyed the day, would definitely like to try playing real tennis again and both agreed that HRH Prince Edward was very informative and they enjoyed meeting him.

After the masterclass the pupils watched HRH play several games both with and against the Leamington Spa club players before returning to school.

Mrs Wakefield’s courageous Great Grandfather

Lead Maths teacher, Mrs Wakefield’s Great Grandfather was a WWI hero.

Dennis Mews, was born in Alcester in 1886 and was one of 13 children.

His family move to Ipsley and then Redditch. His father was a painter and his mother, a needle paperer. Dennis worked as a grinder in a bicycle factory.

It is likely he was conscripted and served as a Private with the 1st Battalion of the Worcestershire Regiment which by April 1917 was in the line north of Epehy at Gouzeaucourt.

Sadly, he never returned from the war and it was reported that he lost his life in action, on April 24th, 1917.

Here is the special commemorative medal, presented to his wife by King George in honour of his bravery in WWI.  These medals were awarded to families whose relatives had died in the war to remember their service to the country.

Former pupil receives an MBE

Former pupil, Paul Hodges, joined Studley High School in 1957.

My headmaster, Mr Harper, was very strict. I enjoyed cross-country and road running back in those days.

I left school in ’62, joined the Royal Navy but an injury prevented me from being posted. I joined the Fire Brigade in ’64 and worked full time until 1996.

When I retired, I started driver training and find myself now training Studley High School staff, how to drive a minibus.

Paul began his career with Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service as a retained firefighter at Studley in 1964. He then went to full-time in Leamington in 1966, before he moved onto Bedworth in 1968.

Following his retirement in 1996, Paul applied to become a specialist driving instructor for the Service. Whilst in that role, Paul was keen to get involved with voluntary youth initiatives which supported young people with behavioural and emotional issues.

Before that, in 1993, Paul had played a crucial role in forming a new voluntary group within the service, the Critical Incident Debriefing Team.

The primary role of this group is to support operational personnel who have been through traumatic experiences.  The first debrief was the M40 minibus crash in 1993 in which 13 people died.  One of the worst situations he had to manage was supporting firefighters involved in the Atherstone-on-Stour tragedy in November 2007. This involved supporting over 400 individuals from 16 different locations across the county.

Paul was awarded an MBE 3 years ago, for his services to the Fire and Rescue Service. He went to Buckingham Palace, with his family and received his medal in 2015.

Studley Girls to Wasps Netball

Last Thursday, P.E department took 18 girls to the Wasps Netball Community Day. Wasps Netball are a professional Super League team, who have won the league for the last two years, making them the best netball team in the country.

This was a fantastic opportunity for the students, who got to to take part in a range of activities and sessions, led by some of the players and coaches. The students also had a Q&A with one of the players, which gave them a real insight into what it takes to become a professional netball player.

Personal Development Day

Last Friday, was Personal Development day at Studley High School.

Year 7 attended sessions on road safety from John Squires, Road Safety Mentor at Warwickshire County Council. They learned about independent travel and taking account of their new risks and consequences.

Year 8 learnt about financial understanding.

Year 9 learnt about identities and diversity which was supported by Anna Turney an ex Paralympian. Anna is a fantastic role model for our pupils, highlighting how you can be determined in the face of adversity, and inspiring our pupils with her incredible sporting achievements.

Year 10 received sessions on personal identity.

Year 11 were supported by Brook and Life Charity with representatives from both, leading sessions on gender, sexuality and relationships.

Firework night – review

Saturday 10th November saw a second year of success for the Studley Fireworks Extravaganza that took place here at Studley High School.

After months of planning by staff and parents from both Infants and the High School, the event was even bigger and better than ever! This year’s spectacular 15 minute fireworks display, thanks to 1st Galaxy Fireworks, was accompanied by the ever-popular soundtrack to ‘The Greatest Showman’.

Performances by The Harc Duo and Andy Bennett (of Ocean Colour Scene fame) made the evening more than just a fireworks show.

The event showcased local suppliers:

Bespoke Butchers provided delicious hot food.  Weatheroak Brewery supplied real ale and Caney’s Cider supplied their medium traditional blend.  In recognition of the 100th Anniversary of the end of WW1, Sally’s Wartime Tea Room was a huge hit with traditional bakes, wartime music and wartime propaganda posters provided by the children as part of their history curriculum.  Former pupils came back to help with Festival glitter, the tombolas did a roaring trade and hot chocolate with baileys and mulled wine kept everyone warm. The raffle was a great success with some terrific prizes donated by local businesses. The best raffle prizes were donated by the Co-op who donated 2 huge hampers of free trade goodies.  C&C Flooring also sponsored the event and donated a fast car driving experience.

The event helped raise over £1000 for local charities and groups – Camps International, a local gym group, the Britsh Legion, Scouts and the NSPCC.

Next year, the Fireworks will take place on Saturday 9th November and will be increasing the spend on Fireworks to provide an even more spectacular display next year.

We were delighted to host a tremendously successful community event which brought together not only Studley High School and Studley Community Infants school but also local fundraisers such as the British Legion and Scouts, together with local businesses and a huge turnout of local people.  The whole team would like to thank everyone who supported our event and enabled us to put on a fantastic Fireworks display and a great family night out.  We look forward to Saturday 9th November 2019 and putting on an even more spectacular show next year!”

Caroline Maddox-Jones

Brass lessons @Studley

Peripatetic music lessons with our instrumental teachers are very popular at Studley High, with currently around a hundred students receiving weekly tuition on their chosen instrument.

Since September the music department has been promoting the brass family of instruments and trying to encourage more students to ‘come and try an instrument’.

The brass family including the trumpet, trombone, horn and tuba, have been less popular in previous years but we are aiming to buck the trend though and our newest brass playing recruits have just joined the school orchestra.

They are enjoying their lessons and playing as part of a team and will be performing for the first time at our Christmas Concert on 13th December.

We currently have a special offer on brass lessons, with students able to ‘try out’ a brass instrument for five weeks priced at £5 a lesson. There is also no requirement for families to commit to buying an instrument for their child as we have received kind support from the locally based Arrow Valley Brass Band meaning that we can lend instruments to pupils, free of charge!
If you would like more information about brass lessons for your child, please contact us.