The Latest News From UK Schools This Month – December 2023

By Anoop Bhuller

7 months ago

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All the latest UK school news this month, December 2023. From fundraisers to sports and new leadership.

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Christmas Hamper Appeal 2023

Over Christmas, the Oasis charity supports over 250 families with their Christmas Appeal.

This year, volunteers from the charity, St Andrew’s Church Youth Group and pupils and teachers from Danes Hill School supported the cause.

Danes Hill pupils and volunteers helping to pack the Christmas Hampers

Danes Hill pupils and volunteers helping to pack the Christmas Hampers

Year 7 and 8 pupils packed dried goods in the school’s Sports Hall, and a few days later pupils helped with packing the fresh food ready for the hampers to be delivered.

Supporters have raised £65,082 so far, and the charity is also receiving a £26,700 grant from the National Lottery.

Head of Danes Hill School, Mrs Shaw, said ‘‘Witnessing our senior pupils on their mission to pack the hampers was very special. It has been an unforgettable term of fundraising, and our school community is incredibly grateful to have the opportunity to help local families enjoy Christmas.’

Sponsored Walk Raises Money For Great Ormond Street

Francis Holland School, Regent’s Park carried out their annual sponsored walk to raise money for Great Ormond Street.

Francis Holland School, Regent's Park Sponsored Walk

Francis Holland School, Regent’s Park Sponsored Walk

The school surpassed their £20,000 target, raising a total of £26,000.

This year’s walk included some of the best costumes to date, from both human and canine participants. 

The donation will be used to help fund the new children’s cancer wing and art facilities for the hospital.

St Francis’ College Announces Access Awards

To mark their 90th anniversary, St Francis’ College have introduced four Access Awards.

St Francis' College Announce Four Access Awards

St Francis’ College Announce Four Access Awards

This will be the first scheme to offer 100% tuition and boarding scholarships for students.

The awards will be offered to pupils across the UK who want to join the College as full-time boarders in Year 7 or 8 from September 2024 until Year 13.

If you demonstrate academic creative or sporting talent you are invited to apply.

For more information please contact Barbara Holgate-Stuckey – [email protected].

Taunton Music Scholar Meets The Princess of Wales

Anthony Knight, a 17 year-old violinist, was chosen to represent Taunton School at Westminster’s Abbey carol service.

Anthony Knight with the Princess of Wales

Anthony Knight with the Princess of Wales

The service, which is organised by the Princess of Wales, was created to recognise those who have done extraordinary things to help others.

Anthony said: ‘It was such an honor to meet the Princess of Wales.’

‘I was blown away when she came up to speak to me. She was so warm and kind-hearted and asked lots of questions about my fundraising.’

Anthony is currently trying to raise £20,000 for UNICEF by oganising a series of concerts in hotels across Europe.

You can watch the service on ITV on Christmas Eve.

Haileybury Announce SciTech Buildings Opening

Haileybury have announced that their state-of-the-art SciTech buildings will officially launch in March next year.

The building is currently only open to staff and pupils. It has been designed to offer the very best teaching and learning facilities.

Created to improve on the science offering at the school, it also challenges pupils to enhance their skills and revolutionise how science is taught.

The architecture includes sustainable features such as green roofs and cross-laminated timber to contribute towards their 2023 net zero goal.

You can read more about Haileybury’s work here.

New Leadership

Bishop Stortford College Announces New Head

Bishop’s Stortford College has announced John Maguire as the new Head from September 2024.

 John Maguire, newly appointed Head at Bishop's Stortford College

John Maguire, newly appointed Head at Bishop’s Stortford College

Current Head, Kathy Crewe-Reed will be leaving to take a position in Italy at the end of the academic year.

John joins from the British School of Bahrain where he has been Executive Headmaster since 2019. He graduated from university with a degree in Geography and Geology.

John commented: ‘Having known the College for years, I was immediately attracted to the role and am looking forward to leading the school over the next decade.’

New Developments

Godolphin To Become Co-educational

Godolphin School has announced that from September 2024, Godolphin Prep will be open to boys and girls in all years.

Godolphin School

Godolphin School

Godolphin Senior will offer co-education from September 2025.

Head of Godolphin, Jenny Price, said: ‘This decision marks a pivotal moment in Godolphin’s history. Our founder, Elizabeth Godolphin looked to the future in her commitment to the education of girls. By extending our welcome to boys, we aim to enrich our school community with a broader range of perspectives, talents, and experiences.’

The Board of Governors have also announced that it will be joining the educational group, United Learning in February 2024.

Wellbeing Pod Arrives At St Catherine’s Bramley

A Wellbeing Pod has been added to the Prep School garden at St Catherine’s Bramley. This new addition will be used as a calm space for pupils.

St Catherine's Bramley Wellbeing Pod

St Catherine’s Bramley Wellbeing Pod

In the Armadillo Pod pupils can reflect on their emotions, listen to music to evaluate their mood and chat with a friend or member of the pastoral team.

Now Open to Girls: Explore an Elmhurst Education!

A hidden gem in the heart of South Croydon, Elmhurst is a diverse and supportive school community.

In the 153 years since its inception as a boys’ school, the educational landscape has changed and the school has continually adapted to ensure the best outcomes for its pupils. In 2024, they will evolve again as the Little Elms Nursery opens its doors to girls and boys for the first time. The Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 classes will accept girls from September 2024.

Come along to their open events to see why an Elmhurst education is exactly what you want for your child.

Oxford University Press Study Reveals Vocabulary Development Figures

More than 800 teachers and parents completed a survey for the Oxford University Press’ Oxford Language Report, a study which looks a the vocabulary development of those under 18 in the UK.

An increasing number of children are falling behind in vocabulary development, with the figures now showing 4 in 10 pupils are falling behind.

In the report teachers highlighted these results as a consequence of the pandemic, with 95% believing the closures contributed to the vocabulary gap.

More key findings:

  • 85% of teachers also commented that they believe schools could do more to encourage parents to be more involved with their child’s vocabulary development.
  • 68% of parents would like more guidance from schools