IN THIS ISSUE: - Tennis court renovation
- Ode to Atherstone
- Teachers gourmet meal - Yr 10 girls debate
- Cake auction - The fatal 4 ...........and lots more
- IT in school
First aid course................................................................3
Gourmet meal for staﬀ.................................................4
IT at school........................................................................9
The incredible caretaker..............................................12
The reptile man..............................................................13
Sound of music...............................................................17
Yr 10 girls debate...........................................................18
Yr 13 graduation meal.................................................19
Buscuit bake oﬀ..............................................................20
Tennis court renovation...............................................21
Ode to Atherstone.........................................................22
Welcome to Atherstone! There is scarcely a single aspect that hasn’t changed since we left the old box at
Holbrooks, including the building, way of learning and even the teachers!
The school building is hugely bigger than the old one, with the great stained glass windows, high beamed
ceilings and masses of space! Additionally, there is the SDL area, which, despite being crammed with people at
times, serves its purpose very well, and is used all the time! In the words of one student, it is the “best place
ever!” However, the exterior of the building is also larger, the car park has space for all the teachers’ cars and
football can be played without constantly hitting people! It’s a “better playground than the old school.”
Front of Assembly
Main Hall – high
The variety of teachers has increased, and changed drastically; new teachers are joining every day it seems!
However, the school continues to grow and change: “This school has a great community spirit. All the students
know each other, their strengths and their weaknesses and generally they work to their strengths” quote Mrs
Over the last two weeks of this year, all lessons have ceased and PSHE style learning has commenced, with the
theme of “healthy body, healthy mind”, under the direction of Mrs Webb! From biscuit bake-off to rounders’
tournaments; first aid training, to driving safety, and even gourmet meals, provided for the teachers, year 12 and
year 13, read on to find out what’s been happening inside and outside the walls of Atherstone!
Phones, alcohol, speeding and no
seatbelt – sound familiar?? Well, so does
death right? Mis-use of any one of these
things can lead to extreme danger as the
year 12’s found out on the 10th July. A
police constable from the Warwickshire
unit came to visit out school and very helpfully gave an informative
presentation on the everyday fatal dangers that you as drivers face
every time you get in your car.
Not only did he lay down the
“rules”, he also showed us
proof in the form of real-life
footage which brought home
the reality when a little child
was left pleading for “mummy
to wake up” all due to the text
message that was all SO
important to read. The
message that was evident was
that it is simply not worth
risking your life by wearing a
seatbelt and using your mobile
phone. – Think and Be Safe.
First Aid Course 14th July
How many times have you seen somebody hurt themselves and
been able to do very little? Not many of us have ever seen anyone
have a heart attack or an arterial bleed but almost everyone will
have seen cuts, grazes, minor burns and bumped heads. That’s why
learning First Aid, even for these basic injuries, is incredibly
important, as the Year 10’s and 12’s found on the 14th of July.
Kitty, a first responder from North London who rides a motorbike to
deliver first aid, is often first on the scene in an emergency and gave
us all a very interesting and informative morning. We learned how
to respond to unconsciousness, burns, bleeds, and even how to use
a defibrillator. For example, When approaching somebody who is
lying on the floor, whether they have fainted or been knocked out,
the first thing to remember is DRAB – check for Danger, check
whether they are Responding, check their Airways are open by
tipping their chin backwards, and listen for their Breathing for 10
The morning was very interactive, as we practiced CPR on some
rather ungrateful rubber dummies (30 compressions for every 2
breaths), bandaged up imaginary head wounds, and put people
into the recovery position, in some cases endangering their lives
even more in the process! (‘Now go floppy, you’re supposed to
have been knocked out…ok let’s tip her over’ (CLONK) ‘oh shoot, we
forgot to hold her head again!’)
Everyone came out feeling a lot more confident about their
chances if they are ever first on the scene after an accident. As Kitty
told us, any knowledge is better than no knowledge; in many cases,
the injured person is already so near death that breaking a few ribs
whilst doing CPR to save them is fine, even normal apparently! First
Aid is something everyone should know something of, basically,
even if all you know how to do is bandage a finger.
Gourmet Meal For Staff
On Thursday 6th July, all staff were provided with a gourmet meal from
the year 13's, along with the help of year 11's.
Please see some photos below.
Some comments from the teachers:
'Excellent service, delicious food, beautifully presented, reminded me of
the last time the students did this! Singing at the end was lovely and
there was chocolate in the dessert!!' - Mrs Sturdy
'Can I start off by saying a massive thank you for organising such a
thoughtful event. I can honestly say that I have never had an
experience like it in my many, many years of teaching. It was a lovely
meal that was tastefully planned out, with each of the six courses
bringing something new to the pallet. The floor service was outstanding
and I was happy that my glass was never empty! Thank you once again,
I really enjoyed the occasion!' - Mr Hetherington
'The meal was fantastic I could not believe all the effort that went in to it,
it was much appreciated! The presentation of the food was excellent and
it tasted as good as it looked! Thank you very much it was a lovely
thought.' - Miss Hipkiss
'The meal was fantastic, hats off to the chefs. The food was delicious
and the presentation was beautiful. The vegetarian options were
amazing. The service was impeccable and if I had been in a restaurant I
would have tipped the waiters and written positive comments on social
media.' - Mrs Takhar
Following last year’s successful Cake Auction, the Student
Leadership Team decided to host another one on a larger scale, at
the ‘Royal Welcome to Atherstone’ Concert on Friday 16th
December. With the amazing response from both students and
parents we enjoyed a truly excellent start to fundraising at
Students were split into groups and they had about 4 weeks to
decide between them on a cake design to link with our theme; ‘The
Royal Monarchy and Britishness’. We then spent Thursday 15th
December decorating the cakes, with the groups having one lesson
to complete them – a challenging task amidst clouds of icing sugar,
glacier mint fumes, silver spray paint, and an excess of gold sugar
balls, but also hilarious fun!
The top ten cakes were chosen by our head teacher and secretary
and reserved for auction on the afternoon of our concert. The
remaining 24 cakes were betted on during the intervals – the lucky
person who placed the most money on the cake won it. We then
auctioned off the top 10 best cakes during the afternoon.
Thanks to the Year 11 girls, whose stunning cake masterpiece
raised the most money: £420! Also a MASSIVE thank you to
Charlton Ellis, our enthusiastic auctioneer, who pulled in a most
amazing total of £4,414.70!
With much glee students claimed their laptops
and duly said the right things to get hold of
them and then they helpfully had a mind lapse
and forgot it!! Very strange indeed. Some say it
was to do with the air pressure all we know is
that it’s not the Stig it’s the Stig’s focus school cousins.
However students and teachers alike got caught in the murky depths of modern
technology. Many students were found surfing the web for emails others were
connecting to bigger and bigger screens. Many students did consider throwing their
laptops into Ryton pools however they considered the cost of them and the effort
put in to get them up and running by the likes of Mr Maiden, Leonard Barr and
Mathew Gilliland (thank you on behalf of the lovely students at Atherstone). Also
most students are eco warriors here and so wouldn’t want to harm the fish there,
mainly due to fear of Greenpeace.
Some students came up with devious plans to avoid screen captures of various
games such as zombie apocalypse 4 (see below for an example) by hopefully timing
exactly between screenshots however this didn’t exactly work as they would have a
little talk the next day and their device would be whisked away to the office and
wouldn’t be seen again for 24 hours or a week if it was the individual’s second time.
However thanks to much grace from the authorities, laptops were returned and
students powered on to make sure the Atherstone family achieve outstanding.
Emails were also a snare to many a keyboard warrior however thanks to an excellent
display of maturity from the amazing students this was overcome and hard studies
once more came upon them and the hum of solid work and creative minds filled the
school. Oh what joy it is to work as part of the Atherstone team, thoughts of
spring and lusciously green mountain grass feel the mind, what an atmosphere we
Teachers also struggled with the new technology however they persisted and many
now know how to turn them on. Some could relate to the quote from a technical
genuis ‘computer says no’. However with help from the students they persevered
and now feel thoroughly enlightened.
So here we are at the end of the term and everyone’s happy and glorious we are all
looking forward to a bracing new term with hopefully no technology issues. Once
again thank you to Mr Maiden, Leonard Barr and Mathew Gilliland and any others
involved in keeping the IT side of the school going.
Thank you and goodbye from (scrolling credits)…..
PlagiarismCtrl C, Ctrl V.
What is plagiaris ? Plagia is is whe you copy othe people’s
wo k a d use it as you ow . That’s i y ow wo ds!
Why do so many of us plagiarise? As the American playwriter Wilson
Miz e o ce said, If you steal f o o e autho it’s plagia is ; if you
steal from a y it’s esea ch. That’s ot plagia is as I uoted the
author). I think this is the mindset of many of us. We all know how
easy it is to just copy and paste then change a few words here and
there. So what is acceptable and what is not?
The rule is that unless you quote the author (like I did earlier on), you
cannot use someones text until 60 years after they have died. If
there is a small amount of text that explains something in basically
the only way there is to describe it, it is fine to use this as long as you
change any words you can to make it your own. So have people
really been very seriously penalised for plagiarism?
To plagiarise whilst in an exam is a serious breach. Many students
have had various penalties for plagiarising in their exams. For minor
incidents, pupils have been issued a warning, but in more serious
cases, they have lost marks or even been disqualified. But school is
not the area where the most plagiarising takes place. In the worst
case scenario you could be imprisoned for 6 months or pay a £50,000
fine! As a result of this, I thoroughly hope that you have learnt that
copyright violation can be very costly. So think twice before you use
the copy and paste shortcuts!
Any copyright infringement of this text will result in a severe reprimand.
Bill, the incredible and much loved caretaker
Mr Bill Taylor is an indispensable asset to the school and the
wonderful Atherstone family. Starting at early hours every morning
and finishing late every day, he works tirelessly and unselfishly for every
human in the school. He has too run around clearing up after teachers
and doing all the dirty jobs they hate doing. He has been witnessed
carrying a small fridge down the corridor, this just shows how
wonderfully hard he works.
With his love for ghosts he is a perfect tour guide for the haunted
headmaster’s house. He knows more rooms in that house than the
people that built it and definitely more hiding places than the phantoms
and ghosts that haunt it.
In the opinion of 144 pupils, he plays the main part in holding the
Thank you Mr Bill!
On Thursday 6th July, a strange man came into school accompanied by some
rather odd associates. There were many boxes in his small car which he
proceeded, with care, to place in the upstairs primary classroom. Once all the
students were seated, he magically produced a chinchilla from one of the
boxes! Did you know that chinchillas have 80 hairs per follicle, whereas
humans only have one? That s why they are so soft! One of the students
handed the animal around while the man told us a bit about it. Next, he
brought out some fossils of crocodiles and whales teeth. The whale s tooth
was as big as a banana! The next animal to appear from out of one of the many
boxes, was a large, bird eating spider! At this point one of the teachers left the
room claiming to have reports to do. Two more spiders followed!
A scorpion was the next animal to appear.
When a UV light was shone on it, the true
colour of the animal was revealed. Did
you know that scorpions are actually
turquois, not black?
Next came the lizard. If you look in his ear you
can see straight through to the other side!
Another amazing thing about this lizard is that if
it is attacked, it can detach its tail which is like
his lunch box! It is the equivalent to a camel s
hump. A chameleon was then brought out and
we were told that chameleons don t change
colour based on their surroundings, but instead
it is determined by what mood their in!
There were also some stick insects and a millipede which decided to bless the carpet with its faeces!
Then came a small tortoise with very sharp claws, a tree frog and an African bull frog. The man stuck one
of the frogs to his face! Did you know that frogs drink water through their butt? Disgusting! Lastly, a
variety of snakes in a variety of sizes were brought out and slithered round the room from one student s
neck to the other! Once all the snakes were put away we all said a big thankyou to the reptile man and
waved him goodbye. Overall it was a very fun and enjoyable morning for the primary.
Working through Canvas (the online learning platform being rolled out through the school as a
replacement for Moodle) for the first time, the year 8’s have taken part in a product launch. This
involved persuasive writing, video making, product labelling and targeting a specific audience – a
variety of skills. Their advertisements for various healthy drinks for kids looked very professional and
a lot of creative effort was put in – and they all had a lot of fun doing it!
Over the last few weeks of term Miss Stoddard has kindly offered to give the lower school students
a taste of Business Studies – amongst other things, they have been making videos about their own
new brands of cereals!
As well as the Animal Man visit, mentioned in detail on another page, the primary have been
having a lot of fun in the last couple of weeks. They have been on loads of school trips, for example
to Warning Zone and the Bluebell Ice cream Parlour, and done lots of practical, creative activities.
They have made some brilliant bunting promoting healthy eating, friendship bracelets, and
cupcakes in the kitchen, amongst other things. They have also been reading with the year 9
students and getting visits from firemen to talk about water safety – as well as the talk on Bike
Safety by the Yr 12 boys!
Over the summer
holiday, there will be
plenty of work going
on, making changes
to the school. On the
11th July, the whole
school had the task of
redesigning the IT
room as a quiet SDL
area with a budget of
£3,000. We worked in
groups and everyone
came up with exiting and stylish designs. It was hard
for each team to try and create an area, which would be
conducive to work yet which would be fun to work in,
Sound of music
As we go to press, the lower school children are extremely
busy practicing the Sound of Music performance that they will
perform on Thursday 20th in the school hall. A lot of hard
work has been put into the planning and a special thanks
goes to Jo Carvell and Annette Douglass who, once again
have been extremely valuable in making this production a
And...we mustn't forget Mrs Sheen - giving up her own time
She told us that..."Although it's been fun, it's been a
challenge. It's been encouraging to see an improvement in
Hope all those that come and watch it on Thursday will
thoroughly enjoy it.
Year 10 girl’s debate
Do you think schools should be
segregated? This was the
subject which the year 10 girls
debated about on the 6th July
with the year 10 girls from
Wilton Campus. Mrs Webb
introduced the debate to both
sides and the speeches began! The
girls were on point with firing facts to support their side of
the argument “100% of the top A-level results came from
mixed schools. Pippa Stacey won best speaker from
Atherstone, whilst Elise Barter took the prize from the
Wilton campus. Overall, what started off as a polite
conversation ended up in a strong argument, with the girls
from both schools
proving to be well
matched – a BIG
thankyou to Mrs Webb
for her excellent
Party, party ! The last day of school for the Year 13’s ! The Year 12
students prepared a meal to celebrate their last day which took place in
the canteen. Streamers, balloons and lots of elaborate garlands were
used to decorate the hall. They were served fillet steak and chips with
corn on the cob, coleslaw and either peppercorn or blue cheese sauce.
For desert, there was chocolate brownie served with extra thick double
cream and strawberries.
Since when did Bourbon Biscuits, gold spray paint and iconic British
buildings have any connection? Since the 12th of July at Focus
School Atherstone Campus when the Troopers and Raiders held a
Biscuit Bake-Off of epic proportions. The crackers were stacked, the
cakes were baked; and the end results ranged from a blitzed and
crumbling Coventry Cathedral to a glittering bourbon Big Ben,
which over the following days developed an alarming tilt to the left,
to a shortbread Stonehenge which was barely distinguishable from
the real thing apart from its being about a foot tall, and the Tower
Bridge which could have supported even Boris Johnson with ease.
The creations were judged on appearance and technical ability –
congratulations to the groups, both made up of boys, who walked
away with the honours after a fantastic St Pauls Cathedral and the
very accurately portrayed Big Ben. Many thanks to Mrs Webb for
organising a very fun, if slightly sticky, day!
Tennis court Renovation
Tennis can be a great workout for all ages and is also lots of fun. There are many advantages to
tennis, and can be played by all ages no matter how good or bad you are. Tennis has many health
benefits including, increasing aerobic capacities, lowering resting heart rate and blood pressure,
lowering body fat which would be very important for those who need to also it improves muscle
tone, strength and flexibility, which would help hugely in other sports which we would be partaking
in throughout the years. Tennis is very helpful to reduce stress and also a friendly sport to play with
So this is why we are looking at renovating the tennis courts just over the road from the school
which could contain 4 courts in order to play on them for the coming years. By renovating these
courts, that the builders ruined for TQEA School which is just down the road from Atherstone
Campus, these courts would be very helpful for those that do GCSE P.E as this could be one of our
sports we do for the exams we take.
We measured out enough space to contain 4 tennis courts with approximately 1.3 m gap enough to
have a good space between in order for those on the courts next to you can play with a good
amount of space
The picture on the left is the tennis
court at the current time. As you can
see there is lots of rubbish all over
the court and also there are many
parts that are dug up and big holes,
so the whole court needs a huge
refurbish of getting rid of all the
rubbish and re-do the surface.
The perimeter of the courts has a
fence around it which is mostly
rusty. Therefore this could be a big
hazard when playing tennis as if
someone was running towards the
fence at speed the rust is quite
coarse so COULD cut your hand but
only in an unlikely event.
In order to refurbish these we would have to hold a fundraising event of some sort to raise money to
renovate it. It could be quite costly but this would help in many different ways as explained about
the advantages of tennis. It will help in qualifications in GCSE P.E and if the young ones start playing
early they could qualify for Wimbledon!
ODE TO ATHERSTONE (2)
Oh Holbrooks, Oh Holbrooks,
Forward and onward,
To a great school, they said
O Atherstone Family.
Forward, the honoured ones!
Charge SDL, they said
To a great school, they said
The Atherstone Family.
Forward, our noble school!
Was there a kid dismay'd?
Not tho' the students knew
Big change was coming
Theirs not to make reply
Theirs not to reason why
Theirs but to do and die
Go you amazing stars
The Atherstone Family.
Changes to right of them,
Changes to left of them,
A hundred and sixty two of them
Volley'd and thunder'd;
We’re told it ill all e fi e,
SDL e’re o loud 9,
Our praises will they sing,
Not used to this kind of thing,
The Atherstone Family.
Flash'd all our screenshots bare
This system just aint fair
Hold laptops tight, beware
There’s tea her thie es rou d here
Discretion is key dude, but
some kids have suffered
They soon get it back, having
spent many days grounded.
We’re the rea of the tea
singing songs for the queen,
ut e a ’t si g to the
Our talent was sqaushed;
Rounded and questioned,
The leaders soon fell,
They that had fought so well
those that were left of the
When can their glory fade?
Of that wild school they made!
All the world wondered.
Honor the changes done
Honor the days now gone,