Rough Notes – February 2018

This is the fiftieth edition of Rough Notes since it moved to its current format and clearly something worth shouting about. I am delighted to say that as an online publication it has more than fulfilled our original aims, which were to promote and celebrate the activities of Woodroffe students. We wanted to showcase the amazing work they do in a wide range of different disciplines and we were particularly keen to make Rough Notes much more than a simple newsletter. Thanks to the excellent graphical and photographic skills of our media technician, Brian Neesam, every issue bursts into life and gives a real flavour of what it is like to be a student in the school. Brian has compiled a set of previous Rough Notes covers and together they paint a picture of a tremendously rich and vibrant school environment. For our students, it's a great place to be.

This issue is full of life and colour, and it covers all aspects of the work of the school - from a celebration of reading to students enjoying themselves in the snow. And, as always, it catalogues the various sports, arts, and drama activities which take place every week, as well as including useful study tips and information for parents.

The academic side of life is never quite as colourful but it is always there alongside the exciting extra-curricular activities. It is particularly dominant at the moment as students in Years 11, 12 and 13 are waking up to the fact that their public examinations are only eight school weeks away. GCSEs, AS and A Levels begin on the 14 May - a period of time that will fly by. Fortunately, most of our students are well aware of what's ahead, working hard and well prepared. We are looking forward to another excellent set of results in the summer. Current predictions suggest that students are on course to achieve really well and we are confident that Woodroffe will once again sit firmly at the top of the county league tables.

As the students prepare for their exams, staff start thinking about September. Now is the time when we plan the curriculum, think about staffing, and worry about the budget. Sixth form staff are busy interviewing applicants for the sixth form - a demanding task at the moment as we have had so many applications this year. It is good to see that the majority of Year 11 students, plus a significant number of students from other schools, recognise the quality of education on offer in the sixth form here. We may not have the city on our doorstep but we have top quality teaching and the kind of comprehensive pastoral support that makes our students feel safe, confident and happy.

Finally, keen eyed readers may have noticed the mysterious appearances of a badger in these pages. This is our school badger - stuffed, I should add - who has been rescued from the obscurity of a dusty shelf in the art office to appear in various places around the school. He was originally invited to star as a prop in the first of our new Literary Lectures (which was on Wind in the Willows, of course) but he seems to have caught the imagination of staff and students alike and now pops up all over the place. Watch out for him as he makes his way around the school.

Dr Steward