Wensleydale Newsletter – December 2010

The last few weeks at The Wensleydale School have been very busy ones.

A delegation from Thailand‘s department of education visited us to discover the secret of the school‘s success. Lord Philip Royle accompanied the 29-strong group of school leaders, teachers and students who had travelled to England to visit two schools: one a city academy, the other our rural school in the heart of Wensleydale.

The visitors were given a guided tour of the school and its surroundings, including the school farm, and were provided with lunch which consisted of a range of local produce including several varieties of Wensleydale cheese from the creamery in Hawes.

They watched lessons from across the curriculum, spoke with various members of staff and surveyed the school‘s facilities.

The guests commented on what they thought had made the school so successful: high standards of appearance and behaviour, a strong work ethic and a band of committed staff.

Wensleydale staff were invited to make a return visit to a school in Thailand and were presented with a range of gifts including a wooden carving which brings good luck.

Also this month: We ran a joint appeal with the Rotary Club of Wensleydale to buy water filters for those affected by the floods in Pakistan and raised enough to help more than ten families gain access to clean drinking water…

Year 10 students took part in a Duke of Edinburgh taster weekend at Marsett Bunkbarn – much fun was had canoeing, cooking on trangias and navigating Wether Fell…

The school‘s senior choir, Cantabile, provided the musical entertainment at the autumn meeting of The High Dales Group of the Women‘s Institute…

The History department took the school‘s newly formed debating society to compete in the Oxford Union School Debating Competition…

Four Year 10 students attended a Young Gifted and Talented School at Durham University…

A Year 9 student received the Gold Ambassador award from Olympic athlete Shirley Webb for her role promoting the 2012 Olympics…

The Year 7 football team recorded a string of wins including against local rivals, Richmond and Bedale…

Two Year 8 students were selected for the Under 13 Area Football squad and seven students were selected for the U14 and U15 Area Rugby squads…

Post 16 students visited Sheffield to see John Simm play the title role in Hamlet…

The Comenius trip returned from Hungary following an exceptional visit…

The school farm continued to grow and grow [pun intended] – a new poly-tunnel was installed for planting winter salads, a third pond was dug out in the top field for geese and ducks, and the number and variety of livestock expanded even further with the addition of two pigs, four sheep and a goat on lease…

and there was much more besides!

The school facilities continued to be used by a number of community groups such as LADS who performed the farce, Dry Rot, to good local reviews; and the Leyburn football teams. We hope the school continues to forge links with the dales community and we welcome your involvement in the coming year.

I‘d like to end this month‘s update by wishing everyone a very happy Christmas and all the very best for 2011 on behalf of all the staff and students here at the Wensleydale School.