Mr Jeffery’s Welcome
I write this with a real sense of joy and an ever-increasing love for this school.
Returning to school after the lock-down and the summer break was most welcome. As you know, I have been so impressed with how our youngsters have coped with the safety protocols.
They have been positively compliant and understanding, displaying great consideration for one other and also for their teachers and administration staff. I am thrilled that even in the “New Normal”, we have managed to provide a huge variety of educational experiences both inside the classroom and more widely through extra-curricular events.
This newsletter successfully captures these opportunities and I am immensely proud of how our young people have engaged with great energy and excitement.
I wish you all a super half-term break. Please let me know if your children are involved in anything that we should be celebrating here on their return to school.
Thank you all for your ongoing support.
In Sion Firmata Sum
In the Senior School, students have a regular MediStatION session where they are encouraged to sit and reflect, usually guided with a particular theme for the session. These have included; Yugen (a Japenese concept which is defined as: a profound awareness of the universe which triggers feelings too deep and mysterious for words), visualising the perfect (academic) year, and reflecting on a quote from Emma Stone: “What sets you apart can sometimes feel like a burden and it’s not. And a lot of the time, it’s what makes you great.”
Monty the Mouse
In the Junior School, Monty the Mouse does his rounds of the classrooms with Mrs Pearson. His thoughts for the week have included:
Nursery’s Autumnal Trip to the Park
Black History Month
This year, Sion began Black History Month with an assembly by Mrs Yacoub which introduced to our students the story of how Black History Month began in Britain and to consider why it is a significant event that should be marked. Students heard John Agard read extracts from his poem “Checkin’ Out Me History” (a poem that our students study as part of their GCSE English Literature Anthology) and his own explanation of the motivation and inspiration behind the poem. We also heard from historian David Olusoga about why it is important to develop our knowledge and understanding of black history and black British history in particular.
In lessons, Year 8 have researched Kwanzaa (in RS) and discussed the importance of Black History Month (in PSHEE) and have refocused some of their study of the Tudor period (History) on black Tudors, using the historical research of Miranda Kaufman.
Year 5 Olive Wreaths
Year 5 have been learning about the Ancient and Modern Greeks. They made olive wreaths and became Olympiads, holding their own Olympic Games.
Year 7 Cell Models
This half term, Year 7 have been learning about cell structure and were lucky enough to use the bioviewers in their classroom to see some real cells up close. When learning about specialised cells the students were given the challenge to choose a special cell, research it and make a model of it. They could be as creative as they wanted. All students made excellent cells – some made from beads, card, foam, pasta, jelly and even chocolate. All Year 7 agreed that whilst we have been unable to do much practical science at the moment, this gave the opportunity to get hands on and really explore the cell they chose in detail. Some were also excited to eat their cells after they had shown them to the rest of the group!
“I enjoyed making my cell out of clay and panting it. I used different colours to show different parts of the cells.” Oliver N
“I enjoyed making this cell as I got to find out what is in a cell and how to best represent it. I will also enjoy eating it after showing it to my class!” Finley
“I liked making my nerve cell because I loved being able to be creative and do some practical science at home.” Phoebe P.
Reception and the Dinosaurs
Family – By Georgina
Duke Of Edinburgh Expedition
On a very wet Saturday in October, these students carried out their Bronze Duke of Edinburgh qualifying expedition on the South Downs. The pictures were from ‘base camp’ at Steyning but they all completed their walks to the required standard.
Year 2 trip to Arundel Wetlands
Year 2 had a wonderful day pond dipping at Arundel Wetlands.
Year 6 to Michelham Priory
Year 6 were blessed to be the first school to visit Michelham Priory since they had re-opened after Lockdown. This wonderful Sussex Heritage site gave us a super ‘private’ day to remember. The icing on the cake was the praise heaped upon our children for their manners, their knowledge, their attention and focus as well as how they engaged with the activities and respectfully moved around the site.
Year 6 took part in a make-do-and-mend session where they delighted in making woollen pom-poms from unpicked jumpers and where they attempted to use their best cursive script onto a slate with chalk. Having explored the wonderful house and evacuee bedroom, the children ventured into the Physic garden and the Kitchen garden before having a moment of freedom to play chase in the grounds amongst the woodland – all carefully monitored by Mrs Pearson and the Year 6 teachers. It was a jolly coach ride home with children thrilling in the purchases made in the on-site shop. The shop’s cashier marvelled at our mental maths and that we only took to the till the items we could afford – apparently no other school ever does this. The children sitting like lambs playing with their purchases on an area of carpet in the shop has never been seen before. I think the staff at Michelham Priory were wishing every school had such well-mannered, polite children.
Furthering their understanding of what it was truly like to be an evacuee, Year 6 were also very privileged to listen to Mrs Olive Billam (supported by her son-in-law Nicolas Young) who came to speak to the children, giving them first hand her experience of being a (badly treated) evacuee. The children were also read the certificate that was sent to all evacuees in 1946 by King George.
Sonnets in Year 7
Year 7 have been learning about sonnets. Here are two examples; Harry writes about his love – Maths, and Jess (a new pupil to Year 7) extoles the virtues of Sion!
Year 1 Trip to Arundel Wetlands
Year 1 also visited Arundel Wetlands – they were learning about the migration of different birds! A lovely day out.
Drama GCSE students are being encouraged to continue watching live streamed performances and this week was “ Everybody talking about Jamie”. The students reported that they really enjoyed this performance and cannot wait to see the a live performance of the same production in the Spring!
In more drama news, we have finally acquired a video copy of the Dress rehearsal of “Bugsy” and will hope to show this to students in their bubbles after half- term!
Year 4 Beach School
Year 4 always enjoy their Beach School sessions and these photos are from a trip earlier in the term where they arranged themselves into a timeline to show their understanding of BC/AD and then did a scavenger hunt on items found on the beach.
Junior School Pen Pal project with St Mary’s Care Home
After the success of the visits to neighbouring Care Home, St Mary’s, last year, this year the children are having to do things a little differently to maintain contact with their friends.
All children from Nursery to Year 6 are taking part and have become pen pals with the residents. Nursery started this off during the Summer Holidays, sending pictures and answering some questions from the residents and now the older years have got involved writing writing letters and sending pictures. Hopefully visits will be able to resume before too long!
Heads of School
Junior School Prefects and House Captains
Introducing the Junior School Prefects for this year! The positions of House Captains and Vice Captains have also been announced. Congratulations to you all!
Year 8 Music
Year 8 have been exploring the versatility and energy of the orchestra as part of their music studies. Two of the students volunteered to play their instruments to the class and it was wonderful to hear them play and to listen as they shared their experiences of these instruments.
The group also experienced creating a piece together in various parts…to get a sense of what it is like to be part of a large ensemble. The role of conductor is rather challenging, but as you can see, there were willing volunteers who carried out this essential role with aplomb.
Highdown Goblet Storywriting Competition Winner
Congratulations to Iris who has won the U7 category of the Highdown Goblet Storywriting Competition run by Worthing Theatres and Museum.
Baker Shield Recipients
Junior School Positive Playtime Charter
As part of the Year 6 Philosophy Club today, we reviewed the Positive Playtimes charter.
Year 3 Stone Age Topic
Year 3 have been learning about the Stone Ages this half term.
During their Beach School session, they collected some chalk from the beach which, during Art, they mixed with natural materials such as leaves, black berries, raspberries, beetroot, turmeric, paprika and mud to create paints to make cave paintings.
Year 3 have also done some fantastic creative prep on the Stone Ages.
National Poetry Day in Year 6
Beach School continues in the Junior School – Mrs Pearson’s favourite saying is that there is no bad weather, just bad clothing! However, for many of the sessions for this first part of the term, the weather has been kind.
National Poetry Day in early October, saw Year 6 head off to the beach, on a beautiful wild and windy day, to soak up the atmosphere ready to write some poetry.
Whilst the beach was the destination, many of the children chose to use their vision to create a theme within a theme. Gathering content, they enjoyed a child’s carefree moment, dodging glorious rolling waves and gazing upon glorious skies whilst listening to the roar of the sea. Some children chose to use imagery around a sweet theme, others precious gems and jewels whilst others explore a darker atmospheric response by creating a WWII theme to link to their History work. Gulls became Spitfires and waves became weapons.
Nursery’s Sweet Shop
The children decided to make their own sweet shop in the Nursery. They learned how to weigh out the bags and then sold them to their friends.
There are also some photos here of the children have a lovely time splashing in the puddles when it started to rain!
Presentation to Mrs Ware
Inspired by some of the word art around the school, Emily sent us some of her own.
Year 12 Geography Fieldwork Trip to Juniper Hall
Year 12 Geography students headed off to Juniper Hall, Dorking, to study flooding on the River Mole with tuition from the Field Studies Council. This contributes to their exam case studies and also preparation for the NEA (Non Examined Assessment – ‘coursework’) in Year 13.
Year 2 Phonics Games
Year 2 have been having great fun learning their phonics by playing games!
From the Junior School Art Studio
Year 6 have been focusing on the human form during their Art lessons and have made these very beautiful air-dry clay models. After half term, they will be working on portraits.
Senior School Assemblies
There have been a range of different assemblies in the Senior School this month – all virtual! Here are just some of the topics discussed:
Ms Ghinn, Mission Director, explained to our students what the Sion Ethos really means.
Mrs Yacoub introduced Black History Month. She also delivered another assembly on Rosh Hashannah, the Jewish New Year.
Year 10 Gamma highlighted the work that a local Sussex-based charity, Esteem, do with young people aged 14-26. They also held an own-clothes day to raise money.
Our Sixth Form Charity Team told us about Young Minds who campaign for awareness of, and support for, mental health in young people. #HelloYellow
Heads of School, Oliver and Ruby, helped the students see some of the positive events of 2020.
Year 3 Worry Dolls
As part of their PSHEE lessons, Year 3 were introduced to Guatemalan worry dolls and were encouraged to talk about their worries. The class read ‘Little mouse’s book of big fears’ together and made their own class book based upon it. Each child was given their own worry doll and Mrs Summers reminded them how important it is to share their worries rather than bottling them up. The old adage of ‘a trouble shared is a trouble halved’. This year the dolls were especially relevant as they helped the children open up about their fears over Covid 19 and coming back to school. We have since heard from one parent that the worry doll has given their child huge comfort and is helping them have a good nights sleep.
University Destinations of recent Year 13 Leavers
You may be interested to see the wide spread of courses and the university destinations of last year’s Year 13.
- FdSc Nautical Science Training Programme at Southampton Solent University
- Physics at University of Bath
- Law at University of Exeter
- Business Management at University of Southampton
- History and French at University of Bristol
- Law with Business & Management at University of Sussex
- Physiotherapy at South Bank University
- Biomedical science at University of Sussex
- Sports Rehabilitation at University of Nottingham
- Business & Management Studies at University of Sussex
- Sports Development at University of East Anglia
- Film Studies at University of Warwick
- Automotive Engineering at University of Surrey
- Mathematics at University of Cambridge
- Dentistry at University of Bristol
- Film Studies at South Bank University
- Neuroscience at University of Bristol
- Law at University of Southampton
- History at University of Aberystwyth
- Geophysics at University of Leeds
- Mathematics at University College London
- Criminal Investigation at Canterbury Christ Church University
- Dentistry at Kings College London
- Business, Management & Economics at University of Sussex
- Law at University of Exeter
- Mechanical Engineering at University of Surrey
- Professional Policing at University of Derby
- Biomedical Science at University of Sussex
- Mechanical Engineering at University of Surrey
Congratulations to all our leavers on achieving the results needed for them to study these courses. Our best wishes to them all.
Well done to Rosa in Year 8 who plays in the Lewes FC Girls U14s team as part of the Elite Girls Pathway, competing in the Junior Premier League – a fantastic achievement. So far she has played against West Ham, Milwall and Tottenham Hotspurs. What an experience!
Matilda in Year 8 took part in a choral production on BBC Breakfast television as part of the ‘Sing for you’ fundraising project by cathedral choristers from across the UK for the Cathedral Choirs Emergency Fund.
Congratulations to Charlie in Year 11 who qualified 2nd fastest for the British Indoor Karting Championships during the local races at Brighton and then went on to win the local Final.
One to watch – William in Year 11 is a keen water skier – these pictures were taken during recent training sessions demonstrating his skill, having been identified as a contender for the GB squad for the U21 team once he reaches that age group! William spent seven out of the nine weeks of the summer holiday in Lincoln (Hazlewood Ski World) where he’s been having intensive training with the current U17 squad who are coached by World and European champions. He is also working on his level 1 coaching skills.
Jed (U14s), Ollie (U15s) and Finlay (U16s) are part of the Worthing FC Youth programme having been selected following a number of trial sessions in the summer. They attend two training session each week delivered by the Worthing FC first team manager and coaches. Fin (Year 11) is now in his 3rd season. He plays for the U16s team as a centre-back. Ollie (Year 10) is in his 2nd season and he is the goalkeeper in the U15s squad (managed by Mr Hoarty!). Jed (Year 9) plays as a forward for the U14s team.
All three sides have made impressive starts to the season, and all three Sion boys are performing really well. Well done boys – and Mr Hoarty!
Congratulations to our recent Year 13 leaver, Neve, who got a Distinction for her LAMDA Gold Medal with a wonderful score of 90%.
Oliver, now in his second year of university studies, has just been awarded The Leland Lyons Prize, ‘awarded to the student with the best Stage 1 performance in the School of History’.
Well done to all these students, both past and present!
News from the SFA
In the Junior School, the SFA have been working hard to keep the fun coming over the course of this year. We have been pleased to fund the purchase of new playground equipment to keep the Junior School children entertained and active, including four new football goals, skipping ropes, hopscotch and more. As part of our Christmas fundraising efforts this year will be holding a hamper raffle. We are looking for any local businesses who would be happy to put a hamper together for us as a prize. If you are able to do this or know of a business who would, please email email@example.com. Thank you! We can also exclusively reveal that we have been in conversation with Santa, and are thrilled to announce that he will still be able to visit the children at school this year, in a new “Covid secure” format. Look out for announcements of fun events coming soon!
We have introduced a new second-hand uniform “shop” this year, which will be opening after half term and will be run by the wonderful Miss Thompson. Please do keep your donations of clean uniform coming in to help us stock the shop, and together we will make this a great success!
This year we are looking for new SFA members – our meetings are now held by video call, and with less “whole school” events planned, there’s never been a better time to get involved without the usual time commitment. We’d love to welcome new members with fresh ideas and skills, so do let Mrs Pearson or Miss Thompson know if you would be interested in joining us, or alternatively contact us directly:
Kate Lambie: firstname.lastname@example.org
Nikki Gokool: email@example.com
News from the SPA
The new school year has seen significant changes & challenges for the Sion Parents Association (SPA). Several parents who previously were involved in it have had their children graduate so our numbers are down which combined with the joyful fun of complying and constantly changing CV19 regulations has been challenging.
Therefore, I am so proud to introduce the new team that is starting to form with the goal of making the school more enjoyable for your children by providing extra items that are outside of the school budget.
Lynda Stenning is the new vice chair, our finances are in the safe hands of Natallia Migeod, Clare Burleigh has done an amazing job so far on the uniform sale, Carla has kindly stayed on as official Secretary and finally Amanda Wood has stepped up to be our events and social media organiser.
This core team will need additional help throughout the year, and we would appreciate more of you getting involved. Because of the changes in physical meeting we are going to be a lot more virtual this year which means getting involved will be much better suited to busy parents as you do not need to worry about childcare! When we do meet in person the meetings are fun and relaxed with snacks, soft drinks and at the last one a variety of wines and an occasional gin & tonic.
Our school uniform sale was different this year. Thank you everyone for your patience as we tried to re-organise how this would work. The whole team helped to catalogue and organise exactly what stock we have, and this has meant that we can now offer uniform throughout the year rather than once or twice. If you need uniform items, then please email us at our new contact address and we can coordinate with the school to arrange for it to be picked and collected. A spreadsheet will be published soon with available sizes for you to see if we have what you need.
Finally, we are still considering how we can organise the parent and Christmas fairs in a virtual and safe way so would appreciate your ideas and participation. Please contact us if you can help or want to join and make a difference to the school. We have a Facebook group and can be contacted using our new central email box – firstname.lastname@example.org
Jon Baggaley (chair)
Keith Long, our clarinet and saxophone teacher, is unable to teach students in school at the moment but he is offering woodwind instrument lessons from his own studio if anyone is keen to learn. Please contact him directly 07952 483397 or email@example.com.
You have reached the end of this Autumn Term’s Newsletter. We hope you have enjoyed reading some of the highlights from this term. It may be a different environment that we are all getting used to but the engagement and positivity of all the students (and staff) throughout the school is heartwarming!