Welcome to the Summer Newsletter
I welcome the future with everlasting dreams. (Jess Year 8)
Once again, I am completely energised after reading this latest newsletter.
The breadth of experiences along with examples of outstanding academic achievement, made me very proud once again.
This is Sion Education.
Learning takes place in a multitude of arenas and through numerous ways.
The art of conversation and debate continues to thrive alongside the contemplative moments of silence whilst we ponder in stillness.
There is joy here. It is evidenced in this news. Look at the smiles and the power of community.
Personal achievement brings joy and when we see others achieve, it augments our joy.
I love how we all journey together.
Each one of us continues to learn from one another and from these splendid moments of discovery and exploration.
I continue to learn so much from these young people and count my blessings each day that I am here.
I offer you my congratulations for having such wonderful children and my heartfelt gratitude for bringing them to Sion.
In Sion Firmata Sum.
Heads of School and Sixth Form Leaders
We are delighted to announce the new Heads of School for the next academic year. Congratulations to Charlotte and Sam! Congratulations to the rest of the Sixth Form Leaders who have also been appointed.
Heads of School – Charlotte and Sam
Head of Sigma House & Senior Minister of the School Council – George
Head of Delta House and Head teacher’s Ambassador – Zarak
Head of Gamma House – David
Director of Altruism and Outreach – Lucas
Sports Captain & New Student Liaison Officer – Zoe
Sports Captain – Dan
Public Relations Prefects – Louis and Tia
Technical Prefects – Sebastian and Devansh
Here is part of the Sixth Form Assembly where they introduced themselves to the rest of the school.
Senior School Summer Concert
You might want to come back with a cup of tea or drink in hand for this – Enjoy our Summer Concert
SFA Junior School Bubble Fair
ISA Art Competition
Congratulations to our students who were entered into the ISA London South Art Competition. We were able to nominate only one pupil in each category and are delighted to announce that every student was placed. A fantastic result!
Year 3 India Day
To finish their India Topic which they have been focusing on this term, Year 3 had an India Day where they came in dressed in spectacular traditional dress, sampled some Indian delights, had a go at Indian dancing and looked at some traditional art.
As part of their India topic, Year 3 have learnt how to make beautiful origami lotus flowers – a symbol for kindness.
Year 10 Geography Fieldtrip
On Tuesday 22nd June our Year 10 Geographers visited Worthing seafront in the morning to study the effectiveness of the sea defences. In the afternoon we moved to the town centre to study to what extent Worthing is a tourist town. This will help immensely with the fieldwork investigation section of the Paper 3 exam. The weather was better than expected and everyone was able to practice their fieldwork techniques well. The year group really impressed us with their energy and enthusiasm throughout the day, well done all!
Junior School Sports Days
Congratulations to Highdown who were the winners for the Year 3 and 4 Sports Day. Kithurst who won for Year 2; Highdown came first for Year 5 and Chanctonbury for Year 6.
Year 9 Food from around the World
Students were given the option to cook different foods from around the World – a slightly eclectic mix included a Paella (Spain), chicken and noodles (asian), chocolate twists (France), brownies (USA) and pancakes (France)!
‘Living Joyfully’ is a celebration of religious life and an event aimed at giving young people an opportunity to meet with religious from a broad range of the religious communities present in the UK.
They were offering an opportunity for RE classes or other groups from primary and secondary schools to join in with them at a time that was convenient for all. We were able to arrange a Teams Call on 17th June for pupils in Year 5 and during a Year 10 RS GCSE lesson. The students met with Sister Kasia (left), Sister Mary and Father Hugh, three religious from three different orders.
Sister Kasia, Polish, is a Sister of Sion and actually lived next door in Avila House for 6 months but during Lockdown so she was unable to visit.
Year 10 RS GCSE
They started with introducing themselves and then the students had some questions to put to them, one of which was what characteristics are important to be in a religious order? Fr Hugh said that God is guiding you, don’t do it yourself – do it with God. He was a Missionary in Africa and the basic qualities needed were to be adventurous, willing to leave home, desire to learn new languages and to learn from new cultures. To also be non-judgemental, brave enough to try new things and be ready to go where you’re sent. Before he joined his Religious Order he used to be a maths teacher.
Sister Mary (in Nottingham) used to be a teacher but was searching for something more. She met some of the Sisters from the congregation she eventually came part of and this started her life changing direction. She is a ‘Presentation sister’ (Presentation of the Virgin Mary in the Temple).
Sr Mary said that the qualities necessary were that you needed to have a desire to respond in some way and be led by God. She felt, when she joined the Order a sense of ‘coming home’ – she felt in the right place. There was a sense of sacrifice, of giving up which has been painful at times but said that it is a great life and she has needed grace and courage to do it. “It’s a journey”
Sr Kasia thought that there are three qualities necessary: give space to hear God and be open to God; say ‘yes’ every day – it’s a choice; accept who you and enjoy it. You will grow as a human.
Another question put to the Religious was how they handled the many contradictions in the Bible and also ethical and moral contemporary issues such as homosexuality, where scripture and the Catholic Church are against homosexuality and our culture has progressed from that.
Kasia said that she believes the teaching of the church is guidance – it is not the rule of law. You should follow your heart – you’re a responsible person and it is up to you to look for wisdom and spiritual direction from someone who would be wiser than you.
Sister Mary said that it can be very difficult and you may have lots of questions all of the time. It’s not always easy and she does struggle herself. She is doesn’t always agree with the church – life is not as simple as right and wrong – life is messy. She said the best thing to do is to be in space, hold your own and others’ pain – and find God in it all.
The students found the time very helpful. Reading and learning about Christian Catholic views is very different to meeting people who are in Catholic religious orders and the conversation brought Roman Catholicism into context.
Year 5 are studying the question “What is the best way for a Christian to show commitment to God?” in their RE Lessons this half term. The class were able to discuss this with Dr Kasia, Sr. Lynne, Sr Nora and Fr Paul.
They discovered that the all loved to pray and that they went to Mass because they wanted to go, not because they had to. They thought that their relationship with God was the most important thing and that the showed His loved by helping others. They were all teachers, nurses or missionaries.
The children were really interested in how the religious lived their daily life and how being a Christian affected them. The children wrote their own questions and asked them.
Piccolo’s Adventures (continued)
Year 7 The Tempest
As a finale to their study of The Tempest, Year 7 staged the Masque Ball.
Early Years had a busy term!
Year 5 Mayan Topic
Year 5 have been making Mayan gods in clay and Mayan calendars as the culmination of their Mayan Topic.
Year 12 Biology Fieldtrip
On a not so sunny June afternoon Year 12 went to Worthing beach to gather data on species diversity in two locations. We then analysed the data in school and discussed findings. It was really lovely to get out of school and do some field work after a hard year of mostly theory based lessons. The Year 12 students were brilliant and even enjoyed an ice cream as we walked along the prom.
Zarak: It was a great trip. I haven’t been able to go on a school trip for 2 years. We collected data on beach species diversity and even got an ice cream.
Tom: I really enjoyed our Biology trip, it was great to take the classroom outside into the world and put theory into practice.
Year 7 Maths Challenge
Over the past couple of weeks, Year 7 have been working in teams on a Maths challenge: To design and make a container which has a maximum volume for a minimum surface area. The finished design had to be stable and have more than 6 faces plus an open face to enable their container to be filled with water.
Each student made a prototype (on A3) and they decide as a group which version to proceed with. The teams were given a large sheet of card and a limited amount of sellotape to construct their container. They had to estimate the volume of their own container and then fill it with water to test its volume, stability, and the sturdiness if their design! All teams completed the task but with varying degrees of success!
Mrs Illsley and Mrs Rossat
Year 1 Creative Writing
My Magic Carpet Flight
By Maya, Year 3
I took a flight on a magic carpet. It took me on a journey to India in Asia.
As I set off I approach two towering snow-capped mountain, the Himalayans. They raise to meet me in the sky. The top of the mountains, is covered by a ghostly blanket of dark clouds, Mount Everest is 8,848m! It is not only the highest peak of the Himalayas but the highest peak in the world.
Then I am soaring above the desert, it is spreading out before me, a sea of sand, shimmering with heat stretched as far as my eye can see.
Suddenly, I notice something shimmering, in the burning sun, it is the River Ganges 2,510 kilometres long. This holy river is like a long, snaking, silver, ribbon.
Nearby, I spot a magnificent forest full of tall trees. They join together like a crowd of vivid green umbrellas. ‘Oh! It is a tropical forest’ I say to myself, there are animals and birds living in there! Cheeky monkeys, dangerous pythons, big elephants, sleepy sloths, fast jaguars!
Finally, I reach the busy and over populated capital of India, New Delhi. It is a colourful, dynamic and lively city. The street markets filled air with an exciting mix of smells and sounds. There are over 1 billion people living here.
My next visit is to the beautiful building the Taj Mahal, it is decorated with 28 different varieties of precious stones and was built entirely out of white marble. An Emperor built this is a memory to his wife.
“Oh no, it looks like the weather is changing. Monsoon is coming. I have to hurry to get home.”
Underneath me, I can see watery fields with green, spiky grass. “It must be rice the fields”
On my way I spot a carpet of white flowers, dancing in the light summer breeze. I can also see a cotton field.
The first heavy drops of rain have started to fall. It is going to rain for three months now. It is time to go home.
Year 7 Spirited Arts Competition
Work by Viona, Harry, Phoebe, Kitty, Sofia, Annie and Tilly has been entered in the the NATRE (National Association Teachers of Religious Education) Spirited Arts Competition. Pupils were asked create a piece of artwork to one of the following themes: “We have far more in common with each other than that which divides us.”, “God’s good earth? (Beautiful World, wonderful God?)”, “Where is God?”, “Healing”, and “Inspiring!”. They had to explain their artwork and how it related to the theme they had chosen.
Harry: No matter what skin, hair, or eye colour we have; what clothes we wear; or whether we are disabled or able-bodied, we are all human.
Viona: The pages of a book all look the same yet each book contains a different story.
Phoebe: The world is split into good and bad – showing pollution and the pandemic on one side and the beauty of nature and the knowledge of books and friendship the other. Social media is both good and bad.
Tilly: We are spoiling Gods Good Earth. Stop racism, homophobic hate and climate change.
Year 8 Pewter Casting
In DT, Year 8 had a go Art Deco pewter casting project – with great success!
Year 6 Transition Day
The Year 6 pupils were welcomed in the Senior School for their Transition Day – sadly, this year we were unable to also welcome those children who will be joining Year 7 in September from our local feeder schools.
Year 7 visit Portchester Castle
The Dutch Garden Greening Project
The Senior school Humanities faculty alongside the Humanities Ambassador (George) and Eco-club will be embarking on “The Dutch Garden Greening Project” in the new school year. To do this we would like to upcycle pallets, chimney pots, old furniture, anything really that we can fill with bulbs, herbs and wildflowers. If you have anything you would like to donate, including plants, compost, equipment to enable us to do this, we would be very grateful. Please bring in any donations in September. Mrs Hoarty would love to hear from you if you can help! firstname.lastname@example.org
Year 8 Grease Lightning
In Drama, Year 8 have been working on the choreography for the song, Grease Lightning, from Grease. The students themselves have choreographed these routines.
Year 5 to Marwell Zoo
Year 5 have been learning all about the Rainforest this term and they finished the topic with a trip to Marwell Zoo’s Science and Learning Centre.
End-of-year trips to Thorpe Park
Year 11 also went to Thorpe Park.
Thank you to all the teaching staff across the school who go on these trips to help make memories for our students. It can be quite exhausting….and terrifying!
World Ocean Week – Year 1
World Ocean Week and the NSPCC Childhood Day – Year 3 & 4
Where better to spend Ocean week/childhood day than on the beach! Year 3 and 4 had a super Beach School morning.
The children collected ‘living things’ on the beach including cuttlefish, seaweed, mussels, crab and sea gull feathers and a dead dogfish which inspired lots of conservation conversations!
They also discussed how we could make a difference in helping clean up our oceans as part of Ocean week – something which Sion children feel very passionate about and is ongoing in our school. The children understand that in order to clean up the oceans and improve the pollution situation we all have to work together as a team, The Year 3 and 4 Beach School session also coincided with the NSPCC Childhood Day and the children celebrated by playing a range of team and trust games including filling a bottle and moving islands helping the children all understand if they all work together then they can achieve so much more.
The children returned to school and created some fabulous posters and models to share their Ocean week message!
Year 12 Psychology
Our Year 12 Psychology students are currently studying the Psychopathology unit and have been learning about what defines abnormality. Each student was given a different area to learn and prepare a presentation in order to ‘teach’ it to the other students in the group. They learnt that ‘Deviation from social norms’, ‘Deviation from the ideal Mental Health’, ‘The Failure to Function Adequately’ and ‘statistical infrequency’ all mean that an individual may be classified as having poor mental health. Thankfully the topic doesn’t end there. We explore the explanations and treatments of phobias, depression and OCD. It’s a very interesting unit and one of my favourites to teach.
Rolls Royce Wildlife Garden Competition
Congratulations to Iris in Year 4 who was named as the competition winner of the Rolls Royce Wildlife Garden Competition. The competition invited children, age 5-11, to design new features for the Wildlife Garden at the Home of Rolls-Royce, Goodwood. Established as part of the original landscaping when the plant was built in the early 2000s, the Wildlife Garden supports a wide variety of plants, insects, birds and animals native to the South of England. The new features are central to a rejuvenation project being carried out in partnership with Chichester District Council and the South Downs National Park Trust, to reflect changes in conservation thinking and practice.
Iris’ design, “Tiggy Town”, is designed to support the UK’s wild hedgehog population, which is in critical decline. Together with beautiful little hedgehog houses (each with its own address to create a real sense of home) it has features to encourage the insects and invertebrates that hedgehogs feed on. The houses have grass roofs to attract pollinators; a leaf pile, compost heap and log pile to provide shelter for all kinds of insects, as well as splendid hedgehog hibernating places. Hedgehogs can use the shallow pond both for drinking and to take a dip, with a boardwalk to help them climb out should they become tired.
Having read that the Rolls-Royce Dawn was designed with the senses in mind, Iris has included lavender, lemon balm, roses and a fragrant camomile lawn in her design. Grass, bricks and fence add texture, with the sensory experience completed by the sound of water and the smell of damp leaves.
Iris will be invited to open the garden later in the year.
Congratulations also to Poppy in Year 6 who was named as one of the three runners-up for her design.
A thought for the day
Year 5 Cookery
As part of their Maya topic, Year 5 had a Food & Nutrition session making tortillas.
Year 10 GCSE Art – Natural Forms
Students have been exploring the theme of nature and looking at artists such a Peter Randall, Marianne North, Gaudi, to develop their sculpture designs.
The children were asked to look at our existing Positive Playtimes Charter and Year 3 came up with this version.
Year 11 Prom
We were delighted that the Year 11 Prom was able to take place this year – with just a few modifications. Highdown Vineyard proved to be the most fabulous setting for an outdoor Prom.
Year 8 Science Fieldtrip
On the 22nd June 2021, Year 8 visited Gilbert White in Hampshire.
Gilbert White himself passed away in 1793, but fortunately you can still visit his house and gardens. He was not a trained scientist, but he was very curious about the natural world around him, so he wrote a book called “The Natural History of Selborne”.
We started the day by splitting in to two groups. My group first walked up the hill which overlooked an amazing view of Gilbert White’s gardens. We learned all about the different types of plants and the environment they need to grow in.
Then, we walked down to the beautiful stream and did a survey. We were given the opportunity to observe some of the animals living in the stream and learn all about their habitat. It was really fun!
This trip was very useful because I learnt about different materials, species and ecosystems.
Amber (Year 8)
As an active Eco School, the Junior School were keen to learn more about their new local supermarket. Hisbe, the ‘Supermarket Rebels’ stock local food, which is healthy, sustainable, ethical, no waste and where people are valued.
The four Junior School Councillors learnt about the products, where they are sourced and how they are packaged. The refill bar was quite a hit – especially when they saw the chocolate buttons!
As Eco Committee members, the children were impressed to discover that the home and body products use natural ingredients and are responsibly sourced and packaged – a refill bar is also available for some of these products.
The children were fascinated to learn about the range of local organic product and the impact that has on our environment. They were particularly impressed to hear that all the fruit and veg sold has been grown in Sussex or is organic and 100% traceable.
The main take aways for our young Sionian ambassadors were the importance of shopping local, sustainably, ethically and only buying what you need.
As we work towards out Green Flag for Eco Schools and look to become a plastic-free school, it is important for the school community to understand how little changes by everyone add up to a big impact.
The Junior School were given the opportunity to take part in a poster competition run by Hisbe. The winning posters have been announced! Congratulations to the winners.
Solar Investigations in Year 4
Year 4 took advantage of the lovely weather to do some investigations. First they made solar powered ovens and baked S’mores (which tasted rather scrummy!) They also looked at the effectiveness of sun cream by applying it to black paper and leaving it in the sun.
Year 10 Debating
Year 6 French Penpals
Year 6 have been writing letters to another Sion school in France – this time it is to Notre Dame de Sion in Strasbourg. The school in Strasbourg is a middle school and next year there will be more exchanges of messages with our Year 9 students.
Year 6 have also received video messages from their penpals from St Pierre du Rondeau and have send messages by return. A lovely way to stay in touch even if they couldn’t welcome the children to Sion this summer as they would normally do.
Year 9 Creative Writing
Year 5 Diana Award
Year 7 Art
Year 7 students have looked at the Art of Wayne Thiebaud and Claes Oldenburg to produce clay cake sculptures.
Year 4 Puppets
Year 4 have sewn glove puppets – using a variety of stitches! Lots of fun but very tricky for first time sewers.
Sixth Form Leavers
Goodbye to all our Year 13 Sixth Form students – you are fantastic ambassadors to the school. We look forward to hearing about your plans for the future once the A Level results are released. We are so pleased you had the opportunity to celebrate at your leavers’ event.
Year 8 Musical Reactions
I am uplifted with hope.
I am filled with laughter and light – it even blinds me.
I look back and see how alive I have been.
I strive to remain so alive.
I see a future – a sense of calm after the storm.
I see a home that is yet to be built, there at the end of the rocky road.
There is now no hiding.
I am still yet to be seen.
I welcome the future with everlasting dreams.
Church welcomes me.
I am a man of God.
My dreams are about Heaven above – so far beyond.
Yet I see some of that new life in the soaring birds and their elegance.
The hum of the woodland and the exhilaration of the waves – the water so pure and free from sin.
I am so small in this world….so small.
The world can be so cruel, yet so luminous and angelic.
Although life can sometimes punish us, we can quickly return to our ethereal, tranquil selves.
To become peaceful and spiritual, we must learn to let go of the good and the bad things.
Balance is a magical thing.
The key to balance is to see the light at the end of each tunnel.
We must not float away on our worries like a cloud.
Life is like a fairy-tale – unpredictable and yet so precious.
Speech and Drama Awards
Congratulations of all the Junior School children who have working towards their Speech and Drama awards with Mrs Ware. During the last two virtual Zoom exams, every Sion pupil who took part received a Distinction! An amazing achievement.
Blood Brothers Drama Workshop
Mike Southern (member of the cast of the West End production of Blood Brothers) from Stage Ed gave an energetic workshop to the Year 9 and 10 Drama students. The students had the opportunity to enact some of the famous scenes from ‘Blood Brothers the Musical’ and afterwards, Mike gave a masterclass in lighting and sound for the Year 10 students along with some audition tips. Some lovely comments from the students are the workshop:
“It was great to feel like a kid again!”
“It inspired me to watch the play”
“The pace at which we worked surprised me!”
“It boosted my confidence”
“It inspired me to learn more about the play”
“We got to remember our childhoods!”
“It inspired me to unleash my inner child!”
“I enjoyed becoming 7 year’s old again!”
Society of Heads – 100 Words Competition
Mr Staggs and his class Year 6RS entered the Society of Heads 2021 100 Words Competition. Whilst none of our students won, we had a lovely letter from the Society of Heads commenting “We had a brilliant response from your school…….Thank you to your students for participating. We had a phenomenal response to the competition.” Well done Year 6RS.
Netball – Worthing League
This season Miss Haworth has coached and played for ‘Lightning’, a Division One netball team in the Worthing Netball League.
If any parents or students are interested in playing netball please contact Miss Haworth email@example.com It’s never too late to start playing again!
Sailing National Championship
Congratulations to Zach and Georgios who came 15th out of 42 in the Silver fleet at the 2021 RS Feva National championship, Hayling Island.
County Netball Trials
Congratulations to Selina who, at the age of 14, has been selected for the U16 squad of Sussex County Netball Association County Academy.
Well done to Gabriella who has been selected for the U13 Regional team for Sussex NRG Netball.
Fia’s Football Achievement
Well done to Fia and her football team Worthing United U11. The girls’ 5-a-side team came runners up in a recent Burgess Hill Town Juniors FC Tournament with a tense semi final penalty shoot out and a sudden death penalty shoot out in the final. They lost to Grays U13 team.
Muddy Stiletto’s Summer Holiday Guide
As you may be aware, we were recently visited by the editor of the online publication ‘Muddy Stilettos’ – we are delighted with our review as it really has captured the essence of Sion! If you would like to read it, or, better still, share it with your friends, here is the link.
Please access the guide here https://sussex.muddystilettos.co.uk/kids/activities/summer-holidays-incoming-fab-things-to-do-with-the-kids/