Life is Beautiful
“There may be times when we are called upon to help someone to keep their hope alive. That is a noble thing to do; when we help others to remain hopeful, we in turn see that we are constantly motivating ourselves to stay hopeful as well.
Heads of School (May 2021)
“The Powerful ethos here gives us a strong foundation on which to build and teaches each and every one of us to celebrate people’s differences and to respect others from one day to the next. The school’s motto of “Consideration Always” guides us towards thinking of others before ourselves, of altruism before egotism. The encouragement we receive here means that everyone has the space to discover their own Sion Spirit. Overall, I truly cherish having the opportunity to learn and work in an atmosphere dedicated to an characterised by an overwhelming sense of love”
Year 10 Student (May 2021)
Reading those statements from young people in this community reminds me again of the importance, value and power of a Sion Education. I have so much to say around this, but now is not the time. This newsletter is rightfully about celebrating the achievements, activities, explorations, learning and the fun that has been experienced by this exceptional school community – your children and my colleagues. Please also consider the part that you play in what is being shared in these pages. Thank you.
I am captivated by the breadth of experiences covered here, however, I am not surprised.
Even during the lockdown, our young people wanted to stay connected with their community.
Our children want to learn – about the world around them and about themselves.
Our children want to achieve their full potential. Sometimes they do not fully understand what this means – and that is where the relationship between child, teacher and parent is so fundamental.
We need to help each child recognise true potential.
It is about unlocking curiosity, talent, energy, self-belief and a desire to achieve great outcomes. Once we feel the joy of achievement, we are hooked.
Becoming acquainted with the beauty of life through gratitude, awakened mindfulness and an understanding of the part we play in this world is an essential part of who we are here.
This raises self-esteem and strengthens mental health.
I know that as you read this newsletter, you will be energised and moved by what you find.
Notice the joy and notice the detail.
There is something very special going on here.
Life is beautiful because we are connected.
I am so proud of these children.
I am also incredibly proud of each adult who is positively impacting their lives.
Thank you all so very much.
A Message of Hope
All Sion schools around the World have been asked to share Messages of Hope. Here are our messages which have been written by Heads of School, Ruby and Oliver, along with a message from Year 5.
Visit by Sister Maureen Cusick
We were delighted to welcome Sister Maureen Cusick NDS for a visit. Sister Maureen is a highly respected and renowned Sister of Our Lady of Sion and her work for the order has been significant and outstanding. She has spent many years running the Biblical programme in Jerusalem and was also a Governor here in Worthing some years ago
After a welcome by Mr Jeffery, the Heads of School, Ruby and Oliver, delivered their Message of Hope which had originally been written as part of a world-wide Sion initiative. Poppy gave a beautiful rendition of ‘The Lord is My Shepherd’, her voice resonating around the Chapel!
Flora, one of our Year 10 students, wrote a speech for Sister Maureen to explain what it meant to her to be a student at Sion. It was received with such appreciation by Sister Maureen, that we thought you might like to read it for yourselves.
Good afternoon Sister Maureen, I’m so happy to be able to welcome you to Our Lady of Sion School in Worthing. This is a very special school, as I’m sure are all Sion schools around the world, and the Sion Spirit has helped me and my classmates come to realise that the limitless potential which lies within humanity is an ever-present force that can lead us to keep on growing into more thoughtful individuals and to continue the search for knowledge throughout the rest of our lives.
The powerful ethos here gives us a strong foundation on which to build and teaches each and every one of us to celebrate people’s differences and to respect others from one day to the next. The school’s motto of “Consideration Always” guides us towards thinking of others before ourselves, of altruism before egotism.
Sion has given me the chance to go out into our local community through outreach projects such as visiting elderly residents of care homes nearby – and there are quite a few of those in Worthing… During these visits, we sing to the residents and then get the chance to chat with them and learn from their fascinating lives and experiences while we hopefully bring a fresh viewpoint on things to theirs.
Sion has also carefully nurtured my enthusiasm for learning in an environment where I feel comfortable and confident. Not only are we in a place which inspires us to inquire further to gain ever more insights into whatever subjects we are studying as well as express our views with true freedom, but we are also encouraged to take time out of our day for reflection and contemplation – a quiet breathing space to mull over all that we have learnt, what it actually means and how it might relate to our day to day lives and interactions with other people.
The encouragement we receive here means that everyone has the space to discover their own Sion Spirit. Overall, I truly cherish having the opportunity to learn and work in an atmosphere dedicated to and characterised by an overwhelming sense of love.
Year 5 and 6 Adventures at Cobnor
Years 5 and 6 had a fantastic couple of days at Cobnor. Normally this is a Year 5 trip and Year 6 head to Bowles for a residential course. As Bowles is not open for visitors yet and the current Year 6 missed out on Cobnor last year, both year groups have had two days of fun, laughter and a few challenges!
Mental Health Awareness
During this half term it was National Mental Health Awareness Week and this year’s official theme was ‘Connecting with Nature’. Throughout the school, students were reminded of the importance of looking after their Mental Health. In the Senior School, this was done in Tutor Time, whilst in the Junior School, the different classes had different activities.
In Year 3, the children thought about ways in which bringing nature into our lives will help our wellbeing. They discussed creativity (sand castles, ephemeral art, painting using materials form nature), mindfulness (bird song, watching the clouds, listening to the sea in a shell), staying active, (climbing trees, hiking, swimming in the sea), and connectivity ( meeting friends outside, taking dog for a walk, gardening). In Year 4, the children discussed what they were proud of and how this links with being happier, whilst Year 6RS took time out of their timetable to take in the sights and sounds of the outdoor space as a calming influence.
Year 11 Radioactive decay
Year 11 have been learning about radioactive decay. This brilliant stop-motion video made by Bel, Lexie, Ella and Flora explains the process perfectly!
Year 3 India Topic
A lot of work in the Lower School of the Junior School is topic based. This term, much of Year 3’s learning has centred about a topic about India. The children have learnt about the country and its traditions, have studied its Art, read the Just So stories and have even made onion bhajis! There have also been some wonderful examples of Creative Prep to support the topic.
Here is their puppet show from the Just So story: How the Whale got its Throat
Year 9 English Creative Writing
Space for Dialogue
In Space for Dialogue, Years 10 and 11 have been learning about Growth Mindset. Part of a growth mindset is about effort. They were instructed to create an alien, then give themselves a score out of 10 for the amount of effort they took (not letting anyone else know) and then were asked to guess how much effort their neighbour had put in. Only a few guessed correctly. The point of this exercise, was not just so Mrs Ghinn could get some photos of fabulous playdoh models, but so they understand that only they can measure their own effort and that teachers trust them to do that.
Sion Juniors become Dementia Friends
As the first school to be part of the Dementia Friends Steering Group, the Junior School was delighted to welcome Lynsey Tran and Lynda Basford from Dementia Friends Worthing. Lynsey and Lynda visited the school to deliver Dementia Training to the Year 5 children and some of the Year 6 children – the rest of Year 6 having trialled the training during an earlier virtual session. Lynsey and Lynda delivered their training session to the children, helping them to develop an understanding and empathy for situations which those living with dementia face every day.
Afterwards Lynsey said: “I was so proud of the pupils. The questions asked challenged me as a champion in a really positive way! At the end of the session, I was asked by one of the students if my job made me scared to get dementia? I have to admit I was startled and a bit emotional – What an incredible mind to ask me something that none of my other 800 Dementia Friends have ever asked me! I could honestly answer yes, but I’m less scared now that Sion students have become Dementia Friends and I feel safer knowing they will keep our dementia friendly community going.”
The four Sion Junior School councillors who are part of the Steering Group had also been part of a virtual assembly that was sent to schools and other community organisations during Dementia Action Week.
Year 5 Seafront Flowerbed
Year 11 Drama Finale
Drama is clearly in their veins – this was a rather dramatic finale for Year 11 GCSE Drama at the end of their lessons!
Year 2 Plant Topic
Year 2 have been learning all about plants this half term. As part of the topic they have also planted their own plants, kept diaries and sketched different plants.
Archie ISA Athlete
PE in the sunshine
When the sun is shining, it is lovely to get the volleyball net outside on the astro! Here is the Year 10 GCSE PE group.
The Sixth Form also enjoyed their very energetic version of Tchoukball, a sport which uses a rebound net as the goal.
Year 9 Hundertwasser Tiles
The Adventures of Piccolo
There was great excitement in the Junior School when the children found a little fish which had been dropped by a passing seagull. Piccolo, as the fish was named by the children, happily waited in some water until Year 1 were able to return it to the sea during their Beach School session later in the day!
This has left us all wondering…what adventures lay ahead for Piccolo? What led up to this day? Mrs Pearson is running a Creative Writing Competition in the Junior School and would love the pupils to create their own imaginative story, inspired by the event. Stories can be written by hand or typed – just make sure that all entries are clearly named. Any electronic entries are to be emailed to email@example.com. The deadline for the competition is Friday 11th June.
Year 6 Geography
Year 6 have been studying tectonic plates in Geography, looking at the ‘Ring of Fire’.
A Level Art – Final pieces
A Level Psychology
Year 12 Psychology Students have to learn Research Methods and unfortunately, sometimes the best way to do this, is for them to bring in bags of skittles! They were trialling different sampling methods – which methods were quickest, easiest, most representative of the population and so on.
In another exercise, the students had to put together a fully operationalised method to make a sandwich with some very interesting results. Ms Ghinn’s favourite starting instruction was: “1. Gather all equipment and food and place them in front of you. And sanitise your hands.” She has never had that before in this exercise!
Year 6 Observational Drawings
UK Mathematics Challenge
Students in Years 7 and 8 were entered for the UK Mathematics Trust Junior Mathematical Challenge in April.
The following students achieved certificates of merit:
Well done to them all!
Year 2 Fire of London
Year 2 have been learning all about the Great Fire of London and have made their own Tudor houses along with other buildings from the period.
Year 8 Assembly supporting Turning Tides
Year 8X held an assembly supporting the charity “Turning tides” at the beginning of this half term. They also instigated a Home Clothes Day, raising £223.99 for the charity.
The students shared the very sad statistic that there has been a 61% increase in homelessness among young people during the pandemic.
Local charities in Sussex such as ‘Turning Tides’ help people to transform their lives. ‘Turning Tides’ is currently the biggest provider of services for single homeless people in West Sussex, with over 5,000 supporters, 300 volunteers and 140 members of staff. The charity provides a range of homeless support services in West Sussex, covering Adur and Worthing, Littlehampton, Horsham District and Mid Sussex. Every year they accommodate over 200 homeless men and women in their more than 20 properties across the county.
The volunteers who work at Turning Tides provide real pathways out of homelessness and are committed to supporting people at every stage of their journey. The breadth of their services empowers people experiencing homelessness to become confident and find the strength and belief in themselves to create a brighter future.
The charity offers practical support, information and advice as well as access to food, clothing and washing facilities. Specialist staff and other local services also cover housing options, physical and mental health, employment, money management and substance misuse. Community Inclusion staff also run various groups, workshops and activities to increase motivation, resilience and wellbeing.
Year 8 Picasso-style portraits
Year 4 Erosion Models
Year 4 have made their own erosion models. They learned how the coastline was formed over many years and how we have the formations of stumps, stacks, arches and caves. All the models were made from junk materials.
Year 6 Beach School
Year 6 could be spotted recently on the beach, trying to solve a mathematics investigation: how to calculate how many pebbles are on the beach? First, they measured out the area and then tried to work out how many pebbles were in one square metre. The children quickly realised that this was going to be more complicated than they first thought due to layers and different sized stones! They also learned that the estimates they calculated were likely to be underestimates due to the groynes not being parallel and to the fact that the smaller pebbles had been brought up the beach by wave power! It was a fantastic activity for problem solving and reasoning. It also demonstrates why the Beach School is such an integral part of Sion School’s Junior School curriculum.
Year 6 took part in the Bikeabilty sessions, ensuring that they are as safe as possible on the roads.
Year 4 Plastic Free School
Year 4 are dedicated to making the Junior School a plastic free school and this term’s Creative Prep have been on this topic. The children enjoyed presenting their ideas to their classmates.
The children also had a ‘Green Day’ which, whilst using no electricity for the day, involved a range of activities including; recycled art, making Canimals and Robottles; a G7 summit where they debated ideas for the school (the winning one was that they might be allowed to eat outside more often!); planting a herb garden and playing an animal adaptation game.
Mr Jeffery always enjoys his lessons with his creative Year 11 GCSE group. After they had finished some recent exams, the students decided to just play for the enjoyment of playing music together! The music of Queen always seems to be popular!
Year 1 Music
Year 1 always enjoy their Music Lesson with Mrs Carmody!
They also take their phonics and English lessons very seriously!
Aliens -and Early Years – love Underpants!
Early Years really enjoyed reading Aliens Love Underpants and were very creative when it came to making their own!
All the Early Years children (PreSchool and Reception) have been learning about planets. The children wanted to know what gas was, so they enjoyed an afternoon learning about molecules and states of matter- as well as reversible and irreversible changes.
They are enjoying the topic so much that there have been several applications to become an astronaut!
Year 7 Sweet Treats from the Art Studio
Year 5 Maya Studies
Year 5 built the Temple of Kukulkan in Chichen Itza for their Maya studies. They had to appreciate that the lack of metal tools or pack animals would have made it extremely difficult to build!
Some beautiful Batik artwork from Year 6
In Their Shoes – Tales Of Life During Lockdown
Worthing Museum and Art Gallery reopens to the public with an extraordinary photographic exhibition. In Their Shoes unwraps the collective experience of local people during the pandemic lockdowns of 2020 with stories of adaptation, resilience and endurance told through portraiture, sound and testimony – including two faces from Our Lady of Sion Senior School.
In Their Shoes – Worthing Museum and Art Gallery from Saturday 22 May from 10am – 5pm.
Year 5 Blue Peter Badges
Having learned about the Amazon Rainforest in class, Year 5 wrote to Blue Peter to tell them how they were being cut down. The producers at Blue Peter were impressed by the children’s letters and have said that they are going to raise awareness of the issue on their programme. The children were all awarded Green badges.
Music in the sunshine
A little bit of sunshine and Mr Jeffery is heading outdoors with his Year 8 music class!
Raising Money for Worthing Hospital
Year 11 Sigma were delighted to hand over a cheque to John Price from Love Your Hospital. The students raised money for the Clapham Ward at hospital.
Junior School ‘Bubble’ Summer Fair
We were thrilled that our first bubble fair was such a great success, so with help from the SFA, the Little SFA are proud to invite their classmates to their first ever “bubble” Summer Fair!
Each bubble will hold their own “Mini Summer Fair” in their classroom during the school day on Wednesday 7th July, with the SFA and Little SFA providing each bubble with five fun stalls, including chocolate tombolas, lucky dips, games and crafts stalls, and much more. We have even planned a surprise visitor for the end of the fair!
Children may come to school in mufti on Tuesday 22nd June, in exchange for a donation of chocolate for the tombolas, giving plenty of time for us to quarantine all items safely. All donations brought by the children will be used for the Summer Fair, so please do help your children to get involved and make their Summer Fair a great success!
MUFTI-DAY ITEMS FOR CHOCOLATE TOMBOLA – TUESDAY 22nd JUNE
Please would all children bring their Chocolate donations to their classroom in the morning ON TUESDAY 22nd JUNE where class teachers will collect them. The children will receive 5 House Points for their donation. All items will be quarantined safely ready for the fair.
TEDDY ADOPTION STALL – We would be ever so grateful for your donations of any pre-loved cuddly toys which might be looking for a new home! Please bring any donations into school to Miss Thompson by TUESDAY 22nd JUNE and we will be thrilled to help re-home them for you.
CHILDRENS’ STALLS – We have been really impressed by the creativity and enthusiasm the children have shown in running their own stalls at the fairs over the previous years. We are keen to encourage any child who wishes to run their own stall at the Summer Fair to do so – this could be games, crafts, or anything fun! The Little SFA are happy to help and advise (and will be running their own stalls too), with 50% of profits going to the SFA please.
News from SFA
Message from Kate Lambie:
We are very pleased to report that following the brilliant team efforts of the Little SFA, SFA and staff who made last year’s Junior School “Bubble Christmas Fair” such a great success, we have decided to keep the fun coming and plans are underway for a “Bubble Summer Fair”! Look out for a letter coming home soon, which will let you know how to get your child involved and help create some fabulous end-of-term fun for the children. There will even be a surprise visitor to round off the fair!
This term we have been pleased to buy a “maths in the playground” kit and have allocated funds towards some very exciting new projects – top secret for now, but all will be revealed…!
We are determined to keep the fun coming in the next school year. Look out for announcements about fun events coming soon!
In the meantime, don’t forget to make use of our hugely successful second-hand uniform “shop” run by Miss Thompson. Please do keep your donations of clean uniform coming in to help us stock the shop, and we can continue to 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 me via the School office.
Blue Peter Badge for Gethin
Well done to Gethin in Year 3 for receiving his Blue Peter badge for his colour poem.
Life Saving Challenge
As part of the Captain Sir Tom Moore 100 Challenge, Olivia was one of a team of three who towed a lifesaving rescue manikin 100 lengths of the pool. Olivia has also recently been presented with her medal and certificate for passing the RLSS Silver Sport exam.
If anyone is interested in finding out more about Life Saving, the Littlehampton Wave Life Saving Club is taking names for the next Life Saving Course at The Wave. More details can be found on their website www.lwlsc.co.u or by emailing David Slade on firstname.lastname@example.org
Will in Year 11 is going from strength to strength with his waterskiing. Training at the Performance Waterski and Training Centre at the Hazelwood Ski World in Lincoln, he was recently featured in an article in a local Lincoln paper. Having only taken up the sport a few years ago, Will competed in the British National Water Ski Championships just two months after taking up the sport. He finished 4th in the Tricking event and 7th in Slalom.
Worthing Library Art Competition
Well done to Alexandra in Year 1 who has won the Worthing Library Art Competition for her Yuckwich – made up of worms, slugs, leaves and soil bread – truly yuck!
You have reached the end of the news for this half term! This is just a snapshot of everything that has gone on as the camera is not able to attend every lesson!
For everyday news, don’t forget to follow our Twitter and Facebook pages @SionSchool. There is also a new dedicated @SionJuniors Twitter page and you can follow Mr Jeffery on @SionHeadteacher.