Welcome to the latest edition of our Newsletter

Dear Families,

Time flies when you’re having fun! This first half-term has flown by and the spirit of these recent weeks has been wonderfully positive.

Being a physical community once more has been enormously poignant.  When I watched “A Day at Sion – a Snapshot”, I was overcome with pride.  This is a school community and a family.  I love seeing the collaboration, the team-work, the support and encouragement, the smiles and laughter, and the strong relationships between young people and staff. Look at the wealth of effort, achievement, and fulfillment captured in this newsletter.

Talents are discovered, uncovered, nurtured and grown. Young people feel at ease with trying out something new, facing challenges and journeying towards success both together and independently  – navigating the many hurdles along the way. There is a joy in learning. There is an intrinsic drive towards success. There is strength found in knowing that we are known and understood, valued, appreciated and loved. There is peace found in knowing that we believe in each other.

In each day at Sion, there are mindful moments of energetic empathy. We notice the details. We offer a hand of friendship and speak out words of encouragement. We affirm achievement and congratulate attainment. We notice effort. We greet one another with smiles and we hope that our eyes smile too. We never forget to say thank you and we endeavour to always be kind.

This is the way of Sion.

You can see all of this being expressed within these pages.

Being part of this school is a momentous blessing.

Working with and for your children is a priceless honour.

This is a very special place.

In Sion Firmata Sum.

Steven Jeffery
Headteacher


Prize Giving

We were delighted to welcome back our leavers from both 2020 and 2021 for a special ceremony to celebrate their achievements at GCSE and A Level.  For those of you who were unable to attend, here is the transcript of Mr Jeffery’s speech.

Mr Jeffery’s Prize Giving Speech 2021

 


Year 7 visit Worthing Museum

Year 7 enjoyed a morning at Worthing Museum and Art Gallery, exploring their local history and how it relates to the wider world. They enjoyed an artifact handing workshop with the museum curator in preparation for creating their own pop-up museum later this term


Dutch Garden Greening Project

This half term we have achieved such a lot thanks to our dedicated team of students. Five pallets have now been painted and we have started to hang these and plant them up with small shrubs and flowers. The flower bed has been cleared and bulbs have been planted ready for spring, and pruning has taken place to make more space for more plants. The pots are all now full of winter colour to see us through the darker months. Some of our DT students are painting tyres ready to upcycle into seating. After half term we would like to continue with planting, so any donations of plants, large and small would be gratefully received. Also, if you shop at Morrisons, please download the “It’s good to grow” app to help us collect tokens towards free gardening equipment. Thank you for your support with the Dutch Garden Greening Project. https://my.morrisons.com/blog/community/good-to-grow/

    


Junior School Harvest Festival Assembly

What a wonderful Harvest Festival assembly in the Junior School. We are so proud of each child that played their part. A deeply moving service with moments of reflection and moments of joy.

It was lovely to have so many of our families joining us for the assembly – and thanks to their generous donations we raised an additional £150 for Turning Tides. Donations have exceeded £300 which is wonderful!


Plant Based School Kitchen

It was lovely to welcome so many families to our Plant Based School Kitchen tasting.  The overwhelming response was that the food was delicious!


European Day of Languages

Here are some of the children in the Junior School celebrating the Day of Languages.

In the Senior School, the lunchtime European café proved very popular! The European Day of Languages is a celebration to encourage children to learn Languages and be proud of the diverse linguistic community we have at Sion.

In the café, four Year 9 students were helping serve the food to Year 7 students and Year 8 students. They had to use either French or Spanish to order the food and drinks, and they were using (fake) euros to pay for it!

Students were also given a “Language Challenge”. Year 6, 7 and 8 were given a sheet to complete with the words “hello, Yes and No” in different languages. Well done to the students who succeeded in completing the challenge.


Year 2 Beach School Pairs

Year 2 used their Beach School session to practice counting in pairs. The children had to find sets of two items – they lined them up and counted 110 items!


A day at Sion – a snapshot

We recently had a photographer spend a day, taking photos in the Junior School and Senior School.  The resulting photos provide such a lovely snapshot of what goes on in the classroom, we thought you would like to see some of them.

 


A visit from the Fire Engine

The children loved seeing the fire engine and finding out all about fire and rescue in West Sussex.


Year 7 Plant Cell Models 

Year 7 made some amazing models of plant cells  – cakes, jellies, even a pizza!


Sixth Form EPQ visit

The Sixth Form EPQ students visited Chichester University for an EPQ workshop. They learned how to use resources and reference their projects and had time to explore the library and use journals and books to help support their Extended Projects.


Settling into Year 1

We’ve enjoyed a great start to the school year: the children have settled well into their new classroom environment.
We have started our topic of ‘The Oceans’ and we have supplemented this with Beach School where we created pebble sculptures and practised our two-times table using objects found on the beach. In Maths we have been looking at sequences, missing numbers, and additions of single digits. Mr Jeffery and Mrs Pearson joined us for our two times timetable workout! In English, we have been working on our phonics and blending words, commands, questions, and creating our own ‘lost toy’ stories.
Orla enjoyed the ‘lost toy’ topic so much that she decided to write her own letter to her toys. A wonderful piece of independent writing.
A great start Year 1, well done.
Mr Staggs

Junior School Chess Club

Chess is proving a popular past-time in the Junior School – thanks to the mentoring skills of some very keen chess players.
 

DEAR and ERIC

DEAR, Drop Everything And Read (Senior School) and ERIC, Everyone Read in Class (Junior School) are important literacy initiatives to encourage reading for pleasure.

Glyndebourne Opera Visit

Students from the Junior School up to the Sixth Form enjoyed a stunning performance of Fidelio at Glyndebourne – a splendid day of world-class opera with their families. The finale was nothing short of exceptional and completely took everyone’s breath away.


Spaces for Dialogue

Year 10 have been having sessions with Ms Ghinn about ‘Growth Mindset’.  They started with a ‘mindset quiz’ to see whether they had a fixed or growth mindset and anything in between.  As part of the activities, they made an alien with playdoh and had to measure their effort out of 10.  Their neighbour then judged their effort.  The accuracy of the guesses was about 15% and the message Ms Ghinn was giving was that only you know how much effort you put into something and you need to check and measure your own effort.  They had great fun doing this activity – clearly we’re never too old for play-doh!


Year 4 Letter from the Queen

Year 4 were delighted to receive a letter from the Queen.  They had written to tell her all about the Beach School here at Sion.


Year 6 evacuated to Michelham Priory

As part of their topic on World War 2, Year 6 were evacuated to Michelham Priory where they spent the day being evacuees.


Year 5 and 6 Netball


Opening of the new Junior School Drama Studio

The new Junior School Drama Studio has been officially opened by Mrs Ware, our Speech and Drama Teacher.   She was very excited to share the moment with her students – all of whom have recently been awarded distinctions in their exams!  Wonderful news.

Within the Drama Studio, a new piece of beach school artwork is being worked on where every child in the Junior School adds their ‘wave’.


Year 4 Creative Prep

Wonderful examples of Creative Prep from Maya and Devyani (with help from her sister Didi) in Year 4.


New Bass Guitar Teacher

We are very excited to announce that after Half Term, Paul Egan will be joining us as our new Bass Guitar teacher. Paul is a bassist, musical director and educator based in Brighton. After completing a BTEC diploma in music technology and a BA (Hons) in Music, Paul has been travelling the world and sharing the stage with various global major artists whilst also playing alongside some of the UK’s most talented musicians. Paul regularly performs at prestigious venues and on renowned festival stages and has also built and programmed shows for live performances and TV appearances. He has recently been working within the events industry, developing new acts and projects for clients across the globe.

For more information on lessons at Sion, a full CV or any other enquiries please contact Paul Egan at pauloegan@gmail.com.


Hedgehogs Visit 

Thank you to the SFA who discovered this wonderful enrichment workshop – the children were entranced with these beautiful creatures.

 


News from the Senior School Sports Department

We are incredibly proud  of our U16  Netball team who have just won the West Sussex South District Netball League.  They played 5 competitive matches to get to the finals against Steyning. Well done to the whole squad.

Year 7 and 8 Football team have enjoyed some competitive matches. Photo from the match Vs St Andrews which ended 5-4 to St Andrews

The Year 11 students have been playing Squash as part of their curriculum lessons. Well done to Augustus who won the tournament.

 U14 and U16 are both undefeated this season! Well done to both squads!

 We have had a great turn out to football club this term. Thank you to the sports captains for all of your help

Each group enjoyed taking part in House King Ball this half term.


Year 5 Greek Studies

Year 5 have been studying Modern and Ancient Greece. They paid a visit to Worthing beach to sketch the landscape and compared it with some Greek beaches and then re-enacted the Ancient Olympic Games and discussed how the modern Games are similar and different.

Year 5 also had a wonderful trip to Southdowns Planetarium where they handled meteorites and pieces of the moon and Mars!


Sixth Form Sign Language lessons

During Sign Language Day, the Sixth Form students toured some of the tutor groups teaching Sign Language.


Year 11 Religious Studies

It’s Christmas!!!  Well, obviously we have another 78 days (when of writing on 8th October) until it is, but in my classroom today we were listening to Christmas carols and making Christingles whilst learning about the Christian Festival of Christmas.  This is part of the RS GCSE and follows lessons on Easter and Pilgrimage.

Ms Ghinn


Early Years to Woods Mill

Early Years travelled to Woods Mill as part of their Wild Curriculum. They played pooh sticks, hunted for dragonflies, found a frog, and hunted for different coloured leaves – a perfect outdoor day!


Year 3 Stoneage Topic

Year 3 have been enjoying art and drama activities based on the book “Stoneage Boy” as part of their Stoneage Topic.

Year 9 DT Recycling Project

To celebrate recycling week Year 9 students were challenged to re-purpose a waste product. Here are some examples:

A lava lamp made out of a water bottle,  a candle made out of old stubs, a pink elephant made out of a plastic milk carton, a bird feeder made from a water bottle and pencils, a desk tidy and pencil pots made from a Pringles tube and a tin can. It is amazing what you can make out of the recycling bin!


A visit from Sussex Police 

All year groups from Early Years to Year 6 were visited by the Community Policing Team.


Junior School Art Club

The artist of the month was Paul Klee who lived from 1879-1940 and was Swiss-German. He was influenced by the impressionism, cubism, and surrealism and used a lot of geometric patterns in his art.  He loved music and color and his paintings were often arranged like blocks of melody.  By the time Klee died he had produced more than 9,000 works of art!

In art club the children have started to create our own city sky line using collage and painting with rulers in the style of Paul Klee cubism.


Year 9 Religious Studies

Year 9 have started the year with the challenging topic of ethics.  We started looking at what quality of life meant and they created their own ‘human’ and introduce it to their neighbour’s human and then decide what to do to it if their play doh person committed a crime.  It seemed, that no matter what, most of the students would have kept their person and not destroyed it – which led onto the religious idea of sanctity of life.  I did then ask them to destroy their play doh person and put them back into the pots! Ms Ghinn


Drama Workshop at Chichester

Our drama students loved their drama workshop at the Chichester Festival Theatre, working with the director of ‘The Long Song’.


From the Senior School Art Studio

Year 9’s finished Abstract paintings inspired by the artist Kandinsky

Oil Pastel Still Life drawings

Art Club – Miro-inspired wire and tissue sculpture


News from SPA

After a disrupted period, Sion SPA are delighted to be putting on a Christmas Fair again on the last day of Christmas term afternoon 10th December. This year we will try something slightly different by involving the children more through coming up with new stall ideas and running them as well as hosting the classic stalls you have enjoyed over the years. Raffle tickets will be sent out shortly when your children return after the half term. 

This year, the money that you have helped us raise as parents has been used to: – 

  • Sponsor three new music rooms 

  • Help greening projects 

  • Provide transport to events

  • Regularly sponsoring rewarding reading  pupils with vouchers

We have been working with a small core of SPA members but with the increase in activities planned over the next year and the need to pass the skills on as our own children move through and graduate, we are urgently needing to increase our numbers. If we don’t manage to attract new members there is a significant risk that the SPA will have to end at which point many of the amazing additions, we could potentially fund will lose out. This is your school, and we need your help. Helping has the advantage that you work with the school and help shape things. We particularly need someone who has a current alcohol licence as there are several events coming up in the new year that will require it so that we can raise funds for other projects.

If you would like to get involved, you can contact us at sion-spa@outlook.com.


News from SFA

We are very pleased to report that we have started this school year with lots of brilliant new SFA members, so we are determined to make this our best year yet!  A huge thank you to all the new team, and especially to Leighann Li who has kindly accepted the role of Admin.  The Little SFA is also currently welcoming new team members too, so do make sure your children submit their applications to Mrs Pearson by Friday 5th November if they would like to join – we can’t wait to see them!

This year along with a Junior School “Bubble Christmas Fair” we are also hoping to welcome some parents for festive fun, and we have some other lovely surprises up our sleeves for the children too! Look out for a letter coming home after half term, which will let you know how to get your child involved and help create some fabulous Christmassy fun for the children.

Our existing projects are all progressing well, with the Drama Room taking shape and the Music Room Makeover almost complete. We are thrilled to have been a part of creating such uplifting, creative spaces for all the children.

This term we have been pleased to fund some new litter pickers and books for Year 5, and we have some very exciting new projects in mind – top secret for now, but all will be revealed once the Little SFA have given us our instructions!

We are determined to keep the fun coming throughout this 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!

Kate Lambie


Sion Community News

Indoor Karting Success

Congratulations to Dejaun in Year 6 who came first in the local heat finals of the British Indoor Karting Championship (Teamsport Brighton). A very happy and excited Dejaun brought his trophy in to show the class!
Good luck for the Regional Finals in Reading.
Raphael has reached the LTA regional finals
Congratulations to Raphael who played his first LTA umpire match for the under 10’s in different categories and won 5 out of 6 matches!  He now goes on to play in the LTA regional finals in Southampton where he will be the youngest player.
Raphael has been playing tennis since the age of 4. He has shown amazing resilience and perseverance as playing competitive tennis does not come easily to him.
Good luck in the finals in November!

Raising Money for Camps International

Flora in Year 11 will be heading to Ecuador in 2022 to work with Camps International supporting local poor communities. She is currently raising funds for the trip – she has even managed to persuade some of her friends to complete a 50K walk!

National Gymnastics Qualification

Congratulations to Belle who, having won the Regional Championships, has qualified to represent the South East region in a National competition in November.

Belle competed in 4 disciplines – Vault, Bars, Beam and Floor, scoring highly in all four disciplines which meant she won her age group outright.  The competition also included girls from across the South East up to 17 years of age and Belle finished 4th overall including these older girls.  Belle competed against upwards of 60 girls in total across the whole South East region.  To win this competition is extremely difficult and the standard is extremely high. A fantastic achievement!

Good Luck in November!
Surrey Storm U17 Netball
Congratulations to Amber and Lucy who have made it to the U17 Storm Academy.
Race For Life
Congratulations to Mrs Pyne, Mrs Kirk, Mrs Stevens and Mrs Balchin who all completed the Race for Life.

Cross Country  Winner

Congratulations to Archie who, along with his team from Brighton Phoenix, won the gold medal for the U15 boys’ relays, a great start to the season, beating the rest of the field by over 2 minutes!

Jessica on Stage

Jessica has been part of The Musical Theatre Company (part of The Angmering School of Dance) since she was 6. In 2019, Jessica auditioned for a role in The Lion King and won the part of Scar, her first major role.  A little while afterwards, Jessica also auditioned for a part in We Will Rock You and gained the role of Jackson Five. Both shows were due to be performed at The Windmill Theatre in Littlehampton in October 2019 but due to Covid, the shows were postponed until last week.  Due to the shows being postponed, extra mini musicals were added to the performances  Jessica was Mia in Jamie and Paulette in Legally Blonde. On Monday 4th and Tuesday 5th the first of the two shows, Jamie and the Lion King, were performed in front of a live audience at the Windmill Theatre. On Friday 8th and Saturday 9th, Jessica opened the show as Paulette.
Poppy – volunteering for the Brighton Marathon
Well done to Poppy to help out at the Brighton Marathon – a great experience! It was also a big commitment as she was involved every day from 5.30am – 7.30pm!
St Barnabas Midnight Walk 

Matilda and Selina walked 13.1 miles on the St Barnabas Midnight walk (getting home at 3am!) in aid of St Barnabas hospice.

Jetski Skills
Well done to Jackson who managed, at the age of 13,  to get his Jetski Licence.

Muddy Stilettos – Guide to things to do during Half Term

This might be of interest to some parents who are looking for ideas for holidays.

You have reached the end of this Newsletter which is a round-up of news from inside and outside of the classroom for this first half of term.  Have a wonderful Half Term break!