Saint Martin’s Girls Sparkle and Shine!
We come to the end of a very busy half term. The staff have provided the girls with a wide variety of learning experiences both in and outside the classroom. Year 11 girls enjoyed seeing an amazing performance of one of their GCSE set texts “An Inspector Calls” in London, our Junior School musicians are enjoying composing songs as part of the “Adopt a Player” scheme organized by the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and girls in EYFS have been learning about the Year of the Rooster as part of the Chinese New Year celebrations. In addition our Sports teams are going from strength to strength. The Year 8 Hockey Team are the runners up in the “In2Hockey” tournament and girls in Years 5 and 6 have taken part in the “Level 3 Games Biathlon”. These are just two of the amazing sporting triumphs posted on our social media pages and weekly newsletter.
This week our talented actors have entertained us with their amazing interpretation of “Peter Pan” under the direction of our inspirational Drama teachers Mrs Stafford and Mr Brown. It was wonderful to see so many girls and staff involved in the production. I would like to say a special thank you to the Drama, Dance, Technology and Music departments for their commitment, energy and expertise.
In my blog last February I wrote about the importance of well-being and happiness. It seems appropriate to re-visit the theme of physical and mental well-being at the start of the New Year as we try to keep our spirits high travelling to school during the dark, cold mornings, facing the threat of snow and coming to terms with failed New Year’s resolutions. Once the excitement of Christmas and New Year has passed, January is often considered to be a depressing month. According to psychologists the third Monday is January is known as “Blue Monday” and is officially the most depressing day of the year.
At Saint Martin’s we were determined that “Blue Monday” was not going to dampen our spirits. In order to combat this, Mrs Fowles and Mrs Speirs planned a series of activities during the third week in January so that the whole school community could embrace well-being and mindfulness by adding some “sparkle” into our lives, raising awareness of looking after our mental and physical health and raising money for our school charities.
Girls and staff were encouraged to accessorize their school attire with a sparkly accessory. During the week members of staff and girls took part in “feel good” activities. These included dance sessions at lunchtime, caffeine free drinks for the staff and assemblies reminding us of the importance to take time out and practise mindfulness.
Well-being is very important at Saint Martin’s. Both in lessons and through extra-curricular activities girls are reminded of the importance of striving for a healthy work/life balance. It is well-documented that involvement in sport, music and drama contribute to a healthy lifestyle. In addition, the range of extra-curricular activities ranging from jewellery making, jigsaw and puzzle club, bridge club, ballet and “Lego” club enable the girls to enjoy themselves with like minded people and take time out from their busy days.
The Saint Martin’s community certainly managed to banish “Blue Monday” and added some much needed sparkle to January.
The theme of sparkle and shine continued at the end of the month as the School received some excellent news regarding the 2016 GCSE and A Level results. We were delighted to read in “The Telegraph” that Saint Martin’s girls are shining academically. The School has been ranked 27th in England and 1st in Solihull Borough in the Department for Education’s latest league tables. More than 5,000 secondary schools across the country were included in the rankings based on GCSE results achieved in 2016.
As well as achieving excellent rankings for GCSE attainment, Saint Martin’s was proud to have a “value added” score of +0.38 for students’ progress in the Sixth Form. This placed Saint Martin’s in the top 4% of schools nationally.
I would like to congratulate the girls who were in Year 11 and the Upper Sixth last year for their superb examination results. You are the shining stars of the future!
As the term draws to a close, I wish “Bon Voyage” to our skiers who are travelling to Alpe D’Huez in France. I hope that you have good snow and return safe and sound. A huge thank you goes to Mrs Waters, Mrs Gallagher and the rest of the team for organizing this trip and giving up precious holiday time to accompany the girls. I look forward to hearing your stories and sharing your pictures after the holiday.
For those of you who are staying at home this next week – I wish you a restful half term holiday.