Rachael Achieves National Championship!
Rachael Page, Year 13, has recently been awarded the title of National Beam Champion, making her top in the country in this sporting event. Rachael said that the competition was exciting but nerve racking because she wanted to do well on beam since it was her favourite and strongest piece. She was shocked by her win but very happy that she was capable of achieving such a high standard.
Rachael started gymnastics thirteen years ago and has competed in Kent, Regional and National competitions for many years. This was her last ever competition because she has decided to leave the sport at the end of October to concentrate on her A-level studies.
Rachael said, “My plans are now to focus on school but also help out at the gym to enable others to accomplish their goals and overcome their fears.” The school are proud of Rachael and her success – congratulations Rachael!
Key Stage 3 Extra-curricular Portfolio
Within Key Stage 3 we have been involved in many diverse activities which support and enhance our achievement in school. To view our latest portfolio of extra-curricular successes, please follow this link.
Imogen Selected for International Bowls Series
Highsted student Imogen J has achieved success for the second year running in being selected for the International Bowls Series, due to take place in Aberdeen in October. She was selected during the Under-18s Mixed England Indoor Bowls Trial at Rugby on 15 May. She said: “I am very pleased to have made the squad again as there were many changed this year with 52 trialists and only 12 places in the squad.”
Imogen's evenings and weekends are usually non-stop bowls, and this winter season was definitely her busiest. Imogen represented Kent Under-25s and the Kent Ladies’ Squad on several occasions. Her biggest achievements were getting through in February to the National Ladies’ Finals in the Under-25 and more recently, for the second year running, she reached the National Finals (last 16) of the Under-18 Mixed Singles, where she played some of her best games and achieved fifth place.
Imogen is a very active member of Swale indoor bowls club and she represented them in the 8-person squad of the National Double Rink Under-25s, where they lost in the semi-final by only one shot. She was also in the mixed team for the National Egham Final played at Boston, where Swale lost to Norfolk. Finally, Imogen has recently won an Under-16s Open Singles competition at Rugby, which she followed the next day in Bristol by playing for the Swale Ladies’ Squad of 16 in the National Ladies’ Yetton Trophy semi-final against Bournemouth. Having won, they then became champions by beating York Ladies that afternoon.
Imogen commented: “It has been a very successful year personally for me and for my club, Swale. This year I have been involved in winning the International Series with the Under-18s England squad, two national titles with my club (National Top Club and National Yetton Trophy) and getting to two finals, one with my club (National Egham Trophy) and one on my own (National Under-18 Singles finals.)” She added: “This weekend I am travelling up to Royal Leamington Spa, as the outdoor season has begun, for an England Academy squad weekend in preparation hopefully for further matches against Wales in the summer. Despite this, I still have a lot more I would like to achieve in my bowling career.”
The Origin of Success
Highsted’s a cappella choir, The Origin, perform I Found by Amber Run at the Stag Theatre in Sevenoaks
Highsted’s a cappella choir, The Origin, recently had the exciting experience of taking part in the Regional Final of the Jack Petchey Foundation Glee Club Challenge. The a cappella performance - sung in close harmony without instrumental accompaniment – was presented by a group of 19 students from Years 10-13, selected by one of the judges following assessment of their entry of I Found (originally by Amber Run). Seven acts competed for the top place in Kent, and only the top three went through to the national final.
At the Regional Final, the girls performed this song – together with a second selected piece – at the Stag Theatre in Sevenoaks on Saturday 23 January 2016. Only seven groups in Kent are selected for this stage of the competition, and the top three of those go on to the Grand Final at London’s 02 Arena in March. Although Highsted’s a cappella choir narrowly missed this opportunity by coming fourth of the seven acts, the girls were thrilled to have taken part and are looking forward to entering next year’s competition.
Choir member Elizabeth said: “It was very exciting to be able to compete in the Regional Finals. We had been practising every week to ensure we were ready. We sang I Found by Amber Run and Somebody That I Used To Know by Gotye, the Belgian-Australian multi-instrumentalist and singer-songwriter.” She added: “I really enjoy singing in a group with others who also enjoy singing.”
Under-13 victory against Abbey
Highsted U13 football team, with Miss Donnelly
Highsted Under-13 football team scored a resounding 4-0 victory against the Abbey School on 30 September. Match report by Abi H.
Captain: Abi H; Vice Captain: Ellie W; Player of the Match: Isabelle B
Our team played extremely well for our first match. We attacked and defended effectively in many ways, which helped us not to concede and to score our four goals. We stayed compact when the opposition had the ball and won it back as quickly as we could - we also then expanded when we had the ball, which created space for our team to run into for throws, corners, through balls etc.
Generally the team played very well, though an area for improvement would be to increase the number of mid-fielders in a position to recover and help defend the goal when the opposition win the ball in our half.
Nicola plans to stay the course
Nicola (front row, second from left) with the England team.
Sixth former Nicola S enjoyed the experience of her first international golf match this summer, when she played for England in a successful competition against Wales at the Sherwood Forest Golf Club in Nottingham. She was selected for the England team after finishing 8th in the National Final in Peterborough, which was a 36-hole competition. Of the schools’ international match she said: “I was extremely happy to have come back from two down with four holes to play to achieve a respectable half against my Welsh opponent. My half also guaranteed that England retained the trophy and the team eventually won 9½ points to 8½.”
Nicola has been playing golf regularly since the age of ten, when she played with a handicap of 43. She reduced this handicap to ten when she was thirteen and was then offered a place in the South East England U-16 training squad. She said: “I have just finished my third year and my handicap is now four, so I believe this has helped to improve my performance. Each year consisted of 20 days of coaching as well as matches against other England regions. Most of my weekends are taken up by playing in golf competitions all across England and I really enjoy playing in different national events.”
In April, Nicola represented Highsted in the Kent Schools’ Division I championship. After finishing 3rd she qualified for the South of England championship and then went on to qualify for the national final in Peterborough. Nicola is currently studying for A-levels in biology, chemistry, geography and history, and plans to go on after completing these next year to a four-year golf scholarship in America, which includes gaining a degree in her chosen subject: she is currently deciding between marine biology, history and geography.
Imogen is on a roll!
Year 11 Highsted student Imogen J has had a busy outdoor bowling season this summer, ultimately representing England in the successful Under-18 test series against Wales earlier this month. She had been contacted by Bowls England during August and asked to join the England team - of six girls and six boys – which then competed in a variety of disciplines during the two-day event in Wiltshire, finally defeating Wales 16-8. Imogen said: “I enjoy all my levels of bowling from Club to County level but particularly enjoyed representing my country for the first time. Although I was nervous, I really enjoyed the experience, even more so as I played in all three sessions helping England to a 16-8 victory over Wales.”
Prior to the England match, Imogen had already competed in Bowls England National Championships in Leamington Spa in early August, for the Under-18s Sutton Winson trophy - a competition that starts with 128 boys and girls from across England. Here, Imogen found herself two sets down in her first game before she pulled back to win the next two sets and seal her win into the next round on a one bowl shootout. She continued to play exceptionally well despite some tough opposition, eventually emerging as the only girl to reach the singles semi-final. Although she was then defeated on a one bowl tie-break shootout, Imogen returned to the championships later in August to represent Kent in the Under-31s Amy Rose Team.
Imogen comes from a family of bowlers and has been playing for the last six years, since she started at Swale Indoor Bowls Club at the age of nine. She recalled: “I started with the juniors on a Friday evening and from then on I really enjoyed it so then started to play other evenings and weekends with the seniors. Bowls is an unusual sport in that people of all ages can play with and against each other. I particularly enjoy the social side, meeting new people my age and older.”
Following her success with the England team on 5 and 6 September, Imogen was selected for an Under-18 England Academy trial involving 20 boys and 12 girls from across the country, which took place at Royal Leamington Spa last Saturday, 19th September. Of the events of the day, she said: “For my first game I had to skip (captain) a triples game, which is not my usual position to play, and unfortunately lost this game – however, in the afternoon I managed to come back with a win, playing two in a mixed fours game which is more of my usual position. I enjoyed this weekend as it was very good experience. Hopefully it has helped me gain a greater chance of playing any future games for England.”
As the outdoor season is ending, Imogen is looking forward to returning to indoor bowling and representing England in the Under-18 British Isles Championship against Scotland, Wales, Ireland and the Channel Islands. The competition is due to take place in Belfast in October.
Chanel Charity Fun Run Success!
On Thursday 2 July 2015, every member of the Chanel house took part in a 45 minute Fun Run on the school field at lunchtime. The goal was to raise money through sponsorship by running as many times as possible around the 400m track. Overall, the result was incredible. A total of £820 was raised by the runners!
The highest number of laps completed was 11 by two students: Imani and Meghan. Imani raised £124, as her dad sponsored her £10 per lap! Meghan also managed to raise over £50, so the Fun Run was a huge success. Admittedly, some people were apprehensive to begin with (the clouds were looming right above) but as soon as we got started, spirits lifted as people ran with their friends in brightly coloured costumes and neon clothing.
Creatively hilarious methods of running were also used: from Year 10, Lauren and Erin ran several laps with one of each leg tied together in a 3-legged jog.
Our charity this year in Chanel is Plan UK, where we are raising money for disaster relief in Nepal. The money raised by the students will go towards helping people affected by the disastrous earthquake that was recently triggered on the 12 May 2015. Plan UK is focusing on providing food and water, sanitation, supplies, education and protection to all of the people affected by the 7.8 magnitude earthquake. Plan UK has also opened six child-friendly spaces in Kathmandu to help support children as they begin the crucial process of healing and recovering from the trauma of the earthquake. These child-friendly spaces are expected to reach more than 1000 children.
With the money raised at Highsted, we will be able to provide the extra supplies and aid, all thanks to the students who showed their support by participating in the Fun Run on the 2 July and to all the sponsors who donated to this worthy cause.
Tethi (Year 10)
Highsted's High Five!
Photo shows L to R: Alex Pearn; Libby Francis; Olivia Pearn
Highsted’s Under 13 football team got their season off to a great start with a 5-nil win against Trinity School, Sevenoaks, on 24 September.
The win was a brilliant opening game, showing just how determined the young pupils are to continue the school’s impressive record in girls’ football. This has already seen the Highsted U18 football team twice become winners of the Kent Cup Competition, and several Highsted girls take part in Gillingham Football Club’s Girls’ Centre of Excellence. Courtney Shanley, who has just completed her A-levels this summer, is a particular source of inspiration for the U13 girls: she is now the Gillingham Ladies’ First Team goalkeeper.
Of their recent victory, Highsted Team Captain Libby Francis (12) said: “We were worried that the Trinity match was going to be tough, as the team hadn’t all played together before. In the end we gelled incredibly well, scoring two goals before half-time, and three more in the second half. Congratulations have to go to striker Ella Gray, from Year 7, who scored two great goals in her first match for Highsted.”
Football is just one of the many extracurricular activities offered to girls right from the start of their time at Highsted. Regular weekly practices ensure that a core group of players is nurtured in preparation for Cup matches: they know each other’s strengths and can be assured of mutual support. “It was an outstanding performance by the whole team,” continued Libby, “with our midfield and strikers putting their hearts into every shot they made. Our defence was impeccable too, and they held their ground right to the very end, with our goalkeeper only having to make one save!”
Making up part of that defence are twin sisters Alex and Olivia Pearn (12). Olivia stressed that it was all about teamwork: “All the Year 8s have been together as a team for some time, so we’re playing really well now. Although as a back you sometimes wish that you could go up front or on the wing, you know that you’ll be most effective on the spot that you’re better at. I play in defence because I’m stronger there and it benefits the team more.”
Alex added: “It was a real boost when we started to score; we certainly got more vocal and really worked together after the first goal. Luckily we’re all in the same friendship group, so it helps that when we shout at each other we don’t take it personally - we know that we’re just really competitive as a team!
“And in the end it was good to be able to go home to Mum and say ‘We won!’ In fact, as this was our first match together, Miss Kelly, our Headteacher, and the PE staff were very happy too!”
PE teacher Laura Donnelly said: “This is a really promising start in the Cup. Our new Year 7 students adapted brilliantly to their first game and I am excited for the next round.
“Our footballers are already showing that Highsted is a place where girls can explore their potential to the full - right from day one; and, if they want to, in fields which go well beyond any stereotypes. Highsted has an Open Evening on 9 October for Year 6 girls looking at choosing the best secondary school for them. I hope that they’ll come here to see for themselves just what we can offer to those who really want to take up the challenge to reach their goals.”
Scorers: Ella Gray, Y7 (2); Georgia Winger, Y8 (1); Libby Francis, Y8 (2). Well done to all who took part!