Schools News (Including ‘Pupils visit every one of the 270 underground stations in one day’)

Pupils from Ashlyns School at the start of their London Underground Tube Challenge. From left: Emily Kiernan, Amy Tyler, David Scoot, Ben Silcock and Chris Webb
Pupils from Ashlyns School at the start of their London Underground Tube Challenge. From left: Emily Kiernan, Amy Tyler, David Scoot, Ben Silcock and Chris Webb

All the latest news from schools across Dacorum.

Meeting of Mike Penning MP with head teachers

Hemel’s MP Mike Penning met with four Dacorum secondary school head teachers at The Hemel Hempstead School to discuss the financial challenges faced over the next two years.

Following this he was grilled by a panel of Hemel Hempstead students in front of a Sixth Form audience with questions ranging from ‘Why did you become an MP?’ to ‘What is your position on membership of the European Union?’

The questions were posed by Joe Reed-Hook, Ella Parikh, Leah Collins and Jake Waterfield who, though a little nervous, warmed to the task and afterwards gave Mr Penning the thumbs-up saying, “He answered well and was very polite.”

The London underground tube challenge

A team of sixth formers from Ashlyns School successfully completed a gruelling London Tube Challenge, visiting every one of the 270 underground stations in one day.

The students, Emily Kiernan, Amy Tyler, David Scoot, Ben Silcock and Chris Webb were raising money as part of the school’s Sports Leaders programme.

Catching the first train out of Chesham tube station at 05.15am the team not only had to navigate the most efficient routes across the underground network, but also maintain their spirits and focus as they also endured 14 miles of running, linking between the extremities of each tube line.

The team completed their journey at Heathrow Terminal 5 at 23.58pm, completing their epic journey in a mammoth time of 18 hours and 43 minutes.

Ashlyns PE teacher David Jones, celebrating at the end of an emotional day, heaped praise on the stamina and commitment of the students.

He said: “To say this was tough would be an understatement.

“To keep ahead of schedule and catch all connections in the right order took a great deal of organisation.

“However, it paid off as we actually finished 21 minutes ahead fo schedule and really did manage to do it in one day (albeit by two minutes!).

“The leaders and I all found the running incredibly hard but they were an absolute credit to Ashlyns School.

“They persevered and showed true determination that makes them the inspirational leaders that they are.

“We were all buzzing at the end to know that we had completed every station on what is the largest underground system in the world!”

To donate to the impressive challenge go to

Lockers Park School 1st XI tour

Fourteen very excited boys left Lockers Park School in Hemel Hempstead for a 10 day cricket tour of South Africa.

As well as six matches, the boys will take part in lots of exciting activities including trips to Robben Island and Table Mountain, as well as shark watching (or diving in a cage for the brave!) at Hermanus.

Feeling Good Week

Pupils in the Early Years and Key Stage One at St Thomas More Catholic Primary School and Nursery in Berkhamsted were treated to a visit by local author Polly Walker.

The event marked the start of Feeling Good Week 2015 which raises awareness of and teaches the children about mental and emotional health.

Ms Walker read her book and the children took part in activities related to positive self-image and self-esteem.

In other activities for Feeling Good Week 2015 pupils at the school took part in zumba sessions with Sarah Dowman who runs zumba and fitness classes in Berkhamsted; and Year Six and their special friends from reception marked Shrove Tuesday a week early by making pancakes.

A cake sale, run by Jessica McPhillips, Sarah Kilcoyne and Mia Dugher from Year Three raised £170 for Stoke Mandeville paediatric ward.

The week concluded with a mufti day and a School Association ‘feeling good’ tuck shop.

Headteacher Isabel Cerasale said: “The week certainly made us all feel good!”

The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe

Students at The Hemel Hempstead School took part in an enchanting performance of the C S Lewis classic tale, The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe.

The cast were consummate professionals, dealing admirably with a change of director in their final weeks.

There were some outstanding performances from the principal cast members, with superb support from a hard-working and talented chorus.

A true ensemble piece.

The student input didn’t stop on stage, with both lights and sound being designed and controlled by two Year 10 GCSE technical students.

They in turn were supported by an enthusiastic student technical crew.

A truly captivating performance of a fantastic story.

Charity non-uniform day

Longdean School has an established and sustainable link with the Bedomase Methodist Junior High School, in the Ashanti region of Ghana.

Longdean has embraced the partnership by holding a charity non-uniform day where students came to school in the colours of the Ghanaian flag - red, yellow, green and black stars.

Longdean School is involved in a funding drive to build a secondary high school in the village as it is a 15km walk each way to the nearest one for most students in the area and that school is very overcrowded.

Hospitality and Catering

Forty-six catering students from Year 10 of Hemel Hempstead School have been visiting the Toby Chef School in Toby Carvery, Hemel Hempstead.

During three visits the students learnt details about Front of House training and responsibilities from one fo the waiting staff, and the head chef shared information about kitchen equipment and processes used for cooking the famous roasts.

The highlight of the visits was the opportunity to sample a carvery meal for themselves.

Members of the public complimented the students and were interested in the purpose of their visits to the chef school.