Schools news round up (Including the writing is literally on the wall for Hemel Hempstead School pupils)

Above: Authors Dave Cousins and Sara Grant with their books and Hemel Hempstead School pupils. Westbrook Hay Prep School pupils perform 'Toad of Toad Hall' (below)
Above: Authors Dave Cousins and Sara Grant with their books and Hemel Hempstead School pupils. Westbrook Hay Prep School pupils perform 'Toad of Toad Hall' (below)

The latest round up of news from schools in your area this week.


On March 25, Herts Lit Fest and Hemel Hempstead Library welcomed 60 Year 7students and staff from The Hemel Hempstead School.

After an introduction to the vast range of library services on offer, the pupils will meet three authors from the Edge – a group of award-winning authors writing sharp, thought provoking fiction for young adults and teens.

In the week leading up to the event, Edge ‘Graffiti Walls’ were installed in Hemel Hempstead Library and at the school. Students and library visitors were invited to write questions on the wall for discussion by the panel, which also included librarian Emma Scott and two students from The Hemel Hempstead School.

“At the Edge we like to have as many different perspectives on booksand reading as we can—young readers, librarians, book sellers—all sharing their opinions, not just the authors,” explained Hemel Hempstead-based writer Dave Cousins, who visited the school along with fellow Edge writers Sara Grant and Miriam Halahmy.


On 27 March pupils at Abbot’s Hill School in Hemel Hempstead joined schools across the country to make the news on BBC News School Report 2014.

This is a national project run by the BBC that gives 11-16 year olds the chance to select their stories and write and present their own live news report.

On News Day pupils had six hours to prepare and film their very own news show based on breaking news of the day as well as some feature items they had prepared in the preceding weeks.

The News Team of Year 9 pupils covered a number of stories including the teachers’ strike, child neglect and the effect of Photoshop.

Headmistress Mrs Elizabeth Thomas said: “The girls worked really hard as a team. As well as developing presentation skills, participating in School Report gives them valuable experience in researching, working under pressure and decision-making. I am very proud of what they achieved on the day.”


The Upper School children at Westbrook Hay Prep School performed AA

Milne’s ‘Toad of Toad Hall’, based on Kenneth Grahame’s children’s classic, ‘The Wind in the Willows’. The school first performed this play 18 years ago and then again nine years ago.

This year’s return to the riverbank featured Toad played by 13 year old Joshua Kerr who, from his opening ‘Hello you fellows!’ to his final self-congratulatory song was in confident, commanding form, while Rat (Tom Wright, 13) Badger (William Upson, 12)

and Mole (Zoe Jones, 11) attempted to rein in his unstoppable enthusiasm.

Director Stewart Woodward said: “The children have achieved phenomenally. To have conquered so many lines in this relatively short term while preparing for entrance exams and scholarships for their next schools, and delivering such wonderful performances was truly inspiring.”

The whole production, involving 60 9-13 year olds both on stage and back stage, was a triumph.


More than 150 friends and family enjoyed a fantastic evening of music from the talented pupils at Tring

School organised and hosted by 32 year 9 students.

The event raised more than £1000 towards the students’ Moroccan World Challenge Trip in July.

Head of Halton House and Challenge trip leader Kim Baiden thanked the many people involved but gave greatest credit to the students who owned and organised the event with great enthusiasm. She said: “we are all very proud of the challengers; they did lots of the organisation for themselves and they are developing all the skills they will need when we are in Morocco.”


Headteacher Graham Cunningham recently held a competition for Year 7 and Year 8 Science students.

Students were set the following challenge ‘In your opinion, what do you think has been the most significant discovery or invention within science?’ The winners, four lucky students, would be given the opportunity to take part in the National Salters’ Festival of Chemistry, at the London Southbank University in May 2014.

Regan Stokes, Nathan Burtenshaw, Roozba Malik, and Taylor Barry were the winners and they be competing against other schools from all over the UK at the Chemistry fair in May.

There were also two runners up - Paige Hastings and Cameron Clark. Congratulations to all of the students who entered the competition. There were lots of entries, and it was very difficult to choose the winners!