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Weekly Newsletter

May 10, 2024

Headmaster’s Welcome


Dear Parents and Guardians,

 

What a difference a day makes. On bank holiday Monday there was a downpour of biblical proportions at Bethany as well as a power cut. Since then, the sun has shone and it has been great because sunshine lifts everyone’s spirits.

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GCSE examinations are beginning in earnest next week, and so far the pupils seem to be coping pretty well with them.

 

I enjoyed attending the Year 13 Drama performance on Tuesday night in the Drama Studio. They devised it themselves and the performance itself was multi layered and great credit must go to the pupils for both their creativity and choreography.

 

I would like to congratulate our two Young Enterprise Companies, ACE and ASTRA, for their successes at the Awards evening in Canterbury on Wednesday evening. ACE were awarded a “journey” trophy because they articulated superbly well how they developed as a company and ASTRA had the most diverse array of ambitious products. Many of these involved upcycling and therefore they won the trophy for the most sustainable company.

 

Congratulations to our Art Scholars Raff Mahoney and Gabriela Alfageme who are going to have their artwork exhibited in the Turner Contemporary Gallery in Margate. This is a terrific achievement, how I wish I had a fraction of their talents.

 

I enjoyed having the boarders over at my house last night for a barbecue. There was a lovely atmosphere and it is always nice to see the young people interact with each other so naturally.

 

I would like to give you advanced reminders that our Speech Day is on Saturday 22nd June and we will have a Grandparents’ Day for pupils in Years 7 to 9 on Wednesday 26th June. Further details of both will be sent to you shortly.

 

On Friday next week Year 9 pupils have a set of workshops which are designed to help them research jobs they may like to pursue, as well as give them some further information into the type of lifestyle they may wish to have when they grow up. I suspect they will be surprised at the level of salary they will need to earn to maintain the lifestyle to which they have become accustomed to!

 

I am very lucky in that I am in a job that I love. I realise that not everyone is as fortunate as me. Our hope at Bethany is that our pupils will love what they do. Steve Jobs once said “Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.  If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you will know when you find it.”

 

Have a good weekend.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Francie Healy

Headmaster

Latest Bethany Blog


This week’s blog has been written by Mr Duff, Head of Sixth Form at Bethany. With the exam season upon us, he writes about effective revision strategies that include self reflection and spaced repetition.

Effective Essential Revision
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With examination season upon us, I felt it was apt to write a blog about effective revision strategies. Effective revision is essential for academic success. In this blog, I’ll explore various strategies that can help pupils optimise their revision process, making it more efficient and productive.

 

  1. Active Learning Techniques

Active learning engages the mind more deeply than passive studying methods. Techniques such as summarising (be a scribbler!  Make notes!), teaching others, and practicing retrieval can enhance understanding and memory retention. For example, pupils can try to explain concepts to peers/family members or create flashcards to quiz themselves on key information – I am a huge fan of Quizlet and Anki!

 

Quizlet - Fallibroome AcademyFallibroome Academy

 

  1. Spaced Repetition

Spaced repetition involves reviewing material at increasing intervals over time. This technique capitalises on the spacing effect, which suggests that information is better retained when revisited at intervals. Indeed, the aforementioned Anki and Quizlet employ spaced repetition algorithms to help users efficiently review and retain information.

 

Anki App Icon

 

  1. Visual Aids and Mind Maps

Visual aids, such as diagrams, charts, and mind maps, can aid in organising and understanding complex information. Creating visual representations of concepts can help reinforce connections and improve recall. Pupils should experiment with different formats to find what works best for you, whether it’s traditional paper and pen or digital tools like xMind.

 

 

  1. Practice with Past Papers

Past papers are invaluable resources for exam preparation. They provide insight into the format, structure, and types of questions that may appear on exams. Regularly practicing past papers under timed conditions can help familiarise pupils with exam conditions and improve their ability to apply knowledge effectively. I highly recommend that pupils build up to this – the cornerstone should be subject knowledge and pupils must not have the belief that if they do every exam paper written that that is enough. These are past paper questions and unlikely to appear again. With that said, past papers are an important element to practice technique but should not be the sole device.

 

 

  1. Chunking and Interleaving:

Chunking involves breaking down large amounts of information into smaller, manageable chunks. This makes it easier to process and retain complex material. Interleaving involves mixing up different topics or subjects during study sessions. This technique promotes deeper learning by forcing the brain to make connections between related concepts.

 

 

  1. Utilise Technology Wisely

Technology offers a plethora of tools and resources to aid in revision. From digital flashcards and online tutorials to productivity apps and collaborative platforms, there’s no shortage of options available to our young people now compared to back in my day!!! However, it’s essential to use technology mindfully and avoid distractions. Set boundaries, establish designated study times with the beloved mobile phone locked in a drawer, and utilise tools that enhance focus and productivity.

 

 

  1. Self-Reflection and Feedback

Regular self-reflection and feedback are crucial components of effective revision. Pupils should take their time to assess their strengths and weaknesses, identify areas for improvement, and adjust their study strategies accordingly. Every Bethany School department operates a lunchtime drop-in service where some 1 to 1 feedback can be provided.

 

 

In closing, the summer examinations are upon us and pupils must work both smart and hard. I hope that the above blog has given some food for thought and would encourage pupils to try one idea/strategy from it. Effective revision is essential for success, and I would like to take this opportunity to wish all Bethany pupils good luck in their external examinations this summer.

 

Good Luck Exams Images – Browse 38,841 Stock Photos, Vectors, and Video | Adobe Stock

 

Mr Duff

Head of Sixth Form

Latest Sports News


The latest sports news from Bethany School. There were four cricket matches this week across our various U13 teams, all of which were played in the beautiful sunshine.

Cricket | Bethany U13A v Radnor House
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Finally, the first real summer sunshine of the cricket season had arrived for the U13A match against Radnor House on the wonderful setting of The Firs. Bethany were put into bat and got off to a steady start on what was a low and slow pitch, which alongside some good early bowling from Radnor House made it hard to score quickly.

 

There were some excellent boundary strikes from Isobel Andrews, Fifi Seymour and Matty Clark in amongst several overs where the Extras outplayed the runs scored. Alongside losing no wickets, a standout feature of the Bethany batting was their awareness in taking quick singles and putting Radnor House under pressure in the field.

 

The key to the Bethany victory though was through their excellent fielding performance. With the regular encouragement and reminders from Darcey Stone to “Walk-In”, Bethany bowled and fielded with a strong determination putting the opposition batters under pressure and therefore resulting in taking more wickets than Radnor House.

 

Despite a couple of overs with more Extras than runs, the Bethany bowling was accurate in line and length, making it hard for Radnor House to score from. The standout fielder of the day was Matty Clark, who was diving and sliding around the field and sealed the team’s win with a fantastic direct hit Run Out in the penultimate over of the game. This was immediately followed by a good catch from Isabelle Hindley in the Wicketkeeping position.

 

Even when there were a few boundary shots being scored from some of the good Radnor House batters, Bethany stuck to their task, kept cool heads in the sunshine and came away with a well-deserved win.

 

Final score: Bethany 256/0 beat Radnor House School 244/4 by 12 runs

Player of the Match: Fifi Seymour

Coaches Player of the Match: Matty Clark

Cricket | Bethany U13B v Radnor House (away)
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The Bethany U13B cricket team travelled away to play against Radnor House this week. This was a wonderful afternoon of cricket where the team built on the progress made in their first match.

 

Bethany batted consistently well, protecting their wicket. Lauren Baxter and Florrie Dearing both hit the boundary scoring 4’s. With a starting score of 200 runs, Bethany finished the innings with 244 runs.

 

After a break for tea, Bethany bowled well, improving in their confidence and ability. Unfortunately, Radnor had 3 very good batters who racked up the runs and the Bethany team were struggling to limit their run count. However, the Radnor House batting performance was not enough to overcome the score set by Bethany, who came away with a well deserved victory in the end.

 

The Bethany team should be very proud of their achievements so far this season. Special mention goes to Holly Sole who bowled a very consistent over only allowing the opposition to score 1 run.

 

Final score: Bethany 268 beat Radnor House 244 by 24 runs

Bowler of the Match: Mia Chikoto

Batter of the Match: Lauren Baxter

Coaches Player of the Match: Holly Sole

 

Cricket | Bethany U13B v Saint Ronan’s (away)
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The Bethany U13B cricket team travelled to Saint Ronan’s this week. Bethany elected to bat first and opened very well.

 

This game was an opportunity for all Bethany players to face the Saint Ronan’s bowlers. In the interest of fairness the Bethany coach retired the Bethany opening batsman after 50 runs, the second after 75 runs and the third after 100 runs. Oliver Scott, the Bethany number three batsman, was spectacularly caught going for a massive 6 after being told that he had only one more over to face. Bethany finished their innings on 119 for 1.

 

After tea, Saint Ronan’s began their innings. The Bethany team did well in the early stages and reduced Saint Ronan’s to minimum runs which put Bethany in a strong position, especially when we managed to attain a few of early wickets. However, with the game slipping away from Saint Ronan’s, they started to hit several boundaries in a bid to claw back the advantage.

 

The more experienced Saint Ronan’s side showed their class in the end and managed to secure a victory. However, the Bethany team should be proud of themselves and more valuable competitive cricket experience has been obtained.

 

Final score: Saint Ronan’s 120 beat Bethany 119 by 1 run

Cricket | Bethany U13C v Saint Ronan’s
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The Bethany U13C cricket team were at home against Saint Ronan’s this week. The visitors won the toss and elected Bethany to go into bat first.

 

The opening pairing of Harry Morgan and Leo Etherington started well, hitting 14 not out before being retired for the next batter. Arthur Seale was up next and did splendidly, hitting 16 before getting rested himself. Saint Ronan’s then took 3 quick wickets before Digby Bishop hit a respectable dozen leaving Bethany with a respectable score of 58-4.

 

It was then Bethany’s turn to bowl and each player took their turn which was good to see as many had never bowled in a competitive match before. A more experienced Saint Ronan’s team took advantage of this by hitting a couple of 4s and batted well. That was until Jack Shimmin stepped up to bowl, who took a wicket with his first ball. Some further accurate bowling from Greg Efijor and Harry Morgan made Saint Ronan’s work hard for their runs, resulting in Saint Ronan’s just falling short of the target.

 

Well done to the team and how quickly they improved during the match.

 

Final score: Bethany 58 beat Saint Ronan’s 56 by 2 runs

Player of the Match: Jack Shimmin

Coaches Player of the Match: Harry Morgan