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Weekly Newsletter

January 26, 2024

Headmaster’s Welcome


Headmaster's Welcome

Dear Parents and Guardians,

 

This week has been another busy one at Bethany with various sports fixtures taking place as well as Year 11 coursework assessments in Food & Nutrition.

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Our Year 11 pupils also received their IGCSE Mathematics results yesterday, most got the grades they desired and for those who didn’t there is another opportunity to get their preferred grade in the summer.

 

School life is becoming increasingly dominated by the whole School production of Dancing Queen which takes place next Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7pm in the Assembly Hall.  The cast is working very hard and great entertainment awaits us next week.

 

Next Saturday is also Open Morning. This is a compulsory day of School, pupils should arrive one hour later than normal and there is no return bus service. Pupils are free to leave from 12.30 pm onwards.

 

There is a Year 13 Parent Teacher Meeting tonight, and because the Assembly Hall is set up for the School production, the meeting will take place in the Science Centre starting at 5.15 pm. I hope to see as many Year 13 parents there as possible.

 

Steve Jobs, who founded Apple, knew a thing or two about success and he once said “If you look really closely, most overnight successes took a long time”. How very true.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Francie Healy

Headmaster

Latest Bethany Blog


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The latest Bethany Blog of the Spring Term has been written by Mr Watts, Head of Computer Science. He writes about computational thinking, problem solving and how these skills extend their influence across various subjects and real-world projects.

Unleashing the Power of Computational Thinking
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Last term Year 8 pupils were learning about Computational Thinking. We tried our hand at solving some logic puzzles, encouraging pupils to think critically and strategically. 

 

These puzzles typically present a set of constraints or rules, requiring pupils to deduce the correct solution through systematic reasoning. By practising, pupils develop essential problem-solving skills that are crucial for academic success and future endeavours.

 

Computational thinking is a foundational skill that pupils develop in their computer science lessons, and it’s much more than just coding. It involves breaking down complex problems into smaller, more manageable parts, recognizing patterns, and designing step-by-step solutions. In essence, it’s a problem-solving approach that encourages logical thinking and creativity. Through computational thinking, pupils gain the ability to approach challenges systematically, creating a mindset that’s applicable not only in computer science but also across various subjects and real-life situations. It’s about teaching them how to think like a computer scientist, cultivating skills that are becoming increasingly essential in our technology-driven world. So, when your child engages in activities related to computational thinking, they are not just learning to code; they are honing skills that will empower them to tackle problems with confidence and creativity throughout their academic journey and beyond. 

 

Computational thinking skills are not confined to computer science alone; they extend their influence across various subjects and real-world projects. In mathematics, pupils can use computational thinking to break down complex problems, identify patterns, and develop algorithms to solve equations or analyse data sets. In science, these skills come into play when designing experiments, analysing results, and drawing conclusions based on evidence. In language arts, computational thinking aids pupils in organizing information logically, creating outlines, and developing structured writing.

 

Beyond academics, computational thinking skills are invaluable in real-world projects. In problem-solving scenarios, individuals can apply these skills to analyse issues, break down large problems into manageable components, and devise effective solutions. For example, in a community project, pupils might use computational thinking to plan and execute a fundraising event, considering logistical aspects, resource allocation, and potential challenges. 

 

In business and industry, computational thinking is a cornerstone for innovation. Professionals use these skills to analyse market trends, optimize processes, and make data-driven decisions. From designing efficient transportation routes to developing strategies for sustainable practices, computational thinking permeates various sectors, contributing to the success of real-world projects. 

 

In essence, the application of computational thinking is not limited to a specific field but rather serves as a versatile set of problem-solving skills that can be harnessed across disciplines and in diverse real-world endeavours. 

 

Let’s have a look at an example of the work that the pupils did.

 

 

We can use these handy grids to help us solve the puzzles. The aim here is to identify which child came in what place in a bike race, and what colour bike they were riding! 

 

These are the starting clues: 

 

– Emmett and Austin rode red and black bikes, but not necessarily in that order. 

– The owner of the green bike finished in first place 

– Xavier finished in fourth place 

– The third place child was not riding a black bike 

 

Using the grid, we can place a tick where we know a combination is true, or a cross where we can rule out a combination. For example, we know that Xavier finished fourth, so we can place a tick where those two items line up, as well as crosses to eliminate the others as coming fourth: 

 

 

Filling in all of the rules, we can see that Since Emmett and Austin had the black and red bikes, Dominic and Xavier can be eliminated from having ridden those.

 

Rule 2 – green bike finished in first place – helps us in the next step. Since Xavier rode either the blue or green bike, but also finished fourth, it must be the blue bike he was riding! That also means that Dominic was riding the green bike! 

 

Next we’ll see that since the green bike finished first, and it was that bike that finished first, we Know that Dominic finished first. Now since Emmett can only have finished first or third, he must’ve finished third. 

 

The pupils quite enjoyed working through the puzzles. And hopefully they learnt a little something about computational thinking along the way. 

 

I’ll leave you with a puzzle that I definitely did not spend 3 days sweating over: 

 

 

– The girl, who has paid 6.00 euros, has not eaten the Capricciosa pizza nor the Romana pizza, and she has asked to add either olives or ham to it. One of the two boys has chosen the Napoli pizza. 

 

– The Margherita pizza cost 0.50 euros more than the one chosen by Valentina (who did not ask for olives), but less than the pizza chosen by Roberta (who did not add artichokes). Neither olives nor ham were added to the Valdostana pizza. 

 

– The price of the Romana pizza was one euro less than the price of the pizza with mushrooms added. Buffalo mozzarella was not added to the pizza that had a lower price than the Napoli pizza. 

 

– The friend who asked for artichokes on the pizza paid less than Giordano, but more than the person who chose the Valdostana one. 

 

Who paid what for which pizza with which toppings?

 

Mr Watts

Head of Computer Science

Latest Sports News


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The latest sports news from Bethany School. This week saw netball and hockey seasons get underway with plenty of fixtures surviving the weather. For some, it was their first foray into the particular sport!

Netball | Bethany U13A v Saint Ronan’s
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Some slightly warmer temperatures and even some sun at times was a great way to kick off the netball season for the U13A’s. Despite our enthusiasm, it took a while to settle into the game against an opposition that had already played multiple fixtures this year, and the first quarter finished 5-1 to Saint Ronan’s.

 

In the second quarter Bethany really began to find our feet with Matty Clark doing a great job of bringing the ball down the court and into the shooters. Tula Cottingham and Nelly Adams started to work together in the goal circle to bring the ball closer to the post, and we saw an improvement in goals scored by Bethany, finishing the second quarter 4-10 to Saint Ronan’s.

 

In the second half, Bethany’s defence had identified some patterns in Saint Ronan’s play and a special mention goes to Fifi Seymour who did a great job intercepting the shooter to shooter passes between Saint Ronan’s players. Bethany’s attack did a good job in the last quarter in scoring from these turnovers with the final score being 10-18 to Saint Ronan’s.

 

The Bethany coaches were very impressed to see the discipline that Bethany pupils showed in the skills we have been working on, with very little penalties given away for footwork, contact or obstruction in this game. Improvements for next week is set ups for backline passes and the strength of our passing out of defence.

 

Final score: Bethany 10-18 Saint Ronan’s

Player of the Match: Tula Cottingham

Coaches Player of the Match: Matty Clark

Netball | Bethany U13B v Saint Ronan’s
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This being the girls’ first ever match, we were anticipating a tough game. Saint Ronan’s have played together for years and this was apparent from the word go.

 

A shaky start saw Bethany fall 5-1 down, but after some individual instructions, the second quarter was a complete turnaround. Some excellent defending from Betsy Spruce at goalkeeper and great goal shooting from Immy Morgan and suddenly we were back in the game at 6 a piece.

 

Millie Liddiard improved her positioning at wing defence and Ciara Carnegie, in goal attack, resisted the urge to crowd the defensive end which allowed the game to flow more freely.

 

Saint Ronan’s drew on their skill levels to gain a few more goals in the second half to secure the win 11-7, but there was so much improvement from the fledgling Bethany team that we should be in for some exciting games in the future!

 

Final score: Bethany 7-11 Saint Ronan’s

Player of the Match: Betsy Spruce

Coaches Player of the Match: Immy Morgan

Netball | Bethany U13C v Saint Ronan’s
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This was the girls first game of the season and for some their first ever netball game.

 

Playing against an opposition who are a seasoned prep school with years of experience was always going to be an uphill struggle. However, in the first half we managed to settle down and get used to playing together. The score at half time was 4-1 to Saint Ronan’s, but Bethany were showing lots of improvement throughout.

 

Prudence Story played a great defensive role as goal defence and Lauren Baxter held the centre court well. Juniper Ambrose-Gordon played well making her debut at goal shooter, but unfortunately didn’t get too many opportunities to shoot.

 

In the second half, the game got away from us a little but we continued to progress as a team and learnt from the match play. A good first game, well done.

 

Final score: Bethany 1-8 St Ronan’s

Player of the match: Prudence Story

Coaches Player of the Match: Juniper Ambrose-Gordon

Netball | Bethany U15A v Battle Abbey
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Due to the poor weather this week, we managed to make use of the Sports Hall and move the game forward to make use of the time available.

 

This made it a slightly different game in the first quarter for both teams with just 3 goals scored. Bethany managed to adapt by the second quarter, forging ahead and building a 6 goals to 1 lead, thanks to some excellent defensive play and rebounds from both Ellie Turner and Maisie Frankum.

 

In the 3rd quarter Bethany struggled to maintain focus and gave too many balls away from unforced errors. The score at the end of the 3rd quarter was 7-4 to Bethany. Bethany managed to regain firm control in the final quarter with captain Olivia James making some excellent drives into the circle, ably assisted by goal shooter Summer Stewart-Welch and Safi Chettier on the circle edge.

 

Final score: Bethany 12-6 Battle Abbey

Player of the Match: Ellie Turner

Coaches Player of the Match: Maisie Frankum

Netball | Bethany U15B v Battle Abbey
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Due to the weather, Battle had to cancel their fixture against our U15B’s and C’s but the B team were able to sneak in 2 small halves at the end of the main fixture at Bethany.

 

We have 10 very able girls, so it is difficult to pick a starting 7.  Gabby and Grace started strong in the shooting circle scoring 5 goals in 6 minutes and the defensive combination held off the opposition attack well, limiting them to just one goal.

 

Lots of changes in the second half meant Bethany took a good few minutes to settle again, but managed to hold Battle off to achieve a 6-3 win.

 

Well done to everyone for their first win of the season.

 

Final score: Bethany 6-3 Battle Abbey

Player of the Match: Mia Castle

Coaches Player of the Match: Grace Holmes

Netball | Bethany U16 v King’s Rochester
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With some of the team unavailable for the fixture this week due to exams and trips, Year 11 pupils were joined by three of the Year 10 girls for their match against King’s School Rochester. A special thank you to Maisie Frankum, Olivia James and Safi Chettiar for stepping in to play.

 

In the first quarter, the whole team started very strongly, especially in defence, with lots of interceptions of King’s cross court passes occurring in the centre third. The first quarter finished 5-0 to Bethany.

 

In the second quarter the new combination in the attacking circle really began to find its feet with Lily Faulkner and Olivia James playing the ball well around the circle and using shooter to shooter passes to work the ball close to the post. This saw an explosion of goals with the first half finishing 16-1 to Bethany.

 

At half time we decided to test our versatility and play in less preferred positions with Hannah Mitchell stepping into goalkeeper and Emilia Dillon having a run out at wing defence, however we still saw lots of turnover ball and kept King’s scoring to a minimum. The attack continued to do a great job of getting the ball down to the shooters, but as expected we had less success in converting the shots with less experienced shooters. King’s coaches commented how impressed they were with Bethany’s footwork skills and the attacking structure shown down the court.

 

Final score: Bethany 18-2 King’s Rochester

Player of the Match: Emma Kuhepa

Coaches Player of the Match: Lily Faulkner

Netball | Bethany 1st VII v King’s Rochester
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This was the girls first game of the season and with lots of new combinations, we had a slightly nervous start. However, by the 2nd quarter we were into our flow, had gelled a little more and brought the game back level at 6 all.

 

In the 3rd quarter Bethany managed to pull away a little, winning the quarter by 2 goals, with some excellent shooting by Ella Smith and Lucy Shaw, as well as brilliant interceptions from captain Tilly Hatton and defensive pressure throughout the court from all players. In the 4th and final quarter, although Bethany dug deep, King’s put their foot down and their wing attack made 2 game changing interceptions. Unfortunately, they managed to pip us at the final whistle to win by just 1 goal.

 

This was a great team performance and the team should be proud. Special mention to Lily Fielder for her debut in 1st VII at Bethany and to Lucy Shaw for excellent improvement and confident shooting.

 

Final score: Bethany 14-15 King’s Rochester

Player of the Match: Ella Smith

Coaches Player of the Match: Tilly Hatton

Hockey | Bethany U13A v Battle Abbey School
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The U13A boys’ hockey team hosted Battle Abbey in their first match on Wednesday this week. After a few weeks of training sessions, the team were developing their skills well and were keen to get a fixture under their belts.

 

Both teams were evenly matched in the first half, and it was pleasing to see the Bethany team employing their training into match play with accurate passing, movement off the ball and when required, well timed defensive tackles. Battle Abbey grew into the game and used their greater hockey experience to retain possession, find attacking space and create shooting opportunities. Seb Hickmott was excellent in goal and repelled several attempts. Eventually, the pressure resulted in a goal for Battle Abbey and momentum saw Battle score two more in quick succession for a 3-0 lead at half time.

 

After a re-group at half time with the coach, the team started the second half very well and a nicely worked goal was scored by Nico De Wit. Both teams played out a very even half of hockey and created chances. Battle scored in the final few minutes to take the second half score to 1-1 and a 4-1 result overall.

 

An excellent debut match for the team and we look forward to counting development and positive results.

 

Final score: Bethany 1-4 Battle Abbey

Player of the Match: Issac Lord

 

 

 

 

 

Hockey | Bethany U13B v Battle Abbey School
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Bethany’s U13B team started their season with an impressive performance against Battle Abbey on Wednesday afternoon. Despite many players being new to the sport, Bethany showcased commendable skills and teamwork throughout the game.

 

In the first half, Hamish Henderson exhibited excellent defensive determination, winning multiple well-timed tackles that thwarted Battle Abbey’s attacks.

 

Harry Jermyn, leading as captain for the day, demonstrated exceptional leadership both on and off the field. His encouragement and strategic direction bolstered the team’s morale, while his individual performance stood out with two well-executed goals, adding significant points to Bethany’s tally.

 

The match culminated in a well-deserved victory for Bethany, with a final score of 2-0 in their favour. This win marks a promising start to the season, setting a high standard for the team’s future performances.

 

Looking ahead, Bethany play Battle Abbey next week, aiming to maintain their momentum and secure another positive result.

 

Final score: Bethany 2-0 Battle Abbey

Player of the Match: Harry Jermyn

Coaches Player of the Match: Hamish Henderson