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  • Headteacher's Weekly Message: 27th March 2018

    Published 01/04/18

    O’Brien Family Scholarship – supporting the ambitions of Sarah Bonnell

    On Wednesday I was delighted to present Binta Bah with the first cheque for £1500 from the O’Brien Family Scholarship. Binta was pleased to receive this generous award which she intends to use to fund her participation in the Gap Medics programme in order to fulfil her ambition to study Medicine at University. The O’Brien Family scholarship has been generously established by Jeff and Alex O’Brien to support one of the Sarah Bonnell alumni each year to achieve their full potential at Sixth Form and University. Binta will receive another award of £1500 next year and a £7 000 award for each of the three years of her university education. Congratulations Binta and thank you to the O’Brien Family. #Aim High

    Achievement Assemblies

    This week the Year Teams have been proud to present achievement awards to students who have been nominated for showing their commitment to the Sarah Bonnell Way. All of the assemblies have had their own character with performances from students and speeches from Progress Leaders and the Senior Leadership Team. However one thing I have taken away from all the assemblies is the sense of pride all the students show in the achievements of others. Students in all year groups have been keen to celebrate the success of their peers. #Be Nice

    Sarah Bonnell definitely HAS got talent

    The audience at Sarah Bonnell has Got Talent were blown away with the quality of the performances in this annual competition on Wednesday 28 March. Once again, Ms Clare-Tipton and the Music and Drama team created a platform for students to show their amazing talents as singers and dancers. The three professional judges used their expertise and experience to review the performances and make all the difficult decisions. The judges took just four of the ten competitors through to the final. I enjoyed all the performances and would like to thank all the mentors for supporting the students throughout the competition.  Congratulations to Mahisha for being the 2018 winner with her great dance performance. # Be Proud  

    Welcome Event for Year 7 2018 and Buildings for their future

    On Tuesday we held our annual Welcome Event for the new cohort of 270 Year 7 students joining us in September 2018. These students come from lots of different primary schools in Newham and we will be working with these schools, the students and their families to make sure that they have the best possible start to Year 7. Each year from 2017 – 2021 Sarah Bonnell will be taking an additional 30 girls until we grow to a much larger school of 1350 students. Today we had confirmation from the government Education and Skills Funding Agency that we have been successful in our bid for £600k funding to go towards a new building programme that will ensure we have specialist classrooms and facilities to meet the needs of our expanding school. # Aim High

    Start of Summer Term 2018

    Summer Term begins on Monday 16 April 2018 at the usual time of 8.25am. I look forward to another successful term and wish you all a safe and happy spring holiday.

    Rae Potter – Headteacher

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  • Headteacher's Weekly Message: 23rd March 2018

    Published 23/03/18


    Sarah Bonnell School wins three national awards from the SSAT

    This week Sarah Bonnell School has been recognised nationally for its excellent GCSE results in 2017. Based on data from the Department of Education and Ofsted, analysed by SSAT (the Schools, Students and Teachers network), Sarah Bonnell School was found to be among the best performing secondary schools in the country, receiving three awards for being in the top 20% of non-selective schools nationally for attainment, the top 10% for progress and for achieving high levels of performance from pupils eligible for the pupil premium.  The SSAT Educational Outcomes database compares all state-funded schools in England, with the highest performing for a range of key measures presented with SSAT Educational Outcomes Awards, sponsored by Lexonik. Sarah Bonnell School will be presented with their awards in the summer term at a ceremony attended by winners from across the region.   Sue Williamson, Chief Executive of SSAT said:   “I am delighted that Sarah Bonnell School has won three Educational Outcomes Awards. This recognises an important aspect of the schools’ work, but, as we know, there is much more to recognise in a good school like Sarah Bonnell School. SSAT is pleased to recognise the quality of leadership and the hard work of all staff to ensure the success of every child. A big thank you and well done to pupils, parents, staff and governors’. # Be Proud

    A great start to the week – MBE Mum

    A proud Year 8 student told me about the work her Mum does to coach basketball in Newham.  I began the week having a meeting with this students Mum who turns out to have established a brilliant charity called Newham All Star Sports Academy which won the 2014 Charity of the Year Award and was awarded an MBE for her services to Basketball and her community. Natasha Hart has offered to establish a Breakfast Basketball Club and deliver a Basketball Camp for Sarah Bonnell students and believes that her work with young people in Newham proves that her coaches can ‘produce great basketball players and great citizens’. Great work NASSA and Natasha Hart. If any other parents or carers have talents, skills and knowledge they would like to share – please get in touch. #Aim High

    NSPCC say thank you to our skilled Digital Leaders

    This week we received a nice letter from Willma King, Head of Training and National Services at the NSPCC saying thank you to the four expert Digital Leaders who attended their conference on 16 January 2018. Willma wrote ‘We were delighted to have your contribution’ and explained that 69 of the 71 delegates had scored the session as ‘excellent or good’ saying it was ‘lovely to hear from the school pupils’. Well done to Dharmanshi, Zahra, Melinah and Maariyah who received a letter and gift token of £20. The students and I would also like to thank Ms Adel, Associate Senior Leader for excellent encouragement and leadership of the Digital Leaders programme at Sarah Bonnell.

    Year 11 GCSE Revision Goody Bag

    This week the Year 11 Team, led by Ms Brown, Ms Ihsan, Mr Rudland and Mr Hudson, gave the students a ‘goody bag’ packed with tips, resources and motivational messages to support their revision for the GCSE examinations. Year 11 said the goody bags were a great way of helping them prepare. #No Excuses

    End of Spring Term 2018

    Terms ends on Thursday 29 March 2018. Students will be dismissed at the slightly earlier time of 1.10pm and return for the start of the Summer Term on Monday 16 April 2018 at the usual time of 8.25am

    Rae Potter – Headteacher


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  • Headteacher's Weekly Message: 16th March 2018

    Published 19/03/18

    It has been another busy week at Sarah Bonnell with students taking advantage of the great opportunities on offer in and out of lessons. This gives you a glimpse of what has been going on but you can also keep up to date by following the school on twitter.

    Full STEAM ahead at Sarah Bonnell

    A ‘Girls’ Attitudes’ survey conducted by the Girl Guides Association in 2017 revealed that, despite many advances in gender equality over the last 100 years, 30% of girls still think that Computing is a ‘boys subject’. At Sarah Bonnell we take great pride in encouraging all our students to Aim High and develop their knowledge and understanding of all subjects and STEAM week helps us promote an interest and enjoyment in subjects like Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Maths. This week the STEAM team has organised some fantastic lunchtime workshops: Art had an amazing time looking at photography and light. Science had fun with balloons and eating nails. Maths celebrated Pi day with some bracelet making and a Pi hunt around the school. Computing competed in the annual engineering project by FARADAY and Technology ran a workshop on iPhone hologram making. Here’s to SB students becoming the engineers, scientists and coders of the future

    Pi Day – getting down to the numbers with pie and Pi

    On Wednesday 14 March, the Maths Department enjoyed ‘Pi Day’. A host of activities had the girls captivated and got them even more connected to the mathematical symbol π. For example the students were given the challenge of memorising the value of Pi - an on-going chain of unrepeated numbers. One student was able to recall 84 numbers - very impressive! Students also made Pi bracelets and went on a Pi Hunt to win prizes. All those involved wore the button badge with the Greek letter of π on it with pride and enjoyed eating some of the cherry pies on offer!

    Sarah Bonnell linguists are World Champions

    Year 11 GCSE French, Spanish and Italian students took part in the Vocab Express Global Challenge this week competing with other schools across the world to learn new words in the language. Sarah Bonnell School ranked 5th in the world overall and Diana and Manisha ranked in the top 10 students in the world. Well done team SB!

    Theatre company get Sarah Bonnell talking French

    This week Emilie Perraudeau from The Art FabriC French Theatre Company came to visit us and worked with 36 year 11 French students. The two hour workshop was taught entirely in French and by the end students performed an improvised play in groups in French.  Naleefa Unais said “I really enjoyed the workshop and I was able to understand everything Emilie was saying even though she spoke in French the whole time. It helped me to realise that you don’t need to speak the language fluently to be able to communicate with people who speak a different language to you. We learnt lots of new vocabulary and it has helped me feel more confident about my speaking GCSE exam”

    Coaching the coaches 

    Staff at Sarah Bonnell are just as keen to learn new things as the students. This week 21 staff joined Mary Phillips , a brilliant professional coach who has worked with staff at the school for several years, for the first session in a series of workshops to train staff how to coach others to develop.

     Rae Potter – Headteacher

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  • Headteacher's Weekly Message: 9th March 2018

    Published 12/03/18

    International Women’s Day – Thursday 8 March 2018

    Sarah Bonnell marked International Women’s Day by giving all students a chance to get involved in a range of different workshops and activities to help them learn from the achievements of other women, reflect on their own ambitions and develop skills and knowledge to help them take up their place in society.

    During the day Year 7 were involved in doing an exciting STEM challenge where they had to use their problem solving skills to design and build a car using Lego. Year 8 worked with professional actors to create a ‘play in a day’ about some key moments in the history of women. Year 9 worked with The Girls Network to think about their goals for the future and how they might achieve them. Year 10 worked with members of our alumni to develop their Personal Statements and our Science teachers delivered Science workshops and practice exam questions to Year 11.

    The day was rounded off with a wonderful evening celebration of music, poetry, art and drama attended by parents, students and important guests including governors, alumni, foundation governors and members of our Business Action Group.  The evening began with Molly Samuel-Leport sharing her inspiring story of success. Molly was a Sarah Bonnell student in the 1970’s who went on to have  ground-breaking success as a Karate Champion – representing GB in many European and World championships and coming away with Gold, Silver and Bronze medals. Molly talked about the importance of education saying it was the key to success and recounted the hard work she put in as an adult learner to gain her Degree, Molly talked about the importance of being resilient and aiming high – something Sarah Bonnell students know all about. Molly was awarded an MBE in 2015 for her services to Karate and has recently become a parliamentary candidate. I would like to thank Molly for taking the time to speak at our event and to all the guests who supported the event. I would also like to thank the Year 10 students who worked with Ms Sangster to make the evening such a success – Mathu, Merle, Aliyah.

    I would like to thank Ms Sangster, Deputy Headteacher for coordinating such a valuable and enjoyable opportunity to celebrate International Women’s Day and promote the important message of #pressforprogress. Sarah Bonnell provides great opportunities – it is now up to the students, with their brothers and sisters, to shape the future in a way that really ensures parity for all.

    Ms Rae Potter – Headteacher

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  • Headteacher's Weekly Message: 2nd March 2018

    Published 05/03/18

    It’s ‘snow’ fun this wintery weather   We made it to the end of a very cold week and I would like to start by saying a huge thank you to all students who made a special effort to get in to school as usual this week and to parents who have supported our decision to stay open during these winter conditions. I was very proud of the girls behaviour during these few days of snow – all enjoyed the opportunity to play in the snow at break and lunch-time and respected the rules of safe-play. I would also like to say thank you to all staff, especially those who live further afield in Kent, Essex or South London, who battled against cancelled trains, freezing delays on platforms and longer journeys to get in to school every day this week. Special thanks to our super site team for making sure the school has been able to stay open by clearing paths and laying grit and to our day cleaner Florika for working hard to keep corridors clean and dry. Well done – another team effort with great results.    

    World Book Day – Thursday 1 March 2018   Staff and students had a fantastic time celebrating World Book Day on Thursday. As part of the fun, they dressed up as their favourite literary characters.  It was great to see Dumbledore and Captain Hook, among many others, enjoying the snow! Faythe had made a fantastic costume as the circus master from ‘The Greatest Show on Earth’ and Ms Adel, Ms Sahebdin and Ms Bhudia had made the most amazing costumes as characters from’s new book ‘Wizards and Robots’. Students also took part in spoken word and interactive drama performances in the learning hub, which had been transformed into a gothic realm for the day.  Competitions, assemblies and tutor time were devoted to all things bookish during the run up to the day and all students were given an inspirational book to celebrate the power of words.  The whole week served to showcase just how passionate Sarah Bonnell students are about the written word and the joy that reading brings to their lives.   Huge thanks to Hanna Malik, Literacy Lead and Ms Kaur, Learning Hub Manager and Ms Griffiths, Curriculum Lead Drama for generating such a buzz about reading – your creative ideas and hard-work brought World Book Day alive.

    Prefect Training was Perfect   On Wednesday 28 February 60 newly selected Year 10 Prefects set off to the prestigious Citibank tower in Canary Wharf to take part in Leadership Workshops delivered by professional volunteers who work in Citibank. The event was hosted by the Chair of our Business Action Group, Anthony Cockett who is a senior partner at the bank. The girls had a great morning and were a real credit to themselves and the school - Mr Cockett said ‘The prefects are remarkable’ and another volunteer said they were a huge ‘asset for the school’. Well done to all our great Prefects and to Mr Archer and Mr Rudland, Assistant Headteachers, for organising this opportunity. The Prefects take up their new role in April 2018.

    International Women’s Day – Thursday 8 March 2018

    Next week we have lots of great things happening to celebrate International Women’s Day including a wonderful evening of celebration starting at 6.00pm. Please see the attachment below and check the website to find out more.

    Have a safe and warm weekend.

    Rae Potter – Headteacher

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  • Winter Weather Update

    Published 01/03/18

    Friday 2 March 2018

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  • Winter Weather

    Published 28/02/18

     Dear Parents and Carers,

    Snow and freezing temperatures 28 February – 2 March 2018

    School has remained open today with measures in place to consider the health and safety of students and staff. I am not anticipating the school being closed on Thursday 1 March or Friday 2 March but I am reviewing the weather forecasts and assessing the school site on a regular basis and will keep you informed via the school website and school app should conditions change. I want to reassure you that any decision to close the school would only be taken as a last resort due to risks to student and staff safety.

    Students will be expected to wear uniform as usual but the uniform code for shoes will be relaxed for the next two days to ensure your daughter can wear suitable, safe footwear with a good non-slip grip for this wintery weather.

    Yours faithfully,

    Rae Potter


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  • Excellent news from our Ofsted Inspection

    Published 28/02/18

    Tuesday 6 February 2018

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  • Headteacher's Weekly Message: 23rd February 2018

    Published 23/02/18

    This Girl Can Campaign 2018

    This week the ambitious PE department launched this year’s ‘This Girl Can’ campaign. The PE staff have planned a programme of great activities for girls in all year groups to get involved in physical activity and sport. On Thursday 80 motivated students turned up to the Sports Hall to take part in a high intensity work-out called ‘Insanity’. The girls told me it was ‘great’ ‘hard-work’ and like a full-on ‘boot camp’ - sounds brilliant to me!

    SB Staff Can

    Following the success of the programme for the the students, the PE staff have planned opportunities for staff to get invovled in sporting activities too. A healthy approach to life is good for everyone at Sarah Bonnell. No Excuses!

    Maths makes the problems disappear

    On the 2nd of February we held the UK Maths Trust Intermediate challenge for our year 9 - 11s. The students achieved 6 silver and 30 bronze awards. Great going to Ms Farhana and the maths students.

    Pinsent Mason helps develop girls leadership skills

    On Friday our Business Partners Pinsent Mason visited school to work with students to develop their leadership and communucation  skills . We really value the partnership we have with Pinsent Mason and I wouild like to thank the volunteers for working with our girls today and Ms Mahmood for organising the event.


    Finally I would like to remind you of the importance of supporting your daughter to be here and on time everyday and to arrange routine appointments for the dentist and GP outside of school time. Staff carefully  plan a sequence of lessons to help your daughter make progress with her learning – every lesson missed is learning time missed. Please also remember that the school cannot authorise any trips or holidays abroad during term-time.

    Rae Potter – Headteacher

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  • Portobello Road Visit

    Published 09/02/18

    For Extended Learning Day, 18 Year 10 Spanish students went to a Spanish school on Portobello Road in West London.

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  • Headteacher's Weekly Message: 9th February 2018

    Published 09/02/18

    Ofsted Inspection – Tuesday 6 February 2018

    On Tuesday 6 February we were visited by three Ofsted Inspectors who came to carry out a one day ‘Section 8 Inspection’. During these short inspections they cannot change the judgement on the school – that would only happen in a full Section 5 Inspection. More details will follow once we have received the official letter from Ofsted telling us what they found on their visit but I am delighted that I can say they saw ‘everyday’ Sarah Bonnell and that we had the best possible outcome for this inspection.

    Extended Learning Day  - Safer Internet Day 2018

    On Tuesday we also had our third Extended Learning Day of the school year. The focus was Safer Internet Day and Ms Adel, Associate Senior Leader, coordinated a relevant and engaging day to raise awareness of risks of using social media. I was particularly impressed with our confident Digital Leaders who delivered informative lessons for Year 7 classes on On-line Safety . As always they did this with flare, confidence and clarity that you would normally expect of an experienced teacher. In addition to this there were a range of different visits and events including a motivational speaker called Action Jackson, a visit to the Science Museum for Year 8, Career Insight Visits to KPMG and the Canary Wharf Group and  a STEM visit to Westfield. Well done to all staff who lead these visits and events but special thanks to Mr Archer for doing such a great job of pulling it all together.

    Sarah Bonnell choir sing for the Prime Minister Theresa May

    Tuesday 6 February marked the centenary of women over 30 and ‘of proprety’  gaining the legal right to vote. The Sarah Bonnell choir were invited to perform 6 songs for the high profile guests invited by Prime Minister, Theresa May, to launch the national Vote 100 celebrations. The girls raised the roof off the historic Westminster Palace and the audience were delighted with their performance of  ‘Sister Suffragette’. Huge thanks to Ms Clare-Tipton and Mr Preece for working leading the choir with such skill and dedication and to Ms Clark , Deputy Headteacher, for organising this amazing opportunity.

    Careers Ambassadors impress the Governors

    On Thursday six eloquent Careers Ambassadors came to the Full Governing Body meeting to talk to govenors about the role they play in school to promote careers. Governors were impressed by their knowledge and understanding of the range of ways in which Sarah Bonnell students are given the opportunity to learn about apprenticeships, university, the world of work and 16-19 provision. The girls were a real credit to themselves and the school.

    Next week is half-term holiday . We return to school on Monday 19 February at the usual time.

    Rae Potter – Headteacher

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  • Headteacher's Weekly Message: 26th January 2018

    Published 29/01/18

    Netball Trip to Copperbox Monday 22 January 2018

    Ms Emmerson took a group of keen Sarah Bonnell sportswomen to The Copperbox Arena on Monday to see the England netball team play in an international match. Despite England being defeated the girls really enjoyed the atmosphere and quality of the netball.

    Year 9 are ‘outward bound’ to Ullswater, Lake District

    This week 120 Year 9 students have taken up the opportunity to experience a range of outdoor challenges at the Outward Bound centre in Ullswater, Lake District.  Staff and students have risen to the challenge and have walked, canoed, hiked and climbed showing they are resilient and adventurous. The residential trip helps students develop team work skills and experience a part of Britain with a very different geography to Stratford. I look forward to hearing more when they return later this evening. Safe journey home Year 9 and a huge thanks to our intrepid staff who have accompanied the girls on this trip.                    

    Frantic Assembly – Hafsa shares her award with others

    Year 11 student Hafsa Mohamed won a Jack Petchey award for her resilience last year and chose to spend her reward money on a physical theatre workshop for her and some of her peers with prestigious theatre company, Frantic Assembly. The workshop was run by Amelia Cardwell, a choreographer and experienced member of Frantic Assembly. In the workshop, the Year 11 students explored some physical techniques and created a highly emotive piece of drama. The students thoroughly enjoyed the experience and we hope to continue this partnership with Frantic Assembly in the future.

    Rae Potter – Headteacher

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