Blog week ending 23rd June - WGSB

Posted on: 05/07/2023

StuartAs part of our Careers Programme, we welcomed guests from a range of industries and further education providers to contribute to a Year 7-10 Employers Event.  It was especially exciting to have so many alumni within the group who spoke with great warmth about their time at Wilmington Grammar Schools and who will undoubtedly inspire our current students as they consider their next steps.   With speakers and representatives from a huge range of sectors and career pathways we were able to provide relatable insight into a host of potential choices.  All contributors provided first-hand experience and advice, answering questions, and really motivating and engaging with our students to ensure they got the most out of the day.  One of alumni contributors, Danny Carter of Laing O’Rourke was asked by a student how he knew what he wanted to do after his GCSEs and his response summed up the objective of the day “I didn’t have a plan for what I wanted to do, but it was through a day just like this at WGSB that I discovered the potential career I could have as an electrical engineer and I was able to secure first work experience, then a Degree apprenticeship, and now have an amazing and rewarding career and it started with a speaker from Laing O’Rourke on a day just like this.  I hope that you are all equally inspired!” 

Danny is a Senior Electrical Engineer for Laing O’Rourke who is currently overseeing the electrical engineering plans and designs of a £200million project.  He is, I can also report, enjoying a very competitive salary, as without fail, our students asked each of our contributors their earning potential! 

Danny Carter, Senior Electrical Engineer, Laing O'Rourke


Michelle Loomes, Senior Manager Portfolio & Commercial, Coca-Cola Euro Pacific Partners  


Thomas Cecil, University of the District of Columbia, Washington DC football scholarship


 Alex Hill, Managing Director, Whitecode Consulting Ltd


Pictured form left; alumni Hana Shiraaz Financial Service Consultant, MAZARS, Megan Atlee Investigator, Financial Conduct Authority and James Garvey, Studying Exercise and Sports Science, University of Exeter.


Jack Self, Senior Reliability and Maintenance Technician and Apprentice Adrian Porteros Rubio, both of Amazon.


Hana Shiraaz (top photo), Jade Best and Clarice Langa of Financial Service Consultant, MAZARS


Dr Abi Fadipe, Executive Medical Director and Consultant Psychiatrist, Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust


Our sincere thanks go to all of our amazing alumni, friends and parent contributors who shared their expertise, advice and time so generously with our students.

Danny Carter, Senior Electrical Engineer, Laing O'Rourke -  ALUMNI

Thomas Cecil, University of the District of Columbia, Washington DC football scholarship - ALUMNI

Megan Atlee, Investigator, Financial Conduct Authority - ALUMNI                                                                 

David Roddy, Project Engineer-specialising in civil engineering - ALUMNI

Dr David Wenzel, Palliative Care Academic Clinical Fellow & Acute Medical Registrar - ALUMNI

Ben Warner, Architectural Designer and part-time student, Populous - ALUMNI

Hana Shiraaz, Financial Service Consultant, MAZARS - ALUMNI

Alex Hill, Managing Director, Whitecode Consulting Ltd - ALUMNI

James Garvey, Studying Exercise and Sports Science, University of Exeter - ALUMNI

Lawrence Williams, Technology Business Manager, JP Morgan - ALUMNI

Samuel Ajakaiye, Studying History and French, Oxford University - ALUMNI

Kamran Ahmed, Investment Accountant, Blackstone INC - ALUMNI

Jack Self,Senior RMET, Amazon - ALUMNI

Trevor Loomes, Service Delivery/Operations Manager, Ricoh UK Ltd - ALUMNI/PARENT

Michelle Loomes, Senior Manager Portfolio & Commercial, Coca-Cola Euro Pacific Partners - PARENT

Dr Abi Fadipe, Executive Medical Director, Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust - PARENT

Miroslav Danov, Cloud Infrastructure Architect, Amazon Web Services - PARENT

Nicola Stokes, People Experience Lead EY - PARENT

Devinder Gill, Solution Architect, Entain - PARENT

Jane Gough, Centre of Enablement Lead/Agile Coach, QBE Insurance - PARENT

Jim Shaikh, Imperial College University - PARENT

Sarah Pearce, Design and Technical Director, Notting Hill Genesis - PARENT

Peter Russell, Director of Technology, ITV Studios - PARENT

Abdulla Mohammad, Senior Manager, KPMG - PARENT

Steven Bishop, Head of Customer Satisfaction Orbit Homes - PARENT

Rob Sansom, Head of Operations, Broadsword             

Rhys Boxall-Roye, Get Connected Coordinator, CXK Ltd      

Harry Zimmerman, Placemaking Officer, Ebbsfleet Development Corporation             

Danny Chapman, Family Practice Manager of a leading set of Law

Brian MacAulay, Principal Economist, Digital Catapult       

Catherine Brown, Her Honour Judge                           

Jade Best, Financial Service Consultant, MAZARS    

Clarice Langa, Financial Service Consultant, MAZARS    

Adrian Porteros Rubio, Apprentice, Amazon        

Spotlight on the Modern Foreign Languages Department (MFL). 

"If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head.  If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart."

Nelson Mandela

Our vision is to foster a passion for the study of modern languages so that students are confident, internationally minded linguists. The career opportunities for linguists in a rapidly changing world are extensive, our students study language and culture providing a rounded curriculum that put simply, can get them places!  The opportunities and career paths for linguists are as extensive as they are varied, and we provide a range of overseas trips, clubs, and visits to explore potential career paths and to broaden their ambitions in this vibrant and expanding job market. 

Mrs Chambers, Head of MFL is (unsurprisingly) an advocate of the benefit and power of learning another language whether to increase career prospects, enable study overseas or for the pleasure of communicating with others in their native language.  As part of our Careers Programme, WGSB alumnus Samuel Ajakaiya joined us to talk about his experiences of studying French and History at Oxford University, his gap year project overseas and his future ambitions.  In the below Year 7 French lesson Samuel shared his passion for the French language and of the French speaking countries he has visited, including Morocco, Belgium, French Guiana and France.  Mrs Chambers and Samuel worked with the class as they considered the range of jobs that you could do as a linguist both in the UK or overseas.  Students quickly realised that whilst there are a range of specialist roles such as translator or teacher, the biggest benefit to being a linguist is that you can pursue a career anywhere in the world!  Samuel (pictured below with students) hopes to forge a career as a consultant to help governments make, and implement, policy to benefit and support communities internationally.



Our Year 9 Spanish students are currently in Barcelona to soak up the sights, culture and practice their language skills!  Upon consultation with the students the itinerary includes, the famous Gaudi cathedral, La Sagrada Familia, Montjuic castle and two sporting locations, RCD Espanyol Stadium and FC Barcelona Museum (the international language of sport!)


Our WG6 Year 12 French class recently visited the French Institute in London and the Ciné Lumière.  They explored the Médiathèque, checking out the enormous range of French literature.  We then watched a French classic film, “Le Mépris” by Jean-Luc Godard, starring Brigitte Bardot.  Reactions were mixed to the film itself, but it gave us a good taste of French cinema, a topic we are currently studying in class and it was a nice opportunity to visit the “quartier français” of London.


Mandarin students have been learning through different activities and projects.  Year 12 selective Mandarin had a taster session in Chinese calligraphy and ink painting. They practised and then wrote and drew on rice paper! The students were very keen.


Students also visited the British Museum this week. They had a glimpse of the imperial court, daily life and trades in the last century of Qing Dynasty. They also had a lovely stroll in Chinatown afterwards. They were totally immersed in Chinese history and culture!  Mrs Cai, Teacher of Mandarin is pictured in the first photo (front, left)


Finally, for STEAM week (commencing 10th July) we will be running language and culture workshops in Mandarin and German with some very hands-on activities – Including how to greet people and introduce yourself in Mandarin as well as learn to write some basic characters and practise Chinese calligraphy using traditional brushes.  Students will also learn more about Chinese culture.  More details of this and all other STEAM plans will be shared soon.

To read more about our MFL curriculum here at WGSB please click here

Our intrepid litter pickers were out in force recently in conjunction with the Great Dartford Schools Litter Pick.  Students scoured the residential roads in the vicinity of our school site and through the wooded areas and onto Dartford Heath.  In less than an hour, students had filled numerous sacks with discarded and dumped debris and waste creating a far improved environment for all our local communities.  Additionally, we run a weekly form-time community litter pick, which involves clearing up the green spaces on Common Lane.


Our Year 7 Science students travelled to Wildwood as part of their study of conservation and ecology.  The visit provided hands-on activities, guided tours and an insight into the work of the centre, and potential career opportunities available in conservation.  The centre works to reverse the loss of biodiversity and introduced the students to case-studies of successful rewilding, reintroduction and habitat conservation with the aim of enhancing ecosystems in the British Isles. The trip allowed students to make connections with classroom lessons and have real-life experiences of the positive impact of zoos.

Our students excelled at wildlife photography too, a number of the images below have been submitted by our Year 7 photographers including; Otter Rajan P of 7B, Wolf by Angus of 7B, Lizard by Ethan A of 7D, terrapin by Fikunayomi of 7D

Jayden A of 7B shared a review of the day, an excerpt of which is below;

“This was my first ever excursion to the zoo as I was told that these animals had been taken away from their society which was against the views of my older family members so they refused take me to a zoo of any kind. Our tour guide Julia, began by talking to us about the storks. The explanation of the negative and positive backstories of all the animals was excellent. Storks for example have a wingspan as wide as 160cm which is an incredible way in which it has intelligently adapted to its environment.  We also learned more about seals, rabbits, capybaras, arctic wolfs and the of course unforgettable grizzly bears which we viewed from a rope bridge that went over their enclosure. All this is great tutoring for the cycle and reproduction of animals that we will be learning as part of this topic. It turns out that zoos take animals not just to keep them on display but aid endangered species who can then breed and be sent out to their natural biomes and ecosystems that they call home.

We were also taught about the unique and independent features of the rainforest and how much animals have been able to adapt to the natural features that the rainforest had to offer. We gained an abundance of knowledge such as how Bermuda plant leaves are in certain formation so that when the rain comes, it fills with water which it then slowly consumes. Thanks to this, frogs and tadpoles live in these cup-like structures. We did an experiment on how clouds are formed and saw a real-life leopard skin (which are extremely rare due to their species being protected) and how it uses cryptic camouflage to blend in with the environment around it.

In conclusion, Wildwood is an excellent choice if you are searching for a place with leisure, education and wildlife that offers (in my opinion) memorable and fascinating moments. And I can happily assure you that my view of zoos has changed drastically!”


Students from Wilmington Grammar School for Girls joined our Carnegie shadowing group for a live streaming of the book awards’ winners ceremony.  Our students enjoyed all the shortlisted books but for both of our groups there was a stand-out winner,  Ruta Sepety’s, I Must Betray You – and we clearly weren’t the only group of that view as it scooped the Carnegie Shadowers’ Choice Medal.   The overall Yoto Carnegie Medal for Writing went to The Blue Book of Nebo by Maonon Steffan Ros.  Both of our library groups (and English teachers and librarians!) enjoyed a lively debate and discussion of the books over an awards lunch before watching the winners announcement live from the Barbican in London. 

All shortlist books (and many long-list) are available in our library and I would urge all students to check them out!

Charlie Guthrie, CEO Endeavour MAT and I joined the group discussions and lunch and are pictured below with (from left) Mrs Harding WGSB English Teacher, Ms Fisk WGSB Librarian, Mrs McKenna WGSG English Teacher and Mrs Smith WGSG Librarian


Our Year 12 WG6 Futures Week provides a host of speakers, activities and events to support students' navigate their future career plans and aspirations.  The sessions were planned to provide an interactive ‘check-list’ to ensure next-step discussions and decision-making were fully supported and that students had all the necessary information and stimulus at their disposal.  Sessions included;

Emily from the University of Essex delivered a compelling talk regarding the considerations when choosing a course and university (left). Rich from Canterbury Christ Church University talked students through the processes and considerations of applying for University via UCAS online and how to apply for student finance.


Workshop on competing a Masters degree. This excellent session was put on by Miss Brice MSc who has been completing her teacher training with WGSB this year.


Personal Statement Writing Workshop. Students left the workshop having written a first draft of their individual personal statement for university or a covering letter for apprenticeships/employment and an action plan to enhance it further.


An Alumni morning for our Year 12 students. We had twenty three ex-Wilmington Grammar students take time out of their morning to chat about their pathways and their jobs with our current students.


Our alumnus, Dr Imran Rouff (pictured with Dr Musami, WGSB Head of Biology) delivered a brilliant and instructive talk on careers in medicine.


Contributors from the NHS came to speak with students regarding Apprentice Nursing Associates opportunities and the vast range of roles and careers the NHS offers.


Oliver!  There are still some tickets available for purchase on ParentPay - book now to avoid disappointment!


WGSB Update.  PTA Summer Fair and Barbecue is scheduled at the end of the STEAM week on Saturday, 15th July, we hope you have the date in your diary for what is going to be a great fun event for the whole family.  Mr Powell is planning to include a sponsored Army Assault Course at the Fair.  Student are challenged to work together to successfully complete the course.  The winning team earns a thrilling afternoon at TeamSport GoKarting in Charlton. If any parents or carers could help by contributing items for the assault course such as bales of hay/straw, a stretcher (for part of the course not patients!) or powder paints that would be a huge help and certainly add to the fun of the event.  As always, all proceeds will be invested in our students learning experience. 

The PTA are always looking for any help and support before, during and after the event.

B28Do you have a flair for organising events?

Can you help us distribute e-fliers on social media handles or paper copies?

Would you like to spare some time to help our school raise some funds?

Or maybe you will like to run a stall at the summer fair?

Would you be able to sponsor some part of the event (for instance we urgently require a barbecue stand) or donate prizes for the summer fair raffle draw?  No help is too small. Please contact  or the school office for more information on how you can support us. Please help spread the news and invite others to the greatest event of the year. Watch out for the Summer Fair raffle tickets on ParentPay. Thank you!

Pre-Loved Uniform - Our next pre-loved uniform sale will be during our Summer Fair, on Saturday 15th July. Everything sportswear (PE/Rugby kits) will be on sale for any 4 sport items for £10. This offer does not include boot bag*.

Year 11 Uniform Donation: If you would like to donate your Year 11 uniform (especially ties, aprons, blazers) after their exams, can you please put these in a bag and drop off at the school office. Thank you for considering to donate to WGSB PTA uniform shop.

Summer Raffle Tickets.  The PTA are pleased to invite you to purchase their Summer Raffle Tickets which are now live on ParentPay. Raffle tickets are £1 EACH and can be bought in multiples. You can buy as many tickets as you like. The draw will take place at the Summer Fair on Saturday 15th July. Lots of fantastic prizes to be won – Bluewater vouchers! Amazon vouchers!   Plus many more!  Winners will be notified from Tuesday 18th July and prizes can be collected from the school office before school closes on Friday 21st July. Deadline to purchase tickets is 12pm, on Thursday, 13th July. For further information, please contact

Monthly Raffle Draw winner - Congratulations to our June winner - Daniel B 9Brunel        

Thanking you in advance for supporting the WGSB PTA and for helping us to raise funds which benefits the school and students.

Forthcoming Dates;

Year 12 Written reports home – Monday 26th June

Year 9 Sports Week – Monday 26th June

Year 12 A Level Geography Trip – Thursday 29th June

Year 7 Dover Castle Trip – (B, D & H) – Wednesday 28th June

Year 7 Dover Castle Trip (T, S & N) – Thursday 29th June

Oliver! Production, tickets on ParentPay – Thursday 29th June & Friday 30th June

F1 Team Trip to Leeds – Thursday 29th June- Friday 30th June

WG6 Prom at Birchwood Golf Club – Friday 30th June

Year 8 Trip Maritime Museum – (D & B) – Monday 3rd July

Year 8 Trip Maritime Museum – (H & N) – Tuesday 4th July

Year 6 Transition Evening – Wednesday 5th July

Year 12 Parents’ Evening – Thursday 6th July (at WGSG)

STEAM week – Monday 10th July

PTA Meeting - Monday, 10th July 6.00-7.00pm; at the School Hall

Bottles and chocolates donations for summer fair – Friday 14th July

Summer Fair and Barbecue - Saturday 15th July, 11am - 2pm (incl Y7 Football tournament & army assault course!)

Last day of term – Friday 21st July 12noon


Best wishes,


Stuart Harrison

Head Teacher

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