Challenge & Enrichment 2017

Oxford University Trip

On Tuesday 16th January, 21 students from year 10 and 11 went on a trip to Hertford College, University of Oxford, to get a taste of life at Oxford, the application process and higher education. Florence New (y10) had this to say about the trip:
On the 16th of January, we went on a challenge and enrichment trip to Oxford university. When we arrived, we were greeted by a tutor, who was formerly a student at Heartford college. We went inside and she told us about the college, and what learning at Oxford. She then demonstrated a ‘tutorial’, which is a lesson a student gets either alone or with someone studying the same thing, with a tutor. After, we went to lunch in the dining hall.
The food was nice, and there were lots of portraits of former students hung on the walls. We then went on a tour, with a chemistry student. It was amazing to see the Bodleian Library, one of 6 copyright libraries in the UK. We also saw the student accommodation and heard stories about the college cat, Simpkins. The last thing we did before we left was listening to three current Oxford students, who told us their opinion on what life was like and all about the admissions process. Overall, it was a very educational and interesting day; and now I want to study at Oxford!

Debate Competition Winners

On Friday 17th November, Florence New (year 10) and Eva Randall (year 11) won the Epping Forest Youth Parliamentary Debate, hosted by Eleanor Laing MP at Epping St John’s School.

The motion put forward for debate was, ‘”This House believes that the Government’s 0.7 per cent ring-fenced budget for overseas aid should be reduced and the money saved should be spent in the UK”. Roding Valley were arguing against the motion.

The standard of competition was high, with our students competing against five other schools from the local area on both sides of the motion.

Florence and Eva put forward eloquent, intelligent and compelling arguments. This, alongside a bucket-load of confidence and charisma won the competition for Roding Valley in a lively, engaging debate. 

As the winners of this prestigious event, Roding Valley will be the hosts of next year’s competition. 

Congratulations to Florence and Eva!

We have had an incredibly busy start to the new academic year, launching events across all year groups. In September we began mentoring our top year 11 students, giving career and academic advice. 
October marked the launch of Roding Valley’s first ever school magazine, wholly run by students. We have appointed editors from KS4 and KS5 as well as writers from the lower key stages. The first issue is available on our website so take a look at the fantastic work done by our students and Editor Leia Humphries. Work has begun on the Christmas edition of the magazine, so keep your eyes peeled for this festive read.
Debate Club has launched for both KS3 and KS4 and we had some excellent feedback from our students that took part in the Epping Forest Youth Conference debate which took place in the Epping Council Chambers.
Our next debate event is on 17th November. Two Roding Valley students will be attending a Parliamentary Debate, overseen by Eleanor Laing MP.
Preparations for the Mock Bar Trial began in September. Our students have had a valuable opportunity to work closely with a barrister to prepare their cases and they will go up against other schools in Snaresbrook Crown Court on Saturday 11th November.
On the 22nd November, a group of ambitious year 11 students will be attending a trip to Cambridge University where they will learn about the university application process and ‘Life at Cambridge’.
It has been a very busy term for us so far and we look forward to the New Year, which brings with it a variety of engaging and exciting Challenge and Enrichment opportunities.

On Thursday 13th July, some of Roding Valley’s top KS3 talent showcased the projects they had been working on over the last two months. These projects encouraged independent study and research from some of our year 7-9 students. The projects could be on any topic that students found interesting and the standard produced was exceptional. Four awards were available, but with such a high standard, the ‘People’s Choice’ award had two winners.

Felix Swindell’s winning ‘People’s Choice’ project provided an immersive experience for all with a functioning (homemade) aqueduct; traditional Roman cake; herbs and a full scale mannequin in Roman dress. His topic had clearly been thoroughly researched and Felix’s commitment to excellence and endeavour shone through the whole project.




Nathan Vorster’s ‘People’s Choice’ winning project sparked life into the showcase with a live ant farm on show. This fascinating project was complemented by Nathan’s impressive understanding of entomology which he explained eloquently to all. This captivating project left all onlookers wanting more- which Nathan catered for by providing take-away leaflets detailing further information.



Chloe Norwood won the (well-deserved) ‘Imaginative Award’ with her project ‘Fantastic Beasts: fact or fiction?’ Chloe’s creative eye and unique perspective certainly engaged the audience with her detailed research, accompanied by her home-made models and interactive quiz feature.




William Whitehall won the ‘Informative Award’ with his project on type 1 diabetes. This project told a story of personal understanding and outstanding primary research from a number of sources. William used his initiative and communication skills to enhance his project with models acquired from the scientific field. This was a truly informative piece, created through outstanding independent research.



The winner of the ‘Innovative Award’ was Zak Smith with his evolution of film project. Adding a touch of glamour to the evening, Zak produced a multi-faceted project that demonstrated his wide ranging skills and ability in a number of subject areas. Complete with a working zoetrope, Zak thought outside the box with this impressive project which was admired by all.

It should be noted that a tremendous amount of effort has been put in by all students that have been involved in the showcase and it was incredibly difficult to predict which projects would be awarded. This is a truly remarkable event in the Roding Valley calendar; staff members, students, parents and judges were blown away by the high standard of projects on display.

A special thanks to the judges with the hardest decisions of the evening: Miss Jenner, Head of school; Gary Stone, Governor; Paul Wershof, Chair of Governors and Philip Abraham, Mayor of Loughton.

Katie Bingham and Rachel Hanlon

Challenge and Enrichment Coordinators

Thank you to all who attended the launch meeting, it was fantastic to see you all. Good luck with your projects and I hope you enjoy being creative!
Ms Hanlon and Ms Bingham
Challenge and Enrichment Co-ordinators

Challenge and Enrichment booklet 2017