News & Parents

MFL Challenge Winners (22/3/18)

This year’s Year 10 MFL Challenge took place on Friday 16 March at the Civic Offices. Six local schools took part, including Bishop Challoner, Aldworth, The Clere, Sherfield, Everest and Costello, entering teams for the challenges in French, German and Spanish. The challenge was for each team to imagine how technology could be used more in schools now and in the future. The students were to give the management team at ANS all the information about the technologies they felt would benefit a school, how they would be used, and the reasons a school would use their ideas.

Twenty Costello students took part : two French teams, two German teams and one Spanish, and they all worked very well together, not only producing some excellent contributions but also representing the school as admirable ambassadors. They are all to be congratulated, but particularly our German B team, who not only won prizes for the best German team, but also defended the MFL Challenge Cup as the best team overall. WELL DONE!

Thanks from the University of Oxford – MYRIAD research team (22/3/18)

We would like to pass on our thanks to all the staff and pupils at The Costello School from the MYRIAD project at the University of Oxford. The team has been visiting your school to collect data from some of your pupils as part of the research and we have been delighted by the welcome we have received by your staff and pupils. Your pupils have shown such respect and maturity during our sessions, but not only that, their politeness, opening doors, helping us get to rooms etc has been exemplary. You have given our team a wonderful experience of what a friendly, caring environment a school can be. You can be very proud of them all.

A huge thank you must go to Ms Mandy Gannon whose commitment and enthusiasm has made it possible for us to work with you. It has been really heart-warming to have been in classes with your pupils. We sincerely hope this is the start of a close working relationship with the University of Oxford for the duration of the research and we hope our links will be of benefit to your lovely school.

CreaTech Film Making Week (15/3/18)

Last night an information evening was held at The Costello School regarding the CreaTECH Film Making Week, that will be occurring this summer from 23 – 27 July.

Slideshow from the information evening click here

County Cross Country, Down Grange (15/3/18)

Costello sent 15 runners to represent Basingstoke in the Hampshire Schools event, which was held at Down Grange this year. The Year 7 & 8 athletes had gained selection following good performances at the district event held at Costello back in December, where they had finished in the top 10 of their respective races.  Running at this level is always tough going and in each race the athletes found themselves competing against the best 130 runners in Hampshire.  All of them should feel pleased with their performances. Two Year 8 students did very well (Aidan Leavey finished in 14th position and Sienna Richardson finished in 1st position) and gained Hampshire selection in the next round which is a South East Inter Counties competition, due to be held in Brighton.

It was also Basingstoke’s turn to help host the County event this year, so 15 Year 10 students travelled to Down Grange and helped to run the event, by setting up, clearing away, marshalling etc. They were praised by the county officials and they did a sterling job. This allowed the event to run really smoothly and the 800+ competitors to enjoy their racing.  Congratulations to all who were involved, (athletes and helpers) and we wish Sienna and Aidan luck in the next stages.


Urgent Safeguarding Alert (8/3/18)

We have become aware of a worrying and extreme form of communication accessed through Snapchat.

Young people and students are being targeted and asked to film or take pictures of risk taking and criminal activities and post them to a male, suspected to be in his twenties, based in London.  This includes sexually explicit images and violence.  This male also makes contact with young people and arranges to meet them.

The police are aware of this individual and further reports have been made across Basingstoke schools.  Please be vigilant in knowing what your child is recording and using on their phones/devices and who they are communicating with.

If you have any concerns please contact the police and the school.

Thought for the week (7/3/18)








Local Activities in Black Dam (6/3/18)

This is a survey being undertaken by Sovereign housing in the local area to look at ways to improve the community and would like residents feedback.

RECRUITING NOW Train to Teach with the Basingstoke Alliance SCITT (5/3/18)

Information Event,  Saturday 10th March 2018,  10am to 12 noon, Bishop Challoner Catholic Secondary School.

You can train to be a teacher with the Basingstoke Alliance SCITT and our partnership schools.

Call us on 01256 275002 or search to pre-register and find out more.

Bikeability (28/02/18)

A small group of Year 7, 8 and 9 students seized the opportunity to participate in a Level 3 Bikeability course with staff from Mountbatten school.  On a cold day in February Tyla Martin , Fiona Wright, Marcus Peel, Jessica Freer, Brodie Jackson, Gabriel Heffy, Jack Randall, Scarlett Pegg, Mohan Thondapu, Ryan Baker and Gabriel Bori all completed a route planning session, safety checked their bikes and then cycled round the road system in Basingstoke negotiating roundabouts, traffic lights and the other road users. The assessors praised all the students saying they had been a credit to the school and all did very well especially as the weather was so cold. We are delighted that all students passed and received their level 3 certificates and we send our congratulations.


It is our intention where possible to continue to open as normal during this period of inclement weather. We take our responsibilities to educate and care for young people seriously, and are aware of the impact on parents and carers if the school is closed at short notice.

However, careful assessment needs to be made about whether opening in snowy conditions is appropriate. There are several factors to consider. These include:

  • The severity of the weather at the time
  • The forecast and likelihood of an improvement or deterioration in the weather
  • The condition of the school site, and our ability to offer lessons as normal
  • Access to the school via local and regional roads for staff and students

In the event of predicted or sudden heavy snow fall the following procedure will take place:-

  1. If we are expecting heavy snow an email will be sent to staff and parents the day before advising them to check the website the following morning.
  2. The decision to open or close the school will be made by 6.00-6.30am by the Headteacher.

Notification of a school closure will be sent to parents via a text and or email.

The status can also been seen on the

The Costello School website:

Hampshire County Council website:

The local radio station website will also be updated.

If we have an unexpected downfall of snow, the procedure will take place from point 2.

Teen Talk Programme – Next course is starting 8 March 9-11am @ Cranbourne  (updated 28/2/18)

The programme is over 4 sessions and for parents, we share knowledge of how the brain develops during adolescence to increase parents’ understanding of teenagers’ feelings and behaviour and link this understanding with key strategies for maintaining and improving relationships.

The keys aims of the sessions are to improve relationship between parents and teenagers by:

  • Exploring the importance of parents for teenagers (even though at times it may not appear like that!)
  • Developing parents’ understanding of teenage development and the influence of brain development on behaviour
  • Developing parent’s understanding of the importance of listening, verbal and non-verbal communication with teenagers
  • Promoting positive approaches to boundary setting and problem solving
  • Providing an opportunity for parents to share their experiences with others

Each week we cover a different area;

Week 1- Being a parent of a teenager

Week 2- Understanding your teenager

Week 3- Communicating with your teenager

Week 4- Managing conflict.

I hope you would like to join me, there is no cost and tea, coffee and biscuits are provided!

For more information please contact me.  Mandy Gannon, Family Liaison Officer, The Costello School

Drama Devising Workshop (23/2/18)

Thursday 8 February 2018 was a busy day in the Drama department at The Costello School. During periods two and three, forty two KS4 Drama students took part in a devising workshop which was led by a local professional theatre company (Fluid Motion).  Leigh Johnstone, the director of the company challenged the students to devise a piece of autobiographical theatre. During the two hours students were experimenting and exploring techniques to use in their GCSE Devising Component.

Some comments from the Year 9 Drama students who took part:  ‘I really enjoyed learning new physical theatre skills including changing the speed of movement in order to change the mood/atmosphere. The main thing that I took away was that devising is about ‘playing’ with different ideas and finding what works best for you’ Year 9 student: Amy Keane.  ‘I thought that the devising workshop was really fun. I learnt that I could create a scene out of only a few words’ Year 9 student: Megan Temple-Nidd.  ‘I was challenged to create a stimulus out of my own personal stories. I thought it was really good that we had to perform this in front on audience of mixed years. This was the confidence boost that I needed’ Year 9 student: Taylor Arentsen

BBC Visiting (21/2/18)

Zoe Miller (producer for BBC) visiting our Year 8s in preparation for BBC School Report 2018. Topic of the day: Fake news! Our students are enthralled! Thank you so much to the BBC.


My child has an exam…  Get me out of here! Exam Tips for Parents (19/2/18)

SEN LOGOWe know that mock exams can be a very busy time for students. It is often the first time they have experienced what it is like to have a large workload in one go, deadlines to meet, and pressure to make decisions about the future. We also know that watching a child go through this is often a difficult time for the people at home.

Here are a few things that might be helpful in supporting your child through exams.

Time.  Ask your child to explain what they are learning to you. Ask them questions, challenge their opinions and ideas, ask them to explain how they feel about it and what they know to support that idea.  We often find that explaining a concept to someone who does not know about it solidifies the ideas in their own head.  Equally, there are times when we as parents need to back away and let them get on with it themselves. They know you are there to support them, and sometimes they need time and space to get their heads around what they need to do and take control of their own learning.

Praise.  Revision is hard and often quite lonely. Encourage your child to share it with you, keep telling them ‘well done’. Remind them of how it will feel to get each task done and done well, and how proud you are of them.

Exercise.  Take them for a walk or swimming or bowling, do something to get them out the house and active. Talk to them about how they are feeling and what they are learning.  It can be overwhelming managing such a schedule, so take time out and force them to remember they need to invest in their own energy supply if they are to keep going.  Spending quality time together will boost their confidence.

Organise.  Each Year 11 has created a revision timetable to follow each week. If your child does not have one, create one together that fits in the subjects they need to study, family time, time to socialise, revision times in school and paired study time with a friend.  We have templates and ideas, so please just ask.  Stick to the plan and help them stick to it too. It is important not to cancel planned events and family time. They need to learn to manage their time, focus when they need to and relax when they need to.

Talk to us.  We have 1100 children in front of us every day and they are all different. Talk to us about revision strategies, or if you are worried about your child, let us know if you come across a technique that really works. We always want to hear new ideas.  Please remember you are not alone. Exams are busy and often we want to protect children from feeling stress and pressure, but if we can help them in dealing with it now, they will learn lessons for life, not just exams.