News Archive up to 2016

GCSE 9 to 1 GRADING (7/12/16)

From 2017, reformed GCSEs in England will be graded 9 to 1, and will ultimately replace the current A*–G grading scale.

Why has the grading system changed?  The 9 to 1 grading system has been put in place to accurately reflect the differentiation of students’ abilities and achievements in each subject compared to the previous A* to G scale. The system will provide more differentiation, especially among higher achieving students.

When will students first receive the 9 to 1 grade?  The grades will be awarded for the first time in summer 2017 exam results, for specifications that first started teaching in September 2015. The only subjects to be awarded 9 to 1 in summer 2017 are English Language, English Literature and Mathematics. By 2019, all reformed GCSEs in England will be using the new system.

Grade descriptors for 9 to 1 GCSEs  Ofqual has developed grade descriptors for the reformed GCSEs graded 9 to 1. The grade descriptors are designed to provide an indication of the likely level of performance at grades 2, 5 and 8.

Ofqual’s grade descriptors have been developed with awarding organisations and subject experts and, drawing on the relevant subject content published by the Department for Education (DfE) as well as the assessment objectives published by Ofqual. They’re not designed to be used for awarding purposes, unlike the ‘grade descriptions’ that apply to current GCSEs graded A* to G.

Success at Dragons Den (5/12/16)in-a-jar

dragons-1On Tuesday 29 November, five members of the YE Company, In a Jar, ventured down to Southampton to the Headquarters of the Ordnance Survey to pitch to the “Dragons”. The event, organised by YE, mirrors the TV programme Dragons Den, where Hampshire YE companies present their business ideas to a panel of business managers and directors. The company members of In a Jar had a tight schedule in the run up to the event as they had their first trading event on Saturday 19 November, but after a discussion at the weekly meeting with their business advisor, the Managing Director, Catherine, prepared the first draft of the pitch. Together the company members honed the pitch during the Friday lunchtime meeting and decided who would “face” the Dragons.  Monday and Tuesday morning gave way to dedicated practice by the members, and then a journey in the minibus to Southampton led to the pitch!  Although nervous, the students gave confidence to each other and the camaraderie between the members was on clear show, and they bravely faced detailed questioning by the Dragons.  Also at the event, the students took part in two workshops: working as a team successfully and marketing given by the YE manager, Jon Collins, and a volunteer business advisor.

At the end of the event, the members returned to face the Dragons to be given feedback on their performance. The Dragons were very complimentary of the business concept, the strong branding and the clear focus of the company. Valuable advice was given in terms of the pricing strategy and marketing of the company, as well as an offer to set up a trading stand at the Headquarters in the near future.  In addition, the Dragons gave £100 to the company to be invested as the members saw fit.  Lastly, the company was declared the winners of the event, beating YE companies from Winchester College and South Downs College.

The company has decided to invest the money in purchasing a pitch at the Top of the Town Handmade, Gift and Food Market on Friday 16 December and for paying for a domain site for their company’s website.

What an experience! (28/11/16)

swimmingHere is a sum up of last Saturday’s competition by Aemilia Rugman.  Last weekend Charlyne Lebosse, Julia Lebosse, Kara Davies and I travelled to London to the Olympic pool in Stratford for the final of the English Secondary Schools swimming relay. What a great experience! There were thirty English teams that had made the final after gaining fast enough times in the district and county rounds. We had to get to the pool for 10am for a water familiarisation warm up and then had a long wait for our race the 200M medley relay. The competition was tough but we were up for the challenge! It was amazing to hear Costello School being called out as we were swimming alongside schools such as Millfield and Plymouth – who produce many Olympic swimmers. It was a nervous wait for the final results, we had qualified for the event in 23rd place and were amazed to hear Costello called out in 15th place! We hadn’t quite made the top 10 to go to the final but were so proud of ourselves and how we had represented our school. We had a great day and fingers crossed for a final place next year ☺’ By Aemilia Rugman 10KLU

Year 5 Science Sessionsy5-science-1y5-science-2 (22/11/16)

Year 5 pupils from our feeder schools have been enjoying science at Costello as part of the enhancement program we run to ready students for KS3 and 4. They have been making a range of solutions at different pH’s using indicators they have made.

More medals for Costello (16/11/16)

A good effort was made by Costello swimmers on the Hampshire Schools Swimming Championships in Waterlooville (individual events) at the weekend.

A total of 5 medals, Charlyne Lebosse, silver in the 400 IM and bronze in the 100 fly, Julia Lebosse, bronze in the 400 IM and bronze in the 200 IM, John Holt, bronze in the 200 fly.

It was tough, considering they were all swimming (and did very well) the evening before in Portsmouth in the National Arena Swimming League.  Basingstoke won by a large margin.  The Bluefins were swimming in Lane 4, Aemilia Rugman, Charlyne and Julia in their individual events (they all won their races with excellent times).  A few more pupils from Costello were taking part (mostly in relays, hence not named)  Cameron Coveney and John Holt.

Getting very close not to the relays event in London this Saturday.

Report by Elisabeth Lebosse

The Costello School Remembrance Garden (10.11.16)

In the lead up to Armistice Day on 11 November, students at the Costello School have been designing poppies garden3to create a remembrance garden. The focus of the commemoration is the 100th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme when, on average, 893 soldiers died on each of the 141 days from 1 July to 18 November 1916.

garden2There were over 50 entries that ranged from modern reflections to students who had researched soldiers that fought in the battle. The Year 11 COPE group, led by Ms Bray, weatherproofed the designs and made them ready to put in the ground at the front of the school.  The winning entries were first place; Megan Dowle (9TAJ), second place; Millie Stoodley (7LEA) and third place; Athena Purver (10KLU).

In addition Year 7 student, Sophie Bullock, included a reference to her Great-Granddad, who fought at the Somme, in her design.

The commemoration was organised by Miss Pyne who would like to thank all those that participated and helped to provide such a thought-provoking focus for remembrance this year.

Double County Champions!! (11.10.16)

costello-relay-teamOn Sunday 9 October four Costello students, Aemilia Rugman, Charlyne Lebosse, Julia Lebosse and Kara Davies travelled to Waterlooville to represent the School in the Hampshire and Isle of Wight round of the English Secondary Schools Swimming competition. Every English region hosts a round with the top 20 times in the country going through to a final at the Olympic pool in London.

The girls swam in the intermediate age group category (Year 10 and 11). The day saw the girls compete in 2 events; the 200m freestyle relay and the 200m medley relay, with both events consisting of heats and a final. Competition was tough with 9 teams from across the county not only battling for the Gold, Silver and Bronze Medal positions but to gain a fast enough time to represent their school at the national final.

The freestyle relay was the first event with the girls putting in an amazing effort in the heats to qualify in 2:01.41 for the final. The final consisted of 6 schools with the main competition for Costello being Bohunt ‘A’. Going in to the final it was close with only 0.5 of a second between them but the girls were victorious winning the first gold medal for Costello in a fantastic time of 2:00.00, 5 seconds ahead of silver place!

The next race saw them swim a medley relay again making it through the heats to secure a place in the final. A much more technical event the Medley saw Julia start the team off in the backstroke leg, Aemilia then took over for the breaststroke leg with Charlyne keeping the lead in the butterfly which then saw Kara take the team home in with a fantastic freestyle to another convincing victory and another gold for Costello in 2:12.00

An amazing day of teamwork for the girls and Costello firmly put on the schools swimming map!

Fingers crossed now for a place in the national final on the 19 November.

Supporting you child through GCSE’s (29/9/16)

Materials from the evening can be downloaded simply by clicking the relevant links below:

Presentation     Parent Booklet

Year 10 Revision Guide     Year 11 Revision Guide

GCSE-Parent Information        AQA apps for revision      Maths NEW GCSE explanation

‘The Parenting Puzzle’ Parent Nurturing Programme (28/9/16)

The Parent Nurturing Programme starts Monday 3 October @ 18:30 – 20:30 through until 12 December. The course is a 10 week course that encourages parents and carers to enjoy bringing up children and get the best out of family life. It helps us understand how emotions influence our actions, and offers many positive, practical ways of guiding children. Raising children can at times be puzzling, but puzzles have solutions we can help you find those.  More information click here

Student Mental Health talk for Parents – October 10th (26/9/16)

Did you know:

  • 10% of children and young people (aged 5-16 years) have a clinically diagnosable mental problem, yet 70% of children and adolescents who experience mental health problems have not had appropriate interventions at a sufficiently early age.
  • 50% of mental health problems are established by age 14 and 75% by age 24.
  • Among teenagers, rates of depression and anxiety have increased by 70% in the past 25 years, particularly since the mid 1980’s.

teen-brainAdolescent mental health is one of the fastest growing and most worrying issues being faced by secondary school aged children today. Schools are not given any money to help deal with these issues and available external expertise is on the decline with schools being relied upon to support students directly.

There is no way to describe the typical young person who might suffer from mental health issues, indeed quite often it is the students you least expect who are in turmoil, suffering, embarrassed, feeling they have no one to talk to.

Here at Costello all of our Pastoral Team Deputies and other key pastoral staff have recently undergone a Mental Health First Aid training course giving them the skills to be able to recognise early signs of, respond appropriately to and signpost students to expert help should they display any symptoms of mental health issues. We would really like to be able to work more closely with families in order that we are all better at recognising and responding when we think a child may be struggling.

On Monday 10th October we are very fortunate to have secured the services of one of the UK’s leading lights in dealing with adolescent mental health, Dick Moore. Throughout the day he will be delivering talks to all of Year 9-11 students as well as all staff. However, the crucial people we need to hear this message are you, the parents.

dickmoore-4x3Dick is a father of four often errant children and was a headmaster for almost 23 years. He has now, having qualified as a Youth Mental Health First Aid Instructor in 2012 and became an Associate Trainer for the Charlie Waller Memorial Trust in 2013, embarked upon a mission to discover more about what makes young people tick and what he could or should have done during the tough times!  He has a passion for adolescent mental health and will explore what mental health is, offering thoughts about how young people think and about common issues which can arise when the going gets tough. Finally, he will offer some tongue-in-cheek tips for parenthood…..

Dick will deliver his talk in the main hall on the 10th October from 7pm onwards. Parents of all aged students are encouraged/invited to attend however tickets, which are free, are strictly limited. You can secure your seat by clicking here (tickets are limited to 2 per order). Should demand be high enough there is a possibility of a further session later in the term.

Open Morning (23/9/16)

All prospective Y7  parents are invited to the annual Open Morning on Tuesday 27th. You will be given a 45 min guided tour and be able to see the school in action. There will be an opportunity to meet the Headteacher and other key staff following your tour, over a cup of tea and a biscuit in the library. We respectfully request that Y6 students do not attend this event. Tours are available at 9am and 10am and we would ask that you aim for one of these specifically.

Progress and Attainment 8 explained (23/9/16)

There is much talk at the moment of new measures in the way schools will be report their attainment and progress in the future. AQA have published 2 videos that try and explain the methods in simple terms. You can access them by going to our Learning page and clicking Assessment and Reporting and scrolling towards the bottom. Alternatively just click here.

New School Prospectus (23/9/16)

The new school prospectus is now available online to download and view. You can access it by clicking here. Copies will be available to collect at the Open Morning on Tuesday 27th.

DFE ‘Selective School’ consultation (13/9/16)

The DFE has recently released its consolation document regarding expansion of the selective school system. You can read/download the full document here which includes details of how to respond.

Early Finish 22 September (12/9/16)

Please note: School will finish at 1.20pm on Thursday 22 September

Open Evening Date 2016 (9/9/16)

Thursday 22 September 6pm – 8.30pm

Headteacher’s presentations at 6.30pm and 7.30pm

Open Morning Date 2016

Tuesday 27 September 9am – 11am

Open Evening Information Flyer


GCSE Results Updated (5/9/16)

IMG_3609Further to the news item below, published last week, we have even more reason to celebrate with Nayank Dalesh, Amber Manning and Daniel Bentall also achieving 10+ A*-A grades. They should have been included in the original list.

This year has yet again produced a strong set of individual results for both students and departments alike at Costello. I am delighted to report that History, German, French, Electronics and Art as well as Dance, Drama, Hospitality, Hair and Beauty and Textiles all attained outstanding results well above the national average.

Several students achieved amazing personal results including Poppy White, Jake Fisher, Jerome Courtois, Murphy Calder, Caitlin Wilton and Mair Edwards who all got at least 10 A*/A grades each. More widely speaking 1 in 5 pupils gained at least 5A*-A grades and just under 1 in 2 got 5A*-B grades.

Of all entries across all subjects 22% received an A*/A grade with 42% receiving A*-B and 68% gaining an A*-C grade. The gap between pupil premium and non-pupil premium students has narrowed dramatically which is hugely pleasing and reflects the hard work that has been put into this area over the past 12 months. The overall figure of 64% of students achieving 5A*-C grades (54% including English and Maths) is slightly down on our predictions.

Uniform Update (25/8/16)

Due to the issues we are having with supply of uniform from  Price and Buckland there will be an extra grace period to allow all outstanding items to be delivered. Students will have until Monday 19th September to be in the new uniform and should wear it as soon as they have it. Any problems beyond this date will be dealt with individually. The school has made an official complaint to the suppliers and is currently waiting to meet with their directors to discuss the future.

September Start Dates (15/7/16)

We hope that all students and staff have a fantastic and safe Summer break. We look forward to welcoming Year 7 back on Tuesday 6th September and the rest of the school the following day Wednesday 7th.

National Champion for Second Year (15/7/16)

Mair EdwardsCongratulations to Mair Edwards, representing Hampshire Schools she retained her Inter Girls (Year 10/11) English Schools 200m title, making her National Champion for the second year in a row.  She will also represent England next weekend in a home international meeting.  This is a fantastic achievement and one we are all extremely proud of.  Mr Reed

GCSE Results Day – 25 August 2016 (13/7/16)

GCSE Results Day – Thursday 25 August

11am – 12.30pm in Crush Hall

BCoT Student of the Year (13/7/16)

Aidan certificateAidan car‘Congratulations to Aidan Lea 10SJP for being awarded BCoT student of the year.  Aidan studies Automotive Technology at the college which assists his passion for racing outside of school. Well done for this great achievement and keep up the good work in Year 11!’ Mr Peters
Aidan’s proud parents said ‘Aidan is now competing at a national level in Karting and is doing very well, not to mention a very nasty injury he had to deal with, he is working very hard and we are very proud of his achievements at school/BCOT and in his racing’


Uniform Update (4/7/16)

We have been in contact with Price and Buckland today who have assured us of two things:

  • Anyone who ordered over the weekend and were not able to apply the 10% discount will have their debit/credit cards refunded with the 10%.
  • The 10% online discount will continue until 5pm on Tuesday 5th July. Orders placed before this time will also qualify for free delivery to school.

Cabaret Sold Out (4/7/16)

No more tickets available for Thursday 7 July, The Wonderful World of Costello Circus.

Uniform Sale Apology (1/7/16)

We would like to apologise for the painfully long wait at the uniform sale on Friday 1st July. We were completely unprepared for the volume of people who attended. This was compounded further by the fact the we could not use the sports hall, gym or main hall to hold the event due to the poor weather meaning that all PE taking place during period 5 was forced indoors. Price and Buckland have extended their 10% discount offer (including free delivery to school in time for the end of term) to include all online sales  until Tuesday 5th July.

We will be working very hard to avoid the over crowding at future events. Should you wish to order uniform from the safety of your own home please click here for further information.

Proposed NUT Strike Action 5th July (28/6/16)


Please click here for information regarding the proposed NUT strike action on Tuesday 5th July.


Costello Retain District Athletics Championships Trophy (21/6/16)

photo 4Costello sent 116 athletes and helpers to the District Athletics Championships at Down Grange on 16th June. The weather forecast had put the whole event into question, but as it turned out we managed to dodge the showers all day and conditions were almost perfect.

The helpers did a great job in helping to run the event and they helped officiate the field events, time the track races and collate the results on the spreadsheet. They were praised by all involved.

The athletes also put in strong performances across all the events and it was this consistency in all the age groups which meant Costello retained the overall trophy.

The athletes were also giving the new athletics vests their first outing too and they looked really smart and distinctive. Costello received a generous sponsorship package from Chartwells (our catering company) and this was part of the kit they funded in addition to a girls football kit and a basketball kit. Obviously we would like to take this opportunity to thank them for their generosity.

There were many individual successes on the track: Lucy Hempstead, Izzy Ruth, Gabriel Bori, Richard Sutton, Cameron Coveney, Jake Tucker and Alex Danylyuk all won their respective events to become District Champions.

In the field, the athletes were not to be outdone either: Sam Winser, Harry Feast, Harry Fink, Nick Western, Kurtis Shaw, Jess Head, Maddie Wingrove and Izzy Pinder all were also District Champions in their events.

Athletes in Year 7 and 8 who finished first or second in their events will have the opportunity to represent Basingstoke in the County Championships on Tuesday 12th July at Southampton and they have therefore gained district selection, so congratulations to them.

The standout performance of the day though had to be Izzy Pinder, who jumped 1.61m in the Year 7 girls high Jump competition. This is a new school record and would be a new Basingstoke Club record too. If  the results were eligible, which sadly they are not, it would also put her top of the UK rankings too. So all in all, a fantastic performance….well done Izzy!

So, all in all, a fantastic day. Congratulations to all involved.

LifeLab (16/6/16)

Year 9 science students experienced LifeLab last week at University Hospital Southampton. The students worked with doctors, medical scientists of every field, biochemists, researchers & technicians. They received commendation on their interaction and behaviour with special mention to their attention span. We go again next week with the remainder of Year 9!

Ms Merrin

uosblue_jpgLifeLab was first initiated in 2008 at the University of Southampton, it is a unique, state-of-the-art teaching laboratory dedicated to improving adolescent health by giving school students opportunities to learn first-hand the science behind the health messages. LifeLab recently appeared on BBC2’s Horizon programme (7 June – can still be found on catch-up).

Latest Sporting Achievements (15/6/16)

More Swimming Success

Following on from the success in Crawley last month our swimmers were back down there again on 14/15 May. John Holt, Aemelia Rugman, Charlyne and Julia Lebosse were all competing in the second instalment of the ASA South East Regional Championships. Highlights from the gala were, Julia making the final and finishing 7th in the 200m Breaststroke and Charlyne finishing 4th in the Long Course 50m Fly.

All the swimmers are also representing Costello at the Hampshire Schools Swimming Championships on 26 June in Portsmouth.

Finally, Charlyne has also been selected to compete at the ASA National Swimming Championships in Sheffield in August. She is delighted at being selected and will be competing in the 100m Fly.

Obviously we wish them all luck with their forthcoming races and congratulate them on their success.

Athletics Round Up

Hampshire Schools Athletics Championships

Several Costello athletes joined competitors from other Basingstoke schools to make up the district team at these championships which were held in great conditions at Mountbatten Centre, Portsmouth.

Most of our athletes performed well, some gaining PB’s in the process too which was great news for them.

In the junior girls 1500m Izzy Ruth ran a PB to finish in 13th position. Robyn Hill ran really well in the heat and the final of the 100m achieving PB’s in both races to finish in 4th position and Catherine Edwards picked up the silver spot in the 200m also running a PB despite a niggling injury.

In the junior boys competition Will Jones competed in the 100m but failed to make the final and Cameron Coveney raced in the 1500m. He also ran a PB and finished in 9th position.

In the inter boys hammer competition Jack Hempstead threw well to finish in 3rd position behind the national champion who won as expected.

Ex-students Evie Wilcox and Caius Joseph had great days. Evie won the Hammer and Discus competitions and Caius won the Pole Vault and 100m in addition to finishing 2nd in the Discus and 4th in the Long Jump.

ESAA Under 20 Championships

Mair EdwardsSeveral of our high profile athletes chose to go the South East Under 20 Championships at Lee Valley instead of competing in Portsmouth. Ex-student Myles Richardson ran well to pick up a bronze medal in the 400m against some tough opposition and current Year 11 students Owen Richardson and Mair Edwards also ran well to finish 8th and 3rd respectively in the 200m despite both only being 16.

English Schools Selection

Owen and Mair also received the fantastic news that they have been selected to represent Hampshire in the English Schools competition. Both will be competing individually in the 400m and 200m and in the relay teams. Congratulations to both athletes!

Destination Basingstoke (27/5/16)Teentech Awards_037

In recognition of their Teentech success Destination Basingstoke awarded James Teasdale, Raphael Bori and Ashesh Bati the “Young Achievers” award sponsored by The Gazette and The Breeze.

Ms Merrin had the pleasure of accompanying James, Raphael and Ashesh to The Haymarket Theatre last night, she was delighted to say they won their category. Congratulations again!

Open Morning 14 June 2016 (13.5.16)

The Costello School warmly invites you to our Open Morning on Tuesday 14 June 2016

Changing schools can be a challenging experience for both children and their parents. At The Costello School we do all we can to make that change as smooth as possible. I am delighted to invite you to our forthcoming Open Morning event designed to help you choose the correct secondary school for your child.

On the morning parents are invited to visit and tour the School on a normal working day. A tour of the School will take place at 9.00am and will finish with an opportunity to ask any questions you may have. Please note that this event is for parents only.

If you would like to attend please call the school on 01256 321263 to register your interest.

Costello School Uniform Event (6.5.16)

There will be School Uniform events taking place in school on the following dates:

9 May, 1 July 2pm – 6pm, 18 July 10am – 7pm

Organised by our new supplier Price & Buckland, for more information download  Event Flyer

Rugby Success (4.5.16)

Grace Poppy IzzyProud Mum Amanda Berringer wanted to share this picture taken on Sunday when Grace and Poppy along with Izzy Ruth played for Basingstoke Rugby Club’s U13s at the Worthing Girls 10s Festival. They won two of their three games which secured them a place in the final, where they came second – they are proudly wearing their medals in this photo.  Their teamwork was amazing and they were fearless – they have legs full of bruises to prove it!

We try to celebrate and reward success as much as we can and it’s good to hear about things students have achieved outside of school, well done girls!

Proposed cancellation of 655/654(10) Buses (29.4.16)

We have recently been informed of the cancellation of both the 656 and 654(10) buses from September. We are strongly opposed to this. Please use the links below to read the letters that we have sent to all parents as well as Councillor Osselton (654/10 Basingstoke and Dean Borough Council)  and Councillor Woodward (656 Hampshire County Council). We would urge you to canvas your local Councillor and/or write directly to Hampshire County Council and Basingstoke and Dean Borough Councils respectively.

Letter to all parents
654(10) Letter
656 Letter

Breath-taking Music Concert (27.4.16)

Music 1Music 2Headteacher, Mr Adams reported last week it was a privilege to attend the annual music recital which took place in the drama studio. An intimate affair with thirty or so students that really did take the audience’s breath away. There were so many highlights and although Mr Adams thought it unfair to pick out favourites, he said – for me Matthew Underdown on xylophone, Bhavna Setty at the piano and finally Alex Danylyuk playing Desolate Motion live on the electric guitar maybe just shaded it. Well done to everyone involved including the Creative Arts staff and especially Mrs De Souza from Hampshire Music Service.

Technology Tournament (27.4.16)Technology Tournament

A group of Year 8 and 9 students took part in the Rotary Technology Tournament during the end of last term.  Their challenge was to design, construct and test a bridge that could open to let ships through.  They did brilliantly during the day and received a certificate for their efforts.  Well done to all involved!

Basingstoke Teen Hero (22.4.16)

joshYear 8 student Josh Oldcorn has been praised in the local press for his life saving acts.

Most 13-year-olds wouldn’t know what to do if someone around them collapsed and needed immediate first aid care, but Josh has been forced into possible life saving action no less than three different times over the last few months.

Josh first used his St John Ambulance Cadet training in December last year when he jumped to the aid of another teenage boy who he found lying on the ground unconscious in the park at Chineham. He then repeated his heroics a few weeks later after selflessly getting off a bus early to care for an elderly man who he’d seen collapse and begin convulsing outside the railway station. And he amazingly sprang into action a third time last month after his grandmother received a panicked phone call from her elderly disabled friend Laura who lives alone and was suffering from a nose bleed. All three made a full recovery thanks to Josh’s care.

Josh started training as a youth volunteer for Basingstoke’s Cadet Unit in 2012 with a view to becoming a combat medic in the military one day, and was quick to point to his time with the group for giving him the confidence to act.

Josh said “I think learning first aid is very important as you could save a life. The moment I walked into the park and saw the lad lying there I knew I had to do something. Knowing some simple first aid skills gave me the confidence to step in and take action”.

Josh’s grandma said: “When I took him to Laura’s, he didn’t act like a 13-year-old he took complete control of the situation and handled it brilliantly, I was amazed at how calm and professional he was and how calming he was for Laura.

Avante GardeWinning Company Avant Garde (14.4.16)

Well done to Costello’s Young Enterprise company Avant Garde for winning best company at the Basingstoke Hampshire Finals.  They also won best e-advert, best business plan, best product and best presentation! They now move on to the Hampshire and IOW County Finals in Southampton on 4th May.  The photo is just some of the 23 strong company!


Race for Life Pretty Muddy (13.4.16)

Pretty MuddyThis year Costello will participate in Race for Life’s Pretty Muddy Obstacle Course 5K at Down Grange, Basingstoke on Saturday 18 June at 10.45/11.00.

For details on how to take part please click here

Year 9 District Champions (12.4.16)

Yr 9 Girls footballYr 9 Boys footballCongratulations to the Year 9 Girls and Year 9 Boys football teams for competing and winning in the District Cup Tournament, becoming District Champions again.




Runways End Activities Centre Review (11.4.16)

P1000878Note: this review is coming from a Year 9!  I thought that runways end activities centre provided a vast range of activities for the day. I thought that the equipment was well designed, to make it fun and a challenge yet safe too. The safety equipment was of a good standard, i.e. for the leap of faith they had harnesses for us to wear. An improvement on this would be instead of lower body harnesses they could have had full body harnesses. Other than that I have no other worries or complaints. I would definitely recommend it to anyone who needs that bit more of a challenge in life.


Sport Relief Update (23.3.16)

Costello Non-School Uniform Day

RAISED £839.11

Sport ReliefHouse Point Allocation for Wearing Red!

Loddon 740   Brookvale 330   Hackwood 540   Camrose 1020

Penalty Shoot Out Raised £81.64

Moon Mile Raised £253.67

Thank you for your support!

More Sporting Success (22.3.16)

County XC Success for Izzy and Cameron


Izzy Ruth and Cameron Coveney represented Hampshire Schools in the South East Inter Counties XC race at Popham Airfield on 19 March. They had qualified for Hampshire after a good performance at Gang Warily earlier in the term and were running against the top runners from Surrey, Sussex, Kent, Essex and Hampshire. Izzy ran a great race to finish in the middle of the pack in 51st position and was the 10th Hampshire athlete home which was an improvement of four positions from the previous race. She should feel extremely pleased with her progress this season and should go into the summer with confidence. Cameron had a fantastic day. A tight group finish saw him come home in 5th position, just two seconds adrift of the silver medal. He was the second Hampshire athlete back and he too should feel proud of a fantastic performance and season.

British Title for Sibi

Sibi 1Sibi Kumara travelled to London to take part in the British Karate Championships. Fighting in the 12-13 age group /  52kg weight category, he took gold medals in both the individual competition and the Team fighting competition. This makes him British Champion. He also has another major tournament in Sheffield in about a month and he should get to represent GB in September. Congratulations to Sibi on his amazing achievement and we wish him luck in the forthcoming events.

Peace Jam (17.3.16)

Peace Jam

Twelve Year 10 Costello students attended a pioneering conference at Winchester University exploring human rights for indigenous people. They welcomed a special guest, Nobel Peace Laureate Rigoberta Menchú Tum from Guatemala. In 1992, Peace Jam1Rigoberta Menchú Tum was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in recognition of efforts to improve the rights of the Mayan of Guatemala and native people everywhere. She was the first indigenous person to receive the award. During the 30 years of dictatorship, war and violence that followed the 1954 military takeover 200,000 Guatemalans were murdered. Rigoberta helped her father organise resistance, and, despite losing both her parents, two brothers, a sister-in-law and three nieces and nephews to the violence, persevered with the search for a peaceful way to resist military oppression.

The two-day conference held at The University of Winchester, and organised by Peace Jam UK, welcomed around 250 delegates including secondary school students from all over the UK.

Throughout the weekend, the Peace Jam conference discussed Nobel Peace Prize winners and various themes including identity, difference, power, privilege, peace and non-violence in an increasingly complicated world.

Early on in the conference the audience were invited to ask Rigoberta questions and Joe Duerden made a real impression when he asked Rigoberta “As the next generation of humans, how can we tell our world leaders to treat our world with peace rather than violence?

Students were also given the opportunity to present their local community projects to an audience, as part of the One Billion Acts of Peace movement – a fundamental element of the academic Peace Jam programme. Some of the students learnt about a scheme called “Roll out the Barrels”,

In Africa and developing countries around the world, women and children carry their own weight in water, in dirty jerry cans and containers, not just from a local pump (a few hundred yards away) but sometimes over 6 miles or even further, just to survive – “Roll out the barrels” provides a simple solution!

Other students visited Hyde Gate Residential home and spent time talking to residents and taking part in activities with them whilst others went onto the streets of Winchester to talk to young people about the Street Reach Community Project.

The Conference had a huge impact on all the students and they are setting up a Costello Peace Jam group in the summer term with the aim to launch our own contribution to the Billion Acts of Peace campaign! For as Rigoberta told the students, “We all have energies and if we combine these energies we can make a difference!

All of the Costello students would like to say a HUGE thank you to the Basingstoke and Deane Rotary Club who so kindly sponsored their trip and without whom this opportunity may not have been possible!

The Globe Trip on Friday 11 March (16.3.16)

In The Costello’s school ongoing efforts to provide efficient support for all areasGlobe of the English curriculum, a trip to the Globe theatre was organised to aid with the Twelfth Night (Shakespeare) scheme of work which students complete in Year 8. The trip involved current Year 8 and Year 7 students. It was a stunning performance by a stellar cast. Our students loved every moment and some even commented that they now have a new found love for Shakespeare. As always, our students were an absolute credit to the school.

Lights, camera, action! (15.3.16)

VLUU L200 / Samsung L200On Wednesday 9 March, Costello’s Lead Learners in Drama played host to 90 Year 6 pupils from Fairfields and Great Binfields Primary schools, as part of a Theatre in Education project. This is an annual event which enhances Costello’s existing and strong Transition Programme.

Focussing on the key transition issue of ‘Friendships – old and new’, our students (ranging from Year 7 through to Year 11) wrote and directed their own ‘sketches’ to perform to the younger audience. This was then followed by an afternoon’s workshop with the pupils from our Primary ‘feeder’ schools – a forum theatre activity, which encouraged the Year 6 pupils to think about their own friendship journey, as they approach moving up to Costello in September.

Ably directed by the Costello Drama students, the Primary children then produced their own ideas and solutions to potential friendship issues, through mini-performances and collaborative discussions.

The afternoon was fast and frantic, with a sense of energy, enthusiasm and engagement. It was also a time for the two Primary schools’ pupils to meet different faces and became more familiar with older students and pupils from other schools whom they’ll meet ahead of their transition in September.

On commenting about the afternoon, one of the Primary teachers said, ‘On behalf of our Year 6 children, I would like to say thank you for a brilliant afternoon at Costello. Your students were fantastic and made our children feel at ease being in new surroundings.’

Mrs Sheehy and Mr Frape pass on their congratulations to all our wonderful students, all of whom gave up so much time and energy to make the afternoon such a success.

BBC School Report (10.3.16)

On 9 March 2016, Miss Ironside’s Year 8 English class took part in BBC School Report 2016.  The day began with the reporters giving a brief run through of the day. School ReportFurther on through the day, interviews took place with sporting stars, teachers and students. Throughout the day there was a continuous stream of footage being edited. The research team worked hard in advance to ensure the reporters had accurate information for their reports.  Before the day of the news report the class had a team of five go and interview the Bisons about their recent wins.  Overall, the day was a success and everyone had a good time.  The students have set up a website which the report will be uploaded on to: costelloschoolreport


Sport Relief 2016  (10.3.16)

Sport Relief

Costello Non-School Uniform Day


£1 per student—all money goes to Sport Relief

If students wear something RED, they will get points for their house!

2016 Costello Ski Trip (10.3.16)

IMG_1488Louisa Bickley:  Everyone who visited La Molina, Spain on The Costello School Ski Trip really enjoyed it. The hotel was great and all the ski instructors were very friendly. The resort was amazing and it was so much fun going down the slopes. Even beginners who had never put on a pair of skis before were skiing down black level slopes by the 4th day, which just goes to show how quickly you advance! Experienced skiers were also taught new skills so everyone had the right amount of challenge in their group. The food and evening activities were also fantastic – swimming and bowling were some of the best. Overall, everyone had a great time and for many people it was one of the best holidays they’d ever had!

Harley B:  This was my last trip with Costello and was the best so far. My favourite part had to be the skiing. The instructors could not have been more funny and the snow was amazing offering many activities.  I am so happy that I had the opportunity to go with the school as it had made my final trip the best one I’ve had.

STEM ambassadors at Didcot (1.3.16)

DSC_1217Report by Raphael Bori.  As part of the My Kinda Future ‘The best school trip ever’ scheme, we were invited to the Thames Water Sewage treatment facility at Didcot on 24 February. We had to complete a challenge to design and build a piece of furniture that could support as many people as possible using only 14 balloons and a roll of cello tape. Most groups were only able to support one person but the winning group managed to fit two on to their structure.

Afterwards was the tour itself. It started with the first stage of the waste extraction, screening. This has been introduced since wet wipes have been marketed they have to be extracted before the water and waste is separated because it blocks up the system otherwise. Thames water have run many campaigns to stop people flushing wet wipes to prevent the problem and less money is needed to extract them .

Next was the primary treatment, one of the main things that surprised me about the sewage works was the lack of a stench albeit not everywhere and also how much chemistry and biology is needed throughout the process to make our waste water clean enough to return to the environment.

The people we met were from very different branches of the company and had got there through a variety of career paths but one thing that stood out was their clear passion for what they were doing and how they wanted to pass this on to us so that we may consider a STEM based job one day.

Overall I thought the day was really enjoyable and learnt a lot about Didcot and sewage treatment misconceptions that I never knew about. However I also learnt some employability skills that can be applied to later life. I would definitely go again and recommend it to someone else.

Uniform Consultation Response (29.2.16)

A letter (see link below) has been sent to parents that explains the outcome of the recent uniform consultation that many took part in. Views and feedback were very much appreciated and played a large part in developing ideas.

Plotting a way forward that offers a solution acceptable to everyone is impossible however I am confident that the plan I have put in place addresses the core identified issues well; namely raising of standards, simplification of rules, improving financial efficiencies and a reduction in time spent dealing with non-compliance. You will notice that whilst some absolutes have been dropped into place, with almost immediate effect, there is also a degree of flexibility in terms of transition for Y11 and in reaching an end point with regard to styles of trousers.

Uniform Consultation Response Letter

Leigh Adams

Hampshire Library Literature Quiz (25.2.16)

Litery QuizOn Thursday 25 February Mrs Ward took her star quiz team to compete against other Hampshire secondary schools in the annual Literature Quiz. The team members were Orlando Roake and Susie Whiting from Year 7 and Lottie Leadbetter and Charlotte Morris from Y9. They had questions on all kinds of subjects within the field of literature, including some really detailed questions about characters and plots in all types of fiction from the classics to those published in the last 12 months.

The Costello Team put in an admirable performance in front of an audience of parents, teachers, librarians and County staff, and took a very worthy third place. They were awarded certificates and a book of their choice.

The National Grid Engineering Day (10.2.16)P1000709

On Wednesday Year 9 students experienced some engineering challenges. The National Grid have sponsored “Learn by Design” to present an engineering workshop to 200 Year 9 students. It is designed to inspire students to consider taking engineering as a career.

A group of people from the National Grid came in and gave us three sessions on engineering.  Overall I think that it was a very good informative set of lessons.  Katie Rust 9KLU

There were three workshops:

The Design Room, where the students were given a brief and asked to design something to fulfil the criteria, and present to the group at the end of the session.

I Engineer is discovering the importance and flexibility of robots, looking at the design, testing the various attachments and analysing results. Studying ASIMO directly, debating the ethics of using robots in the workplace or in the caring profession/

Engineering X factor, an interactive quiz dispelling myths, confirming facts about every aspect of the engineering profession.

Russell Group Universities (8.2.16)

Did you know that over 40 ex-Costello students who graduated from QMC in the last 3 years have gone on to attend Russell Group Universities. Over 200 more students have furthered their studies at other universities.

Journey to ‘un café français’ à Old Basing (5.2.16)

Flag_Map_of_French_Cote_d'Ivoire_(1871_-_1958)On 5 February, a group of five Year nine students arrived in a French themed ‘café’ at St Mary’s Junior school, Old Basing. Their hall was decorated with French flags and French music played. They had useful words and phrases hung around the room that would be used in a French café and the whole atmosphere was ‘très français’. So, we were given the job to be their café waiters and waitresses!

An array of French foods were placed on trays to tempt us, then, the ‘customers’ (Year 4s) arrived. We waiters and waitress’ spoke in French for the duration of the visit and could only offer the customers their food if they replied in French. After they had placed their orders, we had to serve their food. They could choose two snacks (a brioche, croissant, pain au chocolat or a baguette) and a drink.

All of the children put in a lot of effort to respond in correct French and we did manage lots of full conversations, it was amazing how much of the language the children of that age could understand. I really enjoyed the visit and think it has helped me to improve my own French by talking in a real life scenario.

Au revoir!  Robyn Hill

Home Access (5.2.16)

Dashboard 1As a student you can now access your schools files and any relevant software from home. Simply click on the dashboard icon in the top right hand corner of the homepage and login using your normal details.

Swimming Success (3.2.16)

swimOn 24 January, a medley relay team of 4 (3 of which are Costello students; Aemilia Rugman; Charlyne and Julia Lebosse) became Hampshire County champions taking gold (out of 21 relay teams!). Julia and Aemilia were also part of the freestyle relay, came fourth.

They did extremely well last weekend at the Counties Championships, John Holt won gold in the 100 and 200 Butterfly and came second in the 50 fly. Julia Lebosse was the fastest and got gold in the 50 freestyle and finished 2nd in the 200 breaststroke. She reached the finals of the 50 and 100 breaststroke and also the 100 backstroke. Aemilia Rugman won a silver medal in the 100 breastroke and reached the final of the 50 breaststroke. Charlyne Lebosse missed bronze on the 100 fly by 0.2 seconds and made the final in the 50 fly.

The dedicated swimmers go to training before and after school, proud Mum Elisabeth Lebosse said ‘They do work an incredibly busy schedule every day, they win medals’.

We wish them every success next weekend when they will be competing in Portsmouth and at the South East Regional taking place in May.

Costello Visit to Old Basing Infants (1.2.16)Old Basing Juniors

This morning Mrs Carnegie and Dr Underdown visited Old Basing Infants with Ms Merrin and Mrs Gifford, plus Year 7 students, Sam Holland, Isobel Reid, Lisa Fill and Thomas Caine as part of their Science week. The presentations were called ‘The Science of Magic and the Magic of Science’ where we carried out some demonstrations before the children visited four tables to do some hands on experiments.

The awe and wonder of the 270 children was incredible, and it was an absolute pleasure seeing their faces lit up!

Cathy Waller Dance Company Visit (25.1.16)

IMG_0496On Monday Costello was lucky to welcome a young talented and disabled choreographer Cathy Waller into the school. She had a busy day delivering assemblies to Year 7, 8 and 9 telling her story of developing a fitting disorder in her twenties after establishing herself as a dancer. At the end of the assemblies students showed great interest asking her questions ranging from her seizures to how she pursued dance. Year 11 dance students were lucky to take part in an hour dance class and then a creative workshop where they all created their own dances. Cathy was really impressed by the behaviour and enthusiasm of Costello students.

More Table Tennis Success (20.1.16)

On the back of a successful team performance in the District Tournament before Christmas, Costello enjoyed similar results and success in the individual competition. We sent 23 students to the event and all performed well enjoying the league matches and experiencing at least one knockout round. In the knockout phases the players had mixed results, some progressing further than others and some were unlucky to be drawn against each other too.

However, the highlights of the event were:

Ellie Rixon who won the Under 13 Girls Plate Competition.

Jess Head who was Runner up in the Under 16 girl’s main competition behind Amy Blagborough who is ranked in the top 10 nationally.

Harry Feast became the Under 13 Boys individual District Champion with a confident performance and finally Isla Hignett who also became Under 13 Girls Individual Champion.

Jess, Isla and Harry now get to represent Basingstoke in the County competition on 5th February in Southampton.

Congratulations to all involved.

Thank you! £851 donated! (19.1.16)

The total collected on Christmas Jumper Day on the last day of term was just over £851. Money raised is being split 50/50 and donated to Save The Children and Ark Cancer Charity.

Thank you to everyone that participated.

Year 7 trip to Sky Studios (12.1.16)

Sky 1On 12 January the English department took a selected few Year 7s to Sky studios.

Students were given a tour of Sky studios and were shown the inner workings of the machine that is Sky to gain an understanding of producing and broadcasting.  They also had the opportunity to create their own news report; students took different roles: editor, director, producer, reporter etc. Students had a wonderful day out and thoroughly enjoyed it. The students were an absolute credit to Costello and we look forward to continuing this link with Sky.