• Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use
    to change the world
    Nelson Mandela



St John’s Marlborough Design & Technology teacher Gary England is coordinating the production of items to support the NHS during the COVID-19 crisis. The link came about as Mr England has a friend in management in the Royal United Hospitals Bath Anaesthetics, Critical Care and ITU department, who told him about items they were in desperate need of.

He explains, “I saw a design online by the company who make two of our 3D printers, Prusa, and how others across the world are making the face masks that include a 3D printed top and bottom section along with a clear face screen and some elastic. I ordered the clear materials and elastic online (though elastic is single use and has to be replaced as it can harbour the virus) and am now manufacturing them having taken one of the printers home.”

Geoff Brickell from Marlborough Area Development Trust (MADT) is also supporting the project, having donated the 3D printers to St John’s and running the school’s Digital Makers club. He is producing 3D printed parts at home too which Gary is collecting and assembling. Geoff commented, “The prototype face shields are being reviewed at the RUH today; we are continuing to make them whilst we wait to hear.”

Another item that has been identified in Manchester is textile pull-string bags for NHS staff, so they can place their clothes inside and wash the whole lot in the washing machine together, to stop the likelihood of spreading any germs. Several other willing volunteers from the D&T department at St John’s Marlborough and John O’Gaunt School in Hungerford have started production.

Follow our progress on Twitter: @StJohnsMarlb and @StJohnsSTEM1


Fairfield High School was delighted to welcome former Olympian and international triple jumper Vernon Samuels to inspire and share his wisdom with Year 9 mental health ambassadors, with a view to empowering them to lead physical activities with their peers. The overall objective being to address the imperative issues of well-being and mental health by increasing students’ self esteem and confidence.

In conjunction with Youth Sports Trust and Excalibur Academies Trust (for which FHS belongs), this project addresses these all too important – and all too misunderstood – issues, by offering tactics for students to help themselves and others.

Vernon is no stranger to using his wealth of experience to apply “his skills and abilities to a diverse range of enterprising change programmes and projects. For well over 25 years Vernon has worked with national, regional and local organisations from government, voluntary and private sectors developing a range of strategic initiatives and collaborative partnerships.” (source http://vernonsamuels.com/)

Jordan Goodchild, Director of PE at FHS comments: “We are privileged and honoured to welcome such an influential and inspirational figure to Fairfield. You can almost liken Vernon’s visit to the teaching a man to fish philosophy: by sharing his expertise, skills and wisdom with our mental health ambassadors to then lead activities with others will have a deep routed lasting impact.”

Vernon Samuels with Year 9 students

Ogbourne is an Excellent School…

Principal Richard Smith and Ogbourne pupils

… but you don’t just have to take our word for it – this is the judgement of the SIAMS (Statutory Inspection of Anglican and Methodist Schools) inspector.

In addition to being inspected by Ofsted, Church of England schools are also subject to regular, statutory inspection by the Church. These inspections are not merely an evaluation of the impact of the school’s Christian values on pupils but a rigorous assessment of all aspects of the school including; leadership, behaviour, wellbeing and quality of education. Following Ogbourne’s recent SIAMS the inspector has judged the school to be Excellent. According to the Church of England’s Education Office “Excellence reveals extraordinary, innovative practice. It sets incredibly high expectations for Church schools”.

Neil Revell, Lead Advisor from Salisbury Diocese, said “The Principal and the impact of his leadership shines through in the report. It is clear that he and his team are enabling everyone’s light to shine within a school that has a deep sense of care and positive relationships. Ogbourne is a school where everyone is truly valued”.

Read the full report here