Jun 24

Gifted and Talented Experiences

Twenty Year 10 gifted and talented students recently spent a day at Bristol UWE, working with other gifted and talented students from across Bristol schools in a range of workshops that challenged them to consider different aspects of World War I in this, its centenary year. 


Students engaged in a range of projects across the curriculum areas from designing and building aeroplane wings with only materials available in 1914 to intercepting foreign messages and overcoming the difficulties of communicating through the trenches to get messages to the front line. Some students created 3D maps of the trenches while others attempted to feed an army on a ration.  


In one English workshop the morality of trench warfare was debated and students concluded the day by writing their own poems to an unknown soldier. This is the creation of Susanna Paynter, whose poem was chosen to be shared with the entire group of over 200 students and university lecturers during the presentations that brought the day to a close.


To an unknown soldier,

Husband, father, brother, friend,
You gave your tomorrow for
Good to triumph in the end.

You protected the women and children,
You stood for what is right,
For the greater good of your country,
You valiantly joined the fight.

You stood in the face of danger,
You helped to beat the foe,
Now those friends you left behind you
Must face this tale of woe.

And yet we are still thankful
For all that you have done
From your wife, your sister, your friend,
Your daughter and your son.

Susanna Paynter


The Year 8 and 9 Gifted and Talented cohort have also enjoyed a teambuilding and leadership experience. They joined together to perform a number of exciting problem solving tasks that enabled them to explore team dynamics.


Year 8 and 9 teambuilding



As summer approached fifteen Year 10 Gifted and Talented Artists and Photographers headed into the Brecon Beacons with students from Brislington Enterprise College to take part in an outdoor Art and Photography week.  They engaged in a range of workshops themed around their GSCE projects including outdoor sculptor within the landscape, figure sculptor, cyana type printing and light photography.  Below are some examples of the work students produced.


Brecon 1




Brecon 2



Brecon 3



A group of 15 year 9 maths G&T students attended an Economics, Finance and Management Day at the University of Bristol. The students took part in workshops and attended lectures on Accounting & Finance, Economics and Management by leading academics and had an opportunity to experience what a day at university would be like.


In July I went on a Salters Chemistry Camp. Four people from my triple science class were picked out of a hat and we all had to write an application form about why we wanted to go. There were camps all over England but Susanna Paynter and I were lucky enough to get into the Cambridge camp and experience  the facilities they have there! We spent two and a half days taking part in activities such as making glow torches and paint from scratch and having competitions against the other students, and in the evening we explored Cambridge city and met the other 60 students who came from all over the UK. My favourite part was making paints and meeting all the new people - I didn't enjoy the 5 hour car journey quite as much!

Kate Bentley



Mar 3

Campaigning Students Hit National News Website and Persuade the Secretary of State

Fatima, Kaltun and I are part of a group called 'Empowering' which is funded by Forward, a diaspora women’s charity. As a group we aim to raise awareness around the issue of female genital mutilation (FGM). The group created a teaching resource to help raise awareness of FGM in schools because we saw that there was a lack of education and knowledge around the issue and this needed to be addressed.


We then organised and hosted a conference which was attended by health and education professionals, police and other young people. At this conference we discussed the issue and concluded that we would need the support of all of the professions in the social sector to safeguard the young women at risk. We then had a radio interview at BCfm (Bristol Community FM radio) on zero tolerance day for FGM where we talked about the only way to tackle the problem would be to raise awareness and to let young women at risk know that they have a right to speak out against FGM.




Our primary aim as a group has been to get FGM taught in schools because we believe that it's 'Everybody’s business'. Through supporting the Bristol group Integrate and their petition to include it in the curriculum and through our recent work with The Guardian at a poetry and spoken word event in London, we are happy to say that The Secretary of State for Education, Michael Gove, has agreed to have FGM taught in schools!


We are now one step closer to ending FGM once and for all.





Jan 23

Young Chef Competition success

Great news from the district semi- final of the Young Chef Competition on 21 January. James (year 9) and Miss Millar headed over to St Katherine’s School in Pill where he gained first prize for his cooking!!


James completed a three course meal over 2 hours consisting of a duck breast salad, porcini risotto and a lemon tart for dessert. The judges made comments that he was calm, organised and the flavours from his dishes were brilliant.


James and his dishes


James will now be competing in the district final of the competition on the 1st of February and moving into the regional final if he is successful.


Jan 9

Romany Journey

In July 2013 our school orchestra were asked to perform at the Colston Hall with Bristol’s biggest community choir ‘The Gurt Lush’ directed by our singing teacher Sam Burns. The orchestra is non-auditioning so all of our student musicians were represented from beginner violins to grade 8 tromobonists! We played an integral part of ‘A Romany Journey’ a suite of vibrant Roma gypsy tunes arranged superbly by Sam. The orchestra rehearsed solidly for six months prior to the concert and all of their hard work paid off with a spectacular concert alongside not only the Gurt Lush Choir but also nationally acclaimed Roma band ‘The Gypsy Stars’. Have a look at our video of one of our favourite songs 'Maki Maki’.



Jan 7

SMRT Envision Team Wins £555 in Dragon’s Den-style Pitch4Change

Envision is a charity that mobilises young people to make ‘people-powered change.’ We are a group of ten SMRT students and through this we have formed ‘Asylum Seeker Action.’ Originally from a wide range of schools in Bristol, we’ve seen the lack of education for teenagers about asylum seekers and refugees. Many asylum seekers will have lost everything due to war, persecution or torture. They often cannot speak English, have no right to work, are faced with gruelling legal challenges, are given housing no one else wants and must live on just £36 a week. But having to stand up to prejudice could be unbearable. We want to combat the negative stereotypes surrounding asylum seekers and refugees.


Our project is to deliver workshops to Year 8 classes across the city. We really want the students to be able to meet real refugees and listen to their stories as well as learning through games. We’ll then distribute resource packs to every school in Bristol so the workshops can be recreated.


We were recently given the opportunity to take part in ‘Pitch4Change.’ Along with Envision groups from seven other schools, we presented our community project to a group of some of Bristol’s most prestigious business men and women in order to win funding. Opened by a speech from Mayor George Ferguson, the day was full of inspirational talks and film challenges!


We watched the other schools’ pitches nervously – all were amazing and unique. However we had nothing to worry about, ours too went very smoothly. We had had three great mentoring sessions with Clarke Wilmott Solicitors beforehand allowing us to practise lots and prepare for difficult questions.


Afterwards we were given a challenge to film a news report on the day. We interviewed the Lord Mayor and a student from another school. SMRT was awarded first place, winning an extra £100 for our project! With much suspense, we were presented our giant cheques! We were given the full amount we had requested - £455! The day ended with speeches, photos and saying goodbye to new friends, all of us inspired to carry out our project and make a real change in our community.

giant cheque

Eleanor Gardner

(Other team members: Rayan Bana, Dylan Brown-Wilkinson, Ruby Dark, Fatin Guled, Indi Hadi, Chloe Harkness, Carlo Hornilla and Grace Tiu)