Friday, 22 September 2017

22 September 2017

Highlights of the Week

We have been overwhelmed in the last week by the response to our Open House event taking place on the 4th of October.  This will be a chance for former students from the school to visit and see the building one last time before it is demolished in the New Year.  300 tickets were on offer, but these were all taken up within 36 hours of becoming available.  Participants are coming from as far as Australia and former students who left as long ago as the 1950s. I am pleased to say that I have been able to increase capacity for the event, so a further 100 tickets are now available by clicking on this link or the image below:  

One of the features of the event will be a display of archive material showing old photos from the school, memorabilia and individual memories of school days for the residents of Paulsgrove and Wymering.  The display will be curated by Bethany Joyce and Sarah Johnson from the Capturing the Spirit team and 4 of our students, Rhiannon Hood, Tallulah Standen, Sam Sadler and Phoebe Long. The group will begin their work on Tuesday and I am looking forward to seeing the final product.

Year 7s continue to impress.  Their attendance is fantastic, 98% today, as is their enthusiasm, and they look really smart too.  They had their official photographs taken yesterday and so parents will get the chance to buy a photo from Snappers Photographers in the next week or so.  More details are available from the Finance office.

There have been a huge number of positive referrals already this term (nearly 5000) and 3000 of these have been given for excellent effort.  This is great news as I want all students to ensure their effort is always good or better.  To this end, we will write to you every half term describing how much effort your son or daughter is making in all of their subjects and I ask that you support our determination in ensuring good effort is the norm at school.

Learning Champions

It was a treat to spend some time in Mrs Watford's Science class recently and to witness the hard thinking they were having to do to work out variations in the flight patterns of various paper helicopters. Their investigation asked them to explore what happened when they changed the length, width and thickness of the 'wings' on paper helicopters and the results were remarkable.  The students thoroughly enjoyed it and, as the pictures show, Diercy, Riley and Taylan worked very hard to understand the science behind the results.

It is this sort of hard thinking that all our teachers are trying to promote in their lessons this year, so don't be surprised if your child comes home saying some of the work is difficult.  Exams are more challenging than ever these days and so students need experience of having to work things out on their own.  They will get stuck and make mistakes, and it is at these times that learning happens, so do please encourage them to persevere and not be put off by the struggle.

It is also important that the students take pride in their work.  I have seen many examples of superbly presented work as I visited lessons this week.  Here are some examples from English lessons that show the pride with which Year 7s have approached their writing assignments.  Ms Choudhry’s class have been studying Greek mythology and Literature across time and had to write a story about heroes vs villains.  Ms Chering’s class had to describe a journey down the stairs on Christmas morning.

There has also been some excellent work in Catering this week as Mrs Mitchell involved the students in producing some high quality quiches, bread rolls, risotto and cakes.

Building Character, Shaping Futures

Overnight temperatures in the low single figures will test our Duke of Edinburgh Award students this weekend when they undertake their expedition in the New Forest.  Their character will also be tested as they navigate their way around and are completely responsible for themselves.  We wish them good luck and I will report on their successes next week.

I have been talking to students in assembly over the last couple of weeks about their ambition.  With so many of our students going on to excellent apprenticeships or college courses and news this week of many of our former students starting university (Liam King has gone to Southampton to study Economics following his A level grades of A*, A,A for example), I want to be sure that students are aiming as high as they can.  Their teachers have set them ambitious targets and I want them to not only reach these targets, but exceed them.  The only limits they set will be in their mind. 

Year 11 had their first College presentation of the year today.  Colleagues from Portsmouth College came in to describe their offer for post 16 students. Portsmouth College is one of the fastest growing colleges in England and is tremendously successful, and many of our former students have thrived their on both vocational and academic courses.  Their open days are on the 3rd and 4th of October and early applications are encouraged due to its popularity.  You can find details of all colleges’ open day events here.

Our newly elected Student Councillors met this week to start to design the graphics that will decorate the atrium canteen in the new school.  They are working with a draft design from Fareham based design company Bonwyke Design and want to use ideas generated by the student body.  They are inviting suggestions from any student in the following categories:
·         Symbols that represent a curriculum subject;
·         Symbols that represent a dream job for the future;
·         Quotes that summarise/capture something brilliant about the school.

If your child would like to submit an entry, they should do so by the end of the day next Friday, 29th September.

Some of our Year 10 girls met with mentors from the Girls’ Network this week as part of a matching event, and the mentors were really impressed with their aspirations and positivity.

Key Dates

3rd October – Open Evening 3rd Oct (see website for further details)
4th October – Open House
13th October – Extended half term starts
30th October – First day of term in new school


Our academy application was considered yesterday by the Regional Schools' Commissioner and approved, and the next steps towards conversion takes place on Monday with our public consultation meetings.  The meeting for parents is at 14:30 and for community stakeholders at 17:30 in the main hall should you wish to attend to hear more about our plans.  If you want to make a comment on the conversion, please do so in writing by sending an email to

If your child rides a bike to school, please ensure they have a suitable lock for their bicycle and that the bike is insured.  Our bike sheds are locked each day but there have been thefts in the past and unfortunately the school cannot accept responsibility for personal property left on our premises.

I hope your child is now accessing Show My Homework to find out their homework tasks as well as view timetable information. There are many tutorials on the internet to help and they must remember to use their school email address and password to login.  In the next week or so, we will send all parents login details so that you can monitor your child's homework record and see the comments that have been made by teachers.

Uniform standards remain high, so thank you for seeing to it that students are dressed for success.  Thank you especially for complying with the new PE kit – our students look very smart and dapper in their black and red tops.

Our Year 6 Open Evening is taking place on Tuesday, 6th October from 4-7pm at the new school. This event is for Year 6 students and their parents who would like to find out more about what King Richard School can offer. Our new building is scheduled to open at the end of October and will be a fantastic environment for outstanding learning. Come and see the great facilities we have on offer and meet some of our staff and students. Tickets can be obtained by clicking on this link.

Friday, 15 September 2017

15 September 2017

Highlights of the Week

If you walked down Allaway Avenue this week, you would’ve noticed the changes to our new school building.  The canopy by the front door is now in place, as is some of the signage, and the building itself is all but finished.  Inside looks amazing too as furniture is starting to go into classrooms and it is becoming easier to imagine our life in this fantastic new setting.

Below are some current photos, and I hope to use our Facebook page to release more and more as the date for opening draws closer.  Make sure you visit our Facebook page and like us to receive these notifications.

Of course, moving into the new school means saying goodbye to our current building after 65 years of educating the boys and girls of Paulsgrove and Wymering.  If you attended the school in the past, you may wish to join us at our Open House event on 4th October to say your own farewell to the place where you spent your formative years. Tickets can be obtained through Eventbrite by clicking on this link and following the on-screen instructions, but hurry, they are 'selling' out fast.

All parents and community stakeholders should have received a letter regarding the school's decision to apply to convert to academy status with United Learning as our preferred Trust partner.  A period of public consultation has now begun and the letters regarding this can be found here: Letters on Public Consultation

Our new staff have settled very well into the King Richard School community.  Their photos below will help you to put faces to names.  

Eliza Beck - Art
Amelia Marsh - Art

Laura Watford - Science
Michelle Maxwell - Science

Lily McQuilken - Maths
Shaun Reeve - Maths

Laurence Holden - Geography
Ryan Hopwood - Geography

Kirsty Chering - English

Building Character, Shaping Futures

Our Year 7,8 and 9 students started their Enrichment options this week and these were embraced with enthusiasm.  The aim of these courses is to give students a chance to do something of real interest to them whilst also providing more school based opportunities for them to develop the resilience, team work and problem solving skills that will help them follow their dreams in the future.  The program will grow as the term develops (with more courses becoming available), and more details can be had by contacting Mr Tucker at

Year 10 Child Development and Health and Fitness students had their first trip to Southampton University's Life Lab this week. I'm told the girls worked really well together and got to meet Scientists working in Southampton Hospital.  They learned about the impact diet can have on child development and were taught how to do CPR.  They were given a chance to extract their own DNA and watched and listened to an ultrasound of an artery. 


Some of our newly elected Student Councillors met this week to start to design the graphics that will decorate the atrium-canteen in the new school.  They are working with a draft design from Fareham based design company Bonwyke Design who wants to incorporate ideas generated by the student body.  They are inviting suggestions from any student in the following categories:

* Symbols that represent a curriculum subject
* Symbols that represent a dream job for the future
* Quotes that summarise/capture something brilliant about the school

If your child would like to submit an entry, they should do so by the end of the day, next Friday, 22nd September.

College Open Evenings are up and running and we strongly urge all Year 11 students to make a visit to the colleges and talk to the staff there so they are fully informed about the choices open to them.  The full list of the events can be found here:

Football trials will start next Wednesday for the Year 7 boys and they are reminded to bring their kit with them.  Trials will take place between 3:35-4:35pm.

Key dates
3 October – Year 6 Open Evening (from 4:00pm to 7:00pm in the new school)
4 October – Open House (final tours of the old school)
13 October – School closes one week early due to move into new building
30 October – School opens in new building


This is a reminder about the new two-week timetable we are now following.  Students have all received their individual timetables and these will soon be available on Show My Homework – a new app on which teachers can record assignments and monitor submission, and parents can track what homework has been set and when.  For more information on how to use Show My Homework, click here for a demonstration.  Students will need their school email address and password in order to login.

Uniforms were generally of a high standard again this week, so thank you for ensuring your children leave the house dressed for success.  As part of their uniform, students are expected to carry a school bag with them which holds a reading book at all times.  There is no specific guidance on what a school bag should look like, but we ask that it is big enough to hold exercise books (in the event of homework) and perhaps a water bottle.

And finally, an employee of Zodiac Kids have been in touch with the school to advertise auditions for a new action adventure game show called Spy School for CITV. They will be filming in November and December this year and are looking for 12-16 year olds to take part. The aim of the show is for contestants to complete various challenges (physical - such as an assault course, and mental - such as code breaking and memory tasks) to obtain clues that send a presenter on a secret mission around London. This mission ends at a landmark where the presenter and the contestants work together to complete the final challenge and hopefully succeed in their mission. Each episode is a different mission with different landmarks and the contestants will work together in pairs. 

If this is something your child might be interested in, you can contact them on the email address listed on the flyer below:

Friday, 8 September 2017

8 September 2017


There has been much to celebrate as we started the new school year after a wonderful six week holiday.

Uniform standards have been very high, and I am very grateful to all parents for their support in ensuring their children are dressed for success each day.  Remember that you can always find information about our expectations on the website, and if you have a difficulty meeting these standards, please contact Ms Richardson or Sisk to discuss the issue.

I have been very pleased with how well students manage the new school day and timetable. There has been lots of change with the 9am start and later finishes, the introduction of enrichment activities and longer tutor times.  The students have embraced these changes and adapted very well to the new requirements.  The timings can be found here and individual timetables can be accessed via progresso or by logging on to Show my Homework.

Our new staff have settled very well into the King Richard School community and have already made a significant contribution to the education of our students. 

Show My Homework is now up and running.  All homework will be published on this site and it will be easy for parents to support their child with their homework and monitor how well they are responding to these challenges.  The link below will help you and your child get started and there are many more of these on the Internet.

* How to use Show My Homework

It was a real privilege to welcome Bjorn Ihler into school on Thursday. Bjorn is a survivor of the Utoya Island terrorist attack in Norway a few years ago and visited as part of the Extremely Together mission supported by the former UN Secretary General, Kofi Annan.  The project aims to help young people understand more about extremism and terrorism and help them think about ways in which it might be resisted. 

Bjorn gave a very moving presentation, describing how he narrowly escaped death when a bullet scraped his cheek while he was hiding.  Bjorn got the students to think about the necessity of encouraging diversity and how vital individual self-confidence and identity can be in challenging terrorism.

Learning Champions

On the 24th August, the wait was finally over for our outgoing Year 11 students who finally got to know their GCSE results.  As the pictures show, there was a range of emotions, but happily the majority of our students got the results they needed to progress to local colleges and employers on apprenticeships.  Lucas Devey described himself as "overall happy" and Luke Pender, who was celebrating his two grade 9s in English and English literature, said he was "delighted with my results after so much hard work".

Our current Year 11s now have to match these achievements and they have shown this week that they are ready for the challenge.  Their teachers have been thrilled with their positive attitude and gritty approach.  We wish them well as they start their preparation for the hardest examinations yet.

Our new Year 7 students have shown already that they have the commitment, drive and skils necessary to succeed when GCSEs come around in a few years’ time.  They are incredibly enthusiastic and confident and I will report on their work in the next few weeks.

Building Character, Shaping Futures

Our Student Leaders worked hard this week in supporting our new Year 7 students, helping them to tie ties, navigate their way around school, and understand their timetable and how the school systems work.  They contributed significantly to the smooth transition that the students have made.

Our Student Leadership team spent Friday at Portsmouth College with other Head Leaders from across the city, developing their leadership skills and thinking about the improvements they might want to bring into the school.

Key Dates

3 October – Year 6 Open Evening (from 4:00pm to 7:00pm)
4 October – Open House (final tours of the old school, more details to follow)
13 October – School closes one week early due to move into new building
30 October – School opens in new building (more details to follow)

Please take note of the following College Taster Days.  These events are particularly important for Year 10 and Year 11 students who need to decide what they want to study after their GCSEs.

The Queen Alexandra Hospital is also hosting an Open Day which provides an opportunity for students to go on tours of the hospital to decide if a career in the Health Industry might be something to consider:

The L.D.D Youth Group have put together a range of activities for young people with learning difficulties and disabilities.  More details on this event can be found below:

Finally, with the start of this new school year, I look forward to strengthening the already strong relationship that exists between home and school. We have your children's best interests at heart and I know that we can make an huge impact on their lives if we work together to build their characters and shape their futures.