Friday, 13 October 2017

13 October 2017

Highlights of the Week

2000 items of furniture; 2500 packing crates; 50 whiteboards; countless picture frames, posters and classroom displays; 10 pieces of outdoor gym equipment; two trampolines; six table tennis tables and well over 100 drama and dance costumes - these are just some of the items that the removal company have been dealing with this week as the majority of the school gets moved from the old to the new.  It has been a strange feeling for staff and students alike as we say farewell to a place so familiar and prepare for a world as yet new and unknown.

It was in this rather depleted school that our final group of former students toured around on Thursday evening.  Amongst old friends of the school that included Syd and Phyllis Rapson and Peter and Jeannie Littlefield, was Bob Jeffries and his wife. Bob was the first Head boy of the school back in 1952/3 and it was wonderful to invite him back in after all these years and introduce him to Jay Martin, our current Head Boy, and to hear the two of them exchange stories about their roles and all that has changed in education over the 65 years of the school's history.

We had a very moving assembly for Year 11 on Thursday of this week.  Mr Tucker and Mr Newton explained to students the significance of the months ahead and impressed upon them the need to work hard in the run up to their first set of practice exams.  They then proceeded to open the letter they had been written by their parents or teachers.  The letters outlined the support and help there is for each of them and the amount of belief in their abilities that is held by the school and home.  We hope that these words of encouragement will spur the students on to do many great things.

Congratulations to our now unbeaten Year 7 football team who secured a hard fought win against Trafalgar on Thursday, 3-2. Once again, the team's resolve and courage were evident and helped see them through to victory. They are now in the cup semi-final, so well done to the following boys: Tom Eastman, Charlie Crook, Hayden Collins, Bailey Cadman, Jake Sowton, Ben Eastman, Keiron Jenkins, Lewis Wolfe, Callum Palmer and Boston Redman.

Learning Champions

Mr Beck has been totalling up House points for Cedar House this week.  Particular congratulations go to Mia Featherstone and Amelia Waterman who have earned 221 and 224 points respectively this half term.  Well done, girls, a tremendous achievement! I wonder if anyone in Sycamore or Willow can match that?

Here are two examples of some work that impressed me this week.  Lily Morley's poster in Personal Development sums up some key issues regarding bullying, and Maddie Barton's Science homework on the phases of the moon is an astonishing piece of work.  Congratulations to these girls; they are fully deserving of an SLT positive referral.

Building Character, Shaping Futures

Two stories of note this week: Jo'anne McGiffen came to tell me about the part time job she had applied for and was successful in securing.  She was thrilled and put it down to the increase in confidence she now felt as a result of her participation in the Girls Network mentoring programme and the Duke of Edinburgh Award.  Well done, Jo.

Another two students were pleased to have submitted their college applications this week as a result of visits to college Open Evenings and some really impactful careers advice in recent careers interviews.  These interviews that were held with qualified Careers teachers from Portsmouth City Council are proving really valuable in helping students make firm plans for their future.

The list of up and coming careers interviews can be found below, and if you would like any information about our careers events or have a query about your child's plans when they leave school, please do contact Mrs Sear at

I saw a great piece of teamwork recently when Year 9 girls comfortably beat their male counterparts in the tug of war during enrichment games on Tuesday.  The effort and determination was fantastic, but it was their willingness to work as a team that brought them victory.

Yesterday, Lydia McCauley-Lawton, Tori Campbell and Ellie Batchelor presented their ideas on cyber-bullying and e-safety to a room full of adults at an Inclusion Conference in Portsmouth.  The girls did incredibly well and spoke with confidence and poise.

Year 11s start their first mock exams a week after we return from half term.  Please find below the exam timetable and do encourage your son or daughter to study hard now so that their success can be guaranteed later.

Key Dates
30 October – School opens in new building
6-17 November – Year 11 mock exams
22 November – Year 7 and Year 10 Parents’ Evening
13 December – Y11 mock results day and Y11 parent event


Please make sure you have noted the changed school day times for the 30th of October as we take a day to adjust to our new building.  You can read my letter that explains these plans here. Please note, this is for one day only and Tuesday will be a full day as normal, starting in Week One.  Students will also be expected to attend school in uniform on the 30th. 

Our standards will be high in the new school and anyone with incorrect uniform will be sent home to get the required items.  Thank you for your support in ensuring your child is properly dressed and ready for success.

Many parents are reporting great success in using Show My Homework to monitor the homework that has been set for their child.  You will have been sent your log on details recently, so do please download the app and get started - it is very easy.  You can also check timetable details on this site.  Please click on the image below for a video on how to get started.

And finally, ISS, the school’s caterers, were recently awarded a Bronze Food for Life Served Here award by the Soil Association.  Take a look below to see exactly why they received this award and what it means for the school.  

Friday, 6 October 2017

6 October 2017

Highlights of the Week

This week's blog is dominated by news of two major events that took place at the school this week.

On Wednesday, we welcomed well over 200 former students and their families back to the school to enjoy a final tour before the building, where they spent their formative years, is demolished later this year.

It was a remarkable event and our guests were full of wonderful stories of the friends they had met, the lessons they had learned, the teachers who had changed their lives and, in some cases, the trouble they had been in.  Here are some of my favourites:

Several old girls told us about the bathroom that was part of the Domestic Science classroom (now T1) and how lessons involved cleaning the toilet and scrubbing the bath!  The curriculum was so different then and many reminisced about how practical it was, and our student tour guides were amazed by their stories of horticulture and the lessons in the craft workshop. I also learned about the dentist surgery that used to be on site and how, when the school was a separate boys and girls school, the two genders were not even allowed to look at each other across the playground.

It was wonderful to meet former students from the last 65 years, including some who were part of the first cohort to attend the school when it was Paulsgrove Secondary Modern for Boys/Girls.  I was reminded of how a school touches the lives of so many people and how it can have such a positive impact on those who sit in its desks.  I was struck by the friendships that were made and have endured the years since school ended and even the romances that blossomed, including the couple, now married, who first met when they sat next to each other in Maths.

I have included some pictures here for your interest and we are asking everyone who was there to upload their photos to the KRS Archive Project website so that more and more former students can celebrate their memories of their school days.  Also, if you were here on Wednesday and took a picture, please do post it on our Facebook page.

More information can be found on our website, but I also include for you a link to the article that was published in The News as well as the slideshow that was used as part of the presentation.

This event came about because of our, now imminent, move into the new school, and on Tuesday of this week, about 40 current students and over 100 family members of Year 6 children got a sneak preview of the new building at our Open Evening.  It was the first time the building had any significant numbers of people in it, other than the builders, and it was wonderful to see the reaction of the children and their families.

Many of the Year 6 children were really excited about the prospect of learning in such a great environment and our current students were reassured to know how easy it is to find your way around and to see for themselves how the facilities and modern state-of-the-art classrooms will improve their day-to-day experience.

If you missed the evening and wish to find out more about choosing King Richard School as the secondary school for your child, please do not hesitate to contact me via email at the following address:

Learning Champions

Ms Marsh, one of our new Art teachers, shared with me the fantastic work achieved by her Year 10 GCSE students.  As these examples show, they have responded really well to this task which will make a useful contribution to their portfolio.


Ms Choudhury provided me with an excellent example of a student's determination and resilience this week. Grace Corns in Year 7 had struggled with her spellings earlier this term but through hard work in class and at home has now made sure she makes no mistakes when tested. Grace has risen to the challenge and persisted until she was successful and is well deserving of an SLT positive referral.

In Ms Hall's Drama class, Year 7s worked really hard on their acting skills and were awarded Actors of the Lesson awards for their hard work and diligence.

 Building Character, Shaping Futures

Careers interviews have started again for this year and we welcomed Mandy Haddigan, our new Careers Advisor from PCC, in this week.  The next set of interviews will take place next Tuesday and Thursday during periods 1-6.  Those students who were interviewed this week felt very positive about college which is evident from one student's response who had the following to say, "This really put me on the right course as to what interests me."

It is also the season for Open Evenings at colleges; Highbury and Portsmouth held theirs this past week. The UTC is next and every fortnight we will have a college represent themselves in Year 11 assemblies to outline for students the opportunities they have for post 16 progression.  As I have said previously, it is never too early to begin planning for the future, so if you have a question about careers or college, please do talk to Mrs Sear, our Careers Advisor.


All parents will receive a letter next week outlining the plans for the first day of the new term (Monday, 30th October). As mentioned last week, this will be a transition day at the students request to ensure everyone has the opportunity to find their way around and understand how the building works.  This requires us to shorten the day, so students will attend in House groups for two hours only to allow them to fully familiarise themselves with the building.  Tuesday will be a full day as normal.

If you recently placed an order for Year 7 school photographs, these can now be collected from reception.

Key Dates

30 October – School opens in new building
6-17 November – Year 11 mock exams
22 November – Year 7 and Year 10 Parents’ Evening
13 December – Y11 mock results day and Y11 parent event

Friday, 29 September 2017

29 September 2017

Highlights of the Week

We are now just 4 weeks away from moving into our new school.  Below are a couple of the most recent photos to get you excited about what’s waiting for us:

The Year 7 football team got off to a cracking start to their season with a hard-fought win against St Edmunds.  The team went two goals up before St Edmunds equalised in the last minute taking the game to penalties which we won 4-3.  The team showed tremendous courage and self-belief and Mr Herriot is very proud - bring on Round 2!

Sam Sadler, Phoebe Long, Tallulah Standen and Rhiannon Hood made fantastic progress on Tuesday working through our archives to organise the display for next week's Open House event.  With the help of historian, archivist and coordinator of the Capturing the Spirit initiative, Bethany Joyce, they categorised the many photographs and documents about education in the Paulsgrove area and life at King Richard School to create a superb display.  Some of the photos are amazing and will be a real treat for those who have tickets for next Wednesday's event.

We had our first meeting of the Student Council this week and we have a fine bunch of student representatives this year with plenty of ideas on how they would like to further improve the school. This year's members were elected by their peers last summer and are committed to ensuring they feedback to the rest of the school community after each meeting so everyone can feel more involved. Among the very sensible suggestions they discussed were raising more money for charity, developing a system to allow students to provide more feedback on learning and taking forward the anti-bullying work started last year. Watch this space for further information on their progress.

Congratulations to Lauren Cutting, Jo'anne McGiffen, Lauren Turner and Destiny Ramsey who successfully completed their Duke of Edinburgh Award expedition in the New Forest last weekend.  They showed incredible resilience and teamwork to successfully navigate themselves around the route and kept going despite tired legs, sore feet and heavy back packs.  The next step is to sign off their skills and service and we wish them well as they work towards securing the Bronze award.

Learning Champions

The pat on the back this week goes to students in Miss Williams’ Year 11 class who excelled in a recent practice GCSE exam.  They responded really well to the challenges posed, writing at length, explaining their points in detail using good historical knowledge and understanding of the source material and demonstrating their commitment to learning away from the classroom.  Well done indeed to Jessie Drackett, Brandon Owen, Phoebe Middleton, Leanne Delacruz, Louise Varndell, Robert Grice and Georgie Freeland for their superb effort.


We are spending more time this year monitoring and reporting on effort and intend to write to all parents each half term with information about how hard their child is working in all of their subjects.  Year 11s were up first and it was pleasing to see how many students are demonstrating effort that is good or better across the board.  Particular mention must go to the following students whose effort levels are well above the year group average: Bethany Baxter, Leanne Delacruz, Jay Martin, Georgie Freeland, Mirjam Csaki, and Jo'anne McGiffen.

This week, a group of ten Year 7 students began an exciting new endeavour in conjunction with the University of Portsmouth. The Step up to Books and Beyond project will see students spend time exploring the creative process of local writer Neil Gaiman with university mentors. They will write their own story and have their creations turned into a short animated film which they will get to premier alongside 100 other Portsmouth City school students next spring. Students are already looking forward to visiting the professional editing suites at the university. Amy Doswell told Ms Choudhry, “I can't wait to start writing". 

Below are also some pictures of Year 7s who worked really hard to choreograph and perform a dance for their first assessment in Dance and some Year 7s learning how to play The Crazy Frog in Music. 

Building Character, Shaping Futures

As mentioned, I was particularly impressed with the resilience and team work shown by our Year 7 footballers this week to eventually win against tough opposition.  These skills were also shown in abundance during this week's enrichment activities, and it is great to see students taking such an active part in these new opportunities which are designed to help our young people develop the skills and confidence they will need to thrive in life.

Two students who showed they are prepared to thrive are Courtney Bunting and Molly-May Creamer who put themselves forward for positions of responsibility this week when they were elected as Chair and Secretary of the Student council.  They have an important role as the leaders of Student Voice in the school and you will hear more from them in these pages. 

A further 25 students made the trip to the Life Lab at Southampton University this week to support their studies in Child Development and Health and Fitness.  They learned a lot about their own physiology as well as some new key skills like CPR.

Year 11 students must remember that Portsmouth College and Highbury College both have open evenings next week on Tuesday and Wednesday - see their websites for more details.

Key Dates
3rd October – Open Evening @ 4-7pm (see website for further details)
4th October – Open House @4-7pm
13th October – Extended half term starts
30th October – First day of term in new school


One of the key ideas discussed by the Student Council this week was the first day in our new school.  Students felt strongly that they would need time to find their way around and to orientate themselves given how different the new school will be to what they are used to.  This seems like a sensible idea and so I will work up plans to adapt the first day after half term to make sure everyone gets the chance to feel at home in their new school environment.  I am working with colleagues to draw up plans that minimise the disruption to families, that this change to normal routines will cause, and I will write to you as soon as possible with the final details.

If you are a Year 6 parent, I do apologise for the confusion over times for our Open Evening next week.  The correct times are between 4 and 7pm and you will be welcome to join us for a tour of the new school.  Places are limited so do please register your interest via this Eventbritelink.  More information is available on our website.

This week we welcome five trainee teachers to the school for the first phase of their teaching practice.  They will be with us until January and I know the children have already made them feel very welcome.

Elizabeth Mills - Maths
Alvaro Sanchez - Maths

Poppy Byrne - English

Lauren Perrins - English

Emma Gale - Geography

And finally, we say goodbye this week to Mrs House who has worked as our Education Welfare Officer for the last 3 years.  She has achieved a promotion and is going to work for Barnodos, and we wish her well in her new post and thank her for her excellent work in recent times.  We are recruiting her replacement next week and in the meantime, any attendance related issues can be addressed to Mrs Thomas, Mrs Twine or the appropriate Head of House.