Friday, 19 January 2018

19 January 2018

Highlights of the Week

Courtney Bunting chaired a wonderful Student Council meeting this week and I never cease to be impressed with the creativity of our students.  This week, they had great ideas to: further develop our anti-bullying strategy after the bullying conference at the end of the month, set up a talent showcase with local primary schools as a way of raising money for charity, communicate well with the rest of the school via a new notice board and organise a range of display photographs that demonstrate excellence at the school.

Peter Harvey and Ratu Nawai also gave feedback from the City of Portsmouth Students' summit they attended on Monday. They represented the school superbly well, making valid contributions to the group discussions on developing an anti-bullying strategy in the city via school workshops, and raising awareness for dyslexia by encouraging schools to create a hub where students can go for support.  For more information on what the student leadership do in the school, visit our website or click here.

Mrs Gill from the Finance team found this old photo of the school on Facebook. I am guessing this is from the early days of the school and so is circa 1958 although the sepia tones make it look older.  If you have photos like this, please don't hesitate to post them on the KRS archive page run by former student Debra Welch, or send them to us at agajdus@kingrichardschool.net and we will do it for you.


We were pleased to confirm this week the details for the Big Ideas day which will take place for the whole of Year 8 on Thursday, 1st February 2018. It is great that we have been selected to work with the charity Solutions for the Planet and to be supported by two generous companies with a local presence, SGN and Tarmac.  You can find out more about the organisations here. The ideas generated during the event will be followed by an enrichment group for the most enthusiastic students who will further hone their environmental credentials.



Last week we hosted a training event for trainee teachers from the University of Portsmouth.  It was highly successful and the trainees got much from the sessions which included work on managing your first year as a teacher, preparing children for final exams and an introduction to restorative practice. If there are any potential teachers reading, you might want to come along to the Portsmouth Recruitment Fair to be held at Portsmouth College on Saturday, 20th January.



Learning Champions

Clara Surtees made this lovely cloud diagram to demonstrate her meteorological understanding in Mr Watkins’ class.  She can explain why the different cloud types form at different altitudes and can name and describe the different types of clouds as a result of her recent studies.



I have also been very impressed with Mrs Hubbard’s tutor group who are the first group of students to complete their first aid training on how to do CPR.  It is clear from their classroom display that they were fantastically engaged with the topic and their written work shows a clear understanding of what they need to do to save someone’s life.






Ms Hall has started a drama company after school which is run by ex-student, Elijah Lasenby. It runs every Thursday from 3.35-4.30 and is open to Year 8-11 students.  Below is a photo of yesterday’s improvisation activity called park bench which is where students have to think of a character they can add to the scene to help tell a story.  The students did really well in tapping into their imagination and bringing their characters to life.



Building Character, Shaping Futures

So much has happened this week. Some Year 10 students have benefitted from mentoring from the Girls Network and the University of Portsmouth and several other Year 10 girls successfully completed their induction for their Child Development work experience. 

Another group of over 20 students attended the latest Learn with Us day at Southampton University where they attended workshops that focused on an hour in the life of a medic (looking at blood pressure and CPR), an historian (looking at the British Empire) and a geophysicist (looking at the Northern Lights).  One of the students walked away from the event saying, ‘University is something I’d like to do’ and this is exactly why we organize trips like these – to help students discover their potential and realise their dreams.  These photos give you some glimpses of the great work our students have been undertaking.






Key Dates
23 January            – CoPS Summit 2 (at ALNS)
24 January            – Year 8 and 9 Parents’ Evening (3:30-6:30pm)
30 January            – Y10 trip to University of Chichester (Flare Event)
                              – Y7/8 Anti-Bullying Workshop at Guildhall
31 January            – Y7/8 EBP Get Inspired trip
5-23 February       – Year 11 Practice Exams 2
27 February           – Y10 trip to University of Southampton (Learn with Us)
28 February           – Y10 trip to University of Southampton (Learn with Us)
8 March                 – School Production - Bugsy Malone
21 March               – Y11 Parents’ Evening (3:30-6:30pm)


Miscellaneous

Please accept my apologies if you tried to visit the school on Monday and had to navigate a huge puddle in front of reception.  The building contractor Kier have accepted that the area needs to be better drained and will attend to this disruptive work at half term.  In the meantime, let’s hope we don't have too many days as wet as last Monday.



Don't forget we now have fantastic new lockers in school and if you would like your child to have a locker to store their bags/coats during the day, then please see the finance office.



The L.D.D Youth Group asked me to share the following poster advertising activities for young people with disabilities.  They meet at the Charles Dickens Activity Centre every Wednesday and Thursday.


Please see below two posters advertising opportunities for students to help them make choices about their futures.




Friday, 12 January 2018

12 January 2018

Highlights of the Week

Happy New Year to you all! I hope your Christmas was restful and that you enjoyed a well-deserved break.

I will start this week with some memories from the last week of term where our Golden Ticket winners enjoyed a fantastic silent disco and our student council members raised well over £500 for Save the Children from the Christmas Jumper day and cake sale. The day was a tremendous success, so well done to everyone involved.




During the last week of term, the three Heads of House also presented an Amazon Fire tablet to each of the two students in their house who had most impressed in the first term with their attendance, positivity and success.  Congratulations to our six winners: Connor Wiseman and Katie Rigby from Sycamore House, Daisy Thompson and Abby Davies from Cedar House and Fathiah Okubadejo-Koromah and Charlotte Hickley from Willow House.

Last week, we had a lovely message via our Facebook page from a former student, Ryan McOwat, who left in 1994.  He sent us this message below which goes to show how influential teachers can be.  Sadly, Mr Jones is no longer here but it was still wonderful to read how successful Ryan is now and to know that he recognises the impact of his teachers.  Thank you for taking the time to write, Ryan, and I do hope we can find a way to link up.  If you haven't already, follow us on Facebook by liking our page.



We were pleased this week to receive recognition as a Music Mark School Member.  This certification was presented to us for our commitment to high quality music education which is something that Mr Waldren has been growing over the last two years.  We were nominated by the Portsmouth Music Hub and the award is much deserved.  Well done to Mr Waldren and his team.



Learning Champions

Year 8 have been working on a wonderful zombies art project recently.  There has been some brilliant work, but this one from Josh Forrest rather caught Mrs Beck's eye.  She compliments Josh on his level of detail and intricacy and neither of us can wait to see it painted and finished.



I also really liked this box made in Construction by Ria Hider who has shown real potential in this subject and impressed Mr Nutland.  The quality of the finish is superb and the joint work really impressive. Well done, Ria.



Ms Gilbert, Mr Lopez and Mrs Scarcliffe have nominated their second group of Linguists of the Month and it was a pleasure to award their certificates and badges this week.  They have been commended for their determination to improve pronunciation and resolve to improve grammar and vocabulary. Well done to the winners: Torrie Cobb, Bobbi-Lee Taylor, Frankie Pullen, Kayley Lowden, William Kirk, Mason Frost, Kyle Deacon, Louisa-Jayne Mycroft, Danny Kalinski, William Doswell, Lauren Cutting and Leanne Delacruz.



Building Character, Shaping Futures

Our Enrichment programme continues to offer some wonderful character-building opportunities.  This week, our next group of volunteer reading mentors began preparation for their project, those in Games worked on facing their fears (watch this space for how this theme will develop in the next few months) and Year 10s started to learn how to run their own business.

Most impressive this week was the Bush Craft Skills group with our own BearGrylls (aka Mr Watkins).  Students built and tested their own water filters with great success. Some students had to be persuaded NOT to drink their filtered water, so well did it appear that their filters had worked. Lauren Dixon and Daisie Thompson were voted the winning team, producing the clearest water. Lauren summed it up as 'the most fun lesson ever'. 



The National Citizen Service is offering a great opportunity this summer for all Year 11 leavers looking to gain some valuable experience, enrich their CV and have some fun with other local young people.  An assembly on the 19th of January will let them know all about this exciting opportunity but this video should whet the appetite, and I do encourage maximum participation.  Previous Year 11s who have taken part absolutely loved the experience.  


Key Dates

23 January            – CoPS Summit 2 (at ALNS)
24 January            – Year 8 and 9 Parents’ Evening (3:30-6:30pm)
30 January            – Y10 trip to University of Chichester (Flare Event)
                               – Y7/8 Anti-Bullying Workshop at Guildhall
31 January            – Y7/8 EBP Get Inspired trip
5-23 February        – Year 11 Practice Exams 2
27 February           – Y10 trip to University of Southampton (Learn with Us)
28 February           – Y10 trip to University of Southampton (Learn with Us)
8 March                 – School Production - Bugsy Malone
21 March               – Y11 Parents’ Evening (3:30-6:30pm)


Miscellaneous

The Local Authority have written to me because they're very worried about road safety outside the school.  I have written before about parking in front of the school, but the problem has not improved and the Local Authority’s assessment is that the situation is now a high risk.  Once again, I ask that parents collecting their children park considerately and advise their children to cross safely and use the lollipop lady wherever possible.

Two new additions to our school over the Christmas holidays have been lockers and water fountains. 



Brand new lockers have been purchased and we now have more than we originally had.  Any student who currently has a locker should visit the Admin team to ensure they now have a key for the new ones.  Water fountains throughout the school mean that students no longer need to waste money buying water and can now fill their own water bottle for free.  This has the added benefit of reducing plastic waste in the environment (if you haven't yet watched the Blue Planet episode on the impact of plastics in the oceans, I highly recommend that you do – it is terrifying).

Friday, 15 December 2017

15 December

Highlights of the Week

It has been a busy but wonderful week.

We had a fantastic turnout at Year 11 Parents' Evening on Wednesday (71%) and so I would like to thank all the parents who were able to come along and support the school's work in trying to get the very best outcomes for their children in next summer's GCSE exams. It was a crucial evening not just for the opportunity to pick up the mock examination results but also to hear directly from the teachers about the steps that are necessary to make the target grades a reality. Once again, the feedback we had from parents was very positive.

I talked to many parents about Post 16 choices and it is apparent that some students are still unclear about what they will do next. If your son/daughter is in this situation, please contact Mrs Sear who can provide some timely careers advice about which way next by emailing her at tsear@kingrichardschool.net.


Our Year 9 band were put through their paces at the Wedgewood Rooms this week when they performed as part of the Portsmouth Music Hub's Christmas session. They performed three numbers including the rock classic Highway to Hell by ACDC, and at least one biased member of the audience thought they were the best on the night. Well done to Dylan, Shane and Oliver.

  

I came across this wonderful festive activity in Mrs Beck's tutor group this week. It is the Tree of Hope and Remembrance and students from across Cedar House were invited to hang a label on the tree to remember a member of their family or friendship group that they will be thinking about this Christmas. It is both a lovely idea and a timely reminder that Christmas is a lot about the people who really matter to us.

Learning Champions

I have been inundated this week with work to celebrate and below is just a selection of the outstanding things happening in and around school:

I was amazed at Megan Hanna's Science homework. The attention to detail is incredible and shows considerable understanding and commitment and is truly deserving of a SLT positive referral.



This Year 9 student really impressed Mr Holden and myself with her Geography homework project. What you see here is only part of her work on glaciers which amounted to six pages in the end - she said she got a bit carried away!



And finally, I loved this work produced by Mrs Hubbard's Tutor group who had investigated how Christmas is celebrated around the World.



Building Character, Shaping Futures

We have had three trips out this week. Year 9 scientists went to Southampton University whilst Year 7 creative writers went to Portsmouth as part of their Preparing for University mentoring programme.

Ten Year 7 students are participating in a 10 week reading/mentoring programme and have been reading The Graveyard.  At the workshop they attended this week, they learned how to write their own short story based on a character from the book which they will now turn into a short film/animation which can be seen next year May.



Photos of the Year 9 Southampton University trip:



Year 9’s spent all of Monday working on the LionHeart Challenge, an enterprise day where student groups had to agree on a community action project that would benefit the people of Paulsgrove. Once they had developed their concept, they needed to work out how to fund it and decide how they would market it before making a final presentation to a panel of expert judges. There were some great ideas, from fashion shows to youth clubs, and the students were extraordinary in showing just how employable many of them are and the potential they have for the future. This was true for all but even more so for the two students who were nominated for the Outstanding Student Award, Millie Cooke and Treyvon Tawadzera.
 




The event was sponsored by a local company Helistrat who provide waste management consultancy to firms across the country. Helistrat is a relatively new business but a very successful one and we were extremely grateful to Bernard Amos, the Chairman, who established the partnership with the school and came along to be one of the judges on the day. Bernard, who is looking for local people to develop the skills and attributes necessary to work in his business, was impressed with the ideas from the students especially the winning concept of a youth project run for young people by young people.



Key Dates

Wednesday, 20 December - Christmas lunch
Thursday, 21 December - Golden Ticket and £1 non-uniform fundraiser
Friday, 22 December - End of term (school finishes at 12.50, no food available at lunchtime on the day)
Monday, 8 January - First day of term (Week 1)


Miscellaneous

Thank you to all parents who have been taking the time to park thoughtfully at the end of the day to ensure children can cross the road safely. I understand that the council will be painting zigzag lines on the area in front of the student entrance in the New Year which should support this effort to ensure the area remains a safe one.

We have had some members of the public praise our students on their way to and from school recently and it is lovely to hear about the small acts of kindness they show or their general good behaviour as they return home after a long day. Please reinforce these messages with your children that I would like them all to be courteous, thoughtful and polite as they move about the local area.

There will be no blog next week as we break for Christmas, but I wanted to take this opportunity to thank all parents and families for their support over this term. It has been a stressful time with the move into the new building but thanks to your efforts, combined with those of the staff, this has been managed in a way that has minimised the impact on the children's learning. I do hope you and your families have a restful and happy Christmas and I look forward to working with you in 2018.



Friday, 8 December 2017

8 December 2017

Highlights of the Week

We have been feasting this week!  Year 11s worked really hard and have been incredibly successful during their food and nutrition practical examinations as these photos show:





It was fantastic to meet some of our former students at the Lord Mayor's Banqueting Suite on Monday evening at the UNLOC Christmas reception.  Reece Matthews has developed his business skills and is soon to become a full time member of the Digital Dinos staff.  Kieran O'Toole is doing amazingly well with his social enterprise Rock Clothing and their subsequent work on anti-bullying, and Kara Louise Collis is playing her part by beginning to contribute to Student Voice work across the City.  These three real success stories are as a result of the hard work and drive of these former KRS students as well as the support of UNLOC and we are very proud of the work they are doing the difference they are making.


Kara Louise Collis
Keiran O'Toole
Reece Matthews

Final decisions were made this week for casting our next Performing Arts Extravaganza.  In the Spring, we will host Bugsy Malone, and after several call backs, which were necessary given the huge number of talented performers who had auditioned, the casting was finally agreed.  Well done to all those who auditioned and especially to those who were successful:

Bugsy Malone - Dylan Willis
Tallulah - Leona Howard
Blousey Brown - Ellie Trevarthen
Fat Sam - Mason Frost
Fizzy - Xavier Groves
Lena Marrelli - Molly-May Creamer
Dandy Dan - Anna Parker-Stokes
Knuckles - Oliver Byng 


We have enjoyed showing off our great new facilities to children from local primary schools this week.  On Wednesday, we hosted a mini 5 a-side football tournament in the sports hall between Beacon View and Victory Primary, and on Thursday and Friday we hosted nearly 180 Year 6 students for our Harry Potter Science Extravaganza.

Both events were great fun, well supported and it was wonderful to see the children's enthusiasm for the facilities as well as the superb skills they showed in both events.  Year 6 student, Isobel, said her favourite experiment was The Death Worm because "it's amazing how a an everyday sweet like a LoveHeart can turn into such a hideous structure".






Learning Champions

This week, the MFL Department awarded the following students Linguist of the Month in Spanish and French for their hard work, resilience and determination to learn a second language:

Year 7: Grace Pearce, Kira Groves
Year 8: Tyla North, Leah Buckley-Morgan, Alfie Bignell
Year 9: Jake Bailey, Oakley Hodges, Courtney Bunting
Year 9 French: Brandon Davis
Year 10: Gypsie Palmer 
Year 11: Jessie Drackett, Jessica Austin, Chloe Richardson 






Our Year 7 geographers visited Commercial Road this week. The aim of their trip was to understand how the land in town centers is used and, more importantly, to explore the habits of shoppers who visit the facilities.  Their attitude, hard work and superb manners impressed both their teachers and the huge number of people they surveyed as part of the project.  They will now learn how to collate and present their data as part of an assessed write up and I will publicise some of the best of these when they are complete.





Some of our Year 8s have been hard at work writing poetry and below is an example of one of the poems that caught my eye this week:




Building Character, Shaping Futures

Tuesday saw the latest round of mentoring from our friends at the Girls Network.  It was very satisfying to hear from the mentors how well the Year 10 girls are doing as they think about how to make the most of the opportunities they have in front of them.  They were uniformly punctual, engaged, interested and they are clearly growing in confidence.  Well done to everyone involved.



On Wednesday, our Year 9 Sports Science students began their work with the University of Portsmouth.  They attended a lecture at the University to kick start the programme and  will attend further events that are planned for the next year.  They will be mentored in school by Mr Herriot and supported by students from the University so that they can understand the benefits of University and consider it fully as one of their options for the future.




Key Dates
11 December – Year 9 Lionheart Challenge
13 December – Year 11 Parents’ Evening
20 December – Christmas Lunch (£1p/p)
21 December – Golden Ticket Event and Non-Uniform Fundraiser (£1)
22 December – End of term (Half Day)
8 January – Start of New School Term


Miscellaneous

Please encourage your child to take care when crossing the road at the end of the day.  A few are crossing in between parked cars and as the evenings draw in and there isn't much light, the risk of an accident is increased.  With that in mind, if you are picking your child up, please do park safely and not on double yellow lines, especially between ourselves and Victory school.  The lollipop lady at Victory is finding it hard to see oncoming traffic to determine when it is safe for children to cross the road given the number of cars parked illegally.

Children are getting excited about our Golden Ticket Event and Charity Day on the 21st December.  Golden tickets will be handed out based on House points (attendance plus positive referrals), so do encourage your child to continue to work hard and attend regularly to increase their chances of receiving the reward.  This year's event is a first for the school and I think it is going to be great fun.



We have now placed the order for Christmas lunches on the 20th of December, but if your child missed the deadline and you are really keen for them to be part of the celebrations, please contact the office and we might be able to help.

I was talking to one parent recently who was really positive about the Show my Homework app and described how it helped her make sure her son did all of his homework.  It really is a great tool and we encourage you to use it to help your child get into good homework habits. If you have lost your login details, please contact James Webb at jwebb@kingrichardschool.net. Further details on how to get the most from it can be found here.