Friday, 15 January 2016

15 January 2016

So, here we go - week two of blogging and I have much to tell you.

Firstly, thank you to all who sent in old clothes for collection to raise money for Rock Challenge. I wouldn't usually want to see bin liners of old clothes in reception, but on this occasion it was very welcome. Every small contribution helps to raise much needed funds to support our team of dancers, led by Mr McFarlane, on their way to success at this year's event on the 17th of March. King Richard School has a long history of success at Rock Challenge and this year's plans are coming along very well. Tickets are available from the finance office until the 29th of January and it would be lovely to have you in the crowd cheering them on.

It was wonderful to see our team of Year 9 table tennis players compete with determination at the competition held at Admiral Lord Nelson School this week. Alfie Tazewell, Mitchel Knowler, Kalvin Potter, Jacob Jones, Daniel House, Jack Stewart and Mason Clements had been practising hard for four weeks.  There was much success with Alfie Tazewell and Mitchell Knowler getting through to the knock out phases, but they were sadly beaten by two experienced club players.  A huge well done to these students!  Keep on practising - hard work really does make a difference.

Five of our Year 11 students also won their football tournament at Roko last night.  Sam Hatherley, Taran Harper, Jordan Cook, Dylan Crockford and Ryan Dartnell won all 5 of their games against Springfield, Priory, Admiral Lord Nelson and Trafalgar A and B.

This week saw the start of our Premier League Reading Stars Programme. A team of Year 7 boys, guided by Ms Rogers, are using their love of football to inspire them to practice and improve their reading skills. Watching them briefly in the gym, after school on Monday, leaves me with no doubt as to their footballing skills although I am not sure I can say the same for Ms Rogers!  I look forward to following their progress this term. Years 7, 8 and 9 also raised £248.82 from their Readathon last term.

The first SEND Coffee Morning of the year was a great success with parents and staff enjoying a chance to chat in a relaxed atmosphere.    The Careers Adviser, Welfare Officer and Family Support Worker were on hand to answer questions and give advice and many useful tips were shared among parents.   The next coffee morning is the 9th of February from 9:15-10:15 and the Careers Adviser will be there again.  If you have a child in Year 11 and want to find out more about College courses or Apprenticeships, or if you just want a chance to chat with other parents, then please join Mrs Bailey and her team.    

A Year 10 mentoring scheme with the University of Portsmouth was launched this week.  Twenty students are participating over a 10 week period.  The scheme is designed to help raise achievements and aspirations and give students the chance to discuss a variety of topics.

We have already completed 83 Year 11 impartial career interviews and are hoping to have seen all of Year 11 before half-term.  Those wishing to complete apprenticeships after school can look for available opportunities on .  This website allows you to search for apprenticeships by post code or city.

On Thursday the 14th of January, we held two PSHE events - one for Year 10 and one for Year 11. Year 10's learned about extremism, its different forms and how people get drawn into extremist ways of thinking and behaving. This is such an important topic in our modern world and I do hope your children will share with you some of the ideas they discussed, especially the way in which their own ideas were challenged.

Year 11's tackled a similarly important topic: legal highs - what they are and the risks involved.  Our guest speakers Karen and Andy ran informative and engaging sessions which were very well received by all.  There has been a Portsmouth wide campaign on this issue recently which we have supported, and I can't stress enough how dangerous some of these substances can be. If you would like any more information, please do contact Mrs Nancarrow or Mrs Levers to discuss your questions further.

On matters to do with safety, I ask that you remind your child/children of the importance of crossing the road safely, particularly the need to avoid crossing between parked cars. We have had several cases of unsafe crossing recently and two of our students this year have required hospital treatment after crossing the road carelessly and being hit by passing cars.  Please help me ensure there are no further accidents.

You may know that we have been consulting on our PAN (Published Admission Number) recently. This number - the number of students who can join us in Year 7 in any one year - is to reduce from September 2017 because the new school building will be slightly smaller than the current one. If you wish to express a view on this decision, please contact Mrs Gajdus at the school by the end of Monday. More details can be found on the website.

Get Into Teaching:
If you (or someone you know) are a qualified teacher or are thinking of training to become one, you may be interested in the Teach Portsmouth "Get into Teaching" event taking place this weekend. It is at the Land Rover BAR Centre in Portsmouth from 10:00-15:00. More details can be found on our website.

Finally, we wish Mrs McCombie a speedy recovery. She has taken ill and needs an operation so will be off school for a few weeks. We are pleased that a suitably qualified teacher is available to cover her absence.

I am always keen to hear your feedback and views, so please don't hesitate to make contact if there is anything you would like to discuss further.

Gareth Hughes

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