Friday, 22 January 2016

22 January 2016

Thank you to the very large number of Year 10 parents who attended parents' evening on Wednesday. These evenings are tremendously important and provide a great opportunity for us to work with you to ensure your child is as successful as possible at school. They are also a chance for you to give us valuable feedback about how you think we are doing. I have said many times that a successful education is about partnership between school and home, and Wednesday was a good example of this in practice. The next parents' evening will be held on the 13th of April and will offer an opportunity to discuss options for the following year.

I had a thoroughly enjoyable evening at the Iron Clad Warrior photography exhibition at the Kings theatre in Southsea on Monday the 18th. Four Year 11 students, Rosie Robbins, Holly Vaughan, Denise Pinhorn and Chloe Evans, have been working with a professional photographer at the Historic Dockyard over a number of Saturdays last year. They very confidently told me how they had learned that photographs can tell stories and communicate complicated ideas and how techniques like framing, exposure and composition helped them achieve this. The results were outstanding and it was a pleasure to be there and see the quality of the work - well done to all four.

Congratulations are also due to Charlie Howie and Oakley Hodges who have worked hard to achieve Level 2 and 3 respectively on the Lexia programme. Developing reading skills is crucial to success at secondary school, so keep up the good work, both of you. I would also like to congratulate Megan Scott who has been asked to try out for Portsmouth and Northsea Swimming Club following her school based swimming lesson this week.

On the topic of reading, Year 7 and 8 are just about to start the Read for My School competition. This annual competition challenges students to read as many books as they can on their e-reader. There is a large library of books to choose from.  Last year's Year 7 students were tremendously successful and read 1997 books which won us national recognition (and a box of new releases for two students who were successful in the weekly prize draw!) I am sure this year's Year 7 and 8 will be determined to do even better than last year - helped as they will be by Dylan Willis who has already read an amazing one million words on the Accelerated Reader programme since September. Well done, Dylan!  It is remarkable.

Year 11 students are busy finalising their plans for next year and many have already secured their places on the college courses and apprenticeship schemes they wanted. It is never too early for you and your child/children to be thinking about the future and to help them make plans about what they want to do when they leave school. To this end, Mrs Sear, our Careers Coordinator, has produced a very handy guide which can be found on the 'Careers' page of the website.  Please do take a look and make contact if you would like to know more.

I want to thank all those parents who have sent their child to school in the last couple of weeks despite them having a cough or cold or not feeling too well. When the temperature outside is minus 3, there are a lot of teenagers who would much rather stay under the duvet and have us believe they are too ill to go to school. We really appreciate the support of parents who challenge this and send their children to school despite the minor illnesses that the NHS confirm shouldn't stop a child attending school. Please remember that each day in school really matters and when it comes to attendance, 9/10 isn't good enough. If you would like to discuss any issue to do with attendance, please contact Lisa House, our Education Welfare Officer.

Below is a photograph handed to me by two former KRS students. It is of their prize giving in 1956, just four years after the school had opened. It was wonderful to listen to their stories of life at the school back then - when of course, the girls and boys were totally separated - and compare it to school life now. It made me think we should do more to collect these memories.  Therefore, if you have a school photograph or a memento of your time at the school, then please do get in touch so we can start to develop a gallery on the website to celebrate the school's history.

One of the stories they told was of their school productions which were usually Gilbert and Sullivan operas like The Pirates of Penzance. This prompted me to remind you that this year's school production is nearly upon us. Oliver will be performed on Tuesday 23rd and Wednesday the 24th of February. It promises to be a great evening, so please add the date to your diary and purchase tickets which will be on sale at the box office in the near future.

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