Friday, 29 January 2016

29 January 2016

I always enjoy Fridays as they are an opportunity to get into classrooms and talk to children about their work. I am encouraged that the students are increasingly able to talk about their learning, describing in detail what they have done to improve and what they need to do next. I do hope you have the same experience at home when discussing your child's learning with him/her.

These lesson visits also allow me to take part in the "MyStickers" reward scheme where excellent work or effort is rewarded with a sticker, each with its own unique code. Students set up a MySticker account (, type in the code and collect points which can be redeemed for prizes, from stationary and calculators to vouchers for popular shops like HMV and JD Sport.  Please encourage your children to take part and if they have any questions they should see Miss Williams in the Humanities corridor.

Well done to Jessica Whitbread who raised £60 in the recent Readathon sponsored reading challenge. Over £250 pounds were donated to support children's reading in hospitals. Congratulations also to Sianna McKeller who has overcome her resistance to improving her reading and has now completed Level 2 on the Lexia programme as a result of her dedication at home and during break time.

The Student Council's Charity Committee have recently decided to raise money for the CLICK Sargent charity which raises funds to support the families of children suffering with cancer. Their novel fund raising idea is the selling of valentine messages. Starting on Monday, "hearts" declaring love and affectation can be bought from Form Tutors for 20p and these will be delivered to the recipients on the 12th of February. This is a lovely idea that I hope you will encourage your child to support.

My office is next to the main hall and so I have been enjoying the sounds of the Oliver rehearsals which are now almost nightly. The cast and crew are working very hard and progress is rapid. It is going to be a wonderful show and I do hope you will be able to come along and join us for the performances:  Tuesday 23rd and Wednesday 24th February.  Tickets are on sale from the box office.

On Saturday the 6th of February, the school is hosting a Dance for Cancer event with 30 groups from the Portsmouth area performing. There are still a few tickets available and if you would like to see this extravaganza, please contact Miss K. Nutland.  In reception, you will also find a collection bucket if you wish to make a donation to cancer research when you are next in school.

In last week's blog, I said the next Parents Evening was for Year 8 when in fact it is Year 7 whose evening is on the 9th of May.

On the note of meeting with staff, if you wish to speak with a member of staff,  may I remind you that it is best to make an appointment. This is especially true when you want to talk to one of your child's teachers as opposed to a member of the Student Services Team or the Leadership Team. This ensures there is no unnecessary waiting and reduces the frustration caused when we can't respond to your enquiry.  May I also remind you that, for safeguarding reasons, all visitors to the school must sign in at Reception.

A few students take advantage of the fact that the canteen is open every morning from 7:45.  This is an excellent opportunity to get some healthy breakfast  before lessons start as well as a chance to finish off homework or just keep warm and dry with friends.  Toast can be purchased at 15p a slice.  We would like to increase the number of students using the Breakfast Club, so please encourage your child/children to use the facility and let us know how we can improve the service.

Today we hosted 26 trainee English teachers from the University of Portsmouth. They met with some of our students, did a tour of the school and had workshops on encouraging reading and supporting disadvantaged students. It was wonderful to meet them, to play our part in their training and to see their enthusiasm for the job. Teaching is a wonderful career, but unfortunately too few people nationally are training to be teachers and this shortage will affect us all. If you have ever considered teaching as a career, or would like to know more, follow the links from the 'Recruitment' pages on our website.

I look forward to seeing your child/children in school in the run up to the end of term. While there are a number of flu-like viruses in the air at the moment, absence should be kept to a minimum, please.  For NHS advice on  how many days a child should take off for a specific illness, please visit the 'Attendance' page under the 'Parents' tab on our website. 

Once again, if you have any questions, queries or comments, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

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