Friday, 4 March 2016

4 March 2016

I thought you might like to see this photograph of the students who went to Barcelona at the start of the half term holiday.

Here they are at the famous Camp Nou Stadium, home to the mighty Barcelona football team. This was our second Barcelona trip and, as before, the students had a great time and learned a lot about Spanish life and culture as well as having the opportunity to practice their Spanish speaking skills. I know that school trips abroad are expensive, but I do hope that every student can take the opportunity to go on a residential trip at least once in their school career.

It is now less than two weeks until Rock Challenge which is to be held at the Guildhall, and this week the team have been rehearsing every night, polishing what is bound to be a wonderful performance. Rock Challenge teaches the children so much about perseverance, being part of a team and the value of hard work.  An added bonus is the health benefits that come from the rigorous exercises and the commitment to abstain from alcohol, tobacco and drugs for the duration of the competition.  I am very grateful to Mr. MacFarlane for coordinating our entry this year and for giving up so much time to make it such a success.

On the subject of dance, warm congratulations to three of our Key Stage 4 students who took part in a street dance competition in Kent last weekend. Milly Johnsey placed second, Frankie Tazewell fifth and Ellis Ford won the under 16 pairs. All three students hadn't been practicing for very long, so this was an excellent achievement!

Year 11 students have been sitting their second set of mock exams this week. Mock exams are so important - they help students understand what to expect in the real exams and provide vital feedback about whether they are on track to meet their expected progress grades. Today, we have spent time with every Year 11 student helping them plan the revision that they will do between now and the final exam to ensure they are as successful as possible. If you are the parent of a Year 11 child, please talk to them about their revision plan and help them stick to the commitments they have made (including attendance at our Easter revision sessions).  It really will make a difference to their final results.

Another thing that can make a difference to exam success is your mental attitude and how you look after yourself. Year 11 had a presentation on Monday from the "fix-up" group who talked to the students about the importance of a good night's sleep, regular meals, exercise and how breathing techniques can help reduce exam stress. Again, please talk to the students about these ideas and do what you can to support your child in preparing as much as possible for the exams. If you would like to know more please contact Ms. Lucy Flavell, our Raising Standards leader at .

It was wonderful to greet so many Year 6 children and their parents at our football competition this week and meet many of the pupils who will become King Richard students later this year. Despite a bitingly cold wind, all the students had a great time with the final being won by Wicor Primary who defeated Medina Primary on penalties. Thank you to Mrs. Cummings for organising it so well and also to our Year 11 students Macey Shipp (for her organisational skills) and Taran Harper (for refereeing so expertly).

Unfortunately, the teams scheduled to play against our own football teams this week all cancelled - perhaps they are too scared to play us ... However, we have many fixtures lined up for the next two weeks, so I will keep you updated about our successes. 

On the sporting front, Sport Relief is the week beginning the 14th of March and the PE team have some great events lined up to help raise money for this good cause.

We look forward to seeing Year 7 parents at the school next week for parents consultation (14:30-18:30) and the chance to discuss the progress of your child with all their subject teachers. On the evening, you will also get the chance to receive their annual report.

Lastly, I have written before about the national teacher shortage and you may have seen more stories in the recent news about this issue. The Portsmouth Teaching School Alliance is trying to tackle this issue by encouraging trained teachers who have left the profession to return to the classroom.  They are running training events and courses to support people who may wish to explore this possibility further. If you are a qualified teacher thinking about returning, or know anyone who might be considering this route, more information can be found on their website.

I hope you enjoy a relaxing weekend.

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