Friday, 22 April 2016

22 April 2016

Sixty Year 11 students have been put through their paces this week in the final Art exams. The theme this year is Past, Present, Future and after 10 weeks of preparation, the students have 10 hours to produce their final piece. The intensity and levels of concentration in the Art rooms were phenomenal as the students strived to reach the deadline and produce their best work,  whether a collage, sculpture or painting. The standard of work was very high and a number of students created some outstanding pieces, far exceeding what they had  previously achieved. Mr Samuels, Head of Art, told me how proud he was of all the students.

The exam season is starting in al earnest now. Next week, the Drama students showcase their final performances (6pm on Thursday 28th - tickets are available from Miss Halls) and the following week (3rd May) is the first of the English exams. We wish all of our Year 11 students the very best of luck in these exams and remind them that there is a lot of information available on our website about how to prepare effectively.

During this period of examinations, I ask all parents and visitors to be thoughtful about noise levels in Reception and to remind their children to move around the school quietly so as not to disturb students who are sitting exams.

One disturbance we have enjoyed this week has been the start of Samba music in the school. A new samba band kit has been acquired by the community and is housed at the school.  Some Year 7 and 8 Music classes have been learning how to pick up the rhythm and create the sounds that we will hear so much of this summer when the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro start in July. Their is also a community Samba group practice taking place at the school on Thursday afternoons and anyone is welcome to join. Please contact the school or the Hillside Community Centre if you would like to know more.

A dozen students from all years began their RYA Level 1 sailing course recently at Portchester sailing club. After a brief shore based session, they were introduced to dinghy sailing and all that involves which really means the joys of capsizing when trying to turn the boat through the wind. Several of the children found themselves in the water unexpectedly, but showed incredible resilience and determination while getting back in the boat and carrying on. They are a real example of young people building their character while also learning a new skill.

Over the past few months, students have been discussing British values in their tutor groups. The stimuli for the discussions have been posters sourced by Mr. Watkins which have encouraged the students to think about concepts like tolerance, equality, the rule of law and democracy. The students have come up with some really interesting responses and have shown a good awareness of the ideas that make Britain the country that it is. It might be interesting to talk to your child about these discussions to see what they can tell you. Below is an example of a poster on resilience created by Mr. Morrison's class:

The Government recently produced an education white paper entitled Education Excellence Everywhere. There are some big ideas in this document that will have a further impact on the schools our children attend. One of these, that may not have escaped your notice, is that all schools should become academies by 2022. King Richard School isn't currently an Academy school, so this will mean a change to our status. Another idea is that more children should benefit from a longer school day with more enrichment activities on offer after the normal day has finished. If you have views on either of these two topics, it would be good to hear from you.

Ofsted is hosting a webinar for parents living in the South-East region on Wednesday 4th May 2016 from 19:30 to 20:30.  During the webinar, inspectors will outline Ofsted's current approach to inspections, priorities for schools in the region and how inspections try to get to the heart of what is going in on schools.  Parents will also have an opportunity to share their views on what is working well in schools and what could be better as well as what you think Ofsted does well and what they could do better.  If you would like to join the webinar, you can register here.

Some dates for your diaries:
Monday 2 May:  Bank holiday Monday (school CLOSED)
Wednesday 11 May:  Year 8 parents' evening from 14:30 to 18:30
Wednesday 15 June:  Year 9 parents' evening from 14:30 to 18:30

Please note that at both of these parents' evenings you will have the opportunity to discuss option choices with the relevant staff.

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