Friday, 8 July 2016

8 July 2016

"Thrive, not survive" is one of my favourite quotes and this absolutely describes the attitude of the 100 plus students who were on stage on Thursday evening as part of our summer Arts Extravaganza. The show was a sell out, and the 200 people in the audience were thrilled by an evening of dance, drama and music. The quality of performances were extraordinary and the standard in the Arts just keeps on rising.  Last night, we saw plenty of new stars in Years 7 and 8 who I am sure will entertain us in the next few years. There were too many wonderful performances to single out any individuals for a mention, but I must let you know that the school now has its own Elvis impersonator!

On Tuesday of this week, we welcomed the Science roadshow Chaos into the school. Fifteen or so Science undergraduates from Cambridge University enthralled Year 7 and 8 students with explanations and experiments on how light and colour work on the eye, how pulleys work to enable us to lift heavy objects and what we can learn from fossils that are several million years old. Thank you to Ms. Bedassie for setting this up. 

The highlight on Wednesday was our Year 11 Leavers Prom. Mr. Aston and the prom committee had arranged a new venue for this year - the Solent Hotel in Whitely - which was a huge success.  The students rose to the challenge of the classier venue and all looked amazing in their suits and dresses. Two firsts this year included Frankie Kimpton in a kilt and Archie Scott's spray on tan. As usual, the students had chosen some amazing forms of transport to get to the venue and there was a parade of limousines, Range Rovers, Bentleys and even a horse and trap, although these were trumped by Jack Grant in a Del Boy Trotter van!

Last weekend, our Year 7 and 8 rowing team went to Cobnor Activity Centre to take part in the Oarsome Chance rowing regatta. This was a new event for the school which saw teams of four rowing St Ayles Skiffs around a course against other schools from across the South of England. Our team, led by Mr. Bixley, did fantastically well, coming a close second to Park Community who had to use older students to secure their victory! The organisers were full of praise for our students, commending their determination, enthusiasm and team spirit.

Careers week starts on Monday and there are a range of activities organised for different year groups to get the students thinking about their future. More details can be found here.  I hope we will see many of you at the Careers Fair next Friday when we will be joined by a whole host of employers, colleges and apprenticeship providers. Year 7 started early by spending today with colleagues from the University of Chichester, and learned a lot of useful information about further and higher education.

I am wonderfully impressed by the achievements of Sianna McKellar who has worked her way all the way from Level 1 to Level 5 on the Lexia programme, showing incredible commitment to improving her reading. She is the first student ever at King Richard School to progress so far.

On the subject of reading, I am also pleased with our Premier League Reading Stars who committed themselves to improving their reading throughout the year.  They enjoyed a visit to Stamford Bridge on Thursday as part of this programme.

Next week, we welcome our new Year 7 students to the school which we are very excited about. Please encourage your children to make them feel welcome.

Our new Student Leadership Team has been appointed and I am thrilled about what they will offer to the school and the student body. Please congratulate them on their appointment if you see them. From left to right they are: James O'Toole, Maxine Perkins, Kara Collis, Callum Wolfe, Morgan Burton.

And finally, please note that the last day of term is Wednesday 20th July. As usual, we will finish at 12:50.  Please ensure that, until then, your son or daughter maintains good attendance.

Friday, 1 July 2016

1 July 2016

On Thursday afternoon, I had the privilege of attending a remembrance service to mark the centenary of the first day of the Battle of the Somme during World War 1. The event was planned, coordinated and delivered by students in Mrs. Bruins' Year 8 History class as part of their study of the Great War, and included their own original poetry, choice of music and scripted pieces on the facts of the battle, and the work itself was stunning. The 1st July 1916 still remains the worst day in the history of the British army and the service was a poignant reminder of the huge loss of life that occurred. Well done to all involved.

Year 9 spent all of Thursday focusing on their speaking skills as part our Spoken Language week and were assisted by the organisation Talk the Talk. They were involved in a number of activities which helped them to plan and then deliver personal speeches to their peers. This is a hugely demanding task and the majority rose to the challenge admirably, impressing their teachers as well as the visitors.

Year 10 have been on college taster sessions this week with visits to South Downs, Havant, Portsmouth and Sparsholt colleges. This was an opportunity to learn what college life is really like and to taste new subjects like Psychology, Forensic Science and Criminology. The students I spoke to were really positive about the experience and excited about the opportunities that await them in the future.

In between the college tasters, Year 10 also had some testing practical exams this week in Art and Catering. In both areas they have demonstrated their true potential. The standards in Food were the highest of any year group to date according to Mrs. Morriss, and students showed a great grasp of nutrition, technique and presentation. In Art, the students took on the challenge of making clay cup cakes, showing what they had learned about form, tone and texture to great effect. The students responded in many unique and individual ways as the pictures below demonstrate.

Fifteen Year 7 and 8 students made an excellent contribution to Victory Primary school's Reading Festival on Thursday. They explained how important reading is at King Richard School and surveyed students and their parents to assess attitudes to reading. They also spent time with younger children talking about the books they love and why. I am very proud of their efforts which only ended when one of the parents who was pregnant fell in the playground and went into labour!

By now you should have seen my letter about next Tuesday's industrial action. If not, a copy can be found here. Please note, I have decided that, for the students who are attending school, Tuesday is a non-uniform day.

As I write, our Year 7 and 8 rowing teams are taking part in a regatta and activity weekend at Cobnor Activity Centre near Chichester. This is a great opportunity and I am really impressed at the enthusiasm our teams (1 boys, 1 girls and 1 mixed) have shown. This morning, I even got a lesson from PJ Harvey about the technique - wonderful! More news and photos will follow next week about their successes I hope.

Finally, well done to our samba band who did their best to bring a flavour of South America to the Paulsgrove Carnival last Saturday. As the pictures show, the weather was against them, but they kept their spirits high and the sun did start to shine as they played.