Friday, 11 November 2016

11 November 2016

"Poignant, powerful, thought provoking" are all words that describe the presentation delivered by Mike Haines on his visit to the school today as part of our Remembrance Day commemorations. Mike's brother, David, was a charity worker in Syria delivering humanitaria aid when he was captured and brutally murdered by ISIS in 2013 - you may remember the news coverage of this shocking event.

Mike now spends his time in schools talking to children about the incident itself and how we should respond to such violence.  He encourages us to develop tolerance and understanding and his message is truly inspiring. We were very lucky to have him in school and I extend my thanks to Mr. Watkins who organised it and had the following to say: "The presentations by Mike Haines this morning were challenging and generated huge emotion amongst both year [9 and 10] groups. The development of the presentation to the denouement that the brother being spoken of so eloquently by Mike was the brother seen in the orange jumpsuit on a slide, made a memorable impression on all present. The subsequent messages of tolerance, unity and justice were absorbed by both audiences with a maturity beyond the ages of the students present. The following Q&A sessions were tackled thoughtfully and with insight, showing great emotional intelligence from our students.  In short, it was one of the most memorable occasions I have had in twenty years here at King Richard School." 

On the theme of remembrance, I was very impressed by this display completed by students in the Hub this week.  As part of their research, they also came across a recipe from the First World War for trench cake which they baked, although some thought it might taste more like trench foot!

It was a pleasure to meet so many Year 7 parents on Wednesday of this week.  Approximately 70% of parents were able to attend and were very complimentary about the levels of feedback and quality of support offered by their child's teachers.  The success of children at school is totally dependent on the partnership between school and home and it was satisfying to note that so many positive relationships were established on Wednesday.  Please remember that if you have concerns about something, we would prefer to know about it sooner rather than later, so do get in touch via the 'Contacting the School' page on the website to direct your question/concern to the right person. 

Don't forget that Year 11 parents' evening is on the 23rd of November and other key dates can be found in the newsletter and on the website.

Below are some of the latest photos of the new school including - the views from the roof are amazing! The steel frame is mostly complete (they have just the sports hall to go) and the floor structure is in place for about 50% of the building. It won't be long before the building is very recognisable as our new school and the work in the inside can begin.  I know there is a rumour that construction is behind, but this is not true and the contractors are still expecting to finish ready for a September opening.

Next Friday is Children in Need day when we join the rest of the nation in raising money for excellent children's causes that will benefit a large scope of children from across the country.  This school event has been organised by the Charity Committee of the Student Council and it is my hope that all students will get involved in the bake sale, non-uniform day (£1 contribution) and other events.  We are aiming to raise over £600 so please do give as generously as you can.

I really felt sorry for the Year 7 football team this week who lost on penalties in the semi-final of the cup against Admiral Lord Nelson.  They had a goal disallowed, were leading with four minutes to go and then tragically lost in the shoot-out.  Once again, I was very proud of their determination, resilience and strength of character and I know they will go on to achieve great things later in the season.

Congratulations to Mrs. Sear who has been nominated and shortlisted for an EBP Amazing People award as a result of her excellent work developing our careers programme at school.  She is an excellent organiser, has great ideas and has established superb relationships with the students that are already having an impact on them.  The recognition is much deserved.

I was lucky enough to accompany Mrs. Bruin's Year 7 History class to Portchester Castle  this morning.  They were brilliantly behaved and learned much about how castles helped Medieval kings and barons to keep control in England.  Portchester's keep is really impressive and must have terrified the local population in the 1200s.

And finally, I forgot the photo of the water fountains last week, so here it is. It’s very encouraging to hear the levels of support for this initiative.  Students simply have to push their bottle under the nozzle and it will dispense free water - no need to spend money on bottled water anymore.

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