Friday, 18 March 2016

18 March 2016

There are many bleary eyed children (and staff) in school today after last night's Rock Challenge event, but what a night it was! A team of 50 students and 12 stage crew, ably led by Mr. MacFarlane, Ms. Nutland and Ms. Cummings, put on a tremendous performance. The judges agreed and awarded us 12 awards for the outstanding qualities we displayed, including choreography and entertainment and third place overall. The standard from the nine schools taking part was exceptional and the team can be very proud of everything they achieved - well done to all involved!

While on the subject of dance, congratulations must go to Milly Johnsey, Frankie Tazewell and Ellis Ford who finished first in a street dance competition last weekend and have now qualified for the national finals to be held in November.

Congratulations also go to the Year 7 Dane classes - I was drawn into the dance studio earlier this week by the sound of Night Fever playing over the audio system. I discovered Year 7 students choreographing their own disco dances and they told me how they had been learning about dance over time and had already learned the Charleston and Rock and Roll. Their work and effort were exemplary - it was a real treat to see them in action.

We also received some wonderful feedback this week from the Shakespeare Schools Festival following our performance of Much Ado about Nothing at the Theatre Royal earlier this year. The organisers commended our team for their understanding of the characters, their convincing performances and their stage presence - high praise indeed. You can read the whole feedback on our website under the 'News' tab.

On a more academic note, Year 8 have been sitting their annual practice exams this week. GCSE examinations are definitely getting harder and it is vital that all students, even those in the younger years, get used to the rigours of exams, the routines that are needed and the revision that is required to succeed. If your child comes home saying they have revision for homework, please ensure they do it and assist us in getting them to form good habits - it will serve them well in the exams they have to take later on.

Year 11 know this for sure. There are a large number of Year 11 revision activities taking place during the Easter holidays, and your child should have already started signing up for some of these sessions. There are many revision materials, videos and useful links on our website (under the 'Students' tab and the 'Exam Information' link). Please do encourage your child to use these.

Next Wednesday our busy Year 11 students take on Priory school in the semi-final of the Portsmouth Schools Cup competition. We wish them all the best in their attempt to get to the final in their last year at KRS.

We are also holding our latest Golden Ticket Event next week. It promises to be really exciting, although I hope not as bruising as the roller skating, and so watch this space for more information. Don't risk missing out by missing a day next week.

Next Tuesday and Wednesday the Student Council will be collecting Easter eggs as part of our charity collection for children who will be in the QA hospital over Easter. Please support this event by donating any type of chocolate eggs; you can send these to school with your child or simply drop them off in reception. Last week's blog has more information on this topic if you need it.

Well done and thank you to everyone who supported Sport Relief this week. The final figure raised will be about £100 which is an excellent contribution.

On a final note, Unloc (an organisation that supports Student Voice in schools) have teamed up with UnLtd to help budding young social entrepreneurs, aged 16-30, to test our their ideas. Applicants can receive up to £500 from the Do it For Real programme headed up by Unloc in Hampshire. Successful applicants may be eligible to apply to move onto the Do It award and access more funding of up to £5K after completing their £500 'Test It' award.  You can visit their webpage for more information.

I will not post a blog next week so allow me the opportunity to wish you all a very restful Easter holiday. Thank you for all your support this term and I look forward to our continued partnership after the break. Term starts again on Monday the 11th of April at 8:25.

Friday, 11 March 2016

11 March 2016

Please support our Easter charity fundraiser.

The student of the charity committee have come up with the wonderful idea of donating Easter eggs to the pediatric unit at QA hospital, thus giving a treat to children unfortunate enough to be in hospital over the holidays. The flyer above gives more details - all donations, large or small, are welcome. Please contribute if you can.

Talking of charity, next week is Sports Relief week and the PE Department are leading a number of events including an obstacle course/fun-run during PE lessons. Students are asked to contribute 50p to take part which will all go the Sport Relief cause.

We are now less than a week away from Rock Challenge at the Guildhall next Thursday. Our team of 50, plus a dozen stage hands, have been putting the final touches to their performance and we are ready to take on the competition from nine other local secondary schools. It should be a great night.  I am so impressed with the dedication and effort the team has put in. Good luck to everyone and I really hope you enjoy the experience.

I have been treated to some lovely food this week, courtesy of the Year 11 Catering students who have been completing their practical exams. Hungarian torte, apple and almond tart and soufflé and new potatoes were just some of the delights. Mrs. Morriss thinks the standard might have been the highest yet, so well done to everyone.

I am sorry to have to let you know that Ms. Fanfarillo is not very well and so will be of school for at least the rest of this term. We have made some changes and her lessons are now covered by Mr. Smith and Mr. Cooper, who has helpfully stepped in to help.  I am sure the students will be able to keep up with their studies.

Lexia continues to go well and this week, Sianna McKeller has reached Level 3. Well done, Sianna.

As Easter approaches, plans are advancing for our annual Easter revision school. There will be a whole series of really useful sessions during the holidays and the timetable will be on the Year 11 notice board next to the site office. Please encourage yourYyear 11 child to sign up and see through the commitments they have made on their personalised revision plan. As I have said before, revision really is the difference between pass and fail and time spent revising now is an investment in the future. If you have any questions about the programme, please contact Mr. Tucker.

Well done to the Year 11 dancers who, this week, put on a tremendous showcase of the BTEC final pieces to an audience of about 100 people. The crowd loved it and the performances were excellent with many students raising their grade to the distinction and distinction star. Wonderful news!

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.