"It has been a hard day's night," sang Cinderella after spending hours sewing the ball gowns for the two ugly sisters in Wednesday's excellent performance of Cinderella. The show was performed by Year 7 and 8 students to a delighted audience who enjoyed the performance almost as much as the cast did. The production was a brilliant reworking of the original story, using the 60s as a backdrop and making the most of a number of songs by the Beatles which the cast sang wonderfully. Well done to everyone who was involved. If you missed the pantomime, you still have a chance to see a glimpse of the talent our students have at next week's winter showcase. Tickets are available from the box office during lunch at £3 p/p.
Two examples of student learning I want to celebrate this week is, firstly, Tyla North's art project on The Robin. Her in-depth study, where she has experimented with different media and textures, is truly superb and demonstrates both her talent and her effort. Her work is well-deserving of the headteacher's positive referral.
I would also like to commend Bailey Newman for his determination and resilience in music. The photograph shows the D major chord that Bailey was struggling to perfect in a fast sequence of chords he had just learned. What impressed me and made me award the positive referral was Bailey's willingness to keep trying despite the difficulties he faced. Well done.
After a trip to Southampton University this week, one of our Year 11 students commented to me, "I am now much clearer about University and how it works”. There are many questions that need consideration when applying to university, one being finance, and these trips are important as they help to sort the fact from the fiction. We are thrilled that two of our former students are being interviewed for places at Oxford and Cambridge Universities this week, and would like to see an increasing number of students think about the possibility. If you wish to know more, please get in touch with Mrs Sear at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Some of our Year 10 girls are currently taking part in the Girls Network. This is the third year we have participated and it has been really effective at helping girls to realise just how much they can achieve. This week, they had a great workshop on how to get themselves heard. The event was led by Julia Maile from Talk the Talk and focused on practical tips to help you appear confident. The girls I spoke to were intrigued by how big a difference posture can make when speaking to someone.
I was also thrilled to see a group of Year 9 and 10 students begin their preparations for the Duke of Edinburgh Award this week with a visit to Cobnor Activities Centre in West Sussex. They had to push themselves really hard with some adventurous activities and learned about the resilience and teamwork they will need when it comes round to the expedition next spring.
For the second year running, we hosted a training session today for students enrolled on the PGCE English programme at Portsmouth University. The event asked them to think about their own values in education and some of the techniques they might use to encourage students to enjoy reading and how to help those facing educational disadvantages. We were pleased to do our bit to help these students progress towards becoming fully qualified teachers.
You may have read that there is a national shortage of teachers. If this is a career you might be interested in, or you are already trained and are thinking of returning, then please do make contact for more information on how to get into teaching, or follow the link on our website.
Next week we will have our Golden Ticket event. Last year, we had great fun roller skating in the hall and laughing with those of us who came off a bit more bruised than others. I am certainly looking forward to the chance again to get "my skates on" and show the children what a lack of balance really looks like!
This week, we also farewell to the HMS Illustrious. She has been a great servant of her country attending crises as far apart as the Falklands and Sierra Leone and this week sailed on her final voyage to Turkey where she will be scrapped. For the moment, Britain is therefore left without any aircraft carriers. She has had a long relationship with Portsmouth and I know many of you will be sad to see her go.
And finally, I will be sending a letter home with the termly statement next week so there will be no blog next Friday. I wish to take this opportunity to remind you that school closes at lunchtime on the 16th of December and reopens for the first spring term on the 3rd of January. I hope you and your family have a very happy festive season.