Highlights of the Week
We have been overwhelmed in the last week by the response to our Open House event taking place on the 4th of October. This will be a chance for former students from the school to visit and see the building one last time before it is demolished in the New Year. 300 tickets were on offer, but these were all taken up within 36 hours of becoming available. Participants are coming from as far as Australia and former students who left as long ago as the 1950s. I am pleased to say that I have been able to increase capacity for the event, so a further 100 tickets are now available by clicking on this link or the image below:
One of the features of the event will be a display of archive material showing old photos from the school, memorabilia and individual memories of school days for the residents of Paulsgrove and Wymering. The display will be curated by Bethany Joyce and Sarah Johnson from the Capturing the Spirit team and 4 of our students, Rhiannon Hood, Tallulah Standen, Sam Sadler and Phoebe Long. The group will begin their work on Tuesday and I am looking forward to seeing the final product.
Year 7s continue to impress. Their attendance is fantastic, 98% today, as is their enthusiasm, and they look really smart too. They had their official photographs taken yesterday and so parents will get the chance to buy a photo from Snappers Photographers in the next week or so. More details are available from the Finance office.
There have been a huge number of positive referrals already this term (nearly 5000) and 3000 of these have been given for excellent effort. This is great news as I want all students to ensure their effort is always good or better. To this end, we will write to you every half term describing how much effort your son or daughter is making in all of their subjects and I ask that you support our determination in ensuring good effort is the norm at school.
It was a treat to spend some time in Mrs Watford's Science class recently and to witness the hard thinking they were having to do to work out variations in the flight patterns of various paper helicopters. Their investigation asked them to explore what happened when they changed the length, width and thickness of the 'wings' on paper helicopters and the results were remarkable. The students thoroughly enjoyed it and, as the pictures show, Diercy, Riley and Taylan worked very hard to understand the science behind the results.
It is this sort of hard thinking that all our teachers are trying to promote in their lessons this year, so don't be surprised if your child comes home saying some of the work is difficult. Exams are more challenging than ever these days and so students need experience of having to work things out on their own. They will get stuck and make mistakes, and it is at these times that learning happens, so do please encourage them to persevere and not be put off by the struggle.
It is also important that the students take pride in their work. I have seen many examples of superbly presented work as I visited lessons this week. Here are some examples from English lessons that show the pride with which Year 7s have approached their writing assignments. Ms Choudhry’s class have been studying Greek mythology and Literature across time and had to write a story about heroes vs villains. Ms Chering’s class had to describe a journey down the stairs on Christmas morning.
There has also been some excellent work in Catering this week as Mrs Mitchell involved the students in producing some high quality quiches, bread rolls, risotto and cakes.
Building Character, Shaping Futures
Overnight temperatures in the low single figures will test our Duke of Edinburgh Award students this weekend when they undertake their expedition in the New Forest. Their character will also be tested as they navigate their way around and are completely responsible for themselves. We wish them good luck and I will report on their successes next week.
I have been talking to students in assembly over the last couple of weeks about their ambition. With so many of our students going on to excellent apprenticeships or college courses and news this week of many of our former students starting university (Liam King has gone to Southampton to study Economics following his A level grades of A*, A,A for example), I want to be sure that students are aiming as high as they can. Their teachers have set them ambitious targets and I want them to not only reach these targets, but exceed them. The only limits they set will be in their mind.
Year 11 had their first College presentation of the year today. Colleagues from Portsmouth College came in to describe their offer for post 16 students. Portsmouth College is one of the fastest growing colleges in England and is tremendously successful, and many of our former students have thrived their on both vocational and academic courses. Their open days are on the 3rd and 4th of October and early applications are encouraged due to its popularity. You can find details of all colleges’ open day events here.
Our newly elected Student Councillors met this week to start to design the graphics that will decorate the atrium canteen in the new school. They are working with a draft design from Fareham based design company Bonwyke Design and want to use ideas generated by the student body. They are inviting suggestions from any student in the following categories:
· Symbols that represent a curriculum subject;
· Symbols that represent a dream job for the future;
· Quotes that summarise/capture something brilliant about the school.
If your child would like to submit an entry, they should do so by the end of the day next Friday, 29th September.
Some of our Year 10 girls met with mentors from the Girls’ Network this week as part of a matching event, and the mentors were really impressed with their aspirations and positivity.
3rd October – Open Evening 3rd Oct (see website for further details)
4th October – Open House
13th October – Extended half term starts
30th October – First day of term in new school
Our academy application was considered yesterday by the Regional Schools' Commissioner and approved, and the next steps towards conversion takes place on Monday with our public consultation meetings. The meeting for parents is at 14:30 and for community stakeholders at 17:30 in the main hall should you wish to attend to hear more about our plans. If you want to make a comment on the conversion, please do so in writing by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If your child rides a bike to school, please ensure they have a suitable lock for their bicycle and that the bike is insured. Our bike sheds are locked each day but there have been thefts in the past and unfortunately the school cannot accept responsibility for personal property left on our premises.
I hope your child is now accessing Show My Homework to find out their homework tasks as well as view timetable information. There are many tutorials on the internet to help and they must remember to use their school email address and password to login. In the next week or so, we will send all parents login details so that you can monitor your child's homework record and see the comments that have been made by teachers.
Uniform standards remain high, so thank you for seeing to it that students are dressed for success. Thank you especially for complying with the new PE kit – our students look very smart and dapper in their black and red tops.
Our Year 6 Open Evening is taking place on Tuesday, 6th October from 4-7pm at the new school. This event is for Year 6 students and their parents who would like to find out more about what King Richard School can offer. Our new building is scheduled to open at the end of October and will be a fantastic environment for outstanding learning. Come and see the great facilities we have on offer and meet some of our staff and students. Tickets can be obtained by clicking on this link.