Friday, 27 January 2017

27 January 2016

I was spared the misery of a blue Monday this week, despite the freezing fog that enveloped the school, when I was handed a portion of brocciflower cheese made by Kaylee Lewington-Palmer during a Year 7 catering lesson. It’s a delicious mix of broccoli and cauliflower in a rich and creamy cheese sauce - it really cheered me up!

This superb piece of homework from Fatiah Okubadejo-Koromah really impressed me this week. Mr Gill's music class were set the task of creating their own musical instrument which Fatiah responded to with great effort, care and skill. She is completely deserving of the Headteacher's positive referral this week.

7EHe presented an excellent assembly to the rest of the year group on Tuesday of this week.  Their theme was tolerance and they made several thought provoking points and put their messages across well using a mixture of visuals, sound and speeches.  As Coby Addison-Blofield pointed out, "If there was less tolerance in the world, then there would be anarchy and destruction".

On Thursday the 26th of January,  8 Year 7 and 8 students from King Richard School took part the Portsmouth Literature Quiz at Fratton Park.  It was a good day which gave the students the opportunity to participate in the growing reading culture in Portsmouth.   The students were split into two teams of four, where they were to compete against the other secondary schools in the city. There were four rounds of questions on specific genres and Authors and four visual rounds of questions, again based on various novels.  Despite not winning the event, the students enjoyed the day very much and enjoyed meeting local authors Ali Sparkes, Andy Briggs, Miriam Halahmy and Jamie Thomson who took time to speak to the students and sign copies of their books.

Year 8s had an amazing time at Southampton University last week.  One of the workshops looked at marine biology and the students had the opportunity to study a real shark, taking measurements and learning about its habits and features.  Some of the other workshops included two cognitive experiments and the making of a spectroscope used in the identification of gasses.

30 of our Year 10 students had the wonderful opportunity on Friday afternoon, this week, to attend the Kings Theatre to watch a unique gig by Anne-Marie.  This show was available to Year 10 students in Portsmouth schools with the best or most improved attendance.  Well done to all of those who were selected to go.  The event, which was organised in partnership between Capital Radio and Portsmouth City Council, was a great success and according to Leanne in Year 10 was, "Amazing! I love Anne-Marie and all her songs".

On Saturday the 4th of February at 18:30, King Richard School will be hosting its second #Dance4Cancer event. Last year we raised over £2500 all in aid of Cancer Research UK and the goal for this year is to raise even more. The showcase will feature dancers from all over the UK, including: Dan-i and Sia from ITV's Got To Dance; Darren Thomas from Peridot; IDO Street Dance Champions TMI; U16 Krump Champion, Hannah Matthews; BBC Dancer of the Year, Got To Dance and Britains Got Talent finalist, Keiron Lei, not to mention the many other performers from the local area including some current and ex-KRS students.

Every single penny raised from this event will go straight to Cancer Research as all dancers, lighting and sound engineers have donated their time and resources completely free of charge. Tickets are available from Miss K Nutland for just £6. 

The school has been very fortunate that Lakeside have donated a second white elephant for our students to create a design for.  Splodge Design spent their first day in the school this Thursday working with Year 9 students to create the base layers on top of which scenes from the Portsmouth skyline will be superimposed. Unlike the other elephants, this one can be kept at school and will be an excellent addition to the art work displayed in the new school.  Thank you to Lakeside for their donation and to Mr Toghill for coordinating the project.

Friday, 20 January 2017

20 January 2017

These two young men have an interesting story to tell... 

Reece Matthews and Carl Hewitt
Reece and Carl are both 19, have both successfully completed A-levels at Portsmouth College and are now running their own internet start-up company called Digital Dinos, offering social media advice to companies and other organisations like schools.  Their knowledge, expertise and maturity was amazing and even more impressive given that Reece is a former student of the school who left in 2014.

One of the best parts of our meeting was hearing about the process they have been through to set up a business and the skills they needed to do it.  They rightly pointed out that so many young people have the ideas but sometimes lack the self-belief, and their story was one of how to overcome these obstacles and make it happen.

We are hoping to do some work with them in the next few months so watch this space for more details.
Another highlight of my week was to see how much progress has been made on our new school building.  Windows are in place across the whole eastern end, the steel frame is complete and work to get parts of the building watertight are racing ahead so that they can begin work on the inside.  Good weather over the next few weeks is much needed and will in all probability lead to us starting the new school year in the new building.  Very exciting indeed!

We were thrilled to receive recognition for our outstanding contribution to the community this week from the organisation Get Set Action.  King Richard School has always believed its place is at the heart of the community and students are always willing to get involved in activities that support the community and improve the lives of those who live in Paulsgrove and Wymering.  Our students make many contributions in their own time and are always happy to give to charity, support the local foodbank or volunteer their time.

Some of this community work has been organised through our partnership with Unloc, the local student-voice group for Portsmouth.  They celebrated their 15th anniversary this week with a reception held at the House of Commons and attended by local MPs.  Mrs Gajdus went on behalf of King Richard School and noted the amazing contribution some young people have made to the lives of others.  Without exception, those who have got involved in student council type activities have developed wonderful and useful skills (like Reece above) and I am certain our current School Council members will be no different.

The launch event for the mentoring of 25 Year 10 students took place yesterday and was a big success.  As you can see from the images below, students were engaged and eager to participate in the activities.

Thank you very much to all Year 10 parents who attended the parents’ evening this Wednesday and supported us in our work.  Your support is incredibly important as a successful education is a partnership between home and school.  Your feedback told us the evening was useful, but if this was not the case, please do let us know by emailing

One parent recently offered me an excellent way for us to improve our relationship suggesting that we should hold an event for parents to talk together about how they have tackled their child's low attendance and how the school can better support them to do so.  I know there are a large number of you who have battled to overcome these difficulties and your efforts have made an incredible difference to your children's education.  We want to hear your stories and I think many other parents will too.  Watch this space for further details in the next few weeks.

Year 7 exams start next week.  Please help your son or daughter form good habits with regard to revision. If they get used to it now, success at GCSE will be so much easier.  The exam timetable is below:

Don't forget our annual production will soon be upon us (March 1st and 2nd). Watch this space for news about Fame and how to get a ticket.

Friday, 13 January 2017

13 January 2017

Let it snow...

Well, what a disappointment! Having been promised something called thunder snow, students had high expectations of a snow day that was not to be, as the photo shows.  Perhaps next time...

I read some wonderful history essays this week.  Year 11 students were set the challenging task of describing the changes to the rights of women over time and also that of medicine since the Renaissance period.  The task required a good deal of accurate knowledge, the ability to select relevant information and the skills to communicate these ideas coherently.  I was particularly impressed with the way Millie Marsh, Lily Rhodes and Callum Wolfe had approached the project and they were worthy recipients of a Headteacher's positive referral.

From left to right: Mason Lorch; Jordan Bayliss-Hamilton,
Reggie Gwyer; Vinnie Arnell; Mr Hughes; Harry Ainsley

This photo tells a tale.  These Year 11 students came second in the Solent area Health and Safety competition, demonstrating their readiness for employment in business sector areas like construction. The students, who have worked on a number of projects including making improvements around the school site, impressed the judges with their awareness of safety issues and were commended for their ability to ensure they worked in a safe environment.


Attendance at masterclasses by Year 11 has been really impressive since we started this initiative back in November.  These small group sessions, taking place after school, give students the opportunity to revisit the concepts they need to grasp in preparation for their summer exams.  As one student put it, “The classes are great because teachers can focus on individual students to get them ready for the exam and I know exactly what I need to work on to do better". Long may this continue.  If your child is in Year 11, please ensure they are aware of the sessions they need to attend and that they regularly check the Year 11 notice board for the latest lists.

On the topic of exam preparation, Year 7 students will have their first taste of what exams will be like when they take on their own year group exams in the week beginning Monday, 23rd of January.  It is really important that they get into good habits by revising thoroughly for these exams and working out what methods will help them learn the most effectively.

Steve Frampton (with ex-student Liam King)
I was delighted to hear about the MBE awarded to Steve Frampton in the New Year's Honours List.  Steve is the principal of Portsmouth College and has seen the college double in size and massively improve its results in the last 10 years.  He has helped many of our students secure excellent grades to go on to University or apprenticeships, and has made a difference to many people's lives.  Closer to home, Steve has been Chair of the King Richard Trust for 6 years and for two years, was our Chair of Governors too. I also offer my congratulations to Alison Beane, principal of Mary Rose Academy in Portsmouth, who became an OBE.
Year 10 parents evening is next Wednesday, 18th of January.  This is an excellent opportunity to pick up your child's latest report and talk to their teachers about the progress they are making.  The event runs from 14:30-18:30 and we hope that you will be able to join us.

Our reports and termly statements now include a clear indicator about the amount of effort your child puts into every subject.  We firmly believe that effort is crucial to progress, and the more students put in, the more they will get out.  If effort is marked as 'some’ or ‘poor', there is clearly room for improvement and we ask that you discuss this with your son or daughter and get them to try harder.  If they put the effort in, we will ensure they learn the right material to do well in the exams.

On Tuesday night of this week, Mrs Sear and Mrs Hill hosted the first Year 10 matching event by the The Girls' Network.  The session was extremely positive and the girls were all very pleased with their matched mentor.  The first mentoring session will take place on Tuesday, the 7th of February.

Our Year 10 table tennis team conducted themselves creditably at this week's local area championships.  They benefited from hours of practice and won many matches.  Daniel House and Harry Houston both made it through to the quarter finals before coming up against some of the best players in Hampshire and losing narrowly.

Harry Houston
Daniel House

Cambridge University have approached me to ask if our students would take part in a survey to determine their attitudes to going to University.  These views will help inform future policies aimed at encouraging more young students to attend university.  If your child is in Year 9 or above, they can take part and do so by following this link. The following link explains to you what the survey is about and how to withdraw your consent if you do not want your child to take part.

Friday, 6 January 2017

6 January 2017

Happy New Year! I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas break and feel ready to face the challenges and triumphs of 2017. The last week of term seems like a long time ago now, but there were some real highlights that are worth remembering.

It was a pleasure to congratulate 200 students who had a 100% attendance last term at our Golden Ticket Event on Thursday the 15th of December. I could hear their laughter from my office and the pictures show just how much fun they had as they learned to roller skate and, in many cases, get up again after falling over! I was really impressed by their determination as they kept going despite the emerging bumps and bruises.

The winter showcase on Wednesday the 14th of December saw the school's dancers reach their normal high standard.  There was an incredible range of performances on display, including the fabulous finale which included the Dare to Dance troop with dancers as young as 8 taking the stage.  In total, 109 students performed and thrilled the sell-out audience of over 250 people.

I was thrilled to be invited to Mr Toghill's art room to see some of the artwork his Year 11 students have produced as part of the art practice examinations. The task asked them to produce a self-portrait with an element of disguise and they responded in a number of inventive and creative ways as these pictures show.

I was also really impressed by this display in the English corridor.  Year 7s have been studying Dickens' novel A Christmas Carol and produced these wonderful summaries of the plot.

We had some great Christmas jumpers on display on the last day of term and the students were really generous raising £87 for Save the Children.  Finlay Rapson's elf onesie was just one example of the Christmas attire worn that day.

Thank you to all parents who have provided us with updated contact information.  It is vital that we have the latest phone numbers so we can reach the right people in an emergency.  It is also really helpful if we have your e-mail address.  If you think our information is out of date, please contact Mrs Lines in our admin office at to ensure we have the right details.

Finally, you will have noticed that the new build continued to progress up until Christmas. At the Eastern end of the site we now have WINDOWS - very exciting!