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.

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