Friday, 28 April 2017

28 April 2017

"While the Easter holidays were a time of relaxation for many of our students, Year 11s were very busy with revision for their exams starting soon. We were thrilled with the levels of attendance at the revision events in the first week of the holiday which were some of the highest we have ever seen.  Year 11 students are impressing their teachers at the moment with their dedication and commitment and it is crucial that we all get behind them.  There is still time to make a difference, but there is no time to waste.  Good attendance at school, focus in class and regular study at home are the keys to success.  Next week our Art exams take place and we wish all students taking part the best of luck."

I was very proud of our Year 7 and 8 footballers who demonstrated great enthusiasm, determination and resilience in the cup final this week against Mayfield. They are the first King Richard School finalists for several years but came up against very strong opponents. Mayfield are an exceptional team who have been unbeaten for two years, beating most sides this year by an average of 10-0, so it was no surprise that our team, made up of several Year 7 players playing a year above themselves, succumbed to the power of such talented opposition. As Brandon Davis said, "they were such a good team with so many good players, it was always going to be a difficult challenge for us.” The players have learned from the experience and were well deserving of their runners-up medal.

I was delighted to see so many of our junior mathematicians taking part in the nationwide Maths challenge on Thursday of this week.  In total, 80 students participated which is a large number, and Mr McFarlane, who organised it, was thrilled by their levels of application and effort.  We look forward to hearing how well they have done and whether we will have any bronze, silver or gold award winners.

Our Council of Porstmouth Students representatives visited Mary Rose School this week as part of a conference organised by UNLOC.  Some of the topics debated included ideas around anti-bullying, mental health and wellbeing, integrating the LGBTQ community and life skills.  They also had an opportunity to meet Portsmouth Lord Mayor Cllr David Fuller who addressed the students about student voice and the importance of education.  The News published an article about the day and it can be read here.

The students have been talking a lot about the proposed changes to the school day for September 2017.  Mostly, they are in favour, but please remember that it is a consultation and there is a chance for you to contribute your views on the proposals we are making.  If you wish to contribute, please write to Mr Tucker at  If you missed the newsletter before the Easter holiday, you can read it again here.

On Wednesday, I had the pleasure of meeting Maureen Bye who attended the school (Paulsgrove Secondary Modern for Girls) between 1952 and 1955 when the school first opened.  She told me about the uniform (grey blazer with mustard yellow edging) and the school logo Sincerity and showed me the book she won in the 1954 prize giving ceremony.  It was wonderful to talk with her about what she remembered of the school.

There are some great details in the latest Capturing the Spirit newsletter (which you can read here) including some memories from former students of their times at King Richard School (or Paulsgrove Secondary Modern as it once was).  If you have any photos or memorabilia you are willing to share, the project organisers at 147 Allaway Avenue would love to hear from you.  Below are some photos that have been shared with us:


Our work with Digital Dinos will begin this month and so there will be more information coming for you to access from our Facebook page. Please do keep an eye on what we post and I do hope that you will find it helpful.

Friday, 7 April 2017

7 April 2017

"It is too hard, I could never do that".  This was the typical comment from Year 11 students when challenged to improve their results by seven grades in seven weeks as part of our Magnificent Seven initiative. However, on Tuesday of this week we celebrated the four students who had indeed done this and the three who come incredibly close.  A huge well done to Zac Smith, Taylor Shires, Kaci Shiers and Ashely Proctor who shared the prize money and to Summer Jones, Maxine Perkins and Max Swatton who received a voucher for coming so close.

We have relaunched the initiative and students are, once again, encouraged to improve seven grades in the seven weeks left over until May half term.

Well done also to our Year 8 team who presented their hate crime campaign ideas so skillfully and professionally to an intimidating panel of judges consisting of local councillors, community workers and representatives from Hampshire Constabulary as part of an event to eliminate hate crime.  Dylan and Reece Willis, Bradley Wright and Taylan Yildirim made a big impression on the judges with their thoughtful ideas to make a film to promote LGBT rights.  They were up against Year 9 and 10 students from other local schools and although they weren’t outright winners, they were Highly Commended and joint Runners-Up.  Judges commented on the maturity and insight shown in their presentation and their ability to communicate hate crime as having local, national and global impacts. You can see their presentation, read their speeches and watch their video here. 

Bethany Ayling and Josh Grimshaw showed off in their History lesson this week what they have learned about medieval castles and how they developed.  Using plasticine, they created models to show the changes from Motte and Bailey castles after the Norman Conquest through to the much stronger square, stone keep and curtain walled castles like Portchester and the Tower Of London.   Well done both.

“Thank you so much. I definitely want to come to this school.”  This was the resounding message from the wonderful Year 5 students from Medina Primary School who visited our Science department this week as part of their science week activities.  They took part in a number of experiments looking at chemical reactions and understanding how scientists observe and measure reactions and the impact of heat on different substances.  They especially loved the 'whoosh' bottle! Some of the lab coats were a bit big, but a good time was had by all and we hope to see them back soon.

Well done also this week to the Dare 2 Dance company (which is based at the school) who went to the regional qualifiers of the British Street Dance Competition last Sunday and did incredibly well. They won 15 trophies and qualified in solos, pairs, team and electric boogie categories to now compete in the British championships in May - a fantastic achievement which was matched by our own student, Molly Boateng, who also qualified although with a different dance company.

It is the end of term today and I wish you a restful and relaxing Easter holiday.  I have posted a letter along with the termly reports to all parents today, but if you prefer on line communication, you can read my end of term letter here.

School starts again promptly at 8:30 on the 24th of April.  Please ensure any uniform discrepancies are resolved over the holiday.