Highlights this Week
The English, Maths and Science teams all had their first chance to visit the new school building this week and like me, they were amazed at the progress being made on the inside. As the picture of the science team shows, the classrooms are now coming on incredibly quickly and the visit helped us all to imagine what it will be like when we move in there in the autumn. There is now an incredible buzz of excitement amongst the staff and I am sure there will be a wow factor for the students when they walk in for the first time.
Thank you to the huge numbers of parents who turned out for Year 9 parents evening on Wednesday this week, despite the 30 degree temperatures. My colleagues appreciated the opportunity to celebrate your child's success and to identify areas we can work on together to help them be more successful as they embark on their GCSE courses. Thank you also to those of you who completed our feedback questionnaire. There were a lot of positive comments, but it seems that homework is a concern for some of you and so we will explore this with our department leaders before the end of term.
Fourteen Year 10 students were lucky enough to visit the Landrover Ben Ainslie RacingCentre in old Portsmouth this week as part of the Go Sail initiative. They were amazed at the combination of science, technology and sporting excellence involved in developing the boats that have taken part in the America's Cup challenge. They, like me, are still trying to grasp the headphones that are placed over your eyebrows, not ears, and transmit sound waves through the bone - extraordinary. This was followed by a first sailing experience at Portsmouth Water Sports Centre which was enjoyed by all. They tell me they were learning about forces but it sounds like they had much fun too.
I had a good example of the power of success this week when I met a Year 10 student (name withheld to spare her blushes) walking down the corridor smiling uncontrollably to herself. She had just completed her Spanish speaking controlled assessment and had been told it went really well, the best yet. I know she would have prepared well in advance so it just goes to show that hard work pays off.
As Year 11s celebrate the end of their GCSE exams, it is now the turn of Year 9; their exam timetable can be found below. Please do encourage your son or daughter to undertake a programme of revision. If they get into good habits now they will realise that good revision really does make a difference to their success in exams and which will in turn help them be more confident for the harder GCSEs that they take in the future.
Building Character, Shaping Futures
All of our students have had their character tested this week with the extraordinarily high temperatures, but none more than those taking part in PE. Completing the sprints and middle distances must have been really difficult at a time when walking around the playground on duty felt too hot for me, but they took part in good spirits and actually performed really well as part of the Inter-House Athletics Cup.
We are also really proud of the following students who were chosen to represent the school at the Portsmouth Schools Junior Athletics competition on Thursday. At the time of writing, I don't have the results but know that they will have tried hard and shown masses of effort in pursuit of excellent results:
Many Year 10 students will get their first taste of college life next week when they visit South Downs College on Monday and Portsmouth College on Thursday. This is an excellent opportunity to experience college life, understand how the college works and think about the courses that might be right for them from the huge range on offer. If your child has not yet returned their consent slip, please do so urgently.
Next week, Mrs Sear will also be taking 10 Year 10 students to a 3 day residential at Portsmouth University. A graduation event for students, parents and staff will be held at the Guildhall next Friday evening and photos will follow shortly thereafter.
For Your Diary
30 June: Inset Day
3 July: Inset Day
3-4 July: Year 6 Transition Days (parents meeting at 6:30pm on the 4th)
12 July: Wicked Trip
10-14 July: Employability Week
11 July: Awards Evening
19 July: Summer Showcase
20 July: Thorpe Park Reward Trip
21 July: End of Term (school finishes at 12:50)
Hillside Youth Club is offering your child a free lunch on the 30th of June and 3rd of July when the school is closed for INSET. This initiative is designed to gauge interest for how many students may want a lunch at the Hillside during the summer holidays and the details are as follow:
Friday 30th June and Monday 3rd July at 12:30pm for young people aged 10 ½ - 21 years old. To book your place, contact Matt on 07940 495762 or Amanda Mobile on 07730 065625 (as places are limited!).
Talking of nutritious food, the following cooking classes are available for those children between the ages of 14-16 who love cooking:
As temperatures return to normal next week and sunshine and showers are forecast, uniform expectations will return to normal as well, so students will need to bring their blazer to school. Students have been really compliant this week and have not abused the summer uniform regulations we introduced and so we will quickly reintroduce these should another hot spell come before the end of the summer term.
Good luck to all of those involved with the carnival this weekend. The weather looks better than last year and I hope it is a great day.
If you haven't visited our relaunched Facebook page yet, please do so soon. Hundreds of people have now liked the page and are receiving updates about things happening at the school. Make sure you like the page so that you too can keep up to date.