Friday, 21 July 2017

21 July 2017

As it is the last day of term and the last blog for a month or so, I shall concentrate on this week's highlights:

Highlights of the Week

Last week, some of our students took part in a workshop called 1 in 4 which explored issues and ideas around the topic of mental health. The Drama Company, Fluid Motion Theatre Company, and representatives from UP for Uni, sponsored by the University of Portsmouth, were very impressed by our students and their creativity and sensitivity to such an important topic.  Well done to Dominic Adams, Liam Frobisher, Kada Jones, Layla Winning, Ellie Trevarthen, Denesha Curry, Ashleigh Willis, Scott Brudenell, Ellis McDowall, Bobbie-Jo Jeans, Dylan Willis, Mia Featherstone, Mason Frost, Courtney Bunting, Kallum Potter, Marie Neville, Kirsty Pearce, Aimee Whitbourne, Summer Hayward, Daniel House, Jacob Laver, Billy Rhoden, Lucie-May Gudgeon and Kacey Lawrence who were energetic, enthusiastic, sensible and wonderful to work with. Their contribution led to some high quality pieces being performed at Saturday night's showcase.

On Tuesday, the Geography department visited where they began their beach investigations at Swanage. Students worked hard after completing their own risk assessments to measure groyne heights and the rate of longshore drift, to help them understand how sediment moves and how engineering can be used to protect our coastlines.  After a welcome bag of crisps and a cool drink, students investigated how tourism has impacted on the functions of Swanage town.  The traditional group photo ended a memorable visit with plenty of hard work in hot and sunny conditions to complete all tasks. This is what students had to say about the visit: Ethan Fifield: 'I've learned so much about groynes today'; Lauren Cutting: 'Seaweed gets in the way of my data collection'; Jay Saunders: 'I can really see how the town has been geared up for tourists, not locals."  

Sixty two students had a great time at Thorpe Park yesterday on our fully funded reward trip offered for excellent attendance and high numbers of positive referrals accumulated throughout the course of the academic year.  The photos below capture just a glimpse of the excitement of the day.  All the students had a fabulous time and finished the day in various degrees of saturation after enjoying all that Thorpe Park had to offer. Our thanks to Mrs Scott, Mrs House, Miss Blandford, Mr Holden, Mr Hopwood, Mr Bixley and Mr Watkins for accompanying them on this trip:

Wednesday saw the school host an extraordinarily good summer showcase.  The blend of dance, drama and music was perfect and there were some wonderful group and individual performances in all of the disciplines that left the audience feeling very impressed.

Well done to some of our star readers from Years 7, 8 and 9 who made an excellent contribution to the Love Reading Festival at Victory Primary School.  Their passion for reading really rubbed off on the younger students, so congratulations to Alfie Bignell, Oliver Byng, Joshua Grimshaw, Sam Sadler, Bethany Smith, Marnie Walker, Rosie Willett, Jasmine Curtis, William Doswell, Alex Grant, Shannon-Marie Harvell, Lewis Mountifield, Maizey Murrant and Destinee Purchase.

This week we were able to celebrate with some of our prizewinners from the recent employability week.  Students who were awarded showed all-round engagement in the careers fair finding out the most information to shape their future, and the image below is of those Year 10 students who so impressed employers at the mock interviews, they were given a special commendation (which means they would’ve been given the job if it was an actual interview). 

Well done also to these Year 9 construction students who are the first to get a sneaky glimpse of the new building as part of a site visit organised to help them understand the roles in the construction industry.

Look at this British Bake Off entry! George Wiggins showed incredible creativity, skill and determination in producing this masterpiece in catering this week.  I am sure it tasted as good as it looked.

Well done to Luke Loader, Millie Cooke and Justin Slade who were rewarded by Ms Findlay for their excellent speeches in English based on Shakespeare's rousing Henry V speech prior to the battle of Agincourt. Millie even read hers to enthuse the students on the bus prior to arriving at Thorpe Park on Thursday!

Key Dates

Monday 4th September, at 10am: first day of the autumn term. Students in Year 8-11 should report to their form tutor for an extended tutor time and Year 7 students should go to the main hall. Lessons will start after break.
Friday 13th October: end of half term
Monday 30th October: first day in new school
Friday 22nd December: end of term
Monday 8th January: first day of term


I've written an end-of-year letter to all parents which should arrive in the post shortly. Please carefully read the section on uniform and, if you are a parent, ensure your child has the correct uniform at the start of the new term (including the new PE top). Our uniform leaflet is on our website and can be accessed here.

If you're wondering how to keep your children entertained over the long summer holiday, please find below some information regarding activities being held in the community:

Help shape the future of Portsmouth Family Hubs (formerly Children’s Centres) by completing this short survey being carried out by The Portsmouth Parent and Carer Board to find out about the needs of parents of children aged 5-19 (up to 25 with SEND) with regards to parenting support. The information will be used by Portsmouth City Council to inform future decisions about service provision via the new Family Hubs. This survey has 3 questions and should take less than 5 minutes to complete.

The end of a school year usually brings with it a number of goodbyes to members of staff who are moving on: Mrs Morriss, Ms Bichard, Mrs Fowler, Ms Long, Mr Stuart, Mr McFarlane, Miss Li, Mr Samuels, Mr Toghill and Mrs Bruins are leaving after giving dedicated and valuable service to the school.  We thank them for what they have done and wish them well in the next phase of their lives. We will also see much less of Mrs Evans on reception who will do some part time work before retiring at the end of the first half term.

In turn, we welcome a number of new colleagues to the school: Mrs Beck (Art), Ms Marsh (Art), Miss Cherring (English), Mr Reeves (Maths), Miss McQuilkin (Maths), Miss Chisolm (Science), Miss Maxwell (Science), Mr Hopwood (Geography) and Mr Holden (Geography).  These are all excellent appointments and I know they will make a huge contribution to your child’s learning.

I want to take this opportunity to wish you a restful summer break and thank you for all your support this year.

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