Friday, 7 July 2017

7 July 2017


Highlights of the Week

Young women in tiaras and amazing dresses, dapper young men in suits, a wide variety of transportation and a significant proportion of Paulsgrove and Wymering residents all descended on the Solent Hotel in Whitely on Wednesday evening for this year's Year 11 leavers prom.  It was a fantastic evening and the young people were in excellent spirits.  They were by far the best year group for dancing in recent years.  Huge thanks go to Mr Aston for the hard work he put into organising the event and for making it such a success.

Our PE team organised and hosted a very successful athletics competition for local primary schools this week.  Year 5 male and female students from four of our local schools competed in sprints, relays, throwing and jumping events to establish the winners of the much coveted Paulsgrove Cup.  It was great to see such talent and enthusiasm from all of the participants and there were some excellent individual and team performances.  Thank you to Victory Primary School, Beacon View, Portsdown and St Paul's for attending and well done to St Paul's who were this year's winners.

We were delighted to welcome our new Year 7 students into school this week for our transition days and to see so many of their parents at our information evening on Tuesday.  We were very impressed with their enthusiasm, attitudes and adaptability and as a result the two days were our most successful yet.  As Monday was an INSET day, they had lunch with the staff and thought the food was delicious!  Most importantly, they loved the learning they did in the lessons which was most encouraging.

Learning Champions

On Wednesday, two of our school bands performed at the Wedgewood Rooms in Southsea in front of a full house in the Portsmouth music hub Rock the Rooms event. They did fantastically well, as Alex Grant put it - "no fails", despite the Year 8 band having to perform without a sound check. Well done to all those who took part:  Shane May, Oliver George, Dylan Willis, James Reilly Langley, Alex Grant, Ryan Armstrong, Ratu Nawai, Gypsie Palmer.  There will be a further opportunity to see these rising stars at our Summer Showcase on the 19th of July.

Bagel thinking sounds pretty weird but was one of the excellent new techniques teaching colleagues learned about on our INSET training on Monday.  Our trainer, Mike Fleetham, shared many great ideas and this photo shows just how engaging bagel thinking can be when put into practice in a Year 10 English lesson.

I received a lovely e-mail this week from David Carpenter, one of the lecturers at Portsmouth University, commending Hayley George, Year 10, who he met on the University of Portsmouth residential last week.  Not only was she wonderfully polite, but she really impressed him with her enthusiastic questioning and level of engagement for the taster course that he ran on philosophy.  Clearly a potential graduate of the future.  Well done Hayley!

Building Character, Shaping futures

It has been a busy week for Year 10 students.  They attended two more college taster events, Havant and Highbury, this time followed by a performance from the Soloman Theatre Company on choices.  Next week is employability week, so there really is no excuse for our Year 10 students not to be thinking carefully about their next steps and certainly about their college applications for the autumn.

Three of our Year 10 students also attended the School for Surgery last week where they received hands-on experience of different aspect of medicine including suturing and cannulation. Callum Wolfe, Morgan Burton and Sara Wallin are considering careers in medicine and they thoroughly enjoyed the day. Morgan said, “It was fantastically informative and fun!”

If you’re wondering how to keep your children entertained during the summer holidays, get in touch with the University of Portsmouth who are running a few classes for secondary school students.  These classes are completely free of charge and offer valuable insight into future career paths.

 For Your Diary

10-14 July: Employability Week
11 July: Awards Evening and PE Trip to Ageas Bowl
12 July: Wicked Trip
19 July: Summer Showcase
20 July: Thorpe Park Reward Trip 
21 July: End of Term (school finishes at 12:50)
4 September: Start of New School Year


The school is full of moving boxes at the moment.  The packing crates have arrived, ready to be filled on the 24th and 25th of July because about 50% of our resources will be moved into the new school over the summer holidays.  We also have rooms full of the new furniture that we have bought (with the support of Portsmouth City Council) ready for the move.  If you haven't already seen my letter to parents about the timings for the move into the new school, you can read it here.

We are very much looking forward to our Awards Evening next Tuesday, 11th of July, to celebrate the successes of our students this year.  We have completely changed the format for the evening and look forward to parents and families of our winners joining us for refreshments at 6.30pm before the celebrations start at 7pm.  Mr Syd Rapson will also be joining us as a guest speaker to address our students about their futures and the importance of hard work.  Mr Rapson is an ex-student and old Chair of the Governing Body, a former MP and a commendable member of the community of Paulsgrove.  Last year, he received the honoured title of Freeman of the City which was given to him by the Lord Mayor.

On Wednesday of this week, we selected the names of the students to go on our award trip to Thorpe Park on Thursday, 20th July, with the costs paid by the school.  Excellent attendance and a good number of positive referrals was the criteria for having names entered in the draw and there were 64 very happy winners. 

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