Friday, 15 December 2017

15 December

Highlights of the Week

It has been a busy but wonderful week.

We had a fantastic turnout at Year 11 Parents' Evening on Wednesday (71%) and so I would like to thank all the parents who were able to come along and support the school's work in trying to get the very best outcomes for their children in next summer's GCSE exams. It was a crucial evening not just for the opportunity to pick up the mock examination results but also to hear directly from the teachers about the steps that are necessary to make the target grades a reality. Once again, the feedback we had from parents was very positive.

I talked to many parents about Post 16 choices and it is apparent that some students are still unclear about what they will do next. If your son/daughter is in this situation, please contact Mrs Sear who can provide some timely careers advice about which way next by emailing her at

Our Year 9 band were put through their paces at the Wedgewood Rooms this week when they performed as part of the Portsmouth Music Hub's Christmas session. They performed three numbers including the rock classic Highway to Hell by ACDC, and at least one biased member of the audience thought they were the best on the night. Well done to Dylan, Shane and Oliver.


I came across this wonderful festive activity in Mrs Beck's tutor group this week. It is the Tree of Hope and Remembrance and students from across Cedar House were invited to hang a label on the tree to remember a member of their family or friendship group that they will be thinking about this Christmas. It is both a lovely idea and a timely reminder that Christmas is a lot about the people who really matter to us.

Learning Champions

I have been inundated this week with work to celebrate and below is just a selection of the outstanding things happening in and around school:

I was amazed at Megan Hanna's Science homework. The attention to detail is incredible and shows considerable understanding and commitment and is truly deserving of a SLT positive referral.

This Year 9 student really impressed Mr Holden and myself with her Geography homework project. What you see here is only part of her work on glaciers which amounted to six pages in the end - she said she got a bit carried away!

And finally, I loved this work produced by Mrs Hubbard's Tutor group who had investigated how Christmas is celebrated around the World.

Building Character, Shaping Futures

We have had three trips out this week. Year 9 scientists went to Southampton University whilst Year 7 creative writers went to Portsmouth as part of their Preparing for University mentoring programme.

Ten Year 7 students are participating in a 10 week reading/mentoring programme and have been reading The Graveyard.  At the workshop they attended this week, they learned how to write their own short story based on a character from the book which they will now turn into a short film/animation which can be seen next year May.

Photos of the Year 9 Southampton University trip:

Year 9’s spent all of Monday working on the LionHeart Challenge, an enterprise day where student groups had to agree on a community action project that would benefit the people of Paulsgrove. Once they had developed their concept, they needed to work out how to fund it and decide how they would market it before making a final presentation to a panel of expert judges. There were some great ideas, from fashion shows to youth clubs, and the students were extraordinary in showing just how employable many of them are and the potential they have for the future. This was true for all but even more so for the two students who were nominated for the Outstanding Student Award, Millie Cooke and Treyvon Tawadzera.

The event was sponsored by a local company Helistrat who provide waste management consultancy to firms across the country. Helistrat is a relatively new business but a very successful one and we were extremely grateful to Bernard Amos, the Chairman, who established the partnership with the school and came along to be one of the judges on the day. Bernard, who is looking for local people to develop the skills and attributes necessary to work in his business, was impressed with the ideas from the students especially the winning concept of a youth project run for young people by young people.

Key Dates

Wednesday, 20 December - Christmas lunch
Thursday, 21 December - Golden Ticket and £1 non-uniform fundraiser
Friday, 22 December - End of term (school finishes at 12.50, no food available at lunchtime on the day)
Monday, 8 January - First day of term (Week 1)


Thank you to all parents who have been taking the time to park thoughtfully at the end of the day to ensure children can cross the road safely. I understand that the council will be painting zigzag lines on the area in front of the student entrance in the New Year which should support this effort to ensure the area remains a safe one.

We have had some members of the public praise our students on their way to and from school recently and it is lovely to hear about the small acts of kindness they show or their general good behaviour as they return home after a long day. Please reinforce these messages with your children that I would like them all to be courteous, thoughtful and polite as they move about the local area.

There will be no blog next week as we break for Christmas, but I wanted to take this opportunity to thank all parents and families for their support over this term. It has been a stressful time with the move into the new building but thanks to your efforts, combined with those of the staff, this has been managed in a way that has minimised the impact on the children's learning. I do hope you and your families have a restful and happy Christmas and I look forward to working with you in 2018.

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