Friday, 12 January 2018

12 January 2018

Highlights of the Week

Happy New Year to you all! I hope your Christmas was restful and that you enjoyed a well-deserved break.

I will start this week with some memories from the last week of term where our Golden Ticket winners enjoyed a fantastic silent disco and our student council members raised well over £500 for Save the Children from the Christmas Jumper day and cake sale. The day was a tremendous success, so well done to everyone involved.

During the last week of term, the three Heads of House also presented an Amazon Fire tablet to each of the two students in their house who had most impressed in the first term with their attendance, positivity and success.  Congratulations to our six winners: Connor Wiseman and Katie Rigby from Sycamore House, Daisy Thompson and Abby Davies from Cedar House and Fathiah Okubadejo-Koromah and Charlotte Hickley from Willow House.

Last week, we had a lovely message via our Facebook page from a former student, Ryan McOwat, who left in 1994.  He sent us this message below which goes to show how influential teachers can be.  Sadly, Mr Jones is no longer here but it was still wonderful to read how successful Ryan is now and to know that he recognises the impact of his teachers.  Thank you for taking the time to write, Ryan, and I do hope we can find a way to link up.  If you haven't already, follow us on Facebook by liking our page.

We were pleased this week to receive recognition as a Music Mark School Member.  This certification was presented to us for our commitment to high quality music education which is something that Mr Waldren has been growing over the last two years.  We were nominated by the Portsmouth Music Hub and the award is much deserved.  Well done to Mr Waldren and his team.

Learning Champions

Year 8 have been working on a wonderful zombies art project recently.  There has been some brilliant work, but this one from Josh Forrest rather caught Mrs Beck's eye.  She compliments Josh on his level of detail and intricacy and neither of us can wait to see it painted and finished.

I also really liked this box made in Construction by Ria Hider who has shown real potential in this subject and impressed Mr Nutland.  The quality of the finish is superb and the joint work really impressive. Well done, Ria.

Ms Gilbert, Mr Lopez and Mrs Scarcliffe have nominated their second group of Linguists of the Month and it was a pleasure to award their certificates and badges this week.  They have been commended for their determination to improve pronunciation and resolve to improve grammar and vocabulary. Well done to the winners: Torrie Cobb, Bobbi-Lee Taylor, Frankie Pullen, Kayley Lowden, William Kirk, Mason Frost, Kyle Deacon, Louisa-Jayne Mycroft, Danny Kalinski, William Doswell, Lauren Cutting and Leanne Delacruz.

Building Character, Shaping Futures

Our Enrichment programme continues to offer some wonderful character-building opportunities.  This week, our next group of volunteer reading mentors began preparation for their project, those in Games worked on facing their fears (watch this space for how this theme will develop in the next few months) and Year 10s started to learn how to run their own business.

Most impressive this week was the Bush Craft Skills group with our own BearGrylls (aka Mr Watkins).  Students built and tested their own water filters with great success. Some students had to be persuaded NOT to drink their filtered water, so well did it appear that their filters had worked. Lauren Dixon and Daisie Thompson were voted the winning team, producing the clearest water. Lauren summed it up as 'the most fun lesson ever'. 

The National Citizen Service is offering a great opportunity this summer for all Year 11 leavers looking to gain some valuable experience, enrich their CV and have some fun with other local young people.  An assembly on the 19th of January will let them know all about this exciting opportunity but this video should whet the appetite, and I do encourage maximum participation.  Previous Year 11s who have taken part absolutely loved the experience.  

Key Dates

23 January            – CoPS Summit 2 (at ALNS)
24 January            – Year 8 and 9 Parents’ Evening (3:30-6:30pm)
30 January            – Y10 trip to University of Chichester (Flare Event)
                               – Y7/8 Anti-Bullying Workshop at Guildhall
31 January            – Y7/8 EBP Get Inspired trip
5-23 February        – Year 11 Practice Exams 2
27 February           – Y10 trip to University of Southampton (Learn with Us)
28 February           – Y10 trip to University of Southampton (Learn with Us)
8 March                 – School Production - Bugsy Malone
21 March               – Y11 Parents’ Evening (3:30-6:30pm)


The Local Authority have written to me because they're very worried about road safety outside the school.  I have written before about parking in front of the school, but the problem has not improved and the Local Authority’s assessment is that the situation is now a high risk.  Once again, I ask that parents collecting their children park considerately and advise their children to cross safely and use the lollipop lady wherever possible.

Two new additions to our school over the Christmas holidays have been lockers and water fountains. 

Brand new lockers have been purchased and we now have more than we originally had.  Any student who currently has a locker should visit the Admin team to ensure they now have a key for the new ones.  Water fountains throughout the school mean that students no longer need to waste money buying water and can now fill their own water bottle for free.  This has the added benefit of reducing plastic waste in the environment (if you haven't yet watched the Blue Planet episode on the impact of plastics in the oceans, I highly recommend that you do – it is terrifying).

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