After six and a half weeks of holiday, the first day back at school was a bit of a shock to the system for students and staff alike. Happily, we all made the transition easily and have had a great start to the new academic year. Attendance has been excellent and the vast majority of students are in perfect uniform - thank you to all parents for your support in making everything work so smoothly.
The theme for the start of the term is Success. The most notable example of this is the excellent GCSE results that we received at the end of August. They were the school's best ever, despite our students sitting much harder exams now than before. There were more A*/ A grades, more grades at C or better and more students than ever before gaining a C or better in English and Maths. We are thrilled with the results and immensely proud of the students who worked really hard and deserve this success.
The results have opened many doors for this group of Year 11 students. Three have been awarded scholarships to independent schools, others have been offered prestigious apprenticeships at venues like QA Hospital, and the majority gained entrance into the colleges of their choice. This is fantastic news!
We continue to get good news about former students. Last week Friday, we welcomed back Liam King who gave an assembly to our new Year 11 students about planning for GCSE success.
Liam is at Portsmouth College and was the top student at AS Level in the summer. He is currently planning an application to Oxford University. Kendall Field Pellow, of the same year group and now on a scholarship to Portsmouth Grammar School, has similar plans.
Last week, we also welcomed back Darcie Harper. Darcie left in 2014 but has now joined us as a member of staff (much to her brother's concern) to complete her Level 3 apprenticeship as a teaching assistant. We have a long tradition of helping our students develop their careers and it is a pleasure to be able to work with Darcie in this way.
At the start of this week, another ex-student visited us. Alex Le'Marquand, who left KRS in 2008, is a Senior Air Craftman for the RAF and is looking to start his Officer training next year. Alex was back to lead some workshops for Year 11 students on motivation and leadership which are both important skills to master as they prepare for their final year of secondary school.
As the photos show, the workshops were very practical and forced students to consider what they can do to fulfil their dreams. Mr Gill, who coordinated the day, was thrilled with the impact it had on students and said, "The students really took it seriously and got a lot from the event." Year 11 student, Lucas Devey, reflected, "He treated us as equals and motivated me to think about my future career choices."
On Thursday, Capital Radio were in school to launch their city wide attendance initiative "Get In:volved" which is aimed at Year 10's. The objective is to improve attendance of Year 10 students across the city, and, to this end, Capital FM will be promoting the importance of attendance on their programmes and organising free tickets for an exclusive gig in January for the students with the most improved attendance. If you have a child in Year 10, please give your support to the campaign. Who knows, your son or daughter could be on their way to a great concert later in the school year.
Today, we welcomed a group of dignitaries to the new school for a publicity event to mark the incredible progress that the company Keir construction are making on the new build. Officers from the Government and Portsmouth City Council, Penny Mordaunt, our local MP, Donna Jones, the leader of the council as well as local councillors Gemma New, Stuart Potter and John Ferrett were amongst our guest. The Portsmouth News were also in attendance, so you should be able to see the story in the paper over the weekend.
I am thrilled at how how well our Year 7 students have settled in. They look very smart in their uniforms, are attending well and, if my History class is anything to go by, completing lots of homework. They have made a really positive start to their school career here at KRS. If there is anything you are worried about, please don't hesitate to get in touch so that we can resolve any issues before they develop further.
The school photographer was in school today to take individual photos of students as well as House photos. These will shortly be available for sale, so watch out for more details if you are interested in purchasing a photo of your child looking smart in their uniform.
The Performing Arts department were thrilled last week by the enthusiasm of Year 7 and 8 students who auditioned for the pantomime Cinderella. The show, written by Ms Hall, includes great songs and many jokes and promises to be a wonderful evening of entertainment for the whole family. Well done to all those selected for the a role and good luck with the rehearsals to come.
Our new members of staff are all settling in well and have made a good impression on students. Ms Scarcliffe and Mr Lopez have joined the Spanish team, Mr Lee joined our Maths staff and Mr Stuart and Ms Choudhry the English department. Mr Boxall is our new Head of Inclusion and Ms Twining is covering for Sam Griffiths while she is on maternity leave. Good luck to all these colleagues and I hope the year progresses well.
There are a number of new policies on the website, including a new complaints procedure .Please take the time to read through these when you have a moment.
And finally, are you interested in having a say in the running of the school and helping shape its future? If you are, the Governing body are looking for a new parent Governor to join them and are very keen to have the voice of parents represented so that we make the right decisions for the future. More details of the role and a description of what is expected can be found here. Governors complete a really important function in school and this presents a great opportunity for someone to get involved with the direction the school takes. If you would like to talk through the role informally, then I would be happy to do so - please do get in touch.