Friday, 26 May 2017

26 May 2017

Some amazing events and activities have happened in school this week, but before I describe these, I have to start by saying how shocked and saddened I was by the terrorist attack in Manchester at the start of the week.  It was truly awful and the whole school came together in a minute’s silence on Thursday as a mark of respect for those killed or injured while leaving the concert.  That the bomber targeted a concert attended by so many children makes the incident even more horrific and our thoughts and best wishes go to all the families affected.  I know many of our students have been worried and anxious as a result of these events, so I’m posting the following resources from the BBC news round which offers some advice and comfort in this trying time.  

Mrs McCombie and Miss Wilson were blown away by the contributions of Chelsey Howard and Jack Rance who worked with Year 6 students from St Paul's and Victory this week.  The primary students were the winners of the Speaking for Success competition held in their respective schools and they attended KRS for a workshop on how to develop their speaking skills.  Chelsey and Jack introduced them to the 5 S’s - Stand with confidence, Stride with purpose, Smile to engage, Speak clearly and Stay for applause.  They did a great job, showing real leadership, in helping the students to succeed.  Well done indeed.

"I can't wait.  I am definitely going to University after I have finished college, so this trip helps me with my plans". So said Molly-May Creamer who was one of 26 students who went to Southampton University this week as part of their Learn with Us programme.  They were introduced to university life, had a campus tour and took part in a number of taster sessions.  The only disappointment was that the million pound drop activity didn't make them any richer!

Look at these fantastic pieces of homework! Some of them were edible too and I understand that the class did indulge after they had discussed the strengths and weaknesses of their respective designs.  Well done to Mrs Bruins’ class for putting such commitment into their history homework.

Good luck to our Duke of Edinburgh students who are on their practice expedition in the New Forest this weekend.  They will walk carrying all their equipment and food, set up camp for the night and then walk back navigating themselves so they don't get lost.  Miss Long and Miss Chapman will be with them but they are expected to do it on their own so it will be a significant challenge and I wish them well.

Thank you to those parents who attended last week's Attendance Forum.  We had a useful discussion about how to make our partnership even more effective and a number of actions have already been taken as a result of the ideas from the parents who were there.  We have arranged to meet again towards the end of June and will confirm the date as soon as we can.  On the next agenda is how to use Progresso so that you can track your child's behaviour and attendance in real time rather than relying on texts and phone calls to know what is happening. So, do please come along if you want to know more.

Dates for your diaries:  We have added two extra dates to the calendar for the summer half term. 1. 11th July - Awards Evening.  We have completely revamped our awards evening structure for this year, so watch out for more details in the coming weeks.  We are looking forward to celebrating excellence with a large number of students and their families on the 11th of July. 
2. 19th July - End of Year Showcase.  The summer show will be our normal extravaganza and will showcase dance, music and drama for the last time in our current hall - I do hope you will join us.

On Friday of this week, Mrs Sear and the Girls Network organised a workshop for 15 Year 10 girls entitled How to Shine. The workshop explored personal branding which was then linked to how to shine at interviews. The girls carried out mini mock interviews and reflected on what they learnt from the session.The key employability skills that were focused on were:communication skills and team work.

I have asked my colleagues in Student Services to forcefully challenge students who let their standards of uniform slip next half term.  Of particular concern are trainers being worn rather than black polishable shoes, and skirts that are being worn too short.  If you know that your child is in this situation, please have a discussion with Ms Richardson or Mrs Sisk or the appropriate Head of House to resolve the issue.

While many of us are enjoying a half term break, please spare a thought for our Year 11 students who are preparing for their next GCSE examinations.  As always, there are planned revision classes in school over the half term as the timetable shows below.

As it is the end of the term, we will say goodbye to a few of our colleagues.  Mrs McCombie has been with us for nearly 3 years but is leaving at the end of the month to start a new life in France running a cycling holiday business.  Mr Bierton who has suffered a lot of ill health this year is also leaving as is Mr Cohen.  We have replaced all of these staff with excellent appointments for the new school year but there might be some disruption and group changes during the second half of summer while we adjust, and I am grateful for your patience during this time.

Have a great half term and we will see all students On Monday, the 5th June.

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