Friday, 17 February 2017

17 February 2017


I would like to finish the half term by celebrating some of the excellent work we have seen in classrooms this week and recognise the way in which students are rising to the challenges they have been set by their teachers.

Molly-May Creamer impressed Mr Tucker with her explanation of why earthquakes have such a devastating impact in poorer countries and communities and Reggie Gwyer demonstrated the benefits of collaborative learning when he produced this excellent piece of writing in English about how Shakespeare portrays Macbeth. Reggie's writing was two grades above his target grade as a result of excellent commitment and making good use of the notes made by his group to extend his response.

Molly-May Creamer
Reggie Gwyer's Work















Emily Lewis-Little had an interesting take on the creative uses for plant pots when she turned hers into a musical instrument for her homework. Some paint, coloured paper, tape and a muslin cloth meant the pot was barely recognisable and put to a completely different use.
Emily Lewis-Little
Well done to all of these students who were rewarded with an SLT positive referral.

Our annual production this year is Fame which will be showing the week after half-term (Wednesday and Thursday, the 1st and 2nd of March) and tickets are available from the school’s box office during lunch time. A full rehearsal this week saw the cast make further progress and they will be back in for more practice over the half-term holiday. The excitement is building and we hope you will be able to join us.




Another date for your diary is our attendance forum on the 17th of March at 10:00.  This will be a for-parents-by-parents event aimed at bringing parents together to discuss ways and solutions to improving your child’s attendance at school and to suggest ways in which the school can support you.  We would love to see you there.


Capturing the Spirit, at 147 Allaway Avenue, are holding a competition to find the logo that will be used on all aspects of their project’s communications.  They have invited students from our school to design a logo that captures what it means to live in Paulsgrove and Wymering.  This is a great opportunity for our students to showcase their talents, so please encourage your child to get involved by taking part.  Entries must be in by the 13th of March and there are Amazon vouchers for the winners. 

























Click here to read more about the Capturing the Spirit project and their forthcoming exhibition. 

It was great to see the creative efforts of our Duke of Edinburgh Award students on display this week when they baked cakes for Valentine's Day and sold them to help raise funds for their exhibition training later in the year.  The award is all about encouraging personal responsibility and commitment and these qualities were definitely on display this week.  Well done to all involved.



Two very successful sporting events this week were the table tennis workshop for our gifted and talented players and the rowing endurance challenge.

Brian Hall from Portsmouth Table Tennis worked with Billy Lovell, Connor Revy, Harly Fletcher, Harvey Tazewell, Daniel House, Jacob Laver and Lucas Devey to help them further their skills in this sport.  In response to the success, Brian has asked to run a follow up session in the near future. 



Mr Bixley and Mr Herriot took a group of students to Playzone on Wednesday evening for a Cardio Rowing Challenge in which we competed against two other schools with a team of 11 boys.  The evening consisted of a student challenge followed by a staff challenge. The two distances were added to decide a winner and King Richard School came out victorious at the end! The students were then able to enjoy themselves in all of the Playzone facilities. We congratulate the following boys on their effort and fantastic behaviour: Alfie Newsham, Sam Sadler, Owen Phillips, Logan Smith, Chris Ratcliffe, Nathan Burman, Bradley Wolfe, Harrison Reed, Alfie Lindsay, Ratu Nawai and Bradley Harris.

With the new building looking more and more certain for a September opening, we have got cracking this week with ordering more and more of the equipment and furniture we need for the classrooms and specialist rooms.  Work tops, cupboards, podiums for science labs and, perhaps more excitingly, 55" screens for classrooms are the first items in a complicated but exciting jigsaw.



Well done to the 30 Year 9 girls who showed great enthusiasm at the Highbury College Girls into Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) event this week.  Although the event wasn't as hands on and interactive as the girls had hoped, they behaved superbly, showed interest and were a credit to the school.







And finally, as we break up today for half-term, I want to wish you and your families a restful break.  School starts again on Monday, the 27th of February.

Friday, 10 February 2017

10 February 2017

I was handed some amazing photos by Mr Gill this week. They show the school in the mid-1960s when his grandfather was a pupil here, and it was delightful to get a glimpse of what life was like in our school so many years ago.

As this building reaches the end of its life, I am very keen to capture as many memories of its past as I can so that these are not lost as we move from the old to the new. If you have any photos from your own school days (or perhaps your parents' time) that you are willing to share, please get in touch with Mrs Gajdus at agajdus@kingrichardschool.net so that we can arrange to make a copy.















Year 7 showed great enthusiasm during Monday's Speaking for Success event. Working in groups, they were challenged to prepare a presentation about life at King Richard School.  The winning groups will be going to the local Primary schools later in the term to share their ideas and help the students in Year 6 get ready for their transfer to secondary school.

The energy in the room was tremendous and the students demonstrated excellent teamwork, cooperation and communication skills to produce some really high quality presentations.















video


Another group of Year 7s created a stop animation in Geography this week using the Stop Motion app on their iPads.  Their topic was 'Tectonic Plates' and I was particularly impressed by the work of Layla Winning, Kada Jones and Shannon Barham. Their presentation was engaging and really showed off the skills they had learned.




On Tuesday from 5.30pm, our Lecture Theatre was a centre for high quality speaking as female students from Years 9 and 10 met with their mentors to discuss their futures and the skills and qualities they will need to make their dreams a reality.  The levels of engagement were extraordinarily high and as one girl said, "I feel more in control of my future now than I ever did before."


On Wednesday of this week, some of our Year 8 students, who were selected by their peers to be ambassadors, attended an anti-smoking workshop.  The students will have to complete a diary of entries documenting conversations they have had with their peers about smoking and the risks associated with the habit.  They enjoyed team building activities involving active listening and trust games that encouraged self-esteem.  They also discussed the physical, social and economic effects of smoking. Thanks to Karen and Andy from Sorted for delivering the sessions and we'll welcome them next week to review the diaries and reward the students with a £10 gift voucher.


Another group of our students attended the Opportunities Fair at Guildhall Square on Wednesday. The purpose of the fair was for students to gain a real understanding of the broad and exciting career paths that the diverse businesses in and around the City of Portsmouth have to offer. They had a chance to speak to employers about real jobs and even met the Lord Mayor of Portsmouth.


















Today, Year 9s were off timetable for an enterprise challenge organised by UNLOC. The task was to think about creating, developing and marketing a new chocolate bar with the opportunity for the winning group to visit a top chocolatier in Portsmouth during half term to make their own chocolate.

As you can see, the students showed incredible team work skills and learned a little of what it might be like to run their own business.  We had two winning groups who called their designer chocolate Bibbly Bobbly Bits and Saucy and Sweet, respectively.

Bibbly Bobbly Bits
Saucy and Sweet




Friday, 3 February 2017

3 February 2017


We were very fortunate this week to have a number of local employers visit year group assemblies to describe for the students the opportunities that await them when they leave school. BAE Systems and COLAS talked to Year 7 and 8 students, while South Downs College and the University of Chichester talked to Years 10 and 11s.

Andrew Marsh from COLAS shared the interesting story of his career history, allowing students to see the various paths they can take and how the choices we make affect us in so many ways. The assemblies were part of our programme of Careers Education Advice and Guidance and were coordinated by Mrs Sear. Mrs Sear would be happy to talk with you if you have any questions or concerns about your child's plans for the future.

Unfortunately, there was a road traffic accident just after 8:30 on Monday morning. This was a reminder of the need for all road users to take care and to ask parents and family members who drop off at or pick up from school, to be especially careful and to be thoughtful about how and where you park. 



Mrs Sisk and Miss Richardson have been discussing uniform with a number of students and their parents recently and have asked me to remind you that if, for any reason, your child does not have the correct uniform on, you please send them to school with a note. We understand that there are occasions when families can't comply with uniform standards but this mustn't be the norm. If you inform us of your situation, it makes it easier for us to identify those students who aren't complying.



I am showcasing some fantastic work in History and Geography this week. Year 10 historians have impressed Miss Williams with the progress they made on their American West test. Every student improved dramatically as a result of thorough revision and answering practice questions. In Geography, Year 7s have been putting their research skills to good use, using their iPads to prepare and present high quality information regarding the structure of the Earth. Work and presentation skills were peer-assessed, using student-generated criteria such as appropriate use of key terms, correct sequencing and clear voice.




Congratulations to Oakley Brunnen who recently completed Level 5 and has now finished the Lexia programme. Kane Gallagher has completed Level 4 and has one more level to go before he also finishes.

Thank you very much to the three Year 9 students (Tori Campbell, Ellie Batchelor and Morgan Barham) who prepared so thoroughly for this week's e-safety information evening. The girls gave talks on the way on-line cruelty can affect young people and some of the strategies students need to know to keep themselves safe. The next stage is to present this information to Year 6 students from local primary schools.

A group of Year 8 students spent some time this week training as anti-smoking mentors. Representatives from the Portsmouth Public Health team worked with the students on issues related to smoking and got them to think about the risks involved to others when smoking. Their next task is to use their skills and knowledge to discourage others they know from starting to smoke and then report back on their impact.

We have seen some tremendous sporting successes recently:
Brandon Davies was a recent semi-finalist at the Year 7 and 8 table tennis tournament at Admiral Lord Nelson with Harvey Tazewell as a quarter-finalist.  Two Year 9 teams placed 1st and 4th out of 5 competing teams at a five-a-side football tournament at Rocco with two Year 10 teams placing 3rd and 5th out of 6.  

As mentioned last week, a number of our Year 10 students went to the Anne-Marie concert at the Kings Theatre as part of an attendance reward event sponsored by Capital Radio. In case you haven't seen the story in The News, you can read it here.


Friday, 27 January 2017

27 January 2016


I was spared the misery of a blue Monday this week, despite the freezing fog that enveloped the school, when I was handed a portion of brocciflower cheese made by Kaylee Lewington-Palmer during a Year 7 catering lesson. It’s a delicious mix of broccoli and cauliflower in a rich and creamy cheese sauce - it really cheered me up!


This superb piece of homework from Fatiah Okubadejo-Koromah really impressed me this week. Mr Gill's music class were set the task of creating their own musical instrument which Fatiah responded to with great effort, care and skill. She is completely deserving of the Headteacher's positive referral this week.


7EHe presented an excellent assembly to the rest of the year group on Tuesday of this week.  Their theme was tolerance and they made several thought provoking points and put their messages across well using a mixture of visuals, sound and speeches.  As Coby Addison-Blofield pointed out, "If there was less tolerance in the world, then there would be anarchy and destruction".

On Thursday the 26th of January,  8 Year 7 and 8 students from King Richard School took part the Portsmouth Literature Quiz at Fratton Park.  It was a good day which gave the students the opportunity to participate in the growing reading culture in Portsmouth.   The students were split into two teams of four, where they were to compete against the other secondary schools in the city. There were four rounds of questions on specific genres and Authors and four visual rounds of questions, again based on various novels.  Despite not winning the event, the students enjoyed the day very much and enjoyed meeting local authors Ali Sparkes, Andy Briggs, Miriam Halahmy and Jamie Thomson who took time to speak to the students and sign copies of their books.














Year 8s had an amazing time at Southampton University last week.  One of the workshops looked at marine biology and the students had the opportunity to study a real shark, taking measurements and learning about its habits and features.  Some of the other workshops included two cognitive experiments and the making of a spectroscope used in the identification of gasses.

















30 of our Year 10 students had the wonderful opportunity on Friday afternoon, this week, to attend the Kings Theatre to watch a unique gig by Anne-Marie.  This show was available to Year 10 students in Portsmouth schools with the best or most improved attendance.  Well done to all of those who were selected to go.  The event, which was organised in partnership between Capital Radio and Portsmouth City Council, was a great success and according to Leanne in Year 10 was, "Amazing! I love Anne-Marie and all her songs".

On Saturday the 4th of February at 18:30, King Richard School will be hosting its second #Dance4Cancer event. Last year we raised over £2500 all in aid of Cancer Research UK and the goal for this year is to raise even more. The showcase will feature dancers from all over the UK, including: Dan-i and Sia from ITV's Got To Dance; Darren Thomas from Peridot; IDO Street Dance Champions TMI; U16 Krump Champion, Hannah Matthews; BBC Dancer of the Year, Got To Dance and Britains Got Talent finalist, Keiron Lei, not to mention the many other performers from the local area including some current and ex-KRS students.

Every single penny raised from this event will go straight to Cancer Research as all dancers, lighting and sound engineers have donated their time and resources completely free of charge. Tickets are available from Miss K Nutland for just £6. 

The school has been very fortunate that Lakeside have donated a second white elephant for our students to create a design for.  Splodge Design spent their first day in the school this Thursday working with Year 9 students to create the base layers on top of which scenes from the Portsmouth skyline will be superimposed. Unlike the other elephants, this one can be kept at school and will be an excellent addition to the art work displayed in the new school.  Thank you to Lakeside for their donation and to Mr Toghill for coordinating the project.







Friday, 20 January 2017

20 January 2017

These two young men have an interesting story to tell... 

Reece Matthews and Carl Hewitt
Reece and Carl are both 19, have both successfully completed A-levels at Portsmouth College and are now running their own internet start-up company called Digital Dinos, offering social media advice to companies and other organisations like schools.  Their knowledge, expertise and maturity was amazing and even more impressive given that Reece is a former student of the school who left in 2014.

One of the best parts of our meeting was hearing about the process they have been through to set up a business and the skills they needed to do it.  They rightly pointed out that so many young people have the ideas but sometimes lack the self-belief, and their story was one of how to overcome these obstacles and make it happen.

We are hoping to do some work with them in the next few months so watch this space for more details.
Another highlight of my week was to see how much progress has been made on our new school building.  Windows are in place across the whole eastern end, the steel frame is complete and work to get parts of the building watertight are racing ahead so that they can begin work on the inside.  Good weather over the next few weeks is much needed and will in all probability lead to us starting the new school year in the new building.  Very exciting indeed!

We were thrilled to receive recognition for our outstanding contribution to the community this week from the organisation Get Set Action.  King Richard School has always believed its place is at the heart of the community and students are always willing to get involved in activities that support the community and improve the lives of those who live in Paulsgrove and Wymering.  Our students make many contributions in their own time and are always happy to give to charity, support the local foodbank or volunteer their time.



Some of this community work has been organised through our partnership with Unloc, the local student-voice group for Portsmouth.  They celebrated their 15th anniversary this week with a reception held at the House of Commons and attended by local MPs.  Mrs Gajdus went on behalf of King Richard School and noted the amazing contribution some young people have made to the lives of others.  Without exception, those who have got involved in student council type activities have developed wonderful and useful skills (like Reece above) and I am certain our current School Council members will be no different.

The launch event for the mentoring of 25 Year 10 students took place yesterday and was a big success.  As you can see from the images below, students were engaged and eager to participate in the activities.





Thank you very much to all Year 10 parents who attended the parents’ evening this Wednesday and supported us in our work.  Your support is incredibly important as a successful education is a partnership between home and school.  Your feedback told us the evening was useful, but if this was not the case, please do let us know by emailing atucker@kingrichardschool.net.

One parent recently offered me an excellent way for us to improve our relationship suggesting that we should hold an event for parents to talk together about how they have tackled their child's low attendance and how the school can better support them to do so.  I know there are a large number of you who have battled to overcome these difficulties and your efforts have made an incredible difference to your children's education.  We want to hear your stories and I think many other parents will too.  Watch this space for further details in the next few weeks.

Year 7 exams start next week.  Please help your son or daughter form good habits with regard to revision. If they get used to it now, success at GCSE will be so much easier.  The exam timetable is below:

Don't forget our annual production will soon be upon us (March 1st and 2nd). Watch this space for news about Fame and how to get a ticket.