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Autumn term 2021 - Headteacher Blog

This term has been a busy one at RFSS. We have really enjoyed welcoming so many parents, carers and members of the community to RFSS through a variety of events including Open Evening, Options Evening, Parents Evening, Music Recitals and two coffee mornings for our SEND parents to name a few!


This was our first term as a ‘Good School’, our first with Year 12 and the longest time students have been in school without disruption for 18 months! Students have gained over 220,000 positive points (94%) with 28,915 Endeavour points (12%) and 5,635 Kindness points (2%) this term.


Students in Year 7 have made a fantastic start to secondary school and have developed in confidence and leadership. Well done! Year 11 students have shown an incredible amount of resilience and endeavour in their preparation and approach to their pre public examinations.


Our SET for Life curriculum has been launched this term with many opportunities for students to develop ‘skills for life’. This terms headteachers blog is therefore dedicated to show casing students' achievements in the four areas of our SET for Life curriculum.

Community

Student Leadership / Elections / Council

This term we have launched our Student Leadership Programme which is designed to help students practice their employability and independent living skills. We were excited to see RFSS students back in action taking on leadership roles after a difficult year last year.

Prefect Programme We have made our Prefect Programme more streamlined using our four Set for Life areas. Each prefect area is led by two senior prefects from our Sixth Form to prefects from KS4 and a junior prefect from KS3. All students were asked to complete an application form and attend an interview. We were so impressed with the calibre of applicants which made the decision for very difficult.

Our prefects have been working with the lead teachers to put together priorities for the year. We have already seen our community and Independent Living prefects lead our Crisis Hampers and Crisp Packet Blankets projects. The Health and Wellbeing prefects delivered an amazing assembly on Anti-Bullying week with a positive response from students of all year groups.

Junior Leadership Programme Our Junior Leadership Programme started with students putting themselves forward to be considered to represent their forms. Each year group voted for two students from their year to represent them. They have already started addressing some of issues students have raised using our student voice system, following their first meeting with Ms Roberts. Our Year teams have met for the first time to find out more information ready to feed back to the Junior Leadership Team.

Head Student We collaborated with Rugby Council to provide our students with the opportunity to use a true to life voting centre for our Head Student elections. Head Student candidates were lucky enough to meet with a local MP to get tips on running a successful campaign. Candidates campaigned for votes from staff and students as well as attending an interview with Ms Roberts to talk about their campaigns. The whole school took part in a day of voting.

We appointed Liam T and Michaela C as Head Students and Jacob S and Thomas C as Deputy Head Students.

We are excited to see what our Junior Leadership Team achieve this school year. #Collaboration #Kindness


Hampers

For the second year running RFSS have given hampers to families within our school community who have had a particularly difficult time this year.

Students and staff were tasked with bringing in different non-perishable items each week throughout November. The Equality Club and Community Prefects volunteered after school to put together 14 hampers containing everything from tubs of chocolate to Fray Bentos pies.

We were blown away by the amount of donations, especially from Miss Vella’s form who sent in over 180 packets of pasta. A huge thank you to everyone who helped through donations or with their time. #Kindness #Collaboration




















Library

The library has opened to students this half term with 390 books borrowed in total. A group of Year 9 students have shadowed and cast their votes for the Warwickshire Year 9 Book Award and are now volunteering in the library at break times. #Curiosity


We have an after-school homework club with an average of 15 students attending each day. #Endeavour




Theatre Workshop

In October, Year 12 Drama students took part in a three hour workshop with international physical theatre company, Gecko. Gecko work all over the world and are currently performing The Wedding at Nottingham Playhouse. Students study Gecko as part of their A Level syllabus. Theatre Practitioner Vanessa Guevara Flores led them through a rigorous set of preparation for devising in drama. Students from RFSS & Rugby School worked alongside each other creating sensational movement pieces and telling their stories through their bodies. Well done to all involved and thank you to Rugby School for hosting. #Collaboration




Drama Outreach

Selected Year 8 Drama students took part in their first session with the exciting drama project 360 Community Outreach, in collaboration with Rugby School. The project will run up until at least February half term. During this time students will gain many transferable skills to take forward to other subjects, drama and life. It links perfectly alongside RFSS ‘Set for Life’ curriculum with the aim to build confidence and self-esteem through drama. #Resilience #Collaboration


Year 11 Drama Exam

In November, Year11 Drama students took to the boards to perform their devised examination pieces. Students worked in groups and alone, delivering monologues which culminated from experimentation of the stimulus material sent by the exam board. Pieces ranged from Commedia dell’arte to Theatre in Education. Year 11 move onto their scripted exam after Christmas, which we hope some of you will be able to attend. #Endeavour



Health and Wellbeing


Student voice

There were 25 suggestions sent to the School Council. These are currently being processed and feedback will be provided in the New Year.


There were 26 logs regarding concerns or positive feedback in the school.


We had 4 concerns logged in the community and 10 concerns logged about home.

We have tried to address these incidents and respond, however many students are not leaving an email address. This is a private forum where issues can be disclosed and it is much easier to act on these concerns and worries, following up with appropriate actions, if we know who logged them. We can also then ensure students get the best support.


A great deal of internal support has commenced in school including 1-2-1 sessions and small group mentoring with Miss Stewardson and Ms Jackson. We also have external agencies supporting students including On-Track, School Counsellor, Targeted Youth, Safeline, Compass and a School Nurse. #Collaboration



Positive engagement

A group of our Year 9 boys have been working with James & Kevin from On-Track over the last 8 weeks working on specific areas that are barriers to their learning. They also completed sessions on how to respect themselves and others around them. The students engaged really well and were treated to a boxing lesson for their final session where they were put through their paces. #Respect #Endeavour #Resilience




Duke of Edinburgh

61 Year 9 and Year 10 students have started their Bronze Duke of Edinburgh training. Students planned their routes for their practice expedition, learnt how to use a trangia stove, practiced putting up and packing away their tent and most importantly, planning their meals for their expedition! #Collaboration #Endeavour






















Kindness (Anti Bullying week)

Our RFSS community came together to celebrate Anti-Bulling week from Monday 15th November - Friday 19th November. The theme of this year was 'One Kind Word'. Parents, staff and students were asked to share their messages of kindness with one another throughout the week. Thank you to all the parents who sent in some really encouraging messages for our staff and student body.

The messages students wrote during Tutor Time were displayed on a 'Window of Kindness' throughout the week to encourage kindness and respect for others. The Health & Wellbeing prefects delivered a brilliant assembly to raise awareness of Anti-Bullying week, explaining to students the meaning and impact of bullying and what we can do to change things.

It was great to see so many staff and students wearing their odd socks to end the week celebrating everyone's individuality and uniqueness! Many thanks to all the students who participated in the assemblies and all those who spread their 'One Kind Word'. #Kindness #Respect

Employability


Interviews

‘Your application gets you an interview and the interview will get you the job!' Being good in interview is an essential employability skill that needs to be practised and prepared for. Year 10 recently completed a Barclays Life Skills session centred on interview skills and then attended a mock interview with an employer from a range of sectors. Companies included BT, Bam Construction, Siemens Energy and The Navy as well as institutions such as Warwick University. They left great feedback for all the students who attended.

Tristan from The Royal Navy interviewed Izzie R and said “Izzie is a very confident individual who didn’t present with any nerves whatsoever. Very well spoken, answered all questions with extra context to the best of their ability. Probably the strongest performance I saw that day. And would pass the Navy recruitment phase now, at age 14, if she could apply!”

Ravi from Siemens Energy said Daniel B is “Intelligent and passionate towards becoming an engineer. Very solid fundamentals, skilled in various coding languages and knows his CAD tools! I would offer him a job at Siemens Energy now if I could he is that knowledgeable!”

All the students who took part showed respect, resilience and excellence during their interview. Students thoroughly enjoyed the experience and found it valuable to practice their interview skills. #Respect #Resilience #Curiosity


Speakers Trust

In November, selected Key Stage 4 and 5 students took part in a Speakers Trust Workshop called Speak Out for the Planet. The aim of the workshop was to develop students public speaking, in particular their confidence and communication skills. Students enjoyed working in groups and creating their own speeches, many of which were shared at the end of the day. Some of the speeches were entered into an international competition. Out of thousands of entries, Rory L in Year 12 has been shortlisted as one of the best 15 and will complete in the final on 27th January. A huge well done to all of the students involved who represented the school fantastically and especially to Rory for progressing to the next round.

#Collaboration #Endeavour


Independent living


University visits

Year 12 students recently visited two universities. Firstly, the University of Birmingham where they went on a campus tour, completed a question and answer session and had a talk on university life from current university students.


In the afternoon they visited University College Birmingham. This provided an alternative experience as it is an extremely different type of university, one that specialises in vocational and practical courses. As part of this campus visit, they had a tour of the facilities and were able to try some of them out, as well as having the chance to speak to current students about their experiences.


Overall, the students had a really enjoyable and informative day (despite the terrible weather!) and conducted themselves in an exemplary manner. Many of them had not had the chance to visit a university before and have commented that they are keen to apply when they get the chance in Year 13. #Curiosity