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Headteacher Blog - Autumn 2022

Dear all,


Welcome to the Christmas version of the RFSS blog, and our final communication of the 2022 calendar year. What a year it has been, both locally and nationally! In this Blog, we will offer a flavour of what each year group has been doing since September 2022, as well as looking at the main events and celebrations of the academic year to date. As always, thank you for taking the time to read about us!


Celebrating Success

Each Friday, I meet with students who have been selected for the quality of their work or contribution to lessons. This term the following students received certificates for their efforts. Well done to all!

Science

Year 7

Zachary L and Cian L

Year 8

Renae W and Sophie H

Year 9

Harrison W and Taylor-May A

Year 10

Finley C and Marina I

Year 11

Connor H and Layla G

Year 12

Daniel C and Thomas J

Yera 13

Sophie L and Anna Kisel

Computing

Year 7

Hollie P and Teodor S

Year 8

Abbie M and Savannah H

Year 9

Rufus S and Rhys A

Year 10

Rhys C and Mads C

Year 11

Baydon J and Leah C

Year 12

Sophie T and Kosay A

Year 13

Evie McC and Hannah B

Mathematics

Year 7

Jessica C and Tiago V

Year 8

Penny S and Chris S

Year 9

Zuzanna Z and Alina K

Year 10

Arjun M and Julia D

Year 11

Callum G and Sporsho B

Year 12

Lyd M and Thomas J

Year 13

Jess W

Physical Education

Year 7

Grzegorz K and Ruan McC

Year 8

Pippa C and Savannah H

Year 9

Jack Y and Temmy A

Year 10

Natalia K and Shannon-Leigh B-B

Year 11

Alisha C and Benjamin B-T

Year 12

Luke P and Evie U-B

Year 13

Anna K and Charlotte B

PSHE

Year 7

Jack A, Tiago V, Dorritt D and Ellie P

Year 8

Aariz F and Hidaya A

Year 9

Tyler G and Lexi-Jade G

Year 10

Phoebe Cain, Daniel Reid and Claudia W

Year 11

Samantha R and Freddie O

History

Year 7

Zachary B and Eniola D

Year 8

Aariz F and Charlotte K-W

Year 9

Harrison W and Jac M

Year 10

Emily G and Hazel J

Year 11

Amna A and Patricija B

Year 12

Jess B and Nick S

Year 13

Connor R and Eva P

Geography

Year 7

Dortritt D and Zachary N

Year 8

Woody W and Hidaya A

Year 9

Thomas C and Kiera-Leigh E

Year 10

Hemali M and Daniel R

Year 11

Leah C and Jacob W

Year 12

Ellie B and Frankie M

Year 13

Iwan H and Charlotte S

English

Year 7

Tegan A and David M

Year 8

Junior K and Joel H

Year 9

Rhys A and Zack G

Year 10

Arijan S and Lauren B

Year 11

Cameron S and Freddie O

Year 12

Damien S and Michaela P

Year 13

Liyana B and Poppy H

Music

Year 7

Ellie P and Frederick D

Year 8

Harrison B and Faith D

Year 9

Lucas J and Zack G

Year 10

Hermione T and Martim S

Year 11

Richie F and Finley D

Drama

Year 7

Jessica C and David M

Year 8

Aariz F and Megan B

Year 9

Kasia G and Spyridoula M

Year 10

Zak H and Tobby O

Year 11

Shakira R-F and Kalil N

Year 12

Milana R and Rose R

Year 13

Amy P and Eva P

Design and Technology

Year 7

Jack R and Cooper M

Year 8

Gabriela J and Tylan C

Year 9

Zofia O and Kajetan K

Year 10

Chloe G and Ben P

Year 11

Taylor H and Dan B

Year 12

Ash D and Lauren G

Year 13

Kerem A


Year Group - Round Up from the Heads of Year


Year 7

It has been a truly fantastic start to a new school year for Year 7, particularly considering it has been their very first here at Rugby Free Secondary School. The students have thrown themselves in, headfirst, to all of the opportunities provided. I was delighted by the standard and the number of applications for Form Captains which showed a real maturity and confidence. Throughout tutor times, we have been working on the importance of the Core Values and the students in Year 7 have really shown these in their interactions with both peers and teachers alike.


The transition from primary to secondary is not without its challenges and I have been immensely proud of the resilience shown by all of the students. There is a real community spirit within the year group, and this will allow each student to feel supported whenever they need it. Education is at the heart of everything we do, however for this to be fully achievable, it is imperative that we have a supportive climate within the school. The students are aware of this and have continually excelled in this area.


A lot of our success is down to the brilliant support we have had from the parents of our Year 7 students who have attended information evenings and parent’s social events to show how committed to supporting their children they are. With the support from home, the guidance from school and the dedication to their education from the students, I have nothing but confidence that the rest of this year will be as wonderful as this term has been.

Mr Doherty - Head of Year 7



Year 8

Year 8 have had an excellent first term of this academic year. We have seen some great sporting successes and the students have thrown themselves into a range of different enrichment opportunities.


We held our first Year Council meeting and our excellent Form Captains came to the meeting ready with fantastic ideas leading to a productive meeting. Many other students have taken on additional responsibilities with the launch of the role of the Office Runner. I have been extremely proud of the Year 8 students who have worked as Office Runners over the past few weeks; they have been respectful, diligent and extremely hard working – I think it came as a shock to some exactly how busy their day would be. It’s been great seeing them shine as they develop time-management skills, team work and responsibility. I look forward to seeing the rest of the year group excel in this role next term.


I wanted to personally thank Year 8 for a fantastic Autumn term. I look forward to the successes that the rest of the year may bring. Have a well-deserved Christmas break and a very happy new Year!

Miss X Wright - Head of Year 8



Year 9

With GCSE options approaching in the new academic year, Year 9 have been working extremely hard making sure they are in the best possible position come Easter. Well done to all of the students that are consistently making the right choices, day in, day out. Your efforts will be rewarded!


The year group have shown great collaborative skills already this year, competing in a huge number of sporting events, and winning lots of them! We are very much looking forward to the roll-out of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, and seeing you all be successful once more!


2023 is a big year for Year 9 students as they select their Options and make their wider-life choices, and we look forward to welcoming you soon for our Options Evening.


I hope you have a restful, peaceful Christmas, and that you come back focused on what is in store come January.

Mr Hallmark - Head of Year 9



Year 10

Year 10 have made a fantastic start to arguably one of the toughest years of their school lives. Students have been taking steps towards getting the best GCSE results they can. This is evident from the levels of engagement and behaviour in lessons. Furthermore, by the number of students taking up opportunities to get involved in revision sessions and extend their knowledge and passion by attending a range of extra-curricular clubs offered.


The Year 10 sports teams have had a great term, with basketball, football and netball teams having a winning start. Something that I hope will continue and improve.


This term has also given students in Year 10 opportunities to think about life after Rugby Free Secondary School. Activity and completion of the online platform UniFrog has given students a real insight in jobs that exist that match passions or job interests they may have. Moreover, students were given the opportunity to take part in an ‘living library session’ where a number of professionals were invited in and students interviewed about their careers, further strengthen their understanding of pros and cons of working in those industries.


On a personal note, I would like to take this opportunity to thank all Year 10 students, parents and carers for making me feel so welcome at the start of my RFSS journey.

Mr Rupal - Head of Year 10



Year 11

Year 11 have had an excellent start to an incredibly important year this term. Students have been committed to their revision and attending interventions, in preparation for their first set of PPEs which took place in November. I have been really impressed with the year group’s level of maturity and resilience during a tough couple of weeks.


The year group have demonstrated excellent focus in lessons over the last couple of weeks, whilst they’ve received important feedback from their teachers from the most recent set of PPEs. This has allowed students to identify their areas of strength and weakness, so they know what areas to focus on for future revision.


Students will receive their updated Year 11 predicted grades in January. With this in mind, it’s important that students begin to think about their next steps post Year 11 and what their aspirations are for next year.


I hope you all have a lovely (and well deserved!) Christmas holiday. Rest up, relax, and spend time with loved ones, and get ready to step it up another gear next term!

Miss Probert - Head of Year 11



Year 12

Students have had a successful start to their Post 16 studies at RFSS. This term we have had the launch of many Outreach programmes at local universities. Some students have already been successful in their applications for these, whilst others continue to await the outcomes of their applications in January. These programmes will offer students the chance to have reduced offers from top end universities with challenging entry requirements. Year 12 have also completed their first set of enrichment options to broaden their skillsets and interests.


Within tutor time, students are exploring career options using Unifrog and working on A Level Mindset activities to support their studies. Lots of Year 12 have been involved in leadership opportunities, whether this be in the form of a Senior Prefect, a lower school reading buddy or part of the Change Your Mind student-led volunteering programme.


Students on Year 12 Vocational courses have concluded this term with in class assessments to support revision strategies over the Christmas holiday in preparation for their assessments in early January 2023.


We want to congratulate all Year 12 students for settling into Sixth Form life, and we wish them a happy and healthy holiday.

Mr Chadwick - Director of Learning for Sixth Form

Mrs Pillay - Assistant Director of Learning for Sixth Form



Year 13

It has been another very busy term for Year 13 as they embark upon their final year in school. The primary focus for this term has been students’ applications to universities and apprenticeship schemes, and they have all worked really hard to create impressive personal statements. We are delighted to see that many students have already received multiple offers from universities, and we look forward to supporting them with their final choices in the spring term.


In November, Year 13 students had their first round of PPEs which enabled them to practice their revision strategies, embed their key knowledge, and get used to sitting tests in proper exam conditions. Despite the potentially challenging nature of these exams, the students conducted themselves admirably, and achieved some very pleasing results. We are very proud of the way that they have viewed these exams as a learning experience, and have subsequently made the most out of the feedback they have been given by their teachers in order to ensure they make progress going forward.


Outside of the academic sphere, it has been great to see how many Year 13's have got involved in student leadership this term. Whether they are part of the Year Council, a House Rep, or a Senior Prefect; so many Year 13 students have been leading from the top, and acting as excellent role models for younger students.


After such a busy and productive term, we hope that the students are able to have a restful and happy holiday, and we look forward to seeing them in the New Year.

Mr Chadwick - Director of Learning for Sixth Form

Mrs Pillay - Assistant Director of Learning for Sixth Form



House Launch

The launch of the House System at RFSS has been a great success this term and it has been wonderful to see so many students, across all year groups, getting involved in all that the Houses have to offer. Our four chosen houses are Turing, Pankhurst, Ali, and Attenborough – which were voted in by students following their own research.


There have been lots of opportunities to earn house points through various competitions, such as:

  • House logo design competition

  • Christmas hamper competition

  • Dodgeball and Basketball inter-house competition

  • Christmas Card competition

  • The Great House Bake off

  • Christmas Video

  • And finally . . . most positive behaviour points!

We are looking forward to hosting many more competitive inter-house competitions next term, and we thank you for your enthusiasm and excitement to get involved!

Miss Cassidy, Mr Goodwin, Miss Vella and Miss Cowperthwaite - Heads of Houses



Set For Life


Community is part of our Set for Life curriculum and is our commitment to ensuring students have the opportunity to develop their social skills through working collaboratively and celebrate of similarities and uniqueness!


Macready Theatre Trip

Our Year 10 and 11 students attended a special performance by GCSE poet John Agard this term.


He performed several of his best-known poems, including 'Checking Out Me History' from our GCSE English Literature Power and Conflict Anthology. They were then treated to the premiere of Agard's new one-man show 'Coleridge in the Afterlife', before having an opportunity to interact directly with the man himself, taking photographs and getting books signed.




The students were fantastic; they were a real credit to RFSS and expressed what a fantastic evening it was!




#curiosity #community


Police Workshops

In November, we were joined by our link police officer, PC Matt Birch who delivered some hard-hitting sessions to both Year 7 and Year 10 students. Students were challenged on the importance of the choices they make and the consequences of those choices both short and long term.

They covered topics including:

  • Knife Crime

  • County Lines

  • Keeping Safe on Social Media

  • Peer Pressure

This is the first instalment of these workshops with sessions for Year 8 and Year 9 planned in the new year.


#respect #community


Christmas Hampers

Once again students, staff and businesses have come together to create an incredible twenty Christmas Hampers for members of the RFSS community who have had a particularly difficult year. This year students have earned house points for any donations they have been able to make, adding a little extra competition. They have done amazingly well and the hampers have been filled with festive treats to bring a bit of Christmas cheer.

A huge "thank you" to everyone who kindly donated; Miss Angell and her Year 12 helpers on Wednesday afternoons; and ABP UK who donated 10 joints of beef!


#kindness #community


Christmas Concert

We held our annual Christmas concert in the final week of term, featuring Music and Drama performances.


There were performances by the School Orchestra and Choir and solo performances from students in both KS3 and 4. The Year 7 and 8 Drama club performed extracts from Cinderella and Courtney R in Year 11 performed a monologue.



The evening finished with a seasonal sing a long to get us in the mood for the festive season. Thank you to the Drama and Music Department for putting this all together!


#community #kindness



Health and Wellbeing is also part of our Set for Life curriculum and is our commitment to ensuring students are given lots of opportunities to take part in activities which will promote health and physical fitness and mental wellbeing.


Duke of Edinburgh Award

After the success of the Bronze Award for some of our Year 9 students last year, we are happy to announce that the Bronze Duke of Edinburgh’s Award has been launched to the Year 9 cohort, and Silver Award launched to the Year 10 cohort this term. Students begin their training in December and January and will be committed to complete their Skills, Physical and Volunteering sections.


Students will be working hard in their training sessions, to prepare for their practice and qualifying expedition in the new year.

#endeavour #collaboration


Sports Fixtures

RFSS has had an excellent start to the academic year with so many students attending afterschool clubs, lunch time clubs and fixtures. Since September our students have represented us in 55 sports fixtures, across all years groups. These fixtures have been a mixture of football, dodgeball, netball, indoor athletics, badminton and basketball. A special shout-out goes to the Year 7 mixed dodgeball team who have won a place in the Level 3 County Dodgeball tournament next term; Year 10 Netball team for being the most successful in the school; and Year 8 Girls and Boys and Year 10 Boys Badminton for earning their place in the Rugby Schools finals next week. Congratulations to the Year 8's who won their final's games making them the best Year 8 Badminton team in Rugby!

We also want to express our congratulations to Sam W in Year 11 for representing GB in American Football this term in Austria. Charlie B in Year 11 was also successful in playing Rugby for Gibraltar U18s. Finally, well done to Alara Y for becoming a British Taekwondo Gold Medallists three times! We are very proud of you all and wish you more successes like these in the new year.

#endeavour #respect


Specialist Resource Provision

We are pleased to announce our Specialist Resource Provision opened on the 31st of October and is housed at the heart of our school within our Inclusion wing. This new facility will provide a safe and individualized learning space for students with Communication and Interaction Needs. It is ably lead by Mrs. Elliott and Mrs. Whitley, both experienced SEND, Language and Communication specialists who were delighted to welcome their first official student last week. We look forward to seeing the Resource Provision grow and to welcoming new learners to our inclusive community at Rugby Free Secondary.

#collaboration #resilience



Employability is the third part of our Set for Life curriculum and is our commitment to ensuring students have opportunities to meet with employers, explore career opportunities and develop skills needed for the future. This term we have held several events supporting our

Employability commitment including:


Each week this term, departments have focused on a Career of the Week, in order to link careers to the curriculum. These have been posted in student bulletins and for parents on RFSS’s social media platforms.

This term, Key Stage 3 students have been able to use Unifrog for the first time, exploring the careers database with potential jobs that may interest them later in life. This includes completing a personality quiz to see what learning styles and topics may be best suited to individual learning styles.


In November, Year 10 also got to explore this platform, whilst completing a drop-down morning where they got to network with and interview a range of employers from Rugby about their jobs and potential avenues into specific careers.


Each Year 11, 12 and 13 student has had an individualised appointment with a Prospects careers advisor to explore their individual interests and receive personalised careers advice and guidance on their next steps.


All Year 11 and Year 13 students have received advice and guidance on writing personal statements for future applications, whether that be for Sixth Form, Universities or Apprenticeships.


We look forward to welcoming students and parents to our forthcoming whole school careers fair on Wednesday 1st March 2023, so please put this date in your diaries. Further information on this event will be sent out at the start of next term.


#curiosity #collaboration


Royal Air Force STEM Event

This term RFSS welcomed Hyett Education and the Royal Airforce Youth Engagement Team into school to deliver a STEM robotics challenge day for some students from Year 7 and Year 8. Students had the opportunity to learn all about the varying roles in the engineering industry. The then took part in a series of tasks where they designed, manufactured and programmed robots in order to complete a series of challenges.


It was a wonderful, engaging workshop that highlighted the links across subjects and potential future careers. This day also kicked started the school Lego League Robotics after school club where any pupils from Year 7 and Year 8 can get involved.

#endeavour #curiosity



Independent Living is part of our Set for Life curriculum and this term we have ensured students know how to keep themselves safe both in school and as they go out into the wider community.


Road Safety Event

At the start of December we were fortunate enough to have Warwickshire County Council’s Road Safety Education and Active Travel Team join us to deliver sessions on Road Safety to our Year 7 students. Students engaged in the sessions focused on ‘The Journey’ in which they discussed potential hazards in getting to and from school and how to keep themselves and others safe.


Well done to Year 7 for your engagement and enthusiasm in these sessions!


#respect #collaboration




New Staff

We will be welcoming the following new staff in January who will make a fantastic addition to our team. Joining us are:

Staff Name

Position

Jodi Allard

Marketing and Events Co-oridnator

Jason Faulkner

Invigilator

Joanne Griffiths

Subject Lead for Biology

Rapinder Mann

Teacher of English

Angela Poyner

Invigilator

Sik Wong

Invigilator

Thank you for all of your support and patience during the transition to Bromcom over the course of the past few months. We are now really getting into the swing of how it works, and all of the different functionalities it has. The students are also enjoying the new canteen and the new catering company, and feedback around the new food has been positive.

Staff will be returning on Tuesday 3rd January 2023 for a day of Continued Professional Development and we will welcome all students back to #RFSS on Wednesday 4th January 2023 - doors open at 8.35am.


Finally, may I take this opportunity to say a huge ‘thank you’ for your support this year, and wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.


Take a look at our Christmas video: RFSS House Christmas Video 2022


Kind regards


Miss Samirah Roberts

Headteacher


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