Headteacher Blog - Spring 2022

Dear all

Many thanks for your continued feedback and support this term. The beginning of 2022 has been a busy one at RFSS. There has been a huge focus on celebrating success and providing students with more enrichment opportunities which enable students to work collaboratively. COVID measures meant students have missed out on opportunities to develop their social skills and learn outside of the classroom so this term has been jam packed!

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!

Mathematics Spanish

Year 7 – Huda A and George M Year 7 – Ketsia A and Renae T

Year 8 – Edmond C and Tia E Year 8 – Amelia A and Ethan M

Year 9 – Aeron E and Saskya R Year 9 – Philip E and Julia D

Year 10 – Courtney R and Ruby M Year 10 – Marc S and Zahra N

Year 11 – Megan B and Nawroz H Year 11 – Vangeli C and Dream M

Year 12 – Kacper C and Brandon H Year 12 – Kacper C and Thomas T

Science Drama

Year 7 – Jakub B and Danny R Year 7 – Aariz F and Ketsia A

Year 8 – Harrison Y and Elise M-M Year 8 – Chloe S and Ro M

Year 9 – Jay P and Summer S Year 9 – Katie R and Nicole F

Year 10 – Alyssa S and Benjamin B-T Year 10 – Emmie P and Tom M

Year 11 – Emily S and Cass S Year 11 – Bethan P and Maddie P

Year 12 – Charlotte S and Adelaide C-H Year 12 – Amy P and Eva P

History Music

Year 7 – Ketsia A and George M Year 7 – George M and Sienna G

Year 8 – Janat H and Summer P Year 8 – Noah P and OIiver J

Year 9 – Summer S and Alex C Year 9 – Gabriel S and Darcie C-H

Year 10 – Richie F and Samantha R Year 10 – Imogen P and Manson C

Year 11 – Sydney A and Emily S Year 11 – Thomas J and Dream M

Year 12 – Eva P and Abi A

Year Group - Round Up from the Head's of Year

Year 7

Year 7 have continued to have an excellent start to their time at RFSS and this term has proven to be a great success for many of our Year 7 students. They have settled in and adapted well to life at secondary school and we are now seeing our students mature and embody our school values. Over 30 Year 7 students have received their bronze award, having achieved over 750 positive points on ClassCharts. This is a massive achievement and it is fantastic to see so many students being successful in achieving this award. This term we have also seen our first two silver award winners – congratulations to Abbie M and Sienna G.

A huge number of students have immersed themselves in our vast range of enrichment opportunities; I have had particularly fantastic feedback about the students involved in the Science Club and DanceClub. We have celebrated a number of sporting successes, including the girls’ football team winning their first match and the incredible result of the dodgeball team.

It was brilliant to see so many students participating in and enthused by Science Week. Over 40 students signed up to participate in a dissection at lunch time and I have seen every Year 7 tutor group take extreme care looking after their tutor group’s plants.

This term we have focused heavily on building healthy relationships and students have been involved in different interactive assemblies focusing on this. It has been an extremely positive term and next term will bring even more exciting opportunities. Well done Year 7 and I look forward to your continuing success next term.

Miss Wright - Head of Year 7

Year 8

Year 8 have had an extremely busy half-term! We have seen plenty of wins, ranging from our girls’ football team to amazing experiences at Rugby School with the 360 Outreach programme! Year 8 have had so many fantastic times already, creating structures out of spaghetti and marshmallows in tutor time, a fantastic awards ceremony, our Focus 14 group have been focussing hard on improving their learning and we have done a lot of work around trying to be better people!

I personally wanted to thank Year 8 for how they have welcomed me into the year group as their new Head of Year. I have thoroughly enjoyed meeting each and every one of them. Have a lovely Easter break, take care.

Mr. Hallmark - Head of Year 8

Year 9

Year 9 started their GCSE options in January, which has gone down really well with students and staff. Pupils are very enthusiastic about the lessons they are receiving, with staff giving glowing reports back to me for the effort, attitude and maturity from students! We have had ‘drives’ on #kindness towards others and focused hard on improving attendance. This has resulted in an increase being reported in daily attendance figures, frequently above the national average figure. Students have celebrated successes with the football being undefeated this year, our netball team having an impressive showing in their league and the Year 9 rugby team recently beating Harris 56-19. We look forward to the summer term and the exciting opportunities it will bring, alongside any challenges it will present. Well done Year 9 on a fantastic term and look forward to seeing you develop further.

Mr Clancy - Head of Year 9

Year 10

It was fantastic to deliver our Spring Term awards assembly this week, recognising the strengths and hard work that our students are capable of showcasing even in the hardest of times. To Melissa M - our Head of Year Award recipient, Ryan G - our Headteacher's Award recipient, and to all the students issued an award this week, I extend another congratulations and sincerely hope your families are as proud of you as we are. To those who were sat hoping to see their names come up on the big screen, I look forward to seeing what you pull out of the bag in the Summer Term and seeing your name on my certificates next. To those who are feeling the strain of school life getting to them, or are finding it hard to get their feet in the right place, you are not alone. You are seen, you are heard, and you are achieving so much in the wake of immense disruption.

Mr Cooper - Head of Year 10

Year 11

Year 11 have had a very busy term, in the lead up to their final exams in the summer. The year group responded extremely well to their second set of mock exams and it is clear that students have been committed to their studies and have been putting in lots of time and energy into their revision. Students have been provided with the dates of their summer exams and a list of interventions that are taking place over the Easter holidays. It would be brilliant to see as many students attending these interventions as possible. Students have also celebrated many successes this term, including the boys’ rugby team beating Avon Valley 26-19. Well done Year 11, for surviving another busy and stressful term. You are almost at the final hurdle, so let’s keep working hard, staying focused and achieving the fantastic grades which we know you are all capable of achieving. See you on Monday 11th April for your Easter revision!

Miss Probert - Head of Year 11

Year 12

Year 12 have had a great term with a variety of trips and visits, and some excellent collaborative learning in Science by supporting Year 11 students with exam techniques and revision strategies.

17 students from Year 12 visited Cambridge University. They had a really interesting day with a tour of Clare College, a chance to meet some current university students, a talk about university admissions and interviews, and they even enjoyed a taster university lecture. The students were fantastic ambassadors for the school and they gained a great deal from this enriching experience. #curiosity #respect #endeavour

Mr Chadwick - Director of Learning for Sixth Form

Mrs Pillay Assistant Director of Learning for Sixth Form

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!

There have been lots of community opportunities this term across a variety of subject areas including:

Drama Festival

In January, Year 10 GCSE Drama students took part in the Secondary Drama Festival at the Macready Theatre. The event comprised of schools from around Warwickshire performing pieces for the festival and was excellently compered by Dr Hancox.

Students took part in a detailed question and answer session following performances, giving students the opportunity to feedback to each other from other schools. This prepares students for the evaluative section of their GCSE exam.

Students were outstanding and they entered 3 pieces into the festival. Our audience’s reaction was warm and positive. Year 10 took to the stage with confidence, playfulness and pride in their pieces and it was noticed!

Thank you to Rugby School for hosting the event and making our students and staff so welcome. It was very much missed by the drama department last year when COVID restrictions meant the event could not go ahead.

Chinese New Year

Tuesday 1st February 2022 marked the Chinese Year of the Tiger, an animal characterised as being brave, enthusiastic and generous.

We celebrated Chinese New Year as part of our Cultural Diversity Programme. Students suggested, via the Student Voice platform, that they would like to celebrate and learn about the cultural diversity at RFSS and in the wider world.

Throughout the day, students took part in a range of activities and experiences to enable them to learn more about Chinese culture.

Students followed the story of Hongbao by giving each other a traditional Chinese New Year gift of a red envelope in which they wrote messages of encouragement to each other for the New Year ahead.

In addition, students explored Chinese culture in numerous subjects across the school. To celebrate China’s national sport, some students took part in a table tennis tournament.

Finally, as a symbol of our generosity, students were given a Fortune Cookie on the way out of school, so that they could take them home and share with you!

#respect #curiosity # kindness

Shakespeare Drama Workshop

A level Theatre and Drama and A level English students participated in a Shakespeare Workshop with Year 12 International Baccalaureate students from Rugby School. The workshop was led by Edward Bennett at the Macready Theatre. Edward has appeared in numerous Royal Shakespeare Company productions, theatre and television shows as well as films including War Horse! Our students were conscientious and thoroughly enjoyed the workshop! #collaboration #endeavour

Ukraine Fundraiser

Many thanks to all those who contributed to our Ukraine Fundraiser on Wednesday 9th March. It was fantastic to see the support students and staff were showing for those affected both in our local community and those further abroad.

Thanks to your generous donations we raised over £1048 in aid of the British Red Cross who are able to help those directly impacted by this crisis in Ukraine. Thank you!

#collaboration #kindness

360 Drama Outreach

In collaboration with Rugby School, we embarked on a Drama outreach project to support selected Year 8 students to enable them to build confidence and self-esteem through drama. It has been a thoroughly enriching experience for both staff and students at RFSS.

Each week, Year 12 Rugby School students have facilitated creative workshops, mostly led by Emily Finnegan, an ex-RFSS student, supported by Chris Browning and Dr Coker from Rugby School and Sammy Farmer and Lynsey Cassidy from RFSS. The whole project has been a productive, friendly and certainly a non-judgmental partnership between the two schools. Students have been able to express themselves creatively and have made new friendships along the way.

RFSS have also involved our Year 12 students as part of the enrichment experience with them often leading games at the start of the sessions.

It has been magical to watch students, who often are very quiet in the regular school environment, blossom, laugh, find their voice and produce enticeful drama work. Our students attended the sessions excited to know what they would be doing next and many other students are asking to be part of Rugby 360.

#collaboration #kindness #endeavour

International Women's Day

We celebrated International Women's Day on 8th March. This year's theme is #breakthebias. International Women's Day is calling people to "imagine a gender equal world" which is free of bias, stereotypes and discrimination against women. Students spent their Set for Life tutor time exploring women in all areas of our Set for Life Programme:

  • Employability: women in the workforce

  • Health and Wellbeing: women's health research

  • Independent Living: stereotypes, roles of women

  • Community: women in society throughout history.

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. This term there have been a huge amount of fixtures including our Year 7 fantastic dodgeball team!

Congratulations to the amazing RFSS Dodgeball Team who came 2nd in the CSW Level 3 Dodgeball Tournament in March. They played 6, won 3, drew 1 and lost 1. They scored most of their points through honesty, #respect and teamwork which is fantastic!

#collaboration #endeavour

World Badminton Championships

In March, 14 students from Year 8 and Year 9 attended the Yonex World Badminton Championships. We were able to see world class performances in the singles and doubles tournaments from England, China, India and Malaysia! Some of our students were even lucky enough to get their tickets signed by the athletes! A great experience was had by all!

Students said - We did! - Catering Collaboration!

This term we have also been evaluating our catering services. Year group captains conducted research with all tutor groups regarding what they liked about the food in our dining room and were part of our tendering process tasting lots of the food from a variety of companies.

A huge thanks to the following students for their help and feedback:

Mia W (Y7)

Austin M (Y8)

William C (Y9)

Shakira R (Y10)

Sophie H (Y7)

Jacob G (Y9)

Lucas H (Y10)

Rowan B (Y12)

Students Said - We did

Equality and Diversity Group

The Equality and Diversity group have requested that we provide an 'all gender toilet'. As an inclusive school we are keen to support this and also need to respond to the very recent diversity legislation. The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has published new guidance for organisations providing services to only one sex, or different services to different sexes.

We will be providing students with an all gender toilet for students who wish to use them in addition to single sex toilets to ensure all students feel comfortable at school!

Employability is the third part of our Set for Life curriculum and is our commitment to ensuring students have o