From the Headmaster - February 2019

Posted by MM - Friday 1 March 2019

As February is drawing to a close and as we reach the half way point in the school year, I’ve been reflecting on how busy and purposeful school life is at Sir Thomas Rich’s. Internal examinations took place this week for Year 10, and more importantly Trial examinations are on the horizon for Year 13. I firmly believe that undertaking formal routine examinations really does help prepare students for the real thing. This complements the bread and butter of lessons where core content for the exam specifications as well as the skills required to answer examination questions is covered. Additionally, there are many extra revision sessions taking place before and after school, and during lunchtime. As always, we are committed to providing all pupils with the strongest support in performing to the best of their abilities. Teachers here encourage pupils to seek extra one-to-one guidance if required and I am enormously proud of the collective efforts of subject teachers, Tutors and Heads of Year who can also offer valuable help and advice, not only about revision methods, but also about how to balance work and leisure, to avoid unhealthy stress and anxiety.

Careers

The Careers Department has had a particularly active few months under the leadership of Jenny Manning. We are currently striving to be fully compliant with GATSBY’s Benchmarks of Excellent Careers Education and to this end, are working towards an Investors in Careers Accreditation for the Careers Department. Mrs Manning has emailed all parents with details of how each year group is given Careers guidance. Some key elements of this include monthly Look@myjob assemblies in Year 7, where an employee talks about their job and allows students to ask interesting and relevant questions; timetabled lessons and enrichment activities in Years 8 and 9, alongside the Young Enterprise Challenge for Year 9 which took place in November, and trips to the NEC to the World Skills Show and What If Careers Fayre for Years 10, 11 and 12. Years 11 and 12 undertake statutory work experience in December and June, and Year 11s are also given very valuable interview practice in November.

STRS annually hosts a Careers and Higher Education Fayre in November. This year’s Fayre was even more varied, exciting and well attended than before. We welcomed countless representatives from an incredible range of employers and higher education establishments this year, and all pupils in the school were able to visit stalls, collect freebies and have useful conversations about options for their futures. We are most grateful to the many parents who give their time and skills to the varied Careers events which happen throughout the year at STRS. If you feel that you would like to contribute to this programme in the future, then please do email Mrs Manning directly at jam@strs.org.uk.

Creativity

We know that creativity is now one of the qualities most sought-after by employers, and the LRC is becoming a hub within school which really seeks to foster this. Once again, avid readers are taking part in the Bluecoat Book Award under the guidance of LRC Manager Judith Case. Here, a group of dedicated readers nominate, read, discuss and then vote on their best book of the year. Once again, the scheme is being run in conjunction with Denmark Road High School. Steve Cole, celebrated author of the enormously popular Young Bond series, visited last week and spent the day enthralling audiences in Key Stage 3 with tales of gadgets, espionage and break-neck adventures. His visit will be followed up by a DT project to Design a Gadget, and the House Creative Writing Competition on the theme of Spies. We are looking forward to our World Book Day celebrations next week with a visit from local author Gabriel Dylan, a Big Bunting activity for Year 7s and a Pop-Up Book Exchange for all staff and pupils. Ms Case would be delighted to receive any pre-loved fiction and non-fiction for use in the Book Exchange.

Operation Encompass

This is a new innovative project in which we together with other schools in Gloucestershire will be participating, and which is run in partnership with Gloucestershire County Council, Gloucestershire Safeguarding Children Board and Gloucestershire Police. Operation Encompass aims to support children and young people who are affected by domestic abuse.

Witnessing or experiencing domestic abuse is really distressing for a child or young person and we are committed to working in partnership and supporting the Police and the Gloucestershire Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) who will communicate relevant, necessary and proportionate information to us at the earliest possible opportunity so that we can subsequently provide appropriate support to our pupils

M SR Morgan

Matthew Morgan,
Headmaster