I am unapologetically writing a newsletter celebrating all that is wonderful about RHS this week – I hope, keeping the right side of celebrating the wonderful things we do, without tipping into bragging (although, there’s nothing wrong with a bit of bragging occasionally!)
It has been another busy couple of weeks for us at Rugby High School – we’ve been conducting guidance meetings with prospective students to join our Sixth Form over the past few weeks, and it has been really pleasing to see that applications for the Sixth Form are higher this year than ever, a real testament to the work of Mrs Dermott-Bond and all our Sixth Form team, tutors and teachers who make what we offer in our Sixth Form such a wonderful package of academic rigour, intellectual curiosity and kind, empathetic pastoral support. Fantastic too, to see so many young people eager and excited about the next stage of their education. The resilience of our students, and students across the county is a pleasure and privileged to behold!
Another great opportunity too for our Sixth Form scientists, who finally got to take part in the “Med-Soc” experience. This was formally known as “Operating Theatre Live” which perhaps gives a slightly better idea of this experience, offered to all Sixth Form scientists who are considering medical or veterinary careers. This is an experience that has been cancelled and re-arranged since March 2020, and it is massively to the credit of Mr Koe and the Science department that they have tenaciously maintained this booking, knowing what a fantastic experience it is for our students. Talking to them afterwards, it was clear that the very “hands on” experience of dissection of a variety of items was a great chance to explore, nurture curiosity and really understand some of the career demands of the medical professions. I myself cannot comment on the actual items being dissected, as my rather fragile demeanour in the face of blood/ gore would have meant installing some sort of fainting couch. The important thing is that for those students who wanted to get that experience, we made it happen. In the words of Mr Koe, who attended the event: “whilst the smell will no doubt linger long in the memory, hopefully the experience will have been sufficiently positive to counterbalance that.”
Our politics students were at the Houses of Parliament on Monday, and from what I hear holding power to account with some very tricky questions for MPs, and showing us what mature, interested and insightful young people they were – again a wonderful testament to the curiosity and aspiration of both our staff and students.
I, too, was out this week, giving a lecture at Warwick Business school to the third and fourth year finalists who in one of their modules are exploring the nature of and images of creativity. My focus was obviously nurturing the right environment for creativity in schools, and how we can continue to do so in the face of an increasing dearth of resources. It was fascinating to talk to work and collaborate with students from across the globe, who were universally impressed and inspired by what we are doing here at Rugby High School. As we work our way into Spring, all of these rejuvenative experiences are a real pleasure to witness, and support, all helping our students make the very most of their time here at RHS, doing that core business that we value to highly: Challenging our wonderful, able students to develop their curiosity, finding joy in their learning, and setting the very highest of heights in their hearts.
With all best wishes, stay well and safe!
Recently, members of the Rugby High School Council met with the Executive Board of Lawrence Sheriff School to discuss the future of our schools working together. We discussed the possibility of getting together to hold events such as a fete or a large fundraising event. It was a great mee...
This week A Level Science students spent a morning dissecting pig specimens, helping them to gain a better understanding of anatomy. Tayla Golby, Year 13: "Rather than just looking at photos we could see (and smell) the organs in a pig's head . You could actually see the nerves...
On Monday A Level Politics students travelled to London. We toured the Supreme Court and were able to sit in the chair where Baroness Hale delivered her verdict on the proroguing of Parliament. We then had a lovely lunch in the sunshine by the river before touring the Houses of Parliament. We saw bo...
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World Book Day, 3rd March 2022
As always, we are getting ready to celebrate World Book Day at Rugby High. Alongside a range of celebratory activities in our English lessons, we will be holding competitions and of course our wonderful World Book Day Character Dress up day. Book tokens will be distributed before half term, to give everyone the chance to use them over the holidays.
This year our dressing up will take place on the day itself - the Thursday of the first week back after half term. Our theme is 'Favourite Childhood Characters' and we look forward to welcoming everybody from the Gruffalo, to Mrs Tigglewinkle to Coraline in the hall for the judging at break. Prizes include house points and fun!
Other activities this week include the Charity Committee raising money for Book Aid International and a Zoom from local writer, Caroline Lawrence for Year 7. Also returning is the infamous guess the teacher behind their favourite book competition. (look out for this in the reception area of the school)
Macready Theatre have an upcoming show that is written and performed by one of our old pupils! Hannah Kumari’s ‘ENGERLAND’ comes to Rugby’s Macready Theatre on Friday 18 February before embarking on a national tour. The show includes several references to the town and her time at the Rugby High School, so she thought it would be lovely for as many students as staff to have the opportunity to see the show.
As such, the Macready Theatre would love to offer discounted tickets to anyone connected to Rugby High. £5 tickets are available with thecode RUGBYHIGH5.
About the show:
Former Rugby High student Hannah Kumari is a theatre/film maker whose latest play is embarking on a national tour this month.
ENG-ER-LAND is an energetic one-woman play that explores themes of belonging and identity in football. The show follows a young woman’s journey as she falls in love with the beautiful game, and an incident that makes her question her place in the stands. It’s a play that asks the question: who’s really on your team?
There are a number of staff vacancies available here at Rugby High. Please click HERE for further details.
Parental Confidence in SEND Provision
Warwickshire County Council is running a questionnaire for parents/carers of children/young people who have, or may have, Special Educational Needs or Disabilities (SEND). We are excited to announce that our school is participating in the project which aims to develop our Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) provision through developing peer to peer support with other local schools.
This initiative, called the Inclusion Framework for Schools project, is part of Warwickshire County Council’s (WCC) SEND and Inclusion Change Programme and is being coordinated by WCC with support from its Specialist Teaching Service and Educational Psychology Service.
This project will involve working together with other schools to evaluate existing SEND provision, identify and address training needs and to support one another to develop our practice and provision.
As part of this project the SEND and Inclusion change team would like to collect the views of parents and carers whose children have, or may have, Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities. If you are willing to anonymously share your views please follow this link or scan the QR code.
We will also be seeking parent/carer views later in the project with a view to developing school-based SEND events which are helpful to parents and carers.
Watch this space for updates around the project – the work we are doing, and how we are learning and shaping our practice to improve outcomes for our children.
We look forward to sharing exciting and important updates with you in the coming months.
When did you leave Rugby High? What qualifications did you leave with?
I left Rugby High in 2007 (an iconic fashion era) with 4 AS Levels and 3 A Levels. In sixth form I studied Psychology, Art, English and History.
What have you done since, eg. University, first job after uni?
I went straight to UCL to study English. I am honestly thrilled I went to UCL - absolutely loved living in central London, and the courses / modules and teaching were outstanding.
After graduating with a 2:1 I pretty swiftly moved to Hong Kong to do an internship at Time Out magazine. I was majorly shocked to be offered such a cool opportunity.
In 2011 I got a writing job back in London at a fashion magazine, I won a Guardian Young Writers award which got me a lot of contacts - crucial in the world of journalism!
What are you doing now?
In a shocking twist I now work in advertising! I'm a strategist, which basically means it's my job to digest a whole lot of context, come up with a plan and justify it. Once everyone agrees on the plan I then have to inspire a bunch of creatives who go and turn the strategy into all the awesome work you see on TV, billboards, inside retail stores and interrupting your Spotify / Youtube playlists.
What do you enjoy about your role? What are the challenges of your job?
I absolutely love my job - I love digesting information and then making sense of it Once I have a clear picture of all the context I can start to tell a story about what the right way forward is, and explain why.
I use a lot of insights and data to back up my recommendations and there's a lot of skill in convincing people to agree with you.
Of course there are challenges too, it can be a pretty high pressure job with a lot of urgency and quick decision making. Work/life balance can be hard, especially at agencies. And like any job there's office politics and navigating tricky personalities.
Have you taken anything from your school experience that has influenced/helped you in your career choices?
Looking back at my A-Level choices I can see how each of them continues to impact my career to this day.
My sincere love of English Lit began in Year 10 with a teacher called Mrs Hetherington, studying Jane Eyre. Since then I've always loved to read and write - and both are absolute cornerstones of my career.
History got me to understand the importance of context, a rounded view, and source analysis. These are all skills I use today as I trawl through market data, consumer insight, and legacy strategy to come to a conclusion.
Psychology is absolutely critical when it comes to advertising - knowing how people work, behavioural economics, crowd theory etc. will help give strategies an edge.
However, I think, aside from what I studied, the main thing I've carried with me since my days at Rugby High is confidence and self belief. Not being afraid to try, to get things wrong, to give stuff a go. And understanding that experience comes from action rather than inertia. Following your gut is sometimes the right call, and knowing what makes you happy
Be brave and listen to yourself - the best things in life will come from being close to what you love, and taking actions to get yourself closer.
by Alfred Tennyson
When cats run home and light is come,
And dew is cold upon the ground,
And the far-off stream is dumb,
And the whirring sail goes round,
And the whirring sail goes round;
Alone and warming his five wits,
The white owl in the belfry sits.
When merry milkmaids click the latch,
And rarely smells the new-mown hay,
And the cock hath sung beneath the thatch
Twice or thrice his roundelay,
Twice or thrice his roundelay;
Alone and warming his five wits,
The white owl in the belfry sits.