I do hope you had a restful Easter Break, and a good chance to catch up with family and friends, and to those of you who were celebrating Eid-Ul-Ftir over the bank holiday weekend, I hope it was a wonderful weekend too, allowing you time with loved ones and chance for connection to family and friends.
My apologies for not having written to you since March 10th. After two years, I’m afraid the coronavirus finally caught up with me, but, as ever RHS continued moving onwards and forwards, and it is a pleasure to be back in school, sorry only to have missed several lovely events at the end of last term; Year 11 and 13 Award evenings from last year’s GCSEs and A-Levels, and very depressingly the Teacher Karaoke at the end of term. (although this is probably a positive for anyone who would have had to put up with my warblings…)
The Summer term is already well underway, with preparations for our current Year 11 and 13 to celebrate their years here, and focus themselves on the coming exam period.
The summer term is also a chance for us to start taking stock of where the school is at, and what we might want to start planning for next year. Education is always, it seems looking for the “next thing.” “What’s next?” “What are we going to do next?” are questions that are built into our curriculum, and as students and teachers into our very being, we’re always, it seems looking forward, sometimes not always having the chance to enjoy the present, but focussing on the next piece of work, the next job to be done.
Of course, there is something very positive about that, but rather than “what’s next?” being our driving force, I would hope that we can also consider, more importantly, “Where are we going?, What do we need?, and how are we going to get there?”
The last two years have changed our landscape quite considerably, and the world has presented us with new challenges that were unexpected, and that have left us reflecting on some of our old practices and whether they continue to be fit for the purpose of offering the very best curriculum and challenge for the RHS community.
In the coming weeks, we shall be talking to our whole community, in person, via questionnaires and in groups about “what’s next?” for RHS – but, more importantly, given the experiences of the last couple of years, where are we going now? does anything need to change? how can we continue to improve and continue to maintain the absolute core purpose of RHS? Fundamentally: What do we need to ensure that all our students understand what it is to show compassion and empathy and to take responsibility as brave, independent global citizens, how can we continue to educate our students at the very best level of academic success, and ensure that they move on from Rugby High School knowing how to be Resilient, Healthy and Successful?
With all best wishes, stay well and safe!
The Supreme Court recently reached a decision in the case of Platt v Isle of Wight Council which has clarified the law on unauthorised leave, including holidays, during term time. The parents of children of compulsory school age are required to ensure that they attend school on a regular basis. The Supreme Court has made clear that attending school ‘regularly’ means that the children must attend school on every day that they are required to do so. As such, the parents of any child who is absent from school without authorisation for any length of time are likely to be considered as committing an offence under s444 of the Education Act 1996.
Head Teachers retain the ability to authorise leave in accordance with the Education (Pupil Registration) (England) Regulations 2006. When considering such requests for a leave of absence, the school are obliged to act within the law. Head Teachers may not grant any leave of absence during term time unless there are exceptional circumstances relating to the application. If the leave is granted, head teachers are able to determine the number of school days a child can be absent for.
It is for the Head Teacher to decide what is ‘exceptional’ and it is at their discretion if the circumstances warrant the leave to be granted. The school can only consider Leave of Absence requests which are made by the ‘resident’ parent.
Each application for a leave of absence will be considered on a case by case basis and on its own merits.
Where applications for leave of absence are made in advance and refused, the child will be required to be in school on the dates set out in the application. If the child is absent during that period, it will be recorded as an unauthorised absence, which may result in legal action being taken against the parent(s), by way of a Fixed Penalty Notice.
Failure to make an application for leave in advance can also result in a Fixed Penalty Notice being issued to the parent(s).
All matters of unauthorised absence relating to a Leave of Absence will be referred to the Warwickshire Attendance Service, part of Warwickshire County Council
It is important to note, Fixed Penalty Notices are issued to each parent of each absent child, (for example 2 children and 2 parents, means each parent will receive 2 invoices in the amount of £120 each, totalling £240 for both children, this is reduced to £60 per child if paid within 21 days).
Where a Fixed Penalty Notice is not paid within the required timeframe as set out on the notice, the matter will be referred to Warwickshire County Council’s Legal Services to consider instigating criminal proceedings under S444 Education Act 1996.
Fixed Penalty Notices are issued in accordance with Warwickshire County Council’s Code of Conduct for Penalty Notices.
Your child’s progress academically as well as socially is our shared priority
Warwickshire School pupils recorded 31,196 half day sessions of absence due to holiday in the Autumn term 2019.
Warwickshire County Council (WCC) are reviewing the way parents and carers apply for a school place for their children. As part of this review, they want to understand what matters most to those involved and are asking for your feedback on using the service and Parent Portal. The information provided will help design, manage and improve the way in which this system operates.
If we could please encourage you to complete the questionnaire and help them understand what is important to you when deciding on a suitable place for your child to learn. The questionnaire will take around 5 minutes to complete and is anonymous, it asks you about your experiences and what matters to you along with some general information about your family.
Please do share as much as you can about your experience to help inform the future system to ensure the best experience for parents and carers in the future.
With all the stress of upcoming exams, the Year 11 Latin class had a welcome break in the form of a virtual visit from the wonderful Dr Barnaby Taylor. Before Easter, Dr Taylor, associate professor of Classical Languages and Literature at Oxford University, enlightened us with his expertise pertaini...
Earlier this year the Geography Department ran a competition to design a flag for Antarctica. The winning entries were sent off with some scientists to Antarctica and we have just received images of them.
Congratulations to Elie Payne, Yasmin Patel, Ellie Payne and Bea Chambers
The Non uniform Day raised £623.15 & the Cake Sale £128.50 a total of £751.68. We will therefore be sending a donation of £375.84 to Tree Aid and transferring £375.84 to the Outdoor Space Regeneration Project. Thank you to the Eco Club that organised the event.
Physics Competition Success
Congratulations to Maddie Fletcher in Year 12 who heard last week that she has won a place on Particle Physics experience in Grenoble after entering the XMaS Scientist Experience which is a UK national competition. This is not a Christmas related experiment however. XMaS is an EPSRC funded National Research Facility supporting the UK materials science communities. It provides free at the point of access to synchrotron radiation at the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF) in Grenoble (France). A wide range of sample environments allow a diverse set of experiments to be performed using energies in the 2.4 to 40 keV range. Additional facilities exploiting these sample environments are possible using our laboratory spaces which include a micro-source X-ray facility.
Launched in 2015, the XMaS Scientist Experience is a UK national competition for Year 12 female Physics students to win an all expenses paid 4 day trip to the facility in Grenoble. The aim of the competition is to encourage young women to consider science careers.
This year, students were asked to research extraordinary life of Ada Yonath, an inspiring female scientist, as well as why they would like to go on the trip. If you don't know who she is and want to find out more, and what XMAS stands for (and it's not Christmas) take a look at Maddie's essay.
Head of Physics
Joint Acting Head of Science
Success in National Poetry Competition
Miriam Clements in Year 12, won the RHS Key Stage Five Poetry by Heart (PBH) KS5 competition and has now been selected as a national finalist. She explains the process of entering and what the competition still has in store.
"I entered the 'Poetry by Heart' competition which has been part of RHS tradition for as long as I can remember and does what it says on the tin: you have to learn poetry (one classical poem, one contemporary) by heart.
Having entered the Jessie Wright each year from year seven, I was well versed - pun intended - in how nerve-racking performing in front of your English teachers can be, but still decided to go for this anyway because - why not? After a lunchtime performance of my poems ('Envy' - Adelaide Anne Proctor, 1861 and 'Passing the Time' - Caroline Bird, 2001) in front of an esteemed guild of English teacher judges, I was declared the winner a few weeks later.
This meant I would record both poems on video and send them off to an even more esteemed - if that's possible - guild of judges from the PBH organisation to see if I could move to the final round: nationals. And I did!
I am beyond excited to have been chosen as the representative for the county and to have been allowed to travel to London and stay overnight. I'll be seeing 'As You like It' and 'King Lear' and will perform one of my poems on the Globe stage the next morning after staying in university student accommodation overnight
I would highly recommend entering next year's PBH yourself if you can!"
Politics opportunities for students in Years 8,9 and 10
We are delighted to announce some exciting opportunities for students in Years 8, 9 and 10.
This is an exciting extra-curricular opportunity to learn more about our political system, both at a local and national level, and develop a greater grasp of current affairs. There will be six lunchtime sessions led by year 12 students, which will culminate in two online discussions with two different politicians, and the chance to ask questions.
Numbers for this are very limited, and if interested students should complete the google form which will be emailed to them later this week. Please send any questions to Mrs Price: firstname.lastname@example.org
Opportunity to meet with our MP, Mark Pawsey.
On Friday 27th May Mark Pawsey will be visiting school. During pd 2 he will be meeting with students to answer questions. Students in years 8 – 10 who would be interested in joining A Level Politics students for this meeting should email Mrs Price (email@example.com). They should confirm with their period 2 teacher they are happy for them to miss the lesson, and will need to catch up on any work missed.
PTA would like to thank all the parents who took the opportunity to come to our School Uniform sale on 2nd April to help raise money for the school and most importantly play their parts towards the sustainable developments. We raised a total of £1700. All of this will be used to support the wide range of activities for the students.
PTA also provides the uniform free of charge to students based on the need and affordability following discussion with the teachers.
We are also trying to organise another sale in July. We will communicate the date soon. We would welcome the donation of good condition clean uniforms, football boots (no trainers) and academic books. Please drop these at reception in a bag for the attention of PTA.
We also always look for new members to join the PTA. Please email the PTA team at "firstname.lastname@example.org" to be part of the family and help raise money for the school.
by Edwin Morgan
I am waiting for you.
I have been travelling all morning through the bush
and not eaten.
I am lying at the edge of the bush
on a dusty path that leads from the burnt-out kraal.
I am panting, it is midday, I found no water-hole.
I am very fierce without food and although my eyes
are screwed to slits against the sun
you must believe I am prepared to spring.
What do you think of me?
I have a rough coat like Africa.
I am crafty with dark spots
like the bush-tufted plains of Africa.
I sprawl as a shaggy bundle of gathered energy
like Africa sprawling in its waters.
I trot, I lope, I slaver, I am a ranger.
I hunch my shoulders. I eat the dead.
Do you like my song?
When the moon pours hard and cold on the veldt
I sing, and I am the slave of darkness.
Over the stone walls and the mud walls and the ruined places
and the owls, the moonlight falls.
I sniff a broken drum. I bristle. My pelt is silver.
I howl my song to the moon – up it goes.
Would you meet me there in the waste places?
It is said I am a good match
for a dead lion. I put my muzzle
at his golden flanks, and tear. He
is my golden supper, but my tastes are easy.
I have a crowd of fangs, and I use them.
Oh and my tongue – do you like me
When it comes lolling out over my jaw
very long, and I am laughing?
I am not laughing.
But I am not snarling either, only
panting in the sun, showing you
what I grip
I am waiting
for the foot to slide,
for the heart to seize,
for the leaping sinews to go slack,
for the fight to the death to be fought to the death,
for a glazing eye and the rumour of blood.
I am crouching in my dry shadows
till you are ready for me.
My place is to pick you clean
and leave your bones to the wind.