I do hope that you managed to enjoy the half term break, and the jubilee celebrations despite the slightly patchy sun that we sometimes managed to see breaking through the clouds.
Over the half term break I attended a wedding that was on its fourth re-arrangement from the pandemic, almost 2 years to the day since it had originally been scheduled. I was best man to the groom, who I have known since I was 11. It was such a joy to actually see my friend finally manage to get married, through all the false-starts we’d had over the last two years.
34 years is a long time to know anybody, and although I’m sure we all have friends from school with whom we’ve stayed in touch, it does feel particularly impressive to have sustained a friendship through thick and thin over the years.
Although I won’t share all the details of my best man’s speech here, there was one small section that on reflection seemed curiously apt for a school newsletter: The very first time I saw the chap who was to become a friend for the last 34 years, he was walking past me. It was our first day of secondary school. The Head Teacher, was stood at the front of the hall, eyeing up the “new blood.” Anyway, as I was stood there a nervous little first year, my view of the scary head teacher was obscured by my friend walking past. (He was very tall, and I was very short!) The thing I remember though is not the height difference, but the smile on his face. If he was nervous, he didn’t show it, what he had was a face that radiated “joy in curiosity,” the excitement for something new. He wasn’t being distracted by the chatter, the pushing and jostling, he was genuinely interested in what happens next, and he was so present, and at ease in himself. Not bad for 11. This friend was to become, over the years, a scientist, a doctor, a teacher and a novelist, and on his wedding day, he still had that same face that said “I’m just eager to see what comes next.”
As we continue to emerge from the challenges of the last two years (and I am well aware that perhaps for some, they are ready to stop hearing those words) I, the senior team, staff and students, and I am sure the parents and carers of the RHS community share that sense of excitement for what comes next. It is very easy to forget the innocent excitement for something new that we all have when we’re 11, but it is specifically by trying to capture that open-mindedness to the next challenge that we will continue to grow as community, and plan for our next steps.
If you’d have asked me what my 11 year-old friend might have had marked on his “what’s next?” path 34 years ago, I certainly wouldn’t have predicted the vast array of jobs, successes and challenges he’d have faced, but I knew, instinctively, even at the age of 11 that the look on his face when I first saw him meant that even though he might not be “ready” for whatever life was to throw at him, he was certainly going to face it head-on, with curiosity, joy and excitement.
My promise to myself then, on seeing this great friend married, and celebrating his next steps in life was to try and maintain some of that joy and curiosity, to radiate some of that positivity every day, and to be open minded about the next challenge, the next opportunity, the next step on the path.
With all best wishes, stay well and safe!
If you are in Year 11, 12 (not currently studying Physics) or 13 and have any Physics text books that you might have borrowed in the last few years floating around at home, please could you return them to the Science department before the Summer holidays. This may include:
Isaac Physics GCSE/Pre-University Physics
Physics For You
Once again we will be offering students the opportunity to treat themselves with some wonderful books at great prices via the Scholastic Book Fair.
The Fair will take place between Monday the 13th and Thursday the 16th of June. Books are very reasonably priced, with some great bargains available, starting at £3. Whilst the books are mostly suitable for KS3 students, some will appeal to both older and younger. Each KS3 English class will have the opportunity during lesson times to visit the Fair and choose their books.
This year, students will complete their Wishlist forms to choose their books, asking parents to then make payment online, for students to collect from the stall the next day. A more detailed letter explaining this process will be on Parent Mail.
Happy choosing and reading!
Year 8 Science
During Science week in March our Year 8 students carried out a small project called Step into the NHS. They researched various medical jobs and produced job descriptions and adverts in a creative way. The projects were entered into the NHS National competition. The students enjoyed researching the wide range of roles within the NHS and had lots of fun working on their entries!
Well done to Freya Somerset, Jessie Humphreys and Emily Davis who were shortlisted into the top ten entries in the West Midlands and will be awarded a highly commended certificate! Their entry consisted of a very clear and concise powerpoint with 2 engaging videos embedded in it.
Year 9 Investigates the History of Fame
The general aim of the project was to acquire a set of biographies and inferences of differing celebrities over a period of time, to then analyse ‘fame’ and ‘celebrity’ in relation to when it occurred and what this might suggest. It also served as an outlet and opportunity to truly learn about the people, whose legacies remain with us today, and identify what it was about their lives that allowed for their legacies to be preserved. I also, aspired to deduce the different elements that accompany fame (such as change and continuity).
To carry out my research, I used a vast spectrum of sources (websites, videos, books, and family members) and I think this really aids your work into being well-presented and sourced. In terms of presentation, the generalised assignment was to depict your information in to a booklet-type manner.
We’ve learnt, in a nutshell, from this project that fame, throughout different ages, reflects society, and who is famous is a portrayal of society’s interests, as, after all, a celebrity is formed through their popularity. Furthermore, I have been acquainted with many ‘celebrities’ and famous figures from different time periods, and what they connote about the nature of the time, and the people of the time. My figures that I chose to focus on were Cleopatra from the Ancient period, Eleanor of Aquitaine from the Medieval period/ Early Modern period, the Brontë Sisters from the Industrial period, and finally, Marilyn Monroe from the Modern era.
Shaan Khaira (9S)
by Edgar Allan Poe
A gallant knight,
In sunshine and in shadow,
Had journeyed long,
Singing a song,
In search of Eldorado.
But he grew old—
This knight so bold—
And o’er his heart a shadow—
Fell as he found
No spot of ground
That looked like Eldorado.
And, as his strength
Failed him at length,
He met a pilgrim shadow—
‘Shadow,’ said he,
‘Where can it be—
This land of Eldorado?’
‘Over the Mountains
Of the Moon,
Down the Valley of the Shadow,
Ride, boldly ride,’
The shade replied,—
‘If you seek for Eldorado!’