I am writing this newsletter whilst in the throes of World Book Day, before I rush off to judge our costume competition at break, and the cake baking competition at lunch. Celebrating all things literary!
Quite often the dressing up on world book day can obscure the fact that we do it for the encouragement and celebration of reading, but what is lovely today is that students have taken such creative choices in some of their costumes, and there is not just an embracing of “a day of costume” but a very clear sense that our students are avid readers, appreciating a wide range of literature from graphic novels to classic literature.
I’ve been massively encouraged by the number of students recognising my Granny Weatherwax costume, from Terry Pratchett’s Discworld, and the Entire English Department’s appearance as a host of characters from the Lord of the Rings is an equal delight. Never have more elven ears been purchased from internet suppliers, nor more facial hair been worn with such aplomb.
What is equally pleasing is that this isn’t just the one day of the year where we make a nod to reading, but it’s a chance to celebrate reading, literature and all the benefits from it that we see week in and week out here at RHS.
Whether it’s the rich texts we use for school productions, our reading clubs, creative writing clubs, or external visitors, or the poetry and writing competitions we win yearly across all subjects (two students through to the final of The Foxcroft Science Essay Competition this very week!) reading, the love of it, and the sharing of it is the backbone of our work here.
For world book day, though I have to thank our amazing English Department, led by Mrs Gregory for setting up the day, and its many activities, all my colleagues who have embraced the costumes with such gusto, and of course our wonderful, creative, inventive and joyful students for another year of incredible commitment to such a key event in the RHS calendar.
Have a great couple of weeks, stay well and safe everyone,
The theme this year is Heroes and our students and staff have excelled themselves with their creative costumes. The costume competition was judged at break time with three popular winners cheered on by fellow students, who will all receive a £5 Waterstone’s voucher.
The World Book Day cake competition was judged at lunchtime and the creative winners were:
1st place – How to Train Your Dragon cake
2nd place – Sky Circus cake
3rd place – Anne Frank’s Diary cake
Well done everyone who entered!
World Book Day tokens
All students can download their World Book Day token by scanning this QR code:
The digital book tokens are valid until Sunday 26th March. This is how to redeem your £1 book token:
Show the digital book token on your mobile phone/tablet at the checkout to exchange the book token for a free World Book Day £1 book, or to get £1 off a full price book or audiobook costing £2.99 or more.
Not all retailers will be able to scan the digital barcode, and some may require a printed version of the book token; please check with your nearest participating retailer before visiting.
The digital book tokens are ‘single-use only’ and should only be used once by each student. The tokens cannot be redeemed online
Finalists in 16th Annual Foxcroft Essay 2023
Once again, our students have successfully represented themselves and the school through their participation in the 16th Annual Foxcroft Essay 2023, organised by Rugby School. This sees students in Year 12 from Rugby, Warwickshire, Leicestershire and Northamptonshire invited to submit an 1500-word essay on one of several titles on this year’s theme: Big Data.
Two of our RH6 students have made it to the 6 person final on 20th March with these subjects:
“What is genome sequencing? Describe how modern genome sequencing technologies allow for this inexpensive and rapid sequencing of an organism's DNA and then discuss the future implications of this technology in biological research and medicine.”
“Consider how new methods of data analysis, including artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, could be harnessed to provide better ‘eyes’ on the data that astronomers are collecting and to help search for the next big breakthroughs.”
In tackling a question, students needed to do plenty of reading and research, remembering to record references to textbooks, journals and, or websites. For the final they will complete a presentation of their work and take questions from a panel of judges before the final winner is announced. Last year, Dr Brown accompanied LK to the finals, who received a Gold certificate for her excellent work. The evening includes dinner but no such thing as a free meal as Dr Brown was required to be part of the judging team, along with colleagues from the other participating schools!
Congratulations to everyone who submitted an essay and I am sure you will join me in wishing our students the best of luck in the final – Mr Koe,Curriculum Lead: Biology & Key Stage 3 Science
Poetry by Heart
Mr Grady, Mrs Gregory and Miss Danks have been privileged to listen to some delightful poetry recitations by students from years 10, 11 and 12 as part of our Poetry By Heart key stage four and key stage five school competitions. The standard of recitations was excellent. All of the students had engaged with the poems so thoughtfully and the recitations were intelligent, informed and delivered with conviction and emotion. All of the judges commented that the students had made the older poems sound as if they were recently written! The entrants all made the poems their own and made the judges love them - either greeting them as much-loved favourites or making them deeply interested in the poets, their ideas and their language.
Of course, the challenge was to choose our winners - always a difficult process when the standard is so high. In the end though, the judges decided that IT was our key stage four winner and AZ our key stage five champion, both for their sensitive and moving recitations. The students' recitations will now be filmed and uploaded onto the Poetry By Heart website for judging in the national competition.
We were so proud, yet again, of our students and reminded by their excellent example of how RHS students take on the most amazing challenges, push their limits and achieve excellence. Very warm thanks to all the contestants.
Year 12 Debating Success
Our year 12 debaters were up against Rugby School in a debating match before half-term and were the victors.
The competition is called Debating Matters, run by the Battle of Ideas charity for sixth-formers nationally. The motion being debated in this match was 'Unhealthy lifestyles are not the business of government'.
Those participating were all members of the Sixth Form Debating Club, which was started this year by NS. He and MM were our two debaters, and they were very ably supported byLB and RS, who were our contribution to the audience and asked some very penetrating questions of the Rugby team! The chair of judges [Charlotte Marten, who was able to represent neutrality, having been our Head and a current governor at Rugby] commended the team on their preparation and ability to respond on their feet during the debate. They were all a credit to RHS.
We're now through to the next round, where we'll go up against Leicester Grammar School. Competition etiquette also demands that we host this match, so hopefully we can muster a larger audience to make a real event of it!
Ski trip to France
37 students and 5 staff travelled to Alpe d'Huez for our recent ski trip, our second time visiting this resort. The weather and views were incredible, with blue skies and amazing sunrises and sunsets every day. Snow conditions were good considering the heat wave Europe was having not long before we left. The trip was quite eventful, however all students were fantastic and managed to ski down a green run from start to finish by the end of the week.
The week before our half-term break saw our Key Stage 4 and 5 French trip to Paris. What a fantastic week we had! The sun shone for us every day giving us the most beautiful light to see Paris in, we walked for miles and saw all of the sites you would expect to see and had lots of lovely photo opportunities.
Our students behaved impeccably, soaking up French culture and trying out the language in shops, restaurants and museums. W will share some snapshots of our visit on social media soon and a more detailed account of the trip will follow in the next edition of this newsletter.Mrs Grimes
Year 11 Support Clinics
For students in Year 11 who would like to build confidence regarding English Language/English Literature or who would like further support with a particular question/skill set to help with Summer exams, we have the following clinic dates coming up:
English Language Paper 1 Section A (Reading): Friday 3rd March
English Language Paper 1 Section B (Writing): Friday 10th March
English Language Paper 2 Section A (Reading): Friday 17th March
English Language Paper 2 Section B (Writing): Friday 24th March
Literature: pre20th century novel and Shakespeare: Friday 31st March
Literature: Poetry and An Inspector Calls: Friday 21st April
All sessions start at 1.10pm and will be in A3. Please bring your lunch or collect a lunch pass from your English teacher
U16 Futsal Tournament at Harris
On Monday 13th February, the RHS U16 Football Team took part in a Futsal tournament at Harris School. We were joined by Harris and Avon Valley. The tournament schedule involved each team playing each other twice. It was a great opportunity for the students to display the skills which they have harnessed during this half-term.
The first match against Harris was a battling contest in which there were chances for both sides. SW made a number of excellent saves and scored a spectacular equaliser with the match finishing 2-1 to Harris in the end. Following this, the team produced an excellent attacking display with 4 goals from EB and a goal from RR in a 5-0 victory over Avon Valley.
The second fixture against Harris was another tight match with excellent defensive displays from both sides. The game was decided by a unsavable strike by the Harris forward in a 1-0 defeat for RHS.
Our final match against Avon Valley was a much tighter one in which both sides went close with neither team quite able to break the deadlock. Once again, the defensive positioning of the team and goalkeeping display by SW was terrific.
Dr Brown and Mr Phillips would like to thank all of the students who took part. They showed a fantastic attitude throughout the tournament, played to their full potential and represented the school wonderfully.
It was decided that the player of the tournament would be SW due to her tremendous goal-keeping throughout the tournament and inspirational leadership as captain as well. A special mention, as well, to AH, in her inaugural tournament for the school, for enduring a “bloody nose” during her first minute on the pitch but continuing to play with a terrific spirit for the rest of the tournament. It was a tremendous display of resilience.
RHS 1-2 Harris
RHS 5-0 Avon Valley
RHS 0-1 Harris
RHS 0-0 Avon Valley
Uproar Drama Club
Uproar, our Lower School Drama Club has restarted! Students may be budding actors or simply want to try something new, Uproar is a brilliant way to build your confidence, make new friends and perform.
Year 7’s club is on Mondays, 1 - 1.35pm and run by Miss Brady. Year 8’s and 9’s club is also on Mondays, 1.25 - 2pm and run by Mrs Jessop. They hope to see lots of students coming along to the drama studios to join in.
We’re recruiting for a Premises Manager and Cleaners, with all posts starting as soon as possible.
Premises Manager: NJC Grade H: Points: 17-22 (£26,845 to £29,440), full-time and permanent (37 hours per week). We are currently looking to appoint a Premises Manager to manage our caretaking and cleaning team. The successful candidate will be self-motivated, have a high attention to detail and take pride in their work and that of their team. They must be passionate about developing a programme of continuous improvement of the site. They will be a great communicator, with a passion to serve their internal and external customers.
You will ideally have previous experience managing such a team in the education sector. You must have well-honed practical skills and a thirst to utilize them to the maximum benefit of the school. You will have purchasing expertise and a knowledge of a wide range of professional service providers. You must have experience of managing a budget and be a competent ICT user. The ability to work to tight deadlines and to communicate successfully with staff and students is essential.
Cleaners: £9.50 – £9.60 per hour, morning shift flexible starting between 6am to 7 am or afternoon shift from 3.50pm. Term-Time plus 5 training days plus 1 working week for deep clean – 40 Weeks. Training for cleaning and COSHH will be provided. Applicants must be able to work alone and as part of a team.
Please visit our website to find out how to apply for the Cleaner position.