The last few weeks have really highlighted the rich diversity and talent we have within our student body alongside an incredible staff who encourage our students to really reach their potential and beyond, with creative curriculums and so many opportunities for extracurricular activities.
On the 22nd March, I attended the annual G15 Celebration of Success evening that is held at Gloucester Cathedral. The G15 Celebration of Success event is a partnership of all state funded secondary schools in the local area and is an opportunity to showcase the dramatic, artistic and musical achievements of G15 Schools. I was incredibly proud to watch our Ribston Chamber Choir performing “One Day More” from the musical Les Misérables. They sang beautifully and were accompanied by our Ribston dancers who were elegant and graceful.
Our GCSE and A level students demonstrated their talent at our Spring Recital this week, an evening that really highlighted a spectacular range of music, drama and dance that are performed at such a high quality here at Ribston. It was lovely to see many of our Year 11 and 13's performing before their exams next term. For some of the A level students it was the last time they will perform at Ribston Hall.
On 29th March, the school was busy and full of excitement for another Personal Development Day, where we were able to celebrate and share the incredible diversity we have within the school. In the afternoon, students and staff were generous enough to share aspects of their cultural backgrounds through wearing cultural dress and sharing foods. It was a real celebration of our differences as well as our common interests and really helped everyone to fully experience different heritages. We are looking forward to running another 'Celebrating Culture Day' next term.
Thank you to all my staff who have worked tirelessly this term to put all these amazing activities together in addition to their teaching, providing so many opportunities for our students to really shine.
Wishing you all a very happy and relaxing Easter break. Let's hope we can all enjoy some sunshine and recharge our batteries ready to come back with plenty of energy for our Summer Term!
Mrs Sarah Colombini
Food and Nutrition
We were delighted to be one of 250 schools in the UK that received Alaska pink salmon, courtesy of the Food Teachers Centre and Alaska Seafood UK - 10,000 salmon fillets were sent to schools!
It’s part of the Fish Heroes project, which encourages young people to learn about, cook and taste fish. Pupils will also be learning about the health benefits of fish in the diet (did you know that we are all recommended to each 2 portions a week?), as well as aspects of sustainability.
Pupils will be learning new food skills which they will be able to use in the future. As part of lessons, they will also taste the salmon dishes they prepare.
Earlier in the month Yr 10 Food Preparation and Nutrition students had a trip to Settebello in Gloucester Docks, to carry out some primary research for their practise NEA2 task. They carried out a sensory analysis of dishes, analysed the menu for cost and identified authentic Italian ingredients, which they will use to inform their dish choices over the coming weeks.
Chemistry Lab Days
As part of British Science Week we celebrated by running two lab days and opened them up to visitors from Yr 7, 8 & 9. Students in Yr 13 Chemistry completed a series of experiments in Organic Chemistry. They started by synthesising methyl-3-nitrobenzoate, a substance used as a pharmaceutical intermediate.
Students in Yr 12 Chemistry completed a series of experiments in Physical Chemistry. They performed calorimetry experiments to determine the enthalpy of neutralisation, combustion and reaction for 8 different reactions. Yr 12 students are developing very advanced skill they have developed through hard work and commitment.
During both practicals, younger students from Yr 7, 8 & 9 were brought along to see the students in action and talk to them about studying A 'Level Sciences at Ribston Hall High School.
Elite Chemistry Club
Along with the Lab Days, Elite Chemistry Club ran the second session of their Aspirin Synthesis alongside a live feed of the experiment that all students in Ribston could watch via SatchelOne and Microsoft Teams. In this session students completed a reflux on the mixture they prepared in the previous session. Reflux is an important technique in organic chemical synthesis that involves heating volatile mixtures of reagents and solvents so that they boil, but the reflux apparatus prevent loss of any substances due to evaporation. Reflux is important for ensuring high yields of product, and reaction completion in organic synthesis.
CyberFirst Girls Competition Awards Dinner
Annie Adamson, Bea Parish and Evie Poole joined the other regional finalists in Belfast on the weekend of 11th March. They took part in a Champions afternoon full of fun challenges including an escape room and a visit to the Titanic museum. In the evening there was an formal awards dinner at the Titanic Hotel where everyone dressed-up. Our students were a real credit to the school.
Unlock Cyber Challenge
Well done to our two teams who took part in this Cybersecurity Challenge on 14th March using the Immersive Labs platform to solve different challenges. Those who took part were: Annie Adamson; Iulia Barbulescu; Lily Nemeth;
Bea Parish and Evie Poole
British Science week poster competition
Students were invited to write a short piece in any format about the image below which has been created by AI. April Parsons wrote a thrilling short story and won a BBC micro:bit.
CyberFirst Girls Development Day
A group of our Yr 8 & 9 students went to Cheltenham on Saturday 24th March to have a go at being Cybersecurity experts and uncover how a new flagship app had been leaked by working through four different parts of a fictitious company. They learnt new cyber skills with lots of hands-on activities and enjoyed hiding messages inside images and sound and finding out how digital forensics work. They also found out what it is like to work in Cybersecurity. Well done to all the students who got involved in their own time on a Saturday: Yusra Abdulahi; Iulia Barbulescu; Gokcen Erdogan; Kashvi Gajjar; Lia Griffiths; Rose Lennon; Suki Mu; Lily Nemeth; Natalia Kromska and Mahek Shar
UK Chemistry Olympiad
The UK Chemistry Olympiad is the leading chemistry competition for secondary students across the British Isles. It took place on 26 January, with 11,838 students from 950 schools taking part. It is a tough competition designed to challenge and inspire and is a unique opportunity for students to push themselves further and excel in the chemistry field.
Pupils had to analyse the thermodynamics of rocket fuels, the synthesis and decomposition of vitamin E in vape fluid and also the fragrance and acidity of cheese.
Our Yr 13 Chemists has a fantastic set of results. Congratulations to Stephanie Saji, Rita Soltysiak , Rebecca Coolican Davies and Amy Lardner for achieving Silver, and Anna Green, Hannah Wood, Holly Haines, Tasniah Ahmed for achieving Bronze.
This month Yr 7, 8 & 9 had a fantastic opportunity to take part in a Dance workshop, led by Swindon Dance Company as part of the CAT (Centre for Advanced Training) initiative. They did some creative and performance contemporary class work which they enjoyed demonstrating back to one another.
This term we have had house netball matches for all our year groups.
Congratulations to Yr 7 winners - Britons!
Congratulations to Yr 8 winners - Britons!
Congratulation to Yr 10 winners - Romans!
The U12 Netball Team won the District Tournament, beating Crypt in the final and maintaining their undefeated status this season. Huge congratulations to the squad for their hard work and commitment to Netball this season. We're very excited to see where their talents take them!
Sociology and Psychology
Life Behind Bars
This week we ran a one-day conference for all our Psychology and Sociology students in Yr 10, 12 & 13, about prisons and the Life Behind Bars. It was a fantastic opportunity for the students to hear from people who have first-hand knowledge of prisons and to ask questions about their life stories and experiences in the Justice system.
As Crime continues to be a high-profile issue, students attending the conference heard from and spoke with released prisoners that have served sentences from theft, drugs, violence/murder to white collar crime (fraud).
We asked students - 'with the prison pollution increasing yearly, are our prisons and young offender institutes designed as a place for Punishment, Retribution or Rehabilitation?' As part of Ribstons Psychology and Sociology courses, students cover issues such as crime and deviance, punishment and the psychological effects of custodial sentences, so this was an ideal enrichment opportunity to enhance their knowledge.
The History Department was delighted to presented with an Historic England ‘Heritage Schools Award’ this week. The accolade is awarded to schools who successfully embed local History into their curriculum and is a prestigious achievement, as we are the first school in Gloucester to receive it. Michael Gorely, the Local Heritage Education Manager for the South West said:
“It is clear from looking at your Curriculum knowledge maps that embedding the local in your History enquiries was something that you were already doing. I was particularly pleased to see that you had visited the archive with students and used the visit to support the learning in the classroom. I also enjoyed the varied cross-curricular work that the students produced.”
Mrs Derbyshire, Curriculum Lead for Humanities added: “Local History is something I am very passionate about. I am a proud life-long resident of Gloucester and want our students to have similar pride in their local area, whilst developing a love of History in the process”.
Duke of Edinburgh Awards
Last week all the Yr 9 students were busy taking part in basic First Aid training, and those 96 students who are preparing for their Duke of Edinburgh Expedition stayed late after school to complete a NUCO Regulated First Aid Course.
Both Yr 9 & 10 DofE students were also in school as the weekend, learning how to put up their tents, how to cook on Trangia Stoves, what kit they need for their expedition, how to pack their bags and, in the case of Yr 10, who will be paddling down the Wye for their Silver expedition, how to pack their canoe and keep kit dry!
My Cross-country Season - Ruth Brook, Year 10
My cross-country season has been filled with many highs this 22-23 season, reaching higher levels than I have in previous seasons. I’ve enjoyed racing in the Gloucestershire League, Southwest schools, Inter-counties and English Schools. Immense perseverance, hard work and support from teachers at school, Gloucester Athletics Club and my family paid off. The main highlight of the 22-23 season must be gaining an England vest!
Although I have been running cross-country since I was aged 9, the recent stages of my journey to becoming an England International began last year in November when I represented Ribston at the District Championship at Plock Court - thanks to the support of Ribston PE teachers arranging this.
After winning this race. I represented Gloucester at the County championship at Newent in December where I placed second.
Next was Southwest schools, where I thoroughly enjoyed the team spirit and Gloucestershire placing first. The Inter Counties championship held in Loughborough on 11 March was the first national race where I had come near the front. Massive improvements from last year meant that I had improved from 200th place to 10th place. The following weekend I represented Gloucestershire schools at the English Schools Intermediate Girls’ race held in Nottingham; this was my favourite course as it had a good mixture of mud and hills. It was thrilling to come 7th and be told that I had gained an England vest. I was selected to represent England at SIAB (Schools International Athletics Board) against Scotland, Ireland and Wales. I came 10th out of 32 and England won the team competition. I am very grateful for this opportunity and experience and enjoyed meeting inspirational athletes from Ireland, Scotland and Wales as well as England.
Congratulations to Nikki Dunham who gained a distinction in her Harp exam last week. Well done Nikki!
Huge congratulations to Molly Douglas, Yr 11, finishing in the top 3 girls in the Gloucestershire Schools Golf championships.
South African Adventures - Cassie Gay, Year 11
In February, I went to South Africa during half-term as part of a Guiding International Trip (INTOPS) and had the most amazing time there. We did a lot of fun things such as safari and seeing lots of animals, trying new food and learning all about the African culture. Going to places and learning about the history of Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Ghandi and other people who shaped South Africa to what it is today. We also spent World Thinking Day with Guides and Rangers from the Gauteng District – singing, dancing and trading badges, whilst also making new friends. It was a lifetime experience I will never forget, and I would like to go there again one day.
Rotary Chef Competition
Last month some of our Yr 9 students competed in the Rotary Chef Competition. Scarlett Mainwaring-Taylor went on to compete in the district final of the Competition in Pershore on Saturday 4th March. Scarlett was equal score runner-up with her tasty Mexican inspired dishes. The Judges said it was very difficult to choose a winner as they were all so close and the food produced was ‘pay for’ restaurant standard. Well done Scarlett!
Rowing Championship Success
Gracie Janes, Yr 10 competed in the West Midlands Junior Rowing
Championships at Stourport-on-Severn on the 5th March, and competed in the WJ16 doubles and WJ15 single head races.
She won both races and is now representing the West Midlands Region at the British Rowing Junior Inter-Regional Championships in April. Congratulations Gracie, this is amazing. Good luck in April!
Congratulations to Romans who held the top of the leader board in the house competition this month.