The start of a new year and just four days in, we were back into another lockdown and the school closed to the majority. This month I have seen our staff and students just 'get on'. They have moved into live learning with relative ease and have worked hard to find some sense of normal. We have carried on as we have done before and I couldn't be more proud of the school community in how they have approached this difficult period.
This month we heard the tragic news that the UK have reached 100,00 deaths due to COVID-19, something that will be part of our documented history forever. This has left us with a great sadness, and in thinking of those lost, some of us will seek solace in prayer and others will find comfort in words.
In this month's Ribston Roar I wanted to share a poem of hope that we recorded and sent out to the school community. It was written by Emily Dickinson and is called “Hope is the thing with feathers”. You can access the link here.
We miss the students in school, the corridors are quiet again and we can't wait to have everyone back in the building in the near future. In the meantime, stay safe and take care of each other.
The 20th of January 2021 marked the centenary of Ribston Hall. We have commemorated this special occasion with our centenary timeline, drawing on the history of the school as well as celebrating the firsts for women during the last 100 years.
The doors of Ribston Hall opened on Spa Road in 1921 by our first Headteacher Miss Whitaker. This wouldn’t have been an easy thing to do at the time, women weren’t considered equal or viewed in the way that they are now, and it would be another 7 years before women over 21 were even given the vote for the first time. Miss Whitaker, a woman whose drive, resilience and strength embodied what she wanted and hoped for her students – the ability to be strong, confident, educated women who could take charge of their own destiny.
Whilst much has changed since its opening in 1921, the essence of a Ribston student in 2021 remains the same, we are resilient empowered and are following our own paths of who we want to be in the future without needing to seek permission from anyone else.
Although the celebrations have not been able to take place in the way that we had hoped, planning has already taken place for a number of events later this year including displays of Ribston archives, a Summer garden party and the resurrection of the ‘Ribbus’ magazine.
We look forward to celebrating with students, parents, staff and the wider Ribston Hall community once we are all able to be together again to mark 100 years of our wonderful school.
I am sure every student and staff member of past and present is proud to be part of such a special community and we cannot wait to see Ribston continue to develop and flourish in the future, just like it has been able to do in the first 100 years of our history.
Whilst we celebrate and reflect on the achievements of the past one hundred years, it is perhaps a suitable moment for you pause to consider your own futures too.
With this in mind, a very significant date for your diary will be the second part of the Sixth Form Live Virtual Open Evening on Tuesday 2nd March, 5.30-7.00pm.
This will provide you with all the information you need to guide you in making some very important decisions about the subjects you will be studying next year.
This event will give you the opportunity to have a live interaction with our expert subject staff. It will also give you a further chance to hear from key members of the Sixth Form team and current Sixth Form students.
We look forward to welcoming you all on the 2nd March to find out more about your futures with us. We will be providing further information shortly about how to sign up for the subject information sessions of your choice.
Duke of Edinburgh Awards
Congratulations to the following students who have been awarded their Duke of Edinburgh Awards:
The deadline for signing up for the awards this year is the 13th February
House Challenge -Land's End to John O'Groats
This month our House Captains launched the biggest House challenge ever. Land’s End to John O’Groats. Students and staff have been set the challenge to gain as many miles as they can by either walking, running or cycling. The first House to reach the destination will receive nearly 900 points.
The totals after nearly two weeks are:
Britons: 139 miles
Danes: 188 miles
Saxons: 139 miles
Well done to all of you have taken part so far and may the best house win!
Dawn Barnett Curriculum Lead – Performance Events Coordinator
More culinary creations from students cooking at home!
Here is some absolutely incredible digital work from Mr Collins' 9K-AD1 Art group. The group looked at a Colour lesson with David Hockney's iPad sketches of landscapes being the focal point and though some did theirs with oil pastel or colouring pencil, some decided to do their own digital artist copies!...
ProCreate on tablets and iPads were used as their digital programs to complete them....but special congratulations to Ruby Adams who created hers using the AutoDesk SketchBook App....on her phone!!
Mr Collins Teacher of Art, Photography & Graphic Communication
Step Up to the Plate
Kitty Weller 8R5 made a TV appearance on CBBC's Step Up to the Plate!
Fred Sirieix and Allegra McEvedy put teams of 10 to 14 year-olds through their paces as they set out to uncover a maître d' and head chef who have the potential to be future stars of the restaurant industry.
I would like to say a huge congratulations to Lucy Mclean 10R who has successfully completed 5 years voluntary work with New Start Cat Rescue whose aim is rescue unwanted and abandoned cats and kittens and to find them new homes.
Lucy has said “Last Saturday, (16th January) was my 5 year anniversary of starting volunteering at New Start Cat Rescue! This is really important to me because most people only last a few weeks and nobody thought that I would keep it up. In those 5 years, so much has changed within and outside of the charity and of course especially so in the last 10 months. I should get presented with my certificate soon but we can't be sure when I will get that as it is a bit hard to plan ahead due to the current circumstances.”
There are lots of benefits of volunteering and it is clear that Lucy has relished the opportunities to not only make a difference to the welfare of hundreds of cats, but she has gained valuable skills and experience, grown in confidence and has shown that she is able to challenge herself and be an effective team member. 5 years is an amazing commitment and we are very proud of Lucy.
Miss Mowatt Head of Year 10
The Wellbeing Department of Ribston Hall High School celebrates a different theme each month. January 29th sees the annual Young Carers Day – a day where we celebrate our wonderful Young Carers. We would love to be able to see our carers and celebrate with them in person, however, due to national lockdown, this is something we are unable to do. Instead, we decided to send our Young Carers a gift, to let them know that that we understand they might be finding the lockdown incredibly hard, that we are thinking of them and their families and that we are here for them.
Gloucestershire Young Carers support young carers by providing direct services in partnership with a raft of other organisations and working with young carers to support professionals and commissioners to improve their response to young carers. You can find out more information by visiting their website; http://www.glosyoungcarers.org.uk/
Children’s Mental Health Week 2021
The beginning of February marks Children’s Mental Health Week 2021. As a team, the Well-Being Department will be engaging with students regarding their mental health.
Mrs Brewster, the School Counsellor, has put something together for our students to think about if they are feeling low. The idea is to use this as a 'small step' that is achievable everyday. It is important to encourage a sense of purpose with each step.
ACE - Achievement, Connection, Enjoyment
A - every day find a sense of Achievement in something. However small or insignificant the task might seem do it with purpose and feel a sense of pride in having accomplished it.
C - every day find a sense of Connection. This might be a connectedness to nature, or to animals or it might be connecting to people. The connectedness might be to poetry or music. Whatever you feel connected to embrace it and allow yourself to feel it even for the briefest moment.
E - everyday allow yourself to feel a sense of Enjoyment. Enjoyment comes in many forms, it might be eating something you really like, baking a cake, going for a walk or watching your favourite TV show without guilt. Celebrate the sense of enjoyment by acknowledging it and leaning into it even for the shortest time.
Young Minds Matter
Meet The Pets in Form 7.3
In 7.3’s lockdown form time, two or three students have been introducing their pets to each other. There have been many different types of pets like: cats, dogs, chickens, and fish. It has been a fun way to show everyone our pets and to do something more exciting in form time. One of the weirdest pets that we have seen is a chicken who is 3 years old. We have also had many adorable and chubby cats! Lots of the pets were camera shy so we had to tempt them with food or treats. We have even seen some of our teachers' pets, like Mrs Hay’s cat and Mrs Brook’s dog! Meeting each other's pets has been a wonderful experience as we could see all the different personalities, and it has put a smile on all our faces during lockdown.
Marmalade is a sweet, cute, and friendly 1 year old shorthaired guinea pig. He loves carrots and chasing his brother, Crunch, around the cage. He also enjoys snuggling on the sofa watching TV.
Chester is an adorable 8-month-old kitten who loves to play and chase people. Chester loves to eat human food and watch TV with his family.
By Ava Fletcher and Lakshmi Payyana 7.3
Bringing the plight of the Punjabi farmers to our attention
Protests are going on right now in New Delhi, India and I wanted to write this piece for the Ribston Roar as I think there is not enough awareness about this issue.
Why are the Punjabi farmers protesting?
Farmers from Punjab are protesting against new central government laws around reforming agricultural marketing. Under new laws, farmers can sell their produce anywhere but they have lost protection over guaranteed prices and are massively losing earnings. This issue is hard to understand but the consequences are not. The consequences are the livelihoods of Punjabi farmers are going to change because of changes to procurement. They have families to feed but with this new legislation in place they are beginning to experience poverty. Farmers have travelled to New Delhi from Punjabi to protest.
How are the police reacting?
The police have been reacting with violence to these peaceful protests with violence. This is clearly not right; they have not broken any laws yet are being punished. They still have not given up, they continue to fight strongly, even though the conditions they are living in are dreadful.
How does this affect me?
The protests are not just happening in India, they are also taking place in England. The Punjabi community have decided to do their part and try and help the farmers. My family and I have gone to some of these protests because of our Punjabi heritage- even though you do not have to have Punjabi counterparts to show your support or spread awareness. The protests are vital to stop this and hopefully will getting bigger and bigger as more people become aware of it.These protests have stopped because of the pandemic but they will continue as soon as it is safe to do so.
I went to the protest for Punjabi farmers in Birmingham. The protest was outside the Indian embassy and went on for hours. As soon as I got to the embassy, I could tell everyone here felt the same way, we are all outraged by the treatment of the Punjab farmers. We peacefully protested by chanting outside the embassy and blocking the roads so they had to hear us. No one came in massive group because of COVID 19 and everyone wore their masks (this was all done before the third lockdown started). Whilst there I was interviewed for BritAsia TV which is a television channel that plays popular Punjabi music. I showcased my views about this issue and why I felt so strongly. I explained that I had Punjabi heritage and that is how I knew about the issue and that is also why I felt so strongly about the issue- though you do not have to have a Punjabi heritage to voice your concerns. As well as putting it on their tv channel, they also put it on their Instagram. https://www.instagram.com/tv/CIta4Hzjh4s/ . That is the link to watch me say my speech- I was the first girl. We know we are all in this together to get the basic rights for Punjabi farmers back, so we are working together.
What can I do to help?
Posting something on your social media can help this. All you need to do to help is spread awareness. You do not have to anything big like go to a protest, just saying something about it can help spread awareness. The media is ignoring this issue because it is not being talked about enough. Your help does not take long posting something about Punjabi farmers on your story/status could help improve conditions for Indian farmers!
Written by Priya Kang, 8.4
Money Management Workshop
Adult Education Team In Gloucestershire are offering a free workshop for parents to learn how to budget more effectively. It is free to anyone who is not working, or earning less than £17,000.