One of my favourite things to do is sit down and read the Ribston Roar every month as it encapsulates all the things that the Ribston students have been doing and achieving. The sense of pride I have in our students grows every month and this is a bumper issue!
From watching our first live Dance performance in a very long time, to seeing students coming together to talk about issues they feel passionately about such as COP26 and Feminism, viewing young women exploring careers and competing in STEM subjects and watching the whole school community get involved in our annual charity week to support those that need our help is fantastic.
Our students are encouraged to grow and develop not only in their academic ability but also as individuals. They are encouraged to become the best versions of themselves personally by developing their character, compassion and tolerance.
You see it in reams here. Enjoy the read.
A Spectacular Dance Performance!
On Thursday 25th November, our Ribston Hall dancers performed their first dance show in two years.
Rosa Jolly and Sanjeevani Sreeram have written a piece for us on the show:
Students ranging from Years 7 to 13 have spent weeks practising their dance routines and have performed on several occasions - with both passion and confidence!
Dances were performed across a variety of styles with the students showcasing their acting abilities as a reflection of the different emotions within the music. The event was a huge success with the audiences enjoying all the various performances and routines that were showcased.
We have the Tech Team to thank for providing the soundtracks and the splendid light show, Mrs Barnett for hosting and arranging the incredible evening and Ms Lewellyn for choreographing many of the dances and organising the overall event. We also have the Performance Captains to thank for their support in both managing and introducing all the different acts and finally we have all the dancers to thank for making this event spectacular.
As a school we are very proud with how far our students have come in terms of performance and we are excited to see what they will accomplish in future.
PHSE Drop down day
On 23rd November, all students were off timetable for the day to focus on PHSE - specifically, personal development under the theme of 'Be safe'.
Each year had different activities for the day, with many students hearing from Gloucestershire Police with others hearing from the Hollie Gazzard Trust or Barclays UK.
Year 7 heard from Gloucestershire Police about road safety, made a reflective bag, enjoyed a session on how to use what3words and a session on diversity.
Year 8 also enjoyed a Police safety talk, including use of social media platforms and Sexting. They then made a high vis tag for a bag or coat and participated in the what3words activity.
Year 9's Police talk was centred on careers and attitudes to pornography. They also did the what3words activity, including a capture the flag hunt using the app, and then heard from Barclays about managing money.
Year 10 engaged with a session on stalking, looking at the legacy of Sabina Nessa and Sarah Everard. They also participated in the Barclays Managing money talk, heard from Gloucestershire Police and had a session on drugs and alcohol, including the latest spiking trend of injection which happened recently in Cheltenham.
Year 11 had a visit from the School of Sexuality education to talk about contraception and STI protection, consent and healthy relationships. They then had a study session to use their knowledge from their mentoring session and the same session as Y10 about stalking.
Y12 and 13 had a visit from Nick Gazzard of the Hollie Gazzard Trust in the afternoon. He talked to them about Hollie's life and death, her impact and legacy and the Hollieguard app. He is coming back to deliver some sessions to KS4 about coercive control in relationships next year.
Thank you to Mrs Wendzina for organising the many activities for the day.
COP26 comes to Ribston
We held our very own version of COP26 just after it opened in Glasgow in early November. With the intention of raising awareness of the issues being discussed at COP26 as well as giving our students a voice in this much debated topic, the Ribston Hall Climate Change negotiations proved a successful outlet on many levels.
31 students from Year 7 through to Year 13 worked together in teams to represent countries who were either on the receiving end of issues driven by high emissions or a nation who produce excessive emissions.
With the end goal being all countries agreeing to implement the 1.5 degree centigrade cap on rising temperatures as a result of their direct actions, the students researched, discussed, presented, debated and negotiated; an excellent set of skills being demonstrated in a large and unfamiliar forum.
Countries such as the low-lying Maldives were requesting help to bolster their flood defence systems, while high polluting, equally financially stretched nations were requesting assistance in reducing their emissions, for example, by employing more renewable energy. Those more financially comfortable countries or communities, such as the EU, had to settle on how much financial assistance they were able to offer other nations to achieve their joint goal. All countries produced and presented a positive pledge of actions they would take as a result of the negotiations.
Mrs Heard facilitated the event, saying “Personally, I felt it was incredibly important to organise an event like this not only to raise awareness of COP26 but to give students experience of turning a much talked about topic, such as climate change, into a real-life situation where they had to debate and negotiate using actual data.
I am so proud of all 31 students who took place. They showed maturity in listening to other countries facts and issues and empathy in making decisions. They would make exactly the leaders we need for the future.”
In Religious Studies, Year 8 students have been learning about religious dress. To help our students learn more about religious dress in Buddhism, they received a visit from Mrs Haigh. Mrs Haigh is a practicing Buddhist who teaches History and Psychology at RHHS. Mrs Haigh follows Shingon Buddhism, a form of Buddhism developed in Japan.
Mrs Haigh brought the beliefs and practices of Buddhists to life, even reciting a mantra in Japanese on request! Mrs Haigh brought a selection of artefacts with her, including a singing bowl to show to the students, and explained the significance of the religious dress she was wearing.
Abby Tempro in 8.1 said “Mrs Haigh brought in all of her Buddhist belongings to show us and she explained to us what they were for and why she wears them. She let us pass around her japamala which is a prayer necklace that she uses to count her prayers. After she showed us, we asked a lot of brilliant questions. Since I am a visual learner, this really helped me understand about Buddhism”
The R.S. Department would like to thank Mrs Haigh for taking the time to visit Year 8. The classes have gained a lot from the experience.
This month has seen the re-introduction of our face-to-face programmes for our feeder Primary Schools.
At present there are 20 students volunteering in a wide variety of subjects across 3 of our 9 feeder Primary Schools, Robinswood, Calton and Widden. Students use their study periods to offer one-to-one, group or whole class support to pupils from Years 1-5.
Ribston Recital and Young Voices Evening:
68 Primary School pupils and 25 Ribston Hall students took to the stage to perform in the first collaborative music event between Ribston and 3 of our feeder Primary Schools, Robinswood, Tredworth and Moat.
The vision came from Lucy Good (Deputy Head Girl). She wanted to create an opportunity for Primary pupils and Ribston Hall students to come together to sing. The idea evolved into the Ribston Recital and Young Voices evening, an evening where instrumentalists and singers performed to an audience of parents, siblings, and teachers.
Lucy spent weeks training the Primary School choirs and Dr Yang put together a varied programme of Ribston’s talented musicians. The event was supported by the RHA and newly trained Tech Team and was a huge success.
Primary English Day:
The English Department hosted Ribston’s second themed day for 4 of our 9 feeder Primary Schools, Robinswood, Linden, Widden and St James’. The day consisted of a carousel of 5 lessons designed to ‘Unlock the Power of the Written Word’. The pupils thoroughly enjoyed their day, demonstrating fantastic imaginations and creativity. We look forward to offering many more themed days in the future.
Practical Science for Primary Schools:
Following on from a successful trial of the practical science boxes (OXbox), a new training session was delivered to a further 2 schools (Linden and Finlay), to enable Primary School teachers to offer practical science within the classroom. Saskia O’Sullivan from the University of Oxford, along with our science technicians, Julie Bishop and Wendy Gregorig have adapted the science boxes to ease delivery and ensure Primary School pupils have the opportunity to experience practical science lessons in their school.
Dance Show Matinee Performance:
Three of our feeder Primary Schools, Finlay, Robinswood and St James attended a matinee performance of the Dance Show. The pupils were able to sit back and watch our Ribston talents on the stage whilst enjoying their lunch. Many pupils already attend a dance club within their school so this visit was truly aspirational for them.
SEND Swimming Gala:
Ribston Hall High School are continuing to link with the Gloucester School Sports Network (GSSN) to offer leadership opportunities to our students. As a result of sports volunteers, the GSSN can organise and run more sporting events to directly benefit our feeder Primary Schools.
Should everyone be a feminist? by Deborah Otieno, Year 13
This week in Feminist Society we explored the question “Should everyone be a feminist?”. We analysed the idea of feminism and shared what it means to us. We examined how feminism is perceived in society and the labels and ideas that people associate with feminism such as lesbians, racism, and the ‘far left’. But also, why people refuse to identify as a feminist even though they believe in gender equality. We also discussed the word ‘feminist’ and its use as an insult as well as a compliment and whether it should be used in these ways, and we concluded that it should be a neutral term. Feminist Society was attended not just by the girls in the school but also by some boys and non-binary people in Sixth Form.
Cyberfirst Girls Development Day
During half-term, an enthusiastic team of students went to the University of West England in Bristol to attend the Cyberfirst Girls Development Day. During this event they took part in a fun, scenario-based, interactive learning experience, role-playing as cybersecurity experts working for a fictitious app company, Sirius Cyberworks. Their task was to discover how the code for a new video game was smuggled out of the company and how the website got defaced. In teams, they also took part in a ‘capture the flag’ activity. One of our teams took the top place of the sixteen or so teams taking part.
All our students were awarded a certificate of completion, well done to Kirsty Weller, Harriet Siddons, Delilah Fernandes, Ria Sanderson, Rachel Treadwell, Amy Blanch, Laraib Malik, Anuvaa Dahiya, Yusra Abdulahi, Juliette Mawby, Susannah Scott, Mahek Shar, Vienna Thomas, Jeerthaniya Wickyneswaran and Annabel Hoyland.
During November, years 7, 8, 9 and the year 10 Computer Science students took part in the Bebras Challenge. This challenge is organised in over 50 countries and designed to get students all over the world excited about computing. Participants answer questions that focus on computational and logical thinking. Students take part in different categories corresponding to their school year. They enjoyed the puzzles and found it very thought-provoking. Congratulations to all students who took part and a special mention to the following :-
Ashriya Guring – Best in School (year 7 category)
Gerogie Abbey – Best in School (year 8 and 9 category)
Raven Hout – Best in School (year 10 category)
In addition, we had 66 students who were in the top 10% of students nationally who took part, out of over 300,000 UK students who entered. The top 10% are invited to take part in the Oxford University Coding Challenge, which takes place online in February 2022. Those students will also receive a Gold certificate.
Our Keystage 3 students did well compared to other students across the county and country achieving higher average scores.
In our Year 7, the average score of 97 compared to 87 in Gloucestershire and 83 nationally.
Across Year 8 and 9, we achieved an average score of 91 compared to 77 in Gloucestershire and 74 nationally.
Well done to all participants - this is an excellent performance!
"Does that mean I can do anything?"
(Christopher Boone from Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time)
On Wednesday 3rd November, 24 GCSE Drama students took part in a rigorous Frantic Assembly workshop.
Frantic Assembly is one of the UK’s most successful theatre companies. Frantic Assembly's ethos is all about collaboration, empowerment and having the constant desire to improve. "It is about telling stories in a voice we don't always hear and about finding talent in places we don't always look."
Frantic Assembly’s productions include Things I Know To Be True, Beautiful Burnout, Lovesong and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time.
Isabelle Clarke in Year 10 wrote a review of the workshop for us:
The 4-hour session opened with meeting the instructor Joanna McGibbon followed by an exhilarating, interactive warm up! The workshop consisted of a variety of physical theatre tasks including contact partner work, focus points and lifts. After each exercise we had the opportunity to perform back to each other which helped us work together and adapt.
We then worked on an activity called "Zero Gravity" where we chose different parts of our body to float away! Finishing off we combined all elements of the workshop together to create a final performance. Joanna challenged us further by giving us additional building blocks to adapt our piece such as pace, adding a spectator and eye contact. It was interesting to evaluate how these different elements changed our pieces so dramatically and devise stories and characters we could add to them. My peers and I enjoyed this style of Drama and loved experimenting with different ways of performing. It was one of the best things I’ve ever done and I will definitely be using the skills I learnt in the future.
Girls Get Set for a career in STEM
GE Aviation run the Girls Get Set programme to encourage more girls to embark on a STEM career.
By delivering opportunities to students aged 11-18, they hope to inspire students to consider the career opportunities in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths.
The GE Aviation sessions are open to all students and we have had a good level of take up across the different year groups.
Here, our Year 10 students are participating in the first session and recording the time taken for differently shaped objects to reach the base of their measuring cylinders.
British Physics Olympiad
Year 13 Physicists Jessica Kirk and Megan Wakefield are preparing for the British Physics Olympiad (BPhO) and BAAO Astro Challenge which aims to encourage the study of Physics and recognise excellence in young physicists.
A Royal Mail stamp of approval
Congratulations to Alessia Iaccarino in Year 8 who has made the final 24 in the Royal Mail stamp design competition and is now in the grand final!
There were just over 606,000 entries and she is already guaranteed at least £500 in shopping vouchers for herself.
If she wins, she will be among a prestigious group of 8 students selected who will have their 'Celebrating Heroes of the Pandemic' design included in a Royal Mail Set of Stamps, available to buy to the public, as well as having her own prize upgraded from £500 of shopping vouchers to £1000 of shopping vouchers!
We are so incredibly proud of how well she has done. Alessia will find out the result at the end of February, when she could become a part of Royal Mail history.
Congratulations to Alessia and our thanks go to Mr Collins who organised the competition entries from our school.
Walking for Parkinson's UK
Jessie Irvine in Year 13, alongside friends Evie De Gruyther and Alice Westmacott, walked the 16-mile length of the Gloucester to Sharpness canal in aid of Parkinson's UK during Charity Week. Jessie has raised over £1000 for the charity, which is close to her heart as her Grandfather has recently been diagnosed.
Well done ladies, what an amazing fundraising effort!
Danes emerge victorious in Charities Week!
By Olivia Rajesh (Danes House Captain)
This week was House Charity week, where each House in the years organised various stalls from cake sales, games and sixth form vs teachers Netball. Thank you so much for all the hard work and generosity everyone has shown this week, all the money raised will go to Children in Need and TIC+; both charities work to support young people through any difficulties they may be experiencing.
Year 7 - £450.14
Year 8- £551.46
Year 9- £369.91
Year 10/11 - £399.96
Sixth Form - £336.30
Bella Hart in Year 10 made the Pudsey cake while the Sponge the Teacher stall was an incredibly popular attraction masterminded by Years 10 and 11. We can't think why?
As a whole school we’ve raised a magnificent £3214.77 for Children in Need and TIC+. These totals will be converted into House points and added to our yearly total. Danes emerged victorious, raising £569.93, Romans raised £546.46, Britons £543.92 and Saxons £447.46.
Thank you to all the staff and students for their generosity, enthusiasm and creativity.
GCSE and A Level certificates
Summer 2021 GCSE and A Level certificates are now available for collection. We will be distributing them in Parrish to Y12 students shortly. For ex-students, please email firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange collection as soon as possible. For ex-students who have paid to have their certificates posted to them, they are being posted in batches over the next couple of weeks. Thank you.