This is one of my favourite months of the year at Ribston Hall because the traditions of Christmas at this school take place with our Christmas performances and the community work we do. The talent on display this month has been phenomenal, the students have enjoyed performing again, and we have enjoyed watching them, especially our longstanding Boar's Head tradition which is very special to us here.
What makes Ribston Hall unique is the compassion our students show daily for those less fortunate and for those who are disadvantaged in society. Our students are encouraged to use their voice and champion and support our local community as well as our global community.
You will see this throughout this month's Ribston Roar. I am pleased to say we are forming stronger links with Gloucester City Mission and will be hopefully carrying out more work with them over the year ahead.
The Rosalind Franklin laboratories
After an exceptionally close result in our poll, we're delighted to share the name of our new Science Facility. Thank you to over 600 students and staff who cast their vote. The winning vote went to Rosalind Franklin, an early 20th century Chemist who carried out breakthrough work in the discovery of DNA, understanding x-rays and molecular structure.
Rosalind Franklin was nominated by Danielle Veluz in Year 9 and seconded by Mr Rouffett, so thank you to them and to all the students and teachers who submitted nominations and videos.
Sadly, Rosalind Franklin was never given the deserved acknowledgement or reward for her work while she was alive. We recognise the significant impact her work made on science and beyond, and we hope our new science facility will provide a springboard for our Science students to also go on to achieve such great things.
We look forward to sharing opening plans with you in the Spring and cannot wait for our students to start using this cutting-edge facility.
Politics students keep the Mayor's seat warm
On Friday 3rd December, our A Level Politics students visited Gloucester City Council Chambers. They engaged in a Q&A with the Leader of the Council, Richard Cook, and Jennie Watkins, Chief of Staff for Richard Graham MP.
The students asked a range of questions on everything from the impact of Covid-19 to climate change. They also got the opportunity to sit in the Mayor's chair!
Bringing Christmas Cheer to our Primary Partnership Events
On Wednesday 1st December, 32 Year 10 leaders volunteered to help at the Gloucester School Sports Network KS1 Christmas Multi-Skills Event.
Cheryl Stennett, event organiser said this of our leaders:
'Please may I take this opportunity to say a big thank you to your wonderful sports leaders for supporting our successful Key Stage One Christmas Multi-Skills festival. They were amazing!
Working with 22 schools and over 500 pupils throughout the day they never once stopped being motivational leaders.
I lost track of the number of different teachers from Primary Schools who praised them for so many things; their level of enthusiasm, confidence in running the activities, interaction with pupils, and sheer joy to be with.
Your sports leaders were a credit to themselves and your school.'
Well done for your hard work ladies, this is incredible feedback!
Ready, Steady, Cook!
Some Royal Navy Chefs paid us a visit on 7th December to talk to our students about career opportunities within the Royal Navy and lead a practical activity with them. A group of Year 10 GCSE Food students took part in a Masterchef style lesson where the group was divided into teams and presented with ingredients.
The aim of the session was to create 2 dishes (starter & main or main & dessert) within 50 minute time frame. Supported by the Navy chefs, who have cooked for world leaders such as Joe Biden and Boris Johnson, the students had 15 minutes to discuss which dishes they were going to produce. The groups were presented with a mystery box of special ingredients that made their dishes different to the others. This was a great opportunity to exercise students' initiative, teamwork, communication and time keeping skills - it proved to be extremely popular!
The winning team - Erin, Maisey, Evie, Molly, Maisie, Phoebe and Annabel - made chicken breast wrapped in bacon served with spicy tomato sauce and rice for main course, followed by raspberry and apple crumble for dessert. Well done to all who took part!
Year 7 Geography Competition: Making contour models
Since September, Year 7 Geographers have been learning a range of map skills, including height and relief. They were challenged to produce a 3D contour model of Robinswood Hill and were provided with a map print out to trace the contour lines from, and asked to label each contour line to show its altitude.
The students really embraced this challenge and a lot of them got very creative; we saw entries made from wood, cake, icing, bread, clay, card, foam and paper, and one student even made theirs light up, really going the extra mile!
Here are some of the entries and the winners for each form:
This term, 32 students from Year 8 entered the qualifying round of the National CyberFirst Girls competition. The competition ran over 10 days and consisted of a series of online puzzles and challenges based on Networking, Logic and coding Cybersecurity and Cryptography.
Throughout the competition we had cyber specialists from BAESystems came in to support the teams and our thanks go to Kristal, Lee and John for their efforts in inspiring and supporting us.
Three of our teams scored over 2000 points and after a close, hard fought contest involving some really tricky questions, team NIHL emerged as the highest scoring team from Ribston. Congratulations to Nissanur, Lissy, Isabelle and Husna and figures crossed they scored highly enough to win a place in the semi-final. Watch this space.
How does toxic masculinity affect our society? By Holly Nicholson
In the second meeting of Feminist Society, we discussed the existence of toxic masculinity and how it affects both men, women and the world at large. The main point raised was that men feel they cannot or should not express any sort of emotional distress.
The majority agreed that too often, the pressure of being a ‘masculine’ man or a ‘tough-guy’ leads to suppressing emotions, outward displays of violence or strength and ignoring personal emotional and physical needs. Toxic masculinity can mean that there is a need to conform to certain viewpoints or act in a certain way (strong, emotionless, loud etc) to avoid criticism such as ‘too feminine’ or acting ‘like a girl’. Whilst this affects men inwardly, it also worryingly contributes to larger societal issues such as: sexual assault, gender-based violence and crime.
Toxic masculinity affects everyone, which is why it is increasingly important to combat the stereotypes that surround what it means to be a man. It is normal and healthy to express emotion, to be vulnerable and no one should feel restricted to do so simply because of their gender.
Studying African Kingdoms in History
Our Year 8 History students have been studying African Kingdoms, slavery and the impact of slavery. Every single student has fully embraced this topic!
A special thank you to Joanna Ibitoye and Trisha Amoako in 8.5 who brought in family heirlooms and artefacts, then did a question and answer session about them with their class.
We completed a silent debate - which are often tricky for older students, but Year 8 managed to articulate their written arguments beautifully.
We also explored levels of resistance, correct terminology and celebrated African culture and history.
Mrs Johnstone was blown away by the contributions, debate and engagement of our students this term. Well done all!
Exploring the impact of FOMO in PHSE
Year 8 have been learning about digital literacy within their online lives. Students have been looking at how FOMO (the Fear of Missing Out) can impact on their wellbeing, often causing unnecessary stress over the idea that they are missing a something vitally important. They began to explore the qualities and behaviours they should expect and exhibit in positive relationships, the potential difference in the way a person portrays themselves online versus in real life, and the positives and negatives of social media. During the session, students discussed strategies to manage this stress in order to maintain good mental health and wellbeing in an online context.
In their next lesson, students looked at how the British Board of Film Classification applies age ratings to films and television, including some online content.
Students learned how classifications are chosen and why classification is necessary. They read through a dialogue where a young person is being pressured by a friend to watch something they do not feel they are ready to watch. They considered how they would handle this situation in terms of thoughts (self-talk), words and actions that could help the person respond in a healthy way when someone is pressuring them to view something they do not want to watch, allowing them to make their own, responsible decisions.
Christmas Around the World by Rosa Jolly and Sanjeevani Sreeram, Year 9
On Tuesday 14th and Wednesday 15th December evening, students ranging from years 7-13 performed a variety of pieces through Music, Dance and Drama, with the overall theme of the event representing ‘Christmas Around the World’.
The evening began with the traditional Boar’s Head song performed by Sixth Formers and staff members who also attended Ribston as young women! This was followed by a range of musical performers in Act 1, who showcased their fantastic abilities to compose their own songs and displayed both confidence and passion whilst performing. Some of these acts were accompanied by students who individually choreographed dances to go alongside the music.
Act 2 comprised Lynn Brittany’s adaptation of ‘A Christmas Carol’ performed by years 7-11 with the role of Scrooge being given to one student in year ten, nine, eight and seven. In this adaptation of Charles Dickens memorable play, some of his best-known characters narrate the life of the cruel, spiteful Ebenezer Scrooge. When three spirits visit him on Christmas Eve, each one representing either his past, present or future, he finds that maybe he was a little too harsh on everyone surrounding him as he discovers his own Christmas spirit. This performance reflects the enthusiasm and hard work of all involved.
We would like to say a big thank you to all performers as well as the incredible Tech Team for providing the lights, backing tracks and scene changes, the performance captains for introducing the acts and retrieving the performers in time, our dance teacher Ms Llewellyn and our drama teachers Mrs Hill and Mrs A Barnett. A big thanks is also owed to Dr Yang and Ms Staton for beautifully playing the piano and conducting and organising all the music acts. And finally, a huge well done to Ms D Barnett for overseeing and organising the whole event. Merry Christmas everyone!
Helping out the Gloucester Community this Christmas
We were fortunate to be the bearer of an incredible level of donations to Gloucester City Mission, a charity that supports the homeless, including those living in temporary accommodation or otherwise in need of support with clothing, toiletries, food or advice. Thank you to everybody who contributed items to the Christmas collection in school and to Lucy Good, our Charities student lead, for co-ordinating the collection. We also sent Gloucester City Mission a £150 donation from the Christmas Jumper Day contributions, with the remainder being spent on food, which we used to create 40 food hampers. These hampers were handed to the local Social Services team to distribute to local people in need of some extra support over Christmas.
Our Head Girl team are pictured below, with Mrs Colombini, handing our donation to Kevin and Andy from Gloucester City Mission. We extend their thanks to you all for contributing.
Ribston Hall singers invited to perform at St Barnabus' Christmas Event
Ribston Hall musicians were invited to perform at St. Barnabas Christmas Fayre on Saturday, 27th November and four singers enhanced their Festive atmosphere through their performances.
Sianna Hadland (Year 10), Evie Rushton (Year 10), Hope McKie (Year 9), and Eva Calder (Year 8) delighted the audiences with a series of Christmas songs in solo, duet, and ensemble. They received many praises, including St. Barnabas communication officer, writing ‘they are incredibly talented singers!’.
We are extremely proud of all four singers, Eva, Hope, Sianna, and Evie. Well done!
Mr Storey and Mrs Coverdale both completed an extended training course in Cybersecurity during December and received a CyberFirst Futures certificate. This has broadened their knowledge of a range of areas in Cybersecurity, enabling them to teach the subject with even more depth.
Parents, carers, grandparents, family friends...
Are you looking for some flexible term-time only work? We are on the look-out for Cover Supervisors to step in when teachers are unable to take their class.
Although experience in an educational setting is useful, no teaching experience is necessary as the classes in need of supervision will have been set work by their teacher in advance. For further information on these roles, please see the Current Vacancies page on our website.
Helping families of premature babies
Two of our Sixth form students, Erin and Nya Smallage-Mitchell, have been helping a local charity to create boxes of useful items for families of premature babies. As well as knitted items, they also provide self-care items for parents who may have left home urgently and unprepared. They feature as premature babies themselves in this video article on the BBC website. Well done Erin and Nya, what a brilliant cause!
We had a number of competitions during December, offering students plenty of opportunities to gain points for their house.
Ribston Hall Christmas Card Competition
This year's competition had an added element which was to include Ryan the Lion in the card, whether an obvious inclusion or subtly added. We had loads of amazing entries from Years 7, 8 and 9 and it was a VERY tough choice over who got 1st, 2nd and 3rd place but a huge well done to Dalia Kolpaczek in 7.4 who got first place with her beautifully drawn lion (amazing talent and only in Year 7!), second place went to Jasmine Lalli in 9-SHo for her very confidently illustrated design with the lion under the Christmas tree and third place went to Charlotte Cameron also in 9-SHo for her lovely snow globe with lion under the tree!
Christmas Jumper Competition
Mrs Finch held a DIY Christmas Jumper Competition, where students from all years could DIY their own Christmas Jumper in completely their own way and use their creative minds to think of something unique. All the entries were amazing and showcased the talent of the students here at Ribston; however, one student stood out most with their fantastic jumper.
This winner is Holly Poole! For all her effort, she won a £15 street shopping gift voucher, and 100 House points, well done Romans! We’d like to thank all those who entered, and for this, all entries will be receiving 20 House points; hence, the overall scores for this competition are:
Romans 160 points (1st)
Britons 60 points (2nd)
Danes and Saxons 20 points (Joint 3rd)
The Ribston bake-off is an annual Christmas competition which, thankfully, was held again this year. We had multiple entries from extremely talented students, who showed their abilities in making delicious-looking cupcakes and cakes! All the entries looked amazing, and based after holding a student vote, the top three were decided.
In 3rd place we have Eva Rankin Kehn-Alafun, bottom right image below. Well done Eva! For her hard work she’ll receive a £10 high street shopping vouchers and 20 points, go Britons!
In 2nd place we have Rosa Jolly who made some lovely cupcakes, pictured bottom left below. She’ll receive a £10 high street shopping vouchers and 20 points, well done Saxons!
And the winner is…Annie Nielsen, with her bake pictured below!! For her amazing effort, she’ll receive a £15 high street shopping vouchers and 100 points, that’s a win for Danes!
Well done to all those who entered; you all will receive 20 House points, which gives the overall scores for this competition:
Winners: Danes with 140 house points
Joint Second: Britons and Romans with 100 house points
Third: Saxons 60 house points
TIC+ were delighted with the exceptionally generous donation as a result of our Charities Week activities, so thank you to all for your contributions.
We received this poster from them just before the end of term.
Helping to give young people in Gloucestershire someone to talk to is a cause particularly close to our hearts here at Ribston Hall.