We have already begun 2023 with lots of activity across the school as you will see in this month's Ribston Roar. We have had visits from our Primary Partnerships schools, seen our students link in with local employers and theatre groups alongside watching our Sixth Form students make full use of the fantastic Science Lab facilities that were completed last year.
Both staff and students have taken the opportunity as we begin a new year to talk and think about our New Year's resolutions, reflecting on goals and targets we set at the end of last year and thinking about what we want to achieve in the new year. To consider that sometimes we take a detour or things don't go to plan, that experience tells us not to give up because we can adjust our focus and still enable successful outcomes. Our students are using this thinking during mentoring to critically reflect on progress past and focus on making self-improvements in the future positively. A great start to the year!
Mrs Sarah Colombini
This month John and Mandy Rowlands from the Soldiers of Gloucestershire Museum hosted a fantastic First World War workshop for our Yr 8 students and some invited Year 5s from St James’ Primary School - one of our local partnership schools.
Yr 8 enjoyed a 2-hour session to support their unit of learning on the First World War and their Trench Diary project. They had the opportunity to try on uniforms, sample some trench food and handle a variety of artefacts including weapons. A second session was held for the Year 5 students from St James' who really embraced the experience and did an amazing job of learning a trench song and singing it loudly for everyone to hear! We are really glad that we were able to welcome some of our younger neighbours and wish to extend our thanks to their teachers for bringing them along.
Tree Planting and the Eco Committee
Just before we headed off on holiday in December, we received five orchard trees that included two apple trees, two Victoria plum trees and a cherry tree, from the Tree Council. These had been on the Eco committees wish list from sometime, so it was fantastic to receive them.
The team planted them in the pond area and hope that one day, the fruit from the trees will be used in Food Technology. In the meantime they will provide a different habitat for animals in out local environment.
Thanks to Margo and Myrto Barling, Abi Dermody and Kia Barbar who braved the cold and very hard clay soil to plant them!
Thanks again to everyone who supported our Christmas charitable donations at the end of the year. Two cars and a van were filled through the generosity of our amazing parents. Here Mrs Murphy, Ms Oliver and Mr Richardson collected food to fill 40 hampers for families and single people in need in our Gloucester community and another collection of over £1000 was spent on items such as warm socks and hats, toiletries and food for Gloucester City Mission, who support homeless people in the Gloucester area.
At the end of last year our Yr 13 A level History students were able to take a trip to Gloucestershire Archives. Students were able to engage in a workshop on the Poor Law, have a tour of the facility and handle some historical documents that gave an insight into the lives of the poor in Gloucestershire. It was a fantastic opportunity- despite the soggy walk there!
Food and Nutrition
We were very fortunate to have one of our parent's, Charlotte Wasilewski come in to join our Yr 10 Food Preparation and Nutrition Students this month. Charlotte very kindly shared her knowledge, time and skills to demonstrate the preparation of some amazing dishes from Denmark, Aeblekage- Apple cake and Polse - Sausage Horns.
Unlock Cyber Event
Fresh from the Christmas holidays, Mrs Coverdale and 10 students ranging from year 10 to year 13 visited the University of the West of England. They had an introduction from one of the UWE professors about how to expand and showcase their knowledge and interest in cybersecurity. They met with employers such Immersive Labs, Nationwide, BT and Amazon for sessions describing and providing taster activities around different cyber disciplines. This gave students a flavour of the different roles within cyber. The employers also described the different routes into cyber such as degree and non-degree apprenticeships alongside the traditional university route.
OUCC Round 1
Well done to: Hannah Beale; Willow Potts Downing; Ella Brown; Alisia-Mai Goscomb; Evie Lowicki; Iulia Barbulescu; Stephanie Ugochukwu; Charlotte Treadwell and Georgie Abbey, who took part in the Oxford University Computing Challenge in their own time. Over 20,000 students participated in this coding based challenge where students solve puzzles by writing code. Although none of our students went through to the finals this year, they are to be congratulated on stretching their skills.
CyberFirst Trailblazers and Adventurers
This month the CyberFirst Team from the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) joined some of our Yr 8 & 9 students. This is the first in a series of CyberFirst events which will start each student on the exciting path of considering which GCSE’s they will take and how Computer Science can play a key role in future career prospects and help improve understanding of technology in the workplace and homes.
Yr 8 Students learnt the basics of how to customise a website, they used digital forensics to identify the first person who has contracted a disease and learn how open source intelligence can lead to finding out more information about this person and looked into how creative design, arts and technology work together.
Whilst Yr 9 students found out more about using big data to create the perfect team using a set of sports results, they unlocked various devices, getting a taste of cryptography and language analysis, learnt some cybersecurity terms and had the chance to create their own model using 3D design software.
James Clarkson came in from Neo4j, a company that use an innovative way of storing and accessing data, for a session on graph databases with the Yr 12 and 13 Computer Science students. Although this type of database is not studied at A level, the session showed students how the topics they learn about are used in industry, and they did hands-on activities working with the concept.
We've had some fantastic results from our U12 and U14 Football teams this month. Our U12 team became the district football champions and were undefeated in the district tournament, beating Crypt in the final.
The U14 Football Team qualified for the County finals and will play at Cirencester Town FC on 13th Match. Cameron Smith was named as player of the District Tournament that was hosted by Severn Vale School.
This term Ribston Hall entered students in the Grammar School Maths Competition for the first time. Participation is totally voluntary and the competition takes place on a Saturday, so students have to be willing to give up their time at the weekend to sit a very challenging set of maths problems. Congratulations to Aryana Bharti, Nina Drozd, Hannah Brooks and Medini Arvind who all took part and gained impressive scores - the Maths Department are very proud of you.
If you want to challenge yourself here is an example of one of the questions from the paper!
As part of our Primary Partnership work we have links with nine local Primary Schools and offer them a range of opportunities to come and visit us throughout the year. At the beginning of the month St James's Primary School came in for their own session as part of the World War 1 workshop which was run by the Soldiers of Gloucestershire Museum. Calton and Widden Primary School have also visited for other activities.
A group of Yr 2 students from Widden primary visited us for a Food Preparation Lesson. They had a lovely time preparing bagel bruschetta.
Yr 10 Leadership
Yr 10 have been working on leadership skills within their PE lessons, and as part of their work they have been planning activities for younger children. Yr 2 primary students who attend Calton primary visited us and our students led sessions for them with confidence and enthusiasm. The Yr 2's thoroughly enjoyed their experience at Ribston!
Since September, Yr 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, clay, card, foam, felt, Lego and paper.
1st place: Cristina Gonzalez &
Lizzie Silmon- Clyde 2nd place: Sophie White 3rd place: Darcey Hayward
Skye Wainwright and Hannah Cook (Textiles Subject Captains) have been running a lunchtime Fashion Club since October. They have been making personalised tote bags with a group of Yr 8’s. The students have created their own paper patterns, used 2D Design to create a laser cut stencil, learnt stencil printing and tote bag construction.
It has been fabulous watching Skye and Hannah organise the club and supporting the students. They have grown as leaders and developed their communication skills. They have also been wonderful role models to our younger students! Skye and Hannah are both applying to study Fashion Design at University.
Thank you both and a huge well done Yr 8!
Last summer five of our environmentally concerned students from Yr 11 and Yr 13 (Isabelle Clarke & Mryto Barling - Yr 11 and Grace Cooper - Yr 13 and not pictured, Georgia Vallender & Laura Davis - Yr 13) volunteered to take part in a pilot STEM project linked to the UK Met office data bank. The final report and conclusions with the feedback from the organisers was recently returned to us.
Their project was to analyse hundreds of years of past and predicted data; from temperature change and rainfall (mm) from the Southwest of the UK; and write a presentation on the effects of these on their local area, Gloucestershire. They were to pair up with a Brazilian school and share their findings, comparing issues that each country faces and building a relationship with students across the globe
The STEM project co-ordinator said the following of their project: “I would like to congratulate your students on their work to review the data and assessments on the effects of Climate Change. As you will appreciate the engagement with the Brazilian schools was not as simple as we had all hoped, I am therefore delighted that your students persevered and produced such high-quality reports of their findings. They are to be commended for their efforts and their demonstration of key skills. The project from the students were of very high quality and showed a keen understanding of the issues involving climate change. I am impressed by the quality of the report, and they deserve the recognition for their hard work.”
This month Yr 12 A level Chemistry students took part in a Lab Day. They completed an elimination reaction, this is an important chemical reaction used in Organic Synthesis. Alcohol functional groups can be changed into Alkene functional groups. Here is a simple representation of the chemical reaction they completed on the day:
The reaction is also sometimes called a dehydration reaction as it involves the loss of water from the molecule. Students demonstrated a range of scientific skills during the day and had to prepare their own risk assessment prior to the synthesis.
Year 13 A level Chemistry completed investigations into acid-base reactions using precise titration apparatus and pH probes with data loggers and laptops to display the data.
In the second part of the day students made their own buffer solutions and tested the effects of addition of acid or alkali on the pH of their buffer solutions. Buffer solutions are important in many everyday materials such as sweets, baby lotions and shampoo. They are also vital in biological systems, for example, blood contains many buffers in order to maintain a healthy pH to keep you alive.
Well done to all students involved for all their hard work and the professional way they conducted themselves in tackling what were challenging tasks. They demonstrated exceptional skill in their work.
This week Yr 9 Drama students participated in an exciting physical theatre workshop led by practitioner Mark Worth from Highly Sprung Theatre Company. Highly Sprung create outdoor and indoor performances that tell stories through movement, gesture and dance, inspired by humanity, science, and the complex world around us
Year 9 students were delighted with an amusing and rigorous workshop, teaching them new techniques on how to perform using controlled movement and improvisation. Students pushed themselves out of their comfort zones, learning lifts and various push and pull techniques. The ethos of the workshop was focused on students learning to fail in order to achieve, to let down their guards and believe in how the impossible is indeed possible.
Students said: 'I really enjoyed the Highly Sprung Workshop because it meant we could try a different type of style than we usually do and it was challenging,'
'I really enjoyed the workshop and I feel it was useful for me to learn new skills in physical theatre. I found the workshop really entertaining and interesting and would love to do it again! My favourite part was when we were taught multiple lifts as it was quite challenging at first but me and my partner could perform them by the end.'
A huge well done to all the students who participated, they were wonderful ambassadors for the Drama department and performed with confidence.
We were finally able to run the Yr 7 Movie and Popcorn night after snow scuppered last terms plans. This was a reward for selected Yr 7 students for high achievement in RCQ 1 and 2, scoring the expected standard and above across all subjects. They were able to snuggle up in home clothes in front of the film with plenty of unhealthy snacks!
Students in Yr 10, 11 and 12 will be taking part in the Gloucestershire School Dance Festival on Monday 13th February. Isobel Rankin in Yr 12 can be seen practising here.
Schools from across the county come together for this annual showcase. Our students have been working hard back at school to prepare their performances, and we can’t wait to see them. Everyone is welcome to attend and tickets can be purchased through Cheltenham Town Hall
This month, Jenni Dan Mathew who is in Yr 8 passed her ABRSM Grade 5 piano exam. Passing Grade 5 already in Year 8 shows Jenni’s commitment and love for music. A Big congratulations!
Some of our amazing Ribston Hall singers have been selected for two prestigious choirs at national and county level. Elena Blake-Dyke and Penny Steel both in Yr 9 have been selected for The National Youth Choir, and Niamh Harris and Mei Lewis in Yr 8, for the highly-regarded Gloucestershire County Youth Choir. We are very proud of our singers representing Ribston Hall nationally and for the county.
Congratulations to Saxons who were victorious in the house competition this month!