Our first term has been a busy one, and I think everyone - students and staff, are looking forward to the half-term holiday and having a break before we head into another busy few weeks before Christmas. Preparations have already started for our Sixth Form Open Evening, Christmas Concerts and Carol Services!
There have been so many fantastic events and student experiences this term, but for me, one of the highlights was our first Sustainable Fashion Show. It was incredible to see the level of professionalism all the students and staff put into the event. You can read the full run-down in an article by one of our students, Anna Johny on our website along with some stunning pictures taken by another student in Year 13 - Rachel Downey.
We ran six School Open Events over the past couple of weeks - which were all fully booked. It was a pleasure to welcome so many potential new families to the school and showcase what we have to offer. All the students who volunteered and helped with tours were fantastic ambassadors for the school, and I was incredibly proud of them all, showing Ribston at its very best!
Along with other staff members, I had a great time playing in the Staff Vs Students Charity Netball match that was run by some of our Sixth Formers this week and raised over £150 for The British Red Cross. The staff team - having donned their PE kits and made sure they had properly warmed-up to avoid any injuries were rather pleased to win 3 out of the 4 matches!
This week we also had our first Personal Development Day of the year. These 'drop down days' where the school timetable is changed for everyone for one day per term, allow students access to external organisations such as employers, career and apprenticeship providers and charities. These sessions wouldn't be possible on a normal timetable day. Thank you to the staff who organised and supported the successful running of this day.
On Thursday we also had our Year 11 GCSE Skills day where students took part in seminars providing guidance and support on high-quality revision strategies. As part of this day students were also able to choose from a range of A Level taster sessions. These inspiring experiences run by our A Level specialist staff provided an opportunity to start considering their choices in their future educational journey.
Finally, a huge thank you to our whole teaching and support staff team. I wish all members of the Ribston community a safe and restful half-term.
Mr Alec Waters
Earlier this month, Yr 12 students led a new Sixth Form tradition, working with
Yr 7 students on our first Unity Day.
Yr 7 and 12 worked together in their Houses, with Yr 12 leading small groups of the younger students. In the morning, they completed some team building challenges including a competition to see who could make the tallest tower out of balloons, where some cunning tactics were deployed in a bid to win. Yr 7's also rotated around lots of our Yr 12 students to find out about their lower school experiences, and were able to ask them about their tips for study skills, stress relief, clubs and societies. They found out about their GCSE and A Level choices and were able to talk about career ambitions and the leadership opportunities they are looking forward to in Sixth Form.
In the afternoon, all students took part in a House Competition where they designed 2-minute performance entries under the theme of ‘We are Ribston’, with Romans winning the competition with their school rap entry that got the whole audience involved, really fostering a sense of our Ribston community spirit, connectivity and unity!
A great day was had by all, with Yr 7's really enjoying getting to know Yr 12s and finding out more about their new school, and Year 12s developing their leadership skills. We very much look forward to running this activity on a yearly basis as part of Year 7 and 12 Induction, and that it will be something the Yr 7's remember and look forward to running themselves when they reach Yr 12.
Dissection Club - Esha Ali, Biology Subject Captain
The dissection club organised its first session of the term for students in Years 10-13 and the topic chosen was the kidney. Our dissection club, here at Ribston, is unique as it is led by students from Years 11, 12 and 13, as well as Biology Subject Captains, whilst being supervised by Mrs Waters. This club provides an enriching environment for students from Years 10-13 to expand on their biology knowledge and provides one of the many opportunities for 6th Form students running the club to interact with their peers and improve their leadership skills. All this takes places in a state-of-the-art school Science facility that is the most modern and advanced of any of the Grammar Schools in Gloucestershire.
In this first session, we set up stations consisting of the equipment required for the dissection, an information leaflet, and the kidney. We supervised and worked in small groups so that everyone had an equal opportunity to explore and experience the dissection of the kidneys. We began by discussing the function of the kidney and how it filters the blood, removing any waste such as urea to produce urine. We explained that, to dissect the kidneys, students needed to cut around the edge leaving a section uncut so it could be opened like a book as this technique preserves the internal structure and makes identification of major structures simpler.
Under our supervision, students successfully completed a dissection of the kidneys, correctly identifying the key structures such as the medulla and the cortex with interest and enthusiasm. We had a brilliant session led by the students and the Biology Subject Captains who enjoyed organising the session and mentoring their peers. The students who attended thoroughly enjoyed the hands-on, practical aspect of this dissection. We take a break in November as Year 11 students will be completing their diagnostic assessments, so we will be looking forward to having everyone back on Friday 8th December when we will be dissecting eyeballs.
Personal Development Day
This week we had a Personal Development Day, which is for all year groups across the school, and it was jam-packed with different activities.
Our Yr 7 students had a visit from Gloucestershire Constabulary and a talk about personal safety now they are at secondary school. They discussed being aware of on-line grooming and how to seek help if they ever needed it. There were lots of interesting questions and discussion from the students. Another highlight of the day for Yr 7's was the opportunity for them to learn the school song along with our Yr 8 students. This is a real Ribston tradition and everyone was in fine voice!
The University of Gloucestershire came in to talk to Yr 8 Students about what university is, and they had the opportunity to design their own, which included a Taylor Swift University! During the day they also had a fact-finding session to help make choosing options in year 9 easier. Gloucestershire Constabulary also talked to Yr 8 students about sexting.
Yr 9 students had a day that focused on finance and a look to the future as they will be making subject option choices this year. They had a session about tax and another on budgeting and a session to help discover their personal skills to support them as they choose their options and think about careers.
Our older year groups had a really engaging talk from the charity CoppaFeel - about breast cancer and how to self-examine. They also had the chance to talk about finances as they look to the future and have to think about paying for degrees or buying their first homes.
Our first Personal Development Day of this academic year was filled with valuable insights and engaging activities for students in all-year groups. From essential discussions about personal safety and awareness of grooming to envisioning a Taylor Swift University, from financial literacy to exploring future career paths, our Personal Development Days offer a diverse range of experiences away from the usual curriculum. They allow us to empower our students to make informed choices and prepare for their journeys ahead.
Our Textiles teacher Mrs Finch organised an online workshop with a designer - Jessica Grady, with Year 10/12 Textiles this month. Jessica demonstrated various techniques that she uses in her mixed media recycled embroidery work Jessica and spoke to the students about life as a designer. She sent packs prior to the lesson and students were all able to make their own unique abstract flower outcome. The students really enjoyed experimenting with unusual materials in their textiles work.
Volleyball club, organised by sixth former Kai, have had a visiting Volleyball coach attend their sessions this month. Former Ribstonian Michelle Adams plays for City of Bristol Ladies volleyball team and was one of the original Ribston Spikers, a very successful school team (set up by Gillian Harrison, PE Teacher at Ribston who was a National Volleyball Coach). Michelle generously offered to come and support the students with two coaching sessions and ran drills and activities designed to sharpen their skills. The students loved it.
At the beginning of this month, some of our Yr7 students took part in their 1st Netball match. It was a close 12-9! Some great netball was played. A huge well done to all the team!
Ribston Hall played Holmleigh Park on the earlier this month. The score at half time was 3-0 to Ribston and by the end of the second half the score was 6-0.
The goalscorers were, Isla who scored 1 goal, Izzy scored 4 goals and Darcy scored 1goal. Player of the match was Izzy (8.1)
Well done to everyone who played.
Amelie (class 8.2) recently tried out for County Hockey Trials for girls U13. She was nominated by her club, Gloucester City Hockey Club after only playing hockey for the club for half a season. She was one of only two girls nominated from GCHC in her age group. Although she did not get into the County team she has been invited to join the County Development Squad which is the tier below county. Well done Amelie!
Congratulations to Hattie (8.3) who achieved county swimming qualifying times this weekend in 50m backstroke and 50m fly
Congratulations to the Britons who are top of the House Points table again this month!
We are a Unifrog school and proud to shout about this amazing resource our students access. Did you know that parents/carers can have a free Unifrog account too? Unifrog has a wealth of information about higher education, here and abroad, and it’s not all universities! You can access live apprenticeship vacancies, CV templates, online learning, careers information and attend online webinars. You can view ALL the information as if you were a student too.
At Christmas we are encouraged to think of others who may be less fortunate than ourselves. For many years Ribston has helped Gloucestershire Social Services, support local Gloucestershire families by raising money to create 40 festive hampers. These hampers provide local families with items to help them celebrate Christmas.
To raise money for this, we will be holding a Christmas Jumper Day on Friday 8th December. Students can wear non-school uniform alongside their Christmas Jumper.
In addition to this, our school community will also be working with Gloucester City Mission. We will be appealing for donations of food, toiletries or clothing in order to help the charity over this festive season.