Coming back after a lovely Christmas break can sometimes mean that students are slow to get started but not here at Ribston!
Year 13 have been revising for and then have sat their mocks this month, spurred on by the offers from universities for their chosen courses and offers in higher level apprenticeships.
Here at Ribston, we are proud of our academic values. You will have seen our new school intent that was shared in Ribston Roar recently. As teachers, we want our students to become effective, autonomous learners who have developed skills that enable them to learn with cognitive fluency. Over the past 18 months, our staff have become experts in developing challenge. With a new teaching focus on pedagogy, staff have been using cognitive science to develop skills at A level to ensure that students quickly become confident, reflective learners that enjoy challenge and deep thinking.
These changes in teaching at A level are empowering students to apply to highly academic universities and apprenticeships as they see themselves achieving within the classroom. Six of our students applied to Oxford and Cambridge this year, the first in some years and we are pleased to say that all of them gained interviews. We have been very proud of all of them as the interviews are incredibly challenging and have taken significant preparation. One of our students has written an account in this month's Ribston Roar as she has gained an offer to read Earth Science at Oxford next year.
Our Sixth form is forging itself a new path, departing from the results of the last few years and purposefully moving forwards. The current student cohort in the new Sixth form study under a different regime, with higher expectations of student work ethic and behaviour, alongside our supportive and caring Sixth Form Team that ensure every student’s needs are met pastorally.
We are pleased to be working closely with esteemed colleagues from the Grammar School Headteachers’ Association, alongside utilising research from the Chartered College of Teaching to ensure we are managing an outward facing approach to inform our school improvement over the next few years.
Ribston Team through to the CyberFirst Semi Finals!
This year, we had several teams of Year 8 girls taking part in the CyberFirst competition - a prestigious national competition organised by GCHQ and the National Cyber Security Centre. One of our teams, Breea Jordan, Molly Douglas, Eloise Bulpin and Glory Ohen have secured a place in the semi finals.
They will go on to compete with 10 other schools from the South West with the winning team gaining a place in the Grand Final. The girls had to answer some fiendishly hard questions on Logic and Coding, Networking, Cryptography, and Cyber Security over a ten day online competition. Go team Ribston Elite!
We have continued to welcome 'old girls' back to Ribston to speak to students about their career paths. Each talk has been inspirational and our speakers have been proof that even if things do not go to plan, a successful route can be found. A key message of advice to students has been to be open to, and grab all opportunities that might come their way.
In November, we heard from Holly Middleton-Spencer, who is working towards her PhD at Newcastle University (pictured with two sixth form students).
She uses Maths, Computing and Physics in her daily work as she studies Bose-Einstein condensates. Working in academic research is perhaps not a common choice for many, but Holly spoke positively about the opportunities for travel and working collaboratively with international colleagues.
We were joined by Harriet Evans in December, who talked of using her love for History (developed by Mr James) to work in the travel industry. She described wanting to “show people history” rather than just talk about it and how her sense of adventure, travel and curiosity all started at Ribston.
January has been busy with Emma Schaffert, Research Technician at Bartlett Tree Experts flying in from the States to speak to students about careers in Arboriculture. She talked so passionately about working with trees and how each tree needs a champion that everyone left feeling positively inspired about a previously unknown industry. We also watched a video of a 'good' mite eating a 'pest' mite… the goriest thing we have seen so far in our careers talks!
Finally, this month, we wrapped January up with a talk from marketing and PR expert, Lauren Bajdala-Brown who works for global wines & spirits company Diageo. She spoke to students about how she uses social media influencers to promote her brands and creates partnerships between celebrities and alcoholic beverages. All of this came about from studying a degree in Languages and actively following up opportunities that were open to her.
As ever, we thank our former Ribstonians for taking the time to visit and talk to our students. We would like to encourage more students to attend these talks as they are so useful for careers research, particularly if you have no firm ideas about what you might like to try in the future.
Coming up in February, it is National Apprenticeship Week (3rd to 9th) which will be marked with a week of events including an “Ask the Panel” session in assembly.
We will be also be welcoming family law barrister and judge Katie Henry on the 13th of February, for Careers Conversation #7. All students are welcome.
Ms Haines Careers Adviser/School Librarian
January saw Ribston Hall High School celebrate and acknowledge Young Carers Awareness Day. Each tutor group had a presentation and completed a quiz to ensure they had a greater understanding of the life experiences of young carers.
The Wellbeing Team organised tea and cake for some of our young carers, Wellbeing Ambassadors and Staff. Karen James from Young Carers Gloucestershire attended the event, along with Kerry Mann an ex-Ribston student who spoke to us about what it means to be a young carer. Every day across the UK thousands of young people help to look after someone in their family, or a friend, who is ill, disabled or struggles with substance misuse. Recent research shows that one in twelve secondary school children may be a young carer. For many, their caring journey begins at a much younger age. Caring for someone can be very isolating, worrying and stressful. For young carers, this can negatively impact on their experiences and outcomes in education, having a lasting effect.
At Ribston, we want our young carers to know that we can and will support them, in any way we can. This may be a chat, offering emotional support or relieving some of the pressures students endure during their time in secondary education.
Many thanks to our Catering team for supplying the lovely cakes and Associate staff for all their help with this event.
The Wellbeing Team
The library kicked off 2020 with a challenge for staff and students:
To Read Every Day.
Just a minimum of 15 minutes of reading, for pleasure, of anything you want - except social media!
The mental health charity MIND runs RED January to encourage people to stay fit and active throughout January through exercise (it started as Run Every Day) and whilst reading an article about the benefits of reading, our librarian Ms Haines thought that Reading Every Day would also be an excellent way to get through the often dark and gloomy month of January. Reading is good for mental stimulation, it reduces stress and increases vocabulary and knowledge. It increases our confidence, self-esteem, emotional intelligence and helps us sleep better and feel less lonely.
Students who have signed up have been given a bookmark to record their reading and are encouraged to hand these in by Weds 5th February to be entered into a prize draw to win 1 of 4 £10 WHSmith vouchers. The winners will be announced in next month’s Ribston Roar.
Ms Haines Careers Adviser/School Librarian
Oxford University Success!
On the 11th November, I was invited for an interview at St Edmunds Hall of Oxford University. The interviews would take place between the 8th to 10th of December, which gave me time to research the types of questions asked and to read around the subject area of Earth Science. Before the interviews, the school organised a mock interview which helped familiarise us with general questions and gave us tailored advice on how to develop our responses.
I was invited to stay in Oxford for 3 days, in which I had two interviews. Each interview was conducted by two professors from different colleges and lasted 25 minutes. The interviews were challenging as they wanted to see if I could apply the information they provided me with to unknown concepts. My first interview was on a subject I had not studied at A-level, but the interviewers guided me through the question until I could draw the correct conclusion for myself. I felt as though my second interview went a lot better as it was drawing on my strengths (dinosaur extinction theories). They don’t expect perfect answers, but instead want to see how you would work in tutorials, which is something I found reassuring when applying.
After the interviews we were able to go and explore Oxford and the college itself. We stayed in student accommodation and were provided with meals in the hall; which gave a good insight into student life. During my stay, I made new friends with whom I enjoyed my free time. We were given the opportunity to explore the city during the day. In the evenings we would play games and watch films alongside the current students. I found the overall experience enjoyable.
On the 14th of January I received my letter of acceptance to read Earth Science at Oxford University!
Lila Blake, 13SF3
This term Computer Club which runs on a Wednesday after school, is working with students from Calton Road Primary School to introduce them to the fun of coding. The students will be using OhBot robot heads to create animated story tellers over a 4 week program lead by our own students. We are looking forward to having the primary students with us to learn about Computing.
Viva! - The Vegan Charity
We really enjoyed our visit on 20th January from Vival. We feel we have learnt a lot about veganism. Our knowledge about the reasons behind veganism has been enhanced and we even got the opportunity to try some vegan alternatives to the products we use daily. During the visit, we were also given the chance to make a chilli-non carne, which we thoroughly enjoyed. We would like to thank Viva! for this great experience and we wish their charity the best of luck in the future.
Belle Mason-Westbury and Katie Lane (Year 10 Food Students)
Year 7 Girls preparing for the upcoming District and Grammar School Netball tournaments in March.
The cold, wet and windy weather has not stopped the Year 8 Netball Team who beat Homleigh Park in an A and B team away fixture, winning both matches. They also played in more preferable conditions against St Peters High School, with the A Team winning 25-0 and the B team winning 18-10.
Thanks to Zoe Sparkes (Year 12) who continues to coach and manage the teams during training and matches.
Sixteen dedicated Year 7 and 8 students have been outside in all weathers, training for a full contact Rugby Tournament that is due to take place on 11th February. Thanks must go to Mr Jordan (Father of Bea Jordan in Year 8), who is giving up his time to coach the team in preparation for what will be some students first experience of competitive contact rugby. Alongside these extra-curricular training sessions, students have been receiving coaching during curriculum time from Bianca Blackburn, Community Rugby Coach and organiser of the tournament.
The Under 13 Football squad at the District tournament on Tuesday 28th Jan.
Despite not losing a game, the team didn’t make it through to the semi-finals unfortunately, loosing out by goal difference. Well done to all.
Monkhouse Schoolwear has acquired the Trutex Schoolwear Business in Northgate Street, Gloucester.
Please see the flyer below from them.
Hello from the RHA,
Please see below for details of our up and coming Family Quiz on the 6th March 2020 at the school. Tickets will be made available soon to book online via ParentPay. We had a fantastic turn out last year and we hope it will the same this time. Keep the date free and start thinking up your team names.
Wendy Hiiemae – Chair RHA
Quiz entry @ £5.00 each Meat platter @ £3.00 each Cheese platter @ £3.00 each