Time continues to whizz by at Ribston Hall! After some lockdown easing, we are now beginning to be able to put more on for the students with sports matches resuming, residential visits being arranged, the Duke Of Edinburgh students going back out into the countryside alongside hearing rehearsals for the virtual summer concert in full swing. The school is beginning to get that 'buzz' around the place and this gives me a spring in my step every morning to feel this new energy in school.
The last week of May signifies the end of the TAG assessment process that has replaced formal examinations for Year 11 and 13 this year. GCSE's and A Levels can be challenging at the best of times and when you include a pandemic to interrupt learning, this statement becomes even more significant.
I wanted to acknowledge the hard work, dedication and commitment to the process that has been shown by both the students and staff. I have been so proud of the way in which these year groups have tackled their assessments; with good humour, diligence and a pragmatic attitude. Now Year 11 and 13 can have some time to relax, after some celebrations in school with more to come over the next few weeks.
Wishing everyone a restful Half Term break.
Building up our STEM education
We’ve broken ground for the construction of our new science building and look forward to seeing our new science facility take shape over the next few months. Progress can be seen from the windows on the far side of Whitaker; the shape of the new building is now visible as the top level of earth has been removed and the concrete foundations are due to be laid early June.
Due to open next Spring, we’ll have six cutting edge labs to use for practical teaching as well as two prep rooms. It’s an exciting step forward for us as it helps to cement our position as a regional leader in STEM education.
Our Site Manager, Lisa Denby, will be offering site visits in the coming months. If STEM is one of your passions, keep an eye out for these dates so you can participate in a tour of the construction site. We will also announce the next stage of our competition to name the new building in the coming weeks.
Headteacher Mrs Colombini, Science Curriculum Lead Mr Cole, Science Technician Miss Bishop, Sixth Form students Evelyn de Gruyther and Jessie Irvine, and Kier Construction Site Manager Lisa Denby broke ground for the new science block before the heavy machinery moved in last week.
Mr Sargent has a Fellowship!
Congratulations to Mr Sargent who has gained Fellowship to The Chartered College of Teaching, acknowledging his extensive achievements and expertise in teaching.
His attendance at a forthcoming all-party-parliamentary group at Westminster will enable him to engage with and influence national education policy. We’re proud to have Mr Sargent guiding the education we provide as a school as well as education across the country.
Miss Mowatt helped Ribston Hall to publicise Deaf Awareness Week
Mrs Colombini interviewed Miss Mowatt to give us all a greater insight into living as a deaf person in a hearing world for Deaf Awareness Week at the start of May. The video interview was shared in assembly and made a strong impression on all who watched, with some incredible feedback being shared.
Miss Mowatt's candour has given us all a greater appreciation for how tricky it is to do many everyday tasks when faced with a disability, whether hidden or visible. For many of us, we take such activities for granted and the interview served to remind us of the need for patience and understanding with others. If you'd like to watch the assembly again, please ask your form tutor for the link.
Graphic Designer in the making
Ella Hardiman in Year 8 enjoys creating Digital Art outside her classes. She has shared some fantastic examples of her work. Thank you for sharing Ella!
Molly swings a championship win
Molly Douglas in Year 9 was the youngest player in this year’s Gloucestershire Ladies’ Golf Championships, held at Lilley Brook Golf Club, in Cheltenham, on 30th April.
Competitors played 2 rounds, totalling 36 holes, on a day of four seasons with mist, rain, sun and hailstones!
Molly managed to win two trophies on the day, the Gross Cup and the President’s Cup, for both best gross and net scores in Division 2.
This is a strong start to Molly’s golf season, which also includes serving as Brickhampton Court Golf Club’s Junior Captain for 2021. As well as competing at events across the county, one of her highlights will be playing 72 holes in one day, to raise money for the Pied Piper Appeal, a charity helping sick and disabled children in Gloucestershire (see https://youtu.be/ODRsL28FOPQ).
Ribston Students reach the semi-finals of NCSC Cyberfirst Competition
Well done to the Year 8 students who took part in the CyberFirst competition. This high-profile competition is organised by the National Cyber Security Centre and this year more than 6,500 students from 600 schools took part solving challenges involving cyber, logic and coding, networking and cryptography.
30 students from Ribston took part in the 7-day qualifying round, supported by some inspirational engineers from BAE Systems and by Tamzin, an ex-Ribstonian who is now fulfilling a degree level apprenticeship at Computer Security Associates.
The students put in a huge amount of time not only competing, but also in completing training materials beforehand. There was an extremely high standard of cyber expertise demonstrated with one of our teams, The Undecided, reaching the semi-finals.
The semi-final was a nail-biting affair with our students in the lead throughout the four-hour competition, only to be pipped into third place in the last 5 minutes. Congratulations to Delilah, Amy, Rachel and Harriet from 83 who missed the top ten and a place in the grand final by the narrowest of margins.
Elephant sized fabric construction skills
Bella Hart in Year 9 shared these beautiful crotchet animals she's made in her own time at home.
In Year 8, Textiles cover crotchet as a form of fabric construction - so it is fabulous to see that this is being continued and extended outside the classroom.
Well done Bella! Great effort.
If you have an example of items you have made at home, please do share with Mrs Finch as she loves to see what you're doing. Any area of the Design curriculum (Art, Graphics, Textiles and Food) would be fantastic!
Benefiting from nature during Mental Health Awareness Week
Mental Health Awareness Week formed the Wellbeing focus in school this month, with the national theme being 'nature'.
The Wellbeing department asked students to consider where they went outside that helped them to feel better and advice for others on how they could improve their mental health. They wrote their thoughts on leaves which formed this tree.
Tutors were given top tips on connecting with nature to improve mental health to share with form groups and they were sent a podcast on eco-anxiety and the healing power of nature.
Students and staff were invited to share their photos of nature. Thank you to everyone who entered the competition. We received some amazing entries with the top three places awarded as follows:
1. Freyia O’Hara - Blossom on Robinswood Hill
2. Amber Christie - Siston Common in Bristol
3. Kimberley Lau-Stanley - Monkey Puzzle Tree at Barnwood Arboretum
Good luck to our Year 13s
We wish all of our leavers well and will be joining together once more for our Leavers' Service at Gloucester Cathedral on 24th June. It's been a tricky last 14 months for everyone in school, but we are particularly proud of how this difficult situation has been handled by our students in critical exam years, including our Year 13s.
We encourage all pupils to stay in touch. Every pupil should enjoy the shared benefit of the Ribston network for many years to come. Our social profiles are active and we are building our presence on professional networking site LinkedIn to enable all alumnae to benefit from the outset of their working lives.
Whether the next step is further education or directly into a career, we recommend activating a LinkedIn profile and following Ribston Hall to enable professional connections to be made with fellow pupils.
A thrilling end to Year 11
Our Year 11s are off to Alton Towers today (28th May) to celebrate the end of a tricky final GCSE year for them too. We look forward to seeing most of them back in Year 12 in September. Meanwhile, we wish them a fun long summer and well done in their exams.
All pupils have been presented with a centenary pin badge this week, signifying their place in the history of our school. The pin badge was accompanied by a postcard showing one of the earliest images of Ribston Hall students from 1921.