Reading Girls' School newsletter - 26 FEBRUARY 2021

Principal's message: "READY, STEADY, GO..."

"You have the flexibility to consider how best to deliver testing on a phased basis from Monday 8th March 2021" (DfE, 23rd Feb 2021)

Without a vaccination in sight, schools across the country are about to embark upon an initial two-week period, the likes of which, they will have never experienced before. When that is underway, there is then the significant matter of developing a strategy for allocating 2021 GCSE grades.

Please follow the link to read our full plans for returning to school from week commencing 8th March 2021.

Parent Survey

Please use the link below to complete our Parent Survey which expires on Wednesday 10th March at 3.30pm.

Reminder: if you are entitled to benefits related FSM vouchers the eCodes issued for half term need to be redeemed by 1st March or they will expire. eCodes have also been issued for the two weeks up to next Friday which must be redeemed by 25th March 2021.

Jon Gargan, Principal

After a successful PD day back in January we are pleased to announce that the next one on Wednesday 3rd March will carry on in the same vein. Students will have three hours of Virtual PD sessions and their 1-2-1 tutor slot once again. Students in Year 11 will be invited to see their tutors during the week as per their timetable. Below you will see the plan for the day, families are more than welcome to listen in and hear from our wonderful external providers.



Harshita Singh has received 12 star student certificates.
One of the winners from the Monster Hunt draw Alyssandra Utomo in year 10


MERL 70th Birthday

This year the Museum of English Rural Life (MERL) in Reading is 70 years old! As part of their birthday celebrations, they have a project called '51 Voices' (as MERL was set up in 1951) and some students from Reading Girls' School will be taking part on their STEM days.

Maisy Inston is an artist and illustrator who is also a conservationist and zoologist. She loves to blend art, science and history. She has chosen a poster from 1951 from MERL's collection to focus on. This week the students working with her looked at the history behind the poster, considering its design and message. They brainstormed their thoughts and Maisy made a spider diagram of them.

Over the coming weeks they will be looking at ecology and working with Maisy to design a new art piece.

As part of this Maisy talked them through how to draw a ladybird in black and white, giving depth and shape with shading. Shruti's is excellent!


In the afternoon we were joined by Keturah from Bayer, one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world, who make treatments for many conditions. She told the girls about her background and her work in pharmaceuticals with Bayer. She explained how drugs are developed and tested over many years, and how they make it to the marketplace to be sold or prescribed. There were many excellent questions from the girls and lots of interaction, and Keturah took the time to answer all their questions.

Didcot Steam Centre

We met once again for a virtual session with the 3rd group of girls who are learning about the fundamentals of Engineering with Didcot Steam Centre and their volunteers. The girls were joined by Mr King, Mr Jones, Martin, Mr Beeley and Mr Regale-Day who explained about how engineers turn ideas into reality.

Girls were exposed for the first time to the idea of research, design and construction as a process and the challenges that might face a team of engineers as they design a rail link between a theoretical port called Brunel Island to the Big City 50km away. The girls had to consider cost, environmental impact, capacity and safety in their design considerations.

Next Wellbeing Day: Friday 5th March 2021

During this term SSLT have sent five weekly leaflets with tips and challenges to help you maintain positive wellbeing. In the recent survey, lots of girls said they have not yet completed one of these activities.

For the second week of the new term, we encourage everyone to look at these five leaflets and complete at least one activity.

Uniform Expectations :

We look forward to seeing your daughter as school re opens during the week of 8 March 2021, please ensure that your daughter is ready to comply with our uniform expectations. Nothing has changed regarding our expectations with uniform and appearance apart from the concession of wearing PE kit for the whole day when your daughter has PE or dance.

Wellbeing :

Whilst we are looking forward to seeing your daughter once the school opens, we know this has been a difficult time for everyone. Please contact Mrs Hargrave on the following email address; dhargrave@readinggirlsschool.net if you are particularly concerned about your daughters return to school so that she can discuss your concerns with you.

Weekly Challen​ge :

We would like you to complete a Lockdown Diary. This does not have to be pages and pages long but a short overview of how you have found Lockdown, what things you have done differently, what you found easy, what you found difficult and a general review your time in Lockdown. Please complete this by 3pm on Thursday 4 March. A Lockdown Diary form can be located in the files section of the Weekly Challenges on Teams. We look forward to reading your diaries! - Mrs Hargrave

World Book Day - 4th March 2021

World Book Day will be different this year and we will be unable to celebrate it in school. However, you can still have a £1 book token and there are many online activities to enjoy. See the links below for more information. Feel free to share photos of anything you take part in!

We are really excited to start welcoming back pupils from 8th March following the recent Government announcement. We wanted to take a moment to let you know what the return to school will look like and what we have put into place to ensure your child is not only kept safe but they are able to enjoy our delicious food and great service. For further information download our welcome back letter below.

More PLEDGE8 Activities carried out by our girls this week!

Swency D’Costa cleaned the living room
Khushi Gurung did the shopping
Iris Collin chopping the vegetables
Alyssa Ward looking after her bearded dragon!
Alyssandra Utomo made traditional Indonesian food, called ‘pempek’, for the family

PE Lessons

In their PE lessons this week, the students have been working on two components of fitness; flexibility and balance. They were tasked with completing some physical challenges which used both and we have a wonderful selection of photos to show how they got on.

Task 1 - Whilst balancing a trainer/slipper on the sole of your foot, can you perform a 360° rotation with your body?

Geneva Venter joined her online lessons next to the pool whilst in South Africa!

Task 2 - Can you balance an item such as a stick on your fingers for a period of time?

Task 3 - With your hand placed against the wall and without moving it, can you perform a full rotation with your body?


Last term, 10B Performing Arts was payed a virtual visit by West End actress Ellena Leigh Vincent, who recently performed as each of the 3 Schuyler sisters in London’s ‘Hamilton’.

10B have been studying the choreography and production of Hamilton, so were delighted to have a workshop delivered by a professional in musical theatre. Ellena taught original choreography from ‘My Shot’, followed by a Q&A about life as a West End star! Thank you to Ellena for such a wonderful experience!

CyberFirst Adventurers

This is the second in a series of courses which has been created to highlight the varied roles and jobs that exist and involve technology in the workplace. The course is aimed at students who have not yet made their GCSE choices, so that they get the opportunity to see how studying computer science could potentially enhance their future career paths.

Saru Ganesh attended the online course and gave the following feedback.

“I attended the course and found it very interesting and an awful lot of fun at the same time. It was packed with information and was so fascinating. It gave us a glimpse of how to make video adverts with software and also how websites are created. We had a fun time editing one of their websites by changing the html codes. We used data to find out about an anonymous person who had caught a virus and we got to know how you can know a lot more about a person from very little data.

There was an abundance of teamwork and whenever you were in need of help the team were right on spot in less than a minute to make sure everyone was on track. As well as the course I personally got to know more about other people and how they interpret things as during the video ads we worked in teams of 2 or 3 and I got to know about my team during it.

It was an amazing opportunity to attend this course and it definitely has taught me a lot more about websites and personal data. I would like to thank Reading Girls' School for giving me such an amazing opportunity.”