Reading Girls' School Newsletter - 10 MAY 2019

Principal’s message — ‘Ready, aim, fire’ or ‘ready, fire, aim’?

This is a change management theory proposed by Canadian Michael Fullan, who specialises in that field within Education. He suggests that there are two types of change agents.

‘Ready aim fire’ best describes those who identify their vision (ready), plan infinitely (aim) before implementing those plans (fire). The disadvantage to this is, of course, is that you can plan forever without actually bringing about any change or indeed at best, when you do implement plans, it’s often too late. Those who adopt a ‘Ready fire aim’ approach, identify a well-informed vision (ready), implement it (fire) and constantly monitor and evaluate to improve (aim). The advantage here is that visions are realised and people instantly benefit from the change. I am a firm believer in the latter.

I wrote in last week’s newsletter that we were inviting experienced school leaders to visit us this week to review our curriculum plans for next year. They spent three days with us looking at our plans, challenging our thinking and fundamentally giving us the wisdom of their experience that we will use to shape our preparations and training and therefore not waste valuable time. They spoke positively of our creative and ambitious curriculum plans which they feel will make a significant difference to our pupils.

I also mentioned last week that I will confirm any further training dates. To that end, I can confirm that rather than spreading the inset days over the remainder of the year and thus fracturing each week, we will hold four days of inset from Monday 15th – Thursday 18th July 2018. The school will therefore break for the summer holidays on Friday 12th July 2019 at 3.20pm.

Over the next couple of weeks we will have a definitive training programme for our staff that I will publish via the newsletter so that you can see the work we will be undertaking. With that in mind, some of our curriculum strands will involve working with Industry and local charities as part of our STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) and personal development programmes. We currently have contact with some companies who have co-delivered with us this year but we are always looking for more. I would be very grateful indeed that if you are in a position to recommend any organisation, you could email me directly at jgargan@readinggirlsschool.net. We would then make arrangements to meet and outline how we would like to work with them in delivering that curriculum strand.

Jon Gargan, Principal


The Year 7 STEM day this week was run by Sharon Fitton, from RISC. As well as their Global Cafe and World Shop, RISC also have a wonderful roof garden and run Food4Families, which encourages people to get involved in gardening and making their own green spaces.

The day started with the students looking at the outside area of the school and making an accurate plan of one part. They then had to plan how to create a garden area. Working in teams with job roles such as project manager, designer, finance and presentation writer, they had to decide on the purpose of the garden. Would it be for growing vegetables to eat, an area for rest and relaxation, or just an area of beauty?

They had to decide on the focal point of the garden, the materials that would be used to make the garden and the plants that would be grown in it. They produced a budget of how much the garden would cost to create. They were also encouraged to consider the ecology, encouraging bees, bugs and insects, water conservation, and reusing materials.

At the end of the day, they presented their ideas to the other teams, and then the best four teams presented their ideas to the whole year group who then voted for an overall winner. There were some very creative ideas and the winners were team RARE with a wonderful rainbow garden and a great presentation.


On Saturday 4 May, we took 49 students to watch the Women’s FA Cup Final at Wembley Stadium. The teams playing were West Ham vs Manchester City. We had great seats right at the front near the goal. In the first half West Ham had two near misses and in the second half Manchester City scored three goals. A good day was had by all.

Teaching and Learning

Has your lesson been REAL (Relevant, Engaging, Active Leaning)?

This academic year has been an exciting time for staff and students at Reading Girls’ School, with the launch of REAL. At the end of lessons students get the opportunity to feedback to teachers about the lesson. Students are presented with the question ‘Has your lesson been REAL?’ Students inform the teacher by taking a token and placing it in the ‘yes’ or ‘no’ box in their classroom. The tokens are then collected in at the end of the week and counted.

Results for week Tuesday 7 to Friday 10 May 2019

YES - 93 tokens

No - 1 tokens

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