Principal's message: The next round of Covid-19 home testing...
With the increase rate of positive Covid-19 cases in recent weeks, we have received today from the Government, a timely delivery of Covid-19 home-test kits. We will distribute kits to pupils on Tuesday 15th June 2021 during lunchtime.
As per the distribution process at the beginning of last month, each girl will be given ONE BOX of testing kit. Each box contains SEVEN TESTS which will therefore last for 3.5 weeks. Again, we await further details if the Government intend to distribute more closer to that time.
I would be grateful if the girls could carry out tests on WEDNESDAYS and SUNDAYS as per the schedule below and parents please report results (even if negative) to NHS www.gov.uk/report-covid19-result and to school https://forms.office.com/r/LAnwQnVCzZ
Jon Gargan, Principal
This week in STEM we were fortunate enough to have two groups for the day: Mace, who are global experts in shaping the built environment. From development and consultancy, to construction and operations, they connect expertise across the entire property lifecycle. Mace has an impact everywhere: from skylines in cities around the world to the infrastructure that communities depend on to live, work and play. They employ over 6,300 people across five global hubs in Europe, Middle East and North Africa, the Americas, Sub Saharan Africa and Asia Pacific and their projects include: The London Eye, The Venetian in Macau, The Emirates Airline, The Shard at London Bridge, Tottenham Hotspur stadium and most recently the NHS Nightingale Hospital in London.
They wanted to challenge the girls to see every problem as an opportunity to dream bigger and bring ambitions to life by designing their own space firstly by finding a place to develop, then decide what the local community would want and then design their own construction projects. The girls then had to present to their groups to win a place to present to Sue who gave feedback and asked some very difficult questions indeed! We thank Sue for her time and availability throughout the day.
Many of the girls were inspired to dive deeply into their imaginations and solve complex problems with their ideas which included water parks made of glass in the shape of a starfish to be built in Cornwall and even a set of underground offices that could be converted into a homeless shelter which the girls really enjoyed asking difficult engineering questions to the team about how they would get their project completed on time and accurately.
Didcot Stem Centre gave their second session to the penultimate group of girls who worked on which shapes are the strongest; concluding the triangle was the least able to flex and distort. How to make a truss and cantilever bridge and competed in a competition to use nuts, bolts and trusses to design and compete in crossing a span across a lab sink which ultimately saw the yellow team romp home to success with the most elegant and safe crossing of their steam carriage.
The girls were very pleased with the day as always and enjoyed the visitors throughout the events which they all found adequately challenging.
Now that we are back in school the students have been busy relaunching their projects and events. They continue to support others and raise money for charity and good causes.
With a shortened timescale we have set a target of £500 to be raised by the end of the academic year and as of this week we are already at £297 for various charities such as Unicef, The British Heart Foundation and Cancer Research. Plenty of events are booked for the coming weeks supporting a variety of charities including The Children’s' Palestine Relief Fund and BLISS for premature or sick babies.
Well done ladies and keep up the excellent work!
An active learning strategy we used this week was 'Connect 4'. Mrs Smith's Year 10 class used it to re-cap their recent work on Macbeth. The girls worked in pairs recalling information from the first four scenes of the play and, as in the original Connect 4 game, the winner was the first to get four correct answers in a row. This became very competitive!
PHILOSOPHY’S COMIN’ HOME!
The inaugural International Young Philosopher of the Year Awards took place virtually last week. Our students, from years 7-10, submitted their group projects centred around the philosophical theme of ‘Solidarity’. Schools from countries including England, Germany, Mexico, Romania, the Netherlands, and Russia entered the International Young Philosopher of the Year Awards 2021. Reading Girls’ School had more finalists across all award categories than any other school, internationally. Our students’ groups claimed four runner’s-up spots, along with four highly commended places and one of our Yr. 9 groups won their award category (seeing off competition from a grammar school in the process). This is a remarkable achievement by our students and with the high standard of projects they submitted, it is truly well-deserved.
Solidarity was, and remains, a theme at the forefront of many of our minds, as it is perhaps more crucial now than ever, so that we might collaborate and co-operate toward building a better tomorrow. This project granted students the chance to discuss, research, form philosophical questions and offer their collective responses to the importance of solidarity in our times, whether it is in the context of taking a stand against racism, not tolerating sexism, promoting inclusivity and acceptance, celebrating diversity, facing up to our collective responsibility around the pandemic, or fighting inequality more broadly. Solidarity and showing unity are part of who we are – it forms the foundation for our shared identities, our school, our community, our families, our sense of togetherness, of belonging, of saying everyone has a place and everyone’s voice should be heard.
Our Ethics lessons are about creating a forum in which students can share their perspectives; listen to other’s views; debate respectfully; and realize the value of collaboration, empathy, contemplation, creativity and critical thinking, thereby flourishing into becoming virtuous citizens of the future. The aim is that, through engaging in critical thinking at an early stage, students will appreciate the value of asking questions, exploring and accessing their innate sense of curiosity, as Aristotle said, “Philosophy begins in wonder”.
Huge congratulations to all students who submitted their projects for the International Young Philosopher Awards 2021! We will be celebrating the students’ success at an assembly soon.
You can watch the winning entry from Khadeeja Bint Urfan, Sidrah Ayub, Asmaa Torkia, Eachhaya Bhattarai, Simone Khadka and Eunice Pun here:
And see a full list of the awards here:
Increasing Student Participation
Talking Tokens are issued by the classroom teacher and/or teaching assistant to pupils who participate to questions and/or ask questions during lessons. Pupils are encouraged to write their name and year group on the back of the 'Talking Token' and place them into the relevant 'Talking Token' collection box for their year group. At the end of each term, all 'Talking Tokens' are placed together and a pupil is selected at random. The more 'Talking Tokens' a pupil collects for contributing answers to questions in class, the more chances they have to win a prize.
At the end of this week the following number of 'Talking Tokens' collected by each year group for this year to date are:
- Year 7 – 7201
- Year 8 – 4685
- Year 9 – 907
- Year 10 – 3302
- Year 11 – 1659
- Total number of ‘Talking Tokens’ collected this year across the whole school are 17,754
“Has your lesson been REAL (Relevant, Engaging, Active Learning)?”
Using REAL tokens students have the opportunity to give instant feedback to staff about their experiences within the lesson.
Students are provided with a token and at the end of the lesson, are asked if their lesson has been R.E.A.L. (Relevant, Engaging, Active Learning). Students theen place their token into the 'Yes' or 'No' box, which is in every teaching classroom. Staff then uses this information to make any modification to their delivery of their lesson. These tokens are then collected in at the end of every week and counted.
Results for this week: Monday 7 May to Friday 11 June 2021
YES – 1407 tokens
No – 159 tokens