Reading Girls' School Newsletter - 30 NOVEMBER 2018

Principal’s Message — Delivering a R.E.A.L. Personal Development Curriculum

Tuesday 27 November 2018 saw our first Personal Development Day of the school year. Trained external professionals visited us to deliver high quality Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE). The aim was to relate workshop sessions to current issues that young people are faced with in today’s world.

Year 7 and 8 enjoyed a team-building and communication day at Ufton Court with their Personal Tutors. Although cold and wet the students worked hard, were very motivated, enjoying sessions such as parachute games, low ropes, team building, outdoor maths and funky science.

Year 9 and 10 focussed on safety awareness and how to keep themselves safe. They attended workshops on alcohol, smoking, mental health and child sexual exploitation led by the NHS, School Nurse and Reading Borough Council Youth Support Team.

Year 11 were focussed on ensuring they were prepared for the challenge of the next six months. They took part in sessions on revision skills, coping with exam stress and had an ‘exams made easy’ workshop delivered by Made for Education. This was funded by Study Higher who work with us to inform students of further and higher education opportunities. The National Citizenship Service led sessions on volunteering and the impact of creativity in the work place. Reading University students talked to the girls about what University Life is really like.

At the end of the day Year 9, 10 and 11 attended a Further Education Fair where over 30 Post 16 Providers such as Kendrick School, Maiden Erlegh, The Holt, Blessed Hugh Faringdon School, University of Reading, The Cornwallis Motor Group, the NHS, UTC Reading, Chiltern Training, Prospect School, Waingels College and Bulmershe School provided the opportunity for them to consider Post 16 Pathways. The event was vibrant and all providers commented on how engaged the students were.

Throughout the day in addition to the Personal Development workshops, year 9-11 students met their Personal Tutors for a formal 1-2-1 review of progress in subjects, attendance and how, through the RGS PLEDGE, they can take part in the extensive Student Enrichment Programme being launched on Monday 3 December. Year 7 and 8 will receive their Tutoring over the next fortnight during STEM sessions.

You will be aware that our 1-2-1 personal tutoring system is very different from the traditional form tutor registration period at the beginning or end of the day. Initial feedback suggests that it is allowing us to hold personal detailed focussed conversations that break down the barriers to learning, in a way the traditional format did not. Some of our girls have said:

‘In my 3 years at RGS, this is the first time I have had a detailed conversation with my Tutor, who knows everything about me and was able to support me with ways that are stopping me getting the best out of my learning.’
‘The meeting was very different from tutoring at the beginning of the day last year, I often got missed, today I have actually really considered the strategies I can use to help my learning.’
‘I have a problem with lateness, the session allowed me to think about the impact on my learning. I need to use a different bus route. My tutor will be supporting me with this.’

We would like to thank all of our external visitors who made this such a success. Our next Personal Development Day is on Thursday 3 January 2019. If you are interested in what we deliver, please feel free to come and witness the day for yourself. Alternatively, you can contact Steve Price at sprice2@readinggirlsschool.net.

Jon Gargan, Principal

Year 8 Digigirlz Event

On 20 November a group of Year 8 students and I attended the Microsoft Digigirlz event. We arrived around 9am and listened to a very inspiring speech from the CEO, Cindy Rose, about the future of technology and changing careers. We were then set our challenge for the day. We had to create a device that could help a person with disabilities.

My group and I thought of a light that flashed around your house when the doorbell rang or the fire alarm went off. Our invention could be connected to the internet and had multiple uses. The other group made a bus stop for disabled people. After an hour and a half of creativity we then went back for some more talks and lunch.

We worked on our project further and had a Q&A talk. There were three girls from Microsoft answering questions about their education, experiences and life. Then it was time for the 'tech fair'. Each team had a stand to display their idea and had to present it to the judges, including Cindy Rose, and answer questions about their idea.

Our teams didn't win, but they were actively involved asking questions of the speakers, being engaged in the tasks, and had a great day at Microsoft's beautiful campus. I am extremely thankful for this opportunity. Erin Gray

Matilda the Musical - A review by Year 9

Matilda the Musical is a performance you must see. This show was held at Cambridge Theatre in the West End of London and produced by the Royal Shakespeare Company.

Matilda the Musical is about a girl raised in a cruel, unloving family and she is very intelligent which her family hates. Growing up she found interests in reading books from the library. She later goes to school and befriends her teacher Miss Honey and learns her horrid backstory so she takes revenge on the evil Miss Tunchbull. This play is full of mixed emotions such as laughter, sadness and positivity.

The set of the theatre was really creative and thoughtful as desks rose out of the floor, a small bedroom, a gym and many more were created. There was a range of backdrops which was very clever.

The actors were fabulous at dancing, singing and acting which made the performance overall a great piece of theatre and an amazing experience. The highlight of the performance was the music (composed by Tim Minchin) and when Miss Trunchbull grabbed Amanda by her pigtails and threw her. There was dramatic music and spinning lights as Amanda fell from the sky which was very effective. I would recommend this musical to everyone because it was incredible to watch. Truly a spectacular performance!

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 Monday 23 November — Friday 30 November 2018

YES - 741 tokens

No - 20 tokens


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