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Reading Girls' School Newsletter - 11 january 2019

Principal's Message - Happy New Year to our pupils, parents and staff

This week we received our 2018 GCSE ALPS report that shows Reading Girls’ School is ranked 205 out of the 6543 schools in England which places us in the top 3% of the country. We are 7th of the top 15 performing schools in Berkshire. Significantly, four of the six schools performing better than us in Berkshire are Grammar Schools. The two other state schools is our sister school, Baylis Court School (Slough) and The Piggot School (Wargrave).

Everything we do is in the best interest of our girls and on that note, I would like to take this opportunity to update you on our Science staffing. When I arrived at this school I made a clear promise to the girls that I would not appoint staff for the sake of filling a vacancy. If I felt that applicants were not right for what we want to achieve, then I would make alternative arrangements until I found the right people.

I am pleased to report that we have appointed a Head of Science, Miss Jackson and a second Science teacher, Miss Cleary who will both take up posts after Easter. Miss Jackson who is a Physics specialist, will join us from a very high performing London school and I have worked with Miss Cleary for four years in a previous school. She is an exceptional teacher of both Physics and Chemistry. Equally important however, we have appointed two interim science teachers in Mr Cunningham and Mr Kruiswijk until our new recruits arrive. In addition to that, Mr Smith our Assistant Headteacher who teaches Biology has been leading the Science Department since September 2018 so that we can be on top of the situation as a Senior Leadership Team.

Personal Development Day

On Thursday 3 January, as part of the Personal Development Day Programme, Year 7 students had visitors from the University of Reading and KPMG. The University of Reading ran sessions on self-driving cars and how they work. They also looked at how they make decisions if there is an accident, and how they assess risks. Year 7 students also took part in workshops on creative thinking, building self-confidence and money. Meghan and Raza from KPMG worked with the students, talking with them about their thoughts and ideas and helping to guide them.

Year 11 students worked with visitors from the National Citizen Service. They ran activities about resilience and well-being, promoting yourself, and social action and debating. We are very grateful to our visitors for their help.

STEAM Day

For this week's STEAM day (STEM plus art and creative thinking), the Year 7s were visited by the University of Reading and their HealthReach Project.

The students took part in three activities. HealthReach looked at infection control and how diseases spread. As part of this, students looked at their hands under a special UV lamp to highlight things they could not see, and were shown how to wash their hands more effectively. The engineering project looked at construction and the importance of teamwork in building bridges and towers. They also had a session on how the brain works, including some fascinating and mystifying optical illusions.

It was a very interesting day and we are very grateful to the university staff and students for their time.

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 7 — Friday 11 January 2019

YES - 679 tokens

No - 51 tokens

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