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Marathon running for RPA - please support Alex!

posted 19 Apr 2018, 05:57 by Michele Colt   [ updated 19 Apr 2018, 08:29 ]

Year 7 parent, Alex Flack has earned herself a place in this weekend's London Marathon by running a good for age (GFA) time at the Manchester marathon. Luckily for us, she is going to run it for Richmond Park Academy PTA and help raise money for the outdoor Gym proposed for our field. Alex is a woman after our own heart. She supports inclusive sport and, as a person who didn’t enjoy sports at school, wants to encourage students to look again at the exercise options available. With that attitude in mind, she has now run
20+ Parkruns, 5 marathons, 13 half marathons, several 10ks and various other distances including a 37-mile Ultramarathon; all of that in 4 years! That is amazing and, we think, worth supporting! Please support Alex and RPA by going to her Virgin Money Giving page and making a donation - however small and don’t forget to gift aid it if you can! It will ensure that all of Alex's efforts are worthwhile.

A Scientific Scaffolder joins the team - Mona Adams interviews Mr Jegede

posted 19 Apr 2018, 05:45 by Michele Colt

At a time when a scarcity of science teachers is sweeping the nation, Richmond Park Academy's science department is now fully staffed, thanks to the arrival of science graduate and experienced teacher Stephen Jegede last year. He has joined a subject trained,
experienced scientific team who are, under the direction of science lead Emma Swift,  already in the process of reinvigorating student learning and capitalising on scientific ability.

Stephen was familiar with RPA science students before he joined the staff. He had been invited to work with them last summer to improve their GCSE prospects at the Principal's Saturday School where he recalls, he met students eager to work hard to raise their predicted grades. The students, he says, were innately capable so what he set about doing was to reinforce learning levels and plug knowledge gaps so that exam performance could better match ability.   Although he was impressed by the students and their determination to improve, he didn't immediately jump to join RPA when a vacancy occurred.  He was aware that, because of the scarcity of science teachers, he could afford to pick and choose.  But, following a discussion with Principal Paul Mundy-Castle about the academy's scientific vision, he knew that this was the school for him.   His application was successful and he joined us last May.

Because of his KS3 experience, he quickly spotted that he needed to strengthen student perseverance and resilience, those all-important ingredients necessary for success at all levels.  He introduced his students to a programme of self-awareness - 'Learned Helplessness' - enabling them to understand why it was so important to rid themselves of the perception of  'can't do', to embrace 'can try'  and then discover the pleasure of 'can do'.   'My students are very capable when given sufficient scaffolding', Stephen says.  'One of my prime tasks will be to re-write their minds to expect more of themselves, to raise personal expectation so that those who thought they were bad at science to discover that they are just weak in certain areas. By embracing positive mindsets, they will be able to focus on improving those weaknesses, which will enable them to become better scientists.   And, as teachers, we need to be more aspirational, in our target setting, moving away from just getting by. Exposing the hidden is a very exciting breakthrough experience for both teacher and student'.   

Stephen is particularly keen to make his students so familiar with past test papers that the prospect of being tested ceases to be that monster lurking in the corner. He is also set on perfecting the availability of lesson resources across the department to avoid precious teaching time being lost chasing or photocopying. 'As a department, we are working to put in place a half-year lesson schedule' he says, 'so that all resource support is immediately on tap, thus allowing us, as teachers,  to use our time to focus on individual student need. We must make sure that all, regardless of ability, are up to speed. Work is not play but it can be fun.   We will work together to make sure we unearth the fun in learning for all so that no one finds themselves standing still. Where's the fun in that?'   

GGSS win the inaugural StaRPA trophy!

posted 25 Mar 2018, 14:07 by Michele Colt   [ updated 26 Mar 2018, 13:20 ]

After a stunning night featuring 15 fantastic performances MC'd by Mr King, it was year 9 band GGSS with their pop "mash-up" that walked away with the first StaRPA talent show trophy. The 4 girl band of Poppy G, Jaikalin B, Agnes E and Desola F showed fantastic skill with their seamless delivery of a "mash-up" featuring, "Money," "If I were a boy," "jar of hearts" and "Hey soul sister."

The standard across the evening was exceptional with the judges; Mr Walker, Mona Adams and Ash Alexander, all unanimous in their praise for the performances. Mona Adams said, "It is a privilege to be here but this is very difficult to judge!" There was real variety on show: dance and band performances, duos, individual vocals, both accompanied and a cappella, and violin and drum instrumental performances. The first round of voting was the responsibility of the judges, whose task was to find three final acts for the audience to judge. In the end, their scoring delivered four acts, resulting in dancers Noam S-B and Lilah J, vocalist Adelka D and GGSS progressing to the final vote. It was then down to the audience to cast their votes and decide on the 2018 winners. The final four acts had gone into the deciding round virtually equal on votes so the audience vote proved decisive leaving GGSS clear winners. They took home the StaRPA trophy and £75 in vouchers.

Finally, congratulations to all those who took part in StaRPA from logo designers and those who auditioned but didn't make it to the final this time, through to evening performers and finalists. Mr Mundy-Castle, when closing the event, summed up the evening when he said, "This evening has showcased the genuine talent that so many of our students display on a daily basis. We are very proud of them,"

Thank you to our fantastic fifteen: Helia A, Kayla R and Cristina L, Charlotte C, Noam S-B, David B, Elizabeth P, Zoe Y and Zara F, Louis B. The SheRPAs, (Lakenya T-S, Kamaria T-S, Xian S, Louis B, Josh B, Tiffany K) DJ H, Adelka D, Mabel P and Lucy K, GGSS, (Agnes E, Desola F, Poppy G and Jaikalin B) Lakenya T-S and Lilah J.


StaRPA - 2 days to go!

posted 20 Mar 2018, 04:25 by Michele Colt

StaRPA, the Richmond Park Academy talent show, takes place this Thursday 22 March at 7 pm and features 15 fantastic acts who are all hoping to take home the StaRPA trophy. Tickets can be booked on ParentPay (please enter 1 for number of tickets and then total up how many tickets you are paying for!) and are only £5 for adults and £3 for students and other children. As well as the acts, the event will showcase the Teachers Band - and you might even get a chance of a singalong! Don't delay, book those tickets now, support our RPA artists and have some fun!

The Line-Up!
Act NumberAct NameAct Description
1Helia AyoubiViolin solo
2Kayla Roberts and Cristina LimboAcapella performance
3Charlotte CalfeSolo singing
4Noam Sala BudgenDance performance
5David BieleckiSolo singing
6Elizabeth PassSolo singing
7Zoe York and Zara FlackDance and singing
8Louis BarzilaiDrum solo
9Teachers Pet BandBand performance
10DJ HardingSolo singing
11Adelka DelevanteSolo singing
12Mabel Price and Lucy KielySinging and guitar duo
13Agnes, Desola, Poppy and JaikalinPop mash up
14Lakenya Tetteh-StanburySolo singing
15Lilah JonesDance performance

McFly and The Voice Kids' Danny Jones visits RPA

posted 15 Mar 2018, 05:08 by Michele Colt

On Tuesday,  students and staff at Richmond Park Academy were delighted to welcome Danny Jones, of McFly and The Voice Kids fame, to school. During his
talk, he shared some of his best advice with the students about what skills they might need for success and how to prepare for the world of work in 2030. 

Danny shared how he chose the guitar over football despite having trials at Birmingham City and about how everything we do is about getting a reaction, “whether that is in woodwork or music.” He emphasised the importance of spending the hours to, “become a master,” to the Richmond Park Academy students stating, “If you spend the time to become a master in what you do, there will always be an audience or client for it - but you have to be a master.”

Danny also explained how he wasn’t in the top sets at school but that if he had known that he was going to build a studio in his back garden he would have concentrated more on maths and science! He also said that he writes lyrics for songs every other day now and wishes that he had concentrated more in his English lessons. So, the RPA students got a real lesson in how the hard work they are doing now will have real applications in their future life.

The talk was part of the Speakers for Schools national campaign, What skills will young people need for work in 2030? (#Skills2030) where over 30 of the UK’s leading figures from business, tech and culture are each giving a talk at a state school, sharing insights and advice with students on how to develop their future careers. The talk series feeds into an important, on-going discussion about how young people can best prepare for an evolving job market and what skills are considered fundamental by today's leaders. By linking influential speakers with state school students, the charity hopes this campaign will inspire and empower young people for the world in 2030.

The visit was a surprise for RPA’s Year 7 and 8 students with details of Danny's arrival completely under wraps until he walked into Park Hall. Year 8, DJ Harding said, “I was happy and shocked that he came. It was a really good experience; amazing, and he gave us great advice. My favourite was not to let other people distract you from your goal.”

Deputy Principal, Tyrone Myton, said: “It is always a pleasure to welcome inspiring speakers into Richmond Park Academy. Danny really connected with the RPA students and left them with real food for thought for their future journeys. It is a huge thank you to him for sharing his time with us and for Speakers for Schools who made it happen.”

Ashley Hodges, Executive Director at Speakers for Schools said: ‘’Helpings students hear directly from the leaders of today and sharing their unique insights and advice, is an essential way we can help level the playing field and spark a discussion on how they can best prepare for their futures. We hope that through these talks, young people will feel more confident about what skills they can be focusing on and empower them for the world in 2030.’’

Spring Park Life - published

posted 5 Mar 2018, 07:33 by Michele Colt

The Spring issue of RPA's Park Life magazine is now available to view on the RPA news page. You can find out what our new Year 7s think of RPA, what our two 6th formers make of securing places at Oxford University and what 15 of our students got up to in Kenya during half term. 

Year 11 Parents' Evening - re-scheduled

posted 1 Mar 2018, 06:46 by Michele Colt

Please note that due to the poor weather we have decided to re-schedule the Year 11 Parents' Evening scheduled for this evening until next Thursday 8 March. All other arrangements remain the same. The Year 8 Parents' Evening that was due to take place next Thursday will be re-scheduled. Year 8 parents will be advised as soon as possible. Sincere apologies for the inconvenience caused. 

Snow Report

posted 28 Feb 2018, 12:08 by Michele Colt

Please note that Mr Mundy-Castle will be assessing the weather situation at 7 am tomorrow morning. Please refer to the website or twitter feed for any updates on school opening times. At this time the school is scheduled to open as normal.

2018/19 term dates announced

posted 26 Feb 2018, 03:02 by Michele Colt

Term dates for the 2018/8 academic year are now available to view on the RPA website. Please review them on the What's on page. 

StaRPA Grand Final, Thursday 22 March. BOOK NOW!

posted 22 Feb 2018, 03:17 by Michele Colt   [ updated 27 Feb 2018, 01:29 ]

The Grand Final of the StaRPA talent competition takes place on Thursday 22 March from 7 pm featuring 15 fantastic acts, online audience voting, interval entertainment and lots more! Come and be amazed by the talent on show! Tickets are only £5 for adults and £3 for children. All are welcome. Book via ParentPay or bring exact money into the school office with name and number of tickets required on the envelope. When paying on ParentPay please total up the cost of your entire transaction, enter that figure and then submit as one ticket. This promises to be a great celebration of RPA talent so come and join in, support the artists and make this an event to remember. We look forward to seeing you there!

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