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Parent Planning - feeding back

posted 16 May 2017, 04:06 by Michele Colt   [ updated 16 May 2017, 04:12 ]

The inaugural Parent Planning event which took place at the end of March was very well attended, despite the Westminster Bridge attack, with close to 90 parents and over 20 members of staff attending. The evening began with a short presentation from
Mr Mundy-Castle who outlined how the views generated by the meeting would impact on the thinking of the senior leadership team as they reviewed plans for September 2017 and beyond. Then it was down to business as each group shared their opinion about a broad range of issues that impact on the effective running of the school.

Subjects covered:

 Behaviour Saturday school
 Communication School planners
 Enrichment School reports
 Parent Masterclasses Summer school
 Primary Transition Uniform

Feedback was collected on A0 sheets of paper and electronically with each table moderator recording comments on a laptop. All comments were automatically collated. The feedback was detailed. We have spent some time reviewing it and will continue to do so across the next term. You can review those suggestions that we have moved forward on our new, “You said, we did” page on the website. As we continually review all levels of our school we will update this page so please do review it on an ongoing basis.


The Parent Planning event was well received by parents and staff alike with Mr Mundy-Castle saying, “I was delighted with the attendance and positive views shared at our Parent Planning event. Where there are recurring themes we will review our current practice and incorporate the ideas into our strategy for the next academic year. Where there are actions that we can take more quickly we will continue to do so. This is definitely an initiative we will repeat next year”.


Those who wish to add comments or share views can do so by contacting events@richmondparkacademy.org.


RPA carry all before them at the Count on Us Secondary Challenge!

posted 15 May 2017, 04:03 by Michele Colt

Richmond Park Academy took part in The Count on Us Secondary Challenge,  a London-wide maths challenge for the Mayor’s Fund for London in partnership with the Jack Petchey Foundation, on Friday 12 May and carried all before them. Not only did they win their heat against 5 other schools at Hammersmith Academy, they secured the best score out of 60 participating schools so far. They now move on to the semifinals in City Hall.

The Count on Us Secondary Challenge is an event for Year 8 and 9 pupils and features a combination of mental arithmetic and problem-solving tasks presenting a genuine challenge. Our successful team practised with maths teacher, Mr Chmielinski every Tuesday and Thursday for a month to reach this level. A delighted Mr Chmielinski said, “I am immensely proud of the 5 students that took part in this challenge. To get top marks out of 60 schools and reach the semi-finals of the competition is a fantastic achievement."

 Huge congratulations to Mr Chmielinski and the talented RPA team of Megan B, Grace A, Agnes E, Iwan C and Harshitha M. 





Community Governor, Mona Adams, interviews head of Year 8, Donna Afriye

posted 15 May 2017, 03:47 by Michele Colt   [ updated 15 May 2017, 04:20 ]

Donna Afriyie is a media and cultural studies graduate who has been a teacher for 8 years. She came to us last September from an academy in Peckham to teach English and lead Year 8. She had always worked in inner city schools so why did she want to join RPA? Donna explains, 'Previously I was in charge of whole school newly qualified teacher co-ordination and took a step down to come here but I knew it was the right move for me because it would enable me not only to teach great kids but to focus on pastoral care which has been a passion of mine since I began teaching. I am currently working on an MA in inclusive education to further expand my knowledge and experience'.   

When Donna applied for the job here, she did a learning walk around our campus as part of the application process and discovered that the RPA student intake did not reflect her previous teaching experiences. The social demographic was very different and the campus exceeded expectation, so much so that when a group of students from Peckham visited recently, they couldn't quite believe how much space there was, how fantastic the facilities were and what a great buzz there was around the school. Donna says: 'Because we use it every day and take it for granted, it's  easy to forget just what a great campus we have here'.  

From the word go she felt welcome and, she tells me, quickly settled in. 'Teaching is a job that you can never turn off and so I immediately began to explore what I could do to improve attendance, student resilience and attainment. I'm used to providing extra lessons and offering Saturday schools when they are needed and, while it is important for my students to know that I will always here for them it is also, at the same time, important for them to know that I will be firm but fair and will consistently encourage and enforce positive behaviour' .  

Donna was herself greatly influenced by good teachers and wants to give some of that back. 'I particularly love literacy and literature -  that journey of discovery that I can share with my students, that mutual exploration of ideas, that opportunity to encourage them to share their opinions, that opening of doors into a world outside their own experiences'. It is important, Donna stresses, to encourage students not to feel limited by Key Stage 3 boundaries.  'When they demonstrate an interest in expanding, improving, moving on', she says, 'it is important to spot that, grip them and encourage them to work outside their boxes'.

This Year 8 leader is determined that her students will be reflective learners. In an atmosphere of learning through questioning – why, when, how, what went well, not so well, she supports her students to highlight, recognise, stabilise and move on. In this 'can do' culture, stretch and challenge are two of her keywords. She says: ' Kids have got to enjoy coming to school and feel confident to reveal what they know and what they don't know because, through communication, progress and personal responsibility for learning can build'.

Almost the end of the interview, but not, very obviously, the end of this teacher's enthusiasm for what she is doing. 'When you meet me again, be prepared for me to brag about my students' achievements'….    Good closing thought.   Am already prepared …




 







Mr Doy puts on a brave face....

posted 28 Apr 2017, 09:17 by Michele Colt

Mr Doy waxed his legs today for our 2018 charity Africa trip, in front of an attentive audience in Hertford Hall. There were plenty of "oohs" and "aahs" from the audience but Mr Doy showed great composure throughout! It was £1 to be part of the viewing gallery and then some students and teachers bid for the chance to rip the waxing strips off! Mr Walker was a notable example ripping the wax off with a great flourish! Mr Doy raised close to £100 for his efforts which are greatly appreciated by the African Adventures, Kenyan trip team.

RPA students meet Sir David Attenborough

posted 26 Apr 2017, 08:41 by Michele Colt   [ updated 26 Apr 2017, 08:42 ]

Richmond Park Academy was one of only four secondary schools to attend a unique event featuring Sir David Attenborough at the Royal Geographical Society in London yesterday (Tuesday 25
April). Sir David was there presenting a film on Richmond Park commissioned by the charity, Friends of Richmond Park. 23 students and 2 teachers enjoyed the day and were left inspired by the experience and the opportunity to meet Sir David. 

Year 8 Solly P said, “I really enjoyed the geography trip because it was amazing to speak to David Attenborough, which was a once in a lifetime opportunity, and the film was very interesting. One fact that stuck in my mind was that you can see how old a tree is by counting the rings inside of it”. 

Year 8 Tom M-C said, “Today was amazing. So many great things happened including being one of the first people to see the new documentary on Richmond Park and meeting Sir David Attenborough. I was lucky enough to ask Sir David a question and found out that if he could bring back any creature from extinction it would be a bird with a 12-metre wingspan from the age of the dinosaurs.”

Year 8 Robert C said, “What I liked about the trip yesterday was the film because it was really interesting when Sir David Attenborough talked about what creatures lived in Richmond Park that I didn’t even know about like centipedes. What was special about the trip was when we met Sr David Attenborough in person because he is very famous for what he does.” 

Marathon success! Mr Carbro finishes in 3:14

posted 24 Apr 2017, 04:02 by Michele Colt

Head of Science, Tom Carbro, completed the London Maraton in a fantastic 3.14 yesterday just beating his target time  - no easy feat when there are another 40,000 people running the course! He was delighted with his consistent pace throughout and very happy to confirm that there was no "marathon wall" to report although walking downstairs one day on is proving a challenge! Huge congratulations to him from everybody in school. Mr Carbro ran the marathon as a fundraiser for Richmond Park Academy. Please do donate now and make all of his effort worthwhile. You can donate via the PTA's Paypal account.

Instructions for donation if you are new to PayPal
- When you have opened www.paypal.com click on the personal tab and then Send money
- When prompted enter the PTA's email address: pta@richmondparkacademy.org and the amount of money you would like to donate. 
- Depending on whether you have a PayPal account already you will then be re-directed
- This should only take about 3 minutes!

Please add a note -  marathon donation to your submission. The PTA can then track how much Tom has raised. All money raised will go towards refurbishing the old minibus. Thank you!

Musical Notes - Governor Mona Adams interviews Head of Music, Ms Wardlaw

posted 19 Apr 2017, 04:52 by Michele Colt

An Honours music graduate from Surrey University, Bea Wardlaw joined the staff of RPA 10 years ago. For seven of
them, she has, as Head of Music, fashioned a department which recognises talent and in which she encourages all her students to explore – and enjoy – new ways of self-expression through both music and dance.

 'During the time I have been here, I have not only developed my own teaching skills, I have watched students surprise themselves by what they can achieve. As a teacher, I feel that I am still learning, still developing – and that philosophy is one I encourage my students to grab hold of', she says. 'It is a particularly exciting time for our school. We have a new principal, Paul Mundy-Castle, who continues the legacy of support and enthusiasm for music production, for which this school has a proud history'.

Mrs Wardlaw is not only working with students who will once again take part in a major vocal event including both solo and choir entries at The Rose Theatre, Kingston in the summer, she has a handful of new initiatives up her sleeve to whet student appetites.   “One of the exciting new events in our programme has been a springboard composition course at St Paul's school, including four weekend joint sessions which culminated in a concert in which our students wrote and performed their own compositions with Royal Academy of Music professionals.  Another is 'The Big Sing', a duo of workshops for KS4 vocalists designed to inspire and develop confidence. We also held a recital in Hertford Hall in March for which our GCSE and BTEC students prepared a varied programme of music making to show parents – both current and prospective – just what they can do. We love showing off, particularly to parents because we value their support and if we are to maintain that, they need to know what we are doing. Yes, it's a lot of work but the rewards are self-evident for us all'.

Another challenge which Mrs Wardlaw was keen to mention is one which will give RPA musicians an opportunity to compare and contrast their ability. It's the Richmond Prom, to be held later in the year at St Mary's University, Twickenham. At this borough-wide event, our students will have a unique opportunity to perform collaboratively with other borough schools. “It's very important”, Mrs Wardlaw says, “for students to have confidence in what they are doing and I think music is special in that it provides constant opportunity to display talent and build that essential confidence which will stand them in good stead for the future”.

'Why do I stay at RPA? Simple. Every year throws up new, stimulating challenges. I have been encouraged to work in a Prep school, but no thank you. Here, my career continues to develop. I've just done a Masters and am now starting a lead practitioner course. Why would I take that expertise anywhere else when I can put it to good use here, in a job that I love and with students who are diverse and endlessly entertaining? Can't think of a reason ..."

Whole School Assembly - spring term

posted 4 Apr 2017, 10:02 by Michele Colt

Our second whole school assembly took place on the last day of the spring term. The assembly is our chance of celebrating achievement and positive behaviour across the school with awards for attendance and Jack Petchey to sporting and staff. The school audience was also able to enjoy two excellent musical performances from Sofia E, Esat G and Santiago RC accompanied by Mr Martin and Mr King, who performed "Clocks" and Ella H who performed, "Nocturne in C# Minor" on the piano. The new Head Boy and Girl were announced with Sydney M and Ellie C being introduced to the rest of the school. Their duties will start in the new term. The full list of awards is shown below. 


 Award      Winner
 Contribution to sportGirls Year 7 Rugby League Team Year 7 Girls Rugby League Team
Esme O'BT, Emily R, Téa R-N, Robyn B-B, Leiah B, Giorgia M, 
Emilia N, Poppy W-D, Sarah H
 Head Boy and Head GirlSydney M and Ellie C
 Deputy Head Boy and Deputy Head GirlLawrence B and Shannon W
 Jack Petchey AwardsJanuary: Michaela B
 February: Tom A                                                                            
 March: Jaheal W
 Students of the termYear 7:  Joshua B
 Year 8: Eliasz S
 Year 9: Macy-Lea CA
 Year 10: Joshua V
 Year 11: Jay A and Karolina G
 16+: Anisa A
 Staff awardMs Afriye

Year 7 basketball team keep competitive

posted 3 Apr 2017, 09:47 by Michele Colt

The Year 7 basketball team secured their second straight third place finish in the Borough Tournament this term at Christ’s School. Although each of their opponents
were much taller, they scrapped mightily and put together some increasingly impressive defensive possessions to come away with a 2-1 record. Their first game was a narrow loss to finalists Teddington, who had a clear size advantage which they capitalised on through offensive rebounding. RPA stuck at it and made several crucial baskets to keep the score close, but they couldn't manage to score in the last 30 seconds to send the game into overtime. The second game was a one-point victory over Twickenham with a clutch free throw by Jake sealing the victory. Alex was denied a buzzer beater by half a second but celebrated it just the same. Their 3rd place playoff was a tight affair against Turing House. Noam did a fantastic job guarding their star player and Jake penetrated at will to get to the basket and finish strong. They came out 3 point winners to take the bronze medal position. Well done to the whole team who contributed throughout! Team: Noam, Jake, Hesham, Oli, Freddie, Billy, Alex

Footballing legends present new minibus to RPA!

posted 15 Mar 2017, 12:20 by Michele Colt

Richmond Park Academy took delivery of a brand new Sunshine Variety Coach at an official presentation at St George’s Golf Club in Weybridge today. The school secured one of the iconic Sunshine Coaches after a successful application at the end of 2016. The Variety Club initiative transport thousands of children and young people each day across the country and the school is delighted to be part of the Sunshine family. 

The Sunshine coach is a joint fundraising effort between Richmond Park Academy, Richmond Park Academy’s PTA, Variety and the sponsoring organisations, the Aircraft Golfing Society (AGS) and the Variety Club Golf Society. It was presented to Mr Mundy-Castle and students, Elizabeth P, Cate F, Ellie C, Daniel A and Cameron D by footballing legends Sir Trevor Brooking and Ray Clemence and World Champion boxer, John Conteh.

Richmond Park Academy’s Principal, Paul Mundy-Castle, was delighted with the new addition to the school, “Having a second minibus will have a significant impact on the opportunities that we will be able to take advantage of on behalf of our students. It is a very exciting prospect for all of us in school as we actively look to widen the experiences our students enjoy”

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