Submitted by admin.rpa on Tue, 02/12/2013 - 07:32
With a fortnightly newsletter and a half termly emailout, I find I have not always something fresh to say in a blog. However, this week I was determined to do so because, hurrah, our new build finally started. The fetching blue hoardings now surround all of Hertford and some of the students' play area. There is a schedule of work which tells us that the Hertford reburbishment, new canteen and new music and digital media suite will be finished in August 2013. The builders will then move on to Phase 2 of the programme...
Great news, I am sure you will all agree. We are so excited about what a new school will look like, and the frustrating months of waiting will, we hope, soon be a distant memory, superimposed with our wonderful buildings.
On Thursday, I realised, again, what fantastic students and parents we have. I had a day surrounded by children - which is after all what our jobs should be all about. I (along with other members of the Leadership Team) interviewed lots of students about their Year 10 options, all of whom were accompanied by parents who had taken the time to discuss with their child the ramifications of their choices. At RPA, we are very proud of our curriculum, which has always had a 'good' in Ofsted, and this year, I believe, we have made an even better offer. We have a creative and challenging series of pathways for Year 9s and, certainly among those I met with, the children are rising to the challenge of meeting Year 9 targets and opting for a demanding curriculum in Year 10.
It was a truly pleasurable day, made even better by the technology competition I was asked to co-judge. Year 8 students had done an architectural project with local architects firm bpr. Their brief was to design a temporary, pop-up structure which responds to its context, in this case, Palewell Park. The judges comprised myself, Dr Paul Rinne (you may have heard the name...?), Ms Adams, an AET governor and Amy Butt, of bpr architects. Students had to design the building, build a model of it and then present to us (and the others in the group of about 30 Year 8s). The standard was stunning, so much so that Amy felt they could NOT award just one prize. We ended up with five: First and highly commended for the presentations (which included content and speaking skills) and three for the models, one first prize and two highly commended. All the models showed originality, thought, care for the environment and creativity. We were unable to make a decision in the time allocated and so students had to go to lunch not knowing the winners until the afternoon when, finally, we were able to come to a consensus. The kind of decisions, I thought, that Heads should be able to make from time to time because they are about striving and creating. Well done to all concerned, including the technology team and Mr Tribe. The winners have won tickets to go to the top of the Shard, very kindly donated by bpr architects.
The final feather in our caps was the news that our Year 8 girls had defeated all Key Stage 3 comers from Richmond and Hounslow and won the Richmond Volleyball Tournament! Years 9 and 10 both came third so a very creditable day indeed for all.