Mr Richards' Words Summer Week 2
As all avid readers of my weekly words will know, I spoke about our school community last week and we continued that theme in assembly on Tuesday.
We spoke about all the different communities we are part of and how membership to these communities is so important for our mental wellbeing. Students were asked to think about their favourite pictures on their phone and they will always be pictures of people or places where they belong. I shared some of the communities where I feel like I am part of something and where I belong; whether that be at the Fratton End, a Frank Turner gig or with my school friends on an endurance adventure, belonging is so important. McMillan & Chavis in 1986 identified four key ingredients for a successful community: membership, influence, shared experiences and a place where needs are met. Students here have membership of our community, we have influence over them to guide them and we always listen to them to help them influence the way we do things. We do our best to provide as many shared experiences as possible and always strive to meet their needs. All this adds up to a successful and thriving community where a considerable proportion of the school cohort have gone away on Netball tour to Cardiff this week.
Life for our Year 11s has begun to look a lot like exam season; they completed their MFL orals and Art examinations and they have received their leavers hoodies. I find the excitement around a leavers hoodie fascinating. The students arranged for the ordering, lettering, delivery and payment themselves and the sense of excitement was wonderful when I handed these out earlier this week. I am convinced that this hoodie ceremony is a symbol of ‘belonging’. We are looking forward to their final assembly next week on their celebration day, where this is always done with such respect and responsibility.
I was particularly proud of our whole community this week. We welcomed two Ukrainian girls into Year 8 and Year 10 and we have been able to offer them a place of safety and normality through such a turbulent time. Students and staff have rallied around to support them in this time of need. We have shown them dignity and compassion and they have quickly established themselves as key members of our community. We have more students arriving next week and I am sure you will agree that this is so important that we offer any and every extension of love where we can.
As we continue to build memories and make history every day, I would like to wish our school hockey tourists every success in the Land of Our Fathers and the CCF cadets good luck in their weapons handling tests this weekend. Year 7 have their team building day at Junior Boys and Year 9 continue their mental health support with 3 on Tuesday. We have our whole school photo on Wednesday, so please remind your young person to wear their WINTER uniform that day.
With best wishes for a lovely weekend