News and Events
A right Royal occasion!
Last Tuesday was a very special day for Ross and for JKHS. The visit of Prince Charles, to launch the Gilpin festival, was a great showcase for Ross, the Wye Valley and all of the schools, charities and groups who took part.
JKHS were proud to be so involved, with all of Year 7 coming down to see the Prince and cheer him (and the hedgehog!)
On the JKHS stand were Mr Griffiths, Mrs Griffiths, Mrs Strutt (chair of trustees) and our guest Mr Clive Richards OBE KSG DL. Clive has been a great benefactor of the school in recent years, supporting many capital developments with his philanthropic donations. The Prince spent time chatting to them all.
HRH also spoke with our students on the stand. These were Chris Stonadge, who has raised funds in school for disaster relief in the Yemen, Debbie Boyd, leader of the Eco Club, and Ben Thorne and Kate Ormiston, head boy and head girl.
The visit ended with the Prince lighting a torch held by Chris and then he, Debbie, Kate and Ben led a torch procession to the prospect, where they lit a beacon to mark the start of the Gilpin festival.
It was a great day, congratulations to the mayor and her team for their excellent organisation of the event.
None of our students will forget the day that the heir to the throne came to our town!
Careers Convention 2019
Exploring Pathways at JKHS
The annual Careers Convention at John Kyrle High School took place on Thursday 3rd October. This event was open to all students at the school from Years 7 – 13 as part of their ongoing careers education package. Some 50 exhibitors were at school offering advice on employment, training, apprenticeships, colleges and university courses. The event was attended by over 450 people including parents and carers accompanying students who were eager to glean information directly from the experts.
Convention organiser, Hayley Knapper, said how pleased she was that the event had been so well attended giving students the chance to find out about their future opportunities.
Headteacher Nigel Griffiths added, “I am very grateful to my staff for the organisation which went into this well-attended and successful event. The Careers Convention is part of the school’s commitment to enhancing future prospects for students and emphasising the role of their developing employability skills.”
Anyone interested in being involved at next year's event should contact Mrs Knapper at the school.
Prize giving 2019 at JKHS
Students, parents and carers, former staff, community representatives and supporters of John Kyrle, joined headteacher, Nigel Griffiths, his staff and governors for the school’s annual prize-giving event on September 19th. The guest of honour was former student Dan Cox.
Chair of governors, Denise Strutt, welcomed everyone to the evening. She thanked parents and carers for their continued trust in the school and said we would continue to do all we could to meet the expectations. Denise thanked the staff for their continued hard work and commitment to the school. She also acknowledged the hard work of her fellow governors.
Mr Griffiths began by thanking the chair of governors for all that she does to support the school. He then thanked guests for attending, including former mayoress, Anne Gray; current deputy mayor, Daniel Lister; Cllr Chris Bartrum and Jenny Symmington from Ross Leos. The headteacher said how delighted he was that Don Rule, MBE, was able to join them. Mr Griffiths told the audience that Don had gained the MBE for his services in the RAF as a wing commander. Mr Griffiths thanked Don for his work over many years within Herefordshire, including his particular focus on and support for schools as Cabinet Member for Education. Mr Rule and Mr Griffiths had both met Her Majesty the Queen when she visited John Kyrle in 2003.
Mr Griffiths congratulated all his students for their successes and efforts. His speech focused on the school’s successful balancing of academic achievement and strong teaching while providing wide-ranging opportunities for students. He said he, his staff and governors want students to enjoy their time at school, learn about life, develop values, shape their character, focus upon their future career and become the well-rounded citizens of the future. This was all encompassed within the school’s mantra of happy, healthy, successful.
Mr Griffiths gave examples of the trips, visits, listening to external speakers and participation in sports and the arts that his students had involved themselves with throughout the school year. Mr Griffiths said students had represented the school and the town locally, nationally and internationally.
He thanked his staff, governors, parents/carers and community groups for their continued support in allowing students to have such wide-ranging and enjoyable experiences.
Lily Powell, William Watkins and Soyam Serchan were the recipients of this year’s Pride of John Kyrle awards. They all joined Mr Griffiths on the stage. He praised their bravery, perseverance and good humour in overcoming challenges and emerging as popular and valued members of the school community.
Mr Griffiths concluded his presentation by speaking directly to those students who were leaving John Kyrle. They are moving on to universities, colleges, training, employment and a number will be travelling across the world while taking a gap year. He said he wished them every success.
Guest of honour, Dan Cox congratulated all the prize winners. He said he was impressed with the range of areas in which students had given of their best. Dan said how much he had enjoyed his time at John Kyrle and how the experience had prepared him well for Cambridge University and the world of work. He outlined some of his experiences as an engineer where complex problem solving is broken down into a series of simple steps. According to Dan, the maths and physics concepts he had learned so well at John Kyrle were invaluable in his daily work. Dan encouraged students to work hard and focus upon how teachers at John Kyrle can help them met their aspirations as they had dome for him.
Ben Thorne and Kate Ormiston, head boy and head girl thanked Dan for his excellent speech. Like Dan, they congratulated all the prize winners and said how impressed they were with all that had been achieved. Ben and Kate both gave their experiences of life at John Kyrle, saying how much they valued the opportunities they had. They thanked Mr Griffiths, the staff and the governors for all their hard work in supporting students.
Local MP visits JKHS
On Friday afternoon, Jesse Norman, MP, Financial Secretary to the Treasury, met with Headteacher, Nigel Griffiths, at John Kyrle. The aim of Jesse’s visit was to hear about developments at the school and to meet with and take questions from a selection of sixth-form students.
Nigel Griffiths was able to share with Jesse examination success in the summer, the continued strong number of pupils joining the school and plans for future capital expansion. They also discussed school funding and standards across Herefordshire. Jesse was also keen to hear about Nigel’s work as the Ofsted ambassador for the West Midlands and his thoughts on the new Ofsted framework.
Jesse then met with a group of sixth-form students for an interesting question & answer session. The opening question, much to everyone’s surprise, was not about Brexit but rather why we should take an interest in Adam Smith, the pioneering 18th century economist. Further questions were on Brexit, the US trade deal, subsidies for young people using public transport, VAT on solar panels and the changes to the voting age. All present agreed it was a very interesting discussion.
Jesse Norman said that it is always a delight to visit John Kyrle and to hear about the school’s continued progress. Jesse congratulated the school on its examination outcomes over time, including another very strong A- level performance this year. He said the students he met were, as always, well informed, interested and their questions kept him on his toes!
Ross pupils’ rugby success
Two rugby players from John Kyrle High School have recently gained selection for the U18 Gloucester-Hartpury WRFC Centre of Excellence. The Centre of Excellence is a national RFU programme for developing U18 players in England. The Centre of Excellence Programme focusses on individual player development, with an emphasis on future potential.
Poppy Godwin and Ellie Murrell, who are both 15 and play their rugby at Cinderford RFC, were invited to an assessment day at Hartpury College in August which included a series of rugby skills carousels and assessment tasks. As a result of their selection they will now be offered between 8-10 hours per month of rugby skills, gym work and performance analysis all based at Hartpury College.
Sports day 2019
JKHS was bathed in warm sunshine for sports day 2019. Competitors, spectators, staff and guests enjoyed a great day as the PE staff once again put together a well-organised showcase for sports. No matter what their level, competitors gave their all for individual events for for their tutor group teams. Ross Leos, sold strawberries and cream, the canteen cooked a barbeque at lunchtime and the day was a pleasure to witness. Happy, healthy successful in action!
Pilot Ofsted inspection
We were delighted with the feedback from the Ofsted team after our pilot inspection this week. It was a rigorous process, for us and the inspection team as they tested the new inspection framework. They found JKHS to be a safe, inclusive, ambitious and successful school.
thank you to our fantastic students, staff, parents & carers and trustees.
Mr Griffiths' letter to parents is available from here.
Success at the national championships
Congratulations to Archie Eaton who has achieved a silver medal in the national boccia championships.
Archie also secured a bronze in one of the three qualifying rounds on his way to the finals in Sheffield in the target sport played with soft leather balls.
Archie finished top of his pool on his way to the finals and has his sights set on the gold medal next year,
Read more about Archie's success here.
District athletics success for JKHS athletes.
At the recent Hereford Schools athletics trials, held at Hereford Leisure Centre, twenty-one of John Kyrle’s young athletes were successful in gaining a place in the District athletics squad, which will compete at the Hereford and Worcester County Schools Championships in Worcester on Saturday 8th June.
Notable performances came from athletes who won their individual events, included Dylan Menhennet (Shot and Discus), Faith Robbins (1500m) who won her race by 17 seconds, Ben Deards (Javelin), Annie Salter (Triple Jump), Stuart Jameson (Javelin), George Harrhy (High Jump and second in the 100m), Shannon Williams (800m) and Olly Marfell (Discus).
Other pupils that qualified for the County Finals include Neve Puxty (Discus), Riley Lloyd (100m and Triple Jump), Emma Smith (1500m), Curtis Williams (Discus), Poppy Godwin (Shot), Emily Hayes (1500m), Jake Ashly (800m and 1500m), Ellie Murrell (200m), Grace Mansfield (300m), Ben Goodwin (Javelin),Kai Harris (Long Jump), Emily Jarvis (Shot) and Amie Stringer (Triple Jump).
County Cup Winners
Pictured are the successful JKHS Year 8 football team who recently won the County Cup. They finished 2nd in their very strong group beating Fairfield, Whitecross, Hereford Academy, Kingstone and Tenbury. They then beat Aylestone 8-2 in the semi-final. They progressed to the final where they played Earl Mortimer College from Leominster who had beaten them in their league fixture 2-1. In an excellent, hard fought game JKHS scored the winning goal with a few minutes to play, deservingly winning the game 1-0. Mr. Donoghue would like to thank all the players in the squad for their hard work and effort during the season and all the parents and carers for their support.
JKHS welcomes Ugandan visitors
JKHS welcomed two staff from our link partner school, Kisiki College, in Namatumba, Uganda. Over the next few days, Jennifer Menya and Rita Nabujibi, will visit classes at JKHS and speak with students.
Year 11 Prom 2019
Year 11 students were a credit to the school, themselves and their families at the 2019 Prom.
They arrived in style at school and were transported to the Chase Hotel in a fleet of vintage buses. Despite the cold and drizzle, they looked fantastic and the evening was a great success.
Eminent surgeon visits JKHS
Sixth form students were privileged to spend time with Mr Keith Roberts, consultant liver surgeon, from Queen Elizabeth hosp[ital, Birmingham.
Visiting as part of the "Speakers for Schools" scheme, which links public figures from medicine, business, the arts and many other areas, to school, Keith gave an overview of his work and explained how he rose to the role he now holds. He then had lunch with students interested in pursuing a career in medicine or related disciplines.
Easter school 2019
Easter school 2019 was a great event. Over 4 days, 40+ staff delivered 270 hours of revision to hundreds of year 11 and sixth form students. Over 80% of year 11s attended over the week. Thank you to all our fantastic staff, students, parents and carers who all helped make the days relaxed, enjoyable and very focussed.
Spring Music Concert
This year's Spring Concert will take place on Thursday, 4th April. The concert will start at 7.00pm, in the main hall and should finish at approximately 9.00pm.
Tickets are available on the door and money raised from concert tickets will go towards the upkeep of music equipment. Money raised from refreshments and a raffle will go towards this year's sports tour to South Africa.
There will also be the opportunity to view an exhibition of KS3 art work.
Grants for local students
Ross Educational Foundation offers grants to students up to the age of 25, whose homes are within the boundaries of Ross Town Council, to help with the cost of books, equipment and travel, who are following courses at universities and colleges and those at school undertaking special educational trips.
The trustees will be meeting again in March and applicants should contact the secretary, Nick Richmond, tel. 01989 562175, or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org for further information and an application form.
Reverend Prebendary visits JKHS assemblies
THE Reverend Prebendary Kay Garlick visited John Kyrle High School on three mornings last week in order to deliver assemblies to students in Years 7, 8 and 9.
"It is always a pleasure to visit John Kyrle High School" said Reverend Garlick, "There is a very happy, welcoming ethos there.
"I have been talking to pupils about James Crank, an Edwardian schoolteacher who used to transform any ink blots he found on his pupils' work by doodling around them and making them into angels!
"We all make mistakes in our lives, but love can transform those mistakes, and ourselves, into something beautiful."
John Kyrle HIgh School and Sixth Form in top 5% for A level performance
Staff and students at John Kyrle have been celebrating the news that the school’s performance at A Level in 2018 has put it into the top 5% of schools and colleges nationally. Nigel Griffiths, headteacher at John Kyrle, was informed that the school’s performance, which was measured against over 2000 schools and colleges in England and Wales, was truly outstanding. The 62% A*-B that students gained in 2018, together with its equally strong performance over the past three years, has placed the school in the top 5% of schools and colleges nationally.
Nigel Griffiths, headteacher, is pictured with Rob Wallace, head of sixth form; Bethan Lambourn, deputy head of sixth form; Year 13 students Tyler Griffiths, Adam Middlecote, Isla Kendall, Jenny Bell, Jasmine Gibbons, Daisy Clements, Marcus Bailey, Barnaby Wardale; Dave Boyd, operational headteacher and David Potter, vice chair or trustees.
Mr Griffiths has informed parents and carers about the school’s performance and thanked them for their support. Also, in addition to congratulating his students, Mr Griffiths thanked his staff and trustees for their commitment, hard work and dedication to the young people at the school. Mr Griffiths noted, ‘Within our mantra of ‘Happy, Healthy, Successful’ we aim to improve the life chances of young people. We want students to enjoy school, make friends, be tolerant, laugh, learn, persevere and give of their best.’
Chris Baird, Director of Children and Families at Herefordshire Council, wrote to Mr Griffiths and Denise Strutt, chair of trustees, to congratulate students and staff on ‘this fantastic achievement’ and ‘exceptional performance’.
He said good examination results give young people the passport they need for a range of choices and possibilities that enable them to follow their dreams.
Mr Baird noted, ‘Strong examination results are achieved though excellent teaching and the hard work of students and staff. This does not, however, happen in isolation, but is a product of a school environment where teachers know and value their students and where pastoral support for students and a wide range of curriculum opportunities and experiences allows them to be happy and successful.”
In notifying Mr Griffiths of the school’s success, Mary Ahern, Chief Executive officer of the A-Level Performance Service wrote: “This is a fantastic effort and well worth celebrating, keep up the good work.”
Mr Griffiths said he has sent information on John Kyrle’s A-level success to partner primary school headteachers. He said that without the excellent foundations gained at primary school, students would not be able to flourish at secondary school. He thanked all primary school leaders, governors and staff for their excellent work in supporting young people in the community.
The Ross Gazette Archive Project
AT the beginning of 2018 the Ross Gazette was awarded £70,600 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for the Ross Gazette Archive Project. The project, run along with partners Herefordshire Libraries, Herefordshire Lore and MediaSHYPP, focuses on preserving the historic archive of the newspaper by digitising the entire newspaper archive and photographs that have appeared in the paper, and making it available for the public to access free of charge via the Herefordshire History website, making it accessible to a much wider audience and preserving it for future generations.
The project will also include an intergenerational reminiscence initiative, primary school learning programme, film project and work with local history groups.
Currently there are 10 years of newspapers available to view on the Herefordshire History website (1867-1877), plus the papers from WWI (1914-1919). The British Libraries continue to scan the remaining years and the Gazette hopes to have a good batch online in the early part of 2019.
Volunteers have been hard at work giving every photo the Gazette has a unique reference number. This has been a long task. To date just over 13,500 photos have been numbered. Another group of volunteers are scanning in the numbered photos which are being uploaded to the Herefordshire History website. Currently the photographs from 1974-1977 are available to view online. If you recognise anyone in these pictures please get in touch with the Ross Gazette or Herefordshire History.
A group of ten pupils from JKHS Sixth Form have received training from Herefordshire Lore and MediaSHYPP to learn a wide variety of filming techniques, as well as questions to ask in an interview and given the skills to make the interviewee feel at ease. The 10 pupils divided into two groups to film and interview some residents from Ross Court Nursing Home, as well as local Ross residents. These interviews are currently being combined into a film which will be part of our exhibition later this year.
JKHS students impress at national level
TWO students have recently impressed at a national level as they show their potential: Year 7 student, Abi Agami, is awaiting confirmation of her place in the shooting National Finals while Jasmine Gibbons has been selected to join the England Women’s U18 rugby training camp in the New Year.
Agami has been shooting from the age of eight and for the last 18 months has been training with the 2012 Olympic Pentathlon coach. She recently competed in the British Shooting Schools Competition scoring a personal best of 167 and qualifying in fifth place (of 48) for the shoot-off final to win a place at the National Finals in Stoke Mandeville on January 16th.
(Although currently awaiting official confirmation from British Shooting, it looks as if she has qualified).
Agami recently shot two qualifying rounds and was called to shoot on the Commonwealth Range at Bisley. Despite being the youngest of 86 competitors including adults she was placed ninth.
Gibbons, aged 17, currently plays her club rugby for Worcester Valkyries in the Tyrrells Premier 15s, the top tier of the women’s English league and has already had the honour of being made captain this season, despite being the youngest player in the squad.
Gibbons, who lives in Llangrove, joined Worcester Rugby Club at the age of 15 and has risen through their under-15 and under-18 squads whilst being selected for the North Midlands Under-18s squad last season.
Tis the season to be jolly
Building on the successes of last year’s school production, the pantomime Robin’s Hoodie, the students and staff have been working hard on their 2018 Christmas offering – A Christmas Carol (Rebooted!) – the Dickensian classic tale of the Christmas-hating Ebenezer Scrooge and the supernatural story of his eventual redemption. Students from right across the school have been involved in this updated classic.
The bespoke rewrite of the tale promises to include great performances, witty dialogue, audience participation and of course some superb music – this year mostly featuring the music of The Beatles, and all played by the school band under musical director Mrs Blake.
Will Lawn, aspiring musician and very talented performer, dons the nightcap of Ebenezer (Shirley) Scrooge – begrudgingly playing the guitar and learning about the joy of Christmas before it is too late. In this adaptation, Scrooge has a love interest – his childhood sweetheart, Kelly Lickit, played by Hollie Owen and Immi Abbott, who wowed audiences last year in their leading roles in the pantomime. The whole story is retold through the eyes and imaginations of our narrators, The Street Urchins, who with audience, share the way in which the legend has unfolded.
The curtain goes up (or technically moves sideways) on December 12th, 13th and 14th starting at 7.30pm. Tickets are priced at £6 individually with a concession price of £4 for under 16s and over 60s. Family tickets are also available for £18, covering the admission of two adults and two children. All tickets are available from school reception.
With rehearsals currently in full flow, this year’s production looks to more than fill the shoes of its predecessor, promising the audience Christmas spirit in abundance! (Well, four spirits to be exact!)
Mr N Pritchard.
Otto leads the field at Cross Country trials
St Mary’s RC High School, Lugwardine, hosted the annual Hereford District Schools' Cross Country competition recently and the athletes were lucky enough to run in beautiful sunshine and near perfect conditions underfoot.
John Kyrle’s athletes won four medals on the day with Otto Mendelsson, 16, improving on his third place finish in last year’s event by winning the senior boys' race, and George Aubrey close behind him in second place. In the girls' competition Zoe Whitehouse took third place in a closely contested junior girls' race, while in the junior boys' event Jake Ashly claimed a well-deserved second spot.
Alongside these medal winners, the top 16 junior finishers, and the top 8 intermediate and senior finishers have been selected to go forward to represent Hereford Schools at the Hereford and Worcester Schools' Cross Country Championships at Worcester University, Top Barn, on Saturday 19th January 2019.
This means that ten John Kyrle athletes will represent Hereford Schools: Mitchell Thomas (11th) and George Ratcliffe (14th), junior boys; Emma Smith (15th) and Faith Robbins, junior girls; Katie Smith (4th), Emily Hayes (5th), Niamh Hickey (6th), and Imy Seal (7th), intermediate girls; Harry Ratcliffe (7th), intermediate boys; and Josh Gawin-Brian (7th), in the senior boys.
Staff and students at John Kyrle will be wishing them the best of luck for the next round of races in the New Year.
Ross-on-Wye Neighbourhood Development Plan
The Ross-on-Wye Neighbourhood Development Plan is out for consultation until 21 December 2018.
Please visit the Town Council website to read the plan and to feedback any comments.
Hard copies of the plan are available to view at the Town Council Offices, the Library, and the Larruperz Centre.
Herefordshire council rate JKHS 'low risk'
Please read the letter sent from the Learning and Achievement section of the Herefordshire Council, rating us 'low risk'.
Helping to protect youngsters from harm
A powerful play which tackles the difficult subject of child sexual exploitation, and has been seen by thousands of children over the past three years, was once again hosted here at John Kyrle.
The sexual exploitation of children across the UK has been in the news especially in light of the issues in Rotherham, Rochdale, Swindon and Bristol. Clearly young people need to be aware of the risks which can come from the internet, social networking sites such Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat, and also via friendship groups and people known to the young people themselves.
With this in mind, we recently hosted a travelling theatre group who presented an interactive play to all Year 8 pupils. The play entitled ‘Chelsea’s Choice’ tackled the difficult issue of child sexual exploitation. Opportunity was provided for interaction with the actors, helping students to see the choices Chelsea had made and how she might have chosen differently.
A 'truly inspirational day'
This year the Annual Remembrance Service, held in St Mary's Church, marked the 100th Anniversary of the ending of the First World War. Representatives from primary schools joined JKHS head boy and head girl in laying wreaths at the War Memorial, along with Honour Guards from the Army, Sea and Air Cadets, and Standard Bearers.
Please read letters to the Editor, published in the Ross Gazette.
Ofsted role for JKHS Headteacher
John Kyrle High School’s Headteacher, Nigel Griffiths, has been selected as an Ofsted Inspector Ambassador, one of only eight school leaders in the country to be offered the position.
Luke Tryl, the Director of Corporate Strategy at Ofsted, wrote to explain how the role would give Mr Griffiths a unique opportunity to influence and have input into Ofsted policies and ongoing work. Mr Tryl said: “You will be in position to speak on behalf of your peers, both fellow Ofsted inspectors and headteachers.”
As part of a national reference group, Mr Griffiths will help develop the forthcoming new national inspection framework for September 2019 and contribute to regional activities across the West Midlands.
Read the full Ross Gazette report here.
Former student returns as an ordained vicar
JKHS Religious Education department were delighted to welcome former student, Reverend Elliot Swattridge, to a Year 10 GCSE class recently. Elliot left JKHS back in 2011 having secured excellent examination results, including a grade A in Religious Studies.
As far as anyone at JKHS is aware, he is the only student in the last 20 years to have trained to be a Christian minister and has been ordained in the Church of England. Elliot is currently serving as a curate at St Philip and St James Church in Hereford.
Read the full Ross Gazette report here.
Talking about Mental Health
As part of Mental Health Week, John Kyrle High School have been conducting lessons that focus on mental health and awareness for all of the school pupils.
On Mental Health Awareness Day, students were taught in their classes about different mental health issues, physical health, external issues that affect mental well-being, how the brain affects emotional health, and where to go for help.
Mark Croad, Assistant Headteacher at John Kyrle, told the Ross Gazette how the school wanted to teach students not just about mental illnesses, but about mental wellness and resilience.
Helen Mather, who worked on the presentation that assisted teachers as they discussed mental health, said: “We want to start talking to students about mental health early on so that we can identify any problems as soon as possible. It is important that students know about how to take care of their mental health, especially when they have the stress of things like exams.”
Read the full Ross Gazette report here.
Sixth Form Assembly inspires former JKHS student
Seven years after leaving JKHS, Pete Lamb has taken a rather unconventional route after initially following what you might consider a ‘normal’ career path for a maths graduate.
Pete says this decision was heavily influenced by an assembly organised by the Head of Sixth Form, Rob Wallace when British adventurer, Alastair Humphreys, came to talk to students about his four year cycle around the world.
Read the full Ross Gazette report here.
Exploring pathways at annual Careers Convention
The JKHS annual Careers Convention took place on Thursday, October 4th. This event is open to all students, from Years 7 to 13, as part of their ongoing careers education package.
Some 50 exhibitors were at school offering advice on employment, training, apprenticeships, colleges and university courses. The event was attended by over 800 people including parents and carers accompanying students who were eager to glean information directly from the experts.
Convention organiser, Hayley Knapper, said how pleased she was that the event had been so well attended, giving students the chance to find out about their future opportunities.
Headteacher Nigel Griffiths added: “I am very grateful to my staff for the organisation which went into this well-attended and successful event. The Careers Convention is part of the school’s commitment to enhancing future prospects for students and emphasising the role of their developing employability skills.”
Anyone interested in being involved at next year’s event should contact Mrs Knapper at the school.
Great start for new Year 7 students
A group of Year 7 students from Bridstow Primary and Brampton Abbotts Schools met with their former headteacher, Dan Brearey, when he recently visited John Kyrle High School.
They told him how they missed primary school but also about how much they were enjoying life after their first month here. Some of the students described how they loved PE and playing on the all-weather surface. Others were especially excited about learning new languages such as German. Several students talked about the computer facilities at school and how much they liked doing IT lessons. One student mentioned how their favourite thing about JKHS was the food in the canteen, particularly the chicken!
Dan Brearey commented: “It was a pleasure to see both the Brampton Abbotts and Bridstow ex pupils at JKHS this morning. It was good to see how they’ve settled into JKHS and I wish them the very best luck as they start the next chapter in their education”.
Headteacher, Nigel Griffiths, recently wrote to all primary school headteachers in the area thanking them for how well they prepare students for secondary school life at JKHS.
JKHS Equestrian Team Sucess
Members of John Kyrle High School’s Equestrian team had a fantastic weekend at Rectory Farm, Duntisbourne Abbots, on Saturday, September 15th. For the first time, we were able to enter teams thanks to the new members that have joined the NSEA this school year.
On Saturday, September 15th, the Grassroots Team, Abbey Agami, age 11; Lara Marshall, age 13; Ruby Meredith, age 12 and Sophia Powell, age 11, competed in two classes. They achieved fourth place in the 60cm class and were third in the 70cm class. Sophia Powell was also placed third individually.
This was a great achievement for the girls as some were competing at NSEA for the first time. They have qualified to go to Kings Equestrian Centre in Bromyard on December 9th to represent JKHS in the regional championships.
Later in the afternoon, the team, made up by Archie Thomas, age 11; Evie Bennett, age 11; Zara Powell, age 14 and Zoe Whitehouse, age 13, competed in the 70-75cm National Championships qualifier. They all rode magnificently, winning the class, with Archie placed first individually and Evie placed second individually.
They will have the opportunity to represent JKHS at the National Championships at Keysoe in Bedfordshire on October 19th. Only the top two teams and individuals go through to the Regional Championships.
Annual Prize Giving
Students were commended for their hard work, perseverance and contribution to the life of the school and the wider community at our annual Prize Giving ceremony on Thursday, 20th September. The evening was a celebration of endeavour and achievement across a wide range of activities: sporting, community, academic and in the arts.
Natalie Middlecote in Year 9 was presented with the prestigious Pride of John Kyrle Award, which was given in memory of Sue Vinall last year, Nigel Griffiths said Natalie was another legend of the school.
'Heartfelt Thank You to JKHS'
Thank you, Mr and Mrs Sharp, for your kind letter of appreciation, published in the Ross Gazette.
Students celebrate top GCSE results
There was a further air of celebration at John Kyrle on Thursday, August 23rd as students received their GCSE results, following the school’s outstanding performance at A level.
Headteacher, Nigel Griffiths, is delighted for his students, particularly given the national background of much more challenging GCSEs and a new assessment system using number grades.
At least one pupil had achieved ten level 9 passes, which is now the top grade, among other outstanding individual successes.
Year 11 students gained 50% strong passes at 5+ in English and mathematics at GCSE, with 66% achieving the standard grade of 4+. The strong pass figure is significantly above both national and local averages and represents considerable progress for students. Notable within these examination outcomes is the fact that 74% of students passed English and 74% passed maths. Also, over a third of students gained the demanding English Baccalaureate which includes standard grades in maths, English, two sciences, modern foreign languages and humanities. This is also significantly above the national average.
Mr Griffiths is extremely grateful to his staff for their hard work, commitment and the care they offered to Year 11 students. He also wanted to give credit to the parents and carers of Year 11 students for their support, including high numbers attending consultation evenings. Finally, Mr Griffiths thanked his trustees for their continued hard work on behalf of students and staff.
Chair and vice chair of trustees, Denise Strutt and Dave Potter, joined staff at school to see students and parents’ delight when they received their results. Denise Strutt said that, together with last week’s A-level results, this performance evidenced the school’s continued focus upon academic excellence for students of all abilities within a professional and highly caring environment.
Nigel Griffiths said, “This has, once again, been a hugely successful year for us. It confirms the strong culture and highly-effective teamwork at school and, additionally, our all-important relationships with parents, carers and the wider community. I am very proud of what we have achieved and look forward to building upon this for our current students and a cohort of more than 250 Year 7s and 150 Year 12s we will welcome in September.”
Outstanding A Level results
Students gathered on Thursday, August 16th to collect their A Level results and discover whether they had achieved what they needed to be able to tackle the next step of their journey in life.
One student had a particularly traumatic morning as she had received a spam email claiming to be from her chosen university, telling her that she had not been successful in gaining a place. After a terrible hour waiting for her results she was delighted to discover that she had indeed achieved everything she needed to join the course of her choice.
One girl, who lives next door to headteacher Nigel Griffiths, was particularly pleased when he congratulated her on her hard work as she will also be able to attend the university she had chosen.
Mr Griffiths said he was delighted for his talented students and excellent, committed staff. He wanted to thank the school’s trustees for their hard work and to praise parents and carers for their support of their sons and daughters and the school. Mr Griffiths noted that these results, which do not include general studies, improved on those from last year when the school was placed in the top 10% of schools/colleges nationally. He said that this summer’s performance endorsed further the continued view of Ofsted that, together with Leadership & Management and Student Behaviour, the Sixth Form at John Kyrle is Outstanding.
Exceptional performance this summer reinforces John Kyrle’s position as the premier A Level provider in the region. Over 60% of grades were at A*- B, 85% at A*-C and there was a 100% pass rate. These results are even more impressive given the new rigorous examination courses and the school’s focus remaining upon academic subjects. The top-performing department was mathematics with over 90% of grades at A*-B. Other successful departments included modern foreign languages, history, geography, PE, sociology, textiles and art.
JKHS pupils battle out annual Tennis tournament
TENNIS players from John Kyrle High School battled it out in the school's annual tournament.
All the boys had played at least three matches to get to the final and all games were keenly contested featuring some excellent rallies, especially in the Year nine final.
In the Year seven's competition Niall Murphy was named the winner with Theo Leather taking the runner-up spot.
Charlie Pope was crowned the Year eight winner after beating Sam Balm in the final.
Finally a hard fought Year nine final saw Jacob Gane take the crown after beating Will Hollis.
Head of PE, Mike Donoghue, would like to thank all the parents and carers for their support during the competition.
Former JKHS Head Girl achieves a perfect score
Former JKHS Head Girl, Rebecca Ralphs, recently achieved her childhood ambition and joined the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons.
Rebecca successfully completed the degree of Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine and Bachelor of Veterinary Surgery with Honours at the University of Nottingham. She excelled in her studies over the last five years obtaining a First Class Honours Degree. During the graduation ceremony she was awarded a special prize for achieving a mark of 100% in one of her final exams.
Ross Leos fundraise at JKHS Sports Day
Ross Youth Lions (Leo) Club were busy at the John Kyrle High School Sports Day, raising money that will enable them to make donations to many good causes.
At the Sports Day, they sold a variety of summer produce to pupils and staff, with strawberries and cream, as well as fruit juice, being the clear favourite on a lovely summer’s day.
This year, thanks to the generous donation of strawberries from EC Drummond, the Leos were able to enjoy a busy day of selling. They are also grateful to Morrisons, Sainsbury’s and all local businesses for their donation of goods allowing them to raise even more funds for local charities.
The Ross Leos meet weekly at JKHS, at Tuesday lunchtimes, and are always welcoming to anyone who is interested to come along and find out more about them.
John Kyrle Students asked 'Is it worth it?'
Year 9 students welcomed a team put together by Gloucestershire Police, in conjunction with Gloucestershire children’s safeguarding team, who challenged them to consider ‘Is it worth it?’. The team gave a lively presentation that encouraged students to really think about their own personal safety when online, particularly with regard to sharing of personal photographs, the dangers of sexting and the potential impact of these areas on mental wellbeing. The roadshow style presentation included lively interactive games, watching videos, dance performances as well as talking about various E-safety issues such as Cyber bullying. The students particularly enjoyed two performances from up-and-coming R&B singer Luzzey.
Read the full Ross Gazette report here.
U15s Rewarded at Kingsholm
As an end of season finale, JKHS U15 girls rugby team was invited to play in the Gloucester Rugby Schools festival on Friday, May 4th. The venue was Kingsholm, and with several of the girls being avid Gloucester RFC fans, it was an opportunity not to be missed. Before the tournament started the teams had an opportunity to watch the Gloucester teams run out in preparation for their match against Saracens on Saturday which the girls thoroughly enjoyed.
The girls played four games in all. They started strongly with a convincing 25-0 win over St Bedes Catholic College, demonstrating some excellent offloads. There was a hat trick of tries from Carys Lowley, and also tries from Heidi Brodholt and captain, Cerys Johnson. Their second match was against a very strong High School for Girls, Gloucester, who eventually went on to win the festival, and after John Kyrle had two tries disallowed, they narrowly lost 10-5 in a tense encounter, despite a try by Anna Craig.
Ribston 1 were their next opponents, where some fierce tackling from both sides saw the result end in a 5-5 draw. Lowley went crashing over for John Kyrle’s only try. Their final game was against Ribston 2 and John Kyrle overwhelmed their opponents, scoring freely in a 30-0 victory. There was a brace of tries from Ellie Murrell and Cerys Johnson, with Craig and Lowley appearing on the score sheet again.
The tournament was a fitting end to a very successful season and an experience to be remembered by the girls for years to come. The U15 team – Cerys Johnson (captain), Carys Lowley, Heidi Brodholt, Lucy Burden, Mia Davies, Ella Simmonds, Ellie Lown, Lucy Powell, Emily Harris, Anna Craig, Poppy Godwin, Martha Sharland, Millie Barnett, Honor Verney and Ellie Murrell.
John Kyrle Girls at Rugby Festival
On Saturday, April 28th, the U13 rugby team travelled to Worcester RFC to play their final games of the season. The team were taking part in a girls’ only festival and their first game was against the Warwickshire Barbarians. I’Laura Jenkins got the ball rolling with an early try for John Kyrle, however the Barbarians came back with two tries of their own before Bethan Davies Jones and Zoe Whitehouse levelled the scores at 15-15. Despite some bone crunching tackles from Ronie Thomas, a final surge by the opposition saw John Kyrle lose by a solitary try, 20 points to 15. Their second game against Newbury RFC started with another try by the strong-running Jenkins but Newbury spotted gaps in the John Kyrle defence and replied immediately with a try of their own. Whitehouse sprinted around the defence for John Kyrle’s second try before Nonny Bruce crashed through the Newbury line to increase their lead to 15-5. Ronie Thomas then sealed the victory with two fine individual tries to take the victory 25-5. Despite only playing two games, the JKHS team ended on a high and following the tournament the girls then stayed and watched Worcester Warriors score some amazing tries of their own and comprehensively beat Harlequins in their final home game of the season.
Former John Kyrle Student now Head of Department
Jenny Costa Penny, has recently taken up the position of Head of the Maths department here at JKHS where, until 2004, she was a student. Jenny is one of 30 teaching and support staff who are former students. These include several in leadership roles such as David Boyd, Deputy Head; Greg Calderbank, Head Of Geography; Helen Parry, second in MFL Dept and Head of Year 8, Hayley Knapper.
Read the full Ross Gazette article here.