Excitement, hard work and fun for girls at Portsmouth High School

A taste of life at Portsmouth High Junior School over the last half term…

This half term has seen excitement, hard work and fun for the girls here at Portsmouth High Junior School. They have approached the challenges put before them in their usual enthusiastic style and I find myself once again being extremely proud of their achievements.

The Nursery School is a thriving place to be and our new summer starters have settled in well, quickly adjusting to being at Dovercourt and making their first academic steps. Next year’s Reception cohort have been extending their skills and the quality of reading, writing and number work has been impressive to see during my visits to Early Years.

The swimming gala was a great success at the end of April and everyone put their heart and soul into performing for their House. From those who regularly train hard to others who find swimming difficult they all had smiles on their faces.

We moved from there to a visit by Dillon the dog from Hearing Dogs for the Blind. He took part in a joint talk from that organisation and the Elizabeth Foundation, all part of Nelson House charity day. Our early readers evening, led by Mrs Algieri and Mrs Michou, followed in the same week with all in the room learning the complex art of teaching reading and phonics.

Year 5 then took part in their sailing week, embodying our themes of grit and determination as they took to the water. The sun came out to join them but windy days meant

that the conditions were still challenging. The annual trip to Harry Potter Studios for Year 6 took place in mid-May, inspiring the girls to develop creative skills in costume, character design and film-making. The next day saw Year 3 at Wisley and, despite the poor weather, they enjoyed their studies. Year 4 then had a wild day on the beach discovering all it had to offer.

The Venture Award for Year 5 and Year 6 was another test of the girls’ resilience, one which they met admirably. Camping, cooking, map-reading and route planning piqued their interest and I think we have lots of potentials for the Duke of Edinburgh Award when they reach Year 9.

This week was the opening of our new Key Stage Two building and we were fortunate to have the actress Sarah Parish in school to perform the ceremony. We had previously raised £800 with the help of match funding from Barclays Bank. This was presented to the Murray Parish Trust at the opening and we heard the excellent news that the Trust has now raised enough money to fund more paediatric beds at Southampton General Hospital.

As ever it is impossible to write about everything the girls have achieved and experienced in this column. Above is a taste of life here at Dovercourt over the last half term. I am now looking forward to our final weeks of the year and hope everyone enjoys their well-earned break.