Through music, drama and academic development we have been working with pupils from throughout the region this term and building links with their schools.

Building strong links with our community is at the core of what we aim to do at The Portsmouth Grammar School and we are fortunate to have a dedicated staff body that provide opportunities for us to engage with schools locally.

This term we hosted 96 pupils from 13 different school for the Bright Sparks event we hold each year. The children engage with a variety of academic activities led by PGS staff and specialists during the day and the feedback from everyone involved is always overwhelmingly positive.

Over recent years we have developed strong links with Castle Primary School in Portchester, particularly through music. We were delighted to work with them once more this year for our Remembrance Concert. The 45 children in their Junior Choir worked hard with PGS Choirs to perform 'Lux Perpetua' by Jonathan Willcocks in November at St Thomas' Cathedral; it was a magnificent evening.

Schools from across the region arrived in the David Russell Theatre ready to be quizzed on children's literature as we once more hosted the regional round of the annual Kids' Lit Quiz. Twenty different teams took part, including two from PGS and it was no mean feat for the Year 8 team to achieve third place in a very keenly fought contest.

Our links with Mayfield School in Portsmouth are already well-established thanks to the generosity of Mr David Wilkie, who generously supports two pupils each year to join the Sixth Form. We have started to work more closely with Mayfield School, hosting their pupils at various events and workshops. This term 30 pupils from Mayfield School joined the Drama Department for a morning of movement workshops with 'Frantic Assembly'.

Helping to bring a history project to life, a group of twelve Year 6 pupils from Wicor Primary School in Gosport visited the School Archivist, Mr John Sadden, to talk about the mudlarks of Portsmouth Harbour and inspired by the novel that he penned. The Willis Room was incredibly lively as the pupils were encouraged to think about what life was like for the Portsmouth mudlarks and how the city has evolved over the years.

As well as school's joining us at PGS for activities, staff and pupils also visit schools within the area to take part in class-based activities. This term Mrs Smith visited Oakwood School in Chichester with two of our Sixth Form pupils - Harry Conway and Finn Elliot - to run a 'Code Cracking' workshop with their Year 6 pupils. Both Harry and Finn have vague memories of Mrs Smith visiting Oakwood when they were pupils there to run a maths workshop when they were in Year 6, so let's hope they have inspired the next generation.

Ignite currently offers our Sixth Form pupils the opportunity to engage with the local community through volunteering; the new personal enrichment curriculum in the Sixth Form will continue to develop opportunities for our pupils through working with others and leading through service. On a weekly basis they will be able to work with peers to support a wide range of charities or social enterprises from schools to care homes.

As we move forward we hope to find many more occasions for our staff and pupils to work with the local community to enrich their learning experiences.