Year 9


51 pupils from Year 9 took part in the annual Lockheed Martin Engineering Challenge, buckling down to work in teams and design a system to rescue a crashed helicopter from a hostile area, lifting it from the sand and depositing it onto a trailer.

Lockheed Martin is the world’s leading innovative technology company, employing more than 3,000 people in the UK. They work on a wide range of major programmes spanning the aerospace, defence and civil sectors. The Engineering Challenge day with Lockheed Martin is now well established in the PGS calendar and is keenly anticipated each year.

The challenge is designed to enhance pupils’ aptitude for lateral thinking, design and engineering. All of the pupils worked really hard and after a whole day of designing, building, testing and teamwork, each team presented their working prototypes to the judges from Lockheed Martin.

The visiting engineers were once again impressed by the imagination, creativity and ‘can-do’ attitude of the PGS pupils, especially the positive way in which pupils responded to advice from the engineers throughout the day.

The winners were Team 7 (Laura Hantrais, Lucy Hawden, Liberty Mitchell Brock and Elsa Hares) and the runners up were Team 1 (Jay Clay, Hector Crandon, Tommy Millard, Andrew Pellett and Monty Wingham). Congratulations to the winners and to the pupils participating for working so well and so hard.


With subjects ranging from the comparison of single and multi-element wings on Formula One cars to the influence of mimetic theory on narrative voice, the PGS Extend Celebration Evening once more showcased the vast differences of interests of our pupils and the depth of study and work they put in to their projects.

At The Portsmouth Grammar School, all our pupils are encouraged to carry out independent research, to be original in their approach but rigorous in their academic honesty. The Ithaka Prize is our celebration of the creative journey PGS Sixth Formers experience when they carry out their research projects for PGS Extend or the IB Extended Essay.

In the summer of Year 12, pupils work alongside a supervisor to plan their assignment and identify appropriate sources and methods for their research. They complete the projects independently over the summer and then submit them to a marker on their return in Year 13. Over the following weeks, the pieces are assessed and graded, with an alpha awarded for the work which reflects university standards. The best of the alpha work is nominated for the Ithaka Prize for Independent Learning.

The winner of the Ithaka Prize this year went to Oliver Nash with his physics and mathematics based project, Is it possible to send water bottle rockets into space?

Congratulations to all the pupils who completed their independent study projects over the summer and very many thanks to Deniz Beck, our guest of honour who presented the prize.


Reception Year visited the Senior School Library to enjoy activities around the story of The Three Little Pigs with Year 12 English Literature pupils.

Using a map to navigate, the children had to identify the three materials used to build the houses in the story, collecting the correct stickers along the way to fill in the gaps on their maps. They then enjoyed a dramatic reading of the story Blow Your Nose, Big Bad Wolf by Year 12 pupils, with wonderful musical accompaniment from Sacha Hemingway. The children then had to spot the differences between the two stories, the main one being that poor Big Bad Wolf was only trying to ask for a tissue to blow his nose rather than to blow down the pigs’ houses!

They also learned how important it is to catch germs in a tissue when they sneeze and cough, and Year 12 gave each of the pupils their own packet of tissues (and some Percy Pigs!) to help them contain their germs!