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Claires Court

Claires Court Maidenhead

from Nursery to Sixth Form

Mr Spanswick's Weekly Words

Every week the Bulletin newsletter is sent home from the School Office highlighting important forthcoming dates and events, along with a round-up by Mr Spanswick of the week gone by. Read below recent messages from the Head's desk.

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  • Mr Spanswick's Words Autumn 3

    Published 22/09/17, by Admin

    We are definitely back into the swing of the new term now! On my Learning Walk this week I observed so many boys being challenged on new topics and more lateral ways of thinking - we are talking about perseverance at the moment with the boys and this is a quality that is very much needed when problem solving. However, we believe that boys working independently and not giving up when they make a mistake is such a powerful lesson in life. On Monday, the rotary club joined our assembly and have invited our boys to enter into some local Writing and Mathematics competitions, and you could see the excitement on the faces of our boys….especially when they found out there are cash prizes for the winners! Mr Goddard is also very busy selecting the artwork he will send to the ISA (Independent Schools Association) - we won three national awards last year including ‘Best Group Painting’.... let’s see how we get on this year!

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  • Mr Spanswick's Words Autumn 2

    Published 15/09/17, by Admin

    What a first week back! The words ‘busy’ and ‘hectic’ do not come close to describing the activities and lessons that have been going on. Our boys in Reception are finding their feet and we are seeing some very happy (and tired) faces at the end of the day. Year 1 have certainly hit the ground running and I have been visited by a number of boys showing me their outstanding writing and drawing, some of which you will see in the photo gallery.

    I have broken with tradition today and for the first time awarded both Rabbits to whole year groups. A number of staff have commented on Year 2’s enthusiasm, hunger to learn, and their politeness… much so, I felt they deserved our top accolade. Similarly, Year 4 were awarded the Rabbit for their amazing performance on Thursday afternoon both on and off the rugby field. During their first ever sports matches representing the school, they were impeccably behaved throughout, showed sportsmanship, demonstrated wonderful manners and reacted very maturely when team sheets were given out. Their first match was against a very large and strong St George’s School from Weybridge, a real baptism of fire! However, outstanding defence was the order of the day….and we won all 5 fixtures! Well done to Year 4, the Rabbit is yours this week!

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  • Mr Spanswick's Words Autumn 1

    Published 08/09/17, by Admin

    Welcome back, and a warm welcome to all of our new parents and pupils to the school. Every week I will be writing some thoughts, comments and my highlights of the week in this blog, and hopefully it will give you a little flavour of the things the boys get up to when they are with us!

    I hope you all enjoyed a lovely summer break. Having spoken to a number of parents in the playground over the past few days, the general consensus is that you have enjoyed some lovely family  time over the break, and are now very glad to be able to hand your sons back over to us! As you will see we have been a busy school in August, with our new balcony constructed by the mezzanine, our new classroom on the playground (that is nearly finished!), our ‘muddy kitchen’ in the EYFS garden, a total facelift to our kitchen including a double sized oven for our chef Lorraine Downing to cook with, new interactive whiteboards…..the list goes on and on. Our aim to provide the best possible learning environment for our pupils is something we will continue to strive for.

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  • Mr Spanswick's Words Summer 12

    Published 14/07/17, by Admin

    Well, that's that!! What a fantastic year, a huge thank you to all of my staff, to our wonderful boys from Reception through to Year 6, and to you as our parents for making this such a successful and enjoyable academic year. I hope you have fond memories of our concerts, productions, final assemblies, speeches, graduations etc from the last few weeks

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  • Mr Spanswick's Words Summer 11

    Published 07/07/17, by Admin

    Rehearsals have been the order of the week, and I hope that I will be able to see many of you at the Reception - Year 2 production on Tuesday morning, and at the Year 3-6 production and Prize Giving on Wednesday afternoon. These events always close our academic year with such enjoyment and celebration.

    We are about to embark on Year 6’s last week with us. Many of the boys have been in the cohort since Reception, and they are already preparing their farewell speeches and hopefully enjoying being part of the Junior Boys school for the last time. However, once a part of the CC family, you are always part of it, and I know many of them will come back to visit us, and visit frequently! They have been a wonderful year to look after, and we are all going to miss them greatly.

    I hope you enjoy some of the snapshots of the week in our gallery - I look forward to seeing you at one of our events very soon.

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  • Mr Spanswick's Words Summer 10

    Published 30/06/17, by Admin

    During this morning’s assembly I showed our boys a video clip of Derek Redmond’s 400 metre Olympic final race from the 1992 Olympics. I thought it may be an apt theme for our Sports Day today. For those of you who might be unaware of this quite epic display of courage, Derek Redmond tore his hamstrings badly with 150m to go and broke down in pain. However, so determined was he to finish the race that he, with the help of his Dad who came sprinting onto the track, crossed the finish line some 3 minutes after the last competitor.

    Your sons watched in awe and in stunned silence as I asked them to consider who the real winner of the race was, who did they have most respect for, and whether this altered their perception of what a gold medal is for. My video finished with words ‘Failure does not define you’, and the boys agreed with me that courage and integrity were the two greatest values that they saw in this race. Over the course of the last 21 years where I have taken hundreds of assemblies, I cannot remember a group of boys who were lost in thought so genuinely, and who were so moved by the images they saw. As a teacher, it was one of those moments when you remember vividly why you chose this profession!

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  • Mr Spanswick's Words Summer 9

    Published 23/06/17, by Admin

    When I prepared my assemblies this week on the topic of ‘Respecting the Sun’ and the ‘Solstice’, it was very much in line with the current weather we have been experiencing. And what a week to choose for our Parents’ Evenings too!! Our colossal electric fan in the sports hall has never had so much use! Thank you so much for enduring the heat and joining us to chat through your son’s progress over the course of the year.

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  • Mr Spanswick's Words Summer 8

    Published 16/06/17, by Admin

    It has been another very successful week for our boys. From our Reception, Year 1 and 2  classes who have participated in their swimming gala at school, to our Year 3 Vikings and our Year 4 Chembakolli citizens, from our 5 and 6 cricket tourists, to our senior Longridge expeditioners, it has been another hectic yet enjoyable seven days at school.

    Many congratulations go to our Year 5 Maths team who competed at the Regional Interschool Maths Quiz on Tuesday. The team of Teo Rybak, Danyal Baber, Haider Ali Baig and Mani Singh under Mrs Henry’s guidance took on the best Mathematicians from a range of independent and state schools from the south east region, and they came second overall out of a big field of teams. A wonderful result, very well done boys. Not to be outdone, Mrs Icke and her group of drama specialists from Year 3-6 have been on Cloud 9 - the boys took their Speech and Drama exams this week and not only did every boy pass, they passed with either Merit or Distinction. Many many congratulations to the 13 boys who gained a Merit, and to the 29 boys who achieved a Distinction. Quite a brilliant set of outcomes.

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  • Mr Spanswick's Words Summer 7

    Published 09/06/17, by Admin

    I hope you all had a lovely half term break. I have chosen to use my words this week to inform you of staffing changes that will be occurring for the next academic year.

    Firstly, Mrs Sue Thomson, our Year 2 teacher and Head of Key Stage 1 will be going part time next year so that she can spend more time with her family, and she is excited about focusing on 1:1 support rather than class teaching. Mrs Sarah Sullivan, our current Head of EYFS will be our new Year 2 teacher and Head of Key Stage 1, with Mrs Chantal Hankin stepping up into the role of Head of EYFS.

    I have also chosen to increase the size of our Senior Leadership Team to reflect our growing school. Mrs Samantha Henry is taking on the role of Assistant Head (Curriculum and Head of Maths) as well as a Year 4 form tutor, Mrs Linda Stay will become Assistant Head (Pastoral Care) as well as being a Year 5 form tutor, and Mr Gillespie will become Assistant Head (Learning Development and SEND). While Mrs Judy Nott remains as the Deputy Head and my second in charge, Mr Leuzinger will also take on the role of Deputy Head as our School Operations Manager. We have also taken on two outstanding new form tutors, as well as another Learning Support Assistant for Key Stage 2. I now look towards September with a great deal of excitement and anticipation, and my ongoing ambition to provide the best possible learning environment for your son remains as strong as it ever was.

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  • Mr Spanswick's Words Summer 6

    Published 26/05/17, by Admin

    Summer has arrived!! And what a hot week it has been - our boys have relished the chance to participate in Pupil Problem Solving Week and my words will be very short today to allow more space for you to observe some of the amazing challenges they had to face.

    On Thursday the whole school took part in Water Aid Pupil Pipeline Challenge. Mrs Stay wanted the boys experience first hand the difficulties faced by third world children in getting access to clean drinking water.

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  • Mr Spanswick's Words Summer 5

    Published 19/05/17, by Debbie Parker

    What an unusual week it has been! Whenever we have assessments in school, timetabling gets disrupted - this is to be expected (this is what infuriates state sector head teachers so much, the constant assessments that they are required to place in their curriculum reduces the time pupils are actually taught). 

    But this week the boys and staff have had to also endure some bizarre weather causing a little localised flooding (mainly in my office!), cricket matches stopped, started, then stopped again, a number of indoor break times, and finally a wet outdoor pursuits day where we have over 100 pupils camping overnight! 

    But this is what school is all about! We are hoping to have some sunny weather next week for our Pupil Problem Solving activities that take place every day for every Year group.

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  • Mr Spanswick's Words Summer 4

    Published 12/05/17, by Admin

    I returned last weekend from a gruelling school inspection. It is a privilege to be allowed to enter another school and evaluate their systems and their own interpretation of a curriculum - it is also a wonderful feeling to come back and assess what we do with a different set of eyes. Throughout the summer term, my senior and middle management staff consistently analyse what we do and where improvements can be made - and improvements can always be made! Before half term I will share with you the new leadership structure to our Senior and Middle leadership teams for September 2017 which will hopefully give you an insight into how we intend to continue to provide the best possible learning environment and bespoke education for your son.

    Commencing on Monday, Year 1 to Year 6 will take our summer assessments which allow us to understand every pupils’ skill sets, a pupil’s ability and their individual needs. Results as always will be shared with our parent body. Assessment week has changed a great deal since I was at school (albeit that was a very very long time ago!), where the two weeks before exams were sat you would be revising factual information and cramming as much information into your brain as you could.

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