Here is a round up of news from across the organisation, to give you a flavour of what we have been doing in the last week or so!
What an event and what an atmosphere!
From Pre–Prep to Sixth Form, the College students and staff were part of the action! We all walked down and we lined the Marlow Road, waving our flags and cheering and some were fortunate to be beside the torch change over. It really was exciting and the sight of all those intimidating policemen on motor cycles ‘high–fiving’ all and sundry was highly entertaining. The children loved it (the adults of course, were so restrained!) and there was much shouting, screaming, waving of flags and general excitement. Ridgeway boys were at the head of the whole parade at Pinkneys Green. The photo to the right is of Livvy Archer and Laura Godleman (Year 9) with Mary Baker, the torch bearer. The Claires Court boy rowers lined Maidenhead Bridge with their blades raised, providing a ‘guard of honour’ and our Year 10 girls interviewed members of the watching crowd. One of the Year 10 groups had the amazing good fortune to chat to a gentleman who had been a torch bearer at the 1948 Olympics and he let them pose, with Miss Cox and Mrs Heywood, and the 1948 torch!
Claires Court Schools' Boat Club hosted their first annual dinner on Saturday at Maidenhead Rowing Club. The festivities were kicked off with the naming of the two new quads after the outgoing Captain of Boats, Josh Harris and the incoming captain Dan Gordon. Over 80 parents and families enjoyed a hog roast dinner and an amusing video of the year. The guest speaker, Ali Brown, former Director of Rowing at Sir William Borlase's and currently Director of Rowing at Bedford Modern School, inspired everyone with his many anecdotes. Mr Wilding then demonstrated impressive auctioneering skills during the highly successful auction of promises. The coaching team would like to thank everyone that helped to run the event and all who attended or donated prizes for the auction. Photos will appear on the website shortly!
Our annual Strawberry Café opened for business on Friday 6 July. Year 1 & 2 girls donned their badges and lacy ‘caps&rsqu; to become hardworking waitresses for the afternoon! They served parents, friends and staff the most delicious cream teas, with clotted cream and fresh strawberries. The girls had to put all their newly acquired addition and money skills into action as they took orders, totalled bills and worked out change. All our customers seemed very happy with the service they received, with many even leaving tips! Well done girls! Your teachers are very proud of you.
Year 12 students had the opportunity of experiencing the judicial system when they took part in a mock trial. For a change, Matt Martin was completely innocent of the accusation made against him! Such was the ruling made by the magistrates and jurors during the mock trial presided over by Jackie Rance and Patty Prescott from ‘Magistrates in the Community’ during Activity Week. A number of the Year 12 students acted out their roles as witnesses, magistrates, police, defence and prosecution lawyers trying to establish the defendant had received stolen goods. Not only did the experience inform students of the practicalities of court room procedure but it also highlighted many previously unknown and interesting facts about the British criminal justice system. An enlightening and entertaining exercise!
Congratulations to Elena De Torres and her Year 9 helpers for holding a fund–raising cake for the Ronan Thompson Foundation. The girls raised well over £273.15 pounds for this worthy cause that supports children with Neuroblastoma. Thank you to all girls who brought in cakes to support the cause. A specially mention needs to go to Lisa Rogulska who spent her whole weekend baking 9 beautiful cakes which she then sold to the staff. Lisa was able to raise £50 for the charity, on her own! Well done to all involved.
On Saturday, Kally Mudge, Year 6, spent 10 hours at Bracknell Swim Meet and competed in 10 individual races. She managed to come away with 7 medals!
Her results were:
In the 50m Backstroke, Kally has managed to get a County Qualifying time of 37.61, so next March 2013 she will be eligible to swim this race at County competitions. So far, Kally has qualified for the 50m Backstroke, 100m Freestyle and 200 Backstroke at County competitions next year.
This half term the Art Club girls made their very own Olympic Torches and designed handy backpacks with an Olympic theme. Hopefully they will be able to use their bags to keep their drinks and snacks in when they attend Olympic events over the summer!
In April a number of girls in Years 7 and 8 took part in the Junior Mathematics Challenge run by the University of Leeds and a number of prizes have been awarded. In Year 8 Maria Perez Pena Gonzalez won a bronze certificate and ‘Best in Year’. In Year 7 Laura Kidd, Katie Boon and Lauren Torley won bronze certificates and Sophia Sethi won silver as well as ‘Best in Year’ and ‘Best in School’. Well done to everyone who took part.
The Sixth Form staff were delighted to welcome pupils from Year 10 when they spent a morning in the Sixth Form Centre. Pupils and tutors made the most of the opportunity to meet and discuss the differences between GCSE and A Level study, trial A Level lessons and talk about life as a Sixth Form student. Girls and boys both enjoyed looking at A Levels and Sixth Form life and we trust the experience will add further motivation to their GCSE studies!
Years 7, 8, 9 and 10 girls have spent this week taking part in a variety of activities, some of which they will not have experienced before. A lot of the activities have involved getting wet in one way or another but they still seem to have enjoyed themselves. The highlight of the week was possibly the Year 9s camp and possibly the low point was getting wet on the Jubilee River challenge!! Year 9 — or some of them — have walked further than they have ever done in their lives! Year 10 really enjoyed their media day covering the Torch Relay. Store Van Music also went off with a bang as girls composed their own music to an advertising clip. Slicks moves were learnt in the Salsa class and top tips delivered by an outside guest on how to improve your image.
The mailing will travel home with all pupils in main school today. Please be sure to return the Report acknowledgement slip to School on the first day of term. Please do check through the information now rather than the other end of the holidays, to ensure you are up to speed with coach bookings etc. And, of course, you will want to read the school report!! All families from Reception to Year 10 will receive a copy of the Scribblings & Scribblets today, which is a celebration of the poetry of junior and senior poets! All families will receive the Court Circular 2010–11... 2011–12 is hot on its heels!
Your daughter will bring home her Activity Programme and Selection sheet at the beginning of term.
Could we please remind all families that they should be sure to remove all personal belongings and litter from the School premises after a visit or event of any kind. We would also remind you that we do not permit dogs on any of our grounds or playing fields. We will greatly appreciate your co-operation with these requests in order to keep our grounds safe and clean for our pupils.
Please note that a few changes have been made to some of the stops, notably Hazlemere where a stop for Great Missenden has been added and some minor adjustments made. Also the stops on the Stoke Poges and Chalfont St Peter have been amended. If you used any of these routes, please do check the timing for your stop and if you wish to make a change, send your form into School by 31 July, please. This allows us time to make any necessary adjustments to arrangements.
Thank you to our PTA who have worked hard this year, as always, fundraising for the benefit of our girls — evident most recently by their generous donation of medals for our Sports Days and prizes for our Pre and Junior Prep Prize Giving. Mr David Grant, together with his fantastic team, organised a multitude of fundraising events and uniform sales throughout the year. To all you wonderful helpers, thank you and enjoy the summer break!
With the Olympics and Paralympic games being held in our Capital City this summer, and knowing that a number of pupils will be experiencing this fantastic event, we would like our pupils to capture their experiences and share them with us. Miss Fuller will be creating a photo board in the Atrium and would like the pupils to bring in any Olympic photos so that their experiences can be shared by all. Please hand them directly to Miss Fuller in September.
All College girls should have received their Summer Reading Postcard this week, printed in their House colour and addressed and ready to post. Just remember to take the postcard away with you for the holidays and write on the back what book you are reading… and where! Don't forget there will be prizes for those who return their postcards and a prize for the House that returns the MOST postcards. College staff are involved too, so look out for the postcard displays next term and see what your friends — and teachers — have been reading! We look forward to hearing from you!
If you're stuck for reading ideas this summer, try www.lovereading4kids.co.uk. This independent web site not only contains some great reviews but lists books by age and genre. But don't forget, why pay when you can borrow?! Your local public library will be running the ‘Story Lab’ reading challenge which starts at most libraries on 14 July. RBWM libraries also offer fantastic online resources, for free, via their web site www.rbwm.gov.uk/web/libraries.htm including audiobooks and eBooks that can be downloaded onto computers or any other compatible device.
Several local units are in danger of closing due to lack of leaders. Units are run by a team of 2–3 volunteers supported by a parent rota and meet once a week during term time. If you think you would like to become involved, please ring Kate Snell on 07866 182987.
All pupils will need their full P.E. kit (including swimming kit) on the first day of term!
Georgina Sharman, Year 10, has lost her games kit — a skort and brand new tracksuit bottoms. Please could parents check their daughter's kit. Thank you.
The topic for next term — ‘People who help us’. The first week back is settling in week.
Thank you to Mr Aspinall, (Katie's father), for bringing in his real Olympic torch to show to the children!
Mrs Pemberton is reducing her hours next term and is giving up her work in the Beehive class but will still be seen every morning and evening leading our wrap around care in the Lower School Hall and running the holiday camps. Mrs Crawley is moving from the Transition class to assist in the Beehive class. We wish them both lots of fun in their changed roles and very many thanks for all their hard work and dedication.
Monday 16 July is Fun Day! All children are invited for the morning, even if it is not their normal morning.
The Nursery team wish all families a lovely, restful holiday, hopefully with lots of sun! We would also like to say ‘thank you’ again to our PTA for providing medals for Sports Day.
Event/Teddy Bears' Picnic as a fair weather option, Venue / Ockwells Park Maidenhead
If it rains the alternative will be Playtrain in High Wycombe. There will be a couple of us that will go earlier (9.30am) to secure tables; feel free to join us at that time if you wish. Older or younger siblings welcome. Any queries, please do mail Farah Sheikh; otherwise she looks forward to seeing you there! Farah Sheikh — firstname.lastname@example.org.
Results slips will be available for collection from College between 9.30am and 10.30am. Any results not collected on the day will be posted out by First Class post.
Week 1 of the Autumn Term Menu
All parents are invited to attend. Please go to your daughter's Form Room for the meeting at which her Form Teacher will talk you through the class routines and expectations for the year. You will also be given a copy of the Curriculum Statement for 2012–13.
"Many, many thanks to you all for my lovely parting gifts: Portmeirion Dawn Chorus Cake stand and four side plates, cake knife and delicious cake, and of course, the wonderful card. I have shown the gifts to the children this morning. As I said to them, we will see one another again as I am looking forward to being invited back to watch their performances next year and, of course, when I join the staff for coffee! Thank you also for being such a supportive parent body — it has been great working in partnership with you all."
An acquaintance of mind recently said — "you must be glad to be winding down towards the end of the year" — and then stage left I could hear the whispered prompt "you must be joking"!
Activity Week has been a whirl of walking challenges, camping, music composition, play rehearsals, first aid emergency scenarios, salsa dancing, Olympic Torch event reporting and so on and so on. Add to that Senior New Girls Evening, Year 12 New Parents' Evening, two brilliant performances of The Sound of Music and you can perhaps see that any opportunity to offer you a leisurely review of the year, never actually materialised.
Watching the Olympic Torch relay, all of us in our distinctive sports kit and our flags and torches, was a wonderful sight. It did give us a real buzz, and I think we have actually begin to realise that it is here, it is about to start, and it is going to be a wonderful month of "The most important thing is not to win but to take part, just as the most important thing in life is not the triumph but the struggle. The essential thing is not to have conquered but to have fought well."
Now the Show — what an evening they gave us — great songs, confident acting, an evocative set and a challenging sound script that really delivered. It was wonderful to see our Years 7-9 stepping up to the mark (supported by a Year 10 technical team) and successfully taking on a musical that is much more than sugar coated songs. It is also at these times that you realise the strength of your teaching force. There is a real community approach to putting on a large production and I should like to thank all of my colleagues for the support they have given to our two Directors, Mrs Macfarlane and Mrs Robinson.
At the end of term assembly we shall, as has become our tradition, award our Academic Awards for the term. This is the recognition given to our Senior Girls for those who have striven, progressed and achieved on the academic front, which is of course such a central feature of the challenges we place in front of our girls. These awards are based upon the grades that the staff have given in the end of term reports, which I hope you have in your hand alongside this final Colloquium of the year.
We celebrated the achievements and efforts of all of our Junior Girls with the Junior Girls Speech Day on Thursday. We were beautifully entertained by Reception to Year 2 with their suite of songs with a sporting and Olympian theme, which was followed by the prize giving — a Souvenir Programme is included in your end of term mailing. Prizes were presented by our honoured guest, Ali Sparkes, children's author and winner of the Blue Peter Book of the Year Award 2010, who then entertained us with an amusing account of her journey from being unable to read to the writing of her first book (which was rejected!) and then her first published novel ‘Frozen in Time’. To round off proceedings, Years 3 to 6, with Mr Carruthers, presented their gifts to Mrs Murphy who, as you know, is taking early retirement. The children also presented her with a HUGE card with all their signatures and self portraits which she will undoubtedly treasure! The Years 3–6 girls then sang ‘Holy Moses’ — a wonderful finale to the afternoon!
It has been a year of real achievement at College — as all of our Junior and Senior girls, Nursery and Sixth Form have aspired to go faster, higher and further (to mangle a timely motto).
Thank you for all of your support over the year, and most of all have a great time with your children over what I hope will be, at some point, a sunny summer.
"A perfect summer day is when the sun is shining, the breeze is blowing, the birds are singing, and both the lawn mower and washing machine are broken."
Well, we can dream can't we?!