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Claires Court

Claires Court Maidenhead

from Nursery to Sixth Form

Mr Richards' 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 Richards of the week gone by. Read below recent messages from the Head's desk.

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  • Mr Richards' Words Lent 6

    Published 15/02/19, by Claire Cox

    I like to sit with the boys at lunch time to get to know them and to use the opportunity to see what they think. Their answers can be very revealing and do spark discussions in other arenas. I also like to hear about their experiences. For example, this week has seen runners racing triumphantly at the regional cross country, musicians performing in our informal Concert, French waiters serving breakfast, two fantastic form assemblies, chess matches and plenty of industry in between times. On occasion these conversations can go off at a tangent. For example a younger child asked me, ‘What do you do?’; I gave myself some thinking time and then got the rest of the table to answer it. They suggested three things (I am sure it is more than that!) and I did really like their responses; assemblies, giving out awards and encouraging us to achieve.

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  • Mr Richards' Words Lent 5

    Published 08/02/19, by Claire Cox

    Last week ‘the future’ was my topic. It kick started a few other thoughts about why, how and what we study at Junior Boys. One seamless link was, ‘change over time’ within our humanities and ICT programmes. Personally, I have never felt inclined to grasp a social media platform, which allows my children many gentle teasing opportunities.

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  • Mr Richards' Words Lent 4

    Published 01/02/19, by Olivia James

    The future is always an exciting topic of conversation and is frequently on the minds of adults in our community. The boys on the other hand for the large part are blissfully unaware of the enormity of the concept. I would certainly like the above status quo to stay this way. Our boys should be able to achieve without anxiety, try new skills, take chances, make mistakes and just enjoy their school days. Our curriculum, the wide ranging activity programme and co-curricular pillars of art, chess, drama, music, public speaking and sport give our charges the widest variety of experiences. Here they learn skills, develop lots of talents, are successful and gain much self-esteem along the way.

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  • Mr Richards' Words Lent 3

    Published 25/01/19, by Claire Cox

    “Teachers should trust their gut more” was an intriguing headline to an article I read whilst I was idling pre-match in Parma last weekend. What did it mean?  I then began to consider how do adults use their personal professional opinions (formative assessments) to guide planning and ensure progress? Has an era of league tables, anxiety and data collection (summative assessments) reduced the relevance or impact of this important element which is evidence based instinct? We certainly need to be accountable and have a mark book.  We also need to use encouraging comments, both verbally and written, upon completed or drafted work as well as give pupils time to think about and understand these prompts.

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  • Mr Richards' Words Lent 2

    Published 18/01/19, by Claire Cox

    Our first full week back commenced with a rather calorific chocolate challenge in assembly. The boys certainly responded and have continued working with much endeavour. Opportunity and talents certainly flourish in the school. One exciting collaboration is Mrs Icke’s Drama Club. Boys and girls are rehearsing to perform ‘The Snail and the Whale’ at an ISA event later in the term.

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  • Mr Richards' Words Lent 1

    Published 11/01/19, by Claire Cox

    A warm welcome back to School. Our community and how we rely upon each other has been the message during this shortened week. It will also be a consistently applied idea as ‘Community’ is our new assembly theme. Independence, leadership, personal responsibility and self-respect are also values that undoubtedly will manifest from it as well.

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  • Mr Richards' Words Autumn 13

    Published 14/12/18, by Claire Cox

    The final full week of term has been and gone in a frenzy of festive fun. Our Christmas collection of creativity commenced with a concert in the Sports Hall on Monday. Musicians young and old, experienced or just beginning, all showcased their many talents. The audience were certainly entertained by a range of seasonal pieces, some old favourites and newer material. The boys enjoyed the opportunity to perform in front of so many and the light touch of the informal nature allowed them to hit the right notes without being overburdened by anxiety. A little nerves are also good as it suggests that it means something to them. Saxophone, piano, flute and voice were the instruments of choice. It would be wonderful to have an even greater variety next term. I am sure we have a few budding percussionists in our midst!  Our guitarists also got an outing on Wednesday to support Mrs Lang’s superb assembly. She was ably assisted by her highly enthusiastic and imaginative Year 5 English group, who enjoyed researching and demonstrating different unusual greetings from around the world.

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  • Mr Richards' Words Autumn 12

    Published 07/12/18, by Claire Cox

    Bravery and talent were themes or concepts that have I wrestled with all week. The spark and ensuing mental contest came from our assembly on Monday where Mrs Ross, our excellent vocalist coach demonstrated her versatility by accompanying soloists Sam Hill (Y5), Junwen Liew (Y6) Joel Smith (Y5) and Ben Norrington (Y3). Each one of them performed beautifully. For the record they sang Calypso Carol, The Angel Gabriel, The Jaguar and The Snowman. I mused afterwards that I would have been terrified by the pressure, full of anxiety and that the audience might have been traumatised by my sound. So well done boys.

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  • Mr Richards' Words Autumn 11

    Published 30/11/18, by Claire Cox

    Dear Father Christmas

    I know you receive thousands upon thousands of letters at this time of year and I am so sorry to add to your workload but I just had to post one more to your mailbag. At Junior Boys we have had a tremendous term, achieved considerably both in the classroom, on the field and upon the stage. I also feel impelled to tell you about and to explain how wonderfully kind the community at Claires Court has been to me in my first term here.

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  • Mr Richards' Words Autumn 10

    Published 23/11/18, by Claire Cox

    Water, water everywhere...’ is one line of a famous poem from “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner,” by Samuel Taylor Coleridge. However, unlike their ship, our Junior Boys vessel is not becalmed and it is surrounded, not by sprites or tempting salt water but by lots of boys who continue to drink up thirstily all of the academic, sporting and creative opportunities that we offer them.

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  • Mr Richards' Words Autumn 9

    Published 16/11/18, by Claire Cox

    Inspiration can come from any source and grab you at the most unexpected of times. At Junior Boys we constantly endeavour to create exciting hooks in lessons to fire imaginations, stimulate inquisitive minds and allow creativity to flourish. Sometimes though, as the boys might recognise, it just is not there, the juices are not flowing and the page remains empty. Then the real struggle begins as academic resilience is developed and the teachers’ craft is tested. I was in that position this week. My page remained blank (at last some of you cry!) as I focused on the looming deadline rather than the prompts all around me.

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  • Mr Richards' Words Autumn 8

    Published 09/11/18, by Claire Cox

    I am sure the two weeks away felt like an eternity for us all! I looked forward with anticipation to continuing my voyage of CCJB discovery. As my Head’s quote of the month said, “You cannot discover new oceans until you are brave enough to lose sight of the shore.”

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