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Claires Court

Claires Court Maidenhead

from Nursery to Sixth Form

Mr Spanswick's Words Autumn 11

In all honesty, it has been an unusual couple of weeks for me!

I am sure that you have all seen the exciting announcement of our new Headteacher at the Junior Boys school from September 2018. Dean Richards came through a long list of talented applicants and then a rigorous set of interviews (even negotiating a challenging 30 minutes in front of our Year 6 boys panel!) to emerge as the outstanding candidate to lead this wonderful school. For me, it has all been a little bittersweet.....I am obviously excited about the role that lays ahead of me, but will always be mindful that I am passing over the most enjoyable and satisfying (and demanding!) job that I have ever had. When Dean and I first met nearly a month ago, I knew immediately that I was talking to someone who shares our values at Claires Court, and who has the passion to see every child fulfill their potential.

And what an unbelievable week it has been. When the call came through from Mrs Nott last night that our Year 5 and 6 Science Quiz team won the highly coveted tournament at Chesham Prep school, I realised yet again that there is nothing to stop our boys, your sons, from excelling in any area they choose if they have the belief and confidence in their own abilities. A huge congratulations go to William McMath, Will Dixon, Samuel Ancliffe and George Watson for their considerable efforts. A fantastic achievement.

In the same breath we must also mention the victorious swimmers who returned from the ISA Regional Championships not only with a variety of medals and a ranking of 2nd best school in the region, but also with the news that Max Moore, Samuel Sidders, Gursahej Bakshi and Spike Stalham have qualified for the National Finals. Another superb achievement from a set of pupils who represented their school with pride and honour.

As if this was not enough, I was left speechless by the performances of our rugby teams, most notably the successful matches against both Ludgrove school, Chesham Prep and St Bernard's where all of our Year 4, 5 and 6 boys showed considerable skill and poise under pressure. From the games I was lucky enough to watch, the quality of rucking and general play at the breakdown was very impressive.

I commented last week about our changing reward system acknowledging pupils ability to follow Our Golden Rules. I will be going through with all of our boys in the coming week how our adaptation from Best Self Awards to Key Values badges will work, and I will ensure that all of our parents have the necessary literature and understanding of this system in due course. By recognising pupil achievements in this crucial area of personal development consistently throughout the year rather than just at the end of each term we hope to engage the boys more readily with aspects of the Golden Rules and allow them to have more control and appreciation of their own individual traits.

And Christmas is coming!! I took an assembly with just our Reception, Year 1 and 2 boys on Wednesday where we talked about the magic of this time of year, and how we can all enjoy giving as well as receiving gifts. Today we lit our advent candle for the first time, and the awe and wonder your sons enthused from our music, stories and community makes this such a rewarding job. Rehearsals for Nativity plays and Carol concerts are taking place alongside of all the curriculum study that we expect from the boys, and some visitors to the school were left open mouthed when they heard our Pre Prep boys earlier in the week trying out their songs.......in full Christmas dress! We also have Christmas jumper days on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday that go in tandem with our Christmas lunches! However boys can wear them on all three days if they want.....our school looks so festive when the boys are in their colourful jumpers!!

Our charity group, the Link Foundation, have readied their postbox for families to contribute to in our Reception area of the school. Any gifts of cash or Tesco vouchers will be much appreciated by local children who do not have much to look forward to at this time of year.

My final words go to our Year 3 boys who enjoyed a day at Ufton Court on Thursday learning about Celts and Romans. The following email came in from the organiser of the day regarding our pupils:

Dear Amy (Carter)

I’m really pleased that you and the boys enjoyed the day. They were brilliant to work with and really entered into the spirit of the day. They were a credit to you and the school.

I look forward to working with you in the future.

A lovely set comments, and we often receive this type of feedback.

Well, I have been told that I am on 'dressing up duty' for the Christmas Fair on Friday which fills me with dread!! However, I hope to see many of you there from 2.30pm in our Sporthall. It promises to be lots of fun!!

Have a lovely weekend.

Justin Spanswick

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