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Claires Court

Claires Court Maidenhead

from Nursery to Sixth Form

Head's Words Summer Term Week 3

A very unusual week at school where we saw our first cricket matches played over at the Beacon school in a beautiful flurry of snow!!! It didn’t deter our Under 9 boys as we won three out of the four matches. Very well done to William Chandler in Year 6 who impressed greatly in the Under 11A match on Wednesday taking 4 wickets and a wonderful catch. Mr Goddard, our Head of Cricket, has been delighted with the way training has been going all the way from Year 2 up to Year 6 - we really have some enthusiastic, determined and talented cricketers in the school.

My Heads’ Words are dominated today by news of staffing changes for the coming academic year...

At the end of this year, Mrs Katy Singeisen will be leaving us after a quarter of a century based at Claires Court Junior Boys. Mrs Singeisen has been a Year 3 teacher for much of this time, and has looked after generations of families in the school. She is a wonderful teacher, and someone who has developed our R.S curriculum to include significant elements of philosophy, something the boys really enjoy. Her kind and nurturing approach to pastoral care has made her very popular, and both pupils and staff will miss her enormously. But Mrs Singeisen will not simply be retiring - she will be working several days a week at Beech Lodge school in Hurley, a school that was in fact created due to her inspiration when working with one of our families some time ago. We wish her the very best, and I would like to thank her very much for her amazing support of the school.

Stepping into the Year 3 role is Mrs Amy Carter. Mrs Carter will be moving from Juniper Hill where she teaches in Key Stage 2. Mrs Carter and I worked together some 20 years ago when she first started looking after boys and girls at one of our CC holiday camps, and I am really looking forward to welcoming her back to Claires Court -  her subject specialties lie in the core subjects of English, Maths and Science, as well as Geography. She has a son with us in Year 1 and her husband Simon is the Head of Physical Education at the Senior Boys school.

Another change comes in the form of our LDD department.  Mrs Anne Sayer will be leaving Claires Court Junior Boys school to retire. Anne joined the girls school in 1999 as a Geography teacher at secondary level and later became the school SENCo. I can remember accompanying her on a wonderful GCSE Geography field trip to the Brecon Beacons many years ago where we encountered horizontal rain at its very best! After spending time in Singapore, Anne then joined CCJB five years ago and took over the Special Education Needs Department, now known as the Learning Development Department.

Anne is an outstanding SENCo and has transformed the way we as a school have embraced pupils with learning differences. Through her vast array of skills and endless compassion, she has enabled her pupils to find new ways to learn and has inspired the boys to believe in themselves and their academic ability. She has also enabled the whole school staff to think differently about how they teach boys with different needs, and her department have thrived under her superb leadership. Knowledgeable, kind, and extremely patient, Anne has been an integral part of the success of Claires Court Junior Boys School. From a personal perspective, she is a wonderful friend and we are all going to miss working with her greatly.

Stepping into the role of SENCo for September is Mr Daniel Gillespie who many of you will know. Mr Gillespie currently works in the LDD department at Junior Boys and spends a great deal of time with Year 4. Mr Gillespie and I have worked together for many years at the senior boys school (and I used to teach him A level PE back in the 90’s which he keeps reminding me of!). Mr Gillespie is relishing the prospect of his new role.

I am also delighted to announce that we will be taking on Mrs Jan Icke as our new full time Drama teacher in September. Many of you will know Mrs Icke as she already works 2 days a week with us instructing our boys on Speech and Drama lessons. She will be working with all the age groups at specific times of the year, and bringing a new dimension to our Drama groups during after school activities. She will still be spending half of her week with individual pupils who are striving to pass their Language, Speech and Drama exams, but will spend the rest of her time working within our curriculum.

And the boys? They have been very busy!...

In lessons pupils in Year 1-Year 6 are preparing themselves for the summer assessments which are coming up in the middle of May. In assembly on Wednesday this week we continued to discuss the power of words, especially in the context of music and poetry. On Monday to celebrate the Queen’s 90th birthday and St George’s Day from the previous weekend, a number of our boys were dressed up in their Scouts/Beavers uniforms and looked very smart. Please have a look at the pictures below, there are also some lovely snaps of our Vegetable Garden assembly on Monday, of the Green Warriors who presented our Growing Plan, and of class RG who have been impressing their teachers all week.

We also have a busy weekend ahead, with our Think Tank Olympic team taking part in their Olympic Games in London on Saturday, and with our chess team in the Mega-finals over in Newbury on Monday. Best of luck to both teams, and to all the boys who are taking part in rugby tournaments for their clubs across the West Country this weekend - I hope the weather stays dry!

I will leave you with the super news that Mrs Susan Payne is recovering from her latest infection, and the Doctors are so pleased with her progress, they are considering starting her treatment of chemotherapy again. She is such a strong and resilient lady, we continue to hope that she will be able to recover from this serious illness. Have a lovely Bank Holiday weekend, and I look forward to seeing all of the boys on Tuesday.

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