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Claires Court

Claires Court Maidenhead

from Nursery to Sixth Form

Mr Spanswick's Words Lent 5

As we move closer to half term, the school is drawn again towards our considerable efforts supporting the charity groups whom we hold so close to our hearts. The stories behind The Link Foundation and Rosie’s Rainbow and the tireless work of their founders, Una Loughrey and Carolyn Mayling, inspire me every day to ensure that my staff and I present our pupils with the right perspective on life and to encourage an active interest in their local community. The traits of modesty and selflessness amongst our boys were two areas that our visiting inspectors picked up on immediately last week and lavished great praise on the pupils and staff for this.

If I ever needed an example of this type of behaviour, it came knocking at my door earlier this week. Theo Ainsley very quietly popped into my office with an envelope telling me that he had just enjoyed his birthday celebrations, but felt that he would like to share some of his birthday money with the charity groups and help others in a less fortunate position than him. As a Headteacher, you have to desensitise to many different types of emotional situations, but this one took my breath away. Theo left my office, no bother, no fuss, not looking for accolades or plaudits - a remarkable gesture from a lovely Year 3 boy.

Strange chalk markings have appeared in the playground this week. They seem to be fairly regular and I was pleased to discover that it was simply the Year 5 boys continuing their work about the Sun and plotting its progress during the recent sunny weather. Year 6 have been looking at organisms much closer to home as they start to study microbes. They magnified a human hair so that the width of it was 10 metres. They then discovered that if a virus is magnified the same number of times it will still only be 2 millimetres. Amazing stuff!

Around the school I have been watching Reception work on their phonics this week, and I will be holding a Reading Parental session just after half term to explain how we go about educating the boys in this area and giving you some ideas on how you could support at home. This will also have significant relevance to Year 1 and 2 - more information will come out about this session next week.

Year 1 have been working on their dinosaur topic and are only too happy to regale me with information about unpronounceable extinct beings! It is lovely to see such enthusiasm in learning. Year 2 have been especially meticulous in their ‘Magical’ Creative Writing and I was supremely impressed with Tom Avezbakiev’s beautiful piece of work. This young man is a budding author in the making.

Year 3 have also been working hard on English composition and reading some of their work was an absolute pleasure. Mrs Lang’s class were constructing their stories in front of several visitors this week and the comments from our guests echoed such wonderful sentiments of maturity, creativity and confidence. They also mentioned that they have rarely seen boys listen to each other’s ideas so intently, which we endeavour to encourage as a main focus for our boys.

And to our lovely Year 4 boys - they have been building up their Harry Potter repertoire all week, ready for the ‘HP party’ tonight. Mrs Davies has been even more excited than the boys!

Last night our choir sang at the O2 along with many other school pupils from around the country in the Young Voices concert, and having seen some of the video footage, it seems to have been a night the boys (and parents!) will never forget. Very well done to our choir and to all of our staff who have prepared the boys so well for this adventure.

As I write this I am awaiting news of our Cross Country athletes who were competing today over at the ISA Regional championships. I will be sure to update you on their progress next week.

Have a lovely weekend

Justin Spanswick

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Ridgeway, The Thicket, Maidenhead, SL6 3QE

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