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Claires Court

Claires Court Maidenhead

from Nursery to Sixth Form

Mr Spanswick's Words Summer 8

 I have just about recovered from the cricket tour last weekend! Spending hours and hours by the sea watching cricket, outdoor activities and the odd table tennis game is much more tiring than you may think! Congratulations go to all of our U10 and U11 tourists and staff who enjoyed very successful trips to Dorset and Devon.

Never to be upstaged, our Bushcrafters and Longridge enthusiasts took part in a very tiring and enjoyable expedition involving some sailing races, building rafts, creating shelters and desperately trying to erect tents! Mrs Nott and Mr Butterfield tell me that the boys were all so well behaved and they really challenged themselves with their attitude towards the activities. Many boys showed skills beyond anything we have seen before and all of Year 5 and 6 have come away with some great memories.

Today Year 4 are enjoying our Chembakolli experience where they live for a day as pupils in a rural Indian school. Please take the time to look at our gallery for some wonderful photos. Year 3 enjoyed being Vikings on Monday and lots of their work in different subjects this week have been inspired by their wonderful experience. It also made for a very colourful day, what with all of the dressing up!

And what our about our little ones?! They have been busy too with their hands on approach to learning in all subjects, whether they be outside tending to the vegetable gardens, exploring the Thicket, or even taking part in the wellness walks. In fact, our younger boys have outdone their older counterparts by lapping the school so many times as part of our Health Eating Week.

We have enjoyed foods from around the world (the Lamb Koftas were my favourite!) all week long and assemblies have been dedicated to learning more about the importance of balancing our diet and the need to take on water. While we have learnt a great deal, we have also eaten well! And amongst all of this fun, we have of course been concentrating on our curriculum work and continuing to learn and discover new ideas, thoughts, skills and processes.

On to other news, we are only a week away from our Summer Fete and the Year 4 to 6 World Cup Football Tournament and I hope that you will all be able to attend. It is always a brilliant day out and the initial forecast looks promising, depending on which website you choose to look at!

And to staffing news, I am pleased to announce that Mrs Katie Morgan, our current Year 3-6 Humanities teacher, will join the Year 5 team as a full time form tutor from September. Mrs Morgan has recently retrained as a fully qualified teacher, and with her specialist area of Mathematics, will become an integral part of Mrs Henry’s Maths team.

Onto other staffing matters, after decades of working at Claires Court, as a former senior school teacher, former Deputy Head and my predecessor as Headteacher at CCJB, as a sports coach working several afternoons per week, as a role model to so many staff members in the organisation, and as one of my greatest and most respected friends, Jeff Watkins will be hanging up the rugby boots come July and will retire from teaching. He will still be popping in to do some supply work with us (we will never let him go!) but not on the regular basis that we have been seeing him over the years. The word legend is often overused and therefore can lose its value, but Jeff Watkins is a legend in the true sense of the word. His determination to allow staff to teach and inspire in the way they see fit, his capacity to challenge pupils while maintaining such a compassionate and pastoral watch over their development and his ability to light up any room that he walks in will, of course, be missed.  I would like to thank him personally for looking after me so patiently when I first started as Head Designate, with him as my mentor, five years ago.

I will have more staffing news next week, but in the meantime, please take the chance to read our bulletin carefully, especially the great work of Henry Adamson and his Food Bank - some boys in this school work so hard for others, and Henry is one of them.

And finally, we received a little note from Downing Street on Wednesday. Our Prime Minister had heard that our Under 9 chess team have reached the National Finals and wrote to the boys congratulating them on their efforts and wishing them the best of luck for the finals in Birmingham at the start of July. Last 8 teams in the country!  An achievement that fills our boys and staff with pride.

I hope you all have a lovely weekend, and I look forward to seeing some of you at Parents’ Evening next week.

Justin Spanswick


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Ridgeway, The Thicket, Maidenhead, SL6 3QE

(use SL6 4QQ for satnavs, enter via Cannon Lane)

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