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Claires Court

Claires Court Maidenhead

from Nursery to Sixth Form

Mr Spanswick's Words Summer 11

So, as they say in the theatre, this is it! My last Heads’ Words to you in my role as Headteacher of the Junior Boys school.

Important stuff first - the boys. This week has been full of rehearsals, guitar assemblies, final sporting fixtures, Caribbean cricket, more rehearsals, piano assemblies...the list goes on. However, the highlight of the week must go to our Under 9 Chess team, who went to Birmingham and played two full days of chess in the EPSCA National Finals. An amazing feat to even get that far, the boys played brilliantly, represented the school with such passion and professionalism and ended up being the 5th ranked school in the country. What a way to finish the academic year - very well done to Hou Ning Zhu, Josh Sharma, Moksha Suriarachchi, Aaran Hitschmann, Tom Avezbakiev and Kanishka Suriarachchi. You have done us proud! We have also had an amazing set of Speech and Drama results including 38 distinctions. Well done boys!

Thank you to so many of you for writing to me and reflecting so positively on your son’s time at school under my stewardship. It has been a rather emotional couple of weeks for me - it will be the first time in 22 years of teaching that I will not be working so closely with the boys come September, and in truth, the thought does scare me a bit! You do not enter into the world of education with a view to spend time away from the pupils!! Hopefully in this new position, I will still be able to balance seeing our pupils in action whilst still working on whole school matters.

Headship can be quite a lonely existence, as so many positions of Leadership are, and I have been blessed to work with such a fantastic team of staff who have encouraged me through some of the more difficult and taxing moments in my tenure. James and Hugh Wilding have shown such faith in my ability to look after things at the Ridgeway site and I am indebted to them for furthering my career. The staff team at CCJB is wonderful, and my deepest thanks go out to them for putting up with a Headteacher like me - I am not a stereotypical Head, so I have been told! Judy Nott, my Deputy Head, in particular as well as Ruth Henley in our office deserve special thanks as they have had to bear the brunt of my jokes, quips, time management issues, and over running of visitors' meetings!

My next thanks go to you as our parents. You have chosen to have your sons educated with us at CCJB and it is a responsibility that I take so very seriously. I have endeavoured to provide the best learning environment in which your sons can thrive, and although I do not always get it right, I hope you feel that we are very transparent as a school in our processes and with our efforts. When James Wilding asked me what my five year goal would be for this school as I took on the role of Head Designate, I simply stated ‘To provide an opportunity for every boy in the school to fulfil their potential.’ I hope I have gone some way to achieving this aim.

A huge thank you has to go to your sons - they are the reason I get up in the morning and look forward to each new day. In teaching, every day is different and I love the variety that this brings...well, I normally love it!

My final thank you goes to my family - in 1979 my parents decided to educate their son privately and took a quick tour around Ridgeway. The rest is history. My children have had to endure the embarrassment of having their Dad at their school most days, and they are both remarkably sane in spite of this!! And finally to Sarah, my wife, who has had to live and breathe every day of my school existence with me, support me, and ensure that I never lose perspective. Thank you.

It has been an absolute privilege to look after your children for so long, thank you for giving me the opportunity. I hand the reins over to Dean Richards, a superb educator and an even better person, and I know that you are all in safe hands.

Have a wonderful summer break.

My best wishes

Justin Spanswick

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