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Claires Court

Claires Court Maidenhead

from Nursery to Sixth Form

Mr Richards' Words Autumn 8

I am sure the two weeks away felt like an eternity for us all! I looked forward with anticipation to continuing my voyage of CCJB discovery. As my Head’s quote of the month said, “You cannot discover new oceans until you are brave enough to lose sight of the shore.”

The break though has given many the opportunity to refresh, recharge and plan for our busy calendar of academic endeavour and enriching events as we hurtle towards reports and seasonal celebrations. It was also wonderful to open two emails on Monday alerting me to some recent amazing chess performances. Well done Moksha who is the U10 Berkshire champion and Josh in Year 5 for representing Maidenhead so well.

We also hope that our U11 rugby players have acquitted themselves well. The big match is certainly not at Twickenham this Saturday! The U11 tour to Devon and Cornwall departed yesterday and the first game further cemented previously established relationships with St. Peter’s Prep - our hosts were very hospitable allowing us to leave in high spirits. Pupils remaining at school were also treated to a mixture of new challenges. Golf, First Aid and Land Art inspired by the work of Andy Goldsworth were all exciting worthwhile workshops but perhaps the pizza making dough stretched them the most needing complete concentration. There again, during first aid, it may have been unsettling discovering an injured Mr Griffiths and treating him for unspecified injuries.

Other exciting events this term include tonight's PTA ‘Fright Night Disco’ which I am sure will be a scary occasion with a significant amount of E numbers and an over indulgence of sugar to kick start the weekend. Calmer, but equally valuable, are visits to the Victorian Workshops at Reading Museum and Norden Farm; something the boys are looking forward to.

Next week, Year 2 will be visiting the Stubbings War Memorial.  This link to Remembrance and helping our pupils understand how to reflect and reconcile are an important part of our desire to develop the boy’s awareness of citizenship and responsibility. Within education these and other areas are rather somewhat crassly titled ‘British Values’ but we prefer to gently instil the qualities and characteristics through our Claires Court Essentials.

Our new assembly themes are one way that allow us to do this. ‘Respect’ is our new word until December. Mr Pennington kicked off the teacher assemblies on Wednesday. I am sure your son has mentioned the messy spur that greeted them in the Hall. It was an excellent journey into the 3Es. ‘Everyone, Equipment and Environment’. I wonder if the 85% of boys who said their bedrooms were tidy were being that honest!

This morning 5S also held our first Form Assembly where they invited their parents to watch them present their take on this word and their awareness of conflict, armistice and remembrance. Under Mrs Stay’s excellent tutelage they produced a moving, poignant and thought provoking piece of work. Well done to the choir as well who added to the solemnity of the occasion. It was also tremendous to have Josh Morgan, a former Junior Boys pupil and Sam Holdford who are both presently at the Senior Boys / Sixth Form play their acoustic guitars and perform their award winning composition of ‘Armistice’ song. Do look out for your own son’s class invitation emails throughout the school year.

Assemblies, Festivals and other community gatherings encourage us to empathise, examine differences as well as similarities fostering an outlook or spirit of friendship. Life does not always run smoothly, even for our young charges and this spirit of acceptance, tolerance and forgiveness are important qualities to develop. These concepts were unfortunately not allowed to prevail and prevent events 104 years ago and on to many other occasions since.

Religion can often provide solace to many at difficult times whilst different faiths allow us to appreciate each other. Indeed many classes have this week celebrated Diwali and we will continue to strive to make our wider programme both modern and relevant to our young citizens. Similarly a letter will also be sent out shortly explaining our exciting Christmas schedule.

A quick thank you to all the strong boys in Reception who helped haul me up off the carpet after an enjoyable story time yesterday.

Returning to my earlier quote. I am so pleased that I have been, and that so many boys here do like an adventure as well.

Photos of the week are here in the gallery

Have a wonderful weekend.

Dean Richards

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