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Claires Court

Claires Court Maidenhead

from Nursery to Sixth Form

Mr Richards' Words Autumn 10

Water, water everywhere...’ is one line of a famous poem from “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner,” by Samuel Taylor Coleridge. However, unlike their ship, our Junior Boys vessel is not becalmed and it is surrounded, not by sprites or tempting salt water but by lots of boys who continue to drink up thirstily all of the academic, sporting and creative opportunities that we offer them.

H2O was certainly the theme for us all on Monday. Twelve swimmers represented the School at the ISA Gala. They took on the challenge of a 50m pool and should be pleased with their individual efforts. Congratulations to Spike Stalham and Callum Potter from Year 5 and Year 6 respectively for winning individual medals. Everyone though returned home with a medal as all our relay teams secured podium results.  What especially pleased me was the mature approach they displayed. Some boys had to swim strokes that they might not have chosen as their favourite, or indeed were their fastest, but the nature of the event meant that the team had to come first.

Whilst these boys had a very early start, the rest of school assembled in the Sports’ Hall alongside our friends from Year 6 Junior Girls. This term we have introduced a number of new initiatives and we were fortunate enough to have our first guest presenter. The PTA funded event (thank you) made a real splash and the sight of the Urban Mermaid resplendent with full mono tail made us consider how we respect our environment both locally and globally. The workshop delivered to both Year 6’s afterwards was designed to make us take the initiative. Further information on Lindsey Cole’s River Thames adventure can be discovered here. We also got a super write up in the Maidenhead Advertiser on the front page yesterday with further photos inside.

Noah might have got a bit twitchy in his Ark on Wednesday morning but Mr Rowan’s assembly brought a calmness to us all. The fabulous new School Song made us forget the downpour and the boys’ enthusiastic role play and advice developed our understanding of the choices that we all have. 5M and Mrs Morgan further developed our appreciation of the word ‘respect’ by considering the attitudes of sportsmen to winning and losing and a subject dear to my heart, officiating.  A valuable lesson for us all whether we participate in, watch, coach or are even foolish enough to referee! The boys certainly made lots of connections from it. (For the record the TMO should never have raised the offside issue…but there again the favourable decision the previous week was probably wrong as well. If only I made one mistake a match!)

Errors occur in all areas of school and these should be celebrated because it means we are trying and then we can learn from them. The weather also makes rugby a little bit more difficult to execute our skills. Our first real cold snap of the year has certainly challenged our desire and commitment but all have responded magnificently. The rain has certainly added to our reservoirs recently and there was deluge of another sort on the U9D team’s pitch on Tuesday afternoon. The referee's addition was certainly tested by both teams respectfully and equitably sharing the spoils in a 28 try thriller.

Mrs Henry has also proudly alerted me to some excellence in mathematical sessions over the last little while.  Many older pupils have been stretched by entering the Primary Maths Challenge. Boys have poured over problems and solutions have flowed. The questions cover a range of topics and are not curriculum based. This allows the boys to develop and test their knowledge and apply their skills. Mrs Henry considered the paper this year to be ‘tough’ (which is good) but was delighted that the boys yet again showed resilience and committed wholeheartedly to it. I look forward to awarding Gold, Silver and Bronze certificates for this at assembly on Monday to the highest achieving pupils.

Meanwhile, Mr Goddard has encouraged the boys to dive into the new House Art competition. The spur for it is ‘Superheroes’ with an emphasis on figure drawing. I was saddened this week by the death of Stan Lee, the creator of my favourite superhero, but I wonder if any of the boys will be inspired to use the element of water as their new superheroes superpower?

Enough meanderings for another week.

Have a wonderful weekend.

Dean Richards

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