Mr Richards' Words Autumn 1
Welcome back after the holidays, or welcome to Junior Boys to those boys, families and teaching staff who have joined our community. I trust you all had the opportunity to relax, recharge and get ready to throw yourselves into an exciting term and very active year.
Whilst many have sought out the sun there has been plenty of work going on behind the scenes. I am grateful for the hard work carried out by contractors and support staff who have been working on the largest holiday programme for some while. It is important to me that regardless of our planning submissions we continue to present a very impressive learning environment allowing thinking space where young and old can fulfil their potential. I am excited that our programme of redecoration will continue throughout the year.
Key Stage One and the Early Years now have a distinct area making movement easier for all. Their playground and soon to be increased artificial grass area will also allow them plenty of room for break times and outdoor learning.
Space has also been a topic encouraged by a few conversations with parents through the last year. In response we have reconfigured the drive into the Parents’ Car Park to leave more space for your vehicles. As a consequence entry to the playground, apart from the morning kiss and drop gate, will now only be accessible from the Sports Hall gate.
The Autumn Term and the first few weeks can set the tone for the rest of the year. We expect the boys to get down to work and contribute fully in all areas of school. To encourage aspiration and self-esteem we have included Year 2 - 6 into the ‘Wonderful Work of the Week’ display. Please do take a moment to look at examples of their work.
To help explore talents and widen their experiences our Extra Curriculum Activity Programme was released earlier in the week and we hope that all can take advantage of it. Please do just consult your son about the choices you request!
We do know that it can take some a bit longer to get started. Having easy open communication channels is vital. I hope our Year Group Curriculum Meetings were helpful and there will also be a Pastoral Parents’ Evening shortly to get a handle on how everyone believes the start of term has commenced. Academic meetings are planned for later in the term. My senior team are also providing half termly 'drop in' coffee events and we will email details about these with a topic of interest. Mrs Stay will also next Wednesday be inviting you to hear about the recommendations from our Pastoral Review. I am delighted that the strength of our offer is excellent but I am even more pleased that we are not complacent.
A couple of thoughts from my summer - teaching and learning never really ever stops. I had not realised how much ‘L’ plates would challenge my skills and allow bonding with my son!
Whilst finally, whenever it seems hopeless (reversing uphill was excitable) I hope the boys can use that recent amazing innings by Ben Stokes as inspiration to continue to demonstrate determination, resolve, a bit of devilment and plenty of desire. Success certainly does not come without a journey of challenges along the way.
I wish you all a fantastic term and hope to see many of you at the combined Junior Boys and Junior Girls Sports BBQ next Friday. It is always a great way to kick off the term.