Mr Richards' Words Autumn 8
On Monday it was wonderful to observe the abundance of healthy smiles and sparkling eyes as boys and parents(!) rejoiced at the start of our busy second half of the term. This week we have already hosted Perform Drama Workshops for Years 1 and 2; Year 3 have loved Roman military training at Ufton Court and the U11 rugby players have ventured to the West Country; whilst their peers have come off timetable to develop rocket design, first aid, pizza making and outdoor art skills. Year 6 have been challenged to create new political parties and we will be holding our own General Election on December 12.
The buzz and excitement continued throughout the morning upon our return as Windsor celebrated their first coloured House disc of the term. A topic of conversation often at these times is 'catching up on what experiences the boys have had and what they enjoyed’. Colleagues are the same and these opportunities enrich all of our learning and teaching alike.
As a snap-shot there were a number of happy South African supporters with chests puffed out on the pathway into school, as well as a lucky few who had managed to visit Japan and enjoy the thrill of a wonderful tournament. Others visited relatives closer to home or went behind the wheel for a birthday driving experience. A number jetted off to more exotic climates, plenty delved into their computers and pleasingly a few still picked up a reading book! A small group led by Mrs Icke spent much of their time honing their speech and Drama skills, even returning to school for rehearsals. They then competed at the Marlow Arts Festival, overcame a cast absence, and showed much resilience, commitment and talent impressing the judges. Their reward was a score of 88% and a top gold medal grade of distinction. The result was fantastic but as we explained to the boys in assembly taking the chance to try something new, to challenge themselves and know that they did their best regardless of the end result is even more important. This is our ethos throughout everything we do.
It is important to role model and empathise with our pupils and parents so over my half term I tried a new skill of shooting. My teacher was very patient and at the end we could account for all but one of the shots! My son finally removed his ‘L plates’ and like many of us, I have to learn once again to let our children take risks, try it for themselves and be independent.
Over the next little while in my words I am also going to invite a few writers from within the staffroom to add some wisdom or insight. To kick off Miss Barrow, who was not satisfied with spending her summer in India developing her Yoga instruction, had the most amazing experience over half term. She tells me it was an educational opportunity but I still need to be convinced that Cuba was not an attractive destination for a whole host of reasons…
"I was extremely privileged to have been chosen to take part in a teaching delegation to Cuba as a representative of the National Education Union for Windsor and Maidenhead. I spent the week in primary, secondary, special needs and performing arts schools as well as a university. I was given the opportunity to observe teaching as well as share good practice and discuss the educational needs with Cuban colleagues. We witnessed the stark contrast between city schools and rural schools which was an eye-opening difference to the UK. Cuba highly values education and despite being classed as a third-world country, they have managed to provide education for everyone up to PhD level. I observed the problems Cuba is facing due to the political issues of the US Blockade and the intention of the delegation was to raise awareness back in the UK. Upon my return I now feel even more fortunate to work in the setting that I do.”
I look forward to Mrs Ward’s and the boys Remembrance Assembly on Monday. Poppies will be available to purchase on the gate on Monday. It is of course optional but it would be great to see as many as possible wearing the poppy with understanding and celebrating the ultimate example of teamwork.