Mr Richards' Words Lent 5
Parents at our recent Open Day were astounded by the extra curricular offer at our school. There are 52 activities on offer throughout the week, before and after school, allowing a wide variety of talents and skills to flourish, or just be explored for the first time. The knock on benefits to everyone are countless; with relationships being developed outside of academia and self esteem exploding through the roof. Of course it could lead to life-long passions or just a great opportunity to relax and have fun with equally like minded people.
On tours with prospective parents I describe our academic curriculum as the core but the amazing opportunities that the boys are presented with in art, chess, drama, music, sport and Trinity exams as the pillars underpinning it. The activity programme, wrap around care, extensive trips offsite and school visitors provide wonderful enrichment to their learning and whole school experience. There is no surprise that the boys do bounce boisterously into school and are still diving energetically into all sessions late into the afternoon.
I am also so pleased that I witness colleagues giving, caring, talking, planning and producing a joined up approach to both academic and pastoral issues. They are never really separate and the teams led by Mrs Stay, Assistant Head Pastoral, and Mrs Henry, Assistant Head Curriculum, are always restless in their approach to put the boys first and keep us all up to speed.
Speed is a topic that Mr Hogg is always preaching to his chess disciples about. ‘Think first...is an often heard mantra’ and many of his proteges are making great progress. The Suriarachchi brothers have qualified for the Delancey Megafinal, whilst Josh, Year 6, joined them to represent Maidenhead in a regional U14 match last weekend. Mr Hogg is always on the lookout to add to his club of 40 players on a Monday or Wednesday and encourages extra learning and problem solving. He strongly recommends using lichess to improve.
We do like a bit of friendly competition at Junior Boys and Mr Rowan, Mr Hiles, Mrs Stevenson, Mr Roach and our fantastic peripatetic teachers can outflank Mr Hogg with an amazing 110 music lessons occurring weekly across a tremendous array of instruments. This week our Young Voices Choir are heading off to Wembley Arena. We are also blessed with amazing musical talent within our staff room. Mr Bushell and Mr Goddard can often be found spending their weekends performing or even at recording studios.
Mrs Icke however might just be able to checkmate them all as her speech and drama sessions are attended by 38 individuals or pairings. How she also manages to inspire the boys in Year 4 with support from their incredible form teachers is a mystery. I hope that these boys are prepared to take a risk and get down to learning their lines. I am really looking forward to our first stand alone Year 3 and 4 production ‘Hoodwinked’ later in the term.
As if there was not enough going on Mrs Vine has led the school with a focus on poetry. Our house poetry ‘first round’ took place on Wednesday and we were delighted with the range and efforts demonstrated by the boys. The final at the end of half term will be tremendous.
Tremendous is a word we could associate with 2S’s epic assembly on Alexander Fleming last week. With expert guidance from Mrs Sullivan and Ms Swaffer an amazing array of information, thoughts, talents and presentation skills created a real triumph but the biggest success of all was the joy and beaming smiles that we all had upon our faces.
The grins on the Year 4 footballers' faces last Saturday were equally huge. Learning much from their opening sorties out on the pitch they demonstrated their development with a creditable third place for the A’s at the St. Bernard’s tournament whilst the B’s managed to start the weekend with a first place.
Whatever you do this weekend and regardless of the outcome do remember to enjoy it.