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Claires Court

Claires Court Maidenhead

from Nursery to Sixth Form


Our house poetry performances were very rewarding before half term. It was fantastic to see the quality and range of offerings across the year groups. The final’s three way tie was a fitting way to share the spoils and coloured discs. Well done to Mrs Vine, our judges and all the boys. We did however run out of time to award the fantastic array of merits and masters of multiplication certificates afterwards. The topic of reward and awards then followed me through the break as I prepped for our changing assembly theme. This half term we will be considering the word ‘reward’ rather than ‘risk’.

I tried to empathise with the boys by reflecting upon what motivates me, wether I am competitive and if I need incentives in education, as a referee and within the family. As a headteacher I get rewarded everyday by playing a very small part in a team of excellent, knowledgeable and passionate practitioners who provide such a colourful and varied curriculum for the boys to explore. Giving out deserved awards is also always a wonderful experience and it is a delight to recognise the determination and effort as well as the happiness in the boys faces as they proudly walk forward. The thoughtful reasoning behind the awards is also very satisfying. I was also pleased during the presentation of the above certificates, by the increasingly firm handshakes, longer eye contact and a more confident ‘thank you’ from the recipients. There is certainly “nothing so rewarding as to make people realise they are worthwhile in this world.” 

I mentioned refereeing as well. I am not sure that I came up with a simple conclusion apart from that I must be slightly unusual to challenge myself every weekend trying to keep up with elite athletes and facilitate matches in the glare of the media! Enjoyment, progression, resilience and self respect are perhaps at the core of it and we will be exploring some of these ideas as well. What it did remind me of is that we are all different at Claires Court and much the richer for celebrating these talents and characteristics. Junior Boys is certainly a great starting place to develop a lifelong love of learning, develop skills as a communicator and becoming a contributor to society.

For family I am not sure that there is any other greater reward for a parent than having a child ask you to read to them at the end of the day. ‘Saturday Night at the Dinosaur Stomp’ was a particular favourite. Bicester Village on the other hand was a costly rewarding ‘bribe’ for some good holiday revision but not the best way to establish great work ethic and commitment. I fear I might be storing up a lot of trouble in the months ahead. Food for thought for us all perhaps?

We also like to present pupils with awards that they have achieved outside of school. Boosting self esteem, developing relationships and encouraging new horizons and hobbies are all huge positives. It was fantastic to present a Year 3 boy, who took quite a risk recently and competed in his first ‘karting’ race securing a brilliant second position after twenty very fast laps. Dream big Jonty; enjoy the competition, learn from the challenges and perhaps we might have the next Lewis Hamilton presenting rewards to us all at Prize Giving 2032.

Mr Hogg also took a risk or two over the holiday venturing bravely into the cellar to create a fabulous ‘World War Two shelter’ for Year 6 to get a ‘real’ experience. Mrs Downing has also been experimenting with recipes to create a further taste of war time.

We all know I enjoy a slice of cake or two but please can I remind us all to only bring nut free offerings into school. Our charity break times are great ways of creating both intrinsic and extrinsic rewards for the boys by helping others. Year 6 kicked started our weekly Friday events with a superb combination of baking and other stalls, raising £285.86.

Finally a joyous note. Congratulations to Mrs MacDonald and family. Harris arrived on Sunday and we hope will be visiting us soon!

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Ridgeway, The Thicket, Maidenhead, SL6 3QE

(use SL6 4QQ for satnavs, enter via Cannon Lane)

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