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Claires Court

Claires Court Maidenhead

from Nursery to Sixth Form

Mr Richards' Words Week 7

Fireworks, ‘Guys’ and bonfires seem to have been forgotten in the doom and gloom that the news of a new national lockdown thrust upon us. Our fabulous PTA were hugely disappointed not to be able to plan for or host the terrific event which brings our amazing community together. However, I am thrilled by the confidence, well-being and thoughtfulness that have bounced about the Junior Boys corridors and classrooms this week.

My spirits were further warmed by the colourful crocuses that the boys planted before half term. They have already added a splash of colour to our landscape. Although the rapid changing of the seasons leaves me a trifle confused. Perhaps this is a consequence of previous environmental irresponsibility? It is therefore perhaps a good time to say that the greatly appreciated hot lunch offer in its present guise is completely compostable. I was equally impressed that our boys felt empowered to ask the question as well. 

My colleagues certainly know how to light fires in our boys. I am grateful that they continue to create opportunities for creative sparks and imaginations to run as wild as a bush fire. Mr Goddard was glowing with the success and efforts that were recognised recently in the ISA Film and Digital Arts Competition 2020. Well done to all the entrants but especially to old boy Caspar B for ‘Heart Break’ and Jack M in Year2 for ‘Landscape’. Both boys secured third places in the KS2 Computer Animation and KS1 Digital Art categories respectively.

Reception pupils were also excited and inspired by the real fire pits that our resident Forest School pioneers Mrs Hankin and Mr Pennington safely created in our wooded area for them. 

Year 6’s eyes were ablaze in history and the passion was certainly being stoked by our very own Delphic Oracle, also known as Mr Hogg. Our ancient Athenian battle ground might be socially distanced in version 2020 but it certainly will not be a damp squib by the look of the assorted offensive and defensive weaponry being crafted!

Warfare of a different era will be remembered and reflected upon in assembly next week and our community will be able consider their own response and reflection by wearing ‘poppy’ red clothing on Wednesday next week as an additional £1 mufti day.

Chromebooks can also cause battles and on occasion fiery tempers at home. I have spoken to the boys this week about using their chromebooks as educational tools rather than a platform for online gaming at home. Some keyboards seem to be wearing out certain keys that might indicate repetitive use of jump, run, shoot or perhaps even fire or kick. Too many boys are also turning up to school, especially on a Monday, with no charge on their machines.  

Oh for the good old days of losing yourself in a novel. History, poetry, fiction and facts are all categories that can fan the flames of knowledge, develop vocabulary and ideas within our library and I applaud all those who completed the five book challenge over half term, submitted an unusual reading location photograph or have donated books. Mrs Flood, our librarian and our maintenance team were certainly burnt the midnight oils during half term and the Year 4W boys were amazed by the transformation of their upstairs spaces. Thank you.

A little staffing news. I would like to welcome Mrs Cynthia Stephens who has joined our academic team and she will be supporting both Reception and Year 2 boys in her LSA role. Many of us, including me, are also very grateful how our delightful office staff juggle our needs so calmly. Mrs Allison Hasyildirim a new voice at Junior Boys, but not to Claires Court, will be holding the torch until Mrs Henley returns. We wish her a speedy recovery. I am also delighted to be able to announce officially that Mrs Henry, completes the most wonderful of staff hat tricks and I am sure the most observant of boys will have mentioned it at home already but congratulations to her and her husband in expecting their first child. We have secured three fantastic and very experienced additions to our teaching team and I will be announcing them shortly. 

Lockdown might be upon us but I know that an all round education here cares deeply about each individual both academically and pastorally. Their learning is oxygenated securely so that it does not burn itself out or get extinguished by anxiety but it is carefully constructed so that the flame of and compassionate behaviour lasts a lifetime.

Have a wonderful weekend.

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Ridgeway, The Thicket, Maidenhead, SL6 3QE

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