Mr Richards' words summer week 7
On Monday we returned to a sun blessed Junior Boys after a refreshing half term. We reflected on the highlights and considered the wonderful and varied opportunities where boys can achieve their best. We also discussed Child Safety Week and whether this meant we should always be wrapped up in cotton wool or be adventurous and prepared to take risks. We wondered what made a risk acceptable and if we were all different in our responses. We then even practised ‘not looking up!' to prepare for the aerial photo shoot on Thursday.
Technology can often be a battleground and does have risks associated with it but our boys and teachers embraced the lock-down learning with determination and notable success. They have since continued to hungrily devour opportunities to develop these skills safely but deep down would prefer to continue forward facing, with real relationship teaching for as long as possible.
The drone visit on Thursday was an exciting highlight for many who like technology and the pilot and camera operator were impressed with the boys and their questioning and positive responses to their requests. I think they all enjoyed the ice lollies afterwards as well.
Years 3, 4 and 5 were also thrilled to take part in the Virtual Reality workshop to explore Volcanoes, Tudors and Mayans respectively. A wonderfully resourceful way to enhance learning or replicate the school trip. It is certainly the way forward for some events but it still cannot, in my mind, quite replace the socially boisterous coach trip, the wonder of being somewhere else and the spending opportunity at the shop!
At the risk of droning on, I have used assemblies to remind the boys about dressing to impress, not wearing flip-flop footwear, the return of the lockers and lost property(!) and most excitedly the return of lunches including the need to use excellent manners. Choice, conversation and a chocolate sauce and cake dessert created smiles a plenty. Well done Lorraine and team for the smooth transition and full stomachs.
Tempest Photography were also delighted with the boy's attire, attitude and helpfulness on Tuesday. We look forward to sharing these photographs with you as soon as possible. Next year we all hope to be back in full school uniform. Mentioning school uniforms, our Pupil Voice used the process of democracy in their request to choose whether to wear long or short trousers in all year groups as a summer and winter uniform. This has been duly forwarded to the Principals for consideration.
The weeks activities Democracy is often won or defended upon a battlefield and Year 1 were willing apprentice combatants on the lawn on Tuesday with a reenactment of the Battle of Hastings - the Normans won again! Quite how they contained themselves within the rules of engagement as they thrust, slashed and blocked to avoid serious injury was a relief to us all.
There was not too much blocking witnessed on the cricket field this week and plenty of risk taking with the running between the wickets! It was also a delight to sample the Junior Boys Cream Tea once again on the boundary edge whilst clapping those who successfully smashed a four to the flags. Those who were run out were consoled by supportive teammates and friendly advice from coaches.
Progression and the development of a love of learning in all curriculum areas is at the heart of our studying here. Whilst providing support to others less fortunate than us is a strength of the Claires Court community, I am delighted that both Junior Girls and Junior Boys will be entering fundraising teams to support both Maidenhead Lions and the Link Foundation charities at the Swimarathon in July. If you feel able to donate please visit our Just Giving Page.
Changing for swimming has seen boys remember different skills as well as a plethora of assorted dressing gowns in school this term but our PSHEE curriculum this term focuses on ‘Changing Me and Transition’ (moving to the next academic year group and onward schooling). Our Year 6 Science curriculum and PSHEE traditionally prepare our Year 6 for secondary school and cover in factual terms the human life cycle and early signs of puberty. Our amazing nurses continue to be part of the team delivering these sessions which commenced earlier this week. We have been delighted with Year 6’s maturity and questioning so far.
Mr Goddard has been busy fostering community links and a passion for art for both boys and girls across Divisions. The pupils, during lockdown and more recently, have entered The Stanley Spencer Gallery Competition. Everyone participated and then pieces were submitted from each year group. Please see the link to celebrate the art work and discover the winners.
And finally, it is with great sadness that we will be losing one of those coaches who has supported the boys’ development both inside and outside the classroom - Mr Grose. A previous Head Boy of the school, George has been an impressive role model and calm guiding light. He is a professional who is respected and admired by all stakeholders within our community and has developed his own practice superbly during his growth from the coolest Gap Student to an amazing colleague who goes above and beyond to nurture and inspire his classes as a wonderful teacher. We wish him all the best in his next steps as Head of Rugby at Rokeby Prep School in South West London from September.
Have a wonderful weekend - now where did I leave that banana suit for our Healthy Eating Week?