Mr Richards' words summer week 9
There has been a delightful frisson of anticipation in the air this week at Junior Boys. Sports Day is always a highlight and our tremendous Games Department and Grounds team have worked all hours to respond to changing guidelines and jumped over many hurdles to make today’s events a truly memorable occasion.
Mrs Ward also has an extra spring in her step as she takes her customary place in charge of the announcements and scoring tent. Mrs MacDonald was thrilled with Year 2 in the lead up and said; "The independence of the whole of Year 2 yesterday during sports day practice was my moment of the week. They chose which events they wanted to practise, and organised themselves into the correct lanes with little direction from me. When it wasn't their turn on the track, they set up hurdles and relay practice alongside the track so that they could continue to practise even when they weren't directed to do so. Really impressed with them and their motivation and commitment - not to mention their maturity". Well done to everyone who helped and supported to make the event such a success. I am sorry there was not a parents race but there is plenty of time to get in training for next year!
Break times have been busy this week. On Wednesday a number of older brave risk-takers took on our pre-Sports Day 1,500m race. All competitors challenged themselves to run until exhausted and should be proud of their times and support of one another. Year 6 also organised socially distanced sporting activities for the other year groups during this National Sports Week as well as some pupils listening to Olympian Andy Turner’s motivational talk. They certainly overcame all problems and helped introduce sporting skills and competitions to the younger years. They were even heard to remark, “It's really hard explaining the rules because they don’t listen!”
National Sports Week links seamlessly to Water Safety Week which we introduced in assembly on Monday. The boys have certainly enjoyed having our pool open again and are making good progress with skills, technique, personal safety and splashing in their return to the water. Life-saving, staying buoyant and making pyjama floats were an appropriate enjoyable theme to explore.
The sailors on the Mary Rose all those years ago might have benefited from swimming lessons and Year 4 were able to discuss with Henry VIII about his not so cleverly designed flagship and other topics this week in a virtual meeting on Thursday. Great King Hal is certainly a figure we love to learn about and his musical and writing skills are often overlooked. ‘Defender of the Faith’ was a title bestowed upon him for his passionate pamphlet ‘Assertio septem sacramentorum adversus Martinum Lutherum.’ A fine example of how to write persuasive arguments. Our boys are often encouraged to write in a similar vein and they are also introduced to plenty of books.
Another Great Hal, or Harry Potter to be precise, produced plenty of excitement and a magic wand to Year 3 and 4’s curriculum this week. He certainly was a defender of Hogwarts. There is still time to purchase books but using the online system rather than the minted variety stamped with FD in recognition of Henry VIII title. Mrs Vine writes, "In Year 3, 3V independently created a word book of the more complex language in their classreader in an attempt to try and broaden their vocabulary. 3G were very excited to harvest their potatoes today - 3V will do this on Friday and they are all excited about their Harry Potter experience."
Inspiration and excitement are lit in the young minds we teach through many ways. Mr Pennington however has taken this one step further in his development of our Forest School programme. Year 5 have actually been taught what was needed to create fire (oxygen, heat and fuel) and then built and lit their own fire. They were rewarded for their efforts by toasting marshmallows on the fire to make s'mores!
Year 5 also delighted Ms Stay and she reports, "Their performance of one of their songs in rehearsals was emotionally perfect. Along with Year 6 their contributions to the development of the play and the effort they put into was lovely to see. There is still a way to go but today was a good start and I am looking forward to sharing this collaborative Pupil Voice production."
As a final word, boys and colleagues at Junior Boys still inspire me every day by their ability to look out for each other making sure they are okay. I was delighted to see plenty of celebrating but also genuine encouragement, sportsmanship and a delightful friendly competitive spirit in the Sports Day today. Best wishes for a great weekend.