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Claires Court

Claires Court Maidenhead

from Nursery to Sixth Form

Mr Spanswick's Words Autumn Term Week 1

Welcome back!!! And a very warm welcome to all of our new parents, from Reception through to Year 6. I hope you all were able to enjoy a lovely summer break - the boys have certainly come in with lots of stories to tell me. I managed to avoid the long delays at Folkestone and spent three lovely weeks in France and Spain, although that does seem like a long time ago now!

Every week I will be writing to you on the electronic bulletin, often with news of pupil achievements, sometimes with observations from a wider perspective of education. Our bulletins will contain information for parents regarding the following week, and it is generally sent out by 6pm on Friday evenings.

So, a brand new start for our wonderful boys in Reception. We have a lovely cohort who showed courage and confidence on their first day, often with parents feeling the brunt of the nerves and anxieties!! I am sure the boys will be very tired by this evening! In their first assembly some of my Year 6 boys read them poems about starting a new school which our four year olds found very amusing.

Another big welcome goes to our new members of staff - Mrs Amy Carter is looking after 3Y, Mrs Victoria Busuttil is working with our Year 5 boys as an LSA, Ms Jan Icke has become our Head of Drama and now joins us full time, Mrs Emma Stevenson has returned to us and is working in the music department, Mrs Sarah Crowe has joined our Year 1 team as an LSA, Mrs Jo Baker is working for three mornings with Year 4 as an LSA, and finally a former pupil, Myles Williamson, has become our gap year sports student. We have also added to our grounds staff, with David Turner transferring from Senior Boys school to look after the playing fields and cricket squares.

So my first job is to inform you of a Social event we are having on Friday 23 September. From 5.30pm, our Sports Department fundraiser begins. Please see details below regarding this, it is always a really nice way to get together at the start of term to meet new friends and catch up with old ones!

I should also take this opportunity to remind you that we have our Curriculum Statement mornings next week on Tuesday for Year 3-6, and on Thursday for Reception to Year 2. I hope you will be able to join us, meet your son’s new form teacher, and ask any questions that you may have regarding the school year. During the meetings my staff will explain to you how we are restructuring our Spelling Curriculum, bringing it in line with our investigative and exploratory based general academic ethos. By taking on the ‘Read, Write Inc’ spelling programme we are expecting to see a far greater emphasis on successful application of spellings in Creative Writing rather than a simple recall of learned words for tests purposes.

We also have a new chairperson of our PTA - following on from the outstanding work of Emma Robertson who is moving to become vice-chair, Ana Sidders has offered to take on the role for the next two year cycle, and we are delighted to welcome her aboard. She has already been hard at work and we are having a Garden Party for all parents by the Gazebo on Friday 16 September from 2.45pm. Please join us for a cup of tea and a cake before you pick up your sons!

So, what’s coming up? Rugby for everyone, music, drama, the ISA (Independent Schools’ Association) Art competition (Mr Goddard has more details), Speech and Drama lessons, before and after school activities, tours to Cornwall, Green Warrior work on our vegetable garden, chess, the Harvest festival, Bushcraft, excursions to Marchants hill and Osmington Bay….I could go on and on! And before you know it, it will be Nativity time! Autumn is always a busy term, but a very happy one, and as I mentioned in my end of year speech, I feel very privileged to lead such a wonderful group of pupils and staff - this really is such a warm and close community.

I am off to cook a BBQ for the boys in Cliveden, our winning house from the summer term. They have got party games and all sorts going on from 4pm today! It should be lots of fun and lovely way to end our first week back. I wish you all a lovely weekend.

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