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Claires Court

Claires Court Maidenhead

from Nursery to Sixth Form

Mr Spanswick's Words Autumn Term Week 9

At a Headteachers’ conference which I attended last week, the main theme emanating from lectures, discussions and seminars was that of the extraordinarily high levels of anxiety to be found in primary aged children across the country. As a school, we have tackled this quite disturbing rise in stress with our pastoral system firmly embedded in addressing the individual and his personality, rather than a ‘one size fits all’ system.

Whether the cause of anxiety be of a self-awareness origin, whether it is due to peer related setbacks or even the uncertainty imposed by an examination culture which looks to pigeon hole underlying ability at such a young age, there can be no ignoring the recent statistics - children aged between 4 and 11 have a different set of challenges to those that we faced many (and in my case many many!) years ago, and we have to ensure that we guide them through these tough journeys with compassion and empathy, something we at Claires Court always strive to do.

As I reflect on our school community this week, I count myself very lucky that we are able to speak so openly with our boys and parents about concerns which they have, and hopefully build that much needed resilience in our pupils which will serve them so well in later life. In my assembly this morning, at the end of National Anti-bullying week, we discussed as a school the importance of being a friend to everyone, especially when they need it most. We listened to an old favourite song of mine, From a Distance, and boys in all year groups placed poignant lyrics and messages on the walls and windows of our Mezzanine. During Wednesday’s assembly, Pupil Voice and Mrs Stay were hard at work relaying upcoming plans to spend the PTA’s money! And last week we did discuss briefly the next president of the America, along with people’s freedom to protest. Lots of messages for the boys to take on board!

Last weekend our Year 6 boys enjoyed a successful rugby tour to Cornwall alongside our girls netball tour, and a Bushcraft expedition which included First Aid training and some spear throwing! As always, our boys were wonderful ambassadors for the school both at home and away, and there have been some great stories shared.

More visitors to my office this week can be seen in our gallery, and the quality of work from Reception through to Year 6 is quite breathtaking, especially in regard to English and Literacy, where I have been lucky enough to read some beautiful essays and poems, as well as watching our reception and Year 1 boys develop their own writing styles. I am also pleased to announce that after much testing, Samuel Jackson, Charlie Doyle, Oliver Payne and Téo Rybak have been chosen to represent the school at the National Science Championships next week in Chesham - best of luck boys. Close runners up were Jack Beever, Lachlan Kerr, Roudra Bhattacharyya, Oliver Godleman and Alex Belsey - Mrs Nott was delighted with all of these competitors.

With the onset of colder weather, please do ensure that your sons are wrapped up warm, and I am ensuring that jumpers are on at all times when the boys are outside…….something which is easier said than done!

We have so many boys doing so many wonderful things every day, but I would like to mention a few - Freddie Duff, George Watson, Noah Olikara and Harry Watson continue to impress me with their manners, their maturity and their desire to think of others before themselves. A number of staff and visitors have commented on this to me. Tyler King, Aiden Mukherjee, Mani Singh, Alexander Belsey and Spike Stalham have also been brought to my attention for consistently looking after other boys and helping the staff whenever they can.

So another weekend comes around, and I hope that those of you who attend this evening’s Fright Night at the college have a super time

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