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Claires Court

Claires Court Maidenhead

from Nursery to Sixth Form

Mr Richards' Words Autumn 7

During previous ‘Words’ I have focused on many themes - communication, curriculum, competition, care and our creative and sporting curricular pillars. I have hinted at the importance of saying thank you, of role modelling and what makes a good team. Opportunity is also essential for the boys to experience new emotions and develop other skills. Many new challenges and the chance to broaden horizons are provided by colleagues and a good number of outside agencies through our extra-curricular activities programme.

Our offer at Junior Boys has 54 clubs and the extra wrap around care ends the school day with additional feeding options. This is always a winner for our energetic boys! Presently 97% of boys from Year 1 participate, 34 of these boys signing up to do more than 5 activities each week and the highest attended club being chess with 36 regulars. These fantastic statistics can be attributed to a number of reasons but the clearest one is to recognise the refreshing variety of these activities. The boys certainly can gain self-esteem by developing talents in diverse clubs such as Young Musketeers, Martial Arts or simply take the chance to chill with Yoga or be creative in Cookery, Photography and Film Animation or just simply make life at home easier by completing Prep at school with supervision. We are however never complacent and continuously look to develop our programme. I am keen to add even more flavour to our recipe of success. I will be asking the Pupil Voice to consider other clubs as well. It obviously helps the success of the clubs if a hosting adult is passionate about it. In my walkabouts I have witnessed many happy faces, even those covered in perspiration - including Mr Pennington who was taking a HIT session early in the morning, and others with brows creased in concentration. The animated sounds of laughter, chatter and exclamation are to be cherished. Fortunately, I have not yet come across anyone who is just there because he has to be! I know some clubs are only available to older years and I am conscious of the desire to provide more for our youngest. I am equally torn by the need for small children of all ages just to have some unstructured play at home with mates and with adults that they adore to be with.

I have attached the following quotes from the boys to showcase what they feel about their opportunities:

Ruari in Y1 described After School Care as, ‘So much fun because we are allowed to play with lots of toys and play lots of fun games and sometimes watch really good movies!!’

Gabriel in Y1 loves playing Tennis, ‘Because it’s really great and I learn new skills.’

Ollie in Y2 adores Supersonic Readers, ‘Because I like Reading, the fun activities and I just love the parties!!’

Connor in Y2 says, ‘You can relax at home after Homework Club because you don’t have to do homework at home and you can play on your iPad!’

Aadi in Y3 said ‘I really enjoy Drop in Art and all the different things we can make. It helps get me ready for the day!’

Luke in Y3 insists that homework club is great, ‘Because I can play on my XBox immediately and watch TV knowing that everything is done.’

Jacob in Y4 explains, ‘I can't wait for Judo on a Wednesday. The Sensei is great and teaches me new skills every week. It is my favourite activity!’

Toby in Y4 says ‘Cross country has helped me with my endurance when I run. I like the activity because it's different.’

Max in Y5 agrees that, ‘Social Board Games is really fun and I love playing the big card game. It’s helped me get to know everyone and make friends because I’m new.’

Josh in Y5 likes Chess, ‘I get to learn new tactics and strategies and play against other boys in the school.’

Alan in Y5 considers or reflects that, ‘Think Tank is a lot of fun. It challenges me to think of new strategies to solve problems.

Aarron in Y5 is looking forward to next term. He says that, ‘It’s fun to play football with your friends and I like showing my team mates the skills I’ve learnt.’

Harrison in Y5 dreams of the summer already. ‘I like cricket being able to score runs and taking wickets. Practicing my shots in the nets is important.’

George in Y6 however does not want the term to end as he said ‘I love the game of rugby and playing with my friends. I have learnt a lot of new skills in the after school activity.’

Luke in Y6 adores his club because, ‘I love taking photos and I have learnt a lot of new skills.’

The above quotes are but a brief snapshot of our offer and the delight that they bring. Thank you also to all my colleagues and our other outside agencies who bring so much to our extra-curricular menu.

Reception pupils begin activities later in the school year but have had a wide range of visitors and events so far this half term. They were determined to be heard in my words as well. They thought that, ‘Pizza making was fantastic especially when the dough was flipped and dropped onto the floor!’ Mrs Paw and Mr O’Clee have also helped develop their imaginations and understanding by presenting exciting talks on their working lives that are both so full of responsibility. For the record, the judiciary and police force have lots of supporters in EYFS. Miss Barrow enjoyed dressing up as well!

To all the boys I wonder if you will rise to the challenge. Can you consider the word YET? Can you try something new next term and become even bolder in your choices?

Year 6 by all accounts were brave both by the sea and all certainly tried something new in the air when being launched into the stratosphere on the giant swing at PGL. Your exciting imaginative presentations on Friday demonstrated the quality and breadth of your experiences. Well done, also to Year 4 who ventured close to my old grounds at Hampton Court Palace.

See all the photos of the week here. Have a super half term, I have thoroughly enjoyed my first one here.

Dean Richards

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