Head's Words Summer Term Week 4
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Well it is lovely to walk round the school and feel the warmth of the sun... and to comment on tennis, school photographs and Duke of Edinburgh expeditions and exams.....
Well done to the tennis team who won every match against Heathfield - St Mary and hardly dropped a game.
Mrs Ing gave an amusing and really informative assembly on Knowledge and Critical Thinking, our two learning Essentials of the month. As she pointed out we are always thinking critically even if not on politics or saving the planet, and for us to be able to be evaluative and critical we have to have knowledge. It is sometimes imagined that in a world of instant fact acquisition that retained knowledge is redundant but not so .... even Google does not give instant recall! Beyond that of course the need to evaluate what you are told on the basis of who told you, why did they tell you, when was it recorded and does it help you solve the problem is vital. The BBC penguin video was very instructive.......
I was very proud of the way the whole school conducted itself during the taking of the whole school photograph. Although the rain had passed winds were still very blustery and had it not been for very sensible approach of our most senior girls we have had to cancel. But we got the job done and orders will be in school very soon.
It was great to meet so many parents at the Year 8 at Parents Evening on Wednesday and thank you for the many appreciative comments about the quality of feedback about the girls’ academic performance - and well done to Year 8!
Mrs Fowke our school nurse (and doughty Year 8 tutor) gave out an advice sheet on the value of sleep at the Parents Evening. It was so well received that I have asked for it to be made available to all parents and you can find it on our website here. Such was the positive response that we are considering providing help sheets and indeed more information evenings on hot topics of the day in respect of working with young people, and the conundrums they can present to us as parents and teachers. If you have any ideas on topics that you would like us to cover do please let me know.
I shall be meeting the Year 10s on their Duke of Edinburgh expedition on Friday and Saturday.We have one group under assessment, and two on their practice expedition and I am one of the assessors this time round. The Award scheme is such a splendid opportunity to to develop and deploy a huge range of skills and qualities, and not just in the expedition section. They also have to complete a period of community service, learn a new skill and develop their physical capabilities. Although our Year 10s are starting with their Bronze Award I hope they will also fix their eyes on the Gold Award, as it is an achievement that carries a great deal of weight with universities and employers, as well as giving a huge sense of satisfaction.
It was brilliant to see that four of our Year 11 Heroines of Science were able to take some time out of their revision work to make great use of the opportunity to return to the Chemistry department at the University of Reading. They had a private tour of the Chemical Analysis Facility and had the opportunity to use equipment worth more than many houses! It was a fascinating and inspiring afternoon.
Finally I look forward to meeting many parents of Year 11 at their Final Assembly on Friday 13th and we are looking forward to a very joyous, and no doubt emotional, occasion. Staff and pupils have worked hard to prepare a day that is indeed a true celebration of their time in Senior Girls. The day will include a review of the year, a barbecue, the traditional staff v Year 11 rounders match as well as some more serious matters such as final completion of CVs and Pupil Action Plans. During the Final Assembly we shall be presenting books to those that have distinguished themselves in a particular subject, as well as the customary heart necklace. The girls have been working hard on their own contributions and it really will be a lovely occasion, and a fitting culmination to their final day as a year group.
That just leaves me to wish you all a lovely weekend.
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