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Claires Court

Claires Court Maidenhead

from Nursery to Sixth Form

Heads Words Summer Term Week 9

My theme is this week is power......The power of our athletes continues to shine - last week winning the London West ISA Championships, this week triumphing in the RBWM Knight Frank League against such large schools such as Newlands and Charters. Such prowess only comes about with hard work and I see that as so many of our pupils strive for excellence in sport  at lunchtimes and after school.

Power of course is not always so visible. Last night huge air masses collided over West London and Maidenhead, giving rise to extraordinary cloud formations and sufficient rain to cause flooding and disruption to public transport.

Ideas too have great invisible power and once sown their course is hard to predict. On Wednesday a dozen Year 5s from other schools arrived at College Avenue and took part in ‘Shipwreck” our Year 5 Discovery Day. Designed to give a taste of the style of learning at Claires Court they sailed and canoed to a desert island, produced clear water from a muddy river, collected materials and lit a fire, and cooked a simple meal. The point was to introduce them to the essence of discovery learning, problem solving, collaboration and risk taking that is a feature of learning at Claires Court. To see them go from a group of strangers to resilient learning teams was truly exciting.

Year 9 girls have also been collaborating in music and information technology this term and the product of their efforts was showcased in the ‘Oscars’. Their challenge was to produce their own short film by concocting the theme/story, writing the dialogue, composing and performing the backing score, recording and editing the film and then bring it all together into their own short film. It was great to see the power of creativity and technology being harnessed.

From the modernity of film production we were also catapulted back to the Middle Ages as Year 7 girls and boys combined together to try the weapons, wear the clothing, feel the pelts, put on the armour and experience the life. Best moment... Ms Bullough as a nun....

I hope you have had an opportunity to see the Year 11 GCSE Art Exhibition in the Atrium and Year 8 will be completing their Arts Award on Saturday morning. Their creative efforts will be exhibited alongside the A Level Art and Photography Exhibition on Thursday and we are combining that with our inaugural Musical Showcase Evening when both classwork and more experienced and advanced musicians will be performing. It was brilliant seeing the diversity of the creative arts coming together in one showcase event.

It has been healthy eating week across Claires Court and our catering team have been doing their own showcasing of healthy alternatives and our secret dining spy on Monday spotted some very healthy snackers to whom we presented certificates in assembly.

On Monday we will be seeing all our new Year 7s and their parents as we begin their induction into Senior Girls. They will be engaged in a whole host of outdoor activities, exchanging contact details and receiving their Google username and log in.... and the cycle starts for another cohort of Senior Girls.

One cohort has finished of course, as Year 11 take their final exam on Monday and it has been  a real juxtaposition of exciting and varied learning activities for some pupils and for others that demands and formalities of public exams. Years 11 (and indeed 10) have responded well to those challenges and fingers crossed for a successful results day in August.

In assembly I often take an opportunity to talk about great female leaders and role models. There is no doubt that I shall be including the name of Jo Cox Labour MP for Batley & Spen in that pantheon of the great and inspiring. After her tragic murder on Thursday the airwaves were full of her life and her personality. We heard of her work with Oxfam, and then her election to Parliament in May 2015, and how the power of her personality was driving change though the political process. One channel broadcast her parliamentary maiden speech and one short passage rang out for me -

'While we celebrate our diversity, what surprises me time and time again as I travel around the constituency is that we are far more united and have far more in common with each other than things that divide us'

How like our school I thought.


The power to question is the basis of all human progress. Indira Gandhi

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1 College Avenue, Maidenhead, Berkshire, SL6 6AW

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