Head's Words Summer Term Week 10
I think our music scene at Claires Court has probably changed for ever. Just over a year ago we decided to implement a Sixth Form music technology course. At the time the vision was that we would equip ourselves to deliver the opportunity for all on the College Avenue site to experience the unleashing of creativity that an amalgam of music and digital technology could bring. That vision came into reality at the Senior Girls and Sixth Form Musical Showcase evening on Thursday. Pupils and students from Year 7 to Year 12 composed, recorded, edited, presented and performed an evening of music, sound and film to an audience that gave them rapturous applause at the end. Along with our more experienced and advanced performers who showcased their GCSE and Advanced Level work, it was great to see so many taking their first steps in front of an audience to demonstrate what can be achieved if you give them the tools and the freedom to create, and the confidence to perform - wow! And as one of the members of the rock band said “we’re living a little bit on the edge here...”
Creativity has been the watchword these last few weeks. On Saturday Year 8 girls and boys were working hard on their Arts Award projects. To gain the award they have to undertake a Masterclass, give a presentation on their own piece of work to an audience and then teach a group of others an artistic technique. As with the music the benefits of offering a real breadth of educational opportunity is clear when you see the usually not so confident, or the more unsure and reserved, spring to life in a way that you might not have believed possible.
Arts Award and Year 10 GCSE work was also on show and in a finely judged piece of timing the A Level Art and Photography exhibition was opened and there are some truly stunning pieces of work on show - and if you get the opportunity please come along and have a look, you will be uplifted. The exhibition is open until next Thursday - you could combine with an afternoon of athletics on Monday perhaps?
Sport is never far from success at Claires Court and the Under 15 tennis team whitewashed Downe House 12-0 in the county final. They now go on to represent Berkshire in a series of inter-county matches in a bid to get to the regional finals in October.
Our Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Award expedition groups gave their presentations this week, This is the final part of the expedition as they have to show how they have achieved their objective, the lows and highs of the journey and what they have learnt from the experience. I was struck on how genuinely they felt that they their sense of being a team and working for each other really strengthened as they coped with getting lost, the perils of dehydration and the demands of preparing and cooking a meal after load carrying and walking for up to 8 to 10 hours.
Year 10 have been looking to the future. They have spent a morning in the Sixth Form centre, experiencing A level and BTEC teaching as well gaining an insight as to how different life is when you move on from Senior Girls. The sixth form staff who taught them were unanimous in their praise of their maturity and their engagement with advanced level study and learning. This was followed up on Friday when Year 10 girls joined the boys to hear about University and diverse range of different opportunities now available to them post 18, along with a presentation from David Hyner. His ability to motivate and inspire young people is world renowned and they always leave his session with a real bounce in their step, and eyes definitely focussed on an aspirational future.
Monday evening a steady stream of wide eyed Year 6s came into school and as they walked, some a little nervously, towards the Hall they found themselves neatly stripped away from their parents. They had an hour or so of making new friends, meeting tutors and their senior prefects and beginning the process that enables them to feel part of a community. Parents were ushered into the hall where they too began to make relationships with each other and with the teachers and other staff who will an integral part of their daughters lives over the next five years.
So next week - Senior Girls Sports Day on Monday (and the final GCSE exam), ABRSM music exams, ISA National Athletics Championships and on Sunday Midsummer Night’s Dream will be in technical rehearsal. If you have not yet confirmed if you are attending the production please do so, it will be a night to remember, and to sleep, perchance to dream (no, I know that’s Hamlet) and fairies, lovers and mechanicals will be performing their hearts out.
We are a busy school, and the energy that comes from the diverse work we do spills over into so many elements of our teaching and learning. It gives our pupils and staff the opportunity to see each other in such diverse and exciting ways.
Have a lovely weekend.
Passion is one great force that unleashes creativity, because if you're passionate about something, then you're more willing to take risks. Yo-Yo Ma