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Claires Court

Claires Court Maidenhead

from Nursery to Sixth Form

Mr Bevis' Words Lent 9

Young people are in turn frustrating and inspiring, which I am sure you as parents are fully aware! Over the last couple of weeks the School Council has managed the process by which we select our 3for3 charity. At a full meeting Form Captains gave their form group’s nominations which was then whittled down - some were national charities or had no link with our local area, or indeed were on the verge of closing down, so did not make the shortlist.

So the shortlisted charities were presented in assembly and each pupil given a ballot form, made their choice and then the vote was counted. The results were:

Stand Up For Autism   34
Berkshire Give A Child A Chance 33
Thames Valley Hospice 32
Brett Foundation 27
Link Foundation 19
Family Friends 15

So, by the narrowest of margins Senior Girls are supporting ‘Stand Up for Autism’ a local charity that works with young people and families who are dealing with the debilitating effects of autism. I thanked the school for their suggestions, for listening and for their thoughtful decisions.

Therefore, next week please allow your daughter to bring some cash into school to splurge on cakes, games, sweets, mocktails ..... it’s 3 For 3 week!

Four of our top scientists went to Reading University to compete against mostly sixth form teams in presenting their Heroine of Science -  Katherine Smart, professor of brewing science at Nottingham University. They did not win but I fully applaud their choice!

On Thursday I was accosted in my office to give my views on Donald Trump, and “whether I thought young children should be responsible for ‘high maintenance’ pets”. I have to say that the latter was much harder to answer!. All of Year 8 were engaged in the annual BBC School Report, and the fruits of their labours will soon be up on our website. This is a superb opportunity for pupils to engage in question setting, news gathering, film editing and reporting, all independently of teachers.

It was marvellous to present our Under 14B netball team with their winners medals from the RBWM seasonal tournament. Well done also to the 1st team who clinically disposed of Leighton Park School 21-16. Hockey is also going well with the Under 13 squad’s brilliant silver medal at the ISA London West Championships.

I do have to mention our Junior School music. This week the music department staged a Reception to Year 3 concert, and then two days later Year 4 to 6. Both concerts were an absolute delight with choirs, solo strings and woodwind, trios and ensembles from all year groups along with whole class performances - with Reception class sealing the show. Huge thanks to our music department, teachers and peripatetic teachers,  for their drive and ambition, which imbues all of our pupils with such confidence and bravura.

You may have seen in the news the despair that my state school colleagues are expressing through a recent Association of School and College Leaders report - . Head Teachers say they are axing GCSE and A-level subjects including art, music and drama, cutting back on activities like clubs and trips - and that the “components that make education special and enjoyable are being eroded away".

So when I review next week and see that  our Year 10 geographers are of on a residential field trip to Wales, Year 10 artists to the V & A and our keenest scientists in Year 7 & 8 going to Birmingham for the Big Bang Fair. Add to that the Year 11 dramatists are taking the next step in via their exam board moderated pieces and musicians of all ages taking ABRSM exams’. As part of our celebrations for World Book Day, we have invited Year 7 pupils to participate in ‘Download Day’ by bringing in a digital device to download an ebook from the Claires Court digital library collection, all sponsored by our wonderful PTA.

This highly enriched learning would not be possible without your belief in the benefit and power of education and the commitment that you give to us, and for that I thank you. To see the dire straights that my fellow Heads in the state sector are being placed in, through design and intent, brings no pleasure to any of us who work in the independent sector. For us to be able to do our best for the young people in our care, knowing that we have the resources, freedom and flexibility to be agile and thoughtful about what we do is a wonderful feeling.

Have a great weekend.

 

Creativity can be described as letting go of certainties. Gail Sheehy

 

The chief enemy of creativity is 'good' sense. Pablo Picasso

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