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Claires Court

Claires Court Maidenhead

from Nursery to Sixth Form

Mr Bevis' Words Summer 3

Claires Court Girls shine in Chemistry, Year 10s seek high office and we buck the national trend on staff recruitment.....

The sniff of elections and the seeking of public office is not only being felt in the local and national political scene but also amongst Senior Girls. Year 10s are now applying for Head and Deputy Head Girl positions for next year, along with a host of other Senior Prefect posts. The early parts of the process require the hopeful candidates to write a letter of application setting out why they think they should be appointed, and what they would bring to the role. That is followed by a group debate activity and then a shortlist emerges for final interview with the Headteacher and the Head of Pastoral Care, Maggie Heywood.

I am delighted to see how many of our Year 10 have put themselves forward, and believe that they can undertake leadership roles. Too often we can assume that young people prefer not to stand out from the crowd, and keep their heads down, but our experience is that given the opportunity and the expectation they rise to the challenge. I will keep you informed as the process continues.

“The King is dead, long live the King”... well not quite as Year 11s are still undertaking their roles but only for another week as Friday 12 May marks the end of their period of office with the Year 11 Final Assembly. From the 12th Year 11 have the option of being on GCSE study leave and we therefore mark the last time when they will come together as a year group with a day of celebration culminating in a formal assembly with the whole school and Year 11 parents. As ever it will be a day of good humour but also some tears... but more of that next week.

Our sporting summer has begun and the school field is full of all age groups running,throwing, and jumping and the athletics season kicks off the District Trials, followed by the RBWM athletics league. Our  Under 15 tennis team turned in an excellent performance in defeating Edgbarrow School 12-0.

The Salters’ Institute,  the flagship charity of the Salters’ Company, a Livery Company established in 1394, was founded in 1918 to support education in chemistry. The Salters’ Festivals of Chemistry for 11-13 year olds are held at universities across the country. In our regional round at Reading University our Year 8 scientists faced thirteen other schools and after solving a murder mystery  and making their own soap we were delighted with an outstanding third place. Well done to Hannah, Marion, Savannah and Elis.

One of the more complex events of the year occurs today when we attempt to get over three hundred people from the age of 5 to.... well lets just say well north of 60 to be facing the same way, keeping their hair out of their eyes and not squinting into the sun... yes it’s the annual school photograph! As I write this the sun is shining and the winds seem light... fingers crossed.

The summer term is a busy period for our HR team as we look to recruit and appoint new colleagues. Over the last few months you may have seen reports from teaching unions, employment agencies, local authorities and the Education Select Committee all giving dire warnings about a looming teacher shortage. It is with some pleasure that I can report to you that we are bucking that trend and where colleagues are moving on or we need extra staff as the school grows we are recruiting very well. It was hugely gratifying to hear when interviewing  a prospective colleague that the reason he had applied was that he no longer wished to work in an educational setting where he could not teach the curriculum the pupils needed, and where he perceived himself to be in exam factory. Our well known belief in a broad and enriching education had attracted him, and indeed many others, to want to come and work with us. You will of course hear all about any staff changes later in the term when we have concluded all of our recruitment.

Have a lovely weekend.

To think is to practice brain chemistry.......... Deepak Chopra

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