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Claires Court

Claires Court Maidenhead

from Nursery to Sixth Form

Mr Bevis' Words Summer 7

Read on to hear about Senior Girls General Election, our marvellous GCSE Art & Textiles Exhibition, and how we have helped our young people deal with the aftermath of the  recent terrorist attacks.

Election Result 8 June 2017... votes cast were..

Labour     42 (30.9%)  Conservative 68 (50%) Liberal Democrats  8 (5.9%) UKIP 18 (13.2%)

Well not what you have been seeing on your TV screens if you have been up all night, or risen in the early hours, but how Claires Court Senior Girls (and staff) have voted. After some invigorating campaigning and election speeches from the party representatives this was the outcome with the Conservatives being the largest party but without an overall majority (68 votes to 68), after a turnout of  92%. Scarily this pretty much mirrored the outcome in that other election.........

I would like to congratulate all of the candidates  for their great work and dedication to a hard but fair fight. More importantly of course it has been a great opportunity to bring national politics and the nature and characteristics of our parliamentary democracy into school in a very real way.

It has also been a time when as a school we have reflected upon and reacted to the terrorist attacks the country has been subjected to in Manchester and London. We have joined with millions across the country in observing a minute silence to remember those that have died or have been seriously injured. To support those very public demonstrations of remembrance and respect we have taken time, in assemblies, tutor groups and classes, to reassure and to explain. We have used the advice given by the NSPCC  and the PSHE Association to guide us in how to manage those discussions and given that sadly we have now had to do this on two occasions I thought it would be useful for us to share those guidelines with you. Tutors and teachers were asked to:

  • clarify the facts: what has happened? What is happening now? How do we know?

  • recognise that terrorist attacks can result in a range of strong feelings, from curiosity and excitement to personal anxiety and fears

  • listen carefully to any fears and worries and offer reassurance and comfort,  avoid complicated explanations that may leave children feeling frightened or confused

  • allow children to talk about their feelings and encourage questions and answer them honestly

  • remind them that such things are in actuality rare and that we live in a safe and well protected society

  • help children separate the facts from speculation and rumour. Ask them whether the facts could support different interpretations

  • discuss that the aftermath of such events can bring out positive and negative responses in human beings and that we should enhance the first and challenge the second

  • ensure that children should not be placed in a position of defending their community or faith and that there is a danger of ‘generalising’ the actions of a few to a larger group or community

  • children should understand that the number of people supporting a rumour does not affect the likelihood of its being true

Obviously this advice and guidance was adapted as appropriate to the age of the children that the tutor or teacher was working with.

Questions of a more light hearted nature will take place on Friday night when the Year 10 Duke of Edinburgh group will be running a Quiz Night as part of the Volunteering component of the Award. I shall be joining a staff team.... and hoping we are not humbled by the various parent teams.

Tuesday night saw staff and pupils attend the Senior Girls GCSE Art and Textiles Exhibition.  All those that attended were so impressed with the work on display. Our young artists and textilists showed great boldness and imagination, along with no little skill. Chatting to many of them during the evening it was clear that they had hugely appreciated the confidence and encouragement they had been given to freely express themselves. The evening was hugely enhanced by the  innovation of the Year 7 & 8 Food Club in preparing and serving canapes and drinks, which brought a very sophisticated touch to the event and my grateful thanks to them.

Wednesday saw over 50 of our Senior and Junior Girls athletes competing in the ISA London West Athletics Championships, against competitors from 26 other schools across the region. There were some truly impressive performances with 19 athletes being selected to represent London West at the ISA Nationals later this month. Although athletics is often seen as a very individual activity, and we took 55 medals we take a very team orientated approach but we as yet do not have the overall inter-school results.

The PTA are busy finalising arrangements for the Summer Fete on 24 June and Year 9 and 10 are planning a range of games and fairground type activities. Our usual parent stalwarts will be there but we are also appealing for any of our parents to give up an hour or so of their time to man a stall or serve behind our soft drinks stall.

Next week our geographers will be competing in the Geography Association school’s quiz, when we host the regional round, and welcome six other teams to Claires Court... a busy term continues.

The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls.
Pablo Picasso

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