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Claires Court

Claires Court Maidenhead

from Nursery to Sixth Form

Weekly Words from Mr Wilding

Every week the Bulletin newsletter is sent home from the School Office highlighting important forthcoming dates and events, along with comments from Mr Wilding about the week gone by. Read below recent messages from the Head's desk.

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  • Mr Wilding's Words Week 11

    Published 04/12/20, by Nicola Robinson

    #LockdownWeek2 comes to an end with an almost full return to work in school for Years 7, 8, 9 and 11, and we really do look forward to seeing Year 10 back in school next Monday. I extend a huge thank you to my staff, pupils and parents for making this unusual period of nine days intermittent in-and-out school learning work so well. The new features of MEETS, with break-out rooms, polls and Q&As all assist in creating engagement, and the work being done (by all accounts) has ensured we have remained a productive academic community.

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  • Mr Wilding's Words Week 10

    Published 27/11/20, by Nicola Robinson

    It has been a very different week here at Senior Boys, with the substantial majority of teachers and boys working offsite for either reasons of isolation or year group suspension from in-school attendance. I am delighted that the reports I have received from parents, pupils and teachers confirm we seem to have moved seamlessly to full school days of productive learning and work creation. It has been excellent, of course, to be able to invite every age group back into school, and in giving specific importance to Year 7 to attend more fully next week, our aim is to ensure they are able to develop the screen-working skills that are required to be successful in this mode of study. Equally, with Year 11 in attendance for the majority of the time, we have been able to maximise the support for this vital exam year.  

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  • Mr Wilding's Words Week

    Published 20/11/20, by Nicola Robinson

    ‘Opportunity’ and ‘participation’ are key words in the school’s vocabulary, and it has certainly been challenging to keep engaging with the wider opportunities the world offers during the middle of a pandemic. Involving ourselves in anti-bullying week has been our focus, very well expressed by our Senior prefects assembly on Thursday. We have some great role models now, most recently Lewis Hamilton, who have taken that brave step of ‘calling out’ hateful behaviour and raising the profile so clearly that above all, we need to be kind.

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  • Mr Wilding's Words Week 8

    Published 13/11/20, by Nicola Robinson

    Remembrance day on Wednesday was really well supported by our community choosing to 'wear red to remember', and I am delighted that Senior Boys were able to add £315.85 to our school’s donation to the British Legion. It’s clear from personal correspondence with parents that our knowledge of loss in our own families continues to emerge from family archives. I wondered two years ago whether having celebrated the centenary of the Armistice, as a country we might now choose to forget. As we all now can see, far from it. History has this ghastly habit of repeating itself; the centenary of the creation of the Tomb of the Unknown Warriors in Westminster Cathedral and the permanent installation of the Cenotaph, literally an empty tomb, in Whitehall is marked by the emergence anew of a world-wide pandemic. This century sees a new frontline of doctors and nurses, and our teaching lesson at Monday’s Assembly was very much to include the wider range of Poppy colours now used to include more in this Remembrance act.

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  • Mr Wilding's Words Week 7

    Published 06/11/20, by Nicola Robinson

    Returning from our half term break has seen a real resurgence in energy and commitment at Senior Boys. We seem to have seamlessly moved into masks too, and both staff and pupils seem to be very conscious of the need to keep very good hygiene and to keep a good sense of humour as they go about their business.

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  • Mr Wilding's Words Week 6

    Published 16/10/20, by Nicola Robinson

    We returned to school on Monday morning to find a new pedestrian crossing feature across the driveway, and it did not take these four boys much time to work out precisely what needed to be done with that! The original photography of the Beatles in Abbey Road is pretty much embedded in most of our minds; this 2020 update reminds us all that life is indeed a journey and on occasion it’s a good idea to take the safety first approach.

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  • Mr Wilding's Words Week 5

    Published 09/10/20, by Nicola Robinson

    It has been Year 11 ‘Mocks’ week here at Senior Boys, when our GCSE students have experienced their first set of examinations for two years! It has been a bit of a ‘shocker’ for some, having to sit still for 90 or so minutes and face the challenge of reading, writing and showing off their analytical skills on passages, texts and ‘give of their best’. As we face the clear and present danger of ‘teaching and learning during a pandemic’, at least our Year 11 have ‘laid some rubber on the road’ and we have a starting point of standards achieved at the start of this academic year. Come what may, it is clear that our boys and girls have a full year of studies ahead of them, and that they are very much up for the challenge and willing to stretch and work hard to make further progress through the year. Well done boys, and thanks so much to Mrs Carr and her invigilating team for establishing a sound and sensible examination hall for us all.

    More generally, school is becoming ‘canopy fantastic’ as we increase the coverage outside to protect our community from the regular showers, and we have managed to relocate both the Year 11 lockers and the boat club into our astro field shelters and locker shelters to provide even more covered space for our activities. I have an utter dread of the rain when it comes, reinforced by the very obvious joy the boys are showing in their breaktime play, allowing for the blowing off of steam before another hour of concentration and application. 

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  • Mr Wilding's Words Week 4

    Published 02/10/20, by Nicola Robinson

    What a difference the rain makes; one moment we all know what we are doing, sunny weather, outdoor lockers and a sense of fresh air and wellbeing around. Next moment, ‘where’s my change of clothes and 'I forgot my towel.’ Bearing in mind such epic fails, Mr Hudson’s presentation to our new parents on Wednesday evening reminded them of Michael Jordon’s most famous quote:

    Year 11’s excellent assembly on Thursday welcomed in Black History Month October to the school, commencing with the genesis of this reflection from major characters such as Jordon from the USA and from much further back in our own country with Mary Seacole, arguably the first nurse practitioner at the time of Florence Nightingale. Seacole was of British-Jamican heritage, and celebrated in her own lifetime for her work, when 1857 a four-day fundraising gala took place on the banks of the river Thames, to honour her, with crowds of about 80,000 attending, including veterans and their families as well as royalty, she then ‘disappeared almost without trace for a century. 

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  • Mr Wilding's Words Week 3

    Published 25/09/20, by Nicola Robinson

    Across the school on Friday, we were able to celebrate the school’s 60th birthday with a suitably scrumptious cupcake for every child, young person and adult. 60 years is of course about a lifetime ago, but as I was one of the 19 boys sat in the inaugural photograph, the photocall event I remember quite clearly, even though I was only six at the time.

    I mentioned this strongly at the Year 11 awards ceremony held here on Wednesday, at which the leading pupils from their time in Year 10 received their awards. Whilst we could not do a lot of handshaking, I was able to ensure the boys heard some inspiring words from their former headmaster, John Rayer (back on our staff coaching rowing), supported by President of the PTA Phyllis Avery, MBE, and PTA trustee Trevor Sharkey. The group photo shows the prizewinners as a whole, and the duo is of Year 10 learner of the year, William receiving his certificate from the previous incumbent, Raphael.


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  • Mr Wilding's Words Week 2

    Published 18/09/20, by Nicola Robinson

    At assembly on Monday, I was able to share a small part of the wonderful short movie that Frances Ackland Snow, Head of Art at Senior Boys, produced this August of Jeremy Irons reading her fairy tale for children, ‘The Girl with No Voice’. If you have time, 7 minutes 46 seconds to be precise, please do watch the film, which premiered at her Watlington Art Experience event held in St Leonards Church Watlington over the Bank Holiday weekend. 

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  • Mr Wilding's Words Week 1

    Published 11/09/20, by Nicola Robinson

    Welcome back to one and all to our autumn term 2020, and a huge thanks to parents and boys for being so school ready right from the get-go. I feel sure your sons will have reported back on some ‘unfamilar’ new arrangements with our infrastructure in Senior Boys, from the barrier across the main entrance, to the ‘sectioned off’ site with ‘bubble’ year group corridors and outside locker area installs. 

    As my blog this week expresses in much detail, we have had an incredible summer of activity reshaping the site and facilities. Our playing field preparations were delayed by three days this week, as was the installation of three courtyard sinks, but I am delighted to confirm we are now practically complete, with only some final cosmetic touches to walls and decor to complete over the coming weekends.

    One of the major activities over the break was the cleaning and servicing of over 800 Chromebooks for the boys and girls across Claires Court to use as personal devices this year. Pupils are asked to keep their chargers at home, and to make sure they put them on charge overnight. The plan is to use them every lesson, but we must also ensure that we recover the handwriting and paper manipulation skills which perhaps have decayed since #lockdown, so exercise books and files are also order of the day. Parents are reminded to add their sons Chromebooks to the home insurance cover for damage, notional value being £200.

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  • Mr Spanswick's Words Summer 11

    Published 10/07/20, by Nicola Robinson

    Dear Parents and Guardians

    To close our final bulletin of the academic year, your children’s Headteacher has shared many words of wisdom, some lovely memories, and even the odd video! Please take some time to read them, and to also reflect on your child's final report of the year.

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