Mr Wilding’s Words Lent 10
Charity Week has carried a unique flavour this year, led by the Sixth Form promotional video, https://youtu.be/_BoenTFxMjs, for the school’s Global charity, the Pearl Foundation, supporting our work in the Gambia.
We asked Year 10 to consider issues important to the teenage boy, and the various tutor groups took the opportunity to voice their social conscience on matters that they felt were of real concern. On Tuesday, Ms Mead’s 10D set us under way with their look at drugs in the UK followed by Mr Chopra’s 10C surfacing the growing problem of child obesity. Thursday saw Mr Hammerton’s 10B raise the lid on homelessness, with Mrs Wadsworth’s 10A closing the exercise with an insightful look at gaming addiction.
Year 9 heartened us all with their amazing efforts at the Rowathon, in aid of the Will Houghton Foundation, a former pupil of the school who was tragically killed whilst cycling 3 years ago. The Will Houghton Foundation works with UK charities to help 14–24 year olds to reach their potential through education and sport. Will Houghton (24.07.95 – 29.01.16) was an intelligent, loving, inquisitive and motivated man with a love of family, the outdoors, sea and cycling. He was killed in a road accident while on a training ride near his university in Portsmouth. At the very heart of his foundation is the wish to keep his shining spirit alive and inspire a new generation of young people to be their very best.
Year 8 chose as their focus SportsAble, a well known local charity, established to provide sports and recreational facilities and opportunities for its members drawn from disabled and able bodied people, in order that they may participate in sport to the competitive level each individual desires with the overriding objective of enhancing their quality of life. A vital element of life at SportsAble is about having fun – through their fundraising events, such as our Annual Wheelchair Push, and fun through a whole calendar of sport and social activities, including the opportunities our four classes had to experience a variety of sports in the SportsAble buildings at Braywick Park.
Saving the most colourful until last, we all enjoyed the technicolour and imaginative feast that was the Year 7 sponsored fancy dress walk on Thursday, from Eton Wick back to Senior Boys, in aid of PACT (Parents And Children Together). My favourite costume was the life size inflatable dinosaur, which despite its size looked very cuddly indeed!
We were delighted that our Second Civil War day was able to take place in the magnificent grounds of Dorney Court, established as the family home of the Palmers in 1585 by Sir James Palmer, and we owe our good fortune to his many-ties-great-grandson and wide, James and Annie Palmer, who look after the family seat still. The trip to Dorney Court was very successful and Y8 immersed themselves very happily into the 17th century. Hands On History performed very well as re-enactors on the day, though the medal must go to Mr Richards as the incumbent ‘vicar’ of St James the Lesser! The Stuart battlefield medical treatment was a favourite with the pupils as they witnessed a poor soldier called 'Terry ' undergoing trepanning.
They say sad news comes in batches of three, and having already announced the retirement of Mrs Myers and Sharon Adams, it comes with a heavy heart that I also announce that Ms Jacqueline Mead is also leaving us at the end of the term. Jackie joined us back in January 2004, initially led by Mr Briggs then Mr Olivier, and more recently of course under the care of Mr Wespieser. Her 15 years of service to the boys of Claires Court has been consistently remarkable, guiding umpteen boys through the mystery of An Inspector Calls, and even deeper mystery of joined up writing that makes sense. She quickly got the measure of any pupil in her charge, really rather disconcerting when ‘the dog actually had not eaten your homework’. Her gentle welsh accent reminded her colleagues daily that Maidenhead was not actually the centre of the Universe, and that there were almost certainly other important priorities out there as well. It is well known that the Thames Valley has benefited hugely from the migration of professional teaching graduates from those other valleys, Y Cymoedd. In paying this tribute to Jackie Mead, I am recognise just how lucky we have been to have this remarkable, hardworking and inspiring teacher as a member of the Common Room, and we wish her the happiest of retirements.
Her Head of Department, Mr Wespieser has penned this testament for her: “The ideal situation for a Head of Department is to have staff in whom you have an absolute trust, and for me that's Jackie. Before I look at any exercise books for her class I know they will be immaculate and littered with useful comments. Before I step into one of her lessons, I know it will be well planned, well resourced and professionally delivered. Before I look at any data on results day, I know that the students from her classes will have achieved something at or near the very top end of what they are capable of, because she will have done absolutely everything she could to make sure that this was the case. In my career so far, I've worked with some great teachers, and Jackie is right up there with the best of them. She will be sorely missed by Claires Court English Department.”
And finally, please don’t forget we have an Open House next week at Reception, for parents to pop in to say farewell to Mrs Sharon Adams, our Amazing School Receptionist - she’d love to see you all.