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Claires Court

Claires Court Maidenhead

from Nursery to Sixth Form

Mr Wilding’s Words Lent 11

This week opened with the very sad news of the death of Mrs Monica Sibley, wife of Alan Sibley, our Latin and French tutor.  Monica was our sports administrator throughout Alan’s tenure as Director of Sport, from 1996 to 2008.

Her remarkable ability to make sense of the extraordinary chaos that sports fixtures in all their iterations bring to the daily calendar, let alone the bus schedules, were only superseded by the incredible interest and support she provided to the development of all of our sportsmen and women. Monica had been fighting cancer for some time, and she leaves not just her husband Alan here at school, but also her two grandchildren, Jessamie and Bethany, at Senior Girls. We will all miss her hugely.

Thank you to all of our parents (100 or so) who attended our Digital Information talk by Executive Headteacher, Justin Spanswick, on Wednesday evening. It was both informative and hard hitting, reminding parents of some pretty disturbing facts and referencing the vulnerability of our children whilst using the internet. Whilst there was much positive affirmation of the value of the internet for education and recreation, I did not leave the evening without thinking that we’ve still got much to do before this valuable resource is safe enough.

House Music assembly on Thursday was so much fun, with house pianists Rob Brierley (Kelly), Theo Josh (Ridgeway), Maz Butt (Rowanhurst) vying to win, up against an immense choral and instrumental ensemble assembled by St Lawrence, singing their own House song. Voting ends on Monday lunchtime, a day which also sets out a new House mass choral competition event at Assembly. Mr Mike Hudson and the housemasters deserve much credit for blowing so much new life into House activities this term, for which the House football competitions have also been a key part of this week’s challenge.

Good luck to the many boys and girls in Year 10, setting out on Duke of Edinburgh expedition training over the weekend. Please parents do not expect to receive contact from any DofE pupils whilst they are out learning to cope without contact with the outside world and building the skills to be both self-reliant and supportive of all in their team. Their mobile phones are off and they are indeed off-grid. I expect they’ll enjoy talking, walking and learning new skills, and will have so much more to say when they get home later on Sunday.

And finally, the week concludes with the Boat Club Dinner on Saturday night, which is both a celebration of the boys, girls and coaches remarkable work over the year, as well as a fund-raising event for the forthcoming season to come. For me and many in the school, this is an excellent closing social event for the Senior schools. Very many thanks are due to the Boat Club’s PTA chair, Claire Wincomb, and her team, who work tirelessly on behalf of the school to support the athletes in their development.

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