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Claires Court

Claires Court Maidenhead

from Nursery to Sixth Form

Mr Wilding's words Lent week 6

12 months ago, I wrote in this half term piece the news of the sad death of our former CCJB Deputy Head, Susan Payne, after a long illness. I recalled her proudest moment for school, when our junior chess team won the national finals in Bristol. She wrote then:

“Had a great night's sleep... Just sinking in what a momentous achievement it is. Thank you for inviting me to see history being made. WELL DONE to you all!”

All year since September, our boys have continued to make history every day, and during this #lockdown 3 period demonstrating the highest attendance record and lowest ever set of defaults for work not completed. As one mother wrote today: 

“This situation isn’t easy, and I’ve been so impressed with the consistently high level of commitment which I can hear you (teachers) are all putting in… (my son) works in our kitchen, so during my forays from my desk in the study to make a cup of tea, I’ll inevitably hear a snippet of a lesson and how encouraging you are all being... I can see interacting through a screen is becoming a strain and his attention isn’t always as high as it could be, and I can hear how you are all being supportive and encouraging to all the boys, and I really appreciate that.”

School knows from the many assemblies I have given just how proud I am of the efforts they are making, and Mr Hudson’s weekly House Reports illustrate just how strong the boys’ responses have been to the challenges suggested in addition to work to be completed. 

So as we come to half term, I am requiring school to take a break now from screen-based watching and receiving, so that the next week can bring an opportunity to challenge their skills building in other ways as well. I showed them a short clip of Dr Alan Watkins video (part 1) TEDx lecture, ‘How to be brilliant every day’ (and there is a part 2), in which he highlights above all the need our human bodies have to be capable of controlled breathing, rhythmic exercise, the steady raising and lowering of the heart rate as being key to controlling our conscious activities and emotions. 

I’m not actually certain the boys need much further direction in this way, because so many have been superb during our current break from in-schooling. If I may paraphrase Mrs Payne’s words for the coming break-of-days and say to you all: “Have great nights of sleep… let it sink in what momentous achievements you’ve earned. Thank you for enabling me to see history being made. Well done to you all!"

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