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Claires Court

Claires Court Maidenhead

from Nursery to Sixth Form

Mr Wilding’s Words Lent 2

Week 2 in school has been an absolute delight, partly because I have been able to meet a lot more of the boys around and about, as well as more formally for Year 8 with their mums and dads at their Parents’ Evening on Wednesday.

Year 8 and their teachers have been working hard to ensure their record of work evidence in the work exercise books is something of which they can be proud; I’ve called this approach ‘signature learning’, whereby as the boys leave their ‘grey shirt years’, they complete an impressive portfolio of their work.  More of that anon.

At Monday’s assembly, I was pleased to recognise some leading achievements of our readers, singers and musicians: Daniel Greenwood, Luke Lyons, Lewis Gabb, Oliver Spence, Charlie Webster, Edwin Griffith, Joe Thompson and Jonathan Nagele. Perhaps the most remarkable of all currently is Oliver Walker, whose winning public performance of Drummer of the Year can be seen on slide 3 of the morning’s presentation - http://schl.cc/3M.

Because of my teaching work with some of Year 9, I’ve got to know them perhaps better than other years already.  At their assembly on Thursday, I started our preparation work for the ‘scoping of GCSE’ subjects and their upcoming Parent Evening on Thursday 7 February.  Put simply, whilst many of the boys are looking forward to making choices and ‘dropping’ subjects, they are still young and have only completed one of three terms of Year 9 study. So they too are facing ‘Exercise book scrubbing up time’ in the weeks running up, though probably not so pleased as I’ve asked the staff to be ‘less helpful’. This way, we’ll see which boys are actually willing to take responsibility for my challenge.

And challenges ‘anew’ have arrived too this week, with Mr Hudson’s introduction of the House Tug-of-war competition, which at the time of writing seems to be showing overall ‘Ridgeway’ in the lead.  Mr Miller’s excellent short movie here shows an example of what this ‘Sport’ looks like at Claires Court - https://youtu.be/LtYKIeE5gPc.

And finally, the week started with Year 11 completing their IGCSE Maths exam, and it finishes with my reading of their full school reports, following their Mock GCSEs in December. For boys and girls in their final compulsory year of education, their studies are much less weighed down by coursework and controlled assessments.  It is clear that there is greater room to breathe between events, but that room is largely taken up now with a focus on deep revision and examination paper practice for the final six months. We are an unusual western nation indeed, asking so much more of our 16 year olds than any other; only to ask it all over again at age 18.

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