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Claires Court

Claires Court Maidenhead

from Nursery to Sixth Form

Weekly Words from Mrs Rogers

Every week the Bulletin newsletter is sent home from the School Office highlighting important forthcoming dates and events, along with a round-up by Mrs Rogers and the team about the week gone by.  Read below recent messages from the Head's desk.

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  • Head of Sixth Form Autumn 7

    Published 17/10/19, by Kim Hall

    ‘Exceptional work’; ‘incredibly interesting and diverse topics’; and ‘I've learned such a lot this afternoon!’ were comments heard following Sophie, Becky and Kayla’s EPQ presentations. Their audience was comprised of Lead Supervisor, Mrs Lamagna-Richardson and a number of Sixth Form teachers and students who were spellbound by the fascinating topics which included: ‘Have the goals of 1960’s Feminism been met?', ‘Which social factors had the most detrimental effect on the life of Amy Winehouse?’ and, ‘To what extent does true altruism exist?’ Successful students are intellectually curious; self-driven; manage their time well; are creative and original; communicate effectively; understand other perspectives; read, write and analyse skilfully; and perform under pressure. Sophie, Becky and Kayla are all these things, and more, and must be commended and applauded for their remarkable projects.

    Why have they invested so much time and energy in their EPQ? Well, taking the Extended Project Qualification adds significant interest to their other studies and considerable value to their university application. An EPQ is an independent research project which involves writing an essay of 5000 words or creating a product, which might be anything from an art object to an iPhone app. As the project evolves, the student must complete a production log to record specific stages of the project which also contributes to their project result. The third component of the project is an oral presentation. Generally, the whole process from start to finish takes about 120 hours. Most students use the summer vacation at the end of Year 12 to do the preliminary research and then complete the project in the early part of Year 13. It is a formal 'Level 3' qualification that attracts slightly higher UCAS Tariff points than the new AS Level. 

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  • Head Of Sixth Form Autumn 6

    Published 11/10/19, by Kim Hall

    If we are what we eat then I must be a warm Christmas muffin! Sorry to mention Christmas this side of half term, but our Sixth Form chefs have given me no choice following their culinary exploits this week. As part of our enrichment programme Mrs Irons has been working with a group of students to increase their cookery skills and knowledge in preparation for university and ultimately independent living. Our cooks have made numerous types of bread, pastry, sauces and cakes and can even bone a whole chicken! They will never go hungry. In fact, judging by the quality of the food they are making they will be the most popular students in halls and we know how central food is in bringing people together and forging friendships.

    Our Gambia adventurers have also made their mark this week, holding a Bake Sale on Tuesday, selling delicious brownies, cupcakes, cookies, doughnuts and krispy cakes. In just half an hour over two hundred items were sold and enjoyed, boosting the charity fund by an extra £230. Well done to everyone involved, including Ms Bell who made the doughnut dawn raid on Krispy Kremes! With less than a week before 'wheels up' and the students fly off to Brufut, excitement is building. Activity plans to engage the local children are being finalised, last minute shopping for appropriate clothes is underway, including 'team t shirts' and vaccinations are done. The Gambia JustGiving Page will be officially 'launched' on Saturday, at Fireworks Evening. Look out for Sixth Formers in hi-viz, helping you park and give us a wave! A number of our students are also on ergos, demonstrating the many benefits of rowing. Please pop in and cheer them on.

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  • Head of Sixth Form Autumn 5

    Published 04/10/19, by Admin

    'I didn't realise how many creative courses existed and how many universities offered them. This exhibition has changed my thinking and instead of a finance degree I am keen to explore a photography or digital animation course.' - Alfie.

    The UCAS 'Create Your Future' Exhibition, which a number of our Year 12 and Year 13 students, including Alfie, attended at Earls Court on Tuesday, has certainly captured their imagination and inspired many to review their career aspirations. The day provided students with a unique face to face opportunity to talk with course leaders and current students from hundreds of creative courses, traineeships and careers in design, music and the performing arts - and all under one roof. Industry specialists were able to answer questions and give invaluable advice to our students on how to write an irresistible personal statement and on the type of work experience most relevant to their career ambitions.

    Now, more than ever, employees with creative skills are increasingly in demand. You will be familiar with STEM, in which Science, Technology, Maths and Engineering skills have been the focus in education. As modern educators, we have a responsibility to prepare the students we work with for a world now dependent on STEAM based skills where 'A' stands for 'Art'. The job market continues to demand more qualified individuals able to work with, as well as, develop cutting edge technology. it is our role in schools to equip our learners with the specific and transferable skills they will need.

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  • Head of Sixth Form Autumn 4

    Published 26/09/19, by Admin

    Oliver and David conceived and organised a winning sports event for fellow students to participate in this week - a dodgeball tournament!

    It attracted more than 20 players, divided into 5 teams and was played with incredible enthusiasm and competitiveness! There were plenty of supporters cheering on the competitors and match after match was keenly contested. Before we knew it, the final whistle was blown and the tournament was over. Only one team won all their games but everyone enjoyed taking part and agreed another dodgeball event should be arranged soon! Students gave generously to The Gambia Fund and close to £30 was raised. With only a month before our intrepid adventurers set off for Brufut, the occasion was intended to 'make a difference' which it will.

    As well as tracking the time left before we wish our students a good trip we are also tracking and monitoring the progress and development of their learning before half term. To track means “to follow”, rather like following a car's motion on the Uber App;  while to monitor means “to watch” in the same way the “Ring” app “monitors” your front door so you can actually see it through the app, and when someone arrives, you can physically “monitor” and “observe” what is happening, in real time. Likewise, it is helpful to a student’s progress to track the academic assessments they experience each year and look at the outcomes at those checkpoints. Year 12 students are taking their first subject based assessments since beginning Sixth Form next week, while Year 13 are sitting internal tests. For Year 12 it is the first point of tracking their movement through Key Stage 5; for both year groups it is an opportunity to observe the quality of their work and to gauge their attitude to learning. Consistent, targeted and SMART work is fundamental to success in A Level and Level 3 study and I look forward to seeing results which reflect the best outcomes from each individual. 

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  • Head of Sixth Form Autumn 3

    Published 20/09/19, by Admin

    Our Heads of School, Kayla Raeburn-James and James Lambert, did an amazing job of hosting the 2019 Speech Day and are to be congratulated for putting together an excellent video, showcasing the many activities that have happened across our School during the last academic year. We were also treated to music from Joshua Morgan, Harry Carlson and Oliver Walker and also from Leah Fegan-Earl who played in the ensemble.

    Our Deputy Heads of School did a splendid job too, making sure the proceedings went to plan. Thanks go to Simon Baxter, Sophie Bartlett and Joshua Morgan for their contribution to a day of celebration as the Sixth Form turns 25, warranting delicious cupcakes all round. Our outgoing students were recognised for their achievements and now head off to university, employment and gap years. 

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  • Head of Sixth Form Autumn 2

    Published 13/09/19, by Admin

    In a recent study by the OECD economics think tank, going to university in England is still considered to be a good investment. The majority of our students recognise this too and continue to prefer the university route; 71% of our Year 13 leavers this summer achieved their first choice university while 19% are heading off to their second choice. As a school we are delighted not just by their success but also at the diversity of degree courses they have opted to study. As well as computer science, banking and finance, real estate, business and sport, students are also pursuing classical civilisations, astrophysics, interior architecture and design and marine and natural history photography. Traditional subjects including maths, biology, geography and economics remain firm favourites too.

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  • Head of Sixth Form Autumn 1

    Published 06/09/19, by Admin

    'Welcome back! It's what you do next that really matters.' These are the sentiments we have been focused on this week as our new Year 12 students and seasoned Year 13 campaigners have started this new academic year. The students breathe life into our Sixth Form Centre and it has been thrilling to welcome new faces as they begin their studies and old, or rather familiar faces, as they return to complete theirs. Hearing stories of globetrotting adventures, NCS experiences and work placements reminds me of the rich and varied individuals which make up our student body.

    Year 12 began the week by registering for their subjects and participating in a series of workshops designed to help them navigate the transition from GCSE to A Level and Level 3 BTEC work. Students have impressed with their readiness to make new friends and to adopt the focused and mature work ethic which is fundamental to success. Staff have commented on their positive attitude to learning and their respect for and inclusion of those in their class and tutor group.

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  • Head of Sixth Form Summer 10

    Published 04/07/19, by Admin

    ‘Celebrate what you've accomplished but raise the bar a little higher each time you succeed'. Today we celebrated, together with you as parents, grandparents and friends, the remarkable events and activities Year 12 have participated in during the past academic year and also, more importantly, the growth and development of the students too, who are a credit to themselves, their families and our Sixth Form. But we know full well there is so much more to come from them and as a team of subject teachers, personal tutors and Heads of Year, we will continue to encourage, cajole and inspire them to achieve the very best they can throughout next year. 

    As well as celebrating the year group as a whole we also recognised some stunning individual achievements, some from earlier in the year and some from as recently as yesterday! Following a democratic staff and student vote, our Heads of School were announced during today's celebration and we are immensely proud, and expectant, of the students taking on various responsibilities under the guidance of Head Girl, Kayla and Head Boy, James. 

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  • Head of Sixth Form Summer 9

    Published 28/06/19, by Admin

    Our students are post millennial - they are Generation Z and they hold different values and exhibit different behaviours to those in the previous generation. Sophie and David spent their Sunday at the Claires Court Summer Fete raising funds to help the children of Brufut in The Gambia enjoy better quality educational books and stationary, craft materials and sports equipment. Sophie inspired friends and teachers to support the Will Houghton Foundation, raising money to enable disadvantaged children to participate in various sports activities. You see, Generation Z prefer hanging out together, love listening to music, appreciate quality family time and prioritise good grades. They do spend a significant amount of time on social media platforms, although Facebook is very passe now! But they are more savvy about their online image and manage themselves more conservatively than their predecessors.

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  • Head of Sixth Form Summer 8

    Published 21/06/19, by Admin

    Do you agree with AJ Heschel? “People of our time are losing the power of celebration. Instead of celebrating we seek to be amused or entertained. Celebration is an active state, an act of expressing reverence or appreciation."

    For my part, I live life in an 'active state' every day and I believe in the importance of recognising and celebrating the remarkable achievements of our students, in all their many and varied forms. Last night we actively celebrated the conclusion of our Year 13s time in the Sixth Form by meeting together, with Year 12 too, at the Crowne Plaza for our Summer Ball, sharing a delicious three course meal, then working off the calories, again very actively, on the dance floor! There was conversation, laughter and nostalgia as we looked back over the incredible roller coaster ride we have shared over the past two years. Each of these amazing individuals have recently been focused on preparing for and sitting their final exams which are their passport on to university, into an apprenticeship, employment or on to a meaningful gap year. Now that pinch point has been negotiated there is no more appropriate response than to celebrate! Seeing the camaraderie they share with each other and their teachers last night reminded me of how we affect and are affected by those we spend most time with and it has been a privilege for our Sixth Form team to have worked closely in helping shape and be shaped by the outgoing Year 13 cohort. View the full gallery here.

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  • Head of Sixth Form Summer 7

    Published 14/06/19, by Admin

    Sixth Former James has already begun accruing UCAS points! Following his impressive LAMDA 'Level 3 in Communication', with pieces entitled “Down in the coal mine”, “Poverty defines true wealth” and “ Soldier”, James was awarded the highest honour - a Distinction. He can be incredibly proud of this achievement and the added breadth of his offer to any university or employer which this qualification provides. 

    Year 12 students have been focused on their academic development throughout the year with regular exam and assessment 'checkpoints' punctuating each term, providing opportunities to master their subjects and invaluable feedback to ensure they continue to progress their knowledge and understanding. This week has seen them sitting summer internal exams which will form the basis of their predicted grades for UCAS, degree apprenticeships and employers. With so many ambitious and aspirational individuals in the year, targeting Oxbridge, Russell Group and mainstream universities, choosing to apply for vetmed, engineering, law and creative arts degrees, to name but a few, the next couple of weeks leading up to the end of this year have significance. Registering on UCAS, writing the first draft of their personal statement, considering degree apprenticeships and polishing CVs are key aspects of the Sixth Form FutureFocus during the final week of this term. What an exciting time in their lives!

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  • Head of Sixth Form Summer 6

    Published 07/06/19, by Admin

    Sponsored Silence! What a marvellous way to raise money for the Gambia Project, a well used but brilliant idea Jacob in Year 12 had and which, strangely, staff and students were keen to support! It was a peaceful day in the Sixth Form and proved very profitable too with £118 now added to the funds the students are building up for their trip to Brufut in October.

    Our rowers have also had success, winning various races including the quad you can see in this week's photograph. James, Alec, Joe and Jake holding their winners medals and the well worn trophy which has been awarded to many other superb teams down the years. Congratulations to them and our other rowers who competed so impressively. 

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