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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 13

    Published 13/12/19, by Kim Hall

    'Make the world better with a sweater!' Which is exactly what the Sixth Form students did today - just look at the magnificent array of knitwear and tailoring on show. And not only was the Sixth Form Centre a more colourfully festive place to be, knowing our donations will make such a difference to the lives of children around the world, helping them grow up healthy and safe and giving them the opportunity to get an education so they can grow up to be who they want to be, brought a positive feeling. It is the right of every child to be cared for and raised well, to have food, shelter, water, clothing and health care so supporting Save the Children is vitally important. With a child becoming homeless every eight minutes in Britain we have work to do and much to appreciate. According to the homeless charity, Shelter, 183 children lose their home every day, that is enough children to fill two double decker buses, the highest rate since 2006. At least 135,000 children will spend Christmas in temporary accommodation. All political leaders in Britain agree this is a problem which must be tackled. There are many charities which exist to help and alleviate the problem but what can we do as a society to prevent so many children falling into this situation?

    Year 12 students have been on meaningful work experience placements this week including Microsoft, the Heights Nursing Home, Harleyford Golf Club and SportsAble. Students acquire knowledge and understanding of the work place first hand and have transferable skills as a result which enhance their university and apprenticeship applications. Year 13 have built smart and memorable LinkedIn profiles that quickly tell an impactful and professional story. Their summary, experience and skills sections will develop and grow over time but understanding the principle of networking is invaluable. LinkedIn hosts 500 million professional profiles creating an unlimited supply of connections and potential job opportunities. Being part of this global community is an important aspect of being fully professional in any industry in today's society.

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  • Head of Sixth Form Autumn 12

    Published 06/12/19, by Kim Hall

    Anouska, pictured here with the Sixth Form Christmas tree in St Luke’s Church, is Student Leader with responsibility for 'Charity and Fundraising Activities'. Thanks to her own creative contributions and her remarkable ability to motivate other students, even those who do not find working with a needle and thread comes naturally, the Sixth Form are proud of their combined efforts in decorating this year’s tree. 

    Students in both Year 12 and Year 13 have focused on preparing for and sitting practice exams this week, so have not fully embraced the Christmas cheer which is now beginning to gather momentum. They have been completing past papers, writing timed essays and answering multiple choice questions which provides them with a checkpoint to assess their knowledge and understanding as well as giving subject teachers an indication of attainment levels. As parents and guardians you can expect feedback on this exam series in a full report which will be published and sent home in the New Year. 

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  • Head of Sixth Form Autumn 11

    Published 29/11/19, by Kim Hall

    Numbers, numbers, numbers! A week of numbers, be it from the pollsters, our 'mathletes' pictured here, or the sales figures ticking over today, Black Friday. Hannah, Richard, Jacob and Giacomo were invited to take part in a Senior Team Maths Challenge Regional Final at the City of London School yesterday. They faced complex problems, challenging their mathematical knowledge and skills to the limit. The day was enjoyed by all and Mrs O'Clee proudly confirmed they had represented the school well, coming 22nd overall.

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  • Head of Sixth Form Autumn 10

    Published 22/11/19, by Kim Hall

    Applause rang around the hall and our student body left assembly chattering animatedly about the presentations given by our own 'MP's representing the country's major political parties. The students, pictured, summarised the policies from each manifesto with exacting accuracy, witty humour and a youthful perspective; they communicated the key messages we are hearing on our news outlets all day and every day during this run up to what the students described as, 'the most important election of our generation’. 

    Environmental issues were high on the list of priorities with clear points on the urgency of addressing climate change now as in ten years’ time the negative impact global society is having on the planet will be too far gone. How to boost the economy, save the NHS and incentivise people to become teachers were also issues addressed by party representatives with reference to how such initiatives would be funded. Of course, the 'B' word came up and the different political ideas around this hot potato were explored and clarified. Each MP spoke with knowledge, confidence, passion and authority and if I'm honest, represented their party's policies just as well as the party leaders.

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  • Head of Sixth Form Autumn 9

    Published 15/11/19, by Kim Hall

    This week, the same as every week, we have been reminded of the importance of community, kindness and contentment. As a Sixth Form community we worked together as a team on Tuesday at our Open Evening, showing current Year 11 pupils interested in joining Year 12 next year what a cohesive, mutually respectful and aspirational group of young people we (or they!) are. The students are our finest ambassadors and their enthusiasm for and knowledge of their subjects was outstanding; they were described by the families who visited as confident, competent and welcoming. I am immensely proud of each of them for their engagement at the event and for the obvious pride they have in the Sixth Form community we share.

    With World Kindness Day on Wednesday it was timely to remind students of the simple choice they can make - if you can be anything, be kind! There is significant power in choosing to be kind. Kindness is a quality no-one can take from you, it stands out, even when done quietly, it has the power to transform lives and change the world. Kindness is a language all people recognise, there are no cultural or language barriers - it is a universal language. It should not matter whether we get anything in return, in fact, often we do not see the results of it.

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  • Head of Sixth Form Autumn 8

    Published 08/11/19, by Kim Hall

    Our Gambia Team have returned. They are armed with stories, memories and experiences which they will hold dear for life. Each one has reflected in their individual way on the trip and recognise that while they gave so much to the community there, they have also gained so much too. 

    As a School, we are looking to contribute further to the community in Brufut and help fund the costs of building an additional classroom for the Education Centre, with a view to this becoming the centre’s first computer lab. To support our fundraising efforts please donate by visiting our JustGiving page

    Through the help of a former member of staff, Robert Leder, Claires Court is supporting 'Charity Pearl The Gambia' in its efforts to make substantial improvements to day to day life in the Brufut area of The Gambia. So far Claires Court has helped fund the building of the Kids are the World Education Centre, along with the digging of a borehole and well to provide clean water to the community in Brufut.

    Over the past year our passionate students, staff and PTA have busily arranged fundraising events in aid of the Claires Court Sixth Form ‘Gambia Project’, with initiatives ranging from a charity dinner to bake sales and sponsored dodgeball matches. Not forgetting student Tom’s 'close shave' when he agreed to have his head shaved by the highest bidder for the cause! 

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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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