Principals' End of Term Message
JAMES WILDING - ACADEMIC PRINCIPAL
My brother and I hope this final bulletin of the academic year finds you continuing well and our pupils, your sons and daughters set to enjoy their summer holidays.
My Principal’s blog today highlights the importance we must all place in not wishing the time to hasten by for our children. The central importance of childhood is that it is to be enjoyed, to gather that variety of experiences which builds great memories, and to build enduring relationships across family and friends that in their own way will nourish all in the times to come.
At the start of our #lockdown in March, none of us could have guessed the depth and breadth of the challenge we were going to face. Initial family fears for their children’s education were quickly eased as our remote learning offer across the age range embedded, developed and delivered against our curriculum expectations. What we were able to make clear to every learner was how to engage, how to feel involved, how to respond and how to perceive feedback, all in a caring and supportive environment. I know all of our staff kept their pupils aware that most important of all was their wellbeing and happiness.
We know it’s been a high pressure situation for many households as we all juggle work, home-schooling, health and other issues during lockdown, but schools will return and children will bounce back to their studies. I hope you feel assured that as education professionals, we will provide the best education and wellbeing in the safest way possible.
It was a herculean effort by Justin Spanswick, Dean Richards, Lindsay King and Sheena Wilding, supported so ably by our school nurses led by Cherie Levi, to manage to re-open fully our Junior divisions and Nursery. At Senior level too, exceptional efforts by colleagues ensure that the whole remote learning timetable for secondary and Sixth Form was maintained whilst also welcoming back Year 10, 12 and work experience playwork volunteers onto site later in June.
And looking ahead, it may not be as restful a summer holiday as usual for teachers as they plan and adapt to frequent new guidelines, write new schemes of work to take account of Covid-19 threats and changes in societal expectations, and prepare for full return in autumn. We urge all families to enjoy the summer as they can and support children to be happy and ready for that return to school in September. We will of course be in Year group ‘bubbles’ then, giving us some greater flexibility and agility to enrich school life.
We wish to pay tribute to our own staff at Claires Court, and express our sincerest thanks at the end of a summer term like no other. Without them, we could not have managed the incredible range of activities available, and it is a huge tribute to the immense support, professionalism and dedication to education of our own team. All the time, they have put the children in our school first. They have not just gone the extra mile, gigabyte or screen-time, they have travelled with a love for their calling and a deep concern for those others with whom they work. And thank you too, to so many parents who have recognised this and sent your thanks to so many of our colleagues, as that made such a difference and continues to do so.
From the Office
Credits and refunds
All refunds for cancelled trips and the PTA ball have now been refunded.
The coronavirus refunds for direct debit payers were refunded on 2 July, and for other payment methods the credit was carried forward to either the leavers statement or the autumn term invoice.
Leaver statements were produced on 16 July and credits will be refunded by direct debit on 31 July or by cheque on 3 August.
We are looking forward, over the next four weeks, to welcoming children from Nursery to Year 8 on to our Junior Boys site to enjoy socially distanced fun and games away from screens (apart from temperature screening)!
Bus and transport information
We are currently revising our routes and looking at ways to safely and efficiently get children to school on our school transport network. Further information will be sent out in the next few weeks.
Dates for the diary
Thursday 13 August - 8am: A level and BTEC Results and accompanying information will be sent out by email from this time.
Friday 14 August: Holiday club closes at the end of this day.
Thursday 20 August - 8am: GCSE Results and accompanying information will be sent out by email from this time.
Wednesday 2 September: Updated information for parents. The Headteacher’s first letter of term will be sent by email this day, providing updated information as best we can, reflecting the then Covid-19 state of play.
Friday 4 September: Induction day for new secondary pupils. Full details will be sent out separately to parents with new boys and girls joining the school from Year 7 upwards.
Friday 4 September: Sixth Form Induction day. Full details will be sent out separately to Year 12 and 13 students and their parents.
Monday 7 September: Start of the autumn term 2020 on all sites.
September 2020 Marks the Start of our Diamond Jubilee celebration year. Claires Court was founded and had its very first term of learning in September 1960.
New campus appeal hearing
We and the National Planning Inspectorate continue to wait for the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead planning to confirm when they can provide a venue for the Appeal hearing, expected November 2020.
And finally, PTA News - Diamond Jubilee Fireworks, Saturday 10 October from 5pm
In suitably social distanced car parking slots (if we must), we are aiming to hold a celebration of our Diamond Jubilee in the fields adjacent to Junior Boys. Our invited guests include Margaret Heywood and Sheena Wilding, whose retirements we have not yet been able to recognise publicly, and of course our Senior School Year 11 and above prize winners of the Academic Year 2019/20. We also very much hope we can be joined by former pupils too, who over the past 60 years have attended Claires Court and wish to join with us in celebrating our Diamond Jubilee.
As summer rolls in, we send to all of our families our best wishes; we hope everyone can get some form of break and recharge before we go again in September when we will be ready to welcome all our existing and new families. Please keep a lookout on our social media for news, information and photos during the summer.
Hugh and James Wilding, Principals, Claires Court
Nothing can stop play at Nursery Sports Day
Neither Covid-19 nor the typical British weather could stop our annual Nursery Sports Day from taking place this year, albeit a little different from usual.
Leading by example as Sky News reports on Claires Court's safe and secure reopening amid coronavirus crisis
A spotlight shone brightly on Claires Court this week as Sky News crews descended on our Junior Boys and College Avenue sites to report on how the school has managed to reopen safely to the majority of our pupils. Claires Court was featured on Sky News on Thursday 2 July as well as Heart and LBC radio stations following the gove