Principals' End Of Term Message - Christmas 2018
From The Office
Our pupil post should have hopefully delivered your end of term mailing. Along with your child’s report (where appropriate) your pack will include some important information about activities and events early next term. Please do take time to investigate it!
We would also like to draw your attention to the following:
Included in your pack is our annual Court Report - which highlights the School’s achievements, successes and strengths throughout 2017-18. We do hope you will share this with others.
Your fee invoice is sent by email 19 December
Calendar dates for next term are available for reference and easy printing on our website >>>>
With so much going on during the final weeks of term, our final words come from James Wilding along with a few festive news articles and galleries we have yet to share with you.
The ACADEMIC PRINCIPAL'S Message - James Wilding
The Autumn Term 2018 has come to a close, and as the pictures accompanying this bulletin show, we have been ‘Keeping Christmas’ at Claires Court very well indeed. Thank you for joining some of our events, if you have been able, whether the PTA Christmas fair at Junior Boys, one of the Carol services held at All Saints or St Luke’s, or our musical or drama performances that came just beforehand. On all three sites, we have been delighted with your tremendous support for our local charities, The Brett Foundation and the Baby Bank, or by donating food for FoodShare and The Salvation Army. These donations are urgently needed in our local area so your generosity is hugely valued and my brother and I thank you. Many of our events could not happen without the support of our PTA’s various Parent Teacher groups, whose engagement has been priceless - I’ll join the call of our ‘pupil voice’ groups to welcome more parents into the PTA fold, particularly drawn from Years 7 and 8.
With the end of term so John Rayer steps down into retirement after 10 years as Head of Senior Boys. I have the utmost respect for John who has been a remarkable friend and ‘listening ear’ for pupils, parents and staff alike, loved and respected for his humanity, and for his calmness in times of difficulty. John and I have worked together for 30 years and it will feel very strange to be ‘Rayer’ free in January, so encompassing has been his engagement and support for the school, as geography teacher and rugby coach, master of rowing and leader of school trips, into the wilderness or onto the ski slopes. At Senior Boys, we will be constructing a ‘Friendship bench’ to commemorate his service; when we ‘open’ that in the New Year, we will also present John with a gift from all the parents who have valued his role in stewarding their sons through their secondary school years so well.
I would also like to thank both the teaching and support staff, who have worked so hard throughout the term, and through that have ensured our school continues to be a very special place in which to go to school. The obvious high points will always be the collective, synchronised performances of school ensembles which can be academic, sporting, on stage, in choir or orchestra, but there are also those singular high points when for a child the ‘penny’ drops and learning anew begins, thanks to the careful and focussed attention of the ‘significant’ adult alongside. Generally that will of course be a teacher, or an assistant, but it can easily be one of the admin staff or school nurses, from whom we all learn every day.
Our boys and girls of whatever age have proven to be outstanding ambassadors for the school and for you, parents and family. They have carried their heads high into fixtures and representative events, collaborated amazingly well with others close to hand and abroad. As I resume headship duties, to lead the Senior Boys school in January 2019, I have been asked many times, “What are you looking forward to, James?” My answer is as it always has been - by my own actions to inspire others to try a little bit harder, to go that extra mile and above all ensure that every child feels valued and that we care about getting their ‘engine’ going at full throttle. After all is said and done, and long after exam grades are forgotten, every pupil from Claires Court needs to be able to stand tall, make a good friend to others, have a wide range of skills and be able to be generous with those in the service of others. Our Court Report 2017-2018, now published, captures the life of Claires Court, demonstrating the energy and successes of our pupils and the School so very well.
It is slightly odd to suggest that I am not the only new head coming into role, as most of us in leadership have turned a page over the last term, year or so. Justin Spanswick has become much wider known in his new role as our executive headteacher, and in his place Dean Richards is relishing leading Junior Boys. Stephanie Rogers is already ‘on song’ as our new headteacher of the Sixth Form, with Margaret Heywood and Leanne Kirby, now the longest serving headteachers after 18 months in post.
As my brother Hugh has written elsewhere, our aspirations to build a new school for Claires Court remain undiminished. The work behind the scenes will continue over the Christmas break and we hope that our applications will reach the planning committee early in the new year. Next time we meet, it will be 2019, and the hustle and bustle will commence anew, I for one though will find a little time over the next fortnight to ‘Keep Christmas’ for a while, to keep love and joy close to home, and enjoy some time at peace with our families. We hope you can too. Merry Christmas everyone, and a Happy New Year to come.
NEWS FROM THIS WEEK
Junior Carol Services
Well done to Junior Boys and Girls who raised £443.50 from their joint Year 3 to 6 Carol Services. Junior Boys also raised £108.78 from the Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 Nativity last week, meaning a staggering £552.50 is being donated to All Saints Church in Maidenhead, where both carol services took place.
Senior Carol Services
This year ended on a festive high with two carol services at St Luke’s Church in Maidenhead. Pupils blew the audience away with readings and choral and individual performances of traditional Christmas songs.
Helping The Local Community
We’re so thankful for all your donations over this festive period. Donations of food, winter coats and money have been gratefully received by many local charities.