PRINCIPALS' END OF TERM MESSAGE - CHRISTMAS 2019
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 2018-19. We do hope you will share this with others.
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
After what feels like years of dithering, last Thursday’s election of a Conservative government with a substantial majority gives us the certainty that by getting closure on Brexit, much more of Parliament’s time will be spent addressing many of the other outstanding societal issues facing our nation, including those of education, health and care. What I hope will not be ignored is that growing well-spring from young people in school, who ask our politicians to step up to making good choices for the planet in all that we do, to make a difference for the better, whether by pressing ahead to become carbon neutral quickly, or through providing assistance for other nations who need emergency support and substantial funds and expertise to promote their longer-term sustainable development.
Claires Court has been actively designing its own curriculum throughout the school for 12 years now, having left the National Curriculum in 2007. We are not just tweaking in some areas, but establishing new subjects and ways of working and gathering learning skills. As our recently published Court Report for 2018-2019 highlights, our boys and girls continue to enjoy immense success in all that they do. If we were a nation, we would rival the best in the world for our performance in mathematical, scientific and verbal reasoning at age sixteen, and in addition show that this strength in core disciplines has not strangled our ability to be genuinely artistic and creative, knowing how to collaborate and work effectively in teams. There is no one ‘magic’ solution here, but being a school independent of mind and striving for success for all of the children in their care is fundamental to our success. Every cohort of children has different needs, desires, strengths and ambitions, and we work hard to hear their voices.
The school’s pastoral care is one of our major strengths, underpinned by quality-first teaching in our PSHEE programmes and in classes, supported by excellent nursing, counselling, and advice for parents from both within and our external professionals. There is of course only so much schools can do, even though our work spreads substantially into mental health care, family support and community involvement. Many parents will have read my bulletin notes last week, in which I joined many other local headteachers in asking parents to take particular care of their children during the Christmas break and beyond. The rise in the use of drugs by young people and the carrying and potential danger of knives in the local area has now become a serious major concern, and schools, families, local services and the police need to work together to educate young people to resist and not become caught up in this insidious problem. You can read the full letter here.
One of the major reasons why we have chosen to become embedded in the local community is to ensure our young people have familiar places to go, in order to further their particular enthusiasms and interests. The frequent opportunities for sport, drama and music practice enable young enthusiasts to be confident in picking up their interests at local sports and arts venues, indeed many are actively invited to bring along their talents - we know such engagement provides great value to us all.
In November we were recognised for that engagement by being announced as winners of the Independent Schools Association award for ‘Outstanding Community Involvement.’ This is the second time in recent years that we have been honoured by the ISA for our work in our local community.
2020 sees the school reaching its Diamond Jubilee, to be celebrated in a variety of ways, commencing with the PTA Diamond Ball on Saturday 6 June 2020, being held in the grounds of Junior Boys at Ridgeway. We have 20 tables of which 10 booked so far, and you can reserve directly via this link. We are currently tracking down as many of our founder pupils as possible, and we are looking forward to hosting a ‘Welcome back’ event next September. Some are still in touch anyway, and with my brother, Hugh and I on the school staff anyway, we know at least two of those first pupils will be on hand to celebrate our 60th Birthday.
And finally, we thank all of our parents and friends for their very best wishes received this year, both after the disappointing news of our planning application refusal last August, as well as now looking forward to Christmas. We are of course appealing RBWM planning committee’s decision to refuse our applications, more of that anon in January, though the matter is made more complicated by RBWM also struggling to get their Local Borough Plan through the examination stage. In the latest consultation, I note that all of our proposals have been mapped by the borough planners as possible, very much a case of the RBWM team hedging their bets in advance of the new Head of Planning! In return, please accept the Principals’ best wishes for your family Christmas, wherever and whenever that takes place, and we sincerely hope that 2020 will indeed be a prosperous one for us all.
NEWS FROM THIS WEEK
Around the World in Time for Christmas
Nursery children transported the audience across the globe as they confidently performed at their Christmas Production, ‘Around the World in Time for Christmas’.
The library was full with festive cheer recently as our Junior and Senior Girls participated in our first ever secret Santa book exchange!
Santa Claus Came to Town!
Last week Christmas cheer reached fever pitch when Santa Clause came to Claires Court to visit pupils from Nursery, and Junior and Senior Girls. Donning their festive wear for Christmas Jumper Day, pupils waited eagerly as they congregated outside the front of the school. Travelling all the way from the North Pole, Father Chri