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As we near the end of another very busy half term, I am amazed at how quickly the weeks have flown by!

Last Saturday saw our most successful Open Morning to date, with 28 families visiting us. These have followed with a very large number of registrations in our Nursery – particularly for our new 2-3 room and our baby room that is opening in September.

Whilst this in itself is fantastic news, what I was also incredibly proud to receive was a huge number of emails and phone calls from prospective parents who said the children all seemed so happy, polite and cheerful, and our tour guides showed incredibly maturity and the ability to talk to them knowledgably whilst also engaging with their child. They used words such as ‘absolutely fantastic’, ‘charming’ and ‘adorable’. This has made me incredibly proud.

When parents tour their children, one of the key things they are thinking is whether or not they would like their own children to grow up like the current Sunninghill children as they progress through school. By the lovely comments above, and the subsequent registrations we have received, the answer is clearly a resounding ‘yes’. Thank you to you and your wonderful children for all the support at our Open Morning. It is so appreciated.

Our Celebration Assembly was another chance to congratulate our children this week. Well Done certificates were awarded to AJ, Frank, Form 3 as whole class, Dominic, Rory and Sasha-Mae. Our Academic Excellence winners were Sandro, George R, Toby, Sonny, Anna, Louis, Hamish and Kitty.

This week Joni and Heidi received the most house points for Commitment, Amelka and AJ for Creativity, Abel and Orlando for Compassion and Vira and Grace for Courage.

We were also absolutely thrilled to be able to give Juliet her gold 100 house point badge, which is an absolutely incredible achievement! Well done Juliet!

At the end of assembly, Senior Prep listened to a ‘Your Voice Matters’ presentation from Mr Stazicker about the importance of every voice both within school and into the wider community. Each and every pupils’ voice is equally important to us and we are always listening – be it in tutor sessions, school lessons or School Council meetings.

We recently undertook a pupil survey about how well the 4C’s lessons are received by our pupils. 85% of pupils enjoy these lessons being incorporated into their timetable – which is fantastic as this is a new initiative and it is important to hear that pupils are enjoying this change to their timetable. We have also listened to our Senior Prep children and their concerns about lunch time delays. We have made some adjustments which should help with this, without losing the family feel that we believe is so important during mealtimes in school.

As part of our cross-curricular project, exploring aspects of history and geography from a local perspective, Form 7 had an enjoyable time visiting the Dorset History Centre. The session started with analysis of a recorded smuggling case, where the children had to decide on the accuracy of the evidence they were presented with. They then had the opportunity to look at the actual documents from this time in history and discuss its different properties such as how paper was created and the language used. Afterwards, the children went on a tour of the archives and discovered that there was 8 miles worth of documents kept at the centre, the oldest dating back approximately 1000 years! They then learnt about ways documents are preserved and conserved for future generations. Well done to the pupils who asked a range of well considered questions.

Yesterday we were delighted to welcome pupils from Dorchester Middle School, St Mary’s Middle School and St. Osmund’s to our Wind and Brass Day. The event was led by SPS staff, Wessex Schools Music and Dave Andrews from Music Makers. Sadly I was not in school yesterday so I missed the concert, but I have seen the recordings and they sounded absolutely incredible. Mrs Nolan-Stone said:
‘We had such a wonderful day. The children worked so hard and I am amazed by the standard achieved within one day, from every child’.

The first week back after half term will be ‘International Week’ for the whole school. Children will be taking part in fun class country research projects for an end of week exhibit in front of the whole school. The children will also be tasting a variety of world cuisines throughout the week at lunch and singing songs from around the world in music. On Friday 23rd February, we would also like to welcome the children to come into school dressed as an explorer or traveller of the world in some way. This can be just through the use of a simple prop such a hat or a backpack or something more elaborate!

We also have lots of exciting events to look forward to including the school disco also on Friday 23rd February (dress code will be ‘dress to impress’), Sunninghill’s Got Talent on Friday 15th March and the very popular PTFA Easter Egg Hunt on Thursday 21st March. For a full list of events for the next half term, please do check the newsletter.

All that remains for me to say is have a wonderful and restful half term and I look forward to welcoming you all back on the 19th February.

Best wishes


David Newberry

Author David Newberry

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