Skip to main content

At the end of our first full week, I am still at a bit of a loss as to where the sun has gone! After one glorious weekend, when we all felt that Summer was at last on its way, it seems to have taken a distinctly chillier turn. I can’t remember a time when I have suggested to parents in the Summer term, that they might want to revert to winter uniform if their child is cold in school! The weather does not seem to have dampened the spirits of the children, however, who have come back very happy and enjoying being back together.

On our return to school I was absolutely delighted to receive news that our LAMDA results were the best we have ever had in the 14 years since becoming a LAMDA examination centre. Pupils from Form 1 to Form 7 take part in LAMDA, and this year, 90% of our pupils received a distinction, with the other 10% gaining a merit. Absolutely incredible results and this is all thanks to the hard work of our pupils, their parents and the teachers that helped prepare them. Thank you to you all.

We also welcomed our new Heads of School, Katy and Charlie. We know you are going to be excellent role models, and have already been helping, particularly with the launch of our new Nursery room.

In assembly we celebrated our well done winners, including Seb, Alice and Henry for their excellent start to their time at Sunninghill. Our Academic Excellence winners this week were Jonah, Remi, Evie, Daisy, Benjamin, Phin, Emilia, Sofiia and Tabi. Mr Holland also handed out a lot of silver and gold badges this week – so well done to you all on continuing to work hard to achieve these house points. Our 4 C’s winners in junior prep were all poorly this week, with the exception of Heidi, who won the most house points for her creativity.

Well done to all the children for these fantastic achievements – a great start to the term.

It’s been an exciting start of term as we celebrated the opening of our 2-3 year old nursery room, and the re-naming of our nursery which is now ‘Little Robins Nursery at Sunninghill’.

Katy, our new Head Girl and Charlie, our new Head Boy, both of whom have siblings in the nursery this year, and who were in nursery themselves, helped to cut the red ribbon in our fabulous new Fledglings room. We look forward to welcoming more children as we continue the expansion of the nursery and our Sunninghill family throughout the year.

We would also like to introduce our new Early Years Educators, Ms. Sally Broad, Ms. Lucy Larkham and Ms. Hayley Kennedy to all of our Sunninghill parents, families and friends, and extend them a warm welcome as they join the current Nursery Team, Mrs. Dianne Armstrong, Mrs. Laura Pitman, Mrs. Katie Beasley and Ms. Harmony Neaves in the Fledglings (2-3 years) and Bobbins (3-4 years) rooms.

As well as some welcomes, we also had to say a fond farewell to our wonderful Lydia last week – our School Secretary, for an incredible 25 years! Lydia has looked after ever member of our school community – children, staff and parents – throughout her time at Sunninghill, and we are so very grateful to her for everything she has done. The school surprised her with a rendition of ‘So long, farewell’ from the Sound of Music, sung around our beautiful staircase. Thank you Lydia and best of luck in your next adventures – we will miss you!

Our Friday enrichments are well under way, with new summer activities – including sailing, windsurfing and squash.

Despite the chillier weather, our Forms 3 and Form 4 children braved the waters again, and even dared Mr Stazicker to jump in with them! He doesn’t need asking twice!

Mr. Willemse says; ‘I was excited to take a passionate group of pupils to play squash at the Dorchester Tennis and Squash Club as part of their Friday enrichment! They worked hard on developing their technical skills as well as their understanding of the game. Pupils battled hard in their matches and displayed great sports etiquette towards each other!’

On Thursday, our older Nursery children, in Bobbins, enjoyed a taster session with Samurai Kick boxing. Bobbins children will have the chance to learn martial arts skills in a specially adapted session for little learners during enrichment on a Friday afternoon!

Finally, to celebrate Earth Day this week, Junior Eco Club have been planting some lettuces and carrots to help with school eco targets around food waste and eating local food!

Last night I was delighted to take part in the first, of what I hope will be many, parent v staff sports matches! Our parents challenged the teachers to a hockey match, which coincided with a request to help raise money for Future School Africa – a charity very close to the heart of some of our parents, which provides life changing surgery to African families. The match was fiercely competitive, but with a lovely atmosphere, and I was delighted to see so many parents and children support the event. My thanks to the Foot and the Savva family for organising this, and to Mr Willemse who coordinated the staff team. Also to our fabulous PTFA and Kerry and her team for the BBQ and bar that they put on. Rounders next?

This week, Mrs Saines took the completed model of West Bay coastal defences during WW2 to the West Bay Discovery Centre. It forms part of the exhibition currently on display commemorating the anniversary of D Day and is on until the end of June. Form 4 constructed elements of the model in art lessons.

Mrs Saines says; ‘There was a great deal of maths involved to construct the scaffolding and pill boxes not to mention the measuring and sawing. I was so proud of them and the model has been well received at the Centre and by the visitors who have already commented favourably on their model. We looked at the texture and colour of the cliff face in art and used pigment from rock collected on site by myself.’

Next week our Form 6’s will be off to Dartmoor for their residential. We are hoping for better weather than our Form 6’s had last year, where strong winds blew their tent into the next field – something they can all laugh about now!

We have now put our Grandparents Day date in the diary – which will be Thursday 6th June at 2.30pm. More details will be sent out in a few weeks, but please ask Grandparents to save the date!

Have a wonderful weekend and look forward to seeing you all next week!

Best wishes


David Newberry

Author David Newberry

More posts by David Newberry