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This has been my first Christmas at Sunninghill and what a fantastic festive experience it has been! Last week’s blog was very full of Nativity and concerts but there was one more concert last Friday evening that I wanted to mention. The senior formal concert in the drawing room was a wonderful intimate concert that was so lovely for the small audience of parents who came to support their children. It was good to welcome one of our Governors, James Watson, who commented on how impressive the children were, performing at such a high standard. It was the perfect end to a very busy week in school.

This week’s Christmas theme continued with a very kind group of parents, fuelled by coffee and mince pies, who came into school and made up all the christingles for yesterday’s service. The service was beautiful as the room was illuminated by 130 candles, with the children singing ‘Away in a Manger’. A delightful moment that I will certainly treasure. My thanks to the Rev’d Magee for leading the service.

This week we also had the opportunity for Reception and Nursery to go to Bincombe Bumps for their Christmas Extravaganza, where the children fed reindeer, talked with Santa, made some Christmas tree decorations and had a story read by mother Christmas while enjoying a hot chocolate and a brownie. The children were amazed when it snowed and were so happy to have saved Christmas from the Grinch!! Do take a moment to look at the video, it is very sweet.

One thing I have been looking forward to for a long time was the annual ‘Carols under the Stairs’ which didn’t disappoint. Carolina led us with a beautiful solo verse of Once in Royal David’s City which set the tone for the event, and it was so lovely to have parents there to join in too.

Whilst the carols were my highlight of the week I think for the Junior years children it was a visit from Father Christmas and his trusty elves! This was a moment to treasure to see their face when they saw him sat by the fireside in the drawing room.

Thursday really was a busy day – Kerry and her team cooked us all a fabulous Christmas lunch which was full of cracker jokes and a lot more singing! We also had Christmas parties in class and ice skating in Brewery Square.

I am delighted to tell you that some of our parents and staff graduated from Mrs Saines art class this week! They have been working on a felting project over the last few weeks and you can see their wonderful creations in the photo below. It has been really lovely to have them in school and I do hope we can have more projects like this in the future. Parents of some of our younger pupils will also have received a beautiful hyacinth that the children have been growing with Liz.

I would also like to thank all of you who have kindly donated food to the food bank at the Dorford Baptist Church in Dorchester over the last few weeks. We will be delivering the food next week and I am sure these kind donations will make a real difference during the festive period for those in need. We have also been collecting toys for the Dorset Echo Christmas Toy Appeal, The school council decided they wanted to donate to this charity as they wanted to make sure all children had a special gift this Christmas. Keep an eye on the Dorset Echo as our picture will be in there soon!

Today we had our final Celebration Assembly of the term. There was so much to celebrate, with the first results of our ABRSM music exams in, endeavour cups received for those with the best effort grades in each form and sports and music full and half colours. Congratulations must also go to Ridgeway who won the House cup this term! We had so many photos from Assembly that we thought we would share them all with you in the link below!

We said goodbye in assembly to our lovely Mandy Jones who leaves us today after 7 years. Mandy has been involved with introducing nearly all the children at school to Sunninghill, and we are hugely grateful for her hard work and dedication. We are all going to miss her hugely but wish her all the very best in her new adventures. Today we also say goodbye to Les Senter who leaves us this term after 13 years. Les has been a stalwart member of the Sunninghill team maintaining the school inside and out, and has done a brilliant job. We know Les is looking forward to his retirement and getting out on the golf course!

Finally, the last part of our Christmas celebration was our Church Service at St. Peter’s. As always, the children sang, played and read beautifully and it was so lovely to welcome many of you back to school for a mince pie afterwards.

All that remains is for me to wish all of you and your families a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Thank you for all your support this term – I have really loved my first term with you all. Sunninghill is a very special family and I look forward to seeing you all in the New Year.

Best Wishes


Winter Reading Challenge:
Our librarian Mrs Shead would like to share the Christmas reading challenge with you. Do click on the link below to find out more…

Gadgeteers Winter Mini Reading Challenge: 1st December 2022 – 20th February 2023
The Reading Agency has teamed up once again with the Science Museum Group for the Winter Mini Reading Challenge. Children can sign up via the Reading Agency’s Gadgeteers Reading Challenge Digital Platform and gain rewards and prizes for continuing to read. The setting for the Winter Mini Reading Challenge is a festive party at the Gadgeteers Community Centre. When a sudden snowstorm whirls in, can the Gadgeteers use their ingenuity, creativity and curiosity to keep everyone entertained until the weather brightens?

To take part in the Winter Mini Challenge : Sign up at the Gadgeteers website, set your reading goals, read and review your books, and collect digital rewards. The Gadgeteers website has lots of fun activities and suggestions of books to read.

Parents – register your child for the Gadgeteers Winter Mini Reading Challenge and encourage them to read over the Christmas Holidays.

Find out more by clicking on the image below.

David Newberry

Author David Newberry

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