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May I begin with a final reflection from last week and thank Mr Vanburgh, Lucy and Alex for representing the school at the cenotaph for the Remembrance Service on Sunday. I also had a beautiful letter from Glencairn Care Home this week, praising our pupils for the way they conducted themselves at the school service. We are so proud of them and I know all of you, as parents, are too.

Talking of Mr Vanburgh, Kitty, Georgiana and Iris, have been attending weekly music theory classes before school with him. All three girls achieved excellent results in their ABRSM Grade 3 Theory exam last week achieving 2 Distinctions and 1 Merit! We are able to host online ABRSM Theory exams in school and invigilate them ourselves. This allows us to plan them around our school timetable and enter pupils when they are ready. We currently have over 10 pupils working towards music theory exams in school, from Grade 1-Grade 5! Any pupils who are interested in joining a music theory club, please email Mrs Nolan-Stone. Congratulations to all 3 girls for their hard work.

It is a very busy time for our Performing Arts Department as they prepare for our nativity! Moana is also coming along nicely and Forms 7 and 8, as part of their music and drama lessons, had a stage combat workshop to develop their stage combat and physical performance scenes for a specific fight scene!

I dropped into one of the workshops, hosted by Mark Ruddick from Square Stage Combat, and can relay that is was fast, physical and fun. As you can see from the photos, it was also very realisitc (but no one was hurt)!

They have a very impressive bio, take at a look at their website in the link below.

Squire Stage Combat

Form 2 has been helping Liz out this week with some gardening and have been busy planting tulips in the rockery. We look forward, with anticipation, to seeing them in the spring… Meanwhile, they had great fun each trying to catch a leaf to ‘give them good luck’!

Form 1 had an exciting week too.  They had a special treat as a reward for all their hard work and went for hot chocolate at Coffee#1 earlier in the week.  They also  held a baby shower for Miss Livesey this week who goes on maternity leave today.  We are all going to miss her hugely but all wish her the very best and look forward to seeing her back in school with her new baby!  Miss Livesey will be covered by Miss Wake-Walker, who met all the parents and children this week and is in school today with Miss Livesey.  A huge thank you to all the children and parents for being so kind to Miss Livesey and also for being so welcoming to Miss Wake-Walker.

Junior Prep had a visit from Mel Lane, Youth Space Project earlier this week. Mrs Sleightholme arranged for children from Reception to Form 4 to attend various targeted workshops and assemblies to talk about being able to make choices, diverse families and celebrating diversity.

Sticking with the PSHE theme, Mrs King arranged for the Ambulance Service to deliver some basic first aid training skills to the Form 7’s in the School Hall.

I am also delighted to share some sporting achievements from outside of school. Sasha-Mae, who is a fabulous swimmer, took part in a competition last week and had a very impressive haul of medals. She entered six different events and won gold in all of them! Zachary also performed very well in the gala with an impressive gold and silver and Alice achieved her level 3 swimming certificate. Well done all of you.

I would just like to share with you all some exciting news about DT. For our enrichment programme, we are going to be embarking on a new project to incorporate DT and STEM. We have received a very generous donation to purchase a battery powered kit car.  This will be something that I am sure will be hugely popular with the children and it can be built, driven, dismantled and rebuilt so lots of children can have the opportunity to get involved.

Click on this link to read all about the car Green Power .

Also in DT Mr Salisbury has launched a new competition to design a project for making in school. If your child is interested, do encourage them to talk to him in their next DT lesson. The children are always designing and making something amazing in DT and, as you will see from the photos below, we have captured finished projects, early stages and works in progress. There is so much more to come!

We had some winners in Maths this week with children taking part in a maths challenge with winning entries from three Form 5 children, Harry, Amelia and Clara. Next week we will be celebrating Maths Week and there are lots of activities organised by Mrs Salisbury, all of which will be explained in Monday’s Assembly.

Finally, we have changed the staff on gate duties in the morning so that SLT and other colleagues are able to greet you all. Hopefully, you all get a chance to see them more regularly now and it also means I can spend more time with some of the children at Morning Registration. Form time in the morning is really valuable to help the children prepare for the day ahead and to get some important work done, such as daily reading and times tables practice. The form rooms are ready from 8.10am and if your child arrives promptly at that time, it gives them a really good start to the day. Those 20 minutes of learning time before formal lessons start as invaluable. For those who arrive later they do miss that opportunity. So please, if you can get your child in for 8.10am it really would give them the best start to their day. Over a week, it adds up to an hour and forty minutes of learning that will really help them to develop some of those core skills.

Thank you to everyone today for supporting Children in Need, wearing spots and donating to this wonderful charity.  As a community we have raised over £300.00.

Have a wonderful weekend and we look forward to seeing you all on Monday for Maths Week.

David Newberry

David Newberry

Author David Newberry

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