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It has been an incredibly busy week at Sunninghill!

Friday night saw the much anticipated Sunninghill’s Got Talent. 23 incredible acts wowed our judges and our audience with the most fabulous performances! We enjoyed vocal solos and duets; bands and choirs, instrumental solos and even a rubix cube challenge. It really is one of my favourite events of the school calendar and it was so lovely to hear such wonderful feedback on the night from everyone. I was very proud indeed.

James Atkins, Deputy Director of Music at Canford School, and one of our judges wrote to us the next morning to say:

‘Congratulations on a super evening yesterday.  To see your pupils performing with such confidence and enjoyment was wonderfully refreshing and exciting…..I was amazed at the variety of performances which kept appearing from behind the curtains!  What a vibrant and flourishing Music Department Sunninghill has.’

On the night, we heard from two of our Form 3 pupils, who are currently studying one term abroad – Matilda in India, and Lilia in the Philippines. Neither of their schools have any musical provision, so Mrs Nolan-Stone thought it would be a wonderful idea to fundraise to buy each school a set of Boomwhackers. These are so much fun, and accessible to all age groups, regardless of any musical ability. On the night we raised a fabulous £274, but if you enjoyed the evening and would like to help us reach our £350 target, please use the QR code below.

My thanks to Mrs Nolan-Stone and to all the staff who helped with rehearsals and on the night. My thanks also to all our fabulous visiting music teachers – we are so lucky to have such dedicated music staff at Sunninghill – and the quality of performance is testimony to the hard work put in by both staff and pupils.

On Friday, the school was awash with red clothes, as the children celebrated Red Nose Day. We raised £184 which will all go to the fabulous Comic Relief Charity.

On the subject of charity, this morning, myself and our Sunninghill Team, made up of staff, parents and friends, took to the streets of Weymouth for the Weymouth Half Marathon, 2024. Despite the unpromising start to the morning, as the heavens opened over Weymouth, the morning brightened up and we had a brilliant time!

The team was running for charity, with the aim of raising £10,000, across all the ILG schools this year, for our partner school in Malawi. £2,000 will go towards a Girls Fund and the rest will be used to provide 120 desks for the new school block (4 classrooms) and to build 8 toilets for the pupils, where some will be specifically designed for SEN pupils.

I am delighted to share that so far our team has raised a magnificent £1,200! If you would still like to contribute, here is the link to our Just Giving page.

This week was also Science Week. All week, the children from every year group have been engaged in exciting activities in their science lessons. On Monday a visit from the Science Dome marked the start of Science Week. Pupils from Nursery to Form 8 learnt about Space, Dinosaurs, the Egyptians or our Dynamic Earth, depending on the topic they are learning in their science lessons this term. The children had such a fantastic time!

As the theme of this years Science Week is ‘Time’, Form 8 were investigating pendulums and what factors affect their time period (how long it takes to do one full swing).

Forms 5 and 8 had a treat on Wednesday as we hosted Jo from Space Detectives. Pupils were fully immersed in VR which took them to Mars and back in a rocket, then around all the planets of the solar system and finally they floated through part of the ISS. It was great listening to the, “wows” and also watching them sat fully immersed and silent at times as they took in the amazing sites that they were seeing. They also had the opportunity to do a Q&A session with Jo who is a fount of knowledge of all things space!

Our Eco School Council ran assemblies for Junior and Senior Prep this week about the Big Plastic Count, in association with Greenpeace. We are  hoping to have lots of questionnaires returned on Monday to see how much plastic we use in one week.
My thanks to Mrs Evans for organising such a stimulating Science Week for our children.

During assembly on Friday, Form 7 presented, to the school and to their parents, a brilliant assembly for World Water Day 2024. It was so distressing to hear how many of the child deaths in the world (1 in 4) can be attributed to unclean water. It is incredibly humbling to be reminded how lucky we are to be no more than a few steps away from a clean water supply at any time. Form 7 spoke knowledgeably and clearly and then surprised me with a glass of water that they wanted me to drink. This, as I saw from their presentation, had been taken from a dirty puddle in the school grounds, distilled in the science lab, and then given to me to drink in assembly. Thankfully I am still feeling perfectly fine!

We had a lot to celebrate in this weeks assembly, with Jonah, Olivia, Freya and Rory winning the Academic Excellence awards. Sandro, Clara, Amelia J, Benjamin and Abbas, Harvey, Louis C and all of Form 1 gaining a Well Done Certificate. We also heard that William, Daisy, Rosie, Emily, Beau, Freya, Alice and Sonny will all be having a poem published in a book. Our Commitment winners this week were Ollie and Joni, Creativity winners were Jonah and Amelka, Beau M and Daisy H won the Compassion awards this week and Rosie and Harvey the Courage award. Next week, we will be totalling up all the house points for the term to see who will win the end of term prize for each School value.

This week we were able to hand out the winners cups to 4 children who won prizes at the Weymouth Music Festival – Daisy H and Iris who won strings section jointly, Lottie who won the woodwind section and Katy who won the singing section. Congratulations to you all.

The best art prize for the Young Leaders WWF art competition were Abel and Heidi. Finally we were delighted to award a Powerboat Level 1 certificates to Hamish, Louis C, Felix C, Harry W, Leo, Seb, Scarlett C-M and Sasha Y. It is such an exciting opportunity and I would like to thank Mr Stazicker for organising this for our children.

On Tuesday, pupils from Form 1 to Form 7 took their LAMDA exams. It is wonderful that all our pupils take part in these exams, and thank you to Mrs Fernley and all the Junior Prep form teachers who work so hard with the children to prepare them for the exams. I look forward to hearing how they all have got on.

Our Senior Prep boys had a great cross country match on Wednesday at Clayesmore, with Louis, Harvey and Leo gaining the second place medals. The boys were all great sports despite the muddy ground!

It has been an incredibly exciting week, full to the brim of all our school values, but most notably compassion with all the charity work and thoughtful assemblies that have taken place this week.

Next week will be all about Easter, and I am looking forward to our PTFA Easter Egg Hunt on Thursday, our Junior Spring Concert on Thursday and our Easter Service on Friday afternoon. I hope I will see as many of you as possible at the service, and afterwards at Sunninghill for a hot cross bun.

Best wishes


David Newberry

Author David Newberry

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