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I have been blown away yet again by the talent of all our wonderful pupils this week. The Nativity performance on Thursday afternoon and Friday morning was a delight to watch. The children performed brilliantly with their acting, singing and we even had trumpets and harps which must be a first for a nativity. This was followed by a wonderful informal senior music concert which showcased the talents of so many.

To give some context to the standards the children reach in their performing arts, I would just like to share some facts about the performance levels at Sunninghill. We have over 117 individual music lessons taking place every week, we have 15 pupils taking or have already achieved grade 5 with various instruments and we also have 23 ABRSM theory and practical exams taking place this term. In addition we have 10 different music ensembles and we have had, in the last week (including tonight), over 50 children taking part in concerts. I know of schools, more than double our size, that aspire to have results like these. This is down to the children’s hard work and practise and I must also acknowledge our amazing music department. The whole team is so committed to giving the children opportunities to shine.

I would also like to say a huge thank you to our PTFA for decorating our Christmas tree this week which provided the perfect backdrop to the Christmas Fayre last night. It was a lovely evening and it was great to see so many of you there. I hope you noticed the beautiful wreath hanging on the door made by our gardener Liz and some of the senior pupils. Thank you to all who were involved and supported the event.

Going back to the start of the week, we began with Mrs Moss introducing the 12 IT’s. These are all techniques for helping the children to develop revision strategies. There is a display with all these techniques outside the Deputies Office and the children will be trying this out in form time next week. I do hope these strategies will have a lasting impact on academic progress well beyond their time at Sunninghill.

Mrs Moss and I enjoyed celebrating some lovely academic successes at break time today with the winners of this week’s Academic Excellence Awards. It is so lovely to be able to celebrate these successes together and enjoy hot chocolate and treats too!

Talking of celebrations, we had the chance to celebrate with Mrs Thorpe this week who had a very special birthday. Mrs Thorpe has been an amazing asset to our school community for many years and so it was lovely to enjoy this special moment with her.

We have also been busy planting this week. Liz helped F2 plant a ‘Magnolia Elizabeth’ tree (which has a pale yellow flower) in memory of her Majesty The Queen. It was funded by the PTFA and will grow adjacent to the Lutyens Memorial Garden Bench, also donated by the PTFA. To the left of the bench we have the cherry tree planted earlier in the year to mark the Platinum Jubilee.

This week we have seen some competitive hockey in the inter-house tournament. Mrs Wilson tells that all the goalkeepers were amazing, especially Violet for Maumbury who made some terrific saves. Very close games, excitement and end to end play. Final results detailed below. Well done girls!

4th Frome / 3rd Purbeck / 2nd Maumbury/ 1st Ridgeway

Mr Willemse reports that the Form 3 and 4 boys and girls passionately represented their houses in the inter-house football competitions. Last week they produced fantastic team performances in Hockey and this week saw some amazing individual and team skills in the football competition. All pupils worked hard and displayed a good sports etiquette.

4th Purbeck / 3rd Maumbury / 2nd Frome / 1st Ridgeway

The U13 boys also enjoyed rugby success away to Wey Valley where they chalked up another impressive victory under the guidance of our new rugby coach Mr Clark. Meanwhile, back at school the rest of the boys took part in an inter-house rugby competition which saw some fantastic performances.

On Wednesday the Boys played inter-house rugby. The competition was fierce throughout in what was a dry but boggy afternoon! Each pupil played three matches of touch. They did this due to the age difference. Results were close but Frome came out on top!

4th Maumbury / 3rd Ridgeway / 2nd Purbeck / 1st Frome

Today Mrs Nolan-Stone took the Chamber Choir to sing at two local care homes, Casterbridge Care Home and Glencairn Care Home. The children sang beautifully to the residents and then had an oportunity to stay and chat with them over some refreshments. Their performances were well received by all the residents and it was great to be able to take our choir out into the community for others to enjoy.

We have had such a busy and festive penultimate week at school and we really are looking forward to so many more Christmas activites in our wonderful final week of the Aututmn Term. So rest up over the weekend and we look forward to seeing you all at one of the many events scheduled.

David Newberry

David Newberry

Author David Newberry

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