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As I sit here on the first day of the half term break I cannot quite believe we are here already!  Time flies when you are having fun and as I reflect on the half term we have had an incredible amount of fun!

This week is no exception:

On Monday Form 4 started their week off with a trip to Bovington, travelling back in time to experience life as evacuees during World War II. The children took part in three exciting workshops learning all about life on the home front, the funny tanks used in the D-Day landings, rationing, cooking and cleaning. They even had their very own air-raid and listened to Neville Chamberlain announcing the start of the war on a wireless. They had such a brilliant, inspiring day, where their history topic really came alive!

Parent meetings took on a new hybrid evolution this week with a combination of online and in person meetings to share the progress of the pupils. We also welcomed a record number of prospective parents this week who attended our Open Morning. I was so proud of our Form 7 and 8 tour guides who did a tremendous job who all received glowing praise from the families who visited.

I would also like to take the opportunity to congratulate our sailors this week who took part in a regatta organised by Millfield school. I have been very impressed by our sailors this term but it was really good for them to take part in a competition to see just how good they are. We saw some of our younger sailors, from Form 4 upwards, competing against tough opposition and they did so well taking all the podium places first , second and third place! A remarkable achievement, very well deserved and testimony to all the hard work they put in each week with Mr Stazicker and Mr Holland.

I have also been very impressed with all the early bird Park Runners this term. Mrs Wilson has been coming into school extra early on a Tuesday every week to set out the course and lots of children, and an increasing number of parents, have been taking part. This week marked a milestone for three of our runners who have attended every week and have now completed 10k!

Wednesday saw the school and all the pupils dressed up in red to mark Go Red for Dyslexia. This worldwide event is to raise awareness of dyslexia and to promote it as a positive neuro difference. Without people with dyslexia the world would be a poorer place. Dyslexics often see things differently, are creative and great problem solvers.

Head of Learning Support, Claire Thomasson, decorated the school red! Kerry, our Head Chef, and her team created a red themed menu with spaghetti bolognaise, grated Red Leicester, followed by red velvet cake! Thank you to everyone for showing your support by wearing red and making a donation to Dorset Dyslexia Association, we raised over £115.00 for a fantastic cause.

The Association offers a ‘listening ear’ and advice through their HELPLINE and organise informal ‘drop in’ sessions where support is available. Parents of dyslexic children and adults with dyslexia come along and meet others and they all share their experiences and ideas for supporting dyslexics.

Thursday we celebrated our Harvest Festival and it was lovely to welcome lots of parents to the hall to hear the children play and sing so beautifully. Music really is the heartbeat of a good school and Sunninghill has a very strong heartbeat thanks to the excellent work of Mrs Nolan-Stone and her dedicated team and, most importantly, the commitment of our pupils to practice, practice, practice! Not only did they perform brilliantly but they also collected a huge amount of food to support the Portland Foodbank which Revd Tim Gomm collected on their behalf.

October is Black History Month and we were treated to a wonderful assembly on Friday led by our History Scholarship group. The children shared the work they had been doing on individuals who have made significant contributions to the world historically and today. Their work is also on display in the library and outside the History room.

I am also pleased to share that we are establishing links with a French school and a school in Zambia so that our children can learn more about learning experiences in other parts of the world through pen pals. The photo below shows the children in Zambia having to take a break from their swimming lesson because the elephants wanted a drink! Not an experience we would ever get in the heart of Dorchester.

The week ended on Friday afternoon with a lovely performance from our Form 3 and 4 Footie Dancers. They have been working on a project in enrichment to blend these two skills together and it was lovely to see them all having a good time whilst working together.

I would just like to sign off by mentioning a few things that are coming up for parents after half term:

Firstly, we have an art class for parents with Mrs Saines on Wednesdays after school. If you are interested please contact Lydia Griffin She will be teaching felting techniques and will be working towards making some Christmas decorations.

We also have a Quiz Night on 10th November kindly organised by our PTFA. There will be a range of questions including some tough ones but also some fun rounds including a round of questions from the children! Tickets are available from Reception and your Class Reps and include a delicious Thai meal. Do please come along if you can. It would be lovely to see as many of you there as possible.

Have a wonderful half term break and we look forward to seeing you all back on Monday 31st October.

David Newberry

David Newberry

Author David Newberry

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