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We had a lot to celebrate in Assembly this morning! I was delighted to hand out our first certificates and mascots to those pupils in Senior and Junior Prep who received the most house points for our school values – compassion, creativity, courage and commitment. Celebrating these values is really important to me, and really helps to embed our values within school.

Our well done certificates were awarded to Romeo, Tabitha, Sonny, Abbas, Natty and all of Form 5. Aiden, Remi, Clara, Rosie, Guy, Aria and Tabitha all received Academic Excellence awards. We also celebrated 3 amazing swimming achievements from Elizabeth recently, where she won each of her races. Rory, Heidi, Zachary and Amelka all received a chocolate prize for their fabulous humanities holiday challenges and Felix received a bronze award for his reading challenge. Well done to you all.

On the subject of reading, at the start of term, I talked to the children about New Years Resolutions. One of my resolutions is to read more for relaxation. Susan Shead, our fabulous librarian, is obviously a huge advocate of regular reading and wanted to write a few lines for our blog about reading with younger children:

3 things to do with your Nursery, Reception and Key Stage One Child
1. Join your local library and get a library card for your child. It’s free to join the library and there are lots of great books you can borrow and share with your child for free. Join our local library here: Dorchester Library

2. Go to a library Rhymetime – have fun with your child sharing a story, singing nursery songs and rhymes, and using the musical instruments.

3. Make time to read with your child. Talk about what happens in the story and the pictures. Encourage your child to join in with familiar words and repeated phrases … and don’t forget to read a bedtime story!

Why is reading together so important?
Sharing books with your children is fundamentally important for their development. Try to make time to read with your child – any time is a good time for sharing books. Reading together helps your child to see that you enjoy reading yourself and that it is fun! Make reading together part of your child’s bedtime routine.

Sharing books and talking about the book you read encourages that close contact that is good for both parent and child. There is nothing better than cuddling up with a book.

Reading together helps your child to develop their language and communication skills, develop their imagination and creativity, and helps them to understand their feelings and emotions.

Sharing books, talking about the book you have read, encourages that close contact that is good for both parent and child. There is nothing better than cuddling up with a book.

Give your child lots of praise – encourage them to join in with words/parts of the story they know. Don’t worry if your child wants to read the story again and again – there is comfort in knowing what happens next!

Making reading part of your family’s everyday routine helps to develop a love of reading and is at the heart of future success at school.

A few suggestions to try …

The children have been making the most of the cold weather ski-ing in both after school clubs and enrichment. Our usual enrichment activities are taking place this afternoon of bouldering, electric car making, cookery, flying start, crafts and dance, including Form 4’s football dance!

Year 5 are beginning to talk about heritage in geography. They started with a diamond ranking card activity exploring how pupils relate different types of heritage to each other. The most valuable heritage was put towards the top of the diamond, and the ones they perceived to be less important towards the bottom of the diamond. Options included their school, coral reefs, the crown jewels, Diwali and their favourite cuddly toy!

This week, Forms 6, 7 and 8 were given first aid training by Tom Millett who works for the NHS and is training to be a paramedic. Tom taught the children how to do DRS ABC (Danger- Response_ Shout for help_ Airway- Breathing and CPR.) They also practised putting someone into the recovery position and learnt how to use a defibrillator. Year 8 practised putting bandages on each other and learnt what to do if someone is choking, having an asthma attack, a seizure or in anaphylactic shock. Despite the seriousness of these scenarios, Tom made the training very engaging and enjoyable and the children learnt some basic first aid which is an essential life skill.

Congratulations to both Lottie and Dexter who both received their music theory results this week. Lottie received a distinction in her Grade 5 theory exam (71/75) and Dexter also gained a distinction in his Grade 2 theory exam with 70/75! An amazing achievement for you both!

Finally, thank you to those who have replied to my Ping about the Open Morning – as I said in my letter, it would be wonderful to have as many of your children as possible attend and support the event.

Have a wonderful weekend!


David Newberry

Author David Newberry

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