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17th November 2023

This week is national Anti-bullying week, a significant week in the school calendar, during which we have touched on the importance of kindness with the children in a variety of ways.

On Monday, we joined in with Odd Socks Day which is an initiative to facilitate discussion on the importance of having confidence in our individuality and celebrating our unique traits. Our Year 5 children were appointed as kindness ambassadors and have been looking out for acts of kindness across the school daily. They have written their observations down and stuck them to a giant Pudsey in the school hall for all to see.

Talking of Pudsey, we have had lots of fun celebrating and supporting Children in Need today. We kicked off the day with School Council giving the rest of the school some background information on the charity, followed by a whole school Tik Tok dance to Meghan Trainor’s ‘Made You Look’ which myself and the teaching staff thoroughly enjoyed getting our Gucci on! You can watch it here. We have had lots of lovely entries to the 'make a Pudsey' competition - the winners will be announced on Monday.

This week we have also had another wonderfully creative set of art workshops with Year 5 kindly led by Mrs Forbes who is a professional artist, a lantern making workshop with Year 4 held by Camilla Shelley from the River & Rowing Museum, and the ABRSM showcase concert on Thursday, which was a great success.

On Wednesday, Year 1 had a fabulous dragon-themed afternoon which took them up to Forest School to discover dragon footprints, eggs and all manner of other fun-filled activities. Many thanks to Miss Potts and Mrs Pettifer for coming up with such a wonderful idea!

I enjoyed having the opportunity to see so many of the Prep parents at the Years 4-6 parents' evenings on Tuesday and Wednesday. I hope you found them to be useful. If you have any further questions, do please get in touch with the relevant teacher via email.


Bouldering wall

Also on Monday, we welcomed Garth Miller, local adventurer, to school to officially open the bouldering wall which FoRH generously fundraised for and which was installed over the summer holidays. Garth talked to the children in assembly beforehand about his mission to climb Everest and the importance of resilience, one of our core values, in day-to-day life. You can read more about the opening here.


Team Excelsioar

On Thursday we had a visit from the ladies of Team Excelsioar who are preparing to row across the Atlantic in a week’s time. Rowing 3,000 miles from the Canary Islands to Antigua, the crew are excited and ready to take on The Talisker Whiskey Atlantic Challenge. They spoke to the children about how our school values of Courage, Creativity, Respect and Resilience are completely relevant and key to their success. The children had all sorts of questions to ask them about their trip and are excited to follow their progress over the next couple of months. We look forward to hearing all about their adventure when they get home!


Mayor’s Christmas Card

Congratulations to Lotte, in Year 4, who won the Mayor of Henley’s Christmas card competition with her design which colourfully depicted Father Christmas meeting the Mayor on a sleigh over Henley Bridge! The Mayor came into assembly this week to present Lotte with her certificate. As part of her prize, she will also help to turn on the Henley Christmas lights at the late night shopping event on 24th November and receive complimentary tickets to the pantomime at the Kenton Theatre.


Cross Country

Well done to everyone in Years 3 to 6 who took part in the South Oxfordshire Cross Country event at Bishopswood on Tuesday. Despite the horrendous weather, everyone gave 100% and, as a result, did well in every race. See the sports report below.


St Mary’s Choir

We had another visit this week from Sebastian, the Music Director at St Mary’s Church, who ran an interactive singing workshop with the children. He is keen to recruit more children into the St Mary’s choir. You can find out more about it here.


One Week Challenge

Next week is the second 'One Week' challenge, which is an initiative set up by a doctor in Henley to encourage people to make small changes over that week to save energy and help the environment. Please see the link here to the website for more details and you may wish to take on the Bingo challenge with your child which Miss Gibbon has created.


Shoebox Appeal

Every year, the charity Samaritan's Purse sends shoeboxes full of gifts all over the world to children who otherwise would not receive anything at Christmas. If you would like to give hope and joy to a child who is less fortunate this Christmas, please consider filling a shoebox with some goodies for a child. You might go shopping with your child for them to choose what they would want to give to a girl or boy who has very little. Here is the website link with the 3 steps involved in sending a box: gift suggestions, how to print the label and donate for the shipping. Please bring in any more shoeboxes on Monday morning as Mr Armitage will be taking them to the depot that evening.


Christmas Fair donations

It's time for FoRH to start collecting donations for the Christmas Fair which takes place on 14th December. They ask that you please bring in donations from Monday - there are boxes in the hallway for toys, games, parent presents and books (all in new or excellent condition).

I hope you have an enjoyable weekend.

Best wishes,

Nick Armitage