18th February 2022
Thank you very much to our parents for bearing with us today, following the decision to close the school as a result of the Storm Eunice weather warnings in place. I am convinced this was the right decision, and I write this having just rescued our trampoline from blowing away in spectacular fashion, so I do hope you have been able to batten down the hatches and are staying safe! A number of the staff have set tasks for the children to be doing either on Tapestry or Firefly, which should have kept your children occupied for some of the day.
I have no doubt though that your children will be ready for the Half Term break after what has been a full and exciting six and a half weeks of term. COVID has presented additional challenges, but it has not dampened their enthusiasm or our ability to deliver the broad and vibrant curriculum which they so enjoy. The Year 6 children have done superbly well again in achieving their places at the senior schools to which they have applied, and I look forward to sharing with you their destination choices as soon as all offers have been received and decisions have been made. In addition, they have scored very highly in the 11+ assessments and have achieved 14 awards between them in the following fields: academic, sports, drama and art, which is most impressive.
Yesterday, we had great fun dressing in pyjamas to raise money for Sahara's nominated charity, Reading Refugee Support Group. I was rather envious of some of the fabulous onesies being sported by children and staff alike and the event raised over £300 for such a worthwhile cause.
A number of the children are keen riders, and so we have decided to set up a Rupert House Riding Club. The children would need to have their own pony, or have access to one that they could bring to team practices, which will happen locally at weekends and in the holidays, and also to have the required tack and clothing and be able to jump a (very!) small course, on or off the lead. We are keen to have a range of ability and there will be opportunities for those who are beginners through to the more advanced. The aim is to have fun and enjoy riding and learning together as a school team. We hope to enter some events going forward as the children become more confident, starting with small local competitions, and hopefully progressing to the National Schools Show Jumping (NSEA), where riding teams from schools all over the country take part. There is a grassroots section which starts at 40cm on the leading rein, which is a great way of building confidence and experience for younger riders. We would love to hear from you if your child would be interested in joining us, and if you might be willing to be part of an organising committee. Please contact the School Office to register your interest.
Following his fascinating talk to a number of the children during STEAM week, Garth Miller has very kindly offered to speak to parents and staff on the evening of 15 March about his planned world record-beating challenge of climbing Everest in May. I have no doubt that Garth will be fascinating and inspiring in equal measure and he is keen to challenge us all from a Growth Mindset perspective. I do hope you will be keen to join me in hearing from him and please see the letter below for more information and how to RSVP.
We are looking to recruit GAP students for next academic year. If you know of anyone who might be interested, either pre or post-University, please do ask them to contact the Office for more information and an application form as soon as possible and in advance of the application deadline of Monday 7th March.
Catering Provision and Food Council
Mrs Newman chaired our Food Council meeting earlier this week, in which many topics were discussed, the children tried some delicious new snacks and there were a number of actions agreed which were popular with the children. The Minutes of that meeting can be found below, along with revised menus for the first couple of weeks after Half Term and some news from the catering team. In the second half of term, there will be opportunities for parents to come and experience the quality of our lunches first-hand and more details of these dates will follow.
Parent Sporting Challenges!
I am delighted to hear that there are now 13 parents and staff signed up for the Tough Mudder on Sunday 22nd May. Please do come and join us if you have not yet entered and more details can be found below, as well as how to join the 'Rupert's Troopers' WhatsApp group! Entries have also opened for The Nettlebed Stinger (www.nettlebedstinger.org.uk) on Sunday 8th May , which is a challenging 10km cross-country course. Again, it would be super to have a strong turn-out for this event and we are awaiting details of the children's 2km version, which we hope lots of our children will be keen to take part in. We will be holding an open Running Club session after Half Term (a date will follow) which we hope a number of you will be keen to join the children and us for. It is great fun, very muddy, and a fabulous way to start the day!
Second Half of Term
There is much to look forward to in the second half of term, with World Book day a firm favourite of the children in the first week back (more details can be found below), Red Nose Day, the House Music Competition and all manner of other events. Please be aware that the end of term on 1st April will start after the Easter Service in St Mary's Church, which we hope you will be keen to attend. Pick-up will be from the church at the end of the service at approximately 3pm.
I hope that you all have a restful and enjoyable Half Term break and we look forward to welcoming your children back on Monday 28th February.
With best wishes,
Nick Armitage, Head