18th March 2022
It was such fun to see the children bounding into school this morning wearing items of red clothing and some extraordinary designs of houses for their red noses.
I felt a little silly standing outside wearing my red nose to welcome them, but at least I provided some entertainment for the passing traffic!
Following James Nettleton's inspirational talk in assembly last week about the courage he had to show when undertaking the extraordinary challenge of rowing across the Atlantic and then immediately travelling to the Himalayas to climb Everest, this week I spoke with the children about having the courage to try. We heard from 10-year-old Joseph Wang, a remarkable boy who gave a TED talk having only moved to the UK a year before without a word of English. Joseph's message was a very simple one: if we are prepared to tackle challenges bravely and we practice with determination, then we are likely to succeed. Whilst it is super for the children to hear from inspirational adults, it is just as important that they hear from other children and I hope our pupils will have been moved by Joseph's example.
We had various successes at the Woodley Drama Festival last weekend and a number of children attended the Henley Youth Festival presentation, where we were very successful in the Art and Animation sections in particular. Year 1 had a fascinating talk by two of our parents who are pilots on Wednesday and the Year 5 children held a Teams meeting with one of their grandparents, who they were able to ask about her Muslim faith. The day before, Year 4 visited the Living Rainforest, which sounded extraordinary.
We were delighted to welcome 6 other schools and over 160 children in total to take part in the Year 2 Football Festival yesterday. Ms Nicholson did a remarkable job of organising the event with military efficiency and in a format which encouraged participation as much as competitiveness and resulted in lots of the children being presented with medals, including a fair play team award. My thanks to Ms Nicholson, all the staff and GAP students, the Henley Football Club referees and our Year 5 children, who did an excellent job of looking after the younger teams and running errands for the staff.
On Tuesday, we started a beautiful day with an open running club session, which we had invited parents and a number of younger siblings to join us for. Having expected a gentle session perhaps, a number of the adults soon realised that our children are very fit and fairly speedy! Great fun was had by all, with 23 children and 12 parents joining us. As was mentioned at the end, parents are welcome to continue joining us for future sessions, meeting at the arch door outside the front of school for a prompt 8am departure.
I was pleased that so many of the children took part in the Henley Youth Festival run and it was super to hand out medals to children at opposite ends of the school, with George in Nursery and Olivia in Year 6, who came third in the Year 5&6 category, demonstrating our enthusiasm for sport across the age range.
Many thanks to the Friends for organising a fabulous quiz night last night, with delicious food provided and much entertainment in addition to the very competitive quiz itself. I am delighted that the staff team took the spoils, however we have now set ourselves a very high bar! .
The children have responded very positively to the changes in the menu following our last Food Council Meeting. We are keen to welcome any parents who would like to experience our lunches for themselves and so we will be hosting an open lunch several times each term going forwards. The first such opportunity is next Tuesday, 22nd March at 12.40pm where there will be space for up to 7 parents to join us. Places will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. Please email Penny Gibson (firstname.lastname@example.org) to book your place.
We are in the process of putting together a fascinating and inspiring International Week, which is being led my Madame Sheriff and will take place 16th -20th May throughout the school. Our aim is to introduce the children to language, culture and food and all manner of other fascinating insights from around the world in order to broaden their horizons. If you might be willing to be involved, whether you are able to offer your time, expertise or contacts abroad, with whom we might be able to be in contact, Madame Sheriff would be delighted to hear from you please: email@example.com.
I hope you are able to enjoy the lovely weather forecast for the weekend and that you managed to pick up some cakes before they all disappeared at the sale this afternoon!
With best wishes,
Nick Armitage, Head