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24th September 2021

What a wonderful week we have had at school with what feels like a return to a near-normal environment. 

We were delighted to welcome many members our new School Community to a coffee morning in the School Hall on Tuesday, which comprised parents who have joined the school over the past two years.  The event was also attended by a number of Form Reps, Sarah Morbey and Lucy Sheikh, the Chair and Vice-Chair of the Friends, four of our School Governors, the Senior Management Team and our Admissions and Marketing Team.  It was wonderful to be able to see and engage with so many of you on School soil.  As I mentioned in my introduction last week, we have arranged a number of similar Tuesday coffee mornings for our Prep School throughout the Autumn Term (and will do so for our Pre-Prep in the New Year).  Please make a note of the dates which can be found on the School Calendar and on My School Portal.  For the purposes of catering, we would greatly appreciate it if you could RSVP via the Forms below.  

Continuing the theme of welcoming parents back onto School soil, I hope that as many of you as possible will be able to attend the Macmillan afternoon tea, kindly organised by the FoRH, this afternoon from 2.30pm.  Tea and Coffee is being served by our new caterers, Accent, and I know they, and a number of parents, have generously baked biscuits and cakes which can be enjoyed in return for a charitable donation. Entrance is via Courtney's, and the tea will be served on the lawn.

On the subject of food, the Department of Health visited School earlier this week for a routine on-the-spot inspection and I am delighted to report that our new catering team have been awarded the highest rating of 5 stars.  Many of you will have noticed a change in the menus and I know that Mrs Newman and Accent are working hard to ensure the children are happy with the food on offer.  We are also already in the process of setting up our new Food Council and I have it on good authority that the Year 3 children are especially excited by this new responsibility. 

As part of Henley’s Great Big Green Week, much of our focus this week has been on climate change and the environment and hopefully you will have noticed some of the posters the children have been colouring in which are displayed in the front office windows.  Other initiatives have included making bird feeders, cooking with apples picked from the School’s apple trees and exploring nature in and around Forest School. It is so important that future generations understand the importance of preserving our natural environment and we have been most impressed with the children's passion for the world around them.

Our celebration assembly on Thursday started with a fantastic rendition of 'Let it go'  played by Mrs Armitage on the Fife and Flute enthralling all the children.  It followed with a presentation by Year 3 on Roald Dahl, in which we were reminded of the huge number of wonderful characters Dahl created for his books and which have been enjoyed by so many children and adults for many years. What a super start to our class assemblies this term, thank you Mrs Hamilton-Smith and Year 3. 

Over the past few days, I have been attending the annual IAPS Heads' Conference, which has been fascinating and challenging in equal measure. As Heads, we have all faced very similar challenges as a result of the Pandemic, but what has shone through in the talks has been the importance of a strong, engaged and passionate School community. At Rupert House we are blessed to have this in abundance and our children are incredibly fortunate to benefit from the part that each and every member of the community plays in it, for which I am enormously grateful.

As I prepare to return to Oxfordshire, I am hoping there might be a little cake left over from the Macmillan tea to come back to, though this may be wishful thinking on my part!

I do hope you have an enjoyable weekend.

With best wishes,

Nick Armitage

Reception Children Build Mouse Houses for Green Week