Headmaster's Newsletter, 8 January 2016

09 January 2016

Happy New Year! 

I hope you all had an enjoyable festive season and that your batteries are recharged.  The pupils have certainly returned full of energy and we are looking forward to another busy and productive term.

Carol Service

A big thank you to all the pupils and staff who made the Carol Service such a success.  I would like to make special mention of Mrs Watkiss who put her heart and soul into the occasion.  Thank you also for your generosity in contributing over £450.00 to Julia’s House in the retiring collection.

New Performance Area

We are delighted to announce that the extension to the Music School and Assembly Hall is now ready for use.  This includes 8 new practice rooms, a new Music Classroom/Music Technology Centre, an Ensemble Room and a Recital Room, which opens out on to the beautifully paved Arts Courtyard.  We also had 12 new pianos delivered over Christmas, and both teachers and pupils are very excited about the new facility.  It was used for the first time this morning after School Assembly, when all Prep School pupils saw it in action, but a more formal opening will take place after Easter. In the meantime, Mrs Watkiss would be delighted to show you round!

New Playing Field

The long awaited purchase of our adjoining land was completed at last over Christmas. We will now set about breaking through and securing safe access, before fencing, levelling and reseeding the area, which covers just over two acres. Initially this will provide a lovely open field for nature study (and an extension to our cross-country course) but will then be converted, gradually, to another playing area. Exciting times.

E-Safety

Once again we will be running an E-Safety Day this year on Wednesday 20 January.  This will involve visiting Internet Safety Officers, Sarah Badley and Mark Lane speaking to every pupil from Reception to Year 8 and all staff in a total of ten different presentations.  Last year the message was once again very powerful, but also reassuring and left us all with a clear way forward.  We are very grateful for their expertise and look forward to the visit.  In addition, we have arranged a drop in session for Parents from 3.30 – 4.15 pm.  This will be based in the Pre-Prep Hall and all are welcome.

Senior Hobbies

For those in Years 3 to 8 a hobbies sheet will appear in the Parents’ Area of the school website later this evening.  Hobbies will run on Thursday afternoon as usual and will include (mostly indoor) ventures such as Papercraft, Cookery, Animation, Debating, Movie Making, Chess, Eco Schools, Contemporary Dance, Fitness Circuits, Scuba Diving, Golf, Animation, Radio Dumpton, and two new Science Projects - along with some scholarship sessions for the senior pupils.  We would be grateful if choices could be made by this Monday at the latest, allowing the hobbies to start next week.

News from the Pre-Prep

From next Thursday we will be continuing Lunchtime Hobbies for Year 1 and Year 2, including, Art, Hamabeads, ICT, Library Time, Music and Football.  Finally, if the temperatures drop significantly you may wish to send your children to school in their tracksuits.

Parents’ Evenings

Once again, Prep School Parents’ Evenings will be using an appointments system this term to try to minimise queuing.  This year Mrs Sharp will again oversee a paper-free online booking system.  The login will be via the Parents’ Area of the website from early next week.  Parents will be able to book slots for teachers they would like to meet, on a first come, first served basis.  You will receive a separate e-mail with more information on how to use the system in due course.

Meetings will begin at 5 pm, allowing some parents to attend while their children are still at school, making for a neater end to their day.  Meetings will continue through to 8 pm.

PS

A plea from Mrs Jane - we have an exciting writing activity that we would like to undertake in Year 2.  I would be very grateful to receive any of the large spherical plastic carriers that the Lindt chocolates come in.  All will be revealed in time!  

 

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