| ||Sixth Form Bulletin |
|Mr Spanswick's Words Summer 1|
|Dear parents and guardian - welcome to our first bulletin of the term
I hope the start of term has been as smooth as can be expected during these troubled times. Herein we have words from the Heads of each division sharing their experiences of...|
|Sites wide news|
Our digital handbooks, which detail how we plan to support our pupils during this time of distance learning, can be found on our website.
An academic bulletin highlighting A level, BTEC and GCSE news for Year 11 to Year 13 will be sent out every Tuesday at 4pm.
Calling all Claires Court pupils, have you got what it takes to impress the Taskmaster?
Our very own taskmaster Mr Wespieser is challenging you to think laterally and complete weekly activities. Open to all Claires Court pupils, there will be a weekly challenge to complete by 4pm on Fridays, which will then be judged over the weekend with results, feedback and a new challenge announced the following Monday.
Find out how to get involved here.
Please have a look at our website and social media which are updated regularly with news, activities and creative ways our community is supporting one another. Please follow us on facebook or twitter.
|From Mrs Rogers, Head of Sixth Form|
Five weeks ago our school was closed in support of the government’s response to tackling Covid-19 and now, whilst we are still battling the virus, we are determined to ensure our Year 12 and Year 13 students continue with their studies and their personal development. Coming back together on Wednesday, joining virtually in Google Meets to share in assemblies, briefings, Q&A sessions as well as attending tutorials, highlighted the vital importance to human beings of the community. Students were thrilled to share in these informative, inspirational and reassuring meets, chatting with each other, their subject teachers and form tutors about the importance of this term's work against the backdrop of what is happening in our wider society, as well as reflecting on the impact of this invisible enemy. It was satisfying to hear positive comments from students and yourselves and to read appreciative emails too, confirming the value of routine, mental stimulation and academic activity, but more than anything, the sense of belonging, purpose and connection derived from being part of our Sixth Form community.
To connect further with you as parents, as you are an important part of the Claires Community, I will be running ‘gate duty’ next week including early morning, lunchtime and mid-afternoon slots as I appreciate you also have work and family responsibilities of which to attend. I will also be sharing a video and audio version of my ‘Heads Words’ with you next Friday. In the meantime, stay safe, healthy and positive.
From Mrs Heywood, Head of Senior Girls
Words, where do we find them at this time of virus isolation. They normally describe the many and varied activities we partake in at school. So while we continue from the confines of our homes, I thought I would reflect upon my favourite time of year - Spring. Each morning now before I chain myself to the laptop I take a walk with my husband and sometimes a daughter to enjoy some exercise and see what plants and wildlife is rejuvenating around us. We have discovered pleasant and quiet paths around our house which we would not, but for the current circumstances.
In my family we have our own springtime arrival, ‘Harry Wilfred Bennett’ which has highlighted the importance of family even though we can only virtually cuddle him.
Daily we converse across the fence, getting to know our neighbours more closely than would be the norm. The lack of social contact and the burgeoning spring has focused upon what really matters in life, to preserve it and secure the future by conserving our environment and culture. Someone who shared this ideology was Octavia Hill when she co-founded the National Trust in 1883, whose properties and places we would especially visit in the Spring.
“We all want quiet. We all want beauty ...... We all need space. Unless we have it, we cannot reach that sense of quiet in which whispers of this come to us gently.”
From Mr Wilding, Academic Principal and Head of Senior Boys
I fear I am a man for all seasons, with every time of year having its unique characteristics to enjoy. But we’ve not known a spring ever like this in our lifetimes, and it will be one that’s bitter sweet for all. In business and economic terms, for almost everyone it is a disaster. Yet as I look up into cloudless skies, with not even the hint of a vapour trail where but six weeks ago we had a plane every minute passing to and from Heathrow, there is a peace in terms of background noise that’s so very different. Birds, particularly the raucous robins, are recolonising that soundscape and it seems we have been transported back 100 or so years to Octavia Hill’s era - who would have thought that possible in 2020?
It was lovely welcoming the School back to work this week and having the opportunity to join in with Year 11 for some Q&A around the current situation. We kick start the day with a new virtual ‘gate duty’ for parents to ask questions which for Senior Girls is Mr Richards and Mrs Heywood and for Senior Boys is Mr Buckle and Mr Wilding will be available daily from Monday to Friday 8.30am to 8.50am
Other Senior faculty news
Lara Bennett of the Senior Girls science and PE department is now on maternity leave, with the aforementioned Harry Wilfred Bennett, and we wish Mrs Dimmick good luck as she also starts her maternity leave. We welcome Mr Peter Merrow-Smith into our community to teach in the science department as a consequence, and we add Mrs Julie Teasdale to provide cover where appropriate. As always we are so grateful to staff who have worked hard over the break to ensure we continue to provide a rich educational experience for all of our pupils.
From Mrs King, Acting Head of Junior Girls and Mr Richards, Head of Junior Boys
With our first few days of the summer term under our belt, we wanted to take the opportunity to celebrate how hard our pupils have been working and the positive response to this new way of working. On Wednesday we welcomed lots of our Junior Girls and Boys to Google classroom for the first time and we also welcomed four new children to our school, Scarlett (G3), Joshua (B5), Joshua (B4) and Ethan (B2). All of our pupils have embraced this new way of working and risen to new challenges. They demonstrate so many important skills such as resilience, confidence and determination as well as continuing to develop their skills of communication, problem solving, risk taking and inquiry.
As headteachers and class teachers, our Junior team have been risk takers, learning to use new technology to share our lessons and assemblies in different ways. There is still more to learn but we know that with the support of our Claires Court community we can and will achieve what we set out to achieve, which is a successful term of digital learning. We may find bumps in the road on the way but, as we tell the children all of the time, overcoming obstacles and making mistakes is what helps us to learn.
We would also like to thank our IT support team who have made so many chromebooks available for you.
We look forward to sending out our celebration assemblies on a Friday. These will recognise the pupils’ efforts, achievements, progress as well as other thoughtful and kind deeds as we get to hear about them. We look forward to seeing their work as well.
A reminder that our online timetables are suggestions only. Please do not feel that work has to be submitted immediately during that lesson. Do what fits best for your family circumstances. We hope you’ve all had a good week and please remember that we are here to support you through these strange and challenging times. Keep in touch.
From Mrs Wilding, Head of Nursery
“The term’s topic of ‘seasons – Spring and Summer, and the great outdoors’ could not have had a better start with the wonderful weather and the children all outside enjoying the garden, pond and playground areas. The sound of laughter and having fun has been lovely these last three days and the new children seem to be adapting to their new environment very well” were my words for this time last year and although my comments about the wonderful weather could be repeated now, very sadly I am unable to comment on the children enjoying the Nursery outdoors areas and the sounds of their laughter and enjoyment. I am sure this is happening in your own homes and gardens and you are having wonderful times together but I so look forward to us all being back together. Until then you will receive weekly guidance with ideas to support our term’s topic of ‘the great outdoors’ and I hope you will find this useful. What is certain is that your children will be experiencing the richer sounds of their outdoors environment, which aircraft are not drowning out at the moment, and hopefully breathing a less polluted air so there is a silver lining. Have a great weekend and please stay safe.
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