Senior Boys Bulletin
Claires Court Maidenhead - from Nursery to Sixth Form
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Mr Spanswick's Words Summer 5
Mr Spanswick's Words Summer 5
Dear Parents and Guardians  Crikey, it's been hot. But I am not moaning, long may the sunshine continue into June. While we are set to open our school gates on Monday 1 June for pupils in Reception, Year 1 and Year 6, along with...
Monday 25 MayHalf Term HolidayAll Day
Sites wide news
Academic bulletin 
The academic bulletin of 19 May highlighting A Level, BTEC and GCSE news for Year 11 to Year 13 can be found on our website

Term Dates
Please be advised that the first day of the autumn term has been brought forward to Monday 7 September 2020, with the new pupil starter induction day for Year 7 and above and Sixth Form planned for Friday 4 September.

Diamond Jubilee Ball
It is with great sadness that the PTA have taken the decision to cancel the annual school ball this year which we had postponed until September. However, we now feel in such uncertain times that cancellation until next year is the best option. We will be organising to refund the ticket money via the table leader. We hope you support us next year when we return to our usual May event. Thank you for your patience and understanding.

Anna Taylor-West (Chair CCGS PTA)

Year 8 and 9 HPV vaccination programme
Advance notice that both year groups are to be included in the local area health authority vaccination programme for HPV, target early July for an appointment visit to school. 

As the week five Taskmaster challenge draws to a close, please find current standings in the leaderboard.
The world outside my window - Photography during lockdownThe world outside my window - Photography during lockdown

As part of their ever popular house challenges, pupils at Senior Boys have recently been asked to pick up a camera and get snapping!
Linguist flourishing during lockdown

Keen linguist and A Level literature student Katie has been extending learning during lockdown by familiarising herself with new words.
Linguist flourishing during lockdown
Catching the wind with virtual sailingCatching the wind with virtual sailing

With all sporting endeavours postponed until further notice due to the Covid-19 crisis, the British Schools Dinghy Racing Association (BSDRA) have found an innovative new way to continue sailing by setting up the e-sailing championship.
Divisional Updates
From Mrs Rogers, Head of Sixth Form
Mrs Rogers shares a short film clip with an update from Sixth Form this week. You can watch the full video here.

U101 programme to prepare for university and the world of work:
This bespoke range of courses for Year 13 students has now launched with full details being sent direct to both students and parents. 
Year 11 T101 programme
Taster and transition sessions for both Sixth Form studies and work experience have also now launched, and access to the programme will take place via the T101 Google Classroom with full details sent direct to pupils and parents. Sign  up will take place on Monday 1 June morning, 10am to 11am via the T101 general conference room MEET. At this presentation, students will confirm which course they wish to participate in, with a return on Tuesday morning to the same room for a preparation session and signposting of how to work their classrooms and other on-line facilities. 

From Mr Wilding, Head of Senior Boys
Reaching the completion of the first half of summer term at Senior level always signals a ‘fin de siecle’ for Year 11 pupils and 13 students; shorn of their responsibilities to attend lessons, they are usually focussed on the completion of their examinations and the release from eight weeks of ‘revise, remember, recall, write’ in our Sports Halls. 2020 has seen a complete adjustment to that process; instead we have asked those involved to concentrate much more closely on the final four weeks of coursework completion and practice writing, and to be honest, for most, it has provided them with a real opportunity to shine, so thank you to candidates and to their parents for making the most of this Covid-19 opportunity. Pictured below are our Art and Photography leaders, Joel Wareing, Frances Ackland Snow and Jane Whimshurst, manning the collection station at Senior Boys for A level and GCSE portfolios yesterday, with social separation ensured by Mrs Tarr of the Senior Boys front desk. Please see below where we include a separate photo of Sophie Hadley, Head of Textiles, waving farewell as she departs on maternity leave today. 

You will no doubt understand just how excited we are that Senior Boys is now emerging from the mothballs of ‘furlough’, and I am delighted to confirm that we have now completed the installation of a new artificial wicket for cricket at our Taplow playing fields. It’s a top of the range nottsward surface, as used at Lords, funded by the PTA foundation funds to add to our community engagement work.

For cricket lovers, this means that as soon as we are back in session, cricket will be ‘back in play’, and this surface does mean we can play right the way through September, overhead weather conditions permitting!

With a few of our Senior pupil ‘children of key workers’ also returning to physical school next half term at Junior Boys, I am delighted to confirm that Mrs Selzer and Mr Bretherton will be in attendance to support them on their reintroduction to ‘real’ school.

Parents of Boys in Year 10 studying History will be receiving their next text book via the post soon, so please look out for its arrival and pass it on. 

And finally, please do keep sending in your local stories of Covid-19 daring-do with your families; we are so proud of our community’s display of resilience and engagement during this difficult time.

From Mrs Heywood, Head of Senior Girls
This week Mrs Thomas joined me on Monday to talk to the pupils about ‘doing the very best we can’ in these difficult times, taking responsibility for their learning and she challenged the pupils to make the most, and the best, of being at Claires Court; to give their wholehearted commitment to their online working and seek help if needed.
Assemblies have been an important part of our new school routine. They enable a community to come together to connect for a shared experience, to hear a message that reminds us of who we are, and where we are on a journey forward. At this time of distance learning, we try and inspire and inform our pupils, often the best received assemblies at Claires Court are given by our pupils, and we are looking forward to Ms Clifford and Mrs Ruddick along with the future prefects to provide us with a framework of key ideas in support of wider learning which will shape subtle shifts in school culture in the new way of working after half term.
Many Year 10 under the auspices of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award run by Ms Clifford have already participated in the Duke of Edinburgh Awards and have done some fantastic work in the wider community.

Celebrating the achievements of members of our school is a great way to start the week and Mrs Phipps has kindly kept up the schools tradition on my behalf by posting out Head Teachers certificates on a weekly basis to those pupils who have gone above and beyond during these difficult times. And please continue sharing with us any additional information about your daughters achievements or pursuits for the wider community.  This week I received a virtual performance of a piece of music that Lydia, Year 10, took part in with the Chiltern Music Academy at the beginning of lockdown. Here is the link to ‘There's a Power in the Music’ which I am sure you will enjoy as  much as I did, and Lydia’s dog makes his debut appearance as well!
Mrs Sophie Hadley will be leaving on Friday to start her maternity leave. We wish her well and look forward to sharing pictures of the new arrival very soon. Mrs Hadley’s teaching groups will be taught by Mrs Rina Dharsi who is moving across from the Senior Boys School and was previously here before she left to have her family as the Senior Girls Textiles Teacher. Mrs O’Clee will be taking on the Form Tutor duties for 7A. 

We are all looking forward to the next half term and hope you have a safe and enjoyable break. 
Other Senior faculty news
  • Live link to half term activities here
  • Parents of Year 9 boys and girls should have received an email yesterday confirming their son or daughter's GCSE subject choices. If you did not receive this email, please check your SPAM/Junk folder in the first instance, and then your school office. Please confirm your child’s options by 1 June using the relevant form below:
    • Senior Boys GCSE Options confirmation form
    • Senior Girls GCSE Options confirmation form
    • New Year 9 Timetables: boys and girls
  • For those wishing to support Mr Cripps in his ‘40 challenges for 40’ to raise money for the NHS please find details here
  • Please do join either Mr Wilding or Mrs Heywood daily for gate duty between 8.30am to 9am; we do hope to see some others on our lonely watch. 
Remote Learning reminders
  • Thank you so much parents for spotting our advice to push your sons and daughters to attend the live ‘MEETs’ at the start of lessons, and thank you to the boys and girls for their feedback too. We are still seeking to get the work balance combination right, with some pupils in all years working into the evening on their part 2s. If you are a parent who sees their child saying their work is complete by 12 noon, please do have a check because that simply is not possible! During next week, our quickest workers are going to have their collars felt, and as their work also highlights a ‘rush to get it done’ approach, there will be plenty of feedback for them to read, reminding them to spend more time on the process. 
  • Our next whole school assembly is to take place on Monday 1 June at 12noon - please join your Head of Year in your Pastoral/PSHEE Classroom to watch the assembly and then discuss with your Head of Year and Form teachers any outcomes as appropriate. Parents are still invited to watch the ‘livestream’ here.
  • And finally, we are holding a special whole school celebration assembly on Monday 1 June, to which our Year 11 and their parents are invited to join us together. We have some awards and presentations to make at that time, and some lovely photographic memories for the boys’ secondary school years with us.  Boys, if it is not too hot, please wear your ‘hoodie’ and encourage your parents to enjoy the experience with you. We will of course be sending a formal invitation to you separately!
From Mrs King, Acting Head of Junior Girls and Mr Richards, Head of Junior Boys
How did we manage to get to half term? What an incredible journey it has been. Like admired explorers would tell you; it is often best to have a trusted companion or two, a reliable route and not to take unnecessary risks that could derail the adventure. When we set off into the unknown and unwanted void of remote home learning we were all gripped with uncertainty, nervous trepidation and if we are honest a fair amount of anxiety. These feelings are still with us all at varying degrees and even the thought of returning to base camp for some has not has not eased these worries. We all react differently and demonstrate our strengths, our talents and weaknesses when we are exposed to challenges. 

If we asked the pupils to write a gripping tale about this experience, and we do always encourage them to develop their vocabulary, they might have included words such as ‘journey’, ‘adventure’, ‘tumultuous’, ‘emotional’, ‘perseverance’, ‘courageous’, ‘difficult’, ‘inspired’ and if they did they would be spot on. As Heads we have both learned a lot, relied upon everyone and have been hugely impressed with the commitment and absolute desire of our community to do their very best. 

This week our inboxes were inundated with wonderfully emotive thank you posters. I think we can safely say our ‘relationships’ in class are built on strong foundations and will help us conquer the toughest tests. We would both like to say a huge thank you to all our companions - pupils, parents and teachers for your resolve, partnership, energy, encouragement and adaptability..

We have travelled a long way together, our route still has many obstacles to overcome but we are pleased with our progress, the refreshing stream of new initiatives, and the commonsense approach to online safety. Although we do not know where the horizon is yet we are committed to our cause of providing a nurturing, caring, non judgemental approach to our learning experience. 

We will be writing to you shortly to add detail and information to our plans and intentions for those permitted years who are in the vanguard of our return to school (but not quite school as we know it). As importantly we wish to reassure all those who are still waiting patiently for news that our offer to all will be equitable and undiminished. We have a trusted system of online delivery and every pupil matters.

It leaves us to say have a safe and appropriately socially distanced half term and perhaps boys and girls it would be sensible to have as little screen time as possible.

Mrs King and Mr Richards

Other Junior faculty news
  • The UK Chess Challenge will be taking part entirely online in 2020. Throughout the summer there will be a ‘festival of chess’ to choose from. As well as our old favourites (megafinals, gigafinals and terafinal) there will also be a ‘Blitz Championship’, ‘Chess 960 Championship’ and a few others. An online environment provides some great opportunities to learn and improve at the game so we are also running a number of training and coaching events throughout the summer for those keen to improve as well as play. Some of the nation’s finest coaches and past champions will be involved in simultaneous displays, ‘Beat the Coach’ challenges and more. Full details and entry form now available on the website.
  • If your son or daughter is unable to attend lessons due to illness or ‘absence’, please contact the school office via:
Junior Girls: or leave a voicemail message on 01628 327500 before 9.30am
Junior Boys: or leave a voicemail message on 01628 327400 before 9.30am.
From Mrs Wilding, Head of Nursery
In some ways it seems as though we have been working together from a distance for a long, long time and in others it seems amazing that we are already at the summer half term! I really want to take this opportunity to say a huge thank you to my Nursery team in supporting me and creating the online learning guidance and videos that I have been sending on to you. Thanks certainly goes to you for your many kind messages of support and for engaging in the learning ideas that we have sent you for your children. The photos we receive from you are wonderful and bring a ray of sunshine to us all.

We are looking forward to seeing some of you again on Monday 8 June, a conditional start date for the Nursery, and will do our best to make our Nursery as ‘normal’ as we possibly can.

Wishing you all a happy, healthy and safe half term. 
Other Nursery faculty news
  • You may continue to contact the Nursery School Office on or you can leave a voicemail on 01628 327500.
From the photo galleryFrom the photo gallery
From the photo galleryFrom the photo gallery
Ray Mill Road East, Maidenhead, Berkshire, SL6 8TE
Tel: 01628 327600     Email:

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