Junior Boys Bulletin
Claires Court Maidenhead - from Nursery to Sixth Form
Claires Court logo Junior Boys Bulletin
Mr Spanswick's Words Summer 8
Mr Spanswick's Words Summer 8
Dear Parents and Guardians Another week comes to a close, but one where we have welcomed our Junior pupils back for the last three weeks of term. Both pupils and staff have happy stories to tell and wide smiles... as I am sure many parents do too...
Friday 10 JulySchool Term FinishesAll Day
Sites wide news
As the Claires Court Taskmaster challenge draws to a close, please find the final episode and the standings in the leaderboard. Congratulations to all who took part.

Sports kits - Hawkinsport Shopping Guide
With the challenges caused by the Coronavirus pandemic, things are unlikely to be normal with the social distancing measures all retailers have in place and they are planning so that all pupils are able to get the necessary school wear well in advance of September, so we ask for your support to shop for school kit as early as possible.
Our partners Hawkinsport wish to ensure that you have the best shopping experience and at the same time look after the health of their customers and colleagues, while meeting Covid-19 Government guidelines. Please see below their advice:
Shopping online: Please order online via www.hawkinsport.co.uk. A click and collect service is available to provide a safe and secure way to get your goods.
Shopping in-store: There are two designated shopping days dedicated to Claires Court pupils – Wednesday 15 and Thursday 16 July from 8.30 pm until 6.30 pm and we request you book an appointment online or book to visit the store at your own convenience. 
Covid-19 guidelines:
  • Numbers of shoppers will be limited in-store
  • Please use the supplied hand gelas you enter the store
  • There will be limited handling of kit and uniform items
  • There will be limited use of changing facilities (we are currently allowing trying of shorts, skorts, trousers, jackets, but nothing over the head)
  • Respect two metre social distancing including the markings shown on the floor
  • One person only; or one parent only with child where possible
  • Pay by card and avoid cash
  • Footwear, if you require then please make this known to Hawkinsport person managing queue as there is limited space in this area
  • We are currently unable to offer customer toilet facilities
Details of the specific kit your child will require will be shared by each school division.
Sushi demonstration as guest chef joins cooking liveSushi demonstration as guest chef joins cooking live

This week's ‘cooking live’ activity had an oriental twist as pupils had a go at creating sushi under the watchful eye of guest chef Richard.
Claires Court welcomes back all Junior pupils

Junior pupils in Years 2, 3, 4 and 5 were able to return to Claires Court this week on Monday 22 June 22. The government’s guidance now enables education settings to risk assess and manage the return of all primary year groups following...
Claires Court welcomes back all Junior pupils
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.

From the Senior Boys School Head, Mr Wilding
As Mrs Heywood mentions too, the proximity of the appalling murders in a local Reading park reached school early on Monday morning, though details have taken time to emerge. The tragic death of a local man drowned in the river at Cookham whilst swimming too reminds us that there are more dangers than just Covid-19 out there as we emerge from lockdown. Remaining vigilant, conscious and appropriately careful will remain clear watchwords at school.

In this week’s main assembly, I focussed on the importance of watching the work of those who lead us. I used the example of the 2012 Olympics opening ceremony, in which our nation celebrated by design the extraordinary success of our modern, multicultural society. Who can forget Danny Boyle’s incredible tribute to the NHS for example? Whilst it is difficult to believe, at the same time the Home Office were pointedly designing the ‘hostile environment’ policy that led to the ‘Windrush generation’ scandal. Yes we have had a fulsome apology by its architect, Theresa May, when Prime minister in April 2018; this year’s conclusions by the Home Office independent review (19 March) that the Home Office showed an inexcusable "ignorance and thoughtlessness", and that what had happened had been "foreseeable and avoidable" called for a full review, which has yet to commence. The lockdown has not stopped us; across all of our curriculum resources at Claires Court, irrespective of age and site, we are currently conducting a full audit to ensure that we are truly inclusive in our treatment of our history, humanity and diversity as a school and community. 

Senior Boys says farewell to a group of colleagues leaving at the end of term. Our beloved Head of Biology, Sharon Walton is joining her husband in retirement, taking with her the Taskmaster ‘Crown’ of course. Patrick Dias leaves to take up a PE post at Stowe school, nearer his home. Deputy Head of Rowing, Tom Gearing is joining the staff at Radley College. We wish all well, and very much hope that at least some can be with us on our first big planned event of the autumn term, our Diamond fireworks on the 10 October so that our community can thank these wonderful colleagues for all they have done for our children whilst in their care.

From the Senior Girls School Head Mrs Heywood
On Monday morning pupils in school observed a minute’s silence to support the family and friends of the victims caught up in the horrific attack in Forbury Gardens at the weekend. Our thoughts are with their families, friends and colleagues at this terrible time.

I was also deeply saddened last week to hear the news of the death of  Dame Vera Lynn who died at the age 103. As a young woman in her early 20s, I can’t imagine the risk she was taking entertaining the troops, travelling thousands of miles and giving solace to so many soldiers. The songs she sang lifted troops on the front line and more recently the spirits of the nation on VE Day. Giving hope to all during the darkest of times. 
There is still much to be done over the course of the next two weeks and we are looking forward to celebrating pupil achievements on Friday 10 July at our two awards assemblies in the morning. More detail to follow via pupil pastoral classroom.    

We will be saying goodbye to a number of staff at the end of the term, some after a short time with us and others who have held key responsibilities within the Claires Court  community. 

Ms Clifford is leaving Claires Court after four and a half years to take up a new Head of Department role at St Mary’s Ascot.  Ms Clifford has been an amazing colleague. Pupils, parents and staff who have worked with her over the years, as Head of Geography, Head of Year 10 or as the house coordinator, we will miss her energy, commitment and passion for her subject. Of course, who can forget her inspirational house activities. 

Sadly, we also say goodbye to Mrs Sahota, our Head of Business Studies and Year 11. Mrs Sahota is moving to new pastures to be closer to her family. She has inspired, challenged and engaged pupils and staff alike over the last four years.  

Miss Walters, Mrs Simpson and Mr Parker have devoted their efforts during lessons, lunchtimes and afterschool to ensure sports and the performing arts continue even on the wettest days. We thank them for their enthusiasm, expertise and compassionate approach. They will  be greatly missed. 

And finally, for some of the Year 7 girls who will have been taught by Miss Philp in Junior Girls to say that she will be leaving at the end of this term to pastures new to continue with her great teaching. We wish them all the best in their future careers.  

Other Senior faculty news
  • Parents of Senior Pupils Years 7 to 9 are invited to join Mr Wilding and Mr Richards again on Tuesday 30 June at 10am https://meet.google.com/fum-dxyb-jyz
  • Senior Pupils Years 7 to 9 return of textbooks Tuesday 7, Wednesday 8 and Thursday 9 July. Further details can be found in the forms below, please complete the form to book your slot. Please note, Library Books can be returned at this stage, but if you are still using them, please feel free to keep them over the summer.
  • Notice to Year 10 pupils: We are planning your first set of mock exams in Year 11 to commence from Monday 5 October to Thursday 15 October. Whilst it is too early to give you your mock timetable, your subject teachers will make available their advice for your revision programme via your subject Google Classroom and the ‘Hub’ by the end of term, and you will receive an update briefing in the last week of this summer term.  
  • Senior Boys Year 10 Science arrangements/requirements for next week as follows….
    • Monday 29 June 10B Physics - as well as in the labs, the boys will be outside in the playground, so waterproof clothing or sun cream may be required
    • Wednesday 1 July 10D Biology - sampling fieldwork at Ray Mill Island, so please bring Biology books, hand sanitiser, sun cream, plastic bag and money for an ice cream (once work is complete!)
    • Thursday 2 July 10C Chemistry - text book, and clothes suitable for working in the labs without lab coats 
From Mrs King, Acting Head of Junior Girls and Mr Richards, Head of Junior Boys

Sunday saw the leadership team create their own Tik Tok dance to the Gods of Sun and Rain and it was obviously appreciated as our new drop and collect route enabled access and a pretty reasonable flow for 95% of all Juniors who have been able to return to school. 

Young and old were all in high spirits and we thought that we would ask two parents (who fall somewhere in the middle!) to share their thoughts. I wonder if they resonate with you too?

Mrs Jones and Mr Kemmis wrote:

“Any apprehension about returning yesterday vanished immediately as our lovely school came into sight. It was a perfect sunny day and as we passed through the marquee entrance there was a sense of excitement seeing all the familiar and friendly faces of classmates, parents and teachers alike. It almost felt like entering through the gates of a festival where instead of wristbands we were met by the smiling health team and their thermometers. The boys seemed to take everything in their stride - just another fun sunny day - back to school at long last!  When I picked my son up on Monday afternoon he was absolutely shattered after all the day’s excitement. He was full of stories and news and it was clear that he had benefited hugely from his return to school. He absolutely loved his first day back. In particular he relished the social interaction with his friends along with the variety of afternoon activities including art and sport.

“It’s been evident from the very first communications from the Claires Court Junior School’s teams just how much time, effort and compassion has been put into readying the School, staff and children for the return to school. Everyone greets each other with huge smiles, words of encouragement and real kindness, and it’s reminded us once again why we’re so pleased to be a part of the Claire’s Court family. Thank you for the best possible distance learning experience but also for making it possible for our children to make it back to see their friends and teachers this side of the summer holidays.

“From the parents, a big thank you to all the specialist subject teaching staff for all the lesson setting, encouragement and support for our children during lockdown. It hasn’t been the easiest time for anyone, teachers and parents alike. Despite all the challenges faced by many, for my family there has been a silver lining of quality time together in the sunshine, without the multitude of extracurricular commitments that run all parents ragged.  I, like many, now have many positive memories to look back on as we move to a ‘new normal’.”

We look forward to a fantastic final fortnight. To help us keep the process as seamless as possible we do require you to be at the marquee by 9am and please do remember  suncream, hats, bags, headphones and water bottles to minimise traffic returning to the site. Thank you everyone for your help, encouragement and overwhelmingly positive response. What a wonderful week.

And finally, we will be saying goodbye to two members of staff at the end of the term. Miss Philp is our Year 5 Class Teacher who is leaving us to explore new challenges and also Mrs Short who has taught some of the foreign language lessons for the past two years.  We wish them all the best for their future and a big thank you to both. 

Other Junior faculty news
  • If your son is interested in receiving individual chess tuition as from September  please see here to complete a form.
  • If your son or daughter is unable to attend lessons due to illness or ‘absence’, please contact the school office via:
Junior Girls: girls@clairescourt.com or leave a voicemail message on 01628 327500 before 9.30am
Junior Boys: Juniorboys@clairescourt.com or leave a voicemail message on 01628 327400 before 9.30am.

From Mrs Wilding, Head of Nursery
I cannot believe it is Friday again. What a difference a week makes! Last week I was singing the praises of everyone here in the Nursery making the most of the heavy rain and this week it has to be for surviving the intense heat and constantly moving toys and furniture in the outdoors “classrooms” to keep in the shade. Nursery staff certainly do not need gym memberships as they are constantly on the move, bending, lifting and running along with the children. Yes we have now got an eight lane track, marked out by our wonderful maintenance team of Stewart and Tony, on the field and before it gets too hot the individual groups go over to practise running in straight lines. I have to say that I have been more than a little impressed by the children keeping within the track as often when we start practising for our Sports Day the children are running all over the field! I guess this year being out on the field all the time has meant they are happy to do this new activity without wanting to go off exploring the rest of the space. Needless to say we will not be doing our usual Sports Day this year which is a huge disappointment but the children are having fun doing the little races and, as always, everyone's a winner.
It has been lovely seeing snack and story times with the children shaded by the hedges. They have been busy creating some delightful pictures of ladybirds and making ladybird masks and headbands. One of those very simple activities to get children moving is having an adult blowing bubbles for them to chase after, jump up, catch and enjoy. As one of my staff commented this morning it’s “bubbles” for the children to stay in, it’s bubbles that they chase after and it’s bubbles for the staff on a Friday evening! The bottle is in the fridge!

As usual I will send the home learning for next week for those not back to Nursery in an email but just to let you know that the focus for the Transition children is minibeasts and for the three Nursery classes it is the life cycle of a chick, a continuation of this week’s learning. 

Other Nursery faculty news
  • You may continue to contact the Nursery School Office on nursery@clairescourt.com or you can leave a voicemail on 01628 327500.
Ridgeway, The Thicket, Maidenhead, SL6 3QE
Tel: 01628 327400     Email: juniorboys@clairescourt.com

Please note all our School privacy notices can be found here. Please ensure you keep you and your child's information up to date. You can login to the report portal to change any details or alternatively, please contact your school office.

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