Whitehill Junior School Blogs

Whitehill School of Performing Arts

With only one week to go until the end of another academic year, life at Whitehill continues to be full steam ahead. On the agenda this week has been Achievers’ Assemblies, Year 6 Productions, Orchestra Performances, Transition Day and a Year 6 Party.

Last Friday’s Achievers’ Assembly was postponed until Monday due to dress rehearsals. It was certainly worth waiting for as we were entertained by Thomas (Yr 6) playing the piano and Abigail (Yr 6) who danced for us. Both were really impressive and added weight to my belief that over the last few weeks we should have referred to ourselves as ‘Whitehill School for the Performing Arts.’ I also had the pleasurable task of presenting Ella R (Yr 6) and Beth (Yr 5) with Headteacher Commendations. Well done, girls.

The Year 2s from Highbury made the first of two trips to Whitehill this week on Monday as they came and watched the Year 6s perform, ‘The Prince of Pride Rock’. We were also joined by friends and relatives of the cohort and we were truly entertained. The main performance was on Tuesday evening and again, it was just fantastic. Every member of the year group played their part from those who were ‘front and centre’ to the boys who wanted to be part of the tech crew. How Matthew and Keagan were able to work our lighting desk is beyond me! I would like to take this opportunity to thank Mrs Bailey, Mrs Bryan and Mrs Burniston for all their hard work in putting the show together; along with Mrs Draper, Miss Creese and Mr Mills Jnr. Many other members of the staff team were also involved at various times over the last few weeks. The costumes were amazing! Thank you to Mrs D’Cruze and Mrs Jury and their army of mums for such splendid creations.

After the performance, we celebrated the last four years with presentations to each of our Year 6s as well as looking at a few photographs taken over their time with us. Everyone sat very patiently, too, as I gave a few words of wisdom. Thank you to everyone who attended to make the evening so special.

On Wednesday morning we were entertained by our violinists and the school orchestra under the watchful eye of Mrs Reid. The soloists all did so well to play in front of such a large audience; more importantly for me, however was the fact they played with a smile. Music is all about enjoyment and they were clearly enjoying what they were doing. The orchestra (which didn’t quite fit on the stage as it’s so big) were back again at lunchtime to play during our Volunteers’ Lunch. Our volunteers were also entertained by the school choir and our County Dance group. Thank you to Mrs Cook for preparing all the food and putting the whole thing together.

As I said earlier, ‘Whitehill School for the Performing Arts’!

It was a big day for all our pupils on Thursday as it was transition day. Our Year 6s spent the day at their new secondary schools trying to make that perfect first impression. I do get feedback, particularly from Hitchin Girls’ School and once again all appears to have gone very well.

The remainder of the Whitehill pupils got to spend time in the classes they will be in from September with their new teachers and teaching assistants. Highbury Year 2s joined us again to spend time with Mrs Walton, Miss McGurk, Mrs Deller and Mrs Keeling and get a taster of life at Whitehill. They came just before lunch; enjoyed dinner with us and then spent the afternoon in their new classrooms. I popped into both classes and was impressed with the way they had settled and were enjoying what they were doing. I would also like to thank our current Year 3s who looked after our visitors outside on the playground.

The second Achievers’ Assembly of the week was held this morning. We presented ‘Wall of Fame’ awards to another group of pupils and their work will be on display in the hall for the first half of the next academic year. Well done to 6TB who received the Class of the Week cup today. Next Friday I will present the Class of the Year shield to our overall champions. It’s all very tight at the top and all to play for. I am also looking forward to presenting our Core Purpose Champion Award to this year’s winner.

Our Year 5s were out today at the CLiPPA Awards in London at the National Theatre. As I mentioned last week one group from 5SD also got to perform as part of the awards ceremony. That is such a great honour and was being tweeted about all day… and not just by us.

One piece of really exciting news is that we have won a visit to the school from author Guy Bass. Mrs Vernon organised the staff team to take part in the ‘Authors for Grenfell’ auction which is raising funds for the Grenfell Tower disaster appeal. Through her hard work our bid was the highest and we can now look forward to a visit in the new academic year whilst at the same time knowing we have raised money for a very worthwhile cause. We look forward to his visit.

In a few minutes the Year 6s will be returning to school for their Leavers’ Party. It promises to be a great evening and I know the pupils will have a great time. Thank you in advance to the team of mums who have been working so hard over the course of the year to make it a special night. We will take lots of photos.

The main focus of next week will probably be sports day taking place on Tuesday. This year it is very much a whole day event but parents are invited to join us for the afternoon’s races starting just before 1.00pm. Fingers crossed the weather will remain kind and also not too hot. Should we need to postpone, the reserve day is Wednesday. I know there was an error in one of the letters which came home this week. I also hope to be able to visit Highbury again on Wednesday morning to see some of their sports day events.

Before then, we are hosting an inter-school rounders competition on Monday afternoon and the rounders continues on Thursday when we have our inter-house competitions. Lower School in the morning and Upper School in the afternoon.

Dr Christie and I are meeting up with the headteacher of a school in Uganda on Wednesday afternoon. She is visiting Whitehill whilst she is in the UK as Dr Christie is trying to establish a return visit over February half term that we will both be taking part in. This is quite an exciting venture and again ties in so well with our International Primary Curriculum and our Global Learning work.

A few members of staff are taking part in a fun sports day on Thursday afternoon as schools from across the partnership area come to Whitehill to take part in an inter-school staff competition. I’ve been asked to be part of the team, not because they think I am a finely tuned athlete but because having the headteacher as part of your team gains bonus points!

Anyway, we have four and a half days to go until the end of the term and the end of a very successful academic year.

Have a great weekend!

Best wishes,

Mr Steve Mills


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