We have made it! Made it to the end of another wonderful year. A year full of success both in the classroom and throughout the range of extra-curricular activities we have offered again. My 37 blogs this year have highlighted the pupils’ achievements and I hope you have enjoyed reading these each and every Friday. Earlier in the year we updated the school website and I am delighted with the way it now looks and its functionality. Don’t forget you are welcome to leave your thoughts on my weekly blog now and if appropriate I will post them at the bottom. To date we have had three comments! For those of you who have been associated with Whitehill as long as I have now (six years), this is actually my 233rd blog! Well done to those who have read every one; you deserve a medal! The one aspect of the website I am going to work on over the holiday is the ‘Gallery’. I will aim to add photographs from some of the key events this year and then from September try and add the events as and when they happen.
Last Friday we held a party for our Year 6s. It was a fantastic evening with pupils and staff alike having a great time. The entertainment was just right and for those of you with pupils in Year 5, we have already booked all we need for next year’s party, which I can tell you will be on Friday 10th July 2020! I have even arranged with the one surviving ‘BBQ dad’ from this year’s team to flip the burgers next year too. One of the highlights from the photographs I have looked at, was the opportunity to look after Mrs Davies’s daughter, ‘Baby Bea’. It will be harder next year as she will be walking and into everything!
The main event from this week has been our sports day on Tuesday. It was a hugely successful day and there are several people I would like to thank. Mr Miley and Miss Gooderham have worked tirelessly over recent weeks to ensure the activities in the morning’s field events and then the track events in the afternoon were fairly shared out; brilliantly organised and ran like clockwork. I saw the spreadsheets and lists generated and then the amount of amendments they had to make as pupils were off or injured, even up to the day itself. One of the other things Mr Miley and Miss Gooderham put in place was the team of Sports Leaders from Hitchin Girls’ School, who came and ran the morning’s events. The students from HGS were amazing and I believe were disappointed when told they had to leave and couldn’t stay and watch the afternoon’s events. It was only the promise of an ice-cream from their teacher, Miss Jacobs, which got them to agree to leave.
I would also like to thank our wonderful Sports Captains for all their hard work in running up and down the track to ensure the equipment was where it needed to be. That is on top of running in their own events. All the pupils represented their respective Houses so well and it was so close going into the final few events. Well done to everyone in Earth House for your well-deserved victory. The final thank you is to all of the family and friends who came along to support. Same time next year?
On Wednesday morning, I visited Highbury Infants to see some of their sports morning. I do enjoy visiting Highbury, particularly after transition day when I have got to know the Year 2s a little better. It’s great to see how many I can spot and then try and remember their names. It is also lovely when they want to come and say ‘hello’ or give me a wave as they complete their events. I mentioned this previously, but we are looking forward to welcoming our new cohort of pupils in September; they certainly impressed when they visited last week.
Despite having very little committed in my diary this week, I appear to have been quite busy. I seem to have spent more time on the phone than normal, chatting to quite a few prospective parents. We have quite a few families wanting to send their children to Whitehill but at the moment, we don’t have the space. Although frustrating for the parents who are looking for the space, it is position you want to be in as a head, as funding is generated by the number of pupils you have in the school and so you need to be full.
It was fun watching the Year 6s enjoy their last full day at Whitehill on Thursday. I ventured outside towards the end of the day but remained firmly in the safety zone as they embarked upon a mass water fight. Miss Gooderham clearly wasn’t given that vital piece of information as she got soaked!
For the first part of Friday, the Year 6s spent time signing each other’s shirts as they got ready to say their goodbyes. This year’s cohort are going to six different secondary schools and although they might not see each other on a daily basis any more, they are sure to keep in touch with their friends which for the majority, have been built up over the last seven years.
After break, we had our final Achievers’ Assembly of the year. We celebrated so much and reflected upon the many (many) successes. As well as handing out music certificates and some sporting medals, we enjoyed a few ‘golden envelope’ moments as I awarded a few special ‘end of year’ awards. Well done to everyone who received recognition or an award.
I have a special award available to me called a Headteacher’s Commendation. This is presented to pupils who do something special or go ‘above and beyond’ in school or in the local community and today I presented seven to a group of pupils who had helped one of our elderly neighbours recently. She was so impressed and grateful with the way the pupils helped her in her moment of need that she felt compelled to phone me to share her story. Lilly, Max, Teddie, Freya, Daisy, Lucy and Amy-Louise (Year 5s) were worthy recipients of their badges.
At the end of the year we announce our Sports People of the Year. This year’s winners were Aaron and Jessica (Year 6). Both pupils have represented the school perfectly in so many different sports and have regularly helped the teachers to set up and run activities for others. I know they will both have very bright futures at HBS and HGS respectively.
Several months ago, our Year 5s took part in a county-wide K’Nex Challenge. At the end of the day, the school winner’s model is photographed and submitted as part of the bigger competition. I am delighted to announce that, for the second time in three years, we won. Well done to Jonathon and Freddie who both receive a rather impressive K’Nex kit each.
As well as presenting this week’s House Cup to Earth and the Class of the Week trophy to 4AL, we presented Air with the House of the Year award for winning the weekly competition the most over the course of the year. Similarly, 3TL won the Class of the Year shield. This is the last time these class names will be used as we adopt our curriculum-related names from September.
The main award of the day is our Core Purpose Champion. About three weeks ago, every member of staff had the chance to nominate any pupil for this annual award, which recognises the way pupils live the school’s ethos. Every pupil who received a nomination was presented with a medal and certificate with the reasons for their nomination. The nominations make very impressive reading and I hope the pupils who received their awards are as proud of themselves as I am of them. As well as the medals and certificates, one pupil (usually the pupil who receives the most nominations) is presented with the overall Core Purpose Champion Award and they have their name engraved on the school trophy and receive a replica for themselves. This year’s worthy champion is Lola (Year 6).
The final part of the assembly this morning was to say goodbye to a few people. Mrs Pearce leaves after ten years at Whitehill to take up a Teaching Assistant post at a school much closer to home. We wish her all the very best. We are losing two current Year 3 pupils as they move on to pastures new after one year with us and look forward to hearing about their progress in the future. Finally, we said goodbye and good luck to our Year 6s.
Well done to everyone who received a mention, won an award, or was part of a successful team or group!
As we finish for the year, can I thank you for my emails, cards and presents. They are always appreciated and I know I speak for all the staff when I say we are extremely grateful for your support.
I hope you all have a relaxing break and I look forward to welcoming you back at Whitehill on Tuesday 3rd September. For those of you moving on for good, I would like to wish you all the very best and I hope you will stay in touch.
Have a great holiday!