A Busy Weekend

Last week’s blog went live just before the pupils returned for the Year 5 Space Night. Although the lovely clear sky we had enjoyed for the most of the day was replaced by clouds, it was still another very successful evening and the pupils, I hope, would have got a great deal out of it.

We had two visiting speakers join the Year 5 staff. Dr Miley ‘zoomed’ in from Chile, where he currently works as an astrophysicist, to give a talk on the solar system. Mr Jackson, a science teacher from Hitchin Girls’ School, joined in person (on what was actually an occasional day for him) to give an amusing and informative talk on whether aliens actually (could) exist.

Do aliens exist?

I mentioned the fact that the sky was not conducive to getting the telescope out but for two groups, there was a sufficient break just enough so we could have a look at Jupiter. It wasn’t clear enough to see the moons but we could see the distinctive lines which encircle this gas giant. We have the telescope for a few more weeks yet and so I hope to be able to have it on the playground on some evenings for pupils (and parents) to get a better view. Look out for the tweets.

I am extremely grateful to the Year 5 team for putting on this evening for the pupils. It is effectively another full day on top of the regular Friday lessons and takes them away from their family time and the start of their weekend.

Our only male gymnast finished second – well done, Thayalan.

Mr Lord gave up another day of last weekend too, as we had our trampolinists compete in the first round of this year’s competition, at Hitchin Boys’ School on Sunday morning. I popped along for the first session to see our pupils compete and was very impressed with all of our gymnasts. I was also impressed with the way they supported each other. There were lots of medals awarded and quite a few will progress to the zonal round in Solihull on the 21st January.

Support for our gymnasts

My assembly on Monday morning was about rules and the importance of having and following them. Oona (Year 6) and Tommy (Year 4) were my ‘volunteers’ and did a wonderful job highlighting the problems we have when we don’t know what the rules are or if they didn’t exist. We also enjoyed Indi (Year 4) playing her harmonica for us. That was far more enjoyable, for sure.

Lots of success on Sunday.

I did another set of prospective parent tours on Tuesday afternoon and I think we broke the record for the longest one yet. From my first interaction with one set of parents to saying goodbye, it was an impressive 1¾ hours. I am only grateful Mrs Lanni wasn’t still in school when I finished as she would definitely have taken the mickey out of me (and apologised to the parents). She loves me really!

I wouldn’t usually refer to our staff meetings in these blogs. They are not the most exciting of events but this week we visited Highbury for a joint meeting. Our teachers, in their roles as subject leads, met with their Highbury counterparts to look at the curriculum and the progression from KS1 to KS2. It was a very productive evening which also ticks a box in our development plan. I also got to see some future Whitehill pupils who were being looked after at Fun Club.

Year 6 begin constructing their electric vehicles in design and technology

I helped with lifts to the handball on Wednesday lunchtime but wasn’t able to stay and watch. I wish I had, however, as both our teams did so well overall. One of the teams finished fourth and the other, first. Miss Gooderham was full of praise for all of the players and was particularly excited by the fact there were quite a few Year 5s playing which augers well for next year too. In the absence of an Achievers’ Assembly this week, we will celebrate the success in next week’s assembly. For now, the trophy can stay in my office and I can pretend I had a hand in winning it! 


I was visited by Chloe (Year 6) who wanted to show me a wonderful piece of artwork she had completed based on the Raven the pupils have been studying in English. It was exceptionally well thought through and her choice of colour and imagery was excellent. I have taken a copy so that it can feature on my office ‘wall of fame’. 

Chloe’s wonderful artwork

Having missed the opportunity to join in last week, I was back at Maths with Munchies this week, supporting Mr Wells with this lower school club. We learned and played to fun games focusing on mental addition strategies and also multiplication. There was a little bit of risk involved with one of the games alongside some luck and it was fascinating to see who the brave ones were. I also found out which pupils shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near a Las Vegas casino when they are older! 

As mentioned in last week’s blog, I was up at 4.00am on Thursday morning to get to Cardiff for a morning meeting. I am pleased to say I made it with over an hour to spare and enjoyed singing through various musical soundtracks en route, whilst getting slightly frustrated at the ‘middle lane hoggers’ (my pet hate). I am here overnight and have another day of meetings whilst pupils enjoy their day off and a long weekend. I will be back on the playground on Monday, happy in the knowledge that this run of away-days and overnight stays has come to and end for now. And moving forward, I shouldn’t have three in a row like I have in November. 

Looking ahead to next week, our group room is having a bit of a makeover with the new floor and carpet going down. We have our pupil progress meetings running all week, with each teacher spending some time with members of the leadership team looking at how the pupils have settled and the work they have been doing in the first ten weeks of term. 

We have our Friends’ Association discos on Wednesday evening and then on Thursday, Year 6 have a session with our friendly adviser (and published author) as they participate in a workshop on writing historical fiction. He is also in school for my three-hour performance appraisal meeting but that is nowhere near as exciting!

Anyway, that is it for this shorter week. Have a lovely extended weekend and I will see you on Monday morning.

Best wishes,

Steve Mills

Our other amazing handball team


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