Bug Bingo!

I was correct to look towards Friday in last week’s blog as it was the first day this week where I sat in my office for a few minutes and had a chance to look through an ever increasing ‘to do’ pile. That being said, the other four days have not all been unpleasant, as I will now explain.

So after the fun and games of the snow last Friday, there was very little evidence left when we arrived on Monday. There were still a few piles of snow which were once very fine snowmen, snow women et al but even those were melting fast (imperative given the fact we had football matches this week).

The choir left for the O2 straight after break with Miss McGurk and her team (Mrs Deller, Mrs Burniston and Mrs Draper) in eager anticipation of the amazing experience of performing in a mass choir of over 7000 pupils. With Mrs Cook and Mrs Threlfall providing support on the coach, I was left in charge of the office. Whether people had heeded my warning, or I was just lucky, there wasn’t much action to talk of in terms of telephone calls and so my meetings could go ahead reasonably interruption free.

Straight after school I headed off to Hitchin station to make my way to the O2 to join in with the fun. I was picked up by Mrs Deller on the way home for saying this was the best Young Voices concert to date as I believe I said the same last year… and the year before… but I genuinely believe it was. The singing was great; I heard and saw everything and the ‘special guests’ (including Tony Hadley, much to the excitement of Mrs Nisbet) were fantastic. I must have enjoyed it as I finally gave in to Ava’s (Year 5) demands to try and get Urban Strides (the street dance group) into Whitehill to run a session with her year group. Emails were sent that night! Well done to all the pupils who took part. Miss McGurk was highly complimentary about your attitude and effort and once again, you were a credit to the school.

I think I had the longest meeting ever as a head on Tuesday morning… just over three hours! After a brief break for lunch, I was writing up notes until a really productive staff meeting after school. I don’t normally reference staff meetings in these blogs as they are not always the most engrossing (word courtesy of pupils in 4GD) of events. Since September, however, every three weeks or so, we get together as a staff team and look at pupils’ books. We share the great work they are doing, across the school, but also look at how we can learn from each other. These are really paying off and the staff would agree that these are really informative evenings.

Wednesday was great! I was able to join 4AL for their visit to Hudnall Park as part of their science work on rocks and soils. I thoroughly enjoyed accompanying them to the Natural History Museum earlier in the year and today’s experience was just as fun. We looked at classifying different types of rock and I must say, Nate’s knowledge was very impressive. We went outside to see what creatures live in the different rock / soil types and I was delighted with my group as they won the ‘bug bingo’ with a last minute spot of a millipede. Well done, Sameer! After lunch it got messy. First with the soil classification tasks and then with some really creative use of that soil with some ‘mud paintings’; Joey nailed this! Next week Mr Denney and 4GD will go and take part in similar activities. I have no doubt they will have a great time.

Before heading over to Hatfield for a course after school, I had time to catch up with the girls’ football team who secured a great win against William Ransom by four goals to three in the semi-final of the Wix Cup. Special mention to Rebeca (Year 6) who scored three of our four goals.

This result was celebrated in our Achievers’ Assembly on Friday. Our music this week was provided by Liliana (Year 4) and Joshua (Year 6). We presented the House Cup to Fire and it was 6CB’s turn to win Class of the Week.

As promised, I managed to hold one of my ‘hot chocolate Fridays’ this morning and had a select group of Year 3s taking part. In between consuming a vast amount of biscuits, we did find time to discuss the first half of their year at Whitehill and listen to what they have particularly enjoyed. They were great company. All being well, we will have another one next Friday and I hope to be joined by one of our governors, Mrs Ray to share in the feedback (and biscuits).

I’ve had four late nights this week in school or on school related events and so next week’s diary does look a little more appealing. Can you believe we will have reached the halfway point of the academic year?

The key events are the Year 5 K’Nex challenge on Wednesday and the previously mentioned 4GD trip to Hudnall Park. We also have this term’s House Assemblies led by our House Captains and Ambassadors which are taking place on Wednesday.

Mrs Beresford and I are going to be spending Thursday morning in the four Lower School classes looking at books and observing the teaching which follows on from the Upper School observations which were so impressive last week.

On the sports’ front, we have a football match against Samuel Lucas on Wednesday after school and then all being well, I shall be playing football for Herts Heads on Friday. This is perfect timing as it gives me the whole of the following week to recover!

One more thing I would like to bring your attention to is something we spoke to the pupils about this morning. One of our pupils, Lyla (Year 4) is organising a charity disco in aid of Cancer Research UK. She is working so hard to make this happen, having negotiated with Blueharts Hockey Club to use their wonderful new facilities on Lucas Lane. I have agreed to support her by sharing the publicity flier with pupils from Whitehill and I hope we can make it a success. She is well on the way to selling the 150 tickets available. Lyla will be selling more tickets on Tuesday lunchtime next week assisted by her mum. If your child would like to attend, please send in the money on that day and we will let them know when and where to get their tickets. Should you want a little more information, Lyla’s mum, Debbie is on the playground after school most days and will be more than happy to answer your questions.

That’s it for another week. I’m about to have a meeting with Mr Jackson from Hitchin Girls’ School who has kindly agreed to show me how to use a particular application on the computer. I’m looking forward to seeing if I can make much more use of this in the weeks ahead. All will be revealed!

Have a great weekend.

Best wishes,

Steve Mills

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