Chief Blog Reader!

Happy New Year to you all! I hope the Christmas break provided you all with the time to enjoy some quality family time together and an opportunity to consume a vast amount turkey (or vegetarian alternative) sandwiches!

I mentioned in my communication to parents towards the end of the break that I had spent some of the holiday visiting the West End and, as a family, trying to keep live theatre open. In my heart, there is still the possibility of me joining the cast one day, although my head reminds me quite quickly (as does Mr Mills Junior) that I can’t sing nor dance! Audience member it is, then.

One of my favourite shows!

As this has been a very short week, I would expect this blog to follow suit. At least that might mean that the ‘Official Blog Reader’, as my dad is now referred to, will cut me some slack at the start of 2022.

It was lovely to welcome the pupils back on Wednesday morning whilst on duty. Lots of smiling faces – and not just from the parents who were glad of the rest! Over the coming days, I will try and get around the classrooms and also chat at lunchtimes to find out what the pupils have been getting up to. It is great to hear the enthusiastic stories of Santa’s visits and trips out. It was particular impressive chatting to Charlie (Year 5) about one of his Christmas presents which is actually a charity donation investing in livestock for developing countries. His grandparents’ gift was several cows donated in his name. Awesome job, Charlie!

Having taken a ‘welcome back’ assembly first thing on Wednesday, I then spent the remainder of the day (except about 20 minutes at lunchtime) locked in my office in a series of meetings. Not exactly how I envisaged the first day back, but important and informative, nonetheless. Thursday gave me a little more time to get out and about and see the pupils back at work.

Year 4s having fun with their spelling work

With the unseasonably mild weather we have been having coming to an abrupt end as soon as we returned to school, can I remind you all that we are still having to ensure suitable ventilation in classrooms which means it is a little on the chilly side in the classrooms. I have the heating on full-blast but it still gets cold. For that reason, pupils are more than welcome (encouraged) to wear a suitable number of layers (under or over) their uniform.

On Thursday afternoon, during Lower School activity afternoon, it was the turn of Mayan Class to start their swimming lessons. It is very easy to forget that neither our Year 3s nor our Year 4s have had swimming lessons through school before, either with us or when at Highbury. Another unintended consequence of the pandemic. Let’s hope this doesn’t happen again.

We still had our Achievers’ Assembly on Friday morning, despite the short week, and there was still plenty to celebrate. Music was provided by Eddie (Year 6) who played the piano again for us. Eddie is also to be commended for the way he helps to organise the live music for us each week. We are ready now to get pupils signed up for the remainder of the term.

Eddie (Year 6) entertaining the school in Achievers’ Assembly

We celebrated Leo (Year 5) who was very successful in a recent run he competed in as well as George (Year 4) who recently heard that he has been invited to compete at Crufts in 2022 with his dog, Jasmine. This is very exciting news and we can’t wait to hear how he gets on. I am also hoping that he might consider bringing Jasmine into school one day to show off their partnership on the agility course.

Class of the Week became ‘Class of the First Two Days’ and was awarded to Kahlo Class for the fantastic start to the year. It was also mentioned by Mrs Bailey how every pupil in her class had gone ‘above and beyond’ with their work. House points were counted and Air were presented with the House Cup. I sent out a challenge to the teachers over the break to try and find a new home for the Wombles and I am pleased to report that, for this week at least, the Wombles are heading to Wilde Class for a bit of a break.

After break on Friday, I returned to Kahlo Class to take another design and technology lesson as we looked to make progress on the powered vehicles we started before Christmas. We still have a little more to do and so I will visit a few more times before half term. They are really good and the pupils continue to work really hard to make them as accurately as possible.

Looking ahead to next week, some of our clubs will start up again. One that I am particularly looking forward to joining in with is ‘Maths with Munchies’ for some of our Upper School pupils. This new activity being run by Mr Wells and Mrs Small will see pupils engaged with maths-based games and puzzles to broaden their understanding and interest in this subject. As the name suggests, there will also be something to eat!

I have the final set of prospective parent tours to run on Tuesday afternoon before the closing date for primary admissions on 15th January.

I have several meetings in relation to my role within the National Association of Headteachers towards the end of the week, although these are still run virtually. I long to be able to meet up in person again with colleagues from across the county.

Our Junior Leadership Team also have a booking in the diary next week, as they have been invited to talk with managers from Herts Catering about the menu options and ‘meat free Monday’ in particular. Mrs McConnell Smith will also recruit a few pupils from other year groups to join in with this discussion too.

The Friends’ Association are holding a ‘collection’ next Friday and details came out earlier today giving details.

There we have it. It was shorter!

Have a great weekend!

Best wishes,

Steve Mills

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