When a Year 3 pupil sees me at lunchtime on Tuesday and says that she is disappointed not to have seen me around school until then, I feel guilty and upset that I have not been visible enough in school. It isn’t good enough that I have been away from school or ‘locked in my office’ so much that the pupils have noticed. I must do better and to Imogen, I apologise.

The truth is, it is an exceptionally busy time of the year and when you lose some school time because you are in Liverpool or Cambridge, you have to try and fit in the five days’ work to three or four. Writing comments on the 241 school reports which came home today takes time but I am glad I do this as I get to read what the teachers write about the pupils and I am always in awe as to how well they clearly know their class.

Year 4 have been working on electricity in science and making circuits

Whilst the school diary certainly does not ease up in the coming weeks, my personal diary does have some gaps and so I will make time to visit classes and to chat to pupils at lunchtime. I think four days this week, I didn’t even get out to cover the lunch duty. I will report back next week. #coulddobetter

They found out that they conduct electricity

My Monday assembly this week was given over to the junior choir from Hitchin Girls’ School. Miss Atkins and Mr Ingram brought the students down to perform a couple of songs to the school, including A Whole New World which our Year 6s are rehearsing for their show. They were lovely to listen to and with a show of hands, I think HGS has some new recruits coming in September.

I presented a Headteacher’s Award to Daisy, Zoe, Charlotte and Ellis (Year 3) following a glowing recommendation from Mrs Vernon. This band of willing volunteers are reliable and inspirational role models who work tirelessly in the library and prepare our lunchtime reading trolley.

The Year 4s were ‘buzzing’… literally!

On Monday afternoon, we were joined by Year 2s from Highbury who made use of our field and our Year 6 sports ambassadors, for a carousel of activities. As well as giving them the opportunity to do PE, it was also another one of the ways we support transition between Highbury and Whitehill. Some pupils returned on Tuesday for an extra look around the school in a smaller group and then on Monday and Wednesday next week, all pupils joining us in September, will be back with a parent to have a tour with me or a member of my leadership team. We want the pupils to hit the ground running.

We had an athletics team taking part in the district sports on Wednesday afternoon, in quite extreme conditions. The heat didn’t seem to put the pupils off and we were delighted with a fourth-place finish for the boys’ team, missing out on bronze by a single point. The girls did even better however and finished first overall to become district champions. I was watching some of the footage Miss Gooderham posted on our social media page and was so impressed. The relays were particularly strong. We certainly celebrated this success in Achievers’ Assembly on Friday morning.

Our triumphant girls’ team

I like it when our governors come into school and talk with our pupils. Mrs Dorrell and Dr Backhouse were in on Thursday this week to chat about music. Mrs Dorrell was in school early enough to join in Mrs Jarman’s singing assembly and then they chatted with pupils from all four year groups during the rest of the morning.

Phase were in for another session with our Year 5 pupils on Thursday afternoon and after Apollo Class had finished their work, Mrs Bailey sent a few amazing writers to me to show me their work based on the Tempest. I say a few, I think there were ten of them at least. I can see why she did as the work was awesome and all the pupils should be commended for their progress and high levels of attainment across the year. I was only writing to a headteacher from out of county earlier in the day about exposing pupils to Shakespeare and the inspiration it can bring. Today was a perfect example.

It was great to be back in front of Achievers’ Assembly on Friday morning. Kiraz (Year 4) was playing the piano for us when we came in and then Orla and Julia (Year 4) sang at the end. As you know (I hope), our ethos centres around the idea of profound individual growth and these two singers epitomise what this means. Staff were moved to tears and the girls received a standing ovation. I wish you could have been there!

Well done girls, you were amazing!

We celebrated lots of individual medals and awards including some HBS Revolutions trampolinists, footballers from Hitchin Town and also Leo’s (Year 5) success, swimming for North Herts. We also said a special ‘well done’ to Bailey (Year 3) who was proud of his water safety award, and so he should be.

Well done Leo!

The regular awards were handed out as follows: Class of the Week went to Apollo; the Wombles went to Mayan and Earth won the House Cup, much to the delight of Mrs Williams!

Straight after assembly I did a parent tour (I did visit Aztec Class and I did wave to Imogen) before heading out to a Heads’ consortium meeting. It was then back to school to catch up and tidy up before the weekend.

Looking at the diary for next week, where do we start?

Our gymnasts are going to be very busy as they have a dress rehearsal for the HGS Gym and Dance display on Monday morning. It is a great opportunity to be able to perform at this event and the group have been working very hard indeed. They then perform on Wednesday afternoon, Wednesday evening and Thursday evening. Our Year 5s have the opportunity to go and watch the matinee on Wednesday.

On Tuesday we have Year 6’s Enterprise Day. A letter has already gone out for pupils to engage with a day of fun activities organised by the Year 6s. The Year 6s themselves are out on Wednesday for a treat as they head to Hitchin swimming pool.

Year 6s would love the pupils’ support on Enterprise Day

We have our end of year orchestra concert on Wednesday at 9.00am and any parents who have pupils who play in the orchestra are welcome to join us.

On Thursday we have Hitchin TV in school working with us on an exciting project, alongside Highbury Infants, to produce a promotional film to be used at tours for prospective parents etc. Mrs McConnell Smith (aka Martin Scorsese) has invested a lot of time in this as she has feet in both camps.

To finish off the week we have our Friends’ Association Summer Social straight after school on Friday. This is a great inclusive event and it would be lovely to see as many of you there as possible. Let’s hope the lovely weather stays around.

So that’s it for the week. Again, apologies to Imogen for my lack of visibility this week. I have two days now to relax and get ready for getting out and about from Monday.

Have a great weekend.

Best wishes,

Steve Mills

An action shot from the athletics

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