Done! School is out for the term and for 2022. It has been a very long term but a very productive term. The Year 3s have impressed since they joined and the opportunities for the pupils across the school have been many. It would be wrong to pick out particular highlights but seeing Year 6 pupils in random national Beano adverts makes me very proud, as did the recent Year 3 production. I have taught some tech to Kahlo Class and enjoyed the space evening with Year 5s.
The term has thrown some challenges in my direction but in true #TeamWhitehill spirit, we have coped and disruption to learning has been negligible. That being said, I would appreciate it if the Spring Term could be ‘boringly smooth’.
Attendance this week has not been great and I have written about this in an update to parents which went out yesterday. Balance and perspective are required but in talking with other heads – both primary and secondary – it is a similar picture across the town this week.
Having enjoyed some wonderful skies recently (albeit in the cold and in some cases snow) I returned the telescope to Dr Ray, our Chair of Governors, but have been assured that we can have it back again next Autumn for another term of planetary observation. I hope those of you who got to use it found it enjoyable and informative.
On Tuesday, the Senior Leadership Team met with the Junior Leadership Team for its Christmas lunch. Started last year, as a reward for the work they do in getting voted in and also for the work they will do across the year, we ventured off site to a local restaurant. It was a productive meeting and it is always interesting to hear their views. It was lovely to see how the change of venue made them a lot more confident.
As soon as we finished, it was straight back to school so that I could join Mrs Small, Mr Wells and some Year 3s for a special Maths with Munchies. It was also great to have a group of Year 6 mathematicians come along as ‘(very) able assistants’.
It was a wonderful afternoon and you could see the adults become more relaxed as the afternoon went on. As a mathematician myself, I fully get how confidence has so much to do with how well you do in this subject. The range of activities to keep us engaged – not to mention the ‘munchies’ – got us estimating, reasoning, problem solving and talking.
I have received some lovely feedback and I really do think this will be something we repeat in the future.
“…what Mr Wells and Mrs Small devised was truly inspiring. Their passion for teaching was self-evident and infectious.”
“The year 6 helpers were so lovely, especially Leo who was very sweet and encouraging of [my son].”
In the update I sent out on Tuesday, I shared with parents the link and password so you can watch the Year 3 production (on repeat) over the next couple of weeks. Perhaps as the sprouts come to the end of their ‘two hour boil’ on Christmas day, you can play my favourite song from the show! Remember, they have feelings too!
As soon as the registers were taken on Wednesday morning, the school was lined up on the playground and heading down to St Mary’s for our final assembly. Although we are a non-denominational school the opportunity to use such a wonderful venue for a Christmas assembly is not to be missed and to be able to return for the first time since 2019 was lovely. I thought the readers spoke so articulately and positive comments have come in from all corners of the church, including Rev Chris Bunce.
Miss McGurk changed the format from previous versions to make it more collaborative and it was very enjoyable indeed. We welcomed many family and friends too who joined in the communal carols and hopefully enjoyed the classes and choir singing. I hope you thought this was a lovely way to get the Christmas holiday off to a good start. Thank you to everyone who was able to join us this morning.
On behalf of the staff, thank you for the cards and gifts which have been brought in. The staffroom table has looked very welcoming over the last few days and we have also hidden a few ‘goodies’ for when we return in January.
I hope you all have a lovely break and get to spend some quality time together over the next couple of weeks. I have no doubt the pupils will share their stories with me when we return on Thursday 5th January.
As a Christmas present to my dad, I will stop there!