Another four-day week to kick off the last half term of the school year. This time around it wasn’t a bank holiday or coronation but an INSET day for staff to get prepped and ready for the manic half term which lies ahead. It was definitely needed and welcomed.
I hope you all had a lovely half term break. On the back of a week away with the Year 6s which, as I mentioned in the last blog, was up there with the best ever residentials, I did have a few more days away in the sun, visiting Budapest. Huge thanks (or should I say, köszönöm) to Mrs Spier who provided me with one or two words of Hungarian for when I landed. I did enjoy trying to learn a few other words during my travels including the word for ticket! My mispronunciation makes it far more fun to say than it should be, however! House points for pupils who can come and tell me what the word is.
Looking at my diary between now and the remaining 29½ days before the end of term, I am slightly panicking. There is so much to do, so many people to see but so much time I want to spend seeing what the pupils are getting up to. I am also still trying to arrange a coffee with one particular parent which I first mooted when her child was in Year 3. Can I do it?
Having stated how little time we do have, it is important that pupils and staff remember we have over 15% of the academic year left and so there is still so much learning that can take place. Looking at what the pupils have been doing this week this is certainly the case and I have been very impressed with what I have been seeing. Twitter has also highlighted work across the school which has been particularly successful.
Year 6s – in the hottest week of the year – took receipt of their leavers’ hoodies and will now not take them off! They do look smart and dare I say, without wanting to upset Mr Khera too much, the Manchester City blue the office staff chose is wonderful!
On Tuesday, the Year 6s also increased the temperature by taking part in a Caribbean food tasting session. As I headed down to the classroom to see if I could sample some, I was greeted by a number of pupils running in the opposite direction to get their water bottles. The jerk chicken was quite spicy!
Our two Year 3 classes this week have been working so hard. They both benefited from an extra morning of PE as they shared the Spring Term Activity Afternoon score competition victory. They certainly looked like they were enjoying themselves – especially those who were playing tennis. Both classes deserve a lot of praise for their debating skills. I met with pupils from both classes on Thursday afternoon to listen to some of their arguments. I think what particularly impressed me was the fact that they were able to present arguments within the debate, even if they didn’t truly support that particular side. That shows quite a lot of maturity.
I presented a Headteacher’s award to a Year 5 this week too after her class teacher recognised how much effort she was putting into her maths work and how her confidence was growing. This was pleasing as it was in the same week that our maths link governor was in looking at work in Year 4 and Year 5 and he too was impressed with what he saw.
The deputy head of Hitchin Boys’ School visited on Thursday to meet with me and the two Year 6 teachers and then the pupils themselves who will be joining HBS in September. It was a really good meeting and we were able to share with him just what an incredible group of students they will be inheriting from Whitehill. We have similar meetings next week with Hitchin Girls’ School and Priory. These are very valuable meetings but of course, starting at secondary school is a fresh start for all pupils and an opportunity to impress; ultimately, it is all down to the individuals on the transition day in July and also when they start in September.
There was a cricket match after school on Thursday at Purwell. The weather was perfect as was the result which saw us win by 90 runs.
I visited Year 5 on Friday to listen to some poetry. The pupils had been tasked with performing a poem as part of the CLIPPA poetry awards and this week had begun practising. They all did so well but I would like to give a special mention to Aidan for his interpretation of the poem, Matilda for such and emotive performance and Milly and Tilly for their amazing choreography.
The Year 6s were all out on Friday at an Olympic Legacy Day event at Knights Templar School. This huge festival of sport is hosted by our School Sport Partnership and allows our pupils to complete against other schools in a variety of different sports including handball, dodgeball, netball and sitting volleyball.
In Achievers’ Assembly this week, with the Year 5s looking quite at home sitting on the benches, We celebrated end of season success for Joshua (Year 4) who won Player of the Season for his team, Hitchin Town Scorpions. Lizzie (Year 4) was also rightly proud of her trampolining success as was Milly (Year 5) in a recent club competition. Lottie (Year 3) was given swimming and guitar awards and we were wondered if she did them both at the same time. We also mentioned Charlotte (Year 6) who recently broke the school long jump record which had stood since 2016.
I hope you saw the pictures in twitter this week showing Luca’s (Year 6) success for Tottenham Hotspur where he was part of the team which won the recent Premier League Under 11 National Tournament. This is an amazing achievement and I was obviously delighted to see in one of the photos that he beat Manchester Utd along the way!
Our regular awards were also handed out with Earth winning the House Cup; Mayan winning the Womble and Apollo winning Class of the Week.
One coffee I did manage to share this week was with Carole Bennet who is the new CEO of Herts for Learning. It was good to share my thoughts as well as show her around the school.
So looking ahead to next week, I am meeting up for one final time with Mr Moan, the headteacher of Hitchin Boys’ School. It is a shame that he is leaving HBS as I have enjoyed regular conversations about our two schools and education in general over the last three years.
I will be cheering on Miss Gooderham on Tuesday night, as it is Stevenage Women FC’s presentation evening. I will be there as Whitehill sponsored her last season and have agreed to do the same again this coming season.
We have two cricket matches next week, against Wilshere Dacre on Wednesday and St Andrew’s on Thursday.
On Friday morning, we are hosting a parent workshop and coffee morning focusing on ‘understanding your child’s thoughts, emotions and behaviours’. It is not too late to sign up and details can be found by clicking here.
On Friday afternoon, Year 3 pupils have invited their parents in to join them in a rainforest cocktail party from 2.00pm. I wonder if I might be able to get a cocktail too. To whom should I give my order?
That’s it for this week. When you next see me, I could be exceptionally happy that Manchester City have won the treble, or you will see me looking miserable and probably with Mr Khera loitering to laugh at me and get his own back for the stick I gave him last year!
Have a great weekend – I might!