Here we go then…

Here we go then. The home straight, so to speak, of another academic year. As we reach the end of this week, we have 29.5 teaching days left in school. Having shared with staff at the beginning of the week the number of things still left to do and the amount in our calendar, I think we just need to hold tight and cross our fingers we all get there in one piece.

The Year 6s were back into learning mode, after SATs and their week away, with Mr Derrett – Head of Physics – from Hitchin Girls’ School on Tuesday morning. He visits several times a year to work with upper school pupils and this lesson covered several different activities including chromatography and fair testing. His feedback was, once again, exceptionally positive.

Year 6s were desperate to answer the questions

Throughout the day on Tuesday, our four Houses were competing in the interhouse netball competition. Lower School pupils took part in the morning and with the rain holding off, it was the turn of Upper School in the afternoon. I popped out during both events and was impressed with the speed at which some of the netball was being played. Mrs Bryan and Miss Payne were watching closely for potential team players for next year. Earth House were triumphant on both occasions. It was amusing to hear staff from Air House saying, ‘Wait until sports day!’ as they chatted at the end of the day. I sometimes think our staff are more competitive that the pupils!

Go Earth House!

The main event on Wednesday was our biennial whole school photograph. The weather was perfect and the pupils looked so smart. I was so impressed with the efficiency at which the photographers positioned the pupils and also the patience of the first few to climb on the scaffolding who had to wait for all 240 pupils and 35 staff members. Please look out for the link to view the photo online and an option to purchase one.

Each pupil was carefully positioned.

Much of my spare time is being spent adding comments to the end of year school reports. The teachers have almost all finished writing them now and have handed them over to me to add a few words of encouragement. I am always so impressed with how well the teachers know their pupils and highlight their individuality in the comments they make.

I got sidetracked on Wednesday afternoon when I happened to be near the school pond as Aztec Class were walking to music. I owe Miss Smith an apology as their walk to music turned into a science lesson as we explored the wildlife we could see. It was great fun and to see the enthusiasm on the pupils’ faces was lovely. As Mrs Burniston said, after she joined in the fun too, the musical instruments will be there another day, some of the wildlife – in its current form – won’t be. Carpe diem!

It was too good an opportunity

I was up a ladder on Thursday afternoon sorting out two broken stage lights and a glitterball all in preparation for the Year 6 production. Libby and Silvia will be pleased to hear that Mrs Burniston and I have got the full set working again. I will help them next week to make sure all the lights are pointing in the directions they would like – they are in total control.

After school, I joined Mr Wells and our two Year 3 teachers as two teams of four – one from each class – took part in the county’s Year 3 Maths Challenge heat. I was so impressed with the way that both teams worked together to tackle some very challenging questions. I was also impressed with the quality of Amelie’s ‘snack’. It was very organised and looked very tasty! Mr Wells will let the pupils know how they have done as soon as the results are released.

Some impressive teamwork and some inpressive maths!

We had the first of our Year 6 transition meetings with teachers from the local secondary schools on Friday morning. This was with Hitchin Girls’ School and it is a chance for me and the two Year 6 teachers to talk with Mrs Hone about each of the girls going there in September. After our discussions, she went and met the pupils and answered some of their questions as transition day creeps ever closer.

This meeting meant I wasn’t able to take Achievers’ Assembly, however Mrs Burniston covered for me and filled me in later with all that was celebrated. Our regular awards were handed out as follows: Mayan won Class of the Week; Voyager won the Wombles and Air won the House Cup.

There was a ‘shout out’ to Zara (Year 6) who climbed Ben Nevis over half term and having already scaled Snowdon, leaves only one more to conquer of the ‘three peaks’.

The top of Ben Neivs

Music his week was courtesy of Orla and Zofia (Year 4) who sang A Million Dreams from The Greatest Showman.

Looking ahead to next week, there are a couple of diary entries which catch my eye. It is an early start for the Senior Leadership Team on Tuesday as we catch the 6.36am train from Stevenage to Nottingham. We are spending the day with a friend and educational adviser looking around three schools in the area, all with different backstories. It promises to be a packed but interesting day.

There are two cricket matches. One on Tuesday, away at Ickleford and then away again on Wednesday at Weston.

Year 3 are out at Shepreth Wildlife Park on Wednesday, travelling by train again as it is such an easy journey.

On Thursday, we are having a non-uniform day organised by our Junior Leadership team which will also include the Whitehill Extravaganza in the afternoon.

Total focus in Year 3

At the end of the week, our Year 6s are all out at an Olympic Legacy event at Knights Templar School. Let’s keep our fingers crossed for some pleasant weather for them.

As I said right at the start, the diary is getting exceptionally congested in these final few weeks. Please keep an eye on our social media page for updates and warnings and I will also try and give more formal reminders in a timely fashion via SchoolComms. Of course, if you are not sure about something, please ask.

For now, let’s enjoy two days to recover as we prepare for next week.

Have a great weekend.

Best wishes,

Steve Mills

A visitor to my window this week. I think he wanted to know why his bird feeder was empty!










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