Nativity Vibes!

After the recent rain, the week started clear and dry (it didn’t last!). It was chilly but at least it wasn’t raining. That gave me a sense of optimism on Monday morning that perhaps we might be able to get the telescope out at some point this week.

After the trauma of having to test Lamarr Class toothpaste last Friday afternoon – the photos told you everything you needed to know – I was slightly nervous when I returned to the class on Monday to see what they were doing in art. They were using ink and so a reasonable distance was kept between the art table and me but the outcomes were very good. Based on their William Morris work, their designs were creative and the simple ones in particular were very effective.

Year 4 and ink – what could possibly go wrong?!

An impromptu hot chocolate with a couple of Year 6s on Monday during break saw the conversation go from musicals to roller coasters. It was an opportunity to thank Chloe and Nandi for helping my chopstick technique last week. I think I am still at the ‘could do better’ stage but I am practising.

The Year 3s are full steam ahead now with their play rehearsals and Mr Denney has been spotted up the ladder sorting out the stage lights. There is an additional piece of ‘kit’ to be mounted high up but I don’t want to give too much away at this point. I am really getting the film, ‘Nativity’ vibes with this year’s production!

After school, the sky remained clear and so in the 15-minute window I had before heading off home, I took the telescope out and aimed it at Saturn. A perfectly crisp view of the planet, complete with rings, was visible. I found Nathan and Tom (Year 5s) who were at Cookie Club to come and have a look, as they are the year group who have just started their space topic. There will be plenty of other opportunities moving forward (weather permitting) to see what else we can find.

Nathan having a look at Saturn

Tuesday morning saw me embark upon another prospective parent tour and once again, the class reps did the school proud. I have several more tours before the Christmas break and I will apologise now for mentioning each one but the pupils are such great ambassadors for the school; they deserve the mention.

The Junior Leadership Team sent out an email on Tuesday inviting donations to a winter clothing appeal they have set up. There have been various things happen this term which have alerted their attention to this initiative and I am proud that they have decided to run with it. Any donations can be brought into school by this coming Monday and we will make sure they go to a good home. At the same time, can I thank you for your winter coat donations which have been handed over to the charity. `

Whilst I was in a two-hour safeguarding course after school, Miss Gooderham took a girls’ football team over to Wilbury for a match. It was great fun, by all accounts, and the team can feel very proud of themselves. For some of these, it was the first time they had represented the school in a football match.

Well played girls!

I spent most of Wednesday getting things in order for my two days away in Stratford with the NAHT. I did find time to meet with three Year 5 pupils who had dome some very impressive maths and earned a Headteacher’s Award. Well done to Niamh, Aneeqa and Poppy H.

Action from Wednesday’s fixture

I also had an impromptu hot chocolate session with five Year 6s. I not 100% sure how it came about – they might have invited themselves – but it was still very pleasant, even if I couldn’t get word in edgeways. Those girls can talk!

Before heading up to Warwickshire, I did join Mr Wells for the first Maths with Munchies session of the term. I was really impressed with the skills on display from this group of lower school pupils. Logan (Year 3) not only impressed with his maths but also the snack he brought in. It put my desire for some cheesy balls to shame. I don’t want to say I have a reputation, but several parents at pick up time asked if this particular snack was available and whether I left any for the pupils!

As I was on my travels, the girls’ football team had a league match against St Andrew’s. A hat-trick each from Evie and Abigail set up a 6-1 win. The question here is, ‘who would get the match ball?’

A game for the boys’ team on Thursday against Oughton in the Wix Cup also proved to be very successful this week with a 5-0 win. Huge thanks to Albie’s mum who was better than Sky Sports and kept me updated with the score and a commentary! 

I won’t bore you with details of my two days of NAHT meetings other than to say themes across the country are similar and all school leaders would like more money in their budgets! The other piece of news is that, along with colleagues from Eastern Region, I won the quiz! That is two from two after winning the Stevenage Women FC quiz a couple of weeks ago!

Even though I wasn’t there, Achievers’ Assembly went ahead as usual on Friday and I was kept updated as to who was awarded what.

The music was provided by Ellie (Year 6), who sang for everyone at the start and Harriet (Year 5) who played the Cello. Thank you, again, to both of them. 

There was plenty to celebrate, and I am glad it isn’t only me who makes the assemblies go on for some time. Our pupils just to do so much! Amelie, Ayla (Year 3) and Willow (Year 5) all had certificates to celebrate. 

This week, Air won the House Cup; Lamarr won the Wombles and Class of the Week went to Wilde Class.

One of the awards which was presented in my absence in Achievers’ was a Headteacher’s Commendation. This award isn’t handed out too often and recognises a specific act by a pupil that goes ‘above and beyond’. It comes with a certificate and a special Whitehill badge. Mia (Year 3) was the recipient on this occasion for her charity work which saw her raise just under £800 for the Little Princess Trust. We are all very proud of Mia’s project.

Well done, Mia!

Looking ahead to next week, there is quite a lot going on, especially for our Year 5s who have their ‘space week’. This starts on Monday with a visit to the National Space Centre in Leicester which means a slightly earlier start.

After assembly, I have been challenged to a times tables competition by Nevaeh (Year 4) and so I suppose I should get a bit of practice in over the weekend. I lost my last Year 4 challenge when Avleen (now Year 5) beat me by one, last year.

I have a meeting with Mrs Avey on Tuesday morning at Highbury and am heading over to County Hall for meeting with the Director of Education on Wednesday afternoon.

We have the ESFA Football Competition after school on Wednesday – under lights – which will be really exciting for our two teams. The sport switches to cross-country on Thursday and on Sunday 19th, we have the first outing of the trampoline team in this year’s national competition. I certainly hope to get to HBS to watch some of this.

I am out of school again next Friday on another NAHT day, this time in Cambridge which means I will be back in time for the culmination of space week and the Year 5 space night. I just hope the weather (for once) is on our side and we can get the telescopes out.

That’s it from me. I am about to set off home again in time for a family meal out to celebrate my daughter’s 25th birthday.

Have a great weekend!

Best wishes,

Steve Mills

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