After the hectic nature of last week with interviews, Ofsted and the like, it was business as usual for #TeamWhitehill. I say that simply to highlight the fact that we would never do anything ‘just for Ofsted’ and the usual lessons, activities and enrichment opportunities are on our timetables week in week out. My blogs and our social media feed is surely testament to that.
My assembly on Monday and indeed my assemblies for the next few Mondays are going to be supporting aspects of our RSHE curriculum as well as building upon the workshops run in Upper School the other week on ‘being kind’. In particular being kind when using digital devices. I was amazed as to how many pupils across the school stated that they have a phone and use it to communicate with their friends on a regular basis.
The metaphor used this week, I hope, was effective but only time will tell. Of course, none of this really happens in school time but the legacy of the wrong type of message can make its way into school. This isn’t an issue unique to Whitehill but we will certainly see what we can do to support our pupils.
I met with Keith Hoskins on Monday morning. Keith used to be the town centre manager and is now a local councillor. He was gathering thoughts on something that I think many of you would agree we need and that is the possibility of an additional pelican crossing on Stevenage Road, near to Blackhorse Lane. To cross the road there, is not easy and it is quite a detour to use the crossing by the garage. If this is something you would support, feel free to email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I will forward your thoughts / support to him.
As is always the case with a visitor, we did a little tour of the school and his feedback was lovely, especially in relation to our amazing class reps.
I took time to watch the netball matches after school. It was so windy and therefore both teams deserve credit for their perseverance and ultimate victories. I should apologise to Bella and Alexia’s (Year 6) mums as they ended up missing most of the goals due to me talking about my latest theatre visits. People should just tell me to ‘shut up’!
They did get a bit of a break when I was instructed to go and watch this week’s dance club offering which was a version of ‘Naughty’ from Matilda. I think the group will have choreographed the whole show by the end of the term.
Only Year 3 were in class on Tuesday afternoon. Year 4s were treated to a singing workshop by a former member of staff, Mrs Walton. She came in to try a few new ideas with our pupils and I believe had them singing in three parts. Occasionally we did think we heard them singing in seven parts but apparently this wasn’t supposed to be the case! Whoops!
All four Upper School classes were at Hitchin Girls’ School all afternoon to support their Sports Leaders. They took part in a range of activities across the afternoon and during the bits I saw, were certainly enjoying themselves. It is always interesting to see which former Whitehill pupils are now sports leaders as they would have been on the receiving end of this type of activity in the past. It is also interesting to see which former Whitehill pupils are still happy to come up and chat. For some, it clearly isn’t ‘the done thing’.
I entertained more visitors on Wednesday morning when the owners of Stonegate Estate Agents came in. I have previously mentioned how grateful we are for their support of the Friends’ Association events and they are now looking at other ways they can support our work. I believe I mentioned this before but one of the ways – which we are currently approving the artwork for – is going to be great fun and get a lot of use!
Photography club was its informative self again. This week the pupils were learning all about portraits and had the opportunity to have their photo taken as well as learn how different lighting effects can enhance the photo. Next week’s session promises to be very exciting!
I have had the pleasure of seeing some great work this week as the teachers sent pupils for Headteacher’s Awards. Milly C (Year 5) brought her incredible topic book which was an absolute pleasure to read. Mr Lord was also particularly proud of some of the work in his class this week which resulted in me taking a supply of awards up to Voyager. Coco-Bella (Year 5) was one of the recipients for her wonderful work. Isabella (Year 3) has a real talent for her illustrations and storytelling and received her award for a creation story.
After lunch on Thursday, I popped up to see Mrs Avey at Highbury for another catch-up. On the agenda were the term dates for 2024/2025. These have now been confirmed by the local authority and once we are happy where the INSET days will go, I will get the dates published on our website for you.
On Friday morning, we had our usual, packed Achievers’ Assembly. The music this week was provided by Sophie (Year 4) who played the piano as we came into the hall. We then had Edie, Sophia and Faye (Year 6) who sang for us at the end. Thank you to all four talented pupils.
We handed out our regular awards in the following way: Class of the Week was awarded to Wilde; the Wombles went to Kahlo and Earth won the House Cup.
The classes this week have all certainly been working hard. Here is a sample of what their teachers have been saying on the Class of the Week nomination board:
‘Another great week… their stop-motion animation was outstanding, as was their swimming.’
‘They’re working so hard on our class assembly… and we got a 10 in Activities Afternoon! Yes Lamarr!’
‘We would love to recommend this awesome lot. Continuing with personal growth but also helping each other.’
‘Yes please! Fantastic artwork in English linked to powerful vocabulary. Super focus in maths, working hard to master percentages.’
‘Absolutely. Kahlo class have carried themselves with distinction this week.’
‘Brilliant! Superb! Excellent! Dynamic! What an extraordinary class!’
We have a busy weekend or certainly a busy Saturday. A team of girls will be taking part in an end of season rally at Wilshere Dacre School and at the same time, we have our two trampoline teams taking part in the National Finals of this year’s competition. Couple this with the fact it is my wife’s birthday weekend, my head is slightly confused as to where I am meant to go!
Our Friends’ Association have asked me to thank you for your support of the Next Page Books ‘wish list’ scheme currently running. There are still two weeks to go if anyone else would like to get involved.
Looking ahead to next week and assuming I am in, having made the correct choices over the weekend, Phase will be back to work with our Year 6s. Mr Denney will be covering for me at photography club as I am over in St Albans straight after school at an NAHT meeting.
On Thursday, one of our football teams will be taking part in an end of season competition with a second team taking part in their competition on Saturday.
We have a Year 5 maths team taking part in the finals of the Maths Challenge, which if you remember, includes a team from Bermuda.
The only other key event to draw your attention to is a non-uniform day on Friday in support of the Friends’ Association. Details will be sent out directly in relation to this.
I think that is it for now. And just so don’t think I am completely heartless, I did ensure flowers arrived at HGS for my wife on Thursday. (It made me look good in front of her colleagues!)
Have a great weekend.