That Is It

As you may have seen from twitter last Friday night, the awful weather we had didn’t stop us from enjoying the Year 6 party and ensuring this cohort had a great time. Having ordered inflatable entertainment for them, a meeting on Thursday ensured that they still got to have some fun after a slight change in our order.

Two extremes of Sumo wrestler!

I was so impressed with all the pupils. They didn’t moan but got stuck in and had an awesome time balancing, jumping, ducking and bundling! Huge thanks to the entire Lanni family who manned the BBQ and served the drinks – Joseph (Year 2) looked at home behind the bar! We were also visited by the local ice-cream van and even then, the pupils happily queued in the rain for their Mr Whippy!

Huge thanks to the staff who came along and helped make the whole thing work.

A great evening despite the weather!

On Monday morning, we had the final music event of the term. It was the forth in a series of performances, all of which have been extremely successful and very well attended. It was standing room only for the parents of pupils in Year 5 who joined Voyager Class and Apollo Class for a showcase of the work they have been doing with Mr Brunton on flute and clarinet. It is always good to showcase the work and also allow our current Year 4s to watch, as it will be their turn from September.

Year 5 music assembly

Straight after the music, the parents who came along to watch were invited to stay and join in some ancient sports events linked with the Year 5s history topic. I was impressed to see the parents walk away at the end with their laurel wreaths. Thank you to everyone who came along to support the Year 5s’ work.

At the third time of asking, we managed to get the Lower School Interhouse rounders competition finished and there was a great deal of celebrating when Air House (featuring all three members of the Kealey family amongst other talented athletes) ran out winners.

Air House win number one!

Tuesday was another day of sport. This time last year we were postponing sports day due to extreme heat. This year we were keeping our fingers crossed it didn’t rain and we were very lucky; the weather was perfect.

It was a great day. There is so much organisation prior to the day carried out by Miss Gooderham and Mr Henderson to ensure that everyone gets to compete in both the morning events and the afternoon events; to ensure the pupils in each event are matched with each other and ultimately to ensure it is great fun. I would say it was mission accomplished!

There were some incredible races in the afternoon and it was lovely to see so many family and friends able to join us. Like you, I enjoyed looking at twitter later in the day as Mr Mills Jnr retold the story of the day through the brilliant photos he took. I need to let you know that I was told off for tweeting the film of the Year 6 lap of honour when I did as I had, ‘ruined [his] twitter flow’! That was me told!

As for that lap of honour, thank you to Hitchin Fire Station who, despite not being able to get in the gate we had planned, hopped over to the other side of the field and still provided the water jets for our Year 6s. Same time next year?

A great way to cool off at the end of sports day

History was made this year as Air House, fresh on the back of Lower School rounders success won sports day for the first time in the ten years I have been at Whitehill. The question now has to be, will they retain it? I think you could tell that it was a new experience by the photographs when I announced the result.

Air House win number two!

The other thing to mention about sports day I suppose is the fact that Connor and Kieran (Year 4) ruined my theory that twins always smash the three-legged race. I was looking to publish a research paper on it but will now have to change my plans. Previous successful examples of my theory are former pupils William and Dillon (now Year 10) and they returned to Whitehill for two days this week on work experience. Perhaps I should have got them to give Kieran and Connor a lesson ready for next year?

I think Air House are still celebrating

Wednesday and Thursday was very much a finishing off / sorting out / sending home couple of days. There was a lot of time spent outside and a lot of time spent enjoying some party food. I may have consumed the occasional Pringle in the absence of any cheesy balls!

On Thursday morning, we shared the news with you of the incredible total raised by our Friends’ Association events over the last year. This figure of £14000, in this current climate, is incredible and I can promise you is really appreciated. I shared with you recently a few sizeable projects we have spent money on and this allows us to think just as big again moving forward.

I finished one final game of chess on Thursday lunchtime against Ed (Year 6). He really is good and rather than feeling sorry for me in our final match of the year, he whooped me! Thanks Ed for our many great games over the last few years. I did get my own back on Thursday afternoon with a full bucket of water and a quick escape!

On Friday morning, the Year 6s spent the first lesson getting their shirts signed. That’s no easy task but thanks to my generous Sharpie collection, I was able to sign most. After break, we had our final Achievers’ Assembly and it was lovely to be joined by quite a few family and friends who managed to make the link work. (Never in doubt, Mrs Lanni)

We had so much to celebrate and we were entertained by Josh (Year 6) for one last time on the piano throughout the assembly.

We had our regular weekly awards to present and these were distributed as follows: Class of the Week went to Voyager; the Wombles went to Mayan and Earth won the new House Cup, kindly sponsored by Mrs Small. These all fed into three ‘ultimate’ awards.

It has been an incredibly close affair this time around but this year’s Class of the Year is Wilde Class. The Wombles of the Year are Mayan Class which means there should be one more verse tweeted later today by Mr Denney. The House of the Year is Earth, which was actually decided by today’s final count-up!

Other awards were handed out to pupils including ‘Athletes of the Year’ and these went to Alexia and Leo (Year 6). Other amazing athletes were handed out Sports Commendations, a new award to Whitehill, and we also presented the final Schools Games Values awards of the year to six pupils across all four year groups.

Our athletes of the year, Leo and Alexia

One of the highlights of our final assembly for me is always the presentation of our Core Purpose Awards. Every staff member has the opportunity to nominate a pupil for this award which includes their reasons as to why they deserve it. This list is then condensed before a shortlist is arrived at. Each pupil on this list received a certificate and a medal celebrating their ‘Profound Individual Growth’ over the course of the year. One pupil is then named our Core Purpose Champion and this year that went to Liam (Year 6). Well done to everyone who was shortlisted and a special ‘shout out’ to Liam! He becomes only the second boy to win this award since it was introduced in 2016.

Our Core Purpose Champion 2023 – Well done Liam

The sad part of this assembly is always the part where I have to say goodbye. This time around we said goodbye to Miss Mitchell, Mr Henderson, Mrs Locke and Mrs Small – all four are moving on to new and exciting challenges but their contribution to the success of Whitehill (and for one member of staff, that spans many (many) years) cannot be underestimated.

We said goodbye to two pupils – Matilda (Year 5) and Ethan (Year 4) who are moving to different schools from September and then of course, we said goodbye to our amazing Year 6 cohort. This cohort are truly inspirational. They have achieved so much and faced challenges to their schooling unlikely to be experienced again for many, many years. They will go on to achieve great things in the future – guaranteed – and I look forward to hearing all about it!

Don’t drop them Leo!

So that is it! The last blog of this academic year. It has been an incredible year and one I am exceptionally proud of. The next six weeks will allow everyone to rest, reset and then get ready for a return to Whitehill or a move to pastures new. Thank you all for your incredible support. It is always appreciated and certainly never taken for granted.

Thank you too for the kind words, cards and presents. On behalf of the whole staff team, you have been extremely generous and we are all extremely grateful.

The next six weeks will also mean that my dad gets a few weeks off from having to read my waffle and I get a few weeks off from his moaning!

Have a great summer!

Best wishes,

Steve Mills

Have a great summer everyone!





Add your thoughts

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *