The Week in Shorts!

Despite not having parents (nor me) to support them, the feedback from Miss McGurk and her team after the Young Voices concert last Friday was simply brilliant. There were 9000 pupils in the choir; it was loud but the atmosphere was amazing and the pupils were a credit to the school. With the problems we had this year with tickets etc. we have contemplated not running this opportunity next year, however all the staff associated with the trip have said they definitely want to keep going. Given it was a Friday after school, that is testament to its success!

Collaborative work in Year 3 but who did they draw around?

I think there must be something in the rules which states that pupils can only learn to cycle when it is freezing cold. Once again, as the Year 5s completed their Bikeability course this week, the temperature plummeted and the pupils were cycling in freezing conditions. Despite this, several pupils, including Jacob S, spent the week in shorts! Well done to all the pupils who completed their training this week; the badges and certificates will be with you shortly.

On Monday afternoon, I went over to the University of Beds to support their final year trainee teachers. I conducted some mock interviews so they could get a sense of what it might feel like and what questions they may get asked when they apply for their first job. I was impressed with those who volunteered to do this in front of their peers and I hope it gives them an advantage when they start their job hunting. I have to admit, I do keep an eye out for those who particularly impress, ‘just in case’.

Great height with this dismount

Another meeting I had on Monday was with Herts Catering. There is nothing really to report at this stage other than the fact I think I might need to meet with them a few more times in the coming months as our contract with them is up for renewal.

I have spent a disproportionate amount of time this week in webinars and Teams meetings. The educational landscape at the moment is quite interesting and you will have received a letter from me on Thursday evening in relation to next week’s planned industrial action. This blog is not the vehicle for political statements and so I will move on, but will state that I am so grateful to be working with an awesome team.


We were invited to take a team to participate in an extra indoor athletics competition on Wednesday afternoon. This round was at Hitchin Girls’ School. I enjoyed looking at some of the photographs Miss Gooderham took which highlighted the fact that Ruby-Shea (Year 6) did nothing but smile, even whilst running flat out! As always, the athletes were a credit to the school.

It’s not, ‘Smile and Wave’ but more Smile and Run!’

It was lovely to welcome a former Head Boy back to school on Wednesday evening. Dillon, who is now in Year 10 at Priory, is going to be returning to clock up some volunteering hours as part of his Duke of Edinburgh award and we were just checking out what he might be able to do.

Thursday was spent locked to meeting screens and so was glad for the opportunity to get out for a bit at lunchtime. I was really impressed with Mayan Class as they went from one activity to another. They were so quiet, I didn’t actually realise they were in the hall!

I also saw some great English work, as Inayah, Tallulah and Imarin brought me their Macbeth themed newspaper articles to read. Discussion with all three girls highlighted their secure grasp of the play; who said Shakespeare isn’t accessible to children? We will prove this again in the week after half term when we will give over the English across the school to Shakespeare. As part of this, we will welcome back Anthony Glenn to perform for us as well as lead some workshops, probably for pupils in our upper school classes.

Shakespeare can be so emotive

Other impressive work this week includes the initial work on the skeleton completed by both Year 3 classes as well as some spelling homework translated into Japanese by Kit (Year 4).

The music in our celebration assembly this week was provided by Nandi and Libby (Year 5). It was lovely to hear Nandi sing whilst being accompanied by Libby on the clarinet. Their music teachers would have been particularly proud of them both.

A wonderful duet this morning

With the house points collected this week, Earth won the House Cup. The Wombles have taken up residence in Orville Class again and Class of the Week was awarded to Lamarr. A good week for Year 4!

I was double booked this morning and therefore had to make a decision as to which meeting to attend. I took the one in school and saved a few pence in petrol!

After school today, I am heading over to Fearnhill School with Miss Gooderham for another indoor athletics heat, with a different team. I am really looking forward to this, particularly the sprint relays. With all our new equipment to practise with, I am expecting great things!

And… jump!

The sport continues over the weekend too, with our trampoline teams (and individuals) taking part in the Zonal Finals in Leicestershire. I haven’t quite finalised my plans for the weekend yet but if Sunday is clear, I will do my best to get there and support. If not available, I will certainly do my best to get to the national finals.

Looking ahead to next week, sport features often in the school diary. Netball training resumes after the winter break for the squad and then on Tuesday, there is a dodgeball festival for our Upper School teams.

I am out on Tuesday afternoon supporting another school. It is nice to visit other schools from time to time, regardless of the reasons, just to get a sense of what they get up to and what their ethos is like.

As I have already mentioned, we are open as planned on Wednesday 1st February for all pupils.

PE at Whitehill is such fun!

I am doing several tours of the school on Thursday morning, for several different reasons. I must remember to use the right script with the right visitors.

After school on Thursday we have a Lower School speed stacking competition and Mr Lord is reporting the pupils have been working very hard in training. You may recall the speed at which Evie (now Year 5) was able to complete the tasks. She returned with many medals last year. Fingers crossed for this year’s team.

After school on Friday we have our first Lower School football match of the year. I say Lower School, although there would be one certain member of the team who has got all the staff using the phrase ‘Under School’. I think it works, Freddie! The question is, will Freddie’s brother try and photobomb the team photo like he does when Leo plays? The challenge has been set!

Finally, can I thank those who confirmed that the bird I saw in the school grounds last Sunday was in fact a jay. I can also confirm that it has returned a couple of times this week.

A welcome return visitor

The week finishes on Saturday morning with the cross country competition. We will be hoping for similar success as last year, which saw Leo (Year 6) qualify for nationals.

Right, I am off to the athletics. Have a great weekend!

Best wishes,

Steve Mills



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