We see you, Kieran!

I have mentioned in the past in these blogs, particular highlights and events we take part in which I think will ultimately be a highlight of the year. Saturday will certainly fall into that category.

Miss Gooderham had successfully applied for 30 spaces in this year’s London Mini-Marathon which is held annually on the Saturday before main race day. We could have filled the places two times over and already are thinking we will apply for more in 2025.

An incredible day with our amazing runners

The whole event was so well organised and the pupils participating made to feel very special indeed. As we were making our way from St Pancras to the meeting point near Horse Guards Parade, we could see children who had clearly run in an earlier wave and their medals looked lovely. That certainly added to our excitement.

We were in wave 35 and after a warmup led by Joe Wicks, the 2.30pm start time arrived and I joined parents on Birdcage Walk to catch a glimpse of our runners. The Kealeys set the early pace with both Connor and Kieran (Year 5) finishing with very good times, as di Joseph (Year 6). The younger Kealey, Katie (Year 4), was the first girl to finish this wave too. It was really hard to keep up with filming and photographing all our runners as they ran past us. I nearly missed Roque and Santi (Year 3), for example, as they ran with pace on the far side of the road.  All of our pupils finished the race and all did so in respectable times.

Connor and Kieran setting the early pace

A huge thanks to the staff for making this happen and also to the parents and siblings who provided the vociferous support. In my assembly on Monday, and again in Achievers on Friday, I think we have sparked the interest of many more who could be tempted to put their name forward next year.

In last week’s blog, I mentioned the charity work of some Whitehill friends in the market square last Saturday. I am pleased to report that it was a very successful day with enough money being raised to provide another bed for a local family in need. Thank you if you were able to support this initiative. You may recognise a member of Whitehill’s team in the photo below!

Bonne nuit Madame Skinner

I have been exceptionally busy this week but have managed to get into classrooms and chat to pupils about the work they have been doing. Several Headteacher’s awards have been presented which is always a good sign.

Perfecting technique in rounders

A fair chunk of time this week has involved me wearing my NAHT badge and supporting headteacher colleagues across the county. The school leaders’ path is not as smooth as it could or should be and is replicating many of the roads around Hitchin at present – full of potholes! I hope through conversation and also support in meetings, I am able to do my bit to help reduce their stress.

I visited Mayan class at the beginning of the week to listen to Ellis (Year 3) play his baritone to the class. It’s probably a new instrument for Whitehill and Ellis played beautifully with a lovely tone. We need to work on him playing in a Friday Achievers’ Assembly now so the while school can hear how good he is.

After last week’s success at the ‘A’ Team netball rally, it was the turn of two more of our teams on Tuesday afternoon. Popping out to see the odd few bits of play, whilst also avoiding the downpour, I was able to keep abreast of how both teams were doing. One of our teams narrowly missed out on a place in the 3rd and 4th place playoff, whilst the other team made it through undefeated to the final where they faced Highover. Just like last week, it was the single goal which decided the match, scored by Libby (Year 6), which meant we added a second netball trophy back in our cabinet.

A second netball trophy for the cabinet

Mr Lord has been full of praise for his class and the progress they have made in all aspects of English this year so far. From their written work to their drama, they have all experienced success. Their enthusiasm for the work they have been doing is also visible and this led them to being later into lunch on Tuesday as they wanted to finish performing their scripts well into their break. An impressive attitude!

The team from Phase working with our Year 5s this week

Our summer clubs are getting up and running and I will have a new timetable on the website in due course. From what I have seen this week, some of them are going to be very popular indeed. I think we had around 70 pupils trying out for dance club on Thursday with a similar number wanting to join lower school handball. It’s wonderful to see but it does make trying to ensure everyone gets their lunch a little interesting.

I have noticed lots of genuine acts of kindness this week. A couple of examples include, Daisy and Zoe (Year 3) looked after another pupil and ensured he had everything he needed at the right time one lunchtime. Caitlin (Year 5) waited ever so patiently to help me on Wednesday lunchtime with the chaos getting everyone into lunch.

William, the lone Year 5, joins in Mr Wells’s cricket practice

Mr Mills Jnr has been chatting with me about the Year 6 production and having allocated parts at the end of last term, there was a table read this week with several pupils already showing real talent. It will be interesting to see how the show develops although his West End size budget requests are probably not all going to be signed off.

We welcomed two former Whitehill pupils into school on Thursday as part of HGS’s ‘take your daughter to work day’. Olivia and Mya joined the two Year 3 classes and then helped in Activity Afternoon. It was lovely to see them both again.

Straight after school on Thursday, we held the third and final netball rally, a boys’ competition. Injury saw Albie (Year 5) have to rest but he still came along to show his support to the team. Huge thanks to Alex and Joseph (Year 6) for stepping in. And a huge well done to the whole team who narrowly lost in the final by just two goals. We might not have made it three rally victories in a row, but we certainly won on the attitude front. Well done to the whole team, they should feel exceptionally proud.

A great result, boys… but wait, has Kieran grown?

As you could probably have guessed, Achievers’ Assembly was a real celebration on Friday morning. We presented certificates to each of our marathon runners and also marked the end of another very successful netball season.

Not quite!

Our weekly awards were handed out as follows: Air won the House Cup; Kahlo Class won the Wombles and Wilde Class won Class of the Week.

Music this week was provided by the talented Cecily (Year 4) who played the piano for us. She got a huge cheer at the end from the Year 6s who were staying in the hall for a singing lesson.

The talented Cecily entertaining us on the piano

Looking ahead, as always, we begin the first of two four-day weeks. My diary looks reasonably quiet until I get to Thursday. Although this is an INSET day in school and pupils won’t be in, I am heading to Wales for the NAHT’s annual conference. We are staying at the Celtic Manor hotel which will be quite nice and have four days of policy decisions and networking before I return home on Sunday. Panic not, I will still do something about writing a blog! (‘Oh good!’ says my dad.)

The other key event is a Lower School tennis competition which takes place on Wednesday afternoon. We are crossing our fingers that our new kit may arrive by then so the pupils can look the part.

We are still looking for the start of the summer term weather and so fingers crossed it won’t be too long now.

A little bit of sunshine next to where I park

Have a great weekend.

Best wishes,

Steve Mills

This year’s men’s marathon winner. I wonder if one of our pupils will feature in the future?


All comments (1)

    I have had a fairly busy day today but the highlight for me was a virtual tour of the school and grounds. To see the children enjoying themselves and observing their confidence in communicating was great.

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