What exactly is that meant to be?

Once again, and fortunately for the last time this academic year, my blog is being published whilst I am not in school. In fact, this week I am sitting on a train somewhere between Liverpool and Euston (heading south) but more about that later.

The weather on Monday was actually a welcome break from the miserable conditions we have faced across the summer term as a whole. The sun was shining and coats could be left behind. Having failed to get an invite on any of the class trips trips to date, the Year 5s were kind to me and asked if I would accompany them on their trip to London.

Year 5s arriving in London

Once again we made use of the train and were met at Hitchin by Amy, the wonderful passenger (schools) liaison officer who made sure we were looked after until our train departed. A few problems on the line in London meant the timetable was a little ‘up the creek’ (no surprises there) and so half of the pupils got onto the first train to arrive and then quickly got off again. I mean, we should have known that the 9.43am was in fact the 9.25am and that we were able to get on the one at 9.40am which actually arrived at around 9.48am! Confused? Anyway, we got there and it was a very pleasant journey!

There are some amazing views in London and plenty to reflect upon

The plan for the day was to explore and enjoy Tate Modern but of course, with the already mentioned first day of summer upon us, I couldn’t resist the opportunity to venture onto the Southbank itself and enjoy some of the sights.

My group were awesome! They all made valuable contributions to our discussions about some of the art we saw and were very honest in their opinions. ‘Our Year 3s could do that!’ ‘Why is that in here?’ ‘What exactly is that meant to be?’ Actually, that last comment was mine and I had to quickly move on when I read that it was an interpretation of five naked women!

Feels like this should be a caption competition. Feel free to post a response in the comments box below. Prize for the best!

Before returning home, we walked in the opposite direction to the Globe where we went earlier, and I was able to share a few of my ‘interesting London factoids’. I pointed out the oldest manmade object in London, clearly visible from our vantage point. Do you know what it is?

We did like the giant chess set installation

Whilst we were in London, Mr Denney, Miss Smith and the Year 3 team spent quite a bit of time at Highbury as part of our transition work for the current Year 2s. Earlier than normal, they found out which class they would be in from September and met their teachers. It is common knowledge now and so I can confirm that Yellow Class are going to be our new Aztec Class and Green Class will become Mayan Class. There will be plenty of other transition work between now and the end of term.

I locked myself away on Tuesday but did pop out to do lunch duty; watch about five minutes of the interhouse hockey and then attend the staff meeting. Outside of that, I was glued to my computer.

Well done to Air House who won this inaugural competition.


I did manage to get outside to see the announcement of the cricket result at the end of a match against Ickleford and was delighted when William (Year 5) confirmed we had won by 14 runs. I would like to give a special mention to Alfie (Year 4) who was in Cookie Club when Ickleford’s teacher told Miss Gooderham that they only had seven players. Alfie was asked if he wouldn’t mind playing for the opposition and he did so with great delight. From what Miss Gooderham told me, he couldn’t have been accused of not trying!

It was an early start and more office time for me on Wednesday morning as I had to clear my inbox before heading to London to catch the 13:43 from Euston to Liverpool. Fortunately, my luck with train times was better than it was on Monday and it did run to time.

Some investigative work in Year 3 science this week

There was another cricket match after school, away at Purwell, and thanks to some huge hitting from Joseph (Year 6) there was a second win in two nights. I have not been told whether they found the ball he dispatched onto the road beyond the boundary.

Whilst I promise that my time away from our school building is productive and many of the conversations I have with colleagues across the country add value to the work I do at Whitehill, I would like to report my participation in a sporting event on Wednesday evening. You would be pleased to hear that I beat the President of the Eastern Region of the NAHT 3-2 in the final of the pool tournament. If only there was a medal I could show off in next week’s Achievers’ Assembly.

Whilst I was busy on Thursday discussing EHCPs, Prevent, the general election amongst other topics, our Year 6 pupils were knee-deep, literally, carrying out some fieldwork in the river near Arlesley. The weather was perfect even if the footwear – judging by one of Mr Wells’s social media posts – was not! What is wrong with Crocs? This aspect of our geography work received some particular praise from Ofsted last year and so I am glad we have been able to undertake it again. It forms a firm part of Year 6s curriculum.

I am not sure if this art was interactive or my group made it so

It was lovely to see some of our Lower School pupils take part in a golf tournament on Thursday afternoon, especially as one the teams got to wear some of the new kit we were kindly given by Crystal Bathrooms earlier this term.

Achievers’ Assembly was looked after by Mrs McConnell Smith and Mrs Burniston for me. Fire won the House Cup; Voyager won Class of the Week and Aztec won the Wombles. The pupils were entertained by Lottie and Willow (Year 5) who sang as the pupils arrived and then by Emma (Year 4) who sang at the end.

We also shared some individual successes including Arthur’s (Year 4) ‘Haaland-esque’ goal tally of 32 goals in 28 games for FC Comets. Zofia (Year 3) has had swimming success and Lillian (Year 4) climbing success. Well done to everyone who was celebrated today. 

As another week draws to a close, it is worth remembering that we still have 10% of the academic year left. Plenty of time to achieve so much and judging by the diary, every single percent will be put to good use. On Monday afternoon, we are going to be welcoming Highbury pupils to Whitehill for an afternoon of sports which will be facilitated by some of our Year 6 ambassadors.

Across the week, we will be holding our pupil progress meetings. These will be a series of meetings where class teachers talk through each of their pupils with members of the leadership team. As always, this term’s meetings will also involve the teacher the pupils will be having from September so they can get the ‘heads up’ on starting points and any particular needs. These are so valuable but as you can tell, also very labour-intensive.

On Wednesday, we have pupils out at a district athletics competition at Ridlins stadium and that evening, we have our final governors’ meeting of the academic year.

Phase are in for our Year 5 pupils on Thursday afternoon and on Friday, we have some Upper School pupils taking part in a rounders festival at St Chris in Letchworth.

An awesome trip with the year 5s

Whilst we are finally enjoying some summer weather, can I give a ‘two-week warning’ that this year’s Friends’ Association Summer Social is taking place on Friday 5th July straight after school through to the early evening. These is a lovely ‘inclusive’ event and it would be great to see you there.

That is your lot for now. I am not sure what time my train arrives at Euston or indeed where I am at the moment in terms of proximity to home.

Have a great weekend. I am going to catch up on some sleep!

Best wishes,

Steve Mills

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