Claires Court Bulletin
FROM THE HEAD'S DESK
Welcome back!!! And a very warm welcome to all of our new parents, from Reception through to Year 6. I hope you all were able to enjoy a lovely summer break - the boys have certainly come in with lots of stories to tell me. I managed to avoid the long delays at Folkestone and spent three lovely weeks in France and Spain, although that does seem like a long time ago now!
Every week I will be writing to you on the electronic bulletin, often with news of pupil achievements, sometimes with observations from a wider perspective of education. Our bulletins will contain information for parents regarding the following week, and it is generally sent out by 6pm on Friday evenings.
So, a brand new start for our wonderful boys in Reception. We have a lovely cohort who showed courage and confidence on their first day, often with parents feeling the brunt of the nerves and anxieties!! I am sure the boys will be very tired by this evening! In their first assembly some of my Year 6 boys read them poems about starting a new school which our four year olds found very amusing.
Another big welcome goes to our new members of staff - Mrs Amy Carter is looking after 3Y, Mrs Victoria Busuttil is working with our Year 5 boys as an LSA, Ms Jan Icke has become our Head of Drama and now joins us full time, Mrs Emma Stevenson has returned to us and is working in the music department, Mrs Sarah Crowe has joined our Year 1 team as an LSA, Mrs Jo Baker is working for three mornings with Year 4 as an LSA, and finally a former pupil, Myles Williamson, has become our gap year sports student. We have also added to our grounds staff, with David Turner transferring from Senior Boys school to look after the playing fields and cricket squares.
My first job is to inform you of a Social event we are having on Friday 23 September. From 5.30pm, our Sports Department fundraiser begins. Please see details below regarding this, it is always a really nice way to get together at the start of term to meet new friends and catch up with old ones!
I should also take this opportunity to remind you that we have our Curriculum Statement mornings next week on Tuesday for Year 3-6, and on Thursday for Reception to Year 2. I hope you will be able to join us, meet your son’s new form teacher, and ask any questions that you may have regarding the school year. During the meetings my staff will explain to you how we are restructuring our Spelling Curriculum, bringing it in line with our investigative and exploratory based general academic ethos. By taking on the ‘Read, Write Inc’ spelling programme we are expecting to see a far greater emphasis on successful application of spellings in Creative Writing rather than a simple recall of learned words for tests purposes.
We also have a new chairperson of our PTA - following on from the outstanding work of Emma Robertson who is moving to become vice-chair, Ana Sidders has offered to take on the role for the next two year cycle, and we are delighted to welcome her aboard. She has already been hard at work and we are having a Garden Party for all parents by the Gazebo on Friday 16 September from 2.45pm. Please join us for a cup of tea and a cake before you pick up your sons!
So, what’s coming up? Rugby for everyone, music, drama, the ISA (Independent Schools’ Association) Art competition (Mr Goddard has more details), Speech and Drama lessons, before and after school activities, tours to Cornwall, Green Warrior work on our vegetable garden, chess, the Harvest festival, Bushcraft, excursions to Marchants hill and Osmington Bay….I could go on and on! And before you know it, it will be Nativity time! Autumn is always a busy term, but a very happy one, and as I mentioned in my end of year speech, I feel very privileged to lead such a wonderful group of pupils and staff - this really is such a warm and close community.
Mrs Susan Payne our wonderful Deputy Head who was taken ill in February has continued to defy medicine and make a slow but steady recovery. She joined the staff in school over the holidays a number of times and was her usual bubbly self. Her progress was hampered slightly several weeks back when she fell in her kitchen and broke her hip. However, she is back walking again and is hoping to come into school to see us all soon. I will keep you all posted on her progress.
I am off to cook a BBQ for the boys in Cliveden, our winning house from the summer term. They have got party games and all sorts going on from 4pm today! It should be lots of fun and lovely way to end our first week back. I wish you all a lovely weekend.
So you can have our number somewhere really useful - these magnets will be coming home during next week - a present for your fridge!!
Booking Ad Hoc Coaches
If you wish to book an ad hoc coach this can now be done and paid for online here, 24 hours in advance.
Tuesday 13 September - Secondary Transfer practice Test
Tuesday 13 September - Year 3 - Year 6 Curriculum Meetings 8:50am - 9:30am followed by coffee in the Dining Room until 10am
Wednesday 14 September - CCPTA Main Board Meeting
Thursday 15 September - Secondary Transfer Test
Thursday 15 September - Reception - Year 2 Curriculum Meetings 8:50am - 9:30am followed by coffee in the Dining Room until 10am
Friday 16 September - Year 5 Marchants Hill PGL trip departure
Friday 16 September - PTA Tea on the Lawn 2.45pm - 4pm and Nearly New Uniform Sale.
Monday 19 September - Full after school activity programme starts
Friday 23 September - Jeans for Genes Day. If your son wishes to wear jeans / denim for the day please can he bring in a £1 donation for this worthy cause.
Friday 23 September - Sports Department Fundraiser - Back To School social. A leaflet was sent out this week with all details. Please come and support this event as your son will benefit from the funds raised whilst a pupil here at CCJB. There is a BBQ and licensed bar. Event starts at 5.30pm with food from 6.30pm. Cost per family £25.
Wednesday 21 September - Year 2 visit The Rye
AFTER SCHOOL ACTIVITIES
Activity information and links to book the activities went out yesterday.
If for some reason your link never arrived in your inbox the links are below. If you have already booked your son on his activities please do not re-register. This link is only for those who have not yet booked. You cannot make an amendment to your original booking.
ALL activities start w/c 19 September but there will still be Homework Club, Study and Rugby next week. The early and late coaches will run as normal. The early coach leaves at 4pm travelling to the College and Senior Boys sites for parents to collect their boys. The 5pm bus takes pupils to the College for After School Care or collection by parents and travels to Senior Boys for collection by parents or onward travel.
The Living Tennis information for Years 2 -6 is available by clicking this link.
FROM THE SPORTS MASTER
I would like to offer a huge welcome back to school from everyone in the Sports department. Reception to Year 3 have started to get their first taste of PE lessons this term with the focus being on helping all pupils improve their coordination.
For many of our Year 4,5 & 6 pupils school started two days early as we saw a fantastic turn out for pre-season rugby training on Tuesday and Wednesday. We have found this to be very important, with our first matches starting on Tuesday 13 September for Year 4 and Wednesday 14 September for Year 5 & 6. These match are played as training games with the emphasis on building confidence and introducing pupils back to rugby after the long break. After school rugby training will start next week with Years 4 & 5 on Monday and Year 6 on Tuesday. With this in mind can all parents of pupils of Year 4,5 & 6 ensure that their son has a gum shield for Games lessons and after school training. We also very much look forward to welcoming parents on the touch line to cheer on the school.
We hope as many of you as possible can attend the Back to School Social hosted by the Sports department on Friday 23 September. This event is run to help raise funds towards sports tours and bushcraft activities that run throughout the year.
Head of Sport
FROM THE CHESS GRAND MASTER
Welcome back to all our chess players!
Monday and Wednesday Chess remains an ever-present option on your son's activity form and I look forward to seeing the progress they have made. Mr Tuck's chess tutoring began today and it is with mixed feelings that I have to convey that every tuition slot is now full. I will of course let you know if any spaces become available.
Some dates for your diary:
The 16th Claires Court PTA Chess Festival will be on Saturday 12th November here at CCJB. Entry forms can be found pinned to the Chess noticeboard or can be obtained by asking me. There is a chess puzzle to be solved on the back of this form!
On Monday 12th December between 2pm and 6pm there will be our termly chess tournament open to all boys in Years 2 - 6 in the school.
Maidenhead Chess Club is back and will be meeting weekly on Saturday mornings in the dining room. More details can be found on the club's website.
The club, run by Mr Dennis, host regular English Chess Federation (ECF) grading tournaments as well as county team events.
I'll leave the last word this week to Hungarian Grand Master, Judit Polgar:
"Playing chess has many aspects that can be useful in everyday situations like planning, concentration and combinations. You learn to win but also to lose and to be creative."
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LIBRARY OPEN MORNING
The library will be open from 8.15am - 8.50am on Thursday 15 September. The librarian, Mrs Helen Davies, will be there to give you a warm welcome.
NEWS FROM THE NURSE