Claires Court Bulletin



At a Headteachers’ conference which I attended last week, the main theme emanating from lectures, discussions and seminars was that of the extraordinarily high levels of anxiety to be found in primary aged children across the country. As a school, we have tackled this quite disturbing rise in stress with our pastoral system firmly embedded in addressing the individual and his personality, rather than a ‘one size fits all’ system.

Whether the cause of anxiety be of a self-awareness origin, whether it is due to peer related setbacks or even the uncertainty imposed by an examination culture which looks to pigeon hole underlying ability at such a young age, there can be no ignoring the recent statistics - children aged between 4 and 11 have a different set of challenges to those that we faced many (and in my case many many!) years ago, and we have to ensure that we guide them through these tough journeys with compassion and empathy, something we at Claires Court always strive to do.

As I reflect on our school community this week, I count myself very lucky that we are able to speak so openly with our boys and parents about concerns which they have, and hopefully build that much needed resilience in our pupils which will serve them so well in later life. In my assembly this morning, at the end of National Anti-bullying week, we discussed as a school the importance of being a friend to everyone, especially when they need it most. We listened to an old favourite song of mine, From a Distance, and boys in all year groups placed poignant lyrics and messages on the walls and windows of our Mezzanine. During Wednesday’s assembly, Pupil Voice and Mrs Stay were hard at work relaying upcoming plans to spend the PTA’s money! And last week we did discuss briefly the next president of the America, along with people’s freedom to protest. Lots of messages for the boys to take on board!

Last weekend our Year 6 boys enjoyed a successful rugby tour to Cornwall alongside our girls netball tour, and a Bushcraft expedition which included First Aid training and some spear throwing! As always, our boys were wonderful ambassadors for the school both at home and away, and there have been some great stories shared.

More visitors to my office this week can be seen in our gallery, and the quality of work from Reception through to Year 6 is quite breathtaking, especially in regard to English and Literacy, where I have been lucky enough to read some beautiful essays and poems, as well as watching our reception and Year 1 boys develop their own writing styles. I am also pleased to announce that after much testing, Samuel Jackson, Charlie Doyle, Oliver Payne and Téo Rybak have been chosen to represent the school at the National Science Championships next week in Chesham - best of luck boys. Close runners up were Jack Beever, Lachlan Kerr, Roudra Bhattacharyya, Oliver Godleman and Alex Belsey - Mrs Nott was delighted with all of these competitors.

With the onset of colder weather, please do ensure that your sons are wrapped up warm, and I am ensuring that jumpers are on at all times when the boys are outside…….something which is easier said than done!

We have so many boys doing so many wonderful things every day, but I would like to mention a few - Freddie Duff, George Watson, Noah Olikara and Harry Watson continue to impress me with their manners, their maturity and their desire to think of others before themselves. A number of staff and visitors have commented on this to me. Tyler King, Aiden Mukherjee, Mani Singh, Alexander Belsey and Spike Stalham have also been brought to my attention for consistently looking after other boys and helping the staff whenever they can.

So another weekend comes around, and I hope that those of you who attend this evening’s Fright Night at the college have a super time.

Justin Spanswick

PTA News

Thank you to Mr Hogg and Mrs Jeffery for their help at the 16th Annual PTA Chess Festival last weekend. It was much appreciated and the 16 boys who entered from CCJB had a wonderful time. See more news on this in Mr Hogg's Chess News below.

Friday 9 December - Christmas Fair & Nearly New Uniform Sale at Junior Boys. Great shopping gifts with a cosy Christmas market and lots of mince pies, mulled wine, Christmas carols and a raffle. Please contact us if you would like to be part of it or have a stall More information on this event will be published here next week.

The Christmas Card order has now been posted. If you have yet to order yours then you can still do so online Make sure you have your unique card reference code to hand which is printed on the bottom of your order form.

And one for the future .... Saturday 13 May - Annual Ball

All the best and have a lovely weekend.


PTA Chair


Wednesday 23 November - U10 Rugby Photos. Please remember your kit and make sure it is clean

Thursday 24 November - U11 Rugby Photos. Please remember your kit and make sure it is clean. This date has been moved from Friday. Apologies that this is the day after matches as they will need clean kit.

Friday 25 November - Flu vaccines for Year 1, 2 and 3

Friday 25 November -Science Championships at Chesham Prep. A letter went home today to the boys who are attending this competition.

Friday 25 November ISA Swimming Gala - letter has been sent home today for the boys who are taking part


Monday 21 November - Year 1 trip to the Sounding Arch is no longer taking place.

Friday 25 November - Year 4 to Littlewick Green. Letter went out to boys this week.


After School Activities

Due to lack of light there will be no rugby or football after school activity for the remainder of this term. The staff who would normally take these activities will be running a study or care until 5pm unless you would prefer to collect your son at hometime. Please write a note in the homework book as to which you choose. Cross Country, however, is still taking place and sailing finished at the end of the last half of term.

Whatever the weather….

As the weather gets colder, may we take this chance to remind our parents of the School’s Emergency Closure Guidance in case we need to close the School due to adverse weather conditions.


This year our Christmas lunch will be served to our Junior Boys on the following days

  • Tuesday 6 December - Lunch for Years 3 and 6

  • Wednesday 7 December - Lunch for Reception, Year1 & Year 2

  • Thursday 8 December - Lunch for Years 4 and 5

The menu can be viewed on the school website.

As almost all of our pupils last year chose to enjoy Christmas lunch, this year we ONLY need to know if your child does not wish to have Christmas lunch, or has a dietary requirement. If this is the case, please complete this form by 30 November indicating your child’s requirements.

On the other two days when your son's year group is not having Christmas Lunch he will need to bring a packed lunch.

*****Boys may wear a Christmas jumper to their Christmas Lunch and also on the last morning of term*****


Last weekend saw our U11A & B teams tour in Cornwall. The boys returned late on Sunday having played four matches in four days. All the pupils were a credit to themselves and the school. Not only was their behaviour superb but they played some of the best rugby we have seen this season. The B team returned unbeaten and the A team won over 50% of their matches. Everyone had an extremely enjoyable time and some excellent rugby was played.

With no fixtures this week the U9's have been working on improving their basic skills. They will return to fixtures on Tuesday next week against Oratory Prep.

The U10s & U11s both had triangular fixtures against Moulsford and Chandlings on Wednesday, playing no less than 18 matches. Both year groups produced some great results against Chandlings and were really put to the test against Moulsford.

The U10 and U11 teams have their team photographs next week. The U10s will be photographed on Wednesday 23rd and the U11s will be photographed on Thursday 24th. (Please note that this is not the normal Games afternoon for Year 6 so pupils must remember their kit). Can all pupils please ensure they have clean kit.

Nick Butterfield

Head of Sport


The 16th annual Claires Court PTA Chess Festival

The 16th annual Claires Court PTA Chess Festival was a great success on Saturday and saw the greatest number of entries we have ever had. Sixteen boys from CCJB entered and, I am proud to say, helped Claires Court win the School Cup as the best performing school.

Teo Rybak earned a trophy for coming second in the U10 section whilst Kida Zhu elected to play in the U10 section despite being eligible to enter the U8 group.

Josh Sharma finished as Claires Court's best placed Under 8, reflecting the hard work he has been putting into his game.

It was also good to see Niam Popat, last year's U11 Player of the Year, return to CCJB after his move up to secondary school, though I am a little alarmed at just how tall he now is!

As a school we would like to extend our thanks to the PTA for their excellent organisation of the event and for the time they gave on the day to help things run smoothly. My thanks in particular to Mrs Jeffery for seemingly being everywhere at once and to Mrs Sidders for her regular updates and communication.

I can only hope that the 17th PTA Chess Festival will be just as successful. Thank you again and well done to all the boys.

Autumn Term Tournament (Monday 5th December)

We have our own internal tournament coming up on Monday 5 December. Boys in Year 2 - Year 6 will be able to enter. Prizes will be awarded for the Best U11 and Best U9 as well as for the top performer in each year group.

The entry fee is £1 per pupil and entry forms will be available from next week.

Delancey Chess

I am delighted to report that the UK Chess Challenge, has been saved. This means that the tournament will go ahead as usual in the Lent and Summer terms.

Richard Hogg


Here is the link to the music timetable for the peripatetic lessons. Please remember to click on the appropriate week in order to view the correct timings.


Our Rabbit winners this week are Tom Gordon-Smith (Y5) and Carter Macleod (Reception). Mrs Vine has been extremely pleased with the way Tom has conducted himself over the past week. He is always kind and a well mannered young man, Tom has been especially helpful to his teachers and has given up his own time selflessly. Carter is an extremely creative and bright young man who has been helping Mrs Sullivan all week to ensure the classroom is tidy and that his friends are okay. Both boys are deserved winners of the Rabbit this week.