Claires Court Bulletin



An Excellent Inspection…March 2014, James Wilding Academic Principal

There is no such thing as an excellent time for a School Inspection. Trust me; put the academic calendar out onto the map table and share the game with colleagues, namely “choose the best week for a school inspection” and 10 teachers will choose entirely different months for the challenge. So when ISI, the Inspectorate charged by DfE with checking ISC accredited schools, rang to tell me we were being inspected on Tuesday 24 March, I was sanguine about the call for our last week of term, and absolutely ‘up’ for the challenge.

The week has now passed, the Inspectorate’s judgements are confidential until published. It’s easy to see why. I have been here already four times as a head teacher, from 1990 it must be said. Data shared during the visit might be inaccurate. Inspectors’ evidence might ‘trim the sails’ so to speak.

But by way of this gentle statement of gratitude, I wish to commend you, our parents and pupils, as well as our visitors for your work. Over 1000 parents and pupils made response to the questionnaire appropriate to them, with some highly supportive statements, whilst of course suggesting to the Inspectorate areas at which they might look further. Those areas are reported as appropriate in the Inspection Report, due to be published in 6 weeks’ time.

And when a school welcomes 15 inspectors to trawl books, visit lessons, check recruitment, quiz children, third degree teachers, check light fittings and ‘elf/safety’ and, above all, live with us for four days uninvited, I feel we are entitled to express a view about that conduct, because it might feel very intrusive. In the case of this Inspection team, not so. Well done ISI, you have had an excellent visit.

Our inspectors, as far as they could, made themselves ‘invisible’. Actually they were challenging in every question they posed to staff, but left children asking for more after their interrogation. In truth, their task was to avoid controversy but enable veracity. I think they did it well. Inspection, that is. Not writing, of course, because that has to come. But I listened carefully to what they had to say and in their diverse ways. I ‘heard’ my School in the words they spoke. And the words they chose to speak were good to hear, as you will get to read in due course.


Monday 28 April – After School Activity programme begins.

Please see separate sheet in report envelope for Summer Term Important Dates.

Holiday Club + Art & Craft Club and Drama Club Monday 7 to Thursday 17 April at our Girls site. Sports Club at Junior Boys various activities running Tue, Wed and Thu of both weeks - more information.

Sports Club Pre-season Cricket Training on Tuesday 22 April open to girls & boys in Years 4 and above – book now.


10 May - Claires Court Hollywood Ball, It's been a fantastic response to this years Ball with just a few tables remaining for this fabulous event. If you would like to join us then email asap to avoid disappointment. We are collecting items for our hampers, please leave in your School Office, many thanks!


School lunches will start on week 1 of the new Summer Menu following the Easter break.

The days that the boys play sport remain the same for the Summer Term. All classes who normally have a lesson on a Wednesday will be starting their sports lesson on the first day of term. In this term Junior Boys play cricket and all pupils take part in athletics. If you are unsure of the sports kit for either of these sports please contact the school office and ensure that ALL items of clothing are named either with sew-in labels or indelible ink.


All the boys have worked very hard this term and the their good behaviour, excellent work and determination on the Sports field has gained them points for their houses.

The house gaining the most points each week have had the privilege of being first to leave the class or first out to break. Fawley have been first most often this term. They also gained the most points from the chess matches.

Clear winners of the overall house matches were Cliveden. However, it was last term's winners Dorney who gained the most points and won by just 31 points ahead of second placed Windsor.

Next term the race starts again but for this term well done Dorney and captains Byron Ewing and Alfie Mifsud.


Our Bulletins this term have reported on many and varied successes - in cross country, football and rugby, in chess, and in music. We had further success in Karate on Saturday and we hope to report the results of music exams taken by several boys last week. Music has certainly been to the fore recently with our outstanding joint concert last week and the news that Harry Bennett (5Y) has been accepted into the Royal School of Music.

Another highlight of the term, however, has been our fund raising during Lent. To date we have raised over £5,900 for our three charities and I must thank the boys and all our families for their support in this.

We finished the term with an ISI School Inspection last week, which we are confident went well and which we will be able to report on shortly after Easter.

In the meantime we wish all our families a very happy Easter break and we look forward to the Summer Term on our return.


Our final 'Rabbits' of the term are awarded to Adam Koertzen, 4Y and Theo Sullivan,2Y. Adam was very helpful and caring to a fellow pupil injured during sport and Theo was thinking of his fellow pupils in sharing nicely during the cake sale this week. Well done Adam and Theo.


Charlie Castle will be competing in the U11 National Badminton Championships at the former Olympic training venue in Redbridge on 6April. It will be a tough competition as he is still a year too young but we wish him well.


Congratulations to Alistair Jesseman who through hard work and determination has secured a place at the Mindlab Olympics in May. He will be representing the school playing the game Octi which is very fast-paced requiring very quick thinking skills. Jake Bains-Gillespie and Aditya Singh followed closely behind taking second and third place and the whole class once again displayed positive sportsmanship qualities, throughout the competition.


The ‘Out-of-Time’ edition



The Year 5 boys enjoyed an evening of Books and Bushcraft with their Dads last Friday. While the Dads helped themselves to a beer or two, Mr Leuzinger started off with an introduction to Bushcraft. He talked to everyone about the variety of tools and then it was on to the hands on stuff when he showed the boys various methods of starting fires and our lads and Dads had a go using a flint and steel. There was a lot of laughter and success ! It was then time for the boys to take their Dads on a tour of the library to look at the Extreme Reading display and to share with them their favourite books. Finally they headed back down to the fire for a hot dog or two, soup and then the much anticipated delicious S'mores! This was a fantastic occasion and everyone had a great time, learning about Bush craft, bonding with their Dads and sharing books with one another....