Claires Court Bulletin



Last Saturday we heard the very sad news that David Wilding, father of James and Hugh Wilding, and founder of Claires Court School with his wife Josephine, had passed away peacefully overnight at his nursing home in Norfolk. I would like to share some of my own memories of him with you.

I first met David Wilding some 35 years ago when, as a 5 year old, I started at Claires Court Junior Boys, then known as Ridgeway. He was my very first Headmaster. A kind, caring and inspirational figure, David (“Mr Wilding” as we all knew him back then!) was a man with a clear vision as to how pupils should be educated, with a confidence to allow his charges to express themselves, and a determination for everyone to fulfil their potential. Karen Rogg, Jeff Watkins (my predecessors) and I have worked tirelessly to ensure that these values remain at the heart of what we do in school.

David Wilding was a friendly and hardworking man who had a lovely sense of humour and a keen eye for the sports field. I can remember being sat down as an Under 9A rugby player with my fellow forwards and backs (there were no B or C teams back then - it was a much smaller school) after a 46-0 defeat at the hands of Oratory. We sat in silence in what is now Mrs Wood’s classroom as we waited for our Headmaster to say something. “Boys,” he ventured after pondering for what seemed like an eternity, adjusting his glasses to see us as he often did. “Rugby is a wonderful sport and I am pleased to say that you all played half of it very well yesterday.”

One of my teammates, braver than I, put up his hand and asked, “Excuse me sir, what half didn’t we do?” David turned around to the boy, put his hand warmly on his shoulder and said, “Tackling, my son, tackling!” Our next two weeks of training were slightly more contact drill based…and we didn’t lose another match that season!

He taught me a subject in Year 5 called Current Affairs, News Diary as it is known now, and it was always the highlight of the week for my friends and I. We were allowed to discuss issues going on in the world, give our opinions without fear of reprisal on all matters, and generally have a chat with the Headmaster! It was brilliant. Books were put to the side in an era where writing things down was seen to have paramount importance, and we were able to learn from each other as well as from our teacher about how we could have a positive impact on our own community. I remember to this day making the grave mistake of asking for homework for this subject - something which did not endear me to all of my peers!

However, the most important legacy that I feel David Wilding has left with us is that of a ‘family’ school. True, we are approximately 1050 pupils across the age ranges and genders at the moment, and even Claires Court Junior Boys is currently at 260 pupils. Nevertheless, the ambition of James and Hugh Wilding has never been to be the biggest, it has always been to strive to be the best at delivering quality education in a safe and nurturing environment. And that is why I am privileged to be part of the family, a family that you are all part of too. It was the reason that my parents chose the school for me all those years ago. For all of our considerable academic, sporting, musical and creative prowess, that will always be at the forefront of my thinking, ensuring that our boys are confident, adaptable, resilient, caring, polite, respectful and above all, happy. This will continue to be the driving force of the school as it has been since 1960. Mr David Wilding will be very sorely missed but will never be forgotten.

And talking of academic prowess, our Year 6 boys took part in the Primary maths challenge a few weeks ago. The results were very pleasing in a very tough challenge, though sadly this year none of the boys made it through to the next round. Better luck next time!

From my pictures you will see further evidence of our core academic work still continuing despite a mix of nativity rehearsals and Christmas festivities. I do not believe in interrupting our curriculum if it can be helped - instead, we are able to incorporate the wonders of Christmas into our curriculum. Year 6 are going to be finishing their writing for a specific audience very soon. In this case, the audience is 4-6 year olds. They have been constructing their own Christmas story which will either be presented in a bound novel format, or as a ‘show’ on computer. They will then read/present their work to our Reception and Year 1 boys - the harshest critics you can find! I will show you how they got on next week in our picture gallery.

You will also see below a picture of Joseph Brittain. Joseph is a superb pupil and works very hard in school. What many do not realise is just how hard he works outside of school on the tennis court. He is the current Under 9 Berkshire champion, and he plays a number of high profile tournaments and matches virtually every weekend, as well as fitness training on Thursdays before school. I am hoping to get onto a court with him soon and test that double handed backhand of his! Who knows, maybe we have a Davis Cup contender in the making?

Last Saturday our chess players were in action at the County trials. Nayan Popat, Kyle Wheeler, Samuel Tschiesche, Josh Spanswick, Sam Jeffrey, Moksha Suiarachchi and Téo Rybak all starred in this event, with Téo taking third place in the Under 9 category. We are awaiting to find out who will be asked to represent Berkshire - more updates on this to follow. Special mention must go to Moksha who was taking part in his first chess Tournament. Only in Year 2, he played extremely well and will have picked up some valuable experience in what was a very tough event.

You will be shared in this coming week our first attempt at Electronic Registration for Extra-curricular activities for the Lent Term. I am sure this will be a very smooth process with absolutely no technical hitches at all……..however, just in case there are any questions, Mr Leuzinger (who may have a busy week ahead) is the man to ask!

Some of the boys superb artwork and photography is also on display in my pictures below. Mr Goddard is very pleased with how many of our pupils are turning their hand to being creative in his lessons, and some of the pieces are beautiful. I especially like Maximus Chapman’s Nature Photograph which now has pride of place in my office. We will continue to run our Drop -in art sessions from 8.10am next term for those boys who would like to spend more time on their work with the help of Mr Goddard.

I am extremely interested in expanding our Music and Arts in the school. We have already placed a heavy emphasis in our funding on new resources for ‘the Arts’ and I am hoping that we can continue to develop this priceless element of our school. We are so lucky to have Mr Rowan, Mr Goddard, Mrs Parr and Mrs Stay in the school working with your sons on the Creative side of things. Having grown up in an environment surrounded by music (my sister is a concert pianist), I am currently investigating ways to bring more of this element to our pupils.

Throughout tomorrow our actors and musicians will be representing the school at Art on the Street in Maidenhead town centre. Such a valuable experience for our boys and lots of fun too, do come down to support them if you have the opportunity. Approximate performance times are available via a link at the bottom of the Bulletin . I will update you on this event in my words and pictures next week.

Please join me and the PTA for our Christmas Shopping Afternoon from 2pm next Friday. We have stalls, mulled wine, mince pies and many other goodies to enjoy. Parking, at the best of times. in our school is tight, and the prospect of a busy Friday afternoon in our limited car park may not seem like the perfect way to start the weekend! However, my ever patient site manager, Steve Bushell, and I will do our very best to squeeze the cars in safely and without the need of a tow truck if stuck on the grass!

Justin Spanswick


We are looking forward to welcoming you to our PTA Christmas Shopping afternoon between 2pm and 4pm on Friday 11th December.

We have Steller & Dot, Sweet Things, Neils Yard, Pheonix Cards, Sew Sew Pretty, Roli Poli Cakes, Forever Living, The Body Shop, Love Anna Richardson Design and Just Because confirmed so far and there will be mulled wine, spiced apple, tea, coffee and lots of sweet treats on offer as a thank you from the PTA for all your support this year.

We also have a raffle to win the hamper of Christmas goodies above, which would make a perfect Christmas gift or a treat for your family to enjoy with a Christmas movie as it's packed with hot chocolate, Christmas mugs, biscuits, popcorn, chocolate and panettone. Second prize is a gingerbread house kit, perfect for entertaining the kids in the run up to Christmas.

Emma Robertson


Obituary to David Francis Wilding


Saturday 5 December - Art on the Street

Monday 7 December- Choir to sing at Cherry Garden Lane Nursing Home

Monday 7 December - Junior Boys Chess Tournament 2pm - 6pm

Monday 7 December - The Christmas Postbox will be placed in the entrance hall for boys to post their cards. Please ensure the whole name of the recipient and class are on the envelope to aid speedy delivery!

Tuesday 8 December - Y3 visit from The Celts and Romans

Tuesday 8 December - Change of pudding on Tuesday from ice cream to peach crumble due to the boys having ice cream as a pudding option with their Christmas Dinner.

Wednesday 9 December - Pre-Prep Christmas Lunch. Please ensure you have pre-booked. The online form is no longer available so please contact the office with your requirement asap.

Thursday 10 December - Pre-prep trip to Norden Farm to see 'One Snowy Night'

Thursday 10 December - Y3 - Y6 Christmas Lunch. Please ensure you have pre-booked. The online form is no longer available so please contact the office with your requirement asap.

Friday 11 December - Pre-Prep Nativity at All Saints Church 10:30am

Friday 11 December - PTA Christmas shopping afternoon 2pm - 4pm (start time brought forward)

Friday 11 December - Karate Grading is taking place this afternoon. Those who are taking part have been notified. Any queries then you can find contact details on this link

Tuesday 15 December - Informal Christmas Cracker Musical performance 9.10am - 10am. Refreshments will be served before the start.

Tuesday 15 December - Junior Prep Carol Service at All Saints Church 2.30pm

Wednesday 16 December - Term ends midday

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Saturday 30 January - The annual Burns Night Supper will take place on Saturday 30 January 2016 at Senior Boys. All funds raised will support our Touring Sports sides. Please see the flyer for further information on how to book tickets


Christmas Lunch

Pre-prep Christmas Lunch is on Wednesday next week. Boys in Year 1 and Year 2 - will need a packed lunch for the Thursday when the older boys have their Christmas Lunch. There is no provision for food from the kitchen available for those boys who forget their packed lunch on Thursday. Reception will be having a Christmas Feast. A letter regarding the Feast has been given to boys today.

Junior prep Christmas Lunch is on Thursday next week. Boys in Year 3 - Year 6 will need a packed lunch on the Wednesday when the younger boys have their Christmas Lunch.

There is no provision for food from the kitchen available for those boys who forget their packed lunch on Wednesday.

***************Boys may wear something christmassy i.e Christmas jumper

or a Christmas hat on the day they have their lunch.****************

Junior Boys Carol Service 15 December 2.30pm

There is a letter going home with boys today to boys in Y3 - Y6 with a reply slip for you to indicate your arrangements for your son following the Carol Service at All Saints Church. Please return the slip to the school office by Monday 7 December.


We shall be rolling out our information on the Lent Term After School Activities on Monday or Tuesday next week. The system will become 'live' on Friday with a link from the Bulletin to enable you to book your son's place in a chosen activity. This is the only method whereby you can register him and as some spaces are limited in certain activities it would be advantageous to complete your booking asap. As this is an online registration the bookings are time and date stamped.


Merry Christmas from the CCJB Library !!!

In a break with tradition Mr Spanswick and Mrs Davies have agreed to allow boys to keep their library books over the Christmas holidays. We are always encouraging our boys to read for pleasure and we hope by offering this trial that your sons will continue to have the opportunity to lose themselves in their favourite books.

Each boy in years 2-6 will receive a leaf book review template and they may choose to fill it in and return it in January to be added to our Reading Tree outside the library. All reviews that we receive will be entered into a prize draw and one lucky winner will be pulled out of a hat in the New Year and will receive a prize !

We hope that all boys will take care of the books in keeping with our Golden Rules and we hope that there is plenty of pleasurable reading over the festive period !

Best Wishes

Mrs Davies


We have had a slow response to the Christmas Toy Appeal on behalf of The Link Foundation. They would be very grateful if you could spare a thought for those less fortunate and ask if you could buy a small gift which would make a difference to a local child this Christmas. It can be for a boy or a girl, but unwrapped would be appreciated. We are collecting these gifts between now and 11 December. Thank you in advance for your generosity.


Our Rabbit winners this week are Jonny Payne (6Y) and Nicholas Carman (RY) . Jonny did a wonderful job showing visitors round during our Open Morning this week. A great ambassador for our school. Nicholas was really kind and helpful to the three little boys visiting Reception this week and even helped one of them put on his shoes. Well done boys. Worthy winners this week.



Get our ‘best booking rate’ TODAY at Holiday Activities this festive season - book NOW and get free extended sessions for CC Junior & Senior pupils… last chance on Fri 4 Dec!!

- Join Holiday Club’s 'Five days of Christmas' along with Xtra Cookery and Crafts – open MSWord booking form -

- Also Sports Club’s two days of Football - online booking form -

Visit for all booking forms (including pdf versions), programmes and more activity highlights.