Claires Court Bulletin



This week seems to have flown by! At assembly today when Jack Cairns lit our advent candle for the first time, I had to look twice at the date…..we only have seven and half working days left until the boys break up for their holiday’s, not that anyone is counting!!

This very full and busy week started pretty badly for me when I challenged Josh Sharma to a game of chess in Monday evening’s club. It took Josh (who is seven years old) just under 12 minutes to beat me (or thrash me as several onlookers pointed out)!!! You forget sometimes that these boys are young men, and young men with plenty of skill, ability, and maturity. I will be challenging Josh again, once I have learned some better openings and defensive strategies! Well done Josh!

Congratulations go to a number of our talented students this week. Rayan Rasool has been placed in the top 5 Creative Writers in the National Young Muslim Writers competition, a superb achievement. Joseph Brittain continues to train immensely hard at tennis and he remains one of the top players in the Region, and Nationally. Our Scientists performed very well at the very competitive Science quiz last Friday and came 11th overall - well done to Ollie Payne, Téo Rybak, Charlie Doyle and Samuel Jackson. Congratulations also go to all our Claires Court Scholarship applicants who were put through their paces last weekend at the Senior Boys school - I have been told that they were a credit to their families and their school, making an excellent impression. And I must commend our dramatists who have been rehearsing for the Nativity next Friday. I feel we are in for a real treat at All Saints church, and I hope to see many of you there to celebrate our Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 boys production. This afternoon I was visited by three boys from Reception. Mrs Sullivan brought Hugo de Jager, Deven Shah and Evan James to me because they had showed such maturity and kindness to their peers when they were hunting for Elves in the Thicket this afternoon. I was so pleased with them and proud of them.

You will see from the picture gallery Ben’s super creative writing, and my lovely gift from the Year 5 boys…..they have given me a decorated advent calendar. The only catch is that I have to work out an equation for each day of December so that I choose the correct window!!! Brilliant fun, and I have promised not to use my calculator! Finally onto our budding journalists - I was interviewed very professionally by Sam Jeffery last week, and along with Danyal Baber, Nyle Cohen, Jack Newton, Rory Saffman and Roudra Bhattacharyya who have been scribing during their after school club, we can now look forward to reading Claires Court Junior Boys first newspaper of the year. Both Mrs Stay and I are hoping for more Broadsheet than Tabloid!

One of the local charities that we support during our 3 for 3 charity week in March is the Link Foundation, which is organised by one of our parents, Mrs Loughrey. The Link Foundation supports underprivileged children in our local area. This year we are asking if you would like to contribute to this wonderful cause by bringing in a present for another child to the school. It does need to be a new gift and not second hand. Please read the important information regarding the Link Foundation later in the bulletin, and please donate if you can.

Onto some domestic matters for the end of term - boys may wear their Christmas jumpers (over their uniform) for the last half day of term, as well as for their Christmas lunches if they wish. We are hoping to take some colourful pictures of the boy’s last day this calendar year! Please also ensure that parents of Year 3-6 pupils have returned the relevant forms indicating how you will be picking up your sons after the Carol Service.

The Christmas Market on Friday 9 December promises to be our best ever, and the School Choir from Years 4, 5 and 6 will also be present to perform a few of their songs. They will be fresh from their visit to the Royal Albert Hall on Tuesday next week, where they will be singing with 1000 other children at a celebration of music. We wish them all the very best of luck and hope that they have a wonderful experience. Please note that we will be parking cars (especially 4x4’s) on the grass next Friday afternoon and there is no pick up service at the front of the school for Reception and Year 1…….if it is a bit wet, please make sure you bring the appropriate footwear to walk across the grass.

So, decorations have been going up, trees covered in tinsel, and Christmas carols being played in classrooms and assembly. I let the boys listen to Kate Rusby’s beautiful song ‘Home’ this morning during assembly, and they really enjoyed it. I hope our pictures this week give you a flavour of the work we have been doing with your sons - they have certainly been working very hard.

Finally, best of luck to our chess players who are involved in a triangular county match tomorrow which is being held at our school - news of this will come next week.

Have a super weekend.

Justin Spanswick
Big image

My victorious opponent!

PTA News

Friday 9 December - Christmas Fair & Nearly New Uniform Sale at Junior Boys.

Escape the cold next Friday and enjoy some festive sparkle at the Christmas Market, with goods ranging from dazzling jewellery, hand-poured candles, artisan coffee, delicious chocolate and bespoke cakes, stylish home and garden gifts, Christmas baubles, phone accessories, baby gifts, beauty treatments, clothing and fashion accessories, children's books, nearly new uniform and much more.

Please come along to support the PTA and warm up with a glass of mulled wine and a mince pie while listening to the choir sing carols. The talented winners of the Christmas card competition will be announced and the Christmas raffle will be drawn - the prizes, kindly donated by our stallholders include: a 6kg turkey worth approx. £100, wine, champagne, a beauty treatment, artisan chocolate and gorgeous jewellery.

Every day raffle tickets will be sold in the playground ( just outside Mr Spanswick's office) by PTA volunteers at morning drop off and afternoon collection. For more information, send an email to

Calendars Reception, Year 1, Year 2:

We are very excited about this lovely new project run by Saadia, Lou and Claudia. Your class reps will update you early next week with details on how to order.

Ana Sidders


Making sense of tragedy and chaos – why it is important to be an expert witness.


Monday 5 December - Autumn Term Chess Tournament for boys in Y2 - Y6. Entry has now closed.

Monday 5 December - Some of Mrs Fox's piano students and other soloists are playing in assembly. Parents of those boys selected may come and watch.

Tuesday 6 December - Christmas lunch for Year 3 and Year 6 boys only. These boys may wear a Christmas Jumper. Remaining year groups will need to bring a packed lunch.

Wednesday 7 December - Christmas lunch for Reception, Year 1 & Year 2 boys only. These boys may wear a Christmas Jumper. Remaining year groups will need to bring in a packed lunch.

Wednesday 7 December - Choir boys in Year 3 - Year 6 performing at Clic Sargeant Young Voices event at the Royal Albert Hall.

Thursday 8 December - Christmas lunch for Year 4 and 5 boys only. These boys may wear a Christmas Jumper today. Remaining year groups will need to bring in a packed lunch.

Thursday 8 December - Year 3 visit from the Celts and Romans

Friday 9 December - Guitar assembly for those boys who play acoustic guitar. The parents of these pupils are welcome to attend.

Friday 9 December - Nativity at All Saints Church 10.30am Reception - Year 2. Parents are welcome to attend.

Friday 9 December - PTA Christmas Fayre & Nearly New Uniform Sale in Sports Hall 2pm-4pm

Tuesday 13 December- Pre-prep (Reception - Year 2) visit to Norden Farm to see The Elves and the Shoemaker

Tuesday 13 December - 2.30pm Junior Carol Service (Year 3 - Year 6) at All Saints Church. Parents are welcome to attend. The doors will open at 2pm. Please park considerately to avoid upsetting the neighbours.

Wednesday 14 December - Term Ends 12 noon. There is no after school care on this day. A letter regarding collection arrangements will be sent out next week. Boys may wear their Christmas Jumper over their uniform for the morning.



Please check you have the right number in your phone.

If your son is unwell please telephone the School Office on 01628 411490 by 9.30am on each day of the sickness (you can leave a voicemail message if 'out of hours' and this will be picked up) and then follow up with a letter as they return to school. For medical appointments please send a note into the class teacher prior to appointment where possible notwithstanding emergencies then a telephone call will suffice. Thank you for your co-operation - it does save us a lot of time chasing up absences.

PLEASE NOTE: The registrar's’ number as listed on the website should only be used for admissions/ moving up enquiries.


Activities and Study will end on Friday 9 December. Early buses are in operation on Monday 12 December and Tuesday 13 December for links to the College site and Senior Boys for onward travel. We will still operate After School Care and study for those two evenings here at Junior boys and a late 5pm bus can take boys to the College site for collection or further After School Care.

Please note that there is no After School Care or Study on the last day of term as we finish at midday.


Wednesday 7 December - Choir boys in Year 3 - Year 6 performing at Clic Sargeant Young Voices event at the Royal Albert Hall.

Tuesday 13 December- Pre-prep (Reception - Year 2) visit to Norden Farm to see The Elves and the Shoemaker


A letter went home with boys in Year 3 - Year 6 on Wednesday regarding the Carol Service on 13 December and the arrangements after school. We would like all reply slips back to the office by Monday 5 December please so that we can finalise transport arrangements.


The Christmas Post Box will be in the entrance hall for boys to post their cards. Please remember to address the cards with the first name, surname and class to ensure safe delivery!


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

  • Tuesday 6 December - Lunch for Years 3 and 6

  • Wednesday 7 December - Lunch for Reception, Year 1 & Year 2

  • Thursday 8 December - Lunch for Years 4 and 5

The menu can be viewed on the school website.

Copas Turkey Offer

Order online using code ‘CCS16’ to earn the School PTA £5. Anyone collecting their turkeys that they ordered on this offer will be able to go and say hello to a couple of Santa’s helpers and have their picture taken too. As well as meeting the reindeer there will be many other treats including wine tasting, cooking and carving demonstrations, a choir and Father Christmas himself.


As the term draws to a close I thought I would begin this week's news with some of the comments I have had from Mr Barber and Mr Hill. They have both been massively impressed with the commitment and skill level that Year 3 have been displaying during their Games lessons. The whole year group are being introduced into competitive situations with an emphasis on the correct tackling technique.

The U10s travelled to Gayhurst last Friday to play six fixtures. The pupils played extremely well and we came away with five wins and a draw. The A team game was a physical encounter with some outstanding rugby played by both teams. Claires Court won 35-15. The B team played in a hugely high scoring match and won 100-45. Our C & D teams both played their C team and won, while our E & F teams both played their D team with our E team winning and our F team in an exciting draw.

The U9s travelled to Chesham Prep on Tuesday. The A team played some fantastic offloading rugby but sadly lost 45-30. The B team fought hard to draw 40-40 while the C & D teams both had solid wins with the E team drawing 25-25.

Sadly on Wednesday the matches for the U10s and U11s were cancelled due to frozen pitches.

This afternoon the whole of Year 5 travel to Chesham Prep for a set of fixtures, which will be reported in next week's bulletin

Nick Butterfield

Head of Sport


I was hoping to use a picture of Josh Sharma holding the trophy he won at the weekend at the Maidenhead Junior Chess Club tournament. However, I was delighted to find that Mr Spanswick has included a picture of Josh in his 'Head's Words'.

Very well done, Josh.

This weekend we are hosting a match between four teams . These teams are from Maidenhead, Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire and Barnet. Each team will consist of 20 players with reserves, and will play three rounds. Several Claires Court boys will be taking part and we wish them all the very best.

Autumn Tournament - Monday 5 December

Thank you to those boys who have entered the tournament.Please note that entry is now closed. All names have been put into the draw and I am looking forward to a good afternoon of chess.

Please remember that the tournament ends at 6pm and so the boys will need to be picked up as the late bus will have left. Boys may wish to bring some money with them to purchase refreshments between rounds.

Carlsen wins!

Magnus Carlsen retained his world title this week in dramatic style.

The final game of the tiebreak can be seen below and serves as a lesson to any aspiring chess player (of any age) that queen sacrifices that end in sudden victory are pretty cool.

Carlsen is World Champion!

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.

Selected pupils of Mrs Fox's piano classes will be playing in assembly on Monday 5 December. Parents of those taking part are welcome to attend.

A guitar assembly by selected pupils of Mr Hasting's classical guitar class with take place on Friday 9 December. Parents of those taking part are welcome to attend. There will be a guitar rehearsal at 10.30 on Wednesday and Thursday so boys will need to bring their guitars even though their lessons may have finished now.

A reminder to orchestra boys to have their instruments available on Monday.


Our Rabbit winners this week are Harrison Atkinson 3G and Spike Stalham 3Y. Harrison is consistently his 'Best Self' and both Mr Barber and Mr Denton have commented that he always thinks of others before himself. Spike showed great empathy and patience earlier this week helping one of his peers in the dining room, giving of his time and his care. Both boys are worthy winners of the Rabbit award this week.


The Link Foundation is a Maidenhead based charity committed to improving the lives of children and their families in the local community and surrounding areas. We have chosen to support them again this Christmas and would welcome any unwrapped gifts you could donate for children up to the age of 15. Please bring them into the school office by Friday 9 December. Thank you.


A full & exciting programme of festive fun is now available for the Christmas break

Monday 19th to Friday 23rd December

There is something for everyone – from crafts to textiles, cookery to football, winter Olympics to pantomime, games, singing, and a special visit from Mr S Claus……... click here to find out more

ISA Swimming

Claires Court pupils were selected to take part in the ISA Swimming Gala on 25 November at the Garrisons Pool in Aldershot. The ISA London West Swimming Gala is one of the toughest ISA Competitions with the vast majority of swimmers swimming at club level. Read more here.