Claires Court Bulletin



I took a very courageous educational step this week - I decided it was time to introduce ‘Politics’ into our assemblies, and this topic will take place over a 2 week period. While aspects of ‘Democracy’ and ‘Government’ are covered in our PSHEE programme, and we have touched on issues like Brexit and the new US President, we have not had a chance to discuss this in detail as a whole school this academic year…...until now!

At the start of the week the boys got a chance to consider what the government actually does (which is harder to answer than you might think!), and this morning we evaluated the concept of ‘Tax’. From my perspective, trying to deliver an interactive presentation that is as relevant to Reception boys as it is to Year 6 boys is a bit of a challenge…..but I hope they now have an idea of how organisations such as the NHS and the DFE get their money! Next week, we are going to have a school referendum……! Watch this space!

I must start start my recognition list by congratulating the boys who were selected to represent the school in the Regional ISA cross country championships today, and the boys who competed so bravely in the Under 10/11 Berkhamsted swimming competition. They all performed extremely well and special mention must go to the Year 4 cross country team who won the overall school competition, with Hugo Winter leading his team and finishing in second place, closely followed by Freddie Galitzine Scott in 5th and William Dart in 7th. More information can read in the news items at the bottom of the Bulletin.

Last night our Y4 boys transformed themselves into wizards, sorcerers and heroes as they dressed up for a night of fun at The Harry Potter Party. Please have a look at some of our pictures - who says reading should not be fun!

My pictures in the gallery below continue to reflect our boys love of learning, and total engagement in their lessons. Creative Writing remains one of our strongest academic areas, although the way our boys are finding their confidence and resilience through challenging problem solving work in Maths is now hot on the trail! Indeed, hearing some boys ‘high fiving’ on Thursday as they had just been set ‘exploratory’ Maths homework was very refreshing!

Names brought to me this week who have impressed staff with their manners, their general ‘best self’ and ‘above and beyond’ behaviour are Jamie Shepherd, Dylan Bridges, Finn Keylock, George Crowe, Gabe Cooper, Jonah Stevens and Nyle Cohen. I value these qualities in school so highly, and I firmly believe that boys who share this sentiment have such a good outlook on their school life. I am always proud when I hear as I did on Thursday at the swimming competition, that many parents and teachers from other schools complimented my staff on the outstanding behaviour of our boys. They have that lovely balance of enjoyment, comfort in their surroundings, respect for others and integrity. I am currently writing a paper on how such qualities have a direct impact on Academic, the Arts and Sporting success. Just as importantly, it is how your sons can have a positive impact on the community that surrounds them. These ideals are the basis of my theme for this calendar year for the school, and ones which I will be referring back to on occasion.

It is going to be a busy weekend again, not just because of the start of the Six Nations Rugby Championships, but also as our boys are in action! Good luck to our chess players and footballers who are battling against others schools tomorrow, and I hope to update you on their efforts next week.

There is an important note below these words which I would ask for you to consider. They are related to the collection of boys at the end of the school day. Please do read it. Many thanks.

I hope you all enjoy a super weekend - as you know I am not a betting man, but my prediction is a 20 point win for England against France…...we will see!!

Justin Spanswick



Frequently parents will organise a lift share with other parents, especially if they live near each other. We welcome this at Claires Court as it is environmentally friendly and can save considerable space in the car park! However, we will not allow a pupil to be collected by another parent unless our office has been given the instruction to do so. Even if you have a 'blanket' arrangement that a particular family may collect your son we still need to have specific day to day information regarding your intentions.

We are happy to receive this communication via email or telephone to the school office, or via a written note in the homework diary or reading record to the form tutor. We would respectfully request that this is given with sufficient notice. Thank you in advance.


Saturday 4 February - U9A and B Football Tournament at St Bernards. Boys who have been selected have been advised and must be at St Bernards by 8.15am.

Monday 6 February - Year 5 French Breakfast.

Saturday 11 February - UK Chess Challenge 2pm - 6pm in the Sports Hall

Monday 13 February - Friday 17 February H A L F - T E R M

Wednesday 22 February - Class group photographs. Clean uniform and tidy hair please.

Friday 24 February - U11 football photographs. Please remember kit (clean).


Wednesday 8 February - Reception visit Pizza Express. A consent letter has gone home with boys and should now have been returned.

Wednesday 8 February - Year 1 visit the Natural History Museum. A consent letter has gone home with boys and should now have been returned.

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.


Our Annual Easter Event is being held on Saturday 18th March between 12-2pm. This year the theme is Alice in Wonderland. As well as the Easter trail, where you answer the clues to win a chocolate prize, there is a competition to make a hat for the Mad Hatter. The winning entry will receive Amazon vouchers. There is also a Junior Bake Off Competition to see which budding baker can bake and decorate the best cake. The winner for this competition will receive a large chocolate egg. Further details of the event and how you can buy tickets will come home with the boys next week.

As always the success of these events relies on volunteers, please let us know if you can help for an hour or more on the day. Email or click on the link to add your name to the rota. Poster.


You are warmly invited to attend the AGM of the Claires Court PTA on 23 February. This is an opportunity for all to hear what activities the PTA creates throughout the year as well as the contributions it makes to enhance the school experience of the boys and girls. After the brief formalities, refreshments are available and the presentation of the PTA Award is made. All are encouraged to attend and understand the contribution the PTA makes to school life.

ImagineNation – a call to arms


On Thursday Year 5 & 6 pupils attended a swimming gala at Berkhamsted. Year 4, 5 & 6 pupils went to the ISA regional cross country championships today and the U9A & B teams will be competing at the St Bernard’s football tournament on Saturday. There is more in the news at the bottom of the Bulletin regarding the Cross Country. The coverage of the gala and football tournament will follow next week.

The Year 6 pupils all played a match this week. The U11A & B played Thorpe House and the U11C & D both played The Beacon. All teams were unbeaten . The U11A fought to a well earned 3-2 win with the with the U11B team winning 6-2 the U11C winning 5-0 and the U11D team playing out a tense 0-0 draw. I know the Year 6 coaches are very pleased with their players this week.

A reminder to all pupils to bring tracksuits and shin pads to every Games lesson. Can all pupils have a bag to carry their boots in to and from our boot shed as it helps stop mud being deposited back in the changing rooms. This does not have to be a specially designed boot bag, it could just be a named plastic bag.

Nick Butterfield

Head of Sport


The Delancey UK Chess Challenge

Delancey chess moves into its second week at Claires Court. 3 points are awarded for a win, 2 for draw and 1 for a loss (0 points if you don't turn up for the match when you should!)

Boys with 3 points have earned a badge they can wear on their school jumper and, as well as gold spots for the badge, there are other prizes to pick up as they earn points.The next round will take place on Wednesday of next week. There are other ways of qualifying for the next round of the Delancey. There will be a qualifying tournament here at CCJB on Saturday 11 February between 2 and 5:30pm.

Chess Homework

Just a reminder that boys should be looking to play as much chess as they can in order to improve. Chess books and online chess sites will also help. Here is a handy one for endgames and puzzle solving.

Handy Homework

Boys should be able to complete the following checkmate:

King & Queen v King

King & Rook v King

King and Pawn v King

King & 2 Bishops v King.

Richard Hogg


Mrs Leech-Bendell will not be teaching this Tuesday morning and therefore some of her lessons are being rescheduled to Monday morning.

Please note that lessons are subject to times/days altering so it is imperative that you check the timetable regularly thus ensuring boys have their music and/or instrument in school on the correct day.


Our Rabbit winners this week are Sebastian Bose (1G) and Aiden Mukherjee (5S). Sebastian has impressed Mrs Holder this week by showing great empathy towards others, as well as sharing with his friends. Aiden has also shown his kind and caring nature when giving up his chrome book to help others, and by consistently being his 'Best Self'. Both Seb and Aiden are worthy winners of the Rabbit this week.