January 27, 2023

Weekly News – Friday 27th January 2023

Message from the Head

Dear Parents,

Monday’s assembly was full of useful strategies about how to resolve conflict; the school says to think fast brain and slow brain – think through the consequences of your actions.  The Powerpoint is being emailed out to senior school parents.

Today’s assembly was especially meaningful as we recalled the Holocaust.  I am always left without words – a bleakness of feeling for the suffering that so many endured.  I want to thank Mrs Griffiths, Mrs Howlett and especially Naomi in Year 11 for their education in this subject today, for their promotion of tolerance and acceptance of diversity.  Mrs Howlett asked us to think about how many people would be left in our hall had the Nazi rule penetrated the UK – Mrs Griffiths and Naomi explained how the symbol of the swastika was perverted by the Nazis and how this symbol affects the Jewish communities today.  Naomi explained how graffiti in the form of the swastika affected her; we must be mindful of the symbols we use and are associated with.

The Year 7 applicants keep coming and we’re still so very busy with tours for entry into Year 7 in September.

Year 12 applicants started to come through the doors this week as we held our Sixth Form Taster Day yesterday.  Subjects on offer ranged from Criminology and Psychology to Maths and Electronic Engineering, Art, Drama, Economics, Business Studies, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Travel and Tourism, History, English, Spanish, Computer Science, Music, Geography and Drama.  We were delighted to welcome our new Head of Sixth Form (official announcement coming soon).  Exciting times!  The feedback from staff and students is fabulous!

I have sent some congratulatory postcards home this week.  As well as merits, we have a new system called ‘Above and Beyond’ which I think is self-explanatory.

On Wednesday we delivered a session explaining how we are going to use cognitive science in our Prep around the teaching of spelling; this is based on research I have done – here is a blog I wrote a little while ago that explains more clearly here.

A plea to mums and dads of older girls – getting one’s nails done is lovely but totally impractical to have long talons in school.  Please save for high days and holidays – as I say – and perhaps a cut and file is needed this weekend?

On that note – have a good weekend – looking forward to Year 9 Options Evening on Tuesday 7th February and my informal coffee morning for parents on Friday 10th February as we break up for half term.

Best wishes

Helen Barsham

Message from the Head of Juniors

Good afternoon,

Thank you to all who attending the Spelling meeting on Wednesday.  I hope you found it useful and thank you for your support as we make changes to our approach to the teaching of spelling.  For those who couldn’t attend, Form Teachers will provide you with some information on this and here is a link to Dr Barsham’s blog on her fascinating research in this area.  If you wish to meet to further discuss this, please let us know.

Yesterday, Years 1 and 2 visited Nottinghamshire Hospice to deliver their ‘Happy Posters’ and cookies which they had baked.  The residents were delighted with these and the children very much enjoyed both making them and delivering them.  Year 6 children have also been busy baking; they have made some delicious gingerbread.  During recent Games lessons, Years 5 and 6 have really enjoyed tackling the climbing wall.

Next week, we begin our Someone Special afternoons for parents and grandparents.  For Kindergarten, Reception and Year 1, these will be on Tuesday 31st January and for Years 2 and 5, on Wednesday 1st February.  Please sign in at Reception or, for Year 5 visitors, at the Year 5 and 6 building.  Sessions will begin at 2.00pm; please arrive just before.

I am pleased to let you know that we have arranged a social evening for Kindergarten and Preparatory parents.  This will be on Friday 10th March, from 6.00pm to 7.00pm, in the Senior School building.  We would love for you to join us; refreshments will be provided.

As you are aware, we were planning to introduce a new summer dress last year but due to supply issues, we had to look for another option.  I am very pleased to announce that we now chosen a different dress and this will be available for the Summer Term (pictures to follow).  For this year, children may opt to continue wearing the current red gingham one, but with a view to all children having the new dress by Summer 2024.  Our uniform suppliers will be in school on Tuesday 28th March from 8am – 9am and from 3pm – 4pm.  A link will be sent to you so that you can make an appointment.

In other uniform news, we have considered moving to white shirts and ties for KS2 girls (instead of the red gingham blouse).  School Council asked girls in Years 3 to 6 if they would prefer this.  Exactly 50% of the vote went each way so for now, either will remain an option.

Over the next few weeks, we will send out more information on exciting events which will fall in the next half term, for example, Science Week and Maths Day.  Lots to look forward to in the Prep School and the staff are all working hard to plan these events.

Have a lovely weekend,

Victoria Wright
Head of Juniors