Firstly, may I give a warm welcome to all of our families, new and old, on our return to this new Academic Year 2011–12. Because of the very many layers on which our School operates, it’s difficult to be certain who gets to know what, so perhaps it’s helpful to confirm the following; we have started back this year with 109 students in the Sixth Form, 501 secondary pupils, 270 juniors, and 68 in the Nursery, and I am particularly pleased that the Open Days so far have seen us busier than ever, meeting with prospective parents interested in their children joining the School.
The life blood of our Schools is of course the pupils, and the spirit shown by them at all levels has been really quite amazing. As I write, Year 6 are on the Isle of Wight, 57 boys and girls enjoying the opportunity to work together and be away from home for an extended week; their curriculum seems particularly exciting with Beach & River studies joined up with map skills and orienteering, and a wide range of activities and sports. Preparations for our half-term trips are also well advanced, as we send the 1st and 2nd XV’s to Italy on Rugby tour to Lake Garda, the senior Netball sides to Malta, the GCSE linguists to Normandy, the rowers to their first training camp of the year at Longridge and our swimmers to the ISA Regional Gala. Many thanks to all of our families whom were able to support our Bonfire and Fireworks night; we seem to have had over 1200 in attendance at the first big social event in this Olympic year. Star Fireworks display was exceptional (they won the UK award for best display in 2010 and you can see our display: http://goo.gl/qjMtE ), as were the contributions from all; the Cake Sales, Tugs-of-war, Sporting challenges, Pumpkins and Guys. The three PTA Committees gave outstanding support for the event, and of course benefit from the surpluses generated!
We also welcome Mr Paul Bevis to our Leadership group as the Head Teacher at The College, and he has already brought amazing energy and insight into our work, reinvigorating anew our efforts to confirm our status as the leading Junior school in the area. Here, we are adding to our excellent provision and the in-depth preparation for 11+ success, a curriculum philosophy and structure that builds critical, confident and resilient learners, who are inquirers, problem solvers, intellectual risk takers as well as effective communicators. We are further defining how we build the essential foundation of an enduring moral sense and a set of personal values that are underpinned by deep feelings of self worth and happiness.
In conclusion, the remainder of this term is full of extraordinary activity in the Schools, as you’ll see from the details in the Bulletins (see http://www.clairescourt.com); not just because the Parent/Teacher evenings commence, but also Music Concerts for Juniors and Seniors, our Open Chess Festival and our enthusiastic support of Art on the Street in Maidenhead on Saturday 3 December. The PTA’s business also includes their Barn Dance on Saturday 26 November and the PTA Family Disco on Friday 2 December. In short, we should have quite well filled your (and my) diary with a mix of events to suit all ages and tastes, and I hope to meet up with you sometime soon!