It is with a continuing sense of pride and excitement that I am writing to you in my new role as the first half of this term comes to a close. As the evenings draw in, I reflect on the many events and achievements of our pupils, this includes the open event last Saturday, which was a great success despite the unwelcome weather! Our visitors are always impressed by the gentle confidence of our pupils and the friendly welcome they receive, as well as the variety of activities on offer, and this year was no different.
This half term has seen the usual varied and lively events both in school and collaboratively across Stephen Perse. Our Year 6 pupils joined their counterparts from Rosedale House to launch their collaborative blog. Parent Jon Hill brought home to them the realities of working in journalism, and Dr Andy Kemp, the new Head of the Senior School, impressed upon them the equal importance of thorough proofreading. Possibly not the most exciting aspect of the day, but vital nonetheless! We look forward to seeing the blog grow and develop as the pupils take ownership of it. Watch this space.
Our Year 1 and 2 pupils visited Legoland this week, which they thoroughly enjoyed, and which prompted an email from a stranger who had seen them and wanted to comment on both the exemplary behaviour of our young pupils and the caring attitude of the staff. It is reassuring to think that in this era when everything can seem so fast and furious, someone has taken the trouble to write to comment on this.
Our Year 3 pupils had a truly tropical visit to the Botanic Gardens in Cambridge, not in relation to the temperature but rather to the rainfall! Needless to say, they took advantage of the opportunity to spend a little longer inside the glasshouses than they might otherwise have done.
A principal focus for our Year 4 pupils has been the preparation of their highly entertaining production of Roald Dahl’s version of Little Red Riding Hood and the Wolf. It was a real treat watching them all perform with such obvious enjoyment.
Year 5 have been looking at the theme of 'On the Move' and had a very active collaboration with Rosedale House, including an energetic and challenging treasure hunt. It was good to hear many of them commenting on the fact that they feel as if they know the other pupils well now, and staff commented on the easy collaboration between the pupils from the two sites.
We continue to focus on social responsibility, bringing home the importance of this for our pupils. One of the volunteers from our local food bank came to present an assembly in which she was clear that our privileged neighbourhood is not privileged for all members, and it was obvious that this fact came as a surprise to many of the children. Thank you to all who contributed to the nearly 300kgs of food and goods that were donated that day.
Yesterday we took part in the 4th Saffron Walden Action to Climate Change (SWACC) Walk to School Day, and we look forward to our first house charity day after half term, presenting another opportunity for our pupils to think about those less fortunate than themselves. My personal thanks also go to Claire Walker for forging what looks like becoming an important link with Mbopo Primary School in Tanzania. It was striking to see the look on our pupils’ faces when they saw the short video that had been sent of the pupils there wearing some of the old Dame Bradbury's uniform and playing some of our unwanted recorders. I will be coming back to you with further ideas of how we can develop this link as a community.
By the time you read this some of our Year 6 pupils will be in Salamanca and a good number of our Year 5s in Normandy, and we wish them a successful and enjoyable trip. As always, my thanks go to the staff who both plan and accompany these trips with obvious commitment and enjoyment.
Wishing you all a restful and restorative half term week.
Come along every Friday termtime 8:30-10:30am where your little ones can have fun, make friends and develop their social skills. Our activities will help inspire and stimulate your child's senses and help
to develop motor skills, coordination and concentration. Refreshments are provided.