Dear Parents and Friends,
Welcome to the last newsletter of this term. I am aware that I am writing this, deadlines being what they are, slightly in the dark: who will have been successful in the general election by the time you read this, I wonder? Though most of our pupils are too young to understand the implications of Brexit and all that, they do sense the feeling of frustration at the stagnation of the current situation and the need to “move on” in some shape or form. We talk to them often, and in different contexts, about their future opportunities and responsibilities, and I do hope that the education we are jointly providing them with, both you in your parental role and us in our professional one, will stand them in good stead for what lies ahead. I am confident that they will make effective changemakers, innovators and leaders of the future; and I hope that they will do it with better grace and more modesty than some of our current political leaders manage. I also hope that they will take their democratic responsibility seriously and make sure that each one of their individual voices and votes counts, both while they are young and as they grow up.
Back to the more prosaic business of school though. Or is it? You can imagine that when newsletter time comes around I am on the lookout for little nuggets of information or knowledge that I might include, and I am grateful to Mrs McWilliam for sharing with me an article which included the following: “Childhood should be a time of boundless curiosity and endless questions, and open hearts and minds.” Whilst the “boundless curiosity and endless questions” may not be to every parent’s liking throughout the Christmas holiday, it is certainly what we look for in our learners, and indeed in our staff.
Neither staff nor pupils have been put off by the length or increasing darkness that are both typical features of this term. Forest School still goes ahead, with a seasonal flavour of dormancy and appreciation of nature having a rest. Buffy Bus was on site at the end of last week to inform and entertain some of our youngest learners and visitors in a different environment. Last Friday a group of our Year 6 pupils were lucky enough to join Dame Darcey Bussell at the Senior School to perform in one of her DDMIX events, and Year 4 welcomed Star Radio to sing their Christmas song and talk about what they wish for at Christmas.
Recent visitors to school have included James Mark from “Reverence for Life”, who spoke to the children about the schools we are supporting in Tanzania by donating old uniform and other items; Judge Paul Downes, who came to share with pupils his knowledge and experience as a high court judge; Kenyan farmers from TIST, who were in Cambridge to be honoured for their work in reforestation; and local police officers who came to talk to Year 5 to link in with their current thematic topic.
This week has been a particularly busy one with Christmas lunch, Santa visits, the Christmas Fair, house matches and, of course, our annual carol service at St Mary’s Church, among other things. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the staff at Dame Bradbury’s for their almost-unfailing energy and ability to smile on through! We have a fantastic, dedicated staff here, I’m sure you will agree; and I would like to wish them, and you, the happiest of holidays, and some peace and relaxation too.
With my very best wishes,
Head of Dame Bradbury’s