I am writing at what I freely admit is my least favourite time of the year. The excitement and relaxation of Christmas seem long gone, and daylight hours are not increasing as fast as I’d like. It’s a good time, though, for stopping to take stock; invited to do so traditionally by making resolutions for the new year, and setting goals and tasks for the months ahead. Our pupils are used to setting targets for their learning, encouraged to do so for themselves but also supported and encouraged by staff to “aim high”, whatever that means for each individual. At this time of year we do tend to spend more time inside and this can promote something of a cabin fever feeling, especially on the odd day when pupils are prevented by the weather from going outside at all. I have always been struck by the good nature and easy way of pupils at Dame Bradbury’s, though, and indeed that is one of the most compelling features of our community: and they are overwhelmingly quite happy to don their coats and venture outside with a no-such-thing-as-bad-weather attitude.
The one striking difference of Dame Bradbury’s school site this term is of course the opening of the first Stephen Perse Nursery in what used to be our Beehive. We are delighted to have had such a positive uptake of places, and I love popping in there each week for a few minutes of a quite different sort of ambiance, and always shoes-off! Last week I also made my first visit to our second Foundation nursery, at Salisbury Villas in Cambridge. What a fantastic job has been done on what was a tired and dejected site when we took it over. One colleague (whose identity will remain secret, of course) even went as far as to say that it was worth having another baby for!
Back to Dame Bradbury’s, and our younger pupils have thrown themselves into their new topic, People Who Help Us, with the usual gusto: and they have hosted a range of visitors, both from within our parent body and outside, who have come to talk to them about the very many ways a wide variety of people do help us in our daily lives. Thanks to all those parents who have given up time to help with this (even though I very strongly suspect that most of them enjoy these visits at least as much as the children do!).
Focusing on our current learning habit of creativity, we have shared assemblies already this term looking at innovative animals, revisiting the important topic of Internet safety, sharing Mr Blackman’s highly amusing epic poem in The Sparrow and the Crow, and analysing our Thinking Wheel and what it means for our pupils’ learning. Do ask your child about what the Thinking Toolkit, to give it its official name, means to them if you get the chance.
Year 6 had their second language taster day prior to making their language choices for Year 7, whilst all our year groups joined in the Bradbury House Charity Day in aid of the Ruth Strauss Foundation last week. A particularly poignant moment for reflection this week has been the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, which our Year 6 pupils had the chance to consider in more detail when they attended the annual Holocaust Memorial Day service at St Mary’s church here in Saffron Walden along with other local schools.
Finally, I would like to thank pupils and colleagues for making our new staff this term feel welcome and for helping them find their way round and work out what’s what and who’s who. Also on a staff note, we send many congratulations to Amy Williamson and her husband on the birth of their daughter, Ottelie; and to Kelly from the office, who cheered up the dreary weather by getting married on Saturday. We send them all our very best wishes, and to you and your families too.
With my very best wishes,
Head of Dame Bradbury’s
Please could parents help by providing the following costumes for the Bee Musical:
Year 2: Bees - black bottom half and black plain t-shirt
Year 1: Flowers - green/brown bottom half, colourful plain t-shirt
Please bring in your costume in a labelled bag by Monday 2 February 2020.
Stephen Perse Podcast
Take some time out and listen to one of our Stephen Perse Podcasts. Each episode is a conversation between staff and students discussing everything from current events to education in the modern world.
Find out about the fascinating lives of our staff before they turned their hand to teaching, from professional football to starring in the West End.
Listen to all of our episodes on our website or search ‘Stephen Perse Podcast’ on Apple Podcast, Spotify, YouTube and Anchor.
It has certainly been a busy start to the Spring term with numerous fixtures and competitions taking place. There were some fantastic individual and relay performances by our swimmers at the local schools sports partnership swimming gala.
On the netball court, over the last few weeks the U11 girls have played five matches against Rosedale House. The fixtures have seen victories for Dame Bradbury’s A, B and C teams whilst Rosedale House took the honours in the D and E matches. All of the games were played in good spirit with the girls showing great skills.
The U9 girls hosted St Mary’s for A and B netball matches. The A team got their season off to a great start winning 7-2 while the B team drew 0-0.
The U11 boys A and B hockey teams played away against Rosedale House at Latham Road. The A team recorded a fantastic 3-1 victory. After a timid first half which saw Rosedale House take the lead the boys put in an excellent second half display scoring three goals to take a well deserved victory. For many boys in the B team it was their first ever competitive hockey match and a great deal was learnt by the team despite going down to a 4-0 defeat.
Last Friday the local schools U11 mixed hockey league got underway with the U11B team starting their campaign with a well deserved 1-0 win against Newport.
In football, the U11 boys A and B teams travelled to King’s Ely. The A team match was a thrilling 5-5 draw that saw the team come from behind on five occasions. The B team put in a brave performance but against strong opponents lost 8-1.
Also, a huge thank you to the many parents who have come to support the teams both home and away.
For all other news, results and information on fixtures, please follow us on twitter @SPFSport and remember to check the sports website www.stephenpersesport.com for fixtures, results and team selections.
Another very successful language taster day was held at Dame Bradbury’s, with children in Year 6 getting the chance to sample both German and Mandarin language lessons to supplement their already regular French and Spanish lessons at school.
Location: Saffron Walden Library, 2 King St, Saffron Walden CB10 1ES, UK
Y3 visit to the Fitzwilliam Museum
9:15am – 3:15pm
Location: The Fitzwilliam Museum, Trumpington St, Cambridge CB2 1RB, UK Year 3 will visit the Fitzwilliam Museum and the Museum of Classical Archaeology in Cambridge as part of their Heroes and Villains thematic learning
Visit from author Ann-Marie Howell
10:30am – 11:30am
Location: Dame Bradbury's School, Ashdon Rd, Saffron Walden CB10 2AL, UK Author Ann-Marie Howell will be visiting us to talk to pupils about her new children’s historical-mystery book, The House of One Hundred Clocks, which is set in a mysterious house in Edwardian Cambridge. During the hour-long event children will hear about the Suffolk clock collection that inspired the book and hear secret top tips for writing about the past. They’ll learn about incredible Edwardian inventions and will try to work out the most valuable clock from a set of three.
Baby & Toddler Group
8:30am – 10:30am
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.