Dear Parents and Friends,
So, here we are already in the second half of this academic year, and I hope that you all found time to spend some together as a family over the holiday. As we head through this half term we are minded as staff to reflect on what has been enjoyed and achieved so far this year, as well as what is still to come. The half term holiday did not have the usual childless silence to it that makes a school seem an odd place to be. We had our nursery open, and in addition to this there was care offered for our younger pupils up to Year 2. It is good to have a holiday buzz at a time when the school has traditionally been “closed”.
Highlights of the latter part of last half term included the powerful work of Dominic Ellis-Peckham, who hosted a choral workshop for the Year 6 pupils at the Senior School. Dominic can always be relied upon to bring out the best in even the most reluctant participant, and you can read all about it here.
Year 3 enjoyed a trip to the Fitzwilliam and Cast Museums to complement their topic work on Heroes and Villains, while our reception pupils headed down to visit the wonderful public library we have here in Saffron Walden and to find out some of the attractions and services in addition to the very many books they have!
And talking of books, we were delighted to have a visit from children’s author Anne Marie Howell, who came to talk to the older pupils about what it is like to be a real author.
The hard work of our Year 1 and 2, and Year 5, pupils paid off in two thoroughly enjoyable productions in the week before half term. Our younger thespians focused on a sustainability theme with their Bee Musical, which was a visual and auditory delight; whilst our older pupils took one of their China-related themes to retell, in a very original way, the story depicted on the traditional Willow Pattern plate.
We ended last term with one of our regular reminders to our pupils of the importance we and you place on safe and informed use of the internet. To coincide with Safer Internet Day, our house assembly allowed children to discuss their own use of the internet across year groups in their house families, and produce some posters that are displayed in the dining room for them to refer to.
Our opening assembly of this half term had a double focus: the introduction of our new learning habit, resilience; and a focus on Fairtrade fortnight, during which we are encouraging pupils to think a little more about where their food and clothing come from and to reflect on how their choices can make a small but significant difference to the producers, often in faraway countries about which they know very little. Hopefully your child will show a greater-than-usual interest in your weekly shop, and especially in the Fairtrade logo which they have been encouraged to look out for. This is also reflected in the new Head Teacher’s Challenge that David Hewlett (Head at Rosedale House) and I have added to the children’s Further Thinking Google Classrooms from Year 1 up, and which we will be checking in on with interest as the half term progresses.
I hope that you all have a happy weekend, and an enjoyable and productive half term ahead.
With my very best wishes,
Head of Dame Bradbury’s