Dear parents and guardians,
This half term has been quite exceptional; never in over 20 years of teaching do I remember a summer term that has so prominently been characterised by sunshine. It has been quite unnerving not to be juggling the cancellation of fixtures because of the weather and working out how to keep our buildings cold rather than persuading the heating system to crank up unexpectedly in the middle of June!
Over the course of this half term the pupils in Kindergarten through to Year 2 have embraced their final thematic learning topic of the year; quite aptly ‘Up it Grows’. Lots of fun was had discovering the essential elements of plant growth and the diversity of plant life across the globe. A good time was had by all on their associated visit to the gardens of Audley End House to investigate the fabulous array of trees and plants.
Pupils in the Prep school have been inspired through a range of trips and visits honing in on the promotion of personal development and the building of resilience. The residential trips to Bushcraft, Cornwall and Snowdon were each completed successfully and we were delighted to welcome all year groups back to school with slightly smudged but smiling faces each ready to climb and conquer their next mountain.
The final half of the summer term is always slightly tinged with sadness as we prepare to say goodbye to our Year 6 pupils; the transition afternoon is always the last call and we start to see how our school will look come September. We will greatly miss this year's group and I hope that parents will join us in the final assembly to say thank you and good luck. Transition day does also give us an opportunity to welcome new pupils and their families and I am (as always) grateful to our pupils, buddies and their families for going the extra mile to include the new pupils quickly and wholeheartedly.
This year has been a great success in the history of Dame B’s. Our numbers are the highest for many years. The development of our site continues as we increase our space for the Early Years and install a temporary, but beautiful, building in anticipation of a more permanent solution (planning willing). Our tireless and committed PTA continue to find unique ways to bring our community together, and as a secondary outcome raise money for the new story garden. The plans for this can be seen on the pond fencing. The school council have been thrilled to work with Robin from Chadwick Dryer Clarke architects, who have given freely of their time and talents to work with our pupils on this project. My thanks go to the PTA for their time and commitment.
The Learning Wheel has been fully embraced and the curriculum - which is based on developing skills for the future - has been continually reviewed and refined to ensure that in this ever changing world that teaching and learning is appropriate for our pupils' future. The ‘Inspire Me’ programme of speakers, visits and workshops continues to grow and I am very excited about how this programme will develop next year. One of our latest events from the British Antarctic Survey has certainly inspired a new generation of explorers! My thanks go to all the teaching and learning staff at Dame B’s, without whose enthusiasm, professionalism, dedication and passion, we would be unable to dream of such an ambitious experience for our pupils.
Pastoral care at Dame B’s continues to be great importance. With a nationally increasing focus on wellbeing Mrs Graham, the Senior Leadership Team and I are looking at how to further support our pupils in managing their health and wellbeing in this busy and changing world. In September we are restructuring the timings of our Form Periods to a less frenetic part of the day. Together with assemblies that focus on reflection and our learning habits, and the development of a programme designed to understand and promote social responsibility, we are carefully enhancing the holistic support around each pupil.
My thanks go to the professional support services staff at Dame B’s - they are an exceptional team who work alongside the teaching staff ensuring the smooth running of our school (even the car park). I am grateful for the level of commitment and care they give to our pupils and families, from scraped knees to cello reminders, from jump-starting cars to ensuring a safe and secure site, from breakfast to prosecco and canapés.
My final words a go to thanking parents and pupils for their support and encouragement. Providing an education with such diversity and energy is dependent on the support of all of the community. The senior leadership team and I recognise that when parents work with us and challenge us we together make Dame B’s future-proof.
Wishing you all a fun and relaxing summer break.
Head of Dame Bradbury's and Vice Principal 3-11
Our Sports teams have had a busy and extremely successful end to the term with our cricketers and athletes performing superbly.
Our U9A boys cricket team remained unbeaten for the whole season, our U11 girls finished 3rd in the regional IAPS competition whilst our U9&U11 Quad Kids athletics teams were crowned District Champions. Both teams went on to compete at the County finals in Basildon where tough opposition, resulted them finishing outside of the top 3 medal positions on this occasion.
Our U9 & U11 Tennis teams were crowned District Champions and also qualified for the County finals hosted in Southend. Our U11 team faced a tough day of competition which meant that our pupils did not come away with any silverware but our U9s played superbly to finish 3rd overall in the county. All players can be hugely proud of their achievements.
Our Y4&5 athletes attended the EAPS Athletics competition which was organised by Mr Evans this year at Bury St Edmunds athletics track. 13 schools were in attendance and the best from the East Anglian area were competing. There was some excellent individual and team performances on the day and the buzz around the team despite the blisteringly hot weather was superb.
We were lucky enough to attend the U12 Bedford Athletics competition with our Y6 athletes for the first time in many years. All athletes had to meet the qualifying standards for the competition which ensured there would be no easy races or fiend events. The sun shone on all of our athletes and all did extremely well in their various disciplines. We look forward to making this event a permanent fixture in our calendar.
All pupils took part in our annual Sports Day which was busier than ever this year! With pupils representing their house groups in a variety of events, finishing positions meant points and points meant the House Shield at the end of the day!
Pre -Prep children excelled themselves in the sprints, egg and spoon and obstacles races whilst the standard of competition amongst the prep school children in a variety of track and field events was impressive. Amongst the outstanding performances of our pupils, a special mention must go to our enthusiastic parent body, where record numbers took part in the Parents Obstacle race which was a sight to behold!
A great day was had by all and a big Congratulations to Player who took the overall Sports Day shield.
Latest news and blogs
What have our Dame Bradbury's pupils been up to?
- Language Collaboration for Year 3
- Extreme collaboration!
- Year 4 trip to Bushcraft
- Fundraising for the Maddi Foundation
- BMX World Cup victory for Beth Shriever
- British Antarctic Survey team visit Dame B's
- Author Philip Ardagh visits Dame B's
- Fantastic results for Dame B's at East Anglian Prep Schools Championships
- Victory for Year 4 & 6 in the District Quad Athletics
- East Area Prep Schools Athletics Championships