What a jam-packed week this has been! With Year 6 returning from France on Saturday afternoon, we were back to full compliment. After a valuable HM’s Drop-In session in the morning, I enjoyed umpiring the Highfield hockey matches in the afternoon.. Monday night provided Year 6 with their trial boarding opportunity, and this seemed to go smoothly, as the other year groups’ trial boarding has as well. Parents’ Evenings have filled this week, and I know this is appreciated by parents and teachers alike. As with last week, we have had another very full programme of music concerts this week: Piano on Tuesday, Guitar on Thursday, and Singing on Friday (with 23 singers performing!). Thursday saw the senior girls travel to Hurstpierpoint College for the IAPS Regional Hockey Tournament. They got through to the Semi-Finals but were nudged out at that stage. Not to be outdone, Pre-Prep children have managed to visit the Weald and Downland Open Air Museum (Year 1), Chandler’s Ford Library (Reception), and even Wagamamas in Winchester(Year 2)!
Parents will already have seen information about the iSAMS Parent App, via an email on Thursday. This promises to be an excellent resource for you to get information quickly and conveniently, on-the-go. Do please let us know how you are using it, and feed back on any problems you encounter (firstname.lastname@example.org). Remember that the sports app (option to add app to your phone at www.twyfordschoolsports.com ) is also a fantastic asset for sports-specific information – and up to date with team lists and venues.
I have become aware that children are too readily going to Matrons Room to ask to phone home for equipment and to confirm arrangements for pick-up etc. This is not at all what we should be permitting – children need to be organised, but please could parents be far more aware of checking that your children have actually got their essential equipment for the specific day ahead? There is an unacceptable number of telephone calls to ask parents to bring in: mouthguards, socks, trainers, ties, musical instruments, exercise books… Children often deal with this as soon as they think of it – between lessons, or even during lessons – thereby interrupting their own learning, and often disturbing others when they have to enter rooms where a lesson has already begun. Of course, I am also alarmed that children are not clear about who is collecting them at times. Last minute changes can always be accommodated, but please clarify these things with children before drop-off. Of course, it is different if there is an unavoidable change in plan at our end; for which we will always help to make things work. With all of this, our Matrons are taken away from the crucial job they are really there for: looking after the health of our children. So, in summary, please get all these things checked and sorted before your child comes in to school. We will soon start to refuse children permission to make these kinds of calls home. They will have to suffer the consequences of not being organised.
Related to the above is a certain disquiet about parents doing everything for their children. For example, the majority of parents carry their children’s sports kit and other bags in to school on a Monday morning. This seems to apply equally to Year 3 and Year 8! Right from Year 3, children should be managing these things unaided. No parent really needs to take sports kit into the changing rooms – your child should do this. Ditto for musical instruments coming into Music School (although I might see the issue with a tuba or double bass). Please consider the gradual insistence on independence on the part of your child. But do, by all means, use checklists and post-it notes at home to ensure they have everything they need before setting off for school.
As we ready ourselves for Half Term, the Senior Choir will set off on an exciting journey. Their target is Laon in Northern France, where they will be giving a concert tour, singing at Laon Cathedral, Lille Cathedral and St Tresain at Avenay-Val-d'Or. I am sure this will be a very valuable experience, and I look forward to hearing all about it on their return. There is a ‘post-tour concert on the first Monday back after Half Term, to which all parents and pupils are warmly invited. (6.45 pm).
Have a good break.