I wanted to start my piece this week by announcing a change of arrangements for picking up Year 3 children. For a little while we have been looking at more rational ways of dismissing the younger children so as to avoid their having to carry such unreasonable loads around the School. I have been very pleased to receive input and suggestions from parents about this, and we have full agreement from staff for a change in practice. From this Monday onwards, please would parents assemble on Court, as usual. A member of staff will then come to Court to let you know that the children are ready to be collected from their form rooms. Teachers will ‘hand over’ each child to a parent or carer in the usual fashion. We clearly need to ensure there is not too much disruption to all other lessons going on at this time, so I would ask parents all to go through the arch from the ‘toast rack’ car park and to walk past Science School to get to the classrooms. Any other route will mean parents are not walking past all the windows of other classrooms. If the weather is inclement, parents will be directed to wait in the Boarders’ Drawing Room. We will look closely at how this goes, with a view to shifting the same practice to Year 4 before long.
The second topic I wanted to alert parents to is Twitter. We will be activating our own twitter feed this coming week, managed by Rebecca Andreae, Sam White and Damien Digby. More information is given elsewhere in this edition of the Twyford Link, but we hope that this will allow for a greater communication to parents about activities and events here at School. We will use it for alerts of forthcoming events, as well as to highlight what the children have been doing. Please give feedback to the team on how you think we are doing.
In my Assembly this week I told children about a Year 4 girl I had met while on Inspection in Sussex. She was a refugee from Somalia, having travelled all the way across Europe with her mother a year before. In her case, she was escaping religious persecution rather than civil war - it was important to distinguish for our children that people sometimes leave their countries for differing reasons. I described Julie’s home life as a Somali Christian, and how she and her mother came to be separated from the rest of their family, who are now waiting for the opportunity to come to UK. The theme of persecution blends in with our look at some Bible stories in Chapel this week as well (particularly the Flight to Egypt and the Israelites in the Wilderness). As ever, we link our assemblies and Chapel services to our School Values: tolerance, kindness and friendship, in this case. Tutors have also been steered to make the same connections during the Tutor periods.
Our sporting week was once again affected by weather, with the boys’ rugby against Westbourne House cancelled due to frozen pitches. However, the girls managed to have some very energetic and enjoyable competitive matches against PGS and Lambrook. On Wednesday things had warmed up enough for a full programme of 23 matches to be played against Cheam School, home and away. Sadly two additional matches were cancelled due to a sickness bug at Cheam claiming one age group.
Pre-Prep have enjoyed having a Storyteller in, as well as Year 1 presenting their Assembly to parents, grandparents and carers. Further excitement has been added today, with all Pre-Prep children, plus 30 Prep ballet pupils, attending the Northern Ballet’s Cinderella at the Mayflower Theatre.
Next week is really very busy – even more so than usual: we have the Perform 4 Schools drama workshops; Swimming v Farleigh and a second match against Bishop’s Waltham; a Maths day for Years 6, 7 & 8 with a visiting Oxford Professor; three out of four House Music Semi-Finals, Year 2 visit to the Medina Mosque and NSPCC assemblies with Yrs 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6! Our sporting output is equally monumental: 19 matches on Wednesday, including tournaments and matches against PGS, Walhampton, Dumpton, Westbourne, Durlston Court, Horris Hill. On Saturday we then put out 22 teams against Highfield.
Today ends early, and then Years 3 and 4 get their glad rags on for their TPA Disco! Enjoy the Exeat.