We have had such an exciting and packed term and it has been lovely to see so many of you at our various events. Particular highlights of this term have been hearing Year 5’s excitement on their return from their residential at Cranedale and then being amazed at how well they represented us during Open Day. We were immensely proud of them all. The Creativity Cup early on in Autumn Term was a triumph of innovation and originality throughout the School. Some of the children’s work still hangs in classrooms and has been a talking point during parental tours this term. Hopefully you have seen them at our ‘open classroom’ events. I was impressed with Year 6’s efforts at Harvest Festival this term and felt that their presentation was accessible to all and hugely entertaining.
Whole-school events have remained a feature of our calendar and Roald Dahl week was very successful. I was sorry not to be able to join the children on that day, but I sent my friend Miss Trunchbull instead and she seemed very popular. In November, all the children, from Reception to Year 6, were able to enjoy the workshops provided by the NSPCC. Staying safe and keeping safe is an important lesson for them and we will be following that theme in our ‘On-line Information Evening’ for parents next year. I was overwhelmed by the response to our sponsored Colour Run and I am delighted to tell you that, as a school, we raised well over £5000. My sincere thanks to you, the parents, for supporting us in this and in our other charity events this term. Mr Baker of the Senior School has asked that I pass his deep appreciation of your generous assistance with the toy collection. While we can enjoy indulging our own children this year, it is comforting to know that we have also provided for the less advantaged children at the NSPCC Centre here on our doorstep in Mapperley Park.
The children have enjoyed their sport this term particularly in Lovell where they have been practising balancing and travelling skills in gymnastics and, of course, making fantastic and confident progress in swimming. Their development in responding to music and counting steps in dance was evident in their performances at the end of term! It has also been a pleasure to read all about the U9s efforts in the comprehensive match reports from Mrs Slater. We are also delighted by the success of our U11 Cross Country Team who are the Triple A Championship.
I would like to say a huge, ‘Well Done!’ to all the pupils who were new at the beginning of this term. I am delighted by how well they have settled into school life and, through their own efforts, quickly become such an important and valuable part of our ‘family’. Likewise, commendation must go to all our new mums and dads – it is not easy getting to grips with the idiosyncrasies of a new school, learning the ropes and supporting the children. As you will be aware, we have also had some new staff this term and I would like to offer my thanks to them for their enthusiasm and hard work and to my other colleagues for their welcoming approach and support. As I mentioned in October, Mr Cordy has been working on his ‘Mastermind Chosen Specialist Subject – NHIJS, the School and pupils’. He asked me to pass on that he feels he is now in a position to be tested on any subject relating to the school and on the names, including middle names, of all the pupils.
The Nativity plays have been an enormous success again and it is such a delight to see the children’s faces singing and enjoying their performances. On Monday, members of the Junior Choir were delighted to welcome their grandparents to the Player Hall where we sang many traditional carols and ate the delicious mince pies! Grandparents sang well but our choirs stole the show. Once again, the highlight of our public events for this term was our Carol Concert which was a celebration of Christmas Traditions and was not only highly informative, but was a delight of inclusivity featuring performances from many of our pupils. Our traditional panto trip had a twist this year as we turned the Player Hall into a theatre and enjoyed a production of ‘A Christmas Carol’. We are now looking forward to Friday for our staff and pupil ‘Christmas Jumper’ sing-a-long which Mr Fear is always keen to attend.
Of course, these events are all extras to our already full academic and extra-curricular calendar. As I know you are aware, they can only happen because of the hard work and dedication of the staff who give their own time so willingly to the benefit of the children. I remain extremely grateful to them for their hard work, dedication, patience and sense of humour.
Once again, the staff and I have been overwhelmed by your beautiful cards and gifts. On behalf of us all, I would like to thank you most sincerely for your kindness and generosity. I wish you all a very happy and peaceful Christmas holiday and I look forward to welcoming the children back to School on Wednesday, January 4th 2017.
With very best wishes,