Academic Rigour, Challenges and Creativity - Mill Hill Schools

Head’s blog

Academic Rigour, Challenges and Creativity

Dear Parents

It has been a busy week full of challenges and opportunities for the children.

13+ Scholarships and Townsend- Warner History Prize

For the last few days many of our Year 8 pupils have been taking part in the Mill Hill 13+ scholarship interviews and assessments. Mrs King has reported to me how impressed she was with how well the Belmont children conducted themselves in their interviews and assessments. The candidates have been an absolute credit to their families and to the school. I also popped into see the twenty Year 7 and 8 pupils sitting the first round of the Townsend- Warner History Prize this morning. This national prep schools’ history competition is a rigorous challenge but I am delighted that so many Belmontians put themselves forward.  We look forward to the results of both the Townsend Warner and the 13+ Scholarships.

Cross Country Challenge

More exciting and fulfilling challenges have been faced by our Cross Country runners who were fantastic at Allianz Park yesterday in the Barnet Schools Cross Country Championships. All participants worked incredibly hard and deserve praise. Special mention should go to Ella Robinson and Toluwani Adelaja (who came 1st and 3rd respectively for the Year 7 girls), Archie Nash and Zac Carter (who came 1st and 3rd respectively for the Year 7 boys) and Jessie Hopkins in Year 8 who came 3rd in the Year 9 contest. All five children will go through to represent Barnet in the Middlesex Championships in two weeks’ time. Well done to everyone and thanks to Mr Billows and Miss List for supporting the runners.

The Belmont Jukebox Challenge and Assembly

Monday’s assemblies saw the return of the Jukebox Challenge. The children have to identify tracks played at the start of assembly and guess which teacher has chosen them. This week Mr Symes selected Spandau Ballet’s ‘Gold’ and the soundtrack from The Goonies! Mr Symes talked about how The Goonies was a film he loved as a child but also how ‘Gold’ was a track that reminded him of being driven around Suffolk by his mum and dad, singing in the back of the car with his 2 younger brothers.

The theme for assembly was about getting the children to think about setting themselves SMART targets for the year.  Are their goals for improvement in 2018 specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-based? We looked at a dartboard as a visual prompt for setting targets, tested the children’s maths with darts scores and told them the story of recent World Champion darts player Rob Cross who only a year ago was an electrician. Mr Symes 1980s selections must have triggered something inside me that got me reminiscing on when darts and snooker players were household names: Eric Bristow, Jocky Wilson, Steve Davis, Ray Reardon and Alex Higgins to name but a few. I also enlightened the children with my childhood memories of watching Saturday afternoon wrestling with Big Daddy and Giant Haystacks! I didn’t go as far as suggesting the children used ‘jumpers for goalposts’ for their Games afternoons.

Creativity

Most of our Year 6 children went to see School of Rock yesterday. Joseph, 6RA currently plays the role of Billy, the band stylist; the pupils and teachers who saw him said he was just amazing.

As part of their Creative Learning Project, Year 5 pupils experienced Frozen Kingdom on Tuesday and they had a fantastic time taking part in various activities, including a Frozen Kingdom Dome. The children learn a great deal from these immersive cross-curricular experiences and it really adds a richness and a sense of fun to their learning. Thank you to Mrs Bridge, Miss Williams, Miss Black and Miss Sutherns for their efforts but especially Mr Phillips who played a key role in organising this inspiring event.

Have a lovely weekend,

Best wishes

Leon Roberts