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Head’s blog

Welcome Back

It was lovely to welcome all the children back on Wednesday in the sunshine. Walking around the grounds yesterday it was wonderful to see lots of happy faces around the school. The new children are settling in well and one or two of them taught me a lesson in table tennis yesterday lunchtime!

I spoke to the children in assembly about the core Belmont values of being kind, trying your best and embracing challenge. I told them about how I embraced the challenge of a two hour surfing lesson in the chilly Cornish waters this summer. I tried my best for two hours, making some progress but just failing at the last hurdle when getting into a standing position. Exhausted from walking back into the waves multiple times, I finished the lesson a little disappointed with my achievements. I explained to the children that I will not be giving up and I am determined to become a ‘silver surfer’ next summer. Fortunately my own children, who came to watch the latter part of my surfing lesson, were very kind in their assessment of my efforts.

I told the pupils that in their time at school if they are prepared to give things a go, to persevere and always be considerate of others they will make the most of their time at Belmont.

Head’s Presentation and Meet the Tutor Evenings

There have been more improvements to classrooms over the summer holidays with two beautifully refurbished classrooms for Year 5 and a new Art Studio. There is still some new furniture to install in some of the rooms and we hope this will be completed over Half Term.

There will be an opportunity to see the revamped rooms and hear about some changes to the curriculum at a Head’s presentation and meet the tutors evening on Thursday, 13th September for Upper School and on Thursday, 20th September for Lower School.  An email will be sent out on Monday with further details requesting a response so we can ascertain numbers for catering.

New Staff and New Roles

We welcomed several new members of the team this week:

Miss Lotte Goldthorpe is our new Director of Sport & Activities. A Durham graduate, Lotte was previously Head of Girls’ PE and Games at Alleyn’s Senior School.

Mr Rhys Davies-Horne has taken on the role of Head of P.E. He was formerly Assistant Head of PE and Games at QE Boys’ School.

Mr Peter Fannon is our Head of Computing and Digital Learning. His previous post was as a teacher of ICT and Assistant Head of Sixth Form at Redborne Upper School. He also has middle school experience and is an active member of Bedford Hockey Club.

Miss Lydia Granath is class teacher for 4LG. She was previously a Year 4 Class Teacher at Hadley Wood Primary School.

Mrs Loraine Nunez has 13 years’ teaching experience and previously taught History and Religious Studies at St James’ Catholic Hugh School. She will be teaching RS, History and English in Upper School.

Mrs Jo Nicol has been working at Belmont for the past three years as a fantastic self-employed netball coach, taking our Under 13s to the IAPS National Netball final last year. Jo is a qualified primary teacher, specialising in Maths and PE, and she is now a permanent member of staff, teaching Games and Maths.

Mr Andy Perrin will continue to teach Computing and also provide additional support to the Learning Support Department in Lower School.

Miss Natasha Brown is our new Health Care Assistant, providing additional support to the school nurse, Natasha Anderson. Natasha Brown was previously working at The Royal Free as Midwife support. If you have any Medical queries just ask to speak to Natasha!

Mrs Sharon Down is a highly qualified Teaching Assistant who previously worked in a primary school in Surrey for a number of years.

Miss Emily Daly will be supporting the DT and Science departments as a technician as well as providing administrative support for teachers.

We wish all our new staff the best of luck for their first year with us and we are very excited about the contribution that they will make to Belmont. We also have some existing members of staff who have taken on new roles this September:

Miss Sophie Bufton         Teaching and Learning Coordinator

Mr Adrian Warren           Head of Religious Studies

Mrs Morgane Allen         Spanish Coordinator

Miss Rebecca Gimpel     Charities and Community Links Coordinator

Mr Gareth Tongue           Head of Jutes

Mr Sam Phillips                 Head of Danes


ABC Fun Run

Next week also sees the first Mill Hill School Foundation Fun Run on Friday, 14th September. This is to raise money for the A Better Chance bursary scheme. Over 40 pupils have benefitted from ABC Bursaries over the last 10 years and there are 16 beneficiaries in our schools this year.

The Fun Run is an inter-House competition with a prize for the House which raises the most money.  Belmont Houses will be competing with Mill Hill Houses. Years 7 and 8 from Belmont have been nominated to represent their Houses; EVERYONE IN THOSE YEARS WILL BE RUNNING starting at 2.10pm.

Please support our runners; please talk to friends and family over the weekend and encourage them to support the Fun Run too by sponsoring a House.  https://www.justgiving.com/campaigns/charity/millhillschoolfoundation/funrun18 They can come along and watch on the day too.

At the end of the Fun Run 27 parents and staff will be cycling to Cambridge also to raise money for ABC. Come and watch them go and support them if you can.

Poetry Competition

At the end of the summer term, pupils were encouraged by the English department to enter the SATIPS poetry competition. This year’s judge was David Caddy and Miss Bufton’s set 1 Year 5 English group spent time in lessons enjoying his themes of childhood and growing up. Pupils took one of these themes, or the title of two of his poems ‘From the…’ and ‘For Those Who…’ and created their own imaginative poems, capturing the spectrum from comedy to sorrow. SATIPS has commended this group’s collection as an ‘excellent entry’ and there is a special congratulations to Eva Slessenger who also received a Highly Commended award for her poem ‘From the Stables’. All pupils will receive a certificate and SATIPS pencil in assembly this week.

I hope you all have a lovely weekend and I look forward to seeing many of you at the Upper School Meet the Tutors evening on Thursday.