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Head’s blog

Reading Week & World Book Day

It has been busy, but in a joyful way, as we have been celebrating the importance of books and reading this week. Thursday was World Book Day and staff and pupils made an effort to dress up as one of their favourite book characters.  The children had some amazing outfits from Harry Potter to Oompa Loompas and I was particularly pleased to see how many Upper School pupils took part in the event – our most ever! The whole English department dressed up as characters from Peter Pan, Mr Philips was Yellow Crayon, Mr Perrin was a very impressive Jack Sparrow and Mr Norbury relished the opportunity to be Ming the Merciless for the day! I have to be very careful not to offend staff by incorrectly guessing their chosen character when they have worked so hard on their outfits. I apologise to Mrs Bridge for mistaking her Medusa outfit for the Whomping Willow from Harry Potter! The winners of the children’s competition will be announced in Monday’s assembly.

This Monday’s assembly started with a quiz to see if the children could identify the opening lines of famous books. I was impressed that some of our children recognised the openings of ‘A Tale of Two Cities’ and ‘Pride and Prejudice’, the one that most of the Upper School pupils knew was from ‘The Tiger Who Came To Tea’ which was very sweet. Mr Spencer, the Foundation’s CEO, also led a lively chapel service that required Mr Fleet to do the plank but also focused on the importance of reading and how fortunate we are to have books and the opportunity to read them.

One particular quote I saw this week that resonated with me came from research by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development:

“Reading for pleasure is the single biggest indicator of a child’s future success, more than their family circumstances, parents’ educational background or their income.”

With this in mind, we are grateful to all of our families who donated books this week to the London Children’s Book project. These pre-loved books will be donated to school libraries and children in some of the more deprived areas of the capital.

There have been a plethora of activities for our children including trips to the Bucks County Museum with a focus on Roald Dahl, Year 8 visiting The Globe, a Victorian Fair, Poetry recital contests, a dystopian performance workshop and the pop-up book fair. I would like to say a huge thank you to all of the teachers involved in making Reading Week such a huge success but in particular Miss Bufton, Mrs Pendred and Mrs Hunt for their passion for literature and the effort they have put into organising all the events.

Inspection Report

I hope that you enjoyed reading the inspection report that was emailed out earlier this week. We felt that the inspectors gained a deep understanding of our ethos and the learning environment we are trying to create. We are looking forward to building on this positive assessment in the coming months and years and going from strength to strength. Please click here to read the report.

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend.

With best wishes,

Leon Roberts