Mr Croydon’s Senior School Blog 12th May 2017

There have been plenty of visitors to the main site this week as we hosted two Open Mornings – Tuesday and Thursday.  Not only did this attract interest in year groups both in the Lower and Senior school, but we also had some relatives of existing pupils who wanted another opportunity to see the school in action.  The pupils who were chosen to provide tours were excellent ambassadors and rightly so, deserved the compliments given by the visitors on their return to the Refectory.

We have also had the NHS HPV team visiting the school today.  Not only did the team administer the HPV vaccination to our Year 8 and 9 girls, but they were also kind enough to make time to deliver an assembly to dispel myths associated with the vaccine, as well as providing some scientific explanation as to how the vaccine works.

Mr Rayner also delivered an assembly this week to Key Stage 3.  This time, Mr Rayner looked at how pupils can be developing aspirations for their future studies and careers.  Equally importantly, the assembly addressed why pupils need to offer more than a good set of results, given the competitive nature of the global workplace – opportunities afforded in school such as the Duke of Edinburgh award being ideal to enhance personal statements in the future.

I led the assembly on Monday for which both Year 9 and Year 10 pupils were present.  My assembly focussed on the aspirations of being a prefect and the key factors in supporting the achievement of this privileged status – most notably being a positive role model.  Many Year 10 pupils have now accrued 150 prefect points which is the minimum requirement for being given trial prefect status however; I made it clear that there are other expectations of the pupils too.  Some pupils have expressed interest in applying for the coveted position of Head Boy or Girl, for which all candidates deliver a speech to their peers and staff in an attempt to win their vote.  Speeches are to be delivered in assemblies post half term.  I seem to recall there is some important voting taking place on Thursday 8th June, though for me, the Head Boy and Girl voting which also takes place in June, is equally as important.

Additionally, I announced in assembly this week that fidget spinners have been banned in the senior school, a ban which also exists in the lower school.  There have been many schools around the country which have banned fidget spinners, though my announcement was not made on the basis of other schools, but instead, followed discussions with staff about the impact of these items when used in class and on the playground.  There are of course many reports which state these spinners eliminate anxiety and can help children and adults with ADHD to focus.  Equally, there appear to be a number of reports from medical professionals which refute the above claims.  Where pupils may benefit from a silent fidget in school, discussions are had with parents and the Learning Support department to ensure all pupils are supported as individuals, as best as possible.

Studying ecosystems; developing familiarity with chemical elements; analysing different styles of journalism; simplifying algebraic expressions; discussing ethics in sport; mimicking artistic style – were just some of the lesson activities I encountered this week whilst dropping in and out of classrooms.

Outside of class, Mr Dowson and Miss Banks took some of our talented athletes to the ISA Regional Athletics championships at Cambridge University Athletics track on Wednesday.  Leaving at 9am and returning after 5pm, it was certainly a long day for all those involved, but by all accounts an enjoyable and successful day too – Mr Dowson will of course elaborate upon this in this week’s Sports Newsletter.

My diary has also included meetings with Senior School staff and middle leaders, as well as attending a safeguarding meeting – all this and liaising with the Examinations Officer to ensure all is in place for the external exams for Year 11 next week.  There was in fact one exam this week, the LAMDA drama exam, and I hope all those taking part were pleased with their performance.

Those of you who are parents of Year 11 pupils, will know that pupils have received their leavers’ hoodies, have had a leavers’ assembly, and have been treated to a celebratory brunch – this being done, the focus for these pupils can of course return to exam preparation.

Whatever the weekend holds for you, I hope you have an enjoyable two days.