Mr Croydon’s Senior School Blog 30th June 2017

It is not often that I am refused entry to a classroom but that is in fact what I met with when I went to the upstairs laboratory on Wednesday afternoon. I expected to see some excellent pupil engagement, but instead I met with tape across the door – ‘Crime Scene DO NOT ENTER’. In actual fact the room inside had been set up as a crime scene with the perpetrator having carelessly left clues behind. Pupils took on the role of forensic investigators, and subsequently scrutinised, tested, compared and contrasted all of the evidence from the scene in order to solve the crime.

The forensics activity was just one of many which had been meticulously planned for curriculum week. The maths staff managed to set up a room for cake decorating, and I was amazed by the fabulous designs pupils were creating – whilst I did not get to sample the cakes, that did not detract from the superb achievements of the pupils!

Within the scope of the curriculum week theme this year of ‘Try Something New’, there were also drama based lessons, lessons on cryptography, a chance to play disability sports, French boules, and even a bit of magic.

Aside from the above, every pupil involved with the curriculum week had a session on First Aid delivered by St. John’s Ambulance staff. There have also been two projects being undertaken this week: one has been the production of murals for the English, Maths and RS departments, all of which are looking great; the second, a music and arts project, the results of which will be on show at the school’s first ever Arts Exhibition this week.

I could quite easily list all the staff involved in all the aforementioned activities, but I would be listing all those staff on site this week, as all have been involved in delivering these sessions to enrich the lives of the pupils – I will however, thank Ms Stanton and Mrs Romero-Fernandes for running the arts and music project alongside organisation of the Arts Exhibition, as well as thanking Mrs Croydon for organising the curriculum week.

Trips have also taken place this week, and therefore, some pupils had an additional enriching experience outside of school. Year 10 pupils went on a trip to the Science Museum organised by Ms Ezekiel, whilst pupils from Years 7, 8 and 9 went to Alton Water as organised by Miss Banks, or Hampton Court as organised by Mrs Cullen (nee Ponfield), and of course some pupils accompanied the residential trip to Stratford-upon-Avon as organised by Mr May. As with the in-school activities, from those I have spoken to, these trips were huge successes. There is a lot of planning which goes into organising a trip to ensure it runs smoothly and safely – I thank the trip leaders and the accompanying staff for making these trips such a success.

Year 10 pupils benefitted from the first ever CHS careers day, which comprised: sessions on job searching; interview skills; post-16 pathways; benefitting from others’ experience with time for individualised Q&A; guest speakers from further and higher educational establishments. As with this week’s trips, there has been positive pupil feedback following the event. All pupils have been encouraged to ask questions about future options and to make use of the expertise within the school to support them. My thanks also go to the English department staff who treated Year 10 pupils to a day of focused lessons in preparation for next year.
In amongst curriculum week and trips, I was able to attend a half day safeguarding network meeting this week, in order to keep up to date with the latest foci from the Essex Children’s Safeguarding Board.

Additionally, Monday was the day the Senior School hosted the Year 7 move up day. Current Year 7 parents will remember the experience from last year and perhaps cannot believe a year has passed – I certainly cannot, nor indeed that the end of term is now so close.
Within the remaining days there will be Senior School Prize Giving, at which I hope to see as many parents and guardians as possible, as well as there being end of year reports to finalise and send home. Also when looking ahead, the Humanities department have invited the Holocaust Education Trust to come and speak to our Year 9 pupils on 5th July. Pupils will participate in workshops and listen to a Holocaust survivor’s testimony.

There is just one news headline to leave you with this week. ‘Snapchat’s new map feature raises fears of stalking and bullying’, is a headline appearing in the Guardian – search it online to read more.

Whatever you do this weekend, have an enjoyable couple of days.