Mr Croydon’s Senior School Blog 7th July 2017

As I write my final blog of the academic year, I sit and reflect upon recent busy weeks – has this week been any less busy? There have not been pupils out on trips, and the normal timetable has been reverted to however, still plenty of activities worthy of a mention.

On Monday morning the hall held the exhibits from last Friday’s art exhibition so that more pupils, both Lower School and Senior School, would get an opportunity to view the material. I was sorry not to be able to attend the exhibition last Friday, but was grateful of the chance to see the pupils’ work this week.  Stunning and fabulous are just a couple of adjectives I would use to describe the set up.  There were a number of compliments following the event, I’d like to share a couple: Our students have produced amazing work & together it really looked superb!; there was nothing but positivity and praise buzzing in the air for the students and their hard work. I extend a huge thank you to Ms Stanton and colleagues for organising this event, the first of its kind at CHS.

Tuesday morning was an assembly devoted to sharing the musical talents of our pupils, as is customary in the penultimate week of term. There were a number of musical renditions, each of them very moving and inspiring – as I told the assembled pupils at the end of the assembly, it takes a lot of courage for pupils to perform in front of their peers.

Wednesday, the hall was the venue for hosting the visitor from the Holocaust Education Trust. In the morning there were workshops provided for all Year 9 pupils.  Later, after lunch, Edgar Guest, a Holocaust survivor, gave a very emotional and moving testimony to Year 9 pupils, Year 10 History students, staff and even some parents.  There was even time for a question and answer session at the end. I thank Mrs Cullen for organising this event.  I know the school has hosted Holocaust survivors previously, and I hope this is something which will be repeated again next year.

This week has also provided an opportunity for new staff to visit and familiarise themselves with the surroundings and to start introducing themselves to the pupils. I am sending a separate end of year letter outlining staff changes and names.  You will also have received my communication about end of term arrangements, please ensure you aware of these arrangements.

The Senior School office has been busy this week with Mrs Joseph, Mrs Evans and I, quality assuring and finalising reports ahead of sharing with parents and guardians. Alongside the reporting process, final preparations have also been put in place for the Year 11 Prom which concludes this week, and the Senior School Prize Giving Ceremony scheduled for Monday afternoon.  As always, the Prize Giving ceremony provides an opportunity to reward effort, academic achievements and community spirit amongst others, as well as being the time for the handing over of the mantle of Head Boy and Girl.

Even with next week being a shorter week, the days will still be packed and therefore, likely to pass by in flash.

Ahead of breaking up for summer, I am taking this chance just to update you once more on matters of e-safety. Snapchat have recently updated their app with a new feature that displays a map of nearby friends. The map shows their latest location, gathered using a smartphone’s GPS sensor. Users of the app can also search for locations such as individual schools, with the app displaying public photos and videos sent by pupils. The feature is designed to help friends meet up or attend events together however; it has raised fears that it could be abused. The UK Safer Internet Centre said: “It is important to be careful about who you share your location with, as it can allow people to build up a picture of where you live, go to school and spend your time. Given how specific this new feature is on Snapchat – giving your location to a precise pinpoint on a map – we would encourage users not to share their location, especially with people they don’t know in person.”  For your own interest, it is possible to turn the feature off on children’s phones by setting the app to “ghost mode”.

I hope you have enjoyed reading my blogs this year, as well as finding them useful.

I wish you all a superlative summer when it comes.

Best wishes.