This week’s assembly focused on two things: ‘Holi’ and ‘Time’. The Indian festival of Holi takes place today, but is celebrated this weekend. There are numerous open events including in Colchester, Ipswich and Chelmsford. It is when people get together to unite, forgetting all resentments and bad feelings – with colours bringing great vibrancy. We wish all members of our community who are celebrating Holi a very happy weekend!
As they reflect on the term and the holidays approach, it is a useful challenge to the pupils to reflect on their use of time. I asked them to consider how they use their time: whether they rush it, treasure it, fritter it, optimise it, share it, give it? Obviously there has to be a balance. If you ‘over treasure’ your time you don’t share it, if you overthink your use of time you may not enjoy your use of it. Whitney Houston or her song writer was no prophet (apologies if you think they are) but to help them reflect I played her song ‘One moment in time’ and the video that goes with it – and had the lyrics scrolling on screen alongside the song.
The performance of ‘Ali Baba and the Bongo Bandits’ was a credit to the Years 4s and 5s – and to Mrs Mayhew and Mrs Mitchell. It was astonishingly good, especially given the challenges created by not having the recent experience of learning lines and spending time perfecting scenes over the last few years. In previous years the whole week would have been set aside for rehearsal but we felt that it was important to maintain academic momentum in the core subjects. Some of the project work created during rehearsals was super. I am very much looking forward to ‘Matilda’ in two weeks’ time – they traditionally have had substantially less rehearsal time and the play’s proximity to the end of term has meant I have been happier to opt for a week to perfect the play. This is a model I have seen work well with ’quick turn around’ plays – and I love witnessing the camaraderie of making it work under such time restraints. (I recognise the normal declining academic momentum from pupils as the end of term approaches – no matter what a head says in any school!)
We have yet another awesome discovery day with over 30 new families visiting the school to look at Reception and Pre-Reception on Saturday. I would like to thank all the staff who have kindly volunteered their time to help run the event on Saturday morning.
We are very nearly at the stage of presenting the work that has been completed on the Reception to Year 4 curriculum, and hope to do so early on next term. Our pedagogical expert spent two days this week working 1:1 with different pre-prep teachers over her time with us. They have been looking at the aims that underpin the curriculum, how stretch is integrated using skills from the year above, how diversity is integrated, how topical ideas can be brought in, developing further the connections from year to year, and how immersive and experiential it can be. The work they have done looks fantastic – taking the wonderful work of the last two years and the themes developed and adding whole layers to them.
Have a very good weekend.