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The Georgian monday, 27 january 2020

BEHIND THE STUDY DOOR

What is your passion?

On Wednesday evening, Catherine and I attended an evening celebrating the 5th anniversary of James Shone's charity, 'I Can and I Am'. Many of you will remember that James spoke at our Speech Day in July 2019. Over the past five years James has spoken to thousands of pupils across the country (and further afield) in an inspirational message of:How to create a feeling of belonging for everyone

  • How to ensure that we all feel of value
  • Making sure we all feel that we're good at something
  • Provide the feeling of a secure, hope filled future.

James' own journey to this began in 2012 when he underwent major surgery following the diagnosis of a brain tumour. As the recently appointed head of a Prep School, this changed his future dramatically and he now devotes his time to inspiring confidence in children, turning round the all too familiar feeling of 'I can't' to 'I can and I am'.

James recounted the beginnings of this new journey on Wednesday and that one conversation changed his outlook completely. Early on following surgery, he was asked, "James, what is your passion". This made him realise very quickly where his passions lie, and now, five years later he is turning his focus from inspiration to transformation, and we, as a school, very much hope to be part of the exciting plans he has.

Part of the great privilege of working with young people is being able to watch as they develop their own passions. Starting with interests, possibly devoting time to three or four clubs or activities, and eventually finding something that utterly motivates and fires them up, having a passion for something gives young people the lens on the world that shapes them.

As Vic Goddard, headteacher of Passmores Academy, writes 'you know if you're passionate about something because you're restless when it isn't finished'. Passion can be an overused word, something I often see in the many application forms for jobs that I have seen, however all great achievements generally start with a passion.

We see this passion come from the children on a daily basis in so many interactions with them. When it comes, it is so easy to subscribe to this passion.

William Goldsmith

One person with passion is better than forty people merely interested. E.M. Forster

Staff Workshop

On Friday Mr Jonnie Noakes, Head of Teaching & Learning at Eton College and the Director of the Tony Little Centre for Innovation and Research in Learning (CIRL), came to talk to Pre-Prep and Prep School staff about the work that he does at Eton’s Educational Research Centre. The presentation looked at how teaching is becoming a more action research driven profession and how teachers can become more effective practitioners through undertaking research. His presentation also showed how a culture of evidence-informed practice, creative innovation, disciplined enquiry in teaching and learning, can benefit the whole school community.

This Week in Year 1

On Tuesday Year 1 were very lucky to have Yulin Zhou come to visit them. Yulin taught them all about Chinese New Year and how it is celebrated. Chinese communities around the world celebrated the New Year on Friday, 24 January to welcome the Year of the Rat. Year 1 learnt about the customs and traditions at this special time as well as a brief introduction to the characters used in the Chinese language. A very big thank you to her son Joel (1JH) who also helped his mummy during the presentation.

This Week in Year 4

Year 4 classes have had some very unusual lessons this week. In geography, 4ER used cake to demonstrate their understanding of coastal erosion. In groups they needed to create a cave, arch, stack and stump, being careful not to “erode” too much of the cake away in the process. They were able to label their cake to show each section of the erosion process. On Tuesday Mr Wilson's maths group went to the gym for a practical maths lesson about decimals, in which they were required to act out a decimal number. This was a very engaging way to help them consolidate their understanding.

Food Matters

Our new Catering Manager, Olivia Merkett, has introduced some wonderful new menus this term; there is so much to choose from, including vegan options. The menus can be seen here on the school website. The photos below were taken on just one day this week!

Chorister Assembly

Following the Chorister Experience Day for internal candidates on Tuesday, our Choristers gave a presentation on what it was like to be a Chorister to an attentive assembly on Thursday morning.

Sports Report - Week 3

Netball on Friday

U8 Red Team had a very competitive match against The Marist. We had lots of possession and many shooting opportunities. Molly J had an excellent game at Wing Attack and played some great linking play with Cicily W. The team are developing very well, they move the ball down the court with some great passing and are starting to understand how to drive for the ball. Final score 3-1 to St. George’s.

The U8 Blue team also had a very successful afternoon and came away with a 6-0 victory. There was some lovely shooting from Joanna H who was always in a space and was consistent with her shooting. Well done to Freya S who was the player of the match.

The U9s travelled away to The Marist. The U9A team got off to a slower start and The Marist were 5-1 in the lead at the end of the first quarter. St George’s came back with a fight once settled into the second quarter and there was some great determination shown by the team. Well done to Jessica G and Sienna L whose shooting was excellent throughout the match. Milly W continued to work tirelessly in her position as Centre. The U9B team were unlucky to lose 2-0 in their match, but managed to turn over the ball consistently. Alma S played exceptionally well helping to get the ball down the court. Sophia C held her position as Goal Attack and moved well into space.

U10 Netball tournament at St Georges Ascot

On Saturday morning the U10 girls played in a netball tournament at St George’s Ascot; a busy morning of matches for the girls and some excellent performances from the whole team. The girls started off with a 7 – 0 win, although the competition was soon to get stronger, with some much closer matches against some very strong teams. The girls played exceptionally well all morning and it was lovely to see new combinations working to get the ball down the court. They played beautifully as a team and their tenacity on the court was evident. A special mention to Lily D, who received the Most Valuable Player of the tournament for St George’s. Her commitment in defence was fantastic, challenging every ball and making some excellent turnovers. Well done to all the girls.

Rugby on Friday

The Under 8 teams took part in a triangular tournament with Reddam House and the hosts, LVS, on Friday. The first game against Reddam was a very even contest, both sides attacking and defending well. The second match, against LVS, was slightly more open; St George’s dominated the game and it was good to see the team working hard to keep their running straight and making quicker decisions with the ball at the breakdown.

Under 9 teams travelled to Reddam House on Friday to take part in a triangular fixture that included LVS. They missed last week's match due to poor weather and they had clearly taken advantage of the extra training session to develop both passing and contact skills. As a result of this, the boys proved too good for their opposition. Special mention must go to Paul R who ran in 7 tries with some wonderful front foot attacking rugby. Congratulations to all three teams - it was a wonderful afternoon of rugby for the school.

Rugby on Wednesday

U10 A team played some outstanding rugby against St Neot’s on Wednesday. Their commitment and focus resulted in superb tries. They were resounding winners with a truly team-based performance for the outset. Team play had been a target for the week and it was great to see the whole group put their hard work into effect on the pitch.

The under 10 B squad had a fantastic game against St Neots School on Wednesday afternoon. The side started strongly with Nate M and Gabriel R-A both making excellent breaks through the opposition defence, this coupled with the pace of Leo M and Ceddie R created a number of try-scoring moments. In defence, Lukas O and Jonah P both made some superb tackles close to our try line to stop the opposition from scoring. A good result; the aim for the next game is to ensure we use our overlaps more often.

The under 11 A team came up against a well organised St Neot's team. We were impressed with the second-half performance where the boys showed an improved effort to tackle and a greater desire to win the ball back at the rucks. Special mention should go to Radley H and James E who never gave up and showed excellent attitude throughout the game.

The under 11 B team demonstrated exceptional team play to run out 13 - 5 winners against St Neot's. The tries were shared across the whole team. Special mention should go to Kobie L for a magnificent full pitch try and Adhrit P for excellent passing.

The 1st XII travelled to St. Neot’s for their second outing of the season and it became clear very quickly that the teams were a mismatch. After three tries inside five minutes for St. George’s we made several changes to the teams. On rotation three of the St George's boys played for St. Neot's, resulting in a twelve versus nine-player match. This certainly made the game more of a contest, however, St George's still ran out convincing winners. Well done to all of the team and especially those that played for the opposition, even if you scored St Neot’s only try!

For the 2nd XII it was a slight mismatch between the ability of both teams. This was immediately rectified by swapping two key players from St Neot’s with two from St George’s. This evened play considerably. We were immensely proud of our boys who were willing to even up the game by playing as part of the opposition; and to the two St Neot’s players who came to play for St George’s. We often witness the spirit of sportsmanship on display during schoolboy rugby, but it was evident in absolute bundles during this game. Most of the St George’s players found themselves defending a lot and we were particularly struck by Zinédine B's determination to tackle hard all the time. He also managed to score two tries because of his terrific support play.

Sunningdale Cross-Country Relay

Eight pupils from Years 5-8 took part in the Sunningdale annual cross country competition. The event was a relay event, with teams being made up of four pupils who ran 1.2 km each. The junior side ran extremely well and finished with a very impressive third-place position. The seniors tried very hard and did well against some tough opposition and it was pleasing to see that they never gave up chasing the runners in front of them. A great afternoon, well done to all involved.

Another Swimming Achievement for Sam

Last week Sam won gold in the Berkshire & South Buckinghamshire County swimming final for 50m butterfly and this week backed things up at the final weekend of the 2020 county championships on Saturday. We are delighted to say he is now also the U11 county 100m butterfly champion. We wish him luck next week at the IAPS Regionals race.

The Queen's Six

Families who have received the latest edition of the Windsor magazine through the front door may have recognised our very own Visiting Music Teacher Mr Carleston on the cover. Mr Carleston is one of the ‘Queen’s Six’, the cappella group made up of six Lay Clerks from the Choir of St George’s Chapel, which also includes a former boy Chorister, Dominic Bland . As well as performing for royalty, the group have toured internationally and won fame well beyond the walls of the Castle.

Dorm Diaries

Since the start of term, there has been no let-up in activity in the boarding house. Our residential staff have put the boarders through their paces with the traditional termly Teamwork Games; we have visited the Royal Kitchens in Windsor Castle; and have enjoyed a Harry Potter and Quidditch Night, during which the boarders were sorted into one of the Hogwarts Houses: Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw and Slytherin, completed their O.W.L. examinations, and played a game of water-based Quidditch before some Harry Potter-themed movie action with Chocolate Frogs and Bertie Bott’s Every Flavour Beans. Week days continue to involve activities such as football, dodgeball, board games, swimming, Top Trumps, card games, and origami to name but a few! The junior boarders have discovered the joy of jigsaws, and we try to have one ‘on the go’ over the course of a week (or longer if it is particularly fiendish!). If anyone has any puzzles languishing in cupboards they no longer want, the boarders would be thrilled to take them off your hands! We have also embraced boarding Hygge with some new lamps for a cosy feel when the boarders return to their common rooms and dorms, for some post-activity ‘downtime’.

We continue to see great interest in boarding from children and their parents – 65 children have boarded thus far this year – and encourage very early booking to guarantee availability. Please do contact the House Parents by emailing allison.onions@stgwindsor.org and keep up to date with all the fun by following our twitter account @stgboarding.

Some Images from the Pre-Prep this week

Wishing the following a very...

These pupils all have their birthdays in the following week: Henry A, Abhay S, Akushla V, Sasha B, Sofia B, Thomas K, Seb M and Thomas G.