BEHIND THE STUDY DOOR - HALF TERM NOTES
Looking back on the first six weeks of this term, I can happily reflect on a huge amount of individuality and authenticity displayed by our pupils. This has been shown in classrooms, where I see a fearless approach to learning from Kindergarten to Year 8 captured perfectly on Thursday morning at the Years 1 - 3 ‘Open Morning’; on the games field where girls and boys of all talents are prepared to ‘give it a go’ without fear of being felt exposed by ‘better players’; our exceptional art and design work captures the individuality and true authenticity of our pupils; we see pupils displaying their true characters through drama, both during their individual LAMDA lessons, and their group work; a number of pupils have courageously performed in the two outstanding concerts, again showing their own unique talents and performance styles. I could go on, for this term has been absolutely action-packed with the children achieving a great deal, both for themselves and, perhaps more importantly, for the greater good of their class, house and the St George’s community. To our pupils, brilliant staff and families: thank you for getting 2020 off to such a great start and well done for a fantastic six weeks.
If we are to encourage resilient children (and I hate to sound robotic about this), we must ensure that every girl and boy recognises their own unique personality, is proud of their individual strengths (whilst being aware of areas to develop), and is comfortable – in fact, more than comfortable – with whom they are. This is the essence of ‘being ourselves’ and there is absolutely no doubt that if our children can all grow up authentic to themselves, and to those around them, they will be prepared for the obstacles of life that provide temptation to veer off this path.
This also develops a very important life skill for the future. When people feel they have chosen their own path, and feel empowered within a group, they will create energy. Increasingly, big companies are looking for 'intrapreneurs'. These are people who have the attitude of entrepreneurs, but work within a company or school, rather than for their own business. They don’t need managing, or even leading; they are given enough freedom, power and therefore ownership to choose and propel their own projects that benefit their group and the organisation as a whole.
Central to this, and therefore our purpose as a school, is guiding our pupils to be ‘real world ready’. Building on very strong foundations we are continuing to work on our strategic intentions. Much has been achieved this year and there is a great deal to do. This will be captured in an update which will sent to our families during the second half of term. It goes without saying that there is a feeling of us gaining momentum and my colleagues and I aren’t standing still for one moment. I am enormously grateful to the non-teaching and teaching staff for all that they are doing at St George’s. On Friday we were reminded by the leadership guru, Drew Povey, that every single person working within a school plays a key role in building the core purpose, and we are fortunate to have such a strong team making great strides forward.
Looking ahead to the second half of term, it is clear that life here will continue at its usual pace. I would like to draw your attention once again to our Senior Schools Fair on Monday, 2 March, from 6.15 - 8.15pm. 35 schools, spanning the local day market as well as co-educational and single sex boarding schools, will join us. Heads and Registrars will be on hand to answer your questions and I recommend this event to all those looking at the next stage. On this topic, I would like to congratulate our Year 6s for their attitude towards the entrance assessments this term, and thank all those who have met with me to discuss senior school entrance. Our Year 8s and 6s are preparing for over 20 leading schools and we are immensely proud of them all.
We also look forward to the Parents’ Group Quiz Night on Saturday, 21 March. Once again, we are indebted to our group of parent volunteers for all they do for the school. Catherine and I very much hope to see you at this popular event, and that you will join us at other events for parents, the dates of which can be found in the termly diary.
Finally, with our registrations for September 2020 looking incredibly strong, I would like to thank you all for your continued investment in St George’s. This is a very special community of which you are a very significant part, and I wish to reassure you that we don’t take your tremendous support and involvement for granted. Your children, too, are a great credit to you. After a whirlwind start to 2020, I sincerely hope they are enjoying a much needed rest and we look forward to welcoming you all back on Monday, 24 February, sufficiently rejuvenated and raring to go.
With very best wishes,
Years 7 and 8 'Dinner with a Difference'
On Thursday evening, pupils from Years 7 and 8 returned to school at 6.30pm for a dinner with a difference. Donning some very natty blazers, ties and pocket squares, our young people greeted four House Masters and Mistresses from Wellington College and Downe House, and the Registrar from Cheltenham College. After an impressive display of social and conversational interaction over drinks with our guests in the Victoria, a sumptuous three-course meal was served in the dining room, where further discussion took place. In a rather fun twist to the supper, our guests progressed around the tables between courses in order to allow as many people to get to know each other as possible. A really splendid evening to end this half term!
Assembly Speaker - Drew Povey
This morning we welcomed Drew Povey, an inspirational speaker who has worked with some of the most famous people in elite sport, education and business.
Drew’s message was simple but powerful – if you believe you can do it, you can. He told us the story of Roger Bannister running a sub-four minute mile in spite of clear scientific evidence it wasn’t possible, and the subsequent craze which saw many people also running a mile in under four minutes.
He left us in no doubt that if you approach things with the right mindset, you can achieve anything you want!
Cheese Tasting in Year 4 French
On Friday Year 4 children were given an opportunity to try five different French cheeses in their French lessons. They had to say “Oui, s’il vous plaît”, “Je voudrais le …” and “Merci” to the Year 7 pupils who helped handing out the different kinds of cheese, and they were asked to say whether they liked the cheese or not in French, having practised some phrases beforehand. Some pupils were more daring than others, especially with the fromage bleu, but everybody enjoyed the experience!
Pre-Prep Drumming Workshop
On the last day of this half term, children from Reception to Year 2 were provided with a fun and uplifting workshop on Caribbean drumming. The children played on authentic steel pans, were told about the roles of the different percussion instruments and played a variety of patterns and melodies. The end result was some very sunny calypso music to brighten an otherwise grey February day!
Match Tea Tasting
After the sports fixtures on Wednesday and Friday our Catering Team produced a wonderful selection of sandwiches and snacks for parents and visitors. The aim was to find out which ones people enjoyed the most, and should be provided for home fixtures in the future. They seemed to go down very well!
Birds of Prey Experience
On Wednesday evening the boarders welcomed back Sadie from Feathers and Fur for another fantastic evening, combining fun bird facts, with a chance to hold and fly some of the birds she brought along. Especially popular amongst Harry Potter fans was the gorgeous snowy Owl! At the end of the evening everyone was invited to lie on the ground and Echo the harris hawk swooped over, giving everyone a wonderful close up view of this beautiful bird in flight.
It has been an incredibly busy and exciting half term of sport for all our boys and girls. With over 80 sports fixtures played, cross country races, swimming galas and indoor rowing races, not to mention all the hard work that has taken place in both games and PE lessons over the last six weeks. Congratulations to every pupil for their efforts and a huge thank you to all the staff and parents for their supporting roles.
The U9 Red team had a very convincing victory against St Neot's on Friday with some excellent movement on court and the ball moving with good speed and accuracy. All players were focused and produced some lovely passages of play. Well done Siena L, player of the match. The final result was 11-2.
The U9 Blue team had a more challenging match that was well contested at times. Edith R and Celeste J-H combined well in attack and Jamila M made some important interceptions. Well done to Edith R, player of the match. The final result was 5-4 to St Neot's.
The U8 teams both played in some exciting High 5 netball which meant they got lots of court time and involvement in the game. Freya S was dominant in her role as Goal Attack and her movement and marking were excellent throughout. Willow J made some excellent interceptions and there were some great goals and combined play in the circle from Elise-May J and Freya S. Final score 5-4 to St George's.
In the other U8 match there were some great passages of play from Cicily W in centre court and some good movement in the circle from Ava S. Aanya K did a great job as goalkeeper and there were some excellent interceptions from Karina K and Molly J. Final score 6-1 to St George’s.
House Rowing Competition
House rowing for the Year 7 and Year 8 pupils was once again an extremely exciting and competitive event. It was pleasing to see that all the pupils worked hard on the rowing machines and supported their teams when they were watching. Well done to all the pupils for a brilliant house event.