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The Georgian Friday, 5 July 2019

HONESTY | COURAGE | KINDNESS

BEHIND THE STUDY DOOR

Total Community

Sheer teamwork

The performance of ‘Mary Poppins Jr’ left its audience utterly inspired and astounded yesterday. The vibrancy, energy and passion on stage from all those who performed was a joy to see, as was the sheer delight and happiness that was evident in all members of the cast. The quality on stage was superb, but above all else the teamwork, support to one another and genuine sense of ‘togetherness’ was sensational.

Commitment

Pupils came together with staff, led by Adam Jennings and his creative team, to pull something together in a relatively short space of time.

Togetherness

It is at this time of year that the true colours of a school community such as St George’s come to the fore and the strength of the team of teaching and support staff becomes so very apparent. Reports; Sports Days; major productions such as Mary Poppins Jr; the Enrichment Programme; the planning for Speech Day; residential trips; and a raft of end of term events and activities bring about such excitement and joy, whilst of course keeping up the highest standards in the classroom until the very end are many things my colleagues balance during these wonderful – yet inevitably busy – few weeks. Whilst the hard work of the staff is particularly evident at this time of year, it is their ongoing commitment, care and sheer passion for the job that makes such a difference to the young people, and ultimately drives the school forward.

The job of anyone working in a school requires great personal integrity and leading by example. Teaching and non-teaching staff exercise huge influence over every child, and with this comes a huge responsibility to undertake this responsibility with great empathy. We are so lucky to be supported by a diverse and valuable team, who bring great expertise to their roles. More important perhaps than their ‘day job’, whether this be classroom teaching, administrative responsibility, domestic or estates, is the importance of caring for the needs of individual pupils and developing outstanding relationships with one another and the young people here.

As we celebrate the incredible efforts of the England Women’s Team, I often think the various roles within a school can be compared to a successful football team. The strikers are the academic, sports, music, drama and arts departments, scoring the goals and ultimately achieving the results. Those in the midfield provide the pastoral care, health support and boarding community – chasing the ball down wherever it goes (there for the children at all times). Those in defence do their best to avoid any own goals, and provide first-class firefighting (our leadership team). All rests with the goalkeeper, someone who needs their eye on the game at all times, to be able to act quickly and efficiently, and provide the all-important support from the back of the field (our outstanding administrative and ‘front of house team’); and our wingers wait for the ball and then perform absolute miracles (individual dance, judo, gymnastics, learning support, instrumental music and LAMDA). The coaching and ‘back room’ teams prepare the ultimate environment for outstanding football (Admissions, Finance, Marketing, Administration, Grounds, Security, Maintenance, Domestic and Catering).

Everyone has a different role, different angles on the game, and at times a very different view of the pitch, but all share a common goal (pardon the pun): to score those goals and progress up the league (see the child thrive, develop a voice, develop self-awareness and resilience, achieve core values, build confidence, make the very most of the opportunities, and ultimately make progress and achieve through happiness and encouragement). Everyone plays a part: all adults have a role and provide stability for the individual child.

We often use the analogy ‘it takes a village to raise a child’, and that refers to the importance of school and home playing a role. Here at school, it is very much ‘the team around the child’, sometimes playing a quick game, sometimes focusing on the long game, and we couldn’t be more fortunate in having a first rate team here at St George’s. I would like pay tribute to my immensely talented colleagues.

Managers come and go, but the players, coaching teams and ‘back room’ staff ensure the ongoing success of a school, and it is the mentality of ‘going the extra mile’ that contributes to a ‘total community’, such as St George’s.

My warmest thanks to all those who work at St George’s for their contribution to the happiness of our school and pupils.

Wishing all St George’s families a wonderful weekend, wherever your adventures take you.

William Goldsmith

Head Master's Commendations

Many congratulations to the following who were awarded Head Master's Commendations for outstanding work this week:

Toby C: for speaking so enthusiastically and articulately in House meeting about his passion for rugby, and his encouragement for all girls and boys to participate

Henry J, Zara T, Jon-Jon M, India K and Sophie D: for excellent work in carrying out research in science on a variety of animals which have been identified as being endangered.

George H, Alexander L, Leah H and Gabriel R-A: for brilliant poem writing in English.

Benji S: for outstanding work in history.

Spirit of St George's Award

Leo Minns: for sharing and generosity of spirit on a recent school trip.

Transported into the world of Mary Poppins Jr.

School Production - Mary Poppins Jr

Mary Poppins weaved her magic over the magnificent school production at the Farrer Theatre on Thursday – in fact one could say that it was ‘practically perfect’ in every way, with lots of humour and some wonderful performances.

The high points of the production were the ingeniously choreographed and spectacular ensemble scenes, including “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious’, ‘Let’s Go Fly a Kite’ and ‘Step in Time’. Each of the 88 performers in the production were given a chance to shine and to appear in the spotlight and their singing was harmonious and uplifting. All the principal characters were cleverly cast, with roles shared by Madeleine W and Freya W as Mary Poppins, Cici B and Immy H as Jane, and Thomas G and Leo M as Michael. Nicholas P, with his wonderful singing voice, was outstanding as the cheeky cockney Bert, and Dylan M-H played a very convincing, grumpy Mr Banks. Inara H, as the Bird Lady, gave a very moving and tuneful performance of ‘Feed the Birds’, and who could forget Yann S as The Holy Terror!

Congratulations to everyone involved, both on stage and off stage for all their hard work. There is no doubt that Mary Poppins Jr will be remembered as one of the very best shows the school has ever produced.

Kindergarten Assembly

'Marvellous Me' was the theme of the Kindergarten children's assembly. They had clearly worked hard to learn their words and enjoyed performing in front of their parents.

Tea with the Military Knights

As part of their Enrichment Programme, Year 8 pupils were delighted to welcome a group of Military Knights with their wives to the school for tea. Earlier in the day some of the Year 8s had baked delicious carrot cakes and scones under the guidance of Mrs Furnell and the Kitchen team provided drinks and sandwiches. Our guests were entertained by the brass ensemble, instrumentalists and some of the cast of Mary Poppins Jr who sang reprises from the previous night's performance.

The Lions of Windsor

Great progress is being made on our two lions: the school's cub, and the large lion which has kindly been sponsored by the Parents' Group. The intention is for every single child in the school to play a part and the large lion will be decorated with individual red and blue thumb-prints! Year 1 were the lucky first class to be involved in this endeavour!

We are delighted to announce that the school has been asked to host the press launch on 30 July prior to the giant pride of decorated lions being installed on the streets of the Royal Borough from 10 August. We have been asked if a limited number of pupils would like to attend this launch. If your child would like to attend, do please let he school office (schooloffice@stgwindsor.org) know by Monday 22 July. Places will be allocated on a first come, first served basis and all children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Please visit https://lionsofwindsor.org/ for more information on the sculpture trail and the various leading artists and designers who have been involved.

Staff News

We would like to wish Mrs Barlow all the very best in her major triathlon race this summer. She is off to Lausanne in Switzerland to represent GB in her age group at the World Championships. During half term she competed for GB in the European Championships in Holland and was placed 11th. Each weekend sees Mrs B travelling all over the country to race and she recently qualified for the 2020 European Championships which will be held in Sweden. Her next target is qualifying for the 2020 World Championships in Edmonton, Canada. Last year two St George’s families very generously donated towards her costs and equipment. If anyone feels able to help sponsor Mrs Barlow this year she would be absolutely delighted - please contact her for more details at lindsay.barlow@stgstaff.org.

Pupil News

Matilda W has been part of Team England in the Dance World Cup held in Braga, Portugal. She competed in the Under 13 category in a group Jazz dance and a group tap. The team won gold medals in both. As Gold medal winners, they danced their two dances for a second time at the Children’s Gala Performance. Team England went on to win the most number of medals in the Junior competition so are overall winners of all the competing countries. It has been an amazing experience and she has now automatically qualified for next year’s Dance World Cup in Rome.

Dorm Diaries

The last two weeks have been as busy as ever in the Boarding House. Having completed the BSA’s National Boarding Week, our boarders have been introduced to the delights and strategies of croquet played on the Head Master’s lawn, a mass game of Capture The Flag on Home Park Private, and a Waterfight. The weather recently has been wonderful – perfect for such activities, and we hope that it continues as such until the end of term.

We are delighted to announce that the winners of the boarders #iloveboarding competition (explain using a maximum of 25 words why you love boarding) were Yann S with the entry “Boarding: a family made of friends; boarding, full of people who help you make amends; boarding helps people look at life through a different lens”; and James F who wrote “Fun, friends, freedom, activities, adventures, socialisation, courage, responsibility, life skills/lessons and excitement”. Also highly commended were the entries from Benji S and Felix F (all entries from our boarders can be viewed on our twitter feed @stgboarding).

Wishing the following a very...

Many Happy Returns to Esmé, Joshan G, Scarlet S, Evie C, Tristan U-I, James E, and Mansa H, who all have their birthdays in the coming week.

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