Head Master's Half Term Letter Friday 24 May 2019

Friday, 24 May 2019

Dear Parents and Guardians,

Summer has well and truly arrived in Windsor! This is a most idyllic and inspiring spot at the best of times, but you will all agree that Windsor and St George’s looks stunning at the moment.

Howard Gardner, the eminent educationalist I have written about before, makes an emphatic point: that instead of measuring how intelligent a child is, we should measure in what ways they are intelligent. Across his eight multiple intelligences, he suggests that all children have a range of skills and talents, a theory that I couldn’t agree more with and we have seen in abundance from each and every child in this half of term:

• Reception enjoyed hunting for teddy bears at the Woolley Firs Environmental Education Centre

• Our Years 1 and 2 put on a fantastic instrumental concert

• Pupils have participated in a raft of rounders, cricket and tennis fixtures against other schools

• We have welcomed a number of speakers to lead Assemblies, including current parents offering wide advice about their chosen professions.

• St George’s hosted a Creative Writers workshop, involving our own pupils and those from local schools

Creative Writing Workshop with author Nick Cook

• Our choristers have sung at two high profile services: the Royal Victorian Order Service and the marriage of Lady Gabriella Windsor and Thomas Kingston.

Choristers rehearse for the wedding of Lady Gabriella Windsor and Thomas Kingston

• Our Chamber Choir sung at Windsor Parish Church and a smaller group took part in the Charterhouse Choral Day in a performance of Faure’s Requiem.

Girls and boys in the Chamber Choir rehearse in St George's Chapel

• Our Year 5 and 6 Choristers were surpliced as full choristers of St George’s Chapel in Evensong

Choristers receive their ties after surplicing

• Our musicians put on a fabulous performance in our evening informal concert

• Dallas Campbell, TV presenter, led a series of workshops about survival in space

Dallas Campbell answering questions

• Our Fencing Team, Jimmy N, Radley H and Sophie D, represented St George’s at Millfield in the IAPS Fencing Tournament

Jimmy, Radley and Sophie

• I have continued to award a raft of Head Master’s Commendations and Spirit of St George’s awards in our Monday morning Assemblies

Not only does this highlight the breadth of opportunities for our pupils, both in and out of the classroom, but also the efforts and range of interests our children have. Every single child possesses enormous intelligence and potential, and it is a great privilege for my colleagues and me to be able to see them participate and challenge themselves across a spectrum of areas.

The warmth of our school community is an enormous strength of St George’s, and I am hugely grateful to our Parents' Group and team of volunteers who are busily preparing for our Family Day on Saturday, 8 June. I do hope you will all be able to join us for this event, which promises to bring everyone together for a very happy day. I would also like to extend our thanks to you all for enabling them to donate one of the Lions of Windsor to the school. Every child in the school will contribute to the painting of this full sized statue before it is auctioned off for charity.

Lion with Lion Cub

We have a number of other events to look forward to, which bring our community together, including:

• Thursday, 20 June, 7.00pm Gala Concert in St George’s Chapel

• Thursday, 4 July, 2.30pm and 7.30pm Production of ‘Mary Poppins Jr’ in the Farrer Theatre, Eton College

Our Sports Days take place on the following days:

• Monday, 17 June, 9.30am Years 1 and 2

• Friday, 21 June, 8.45am Kindergarten

• Friday, 21 June, 10.00am Reception

• Friday, 28 June, 9.30am Years 5-8

• Friday, 28 June, 1.30pm Years 3 and 4

The School Calendar is packed with many other events, trips and highlights, and I have no doubt it seems you will be camping here by the end of term. It goes without saying that Catherine and I very much look forward to seeing you as we celebrate such a special time in the school year.

The pinnacle of the year when we celebrate individual achievement, but crucially the collective success of all our pupils, is Speech Day, held this year on Sunday, 7 July. We ask for all Years 4-7 Pupils to attend this event, and look forward to welcoming our parents, relatives and friends across the school to join us. I am delighted that Mr James Shone is to give the address and present our prizes. Quite simply, James is one of the most inspirational people I have ever met and listened to, and I know his message of self-esteem will resonate with the entire school community.

Throughout our focus group meetings with Lucinda Grafton and individual meetings with me, another powerful aspect of our school community has emerged: the willingness from everyone for St George’s to flourish, indeed more than flourish. The Governors, Senior Leadership Team and entire Staff are very grateful to all those who have contributed to our strategic planning, and to you all for expressing your honesty and support as we consider our journey ahead. The optimism for the school and its future is driving us to prepare an exciting vision for St George’s, and we look forward to outlining this on Monday, 8 July. ‘See Tomorrow Grow’, a name born out of the enrichment day last term, is the framework for a series of developments across key areas of the school that will continue to evolve over the coming years. My team and I look forward to working with you to realise our collective ambitions for this great school and community.

Our Year 8 pupils commenced their Common Entrance French Listening and Oral Examinations a fortnight ago, and our Year 4s and 5s have just completed a week of assessments. Common Entrance and our internal exams continue after Half Term, and I wish all those sitting these the very best of luck. Sensible periods of revision over Half Term will ensure the girls and boys are in the right frame of mind on Tuesday, 4 June. Plenty of fresh air, good food, exercise and distraction are also crucial, and, as ever, a balance can be struck between both.

Mrs Rachel Mitchell begins her Maternity Leave today, and I know you will join me in wishing her all the very best for the coming weeks.

In a meeting with parents yesterday, two books on my coffee table were commended: ‘Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls’ and ‘Stories for Boys who Dare to be Different’. One of the role models featured in the latter is Ai Weiwei, a Chinese contemporary artist and activist. Given the importance of our pupils celebrating their individuality and the notion of ‘dare to be different’, I found one of his sayings very apposite: “To express yourself needs a reason, but expressing yourself is the reason”. As we approach the end of the academic year here at St George’s, we can all reflect on the girls and boys truly developing their expressive side. To all those leaving the school in six weeks, this will stand them in excellent stead for the future.

Catherine, Arthur, Patrick and I wish you all a very happy and safe week.

With very best wishes,

William Goldsmith

Head Master's Commendations

Sam P, Poppy J, Tilly W, Alexander L, Leah H, Isla M, Cedric R and Gabriel R-A in Year 4, and Owen H in Year 5 all received commendations for gaining a place in the final 5000 of the BBC 500 Words competition (age 5-9 category). There were 137,000 entries!

Tabitha P received a commendation for outstanding writing in English, Cara V for working extremely hard in mathematics and achieving great results, and Jay-Veer G for excellent work in science, especially in creating a model spaceship.

Spirit of St George's Award

Leah H, Lily D, George H, Dhyaana S, Matilda A, Billy N, Miles M and Henry J were congratulated on their exemplary behaviour at the Lions of Windsor Media event.

National Junior Mathematics Championship

Zara T, Asees D, Dhyaana S, Billy N, Nathan M, Harry E, Kyle M and Jamie P received certificates for doing well in the Area Heat.

Maths Puzzle Award

1st place: Zara T

Chorister of the Week

This week the senior chorister award went to Laurie T, the intermediate chorister award went to Nathan M and two junior awards to Felix F and James H for hard work and taking leadership.

Laurie, Nathan, James and Felix

Sports Players of the Week

Years 3 & 4: Halley L, for Pursuing Excellence. Halley has worked consistently hard this term to improve both his batting and bowling technique.

Year 5 & 6: Adhrit P, for Leadership. Adhrit used his knowledge and understanding of the game to lead his team to victory.

Years 7 & 8: Tom G for Teamwork. Tom stayed focused in the field and was able to make some key decisions when running between the wickets.

Halley, Adhrit, Tom

Sports Report

U8 / U9 Cricket v The Marist

On Friday in Week 4 the U9 girls played their second match of the season and provided another fantastic win for the team. The girls had been working on their fielding techniques over the previous week, especially bowling and decision making when fielding. Quick reactions during this match resulted in many wickets and put the batters under pressure. Special mention to Isla M and Lily D for some great bowling and batting and also to Evie C for focusing on the accuracy of her bowling over the last week. Final score 219-211 to STG.

U9 Cricket Team

The U8 team played their second match of the season and are showing great determination in both areas of the game. Impressive batting from Mariella and Jessica resulted in many runs and a great bowling technique was displayed by Gracie and Aniya. All the girls showed great enthusiasm with their cricket and continue to work hard on improving their skills each week. They demonstrated that they are beginning to understand the technicalities of the game and worked well in their pairs to encourage and support each other throughout the match.

Rounders v Bishopsgate

A great effort was shown by all the teams in their first rounders matches of the term on Wednesday this week and it proved to be an enjoyable afternoon of match play and teamwork.

Our senior girls played in a friendly home match with Bishopsgate, and the U10As were put to the test by a strong sided opposition. Special mention to Carys C for her fielding and Eva R for batting.

Away at Bishopsgate we had the U11A and U10/U11B mixed teams. There was a close fight for the win from the U11A team with a combination of some great batting and communication in the field. Special mention goes to Lucy K for fielding and Cici B for excellent batting.

In the mixed team, some fantastic encouragement and praise within the team resulted in many rounders being scored. Great fielding and catching from Cara V led to her being awarded player of the match. Special mention to Lara W for solid leadership in her captain role and her positive and enthusiastic attitude towards the game and her team. Lara also went on to receive player of the match for her role as bowler. Well done!

House Cricket

Congratulations to all the boys in Year 3 and Year 4 who took part in the re-arranged event on Friday. The result will be published once all other House Cricket events have finished.

Cricket v York House

1st The 1st XI had a tough fixture against a very strong team from York House. However, the margins between success and failure and success should not be overlooked: York House lost their first two wickets very early and their last four wickets for only 10 runs. Alas, the intervening two batsmen amassed over close to one hundred runs between them. Maintaining a positive attitude when the going gets tough is an vital part of team sports and there were moments when heads went down and chances were missed. It would be fair to say that our batting lacked grit but there were positives to be found in individual performances. Tom G fielded with commitment and showed that runs could be made. Similarly, Nick P and Tristan U-I bowled impressively and some key catches earned Elliot D a brace of wickets. Valuable lessons were learned.

The 2nd XI took part in an incredibly exciting 16-over hard ball match versus York House. St George's batted first, scoring 110 with some good batting and quick running between the wickets from Leo H, James E and Alexios S. Every player had the opportunity to bowl and with a consistent line and length the opposition were restricted and required 10 runs off the final over to win. With one ball remaining, York House required 4 to draw and 5 to win; thankfully, with a good length delivery, they only managed a single for a well-deserved victory by the our boys.

The U11A cricket team batted very well. Ahdrit opened the batting with Monty and they went looking for quick singles. The bowling from York House was tight, so the batsmen had to focus. Harry E scored 28 runs and was retired. His timing of all shots that scored runs was so accurate. The team posted a total of 84 to chase after 18 overs – it was possible to prevent York House from reaching this total. The bowling was accurate and tight from St George’s. At one stage the York House score line was 34/5. Sadly, some slightly sloppy fielding resulted in York House surpassing our total within the final over, despite losing more wickets than St George’s. It was a close game with plenty of excellent cricket from both sides.

The Colts B team grew into the game despite a slow start in the field, but backed with consistent line and length bowling. Improved fielding and bowling by St George's restricted York House to an achievable total, even with a late flurry from the York House batsmen. St George’s innings started strongly, manoeuvring the ball and rotating the strike well. However, wickets started to fall, stifling the run chase with York House’s spinners turning the screw. This left the final few pairs with too many runs to get even with some big hits to the boundary. Special mentions go to the trio Radley H, Sebastien M and Milton O for some outstanding moments of ground fielding.

The Colts C side must be commended for their efforts against a strong York House side. There were some fantastic fielding displays, Benji S and Owen H both hitting the stumps directly from a throw in the field and Leo C leading by example as skipper for the game.

Our aim for the next game is to ensure that we are quicker running between the wickets.

Cricket v Hall Grove

The Colts Development team played a strong Hall Grove side on Wednesday in a pairs cricket format of the game. They worked hard to keep the opposition run rate down, but ultimately found it too hard to contain some of the opposition batsmen.

Concert for Reception Classes

Mr and Mrs Silvera came to school on Tuesday and treated Reception to a lovely concert. They talked about the instruments they played – violin and 'cello, what they were made from, and the sounds they produced. Luca is also learning to play the violin and enjoyed sharing his instrument with his friends.

Mr and Mrs Silvera with Luca

E-Safety Talk for Parents

On Tuesday evening we were very fortunate to have Karl Hopwood join us to talk to the parents about E safety. Karl is an ex headmaster, sits on many committees for E safety such as Childnet, and is the parent of a 10 year old daughter. Karl was very informative and gave parents some excellent advice on talking to rather than punishing their children for being inquisitive. He also shared some excellent sites that have training videos on how to set up all devices at home to filter the content children can see; information about each age group and what they like playing on; and what parents need to be aware of. If you weren’t able to come to one of the sessions, we would really recommend that you look visit www.internetmatters.org. Further information is available as a pdf on portal and on the Computing & ICT page of the website.

Karl Hopwood's Presentation

Dorm Diaries

The boarders have made the most of the glorious sunshine this week by playing tennis, cricket and 4-square outside as much as possible whilst also making the most of focused revision and prep sessions in this business-end of the academic year. Highlights of the week include: cooling off with a splash in the pool on Sunday followed by milkshakes; being treated to pizza in the Head Master’s house on Monday; concocting incredible smoothie creations on Wednesday followed by another dip in the swimming pool and tuck night; enjoying a BBQ on the terrace hosted by Mr and Mrs Goldsmith on Thursday. Mrs Onions continues to offer the opportunity for Wednesday’s junior boarders to accompany her in to Windsor or Eton to buy tuck, and we have had our latest round of Secret Boarder – a successful James H on this occasion! Well done, James!

If you have not yet tried boarding at STG, please do get in touch with Ally Onions (allison.onions@stgwindsor.org) to find out more, tour our facilities and book a night.

Summer Holiday Clubs

As well as 'The Power of Music and Culture', there will be a variety of other clubs taking place in school over the summer holidays:

Monday 15 - Friday 19 July: Football (Mr Wills)

Monday 22 - Friday 26 July: STG Sports (Mr Wright)

Monday 29 July - Friday 9 August: Art Club (Mrs Saunders and Mrs Pollock)

Monday 12 August - Friday 19 August: Drama Club (Ruthie - details TBC)

On the 8th of June, the school will host its first ever Family Day, organised by the Parents’ Group. Please save the date!

Treats to look forward to include: a BBQ; music; inflatables for adults and kids; shopping; stalls run by pupils; face painting; balloon modelling; ice-cream; candy; the bar and much, much more!

Tickets are available to buy NOW! Please email stgeorgesparents@hotmail.com to purchase yours.

If you would like to be involved on the day, please talk to your class reps as the Parents’ Group are looking for volunteers!

Wishing the following a very...

Aadi R, Zac A, Alexander S, Kourosh S, Noah D, Xanthippe B, Savannah S, Gabriel R-A, James H, Asees D and Miles M all have their birthdays in the coming two weeks. We hope you have a very special day!

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