BEHIND THE STUDY DOOR
I should like to start by thanking our Parents' Group, Year Group Reps, parent and staff volunteers and everyone who contributed to, and attended, our Fair on Saturday. We couldn't have imagined a happier atmosphere, and it was so lovely to see the children, parents and wider families, and staff having so much fun. The true magic of St George's as a very special, warm and inclusive community was very evident, and our warmest thanks to you all.
You will recall us asking you to consider the most important values that you feel encapsulate our school. This exercise was undertaken by the pupils, staff and parent body and we are delighted to outline the three core values that have been overwhelmingly voted for:
These three values already exist in abundance across our entire school community, and we will be looking to present and display these so they are visible to us all and those who enter the school as a visitor.
All three values can be interpreted in many ways, and it is our intention that they weave into all that our girls and boys do across the school.
As a starter for ten, I should like to outline my own thoughts as to the significance of kindness, courage and honesty.
The reason why we emphasise being kind in school is not just because it is the right thing to do. A culture of kindness makes for happier, more energetic and more collaborative people. Not only are these important attributes for a happy community, but also key skills for our pupils to develop as they prepare for the next chapter of their lives. As Lesley Franklin, Principal of George Heriot's School, Edinburgh, comments, we have seen an increasing trend towards 'corporate perks' and 'wellbeing initiatives' in the workplace, and are told that these are key to attracting and retaining top talent. Such initiatives are excellent, but she argues the point that a culture of kindness and care must be at the heart of any organisation to make it successful. As we all know, kindness is infectious - be kind and others will be kind in return.
Of course, kindness must be steered by true intentions rather than just doing things that will be received as 'being nice'. Kindness means respecting one another, treating others with great dignity and warmth, even through difficult conversations, and self-reflecting to ensure that our intentions are always kind.
Being courageous doesn't necessarily mean raw bravery or feats of human endurance. In our setting it covers many areas. We want our children to strive for the top, and through humility and modesty, never fear success. We want them to work hard for their successes, to aim high and be the very best versions of themselves. Being a courageous learner means to not be afraid to have a go at something, have no fear of making mistakes (indeed, celebrate these and see mistakes as a springboard for future learning), and have the courage to take oneself out of their comfort zone. In preparing for the future, having courage is also not being afraid to be the leader worth following. No matter what situation we find ourselves in, we must always be ourselves, stick to our principles and never falter from this. No matter what pressure is put on our children, they should never stray from being themselves. In an ever connected and changing world, this quality will remain as important as any other.
Honesty can be linked to authenticity, in that we want our children to be true to themselves, to be happy in themselves and not waste time in comparing themselves to others. We are all who we are, we look like us, and there is absolutely no need to be or look like anyone else, or copy their style in order to fit in. Authenticity is an exceptional trait of the children here, and it is our duty - amidst societal and social-media led pressure - to continue to encourage this. Another mantra that can be adopted is 'dare to be different'.
Kindness, courage and honesty. These are important values for our children, for us all, and for life. St George's is a school where individuality is celebrated, children can make and learn from mistakes, and be part of - and contribute to - a caring and compassionate community. This leads to them having a developed sense of who they are and what they can achieve, and go on into the world with the confidence that they can, and have, achieved.
Wishing all St George's families a happy weekend, wherever your adventures take you.
Head Master's Commendations
Jeevan H - for working hard to improve her writing and producing an excellent play script
Halley L - for making excellent progress in maths
Sam P and Toby C - for excellent work in maths, solving equations
Jonah P, Zeph K, Zinédine B and Leo H - for excellent work in drama
Spirit of St George's Award
Jonah P - for displaying a generosity of spirit towards other pupils, an example always being the first to lend equipment to other members of the class if they need it.
Evie C - for always being a good friend to others and being helpful throughout the year.
Sports Players of the Week
Years 3 & 4: Charlie Willis, for Pursuing Excellence, by working incredibly hard to improve her bowling technique
Years 5 & 6: Seb Marples, for Leadership, through positivity and constantly encouraging his team when fielding and leading them to victory.
Years 7 & 8:Tristan U-I, for Leadership, by using his knowledge of fielding positions to build pressure on the batting team.
Parents' Group Family Day
The Parents' Group first ever Family Day was a resounding success on Saturday. So much preparation and sheer hard work had gone into the day, and for much of it the sun shone enough for outside activities to go ahead as planned in spite of the somewhat windy weather. The school was festooned with colourful bunting and artwork with the Wonka theme, and the gym was packed with interesting stalls and competitions. Outside the bbq and musical entertainment proved to be very popular. The event raised over £4,000 which is an amazing total. Very many thanks to everyone in the Parents' Group for all their hard work, which is hugely appreciated.
Parents' Group Second-hand Uniform Sale
Thanks also to the Second-hand Uniform ladies, who gave a huge amount of their time preparing for the Winter Uniform Sale on Wednesday afternoon. The Victoria looked like a department of John Lewis when these photos were taken!
Kindergarten visit State Apartments
Thursday was a very special day for the Kindergarten children as they had a trip to Windsor Castle. Undaunted by the very wet weather, they climbed up the 100 steps to the ancient Chapel cloisters, and then toured the State Apartments before being treated to a story about the five naughty dragons who live there. Thank you very much to all the parents who accompanied the children - we do hope you enjoyed the trip as much as they appeared to!
Year 2 visit Portsmouth Historic Dockyard
Year 2 had a wonderful outing to Portsmouth Historic docks, exploring two famous Royal Navy ships, HMS Victory and HMS Warrior. All of the children were involved in workshops learning about the daily routines on board, and reenacting life in the 19th century. A great day was had by all!
Upper School Assembly
The assembly speaker on Friday was Andrew Chorley, who gave a presentation on his career as a chartered surveyor and the different options available in choosing surveying as a career. He told the children about the various projects and buildings he had worked on, such as the Olympic Stadium and Manchester Royal Infirmary, including the Christie Hospital and the children’s hospital. The children listened intently and asked a lot of questions afterwards.
Once again the audience was treated to a superb evening of music on Monday. Starting with a poppy little number from the Junior Strings Ensemble, and ending with a wonderfully choreographed piano trio pulled off with great aplomb, the programme featured a great variety of styles of music. Well done to everyone!
Gala Concert: 'And all that Jazz'
The theme this year is jazz, and the concert promises to be a very energetic and colourful mix of different genres, showing off the best of our children's choral and instrumental music. Please contact the school office to obtain tickets which are going fast (and are free of charge).
London Prep Schools Athletics
On Monday pupils prepared themselves to represent the school in the 50th Annual London Prep School Athletics meet. The weather forecast was atrocious, but with buoyant and excited pupils who had worked hard in lessons to qualify, we were delighted that the organisers were keen to keep the event running.
Alex W, Sam B, Summer E, Willow W, Keiren E, Asees D, Annabel P and Cara V competed in either the track heats or field events in the morning with highlights from:
Sam who reached his 100m final
Keiran for finishing 3rd in his U12 Boys 200m heat
Asees who finished 3rd in the U12 Girls Long Jump
Alex who won the U11 Boys Long Jump
The Eva R, Henry J, Harry E, Lucy K, Tristan U-I and Leo H travelled over to TVAC in the afternoon, just as the weather started to worsen. It was decided quite rightly that the Hurdles event should not take place due to safety concerns, and a special mention must go to Tristan and Lucy who dealt admirably with the disappointment of missing out on their races.
Afternoon highlights came in the form of Harry finishing 3rd in the U12 Long Jump and Henry for finishing 2nd in his U12 800m heat.
Congratulation to all who took part. The event truly highlights the spirit of St George’s pupils and their willingness to persevere, regardless of the conditions.
IAPS Swimming Finals
Congratulations to Jamie P, who qualified comfortably in his Butterfly semi final and finished 6th in the final at the London Aquatics Centre in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park last Saturday. His time of 15.46 was just 1 second slower than the gold medal time! Very well done, Jamie!
On Wednesday the Years 5, 6 and 7 boys and the U10 and U11 girls prepared themselves with optimism for the afternoon cricket matches against St Neot’s Prep School and against Upton House at the York Club. The weather forecast was poor, but as it had stayed dry all morning, the decision was made to go ahead and play. Unfortunately, almost as soon as the minibuses pulled away from the school drive, the rain started to fall. This resulted in a number of matches either being abandoned or the formats changed. Both the boys and the girls kept their spirits up and were a credit to the school in the way they dealt with the disappointment of yet more matches affected by rain.
It may have been a wet and chilly Wednesday this week, but the boarding community still found plenty to do, after supper there was dodgeball, rowing and swimming to take part in, before some time in dorms and common rooms, chatting and playing game. We are so lucky to be able to have such great facilities to use!
The boarders are also rowing and swimming for charity. Inspired by the Ocean Polymers project, they are raising money for Plastic Oceans UK - https://plasticoceans.uk. They can be sponsored at www.justgiving.com under STG Boarding Stop Plastic Pollution. So far they have rowed the equivalent distance of Windsor Castle to Buckingham Palace!