St Edward's Prep October 2018

“Inspired to Collaboratively Serve the St Edward’s Family and Community”

I am amazed that a half term has passed so rapidly and yet, in so many ways, I feel as if I have been a part of the St Edward’s Family for far longer than seven short weeks!

It was with much excitement and enthusiasm that I joined the St Edward’s Team in September, my excitement and enthusiasm has certainly not waned and I can honestly say that I enjoy, and look forward to, each and every day at school.

We are an excellent school and during the past half term have begun to capitalise on the school’s potential. The St Edward’s Family have built on our existing strengths, collaboratively developing and crafting our purpose and value statement – “Inspired to Collaboratively Serve the St Edward’s Family and Community”. This now serves as our core purpose for all aspects of our School and I am certain that the school will continue to grow and thrive with these values at the centre of all that we do.

Our dedicated STEAM Room is now fully operational and we look forward to an enthralling project around ‘Future Cities’ next half term. Indeed, as I write our Pre-Prep are out on a field trip developing their understanding and conceptual knowledge of future cities in preparation for this – how exciting!

In other areas of our school, our computers are now housed in our STEAM Room and we have reassigned the upstairs IT Suite as a Meeting and Board Room for staff collaboration. The AstroTurf has also been repaired and, whilst we hope to have the entire AstroTurf replaced and upgraded soon, will serve our boys well in the coming months. We have also commenced a rolling re-decoration programme; some of our buildings are being re-painted and our school is again surrounded with flowers and greenery. I should like to extend my sincere thanks to Mrs Glass, Mr Slade, Mrs McKenna and the maintenance team for their tireless work this half term to ensure that our school looks fabulous.

Miss Stewart joined the St Edward’s Family in September to teach Global Citizenship, she has already proved to be a superb addition to our school - it is fantastic to hear our little ones already conversing in French and our older ones debating the necessity of international understanding. Mrs Blackburn joined the team in Year 1 as form teacher and also coordinates STEAM for the Pre-Prep Department, she has made excellent progress in developing this in the Pre-Prep and we are excited to further develop our younger one’s experience of cross-curricular learning. Miss Booker also joined the St Edward’s Family as an Early Years assistant teacher in September, and as expected, has enhanced the Early Years Team. We are delighted to have her as a part of the St Edward’s Family. Mr Arter, now assists Mr Bovingdon on the games field and his many games sessions at school have undoubtedly enriched our sport provision.

In regards to staff roles there have also been several internal ‘tweaks’ designed to better serve our children and the St Edward’s Family. Mr Parsons, our Deputy Headmaster, continues to lead Pastoral Care in the Prep and remains the Designated Safeguarding Lead in our school, while Mrs Swift continues to lead Pastoral Care and behaviour management in the Pre-Prep.

However, Mr Parsons is now supported by Mrs Tamara Hunt who has recently been invited by Wishford Schools to participate in the School Leadership Development Programme. As part of this, she guides and manages Pastoral Care in the Prep School and assumes the role of Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead. Whilst still reporting directly to the Deputy Headmaster, she now takes responsibility for much of Pastoral Care in the Prep including behaviour management, and house points across the whole school.

Mr Parsons is also supported by Miss Janet Elwood who assumes the revised role of Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead in the Pre-Prep.

Whilst we are entirely satisfied that healthy eating and healthy meal choices are explicitly taught in our curriculum and in each year group across our school, we felt it important to review our Catering and Healthy Eating Policy this half term. The Senior Leadership and Staff Team analysed and evaluated our current Catering and Healthy Eating Policy and made several revisions to our food provision for our children. In short, all snacks provided for the children during the course of the day will now be healthy in nature and will form part of the balanced diet that is already offered to our children – we will continue to ensure that snacks provided for the children are low in sugar content and that they adhere to our ongoing policy of educating our children to make informed and healthy choices.

In addition, we recently held our first Open Day of the year, this was very well attended and I am grateful to our Teachers and our Parent Ambassadors for their assistance and support. We show cased our inspirational teaching and family values and I am delighted to report that we have had a great deal of interest from our visitors and that several new pupils have enrolled, or have already joined our school.

I am thrilled with the progress the St Edward’s Family has made in the space of a few short weeks and I look forward, with much excitement, to continuing to collaboratively serve the St Edward’s Family and community in the half term ahead!

Derek Suttie


Oakwood Youth Challenge

The Year 5’s and 6’s spent a brilliant day at the Oakwood Youth Challenge Centre. The centre certainly lived up to its name as all the boys found themselves conquering challenges throughout the day. For some boys, it was conquering the High Ropes course (the highest I have ever seen) and for others it was the Olympic Standard Climbing Wall. Collaboration, team work, respect and tolerance were certainly the order of the day and the boys quickly learnt that it is sometimes the quieter friend amongst us who has the most creative idea or is determined to conquer a fear. Once again, through conquering challenges and raising the level of their game, the boys came to realise that they are so much more than they thought and that through collaboration (and the successes thereof) they were inspired to support one another.

Mrs Andrew.

Macmillan Coffee Morning

Macmillan Cancer Support is one of the UK’s biggest charities who help people affected by cancer. It was established over 100 years ago in 1911 and has helped support millions of people affected by cancer.

Macmillan is unique as its team provides support to people who have cancer, as well as to their friends and families. For example, it funds nurses who care for people all the way through their cancer treatment.

Because it is a charity Macmillan can only provide these services thanks to supporters who donate money and fundraise for them and this is exactly what the St Edward’s family did. The children loved the opportunity to come to school in home clothes in exchange for a £1 donation while parents were able to enjoy a slice of cake and a cup of tea or coffee at the coffee morning held after assembly. It provided a lovely opportunity for parents and staff to chat with friends of the school community.

Thank you for the generous support we received during this fundraising event. As a school we raised £316.27.

Pangbourne Maths Challenge

On Tuesday 9th October, four Year 5 boys had the privilege of taking part in a local Maths Challenge at Pangbourne College. In total 12 teams took part in an afternoon of Maths challenges: working in teams to create a tall, strong and stable structure using only newspaper, elastic bands and sellatape; solving tangrams and matchstick puzzles; solving a variety of word problems. After 90 minutes of brain boggling fun and relay running (to give the markers their answers) the boys waited anxiously for the results during the prize giving.

Joseph, Adhrit, Izak and Isaac can be proud of their achievement at this event, they worked well as a team, encouraged each other and produced some fabulous Maths answers under pressure.

Mrs Hunt.

Inspiring Minds Open Day

The St Edward’s family came together at the school to open the doors to prospective families. Headmaster Mr Suttie, teachers, parents and pupils offered a warm welcome and displayed our inspirational teachers and our school’s wonderful family environment to our visitors.

Families were able to take a tour of the school grounds, pop into classrooms and see our teachers and pupils at work, and visit our many fantastic learning areas including the brand new STEAM room, which opened in September. Whether a child’s interests are Music, Art, Drama, Sport, Maths, Science, History, Languages and everything in between, visitors had the opportunity to view the fantastic teaching, facilities and diverse subjects the school has to offer.

From our Little Griffins Pre-Reception class right through to Year 6, visitors were able to see how our highly experienced staff at St Edward’s support and challenge the children to learn and grow, giving them the confidence to fulfil and transcend their full potential. St Edward’s pupils showed our visitors their love of learning, thirst for knowledge and exceptional school values.

The St Edward’s family did a marvellous job showing our visitors what a wonderful school we have for our children, which truly is inspiring spirits and minds.

Autumn Nursery Extravaganza

A blustery Tuesday morning saw St Edward’s host the first Nursery Extravaganza of the year. It is always a pleasure to welcome our extended St Edward’s family into school and we were delighted that children from Pine Rivers and Little Tots Nurseries were able to attend. The Autumn Theme was in keeping with the weather and our Little Griffins enjoyed taking part in the activates alongside our guests. Conkers were a significant part in the morning; we painted, decorated trees, counted and played with them. Messy play was also well received by the children who painted autumn leaves with foam paint and created beautiful images of autumn trees using scrunched up foil. There were also sensory activities and play dough to keep little hands and minds occupied. A new element introduced to the extravaganza was a yoga session which offered a calm spell in the middle of the bustle of events. It was a pleasure to see the children take so much enjoyment from the session, including our wonderful and keen Year 6 helpers! We look forward to welcoming back the nurseries in the Spring Term.

Have a fantastic half term break. We look forward to seeing you back at school on the 31st October.

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