BEHIND THE STUDY DOOR
Sports Days and LAMDA.
Two very different occasions, yet both transformational. LAMDA (London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts) involving pupils individually, or at the most in a duet, learning and performing prose or a piece of acting; Sports Days involving all pupils competing individually or as part of a relay, and all for their houses.
At St George's, the purpose of our Sports Day is twofold: firstly, it is an occaion at which all pupils represent their house, showing great teamwork and collegiality. Secondly, pupils compete as individuals, some against others as part of healthy and friendly rivalry, and for many, their aim is to beat their own personal best or surpass their own expectations or goals for the day. Winners are crowned, and are rightly proud of their success.
As the England football team reach the semi-finals of the Women's World Cup, and the England cricket team prepare for a critical match in the Men's World Cup on Sunday, we reflect on the extraordinary pride of individual nations, but also the global community that comes together for these competitions (the 2018 Football World Cup official video included the following statement: "where there is unity, there is always victory"). As we have seen from the footballers this year, it is a tournament where success is sought, outstanding performances are celebrated, and great individual and team pride is established.
All those who took part in the LAMDA performances on Wednesday and Thursday this week demonstrated enormous courage in standing up in front of an audience to deliver complex verse and prose. The confidence that they have all grown in since January was palpable, as was the great enjoyment they got from their performances. As I said at the end, I believe LAMDA to be transformational for children and it is our intention to increase the drama here at St George's. Many of those who performed will be on stage next week in our production of 'Mary Poppins Jr' at the Farrer Theatre. Individual talents will combine to form a great collective triumph.
We place strong emphasis on teamwork, celebrating each other's successes, showing a generosity of spirit and seeing defeat as a mechanism to grow stronger. Through events like Sports Day and LAMDA presentations, we witness great pride in our pupils for their own achievements, their houses and the school. We see and value great effort and girls and boys seeking to be the very best versions of themselves.
As many individuals, teams and houses competed today; as the cast of 'Mary Poppins Jr' perform next week; our LAMDA pupils take their exams on Monday; as pupils celebrate their achievements at Speech Day, each and every one of them should be proud of their successes.
Simply having a desire to be the best we can, our children have all climbed mountains this year, and whilst some have been harder than others, they will have all reached the peaks, and for that, every single one of them can be proud. I saw that this week with the LAMDA and Sports Day, but there will have been so many others that the children can reflect on.
I very much look forward to sharing in the celebration of every child's successes over the final two weeks of term.
Wishing all St George's families a happy weekend, wherever your adventures take you.
Head Master's Commendations
Many congratulations to the following who were awarded Head Master's Commendations this week:
India K, William S, Seb M, Sophie D: for working well in group tasks for English, showing great listening skills, working with other people's ideas and good collaboration with peers.
Charley W: for gaining a distinction in Grade 2 LAMDA.
Leo M: for being the first cast member of Mary Poppins Jr to be 'off script'.
Yann S: for always being ready in rehearsals.
Jennifer W: for the outstanding effort she has made into producing wonderfully colourful 3D astronomical images in Astronomy Club.
Spirit of St George's Award
Nicholas P: for showing kindness and compassion towards a friend on an excursion.
James E: for showing great kindness and thoughtfulness towards a younger pupil.
The weather has been unreliable and disappointing this term, but the rain stayed away and the sun shone for this year's Sports Day, one of the biggest and most popular events in the school calendar. Years 5, 6, 7 and 8 competed on Friday morning, and Years 3 and 4 in the afternoon.
Year 4 Trip to Hillingdon Outdoor Activities Centre
During this fun day trip, Year 4 were given the chance to embark on an exciting exploration of a man-made caving system. They were given helmets and head torches and were set various tasks in the cave environment. Whilst having fun, they were challenged and encouraged to support each other in order to complete the task. They enjoyed tackling a low ropes trail, which is designed to promote problem solving, leadership and teamwork skills, and in the afternoon they learnt about orienteering.
Year 8 Enrichment Programme
This week the Year 8s have visited the Houses of Parliament in Westminster; have had a private viewing of the Royal Library in Windsor Castle; and have been given an insight into Tudor life on a trip to Hever Castle in Kent. Hever Castle is surrounded by gardens which are very beautiful at this time of the year, and the yew maze proved to be particularly popular with our boys and girls.
Mary Poppins Jr
Rehearsals have been going on all week for next week's performances of Mary Poppins Jnr, this year's major school production. The children have worked with impressive focus, combining their great musical and dramatic skills. For some, this is the first time choreography has played a part in their performing endeavours, and it has been a joy to watch them all become evermore aware of how they fit together as cogs in an impressive wheel of dance, song and acting.
Do come along if at all possible – well known songs, great venue and true superstars on stage – why would you be anywhere else! Tickets are available from the School Office and are selling out fast.
On Tuesday evening last week seven member of the Triathlon Club braved an open water swim at Bray Lake. They practised sighting, swimming round buoys and racing in the open water. Well done to everyone for a fabulous effort - even continuing when the sky turned black and the torrential rain poured down! Now they are training for their triathlon at school just before the end of term.
World Cup Netball
A World Cup warm up will be taking place at Wellington Health and Fitness Club in Crowthorne on 6th July and Mrs O'Donovan thinks it would be a great opportunity for our girls to see some high standard netball before September. See below for details on how to apply for tickets.
Here are the solutions to last week's puzzle:
and the very last one of the year!