With the practical sessions for the PE and Food courses having taken place, we can now say that this year’s GCSEs are officially underway. Monday saw our budding chefs in Year 11 complete three course meals which staff had the onerous duty of sampling! Needless to say, we were impressed; not just with the quality of the food but also the presentation. We also discovered why they take tiny mouthfuls on Masterchef. Tasting nine different courses and being able to treat the last course with the same perspective as the first requires a certain amount of discipline.
We held our Prep School information evening on Tuesday, where Mrs Dickinson took the opportunity to explain how we measure pupil progress through the school. Everyone was in agreement that the regular objective testing of reading, spelling and numeracy was very helpful and the feedback from parents was extremely useful. She will be writing to all Prep parents with a follow up in the very near future.
Also in Prep this week I was fortunate to pop into the Finches classroom whilst they were reading with their older peers, Kingfishers. It was really striking how the help of the older pupils created a very focused atmosphere and how seriously the Kingfishers took their responsibility.
Meanwhile the Eagles had been learning all about the heart. They measured their resting, normal activity and high activity heart rates to understand better how the heart responds to extra physiological demands. They even took my heart rate too with a stethoscope. I was relieved to find it wasn’t racing too fast and all looked normal. I was very impressed with how they integrated their science learning with their art, creating a set of connected tile images in different artistic styles to show blood circulation and another showing oxygenation of blood in the heart.
Eagles’ tiled images of arteries and capillaries
It was good to see plenty of parents come to the Cock Inn, Clare on Wednesday evening for the PTA meeting. We has a good discussion about encouraging reading and interesting ideas on how the association might help raise funds for the new Prep library. We are very keen to increase the number of parents who get involved. We realise that many parents are extremely busy both with work and family commitments so we are hoping that more may get involved just by offering an extra pair of hands for an evening when we have one of our major events. The next PTA event is the summer barbecue and we hope that the weather will be kind and we will see a big turnout again this year, particularly as it will also be the occasion for a piece of outdoor theatre.
Last Monday saw the first of the three drama trips, with Mrs Hunn Smith, for our GCSE students with the second this coming Monday. The first, ‘Mary Stuart’ at Cambridge Arts Theatre, was intense and thought provoking. The students were amazed to discover the script is over 200 years old as the production had such a contemporary feel. They are all now looking forward to ‘Blood Brothers’ tomorrow and ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’ on Wednesday.
Finally, a big thank you again to all the pupils who supported our Open Mornings. The mornings were among the most successful we have had and bode very well for the future.
Prospective pupils enjoying a chemistry experiment with Mr Burridge