Books, Options and Love

One of the many amazing things about being in an all-through school is the whole range of opportunities that all our children experience every single day. Recently our Nursery children have produced a wonderful Modern Art Exhibition using a whole variety of media, materials and techniques. Each piece was linked to a nursery rhyme and some children also experimented with photography. Nursery parents and carers received a lovely surprise when a photo montage of this exhibition arrived in their inbox on Valentine’s Day. A fantastic way to celebrate love, our value of the month for February.

At the other end of our school, Year 11 have completed their mock assessment week and are now embarking on their final GCSE preparation. I continue to be very proud of all their efforts and hard work. Just less than nine school weeks to go now until the examinations begin! Year 9 pupils have themselves started the process of choosing their GCSE options and are about to have personalised meetings with senior staff to confirm their choices.

We are proud to host Place2Be in our school. They are the UK’s leading children’s mental health charity and provide invaluable in-school support to help improve the emotional wellbeing of our pupils, family and staff. We fully embraced Children’s Mental Health Week and this year’s theme ‘Growing Together’. Our whole school ‘grew together’ and learnt some British Sign Language. It was such a powerful and valuable learning experience and it was great to see the pupils proudly showcasing their new skill.

The World Book day charity reminds us that reading for pleasure is the single biggest indicator of a child’s future success, it is one of the most important predictors of test scores at age 16 and there is a great correlation between reading for pleasure and mental wellbeing. At Whitefriars we always look for new ways to promote the love of reading. This week is World Book Day and we will be celebrating books from cultures from around the world. I am looking forward to reading Julia Donaldson’s ‘The Magic Paintbrush’ to the pupils, a wonderful story about charity, friendship and the importance of integrity. It’s also a lovely window into Ancient Chinese culture.

I hope everyone has a great week.