Head Teacher’s Blog

Life at Lyonsdown

julia-acting-head-websiteJuly  2017

We have now reached the end of term, and so to a final round up of Life at Lyonsdown for this academic year…

Lyonsdown Sports

What a splendid day we all had at the Upper School Sports Day on Monday 3rd. Thankfully the weather behaved (unlike last year) and the boys and girls did themselves and their Houses proud by doing their best in the many sporting events and activities organised by Miss Doyle and supported by many members of staff. Well done to all the children who took part with such energy, enthusiasm and sportsmanship. I know that many records set last year were broken, and new ones achieved. It was lovely to see so many parents, grandparents and other family members at the sports ground in Enfield. A family picnic in the park opposite was also enjoyed mid-way through the day. To all our Lyonsdown athletes, don’t forget to keep up your sporting endeavours over the long summer break, even if it’s just getting out on your bike or kicking a ball around in the local park.

Pre Reception Sports Morning

The youngest members of our school also enjoyed a fun morning of sport in the hall on Monday 10th, cheered on and encouraged by their parents and teachers. The confidence, enjoyment and laughter coming from the children as they ran their races, was a joy to behold and testament to how much they enjoy their P.E. and music and movement time with Miss Doyle and the Pre Reception staff. Keep running, skipping, hopping, climbing and jumping over the holidays children!

Lion King

Huge congratulations to all the girls for a spectacular show this year – you should all be very proud. The Lion King, being primarily a musical, meant that the music, dance and costume elements of the production really came alive, and the staging and seating arrangements allowed the audience to feel enveloped in the surround sound of the beautiful singing, drumming and choreography of the Year 3, 4, and 5 girls throughout the whole performance. The Year 6 girls – who played the characters – were all extremely good, with many scenes involving simultaneous dancing, singing and acting – well done to you all! I’m sure that the headdresses now sit in pride of place in many homes. Thank you once again to all the staff involved, for their hard work and dedication in putting together such a fine production.

End of Year Celebration

Last Friday the school community came together to celebrate a year of life and learning at our school and to congratulate in particular, the Year 6 girls and Year 2 boys on completing their education at Lyonsdown and to wish them well as they embark on the next stage of their learning journey. We also said farewell to Mr Dewar and Miss Hook and welcomed back Mrs Badger, who will be returning to lead Pre Reception once again in September.

Each of our Year 2 boys and Year 6 girls received an award in recognition of their individual ability or achievement. Every pupil of course has many gifts and talents to offer – some yet to be revealed – and through these, each pupil contributes to the thriving, dynamic and caring learning community, which is Lyonsdown School.

We were also very pleased to welcome Mrs Wendy Kempster – Headmistress of Palmers Green High School to be our guest speaker. Mrs Kempster spoke about how education has developed and changed in England for both boys and girls from the medieval period right up until today. She had help too, from some pupils, who held up images depicting educational change through the ages.

It was lovely to see so many parents join with staff and guests in the school garden afterwards for refreshments and a final ‘goodbye’. I know that the Year 6 girls were very much looking forward to their prom later that evening at Forty Hall and I’m sure it was a very enjoyable event for them and their parents.

Fund Raising

Thank you to all who have given to the various charity collections and events held this year, including the wonderful Quiz Night in March and of course the recent lovely day which we all enjoyed two weeks ago, which was our Summer Fete, which I believe raised £5000. These funds will continue to be allocated to various focused and planned for resources and equipment.

I also wanted to highlight the amounts raised for the various charity collections held this year and to thank all parents for their generosity.

 

Sept 16 Jeans for Genes £ 200
Oct 16 Harvest festival donation, Chipping Barnet Food Bank  Food Donations
Nov 16 Poppy Appeal  £  72
Nov 16  Christmas Shoebox Appeal   130 boxes
Dec 16   Save children Christmas jumper day £ 155
Jan 17  Noah’s Ark Children Hospice  £  57
Apr 17   Readathon £1317
June 17  Grenfell Tower Fire (Kensington & Chelsea Foundation) (donation doubled by government match funding plus gift aid  to £573.75)  £ 255

 

And finally…

It has indeed been my very great pleasure and privilege to have led Lyonsdown since the being of 2017. There have of course been many memorable moments this year, but for me, I think having the chicks in school in spring and watching them hatch, has to be up there. The addition of ‘Chick Cam’ or as my Australian husband called it: ‘Chook-Look’, made such a difference to the experience.  I know that the chicks went on to find a happy home with Mrs Sheridan. A big thank you once again to Mrs Murphie and Mrs Everett for making it all possible – and can we have them again next year please.

We now look forward to a new chapter beginning for Lyonsdown as we welcome our new Headmaster, Mr Christopher Hammond in September.

In the meantime, I wish all those leaving us, a safe onwards journey, and for those returning, have a lovely summer break and come back to Lyonsdown in the new term ‘ready to roar’!

With best wishes to all our Lyonsdown families

Mrs Windsor

 

June  2017

The Election

Not only was there a General Election for the country in June, but at Lyonsdown, we had our House Captain elections – much more important! The main forum for ‘The Pupil Voice’ at Lyonsdown is of course the School Council, but as well as the half termly meetings, in June each year, pupils from Reception to Year 6 elect their House Captains and Deputies for the following school year.

Year 5 had spent much time and effort preparing their election speeches, and on Monday 26th with nerves and excitement in equal measure, they proudly addressed their Houses. The House members listened attentively and then after due consideration, placed their ‘cross’ on the ballot paper and posted it into the House ballot box – attractively decorated in House colours. Thank you to Mrs Young for sourcing them and the current House Captains and Deputies for decorating them so attractively.

The boxes were then taken to the counting room and the votes counted.

The Results… Well, you will have to wait until The End of Year Celebration, when the new House Captains and Deputies for next year will be announced. But a HUGE thank you and well done to ALL the Year 5 girls. Standing for election is a brave thing to do, and who knows; perhaps this experience will ‘sow a seed’ for future political endeavours. We certainly plan to take Year 6 to The Houses of Parliament once again next year.

 

Thinking of Teaching..?

The staff and pupils warmly welcomed ex Lyonsdown pupil Sophie Shennan in to school for two weeks in June to experience life from ‘the other side of the desk’! Sophie, who went from Lyonsdown to St Michael’s Catholic Grammar School in Finchley and then on to Dubai College, is currently studying classics at Cambridge and is considering teaching as a career, and so wanted to learn more about this wonderful and noble profession before perhaps taking the plunge! I remember being Sophie’s Year 6 teacher and teaching her English and history, so was delighted to see her back here. Sophie had a busy two weeks with us, spending each day with a different class and kindly agreeing to an interview with our Head Girl, Martha and Deputy Head Girl, Maya.

Question 1:  What year did you join the school?

Answer: Reception.

 Question 2: What teachers do you remember?

Answer: Miss Telford, Mrs Murphie, Mrs Windsor, Mrs Gunn, Mrs Dixon, Mrs Webber and Mrs Everett.

 Question 3: What was Year 6 like?

Answer: I really enjoyed Year 6, especially after the entrance exams. We did a play ‘We’ll Meet Again’ which was based in WW2 for the production.  It was probably my favourite year.

 Question 4: What were your favourite subjects?

Answer: I enjoyed English, History and Science the most.

 Question 5: How was the change between primary school and secondary school?

Answer: I moved to secondary school with four others from Lyonsdown, including my best friend. It was a strange transition but I was lucky to have so many friends!

 Question 6: Was it strange to be amongst the youngest pupils in the school?

Answer:  I felt very big when I left Lyonsdown, then suddenly very small when I entered year 7! Soon though, you grow up to be one of the older students at secondary school.

Question 7: Did you take a gap year?

Answer: No

 Question 8: How did you end up in Dubai?

Answer: My Dad got a job there, so my whole family moved across. Although leaving my school was difficult, I’ve enjoyed the experience and made some great friends whilst I’ve been there!

 Question 9: What made Lyonsdown special?

Answer: Lyonsdown has a lovely atmosphere and it’s nice and small so everyone knows everyone and the teachers can get to know every student really well. I also loved the school trips that Lyonsdown took us on – it was originally the Year 3 trip to Verulamium that inspired my interest in Classics, which I am now studying at University!

 Why did you come back to Lyonsdown?

I am considering a career in teaching and I wanted to see if it’s something I’d be interested in! I decided to come back to Lyonsdown to do it because I have such lovely memories of the school.

Question 10: Hobbies?

Answer: I love to read, play tennis, watch films and spend time with my friends and family!

Sophie Shennan Martha and Maya

Open Afternoon

On Wednesday 28th June, we welcomed our current parents to come in to school for our annual Open Afternoon. Pupils are very proud of their school and love showing their mums, dads and grandparents around the building, to every classroom, nook and cranny: including the cloakroom I discovered! This event also gives parents the opportunity to say goodbye to their child’s current teacher and to say hello to the new one! Teachers too, enjoy the chance to meet parents and pupils, to say hello to familiar faces and to welcome in new parents and pupils to their classrooms.

Reception Induction

As we reach the end of one school year, we begin to think of the year to come, and in June, we warmly welcomed our new Reception parents and their children to their two induction events. This gave an opportunity for current Pre Reception parents and their children to meet and start to get to know the new families joining the Lyonsdown community in September. Miss Deamer, our new Reception teacher, also spent a day with us, getting to know the staff, parents and pupils who will be in her class next year.

Reception staff, Mrs Brodie, Miss Pilmer and myself, enjoyed chatting with parents on the playground, as the children zoomed around on the bikes and trikes and had fun with some creative art activities. Juice and biscuits were served and friendships and contacts made. We now look forward to welcoming all our new Reception children on the first day of term.

And finally…

We are rapidly (it seems), approaching the end of yet another fantastic year of life and learning at Lyonsdown.

I will share the events of July with you in my final blog at the end of term, and look forward to seeing many of you at The Lion King and End of Year Celebration.

With best wishes to all our Lyonsdown families,

Mrs Windsor


 

May  2017

What a lovely sunny end to the half term we had. Thank you for applying sunscreen to your child’s face in the mornings and providing him or her with a purple hat. Please continue to do so for the remainder of the term.

May was certainly a busy month at school, with many trips and events enjoyed by the pupils. Here are some highlights:

North London Music Festival

A huge well done to both school choirs for their fantastic singing and performing in the North London Music Festival – you did yourselves and your school proud. For parents not able to attend the competition held in Muswell Hill, you certainly missed a treat, with the Lower School’s rendition of Crackers Maracas. To be able to sing in time and in tune whilst simultaneously turning, twirling and swaying is a feat that defeats many a professional singer! Their second song – featuring the well-known nursery rhyme London’s Burning – saw the children singing in three parts with minimal accompaniment. When the results were announced, Lyonsdown came joint second. What an achievement: bringing joy and pleasure to us all.

The Upper School choir did an equally splendid job with their two songs. The first being Iqude – a traditional Zulu song sung by women. What a beautiful, warm, rich sound the girls made. Their second song: Rockstar, was a modern, contemporary number, and made a fitting contrast in style. The competition this year was particularly strong and although not placed, the joy and pleasure found in singing, either as a performer or as a member of the audience is priceless and beyond measure. So well done to all our fantastic girls and a huge thank you to Mrs Hirsch for all her passion, energy, skill and dedication to developing such enthusiastic and talented singers at Lyonsdown.

Reception and Year 1 Sports Morning

I’m sure you will agree that the photographs say it all. The delight on the children’s faces is clear, and the community atmosphere created by mums, dads and grandparents sharing in the fun of the children’s participation in a wide range of skill based sporting activities organised by Miss Doyle and ably assisted by Year 5, made for a wonderful sunny morning of fun: what a treat! Thank you too, to Mrs Gunn and all the staff of the Lower School who helped make the morning such a success.

Year 6 Out and About

As Year 6 approach the end of their primary school years, thoughts begin to turn to the “big wide world” beyond. And in May, Year 6 certainly began to spread their wings with two exciting trips.

Grand Day Out

Pupils enjoyed their day out in London visiting The Houses of Parliament for a tour of the Lords and Commons and a workshop on the voting process in Britain. Through role-play, the girls learnt all about our electoral system of constituencies, forming manifesto pledges and how the actual process of voting takes place. They certainly proved to be vocal and enthusiastic canvassers for their parties and I’m sure will take a keen interest in the General Election and when their turn comes, they will use their vote to have their say.

After a stroll along Whitehall and through Trafalgar Square, we found ourselves in Carnaby Street, where the pupils visited a shoe shop called Irregular Choice, where the footwear has to be seen to be believed! At school, the girls had been designing and making their own shoes in DT lessons, which were modelled on the character traits of a person: real or imagined, or a theme, for example: space. Irregular Choice has a similar eclectic range of shoes and the girls really enjoyed seeing them, discussing the designs and sketching their favourites.

 

Beside the Seaside

Our Year 6 residential trip this year saw the girls sample the delights and charms of an old-fashioned style English seaside holiday to The Isle of Wight. As well as visiting many sites of interest and in support of the curriculum, the girls enjoyed playing with their friends on sandy beaches (yes we have them!), paddling in the sea; taking part in the much coveted sand castle competition and enjoying a special treat eating traditional sticks of rock and ice cream! The weather was perfect, and the girls enjoyed some well-deserved relaxing fun and laughter with their friends. The teachers had fun too and the whole party came back to London with many happy memories.

Back at school, the girls will now compile their Isle of Wight Holiday Scrapbook, which will hopefully serve as a treasured keepsake for them to look back on in years to come. Thank you to Mrs Murphie and Mrs Polak for taking such good care of the girls and for their convivial company!

A Time to Plant

Thank you to Natalie Carlos and Lynda Wiltshire for organising all the pupils to plant up their vegetable seed pots in good time for them to germinate and grow into seedlings for the Summer Fete. I’m sure that with all the sunshine and rain that we have been having, they can’t fail to thrive. Don’t forget to buy yours children, and then you can enjoy the fruits of your labour at home!

I’m sure that you will agree too that the whole outside garden area is looking splendid. The new flowers and shrubs which were purchased recently are now well established and the vegetable garden is also coming along nicely. Thank you to all those involved in making our outdoor space so attractive and “user friendly”!

And Finally…

Thank you to all who helped the children raise the amazing total of £1,317 for our Readathon sponsored reading event held at the end of April. Pupils benefitted from extra reading time and the money will help provide books and storytellers to children in hospital. More information can be found at http://readforgood.org/helping-kids-in-hospital/our-hospital-programme/

With warm regards to all our Lyonsdown families

Mrs Windsor


 

April 2017

Although we have only been back at school for just under two weeks, staff, pupils and I’m sure parents, are back in the swing of things and looking forward to a sunny Summer term.

Year 2 boys’ and Year 6 Girls’ School Place Offers

I am now pleased to be in the position to share with you, the list of schools to which our Year 2 boys and Year 6 girls have been offered places for next September. They are as follows:

Year 2 Boys
Belmont School
Edge Grove School
Haberdashers’ Aske’s School for Boys
Hendon Prep School
Keble School
Lochinver House School
Northbridge House School
University College London (UCS)
Year 6 Girls
Aldenham School
Braeside School
Channing School
Chelmsford County High School for Girls
City of London School for Girls
Colchester Girls’ School
Dame Alice Owen
East Barnet School
Haberdashers’ Aske’s School for Girls
Henrietta Barnett
Hockerill
JCoSS
Latymer
Mill Hill County High School
North London Collegiate School
Palmers Green High School
Queen Elizabeth’s Girls’ School
Queenswood School
Southgate School
St Alban’s School for Girls
St Edmund’s School Ware
St Margaret’s Bushey
St Martha’s Convent
St Michael’s Catholic Grammar School
Susi Earnshaw Theatre School
Westcliffe High School for Girls’

I am delighted to add that 3 girls have achieved scholarship awards for art, academic and STEM subjects.

We congratulate all the boys and girls on everything that they have achieved. Their hard work, focus and determination to give of and do their best, has meant that they have done themselves, their families and their school proud. Well done everyone. As mentioned in an earlier blog, the final list of destinations will be published in the Lyons Tales magazine at the end of term.

As we have now begun the Summer term, I thought it prudent to remind parents of the summer uniform requirements:

GIRLS – RECEPTION to YEAR 6
Regulation Yellow Dress
Green Blazer
Brown/black shoes – lace up, buckle or Velcro (no boots, no slip-ons) no open toes/backs
White Socks
Straw Boater (this is a compulsory part of the girls’ summer uniform)
Yellow or White Hair Ribbon
Purple Playground Cap
Regulation Green Cardigan

 

BOYS – YEAR 1 and YEAR 2
Green Blazer
Grey Socks
Grey Shorts
Brown/black shoes – lace up, buckle or Velcro (no boots, no slip-ons) no open toes/backs
White Shirt
School Tie
Purple Playground Cap

 

Mrs Gunn will be confirming the uniform requirements for EYFS children and other “housekeeping” matters separately in a letter.

Hopefully the weather will have warmed up enough so that all pupils can be in their summer uniform after the bank holiday weekend.

Hair

Hairstyles should enable children to study and play safely and so should be sensible in style.   Girls’ shoulder length and longer hair should be tied back using appropriate green/purple (or yellow/white in summer) accessories, no large bows or bobbles etc.  Fringes should be kept short or secured away from the eyes.  Hair should remain natural in colour and style.

Boys’ hair should be short and neat for both smartness and safety.

Jewellery

With the exception of watches and small pierced ear studs, jewellery may not be worn in school.  All watches should be small, discreet, neutral or in school colours and named.

Snacks

Snacks may be brought in to eat at morning break time.  Children may bring a piece of fruit or vegetable to eat. Fruit bars or cereal bars are also acceptable for the Upper School who have a later lunch.

Please ensure that you allow enough time in the morning for your child to have an adequate breakfast before coming to school.

No chocolate, biscuits, sweets or crisps are to be brought into school.

Anything containing nuts is not allowed. 

School Garden

During the Easter holidays, Mr Sheriden was kept busy tidying up the garden and outdoor learning space after its winter sleep. The FLS have kindly bought a wide selection of plants to brighten up the front garden. Mrs Murphie and some pupils meanwhile, have sown some vegetable seeds which the children will tend and use for their work in science, DT (food tech) and hopefully, at the end of the season, Pat will be able to use them in her cooking and we can all enjoy the fruits (excuse the pun) of the children’s labour.

Readathon and Literacy Dress-up Day

Thank you so much for supporting these two book themed events held this week. As you can see by the photos, the children had a fun day dressing up as book characters and I’m sure that the extra focus on reading for pleasure whilst raising money for children in hospital has proved a worthwhile activity for all.

Website Links

When I started these blogs in January, I said that I would post links, which I feel you might find useful or helpful.

Share photos of children safely online

This is a one-minute video from the BBC, posted in February as part of safer Internet awareness. It really gives very clear and precise advice… http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-38893963

Prising children away from the dreaded screens!

Well what better way than to join the Cubs, Brownies, Guides or Scouts! These organisations provide children with so many active and outdoor experiences, as well as giving youngsters the opportunity to meet and make friends with boys and girls from different schools and backgrounds and to learn life and character skills along the way. Here are the links to some local groups which you may wish to contact.

For the boys: http://www.barnetscouts.com/who-we-are/sections/beavers/

For the girls: https://www.girlguiding.org.uk/information-for-parents/register-your-daughter/

You have probably heard though, that there is a waiting list to join, as the popularity of scouting has increased in recent years. So if you feel that your son or daughter would benefit from, and enjoy being a member of the Scouting movement, don’t delay in signing them up.
 
 
And finally
Enjoy the bank holiday weekend. We are at least promised warmer temperatures!

 

 

 


 

March 2017

The Spring term has come to an end with a flourish of warmth and blue skies – long may it continue!

Easter is a time for celebrating life and light, and at Lyonsdown we have had plenty of both recently.

 

sunfThere’s a Sunflower in my Supper

Those of us who watched the Lower School performance of There’s a Sunflower in my Supper last week couldn’t fail but be impressed with the children’s joy and excitement in sharing their wonderful singing and acting talents with us all, and the vibrant and colourful costumes (always a useful addition to any dressing up box) and sunflower backdrop, brought sunshine into the hall.

A big thank you to all the staff in the Lower School, but particularly to Mrs Hirsch and Miss Pilmer for all that they do to make these events so special.

Don’t forget to buy your DVD!

101Upper School Spring Music Concert

On Thursday 16th March the Upper School treated us to an afternoon of music at St John’s Church in Somerset Road. We had music from the musicals, folk, classical and contemporary, and even some compositions from pupils themselves. It really was a true celebration of “the sound of music”. Thank you to all the girls, from the solo performers to the choir and class groups. It really was a delightful way to welcome in Spring.

Chicks

102Sadly we had to say goodbye to our fluffy friends last week. But Mrs Sheridan (Mr Sheridan’s mum) is looking after some of them. I know that many of you enjoyed watching the chicks with your children at home via our live feed or “Chick Cam”.  Here is a small selection of photos for you to enjoy. The delight on the children’s faces says it all. Thank you so much to Mrs Murphie and Mrs Everett for making this special event possible.

 

 

101FLS Quiz night

A HUGE thank you to the FLS, in particular to Linda Wiltshire and Natalie Carlos for their mammoth effort in organising and preparing our fantastic quiz night which we held on Saturday 18th March. Parents, staff and governors came together for an evening of fun and laughter – as you can see by the photos! Thank you to all who attended.

 

 

21Easter Bonnets, Cakes, Raffle and Egg hunt

Thank you to all who helped the children design and make their Easter bonnets and cakes for the Easter cake sale. What a delightful sight they all were.

We had a traditional “Easter bonnet parade” in the playground at break time which allowed all the children – including Pre Reception to see and be seen in all their splendour! It REALLY was a very difficult task to judge and make decisions as we could see how much care, fun and attention had gone into making all the wonderful Easter themed goodies.

Thank you once again to all the FLS team for organising such fun activities for the children at the end of term. Congratulations to the winners of all our Easter competitions, but more importantly, well done to all who took part!

 

11And Finally

However you choose to celebrate this time of year, I wish all our Lyonsdown families the joy and hope of new life that the message of Easter brings.
Have a happy and safe holiday.
Mrs Windsor


 

February 2017

As we say goodbye to February, we hope that the windy weather has finally died down, but Storm Doris’ swooping visit to Barnet last week inspired Year 4 to write this poem, which I thought I’d share with you.

 

WIND

WIND
The wind comes
On prowling cheetah feet;
It bellows dangerously
Over the vast swirling ocean.
It leaps lashingly
And pounces on its prey;
Then dives down to the ocean floor.
Now all is silent and peaceful.
 
By Year 4

Graduating from Lyonsdown in 2017

Over the past month, our Year 2 boys and Year 6 girls have been receiving offers of places for their next schools. Selective state school places are being sent out later this week, and once every offer has been received, I will publish a list of schools to which our Year 2 boys and Year 6 girls may choose to transfer.

Children – your parents, families and all of your teachers at school are very proud of you and know that you have all worked so hard to do your very best. We very much look forward to celebrating your successes and achievements more formally at our End of Year Celebration on the final day of this school year. A final list of the school destination of each Year 2 boy and Year 6 girl will be published in the Lyonsdown Tales School Magazine in the Summer Term.

Out and About

Trips in February saw Reception visiting the RAF museum in Hendon as part of their topic: “people who help us”.

Year 5 and 6 enjoyed a fantastic day out in London visiting The Globe Theatre for a drama workshop on William Shakespeare’s play Hamlet, as well as getting a sneaky peek at rehearsals for The Taming of The Shrew which was very interesting. We even had an extra treat of walking across The Millennium, aka “Wobbly” Bridge, where we got a good view of The Thames, St Paul’s Cathedral, Tower Bridge and the Tate Modern. Thank you to Rivini and Jaye’s mums for coming with us.

As part of their topic on people in history looking at famous explorers such as Ernest Shackleton, the Year 2 boys and girls had an informative day last Monday with Taylor – a young man who could certainly be described as an intrepid explorer. Not only had he been to the arctic, but he had also ventured into other remote parts of our world. He shared his polar experiences with the children during a day of fun learning activities, and who knows, perhaps ignited a passion for adventure and exploring in a new generation!

Supporting the Next Generation of Teachers

Talking of next generations… as with all professions, it is vitally important in education, that we encourage and support those who are considering a career in teaching. At Lyonsdown, we have an extremely experienced, creative and knowledgeable staff team who have welcomed two potential student teachers into their classes for a few days in February to observe them teach and so enable these potential “new recruits” to gain first-hand insight into the nature and craft of teaching.  The children were all very welcoming and helpful, and as you would expect, exemplified to our visitors, the core values and ethos for which Lyonsdown pupils are well known.

Art News

ISA ART COORDINATOR ROLE

Lyonsdown School, as you will be aware, is a member of the Independent Schools’ Association. I’m very pleased to inform you that last term Mrs Cowie, Lyonsdown’s specialist art and DT teacher, accepted a professional role as the ISA’s London North Art Coordinator. This role will involve her organising the ISA Regional Art competition each Autumn term, where art work from all the ISA schools – both prep and senior in the north London region – is put forward for judging in various categories. As a member of the ISA’s Arts Committee, Mrs Cowie also aims to promote the high standards of artistic and creative achievement in independent schools.

SAATCHI GALLERY SCHOOLS PRIZE 2017

We are very excited to take part in the Saatchi Gallery Art Prize for Schools for the first time this year and several pieces of art work ranging from paintings, photography and animations created by Lyonsdown pupils have been entered, with a few more to be added.

This art competition is held each year for primary and secondary schools from around the world, with fantastic cash prizes for individuals and their schools, as well as winning work being displayed at a high profile exhibition. To view Lyonsdown’s entries so far, here is the link:

http://www.saatchigallery.com/schools/prize/2017/artist.php?id=1109

THE FOURTH PLINTH SCHOOLS AWARD 2017

Mrs Cowie is delighted with the high standard of art work completed by pupils in Years 4-6 which will be entered into an art competition organised by the Mayor of London. Every year, London’s schoolchildren are invited to create artworks, inspired by the commissions for the Fourth Plinth in Trafalgar Square and London life. An awards ceremony for the winners will be held at city Hall on 27th April and this year’s judge, artist David Shrigley will hand out the prizes. Fingers crossed for all our young artists here at Lyonsdown!

Sporting Headlines

Sporting fixtures have got well underway in February with an ISA U11 girls’ football tournament held at Furzefield in Potters Bar and hosted by Lyonsdown. We also entered a team into a junior cross country event and several away netball matches. Look out for the sports blog for more details.

Spring is Sprung!

FLOW1

 

Spring is beginning to show its face – if a little reluctantly and I hope that the snow drops, crocuses and daffodils are beginning to show in your garden as they are in mine.

So we now look forward to our Lyonsdown spring events to be held in March. Namely the Lower School’s spring production and the Upper School’s spring music concert to be held once again in St John’s Church, Somerset Road on March 16th at 2pm. We also wish the Lower School choir a wonderful day full of music and fun next Wednesday when they take part in the “Sing Up” music festival which will be attended by many other north London independent schools.

The children and teachers are all waiting in eager anticipation for the arrival of our eggsFLOW2 next Monday. Thank you to Mrs Murphie for organising this. I’m sure that you will all hear from                    your own little chicks when our chicks at school hatch!

And of course, the teachers and I are very much looking forward to seeing all the children’s Easter bonnets on the last day of term!

“And Finally…”

I hope to see many of you at the FLS Lyonsdown Quiz Night on Saturday 18th March. A big thank you to the committee in advance for all their skill and hard work in organising what I know will be a fantastic evening for all!

With every good wish to all our Lyonsdown families, and to those of you with Welsh connections: Happy Saint David’s day for March 1st.

 Mrs Windsor

 


 

January 2017

Dear Parents,

I have really enjoyed saying good morning to you and your children along the school path over the first few weeks of this term. The children’s cheery hellos, smiles and eagerness to come to school are infectious.

It is my intention over the next two terms to write a monthly “Life at Lyonsdown” blog. Here I can share with you some of the wonderful moments that occur in school and also provide links to useful websites and articles which I feel may be interesting or helpful.

January started off cold and stubbornly remained so for the whole month. Thank you for sending your children into school well wrapped up. The threatened snow didn’t arrive though  – much to the disappointment of the pupils! The last few days of the month however, promise a “warmer” feel.

Merit Awards

We have now developed our merit awards system to encompass a broader range of subjects. This term in the Upper School, merits will be awarded in history, geography and computing. In the Summer term the subjects will change to P.E., music and art/DT. Lyonsdown has a broad and rich curriculum, and acknowledging and celebrating pupils’ efforts and achievements in the creative arts, technology, sport and humanities are important, not just for the recipient of course, but to show everyone that all areas of endeavour are valued at Lyonsdown. The names of all children who receive a merit are placed on the parent portal under “Awards” and this area is regularly updated .

Year 1 and 5 School Transfer Meetings

As part of our well organised system of preparation for the boys leaving us at the end of Year 2, last Wednesday we held our annual 7+ Transfer evening for parents.  The evening began with an “education fayre”, where several independent schools with 7+ entry for boys, set up their “stalls” in the hall, enabling parents to find out more about the various school choices available to them and to view prospectuses; talk to Head Teachers, heads of transfer or admissions and begin to get a sense of what each school can offer their son as they consider the next stage of his education.

We are very fortunate in north London in that we have such a variety of different school options for boys at 7+, ranging from schools similar in size and make up to that of Lyonsdown, to all through schools; single sex and co-ed, religious and secular and even a long standing international school which follows the International Baccalaureate system.

After parents had had an opportunity to speak with each school, myself, Miss Pilmer and the Year 1 and 2 teachers held a meeting with parents in the library to explain the transfer process in more detail, including the options available; how we prepare the boys at Lyonsdown for their assessments, interviews and tests and how parents can best support at home.

The feedback from parents regarding the information and opportunities given during the evening was very positive and we now look forward to our similar Year 5 11+ transfer event, which is to be held at school this Wednesday evening.

Building Resilience in Pupils

Resilience is something we all need to develop in order to meet the challenges that life inevitably brings, and at Lyonsdown, we see this as an important personal quality for our pupils to develop.

I thought I’d share this article, recently published in The Daily Telegraph, which reveals that research has shown that pupils attending independent schools demonstrate a higher level of resilience than those attending state schools. Whilst one shouldn’t infer that this applies to all pupils of course, the research does appear to indicate in favour of independent education as being more successful in building such personal qualities in our young people.

Daily Telegraph 18th January 2017

“Research commissioned by the Independent Schools Council shows that private school pupils are more controlled, committed and confident than their state-educated counterparts. The study, An Analysis of Mental Toughness at UK Independent Schools, included a psychometric test that defined mental toughness as the “mindset that every person adopts in everything they do.” Mark Mortimer, headmaster of Warminster School, said exam grades, though important, matter less than “the qualities that allow pupils to leave school able to thrive, both professionally and personally, in the fluid, ever-changing and let-go world of the 21st century.” “Emotional intelligence, reaction to failure, leadership, perseverance, resilience and the ability to improvise and adapt on one’s feet are increasingly important,” he added.”

Read the full article on the Telegraph website

“And finally…”

I’m pleased to inform you that Mrs Kerry Shelley has recently joined the teaching staff as a supply teacher. Some of you will already know Mrs Shelley as she is our Speech and Drama (LAMDA) teacher and she is in school every Monday lunchtime, taking sessions with pupils from Year 1 to Year 6. Mrs Shelley is also a fully qualified teacher and holds Qualified Teacher Status. She is experienced in teaching across all subjects in the primary age range and we warmly welcome her to the teaching team.

With warm regards to all our Lyonsdown families,
Mrs Windsor