From the Headmaster's Desk

A fresh start, the chance to look back and move forward – this week was full of examples of our pupils doing their best and trying things for the first time.

On Monday, our assembly took on the theme of fresh beginnings and, using Rosh Hashanah as inspiration, we discussed why it was important to recognise what could be done better. This is a message that has continued throughout the week: our boys and girls are learning every day. On Thursday, Mrs Young also showed why everyone has a special talent, but that we can’t be perfect. My assembly used new shoes, Mrs Young employed a variety of brushes; I will let you judge which is the stronger metaphor. Mrs Pilmer rounded off matters with the impressive 2P, who told us all about the traditions of Jewish New Year.

This week also saw our first “meat free Monday”. I am delighted to hear how popular the fresh menus have been, and is was fantastic to see everyone eating a vegetarian main course. Plenty of the boys and girls had never eaten some of the ingredients that Pat included, but they all wanted to try out the new meal. Communal dining is so important at Lyonsdown, and I learn fascinating facts about your sons and daughters every time I eat with them. Clubs started in full flow this week, and the building was buzzing with excitement well after dismissal. My Year 5 and 6 Creative Thinking Club taught me a great deal about Year 5, whilst Year 6 focused on salesmanship and active listening. Talking of listening to our pupils, School Council elections have also taken place; do read Miss Pilmer’s full report in our news section.

Talking of new things; you may have noticed that some shiny classroom signs have now been installed throughout the school. The boys and girls have certainly noticed the new Clevertouch multi-touch interactive screen in the Computing room, part of the School’s continued commitment to investing in IT, and have marvelled at its impressive features. Some of the younger pupils have already had great fun wiggling a handful of fingers to create instant patterns and there are many more fun, learning opportunities to come in the future.

We also had a variety of visitors to the School: Year 2 took on King’s House at football, winning one match of two (see Miss Doyle’s report for a Match of the Day-esque summary), and representatives from both ISA and IAPS enjoyed being toured around the site. Both associations were hugely impressed by the energy and drive of the children: time would run short if I detailed all of their praise! We also continue to greet new joiners at Lyonsdown, and have welcomed Reception and Year 1 pupils to the School.

I am also delighted to say that Mrs Badger is very impressed that the children in Pre-Reception are happily settled into their routines, and always says what a pleasure it is to welcome them through the gate each morning. Reception have invited grandparents to read to the relevant class in honour of their forthcoming, special day. So far Mog stories and a ‘waspish’ tale have engrossed the children and I would like to thank those who have kindly given up their time this week. The classes are looking forward to more grandparents signing up; please drop a line in your child’s diary if available.

Finally, Jeans for Genes Day was a huge success today, raising £203.10 for the charity.  Once again our responsible Year 6 girls, this time in the form of our Charity prefects, led the way with their example of organisation. Thank you to all parents for supporting such a good cause.

I finish this week with a quotation: “Every day is a school day”. Fans of Celebrity MasterChef may know that this is one of Dev Griffin’s favourite sayings. Of course, this is literally the case at Lyonsdown, but it is by taking risks and trying new things, that our boys and girls will continue to make progress on their own journey of learning.

C. Hammond