From the Headmaster's Desk

Make every second count. As I told the boys and girls in my Monday assembly, it is wrong to judge a book by its cover. However, there are occasions when we cannot help but rely on first impressions, and one of these occasions is a School Open Day.

Tuesday saw a host of prospective parents and children stream into Lyonsdown, past the very shiny new sign. The hall was packed (we even had to get spare chairs!) as I began my speech. Current Lyonsdown parents will be familiar with much that I said, including how the School nurtures both potential and ability, and recognises that success comes in many forms. Then, it was over to our ambassadors: the pupils. Year 6 had the key responsibility of touring parents around our wonderful site. They did a fabulous job, and delighted our visitors with their story. It is our pupils that are at the centre of all that we do, and we wanted them to be the focus. The feedback has been flooding in: “The teaching methods we saw and the way the teachers engaged with pupils was fantastic,” “[the pupils] represented the school in the best possible way. They were friendly, polite, highly knowledgeable about the school and spoke with such passion about it and all their teachers” and “It was lovely to see all the children being courteous, polite and very well mannered.  It is a testament to the teaching staff.” I could go on, but needless to say that all of our boys and girls contributed to a highly successful afternoon.

Tuesday’s parent consultation evening gave teachers and parents a chance to discuss pupil progress, and I was pleased to be able to speak to so many of you. Outside the classroom, and occasionally the school, has been equally as busy this week. Miss Doyle led a variety of netball matches, Year 2 visited the Hindu temple at Bhaktivedanta Manor and Year 4 spent Friday at Affinity Water, as our pupils continue to make the most of the local area to progress, both academically and in their personal development. On Thursday, Mrs Hirsch led a wonderful Harvest Festival assembly, full of singing, music and even a Year 5 rap. Year 6 also taught the boys and girls how a variety of cultures celebrate the harvest of food. Following the assembly, Mrs Windsor and our charity prefects took your generous donations to a local foodbank. They were overwhelmed by our collection, and I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our parents for contributing to such a worthy cause.

On a practical note, you will have seen all staff at Lyonsdown are now wearing coloured lanyards, with teachers sporting a rather stylish green and visiting parents donning a red version. These will be explained to the pupils on Monday, but are an addition to our already robust safeguarding measures. You will have also seen new signage to remind parents that we are a mobile free site, and would ask that parents do not use their phones once they are inside the school gate.

The week ended with some rather chilly mornings, but the atmosphere the boys, girls and staff consistently create at Lyonsdown means any visitor to School is always given the warmest of welcomes. All the best for the weekend.

C. Hammond