From the Headmaster's Desk

We want our girls to be aware of what is going on around them, and I have spent much of this week speaking to the boys and girls about news and current affairs. I am amazed at what they have read and listened to, and am delighted that parents are discussing the world with their sons and daughters on a daily basis.

Speaking of awareness: I have been quizzing our pupils  on the front gate about our new safeguarding lanyards, and am pleased to note they had listened very carefully to the important message I gave in Monday’s assembly. If parents could reinforce the fact that people wearing school colour lanyards are safe to be on their own in school, I would appreciate it. On this note, if I could remind parents again that we are a mobile free site. Once you are inside the school gates that lead onto the street, please do not have your mobile phone in your hand. This includes the covered walkways and the area where you collect your children from at the end of the day.

There have been plenty of tours this week: a steady stream of prospective parents continue to visit the school and be impressed by the school, our boys and girls and their teachers. Tuesday’s Learning Walk gave me a chance to see every single pupil in school at work. The atmosphere in lessons was bright and purposeful, with pupils thoroughly engaged in all that they were doing. Later in the evening, we hosted the second of our parents’ consultation evenings and it was wonderful to catch up with so many of you. Parents regularly comment on how caring the children of Lyonsdown are, so it was no surprise that Year 3’s Friday assembly on the ingredients of friendship was delivered by a class of experts (all dressed as colour co-ordinated pencils).

I have also had the chance to meet with the Heads of Highgate and Haileybury, to learn about what they might offer our boys and girls and catch up with old Lyonsdownians. Talking of visits, Thursday was a big day for the School and Mrs Cowie, who hosted the ISA Regional Art competition at a secret North London venue. Mrs Cowie is the Regional ISA Art Co-ordinator and organised and managed a superb exhibition. Lyonsdown swept the board, with nine winning pieces of art qualifying for the national finals next month which is fantastic. Mrs Cowie writes: the overall standard of work at the competition was extremely high, so well done to all our pupils! Several pieces of work were created by groups or whole classes demonstrating wonderful collaborative skills here at Lyonsdown.

The Sport Department have also been busy. As well as a variety of netball fixtures against King’s House, our Year 6 football team were semi-finalists in the ISA tournament at Licensed Victuallers’ School. Miss Doyle’s match report will contain far more details, but we now have a dedicated Lyonsdown Sport Twitter feed for you to engage with. If you are a fan of 140 characters, the School’s account are @LyonsdownSchool and @LyonsdownSport with @hammondteacher my own personal teaching account. On the Computing front, some pupils have been catching up with some coding fun this week in IT and making apps. You can see our whole library by clicking on the link below:

Mrs Badger writes: Pre-Reception have had a busy few weeks enjoying different activities which have embraced diversity within the school. We have looked at portraits and how they have been painted, introducing different artists and asked the children to investigate colour, tone  and media whilst painting self-portraits. The outcome has been a  bright, happy and colourful display in the classroom of all our faces. We have also talked about houses and homes, looking at where we live and what our houses look like. The children have used coloured shapes to make pictures of their homes which are all individual and unique. They also enjoyed watching a programme which showed how bricks were made and used on a building site. We all enjoyed trying to ‘ huff and puff’ our model houses down, which were built out of Lego or rubber bricks and paper.

Reading has been our minds once again this week. Mrs Gunn writes: thank you to the grandmothers of Alysha, Ariella, Ella, Harriet, Helena, Lydia, Nikita and Olympia  who have already kindly read wonderful stories to Reception. Should there be others (including grandfathers) who were unavailable during the past weeks and would still like to read to their grandchild’s class, please write to the relevant Reception teacher in the daily diary book.

I hope you have had the chance to read our new suggested reading lists. We think that you will find something there for all tastes and interests, but the children have also been consulted about what they would add. I often ask my pupils what they are reading, and am very happy to discuss their opinion of their current novel. Leading by example means that Wild boy, by Rob Lloyd Jones, currently sits on a table in the Hammond house. Suitable for Year 5 and above, it could almost be a Lyonsdown pupil – engaging, informative and full of character.

Finally, some big news – after a complex democratic process that closely adhered to several key British values, I am delighted to announce that we have chosen the title of our mind-set scheme. Lyonsdown Learning will promote six skills that will allow children to deepen their understanding of their learning journey. The six Lyonsdown learning habits are: Collaboration, Creativity, Curiosity, Independence, Perseverance and Reflection. We will focus on one learning habit in each half-term (two before Christmas this year), and will keep you updated with future developments.

All the best for what I hear is meant to be a glorious weekend.

C. Hammond