From the Headmaster's Desk

In a week where our focus has been on kindness and making a positive difference, the boys and girls of Lyonsdown School were in their element, recognising that being different from others is a good thing.

Anti-bullying week took centre stage throughout the week. On Monday, I spoke to the boys and girls about the importance of friendly behaviour and being kind; how every child should feel comfortable at school. They also were also reminded why it is important to tell an adult if they are upset. Independence is our first Lyonsdown Learning habit, but collaborating to overcome difficulties is just as important as being self-reliant. Mrs Young followed this up later in the week, with an assembly about the choices we can make to create a caring atmosphere in lessons and at break. Finally, Form teachers have been reinforcing the School’s anti-bullying messages and also discussing a new anti-bullying leaflet for pupils to read.

Mrs Gunn writes: being different is sometimes used as a reason for bullying someone. The Lower School happily found one similarity and one difference in their friend sitting next to them. Miss Beanie (the hippo teacher) needed the Lower School to help sort out a problem. She thought that an animal in her class might be being bullied at school, but was not sure. A very willing band of volunteers acted out a scenario and the children were invited to explain the situation from each animal’s perspective. Something Else by Kathryn Cave and Chris Riddell also provided an animal theme. The children were asked why the children thought the animals sent ‘Something Else’ away. Later in the story they were asked to consider in which ways ‘Something’ and ‘Something Else’ were different and similar to each other. Ideas bounced round the hall regarding how bullying was unacceptable and the Lower School provided a wealth of ideas as to the strategies that could be taken to prevent and deal with similar situations.

We have all been hugely impressed by the boys’ and girls’ empathy and knowledge on the topic of anti-bullying and are proud that Lyonsdown is a community where all are treated as equals.

It has also been a very sporty week: Miss Doyle was full of praise for the perseverance and collaboration shown by the under-11 and under-9 netball teams this week; match reports will be published in the news section shortly.

The end of the week was as busy as the beginning: on Thursday, our wonderful FLS organised and hosted our second-hand uniform sale. Friday was, perhaps, the busiest day of the week, 1T presented their Handa’s Surprise assembly with great excitement. They enjoyed sharing their knowledge about the fruits that appear in the story, combined with other interesting facts and information. The children also shared work from their Design and Technology lessons, where they  planned, made and ate a fruit kebab. All the children spoke confidently and clearly (without the need for a script) and loved performing their work to the school. Year 6 enjoyed that rarest of treats; the opportunity to wear their hair down for their 1940s’ themed outing. The class enjoyed a fantastic trip to The Lincolnsfields Children’s Centre to experience being a child in the Second World War which involved learning about rationing, evacuation and even taking part in a mock air raid. Educational and thought-provoking, the girls learnt a great deal. Finally, Pre-Reception Nursery braved the cold for Children in Need and wore their pyjamas to school. They were welcomed through the gate by not one but by three Pudsey bears (Pudsey is a very secretive chap and has asked me to withhold his true identity). Each child also enjoyed bringing their favourite bear with them, which pleased the Pre-Reception Nursery Bear, Eddy, as he had friends to play with. The children had a fun filled day and raised £83.31 which was a great achievement.

Being different: it is what makes Britain and Lyonsdown such a wonderful place to live and learn. The boys and girls may (or may not) be surprised to hear that I enjoy running and playing hockey, but also play chess and like Star Trek. Not everyone will share my interests, but having different or unusual interests, or being different should never make you feel unhappy. The fact that the boys and girls at Lyonsdown are attuned to this way of thinking sends me towards the weekend a happy man.

Parish notices

As the weather grows colder, please could I remind parents to ensure their sons and daughters have their school uniform hat, scarf and gloves in school. All items of school uniform and kit should be labelled.

Lyonsdown Learning
Competition time! This is a reminder that our first Lyonsdown Learning competition is currently underway. To enter the competition to create the symbol for independence, your son or daughter should design (by hand or on the computer) a poster on a piece of plain A4 paper that they think best represents this learning habit. The word independence must be visible on the poster. Entries should be handed in to the School Office no later than Friday 24th November at 3:30pm. Children in Pre-Reception to Year 2 should hand their entries to their class teacher, who will deliver them. Please ensure that all entries are named on the back of the piece of paper. Results will be announced as soon as possible after this date. The competition for the other learning habits will be announced in due course, with the creativity competition taking place before Christmas.

Parent survey
Regular communication with parents and guardians is a vital part of Lyonsdown School, and we are always looking for opportunities to engage with you. This week, all parents should have received an email with details of how to fill in our whole-school survey. If you did not receive the email, or have misplaced it, please contact the office. Many thanks in advance for contributing to this very important piece of research.

C. Hammond