From the Headmaster's Desk

Welcome back to a new school year at Lyonsdown. I hope that you all had an excellent summer holiday. A new term and a fresh start – the endless days of sunshine may seem like a distant memory, but I know the girls and boys at Lyonsdown join their teachers in being excited to have returned to school.

As with all things, the secret to making a positive start to a new school year is preparation. I had plenty of time to muse on this as my family and I stained our decking in August. If I had just slopped on the stain, the job would have been finished far quicker, but not as well. In this case, there was plenty of hard work to be done before the main task: power washing (the fun bit) and scrubbing the wood was vital to wash away the old and create a fresh surface to work on. After staining, we added a varnish, to ensure our hard work will last for years to come.

The pertinent point here is that preparation can take as long as the work itself, sometimes longer. Over the summer,  your daughter or son may have read their height in books, our new Year 6 girls have been revising (including at school last week) and I am sure parents have spent the last few weeks buying black leather school shoes and stationery and checking uniform. The staff at Lyonsdown have also been working hard over the break to make sure Lyonsdown is ready for its pupils. On our INSET days alone we took part in meetings and training on safeguarding, assessment and school development, but a great deal of maintenance, planning and classroom preparation has also taken place throughout July and August.

There are exciting new developments too: a fresh house point system (which I shall leave to Mrs Windsor to explain more fully) and homework diary in the Upper School, the FLS scooter store, new interactive boards in several classrooms and improved break times to name but a few. If you have questions, about these or any other changes, do make use of the new email list distributed by the Office and contact your daughter or son’s Form teacher or relevant member of staff.

Talking of what is new; a particularly warm welcome to those who are have joined the Lyonsdown family this September. Our twenty-two Nursery children are settling in, as are any new children in Reception and the other years. As you know, we are also lucky to welcome some wonderful new members of staff this term: Miss Davies in Nursery as our Early Years Practioner, Miss Arlow in Year 1, Mrs Hall in Year 2 and Mrs Russell as Teaching Assistant and librarian. Thank you all for making them feel at home.

My assembly on Wednesday centred on preparation and not worrying if we make mistakes and get it wrong in the first few days of term, through the medium of packing a school bag. In a glorious moment of serendipity, I actually forgot to pack my diary, but we ploughed on regardless, just as any Lyonsdown pupil would have done. Friday’s assembly focused on this half-term’s Lyonsdown Learning habit, independence, and the value of being different as we work towards our goals.

This school week may have been shorter than usual for the pupils of Lyonsdown, but just think about how much your daughter or son has packed into the first three days at school… if we can all maintain the same drive and energy throughout the year, imagine how much more we can achieve. As Henry V may or may not have said in the eponymous play: All things are ready, if our mind be so.

All the best for a relaxing first weekend of term.

C. Hammond