From the Headmaster's Desk

Last week, I wrote of my pride in our school community during our recent inspection, and my assembly on Monday focused on the courtesy and hard work of the pupils last week. I also reminded everyone that the last three weeks of term is a busy one, where we all need to be on top form. My advice was broadly as follows: listen carefully to your parents and teachers and settle in for an amazing three weeks.

Saturday brought what is certainly one of the highlights of the year, the FLS School Fete. Super attendance from pupils, parents, colleagues and alumni helped to super charge a wonderfully organised event and great fun was had by all in some glorious sunshine. Whether you attended as a punter, or staffed a stall – my heartfelt thanks.

As you know, last week we welcomed babes in arms to Lyonsdown at our first Stay and Play session. Our group of visitors this week were a little older, in the form of the class of 2014 enjoying their first alumni event. Having just finished their GCSEs, the girls thoroughly enjoyed revisiting where their learning journey began. I’ve heard that the psychological phenomena of “childhood amnesia”  begins at seven, but our “old” girls could clearly remember a great deal: memories of break time, trips, writing stories, worded Maths problems and Pat’s chocolate brick wall cake (the only catering request the group had), were but a few of those tales that were shared. Some of the girls had not seen each other for a number of years but, as with all good relationships, you could not tell. I would like to single out Ella Cowie for specific praise, as she helped Mrs Jenks organise the event. If you are, or know, of any alumni of Lyonsdown, do ask them to get in touch – we are happy to host events, but also support young people in their development, with work experience, teaching placements and so on.

On Tuesday, we hosted Professor Rhona Stainthorp, who provided staff training and our termly Parent Talk on “encouraging your child to read.” Professor Rhona Stainthorp’s talk was full of practical advice, and I am sure that those parents who attended found it as interesting as I did, with the importance of daily reading highlighted. If you are a fan of nominative determinism, I am sure the poignancy of listening to a talk about reading, by a Professor from the University of Reading, was not lost.

Our Open Afternoon was as popular as ever, and I am glad that so many parents found the opportunity to meet our new and current staff useful. Mrs Ojo, our new SENDCO, Mme Walker, our new MFL teacher and Mrs Neatham, our new Welfare Officer and Teaching Assistant, have been made very welcome and are looking forward to working with your children in September.

Sports Day was a triumph as always. The whole School was involved, but Miss Doyle leads the way here. The addition of new events, whilst ensuring energy levels are maintained at an optimum level, is but one example of the further improvements made to this showcase of endeavour. We were also delighted to be able to distribute more awards on the day, with St Francis emerging victorious in the house cup.

Next week, we move on to dramatic matters and the class act that is the Upper School Play. I look forward to seeing you when the curtain goes up.

Mr Hammond