In chapel today we prayed for those starting exams or tests. For some children of all ages, being asked to show what they can do with no help can be daunting or stressful and for others it can be exciting and even fun. For us the most important thing is that children feel confident that we only want to know what they can do on their own.
Keeping a rhythm and routine is an important way to support your children as they approach tests and exams. We wish everyone with impending tests the very best of luck.
Working with parents is an important part of what we do and it is delightful to get to know families really, really well. There are however, some formalities that need to be observed. Firstly attendance at school is compulsory unless you home educate your child. I remain concerned at the number of requests I receive for absence from school for non-essential reasons and whilst we do have a good relationship with parents and support you in bringing up your children, I would request that everybody tries to keep these absence requests to the absolute minimum. Can I please remind parents that a request for absence involves asking permission from the Headteacher and I do not expect, nor is it legal for me to allow, parents to email the form teacher instead of me and inform us that a child will be off unless, of course, they are ill. An absence request at the very least involves a question and an answer.
The topic of selection for teams has featured a great deal this week and I would like to put some context on some of the conversations that have taken place between parents and the sports department. We are totally committed to sport for all, to learning through teamwork through winning and losing graciously, to experiencing competitive sport at all levels and through sport, growing healthy, happy, active and successful children.
Some parents have very strong views about what team they believe their child should be picked for and I must make it clear that these decisions are made at school by staff who teach the children, watch the children, set standards for the children and have expectations of the children.
The beauty of having so many teams is that children can experience success and win and lose at the appropriate level for their skills. Some children progress quickly up the teams as their skills are honed. Some remain faithful members of the teams into which they were first put.
We are just as proud of the children in our F teams as in our A teams and children have won house points and nominations as man or player of the match for great leadership, team play or sportsmanship in a number of different teams for both girls and boys.
I have complete faith in the department to pick the appropriate teams, playing children up or down according to the evidence from lessons and their attitude towards instruction and improvement.
As parents, please try hard to support your child and their teacher by your encouragement at the pitch side and by positive talk about how they performed in and for their team.
With the long and hopefully sunny bank holiday weekend ahead of us I wish you all a pleasant extra day of rest and family time. I look forward to seeing you on Tuesday. Have a great bank holiday weekend.