The end of a term always offers an opportunity to reflect on what takes place in our school and this Autumn term has been yet another busy and exciting time at Simon de Senlis for the staff and children.
2016 has been such an odd year on Planet Earth and we finish it with so much political uncertainty, conflict and anxiety in the world. It is against this backdrop that I believe it is so important for us to ensure that our children grow up with more knowledge and understanding than ever about the world they live in, and with the skills and attitudes to work together to form a peaceful and prosperous society.
A quick read through this edition of ‘Simon Says’ gives us a flavour of the variety of different experiences that children enjoy as part of their school life – something that the staff work hard to achieve. This term alone we have seen experiences such as farm trips, visits to the gurdwara and our local churches, an overseas residential, the Christmas productions, many sporting competitions, ballroom dancing, the remembrance service and Forest School expeditions. All these parts of the curriculum, alongside an ongoing focus on creating better mathematicians, readers and writers, are important parts of the rich tapestry which represents what being a student at Simon de Senlis is about.
Whilst I hope that the children enjoy a wonderful and relaxing time over the holidays, I also hope that they will find time to enjoy learning more about William Shakespeare and his plays ahead of our trust-wide project in the spring which will see our children be inspired by ‘The Tempest’. The teaching staff have been engaged in training ahead of this with the Royal Shakespeare Company and will be on the school minibus later in the week to watch the play at Stratford; we look forward to the children being inspired by this curriculum project in the new year.
Alongside their Shakespearian home learning, I heartily recommend that all children enjoy a daily festive dose of reading along with practising their spellings/sounds and number facts/times tables as many times as possible throughout the holiday. A fortnight’s break is a long time away from school and the more that children can practise these important areas, the more helpful it will be for their learning when they return in the new year (I’m even happy for you to use the ‘Mr Rees says you should…‘ line if it helps!).
I hope that the Christmas period brings you all a well-earned rest and some important family time together. On behalf of the staff and governors at Simon de Senlis, I’d like to thank you all for your support in 2016 and wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a peaceful and happy New Year.
Tom Rees, Headteacher