☰ Ms Habgood's Blog - 17th March 2013

Ms Habgood's Blog - 17th March 2013

Posted on: March 17th 2013

I’ve been so looking forward to writing this blog and sit here on a rainy, miserable Sunday afternoon but with such excitement about sharing with you all that we’ve been doing at school this past few weeks! It’s been so busy that I don’t think we have enough room in the newsletter to write about all the things that have been going on!

I want to turn my attention firstly to our fantastic Form 6 senior school examination results; our children worked tirelessly last term, kept their nerve during the exams in January and remained calm through the long wait for their results, which came through a few weeks ago. And it has paid off – the results were stunning, with the class gaining offers from a range of schools including Belmont, Highgate, Merchant Taylors, UCS, City of London Boys, St Johns, Northbridge and Channing. A mixture of Academic and Music scholarships were also offered. The exams are no mean feat, and continue to be the most pressured part of our children’s school careers at Norfolk House, but with such a strong curriculum all the way through and a prep programme that emphasises developing technique and confidence in order to develop potential, rather than cramming, and guidance to help parents choose the right schools for their children, we achieve the results our pupils are capable of. Our committed staff works incredibly hard in all of this, developing strengths and supporting where there are gaps.

I honestly think that because we refuse to squeeze other things out of the curriculum and maintain such a breadth, that our children are excited by their learning and develop other essential skills that support them when it comes to exam time. Which brings me neatly onto all the other things that have been going on in school! I don’t know where to begin! There literally has been so much exciting learning throughout the school, as well as our ‘outside endeavours’.

The Geography evening was so well attended by parents, pupils and staff, and showcased brilliantly what was going on during our Geography focus week, the week before. The theme of the environment was interpreted so creatively and broadly, from children growing cress for sandwiches to litter walks and data handling, looking at where our food comes from and carbon footprints to activities with recycling, the water cycle and not least our Panorama style documentary and open debate with Form 6! It was an overwhelming success and I’ve had a great deal of positive feedback from parents. If you would like to comment on the event, we would encourage you to fill in the survey.  The survey can be found here.

Aside from that, we also had a Maths evening for Form 5 parents and Mr Ashton presented an excellent evening of maths methodology and games to support parents in helping their children with their learning. A lot of cogs whirred (not least mine!) and it offered a perfect opportunity to share and ask questions on a range of maths strategies. We are looking now at planning an evening for our Form 2 children heading into Key Stage 2, so watch this space!

The children have also been off on all sorts of exciting adventures representing the school, as well! We held our 39th Norfolk House Annual Chess Tournament a couple of weeks ago and our boys were exemplary; not only did they help massively with the organisation, they focussed hard on the task in hand and we came second in the overall tournament – next year, I’m hopeful that the trophy will have our name engraved on it as we played so well! There was also the Inter Schools Cross Country, organised by Mrs Gouws and once again our boys and girls competed well to gain some very respectable positions in the rankings. Some 200 children took part and the entire event was a great success!

Next onto science and I am thrilled to say, we won our first trophy of the year with four of our Form 5 children who went along to Haileybury School Science Challenge and did amazingly well to come first! Miss Seacrest who took them along was extremely impressed not only with their knowledge and skills, but their fantastic behaviour and how well they worked collaboratively. They were an absolute credit to the school and it was a well-deserved win!

And last, but by no means least, on Friday our choir travelled to Reading University to participate in the first Bellevue Music Festival. The children worked hard with Miss Grammeniati to learn two pieces that were performed by them and five of the other schools in our group. There was also an opportunity for them to perform on their own other songs that they had been learning in choir, as well as solos from our singers and string superstars! The whole event was exciting and superbly organised and the children not only enjoyed performing immensely, but meeting children from the other schools. It really demonstrated some of the benefits of a growing group and the opportunities that it will afford us in the future. If you would like to read more about Bellevue, please click on the following link: www.blvue.comSo now, only a week and a half left until Easter – time flies so fast when there’s a lot going on! But before we finish, there is still much to do: our Creative Curriculum event for Form 3 and 4 (20th March), FoNH Quiz Night (21st March), our own Red Nose Day (22nd March), KS2 Easter Concert (27th March), not to mention a whole lot more exciting learning and anything I’ve forgotten to mention (please check the Newsletter diary dates)! We’re definitely all going to need a break by the end of term, but we’ll be itching to get back for another exciting term (hopefully with much better weather as well!)Have a lovely Easter Break.

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