Sunday, January 22, 2017

A sad goodbye....

I've felt like the habitual chancer so far this winter; displaying the deftness of a pickpocket at a scuba club in having avoided a cold of any description.  I've watched colleague after colleague succumb to her seasonal charm and smiled as she failed to work her inevitable magic....and then I fell.  I first noticed something awry at the O2 on Wednesday...confused by my inability to work out why I had a headache, I put it down to the long day.  As is the way with all teacher ailments she held back her venom until Friday afternoon and then hit me with the all subtlety of a wheel clamp.  

Consequently it's been a slow weekend.  Beyond domestic duties and a couple of freezing but fun dog walks yesterday, I've stayed close to the fire, the kettle and paracetamol.  It's allowed me time to reflect on some memorable events...some inspiring and some truly sad. 

Towards the end of last week a surge of excitement and anticipation swept through the school as many of us secretly wished for a heavy snowfall and the chance to play in a magical white kingdom.  The snow came but it wasn't heavy and so instead we endured a few of cold days of anticlimax.  I haven't been able to build a proper snowman for the last three/four winters.....and my daughter even brought over her snow boots and clothing hoping to get snowed in. 


A wintery evening didn't exactly 'train on' to use horse racing parlance....


Well it's certainly been cold enough these last few days if there is any moisture in the atmosphere....but somehow I fear the snow doesn't plan to visit.

This week started with Year 5 visiting the Natural History Museum in London as part of their dinosaurs topic.  It's a wonderful venue for a school trip, bursting with exciting displays and a day that will stay in a child's school memory bang for eternity.  How could you not help but be moved by this site.....one of my favourite London views!


We also had our beehive arrive.  The hive has a camera fitted inside so that we can all watch the bees as they go about their busy lives, making honey and pollinating plants.  The bees themselves will arrive in a few weeks once Wainscott has warmed up.  We will also have the bird box camera on again, which too has a live camera link into the school.  

School itself was a mixture of meetings and our latest cycle of learning audits.  This is when the school's leadership team visit the different teachers to see how well the teaching and learning is developing.  


Last week we visited a couple of Year 3 and Year 1 classes.




And the highlight.....well that was the Young Voices Concert at the O2 on Wednesday.  The choir have worked so hard with Miss Dillon to prepare for the event and their efforts paid off.  They all experienced something very special....


How many of us can say we have sung at the 02, in a choir that was 7,500 strong? 



Well they all can!  They sang every song with gusto, showed incredible stamina over such a long and demanding day/evening, behaved wonderfully and still showed up for school on Thursday.  




Undoubtably the saddest moment was our assembly on Friday.   As many of you may have read in this week's newsletter, the school has lost a well loved friend with the passing of Mr Tony Cox, one of our volunteer readers.  Mr Tony, as many of the children affectionately called him, came in every week to hear children read.  An utterly delightful, polite and caring man.  He epitomised the phrase 'manners maketh man' and he quickly became part of the Wainscott family.  Always friendly, always there for the children; despite his worsening condition that meant he struggled to even walk into school from the car park.  We intend for representatives from the school to attend his funeral and we will also be creating a lasting memorial to Tony in the school and will cherish his memory. Our thoughts, blessings and love go to his family at this sad time.  God bless you Tony and thank you for gracing our lives with your kindness and charm.  






Sunday, January 8, 2017

My family Christmas...

So a brief resume of my own festive experience then....

Before Christmas I went up to Nottinghamshire, where my twin brother lives to catch up with him and his family.  




We visited Newark where I saw a great idea in a church.... charity Christmas trees....perhaps something for us to consider next year?




We had great fun over the weekend but chose to leave Yinka with a delightfully naive colleague and her family.  I can only imagine the carnage she caused...no doubt adding to their woe as one child went down with the sickness bug that seemed to sweep through certain classes.  I suspect that they won't offer again.

The village where we live, has a lovely tradition at Christmas of every house putting a tree up outside, on their street facing wall.  It creates a lovely festive atmosphere and sight as you walk or drive through it.




I had a wonderfully relaxing, family Christmas.   

Early morning runs with Yinka through the fields, 


family filled days, 


The daily struggle to find things to eat....




and evening walks through the orchards.  



We spent Christmas day round at my parents 



Yinka even let wore a Christmas jumper....


and we all went for the obligatory Boxing day walk on the Bay. 



















After Christmas we popped up to London so Chloe could catch the sales and I could visit an art exhibition at the Royal Academy.  We even had time for lunch with some dinosaurs in Piccadilly. 

We visited Carnaby Street....Chloe loved the place and I told her stories of my frequent visits there as teenager.


And for New Year's Eve we visited old friends in London and had an enjoyable evening of chatting, great hospitality and karaoke!









So that was December was it.....

Ok, so I guess I have a little bit of blogging to catch up.......so bear with me as I whizz through Christmas at Wainscott.

Well we should start with one of the sweetest moments....this is what one of our Reception children thinks I look like....I wish.  


Elsewhere in my life, Yinka, who somehow managed to get to 8 months before her first visit to her dog stylist.  I'm not convinced that her previous look wasn't cuter, but I will let you decide.....

Before...

After.....

My daughter Chloe had a lovely run up to Christmas, visiting EuroDisney with a bestie....and yes I did get the obligatory fridge magnet!


The weeks leading up to Christmas are always, and should always, be a magical time in a primary school....and I hope it felt so for everyone here at Wainscott.  The staff put in an incredible effort to make sure that the children enjoyed their festive experience and were very touched by the incredibly generous gifts of cards and presents that so many of you gave.  We really don't expect it, which makes your thoughtfulness so very touching....thank you.

So what of Christmas then I hear you ask?  



 Infant Nativities....


Well it was every bit as fab as we'd hoped.  The children were their adorable selves throughout every Nativity, Carol Concert, Church Service et al.  They rose to the occasions, as they always do....singing their hearts out and remembering every line.  Those bath times spent listening to your loved ones practising, giving supportive nods and words paid off. 













It was also wonderful to see every event so well supported by parents, grandparents, siblings and friends.  We recognise how tricky it can be for some of you to get the time off work and it makes such a difference to the children to see a family face waving through the crowd.  


EYFS Nativity



We also had an amazing Christmas tree again.....thanks to the children's homemade decorations.  



Her are just a few of the amazing designs the children made.  If you haven't yet had your child's decoration sent home then please contact your class teacher......something for your tree next year I hope.



We also put on various fun, festive events to reinforce the message of Christmas with the children.


All staff reading a different Christmas story to the children.... this guy read a belter!


A pop-up Art exhibition....

 


 

Our Junior Carol Concert


With some very brave children who showed what hard work and practice can produce...




No one there will ever forget the hauntingly beautiful flute playing...


Junior and Infant Christingle Services...



Staff all dressing up as Elves to serve the children's Christmas lunch...


Even this guy again...




And to finish a real Community Church Service






Even Yinka got a mention somehow...


And a very amusing Carol Service where even the staff got in on the act... 



And we even had time to fit in the staff Christmas lunch.....sadly only fruit juice to wash it down.