Beyond the Classroom
Our school is now in its fourth year. We are well established, oversubscribed (ready to enjoy in September 2016 full rolls in both Reception and year 7) and we start to enjoy some economies of scale (and a more experienced body of staff). On the back of all of this it is wonderful to be able to start to roll out a more comprehensive plan of trips, overnight visits and visiting speakers to both the primary and secondary phases. This has been one of the concerns of our earliest parents – and always one of the challenges faced by new and small schools across the land. So this academic year, in addition to a range of local, subject-based secondary trips (theatre etc.), which have been taking place for some time, there are some more ambitious visits and exciting visitors being planned across both phases for this academic year and next.
- Year 7 to Isle of Wight – May
- Year 8 to Isle of Wight – June
- Year 9 trip to Belgium – July
- Year 10 Barcelona – summer
- Skiing trip (for year 10/11) – next academic year
- Key Stage 3 Hillingdon Outdoor Activity Centre – next academic year
- Primary: inviting people in – courses/workshops e.g. Sublime Science
- A range of visitors from local business and industry to support the year 9 careers and options process.
- St Albans Abbey – year 3
- Willow Farm – Reception
- Harrow Museum – Year 2
The Duke of Edinburgh Awards Scheme is also now well underway, being led by Head of DT and Outdoor Learning, Mr Patel – and the expedition is being planned. In a couple of weeks, I am due to visit Harrow Public School to meet the Headteacher to hear all about their their Cadet Force (CCF) – we look forward to launching the same; the Government have yet to release new opportunities for us to launch our own CCF as yet. With increasing numbers of school sports teams, weekly visits across both sites by visitors from the local, regional and business communities, as we head towards nearly 1000 students across both sites in September, we really can start to plan for and enjoy what other, larger, more well established schools, simply take in their stride. The importance of taking education outside of the classroom cannot be overstated and we have plans to extend these opportunities even further over the next couple of years. If parents/carers are looking to find out more, perhaps volunteer to support or indeed make some suggestions regarding trips and visits, then our Assistant Principal who oversees all of this is Mr. Nash.
Countdown to Planning Committee Meeting
Wednesday February 17th finally marks the date when the Harrow Planning Department will be meeting to consider the planning application for the £20+million new build for our secondary school, at the site on Whitchurch Fields. The EFA have now confirmed that this will take place. Regrettably, this falls during half term and as a result it may be that many will not be in a position to be physically present at the time of the discussion/meetings. Whilst this is not essential – and indeed there is no scope for spontaneous contribution to the discussion (all of this has to be pre-planned) – if local Whitchurch residents who are parents of children in or soon to join the school then you are encouraged to turn up (we shall soon publish timelines so those who would like to turn up will know approximately when it will be).
Charity Cycle to Bruges
Key members of the Avanti House staff are planning charitable cycling event. Head of History, Mr Heffernan and Head of PE Mr Hindes (and the rest of Team Bruges) will leave sunny London on the 1st of April heading for the town known as the ‘face of lace’. The Cycle will run over 2 days and the team will be cycling 190 miles in this time. Day 1 will be riding from London to Dover and day 2 riding from Calais to Bruges.
The team are raising money for Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospice who are a community based hospice service providing support for children and young people with life-limiting or life-threatening conditions and their families in North London. They have provided care and support to 178 families, 147 children and 245 siblings.
More information about the charity can be found in the link below.
We ask that you please support Team Bruges to reach their donation goal by donating to their just giving page.
A real act of compassion for a very worthy cause – thanks in advance to those who donate and good luck to our brave riders.
I end with a reflection on compassion and recognising our own compassion towards the difficulties that others face – their pain and suffering; whether on our own doorstep, in our families, our neighbourhood or on the other side of the world – these difficulties are only
truly understood when seen through the filter of our own lives and our common humanity. Therein lies true empathy and true compassion. It is true that love binds us but so too does pain and suffering; a quote from one of my very favourite teachers from the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, Ani Pema Chodron.
Have a lovely week