I am writing this week’s article ahead of my termly visit to London. Whilst I look forward to seeing my London colleagues, the Head Office Team and recruiting new pools of teaching talent to the school, it often follows that the day before I leave is often one of the best here in New York! This makes leaving that much harder, even if only for a short while. Our school is buzzing and the last week is always one of my favourite of the school year, as it brings all areas of our community together. It goes without saying that talking about our school brings out the best in everyone. We have welcomed prospective families to a new Open House, our newly admitted children and parents to a February welcome breakfast, our Grade 2 parents to the first of the class assemblies for 2020 and parents, staff and children have all participated in our whole school Safer Internet Day and workshop training. Wetherby-Pembridge launched its own IGTV site and Chef Nancy has gone viral promoting the benefits of squash (yes, spaghetti squash, I hear you say!) This has been cleverly filmed by Ms Amy Storr and there is only one person I know who is able to positively encourage children to eat vegetables, let alone squash with such enthusiasm. Watch out for more social media films and posts, coming soon.

After today, I shall be humming and dancing to the tune of Grade 2’s ‘Anthem for the Amazon’. What an inspiring song with over 500 children from over 50 countries coming together to sing when it was released in 2015. Your children lead the way in their care for the planet and the incredible 5th floor rainforest has been a focal point for the whole school this term. The song is really quite emotive and hearing young children sing with such conviction is always memorable. The song talks of deforestation, pollution and abuse of natural resources, whilst also the power to breathe life into the world and continuing to plant the seeds of the future. ‘One seed, one tree, one life’- I was very taken with this performance. Well done, Grade 2.

We value our whole school events and your participation in them speaks volumes. It seems slightly premature to talk of summer in the winter months but today, you will see there is an advert for our Summer Prize Giving on Wednesday 10th June. Please put this very important family date in your diaries! Whilst more details will follow, this will take place for our second year in the Library at the House of the Redeemer on 7 East 95th Street. We have a wonderful line up and guest speaker again in June and it is a beautiful event. A Prize Giving is always a special annual occasion for any school, but we do this summer morning very well and I want as many of you with us as possible this year. Shortly, you will receive a letter with opportunities to RSVP and with your number of guests. I can promise an inspiring order of events and an occasion to remember, as you all head off to the long summer break.

Another new offering for WPNY in June is our first two-week Summer Camp from 15th to 26th June. This will be expertly led by Mrs Amy Friend and she will be ably assisted by other members of our WPNY staff. Like most good things, there are limited places and please do reply to Mrs Friend as soon as possible to avoid disappointment. Whilst I traditionally write school policies and handbooks for the next school year at that time in June, I now have a thoroughly good excuse to join a cookery class, a forest school adventure, an arts and craft haven, musical and sporting activities or a day trip away from my office to one of the top hot spots in New York – I know where I’d now rather be… Thank you for all the interest you have shown and what better way to spend the first two weeks of a long summer break ahead of the 4th July holiday.

In the meantime, music rings through the school with all that Mr Anderson does to promote the subject both inside and outside the classroom. I sat in on our Wednesday ‘Drama Zone’ musical theatre club who were rehearsing their performance of Aladdin with some impressive dance moves. I was bowled over with the energy of the team that work with your children here and please make sure you come along to their performance on Wednesday 4th March at 3.30pm – you won’t be disappointed!

Oh, and I hear that ‘WPNY’s Got Musical Talent’ is coming soon – be sure to make sure the children are signed up with their acts.