As I write this today, I am finding it hard to fathom where the last ten weeks of joyous school learning have gone. As ever, time has whistled passed since January, but look what has been achieved. On every level – well done! I always try to stagger my communications and I know that we are yet to meet for the end of term finale at the Spring Family Assembly tomorrow. Dial in at 10am for our final send-off ahead of Spring Break, to celebrate everything good about our community. We hold our breath for the spring term winning house and the final house logo design winners from our Grade 3 leaders, amongst many other exciting events. Just look how far the children have come, even in the last fortnight, with last week’s Talent Show and this week’s Puerto Rico Day on Tuesday, and in all those small yet significant moments that make our school special.

As a centre of happiness and excellence, I would like to highlight three key areas at Wetherby through recent events- our community spirit, WP talent and the breadth of learning which takes place every day. Last Saturday’s Inter-House Virtual Quiz Challenge was good fun and thank you to everyone who turned up in such good family form. The PA Chairs and House Ambassadors did a great job to get everyone together. Well done to Braeburn who won with 76 points, to Russet who came second with 71 points and to McIntosh who came in third with 62 points. From Goldfinger, to sumo wrestling, to tossing the caber, to The Greatest Showman – all subjects were covered, as well as a good insight into Miss Bailey’s chocolate eating habits, Scottish influences, and my infamous shoulder rolls on the dance floor. Hotly debated was whether my most infamous party trick was in fact the limbo. That is certainly an enduring image and one I shall leave with you over Spring Break! Well done to the de Csepel Family who won the ‘most peculiar hat section’ and to the Howells who won the best Head of School portrait! Good to see you all at the weekend and all good fun.

The annual WPNY’s Got Talent was eagerly awaited by everyone and Friday’s show was another triumph and masterpiece. I will feature this in our family assembly tomorrow and in my end of term letter, which goes out tomorrow at 11am. Congratulations to all 15 participants, across Nursery to Grade 3 who performed with such confidence, passion and expertise and to Mr Anderson and Mrs Friend who led the way, as mentors and role models. As I mentioned in my final remarks, I was quite moved by your children’s brilliance and this show underpins all we try to achieve at the school. As Vivian Greenberg sang from Frozen, this event is a ‘time to see what we can do!’ Whether the children played the violin, the piano, whether they sang, recited poetry, or danced, all acts were performed in equal measure. What a privilege it was to be in the company of our three judges, Yolanda Wyns, Weston Sprott and Vincent Reina. I know they were equally moved and impressed. It is so important that we find a purpose and a platform for all children in our care at WPNY and this school event never ceases to amaze and inspire me. An appreciation of creativity and the performing arts helps build confidence, self-belief and fulfillment and brings so much pleasure to life. Your children are genuinely talented and I rather suspect that we haven’t even discovered the half of it yet – the privilege of this job and journey is immense. Congratulations to all who took part and to Chloe Zheng, Marius Paillat and Tully Trichter who were placed as winners – great job. The goodwill and pride felt by all performers for the taking part, was another proud moment from your Head – such an indication of how far they have come since September. After all, we all have to try and take part without the expectation of a first place or a title, and often just for the sheer joy of growing and learning something about ourselves – ‘Ladles and Jellyspoons’ to you all!

Finally, you will have heard that we hosted our end of term awards assembly on Wednesday this week. I try to highlight a class or school project that has made an impact on me and the community. This term it has been the exceptional work and learning that has taken place for Black History Month. We showcased this in our February Family Assembly and since then, I have had the chance to read more work. The Grade 2 and 3 research projects are outstanding, and work completed to celebrate the lives of many, including Anne Wafula Strike, Sojourner Truth, Misty Copeland, and Maya Angelou, have been most inspiring to read. One girl in Grade 3, who has been with the school since the start in 2017 and has always looked to a future career as an engineer shared her excitement over work recently completed, saying she felt so empowered and inspired that anything was possible with hard work and dedication. The life and times of figures like Mary Jackson has opened doors of possibility for our young minds and learners. The school stands for depth, mastery and enrichment and this unit of study, celebration and learning has brought out the best in every member of our school. Well done to our teachers who have inspired such growth and understanding.