As I escorted some visitors around the school this week, we approached the Grade 2 classroom. As we politely chatted, you can imagine the surprise when we were greeted by a scene of calm, chaos! What appeared to be fake snow was scattered far and wide along the corridor leading all the way to Grade 2’s classroom. And upon entering the room we witnessed lamps, desks, pillows, clothes scattered on the floor as if a mini-typhoon had rushed through the room. The lights were down and at the centre of all this was a strange creature dressed as a faun! It was magical. The world of Narnia had come to WPNY. Miss Wood (alias Mr Tumnus) had transformed her room into the wardrobe scene from the Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe. What a wonderful way to introduce children to a book! The kind of lesson that will stay long in the memory of those children and highlights some of the amazing teaching I have come to witness at WPNY over recent weeks. I cannot wait to see the resulting work, but I hope we will avoid the Voyage of the Dawn Treader!

I would also like to thank Miss Wood for delivering a fabulous assembly on World Mental Health Day. The children learnt about the importance of looking after their mental health. They discussed the interaction between mental and physical health and thought of a huge range of strategies that can help support overall well-being. It was wonderful to hear their ideas such as: doing a creative task that you love like art and crafts; exercising; socialising with friends and family; and taking time to be calm with a meditation or gratitude practice. And whilst we all recognized that some days watching a cute puppy video can make you smile if you are feeling a little down, it was also important to acknowledge that sometimes we need extra help to maintain strong mental health. The children were able to talk about who they could turn to if they needed this extra support.

And to highlight the importance of physical exercise and mental health, Miss Wood organised the whole school community to either run or walk a mile in Central Park on Mental Health Day. It was a stunning NYC autumnal day and there was a huge amount of laughter, fun and exercise enjoyed by all. A fitting way to acknowledge World Mental Health Day. Thank you once again, Miss Wood and well done to all pupils and staff.

The pug has arrived! Shrouded in a thick, dense sea mist, the Queen Mary II sailed into Brooklyn and my wife and I were eventually greeted by our over excited pug who had apparently endured some rather choppy waters on the majestic cruise liner. Nzuri is now safe and sound in our apartment and I am thrilled to say will be coming into WPYN next week to meet the children.

A big thank you and well done to the following six children; Julian and Annabelle Horwitz, Ezra Rosinberg, Charlie Silverman, Jack Morris, Noah Eldon Akhtar and Leo Valaoritis who gave up their time on Saturday 16th October to join in the litter collecting ‘riversweep’ session organized by Friends of + POOL. This is designed to help keep the waterways of New York City beautiful for the citizens of the city.

Amongst other highlights was a fabulous whole school trip to the Storm King Art Center. It is so important for the school to use the incredible wealth of arts in NYC and again another beautiful day for the children to enjoy the amazing array of sculptures in 7 beautiful acres at the height of the autumn colours. Thank you to Miss Alba for organizing such a great and worthwhile trip.

And finally congratulations to Aldana who became the 3rd pupil to have their work exhibited on the WWW board outside my office.

Grade 4 are reading Michael Morpurgo’s famous novel, War Horse, as our class reader. Centering around the role of horses in World War I, we have come to feel sympathetic for the animals’ roles in the war, as well as our selfless men and women who served. The Grade 4 pupils were tasked with writing a creative writing piece from the perspective of Joey, the main horse in the novel, and how it must have felt travelling across the English Channel and walking out onto the battlefields in France. Aldana’s piece was extremely moving and packed with figurative excellence.