14th March 2008 Dear Parent, Such is the intensity of school life that there is little time to reflect; to measure the distance travelled. But the children’s positive efforts in the classroom, in music, in sport and in the recent Senior School play performances this term have been more than noteworthy. Of course, the cricket tour to South Africa should be mentioned as one of the highlights of the term (if not the year). Thanks to the support of the parents, the faultless behaviour of the boys and the hard work of the staff, the trip was a huge success. Our ambition is to see this sort of event happen every two years and that it be extended to girls, plus all Years 7 and 8 pupils who wish to go. Watch this space! The children’s successes in all aspects of school life reflect their talent and their tenacity, as well as their enthusiasm for the ‘Prestfelde experience’. As anyone present at this week’s final assembly will testify, the children have been wonderful. They thoroughly deserve their accolades. Given the record number of recent visits from prospective parents, I am expecting the school to be at near capacity in September. Please be reassured that, as a parent myself, I am conscious that class sizes should not grow any larger than our current maximum. In fact, due to increasing demand for places, I have extended both Year 5 and Year 6 to three forms from next year. This will ensure that we continue to provide your child with a first-rate education. On this topic, I would like to thank you, the parents, for your support of Prestfelde. The vast majority of prospective parents I meet are knocking on the door thanks to your recommendation (maybe I should start a commission-based scheme for current parents!). Staff News I am delighted to announce the following new appointments: Katie Akers will join us in September to teach in Reception and to work alongside Paula Ratcliffe who will be teaching the parallel class. Katie is a familiar face to Little Prestfelde, where she spent nearly four years as a teaching assistant before gaining her Bachelor of Science degree and teaching qualification this year. I have no doubt that Katie will quickly settle back into Prestfelde and become a real favourite with everyone. Sophie Richards joins us to teach in Year 1 in September. Sophie is currently teaching at Birchfield Preparatory School, where she has taught in their Pre Prep for three years. Sophie has a BEd (Honours) degree in general primary years with English. She is a dynamic and caring teacher who will undoubtedly become a real asset to the Little Prestfelde team. Tina Owen will be joining us from next term to assist with girls’ games. Tina is a specialist Netball coach of some repute. She currently leads and manages Shrewsbury Netball Club, which is one of the most successful clubs in the West Midlands. As an all-round qualified sports coach, she will also be able to assist with all sports, including Netball, Lacrosse, and Rounders. Initially, she will join us on a part time basis, not only coaching during curriculum time, but also as a part of our after-school activity programme. Another key appointment for boys’ games next term is Christopher McGeorge. Christopher is a former colleague from Ardingly, where he was head of Physical Education, Head of Boarding and Deputy Headmaster. He may also be familiar to athletics supporters, as he won a bronze medal in the Commonwealth Games some twenty or so years’ ago. In fact his wife, Sonia, ran in the Olympics in the eighties. Christopher will join us on a part-time basis from the Summer Term and offer expertise in all major sports, as well as assisting with the new ‘Prestfelde Plus’ programme. Last, but by no means least, we are looking forward to welcoming back Katie Price after maternity leave. She will be returning to Year 1 after Easter for two days a week. Diane Richards will still be working for the other two days as support assistant. London Marathon I would like to pass on my best wishes to two parents who are running in this year’s London marathon: Dr. Rao, whose son Naveen is in Year 5, is running in aid of the Royal National Institute for the Blind (RNIB). He is hoping to raise about £5K for the national charity and is looking for any potential sponsors. He would be most grateful if anyone could sponsor him by logging on to: www.justgiving.com/raosmarathon You may already be aware that Dr. Wentel is also running and trying to raise money for Matthewsfriends (www.matthewsfriends.org) and the National Centre for Young People with Epilepsy (www.ncype.org.uk). To donate you can log on to: www.justgiving.com then type in ‘jim wentel’. Fiwila Update Prestfelde is one of several Shropshire schools and churches that have supported a growing rural community called Fiwila in central Zambia. Our financial help has changed the face of the Primary School, which serves nearly 700 pupils drawn from a large area. A new Secondary school is starting to emerge on an adjacent site and the Government has just authorised use of the new Year 10 building completed last year. A senior science lab is almost finished and there are exciting plans for the future development of the site. A new charity, The Shropshire/Fiwila Partnership has just been set up, to oversee the finances and liaise with the charity Buildit to make sure that all donations are well spent. It is hoped that a real partnership will develop with the schools, the orphanage and the clinic. Lucky for some… an important date for your diaries… the afternoon of Friday, 13th June. This will be this year’s fundraising opportunity for the whole of Prestfelde – it promises to be a brilliant afternoon. More details at the start of term, but book the time off work now. It is a MUST - NOT TO BE MISSED. Grandparents or close family friends will also be welcome. The event may well include a Car Boot Sale, so if you are sorting out over the holiday, save the best for the 13th. It’s our chance to really make a difference. ‘Family Fun Day’ at the Wild’s Bull Farm, Kenley, nr Shrewsbury The Friends of Prestfelde are pleased to announce a family fun day at the Wild’s farm on Saturday, 19th April. It will start at 1400, with a barbeque at 1700. Further details are as follows: £5 entrance for a team of 1 adult 1 child. £2 entrance for all other adults and children There will be a series of fun challenges for the teams with prizes for the winners. Games to include wellie wanging, skittle alley, quad bike challenge, target shooting, hit the nail, plus lots more. For the younger ones, Shire horse cart rides, feed the kade lambs, ferrets and falconry, hatching blue tits. Don't miss the Surprise visit? The day will be finished with a barbeque in the fields with food and drink for sale, all welcome, but booking is essential for catering purposes. Finally May I take this opportunity of wishing you and your family an enjoyable break and a very happy Easter. Yours sincerely, Mark Groome.
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