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Pre-Prep End of Year Celebration Speech, Summer 2018

    05 July 2018

It seems incredible that the year has passed already. On the one hand it feels like more than a year, so much has happened. On the other, less than a year because it has whizzed by seemingly so quickly. For the Reception children, it has been their first year of full time education, a very important step in their lives. This completes The Early Years Foundations Stage – EYFS – which is imbued by the following values:

• Childhood - in its own right, as an amazing value. Can anyone think of anything better than childhood?

• Listening to children – and those who care for them, so together we do all we can to help the childhood experience be happy and successful.

• A strong voice for children - well, all parents here know their children have a strong voice, very strong in some cases!

• Play, fun and creativity – because without any of those things, what is the point of childhood?

Remember that at all times the Early Years strives to create a world and experiences where children are strong, competent and visible in their communities; physically and emotionally healthy; eager and able to learn and respectful of difference. So what better time to celebrate all that today.

The aims we have for the children at Sherfield are all conceived to allow them to move forward in very important ways in their lives.

We aim for them to be good citizens who are:

  1. Respectful and inclusive, celebrating diversity
  2. Aspirational and inspirational in pursuit of excellence
  3. Committed to the well-being of people and of the environment
  4. Open-minded, creative, resilient and reflective
  5. Passionate and determined in embracing positive change
  6. Ethical in our actions and accountable for them

These values define who we are, the beliefs that guide our actions and behaviours. They influence the way the whole school community works with each other and they are the foundation of children’s personal development as well as their education.

So with that in mind we celebrate the achievements this year of Pre-Prep. We have talked about the EYFS and Reception. Now let us think about Year 1. This is the year where the foundations of the EYFS are built upon and we see significant progress in writing, numbers and reading as the tools for more complex learning behaviours to come.  Moving up to Year 2, the top of the Pre-Prep phase during which all year the children have been learning more complex new skills in mathematics, literacy, art, topic work, drama and music. Here we branch out more in these disciplines and suddenly, the work the children are doing looks very advanced indeed, compared to those first steps in Reception. It really is an impressive journey in just a few short years from those days in Reception to the end of Pre-Prep, such is the pace of development at this stage of the children’s lives.

So where can it all lead to for all our children? Well of course, the next step is the Prep School but there is no need just yet to get ahead of ourselves. Storming a breach, ruling a nation, winning an Oscar or playing the Albert Hall are glittering deeds. However, the more simpler everyday deeds of laughing, loving, living justly, not becoming lazy but being true to yourself and others is something more important, remarkable, more rare and perhaps more difficult to live up to every day. That is what we endeavour to do together here. Nurturing lives affected by everything good that can happen to a boy or girl is a life without limits because we are all human. Nothing human is beyond us. Human potential and experience are great and, therefore, so are all of you children. You are great and you should be proud of your achievements and progress this year at Sherfield School. Go home and thank your parents for supporting you throughout. Thank also all the adults at Sherfield who have taught and looked after you as well. I wish all of you a wonderful summer holiday.

 

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