A Reflection on the Year

Elmhurst School for Boys

10th July 2019 | Heads Blog

As this academic year draws to an end it is important to reflect on a year which has seen us celebrating our 150th anniversary. Elmhurst School is a traditional preparatory school in the sense that we ensure excellence in core skills and prepare the boys for their entrance exams into the local independent schools but we are also innovative in our approach to the curriculum which is evident in our 4Cs and our move towards a more integrated CPA approach to learning, through the development of the Elmhurst Curriculum. 

The enriched Year 6 curriculum was enhanced further this year, by the introduction of our new business and enterprise project delivered by Stride Learning. This gave the boys the opportunity to develop those vital 21st-century skills and characteristics and worked well alongside their preparations for the English Speaking Board exams, residential week and their brilliantly delivered production of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, in Littleheath Woods - the culmination of six years of Forest School for our Year 6 leavers.

It is clear that the Maths curriculum at Elmhurst continues to go from strength to strength. The Inspire Maths programme has had a major impact, with pupil data informing us of a significant uplift in progress in many year groups again this year. This has led to further successes in mathematical competitions such as achieving Gold in the Primary Maths Challenge National Finals and being regional winner in the National Young Mathematician Award 2019. Years 4, 5 and 6 participated in the International Maths Panjea Competition in which five boys qualified for the final. I am delighted that many of our boys performed well in this international competition and that two of our boys went on to achieve Silver and Bronze respectively.

Sport is also a strength of Elmhurst, as recognised in our Parent Survey and through the levels of participation across the school. Opportunities to participate in competitions at venues such as Merchant Taylors School, Beckenham Cricket Club, Alexander Stadium in Birmingham and the Olympic Park Swimming Pool have led to Elmhurst yielding an ISA National Champion at the 50m Backstroke, an ISA National Champion Shot Putter and an ISA National Champion in the 65m Sprint, as well as London South Regional U9 ISA Kwik Cricket Champions. Our pupils have also been inspired by meeting Team GB Olympians Peter Bakare (Volleyball) and Sean King (Water Polo), as well as the Sri Lankan National Cricket Team at Merchant Taylors School. 

Our commitment to ensuring our boys become global citizens, who demonstrate empathy and awareness of others, is embedded in the fundraising that our boys do for the Joshua Orphan Community Care, which has been a focus throughout the 150th celebrations so far, with Triathlons, cake sales, mufti-days and even a staff pantomime raising money for the school and orphanage in Malawi. For the first time in our 14-year association with ‘Joshua’ Elmhurst sent two teachers out to Malawi earlier this year, to support the children by teaching lessons and to see the impact of all of the fundraising by the Elmhurst Community over the years. This left a profound impression on Mme Hargreaves, Head of French and Miss Kasza-Martin, Year 2 Form Tutor, who brought back photographs and experiences to share with all. 

Whilst we look back on this past year and indeed the past 150 years, we are also always looking forward to ensure that we constantly strive to deliver an excellent experience for our boys and families at Elmhurst and with that in mind, we have already begun to make significant progress in each of our School Development priority areas for the next two years and I look forward to sharing a full update with parents next week, which will include an overview of the Elmhurst curriculum, useful books to support your son's learning around each theme and an introduction to our Elmhurst All-Rounder Award.

Finally, I hope you had the chance, in our last newsletter, to read the inspiring guest blog from our Head Boys and how being at Elmhurst has prepared them for the next vital steps in their educational journey. I’d like to take this opportunity to wish all of our Year 6 boys every success as they move on to their secondary schools, in the knowledge that Once an Elmhurst Boy, Always an Elmhurst Boy. 

All of our Elmhurst boys have ‘grown’ significantly this year and I am sure will benefit from a holiday and a rest. 

I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a wonderful summer break.

AJ Padfield

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