A Borough Champion for the 4th year in succession
It has been another busy week at Unicorn and we have had further sporting success in the swimming pool. To be Borough Champion once, is a great success, but to do it four years in succession is truly remarkable, and that is what Isla (Year 6) has done. Other successes include silver for Kezia in the Year 4 girls’ freestyle; bronze for Conrad, Year 3 boys’ freestyle; bronze of Billy, Year 5 boys’ freestyle and bronze for Rory, Year 6 boys’ freestyle. Unicorn also retained their title as the best Squadron Relay team in the borough, winning first place, thanks to the efforts of Isla, Dulcie, Robbie, Lauren, Billy and Tom. Well done to all the swimmers who took part.
The Unicorn Singers sang beautifully at the Youth Music Festival in Sutton last Saturday and we wish all the singers, ensembles, duos and individuals, the best of luck at the Richmond Festival.
Abi Elphinstone, children’s author, visit
We were delighted to welcome Queen’s School to join us and listen to the author Abi Elphinstone. The children learned how to plot a story, make it exciting and most important of all … to never give up! Having had her work rejected 96 times, Abi never gave up and now has her 3rd book, The Night Spinner, published in the Dream Snatcher series. Asked what she wanted to be when she was a child … a Unicorn of course!
Our travel survey is hugely important and for Unicorn to maintain its excellent reputation locally, we must do all we can to show consideration with parking and show commitment to really thinking about the best way of travelling to and from school. Please can you all consider the importance of walking, scooting, cycling, travelling by public transport and/or car sharing where feasible.
Chess at Unicorn continues to develop. As we try to organise fixtures against other schools for next term, last week the Chess Club ran an impromptu tournament and the children responded fantastically, taking part in three matches, with bonus points for concentration and chess etiquette. Well done to all the children who took part, showing how their skills have developed over the weeks, and particular congratulations to the overall winner, Ethan (Year 6). The most impressive aspects of the tournament were the high level of focus and the excellent sportsmanship.
The importance of teaching philosophy to children at a young age
Last week, I attended a conference on the value of teaching philosophy and starting with children at a young age. I left comfortable in the knowledge that our ‘community of enquiry’ approach to all teaching at Unicorn, in addition to our morning ‘thinking skills’, afternoon ‘reflection’ and discrete lessons in philosophy in Years 5 and 6, all help develop inquisitive thinkers, so vital for effective education at secondary school and beyond.
Thank you so much to Mrs van Schie, Chair of School Committee for her huge effort in organising the ‘Quiz with a Twist’ last Friday evening; it was a wonderful event raising lots of money for our charities. Thanks to all school reps and parents who also helped; it is a special aspect of Unicorn that people sacrifice their own time to help in this way, even some who could not attend the evening were involved in the preparation during the day. There has been a lot in the press recently about independent schools keeping their charitable status, a conversation that is going to run on for some time yet. Clearly, it is morally right for us to support charities (this year’s charities have really struck a chord with many of us) and in this day and age we are also measured in terms of what support we give to our local community. Your support for evenings like this is very much appreciated by us all.