Back To School

For more details on how we are preparing for a safe return to school this September, read our Back to School Guide.

Headmistress’ Blog – Weekly Blog 12/11/2019


I hope that everyone had a good half term, the girls have arrived back at school full of smiles and enthusiasm. Autumn has really arrived, brisk, bright days and a plethora of golden leaves. The girls are all looking smart in their winter uniform. As it is becoming increasingly chilly please remember the girls need their coats and their berets.We have started the new half term with some fabulous trips – with more planned. This breadth to the curriculum really enhances the girls’ learning, creating a true understanding and empathy.Year 5 enjoyed a visit to the Museum of London this week where they enhanced their Victorian history knowledge by examining a Victorian Street and seeing how life was very different in Victorian London. They particularly enjoyed seeing the toyshop, grocers’ shop with the different scales and the pawnbrokers where there were a variety of items on sale. They also gained an understanding of the chronology of London and the other galleries gave a helpful reminder of the Anglo- Saxons, Romans and The Great Fire of London which they had studied in previous years. Sitting in the Medieval house was a firm favourite. We also took the opportunity to look at the Smithfield Meat Market which was on our way back from the Museum.

Year 6 have had a rare insight into what it was like to live during WW2 this week at Wilhelmina House. The elderly residents were inspirational and their first hand knowledge was so informative for the girls. One of the residents, who was 89, spontaneously gave a talk about all of her experiences which included being machine gunned by an Italian war plane! Tales of evacuation, gas masks and rationing were rife and by the end we were unsure who gained most from the visit. It was lovely to see the girls improve their interviewing and questioning techniques and they did it all with confidence and sensitivity. Equally the elderly residents were keen to tell their stories and were stimulated by the experience.

Reception Girls, and Boys, went to the Discover Children’s Story Centre in Stratford, where two lovely story tellers helped them to create a story about “The Monster and the Cave”. This involved them making lots of noises such as monsters snoring and slugs slurping. The girls used torches and then tiptoed quietly into the cave to discover …… the treasure.

The Remembrance Service at Upper Woodcote Village was a lovely community event attended by residents, Brownies, Guides and other organisations. I was delighted to attend and have both Girls and Boys from Cumnor representing the schools and to lay wreathes.

Friday saw the grand opening of the PTA HQ, this was a fabulous school community event. The PTA, led by Hrs Haley, have worked tirelessly to create a very special space from which events can be coordinated, teas and treats served, second hand uniform stored and sold as well as being the epicentre for chatter and community. I really look forward to seeing this new resource develop. The feeling of family of community is one that we have all been working to build and it is now becoming synonymous with Cumnor Girls’ . Thank you to all who have, and will contribute to this.

The school office seems eerily quiet since Mrs Diprose left for pastures new. She has since moved and begun a new job. She is very happy but says that she misses us all. She was overwhelmed by the gifts and good wishes she received and she sends her heartfelt thanks to you all. Mrs Bhatti has stepped into the role of school administrator and Mrs Quartly has become my PA. Both ladies are in the office and able to answer any queries that you may have.

There are beginning to be sounds of Christmas carols being rehearsed and all of the girls from Years 3 to 6 have brought home their words which must be learned over the coming weeks. Reception and Key stage 1 girls will be working on their Christmas plays and we ask that you support them in
learning their lines. The Carol Service is scheduled to take place on 12th December and has proved to be a very popular day for significant events as that is also the day of the General Election. St Mark’s church Halls will be used for voting. We will still be holding the Carol service as planned but be aware that parking will be more problematic on that day.

We will soon be inviting parents in for A Look at Learning (between 8am – 9am) on the 19th November (Rec, Yr 1 and Yr 2), 20th November (Years 3 and 4) and 21st November (Years 5 and 6) this is a time for the girls to share their learning with you. We have put this at the start of the day to help working families, you do not need to be with your daughter for the whole hour.

Year 6 girls are working hard in preparation for their forthcoming examinations for senior schools, this is often an anxious time for the girls, and parents, but every day they come into school smiling and ready for the day’s challenges. This positive outlook is so important for so many reasons. When you have a positive attitude, you’ll benefit from motivation which will help you accomplish things and reach the your goals. The problems in can turn into opportunities which allow you to grow and learn and it will in turn lead to an increased self-esteem because you’ll begin believing in yourself and you’ll realize that you are capable of achieving great things.


Do not fear the unknown, dare to be adventurous in life.
Lailah Gifty Akita

020 8660 3445