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’ End of Term Blog

End of term blog

So, it is the end of the Autumn Term and what a busy 14 weeks it has been and I would like to take
this opportunity to reflect on some of the things that have happened and to look forward to things
yet to come – though not quite as sinister as the Ghosts of Christmases Past, Present and Future
from, “A Christmas Carol”

September began with introducing our girls and parents to a newly refurbished building, formally
know as the Tectum. Now renamed “The Hive” , the building was fully redecorated inside and out.
Blinds were fitted, a new boiler installed, blinds put up and some new radiators put in. Every room
had new lighting , and we fitted new internal and external doors. The old porch way was replaced
with a more modern canopy The staircase was made solid with new smart banisters and the upstairs
corridor widened to allow greater space for children to move around between lessons and to give a
brighter and lighter feel to the upstairs. The Art room now has a purpose designed “wet area” to
allow the girls to be more independent when clearing away. Every classroom now has a new,
interactive smart-board and we have installed writing boards along the walls to create a whole
learning wall where girls are free to think big to express their ideas and opinions – taking girls’
thinking away from the confines of a page and encouraging them to thing big and unafraid. This
building really is a Hive of industry and learning.


Our Reception girls came into school like professionals, settling straight down to the rigours of
learning and have made such good progress with their writing and their mathematical
understanding. It is joyful to watch these confident little people in the playground mixing with their
“big sisters” and playing imaginative games in their newly grassed play area. It was a real pleasure
to see them perform their first nativity on the big stage.
Global “Be Well Day” was a massive Cognita-wide event, every school in the Cognita family
celebrating and taking time to reflect upon our well being, teaching the children essential skills to
safeguard their mental well being. A highlight for me was the colour dance, the smiles of the girls
faces as they danced in the sunshine with the coloured dust mingling in the air as a happy


Year Six girls had to hit the ground running with preparation for senior school examinations some of
the girls sat the preliminary grammar school tests being in mid September, and I am pleased to
report that 4 Girls have got through both stages of tests and will hear where there offer school is
next year. Nine girls sat for Woldingham and nine girls have been offered places, with one Academic
Scholarship – their other scholarships are to be determined next term. We have also had successes
at Sutton High School. January will see the rest of the senior school tests.
We have had some super trips out, enriching and adding breadth to the girls’ learning. These have
ranged from a walk to post letters at the post box, to spending time with the elderly residents at
Wilhelmina House. The Year 4 residential trip for Year 4 and outings to Gatton Park, The Florence
Nightingale Museum, Museum of London, the War Rooms to name but a few.
Music continues to be a strength and the choir enjoyed performing at the Woldingham Choral Day
and later at the Sutton Music Festival where the Main Choir secured a second place and the
Chamber Choir stole the show by coming first. Several girls also entered and performed well and
we were able to present certificates in assembly to celebrate their successes.
Our wonderful PTA have done so much to support the school with a variety of events for example discos, film nights, cakes sales, Elf-ridges and the opening of the PTA HQ. The members of our
wonderful PTA put in so many hours to organise things for our girls and to help to maintain our
sense of community and family. I am sure you would want to share my thanks to them for their
energy, commitment and time that they so freely give.
Our charity this year has been The Rainbow Trust and through various charity days and collections
we have raised several hundreds of pounds, at the end of the charity year I will inform you of the
total – and whatever it is, it will make a big difference to what is a small charity. Next term the girls
will begin to think about their next charity and will begin that democratic process to select promote
and vote.


We will host our parents’ evenings in early January to give you an opportunity to talk with teachers
about your daughter’s progress and her targets. Sharing the learning process with you as we know
that when we work together for our girls, we do it better and make our girls stronger. This really is a
Next term will also bring the Young Voices event, a fabulous opportunity for the girls to sing with
thousands of other children at the O2. I am sure that they are already learning words and dance
moves ready. Girls get great opportunities in sport, with their swimming and netball in the Autumn
term and next term we look forward to Hockey and the introduction of football. We will be holding
World Book Day on March 5th – plenty of time to start planning your costumes …. There will, or
course, be day trips to support learning. At the end of term we will be holding our Celebration
Evening on 25th March, our opportunity to really show case and celebrate what the girls do in every
area of the curriculum.


I would like to thank every member of my team – my site staff, administrative staff and teaching
assistants and teachers. We have fabulous people at Cumnor, dedicated to doing the very best that
they can for our girls -often going beyond expectations and then going home to do the same for
their own families.


I look forward to see you all bright eyed and bush tailed on Tuesday 7th January.
Meanwhile, I am still all aglow from our very beautiful Carol Service which our girls sang beautifully
and brought home the messages of hope and peace. I wish you all a restful and joyous Christmas. A
chance to rest and recharge and to have some precious time in the company of friends and family.

020 8660 3445