Friday 1 May 2020
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Headmaster's Roundup

Dear Parents
I wonder whether you consider yourself to be a glass half full, or a glass half empty person.  I expect we all want to think we are the former.  I am lucky to work with someone who is always so positive about life, finding the best in everything, that she says she is just grateful to have a glass at all!
During this lockdown it is easy to see the problems and to worry, but I think there will be many positive outcomes too.  Firstly, I’ve been so impressed with the quality of work that many pupils have been completing at home. Most of them seem to be working just as hard as they do in school, producing very high standards of work, which demonstrates their positive attitudes to their studies and their enthusiasm for learning.  What’s more, this ability to adapt and just keep on going is simply brilliant!
I have equally enjoyed seeing photographs of the children’s creativity and also a very entertaining short video from 3SB which you can see below. (We’d love to see more of these if you want to get creative with iMovie on the iPads, etc.)
When we have prospective parents at the school asking me about what we consider to be the most important aspects of a good education today, one thing that I always talk about is adaptability. The world is changing so fast and perhaps during this coronavirus lockdown it is changing faster than ever. The ability to adapt, to learn new strategies, to learn how to use new technology and how to communicate remotely are all very much a part of this and help our children to be prepared for the future. 
I think that our pupils have demonstrated that, almost without exception, they are developing these skills supremely well and as a result, the changes and challenges that will come their way in the future will be far easier to navigate.  In fact, for all of us, I’m sure a great deal of learning has taken place over the last few weeks to get our working lives online too.  It will be interesting to see the positive long term societal changes that this unprecedented lockdown will bring. 
I wonder whether you have seen ‘Shift Happens’ on YouTube.  The first version was released in 2008, and it was a wake up call for me.  I started thinking more about how we prepare children for a rapidly changing future and this was the driver behind embedding information technology into our curriculum.  The impact that technology has on our developed world has changed phenomenally in the last couple of decades, and whether we like it or not, this exponential change will continue to accelerate.  In 1965, computer scientist Gordon Moore, (co-founder of Intel), described what became known as Moore’s Law, that the power of a computer microchip would double every two years.  This meant that over a 20-year period, the power of computers would increase a million times.  In reality the change has been even faster.   Helping children to embrace technology and ride this wave of change is certainly one of the positives from this remote learning necessity, because by 2040 the world will have ‘shifted’ hugely again. 
Below is a link to the latest ‘Shift Happens’ (updated in 2018).  It is thought provoking, and I would suggest it’s worth 5 minutes of your day to watch.  The truth is, through their education and life experiences, we are preparing our children for jobs that don’t even exist yet.
When William Butler Yeats, in the late 19th century, wrote that ‘education is not about filling buckets, but it is about lighting fires’, he could never have predicted that his comment would be engraved on coffee cups, and be quoted in calendars, more than 100 years later. But he was absolutely right.  When 7 year olds are excitedly showing their teachers and parents how to use Firefly, showing us things we hadn’t even understood, a fire has certainly been lit and I start to feel optimistic about some of the benefits that lockdown is having.
Although this period is difficult in many ways, I’m sure we will look back on it as a period of time when the world shifted a little towards a future reality and that our children’s education, through online learning, was actually a positive part of that experience.
Glass half full, or glass half empty?

Marcus Culverwell
Shift Happens 2018
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Reigate St Mary's
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Key Dates
Lower School Zoom Coffee Mornings (a zoom link will be sent to you by email)
  • Tuesday 5 May – Reception coffee
  • Thursday 7 May - Year 1
  • Tuesday 12 May – Year 2
Early Years Profile Scores

I am delighted to share with you the Early Years Profile Scores for last year's Reception classes. Early Years Foundation Stage Profiles are based on teacher assessments at the end of Reception and are moderated both internally and by Surrey County Council (they are sent out to parents at the end of the summer term).  As you can see, our children's profiles comfortably exceed both Surrey and national outcomes. 
We all know that happy children learn and it is my belief that these exceptional results reflect how we value and nurture each of our children  and the excellent home/ school partnership with our families. 
Mrs Selkirk

Team 3SB
Toilet Roll Challenge
Class 3SB made this fantastic video of a toilet roll challenge!
Team 3SB Teachers
The Sequel!
The 3SB teachers rose magnificently to the challenge set by their class with their very own toilet roll challenge video.
Mrs Jayasinghe
Our wonderful Reception teacher, Mrs Jayasinghe, takes the #RSMFridayFastFive challenge this week. Read more..
NHS Bursaries st RGS
Reigate Grammar School is recognising the outstanding work of front line staff in the NHS, care homes and the emergency services, by prioritising 10 assisted places(bursaries) specifically for the children of health workers. Read more..
There has been a focus on persevering and practising at RSM this week and our key worker children have done brilliantly at some outdoor challenges. Year 2 have been learning a new skill at home and this too has taken lots of patience and perseverance.
Eshan learnt to be a DJ.
Isaac learnt how to knot a tie.

Useful Links..

Below are links to useful websites with advice for parents:
Government Advice on Young People's Mental Health
Online Safety Tips from London Grid for Learning
Online Safety During Lockdown

You are amazing..

Next week, the wellbeing activities will help the children to think about all the things that make them amazing and how to keep positive. Do share with us their 'Owls' or 'Amazing Person' charts. We would love to see them!
Year 1
This week Year 1 have risen to the challenge of measuring ingredients, mixing, and even washing up too.  Real chefs of the future!
A Song
A big thank you to Ryan for sharing this lovely song with us!
Year 5
Year 5 were evacuees this week and wrote letters home to their families. Here, Shivali reads her letter out (dressed for the part!).
Green Shoots
Green Shoots set a Busy Bee challenge to make a sandwich. This activity helps the children practice characteristics of effective learning such as focus and paying attention. Henry's looks delicious!
Year 5
Year 5 made brilliant World War 2 stop motion videos this week. 
Friday 8 May
VE Day
As you will all be aware, next Friday is the May Bank Holiday when the nation will remember VE Day and enjoy some national celebrations.  If you would like to share any photographs of how your family/child celebrate the occasion then please send these to
One suggestion is that the children could make a triangle of bunting of their own VE day design, then share a picture of this with us for a 'virtual' bunting display.
Coronavirus Questions Answered
Children in the Upper School might like to look at this BBC short video, which shows children asking questions about the coronavirus.  Perhaps watch it first or with your child as they may need help to understand the answers given by the professor of virology.
BBC - When Will it End
Bike It
There are some interesting activities and advice in the the latest edition of the Sustrans Bike It newsletter.
Sustrans New Edition
Last Year
Last May Kindergarten enjoyed their space picnic and took to the #RSMHotSeat to tell us all about it. 
RSM Library Corner

Reading Lists

This week, we share 50 recommended reads for Reception age children:
50 books to read in Reception 

Book Reviews
Has anyone read David Walliams' new book SLIME? We would love to hear what you thought of it! Send your book reviews to  
Book Releases
The Strange World travel Agency
At the Strangeworlds Travel Agency, each suitcase transports you to a different world. All you have to do is step inside . . .
When 12-year-old Flick Hudson accidentally ends up in the Strangeworlds Travel Agency, she uncovers a fantastic secret: there are hundreds of other worlds just steps away from ours. 
We Miss Our Ordinary
We Miss Our Ordinary is a new film from Reigate Grammar filled with lots of lovely memories. Well worth a watch!
Job Opportunities
  • Teacher of Mathematics (full time or part time) – Required from September 2020
  • Teacher of English/Second in English (full time or part time) – Required from September 2020
  • SENCO/or Teacher with SEN Experience (full time or part time) – Required from September 2020
If you know someone who may be interested in applying, please ask them to download the information from the RGS website or contact HR on  
An insight into some of the #RGSWeCare activities.
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Reigate St Mary’s, Chart Lane, Reigate, Surrey RH2 7RN

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Reigate St Mary's Prep School · Chart Lane · Reigate, Surrey RH2 7RN · United Kingdom

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