“Life isn’t a matter of milestones but of moments.” - Rose Kennedy
And there have been many moments this year. Moments that create memories of fun times with friends. Moments that are committed to memory for life and reflected on in the future. Moments of challenge, endeavour and success.
The life of a school is vibrant, busy and multi-faceted - as it should be and this year has not failed to fulfil this brief. The children at Gateway School have the fortune to experience excellent academic opportunities from committed and passionate teachers, but they also benefit from enrichment opportunities that further contribute to helping them become the best versions of themselves each day. Opportunities that help them develop character; find interests they didn’t know they had; experience the feelings of being out of their comfort zone; be centre of attention and understand what it means to be a good friend.
There have been many fantastic events and activities this year and far too many to list in their entirety. However, below are some highlights from this year.
Whether these be dramatic or musical, individual or collaborative, the children have excelled in skill, confidence and pride. I have to mention the most recent performance of Oliver, by Year 6, which was simply wonderful. Having the opportunity to perform together in a theatre, with their friends, in front of their family and other members of our school community, is an experience these children will never forget and couldn’t be a more fitting way to end their time at Gateway School.
However, it has not just been our eldest members that have taken to the stage this year. The majority of the children in school have had the opportunity to perform for an audience. We have had drama productions for Preschool to Year 4, music teas and concerts for performers from Year 2 to Year 6 and English Speaking Board recitals for children in Year 4 and Year 6.
Sporting endeavours have been plentiful and wide-ranging, from team fixtures, to individual events such as, triathlon and cross country. Our five sports day events beautifully demonstrated our ‘sport for all’ ethos, which could also be seen in the swimming galas and many sporting fixtures for Year 3 to Year 6. What is also lovely to see within these opportunities is the fun that the children have whilst taking part, epitomised by our annual Santa Dash at Christmas!
We are proud to offer many opportunities for the children to enhance their learning through our many trips and visits. It is great to see staff work together to find an activity that will engage the children whilst also supporting or extending their learning or pastoral growth. There have been trips to London to Parliament, the British Museum, Windsor Castle and the Globe Theatre, residential experiences to Ironbridge and France, farm visits, teambuilding and closer to home, our local pizzeria, the post office, Roald Dahl’s Great Missenden and even the discovery of a dinosaur egg on the school grounds!
Who could forget our amazing Take One Picture Exhibition depicting the whole school’s focus on Claude-Joseph Vernet’s ‘A Shipwreck in Stormy Seas’. The curiosity and creativity of the children and the cleverly crafted guidance from the teachers, culminated in an enormous array of variety and talent at the exhibition.
There have been many occasions where we have come together as a community, be it celebrating national events such as World Book Day or Roald Dahl Day with our golden ticket competition and excellent Year 6 vignettes, to fundraising events for our three charities and the many FOG events. It is lovely to be able to gather for a common purpose and see the children across the school working and celebrating together.
A particular highlight this year was our combined Platinum Jubilee Celebration Day. The celebratory atmosphere was palpable and the children, staff and parents enjoyed performances and many fun games and activities.
Bringing in the new
This year has also seen some new initiatives that have been well received.
Farm School has seen great success and enjoyment. Staff have creatively worked together to bring learning to life on the farm, from data handling in Year 2, to map reading in Year 5, to a mediaeval day in Year 3. We are fortunate to have this opportunity for enrichment and are very grateful to Mr Dyson for enabling these fantastic experiences.
We have further enhanced the children’s opportunities to be involved in the operations of the school through our School Council, Food Council and Eco-Committee and we have loved seeing the children working together during our class pairing sessions.
Children in Year 5 and Year 6 have enjoyed the new additions of Philosophy, Future Skills, Current Affairs and Leadership Skills to their curriculum, helping them to be more curious and informed about the world around them.
As already mentioned, these are just a few of the many enrichment activities and events that have happened this year and I know that there are many more that the children have enjoyed and will remember. I also know that, if it wasn’t for our committed and dedicated staff, our children would not have been able to make these memories, or experience these moments. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of the Gateway School staff for helping our children grow and learn and most of all, enjoy their experiences this year and I look forward to an equally rewarding year ahead.