A Beautiful Visitor...

Dear OFS Community,

Welcome to 2024, I do hope that everyone enjoyed a wonderful Christmas break. I always find this return to school rather surreal as the week starts with dozens of adventurous 3-year-olds coming in for taster sessions! This week, we met over 130 families looking to join Orley Farm in September; can you believe that their school journey ends in 2038? I’m trying to imagine the world that they will be stepping into, we’ve got work to do! I loved dropping into the various sessions watching our team having such sincere and animated conversations.

Having hosted the parents in the Pre-Prep Atrium over the past 3 days, I remain indebted to all of you, our current parents, for sharing your experiences of Orley. So many parents named current families as the reason for applying to us – as I say, thank you to all of you for telling your stories.

In our opening assembly, it took over 20 minutes to simply share the list of hobbies and clubs – it was rather like a Freshers’ Fair at university with 32 teachers offering lunchtime and after school clubs with everything from Japanese Hobby to Warhammer, Coding to Badminton, Mindfulness to Board Games...and so much more, we even have something for the Philosophers! I would add that this is in addition to the 33 Clubs on offer through OrleyX that currently has 354 places taken up by 257 different pupils each week – fantastic that Orleyans are leaping into new interests.

Next Monday we’re picking up on resolutions and goals but my number one push to keep the winter blues at bay is for everyone to jump into something new, ideally, something really challenging!

Unexpected Visitors!

As our Reception pupils left Assembly, they found some rather strange looking hoof prints in the corridor, following them led them to some rather beautiful visitors - could it be that Rudolf got a little lost, or perhaps he just fancied a break in our meadow? However, the weather was perfect for our youngest learners to jump into researching the habitats of polar creatures. Whilst it was rather magical, I was quickly impressed with the questions that they asked, and they were mighty impressed with the weight of the antlers!

Tooled Up

We had over 195 families registered for our live webinar with Dr Kathy Weston last night and from your responses, I can clearly see the positive interest that this has created. We are living in the most challenging times for parents. Tech and lifestyle have changed the landscape of our family homes beyond recognition and navigating this has become increasingly harder. Our teachers have had access to this portal for several months and it really is an endless resource that will only inform and add to our collaborations between home and school.

Headmaster's Commendation

Congratulations to Josh who created a beautiful model of St. Mawes Castle as part of his Creative Prep in History. A great deal of research went into this – well done Josh!
It’s wonderful to have everyone back safely after the Christmas break. January can be a tough month, not only due to the weather but Orley has the ability to warm the coldest day and bring light into the darkest corners! Happy 2024 everyone, let’s see where this year takes us...

Tim Calvey