his-master-voiceHeadmaster’s Voice

Last week I discussed the importance of challenge.  This week as a school, and as a nation, we have faced many challenges…

This week has been dominated by the ‘Stoneygate Celebration of the Arts’ and many pupils (and staff) have risen to the challenge.  On Monday the Senior Choir performed a lunchtime concert in Leicester Cathedral, with music spanning from Vivaldi to Leonard Cohen.  Anyone who braved the weather left the cathedral uplifted by the wonderful talents of our pupils.  The following day we held the ‘Arts Festival presentation afternoon’.  Pupils from across the school played instruments, read with expression, sang and recited poetry.  Once again our pupils delighted and enthralled the audience.  For some pupils performing comes naturally, for the vast majority it is a nerve-wracking challenge.  Tonight the ‘Celebration of Arts’ comes to an end with a tap show and the Y6 performance of ‘Macbeth’…I’m very much looking forward to watching them both.

Today we officially opened ‘The Morris Mile’.  This physical challenge was enjoyed by all pupils from Years 3 -8.  This was no ordinary cross country course though… pupils were challenged to run, climb over hay bales, balance over telegraph poles, crawl through nets , slalom through flags and squeeze through tractor tyres.  This was both an individual and a team challenge.  To hear our pupils encouraging each other to get over, under and through obstacles was particularly pleasing.

Not your typical cross-country course…

Our parents’ association, the SSA, faced a large challenge this week…how much money could they, along with the pupils, raise for Red Nose Day?  Could I thank all the members of the SSA for their efforts this week- for putting together the ‘Stoneygate School Joke Book’, with wonderful/ awful jokes from staff and pupils (‘What do you call an old snowman? …..Water!  Thank you, Mrs Jelly), the selling of red noses and a cake sale.  I am delighted to say that the Stoneygate community raised over £300.

What happened in London on Wednesday shocked the nation.  In a time of crisis so many people demonstrated acts of bravery, kindness and resilience- characteristics we shall continue to develop at Stoneygate.

amazing british post

As seen outside a London station…

Headmaster’s Award:

George Telfer- for two outstanding singing performances this week.

Bradley Mushambi- for his amazing ability to re-call Pi digits (see earlier blog).

Enjoy the sunshine,

Mr J F Dobson

Celebration of the Arts

Tuesday, 21st March saw the first ‘Celebration of The Arts’ event at Stoneygate School, replacing the old Arts Festival.

The afternoon started with singers from Years 3-8 performing a variety of songs. These were followed by students reading poems and extracts on the theme of ‘Dreams and Nightmares’. We have a strong tradition of reading at Stoneygate and this was one of the areas praised by OFSTED.

One of the new elements of the afternoon was refreshments being taken in the Art room giving parents and visitors a chance to wander and discuss the art pieces with Mrs Jakeman.

The final part of the afternoon saw pupils reading their own poems and the instrumentalists playing a variety of music. The Year 8 students rounded off the event with a glorious rendition of Bruno Mars’ ‘Grenade’. Parents then headed for more refreshments in the foyer and a chance to wander around the display work in the classrooms.

On the day 66 children were involved with the showcasing and all students in Years 3-8 were involved in producing work for display.

Thanks go to all the staff involved for their help and support.

Pi Challenge

Congratulations to all the finalists of the Pi Challenge who did an amazing job in assembly on Tuesday.  Bea represented Year 8, Kian Year 7, Harris Year 6 and Bradley Year 5.

We all learnt that Pi comes from dividing the circumference of any circle by it’s diameter.  This creates an infinite non repeating number and the challenge was to learn Pi to as many places as possible.

The finalists hugely exceeded my expectations and below are two clips that should amaze and impress you.

Kian’s is a short version of the 197 places that he managed and the winner, Bradley, shows you the whole lot!

Senior Choir Sing at Leicester Cathedral

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Senior Choir performed a lunchtime concert on Monday 20th March in Leicester Cathedral. It was a lovely opportunity to sing in such a lovely building and the applause at the end of the concert suggested that the audience enjoyed hearing us. We sang a range of repertoire, including pieces by Vivaldi, Rutter, Cohen and L’Estrange. As the choir needed a little break to sit down, it was also a chance to hear two of our singers, Hattie T and Siddharth B, perform solos. They did so magnificently.

Many thanks to Mr Ashwin for accompanying us and for Mr Headley at the Cathedral for inviting us. I very much hope that this marks the start of a closer relationship between Stoneygate School and Leicester Cathedral.

Well done to all of Senior Choir, you did the school proud!


Mrs Ashwin

Piano, Strings and Ukulele Concert


Huge congratulations to the performers of Thursday afternoon’s concert. It was a wonderful demonstration of what can be achieved with dedicated practice and motivation. The audience were treated to a range of pieces from the piano – from very new pianists to very experienced pianists and a lovely range in between. We heard three cellists play beautifully and heard our very cheery ukulele players in various combinations. Most of these ukulele players are new to the instrument this academic year and are progressing beautifully.

I think one of the best things about these instrumental concerts is that it doesn’t matter what stage the musician is at, there is always something to offer. It doesn’t matter how experienced the performer is, there is always something to learn. It doesn’t matter how many concerts one has been to, there is always something to make you smile.

At Stoneygate, we are very fortunate to have such a great team of Visiting Music Teachers who inspire and motivate our pupils. However, I know (firsthand) that to perform requires huge support from home. Practice is crucial and parental help makes an enormous difference. If any parents are ever interested in learning an instrument themselves, please make yourselves known to me and we will see what can be done!

Mrs Ashwin


his-master-voiceHeadmaster’s Voice

I took a ‘Macbeth’ rehearsal this week.  Of the fifteen eleven year olds, two were absent, two had sprained ankles and Banquo had a nose bleed…it was a challenge.  But I like a challenge.  Earlier in the week Miss L Crampton spoke to our older pupils about the ‘challenges of engineering’.  Miss Crampton told the pupils that as a teenager she had won the Arkwright Scholarship and was later sponsored to do a mechanical engineering course at University.  Girls take note.  Miss Crampton said that, “engineering is the application of scientific knowledge to solve problems in the real world”.  The challenges Miss Crampton had to face were varied- from the construction of bridges to the creation of pyramid tea bags.  Madame Hosie will be setting a design challenge for our older pupils- I hope a large number will take up this challenge.

From cars to bridges to tea bags…we need engineers.  Male and female.

There are many challenges in life.  We want Stoneygate pupils to be prepared for them.  Developing resilience – emotional, physical and mental- is crucial.  Mrs Fielding is currently planning an obstacle course for the field to make the cross-country course more challenging.  Mrs Angel is planning physical challenge day for our older pupils in the summer term- it’s tough walking to the top of a mountain- but our pupils can do it!

One of the highlights of my week was watching the ‘Piano, Strings and Ukulele’ concert.  Amidst all the wonderful talent, our ukulele group attempted ‘the Mexican Hat Dance’.  Their first attempt at this rather tricky piece did not go to plan- it’s a challenging, difficult piece of music.  Did they give up? No. Mr James stopped the players, gave some words of encouragement and they began again.  A successful challenge completed…cue audience applause.

Tomorrow morning some of our younger pupils will face a physical and mental challenge with the Easter Egg hunt.  We are hoping to surprise some of our younger pupils with how far they can actually walk (especially if they are thinking about something else i.e. chocolate!).  Do join us at any time between 10.00-1.00pm tomorrow…well-behaved dogs are also welcome.

“You should never view your challenges as a disadvantage. Instead, it’s important for you to understand that your experience, facing and overcoming adversity, is actually one of your biggest advantages.”


Michelle Obama

Enjoy the weekend; hopefully I will see many of you tomorrow…


Mr J F Dobson