We recognise the importance of working in partnership with our parents to ensure an outstanding provision for the boys in our care, and we are fortunate to have a particularly cohesive and supportive parental body in the Junior School.
We welcome parents to join us throughout the year for a whole host of events to experience what life is like for their boys and we greatly value the sense of community this brings. Parents are warmly invited to see their boys perform in all of our major productions and this has grown to include smaller events such as Informal Tea-Time Concerts, House Music and Poetry Recitals.
We have also created a number of Family Events throughout the year specifically for parents and siblings to join us. All of them are informal occasions to come together for a bit of fun.
Before we start in September, we organise a Family Picnic for our new intake of J1s for the boys and parents to meet. This allows them to make friends and get to know each other before the Family Tag Rugby tournament the following week on School Field; a surprising number of Mums and Dads dust off their boots and try in vain to keep up with their children!
In October we have our Family Supper in the school Dining Hall, which is particularly popular with over three hundred attending each year. What and where the boys eat is naturally as important to parents as to the boys, and this informal get together is simply for the boys to lead their family through our serveries to experience their daily fare, and the feedback overwhelmingly endorses our impression that the school catering is really rather good!
We round off the term with our Christmas Fair where the boys set up their own stalls, raise a little money for charity and collect tokens to exchange for upcycled gifts from the prizes stall.
The Trinity term brings plenty of opportunities to bring our community together. Early in the term we host a Family Festival of Sport where we run a wide range of sports for all ages, again on our wonderful School Field. Our Sports Day just before half term reflects the increasing touchline support at all fixtures with significant parental attendance, so much so that we now have picnics afterwards before hosting an Open Afternoon for parents to join a lesson and spend time in their son’s classroom. Just to round the day off, we host my personal favourite event with the J1 Family Sleepover in our Sports Hall. Whilst this isn’t for every parent, it seemingly is for the boys! They often remember this as one of their Junior School highlights in the years to come.
We have a BBQ, games for the children and then send parents off to galvanise themselves in the nearest pub whilst we read bedtime stories and get them ready (to pretend) to go to sleep. The rest of the evening is spent chattering on the balcony watching the children sneak between tents playing together.
After Half Term, we welcome our Grand Parents for Afternoon Tea and Tours with their grandsons. This is by way of thanking them and recognising the increasing role they often play in supporting the boys these days. This too is a very lovely event, with plenty of rose tinted memories shared of bygone days. As we move towards the end of term we take our J4s off for an adventure before families join us for a BBQ in our Rose Garden ahead of Evensong in the College Chapel. The Clerks stay on after their term has finished to accompany our Choristers for a poignant and serene service as the boys, and their parents, prepare to say goodbye before moving across to the Senior School.