A Friday Night Round Up from Mr Schumm

Dear Parents / Carers,

What a stunning Grandparents’ Day we had! The weather was kind to us, so we were all in the playground together – over 200 grandparents and 400 children; superb! The House Captains were on sparking form as they interviewed Dame Penelope Wilton, granny to Daniel and Ella, with a wide range of in-depth questions. They really were a confident bunch who took to the stage like ducks to water. After the interview, the grandparents toured the school and then sat down for a scrumptious tea prepared by our very own Cookie. Grandparents’ Day is such a special event for our whole school community and it puts a smile on my face to watch the children proudly take their grandparents (and other important older relatives / family friends) round the school!

Baby Bailey makes an Appearance

I am delighted to announce that Miss Natalie gave birth to a beautiful baby girl last week. Mother and baby are doing well and we send them lots of love.

Headteachers for the Day

Indigo and Scarlett made perfect headteachers today and really gave me a run for my money with their excellent ties. They ran the teacher’s briefing, took the Good Work Assembly and organised chocolate brownies for pudding! A perfect day’s work from a perfect duo!

Jubilee Celebration

As Year 6 are abroad for the next two weeks, we thought we would mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee with a special Royal Picnic Lunch on Wednesday, 8th June. The school will provide the lunch; all we ask is that the children don’t wear their school uniform, but dress in red, white or blue. We would ask for a small donation of £1 (or more) per child, which will be split between the four House Charities.

Cabaret Time

It’s countdown to the Spectacular St Stephen’s Royal Variety Performance and we really need your sponsorship please: https://www.ststephensboutique.co.uk/cabaret All the money raised from this amazing event goes directly to support the education of our wonderful children, so please dig deep and support our amazing, brave and heroic acts – at this rate, it will go to the bill for the chiropractor for my back if Miss Whiting throws me over her shoulder once more! Tickets for the Spectacular St Stephen’s Royal Variety Performance are now on sale on ParentMail. Tickets are £19.52 for Jubilee dinner and the star-studded show.

If you are free on Monday evening at 8.30pm, please come and help put up the stage – head@ststephensce.lbhf.sch.uk

Year 3 out and about

3 Lear have had two fantastic trips to a local prep school recently. They had an amazing time and were very well looked after by the staff who did an excellent job at fuelling the children’s creative energy. The children got to experiment with shading and toning using styles such as cross hatching. After that, they used their resources to create collage portraits of themselves. These impressive self-portraits were then used to help the 3 Lear artists to carve their own self-portraits into clay. Some of the clay pieces would not go out of place being displayed in an Art gallery, they were wonderful! All of the children’s hard work will make it home in the next few weeks. I hope you all have space on your mantelpieces!​

All things FOSS

You know me, I like to be organised, so with the end of the summer term in sight, it is worth starting to think about the roles in FOSS we will need filling for September. Sylvia and her team have had an amazing two years (there will be time for proper thank yous later,) but for now, from September, we will need a new Chair of FOSS, two treasurers, a sponsorship coordinator and somebody to head up the bar team. If these roles are something you would be interested in please contact me at head@ststephensce.lbhf.sch.uk and I will be more than happy to discuss and point you in the direction of Sylvia and her team, who can tell you more about the roles. We cannot underestimate the important work that FOSS do, which enhances, supports and extends the education of every single child in the school. And yes, the roles do need some commitment, especially for the ‘how much should we charge for a burger?’ debate, but there is tremendous support within our community. If you don’t feel that you could commit to a main role then why not take a one-off event? The Christmas Fair, Quiz Night, Grandparents’ Day, Auction Night, the Summer Fair and the list goes on – why not dip your toe in the pond and go for it? As always, I am so open to new ideas and events so have a think and get in touch.

Year 5 Debating

Our three debating teams travelled to South Hampstead High School to take part in a debating competition against 71 other primary schools. 84 debates and 500 speeches later, one team had won all their debates and the other two teams had won 2 out of their three debates so… we won! The teams were perfect St Stephen’s role models and an absolute credit to our school.

Breakfast Club

A quick reminder that breakfast club starts at 7.30am and that breakfast is stopped being served at 8.30am. Thank you.

A Word from Cookie

Dear All,

Please could you pass on my thanks to all the wonderful Grandparents that came last Friday to afternoon tea. It was an enormous show of support to the school, 240 grandparents came, our largest crowd to date. Of course it wouldn’t have been the success it was without the help of the veritable army of Mums we had on hand to help set up. serve and tidy up. An army led from early morning by the aptly named Jess Guard! For those of you who so kindly loaned a teapot, thank you too! My kitchen looked incredibly pretty at one point with a sea of Emma Bridgewater and Royal Alberts here, there and everywhere. Please note the teapots and extra bits are all near Miss Annora’s office awaiting collection. If yours is missing, please let me know and I will hunt it out. We couldn’t have had such a wonderful afternoon without all of your contributions so many thanks again.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again “This school is a gem!”

A bit about our ongoing ‘Favourite’s menu’, for those of you who read my letters you will know I was struggling to make all the children happy at lunch so I thought I would try creating a menu that was so ridiculously child-friendly it would be sure to catch almost all of our children. I was helped to design the menu with a committee of small and very persuasive people who convinced me to backtrack on my long held promise not to include pizza on the menu. After all these years trialling spinach roulade and mushroom stroganoff and Thai green vegetables etc, I feel I have finally surrendered to the children and their tastes because darn it if this menu isn’t ticking just too many boxes to give up on it!

Obviously there are still one or two days where children still want a second option but this is neatly navigated by the option of wraps from year 3 upwards. The youngest of our school children are wonderful eaters, far less picky than the older children, and with a little encouragement from the dining hall supervisors, do very well it seems at lunch. Having said that, they weren’t that taken with our sesame-free handmade falafels from Iyam Zaman. So as of yesterday, we only gave them one each and added pasta to their plates to make up for it. This wonderful Middle Eastern supermarket on our doorstep is also providing the most delicious bread which the children adore. A great mound of fluffiness, what’s not to love?

When I returned from our Easter holiday, I sat down with a group of about 30 year 2 and 3 children and asked for votes across the entire menu as to whether or not the dish should remain for another term. Only two dishes were voted off! They were the Loaded mash and the Butternut squash macaroni cheese (darnit we had just got it to the point where we had nailed it so that none of the little people could find a single suspicious orange lump of vegetable.) We have replaced these two vege dishes with Jacket Potatoes and possible vegetable lasagne.

I say possibly because I have just found a recipe for chickpea curry which I think they might like. So before I rewrite the menu, I think I will trial the chickpea curry before the lasagne and see how it goes down. The recipe is very mild, golden and buttery (we use a dairy free butter substitute at school because of the vast dairy allergies here and it is still very ‘buttery.’) The children also really enjoy the naan and rice so it could be an excellent vege meal. Watch this space..I shall let you know.

I’m really so very pleased that we have vegetarian days twice a week now. It means we are really doing our bit for the planet and at the same time affording the hike in prices for the good quality meat I source from my butcher on Theobalds Rd, ‘McKanna’.’

The ‘should we-shouldn’t we’ debate regarding dessert has also, I think, been successfully smoothed out by the addition of mini muffins twice a week and yoghurt twice a week. There is, as ever, a choice of two pieces of fruit each every day as well.

Finally, thank you for reading this far! Please remember to contact me if your child has any specific requirements. Last week I had a parent let me know their child wasn’t feeling any love toward cheese and by sending in a photo of their child for our T.L.C. board, I was able to let my staff know to make her meals cheeseless… simple!

Please also remember to feel free to pop in for lunch with your child. This costs £3 I think and is payable to Miss Annora in the office. You can even bring your parents back! I believe we have a three person daily limit but just ask Miss Annora.

Finally, as you must surely be aware, our school is nut and seed free, it bears repeating as this particular allergy is life-threatening for some of our children. This means you must check any goods such as cakes and packed lunches that come into school. If a product says ‘It may contain traces of nuts or seeds,’ we are okay with this. It seems to me that nearly everything I buy comes with this disclaimer… Manufacturers have lawyers nowadays and everyone is covering their behinds. This, of course, doesn’t help us caterers but by using our common sense and good judgement we are managing to operate safely.

Thank you everyone for your ongoing support of the school and the kitchen, your help lately has been treasured.

X Cookie


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Have a lovely weekend.

Mr Schumm