THE JUNIOR DEPARTMENT
Most recent Junior Department reports have mentioned an
increase in numbers and this year has been no exception. Term started in
September with more children than ever, and a promise of another Romney Hut to
provide more classrooms. One of the Junior classes was temporarily accommodated
in half of the Infants Hall, until it was able to move into one of these new
classrooms in March.
This year has seen several staff changes. During the summer
Term 1959, Miss Billard became Mrs. Ruckert, and in July left us to accompany
her husband back to U.K. Miss Stinton, Miss Kernahan and Mr. Wilsher also left,
and we now hear from them from Hongkong, Germany and Singapore, and in their
place came Miss Simms, Mr. King and Mr. Jackson, who are all now well
established at Verdala. Mrs. Cropper, Mrs. Regan and Mrs. Hicks joined the
permanent staff and Mrs. Fallon, Mrs. Bailey and Mrs. Elder helped us as supply
teachers during staff absences.
We were also pleased to welcome Miss Batty to the Junior
staffroom. She, of course, is no newcomer to Verdala, but for her sixth and last
year in Malta, she had chosen to accompany her top Infants into the Junior
School. We are only sorry that she has come for such a short time, and that we
will lose her and Miss Watson, who has also been here six years, at the end of
the Summer Term.
During part of the Autumn Term, I was unfortunately ill and
absent from school and my thanks go to the staff, and particularly Mr. Ross, who
took on extra duties during this time.
This Christmas there was the now traditional play. This year,
a very up-to‑date and original one, written by Mr. Ousbey about a planet in
space. Miss Horton, Miss Butters, Mrs. Farrugia and Mrs. Allen again made the
costumes, this time providing clothes for space heralds, space executioners and
other inhabitants of the 'Silver Planet'. One feature of this pantomime was the
original music written by Miss Candey, and, in particular, the catchy little
tune which warned the very small spaceman of his impending fate was to be heard
hummed all round the school by staff and children alike. Once again, a
successful performance was due to the hard work of the whole school, and to the
efforts of all the staff, to those who minded double classes during rehearsals
no less than those who took a more active part.
At the end of the Christmas Term we had the
usual class parties. These were very gay affairs and some of the children thought up very original
decorations for their classrooms and in other ways making it their own party.
One class took over complete responsibility for theirs, electing a food
committee, a decorations committee and an entertainment committee. It was
suggested that a 'clearing‑up' committee might be a good idea, too!
The meaning of Christmas was not
forgotten. The 3rd and 4th year had a combined Carol Service at St. Paul's
Anglican Cathedral, at which the lessons were read either by individual children
or by choral speaking choirs. Some less well‑known carols were beautifully sung
by the choir, and the whole congregation, which included many parents, joined
heartily in some of the more familiar carols. Later a similar service was held
for the whole of the Junior Department in the School Hall.
During the Spring Term we were visited by two parties of
students from the Mater Admirabilis Training College. We are always pleased to welcome these guests and to know how greatly they appreciate
At the beginning of April, some children from the fourth year
had the joyful experience of taking part in a combined Service Schools Music
Festival. This was a very happy occasion, at which they reaped the reward of
their hard work and the work of Mr. Jenkins and of Miss Horton, who played for
them. They all enjoyed listening to the individual items of the other schools,
as well as joining in the singing of the songs by the combined choirs and
performing their own song and verse‑speaking items.
This experience of sharing 'music‑making' with other schools
was a very valuable and stimulating one for staff and children alike.
Another musical event occurred at the very end
of the Spring Term, when we were delighted to receive a visit from C‑in‑C's
will be preparing for Sports Day, and so the School Year goes on. This report
has space for only some of the events of the year. Details of others will be
found in the pages of this magazine, but above all it is the day‑to‑day routine
and the hard work that is put into it by staff and children, that has made this
a successful year.