A week of uncertain weather has not stopped us making the most of the opportunities around us, despite the extension of lockdown. As I write on a grey Thursday morning, Year 8 pupils are enjoying beach volleyball under the expert instruction of Mr Melton, and suitably attired Year 5 pupils are enjoying their Geography Field Trip with Mrs McKinnon and Mr Stead. Although we are subject to last minute changes caused by the weather and the ongoing situation, we are determined to ensure that your children enjoy as wide a variety of opportunities as possible in the last weeks of term.

I was pleased this morning to invite the members of 8L to my study, one at a time, to give them their Common Entrance examination results. Many have achieved results which they would not have thought possible earlier in the year. They can all be very proud of their achievements. I expect to be able to give 8H their Scholarship results before the end of next week.

Elsewhere in this Newsletter, you will see some splendid success on the Cricket pitch, and be able to watch footage of our Year 8 Leavers on their gloriously sunny weekend in Dorset.

I wish you a restful weekend, whatever the weather (and indeed the football result) may bring.

The past school year has been very strange, and is one that hopefully will never be repeated but, as we near the end of the year, there is a lot to be excited about. Now that remote lessons and PE sessions in the garden are things of the past, we can all appreciate the normal things about school, like seeing our friends, sitting in the classroom together, playing in the playground, and getting back to matches against other schools.

We all have great, fun trips towards the end of the Summer Term, after all the hard work that everyone has done throughout the year. On Thursday, all of Year 8 finished their exams and now we have an amazing Leavers’ Programme planned for us, including the camping trip to Dorset this weekend and, after this, paintballing, kayaking, trampolining, volleyball at Yellowave and watersports at Hove Lagoon.

There are lots of things for every year to do and look forward to this summer, and soon we hope we will also have school Sports’ Day to enjoy as well. Next year when all the restrictions are lifted, school concerts and drama productions can return too. So as we approach the end of the school year and the Year 8s end their time at St Christopher’s, I hope that everyone is optimistic for the rest of the term and the next school year - whether at St Christopher’s or at their senior school.

It was a tough cricket fixture against Cumnor House on Wednesday, but lovely to see so many boys enjoying their cricket, just as it was good to see the senior girls enjoying success in a close encounter with Brighton College Lower School. Some of our sports teams feature in next Tuesday's edition of The Argus, as part of a supplement celebrating the return of inter school fixtures. For a number of pupils, these fixtures were a perfect opportunity to escape the rigours of study after internal and Scholarship examinations. I wish all success as they wait for results. We could do with summer arriving soon, but in between the showers there has been plenty of opportunity for outdoor activities.

In the playground, as I write, some of our Year 4 girls are having a lovely time launching model planes provided by Mr Stead. Indeed, I could not resist a break from my keyboard to go and join in – they flew rather well. On return to my office there was a queue of children waiting to show me work that has been commended; its range and variety just a snapshot of the wonderful work your children are doing.

I wish you all a very restful and happy weekend.

It was super to see so many of our pupils, girls and boys, going off to play their cricket matches on Wednesday afternoon and even better to hear and see their excitement about their matches on return. There were excellent performances against BCPS, Handcross Park, Windlesham House and Roedean, reflecting just how strong the sport at St Christopher’s remains, despite such a long period without matches. Those who did not play in a match this week will have that opportunity soon.

This Newsletter gives a snapshot of the many different activities your children are enjoying, in and outside the classroom. An introduction to Politics and Economics for some of our Year 8 pupils, Buddhist lanterns for Year 5, Roman Day for Year 4 with military manoeuvres, beach volleyball for Year 7 and 8, and all sorts of stimulating lessons and fun for our youngest pupils.

I would like to commend the pupils in 8L who have continued their preparations for Common Entrance with great determination. Their efforts will no doubt pay ample dividends. They will want to do some revision over Half Term , but they should also have a good break.

The blue ensign of Howe Dolphins will fly over Half Term, and then we will recognise each pupil who has won a Scholarship to their senior school by flying the St Christopher’s flag for a day each in their honour. Kaia in 8L was awarded a Hurst Award (All Rounders ’ Scholarship ) last week, bringing the tally to ten, with more, no doubt, to come

I wish you all a sunny Half Term.

Internal examinations ran smoothly, as they so often do with it quickly dawning that the reality of exams is far less worrying than the perception. I am full of admiration for the calm and purposeful approach those sitting internal examinations showed. Next week it is Brighton College Academic Scholarship exams and I wish our Year 8 pupils the success they deserve. Pupils in 8H have made excellent progress over a year in which they have risen impressively to the academic challenges which Scholarship preparation brings. They should be commended, just as those who are sitting Common Entrance should be commended, for their sustained attention to the quality of their academic work.

Meanwhile, life has continued with the joy of sports fixtures and the enthusiasm for learning and for play which is captured in the pages within this Newsletter. There has been sand between toes at Yellowave, the joy of water sports at Hove Lagoon, feasts to mark the end of Ramadan and creativity aplenty in the Pre-Prep. Summer does not yet seem upon us, but no doubt it will be soon.