As we come to the end of another happy, busy week I am pleased to say that the routines of school are truly bedding in. Children are very settled and I often see even our youngest pupils striding confidently into school in the mornings. Buddies have been instrumental in this process and I would like to say a personal thank you to our Year 7 and Year 8 buddies. Well done on setting an excellent example in and around school and for helping Reception and Year 1 settle in.

This week was also Respect week. All year groups heard an Assembly from Mr Stead on Monday about the importance of showing respect and an assembly from Mr Holt on Thursday about respect, inclusion and diversity. It is very important to me that our children grow up to be kind, inclusive and respectful adults. We may not know the types of new careers the future holds for our children, but we do know they will have to work with other people. Kindness, respect and inclusion are the foundation of those positive working relationships now, and in the future.

Throughout this week we have also had wonderful sporting participation and success. We fielded 24 teams over the week to several different schools. Notable successes this week were: the U13 boys who won the Brambletye Sixes Football tournament at Brambletye, the U10A girls winning their hockey match against Cottesmore by a resounding 12-0, the U13 girls came second overall at the annual Hock-net tournament at Hurst and the U11B girls hockey team came 5th overall out of twelve schools at the Hurst tournament. I am so proud of our teams, win or lose, for their effort, grit and determination to do their best on the field, pitch, and court.

A few additional messages:

Our splendid Parents’ Association are putting together a St Christopher’s Recipe Book and are hoping for lots of contributions from the children.

Our Virtual Harvest Festival takes place next Thursday, and will be shared with you via YouTube. We are supporting Off The Fence, as we have done for many years. This year, they have asked for financial donations rather than the usual dry goods and toiletries. 

We have two upcoming events; our latest Open Morning next Friday and an outdoor event for local nursery children at Glebe Villas on 9th October. 

This week I have continued to be impressed by the kindness and warmth of St Christopher’s pupils and staff. It is very clear to me that our school community cares about others and the wider world. Many of our families supported the runners in the Brighton Marathon last weekend, and our school was a support hub for the event. This week I am very pleased to announce that we have chosen House Charities to support over the course of this academic year. Howe Dolphins will support Leo House children’s hospice; Anson Lions will support Off the Fence, which offers help to the homeless in Brighton and Hove; Nelson Dragons will support Hangleton Food Bank, which helps people in our immediate community; and Drake Badgers will support Rockinghorse children’s hospital charity. Linked to this, our Word of the Week (WoW) was ‘compassion’ which sparked thoughtful discussion during Form Times. I take great pride in knowing that our school teaches compassion and kindness, and supports local charities every year.

Another theme for this week was books and the joy of reading. You may have seen the Scholastic Book Fair in the front playground this week. The Book Fair will be here next week on Monday as well. Purchasing books helps to support our Library here at St Christopher’s and everyone loves a new book! Speaking of books, on Wednesday Years 1 and 2 joined me for an Assembly on different types of books and how reading makes us feel. Once again, I was very impressed with how well they listened and their contributions whenever I asked a question. I read two books, I Really Want to Eat a Child by Sylviane Donnio and Where My Feet Go by Birgitta Sif. Two equally charming but very different books, I highly recommend them for children of Nursery age up to Year 2.

A few additional messages:
Thank you to those of you who have volunteered to be Year Group Representatives. Keep an eye out for an email from school with dates and times of our first meeting.
A plea for sensible parking during drop off and pick up. The school has received complaints from local residents about double parking and parking in disabled bays. In addition, we all want to keep children safe so please be considerate and careful when parking.
Best wishes for the coming year to those in our community who observed Yom Kippur this week.

Have a lovely weekend.

What a great week! As the new Head, I felt like I knew what to expect from St Christopher’s: excellent teaching, outstanding co-curricular opportunities, and a warm, family environment. What I have discovered this week is that
St Christopher’s is all of these things and so much more.

I have made it a priority to walk around the school three times every day to help me get to know our school better and visit the lovely Glebe Villas Reception site at every opportunity. On my walks and visits I have seen a numeracy lesson for eager Reception children, heard the choir singing beautifully, inspected some excellent handwriting in Year 1, seen majestic castles in year 2, watched an inspired lesson about ancient Egypt in Year 3, entered a laser and light show as part of Year 5 Science, seen real focus and determination in a Year 6 Maths lesson, was pleasantly surprised as Year 4 learnt about the baptism of Jesus via the medium of Lego, and watched some very happy children enjoying the grass pitches at Glebe during a games lesson. At the top end of the school, children in Years 7 and 8 are all setting the example with excellent manners, kindness, and focus in lessons.

We have also begun in-person Assemblies, and I was very impressed with how well the children listened and how many hands shot up when I asked a question. My Assembly this week was about the three rules of building trust. Trust is the bedrock of every relationship so it is very important to know how to build trust and how to avoid losing trust. I used the analogy of adding marbles to a jar. Rule one, trust is built on small acts over time, like adding marbles to a jar. Rule two, ONE unkind act can remove ALL the marbles from the jar and you will have to start building trust again. Rule three, if you have made a mistake (and we all make mistakes) the best way to jump-start your trust building is with a heartfelt apology. A good apology adds a handful of marbles, not just one. It is my hope that this useful analogy is easy to remember and will help children navigate the inevitable ups and downs of growing up.

A few additional messages:
Good luck to all those taking part in the Brighton and Hove Marathonon Sunday, and my thanks to all those staff and children who will be helping to run the St C’s Water Station and Area Base.
Please continue to use common sense caution regarding Covid-19;keep children off school, get them tested if they show any symptoms, and contact us if you have any questions.
A reminder to all, but especially new parents, that you can follow the day to day life of the school at work and at play on Twitter and Instagram @stchrishove.

I am already looking forward to Monday. Have a lovely weekend.