The school was full of red, blue, green and yellow on Tuesday morning as your sons and daughters embraced with typical enthusiasm House Celebration Day and the support of charities chosen by their Houses. The House Quiz was hotly contested and good sums raised for charities which have been the subject of a number of recent Assemblies. This morning we celebrated a term which has been rich in achievement and in learning, despite difficulties to overcome. It has certainly been good to have the children back over the last fortnight and I look forward to a Summer Term when we can play and sing and dance and mix more freely. I would like to thank you, our parents, for giving such wholehearted support to teachers who have worked so very hard to ensure that your children’s learning has not suffered over lockdown. They could not have done so without that support.
Today, many will be running laps of our Glebe Villas playing fields and then it will be home for the Easter holidays. It is also the last day for Mr Samrah, who leaves us to start a career in the world of business. He has been an excellent Junior Master, and I would like to thank him for all he has done for the pupils and staff of our school.
I wish you all a sunny and happy break.
It’s wonderful to have your children back in school and to hear the halls and corridors resounding to the sound of chatter and of laughter. They are excited to be with each other and to see their teachers, to be in the classroom and on the games field and to play with each other. There is purposefulness in the classroom and plenty of joy outside it.
Yesterday I had the privilege of individual meetings with every pupil in 8H to discuss their academic progress as they look forward to their final term at St Christopher’s. Strong foundations are in place for success in what are challenging Scholarship examinations. However, I was most impressed by the maturity every one of them showed in identifying targets for improvement. Next week I will be seeing the pupils in 8L and I am confident that they will show the same clear sense of what they need to do over the coming ten weeks. Then, of course, they can look forward to our Leavers’ Programme, a well-deserved summer holiday and life at senior school. They will be ready.
As you will see from the pages herein, we have been keen to provide for our pupils of all ages plenty of time outside, playing sport and engaging in fun activities. They have thrown themselves into their sport and outdoor pursuits with wholehearted enthusiasm, undaunted by the rain on Wednesday afternoon. There are sunnier days to come.
The news has been dominated by education this week and I am delighted that all has been so positive. Indeed, as daffodils begin to flower and the early signs of approaching spring are with us, there is a chink of light in what has in so many ways been a grey February. That said, your children continue to commit wholeheartedly to lessons and to work done at home, as the long list of Commendations within shows.
I would like to congratulate Vinsson in 8H on his award of a Music Scholarship to Harrow, Saffron in 8L on her award of Sport and Music Scholarships to Roedean, and Massi in 8L on her award of Drama and Music Scholarships to Bede’s. They join Alice in 8H, who won an Art Scholarship to Brighton College, and Max in 8H, who won a Music Scholarship to Brighton College. Sports Scholarships, All-Rounder, and Academic Scholarships are yet to come, no doubt, with assessments and exams over the coming weeks and months.
We are very proud to achieve such a good spread of awards in the performing and creative arts.
My colleagues and I are thoroughly looking forward to Monday 8th March and to seeing the pupils in person again. There is also the strong indication that as we move in to the Summer Term, restrictions will be lifted further and we can look forward to a gradual return to the normality we so crave. Open Mornings will continue to operate remotely, however. Those of you who are local to the school might see that The Hovarian has an insert about our forthcoming Open Morning on Saturday 13th March. I would be grateful if you could share this information with anyone you think might be interested in our school.
Monday 8th March will be a landmark day for school children coming in to school for the first time since the end of Michaelmas Term, Wednesday 9th December for St Christopher’s pupils. There will be mixed emotions, excitement to be seeing their friends again but also some apprehension after a long period of lockdown. We are very excited that the school will be full again and we are ready to give our pupils all the support they need as well as plenty of fun. Let’s hope that Zoom and remote learning are terms of the past.
I have further good news on the Scholarship front. Congratulations to Oli in 8H and to Yasmin in 8L on their Sports Scholarships to Bede’s, a school they impressed with their cricketing potential. This brings the number of Scholarships won to nine with, I hope, lots more come.
World Book Day has brought a little extra sparkle to the last day of remote learning, with the children dressed in an array of costumes. They have particularly enjoyed the wonderful stories of Adam Bushnell, who seems to have the same impact as Gandalf returning to The Shire in J.R.R. Tolkien’s work. Our thanks to Adam for the excitement he has brought.
I hope you enjoy the many images within, a record of a way of learning and of life which I hope we are leaving behind. Have a sunny and restful weekend.v
An icy blast from the east brings to an end the first half of a term in which our school community has come together wonderfully well to overcome the pressures which lockdown has brought. Learning has continued apace, teachers have honed their remote teaching, and the lessons I have watched recently suggest that your children continue to enjoy their learning. I am very conscious that this is in large part the result of dedicated and professional staff but equally aware that we are beholden to you, our parents, for the support you have given your children in establishing those habits and routines which have been so very important over the past six weeks. Thank you.
I hope that Half Term will bring a welcome break from screens and the opportunity for our pupils to spend time outside, time reading, and time enjoying play. They have earned that. I hope that they might also enjoy some of the creative co-curricular challenges they have been given. One such challenge has been the creation of Valentine’s Cards for NHS workers which has been so appreciated by those who work at Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals. Some of the designs can be found below.
To clarify, our first day back is Monday 22nd, rather than Tuesday 23rd, due to the additional INSET day taken at the start of this term to prepare for Remote Learning. My heartfelt wish is that your children can return to school and classroom learning as soon as possible after Half Term. Before then, I wish you and your families a restful and warm break.