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.
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.
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.
have just finished signing over 170 Headmaster’s Commendations reflecting the terrific work our pupils of all ages are doing in a wide and disparate range of subjects and topics. Doing so was confirmation of the engagement I am seeing in remote lessons I am presently observing. This morning I felt very privileged to observe a Geography lesson on the proposed third runway at Heathrow in which the children showed impressive knowledge of the detail of the proposal, as well as the ability to question and challenge the accuracy of a short film marketing the project.
There has also been a focus on pupil wellbeing this week. Nothing, of course, is more important to us at St Christopher’s, but if the response of the children is anything to go by (echoed by the engagement that they are showing with their learning), then I feel reassured in my belief that our pupils are managing the disappointments which lockdown brings with considerable fortitude.
I would like to draw your attention to the Family Quiz, being organised for you by the Parents’ Association next Friday. It should be great fun and I hope that lots of parents will want to join in and participate. I will join at the beginning and leave before I can be embarrassed by gaps in my knowledge.
A Newsletter can convey only so much of all that is being done, but I hope that this one will give you a glimpse of what I have seen this week and that it lifts your spirits. I hope also that a decent showing by England’s cricketers and rugby players will buoy us all, just as Brighton and Hove Albion’s tremendous midweek win against Liverpool gave many of us joy on Wednesday night.