This is my hundred and first term as a school master and, as with every hundred which came before, I did not sleep the night before. And yet I have thoroughly enjoyed every single one of them. Like your children, I soon grow accustomed to the structure of school life and the rhythms of the school day. It was lovely to see the children back at school, the majority more than ready to see their friends every day, to enjoy the wonders of learning and to engage in their sport, their drama, their music, and the many other activities which make life at school so rich.

Yesterday I was at Glebe watching some excellent rugby from both Under 10A and Under 11A teams, despite the very muddy surface. There was good passing, incisive running and disciplined tackling on show, but my foremost impression was of boys relishing the sport. I am grateful to the parents who braved the weather to support. Our girls enjoyed an afternoon of Festive Netball at Southwick and I am told that they too thoroughly enjoyed their afternoon.

The Year 5 production of Matilda was a delight for the children, their parents, and the many teachers and parent volunteers who supported. The pupils, as they so often do, rose to the occasion, and the joyfulness of childhood combined with the imaginative flair of a very creative director to result in a sparkling performance. Drama at St Christopher’s is in very good shape and continues to give to your children opportunities to build their confidence and their collaboration. Above all it was great fun. I hope that it lifted the spirits of all who were there as much as it did the Headmaster’s.

There was an appropriately white sheen on the playground on Thursday morning, with frost laying on ground, ‘frosty wind made moan’, in the wonderful words of Christina Rossetti, which we will all be singing at Thursday’s Carol Service. The Festive Season is upon us and excitement is building. Reports have been written, Year 1 have performed their Nativity to the delight of all who were there, and Schola has sung to the residents of Barford Court and at the Charity Concert at All Saints, bringing great joy to the residents and congregation respectively. I am looking forward to Courtyard Carols this evening, to the Reception Nativity on Monday, and to our Carol Service next Thursday afternoon.

I thoroughly enjoyed our pupils’ performance of Macbeth at the Old Market Theatre as part of the Schools’ Shakespeare Festival. It was a beautifully staged and creatively produced performance, a showcase of what can be achieved when talented children are wholeheartedly enthused by the direction of a passionate and gifted teacher. Thank you to the many parents who supported the production and who no doubt helped with lines and rehearsal. There is more drama to come this term, and I am very much looking forward to the Year 5 production of Roald Dahl’s Matilda and the Reception and Year 1 Nativities.