We were joined yesterday by the long jumper Ezekiel Ewulo, as part of the Sports for Championsinitiative, which brings world class athletes into schools to encourage and inspire young people. He has set himself the task of jumping more than eight metres. His inspiring Assembly looked at the importance of motivation, a healthy diet, and a positive attitude in the face of success or setback, a message very much in tune with the St Christopher’s philosophy.

I write too infrequently, perhaps, about your children’s success on the sports field. I thoroughly enjoyed watching some excellent Rugby played by our Under 10 and Under 11 teams on Wednesday afternoon as part of a fixture in which we won five out of six matches. At the same time our most senior girls reached the final of the Hurst Netball Competition, winning on the way to that final against most of the Prep schools in the county, our Under 10 team came second in the Bede’s Tournament and our Under 11A Team were semi-finalists in our own Football Tournament. All were achievements of which the girls can be proud.

The week began with the launch of our TerraCycling scheme, where we aim to recycle those items such as empty glue sticks and foil snack packets that conventional domestic recycling cannot at present accommodate. Wednesday afternoon saw Nelson House hold an extremely popular Cake Sale in aid of Whoopsadaisy, the local charity that visited us last week.

The Parents’ Association met on Tuesday, and many exciting projects were discussed with a view to further supporting the children’s learning and extra-curricular life at the school. I am ever grateful for their support, and alert you to their forthcoming Quiz Night, always a fun event for parents old and new.

The rest of this Newsletter contains a glimpse of a busy week in the life of St Christopher’s. I hope you enjoy it.

A ‘fabulous short story, replete with great characterisation, and an excellent plot’, ‘perseverance when placing 6-digit numbers on a number line’, ‘winning the Sumdog Maths challenge, ‘independent writing of the Three Little Pigs story’, ‘brilliant spelling’, ‘enthusiastic writing’, ‘creative Lego’, ‘excellent French listening’, ‘a brilliant explanation of debugging in Computing’, and ‘fantastic independent salt dough making’ – such was the range of achievements commended this week by our teachers. I really enjoy sharing with pupils the joy that so obviously comes from trying really hard and succeeding and I hope that you have plenty of opportunity to share it too.

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.

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.

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.