students playing sports

The Head’s reflections on the week

Posted: 27th May 2022

As we pick up speed on the road back to normality, it was wonderful to see many Middle and Upper School parents yesterday at St Philip’s, for our first church service in a very long time. My words from the pulpit looked at the legend of St Christopher, and applied the metaphor of starting a new and challenging journey to our Year 8 pupils. It is a message worth sharing with our whole community, so I hope those who were in attendance will forgive me if I repeat myself here.

The legend of the biblical St Christopher is familiar to most of us. A kind and hard-working man is asked by a child to carry him across a river. He agrees without a moment’s thought, and takes the child upon his back as he strides out into the fast flowing waters. With each step, the burden on his back grows greater, and the passage of the water beneath him seems stronger. Soon, it seems as if he carries the weight of the world on his back, and the far bank of the river seems never to get any nearer.

But Christopher does not give up; there is no thought of turning back. Having set his mind to the task ahead, he sees it through. At times, he may have felt that he would fail, and that success was impossible, but his resilience and determination see him through. Each step across the river is difficult, but he sets his mind to make his next one better. His reward, when he reaches the far bank, is to know the true identity of the child he has carried to safety. He did what he did not for great reward, but to keep true to the promise he made to another, and indeed himself. There is a metaphor for life here, and one that our Seniors can certainly adopt as they begin their journeys through Senior school, and beyond into adulthood. Helping others, taking on responsibilities and burdens, and determination to succeed are all part of our journey through life and to becoming the very best of ourselves.

Communal singing filled St Philip’s church, and we heard classical pieces from two of our talented choral soloists. Music of a very different kind rang out in the Hall on Tuesday, when Year 3 presented School of Rock to a very appreciative audience. It says a lot about the breadth of performing arts at St Christopher’s that Psalm 23 and AC/DC featured in the same week. My thanks as ever to the teams of people who make events like these possible, both in front of the curtain and behind the scenes. You can see pictures from these events on pages 5 and 7.

As you may know, we have undergone a mock inspection this week and I am very pleased to report that the feedback overall is excellent. It was no surprise to me and a real testament to the hard work of the staff and pupils of St Christopher’s.

I wish you a restful, and hopefully sunny, Half Term.

Ms Elizabeth Lyle, Head

Categories: Head's Reflections