students playing sports

The Head’s reflections on the week

Posted: 23rd September 2022

One of the many things I have been delighted to discover about St Christopher’s is our commitment to getting children outside, something unique in a city school like ours and something I think is very special about our school. We are so lucky in Hove to have such a variety of natural features around us, from the beach on our doorstep to the Downs and beyond that we can take advantage of to enrich each child’s learning experience.

We also know how important being outside is for children’s wellbeing. Everyone benefits from getting outside! One of the key strategies that those who teach our older children use, when talking about the pressures that come with exams, for example, is to get outside as much as possible. Taking a break from the books or a screen outdoors is so beneficial, both physically and mentally. Children of any age can, and should, appreciate the wealth of nature around them, and how it changes with the rolling round of the seasons.

There has been much “out and about-ing” this week and I was lucky enough to accompany Year 1 on their trip to the beach to learn more about maps. I was impressed with the quality of work I saw in their ‘birds eye view’ maps and their excellent behaviour during the trip. Year 7 had a team building camping trip last weekend at the foot of the Downs. Year 8 left us this afternoon, full of excitement, to follow in their footsteps. It is really interesting to see how the environment brings out different skills in the children. It is not always obvious in a classroom who the champion firelighters are, or who can best delegate the tasks needed to put up an eight-person tent. My thanks, as ever, to the staff who make these events possible.

Moving indoors now to some exciting news from the world of Performing Arts – St Christopher’s has been selected to take part in NT Connections 2023! Connections is the National Theatre’s nationwide youth theatre festival. Each year it offers a unique opportunity for youth theatres and school theatre groups to stage new plays written for young people by some of theatre’s most exciting playwrights, and to perform in leading theatres across the UK. These fantastic plays have been especially commissioned by the National Theatre for Connections. The selected cast of children will perform both at school and at Trinity Theatre in Tunbridge Wells in late April. It is a huge honour to have been selected and we can’t wait to get started on our play which is called ‘Model Behaviour.’ Mrs Griffiths will provide more information on auditions very soon, so watch this space!

We look forward to welcoming parents of Years 1 to 6 at Harvest Service at St Philip’s next Thursday. Choirs are already rehearsing new pieces, and rehearsals are underway for a number of plays this term. I am also excited by the plans for a return to the traditional St Christopher’s Carol Service at All Saints at the end of term; an event I have heard much about but not yet witnessed. Whether it is a church service, a play performance, or a concert, it is wonderful to be able to invite parents back into school to watch the children perform; something it is clear that they love doing.

Ms Elizabeth Lyle, Head

Categories: Head's Reflections