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HEADMASTER’S REFLECTIONS ON THE WEEK

Year 2 are increasingly excited about pirates as their production of ‘Treasure Island’ approaches. They have been shown the way by a super Year 6 production of ‘Emil and the Detectives’, full of energy and pace. I am extremely grateful, as ever, for the support that parents give these productions as I am for the time, energy and creative talent shown by teachers and staff alike. World Book Day has clearly grasped the imagination of our children today with a varied array of characters in costume and our marvellously entertaining visiting Storyteller who has captured the imagination of all from youngest to oldest.

This has also been a week rich in sporting activity and sporting success. Our Rugby Sevens teams all performed pleasingly in various tournaments and the girls’ teams have excelled in netball tournaments. There are reports within this newsletter about most of these tournaments. What pleases me most about the performances this week is that so many teams have shown such very good improvement over the season and that the children have been returning from competitions exhausted but full of them.

I wish all of our Year 6 and 7 children a much needed rest in preparation for their trip to the Isle of Wight and the rest of the school a jolly good rest over the weekend in preparation for a busy final week.

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      Princesses, superheroes and bears in Year 1 for World Book Day. 
HEADMASTER'S REFLECTIONS ON THE WEEK

On Monday Year 4 donned some Roman uniform on their trip to Fishbourne and on Thursday Year 3 were dressed very convincingly as Victorians for their trip to Preston Manor. Such trips fire the imagination and form an integral part of the curriculum at St Christopher's. I was delighted to receive comments back from those trips about the engagement of the pupils and about their exemplary behaviour. As a parent, I know that a lot of work happens at home to support these days and we are very grateful – I can still remember the panic in the Withers' household when its youngest member was informed one year that he was to be a white kangaroo in his nativity play.

Year Two children are looking forward to their production of Treasure Island, just as those in Year 6 are looking forward to their production of Emil and the Detectives next week. As you know, we are very keen to ensure that all of the children have the opportunity to take part in their annual year group production and I look forward to seeing many of you on the day of the performance, just as I am very grateful for the support given with costumes and make up.

I was as delighted by the enjoyment that many of our senior boys gained from participating with success in the Rugby Eagle Cup as I was by the success of our netballers in their fixture on Wednesday. Sport at St Christopher's must always offer the opportunity to excel but I share the strong belief of Ms Laatz and Mr Lawson that it must also offer the opportunity for all to participate.

News of the events to which I allude can be found within along with reports on the many other events that are taking place in what is a very busy time in the academic year and, as signs of spring become more evident, a very exciting one.

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                                 Year 3 trip to Preston Manor
HEADMASTER'S REFLECTIONS ON THE WEEK

The Chamber Concert last night was a lovely occasion, an opportunity for some of our best musicians to showcase their talent before a small but appreciative audience. I was delighted also to give out LAMDA certificates to a number of the children this morning in Celebration Assembly. They had all achieved Merit at various levels. The performing arts at St Christopher's are in very good shape and I am very grateful to Mr Moore and Mrs Menadue for nurturing the talents of our young musicians and actors. Mr Moore is presently with Schola Cantorum, rehearsing at Brighton College for the Concert at The Dome which I hope a number of you will support.

Children and teachers have not been blessed with the best of health in January and half term comes at a good time, affording our pupils and teachers the opportunity for a good rest so that they are ready for the challenges of a short but very busy second half of term. There are plays, concerts, trips and sports competitions aplenty to look forward to, as well as the academic challenge of Mock Examinations for Year 8. I am sure that those Year 8 pupils will wish to do some thorough revision for their examinations but they should also have a good rest.

I wish you all a very happy half term.

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 Year 2 wrapped up warm against the cold at
 playtime.

HEADMASTER'S REFLECTIONS ON THE WEEK

Year 8 creative writing based on fairy tales, a Mock Common Entrance Chemistry script which was awarded 94%, beautifully presented posters explaining clearly and colourfully the different forms of life, Year 2 work on circuits, a well-researched piece of independent work on the memorable news stories of 2014 and a piece of independent research by a Year 2 boy on Robert Louis Stevenson - such and more was the variety of the work brought to me by children of all ages this week. What was common to all was the pride each took from success and the affirmation of that success by teachers.

Other delights this week included a conversation with a Year 1 boy about ‘mummy cows’ over lunch and one with a group of Year 4 boys about the teeth of a limpit which are, apparently, stronger relative to size than anything else made by a living organism, superseding, I was told, the spider’s web. This conversation was prompted by a boy who listens to the radio, which can be such a wonderful learning resource.

Finally a Chinese Dragon came to the back courtyard of St Christopher’s this morning as part of our celebration of Chinese New Year making for a spectacular end to the week.

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   We celebrated the Year of the Sheep on the back playground

HEADMASTER'S REFLECTIONS ON THE WEEK

In a week in which a large number of teachers have been unwell, I am hugely grateful to those who have escaped illness and to the many cover teachers from outside for ensuring that the children's progress has been sustained. I am equally grateful to parents for their understanding.

There has been success aplenty this week in sport. Our First XV and Under XI A team continue their good run of results and our Girls' A team netball players can be very proud of coming 4th out of 14 teams in a highly competitive netball tournament at Hurstpierpoint College. I have also been delighted by the excellent work children have been bringing to show me all week for Headmaster's Commendations.

My highlight of the week was Monday's Assembly. It started with Finn H playing the saxophone beautifully in front of the school and moved on to a super presentation from Year 4 on onomatopoeia and alliteration. Every child in the year took part and used examples to illustrate. There is not one child in Year Four who will not be able to recognise and explain both and this will help them to use these devices in their own writing and appreciate their use in the writing of others.

The end of January is marked by our Parents' Association Quiz tonight and I look forward to seeing a good number of you this evening.

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Miss McInally and Mr Lonsdale are presented with their leaving cards.
We will miss them!