I receive daily news articles from the Independent Schools Council which cover all manner of educational issues, some rather tediously going over tired old debates without bringing anything new to the table but many of interest as they engage with very topical issues of relevance and interest to educators and parents.There is an ongoing debate about whether League Tables are a good thing or do damage. I feel that they would do enormous damage, like any statistic, if not placed in context by those who use them. But I also believe that educated adults will view the data intelligently and perceptively and that to conceal that data is patronising. I will therefore be sending to parents next week the most recent League Tables of A level results.

I rather enjoyed a walk around the school on Thursday afternoon for what is generally termed a ‘Learning Walk’ but I prefer to call a snoop. As I would expect there was a calmness in the Prep Room with the only detectable noise being Paganini’s Centone di Sonate in the background. Strategy Club provided a slightly different atmosphere with the babble of excitement as four girls pitted their wits against each other in a game of rummy. The delights of ‘Stratego’ were being enjoyed by a mixed group and dominoes by a throng of boys. There were other clubs taking place and the school was still a hive of activity at 5.00pm. The aim of our After School Clubs is to provide the range which will cater for all ages interests; we are not there yet, but I think we are getting there.

At 8.20am on Thursday 30th August, your sons and daughters, a significant number new to the school, came through our red gates to begin the Michaelmas Term, the longest of our three terms. It seems a long time ago and yet only a moment ago. On reading the reports of our 300 pupils, it is clear all have made very good progress, have achieved much and have enjoyed the varied opportunities they have had. They can look forward to the opportunities and challenges of the New Year with confidence, but come Thursday afternoon, when they will be passed over to you for the holidays, they will have thoroughly earned a rest.

It was lovely to greet many of you at the School gate on Tuesday morning and very uplifting to see the children return so well rested, so positive and so ready for the start of term. The Christmas break is an important one for children and I hope you were all able to enjoy their wonder and excitement while also having a rest over the festive season. However, holidays have a lifespan and I think they (and possibly you) were ready for the structure which school brings, for days spent with friends and for the opportunity to learn in and outside the classroom.

Our Christmas events have begun delightfully with a charming Year 1 Nativity in the School Hall on Thursday afternoon. The children did wonderfully well to learn their lines and collaborated beautifully in the songs. It was lovely to see so many parents, siblings, and grandparents supporting the children. I am very much looking forward to our Reception Nativities next week. On Thursday morning our Choirs visited Barford Court Care Home to sing and talk to the residents. Not only did they bring great delight but they thoroughly enjoyed the experience and benefited enormously from giving to others.