If you think you’re not good at something, you won’t be, and so I was delighted on going into Year 1 classrooms this afternoon to see the children thoroughly enjoying their numeracy classes. I commented to them that I love Mathematics and they were quick to reply that they do too. For my generation and yours it became almost acceptable to say, ‘I’m no good at Maths’, thereby making success almost impossible. I do hope that the notion that it is okay to be no good at Maths is not one we will pass on to this generation. They would quickly correct such defeatism in Singapore or Shanghai and I would like that to be the case here.
On Thursday morning, Alison Boyce from the Clock Tower Sanctuary addressed the School inAssembly. She talked about the work that her wonderful charity does for the homeless in our city, particularly those aged 16 to 25. She was taken aback by the sensitivity and the intelligence of the questions asked and highly impressed by the confidence and courtesy of your children. I am always very proud of the warm and friendly welcome our pupils give to visitors. It is important, also, that they are aware of the world outside St Christopher’s and that they understand that there are some things which we all have which others don’t. As Harvest Festival approaches it is a time for the school to be grateful for ‘All good things around us’.
As this year and our time at St Christopher's is drawing to a close, I have had time to reflect on Year 8. Year 8 has had its ups and downs and twists and turns but it has been one of the best years of my time at St Christopher's. It can be seen as a daunting time, all about exams, passing them, and getting into your choice of school. However, it has been a year of fun too. Most importantly, friendships have been built and developed and the year has continued to feel more and more like a big family. The saddest thing for me will be not seeing my school family every day.
The beginning of the academic year is one of my favourite times. The children are ready for the structure which school brings, excited to see their friends again and ready for the many opportunities to learn and develop which we provide. Those returning are full of energy and enthusiasm and those who are new to school have settled remarkably well.
It was lovely to see so many of you at Sports’ Day and Prize Giving, a day to celebrate the year that has passed, a year in which your children have made extraordinary progress and benefited from rich experiences. The week which has followed has been the busiest of the year. A wonderfully staged production of Les Misérables enabled all of our most senior pupils to feel a part of a resplendent production and many to achieve things they did not think possible.