I was so pleased that we were able to play most of our rugby fixtures on Wednesday despite the very wet weather which has left pitches waterlogged. Almost all of our Middle School boys were at Brighton Rugby Club on Wednesday competing against Brighton College Prep School. The standard of play by both schools and at all levels was impressive. It was a pleasure to watch competitive matches being played in such a very good spirit. I am grateful to the many parents who came to support. Our netballers have also played in some successful fixtures. Indeed results and the enthusiasm of our girls of all ages suggest that our netball is in very good shape.

For the first time this winter it is cold and as I write this on a frosty January morning, the playground I look out on has a white sheen on which a number of children are enjoying sliding, just as they should. I gather that in parts of the United States it is genuinely cold with a ‘polar vortex’ causing unimaginable temperatures. How lucky we are in temperate Hove.

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.

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.

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.