Assemblies are a lovely time to observe the children in numbers together in their red blazers gazing wide eyed at an interesting or inspiring speaker from within or outside the school. Often I ponder that each and every one of them has a lifetime to explore and see a world that is worth exploring, to think and learn about things worth learning and to forge those very strong friendships which are well worth forging.

Parents’ Association Meetings are always a reminder to me of the amount done by parents in support of the school and to bring our community together. On Tuesday evening its members met to discuss a variety of planned events. I do hope that many of you are coming to the Quiz Night on 2nd February, always a very jolly social occasion and not too fiercely competitive. A committee is now in place for the Spring Fair on 28th April, one of the big events of the school calendar and a lovely way to bring pupils, old boys and girls, parents and teachers together. I hope that you will not only pen the date in your diaries but that some will consider helping with one of the stalls. The committee is looking for volunteers and the success of the events really does depend on us all mucking in.

It has been a busy week and I think all will be ready for the Christmas break, a time to spend with family and friends, to reflect, an opportunity to celebrate the birth of Christ. This morning was a chance to celebrate some of the achievements of the children over the week and over the term, collective and individual. Not all can be named individually in a Newsletter or in an Assembly but it was lovely to see the enthusiasm with which those who had not won an award applauded those who had.

As the end of our second week back at school draws near, the days are already lengthening. It will be no time at all before the school day starts in daylight and ends in light. I have been visited in my study already by countless children with their commended work; it is a great joy to see the pride they take in their achievement. It also gives me a welcome opportunity to see the range and variety of work being done across the school and the excellent progress that individuals in every year are making.

I have been delighted with the response of our children to our initiative to support ‘The Clock Tower Sanctuary’ and I am very grateful to the many parents whose support enabled us to send a large assortment of donations. These will be distributed to those who are most in need over Christmas. Earlier in the week, a delegation of our pupils visited the offices of The Sanctuary. They were described thus by those from the charity who welcomed them: ‘Your pupils were total stars. Not only was their behaviour exemplary but they were bright eyed and really engaged with the visit. In short, they were a real joy’.