The first School Assembly of the term was led by our Head of School, Holly P. Holly used a story about mature elephants in Sri Lanka to illustrate a point. She informed us that these elephants were tied by a very thin rope from which they could easily break free never did. The reason for this: they had been tied as very young elephants with the same rope, failed to break from it when young and so stopped trying. There was a lesson for all of us about perseverance which Holly went on to explain and illustrate with considerable poise.

The Hall floor was infested by mice yesterday evening, not real mice but toy ones into which some of our Year 6 children had turned. The Year 6 production of Roald Dahl’s ‘The Witches’ was all that a Prep School play should be: imaginative production combined with the children’s natural enthusiasm to result in a really entertaining play full of accomplished performances and enjoyed by all. My thanks to the big team that ensured it was such a success but particular thanks to Hayley Moore for her flair and energy in directing.

A book is like a door, that of a wardrobe in C.S. Lewis’ wonderful Narnia tales. It is a door into the minds of others, into other cultures and places, into the past and the future. This is the analogy used by Chris Riddell, our visiting children’s author and illustrator and one which was developed by Nicky Singer, another of our visiting authors. She also highlighted the importance of storytelling, using one of her own stories. During their double act, another children’s author, Will Mabbitt, was entertaining our youngest children. Children love stories and they should be encouraged to write them, to tell them, to read them and to listen to them. I am confident that they were inspired by our three visitors today.

I write this having just waved Year 5 (and the Headmaster) off to France. I am sure they will have a fantastic time putting their spoken French to good use in real life situations. My thanks to the staff accompanying them; please remember to bring us back some cheese for the Staff Room! It has been a typically busy week, with sporting success for the IAPS Girls (fingers crossed for the Finals today in Essex), Year 4 at Fishbourne Roman Palace, and the delightful Year 2 production of Dick Whittington.

Look at Britain’s finest, proudest independent schools. They recognise that success in the examination hall goes hand-in-hand with success on the rugby pitch; that resilience in maths is strengthened by resilience in the gymnasium; that playing characters in drama is enhanced by building character through physical endeavour.