The rain came at the wrong time for our very short Remembrance Service for the Pre-Prep. Nonetheless, the children showed admirable fortitude as they planted their poppies and were very thoughtful for ones so young. Their service ended with the song ‘Peace, Perfect Peace…’, so poignant from the mouths of the very young. Earlier this morning the Mayor of Brighton and the Lord Lieutenant of East Sussex joined us for the Prep School Service and the silence in which we shared two minutes of reflection.

Mr Sloan, a Senior Deputy Head at Brighton College spoke to the pupils this morning about moral courage, making the very clear definition between moral and physical. His words were well received by the pupils, who engaged fully with his strong message. As are many guest speakers, Mr Sloan was highly impressed by the natural warmth of the children, by their courtesy and good manners and by their forthcoming response. It gives me great pleasure that visitors to the school note qualities in the pupils which teachers place great store by and which are embedded in all that we are trying to do at St Christopher’s.

Today we have been celebrating ‘World Smile Day’ and some of our senior pupils handed out stickers during breaks to those who were making others smile. It is but a small part of a reward system we have which places kindness and generosity of spirit at the very heart of school life. More than anything else, I want a culture of kindness to be embedded at St Christopher’s and I believe that it is. Our ‘Random Act of Kindness’ wristbands, our Citizenship awards and our Buddy system are visual reminders of this culture.

As Half Term rapidly approaches, it is worth reflecting on the beginning of the academic year and all that has happened since the gates opened for the start of term on Thursday, 30th August. Our new Reception classes have settled remarkably well, as have other children new to the school, many children have taken great joy from their learning, there has been a full programme of sports fixtures and activities, presentations, celebrations, trips galore, recitals and services. Life at St Christopher’s is never dull and the school is always busy. Your children will be ready for their half term when the gates close next Tuesday evening and staff will be too.

Harvest Festival is one of my favourite services. I thoroughly enjoy watching the children leave the school, a wave of red blazers, I am very grateful that so many parents join us at St Philip’s Church and I count us very lucky to have the support and friendship of Father Robert (Chaplain to Brighton College) who engages so very well with the children and leaves us all with rather a warm feeling.