On Wednesday afternoon I thoroughly enjoyed refereeing the Under 9 Football matches against Bede’s Preparatory School. Both teams played with real determination and the team work was very encouraging, testimony to the excellent coaching provided by Mr Flynn. The golden moment for me, however, came from an individual triumph. The substitute for the B team came on at half time with his team one goal down. He scored not just once but twice to play an instrumental part in the win. His celebrations were as joyful as the reaction of his team mates. Such individual triumphs live in the memory long after children have left school. I don’t usually allow the excessive celebration sometimes seen in top grade support but in this case I felt it could be forgiven. I know that Ocean’s individual triumph and the success of the two Under 9 teams is just an example of many others but it was a particularly touching example. Next week I am planning to support some of the girls’ teams.

I spoke today to a Year 5 girl about work that had been commended. She had put together a video showing very imaginatively an experiment her mother had filmed at home using litmus paper to test for acid and alkali. It illustrated the fun that learning is and reminded me that our parents play a major part in nurturing that sense of curiosity which children have. Dot’s pride was tangible as was the pleasure she gained from licking the sugar which tested neutral. Commendations for equally imaginative and conscientious work were acknowledged this morning in Celebration Assembly.

Today our very impressive Year 8 pupils passed out of the school gates for the last time as pupils of St Christopher’s. They are ready for their senior schools, though St Christopher’s will always be a part of them and they, in turn, have left their mark. This morning in Assembly they passed on wise advice for those they leave behind. They encouraged them to rejoice in their individuality, to value and support their friends, to read often and widely, to avoid standing still and to celebrate difference. A short film was then shown of their Leavers’ Trip to Dorset. It suggested another parting message, that life and childhood should be full of awe and fun.


There are subtle differences at the start of any new academic year with an intake of new pupils, a new cohort at the top of the school and new teachers joining. All of them will make their mark just as those who have left made their mark. However, as St Christopher’s begins its 90th year there is the same sense of nervousness, anticipation, and excitement that always accompanies the arrival of the children on the first day. I would like to thank you all for making sure they arrived looking so very smart and so very well prepared.

It has been a week of bright blue skies and soaring temperatures. Usually children wilt in the heat but ours have shown great fortitude and simply got on with things as children will when busy and engaged. The Pre-Prep Beach Morning, the Year 5 trip to the Seven Sisters’ Country Park, successful fixtures, Teddy Bear Picnics, rehearsals and plenty of exciting work in the classroom have kept the children very gainfully and richly occupied as we move towards the final week of the term.