This is my hundred and first term as a school master and, as with every hundred which came before, I did not sleep the night before. And yet I have thoroughly enjoyed every single one of them. Like your children, I soon grow accustomed to the structure of school life and the rhythms of the school day. It was lovely to see the children back at school, the majority more than ready to see their friends every day, to enjoy the wonders of learning and to engage in their sport, their drama, their music, and the many other activities which make life at school so rich.
The dawn of a new decade has brought thoughts about where your children will be and what they will be doing when the decade ends. Those in Pre-Prep will be at their Senior Schools, many in Middle School will be at university, and our most senior pupils will be starting their first jobs. It is quite a thought and perhaps a reminder that childhood and schooldays are to be valued; they pass all too quickly.
Yesterday morning Harry, our Head of School for the term, spoke about the importance of teamwork, and of working together. It was a mature and reflective address, confidently and eruditely presented and made me feel very proud of the qualities which our most senior pupils show.
He was followed by the introduction to the school of Polo (a dog), the youngest member of our community. She did not totally disgrace herself and the children seemed almost as excited to see her as she was to see them.
I wish you all a very happy and successful decade.