A relative of mine, a youngster at the time of the Cuban Missile Crisis, was convinced that an atomic bomb was going to fall while he was playing in a soccer match on that ultimatum day in October 1962. Not only that, he believed that it would drop right into the centre circle of the pitch in Derbyshire.

How hard it is for all of us to engage responsibly and positively in the world of politics without becoming either fearful of the fanatic or drained of empathy by the constant tales of woe.

Even allowing for media hype, Donald Trump is a man who appears to be consistent only in his inconsistency. As he is inaugurated in Washington today, young and old alike trust that nuclear war is not – and will never be – on the new President’s agenda and that he can unite a country which seems to be dangerously divided.

Let us hope in the words of Franklin D. Roosevelt, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” Furthermore let us paraphrase the JFK doctrine here, asking not what our School can do for us but rather what we can do for our School…starting with a determination to have fun and to commit ourselves wholeheartedly to every activity.

Talking of which, this week saw some House matches for netball and soccer take place. Not only was there a great deal of excitement, the skill and passion on display was great to see. Thank you to all the parents who came to support.

Observing some lessons in Prep this week proved a very positive and productive experience. This is a collaborative process which gives us the chance to reflect on and evaluate our practices. It also allows me to celebrate outstanding professionalism while supporting staff in their work. A special thank you to all staff and children for their enthusiasm and input.

I enjoyed meeting many Year 5 parents on Wednesday to discuss the transfer to Senior school and the preparation for forthcoming exams. Can I reinforce that this process needs to be linked to your child’s particular learning needs. However, be assured, we will continue to work tirelessly to ensure the best outcomes for your children. I will send all Year 5 parents a copy of the presentation, and a letter notifying you of your ‘guiding’ member of staff will be sent after half term.

On the music front, we are eagerly looking forward to the visit to York in March. Can I remind the parents of our Chapel Choristers to attend the information talk next Thursday 26 January at 16.45pm (a change from the printed calendar).

Prep parents, you will have received a letter from Mr Nicklin informing you of our new music competition. This is an opportunity for children in Years 3 – 6 to compete for their House. Please encourage your child to join in. Next term we will see the introduction of the House Shout! This is a whole House Choir competition which allows us to show the talents of all the children in our Houses and to give them a chance to shine. More information later on that.

Finally, may I take this opportunity to ask all parents to join me at the Friends’ Quiz night on Friday 3rd February. Tickets are on sale now, from Reception. A competitive evening it promises to be – with a few surprises! Please do not be put off by the fact that I have acquired the services of ‘Jeremy Paxman’ on my team!

As always, do keep an eye on the calendar. We have a busy week ahead on all fronts!

Noel Neeson | Headmaster