How often have we heard – and indeed made use of – the expression, “Do as I say, not as I do”? It may be when we have just been late for a meeting, chewing a crafty Mars Bar and have found ourselves advocating the advantages of healthy eating, punctuality and thoughtful behaviour.

Well this week, we heard from somebody who put his mouth where his legs and lungs are, and speaking in a way that made somebody even as old as me think seriously about rediscovering my long-discarded shorts and trainers. I would like to thank Mr Harrison heartily for Wednesday’s inspirational Prep assembly on running, and for highlighting the importance of health-related fitness. Please see the article below – I recommend it to all my readers! As I say, Mr Harrison is practising exactly what he has preached. He is well into serious training for the upcoming Bournemouth and Brighton Marathons later this year. But he is not alone in his determination to enjoy the fruits of his energy expenditure. I commend Mr Hill for completing the Great North Run last weekend and all our children who attend Park Run on a Sunday morning. It is a great way to start your week as a family and would encourage all children and parents to come along and join the fun.

It has certainly been an inspiring week, and I have had so many positive comments from children and parents about the co-curricular programme that has been drawn up by Mr Newman (who must have been in the frame for Captain’s Ryder Cup call up). One parent even suggested that our provision rivalled a Senior School for opportunities. Rich praise indeed. Thank you, Mr Newman, for your efforts.

Mrs James visited my study last week full of the joys of autumn after she had conducted her first Year group assembly. This is a great addition to the pastoral life of the School and really builds a close knit community. The Year Four children very much enjoyed Mrs James’ input. It was wonderful to see our year group leaders fully empowered and leading by example. These assemblies are an excellent way to celebrate success in and out of school.

The Prep information mornings were very informative. I would encourage parents to read Mrs Palmeri letter regarding the assessment process for this academic year. She and I want to be 100% clear and transparent about your child’s progress and we believe that through the new reporting structure this will be achieved. You will receive this letter from Mrs Palmeri shortly. Do please read it carefully.

Academically, the 11+ has passed, and now we are heading to the Independent round of exams. The children in Year 6 are trying incredibly hard and should be commended for their work ethic. Incidentally, I have invited a Senior School Head to come and talk to Year 4 & 5 parents in November about the  assessment process and the changes in Senior School Education. Dates and timings will follow later this month but I would encourage parents to come along.

Last Friday parents, staff and children enjoyed an excellent lecture from Alex Hibbert, the Polar Explorer. It was absolutely fascinating and the children asked some searching questions. I was reminded of the occasion when a fire officer invited a group of very young ones to ask him anything at the end of his school talk on incendiary matters. One little boy raised his hand. “Yes, Sonny?” said the officer, with an warm and encouraging smile. “Please mister. Why did my hamster die?” But seriously, these visitor talks and presentations expand the children’s minds and feed their imaginations. I would encourage parents to come along to the next instalment after Christmas. Further details in due course.

On Monday Mr Nicklin and his merry band will be putting on a Summer Soirée in the School Hall. It promises to be a lovely evening of music. Please come along. Tickets are available from reception.

The Friends have asked me to remind Parents that they will be holding their AGM on Thursday 27th September, at 7pm, in the School Hall. Please come and support this, too. If you like to join the committee or just help with certain events, we would be really grateful.

Finally, just a couple of reminders. Can I ask parents not to book holidays during term time, and to remember that we are a dog-free site. Term time breaks have a detrimental effect on your children’s education.

Thank you for your support in the above matters. Do have a good weekend!