It’s a remarkable phenomenon, the growth of the Literature Festival in this country. What a proliferation there has been! You are never more than 50 miles away from a town or city which attracts writers, many of whom want to sell their books. One that is just down the motorway from us is the Cheltenham Festival. In its 70th year, it is in full flow as I write – and attracting huge audiences, not necessarily people who would call themselves bookworms.

Howard Jacobsen, Robert Harris, David Cameron, Sir Alastair Cook, Lenny Henry. They have all been holding packed audiences spellbound on their specialist subjects. And, most important, a large minority of the visitors to the tented village and town hall have been schoolchildren. No fewer than 9,000 in fact.

This reinforces the fact that, despite counter attractions – and particularly ‘the screen’ – reading maintains its popularity. People still enjoy learning through the page, and losing themselves in the unexplored forests of their fertile imaginations.

On that topic, you may imagine how delighted I was that so many parents attended and got much from our Year 3 information morning on the power of reading. At the risk of repeating myself, It is such an important aspect of a child’s makeup. The more they read the more doors they open for themselves. We must work in partnership to ignite, sustain or amplify the love of books – in all of our children.

On the subject of literature, this week it was the turn of Year 5 to enjoy a WOW Shakespearean Day featuring the Scottish Play. The children thoroughly enjoyed the Macbeth experience. It really did allow them to dip their proverbial toe in the water. What better play to do this with!

During a characteristically busy week here, the classes observed in Prep and Pre-Prep are demonstrating a strong work ethic but most importantly enjoying their reading and their learning.

It was great to see so many attend the Pre-Prep parents’ evenings and Year 5’s Senior school talk by Mrs Ayub , and lovely to chat to many parents. Also, as a father, it was gratifying to see the staff having an excellent understanding of what makes our children tick!

On Friday the whole school enjoyed Dr Matt Pritchard’s Science Magic Show. The children and staff were engrossed in the informative production. Again it was an opportunity to see Science come alive.

Exam season is in full flow now. Good luck to the children sitting EHS tomorrow. As we never tire of saying: ‘Believe it! Achieve it!

Mr Noel Neeson | Headmaster