With our eagerly-awaited Sportathon less than 24 hours away, I am loath to keep any early readers of this column from their individually tailored training schedules. However, before you slip into the lycra and back onto the Peloton for a light final session, I thought I might regale you with what your children have been achieving as a result of their own training and determination.

Last Sunday morning eight of our Year 5 and Year 6 children travelled hopefully west to Malvern College for the National Cross Country event. And how happily they returned! The Under 11 girls came seventh out of 45 Schools and 189 competitors, while the Under 11 boys surpassed their own expectations by finishing second overall. Considering that the prestigious event included the likes of Millfield, The Dragon School and Sedbergh College, this is a magnificent result. Some of the boys and girls had never run before they joined the school: one lad said he could not believe how he has grown to love running since joining the cross country club. Such a result surely reinforces the belief that, if you put your mind to it, something hugely satisfying can be gained. I must congratulate the sports staff, and in particular Mr Melia and Mr Gregory, for the hard work and time given to the children to support their love of cross country.

Tomorrow’s running at the Sportathon will be much less arduous. However, if you and your family have not booked a slot for this 300th Birthday event, please do come along and support. In aid of the Edward’s Trust, it promises to be a great morning.

Overall this week, the children have enjoyed representing the school in a variety of teams for netball and football, as well as swimming in a wonderful gala against Warwick School. The Year 3 and 4 children impressed me greatly, showing a whole-hearted attitude and commendable sportsmanship.

With so much depressing and disturbing news coming out of Ukraine, it behoves us to make the most of any opportunity to build tolerance and understanding. Children benefit from having an understanding of all religions, and this week Year 5 enjoyed a visit to the Synagogue, as part of their Judaism studies. A very worthwhile visit will have broadened minds and enhanced the children’s learning in a practical way.

I would like to commend Erin, Nandini, Riah and James, in Year 6 for gaining second place in the National Reading Quiz. Quite an achievement. It was a challenging competition but once again our children grasped the opportunity. It does reinforce my firm belief that reading is the key to success on many fronts. I would also like to remind you that entries for Mrs Ayub’s World Book Day competition should be sent in by next Friday, 17th Jan. 

In Pre-Prep, performing arts were to the fore. A memorable Year 2 recital saw the children playing with vigour and creativity. I commend them all for their efforts.

Pre-Prep were excited when the West End Theatre Company came to visit. With retellings of Jack and the Beanstalk, Stickman and Matilda, the children loved the day and got so much from it. Thank you to Mr Robinson for organising the event.

On the music front, this weekend Mr Nicklin and Miss Akehurst gear up for the heats of Young BCS Musician of the Year. With auditions lined up for this Saturday and Sunday, we look forward to another great celebration of music here.

With so much to look forward to and to celebrate, I would like to say a massive thank you to everyone for their hard work. I know how much my totally committed staff appreciate the efforts of the children. And vice versa!

Noel Neeson