As we launch ourselves into the final half of the Michaelmas term, we cannot help but be delighted by the energy and enthusiasm that our children have brought back with them after their October break. The stories they have told – and their excitement – testify to the enriching experiences that they had during their time off.

This week has been particularly poignant as we have gathered to remember The Fallen. Years 2 and 3 came together for a beautiful service, and Mrs West delivered a talk that left us all deep in reflection. 

It was a pleasure to witness the impeccable behaviour and maturity displayed by our young students during this occasion; something that served as a reminder of the values that we strive to instil in them.

Our senior students in Years 4, 5, and 6 marked Friday’s Remembrance Service with appropriate respect. The Chapel was filled with a sense of reverence as prayers were offered, and spine-tingling moments shared. The recital of ‘Flanders’s Fields’ by our Heads of School and an anthem performed by the Chapel Choir, accompanied by a trumpeter playing the last post, created a memorable experience – a moment where we remembered those who gave their lives. I would also like to convey my thanks to Mr Bailey for an inspirational talk. The children were truly influenced by your knowledge and passion.

Doubtless, the thoughts of others, like mine, will have been invaded by images from the current conflict in Gaza. And another association for me, every second week in November, is Joan Littlewood’s play, ‘Oh What A Lovely War’. The songs pull at the heartstrings, and titles such as ‘Whoops, There Goes A Whizz Bang‘ recall a time when young men voluntarily falsified their age to sign up for battle.

On the subject of whizz bangs – albeit less lethal ones than those WW1 low calibre, high velocity shells – our Friends’ committee will this evening be hosting the annual fireworks extravaganza. A lot of effort has gone into planning this event, and we hope to see you there. Here is a fantastic opportunity to come together as a community and enjoy a family occasion.

Spectacular in a different style was Mr. Newman’s colourful lecture to Year 4 on the Spanish Armada. The feedback from our budding historians was overwhelmingly positive, and it raised the idea of us having a lecture series for parents in the future. This is a concept that we are considering, and we would love to hear your thoughts. 

Both Prep and Pre-Prep pupils celebrated the rich tapestry of cultures in our School this week. For Years 3 and 5, the Diwali Dance workshop supported their Religious Studies curriculum, while Nursery and Reception’s Wow Days on the festivals of Diwali and Bonfire Night formed part of the understanding of the world curriculum. This immersive experience allowed them to gain a deeper understanding of these fantastic celebrations. It was heartening to see.

As we move forward, please spare a thought for our Year 6 children who will be sitting the Solihull School 11+ entrance exam tomorrow. We have received favourable feedback from other institutions, and we hope for another successful year. Your support and encouragement during this important time is greatly appreciated.

Lastly, if you find yourself with some free time on Saturday afternoon, please consider coming to watch our girls and rugby boys take on The Downs, the Prep School to Malvern College, in Hockey and Rugby fixtures respectively. Your presence will undoubtedly inspire our younger pupils.

We wish you all a happy and restful weekend.