In both the Pre-Prep and Prep final assemblies I asked the children what their favourite memories were from this very different term. Despite everything Covid-19 related, there is still much to reflect on and remember from this term and the children’s responses were testament to this. Incidentally, the first response was how good Christmas Lunch was!
Way back in September we were able to welcome the Cumulus team and P3 to P8 were able to enjoy the outdoor adventures which were not possible in June. The Pre-Prep enjoyed learning about dinosaurs and enjoyed meeting Teach Rex, a life size dinosaur who visited the Castle.
As well as planned activities we did have some sporadic and rather unplanned events; a good example of this was our Jerusalema Dance around the Castle. This was my highlight of the term quite simply because of the joy it brought to the children’s faces. My dancing was certainly not a highlight!
I must not forget to mention the wonderful Auction in the Autumn event which was organised so brilliantly by Clare Thomas and Cadie Aspray on behalf and with the help of the Parents’ Association. An evening of entertainment with a delicious takeaway cooked by the Birch Restaurant in Stroud and organised by Katie Bonas was so welcomed on a Friday evening in lockdown. The generosity of the school community both in donating lots and then bidding on the various experiences and goodies was overwhelming and to raise over £12,000 is simply magnificent.
We have had to be creative with how we approached certain events. The Pre-Prep and Nursery nativity simply had to happen and after a couple of conversations the idea and concept of a film was developed. I urge you all to spend some time over the holidays watching the film, it is wonderful and shows what can be done with a little bit of creativity and hard work. This was also applied to a number of our Christmas events and it was lovely watching the whole school come together for a festive rendition of the 12 Days of Christmas. The Prep 8 Panto was a superb way to finish the term and the children really got into the spirit of the occasion.
The overwhelming response from the children following my question was how much they enjoyed being with their friends and being at school, which if I am honest is probably the biggest achievement for all of us – keeping safe and enabling the school to remain open.
Sadly we cannot rest on our laurels and still need to follow the guidance throughout the Christmas period, but it is important everyone gets some rest and recharges the batteries and of course spends some precious time with family. I very much look forward to seeing the children in January for the start of what we hope will be a happy and prosperous 2021.
Wishing all our families a very Merry Christmas,
Nigel Reed, Headmaster.