It doesn’t seem a day since we were breaking up for the October half-term and here we are again ready for our well-deserved Christmas holiday.

The trips that went out during that October break were hugely successful – the Hockey tour to Holland was great, the Classics trip to Greece was wonderful, and the History trip to Washington and New York was an incredible cultural and educational experience; I should know – I was there! Girls on each of these trips behaved impeccably and were as ever, a credit to the school.

If I had to use one word to describe this most recent term, it would probably have to be ‘entertaining’ because that’s what it has felt like. Of course it has been busy academically with a rush of participants for blog-inventour ‘taster’ days, and with the girls working really hard in all of their lessons and reaping successes in various competitions, inside school and out. We’ve had girls doing really well in poetry contests, in the EMACT Latin and Greek reading competition, and scooping first prize in the GDST Invent competition, which is fantastic. I have to also mention that for the second year running, we were the most successful school for D of E completions in the region with many, many girls collecting their awards. This goes to show what an amazing job Miss Lynn does with our Outdoor Learning initiatives for which we are incredibly grateful.

But being the term leading up to Christmas, it has been the entertainment in all its many and varied manifestations that has really stood out. Our girls are so confident, talented and funny, and they never pass up an opportunity to perform. This is great for them and for everybody who gets to see and hear them, but it’s not just the entertainment value that is remarkable, it is often the selfless acts of charity and caring that truly So much of the entertainment that has taken place over the past couple of months has also been in aid of charity, particularly the busking around the city centre and at children’s wards of the QMC – what a lovely thing to do; well done and thank you girls, and Mr Rolfe for his endless enthusiasm and motivation. And of course there was our annual Christmas party for local senior citizens which was very well attended and enjoyed this year, especially by Jean Aram who is an alumna of the school and recently celebrated her 100th birthday! This is always such a heartwarming event and the Sixth Form girls were exceptional in their care and attention of our special guests.

blog-haySo, from the brooding GCSE Drama productions to the array of magical Christmas musical and vocal performances, and from the glittering EYFS angels and tea-towelled Sleepy Shepherd, to the KS1 cowgirls and the Prickly Hay, we have been well and truly entertained. The Sixth Form of course also had us in stitches with their Sixth Form Entertainment – a good humoured nod to many unsuspecting staff members, mentioning no names!

These various events have taken place in all sorts of locations from the School Halls to atmospheric churches, but perhaps most exciting of all has been the fact that our brand new performing arts centre – the space – is finally good to go, and we permitted the Sixth Form to be the first to use it for their Christmas entertainment. I am so excited about this new venture. It’s been a long haul and a lot of hard work, and it’s taken some very generous fundraising and unwavering support to get us to this stage. blog-pacThe girls have finally been able to see inside and are understandably, completely blown away, as was I on my first visit. It is phenomenal, and such a fantastic addition to the school and the community – a fitting place for the nurturing and encouragement of future talent. Of course, the official opening is yet to happen in 2017 and promises to be something pretty special, so keep a look out for news of further developments.

With that, let me say welcome back to Year 9 and staff who have just returned from the German Christmas markets trip, and wish you all a very happy Christmas break. I hope you all have a chance to relax with your families and enjoy the festivities of the season together, ready to take on all of the excitement on the horizon for the new year.