Head’s Lines – 10th December 2021

Prep School
10 Dec 21

For the second half of the Michaelmas Term, we have focused on the Learning Powers of Empathy and Reflection and so it seems appropriate, for my last Head’s Lines of 2021, to reflect on this term and all that has been achieved despite the ongoing, challenging circumstances that we find ourselves in.

Back in September, we were so very hopeful that life would become more normal and, indeed, in many ways, it has with the resumption of many of the key features of SVPS life as well as the end of ‘bubbles’ and ten-day isolation periods for close contacts. On the other hand, there is no denying it has also been far from normal to have so many staff and children off sick for an extended period of time and the way teachers and pupils alike have coped and adapted is extremely impressive. Once again, we have found ourselves grappling with guidance and re-thinking how we do things in an attempt to keep our whole community as safe as possible whilst ensuring the children could keep learning and enjoying all that School life has to offer.

Yesterday, Miss McCarmick, Mr Thomas and I were incredibly fortunate to provide the audience at the Pre-Prep Christmas Nativity productions. We can all safely say that, when the films are released, you really are in for a treat. The children put on three outstanding performances and we were left in no doubt at all that they thoroughly enjoyed every moment of their time on the stage. The fact that the children performed so confidently and with so much enjoyment is a huge credit to their positive approach to all aspects of School life, and also to their teachers who, thanks to the dreaded virus, had very little opportunity to rehearse with a full complement of children. We would also like to thank all our Pre-Prep parents for providing the fabulous costumes – the pupils clearly loved their outfits and every child looked amazing!

The Prep department will turn their minds to the Christmas story next week and we are very much looking forward to seeing the culmination of a huge amount of preparation for our Christmas Carol Concert. Reinventing how we celebrate with carols, for the second year, has been a challenge but once again the children (and staff) have impressed us all with their flexibility and positivity. It will be super to see the Prep parents on the Head’s Lawn on Wednesday afternoon for an outdoor celebration of Christmas. Should the weather let us down, you will still be able to enjoy the stunning singing our Year 3 to 6 children have been working on with so much enthusiasm as we have arranged to have a film made so that families can enjoy some SVPS Christmas magic at home over the break. We also have the Santa Dash to look forward to next week and I would like to take this opportunity to thank our SVPSPA for organising yet another fabulous event. The PA has worked tirelessly this term, arranging so many opportunities for us to get together safely and make some wonderful memories; their efforts really are appreciated by children, parents and staff alike.

Our Learning Power of empathy has been much in evidence in recent days as additional sickness has complicated School life! But there have been so many other examples of compassion and empathy throughout this term and, during our ‘How to make a better world’ themed assemblies, we have spent a lot of time considering what it means to belong to a community and specifically what it means to belong to the SVPS community. On behalf of the whole team, I would to thank all our families for your support of our School family over the course of the last, very busy, four months. The SVPS community continues to live our ethos of ‘each cares for all’, making our School the very special place it is.

I would like to end today’s message by reflecting on the contribution made by the three outstanding teachers who leave us at the end of term. Mr Davey, Mrs Dimmock and Miss McCarmick each leave an incredible legacy and I know that the whole community will join me in wishing them every success and happiness for the future. We will have time, over the course of the next week, to make sure we give them the best send-off possible in these restricted times and I very much look forward to celebrating the festive season with all the staff and children before we head off for the break. So, don’t forget to dust off those Christmas jumpers and to warm up your voices for some hearty carol singing!