It was super to welcome the children back to School on Monday, following their Half Term break, although I think the sudden arrival of winter may have been a bit of a shock to our systems!
It is, however, very definitely bonfire weather and I know we are all looking forward to the annual SVPSPA Bonfire Party that takes place tomorrow evening. The excellent committee has been working hard to ensure this year’s event is as enjoyable as ever and I look forward to seeing many of you up on the field from 5pm onwards. If you haven’t managed to secure your tickets for the Bonfire Party in advance, do come along anyway and buy them on the gate (please note that entry will be via the top gate). This week the children worked really well together to create their guys and, as is the tradition at SVPS, Geoff Betts and Kirsty Hawkins were given the unenviable task of judging the guys during today’s Celebration Assembly. Congratulations to Bodiam for winning the Prep competition with a wonderfully colourful Guy and to 1L for winning the Pre-Prep competition with their stunning version of Guy Fawkes himself!
In staffing news, I am delighted to be able to let you know that we have appointed Mrs Anna Lordon to be our new Director of Music from the start of the Summer term. Mrs Lordon is currently the Head of Junior Music at the Schools at Somerhill and she is extremely familiar with SVPS, both as a parent and as a former member of staff; she is really excited to be returning to the Sutton Valence family. As well as being a very experienced teacher of Music, Mrs Lordon is a graduate of Oxford University with a degree in English and she is an accomplished teacher and performer of the violin.
Senior Choir’s performance in this morning’s assembly was an absolute joy and I know that Mr Moulton is really looking forward to working with all our choirs this term. I am very grateful to Mr Moulton, who will continue to manage the department until Mrs Lordon’s arrival and, indeed, to all our fabulous team of visiting Music teachers all of whom are so committed to their pupils’ musical development.
In other staff news, over Half Term, we heard the happy news that Mr and Mrs Cotton welcomed Wilfred into the world on 22nd October. I know you will join me in congratulating the Cotton family on their new arrival!
In Monday’s assembly, Mr Watkins launched this Half Term’s Learning Powers, Reflection and Empathy. These link well with upcoming events such as Remembrance and Advent and the children are being encouraged to listen carefully, to practise good manners and to be considerate.
This term, I have been very impressed by the children in my Philosophy Club who regularly demonstrate their ability to reflect and to look at things from another person’s point of view. This week we were delighted to welcome a special guest to our Club in the form of Governor, Mr James who is also Head of Felsted Prep School. Mr James really enjoyed meeting the children and even provided some interesting thunks (a question that makes our brain go ouch!) for us to consider. Here are his questions that you could try at home: are a zebra’s stripes black or white? How much does an email weigh?