“To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe.” Anatole France. What a beautiful quotation to finish the term.

It is also a really apt quotation given that as well as spending time with family and friends over the next four weeks, catching up on much needed sleep, keeping up with sport etc… our Year 11 and Year 13 students come back and face the prospect of mock exams. Some students have even got IGCSE maths on the first day of next term. A real need therefore to act, dream, plan and believe.

This term is always a really long term, not helped by the fact that the closer we get towards the end, the darker it is in the mornings and afternoons, the colder it is all the time and the more we want to get away from everybody, find some much needed space, rest and relaxation. I talked to some of the Year 13 students last Friday and then the whole school about this in assembly. This last week is always difficult. People are tired, tempers are frayed, emotions run high and we are crawling to the end.

It has, nevertheless, been a most successful term, with great learning, humour, progress and support in evidence all over school. There are times, of course, where things are said which should not be said, but once it is out, it’s too late. Remember the quotation-act, dream, plan, believe. It is so important to keep a sense of perspective, although often very difficult, especially when dealing with emotive subjects, emotions and tough decisions.

We have a four-week break now which is time to recharge the batteries, regain that sense of perspective and plan for the coming term. We all need a break, but we must make sure that things keep ticking over. For our EAL students, it is essential to practise English during this month-use it or lose it! For exam classes, essential revision will need to take place. For all other students, keeping up with prep, wider reading, learning and revision are really important.

The theme of the week is actually Christmas, although I am not sure if the quotation expresses this well. However, I would like to leave you with my 3 favourite Christmas songs:

1 Song to sing along with, 1 song to dance to and finally 1 song to make you cry

At least that is the effect they have on me!

Have a wonderful holiday wherever you are in the world. Enjoy the break and some family time. Don’t forget to pop in and see us if you are in the area

Best Wishes

Chris Randell