This would normally be a point of term when we would have a host of activities going on – shows, fixtures, trips and visits – which we unfortunately cannot have for this year. There is no harm in pausing for a moment to reflect upon this and noting that we miss these vital elements of our school as we will appreciate them even more when they return - which they will do with real momentum when the time is right. In the meantime we adapt to the virtual, socially distanced world and celebrate what we can achieve in this context.

I wrote last week about the Merchant Taylors’ Livery Awards Competition which was held on Monday and it was an excellent event. Our team of Sixth Form students didn’t win but that didn’t matter – they had come together as a team, worked hard, listened to advice and guidance and presented very impressively indeed. It was a great experience for them and we are very proud of them. As ever, we must thank the Merchant Taylors’ Company for their support for our school and in particular the mentors who worked with the team, Tim and Philip. We are already looking forward to next year’s competition.

In a similar vein, the Amnesty International Write for Rights campaign has taken place this week and the maturity and conviction of our Year 11 and Sixth Form students have been very clear. With young people like these, the future is positive for all of us.

Christmas is coming into view and next Friday we have our Christmas-themed non-uniform day in aid of Aspire, an Oxford-based charity. Our student leadership group are organising the day and have a done a great job; they have particularly focused on the Christmas Face Mask competition and we look forward to judging the entries. We are also supporting local charity Play 2 Give with their Sleigh 2 Give campaign and toys and donations have already been arriving in school for this very worthwhile cause. Details of both events have already been circulated to parents and carers and are available through our social media channels.

It’s drizzly, dark and cold but after everything that 2020 has thrown at us it remains wonderful to be together as a school community and we look forward with hope and optimism.