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Where Did February Go?

I have blinked and it is March! Where on earth did February go? My level of tiredness tells me that it has happened but it seems to have passed by at an alarming rate. Let’s just take last week shall we, for last week sums up February for this year.

It all started with Poetry Recital Week. During half term everybody (well in the 3-7 aged category of the school community) was required to learn a poem to recite in their classroom. How can a 3 year old do this I hear you ask? Remarkably well is the answer. Everyone knows a Nursery Rhyme and a 3 year old can recite one with ease but some of our Nursery children surpassed even that and learnt a new poem for the occasion. Following a classroom performance certificates were awarded to all and 3 from each class were put through to the Highly Commended Poetry Assembly  on Wednesday in front of the school and 3 nominated for the Grand Poetry Final on Thursday. There I shall pause because in the midst of Poetry Week something special happened.

Tuesday was Shrove Tuesday which meant only one thing. The whole school donned trainers and House T shirts and headed outside for The Great House Pancake Relay Race. The main school ran first cheered on by Nursery and Pre-Reception who waved their House  flags and cheered their teams on as the Houses sprinted down the course flipping pancakes in their own frying pans aglow with colour and laughter in the winter sunshine. The little ones then swapped in with frying pans as big as they are and the rest of the school cheered them on enthusiastically. Every child in the school takes part and does so with absolute delight.

So, back to poetry. On Wednesday a stage was erected in the Hall with a microphone and stage lights and in front of the whole school our tiny stars stood up and recited their poem with confidence and pride. There isn’t a dry eye in the house when staff watch children who were too shy to speak when they started school, take to the stage like a professional and beam from ear to ear as the applause begins.

On Thursday our Chair of Governors Helen Crossley plus another guest Governor Steve Mainstone sat behind a table of prizes in front of the stage for the Grand Poetry Recital Final but the sight of both seemed to inspire not terrify our young performers and the quality of the morning was declared to be better than ever. The audience were charmed and mesmerised by the rich variety of poetry on show and the fearless and comical contributions. It was a magical morning.

And suddenly it is Friday and a coach has arrived because it is the day of The Independent Schools Association (ISA) first National A Cappella Competition. We love music at St Christopher’s and when I heard about this exciting initiative I rang to ask if there was an age limit for entry. Upon hearing that it was open to all we set about teaching 9 Year 2 children a stunning piece: ‘Song of Peace partnered with Dona Nobis Pacem’ complete with movement and on Friday we headed off with confidence to Reading to do our best. The event was amazing. Children considerably older than us from all over the country including Derby, Portsmouth and Shrewsbury stepped up on the stage and gave exceptional performances. The judges knew a thing or two about competitions. They had won the BBCs Naked Choir Competition with Gareth Malone and they took their judging roles very seriously. Imagine our joy when we won ‘Most Engaging Performance’ and our tiny troupe headed up on stage to collect their well-deserved certificate.

So that was last week. As one member of staff who joined the school in September said to me, any one of the above would have been a term’s dream for her last school let alone the excitement every single day! And, that was just one week of February! Have a look at our website News for other highlights including a magnificent day at Kidzania on the 5th!  It is a wonderful school to be part of and now it is March what lies ahead? Well, next week it is ‘World Book Day’ and the following week it is our annual Music Festival with 200 guests. Today I am closing the calendar and will not look beyond that but smile and keep my feet up for the day to regain my energy for the excitement and delight that March will surely bring.

Annie Thackray