The new term has certainly started with a bang. Only three days in and already we have had our first tea party, parents’ meeting and family camping trip. The children have settled back into the routine of school life as if they had never been away and those who have joined this term are finding their feet very quickly. There is a wonderful atmosphere around the school and it really is good to be back!

45 people spent the night under canvas on Friday when Year 6, their brothers, sisters, parents and one dog enjoyed a night under the stars, cooking over the fire pit in the Forest HQ, having a swim, completing a quiz around the site and generally having a great deal of fun. The rain overnight certainly did not dampen anyone’s spirits and after a simple breakfast we broke camp by 10.00 on Saturday morning and the area behind the chapel, that had become a tented village the night before, was transformed from a hive of activity to a sleepy hollow.

It is Year 3’s turn next, with their family camp, in two weeks’ time. Then the tents are packed away until the summer term, when Years 4 and 5 will each have a family camping evening and the top three year groups will also have a camping night on their own (with some teachers present, of course!)

We are all gradually getting used to our new canteen system in the dining hall. The combi ovens that we have invested in over the holidays have seen a significant improvement to the quality and the variety of food that we are able to offer our children and I am very grateful to Mrs McMahon and the catering team for all of the hard work that they have put in to master a completely different style of cooking in a very short space of time.

Finally I am continuing my quest to extend the range of after-school activities that we offer to the children. In particular I would like to introduce chess, fencing and a martial art. My searches have so far been fruitless, but if anyone knows of someone who might be able to help us out with these, or anything else that may be of interest to the children, do please let me know. I would like to give them the opportunity to try as many different experiences as possible as they move through the school and all ideas and suggestions will be vey gratefully received.

Jerry Gear