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A fantastic start to the new academic year!

What a fantastic start it has been to the new academic year! We began the week as a staff in liturgy praying for a successful year and reflecting on our role as stewards in God’s creation. Just as we are stewards of the young men and women in our care. There was a tangible buzz amongst the staff as we took some time to celebrate the fantastic academic success of the year just gone.

On Wednesday, the new Year 7 arrived looking slightly timid but incredibly smart in their new school uniforms. At assembly, I told them that if they wanted to get the most out of Challoner they should get involved in school life. Whether they are sportsman, musicians, actors or something else there are plenty of opportunities for them to express their talents and try new things. They clearly listened as nearly 100 boys stayed behind after school on Friday for the football trials and half the year group came in on Saturday morning for the Year 7 House rugby. It was fiercely fought but Becket & Columba ended up joint winners – many congratulations.

Thursday saw the arrival of Years 8 to 11 and suddenly, as if summer was a distant memory, school life was in full swing. I must congratulate the boys on their fantastic appearance and wonderful attitude over the first two days. Standing on the stage in full school assembly looking out over a sea of heads is a wonderful sight to behold and can’t help but make you proud.

The Sixth Form will join us on Monday eager to start their studies or finish their final year with a flourish. All schools are at their best when they are full of students and on Monday there will be just under 1000 students striving diligently and mixing harmoniously as they go about day to day life at Challoner.

One of my favourite jobs as Head is to stand at the gate at the end of the day and say goodbye to the students (and make sure they are looking smart for the journey home). It’s always nice to receive a happy smile and a cheerful ‘goodbye’ or ‘have a nice evening sir’. It’s a good way of finishing the day before sitting down with a coffee and thinking about the next one!

As first weeks of a Headship go I couldn’t be happier. Long may it continue!