I hope that all of our Kingsley parents, wherever you spent Christmas and the New Year, have had a wonderful time of refreshment and recreation with your families and your friends.

Debs and I loved having all three of our children (and their fiancees/boyfriends) home for the Christmas period. I have learnt how to play “Obama Llama” and “Perudo” (other board games are available!), have eaten far too much, have been on some beautiful long walks with the family and the dog and I even managed to pull together a 1960s-insprired fancy dress outfit for a New Year’s Eve party!

The start of a new calendar year is always exciting and is also accompanied by gradually lightening evenings here in the UK which always helps to give us hope of lovely weather to come later in the year.

Many of us might have been inspired to make some New Year’s resolutions. Quite often, such resolutions focus on things that we feel we could give up: stopping smoking, drinking less alcohol, cutting down on sweets and snacks etc. In my assembly today to the senior school (which is available here if you want to watch it: https://youtu.be/8YRoYKCEBjs) I spoke about developing our sense of spirituality and I also spoke about the importance of “pressing on” (an idea that comes from the book of Philippians in the Bible: “Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus”.)

I gave the pupils the illustration of the achievements of Alton Fitzgerald White, a renowned actor and singer who has just published his autobiography called “My Pride” which reflects on his life story. He had to endure bullying at school, a difficult and impoverished childhood but went on to become the most successful black lead on Broadway, playing the role of Mufasa in “The Lion King” an incredible 4308 times over a ten year period. This was a man determined to succeed and he speaks of each day focusing on “commonplace achievements”.

This idea of pressing on and achieving on a small scale will be my theme for assemblies this term and I hope that some of you will tune in to our YouTube channel each week to watch them.

The students are going to be busy again this term and we aim to provide them with multiple opportunities to see success in “commonplace achievements”.

I look forward to all that the pupils are going to do this term and I hope that many of you will be able to join Debs and myself at Bideford Rugby Club on Saturday 20th January for our annual sponsored match as the Bideford Chiefs take on Drybrook.

Pete Last