What a roller coaster of a week at Kingsley, going from Remembrance to Children in Need, with our incredible public speaking competition in between.

During our remembrance assembly on Wednesday, I spoke about my great uncle who was killed during the Battle of the Somme in July 1916, and my memories of visiting his grave in Northern France. I wanted to share with our students how the lives of very ordinary families, like mine, can be affected by war, and how important it is to continue to remember the young men and women who have died in the service of their country. You can view the assembly on our YouTube channel: https://youtu.be/xoBLilz5x78

My warmest congratulations to the participants in our public speaking competition. The standard of entries was very high, with every speaker talking with passion about their chosen topic. I was so impressed with the diversity of issues raised. Every speaker was very well prepared, with a wealth of well researched and well-presented factual information which was very cleverly crafted into making a balanced argument, before reaching an impassioned conclusion. Particularly noteworthy was the self-assurance and presence which each speaker exuded in their talks. It is wonderful to see such confident, articulate young people take the floor. They all should be very proud of themselves for the very high standard of their work. I would also like to thank Miss Makepeace for her hard work in bringing the event together in a new way to allow all to participate without breaking COVID-19 security rules.

Thank you for your support of our spots and stripes day supporting the BBC’s Children in Need day. I said last week that I was hoping for a bit of fun around school in these difficult times; I’m grateful to every family who has dug out a pair of Pudsey ears or decorated an item of clothing. There is certainly a buzz around school which is good to see on a cold November day in the middle of a national lockdown!

As I expected, there seems to be moves afoot to change the exam season for next summer. Wales has already announced that they have cancelled public exams next summer, and I assume other home nations will follow suit. We will communicate with you as soon as we know if changes are announced and do our best to support our students through this new landscape.

Finally, parents should feel very proud of the way their children continue to adapt during these times.  At school there is a real sense of purposefulness and drive with everyone working together as a united community. Without doubt, I am sure all of our spirits have been lifted by the news that a vaccine may well be available in the New Year.

Mrs Gill Jackson