The Autumn term has been a curious combination of looking backwards whilst also being forward-looking. No mean feat, but we love and respect our school traditions and constantly seek ways in which to improve and to innovate.
We welcomed in our latest recruits into our Pre-School and Reception classes and they have, as ever, quickly settled into life at LPH. Of course, among the exuberance and the joy that comes at the start of every new year, we took time to reflect on the passing of Her Late Majesty. We did so in an age-appropriate way throughout the school, and also in a way that celebrates the service she offered throughout her reign.
We launched our very first Mowden Cup tournament for co-ed sports teams and it was a joy to see these U11 footballers play with such great spirit and determination. It was fitting not only to name this brand-new competition after the original school here but also to have former owner and Head Master Chris Snell along to spectate and to award the cup to this term’s winners, Copthorne Prep. The girls rose to the challenge of co-ed football with great feistiness and enthusiasm, and we are looking forward to the U13 boys getting to grips with netball in in the Spring term competition!
Our traditions continued with a fabulous firework display to mark bonfire night, organised by the LPH PTA, and a fine time was had by all. Our Remembrance service prayers were led by our new Chaplain, Fr Justin. We were delighted that Mr Snell was able to join us there too and add his reflections to our commemoration, along with poems and stories read beautifully by the children. The themes of kindness, principles and bravery and their importance during the second World War shone through powerfully and these were very much in our thoughts at the 11am silence.
November brought darker evenings and flung daily deluges at us. I cannot commend highly enough the resilience of pupils, and staff, who withstood the elements for break times and sports fixtures (where these were possible) with cheerful, if a trifle damp, smiles. It was rather unkind of the high winds to damage the roof of one of our smaller buildings, which necessitated some rapid room re-allocations as we assessed the damage. Again the pupils and staff took the changes in their stride and adapted quickly to lessons being moved around the school.
Just as we were wondering what else might be thrown our way this term, we received ‘The Call’ from the Independent Schools Inspectorate, announcing a combined Compliance and Educational Quality inspection. They spent three days at school focusing on our provision and our wonderful pupils, who were, as I would expect, great ambassadors for everything we do at LPH. I am not permitted to comment publicly at present on the outcome of the inspection but I am very much looking forward to sharing the report once it is published early in 2023.
The end of term arrived in a flurry of our traditional Christmas celebrations, house tree decorating competitions, feasts, nativities, Christingles and carol services. Our ‘Love in a Box’ appeal brought forth a huge number of contributions of gifts for teenagers who might otherwise not receive presents this year. Amongst all the festivities and fun, it was good to see so much thought and generosity being shown to those facing the prospect of a rather bleak time this Christmas.