Dear Parents, Colleagues, Governors and Pupils of the school,
I hope this letter finds you all well and full of festive cheer, ready for some well-earned respite from the rigours of work. Our pupils are, of course, excited and looking forward to the Christmas break, though they have been kept busy right up until the last minute with both academic and extra-curricular activities.
Speaking of issues academic, yesterday’s final assembly saw us celebrating the achievements of the pupils across the school with the termly awarding of the House Cup. You’ll recall that our three houses: Phoenix (yellow), Dragon (red) and Unicorn (green) have all competed for the coveted ribbons of their associated colour to adorn the cup. In true Harry Potter style, Unicorn have had a “Slytherin-esque” stranglehold on the cup in recent times, with the fanatical, some would say, “Snape-like” Mr Gisbourne rallying his troops to regain the cup again and again in successive attempts.
However, this term, Dragon house emerged victorious in a very keenly contested run; which saw them win the trophy by less than 20 points, with a grand total of 1092. Well done to Dragon!
A Level Science Study Day, University of Salford
On 12 December our nine A Level Chemistry students attended a chemistry in action study day at the University of Salford. Five sessions from leading chemists in academia and industry were designed to inspire the scientists of the future. The topics covered ranged from Victorian poisons to the role of proteins in controlling living organisms. The presentation delivered by Dr Peter Wothers, University of Cambridge – Certainly those who saw ‘Gods, Devils and Alcohol’ will never look at a bottle of Shampoo in the same way again!
Also, on 12 December we saw Year 6 of the Prep School leave for York. They were visiting the Castle Museum to do some work on Victorian society, taking part in two practical workshops – Victorian Christmas Crafts and Victorian Medicine. The group were also set an observational task along the superbly detailed Victorian Street. A highly informative and very interesting experience – it’s well worth the visit!
Finally, on Tuesday, some lucky parents got to witness the Christmas nativity with our Pre-Prep children. It was quite astounding just how many lines of singing or acting some these youngsters can cram into their heads. They coped with the pressures of being on stage, remembering their lines and dancing with an admirable cool.
A massive thank you to staff and pupils for some great end-of-term activities yesterday, in the form of the school quiz (Y7-10); a go-karting activity in York (Y11) and the Sixth Form annual trip to Mansion House Residential Home to spend some time with the residents there.
The quiz, organized by Mr Gisbourne, was a great success, utilizing questions from all aspects of the general knowledge universe, with a couple of rounds spent outside, clue-hunting!
A warm welcome to this month’s new starters
Let’s say hello to four of our new starters, who seem to have settled in quickly: thanks to the Read community, as ever, for taking the time to make them feel welcome.
It just remains for me to wish you a wonderful, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. At the time of writing, we are about to walk down to church for the carol service, where I hope I will see a number of you there. We also look forward to seeing you all again in the New Year, refreshed and ready for the rigours of a new term on 9 January. Let’s hope it can be as busy and successful as this one!