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Week commencing 29th January 2018

The shortest month of the year has arrived and the morning commute may be getting a little less arduous now that the street lights are turned off a fraction earlier each morning. February also signals the halfway point in the school calendar; a time for reflection, but also an opportunity to look forward to the array of events and activities which will illuminate the school between now and the summer sun (fingers crossed!) in July.

This week heralded a new initiative for our Year 8 boys, with the first Parent/Pupil Evening for those preparing for Common Entrance. I am aware that this is regular practice in many of the senior schools, but you could feel a slight edge at 4.30pm in the Main Hall on Tuesday as the door swung open to welcome mums, dads and sons. Any nerves quickly evaporated and I think, for all those involved, it was a really useful and worthwhile evening and the feedback has been positive. Now that the boys may feel more comfortable with their parents in attendance in the Main Hall…..what next? A mum and son ‘Strictly’ Contest later in the Year? Now there’s a thought!

Mr Gibbs kicked off a busy week of Sport in Assembly on Tuesday by focusing on fierce sporting rivalries and what makes them so special. There was much to celebrate on the rugby field this week, with some great performances from the boys and it was a delight to see so many parents at Drax on Tuesday afternoon. Thank you, as ever, for your support. We also had our first hockey fixtures of the new year on Monday against Prospect House. Still in its infancy, Mr Jaffer has been really impressed with the boys’ enthusiasm and development of a relatively new and competitive sport for Willington.

There have been two excellent outings organised by the Years 1 and 2 teams this week. Miss Wilkinson reports that Year 2 had a wonderful time at the National Portrait Gallery studying images of famous people from history.  I was so pleased to hear reports from the teachers of the lovely comments they received from tourists and visitors to the gallery about the boys’ behaviour; true ambassadors for the school, indeed. Year 1 had an equally great time at the Look Out Discovery Centre in Bracknell.

Thursday evening saw another brilliant performance by the Choristers at Choral Evensong. It is an occasion that always seems to reset the mind after a hectic week and the boys just get better and better with each performance. My grateful thanks to Mr Inglis Kidger, Miss Henson and all the team for a terrific evening. I am sure that Friday’s informal Musical Performance will carry on the theme, along with the Strings Day at Epsom College next Tuesday.

Other events next week include the very important Safer Internet Assembly on Tuesday with Mr Currie and also the fiercely fought Rugby House Matches throughout the week. And then, incredibly, the halfway point of the year is upon us and it gives us a chance to recharge the batteries in readiness for the excitement of part 2!

As we finished the week, it was a pleasure to see an old boy, Jayaram Sivaraj, and his father, who popped into school. Jayaram, who left Willington in 2006 (the years fly by!) is now a doctor and he could not have been more grateful for the start in life Willington had given him; a common theme repeated time after time by our old boys who come back to see us. What a great way to start the weekend! Enjoy it, whatever you have planned.