So the Christmas spirit has finally arrived at Sexey’s this week and it certainly feels likes Christmas now, with the Main Hall decorated, the Christmas tree looking splendid and carols playing in school. After all it is December and all we need now is some snow…Wednesday’s traditional Christmas Concert was a wonderful occasion and it was a real pleasure to meet so many friends of the School - Old Sexeians who fondly remembered their time here; residents of Sexey's Hospital and those who served the School. Hearing the old stories over a cup of tea and a mince pie was inspiring and I look forward to seeing them again soon. This year, we were treated to fine performances by the Wind Band, Strings, the Folk Group, Jazz Group and spirited solo performances too – Isabella Birt (Silent Night on the harp), Tom Chapman (Prokofiev’s ‘Troika’ on violin), Adam Wagstaff (Szelenyi’s School Break (only a week to go!) on violin) and Elena Gaffney (Mr Magorium’s Emporium on piano). The festive season is well and truly here!
We have just had an absolutely sumptuous Christmas Lunch by Mr Matt Briatore and his team in the KDR which was preceded by another Sexey's Christmas tradition - the Annual House Cross-Country. The school was awash with students (and a number of colleagues) in their colourful kit and fancy dress running for their Houses and our school partner charity, Macmillan Cancer – from the Sexey’s Express to George Stewart running as Susan Hill’s ‘Woman in Black’ to the ‘Where’s Wally?’ team and the Heads of School, George Tracy and Julia Blackmore running as a Spice Girl and as the balloons from Up – don’t ask! Thankfully the weather was kind to us today (though it was perishing and quite soft underfoot after last night’s downpour) but the atmosphere was very warm (as was the hot chocolate) and at times, electric. The camaraderie and support shown by the students for each other, and for colleagues was truly humbling - the students singing the School Song set the tone for the character building morning. Again, it never ceases to amaze me the sheer talent that is in such abundance here and the fervent pride the students have for their Houses (house hockey and rugby matches will be fiercely contested immediately after the Christmas holidays), let alone their School. And speaking of talent, I would like to wish our nine Oxbridge candidates the very best next week as they travel up to the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge having been invited up for interview. They have been preparing feverishly this week and have had tough mock interviews with colleagues who have been putting them through their paces. I am sure this passion for learning both inside and outside of the classroom will continue long into the weekend, when we play our Saturday rugby block fixture against Warminster School and the Equestrian team compete in the NSEA County Qualifier at Kings Sedgemoor. Come along and see for yourself. We are very privileged to be part of this spirited and warm community.