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Little Shop of Horrors

It was another successful weekend for our U18A Cross Country team with a win against Stonyhurst.

It was a mixed bag for football, netball and hockey but congratulations go to the U14A and U13A boys for their hockey wins against Sedbergh and the 1st VII, U15A and U14A girls for their wins against Pocklington.  Sticking on the sporting theme, almost 300 students, staff and parents from 30 schools descended on the Valley yesterday for our annual U13 Rugby Sevens and Netball Tournament. It was great to host so many and everyone appreciated the superb organisation from our Sports Department – and the hot drinks and cakes!

Amadea (13M) spoke eloquently at Assembly this week about the importance of looking after our mental health and reminded us that Children’s Mental Health Week (next week) exists to empower, equip, and give a voice to every child in the UK. She encouraged us to help ensure that children and young people feel listened to and know that they’re not alone. I look forward to seeing some of the initiatives the students will take part in to mark this.

On Tuesday a number of Sixth Form students heard a fascinating talk by OA Anthony Glaister (J71) on Palestine – A Personal Journey.  An experienced mediator, Anthony and his wife Lucy have for the past ten years helped expand the charity ABCD Bethlehem, which works with disabled children throughout the West Bank.  With humour and without facing up to the highly challenging reality of the present conflict, desperately needing mediation, he explained the conditions under which Palestinians live in the West Bank.  He talked also of his involvement with peacemaking Israeli organisations such as Parent Circle, which brings together grieving families from both sides of the divide.  The talk gave a poignant background to the situation in Israel and Palestine which fills the news today.

Yesterday our budding actors kicked off with their first two performances of our musical Little Shop of Horrors, which runs until Saturday evening. Students from across the year groups dazzled the Primary School audience at the matinee and had the students, parents and staff chuckling in the evening. Great talent on show and a magnificent set!

In 2022, it was estimated that a homeless person died every 6 and a half hours. In response to this, a group of students from Year 12 undertook a 6.5 mile run today to raise money for two charities which work or provide services to the homeless and the hungry. In Leeds, St George's Crypt offer care, compassion, and hope to homeless and vulnerable people and those living with substance dependence, 365 days a year. In Bradford, the friars of St Pio's serve the homeless and destitute of the city through a regular soup kitchen. This year, through the work of the Chaplaincy and our school fundraising activity, FACE-FAW, many of our Year 12 students have been learning about homelessness and have had the opportunity to visit these charities working with or providing services for the homeless and the hungry.

Marie and I have just returned from the annual Catholic Independent Schools' Conference (CISC). It was a fascinating two days focussing on 'formational dialogue' and how we as whole school communities, Heads, pupils and staff, are called to be as communities of Faith in the 21st Century. We enjoyed a number of keynote speeches and there were plenty of opportunities to share our vision of Benedictine scholarship with other schools in attendance.  Marie and I were inspired by the workshops of Sister Gemma who is both theologian and full of spiritual and practical insight.

Tomorrow we are welcoming more than 30 families to the valley for Open Morning - I look forward to meeting them all.

Best wishes,


A Compass for Life

Full Boarding & Day School for students aged 11 to 18