Girl leaping between parallel bars.It has been a very busy week in school. The three highlights for me have been the Year 9 Key Stage 4 Options Evening on Wednesday, the assemblies delivered by our Environment Committee and the Wallingford Ninja Warrior competition on Thursday which culminates in today’s finals.

The Options Evening felt really positive for a number of reasons. It represents a significant moment in our young people’s lives as they choose for the first time the subjects which they wish to study. The maturity and reflection displayed by the Year 9 students I spoke with on the evening were hugely impressive. They were so enthusiastic about the subjects which they wish to study and also mindful of keeping as many options open to them in the future as they can. Mr Lamb explained very well in his presentation that at Wallingford there is no compunction to study particular subjects or combinations of subjects and that students should choose to study subjects which they enjoy and therefore in which they will thrive. The process of communication around options choices is ongoing and I hope that all parents and carers found the evening useful and informative.

Our Environment Committee have delivered assemblies this week to three of the four Houses – Blackstone to follow after half-term. The Sixth Form students spoke very effectively about actions which we could take to be responsible citizens and framed them around such diverse environmental problems as palm oil, shampoo bottles and the humble avocado. I can’t explain the reasoning as well as they did and this is hugely to their credit. There is, of course, a place for teachers – and Headteachers – leading assemblies but it is always wonderful to see students leading their fellow students in their thinking and this is a great characteristic of the Wallingford School community.

The Wallingford Ninja Warrior competition also featured a great characteristic of our school community and that is the House system. It was highly competitive but also great fun and the spirit was one of encouragement and appreciation. It is not easy putting yourself forward to tackle a very tough obstacle course in front of your peers and this is hugely to the credit of all our competitors. Thank you also to all who supported and cheered on their Houses and particularly to the PE Department for their fantastic organisation of the event. After all that effort it is probably now time for the half-term holiday!

Boy leaps off trampette Boy on obstacle course - a queue of other competitors waiting their turn behind.