Good morning and welcome back after a half term in which Wales has felt quite Mediterranean in its climate. I hope you have enjoyed at least a change, and hopefully a rest, too.
Perhaps you have been following the fortunes of the historic new coalition government as they set about tackling the public finances and as they faced their first scandal, with the resignation of Cabinet member David Laws. It was good to see the school so engaged with the political process during the General Election campaign, and thank you to those who stood for office in our internal election: Owen Silk (Lib Dem) was duly elected and I hope you will hold him to account!
One group of people who finished the half term break with an exhausting challenge were those who took part in this year's Three Peaks Challenge. The aim of this was for the team to climb the highest peak in each of Scotland, England and Wales in under 24 hours, at the same time raising money for the charity Schoolchildren for Children, who work among some of the very poorest children in the world.
Those from CCB in the team were Luke James, Joe James, Liam Bridge, Mr Thomas, Mrs John, Mr Baker and Mr Shannon. Also with the team was Old Breconian and Everest climber Tori James. This is a huge challenge at the best of times, with a range of physical and psychological hurdles to overcome. It requires fitness, determination and a high degree of honest and committed teamwork. The team did a great job; they all finished the challenge, despite dreadful traffic delays and the breakdown of a bus. Luke, Joe, Liam and Mr Thomas finished by running up and down Snowdon in under 2 and a half hours, in order to beat the 24 hour deadline by a few minutes. I know the walkers would like to thank Mr Webber for driving and Mr Thomas for organising and preparing the group for their challenge.
Congratulations to all the team, and would Luke, Joe and Liam please come up, if they can still walk, to receive our applause.
Turning now to some of the achievements of the first half of term, I would like to give out Merit Prizes from the latest set of Grade Reviews. As before, I will read the names of those who have won prizes previously, and then call up just those whose first Merit Prize this is.
So congratulations to the following on winning a further Merit Prize this year: In Form 1: Julia Copp, Ben Cuthbertson-Smith, Matthew Dempsey, Jacob Williams and Sky Treasure-Jefferies. In Form 2: Alex Bush and Edward Lewis. In Form 3: Douglas Evans and Ben Wigmore. In Form 4: Annabel Jones, Catrin Bush, James Sweeney and James Dale, and in Form 5: Bea Wigmore and Llew Davies.
And for the first time this year, congratulations to Thomas Jenkins in Form 1, Will Trumper in Form 2, Rhys Phillips and Jamie Morris in Form 3, and Sean Cook and Daniel Kim in Form 5; please come and receive your prizes.
The UK Intermediate Mathematical Challenge took place earlier this term. Bronze Awards, which have already been handed out, were achieved by the following:
James Dale, Bentley Halpin, Ned Blackburn, Derek Lau, Morgan Thornber, Luke Whyatt-Watts, Ellie Davies, Fuson Tam, Jamie Thompson, Annabel Jones, Greg Devoy, George Eddison and Dyfan Rowlands.
Silver Awards go to the following, who should come up to receive them:
Johnson Yuen, Rocky Chan, Llew Davies, Sean Cook, Lawrence Chu, Bea Wigmore, Jerry Feng, Patrick Robinson, Rebecca Elliott, Edward Brundrett, Ivan Law. Well done.
And a Gold Award, together with the best in School Certificate, goes to Daniel Kim. Congratulations.
Well done to Rosie Evans, who passed her Grade 5 Flute Examination with Merit; I have a certificate for her here.
Our equestrian team has been out and about at a number of events recently, and in addition to competing at the prestigious Stonar School One Day event, they took part in a show jumping competition at Sunnybank Equestrian Centre, where Francesca Murray-Shelley was placed 1st in the 2'3 event, and in the Inter-schools team event at Bridgnorth, where the team was placed 3rd overall. I have rosettes and medals for Francesca, and for the team of Francesca, Charlotte Pryce, Lauren Williams and Lauren Brooks. Well done.
Another individual sporting triumph in the first half of term was achieved by Rob Evans, who competed in the Brighton Marathon and completed the event in an impressive 3hrs 58 minutes. Well done Robert.
Dr Phelps took two boys' hockey teams to the Wales Schoolboys Hockey Championships in Newtown at the end of April. I would like to pay tribute to Dr Phelps, who has worked so hard to bring both girls and boys hockey to the point where we can justly claim to be one of the best hockey schools in Wales. The Under 14 side won through on the day to become National Champions, a wonderful achievement. Before I give them their medals and trophies, we should spare a thought for the U16 team, who almost completed the double but were beaten into second place on penalty flicks, an agonising way to finish. A very creditable result, nevertheless. But it was the U14s who walked away with the honours and I would like them now to come up to receive their medals and trophy:
I have some representative honours to award, first of all for sailing. Hugh Guinan has been selected as one of the Welsh National Sailing Squad, which is a highly impressive achievement. I have his team shirt to present to him now. Many congratulations.
Secondly, I have two International Badges to award for shooting. Josceline Beaumont and Sam Joseph have both represented Wales in the A team and should come up now to receive their badges and our applause. Well done.
Sticking with the shooting theme, this year's House Shooting competition was hotly contested, with the girls' houses coming away ahead of the boys this year. Donaldson's were 2nd, but the winners were de Winton. The team should come up to receive their medals now: Clara Stephens, Toni Ward, Lauren Brooks, Becky Elliott and Saffron Proctor.
The biggest sporting event of the first half of term was, of course, Sports Day, and it was wonderful to have such a lovely day for it. As we all now know, it was a dramatic finish to the boys' competition, with Orchard coming away eventual winners, while Donaldson's won the girls' competition. The best performance for a girl was won by Bea Wigmore, with a new school javelin record of 30.32m, while the best boys' performance was given by Henry Niblett, who broke the intermediate boys' high jump record, recording 1.77m in a contest that was thrilling to the last jump.
Victrix Ludorum was Ellen Gowans, who beat the 400m record as well as winning the High Jump and Triple Jump. Victor Ludorum was Henry Niblett, adding the Long Jump and Triple Jump to his High Jump victory. Junior Vitrix Ludorum was Isobel Bridgeman and Junior Victor Ludorum Alex Bush. Well done to all of them; please come up to receive our applause.
The final few short weeks of term will fly by in a flash. Every single one of you has examinations to face and I would like to wish you every success in them. You know that all those who teach you are fully behind you; now it is over to you to put the final touches to your preparation and do yourselves justice.
Activities Week will see the 3rd Form heading for Barcelona and the 4th Form for the battlefields of the 1st World War, while Alway polish their performances for their production of The Music Man, which we are all looking forward to greatly.
And of course, a number of you have only four weeks of school remaining in total; I would like to wish the Upper Sixth a great deal of pleasure and enjoyment in their final days at Christ College; we will all look forward to giving them a fitting send off at the end of term. Along with Mr Slaney, Miss Collins, M Phillipson and Sister Rees-Harris, I hope you all have a wonderful final half term.
I'd like now to turn to the Chaplain to lead us in prayer.