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Welcome Back to Durston House!

I hope you had a wonderful, restful summer break. The welcome back to school after the long summer holidays was overshadowed by the sad announcement of the death of Queen Elizabeth II. Her reign was lived out in a life of selfless service and duty. Our thoughts and sincerest prayers are with the Royal Family in their time of profound loss. May she rest in peace.

This is an historic moment, one tinged with sadness at the loss of our much beloved Queen but also a moment in which we can all reflect on the incredible impact she has had on so many lives during her reign. It is impossible to sum up in just a few words the extraordinary leadership, strength and fortitude the Queen has shown to people of all ages right across the world, or to list the achievements and milestones she has recorded. For generations of children passing through Durston, the Queen has been ever present. In fact, this past Monday 5 September, our Year 1 boys received a letter from Elizabeth Lemming, Lady-in-Waiting, thanking them on behalf of the Queen for the letter and pictures which were sent to Her Majesty on the occasion of her Platinum Jubilee.

I would like to take this opportunity to introduce you to our new members of staff.

Miss Lauren Vallely joins as Deputy Head and she is also the Designated Safeguarding Lead. Miss Vallely joins us from Wetherby Prep School with a wealth of experience. Miss Vallely will also be teaching English.

Ms Jasminder Gahir joins the Mathematics Department, and Mrs Allison Harridge joins the English Department with both colleagues teaching in Middle and Upper School. Mr John Nicolaou returns to Durston as our Head of IT and Computer Science. Mr Nicolaou is also our E-safety Officer. We welcome Mr Adam White, a very experienced teacher who will be our new Librarian and we also welcome back Mrs Neeru Sharma, previously Head of Pre-Prep, who is taking on a new role teaching Mathematics and History in Middle and Upper School. Also joining the staffing team we have Mr Zac Outten as School Sports Assistant and Miss Reem Saleh will be this year’s Gap student.

Giles Entwisle, Headmaster