Fyling Hall students in full voice at church carol service

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Our final day began with pupils milling in tutor groups, distributing their cards, engaging in last-minute banter – which, for the boarders, seemed to be mostly along the lines of they wished they could take their friends back with them.

The buses arrived to take us to church and the rich culminating point of the term, the going-down ceremony in the shape of a carol concert at St Stephen’s.

All got up for the season, the Christmas trees on tables in the arcade alternating in white and green, beneath gleaning brass plaques, the nativity scenes from local schools displayed proudly, it provides a beautiful setting for the school’s valediction and all the encouragement needed for everyone to sing in full-throated ease.

And so, on a frostily cold day the term came to the warmest of ends with everyone parting with the words ‘Merry Christmas’.