Most recent Junior Department reports have mentioned an increase in numbers and this year has been no exception. Term started in September with more children than ever, and a promise of another Romney Hut to provide more classrooms. One of the Junior classes was temporarily accommodated in half of the Infants Hall, until it was able to move into one of these new classrooms in March.

This year has seen several staff changes. During the summer Term 1959, Miss Billard became Mrs. Ruckert, and in July left us to accompany her husband back to U.K. Miss Stinton, Miss Kernahan and Mr. Wilsher also left, and we now hear from them from Hongkong, Germany and Singapore, and in their place came Miss Simms, Mr. King and Mr. Jackson, who are all now well established at Verdala. Mrs. Cropper, Mrs. Regan and Mrs. Hicks joined the permanent staff and Mrs. Fallon, Mrs. Bailey and Mrs. Elder helped us as supply teachers during staff absences.

We were also pleased to welcome Miss Batty to the Junior staffroom. She, of course, is no newcomer to Verdala, but for her sixth and last year in Malta, she had chosen to accompany her top Infants into the Junior School. We are only sorry that she has come for such a short time, and that we will lose her and Miss Watson, who has also been here six years, at the end of the Summer Term.

During part of the Autumn Term, I was unfortunately ill and absent from school and my thanks go to the staff, and particularly Mr. Ross, who took on extra duties during this time.

This Christmas there was the now traditional play. This year, a very up-to‑date and original one, written by Mr. Ousbey about a planet in space. Miss Horton, Miss Butters, Mrs. Farrugia and Mrs. Allen again made the costumes, this time providing clothes for space heralds, space executioners and other inhabitants of the 'Silver Planet'. One feature of this pantomime was the original music written by Miss Candey, and, in particular, the catchy little tune which warned the very small spaceman of his impending fate was to be heard hummed all round the school by staff and children alike. Once again, a successful performance was due to the hard work of the whole school, and to the efforts of all the staff, to those who minded double classes during rehearsals no less than those who took a more active part.

At the end of the Christmas Term we had the usual class parties. These were very gay affairs and some of the children thought up very original decorations for their classrooms and in other ways making it their own party. One class took over complete responsibility for theirs, electing a food committee, a decorations committee and an entertainment committee. It was suggested that a 'clearing‑up' committee might be a good idea, too!

The meaning of Christmas was not forgotten. The 3rd and 4th year had a combined Carol Service at St. Paul's Anglican Cathedral, at which the lessons were read either by individual children or by choral speaking choirs. Some less­ well‑known carols were beautifully sung by the choir, and the whole congrega­tion, which included many parents, joined heartily in some of the more familiar carols. Later a similar service was held for the whole of the Junior Department in the School Hall.

During the Spring Term we were visited by two parties of students from the Mater Admirabilis Training College.  We are always pleased to welcome these guests and to know how greatly they appreciate these visits.

At the beginning of April, some children from the fourth year had the joyful experience of taking part in a combined Service Schools Music Festival. This was a very happy occasion, at which they reaped the reward of their hard work and the work of Mr. Jenkins and of Miss Horton, who played for them. They all enjoyed listening to the individual items of the other schools, as well as joining in the singing of the songs by the combined choirs and performing their own song and verse‑speaking items.

This experience of sharing 'music‑making' with other schools was a very valuable and stimulating one for staff and children alike.

Another musical event occurred at the very end of the Spring Term, when we were delighted to receive a visit from C‑in‑C's Orchestra.

Soon we will be preparing for Sports Day, and so the School Year goes on. This report has space for only some of the events of the year. Details of others will be found in the pages of this magazine, but above all it is the day‑to‑day routine and the hard work that is put into it by staff and children, that has made this a successful year.

P. Goodhew