The run down in Malta has inevitably affected the schools and the number of children at Verdala has fallen from 960 in Summer 1964 to 660 this year, with a proportional reduction in teaching staff. I had feared that this drop in numbers might have affected some of the activ- ities of the school but my fears have proved groundless. Academically our Secondary Selection results were better than ever whilst in the field of sport we retained the Inter School Soccer Trophy. The pantomime and nativity play at Christmas were well up to the standard of previous years and the music festival just as successful. Although our population is constantly changing children still settle quickly, en- joy their stay with us and seem quite reluctant to leave. The standard of decoration in the school has improved enormously over the last 12 months and we are grateful to M.P.B.W. and N.R.S. for the help so willingly given. We have a new garden and play area for the youngest infants and we look forward to the Summer term when we shall be able to hoist our new green canvas awning to give shade for out-of-class activities. The swimming pool was in operation for more days last year than ever before and with a new plastic liner to be fitted this year and filtration plant already over- hauled we look forward to a trouble free run. This year we have started teaching French, with the aid of gramophone records, to the Second Year classes. This has proved enormously successful and we hope to extend it to the other year groups, although there are difficulties in presenting what is really a 3 year course to children who join at all ages. The work at Verdala is very much of a team effort involving as it does the clean- ing and galley staff, the Sick bay staff, the secretaries and the teachers. Staff leave and staff join but the spirit of the school carries on. For this reason it would be invidious to mention individuals by name except in very special circumstances. Last summer Miss Harris Candey left after having served at the school from the time it opened. Her devoted teaching, particularly of the children who for one reason or another were behind the others, and her ability as a pianist helped to give Verdala the reputation it now possesses. This year the school will lose Miss Goffe who has been Head of Infants Department since September 1963, Miss Rowe, who has been with us since 1950, and Mr Ousbey who has just completed ten years. They will long be remembered with affection, amongst other things Miss Goffe for the charmingly efficient way in which she ran her department, Miss Rowe for her work with ballet and costumes and Mr Ousbey for his pantomimes. Our best wishes go with them and with all others leaving Verdala .Fortunately Mr Ross stays with us and continues to give me unfailing and whole-hearted support. His complete grasp of day to day detail ensures the smooth functioning of the school at all times. The school motto Lundum Praeter Palman Amare can be freely translated as "to love the game rather than the prize". Verdala children apply this to the game of learning but still manage to carry off a goodly share of the prizes. May it always be so.

A.J.G Newbery, Headmaster