Headmaster’s Bulletin – Edition 6
Our exploration of ‘responsibility’, the assembly theme for this half term, concluded in the Prep this morning. 4H very cleverly led us through the ideas and points they felt worth noting from all our assemblies on this theme that had taken place this term. We find that the longer we dwell on our theme, the more the boys really do get to consider it from a range of angles. We can also weave new ideas that emerge as part of our assembly programme into everyday life here. It is this practical application of the lofty and important philosophical musings that bubble up out of our assemblies that matter a lot to me. One of the ways we know our assemblies are having an impact is when we see and hear our boys using the language we have deliberately modelled ourselves, as we all explore each theme together. I have been very impressed when, over recent weeks, I have indeed noticed boys discussing all manner of events, behaviours and actions – especially at times when they do not think I am observing them – in order to decide if they had been appropriately responsible enough, or not. If you have not done so already it might be worthwhile talking to your boys over the half term break about just exactly how their understanding of the word ‘responsibility’ has been developed. Next half term’s assembly theme is the word “freedom”. Anyone else feel a particular George Michael song coming on, or am I just showing my age here?
Being responsible and organised enough to build some instrumental music practice into the day can be a hard call for some boys sometimes, however clearly not so for those who yesterday played in our very first PIC (Pupils’ Informal Concert) this academic year. There was a tremendous array of effort, talent and achievement in evidence. I was particularly thrilled to hear some poems and songs being performed by boys who have been receiving LAMDA lessons here this term, as part of our musical and performance co-curricular offer. I thought the entire concert was wonderful. I noticed there were at least two boys present in the audience who were not due to take part in the concert. They had simply decided they wished to attend with a parent to listen to and support their friends who were playing or performing. I think this sort of very kind attitude is excellent.
There is still time for a few more of you to sign up for the Parents’ Association Quiz Night on Thursday 2 November. In case you missed it, here is the link to the booking page:
I was over at the Pre-Prep yesterday looking at an exhibition of boys’ and girls’ work. I think it probably took me about 7 minutes to wander over, as there were 7 dogs in the park, a particularly delightful one of which I simply had to stop and talk to. There were 7 raisins in my muesli this morning, it took my windscreen wipers 7 wipes before I could see to set off in my car for school, there were 7 matters I had to mention to my colleagues during our Friday morning briefing earlier and I was tempted to eat a good deal more than 7 chocolate chip cookies at lunch (I didn’t – although one mother visiting the Prep at lunch time did catch me holding onto 2!)
Hmmmm….so many 7s. I wonder why?
Have a great 14 day (divided by 2 = 7) half term break,
The sports diary has been relatively light this week. We did have fixtures arranged against Staines Prep for Wednesday but they were unable to fulfil the fixture leaving the boys with an unexpected games session. My group took the opportunity to try out some new activities and we had a fun lesson of basketball and hockey. New skills were learnt, lots of fun was had and maybe a few of those boys went home and thought that they had found the sport for them. Maybe they didn’t, but whenever we can, we are trying to expose the boys to new activities and experiences and hopefully one day they will all find that leisure activity that will provide them with lifelong pleasure.
However, last Friday saw both the U9s and U8s playing. The U9s played The Mall, with the A team winning 4-3, the B team winning 3-1, the C team winning 3-1 and the D team winning 3-0. The U8s travelled to Weston Green where we put out a B team and a C team. The B team lost 6-2 and the C team won 6-2. A really strong afternoon, that once again demonstrated our strength in depth. There are some really exciting things coming up next half term, with a tour to Manchester for the U10s and a number of boys being selected to attend District trials in November. Good luck to all those involved and I’ll let you know how everything goes in due course.
When the swimming gala and football tournament were put to bed at the end of September my attention turned to the spring calendar and the plotting of our rugby fixtures for that term. I think it could well be the busiest term to date and as the weeks have passed and more fixtures have been put in place I am now finding it increasingly difficult to find free days. We have talked as a department about how we take our rugby to the next level and ensure that all the boys are receiving as good a product as possible from us as coaches and leaders. With that in mind we have staff training in place for the start of next term and we are all looking forward to putting some new ideas into practice in our training sessions.
However, there is still plenty of football to be played before then with an equally busy half term in the lead up to Christmas. Today sees us field 3 teams against Weston Green at the U9 age group and an U8 team will travel to King’s College, Wimbledon to take part in a 6-a-side festival. We will be straight back into after half term with 4 teams at U10 and U11 playing against St. Piran’s on the first Wednesday back and the eagerly awaited house football competition two days later.
If I don’t see you before then, have a fabulous half term and I look forward to seeing you on the side lines after the break.
Our JSO’s visiting York House for some training this week:
It has been thrilling to see the vast array of interpretations of the theme ‘7’ during our Open Homework week. Below is a selection of the children’s work, we are sure you will agree lateral thinking and creativity have been demonstrated in abundance.
We are proud to have pupil representatives from Reception to Year 6 in our School Council. The council is in place so that the pupils here have a voice and are concerned in decisions that affect them. It was exciting that our Pre-Prep School councillors were involved in creating the Golden Time activity list this half of term and, at their instigation, biscuit decorating, cuddly toys, scooters and I-Pads have made the list!
Mr Smith awarded Aryan Tewatia (Reception) with a medal for winning first place in a drawing competition in the Dussehra Festival. He was praised for his variation in the use of colour.
As mentioned in last week’s bulletin, we had to postpone our assembly on Friday 6 October due to Open Morning, however, on Monday we were able to make the following awards:
The Courtesy Cup and Badge were awarded to Tom Ellman-Brown (Reception) for his lovely manners in class – he was also super brave during his recent stay in hospital!
and Stars of the Week to:
Year 2: Johnny McMonagle has been trying really hard to be careful with his maths. Well done, Johnny!
Year 1: Toby Bradbury for trying really hard in School and sensible behaviour.
Reception: Rapha Kothakota for working so hard in all his work last week.
In today’s assembly the Courtesy Cup and Badge were awarded to James Nunn (Year 2) for always being so kind, caring and responsible.
and Stars of the Week to:
Year 2: Reggie McCrow for trying really hard to use his ruler to measure carefully in maths this week.
Year 1: Daniel Taylor for some super maths work; adding and subtracting carefully.
Reception: Batu Kirbay for his super sequencing of the story, The Little Red Hen.
Here’s what we’ve been up to in class …
Ahoy there me Hearties!
Well, it’s been a very busy, swashbucklin’ week in Kindergarten with lots of pirate activity going on! Once aboard our pirate ship, we used the telescopes to look for treasure and could be heard shouting for our ‘ship mates’ to join us. There have been treasure maps, pirate hats, swords and treasure boxes making galore.
Some thought provoking pirate play led the class to write and illustrate their very own Pirate story, ‘The Treasure Baddies’ – wonderful imagination and language skills were evident. On Friday, we received a very surprising letter from Pirate Pete and this is what the letter said,
To my fellow pirates,
I hear that you have been enjoying being pirates this week, so I thought that you may like a treasure hunt!
I have hidden 20 gold coins in your playground. Can you work together and find a coin each?
If you find all of the coins there will a surprise for you!
With love from Pirate Pete.
Naturally, we all worked together and found the coins. We then found a big gold tin with lots of silver chocolate coins inside it and, as we had worked so hard together, we had a special breaktime treat of a biscuit and drink of squash.
It been lovely to see the children’s creative number 7 homework, they have been very eager and proud to show their friends their work, talking through what they made and exactly how they set about it.
Well what a fabulous week in Reception! On Wednesday we all became chefs during our trip to Pizza Express. The children had the chance to squash and squeeze dough and learnt about the six ingredients used to make it. Then they carefully spread tomato sauce on a pizza base and topped it with stringy mozzarella cheese. The chef told us to be careful not to spread sauce right to the edge in case it burnt. The boys were all so excited to take their pizzas home at the end of the day and we hope you enjoyed them for your tea. Thank you so much to the parent helpers for all your support, and for making these trips possible. The manager commented on the boys’ excellent behaviour so we were very proud of our Reception class – well done boys. We read the story of the Little Red Hen, whose friends were too lazy help her to make bread. We spoke about how nice it is to say “yes of course” when we are asked to help. The children all agreed that they would have helped the Little Red Hen, which was lovely to hear. We sequenced the story and used book language to help us recall what happened at the beginning, in the middle and at the end. As part of our science learning about change we made toast at school. We looked at how the bread changed when we popped it into the toaster, and what happened when the cold butter was spread on the hot toast. The boys were delighted then to choose their favourite toast topping and eat their snack. Have a wonderful half term – well done to all the boys for a fantastic start to Reception.
The boys in Year 1 have thoroughly enjoyed sharing their Open Homework with their friends in class this week and we have been most impressed with the range of topics covered – the seven continents, seven deadly creatures of the animal kingdom within the seven continents, stories with a ‘7’ theme and some beautiful rainbows to name but a few.
In English, we have been working on developing sentences with the prompt ‘what happened next?’ and have also thought about plural nouns, adding a ‘s’.
In maths, we have focused on simple number problems, applying the correct number operation and writing equations for simple statements.
In maths this week Year 2 have been measuring lengths using centimetres. They have also been comparing lengths using the inequality symbols and solving word problems involving length.
The children finished their books based on ‘Diary of a Wombat’ and had a lovely time reading these to the children in Kindergarten. We have just begun some creative writing work on different settings and writing detailed descriptions of these.
We had a very active science lesson this week where we learned about the importance of exercise. We had to do various different exercises and think about what happened to our bodies. In topic we learned about how communication has evolved throughout history. We found out about Morse Code and had to translate messages as well as write our own messages. On Thursday we used tea stained paper and wrote telegrams. On this, if you are visiting anywhere in the half term break do please send us a postcard!
We hope you have a super half term break and look forward to seeing you back at school on Monday 30 October.