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Headmaster’s Bulletin – Issue 17

Dear Parents,


I have had a fantastic time catching up with the boys in Years 3 and 4, following their return from the very successful residential trips they undertook at the start of this week. They all learnt a lot it seems, not just in academic terms but also about friendship, group work and what it feels like to deal with missing home!

The NSPCC were in the Prep this morning, delivering workshops for the boys in Years 5 and 6 that further support our commitment to keeping your sons safe and ensuring their school days are memorable for all the right reasons. If you are a parent of a boy at the top end of the school, do please chat to him tonight to see what he made of the presentations this morning.

Sometimes, as some comedians might claim, the old ones are the best; I read a version of The Tortoise And The Hare to Year 1 on Wednesday afternoon. In discussion about the story afterwards, not only were the boys and girls quick to point out to me how unfair they had recognised Hare’s behaviour to be, they also very easily arrived at their own understanding of ‘slow but steady wins the race’.

Our journey from Denmead School – on occasion somewhat slow, for all sorts of reasons – to Hampton Pre-Prep & Prep is also nearly complete. It has been steady overall I would say, and rightly so, for we are about to move into the most magnificent new accommodation any school could hope for. There will be a number of occasions next term, both informal and more formal, for us to give thanks for the new building and to commemorate all those who have worked so hard for so long to bring it into being.

For now however – and this feels rather poignant for me – I hope you have enjoyed reading the last ever Denmead School Bulletin. See you all next half term at Hampton Pre-Prep & Prep!


Have a great half term break,


Tim Smith


From the Games Department

Our week in sport started with four teams in action against Newland House, on Saturday.  In what is always a fiercely contested local rivalry, the opposition finished with three victories, with our Under 11As securing a fine victory under Mr Henderson’s caretaker stewardship.  The Under 11 A and Bs were very lucky this week with another fixture, this time against Staines Prep, and two victories were fine reward for all the endeavour in training this half term.  Looking at the fixtures for after the break, I am delighted to see a number of whole Year group afternoons, when we play schools of a similar number to ourselves.  All the boys, however, spent the week with murmurings of events that were to come today.  Rivalries akin to England versus Scotland; Ireland versus Wales; and I suppose, Australia versus New Zealand.  On a bitterly cold afternoon, the touchlines were packed, the referees were primed, but most importantly, the boys were chomping at the bit to take battle for their House.  Looking out over Carlisle Park warmed my heart to see all the boys in the Prep School throw themselves into every tackle, support each other throughout the tournament, and play in the spirit we have come to expect here at Denmead.  The final results were as follows:

1st – York

2nd – Tudor

3rd – Lancaster

4th – Windsor

I thank all for their efforts, and support, and wish you all a happy half term!

Prep News

In assembly this week the following Headmaster’s Commendations were awarded: For completing The Ladder to Success, demonstrating consistent effort and progress in reading and spelling; Leil D’Souza, Tom Keen (3L); Alastair Hill, Elliot Jarvis (3H); Ben Aldous (4S); Bryn Griffiths, Jamie Lamprell (4H); William Turner (5B). For completing The Ladder to Success, demonstrating consistent effort and progressin spelling Joshua Gavin (6C). For helping to organise the School Chess Cup Daniel Edge (6M). Well done to those boys!

Pre-Prep News

In assembly this week a Gold Star was awarded to Cormac Gray-Fahy (Y2) For being incredibly enthusiastic in maths this week – even when it has been tricky! Aadam Khan (Y1) For his fantastic work in English. He has written a very funny story about a pigeon and a pirate! Dean Fitzpatrick (Rec) For working so hard in literacy. Dean makes sure that his letters are on the line and formed correctly. The Courtesy Cup and Badge were awarded to James Phillips (Y1) chosen by Mrs Henderson and Mrs Zander for his super manners in his visits to the School Office. Well done to all those children!

Pre-Prep children have been busy working on Mathletics this week – Archie Duggan, Rocco Freedman, Monty James, Teddy Kirby, Ollie Nicholls, Arin Patel and Aarav Tegginamath have all achieved bronze certificates. Very well done!

This week in Kindergarten we drew our fairy tale topic to a close by writing our very own books. The children worked in small groups to become authors of their own stories.  We decided on main characters, an interesting beginning, an exciting middle and, of course, a happy ending! The children then had the opportunity to draw their own illustrations. We laminated and bound the books and the children have absolutely adored seeing their work in print.  We celebrated Shrove Tuesday by making pancakes with a range of toppings and serving them in the KG cafe! Delicious!

Thanks KG children for a super half term. Your storytelling and puppet shows have brought us such joy. We wish you all a restful and fun-filled half term.

Gong Hey Fat Choy!  Reception have been learning all about the celebration of the Chinese New Year. As we read the Chinese Zodiac story, we found out the animal that represented the year that we were born in and were excited to find out that Reception children were either a tiger or a rabbit. We celebrated Shrove Tuesday (on Friday) with a pancake breakfast feast, and read a story about a very cheeky pancake. We also acted out the story of ‘The Runaway Pancake’ in literacy, which was great fun! In mathematics this week, we have been recognising coin of different values and using different coins to make a total amount.

Year 1 have been learning about grouping and sharing numbers and also about weight. We enjoyed looking at objects around the school and deciding if they were heavy or light. In English we have been reading the story of Handa’s Surprise. We planned and wrote our own stories with a surprise ending. We drew treasure maps to help find buried Pirate treasure as part of our topic work.  We finished the week making a ‘Friendship’ bunting to adorn the classroom.

This week Year Two have been using storyboards to plan and then write their own Greek myths. They have been thinking carefully about using descriptive language to enhance their stories and using paragraphs to structure them. In maths, we have continued to use number lines to multiply and divide. In science we looked at how water can change from a solid to a liquid and observed a melting ice cube to do this. We had a lively debate about whether animals should be used in the circus in Monday’s topic lesson and in Tuesday’s lesson we practised our juggling skills outside in the playground.  The week culminated with a Scooter Training Session delivered by LBRuT –  the children will know exactly how to scoot safely when they are out and about at half term.

We wish all the girls and boys in Pre-Prep a restful half-term – we’ll see you all on the 22 February!

From the Denmead Association:


Firstly, thank you to all those who attended the Bingo Night on Saturday which was very slickly and brilliantly organised by the Year 3 Class Reps – Sarah Rowe, Kate Keen and Theresa Asbery. Simon James was the most excellent bingo caller, having done this now for a number of years for us, and we all agreed he has surely reached professional bingo calling status! Huge thank you to both Ali and Simon for making it so much fun.

On Tuesday evening, we had our second DA meeting of the year and thank you to all those who attended including all of the class reps as we were almost fully represented by every year group. The Summer Fair was on the agenda and we agreed that we would have a coffee morning to get the planning into full swing. This will take place on Friday 26th February and Lucie Ormerod has kindly offered to host it at her house. Look out for more details on this via class reps and we would very much like at least one class rep from each year group to attend as well as any parents who are keen to get involved – please do as we need your help!

Hot of the press, we are having a Summer Ball! This will be for parents and teachers and is being organised by Bernadette Banks. The date will be 18th June – more details to follow on this shortly. This is a key event for us as it’s held once every 2 years so please do save the date as this is certain to be a great evening.

The minutes of our meeting will be distributed via the class reps so please do read through and provide any feedback you would like to give.

We need some help! So far we haven’t had any offers to take on the role of Christmas Fair Organiser. Lorraine Lewis, who has been doing this role brilliantly for many years now, will not be doing it this year but she has offered to help assist whoever would like to give this a go and there will be willing people in the Christmas Fair Committee who will be there to help. Please do shout if you would like to do this. If we don’t have a lead organiser then unfortunately, we won’t have a Christmas Fair so please do let us know if you are interested in doing this.

Finally, I will be stepping down as Chair of the Association from end of this school year. It will be important for us to fill this ideally before the end of the current term so I can help handover in the summer term. Contact me at if you are interested in doing this – your school needs you!

Some Key Dates
Friday 26th FebruarySummer Fair Planning Coffee Morning
Saturday 5th MarchPre-prep Party (Year 1 organising)
Saturday 18th June Summer Ball
Saturday 25th JuneSummer Fair


Please look at the events calendar on the school website or on the notice board for all key dates for the year.


Many thanks, Karen, Claire, Carey and Shelley.

headmaster's picture
Tim SmithHeadmaster