Headmaster’s Bulletin – Edition 10

This Week

Dear Parents,

I write in a somewhat over-satiated state, having just returned from enjoying a very good lunch at a local pizza restaurant with five quite excited Year 5 boys and an even more excited Mr Richards! The boys’ parents won the table decorating contest at the Parents’ Association quiz this term and us taking their children to lunch was the prize. Their manners and behaviour was entirely consistent with all the pupils here: beautifully polite, irrepressibly cheerful and transparently down to earth. It is always a great pleasure for us to spend time with our pupils, out of the ordinary events such as today’s lunch party included, when they comport themselves in ways that to some might seem old fashioned but increasingly, to me, I strongly believe are perennial.

More news from us on how grateful we are to your Parents’ Association for all that it does for our school. Preparations, as I understand it, are all but complete for the Christmas Fair that takes place on Saturday 9 December. It is always a very jolly occasion and I am looking forward to it immensely already! Please start to bring in your sweetie jars filled with sweets or little toys as they are needed for one or two of the stalls on the day. There will be blue buckets at the Prep and Pre-Prep in which to deposit them. For those of you who are new to the jars, please encourage your child to decorate them as they wish with stickers etc. and put your child’s team colour or house on the bottom.  The house which collects the most jars gets a big cheer in assembly! You may donate as many jars as you wish.

Tomorrow will be a busy day here for us at the Prep as we welcome a very large number of visiting prospective pupils to spend the morning and early afternoon with us. One of our main objectives is to ensure that our visitors can pretty swiftly feel at home in our company and that we can develop an understanding of how they tick, on every level, in the time we have with them. For my colleagues and I, this is one of the highlights of our term. Getting to know some very keen, fresh faced young fellows whom we have never met before also helps our thinking to evolve about the boys already in our care. This is one of the many reasons why tomorrow will undoubtedly be absolutely fascinating.

We have a number of other events planned, which signal the beginnings of the end to this busy term; all dates are in the calendar of course. Mr Richards is aiming to write to you all separately next week to amplify a few details around these. We are looking forward to seeing as many of you as we can at these events before the end of term.

Have a great weekend,

Tim Smith


Sports News

It has been a really exciting 7 days and it is hard to believe that this time last week I was sat on a coach as I and a selection of year 5 boys travelled to Manchester for their football tour.

Our first stop on the tour was Altrincham Prep school and more specifically Bowden Cricket Club where we played an A and a B team on the Friday afternoon. After what was a long but relatively straight forward journey, we were greeted by Mr Birch, who is the head of games at the school and who made us feel very welcome. He showed us to our changing rooms and we had a nice long warm up, which was ideal considering the long journey we had taken. Both the games kicked off at 2.30pm and it was great to see familiar faces in a selection of parents that had also made the long journey to meet us there. I was refereeing the B team game and what a great game it was.

The first half was very even, the opposition probably had more attacking opportunities but our boys defended well and were helped out marvellously by Joseph Gordon who pulled off some fantastic saves. Half time came and it was all to play for at 0-0.

In the second half both teams made a few changes and this appeared to have played into the hands of the opposition and they went into a two goal lead reasonably early on in the second half. However, with some tactical tweaking from Mr Salt and bucket load of effort from the boys, they managed to pull it back to 2-2 as we went into the final few minutes. However, lady luck was not on our side and they conceded with a minute to go, to unfortunately lose 3-2.

The A team game was similarly close and the final result was 1-1. A great goal was scored by both teams and it was real gung-ho stuff in the last few minutes as both sides pushed forward to try and get the decisive goal. However, for both sides it was not be and the match ended in what was probably a fair result. This was also helped by some fantastic saves by Daniel Gray and when you consider that the B team also has Monty Hunt in its squad as well as Joseph Gordon, the year group can count itself very lucky to have three fantastic goal keepers in its ranks.

On the Friday evening we went bowling and then Saturday morning after a leisurely breakfast at the hotel we jumped onto the coach and travelled into the centre of Manchester to go to the National football museum. The boys absolutely loved many of the interactive activities that were on offer from doing ‘keepy-ups’, taking penalties and testing their passing accuracy.

From the museum we travelled to Old Trafford and after a quick lunch we were privileged to receive a small tour of the stadium and we were able to go pitch side and take some fantastic photos that ordinarily would never be possible. After a trip to the mega-store and some more football drills on the 5-a-side pitch, we took our seats for the match. Manchester United had many big stars returning from injury and the expectation was high but to the dismay of the majority of the 75,000 in attendance it was Newcastle United who scored first. For the neutral this was the perfect scenario and it kicked Man Utd into life and then went on to score four goals and we all had a really exciting afternoon. It felt like a long journey home and there were a lot of tired boys (and teachers) when we got back but it was well worth it.

My highlight of the weekend was after the games on the Friday when Max Duggan and Alistair Hill stood up in the post-match presentation to offer their thanks to the opposition. The manner in which they spoke and the things they said made me very proud of them and all the boys and its at times like that you realise that these types of trips are very much worthwhile.

Since then and on that afternoon there were still plenty of other fixtures going on. On the Friday we had both the U8s and U9s put three teams out each against Twickenham Prep, the majority of which resulted in victories and this week saw fixtures against Newland House and further games against TPS. The U9s put out five teams against Newland House with three wins and two losses and on Wednesday the U10s, in their last fixture of the year played two games against TPS, both of which they won and the U11s fielded three teams against TPS and they too won all of them.

Next week sees a busy week for the U8s with a fixture on Tuesday and Friday and then the following week sees us play the last fixtures of the year before we turn our minds to rugby!

Prep News

In assembly this week Headmaster’s Commendations were awarded to Archie Duggan and Daniel Wheeler (Both 3L) Arin Patel and Daniel Prichard (Both 3W) For completing my first voyage on the Reach for the Stars Programme, demonstrating continued effort and progress in reading and spelling. Alfie Keller (3L) For writing an amazing dinosaur adventure story with fantastic illustrations. Tom Chance, Henry Morgan and Phoenix Stromgren (All 3L) Arin Patel, Bertie Bishop, Theo Tang and Sena Kelly (All 3W) For a creative shoebox design, reflecting on our class reading book ‘Flora and Ulysees’. Well done to those boys!

Please note that next week is our last week for CCAs. Unfortunately Table Tennis will not be taking place next Wednesday 29 due to our Pupils’ Informal Concert taking place in The James Hall after School, an email went to parents explaining that boys will be looked after at the Prep until 4.50pm if you are unable to collect at 3.50pm.


Pre-Prep News

It’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas and to get us all into the mood, Reception, Years 1 and 2 will be performing their Christmas Show in the James Hall at Prep on Thursday 30 November at 2.30pm.  Mr Gellner-Ward, our School Keeper, will be on the Carlisle park gate to let you onto the Prep site from 2.15pm onwards. We look forward to seeing you there.  Also, please note the children will be dismissed from Prep once the performance has finished.

To assist the children in changing into their costumes on Wednesday 29 and Thursday 30 November, we would be extremely grateful if all the children could come to school dressed in their school PE kit.  It is especially important for Reception children to be in their PE kit on both days as this forms part of their costume – many thanks in advance for your support in this matter.

Also, Secret Santa takes place next Friday (1 December). This is wonderful event is organised by the Association and provides the children with the perfect opportunity to purchase ‘secret’ presents for their parents.  Mrs Rowe and her team will guide and assist the children throughout their visit to Santa’s Grotto.  The children will then bring their present home, already wrapped to pop under the tree!

In assembly today, the Courtesy Cup and Badge went to William Lewin-Smith for his beautiful manners and his cheery greeting each morning.

and Stars of the Week to the following pupils:

Year 2: Ruark MacDonald for remembering to end each sentence with a full stop.

Year 1: Arthur Band for completing extra sentence writing every week with his spellings.

Reception:  Callum Porter for working very hard with all his work and play this week – well done!

Here’s what we’ve been up to in class …

Kindergarten enjoyed another week of reading versions of The Gingerbread Man. Using themed character masks, we acted out the story as a class, and also had fun making up our own stories, squeezing in as many characters as we could! Using the split pins, we made movable gingerbread men and enjoyed making them run, run as fast as they could! In circle time, we used our gingerbread man puppet to introduce prepositions. He was very cheeky hiding ‘behind’, ‘on top’, ‘in front’ and ‘under’ the children whilst they sat and ate their fruit. There was a delicious smell coming from our classroom on Thursday when we made our very own gingerbread men. In groups, we weighed out the ingredients and then stirred them with the wooden spoon. The fun part was using our fingers to rub in the butter, albeit a little messy! We then used the rolling pins to roll out the gingerbread dough and used the gingerbread man cutter. It was fun decorating them with currants before putting them into the oven to bake. Luckily, not one of them ran away! In phonics, we have been looking at curly ‘c’ and kicking ‘k’. We were very surprised to find that two different letters have the same sound.

Our topic next week is ‘A Healthy Body’. We will be looking at what contributes to keeping our bodies healthy. Our role-play area will be a green grocer shop, where the children can buy and sell fruit and vegetables. Kindergarten class are collecting toilet roll tubes for an art activity, if you have any at home please could you bring them.

This week in Reception, we focused our learning around the story of Dear Zoo. We made animal masks, lift the flap pictures, counted animals (and their legs!) and wrote animal initial sounds.  In literacy, we wrote our own letters to the zoo asking for a pet and then used adjectives to describe what they had sent. We thought bears would be too fierce, hippos would be too grumpy, tigers too dangerous, snakes too slithery and giraffes would be a nuisance to the neighbours! Our dream pet was a puppy – we thought it would be cute and cuddly. In mathematics, we have been learning to tell the time. We concentrated on ‘o’ clock and the boys had opportunities to read and record the time. We were very pleased with the way they approached this task and we are sure they will impress you with their clock knowledge this weekend. Whilst on the topic of zoos we also spoke about the best living conditions for animals, and Mrs Murphy’s assembly on freedom (linked to animals) proved very timely and enlightening.

This week Year 1 enjoyed continuing their work on repeating patterns by writing an extra verse to the poem ‘Batman’s Exercise Video’. The children came up with lots of different repeating actions to keep Batman fit and healthy!

In maths, we line danced our way through the week, learning how to turn clockwise, anti-clockwise and move to the left and to the right. We continued our work on position and direction by looking at words that describe position.

In science, we learnt all about creatures from under the sea and created our very own aquarium.

This week in maths Year 2 have looked at money. We thought carefully about which coins we have in England, tried to make different amounts of money using only the coins we have and worked out how much change should be given.

In English, we wrote rounds to the pattern and rhythm of ‘London’s Burning’ before writing these out. We had to make sure that each line had the correct number of syllables. Izzy taught us a trick to find out how many syllables a word has – by holding your fingers gently over your voice box you can feel them!

In science, we learned what electrical insulators and conductors are, before carrying out an investigation in groups to find out which materials made the best conductors.

Have a lovely weekend.