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Headmaster’s Bulletin – Edition 26

This Week

Dear Parents,

I have to say, that Mrs Tinkler our Deputy Head (Pastoral), is a right cheeky chops! I make this claim with great affection of course, and in full knowledge of what she wrote to the Year 6 boys this week about my cooking prowess, compared to hers! Mrs Tinkler is indeed an excellent cook, no doubt about that, and she was right when she explained to the Year 6 boys that she and I enjoy comparing recipes a lot. I must put the record straight here for Year 6 however: Mrs Tinkler often pinches my recipe ideas, it is not the other way around…!

I am so glad that we have been able to replicate parts of the Year 6 leavers’ programme for boys this half term, with the really inspiring talk and follow up Q&A from rising rugby star Louis Lynagh. Today was cookery day for Year 6 (hence my gentle ribbing of Mrs Tinkler above) and I am very grateful to the catering staff from Hampton School for providing a filmed demonstration to inspire the Year 6 boys. I hope that went well for them and the ‘energy bites’ and ‘flatbreads’ all turned out to be as delicious as those in the demonstrations.

Some more good fun from boys in Year 5 to report now. If you follow us on Twitter, a few weeks ago you will have seen Year 5 pupil Josh’s recreation of Mr Chilcott via the medium of clever planting in a human head shaped pot – eccentric but true! The “hair” (wavy long grass in reality) in said pot is apparently as out of control now as the real hair on the real Mr Chilcott’s own head, and a competition has been launched amongst the boys to design a new style. Whether the real Mr Chilcott will choose to cut his actual hair according to the eventual winning entry remains to be seen, but if there are mohawks and pink dye involved I definitely think he should!

Amusing and light-hearted antics to one side now, it remains a source of great pleasure to me to continue dipping in and out of the boys’ work, as they submit it on CENTURY, or via email if need be.

I was thrilled to see work on the novel ‘Stormbreaker’ from boys at the top end of the Prep.  Mrs Sunderland’s English group have been transcribing a scene from the book into a play script, full of exciting dialogue and dramatic directions. Some have gone that extra mile and recorded their own version of the scene, some with excellent parental acting (take a bow Mr Patel!)  giving life and substance to the sinister Mr Blunt. This does beg the question: is he a hero or a villain? (Nice link to our assembly theme, boys!)

I also really enjoyed watching the videos boys in Year 3 submitted to Mrs Lutz, demonstrating their understanding of fractions. All are quite different and showed excellent conceptual mathematical understanding, using various props. Another question is now begging: just how much of a delicious ‘fully loaded’ pizza would a hungry Headmaster eat on a Friday night??

Week 5 of our programme of Guided Home Learning was sent home this morning. We have sought to recalibrate yet again both the volume and variety of tasks included, assisted in doing so with feedback from you and the boys. I do hope the art challenge works well, and if that is a project that spills over into the half term break to keep artistic minds and hands busy, then so much the better I would say!

Stay safe and well,

Tim Smith


Pre-Prep News

Many thanks to all for sending in photographs of your VE Day 75th Anniversary celebrations last Friday – how fantastic to see everyone enjoying themselves in the sunshine.  Back in 1945 people had been living in such harsh conditions for six long years; small wonder this was such an important occasion and, it should be remembered, this did not mark the end of the hardship – it went on for some time longer.  Rationing, for instance, continued for another nine years and the NHS was not founded until 1948 to support all those in need.  Even at this tremendously difficult period of our lives, we have so much to be grateful for.

Don’t forget Friday 22nd May is dress up in your ‘House’ colours day – we need to see a photo of you sporting an outfit inspired by your colour team.  Get creative and have some fun – after all it’s nearly half term!  Kindergarten, you should have already heard from the School Office what colour your child has been placed in – if you haven’t, please do get in contact with either Mrs Zander or Mrs Henderson on .  We know that some of our Kindergarten children will sadly be leaving us at the end of the year, if you child falls in to this category, please know they can choose whether they wish to dress in red, yellow, green or blue!

The quality of the work being submitted to school continues to impress us greatly, so a very big well done to all!  It is important to remember that play remains crucial for young children – in fact, the importance of play cannot be underestimated as it is so vital in supporting young children’s learning and development. Please know from me, it is more than okay to down tools and have regular breaks from ‘school work’ – make sure you give time over to free play during the working week, after all back at school, the day would be punctuated by periods of free, uninterrupted, sustained play.

Play supports positive attitudes and learning – imagination, curiosity, enthusiasm and persistence to name but a few.  The type of learning, processes and skills fostered in play cannot be replicated through rote learning.  Simply put, children who have more opportunities for free play have better physical and mental health, as play significantly decreases stress levels and most importantly facilitates learning. During Guided Home Learning, therefore, it is absolutely fine to set dedicated time aside for free play each day – it also means you can get on with the things you need to do safe in the knowledge that your child is not only free from harm – having fun but also learning and making sense of the world they live in.

A small selection of photographs from Year 1 this week!

A ‘Shout out’ for a magnificent accomplishment this week goes to:  Rayan (Reception) for achieving his “Hi Low Block” badge in Kuk Sool Won.

Puzzle 3 saw some terrific efforts again this week – very well done to all!  What impressed me greatly was not only the interesting names chosen in the list, but how beautifully neatly they were written.  It was also lovely to hear the meaning of so many names.  Here’s just a small selection:  Mahir means ‘talented’, Caleb means ‘brave’, Viaan means ‘full of energy and life’, Aizhou’s name is split in to two meanings – Ai means a type of plant believed to bring you luck and Zhou means land in water and Wilf means ‘desiring peace’.  It was also very interesting to hear how names were chosen in the first place – many in tribute to grandparents.

Stars of the Week went to:

Year 2: Rishi for producing some excellent pieces of work whilst working from home. We especially enjoyed your silent movie! Keep up the great work!

Year 1: Jack for working consistently hard across all subjects – we have noticed that you are putting an extra effort into all of your work – well done, keep it up!

Reception: Sarp for working so hard in Mathematics, especially his addition and subtraction sums and measuring activities.

Have a wonderful weekend!


headmaster's picture
Tim SmithHeadmaster