Headmaster's Newsletter Friday 23rd November 2018

Dear Parents,

Last week the Warden and I were delighted to welcome the Vice-President of Keio University, Tokyo, and the former Headmaster and teachers from Keio Yochisha Elementary School which, like us, is an integral part of the tertiary foundation. Our visitors toured School and College and attended Evensong, and we had many fruitful exchanges on the craft of education across the world. We hope this will be a developing international link of benefit to pupils and teachers alike. To mark the visit, I was generously presented with the autobiography of Keio University’s founder, Yukichi Fukuzama. An early advocate for reform, Fukuzawa's ideas about the education and the structure of social institutions had a huge influence on a rapidly-changing Japan during the Meiji period in the second half of the nineteenth century. One paragraph sums up Fukuzama’s ambition for the education of Keio students and resonated with me as a set of universal principles we surely share in our ambitions for all our pupils. “So, today, when many former students of Keio have gone out into the world, if I hear they are practising the sciences of number and reason in whatever business they may follow, if I hear they are upright in character, sharing in the principle of independence – that is the chief pleasure I find in enlivening my old age.”

Debating in assembly; Building light boxes in Year 5 DT; Break time reading; Reception story time

Sport. The U9 boys faced the Dragon last Friday afternoon. In recent years this has always proved to be our hardest game of the season and seldom has it been a positive result. This year’s games in both the ‘A’ & ‘B’ team fixtures proved to be as exciting as I can remember and, despite the ‘’B team losing 10-6, they proved once again they are a force to be reckoned with. Jack Showell-Rogers and Zachery Williams especially were both great in attack and defence. In the ‘A’ team fixture, the game was a fierce and physical encounter with both teams scoring some great tries. At half-time, the score was 3-1 in favour of our hosts and our only advice to the boys was to exploit the pace of Didrik and Dan to score more freely. So the second half was a highly charged and entertaining half of rugby with NCS dominating in attack. The final score ended up at 6-6 with NCS winning the period by five tries. A fantastic game to end the week and certainly the best we’ve seen this team play this term!

On Tuesday this week the U8 boys were all playing in the MCS TAG rugby festival and, despite the extreme cold, all three teams had a successful afternoon and scored more tries than we’ve ever seen. We had some outstanding play from a great many boys but special mention has to go to George Walker who was outstanding all afternoon and Mr Bradley tells me was our top try scorer. Particular thanks to Thomas Hayes and Xander Smith from Year 2 who stepped in to fill in for some Year 3 boys who were unwell. Both boys gave a really strong performance and were a credit to Year 2! Also on Tuesday, the U11 ‘A’ & ‘B’ teams played host to Sibford School. In both games, NCS quickly got onto the score sheet through slick passing moves and strong runs from mid-field. The Sibford boys tackled extremely hard and we had to be at our best to retain possession under such pressure. The boys played a very intelligent game, though, and kept the ball moving well to avoid contact wherever possible: in doing so they managed to run in six tries to Sibford’s two. In the ‘B’ team game the boys racked up an impressive 12 tries to our guests’ 5 with some standout performances from Maurits Branderhorst, Harry Davies and Jasper Nolan.

Wednesday saw the U13 ‘A’ & ‘B’ teams play against a very tough outfit at Bruern Abbey School. Mr Bradley took the ‘B’ team away and they put in a very strong performance but losing by 10 tries to 5. The boys were missing three key players through illness and I must congratulate those boys who have come into the side as they all gave everything and never stopped striving. James Clarke and Dennis Pym were both mentioned by Mr Bradley for their efforts and showed both good skills and, more importantly, commitment! In the ‘A’ team match, we were expecting a very physical game and it did not disappoint, with both teams putting in great tackles in defence. When the NCS boys put good passing moves together, they scythed through the Bruern defence using the pace of Joseph Conway and the power of Callan McMillan to good effect. At half time, the game was locked at 2-2 and finely balance for another half of good quality rugby. However, both teams had reverted to a crash-and-hope style of play and we had lost the flair and excitement from the game. The game turned into a chess match with neither side wanting to give away the advantage! With seconds left on the clock we had a potential break but alas the ball was turned over and our guests scored with the last play of the day to steal a 3-2 win. The boys did not feel as if they had lost a game, though, and following such a good performance we could only look forwards positively to see what next week brings! Lastly this week the U11 teams were all in action on Thursday afternoon with the ‘A’ team away at the Cokethorpe Festival and the ‘B’, ‘C’ and ‘D’ teams playing CCCS at home. In the home fixtures, we managed to win two out of the three games including a 12-2 win for the ‘B’ team. In the ‘C’ team game it was a narrow 11-9 loss, but Tommy Parkinson deserves a mention for his five tries! The ‘D’ team rounded things off with a cracking 12-11 win over their opposition with Henry East the star of the show running in five tries! In the ‘A’ team we faced some very stiff opposition in MCS, Milton Keynes Prep and Summer Fields. We knew we had been placed in a hugely competitive group and the boys played some superb running rugby securing a great 3-1 over Milton Keynes Prep and only narrowly losing to Summer Fields and MCS by two tries in each game. In the group stages we were up a little against the odds as we had lost Joseph Lasserson to a knock to his shoulder: a brave last-ditch tackle saw him out of action and meant the boys had to play the rest of the day with no respite. At the end of the day we found ourselves in a play-off for 7th place with Sibford School. In a short, frenzied game such as this we played some of best rugby and ran in four brilliant scores including the score of the day as Ethan McMillan and Jack Rothery teamed up expertly to over-lap the Sibford defence and dive over in the corner. A deserved win ensured 7th place for NCS. Finally this week, we should mention the U11 and U13 captains Jack Rothery and Callan McMillan respectively who both performed with maturity and showed great leadership this week both on and off the field. We are all very proud of you: well done!

Creative book reviews in Year 3

Break time table football

The Senior Concerts last Wednesday once again demonstrated much enthusiasm talent and, above all, enjoyment of music-making. It’s always a privilege to see how our instrumentalists develop their confidence and skills over the years and have the chance to perform with such sympathetic support from their friends and from parents.

My good wishes to the choristers for the Advent Carol Service on Sunday and then a raft of Christmas Carol Services and concerts after that: like many musicians at this time of year, they will have a busy, but I hope uplifting, few weeks ahead of them.

The Pre-Prep will have their turn this week with their Winter Concert this Thursday, 29th November at 2.30pm. I have heard lots of evidence of burgeoning musical talent in the pre-prep and much look forward to it. Limited parking will be available in the school playground from 2.00pm on a first-come-first–served basis.

Hilary Term Activities Sign-Up. A reminder, following Mr Hardy-Lenik’s parentmail earlier last week, that sign-up for next term’s activities opens next Friday, 30th November at 8.00 pm and be closed the following, Friday, 7th December at 8.00pm. Links to the Hilary Term activities brochures are below.

Prep School Brochure: http://online.anyflip.com/duvb/jtec

Pre Prep Brochure: http://online.anyflip.com/duvb/phdj/

Book Launch. All NCS parents, colleagues and older pupils are warmly invited to the launch of Dr Jenkinson’s and my poetry anthology, How Poems Work, featuring meanings, techniques and effects in 100 poems from Beowulf to the Iraq War. The launch will take place in the Founder’s Library in College at 6.30pm on Friday, 30th November. Drinks and nibbles will be served. Please let the School Office know soonest if you think you are likely to join us so we have a sense of numbers for catering purposes.

Please find attached a poster for the Chamber Choir and Choral Society Christmas Concert on Saturday 15th December at 7.30pm in New College Chapel. Tickets (£15 full price; £10 concessions including NCS parents; £5 students; Free for u18s) are obtainable from the school office and from www.wegottickets.com/event/455265

If you’re in London before Christmas, why not join in A New College Christmas, a journey in music through Advent and Christmas in a concert given by the choristers and clerks at St John’s Smith Square on Monday 17th December at 7.30pm. Tickets £10 - £25 from www.sjss.org.uk/events/new-college-christmas

Saturday Morning Music School. Mr Neal, Mr Quinney and I have been considering the pattern of Saturday Morning Music School. We have long thought it would be useful to be able to give the boys the opportunity of a little more supervised instrumental practice in school and also review the timings of the Saturday chorister rehearsal. Accordingly, we have decided we would like to trial the following timings from the start of next term which we hope will be advantageous for all. Saturday Morning Music School to start at 10.00am and finish at 12.15pm, with an entirely voluntary opportunity for supervised instrumental practice from 9.30am. The Saturday chorister practice would then shift from lunchtime in College to 9.00am in School, with an opportunity for instrumental practice for choristers on a rotational basis between 9.00 and 9.30am.

These events at the end of term will be all-too-soon upon us so I hope the following details will be helpful for parents’ planning at this stage of the year. I’m sure we’re all looking forward to some great treats and celebrations. Please do join us if you can.

Please note that there are no after school activities except for Chamber Choir in the last week of term.

Tuesday 11th December – Chamber Choir sing at the Christmas Market, 5.30-6.00pm. All NCS families welcome to support! Limited parking on a ‘first-come-first-served’ basis will be available in the school grounds from 5.00pm onwards.

Thursday 13th December – Pre-Prep Nativity Play: 2.00 pm School Hall Written and directed by Mrs Cox and performed by members of Pre-Prep. Tickets are limited to two per family and are available from Pre-Prep teachers. Limited parking on a ‘first-come-first-served’ basis will be available in the school grounds from 1.30pm onwards. The play will finish at approximately 2.45 pm. Parents should then be able to collect their children from form tutors and take them to the Christmas Fair.

Thursday 13th December –NCSPA Christmas Fair for boys and parents 2.00-4.30 pm Sports Hall. As in previous years, there will be a number of vendors offering an interesting mix of items for sale as well as special stalls for the boys. Refreshments will be available in the dining room and there will be a selection of delicious homemade cakes and biscuits on sale. Year 3 upwards will be able to visit the Fair during school time, and should bring any shopping money in a named purse to be handed to form teachers during the day for safe-keeping as appropriate. Pre-prep boys can visit with their parents after the end of the Nativity play. Visitors to the Fair may park in the school grounds if space permits, but no earlier than 1.30pm

Friday 14th December – New College School Carol Service: 11.00 am New College Chapel. Parents and friends are warmly invited to join us for our traditional carol service in the College Chapel, attended by all the boys. Pupils will be reading and the music will be provided by our instrumentalists, the pre-prep, junior and chamber choirs and the Choristers. There will be plenty of opportunities for the congregational singing too! Limited parking is available again on a ‘first-come-first-served’ basis in the school grounds but please do not arrive to park before 10.35 am because we want boys to have their morning break unimpeded by cars. The carol service finishes at approximately 11.50 am. School ends at 12 noon. Parents should collect boys from School not from the Chapel. On their return from the Chapel, boys will collect belongings from their classrooms. Boys in Pre-Prep should be collected from Pre-Prep classrooms. Boys in Years 3 – 8 will be brought to the Sports Hall where they will meet up with parents. Please be sure to meet them in the Sports Hall and not in the car park: the former is much safer!

Next term begins on Wednesday 9th January at 8.20am for the prep school and 8.45am for the pre-prep, by which time we shall have moved the Pre-Prep and Years 3 & 4 into the interim building, which is looking very smart indeed. Parents and friends are invited to join us for ribbon-cutting and cake and an opportunity to view the building at 10.00am instead of our usual beginning of term service. There will also be an opportunity to see round the building at pick-up time on the same day.

With good wishes to all NCS families,

Robert Gullifer

Forthcoming Events

Saturday, 24 November 2018

No choristers at Saturday Morning Music School

Sunday, 25 November 2018

17.30 NC Choir: Advent Carol Service New College Chapel (ticket only)

Wednesday, 28 November 2018

10.00 School Service, New College Chapel. Speaker: Professor Richard Whittington, Millman Tutorial Fellow in Business Studies, Tutor for Undergraduate Admissions, Professor of Strategic Management, New College. Coffee in the Undercroft afterwards for parents and visitors

14.00 U13 A Rugby vs Dragon, Home

14.00 U13 B Rugby vs Dragon, Away

Thursday, 29 November 2018

14.15 U11 A Rugby vs Kitebrook, Away

14.30 Pre Prep Winter Concert, School Hall

Friday, 30 November 2018

14.00 U9 A & U8 A Rugby vs Cokethorpe, Away

Saturday, 1 December 2018

End of University Term

Sunday, 2 December 2018

15.00 NC Choir: Christmas Carol Service New College Chapel (ticket only)

Monday, 3 December 2018

Associated Board Exam Week

14.00 U13A Rugby vs D’Overbroeck’s, Home

Tuesday, 4 December 2018

14.00 U11 A&B Rugby vs Cokethorpe, Home

14.00 U10 A&B Rugby vs Cokethorpe, Away

13.00 Years 3 and 4 to Robin Hood, Watermill Theatre

Wednesday, 5 December 2018

10.00 School Service, New College Chapel. Speaker: The Revd Dr Erica Longfellow, School and College Chaplain. Coffee in the Undercroft afterwards for parents and visitors.

7.00 U11 A Rugby IAPS Rugby Festival, Away

Thursday, 6 December 2018

9.00 Rec, Yrs 1, 2, 3, 4 & 5 Flu Immunisations

9.15 Year 6 IMPS visit

14.00 U11 Rugby Housematches, Home

16.00 U9 & U11 Chess match vs Phil & Jim

Friday, 7 December 2018

14.30 U8 A Tag vs Sibford, Away

14.30 U9 A Rugby vs Sibford, Away

Saturday, 8 December 2018

16.30 NC Choir: Old Members’ Carol Service

19.30 NC Choir: St Thomas’s Feast

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