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Headmaster's Newsletter Friday 8th June 2018

Dear Parents,

With our parent hats on, Louise and I spent a few days of half-term in London helping our youngest daughter move flats. In between trips to the dump, IKEA, and a bit of hefty gardening, I managed to sneak a few hours at the National Portrait Gallery. It’s one of my favourite galleries in London, partly because it’s so well laid-out, partly because it’s a fascinating walk through British history, and essentially because I find the art of portraiture communicates so much about our fellow human beings. (It’s a great gallery for children, too, because of its manageable size – worth a holiday visit). A portrait I always enjoy is one of Sydney Smith who was a Fellow of New College in the late 18th century and, as I think his picture (below) shows, a genial, alert and witty observer of life around him. Seeing his picture again sent me back to some of his writings where I came across a characteristic bit of Smithian wisdom. The notion that we should be honest enough to recognise our own particular strengths and deficiencies is an apt message for this week as older boys review their assessment results. Contentment and wellbeing, as Sydney Smith implies, lie in understanding ourselves and playing to our strengths.

Sydney Smith

"It is a very wise rule in the conduct of the understanding, to acquire early a correct notion of your own peculiar constitution of mind, and to become well acquainted, as a physician would say, with your idiosyncrasy. Are you an acute man, and see sharply for small distances? Or are you a comprehensive man, and able to take in, wide and extensive views into your mind? Does your mind turn its ideas into wit? Or are you apt to take a common-sense view of the objects presented to you? Have you an exuberant imagination, or a correct judgment? Are you quick, or slow? Accurate, or hasty? A great reader, or a great thinker? It is a prodigious point gained if any man can find out where his powers lie, and what are his deficiencies." (Sydney Smith, Elementary Sketches of Moral Philosophy, 1849)

Relaxing post-exams

Louise and I are looking forward to the Leavers’ Dinner for Year 8/8S this evening, which is always a most civilised occasion when I'm sure we can all be proud of some really first-rate young people who have certainly played to their strengths in an admirable way. Would parents please note that the dinner will finish at 8.45pm.

Chorister Open Day is tomorrow, Saturday 9th June, 4.00-6.00pm. Parents of boys in the Pre-Prep will have received a letter about the Chorister Open Day, which is an excellent time to meet Mr Quinney and find out more about life in New College Choir.

As already the next academic year is very much in prospect (how rapidly it seems to come round!), I look forward to welcoming parents who will be new to the School in September to drinks this week. I am sure current parents will give your own welcome too in September: I know that many of you often take the trouble to arrange play dates with new pupils, via the class lists we publish later on this term, for which I am most grateful.

Open Morning (next Friday 15th June), Induction Morning (Friday 22nd June) and the Wykeham Day/Summer Fête (Saturday 23rd June) are fast approaching. The Chair of the NCSPA, Daisy East, would still appreciate more offers of help to welcome prospective/new parents on the next couple of Fridays and to support NCSPA stalls at the Fête, which, of course, this year is to be held on Field. Please email her if you can help on ncspa@newcollegeschool.org. Many thanks!

Mrs Ryder has also arranged an Open Art Studio on Friday 15th June 10.00 – 5.00pm. Do pop up to the Art Room sometime during the day to see the fabulous display of the boys’ work.

Practising defending the stumps in Year 3 Cricket Skills

Pre-Prep play time

Library. Please do encourage your sons to visit the library and discover the variety of fact and fiction books on football in the special display arranged by Mrs Hess. There's also a World Cup Quiz and Acrostic/Shape Poetry Competition, for which there will be prizes!

The library is having a total recall of library books from all pupils & staff. All books should be returned by Friday 22nd June and then those boys who are returning to NCS after the summer can borrow books from Monday 2nd July. Mrs Hess will be really grateful if boys, parents & staff could seek out books that have been inadvertently removed from the library and are in bedrooms, desks, classrooms, lying forgotten! It is frustrating when a boy is looking for a specific book that should be on the shelf but cannot be located. And a drain on library finances if they have to be replaced. If a boy is desperately keen to take a book out for activities week, and they have returned all their books, then it will be possible to do so with Mrs Hess’s special permission.

Please do join us for the celebratory events leading up to the end of term. I know how much the boys and my colleagues appreciate your support.

The Pre-Prep Instrumental Concert is on Thursday 14th June at 2.00pm. There is tea for parents afterwards and parking will be available from 2.00pm in the playground.

The Choristers’ Concert is on Monday 18th June at 5.30pm in the Antechapel. Parking will be available from 5.00pm in the playground.

Year 8’s play reading of A Midsummer Night’s Dream is on Wednesday 20th June at 6.00pm in New College Cloisters, followed at 8.00pm by the Summer Drinks Evening. Parking available in the playground.

Years 3 & 4’s production of The Pirates of Penzance is on Thursday 21st June at 6.00pm and Friday 22nd June at 2.00pm in the School Hall. Parking available in the playground.

Wykeham Day (including the Summer Fête) is on Saturday 23rd June. 11.30am: Concert in the School Hall; 12.30pm Cricket vs OBs on Field; 1.00pm: BBQ (many thanks to the Bennett family) on Field; 2.00 – 4.00pm: Summer Fête. Parking available in the school playground.

Sports Day is on Tuesday 3rd July at the University Sports Ground in Iffley Road. Parents are warmly invited to join us; please bring a picnic lunch. Pre-prep sports last from 10.00 – 11.00am and pupils may either stay on with their parents for the prep school sports at 11.00am and lunch or return with form teachers to school. Prep school sports last from 11.00am until about 3.00pm, after which pupils may go home with their parents or return to school to be collected at the usual time. Limited parking will be available at Iffley Road and at School.

• Wednesday 4th July is the Leavers’ Service is at 10.00am in New College Chapel. Parents of leavers are particularly invited to join us. Coffee afterwards in the College Hall.

The Pre-Prep Summer Show and award of annual certificates is also on Wednesday 4th July at 2.00pm. All pre-prep parents are invited but, for reasons of space, we need to limit tickets to two per family. Parking available in the playground from 1.30pm.

The Fathers vs Leavers Cricket Match is also on Wednesday 4th July at 6.00pm on Field. Parking available in the playground and some limited parking on Field.

The Leavers’ Concert is in the University Church at 7.00pm on Thursday 5th July, followed by a reception at School. Parking available in School.

Term ends at 12 noon on Friday 6th July, following prizegiving at 10.45am (to which parents of prizewinners in Years 3-8 will be invited nearer the time). Parking available in school from 10.20am.

With good wishes to all NCS families,

Robert Gullifer

Forthcoming Events

Saturday, 9 June 2018

16.00 Chorister Open Day, Chapel

Monday, 11 June 2018

14.00 U13 A Cricket vs d’Overbroeck’s, Away

Tuesday, 12 June 2018

10.30 U9 House Cricket Matches, Home

15.45 U11 A Cricket vs MCS, Away

15.45 U11 B Cricket vs MCS, Home

19.30 HM Reception for new parents, Sports Hall

Wednesday, 13 June 2018

10.00 School Service, New College Chapel

Speaker: The Revd Dr Ralph Waller, Principal of Harris Manchester College. Coffee afterwards in the Undercroft for parents and visitors

12.00 Eco Committee meeting

14.15 U13 C Cricket vs St Hugh’s, Away

14.15 U13 A Cricket vs Dragon, Away

14.15 U13 B Cricket vs Dragon, Home

Thursday, 14 June 2018

14.15 U11 A Cricket vs Cokethorpe, Away

14.15 U11 B Cricket vs Cokethorpe, Home

14.00 Pre-Prep Instrumental Concert

Friday, 15 June 2018

Open Morning 10.00-12 noon

Open Art Studio, 10.00 – 5.00 pm, Art Room

13.00 U9 Cricket vs Mums, Home

Saturday, 16 June 2018

End of University Term

10.00 Grade V Theory Exam

Sunday, 17 June 2018

18.15 Last Evensong, New College Chapel

Monday, 18 June 2018

Associated Board Exam Week

14.00 U13 Cricket House matches, Home

17.30 Choristers' Concert, New College Chapel

Tuesday, 19 June 2018

LAMDA exams, Sports Hall

14.00 U11A & B Cricket vs Sibford, Home

Wednesday, 20 June 2018

10.00 School Service, New College Chapel

Speaker: Professor Christiane Timmel, Fellow and Tutor in Chemistry, New College. Coffee afterwards in the Undercroft for parents and visitors.

12.30 School Council meeting

14.15 U13 A Cricket vs CCCS, Away

14.15 U13 B Cricket vs CCCS, Home

18.00 Year 8 Play Reading: A Midsummer Night’s Dream, New College Cloisters

20.00 Summer Drinks Evening, New College Cloisters

Thursday, 21 June 2018

9.00 U11-13 Athletics (Mercia Games) Tilsley, away

14.15 U11 A Cricket vs Bruern Abbey, Away

18.00 Years 3 and 4 Musical: The Pirates of Penzance, School Hall

Friday, 22 June 2018

9.00 Induction Morning for new pupils

10.30 Yrs1&2 Cricket House Matches

13.00 Chorister Lunchtime Concert, New College Chapel

14.00 Year 3 and 4 Musical: The Pirates of Penzance, School Hall

Saturday, 23 June 2018

Wykeham Day

11.30 OBs and Pupils' Concert, School Hall

12.30 Cricket vs OBs, Field

13.00 BBQ Lunch, Field

14.00 School Fête, Field (ends 16.00)

18.00 CHASSOC Evensong

Sunday, 24 June 2018

Sicily trip (Yr 8) departs

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