Headmaster's Newsletter Friday 17th march 2017

Dear Parents,

We are always fortunate on College Day to have the collaboration and encouragement of many colleagues in the College and University who arrange a very special day for us. The Warden set the tone in his address in Chapel and, using the reredos as a potent visual aid, he reminded us that often we look but don’t see: an important distinction to draw at the start of a day of many new sights and experiences. Everyone from Reception to Year 8 gained some special insights into the life, work and treasures of the College and surrounding Oxford: there was storytelling, chapel tours, the physics of sound in the main quad, a demonstration of the organ, architectural sketching, measuring micro-climates in the College gardens, visits to neighbouring museums, a walking tour of ‘undiscovered’ Oxford, a privileged visit to Merton Upper Library, a chance to look at rare material in the College archives and, a highlight for Year 8 in their final year at School, the ascent of the Bell Tower, which affords superb views over Oxford. And, of course, there was lunch in Hall with an enviable choice of everything that NCS boys like to eat! It was a pretty exciting day and the sun shone brilliantly on it all. I am most grateful to parents, College Fellows and Staff and NCS colleagues for their generous support. It’s hard to think that the ever-brimming intellectual curiosity of NCS pupils could be better satisfied.

College Day

Sport. This week the U9 hockey teams continued their unbeaten run with two hard-fought victories over Cokethorpe School, this backed up their other recent wins vs MCS and Brockhurst School. Following this, Fraser Mackenzie, Walter Moore, Henry Moore and Freddie Jones represented the school at the National Cross Country Championships at Malvern College last weekend. In a race of well over 350 athletes and over 65 school teams Freddie Jones finished in a magnificent 11th place with our other athletes more than doing their part in helping to secure 43rd place overall for NCS. Monday morning saw another early start for Mr Bishop, Mr Morrison and the U11 hockey team travelling up to Repton School in Derbyshire for the second of our national finals this term. The 20 best hockey playing schools in the country were battling it out for national honours and we found ourselves in the clichéd “group of death” with Dean Close and the Perse! However we got through the group without losing a game, but too many draws meant we qualified for the plate competition in the afternoon session. Following lunch we played three very hard games vs Framlingham Prep, St Faith’s School and Kent College. The boys were superb all afternoon and managed to win all three games to secure the title and take an overall position of 9th in the country. I congratulate them all most warmly on this outstanding achievement, of which we are all very proud! Having had just a day’s rest, the U11 ‘A’ team were again on the road to the “into Hockey” regional tournament in Woking. They played three group games, winning two against Bedales and Whitgift Schools to qualify for the quarter finals of the cup against Sevenoaks. In a very tough and competitive game we only lost 1-0 to a very dubious penalty flick. All these results are testimony to their hard work and dedication and, just as importantly, their unwavering sense of fair play, sportsman ship and teamwork. Well done to Joseph Conway, Ben Harkness, Dylan Jamieson, Fraser Mackenzie, Reuben McLusky, Callan McMillan, Narian Madar, Raoul Patel. Also on Wednesday, the U11 ‘B’ and ‘C’ teams played in the Dragon festival and had a superb afternoon. Both teams won over 50% of their games and finished in the top half of the final league table. Walter Moore and Lucas Ord were singled out by Mr Rose for special praise and “player of the festival” awards. The U13 hockey teams were also playing this week and in a new fixture vs Brockhurst School. An unknown quantity really, since we have never met before on the hockey pitch, but we were wary of the reputation of a large boarding prep school with a big pool of players. However Mr Morrison tells me that both the ‘A’ and ‘B’ teams fought doggedly all afternoon and the results were very pleasing. The ‘B’ team went down 3-1, but the score line does not reflect how close the game really was and even the opposition coaches stated they were lucky to win! The ‘A’ team managed to pull off a very pleasing 1-0 win and continue their good run of recent weeks. It was a very impressive display of disciplined defending. Finally this week, the U9 and U11 cross country teams attended the Thorngrove School cross country relays. Both teams ran extremely well with the U9 team gaining 4th place and the U11s finishing 3rd and claiming another bronze medal.

Research for a Reformation essay in Year 7 History

Digestion and enzymes in Year 8 Science

Year 7 & 8 are looking forward to the Ceilidh Dance tomorrow with OHS, organised by the NCSPA. Timings are 7-9pm in the Sports Hall. Owing to the set for the French Play, please drop off and collect your son/daughter from the double doors of the Sports Hall nearest to the school gates.

Do join us for the 1st XI Hockey Match vs (recent) Old Boys at the Iffley Road University Astroturf on Sunday at 10.00am. It’s a great opportunity to catch up with recent leavers and their parents and there are usually some delicious pitch-side refreshments afterwards

A reminder that Associated Board Music Exams are next week. Now’s the moment for the final polish to be applied!

Tickets for the Years 5 & 6 French Play, Gogglebox (Vu à la télé), are now available from the School Office. Year 5 families are encouraged to attend on Tuesday 21st March at 6.00pm and Year 6 families on Wednesday 22nd March at 6.00pm. As an innovation this year, the play will take place in the Sports Hall, set out as a French café. From what I’ve seen of rehearsals, we are in for a dramatic tour de force (plus delicious French food afterwards).

All parents are warmly invited to our Words and Music which will be held in New College Chapel on the last day of term Wednesday, 29th March at 11.00am. Music will be performed by boys of all ages throughout the school, and poetry read by winners of the poetry recitation competition in Years 3 to 8. Term ends at 12 noon: boys in Years 3-8 should be collected from the Sports Hall, Pre-Prep boys from the classroom.

As parents will know, the Oxford Literary Festival is on the horizon (25th March – 2nd April). There are many events specially for children and young adults, which look tempting. http://oxfordliteraryfestival.org/literature-events/2017/children-young-adults

Frideswide Voices (Oxford’s liturgical choir for girls) are holding two "Be a Chorister for an Evening" taster sessions: Monday 20th March (at Worcester College Chapel) and Monday 24th April (at Christ Church). Year 2 girls who love singing and are interested in knowing more about being a chorister are encouraged to attend for the chance to sing part of the Evensong service and to try on robes! The sessions are relaxed and fun. Girls are strongly advised to attend a taster session ahead of the auditions which will be held on Saturday 6th May. For further information please see www.frideswidevoices.co.uk The choir will be "in residence" at Magdalen College for Trinity Term, and will sing Evensong there on most Mondays at 6.00pm.

Oxford Active will again be running their holiday club at Oxford High School in the Easter Holidays 3rd – 21st April (excluding Bank Holidays) and in Trinity half-term (30th May – 2nd June) with minibus pick-up from NCS at 8.30 – 9.00am and drop off at 5.00- 5.30pm. Childcare Vouchers may be used for Oxford Active. For bookings, please go to their website www.active-camps.com

The Oxford & Cambridge Singing School at Worcester College, Oxford on the 10th and 11th April. Established in 2013, the School is for boys and girls aged 7–13. Based at Worcester College, Oxford, pupils will learn some beautiful music and at the same time gain a background in vocal technique, music theory and history. Courses include whole-group singing, musical games and exercises to improve sight reading, small group vocal coaching. Each day concludes with a short concert to which families and friends are welcome to attend. www.oxbridgesingingschool.co.uk

With good wishes to all NCS families,

Robert Gullifer

Forthcoming Events

Sat 18

NCSPA Ceilidh for Yrs 7 & 8 - Set up Sports Hall pm

NCSPA Ceilidh for Yrs 7 & 8, Sports Hall, 7.00-9.00 pm

Sun 19

1st XI Hockey vs Old Boys, Iffley Road Astro, 10.00-11.30am

Mon 20

Year 4 to Chedworth Roman Villa 8.30 to 3.45

Marlborough Academic Scholarship

U13 A&B Hockey vs Thorngrove, Away, 3.00pm

Tues 21

Associated Board Music Exams

U13 A&B Hockey vs Cokethorpe, 4.00pm, Away

Years 5 & 6 French Play and Café, Sports Hall, 6.00pm

Wed 22

School Service - 10.00 am - New College Chapel

Speaker: The Revd Dr Erica Longfellow, School & College Chaplain

Coffee afterwards in the Undercroft for parents and visitors

Years 5 & 6 French Play and Café, Sports Hall, 6.00pm

Fri 24

NC Choir: Concert at St Martin-in-the –Fields. Rehearsal pm

Sat 25

No Sat am Music School for Choristers

Chamber Choir Concert, St Michael’s Church, Cumnor, 7.00pm

Sun 26

NC Choir departs for US Tour

Mon 27

Orders in Years 3-8 issued, 8.20am – 8.50 am.

No Activities in final week of term.

Tues 28

Practice for Words and Music, New College Chapel, 9.00am

Wed 29

Words and Music, New College Chapel, 11.00am

End of term 12 noon

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