Headmaster's Newsletter Friday 10th MAY 2019

Dear Parents,

For the earlier part of this week I have been at a conference in Cambridge for the Heads of schools with choral foundations. It includes Heads from both prep and senior schools, united by our common origins and values. Amongst many items of mutual interest, the theme of the conference centred on how we educate our pupils to manage busy lives with a sense of equilibrium; on how we can be productively busy without resorting to ‘busyness’. (For the record, the delegates managed two Evensongs in one evening, one at King’s and one at St John’s which might seem busy but certainly promoted a productive equilibrium!). There was a good deal of wise discussion about encouraging self-discipline with regard to the more tyrannical aspects of the 24/7 connected technology and of simply encouraging the routine of family conversation around a table at meal times. Even just ensuring that in our pupils’ rush to be busy and fit everything in they never neglect the common civilities of please and thank you. Simple, but effective. I noted this week that Eton has recently introduced lessons in empathy and gratitude. Their Head of Teaching and Learning commented that it was important for pupils to take time to express their gratitude and that often gratitude is about thanking others making time for them. Recovering those civilities is not time-consuming, but highly affirming of personal contact rather than impersonal ‘busyness’.

Fruit batteries in Year 6 Science; Sports journalism with Oliver Holt in Year 8; Pre-Prep story time with the Headmaster; Researching inventors in Year 3 'Greats'

Sport. Despite the extremely damp conditions this week, the boys have all been extremely busy honing their skills in cricket training sessions. We are hopeful for a return to warmer weather next week so we can complete some matches. The U9 teams have managed to complete two games this week against local rivals MCS. Both teams really impressed with the bowling and fielding: particularly noteworthy was the accuracy of the ‘A’ team’s bowling. Mr Bishop tells me he can’t remember a match so early in the season at this level where so few extras were bowled. With such a strong display with the ball, we were hopeful of chasing down the totals in both the ‘A’ & ‘B’ team games; but alas we fell short of the target. In the ‘’B team game, the MCS winning margin was just three runs and the game went down to the final ball with Alex Remoundos and Jacob Whyte having very good games. In the ‘A’ team game we found it difficult to strike the ball with any power and the lack of boundaries unfortunately cost us the match.

Away from the cricket pitch, NCS pupils have been extremely busy elsewhere. A number of boys competed at the Sibford School Cross Country Races on Tuesday and we had several medallists across the different age groups. Well done to Finley Appleby (Bronze Medal), Timon Bergmann (Bronze Medal), Hugo Branderhorst (Gold Medal) and Ethan McMillan (Silver Medal). Overall the School as a team was first overall. Very well done on these super results! Lewie Harris competed in his first Quad Kids athletics event on Sunday morning. In a very competitive field, he finished 17th overall for his club, Bicester AC. Finley Appleby and Benji Wilson both had a brilliant weekend away in Minehead playing rugby for their club Oxford Harlequins. The festival was organised by Leicester Tigers Rugby Club and included some top club sides from England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Their team emerged victorious having won five out of their six games. Not only were the boys on the winning side, but they also were awarded the fair play trophy! Very well done to all. On the hockey pitch, boys from NCS have been representing Oxfordshire in the U13 and U14 age groups. Fraser Mackenzie and Dylan Jamieson are both key members of the U13 squad which has recently won the southern championship for the first time ever! Reuben McLusky and Joseph Conway were in the U14 team who finished fourth in a very tough league. Congratulations to all! Joseph Conway has also been selected to represent the South of England in the performance centre play pathway development programme that England Hockey run. This is a hugely significant achievement and a first for an NCS pupil and we wish him well for this exciting opportunity.

Playground engineering

Following Eton College’s recent academic scholarship exams, I am delighted to congratulate Lyndon Chen on obtaining a King’s Scholarship, a top academic award granted to only 15 pupils in a genuinely global competition. Warmest congratulations!

The NCSPA Committee Meeting had a productive meeting on Wednesday and as ever I’m grateful for the unstinting support and helpful suggestions. Planning for the Summer Fete on Wykeham Day (22nd June) is well underway, so do please pitch in and help if you can. The Committee is also looking for a volunteer (or two) to act as an overall co-ordinator to get together teams for NCSPA events. Do let the School Office or your form rep know if you feel you could help in this way.

The Whole School Photograph will take place this Monday; please endeavour to send the boys in as spick and span as possible, and we will do our best to preserve their good order until the photo!

Junior Concerts (Yrs 3, 4, 5) are also this Monday at 5.15pm and 6.15pm with drinks in my study from 5.00pm and 6.00pm respectively; Miss Llewellyn-Jones has sent out details of performers and repertoire by Parentmail.

Sheldonian Concert. Tickets (price £5 for adults, free for under 18s) for the concert in the Sheldonian on Thursday 23rd May at 6.00pm, followed by a reception in New College Antechapel, are now available from the School Office. Tickets are unreserved except by block; we shall allocate the Lower Galleries before the Upper Gallery on a first-come-first-served basis. Please let the School Office know if you have mobility-impaired family or friends who require ground floor access. Tickets for the reception are free-of-charge, but we need to know accurate numbers for catering purposes and quite understand that parents of our younger children may wish to take them home immediately after the concert.

And finally, my termly plea to drivers to be especially aware of small children and cyclists in Savile and Mansfield Roads. We all know how unpredictable and often excitable children can be, so your vigilance is appreciated. Many thanks!

With good wishes to all NCS families,

Robert Gullifer

Forthcoming Events

Monday, 13 May 2019

15.00 Whole school photo

16.00 U11A Tennis vs MCS, Away

17.15 Junior Concert Pt 1 (Yrs 3, 4,5) School Hall

Refreshments beforehand in HM Study at 5.00pm

18.15 Junior Concert Pt 2 (Yrs 3, 4,5) School Hall

Refreshments beforehand in HM Study at 6.00pm

19.30 NCS Choral Society Rehearsal, Sports Hall

Tuesday, 14 May 2019

14.00 U11 Cricket House Matches, Home

Wednesday, 15 May 2019

10.00 School Service, New College Chapel

Speaker: Professor Lucia Nixon, former Visiting Scholar, Wolfson College; Co-director, The Sphakia Survey Project. Coffee afterwards in the Undercroft for parents and visitors

14.15 U12 A Cricket vs Summer Fields, Away

Year 8/8S trip to 'As You Like It' @ RSC, Stratford

Thursday, 16 May 2019

14.15 U11A Cricket vs CCCS, Home

14.15 U11B Cricket vs CCCS, Away

Friday, 17 May 2019

14.00 U9 A Cricket vs Sibford, Away

13.00 U7 Athletics vs Summer Fields, Home

Monday, 20 May 2019

National Walk to School Week

Charity week in aid of Sightsavers

Pre-Prep Reviews start; Years 3 & 4 form tests start

PSB French Listening and Speaking Tests start

9.00 U11A Cricket, Millfield IAPS, Away

14.00 U13 Cricket House Matches, Home

19.30 NCS Choral Society Rehearsal, Sports Hall

Wednesday, 22 May 2019

Orders in Years 3-8 issued

10.00 School Service, New College Chapel

Speaker: The Revd Susan Bridge, Assistant College Chaplain. Coffee afterwards in the Undercroft for parents and visitors

12.45 Orchestra rehearsal, Gym (finish 13:45)

14.30 1st XI Cricket vs Dragon, Home

14.30 2nd XI Cricket vs Dragon, Home

17.30 Governors' Meeting, McGregor Matthews Room

Thursday, 23 May 2019

10.00 Whole School rehearsal for Sheldonian Theatre Concert

13.00 Orchestra rehearsal for Sheldonian Theatre Concert

18.00 Sheldonian Theatre Concert, followed by a reception in New College Antechapel

Friday, 24 May 2019

Home Clothes Day

14.00 U8 Cricket vs CCCS, Home

14.00 U9 Cricket vs CCCS, Away

Saturday, 25 May 2019

Start of Half Term

Thursday, 30 May 2019

18.15 Ascension Day Service, New College Chapel

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