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Headmaster's Newsletter Friday 30th November 2018

Dear Parents,

It’s always a pleasure to welcome Fellows of New College to speak at our Chapel assembly, drawing on the shared endeavour of our foundation. This week, Professor Richard Whittington, Tutorial Fellow in Business Studies and Professor of Strategic Management, immediately grabbed the attention of the boys by talking about mobile phones. Now I’m sure we adults have mixed feelings about mobile phones (useful, but too all-pervading; great when we have them, devastating if we lose them etc.), but they are naturally a source of great fascination to growing children. Professor Whittington reminded the boys of the immense power mobile phone manufacturers have over us, together with the suppliers of the search engines they use. He explained to the boys how these companies wield extraordinary global influence. But with that huge power, he pointed put, should come a real sense of responsibility. Responsibility for the conditions of those who mine the cobalt which goes into the batteries in the phones, for example; or responsibility for policing the legality, decency and truthfulness of search engine material. It was a rousing call to even our youngest to think about their responsible contribution to the communities of which they are part: family, school, neighbourhood and, as they grow up, their places of work and the wider world. The phrase ‘global village’ has perhaps been overworked, but I’m sure the boys are becoming more aware than ever that what they buy, what they watch on media devices, how they dispose of rubbish, in short many of the choices they have the power to make, may either have a beneficial or deleterious effect on others right round the world. In the same vein, the Eco Committee gave us a thought-provoking assembly this week on the huge global problem of irresponsible disposal of plastic. I was very impressed by the thought that had gone into their presentation and the strength of their message for us all. Today, led by Lyndon Chen and Sammy Jarvis, they organised a most enjoyable ‘treasure hunt’ of questions on energy usage which again raised awareness of how precious natural resources are being used and the effects of our use or abuse of them on the environment. It’s fair to say that the responsibility of NCS pupils is very evident and should give us hope for the future.

Pre-Prep Winter Concert; The Battle of Culloden in Year 8 History; Poetry in Year 7 English

The Pre-Prep delighted us with their Winter Concert yesterday. There was some very spirited and heartfelt singing from them all (Who could resist the appeal of You are my sunshine, sung for parents and grandparents?) and lovely solo performances which are no doubt the first steps to many more over the coming years. My thanks to parents, grandparents, and friends for your support of the concert: it means much to the boys.

My good wishes to the choristers for the College Christmas Carol Service on Sunday. They have already notched up a most moving Advent Carol Service last Sunday and will be busy with concerts in London and Oxford up until Christmas, where I’m sure they will continue to impress.

Separating materials in Year 4 Science

Year 1 Art

Sport. As we begin to move towards the end of term, the busy fixture schedule is still in full swing and the boys are enjoying great success on the rugby pitches. Last Friday was an extremely pleasing afternoon of sport with the U8 and U9 teams in action in a triangular fixture with Windmill Primary and MCS. We had over 70 children from three schools all playing rugby and really enjoying their games. The rugby was fiercely contested and a great many tries were scored with our U8 ‘A’ team being the stars of the show on this occasion in their good win vs Windmill. George Walker was in very good form and was deservedly voted ‘man of the match’. On Wednesday afternoon it was the turn of the U13 ‘A’ & ‘B’ teams to play: this fixture against the Dragon School has always been a highly competitive match. Mr Bishop had the pleasure of taking the ‘B’ team away for this fixture. The first half saw our hosts race into a 4-0 lead thanks to strong running and some lacklustre tackling from the NCS players. At half-time we had clawed one back so the score was 4-1. Our only request from them during the team talk was more aggression and they did not disappoint! The second half performance was the best we’ve seen them play with every boy stepping up and trying their best. Edward Bennett, Julien Rohart and particularly Narian Madar deserve special mention for their efforts. The final score was 5-3 to the Dragon, but we left with our heads held high after such a great game! In the ‘A’ team game, Mr Rose tells me the NCS boys were in devastating form with tries coming from all over the park. Joseph Conway bagged a hat trick and was wonderful all afternoon especially in the tackle. Callan McMillan had another brilliant game as captain and he himself crossed the line six times for an unprecedented double hat trick! The final score was 13-0 to NCS which was a first for the NCS U13 boys in this fixture: we’ve not got to double figures before!

Finally this week, the U11 team has been in action against Kitebrook School. After a very competitive opening seven minutes the score remained 0-0 and both sides were tackling extremely well and trying hard to retain possession. We were really impressed at how the NCS boys did not panic when they did not have the ball and just worked hard on maintaining their lines and defending. When the mistake came, we struck with ruthless speed and excellent passing to score a great try in the corner. This pattern of play continued throughout the first half and at the whistle NCS were 4-1 up. In the second half we managed to bring on a few more players for their U11 ‘A’ debut including Paddy Armstrong, Henry Jones and Luca Prag. All three boys were excellent and not worried at all by the step-up. A final score of 9-2 represents a fine afternoon for this ever-improving team and I warmly congratulate the boys on their excellent team work.

Headship Appointment. Following the Warden’s letter to parents earlier this week, I’m sure you will join me in congratulating Dr Matthew Jenkinson, currently Deputy Head Academic, on his being selected by the Governing Committee to be the next Head of NCS from September 2019, when I shall step back to take up my new role within the Foundation. The post attracted a wide field of well-qualified applicants. All short-listed candidates were interviewed by the Committee during an intensive two-day process, as the Warden mentioned in his letter, and Dr Jenkinson was the Committee’s unanimous choice. Dr Jenkinson has a first-class history degree from Durham, took his D.Phil in cultural history from Merton College, Oxford, and gained a distinction in his M.Ed in Educational Leadership from Buckingham. He was appointed to NCS in 2008, joined the Senior Leadership Team in 2011, and is a popular, highly-respected teacher of English and History, chorister tutor and form tutor. He has been a governor of a local maintained school and is a prolific writer for educational journals and websites, as well as continuing to write and review on literary and historical topics. He is the author of Charles I’s Killers in America, Culture and Politics at the Court of Charles II, How Poems Work, and the editor of the Hour-Long Shakespeare series. He counts among his wider interests: music, theatre, Italian film and baseball.

Hilary Term Activities Sign-Up. A reminder that sign-up for next term’s activities opens tonight 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/

Links to the sign-up forms are below.

Pre Prep: https://goo.gl/forms/OPrWu7bCIobWvjWf1

Prep School: https://goo.gl/forms/EcUgZ3e8IH5mufVh2

Do encourage your sons in the Prep School to take part in the competition run by Mrs Showell-Rogers to learn the phonetic alphabet (the international language of alphabetic communication, pioneered by NATO in the 1950s). A list of the phonetic alphabet can be obtained from her and the competition will take place in the School Hall on Monday – Wednesday breaktimes next week.

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

The 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 and Judo 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!

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

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

12.00 Varsity Match 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

Monday, 10 December 2018

No after school activities in the last week of term

14.00 U13 Rugby Housematches, Home

16.00 Choristers’ Christmas Party, Red Room

Tuesday, 11 December 2018

14.15 U11A Rugby v Bruern Abbey, Away

14.15 U11B Rugby v Bruern Abbey, Home

Wednesday, 12 December 2018

Form Period: reports discussed and issued

No School Service

9.00 Carol Service practice

Christmas Lunch

Pre-Prep Dress Rehearsal

13.15 Choristers depart for Concert at St George's Hanover Square

Thursday, 13 December 2018

9.00 Readers to Chapel

14.00 Pre-Prep Nativity Play

14.00 NCSPA Christmas Fair, Sports Hall

Friday, 14 December 2018

9.00 End of Term Assembly

11.00 Carol Service in Chapel

End of Term 12.00 noon

Saturday, 15 December 2018

19.30 NCS Christmas Choral Society Concert, New College Chapel

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