Headmaster's Newsletter Friday 6th september 2019

Dear Parents,

Welcome back! And an especially warm welcome to all those who are new to the NCS community; I hope you all have a very happy and fulfilling time here, and that you enjoy all the opportunities available in this special place. There can be few institutions in the educational world with so much productive buzz, and so many smiling faces, this early in the school year.

It is an enormous privilege to be taking the helm of NCS – the 74th recorded person to do so since 1379. I am also acutely aware of the responsibility I have to keep polishing this particular pedagogical gem. I am just excited that I get to do so alongside such a committed and talented team of pupils, parents, grandparents, friends and colleagues. Indeed, those colleagues – while the boys were shining their shoes and sharpening their pencils – spent the early part of this week in ‘hivemind’ sessions, working on the school’s development plan, to make the NCS experience even better over the coming years.

Playtime fun

And, of course, it is important at this juncture that I pay tribute to the inheritance bestowed on me by my predecessor, Robert Gullifer, who has worked tirelessly and with formidable talent to get NCS to the place it enjoys today. I had the privilege of working closely with him for eleven years of that process and while ‘batting after Bradman’ can at times be daunting, I am lucky that the team has so many runs already on the board. (Don Bradman’s test batting average was 99.94 – no pressure!).

First chapel service of term in college; Microscope work in Year 7 Science; Problem solving in Year 5 Maths; reading aloud

In chapel on Wednesday I spoke about the duty we all have to look after one another to ensure our happiness and success – to ‘bear one another’s burdens’. This was inspired by my beloved grandfather, Harold Bevill, long-time stalwart of Stratfield Road in Summertown and the man who rang me on my first day of secondary school to calm my nerves: ‘Don’t worry, it’s like my first day in the navy’, he said, ‘you’re all in the same boat’. I don’t think he intended the pun, but it has always remained with me as a reminder of the importance of kindness, perspective and mutual support in nervy times of transition. So whether Wednesday was your first day at school, your first day in a new class, or your first day in a new role, I’m with you. We’re all in the same boat; we will bear one another’s burdens; we will look after one another; and I will look after you.

I look forward to seeing you all over the coming days and weeks, and I look forward with great excitement to a year of smiles, laughter, productivity, and achievements in so many different areas in this extraordinarily talented community.

With all best wishes,

Matt Jenkinson

Congratulations to Andrew and Tim Hardy-Lenik on the imminent arrival of their adopted son, Dylan. Mr Hardy-Lenik will be on adoption leave for Michaelmas and Hilary, during which time his Year 3-8 teaching will be covered by Mr Ross Gales. Mr Gales holds an MSc from the University of Melbourne and is currently at the University of Oxford completing a DPhil in computer science, alongside teaching school pupils on the university’s access schemes. The AV Club will be taken by Ms Beverley Ulett who, of course, is very well known to the boys already. Mr Andy Bradley will become Director of Activities in Mr Hardy-Lenik’s absence.

Welcome also to Dr Lucy Gallagher who becomes Head of English; Miss Kate Lam who is our new TA in Year 2; Mrs Kath Ridley, our new TA in Reception; Miss Isobel Rose, our new Assistant Director of Music and Chorister Tutor; Miss Charlotte Rowden who is joining us on her PGCE placement; Mr Peter Cui who will be assisting with some of our after-school activities; and Ms Christine Garrett who will be joining us for Saturday morning school.

Start of Year Drinks. You are very welcome to join us for drinks in the Headmaster’s lodgings over the coming weeks. The door is adjacent to that for the school office (then just go up the stairs) and drinks will run from 19.00 to 21.00. Monday 9 September - Reception parents; Tuesday 10 September - Year 1 parents; Wednesday 11 September - Year 2 parents; Friday 13 September - Year 3 parents; Monday 16 September - Year 4 parents; Thursday 19 September - Year 5 parents; Friday 20 September - Year 6 parents; Monday 23 September - Year 7 parents; Tuesday 24 September - Year 8/8S parents.

Birthday Cards. All NCS boys will now receive a birthday card from me on behalf of the NCS community. Their name will be read out in the Wednesday chapel service preceding their birthday, and the boys will pick up their cards from the Head’s study on Wednesday lunchtime just as they would for a certificate. For those boys whose birthdays fall in the vacation, never fear as we will distribute cards prior to the relevant holiday. We think we have devised a fool-proof system to ensure that this all works, but do be in touch if someone misses their card, for example due to absence.

Good luck to Mrs Brown who is running the Richmond Runfest Marathon on 15 September. She has set up a ‘Just Giving’ page to raise funds for the Oxford Food Bank and the Fortune Centre of Riding Therapy, which educates young people through horsemanship to prepare them for independent living. She would be delighted if any in the NCS community would like to support her enterprise. Information on both charities is available via the following link and donors can choose the charity they wish to support. https://www.justgiving.com/teams/louisebrown

Reading in interesting places. Entries for this year’s competition should be submitted (preferably by email; office@newcollegeschool.org) by Monday 9 September. We hope that this fun little competition has encouraged your sons to keep their reading books to hand wherever they have found themselves this summer. Speaking of which …

Holiday Diaries. We are looking forward to reading about the boys’ exploits via their holiday diaries, and indeed I have already enjoyed reading those which have already been brought in. Written, photographic or video diaries are all welcome. Please do just drop them in to the school office or email them to office@newcollegeschool.org.

Allergies. To reiterate Miss Kilkenny’s email earlier this week, due to a number of children with allergies, we request that nuts are not put in to school snack boxes, cakes etc.

Eco-shop. Please find attached the price list for the NCS eco-shop. Pupils can purchase environmentally friendly stationery products on Wednesday lunchtimes. Environmentally friendly school water bottles (£3.50) are also available from the office at any time.

Forthcoming Events

Saturday, 7 September 2019

18.00 NC Choir: Gaude Evensong

Monday, 9 September 2019

19.00 Drinks in HM Lodgings for Reception Parents

Tuesday, 10 September 2019

9.00 Visit of O-Pro Dentist

10.30 U9 House Matches, Home

14.15 U11 Football vs Windmill, Home

19.00 Drinks in HM Lodgings for Year 1 Parents

Wednesday, 11 September 2019

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

12.30 Eco Committee - Charity Meeting, Yr 5 Classroom

19.00 Drinks in HM Lodgings for Year 2 Parents

Thursday, 12 September 2019

9.00 Yrs 3 and 4 to Wittenham Clumps

18.00 PSB Information Evening for Yr 7 & 8 parents

Friday, 13 September 2019

14.15 U9 Football vs Windmill, Home

19.00 Drinks in HM Lodgings for Year 3 Parents

Monday, 16 September 2019

All day U13 A ISFA Cup 1st round Finborough School, Away

19.00 Drinks in HM Lodgings for Year 4 Parents

Tuesday, 17 September 2019

8.50 Gamelan Music workshop, Year 6, Faculty of Music (all morning; back for lunch)

16.00 U11 A,C&E, Football vs Cothill, Away

16.00 U11 B&D, Football vs Cothill, Away

Wednesday, 18 September 2019

10.00 School Service, New College Chapel. Speaker: Andy Showell-Rogers, co-founder of Visible Clothing Company

Coffee in the Undercroft afterwards for parents and visitors

12.30 School Council Meeting, French Room

14.30 U13 A Football vs Summerfields, Home

14.30 U13 B&C Football vs Summerfields, Away

18.00 Pre-Prep start-of-year parents’ meeting/drinks

Thursday, 19 September 2019

14.00 U11 House Matches, Home

19.00 Drinks in HM Lodgings for Year 5 Parents

Friday, 20 September 2019

9.00 Portrait Photos, Sports Hall

14.00 U9 A,B,C&D Football vs MCS, Away

19.00 Drinks in HM Lodgings for Year 6 Parents

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