Now that the ‘dust has settled’ on a tremendous first term as Headmaster of St Edward’s, it is with a great deal of gratitude that I reflect upon the term that has whizzed past.
I am overwhelmed by the sense of family and community at our school and I am deeply appreciative of the welcome I have had from the children, parents and teachers at St Ed’s. This has certainly made the transition from Italy to England and from International School to Prep School a seamless and easy move for me. Simply put, I have thoroughly enjoyed every minute of this term and our school is in a very good place indeed. I work with superb teachers who are excited and passionate about teaching and learning, an enormously supportive Senior Leadership and Administration and an outstanding Site Maintenance and Driving Team, as well as a lovely community of parents and children.
What more could a new Headmaster ask for?
The confidence shown by our ‘little ones’ in the Pre-Prep Nativity was exceptional – our three year olds are amazing and the rest of the Pre-Prep were equally fantastic. As I said at the time, I have seen many Nativity plays in my time in teaching but few would match the quality of ours. An enormous thank you is extended to the children, teachers and Mrs Hagyard for their hard work and dedication.
Our Carol Service was beautiful and poignant in equal measure. Held in honour of Stuart Morgan-Nash, the pupils performed brilliantly and I am enormously proud of them all. Thanks again to Mrs Hagyard and Mrs Andrew for their dedication to a very special performance. Music, English and Drama are clearly a shining light at our school and I hope that this continues to be an area of influence for us in the months and years ahead.
Academically we have achieved a great deal too – we have been to theatre productions for English, performed tremendously in the Primary Mathematics Challenge, held an exciting STEAM week and several of our Year 6 boys have been offered places and scholarships to leading Senior Schools in the area. I am once again grateful to our team of inspirational teachers and their hard work and commitment to maintaining excellent academic standards at St Ed’s.
From a sports perspective too there have been notable successes. All of our Football teams have performed very well against much larger schools and we have left the football fields humble in victory and gracious in defeat. Our swimming has also developed, we have now instituted Water Safety Awards for our young swimmers and there is a clear progression to the further development of swimming in the younger years. The Inter-House Cross Country held recently was an enormous success and I am delighted to see that we have so much potential in this area, I am very much looking forward to St Ed’s competing against other schools soon! A very heartfelt thank you to Mr Bovingdon and his team for their hard work this term.
As Christmas draws ever closer, I wish the St Ed’s Family a wonderful festive season. I hope that you are all able to spend time together and that you are able to share in the spirit that makes this time of year special for children and adults alike. I should also like to wish the St Ed’s Family a New Year filled with peace and prosperity; I hope that the forthcoming months for the children are filled with excitement and joy for learning.
On my part, thank you all for welcoming me to the St Ed’s Family this term – I truly feel that I have come ‘home’ and I cannot wait to work with you and your children in 2019!
‘Good over evil, light over dark – let’s celebrate the festival of lights!’
Shaurya, Year 1
The Year 1 boys were very fortunate that a group of Year 1 mums gave up their morning to create a colourful, beautiful Diwali celebration in class. Siddhant, Avi, Vasisht, Shubh and Shaurya’s mums came to class very early in the morning in traditional dress, in order to set the classroom up for our special celebration. After a welcome message from Shaurya, Shubh’s mum told the story of Rama and Sita, emphasising the importance of honesty, dedication and sincerity – values that are not only important to those who celebrate Diwali, but to everyone in the St Edward’s family.
The children made Diwali cards and decorated the floor with Rangoli patterns using stencils and powder paint. Many boys were keen to try on traditional clothing as they really got into the festival spirit.
Collectively, the mums had made each child a little gift to take home with them – an exquisitely painted clay Diya; there was even one for Mr Suttie!
‘Dhanyavaad’ (thank you)
! शुभ दीवाली !
Year 1 Teacher
A Great Stocking Filler or Holiday Book!
We are looking forward to Tom Palmer’s visit to St Edward’s on the 5th February. Tom has written many exciting stories about spies, ghosts, planes, rugby, football, running and history which are suitable for both girls and boys. ‘Armistice Runner’ would make a fantastic Christmas present or holiday read.
“It’s utterly compelling – a pacy tribute to the athleticism and bravery of men such as Ernest Dalzell, fell-runner extraordinaire and soldier. With its themes of loyalty, competitiveness, heartbreak and endurance, Armistice Runner is full of authentic emotion. I love how Lily learns that she shares her fitness, speed and eye for navigation over tough terrain with her great-greatgrandfather. A connection that gives her an edge of fortitude when she most needs it … Armistice Runner will enhance readers’ understanding of the tragedy of war – and I hope, too, it inspires some to lace up their studs and head out into the fells.” Emma Hargreave.
The St Ed’s Family and our community were treated to a wonderful Carol Service at All Saints Church in Reading.
The service was held in honour of our previous Headmaster, Stuart Morgan-Nash, and a candle was lit and a contemplative silence was held in his honour. However, Stuart would not have wanted the Carol Service to be a solemn occasion – on the contrary, he would have wanted our children to celebrate and enjoy the festivities to the fullest and our children certainly did!
Our impeccably behaved boys sang at the top of their voices and we raised the rafters with renditions from every class in our school. Our readers also demonstrated our school values and were confident and delivered their pieces beautifully. It was a particular delight that each and every child performed and that we have some tremendous choristers in our Chamber Choir – we even had Ukuleles and Recorders playing along!
I would like to say an enormous thank you to Mrs Hagyard, our Music and Drama teacher, who has clearly inspired our children to superb heights in her music lessons and would like to thank Mrs Andrew for arranging and directing our readings. The Carol Service was simply superb and I am proud of our children and the St Ed’s Family.
Over the last week all of the children in Pre-Prep have written a letter to Father Christmas. They thought carefully of examples of what they have done this year that would persuade him to put them on his ‘good’ list! These included doing their homework without fussing, setting the table, keeping their bedrooms clean and tidy and always doing as they were asked. I’m sure you can recognise your own sons in these examples! Many of the letters also included a question to Father Christmas such as: ‘How old are you?’, ‘Where do you go on holiday?’, ‘What do you want for Christmas?’ along with the all-important gift list.
So it was very fortunate indeed, that in the midst of the activity of the Pre-Prep party on Tuesday afternoon, that the man himself paid us a visit! With much excitement each Year group crept into his makeshift grotto full of anticipation and awe. They not only got the chance to ask him the questions they had penned in person but were very lucky to receive an early Christmas gift. Christmas lunch, jazzy jumpers, a fun packed party and a visit from Father Christmas made for a very special day at St Edward’s.