Headmaster's Newsletter Friday 3rd march 2017
I’m sure parents sometimes have mixed feelings about the exigencies of World Book Day (now in its 20th year), but I’m most grateful for the imaginative efforts of everyone in helping to bring alive a super range of fictional and non-fictional characters in yesterday’s parade of outfits. It does focus us all on the enjoyment of reading and perhaps makes us more attentive to the detail of what we are reading. You would have been impressed, too, to see how pupils and teachers did indeed DEAR (Drop Everything And Read) for a good 10 minutes at the start of yesterday’s assembly. It was a great moment of shared experience! When I ran an English Department in a previous existence, some of the best teaching moments were to be had in reading books together in class and, crucially, the excitement of discussing together pupils’ first impressions of books dear to me but new to them. And the same will be true of Maths or Science, Languages, History, Geography or cricket or judo or star-gazing or music or... (there are so many headings I could fill in) if we share cherished interests and enthusiasms. It’s hard for genuine enthusiasm not to be infectious. So, I recommend the delight of shared enthusiasms for home just as much as for school. And if you want reinforcements in sharing interests with your children, the school library has books on all of the above and more. World Book Day is not just for the English Department!
There has been great excitement in the Pre-Prep as the chicks have begun to hatch. The boys have been learning a great deal about what is needed to help them thrive and have proved thoughtful and empathetic. As ever, they ask pertinent questions which reveal much of that fabled NCS intellectual curiosity! You can follow the chicks’ progress on our ChickCam, by clicking on the green camera icon at the top of home page of our website.
Sport. This week has seen some super sporting performances across all the age groups. The Year 2 rugby teams played in their first competitive fixture on Friday in the Moulsford Prep TAG rugby festival. All 16 boys really enjoyed themselves during their four matches. The New College Vipers managed 1 win, 1 draw and 1 loss and the New College Dragons had a even better afternoon suffering only 1 loss and recording 3 brilliant wins to finish a wonderful 2nd place overall in the festival. On Saturday morning Mr Bishop took a combined Year 2 and 3 football team over to St Hugh’s School for a football festival and again the boys played with great spirit. From their three matches, we recorded 1 loss, 1 draw and 1 win. A very balanced morning’s play, with the high-light being Jeremy Newman’s goal of the day that he smashed in from half-way to earn us a point vs Pinewood School. Oh yes and we should not forget the post-match hot-dogs! On Monday afternoon the U13 boys represented the school in the IAPS regional hockey at Bishop Stortford College on a very wet and miserable day. A tough group start saw us play four very intense games where we managed to record a draw, a win and two losses. These four points meant we had achieved our goal in qualifying for the plate stage of the competition. However, this joy was short-lived as the rest of the competition was cancelled owing to such poor weather and a flooded hockey pitch. Nonetheless, a very impressive first outing for these boys in a highly competitive arena. As usual, they did NCS proud. On the regular hockey circuit we have had U11 ‘B’ & ‘C’ team matches vs Cokethorpe U11 ‘A’ & ‘B’ teams. Despite playing up a level, the NCS boys played some outstanding hockey to win both games 2-1 and show the strength in depth of the current U11 group. We also faced three Dragon School teams in the U13 fixture and, despite very encouraging starts from all three teams, we unfortunately lost all three games. It was clear to see in all three games the level of skill was comparable and we fought well in all areas of the pitch. But the deciding factor as the simple fact that we did not hit the ball hard enough, when trying to find that telling pass, or get the ball into threatening positions. An aspect of our game we continue to work on but one we should surely improve! Over the next few weeks we have the added bonus of cross country fixtures which includes the National Championships at Malvern College. I’d like to wish Freddie Jones, Fraser Mackenzie, Walter Moore and Henry Moore the very best of luck as they represent the School in the U11 race.