Headmaster's Newsletter Friday 6th July 2018

Dear Parents,

It has been a very special week as we have followed our traditional end-of-year events and said a fond farewell to our leavers. Our Year 8 leavers are a special group who have achieved a good deal between them and contributed a huge amount to school life. They have been very good company, stimulating to teach and generous in sharing their talents across the School. I suspect there are very few younger boys in the School who do not know these older boys and they regard them as excellent role models – the huge benefits such a close-knit community. We shall greatly miss them. But such is the nature of school life and we wish them well as they embark on an exciting new phase of their education. The Leavers’ Concert last night and today’s Prizegiving were a poignant reminder of their talents and qualities. I recalled to everyone in the School this week some words of the late Sir Roger Bannister (in whose honour the track we run on at Sports Day is named): “However ordinary each of us may seem, we are all in some way special, and can do things that are extra-ordinary, perhaps, until then… even thought impossible.” I hope all your sons will approach their education over the coming terms and years with the belief that what they might have thought "impossible" might just be possible!

The Leavers' Concert
Sports Day

Certainly, the apparently impossible was assailed at Sports Day with several school athletics records broken, one of which had stood since 1978. And we have all enjoyed (and coped sensibly with) the excellent run of good weather which has considerably enhanced the spirit of all our end-of-term events, amongst which I should particularly also mention the Pre-Prep’s pantomime, a witty update by Mrs Cox of Little Red Riding Hood, certainly showed off the thespian talents of Pre-Prep (and several members of staff) to good effect. Very well done to all!

Pre-Prep Panto: Little Red Riding Hood

My warmest thanks to the NCSPA for all the support this year in so many helpful ways. You will have seen the email from our Chair, Daisy East, signalling her intention to relinquish the post. So, I do hope there is a parent who would be willing to take this role on next year. It really isn’t impossibly onerous!

Please find attached the latest edition of The EcoNomist, which contains wonderful news and views form the Eco-Committee and many practical tips on how we could improve our impact on the environment. My thanks, as ever, to the enterprise of the Eco-Committee.

Reading in interesting places. If your son wishes to submit a photo of reading in interesting places, please do so to the School Office (preferably by email; office@newcollegeschool.org) by Monday 10th September .

Holiday Diaries. NCS pupils know how much I enjoy reading holiday diaries. So do encourage your son to keep a record of his summer experiences, which I shall be delighted to receive early next term. I am happy to receive photographic and video diaries to complement written diaries! Please email the Office.

Reports. I hope you have all safely received your son’s end of term report which was issued on Wednesday. Please notify the School Office as soon as possible if not. I was delighted to read in so many reports of the significant progress boys have made this year: I am sure they will take to heart the wise and considered advice of teachers and return refreshed in September ready to take their talents still further.

Calendar & Fixture List. A copy of next term’s calendar and fixture list are attached with this mailing and are on the website. Please put key dates in your own calendars.

The Newswire and The Nucleus. You should also have received via your son today a copy of The Newswire and our new publication, The Nucleus. Many thanks to Dr Jenkinson, to Miss Llewellyn-Jones for their professional editorial eye, to Miss Kilkenny for her outstanding graphic design, and to all for much burning of the midnight oil which enables these highly-professional publications to appear on the last day of the school year, rather than (as in so many institutions) halfway through next. Both The Newswire and The Nucleus are testimony to how imaginative boys and teachers are in what they do here and a wonderful celebration of the year’s achievements. If you have not received a copy, please let the Office know as soon as possible and we will arrange for copies to be put aside for you.

Michaelmas Term Activities. Don’t forget to sign your son up for next term's activities via the electronic sign-up issued earlier this week by Mr Lenik. Sign-up opens at 8.00pm today (Friday 6th July) and lasts until Friday 13th July. After School Activities will start on the first day of next term.

Holiday works. While the boys are away, our major building programme will start in earnest, so that by next term the interim accommodation will be in place, ready to be fitted out in Michaelmas with a move from the Pre-Prep and 1959 building due over the Christmas holidays. It’s all a very exciting prospect. Mr Mulford and Mr Bustin will also be overseeing the installation of a new heating system in our 1972 building and ensuring everything is in tip-top condition for September, while Ms Ulett will be carrying out upgrades to our IT infrastructure. I am grateful to all our support staff for their hard work ‘behind the scenes’ which enables the School to function so efficiently and provide such a pleasant, safe and efficient working environment for the boys.

A reminder that pre-season football training will take place on Tuesday 4th September from 1.30pm – 3.00pm on Field. Full details from Mr Bishop, who will also send out a reminder near the time.

Farewells. Mrs Rachel Faulkner leaves the School Governing Committee at the close of her term of office. Formerly Head of Headington Prep School, she has been a governor of NCS since 2009 and a source of much wise and experienced advice. We are particularly grateful for her work as safeguarding governor, her active support of school events and the interest she has taken in the Parents’ Association. Her service to the School is much valued.

Mr James Horton joined the School in 2005 to take charge of French. We owe to him the highly successful profile of French, so tangibly expressed in his skilful development of specialist resources for the subject and the now firmly-established annual French trip and French play. His leadership and administrative skills were further recognized in his appointment as Director of Studies in 2008 and then Deputy Head in 2011. In both these posts he has been meticulously professional and given support of the highest order to boys, colleagues and parents alike. The daily smooth-running of the School owes much to his attention to detail and his quiet efficiency. His thoughtfulness, generosity of spirit and unstinting commitment will be much missed. We wish him all continuing happiness and fulfilment on his retirement to France.

Miss Vicky Lucas, who has been at NCS since 2015, has been an outstandingly supportive and nurturing form tutor and pioneered our now well-established Wild Learning programme. Her thoughtful contribution to the life of the pre-prep is widely appreciated. We thank her most warmly for all she has done here and wish her well for her new appointment at The Manor Prep School.

Appointments for September. Mrs Caroline Jordan Headmistress of Headington School, joins the Governing Committee. Mrs Jordan’s work as an educationalist is well-known both locally and nationally: her connections with NCS include a brother and nephew, who are former pupils here. Mr Andrew Bradley becomes Assistant Director of Sport. Mrs Louise Brown becomes Director of Educational Partnerships. Mr Nicholas Hanson, i/c Classics, also becomes i/c Religious Studies and Philosophy. Mrs Caroline Hitchings is appointed Year 1 form tutor. Mrs Hitchings took her degree from Bishop Grosseteste/Hull University. She is currently teaching at Swanbourne House School and was previously Year 1 form tutor at King’s College School, Cambridge and at Chafyn Grove School, Salisbury. Mr Brett Morrison becomes Deputy Head Pastoral. Mr Andrew Lenik becomes Director of Activities. Miss Sarah Llewellyn -Jones becomes Head of Instrumental Music. Mr Thomas Neal becomes Director of Music. Mr Neal read Music at Clare College, Cambridge where he subsequently took his M.Phil in Musicology. He was also Assistant Conductor and Repetiteur of the Cambridge University Musical Society. He has taught at Chavagnes International College, where he was Director of Music, and currently teaches at Portsmouth Grammar School, where he is Head of Summers House. Mrs Catherine Phillips is appointed to teach French and Sport. Mrs Phillips studied at the Université d’Artois, Arras and at the Université du Littoral, Boulogne and is currently teaching at St Edward’s School. Mrs Della Riddell has decided to relinquish her role in Year 4 from September, but I am very pleased that she will stay on until her retirement in December 2018 and assist with a smooth handover in September to Mrs Maria Williams as Year 4 class teacher. Mrs Williams has considerable teaching and pastoral experience in prep schools and joins us from Elstree School, Reading, where she is a Houseparent. She took her degree from Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford.

Congratulations to Mr Lenik who will be married to Mr Tim Hardy over the summer. He wishes to be known as Mr Hardy-Lenik from next September. And following her recent marriage, Miss Munnery will return in September as Mrs Atkinson.

Finally, I know you will join with me in thanking all my colleagues for all they do to make life at NCS so special and fulfilling. Their passion for learning and care for every pupil seems to me to be at the heart of everything they do. Equally, none of what we do would be possible without your support and thoughtful interest: thank you for all your kind expressions of gratitude at the end of this year, which are much appreciated.

Louise and I wish all NCS families a very happy, enjoyable and restful summer.

Robert Gullifer

Forthcoming Events

Sunday, 8 July 2018

12.30 NC Choir Cricket, Field

Monday, 3 September 2018

INSET for Staff 9.00am to 4.00pm

Tuesday, 4 September 2018

INSET for Staff 9.00 am to 4.00 p.m.

14.00 Pre-season Football training, Field

Wednesday, 5 September 2018

Start of Term. 8.20 Prep School, 8.45 Pre-Prep

After School Activities start

NCSPA Coffee Morning at the University Club after drop-off

10.00 School Service, New College Chapel. Speaker; The Headmaster. Coffee available afterwards in the Undercroft for parents and visitors.

Thursday, 6 September 2018

18.30 Drinks for VMTs, HM Lodgings

Friday, 7 September 2018

19.30 Chorister parents start of year drinks, HM Lodgings

Saturday, 8 September 2018

18.00 NC Choir: Gaude Evensong

Tuesday, 11 September 2018

9.00 Visit of O-Pro Dentist

18.00 Year 8/8S start-of-year parents’ meeting/drinks

14.00 U11 A&B Football vs Cokethorpe, Home

14.00 U11 C&D Football vs Cokethorpe, Away

Wednesday, 12 September 2018

10.00 School Service, New College Chapel. Speaker: The Revd Susan Bridge, Assistant College Chaplain. Coffee available afterwards in the Undercroft for parents and visitors.

10.30 Choristers to Song Room and then Corpus Christi Chapel for concert

12.30 Eco Committee Meeting, Yr 5 Classroom

18.00 Year 7 start-of-year parents’ meeting/drinks

Thursday, 13 September 2018

9.00 Yrs 3 and 4 to Wittenham Clumps 9 to 3.45

20.00 NC Choir: Reception at St Catherine's College

Friday, 14 September 2018

14.00 U9 A&B Football vs Cokethorpe, Home

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