Headmaster's Newsletter Friday 5th July 2019

Dear Parents,

One of the joys of prep school life, compared with senior school life is that the traditional end-of-year events are not overshadowed by a ‘drifting away’ to public exams and it’s been a wonderful week in which to celebrate the end of the school year and say a proper 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 witty 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 regard them as influential role models. But such is the cyclical nature of school life, and we wish them well as they embark on an exciting new phase of their education, having achieved entry, and in many cases awards, to some of the country’s leading schools. The Leavers’ Concert last night and today’s prizegiving were striking reminders of their talents and qualities. Equally Sports Day had not only the athletic talents of the school on display, but also the good sportsmanship of the boys, in which all competitors were cheered on for the enjoyment of simply taking part. And nothing could have been more inclusive than this year’s Pre-Prep’s pantomime, Snow White and the 15 Dwarfs, in which the acting talents of all the pre-prep boys and members of staff were admirably matched to their roles in Mrs Cox’s witty adaptation of the traditional tale. Very well done to all!

Sports Day
Pre-Prep Pantomime and Certificates
Leavers' Concert

As you will realise, this has been a particularly poignant week for me as I leave NCS as Headmaster and take up my new role as Director the NCS Foundation, looking after the School’s interests in the new building project and developing our bursary fund. I could not have imagined a happier or more fulfilling school of which to be Head. With the overlay of the College’s ethos and the close-knit nature of a small school, the boys are encouraged to achieve great things and it has been a real privilege and pleasure to see their talents flourishing and to set our aspirations high in every area of school life. Louise and I are most touched by the generosity of parents, colleagues and boys in presenting us with the most thoughtful gifts and cards today to mark my retirement. The post-prizegiving presentation will be an abiding memory. The beautiful book of personal tributes is a most wonderful reminder of the characterful community of NCS: your kind words, so carefully chosen, are hugely appreciated. And then the beautifully-carved oak desk tidy will have pole position in my new office in Savile House with the little carved mouse rather emblematic of what I hope is the twinkle in the eye of every NCS boy. Louise will equally be proudly wearing the exquisite brooch you gave her– an imaginative ‘take’ on the New College crest with the chevrons overlaid with a posy of roses – to spread the word of NCS in Cambridge! And what a real treat to be given such a superb painting by Graham Pook, a favourite artist of ours whose work we have long admired. You are very well-informed parents! We shall also greatly enjoy spending the John Lewis gift card, which will be especially useful as we move back into our own house. Thank you all very much for your extraordinary kindness in showing your appreciation in this way. What a fabulous send-off!

As September comes around, we shall miss you all, but I know the School will be in very good hands under Dr Jenkinson’s leadership. He understands the NCS ethos so very well. He will surely be one of the finest Heads of his generation and I wish him all success and happiness in the role. We look forward to hearing news of you all over the coming years as the boys and the School continue to flourish.


To mark the start of his Headship, Dr Jenkinson warmly invites parents to join him for drinks and canapés in the Headmaster’s Lodgings in the first few weeks of next term on the following days, 7.00- 9.00pm. Invitations will be emailed to you next week along with the parents’ handbooks for each year group. Please do put the date in your diaries.

Monday 9th September Reception parents; Tuesday 10th September Year 1 parents; Wednesday 11th September Year 2 parents; Friday 13th September Year 3 parents; Monday 16th September Year 4 parents; Thursday 19th September Year 5 parents; Friday 20th September Year 6 parents; Monday 23rd September Year 7 parents; Tuesday 24th September Year 8/8S parents.

The traditional end of term NCS Judo Club awards were presented last Monday. The challenge at the start of each term is that each student is tasked with demonstrating discipline, respect, hard work and lots of determination. It’s always a tough decision as there are many excellent examples within each class from a very enthusiastic group of boys. In the Year 3 class, this term’s winner of the trophy award is Arjun Sabharwal. Along with his award, Arjun was also promoted to 3rd Grade Red Belt. In Years 4-8, the winner was Edward Millar. Well done to both boys for outstanding judo thus term.

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 9th September .

Holiday Diaries. NCS pupils know how much we enjoy reading holiday diaries. So do encourage your son to keep a record of his summer experiences, which Dr Jenkinson will be delighted to receive early next term. He is 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 The Nucleus. Many thanks to Dr Jenkinson, to Miss Krebs, and to Miss Llewellyn-Jones for their professional editorial eyes, 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.

Holiday works. While the boys are away, our major building programme will continue in earnest with the demolition of the 1959 building and the old Pre-Prep. Mr Mulford and Mr Bustin will also be overseeing the upgrading to the boys’ changing rooms and lavatories, the installation of the new heating system in the 1972 building and ensuring everything is in tip-top condition for September. 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 3rd September from 2.00pm – 3.30pm on Field. Full details from Mr Bishop, who will also send out a reminder near the time.

Mrs Brown is attempting The Richmond Runfest Marathon on 15th September and has recently set up a ‘Just Giving’ page to try to raise funds for the Oxford Food Bank (a charity for which the School regularly likes to raise funds) 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

Farewells. Miss Sarah Llewellyn-Jones leaves us this term to broaden her professional experience still further and take up her appointment to teach English at Sir William Borlase’s Grammar School. Miss Llewellyn-Jones was appointed Assistant Director of Music and Chorister Tutor in 2017 and, with her background in instrumental music teaching, quickly encouraged its further development and was a natural choice to take on the role of Head of Instrumental Music in 2018. She has championed the enjoyment of music throughout the School and shared her talents on the cello on many memorable occasions to support the boys’ music and drama. We have delighted in the concerts and musicals she has organised with such care and attention to detail and a real eye for engaging repertoire. She has been an admirably efficient classroom teacher, chorister tutor and one-to-one music teacher, showing her care for the boys in so many observant ways. We are most grateful for her wide-ranging contributions to life at NCS. We wish her every continuing success and happiness in the future.

Mrs Lucinda Bibby, who joined us in 2017 as Teaching Assistant in Reception, moves on this term as she sets out to fulfil a long-standing ambition to travel to New Zealand. It quickly became apparent soon after she joined us that she has a gift for teaching and we are delighted she has been able to undertake her teacher training with us. We are grateful for her energetic, ‘can-do’ contribution to Pre-Prep and for sharing her many interests, notably music and drama, with such generous enthusiasm. We wish her every happiness in her travels.

Appointments for September. Dr Lucy Gallagher will take up the post of Head of English with History in succession to Dr Jenkinson’s teaching commitments. Dr Gallagher took her degree from Edinburgh University, her doctorate from Newcastle University, and her PGCE from the Oxford University Department of Education. She has recently taught at St Edward’s School and the Oxford Tutorial College. Miss Isobel Rose will be Assistant Director of Music and Chorister Tutor. Miss Rose took her degree from University College, Oxford and is currently teaching at Magdalen College School. Mrs Katharine Ridley joins us as Teaching Assistant in Reception. Mrs Ridley took her degree from the College of Ripon and St John and is currently teaching at Wootton C of E Primary School. She has had two sons at NCS between 2004 and 2014.

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 and for the unstinting support they have given during my Headship. 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 which does indeed make this a very special community.

Louise and I wish all NCS families a very happy, enjoyable and restful summer and again our heartfelt thanks for your many kindnesses and good company over the years and our very best wishes for the future.

Robert Gullifer

Forthcoming Events

Monday, 2 September 2019

INSET for Staff 9.00am to 4.00pm

Tuesday, 3 September 2019

INSET for Staff 9.00 am to 4.00 p.m.

14.00 Pre-season Football Training, Field

Wednesday, 4 September 2019

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 in the Undercroft afterwards for parents and visitors

Friday, 6 September 2019

19.00 Drinks in HM Lodgings for Chorister Parents and Choir Staff

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

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