Headmaster's Newsletter Friday 1st february 2019
The snow today has, naturally, generated great excitement among the boys and I’m most grateful to colleagues and families who were able to get here to ensure we had as reasonable and enjoyable day as possible. It’s always instructive to see the day first through the eyes of our youngest children for whom real playtime in the snow is often a novel experience. And how apposite it was that I was able to read a story about a polar bear to them in pre-prep storytime. Then I was impressed by the efficient team work of our older boys who built a giant snow man outside my window, pressing into service some of our playground toys as arms, hat and nose. They even showed some brick-laying skills as they used the giant lego for moulds to build a pretty sturdy ice wall. Their ingenuity knows no bounds! It all goes to show that, with a bit of imagination and co-operation, all sorts of things can be achieved: an object lesson for the classroom, surely, as much as the playground.
Sport. The hockey season has just started to get into full swing with some cracking performances throughout the School, but alas today the snow has put paid the U13s trip to the IAPS regional qualifiers in Cambridge. No matter, we’ll try again next Friday. However, over the past week or so we have seen both the U13, U12 and U11 age groups in action. The U13s played Summerfields in the opening fixture of term where the 2nd team managed an 8-1 win and the 1st team 16-0. This included a five-goal haul for our captain Reuben McLusky who looked in fabulous form in front of goal. Also in our regular fixture card, the U13 1st-4th teams played St Hugh’s School both home and away. This meant that every boy in the top two years has already represented NCS at this early stage of the season. Away at St Hugh’s they played three close games, but unfortunately just lost in what were, nonetheless, most engaging games. Special mention goes to Thomas Kelsey and Julien Rohart who both worked extremely hard all afternoon. At St Edward’s in the “home” fixture we had six teams from NCS, St Hugh’s, and Lord Williams’s in attendance and the hockey on show was top notch. The NCS 2nd team enjoyed two wins, one draw and only one loss which came to our own 1st team. James Clarke ended up top scorer with three goals; but man of the afternoon was Walter Moore who was excellent on the right wing. The 1st team ended the afternoon unbeaten, winning all four of the their games to top the table, with the final game against St Hugh’s 1st team being the highlight of the afternoon. A 3-2 win was extremely exciting and saw Joseph Conway dominate the midfield and score two excellent goals under extreme pressure in the shooting circle.
The U12 and U13 1st teams have represented the School recently in the Oxfordshire County Championships and both teams have performed superbly, with the U13 team achieving 2nd place and qualifying for the regional finals in March at Woking Hockey Club. Following this, the U12s had their turn on Monday and managed to win all of their games to be crowned County Champions. This included a 5-1 win over Abingdon School, 1-0 vs MCS and finally a 4-3 win over another large senior school in Bloxham! They too qualify for the regional finals later in March. The U11 teams hosted Sibford School this week and both the ‘A’& ‘B’ teams enjoyed good wins and strong performances. The ‘B’ team managed an 8-0 win with Harry Davies and Maurits Branderhorst both having great games. In the ‘’A team, the score was a little closer but they still won 4-1 with the Sibford goal keeper making at least 10 saves that kept his side in the game. This young man was clearly the player of the day for our visitors. However, the NCS midfield of Timon Bergmann, Ben Harkness, and Jack Rothery were brilliant and made sure the ever-busy Ethan McMillan was supplied with quality passes to score We are now looking forward to next week and I wish both the U11 and U13 teams luck in their upcoming tournaments.