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Headmaster's Newsletter Friday 15th February 2019

Dear Parents,

One of my favourite educationalists is Ken Robinson, formerly Professor of Arts Education at Warwick University. His many books and TED talks always inspire and are a real encouragement to constructive innovation in our schools. Often, too, he reaffirms good practice with a crispness and common sense which are refreshing. Take for instance this comment on communication, which resounds strongly with me. “Fluency in reading, writing and mathematics are accepted imperatives in education and so they should be. It’s just as important to promote clear and confident speech… verbal communication is not only about literal meanings; it’s about appreciating metaphor, analogy, allusion, and other poetic and literary forms of language. Communication is not only about words and numbers. Some thoughts cannot be properly expressed in these ways at all. We also think in sounds and images, in movement and gesture. The ability to form and communicate our thoughts in all these ways is fundamental to personal well-being and to collective achievement.” Visitors to the School often tell me how articulate they find your sons, but the subtler nuances of communication also have an important role to play in developing an emotional intelligence and sensitivity in ourselves and others. As teachers and parents, we all know how a raised eyebrow is often a much more effective form of communication than a raised voice. So half-term might give us all a little more space for encouraging a breadth and subtlety of communication in our children. Surely this will be a prized and, I would argue, personally satisfying skill in a world otherwise liable to be dominated by sound bites and twitter feeds.

Darwin and evolution in assembly; Model railway club; The drone in AV club; Sound insulation in Year 4 Science; Hockey training in Year 6 Sport; Charity Week fundraising

Sport. Following the recent success of the U12 hockey ‘A’ team in the county cup, the U11 ‘A’ team had their chance to shine on Friday last week. Despite very cold and challenging conditions, the boys played some excellent hockey with a great many goals being scored. Over their six matches they recorded five wins and only one loss. This meant at the end of the afternoon that the NCS team were at the top of the leader board with 15 points and were crowned Oxfordshire County Champions. A tremendous result! The team of Timon Bergmann, Benedict Furger, Ben Harkness, William Kelsey, Ethan McMillan, Leo Magnotta, Jack Rothery, and their captain, Hugh Vine, were all tireless in their efforts all afternoon. This spirit and team work were the keys to their success. This means for the first time in recent NCS history all our top three hockey teams have qualified for the regional finals with U11 and U12s as county champions and the U13s as runners up. The U13 team were also in action last Friday at the IAPS regional tournament and, despite their best efforts, had a slightly tougher day of hockey. The standard was extremely high and, unfortunately, they just missed out on qualification to the latter stages. However, the boys bounced back this week with two very strong performances vs Abingdon School on Wednesday. The 1st team managed a thrilling 3-3 draw and, were it not for a little more accuracy in front of goal, the result could and possibly should have gone our way! In the 2nd team, however, there was no such shortage of goals with James Clarke scoring four to help the 2nds to a great 6-2 win. Jamie Kilroy and Walter Moore also deserve special mention owing to their efforts in mid-field and defence respectively! Well done to all on a very good week of hockey.

The U11 County Hockey Champions

Thank you to parents for your support for Charity Week in aid of Helen and Douglas House www.helenanddouglas.org.uk We have been most touched by the generosity of boys and parents in looking out unwanted toys and equally the boys have delighted in buying them up this week. As ever Home Clothes day (on a bright spring-like day too) has been greatly enjoyed, as have the cakes that have been so kindly provided today. It is clear that the boys’ awareness of their ability to help others in this and many other ways is firmly established. So far, with some money from the toy stalls yet to be counted, we have raised £388.78. Well done to all!

A reminder that as it is half-term, there is no Saturday Morning Music School tomorrow or the following Saturday.

Orders for Years 3-8 were given to the boys to take home on Wednesday. If you have not received them, please be in touch with the School Office. If boys were absent from school, Orders will have been posted home.

A reminder that Year 8 Parents’ Evening is on Wednesday 27th February 6.00pm – 8.00pm in the Sports Hall. All those who teach these forms will be present, including Mr Morrison as Year 8 form tutor. I shall also be available to discuss any matters arising with parents. There is no need to arrive on the dot of 6.00pm, but I would ask you not to arrive not later than 7.00pm to ensure you can get round to all teachers.

I’m very grateful to Mrs Showell-Rogers, Mrs Hess and Mrs Magnotta for organising such a wonderful array of events to celebrate reading and World Book Day which this year falls on Thursday 7th March. Would parents please note the dates below to ensure boys bring in the right things on the right day. Many thanks!

We will have several activities leading up to the day. The first is a visit by Matt Oldfield, co-author of the Ultimate Football Heroes series on Friday 1st March who will speak to the whole school during assembly, followed by a visit to Pre-Prep. (Order forms for his books were sent by parentmail earlier this week). From Monday 4th March, we ask boys to bring in their favourite book for which they will write a ten-word review which will then be used to create a whole school reading review collage. On Tuesday 5th March, we will once again have our Big Tent Read for various year groups. Boys in Reception to Year 5 are welcome to bring in a dressing gown to wear over their uniform and/or a cuddly toy and cushion for the tent. Please ensure boys bring items in a bag to hang on their pegs. Following the story time, boys will then have a chance to browse the Book Sale (50p each). Please can we make another appeal to go through your bookshelves to donate any books that your son has outgrown. On Thursday 7th March, we will have our traditional costume parade and an assembly led by Mrs Magnotta who runs the book review website Toppsta. Mrs Hess will run our usual selection of World Book Day quizzes and activities in the library and the Pre-Prep will make their annual visit to Waterstones for story time and to collect their World Book Day book. We look set for a most enjoyable week.

Louise and I wish all NCS families a happy and refreshing half-term break. Thank you for all the support you have given the School again over this first half.

With good wishes to all NCS families,

Robert Gullifer

Forthcoming Events

Saturday, 16 February 2019

Start of Half-Term

Saturday, 23 February 2019

NC Choir: Monteverdi Vespers, Keble College

Monday, 25 February 2019

Return from Half-Term

MCS Academic Scholarship starts

Cokethorpe Sports Scholarship

Tuesday, 26 February 2019

7.00 U11 A IAPS hockey, Haileybury

Cokethorpe Academic Scholarship starts

Wednesday, 27 February 2019

10.00 School Service, New College Chapel

Speaker: Professor Joshua Hordern, Associate Professor of Christian Ethics, Fellow and Tutor in Ethics, Harris Manchester College

Coffee afterwards in the Undercroft for parents and visitors

12.30 School Council meeting

14.30 U13 A&B Hockey vs Dragon, St Edward’s Astro

14.30 U13 C&D Hockey vs Dragon, Away

18.00 Year 8 Parents’ Evening, Sports Hall

Thursday, 28 February 2019

14.00 U11 House Cross Country, University Parks

Friday, 1 March 2019

14.00 U9 A,B&C Hockey vs Dragon, Away

Monday, 4 March 2019

‘Waste Week’ starts

Abingdon Academic Scholarship starts

14.15 U13 B&C Hockey vs CCCS, St Edward’s Astro

14.00 U11 Prep Challenge Cross Country, St Edward's

17.15 Junior Concerts Pt 1 (Yrs 3,4,5), School Hall

Drinks in HM Study at 5.00pm

18.15 Junior Concerts Pt 2 (Yrs 3,4,5), School Hall

Drinks in HM Study at 6.00pm

Tuesday, 5 March 2019

10.45 U8&9 House Cross Country, University Parks

13.00 U11 A&B Football vs Sibford, Away

Wednesday, 6 March 2019

10.00 School Service, New College Chapel

Speaker: The Revd Susan Bridge, Assistant College Chaplain

Coffee afterwards in the Undercroft for parents and visitors

12.30 Eco Committee Meeting

13.00 Music Outreach Yrs3/4 Strings/ SSMJ 12.30 set up

14.00 U13 A&B Hockey vs Summer Fields, Away

14.00 U13 C&D Hockey vs Hatherop, St Edward's Astro

14.30 ABRSM Grade 5 Theory exam, Dining Room

18.15 Ash Wednesday Service, New College Chapel

Thursday, 7 March 2019

World Book Day

Friday, 8 March 2019

14.00 U8 A&B Hockey vs Brockhurst, Iffley Road

13.00 U9 A Hockey vs Brockhurst, Away

14.45 U9 B Hockey vs Brockhurst, Iffley Rd

Saturday, 9 March 2019

End of University Term

No Sat am Music School for choristers

NC Choir rehearsal for Music for Passiontide pm

Sunday, 10 March 2019

17.00 New College Choir: Music for Passiontide, New College Chapel

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