Headmaster's Newsletter Friday 22nd March 2019

Dear Parents,

It’s never surprising to see people in Oxford walking around in what might in other cities be regarded as eccentric fancy dress but, even by Oxford’s standards, the High Sheriff’s uniform proved intriguing for the boys on his visit to us today. The current High Sheriff, Richard Venables, is an Old Boys of NCS and so it was a special pleasure to welcome him back to talk to the boys a little about his role and to explain the particularities of his uniform. The ceremonial rapier and tricorn hat proved especially compelling for the boys! He also told the boys a bit about his time at NCS and said that he had enjoyed the opportunities for taking part in lots of different activities. From this, he had developed a lifelong love of hockey (he showed us his first hockey stick, battered from scrapes on the playground tarmac!) and had learned a great deal about persevering in things he found difficult. His focus as sheriff this year has been on youth participation in sporting and cultural activities with a specific focus on disadvantaged areas of Oxfordshire. He recalled how fortunate had been in his education and urged the boys in their turn to put something back into the community when they had the opportunity. And, as he indicated, a place like NCS encourages a breadth of imagination, an inventiveness, and a sense of collective responsibility which we all hope will serve society well in the future. As an influential researcher on childhood technology, Professor Umaschi Bers, puts it in her recent book Coding as Playground, “those who can innovate and problem solve will create the democracies of tomorrow, ready to take on the challenges of a multicultural, multi-ethnic, multi-religious, complex global world.”

Neutralisation in Year 6 Science; Old Boys vs 1st XI Hockey Match; Year 6 Castles with Pre-Prep; Senior Concert; Visit from the High Sheriff of Oxfordshire; Fitness Training in Years 3 & 4 Games

Congratulations to Peter Kendall and Ashwin Satsangi who were part of Oxfordshire’s Under 9 Chess Team last week and who both won gold medals at the regional six-county competition held in Bath and beating Sussex, Somerset, Hampshire, Wye Valley, and Berkshire. A tremendous achievement!

Well done to all those boys who entered the ‘Design a Robot’ Competition as part of our STEM Festival. Miss Krebs and I were very impressed with the high standard set in both the 2D and 3D entries which featured the work of boys in all age groups right from Reception upwards. It was a difficult job to pick out prizewinners who are: Tassilo Huber, Hugo Johnson, Isaac lee and Hugo Tuthill (Pre-Prep); Joshua Cable, Alexander Cadogan, Dan Campbell, Max Jones and Luca Prag (Years 3-5;) Alex Eliot, Lucas Ord, Tommy Parkinson and Barnaby Turner (Years 6-8).

Huxley were the winners of the Bumper Book House Event and the following were winners in the World Book Day Quizzes: Isaac Wang, Jacob Whyte (Yr 3); Finn Lawrence, with Joshua cable and Ashwin Satsangi as runners-up (Yr 4); Benedict Furger, Kian O’Farrell, Ishan Patel (Yr 5); Edmund Visintin (Yr 6); Felix Nolan (Yr 7); Edward Bennett, Alexander Eliot (Yr 8). Congratulations to all.

The Annual Hockey Match vs NCS YOBS (Young Old Boys) on Sunday resulted in an honourable 5-5 draw. It was very good to see so many recent Old Boys and their parents and to hear of continuing successes at their senior schools. We very much look forward to welcoming back a good number of them again to our Wykeham Day events.

Thank you to all those who participated in the Senior Concerts this week; as ever, it was a pleasure to hear such a wide repertoire so sensitively performed on a such varied selection of instruments. My thanks to the Music Department and to the VMTs for all they do to enable such high standards of music and to parents who give so much support at home.

Pre-Prep Fire Fighters' Visit

Pre-Prep Poetry Recitation

It was a sheer joy to hear the Pre-Prep’s Poetry Recitation yesterday afternoon and to present their certificates. I was particularly impressed by the originality of the poetry selections and the confidence they all showed in reciting the pieces from memory. Equally, their enthusiasm in the subsequent ‘Show and Tell’ session was palpable: they have every reason to be proud of the substantial work in the classroom so far this year.

And following the very high standard set in the finals of the Poetry Recitation Competition in the Prep School, with a wonderful variety of poems, I am very pleased announce awards to: Year 3 Winner: Thomas Howarth Jabberwocky by Lewis Carroll; Highly commended: Peter Kendall Caged Bird by Maya Angelou; Highly commended: George McKnight Halfway Down by A.A. Milne; Highly commended: Jai Patel Bed in Summer by Robert Louis Stevenson; Highly commended: Alexander Remoundos Wind On The Hill by A.A. Milne. Year 4 Winner: Edward Millar Aunt Sponge and Aunt Spiker by Roald Dahl; Highly commended: Indy Avery Mr Mistoffelees by T.S. Eliot; Highly commended: Dan Campbell The Sea by James Reeves; Highly commended: Max Jones Symphony in Yellow by Oscar Wilde; Highly commended: Jack Showell-Rogers The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost. Year 5 Winner: Ben Tate My Shadow by Robert Louis Stevenson; Highly commended: Maurits Branderhorst and Nahum Whyte Once There Was Magic by Cressida Cowell; Highly commended: Leo Magnotta and Kian O’Farrell The Song of the Fussy Eater by A.F. Harold; Highly commended: Ishan Patel and James Woolley The Visitor by Ian Serraillier; Highly commended: Luca Prag Adlestrop by Edward Thomas. Year 6 Winner: Ed Visintin Ozymandias by Percy Bysshe Shelley; Highly commended: Theo Knight Saint Tesco by Pam Ayres; Highly commended: Joseph Lasserson Match of the Year by Trevor Millum; Highly commended: Nat McKenna El Dorado by Edward Allen Poe; Highly commended: Hugh Vine What if? by Shel Silverstein. Year 7 Winner: Dennis Pym Extract from Hamlet by William Shakespeare; Highly commended: James Clarke Dulce et Decorum Est by Wilfred Owen; Highly commended: Charlie Hayter Leisure by W.H. Davies; Highly commended: Xander Quinney Extract from Titus Andronicus by William Shakespeare; Highly commended: Idris Scrase Dulce et Decorum Est by Wilfred Owen. Year 8/8S Winner: Dylan Jamieson 59 by Harry Baker; Highly commended: Edward Bennett The Moment by Margaret Atwood; Highly commended: Sammy Jarvis: Do Not Go Gentle by Dylan Thomas; Highly commended: Jamie Kilroy The Law of Diminishing Departures by Nigel Forde; Highly commended: Callan McMillan Slough by John Betjeman.

Great excitement today as the Years 3, 4 & 5 Pizza and Dance Party has got underway after school. Much thanks to Miss Krebs and Mrs Showell-Rogers who have been setting the pace on the dancing and the party outfits! (And doing a sterling job organising the food).

Some tickets are still available from We Got Tickets https://www.wegottickets.com/event/464560 for the Chamber Choir and Choral Society’s performance of Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas tomorrow at 7.30pm in New College Chapel.

Tickets (free-of-charge) are now available for the French Play, La Folie de Mort, which takes place on Tuesday, 26th March and Wednesday 27th March at 6.00pm in the School Hall, followed by the French Café in the Sports Hall. It is suggested that Year 5 families attend on the Tuesday and Year 6 families on the Wednesday.

A reminder that there are no activities except Chamber Choir and lunchtime judo next week, the final week of term.

There will be no school service on Wednesday in the last week of term, but Words and Music will be held in New College Chapel to mark our end-of-term on Friday, 29th March at 11.00am. Term ends at 12 noon: boys in Years 3-8 should be collected from the Sports Hall, Pre-Prep boys from the classroom.

Mrs Hess is spending some of the Easter holidays with child refugees in Athens as part of the organisation "Hestia Hellas". She would like to take a few picture books of the Julia Donaldson variety and a few ELC-type of learning games. There is a weight limit of what she can take and therefore a few items in excellent condition are what is needed. If any families can donate such items in first-class condition, please do let Mrs Hess know via the School Office.

Dates for next term. Sheldonian Concert. There will be a whole school celebratory concert in the Sheldonian Theatre on Thursday 23rd May at 6.00pm, followed by a reception in New College. Every boy from Reception to Year 8 will take part. The centrepiece will be a performance of Camille Saint-Saëns’s Carnival of the Animals. All NCS families present and past are warmly invited: tickets will be available from the School Office at the start of next term. Wykeham Day, which will include a morning concert by current and former NCS, a cricket match on Field with a barbecue lunch, and then our Summer Fête, will take place on Saturday 22nd June.

With good wishes to all NCS families,

Robert Gullifer

Forthcoming Events

Saturday 23 March 2019

19.30 NCS Choral Society: Dido & Aeneas, New College Antechapel

Sunday, 24 March 2019

9.00 U13 A IAPS Rugby, Sherbourne

Monday, 25 March 2019

No Activities in the final week of term.

Tuesday, 26 March 2019

18.00 Years 5 & 6 French Play and Café, School Hall and Sports Hall

Wednesday, 27 March 2019

9.00 Music practice for Words and Music, New College Chapel

No School Service (Form Period); Orders in Years 3-8 issued.

14.00 U13 A&B Hockey vs Ashfold, St Edward's Astro

14.00 U13 C&D Hockey vs Ashfold, Away

Orders in Years 3-8 issued

18.00 Years 5 & 6 French Play and Café, School Hall and Sports Hall

Thursday, 28 March 2019

9.00 Poetry practice for Words and Music, New College Chapel

13.15 Eco Schools Green Flag Assessor

14.00 U11 A&B Hockey vs MCS, Away

14.00 U11 C&D Hockey vs MCS, Iffley Road

Friday, 29 March 2019

11.00 Words and Music, New College Chapel

12.00 End of term 12 noon


Tuesday, 23 April 2019


14.00 Pre-season cricket practice, Field

Wednesday, 24 April 2019

Start of School Term

10.00 School Service, New College Chapel. Speaker: The Headmaster

Coffee afterwards in the Undercroft for parents and visitors

13.00 Yr 7 PSHCEE: How to revise for exams, led by the Headmaster

17.00 Yr 8/8S Leadership Evening (ends 19.00)

Friday, 26 April 2019

14.30 1st X1 Cricket vs St Hugh's, Home, 2.30pm

18.15 First Evensong

Saturday, 27 April 2019

Chorister Parents' Supper, Sports Hall, 7.30pm

Sunday, 28 April 2019

Start of University Term

Eton Academic Scholarship Exams

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