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The Georgian Friday, 15 March 2019

Friday, 15 March 2019

BEHIND THE STUDY DOOR

When it comes to the Calcutta Cup on Saturday, I find my loyalty completely split. When I moved to Scotland, I remained a passionate England supporter. Now I am back, I find myself pledging my allegiance to Scotland, not least as Arthur has picked up a Scottish accent! As we approach summer and one of my favourite sporting seasons, there is absolutely no doubt that I remain a staunch supporter of English cricket.

At the tender age of 32, Alastair Cook stood down as the England Cricket Captain in 2017. He has enjoyed a truly remarkable career: over 11,000 test match runs to his name (England’s highest test match run-scorer of all time), 2 Ashes wins as Captain, and 59 test matches in charge of the squad.

Showing the utmost humility in standing down, and after four challenging years at the top, his predecessor, Andrew Strauss said of the former captain “he will go down as one of the greats”.

So what has this got to do with Music? Well, it is well known that Alastair Cooke spent his prep school years mastering his cover drive on the Battersea Park playing fields as a pupil at St Paul’s Cathedral School and chorister at the world famous cathedral. More famed for its boy trebles filling the vast dome with mass settings at evensong and singing for the Queen as part of their daily lives, it is remarkable that Cook managed to combine two great passions.

Cook puts much of his extraordinary resilience as a batsmen down to his musical training, and once said "The musical training taught me to focus my mind, before playing in an orchestra taught me how to truly concentrate. If you miss your moment in an orchestra, there is no forgiving."

I can understand why he gives his chorister training great credit as he looked back on his extraordinary career as a test cricketer. Choristers enjoy the immense privilege of performing stunning music daily in the inspiring cathedrals and collegiate chapels, and here of course in St George's Chapel. However, it is what goes on day in, day out behind the scenes is what really develops a unique skills-set in the children: teamwork; the discipline of sitting through hours of rehearsals, services and performances; taking yourself out of your comfort zone on a daily basis; automatically putting your hand up if you make a mistake in rehearsal (this is second nature); maintaining the highest standards of professionalism; keeping up their morale even when things don’t go to plan; and generally understanding what excellence is.

You certainly don’t have to be a chorister to reap the rewards of music. This week at St George’s, I have heard 58 of our pupils at The Royal Albert Hall, as well as our Chamber Choir this morning in front of our visitors to Open Day. I have heard the children belt out hymns in assembly week after week, and I know the fortnightly congregational practice is a highlight for every single child. Pupils tear up to their class music lessons each week, and instrumental, ensemble and singing lessons fill every area of the school. Being in Windsor, we also have the joy of high quality music all around us, with plenty for families to enjoy with London on our door step.

Quite rightly, music enjoys very high standing at St George’s, and the impact this has on our pupils must never be underestimated. Just to add a little well known research into the mix, music acts as a trigger for the brain, enabling us to remember emotions, events and information. Music aids our co-ordination, supports children with dyslexia, supports self-esteem, boosts their ability to learn, builds teamwork, brings children together, notably increases confidence, but is also great fun. Sadly, the relevance of music is underestimated in many schools as local authority budgets are cut, and this is cutting off a major artery of growing up: music is as vital as the nourishing food we give our children to eat; it needs to be consumed daily. The joy children will have in playing music or singing with others as they grow up will never cease, whether it be local ensembles and orchestras, choirs, musical theatre groups, their own bands, or just playing the guitar on the beach with friends. The ability to genuinely appreciate and have a love for music will stay with children for life. As St George’s continues to celebrate our strong musical identity, I urge parents to expose their children to a range of different musical genres; introduce them to classical music from a young age; if you see the interest, get your young children learning a musical instrument at the appropriate age and keep the motivation going. Once your child develops a passion for music, grasp it, cherish it and never let that go, it will be one the greatest gifts you can give them.

Back to the final weekend of the Six Nations, if Scotland do win tomorrow, I shall be wearing my kilt on Monday with great pride.

Wishing all St George’s families a happy weekend, wherever your adventures take you.

William Goldsmith

PS - We played this clip during our Commonwealth Day Assembly on Monday. It shows how the power of music can bring nations together.

Celebration Assembly Awards

Head Master's Commendations

Many congratulations to the following who were presented with awards on Monday:

James P: for creating a poster with a great deal of information in French, as part of voluntary extension work

Lucy K (2): for creating a post with a great deal of information in French, as part of voluntary extension work and for working with commitment and being fully engaged in science lessons

Zinédine B: for putting a great deal of effort into a poster in French to review a gadget

Max A: for work on 'scratch games' in IT

Sam P: for work on 'scratch games' in IT

Bikram H: for work on 'scratch games' in IT

Ben I'A: for work on 'scratch games' in IT

Toby C: for work on 'scratch games' in IT

Callum B: for work on 'scratch games' in IT

Matilda W: for work on 'scratch games' in IT

Leah H: for work on 'scratch games' in IT

Jennifer W: for work on 'expresso games' in IT

Amar S: for work on 'expresso games' in IT

Henry B: for work on 'expresso games' in IT

James H: for work on 'expresso games' in IT

William P: for working in a consistently positive manner in science, and displaying outstanding manners

Spirit of St George's Award

The following were awarded 'Spirit of St George's Awards' for encapsulating the core values of our school community:

Kyle M: for kindness to others and helpfulness around the school

Dylan M-H: for the positive encouragement given to other members of the Astronomy Club

Edith R: for showing great support and help to a teacher

Annabel P: for showing kindness and helpfulness around the school

Asees Dhanda: for showing kindness and helpfulness around the school

Sports Players of the Week: for displaying the core values of PE:

Years 3 and 4: Lara H for working consistently hard each to irmprove and make progress on the court

Years 5 and 6: George S for consistent hard work and effort

Years 7 and 8: Lifu Y for working hard to develop contact skills and showing a strong understanding of the game.

Trips and Events

Chamber Choir and Year 5 sing at The Royal Albert Hall

On Monday the Chamber Choir and Year 5 participated in a concert organised by Berkshire Maestros, taking place in none other than London’s Royal Albert Hall and performing alongside some of the country’s finest musicians and over 1,500 schoolchildren. Our Chamber Choir sang a rapturous rendition of Bob Chilcott’s A Little Jazz Mass alongside Berkshire’s very own Youth Choir, who had requested specifically for our singers to join them, while the Year 5 pupils banded together with a host of other primary schools to perform Nigel Hess’ musical RATS!, whose songs were all received with impassioned applause from the audience. Following a long day (and a first-hand look into the life of a performer..!), the children left with an experience that any musician would dream to have under their belt, and with the knowledge that they had played a major part in what was, for so many, a truly memorable night.

Year 8 Geography Trip to the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

On Tuesday the Year 8 pupils enjoyed a spectacular Geography Field trip at the Velodrome in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. In the morning they undertook a sustainability study, looking at the material used in construction of the Velodrome and housing and employment in the local area. After lunch they enjoyed the wonderful opportunity of cycling around the velodrome track. Unfortunately the journey home took a little longer than planned but every one remained cheerful and there was in impromptu pizza stop which was appreciated by all.

Year 4 Trip to Windsor Castle

Both Year 4 classes went to Windsor Castle on Wednesday morning to learn about Roman defensive and attacking battle techniques. The children got to go up on the battlements and role-play being Roman soldiers using arrows, slingshots and crossbows. The children then learnt about some of the unusual ways that the Medieval people used to attack castles! The children thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

Assembly Speaker - Emma York

On Friday Emma York came in to Assembly and talked about her theatrical career and what skills are needed to succeed in the acting profession. Emma gave an interactive presentation which involved dancing, music, games and acting. All the children enjoyed the Assembly and came out smiling! Our thanks to Emma for giving such an inspirational Assembly.

Mobile Farm Visits Kindergarten

We always know that spring is on its way when the mobile farm come to visit the children in Kindergarten. Dressed as farmers and appropriately in 'wellies', all the children had an opportunity to take a close look at the animals and some children even helped to feed them.

Lower School Dance Workshop

On Friday Years 1 - 3 took part in a very energetic dance workshop in the Lower School Hall. The sessions were based on an adventure back in time to Ancient Egypt - but with a modern twist! They learnt to dance like Egyptians which was a lot of fun and very engaging.

Sports Report

This week’s sporting value focus has been on PURSUING EXCELLENCE. Here are just some of the ways this has been encouraged during match days and lessons.

Parents / staff - reward attempts to try new things out, regardless of the outcome.

Encouraging creativity during match play. This could include trying a new position, tactic or role within the team.

Parents / staff - encourage self-assessment of performance to identify areas that need improvement. This should include evaluating the successes as well as identifying targets.

Pupils - have high expectations of teammates and be positive if things do not work, but try to evaluate why.

Pupils - 100% effort is required to pursue excellence.

Rugby

This week boys took part in the last set of rugby fixtures. It was the last game of the season for many, but for the Year 8s, it was their last game of rugby for St George's! It was a competitive game against Leighton Park, who often had the physical edge in the breakdown, however, St George’s were determined to play free-flowing, expansive rugby. This saw them score some exciting tries. Special mention must go to Johnny W and Thomas M for their role as Captains throughout the term.

The Seconds finished the season with a very positive display. In a very evenly matched fixture against Leighton Park School, the team ran well with the ball in hand and showed superb effort in defence, with some impressive defensive play. Well done to all the boys involved for displaying a 'keep trying' mentality, a very good way to end the season.

The U10s and U11s took on LVS. U11A had their final game of the season, and with only one loss on their record, they were determined to perform well. From the kick off to the final whistle, the boys displayed ferocious tackling, powerful rucking and sensational speed and handling, enabling them to scored multiple tries. It was a real team performance to finish the season, with every boy making a valuable contribution. Congratulations on a fantastic season! Mr Wills took the U11B team, who gave a terrific performance, coming away convincing winners. With impressive displays from the whole team, it was a fantastic way to end the rugby season.

The U10A team travelled to LVS and produced another dominant performance with attacking rugby and great speed at the breakdown - an excellent close to the rugby fixtures. The U10B team enjoyed being able to play as two different teams called the Dragons and the Knights, with a very pleasing display of both attacking rugby and controlled defence.

Congratulations to all the boys on their efforts in the rugby season this term.

Year 2 Swimming Gala

On Wednesday the Year 2 pupils enjoyed a fun gala with four teams competing against each other. The Red Lobsters, Blue Dolphins, Yellow Fish and Green Turtles battled it out in the pool. Everyone swam in a front crawl race and two relay races. The highlight of the afternoon was the treasure hunt, where floats, noodles and dozens of toys were thrown into the pool. The teams took turns jumping in to retrieve as much treasure as possible, and the winning team was the Yellow Fish. Well done to all of Year 2 for swimming so well!

Netball

The Year 6As had another superb match against Daneshill, winning with ease. Strong defence and through court work enabled our shooters to have many opportunities which they capitalised on. The players of the match were Cara in attack and Imi in defence. The Year 6Bs also played extremely well, and were tenacious in defence and combined well in attack. There was excellent shooting and a good winning performance from all. The player of the match was India.

Year 5 attended the Luckley House school tournament on Wednesday. They played five schools, out of which they won 4 and drew 1. They then went through to play for the Cup, but sadly lost against Hall Grove. The girls played outstandingly well and walked away with big smiles. Well done Ladies!

Coming up...

  • In the next few weeks, the boys will be re-introduced to some hockey, and Year 3 to Year 8 pupils will be running the annual Inter-House Cross Country in the beautiful setting of Home Park Private
  • Matches against St Neot’s Prep School for Year 5 to Year 8 on Wednesday 20 March
  • Mixed Inter-House Hockey on Friday 22 March for Year 3 and Year 4
  • Lent Term Team Rugby and Netball team photos will be taken on Friday 22 March
  • Aquathlon Sunday 24 March (see Mrs Barlow for details)
  • Mixed Inter-House Hockey for Year 5, Year 7 and Year 8 on Wednesday 27 March
  • Inter-House Cross Country for Years 3 to 8 on Thursday 28 March

Pupils will need the following equipment for Hockey:

Years 4 to 8: Games kit, trainers, shin pads and mouth guard

Year 3: Games kit, trainers and shin pads (mouth guard optional as pupils will be playing unihoc)

STG World Book Day

Maths Puzzle

Dorm Diaries

On Tuesday evening it was the turn of the Year 6 boarders to spend some time with Mr & Mrs Goldsmith, flipping pancakes and playing games!

Wonderful Wednesdays continued this week. we were so lucky to be joined by Mrs Edwards who ran a fantastic Mindfulness workshop which was both informative and practical. The boarders were able to try out some mindful techniques, one of which involved savouring a Starburst!

Wishing the following a very...

Jack McC-G, Thomas B,Gracie M, George H all have birthdays in the coming week!

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