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Headmaster's Newsletter Friday 2nd November 2018

Dear Parents,

A friend in Singapore recommended to me the transcript of a series of lectures by Siong Guan Lim, a Professor of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore. In these lectures, Professor Lim examines how civil society in Singapore might develop over the next 50 years or so. Although much of what he says, of course, is specific to Singapore, there is a good deal of universal wisdom which those of us concerned about how we educate future generations could note. I share with you his thoughts on the importance of developing character in universities and schools, a notion which has perhaps taken an undeserved back seat in educational thinking over the last few decades. “Character establishes the trustworthiness of the individual. We all know how critical character is in life and work…Universities and schools see much of their role as sharing knowledge and developing skills, rather than guiding their students towards succeeding in work and life… [they] often fail to make the point with their students that, in order to succeed in life and work, they need to be trustworthy, and not just competent in their skills and abilities…We need to value character and passion.” Certainly, food for thought in our constant attention as to how best to prepare pupils currently in school for working lives long into the 21st century.

Whatever else the future holds, there’s no doubt that AI (Artificial Intelligence) is here to stay and will challenge a huge number of our societal ‘givens’. I have touched upon this in previous newsletters, but some of you may have seen a fascinating series of Futuremakers podcasts on AI, posted by the University, which are well worth a listen. https://audioboom.com/channels/4973983

Ancient Sumerian Houses in Year 3 Great Civilisations; Separating salt from rock salt in Year 6 Science; The life of WW1 Soldiers in Year 5 History; Running the Eco Shop

Handwriting Competition. Lots of entries have already come in for our Handwriting Competition. The deadline for entries is this Monday, so any remaining entries to Mrs Showell-Rogers by then please.

Saturday Morning Music School. A reminder that there will be no Saturday Morning Music School tomorrow owing to the play rehearsal for Years 7 & 8. Saturday Morning Music School will resume as usual next week.

I’m very much looking forward to the Pre-Prep Party tomorrow. I’m sure there will plenty of dressing up, good party games, and delicious food. My thanks to all who are organising what is always such a special event for the pre-prep.

Building a sukkah in Year 2 RSP

Roman Gladiator uniform and weapons in Year 6 Classics

Years 7 & 8’s production of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar in New College Chapel is on Monday 5th November at 8.00pm and Wednesday 7th November at 6.00pm. Please note different times each night. Tickets are now available (free-of-charge) from the School Office.

Our Remembrance Day Service will take place on Wednesday 7th November at 10.00am in New College Chapel. The service will be a little more elaborate than usual and include music sung by the Chamber Choir, as well as the Last Post and the Solemn Commemoration of the Fallen from NCS. The service is a moment to reflect on the sacrifices made by others to enable us to live in peace and freedom: we only have to look across the world today to see how fragile that peace and freedom is. Do join us if you can. Poppies, in aid of the Royal British Legion, are now available in School.

The first event in our Educational Partnership Initiative, led by Mrs Brown, takes place on Thursday 14th November when, in conjunction with College, we shall be running an inter-schools debating competition. We shall join with Year 7 and 8 pupils from Oxford Spires Academy and Cheney School to take part in a series of debates run according to the parliamentary rules of debating. Undergraduates will act as moderators. The motion for the first debate is “This house believes that Europe is more our friend than our enemy.”

Book Launch. All NCS parents, colleagues and older pupils are warmly invited to the launch of Dr Jenkinson’s and my poetry anthology, How Poems Work, featuring meanings, techniques and effects in 100 poems from Beowulf to the Iraq War. The launch will take place in the Founder’s Library in College at 6.30pm on Friday, 30th November. Drinks and nibbles will be served. Please let the School Office know soonest if you think you are likely to join us so we have a sense of numbers for catering purposes.

Youth Music Theatre UK are holding auditions for young actors and musicians aged 11 and upwards on Sunday, 24th February 2019 in Oxford, in preparation for a 2-3 week summer residential course and production. For further details and to book an audition slot, please visit www.youthmusictheatreuk.org/auditions

With good wishes to all NCS families,

Robert Gullifer

Forthcoming Events

Saturday, 3 November 2018

9.45 Years 7 & 8 Play Rehearsal New College Chapel (No Sat am Music School)

14.00 Pre-Prep Party – Sports Hall

18.15 All Souls’ Day Solemn Requiem, New College Chapel

Monday, 5 November 2018

Abingdon 13+ pre-test interviews start

13.00 U10A Rugby Festival vs MCS, Away

20.00 Julius Caesar: Yrs 7 & 8 Play, New College Chapel

Tuesday, 6 November 2018

10.30 U9 Tag Rugby House Matches, Home

14.00 U11 A&B Rugby vs Cokethorpe, Away

14.00 U10 A&B Rugby vs Cokethorpe, Home

Wednesday, 7 November 2018

10.00 Remembrance Day Service, New College Chapel. Speaker: The Revd Paddy Cable, formerly Assistant Chaplain General RAChD. Coffee in the Undercroft afterwards for parents and visitors

12.30 Eco Committee Meeting, Yr 5 Classroom

13.00 Oxfordshire Book Awards

18.00 Julius Caesar: Yrs 7 & 8 Play New College Chapel

Thursday, 8 November 2018

13.30 U8-11 X-Country vs St Hugh's, Away

Friday, 9 November 2018

14.15 U9 A Rugby vs CCCS, Home

14.15 U9 B,C&D Tag Rugby vs CCCS, Home

Saturday, 10 November 2018

13.00 U9 A Rugby vs Winchester House, Away tbc

Monday 12 November 2018

National Anti-Bullying Week begins

UK Parliament Week

Wednesday, 14 November 2018

10.00 School Service, New College Chapel. Speaker: Mr Robert Quinney, Organist, Fellow and Tutor in Music, New College. Coffee in the Undercroft afterwards for parents and visitors.

12.30 School Council Meeting, French Room

14.30 U13 A Rugby vs St Hugh's, Home

14.30 U13 B Rugby vs St Hugh's, Home

16.00 Yrs 7 & 8 Debating Competition, College

17.15 Junior Concerts Pt 1 (Years 3, 4 & 5), School Hall Refreshments beforehand in HM Study at 5.00pm

18.15 Junior Concerts Pt 2 (Years 3, 4 & 5), School Hall Refreshments beforehand in HM Study at 6.00pm

Friday, 16 November 2018

13.00 U10 & 11 Cross Country vs Cokethorpe

14.15 U9 A&B Rugby vs Dragon, Away

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