Headmaster's Newsletter Friday 24 feb 2017
I like to think I’m well-prepared for air travel these days. Carry on just the right number of books for the journey, download work onto the iPad and, if there’s any need for further diversion, there are usually one or two watchable movies. Until of course, you’re sitting on the tarmac with no internet, no movies and you’ve done all the work and read all the books. So it was this half-term, whilst very lengthy safety checks were being carried out, I found myself flicking through the airline magazine and came across a fascinating article about a US government economist turned journalist and parenting guru. Her latest book stresses the importance of not spending money on elaborate toys or gadgets, or even piling on extra-curricular activities, but putting resources into shareable family experiences, such as walks in the park, special meals out, a family football match, travel –whether near or far, going to the cinema. Not only then do children gain a breadth of experiences valuable in themselves, but they also have plenty of things to talk about with their friends, which in turn enables them to be socially more confident.
And you can be sure that in many different ways these will lay foundations (to take up a theme of the Headmaster of Abingdon in his Chapel talk this week) for the future. When one of our daughters took herself off to Budapest for a much-needed break from a busy job last week, she touchingly recalled how much she had enjoyed the times we had visited one or two European cities in her childhood and had felt invigorated by different surroundings. It’s good to have that feedback a decade or so on! So I’ve greatly enjoyed hearing boys’ accounts of all sorts of different experiences at half-term, of how they’ve invented new games, seen new things, met new people and, above all, reflected upon it all with that characteristic NCS insight and good-heartedness.
I’m delighted to congratulate the following on having their work selected for exhibition in the Ashmolean following this year’s Young Art Oxford 2017 competition on the theme of “The world we live in.” From the Pre-Prep: Alexander Cadogan, Rishaan Chari, Tolly Davies, Eugene Fishlock, Edward Lakin, George McKnight, Harry Mason, Edward Millar. From Years 3 & 4: Joshua Brown, Isaac Conway, Henry East, Leo Magnotta, Jack Rothery, Nahum Whyte. From Years 5 & 6: Augustin Chapman, Lyndon Chen, Sammy Jarvis, Fraser Mackenzie, Julien Rohart, Herbie Waters. From Years 7 & 8: Sebastian Asquith, Peter Bradley, Roman Buckland, Theo Cawood, Henry Channon, Ben Fox, Xavier Gardner, George Murray, Thomas Simpson. The exhibition at the Ashmolean will run from 4th – 6th May.
We were very fortunate to enjoy another outstanding Holloway Lecture on Monday and I'm most grateful to Professor Lord Krebs for focusing us all so powerfully on The Future of Food. NCS boys did us proud, as ever, in volunteering to participate in the initial food experiment and the lively quality of the questions afterwards was testimony to a most successful event. It was especially good, too, to welcome pupils from a number of other local schools. My thanks to everyone who supported the occasion and made it possible in so many different ways.