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Headmaster's Newsletter Friday 20th september 2019

Dear Parents,

Last week I alluded to the ‘skills’ that we try to instil in the boys here – the kinds of things that reside under the bonnet of learning. Some educationalists come out in hives if you refer to ‘skills’ (they think, erroneously, that curriculum content gets neglected), so a less controversial way of referring to them is ‘habits’ or ‘behaviours’. In essence, we want our boys to be picking up instinctual behaviours, academically and pastorally, which set them up for an easier, more successful and happier life later on. It’s better to get into good learning and behavioural habits when you’re in short trousers, than having to undo bad habits when you’re in long ones. This was certainly the message of Mr Morrison’s pastoral assembly on Tuesday when he offered the boys effective strategies to help with their mental wellbeing, getting a balance between work and play. Getting into good thinking habits (and avoiding ‘thinking traps’) now can only help with the boys’ emotional toolkit as they get older.

Year 6 visit to the Gamelan collection; football vs Summer Fields; bridging to 10 in Year 4 Maths; bouncing and catching skills in Pre-Prep gym

Such behaviours don’t just correspond to the classroom, of course, and they should be honed as the boys begin to navigate their wider world. On Wednesday in chapel we heard from Andy Showell-Rogers, co-founder of Visible Clothing, an ethical clothing company that was set up to help right the wrongs of the ‘fast fashion’ industry in the wake of the Rana Plaza disaster, when 1,134 people were killed and over 2,000 injured. The almost unthinking habit of buying cheap clothes that are then disposed of after one or two wears has a disproportionately negative impact on the people and communities who make those clothes. If we can get the boys to think about their buying habits from the get-go – before they’re really buying anything themselves, I appreciate – then these small actions should later have disproportionately positive impacts elsewhere. Putting our money where our mouth is, NCS was very happy to support Visible last year when we commissioned them to create all our costumes for Julius Caesar (and got to meet the tailors via Skype); if anyone needs to borrow forty tunics and togas, you know where to come.

Investigating diffusion in Science; Year 8 assisting the younger years in Form Time; building a skeleton in Reception Computing

Related to all of this, our ‘person of the week’, as discussed with the boys in Monday’s and Thursday’s assemblies, was Greta Thunberg – a key figure at today’s Youth Climate Summit. The 16-year-old climate change activist has written a book called No One is Too Small to Make a Difference. No matter how young the person doing them happens to be, tens, hundreds, thousands of small acts build up over time. So we might as well ensure that those acts are positive ones, and that we encourage them from the beginning of the boys’ educational, and life, journeys.

Have a wonderful weekend,

Matt Jenkinson

Sport. After nearly two weeks of training the boys have all really impressed the games staff with their application, effort and progress. It has been a very positive start to the new term and the games this week have reflected that. Firstly the 1st XI travelled all the way to Suffolk on Monday for the ISFA cup fixture against Finborough School. Despite playing against a much larger school the boys gave a fantastic account of themselves and played some excellent football. Mr Bradley was particularly impressed by Ethan and Jack, both of whom were making their first team debuts. At the end of the afternoon the boys narrowly missed out on going through to the second round as the game ended 2-1 to our hosts. It was a great learning opportunity and clearly a step in the right direction.

On Tuesday afternoon the U11 teams faced Cothill in a new fixture; we had four teams playing both home and away with all four teams having a very productive afternoon. The A team played some of the best football of the week with Dan and Timon starring in that team. Despite taking a first-half lead the afternoon ended with a 2-1 defeat due to a break-away goal that we struggled to counter. The performance of the afternoon though has to be the U11 D team, which was a great game of football with end to end chances for both teams. The game was fought in good spirits with hard but fair tackles all round. Having found themselves 1-0 down at half time the NCS team never gave up and, thanks to a wonderful goal from birthday boy George, they levelled the game to take a well-earned 1-1 draw when it was eventually time for doughnuts!

Finally this week the U13 A-C teams were in action against Summer Fields. All three teams played with such great heart and determination, it was a real pleasure to watch. The A and C teams only lost by a single goal and in both games the boys fought tooth and nail to the final whistle to find that elusive equalizing goal. Once again Jack shone for the A team along with our goalkeeper Julien. In the C team a special mention must go to Leo and Idris for their efforts. Both Mr Bradley and Mr Rose were very proud. I had the pleasure of taking the B team and these boys really were our star performers this week. They were playing a physically much bigger team but they adapted their tactics brilliantly to keep the ball low and used slick passing moves to exhaust their opposition. Thanks to a brilliant man-of-the-match performance from Edmund, the score ended up 8-1 to the NCS boys and this included a hat trick for Ed on his senior debut. It was one of the most entertaining games I have seen for a while and a testament to what hard work can achieve; well done, boys! CB

Morning drop-off. A reminder that boys must remain in the care of parents or other guardians until 8.00, when Mrs Cox, Miss Krebs, Mr Morrison and myself appear for playground duty, at which point we will happily take responsibility for your sons. And related to this …

Savile Road Safety. Please be extremely careful when driving and parking on Savile Road, and be especially mindful that obviously there are lots of children around, especially during drop-off and pick-up. Please do not park in front of the school gates at any point, and please do not use the entrance as a carpark or as part of a turning circle if the gates happen to be open. Please also be mindful that parking at the corner of Savile and Mansfield Roads increases danger to cyclists. To reduce the amount of traffic on Savile Road, older boys can be safely dropped off on Mansfield Road and they can then enjoy a brisk morning walk to school. Many thanks.

Start of Year Drinks. The social whirl that is the beginning of Michaelmas continues. I look forward to seeing parents from the following years over the next week (just go through the door adjacent to the school office and follow the noise): Friday 20 September - Year 6 parents; Monday 23 September - Year 7 parents; Tuesday 24 September - Year 8/8S parents. These are purely social events, so we intend for there to be little overlap with our …

Start of Year Meetings. Parents of boys in Years 3 and 4 are very welcome to join us on Thursday 26 September at 18.00. The evening will begin in the Year 3 and 4 classrooms with Mrs Hayter, Mrs Williams and Mrs Calatayud, who will give a brief introduction to prep school routines etc., proceeding to drinks at 18.30 in the Sports Hall and, again, a chance to meet with me and senior leadership colleagues. Parents and boys from Years 5 and 6 are very welcome on Monday 7 October for our Future Destinations Evening. This will take place in the Sports Hall from 18.30. Form tutors, other NCS colleagues, and representatives from senior schools will be available for discussion. The boys are encouraged to come along, to meet representatives from a variety of senior schools, and to have their voice heard in the senior school selection process.

Harvest Festival is on Wednesday 25 September at 10.00 in New College Chapel. The boys are encouraged to bring in non-perishable produce for distribution to local food banks, whilst perishable home-grown produce will be arranged for sale to NCS families after school on 25 September to raise money to support food banks. Please do ask your son to give some thought as to what he might bring in and how this might support people in Oxford in need.

Developing Musical Skill. I’m told there are still some tickets available for Wednesday’s talk by Michael Griffin. https://www.wegottickets.com/event/477893 Please do come along if you can to hear this internationally acclaimed speaker give his tips on developing the boys’ musical practice techniques.

Open Morning is on Saturday 28 September at 10.00. Materials advertising the morning are being sent home with the boys and we hope you have seen Miss Kilkenny’s fantastic posters around town. Please display them at work, home, or in your neighbourhood as is possible. All boys are welcome to volunteer as guides. Saturday Morning Music pupils attend the morning as usual to act as guides and continue with their music. Parent help with teas/coffees and in talking to visitors will also be most welcome. Please let the NCSPA know if you will be able to help (ncspa@newcollegeschool.org) and/or email office@newcollegeschool.org if your son would like to act as a guide.

Mrs Brown would like to add her thanks for the support and sponsorship of parents and colleagues in the run-up (no pun intended) to the Richmond Runfest Marathon. She has raised £1700 in total, nearly £1000 of which will go to the Oxford Food Bank.

Person of the Week: Greta Thunberg

Artwork of the Week: ‘Day and Night in Toledo’ by Cai Guo-Qiang

Word of the Week: abscond

Forthcoming Events

Monday, 23 September 2019

8.50 Tudor Music workshop, Year 4, Faculty of Music (back for period 3)

14.00 U13 A, B & C Football vs D’Overbroeck’s, Home

19.00 Drinks in HM Lodgings for Year 7 Parents

Tuesday, 24 September 2019

14.00 U9 Football House Matches, Home

14.15 U11 A Football vs Bruern Abbey, Away

14.15 U11 B Football vs Bruern Abbey and Sibford, Home

19.00 Drinks in HM Lodgings for Year 8/8S Parents

Wednesday, 25 September 2019

10.00 Harvest Festival, New College Chapel

Speaker: The Revd Dr Erica Longfellow, School and College Chaplain

Coffee in the Undercroft afterwards for parents and visitors

14.00 Workshop: 'Developing Musical Skill' with Michael Griffin (Yrs 6, 7, 8) (Hall)

19.30 Talk for parents: 'Developing Musical Skill' with Michael Griffin (Hall)

Thursday, 26 September 2019

European Day of Languages

HPV Immunisations (1) (Year 8)

15.30 U11 A-D Football vs MCS, Away

16.00 U8 & U9 Cross Country vs Dragon, Away

17.30 NC Choir: Founder's Obit, Winchester Cathedral and College

18.00 Years 3 & 4 start-of-year parents’ meeting/drinks

Friday, 27 September 2019

13.00 U9 A Football Festival, Home

Saturday, 28 September 2019

10.00 Open Morning

18.00 NC Choir : Gaude Evensong

Monday, 30 September 2019

15.00 U13 A,B,C&D Football vs Thorngrove, Away

19.30 NCS Parents’ Association AGM, Sports Hall

Tuesday, 1 October 2019

All day PSB Music Meeting, Red Room, New College

14.00 U11 A&B Football vs Sibford, Home

Wednesday, 2 October 2019

10.00 School Service, New College Chapel

Speaker: The Revd Canon Dr Simon Jones, Chaplain of Merton College

Coffee in the Undercroft afterwards for parents and visitors

12.30 Eco Committee - Charity Meeting, Yr 5 Classroom

14.30 U13 A & B Football vs Summer Fields, Away

14.30 U13 C Football vs Summer Fields, Home

18.00 Yr 7 Parents' Evening, Sports Hall

Thursday, 3 October 2019

12.15 U11A Football vs Elstree (ISFA Cup), Away

Friday, 4 October 2019

14.00 U9 A-C Football vs Summer Fields, Away

14.00 U8 A-C Football vs Summer Fields, Home

Saturday, 5 October 2019

9.00 U13A IAPS 6-aside Football Tournament at Summer Fields

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