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Headmaster's Newsletter Friday 7th september 2018

Dear Parents,

Welcome back to everyone for the new term and a new school year. An especially warm welcome to families new to NCS. I hope you and your sons will quickly feel part of our community and enjoy all that school life offers. And I hope, too, that all NCS families have had an opportunity for some rest and relaxation in the summer break. I have already heard of many good adventures and new experiences and look forward to hearing more over the coming days.

I have seen lots of happy and engaged faces this week as we have got down to work and settled quickly into the rhythm of school life. It has been particularly special to see the new Reception class busily enjoying the classroom and the playground. They have found their way around pretty quickly and happily visited me in my study where we had a chat about my double bass and I showed them a few of the ‘treasures’ I keep on my desk. I think we all enjoyed storytime this afternoon and it was lovely to see them hugging their New College teddy bears on the first day of term. Indeed, all the boys seem to be delighted to be in their new classes with that great feeling of being a bit more grown-up; while the extended playground has given new opportunities for all sorts of creative and interesting games as well as a bigger space for Year 8 boys to sit and chat on the benches.

Above all, I’ve seen many instances of older boys helping younger boys, and pupils who’ve been here a while helping new pupils. Being alert to the needs of others, putting others’ needs first is, I hope, a hallmark of this community and something which surely helps to make us fulfilled and contented human beings. In my address at the start of term service, I mentioned a poster I saw in a subway train station on my summer holidays. It read: “While you set your sights on success, don’t lose sight of the things that make us human.” I hope this will be a guiding theme for this term, as the boys recognise and celebrate each others’ successes, as well as their own, and realise that their strengths are hugely complementary.

Year 5 Library induction; Ball skills in Pre-Prep Games; Year 8 Maths; Rearranging the new play area; Reception Play-time

Appointments for the new academic year. Mrs Caroline Jordan, Headmistress of Headington School, has joined the Governing Committee. Mrs Jordan’s work as an educationalist is well-known both locally and nationally: her connections with NCS include a brother and nephew, who are former pupils here. Mrs Jo Atkinson is i/c Wild Learning. Mr Andrew Bradley is Assistant Director of Sport. Mrs Louise Brown is Director of Educational Partnerships. Mr Nicholas Hanson, Head of Classics, also becomes i/c Religious Studies and Philosophy. Mrs Caroline Hitchings is appointed Year 1 form tutor. Mrs Hitchings took her degree from Bishop Grosseteste/Hull University. She has been teaching at Swanbourne House School and was previously Year 1 form tutor at King’s College School, Cambridge and at Chafyn Grove School, Salisbury. Mr Brett Morrison is Deputy Head Pastoral. Mr Andrew Hardy-Lenik is Director of Activities. Miss Sarah Llewellyn -Jones is Head of Instrumental Music. Mr Thomas Neal becomes Director of Music. Mr Neal read Music at Clare College, Cambridge where he subsequently took his M.Phil in Musicology. He was also Assistant Conductor and Repetiteur of the Cambridge University Musical Society. He has taught at Chavagnes International College, where he was Director of Music, and joins us from Portsmouth Grammar School, where he was Head of Summers House. Mrs Catherine Phillips is appointed to teach French and Sport. Mrs Phillips studied at the Université d’Artois, Arras and at the Université du Littoral, Boulogne and joins us from St Edward’s School. Mrs Della Riddell has relinquished her role in Year 4, but I am very pleased that she will stay on until her retirement in December to give us assistance in many ways, not least with the practicalities of a smooth handover to the new building. Mrs Maria Williams becomes Year 4 class teacher. Mrs Williams has considerable teaching and pastoral experience in prep schools and joins us from Elstree School, Reading, where she was a Houseparent. She took her degree from Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford. I wish all colleagues a happy and fulfilling time in their new roles.

Many congratulations to Miss Harriet Cannell who announced her engagement to Mr Matt Knox over the summer and to two colleagues on their summer weddings: Miss Lucy Harrison was married to Mr Ben Bibby and wishes now to be known as Mrs Bibby; Mr Andrew Lenik was married to Mr Tim Hardy and is now Mr Hardy-Lenik. And following her marriage earlier last year, Miss Munnery has returned this year as Mrs Atkinson. We wish them all every continuing happiness.

Holiday works. You will all have seen the tremendously impressive interim buildings which have gone up in Savile Road over the summer. After ground clearance and preparatory works, the modular buildings took just three days to install: do have a look at the time-lapse video on our website which captures it all in about 1½ minutes! www.newcollegeschool.org/video-gallery The contractors are now fitting out the spacious interior, and landscaping the pre-prep playground and Wild Learning areas behind the hoarding, so that we shall be well on-schedule to take possession over the Christmas holidays, ready for opening at the start of Hilary Term. Meanwhile, it is anticipated that the 1959 building will then be demolished over the Easter holidays. We have been hugely impressed by the contractors’ efficiency and working practices which have ensured minimal disruption, even to those of us around in the summer!

I am most grateful to our Premises Manager, Mr Paul Mulford and his assistant Mr Dave Bustin who have kept such a close eye on all these summer works and ensured the fabric of the School is in such good condition. Many of you will have seen the renovated floor in the entrance hall and dining room of the 1903 building: we reckon a century of thick varnish was stripped away to reveal a very beautiful wood-block floor. In addition, the framework of a new heating system was installed in the 1972 building, awaiting transfer to the new boiler once the 1959 building is demolished; the Music Office has been re-designed and decorated, and improvements to the boys’ toilets, as suggested by the School Council, have been carried out.

Saturday Morning Music School starts again tomorrow for boys in Year 5 who would like to join our ensembles/orchestra. 9.40 am for a prompt 9.45am start. ‘Home Clothes’ are worn on a Saturday Morning.

Reading in interesting places. If your son wishes to submit a photo of reading in interesting places, please do so to the School Office (preferably by email; office@newcollegeschool.org) by this Monday 11th September.

Holiday Diaries. I have been delighted already to receive a number of holiday diaries. Do encourage your son to show me any such record he has produced over the holidays.

Parents’ Handbooks. I hope parents in Years 3-8S have safely received a copy of the Parents’ Handbook, sent home with your son this week. These, I trust, will be a useful guide to the year ahead. If you have not received a copy, please search your son’s bag and jog his memory. If all else fails, please ask Mrs McCusker or Miss Kilkenny in the School Office for a further copy.

I hope all families have received their copy of the latest edition of The Newswire and our newest publication, The Nucleus, featuring some of the boys’ work. Please let the Office know if not and we can supply you with them.

NCS Choral Society draws its membership from parents, former parents and friends of the School and gives concerts and supports the School choirs each term. This term’s concert on Saturday 15th December in New College Chapel will feature Britten’s Saint Nicholas. All are welcome to join the Choral Society; no auditions required, just an enthusiasm for singing. Rehearsals are on Monday evenings in the Sports Hall, 7.30-9.00pm, starting Monday 17th September. Please contact the Director of Music, Mr Tom Neal, for further details thomas.neal@newcollegeschool.org

New College School Parents’ Association (NCSPA) has its AGM on Monday 1st October and I especially encourage new parents to come along and get involved. The NCSPA acts as a very helpful forum for parents’ ideas and views and organizes some excellent fundraising and social events across the year. for all the support this year in so many helpful ways. The current Chair, Daisy East, has signalled her intention to step down by the AGM. So, I do hope there is a parent who would be willing to take on this role. It really isn’t impossibly onerous! Do contact Daisy on ncspa@newcollegeschool.org if you’d like to find out a little bit more about what it might involve.

A reminder of upcoming parents’ start of year meetings/drinks. Chorister parents, tonight, Sports Hall, 7.30pm. Years 8/8S & 7, Wednesday 12th September, Sports Hall, 6.00pm. Years 3 & 4, Tuesday 18th September, Sports Hall, 6.00pm. Pre-Prep, Wednesday 19th September, Classrooms & Sports Hall, 6.00pm. Years 5 & 6, Monday 24th September, Future Destinations Evening, Sports Hall, 6.00pm

With good wishes to all NCS families for the coming term,

Robert Gullifer

Forthcoming Events

Saturday, 8 September 2018

18.00 NC Choir: Gaude Evensong

Tuesday, 11 September 2018

9.00 Visit of O-Pro Dentist

14.00 U11 A&B Football vs Cokethorpe, Home

14.00 U11 C&D Football vs Cokethorpe, Away

Wednesday, 12 September 2018

10.00 School Service, New College Chapel. Speaker: The Revd Susan Bridge, Assistant College Chaplain. Coffee available afterwards in the Undercroft for parents and visitors.

10.30 Choristers to Song Room and then Corpus Christi Chapel for concert

12.30 Eco Committee Meeting, Yr 5 Classroom

18.00 Years 8/8S & 7 start-of-year parents’ meeting/drinks, Sports Hall

Thursday, 13 September 2018

9.00 Yrs 3 and 4 to Wittenham Clumps 9 to 3.45

20.00 NC Choir: Reception at St Catherine's College

Friday, 14 September 2018

14.00 U9 A&B Football vs Cokethorpe, Home

Tuesday, 18 September 2018

10.30 U9 Football House Matches, Field

8.50 Gamelan Trip, Year 6, Faculty of Music

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

Wednesday, 19 September 2018

10.00 School Service, New College Chapel. Speaker: Mr Daniel Harkin, Cox and Salvesen Junior Fellow, New College. Coffee in the Undercroft afterwards for parents and visitors

12.30 School Council Meeting, French Room

14.30 U13 A Football v Summerfields, Home

14.30 U13 B&C Football v Summerfields, Away

18.00 Pre-Prep start-of-year parents’ meeting/drinks

Thursday, 20 September 2018

15.45 U11 A,B,C&D Football vs MCS, Away

Friday, 21 September 2018

9.00 Portrait Photos, Sports Hall

14.00 U9 A,B,C&D Football vs MCS, Away

Saturday, 22 September 2018

No choristers at Saturday Morning Music School

18.00 NC Choir : Gaude Evensong

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