Headmaster's Newsletter Friday 28th april 2017

Dear Parents,

Welcome back to the new term and I trust everyone had a good holiday with plenty of diversions from the usual routines. Judging by the holiday diaries I’ve received, there has been plenty of imagination and enterprise on the part of boys (and parents!) to enable some enjoyable days.

The Choir had a very successful tour to the United States, taking in New York, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Columbia, Charleston and Atlanta. I understand the boys were outstanding ambassadors for the Choir and School, delighting enthusiastic audiences with their music and natural good manners. Apparently, they were as at ease in receptions as they were on the concert platform and, of course, appreciative of such treats (courtesy of a kind American supporter) as stretch limo ride around New York!

It has been a characteristically busy start with everyone getting down to work and play with infectious energy. Alas the weather has also been characteristic for the start of the cricket season, but the boys have dutifully braved the cold to hone their skills for what we hope will be those sunnier afternoons of house and school matches. Away from the NCS playing fields boys and parents have not been idle over the holidays. Callan McMillan’s U11 Oxford Rugby team won the Newbury Festival beating nearly 30 other teams along the way to victory. Dr Coleman-Jones (mother of Freddie and Henry) ran the London Marathon on Sunday and, despite suffering recent injuries, put in a brilliant time of 3 hours and 29 minutes. Henry Channon has been back on the athletics track competing in the Wessex League in Bournemouth in the 800 metres. Racing for Oxford City AC, he ran an outstanding race winning by 2 seconds and crossing the line in an astonishing 2 minutes 16 seconds. Not only has he smashed the School record, he also broke a long-standing Oxford club record and is now ranked the Number 1 athlete in Great Britain over this distance in the U13 age group! This is a magnificent achievement of which we are all very proud and we congratulate him wholeheartedly. The applause from his fellow pupils in assembly this week said it all!

Building hot air balloons in Year 1's 'Explorers' project; pen and ink spring flowers by Arjun Sabharwal; the choristers in New York; searching for signs of spring in Wild Learning; learning to filter data in Year 6 Coding

Well done again to the considerable number of NCS pupils who had their pictures chosen for the Young Art Oxford Exhibition at the Ashmolean. The exhibition opens next Thursday afternoon (4th May) and continues through Saturday 6th May. Certainly worth a visit! I’m sure many parents will have seen several commentators in the media over the holidays lamenting the reluctance of the government to include a creative subject in the EBacc. Whilst we’re fortunate in the independent sector that we don’t have to follow the national curriculum slavishly, we all ought to be concerned about finding creative ways to teach the core values of compassion, tolerance and humanity as we face challenges, such as the prevention of radicalisation or growing concerns about young people’s mental health. The creative arts are surely vital in this. As one columnist put it: “When we stare at a painting, or lose ourselves in a piece of music, or get caught up in a TV drama, we sense, we feel. And by learning to interpret that feeling, we understand better. Connecting with our own and others’ emotions is not a ‘soft’ skill, it is central to modern civilisation. It’s why we don’t hurt other people.”

Using persuasive language to create advertisements in Year 5 English

'Rock Detectives' in Year 4 Science

More creativity from boys, parents and staff will be on show at tomorrow’s Chamber Choir & Choral Society Concert featuring Mozart’s Coronation Mass and Rutter’s Feel the Spirit. University Church, 7.30pm, Tickets (£12/£8, Under 12s free) on the door or from www.wegottickets.com Do join us!

Saturday Morning Music School will operate as usual tomorrow at 9.45am prompt, but a reminder that Monday 1st May is a bank and school holiday. Some you might perhaps be tempted to the early morning May Day celebrations since it is a school holiday...

A reminder that the NCS Parents’ Association Committee Meeting is on Tuesday, 9th May at 7.30pm in my study. Do let your class reps or either of the co-chairs know if you would like to put any items on the agenda.

Some families may be interested in the Oxford Chamber Music Courses for young string players aged 9-18 which run at Headington School 31st July – 5th August. For more details email oxfordchambercourse@gmail.com The closing date for registration is 31st May.

Staff Appointments for September. We wish Miss Ysobel Roby well on her appointment to the Science Department at Summer Fields and thank her for her dedicated contribution to the organisation and teaching of Science here over the last few years. To run the Science department in succession to Miss Roby, I have appointed Miss Emma Krebs. Miss Krebs took her degree from Bristol University and currently teaches at Headington School. She is also well-known to us as a current NCS parent. We look forward to welcoming her to the teaching staff at NCS. Our good wishes go with Dr Laura Arthur as she returns to academic life next year. We are grateful for all she has done to maintain the strong profile of Classics in the School. Mr Nicholas Hanson, who covered Mrs Laura Rindler’s maternity leave here last year, will return to NCS to take charge of Classics after completing his D.Phil. at Wolfson College. Mr Hanson took his undergraduate degree from St Benet’s Hall and before teaching at NCS taught at Queen’s College, Harley Street. We look forward to welcoming him back to NCS.

With good wishes to all NCS families,

Robert Gullifer

Forthcoming Events

Sat 29

Chamber Choir & Choral Society Concert, University Church, 7.30pm


Mon 1

Bank and School Holiday

Tues 2

Winchester Entrance Exam begins

Wed 3

School Service 10.00 am - New College Chapel

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

Coffee afterwards in the Undercroft for parents and visitors

Thurs 4

Young Art Oxford: Exhibition Open, Ashmolean Museum 2.00 – 5.00pm

Under 9 Chess Fixture vs. CCCs @ home 4:15 – 5:15 pm.

Young Art Oxford: Opening Night – Prize Giving 5.30 – 7.30pm

Fri 5

U9 A&B Cricket vs MCS, Away, 2.00pm

U9 C Cricket vs MCS, Home, 2.00pm

Young Art Oxford: Exhibition Open, Ashmolean Museum 10.00am – 5.00pm

Sat 6

Young Art Oxford: Exhibition Open, Ashmolean Museum 10.00am – 4.00pm

Three Choirs Evensong, Christ Church Cathedral, 6.00pm

Sun 7

Lutheran Vespers featuring Bach’s Cantata 12, New College Chapel, 6.00pm

Tues 9

NCSPA Committee Meeting, HM Study, 7.30 pm

Wed 10

School Service - 10.00 am - New College Chapel

Speaker: The Rt Revd Stephen Conway, Bishop of Ely

Coffee afterwards in the Undercroft for parents and visitors

Eco Committee meeting 12.00-12.30pm

Year 8/8S trip to RSC, Julius Caesar @ Stratford, sign-up only

U13 Cricket vs Summer Fields, Home, 2.15pm

Thurs 11

U11 A Cricket vs Chandlings, Away, 2.00pm

U11 B Cricket vs Chandlings, Home, 2.00pm

Fri 12

U9 A&B Cricket vs Cokethorpe, Away, 2.00pm

U9 C Cricket vs Cokethorpe, Home, 2.00pm

Sat 13

Old Boys' Dinner, College Hall, 8pm

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