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Headmaster's Newsletter Friday 28th september 2018

Dear Parents,

For part of this week I have been away at the Prep Schools’ Heads’ Conference. It's always a good opportunity to compare notes and best practice with Heads around the country and to reflect upon some of the wider educational issues of our time. There’s always a lot of good quality discussion which looks very much to the future. After all, we’re in the business of preparing children for working life in the mid-21st century. A good many of the speakers stressed the need for schools to harness the innate flexibility and creativity of young minds and not to stifle this with the short-term educational utilitarianism. One speaker quoted an extract from a speech that Senator Robert Kennedy gave at the University of Capetown in 1966: its sentiments are stirring and as powerfully relevant today as they were to his South African audience in 1966. “This world demands the qualities of youth; not a time of life but a state of mind, a temper of the will, a quality of the imagination, a predominance of courage over timidity, of the appetite for adventure over the love of ease.” The challenge, as we continue to shape our curriculum for the future, is to ensure we continually find ways of embracing the natural imagination, courage and adventure of our pupils: these are the qualities which will carry them far in life and, in my book, schools should not be timid in prioritising them in what and how we teach.

Year 4 trip to the Music faculty; Year 8 mentoring Pre-Prep; Blood circulation in Year 5; Harvest Festival donations

It was good to see choristers joining with their Winchester counterparts yesterday to commemorate our mutual founder William of Wykeham in a joyous service in Winchester Cathedral. The Warden gave a strong message in his address about the value of William of Wykeham’s vision of community and collegiality and there was much uplifting singing from the joint choirs and the congregation. As ever, the boys were great ambassadors for School and College.

Sport. Following last week’s success on the football pitches, we were excited about the prospect of the up-coming matches and the boys have certainly lived up to expectations. The U9 teams, with once again every boy from Years 3 & 4 playing, were in action against MCS and we witnessed four excellent games of football with three NCS teams emerging victorious! In the ‘D’ team game, Mrs Williams and Mrs Phillips tell me that every boy gave his all and never stopped running. Some great goals were scored including a Jake Jones hat trick. It was a similar story in the ‘C’ team match where they also won handsomely, beating MCS 3-1. In the ‘B’ team match, despite our best efforts, we were undone by speed so we know we need to on speed and fitness: we’ll be prepared! The ‘A’ team game was extremely engaging and it was a pleasure to see Rishaan Chari in the team after his hat trick last week at Cokethorpe. Both teams took the lead with some cracking goals being scored but a Max Brown hat trick and Dan Campbell’s tireless running made the difference and NCS emerged 6-4 winners. On Monday, the U13 1st, 2nd and 3rd teams all hosted D’Overbroeck’s School and, thinking back to last year’s encounter, we knew it would be a physical game. However, all three NCS teams demonstrated a really pleasing level of skill and, more importantly, tactical awareness as the sped their way to three brilliant wins! Scores of 5-1, 7-0 and 8-2 respectively really reflect the hard work the boys have been putting in in our coaching sessions this term. A special mention must go to Sammy Jarvis from the 2nd team and Rafe Simpson from the 3rds, both of whom were deservedly crowned ‘man of the match’ in their games. In the 1st team match, Mr Bradley tells me that his ‘man of the match’ was Henry Moore thanks to his dedication and constant hard work. Finally this week, the U11 ‘A’ & ‘B’ teams were playing Bruern Abbey School. Mr Bishop took the ‘’B team away to Chesterton for this fixture and it was an explosive and very entertaining game with both teams not wanting to give anything away! A (metaphorically) bruising and physical match unfolded with both teams hitting the bar and going very nearly scoring that elusive goal. Carter Chapman went extremely close thanks to a wonderful and extremely skilful volley on the turn which brushed the post. However, a goal in the last two minutes secured the win for our hosts and, although disappointed, the boys came away proud of their achievements and rightly so, it was some of the best football we’ve seen from them this term. In the home game, the ‘A’ team dominated Bruern Abbey and came out 5-2 winners. Ethan McMillan was brilliant in attack causing the Bruern defenders all sorts of problems, while Jack Rothery was magnificent at the back: he played some wonderful passes to the attackers and was solid in defence. Well done to everyone on an excellent week of really engaging and successful sport.

My heartfelt thanks for your response to our Harvest Festival appeal to support the homeless in Oxford. Your generous gifts of non-perishable food and toiletries will go directly to those in need in our city, while the sale of delicious-looking homegrown produce raised £71, funds which will also support the work of The Gatehouse and Oxford Foodbank. And above all, I’m sure the festival raised the boys’ awareness of how we should never take our food supply for granted.

Diffusion in Year 6

Year 8 DT

The Pre- Prep Parents ‘Bring and Share’ Supper is tonight 7.30pm for 8.00pm in the Dining Hall. All pre-prep parents warmly welcome.

Many thanks to Year 5 & 6 parents for your support of our ‘Future Destinations’ evening last Monday. Senior school registrars and staff all said what a very lovely group of parents you are. I certainly echo that! I am always willing to give advice about future schools individually: if there are particular aspects of your son’s applications for senior school you would like to discuss at any point in the process, please do fix an appointment via Mrs McCusker in the School Office.

Open Morning for prospective parents is tomorrow 29th September 10.00am – 12.00 noon. Do encourage friends and colleagues who may be interested to visit us. There’s no need to book and families may join us for all or any part of the morning. Saturday Morning Music pupils attend the morning as usual to act as guides and continue with their music and I know a number of others to have volunteered to be guides. Please would parents drop them off at 9.45am and collect them at 12 noon. School Uniform should be worn. My thanks to parents, too, who are helping with teas and coffees.

The NCS Parents’ Association AGM is on Monday, 1st October at 7.30pm in the School Hall. Please do come along to hear about events planned for the year and do speak to your class reps if you have any issues you would like to raise. The current Chair, Daisy East, has signalled her intention to step down and we have a plan to revise the structure of officers and committee which we will discuss with parents at the meeting.

A reminder that Year 7 Parents’ Evening is on Wednesday 3rd October 6.00pm – 8.00pm in the Sports Hall. All those who teach Year 7 will be present, including Mr Hardy-Lenik as form tutor. I shall also be available to discuss any matters arising with parents. There is no need to arrive on the dot of 6.00pm, but I would ask you not to arrive not later than 7.00pm to ensure you can get round to all teachers.

With school pre-tests in mind, Mrs Showell-Rogers is offering some Learning Enrichment additional preparation sessions for Year 7 over the next two weeks. Next week she will focus on multiple choice comprehension and the following week there will be a focus on descriptive writing, which will take place in the activities period in the LE room. Choristers will be able to participate in the Wednesday session. There is also the option of two after-school sessions, focused on Mathematics, on Thursdays 4th and 11th October from 4.00 - 4.45pm. Your son is welcome to register his interest on the sign-up sheet in the Year 7 classroom.

The NCSPA Quiz Night is on Friday 5th October, 7.00 for 7.30pm. Professors Chris Timmel & Stuart Mackenzie have kindly agreed to be our inimitable quizmasters again and there will be a delicious curry supper. Tickets (£10) are on sale in the School Office. So, do put the date in your diary and be in touch with form reps to arrange year group tables. It’s all enormous fun. The teachers’ table is already shaping up to be a formidable force!

The first Evensong of University Term is also on Friday 5th October in New College Chapel at 6.15pm. We wish the choristers well for the start of their singing term. NCS families are always welcome to College services which are at 6.15pm Monday – Saturday (but no service on Wednesdays) and 5.45pm on Sundays.

All boys and teachers new to NCS this term will be formally admitted to the School (in Latin!) by the Warden of New College, Mr Miles Young, at our Beginning of Year Service in New College Chapel on Wednesday, 10th October at 10.00am. New College Choristers will lead the service. Parents, relatives and friends are warmly welcome: please put this very special occasion in your calendars. There will be coffee/tea after the service for visitors in the Undercroft.

Tuck Shop. The ‘healthy eating’ tuck shop has been enthusiastically received after its launch this week. If you would like your son to buy a healthy snack at morning break, please send him with a small amount of pocket money (items are typically 20p and 50p).

With good wishes to all NCS families,

Robert Gullifer

Forthcoming Events

Saturday, 29 September 2018

10.00 Open Morning

Monday, 1 October 2018

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

16.00 U8-U11 X Country vs Dragon, Away

19.30 NCS Parents’ Association AGM, School Hall

Tuesday, 2 October 2018

12.05 Meeting for probationer choristers, Chapel

14.15 U11 A&B Football vs Sibford, Home

15.45 U9A Rugby vs Kitebrook, Home

15.45 U9B Tag vs Kitebrook, Home

Wednesday, 3 October 2018

10.00 School Service, New College Chapel. Speaker: The Revd Dr William Lamb, Vicar of the University Church. Coffee in the Undercroft afterwards for parents and visitors

14.30 Eco Committee Meeting, Yr 5 Classroom

14.30 U13 A Football vs Summer Fields, Home

14.30 U13 B & C Football vs Summer Fields, Away

18.00 Yr 7 Parents' Evening, Sports Hall

Friday, 5 October 2018

14.00 U9 A-C Football vs Summer Fields, Away

14.00 U8 A-C Football vs Summer Fields, Home

18.15 First Evensong , New College Chapel

19.30 Curry & Quiz Night, Sports Hall

Saturday, 6 October 2018

9.00 U13A IAPS 6-aside Football Tournament at Summer Fields

Sunday, 7 October 2018

Start of University Term

17.45 Chorister Surplicing. Tea beforehand at 3.30pm

Monday, 8 October 2018

13.45 U13 Football Housematches, Home

16.00 U12&13 X Country vs Dragon, Away

18.15 Old Boys’ Committee Meeting, HM Study

Tuesday, 9 October 2018

14.00 U11 A&B Football vs Cokethorpe, Away

14.00 U11 C&D Football vs Cokethorpe, Home

Wednesday, 10 October 2018

10.00 Beginning of Year Service, New College Chapel. Speaker: The Warden. Coffee in the Undercroft afterwards for parents and visitors

13.00 U9 A&B Rugby vs St Hugh's, Away

14.00 U13A Football vs Cothill & Lambrook, Away

14.00 U13B Football vs Cothill & Lambrook, Away

Thursday, 11 October 2018

15.30 U11 A&B Rugby vs MCS, Away

15.30 U10 A&B Rugby vs MCS, Away

Friday, 12 October 2018

14.00 U9 A&B Football vs Cokethorpe, Away

Saturday, 13 October 2018

Abingdon pre-test (Year 7 for September 2020 entry)

14.30 NC Choir: Memorial Service for Professor Sir Roger Elliott

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