BEHIND THE STUDY DOOR
Brighton, England, 19 September 2015. Japan are about to play South Africa in the opening game of the Rugby World Cup.
“This is the hardest time. We are on the bus driving slowly to the ground. After four years of careful planning and brutal work, I have to let go. I have to trust our preparation and the character of the young men around me. I have cajoled and driven them, encouraged and even changed them. Right now, though, I can do little to control the test of courage they face”.
As the 6 Nations kicks off this weekend, some of you might have read Eddie Jones’ autobiography, ‘My Life and Rugby’.
As with many books written by leading sports coaches, Jones provides many leadership lessons. One of them is the art of redundancy. As England coach preparing for the 2019 World Cup he wanted to delegate more responsibility to the players by empowering them to deal with off-field issues as well as thinking for themselves on the pitch. Essentially, he wanted to ‘make himself redundant by letting the England players take control’ (Daily Telegraph, June 2017). I am sure this sort of mantra can be applied to many who lead organisations and groups of people keen to enact distributed leadership.
This is also true for educators. As teachers, one the greatest rewards of our role is to encourage and inspire, and then let go and allow the child to take control. I saw this at its best yesterday at the LAMDA presentation, where over 50 of our immensely talented children, inspired by Mr Adam Jennings, took to the stage. In doing so, we saw a glimpse of Mr Jennings’ inspirational input, but moreover the passion, determination and bravery of the children themselves. When it came to yesterday’s performance, Mr Jennings was no longer needed; he was redundant.
As we recognise Children’s Mental Health Week, ‘Finding Your Brave’ couldn’t be more pertinent for the children. Supported by teachers, parents have set them up, given them the most wonderful environment in which to flourish and thrive, and together we nurture them to achieve the best they can within a happy environment. We can, however, only guide the child to navigate their way through hurdles and challenges. By accessing their own toolkit, children quite literally ' find their brave' in dealing with the inevitable bumps in the road.
Slowly stepping away from a child as they navigate their way through can be so difficult. However, nothing can be more satisfying than the feeling of ‘job done’ as we are made redundant and see them fly. We all felt this on Sunday at the LAMDA recitals (and will do tomorrow as the final group present), as the children got up on stage and presented their pieces with extraordinary confidence.
Drama is transformational for all pupils, and at risk of us becoming more oversubscribed, I can't recommend your children taking LAMDA more.
The theme of this year's Children’s Mental Health Week is 'Find your Brave'.
Life is all about taking small brave steps every day. Bravery could be about sharing worries and asking for help when you need it, trying something new or making the right choices.
This week, in form times, Years 4 - 8 will be focussing on what it means to ‘Find your Brave’, through discussion and listening to a range of inspiring clips, including a TedX by Joseph Wang, hearing the challenges of Paralympic Andy Lewis and the story of the Wolf’s Colourful Coat. On Wednesday they will bring home a ‘Find Your Brave’ activity for you to do together and if they would like to, for them to share with their form on Thursday.
These messages are reinforced in school in so many ways, everyday, but we hope that with the focus of this week our children will see that life often throws challenges our way. Bravery isn’t about coping alone or holding things in. It’s about finding positive ways to deal with things that might be difficult, overcoming physical and mental challenges and looking after yourself.
Do have a look at the Children’s Mental Health week website where there are clips and book titles you can share with your son or daughter.
And for a fantastic example of how to ‘Find your Brave’, watch the courage and growth of Keala Settle as she prepares for her song in The Greatest Showman.
Assistant Head Pastoral, DSL, MHFA
We congratulate the following pupils who received awards on Monday morning.
Head Master's Commendations
Barnaby W, Raphael K, Joshua I, Alma S, Lucas T and George H: for outstanding work in English.
Jennifer W, Yana V, Carys C, Ella G, James E and Ethan F-G: for excellent research on the International Space Station
Savannah K: for an excellent poster in Spanish
Max C: for outstanding participation in PHSE
Siena L, Freddie C, Andreas L, Mariella O'B, Jonty O, Isaac S, Oliver S: for continuous effort in French lessons
Lara H: for continuous effort in French lessons and an outstanding poster about snacks
Miles M: for continuous effort in Spanish lessons
Harry E: for outstanding use of French in his speaking topic
Spirit of St George's Awards
Caro A, Alexios S and Leo M: for preparing and presenting an outstanding assembly on 'Life as a Chorister'.
Raphael K, Tom V and Ekam R: for kindness towards a visitor to the class during a taster day.
Sam N and George H: for holding a cake sale in support on the Year 2 fundraising for the Australian Bush Fire Relief.
Milton O'B: for being polite, helpful and kind around the school.
Alexandra W: for showing kindness to a younger boarder.
Callum B: for showing kindness and care to a younger pupil.
Sports Players of Weeks 3 and 4
Years 3 and 4: Charlie W, Edith R, for Pursuing Excellence
Years 5 and 6: the U10A Netball Team, for Teamwork and Teddy H for Leadership
Years 7 and 8: Max C and Seb H, for Pursuing Excellence and
French Theatre Company
On Monday Years 5 and 6 saw a play called 'Écris Moi', 'Write to Me'. It is a story about an English boy, Ashley, and a French girl called Renée. They start sending emails to each other based on a school project. Ashley thinks that Renée is a French boy and Renée thinks that Ashley is an English girl. When Renée invites Ashley over to France for the weekend, neither of them realises how wrong they were. The weekend starts off really awkwardly but as the days go by, they seem to get to know each other and become friends. The play was very funny and I really enjoyed watching it. (Carys C, Year 6).
It was an enjoyable morning and the play had a happy ending. I felt that I was very lucky to have watched the play as it was just like a pantomime. (Harry J - Year 6).
It was a great play for us children who are not 100% fluent in French. We understood almost all of the French and we were able to understand the storyline. It was a very good play overall and was excellent for any pupils hoping to learn French! (Yana, Year 6)
52 Lives Assembly and Workshops
‘Unexpected kindness is a powerful thing. With just a few kind words, you can change someone’s entire day.’
52 Lives aims to change someone's life every week of the year. It is based on the simple premise that people are good, and lots of good people working together can achieve amazing things. They believe that kindness has the power to change people's lives, strengthen communities and ultimately change the world.
Greg Trout from 52 Lives gave a powerful assembly to the Prep School last Monday morning, which engaged everyone in thinking about what kindness is and how we can all be kind. Year 4 and 5 then spent some time writing and making messages of kindness for a young boy who had lost his father, been bullied and whose anxiety was preventing him from going to school. They were full of ideas and these will be delivered by 52 Lives.
As Greg said, however small the act of kindness it sends out ripples far beyond what we imagine. It is not only good for others but also for our own mental health and wellbeing.
Activities in the Pre-Prep
"Reception went on a MindUp walk. We used our senses to feel the world around us. We felt the breeze on our skin and the ground beneath our bodies and feet. We listened to our breathing and tried to ignore the other sounds we could hear. We touched objects and the ground and felt the different textures. We smelled and breathed the crisp winter air."
"In Mad Science we were treated this week! Asteroid Al, our scientific guide, gave us instructions on how to make our very own slime! We had to be super careful not to touch the grown up ingredients, including bicarbonate of soda, and had to use our mega strong muscles to mix mix mix! It was great fun to see the powder turn to liquid and then the liquid turn to a jelly. Of course, when we play with the slime, we must remember to always wash our hands." Year 2
It was also the turn for 2SS and Reception to learn about Chinese New Year. Thank you to Mrs Tan and to Mrs Cheng for such an interesting talk!
Evening Music Concert
A really superb concert took place on Tuesday evening, showing off the impressive standard our young musicians attain. It was particularly nice to hear our young harpist, Daniyal P, from Year 8. Well done to one and all!
It was well worth all this practice!
On Friday we were honoured to be visited by Dr Nick Grace, OBE, a senior military musician and the Principal Director of the Royal Marines until he retired in 2017. Dr Grace spoke to pupils in assembly and then went on to hold a workshop with our young brass players.
On Tuesday all the Year 6 pupils had their maths lesson in the Dining Hall. They were using their knowledge of ratios and proportions to create their own mocktails, which they designed and branded. The pupils worked in teams of four, aiming to create the tastiest mocktail possible. They were required to calculate measurements of each flavour of juice used, and then convert this information into ratios. All the pupils produced amazing drinks and were extremely enthusiastic!
Prep School Sports Report
Rugby matches against Holme Grange on Wednesday
1st XII P
1st XII playing Holme Grange is always a tough fixture. St George’s team were under pressure from the start but made some good tackles. The half time score was 3 tries to 1 in favour of Holme Grange. St George’s came back during the 2nd half to level the score through some terrific support play and winning both their own rucks and one or two of the opposition’s. There was plenty of spirit from all the St George’s players, most notably Seb M attempting a try saving tackle which he narrowly missed out achieving. The final score was 4 tries each – a terrific draw.
2nd XII- With several absentees due to illness, injury and secondary school visits, the 2nd team travelled to Holme Grange with just nine players. It was a battling performance and one that showed character and progress from the start of the season in terms of tackling and rucking technique and a defensive line that at times was better than England’s! Two players deserve special mention; Zinédine B for his energy both in attack and defence and for making more tackles than any other player on the pitch, and Miles M for some excellent attacking play and running lines.
The Under 11s travelled to Holme Grange in three teams to compete in some eagerly anticipated 8-a-side matches. The boys had been working hard in training and enjoyed moving the focus back towards support play and decision making in the contact area. These skills were put to test immediately by a well organised and energetic Holme Grange. All three matches were hugely competitive with all games having the possibility of the result going either way. Special mention must go to the U11C team, winning 11-5 in fine style. A super team effort from Adhrit P, Amar S and Alex L resulted in fine tries, and Arnav K’s tackling was unrelenting. With further tactical teamwork, this group will develop very nicely. Well done to all the boys that took part - it was a great performance from all involved.
The Under 10s hosted Holme Gange on Home Park Private, coming up against tough opposition. Despite the challenge, they continued playing throughout the game in the tough conditions.
Special mention must go to Sam P and Toby C, who made a number of decisive breaks, Daniel P and Loic C, who created great chances for the team, Charlie H, George H and Callum B, who all made sure we kept the opposition at bay with some great tackles, Cedric R who scored some impressive individual tries and Jonah P for his defensive play and determination in tackling.
Rugby matches against Holme Grange and Yateley Manor on Friday
STG Under 9 Red, White and Blue teams travelled to Holme Grange on Friday to play in a triangular against Yateley Manor and Holme Grange. The Yateley Manor game was a fantastic, end to end game with great tackling and solo efforts for the tries scored. The Holme Grange game followed suit but a few lapses in concentration cost STG coupled with some try-saving tackles from Holme Grange. Overall, a great afternoon of rugby!
The Under 8 teams played incredibly well in their tri tournament with Holme Grange and Yateley. The boys showed improvement from their previous fixtures which was pleasing to see. Special mention should go to; Kimon L. and Joshy G. both running well with the ball, Hugo L. and Ezrah H. both worked hard to create chances and Zaki B. for tireless defence.
U10/U11 Netball v LVS Ascot on Wednesday
U11A team had a very competitive match during Wednesday’s fixture, they were trailing behind 4-1 in the first quarter despite their efforts to move the ball up the court swiftly. After a few changes, the following two quarters were goal to goal at each end and was an extremely exciting contest between both teams. Special mention to Yana V who received player of the match for her efforts when shooting and Nefeli M who marked her player consistently throughout the match. The final score was a draw. Well done to the whole team for not giving up and for showing a continuous effort to work together and turn the ball over. U11B team also had an exciting game of netball. Ella G played a great role as Centre and held the team together throughout. Bea A showed some consistent marking during the game and showed awareness of space whilst playing. Well done to Savannah K and Mansa H who held their positions well.
In the U10 Matches there was some great play by all girls who are improving each week. Both teams were fluent and worked well as team to move the ball down the court. This proved to be successful and by the first two quarters they were leading 5-0 in both matches. To allow a fair game for the opposition, the girls rotated and played in a variety of different positions this week. The girls enjoyed the versatility and new challenges on court. Well done to the Player of the Match in each team – Poppy J and Evie C.
U8/U9 Netball v LVS Ascot on Friday
A successful afternoon for all our U8 and U9 teams with wins all round! There were some great team as well as individual performances, and lots of the girls demonstrated our sporting values.
The U9 Red team had another good performance and all the girls are taking on board what they have been working on in lessons. Passing accuracy has improved and decision-making is better. Alma S and Alexandra W made some strong interceptions in defence and combined well with Gracie M, Sienna L and Jessica G in attack. Well done to Player of the Match Gracie M.
The U9 Blue team played some excellent netball. They moved the ball up the court fluently and Sofia C and Celeste J worked well together in the shooting circle. Edith R had an excellent game, moving into space and working hard to dodge her defender. Well done to Katie K who worked tirelessly throughout the afternoon to mark her player. This team showed lots of confidence this week and have made excellent improvements in all areas of netball. Player of the Match: Sofia C.
In the U8 matches both teams played some excellent netball and the teamwork on display helped them to move the ball up the court and score. The U8 blue team showed that their positioning on court has improved and they held onto the ball without losing possession for longer periods of time. Willow J was determined in her defensive work and Freya S moved the ball well in the centre court. Good movement from Elise-May J, who moved into space and scored some excellent goals. Final score 4-0. Player of the Match: Willow J.
The U8 Red team made an excellent start by finishing the first quarter with a 6-0 lead. Due to this great start, the team were able to try lots of different combinations which demonstrated the versatility in the team. It was pleasing to see the girls showing a greater understanding of spatial awareness as this is what they have been focusing on in lesson time. Player of the Match: Cicily W.