School House Newsletter Michaelmas Term 2016

Housemaster

Firstly, let me take this opportunity to thank you all for your kind messages following my emergency back operation, which seems to have been successful. I am doing well with my recovery and hopefully this three week holiday will do me the power of good so that I am closer to full health by the start of the Lent Term!

As the Michaelmas Term came to its conclusion, after fourteen very busy but rewarding weeks, I was struck by just how enjoyable and positive a term it had been for School House. It has been fantastic to welcome in and get to know our newest members of the House - eleven B Block and four L6th boys – and I hope that this holiday provides them with the chance to absorb all that they have done since the start of the school year on Wednesday 31st August and that on reflection they feel enormously proud of all that they have achieved. Of course, for all of the boys in the House the holiday is a welcome chance to get some much needed rest, to spend precious time with family and friends and then, once the festivities are over, to set new targets for 2017 and the term ahead.

I am conscious that I have made mention of this before in recent Newsletters, but I make no apology for once again picking up on the wonderful atmosphere in the House. The incredible sense of togetherness and friendliness in the House has been impossible to ignore. Indeed, despite the pressures of an intense Michaelmas Term calendar, the boys have mixed easily across the year-groups and they been compliant, good-natured, polite and respectful in their daily lives. As such it has been a pleasure to spend time with your sons and you can be very proud of them for this.

It takes a great team effort to ensure that a boarding community runs smoothly though and there many people to thank for this. As ever, Cherry has done a superb job as Matron and Housekeeper, whilst Mr Jack Swanston, who teaches English and is an academic tutor to the O Block, has made a terrific start as our new Resident Tutor: I know the live-in role has been the highlight of his first term at Repton. Our tutors have provided wonderful support to me and the boys throughout the term and we are certainly benefiting from our new additions to the team: Mr William Odell, formerly the Housemaster of New House for eight years, is a sixth-form tutor, and Mr Christian Dell, who has joined Repton this year as a teacher of Physics and is a tutor to our A Block. Finally, I must acknowledge the wonderful contribution of our prefects who have been magnificent in offering support and guidance to all of the School House boys, with James Sookias our Head of House (and also Head of School) leading by example and setting the tone for the others to follow.

So much has been achieved this term and this Newsletter will provide you with a flavour of what the boys have been up to. As you read through it I hope that you will enjoy the increased number of contributions from the boys themselves. Looking ahead, if you would like to keep up to date with our news and events then you might like to look at the School House section of the School Website - www.repton.org.uk/school-house - and/or follow us on Twitter, using @SchoolHouseNews. Finally, please can I encourage you to put Saturday 11th March into your dairies as this is the re-arranged date for the School House Parent Charity (Sale of Work) Dinner? More details to follow.

Before signing off I should remind you that The Lent Term starts on Tuesday 10th January, with Boarders due to return by 8pm on Monday 9th January. In the meantime I hope that you and your family has a wonderful Christmas and please let me take this opportunity to wish you my very best wishes for 2017!

Resident Tutor

Arriving at Repton to take on the role of Resident Tutor in School House, after seven years of teaching in inner city Birmingham, seemed like a daunting prospect. Nonetheless, the supportive and welcoming atmosphere of the house and team helped me to settle in to this rewarding role and thoroughly enjoy my first term at the school.

As a new member of the Repton and School House communities, what struck me was the sense of identity that being part of a boarding house carries with it. Whether that is proudly wearing your black and white football shirt to play in any number of house sports matches, or joining the ranks to rehearse a rousing performance for House Unison, my impression of the typical School House boy is of pride and a sense of responsibility towards whatever they do.

Throughout the term I have seen, and been part of, the many fantastic events and occasions that take part in house on a regular basis (a number of which are detailed below), and learnt about some of the idiosyncrasies that inevitably exist in a community steeped in history. The boys themselves have had a fantastic term, filled with worthy accomplishments and respectable achievements, and it is safe to say that each member of the School House community now deserves a restful and enjoyable break. Mr Jack Swanston.

Head of House

Should you have walked into the yard of School House, you might have mistaken it for the Kop End of Anfield on many an occasion this term. Without meaning to compare the boys to a crowd of drunken Scousers; what I am in fact referring to is the atmosphere we manage to create in house, even on the bleakest of winter evenings when one would think teenage boys are at the height of their grumpiness. Quite the opposite. The buzz and the feeling of pure camaraderie has ensured that I have thoroughly enjoyed my first term as Head of School House more than I ever imagined I would have done. The introduction of the 15 new boys into the House has been seamless and one which has benefitted the house enormously. Nothing has amazed me more than the fact teenage boys, both young and old, pack the common room to watch the educational masterpieces of “Geordie Shore’ and “I’m a Celeb” weekly, rivalled closely by the amount of toast that gets devoured at break time. The closest comparison I am able to provide is to something you would have David Attenborough narrating on during Planet Earth. It has been a great term for the boys and hopefully the Christmas break will provide the much needed rest and recuperation needed, so we can attack the next term with the ferocity of 300 Spartans, or at the very least, 65 impressive young men. James Sookias

The house team is ably supported by a fantastic group of prefects.

The Prefect Team: Ted, Lewis, Gabe, Jamie (Deputy), James (Head of House), Edward (Deputy), Luke, Barnaby and Freddie.
New Lower Sixth: Al, Jesper, Will and Elliot.

Life in the Sixth Form: Will Greenbank, L6.

Being new to the school I was undoubtedly nervous, especially becoming a boarder, however coming into School House on that first day calmed all my nerves. The other residents of the house made me feel very welcome and I was able to feel like a member of the Repton community from the start.

I feel I have settled in well and although I have only been here for a few months, it feels like I could have been here since B block. The boys in the house have really helped the transition away from my family and the Isle of Man. There is always something going on in School House, whether it is ‘Toastie Tuesday’, a different themed meal, or a game of yard football, so you’re always kept busy!

Since coming here I am enjoying the style of schooling and the challenges of A Levels, the way of life and busy Repton schedule of sports, academics and arts, and the food is pretty good too!

New B Block: Denis, Henry, Jim, Tom, Louis, Zach, Daniel, Miles, Charlie, Jerry and Josh.

Life in B Block: Miles Armour.

The day begins with breakfast in the dining room which is often accompanied with a friendly and keen ‘hello’ from Mark the chef- how he manages to be so enthusiastic at seven thirty in the morning I will never know.

After breakfast, it’s time for lessons and it can be difficult to drag myself out of the warm and comfortable house and outside, where now it’s often cold and wet. This is probably why the chocolate spread sandwiches in the common room at school house are so popular. After the morning lessons are done it’s time for lunch, the food served at school house is delicious and the company is always willing to make good conversation- it’s a pleasant change of conversation which often adds more variety to the day.

From there the day can vary from a half day where sports and extracurricular activities take place or a full day where normal structured lessons resume. Regardless the day ends with another delicious meal and another friendly greeting from the kitchen staff.

After tea, it’s time for prep which is a relaxing time to get some work done. After the end of prep the day boys leave with a friendly goodbye and we can fall into bed ready for a comfortable night’s sleep.

School House Events

Here in School House, we throw ourselves into the many events that run, both within the school, and ones in house. Dress to impress is no exception, with students and staff alike making the most of a when uniform can be swapped for something more... impressive?

B Block
A Block
A Block off to lessons.
As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words, but in this case- is that enough?
What's that Mr Dell? You just happened to have it lying around...

The Sixth Form Winter Social

The Sixth Form Winter Social proved to be another spectacular event. With a masquerade theme, the School House boys were keen to dress to impress, this time in a more conventional way...

Roald Dahl Day

To celebrate Roald Dahl's centenary, Mark, our fantastic chef in School House, really went to town creating all manner of Dahl inspired delights for lunch, including Mrs Twit's Bird Pie, Snozzcumber, and Fizzy Lifting Drink. As usual, Mrs Naylor and her helpers made sure that the dining room was given a special make-over with Dahlicious twist...

Academics

The Ramsey Society

The highly selective and academically rigorous Ramsey Society has continued this term with three meetings, attended by Barnaby Buckley and James Sookias. The first was produced by Mimi Tarrant (U6M) on “Can an evolutionary Biologist believe in Christianity and the creation story?” This sparked fascinating debates on academic, religious and ethical matters on the question. The second paper was by Catherine McEwan (U6A) on medical ethics and to finish off the term James produced his own paper on “Is sport fair?”. This main argument revolving around this was performance enhancement drugs, and whether some of these should be legalised in sport to level the playing fields with those using drugs. Again this topic brought up many ethical issues, and ones that were heavily debated such as funding and more advanced technologies in more advanced countries. Barnaby Buckley, U6.

The School House Annual Quiz

The annual School House Quiz was set up by Freddie Cheshire, Jamie Greenwood and James Sookias and led to a great fun night for the whole house. The Quiz consisted of 9 rounds with all the generic categories as well as the infamous House round. The house was split up into 10 different teams of 6 or 7 with mixed year groups and unusual knowledge. After 5 rounds the teams were all close but ‘Team 2’ had the lead and were now surprise contenders for the Quiz title, but they seemed to drop off in the second half- evidently the break had stopped their flow of quality, allowing other teams to creep up. They ended up going from 1st to 10th place in a space of 4 rounds. This meant that the team of Wilbraham, Fellows, Earwicker, Ford and Coupland-Smith were able to come in and steal victory form the grasps of any other contenders. They managed to win by 11 whole points giving them the coveted School House Annual Quiz title. Freddie Cheshire, U6.

Sport

England Hockey

After returning to school at the start of term to welcome the new members of the house, I found myself having to leave again very soon after. From the 1st-4th September I attended my first large multisport event where I was part of the England hockey team. Thousands of young athletes were competing for gold in a number of sports such as Athletics, Swimming, Fencing and Wheelchair Basketball.

The impressive event was held at Loughborough University and after an opening ceremony where British Olympians Alex Danson and Max Whitlock spoke of their experiences in the summer Olympics, the games were declared open. Our final group stage match was a gruelling decider against Ireland, which sent us through to the final. As a result of the hockey final being one of the last events of the tournament the crowd was fantastic, filling the banks next to the pitch. We went on to win the final 2-0, and despite receiving a 10 minute yellow card I was extremely pleased with the tournament as a whole.

Jamie Greenwood and his gold medal.

This was the biggest and most exciting tournament I have been part of in my hockey career and the extra buzz that is created when there are other nations competing makes the event that little bit more exciting. Having a gold medal to remind me of it is pretty nice too! Jamie Greenwood, U6.

Senior League (Football)

The School House select squad embarked on their league journey with a game against Orchard. We were leading 3-2 until a late wonder strike gave them the draw. Unfazed by the result, School House turned out in the next match vs Cross winning 8-2 with Charlie Wilbraham scoring 4 for the team. Latham stood in the way in the 3rd game for the team with the team drawing 2-2 in the final minutes until Latham won a penalty with 1 minute to go. This put a lot of pressure on keeper Freddie Cheshire and he stepped up to the mark by flopping to his left and parrying away the penalty wide of the goal, securing the draw. This left School House sat in 3rd place with 5 points. New House, who had a very strong team, led to the team suffering their first defeat of the campaign 4-1. The final game of the group stages was scheduled against Priory, and was an important game as a win would mean an easier semi-final game for the lads, and the team did so with a perfect game with us winning 4-0 with exemplary performances from Wilbraham and the whole School House defence.

This win meant that the School team would finish 3rd in the group and play Priory in the semi-finals, but we couldn't repeat the quality of the previous game, although we took a 1-0 lead, Priory returned the favour in a scrappy fashion. So after extra time the game was still all square and meant a penalty shoot-out was needed to determine a winner. With School House going first in the shootout and scoring it was going well, and with Cheshire saving Priory’s first 2 penalties it was looking good, but the remaining school penalty takers’ efforts not securing goals, this led to a 3-2 loss on penalties. Overall it was a great campaign which was unfortunately cut short. Freddie Cheshire, U6.

Cricket: Derby Academy Selection

Earlier on this term I took part in an important trial for Derbyshire’s mini cricket academy. Fortunately, after a hard day I managed to be selected.

At the moment, I am taking part in challenging two hour strength and conditioning sessions every Saturday at Derby University, before we start the long pre-season training. I am hoping that by putting a lot of effort into the S and C, plus the pre-season training, I will be rewarded in the summer with lots of runs for Derbyshire and Repton first team. I really enjoy my cricket and I hope to go far in the future! Will Hobson, A Block.

Tennis

This term has been a great term for tennis and there have been many highs within this. However, to achieve this training every day, week on week with high intensity is necessary and it can get very tiring, although the rewards are high.

For me personally it couldn't have started better, after coming through qualifying and winning a round in the main draw at the Bath Nike Junior International. It really was a great week and I really hope to topple this in the coming terms. I gained a European U14 ranking from this which means I can now gain entry into other Tennis Europe events without needing Wild Cards. The highlights from this term continued for me after I spent a week training at Sanchez-Casal Barcelona with some of Europe's top players where they work at tennis every day for 7 hours a day.

However all of this was topped with qualifying with school for the National Finals with the boys U15 team, and it couldn't have been done in better style after we were all undefeated throughout the competition. I look forward to the Nationals in which we compete along with 3 other teams in Bolton to become National champion. This term's tennis has been great and I look forward to next term. James Murphy, A Block.

Swimming: Caroline Tyler Relays.

When people think about School House there a lot of incredible things that come to mind… general knowledge geniuses, hockey pro’s, Unison maestros; to name just a few. However, I think it’s fair to say that swimming is not one of them. Despite this, School house demonstrates year after year that it can actually hold its own in the pool, this year being no exception! On the 16th of September the School house team headed over to the pool for the Caroline Tyler Relays (an annual set of relay races held in memory of Caroline Tyler, a former pupil and school swimming captain who tragically lost her life shortly after leaving Repton). Admittedly, I wasn’t confident: being only in the 3rd week of the term, I had to make educated guesses in terms of which B-Blockers could actually swim, let alone who could swim fast! I needn’t have been so concerned, School House performed incredibly well, not winning many races but being consistently second or third place, meaning that overall School House had done enough to take second place! We’d done it again, we’d held our own. Tom Coleman, L6

Senior Football Final against The Orchard

Looking slightly weather-beaten, but an excellent performance against a strong team from The Orchard.
Culture

House Debating

As reigning champions, this year School House eagerly awaited the arrival of the annual House Debating competition. Run over the whole term, with the finals taking place in the Lent term, House Debating gives the more outspoken of us an opportunity to express our views on a range of challenging and stimulating topics, this year ranging from how the media reports the horrors of war, to the effects of advertising on children. Due to lots of conflicting commitments, this year’s teams changed slightly throughout the competition, but with the addition of a semi-final round, School House managed to send two Upper-Sixth debaters (James Sookias and Barnaby Buckley) into a very tightly contested round. Unfortunately, the School House team didn’t qualify for the finals, but remain undeterred and optimistic about next year’s chances. James Sookias, U6.

House Unison

Unison had finally come around, and after my four years of participation it was my time to step onto the pedestal and lead School House – If anything had demonstrated how quickly my time through Repton has flown by, my conducting of Unison was it. As many of you reading this are probably aware… School House boys are not particularly keen on singing in front of the entire school, and as such I made a mission to ensure our time in the limelight would not go down in infamy as many of the boys claimed. I had used my experience to learn from my predecessors past efforts of beginning rehearsals with the entire House, which were often chaotic. Instead, I took the decision to split the House into four smaller training groups to allow for efficient, controlled and shortened rehearsals. Following this I choose a song of everyone knew (Hooked on a Feeling – Blue Swede) - and most importantly, of a limited vocal range- which allowed even those lacking in musical ability to join in.

Soon enough the night of the competition arrived and as I expected School House made everyone proud, giving an excellent sounding, highly disciplined performance. Although I could write several pages, I hope I have left a lasting impression on the boys in regards to tasks which seem impossible. No matter how daunting, through perseverance, practice and passion it can be overcome, even if that task is singing in front of the entire school. Edward. J. N. Sheasby, U6.

Service

Remembrance Service 2016

Each year, the school holds a service of remembrance for all those who have fallen. This year, lead by Head Prefect and Head of House, James Sookias, the School House boys once again took a leading role in the day.

CCF: Army Section

Every Wednesday half of the A-block and I head down to Tanyard to do the army option of CCF. For about half the session we do a different activity each week, from navigation to first aid. Each of these ‘stalls’ as we call them, are run by a different member of staff in the army section. These ‘stalls’ are often quite entertaining and if you pay attention you can learn a thing or two from them. For the other half of the session we spend time perfecting drills. For those of you who don’t know what drill is it involves stamping, marching and saluting amongst other things. You either love it or you hate it. Personally, I hate it. Yes, it makes you uniform as a group, but it is so boring. I really like CCF, I can’t say the same about everyone though, again you love it or you hate it. But for anyone who does it next year, try and enjoy it- it’s worth it. James Newbould, A Block.

Sale of Work

Talk of sale of work began at the start of the year. We knew it was going to a big event this year and we were told we had to get it right. With the help of Charlie Wilbraham, Will Greenbank and Jakob Wanger, we started planning our stalls. We knew the key to success was to be organized and so we got everything done with plenty of time, ensuring everyone was involved in the day. To make sure everything ran smoothly we had a few meetings with the coordinator of the Sale of Work, Miss Hill, we produce a plan that involved timing, location of each stall, information such as pricing and the names of people who need to be at each stall.

It was a very successful day and we managed to sell all of the burgers, most if not all of the waxing strips, which took its toll on Bobby, Ivan and Mr Dell, and a lot of books. In total we raised a grand total £604 which will be going towards a number of worthy charities. Charles Bicknell, L6.

Duke of Edinburgh Silver

Duke of Edinburgh Silver is not for the faint hearted. This term during D of E I have been pushed to my physical and mental limits during the practice expedition that we undertook in the Peak District. This expedition was 3 days and 2 nights and the conditions which my group and I had to endure during this were simply dreadful. The ground was completely saturated and I was knee high deep in mud at least twice. Despite this I believe that my friends and I have become closer, and my map reading skills have improved to no end.

During this award the participants must complete physical, skill and volunteering sections, and set improvement goals to reach during these sections. For my physical section I am running 1 hour a week for 3 months to improve my fitness for my upcoming hockey and cricket seasons. For my skill section I am doing singing lessons again for 1 hour a week for 6 months. During this time, I will solidify my knowledge of singing for later in my student career when I will apply this for a choral scholarship for my chosen university. Finally, for my volunteering section I am doing dog walking for 1 hour a week for 12 months. This is for an elderly lady who needs help running her dog boarding business. This will help the community around me and will raise valuable funds for a charity.

This is a brilliant award to undertake as it is helping me to grow as a person and helping the community around me. I thoroughly recommend undertaking this award. Jacob Webb, O Block.

Duke of Edinburgh Gold

After finishing silver D of E at the start of this year I decided to continue on with D of E and aim for Gold. The Gold programme is much more demanding in all aspects and one’s abilities are truly tested. I am doing 12 months volunteering, 12 months of physical activity, and 6 months of skill. For my volunteering section I work at Derby Hospital where I help with mealtimes. I play squash twice a week for my physical section. Finally, for my skill, I am doing an EPQ on artificial intelligence. The hardest part of D of E so far was the practice expedition where we navigated using compass and map through 3ft of snow on top of Kinderscout. Gold D of E requires dedication, persistence and a lot of effort yet it can be very rewarding! Bobby Fordi, L6.

The New Year

Dates for your diary:

Start of Lent Term – Monday 9th January (8pm Boarders)

L6th Parents’ Meeting – Saturday 21st January

U6th Parents’ Meeting – Saturday 28th January

O Block Parents’ Meeting – Saturday 4th March

School House Invitational Charity Dinner (for Parents) – Saturday 11th March (7pm)

From Broadway to Repton – Thursday 16th March to Saturday 18th March

End of Lent Term – Friday 24th March (1pm)

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