It has been an action-packed start to the year and the boys have been very busy over the last five weeks.
Eton College Music Award
I am delighted to report that James Tamlyn, Head Boy, has been awarded a 13+ Music Exhibition by Eton College after completing a demanding audition in front of a panel of musical experts – an experience that James likened to appearing in front of the X-Factor judges! Many congratulations to James and we look forward to hearing more of his ‘cello playing before he leaves us in July. However, we offer commiserations to Joseph Pryor who just missed out on an award, but whose superb trumpet playing was singled out for special praise by the Eton music department.
Satips Challenge (General Knowledge Quiz)
As preparation for the Satips Challenge, the Prep Schools’ General Knowledge Quiz competition, we had the whole school sitting a general knowledge test in the middle of January. The top ten performers in Years 4, 5 and 6 were invited to make up the Junior Team and the top performers in Years 7 and 8 were invited to join the Senior Team. The twenty boys sat the Challenge on 2nd February and we should hear how the boys got on at the end of term.
Public Speaking Competition
I was entertained and enthralled by the range and power of the boys’ performances in the finals of the Public Speaking Competition last week. In this Olympic year, every boy had been asked to learn an inspiring speech related to the theme of sport and the finalists rose to the occasion brilliantly. The joint winners of the Year 8 section, Milo Osborne-Young and James Maidment, gave two very contrasting speeches and both were brilliant in their own ways. James delivered an erudite speech written by himself full of thought-provoking images, whereas Milo chose to recite that hilarious speech by Boris Johnson about the countdown to the 2012 Olympics. There were many excellent performances to savour from boys of all ages and the following were selected as winners of their respective year groups :
Year 4 : Otto Jonas
Year 5 : Max Haigh & Cameron Piedra
Year 6 : Benedict Griffin
Year 7 : Oliver Fox
Year 8 : James Maidment & Milo Osborne-Young
We offer congratulations to the winners, of course, and every pupil who spent hours choosing a suitable piece and preparing for his performance. The boys have been given tremendous support from their English teachers and parents and I particularly wish to thank Ms Lively for co-ordinating everything so efficiently.
House Bake Off Competition
A splendid new competition was proposed this term by our resident Master Chef, Mr Rixham, and the boys had great fun testing out their culinary skills. In the Grand Final, Arundel’s team of chefs (led by Charlie Davies) saw off the significant challenge of Balmoral (led by Daniel Halstead) with the final scores being 98 – 95. I can personally confirm that all the muffins produced by the boys were very tasty indeed! Many thanks to Mr Rixham and our judges, Mr Clayton Snr and Mr Clayton Jnr.
The weather has not been ideal for sporting events over the last few weeks, but there have been some great performances from our boys in the first half of term. Highlights include our 1st XV rugby players’ emphatic 31-5 victory over St Philip’s and our under-10 “A” team hockey players’ narrow 3-2 victory over Newton Prep. On a freezing day in late January, Oliver Fox competed in the London Schools’ Cross-Country race on Parliament Hills in Hampstead and finished in 6th place even though he was up against older boys – a hugely impressive performance.
Year 7 Residential Trip : 27th February – 2nd March
The Year 7 boys are heading off to Flatford Mill on Monday 27th February, returning on Friday 2nd March, with Mrs Williams, Miss Allen and Mr Jeans. I am sure they will learn a great deal from the trip, as well as having the opportunity to complete their research for their Common Entrance geography coursework.
World Book Day : 1st March
On Thursday 1st March we will be celebrating World Book Day and I hope your sons will come to school dressed up as a character from a favourite book.
Cross-Country Races : 13th and 14th March
All boys will compete in the school cross-country races on Tuesday 13th March (for Years 4 & 5) and Wednesday 14th March (for Years 6 – 8 ) at 2.30 pm. Please come along to support and feel free to jog the last half mile with them, if you are so inclined!
Year 8 Parents’ Evening : 19th March
I hope Year 8 parents have noted from the school calendar that there will be a Parents’ Evening on Monday 19th March and we will be able to update you on your son’s progress this term ahead of the Common Entrance “mocks” in late April. Further details will be sent home after half-term.
Senior Play (“Macbeth”) : 22nd March
The senior boys from Years 7 and 8 will be performing an abridged version of Shakespeare’s “Macbeth” at 6.30 pm on Thursday 22nd March and I hope you will come along to support. Pupils, parents and family members are all most welcome.
House Music Competition : 27th March
The House Singing competition takes place this afternoon, but the House Singing is just part of the wider House Music Competition and we shall hear individual singers, instrumentalists and bands in the second part of the competition at 6.00 pm on Tuesday 27th March, which I hope you will be able to attend.
I look forward to seeing you again at 8.30 am on Monday 20th February. Whether you are on the slopes, on the beach or staying at home, I wish you all an enjoyable half-term break.