Prep Newsletter - 19th January 2018

Prep Newsletters & Blogs

We love it when you, our parents, are involved in School activities. 

Whether it is volunteering your time at a WPSA event, dressing up in Victorian Costume for History day or helping out in Cookery Club. You are an important ingredient in pupil success! 

We are also really keen to use your expertise. Dr. Cox, a cardiologist, came in to explain the heart and its functions to a Science class. He brought with him his ultrasound scanner and scanned his son’s heart allowing the pupils to observe the valves letting blood in and out of the heart. This was followed by a heart dissection of a sheep. Mrs Lovell talked to the pupils in an assembly about her career path to date culminating in her successful role as an IT project manager for a multinational organisation. Both of these gave the pupils a fabulous insight into different careers.

We are keen to hear from any parent who would like to come and talk to the pupils. Either to share with them the work they do or to talk about their career path. It is incredibly important for children to hear from a multitude of people as they begin to form their views of possible paths in life. Please email Mrs Billington at if you would like to come and share your story. We look forward to hearing from you.

“We know what we are but know not what we may be.” – Shakespeare

It was a pleasure talking to parents of Year 5 pupils this week at the Parent Teacher Evening. A positive parent-teacher relationship is another contributing factor to your child’s school success.

Finally, don’t forget to reserve your seat for our Year 8 play ‘Archie Dobson’s War’ on either Thursday, 25th January or Friday 26th January. Details on how to book have been sent via clarion.
Mrs Knox, Headmistress

Academic Update

End of Year Exams

In school, we use assessments which can take a variety of different forms, from end of unit tests, to online quizzes, written tasks, presentations and exams. These summative measures are in addition to formative assessment strategies which are used to guide pupils clearly through their next steps in learning, with regular feedback.

From Trinity Term 2018 the end of year exam arrangements will change, to reflect changes in assessment strategies (particularly for our junior pupils). Years 7 and 8 pupils will continue to sit exams in most subjects (English, Mathematics, Science, Geography, History, Latin/Spanish, Religious Studies and French). Years 5 and 6 pupils will sit formal exams in English, Maths and Science only (with Year 6 sitting these in the Hall and Year 5 sitting these in classrooms). Year 4 will continue to have tests in English, Maths and Science (although not formal exams). This change is to better support our pupils in developing the skills necessary for exam success, with a staggered and incremental approach to the number of exams sat (and the conditions in which those exams are conducted). This should also help to promote wellbeing amongst our pupils, enabling them to be better prepared for future exams.

Our younger pupils will look at study skills in their subject lessons as well as within the Life Skills curriculum.  In order to assist our older pupils to develop successful study skills techniques when revising for exams, we have booked ‘Elevate’ to come to the Prep School to give a presentation to both Year 7 and Year 8 on Friday 23rd March during their Life Skills lessons. The topic is: Junior Time Management and covers:

  • Setting a study routine/timetable
  • How to breakdown long term deadlines and manage assignments/exam revision
  • How to deal with procrastination

If you are interested in finding out more details about Elevate, please use the following link:
Mrs Owen, Deputy Head Academic

What Inspires Writers? 

Author Ruth Eastham gave the School several answers this week – most ideas come from “real life”. In particular, she is fascinated by the “mysteries in history”, whether it be the discovery of a 5,000 year old body in a glacier or a visit to the Imperial War Museum and seeing the Enigma machine. The Jaguar Trials is based on an existing Portuguese explorer’s diary extract hinting at the whereabouts of the lost city of El Dorado.

She spoke about authors such as Philip Pullman primarily being inspired by what they read: he advises, “Read like a butterfly, write like a bee.” Obviously, the environs of Oxford also appear in several of his novels. Landscape affects many writers: Jon Mahew feels that the “haunting” atmosphere of his walks across the Dee marshes “seeped” into his first book “Mortlock”. Matt Dickinson’s climbing of the North Face of Everest led him to make documentaries, write an autobiography and a new trilogy using his experiences. Sarah Mussi’s gritty, edgy thrillers are based on her understanding of North London and teenagers’ struggles there.

She also informed us about the key ingredients of exciting novels; one of these is conflict, whether internal, external (i.e. against the elements) or within society. Warrior in the Mist is based on the conflict between the Romans and the Celts. She then uses that most powerful of questions “What if?” which allows her imagination to add modern issues and twists: how do you link Boudicca with fracking? Read her novel to find out. The pupils were intrigued by the quintillion possibilities Bletchley Park was facing during WW2 in The Messenger Bird.

The crucial effort and persistence put into editing was emphasised. This key skill should never be overlooked. Philip Pullman took 7 years to write the Northern Light trilogy. Another message was, “Buy a shed!” from which authors like Dahl travelled the world in their imaginations.

The pupils’ feedback is already incredibly positive as they are finding the books gripping and want to read more of them. 
Mrs Drye, Head of English

Making a Kindness Wave...

Year 4 Parents can prepare to be well looked after over the coming week! In Life Skills lessons, the pupils have been learning about Community and this week we made a direct link with our Chapel theme of Service and School Aim to be a Kind School. Having considered their roles in various communities, the Year 4 pupils realised that their family and home were the most important communities to them and have made pledges about how they would like to help at home. Whilst some aim to do their chores without being asked, others will be taking more responsibility for their own homework or music practice and quite a lot of drinks, snacks and peace for parents were promised! We would love to see some photos of the pledges being fulfilled. These can be emailed to Ms Machin
Ms Machin, PSHCE Coordinator 

Year 4

Year 4 have been looking at writing instructions this week. We have made 'rotocopters' and had great fun decorating and dropping them from different heights. The week culminated in the children either concocting their own Angel Delight recipe with crushed biscuits, a squirt of cream and a sprinkle of hundreds and thousands, or creating their own sandwiches. A great way to remember how to write a set of instructions!
Mrs Simmons, Year 4 Coordinator

Confirmation of email address for Mrs Stevens

We would like to confirm that the correct email address for Mrs Stevens is: This was listed incorrectly in the ‘Point of Contact’ information on the website and has now been updated.

Pastoral Update

On Monday the School Council and Charity Reps met to discuss their plans for this term. We look forward to hearing updates of their good work in due course.

We have had a lot of pupils needing to go home due to illness over the last two weeks. Can I please remind parents that in order to prevent the spread of germs, any pupils showing signs of a sickness bug should not come to School until at least 48 hours after their symptoms have cleared. Please click here for further information. 
Mr Pickett, Deputy Head Pastoral

Music Department Parents' Evening

Parents of pupils taking instrumental or singing lessons at School are invited to a Parents' Evening on Tuesday 23rd January in the Recital Room.

The following teachers will be present from 5.30pm until 7.00pm, unless otherwise indicated:

Mr J Bowman (piano)                 

Mrs S Healey (piano/theory)

Mr M Hutchinson (music production/contemporary guitar) – 5.30pm to 6.30pm only

Mr T Jones (drums)                              

Mr A Kershaw (lower brass)

Mr K Learmouth (guitar)

Mr S O’Gorman (clarinet/saxophone)

Mrs K Potts (piano)

Mr A Turner (violin/viola)

Mr S Walton (upper brass)

We will not be operating an appointments system, so please come along any time between 5.30pm and 7.00pm (or as indicated above for Mr Hutchinson).

Unfortunately, Mrs Astill (cello/double bass), Mrs K Cartwright (flute), Mr S Hamper (drums), Miss J Hooper-Roe (singing) and Mr P Slane (singing) are unable to attend. We will endeavour to arrange a separate parents’ evening with these teachers. Parents wishing to contact teachers individually should call Mrs Burleigh on 01933 233469 or email her on

Wellingborough Rotary Music Festival

The deadline for entries to this year's Wellingborough Rotary Music Festival is this Saturday (20th January). Should you wish to make a solo or duet class entry for your child, the prospectus and entry form can be found on the festival website, - click on 'What We Do' and follow the 'Music Festival 2018' link. Here you will find the festival prospectus and an entry form. Completed forms and payment should be submitted directly to the festival organisers. Please note that ensembles will be entered by the Music department; parents of pupils taking part in ensemble classes will be contacted shortly.

Strings and Guitars Recital

Our next recital, on Monday 5th February at 4.30pm, will feature string and guitar players from Prep and Senior School. Pupils who take lessons outside School on guitar or a stringed instrument are welcome to take part. They should contact Mr Leutfeld or Mrs Burleigh with details of the piece they would like to perform.

Pupil Achievements in Music

Isobel Balzan passed her Rock School Grade 4 Drums exam.

Music Lesson Timetables

To view next week’s timetables of individual lessons, which are also displayed just inside the main entrance to the music department, click here.
Mr Leutfeld, Head of Music

Prep Sport

This week has been a busy one with the majority of pupils playing their first competitive Football and Netball matches of the season. The boys played games against the Dragon, Lincroft and Oakley, with the girls playing against Oakham.

It was a promising start to the season for all pupils with a mixture of wins, draws and losses. All the pupils (and the staff) now have individual areas that they need to develop further within training sessions as the season progresses.

It is another busy week ahead with Cross Country fixtures on Saturday and Monday, Football and Netball on Wednesday against Kings Ely and Spratton followed by a Year 4 tournament on Thursday.

Northampton Saints DPP selection

Congratulations to the following boys who have been selected to take part in the Northampton Saints ‘Developing Player Programme’ training this season. This is recognition for their hard work both at school and with their respective rugby clubs. We look forward to hearing of their continued success in the future.

  • Harvey Williamson
  • Oliver Wright
  • Owain Osbourne
  • Ben Sales
  • Alistair Moffat

Weekly Fixtures and Team Sheets

To view details of weekly fixtures and team sheets – please click here.
Mr Dean, Head of Sport and PE

Country of the Day

To continually improve location knowledge in the Prep School, here is a daily challenge from 7LW. Your focus for each day is to locate the country on a map! If that is too easy, there are some extension questions too…

Monday 22nd January – Bahamas
Tuesday 23rd January – Suriname
Wednesday 24th January – Nigeria
Thursday 25th January – Namibia
Friday 26th January - Afghanistan

Challenge questions:
What is the capital city of this country?
What does the flag look like?
How many people live in this country?
What are the most notable features of this country?

Achievements outside of School 

The following pupils were acknowledged in Monday’s assembly.

Niall Mahon was awarded the ‘Player of the Week’ trophy from Olney Rugby Club.


Good luck to our pupils, Oliver Morris and Keira Stoute competing on Saturday (20th) in the NSEA Inter-School Show Jumping event at Bury Farm, Bucks.

Star Easter Camp 

For more information about the Star Easter Camp scheduled for 2nd-6th April please click here. Early booking and sibling discounts available.


GIFT Easter School 2018

GIFT are running a residential Easter School for the ‘brightest and most curious students’. This is taking place at Grendon Hall in Northamptonshire from Sunday 1st April to Friday 6th April. There is a wide range of engaging and thought provoking sessions that the students can select from. The cost of the programme is £449.

If you would like any further information please email me: or visit the GIFT website:

Winnie-the-Pooh: Exploring a Classic 

This multi-sensory and playful exhibition, currently on show at the V&A Museum in London until 8th April, explores the magical world of Winnie-the-Pooh – one of the most adored fictional characters of all time. For more information, please click here.

Gala Dinner 

To raise funds for the Senior School Sports Tour and the Cynthia Spencer Hospice a Black Tie Gala Dinner has been organised for Saturday, 24th February at The Saints. For more information, please click here.

Clarion Information sent to Parents

The following information has been sent to parents this week via Clarion:

Year 5 Victorian Day
Year 7 RS Trip to Bhaktivedanta Manor, Aldenham, and the Bedford Gurdwara
Year 8 Play ‘Archie Dobson’s War’

Calendar Events for next week:

Saturday 20th January
09:00 15:00 Year 8 Play Rehearsal
Monday 22nd January
09:05 16:00 11+ Music Scholarships and Awards Auditions
Tuesday 23rd January  
17:30 19:00 Music School Parents' Evening
Wednesday 24th January
08:15 09:00 Nearly New Shop (School Uniform)

Thursday 25th January
19:00 21:00 Year 8 Play 'Archie Dobson's War'
Friday 26th January
15:30 16:30 Nearly New Shop (School Uniform)
19:00 21:00 Year 8 Play 'Archie Dobson's War'
Sunday 28th January
10:00 11:00 Senior School Civic Service (PS Chapel Choir required)

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