Prep Newsletter -9th February 2018

Prep Newsletters & Blogs

Before I wish you a very pleasant half term break, please oblige me with a little moan. 

You will know that the School takes a very firm stance on leave during term time, with all requests for holiday leave denied. Whilst it is easy to think that a day here or a few days there has no impact, a child who takes 5 days extra holiday each year at school will have missed at least 70 days – or the equivalent of more than three months of teaching by the end of their time at school. Although I acknowledge that parents may sometimes prefer to take holidays outside of published school holidays, this must be balanced against the effect on pupils’ progress at school.

Please can I urge you, as you begin to consider holidays for 2018/19, to carefully review the term dates on our website and plan them accordingly. Thank you to those many, many parents who already do this and are respectful of the School’s policy and their children’s education. Thank you… moan over.

Congratulations to our Charity representatives, beautifully led by Mrs Ferguson, for a moving Evensong on Thursday where we acknowledged the work of the School in raising awareness and funds for Harry’s Rainbow. It was lovely to see some great rainbow coloured outfits and some fun activities during our Charity break today. A super way to end the term.

We look forward to seeing the pupils back to School refreshed for another half term on learning on Monday 19th February.
Mrs Knox, Headmistress

Academic Update

My highlight of this week was listening to some of the Year 4 pupils present their Genius Hour ‘passions’. It is always wonderful to see the children so enthused by their learning and developing confidence in public speaking at such an early age. I am sure we will see more evidence of this after half term as their rehearsals for the Year 4 play continue and performance day looms! I was also delighted to hear about an example of one of our older pupils, in Year 8, being particularly kind and caring towards one of our youngest, in Year 4. It is this type of act that happens all the time in our school and I hope that a number of pupils will take on the role of Kindness Ambassadors when the opportunity arises later in the term.
Mrs Owen, Deputy Head Academic

Year 4 Genius Hour 

Year 4 have been exploring their own passions this week in this half term's Genius hour time. This has involved planning and creating a short presentation to show to the class with a two minute time limit. Some interesting hobbies have come to light, such as: cardboard robot making and photography. Several pupils have taken the opportunity to speak about their achievements or love of sport. It is clear that we have some very talented tennis, swimming, hockey and rugby players. 

Some hope to inspire others to do more reading, baking or dancing! They are all developing excellent presentation skills. Why not take a look at three examples on Twitter.
Mrs Simmons, Y4 Coordinator

Year 5 trip to Kew Gardens 

On Tuesday, 6th February 2018, Year 5 pupils visited Kew Gardens as part of their Geography curriculum on Climate Zones and Ecosystems. The pupils experienced a guided tour of the Palm House, replicating a Tropical Rainforest environment. They were able to learn about the types of plants and how they are adapted to life in the rainforest. They were able to think about the importance of this ecosystem for us all and why it is important to conserve it (including the variety of ‘things’ it gives us, from food to medicine). Thankfully, the weather was fine and dry (albeit VERY cold). In addition to the guided tour, students visited a range of different climate zones, to experience different plants in the Princess of Wales Conservatory. Pupils were also able to explore ‘The Hive’ – an art installation, designed to celebrate the importance of bees in our environment. Many thanks to all staff who attended the trip. The pupils behaved extremely well and were able to enjoy themselves and learn about different ecosystems and climate zones, to support their Year 5 Geography learning!
Dr Fordham, Head of Geography

Humour for Half Term

If you are remaining at home and looking for something cultural to do with the family this half term, why not take your children to see a live broadcast of the RSC’s latest production of ‘Twelfth Night’? One of his greatest comedies, this is showing at The Castle Theatre, in Wellingborough, on Wednesday 14th at 7.00pm. Enjoy!
Mrs Drye, Head of English

The Scholastic Book Fair is on its way!

Calling all parents! The Library will be hosting a Scholastic Book Fair just after half term, from Thursday 22nd February to Tuesday 27th February. There will be a great selection of the very best books to inspire and entertain young readers and earn free books and resources for the school. The fair will be open during morning, lunchtime and afternoon breaks for pupils to come and browse and buy. Please have a look at the catalogue that your child will be bringing home with them, this will be a good way of selecting the books your child may want to purchase at the book fair. We thank you in advance for your support.
Mr Medhurst, Librarian

Safer Internet Day

With Safer Internet Day on Tuesday, the focus of Club Meetings this week was online safety. This theme was continued on Thursday when Year 8 pupils had a visit from Chris Howard of Northamptonshire Police.  PCSO Howard spoke about risks that young people face online and explained some of the legal issues that can arise from inappropriate online behaviour.

Bears, Jaguars and Lions Evensong

Thursday afternoon saw the Bears, Jaguars and Lions Evensong. Mrs Knox spoke about this year's school charity, Harry's Rainbow, and pupils and parents were able to see a video demonstrating some of the wonderful work the charity does. Well done to all the readers, thank you to the Chapel Choir who performed beautifully and many thanks to Mrs Ferguson for organising what was a lovely service.

Charity Mufti and Activity Break

Friday was a day of charity, with pupils donning 'Colours of the Rainbow' in a mufti day inspired by Harry's Rainbow. Bears, Jaguars and Lions hosted an activity break which featured a range of stalls, including water balloons, target shooting, netball skills, card tricks and guessing sweets in a jar. Congratulations to all the pupils who organised and ran activities. The way in which pupils were able to put their ideas into action was most impressive.
Mr Pickett, Deputy Head Pastoral

Chess Club

A reminder that Chess Club takes place every Tuesday lunch time from 12.35pm in the Robinson Centre. All pupils are welcome. There is also an opportunity for members of the Chess Club to get some extra practice on Monday’s after school with some expert guidance from Senior School pupils.

Debating Club

This is a new opportunity for pupils in the Prep School. Debating Club will commence on the Tuesday after half term (20th February) in the Prep School Meeting Room. This will run from 4.10pm-5.10pm. Please ask your son/daughter to let Mr Dean or Mrs Reade know if they are interested in attending.
Mr Dean, More Able Coordinator

Rock Pop & Blues

Our annual Rock Pop & Blues Concert offers a platform for mainly pupil-led contemporary performances, from solo singers to home grown rock bands. This year's event is on Monday, 26th February, at 7.30pm in the Senior School Hall. Tickets are now on sale at Reception (£3 for adults, £2 for concessions).

Spring Concert

Our Spring Concert is always a highlight in the School’s musical calendar. This year we return to the Castle Theatre in Wellingborough on Tuesday 13th March at 7.00pm for a celebration of music-making across the Prep and Senior Schools. The following Prep School ensembles will be performing:

Brass Group
Flute & Recorder Group
Percussion Group
String Group
String Quartet

Tickets go on sale from Friday 9th February, priced at £5 for adults / free for concessions. You can book tickets either on the Castle Theatre website ( or by calling the box office on 01933 270007. Parents of performers will be sent details of arrangements for both the concert and rehearsals nearer the time. 

Chapel Choir

The next Chapel Choir commitment is the Senior School House Evensong on Thursday, 22nd February. Choristers should meet in the Recital Room at 4.10pm prompt for a short rehearsal. The service will start at 4.30pm and will finish by 5.15pm.

Music Lesson Timetables

To view individual lessons for w/c: 19th February please click here, these are also displayed just inside the main entrance to the music department.
Mr Leutfeld, Head of Music

Magdalen College U12 Rugby 7s Tournament – Sunday, 4th February 

On Sunday, ten Year 7 boys travelled to Oxford to represent the School in the Magdalen College U12 Rugby Sevens Tournament. Despite this being their first time playing sevens together, they adapted remarkably quickly to the demands of the abbreviated version of the game. They were patient, kept the ball alive on attack and employed a well organised and effective drift defence. They finished with four wins and two draws, which was enough to give them the best record of all the teams competing. Thank you to Magdalen College for organising a great tournament, to the parents who gave excellent support and to the boys for their superb effort.
Mr Pickett

Years 7 & 8 Club Cross Country

Well done to all pupils in Years 7 & 8 that represented their clubs in the Cross Country event on Monday afternoon. On a cold crisp afternoon, the post finish ‘hot chocolate’ went down very well with the pupils. The top 3 runners in their respective Year groups are as follows:

Year 7 Girls

  1. Annabel Burgess
  2. Maddie Murphy
  3. Bella Pettit

Year 7 Boys

  1. Rory Hunt
  2. George Leahy
  3. Tom Daly

Year 8 Girls

  1. Etienne Maughan
  2. Poppy Bevan
  3. Becky Richardson

Year 8 Boys

  1. Will Middleton
  2. Ben Sales
  3. Lawrence Leslie-Carter

The final Club Cross Country results are as follows, from the Years 7 & 8 events this week and the Years 4-6 event that took place prior to Christmas:

Year 4 winner = Wolves
Year 5 & 6 boys = Bears
Year 5 & 6 girls = Bears
Year 7 & 8 boys = Bears
Year 7 & 8 girls = Lions

Swanbourne Chase 2018 

On Thursday, 8th February, the Cross-Country team attended the final meeting of the year at Swanbourne House. A traditionally bitter and muddy occasion was pleasantly dry and surprisingly clement. With 14 schools competing in each race the junior and senior girls’ teams ran extremely hard around this undulating course, with Annabel Burgess (Senior) and Mimi Eccleston (Junior) coming home first for both our teams. The Junior boys’ team also pushed themselves to their limits, with Charlie Sales finishing in a highly credible 28th out of 84. Our Senior boys’ team definitely deserve a special mention this year. Will Middleton (8th), Lucas Brazier (10th), Ollie Buchan (11th), Ben Sales (15th), Rory Hunt (19th) and George Leahy (22nd) all performed at an incredible level in a race of 88 athletes. As a result of their hard work the Senior boys’ teams finished as tied champions with Lincroft School in the team competition. A truly exceptional performance. Thanks again to all our runners and our loyal parents for all their support.


Junior Girls: Mimi Eccleston, Gracie Horton, Georgia Brophy
Junior Boys: Charlie Sales, Harvey Turner, Jack Malton, Finn Davern, Alexei Wright
Senior Girls: Etienne Maughan, Polly Ross, Poppy Bevan, Becky Richardson, Annabel Burgess
Senior Boys: Will Middleton, Lucas Brazier, Ollie Buchan, Ben Sales, Rory Hunt, George Leahy 
Mr Williams

U13 Anglian Cross Country- Ipswich

Congratulations to both Ollie Buchan and Findlay Hammett who represented Northamptonshire last weekend at the Anglian Cross Country Championships in Ipswich. This event involves the best runners from across the Eastern region.

Ollie finished in an amazing 9th position and Findlay finished a very respectable 63rd. Well done to both.

Senior School Netball Mentor Masterclass

All Years 7 and 8 players are invited to attend a Senior School Netball Mentor Masterclass on Tuesday 20th February at 4.20-5.15pm

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 19th February – New Zealand
Tuesday 20th February – Angola
Wednesday 21st February – Colombia
Thursday 22nd February – Cuba
Friday 23rd February - Mexico

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?

Late Prep Supervisor

The Prep School is seeking a Late Prep Supervisor to supervise pupils from the end of the school day until they are collected by parents or catch a bus. Job sharing is a possibility. If you know anyone who might be interested, please send them the link

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.

Arts Action Camp 

For more information about the Arts Action Camp scheduled for 9th-13th April for School Years 3-11 please click here. Students from outside the school are welcome.

Black Tie Gala Dinner at The Saints on 24th February 

Thank you to everyone who has bought tickets to the Gala Dinner on 24th February. There is an incredible list of auction prizes and even if you are unable to attend the event we are pleased to confirm that you can still have the opportunity to bid. If you would like to submit a bid for any of the prizes, please send an email by Friday 23rd February to (Jacquie Piper). To view all the details please click here.

Clarion Information sent to Parents

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

Y8 Osmington Bay Trip Further Information Letter
Y8 Osmington Bay Trip Kit List

Calendar Events for next week:

(Please check the Sports Website for fixtures)

Monday 19th February
08:25 08:35 Second Half Term begins
08:40 09:05 School Assembly
Tuesday 20th February
09:05 15:00 Year 5 Victorian Day
20:00 21:30 WPSA Committee Meeting
Wednesday 21st February
08:15 09:00 Nearly New Shop (School Uniform)
08:25 08:35 Scholastic Book Fair (until Tuesday 28th Feb)
Thursday 22nd February
16:30 17:15 Senior School Evensong (Chapel Choir required)
Friday 23rd February
08:40 09:05 7AJS Assembly
09:05 12:10 Year 6 Life Skills 'Time for Change'
14:05 16:10 Years 4, 5 & 6 Team Photographs
15:30 16:30 Nearly New Shop (School Uniform)
Saturday 24th February
10:00 12:00 Feeder Schools Mini Master Class - Drama (by invitation)
14:30 16:10 Football v Abingdon U13A, U13B, U12A, U12B (H)

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