Welcome to the School’s new newsletter, HEADS-UP
! The intention is that it will be sent out fortnightly and will help keep you informed about what is going on at School. Feedback is encouraged, particularly if you have any suggestions about content or how it might be improved. Please contact Head of Communications, Emma Brumby
As ever, it has been a very busy term, not least the final couple of weeks. ‘Carols by Candlelight’ was a wonderful evening and several parents told me that it was the best for many years. Demand for tickets was unprecedented and so we have decided that next year the service will be held in The Minster Church of St Denys in order to allow more parents, pupils and staff to enjoy the event. The Prep School Carol Service was also impressive; the highlight was the fact that almost every pupil and member of staff sang as part of the Prep School’s three choirs. We have also enjoyed the Pre-Prep Nativity play, the WSPA Christmas Fayre and their inaugural Christmas Party. I am especially grateful to the WSPA Committee and the many parents who contributed to the success of these latter two events. Below are links to other highlights of the term, not least the energetic Winter Concert and the School Play – an ambitious, innovative and fast-paced version of Macbeth.
This term, for the first time, I read out (in reverse order) during the end-of-term assembly the top ten pupils (in terms of effort) in each year group based on the term’s grades. I then asked them to stand to receive the acknowledgement of the School. This will now be a termly occurrence. I am delighted that the Upper Sixth is leading the way and setting the proper example as the year group with the highest average effort score. The School continues to emphasise and encourage the importance of pupils engaging with their learning, asking questions, thinking independently and taking responsibility for their academic development.
It has been another frenetic term of sport, primarily rugby and hockey. There have been some impressive performances from both teams and individuals. Several boys have been selected for representative honours at rugby; however, what is particularly worthy of mention is the fact that thirty-two pupils (up from thirteen a year ago) have been chosen for the various boys’ and girls’ county hockey squads and nine for the regional squads. Hector Lyons, next term’s 1st XI captain, made it into the national age group squad and represented England in September, a superb achievement.
The positive impact of the School’s involvement in the ITV documentary ‘School Swap – the Class Divide’ continues to be felt. The majority of visitors to the School mention that they watched it and are invariably full of praise for the way the School came across. Early next term, on 26 January at 7.30 p.m. in the Thomas Arnold Hall, Mike Blair, the Executive Producer responsible for the programme, will give a talk on how the programme was made. Please let Jenni Blair
know if you would like to attend.
Next term, Cabaret will be at 7.00 p.m. in the Thomas Arnold Hall over two nights – 18 & 19 March. More details to follow from the Director of Music early next term. May I also flag up the WSPA Quiz & Curry Night on Friday 5 February.
The Spring Term begins on Tuesday 5 January (boarders should return the day before) and finishes on Thursday 24 March. Half-term is from Friday 12 – Monday 22 February. All dates are on the website.
May I end by wishing you all a very happy Christmas.