Newsletter 20 October

Newsletter 20 October

From the Headmaster:

The week commenced with an informative and helpful talk for parents on ‘Relationships & Sex Education’ provided by our Head of Science, Mark Wilkinson. This was immediately followed by our first PTFA meeting of the term, which was well attended and my thanks go to Mrs Charlotte Wood who, being nominated as the Chair, led this first meeting. There was a real sense of purpose and enthusiasm, and the two PTFA events planned for this term are already taking shape, with our Fireworks event scheduled for 17:00 on Friday 10 November – tickets are on sale now and can be purchased from the School Office.

Friday 10 November will also be a non-uniform day for all pupils who can wear anything blue to show their support for Anti-Bullying Week. Your child’s £1 donation can be handed to their Class Teacher or Form Tutor.

Can I please remind parents that we have our ‘Year 5 and Beyond’ Parents’ Information Evening at 17:00 on Tuesday 7 November. This provides an opportunity for parents to learn about the benefits of the top three years at the School and the opportunities and responsibilities that the pupils enjoy as they progress up to Year 8. All parents are most welcome to attend and it would be helpful, for catering purposes, if you could please confirm if you are planning to come along by emailing my PA, Aggie Blane, at

Can I please remind parents that the girls in Pre-Prep and Prep should return to School after the half-term break in their winter uniform. In the Prep School this is the tartan skirt, white long-sleeved shirt and tie, jumper and navy tights or long navy socks. In the Pre-Prep, the girls should wear the navy polo shirt, tartan pinafore, jumper and navy tights or long navy socks.

Monday’s Musical Soirée
I was delighted with Monday’s Soirée which showcased so much musical talent and the response to Mr Tan and the Magna Voce choir’s wish to sponsor orphaned children in Uganda was quite overwhelming; more on this from Mr Tan in the Music Section.

Mr Sowry writes:
Design a Christmas Card Competition

The School has been invited to take part in a Design a Christmas Card Competition for PGL, the company we will be using for our Year 6 Residential Trip. A child may enter as many cards as they wish but they must be designed by hand. Entrants must be of Primary age – Reception to Year 6. Further details can be found by clicking on the link below:

Please submit your child’s entry(ies) to the School Office by Friday 9 November and the School will send all entries off together on Monday 13 November. Remember to add your child’s name to the reverse of the card.

Headmaster Signature

Excellent – ISI 2016
Open Morning on Saturday 20 January 2018
Flexi-Boarding Bookings for Spring Term 2018 from 09.00 on Monday 11 December
Soirée 2 at the Prep School on Monday 11 December at 18:00 – all welcome!
Carols Around the Yew Hedge on Tuesday 12 December at 18:00
PTFA Christmas Fair for Parents in the Inner and Outer Hall on Wednesday 13 December from 18:30-21:30
Year 2 Carol Service at St Edmund’s Church on Friday 15 December at 10:30
Prep School Christmas Service at St Peter Mancroft Church on Friday 15 December at 14:00

Latest from Prep

Key dates for your diary
This information can be found at the top in the Parents Portal on the School website. We would encourage parents to check this each week to stay abreast of the latest changes.

Summer Art Competition Winners
I am delighted to be able to announce the winners of this summer’s Art Competition. Given the fishy theme, it seemed very appropriate that keen angler, Chef Joe, should assist Mr Nigel Edwards, our Head of Art, with the judging. The exceptionally high standard of all the entries made judging very difficult but the worthy winners are:
Max Z in Year 6 and his sister Georgia in Year 5 for their driftwood fish and wrasse, Constance B in Year 6 for her aquarium, and Alice H in Year 5 for her delightful ‘rainbow fish’.
All the entrants will receive House Points and the winners will receive their prizes after half-term.
Please do take a moment to have a look at the fish which are on display in the Inner Hall.

We are also thrilled to announce that we have had success at the ISA East Art Competition. This competition is part of the nationwide competition run by Independent Schools Association. We would like to pass on our congratulations to two of our Year 8 pupils who left us at the end of the summer to start at their senior schools this September:
Sam C who was awarded a Second Prize in the Drawing 2D Individual KS3 category for his Picasso Skull Study.
Callum R who was awarded a Second Prize in the Art 2D Individual KS3 category for his Rock Guitar Prints.
Well done to all pupils that took part

Half-Term Art Competitions
Mr Nigel Edwards has also come up with a selection of wonderful art competitions which your children may wish to enter over the half-term break and the details for these are listed below:

Design a 2D rocket league car
Marks will be given for creative use of materials and techniques. Don’t forget to include accessories! You can also include any written information.

A Creative Splash!
You may have noticed the small boat next to the wall leading through to the swimming pool. Pre-Prep would love your child to enter a sea-themed design for the wall area which should include the boat. The winning design will be used to create a complete mural for the wall.

Year 6: Create your own Battle of Hastings Shield!
To support the Year 6 History topic, pupils are invited to design and create a 1066 Battle of Hastings Shield. 1066 facts and battle information can be added to the inside of the shield.

All entries for these competitions should be submitted by Monday 6 November and can be handed in to the School Office. Please ensure your child’s name and year group is clearly marked on their entry. The winning entries will receive a prize and House points will be awarded to all entrants.

Science Festival Trips & Workshops
Mr Mark Wilkinson, our Head of Science, has taken full advantage of this week’s Norwich Science Festival and Years 4, 5 and 6 have all benefited from trips to the Science Festival or involvement in Science workshops here in School. Further details can be found in the link below:

Prep School pupils have been making the most of autumn in Forest School. Read more:

Dressed as our Growth Mindset superhero Peter Participator, Mr Tan led a fantastic assembly showing the children the importance of being an “effective participator”. Read more:

Year 4 pupils have enjoyed a Maths-themed day at Fakenham Racecourse today and a full report will be available after half-term.

It was a very busy start to the weekend, with so many boys involved in the Rugby Festival at Framlingham College on Saturday where the U11 side met with huge success, and whilst the U13 team found the going a little more challenging, both coaches felt it had real value. May I thank the large body of parents who attended this event and Mr Wood, Mr Hyatt and Mr Martin who ensured all the boys had a role to play.

All four Girls’ teams who played away at Culford on Wednesday were successful and the picture was much the same with the U10 and U11 Boys’ teams at home.

Congratulations to Millie P in Year 5 who along with her Norwich City Hockey team mates won 1st place in the U10’s Hockey Tournament at Dragons on Sunday 8 October. Well done, Millie!

Swimming Gala
With our pool out of action on Monday, it was necessary to cancel the scheduled the U13 and U11 swimming gala and this will be rearranged for the Summer Term. Thankfully the pool was repaired in time for the U9 swimming gala on Tuesday against Beeston Hall and Gresham’s and what outstanding performances we had from our U9 pupils, who won 15 out of the 22 races they participated in! My thanks go to Mrs Marie Hood, Mr Iain Martin and Mrs Sarah Heatley, our swimming coach, all of whom have obviously done such a magnificent job in preparing our children for this event. A full report can be found by following this link:

Mrs Marie Hood has just confirmed that Town Close will come to us for a U11 and U13 swimming meet on Monday 6 November at 15:30. Team sheets will be available to view on the Parents’ Portal.

Girls match reports

Boys match reports

Mr Jonty Tan writes
What a week! It all started with Monday evening’s Soirée, the first of six this year. It was lovely to see children from Year 1 to Year 8 performing a variety of pieces and displaying a range of standards from beginners to now well-seasoned performers.

Our choir, Magna Voce, launched a fund-raising initiative for Ugandan charity, Watoto, that homes, educates and cares for some of the over two million orphans in that country. Much of the fundraising for the charity comes from their children’s choirs which go around the world, performing and sharing their stories.
I had the privilege of playing drum kit for the choir on a recent performance in Norwich. Magna Voce sang the song ‘Fix You’ by Coldplay in a memorable performance that was accompanied by a video of heartbreaking statistics, hope-filled facts about Watoto and their work, and footage of some of the Watoto community.
Holly E in Year 7 said “seeing that video just makes you want to sing better for the orphans.” Parents, staff and children were moved to tears and action as they generously donated a whopping £253.74 which has enabled us to sponsor at least one child, maybe even two! A huge thank you to the parents, children and staff who have donated so far – please continue to do so, so that we can maintain our commitment of changing a life. Any amount, however small, will be gratefully received, we believe that our loose change can change the world.

Our week continued with lots of ensembles gathering in break times, lunch times and enrichments, to make music and develop talents. The String Orchestra on Thursday morning created a lovely sound as they prepared for upcoming performances.

Millie P in Year 5 performed at Thursday morning’s Assembly, showcasing her own composition ‘Raindrops’ that she also performed at Monday’s Soirée.

What a finish to the first half of term, now to rest in preparation for the build up to Christmas!

Musical dates for your diary:
Soiree 2 – Monday 11 December at 18:00
Carols inside the yew hedge – Tuesday 12 December at 18:00
Christmas Service at St Peter Mancroft – Friday 15 December at 14:00

From the boarding community
It has been a busy and exciting final week of this half of term, with all of the boarders ready for their two-week break. Our new Boarding handbook is now available and copies can be obtained from Mr Stuart Hood or Matron Ives and can be found in the Handbooks section of the Parents’ Portal.

We welcomed several new boarders this week – Allysia J, Freya F, Sofia H, Theresa B, Olivia B and Summer B – who very much enjoyed themselves at the pamper night. They all fitted in very well and enjoyed the activities and being part of our boarding community. It was also great to see Oscar T, Harry T, William N, Louis M, Hugo G and Dasiy S joining us again this week and we look forward to you boarding again soon.

Joe P, Cameron F, Ellery F and Ralph N also joined us this week for an evening of swimming, a movie and popcorn! Well done to the members of our swim squad for once again being very organised and ready to enjoy their early morning swim.

The boarders took part in a wide range of activities this week, ranging from swimming, a girls’ pamper night, quizzes and, of course, the Halloween disco, and there have also been opportunities for prep to be completed and time to relax with friends. Once again the boarders’ behaviour has been excellent which has enabled all of us to enjoy the happy, family atmosphere.

Mr and Mrs Hood have been really pleased with the caring, family atmosphere within boarding this half term, which has ensured that everyone’s experience of boarding is a rewarding and positive one. This would not work without the boarders’ fantastic attitude of giving everything a go, looking after one another and working together, so a big thank you to all our boarders!

Enjoy the half-term break and we look forward to seeing our boarders back after the holiday, ready for another half-term full of exciting boarding events and activities.

Monday: Sport Hall activities
The boarders were able to relax and unwind in the Sports Hall on Monday evening, with some playing basketball or joining in with the ever-popular game of Dodgeball.

Tuesday: Girls pamper night and boys quiz
A massive thank you to Mrs Marie Hood, Miss Amy Lightfoot, Miss Jessica Ferreira and Miss Lydia Forsyth for pampering the girls and making the night such a great success. The girls thoroughly enjoyed amongst other things a foot spa, face masks and nail painting. The boys were also in for a treat, with a special quiz devised and ran by Danny W. Thank you to Danny for producing a multi-round quiz for us to play, even if everyone agreed it was very hard!

Wednesday: Fun Swim, tuck shop and movie night
Wednesday night is fun swim night and with increasing boarding numbers, the pool was near capacity so we may need to look into splitting the fun swim into two sessions. Everyone will still get to swim and enjoy Onesie Wednesday, tuck shop and a movie!
• Boarders can wear any swimming costumes so that their school costumes remain dry for lessons.
• Please can the boarders have £1 if they would like to buy sweet from the tuck shop. Weekly boarders can use the boarding bank.

Thursday: Halloween disco
Finally, onto the Halloween disco to end the half term. What a spectacular and fun event, with many of the boarders dressing up in some inventive and creepy costumes! Music, dancing and tuck shop certainly made for a lovely end to the half term. Lots of photos were taken so keep an eye on social media for these.

The activity list for the next half of the term is now complete with some new exciting activities planned and we shall circulate details to parents shortly. Please remember to book your child’s boarding bed early to avoid disappointment!

Can we please remind boarding parents that all items (uniform, home clothes and bedding) should be clearly labelled with sew-on nametapes in a visible position (shirts should be labelled on the collar, skirts/trousers on the inside back of the waistband). This is in preference to ‘iron-on’ labels or permanent marker – pen vanishes and iron-on labels become detached during the wash, making it very difficult for our staff to then determine who items belong to.

Flexi-boarding bookings
Please note that regular flexi-boarding bookings must be renewed each term so please email Matron Ives at Beds will be booked on a first-come-first-served basis as normal.

Latest from Pre-Prep

Mrs Allison Skipper writes

Key dates for your diary
This information can be found in the Parents Portal on the School website. We would encourage parents to check this each week to stay abreast of the latest changes.

Growth Mindset author workshop
Karl Newson, a local author, came back to present a Growth Mindset day for each year group. Read about their fantastic day learning more about illustrating and each of our superhero characters:

Maternity Cover for Mrs Betsy Brown
Earlier in the term we were delighted to announce that Mrs Brown is expecting her second child and as such will commence maternity leave at the end of the Autumn Term. We are equally as delighted to announce that from January Mrs Louise Daniels will begin working with Mrs Brown’s class each morning teaching the core subjects. Mrs Daniels has previously taught in the Pre-Prep and during this time she proved to be an incredibly diligent teacher with an excellent rapport with the children and staff alike. She is a wonderful team player and an inspirational teacher.

Mrs Daniels will join Mrs Brown for the parent consultations after half-term so that parents will have the opportunity to meet her. She will also spend time with Mrs Brown and the children to ensure that the transition is a smooth one.

In the afternoons the children will join the other Year 1 children and work with Miss Holmes and Mrs Banks supported by two teaching assistants, Mrs Knight and Miss Rivett, who will be returning from Maternity leave early in November and will work alongside Mrs Brown.

Reception Team News
The Reception children all enjoyed having their School photographs taken, both individually and with brothers and sisters, and this year for the first time we had class photographs taken.

Continuing our dinosaur theme, the children finished decorating the large model dinosaur they have been making. Do call into Mrs De Abreu’s class to meet ‘Skipperasaurus’ the dinosaur. They also had a lot of fun creating their own dinosaur world using large cardboard circles for the base and then using collage materials for the landscape. They enjoyed coming up with lots of ideas as to how they thought the landscape might have looked and showed good team work in its building.

We were also delighted to welcome Mrs Hunter and her baby hedgehog on Thursday morning. The children were incredibly excited to see a hedgehog close-up.

Year 1 Team News
Children have been involved in some interesting aspects of School life this week.

The Maths topic was measurement and children enjoyed investigating the area around School with a variety of measuring techniques.

Year 2 Team News
The children have begun to learn all about ‘Norfolk Heroes’ beginning with Lord Horatio Nelson. This prepared the children for a fantastic trip to the Nelson Museum in Great Yarmouth. The children represented our School impeccably and enjoyed sharing their own knowledge of Nelson with the museum volunteers. One of the highlights of the day was getting to smell what it would have been like living aboard a naval vessel in Nelson’s time. Thank goodness for the top deck!

In Maths week the children have been practising their understanding of number facts and the inverse relationship between addition and subtraction. The children have also been encouraged to solve Maths investigations independently.

The children have had a wonderful half term in Year 2 and in preparation for the Christmas performance we have sent home their lines to learn over the half-term break. Please can you spend five minutes each day going over their lines so they are ready to rehearse after half term.

Year 2 Holiday Diaries
Over the summer the children who were moving up to Year 2 were encouraged to produce a holiday diary. The girls and boys who completed a diary have been rewarded for their efforts with a goody bag and certificate which they received in assembly. Read more:

Latest from Nursery

Nursery team writes

Key dates for your diary
This information can be found in the Parents Portal on the School website. We would encourage parents to check this each week to stay abreast of the latest changes.

Nursery children have been having a creative time in Forest School this term. Read about their adventures:

In Acorns we have been reading our book of the week ‘Handa’s Surprise’ and have based our activities around this. Mrs Linda Jones put her artistic flair to good use as she drew Handa which the children had fun decorating. They also had a turn at decorating the basket and the different fruits which were inside. The children have been very engaged in this book and all made their own basket of fruit which encouraged lots of brilliant counting. We used animals as props when reading the story which helped the storytelling and kept all the children involved. At snack we have been practising pouring our own drinks and chopping fruit which was a lovely group activity for all involved. This led to making fruit kebabs and lots of conversations about our favourite fruits.

We had a fabulous visit on Friday from ‘Tell-Tale Teachings’ who put on a puppet show for Acorns and Oaks. Julie acted out ‘Handa’s Surprise’ which was a brilliant link to the Acorns’ book of the week. The children were all excited to be involved and helped to tell the story. Thank you to Julie for coming along and putting on a fabulous show for us.

In Oaks the children have been getting excited about Halloween whilst making witches on a broom and potato-printing ghosts. The children worked hard with Mrs Ilona Searle, putting their ever-improving fine motor skills to work by cutting out the different shapes and adding the witch’s features to make her come to life. They then painted a plate green and cut a slit in it for the witch, so it looked like she was flying around in a gloomy sky. Next, the children had great fun printing white ghosts made from potatoes onto black card with Miss Sophie Tudor. Once the children had finished printing ghosts they then had the task of counting them. Lilly B counted 12!

Our sound of the week has been ‘t’. We have quite a few children in Oaks with this sound at the beginning of their name so we had another conversation about the difference between a lowercase ‘t’ and a capital ‘T’. We have had Tigger the tiger, a toy toaster, tomatoes and lots of trains brought in from home which has made a great display. Amara F brought in some tea leaves which was another interesting representation of the sound. The children then had good fun in their role-play kitchen making tea for everybody. We also had a lovely surprise when Lucas sent us a fabulous picture of him with a giant turtle on his holidays! It’s so lovely to see that learning continues outside of the classroom and the children can spot objects beginning with the sounds they have learnt wherever they go.

We had a special visitor to the Pre-Prep Hall on Thursday before our Forest School session; one of our parents Mrs Elaine Hunter brought in a hedgehog whom she had rescued a few weeks ago. The hedgehog has been living in Elaine’s house for the past few weeks as is too small to be released back in the wild so close to winter and hibernation. She is fed on worms, meal-worms and cat food and is growing at a good rate and is likely to be able to be released in the spring which is good news. Inspired by the visit, we went for a wildlife walk to see if we could spot our own hedgehogs in the woods. The children love climbing trees and playing in the Forest School mud kitchen.

Latest from Toddlers

If you would like to join the Toddlers please contact The session runs on a Tuesday afternoon in the Acorn classroom for children from 6 months to 2 years from 01:45 until 15:00. The cost is £3.50 per session.


Mrs Charlotte Wood, Chair of the PFTA, writes:
This year, the PTFA have decided to run two separate Christmas events. The Festive Fair will run as advertised on Friday 1 December between 14:30 and 17:00 with stalls and games in Big School and refreshments being served in the Senior Dining Room.

There will then be a Christmas shopping evening for parents on Wednesday 13 December from 18:30 to 21:30, where parents can spend time viewing all the items on offer and sampling a few treats, with the option to purchase a glass of wine or two!

We would be delighted to hear from anyone interested in taking a stall and the charge is £15 plus a raffle prize. Booking forms can be obtained by emailing

PTFA Fireworks: A fun social event for all the family on Friday 10 November from 17:00
Tickets for the annual Fireworks event are now available to purchase from the School Office.  This is a wonderful social event for adults and children alike.
Tickets: Adults £7.50 and children are free.  Refreshments and food will be available to purchase on the night. Bonfire will be lit at 17:30 and firework will commence at 18:45.

Open Morning Dates for 2017/2018

Saturday 20 January 2018
Saturday 5 May 2018

NOTE: we do expect all pupils from Reception to Year 8 to be in attendance at each Open Morning. 

 Please also note that boarding will be available from Year 3 onwards on the Friday night before each Open Morning and beds can be booked through Matron Ives in the usual way and priority will be offered to our weekly boarders.

Information added onto the Parents’ Portal

Key Dates for your Diary

Academic section
Sex Education & Relationships talk by Mr Mark Wilkinson, Head of Science

Memos section
Steedy Christmas Holiday Club information

The Parents’ Portal can be accessed by clicking on the link below:

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2017-10-20T15:49:56+00:00October 20th, 2017|Newsletters|