Head’s Blog 27.11.2020

30th November 20

One highlight in a busy week was meeting with some Year 9 boys who took me through a presentation they had prepared for Astronomy Club on the Doppler effect, how it changes the light from distant stars and how Star Trek didn’t pay attention to the physics and Star Wars did in their special effects.  It was an engaging presentation and one that they tell me will be followed up by others.  It is always impressive when the boys choose to go beyond that which is expected of them and I congratulate them. 

The focus of this afternoon’s assembly is charity and it has been put together by Mr Underwood.  In our annual tradition, we donate shoeboxes of goods to our chosen charity, West London Mission, to support the homeless during the Christmas period. We kindly ask pupils to donate items in a shoebox so that these can be delivered to those individuals who are supported by the charity. Given the current circumstances, these items are in greater need and we would like to be in a position to help. Any boxed goods can be brought in to your form tutor until the end of term. The Christmas jumper sale is also back; hopefully they will have my size!  Also, the PTA will also be raffling hampers at the end of term to raise money for the School’s bursary fund.  

Have a lovely weekend

Best wishes, Seth

Head’s Blog 20.11.2020

23rd November 20

We follow last week’s news about the ISA’s film competition with more good news from the ISA awards.  Each year they award the Whitbread Memorial Prize.  Schools are invited to submit two pupils who have performed outstandingly in their GCSEs and also made a significant and sustained contribution to the wider life of the school community.  We have had boys recognised for the last two years but this year’s entrants have done exceptionally well.  Max Hashem was announced as the winner and our other entrant came second.  Both have contributed a great deal to the School since they joined us and I am delighted this has been recognised by the judges.  When pandemic restrictions allow, there will be an invitation to the House of Lords from Lord Lexden, the President of the Independent Schools Association, to celebrate their success.

Thank you to the anti-bullying ambassadors for an excellent assembly and also for a great week of resources.  They have spent the Autumn term planning how the School could celebrate and fundraise for Anti-Bullying Week, although unfortunately the bubble restrictions put a stop to a few ideas the Ambassadors wanted to do (colour-runs through Regent’s Park and a school bake sale). The Ambassadors chose two boys from each year group to represent them in the sale of Anti-Bullying wristbands and stickers for their respective year groups. Odd Socks Day turned into an Odd Socks Week after its initial success and boys have worn very bright and odd socks each day.  Boys have also been learning about the importance of being an Upstander to bullying rather than a Bystander; a key message of their assembly this week.

I hope that you all have a good weekend,


Mr Bolderow’s Blog 13.09.20

16th November 20

Next week is anti-bullying week and the Year 11 anti-bullying ambassadors who were trained jointly with Queen’s College pupils last year on the course offered by the Diana Award are leading the week. Their plans last year were cut short by lockdown but the team are still in place and working together.  It has been launched in this afternoon’s PSHE lesson and next week the boys will provide resources for each morning’s registration and will finish by leading the assembly on Teams next Friday afternoon.  They are an interesting bunch with a variety of talents and interests and what I am most pleased about is that the training brought together ten boys who knew each other, but weren’t necessarily friends, into an effective team.  I am very much looking forward to what they will be doing next week.  It starts with odd socks day on Monday 16th November in support of the anti-bullying alliance.  All boys are encouraged to wear odd socks and make a donation of £1 to the anti-bullying alliance.

Cyber-bullying and online safety was the focus of the talk Karl Hopwood delivered to the Year 7 earlier this week.  Karl is a regular speaker at the School and I am glad that we have been able to draw on his knowledge even though he could not visit in person.  I have picked up the theme of sensible use of online resources for my assembly this afternoon, focussing on the impact social media and the internet has on our ability to pay attention to other things and asking the question of what might have been lost with the growth of our online lives.

Finally, as we approach the Christmas concert and the Senior Play, which will take place online, I am also pleased to announce that casting has begun for the Staff Panto.  The popularity of this performance, and the size of the Drama studio meant that we had to disappoint a few boys.  This year, it will be recorded and shared with all boys on the final day of term.  I know that some staff are already lobbying for a larger role (and some for a smaller one) but as ever it will be fun way to end this challenging term.

With best wishes for the weekend,


Mr Bolderow’s Blog 06.09.20

9th November 20

It started two years ago with The Penguin, it continued last year with The Adventures of Lobsterman and Oscar Tracey has made it a hat trick of victories in the Independent Schools Association Short Film Awards with Sleep.  His co-star and co-director Isaac Evans has been involved in two of the three wins and I congratulate them both.  The judge’s comments were very complimentary: “This is a truly outstanding piece of work; the filmmakers should be very proud indeed. Razor-sharp editing, atmospheric lighting, fantastic performances, and some effective jump-scares (especially the ghostly hand over the sleeping boy) made this a gruelling pleasure to watch. I am really interested to see what this group does next. Excellent!”

In spite of the challenges facing many undergraduates and universities at the moment (first-hand accounts from our first set of leavers suggest it has been far from easy), the Year 13 are still excited about planning for the next stage of their education.  The boys who have submitted applications are already picking up offers from some top universities: Queen Mary, Manchester, Exeter and Bristol so far.  Receiving offers is both a source of relief for the boys and also a great motivator.

We marked Remembrance Day this afternoon in our online assembly with all boys observing the silence and the Last Post being played over Teams.  I have remarked to the boys in previous years that it is unusual, but I think positive, to mark Remembrance in a school that doesn’t have a memorial to fallen former pupils and it has allowed us to take a different approach to other schools I have worked in.  Over the years that has seen personal reflections from a member of staff who was a former serviceman, one from a pupil about his grandfather’s involvement in conflict and last year was a historical reflection from Mr Warner.  This year we are focussing on the large numbers of non-Europeans who joined up to serve in a variety of roles and who are not always at the forefront of our minds when we think about those who gave their lives in the Great War.

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