Headmaster’s Newsletter: 1 March 2024

Message from the Headmaster

Mr Guy Sanderson

Dear Parents, 

This has been another week of achievement and success on various fronts.  First, well done to our students, Eleanor Roberts, Miles Cobourne and Tristan Sezgin, who won the Frankly Speaking’s Senior Debating Competition held at the US Embassy on Wednesday, with Eleanor securing the best individual speaker prize and Miles as runner-up.   

Equally, too numerous to mention them all, but there have been great sporting successes this week. Our U15A boys’ hockey team reached the National Cup quarter-finals having beaten Norwich School 5-1, and now play Charterhouse at home on Tuesday, while in the swimming pool, our U15 Girls’ water polo team have become the first-ever Eltham girls’ team to qualify for the English Schools National Finals.  In Netball, our U12As were worthy runners-up in the Kent School Finals, while our U14 boys were runners-up in the Rugby 7s Kent Schools Finals.  The girls’ 1st VII netball team scored a great win against St Olave’s and, this coming Monday, we wish our 1st XI boys’ hockey team the best of luck in the last 16 of the National Cup against Ipswich School.  This is a home match – so touchline support is always welcome! There are more key matches taking place next week in hockey and also golf, and we wish all those taking part every success.  

As we celebrate the achievements of girls as well as boys, next Friday 8th March is International Women’s Day, but we’ve made it a week-long series of talks given by female speakers, all former students and across a range of themes.  Between them, they will cover careers in Economics, Music, getting ahead in sport, and offer advice and guidance on how women can progress in the workplace.  The theme of this year’s series is #InspireInclusion and each talk follows this theme.  Your daughters and sons are encouraged to attend the talks which have been promoted around the school. 

We are also trying to inspire the next generation of teachers and beyond.  In that regard, and for the third year running, we are now launching our Teaching Insight Programme.  We invite a number of students from under-represented backgrounds the chance to come to Eltham for three days in June to gain an invaluable insight into a career in teaching and learning in an independent school in the hope they might go on to apply for teaching roles.  More details about the scheme can be found on our website here, and if any of you know of anyone who might be interested in applying, please do contact Mr (Mark) Chesterton who runs the programme ([email protected]). 

Earlier this week, we held our post-18 Options Evening for Lower Sixth students and their parents – giving insights into applying for universities in the UK and overseas as well the growing area of degree partnerships.  While places for some courses at universities and specialist colleges can be highly competitive, for today’s Elthamians, there is more choice of future options than ever for students to select from and different routes into the future world of employment. 

Next week is Chamber Music Week with a wide range of concerts and performances being held Monday to Thursday – details are in the school calendar.  We are also looking forward to Science Week that’s fast approaching.  Involving a packed programme of different talks, demonstrations and experiments, it’s always popular with students across all year groups, many of whom help organise and take part in the various events.  One highlight that you can take part in is the Peake Lecture on the evening of Wednesday 13th March. Our keynote speaker will be Jo Marchant, science author and journalist, who will talk about “The Science of Mind over Body”.  Her talk will delve into the fascinating world of science and history, exploring how the connection between mind and body impacts on medical healing, wellbeing and cures.  This event is free to attend and you can book your tickets here. 

This weekend, the Chaplain, Revd Jim Houghton is taking a group of Middle School students who form part of the school’s ECCE (Eltham College Christianity Explored) for a residential visit to Canterbury. They’re taking time away from the hustle and bustle of London life to reflect on and discuss key issues, and also to relax and enjoy some outdoor activities. We wish their trip well. 

The Gerald Moore Gallery has a new exhibition opening this weekend and running to early April.  Called What’s on Your Mind?, it features artworks by well-known Greenwich-based artist, Pragya Kumar, as well as artworks by other local artists working with children from two local primary schools, Haimo Primary School and Wyborne Primary School. Pragya Kumar has worked for many years in participatory community arts projects, including collaborations with Tate Britain and the BBC.  For the past 10 years, she has successfully managed Eltham Arts, a local voluntary arts organisation which aims to connect arts to the community.  More information can be found here 

Also, a final reminder that the annual Pop Quiz organised by the Parents’ Association takes place next Friday 8th March – you have a week to sharpen your musical knowledge and to book tickets here! 

I hope you have a good weekend. 

Best wishes,    

Guy Sanderson