Headmaster’s Newsletter: 15 March 2024

Message from the Headmaster

Mr Guy Sanderson

Dear Parents,  

This week has raced past and in more ways than one, and notably through our ‘F1 in Schools’ team – called ‘Aeroswift Racing’ – who have competed so brilliantly in the national finals of the competition held in South Yorkshire.  In addition to racing their model cars, the competition included design and engineering, commercial enterprise, PR display and branding, and a presentation to industry leaders and judges.  While not winning any medals, the team finished mid-table on their first attempt competing with 60 teams from 23 regional competitions which is a brilliant feat.  The team are very grateful to their sponsors who, in addition, to the College, included Dave Cooling and Associates Ltd, Judge & Priestley Solicitors, Quintas Energy and Randy’s Wing Bar.  Without their help and support, none of this would have been possible. 

It has also been an explosive week in school – because every day has been Science Week – and Central Hall, various corridors, laboratories, classrooms and even the King George’s Hall have been taken over by the sight and sound of scientific movement and experimentation – usually surrounded by hordes of enthusiastic students and staff for events such as a demonstration of Formula One in Schools, a ZooLab, ‘egg drop’ and spaghetti tower competitions, a recital of Pi, an Engineering Showcase, and science “University Challenge”. 

Another highlight of Science Week was The Peake Lecture on Wednesday evening which was given by science author and journalist, Jo Marchant.  Her excellent talk on the science of mind over body both captivated and entertained a large audience of parents, students and local residents. It was reported yesterday that many students are talking about the ‘placebo effect’ today in Biology lessons, so the talk definitely seems to have left its mark!  Those attending were also able to view the fine art now on display in the Gerald Moore Gallery exhibition by local Greenwich artist, Pragya Kumar.  You can still come and view it – the exhibition continues to 6th April. 

From science to literature and I am pleased to say that Mr Mitchell, our Head of Creative Writing, has launched his latest book with a special book signing held in school yesterday.   It’s called ‘How to Stop the End of the World’ and is a novel aimed at children aged 9 and above.  The publisher, HarperCollins, have described it as “apocalyptically funny”.  It’s available from all good bookshops and also via Amazon and more details at Harper Collins too. 

As we move to within a fortnight of the end of term, students in Years 11 and 13 are beginning to work through final parts of their syllabus before the essential revision period leading to their summer GCSE and A Level exams.  Our Head of Teaching and Learning, Ms Gordon, has been helping them with a steady flow of revision tips and these can now be viewed here in one place for you and your sons and daughters to look at comprising useful tips and guidance to help with planning the pattern of revision in the weeks ahead.  Next week, we look forward to talking to Year 11 parents and their sons as part of their parents’ evening leading up to the Easter break.  

As mentioned last week, there is a fine Drama production coming up of ‘Chariots of Fire’ taking place in the Antony Barnard Theatre during the final week of term with tickets available shortly.  In Music there is a fine set-piece Orchestral and Choral concert on Saturday 23rd March with a fabulous repertoire of music including Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony, Vaughan Williams’ Lark Ascending as well as new and different music such as ‘Stabat Mater’ by Cecilia McDowall ,and ‘Vieille Prière Bouddhique’ by Lili Boulanger. 

In sport, our girls in U12 to U15 year groups secured wins against Kent College in their netball fixtures while in boys’ hockey, our U15A team won on penalties against Charterhouse to progress to the ISHC semi-finals and our U14 teams won their fixtures against Trinity School. 

The U12A rugby team continued their unbeaten run with a complete set of wins at the Eltham College 7s Festival – including impressive wins against The Judd School and Sevenoaks School. 

In the pool, Hayden Sanders in Year 8 scooped all 17 possible gold medals at the Kent County Swimming Championships – as well as being ‘number 1’ in Great Britain for 13 of these events!  Well done also to our U13 mixed Water Polo team win against Caterham School and to our fencers who competed well in the three-day Public Schools Fencing Competition this week.  There are lots more sports fixtures next week – including rugby, netball, hockey and water polo amongst others.  

Finally, the Parents’ Association are holding a briefing event coming next Thursday 21st March which is open to all parents who want to become members, and to discuss ideas and suggestions for future activities and events.   

I hope you all have a very good weekend.  

Best wishes,    

Guy Sanderson