Headmaster’s Newsletter: 23 February 2024

Message from the Headmaster

Mr Guy Sanderson

Dear Parents,   

I hope you all had a good half-term and found time for some rest and relaxation with families and friends.  The week certainly sped by and, during the break, Eltham students enjoyed a happy and school ski trip to France while nearly 40 students took part in a memorable and successful trip to Scotland to kick-off our 2024 centenary commemorations of the life and contribution of famous Olympian and former Eltham student, Eric Liddell (OE 1920).  This included playing rugby matches against two Scottish schools and attending the Scotland versus France U20 international rugby match.  The Liddell theme has continued this week with a special well-attended evensong service of commemoration on Wednesday evening at the Holy Sepulchre Church in central London which was led by Eltham parent, Revd Nick Mottershead, and also included an expert presentation on the life of Eric Liddell.  You can read more and view photos about these events on the school website.  

On pastoral matters, the Wellbeing curriculum for students in Years 7 to 11 for this second half of term has just been published.  It includes tips on how teenagers can manage risk, and strategies that you can adopt to support them in making safe and responsible decisions.   You can access this and all our regular Wellbeing Updates on the school website. 

In sport this week, congratulations go to Christine Kadiri who has been selected for London Pulse U17’s NPL netball squad. We wish her the best of luck in forthcoming matches against Surrey Storm. In swimming, we say well done to Hayden Sanders and Isabelle Healy who won multiple gold medals at the Kent Swimming County Championships during half-term.  Well done to our 1st VII netball team who beat Farrington’s School by 8-6. We are pleased to report that, last night, our U16A boys’ hockey team beat Cranleigh School on sudden death penalties and will now play Lancing in the next round, while the U13B boys’ team qualified for the London Tier 2 Finals in March.  We wish our boys’ and girls’ hockey teams good luck in their matches against Alleyn’s and Cranbrook respectively. 

As the second half of term progresses, we look forward to various events.  Next week, a group of 40 Physics students in Years 7 to 9 will have a very special day visiting Williams Racing to learn more about the company and the engineering behind the Formula One cars they produce.  

Coming up next month, you and your families are warmly invited to attend our next Peake Lecture which will take place during the school’s Science Week on the evening of Wednesday 13th March.  Our speaker will be Jo Marchant, science author and journalist, and she will talk about “The Science of Mind over Body” – exploring how this impacts on medical healing, wellbeing and cures.  The event is free and you can find out more detail and book your seats at TicketSource here. 

There are also various Drama productions coming up, while in Music we have several events including a series of concerts in Chamber Music Week, plus the Young Musician of the Year competition and a showpiece Choral and Orchestral concert at Blackheath Halls – both towards the end of term.  On a related musical theme, our excellent Parents Association are organising the popular Pop Quiz Night on the evening of 8th March – a good opportunity to meet and socialise with other Eltham parents.  For more information and to book your tickets, click here. 

This week, our Lower Sixth Art students have organised a highly impressive exhibition showcasing their work in the Gerald Moore Gallery.  They planned and curated the exhibition under the expert eye of our gallery manager, Mr Anuar.  Their theme is ‘Metamorphosis’ and their artworks on display include painting, sculpture, mixed media, video installation and textiles.  It really is an excellent “something for everyone” exhibition that the students have worked hard to put together.  The Gallery will be open for public viewing tomorrow from 10am to 4pm – do come along!   

The new car parking system we trialled in the first half of term has been an overall success and I think most of you are now used to the new arrangements.  We have, therefore, decided to make this a permanent arrangement.  In the coming weeks, we will formalise this change with more permanent signage and revised direction arrows.  This also complements the improved wayfinding signage for pedestrians that we installed around the school site during half-term. 

I hope you have a very good weekend. 

Best wishes,   

Guy Sanderson