Headmaster’s Newsletter: 26 April 2024

Message from the Headmaster

Mr Guy Sanderson

Dear Parents,  

I hope you have all had a good Easter break and a chance to relax with family and friends.  In what has been a chilly first week of the Summer term, your sons and daughters have made a good start – throwing themselves back into school life. 

This term is always a busy term and with several phases and contrasts.  Many of our students, notably in Years 11 and 13 are now preparing to take important public examinations. This process is already underway with some Art A Level and Drama GCSE exams having already taken place this week.  Study leave for Year 11 students will start at the end of next week and for Year 13s the week after.  Later this term, we will say farewell to valued members of our school community – both students and staff and, yesterday, our Upper Sixth took part in their official leavers’ photograph at the front of school.  At the end of term, we will celebrate the achievements of students across the school throughout this academic year in prize giving events at the Junior School and Senior School on 27th and 28th June respectively.  More details will follow.   

There are already some notable achievements to mention in this first week of term.  We say congratulations to Year 13 physics student Atharv Gupta who, following an intense week of training at Oxford University during the holidays, has been selected to represent the United Kingdom at the prestigious International Olympiad on Astronomy and Astrophysics taking place in Brazil in August.  Atharv will join a team of only five students from around the UK, competing against participants from approximately 50 other countries. The competition spans ten intense days of theory, data analysis, and exams covering various topics in astrophysics. 

Well done also to our Junior School girls’ chess team who, in the U11 category, have been crowned national champions in the ECF national girls’ school chess championships with a formidable team that includes Aayat (Year 6), Amelia (Year 4) and Yueci (Year 5). 

Congratulations also to Miss Hampton Armstrong, Teacher of Economics, who has just been selected as a finalist in the Outstanding New Teacher of the Year category for the Teaching Awards Trust in recognition of her professionalism and contribution.  

On the sports front, it was great to see so many students taking part in pre-season cricket sessions last week.  Well done to the golf team who finished 12th in the national schools’ finals. In boys’ cricket, our U13A team beat St Olave’s by nine wickets in the first round of the Kent Cup, while our U16As beat Kingston Grammar by 24 runs.  It was also great to welcome Kent CCC age group squads in friendlies last Saturday as we continue to grow our relationship.  There is also a new guide to sports for the Summer Term available here and lots of fixtures in cricket, water polo, and tennis coming up next week. 

Keeping the sporting theme, 2024 marks the centenary of Eric Liddell’s achievement at the 1924 Olympic Games in Paris.  With the Olympics returning to Paris this year, a group of students from Eltham College and St Leonards School at St Andrews in Scotland (where he came from) are retelling part of Eric’s remarkable story by running a 700 mile relay from Paris to St Andrews over half-term, calling in at Eltham College on the 27th May.  The students will also fundraise for the following charities: Mary’s Meals (which provides meals to schoolchildren in some the world’s poorest countries); England Athletics’ Personal Best Foundation (offering children from disadvantaged backgrounds the chance to enjoy the transformational impact of athletics); and the Eric Liddell Community (an Edinburgh care-based charity and community hub).  More news about this amazing initiative will follow in the coming weeks.  

Ahead of the run, and to support their fundraising efforts, the student-led Eric Liddell 100 Committee wishes for you to join them on Friday 17th May from 7-9 pm for a special evening of entertainment dedicated to celebrating the remarkable life and achievements of Eric Liddell.  More details will follow. 

As you may have seen in Eltham Post this week, following a recent tender of the catering services across the Eltham Family of Schools, we have appointed Thomas Franks as our new caterer from the start of next term. They are a fresh food company with a passion for providing high quality, nutritious and enjoyable dining experiences for pupils and their tender was compelling. 

The Gerald Moore Gallery is pleased to present its latest exhibition that opens this week and runs until 18th May. Called ‘Press-gang’, it is a solo exhibition featuring recent artworks by Luke Burton, current Artist-in Residence at Eltham College. His exhibition brings together paintings, collage, vitreous enamels, and sculpture that explore the experiences of play, pressure, anger and release, together with three early video works by Luke.   More details can be found here. 

Finally, a piece of personal news, we offer our warmest congratulations to Mrs Meier, Head of the Junior School who has just given birth to a baby girl.  Both are doing very well.  In the meantime, we are delighted to welcome Richard Lock who joins us from The Hampton School, Chelsea, where he is currently the Head. In his new role, Richard will be the Acting Head of the Junior School until the end of the Lent term 2025.

I hope you all have a good weekend. 

Best wishes,  

Guy Sanderson