Headmaster’s Newsletter: 26 January 2024

Message from the Headmaster

Mr Guy Sanderson

Dear Parents,  

It has been a mainly sunny and milder week that also started brightly in school with an excellent talk about Architecture to more than 40 students from across all years who were treated to inspiring insights into the exciting evolution taking place in the architectural profession.   The talk, organised by our Head of Art, Miss Heraghty, was given by Alberto Villanueva, Architecture Programme Director at digital media and design institution, Ravensbourne University London.  You can read more about the talk here and in the highlights section of the newsletter. 

We have enjoyed various student successes this week.  Very well done to our budding engineers who, under the tutelage of Mr Whittaker, took part in the London regional heats of the Formula 1 in Schools competition, placing 3rd out of 34 schools.  Also nominated for an award, they now go on to take part in the UK National Finals in March (see more in the highlights section of the newsletter).  In English, well done also to Year 7 student Sebastien for making it through to the second round of the BBC 500 Words short story competition.   An active member of Mr Mitchell’s Creative Writing Club, he is now in the top 0.5% of entrants to this competition having been one of more than one million entrants in the opening round! 

On a further artistic note, former student, Uriel Jinadu (OE 2023), made the shortlist for the Sovereign Art Prize this year, making it down to the final 20 artists in London. We are now delighted to announce that Uriel has also won the prestigious ‘People’s Choice Award’. He is now in the ‘GLOBAL’ stage of the competition and needs our support again.   If you like Uriel’s painting and would like the school to win an additional prize (of £1,000) that will go towards additional resources and equipment for the Art department, please follow the link here to vote for him (by 5th February). 

Well done to all those who took part in last Friday’s annual ‘Celebration of Musical Theatre’ concert.  It included some brilliant performances by 25 of our singers as well as rousing performances from two of our vocal groups – Voce and Young Voices.  We can’t wait for Jazz Night taking place in the Antony Barnard Theatre tomorrow which will resemble a proper jazz club with our talented students performing a wide repertoire. There are a few seats still available – just email Mrs Lewis at [email protected] for details.  Especially exciting this week is the Music department’s launch of a new album called ‘A Night in Tunisia’ which is full of popular jazz numbers performed by our students.  The eight track album, with pieces performed by our Big Band, Jazz Combo and Sax Quartet ensembles, is now available on all major streaming platforms including at this Spotify link. The ensembles were directed by Michael Coates and the performances are by current and recent Eltham College students. 

We’ve had another good week in sport.   In boys’ hockey, several teams have progressed through National Cup stages: the 1st XI team secured a good 3-0 win against Seaford College to take them into round 2, the U14As have progressed into the third round after beating Langley Park, and next face Whitgift School next Friday.  The U15As have won their first-round match against RGS High Wycombe 6-1.  In other matches, our 2nd XI and U13A and B teams all secured wins against Sir Joseph Williamson’s Mathematical School and the U12A hockey won 6-2 against Reigate Grammar. 

In netball, our 2nd VII team secured a 16-9 win against Langley Park School Girls while the U14A netball team beat North London Collegiate School 32-19 to progress into the National Plate Quarter Final.  Meanwhile, our 1st XV rugby team secured an excellent 55-7 win – with just one more match left for the season before they turn to Rugby Sevens in the second half of term. We also wish all the best to the Eltham students taking part in the British Schoolboys Skiing Championships in Switzerland next week. 

Two pieces of transport news: first, I am pleased to say that as you will have seen in a separate Eltham Post communication from Mrs Pratt, we believe that our car parking trial continues to go well, and we will now extend it to half-term.  Thank you to all those who have provided feedback and suggestions to date.  Also, for those of you whose sons or daughters travel to school by train, just a reminder that a planned one day rail strike has been scheduled for next Tuesday 30th January.  No services operated by Southeastern Railway will run, including those to/from Mottingham station.  For all of you, including those who travel on school coaches or public buses, roads may well be busier and more congested on Tuesday.    

Finally, I hope you are liking the new year ‘refresh’ of the newsletter.  We have also recently expanded the News section of the school website too: visit the Life at Eltham section and you will find regular reports of learning enrichment activities at the College that go beyond the curriculum and which are designed to inspire your sons and daughters.  

Have a good weekend.   

Best wishes,    

Guy Sanderson