Headmaster’s Newsletter: 3 May 2024

Message from the Headmaster

Mr Guy Sanderson

Dear Parents,

The start of summer exams for our Year 11 and Year 13 students is imminent with GCSE exams starting in earnest next week. For the school, this is the final ‘all boys’ GCSE cohort as we complete our transition to becoming a fully co-educational school, a process begun in September 2020. We wish the boys all the best with their exams.

However, some excellent exam results have already been achieved this term.  Congratulations to our 36 LAMDA students in Years 11 to 13 who took grades 6 to 8 exams in Acting and Public Speaking in March.  Between them, they amassed a truly excellent pass rate of 33 distinctions and 3 merits!

I am also pleased to report continued good progress in building the four new science labs in our Science and Technology Centre. The scaffolding has now come down to reveal how the building is taking shape. There is much still to be done but we look forward to opening the new facilities in the autumn that will greatly enhance the STEM learning of your sons and daughters.

This week in sport, we’ve enjoyed considerable success in tennis. Well done to Sebastian Burtenshaw Ratajczak and Noah Mesquitta who were crowned U13 Kent Tennis Doubles Champions, and to Thomas Molloy and Benjamin McLoughlin who were runners-up in the U15 Kent Tennis Doubles Championship. Our U13A boys tennis team won their fixture against The New Beacon School. In cricket, our 13A boys’ team beat Bexley Grammar in the Kent Cup while our U13A girls’ team beat St Dunstan’s by a convincing nine wickets. Nearly all our boys’ U13 teams won their fixtures against St Dunstan’s and the U12Bs notched up a win against Trinity School.

The personal safety of students is a concern for many school children and their parents across the capital. As you may have seen in the Eltham Post message from Mr Martin earlier this week, we were sorry to have to report two separate after-school incidents where a few of our teenage students were threatened by other youths in Foxes Fields, Mottingham. On both occasions, they were forced to surrender high-value personal items including mobile phones. Please do read Mr Martin’s message that included some personal safety tips from the police and which we are reinforcing in school through form tutors directly with your sons and daughters.

I mentioned in last week’s newsletter that the Gerald Moore Gallery is presenting its latest exhibition called ‘Press-gang’, a solo exhibition featuring recent artworks by our Artist in Residence, Luke Burton. You are warmly invited to go and visit the exhibition. It has even been reviewed by TimeOut magazine which you can read here.

This weekend sees some excellent music events. First, while the weather might not be very summery, this evening’s concert in the Chapel certainly will be! We are very much looking forward to our ‘Songs on a Summer’s Evening’ concert involving a number of our choirs plus departing Upper Sixth vocal soloists, and we hope to see many of you there. Tomorrow evening, many of your sons and daughters are taking part in the PromPraise event at the Royal Albert Hall. Playing and singing to a packed audience of around 5,000 people, members of Chamber Choir, Young Voices and a number of soloists and instrumentalists will perform alongside All Souls’ 120-strong orchestra.

The event this year will honour the achievement 100 years ago of famous OE athlete, Eric Liddell. There are still a few tickets left here and the event is being livestreamed via the All Soul’s Langham Place website, presented by Dan Walker and the link should be at this link here.

The Parents Association are organising their popular annual Summer Ball that takes place on the evening of Saturday 8th June in King George’s Hall. The theme this year is ‘Arabian Nights’. I know that tickets and tables are selling fast but there are still some left. You can book your tickets here.

The long weekend beckons but for those of you who travel to school by train, please note that next Tuesday 7th May, there is a strike affecting many Southeastern Railway routes. There should still be some trains running between Charing Cross/London Bridge and Dartford calling at Mottingham station, but please do allow more time for your journey. Information to help you plan your journey can be found on the Southeastern website here.

It only remains for me to wish you all a happy and relaxing bank holiday weekend.

Best wishes,

Guy Sanderson