Headmaster’s Newsletter: 8 March 2024

Message from the Headmaster

Mr Guy Sanderson

Dear Parents,  

We strode into the first full week of March with more student successes.  We say well done to 34 Senior School students from several year groups who have shone in the UK Maths Trust competition, earning Gold certificates and entrance to the follow on ‘Kangaroo’ rounds and, in particular, to Roxalana in Year 10 whose score also earned her a place in the Hamilton Mathematical Olympiad.   

We have also held a week-long celebration of International Women’s Day that falls today comprising a series of talks for students and staff given by female speakers – all of them Old Elthamians – and across a range of themes.  These have covered career opportunities in Economics and Finance, in Music and also Sport. Each talk has reflected this year’s theme which has been #InspireInclusion.  The talks have been very well attended every day by girls and boys as well as our staff.   

I have previously mentioned that in this Olympic Games year, we are also celebrating the titanic contribution to the nation’s sporting success 100 years ago by a famous Old Elthamian, Eric Liddell.  A series of events and activities we’re calling ‘Eric Liddell 100’ is taking place through this year to commemorate his achievements, both on the Olympic running track in Paris in 1924 and also as a key player for the Scottish national rugby team, using sporting skills he honed on the playing fields at Eltham! His legacy is reflected a century later at Eltham as we continue to enjoy success across a wide range of sports – as you’ll see later in this newsletter. 

As part of this commemoration, and coming up on Sunday 4th May, I am delighted to say that Eltham College students will be taking part in a very special musical event called PromPraise, a large annual event held in the Royal Albert Hall with a professional orchestra (from All Soul’s Church London). The event theme this year is ‘Chariots of Fire’ and students from the Chamber Choir, Young Voices and some of our instrumentalists will take part in the orchestra and as soloists. They will also perform the ‘world premiere’ of a piece of music written specifically for us that will place our musicians right at the heart of a large public event and in a very prestigious venue.  Tickets for PromPraise are selling fast but they are still available via the Royal Albert Hall website here.  ‘Chariots of Fire’ is also the title of our main school drama production that will be performed by Year 11 and Sixth Form students in the Antony Barnard Theatre on 26th and 27th March.  It is a stage adaptation by playwright Mike Bartlett of the famous 1981 Oscar-winning film of the same name.  You will be able to book tickets soon.  

It’s Science Week in school next week.  The Science team department have organised a packed and exciting programme of activities and events for students including 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” event.  As you will have seen via Eltham Post, one of the key highlights of Science Week is the Peake Lecture next Wednesday 13th March when Jo Marchant, science author and journalist, will be speaking about the science of mind and body.  This is a free event and there are still some tickets available for you and your families.  For more details and to book, visit TicketSource here. 

In the sporting arena, we say well done to the eight students who competed at the National Bath and Otter Swimming Cup at the London Aquatics Centre last Friday.  Our U12, U13, and 14 boys’ hockey teams all enjoyed success against Caterham School while our 16A team have reached the  

National Plate Quarter Finals after beating Lingfield College 3-0.  The boys’ U14A hockey team have been crowned the U15 London South hockey champions and will now play Haberdashers’ Aske’s Boys’ School in the London Final later this month.  Our boys’ U10 hockey team are the London Hockey Festival champions having won all six of their matches.  In golf, our 1st team have beaten Whitgift School in the regional final to reach the ISGA Matchplay National Finals in Bristol in April. This places them in the top 16 golf schools in the country. 

In Rugby, the boys’ 1st team lost out in the Shield Semi-Finals of the Kent 7s after two strong wins against Kings Rochester and Maidstone Grammar, while in netball, the girls’ U15A team secured a handsome win over Bromley High.  

There is a Parents’ Association briefing event coming up in school on the evening of 21st March.  This event is open to all parents who want to become members of ECPA, and to discuss ideas and suggestions for future activities and events.  I also hope the many of you attending the Pop Quiz this evening will greatly it. 

Best wishes,    


Guy Sanderson