Category: The Headmaster’s Blog

It has been far too long since the last HM blog, for which I can only offer my profound apologies. I was meaning to write one earlier in the holidays but the effects of the school ski trip, which took place immediately after the end of term, clearly played havoc with my memory.  (more…)

The art department continues to thrive under the inspirational Kate Lumsden. (more…)

Welcome back and I hope that you all had an enjoyable and restful Christmas break. (more…)

..Welcome back and I hope that you all had an enjoyable and restful Christmas break. (more…)

It’s difficult to believe that three weeks have passed and we have already enjoyed our first exeat. Our 34 new boys have settled in remarkably well, and it never ceases to amaze me how well they adjust to, in particular those from overseas, a totally different environment.  (more…)

While I have been relaxing for the last month or so in Devon, much has been happening at Woodcote, and various members of staff having been working extremely hard on my behalf – it’s great to be able to delegate at last! (more…)

Sitting at my desk in the relative peace and tranquility of an empty school – I say ‘relative’ as Chris Wilkinson is feverishly scraping off the varnish from the woodwork outside my study… (more…)

Here we are, half way through the term and yet not on half term for another two weeks. Why? Surely it would be far easier to have half term at the same time as everyone else – it would certainly be easier for some Woodcote families with children at different schools. My girls are off this week and they’ve gone on holiday without me – it’s not ideal, but there is a reason behind it…. (more…)

I am delighted to announce the arrival of the two new boys who joined the school at half term. They did have a rather difficult first night getting used to their new surroundings and I am ashamed to report that they both tried to run away at bedtime. It was only when I and the Junior Mistress went to check on them that we realised they were not in bed. A full search was undertaken and they were eventually spotted making a break for freedom across the front lawn. When I arrived with my torch, I found them both hiding in the bushes and no amount of verbal persuasion would shift them. However, as I approached, they shot out of the flower beds and across the front field – with the Junior Mistress and me in hot pursuit! After 10 minutes of charging around in the dark, we finally cornered them and persuaded them to go back to bed. I was concerned that they might try the same trick later so I locked the door and barricaded them in for the night. I was relieved therefore, although not surprised, to see that they were still there the following morning. Since that eventful first evening, I am pleased to say that they have settled very happily into school life and have made many friends amongst the boys and staff. They love being outside, running around and getting dirty, they have huge appetites and, when excited, make a terrific noise – just like all the other Woodcote boys!


May I introduce you to……




Ronnie & Reggie









That is all.

Sadly the weather has been anything but dry recently – let us hope for more normal weather patterns in February. That said, the rain has not affected what has been an excellent start to the year: We began the term with a good number of senior boys (and some less senior ones too) sitting the first part of the Townsend Warner History prize; this was followed by the House General Knowledge quiz (won by the Blues).

Sticking with the cerebral theme, we had our inaugural Assessment Morning on the first Saturday of term. I particularly enjoyed interviewing all the candidates – one chap even managed to shoehorn the word ‘ procrastinate ‘ into his interview!! The rest of that weekend was filled with matches against Horris Hill (work in progress) and a trip for the whole boarding community to Gravity Force (definitely less cerebral).

So far this term we have had a steady stream of boys heading off for their pre-tests to various schools – Marlborough, KGS, Hampton, Sherborne, RGS, Canford etc. One sixth former has just returned from the Art Scholarship at Charterhouse and another is sitting (?) for the Bradfield Sports Scholarship, as I write. Results to follow shortly….

In week 2 we had Pingers against Papplewick but most of the rugby against Milbourne Lodge was cancelled due to the first proper frost – only the U9s got a run. The 6th form went on a Geography Field Trip in the New Forest to do river studies for their CE projects. It was wet.

Tower building!

Tower building!

I don't like Field trips....

I don’t much like Field trips….

Week 3 saw matches against Brockhurst which certainly kick-started the season for all teams and then there was the cross country fixture at Sunningdale, where we finished somewhere near the back! The boys have just returned from Exeat and this week there are rugby matches against Sunningdale and Pilgrims as well as a tour match against the Geneva English School on Sunday. Far more importantly though, it is Mr. Mark’s 92nd birthday on Thursday and he will be having his birthday table at supper; cupcakes with candles for every boy in the school!

Finally, the theatre is now almost finished; we will start using it for Fencing, Judo and Archery this week and it will be ready for Music & Drama teaching after half term. The Official Opening & Grand Musical Gala takes place on Friday 18th and Saturday 19th March at which each year group will perform, as will a ‘choir’ of staff and, I believe, there will also be a parental song – any volunteers?!

The DoM inspecting his new auditorium....

The DoM inspecting his new auditorium….

That is all.



Woodcote House School

Website by: CWP