So finally, everyone has gone. The boys have gone; all the staff have gone; the pigs (who must remain nameless, pending an inquiry from the Ministry for Justice) have gone; even the gym has gone!
An empty school is a strange, somehow soulless, place but, after the frenetic end to the term, I suppose it is only right that peace must descend for a short while….
Not for long though! The builders are due in on Monday morning to begin digging the foundations for the new theatre. They hope to have the steel frame and roof in place before the boys return in September, and the current projection is for completion in February 2016.
I hope that you are enjoying a peaceful Summer.
That is all.
We basked in beautiful Summer sunshine for the second May bank holiday but as I look out of my study window, I can see that normal service has resumed, and it looks unlikely that we’ll get much cricket or athletics this week, but let us look back first before we look forward….
Holman delivered a tremendous sermon on ‘Silence’ at the Chapel Service last Saturday – it is indeed true that there are almost no moments of our waking lives when we are in complete silence and this makes it difficult for us to think, undisturbed.
Lunch was followed by the first leg of Sunningdale matches – we were comprehensively beaten in the top and bottom games, but honour was saved with victories for the 2s, 3s, Colts As and Bs. There were also three 50s scored and one five wicket haul so I was delighted to award a cricket ball to each of those four boys. In the evening the junior boarders camped out with Mrs. Woodall who was also celebrating her birthday….
On Sunday the 5th form left for the Battlefield Tour to the Somme and Ypres. It was, once again an enormous success and hugely thought-provoking, but it rained solidly for the whole three days. Some said ‘atmospheric’ – others simply said ‘wet’!
Last week the 4th form went on their Geography Field Trip to Lulworth Cove to study coastal erosion (I think!). On Wednesday there were matches against Milbourne Lodge (mixed results) and then on Thursday we took on the might of Hall Grove at Athletics and won convincingly.
The highlight of this weekend was undoubtedly a trip to Twickenham for the Premiership final.
The focus is very much on academics this week in the lead up to CE on Monday. We have a familiarisation day for the September 2013 entry on Wednesday, Athletics against Sunningdale on Thursday, the rescheduled school photo (weather permitting) on Friday and a full raft of matches against Horris Hill on Saturday, before Chapel and a visit to HMS Victory and the Dockyard at Portsmouth on Sunday – another quiet week then….
That is all.
Well the first Exeat came upon us very quickly, to coincide with the first of the two May Bank Holidays. We have been back for a week though now since then and the term seems to be in full swing. We have had three sets of fixtures so far – Pilgrim’s, St. George’s and Elstree – with mixed success across the age groups. Two year groups have also been out camping at the weekends and the Wood-fired Pizza Oven has seen plenty of use already.
We had an Open weekend this weekend with Chapel on Saturday at 11:45am. It was good to see so many parents there and also at lunch afterwards. There were no matches in the afternoon but the boys got in some valuable net practice as well as swimming, and football on the Back Field. Sunday was even more relaxed than usual, with no Chapel to get in the way of free time. The Tuck Shop has been restocked with a fine range of excellent modern and ‘retro’ sweets – I can’t remember the last time I had a bag of Revels…probably whilst watching Police Academy 2 at the Staines ABC in 1984!
Mrs. Woodall took the boys to Horseshoe Lake in the afternoon so that they could go sailing and kayaking. It was a huge success and there is already talk of at least one more trip there this term, alongside the Wednesday afternoon visits by the Woodcote Sailing Club. I hope to take the 6th Form there too, post-CE, as part of their Leavers’ programme.
This week, CE gets under way with Mental Maths, French Listening and French Oral. I think the boys are as prepared as they can be and it will be good for them to get going, after all this waiting. We have matches against Brockhurst on Wednesday – for those who haven’t been, or haven’t read my previous posts, they have the best egg sandwiches on the circuit. Well worth a visit, whatever the result.
On Friday Annabel Hannam will be here taking more photographs of the boys at work and play – these will be available on her website, as before. The 5th form will be hosting a barbeque on Friday evening. On Saturday there is Chapel at 11:45 and I am delighted that Colin Holman will be coming to preach. I do hope that many parents will come and listen and perhaps join us for lunch afterwards. There are matches against Sunningdale in the afternoon followed by 3rd form and Juniors Camping and Pizza night.
On Sunday the 5th form leave for their three-day tour of the battlefield sites of the First World War and there will be, among other entertainment, an inter-house Summer Games competition for all those left behind.
Let’s just hope the weather starts to pick up a bit…..
That is all.
It’s only four days until half term. Where has the time gone? We’ve certainly been busy since my last post.The Juniors have been out on an overnight trip to Ufton House which they loved – especially the banqueting! Meanwhile the senior boys were taking on the might of St Andrew’s Pangbourne (Andy Pangers) at football, with the 3rd XI as the only victorious team.
On Friday of last week,the Colts took on L’Ecole du Battersea in an excellent game of football, running out 7-2 winners at the end. In the evening though, their boys showed us a thing or two about fencing – it’ll be a while before we are good enough to compete with them at that!
On Saturday we had an Open weekend. The Chapel, having been beautifully decorated by Mr. ad Mrs. Mark for Harvest Festival, was absolutely packed. It was really good to see so many parents there and I am delighted that so many of them stayed for lunch – even if it was a bit like the feeding of the five thousand! There was some excellent football played in the House matches during the afternoon and just under half the school went home after match tea for the evening.
For those that remained there was a pizza and bowling trip on Saturday evening and on Sunday Mr. Paterson took the older boys paintballing – no photos I’m afraid (too dangerous apparently) but DP professed it to be the best trip he has ever been on. We shall endeavour to take another trip there very soon!
On Wednesday, we took on Milborne Lodge at football. The first eleven picked up their second draw in succession but kept their unbeaten season alive in the process, and there were also victories for the 2nd XI and Colts A.
On Thursday Woodcote hosted its annual charity golf day at Foxhills, in aid of Bob Wilson’s Willow Foundation – raising money for days out for cancer sufferers aged 18-40. Apart from the incessant rain, it was by all accounts a tremendous day with somewhere in the region of £8000 raised! Many thanks to all involved and especially to Andrew Monk for organising it so efficiently as always.
Last night (Friday) there was a Muay Thai demonstration in the gym for the boys, kicking off (!) with several professionals showing the boys some moves. The boys then had the chance to practise with the coaches before trying it out on each other. It was really good to see all the boys have a go, even the little ones, and it was even better to see that they listened to the instructions and that no further kick-boxing took place in the dormitories later that evening!
Today we have matches against Pilgrims, although sadly no Colts fixtures. Tomorrow, Holey is preaching in chapel at 10am and in the afternoon there is a rock-climbing expedition led by Mr. Elliot. On Monday the Colts are getting a final run out before half term against Greenfields and on Tuesday the Juniors are all off to the Roald Dahl Museum; in the afternoon we have the House Cross-Country!
The half term concert will begin at 10am on Wednesday morning and I hope to see as many parents, grandparents, siblings etc. as possible, before the boys disappear for a very well deserved break!
That is all.
Congratulations to Tom Lewis ( year 7 )who won The Prep Schools 200 metres in 26.2 seconds in The National Prep Schools Championships @ The Alexander Stadium in Birmingham on Monday 5th July.