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.