Friday, 11 November 2016

Summation of the week

I wanted to share the successes of this week not already mentioned. As well as the Leadership Cup win at Cheltenham College other children have been recognised recently with awards and certificates. There has been a recent run of success with numeracy badges: Red for Petra Nunn, Amelie Hughes, Jasmine Stephens, Monty Cowan and Julian Shulz. Yellow for Isla Backhouse, Coco French, Oliver Archard, Ottie Sanders, Mattea Nunn, Amelie Hughes, Rory Turnbull and Atia Guy. Green for Joshua Moore, and Ned Welstead. Congratulations to all of them.

Emily Campbell went to the Wycliffe College fencing tournament and came a very close second and the silver medal winner. She only lost in the final to the current IAPS U9 national champion.

Bronze certificates for 25 house points were awarded to Atia Guy, Freddy Marsh and Natasha Wolstenholme.

I do hope you will all support the Parents’ Association Race Night next Friday. This is a new event and sounds like a great evening. Come along and enjoy some fun!

Whilst writing, I am sure you will join with me to wish Prep 8 all the very best for their first set of mock examinations next week and to those in year 4, 7 and 8 who will do their CATs tests.

Next week is anti-bullying week and I know that School Council have a number of events planned. Please support them and encourage positive relationships between all our pupils. The week will end, as you know, with what I am sure will be a very colourful and humorous dress-up day when we shall all be super heroes!

In the meantime have a lovely weekend and enjoy whatever autumnal weather we have. Finally can I share with you the comment of the week that came from my Pre-Prep Assembly on Tuesday. Our word of the week is respect and after telling me how much they loved and respected their parents, grandparents, brothers, sisters, aunts and uncles, one little voice piped up “We respect you Mr Easterbrook.” I was very touched and asked them why and they replied, “Because you respect us.” How true!




Thursday, 10 November 2016


I must blog about our wonderful Remembrance service tonight. The content was very moving and the Senior Chapel Choir sang the anthem “Prayer for Peace” with feeling and empathy. Saul French read the New Testament reading with great emphasis and clarity. He read from Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians and the belief that the spirit will always live on. Following the reading of “In Flanders Field” we held a two minute silence and this was followed by an excellent rendition of “The Last Post” played by Theo Whalley-Hoggins on his cornet. He played with real musicality and a feeling for the spirit behind the piece. Theo’s playing of this piece was a first for Hatherop Castle and we could not have asked for more. Let us all stop at 11am tomorrow and simply remember …”Lest we forget”






Monday, 7 November 2016

More success

I am delighted to tell you all that our Year 6 team have returned victorious from the Cheltenham College Leadership Day having won the Leadership Challenge Cup. Their victory has come having faced some very stiff competition and some highly competitive and successful schools, not to say much larger schools. There were the greatest number of teams ever to compete at College this year and to win this prestigious competition is another feather in Hatherop’s cap. Well done to Summer Cooper Terry, Venisha Nembang, Isobel Thorn, Oliver Riley, Bobby Cooper Terry, Jack Andrew, William West and Hector Perez. We are all extremely proud of them and are delighted that they went and represented us so brilliantly.

I hope to see lots of you at Remembrance Evensong on Thursday where another Prep 6 pupil, Theo Whalley-Hoggins, will be playing the very emotional and moving “Last Post”. He is also going to play for our two minutes silence on Friday.

Having been away from school for part of last week, it is, as always, a pleasure to be back amongst our pupils and to be infected by their enthusiasm and commitment.





Friday, 14 October 2016

Hatherop Awards

Having spent the most enjoyable week with Prep 8 in Cornwall on the Biology/ Geography field trip, where they worked extremely hard and covered a vast amount of work, I was delighted to return to school and present the very first set of Hatherop Awards to the children from Prep 1 to 8. The Hatherop Award is designed to credit children for all they do both inside and outside of school. The work for points for a variety of tasks and achievements and this morning a staggering    children received their medals ranging from copper to gold. I am hoping that this year’s Prep 8 will be the first to achieve platinum. Congratulations go to:


GOLD AWARD REQUIRED POINTS TOTAL -230                                    
































































































































Somerset    Fleming

Margaux      Kinch

Freddie Lish

Lily McBain

Molly Meredith

Finn Murphy

Sophia Vestey

Saskia Wilkinson

Cicely Williams

Harry Wood


Here they are celebrating their success. My apologies for not having Prep 4 in the photo but they had left for their exciting visit to Chedworth Villa.


I hope you all have a very good half term break.                                                                                                                                10





Thursday, 29 September 2016

rugby results

Great results yesterday for our U9 A team at the Beaudesert rugby festival.  Our boys beat Beaudesert A team, Dean Close A team  and beat Prior Parks A team most convincingly. This is a fantastic achievement for our boys and congratulations to all those who played.  Unbeaten at this festival is a brilliant way to start their season. One of the boys told me that it was a great feeling and made them feel very proud. Well, so are we of all of them!



Saturday, 24 September 2016


There are still some seats left for tonight so if you fancy a real exciting night out full of music, drama and dance then do come along for 7.30pm and enjoy the Gala Evening in our new Performing Arts Centre. We have been very fortunate in gathering together a host of fantastic performers offering a wide genre of music and other material. See you there!


Whilst writing I would like to congratulate all those pupils who were elected this week as Form Captains and thus take their places on School Council. Well doe to Louis Asprey and George Slater in Prep 3, Ewan Ellson and Coco French in Prep 4, Lily Taylor and Sam Farr in Prep 5, Joseph Nicholls and Jacob Morling in Prep 6, Abubakr Komiljonov in Prep 7 and Tia McBain in Prep 8. They have had their first meeting and plans for the year ahead are beginning to take shape. I am sure we shall all hear a lot from them. They certainly discussed a range of topics and know what they want to achieve. They put forward a number of charities which they are considering supporting this year.




Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Year Ahead

I do hope as many parents as possible are able to come and be with us tomorrow night for our annual “Year Ahead” event. I know it is on the calendar, but thought I would just make sure you knew that you would be very welcome. It is your opportunity to hear about the curriculum and any innovations for the year ahead. It also gives you the opportunity to meet in phase groups to get to know the staff and the phase leader. You will also have the chance to meet and talk to the specialist staff about all areas of the curriculum.  It all starts at 7pm and I am looking forward to seeing you.



Wednesday, 7 September 2016

Welcome back

A very warm welcome back to school. I do hope everyone had a very good summer and enjoyed a relaxing break and were able to refuel their tanks ready for a new term. It was wonderful to see so many parents and their children arriving at school yesterday; everyone needs to be very vigilant in the car park. The children all arrived happily and it was good to see everyone In their new forms and with their new form teachers. Congratulations go to those children who were given their posts of responsibility yesterday and especially to Georgia Morling who is this year’s Head of School. I am looking forward to a very productive, positive and successful year at Hatherop Castle. A special welcome to all our new pupils and new members of staff we are all looking forward to getting to know them and to enjoy everything they bring to the school. I am sure I shall see you all very soon in some capacity or another.




Friday, 29 July 2016


Hope everyone is having a good summer holiday. We are enjoying family time in France and we love the fire pit - thank you to Prep 8 and their parents 

Friday, 8 July 2016

Speech Day

A fantastic day today. Well done to everyone for the organisation. The atmosphere was great and a huge thank you to my lovely Prep 8 parents and pupils for their kindness and generosity. A very special Speech Day following an amazing week of Dazzle performances. 

Monday, 4 July 2016


A huge thank you to my fantastic cast for all their efforts at the weekend. They did brilliantly and it has to have been one of the easiest and most productive drama weekends ever. They are all now looking forward to an audience. I am so proud of them and the way in which they have responded to our fabulous new building. This year’s Prep 8 have risen to the challenge and it is most fitting that this group of children will be the first to perform in it later today and this week.
Tickets are still available for the performances and are available to book at It is always good for the younger pupils to see the amazing standards that the upper school achieve so parents in lower and middle school can book tickets as well and treat the children to a real family show. I look forward to seeing you all at one or even more than one performance. There are still a good number of seats available in the standard seating, which I must say still gets a very good view of the show because the stage is so raised. If I do not get to see you all personally, please enjoy the show.
The younger pupils are watching the show this afternoon and if they are staying for the whole thing they will be available outside the theatre building at approximately 4.30pm. If you want to collect them at the normal time of 3.40pm please let the office know and they can come out during the interval.

Monday, 27 June 2016

Court number one

Great seats and we are awaiting the arrival of Venus Williams


We are here lovely and early so some time for some outside court play


What lucky people we are. The atmosphere is already brilliant

Sunday, 26 June 2016

Homeward bound

We have all had a great day at Thorpe Park despite several rides being closed!

Flying fish

Diego, Jorge, Leopold and Hamza enjoying the Flying Fish ride

Thorpe Park

Great day out with the boarders and the Prep 8 girls. Very wet on Tidal Wave

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Victorian Assembly

I came back to the study this morning after the most amazing Wednesday assembly. Prep 2 took us back in time to 1880 and a Victorian school house. The children in 2J told us all about life at a Victorian school. We all had our hands and nails checked and were told to sit up straight by a very fierce school ma’am in the form of Julia Homersham. She played her part brilliantly and made us all aware of what it would be like to go to school in 1880. We even sang A Victorian hymn in the form of “All Things Bright and Beautiful. All of Prep 2 spoke up well and shared the information they had found out with us.

Following the assembly I was delighted to present Mathletics bronze certificates to Atia Guy and Caelan O’Higgins and a fantastic Gold certificate to Edward Morley. Alec Wilkinson and Joshua Streeter were both presented with Football awards from Northleach and Fairford respectively. Esme Kinch was awarded with a 3rd place rosette for her dressage and show jumping on her new pony and Tia McBain performed at the Croydon Dance competition at the weekend and was [paced in the top in 5 different classes. She competed in her own age group but also in the U125 and U21 class. As a result she won a silver and a gold medal for her modern and ballet and has qualified for the All England semi-finals. She is also looking forward to performing in the West End in a dance show with 50 other dance schools. Bazley were the winners of the house points this week. Well done to everyone.

Prep 4 were very excited yesterday as they had the very first lesson in the new Preforming Arts Centre. Miss Scott tells me they were very impressed and she had to give them the full guided tour.



Monday, 20 June 2016

A new week

Another busy weeks had begun here at school. Prep 8 are away on their 3 days of work experience and I hope they are all enjoying the workplace they are in.

I hope everyone in Prep 6, 7 & 8 got their rehearsal schedules. The children should know what scenes they are in and when they are needed, just to make sure, Mr Parkin has supplied them all with full scripts today. Thank you to all the parents for helping me out and supporting the rehearsal schedule.

Parents Evenings happen this week and parents should sign up on line for the appropriate days and for the staff they would like to see. I am very much looking forward to Transition’s assembly on Tuesday morning. The Big Toddle also takes place on Tuesday and any visiting Nursery aged children are welcome to stay and play afterwards.

We are all looking forward to welcoming the Para Olympic athlete, Jack Rutter, to school tomorrow afternoon. Please support him and the G.B Olympic movement with your sponsorship forms. Good luck to our athletes who are going to the IAPS athletics on Thursday of this week. Finally don’t forget the Pool Party on Friday and let us hope the weather improves! A very busy week for everyone; what great fun.




Sunday, 19 June 2016

Wishford Week end

Bon Voyage to all our fellow Wishford pupils and staff. Everyone has departed having had a great time enjoying  the company of the other schools and engaging in a number of fun activities. The camp fire last night was a great success and every school provided some enthusiastic and varied entertainment. I hope everyone who came had a good time and enjoyed everything that was organised. A huge thank you to our own Prep 6 & 7 pupils, especially those who did the whole weekend and have only just left. They were excellent hosts and made sure all the visitors knew where things were and how to get around our school. Thank you to all the Hatherop Castle staff, who took turns on the rota to ensure the week end ran smoothly and enormous and also to the, office, kitchen and maintenance team who helped out. Heartfelt thanks to the house staff who have been on duty all weekend. Most importantly I want to say how much the organisation of Catherine Gore-Browne and Rob Hogan was appreciated by everybody who attended. They did a fantastic job and every detail was organised and distributed amongst the visiting staff. Thank you to all the schools for organising their “Olympic” event, the children had so much fun going from event to event and congratulations to team 3 who emerged as the eventual winners. It was such a good idea to have mixed teams from all 5 schools as this meant there was healthy competition but not against each other and it also meant that the 5 schools worked together and got to know each other. If you haven’t seen the photos there are plenty available on the website and social media, if you use is.
Happy Father’s Day to all out dads out there.

Friday, 17 June 2016

Summer Fete

I am hoping that the foul weather forecast for today blows its way past us very quickly and leaves us with at least a dry day for the Summer Fete and Dog Show tomorrow. There are lots of exciting stalls and activities and we are all looking forward to welcoming you tomorrow afternoon. Thank you for your support in sending the children in  to school in home clothes and donating some chocolate or a bottle for the fete. That is much appreciated.
Prep 8 return from the river adventure later today and judging from the photos, it might have been wet but they all have had a good time.
Hot of the press is the great news that following our inspection by CReSTeD we have been given the status to be a CReSTeD school. Well done to all the staff who teach children with a learning support need. This acknowledgement gives great credence to all the work of the staff who man the Wordsworth room so special congratulations to Mrs Davies, Mrs Easterbrook and Mrs Canning.

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Fun times and success is plentiful

I was delighted last night to be able to go and visit Prep 8 at the end of their second day on the river Wye. Armed with bags full of barbeque food, 2 mobile barbeques and some goodies, including tomato ketchup (especially requested) I set out on what I thought was a 45 minute journey. Two and a half hours later I arrived with them. I gave the food to Mr Bailey and Mr Page to cook and took Prep 8 off to the local pub for a drink (soft, of course) and a catch up. They were in great spirits. Every single one of them was laughing and joking. I got a conducted tour of their camp site, a blow by blow account of the various paddle partners they had been with and a lot of good humour. It was a pleasure to spend time with them and although it proved very late by the time I got back I would not have missed it. Throughout the year they have grown in stature and as people and their sense of fun and their ability to laugh at the weather and themselves will all stand them in good stead as they prepare to face senior school life.  

This morning during assembly which was taken by Reception, there was a lot to celebrate. Firstly I want to congratulate Reception who told us all about their “Special Books”. They were so animated and excited and they spoke well and told us why they liked the books they had chosen. Afterwards we made a number of very special awards. Evie McBain, Jaymee Savill and India Till were all presented with rosettes following their recent successes on their ponies. Evie won her recent dressage competition, Jaymeee has a new pony and has only been riding it for a fortnight and beat the current three-day event Olympic and World Champion! and India has qualified for 5 separate classes on 3 different ponies for the Royal International Horse of the Year show. What a talented trio!

Bethany Leach and Ben Turner became the U11 girls and boys St Dunstan’s Foil Champions at the weekend. They both went through to the final unbeaten and won their respective finals. It was a great moment to present them with two of the most impressive trophies I have ever given out. Well done to both of them.

I was delighted to present 12 children with our newly devised pen licences. Prep 3 and 4 have been working hard to achieve this and they were delighted to be the first 12 pupils to receive them.  Saffron Cool got a silver Mathletics certificate and Arthur Taylor got a bronze.

William Bohdan and Alexa Brodhurst received their green numeracy badges and Lily Taylor got her blue badge. Arthur Taylor was the only child to get 5+ this week and the house point winners were Bazley.

All I can say is how impressive it is every Wednesday to see such talented children being rewarded for all their effort and hard work.

Looking forward to seeing you all on Saturday. We are all looking forward to welcoming our colleagues and pupils from Wishford for the Wishford weekend.




Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Common Entrance is over

Well done to our Prep 8 class. They have completed their Common Entrance exams and now most of them are making their way down the river Wye in 2-man canoes. The first reports from the river are very positive and they all seem to be enjoying themselves despite the weather. I am looking forward to going and seeing them tonight and taking BBQ food with me for us all to eat together. I do hope the rain holds off for them.
More success on the fencing front this weekend. Ben Turner and Bethany Leach both emerged as champions in their age group at the St Dunstan’s tournament at Glastonbury, Ben had a very tight match in his semi-final against a boy from Heywood, but emerged victorious and Bethany had a very tit for tat final and won the last point and claimed a 10-9 victory. I  must also mention Noah Goryn who came 9th in the U11 boys. He is only prep 5 and has been fencing for just 2 terms so there is another talent in the making coming up through the ranks. Well done to all of them.
I am looking forward to seeing you all at the P.A Summer Fete on Saturday. It is expected that every pupil from 3 – 8 will take a turn on their form’s stall. Form staff or Parents’ Association reps will be putting rotas together over the next few days. I am also looking forward to welcoming pupils and their teachers from 4 of the other Wishford schools at the weekend. During the last two years this has been a great time toi get together and enjoy the company of pupils from other schools whilst having some great fun; I am sure this year will be no exception. I was disappointed at the response from Prep 7 and would have hoped for greater support for the school. Well done and thank you to Prep 6 who are all, bar one, I believe, coming for the whole weekend. Let us hope the weather is good for the camping and the activities.
I must end this blog by saying what a brilliant day we had last Thursday to celebrate the Queen’s birthday. The street party and the activities that followed were greatly enjoyed by all ages and the weather was glorious. I am delighted that we have received a letter and a beautiful thank you card from Her Majesty for the scrap book we sent her for her birthday following all our work during Theme Week.
See you all on Saturday!

Saturday, 11 June 2016

Exciting news

The Performing Arts Centre is finished and it is so exciting. We will be having our first rehearsals in there next week.

Tuesday, 24 May 2016


What a splendid few days we have had in two sporting arenas. Last Tuesday our athletics team made the trip to Exeter for the ISA South West trials. Alex Cunningham retained his U11 Long Jump and is the South West champion. Jack Andrews came 2nd in the 600m and 75m sprint and Hattie Backhouse was 2nd in the long jump. Hattie also came 3rd in the 600m girls event. In the girls ball throw Bethany Leach came 3rd, Isabel Thorn was 3rd in the long jump and Felix Asprey was 3rd in the ball throw and 3rd in the 600m. Well done to all those pupils and all the others who competed so well.

Yesterday our fencing team went to the ISA championships in Cornwall and they came back with some excellent results. Ben Turner won a gold medal and the cup for the South West U11 Foil, Amelia Franks won a silver medal and Summer Cooper-Terry won a bronze medal. Thank goodness we made the decision to introduce fencing, because if these children had not attended Hatherop Castle who is to say they would have taken up this sport where they have excelled They have been brilliantly coached by Neil Bromley and we all thank him profusely. Congratulations to all those who made the long journey to Cornwall to compete and thanks to them and their parents who made the commitment to represent the school. I am very proud of them all.

We are now all looking forward to Sports Day on Friday where I am sure there will be a very excited group of children all aiming to do their best for their house. Let’s hope for good weather. Hot off the press Fyfe have beaten Bazley in the first tug-of-war pull offs at break time this morning.



Friday, 20 May 2016


What a fantastic result against Pinewood last night. Both the A and B teams fought very well and achieved some great individual and team results.  It was a thrilling 7-7 draw in the B team.  10-3 win for the A team.  Unfortunately they ran out of time so were unable to complete all 16 bouts for both teams. Highlights were Freddie Meredith winning two bouts in his first match, Elodie Thomas winning 3 from 3,  Noah Goryn doing the same, Lily Taylor 2 from 3 and Hattie Backhouse winning 6 from 6 after Kiplan retired hurt although he still won two contests. Hattie ended up fighting in the A and B teams! The following fencers are representing Hatherop at the ISA Regional Championships in Cornwall on Monday:  Amelia Franks, Joseph Nichols, Ben Turner, Bobby Cooper-Terry, Summer Cooper-Terry and Noah Goryn.  Best of luck to you all and try your best. What a busy week end for them with Open Morning on Saturday and a trip to Cornwall ready for Monday afterwards.




Thursday, 19 May 2016

sporting success.

Huge congratulations to all those children who took part in the ISA South West athletics on Tuesday. Isobel Thorn came 2nd in the long jump. Jack Andrew has qualified for the National finals in the 600m and the relay and Alex Cunningham retained his South West long jump title and is the area champion for the second year running. He qualifies for the National finals and is also in the relay team as well. Edward Morley qualified for the sprint finals in Exeter and as a team they represented Hatherop Castle extremely well. Good luck to those who now go on to represent the South West in Birmingham later this term. More huge congratulations to India Till who qualified for the second time for the Royal Horse of the Year show at the Windsor Royal Horse Show last week. I have just finished reading the article on her in the Horse and Hound magazine; she really is a talented horsewoman.





Monday, 16 May 2016

Is summer here to stay?

Hasn’t it been lovely to be enjoying some warmer weather and to have seen the sun during the last few days. Let us hope the weather is as good for our Open Morning on Saturday, when we shall all be going to the beach here in the heart of the Cotswolds. The plans for the day look good and we are expecting everyone to attend for at least part of the day and hopefully as many as possible for all of the day and to join in with the Parents’ Association games afternoon. It is a busy time for us here at school and there is more to come, but it is wonderful to see how much the children are enjoying everything offered to them. The Prep 5, 6 and 7 pupils who were on their outdoor education trips last week really seem to have had a great time and I have received very positive reviews from the staff who accompanied them all. Well done to Cumulus Outdoor, they seem to have listened to us and consequently got it right for Hatherop Castle pupils. I have enjoyed hearing from Prep 7 today about their trip to Snowdon and look forward to hearing from the other year groups this week.
It is lovely to be back at school having been visiting another school and then attending I.S.A. conference. The conference was very informative and there were a host of interesting lectures and workshops proving that you are never too old to learn.

Friday, 13 May 2016


Greetings from ISA conference which has been great. The highlight that I have waited for is here and Baroness Floella Benjamin is everything and more than I could have hoped for. Childhood memories stay with us for ever oh and Humpty has come along as well

Saturday, 7 May 2016

Another week gone

Yet another week has gone by and we seem to be hurtling towards half term. I have just returned from an Independent School’s Inspection and having done it from the inspectors side it was very apparent just how amazing our report was. For clarification “Excellent” is the highest grade given by the Independent Schools Inspectorate and equates with an Ofsted grading of Outstanding. To achieve this in every category of the Inspection Report is rare and is an amazing achievement. If we were to put it in school terminology it is the equivalent of A* in every category – no B grades for Hatherop Castle just straight A*s. The report is available on the website and on the ISI website and I hope you have all managed to read some if not all of the beautifully presented hard copies you received last week. Well done to everyone involved and thank you to parents for choosing wisely and sending their children to our excellent school.
Prep 8 were very excited on Friday when they were the first pupils to see the inside of the new Performing Arts Centre. They were justifiably impressed and for a sneaky peep do take a look at the photos on the Wishford development blog. The Upper School have started rehearsals for the very first production in the new building which will be “Dazzle”; it should be great fun. This new facility is going to give us so much more scope for producing the high quality productions for which we are known.
Well done to all our sports teams and individuals who over the last two weeks have notched up some very impressive results and victories. The extra lunch time training is paying dividends and the children seem to be inspired at the moment as do all the games staff.
It has been lovely to see the sunshine this week and let’s all hope it lasts for Open Morning on 21st May. I do hope that even if our current parents cannot attend for the whole morning, they will be able to join us for lunch. All the children are expected to attend and I can promise you there is a great range of activit├ęs for them all to take part in; we just hope it can all happen outside! I hope that our fellow Wishford school St Edwards, Reading is having a successful Open Morning today.
Have a wonderful weekend everyone and I hope the weather is kind for all our Cumulus Outdoor residential visits next week.

Sunday, 24 April 2016


Well done and a huge thank you to those members of the choir who came in to sing at the service in church today. Thank you also to Mr Page and those parents who brought their children and those who attended the service. Sorry not to see you afterwards but I have succumbed to the horrible bug that is going around. Enjoy the rest of this beautiful spring Sunday. Also many thanks to all those who came to the Queen's birthday beacon. It was a fabulous evening and great fun. I hope to see everyone tomorrow.
The sermon this morning talked about all the charity and other bands people wear on their risks. I found it very thought provoking and it asked WWJD? Lots of food for thought. If you don't know what it stands for ask the choir. More on this later in the week.

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

It's Wednesday

Well done 5WH. What a great assembly this morning and how clever of them to focus our minds on an important issue. Throughout the year our pupils and their parents are incredibly generous and this year have donated to “Shelter” and “Save the Children” both these charities do work with children especially those poor souls who find themselves in war torn countries. This morning 5WH made us  all realise that our pupils are the future and the ones who will hopefully have the power to stop war and the strife that exists throughout the world. We can only do this if we are aware of the global situation and that is what they did in assembly this morning. They spoke and sang with confidence and clarity and handled a potentially tricky subject with tact and delicacy. There were no shock tactics, just a thought provoking assembly which is what they should be. In our English syllabus one of the topics is conflict and it is a theme that has been used regularly by the Independent Schools Examination Board (ISEB). This is the body of people who oversee the setting of Common Entrance Papers at 11+ and 13+. At the top of the school literature such as “Carrie’s War”, “Goodnight Mr Tom”, “Private Peaceful” and “The Breadwinner” are all studied and enjoyed by the children. They all have a conflict theme and quite often a link to war, but handled carefully it gives our pupils an insight into how devastating war can be for innocent citizens and especially children. As they said they are the future and I believe that if the future is in the hands of children like this then the world stands a fighting chance!
A huge amount of awards were given out this morning, which is always pleasing and I enjoy doing it. I do think we will need to rationalise in the future if it is going to be so extensive each week as it eats in to lesson 1. However, huge congratulations must go to all those pupils who were awarded something this morning for their achievements in a number of areas.
Riding – Jaymee Savill, Caspian Till and India Till were all awarded riding rosettes and awards. Jaymee has become the Gloucestershire County Dressage Champion and goes forward to the National Championships and Caspian and India have both qualified for the National finals of the Show Pony Championships and they are both going to the Horse of the Year show.
Skiing – Freddie and Molly Meredith were awarded skiing badges following their recent trip. Molly at Cristal level and Freddie at Vermeil level. Joshua Moore, Ewan Ellson and Imogen Ellson all did Optimum Ski and Snowboard school and achieved level 5, 3 and 1 respectively. Alec and Saskia Wilkinson also achieved skiing medals. Alec got bronze on his first ever slalom and then went on to gold in his second ever slalom. Saskia got bronze in her second ever slalom. They both got their red level badges Well done to all the skier and no broken bones!
Fencing – Ben Turner was awarded his shield for his first place in the Wiltshire U10 Foil and Bethany Leach was awarded a bronze medal for the Gloucestershire County Junior Fencing Championships as well as a second place hockey medal for the U10’s County Cup.
Gymnastics – Annabel Bath was awarded her 5th place ribbon for her recent success in the Gloucestershire championships.
Rugby/Ballet – Charlotte Wood was awarded both a rugby medal and a ballet certificate and award. I was impressed and asked her if she pirouetted up the field and she chuckled.
Swimming – Swimming certificates were awarded to Ottilia Isacsson, Maxi Isacsson, Charlie Phillips,
Music – Theo Whalley Hoggins was placed third in the recent Banbury music competition.
English – Emily Campbell was awarded a certificate for the BBC 500 word essay.
Maths- Twelve children received mathletics certificates. Well done to all of them. Red numeracy badges were awarded to Saffron Cool, Charlie Phillips and Francesca Williams. Yellow badges went to Freddie Marsh, George Slater and Charles Thomasin-Foster. Green was awarded to Alec Wilkinson and Venisha Nembang achieved Blue.
House Points – Evie McBain, Oliver Riley, Ben Turner and James Whyld all achieved 5+ awards this week. Bronze certificates went to Charlie Phillips, Inigo Fleming, Saul French, Abubakr Komiljonov and Jack Thornton and Silver certificates went to Louis Aspray, Reuben Goryn, Annabelle Bath, Molly Meredith and Saskia Wilkinson.
This week’s House point winners were Fyfe. There you go, a marathon but so worthwhile. Well done everybody.
Well done to all our Student of the Term winners. A full list will be issued in a future Newsletter and the board will be updated as soon as possible.
I am looking forward to seeing everyone at the Queen’s birthday beacon tomorrow evening and don’t forget your red, white and blue for school tomorrow and for the evening if you so wish. I hope everyone is in fine singing voice in order to pay tribute to our Queen.

Monday, 18 April 2016

Birthday Beacon

I am disappointed to hear that very few families are coming to celebrate the Queen’s birthday with us on Thursday. I am sure this is just something that has been pushed to the back of your minds in your busy lives, but please respond as we are expecting all the choirs to sing and all the children to sing the Queen’s song that they wrote during Theme Week. I hope to hear from lots more of you.

Friday, 15 April 2016

Friday afternoon

I cannot believe it is only the end of week 1. What a week it has been and it is lovely to see the children back at work and full of enthusiasm. None more so than our senior pupils who will all be auditioning tomorrow for parts in this year’s Summer Production of “Dazzle”. This is a relatively new play written by Andrew Bailey for Limelight Musicals. It is very much in the style of a big West End show and has plenty of scope for large parts; singing and non-singing and some great cameo type roles. I am looking forward to seeing everyone in Prep 6, 7 and 8 tomorrow morning and would take this opportunity to remind you that day pupils need to bring a picnic lunch and refreshments for throughout the day.

I am delighted to tell you that we have received a certificate from the charity “Shelter” acknowledging the £350 we sent them as a result of Christmas open house morning. With our support they are able to help millions of people each year who go to them for advice. It is shocking that every 11 minutes a family loses their home in Britain and over 100.000 children were homeless at Christmas 2015. With gifts like ours they are able to help these children and ensure their young lives are disrupted as little as possible. Our charitable giving throughout the year makes it possible for the charities we support to help those hardest hit in our country and overseas. The money we sent as a result of our Harvest Festival last year meant that child refugees in war torn countries were given access to clean water and basic food items and it is important for our pupils to appreciate how lucky they are and to help, wherever they can, children at home and around the world.

We are all looking forward to our “Student of the Term” assembly on Monday and to hearing last term’s house point winners. As last year there will be an outing for the winners of the house points in the first week of the summer holiday. Being nominated for a student of the term award is a fantastic achievement in itself and gives everyone something to aspire to. These awards are presented to the pupil who fulfils a number of criteria and it is not just for being the best. They are given for enthusiasm, a willingness to extend their own learning, for reading around the subject, for contribution in class, improved assessment and examination marks as well as commitment to the subject. This makes it a level playing field for all pupils and something that every single pupil can achieve.

I cannot believe that today Sally and I look back 24 years to the birth of our third child. Where did those years go? It is equally hard to believe that in less than 6 weeks we will be the parents of 5 adults and that in 10 weeks’ time we shall have no children at school. This is both a wonderful and sobering thought. Wonderful because after nearly 3 decades of school fees we won’t have any more to pay, but know that it has been money well spent and sobering because it means we are getting old!

I hope everyone has a lovely weekend.






Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Welcome back

I do hope that you all had a very pleasant Easter holiday and that you enjoy time together as a family. Term as we all know has resumed and it feels very busy. We have welcomed new children into Kindergarten, Transition, Prep 2, Prep 3, Prep 6 and Prep 8. The latter two pupils coming to us from Italy and France respectively. I know that our current pupils will make them all feel very welcome.
I do hope you will all be coming along to the lighting of the birthday beacon to celebrate the Queen’s birthday next Thursday. This is a very historic event and it would be great for all our pupils to be part of it. There will be traditional games of pass the parcel, musical chairs and musical mats as well as a Treasure Hunt. The children will have spent the day dressed in red, white and blue and adults are also invited to dress patriotically. Refreshments will be on sale and hopefully there will be a real party atmosphere with singing and music. I am very much looking forward to it and hope you are too.
This Saturday is audition day for the Summer Production for Prep 6, 7 and 8. It is the best chance to audition for a part in this play which is planned to be the first in the new Performing Arts Centre; something we are all looking forward to. I visited the new building on Monday and was very impressed with the developments and the whole building. The stage area is very impressive and the auditorium looks so much larger and lighter. I have put some pictures into this blog. I apologise if they are a little dark!
I was lucky enough to spend a week in the Easter holidays with those children from Prep 6, 7 and 8 who went to France. It was one of the very best trips I have ever been on and the children were a most delightful group. They all got on, they interacted well and they threw themselves into the activities with enthusiasm and had a great deal of fun. They worked well together as a group, both as a whole group and as year groups. This is a very important aspect of school life and it was interesting to observe the children where I had been told there were social issues and problems, because they certainly were not evident and did not appear on the trip. Residential trips are such a great bonding experience and I was disappointed to hear that some year groups are being “lobbied” into not going on these trips. I find this disturbing in this democratic country of ours and especially as “democracy” is our word of the week.
Let us all hope that the weather stays pleasant and that we will soon be hearing those summer sounds such as shrieks of delight from the swimming pool and the sound of leather on willow from the games field as well as the excited laughter and chatter of children enjoying their break times in the sunshine and the open air. Most of all let’s hope that the term is an exciting, successful and happy one for everybody connected with Hatherop Castle. I, as always, look forward to seeing you at the many events that will be happening this term.

Wednesday, 16 March 2016


After their hockey victory this afternoon at Beaudesert by 4 goals to 3, I am delighted that our Firsts seven-a-side hockey team have had an unbeaten season and have notched up victories over New College, Oxford, Pinewood, The Downs, Malvern and Beaudesert today. Well done boys, I feel sure there must be a chocolate reward, or similar attached to this fantastic performance and endeavour. Not to be outdone the senior girls won their netball match against Wycliffe today by 14-12 in a very fiercely and evenly contested match. Well done girls. Although we always promote how important it is to take part, it is also a great feeling to win. One very happy Headmaster who is now off to get ready for the first evening performance of the Middle School Production, “The Blue Crystal”. I can but hope the children do as well as they did yesterday afternoon.




Friday, 4 March 2016

Wednesday, 2 March 2016

Busy times

It has been a very busy period at school with exam week and then Theme week and now we have had our I.S.I inspection announced. The inspection begins next Tuesday and lasts until next Friday 8th – 11th March. I have sent details of the parent questionnaire for you to complete and I hope as many of you as possible will do so. We are the third Wishford school to be inspected this term.
Theme week was excellent and culminated in a superb Open Morning last Saturday. It was good to see so many prospective and current parents and all those who attended could not fail to be impressed and moved by the words that the children wrote and sang as a tribute to our Queen using the tune of All Things Bright and Beautiful”. I hope that it is going to be recorded and put on the website for all of you to listen to and enjoy. Huge thanks to all those parents who very kindly provided tours for the visitors and to our senior pupils who accompanied the tours and provided valuable information for parents who wanted to know about our school.
The Middle School Production is coming along well and the children have learnt their lines and are getting the idea of listening for their cues. I do hope we will be able to produce the show, but rehearsal will be limited during inspection week because inspectors would, I am sure, much rather see the children in the classrooms. I know you will all understand but feel sure the children will, as always, rise to the challenge. The Prep 3L class assembly will continue as planned next week, but parents please be aware that it is very cosy in the Dr Moorhead room with the scenery set up for the play! Also the planned visits for Prep 2, 7 & 8 will continue as stated on the school calendar. We shall all look forward to the play and the end of term and I look forward to seeing you at the events between now and the 18th March. Please remember the Easter Fete on the last morning of term and get your competition entries ready