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 activités 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

Monday, 22 February 2016

Return to school

It was lovely to see everyone this morning and I had a lovely morning spending time with Prep 8, who were all on great form. Theme week is such a good time to spend with our forms carrying out various tasks and generally enjoying spending time with them. It is a week when we can learn new skills and cover new ideas as well. I hope everyone enjoys the week and that you are able to join us for some time on Saturday at Open Morning to look at the displays and the exhibition of Theme Week work. All the children should be here for 8.45am on Saturday ready to take part in the planned activities all centred around the Queen’s 90th Birthday. Parent and visitors will also be able to enjoy the W.I café manned by Prep 8 who are studying the 100 history of the W.I this week.
Well done to our Lego Robotics team who took part in the National Finals on Sunday. They came a very respectable 9th out of 44 teams, thus making them 9th overall out of the original 500+ teams who entered the competition. I think that for our first effort in this competition we have done brilliantly and I am very proud of the boys and Mr Parkin. I would also like to thank Mr Ian Bailey for all his support and assistance with the team. Well done Pablo, Bilol, Joseph, Harry, Laurence and Saul.
If you haven’t seen the developments with the Performing Arts Centre I am delighted to report that there is now a roof and it is beginning to really take shape.

Saturday, 20 February 2016

Half term

I hope you have all had a very good half term, didn't it fly by? Best of luck to our Lego  Robotics team at the National finals tomorrow. Theme week starts at school on Monday and I am looking forward to seeing everyone. Enjoy the week end

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Nearly half term

It is hard to believe it is the week leading up to half term. It is very interesting just walking around the school and going from the silence of exam week to the animated and excited preparations for the House Music competition on Friday; I am really looking forward to it with my usual anticipation. Congratulations must go to our 8 fabulous gymnasts who competed at the I.S.A. National Gymnastics Competition last Sunday. Our U9 girls were placed 7th out of 12 and our U11 girls were placed 3rd out of 15 schools with Annabelle Bath taking overall 5th position out of 65 competitors. A huge well done also to Amy Barrows who at aged 7 was the youngest competitor of the day and was highly congratulated by the judges for her potential for the future. The teams were Isabel Thorn, Ava Morling Sophie Bath and Amy for the U9s and Annabelle, Georgia Morling, Bethany Leach and Ellie Jupp competed for the U11s. What made it even more impressive was that the other schools had large squads to choose from, but our Hatherop girls had to compete in everything as they were just teams of 4. I am so proud of them and delighted with their performance. Thanks also to Miss Scott for preparing them and giving up so much of her time. I have just had the termly Parents Working Party meeting and gymnastics is obviously very popular thanks to Miss Scott’s enthusiasm and incredible ability.

Congratulations also to Jaymee Savill who last weekend represented HCS at the National Schools Equestrian Association (NSEA) Dressage Championships at Millfield. Jaymee won her class of 52 competitors and has now qualified to go through to the National Dressage Championships in October. This is a fantastic success for her and for us.




Thursday, 4 February 2016

swap day!

I am writing this to you as I prepare for my swap day tomorrow. Lila Murray will be Headmistress for the day and I am going to spend part of my day following Lila’s routine. I am rather pleased it is Maths Day as looking at her timetable it would have been P.E and double games – I think I was being stitched up! It will be good to see how the school day runs for Prep 6 and I do hope they will accept me into their midst. I must admit that I am a little nervous about the prospect of being back in the classroom as a pupil. I am not sure I was ever very good at it! Can’t write for long as I need to go and get my uniform ready. I am sure you will hear all about it and for now I am just going to go and practise sitting crossed legged on the floor as it is a long time since I have done so and I am not sure I can!

Huge thanks and appreciation to the Prep 2 parents who turned up for the meeting tonight. I found it very reassuring to hear what they had to say and it reiterated my belief that we are so lucky to have such supportive and appreciative parents. Being a parent is hard work and I speak as a parent of long standing. It is never easy and it is sometimes very hard to keep things in perspective, but we must as we are their role models and sitting in the meeting tonight confirmed for me that our pupils are very lucky to have such positive role modelling. After all we are all here for the benefit and good of the children and I shall continue to strive for the best for all of them no matter how hard or testing it is.

Time to go as dinner awaits and I haven’t seen my wife since Monday evening. Whilst writing can I ask that you all please spare a thought for Mrs Barrows who is very poorly and is currently in hospital. She is a very special lady and we all miss her and wish her well and a speedy recovery. Live each day positively and to the full as none of us know what is around the next corner!







Thursday, 28 January 2016

A special memorial day

I do not know if any of you watched the service yesterday evening to commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day, but it was incredibly harrowing and moving. The personal memories of the holocaust survivors was particularly touching and a very clear reminder why we must never forget. Aushwitz survivor Susan Pollock told of how she was so dehumanised that she could not even cry when her mother went to the gas chamber! The January 27 memorial date is significant as it is the same date that the Nazi's biggest and most infamous concentration camp Auschwitz-Birkenau was liberated in 1945. Whilst I appreciate the horrors of this period in history it is so important that these innocent victims of a despotic tyrant are never forgotten. Watching this programme certainly put everything into perspective. I believe that the mass murder of groups of people to be immoral and believe that as responsible, moral adults we have a duty to ensure our young people, whilst not being terrified, have the chance to give thought to people throughout the world who suffer on a daily basis.

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Sports results

I felt you would all like to know about some excellent sports results and feel that with 2 blogs in one day I am redeeming myself and catching up with having been quiet for such a long time – so unlike me!
Ben Turner took part in the Newham Junior Foil Challenge Series event last weekend in London. The standard of competition was high and Ben did well in his pool rounds to be seeded 12th. He battled his way through the direct elimination bouts to be narrowly beaten in the last 16 though improved his seeding up to 10th. This was a very encouraging performance against a strong field of competitors. Well done Ben.
 Good luck to Jaymee Savill who is competing in the Southern Regional Championships this Sunday aiming to qualify for the British Youth Championships to be held at the English Institute of Sport, Sheffield on May bank holiday. Go for it Jaymee!
I also want to say a huge well done to our 3 swimmers who went to the Olympic Park last Saturday to compete in the ISA National Finals. Jaymee Savill, Alex Cunningham and Rory Mackellar were all most impressed by the venue and had achieved so much just to be there. Well done!
Our Cross Country team have been in action today and hot off the press I am delighted to tell you that all 4 boys ran well and Jack Andrews came 2nd, Felix Aspray 8th, Archie Combe 9th and Jonny Harvey 26th. Well done boys. 55 boys ran in U11 race. It is great news and means that the 3 Top 10 places all qualify for the national finals later this term.
We were 2nd in the team event, missing out on 1st place by two points with 16 school teams competing. This is a great achievement and I am very proud of all 4 runners.
I do believe that these results along with the weekly team results on Wednesday afternoons and our fencing victories show how much we are improving and achieving in this very important physical area of the curriculum. It is important that I also say thank you and well done to the games staff lead so well by Nigel Bailey our Director of Sport.

Catch up

My apologies for having been so remiss in my blogging so far this term; I will try and do better, starting with this catch up blog. We has our usual Wednesday assembly today and Prep 5P gave us a very informative and incredibly useful one on Internet safety and how we must treat others when using the internet. They spoke about how the Internet is a great facility but must be treated wisely and used with care. They also linked our British Values word of the week into their assembly and told us how we should be celebrating people’s differences and not using those difference to insult or bully others – very sound advice because it would not be tolerated here. I was delighted, as always to a variety of awards. Lucy Cunningham and Louis Aspray got skiing awards, congratulations also to Lucas and Finn  Murphy for their skiing awards earlier in the term and to Lucas for his Pony Club success. Joseph Nichols got his grade 7 swimming badge, Ben Turner got another fencing certificate and he is doing so well in this area and numeracy badges were given to Louis Aspray – Red, Felix  Aspray, Oliver Slater And Barnaby Welch got green and Freya Hudson achieved her blue badge. It has been a very successful term, so far for numeracy badges and our mathematics is becoming a great strength throughout the school. I have included an update of all the pupils who have achieved so far this term in addition to the above children:
RED – Alexandra Bailey, Max Ironside, Charles Thomasin-Foster, George Slater, Lucas Murphy and Arthur Taylor.
YELLOW – Libby Kelly, Cal O’Higgins and Matlida Cowen.
GREEN – Joseph Nichols, Imogen Capper, Elodie Thomas and Lily Taylor.
OWL – Poppy Welch
A total of 40 pupils have received their Bronze certificates for 25 House points and 9 children have received Silver. Well done to them. The winners of the House points last week were Moorhead and this week was won by Fyfe. It must be Bazley’s turn next!
The Parents’ Association Burn’s Night supper was a huge success this year and those that attended not only supported the school but also had a very entertaining evening with an excellent meal. I am delighted to tell you all that with the fantastic contribution form the Kelly girls and the parents’ generosity in purchasing the batik scarves made by every pupil (only 9 parents did not buy so this is a fantastic result) we have raised over £900 and I am so proud of the pupils and the parents for their support, we are hoping that with a few late donations we may be able to send the Xavier project a thousand pounds. Edmund Page, an ex-pupil and the founder of the project will be thrilled and it will do a lot of good for those children and young people he and the charity are educating in Uganda and Kenya.
I am hoping to see lots of parents and prospective parents at our Open Morning on the 27th February. This compulsory school day is designed as a day of learning and fun for the pupils and a chance for us to show off our school, of which we are very proud. I am expecting full attendance on this occasion and there are some great activities planned around the Queen’s 90th birthday celebrations. I am always so grateful to parents who on these occasions put the school first.
Having been on inspection last week I can truthfully say it is always good to come back to Hatherop Castle and be part of such a lively, supportive and smile-filled environment. The pupils at our school are very special, I am sure every Headteacher says that, and so they should as it is them that we are here for. We offer the best we can and our ever improving results in all areas of the curriculum show this. I must end by offering my warmest congratulations to 5 of our senior girls. Emily Kelly, Harriette Cunningham and Hermione Hichens have all been offered Scholarship Awards from King’s School, Gloucester. Emily for music and Harriette and Hermione for drama. In addition Imogen Harvey and Freya Powell both received Scholarship call backs from Malvern St James School. What a talented group of girls we have at the top of our school. Look out for this week’s Newsletter which contains the first of the “Meet The Subject” features, following on from the very popular “Meet The Teacher” feature.

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Start of term

I cannot believe that we are in the second week of term and I have not blogged. May I start by wishing everyone a very Happy New Year and let us hope it will be a successful and peaceful one too. We have lots to look forward to and at last I think we are ready to go firm on a cast list having seen Prep 5 for the second time today. The enthusiasm of the children for drama productions is always infectious and this year was no exception.

We already are in a position to offer congratulations to two girls; Freya Powell and Imogen Harvey who have both received scholarship call backs for Malvern St James, no matter what happens they have both done incredibly well to get this far. I wish them both well. This week King’s Gloucester is holding its scholarship exams and Harriette Cunningham, Hermione Hichens and Emily Kelly are all sitting for drama and music scholarships at this school so we await the results with bated breath.

Last week’s Christingle service was a great start to the term and we were delighted to raise over £200 for the Children’s Society. I have never heard the Prep 2 choir sound better and they reminded us very sincerely about the reason for holding a Christingle service and the importance of acknowledging the importance of Epiphany; the three kings, reprised from the Pre-Prep nativity were excellent and started the service in a very fitting manner.

I have just passed Reception in the corridor bringing their chairs up for their assembly tomorrow and to say they are excited is an understatement! I feel sure they will have a large audience of receptive parents in the morning. Matches start tomorrow with the U11 and U12 girls first netball match against Berkhampstead, so good luck to them. It is also the Parents’ Association meeting tomorrow night. I do hope you all have your tickets for Burn’s Night as it is always a good evening and the Parents’ Association’s first event of the year.

I am sure you will all be pleased to hear that the new Performing Arts Centre is on schedule and as you can all see the building is going up at a very good rate. I understand that next week we shall see the roof being started. I am so sorry about the mud at the moment but feel sure that it is all in a good cause and that hopefully the rain will cease soon and give everywhere a chance to dry out. I look forward to seeing you all during the course of the next few weeks at either events or when I am on morning welcome.

All good wishes for this term


Wednesday, 9 December 2015

End of term

Good evening everyone. Have just finished getting Prep 8’s “assembly” ready for tomorrow. Parents of Prep 8 are most welcome but as it is tight in the Dr Moorhead room family only please, I know that does include some grandparents. It is a fun assembly and hopefully will get our Christmas festivities for the day underway with a bang!

Congratulations to all our pupils who were nominated for Student of the Term this morning and to the individual house point winners. Also congratulations to Ben Turner for his fantastic gold medal win at the Brentwood School Winter tournament 2015 - mixed u9 foil. A fantastic result for Ben and we are so proud of him.

Tomorrow it is Christmas lunch and the Carol Service in St Nicholas Church at 6.30pm. We had the OAP’s and Grandparent’s service this afternoon and it was one of the best ever and the children and Chris Page excelled themselves. Believe me you are in for a real treat.

Please remember it is Christmas Open Morning on Friday and we shall be collecting your charity money at the door. £2 to wear a Christmas jumper and £3 if you are not! Thank you for supporting the charity “Shelter” who will ensure that all out money goes to supporting and helping people far less fortunate than ourselves. At this time of year we spend a lot of time encouraging the children to think of the true meaning of Christmas and that it is not all about receiving presents but is about thinking of others and putting ourselves at the back of the queue. In this period of Advent I can but hope that we can all enter into the spirit of Christmas and I hope you will all enjoy the morning.  All the children will be singing their Christmas songs and there will be a number for stalls for you to buy including the senior pupils’ Business Enterprise stall and the Hatherop Christmas stall as well as the raffle and the café. I am looking forward to seeing you all at this event.


Saturday, 5 December 2015

Lego Robotics

Brilliant, amazing fantastic news hot off the press. Our Lego Robotics team have won the First Lego League competition they went to in Newbury today. The team of Pablo Elustondo, Saul French, Harry Archard, Bilol Komiljonov and Laurence Archard have returned triumphant! They were an incredible 150 points ahead of their nearest rivals after the  robot game section, which they won. Then they won the overall competition, which included giving their presentation to a panel of expert Lego judges and they were also judged on their teamwork and core values. Congratulations must also go to our very own Mr Parkin and Mr Hogan for all their support and advice and a very special thank you to  Ian Bailey (parent) who gives up his own time to come in and help run the robotics club and to give the boys advice on how to improve their robot. This is our very first competition of this kind and the boys’ enthusiasm and commitment to this project has been total and whilst it was a big ask, in typical Hatherop Castle fashion, we persevered and have come out in a position that is becoming all too familiar for us. Hot on the heels of our two ISA awards for excellence we have shown that we can lead the way in this area too. Now we are through to the National Finals which will be held at Loughborough next year.

Thursday, 3 December 2015

Missing everyone

Am on inspection this week and hope all is well back at the ranch. Looking forward to hearing the choir sing at 6.30pm tomorrow in the market square in Fairford. Hope lots of people will support them and the Christmas market

Friday, 27 November 2015

End of another week.

Wow! What a busy and successful time we have been having. Hot on the heels of the ISA awards came the fantastic results that all 3 boys who sat from Prep 7; Saul French, Joseph McIntosh and Jack Thornton have all been offered A list places at Abingdon school following academic papers and interviews. This means that Hatherop Castle has shown everyone that we can achieve excellence in our academics and that our pupils are wonderfully prepared for the top senior schools our parents choose. As one parent said, “It just shows Mr E that you just have to have faith and stick with Hatherop”. I could not agree more. We are so pleased for the boys and the staff and I much appreciate the thanks and accolades given to us from their parents. Hatherop Castle School is a great place to be educated and it is these sorts of results that make it all worthwhile. There are many aspects to the education of our pupils and I was delighted to witness the enthusiasm of our Prep 3 boys (and their parents) at our U8 Tag Rugby Festival on Wednesday afternoon. I could not believe my luck when my early afternoon appointment cancelled and I was able to get out and enjoy an hour of rugby. The boys played magnificently and despite have missing players due to illness they battled on all afternoon and came away with some great results. I just loved the way they all looked at me when they scored and grinned. I did not let them down and cheered until hoarse! The parents who were lucky enough to attend had a great afternoon too and it was lovely to see so many of them there.

Well done to Prep 4B for their beautiful assembly this week on animals. They shared their lovely, well-written poems with us and they spoke clearly and read really well. Congratulations to Inigo Fleming on his footballing award for his goal-keeping and to Lucas Murphy for another Judo award. Charlotte Wood was awarded with a medal for being her rugby club’s Player of the Week and Rory Mackellar, Saul French, Freya Powell and Ava Dean-Smith received commemorative programmes following their participation earlier this term in the Monmouth School’s Prep Schools’ Challenge quiz. Bronze Certificates were awarded to: Annabelle Bath, Lucy Cunningham, Esme Kinch, Margaux Kinch and Petra Nunn and 5+awards went to Amy Barrows, Annabelle Bath, Ava Dean-Smith, Tia McBain, Petra Nunn,  Jaymee Savill, Jemima Vesey, Poppy Welch and Francesca Williams. The winning house this week was Moorhead. Well done to all of them.

Dates for your diary:

Week Commencing Monday 30th November:

Wednesday 2nd : 1TF assembly. Girls hockey U10 & U11 v Westonbirt (H)

Thursday 3rd : Last Pre-Prep swimming session.

Friday 4th: Senior Chapel Choir singing at Fairford Christmas market at 6.30pm.

Saturday 5th: Lego Robotics competition at Newbury. 7:45am depart from school.


Week Commencing Monday 7th December:

Tuesday 8th: Pre-Prep Nativity at 9.30 and 10.30am.

Wednesday 9th: O.A.P’s and Grandparents Carol Servicel in St Nicholas Church at 2.15, followed by tea in the dining hall.

Thursday 10th: School Christmas lunch and Post boxes. 6.30pm Candlelit Carol Service.

Friday  11th: Christmas Open Morning for all. Christmas Jumper morning £2 for wearing a Christmas jumper and £3 for not doing so.  All funds raised from the jumpers will go to “Shelter”  Please remember there will be a raffle and a number of stalls for you to buy from. Term ends at 12.30pm

Have a lovely weekend everyone. I do hope you enjoy the final China Newsletter.




Friday, 20 November 2015

Busy Week

It has been a very busy week here at Hatherop Castle. So much has happened. You all know that the week started brilliantly with our 2 awards from I.S.A. The children have responded well to National Anti-Bullying week and have taken part in all the activities. Miss Gore-Browne and members of School Council took assembly on Tuesday and gave us all food for thought. On Wednesday Prep 6 under the expert guidance of Mr Hogan and Mrs Lish gave us a truly thought provoking and memorable assembly. The work they had done on anti-bullying was superb and the whole school and the gathered parents could not fail to be moved and impressed by their work and their delivery of a very emotive and important subject. We all took on board what they were saying and we hope it all goes beyond just this week. We concluded that we must never stay quiet about bullying as we need to move past it and make a success of our lives. We left the room all making a very loud noise as per the instructions “Make A Noise for anti-bullying”. During the Assembly I gave out his very first judo belt to Lucas Murphy. Numeracy badges were awarded to several children. Red was presented to Reuben Goryn,  yellow to Alec Wilkinson and green to Charlie Richardson and Joshua Streeter. Bronze certificates for 25 House points went to Sophie Bath, Ewan Ellson, Hamza Komiljonov, Ava Morling and James Whyld. 5+ awards went to 10 children  and the winning house this week was Fyfe. I was also very pleased to see children achieving bronze Mathletics certificates and Evie McBain getting her silver Mathletics certificate. Most impressive were the 3 large and beautiful cups presented to Theo Whalley-Hoggins following his success in 3 separate classes at the Shipston band Music Festival; I am looking forward to hearing him play in assembly in the near future.
Our sports results on Wednesday were superb and congratulations to all those who represented the school at the various matches. Girls:- U10 v Chandlings won 2-0, U11 v Chandlings won 8-2, U9 v Dean Close won 6-0. U9 Boys at the Wycliffe rugby Festival beat Berkhampstead 4 tries – 0, beat St Edward’s, Cheltenham 5 tries – 0 and drew with St Hugh’s 6 tries all. Excellent!
Congratulations to Prep 8 who have completed their mock Common Entrance examinations this week and Prep 4, 7 & 8 have done their CATs tests.
I hope you will enjoy reading instalment 2 of my travels in China and I look forward to seeing some of you at this afternoon’s instrumentalist concert. I hope you all have a lovely weekend and that everyone is fighting fit again by Monday.

Monday, 16 November 2015

Mixed emotions

Today is a very happy day for us here at Hatherop Castle having won two Independent Schools Association awards on Friday night at the annual awards dinner. I was delighted to win one and could not believe it when our name was called out the second time. Chris Page, Ed Parkin and myself were on our feet and beside ourselves with excitement. I am so proud and happy not for myself but for the staff, parents and pupils who give so much to this school. Winning the Excellence in the Arts award has come just at the commencement of the building of the new Performing Arts Centre so that is most appropriate. To win the Excellence in Provision and Innovation award is a real achievement. For so long I have known how good we are and it is a great feeling to get this public recognition.
However, the day is tinged with sadness as we have just held our minute’s silence out of respect for France and the dreadful events in Paris on Friday evening. The first question on everyone’s lips is “Why” and we are unable to provide answers. As peace loving people with families our hearts go out to those people who have been affected by this murder and violence towards mankind. What are we becoming and where will it end? This world of ours is a beautiful place and yet we are in danger of watching it being destroyed by the mindless minority. I am not a political animal but feel that something has to be done to protect us and the rest of the innocent people and nations in the world. Today sees the start of anti-bullying week and was there ever a more unpleasant event to illustrate how important it is that we respect each other and show love and kindness wherever we can. France is in my thoughts and prayers and I hope that the world leaders at the G20 summit are united in their condemnation of these events as well as committed to doing something to protect us all. Forgive my soap box moment and have a good day.

Friday, 13 November 2015

ISA Awards

am delighted to tell you that Hatherop Castle has won two awards: the Excellence in the Arts and Junior/Prep school award for Excellence and Innovation in Provision i.e Best Prep School at tonight's ISA annual awards dinner.  I am so pleased that the hard work of myself and the staff has been recognised and that the achievements of the pupils has been acknowledged in these awards. I am both pleased and honoured to be leading such a fantastic establishment. Well done Hatherop and I raise a glass to you all in recognition of the amazing support we receive. We could not have achieved this without everyone involved with H.C.S. 

ISA Conference

Two great talks this morning on designing the Educational landscape and the Curriculum. A lot to think about and lots to discuss. All goes to show we can't be complacent and we all need to look at our educational compass! Fascinating and so useful. Ben Gibbs and Dr Clare Brooks two great speakers.

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Wednesday Assembly

It is good to be back at the helm and a huge thank you to all those parents who have asked about my trip to China and who have said how much they enjoyed the blog. It means a lot! I am putting together a diary of my trip and hope that you will enjoy reading it, probably in instalments over the next few weeks in the Newsletter.

We have experienced the most powerful and moving assembly this morning on Remembrance and Armistice Day by 5P. They presented their research and the poems they had found about Remembrance and they spoke with such clarity and feeling that several people were visibly moved and we certainly emphasised the fact that we at Hatherop Castle will not be forgetting the incredible sacrifice made by those men and women who have fight and still fight to keep us safe and free.

As always there were a lot of presentations and I was delighted by the achievement of all the children. Jaymee Savill demonstrated quite clearly her ability in two very different sporting events; she received a gold medal for the Southern Regional team U14 foil championships and a bronze medal for the Wycliffe Junior U12 Open Foil competition. Jaymee also received a huge bag full of rosettes for competing over the last 4 weekends and she won 5 classes and came 2nd in one other. She also received a 1st and 3rd rosette and a 1st and 2nd rosette for competing on two ponies in the same classes at the same competition. Finally Jaymee achieved her Pony Club “C” standard efficiency certificate which tested both her practical and theoretical knowledge of her riding skills and horsemanship. Amy Barrows was presented with a trophy for being named Gymnast of the Year at her club for the 5-8 year category. Lucas Murphy was awarded a judo medal for his recent participation in a club competition. Tia McBain won a Gold medal for her Modern dance and a Bronze medal for her Lyrical dance at a recent Eisteddford. Well done to all those individual awards.

Numeracy badges were given to Freddie Marsh and Ned Welstead who achieved red, Julia Homersham received her yellow badge and Hamza Komiljonov received his blue badge.  26 children were presented with 5+ pens for housepoints and the following children received their 25 housepoint bronze certificates. Amy Barrows, Noah Goryn, Molly Meredith, Venisha Nembang, Oliver Slater and Henry Thorn. A special mention to Elodie Thomas who received her bronze certificate last week and was the first pupil to do so this academic year.

Once again a huge well done to 5P and Mr Parkin for giving us all a lot to think about and to be grateful for. We as a school will be acknowledging the 2 minute silence at 11 o’clock and I must say I was appalled to hear on the news this morning that 40% of 18 – 25 years olds did not know what Armistice Day was! I do hope as many of you as possible will be attending our Remembrance Evensong at 4.30pm today. Can we actually afford to forget?




Monday, 2 November 2015


It is lovely to be back in the U. K. I enjoyed my trip to China and for an acknowledged non lover of aeroplanes and flying I am very proud of myself having done 4 flights in 9 days. Yesterday's flight home from Shanghai was fine and went smoothly until we reached the London fog and had to wait 40 minutes to land and then another 25 minutes for a free gate in order to get off the plane. China is a fascinating country and the people were very welcoming. Now in London to do my Compliance Inspector training but looking forward to seeing everyone at Bonfire night. I am looking forward to putting all my news about China into an article for you all to read. I hope the second half of term has started well and a very warm welcome to Sarah Whalley-Hoggins who is now teaching Prep 5 with Mr Parkin.

Saturday, 31 October 2015

Final day

My last day in China is nearly over and I suppose I had better try and get some sleep before the long flight home tomorrow. China has been very enlightening and I have seen a good number of developments that make you rethink the Chinese stereotype. The children are not all passive learners and they really engage in the progressive schools where teachers have adopted a more western approach to learning. There are still some very formal parts of their day but they don't seem to mind that. It could of course just be acceptance. I have met some very lovely people and had interesting conversations. The education exhibition this morning and my presentation at New Oriental education went well. A panel of 6 journalists asked some very sensible questions and were keen to know if our schools were like the recent BBC documentary! I have seen an amazing blend of old and new in Shanghai and will add some pictures. Whilst I have enjoyed my Chinese experience and learned a lot it will be lovely to get home and see my family. Being away always makes you realise that there is no substitute for family. I hope you have all had a good half term and are ready for the return to school. Enjoy Sunday.

The old...

The new...

My journalist interviewers...

The Yangtze River with the Mercedes Benz theatre that looks like a spaceship has landed!

Education Expo

Time for another exhibition today. This time it is the Shanghai Expo at the magnificent Expo centre. It is busy with agents and parents and I have just done yet another press interview and we all continue to fly the flag for British independent education. Must admit I could do with some sleep! Have a good weekend everyone.


Have been out and about in Shanghai tonight. It is only the second time we have been sight seeing but the Pearl Tower, Shanghai Old Town and the Yangtze River were amazing.

Friday, 30 October 2015


I have just sat down from giving my presentation. The Chinese audience clapped and laughed in the right places and seemed to receive it well. This might have been because the translator didn't say a single thing I said, (but I think she did!). They were also very impressed with our building and grounds and there were audible oohs and aahs! I cannot believe I have been in China so long and that half term is nearly over. This morning we went to an International School in Shanghai and this proved very interesting and we saw the daily exercise class for 1500 pupils. Those that did not have the correct kit for the class did 20 laps of the 800m track - a long way and they were exhausted but kept going. Look out anyone who doesn't complete my prep!! (obviously just a joke; this is something that the Chinese really do not understand) The phrase, "That's just the British sense of humour" has been well-used over the last 8 days. This will come to you as you are waking up so have a good day. I am hoping that there might be a chance to see some of Shanghai later on this evening.