Headmaster’s Newsletter – 23 March 2018

Dear Parents,

A truly rounded education is not simply about exam results, important though these undoubtedly are, but rather to give children as many opportunities as possible to explore and discover what excites and inspires them. These can be in academia, in the arts or on the sports field and perhaps even all three. As our school motto says, “A child’s mind is not a vessel to be filled but a fire to be kindled” and it is our passion to discover these and then help them to flourish.

Wednesday was a day that exemplified this. Assembly celebrated every area of school life and it was wonderful to see so many parents supporting their children. Firstly there were awards for the annual Main School Essay Writing Competition. The range and breadth of interpretation of the subject impressed the judges and showed the freethinking spirit that we hope to foster in our pupils. Thank you to the English department for their work in organising this and for World Book Day earlier this term. I’m pleased to say that I can now give you the updated total of £1,140.27 that has been raised for The Children’s Literacy Charity.

Swimming is a vital part of life at Hill House and we were able to give out awards to the champion swimmers from each year group following the strongly contested swimming galas of the previous two weeks. Added to this were the awards for Sportsmanship and Sports Half Colours and Full Colours. Congratulations to all our award winners.

The importance of music needs no additional explanation from me. In a first for an Assembly we had a film made by the pupils in the Betas and Gammas about French and French music with interviews of various members of staff talking about what it means to them followed by a lusty song which, quite apart from the language, could only be French. Thank you to Madame Bacha for masterminding this tour de force. We should not forget the seasonal offering from the massed violins too.

The same evening was the second night of the magnificent Lower Sixth production of Wind in the Willows. As Mr Barnett and Mrs Allen said in their letter to parents yesterday, “We wanted to praise and congratulate the cast on a superb effort both in preparing for the show and performing it. …What greatly pleased us about this production was the camaraderie, teamwork, hard work and general togetherness of the entire group.” Thank you to Miss van der Westhuizen and Mrs Beckley for the all of their efforts to produce such a wonderful show.

Taken together it is all of these opportunities that create what we hope will be interesting and enquiring young people.

Congratulations to Small School and Miss Jarvis on being awarded the Healthy Early Years Gold Award for Emotional Wellbeing. This award was given by the Tri-Borough Early Years Partnership at their conference earlier this week where Miss Jarvis had been invited as a guest speaker. They cheekily waited until after she had delivered her presentation before announcing they had indeed awarded Hill House the Gold Award. This is the culmination of a journey through Bronze and Silver awards over the last few years. Well done to all.

Small, Lower and Middle Schools have been resplendent over the past few days in their Easter bonnets; thank you to all those who helped them with these spectacular creations.

On the subject of clothing, a reminder that next term we change to Summer Uniform. There will be a Secondhand Uniform Shop in Cadogan Gardens on the first Tuesday of term, 17 April. There is a flyer attached to this newsletter.

With best wishes for a restful Easter holiday,

Richard Townend

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