Headmaster’s Newsletter – 24 February 2017

Dear Parents,

The Assembly on Wednesday was spectacular. The church was packed with what felt like a record attendance of parents and friends. Lower School gave a wonderfully dramatic telling of The Tortoise and the Hare. For these children, who are only five or six years old, to remember so much and perform so clearly and passionately is testament to the hard work that both their teachers and you as parents have put in. The hard work paid off. Thank you. Focus then switched to the balcony as the Brass Ensemble gave us fine renditions of The Good, the Bad and the Ugly and Sousa’s The Liberty Bell, made famous by Monty Python. We are very fortunate to have Mr. SC who inspires our brass players and creates all the arrangements for them to perform. I don’t know of any other prep school that has a Brass ensemble able to perform at a school assembly every week of the year. The entertainment kept coming with the now traditional French Song from the Betas and Gammas. This time we were treated to Les Champs-Élysées by Joe Dassin. Thank you to Madame Bacha for once again masterminding this along with the musical contributions of Mr. Brown, Mr. Winter and Mr. Su’a. Jake Campbell gave an impressive reading of Thinking by Walter D Wintle. We were also able to present what are perhaps our most important sporting awards to our youngest pupils. Swimming is a vital part of a Hill House education. It is a very good thing that when the children from Small School come to an Assembly for the first time they are not merely spectators but celebrated for being there.

It was a busy week in Founders’ Hall. On Tuesday the String Orchestra gave a very well balanced programme of ensemble pieces interspersed with solos from within the group. Wednesday was the turn of the Brass with solos, several duets including two sets of brothers, and massed ensembles. Thursday was the Schumann Piano Competition. We were very grateful that Mr. Chris Dyer, Head of Music at Sevenoaks School, came to adjudicate along with Benjamin Righetti from Lausanne Switzerland. Mr. Dyer gave very helpful and positive feedback to all the performers on the night. We applaud Pascal Bachmann on being awarded first prize and congratulate all the other prize-winners.

Mufti Day before Half Term raised £2,015 for the Great Ormond Street Hospital Bay Hair Day campaign. Thank you for your generosity. They are very grateful to have received our donation.

Thursday next week is World Book Day. There will be events taking place throughout the school. Please see the poster attached to this letter. All pupils are invited to come to school in normal school uniform but accessorised as one of their favorite characters from a book of their choice. At 10.15 the whole school will “Drop Everything and Read” for fifteen minutes. All pupils will also be given a book token that can be used at any participating bookshop, including John Sandoe on Blacklands Terrace, the little street opposite the Duke of York’s.


The council are resurfacing the road on the western side of Cadogan Gardens this Monday. The road between the mini-roundabout and the junction with Draycott Avenue will be closed from 8am until the works are completed, which is expected to be late afternoon. The regular “Hill House one-way system” will operate as normal. There will no doubt be some extra congestion. Please be considerate to other road users and follow any instructions from Hill House staff who will be on the street helping to manage the traffic flow.

Finally, the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea is consulting on proposed improvements to Sloane Street in conjunction with the Cadogan Estate. The deadline for comments is 27 February. Please follow this link to the council’s website for full details. Our children walk this road every day and anything to improve the surroundings is to be encouraged.


Best wishes,

Richard Townend

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