Headmaster’s Newsletter – 30 November 2018

Dear Parents,

As we move into the final week and a half of term Christmas is looming large over most activities. Next week we have the Small School Christmas plays on Tuesday and Wednesday and on Friday it is the turn of Middle School. The Christmas tree is up and decorated in Cadogan Garden and this has already sparked a number of impromptu carol singing sessions.

There were Showcases in Founders’ Hall every night this week. On Monday we had Mr Lau’s violinists, on Tuesday and Thursday our guitarists and on Wednesday Mrs White’s cellists. There have been ten music showcases since Half Term in which an impressive 207 different pupils have performed. Of these 207 some have performed twice or even three times. This brings to a close the term’s music showcases as Founders’ Hall is now devoted to the Drama department and Christmas plays, carrying on from their own showcases earlier in the term.

The number of children participating in music in one form or another is a particular strength of Hill House. Evidence of this was the Cadogan Choir who sang for us during Assembly this week. The choir is made up of children in Upper School; there is no audition to join and numbers about eighty. The joy and enthusiasm they brought to their performance shone through. Thank you to Miss Fisher and Mr Brown for continuing to inspire these children.

We are always looking for ways in which children from different years groups can come together and for the older ones to help the younger ones. One way is in music but another is through reading. In Cadogan Gardens we have been running a programme where children in Upper Beta and Gamma are helping children in Lower School as “Reading Buddies”. Between 8.00 and 8.30am each morning the Reading Buddies listen to the younger children read and then fill in their reading logs. The buddies enjoy the responsibility it gives them and the younger ones take a great deal from being helped by the older children. As one of the older children said, “I liked Thomas when I first met him. I like reading with him. He is my friend.”

Next Thursday the girls in Lower Transitus will be visiting the Charles Dickens Museum in Holborn. Dickens lived in this house between March 1837 and December 1839. It was while living here he wrote Oliver Twist and Nicholas Nickleby. The girls will be taking part in some workshops that involve artefact handling and characterisation. The trip is tying into the work the girls have been doing on Victorian London, and also on A Christmas Carol, which the girls have been studying in English.

Today the Choral Scholars have left for a weekend in Switzerland. While there they will be singing a concert in Montreux, the Sunday morning service in St. John’s Territet and also a short concert in the chalet as part of the Glion Fênetre de l’Advent. This is a tradition where throughout advent the people of the village welcome each other into their homes for a glass of wine and some bonhomie. You do not need to go to Switzerland to hear the boys, as they will be performing a programme of Christmas music at St. Margaret Lothbury in the City of London this Thursday, 6 December at 1.10pm. All parents are welcome, particularly those who work in the City. The concert is free with a retiring collection and will be finished by 2.00pm. There will be no wine but plenty of tea, coffee and bonhomie.

A date for your diary, the Brass Ensemble will be playing carols and other Christmas favourites in Peter Jones on Monday 10 December between 5 and 6pm. Head to the escalators and you will find them.

Next week is the final week of individual music lessons and ensembles.

Thank you for checking for lost property. As we come towards the end of term and the excitement of Christmas increases so too does the pile of lost property. Please continue to check that all the items of uniform you have at home are indeed yours. If you do find any items that belong to somebody else please hand them in as soon as possible. The rightful owners will be very happy to have them back.

For anyone who has not yet ordered individual and/or class photographs it is not too late to do so. I understand that the late fee for any orders will be waived until Christmas. Please contact Jojo directly using the information on the packs that were sent home earlier this term.

Best wishes,

Richard Townend

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