Headmaster’s Newsletter – 17 May 2019

This week the first of our summer courses has returned from Glion. The Upper Transitus girls were able to enjoy hiking in the mountains and forests, cooking on an open fire, swimming in the Olympic pool at La Maladaire, with its high diving boards and life in a small mountain village so very different from their experiences in London. There are three further courses in the second half of the term and by the end of this academic year some 220 children will have been able to visit the chalet in Glion. Purpose built it provides a stunning location for our various courses throughout the year and over their time at Hill House all pupils have the opportunity to go there. It proves to be an experience they will never forget and we often have the pleasure of visits from past pupils anxious to revisit the site of their memories. They always ask about “Madame Tomba” and her legendary porridge.  After 48 years at Hill House she has now retired and we have Walter Pfister as our resident chef and Jan Prindash as housekeeper. They already have their admirers among staff and pupils. In particular Walter’s pomme frits have won plaudits from everyone! The only matter for regret is that with the steep rise in travel costs and the weakness of the pound against the Swiss franc these courses have become more expensive than hitherto. In the coming year we have already planned three Geography courses, two Drama and Music courses, a Choral course, six or seven ski courses (depending on snow conditions), and five summer courses. No other primary school offers this range of opportunity and enrichment.

On Tuesday we had the first “Teddy Bears Picnic” for children and parents who will be joining Small School in September. This is one of a number of new events we have been adding in the last year or so to help smooth the transition between Kindergarten or Nursery to Small School. The weather was perfect so we were able to have the entire party outside. Each child had their own picnic bag and the parents had a traditional English Tea including Mr Ed’s homemade scones. Games were played and songs were sung. Thank you to Mrs Heald and all the staff at Small School for making the afternoon such a success. The second picnic is this Tuesday. Mr Ed is preparing more of his now famous cordial in preparation.

Next week Founders’ Hall will be converted into a “Speakeasy” as the girls in Upper Transitus present this term’s musical, Bugsy Malone.Once again the Music, Art and Drama departments have all come together to create what will doubtless be two terrific evenings. The shows will accompanied by an orchestra and we are promised some cameo appearances from members of staff. Performances are on Tuesday 21 and Wednesday 22 May at 6.30pm. ALL welcome!

The year group school photographs were taken on Wednesday. We will pass on the details of how to order copies once we have received them from the photography company, which is expected to be soon after Half Term.

Earlier this week the Upper Transitus girls who were not in Switzerland visited the British Library with Miss Sargent and Miss Nelligan. The girls were complimented not only their knowledge, awareness and engagement but also their listening and questioning skills by the staff who led the two workshops. They were also praised for their courtesy and kindness on a crowded train on the way back to school by members of the public and then again at Knightsbridge Station by the TfL staff who remarked on how polite they were. As Miss Sargent said in her email to me, “they were a total credit to the school as well as being brilliant company all day”. 

As is our tradition, next Friday, the day before Half Term is Mufti Day. Details of the charity we will be raising money for will be sent out early next week along with details of any additional events. Friday Clubs will be taking place next week so please take this into consideration when choosing what to wear.

With best wishes,

Richard Townend