Dear Parents,

Coming to the end of January many people will have forgotten their New Year Resolutions but not at Hill House!  We were determined that our resolution this year was to be "back to normal".  After all the disruptions of the last twenty or so months, the essential was that the children returned to as normal a school day as possible full of opportunities, enrichment and excitement.  Our community at Hill House is a rich mix of cultures from all over the world.  We currently have more than 60 nationalities in our pupil cohort speaking 27 different languages and following seven religions but all living and working and learning together in harmony.  Everyone is learning that though we have many differences we are all equal and must have equal opportunities to succeed in reaching our ambitions. We achieve high academic results because we have small classes taught by inspirational teachers but we offer so much more – every week there are 23 diverse Friday clubs, we offer tuition in every orchestral instrument and 88% of pupils have taken up that opportunity, there is a vibrant art and drama department that collaborates in putting on plays, musicals and exhibitions throughout the year and there are sports opportunities every day of the week.  There is so much already to excite the enquiring mind of the young but we never stand still and we are always open to new ideas to fulfil our ambition that a child's mind is not a vessel to be filled but a fire to be kindled.  

Boy playing violin in Assembly

This week at Assembly we enjoyed a fine performance of Rachmaninoff's Vocalise Op.43 No.14 by Arie Sabbah and in the coming week we will be entertained by the Cadogan choir.  Monday evening is the first of our fifteen music showcases this term at Founders' Hall and on 8 February we look forward to enjoying the annual John Betjeman Poetry Evening judged this year by Mr Michael Broadway.  After Half Term, which is not too far away, Founders’ Hall will be filled with music and drama most evenings culminating in the Senior School play The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and also the annual French Spelling Bee to test the talent of our senior boys and girls.

The season of entry examinations and interviews for secondary schools is just beginning.  Parents often worry about the interviews but there is no need.  Our pupils are confident and speak with fluency and enthusiasm about the things that interest them.  Secondary schools do not want children who have been “coached” in interview practices as if they were applying for a job.  What they are looking for is interesting personalities and enquiring minds able to express themselves clearly in conversation.  The best way parents can help is by talking to their children each evening so that the art of conversation flows naturally.

We are actively trying to increase the amount we post on Instagram as a way to celebrate all the many successes that happen day in day out through the school. Before we post an image, we always consult our list of photo permissions. Unfortunately, there are many photographs we simply cannot post because we do not have parental permission. If there are one or two children without permission, we will blur out their faces but it always makes for a less satisfactory image. Our policy is never to name any children in an Instagram post. If you would like to update your preferences and allow us to include your child in Instagram posts this can done by emailing or submitting an updated Pupil Information Sheet, which can be found at the very bottom of the Home page of the school website. If any of your contact details and in particular any telephone numbers for use in an emergency have changed please complete a new Pupil Information Sheet. Thank you.

Best wishes, 

Richard Townend

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