Musings from the Head’s Study – 7th February 2014


Dear Parents,

It is certainly good to be back, even though one member of the School wanted to know where I had been for the last two weeks when she saw me on Monday ~ it would appear that she had thought I had been on holiday! ~ clearly not a regular reader of this Blog. Thank you for all your good wishes and thoughts during the period immediately after my operation ~ they meant a great deal. I now have four more weeks of convalescence during which time I must not lift anything heavy and must slowly build up my strength and stamina. I had not really considered how much one lifts things without really thinking about it until one cannot ~ my wife would tell you that I am not a very patient patient in this and so many other ways, but I am attempting to follow most of the doctor’s orders.

This week has been a very interesting one in so many different ways and I am so glad that I decided to come back a little earlier than perhaps I should have (Mrs Leach tells me that it was just a blatant bid for sympathy) because it had so many of the elements which make our School the unique place it is. It started with a wonderful Assembly (you have no idea how much I suddenly realised that I had missed Assembly, and not just because daytime TV is so dire) in which some of our talented Senior musicians played their pieces from last week’s Informal Concerts and ended with a well presented and thought out Assembly from the UVIth on the significance of girls’ education, based on the life of Malala Yousafzai. What made me so proud was to watch and listen to these accomplished young women who are on the cusp of their next great educational adventure and to think “yes, they get what it has all been about”.  I then spent a most interesting after school session led by Mr Robertson (Deputy Senior Teacher KS3) and Mr Garwood (Director of Studies- designate) in which Staff shared the processes and the nature of revision and revision techniques as used in their particular subjects.  Not only were some of the ideas fascinat- ing but the conversation broadened out to look at the whole issue of meta-cognition and how this can be grown and enhanced. I have the feeling that there are some great research papers waiting to be written in the next few years based on what has been developed and what might be developing in our school in the future.The week rounded off with the Composers’ Concert on Thursday which gave the public examinations groups an oppor- tunity to try out some of their compositions. There was a tremendous variety of styles in- cluding a strong spiritual element to some of the pieces, such as a Benedictus which was the first piece of a Mass which is being written as part of an A Level Music course, and a wonderful piece of modern worship music. Throughout the week House Countdown was running at lunchtime and it has been great fun to watch it for one last time, as it was one of the first of the new House Competitions which were introduced after I had reformed the House system as one of my first acts in 2007. As hard fought as ever, Walsingham finally clinched the title thus ending for them what has been something of a dry spell in terms of silverware. I also was able to tick off another thing from my ‘before I leave’ bucket list, because I managed to solve one of the mathematical problems when no one else in the room could – it has only taken me 7 years to achieve this!

Your daughters may have mentioned the fact that we seem to have three, new, part-time teachers in School. In fact we have three new Language Assistants attached to the Staff as part of initiative from Ms Brown with her Head of Modern Languages hat on. They are: Mathieu Joubert – French; Alejandra Varona – Spanish; Judith Wandschneider – German. They come in once a week and help with all Year Groups and there are also drop in sessions available at lunchtime.

The PE Department is continuing its hard-charging approach in the world of More House, which is great to see. Not only have the numbers of pupils participating in extra-curricular events continued to increase (this is now week on week and despite Tube strikes) but the also the ‘Rewards Trips’ have started to run, where some of the best performing or most highly committed sportswomen are given the opportunity to watch an evening sports event, such as Men’s’ basketball or Super League Netball. No doubt we will be getting a PE Blog post in the near future about this.

Just a reminder that next week sees the More House Parents’ Association Annual Quiz Night. Tickets, which include a supper plate, are available from the MHPA’s Class Reps or from the School Office. This is usually a great evening, even if the Staff Team usually gets trounced because of their refusal to cheat unlike some other Parent Teams which could be mentioned. Unfortunately I will not be able to be there myself as I have a long-standing prior engagement on that evening. My wife is giving a lecture in Chichester and I need to be there to keep the paparazzi and the History groupies at bay! However I am sure that my colleagues, under the leadership of Mrs Leach, will put up a valiant effort and I will be with them in spirit if not in person.

Another reminder: next Friday is a charity mufti day being run by the UVIth in support of the Cardinal Hume Centre. As it is also St Valentine’s Day the theme is red and pink. There is also a cake sale to raise money for the Thailand Project ~ as their strap line says ‘what better way to say I love you than with a cake?’

And finally: if you do not follow the School’s Twitter feed then you missed a great picture of Mrs Leach and Fearne Cotton – why not join up and see what you missed? @morehouseschool

 With best wishes for the weekend – will it ever stop raining?

 Robert Carlysle

The weeks ahead


Monday 10th February


3.30 ~ 4.40pm: Senior Chamber Choir


Tuesday 11th February


4 – 6pm: Year 10 Art Workshop

4 – 7.30pm: Junior Debating Team v


4 ~ 5pm: U12 & U14 Hockey v Quuen’s

Gate (Battersea Park)

4 ~ 5.30pm: Drama Rehearsals


Wednesday 12th February


3.30 ~ 4.45pm: Junior and Senior Choir


7pm More House Parents’ Association

Annual Quiz Night

7.30pm: Stratford Theatre Trip


Thursday 13th February


AS Midterm examinations start

4 ~ 5pm: U14 A Netball v PP

7pm Headmaster’s Reception and the Music Captain’s Recital for the Headmas- ter and his Guests


Friday 14th February


Charity Mufti Day ~ Pink and Red Valen- tine theme!

AS Midterms finish

1.30pm Senior Chamber Choir to Ms

North’s wedding

3.30pm: Half Term holiday starts


Monday 24th February


3.30pm ~ 4.30pm: Senior Chamber Choir

3.30 ~ 9.30pm: Ski practice at Hemel

Snow Centre


Tuesday 25th February


4 ~ 5.30pm: Drama Rehearsals

5 ~ 6pm: U15 Hockey v Francis Holland

4 ~ 8.30pm: Outlook Expedition


Wednesday 26th February


3.30 ~ 4.45pm: Junior and Senior Choirs Evening: Year 10 ~ UVIth Drama BAC event


Thursday 27th February


4 – 5.30pm: Drama Rehearsal

4 ~ 5pm: VIth Form netball v LM

6,30pm : Year 9 Options Meeting


Friday 28th February


The Prayer in the Chapel this week:

Stay with us when the day wanes.

Dear God our Father, stay with us and we will dream about the peace of Angel children.

Your Spirit through heavenly streams will rush down on us.


B.S. Ingemann

(1789 – 1862)

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