The Fours visited Tangmere Military Aviation Museum on Thursday 25th April, as part of their focus on World War Two in History. Our visit took the children back in time as historians to the days when Tangmere airfield was a major frontline of defence for Britain during WWII. The children had the opportunity to study a vast range of interesting artefacts and learnt about the Battle of Britain, the home-front and the vital role of secret agents and RAF pilots. We discovered the legendary WWII flying ace Douglas Bader was based at Tangmere, which was especially fascinating for all our Fours in Bader House!
The visit gave the children wonderful first-hand experience of the impact of WWII in Sussex and provided them with new insights into this incredibly dramatic period in British history. The highlights of the day for many included learning about the courageous work of British secret agents sent out from Tangmere who were the bravest of the brave and also sitting in the cockpit of the flight simulator. The children loved the thrill of flying the Spitfire simulator which enabled them to step into the shoes of some of our greatest WWII heroes such as the irrepressible Bader. It was a very enjoyable visit. Here are some reflections from members of the Fours:
“Our visit to Tangmere Museum was an exciting trip and gave us some awesome first-hand experience of WWII and helped us learn about the important role of the RAF and SOE spies during the war. Tangmere Museum is brilliant!” Max Hanison
“I most enjoyed the experience of flying a Spitfire in the simulators. Our trip to Tangmere Museum was great fun!” Jemima Attwood
”Tangmere Museum was a fantastic trip! It helped us learn a lot about WWII and the different planes which played an important tole in protecting our country during the war such as the Spitfire and Hurricane.” Saskia Norman
Our visit to Tangmere Museum was an excellent trip and gave us a chance to see lots of different planes used by the RAF to guard us during WWII. There were lots of amazing planes to see from the last century and I really enjoyed the trip.” Niamh Healy
We have had a marvellous start to the summer term helped by enjoying lots of sunshine. After ten days, I can honestly that say all our new children are well settled and the school as a whole is in excellent heart.
We have just about recovered from the ‘Parents of Windlesham Have Got Talent’ show. It was a fantastic effort on the part of a good number of parents. Needless to say, there was talent in abundance but I think the whole event will be long remembered for bringing everyone closer together and it is very clear that lots of new friendships have been forged as a result. Rachel and I look forward to giving the winning act a slap up dinner in our apartment in a few weeks’ time.
The first full week of any term is always so important and I am delighted with the work ethic and general demeanour that has been set. We wish our Eton scholarship candidates all the best for their exams – there cannot be a more exacting few days for 13 year old boys.
Like any prep school headmaster, the sound of bat on ball is the hallmark of the summer term and our 1st XI look very promising, as indeed do our senior girls’ rounders team, given their convincing win in the first round of the national JET competition.
We had something of a national feel this Saturday in hosting 34 senior schools for an exhibition whilst combining this with Open Morning. Once again the sun shone so the wow factor was very prevalent. Much to my delight, we had a lot of visitors and the show was very well attended. It was lovely to receive so many compliments from the exhibitors about the general atmosphere and how impressed they were by our children and the parents! All in all, a hugely successful day.
Over the next few days, Rachel and I are attending the B.S.A. Conference which conveniently for us is being staged in Brighton this year. Let’s hope we are inspired and come back to Windlesham bubbling with new ideas.
Traditional rival St Andrew’s put up a good show in the field, but proved to be an inexperienced batting line-up, as Windlesham skittled out the visitors for just 26.
Windlesham lost Bowden with 19 on the board, as Maloney, with a mixture of full face of the bat shots and inside edges, moved to 16 before playing across the line. Milne played his natural attacking game, although the slow track made him work for his runs. A partnership of 29 with Williams put Windlesham in a good position at 99 with seven overs of the allotted 25 to go. However, Milne fell for 47, following a couple of let offs from dropped catches and Williams went for 15 in quick succession and Windlesham’s innings stalled as the last three wickets managed just 13 runs to post a total of 112.
The plan was to make the most of the slow track and create pressure with a tight bowling line and a cordon of inner-ring fielders. Leg-spinner Rory Law immediately probed with a good line and length and followed his opening maiden, with a wicket maiden. Richardson cleaned up the other opening batsman with one that ‘jagged back’ and although he gave away a couple of wides, was soon back on target to get his second wicket, thanks to a good catch by Moir at mid-off. Marchoud, with his ‘fast’ off-spinners snared two more batters in his double-wicket maiden, with Moir mopping up three wickets in two overs, to see St Andrew’s reeling at 26 for 9. The visitors then completed their own downfall with a crazy quick single to Richardson at mid-off, who calmly threw in to Milne to complete the run out and seal an emphatic 86-run victory.
Windlesham 112 (L Milne 47, T Maloney 16, S Williams 15 ) St Andrew’s 26 (L Moir 3/2, K Marchoud 2/0, R Richardson 2/8, R Law 1/4)
Apart from the comfortable win, the positives to take from the match include the keenness in the field, as well as the gutsy performance by Myers with the bat after taking a mighty blow on the inside of his knee from their quick opening bowler and the excellent batting technique of Tom Law.
Thanks to Taka Kojima for manning the scoreboard and to all the parents for their support.
We have now welcomed back all of the boarders from the Easter Holidays. Everyone is happy and it was very humbling to see the children run up the stairs to their dorm with a large smile on their face! We welcome all of the new children and we hope that they thoroughly enjoy this term at WHS. We have so many children coming to visit for overnight stays and our trial boarding dates are set and the information for this will be announced very soon!
Boarding is thriving at WHS at the moment. Not surprisingly being the summer term……the term that we brand the best. With the days longer and weather milder (!), it is a great scene over the pitches and woodlands to see the boarders enjoying real traditional play in the evenings. Cricket and tennis are the activities of choice for many whilst others lay about on the grass looking up at the clouds and having a really good chat putting the world to rights.
The children have arrived to more refurbishment spender in each boarding house.
There are brand new curtains popping up all the time in the girls’ wing and we continue to thank Mrs Rachael Burrows for her hard work and commitment. The blackout lining is really important especially for this term.
The boys are now enjoying a brand new look comfy room! We listened to the boys for what they wanted and red white and blue won the day. We love it also as it is traditional (for GB too!) but it will have shelf life and hopefully in 15 years’ time it will still be modern. We also have 7 bright coloured bean bags that the boys love and 3 soft foot stalls. Our main addition to the comfy room is a bright white kitchenette! We now have the capacity to provide drinks and treats for the boys during the week. The girls have the same on their side and so now, we have devised a new programme for their ‘Comfy Nights’.
The Ones’ are now enjoying a rolling ‘Snack Night’ on a Monday and on occasions we will provide them with an edible yum yum in the shape of a Pot Noodle for the Boys or Satsuma, fudge and brownie chocolates for the girls. The television can go on and the children can come and go at ease. On ‘normal’ nights, we will have squash and biscuits available.
We had our first ‘Snack night’ on Monday and it was a hit! We have said to the Ones’ year group they can attend with only 1 cross and permission from their matrons. We hope that this will raise the bar for personal responsibility for the children and we are confident it will.
As Palmer Nix said to me, ’Thank you Mrs Hallam for the Pot Noodle…I’m a growing boy and I need all the food I can get!’
We have also increased the incentive for Dorm of the Week on the Boys’ side by allowing them to have the comfy room exclusive to themselves on a Thursday with hot chocolate or popcorn. Already the boys have pulled together as dorm teams and they are working hard on having the least crosses. It’s a brilliant incentive and one that we hope will remain a weekly target for all of the dorms.
We will continue to keep you up dated with news and events.
The Boarding Team
The final Senior Debate of the academic year was held in the MFT Theatre on Sunday 21st April 2013. The motion was: This House believes that religion does more harm than good.
After some introductory remarks, the debate got underway with Caspar Milne making the first of the three debut speeches that evening. He spanned history from the Ancient Egyptians to the War in Afghanistan and from the Twin Towers of New York to the Aztec monuments in his global survey of the destruction religion has caused on earth. He brought things home with his horror stories of English witch-hunts and alluded to the holocaust as he condemned the harm religion had done. Trumble Outhwaite (the second debut speaker) responded with a measured delivery describing his ideal church wedding and the great comfort he expects from a religious burial and the prospect of family reunions in heaven. He praised all major religions (dwelling on good karma) and put Mother Teresa on a pedestal out of the reach of the Proposition.
The third speaker was Alex Hicks (another first-timer on the podium). He cited a good many statistics as he counted the death toll from the Afghan War, The Twin Towers attack, the Crusades, the 30-Years’ War, and other religious conflicts. He bemoaned the draconian Muslim laws inhibiting female freedom and expressed shock and dismay at the Solar Temple suicide cult in Switzerland and other groups who forbid life-saving blood transfusions and transplants. Abby Aitken was unmoved by all that and dismissed much of the violence in history as the fault of psychopaths who hijack religion for their own purposes. She gave religion the credit for making believers happy and for inspiring everything from Jazz to Jelly Babies. She felt indebted to religion for providing hospitals, schools, writing, Christmas celebrations, pancakes, and Easter Eggs. Abby felt these blessings far outweighed the grief caused by the wolves in sheep’s clothing who did evil in disguise.
There were a good few erudite comments from the Floor before Tom Attwood closed the arguments for his team. He thanked his supporters and colleagues and reminded everyone of the salient points from the Opposition table. He spoke of the miracle of birth and the solemnity of Lady Thatcher’s funeral in St Paul’s. He lauded the lives of great faith heroes and the messages of hope even delivered that morning in Chapel. Teddy Maloney, as confident as ever, commended his team-mates and those who spoke with the same views from the Floor. He made a series of rebuttals referring to suicide bombers and Gospel singers on drugs. His final image was the carnage of the 913 commune members who drank poison in obedience to the Rev Jim Jones. He felt that it was clear that religion was more damaging than productive.
The vote was almost even with only three more on the side of the Proposition, and 21 people abstained as they were so torn by the arguments. The Headmaster, Mr Foster, thanked everyone who had shown the courage to speak in public and challenged the Twos to exploit their opportunities to debate next year.
Those who spoke from the floor:
BADER: Maud Bonham Carter; Jack Garfield; Daniel Adamov; (no time for Lily Martin Jenkins)
DRAKE: Charles Guy; Charlie Moody-Stuart; Heloise Wright; (no time for Luc Gillard)
GRENFELL: Maria Mikhaylenko; Emily Ind;
HUNT: Roman Kalinin; (no time for Lucas Allison)
RALEIGH: Alex Johnston; Helena Pinchuk; Palmer Nix; Rory Law; Charlie Line
SCOTT: Juliette Carmichael; Lucile Allender; Ludo Milne; Saskia Ziv-Guest; Oliver Bowden;
Thankfully we have a whole stable full of keen equestrian competitors and, organised and led by super-mums Caroline Leng and Clare Evan, they set off on a sunny Sunday 21st April for a day of competitive dressage and showjumping at the NSEA Great Bookham Event.
With Matilda Leng and Ella Evans entered in the preliminary class in dressage and Alice competing in the novice classcoming, they came an impressive 6th overall which was a trememdous achievement, especially being a team of 3 (instead of 4) and made up purely of prep-school children.
The show jumping was two phase, the first half purely on going clear and the second half on speed. The course was long and twisty on uneven ground and caused quite a few problems for all the competitors.
In the 70 cms, Ella jumped a very speedy double clear round beautifully, earning an individual 2nd. Alice jumped a well balanced double clear and unfortunately, much to her fury, Matilda had a few piloting era’s – she was not alone in this !
In the 80cms , Ella again jumped a lovely round but unfortunately picked up 12 faults. Alice jumped well but knocked a pole for 4 faults and Matilda had a tricky time with her pony deciding to not help as much as he may have done. It was very frustrating and unfortunately, she was eliminated for three refusals.
The teams arrived home late in the evening having done Windlesham proud. Rosettes all round and a couple of carrots for the ponies!
The sun is shining, the children are all back and the place is buzzing again. We enjoyed a very smooth and happy first day yesterday. As I said in my newsletter to parents and indeed reminded all my staff, there is no better place to live and work in than an English Boarding Preparatory School in the Summer Term. Biased I may be but it would be hard to beat Windlesham when it comes to setting and atmosphere.
To endorse this sentiment we generated a special welcome back for all the boarders by having a BBQ on Wednesday evening. It was a delight to see such a sea of happy faces catching up with their friends and members of staff – everyone clearly genuinely pleased to be back at school. How I wish these people who dismiss the merits of boarding could see this for themselves!
We welcomed 17 new pupils into the Prep School yesterday morning and I was made to feel very proud of our hosts and senior buddies as they put to rest the minds of both the new children and indeed their parents. I think everyone can recall their first day at a new school. One is knotted up with nerves and excitement. I like to think at Windlesham we go out of our way to make this experience as painless as is possible. The jury is always out as they say so I will make sure we get feedback from the new families over the next few days.
I looked out of my study yesterday afternoon and watched a group of Under 8s having their first cricket coaching session with the backdrop being the last green of our nine hole golf course. The blossom on the cherry trees by this green has just started; our stunning grounds are surely about to look their very best ever. On top of all this, we have discovered a pheasant nesting in a flower bed right in the middle of the school; nature really is at work at Windlesham.
Back to school for the Summer Term brings with it lots of excitement and outdoor fun and games as I have alluded to but it is also a vital time on the academic front. The whole school have exams to face in a month’s time and it is of course Common Entrance straight after half term. A number of children are still preparing to sit their academic scholarships so the work ethic throughout the school needs to be at its very best – the rallying call I made in our first assembly.
On Saturday evening the Windlesham parents are going to be entertaining us all with their range of talents. It is their ‘Windlesham Has Got Talent’ show and my goodness, have they taken up the challenge! Rachel and I have been witness to all sorts of secret rehearsals; it promises to be quite an event. I for one cannot wait!
It has been a slightly surreal four weeks or so since I last wrote, but I have been much buoyed by so many well-wishes from such a number of you. Though I came home from Goring Hall Hospital with a lovely new left hip, I am still of the view that my brain may well still be there. Certainly concentration, never easy as one slips into one’s dotage, has become quite hard work since the op!
Anyhow, I can recall that the day before I faced the knife, I was privileged, along with the rest of the Windlesham Chapel Choir, to be singing at Warminghurst Church during the wonderful celebration of the remarkable life of a hugely supportive Windlesham grand-mother, Jess Aggs. It was a very special occasion and a great tribute to a lady who lived life to the full, while always cherishing everything that her family and friends meant to her.
In fact, I was exceedingly well looked after in hospital on a ward of truly caring professionals, managed – in an extraordinary piece of serendipity – by former Windlesham boys’ matron Sara Mills! I am now into week five of my recovery and am looking forward to getting back behind the wheel, the significance of which hardly needs pointing out to those of you who recall that Rachel is a non-driver.
As one who has completed a couple of marathons, I have been in total admiration in these last few weeks of those I have heard about doing likewise. There will certainly be names I am not be aware of, but a fortnight ago Alice Booth produced a great time in the Paris Marathon and last weekend Laura Gordon too was very pleased with her performance in the Brighton Marathon. I have not heard of any involved in this year’s Boston Marathon (Alex Lion ran the last two, but not this year) and thoughts and prayers are with those caught up in the immense tragedy. This coming weekend I know of at least two who will be running in London and I am certain there will be others, but Good Luck in particular to Jenny Hedley and Char Chesney.
There have been quite a few alumni featuring in the news in recent weeks, in particular the Ferry brothers, who were the subject of a rather strident piece in the Evening Standard. Being given far more positive coverage, designer Georgia Hardinge has garnered a lot of column inches as a result of her latest collection for River Island – she had some lovely comments made about her in the ‘Sunday Times’ Style supplement. It is also possible that some of you, like me, at last caught up with the Ralph Fiennes directed film of Coriolanus, which was shown on BBCtv recently and stars alumnus Harry Fenn – certainly there were several comments on FB about it!
My antenna may have been a little dulled, but I have spotted a couple of forthcoming marriage announcements – Henry Biddle is now engaged to Alice Tendler of Fulham and Charlie Hacking has become engaged to Alexander Christian of Bethersden, Kent. They have our very best wishes for all that their futures hold, as do Pippa Madsen and James Hall – their wedding is now less than a month away.
It has also been wonderful to hear news of the very happy marriage last month of Laura Biddlecombe to Stephen Vakil. Then, last Saturday, Rachel and I were thrilled to be able to attend here in Storrington Imogen Fecher’s ‘big day’ as she married Guy Jones. For me it was my first real post-op outing and what a wonderful day it was – Imo looked stunning, as did Maid of Honour, her sister Abbey and the uplifting ceremony was followed by a delightful reception at Dorset House, In addition, amongst the guests it was lovely to be able to catch up with Esther Holt. Needless to say, the dresses and the catering had seen major input from Imo’s mother Claire, whose skills with the needle so brilliantly served the Windlesham costume department down many years!
My thoughts are very much with Jane, Emily and Lucy Sterck as their season of ‘shows’ gets under way at Firle Place this weekend – do go along to their Garden Show (today till Sunday) if you are in the area. I’m also sure that many will want to join me as I send warmest wishes for success too to Florence (nee Church) and David Corran as they take on a new role. Many who have been through St Edward’s in recent years will have got to know and love them through their various commitments in that school community – David is now, as of this term, taking up the challenge of Headmaster of Lichfield Cathedral School.
Term is of, course, now well under way here at Windlesham – I use the word ‘here’ advisedly, as it will not be until the week after next that I am likely to be up to actually going in to see everybody! Nonetheless, with the weather at last hinting at Spring, perhaps the ‘Summer’ Term will see more warmth than last term. The cover of the new Calendar features a dramatic picture of cricketers prepared to do battle, so the optimism is certainly there! In alumni affairs, the major event of the term is, of course, the annual Reunion, once again at the popular Chelsea location much enjoyed in recent years. If we have an up-to-date e-mail for you, it is likely that you will have received an invitation already from Louisa Milne. If not, then please do get in touch swiftly with her at email@example.com . In the meantime, the important facts to get in your diary are Thursday 23rd May at the Petyt Hall, Cheyne Walk, Chelsea, from 6.00pm. Do ‘network’ this amongst your contemporaries and I very much look forward to seeing you there.
Our beloved cricket pavilion is finally getting a summer face-life. Work started at the beginning of the holidays and will be finished by the beginning of May. We will have two new changing rooms, very smart new loos and a kitchen. The refurb is a joint exercise between money being raised by some parents and the school. Fingers crossed that the weather finally turns and gives us the summer term to remember – and really deserve after last year’s wash-out.