For most of the Spring term, the textile rooms were turned into a factory of clickety clacking crochet hooks with children slaving away making intricate blankets, hats and bags. No project was too dauting and the results were some truly inspiring patterns and pieces of art.
‘3s Geography and art trip across the south Downs on Tuesday 19th March was blessed with a small amount of sunshine but as you can see the rain over the last week had left its mark. The children followed a course using a compass and taking bearings on their way round the South Downs National park, which Windlesham are lucky enough to have on their door step.’
What a brilliant trip – brilliant company and amazing snow (more pictures to follow). Now taking bookings for 2014!
We had a very exciting and successful week of trial boarding. The boys and girls arrived on Monday morning to be greeted by the heads of Boarding and our wonderful residential matrons. They were taken up to their respective boarding houses with their parents and shown their dorms and beds.
Full of beans with a hint of nerves, the parents left their children to be taken back down for registration and to get on with the day.
The typical day at Windlesham is long, even as a day child but when boarding, the days are longer. The bridge between supper and bedtime is an important time for the trial boarders since it is always the time they will start to miss home. Windlesham is well known for the activities that we put on and the children enjoyed many activities such as ICT/ board games/ film/ swimming and football. The children can have cereal and milk before their bed bell and then they make their way to dorms.
In dorms, the children come up excited! They are quickly greeted by the resident matron and their evening dorm matron who will see them through the 45mins before lights out and putting on their story tape.
Showers is always a giggle because they are in such a new environment. Clutching their new wash bag full to the brim of essentials, the children enjoyed the shower room and showing off their singing skills. Once in dorms, pyjamas are on, teeth are cleaned and then it is time for quiet time. Reading, lego, combing hair, having a little chat and sharing good gossip, the children settled into their surroundings well. The heads and deputies of boarding made their way around to see the children and to share a cuddle, a story, or a joke or two. Throughout the week, the children had TV night in their comfy rooms and we ensure that they experience everything that we have to offer.
We have already had names put down for the next trial boarding in the Summer which without doubt is the best time of the year.
These were the children who trial boarded this term and we are pretty sure we will see them again….with a few more names added to the list. Each child received a certificate from Richard Foster during assembly to highlight what an achievement and sense of occasion it was to them.
Henry Blackburn, Oliver Munn, Guillaume Najbor, George Batt, Brook Langmead, H
ugh Blake, Serena Blake, Cecilia Worsley, Phoebe Munn and Gregory Butcher.
Well done to those who boarded and we look forward to seeing you again soon!
Mrs Hallam, Mr Hallam, Mrs Nuttall, Mr Fow and Mrs Davies.
What a memorable last week of term. Rachel and I hosted a Drinks Reception on Sunday for past parents which was a hugely enjoyable occasion. It means such a lot when you catch up on news of past pupils and it is really gratifying to be reminded of how much Windlesham means to them all. This was further brought home to us when we attended the Prefects Drinks at Marlborough College on Monday night. We were very touched to be invited by our three prefects and felt immensely proud to have, this year, more prefects at Marlborough than any other feeder Prep School. Our alumni gave us such a warm welcome and were such great company throughout the evening. It was reassuring that their personalities had not changed at all but my goodness what impressive young adults they have become; it was very uplifting.
In the midst of writing my end of term reports and seeing every tutor group in my study for a review of the term I dashed off yesterday to support our senior girls in their second Sussex Cup Final this season. This time it was hockey on the full size astro pitch at Eastbourne College. My heart went out to our girls as the final whistle went and we again had to accept runners up medals after going down 1 – 0 to a very good Ardingly team. To their great credit our girls held their heads up and were very gracious towards the opposition as indeed I would expect of them.
I feel bound to say that I become increasingly more eager to have our own new astro pitch up on Campbell field. It would make such a difference to the standard of our hockey which I can only applaud given the short season and wet conditions we have endured. The astro pitch is the first phase of our Capital Development Plan and thanks to a couple of very generous pledges the dream looks like becoming a reality.
I am now off to organise my Easter egg treasure hunt for the whole school which goes ahead this afternoon, providing of course packing has been done really well!
The end of a really hectic term is in sight!
I wish you all a very Happy Easter.
….They have all awarded scholarships to our Windlesham Ones.
Congratulations go the following children:
|Sam Williams||Bryanston||All Rounder|
|Lucille Allender||St Mary’s Calne||Choral|
|Emma Matsumoto-Prouten||Daunsteys||All Rounder|
|Moesha Gumpo||Brighton College||All Rounder|
|Poppy Clark||Tudor Hall||Sports|
|Lucille Allender||St Mary’s Calne||Academic|
This was a new, exciting Saturday night boarding programme that had everyone thoroughly entertained.
The children were split into 10 teams and each given a plain sponge cake. They then had one hour to decorate their cakes using the theme Windlesham House as their inspiration. The Foster’s then had to decide which one was the winner. It proved too difficult to pick one, so we decided the taste them instead.
As you can see, the end results were pretty spectacular. However, the proof has now disappeared into the stomachs of 100 very competent food tasters!
I have been reminded that I have not kept up my new year’s resolution of a weekly blog. Sincere apologies.
Guess what? We have had more fun and games in the some quite heavy snow. A long walk in glorious sunshine with 150 12 and 13 year olds was most entertaining and very therapeutic. Always amazes me how much you converse on a good walk; you learn such a lot with young people.
It is hard to believe two weeks have elapsed since half term. The days just fly by when you are so busy and my goodness we have been inundated with prospective parent visits and a very full calendar. I am thrilled for those children who have gained scholarships, the numbers of awards are creeping up which is very satisfying. Telling a child they have won a scholarship has to be one of the most memorable and special moments of being a Head. I have to confess to loving the emotion that comes with announcing wonderful news like this.
Talking of good news such is the strength and academic ability of our current Twos (year 7) we have decided to have two academic scholarship forms next year. I believe this is a first time ever scenario which speaks volumes about the quality of children we are attracting and indeed, the standard of teaching.
Outside the classroom we have enjoyed considerable success over the past two weeks. On Wednesday afternoon our senior girls netball team played in the Sussex Cup Final and came a close second cheered on by an enthusiastic bunch of supporters. Well done all! We had a wonderful Windlesham Rugby Sevens Tournament last week. It was perfect weather conditions and the sight of our magnificent games fields awash with boys playing rugby to a very high standard was a spectacle to treasure.
We are going to keep normal lessons running right up to the last day this term and have a very busy final few days ahead of us – Fingers closed we all can stay on our feet, such is the work hard, play hard atmosphere within the school. Happy St Patrick’s day I say because there is no nation who epitomises the ethos more readily.
Half Term now seems ages ago, but perhaps it isn’t. The greater likelihood is that I’ve had my mind on other matters, more of which later! Half Term began with a wonderful celebration of the life of former Windlesham parent, Sir Geoffrey Shakerley, at St Luke’s Chelsea, and it was a huge privilege to be able to attend. It also brought the opportunity to catch up with quite a few members of the Association – the entire Wadstein family of course, Elizabeth Ann, Hugo Grimwood’s parents and of course it was a real joy to be able to speak briefly with Joth Shakerley too.
Needless to say, being in London brings with it regular chance encounters with alumni and, sure enough, I had hardly set off from St Luke’s down the King’s Road before I bumped into Harry Williams and thus a chance for a catch-up on the Williams family news. Harry was excited at brother Tom’s impending 200th appearance for Quins and, in addition, by a marvellous coincidence he had met my son, Alex, at a party just a few days earlier.
At Sloane Square I jumped on the Underground to Green Park, as I was heading to the Royal Academy, but only a hundred yards up Picadilly a figure approached and, as she passed, I suddenly realised it was Olivia Mitchell. I turned to greet her, but was interrupted by a voice “Hello, Mr Martin” and instead found myself talking with Henry Man who had been just a few yards behind (I realise that, as I write, it is his sister Imogen’s birthday!). It was really good to find him so well and to hear too news of sister Abbie in distant Oz – she had been coping with the recent fires up in Cairns. So, many apologies to Olivia – I never did catch up with her!
Back in Sussex we took friends to Petworth House (impossible to visit without thinking of the Windlesham Wyndhams!) and saw the fascinating Turner exhibition. We decided to spoil ourselves at lunch and went on to the superb Horse Guards Inn in nearby Tillington. We just knew that mine host Sam Beard would look after us well, but it was a real bonus to find brother Ben working there too. Then, talking over Windlesham matters, we were overheard by an adjacent table, and lo and behold the occupant introduced himself as Simon Scott’s father! So it was that, after far too long, I got to hear about Simon’s extremely successful VS Fisheries, a fish farm which rears only carp, and his lecturing at Sparsholt College. Yes, yet another example of the serendipity always found close to the Windlesham network, emphasised by the fact that we bumped into Sam Beard’s mother just two days later! I sometimes think I must stop shopping, as I’m always bumping into Windlesham characters, meeting James Oakden being another recent ‘long time, no see’ encounter.
I spend a lot of time communing with BBC Radio 4 and so it has been a joy to hear across the airwaves the warm, friendly tones of author Michael Wright. He was interviewed by Libby Purves on ‘Midweek’ about his latest book, ‘Gardens of Stone,’ a collaboration with Stephen Grady, whose recollections of his adolescence have provided the basis for an extraordinary French Resistance wartime memoir. There have also been a couple of former Windlesham diplomat parents providing commentary on world events in various programmes, Sir Edward Clay talking of the situation in Kenya and Sir Rodric Braithwaite speaking about matters in Russia.
Half Term ended with yet another London memorial service, this time for near neighbour Charles, Lord Denman, at St Margaret’s Westminster. The choir were very privileged in being asked to sing before and during the service, but the greatest joy personally was simply listening to Toshky Denman waxing so eloquently about her grandfather – in the grandest of settings her ‘performance’ really was breath-taking.
Getting back into routine for a while led to happy Facebook contact from Perth, Australia, where former junior teacher Mark Whitworth and his wife Nicola have had Hannah Claire, a sister for their son James. Wonderfully, this event led to me hearing for the first time in a long while from another junior teacher, Alex Mountford, a contemporary of Mark’s. She is continuing with her teaching in the outback in the northern-most reaches of Western Australia. In other news from ‘distant parts’ it was great to read of Andy Wilson being announced as ‘Planner of the Year’ in Asia-Pacific’s 2012 Agency Network of the Year awards. Likewise, we will wait with bated breath as May comes around and with it Tom Scott’s opportunity to qualify at the Aberdeen Golf Club in Missouri for the 2013 US Open Golf Championships. He is on a golf scholarship, studying at Union College, Barbourville, Missouri.
It is always a bonus when having my car serviced to bump into the manager of our local Honda dealership, Martin Burn. He and his sons are still much involved at Worthing Rugby Club, where former pupil and current ‘gapper’ Cameron Roberts is playing as the club fights for promotion to higher echelons from National League 2 South.
At Windlesham we are blessed with a hugely talented and supportive set of Governors and for me one especial joy is the fact that 13 of the 16 are either former pupils, former parents or former staff. So when recently there was a visitation en masse I was delighted to be able to have lunch with Rob Rydon, as well as Neil Chisman and Bob Cranmore. The icing on the cake was that Noble Hanlon had come down to school via the ‘taxi services’ of his daughter Fiona and so for me also to be able to spend time at lunch with Fi and her partner James made the situation even better!
We had the huge delight too of a visit last week from Abi Murray (governor Neil Chisman’s daughter of course!) and her husband Billy, coming here as prospective parents. I was thrilled to catch up with her for a few minutes, but I didn’t anticipate the follow-up to come. Abi later posted about her happy visit on Facebook and it provoked the most extraordinary outpouring of comments from a host of Windlesham contemporaries, including not only of course her brother Tom, but also Grace Malden, Lainey Sheridan-Young, Tom Hedges, Charley Williams, Libba Biddlecombe and Alice Boileau (nee Gumpert), plus Bedalian Emily Tier! Some wonderful memories emerged.
And so to imminent concerns, namely my much-needed forthcoming hip replacement operation at nearby Goring Hall this coming Saturday 16th March. I shall be out of circulation at school somewhat, but needless to say, with remote desktop access, plus the trusty I-Pad, I will remain only a ‘Send’ button away! So keep the news coming in – it will help the grey cells when the limbs are shouting out at all the physio that will be inflicted. Of course, even in the midst of this it is impossible to avoid ‘the Windlesham network’ – I went yesterday for a pre-op appointment and the first person I saw was Richard Boger, former Windlesham doctor, and his wife Prilly, parents of Joey and Christopher (Beans), now himself a doctor in Dorset. You know, you really couldn’t make this stuff up! Keep smiling.
Year 1 had two fluffy visitors this week – we entertained two lambs that were just three days old! They were very cuddly and we enjoyed spending time with them, feeding them and sketching them. We were a little sad to see them go but Daisy’s Mummy and Daddy needed them back home.