Headmaster's Newsletter Friday 17 May 2024

Dear Parents,

We had a special guest at NCS this week: the new Head of Winchester College, Elizabeth Stone. Many of you will be familiar with our shared foundation connection: William of Wykeham made provision for New College School three years before he philanthropically bestowed land, buildings and an endowment for Winchester. New College, New College School and Winchester all share Wykeham’s motto of ‘Manners Makyth Man’. There are also certain architectural features at Winchester which, if you squint a bit, look like they could be on Holywell Street. While Winchester is technically, chronologically, NCS’s little brother, it is perhaps more appropriate to think of us as the other way around: we are 170 pupils to Winchester’s 700; our site is just a little bit smaller; and our pupils are clearly younger and generally shorter than theirs.

This was Elizabeth’s first visit to NCS during her tenure at Winchester, and she took the opportunity to speak to the boys about the importance of matching desires or wants with the actual work to achieve them. It’s all very well wanting change to occur, but unless we do this through ‘quiet, behind-the-scenes planning and organising, the work that actually connects with people and helps find solutions’, then that change is not going to happen. Elizabeth put this in the context of charity, of the desire to make the world a better place, and of our wellbeing theme this week: ‘I get actively involved in helping the wider world’. It doesn’t matter who we are, where we were born, what we look like – it’s what we actually actively do that counts. Hence Wykeham’s motto above.

Town and Gown team; CREST awards in Year 8; Performing at the open morning; Junior concert; Gardening in Pre-Prep

Considering that next week is our charity week, and Brett Morrison and the charity committee gave us a sneak preview of the week in aid of the Woodland Trust in Tuesday’s assembly, this celebration of our Wykeham connection could not have been more timely. William of Wykeham was a notable philanthropist and believer of positive use of his wealth to help others – something that still benefits many people six and half centuries later. New College has continued this further, with the foundation of the Oxford Institute of Charity (OIC), resident just a few feet from the school in the new Gradel Quadrangles. We spend a lot of time encouraging the boys to think of others: of lives and the world beyond themselves and their own. It was great to be able to join the Wykeham dots in such a context this week.

Have a great weekend,

Matt Jenkinson

Appropriately enough, considering the above, congratulations to Isaac in 8S who has been awarded an academic exhibition to Winchester. So our final awards haul for 2023/24 is: Alexander (music scholarship, Abingdon); Thomas (music scholarship and academic exhibition, MCS); Jacob (music exhibition, MCS); George (academic scholarship, MCS); Peter (academic exhibition, MCS); Max (all-rounder scholarship, Gordonstoun); Henry (sports exhibition, Cheltenham); Herbie (music scholarship, D’Overbroeck’s); James (music exhibition, Radley); Isaac (academic exhibition, Winchester). Well done to them all!

Thank you and well done to all those NCS runners – pupils, teachers, parents, friends – who ran the Town and Gown 5k and 10k last weekend. The whole event raised over £230k for Muscular Dystrophy UK. We had over 30 boys running, which was a significant representation from a small school! My thanks as well to all those colleagues who helped to support the run, especially Victoria Hayter and Craig Bishop who helped mastermind the efforts.

Many thanks to all those who helped out at our Open Morning this morning. It was, as ever, a lovely event providing us with the opportunity to show prospective parents what makes NCS tick. The older boys who acted as guides were their usual enthusiastic and wonderful selves too. One prospective parent, as they left, said to me 'I didn't realise schools like this existed'. I think he meant it in a good way.

Congratulations to all those boys who played in the junior recital on Monday evening. As ever, we had many performances across a variety of instruments. It was great to see how much our younger boys have come on over the past term or so. Thanks to Izzy Rose for masterminding the evening, and to Tom Neal and our VMTs who accompany and support the boys so well.

Year 7 very much enjoyed their rivers field study trip on Tuesday. My thanks to Letty Peppiatt and Nick Hanson who organised and accompanied the trip.

We are looking forward to our Charity Week, next week, in aid of the Woodland Trust. My thanks to Brett Morrison and the Charity Committee for coordinating our efforts. Brett has sent a separate Parentmail outlining events.

Very best of luck to our Years 3 and 4 who will be taking some (low-key) assessments in core subjects during their lessons next week.

From Craig Bishop: This week’s fixtures started off in fine style with the U8s making their way across to Beachborough. In glorious weather conditions both the A&B teams set about their games with enthusiasm and skill. Steve Potts has the following to say about the afternoon: “U8 A won narrowly against Beachborough mostly thanks to some great bowling. Sam P was on fire with three wickets and Charlie R also took a wicket in his spell. The B team also came away with a win thanks to a great batting performance from Henry and some amazing bowling from Finn W. Phillipos and Alexander R put in fantastic performances in the field.”

On Wednesday afternoon the U11 and U13 teams were in action against Summer Fields. At home the U11 A and U13s entertained two very strong SF teams and two thrilling games were played out. In my U11 A team game some great batting from William E, the captain, and George T saw the score quickly race into the 60s with 8 overs to go. After the loss of William, it was up to George and he rose to the challenge, smashing the ball to all corners. As George fell on 34 runs we ended up 92 all out. Despite some accurate bowling and determined fielding, our guests got the winning runs with just 4 balls to spare. George T deserves his player of the match award, thanks not only to his batting but also his superb bowling.

Brett Morrison’s U13 A team started very brightly with the ball and had SF on 47 for 7 at one point but then the lower order from scored another 50 runs before the final 3 wickets fell. These 97 runs proved too much on this occasion and, despite some excellent batting from Xander S, they fell a little short. Away from home Steve Potts and Dylan Swanepoel took the U11 B and U13 B teams across to Summer Fields and they both reported wins: “The U11B were in fine form earning an emphatic 96 run win. Batting first gave us the opportunity to set the tone and multiple 4s from Jack & Aaron and a 6 from Hugh kept our run rate going nicely. We didn’t lose any wickets which always helps in pairs cricket. Some tight fielding and accurate bowling helped us limit our opponents’ score and claim a great victory.” In the U13 B team NCS played out a very entertaining game and pulled off a great win. With the bat Jake J and Hugo C scored very well: 27 and 23 respectively with Jake not out at stumps. With the ball the wickets were shared but Herbie H deserves a mention for his 4-wicket haul.

Upcoming Events

Saturday, 18 May 2024

9.00 Composers' workshop and concert

Monday, 20 May 2024

National Walk to School Week

Charity week

Years 3-4 form assessments start

Pre-Prep QED Week begins

15.45 U11A Tennis vs MCS, away

14.00 U13 A & B Cricket vs d'Overbroeck's, home

17.30 Senior Recital (Years 6 & 7 only), Auditorium

Tuesday, 21 May 2024

Year 6 Geography Field Trip

14.00 U9 A & B Cricket vs Dragon, home

Wednesday, 22 May 2024

9.00 Chapel. Speaker: Fr Benedict Manning

14.15 U13 A & B Cricket vs Bruern Abbey, away

14.15 U11 A & B Cricket vs Bruern Abbey, home

14.15 U13 A Tennis vs Bruern Abbey, home

17.30 Governors' Meeting, McGregor Matthews Room

Friday, 24 May 2024

10.00 Year 4 trip to the Botanic Gardens

Home Clothes Day

Orders in Years 3-8 issued

Half term break begins at end of school day

Monday, 3 June 2024

Return from Half-Term

Years 5-8 Assessment Week begins

Tuesday, 4 June 2024

14.00 U8 All Cricket vs Ashfold, away

14.15 U9 All Cricket vs Ashfold, home

Wednesday, 5 June 2024

9.00 Chapel (Pre-Prep and Years 3-4 & 8S only). Led by Pre-Prep

14.15 U11 & U13 A Cricket vs CCCS, home

14.15 U11 B & C Cricket vs CCCS, away

Friday, 7 June 2024

17.00 Leavers' Evening (ends c19.15)