Close Menucontent


Headmaster's Latest Newsletter 22nd September 2017

The term has gathered apace, the boys have settled in extremely well and autumn seems to have finally arrived with today being the autumn equinox and the official start of a new season.

Headmaster’s Assembly:

On Monday I shared with the boys a conversation I had over dinner at Westminster School last Thursday. A student seated next to me told me of the ‘New Great Dawn’. I looked at him rather quizzically and he explained that he was interested in a career in robotics and that, as a society, we were on the cusp of a brave new world in which many of the current jobs would be undertaken by robots or computers. Indeed, rapid advances tell us that our boys will be part of a generation who will take on jobs that do not yet exist! In order to ensure that our boys are ready for this shift, I wanted them to understand that, in order to be successful in their future careers, they actually had to focus on being human: being sympathetic, empathic and kind for these are the skills that computers will never have.

Wednesday’s Assembly was a celebration of our boys’ recent achievements and I was delighted to welcome two of our Governors, Baroness Vere and Mrs le Grice.

Music Leaders:

It was a pleasure to award the following boys their Music Leader badges:

Head Chorister – Max Iannotti

Leader of the SHS Signers – Joseph Akhurst

Leader of the Symphonic Wind Band – Digby North

Leader of Senior Voices – Max Nickless

Leader of Jazz One – Cameron Marshall

Leader of String Ensemble – Alexander Beverton-Smith

Leader of Brass One – Oliver Bamford

As Music Leaders their role is to assist the Ensemble Director/Visiting Music Teacher (VMT) through preparing the rehearsal room, handing out and collecting instrumental parts, arranging music stands and demonstrating maturity at all times. My congratulations to you all.

Triathlon success:

I also congratulated Jasper Boulanger in Year 5 for his outstanding sporting performance. Jasper competed in his first triathlon and aquathlon over the summer holidays. Last week-end he competed at the Manor House Go-Tri Triathlon (his second ever trial) and came first in his age group and category! It obviously runs in the family as his sister also came first in her category, too.  What a brilliant achievement!

U16 Country 5 Mile Race Winner:

I was also delighted to hear of the fantastic success of George Turner in Year 7. He was the winner of the 2017 U16 Claygate Country 5 mile race in the summer, and all at the grand age of 11. Fabulous!

Please do keep us abreast with news of your son(s) achievements outside of school via an email to their tutor.

Merit Badge:

Well done to Lewis Ridley-Smith for achieving a Merit Badge for last term’s Work Card 6 (WC6).

British Chess Championships:

We had some excellent results at the British Chess Championships over the summer. Yacine El-Bachir (Year 5) and Hari Stewart (Year 6) participated in the prestigious British Chess Championships, held in North Wales. Both boys battled against the best players in the UK and achieved fantastic results. Yacine finished 11th out of a field of 77 in the U9 event. Hari finished 7th out of a field of 52 (playing a year up) in the U11 tournament. Outstanding results – well done boys!

Fencing Competition:

Last Sunday, Josh Jacobs (Year 4), Sahaan Kapoor (Year 6), Freddie Cheng (Year 8) and Stefano Di Rico (Year 7) took part in a competition at Cobham Fencing Club. Here’s their report:

‘The competition was a pool section, then a direct elimination. The boys battled really well, with Sahaan at his first competition merely missing out in the medal positions in the U10 category, and Josh putting in 100% effort when fencing people up to two years older than him. In the U12 Freddie did very well coming third with his unfortunate semi-final losing 9-10. Stefano faced a tough pool, but fought really well, he also had the opportunity of refereeing the U10s. Special mention to Freddie and Stefano for helping the younger boys with the electric kit and giving them advice as it was their first competition.’ Well done indeed boys!

Bedtime Story Competition:

The English Department are encouraging boys to enter the ‘Book People’s Bedtime Story Competition’.  The competition is for all children aged between 5-11 and asks that the boys write a story between 200-800 words, which could be turned into an illustrated book for younger children.  The winners of each age category receive £250 to spend on books with the Book People! The overall winner’s entry is published. The closing date is midnight on the 2nd October.  Those interested can see Mrs Cross or enter via:

Design and Technology Competition:

All year groups are encouraged to enter the Haunted House DT Competition, which ties in with Hallowe’en. Boys are asked to make a Haunted House out of any material over half-term and return it by 3rd November to enter the competition. If you have any questions, please contact Mr Spires.

Theatre Club:

The Drama Department is looking for Year 7 & 8 boys who would be interested in joining the Theatre Club.  The club is for not only actors, but also technicians, writers, directors; in fact, anyone interested in the production of a play. Membership of the club would include some backstage responsibility for plays.  If your son has a keen interest in joining then please ask him to see Mrs Cross if they haven’t done so already.

Visiting Music Teacher Musical Evening – Tuesday 26th September 18.30:

Next Tuesday, the Shrewsbury House Music Department invites all parents and boys to a demonstration given by Visiting Music Teachers (VMT’s) in the Pinsent Hall. Director of Music, Damian Peckham, has provided an overview of the event:

‘The purpose of the evening is to allow boys to watch a small demonstration and perhaps try out an instrument for themselves. Participating at next Tuesdays event will be Cynthia Betts demonstrating Oboe and Eleanor Percy demonstrating Violin. There will also be an opportunity to try out cello, flute, Trombone and Trumpet plus drum-kit as well as MIDI keyboard/sequencing software for those interested in composing and Music technology.  Pupils will have another opportunity to discover guitar, piano and drums in a demonstration the following morning in assembly with a performance given by Mr Paul Thomas, Mr Jack Hurst, Mr Peckham and Mr Jani.

Mrs Betts and Miss Percy will be welcoming questions from both parents and pupils, whilst Deputy Director Sally Paul will also be on hand to answer queries on how instrumental tuition fits into the busy Shrewsbury House day-to-day lesson schedule. The evening should finish by 7.30-8.00pm. We look forward to seeing you next week.’

Attain Article:

Mrs Macallister, who is the Deputy Head, Academic here at SHS, has written an article that appeared in this autumn’s edition of Attain magazine. In a materialistic world, Mrs Macallister suggests that it's too easy to forget the real meaning of 'wealth'. It is a very interesting read and I would thoroughly encourage you to read the full article: Some of you might have noticed references to Mrs Macallister’s article in copies of this week’s Evening Standard and The Times.

Team of the Week:

As there were so many football matches this week, there are a total of two teams who take the prestigious title of ‘Team of the Week’. Congratulations to the following boys:

Junior Team:

  1. Rafael Aram,
  2. Henry Hulme
  3. Henry Zhang
  4. Gerard Van Der Goes
  5. Sam McIlroy
  6. Ben Verdult
  7. Charlie Moffatt
  8. Adham Karsou-Mubarak
  9. Sam Cuff
  10. Conrad Lai
  11. Benjamin Stone
  12. Tom Saunders
  13. Jax Winterbottom
  14. Jayden Ashdown
  15. Jaeden Ford

Senior Team:

  1. Thomas Birch
  2. Matthew Moffatt
  3. Benjamin Bagshaw
  4. Luka Woods
  5. Zachary ten Have
  6. Jack Gregor
  7. Jeremy West
  8. Aidan Adams
  9. Hugh Jacobs
  10. Tommy Wight
  11. Rafe Buxton
  12. Charlie Babb
  13. Noah Horne
  14. William Ashworth
  15. Eric Taylor
  16. Henry Turnbull

South African Exchange

I was delighted to welcome six students and a member of staff from Western Province Preparatory School (WPPS) in Cape Town this morning. The Year 7 boys from WPPS are representing their school in our annual exchange and will be hosted by SHS parents. The WPPS boys will attend some days here with their exchange partners, but will also have the opportunity to sight-see and take in all that London and the surrounding areas have to offer. The SHS contingent visits Cape Town in February.

And finally…

It was wonderful to see so many parents at last night’s Year 7 & 8 Parents’ Briefing, and I look forward to seeing those of you who will be joining me tonight at the Future Schools’ Evening. Just to remind you that we have Kevin Knibbs, Headmaster of Hampton School, and Dominic Oliver, Headmaster of Lancing College, who will talk about the benefits of day and boarding at 13+, retrospectively. The evening begins at 19.00 and all parents are welcome. Just a reminder that up-to-date information on Open Days and the admission process of senior schools can be found here on our website:

There is talk of a mini-heatwave this week-end, so enjoy the sunshine whilst it lasts!

Kevin Doble



You may also be interested in...