Newsletter - Winter Term, 06.12.17
Cottesmore School
Cottesmore News

Newsletter - Winter Term, 06.12.17

Anticipation grows for the coming Christmas events, while work continues apace in the final full week of the term. The little ones in the Pre-Prep perform their Nativity play on Friday, while in the Prep school strains of Christmas carols old and new may be heard in preparation for our candlelit carol concert next Sunday.  Meanwhile, behind closed doors in the Staff Room, furtive meetings are taking place as plans for The Feast are forged...

Sports Round Up
The Rugby season kicks off on Wednesday afternoon with a full range of boys’ fixtures against local rival Copthorne School.
The first team have appointed co-captains (this is not just the England squad’s prerogative!) in Sam and Harry, ably supported by Will P as vice captain. Sam will have special responsibility to lead the pack and Harry will lead the three quarters. Both play for Haywards Heath RUFC at weekends, Sam recently winning player of the tour on a visit to the Isle of Wight.
The team has an impressive armoury of runners, hitters and newbies who hopefully will combine their skills to good effect on Wednesday. It has been interesting to note the number of players who did not represent the school in the 1st team football, forcing them into selection. This diversity is strength. The team includes Tomás, who had never played rugby before arriving in England in September. His impressive running and support play marked him out immediately to all three first game coaches as a potential 1st team star.
On Saturday the normal match against Ashdown has been replaced by a theatre visit for the seniors, who will have to restrict themselves to confronting the old enemy just once this season.
Music: The Lion King
The school production of the Lion King was performed over three days to a wide variety of audiences. This ambitious work, arranged by our Director of Music had 76 pupils actively engaged in parts in the play with a further 9 pupils involved in backstage duties.
The play operated on a number of different levels: a musical, an impressive tableau vivant and a sound moral story of triumph over adversity. The pupils involved responded tremendously well to their roles, whether a major role for the first time for Head Boy Sam as Mufasa or smaller roles for the many first formers who were involved in singing and dancing. One of the all inclusive features of the Cottesmore plays produced by Miss C over many years has been their impressive use of pupils from across the full age range of the school, including new arrivals who have never taken drama before, pupils entering the Prep school for the first time and those at the senior end who have worked their way through the school, assuming bigger roles as they got older. Many often started in the Pre-prep with the Nativity!
To try and pick outstanding moments from the play is very difficult in such an overall superb production. As a musical, the singing of Abigail as Nala and of Poppy as Rafiki was exceptional. The acting was of a very high standard throughout with young Simba, played by Bertie V outstanding, moving across a full range of emotions from comedy to tragedy and finally resounding triumph. Minor characters also had their show-stealing moments: the comic duo of Timon and Pumbaa, played by Christopher and Asad garnered a huge amount of laughter from their lines and added to the incredible feel-good factor of the whole play. John as Zazu was also a well portrayed character, dominating the stage for the time he was on it and always creating memorable moments with both his singing and puppetry. The Hyenas retained an air of sleazy menace as they slouched across the stage. It was difficult to believe that Katherine —one of the hyenas — was also the person responsible for the sensitive origami pieces used by the doves (first form girls) in their dance sequence. The pride of lions danced superbly, their head movements synchronised to perfection and last, but by no means least, the duo of Scar played by Isadore, along with his evil sister, played by Emily were the incarnation of evil and treachery.  A resounding success!
The Carol Concert: Sunday December 10th at 6 p.m
The tree is decked and the log fire will be blazing brightly as we once again celebrate Christmas with our carol concert on Sunday 10th December. The programme will include carols both traditional and contemporary; readings will be given by the children and staff.  We’ll also be transported to Denmark as the Danish girls will perform a traditional Danish carol. 
After the concert parents and guests are welcome to join us for a glass of wine and mince pies in the Drawing Room. 
Pre-prep news
Gathering excitement in the Pre-prep heralds their Nativity this Friday and we look forward to a super production, performed with their customary zing. Parents and guests are warmly invited to refreshments in the hall afterwards. 
Another big day follows next week with a trip to the pantomime on Tuesday, followed by a Christmas party; term ends on Wednesday at 11 a.m.
Other News
‘Technological progress’ is an ever-present buzz phrase in our world. At one end of the spectrum Cottesmore actively encourages peer-to-peer interaction with face to face contact rather than on screens; however, there are moments when it is recognised that important developments need to be shared with the pupils, moving them from awareness to acquaintance, then on to understanding and finally expertise. So the installation of a 3D printer in the ICT suite has caused some comment from “ What’s that Mr Helm?” through to “ What does it do?” and “Do you like your new toy?”
Almost inevitably certain Cottesmorians have already “seen it, done it, got the T-shirt” but the vast majority were entranced by the movement and lighting of the new machine. “It looks like such fun” said one pupil. Linking in with the D&T department, the creative and the technical should now find a further method of expression. Watch this space! 
Since Mr Rogerson introduced coding to the curriculum a few terms ago, it has become commonplace to hear the interchange “Are you playing a game?” “No. I’m writing one.” What will happen next is not yet known. If the past is anything to go by, the bright young minds at Cottesmore will make it exciting and fun. Alas, the pupil who asked Mr Helm “Can I print a machine that will do my prep for me?” was bitterly disappointed!

Looking Forward
The Feast
The preparations for our annual end of Christmas term celebration – held on the last night of term — are gathering momentum.
Our catering team team has been preparing the festive menu for a traditional Christmas dinner with turkey and all the trimmings, followed by Christmas pudding. After the meal and speeches, the pupils will be entertained by the staff who have been working feverishly and in great secrecy on some ‘serious dramatic sketches’.  
The Feast is undoubtedly a longed-for and much enjoyed event at the end of winter term.  While elements of the evening are traditional and unchanging, for example, the sumptuous Christmas dinner, the parade of the flaming Christmas puddings through the hall and the speeches, certain aspects are subject to change — and conjecture!  
The Staff Entertainment is the secret to be revealed after dinner and the pupils never quite know what to expect. Rumour is always rife and Cottesmorians are adept at trying to catch their busy teachers ‘off guard’ with some innocent questions as to what may be expected. So far they have been unsuccessful!   
What’s certain is that a fabulous evening is guaranteed as both pupils and staff celebrate together as a highly successful term draws to a close and everyone looks forward to a well-earned break. 
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