Newsletter - Winter Term, 12.12.17
Cottesmore School
Cottesmore News

Newsletter - Winter Term, 12.12.17

The final days of another full and rounded term are galloping along. Excitement runs very high, the trunks have emerged from storage and rumours are rife about the staff entertainment at The Feast!

Academic News
The English department led two very successful trips last week, to our local cinema and to London’s West End.
The 3rd and 4th form were enthralled by the film ‘Wonder’, based on a New York Times bestselling novel for children, written by Raquel Palacio. Published in 45 countries and selling over 5 million copies worldwide, the novel (and film) chart the story of August Pullman, who was prevented from attending mainstream school because of facial differences. Finally entering school in the 5th grade, he becomes an unlikely hero. Inspiring and heart warming in equal measure, the messages of kindness and acceptance contained within the story led to the founding of the Choose Kind movement, with its themes of anti-bullying and resilience. 
The 5th and 6th forms enjoyed the bright lights of the West End at the Cambridge Theatre where they were captivated by a performance of ‘Matilda’, based on Roald Dahl’s book of the same name. This multi-award winning musical, performed by the Royal Shakespeare Company has been described by The Observer as ‘an anarchically joyous, gleefully nasty and ingenious musical’. Recently celebrating its 6th birthday in the West End, the play’s run has just been extended to February 2019 due to its outstanding popularity. Cottesmorians would certainly agree!
Music: The Carol Concert
It may have been wet and blustery outside, but all was calm and bright in the hall on Sunday evening for our candlelit carol concert. 
Led by the Reverend Mark Perry our service featured carols traditional and contemporary, lessons and prayers, all bathed in the glow of firelight and candles. 
Beginning with the Procession from Britten’s ‘Ceremony of Carols’, Branton’s soaring solo then delivered the opening verse of ‘Once in Royal David’s City’, which along with the joyous ‘O Come All Ye Faithful’ invited everyone to join in. The chapel choir’s renditions of ‘Breath of Heaven’, ‘Children Go Where I Send Thee’, ‘O Nata Lux’, ‘Silent Night’ and ‘A Christmas Blessing’ were beautifully performed to a rapt audience.
Our Danish girls brought a Scandinavian feel with their carol, ‘Dejilig Er Den Himmel Bla’, a traditional Danish carol written in 1840.  France was represented too, with Mathilde’s beautiful performance in French of the second verse of ‘O Little Town of Bethlehem’.  
Other carols included ‘Joy to the World’ ‘Wake Up, Wake Up, It’s Christmas Morning’ and the triumphant ‘Hark the Herald Angels Sing’.
The lessons were faultlessly read by pupils Isabella, Meer, Sophia, Rafferty and Harry, with Mrs Rogerson following tradition by reading the sixth lesson, taken from St John’s gospel. 
The prayers and blessings were concluded and the chapel choir performed the Recessional from Britten’s ‘A Ceremony of Carols’ to close the service. 
A retiring collection was taken to support Cecily’s Fund, which enables orphans and vulnerable children in Zambia to gain an education. After the service mulled wine and mince pies were served to our guest — a festive finish to a wonderful evening. 
Sports Round Up
A fantastic flourish on Saturday afternoon saw victories for every rugby team: a ‘slam’ is a great way to end the term!
U12s v Ashdown House: won 55-15
Every boy in the squad gained valuable experience in this fixture, in what was a straightforward and easy win for Cottesmore.  The Ashdown boys had no answer to our very persistent rucking, moving the ball out wide to our strike runners, with Yode, Digby and Jules especially very dominant; when the ball moved all the way along the line Matthew scored in the corner, with Rafferty scoring in the other corner when he came on in the second half.
Overall the coaches were very happy with the performance of the boys and Mr Hopkins as referee gave the Man of the Match award to Jules, for his impressive and abrasive performance.  The try-scoring tally was: Digby 3; Yode 4; Matt 2; Jules 1 and Rafferty 1. 
Hopefully this result is a good portent for the rest of the season. The U13s did not play Ashdown on Saturday as they were at a theatre trip in London to see Matilda. 
U11s v Ashdown: won 20-10
Humphrey A scored two tries in this superb game. 
U10s v Ashdown: won 30-10
An outstanding four tries by Will P contributed to this superb victory; he was certainly the star of the show!  The team remains unbeaten as the term closes.  The U9s also won their fixture. 
1st and 2nd teams v Pennthorpe: 1sts lost 11-15; 2nds won 33-2
The outstanding performance of this fixture came from the 2nd team, who are mostly U-12s. They beat the opposition U13 2nd team, with Aurelia and Tierney noted for their excellent play. 
The first team lost an exciting contest against outstanding opposition, who were fielding   several county players. The final score was 11-15, although Cottesmore won the second half convincingly at 9-3. Abigail was dominant in defence and deservedly awarded Girl of the Game.  Poppy was Girl of the Game for her best performance this term as centre. 
Pre-prep news
The smallest members of the Cottesmore community were ready for their weekend off after a fabulous performance of their Nativity on Friday afternoon. All their hard work and rehearsals came to fruition in a joyful production followed by refreshments afterwards, where the assembled parents and guests were overheard to speak of the production in glowing terms!
This week they round off their term with a trip to the pantomime today, followed by a Christmas party lunch. 
Other News
Santa Lucia
Our Danish girls brought a flavour of Danish Christmas to Cottesmore on Monday, when they celebrated the traditional feast day of Santa Lucia. Wearing white robes, tinsel crowns and bearing lit candles, our six Danes toured the school singing a celebration of light in the dark Nordic winters. This special day forms a part of Cottesmore’s Christmas traditions and dates back to 1946, when it was started by Mr Rogerson’s grandfather, Michael Rogerson. 
ICT Update
Hot on the heels of the arrival of our 3D printer, Mr Helm is busy with the upgrade to our server system. The new server will boast 8Tb of central storage with a 2-hourly back-up system in place, ensuring no loss of data. System upgrades to windows 10 and Office 365 complete the latest innovations, getting the new year off to a flying (ICT) start. 
Looking Forward
The end of term and The Feast
The end of term jobs are well under way with tidying and packing keeping everyone very busy. After that it’s time to start winding down with Set activities and fun games, before The Feast begins.
A fantastic evening of good food and fun beckons, with a traditional Christmas dinner followed by the staff entertainment. Finally, all will be revealed to a curious audience, who have tried in vain to extract information from their teachers.  All we can reveal at this stage is that songs, sketches, music and all-round hilarity await!
After prize giving and a final chapel service tomorrow it’s time to wave goodbye until the new year, with Merry Christmas wishes from everyone at Cottesmore. 
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