Newsletter - Winter Term - 06.12.17
The longest term of the school year has passed by in record time (or so it seems). As usual Cottesmorians have applied their boundless energy to academic study, sport, hobbies and activities. However there is always time to pause and reflect; our Chapel services at Harvest Festival and Remembrance Sunday in particular provided opportunities for stillness and to appreciate all that we have.
40 pupils across both Prep and Pre-prep, along with a new member of the academic staff received a warm Cottesmore welcome in September, enabling them to quickly settle in to the rhythm of a new school year.
A highly successful Open Morning early in the term was very well attended with Cottesmorians (as always) outstanding in their behaviour and courtesy towards our guests. Later in the term we were delighted to welcome would-be Cottesmorians to a second Open Morning, held after a very successful talk on boarding given by Mr Rogerson at The Independent Schools Show in London.
Sporting endeavour has been much in evidence this term with some excellent results. Lacrosse has been added to the girls’ options and as always we have been delighted to see the levels of sportsmanship displayed by our pupils in every sport.
The soccer teams played some enthralling matches and they were rewarded with a number of victories and hard-fought draws. The U9 players thoroughly enjoyed their triangular tournament and the Colts teams are also rightly proud of their team achievements.
The rugby season got off to a slightly later start than usual and we look forward to reporting on this next term after some very intensive training.
The girls’ hockey teams enjoyed well-deserved success, with fixtures against St Christopher’s and Cumnor House especially rewarding their determined play with resounding victories.
The netball teams have enjoyed an excellent season, with the seniors in particular jubilant at score lines which included 17-2 and 27-7. The younger players are also showing great promise. The most junior pupils — many of whom are new to the game — are very keen and determined in their efforts.
The Golf Family Foursomes was played early in the term and despite some lacklustre weather on the day, a spirited and enjoyable day was enjoyed by everyone.
Our new Astroturf was officially opened and it was a pleasure to welcome Leah Wilkinson from the Wales hockey squad to perform the opening ceremony. Leah offered coaching sessions afterwards, which the girls were delighted to take part in.
Cottesmore’s premiere of The Lion King was an outstanding success, with over 76 pupils taking part and many more providing backstage support. The singing and dancing were of a very high standard and the entire production was a spectacular riot of colour. There were plenty of scene-stealing moments in what was unanimously agreed by audiences from three performances as a resounding success.
Staff News: Salvete and Valete
Miss Amy Flower joined our academic staff in September as Head of English and Form 2 tutor.
Our Australian and New Zealand gap students returned home at the end of term after a year of contributing to Cottesmore life in so many ways. As always we wished them ‘bon voyage’ and ‘good luck’ in their future endeavours. Mr Will returns to us next year along with a new cohort of ‘gappers’.
Jeans for Genes Day and Children in Need raised significant sums for both charities, with the little ones in the Pre-prep enjoying a very spotty day for Children in Need.
At Harvest Festival we received generous donations of food gifts, which were donated to a local food bank and Help the Aged. The Pre-prep pupils joined in with their gifts for the Harvest Festival and they also took part in the Samaritans’ Purse Appeal, filling shoeboxes with gifts as part of a worldwide appeal for children by the Samaritans.
Lectures and Visits
Our extensive and varied programme of day-trips and visiting speakers augmented pupils’ learning across every year group.
Senior pupils headed to London’s West End at the end of term to see the award-winning play ‘Matilda’, based on Roald Dahl’s famous story, while the juniors greatly enjoyed ‘Awful Auntie’ at our local theatre. The History department led trips to Hastings and Canterbury to support pupils’ topics of study and the popular Watts Gallery provided a stimulating and creative day, organised by our Visual Arts department.
A rich visiting speakers programme this term included authors Cherry Healey and Alex Preston and climber Ben Heason. Julie Wilkinson returned with ‘Brave The Rage,’ engaging pupils on topics include bullying and emotional resilience. Another welcome return visitor was Mrs Marilyn Brocklehurst with the Norfolk Book Centre.
Chapel and Music News
Our daily morning services provide a reflective start to each new day and along with Sunday prayer and evensong services, encourage opportunities for quiet reflection.
We are always pleased to welcome visiting headteachers and registrars to Sunday evensong and this term our visitors included guests from Eastbourne College, Heathfield School and Brighton College.
Harvest Festival was celebrated with a traditional service and in November our Remembrance Sunday service took place in a packed chapel. In both services we paused and gave thanks for all that we have, as well as the sacrifices that have been made for us.
Our candlelit carol service at the end of term brought everyone together to celebrate the meaning of Christmas with traditional readings of the Christmas story. Led by our choir, traditional carols along with contemporary Christmas works filled the hall with joyful sound. The Christmas tree and log fire provided their own seasonal, magical backdrop for this special celebration.
There was an abundance of their own brand of zing in the Pre-prep this term. A packed and busy term concluded with a performance of their Nativity play, a trip to our local theatre for the pantomime Jack and the Beanstalk and a Christmas party.
Topics of study this term have included Light, Christopher Columbus, India and All About Me. The children have enjoyed some very creative processes, including Rangoli patterns and were entranced to learn all about Diwali. Our extensive grounds provided numerous possibilities and learning opportunities when studying autumnal changes ahead of the Harvest Festival. The entire Pre-prep took part in their own beautifully presented Harvest assembly.
Regular swimming lessons continue to be a popular part of the Pre-prep curriculum and a comprehensive range of after school clubs and activities has included judo, percussion club, choir, art & craft and French.
Fun Activities and Sundays ‘In’
As always there has been a full term of activities planned for Sundays ‘in’. Hobbies, games and activities organised by the staff on duty make leisure time fun, while there is also a programme of trips on offer. This term these have included Brighton pier and funfair, Chessington World of Adventure and Brighton ice rink. Back at school Ceramic Shack came to Cottesmore for a day of creative activities making plates, mugs, money boxes and ornaments.
Our bonfire night celebrations were the traditional and exuberant mix of a huge bonfire, a dazzling firework display and plenty of warming food. Energetic country dancing was accompanied by a live band, with a guest appearance by the Headmaster on his guitar.
The term was rounded off by our splendid Christmas event ‘The Feast’: a celebration of another successful term for both staff and children.
We wish you all a very happy Christmas and a peaceful New Year.