GFP Letter from RNRJ for Sept 96 by 3H6tcET


									From the Housemaster                                                            OLDHAM’S HALL
                                                                                 THE SCHOOLS
M D B Johnson, BA, PGCE.                                                          SHREWSBURY
                                                                                      SY3 7AX

Telephone: 01743 280670


                                             Lent Term 2012

                                                                                            29th March 2012

 Dear Parents,

 Sitting in a warm study with the windows open, this could be the start of the summer term letter rather
 then my Easter offering. Conditions were not quite the same back in January, and since then we have
 enjoyed a term packed with events. The House Play was performed ‘in House’, there have been numerous
 concerts and musical events and given Shrewsbury’s wide sporting curriculum in this middle term, there
 really has been something for everyone. I hope that each boy has made it his aim to contribute at either
 House and/or School level and that amongst it all there is still some time to study effectively!

 This Lent term has reverted to the standard ten week spell plus Exeat, with each quarter of term marked
 by an extended Coach Weekend, enjoyed by boys, parents and staff in equal measure. The first Coach
 Weekend unusually ran from Saturday to Monday mainly to allow sports fixtures to be played during what
 is a shorter term. Feedback has informed us that this may not be a particularly popular move not least
 because parents are likely to be working on Mondays. One hopes that it is the majority or, at worst, a
 significant and sizeable minority of boys who are involved in games on the Saturday afternoon and so the
 impact of running from Saturday to Monday is seen as more tolerable.

 As I said last year, rightly or wrongly, the school year becomes more and more dominated by exams,
 whether the real thing or trials. The Third and Fourth Forms will have their end of year summer exams
 towards the end of next term. All Fifth, Lower and Upper Sixth Form boys have major public exams
 approaching in the Summer Term. The ‘retake culture’ of the Sixth Form may be diminishing a little with
 the recent requirement for all AS exam results to be included in UCAS applications to university next year.
 This directly affects the current Lower Sixth. Trial exams take place at the start of term for all Sixth
 Formers. All of this means boys have much to do over the holidays and so I do very much hope that the
 Director of Studies’ advice has been taken on board by our boys and that it will be acted upon in the
 holiday. We wish our Upper Sixth boys the very best for their exams especially, as so many have good
 offers from many universities.

 Let us return to the Lent term just past with a review of results, achievements and notable points. Due to
 the ‘dark arts’ involved in allocating the Ashton Theatre to Houses for performances of House plays,
 Oldham’s was left without a theatre slot this year. However, this was turned to our advantage as the boys
 chose to perform Harold Pinter’s ‘The Hothouse’, (coincidentally set in a mental institution!) in our very
 own boys’ hall in the House, for the first time since 2002 (“Loot”, Joe Orton). A small but experienced cast
 led by Freddie Fullerton with Gus Haynes, performed what was widely recognised as a polished and pretty
 professional show on two nights towards the end of term to full houses. Special mention should be made
 of our departing Upper Sixth thespians, Alex Montgomery, Jonathan Wood, Gus Haynes and Freddie
 Fullerton, the latter three all having appeared in every House play since I came to Oldham’s as
 Housemaster. All will be hugely missed next year when play season comes around again though we are
 fortunate to have plenty of talent coming through from further down the House.
Oldham’s boys competed well in the various fives leagues through the term and we are slowly creeping up
the tables. The top players, led by Dom Gibbons, made it to the semi-final in both the First and Second
House competitions. I was pleased to see a number of experienced boys playing in the Schools’ National
Fives Tournament supplemented by younger 3rd Form players, George Lechmere and Alex Lesnevskiy. Our
House squash team went one further than the fives players with Oliver Greig, Alastair Duffield, Ned Hall
and Harry Schofield reaching the final once again. Severn Hill’s younger players made the difference on this
occasion and we finished second. In addition I am very pleased to report that Oliver Greig, School Captain
of Squash has been awarded a School First for his superb contribution to squash.

More and more Oldhamites have represented the School on the river this term. Max Kimpton-Smith and
Harry Lonergan (both L6th Form) continue to power the 1st VIII to some great results, notably a big win at
the North of England Head on the Dee beating all other crews by some way. James Eardley (5th Form)
steered the 2nd VIII to second place in their division with housemate Charlie Clarke (5th Form) in the stroke
seat. Luke Koch de Gooreynd was called up to guide the 3rd VIII on the Thames in the National Schools’
Head of the River Race – no mean feat. J15 rowers included Guy Hunter, Charlie Duckworth and Angus
Gordon Banks (all 4th Form). And finally, George Young (3rd Form) sculled in the fastest J14C octo on day
one of the National Junior Sculls Head at Dorney Lake before an oar snapping ‘crab’ incident caused his
crew to retire later in the competition. We wish all School and House rowers and scullers the very best
for the big summer regattas that follow next term especially the House Bumps races at the end of term…

Also on a School level, Dominic Gibbons (U6th Form) and Robert Stott (L6th Form) are to be warmly
congratulated on playing in the School’s 1st and A XI football sides this term. I am sure the boys have rightly
found playing on the super surface provided by Senior for their School as quite an honour. Equally our
rugby players have played with commitment especially those three U14 A XV players, Anthony Koch de
Gooreynd, Harry Schofield and Captain, Bertie Gilliat-Smith who have had a very successful season indeed.
On the last day of term, the House competed really well in House hockey, effectively lead by Luke Koch de
Gooreynd and with Harry Yeoward particularly impressive. Jonathan Wood organised our Steeplechases
runners with Hunt regulars being joined by others and I was greatly impressed by the motivation and House
spirit that all those competing for the House displayed on the last day of term. One again, our Senior
House Rugby Tournament squad was the epitome of this. A number of senior boys, who know who they
are, and who, by their own admission may not be natural rugby players, turned up to qualifying sessions
earlier this term to make sure a House team could take to the field. Not all Houses achieved this. The
scores were not good but for me the overall result was, as this group of boys earned a good deal of respect
from the House and its supporters. Also it was apparent to me that a number of them could still play some
decent School rugby in the future.

It really is not all sport and a number of boys have taken their music theory and/or practical exams this
term. While it would be impossible to mention all our musicians and singers, Derek Law (5th Form) and
our Thai scholar, Jiro Wongsrisuk (4th Form) deserve a particular mention. After numerous rehearsals
often ending late, these boys played in the 2012 Gala Concert in Birmingham Town Hall earlier this term,
described as a 'majestic and moving' concert in a stunning venue.

The House seems to be holding up well following its refurbishment in Summer 2010 though I am still keen
to get more pictures on the walls. Partially with this in mind, we will be running a House Photograph
Competition in Oldham’s next term. Any boy from any year may submit up to three photographs to be
judged. If there is sufficient interest a prize will be awarded for each year group and winners will have their
pictures enlarged, framed and hung on the wall in the House. On a similar note, we would be really pleased
if parents of younger boys could do anything to help encourage our 3rd, 4th and 5th Formers especially to
bring in (appropriate!) pictures to cover the pin-boards in their studies.

The next time I write, Peter Fanning will have retired after over thirty years’ service to the School with
many of them as a Tutor in Oldham’s. We will have an opportunity to formally wish Jane and Peter the
best for their retirement at the end of term but for now I am sure you will join with me in wishing them the
very best for their final term at Shrewsbury. How will the Salopian stage musical tradition of excellence be
continued !?
If I may pass on a couple of points of business from the Headmaster and Second Master respectively.
Firstly, may we remind all parents that boys should adhere to the published term dates whenever possible.
These are published on the School’s website allowing viewing with plenty of notice. Secondly, we are
becoming concerned with the number of push scooters around the School site. There is a real health and
safety issue here given that cars also use the site. Mr. Tonks states that those who wish to return with
them should be aware that as of next term they will be covered by the same rules as bicycles.

I must thank our Matrons, Ellie Phillips and Penny Oak who together go from strength to strength in caring
for the boys. As many of you will have recognised, their dedication frequently goes well beyond the ‘call of
duty’. Along with our Matrons, our cleaning staff Sue, Gill, Sandra and Colin must feel as though they are
painting of the Forth Bridge at times given the tidiness of the average teenaged boy. There is a serious
point here and while most boys respect and appreciate our hardworking staff, I would urge a few to make
sure they do their bit to ease the load. Ellie and Penny were keen for me to mention that recently the
boys’ clearance of their rooms prior to Easter lets in Oldham’s was excellent and my thanks go to all.
Great thanks also go to our Duty Tutor team which provides me and our boys with super support every
weekday evening. Particular thanks goes to my Assistant, Colm Kealy who may well be called upon a little
more in the early part of the summer term depending upon when the next junior Johnson decides to join
us. I am sure you will join with me in wishing Colm and Lucy the very best for the birth of their second
baby early next summer. Despite lately being ‘very’ pregnant, Holly has managed to look after Lizzie and
me, and at times, 62 others. As ever, I am of course very grateful to her for all she does for me, for Lizzie
and for all our boys.

With very best wishes to all at Easter,

Awards this term

Oliver Greig (U6) – School First for services and commitment to Squash.
Christian Randall (U6) - School First for services and commitment to the CCF, RM Section.

The following boys have been awarded Commendations for Sport by the Director of Studies:

U14 Rugby Bertie Gilliat-Smith, Harry Schofield and Kit Crabtree.

U15 Rugby Jiro Wongsrisuk.

U15 Fives Daniel Delikatniy.

U16 Rugby Henry Crawford.

                    “E Safety”, Ashton Theatre.
Monday 16th April   6.00pm 3rd Form parents attend.
                    7.00pm 3rd Form boys attend.
                    7.00pm Third Form Parents’ Meeting, Kingsland Hall.

Monday 16th April   9.00pm Term starts.

Sunday 29th April   11.00am Confirmation service, School Chapel.
                    (10.15am Coffee at Oldham’s Hall)

Saturday 5th May    1.30pm Long Coach Weekend.
                    Ends 9.00pm Monday 7th May. School and House closes.

                    Police presentation.
Monday 7 May        6.00pm 4th Form parents attend.
                    7.00pm 4th Form boys attend.
                    7.00pm Fourth Form Parents’ Meeting, Kingsland Hall

Friday 1st June     7.30pm The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Hog Roast at Oldham’s Hall
                    (boys may be taken home after this, though House remains open).

Saturday 2nd June   9.00am Exeat begins (ends 9.00pm, Sunday 10th June).

Friday 15th June    7.30pm Oldham’s Leavers’ Supper

Sunday 17th June    1.00pm New Boys’ Lunch

                    Speech Day – itinerary to be confirmed.
Saturday 7th July   11.00am Leavers’ Service.
                    12.00noon Headmaster’s Address to parents (AH)
                    12.30pm Drinks in Oldham’s garden.
                    3.45pm Term ends.
                    7.30pm Leavers’ Ball.

                                                                             31st March 2012

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