1st December Newsletter

Dear Parents, Colleagues and Governors

Welcome to the second installment of the Head’s newsletter.

As I write, it is snowing. Flurries of flakes are starting to settle and my hopes are the exact opposite of some of the pupils, this had better not continue: we don’t want to be thinking about a day off school because of the weather!  However, it was precisely these weather conditions which caused the RAF to postpone our CCF flying day today.  They are hoping to reposition to another day early next year, so all of those who missed out this time, will have opportunity to fly another day early in the New Year.

Hosting Primary Schools’ Hockey

It is the last day of November today, with the best part of another fantastic week behind us. So what have we been up to? As I alluded to in last week’s edition we have had primary schools in to compete in a hockey competition, which was hosted on our MUGA by PE staff, Ben Garrard and Sue Prosser. There were 5 schools in from the Selby district area with youngsters of Year 3 and 4 age competing in five-a-side teams against each other, with our Years 10 and 11 hockey players in charge of refereeing the matches.  In the end, the competition was won by South Milford Primary, so well done to the boys and girls from there. Teachers from these primaries commented on the level of confidence, autonomy and professionalism of our girls in carrying out their jobs, so thank you ladies, you have been great ambassadors of the school, as always.

U13s Rugby

Our U13s went away to Hull Collegiate last Saturday to play rugby, but unfortunately, despite a competitive game, fell convincingly to their opposition, with a 62-5 score line. The score didn’t fairly reflect the level of commitment and opposition our team put up, as this Read team are tenacious and with pace, despite not having the size and presence of some of the larger schools.

The Prep’s Production: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

The highlight of the school week thus far has to be the prep production of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. I was lucky enough to witness the opening matinee showing, along with a number of very happy and effusive parents. Even by the interval we were discussing the level of talent on show from our older prep pupils in the main parts; with Lizzy Nield stealing the show as the eccentric, endlessly energetic Willy Wonka.

Her comic timing, volume projection and movement about stage were so good that we kept forgetting that we were watching someone of primary school age! There were also notable performances from the rest of Year 6 (the whole year group had a prominent role to play) with the notable spoilt brats in the story played with great humour by Mary Couch (Veruca Salt ); Ella Frost (Violet Beauregarde) Jay McHale  (Augustus Gloop); Alex Love (Mike TeaVee); and of course, Isaac Stephens in the role of our plucky hero, Charlie Bucket.

The narrators also deserve an honourable mention, with admirable (and funny) performances from Harry Chittock, Kolyer Abaa-Ogley and Will Kavanagh.  Of course, the younger pupils got to have the best time, as they took on the role of the Oompa Loompas and sang with great gusto.

I am sure I have missed out one or two other great performers, but everyone named in the cast list put on a great show, thanks of course, in part to the whole of the staff of the Prep School, who have worked tirelessly over the past few months to pull the whole thing together. Thank you, one and all.

An Officer and a Gentleman

I move now from the present, to the past. Just yesterday, I was chatting to one of our past parents, Ann Roberts. Here’s what she sent about her son Matthew, who we all remember as a leaver from just last year:

Please find attached photos of Matthew at his commissioning parade at Old College, Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst. He is currently undertaking a gap year commission with the army. He has completed and passed the short course, making him a second lieutenant. 

He will leave Sandhurst at the end of this week and join a REME unit. He has chosen this branch of the army as he intends to start his mechanical engineering degree course at Manchester next academic year. Meanwhile it looks likely that he will be sent to Germany in January and then later in the year to Canada. Some gap year!

All this seems to have evolved from being Head of Contingent of the Read School CCF.”

So this demonstrates a number of things: firstly, how productive a student can be during a gap year if they are motivated and organized; secondly, how many skills something like the CCF can give you. This is fantastic news for Matthew and we all wish him well. It is something to bear in mind for current CCF cadets who may have aspirations toward a military career and yet don’t want to become completely tied in should they change their mind. This pathway allows flexibility and gives one options.

During this week we have also had a Book Fair in the Prep Department. Many of you have come along and purchased a book or two. This continues to remain available until the end of the week.

We begin December with U11 matches for both rugby and netball, with the teams playing away to Highfield. We need to make sure our pupils have changed out of their Oompa Loompa costumes in time for this fixture, as the large pom-pommed footwear can cause issues with running and the purple hair is deemed distracting to opposing teams.

Next Tuesday, we have a Year 10 Parents’ Evening which commences at 5.30pm. All of your Year 10 teachers will be present, along with the Assistant Head, should you wish to ask curriculum-specific questions. Could I ask that whether you intend to come or not, that you respond to Miss Walker’s attendance Parentmail, so we have an accurate picture of who is coming.

That about wraps it up for this week, except to say have a great weekend, ladies and gentlemen.

Warmest regards

Mark Voisey