Headmaster's Weekly Newsletter 30 November 2018
Headmaster's Weekly Newsletter 30 November 2018
Dear Parents and Friends, On Saturday, the Christmas Fair was another great success thanks to the teamwork of all those involved. Congratulations to Lindsey Handford, the 1853 Society Committee Members and all those parent, staff and pupil volunteers who made this such a great event. Our pupils performed very strongly in the National Biathlon Championships in Leeds on Saturday and in the London School Trampoline Competition on Sunday. Our Chapel Services this week were led by St Andrew’s House, with Mr Tansley sharing reflections from the English Department on the poetry written as a result of the First World War.
The poems chosen, ‘In Flanders Fields’ by John McCrae, ‘Dulce et Decorum est’ by Wilfred Owen and ‘Suicide in the Trenches’ by Siegfried Sassoon are worth re-reading if you have a chance this weekend.
In stark contrast to the grim and grey November weather, we have been bathed in the warmth and sunshine of our school production this week. After a busy period of rehearsals, ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ has played to enchanted audiences on both Wednesday and Thursday evenings. The quality of the acting, staging and of the sound, lighting, stage and technical crew has been of the highest level, and this combined with brilliant costumes, make-up and wardrobe has led to some outstandingly enjoyable and accomplished performances. My congratulations to all involved in this wonderful and uplifting production and in particular to Mr Irani and Mr O’Gorman, Ms Clarke, Ms Moore, Mr Edwards, Mrs Muldoon and Ms Smith who have all worked so hard to ensure the highest standards from our young cast and crew.
I very much look forward to the last night tonight; I'm sure we'll all in for a feast of entertainment. As the UCAS season of university offers intensifies, I pass on my congratulations to all of Year 13 who have received university course offers and to the six students who have received invitations to interview at Oxford and Cambridge in the next two weeks: Lucas Jones, Kei Kawamata, Peter Li, Oscar Luo, Ola Maciaszek and Tim Zhang. Congratulations also to Yasmin Akhmedova who gave an excellent, informative and detailed Library presentation on the UN Security Council on Tuesday lunchtime.
Well done to Year 11 pupils who have managed the first week of their trial examinations very positively.
It was great to see some smiles at the end of the afternoon session today! Our Careers Department hosted a ‘Law Networking Breakfast’ for a small group of pupils supported by three of our parents in the legal profession. This was a very successful inaugural event and we will be organising further careers breakfasts in 2019. This morning we welcomed potential Sport Scholars for Year 7 and Year 9 entry in September 2019 for their assessment day and, next week, we will welcome pupils for further scholarship assessments in Art, Music and Drama ahead of the entrance examinations in January.
We have fixtures in football and hockey against Westminster and Hurst tomorrow after a successful week for our teams in netball. Our Chapel Service this Sunday is our Advent Carol Service, which starts at 5:45pm and you are very welcome to come and join us as we look forward to the Christmas season ahead. On Sunday 9 December, the Senior School Carol Service will be held in Great Hall at 6.30pm. This traditional service of lessons and carols is a wonderful way to reflect on the Christmas message and all are welcome. With best wishes, Headmaster’s Weekly Newsletter 30 November 2018 Chris Hutchinson Headmaster
From the Chapel School Services Heads of School Amanfi, Maya and Yasmin with the senior prefects, spoke powerfully in Anti-bullying week about the harm of treating others badly. Such moral values are based historically on the Biblical revelation that human beings are created in God’s image. At Christmas we celebrate God becoming human to save us from the power of sin and death, thus showing our value in his eyes. St Andrew’s House read First World War poems which told of the significance of poppies and the horrors of suffering in the trenches.
St Andrew’s Day Today the Church celebrates Andrew, who, along with his brother Simon, left his fishing net to become became one of Jesus’ first disciples, a “fisher of men”.
He is the patron of several countries, including Scotland, Georgia, Ukraine, Russia, Greece and Romania. It is claimed that he died on a saltire, an X-shaped cross; hence the flag of Scotland. Advent The season of preparation for Christmas, begins this Sunday. Our service of lessons and carols begins at 5.45 p.m. in darkness. Year 7s are expected to attend, im school uniform. All other families are most welcome also.. Hamzah, Archie and Toby with Mr Tansley
Christmas Fair The Festive Season Begins…. Wind and the ongoing threat of rain last Saturday could not dampen the spirit of the school community at the Royal Russell Christmas Fair, organised by the Parents’ Association [1853 Society]. Whilst children were occupied with many games and activities organised by the Junior School, parents had the opportunity to browse nearly 20 stalls offering a range of Christmas gifts including seasonal produce, fashion accessories, jewellery, homeware, original art and beauty products. Not to mention the Grand Raffle, with many amazing prizes.
The infamous ‘Secrets Room’ enabled children to purchase and wrap presents for their families and many happy memories were captured in the photo booth which debuted this year.
Having visited Father Christmas in his magical, sparkling grotto, our younger children were delighted with their gift of an ‘elf on the shelf’ for whom they were able to buy accessories at the elves’ pop-up store, ‘Elfridges’. The afternoon was rounded off with a delicious sausage or burger from the BBQ and a warming cup of tea or, for a real seasonal treat, glass of mulled wine and mince pie.
Without doubt, the Christmas Fair would not happen without the generous support (and donations) of parents, Sixth Formers, boarders, CCF, staff, family and friends. The 1853 Committee would like to thank you all for your time, creativity and energy! Over £10,000 was raised during the event!
Year 13 Russia Conference It’s the most wonderful time of the year: the time when the Royal Russell History Department heads down to the Emmanuel Centre to attend the History in Action conference on Russia and her revolutions. Year 13 have been working on coursework about the 1917 Russian Revolutions (or coups d’état if you’re that way inclined) and had the brilliant opportunity to hear talks from historians like Christopher Read, whose works may well form part of our answers.
We managed to nab front-row seats for the entirety of the lecture, and the neck-ache from peering up at the stage was definitely worth it to hear each of the talks so clearly. The first talk introduced us to the futurist movement in Moscow during the immediately pre-WW1 period, explaining how they painted their bodies and ran screaming down the streets in a rejection of conservatism that seems to prefigure how much the country would change over the next ten years. Although the first two talks were the only ones that were directly relevant to our courses, history is an end in itself, so we stayed to hear Smele, Read and Sakwa give fascinating talks on the course that Russia took following the October revolutions.
Add to that the architectural metaphor that every history students knows and loves, and we had a really interesting and productive day! Thanks to Ms Worsfold for organising the day and making sure that we didn’t get lost! Lucas Jones
Year 12 Speaker, OR Sam Furness Last week, Sam Furness was invited to school to deliver one of the weekly talks to Year 12. As an Old Russellian, it made for a nice treat for some of the teachers as well as the eager Year 12s. As our speaker wasn’t a student all that long ago, it was refreshing to hear the difference in his goals and aspirations as a Sixth Former and now as a working adult. With a career originally stemming in managing bands, it was interesting to see him step away from that. Sam Furness realised, not too long ago, that he wanted more creativity in his life. He no longer wanted to just help those achieve great creativity, he wanted to be one of the brilliant minds behind it.
Thus, he engaged in a year long project to push himself to enjoy life a little more. Every month he’d take on a new challenge from origami to cooking and collage to home made movies. By doing this, he added colour to his life. He was learning a variety of new skills to not only keep him entertained, but give him a sense of fulfilment. He warned: “You are not going to live with purpose if you remain in your comfort zone - keep trying new things and have fun”. Sam Furness has stepped back from his job, now working part-time, in order to pursue his new project, where he embarks on new challenges every three months, in order to really master his new skills.
This talk was crucial for our Year 12s as there are feelings of worry for those who aren’t yet sure of what they want to do with their lives after Royal Russell. Sam Furness delivered them a path that simply meant taking every opportunity that arises, which most certainly put some of the students at ease. A Christmas Carol Reading All most welcome. Please book your place by email to firstname.lastname@example.org
As part of this year’s fundraising efforts, the Student Council have decided that they would like to support Croydon Foodbank once again. As with previous years, we will be collecting much needed toiletries and non-perishable food items for the Croydon Foodbank to distribute to the people in crisis living in and around Croydon. Please find below a list of products of which the Croydon Foodbank are currently in need. If you would like to make a donation, please bring in your contributions from 3rd – 7th of December and leave them on the wooden table outside the Deputy Heads’ offices. Croydon Foodbank are currently in need of: RRS Students Achieve Top Four in Regional Final Senior Maths Challenge Congratulations to our team of Ola, Oscar, Benson and Ada for coming a creditable 4th place in this competitive heat of the national contest, held at Ravens Wood School.
Thanks to Mr Callow for his help in preparing the students for this competition. Good luck to Ola and Oscar for their Cambridge University Maths interviews next week. Tinned meat Squash drinks Cooking oils (500ml) Female sanitary products Deodorants Tinned meals pies etc. Sponge pudding (tinned) Rice Disposable Razors Nappies Sizes 4,5, & 6 Sugar (500g) Rice pudding (tinned) Biscuits or Snack bars Shower gels Breakfast Cereals Long life milk (500ml) Tinned fruit Tea bags Toothpaste Dried Pasta Fruit Juice (Carton) Instant coffee (small jars) Toilet rolls Shampoo Corned Beef
‘Security Council’ Lecture This Tuesday, Year 13 student Yasmin Akhmedova gave an academic lecture on the Security Council.
As a regular participant in Model United Nations and a previous President of the Security Council in a conference, Yasmin is both knowledgeable and interested in the work of the United Nations and Security Council. Yasmin began by explaining the role of the SC, which is “to maintain international peace and security”, by determining threats and assisting in peaceful settlement of disputes. She also discussed the history of the Security Council, from its creation in 1945 after the Second World War to its peacekeeping operations, some of which are still active today. Many methods are available to the Security Council to enable it to achieve its goals, and these include sanctions and peacekeeping opera- tions.
Yasmin discussed the operation that took place in Sierra-Leone from 1999 to 2005 where UN peacekeepers disarmed thousands of people in a successful move towards peace. She expressed that UN peacekeeping operations have also been unsuccessful such as the Srebrenica Massacre of 1995 where the UN troops were unable to prevent the deaths of over 8000 Muslim men and boys. Finally, Yasmin talked about reforms to the Security Council, which has only been reformed once since its formation. A key issue at the centre of most discussions on reforming the Security Council is the Permanent 5, or P5, nations which are; the USA, UK, France, Rus- sia and China.
Their ability to veto resolutions is blamed by many for the lack of reforms in the Security Council, as any suggested reforms would decrease the power of the P5 nations or introduce more P5 nations.
As always, it was an excellent and informative presentation. The academic lecture programme has continued to be extremely successful and all available spaces for this academic year have already been filled. Anyone in Year 12 or below who would be interested in giving an academic lecture in the next academic year should speak to Ms Tovey. Erika Rugyendo-Henry Safeguarding Corner This week, I decided to talk about Happiness and why it matters. Attached is a very interesting article from the Guardian as well as the 10 steps of Happiness. Mrs Nathalie Hart, Deputy Head Pastoral
Library News Once again, the Library was delighted to take part in the BookTrust’s Bookbuzz scheme for Year 7 pupils.
Each pupil was able to choose one book from a selection of titles ranging from Amazing Animals, an action packed annual full of amazing animal facts, to The Guggenheim Mystery, an edge-of-the seat adventure following Ted, Kat and Salim as they investigate a theft at the Guggenheim Museum. Year 7 have had to wait a long time for the books to arrive, and were at last glad to take delivery of them as you can see by the photos captured in class this week!
Christmas Concert Wednesday 12 December 6.00pm start, Auditorium. All welcome. Mince Pies and Mulled Wine from 5.30pm
From the Sport Department FOOTBALL Last Saturday senior football played John Lyon School. There were 4 wins and no losses. 23 goals for, 2 against. A feast of attacking football! The Under 15A’s looked to continue their good form in the Elgin League when they took on John Lyon School on Saturday. Royal Russell got off to a positive start after testing the John Lyon defence with a combination of long balls and crosses that really put their defence on the back foot.
The breakthrough came when Jaiden Drakes-Thomas shot from outside the box to find the bottom corner. The second came before half time when a corner from Bobby Moore found Sam German in the 6-yard box, 2-0 at half time. John Lyons came out second half and tried to get back into the game but the Royal Russell defence stood up to the challenge and managed to get Kai Neil-Grey to find his way in the box and score from close range. The opposition managed to claw one back with a superb counter attack that spit the defence to make it 3-1. Royal Russell persisted and Roshan Greensall managed to grave a late brace in the last 10 minutes to give Royal Russell a 5-1 win.
The Under 15A’s travel to Westminster this Saturday.
The under 12A’s played their next round of the National Cup against Robert Barclay Academy away from home. The boys played really well and continued to play in style despite playing on a challenging pitch. They went into halftime 3-0. They started the second half brightly and continued to play and keep the ball away from the oppositions press. After another Robert Barclay goal and a Royal Russell consolation goal through Rhys Read-Beche, this cup-tie unfortunately ended 4-1 to the opposition. On Wednesday we welcomed Forest School for a set of senior U18 fixtures. With many of the Year 11’s in exams, there were some opportunities for squad players to shine and many did so!
The 1XI won 5-1 in their Elgin League fixture, a result mirrored by the 2XI, while the 3XI played really well in a 2-2 draw. This means that the 1XI are now second in that league with a game in hand. HOCKEY Royal Russell hosted Tormead School in an U12 AB U13AB clash. Both U12 teams got off to a great start with a high tempo warm up and being prepared from the first whistle. This showed during the matches with the A's and B's scoring early, catching Tormead off guard. Very impressive link up play and a mixture of short and long passes made Royal Russell play some of the best hockey so far this season.
Well done girls on the victories!
The U13 games were very tightly matched with many chances going missing from both sides. The A's worked very hard all the way to the final whistle chasing the opposition by one goal, unfortunately to no avail. The B's demonstrated high intensity and desire with great defensive performances which kept them in the game until the dying minutes, which left them wanting more.
NETBALL On Sunday, last week, our senior 1st team played Kings College, Wimbledon in the ISNC Plate competition on Wednesday, the final score finished 62-21 to Royal Russell. An excellent performance with all girls taking to the court.
On Friday, we welcomed Sevenoaks to Royal Russell, for the third round of the National Cup, which is essentially the Regional Quarter Finals. Looking at previous results, we were anticipating this to be a very tough game. The final score finished 63-24 to Royal Russell. This is evidence that the dedication and hard work these girls are putting into their netball is paying off. Player of the Match – Libby Jones.
They have drawn against Reigate Grammar for the next round. The match is scheduled for the 10th December at Royal Russell, spectators are very much welcome. This week, on Monday, the U13A and B teams played against Riddlesdown. Great win by the U13A team. A fantastic start leading 7-1 after the first quarter gave the girls the confidence they needed. Some brilliant feeds by our Centre, Bethany Long into the circle contributed to our lead of 11-2 at half time. Riddlesdown put up a good fight in the second half but couldn't break down our strong defence. A final score of 15-6. Great performance and good team spirit, let's keep up the good work.
Player of the Match was Beth Long.
The B team welcomed new players, who have shown great commitment to training and their improvements have been rewarded. The girls were really excited to play. At half time the scores were level at 4 apiece. After a hard-fought last quarter Royal Russell took the lead and won the game 10-7. Congratulations to Kaylah Black for being the opposition’s player of the match and captained the team well. Nadra Webb was selected as coaches’ player of the match. HOUSE SPORT On Monday afternoon, while the rest of year 7 and 8 were playing Ibstock Place, the social football group decided to play a game too.
Year 7 would take on Year 8. They ended up winning 2-1! Please note that the teams were fair, in the photo, Phoenix and Seb are hiding at the back! On Wednesday we saw the conclusion of the intermediate (Year 9/10) boys 5-a-side competition as Oxford beat Cambridge 2-0 to claim the title.
Keable beat St Andrew’s and they ended up second, Cambridge were third and Madden fourth on countback.
BRITISH BIATHLON CHAMPIONSHIPS Last Congratulations to Mille Brown, Lara Flint and Eivie Lloyd who all qualified for the British Biathlon finals held in Leeds last weekend. Mille and Lara travelled to compete; they did not disappoint with excellent swim and run times taking time off their qualifying times. Millie in the U12 group placed, in one of the largest groups of the day, a great 45th , while Lara in the U13’s finished in a brilliant 26th ! What fantastic results, well done girls.
U12/13 LONDON SCHOOLS TRAMPOLINE QUALIFIER In a simply brilliant competition, the squad performed really well especially those competing for the first time. The team of Tino, Alex and Will (8th ) started the day off brilliantly finishing 1st in the U13 Novice group, with Tino taking the title and Alex finishing in 2nd place!
The U14 Elite team continued the team success finishing 2nd in the highest difficulty category, Eivie finished 4th , Jasmine 7th , Hannah 8th and Amy 9th . All these pupils qualify through to the Southern Zonal Finals. The U13 Novice team of Lara (18th ), Drew (15th ), Gracy (36th ) and Romy (11th ) bounced into 3rd place just missing out on going through to the next round. In the U19 Intermediate group the team were the clear winners with Grace finishing in 2nd and Anna 3rd ! The team have worked so hard perfecting their routines and including harder moves in their routines, this was simply awesome; Emily (7th) and Ellie (14th ) help the team secure the victory.
Jamie finished in 2nd in the U19 Novice group also securing a place in the next round. Matt and Amelia jumping at Elite level put in great performances with Matt in 2nd and Amelia in an agonising 4th by the smallest of margins just missing out on qualification. The U15 team all bounced really well and were unlucky to finish in 4th place in a tough group, well done Emelie (7th ),Georgia 10th , Melissa (20th ), Sophie and Ophelia (24th ).