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Head Master's Newsletter - Weekly Message

 

 

Friday 17 January

 

Dear Parents,

It has been another busy and purposeful week at King’s, and I am delighted to share with you some of the highlights.

Yesterday, Year 7 staged a physical theatre interpretation of Mary Shelley’s ‘Frankenstein’ as their ‘play in a day’, led by the team at ‘Highly Sprung’.  The creativity and teamwork on display were, once again, outstanding. Thank you to the many parents who were able to support. 

Last night we also welcomed Year 9 parents and pupils to the GCSE Options Talk.  This is such an exciting time for the year group, as they start to chart their course which will ultimately lead to university and beyond. 

The week has also seen interviews for all Year 12 led by Claire Jenkins of ‘One to One Interview Coaching’. Developing interview techniques is such an important life skill - from having spoken to some of the girls about the sessions, they have already learnt a great deal. 

Tomorrow sees the opening of our first Art Scholars’ Exhibition, held at The Loft in Leamington. It is open from 6.30pm-7.30pm daily between Wednesday 22 January – Saturday 1 February  - please do visit it if you are able. 

On Monday evening, we are holding our annual UCAS and Higher Education Evening.  There will be talks and presentations from a range of universities, as the girls begin to consider their options and careers beyond King’s. As ever, there is excellent news from the Upper Sixth UCAS applications, including Oxbridge.  Five of the twelve girls interviewed have been offered places, to study a wide range of subjects from Architecture to German with Russian.  All the girls who applied deserve our admiration - it is a very demanding process, requiring huge reserves of tenacity and resilience. 

Tuesday evening sees this term’s Pastoral Forum led by Roz Bicen.  Details are included on the Forthcoming Events progamme. 

Looking further ahead, on Sunday 4th March, the outstanding Birmingham Symphonic Winds are generously staging a fundraising concert in aid of One Campus Plus and in particular our ambition to be a Steinway School. Further details will be with you shortly, but it will, as always, be a wonderful afternoon with a distinctly celebratory feel.  Please do put the date in your diaries.   

On the sports fields; last weekend saw us compete in the West Midlands Biathlon with tremendous success with first, second and third place in both the U12 and U14 competitions – taking all 6 podium finishes and a second place in the U18 competition.  It was a busy weekend as our Junior Hockey teams played Bromsgrove – a special mention to the U12A team who won a thrilling 6-5 encounter.  The first Key Stage 4 ‘Couch to 5k’ running club also took place and we look forward to their progress over the coming weeks, and in Water Polo our U13 girls took on the boys in a competitive match against Warwick School, and recorded a convincing victory against Northampton Boys.  On a broader matter, thank you once again for your important input into the recent review of Sports - we are currently planning exciting developments to be rolled out over the coming months. 

The letters uploaded today include updated information about BYOD devices.  Should you have any queries, please do contact Mrs Parkinson-Mills.

Finally, can I please thank you for your patience with the current pick-up, parking and drop-off arrangements, especially as the new traffic light system settles down.  As always, can I please encourage you to be mindful of others, particularly at peak times, and also to consider if there are suitable alternative pick-up and drop-off locations (such as St Nicholas car park), which could ultimately save valuable time.  The final stages of Project One Campus are underway, which includes a route through the Foundation site and additional parking, all of which is on schedule for completion for September.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Richard Nicholson 

 

Friday 10 January 

 

Dear Parents,

 

I do hope that you had a lovely Christmas break.  2020 promises to be another exciting year at King’s, and I am delighted to update you with news from the first few days of term.

 

Pupils in Year 11 and Upper Sixth are currently undertaking mock examinations.  I know they will have worked hard over the holiday to ensure that they give a good account of their understanding at this point in time.  This, in turn, will help them to plan for the remaining months before their A level and GCSE examinations in the summer.  Good luck to all!

 

There are a number of important events coming up next week, including the Year 7 ‘Play in a Day’ on Thursday. We look forward to welcoming as many Year 7 parents as possible to the performance at 16.45 in the Bridge House Theatre. 

 

At the start of term, I set the school three challenges:

  1. Try a new club or activity;
  2. Go for a day without social media;
  3. At lunch either (or both)

a. invite a pupil you don’t know to sit with you 

b. sit with someone you don’t know 

 

I am pleased to say that I have had a number of conversations with girls since Tuesday and it is clear that they are engaging with these goals; please do discuss them with your daughters and encourage them to turn them into ‘good habits’, which will not only be positive for them as individuals but for our community too. 

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Mr R Nicholson

Head Master

Thursday 19 December

Dear Parents,

Term has just finished with a joyous Carol Service at St Mary’s, with hearty congregational singing, beautifully delivered readings, and impressive choral performances. 

There are a number of important letters in the end of term mailing, which I encourage you to read, including for parents of pupils in Year 11 and Upper Sixth. 

It has been an extremely busy term and I know that girls and staff are looking forward to a very well-deserved break. It simply therefore remains for me to wish you a very Happy Christmas and New Year.

Yours sincerely,

Mr R Nicholson
 Head Master

Friday 13 December

 

 

Dear Parents,

 

As we race towards the close of term, there are some important events to celebrate as well as plenty of festive occasions to look forward to.

 

In sports results, I am delighted that the 1st XI hockey team beat Bablake on Wednesday, progressing to the next round of the Tier 3 Hockey National Championship.  Tomorrow, we look forward to the Year 7 and 8 inter-house hockey and netball competition.

 

Yesterday saw the concluding event in our 140th Anniversary Year: the performance of the specially commissioned oratorio, ‘What You Will (A Warwickshire Will)’.  This involved 400 musicians, spanning some seven decades in age, with performers including our own chamber choirs, the entire Year 7, the Prep Senior Choir, St Mary’s choirs, choirs from Bishops Itchington Primary School, Kineton Church of England Primary School, Priors Field Primary School, Westgate Primary School, Wilmcote Church of England Primary School, our new choral society of parents and friends, and Ex Cathedra, accompanied by the Ilex Ensemble.  It was a quite extraordinary evening, a fitting end to our celebrations, and providing memories which will live for years. 

 

As I write this, we have also just welcomed Mr Ziauddin Yousafza, who is spending the afternoon with us and is our guest of honour at the annual AmnesTEA. 

 

Tomorrow, a group from Years 10 to Lower Sixth will be visiting Bristol university as per of our ‘King’s Links’ programme.  As well as visiting the university buildings, we will be hosted by a group of our former pupils, who I am sure will be inspirational to our current pupils. 

 

Next week sees the House Singing competition, as well as the Carol Service on the final morning of term. 

 

In assembly this morning I spoke about the importance of community, the need for each of us to listen to and engage in a spirit of openness and generosity to those with different views, and for all of us in our own way to work for a better society.  Our girls have so much to to give and I know they will want to ensure that they use their gifts and talents to the benefit of all. 

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Mr R Nicholson

Head Master

 

Friday 6 December

 

Dear Parents,

 

I am delighted to update you with news from King’s.

 

Last week closed with the most extraordinary Carnivale Ball.  Thank you to everyone who supported this event, and to the Ball Committee whose brainchild it was.  Life, I believe, is richer when it is punctuated with glorious moments: this was one such, and I am quite sure I will not be alone in saying that it will live long in the memory. 

 

This week, even by our standards, has been extraordinarily busy.  On Monday, we held our new school history book launch (consider buying it as a Christmas present - my family will be receiving many copies!). Tuesday saw a rich and vibrant Landor Association Carol Service, with members of our extended school family gathering to celebrate together the start of the Christmas season.  Wednesday was the first Parents’ Evening for Year 7, and yesterday, we held the second part of our Sixth Form open evening - ‘Beyond the classroom’, focusing on life in the sixth form and the exceptional opportunities we offer.  It was lovely to welcome current King’s families and those aspiring to join our community.  This evening, we are looking forward to our first Inspire dinner of the year, with composer Darren Bloom.

 

A particular highlight of next week is the Winter Concert.  This is a particularly special event, as it rounds off our 140th celebrations.  The main item in the concert is a new oratorio, ‘What you Will (A Warwickshire Will)’, written by the composer Brendan Ashe.  There will be approaching 400 performers, including our new parents and friends’ choral society and pupils from five local primary schools.  It is the largest and most ambitious musical venture we have staged, and I know there is a great deal of excitement amongst the musicians in being part of such a project. 

 

Thank you to those who completed the parent surveys.  We are looking forward to welcoming Rowan Edgbrook to the school next week and then unveiling plans to further develop sports over the coming weeks and months.  As a snapshot of our sporting life, there have been some 207 competitive sports fixtures so far this term, from netball and hockey to skiing and equine sports.  It is particularly notable that our new football squad has already played 6 games in the Coventry and Warwickshire School Sports Partnership, winning 4.

 

In other sporting news, the week began with the U16 Indoor Hockey team competing at the Midlands Finals in Wolverhampton on Sunday.  The team played admirably and finished with a strong win against Newcastle-Under-Lyme to be placed as one of the top 8 teams in the region.  Girls have also competed in friendly badminton, netball and hockey matches as well as the highly competitive Street Dance Finals held in our own school hall.  Girls from Years 7-10 performed, coming away with 5 trophies and a special recognition award.  The Year 7&8 set routine group and the Year 7&8 Soloist winner will go on to represent the school in the area finals in January.  At the GSA Regional Swimming Finals, King's and Warwick Preparatory girls stole the show.  The senior girls took four individual wins as well as the U13a and b squads winning their respective medley relay.  To close the week we look forward to hockey matches against Northampton and wish the U13 Cross Country team the very best of luck as they compete in the English Schools Athletics Association National Finals on Saturday. 

 

As we approach the end of term, may I ask for your continued support in ensuring that our uniform code is respected.  We know that teenagers are always likely to push boundaries, and that in a girls’ school this is likely to be skirt length.  Nevertheless it is important that we stand united in ensuring that the girls are smart, not only for their own sake but also because they are ambassadors for the school in the wider community.  Thank you in advance for working with us on this important area.

 

May I also ask for your help in not parking in Bridge End.  The traffic lights outside our entrance will be commissioned shortly, which should help with traffic flow, and of course the completion of the campus next summer will improve parking and flow yet further. 

 

This time next week, a new Government will be being formed.  We will be holding our own Mock Election and indeed a sleepover for sixth formers so that they can watch the inevitable dramas of the night unfold, as the nation exercises its democratic right.  At a time of division in our nation, I believe it is important for us to proudly promote values which are core to our identity as a school: the pursuit of truth, kindness, and consideration for all; and the celebration of difference and diversity.  Ours is a community rich in history and heritage but we also embrace the future with optimism and confidence, a future in which I know our pupils will be a profound force for good, as they share their gifts and talents for the benefit of all society. 

 

Yours sincerely,

 

 

Mr R Nicholson

Head Master

 

Friday 29 November

Dear Parents,

I am delighted to update you with news from King’s.

This week has seen a significant number of important events including the Bandstand Concert and the GCSE Drama performance. It was also a great pleasure to welcome Year 8 parents to their Parents’ Evening. 

Wednesday was especially busy: we welcomed teachers from Shenzhen, a partnership we have forged with Warwick University, along with a School Experience Day for those considering training to teach on the National Maths and Physics School-based Initial Teacher Training Programme, for which the Foundation is the regional hub. Most excitingly, we also hosted a conference of the National Council of Young Women, organised by our pupils in Upper Sixth, focusing on the refuge crisis. The group is to be commended on staging an event of great significance, grappling with such an important and complex topic. 

The week ends with the ‘Carnivale Ball’ on Saturday night.  I look forward to seeing many of you there - thank you for supporting one of the closing 140th anniversary events, and thank you too to the Ball Committee for organising what promises to be a very special evening.

Next week is equally busy.  On Monday, we launch the publication of our new school history, ‘Of Mullberies, Ilex and Acorns’, at 6.00pm in the Hall.  Tuesday sees the start of our Christmas events, with the Landor Association Carol Service at St Mary’s at 7.00pm.  I do hope that many of you will be able to support these events. In addition, we welcome parents in Year 7 to their first Parents’ Evening at King’s on Wednesday, with the second part of the sixth form open event, exploring life outside the classroom, taking place on Thursday evening. 

Finally, amongst the uploads today is a flyer about our current sports provision along with a letter from me, which includes links to survey questions.  The survey closes at 4pm next Thursday.  Thank you for taking part; a similar survey is also being released for the girls. 

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Mr R Nicholson

Head Master

 

Friday 22 November

Dear Parents,

It has been another week filled with activity and learning, and I am delighted to update you with just a snapshot of the richness and diversity in our school life. 

 

This week, we have seen our final coffee mornings for parents in Year 7, and last night, the Year 10 Parents’ Evening.  The comments most frequently made to me during these evenings is how well staff know the girls and how passionate they are about their subjects - this is always a joy to hear, as continuing to promote excellence in the girls’ progress, be it inside or outside the classroom, is at the heart of our educational mission. 

 

Last week saw the most exceptional production of ‘Little Shop of Horrors’, with the creativity continuing this week with the Ensembles Concert and a rehearsal of the parents and friends’ choir for the choral commission concert next month: thank you to everyone involved in this exciting venture. 

 

This week has also seen a number of trips: to see A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the RSC in Stratford, an ‘Ancient Worlds Day’ at Warwick University, and careers trips to the BBC.  Thank you to KHAPS and those who were able to support the Christmas shopping event at The Farm, and thank you in advance to all those supporting the Quiz this evening. 

 

Next week sees the Year 8 Parents’ Evening, a meeting of the Landor Dining Society, and the Gala Ball.  I believe there are still a handful of tickets available, so please do contact  khslandorassociation@kingshighwarwick.co.uk for further details. 

 

Finally, the letter I referred to last Friday about Sport and other school developments will now be sent next week - my apologies for the delay.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Mr R Nicholson

Head Master

 

Friday 15 November

Dear Parents,

I am very pleased to update you with news from King’s at the end of a week when there has been much to celebrate inside and outside the classroom.

This has been national ‘Anti-bullying Week’, and once again we have taken this opportunity to amplify key messages. The theme was ‘Change Starts  With Us', with our focus being on being careful about the words we use. This message was delivered by our Diana Award-trained Wellbeing Ambassadors, including in assemblies at King’s and Prep and daily photo slogans, which can be seen on our twitter feed, which have involved all parts of the Foundation.  Thank you to the many girls involved in these events and to Mrs Watson for leading the programme.

Our annual ‘Festival of Ideas’ has seen a wide range of speakers and activities designed to open the girls’ eyes to new and different opportunities. From Enigma coding to criminology, learning new languages (Russian and Japanese) to the spreading of Hamlet throughout the world, the girls really have had an exceptional and stimulating week. Many thanks to the many parents who volunteered for the Careers hot-seating aspect of this for Year 9, and to Mrs Parkinson-Mills for masterminding the week.

Meanwhile, the cast and crew of the joint production with Warwick School of ‘Little Shop of Horrors’ are to be congratulated on exceptional performances. I am sure those who have been able to support would agree with me that the production values are superb, and showcase the best of our two schools working together.

The sports teams have also had a very successful few weeks; the U16 Netball team won the Triangular Warwickshire Tournament to qualify for the Regionals in January, U14 Tennis team were runners up in the Regional championships, the U13 Cross Country team have qualified for the National Finals and the U18 Indoor Hockey Midlands Zone team played very well and narrowly missed a place on goal difference in the Midlands Finals.    We are currently looking at how we can further develop our sporting provision for all, looking at both the breadth and depth of our offering. I look forward to writing to you in more detail about this next week.

It has been a great pleasure to welcome parents in 7K, 7H and 7S to their coffee mornings this week, and parents in Lower Sixth for the Celebration of Achievement afternoon. Next week sees parents’ evening for Year 10, coffee morning for 7W, 7F and 7G and the KHAPS Shopping Event at The Farm.

I am also pleased to let you know that we have been shortlisted in The Times Educational Supplement Independent School Awards in the ‘Whole-School Community Initiative’ category, for the events surrounding our 140th anniversary and school move. This being the third year in succession we have been nominated for an award, we will be keeping our fingers crossed that we will win!

Finally, thank you for your understanding following the closure of the school yesterday afternoon. These decisions are never taken lightly, with the best interests of our whole community always in our mind.

Yours sincerely,

Mr R Nicholson

Head Master

 

Friday 8 November

Dear Parents,

At the end of another busy week, I am delighted to update you with news from King’s. 

A significant number of our girls represented the school on residential trips over the break. These included the Hockey Tour, joint with Warwick School, to Holland, the Geography trip to Iceland, and the Educational and Linguistic Trip to Paris.

This week has seen a focus on environmental sustainability, led by Key Stage 4. This culminated in a ‘clothes swap’ fair yesterday, which saw hundreds of garments duly swapped. Many congratulations to all those involved in making such a success of this event.

Last night we welcomed parents and girls in Lower Sixth to the first parents’ evening of the year. Next week sees the start of the Year 7 parents’ coffee mornings, and we look forward welcoming parents of girls in Year 7K on Monday 11th, 7H on Thursday 14th, 7S on Friday 15th, 7W on Monday 18th, 7F on the 20th and 7G on the 21st of November.

There are a number of other important events next week. These include the joint musical with Warwick School, ‘Little Shop of Horrors’, and our annual ‘Festival of Ideas’, which is now in its forth year. Please do encourage your daughters to actively engage in these sessions, which are designed to open their eyes to new concepts and disciplines. I also look forward to seeing many of you at the KHAPS Christmas Shopping event at The Farm in Snitterfield on the 19th November.

In staff news, sadly for us, Nurse Louise has decided to take a post far closer to her home and so we shall be saying farewell to her next Friday. I am, however, very pleased to say that we have appointed her successor, Nurse Maureen.

As I highlighted last half term, there are a number of Anniversary events still to come, where your support, as always, is greatly appreciated:

  • School history book launch: ‘Of Mulberries, Ilex and Acorns’: Monday 2nd December at 18.00-20.00
  • Gala Ball: Saturday 30th November at 19.00
  • King’s High Winter Concert, featuring a choral commission by Brendan Ashe, ‘What you Will’ (A Warwickshire Will) on December 12th  19.00-22.00 in Warwick Hall.

Our extraordinary sculpture, ‘The Spirit of King’s’, is currently being made in Como. We very much hope to be unveiling this in the final week of term and be will keep you informed of progress. 

Finally, now we have settled in to our new buildings, I would be very grateful for any feedback you have about the new school. Please do write to Mrs Wheals with any comments you would like to make; as always, please also do contact the school should you have any queries or concerns, and we will do our best to resolve them as quickly as possible.

With continued thanks for the tremendous support and encouragement you give the school,

Yours sincerely,

Mr R Nicholson

Head Master

 

Friday 18 October

Dear Parents,

 

At the close of a long and historic half-term, it gives me great pleasure to update you with news from King’s. 

 

After just seven weeks, I am incredibly proud of how our community has embraced our new home.  It has been quite extraordinary to see the collective ambition of the girls, staff and parents in making the most of all the new school has to offer.  This has meant getting used to new surroundings, new routines, and in the case of the sixth form in particular, closer relations with Warwick School.  All of these things are so very positive but as with all big changes, getting them right takes a huge amount of collective will and I am quite sure we are all now ready for a good well-deserved rest! 

 

A particular highlight this week has been the completion of the new sports facilities.  The new gym and fitness studio are magnificent, with new changing and shower facilities too, along with sports lockers.  Whilst we had hoped that these would be open earlier they have most certainly been worth waiting for, and will ensure that all our girls’ many and varied sporting pursuits can now be supported with facilities which do them justice.  As part of our ongoing commitment to developing our sporting opportunities, I am very pleased to let you know that we will be welcoming two new members of staff after half term:  Hannah Leighton, a super-league netball player for Wasps, will be with us full-time, and Mark Beverley a personal trainer for the Army and FA qualified referee will be coaching football, strength and conditioning, and supporting CCF.  

 

Evening events this week have included the first Pastoral Forum of the year, led by Dr Aric Sigman.  Thank you to all of those who were able to support it - a record group of over 140.  This week saw the annual Year 7 concert, which was, once again, magnificent.  Congratulations to the girls and staff, and thank you to parents for your support, too.  This event followed hot on the heels of the girls’ leading roles in the High Sheriff’s Service at St Mary’s on Monday - it is so good to see the rising profile of our musicians in the wider community.  

 

Next half-term also sees form coffee mornings for Year 7 parents and the start of Parents’ Evenings.  Outside such events, please do not hesitate to contact us, should you have any queries or wish to pass on any thoughts or observations: views of parents are always gratefully received.

 

The completion of ‘Project One Campus’ is now very much in sight, with the Music School progressing well and plans in place for the new Prep play space, landscaping, and the new vehicular route through the campus being finished for September 2020.  From the King’s perspective, we will also be taking delivery of our monumental sculpture which will grace the front of school. ‘The Spirit of King’s’, designed by Liz Middleton and being made in Como, Italy by Roberto Travaglia  should be with us next half-term. 

 

It just remains for me to wish you all a very happy half-term break, and to thank you for all your support.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Mr R Nicholson

Head Teacher

 
Friday 11 October

 

Dear Parents,

 

As we look ahead to the final week before the half term break, I am pleased to update you with news from King’s.

 

This week has been the National Week of Biology, and has seen us celebrate this subject and allied disciplines in a variety of ways, including introducing girls to dissection (which a third of Year 11 attended), and a day hosted by ‘Medic Mavericks’ for all Years 9 and 10.

 

Other highlights have included the GCSE Drama trip to see ‘The Mousetrap’, with this weekend seeing girls in Upper Sixth attending the national conference for young women.

 

Highlights next week include activities at King’s and Prep celebrating national ‘Big Draw’ week,  and a number of our musicians will take part in the High Sheriff’s legal service in St Mary’s on Monday.  May I also encourage as many of you as possible to attend our first Pastoral Forum of the year, ‘Preventing Mental Health Problems in Children’ delivered by Dr Aric Sigman.  This takes place on Tuesday evening at 7.00pm in the King's Hall.

 

We have taken the opportunity to update and re-uploaded a letter giving advice on some of the most challenging areas both for us and for parents, including parties and social media.  We value working in partnership with you, so can I urge you to read the document and get in touch with us, should you have any queries or questions. 

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Mr R Nicholson

Head Master

 

Friday 4 October

Dear Parents,

I am pleased to update you with news from King’s. 

 

In another busy week, highlights have included the ‘Inspire’ RSC visit to ‘The Merchant of Venice’, the Year 7 Geography trip to Compton Verney, The Year 8 Paris Trip Information Evening, and lunch and a ‘scavenger hunt’ for Years 5 and 6 from Prep. 

 

Tomorrow sees our 11+ entrance examination, and I know you will join me in wishing all our applicants the best of luck.  Thank you too to the many girls who are assisting with it.

 

In sporting news, in the first County netball tournament of the year our U16 team came out victorious beating all other teams at the event to be crowned champions.  The team now go on to play in the County triangular event to compete for a place at Midlands Finals.  The U12 hockey players have impressed in their first tournament of the season finishing as runners up at the Loughborough Festival.  The U12 and U13 netball teams have also been in action and enjoyed strong victories in their mid-week matches.  We are also very much looking forward to the new sports facilities opening in the week before half-term. 

 

Finally, having highlighted the Anniversary Ball last week (www.kingshighball.co.uk - there are some tickets still available), I would like to invite as many of you as possible to take part in the Gala Winter Concert, when we are premiering our commissioned choral work by Brendan Ashe.  This work involves the choirs of King’s and Prep, local primary schools, a full symphony orchestra, and an adult chorus.  Following on from the success of the concert at our birthday weekend in July , I would like once again to invite you to take part by joining the chorus. Details are included in today’s upload. 

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Mr R Nicholson

Head Master

 

Friday 27 September

Dear Parents,

I am very pleased to update you with news from King’s. 

 

Since I last wrote to you, there have been two important events for prospective families: our Open Evening last Friday and the Sixth Form Open Evening on Wednesday. I am delighted that both were extremely busy: thank you for your support with these events, with so many pupils being involved in hosting and presenting to our guests. 

 

Today saw our Harvest assembly and Macmillan Coffee Morning. Thank you for the many donations to the Warwick Food Bank, and the beautiful flowers. Thank you, too, to those who were able to join us for coffee. In speaking to the school this morning, I encouraged all in our community to give generously our our time and talents to those less fortunate than ourselves; and at a time when public discourse is strained, of the importance of mutual dignitary and respect in all our interactions. 

 

A particular highlight of the week has been the BBC Music Day, filmed by them, held in Warwick Hall for primary pupils from across the region, and hosted by King’s and Warwick Prep. Whilst we await the completion of our new Music School, it is wonderful to see the musical opportunities grow; I am particularly looking forward to the performance of our choral commission, ‘What you will (a Warwickshire Will)’, at the end of term. 

 

The girls have also been busy in their sporting pursuits, with this week seeing the U15 and U13 through to the next round in the Aegon Tennis Championships and the U12 and U13 enjoying Hockey success against Bloxham.

 

Next week sees a number of events, including the ‘Inspire’ trip to see ‘The Merchant of Venice’ of the RSC on Monday, and Year 8 Paris Trip Information Evening on Tuesday. The 11+ Entrance Exam takes place next Saturday and we wish all of those sitting it the very best of luck. 

 

Finally, our 140th anniversary events are continuing with the ‘Festivale Ball’ (https://www.landorassociation.co.uk/news/?pid=3&nid=1&storyid=13) and the publication of our new school history (https://profileeditions.com/king-s-high-warwick-hb). Tickets are selling quickly for ball,  and we are eagerly awaiting the arrival of our pallets of books! I do hope that you will be able to support these endeavours; thank you in advance for ensuring their success. 

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Mr R Nicholson

Head Master

 
Friday 20 September

 

Dear Parents,

 

I am delighted to update you with news from King’s.

 

As I write, we are preparing for our first Open Evening at our new site. It is so exciting to see the girls embrace their new home, spilling out at break and lunch into the Quad and the playing fields around the main building, and of course my colleagues making the most of the new facilities to enhance the girls’ learning. A key change this term has been the introduction of the ‘Bring Your Own Device’ programme; thank you for your support with such a significant development. Educationally, we are very pleased indeed with the outcomes over the last few weeks, and I encourage you to attend one of the iChampion sessions for parents run by Mrs Parkinson-Mills, so you can try out for yourselves some of the ways in which devices are being used.  The next event is on Wednesday 2nd October at 4.15pm.

 

Monday evening saw the last of our parent information evenings, when we welcomed our new Year 7 parents. Thank you to members of the KHAPS committee who hosted part of the evening, spreading the word about ways in which parents can both socialise and support the school though the annual - and growing - series of events.

 

Highlights next week include a visit by Emma Gledhill to work with KS3 on Wednesday, and  European Day of World Languages, and a trip to see Tippett’s seminal work, ‘A Child of Our Time’, both taking place on Thursday, and our Harvest Festival and Macmillan Coffee Morning on Friday. We hope many of you will be able to join us for the coffee morning, which takes place from 9.45am. 

 

We are also looking forward to the Sixth Form Open Evening on Wednesday, welcoming our Year 11 girls and families as well as pupils and parents from other schools. 

 

Finally, I was delighted to see that King’s has been selected as a ‘Tatler’ school, being featured for the first time in this year’s Tatler Schools Guide. As with the Good Schools Guide review, we have no editorial control of what is said, so it is good to see the girls’ achievements being so widely celebrated. Further details maybe found on the news pages of our website: www.kingshighwarwick.co.uk.

 

Yours sincerely,  

Mr R Nicholson

Head Master

Antarctica 2 Expedition zum Südpol mit Massey Ferguson-Traktor 5610

“It was my dream to drive a tractor to the end of the world.”                                                                                                      – Manon Ossevoort, “Tractor Girl”

Dreams do come true!

Manon Ossevoort is an amazing woman who undertook an incredible adventure to realise her dream of “driving a tractor to the South Pole”, inspired by Sir Edmund Hillary’s mission.

Manon will be joining WISF for Harvest Week 2019 to help us realise our dream of supporting the Anglican Sisters of CMM in Tanzania to purchase a Threshing Machine for their community!

Currently, it takes 20 CMM Sisters 7 full days to thrash 200 bags of corn by hand to feed their community in Tanzania. Their dream is to have a machine to do the threshing for them!

As we give thanks this Harvest-tide for our daily bread, our hope is to enable this community in Tanzania to partake of their daily bread with greater ease.

We would appreciate your support!

Please come to our

HARVEST FESTIVAL SERVICE

Sunday, 6 October 2019, 10:30 a.m. (Warwick School Chapel)

Meet Tractor Girl and see some amazing tractors!

Scarecrow Competition and Fancy Dress Competition

(Theme: “Old MacDonald Had a Farm…”) with prizes for children!

 

Friday 13 September

 

Dear Parents,

 

We are now at the end of our first full week in our new home, and I would like to pay tribute to your daughters and my colleagues in embracing so fully all that our new school has to offer. 

 

It has been great to see the new Art, Food and DT departments open, and the difference these significantly enhanced facilities are already making, including a much larger dedicated work area for the sixth form. Work continues apace on the Sports block and the Music School. 

 

It has been a pleasure to welcome parents in years 8-13 to their introductory events, and we look forward to seeing Year 7 parents on Monday. The presentations from these evenings will be uploaded onto the Parent Portal. 

 

Thank you to those parents who have volunteered to be Form Reps for Years 7-9 - I hope this will continue to help strengthen links across the parent body. 

 

As I mentioned in my start of term letter, our 140th celebrations continue this term. A particular highlight is the Anniversary Ball, ‘Carnivale’, which is proving extremely popular. Tickets may be purchased by contacting www.kingshighball.co.uk

 

Tomorrow sees our Taster Morning, with Open Evening taking place next Friday. Thank you for supporting these events by enabling your daughters to act as activity leaders and guides;  we are all looking forward to showing off the new-look King’s High!

 

Yours sincerely,  

Mr R Nicholson

Head Master

 

Friday 6 September

Dear Parents,

I am delighted to be writing to you at the end of another historic week for the school. 

I would like to commend the girls for so swiftly embracing their new school buildings and the wider campus. Of all the many highlights of the last three days, a particular joy has been seeing the girls spill out onto their new play and recreation spaces - what a difference being surrounded by grass has already made! We are also making full use of the Quad, which promises to be a very special place at the heart of our community. 

Term is off to its usual brisk start. We have already welcomed parents of those in Lower Sixth and Year 10 to their introductory events, and I look forward to seeing parents in other year groups over the next few weeks. As I write, there are both Sixth Form and Year 7 bonding activities underway, with co-curricular activities beginning in earnest on Monday. 

Thank you for your forebearance as we get used to the drop-off and pick-up arrangements. The county council works will be completed over the coming weeks, when traffic lights and a crossing will be installed. Until then, may I remind you that there is only a  left-hand turn out of the Banbury Road entrance. 

Finally, we very much look forward to the Food, Art and DT departments opening next week, with the new sports facilities being completed later this month. 

Thank you, as ever, for your support as we develop the most outstanding physical environment to match the girls’ multiple gifts and talents. These are indeed the most exciting of times for our school.

 

Yours sincerely,

Mr R Nicholson

Head Master

 

Friday 5 July

 

Dear Parents,

After a week which has included trips, sports day, and the Sixth Form Induction, we have arrived at our ‘Farewell to Smith Street’ weekend and the final days in our current school. Thank you to all of you who are attending one or more of the events, to the many girls who are assisting with tours, performing, or playing our alumnae at netball. It will, I know be a glorious celebration of the best of King’s, which will stand us in good stead for our closing events on Wednesday. 

Amongst the uploads today is further information about ‘Bring Your Own Device’.  I do appreciate that for some families, this is a new investment; however, I hope that the brochure outlining some of the ways the devices will be used, will both reassure and inspire you. Also included is a guide to downloading the parent iSAMS app, which we hope you will find helpful.

We are greatly looking forward to Speech Day and the Upper Sixth Graduation on Monday. Sadly, our guest speaker, Jo Hobbs, CEO of the British Youth Council, is no longer able to join us. I am delighted that at such short notice, Clare Sawdon has agreed to step in. Mrs Sawdon is well-known to our community as a former pupil and a Foundation Governor. She is also a long-standing magistrate, former chief of the District Council, and most recently, High Sheriff, 2018-2019. This year’s focus was always to to be public service and encouragement for the girls to take an active role in their communities. Mrs Sawdon is a great ambassador for such action; I know her speech will be both inspiring and highly relevant. 

Whilst I will be writing to you for a final time next Wednesday once we have broke up for the summer break, I would like to thank you for the trust you put in us, day by day, in the education of your daughters. I have no doubt that our move to the Foundation site will be transformational - but the things that make our school so special will come with us, and, I believe, grow even stronger in our new home. Please do visit our Twitter account over the summer period to follow the final stages of our move. 

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Mr R Nicholson

Head Master

Friday 28 June

 

Dear Parents,

The end of term is now just around the corner. Final preparations are underway for our celebration weekend and the final day at King’s. I spoke in assembly this morning about the arrangements for Monday 8th to Wednesday 10th July, details of which have been uploaded onto your portal page. Further details about the start of next term, also shared with the girls, will be sent to you next week.

Last week ended with the superb KS3 production of ‘Bugsy Malone’. Many congratulations to the cast and crew, and the teaching and support staff, for such memorable performances. Rehearsals are now underway for next term’s joint musical with Warwick School, ‘Little Shop of Horrors’. 

This week has been as busy as ever, with a great deal of the girls’ excellent art being displayed at St Mary’s - please do visit the exhibition, which includes pieces from many local schools, if you can. We were delighted that our girls received so many of the prizes, which were awarded on Monday. 

Associated Board music exams have also been taking place, alongside the Year 7 Instrumental Programme Concert, showcasing the scheme introduced this year which sees all Year 7s learn new instruments. Thank you once again to KHAPS for generously providing funding for many of these. 

We were also delighted to run our first Roman Barn Study Day, where girls from across the school studied artefacts from the archeological  dig undertaken in Autumn Term 2017, and also worked with the artist Liz Middleton, devising a permanent memorial which will mark the Roman inhabitation of the site.  We were also joined by trustees of The King Henry VIII Endowed Trust, who are generously supporting this project.

Other events have included two Duke of Edinburgh’s Award expeditions (Silver and Gold), Diana Award anti-bullying training, and the Year 10 Parents’ Evening, which always provides a great opportunity for both praise and reflection ahead of the final GCSE year.  Many thanks, too, to those families hosting our German exchange students this week. 

Tomorrow, KHAPS are holding the summer secondhand uniform sale, which starts at 10am, with Monday being the main BYOD collection day for those who have purchased devices through the school scheme (as previously published, the collection day for current Year 11s is Thursday 4th July). The BYOD programme is a particularly important and exciting development; I look forward to sharing with you a brochure outlining the types of activities the devices will facilitate, over the next few days.

Next week also sees the Lower Sixth Drama Devised Pieces, a trip to the RSC in Stratford to see ‘Measure for Measure’, both on Monday, and a Rock, Pop and Jazz Concert on Tuesday afternoon. We also very much look forward to welcoming Year 11 and a significant number of new girls to Sixth Form Induction, which begins on Wednesday; please also keep your collective fingers crossed that the weather holds for Field Day, also on Wednesday!

Finally, as the reality of leaving Smith Street and moving to our new school becomes ever more real, I would like to thank you for the support you have shown at what is a critically important time for us all. Good endings are as important as good beginnings, and whilst I am sure that the final days of term will be filled with emotion, there is equally great excitement at what is to come, and the extraordinary opportunities our new home will bring.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Mr R Nicholson

Head Master

 

 

Friday 21 June

 

Dear Parents,

The final public exams took place this week, and I hope that all those in Year 11 and Upper Sixth can now enjoy a very well-deserved break before the events for them at the end of term. 

It has been a busy week, with trips including the A level biology field trip to Slapton Ley, and the annual Art Exhibition at St Mary’s.  We have also held scholarship workshops for Winter and Summer Sports for Year 5 girls, the Year 10 Sixth Form taster day, where we welcomed a record number of girls from local schools and, this morning, we hosted a lovely breakfast and house activity for the Year 6 girls from Prep who are joining us next term. 

Last night saw the first of three productions of the KS3 production, ‘Bugsy Malone’. The reviews have been superb and I look forward to seeing many of you there tonight, when the Mayor of Warwick is also attending. 

Next week sees Associated Board music exams, Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Silver and Gold expeditions, and a study day led by Mr Grier on the Roman barn, discovered when the new school was being built. 

In addition, on Tuesday, we look forward to the Year 10 Parents’ Evening, and on Wednesday, the culmination of our new Year 7 music scheme with a demonstration to parents at 4.30pm.

Next Friday in an extended assembly, I will be talking to the girls about the final day of term - the final events in this school and our first assembly on the new site. I will also be outlining practical points about our first few days in the new buildings, along with events we have planned so that everyone can get to know our new home as quickly as possible. All this information will be sent to you too, as well as details of the events at the start of term for parents.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Mr R Nicholson

Head Master

 
Friday 14 June

Dear Parents,

Public exams are now drawing to a close, and our pupils in Year 11 and Upper Sixth can look forward to a period of rest and relaxation. We look forward to seeing them again towards the end of term, and celebrating their successes with them in August.

It has been a typically active week at school, including the Geography GCSE field trip to North Wales, a UKCAT training day for medics, the annual UCAS day for the Lower Sixth, a Pastoral Forum talk led by Emma Gleadhill, and the Maths Presentation Evening, featuring pupils from across the Foundation. 

Wednesday evening saw our KS3 Concert, and I would like to pay tribute to the girls and their teachers for such an uplifting concert. It is tremendously exciting to see music-making thriving across all disciplines and genres, with so many girls taking part, sharing and developing their musical passions. 

This weekend sees a number of events, including a Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Bronze expedition, an Inspire trip to Cambridge, and the CCF overnight exercise. 

A particular highlight next week is the KS3 production of ‘Bugsy Malone’. The girls are working incredibly hard to stage another stunning production; I look forward to seeing many of you there.

Finally, thank you to those of you who are taking part in the ‘Farewell to Smith Street’ weekend, and can I encourage all of you to consider subscribing to the new school history - it will be a remarkable publication.

 

Yours sincerely,

Mr R Nicholson

Head Master

 
Friday 7 June

 

Dear Parents,

Whilst we are still sending all the very best of luck to girls in Year 11 and Upper Sixth as they continue with GCSEs and A Levels, the rest of the school is now out of exam mode, with feedback starting to be given following the school exams before half-term.  I know the girls will reflect carefully on their achievements to date, and work hard to ensure that they maximise their potential in the coming weeks and months.

The final half-term of the year has begun in typical King’s fashion: with purpose, energy, and already many successes. On Tuesday, our inspectorate, ISI, undertook a ‘material change’ Inspection, in light of our forthcoming move. As well as checking compliance on areas such as safeguarding and health and safety, the Reporting Inspector also visited the new school. I am pleased to say that not only were we judged to be compliant, but he was also extremely complementary about the new buildings - in fact, he was ‘blown away’ by them. Having been on site once again yesterday, it is looking very impressive. I am only sorry that we cannot share it with you until September. 

Last night, I was very pleased to be able to support ‘Team Imperium’, the joint King’s and Warwick School Young Enterprise team, in the West Midlands Regional Finals held at HSBC in Birmingham.  Their product – Stress Less - was extremely impressive, as was their presentation, and I am delighted that they were named as runners-up, the highest accolade one of our teams has won for many years. 

In Sport, there has been Equestrian successes and several girls have qualified to compete in the NSEA Dressage Plate at Keysoe in November.

This week has also seen the Year 9 Bushcraft trip,, Year 5 Scholarship workshops, and a Year 5 Inspire Debating Day. Later today we look forward to welcoming

Dr. Paula Byrne for this term’s Inspire Lecture.

Next week sees a number of important events. PSHE Day on Tuesday includes workshops on Self Esteem, Friendships, and Internet Safety. The day concludes with our final Pastoral Forum of the year: ‘Frenemies and how to manage them’, led by Emma Gleadhill.  All parents are strongly encouraged to attend. On Wednesday, Lower Sixth have their UCAS Day, following on from the Higher Education Evening, where they begin the process of writing their Personal Statements and considering their options beyond King’s.

Finally, a pack of information was sent home with the girls yesterday, which highlights a number of important forthcoming events: the ‘Farewell to Smith Street’ weekend, the Gala Ball in November  (please save the date: Saturday 30 November 2019), and the publication of the new school history. Please do sign-up to be a subscriber - it really is a wonderful publication.  Please do all you can to support our ‘closing events’, further details of which may be found here.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Mr R Nicholson

Head Master

 
 
Friday 24 May

Dear Parents,

It has been an unusually quiet week, with public exams continuing for Year 11 and Upper Sixth, and our internal exams for all other year groups. 

There are a number of events over the half-term week, including a trip to Nice, for years 9-12. I know the girls will make the most of this opportunity and be great ambassadors for the school; thank you to my colleagues in the Modern Languages Department for leading it. 

The first week after the break sees the Year 9 Bushcraft activity, a bonding experience as the girls move from KS3 to KS4 and begin their GCSE journey. 

The work on our new school is continuing apace, with more items from the current Smith Street site being decanted over the coming weeks. The final day of term will be both commemorative and celebratory, as we mark 140 years of King’s in Landor House and hold our first assembly on the Myton Road campus. 

Thank you to those who have already signed up for events on our final weekend here.

Amongst the attachments today is a letter about Speech Day. I am delighted that our guest of honour this year is Jo Hobbs, CEO of the British Youth Council.

Mrs Parkinson-Mills has also sent a further communication about the BYOD programme. This is major, and transformational, development, and I would like to to thank you for your support in ensuring its success next term. 

It just remains for me to wish you all a happy half-term break, and I look forward to welcoming the girls back on Monday 3rd June, refreshed and revitalised for the final weeks of the academic year. 

 

Yours sincerely,

Mr R Nicholson

Head Master

 

 

Friday 17 May 2019

Dear Parents, 

The school is very much now in ‘exam mode’, with preparations well underway for the internal Years 7-10 exams next week. 

There have, however, still been a number of important events over the past week, including a Musical Horizons Piano Concert and a careers talk from an Avondale Veterinarian.  

This term is inevitably a series of ‘lasts’ as we prepare to leave this site. A further step on that journey was the final OId Girls’ Association Committee Meeting, which we marked with a celebratory supper, on Wednesday. 

Many congratulations to our many sports women who have competed for the school so far this term. It has been a fabulous start to the summer season over the past week. Lucia Cassidy won the County Combined Events individual title for the Minor girls with the team taking silver. Lucia and Eva Healy then combined at the 108th Midlands School Girl Tournament on Saturday to finish runners up, and Bella Tomlinson and Holly Jaques won the second pair division. Recent athletics fixtures have been especially strong. The Track and Field cup first round was held this week with both the Inter and Junior teams competing. The Inter team finished a credible 4th place but it was the Juniors who stole the show. Amassing a phenomenal 358 points, the highest ever of any King's team, they were crowned County champions. This weekend will see a continuation of the first cricket season for King's as we host our first festival for the U14 age group and our equestrian team competing at Allenshill. Good luck to everyone. 

Thank you to all those who have already signed-up to events taking place over our anniversary weekend on 6th-7th July. In highlighting the Gala Concert, which is taking place in St Mary’s, I hope many of you will decide to dust-down your instruments and vocal chords and take part in what will the culmination of our festivities. Further details may be found by following this link.

Finally, I wish all our pupils the very best in their exams, public or internal, sure in the knowledge that all their hard work and industry will be suitably rewarded. 

Yours sincerely,

Mr R Nicholson

Head Master

 

 

Friday 10 May 2019

Dear Parents,

Many congratulations goes to our Young Enterprise teams, run collaboratively with Warwick School, Fresco and Imperium, who were award winners at the regional  presentation evening at Coventry University earlier this week. Fresco were awarded a trophy for the company exhibiting the best sustainability for their use of recycled bottles from Ghana as part of their jewellery collection, and Imperium were the overall winners, going through to the West Midlands round. 

On Wednesday, we took some 60 girls and boys from Year 5 in local primary schools to Cambridge, the culmination of the ‘Young Scholars’ programme which we run in collaboration with Clare College, Cambridge.  The equivalent trip for Year 10 girls in local schools takes place later this month. 

We have continued to welcome speakers to school, with a careers talk led by Aimee Wester on the University Air Squadron, and Hobbs Society Lunch with former pupil, Sally Shorthose. Ms Shorthose is a partner at the law firm Bird and Bird and has been advising businesses on Brexit. We were delighted too that Juliette Wallace, also an alumna, and destined for opera stardom, came to work with our Year 10 musicians. 

Tomorrow, we are holding a ‘Double Decade Day’, welcoming former pupils from the 70s and 80s. As well as supporting this event through leading tours, this weekend girls are also involved in a bronze Duke of Edinburgh’s Award practice expedition, and girls in 9K are fundraising by taking part in a 5K inflatable obstacle race. 

The summer sporting calendar is well underway, and I am delighted that there are now a full series of cricket fixtures for girls across the school; I look forward to seeing the fruits of a greater focus on this sport. Thank you also to parents who met yesterday to help plan the new equine sports programme. 

I hope that you have received the recent e-newsletter highlighting our special weekend at the start of July, when we say ‘Farewell to Smith Street’. I do hope that everyone in our school community will take an active part, enjoying the art exhibition and presentations, recording memories, and taking part in the gala concert at St Mary’s. The following website link will take you to further details about the many events: www.landorassociation.co.uk/calendar/. I look forward to seeing many of you there.

Finally, last week we wished Year 11 well as they started their period of study leave, and today, it is the turn of the Upper Sixth to begin their final preparations for A level. Their spark and personality as a year group have shone through the traditional rag week, including a splendid concert last night. We wish them all the very best, and look forward to celebrating their successes in August. 

 

Yours sincerely

 

Mr R Nicholson

Head Master

 

 

 

Friday 3 May 2019

 

Dear Parents,

It is a great pleasure to be writing to you at the end of our 140th birthday week. From our Victorian Day on Monday to the Service to commemorate our Founders and Benefactors earlier today, and the birthday lunch currently underway as I write, we have made the most of the opportunities to celebrate what makes our school so special, to reflect on our past and to look forward with confidence to a very bright future.   

The week has been busy with a range of other events too. We welcomed Megan Nannfeldt, a specialist brain injury nurse, to deliver a careers talk, and girls in Year 10 from local state schools to a Politics in Action workshop as part of our Clare College Young Scholars programme. 

Last night saw a truly spectacular Summer Concert, featuring our major ensembles as well as our senior girls in Upper Sixth. Thank you to the girls for sharing your skills and expertise so joyously, and to our music staff - and indeed parents - in supporting them to perform at such a very high standard. 

I am delighted that our U14 Waterpolo team were so successful this week, coming fourth in the National Finals. It seems especially fitting that our Sports Awards Evening takes place tonight, where we celebrate the myriad achievements of our girls this year. 

The public exam season is well underway, with this week seeing both GCSE and A level exams. Today, we wish all our Year 11s the very best as they go on Study Leave. As you would expect, support for the girls continues throughout this period but we know too how important it is for the girls to be able to have a solid period for consolidation and revision. They are a tremendous year group and I know will work as hard as they can to achieve their personal bests in their exams. 

Next week is the final week before the Upper Sixth also go on Study Leave, with a particular highlight being the Leavers’ Concert on Thursday evening. 

This email can only scratch the surface on recent highlights, and I encourage you to follow the school on Twitter or Facebook, where there are regular postings, including about the events at the end of term as we celebrate the Smith Street site and prepare to move to our new school. 

Yours sincerely,

Mr R Nicholson

Head Master

 

 

Friday 26 April 2019

Dear Parents,

A warm welcome to our new-look Friday email. We hope that you find it easy to navigate, and that it includes a greater range of useful information. 

The Easter break saw a number of trips, including a study visit to Costa Rica, a Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Silver Expedition, and the National Concert Band Festival, where the Foundation bands were spectacularly successful. 

As you would expect, term is off to a flying start. A highlight of the past few days has been the Landor Association Networking Evening for those in the medical profession, which took place last night. Thank you to parents, alumnae, and friends of the school for leading the event and to all those who attended. 

Work on the new school has been progressing well and over the coming weeks we will be sending out a range of information about the practicalities of the move. Pupils from King’s and Warwick will shortly begin work on a shared Code of Conduct which will help frame our relationship when we are together on the Myton Road Campus. 

Monday sees our 140th birthday. This will be celebrated with a Victorian Day, and a new school birthday cake, the recipe being created by Lucy Wallace. The end of the week sees our Founders and Benefactors’ Service, and a range of anniversary events for the girls. 

In amongst the flurry of activity as we say goodbye to Smith Street and prepare to join Warwick Preparatory School and Warwick School, we should not lose sight of the fact that Project One Campus is a development of national importance, at its heart offering girls world-class, bespoke facilities, and facilitating meaningful collaboration across the 3-18 age range, whilst remaining true to our identities as individual schools. This is such an exciting time for all of us in the Foundation; thank you for the tremendous support we have received as we embark on the final stages of this unique journey.

Yours sincerely,

Mr R Nicholson

Head Master