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Senior Department News 16 June 2023

Staying cool in the warmer weather

Now the the warm weather has finally arrived, we would like to reassure you that ties and blazers do not need to be worn, and shirt top buttons can be undone. However, pupils should not roll up their sleeves.

Somewhat surprisingly – despite the heat – some Year 6 and Top Form pupils have asked if they can wear their leavers’ hoodies to School.  While we appreciate their excitement, we would ask that they refrain from doing so until the final two days of term. If they choose to do this, they should also wear a school shirt / blouse underneath.

Notwithstanding this, we expect that pupils will be in full school uniform for any end of term official events.

Please let us know if you have any questions.

Have a lovely weekend,

Mrs Wright
Head of Senior Department

Historical Writing Competition

In Monday’s assembly, I was delighted to be able to announce the winners of our Historical Fiction Writing Competition for Years 6 and 7.

We had some fabulous entries and Mrs Beavis and I had a very challenging job to decide upon the five stories that we would send off to the Historical Association for their National Competition. This year’s theme for historical fiction was a coronation and our pupils took us on some amazing journeys through time, as well as telling us stories from point of view of many interesting characters.

Very well done to everyone who took part, and particular congratulations to our five winners – Jasmine E, Thomas K, Albert S, Uju O and Benedict B.

Highly commended were Charlotte F,   Elsie K, Evie R,  Zach H,  Holly M,   Harry R,  Guy G, Jack W, Will H, Sebastian V,  Leo R,  Arabella H, Harry G,  Wilfred O, and  Arthur S.

We look forward to hearing about how we fare in the National Competition in October.

Mr Cook

Head of History

Top Form Moving On Moving Up Programme

Fresh from completing their exams last week, Top Form were launched into their ‘Moving On, Moving Up’ (or MOMU as it’s affectionately known as) programme. As is traditional, it began with a fascinating (and very hot!) day in London.

Tate Britain

The Tate Britain art gallery was our first stop on Monday. Top Form moved around in groups and discussed the art they loved and that they were a lot less keen on. Jacob and Adam weren’t the only ones who wanted to move on from Damien Hirst’s sheep in a glass tank pretty quickly! They also thought of (polite!) things they would say to the artists if they met them:

“What gave you the inspiration to do this?” Ethan

Your painting is extremely dystopian.” Max

“Sorry but it’s not my piece of cake.” Sid

“What is it?!” Will W

After much discussion, Luca concluded that the role of art is to encourage people to learn about the past through visual imagery while Tommy thought it is to give people freedom. Seb said that it inspires people to exhibit their creativity and individuality while Aidan focused on its ability to convey emotion. Wow!

Houses of Parliament

Next stop was the Houses of Parliament. We got to watch the Education Secretary, Gillian Keegan in action in the House of Commons discussing overseas university students and the House of Lords discussing ways to improve access to GPs and to recruit more doctors. Before we left we were honoured to be joined by Mike Penning and he talked to us about his role and some of the highlights of his life as Hertmere’s MP.

TOP FORM MOMU 2023 LONDON 12 June 2023


Year 6 Forest School

Different year groups are being given the opportunity to enjoy time in Forest School over the lunch breaks. The woods provide welcome shade from the sunshine, and this week Year 6 had a wonderful time together, as they relived old memories of their Junior and Middle Department Forest School days –  marshmallows over an open fire included!

Yr 6- Forest School

Save The Date – Latin Plays Festival

Details as follows:

  • Date:  Thursday 29 June
  • Time: 11.20am for a prompt 11.30am start and finishing at 1.00pm
  • Venue: Performance Hall

Many pupils have been learning their lines and working hard at their pronunciation.  Fantastic!

I’d be so grateful if you would please encourage your child to practice saying their words aloud.

Helpful Pronunciation Guidance

  • Pronounce v as w villa  =   willa  (country house)
  • Always pronounce c as if it were k cibus =  kibus   (food)
  • Always pronouns g as in the word ‘get’ (not ‘gym’)
  • Always say the ends of the words, unlike French.  We need to hear the final ‘s’ and the final ’t’.   et (and)  in Latin is fully pronounced.  Likewise  es and est.
  • u is pronounced  oo as in ‘book’.   cibus = kiboos
  • i before a vowel is pronounced as y.  Therefore iam = yam
  • The stress never falls on the last syllable of a Latin word.
  • We need to hear every syllable very clearly.

Costumes and props

I have asked the pupils to organise this amongst themselves.  I’ll post a few suggestions on Google Classroom.   If your child doesn’t know what they should wear please email me. Thank you so much for your help and support.

From the Senior Department Library

Until the Road Ends by Phil Earle

Award winning Phil Earle returns with another stunning war-based novel. Interestingly this story is told from the point of view of a dog, a cat and a pigeon. 

When Peggy saves a stray dog from near-death, a beautiful friendship begins. Peggy and Beau are inseparable: the only thing that can ever come between them is war. Peggy is evacuated to the safety of the coast, but Beau is left behind in the city, where he becomes the most extraordinary and unlikely of war heroes. Night after night, as bombs rain down and communities are destroyed, Beau searches the streets, saving countless families. 

When disaster strikes Peggy’s parents, Beau teams up with Mabel, the family cat and Bomber, a local homing pigeon who is essential for navigation to the south coast. Their adventurous journey and eventual emotional meeting with Peggy and her brother Wilf are a triumph.