Headmaster’s Blog

The prospect of the end of (any) term is at once glorious and grim.  The thought of some down time and some escapism is tantalising; the thought of the To-Do-List which simply has to be done before term ends is terrifying.  The pleasure/pain theory, the ying/yang concept, and the promise of jam tomorrow are fairly well-established, and there is certainly an element of all three as the end of term approaches.  Given all of that, I thought that the most helpful thing to do would be to hand over this week’s HM’s Blog to the finer details of the last week of term.  Lots of what follows you’ll have read in a Portal letter from me, but I suspect it’s no bad thing to have a little over-communication at this time of term:


Stevensons Pop-Up Shop: 7th July

As previously advertised, the School’s uniform suppliers (www.stevensons.co.uk) will be holding a pop-up shop in Kalendar Hall on 7th July from 1pm to 4pm.  The As New Uniform Shop will be there, too.  Do come along and try on and buy any items of uniform which you may need.  For full details of the ECS uniform, and for the summer opening times of the As New Uniform Shop, please see my letter to you of 15 June.


Nursery Celebration: 9th July

This is our end-of-year event for our Nursery pupils, and parents/guardians and guests are most welcome to come along to the Nursery at 2pm on Monday 9th July for this mini prize-giving.


Valedictory Evensong: 11th July

The final sung service of the academic year, and the last ever service for our Year 8 Choristers, takes place in the Quire at 5.30pm on Wednesday 11th July.  Mr Fitzpatrick will be in touch with Chorister families with details of the arrangements, including reserving seats.


Last day of Term: 12th July

The last day of the academic year is Thursday 12th July.  The day begins as normal for all pupils, and smart full school uniform (not shirt-sleeve order) should be worn.  Term ends at 12.30pm for all pupils in the School.  All pupils from Nursery to Year 7 must be collected at that time, please: we will not be able to provide supervision after this time.  If your child has boarded on the Wednesday night, his/her belongings will be ready for you to collect from the school gym (or boarding common room) at this time, and the boarding team will be on hand to help.  All staff (teaching and non-teaching) have the day off on Friday 13th, meaning that the School will not be open.



We ask that all belongings go home over the summer break and that all lockers and cloakrooms be completely emptied, please.  The School is open to a series of outside lets during the summer months and it will be important, both for the convenience of those visitors and for the security of pupils’ belongings, that nothing is left in School.  It is a good idea to encourage your child to ‘drip feed’ items from School to home over the final week or so of term, to ensure that they (or you!) are not too over-burdened by trying to shift it all in one stint.  Boarders will be receiving this encouragement from Mrs Lacey and her team.


There will be no swimming or Games for any pupils from Tuesday 10th onwards, due to the special end-of-year events lined up. All swimming kit and Games bags can therefore be taken home by all pupils from the end of Monday 9th (or before, as per your child’s timetable).


No bags or books will be needed on the final day of term: they should be left at home, please.


Speech Day: 12th July

Speech Day is held in the Cathedral Nave and begins at 10.30am.  Pupils will be escorted to the Cathedral from their classrooms in time for a prompt start.


All parents/guardians and guests are most warmly invited to attend this special celebration of a wonderful year for ECS.  It’s not a ticketed event, and seats aren’t reserved (other than some set seating for pupils, governors and staff), and parents and guests are welcome to begin taking their seats from 10am at the earliest.


All pupils from Reception to Year 8 are required to attend Speech Day.  Prizes and awards will be distributed across all of these year-groups.  Pre-Prep pupils will receive their scrolls towards the beginning of Speech Day (with the traditional ‘crossing the Green’ ceremony taking place for Year 2), and will be returning to Hall House with their teachers at a designated point in the programme, in order that they need not sit through the entirety of the proceedings.  Pre-Prep pupils will be looked after at Hall House by their teachers until the end of term at 12.30pm, at which point parents are welcome to arrive at Hall House to collect them.  Prep pupils will attend the whole of Speech Day.


Guest of Honour and Distributor of Prizes

We are delighted that our Guest of Honour this year will be Ms Catherine Arnold.  Until March of this year Catherine was Her Majesty’s Ambassador to Mongolia, and she is currently the Head of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s Illegal Wildlife Trade Unit.  She grew up in Sri Lanka and in the UK, has two MAs and an MPhil, has been a travel writer and a political news journalist and reporter in the Middle East, and has worked for the FCO as a Diplomat for the last 12 years.  She is a fascinating speaker, and we are very pleased indeed to welcome her to ECS for Speech Day


Signing out at the end of term 

Nursery pupils: should please be signed out either after their morning session in the usual way, or at 12.30pm from the Nursery team.  There is no planned supervision in the Nursery from 12.30pm onwards.

Reception – Year 2 pupils: should please be signed out at 12.30pm from their classrooms.  Please note that there is no planned supervision at Hall House after Speech Day.

Years 3-7: should please be signed out (with Form Tutors) directly from the Cathedral.  There is no planned supervision at the Chantry after Speech Day: if you are not attending, please collect directly from the Cathedral at 12.30pm.

Year 8 will be remaining on site (Kalendar Hall and Cathedral) to perform their Leavers’ Revue to their parents/guardians and guests, and to attend their Leavers’ Lunch in the Chapter House at about 1.30pm.


Departing Staff

We are sad to be saying goodbye to some ECS staff at the end of this year.  Speech Day provides an excellent platform to pay proper tribute to our departing colleagues, and we shall bid farewell to Mrs Hamer (who retires from teaching), Mrs Clayton (who moves to Cornwall to get married), Mr Farrow (who goes up to Magdelen College, Oxford), Mrs Holder (who takes retirement), Mrs Fisher and Miss Creswell Shaw (who leave the Pre-Prep to follow new dreams), Dr Priest (who moves to Essex with her partner), and Mr and Mrs Lacey (who take their retirement).


If you would like to get a card to someone but fear that you might not have time to catch them, you are welcome to drop off any cards etc either at the Chantry or Hall House front desks.


Holiday Closure

The School will be closed on Friday 13th July.  From Monday 16th, and during the working week, members of the Bursary and Maintenance teams will be in work at the Chantry.


Michaelmas Term 2018

Term begins on Wednesday 5th September (the evening of Tuesday 4th for Boarders).


Blue Calendars

The School calendar (blue diary) will be ready for pupils to collect on the last day of term.  It contains everything you need to know to help you plan as a family for the Michaelmas term.


6 July 2018
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