Head's Newsletter 25 September 2015

Dear Parents

 Monday 5 th October: Staff INSET Day: No Pupils will be in School on this day Tuesday 6 th October: 11+ Day: No pupils will be in School on this day, unless they are sixth formers asked to help out Mon 26 Oct - Fri 30 Oct: Half Term Monday 9 th November: U6 Parents’ Consultations: School finishes at 2.40 Friday 4 th December: Twilight Staff INSET: School finishes at 2.00 Tuesday 15 th December: L6 Parents’ Consultations: School finishes at 2.40 Friday 18 th December: Break up for Christmas holiday: school finishes just after midday South East England. It is the first time that an Education Minister has paid a visit to Tiffin, and we thank Lord Nash for giving time in his busy diary for us. Lord Nash had a tour of Tiffin from the senior boys, and saw assemblies, lessons and the choir. He met with boys, staff and governors, and was given an enthusiastic welcome and introduction to life at Tiffin!      

It has been a very busy couple of weeks as students are now settling down to the work and activities of the Autumn Term. It has also been very good to be able to meet so many parents at our L6, U6 and Year 10 evenings held so far. We have had some significant events that have taken place recently that I hope you will read about below, and I would also highlight here some other important dates and events coming up. An email to parents was sent out earlier this week directing parents to the calendar of events and important days that is on Insight. Please do have a look at these, but I would highlight in particular the following days in this term’s calendar: On Monday, we were delighted to host a visit to the School by Lord Nash, the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Schools, one of the team of six ministers in Nicky Morgan's Department for Education. He was accompanied by Dominic Herrington, the Regional Schools Commissioner, who has responsibility for the academy programme in London and Education Minister’s visit to Tiffin

l to r: Phil Phillips, Chair of Governors; Mike Gascoigne; Lord Nash; Dominic Herrington; James Heath, Governor

Lord Nash and Dominic Herrington with Shane Jayakrishna, Head Boy (centre) with Yo Yel Kang, Deputy Head Boy (left) and Max Talman, Deputy Head Boy (right)

Leavers’ Celebration

On Monday 21 st September we held our Leavers’ Celebration in Kingston Parish Church for the A Level Leavers of 2015; it was great to see so many of them present and to be able to celebrate their successes, both at A Level, and in the wider opportunities that the School has offered them. The young men who left our School in summer are now off to

university and gap years, and we all joined together in a reception afterwards hosted by our Alumni organisation, TAL, (Tiffinian Association Limited). It is always remarkable to experience one year group arriving in September, as we say goodbye to another leaving, seven years older, having benefited from the Tiffin education.

In School, the boys are making particularly good use of the new computers we have installed in the Learning Resources Centre. We have invested significantly in updating the equipment in the LRC, and this is certainly helping the boys in their studies.

to this conference, and it is open to any interested Sixth Form student.

Careers Fair: How Parents can help

Further ahead, I would highlight the forthcoming Careers Fair on 19 th November: this is open to boys and their parents from Years 10 to Upper Sixth. This is a biennial event, and we welcome representatives of many different careers to talk to boys and their parents. It is extremely popular, with hundreds of students benefitting from the experience of talking to professionals from many different fields. The aim is for the students to broaden their understanding of career options and to consider how to maximise their chances of entering different careers. If you would like to offer your services on that evening, to talk about your career or profession with the boys, we would welcome your input - please email our Careers Adviser, Lizzie Gall, at lgall@tiffin.kingson.sch.uk to indicate your interest. In addition of course, we have all of our regular sports fixtures, curriculum trips, choir appointments, orchestra rehearsals etc on top of the normal teaching! I do hope your sons are working, learning and enjoying the term so far, by engaging with what is on offer.

Some important events and opportunities are coming up soon:

Lord Winston visiting Tiffin

On Wednesday we are delighted to be welcoming to the School Lord Winston, who, following an invite from Tiffin boys, will be lecturing to the Sixth Formers on Science and the Ethics of Human Fertility Treatment; we are incredibly fortunate to have such a prestigious figure giving up his time for us and I expect many sixth form students will wish to make the most of this opportunity to hear such a prominent and well known scientist talking at Tiffin. The Sixth Formers will also be benefitting from an evening we are hosting looking at American universities on Friday 2 nd October, when we are fortunate to have the Admissions Tutors from Harvard and Yale talking about Ivy League university admissions; many schools from across London are sending students and teachers American Universities


Mike Gascoigne

Music News

BBC Proms On Wednesday 9 th September the Tiffin Boys’ Choir trebles took part in the BBC Prom No 72 at the Royal Albert Hall in a programme which included Nielsen’s Violin Concerto, Springtime on Funen , and Ives’s Fourth Symphony. Conducted by Andrew Litton the boys were joined by the

Tiffin Girls’ Choir, the BBC Singers and BBC Symphony Orchestra. The boys gave a very creditable performance and have certainly improved their knowledge of Danish pronunciation! Hopefully this has paved the way for future invitations to perform at the BBC Proms.

Musicroom.com filming June 2015 In June a small number of classes were involved with the filming for a Musicroom.com promotional advert for their ‘Back to School’ season. The storyline is about a boy being introduced to the piano, growing up experiencing the different stages learning the piano and ultimately becoming a professional. Although an actor was used for the main part (in borrowed Tiffin uniform) the film Crown Court Service on Monday 21 st September Every year the Tiffin Boys’ Choir takes part in the Crown Court Service at All Saints Church in Kingston to mark the start of the Crown Court session. The service started with a procession including the Judges, the Mayor of the Royal Borough of Kingston

undoubtedly reflects the high reputation of music at Tiffin School. Currently there is an excellent article on the Musicroom website dedicated to Best Practice: How To Help Your Students Practise Perfectly – written by Simon Toyne (previously Director of Music at Tiffin). Do take a look at this MusicRoom site and click on ‘Sharing Their Success’: Link

upon Thames, the Deputy Mayor and Councillor Roy Arora. Prayers were led by the Reverend Jonathan Wilkes and pupils from local primary schools with the choir singing the Introit (Bruckner), Psalm 23 and the Anthem (Howells).


Since the last instalment we have played very competitive block fixtures against Gunnersbury and Wimbledon College. For the Senior squad the last couple of games have been a steep learning curve, and a taste of what tests are to come over the next few months. A good win over Gunnersbury made sure that confidence was still high going into what was deemed to be our biggest challenge thus far against Wimbledon College. This game saw opportunities come and go. We struggled to capitalise on ours whilst Wimbledon College took everything they could. An all-out assault which included the kitchen sink was thrown at the opposition try line but to no avail. This resulted in the first loss of the season 27-22. This was closely followed by a second narrow defeat on Wednesday against Caterham School. A superb fight back saw a 28-8 down score line turn into a 29-28 lead with just minutes to go, but it was heart- break again with Caterham scoring a last ditch try to finish 35-29 winners. We are away at Haberdashers Askes this weekend where we hope to improve our accuracy and start capitalising on the scoring opportunities that we create. I would like to thank Robert Singleton for supplying the photos alongside.

Sixth Form Play Carrying on the trend of quality sixth form productions, this year’s production of the classic Joe Orton farce ‘What the Butler Saw’ takes place in the Drama Studio from Monday 19th October until Thursday 22nd October at 7pm. Tickets will be available from the Drama Office from Monday 28th September at the price of £8 (adults) and £5 (concessions). Alternatively, please email Joe Prentice on jprentice2@tiffin.kingston.sch.uk to make RADA Exams We were fortunate enough to have our third round of RADA exams at the end of the summer term. The Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts: Shakespeare Certificate is a highly respected series of examinations that require students to learn and perform Shakespeare monologues, a sonnet and a site reading. For the last two years Judith Conyers, a mother of an ex-Tiffinian and respected Drama Practitioner, has been running the course at Tiffin School. A number of boys from Years 9 and 10 took their Bronze and Silver awards achieving Rambert choreography challenge 2015/2016 We are delighted to tell you that Tiffin Dance Company (year 9 dancers) have been selected to take part in the choreography challenge lunched by leading British contemporary dance company: Rambert! www.rambert.org.uk/ . We have been selected from an overwhelming number of applicants from schools and colleges across the UK. The purpose of the project is to create and perform an original dance piece inspired by a leading choreographer associated with Rambert. The piece will be performed at the award-winning studios on London’s

a reservation. Tickets are available only for students who are 14+. We look forward to seeing you there!

excellent Pass and Merit awards, many moving on towards the Gold Certificate. This is an outstanding achievement for the boys who have given up much of their own time outside of school to prepare for the exam. Tiffin has hosted the examinations at the school for the last two years, including inviting students from Hinchley Wood over to be part of the examination process. A fantastic addition to the extra-curricular opportunities available in Drama and one that we hope will continue for years to come. South Bank in March 2016 at the regional performance platform before going onto the national platform in June. Tiffin dance company rehearses once a week after school and is at the stage of training at the moment but will keep you posted on our progresses. Wish us luck!

GREEN TRAVEL Tiffin School has been accredited with a silver award by STARS – Sustainable Travel: Active, Responsible, Safe (STARS) team in recognition of the school’s excellent work on sustainable travel The Transport for London STARS scheme is an accreditation scheme for schools, nurseries and colleges to inspire young Londoners to travel sustainably, actively, responsibly and safely. Coupled with this award a group of year ten pupils have successfully completed, for the second year in a row, the Transport for London Youth Travel Ambassador (YTA) scheme. This is aimed at:  Encouraging more walking and cycling to school  Sharing key road safety messages  Promoting responsible behaviour on the transport network  Giving young people the skills and confidence to travel safely and independently A massive well done to everyone involved.

the need for proper safety equipment when students are travelling to and from school by bike.

History Prize Congratulations to Upper Sixth student Jack Nicholson who was short-listed for the History Prize in the John Locke Institute Essay Competition. Last Friday Jack attended the Institute's awards dinner at Mansfield College, Oxford where his essay on the Don Pacifico Affair was awarded a 'High Commendation' and he was presented with his certificate by the Institute's Director, Martin Cox (below).

The Politics Philosophy and Economics Society The PPE Society is open to all students in Year 11 and the Sixth Form, and returned with a bang on the 22nd September, with a lecture on Postmodernism and Historiography. The society runs every Tuesday, with the Autumn events looking at the political economist Adam Smith, jurisprudence and foreign policy in Japan, and Wittgenstein and Chomsky on language among other topics.

Bikeability 2015/16 A number of year 9 and 10 students are busy improving their bike skills with the kind support of the Royal Borough of Kingston’s Bikeability Team this week. We also had Dr Bike visit the school to sort out dodgy brakes and annoying gears for Tiffin pupils. Parents should be aware of

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