As term ends, I want to reach out to you to express good wishes. I hope that you and your families are healthy and will remain so.
Pupils may have left the school campus early but the learning continued right through to the end of term. For the final week, we aimed to recreate the routine of a normal school day, while adopting new ways to teach across the ether. I hope that your sons and daughters have enjoyed their new classroom experiences. I am delighted to have observed the creativity of teachers and participation of pupils. Equally pleasing is the positive feedback from so many parents who appreciated the fact that their sons and daughters were being taught and not just set work. I would like to pay tribute to staff who worked hard to ensure that all pupils continued to receive an excellent educational experience, albeit at home rather than in school.
It looks as if remote learning will extend into next term. In order to help with our planning, we would like to understand more about your experience of KESW@Home. We are therefore working with RS Academics, an experienced and trusted market research company in the independent school sector. I ask that you please take five minutes to fill in the online questionnaires (10 questions only) – the links are found in the email that I have sent. Please be aware that all responses go directly to RS Academics and as such are confidential. In response to feedback already received, we are incorporating regular breaks between lessons and timetabling opportunities for independent screen free work.
Through the holiday period, I will be working with colleagues to make sure that we are ready to deliver an holistic educational programme, tailored to each year group. We have assembled a wealth of resources, available for pupils to extend and enhance the normal school curriculum. To help monitor and track their development, we have created a pathway of progress that will help pupils to plot and chart their achievement. Pupils will be challenged to be ambitious in exploring their potential. More details of this innovative approach will follow.
We were, and are, keen to do everything possible to keep the school community together, even when physically separate. The priority for Housemasters and Housemistresses is to keep the house spirit alive and well, preserving a sense of being ‘together’ through regular meetings and times to catch up. Some highlights from the last few days might help demonstrate how responsive everyone has been. Undaunted by the challenge of pupils’ dispersal around the world, Housemaster and Housemistresses set up Zoom House meetings, roll calls, a cheese toastie evening, chess competition, photo challenge and daily physical exercise – all these activities, and many more, have helped maintain a sense of strong community and good company. I should like to make special mention of Mr and Mrs Gardner’s song about working at home. Their fabulous effort gained the attention of BBC Surrey. If you would like to listen to this, please do visit our Community Counts page where you will find the Lower School Lockdown Song along with our KESW Easter podcasts from members of staff who tell stories, describe favourite books or share a source of personal inspiration. We are all learning together!
It is so important that pupils can be supported and kept safe as far as possible. I would like to reassure you that our pastoral care and safeguarding will not stop just because we are on holiday. There has never been a better time to cherish a sense of community and show genuine care. At this time of lockdown, we remain committed to staying in contact and are here to help support our pupils who may be feeling anxious or isolated. We have been working on end of term reports which will be with you early next week. In the light of the announcements about exams, reports have had to be reviewed and wherever possible, they will reflect latest advice.
I hope that you will enjoy this newsletter. We have transformed its style to make it more accessible and to create a way to showcase highlights of the term. When reading, you will appreciate something of the inclusive breadth and inspiring height of achievement in the School. Our pupils have been busy and purposeful. They have demonstrated resilience and creativity in responding to the dynamic of remote learning.
Over the last few weeks, the world has been challenged to change its outlook significantly. We are all aware that we need to adapt to a new economic climate and its consequences. Amidst the global turbulence, we anticipate that most families will be affected in health or finance; and many will be affected in both. Together, we must do all that we can to look after all members of the school community. Though unplanned, this is a time for us to adapt and take hold of opportunities. As a School, we know that we have adjusted and we can benefit from this experience. In time, I hope very much that we will be able to share many examples of good things that have taken place as a result of this extraordinary time. In the meantime, I hope that you can enjoy reflecting on some of the good things that have taken place when school life seemed ordinary!
With all good wishes to all King Edward’s families. From all of us at Witley, I wish you and your family a happy Easter holiday. I hope that you remain safe and well.
An extremely interesting term with fixture curtailment at the start due to weather and at the end for obvious reasons. However, as always, there is much to celebrate. For the first time, we are able to say that every pupil in a particular year group represented the School at some point. That 100% record went to the 2nd Form. Special mention to our 1st Team Boys Basketball, U16 Boys Rugby 7’s and Boys Badminton 1st Team who all secured 100% winning records this term. Also, our U13A boys Hockey side who played a staggering 22 fixtures over this short term!
The first team had a memorable trip to Lord Wandsworth for their annual tournament this year and nearly walked away with the winners medal. This was a real highlight of the season and demonstrated what capabilities the team had, lead so ably by Chloe Kayiranga. It is no coincidence that she is regularly seen practising her shooting on the netball courts between sessions.
The U15A side had a magnificent season losing just twice in 12 games. Justice Keshinro and India Steer were star performers and will be looking at potentially representing the county next season. The U15B side had some notable victories, a standout one being against Cranleigh. The U15C side took to court for the first time ever this season and ended it with a 100%, leading to a delighted Mrs Phillips as coach.
The U13 sides had mixed fortunes throughout the season but demonstrated a clear improvement in performance throughout. The U13B side, with Jess Combes a prominent star, scored plenty of goals but struggled defensively. Whilst the U13A side results improved as the season progressed, with excellent victories against Barrow Hills and Duke of Kent.
The first team were hit particularly hard this term due to the weather and the recent postponements, meaning that only 4 fixtures were able to be played. Nevertheless, they demonstrated their capabilities with a terrific victory over Charterhouse. This is a young team and they could be on the verge of something great next season.
The U16s enjoyed a trip to Cork for their annual visit and, despite have two games postponed by the Irish Government, still managed to play two tight games and had a wonderful experience. Many of these boys were in the U15A side who had a very strong season where they were only defeated once. Eddie Campbell-John was a standout player.
The U15B side had a season to forget as they struggled against some good opposition. However, the U14A side made up for this with some great results, lead by the irrepressible captain, Jake Combes. Victories over Seaford and St John’s, Leatherhead were particularly impressive.
Our U13A side played a staggering 22 matches over the season, more than any other team across the entirety of the school in any sport. The Hampshire Trophy competition, where the boys placed 4th was a fantastic achievement but it was the attitude of key players such as Elias Savage, Josh Cook and Jordan Kongnie-Njipap that was the real highlight. As was the emergence of Oliver James and Derek Zhang as great goalkeepers.
U13B, C and D sides had mixed successes but, as mentioned, every pupil in 2nd form represented the school this season which is a real success.
Our badminton side have a 100% record which is superb considering the quality of opposition. Victories over Cranleigh (twice) and the dismantling of Worth School was brilliant to watch.
Our boys 1st Team Basketball side also achieved a 100% record this term. Simonas Dambrauskas bowing out of the school with the record he so desperately wanted and we are delighted for him. The U16 side lost one game to during the term which prevented a clean sweep of basketball victories. Devon Wasko had a particularly good season.
Boys Rugby 7’s
Another team with 100% records were the U15 and U16 boys sides who were made up, predominantly of the same players. Quinn Tierney, as example, always leading by example.
Mixed Table Tennis
Our large table tennis squad entered the Surrey Championships earlier in term where they all competed well. Congratulations to Gabriella Lee who qualified from this tournament for the National Championships which will, hopefully, take place later this year.
In our inaugural season of playing Volleyball, we won 50% of our fixtures and will be looking to strengthen this record as we move forward.
Boys Water Polo
Finally, another first for King Edwards Witley, was the emergence of our Water Polo side. Despite it being a steep learning curve, the boys are looking forward to move fixtures next year where Federico Salvia will look forward to scoring rather than consistently hitting the post!
|U12||Abigail Strachan||Lara Duthie|
|U13||Yekta Mason||Hannah Gross|
|U15A||Yoon-Jee Nam||Justice Keshinro|
|U15B||Ellie Smith||Eloise King|
|U15C||Sofiia Frenkel||Izzy Davies|
|Seniors||Maud Clear||Chloe Kayiranga|
|Alia Harris||Justice Keshinro||Mia Manik|
|Lara Duthie||Yoon-Jee Nam||Chloe Kayiranga|
|Jess Combes||India Steer||Georgina Ezechie|
|Eloise King||Sibel Oztas|
|U13A||Derek Zhang||Elias Savage|
|U13B||Michael Maybury||Michael Swayne|
|U13C||Havin Mavin||Brice Hoskins|
|U13D||Angus Clark||Joshua Parker-Perryman|
|U14A||Erik Arrillaga Gabirondo||Jake Combes|
|U15A||Louie Thompson||Thomas Clarke|
|U15B||Harry Petersen||Suli Irfan|
|1st XI||Hector Scott-Hughes||Aidan Agar|
|Oliver Kennedy||Jake Combes||Hector Scott-Hughes|
|Henry Allen||Olly Glasspool||Jack Schuster|
|Jamie Pickering||Oscar Roberts|
|Henry Perkins||Joachim Gross|
|Elias Savage||Eddie Campbell-John||Aidan Agar|
|Josh Cook||Thomas Clarke||Ben Dowson|
|Jordan Kongnie-Njipap||Charlie Myers||Jonny Boettner|
|Julian Keary||Quinn Tierney|
|George Martin St Valery|
Finally, congratulations to the following pupils who will be our sports captains and prefects in the Summer Term. They have been selected for their unwavering positive approach, enthusiasm and dedication to all things sport here at King Edward’s Witley. We look forward to their input and reading of the weekly sports report.
Quinn Tierney – Boys Cricket
Ellie Smith – Girls Cricket
Georgina Ezechie – Girls Rounders
Although the term ended with some disappointments, I would like to acknowledge all those who worked incredibly hard towards their Art GCSE and A-level exams which were virtually prepared for, and in the case of GCSE partially achieved. I have rarely seen students work with such commitment, ownership and dedication as our GCSE students when their scheduled exam was in jeopardy last term. None of this is wasted of course, providing us with an assessable body of work, and the skills of resilience, flexibility and commitment to challenges will equip them for the future.
I would like to thank all those who worked hard behind the scenes to produce props and scenery for the Bugsy Malone production which was sadly cancelled. This was a first for the Art Department and would not have been possible without the fantastic work of Miss Wheeler, our Graduate Assistant, who led a team of young artists to coordinate tasks and help to produce the set. We look forward to seeing their hard work in the future.
Earlier in the term our Artist-in-Residence Shivani led a team of Scholars and other talented young artists in presenting a wonderful exhibition of artwork called “Pushing Boundaries” in the Bunker Gallery. The work was diverse and exciting covering traditional drawing through to found object sculptures. Read the full write up here.
Our graduating IB student Edwina Keary spent the last week in School hanging her IB Visual Arts Exhibition which is well worth a visit when we return. She achieved a stunning level of painting and has also been awarded the Painter-Stainer prize by the worshipful company of Painter-Stainers. Read the full story here. Congratulations Edwina!
This term I am pleased to award the following Colours:
Junior Half Colours
Junior Full Colours
Inters Half Colours
Inters Full Colours
Seniors Half Colours
Congratulations to you all and best wishes from the Art Department!
We have had a busy and enjoyable term in the Drama Department. In January, forty four pupils in the 3rd and 4th Form presented scenes for the ‘ Acting Showcase’ that took place in the Dance Studio. The audience were treated to a huge range of talent ranging from GCSE plays to LAMDA pieces. LAMDA lessons have been incredibly productive with a vast range of styles and texts being taught and 55 pupils a week attending lessons.
Our pupils have taken some wonderful theatre trips this term. The entire 3rd Form saw a delightfully uplifting production of ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ and the examination groups watched a fantastic production of ‘A Monster Calls’ at Chichester Festival Theatre. The 4th Form supported support drama scholar Felix Wood as he starred in his village pantomime. What a fantastic evening!
In February we welcomed actor Cheryl Stapleton who ran a successful comedy and mask workshop working with our IB theatre students and Drama scholars.
Charlie McKnight wrote a solo theatre show which he performed in the Green Room Studio to complete his IB studies.
Sixty pupils were involved in our school production, Bugsy Malone, as actors, dancers and/or stage crew. Rehearsals leading up to the show were great and pupils particularly enjoyed working with a professional choreographer. The dress rehearsal photos capture some of the joyful memories made. We are hopeful that we will be able to show a wider audience all our hard work in the near future.
In this shorter than usual term, there have been over forty musical events ranging from House Music to KESW Musician of the Year. With over 700 pieces of music performed in front of an audience or recorded for public exams, over 1500 individual music lessons, 3000 practice sessions, and over 200 rehearsals, it has been an extraordinary and busy term.
Chapel Choir toured Venice singing Evensong at St George’s Anglican Church and Masses in the Basilicas of Frari and San Marco. All this was interspersed with sightseeing, mask painting and far too much pizza and pasta. Once back at King Edward’s, it was time for Musician of the Year and with 136 performances in the prelims, we had the unenviable job of choosing finalists for Sunday 8th March. Congratulations all who took part in the competition – it was amazing to see those performing at the start of the musical journey right through to the Senior Classes. None of the performances would have been possible without the hard work and commitment of all of you. Our overall winners were:
Beginner Musician of the Year Amanda Wang piano
Progressing Musician of the Year Josh Cook flute
Intermediate Musician of the Year Jack Elderkin cello
Advanced Musician of the Year
Contemporary Class Alia Harris
Instrumental Class Julien Early French Horn
Vocal Class Ben Charles
Keyboard Class Richie Zhang
King Edward’s Musician of the Year Richie Zhang
The House Music Competition took place just before half term. All Houses rose to the challenge and it was fantastic to see so many great performances. Thank you to Sam Warne and his team for managing the technical side so well. Thank you to Alia Harris and to the Skull Splitters (from Barrow Hills School) for their performances whilst the adjudicator selected the winners. After half term Chapel Choir performed Allegri’s iconic setting Miserere Mei at our Whole School Eucharist on Ash Wednesday. Thank you to the Chapel Choir for their commitment every Sunday leading the singing at Chapel Services and for keeping the Choral tradition at King Edward’s Witley alive and well. On Sunday 1st March we had a first for King Edward’s where pupils, parents, staff from Barrow Hills and King Edward’s as well as some local guests from our wider community came together to sing Faure’s Requiem. Then came Bridewell Day. Jazz Band entertained the guests during lunch at Guildhall whilst King Edward’s Brass provided some stirring music during the Service alongside Chapel Choir. Meanwhile the pit band for Bugsy Malone had been rehearsing all term and were raising the roof whilst having a lot of fun. Supporting a production is always a challenge which they rose to completely unfazed. It was a great shame to see the term end on such a sad note with so many performances and musical events cancelled, but bravo to all in doing so with such grace and understanding.
Junior Half Colours
Inters Half Colours
Senior Half Colours
Senior Full Colours
Richie Zhang (reissued)
Well done to you.
As we look forward to the next few weeks, there are lots of new initiatives that we are exploring to keep music alive and well. We are looking at cloud-based software accessible by the whole school, practice strategies, rehearsal strategies. Have you stopped playing an instrument? Is this an opportunity to take it up again? If you have not played an instrument before, are you up for the challenge? Perhaps even the Grade 1 challenge that lots of staff took a few years ago? Watch this space…!
Wishing you all a safe and enjoyable Easter break.
King Edward’s pupils frequently perform to their teachers and classmates during drama lessons, however having a ‘real’ audience adds an...
On 22 January, two 4th Form Elizabeth House girls led the King Edward’s Assembly which was held in our Chapel....
A quiet buzz of excitement descended the tarmac just before 5am on Thursday morning as 35 pupils, parents and staff...
We were woken by sub on our first full day in Venice. Pupils fortunate enough to have rooms looking over...
The quiet murmur of breakfast started our busiest day in Venice. After a briefing we headed across the water to...
Finally, a lie in and a late breakfast! This set us up for the climax of the tour. A short...
Heavy fog descended on Venice for our final morning. Looking out over the Giudecca it was hard to see boats...
Pupils from the 5th and 6th Form studying Art, travelled up to the Royal Academy and Tate Modern at the...
King Edward’s Witley pupils learned all about working in the world of film and TV when Media Guru Bruce Devlin...
Old Witleian Yeshen Venema (Grafton 1998) returned to school on Saturday 8th February to talk about the career he has...
Pushing Boundaries My approach with the pupils during activity time has been quite specific. I drew on my own experiences...
On Sunday 1 March, pupils from the Chapel Choir, joined forces with The Bridewell Singers from our partner school Barrow...
This year’s Ski Trip was a roaring success with a group of 30 pupils and staff returning to the glamorous...
A summary of the very successful Business Live! Conference and Disneyland trip to Paris at the beginning of March as...
On Tuesday 10th March the School celebrated Bridewell Day with a buffet luncheon at Guildhall followed by a service at...
A teacher from our School has qualified to represent Great Britain as part of the Great Britain Age-Group team at...
Mrs Hannah Pullen, Head of Girls’ Games, has had a run of success – winning as first female in the...