Issue 10 Friday 24 June 2016  

Dr McNerney writes....

We were delighted to see our Y5-7 pupils arrive back at school on Friday afternoon. They were somewhat surprised when we told them how much they had been missed (!) and it was really good to hear about the successes of their weeks away. This newsletter contains a great summary of their many adventures.

I would like to congratulate Arseny Uskov for winning a place at Westminster School and Sachin Vyas for recently hearing that he has won his place at Harrow School. These are very fine achievements and we are proud of the way in which these two pupils carried on working for their examinations that took place much later in the year than those of their peers.

I would also like to congratulate Daniel Rowlands, who showed extreme composure and competence when he represented MTP at the St Barnabas Speech Day at MTS on Saturday. Daniel had to give a speech in the Great Hall and did so in an engaging way without any sign of nerves. This is the first time that our School Captain has been included in MTS’ Speech Day and it will hopefully be a tradition that will continue.

Some staffing news: Mr Smith has decided that this is his final year at MTP because he would like to spend more time with his family. I would like to take this opportunity to say that he has been a dedicated and loyal member of our team since he started in 2000 and his contribution to the school has been huge. Morning line up won’t be the same without ‘I vow to thee my country’ on his saxophone! Mr Smith will be replaced by Miss Spear, an impressive English specialist who is passionate about English teaching.

Finally, we have many events happening between now and the end of term: Twelfth Night, Celebration Afternoon, House Presentations, Y2 Certificate Presentations and Y8 Awards Dinner. I hope to see you at one of these events.

Best wishes

Dr. Karen McNerney | Head of School

mvp mip
diary dates
y4 wEEK
EU REF. Results

Monday, June 27
Moving up session Junior School to Y4 (9-10am)
Technical Rehearsal for Y8 Production of ‘Twelfth Night’
Y2 Kwik Cricket Tournament 1315-1415
Y4 to Y5 Transfer Parents’ Information Meeting 1630

Tuesday, June 28
Dress Rehearsal for Y8 Production of ‘Twelfth Night’
New Nursery Parents’ Visits
U8AB Cricket v Reddiford School (a) 1415

Wednesday, June 29
Y8 Parents’ Tea 1800 Dining Hall
Y8 Production of ‘Twelfth Night’ 1900 Theatre

Thursday, June 30
Governors’ and SLT Reception 1800
U8ABCD Cricket v Gayhurst (a) 1400
Y2-Y7 OPRO Mouth Guard Fitting 0930-1130
Y8 Production of ‘Twelfth Night’ 1900 Theatre

Friday, July 1
Clubs, Learning Support & Activities End for the Whole School
U10AB Cricket v Berkhamsted (a) 1445
U10CD Cricket Development Day (h) 1430
Y7 Beach Volleyball Competition
Y8 Leavers’ Weekend Departs

Saturday, July 2
Y8 Leavers’ Weekend

Sunday, July 3
Y8 Leavers’ Weekend

Monday, July 4
3S Final Swimming Session
MTS Summer Serenade Concert 1930
Y1 & Y2 Wimbledon Tennis Coaching Afternoon 1315-1500
Y7 Wimbledon Tennis Coaching Afternoon 1515-1615
Y8 Leavers' Weekend Returns

Tuesday, July 5
1st XI Cricket v Dauntsey’s School (h) 1100
Y7 Parents’ Information Meeting for Y6 Parents 1630 Theatre
Y8 Classics Reading Competition

Wednesday, July 6
Whole School Staff Meeting 0800 Theatre
3G Final Swimming Session
An evening of Poetry & Prose 1630 Theatre
Celebration Afternoon
Y2 Concert & Presentation of Certificates 1415 Theatre

Thursday, July 7
Y8 Awards Dinner 1845 Dining Hall

Friday, July 8
Term Finishes
YR/Y1/Y2 1145
Nursery 1200
Y3/Y4 1200
Y5/Y6 1215
Y7/Y8 1230

Monday, July 11 – Friday, July 15
MTP Multi Activities NUR-Y2 Week 1
MTP Multi Activities Y3-Y7 Week 1

Monday, July 18 - Friday, July 22
MTP Multi Activities NUR-Y2 Week 2
MTP Multi Activities Y3-Y7 Week 2

Thursday, September 1
Staff INSET Day

Friday, September 2
Staff INSET Day

Monday,  September 5
Term Commences

Anish Bharadwaj 5W1             Auke Veenendaal 7J1

Toby Michaels 8W3

            Dhaya Thind 3S,      
            Shyam Pankhania 4G
Enjoyed by all year groups

The annual Expedition Week was enjoyed by all year groups and is the basis of final units of work this term for certain subjects. Thanks to the leaders and teams that accompanied the boys. Best wishes to Year 8 for their production of Shakespeare’s ‘Twelfth Night’ next week before their Leavers’ Weekend away.  The Europe In/Out Referendum has also come to MTP this week thanks to Mr McConnell and Y8. For your information, the School Captain & Vice Captain election also takes place this week. Year 7 pupils are thanked for their letters of application for the position of House Captain & Vice-Captain next year and for addressing their House at the last House meeting. House and School Table Tennis finals are imminent as are Sports’ Days to determine House Athletics. Fingers crossed for good weather and a new school record or two!

Looking further ahead, we have the eagerly anticipated House Singing competition, House Prize Giving on Celebration Afternoon, the publication of the 2016 Year Book and the Year 8 Awards Dinner. In the meantime, we look forward to welcoming Year 4 pupils to their new Tutor Groups on ‘Moving Up Day’ next Monday. 

Heads of House

Livingstone Charity Day

A fantastic afternoon of fundraising was had by all before half term, at Livingstone’s annual charity event. This year’s mini Olympics included popular events from last year’s event such as the Space Hopper Race and Beat the Goalie, with a new event added also, ‘Race Mr Kopel!’.  Mr Kopel took great satisfaction from his victories until he met his match in Ayush Chavan in Y8, who not only won their head to head, but also the rematch! Thank you to all boys that came down to support the day, you managed to raise a fantastic amount of £302.26 for Livingstone’s House Charities!

Mr J.Denham | Livingstone House

Wonderful week had by all

It was wonderful to welcome all our Year 5-8 boys safely back from their residential visits. By all accounts the boys had a wonderful time and were extremely well behaved. Year 3 enjoyed their programme of day visits and year 4 had their first introduction to a residential visit, spending a night at Phasels Wood.  As a school community we are very grateful to all the members of staff who organise these trips and are willing to go along to look after the boys.

Track and field athletics has dominated our sports fields this week with the weather being kind. The spirit with which the boys participated was impressive with everyone willing to give it a go regardless of their athletic ability. We are very thankful to Mr Todd and his Games staff for all the hard work they have put in to make these days such a success. Also to Mr Harper, Mr Lake and their grounds team for the immaculate condition of the sports fields.

Our first ever Summer Disco took place this week. Year 6 to 8 boys arrived at school on Thursday evening unrecognisable after much styling and fashion advice from their mums (we could tell!). They behaved like absolute gentlemen and had a wonderful time. Many mobile numbers were collected – never to be dialled. We greatly appreciate the support of our local girls’ schools in making this even possible.

Finally Krish Patel (5N) is taking part in a charity Triathlon at Woburn Abbey on 11th of September. He will be swimming 100m, biking 3km and will run 1km. He will be raising money for Great Ormond Street Children's Charity and also Melanoma Cancer Research. Training sessions in the open water have started. Their target is to raise £1,000 for this noble cause. If you would like to support, here is the web link.

Mr M Hibbert | Assistant Head of School & Mr A Crook | Deputy Head

MTP votes to stay in European Union!

On 23rd June MTP boys voted on the same question as the rest of the country: should the UK remain in the European Union, or leave the European Union?

This followed a week of campaigning by Year 8 boys, who had produced posters, run a debate in Assembly (including answering questions of which they had no prior knowledge), and canvassed voters across Years 3-8. They also helped to persuade boys to vote in our polling stations, collecting their votes and stamping their hands to show that they had voted. It was particularly pleasing to see boys across the School persuading each other to come to stand in line to vote, showing off their stamped hands as a mark of democratic pride (hand-stamping is an idea borrowed from many countries around the world as a means of preventing repeat voting).

The Year 8 boys worked very hard and fully deserved the turnout they achieved – 89.8%. This was nearly 18% ahead of the national turnout: well done, boys.

The Year 8 boys deserve a huge amount of credit. They conducted their own research, designed their own posters and manned the voting stations, but I am also grateful to the many members of staff who helped by taking photos, supervising polling stations, making ballot boxes, and encouraging boys to vote.

As for the result – it was a convincing victory (82% to 18%) for the campaign headed by our establishment Remain camp, headed by Daniel Rowlands and Willem Redman, our two senior students. The Leave campaign, headed by Josh Michaels and Toby Michaels, put its case well but was unable to convince the School to vote for change.  

I’m glad to report that the campaign at Merchant Taylors’ Prep was both respectful and very good-humoured, and that we’re looking forward to the next referendum, whatever its topic.

Mr A McConnell | Head of History


Auke Veenendaal 7J1,
Ankit Chadha 7J2,
Rahul Patel 7J3
Daniel Rowlands 8J3,
Rohan Olsen 5J1,
Joshua Jassal 5J1,
Rishil Sodha 8J1,
Ahren Chadha 5J3,
Danyal Azam 7J2

Willem Redman 8L2,
Harry Williams 8L1
Jacob Payne Y6L3
Kishan Bharti 4G
Amin Mirza 3G

Aaryan Soni 5N1
Aryan Patel 4N

Jasmer Sawhney 3N
James Keeney 7N2
Max Little 6N1

Shiv Pandya-Smith 3S
Reeyen Ruparelia 3S

Celebration time

On June 9th we celebrated the 90th birthday of Her Majesty The Queen in Pre-Prep and our School Council members were involved in planning the celebrations. The boys took part in a special assembly, led by the School Council, which included a crown parade, watching an excerpt from last year’s Trooping the Colour parade before singing the National Anthem with gusto. We all then processed on to the field for a picnic with delicious birthday cake made for us by Thomas and Judy.  The photographs give you a flavour of the celebrations; showing the boys waving flags and in their crowns.

The boys also wrote an individual message to The Queen which Mrs Martin kindly made into a card and we posted it to Buckingham Palace. We are very hopeful that we might receive an acknowledgement soon. The photograph shows Vivaan Sharma holding it.

Last Friday Year 2 spent the morning with Year 3 and had a great time doing different activities and finding out about life in Year 3. I believe that one of their favourite parts was when they found out that in Year 3 you are allowed to pour your own water at lunchtime! The morning helped Year 2 to look forward to Year 3 and see it as an exciting adventure and nothing to be worried about.

This term I have been delighted to see how much the boys have enjoyed their learning at school, and the exciting topics they cover really inspire them to do their very best. I have included a photograph showing Vihaan Ganguly, Aarush Sasikumar and Hidde Kruisbrink with their paintings of sea creatures inspired by their topic of Under the Sea.

Mrs S Funnell | Head of Pre Prep

A few Sports Day pictures.

'Let's Explore'  

In Nursery we have been continuing our topic ‘Let’s Explore’ by learning about pirates. The boys have enjoyed using their imagination to make up their own stories about pirates and have loved acting them out in our outside area. In the photo Rishaan Shah and Eisa Nawaz are sailing their ships into our front garden.

The boys have persevered to create their own rafts whilst discovering whether things float and sink. We have been so impressed with all their efforts and the photos show Milaan Patel and Oliver Ladbury concentrating on building their boats.

The highlight of our topic came earlier this week when we were visited by the Reception boys for an action packed pirate morning in the Nursery. The boys followed the clues around the grounds to find our hidden treasure and took part in some creative pirate activities. Thank you for making so much effort with the boys’ costumes; they looked fantastic. The photo shows the boys out in the garden following on from their treasure hunt. 

Mrs G Ladbury| Head of Nursery

Y3 Visits

Year 3 had a fun packed week of activities last week. On Monday we visited Batchworth Lock where we learnt all about the canals. We helped to open the locks and enjoyed a trip down the canal on a canal boat. On Tuesday we visited Reveley Lodge, a Victorian house in Bushey. We went back in time and pretended we were living in the house and even had afternoon tea! On Thursday we went to HOAC (Hillingdon Outdoor Activity Centre) in Harefield. In the morning we did some orienteering and in the afternoon we completed a range of team building activities such as the swamp and nightline. Our week ended with a day with the Year 2 boys. We played rounders, did some artwork and explored in the woods. This was a great opportunity for the staff and boys to chat to the Year 2 boys about what to expect when they move up to Year 3. 

Mrs L Scales | Year 3 Class Teacher

Y4 Visits  

Year 4 had a very exciting Expedition Week that started with a visit to Hampton Court Palace on Monday 13th June. The boys had time to explore the palace, visit the gift shop and also participate in a workshop that enabled them to use evidence to form ideas about Henry VIII. This had great relevance to what they have been learning about in History. On the Tuesday of Expedition week we continued with the historical theme at school and took part in a ‘Tudor Day’. The boys made their own Tudor Roses and orange pomanders and learnt more about Tudor life.

We visited Phasels Wood for our over-night stay on Wednesday 15th June. The boys took part in lots of activities such as the zip-wire, shelter building, crate stacking, rock climbing and archery. The boys developed their team working skills to do this and had lots of fun. Darshan Patel, 4G, celebrated his birthday whilst we were away and we all enjoyed the cake he provided! There was great excitement before bed as we sat around the camp fire, expertly made by Mr. Goddard, with hot chocolate and biscuits. The boys enjoyed more activities the following day before we departed to come back to school.

On the final day of Expedition Week, Year 4 boys took part in ‘The Great Eggscape’. The boys worked in teams to earn tokens in a series of short team building activities. In the final task these teams built an ‘egg-scape pod’ to protect an egg as it was dropped from the top of the fire escape. Well done to Nikhil Mohan, Zachary Jamal, Varshan Sasikumar, Shaurya Jhunjhunwala, Rehan Gupta and Mark Humphrey who were part of the only team that was successful! The boys and staff had a great, action packed week.

Miss O Gavacan| Year 4 Class Teacher

Some Y7 & Y8 Sports Day photos
Y5 Visit

Forty boys and six staff made the journey to Norfolk Lakes for their annual expedition. The school was one of the first to use this new centre which offers the widest range of watersports in the UK. The boys spent lots of time on the lakes learning to kayak, canoe and sail and enjoyed stand up paddle boarding for the first time. Inside the centre the boys enjoyed rifle shooting, archery, caving and climbing. After a wet start to the week the weather allowed the boys to take part in all their activities as planned. We will certainly be returning to Norfolk Lakes in the future as this centre promises even more opportunities both in and out of the water.

Mr D Todd | Director of Sport

Learn to play the guitar

I am writing to you to inform you of the opportunity for your son to learn to play the guitar, bass guitar and ukulele at Merchant Taylor’s Prep School. Our visiting teacher, Miss Murray, offers tuition in various styles including classical, jazz, rock, pop, folk and blues. She is a musician with many years' experience as a teacher and performer and has built up a successful teaching practice in local schools. Your son can be entered for graded examinations and we hope to offer an ensemble option in the future.

  • The lessons are for 30 minutes
  • £18 per lesson
  • Please email Mrs Hawkes for further information and to book lessons.

Mrs C Hawkes | Director of Music

Y6 France

Year 6 travelled to Normandy for Expedition Week 2016 to enjoy a range of linguisitic, cultural, historic and culinary highlights. A market and café visit for the former and croissants and snails (not together, we add) for the latter. Mr Kopel is thanked for organising and leading a great and varied week away whilst Mr McConnell’s knowledge of D-Day and the Bayeux Tapestry brought history to life. We wrote postcards in French and even got to play on the beach in sunshine.

Mr R Kopel & Mr A Crook
Y7 Geography Field Trip

The Year 7 Field Visit was to Wales, a part of the world not famed for its consistently cheery weather. Fortunately Dale Fort and the immediate surroundings record the highest hours of sunshine for anywhere in Wales. Where those hours had disappeared to on Monday and Tuesday I have no idea but things did perk up by mid-week, by which stage our work was in full flow. We battled coastal winds and squally showers, braved the midges and even trawled the depths of the sea to capture crabs. We also learned how to make a bed and switch off a light, life skills which are  as important as Geography anyway. Finally and most crucial of all is that our brave but not-so-little MTP soldiers all returned happy and healthy and Wales was left in peace…until next year.

Mr R Bowman | Head of Geography

The Year in Science

James Keeney gets stuck in during the MTS Biology Department's Eco Survey in the school's new Nature Area.
Year 8 boys visit MTS' new Design and Technology Building for the 2016 Science fair.

As we come to the end of another happily busy year in the Science Department, it seems appropriate to stop, reflect, say a few thank yous and contemplate the new academic year that awaits us.

Thank you to the boys who worked hard and made the most of their scientific talents this year, the teachers, teaching assistants and lab technician who helped and supported them and you, the parents, who have been there for your sons in all the work that they do at home. Your sons are central to what we do in our department, and when we at school support what you do at home and you support what we do at school, they can only flourish and find fulfilment in themselves and their Science learning.

Thank you to Mr Hibbert and Mr Greenish for the success of our new initiative of master classes for KS3. We will be looking at how we can build on this concept in the new year, and one thought is to invite into school parents with scientifically relevant specialities that they could share with our pupils. We also look forward to having Mr Hibbert’s support in lessons as this will allow us the opportunity to intervene immediately where and when needs arise.

As we continue to integrate more closely with our counterparts at MTS, I must give a huge thanks to all involved in their Science Department for the many opportunities they have provided our boys with this year. It has proven to be a fruitful union thus far and we are already planning to expand on this groundwork next year.

A big thank you to the Parent’s Association for their support in the purchase of electrical circuits equipment, and a lovely new full size and detailed human torso model. Your sons will benefit greatly from these new acquisitions!

As we contemplate the Summer Exams, how you support your sons at home in their Science learning is once again a hot topic. We will be sending out Parental Support Advice for each year group in September, but I would just like to make a couple of points now. Looking at boys who have performed well and in speaking to colleagues, there is no substitute for hard work and focus in lessons and at home. Furthermore, boys need to practise how to explain their observations, adding detail and depth that reflect deeper understanding. The best way for parents to support their sons in this is to simply talk to them about the work they are doing in class. This reinforces the work we do, adds valuable context and helps the boys to delve deeper into the “Why” questions. Have a look at their topic tick sheet and then simply talk to them and support deeper reflection. We encourage the boys to bring these thoughts back into class to reciprocally enrich what we do and to engender richer dialogue. Finally, boys need to bring thoughts and concerns to their teachers whenever these arise to allow us to intervene as soon as possible and avoid misconceptions setting in.

To sum up, we have a very strong vision of how Science should be taught and experienced, and we are happy to share this with yourselves as parents. Please do feel free to contact your relevant Science teacher or myself if you would like to find out more about all the above. Most importantly, though, please buy into and support us as a department as we keep investigating and applying innovative ways of developing scientific interest and learning in our pupils, your sons.

Mr H De Vynck| Head of Science

Pupil of the Month

Pupil of the month in Science is awarded to the following boys for their excellent achievement in Summer tests:

Diego Ceccarelli   Year 4
Aaron Sohal   Year 5
Benjamin Cutmore  Year 6

Miss C Burke | KS2 Science Teacher

Y5 Artwork

Mr D Roach | Head of Art and Design