Issue 15 Friday 16 December 2016  
Dr McNerney writes....

We were very lucky to have had an excellent visit recently from Councillor Andrew Scarth, Chairman of Three Rivers Council. He spoke to Years 3-8 in assembly about the purpose of local government and his role as the Chairman of the District Council. He was very impressed by the quality of the boys’ questions during the Q & A session and gave them very honest, and yet diplomatic, answers on questions ranging from local issues, such as HS2, to more global ones, such as Trump.

I am delighted that both our U13 and U12 hockey teams have won The Hockey League. This is a sport that continues to go from strength to strength at MTP and we have developed great depth in our field of players. The finals could not be played due to bad weather but both teams had dominated their respective leagues and were the outright winners on points. Congratulations to all of the boys and their coaches.

I would like to say thank you and farewell to Miss Elderfield who is leaving MTP this week so that she can work in a school nearer to her home. She has been so nurturing to the boys at Nursery and in breakfast club over the past few years and we wish her all the best. Mrs Davies, an experienced Nursery Nurse, who join the team in Nursery in January.

The last couple of weeks have been a joy at school as we have celebrated Christmas with several events. We have had beautiful performances from the Pre-Prep, both the Concert and Production, an uplifting Christmas Concert featuring performers from Years 3-8, visits to the pantomime, Christmas feasts, Choir singing in the community and today’s magnificent Carol Service. Christmas is a special time at school and I would like to take this opportunity on behalf of everyone at MTP to thank parents for their generous gifts and kind words, and to wish everyone a very Happy Christmas.

Best wishes

Dr. Karen McNerney | Head of School

mvp mip
diary dates

Tuesday 3rd January
Staff INSET day

Wednesday 4th January
Staff INSET day

Thursday 5th January
Term Commences
Breakfast Club, Learning Support, Instrumental Lessons, Prep Clubs & After School Activity Club (1700 – 1800) Commence
Haberdashers’ Aske’s 13 plus Examinations
4+ Assessments 1330 Old Dining Hall

Friday 6th January
Staff and Parents' Coffee Morning 0800 – 0830 Dining Hall
4+ Assessments 0915 Old Dining Hall
4+ Assessments 1315 Old Dining Hall
Bath Hockey Tour Meeting 1630 – 1700

Monday 9th January
All After School Clubs Commence
Y3G Swimming Commences
Y6/Y7 School Examinations 0845 - 1615
U11 & U13 York House Cross Country Meet 1415 - 1615

Tuesday 10th January
Y6/Y7 School Examinations

Wednesday  11th January
Aldenham School 13 plus Examinations
Y3S Swimming Commences
1st-3rd Football v Belmont Prep (a) 1430 - 1700
U13 4th & 5th Football v Belmont Prep (h) 1430 - 1615

Thursday 12th January
The John Lyon School 13 plus Examinations
U9 York House Cross Country Meet 1430 - 1615

Friday 13th January
U10AB Football v Thorpe House (a) 1430 - 1615
U11ABC Football v Radlett Prep (h) 1430 - 1615
Dedication of the New Term 1700 – 1730 Theatre

Tuesday 17th January
Regional General Knowledge Quiz heats 1000 - 1100
U9ABC Football v The Beacon (a) 1430 - 1645
U9DE Football v The Beacon (h) 1430 - 1600

Wednesday 18th January
1st & 2nd Team Football v The Beacon (a) 1430 - 1715
3rd & 4th Team Football v The Beacon (h) 1430 - 1630

Thursday 19th January
U8AB Football v The Beacon (a) 1430 - 1645
U8DEF Football v The Beacon (h) 1430 - 1615
Google Expedition (TBC)
Pre-Prep Consultations 1700 - 1900
Year 6JL Parents' Evening 1730 – 1930 Dining Hall

Friday 20th January
U10AB Football v The Beacon (a) 1430 - 1700
U10CDE Football v The Beacon (h) 1430 - 1615
Google Expedition (TBC)
Monday 23rd January
Y3/Y4 Music Recital 0845 - 0915
1st XI Football v Gayhurst/Chesham Combined (a) 1500 - 1730
Pre-Prep Parent Consultations 1700 - 1900
Year 6NW Parents' Evening 1730 – 1930 Dining Hall

Tuesday 24th January
Whole School Staff Meeting 0800 – 0830 Theatre
U8ABC Football v St. Martin's (h) 1430 - 1635
U8DEF Football v St. Martin's (a) 1430 - 1615

Wednesday 25th January
Y5-8 Music Recital 0845 - 0915

Thursday 26th January
Merchant Taylors’ School 13 plus Examinations

Friday 27th January
Merchant Taylors’ School 13 plus Examinations
U10AB Football v Belmont Prep (a) 1430 - 1645
U11ABC Football v HABS (h)  1445 - 1630

Saturday 28th January
U10 Larkin Shield Football Tournament (Venue: MTS) 1000 - 1300

Jacob Payne 7L3
Samuel Sundram 4G
James Keeney 8N2
Ivo Regnard-Weinrabe 3S
Lokan Bavisi 3S
              Sahil Shah 7L1
              Vivaan Verma 4G
              Jonathan Read 8W2
              Neil Prabhakar 8L3
House News December 2016

Final Assembly and the Carol Service provided a fitting end to a busy and rich Autumn term. Raiyan Qureshi 8N1 & Raj Shah 8J1 shared the Watson Cup for most House Points by an individual pupil, L2 received the Coronation Cup for best tutor Group, 3G were awarded the Coronation Shield in Y3/4, Wren won House Cross Country, Hockey & General Knowledge whilst Newton triumphed in House Rugby. Unsurprisingly, the overall House Cup was raised aloft by Wren House. Leading the way in Fantasy Football is still Miss Burke. We congratulate the Choirs and Readers for their lovely contribution to the Carol Service and we thank them for this seasonal gift.

Recent festivities enjoyed by the boys include a Christmas Concert, House Quizzes, an Evening of Poetry and Prose (LAMDA), a Christmas postbox and a traditional Christmas Feast. The older boys ate in their Houses and Y8 thanked the kitchen staff on the occasion of their last Christmas lunch at Merchant Taylors’ Prep. We extend our best wishes to Y8 for their final 13+ preparation. Y6 and Y7 have been given revision guidance for school exams (January 9th/10th). In the meantime, we thank you on behalf of all tutors and teachers for the kind gifts and words of thanks. In return, we wish you all a peaceful and happy holiday.

House Points Top 10 Autumn 2016

1= Raiyan Qureshi 8N1 & Raj Shah 8J1  share the Watson Cup
3 Thomas Groves 8W3
4= Leo Osman 5L2 & Harry Williams 8L2
6 Nayan Chatrath 8N1
7 Hasan Khan 7W3
8 Elliot Craft 8L2
9 Alexander Andelkovic 6W3
10 Sahil Shah 7L1

Unnamed Lost Property
There is a list of all unnamed lost property being held in Prep School on the school noticeboard in the car park. If you want to claim anything back please email Mrs Nye and she will return it via your son.
We will only keep these things until Friday 13th January 2017, after which time it will be passed on to charity shops or the PA Uniform sale.

Heads of House

From the SLT Corridor

It is hard to believe that we are yet again at the end of a very busy Autumn Term packed with music, sport, activities, visits and a wonderful Carol Service. Only this week LAMDA Exams took place along with a delightful Evening of Poetry and Prose featuring Y7. We are most grateful to Mr Hinton for his hard work in preparing these boys to such a high standard.

All the sports teams have had their last matches and the season is now over at school. Our U12 and 13 Hockey teams were once again crowned as THL champions. Thanks go to Mr Todd and all the Games teachers who have been involved in running the teams. Mr Lake has truly outdone himself with the excellent preparation of the grounds and Mr McCormack has delighted the taste buds with his culinary skills, providing delicious team teas.

On Monday the 5th of December, Years 3 and 4 went to see the pantomime Jack and the beanstalk.They really enjoyed this treat and were impeccably behaved as usual. Thank you to Mrs Scales and Mrs Mc Manus for the organisation and the other staff for accompanying the visit.

We celebrated with a delicious Christmas Feast on Wednesday. As usual our catering team delivered a delicious treat that was much appreciated by boys and staff alike. It was lovely to welcome Sachin Vyas back from Harrow School to join us in the feast and to talk to our Harrow candidates about life on ‘the Hill’.

Our years 7 and 8 boys were given an informative look into the life of a lawyer by Jack Ruben. They asked excellent questions and showed a keen interest in Law as a potential career. Thanks to Mr Horne for arranging this for us.

Congratulations to those boys who gained their Merit badges for 100 house points, those who achieved their Double Merit Badge for 150 house points and to those boys who gained school colours this term. The following boys went through the entire term without losing a single Privilege Time Minute – a huge achievement:

4G Zakariya Karim
4G Aydin Meghjee
4G Amaan Sawani
4G Dhaya Thind
4M Tristan Jassal
4M Arjun Ahuja

3G Yash Kotecha
3S Peter Brown
4G Vincent Cheung
4G Henry Wang
4M Manvir Singh-Obhrai
5L3 Zachary Jamal
5L3 Kayan Somaia


3G Aarav Mohan
3S Amay Mohan
3S Safwaan Qureshi
4G Amil Chandaria
4G Kush Patel
4G Jayden Thakrar
4M Ali- Mahdi Merali
4M Aditya Singh
6N2 Noah Moser

3S Aryan Kapoor
4G Ashton Brown
4G Taran Seekatz
4G Vivaan Verma
4M Sufyan Ismail
4M Muhammad Sheikh

Over the term we collect a great deal of lost property which is unnamed. Please can we ask that all school clothing, kit and equipment is named to make it easier to return to your son? We will be checking that clothing is named at the start of the term.

In anticipation of colder weather when we return in 2017, boys may want to wear a coat and hat. If they do, please ensure it is a regulation school uniform. We have also encouraged some boys to schedule a haircut over the holidays! Please ensure that all hairstyles are in line with school rules: no extreme hairstyles i.e. no shaven sides, not too long and avoiding excessive hair products.

Thank you, once again for all your support this year. Finally, we would like to wish all of you good health, a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, wherever you are in the world.

Mr M Hibbert | Assistant Head, Mr A Crook | Deputy Head & Mr R Waddington | Director of Studies

From The Manor, Year 1 and Year 2

Who can believe that we have reached the end of term? All boys in Pre-Prep have done so very well this term and I can see that they are all ready for a rest during the Christmas holiday! The last couple of weeks of term have flown by in a flurry of exciting festive activities. Firstly, we have been treated to two beautiful Christmas productions. Y1 and Y2 performed with such confidence in ‘Santa’s Little Helper” and we were delighted by the Nursery and Reception Concert. We were so proud of how well the boys all sang and joined in with all the actions of the songs. It was a great effort from all the boys and thank you for all your support supplying such wonderful costumes. The photographs give a flavour of both performances and it is truly wonderful to see all the children looking so at ease on the stage.

This week the festivities continue with lots of exciting events. The School Choir visited the boys at both the Manor and at the Prep School to sing carols and the boys loved listening to them as can be seen in the photograph of the choir at the Manor. All the boys were treated to a visit from Magician, Richard Pinner, who amazed and delighted them with some fantastic magic tricks! In addition, the boys at the Manor were also very excited by a surprise visit from a snowman, who came to read a story!

Also this week, Reception children walked to Moor Park Post Office. They were eager to independently buy a stamp to post their envelope and I hope that Reception parents enjoyed the ‘surprise’ that should by now have arrived for them in the post. The photograph shows the boys setting off on their walk.      

Finally, we have had Christmas parties this week with wonderful traditional feasts prepared at lunchtime, lots of fun games and a surprise visit from Father Christmas.  On behalf of all of the staff in Pre-Prep, I would like to express our sincere appreciation for everything that you do to help with your sons’ education and for supporting us so whole-heartedly. Thank you also for the very generous gifts and kind words that you have given us.  I would like to take this opportunity to say farewell and thank you to Miss Elderfield as she leaves us to start a new job nearer to home. I have greatly appreciated all the wonderful work that she has done for us in Pre-Prep and I know the children will miss her encouraging manner and real sense of fun. We all wish her lots of luck for the future.

We wish you all a very Happy Christmas and hope that you all have a wonderful time together with your families over the holidays.

A few Pre-Prep production photos

Mrs S Funnell | Head of Pre Prep

We met the Chairman of Three Rivers

On 28th November we met Councillor Andrew Scarth, the Chairman of Three Rivers District Council. Councillor Scarth addressed Years 3-8, resplendent in his chain of office (every detail of which was significant, as Arjun Ahuja (4M) found when he asked about it) to explain a little about his role.

Councillor Scarth is a Liberal Democrat, and he was able to explain his party’s ideology and policy positions in response to a question from Noah Moser (N2). This is a theme which he developed, expressing his classically liberal belief in the importance of building affordable housing in response to questions from Rishil Amin (N1) and Fikunmi Olutunbi (W2). The only moment when he was perhaps not as forthcoming as he might have been was when he was asked a little about personality rather than policy. Learning from the great political interviewers, Dylan Mehta (J3) asked him a simple but pointed question: ‘Who is your favourite person to work with in the Liberal Democrats?’ The audience held its breath. Would he say Tim Farron, the current leader? Or Nick Clegg, the former Deputy Prime Minister? Would he become distracted by a popular entertainment show and claim that his favourite politician was in fact Labour’s Ed Balls? Happily for Councillor Scarth, he had an unmistakably accurate answer available: his wife, Allison, is also a Liberal Democrat member of Three Rivers District Council, and he said that it was her.

Our boys have been thinking a lot about politics and current affairs recently, and about their place in the political world. So it was that Lukas Blom (L2) asked Councillor Scarth about the effects of Brexit (‘It’s like a black hole – you dive in, but have no idea where you’ll end up,’ was the response, which is certainly in line with the views of his party) and Aman Rajdev (4G) asked his view on the election of Donald Trump (‘I was staggered.’)

We have also been thinking a little about the nature of democracy, which is fundamental to British life. Democracy is not just about winning votes and creating mandates through narrow majorities and pluralities. It is also about local representation and accountability: the reasons for the existence of our local councils. Perhaps Councillor Scarth’s most useful advice therefore came in response to questions from Shyam Pankhania (W3) and Ben Ward (J1). Ben asked what had inspired Councillor Scarth to stand for office, receiving the simple answer: to give back. Shyam, a School Councillor, asked for some advice on his role and was told this: ‘Listen to the people who elected you, respect them, work for them… and remember that they can choose not to elect you again.’ This is sound advice. We have no view on whether our neighbours might elect Councillor Scarth again, but we are grateful that he agreed to spend a day of his single year as Chairman of the Council with us, showing us why democracy matters.

Mr A McConnell | Head of History

 Y3 Egyptian Day

At the end of November a small part of Merchant Taylors’ Prep School went back in time to become Ancient Egypt for the day.  The boys in Year 3 were transported back to the time of the Pharaohs by visitors Sally and Steve who, along with some excellent resources, spellbound the children with Egyptian measuring, tales of the tombs and a quiz all about Egyptian life.  Following lunch the children undertook an exciting dramatization of an Egyptian Pharaoh burial complete with a mummy, a sarcophagus and a parade of courtiers, musicians and grieving slaves!

Mr D Goddard | Year 3 Teacher

Y3 trip to the Pantomime

“He’s behind you!”
“Oh, no he isn’t!”
“Oh, yes he is!”
The cheers, boos and hisses rang out at the Watersmeet Theatre as Year 3 and 4 enjoyed a wonderful production of ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’.  What a super time we all had, cheering on Jack against the wicked Giant.  We joined in the songs, laughed at all the jokes – even the terrible ones – and clapped along in the finale to a medley of songs by ‘Steps’.  All the boys had a wonderful time and were super ambassadors for our school.

Mr D Goddard | Year 3 Teacher

Careers Guest Speaker

Years 7 & 8 had their first of a series of guest speakers. This half term they were listening to Jack Rubin. A local Moor Park lad and Old Merchant Taylor' boy. Jack described his schooling, choice of subjects and how he eventually decided a career path which led to him taking a law degree. Jack now works as a property solicitor in London. We thank Jack for his time and insight, and hope that it may help boys in one way or another.

Mr Horne

House sports update

Autumn term has been busy, particularly in the final weeks when boys have competed in House Rugby, House Hockey and House Cross Country. All contests were competed for in great spirits, with the usual mix of individual House success. A real highlight this year were our House Cross Country races which took place in and around the Merchant Taylors' Lakes. The setting really did add to the atmosphere of the events with most boys never having set foot beyond the tunnel behind the sports department - and for some - their first visit to MTS!!

Needless to say, that new running course meant new records to be set and the boys didn't disappoint. All runners scored for their Houses and contributed to the overall House results. Below are our lastest winners and new course record holders for 2016:

Name Year Tutor Group Race Record Time
Jonathan Read 2016 W2 Senior Top Tier Yes 16 min 32 sec
Samuel O'Tuminu 2016 W1 (Y7) Senior Tier 2 Yes 10 min 19 sec
Oliver Browne 2016 W1 Year 6 Race Yes 8 min 40 sec
Georgios Kyriakou 2016 J1 Year 5 Race Yes 9 min 15 sec
Sam Williams 2016 Y4 Year 4 Race Yes 4 min 34 sec
Amay Mohan AND Aarav Mohan 2016 Y3 Year 3 Race Yes 3 min 02 sec

Our Cross Country Captain (Jonathan Read) also recently competed for MTS in the Year 9 category at the Borough Championships, where he finished a fantastic 3rd place on his debut and qualified for the Regionals at Harrow School in January 2017, where he is hoping to reach the National Finals.

Mr D Todd | Director of Sport

New MTP Kit

After considerable discussion and design, in September MTP unveiled its new look for the future, with a brand new PE and Games Kit for Y3-8. To get us straight into the season the school provided boys in Y4-8 with the new reversible rugby shirt so that competitive matches could be played straight away. A huge thank you to the school for financing this! The boys look fantastic and dare I say this has been reflected in their performances this season. The new materials mean that there is not more need for bibs (the boys simply reverse their shirt) and the new fully waterproof tracksuit means that the boys can remain dry and focussed and remain outside for longer periods in the winter months. All new kit is available from Pullens/Uniform for Kids on Northwood High Street including the new baselayer which will be available for January games!

Mr D Todd | Director of Sport

Prescription eyewear

For several years now the wearing of prescription eyewear in sports such as rugby and hockey has become increasingly popular in an effort to keep our boys as safe as possible. There are accidents every season when boys wear their day-to-day glasses which are not designed for playing sport. We have been lucky at the school so far that injuries have been minor, but it does seem that more and more boys are needing to wear their glasses in order to see adequately when playing sport.

With this in mind we have been in discussion with  Parker and Hammond Opticians (Northwood branch) and have arranged a 15% discount for all boys at Merchant Taylors' Prep who require prescription sports eyewear.
The opticians also fit contact lenses for children who play sport and this can be done at a young age safely. Children as young as 6 years old are wearing contact lenses comfortably for sports and general wear.

Research has indicated that children who need spectacles, but do not have the appropriate eyewear for sports and manage without any spectacles are a significant disadvantage in achieving their best potential. Hand eye co-ordination is impaired when sight defects are left uncorrected. Children’s increased sports performance and confidence have been observed in students once they can see correctly with the appropriate eyewear.

Some of the smallest prescriptions can blur one's vision over a few metres and therefore what might be thought to be a small correction for spectacles may have significant impact on performance with sports.

Parker and Hammond can also now provide contact lenses - Ortho-K

The link to their website for these lenses is:

Ortho-K, short for orthokeratology or overnight vision correction (OVC) uses custom made contact lenses to gently correct your vision whilst you sleep. This provides clear, natural vision without the need to wear contact lenses or spectacles during the day. With Ortho-K contact lenses all the contact lens wear is done overnight so the lenses aren’t worn out of the house. This means there is less worry about lost lenses or spectacles! The daytime is free of spectacles and contact lens wear so children can take part in all activities and sports without having to worry about their vision.

Parker and Hammond also offer a service which can often simulate to parents what their child sees when they do not wear spectacles which helps them gain a better understanding of their child’s vision.

If you are interested in taking advantage of this offer, then please contact Mr. Dipesh Chhatralia at:

34 Green Lane, Northwood, Middlesex, HA6 2QB Phone: 01923 83 63 43  Fax: 01923 83 54 48

Mr D Todd | Director of Sport


This year we have been following the progress of the boys in all their sporting endeavours with the aim of celebrating achievement and recognising some of the highlights of the year in sport at the school.

THE SPORTSMEN OF THE MONTH AWARDS have been fiercely contested, which has drawn attention to the many successes there have been this term.

September 2016
Our Captains of Rugby and Hockey
Rugby - Elliot Craft and Jacob Siler
Hockey - Ankit Chadha and Duncan Mallet

October 2016
Amaan Sawani - for 6 tries against St. John's in their U9 rugby match
Tyler Horsfall - for 3 tries against Habs in 4:3 win and for his achievements in football outside of school.

November 2016
Tom Groves - for scoring 9 goals in two games in the Taylors' Hockey League which contributed significantly to the U13's winning to 2016 League Title.









December 2016
The U12 and U13 Hockey Squads for winning both leagues at THL (a first ever in the school's history) *The U13 team also won the U12 title last year.

*All our Sportsmen of the month can be seen on twitter: 

Mr D Todd | Director of Sport

Looking back to Autumn term Rugby

The Autumn term has witnessed a resurgence of rugby at the school with the re-introduction of matches against St. John's at 1st team level (in which we were very successful!) and significantly more fixtures than in previous years. Highlights of the term included MTS Rugby week when our U13A had the privilege of playing on the senior first team pitch under floodlights against York House, where they managing a thrilling win in a game where the result was never certain. In the same week three of our U11 boys took part in the first ever Barbarians Rugby match against a very talented Caldicott A side. The game lived up to expectation with an enormous amount of local talent on show, who just proved too much for Caldicott in a very tight 8-7 win to the Barbarians. As if there hadn't been enough excitement for one term our U11's completed their fixture card with a visit to the Allianz Park, the home of Saracens, where they played a very well drilled Haberdashers' Aske's team, recently arriving back from tour. Earlier in the season MTP had managed a 20-15 win against Habs, but couldn't repeat their success on the night, with Habs running out comfortable winners under the floodlights. The U11 season was a particular one to watch with some very promising individual performances worthy of note.

Mr D Todd | Director of Sport

Winter weather precautions

A reminder to all that January is notoriously cold out on the playing fields of MTP and the boys will need to be prepared. Could you please make sure that your son has a towel for showering and that he has the school tracksuit for all games sessions and matches. Hat and gloves should be worn, and baselayer clothing if possible.

Below is a list of activities that the boys will be taking part in next term and the suggested kit they will need. Please feel free to add anything which makes your son warmer and more comfortable!

Areas of Activity for Physical Education Lessons – Spring Term 2016

Year Group


Kit required




Normal P.E. Kit



Small Sided Games
Time to Move - Dance

Year 1 P.E.

Partner Work in Games
Bat and Ball Skills

Normal P.E. Kit (Indoor)
Outdoor Games (Mondays)
Sweater/jumper, astro trainers for outdoor, hat and gloves. Tracksuits may also be worn.

Year 2 P.E.

Team Building

Year 1 and 2 Games

Football (Outdoor Astro)


Year 3

Swimming at Bushey Pool

Swimming bag, trunks and towel (goggles optional but encouraged)

Year 4



Normal P.E. Kit
Hockey – will require a mouth guard and shin guards (outdoor in second half of term)

Year 5

Gymnastics/Team Building

Normal P.E. Kit

Year 6


Year 7


Year 8


Will you be a couch potato this Christmas?

Daily activity is very important for children, and is part of being a healthy child.  Exercise helps strengthen their bones and muscles and being active helps children stay fit, and have a feeling of overall well-being.

With the temptations of the Christmas holidays so easily to hand, the need for your child to maintain their level of exercise and fitness over the holidays is even more important. Try and do all, or some, of the exercises below to see how well you can do, as well as staying fit and healthy when they come back in January!

Cardiovascular exercise is essential for children, and especially if they play team sports like football.
6 – 9 year olds should be able to run 2-3kms without stopping, whilst 10 -13 year olds should be able to do 4-6kms.

Plank (Core Stability)
Core strength is vital for good posture and stability.
Lie face down with your elbows on the ground, lift your body, with weight evenly balanced between forearms and toes. Your elbows should be bent to 90degrees. Keep your back straight with your hips off the floor. Squeeze your body tight.
6 – 9 year olds should be able to hold this pose for 30 seconds, and aim to do it 6 times, with a 30 second gap between each plank.
10 -13 year olds should be able to do it at least 10 times, with a 30 second gap between. If this is easy, add 15 seconds to each ‘hold’ 

Shuttle Run two markers 20m apart. Run from one marker to the other for two minutes, touching the marker at each end every time you run to it. Rest for a minute, then repeat, reducing the time and rest time by 10 seconds each go.
Keep going for as long as you can!

Sit Ups
Lie on the floor with your knees bent and feet close to yourbottom. up, keeping your back and neck straight, and using your stomach muscles to pull you up.
Press Ups
Begin on your hands and knees with your hands a little wider than shoulder-width apart and your thumbs in line with your chest. Slide your knees back slightly until you create one long line from your knees to your head, keeping your back straight and keeping your stomach tight.  Slowly bend your elbows out to the sides and lower your chest toward the floor, stopping when your upper arms are parallel to the floor. Keep your shoulders rolled back and push back up to the starting position. Do as many as you can for 45 seconds. Rest for 30 seconds, then see how many you can do again in 45 seconds, rest for another 30 seconds, and try and beat your score again.

Stand with your feet shoulder width apart with your toes pointing forwards. Hold your arms out in front of you, and lower yourself down

Mr D Todd | Director of Sport

A Message from the Director of Football

Football Trials begin on Thursday 5th January 2016 and after the break over Christmas your son’s level of fitness will be key to success. To give themselves a head start, they might want to spend at least 60 minutes of physical activity a day during the Christmas break.

Using the suggestions above, complement these with a range between moderate-intensity activity, such as walking, cycling and playground/park based activities and vigorous-intensity activity, such as fast running, skipping, push-ups, gymnastics, martial arts, football and tennis. These activities will also help meet the weekly muscle and bone-strengthening requirements for a child of their age.

Y5-8 please make sure that you have games kit ready to take part on the first day back. The weather is expected to be cold so please ensure that you have the school tracksuit, baselayer, hat, gloves and a towel for each session.

Mr S Evans | Director of Football

New floor and Cricket Nets

In October work began on transforming the Prep School Sports Hall, and a transformation it was! The new floor has been installed using the latest materials to minimise injury and reduce the impact when boys are running around. The new sprung floor was designed with the whole school in mind, with additional cricket nets for the older boys, doubling our indoor provision, and colour-coded areas for Prep-Prep to help them learn safe routines in their PE lessons. The refurbishment has significantly enhanced the teaching space for the whole school. For those who remember the hall as it was, it will be almost unrecognisable and the boys absolutely love the new look!

Mr D Todd | Director of Sport

Taylors' Hockey League 2016

Congratulations to both the U13 and U12 teams who both won their leagues. The U13 won 5 from 6 a narrow last minute defeat by St. John’s ably revenged in the return fixture. The U12’s won all their 3 league games. The U12 squad retained the trophy from 2015 whilst the U13 won it for the 4th time in 5 years.

Mr Horne's U13 were led by skipper Ankit Chadha; Ariyen Patel (gk), James Keeney, Henry Wareing, Jon Read, Thomas Groves, Ronak Ratel, Lukas Blom & Nayan Chatrath were the regulars with occasional assistance from Niam Bhattacharya, Jayde Ah-Time & Duncan Mallett.

Mr Todd’s U12’s were led by Duncan Mallett with Sohan Mukherjee, Oliver Johnson (gk), Rahul Patel, Sahaj Pankhania, Rohan Choudhary, Shay Thakrar, Tyler Horsfall, Oliver Browne as the regulars with help from Aran Sangha & Fikunmi Olutunbi (gk) providing great cover.

Mr Horne | Head of Hockey

Maths Club (click image to enlarge/print)
Mr B Westacott | Head of Maths
The Term in Science and Exams

I would like to congratulate all the boys on their fine efforts in the Autumn Term, and also thank my colleagues, Miss Burke and Mr Goddard, for their hard work and dedication. Thank you also to you, the parents, for all your support of our work with your sons this term.

Years three to five have no January exam, but if they would like to ’keep their hand in’ they should consider using the Tig Tag or TWIG websites. Please see the exercise books for log in details.

Years Six and Seven will be sitting January exams, and I would like to suggest some ways for them to prepare in the least stressful, and most useful, manner. The academic and skills content is listed on your son’s tick sheets which he has stuck into his exercise book for each topic. Please take this as the ultimate guide as to the theoretical material that should be revised. Miss Burke has set the Y6 boys a list of topics and important learning points. Y7 boys have a list of topics with associated text book page numbers from their text books. This information can be found on SMHW. If your son has a revision guide this could also be useful, and of course there are the Tig Tag and TWIG websites. The short video clips are engaging and encapsulate good, core facts, whilst also adding valuable context in aid of your son’s thinking. Furthermore, there are various attached work sheets. BBC Bitesize is always a firm ICT favourite, and with regards to practising the application of knowledge and skills, websites such as e-maths are very useful as they contain the style of question that your son will often encounter. A variety of learning tasks, engaged with in short but focused sessions should keep your son on task and allow for more efficient learning.

Please be aware that your son will also meet with unseen scenarios in exams as he progresses through his academic career. This could be current work presented in a novel context, or might even touch on work that he has done before. The emphasis in preparing for the exams is thus to build a sound level of knowledge that your son is able to think about clearly and apply cleverly. Modern life, and our accompanying curriculum and assessment program, asks for people who can learn well, but must be able to apply their thinking in creative and novel ways.
Towards this, the Year 7s are encouraged to work through the “Investigations in Science” pages (numbered with Roman numerals) at the front of their three text books, as the focus here is on the skills and abilities that are crucial in the pursuit of Science learning. This will also help your son to better cope with the skills and application based aspects of the exam.

We wish our Year Eight boys a restful, yet productive, holiday as they prepare for their 13+ exams. They have been provided with the necessary guidance and material towards this. The emphasis should now be to consolidate their theoretical knowledge (tick sheets and syllabus documents) and to reflect upon all the past papers they have completed: Where has it gone well? Why did it go well? How can this successful application and thinking be applied elsewhere? Where did he meet with challenge and difficulty? Why did he find a question challenging or did he make a mistake? How could a similar situation be avoided or resolved in the future?

Year 8 boys have also received a pack of questions, which they are encouraged to complete. Please follow the three step approach when doing these questions.

Good luck to the boys who are preparing for exams, and a happy holiday to all our Science pupils!

Pupils of the month

for excellent achievement in their end of topic test:

Kush Patel 4G
Dylan Mehta 5 J3
Luka Hinton 6 N2

The Science Team

Y5 Artwork
Mr D Roach | Head of Art and Design
ABRSM Results

As always Christmas is a busy time in the Music Department and whilst we look forward to the Carol Service we have a lot to celebrate already.  Last week our choirs entertained a sell out theatre at the Christmas Concert and got us all in the mood for Christmas.  It was wonderful to also welcome some boys from the Senior School to sing to us.  It was the premier performance of the Year 4 Choir and they must be congratulated for singing so well.  The orchestra, whilst still very young, accompanied us with some rousing Carols and my thanks go again to Mr Crook for his infamous Musical Interlude. 

On Friday last week we took the Senior Choir out into our local community and we went Carol Singing.  This was a very moving occasion as the boys shared their love of music and Christmas with so many.  A particular highlight was singing to Hilda who was 102 years old.  She offered our boys the advice that these years are the best years of their lives and they should make the most of them.  Sound advice!  We also sang to an ex-chorister who sang every word with us until she was hoarse.  It was lovely to see so many moved by music and we have been invited back next year.  My particular thanks to the staff who came and added their voices to the choir, to those who drove us around and to the boys who made me so proud! 







Mrs C Hawkes | Director of Music

British Film Institute

To support the boys' English studies in the School, the Year 7s travelled to the British Film Institute, for a study day on ‘An Introduction to Shakespeare on Screen’.  The plays of William Shakespeare were intended to be performed more than read. Since the earliest days of cinema, filmmakers have been adapting his works for the screen, often with tremendous success.  Throughout the interactive study day, the boys watched a variety of film adaptations from Hamlet to A Midsummer Night’s Dream which illuminated their study of Shakespeare’s plays.

Mrs H Barnes | English Teacher

House General Knowledge Quiz

The annual House General Knowledge Quiz took place on the last Wednesday of term, and with it a final chance for Houses to win those final crucial points towards the House Cup. How, I wonder, would you have coped with questions about Spongebob Squarepants? (The answer, apparently, was ‘plankton’: Years 3 and 4 seemed to get it). Would you have been able to identify a clip of Kirk and Spock talking from the latest Star Trek film? Or Julie Andrews from Mary Poppins? Many of our boys could.

General knowledge is a good thing. It encourages a curiosity about the world – and all that random knowledge can be brought together to make impressively thought-out connections. It is also an entertaining and compelling spectator sport! (Yes, really). I watched three quizzes with very different narratives. I watched the Year 5 and 6 quiz, in which Wren took an early lead, which they never surrendered despite a strong challenge from Newton. My favourite question from this quiz: What’s the odd one out? An orange, a plum, a tangerine, or a pear? I watched Wren storm into an early lead in the Year 3 and 4 quiz too, only to be relentlessly reeled in and overhauled by Johnson. Our boys were able to identify a picture of Boris Johnson (gurning for the camera), although a worrying minority mis-identified him as Prince Charles.

The Year 7 and 8 quiz was neck and neck right from the start, with the lead changing hands so frequently that it was impossible to predict a winner, with single questions sometimes entirely reversing the order of the Houses. Two questions stood out. One was the playing of an extract from Mozart’s Rondo alla Turca, with the simple question of who the composer was. ‘That’s easy!’ several boys whispered. Alas. Most of the room got it wrong. Another is this – introduced as a trick question: who commanded the HMS Victory at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805? Was it Nelson, Fitzroy, Smith, or Hardy? A little context for you – last year an author of period novels spoke to us about this conflict, and one of our Beale poems was about it. Still, more than two-thirds of the room contrived to get it wrong. The quiz ended with only 21 points separating first from last – and only 1 point between Johnson, in the lead, and Livingstone, in second place. For comparison, Wren won the Year 5 and 6 quiz by 75 points.

Although every single answer counted, it is important to note individually excellent performances. The year group individual winners were:
Year 3: Lokan Bavisi (3S, also best in Years 3 and 4)
Year 4: Jayden Thakrar (4G)
Year 5: Ben Wilkinson (W2)
Year 6: Yiorgos Velimachitis (W3, also best in Years 5 and 6)
Year 7: Taran Chahil (J2)
Year 8: Raj Shah (J1, also best in Years 7 and 8)

So if you knew that a plum is a stone fruit and the others are not, and that while Nelson was an admiral, Hardy was the captain of the Victory, you would have done well in these quizzes. Congratulations to Wren who, carried to victory by the performance of the Year 5 and 6 boys, were comfortably the winners of the overall competition.

French Spelling Bee National Competition

Here is a PowerPoint presentation introducing the French Spelling Bee National Competition currently held at Merchant Taylors’ Prep School. It is rather similar to the traditional English Spelling Bee competition, except that it is only for year 7 students. Also, there are potentially four stages to the competition, if students get through each time. This December, we have had the first stage of the competition with twelve students going through to the next stage:
Adam Muneer (N)
Sahil Patel (N)
Max Little (N)
Christopher Joseph (J)
James Ward (J)
Aarav Chadha (J)
Sahil Shah (L)
Shay Thakrar (L)
Hasan Khan (W)
Sahaj Pankhania (W)
Aran Sangha (W)
Oliver Johnson (W)

The second stage of the competition will be held during an assembly in the School Theatre before February Half-Term, with only one objective for the twelve contestants: spell as many French words as possible in order to be part of the three students that will get to the next level i.e. the Regional Finals in April. The Final/National stage of the competition will be held in a prestigious school in Cambridge at the beginning of the summer 2016.

Mr R Kopel | Head of Modern Foreign Languages