ISSUE 3 Friday 13 November 2015

Dr McNerney writes....

Last Sunday, our School Captain, Daniel Rowlands, Vice Captain, Willem Redman, several members of staff and I were proud to represent Merchant Taylors’ Prep for the Remembrance Day Service at the Northwood War Memorial. It was a beautiful service, with Daniel and Willem laying a wreath on behalf of the School. We have also had our school Remembrance Service this week, with thanks to Mr. McConnell for his organisation. All pupils in Senior School laid their own commemorative poppy in our Centenary Memorial Gardens, inspired by the poppy display at the Tower of London last year. Mrs. Nye orchestrated this initiative and we are very grateful to her.

Yesterday, Mrs Pollock arranged for film maker, Vaughn Stein, to visit Y7/8 for a screening of his film,"Yussef is Complicated". This was a very thought provoking event and some of the boys will write a review for the next newsletter.

We are also extremely grateful to the PA for their brilliant firework display yesterday. It is always a superb event for the community and thank you so much to the many families who came along to lend their support.

I have emailed parents a copy of the results of last term’s parental survey regarding views of our school. I hope that you all found that useful; the data is certainly very helpful for us to plan the way forward for the school. I know that many of you have also responded to Mr Hibbert’s homework survey and this data so far is looking very interesting. This will also help us evaluate our work at school and we will endeavour to send you a summary of results once we have analysed them.

Finally, for those of you who have celebrated Diwali this week, I would like to wish you good health, peace, prosperity and joy for you and your families.

Best wishes

Dr. Karen McNerney | Head of School

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mvp mip
diary dates
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  Diary Dates

Monday, November 16
Y8NW Parents’ Consultation Evening 5.30 – 7.30 pm Dining Hall

Tuesday, November 17
7 plus Assessments 2.00 pm
Adult Choir Practice 7.00 – 9.00 pm Theatre
U12 Hockey v St. John’s (at MTS) 4.15 pm
U13 Hockey v Merchant Taylors’ (at MTS) 4.15 pm

Wednesday, November 18
U12A Hockey v Haileybury (a) 3.00 pm
U13A Hockey v Haileybury (a) 3.00 pm
Whole School Staff Meeting 8.00 am Theatre
“Talking Pre-teens” Talk for Parents 7.00 - 9.00 pm

Thursday, November 19
Y8JL Parents’ Consultation Evening 5.30 – 7.30 pm Dining Hall

Friday, November 20
Y5-Y8 Music Recital

Monday, November 23
1st XIII Rugby v York House (at MTS) Under Floodlights – 5.00 pm
Y3 & Y4 Spelling Bee 2.45 pm
Y4G Swimming Open Morning for Parents 9.00 – 9.45 am

Tuesday, November 24
Adult Choir Practice 7.00 – 9.00 pm Theatre
U12 & U13 The Hockey League Semi-Finals (at MTS) 4.5 pm
Y5 &Y 6 National Science Heats at NP 10.00 – 11.00 am
Y5 &Y 6 Spelling Bee 8.45 am

Wednesday, November 25
Y4N Swimming Open Morning for Parents 9.00 – 9.45 am
1st & 2nd XIII Rugby v Belmont Prep (a) 2.30 pm

Thursday, November 26
U8ABC v Haberdashers’ (a) 2.30 pm

Friday, November 27
U10AB Rugby v Berkhamsted (a) 2.45 pm
Y7 & Y8 Spelling Bee

Monday, November 30
Y7 & Y8 Table Tennis & Badminton v York House (h) 4.00 – 5.15 pm

Tuesday, December 1
Adult Choir Practice 7.00 – 9.00 pm Theatre
U12 & U13 The Hockey League Finals (at MTS) 4.15 pm
Y1 & Y2 Dress Rehearsal Theatre
Y3 House Rugby Competition

Wednesday, December 2
Y1 & Y2 Christmas Production 9.30 am & 2.00 pm Theatre
Y6 House Rugby Competition
Y7 & Y8 House Rugby Competition

Thursday, December 3
Christmas Concert 6.00 – 7.00 pm Theatre
Y4 House Rugby Competition

Friday, December 4
Clubs, Learning Support and Activities end for the Whole School
Parents’ Association Santa’s Secrets’ Room
Y3 & Y4 Pantomime Visit
Y5 House Rugby Competition

Saturday, December 5
Parents’ Association Christmas Party

Monday, December 7
1st XIII Rugby v St. Martin’s (h) 2.30 pm
Nursery & Reception Christmas Concert Rehearsal Theatre
Y2 Tag Rugby Competition
Y4G Final Swimming Session

Tuesday, December 8
Adult Choir Practice 7.00 – 9.00 pm Theatre
Nursery & Reception Christmas Concert 2.00 pm Theatre
U8 Pre-Season Football Academy Trials
Y7 LAMDA Examinations

Wednesday, December 9
Reception Walk to Moor Park Post Office
Whole School Carol Service at Holy Trinity Church 6.30 pm
Whole School Staff Meeting 8.00 am Theatre
Y4N Final Swimming Session

Thursday, December 10
Christmas Feast
Inter House General Knowledge – Theatre
Y7 Poetry & Prose Evening 4.30 pm Theatre

Friday, December 11
Senior Choir Community Carol Singing am
Term Finishes (end of normal school day)

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Neil Kapoor  8N3                            Kayan Somaia 4N
Ishaan Aggarwal 8L2

                          Reeyan Ruparelia 3S

Duncan Mallett 6L3                          Daniel Rowlands 8J3 and
                        Willem Redman 8L1
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          HOUSE NEWS
House events

The last few weeks have seen our boys turning their attention to preparations for House events such as the Annual Spelling Bee and Music Recital. Boys in Years 5 and 8 have had a recent Personal Tutorial with their tutors in order to support 13+ preparations and to officially welcome our new boys and their families to Vertical Tutoring.

This week was one of Remembrance, when tutor groups discussed the significance of past events and the importance of continuing to acknowledge the sacrifice of so many. Each boy in Senior School planted his own poppy in our ‘Flanders Field’ in the Centenary Memorial Gardens at our service on Wednesday. A sincere thank you to Mrs. Nye for taking the time to make over 200 of them and to Mr McConnell for his organisation of our first Merchant Taylors’ Prep Memorial Service. Thank you also, to families and parents for supporting this year’s Poppy Appeal.

With the House Points Competition too close to call at this stage, could it be the Accelerated Reading Millionaires who make all the difference at the end of term? With House Rugby, Cross Country and Spelling Bee competitions yet to be decided, it’s anyone’s guess!

All four Houses enjoyed the Mufti Day Cake Sale before half-term and annual Fireworks Spectacular last night - a genuine highlight of the year. Thank you again to the PA for their time and efforts, and continued support of everything we do.

Good luck to all those auditioning Readers for our Carol Service and best wishes to our Choirs in preparation for this traditional highlight of the Autumn Term. With our Year 3 boys off to Egypt for the day today, it’s been another eventful few weeks at Merchant Taylors’ Prep School. Next week N3 will be welcoming Dr. Seuss to the School as part of their assembly – what could possibly go wrong?

Heads of House

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So much going on!

We would like to thank Year 8 for their maturity, hard work and excellent behaviour in the Examination Room during Mocks last week. We are sure that the boys will make the most of the opportunity to learn from their successes and mistakes as they go through their papers with their subject teachers. The subject teachers look forward to meeting the Y8 Parents next week.

We would also like to thank formally the Parents’ Association for the wonderful firework display along with some tasty food on November 12th. The parental support was greatly appreciated.

Thank you if you were able to make up a Christmas shoebox, and to Mrs. Steed for her organisation. The boxes will give cheer to families who otherwise would not receive a gift at Christmas. The collection is not until the 16th November if you would still like to make a box.

On Remembrance Sunday, School Captain Daniel Rowlands 8J3 and Vice-Captain Willem Redman 8L1 represented Merchant Taylors’ Prep at the Northwood War Memorial and laid a wreath on behalf of the School.

Remembrance Day at Merchant Taylors' Prep was marked on Wednesday, 11th November by all the boys in the School. Within the short service we observed the two minute silence. To conclude the service all the boys planted a poppy in the Centenary Memorial Gardens so they could see the names of the fallen from this School, whether former Pupils or Staff.

On Thursday, 12th November Years 7 & 8 were treated to the film screening of ‘Yussef is Complicated’ (Best Short Film at Toronto International Film Festival Kids Festival April 2015). It was filmed at MTS last year, and directed by OMT, Vaughn Stein. The boys enjoyed a question and answer session with the film director afterwards. Thanks to Mrs Pollock for the invitation and all the arrangements.    

Congratulations to Aran Joshi 5L3 on the award of School Colours for County Tennis representation for Hertfordshire.

Finally we would like to make two requests to parents:
1. As it begins to get dark at the end of the school day, please ensure that you come to the meeting area in person to collect your son and enusre you keep your child/children with you at all times;
2. If you wish to speak to a member of staff at school, please do not enter the school to look for them but, instead, make contact with the School Office so that staff there can pass on your message. Teachers may not be available immediately but will make contact with you when they are not teaching.

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

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Ben Ward 4G 
Dhaya Thind 3S
Ahren Chadha 5J3
Danyal Azam 7J1


Jayde Ah-Time Y7L3
Manvir Singh-Obhrai 3G
Krish Thakrar 5L1
James Gray 7L1

Matthew Schiff Y4G
Mruthyunjai Satheesh Y4G
Jayden Thakrar Y3G
Siddhanth Kheria 5N3
Eshaan Patel 5N3

Kayan Howladar 3G
Kush Patel 3S
Usman Khan Y7N3

Shyam Pankhania 4G
Varshan Sasikumar 4N
Aman Rajdev 3S
Vivaan Verma 3G
Tom Groves 7W3

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           JUNIOR SCHOOL
   Golden Hinde visit

Christmas always comes early in Junior School and Nursery! By now parents will have received details about costume requests for the Year 1 and Year 2 Christmas Production of ‘Census Sums’ and the Nursery and Reception Christmas Concert. I would like to thank you all in advance for helping us with costumes for these productions. Requests for tickets for both productions should be returned as soon as possible.

Before half term, Years 1 and 2 went to visit the Golden Hinde to support their ‘Pirates!’ topic. They had a wonderful time and it was great to see them coming back with such excitement to tell me what amazing things they had seen and done. The photographs show some Year 2 boys finding out about the parts of the deck and boys from Year 1 and 2 learning how to load and fire a canon. Also just before our break, it was a pleasure to see everyone for our Parent Consultations. We really value our partnership with parents and it was lovely that so many of you expressed your pleasure at your sons’ achievements and happiness at school.

Last week, we had a beautiful Musical Recital in Junior School. We were treated to performances by Vivaan Sharma, Thomas Baldwin, Luis De Sales Fardad, Ayaan Diddee, Aman Gupta, Yash Kotecha, Aarav Mohan and Harry Morgan. All these boys played with such confidence and accomplishment.

Lastly, I would like to say a very big thank you to the PA for organising both the mufti day and treats at break time just before half term and the fantastic fireworks display yesterday. It was wonderful to see so many families attending and it was a really good community event.

Mrs S Funnell | Head of Junior School

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             Woodland Animals

It was wonderful to see the boys return from half term refreshed and so excited to see their friends. We have moved on to learning about woodland animals and Autumn in our topic ‘Meow, moo, twit, twoo’. The boys have been on autumn walks in the grounds of Merchant Taylors' School collecting leaves and conkers for our display in the Nursery. In the photo Riyan Patel-Davis is persevering to carry as many conkers as he can!

We used some of the leaves we collected to create some wonderful pictures of woodland animals. The photos show Orion Tzimopoulos and Ariyaan Packianathan concentrating on creating their pictures.

We have also been learning about fireworks and talking about Diwali. The boys all created wonderful firework models which have made a fantastic display in the Nursery as shown in the photo.

This half term we are delighted to be serving hot lunches in the Nursery for the first time. The boys, parents and staff all love the changes so we would like to say a big thank you to Thomas and his team for making it happen. The photos show the boys enjoying lunch on the first day back.

It has also been our pleasure to welcome many prospective parents and boys at our 3+ Assessment Days last week and it was lovely to see some faces already known to the Nursery.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for your support of the Link to Hope Family Shoebox Appeal.  We had a great response in Nursery for this very worthwhile cause. 

Mrs G Ladbury| Head of Nursery

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Parent Business Directory                   
If you are a parent in the school who runs your own business and wish to be listed in the Parent Business Directory, then all you have to do is email your business details (in the format outlined below) and send in the £20 fee (annual fee). So whether you are a dentist, a plumber, a carpenter, a restaurant/cafe owner, a web designer, a photographer, a business consultant, an accountant, etc, you could avail yourself of this opportunity to tell everyone in the school what you do and how you can be contacted.

A). What the Directory looks like:
The Business Directory is a simple spreadsheet listing of businesses (and their contact details).

B). How can you be a part of the Directory?
Fill in your business details in the format outlined below, on an excel spreadsheet, and email to Anne Lee on

  1. Please adhere to the number of characters allowed per column in the spreadsheet.
  2. Please verify all your contact details are correct e.g. phone number, email address etc.
Forename Surname Business Category Business Name Business Description  Tel. No. Email Website
10 Characters 20 Characters 15 Characters 40 Characters 40 Characters 01777 777777 linked linked

The cost for inclusion in the Directory is £20 (annual fee – payable in advance). Please send the payment (Cash or cheque made out to Francis Terry Foundation) in an envelope into the School Office. On the front of the envelope please write the following 3 things:

  1. ‘Business Directory Listing’  2)  Your Name  3) Your Business Name 4) Your son's class/tutor group

C).How is the Directory promoted?

  1. On the school website: click on the Parent Business Directory link in the side panel on the right.
  2. The Directory is emailed to all parents occasionally throughout the year.


T: 01923 825648

Dr T Lee | Principal

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     Charity dates

Shoe Box Appeal 16/11/15

This year, we will again be supporting the ‘Link to Hope’ Christmas Shoebox Appeal and we would like to ask you for your help by filling shoeboxes with gifts to send to children and elderly people who are living in poverty in Eastern Europe. Please see the email sent on the 23rd October for more details.

Your child should bring their shoeboxes to school by Monday 16th November and leave their boxes in the following places:
Senior boys:               Theatre foyer
Junior boys:               Junior School hall
Nursery:                     Nursery

Thank you for your support.

Mr R Kopel, Mrs P Steed & Mrs S Gadd |Charity Co-ordinators

Michael Sobell 02/12/15

Michael Sobell Hospice provides care and support for patients with cancer or other life-limiting conditions, and families, friends and carers . It is located near us at the Mount Vernon Hospital.

We will be selling festive soft toys straight after the Junior School’s Christmas Productions on Wednesday 2nd December in aid of this local charity, hoping to raise as much as money as possible.

Thanks in advance to everyone who buys a toy!

Mr R Kopel, Mrs P Steed & Mrs S Gadd |Charity Co-ordinators

Macmillan Christmas Concert 03/12/15

Macmillan Cancer Support is one of the largest British charities and provides specialist health care, information and financial support to people affected by cancer. As well as helping with the medical needs of people affected by cancer, Macmillan also looks at the social, emotional and practical impact cancer can have, and campaigns for better cancer care.
Each year, we collect a small door fee before the Christmas Concert held in the New Barn Theatre that will go towards helping this great charity. This year, the concert will be on Thursday 3rd December from 6pm.

Thank you for your help.

Mr R Kopel, Mrs P Steed & Mrs S Gadd |Charity Co-ordinators

P.S. Finally, we would like to thank everyone who supported the Coffee morning, Harvest, the Moor Park fun run as well as the poppy appeal that was held this week.

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         1st XIII

This week saw our 1st XIII start their season in an entertaining encounter vs a combined Chesham and Gayhurst team. Tries from Ayush Chavan and Sachin Patel put the boys ahead at half time, after some fantastic play to release Ayush down the wing, and great determination from Sachin to drive the ball over the try line. A further try from Ayush however was not enough to seal victory for the boys in what was a difficult encounter against the combined Chesham and Gayhurst team, eventually losing 21-17. Congratulations to all boys involved in the historic first game as Merchant Taylors' Prep, we now look forward to the floodlit fixture at MTS in a couple of weeks' time against York House.

Mr J Denham | Sports Teacher

Hockey in full swing

The Northwood Prep hockey squads are now up and running with their fixtures in both the THL league and scheduled fixtures. Highlights of this month include a 5-0 U13 victory over St John's with an Ishaan Aggarwal second half hat-trick, and a convincing victory for the U12’s 9-2 over Merchant Taylors' Seniors, with Jonathan Read scoring 4 goals. The U12’s currently sit at the top of the table going into the next round of fixtures. Well done to all boys involved for both teams.

Mr J Denham | Sports Teacher
Great experience

Luka Hinton (5N3) made his Rugby League debut for the St Albans Centurions at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Stadium before the England vs New Zealand match on Saturday 7th November. Luka thoroughly enjoyed the experience and was instrumental in the winning try as the Centurions narrowly beat the Surrey Sharks 3-2 with the last play of the match. "It was a great experience to walk out into the Olympic Stadium and to play a match there. I had an amazing day!" - Luka Hinton (5N3)

Luka Hinton Y5

Full School Colours

Congratulations to Aran Joshi on recently receiving Full School Colours for representing Hertfordshire in Tennis. Aran has represented the county and was part of the winning team in a recent 10 County Tournament, winning all his matches.

Aran also made it to the October LTA All Stars Challenge Finals where he competed against older boys and finished respectably as runner-up overall.


Mr D Todd | Director of Sport

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Science in the News

We have had a busy start to the year in the Science Department and I thought I’d take a moment to bring you up to date on what we have been up to.

Miss Burke has settled in well with her Year 4 and 5 teaching responsibilities and the boys are enjoying her stimulating and lively lessons. She has a Food Science degree and also a Master’s degree in Human Nutrition. In her previous secondary school Miss Burke was responsible for tracking pupil progress in Science and providing intervention where needed, and we are contemplating the creation of an intervention and extension club for Science to take the place of the Science Club from January onwards. Attendance to this club would be by invitation only and we hope to bring you more information in the near future. Miss Burke is also preparing a group of year 5 and 6 boys for the Quiz Club Science Quiz regional round and we look forward to hosting this event on the 24th of November.

Another exciting initiative of Miss Burke’s making is the student of the month award for KS2 Science, and this month we would like to congratulate Thenuk Rodrigo (Y4), Sid Tiwari (Y5) and Christopher Joseph (Y6) on their excellent recent test results. Thank you for all your hard work, Miss Burke.

Mr Goddard continues his hard and innovative Science work with the Year 3 boys and it is gratifying to look at the quality and amount of work the boys in his care are producing. We now have a system of student self-analysis in place from Years 3 to 8 for Science and the boys are becoming more adept at tracking and recording their progress. We ask that you get your son to reflect on the tick sheets on a regular basis. He will receive one at the start of every topic and is expected to do an initial analysis of his knowledge, chart his progress throughout the topic and then do a final reflection at the end of the topic and prior to his topic assessment. The targets on the tick sheets have been taken from our syllabus and thus encapsulate all the learning for a specific topic. We thank you for your support in this matter.

At the upper end of the school Mr Hibbert is taking the lead in preparing the Year 8 boys for their upcoming Entrance Exams, with support from Mr De Vynck, who is also in charge of Year 7 teaching. We were privileged to have Mr Hibbert present a Master Class to the whole of Year 7 on Monday and this will now become a regular feature of our course. It is important that we tap into different colleagues’ areas of expertise and we hope to welcome Mr Greenish, the KS3 Maths teacher and an Astrophysicist (!), into our department soon to present a Master Class on the Year 7 Earth and Beyond topic, and who knows what the future might hold!

Talking about Space, in a very exciting development, Merchant Taylors’ Prep has been selected to take part in a national experiment called Rocket Science. In September, 2kg of rocket seeds were flown to the International Space Station on Soyuz 44S. The seeds will be held in microgravity for 6 months with British ESA astronaut Tim Peake taking charge of them while on the ISS for his Principia mission starting in December. On their return we will receive 100 seeds that have been in space and 100 that have not and we will then investigate their germination and growth as part of this very exciting national project.

If you want to learn more about this project you could do the following:

Thank you for your support.

Mr H De Vynck | Head of Science

Science Pupil of the Month

October Science Pupil of the Month were awarded to:

Year 4: Thenuk Rodrigo
Year 5: Sid Tiwari
Year 6: Christopher Joseph

For super achievement in the end of topic progress test.

Year 5 and 6 pupils are continuing to prepare for Inter-school Quiz championship every Tuesday at break time.

Miss C Burke | Science Teacher

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  PA - important information

Mrs Shah and Mrs Lalani

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        An Evening of Sublime Music

On the evening of Tuesday 20th October, we were enchanted by the magical music of Pierre Bensusan, a World renowned French-Algerian guitarist.

Born in Oran, French-Algeria, in 1957, he began formal studies on piano at the age of 7 and at 11 taught himself guitar. At 17 he signed his first recording contract, and one year later his first album “Pres de Paris” won the Grand Prix du Disque upon his debut at the Montreux Festival in Switzerland.

His solo Lowden acoustic guitar made a single instrument sound like an entire band. His playing crossed between various different genres, classical, jazz, traditional, folk and more.

 Pierre (alas, not Mr Edwards!) enthralled us with several beautiful pieces, my favourite being “Demain dès l'aube” where he gave us a rendition of a poem by Victor Hugo which took my breath away.

A couple of his performances were very unique in that he used his vocal skills blending in with the sounds of the guitar creating an amazing melody of rhythm and beats.

 His masterclass display of playing, showed us his versatility on the guitar and how much dedication and practice it must have taken. The evening was divided into two parts, with a short break to enjoy some light refreshments and an opportunity to speak to Pierre about his unique DADGAD tuning and how he has developed this in his playing.

Dr Lee concluded the event and brought the evening of mesmerizing musical journey to an end.

We thank Dr and Mrs Lee for inviting Pierre Bensusan and giving us an inimitable opportunity to expand our musical horizon

Anish Morjaria Y8 .

Learning an instrument?

Has your son thought of learning an instrument, or maybe you could consider singing lessons?

- develop vocal projection and diction.
- improve confidence and self esteem.
- improve memory and concentration.
- sing modern songs from the shows and explore the amazing 500 year "Classical" tradition.
- foreign language pronunciation from grade 5 onwards.
- take internationally recognised exams.
- the instrument is free, it takes less practice than an orchestral instrument and it's fun!

Contact Duncan Saunderson (MTS and MTS Prep. singing teacher via Mrs C Hawkes

Mrs C Hawkes | Director of Music

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          ART GALLERY

    Y4 Pottery



Mr D Roach | Head of Art and Design

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       Chess News

Four boys from Year 4 (Ben Wilkinson, Varsdhan Sasikumar, Mark Humphrey, and Dhaman Sara) formed our under 9 Chess Team for a local tournament at Lochinver House School.  They acquitted themselves with great character and although we did not win the tournament all four played with skill and a great sense of fair play.

The team, pictured here, were awarded their certificates of participation and the MVP cup for that week; a thoroughly deserved award.

In other news, our new Chess Coach, Sheila Jackson, has settled into her new role and is beginning to bring the best out of all the boys she coaches.  Whilst at Chess Club each week, the boys are enjoying the experience of playing with chess clocks, solving chess puzzles and learning about famous players through instructional games.

Letters inviting you to enrol your son for Chess Coaching and/or Chess Club in the Spring Term will be sent home in the next few weeks.

Mr D Goddard | Head of Chess

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