NEW TWITTER ADDRESS @MTSPrep                          ISSUE 4 Friday 11 December 2015

Dr McNerney writes....

This term, for the first time, we have hosted some parenting talks run by Supporting Links. The course, entitled ‘Talking Pre-teens’, lasted for six weeks and I was delighted to receive the very positive feedback from the parents who attended. In particular, parents felt more confident in dealing with issues with their children at home, with a 34% rise in confidence in setting boundaries and a 32% rise in confidence in maintaining control. One parent summarised by saying that the course “made me more confident about my parenting skills and equipped me with tools to achieve better outcomes with my children”. Thank you so much to the parents who attended and it is great to hear that 100% of you would recommend this to other parents. Based on this recommendation, I will arrange some similar courses later in the year.

As we have reached the end of the first term as Merchant Taylors’ Prep and my first term as Head, I want to thank everyone involved in our school, pupils, teachers and parents, for their unending support and positive attitude. Thank you for not just accepting our news but also embracing it. There is more excitement to come as we develop ways to integrate MTP with MTS in meaningful ways, whilst retaining our own identity. This term, behind the scenes, we have had much interaction with MTS, with numerous meetings designed to start the process of communication and collaboration. We have also had some wonderful joint events to help cement our relationship, including the recent attendance of many of our families at the "Guys & Dolls" dress rehearsal and the Y7 & Y8 Science lecture at Imperial College.

Please think of Mrs. Sheeky today, as she has her knee replaced. We all wish her a very speedy recovery. We also send our love and best wishes to Miss Joubert, as she flies off to South Africa to get married next week. We will hear all about the wedding when she returns next term.

Christmas is a beautiful time of year here at school and we have been treated to a variety of wonderful Christmas events, including plays, concerts, Christmas Feast, Carol Service and the PA Secrets’ Room (pictured). Thank you to everyone for organising and supporting these events that help to enrich the boys’ experiences at school. I hope that you and your families have a peaceful time over Christmas.

Best wishes

Dr. Karen McNerney | Head of School

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mvp mip
diary dates
TV show
Bright young...
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  Diary Dates

Mon 04-Jan
Staff INSET Training

Tue 05-Jan
Staff INSET Training

Wed 06-Jan
Term Commences
Breakfast Club, Learning Support, Instrumental Lessons,
Prep/Late Clubs and After School Activity Club (5.00 – 6.00 pm) Commence
Y3S Swimming Commences
13+ Aldenham School

Thu 07-Jan
13+ Haberdashers’ Aske’s School
13+  John Lyon School
4+  Assessments
Fri 08-Jan
Staff and Parents coffee morning 8.10-8.30am
4+ assessments

Sat 09-Jan
13+ Mill Hill

Mon 11-Jan
All Extra Curricular Clubs Commence
Y3G Swimming Commences
U11 and U13 York House Cross Country Meet (2pm)
Y6 and Y7 Examinations

Tue 12-Jan
Y6 and Y7 Examinations

Wed 13-Jan
1st-3rd XI Football v Belmont Prep (h) 2:30pm
Y6 and Y7 Examinations

Thu 14-Jan
U9 York House Cross Country Meet (2:30pm)
Year 1 & 2 Visit to Science Museum

Fri 15-Jan
Bath Parents Hockey Tour Meeting (4:30pm-4:55pm) Room 14
U11ABC Football v Radlett Prep (h) 2:30pm
U10AB Football v Thorpe House (a) 2:30pm
Dedication of the Term 5.00 pm Theatre

Tue 19-Jan
Key Stage 2 General Knowledge Heat at MTP 2-pm – 3pm
U9AB Football v The Beacon (h) 2:30pm
U9CD Football v The Beacon (a) 2:30pm

Wed 20-Jan
1st and 2nd XI Football v The Beacon (a) 2:30pm
3rd and 4th  XI Football v The Beacon (h) 2:30pm

Thu 21-Jan
13+ Merchant Taylors’ School
U8AB Football v The Beacon (h) 2:30pm
U8CD Football v The Beacon (a) 2:30pm
Y 6JW Subject Parents' Evening 5.30pm - 7.30pm

Fri 22-Jan
13+ Merchant Taylors’ School
13+ Berkhamsted School
U10AB Football v The Beacon (h) 2:30pm
U10CD Football v The Beacon (a) 2:30pm

Sat 23-Jan
13+ Merchant Taylors’ School

Mon 25-Jan
Y6LN subject Parents' Evening 5.30pm - 7.30pm
Greek Examination at MTS

Tue 26-Jan
Classics Department British Museum Visit
U8ABC Football v St. Martins (h) 2:30pm
U8DEF Football v St. Martins (a) 2:30pm

Wed 27-Jan
13+ St Columbas
2nd XI Football v King Alfred’s (h) 2:30pm
U13 Hockey v King Alfred’s (h) 2:30pm
Thu 28-Jan
Ski Afternoon at Hemel Hempstead (Pre-SATIPS Selection) 5pm

Fri 29-Jan
U10AB Football v Belmont Prep (h) 2:30pm
U11AB Football v Haberdashers’ Aske’s (a) 2:40pm

NEW TWITTER @MTSPrep and @MTSPrepSport

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Christopher Joseph 6J1

                            Ansh Shah 6N1         
Thomas Treloar 6L2                             Sahil Shah 6L1
Sreesh Maheshwar 8N1                             Aryan Patel 7L3
Anish Bharadwaj 5W1                             James Gray 7L1
Diego Ceccarelli Y4N                            Kian Lalani 8W1
Ansh Shah 6N1                            Ahren Chadha 5J3
                          Max Little 6N1
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          HOUSE NEWS
     A Memorable Autumn Term!

It has been a very busy Autumn Term and we had a fitting end today with Final Assembly. Congratulations to the Middle and Senior Choir and the following readers Alexander Meikle Pebe (Y3), Kishan Bharti (Y4), Ahren Chadha (Y5), Max Little(Y6), James Keeney (Y7) and Daniel Rowlands(Y8) for their lovely contributions to the Carol Service and we thank them for this seasonal gift.  Recent festivities enjoyed by the boys include Christmas Carols, General Knowledge House Quizzes, an Evening of Poetry and Prose and a traditional Christmas Feast. The older boys ate with their Houses and the School Captain, Daniel Rowlands, gave a vote of thanks to the kitchen staff as Year Eight had their last Christmas lunch at Merchant Taylors’ Prep.

We extend our best wishes to Year Eight for their final 13+ preparation and for scholarship auditions and trials. Years Six and Seven have been provided with revision guidance to prepare for School Exams (January 11th – 13th).

This week was the last School Council meeting of the term and boys have regularly discussed issues and ideas that concern them. The committee members have been acting as liaisons with their tutor groups. Thank you to Mrs Nye for conducting a playtime survey on equipment and behaviour. Thank you to the English department for completing another successful Spelling Bee competition.

We look forward to Pancake Races on Shrove Tuesday and the Beale Clear Speaking Competition in the Spring term, but in the meantime we thank you on behalf of all teachers and tutors for the kind gifts and words of appreciation. In return, we wish you all a peaceful and happy holiday.

HOUSE POINTS TOTALS - Finally congratulations to the 10 top boys this term.

position H first last Yr tu gp
1 J Raj Shah 7 J1
2 W Thomas Groves 7 W3
3 N Raiyan Qureshi 7 N1
4 N James Keeney 7 N2
5 W Jack Groves 4 4G
6 N Neil Kapoor 8 N3
7 L Daanysh Mirza 8 L3
8 L Rayan Joshi 5 L1
9 W Henry Wareing 7 W2
10 L Neil Prabhakar 7 L3

Heads of House

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End of MTP first term

It is hard to believe that we are yet again at the end of a very busy Autumn Term – our first as Merchant Taylors’ Prep. Even though our name has changed, the many opportunities available to boys and the same spirit endure. This term has been packed with music, sport, activities, visits and a wonderful candlelit Carol Service. This week has also featured Hockey finals, LAMDA and Music exams, House General Knowledge, Christmas Feast and an Evening of Poetry & Prose by Year 7. It was great to see the boys perform their two pieces on stage with such confidence.

We would like to thank our wonderful Parents’ Association for all their hard work, in particular the recent Secrets' Room (shhh…it’s a secret). The boys enjoyed choosing and buying Christmas gifts and the raffle draw brought great excitement to Friday lunch. The winners were:

1st Prize Ryan Ludhra Y4
2nd Prize Aryan Ashar Y1 
3rd Prize Daniel Rowlands Y8 
4th Prize Aryan Kapoor Y2 
5th Prize Harry Bayes Y8 
6th Prize Raam Shah Y1 
7th Prize Jonathan Read Y7 
8th Prize Aarian Bahanda Y3 
9th Prize Max Little Y6

All sports teams have had their last matches with the season now over at School. Our U12 Hockey side being crowned as THL champions was a fitting (and hitting!) end to the term. However, every single team has developed over the term and shown a high level of determination and skill. Thanks to Mr Todd and all the coaches who have been involved in running the teams. Mr Lake has surpassed himself with excellent pitch preparation and Mr McCormack has provided delicious team teas.

On Friday 4th December, Years 3 & 4 went to see the pantomime Dick Whittington at The Watford Palace Theatre (oh yes they did!).They really enjoyed this treat, and, in particular, the unrehearsed fire drill! Thank you to Mrs Scales for the organisation of the visit, and the other staff for accompanying it.

Final congratulations are to boys who gained effort commendations, Merit badges for 100 House Points or a Double Merit badge for 150 House Points, and to those boys who were awarded their School Colours this term.

Reminders: There appears to be a large number of plastic bags coming into School containing various items which could either be in a sports bag or school bag. We kindly ask that the correct bags are used and that the bags are clearly named.

Over the term we also collect a great deal of lost property which is unnamed. Please can we ask that all School clothing, kit and equipment are named to make them easier to return to your son? We will be checking again that everything is named next term.

In anticipation of colder weather when we return, boys may want to wear a coat and hat. If they do, please ensure it is regulation uniform.

We have also encouraged some boys to get a haircut over the holidays! In line with School rules, please ensure that there are no extreme hairstyles, no shaved sides or lines, no hair too long, and no excessive use of hair products.

Thank you, once again for all your support this year: we look forward to many more successful terms at Merchant Taylors’ Prep.

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 of School & Mr A Crook | Deputy Head

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Ariyen Patel(J3)
Ishan Olsen (3S)
Georgios Kyriakou (4N)
Rohan Olsen (J1)


Diego Ceccarelli Y4N 
Samuel Williams 3G 
Krish Thakrar 5L1 
Sahil P Patel Y6L1
Harry Williams Y7L2 
Lukas Blom Y7L2 
Ishaan Arggarwal Y8L2
Rayan Joshi Y5L1 
Arjun Obhrai Y5L1 
Tyler Horsfall Y5L2 
Tycho Kruisbrink 3S
Mahana Al-Romaihi 3G



Aarian Bahanda 3G
Rayan Qureshi Y7N1
Sreesh Maheshwar Y8N1
Max Little Y6N1
Matthew Schiff Y4G
Aayush Pandit Y5N1
Sahil Patel Y6N2
Pahal Jariwala Y7N2
Karan Bains Y6N3
Max Little Y6N1
Charlie Marshall Y7N3
Neil Kapoor Y8N3
Ronak Patel Y7N3
James Keeney Y7N2
Alexander Meikle Pebe 3S
Arav Karania-Shah 8N2

Raeef Mohammadi 3G
Anish Bharadwaj 5W1
Ameya Dabral 7W1 
Shiv Pandya-Smith 3S
Taran Seekatz 3S
Henry Cargill Thompson 3G 
Ashton Brown 3G 
Rohan Shah 5W3

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           JUNIOR SCHOOL
       Flurry of exciting festive activities

Who can believe that we have reached the end of term? All boys' in Junior School and Nursery 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 ‘Census Sums’ and the photographs show Yash Kotecha and Ayaan Diddee as Mary and Joseph and Rashid Al-Romaihi, Noah Browne and Hotin Ma singing with their friends in Year 1. Then we were delighted by the Nursery and Reception Concert. It was truly wonderful to see such young children looking so at ease on the stage. The photographs show Mateus Pascoe, Zacharia Khan and Nathaniel Williams on stage.   The Christmas theme continued with a very moving Carol Service and I was so proud of the way in which Junior School Choir sang in such an accomplished way.  
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 photographs show the boys on their walk and Krishen Patel posting his envelope.

Finally, we have had Christmas parties this week with a wonderful traditional feast prepared at lunchtime, lots of fun games and a surprise visit from Father Christmas.  On behalf of all of the staff in Nursery and Junior School, 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 hope that you all have a wonderful time together with your families over the holidays.

Mrs S Funnell | Head of Junior School

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           NURSERY NEWS
       A wonderful term

It is hard to believe that we have reached the end of the boys first term in Nursery and this week has been a wonderful end to an exciting and action packed term. The Christmas Concert was a fantastic success and we were so proud of how well the boys sang and joined in with the actions of the songs. What a great effort from the boys and thank you for all your support supplying such wonderful costumes.

We have been learning all about Christmas for the last two weeks and the boys were very excited when a snowman came to read us a story! We have been very busy with our Christmas crafts and I am sure the decorations will take pride of place in many homes this Christmas. This week we have also had our Christmas party with a special visit from Father Christmas. The school choir are also coming to sing to us today which we are all very excited about.

On behalf of all the Nursery team I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your very generous Christmas gifts and for all your support throughout the term. We wish you all a very Happy Christmas and wish you all a wonderful time with your families over the holidays.

Mrs G Ladbury | Head of Nursery

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               Spelling Bee Showdown

Week 11 of the Autumn Term saw the annual spelling bee battle ensue between house spelling champs from each year group in Senior School.

Year 3/4 contestants set the usual high standard to kick the week off, with Diego Ceccarelli (Y4) coming up trumps for Livingstone House. Runner-up was Matthew Schiff (Y4 Newton) and third was Raeef Mohammadi (Y3 Wren). Fourth place was shared between Zakariya Karim (Y3 Johnson), Sam Williams (Y3 Livingstone), Kush Patel (Y3 Newton) and Zain Momin (Y4 Johnson).

A titanic struggle in the Y5/6 event saw Anish Bharadwaj (W1) triumph over his older opponents. Running him a close second was Newtonian Sahil Patel; third and fourth slots went to Samuel O'Tuminu (W1) and Christopher Joseph (J1).

A nerve-shredding Senior Final resulted in a battle royal between Johnson and Newton. Having let two 'match points' slip, Sreesh Maheshwar (N1) eventually proved the victor with Daniel Rowlands (J3) a very worthy runner-up. Ameya Dabral (W1) was strong third and fourth place was shared between Pahal Jariwala (N2) and Ishaan Aggarwal(L2)

Thank you to all those concerned who made this competition such a success.

Mr M Smith | Head of English

   Who wants to be a 'Millionaire'?

We have recently celebrated the reading accomplishments of the first boys to accumulate one million words in their Autumn Term reading. Ahead of the pack was literary leviathan, Jay Ghelani (N3). Hot on his heels, the second and third to this magnificent milestone were Shaurya Jhunjhunwala (Y4 Johnson) and Christopher Joseph (J1) Our other ravenous readers to make a million were Year Five's Anish Bharadwaj (W1) and Peranavan Satheeswaran (N2) along with James Ward (J3) Y6 and Praneil Singh (N2) Y8.

Well done lads!

We aim to all make a million before the school year is out.
Have a right rollicking reading Christmas!

Mr M Smith | Head of English

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              TV SHOW          
       Is your child a genius?

I resisted the urge to put an exclamation mark after the question mark! I ask the question because the television programme, Child Genius, is returning for a fourth series and the producers are looking for children (born between 1 September 2003 and 31 August 2007) to be involved. I have no link with the programme and cannot endorse it in anyway but I agreed to let parents know that further information can be found here:

Dr K McNerney | Head of School

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“Yussef is Complicated”

On 13 November, former Merchant Taylors’ School pupil Vaughn Stein visited to show us his award-winning film, “Yussef is Complicated”.  This film won this year’s TIFF Kids Best Short Film Award in Toronto, one of the world’s most prestigious festivals dedicated to films for children, and recently collected a second award in Chicago.

Vaughn Stein is a writer and director who has worked on many famous films.  He was Assistant Director on “Pride”, “Dad’s Army”, “Les Miserables” and “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows”, and worked on “Quantum of Solace” and “Pirates of the Caribbean4”. He has worked with many famous actors including Daniel Craig, Russell Crowe, Hugh Jackman and Johnny Depp. Vaughn told us a funny story about Johnny Depp, who kept hugging him and asking how it was going, thinking he was a cameraman he knew from another film, until he realised …!

“Yussef is Complicated” is about a refugee who escapes from Iraq and comes to England after witnessing everything being taken from his entire family; all he has left to remember them is his tennis ball.  

When Yussef joins the local school, he struggles to fit it because of his unknown background and isn’t understood by his classmates.  This makes them afraid and leads to bullying.  Yussef is involved in a playground fight, and the school threatens to send him to a “special school” unless his behaviour improves.  His teacher sets an essay called “The Day That Changed My Life” in an attempt to get Yussef to explain himself.  Yussef summons the courage to tell his story to all the other pupils and the teachers, who are shocked and moved by what he describes. This feeling is how the film ends, which left all Y7 and 8 pupils stunned.

Vaughn chose to use volunteers from Merchant Taylors’ in his film, rather than actors, and shot the film in the grounds of Merchant Taylors’.  We enjoyed seeing Old Terryers Jacob Sieradski and Harvey Stevens in crowd scenes.

It was an incredibly emotional film which made us realise how lucky we are to have the privileged life we do. For many of us this, story introduced us to the real world of children who live in dangerous places, lose their family and don’t even have food or clean water to drink. At the school, it is evident that the teachers want him to do well but do not know what is going on in Yussef’s head until he lets it out in his essay. This showed us that we must express our feelings so that others have the opportunity to help us go through our lives.

After the film, we had a very revealing q & a session with Vaughn. We asked numerous questions about the film such as where he got the idea of Yussef’s story from, to which he answered ‘I based it on 4 or 5 different stories’.   It was mainly based on a radio report he heard about a mute boy who washed up on the shores of Italy and slowly picked up the language in order to tell his story to the people there. He also shared with us that there were over 160 auditions.

As a group, we all wanted to know which Merchant Taylors’ teacher got him into Drama the most, to which he replied that it was Mr Brown who is still at the School. Another one of the intrigued pupils asked if a long film would come out, to which he said that he has it in his long term plans but he is currently working on a short film of an interview with a Holocaust survivor.  The funniest moment was when he shared his growing hate of watching movies because of his urge to critique - so think twice about being involved in the movies!

All of Y7 and Y8 wish to thank Vaughn Stein for sharing his film and directing experiences with us.

Toby Michaels (Y8/W3) and Tom Groves (Y7/W3)

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       U12 Hockey Winners

U12 Captain James Keeney receives the U12 THL Cup for the 2015
season (U12 have now retained this title)
Awarded by Richard Alexander (Director of Hockey at MTS and
former Hockey GB 1st Team)

Final Result: MTP 2: St. Johns 1

Scorers: James Keeney & Duncan Mallett

With both our U13 and U12 teams reigning champions of the Taylors' Hockey League (THL) from the 2014 season, the pressure was on from the beginning this year. The standard of hockey has improved considerably since the league began back in 2009 with all teams involved winning the title at some point in the league's history. For the last couple of years our teams have benefitted from playing throughout the term against schools outside of the THL and by playing hockey as part of their PE curriculum from September onwards. This year began without loss for both teams at Berkhamsted and the U12 side, in particular, never looked back.

After an initial draw at Berkhamsted in the first game of the season (1-1) the U12 team won all of their games, both in THL and weekly fixtures. The THL Final against St. John's on Tuesday 8th December was their biggest of the season and it did not disappoint. After leading 1-0 at half time through a James Keeney shuffle, St. Johns responded with a goal in the first minute of the second half - setting up a frantic second half of end-to-end hockey!

With the post hit by both teams, missed penalties and an outstanding double save from Ariyen Patel in goal, it could have gone either way. It was left to our only Y6 pupil to have made the U12 team - Duncan Mallett stepped up for the most important penalty shuffle of the season and chose his reverse side in an attempt to take the keeper off balance. Although around the keeper, he still had work to do against a recovering keeper, and made sure with quick feet to bring the ball back on to his open side to put the ball away (2-1). The final minute will be a blur for most with positions abandoned as every player tried to make a difference. Final score: MTP 2:1 St. John's.

This was a truly memorable match between the strongest two teams in the league this year. The success of this season was a team effort in every sense with enormous contributions from all squad members. They were:

U12 Squad
Ariyen Patel (GK)
Thomas Groves
Lukas Blom
James Keeney (Capt)
Nayan Chatrath
Ankit Chadha
Henry Wareing
Jonathan Read
Duncan Mallett
Ronak Patel








"THL was a great experience especially playing under floodlights it seemed to change the atmosphere. I was really proud of the teamwork we were all supporting one another, being a goalkeeper means putting on a lot of equipment which takes a lot of time it but it was good to have a team buddy who was on hand to help me out to get into my gear and help me with my bags."

Ariyen Patel

U13 MTP  (2)    2   v  Berkhamsted   (0)    1 MTP U12   (1)    1   v     Berkhamsted  (1)   1
U13 MTP  (1) 1  v   Merchant Taylors' (3)  5 MTP U12  (4) 5 v Merchant Taylors' (0) 0
U13 MTP (0)  1  v   Merchant Taylors' (3) 5 MTP U12  - Training
U13 MTP   (1)    3  v   St Martin's   (2)    3 MTP U12  - Training
U13 MTP   (2)    5    v   St.John's   (0)      0 MTP U12  (4 )       9   v MTS   ( 1)   2
U13 MTP    (1)   1  v   St Martin's    (4)     4 MTP U12  (3) 5  v  St. Martin's  (0) 1
U13 MTP -   v   St John's –  W/O MTP U12    (4) 6  v     St. John's (0)     5
U13 MTP   (0)      1  v   Haileybury (0)        0 MTP U12  (0)   2  v  Haileybury  (0)    1
U13 MTP (1)    2     v    MTS     (0)    2 Semi Final
MTP U12  (2) 8 v St. Martin's  (0)  1
THL 3rd/4th Play-Off Final
U13 MTP (1)    3     v    St. John's     (1)    2
THL Final
U12 MTP (1)  2 v St. John's (0)  1
THL LEAGUE – Overall Placings
U13 MTP – 3rd Place Finish U12 MTP – THL Champions
(2nd year running)

Mr D Todd | Director of Sport

Our U8 Tag Rugby Tournament was on Saturday 28th November and parents can now access the photos via link below.

DE Photos Gayhurst u8 Tag Rugby

MTP on Twitter

​In the past many of you have followed our Sports Tours Twitter page which has provided almost real time information about how the boys were getting on playing football in Barcelona, on expedition in Kent, or more recently, their progress on tour in Barbados.

This year we have extended this to include results of fixture results, photographs of teams and any updates related to sport at the school. Everything Sport at Merchant Taylors’ Prep School will be on here and it is linked to all the goings-on in the Senior School, OMT’s and other local schools and clubs who we are involved with.

If you have time, please have a look over the break and join if you can. The more followers we get, the more useful it will become to communicate, particularly last minute information like a change of venue or a cancelled fixture.

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 Activity Kit required
Nursery Games/Gymnastics/Dance Normal P.E. Kit  
Reception 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. Rounders
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 Basketball/Hockey 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 Volleyball/Handball
Year 7 Basketball/Handball
Year 8 Volleyball

Mr D Todd | Director of Sport

Will you be couch potato this Xmas?

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
Put 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 your bottom. Sit 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.

A Message from the Director of Football:

Football Trials begin on Wednesday 6th 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 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.

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 and a towel (compulsory) for each session.

Mr D Todd | Director of Sport

Tennis Coaching

Since the introduction of formalised Table Tennis Coaching in 2012, many boys have demonstrated considerable improvement. By the end of Autumn term boys are often thinking about purchasing a suitable table tennis development racket. There really are so many bad rackets (in local sports stores) that could be purchased so we thought we would give you a helping hand with an informed choice that will really help our boys to further develop their game.

If you are interested, we are suggesting you have a look at the following - check out a superb table tennis advice site by Ben Larcombe of Expert Table Tennis at the following link:  

The Palio bats (Expert, Master and Legend) mentioned on the site are really exceptionally good in terms of value and to enable game development, I can't recommend them highly enough (Cefyn Jones - MTP Table Tennis Lead Coach).

"The Palio Expert 2 is the perfect bat for players learning the game and starting out. The new blade gives maximum control and great feeling while the high-quality CJ8000 rubbers allow for lots of spin." (starting at £24.99).

The bats are beginning to be used more extensively by talented developing players and the results look good - we are looking to buy some for the coaching sessions for boys to try out in Spring Term 2016 in order to further develop our blossoming table tennis players!

Mr D Todd | Director of Sport

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       Children’s Christmas Lecture
On Thursday, 3rd December, 28 boys from Years 6, 7 and 8 visited Imperial College, London for the Children’s Christmas Lecture. We travelled on the tube which was really fun as this was the first time many of us had been on the tube with school.

Firstly, the lecturer put everything that happened up until the Big Bang (which some people believe in) into just one year; to give us some perspective, humans arrived in the last few minutes of the 31st of December! Then we watched a video of a trip through space to see all the planets in the solar system and their moons. We had to decide which planets humans could possibly live on; there were only a few places we could live on or where life could have evolved, including Mars and some of Jupiter’s moons.

Next, Dr Zita Martens displayed some rare meteorite that came from the Meteorite Belt, and then some really scarce ones from Mars and The Moon! She also made a comet  ball which released loads of smoke when she mixed the dry ice and other materials together, which was so cool! Finally, we got to see a few different snacks that astronauts could eat in space, such as dried strawberries and afterwards got to try some dried banana; it was yummy!

To conclude, this trip was a great experience for all the boys and I would recommend you go to this lecture next year if you have the chance.

Tom Groves 7W3


Science Pupil of Month

Pupil of the Month for November - Growing in confidence and effort in class
Year 4 Ruben Sahota
Year 5 Max Domb
Year 6 Kahil Jariwala

Pupil of the Month for December - Improvement in end of unit progress test
Year 4 Sven Tamminga
Year 5 Munachi Nnatuanya
Year 6 Sahil Patel

We were honoured to host the Science Interschool Quiz Championship.  Well done to all boys involved.

Miss C Burke | Science Teacher

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     PA say "Thank you"

A huge thank you for your fantastic support this term. We had a busy term starting with the Founder’s Day Fiesta, which was enjoyed by all. The boys had a wonderful treat on Mufti Day with the hot chocolate and snacks on offer.

Our Firework Spectacular was as always, very well supported and we ended the term with Secrets’ Room where the boys had the opportunity to buy gifts for their beloved parents or siblings.

Thank you to everyone who was able to come and to all the volunteers that helped out at all the events.

Next term, we are looking forward to a Strictly Salsa evening in March. Look out for the details next term!

PA Events Spring Term 2016

Uniform Sale – Thursday 14 January 3.15 - 4.30 pm
Cake Sale – Friday 12 February
Mother’s Day Gift Stalls – Friday 4 March
Salsa Evening – Saturday 19 March

The PA Committee would like to wish all the boys, parents staff and governors a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.  

Mrs Shah and Mrs Lalani

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Presented to:
“Outstanding Performance”
Edward Lakey

“Most Improved”
James Gray

Grade Certificates – Presented to:
Grade 1
Darshan Patel
Saavan Patel
Matthew Schiff
Aryan Patel
Mruthyunjai Satheesh
Dhaman Sara
Aarian Bahanda
Vivaan Verma
Arjun Singh-Ahuja
Zakariya Karim
Jayden Thakrar
Samuel Sundram
Henry Cargill Thompson
Henry Wang
Ishan Olsen
Amaan Sawani
Saamir Deen
Manvir Singh Obhrai
Kayan Laith Howladar
Aydin Meghjee
Sufyan Ismail
Raeef Mohammadi
Tristan Jassal
Tobi Alade
Sidh Sadana
Jacob Payne
Alexander Meikle Pebe
Shiv Pandya-Smith
Benjamin Moore-Taylor
Rishaan Khanna
Vincent Cheung
Filippos-Savvas Kyriakou

Grade 2
Shaurya Jhunjhunwala
Jay Ghelani

Grade 3
Rehan Gupta
Varshan Sasikumar
Thenuk Rodrigo

Grade 4
Benjamin Wilkinson
Kishan Bharti
Jasmer Sawhney
Zain Momin
Mark Yuksel Humphrey
Felix Regnard-Weinrabe
Armaan Fernandes
Ryan Ludhra
Nikhil Mohan
Jay Shah


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          ART GALLERY

       Y2 Artwork

Mr D Roach | Head of Art and Design
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       The FRENCH Spelling Bee

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 typical 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:

  • Raj Shah
  • Auke Veenendaal
  • Ariyen Patel
  • Lukas Blom
  • Elliot Craft
  • Harry Williams
  • Nayan Chatrath
  • Raiyan Qureshi
  • Pahal Jariwala
  • Niam Bhattacharya
  • Henry Wareing
  • Edward Lakey

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.

Introduction to Spelling Bee

Mr R Kopel | Head of Modern Foreign Languages

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       Market Day
Here are a few pictures of the Bright Young Sparks Market Day that was held on the 1st of December.

Eleven young entrepreneurs attended eight workshops specifically designed for youngsters and aimed at equipping them with an entrepreneurial mindset and basic business and money skills through various fun and engaging techniques. They left the workshops with increased levels of confidence and self-belief, enhanced language and communication skills as well as improved mental arithmetic.  At the end of the course, they organised a Market Day, in which they had to sell their home-made products, and then split their profits into three: one third to treat themselves, one third to be saved for a rainy day and one third to be donated to a charity of their choice.

Another round of workshops will be held during the Summer term so please do not hesitate to contact me if you think your son may be interested in this fantastic opportunity, anyone from Year 6 to 8 can attend. More information and interactive resources are available on their website:

Bright Young Sparks

Mr R Kopel | Head of Modern Foreign Languages

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      Computational Thinking Challenge

On the 9th to the 13th November 2015, Year 7 and Year 8 boys at Merchant Taylors’ Prep School participated in the UK Bebras Computational Thinking Challenge.
What is the UK Bebras Computational Thinking Challenge?
The UK Bebras Computational Thinking Challenge introduces computer science to students. It is a competition aimed at raising awareness of Computer Science in a fun and rewarding way. The competition involves solving problems using computational thinking skills.
What does computational thinking involve?
Computational thinking involves using a set of problem-solving skills and techniques that software engineers use to write programs and apps. Examples of these techniques would include the ability to break down complex tasks into simpler components, algorithm design, pattern recognition, pattern generalisation and abstraction.
All the boys did very well and here are some of the words from them.

James Gray – Year 7 - 1st
“I found the challenges quite simple because all you needed to do was a few steps to get the answer.
When my mum told me that I got first in the year, I was jumping for joy in a way and also I was wondering what I had got in comparison to the top score (and the average).”

Raj Shah – Year 7 – 2nd place.
“During the challenge, we had 45 minutes to solve 18 problems of various levels of difficulty.
They were ranked from A – C, with A being the easiest and C being the trickiest. All the questions involved thinking logically like a computer, with the harder questions requiring us to think more.
The test was online and we received our results a week later, as they had been sorted, ranked and then emailed to Mrs Hibbert. In assembly, those that passed with a distinction received their certificate. I had achieved a score of 173 out of the maximum 200 points. So, by practising beforehand, I had improved my score by 17 points.
I felt overjoyed as I went up on stage, not only knowing that I had passed, but with a distinction too. I am glad I did the test, as it has improved my logical thinking skills and I feel more confident now.
I really enjoyed doing the test and I thank Mrs Hibbert for introducing it to us.”

Arav Karania-Shah.Year 8 – 1st place
“In ICT class, we did a test called UK Bebra 2015. Everybody in Year Seven and Eight had to enter and it was based mainly on logic. The test was divided into three different parts – easy, medium and hard. In each section, there were five questions. You get points for answering correctly and sometimes lose points for answering incorrectly. “

After the test, everyone was asking who came first. Four people were asked to stand up. I was trembling at this point, as I was one of the people asked to stand up. One by one, people were asked to sit. I was remaining standing up – the top two in the year. Amazingly, I was asked to keep standing, and my heart leapt with joy. I would have never imagined being first in our age group.

The UK Bebras are a great way to test your knowledge, and I would strongly recommend taking the test. It helps improve your mental mind and quick thinking on your feet. “

Arseny Uskov Year 8 – 2nd place
“I thought that it was quite a challenging test and a fun experience. Although some of the questions were quite easy, I enjoyed working through some of the harder sections. Some of the questions were based on maths, such as the stack computer, in which I had to arrange numbers based on the order of operations, and then see how they would compile, in order to get a specific sequence. I found that question very easy, because I work very well with mathematical operations.
Others were based on educated guess and trial-and-error, such as the beaver hotel, in which I had a representation of the rooms in a hotel; the challenge was to navigate the rooms, in order to find a specific room. I found that question quite hard, and it took me a while to figure out the pattern. Overall, I found the experience very enjoyable, testing my computational and mathematical abilities.”

Congratulations again to all Year 7 and Year 8. Well done!

Mrs B Hibbert | Head Information Technology

Hour of Coding 2015

This is the second year that Merchant Taylors’ Prep took part in the Hour of Coding Week (7 December 2015-11 December 2015).

They have added more fun programming topics for the boys to choose from and the boys had the opportunity to play their own game.  This year boys from reception to Year 8 took part. Below are some of their experiences this year.

Hour of coding experiences:

Penguins (Y1)
Rohin: I was surprised because the alien shook his bottom at the end of each level.
Arkansh: I was excited when I reached high scores; I got 1135 at one point.
Noah: I was annoyed at Level 15 when I could only use go forward or other commands once and when I didn't manage to finish.
Hotin: It was challenging working out the code and solving each level, especially when we had to try and not get burnt by the red box.
Mojeore: We had to take risks to solve the codes.
Ryan: It was fun collaborating with our friends.

Aryan Sodha and Fikunmi:  It is amazing and you learning to code in all levels and all ages. You can code and play exciting games for family and friends. I highly recommend it for everyone.
Luka Hinton and Yiorgos Velimachitis
Hour of code is an amazing way to learn to code, it is great fun and is really challenging.
Krish Thakrar and Eshaan Patel
Hour of code is an amazing experience for young people to learn. A good game is Box Island as it is fun.

Rohan Choudhary and Shailan Bavisi
It was really fun making the code for Minecraft breaking blocks and placing them the levels got harder which was very interesting to play with.
Sohan Mukherjee and Anay Patel
I thought that this year’s hour of coding was very good because this year we were able to do Minecraft hour of coding which was really fun. We also look at the code how the game was made.
Rahul Patel & Ishan Patel
I thought the hour of coding was a very good challenge.  Some levels made you really think really hard but after a while, it got easier to understand where to put the commands. Overall I thought it was a tough but fun hour.

Edward Lakey: I enjoyed learning code via Minecraft
Raiyan Qureshi: I enjoyed figuring out how to get to the coal or iron blocks
Harry Williams: I really liked doing the star wars levels, especially the last one where I could create anything I wanted
Pahal Jariwala: It was a really fun way to make your mind think, it was funny when things go wrong especially in Minecraft.

The hour of code resources are still available for the boys to use. Please use the link below for extra information and let your son explore.

Mrs B Hibbert | Head Information Technology

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    Interhouse quiz competition 2015

On the penultimate day of term all the boys in Years 3 to 8 participated in the annual Interhouse quiz competition. As usual there was a grand array of pertinent (and perhaps also impertinent) knowledge on show. How many of the adults reading this could successfully identify a song as being by Meghan Trainor, rather than Jess Glynne, Ariana Grande or Iggy Azalea?  I didn’t even know whether they were all real people. Do you know why Einstein received the Nobel Prize in 1921? Or what an elephant’s tusks are made of? ‘Ivory’ wasn’t an option…

Testing your knowledge against your peers’ knowledge is fun. It is also a useful skill – faced with four answers and with no real idea which one is correct, how much can you work out in thirty seconds to allow an educated guess to be made? Watching it can be entertaining too. I am sorry to report that while there was general agreement about the capital of Bulgaria being Sofia and some consternation about Ian Fleming being the author of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, more members of Newton House in Years 3 and 4 were unable correctly to identify the man who had an apple drop on his head than there were boys in Years 7 and 8 who knew that Meghan Trainor had written the song All About that Bass.

There were many noteworthy performances, but special congratulations should go to the following boys, who produced the best performances in their year:

Year 3: Samuel Williams (3G)
Year 4: Dylan Mehta (4G)
Year 5: Arjun Obhrai (5L1)
Year 6: Thomas Treloar (6L2)
Year 7: Harry Williams (7L2)
Year 8: Daniel Rowlands (8J3)

Many of these boys are familiar as members of our inter-school quiz teams, for which I will be recruiting in the new year. So, boys, if you knew that Einstein’s Nobel Prize was awarded for his work on the photoelectric effect (nothing to do with General or Special Relativity) and if you knew that an elephant’s tusks are made of dentine, then you might be just the person we’re looking for for those teams…

I would like to thank the many members of staff who helped with the supervision and organisation of this event, which was run by Simon from Quiz Club, and of course the boys themselves for their positive approach to the event. The individual team winners of the events were: Years 3 and 4 – Johnson. Years 5 and 6 – Newton. Years 7 and 8 – Livingstone. The overall winners, by 40 points (out of a total of 2,400: very close, then) were Livingstone: congratulations to them.

Mr A McConnell | Head of History

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