Issue 6 Friday 26 February 2016

Dr McNerney writes....

Once again, this newsletter catalogues the many great opportunities that are available for our boys at school and it is a pleasure to see how much is on offer. One of the highlights in recent weeks was when Derek Derenalagi visited us again. Derek is a double amputee, having lost both his legs whilst serving in the British army, and is now a Paralympian, preparing for selection for the 100m sprint at Rio 2016. Derek’s message to the boys was simple but so very powerful: everything that happens in life should be seen as an opportunity; do not complain about what you have been given and make the most of what you have got. It was humbling to hear this message from someone who has every reason to feel aggrieved and yet is only positive about his experiences.

Other highlights recently have been the Y3 and Y4 production before half term (what amazing and confident performances!) and this week’s literary festival, which has inspired and entertained in equal measure. A particularly pleasing aspect of this year’s literary festival was to be able to invite MTS pupils for Paul Dowswell’s visit, as a way of returning the favour for when some MTP pupils visited MTS to hear storyteller, Ben Haggarty.

The best highlight this week has been to gather in the 13 plus results for our Y8 pupils. It is a pleasure to find out how incredibly well they have done and that everyone has been placed in a school of their choice. They have also amassed fifteen scholarships so far, which is a real achievement for a small year group. I hope to include a full list of achievements in the next newsletter, when more of the results will be confirmed, but I wanted to offer my sincerest congratulations to our Y8 pupils on another year of outstanding success at 13 plus.

Best wishes

Dr. Karen McNerney | Head of School

blue divider bar
mvp mip
diary dates
Book week pics.
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       Diary Dates

Monday, 29 February
Y3/Y4 Beale Poetry Recitation Competition
Y3/Y4 Tutor Meeting 5.30pm - 7.30pm
Y5NW Subject Parents' Evening 5.30 - 7.30 pm

Tuesday, 1 March
Y5/Y6 Beale Poetry Recitation Competition

Wednesday, 2 March
1st XI Football v Thorpe House (a) 2.30 pm
2nd XI Football v Thorpe House (h) 2.30 pm
Junior School Music Recital 9.00 am

Thursday, 3 March
Merchant Taylors' Company Concert Liverpool
UKMT Team Challenge High Wycombe 9.00 am - 4.30 pm

Friday, 4 March
Merchant Taylors' Company Concert Liverpool
Parents' Association Mothers' Day Gift Sale
U10ABC Football v UCS (a) 2.30 pm
U11AB Football v UCS (h) 2.30 pm
Y7/Y8 Beale Poetry Recitation Competition

Saturday, 5 March
Merchant Taylors' Company Concert Liverpool
U8 Gayhurst Football Tournament 9.30 am - 12.30 pm

Sunday, 6 March
Merchant Taylors' Company Concert Liverpool
Mothering Sunday

Monday, 7 March
Ski Team Slalom Trials and Final Selection 2.15pm
Y3/Y4 Tutor Meeting 5.30 - 7.30 pm
Y5JL Subject Parents' Evening 5.30 - 7.30 pm Dining Hall

Tuesday, 8 March
Young Musician of the Year 6.00 pm Theatre

Wednesday, 9 March
U12A & U13A Hockey v St. John's (a) 2.30 pm
Y4 Viking Day

Thursday, 10 March
U8ABCD Football v UCS (h) 2,30 pm
U9AB v Haberdashers' Aske's (a) 2.30 pm
Y3 Verulamium Visit

Friday, 11 March
Merchant Taylors' Music Afternoon 1.15 - 6.30 pm
U10ABCD Football v Berkhamsted (a) 3.00 pm
U11 Football Development Day (h) 2.30 pm

Saturday, 12 March
ISFA U11 Seven-a-Side Tournament South East Regional Championship John Lyon School
U13 Belmont Football Tournament 9.00 am -1.30 pm

Monday, 14 March
Technical Rehearsal for Y6 Production of 'Seussical the Musical'
Y7/Y8 House Football

Tuesday, 15 March
Dress Rehearsal for Y6 Production of 'Seussical the Musical'

Wednesday, 16 March
1st XI Football v Davenies (h) 2.30 pm
2nd IX Football v Davenies (h) 2.30 pm
3rd IX Football v Davenies (a) 2.30 pm
4th IX Football v Davenies (a) 2.30 pm
5th XI Football v Davenies (h) 2.30 pm
Y5/Y6 House Football
Y6 Production of 'Seussical the Musical' 7.00 pm Theatre

Thursday, 17 March
U9 UCS Football Tournament 1.00 - 4.30 pm
Y3 House Football
Y6 Production of 'Seussical the Musical' 5:30 pm Theatre

Friday, 18 March
Clubs, Learning Support & Activities End for the Whole School 14:00
Y5/6 Badminton & Table Tennis vs. The Purcell School (2:15pm)

Saturday, 19 March
Parents' Association Salsa Night
U10 Berkhamsted Football Tournament
Y6-Y8 Ski Visit to Val Di Fiemme Departs

Monday, 21 March
Only Breakfast Club, Prep Club, Late Clubs and Late Activity Club will continue until the end of term
Y3 - Y5 Music Recital 8.45 am Theatre
Y3G Final Swimming Session

Tuesday, 22 March
Y4 House Football

Wednesday, 23 March
An Evening of Poetry & Prose 4.30 pm Theatre
Whole School Staff Meeting 8.00 am Theatre
Y3S Final Swimming Session
Y7 LAMDA Exams

Thursday, 24 March
Term finishes at the end of the school day

Friday, 25 March
Good Friday
Y6-8 Ski Visit to Val Di Fiemme Returns

Saturday, 26 March
Easter Saturday

Sunday, 27 March
Easter Sunday

Monday, 28 March
Easter Monday

Tuesday, 29 March
Watford FC Football Week

Wednesday, 30 March
Watford FC Football Week

Thursday, 31 March
Watford FC Football Week

Friday, 1 April
Watford FC Football Week


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                 Danyal Azam 7J2

                           Mr Jones goes to Jupiter' 
                 Alex Milbank 8N3                            Willem Redman 8L1 &
                           Neil Kapoor 8N3 on behalf of Y8
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                   HOUSE NEWS
Great half-term
Dragons’ Den 2016
In line with the format of the TV programme, four Tutor Groups and a wildcard pitched their ‘big idea’ for school improvement to the three School Dragons, Dr McNerney, Mr Hibbert and Mrs Crossan on Friday 12th February in Assembly. We are pleased to announce that J2 Milkshake Friday was supported as was N3 Wet Break Games & Zones, W3 Lunch Choice and J3 School Bag Label. We look forward to repeating this event in 2018.

What a great first half of term with the promise of more activity and productivity to come.  Recent events enjoyed by the boys included a Year 8 Adventure Lecture and visit to the British Museum, an inspirational assembly talk by Paralympian Derek Derenalagi, the U13 Hockey Tour, House Pancake Races, the stellar Year 3 and 4 production of ‘Blast Off! Mr. Jones goes to Jupiter’ and the ever popular PA Cake Sale. 

After a relaxing break boys have returned to Book Week 2016.  Boys have heard talks from Charles Fuge, Paul Dowswell and Ian Whybrow, taken part in a Readathon, attended a Book Fair and finished off the week by dressing up as a book character.   Boys have also been busy rehearsing and reciting for the Beale Poetry Competition.  Thank you to the English Department for arranging both events.

Big congratulations to our Year 8 boys on their 13+ examination success and to our Dragons’ Den finalists for their recent presentations.  No less than four ideas for school improvement were agreed by the School Dragons.

This half-term sees our musicians compete for The Young Musician of The Year title and travel to Liverpool for the Merchant Taylors’ Company Concert.  Year 6 boys will be taking centre stage in their production of ‘Seussical the Musical’, which we are sure will be just as entertaining as the Y3/Y4 production. 

Good luck to our Year 6-8 and staff skiers who we will be waving off on their much talked about Ski Visit to Val Di Fiemme.  The term will finish here with a whole school MUFTI day for Sports Relief, a PA Salsa night and an evening of LAMDA Poetry and Prose in the New Barn Theatre.  There is so much to celebrate and to look forward to.

 Incredible Pancake Day Race!

On Monday the wind was howling and the rain was battering Moor Park. Fast forward to Tuesday and although cold, the sun shone on the school for our annual Pancake Day Race organised by Newton House with the precious help of Mrs Nye. Dozens of runners from our four Houses lined up at the starting line on the main playground. The race was a lot of fun with speedy runners like Jayde Ah-Time, Edward Lakey, Noah Moser, Joshua Jassal and Henry Wang (see pictures), while other senior school boys as well as staff were indulging in delicious pancakes and hot chocolate.

For the record, Wren House won three races (Y7/Y4/Y3), Livingstone two (Y6/Y5) and Johnson one (Y8). Mr Todd, Newton’s Head of House, would like to thank Mrs Nye and the kitchen staff for supplying the pancakes/hot chocolates, Newton staff for selling them, the photographer Mrs Smith, the race official Mr Crook and all the boys who took part in the races and helped raise more than £350!

Heads of House

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                    SENIOR LEADERSHIP TEAM
Life at the Prep is busy

Measured by half-terms, we are now officially in the second half of our first year as Merchant Taylors’ Prep. Life at the Prep is as busy as it has always been, with opportunities for boys to participate, and excel, in a wide variety of activities. We ended last half-term with Pancake Races, Dragons’ Den and a fantastic production of ‘Blast off! Mr Jones goes to Jupiter’, performed with real skill by our Year 3 and Year 4 boys. Huge thanks go to Mr Hinton, and his team, for all the hard work which went in to delivering such a high quality show.  It is, therefore, no surprise that Mr Hinton has been appointed as the IAPS (Independent Association of Preparatory Schools) subject advisor for Drama. We congratulate him, and wish him well in this new role, shaping the direction that Prep School Drama is taught in the UK.

We were fortunate enough to once again host Derek Derenalagi, British Paralympian, military hero and a true inspiration. Derek spoke to all the boys in the School about his efforts in qualifying for the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, and he reminded us about his truly remarkable life. We are watching with bated breath as he attempts to qualify in a completely new discipline (for him), and probably the most prestigious track event at the Paralympics – the 100m sprint. Good luck, Derek!

This week, we received the wonderful news that all of our Year 8 boys have places at very prestigious senior schools, achieving outstanding results, and scholarships, along the way. Our Year 6 boys did equally well, becoming the first group to secure their places at such an early stage. We congratulate all of these boys for their outstanding academic achievements.

We are delighted to say that ‘The Bug’ has finally left us! It is wonderful to see all of our boys and Staff back at School, and healthy. We would like to take this opportunity to remind parents to please send healthy snacks for break time. We have noticed several boys with crisps and chocolates in their snack boxes. These high-fat and high sugar snacks are not good for the boys, and don’t set them up well for the lessons directly after break. We would prefer it if parents opted for the healthier choices, and we will support you by doing ‘snack checks’ at break time.

We have also noticed one or two boys with hairstyles that do not conform with the School’s rules. Boys will initially be spoken to by Staff, suggesting a change in hairstyle; should this not happen, a letter or email will follow. If you are unsure about your son’s hairstyle, please feel free to contact Mr Hibbert who will be able to provide you with guidance.

As the days become longer and warmer, we look forward to ‘Seussical the Musical’, our Ski Visit, and continued success in academic, cultural and sporting activities.

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

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Avi Modi 8J2,
Sebastian Constantine 8J2,
Danyal Azam 7J2
Davin Pindoria 7J3,
Ariyen Patel 7J3,
Rahul Patel 7J3,
Sohan Mukherjee 7J3

Ruben Sahota Y4N
Vincent Cheung 3G
Dhaman Sara 4G
Jacob Payne 6L3
Denizcan Deniz 5L3
Aaron Sohal 5L2
Sahil P Shah 6L1
Krish Thakrar 5L1

Arav Karania-Shah 8N2
Kahil Jariwala 6N1
Sahil Patel 6N2
Luka Hinton 5N2
Kyle Vora 5N2

Benjamin Cutmore W2
Oliver Johnson W3
Anish Morjaria W2
Joshua Michaels W2
Lucas Johnson W1
Toby Michaels W3

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                      JUNIOR SCHOOL

JS Book Week

It has been Book Week this week and this is always one of my favourite times of the school year. The week started extremely well with a story session with the wonderful children’s illustrator Charles Fuge for Nursery, Reception, Year 1 and Year 2.

On Wednesday, we were delighted to have a return visit from Andy and the Theatre of Widdershins. His performance of ‘The Elves and the Shoemaker” was brilliant and he has, once again, inspired us all to be puppeteers.

On Thursday, we really enjoyed a visit from Ian Whybrow who enthralled us all with his stories of Harry and his bucketful of dinosaurs. We have also had parents coming to read stories this week and it is always a pleasure to run this event. Many thanks to the many parents who volunteered to help.

Today, we have rounded off Book Week with a wonderful dressing-up day and it was such fun to see all of the boys in their book character outfits. Well done to the boys who made their own costumes. I hope that the boys enjoyed the teachers dressing up as characters from Goldilocks and the Three Bears, Harry and the Bucketful of Dinosaurs, Winnie the Pooh and the Cat in the Hat! The photographs show Charles Fuge with Adam Ladak and with Hassan Shaikh, Hidde Kruisbrink, Khush Galaiya, Vasily Uskov, Harry Lewis and Rushil Patel.

Finally, thank you to the PA for organising the cake sale before half term and thank you to all parents for supporting it.

Mrs S Funnell | Head of Junior School

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Nursery Life

We have had a busy few weeks in Nursery with our topic ‘We Love Books!’ and have been learning about the story ‘Rainbow Fish’. We explored colour and texture and made our own scales for the fish. The picture shows Aryan Mehta and Nathan Istari blowing fish bubble pictures.

This week in Nursery we have had a wonderful time immersing ourselves in a range of books for book week. We had a great start on Monday when author and illustrator Charles Ruge came to read us some of his stories and showed us his original artwork. On Wednesday we enjoyed a wonderful production of the Elves and the Shoemaker and on Thursday the boys were thrilled to meet Ian Whybrow as some of his books are favourites in our library. We have had an exciting time in Nursery with lots of fun activities culminating with the boys dressing up as their favourite animal book characters on Friday.

We would like to thank all the parents (and panda!) who came to read to the boys during our story telling sessions. We had a great response and the boys absolutely loved having you all in to read. The photos show Aarav Ghadialy, Umeedh Ahmed and Ranveer Kumar with their parents.  

Mrs G Ladbury| Head of Nursery

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Venice display

Year Five have produced a stunning display about Venice. This term our class text is The Thief Lord; in the story we follow two orphans who are on the run in Venice. In order to enhance their understanding of the book, the boys researched Venice and shared their findings in a variety of ways. We have enjoyed all the models, posters and presentations the boys produced. Some boys focused on particular aspects of Venice:

Shaan Kalyan is now our resident expert on carnival masks; Rohan Olsen considered the accessibility of Venice; Arjun Obhrai shared some Venetian music with us and Jay Ghelani considered the costs of a visit to Venice. It was very difficult to make final decisions about what to display given the high quality of the work the boys produced. Thank you very much to Mrs Gadd and Mrs Maxted for their help and artistic talents which have really enhanced our display.

Mrs Williams | Year 5 and 6 English

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LAMDA Results

On Tuesday 9th December, the latest cohort of ten Year 7 boys undertook their Level 1 Grade 3 LAMDA examinations in The Speaking of Verse and Prose. Once again, the boys rehearsed, recited and discussed two pieces of literature with an external examiner before performing their pieces to family and friends within an entertaining ‘Evening of Poetry and Prose’ in The New Barn Theatre. I am now delighted to announce that the boys’ hard work and talent has been rewarded with three Distinctions, five Merits and two Passes. This is an outstanding achievement for all concerned. A special mention must go to Nayan Chatrath (N1) who broke all previous records and received our highest ever LAMDA mark of an incredible 96%! Last term’s results in full are as follows:

James Gray (L1) - Pass
Arjun Gill (J1) - Pass with Distinction
Davin Pindoria (J3) - Pass with Distinction
Aryan Patel (L3) - Pass with Merit
Cammren Mahendrakumar (L1) – Pass with Merit

Rishil Amin (N1) – Pass with Merit
Pahal Jariwala (N2) – Pass
James Keeney (N2) – Pass with Merit
Vincent Hudson (W3) – Pass with Merit
Nayan Chatrath (N1) – Pass with Distinction

Speech and Drama continues to go from strength to strength at Merchant Taylors' Prep and LAMDA exams are a key ingredient in our quest to produce happy, confident and well-rounded boys with high self-esteem. Congratulations, Year 7 and good luck to this term’s candidates who can be supported in their endeavours at our next ‘Evening of Poetry and Prose’ on Wednesday 23rd March. 

Mr S Hinton | Head of Speech and Drama

‘Blast Off – Mr Jones Goes To Jupiter!’
Congratulations to Year 3 and 4 on their energetic and exhilarating production of ‘Blast Off – Mr Jones Goes To Jupiter!’ which delighted sell-out audiences before half-term. Our younger boys relished the opportunity to journey into outer space on a school trip around the planets with hilarious results. Aliens, a UFO and an evil Black Hole entertained our intrepid astronauts on their madcap expedition – they even managed to find some ‘Jupiter Rock’! Year 4 boys rose to the challenges of a demanding script with tremendous dynamism and commitment, while Mrs Hawkes and Mr Edwards ensured that the lively musical score was delivered with great gusto and glee. Mrs Toumanova designed another spectacular array of colourful, space age costumes, with the resourceful Mrs Nye on hand as ever to provide a weird and wonderful collection of props. Futuristic, ultra-violet scenic artwork was again provided by Mr Roach, plus atmospheric lighting and sound from Mr Watson, Mr Winn, Mr Goddard and Daanysh Mirza (8L3). Additional thanks must go to all the Y3 and Y4 staff for their patience and support in production week. An exciting time was had by all and the boys certainly learnt a great deal from the dramatic experience – it was truly out of this world!

Mr S Hinton | Head of Speech and Drama

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Bath Hockey Tour

On 5th February 2016, 14 boys from Merchant Taylors’ Prep went to Bath for our annual Hockey Tour. After a 2 hour drive and a stop at a service station, we arrived at Dauntsey’s School just outside Bath.

We were all keen to get the tour off to a positive start, and after a very competitive game the score finished 4-4. Daniel Rowlands, Jonathan Read, Ishaan Aggarwal. After we had eaten all we could whilst dining in our amazing surroundings, we went to the hotel to rest and recover ready for the morning's fixtures.

The next morning, we woke very early and headed up the hill to King Edward’s School but after anticipation and waiting, it was sensibly called off by the staff due to the heavy downpour completely submerging the astro. We returned to the hotel and readied ourselves for our next match against Prior Park. It was a close match but in the end we managed to lose 3-1 unfortunately, the only scorer being Joshua Michaels. The conditions were against us as there was a heavy amount of rain, and therefore the pitch was soggy and slippery. Overall, this was our best performance on the tour, we put up a competitive fight until the end.

After being soaked through many layers of clothing, we hiked to the changing rooms where we had to change our kit, with numb hands and sticky baselayers, this wasn’t easy. After enjoying a cup of tea and chocolate brownies, we went across the road to Monkton Prep. By now the wind had died down but the rain picked up causing us to play in rainproof tops. The astro was brand new and the view from the top of the hill was incredible. In what was our first ever 11 a side fixture in extremely difficult conditions, we were happy with the effort given by all. As the game went on Monkton's fitness and energy levels showed in their first game of the day, and our third of the tour, and Monkton went on to win.

Soaked and tired, we returned to the hotel where we relaxed and watched the rugby in each other’s rooms and calmed down before we set out for the walk to Nando’s in the evening. Upon arrival, many were feeling brave including me, ordering extra hot food and a chicken roulette for everyone to try with many constantly taking advantage of our bottomless drinks order. Then we watched Match of the Day and went to bed.

Then we got up late the next morning, exhausted, unable to move and prepared for the game against Beechen Cliff on the way back. We had a large breakfast and then packed our things and set off. This was the school’s first ever fixture against Beechen Cliff, and our fourth fixture in under 48 hours. Credit to all boys who took part in the tour it was a tough but tiring weekend, but we continued to play and give our all right until the end. Overall, the tour was a fantastic experience and a great weekend away.

Daniel Rowlands, with contributions from Ayush Chavan, Sachin Patel and Toby Michaels

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Pupil of the Month for February:

Year 4 Darshan Patel Sustained progress in end of unit tests.

Year 5 Ahren Chadha Continued enthusiasm and conscientiousness.

Year 6 Jacob Payne Continued resilience and effort.

Miss C Burke | KS2 Science Teacher

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                     PARENTS' ASSOCIATION

PA Diary dates for this term

Mrs Shah and Mrs Lalani

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              Y5 Artwork

Mr D Roach | Head of Art and Design

Arts & Crafts Club


At Merchant Taylors’ Prep, pupils are encouraged to step outside their comfort zone.

An after-school club on a dark, cold, wintry evening following challenging academic and sports lessons … what better time to relax, and exercise your fingers with needles and thread or wool?!

Despite a slow and frustrating start, boys in this term’s Arts & Crafts Club are now thrilled to share, “I can do it!”
With painstaking patience, two knitters have mastered the mysteries of plain and purl stiches, and five sewers have learned to thread a needle, sew a button, and begun to embroider cross stitches with attention to detail on both sides of the canvas.  Several boys took their work home to develop it during the half-term break!

Congratulations to Sid Tiwari (Y5, W2), Auke Veenendaal (Y7, J1), Jay Ghelani (Y5), Ahren Chadha (Y5, J3), Krishav Sehdev (Y5, W2), Aarian Malhotra (Y5, W2), Eden Davidoff (Y5, J3), and Jay Shah (Y5, L2, not in the photograph), for their wonderful effort and success so far this term.

Many thanks to Mr Bowman for organising the termly Clubs schedules.

Mrs Pollock | Head of Religious Studies

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                    MODERN FOREIGN LANGUAGES

              The FRENCH Spelling Bee

Here are the results for the French Spelling Bee Competition that was held in the Theatre just before last Half-Term: Henry Wareing and Edward Lakey from Wren House won first and second place with 19 and 18 words spelt correctly respectively, followed by Pahal Jariwala from Newton House who got third place with 16 words.

These three boys will go onto the third stage of the competition, i.e. the Regional Finals at the end of April. Last year’s school winners have already volunteered to train them with practice rounds several lunch times a week, which should help them put MTP on the (Spelling!) map if they manage to keep the motivation up and secure the astonishing 20 words per minute challenge…

Mr R Kopel | Head of Modern Foreign Languages

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        Daffodil Appeal - Marie Curie

Every March, thousands of people across the country join together to get behind the Great Daffodil Appeal. We will be selling daffodils at the beginning of March in order to raise as much money as possible in aid of the Marie Curie Cancer Care charity which provides care and support, in their own homes, to people with all terminal illnesses.

Thank you in advance for your contribution!

Mr R Kopel | A Charity Co-ordinator

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A Few Photos (Thanks Mrs Smith)