Issue 9 Friday 27 May 2016  

Dr McNerney writes....

We have had some wonderful events at school recently. Mark Foster, former competitive swimmer and several-times world champion and record holder, visited us the week before last and spoke to all of the boys from Reception to Year 8. As well as telling us about his glittering swimming career, he inspired us all to aim for our goals through hard work and perseverance. It was great to hear how his success relied on viewing failure as an opportunity to improve (From Adversity I Learn) and he tried to instil this same philosophy in our boys.

Last weekend, MTPPA organised a fantastic charity evening in aid of the Francis Terry Foundation. The evening was much fun and a resounding success, and I sincerely thank Anjli Shah and Sharmin Lalani for their tireless work in organising the event.

Today, we have had our first Sports Day of the term and all boys in Nursery to Year 2 have been busy preparing for today’s races and events. Thank you to the very many parents who take time out of their busy schedules to come and support Sports Days and to the staff for making it a worthwhile and enjoyable experience.

Congratulations to our U13 cricket team for winning the Belmont Cricket tournament recently – this is the second year in a row that we have been victors in this event!

Staffing news: Mrs Le Roux has decided not to return to teaching for a while in order to focus on her three daughters and we wish her the very best for the future. Ms McClure has been doing a brilliant job working in Reception instead of Mrs Le Roux this year and we are very grateful to her for doing such a great job. Ms McClure has recently accepted a teaching position at a school closer to her home which will make her daily commute much easier. We have appointed Mrs Payne as the new Reception teacher for September and she impressed us at interview with her passion for teaching and her nurturing attitude towards young children. The boys have worked very hard again this half term and those engaged in examinations this week have shown extra commitment. Everyone deserves a really relaxing half term break!

Best wishes

Dr. Karen McNerney | Head of School

mvp mip
diary dates

Mon 30 May  -  Fri 3 Jun

 Monday, 6 June
 1st XI Cricket v St Martin’s (a) 1430
 2nd & 3rd XI Cricket v St Martin’s (h) 1430
 Common Entrance Examinations at 13 plus
 MTS Science Week
 Tuesday, 7 June
 Common Entrance Examinations at 13 plus
 U9AB Cricket v St John’s (a) 1415
 U9CD Cricket v St John’s (h) 1415

 Wednesday, 8 June
 1st XI Cricket v St John’s (h) 1415
 2nd & 3rd XI Cricket v St John’s (a) 1415
 Common Entrance Examinations at 13 plus
 Whole School Staff Meeting 0800 Theatre

 Thursday, 9 June
 Common Entrance Examinations at 13 plus
 Queen’s 90th Birthday Celebrations

 Friday, 10 June
 U10AB Cricket v St John’s (a) 1415
 U11AB Colts Cricket v St John’s (h) 1415

 Saturday, 11 June
 U13 York House Super Sixes Tournament 1000-1430

 Monday, 13 June
 Expedition Week
 Y3G to Reveley Lodge
 Y3S to Batchworth Lock
 Y4 Visit to Hampton Court Palace
 Y5/Y6/Y7 to Norfolk, France & Wales
 Y8 Production Rehearsal Theatre

 Tuesday, 14 June
 Expedition Week
 Music Instrument Introduction Talk for Parents in Reception 0845 Old Dining Hall
 Y3G to Batchworth Lock
 Y3S to Revelery Lodge
 Y4 Tudor Fun & Games at MTP
 Y5/Y6/Y7 to Norfolk, France & Wales
 Y8 Production Rehearsal Theatre

 Wednesday, 15 June
 Expedition Week
 Music Instrument Introduction Talk for Parents in Y1 1500 Old Dining Hall
 Y4 Overnight Stay to Phasels Wood
 Y5/Y6/Y7 to Norfolk, France & Wales
 Y8 Production Rehearsal Theatre

 Thursday, 16 June
 Canary Wharf College Visit to MTP for overnight camping stay
 Expedition Week
 Nursery Open Morning 09.30 – 11.00
 Y3 to HOAC
 Y4 Return from Phasels Wood
 Y5/Y6/Y7 to Norfolk, France & Wales
 Y8 Production Rehearsal Theatre

 Friday, 17 June
 Canary Wharf College Visit Departs MTP
 Expedition Week
 Y4 The Great Eggscape at MTP
 Y5/Y5/Y7 Return Norfolk, France & Wales
 Y8 Production Rehearsal Theatre

 Saturday, 18 June
 ABRSM Theory Exam 1000

 Sunday, 19 June
 Father’s Day

 Monday, 20 June
 1st & 3rd XI Cricket v The Beacon (a) 1515
 2nd & 4th XI Cricket v The Beacon (h) 1515
 Referendum Assembly
 Y3 Information Meeting for Y2 Parents 1630-1715 Theatre

 Tuesday, 21 June
 Parents’ Association Summer Market 1400-1645
 Y3 & Y4 Sports Day 1400-1645
 Y8 Beach Volleyball Competition

 Wednesday, 22 June
 Nursery & Reception Pirate Day at Nursery
 Parents’ Association Summer Market 1400-1645
 Y7 & Y8 Sports Day 1400-1730

 Thursday, 23 June
 Euro Referendum
 U11 Merchant Taylors’ Colts Cricket Tournament
 School Disco 1930-2130

 Friday, 24 June
 Parents’ Association Summer Market 1400-1730
 Y5 & Y6 Sports Day 1400-1730

Arseny Uskov 8W1             Jack Groves 4G

Neil Kapoor 8N3
Pahal Jariwala 7N2
Ansh Shah 6N1
Siddhanth Kheria 5N3

            Henry Wareing 7W2
Ankit Chadha 7J2             Year 5 Mask Assembly Cast
Kahil Jariwala 6N1              Harry Bayes  8L1
     HOUSE NEWS    
    Half-term news

Livingstone had their Mini Olympics this Friday lunchtime as a charity fundraiser and post-exam treat. House Singing practice is the other current preoccupation.  Each House has to perform a contemporary song on stage next half-term and, as you can imagine, their choices and arrangements are a closely guarded secret!  Our thanks in advance to House staff members for their encouragement.  This will be an enjoyable occasion as everyone from Years 3 to 8 are uniting in a huge team effort. House Singing has the distinction of being the only House event when everyone competes at the same time. We expect it to be hotly contested and we hope to showcase this event to parents and visitors on Celebration Day.

Other House News & Events
Daniel Rowlands 8J3 & Rishil Sodha 8J1 served Johnson well to win Y7/8 House Tennis whilst Amaan Kassam 6J1 & Rahul Patel 6J3 repeated the feat for Johnson in Y5/6 Tennis Doubles. House Cricket is over (excuse the Cricket pun) and House Table Tennis has rallied everyone!  Finally, we look forward to seeing parents and, hopefully a new school record or two, at Sports’ Day Athletics on Tuesday 21st June (Y3/4), Wednesday 22nd June (Y7/8) and Friday 24th June Y5/6.

Heads of House

  Prep Department News

The summer examinations are now over, much to the relief of boys and staff alike. We hope that all the pupils enjoy a well-earned rest with their families over half term.

So much has happened since our last newsletter, with many different events and opportunities offered to the boys by our hardworking staff. We have been lucky enough to welcome two inspirational and motivational guest speakers in Mark Foster and Dan Freedman, who shared their swimming and writing experiences with the boys.

The cricket season is in full swing now, with fixtures on a daily basis and weekend tournaments. It is lovely to see so many boys representing the School with such enthusiasm. We are also hugely thankful to our coaches for sacrificing so much of their own time to make these matches possible, and to our ground staff for preparing our pitches to such a high standard. Even with this amount of cricket going on, our PE staff still manage to squeeze in some athletics training in preparation for the Sports Days. We may even draft in an Olympian to help us prepare… watch this space!

Culturally, we have put on two summer Music Recitals, with a variety of instrumentalists showing off their hard work and dedication. Mrs Hawkes is to be commended for her efforts in ensuring that our boys have the opportunity to learn an instrument at School. Not to be outdone, our Year 5 actors delivered an outstanding Mask Assembly thanks to the tireless efforts of Mr Hinton.

The last half term of this year is a very short and busy five weeks, with Sports’ Days, residential visits, our Year 8 Leavers’ production of ‘Twelfth Night’, more cricket and a full academic programme!  Recharge your batteries over half term, boys and staff – it is going to be a whirlwind end to the year (metaphorically rather than meteorologically)!

Mr M Hibbert | Mr A Crook | Mr R Waddington


Amaan Kassam 6J1
Rahul Patel 6J3
Rhys Varma 5J1
Rohan Olsen 5J1
Aryan Sodha 5J2
Davin Pindoria 7J3
Filippos Kyriakou 6J2

Jayde Ah-Time Y7L3,
Cammren Mahendrakumar Y7L1
Ishaan Aggarwal 8L2,
Aman Thakkar 8L2,
Duncan Mallett 6L3,
Aran Joshi 5L3
Henry Wang 3S,
Sidh Sadana 4G,
Kayan Somaia 4N,
Elliot Craft 7L2,
Mahana Al-Romaihi 3G
Daanysh Mirza 8L3,
Jamie Patel 7L1

Neil Kapoor 8N3
Pahal Jariwala 7N2
Ansh Shah 6N1
Siddhanth Kheria 5N3
Jayden Thakrar 3G
Mruthyunjai Satheesh 4G
Ronak Patel 7N3

Sven Tamminga 4N
Benjamin Wilkinson 4N
Om Chavda 6W3
Aran Sangha 6W1
Kian Lalani 8W1
Rohan Choudhary 6W3
Ishan Patel 6W1
Hasan Khan 6W3

 Many highlights

As we approach the half term break it is good to have the chance to reflect on all the exciting opportunities that the boys have enjoyed. Year 1 and 2 have continued their 1960s topic which has been great fun as we can see from the photographs of Parth Malhotra and Safwaan Qureshi wearing accessories from the time! This week they have been busy learning about food from the 1960’s and the photograph shows Kian Sawhney, Aryan Kapoor, Harry Morgan and Mustafa Dewji making Angel Delight.

The highlight for many of the boys was their visit to Wembley Stadium, where they experienced so many memorable moments. The photographs show Myles Brown, Kyle Patel, Kayden Sawani and Kayan Chandaria at the Press Conference desk, the Swifts walking out of the tunnel and all the Year 1 boys sitting in the stand.

Nursery and Reception have been immersed in learning about dinosaurs as part of their topic of Let’s Explore! They enjoyed a wonderful visit from the “Dino Man” from the Travelling Natural History Museum who inspired the boys with interactive talks, hands on experiences and activities. There was a real buzz in the classrooms for days afterwards as the boys were motivated to find out more. The photographs show the boys moving like dinosaurs and watching a representation, with flour, of a meteor hitting planet earth.  The pictures also show Reev Shyam and Velawin Satheeswaran concentrating hard on their collage picture of a pterodactyl and Nathanial Williams, Ayaan Jamal, Ethan Ghosh and Hidde Kruisbrink carefully looking for dinosaur bones.

Edward Lakey in 7W3, is a budding, and extremely knowledgeable, palaeontologist. He is putting together some resources about dinosaurs for Pre-Prep boys to use next year and so Miss Bricknall asked him to come to help the Reception boys to learn about dinosaurs. He has written an account of the time he spent with us:  
I went down to Mrs Bricknall’s classroom and met all of the boys and while they were going to the toilet I was allowed to meet the “DinoGuy,” Tony. He told me about why he travels around the country teaching younger children. He showed me his collection of fossils: unfortunately not all of them are real, in case they break on his journeys to schools, but he did have real skulls from two early Triassic dinosaurs (some of the first dinosaurs) and a sauropod tooth, which he said might be from either a diplodocus or a brontosaurus. To me it looked like a stick - but then he showed me the enamel layer. When the junior boys came in he talked about the fossils in his briefcase and he explained how dinosaurs digested food by doing a demonstration. The end result smelled rather like manure, which in some respect it was. Unfortunately then it was time for me to go. Although I was only there for an hour I could tell that the boys were already having lots of fun!

It was a pleasure to see so many of you at our Sports Day this week. Once again, the boys showed superb sportsmanship and we were very proud of all of them.

I hope that the boys have a restful half term holiday and come back ready for the last five weeks of the term and lots of hard work before the year finishes.

Mrs S Funnell | Head of Pre Prep

   Nursery Life

This term we have continued with our topic ‘Let’s Explore’ and the boys have loved learning all about dinosaurs. We have been busy creating dinosaur collages, volcano biscuits and fossil models and have practised our cutting to create dinosaur skeleton pictures. The pictures have made a wonderful display in the Nursery as shown in the photo.

We have taken the Bee-bot on adventures through a land of dinosaurs and created our own volcano to erupt in the Nursery garden. The role play area was turned into a dinosaur dig and the boys persevered to excavate the dinosaur eggs. In the photo Ranveer Kumar is busy deciding which tools he needs to use for the dig while Kiash Kara is using his imagination to be a paleontologist.

Our visit from ‘Dino Man’ was a highlight of our topic. We learnt lots of new information and the boys loved watching as a (flour) meteor hit the earth and killed off the dinosaurs. We dug for fossils and collaborated to create a feather pterodactyl. In the photo Tristan Pulvar is busy digging out a skull and Neeyam Kutmutia is meeting a triceratops.

Mrs G Ladbury| Head of Nursery

   MTP House Mathematics competition

This term we held the inaugural MTP House Mathematics competition, in which pupils from Year 5 to Year 8 answered a series of challenging questions. The competition was fiercely contested and remained in the balance right up to the final question. Congratulations go to Neil Kapoor (Y8), Pahal Jariwala (Y7), Ansh Shah (Y6) and Siddhanth Kheria (Y5) of Newton House, who won the competition by a single point. An honourable mention also goes to Christopher Joseph (Y6) of Johnson House, who was the only boy to answer all his questions correctly.

Mr J Greenish| Maths Teacher

   Mark Foster


We were honoured to welcome five time Olympian and most decorated British male swimmer, Mark Foster, to Merchant Taylors’ Prep recently to inspire us and to whet our appetites for the Rio Olympics. Mark first represented England aged 16 and went on to become 6 times World Champion, breaking 8 world records. His proudest moment was being the flag bearer for Team GB at the Beijing Olympics 2008, having been chosen by his fellow athletes.

Mr A Crook | Deputy Head

    Dan Freedman

Thursday 12th May was an exciting day for the boys. Following on from the wonderful Mark Foster's visit in the morning, Years 3-8 spent the afternoon  in the company of football journalist and best selling author, Dan Freedman.

Boys and staff were riveted by Dan's presentation. Using photos and film of his life as a journalist,  featuring  Dan accompanying the England Football squad to two World Cups, interviewing the world's greatest footballers, playing  pool with Rio Ferdinand and meeting Nelson Mandela, we learnt how his reporting career has influenced the material in the Jamie Johnson series.

Abhishek Patel (Y4N) was awarded the prize ball for best question of the session. Dhaman Sara (Y4G) and James Keeney (7N3) were amongst the fifty plus boys who queued up to buy books and have them signed. 

After the event many boys and staff shared their positive feedback, the most common response was 'The Best Ever!'.
Dan  visits schools all over the country as an ambassador for the National Literacy Trust promoting Literacy for Boys. He was overwhelmed by the friendly and intelligent reception he received  and wrote back to say it was 'The Best Ever' for him too.

Dan has also just sent me this message regarding the launch of the new Jamie Johnson series:
'Thanks so much Sue. Just had it confirmed that the show will be on CBBC on June 13, 14 & 15 at 5pm each day'.
Dan and I would love to get some feedback on what you think of the televised version of these popular books.
Have a great half-term

Mrs S Smith | LRC Manager

    RNCF National Cup


Aldwickbury - RNCF National Cup Rd 2



Date of Fixture



won by 61 runs 

First Innings Team and Score

MT 157AO (24.5 overs)

Second innings Team and Score

Aldwickbury 96-5 (25 overs) 

Major Performances

Bowling: Ronak Patel 5-1-10-2 , Sachin Patel 3-1-5-2,
Batting:  2nd wkt partnership between Marcus Horne & Sachin Patel of 40, & a 4th wkt partnership of 59 between Ayush Chavan & James Cameron


James Cameron

Match Report

Put into bat on what looked and proved to be a good track, MT dispatched the first over for 10. The next bowler was more accurate, as was the replacement at the first end as the hosts tightened the reins and took their first wicket with a cracking seamer. At 19-1 after the 6th they tried another bowling change. It proved that they had three very good bowlers, but whoever else they tried got well and truly punished. Marcus & Sachin took the score up to 53 by the 12th. Despite Sachin following soon after Ayush and James took the score to 120 by the 20th over mostly from one end as the oppo’ skipper held his end up. It was in the 20th over Ayush, 27, fell to a direct hit run out. With wickets in hand batsmen had licence to thrill. Success was had but Aldwickbury stuck to it and claimed regular wickets. James Cameron was unluckily run out by the bowler backing up whilst on 44 with a half century an almost certainty. By then the MT base was set and the hosts’ target was 158.
Sean Duggan & Ronak opened with imperious accuracy. Ronak struck in the 4th, 12-1. He bagged his second in the 8th 20-2 and way off  the pace. Bats 3 & 4 looked better but could not match the required run rate as all bowlers bowled tight lines. A run out & two wkts for skipper Sachin Patel completed the wkt haul as the hosts fell well short. A disciplined team performance with all getting involved.



   School Cricket Representation: Congratulations to..

Congratulations to all boys who have represented the school in Cricket this term, it has been another outstanding start to the season with many victories across all age groups. The most recent success being our U13 side winning the Belmont 8s Tournament!

House Tennis was as competitive as ever with doubles sides entering across the Y5/6 and Y7/8 competitions, with this year's competition again being held at Northwood Tennis Club. Well done to Rahul Patel & Amaan Kassam on winning the Y5/6 competition, and Daniel Rowlands & Rishil Sodha winning in the Y7/8 competition, all for Johnson House!

This year’s National IAPS Swimming competition recently took place with Henry Wareing and Praneil Singh representing MTP in the regional heats. Both boys swam excellently with Henry progressing to the National Finals which took place in early May, and Henry managing to finish second overall in the country! Congratulations Henry on your fantastic achievement.

Mr J Denham | Sports Teacher

June Half Term Holiday Camp is boosted with Double Olympian... click here
  Y6 Visit to National Portrait Gallery

On Monday 16th May, Year Six travelled into central London on the underground. Our first stop was the Southbank Centre to visit the Wondercrump World of Roald Dahl exhibition. This interactive exhibition provided an opportunity to learn more about Roald Dahl’s extraordinary life, and to find out about the inspiration behind some of his most famous characters and stories. We were fortunate to see unique items from the Roald Dahl Museum & Story Centre archives in some unforgettable surroundings, with some surprising experiences along the way. In addition to having a wondercrump time, key messages from the visit were how everyday experiences can provide inspiration for writing, and that editing and reviewing is an integral part of writing.
Our crossing of the Thames was perfectly timed to enable us to hear Big Ben strike twelve. We took the opportunity for a quick photo, before heading to Trafalgar Square for our picnic. Following lunch, we were expertly led around The National Portrait Gallery by Mr Roach, who guided the boys to consider the art work on display and the characters being portrayed. All too soon our time at the gallery was over, and we headed up The Mall for a quick glimpse of Buckingham Palace before returning to School. An action packed fulfilling day. Thank you to the staff who accompanied us on our adventure.

Mrs C Williams Y5 and Y6 English Teacher

        Bletchley Park Y7 Visit

On  6th May 2016 at 10:00 we arrived at Bletchley Park, once we got there, we went into a classroom and there were 11 tables in the room with different cypher activities on them. On the 11th table, there was a different set of sheets which were harder and more challenging. We saw an Enigma Machine made by the Germans which had 50 quintillion different modes which was amazing for a machine of that time.
After we had finished the activity we were allowed to press our initials onto the Enigma Machine which felt like a typewriter. On the Enigma Machine, when you pressed a key, a different letter would light up on the top of the machine.
We had a self-guided tour where we looked at the history of Alan Turing and dress up in old clothes from the era. Once we had finished that we had a small break after which we had a tour of the mansion which was the code-breakers first headquarters we looked at the huts were where they tried to break codes with their enigma machines, these were surprisingly dark and cramped with cracks in the walls.
Unfortunately that was when our great trip came to an end.  Thank you to Mr Rice, Mr Greenish, Mrs Mortimer and Mrs Hibbert for taking us.

James Gray | Arjun Gill  Y7                 

     Merchant Taylors’ Science Week

It is that time of year again – Science Week!
Merchant Taylors’ School have been very kind in postponing their Science Week activities until June 7th. This has been done to accommodate us at the Prep School and they have some exciting events and competitions lined up.
On Thursday the 9th of June we will be taking our Year 7 boys to take part in a Biology Quiz, after which they will take part in the second phase of MTS’ Bird and Invertebrate Survey in their lovely new Eco Wildlife Area. We took a group of boys over for a first phase during the Ski Week  and they truly enjoyed removing turf and discovering and documenting invertebrate species, as well as identifying some bird species.
At 5pm on the same day there will be an Astronomy Lecture by Dr Sarah Hutton of UCL in MTS’ Lecture Theatre. Although this is aimed more towards A-level students, the topic of how the local Mill Hill Observatory is playing an important role in astronomical research on exoplanets might appeal to some of our older boys. This would be particularly interesting for Year 7 and 8 boys who feel a natural affinity for Physics and might already be contemplating further studies in Physics at A-level. Entrance is free and all are welcome. Could you please contact Mr De Vynck if you are interested in attending so that we have an idea of numbers for MTS?
On Friday the 10th of June there will be a Science Fair in the new D&T building and we will be taking our Year 8 boys to attend this exciting event. Different aspects of Science as subject and career options will be presented at a variety of stalls. This will also provide us with good insight as to how we can contribute more to this event next year.
MTS are presenting two competitions in which our boys are encouraged to partake. The Chemistry Department are asking boys in Years 7 and 8 to take part in a Lab Coat Design Competition. Entry forms are available from Mr De Vynck, and also attached at the end of this newsletter. The closing date is the 8th of June, so this is a great opportunity to get stuck into over half-term for our older  Science loving boys who enjoy being creative too.
The Biology Department are presenting a creative competition under the title “How life on Earth began” which has four age categories: Pre-Prep or Infants, Years 3-4, Years 5-6 and Years 7-9.  This is an exciting opportunity as it is very open in terms of what the boys present e.g. poster, model or series models, comic strip, video and painting or illustration. Any other novel and interesting media entries will be gratefully received.  No essays or articles, please. The entry deadline is Friday the 24th of June.
Please see the end of this newsletter for further information on some of these events.
The Science Departments of MTP and MTS are working hard behind the scenes to become more integrated as we complete our first year as a united through school. MTS are supporting us in some logistical matters  and we look forward to separate visits by the Science Laboratory Technicians and the Heads of Sciences during next half-term. We are also in the process of aligning our curricula and schemes of work as the ties between our two fine schools grow ever tighter and our respective Science Departments become closer in shared outcomes. A huge vote of thanks to the Science Department at MTS for all their efforts.
Now we just await the delivery of some liquid nitrogen at MTS…..

Astronomy Lecture Science week 2016 ...

Biology Competition Poster ...

Chemistry Labcoat Design Competition ...

Mr H De Vynck| Head of Science

     Year 8 Science News

Every year our boys are given the opportunity to complete a Science Project of their choice. Nine of our boys have been successful thus far and the remaining boys are still working towards their Bronze Award. Congratulations to: Sreesh Maheshwar, Anish Morjaria, Neil Kapoor, Arav Karania-Shah, Daniel Rowlands, Toby Michaels, Praneil Singh, Ishaan Aggarwal and Daanysh Mirza.

Harry Bayes is our new school record holder for paper rocket launching. He smashed Shrey Shah’s record of 94.1m with an Earth-shattering launch of 97.3m. Very impressive considering that the rockets are made of Sellotape and two pieces of A4 card, powered by compressed air.

The 100m barrier beckons…Harry and some of the other boys in year 8 are currently in the top-secret planning phase of a mission to attempt to break the three-figure barrier. May the Force be with them.

Mr M Hibbert | Assistant Head

Y5 Artwork






Mr D Roach | Head of Art and Design

   General Knowledge Quiz 5th May

Many congratulations are due to the four boys – Thomas Treloar, Arjun Obhrai, Jack Groves and Samuel Williams – who represented the School in the Semi-finals of the Key Stage Two General Knowledge Competition. They, and all the other boys and girls present, showed exceptional knowledge across a range of subjects.

Most of the students knew when Star Wars Day was – our boys certainly did, as the quiz was held on May 5th, which is the day after May the Fourth…  it was then a great pleasure watching them get some history questions right – Charles de Gaulle, William I – although my nerves could have done with them answering a little more quickly.

They scored well on a question about the kneecap – specifically, is it the patella, the clavicle, the scapula or the ulna? Then they missed out on a couple about the Queen’s father and the moons of Uranus (separate questions). By this point our boys needed – how to put this delicately? – a comeback. An answer snatched from nowhere about the only UK prime minister to be assassinated (Spencer Perceval) looked like it might help. The correct identification of William III and Mary II (I should think so: Year 5 had only just learned about them with me!)

Then this: which is of these is not a hot desert? Is it a) The Sahara; b) The Mojave; c) The Kalamari; d) The Grand Bara

Our boys split their answers, but it wasn’t enough. They recognised the anthem of Russia, gaining some ground, and then failed to recognise Holst’s Jupiter, losing some. Then this question (which was answered wrongly by nearly everyone, including a team near me one member of which was transformed from being very insistent to very crestfallen in a matter of moments:

Who first crossed the Atlantic in an aeroplane? Was it a) Earhart; b) Lindbergh; c) Alcock and Brown; The Wright Brothers?

By the end it became clear both that we couldn’t win and that it would be a two-horse race for the victory; The Hall snatched it at the end. Many congratulations to all the boys and girls who participated, and tremendous credit should go to our boys for answering some difficult questions well, and to most of the parents present (you know who you are!) for holding their nerve. Thanks also to Mr McCormack and his team, and Mr Harper and his, for helping us to be well-organised hosts, and to the many members of our office staff directing visiting schools in when the phoned from ‘somewhere in Moor Park’.

Some answers. The kneecap is also called the patella, and the Kalamari is certainly not a desert – but it might remind you of the Italian for squid. Sneaky. The first people to cross the Atlantic in an aeroplane (not solo, nor the first women, nor the first flight, which is what so many who did not read the question properly went for) were John Alcock and Arthur Brown, in June 1919. Always read the question properly. In exam week, there’s a lesson of some sort there…

Mr A McConnell | Head of History

   Public Speaking and Leadership Club

Here is a short video of some members of our Toastmasters Gavel Club performing various roles at a meeting.
I launched this Public Speaking and Leadership club almost two years ago as a replica of a regular adult Toastmasters Club but specifically designed for our Year 5-8 students. However, it recently reached a milestone when I decided to register it with the American Headquarters of the non-profit educational Toastmasters organisation and it transpired that this is the first club for young people in the country!

I hope that you will agree that this is a great opportunity for Merchant Taylors' Prep school, and especially the members of this club, to represent the Toastmasters organisation, which operates clubs worldwide, for the purpose of helping members improve their communication, public speaking, and leadership skills.

Throughout its history, Toastmasters has served over four million people, and today the organisation gathers over 332,000 members in 135 countries, through its over 15,400 member clubs. Members are offered guidance in developing their communication skills and more specifically overcoming nervousness when speaking before an audience, organizing and presenting ideas logically and convincingly, and finally, listening carefully to others’ ideas. Members also learn leadership skills by taking on various roles within meetings and serving as officers of the club. In this learn-by-doing approach, members are not lectured about leadership skills, they are just given responsibilities and asked to lead. All these skills are then easily transferable to whatever they do at school e.g. leading a sports team or house projects.

The typical structure of the weekly meetings comprises of three parts:

  • Prepared manual speeches on self-selected topics designed to focus on specific speaking skills such as speech structure, gestures or vocal variety
  • Impromptu speaking, known as Table Topic, is about developing your ability to organize your thoughts quickly and respond to an impromptu question or topic in 1-2 minutes
  • Evaluations of the prepared speeches and Table Topics, as well as every role performed during the club meetings

Committee members for 2015/2016:
Club President:  Praneil Singh (Year 8)
Vice President Education: Ishan Patel (Year 6) & Rahul Patel (Year 6)
Vice President Membership: Arav Karania-Shah (Year 8)
Vice President PR: Raj Shah (Year 7)
Sergeant at Arms: Hasan Khan (Year 6) & Elliot Craft (year 7)
I would like to thank Praneil, Ishan and Rahul for organising weekly meetings and running the club on a day-to-day basis. It has been a real pleasure to see them grow and become leaders among their peers, other members are now encouraged to send me letters of application to be part of the 2016/2017 committee.

Mr R Kopel | Head of MFL

    Year 5 Mask presentation
The annual Year 5 Mask presentation took place during a special assembly on Friday 20th May in The New Barn Theatre. The boys spent the Spring term experimenting with the technical demands of mask technique, before rehearsing their own scenes using the school’s collection of Trestle Theatre Company masks. The presentation featured a series of simple sketches devised by the boys exploring emotional and physical expression. Year 5 worked hard to stage a wonderful performance and I am very proud of their efforts. Thank you to all the parents who were able to attend and for your kind words of appreciation.

Mr S Hinton | Head of Speech and Drama

    Y7 Spring Term LAMDA results

On Wednesday 23rd March, 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 four Distinctions and six Merit passes. This is an outstanding achievement for all concerned. Last term’s results in full are as follows:

Auke Veenendaal (J1) – Pass with Merit

Danyal Azam (J2) – Pass with Distinction

Ameya Dabral (W1) – Pass with Merit

Jayde Ah-Time (L3) – Pass with Merit

Usman Khan (N3) – Pass with Merit

Neil Prabhakar (L3) – Pass with Distinction

Ronak Patel (N3) – Pass with Distinction

Ariyen Patel (J3) – Pass with Merit

Jonathan Read (W2) – Pass with Merit

Edward Lakey (W3) – 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’ after Celebration Afternoon on Wednesday 6th July. 

Mr S Hinton | Head of Speech and Drama

   ACCELERATED READER - Targets Surpassed!

The summer term has been a hive of activity in the LRC. Boys from Years 3-8 have been queuing every break and lunch to use the computers to sit the quiz of the latest book they've read. Some even get permission to come and sit a quiz in Prep Club before going home.

Meanwhile, the book issues have quadrupled on last year's figures! 

I'm sure the majority of parents have noticed by now how much more reading their boys are doing?

When we introduced Accelerated Reader last autumn we set some targets for the boys to aim for. The Reading Millionaires campaign has been phenomenal. We thought we might get 25-30 boys  achieving this status by the end of the year. As we approach the final half term, with just five weeks to go before the summer break, we already have 45 Millionaires, with another 15 boys waiting in the wings on 750,000+ words read.

It has been a reading frenzy this term, with as many as 10 boys gaining their certificates in just one given week. Our latest millionaire is Rayan Joshi (L1), who has become a millionaire in exam week!

The other main target was to try and reach 100 million words read as a school. (ie 208 boys in Years 3-8). Last week the boys smashed through that figure with 102 million recorded by Wednesday 18th May. As we go to press the figure stands at 110,076,321 million words read.

Well done boys. We are very proud of your achievements.
Happy Reading

Mrs S Smith | Learning Resources Manager

   Descriptive Duo Hit Purple Patch

Year 7 wordsmiths Harry Williams and Raj Shah were thrilled to pick up their prestigious Purple Plume awards during Head's Assembly this week. The awards were made in recognition of their particularly high achievements in descriptive writing.

We look forward to sharing writing from this year's plumesters in the coming Yearbook. 

Mr M Smith | Head of English