We started this week with a fantastic Assembly for Prep pupils. It was led by Mr Mathar, who has been training our Peer Supporters. The first part of the Assembly consisted of various numbers of pupils having to take on Mr Riddle at tug of war. Eventually we all understood that things were greatly improved by working together and sharing the load. The ten Peer Supporters than introduced themselves to the School. They explained what their role is, and assured everyone that they are out during every break time, wearing brightly coloured badges, so that anyone can approach them if they need to. I am sure everyone was comforted to know that these volunteers are available, and to know how they may help. I am grateful to the Peer Supporters for undertaking this role, and also to Mr Mathar for overseeing the programme.
Also on Monday we had the start of this year’s entrance exams for senior schools, with the 11+ Common Entrance. At the end of the month another group will be taking KES admissions tests, and then we are quickly into scholarship exams and auditions after half term. There is a certain sadness to what this signals each year: that our pupils are starting to face the momentous change of their exit from Twyford, after so long feeling that this is our big, strong community. We hope they all are calm and feeling prepared for these assessments.
In keeping with the exams taking place, we also had to administer the first round of the Townsend Warner History Prize. This is a very significant competition in the Prep School world, now in its 131st year – even older than IAPS itself! The first round consists of 100 short answer questions (if you’d like to see what this looks like for yourself, this link will take you to the 2012 paper http://townsend-warner-history.co.uk/Townsend-Warner/Recent_Papers_2012_Paper_1.html). We wait to see which Twyfordians will have earned the privilege of taking the final round.
While sport for the girls has been largely unaffected by the severe cold, and they have managed some stunning Netball tournament successes (see below), the boys have been saddened by the cancellation of matches on Wednesday – and all boys’ matches are of again on Saturday afternoon. We love the sharp and clear atmosphere that comes with this weather, but would appreciate warmth that defrosts our pitches in time for the afternoon activities, please.