Hockey Report week 1


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1st XI vs The Perse (L 0-8)
The 1st XI suffered a heavy defeat to The Perse on Saturday. Although RHS started brightly and Tash Scott played excellently in goal throughout, (deservedly earning her “Player of the Match” title) the opposition soon took their chances.  It was a game that RHS can learn plenty from and use as a stepping stone for the rest of the season.

2nd XI vs The Perse (L 0-3)
The 2nd XI had a testing start to the season away at The Perse as they came up against a strong and well drilled side. The girls showed tremendous character and gave it their all for the entire game. Although RHS finished on the wrong side of the 3-0 score line, the attack created plenty of chances and could have scored a couple of their own. Despite the loss, there were certainly plenty of positives to take from the game.

3rd XI vs The Perse (W 2-0)
The 3rd XI had a really strong start to their match and considering this was a new team of players there was good team cohesion. The play between the two teams was even, but RHS demonstrated more flair on the ball. Cassia Peacock earned player of the match with fighting determination to gain back possession of the ball every time. In addition Sophie Jenkins distributed the ball with power and accuracy. The final score was 2-0 with goals from Shannon Dagger and Polly Dodds.

U15A vs The Perse (L 1-5)
The U15As started very strongly against The Perse but they were unable to score the goal needed to settle themselves down. Despite putting their opponents under a lot of pressure , that elusive goal never came. In the end, fitness was the difference between the two teams as The Perse ran out 5-1 winners.

U15B vs The Perse (L 0-1)
U15Bs lost 1-0 to The Perse. It was a well-fought game from the start, with Arden Ridge making some fantastic tackles in the D. Lauren Stephenson had a brilliant game in goal saving some tough shots, moving well and working hard for the team. There are lots of positives to take from the game and it was definitely an unfortunate loss with the goal being scored in the closing minutes of the game. Player of the match goes to Sonia Okechukwu for excellent clearing of the ball.

U14A vs The Perse (D 1-1)
The U14A team dominated the opening exchanges and managed to create a number of opportunities. However, RHS didn’t take any of the early opportunities presented to them and The Perse managed to score a breakaway goal. In the second half, RHS managed to get back into the game and skipper, Tilly Arulampalam, made the composed finish. The game finished 1-1, but was it an encouraging start. Libby Parker, George Nicholls and Tilly Arulampalam all played well.

U14B vs The Perse (L 0-3)
The U14B team had their first match of the season, and for many their first match ever, but it did not take long before they started to gain in confidence. The team fought well in the first half with some excellent play in goal from Molly Irving and some tenacious defending from Alice Kilian. In the second half, the team showed some encouraging attacking play especially from newcomer Bella Kelley, Molly Williamson and Esme Robson. All in all an excellent team effort and the player of the match was Bella Keeley.

U13A Tournament
The U13A team travelled to Orwell Park for an early season friendly tournament with no winners or losers. In the five games played there were glimpses of some fantastic hockey with the highlight being the match against Witham Hall which finished 0-0.

Next Open Mornings 4 October and 8 November


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Our next Open Mornings will be held on Saturday 4 October and Saturday 8 November.

These are an excellent opportunity for prospective parents and pupils to view the School on a normal working Saturday. One of our current pupils will take you on a tour and answer any questions you might have about being a day pupil or boarder at the Royal Hospital School.

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  • 9am Arrivals and refreshments
  • Tours of the School including the Art and Design Department, Boarding and Day Houses, classrooms, sports facilities and the outstanding music school. There will be various displays and activities throughout the School during the morning.
  • 10.45am Headmaster’s presentation
  • 11.30am Opportunity to meet other members of staff to talk about the curriculum, individual guidance and support, music, drama, sport, sailing and other extra-curricular opportunities.
  • 12 noon Departures

To book a place please contact the Admissions Office on 01473 326210 or 01473 326136 or

Start of Term Chapel Address by the Headmaster


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The long Summer holidays are an opportunity for us all to reflect on a year gone by, and to look forward at how we can attack the new academic year.  The start of a new academic year should be a moment for optimism, and I do hope that you have all returned to school with a positive mind-set and a genuine desire to realise your full potential.

Headmaster, James Lockwood

Headmaster, James Lockwood

As I outlined in my beginning of term Assembly, what I am looking for from you all is your full engagement in the learning process.  Our Guest of Honour at last term’s Speech Day, Sir Stuart Rose, encouraged you all to ‘seize the day’.  This, of course, was the mantra put forward by the English Teacher, John Keating, played by the late Robin Williams in the 1989 film Dead Poets’ Society. As I am sure you will all know, Robin Williams tragically committed suicide over the summer; after a long battle with addiction and depression, he was 63.

In the Dead Poet’s Society, Williams played an inspirational English teacher at a strict New England boys’ school.  He took his pupils out of the classroom to focus on the idea of carpe diem, and encouraged them to think for themselves.  At the start a new academic year, I want to set you the challenge to ‘seize the day’, to believe that anything and everything is possible.

I recently received a card which reads as follows, “look famous, be legendary, appear complex, act easy, radiate presence, travel light, seem a dream, prove real”.  I don’t know about you, but I’ve always found it very hard to travel light!

Even though it’s pretty corny, I like the quote because it speaks to all of us about being remarkable, doing things which might seem impossible today but which with confidence, resolve and hard work, can indeed be achievable tomorrow.  None of us should settle for second best but, in order to prevent this from happening, we all need to act with purpose to make things happen and, in the Chaplain’s words, strive to be the best version of ourselves that we can be.

Of course, we are all fortunate enough to be part of this unique school community.  This school has always enjoyed a deserved reputation for good manners, courtesy, behaviour and a high standard of dress. These values have only come about as a result of many years of effort and consolidation. Unlike other institutions, schools need a higher degree of vigilance to ensure that these values are safeguarded, because the turnover of pupils, and in some instances staff, is relatively short.  It would not take long for a small incremental deterioration of, for example, dress codes in pupils and staff to become the norm.  And, before you know it, the values and ensuing ethos which have been built up over many years can, within a short period of time, disappear. It takes a long time for a school to establish creditability and a very short time to lose it. In order to maintain this legacy, you, our pupil body, needs to realise and utilise all your talents. The high quality of our teaching staff will also enable your talent to be nurtured.

But beyond this talent and this quality, we need more. We need other ingredients to help us seize the day.  We need honesty and a preparedness to face up to things as they are; to confront our weaknesses, mediocrity, lack of ambition and anything undermining of our purpose to succeed. This takes real moral courage – an elusive and rare quality.

I am looking for pupils with moral courage and integrity; for pupils with enthusiasm and commitment; for pupils with determination and strength of character and those who relish a challenge. I am, of course, looking for leaders. Leadership is about having the vision, nerve and perspective to see what really needs to be done and possessing the courage to serve the greatest good.  True leaders are honest and genuine and able to adapt to the needs of the moment without seeking reward or recognition for their efforts; these are the qualities that we seek to nurture at the Royal Hospital School.

You all each have a great opportunity here to shape your own futures. You have excellent teachers and superb pastoral support. The School is here to help you achieve your goals and aspirations. It is here to help you take responsibility for your own lives. Work out what it is you want and we will work with you to help you achieve your objectives. But if you abuse the School or those in it, or the opportunities on offer, you will only be cheating yourself.

We all need to have an appetite to set ambitious goals for ourselves and the resolution to work hard to achieve them.  Most of all, we need to act as a community in concert and in harmony, so that we can grow through sharing, helping those who falter, offering our own insights and learning from the skills of others.  Honesty, moral courage, an appetite for hard work and a sharing our talents with others will take us there. This is a cause which is well worth fighting for if we are really genuine about ‘seizing the day’.

I want to end with one of my favourite readings and to which, by sheer coincidence, the Chaplain made reference in his sermon last night.

This is an extract from a speech made by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1910.  He refers to man and men, but we should take this to refer to woman and women too.  The speech is entitled, “The Man in the Arena”:

“It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better.  The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs, who comes short again and again because there is no effort without error and shortcoming, but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who, at the best, knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory, nor defeat”.

Each individual here today counts. I ask nothing more from you than for you to have the courage to be not ordinary, but extraordinary, and to strive for the very best that you have ever achieved.  We will succeed in this if we all work together.

So: be committed, be involved, be independent, be strong and most of all, be yourself.

Rugby Report Week 1


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Rugby Captains 2014/15

U13A- Hamish Comonte U16A- Toby Buckland
U14B- Tom Brown U16B- Robbie Elms
U14A- Toyo Ogunlesi 3rd XV- Matt Brown & Alex Steeds
U15A- Ben Arulampulam 2nd XV- Oliver Sellers
U15B- Sam Christmas 1st XV- George Butt



It was strong start to the season for RHS with some convincing wins. RHS amassing 400 points across all teams and conceding only 112. The first week back is always tough with teams having had a long lay off from the previous season which makes the performances all the more pleasing.

The U12 sides had the weekend dedicated to training in preparation for their opening fixtures and were able to finish by lending their support to the 1st XV.

U13A v Orwell Park (W 19-7)
The U13As played an organised Orwell Park team and put in a gutsy performance. It was their scrum and rucking that was the platform for the team to play and win 19-7.

U14A, B & C v Bishop Stortford College (L, W, W)
The U14 A, B and C teams were away at Bishop Stortford. The As came up against a commited Stortford side and failed to capitalise on chances loosing a game they might have won on another day 41-24. The Bs put in a dominant performance and ran out 20-15 winners with Conor Ryan grabbing a hat-trick and Louis Gibson scoring on debut. The Cs put in a stand-out performance with a number of players looking to push their way into the B team. Oscar Johnson, as captain, lead by example and helped inspire his team to a 26-5 victory.

U15A & B v Bishop Stortford (W, W)
The U15A side, looking to build on a promising U14s season, made hard work of a 38-17 win. Not hitting top gear, the team will look to work hard this week in preparation for Coopers Coborn next week. Christmas and Mellors both deserve honourable mentions for their efforts. The Bs fared well and enjoyed a comfortable win of 50-0. They were never really troubled in a one-sided affair with Farrer kicking well, Doherty running with purpose and Richie Hill putting in a MOTM performance.

U16A & B v Bishop Stortford (W, W)
The 16As put in a convincing performance dominating in all areas of the pitch. A truly team performance resulted in RHS running in a number of tries and defending resolutely. The final score was 57-0. The Bs also played with good spriit and, thanks to gutsy work in defence, dictating play and good leadership from Captain, Robbie Elms, they ran out 41-5 winners.

3rd XV v Bishop Stortford (W 63-5)
The 3rd XV fielded a large squad for the start of another season and ran in some memorable tries to win the game 63-5.

2nd XV v Bishop Stortford (W 35-10)
The 2nd XV had a successful start to the season winning 35-10. Captain Ollie Sellers scored an outstanding individual try before being forced from the field by injury. Playing flowing rugby at times through offloading, the team scored a number of tries. The second half proved somewhat disjointed but a resolute defence kept Stortford at bay; with Nicholls typifying RHS’s desire!

1st XV v Bishop Stortford (W 27-12)
Finally the 1st XV took to the pitch after a promising preseason programme. They began slowly and gifted Bishop Stortford with scoring opportunities through silly penalties. However, RHS worked hard in defence to weather the early storm and only conceded one try. As the team began to settle, RHS were able to play some bright rugby but squandered chances in key areas. The pressure eventually paid off and RHS took the lead which they never gave back. With the set piece never troubled, it allowed RHS to play some eye-catching rugby and in the end they ran out 27-12 winners. Standout performers were Vogel, who was industrious all day, and Thorpe at number 8, who gave the side real go-forward in attack and set the tone in defence.

First Address by the new Heads of School


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Good morning. My name is TJ and this is Sean, and we have the honour of serving this year as your Heads of School.


TJ Sunuwar

sean cuddihy-rhs-head boy

Sean Cuddihy

The start of term has brought with it many changes and hundreds of new faces and names to learn; the first of many challenges that we will all face throughout the year. New pupils will probably still be preoccupied with the challenges of establishing firm friendships and learning all the ins and outs of the School while, for others, huge academic or sporting challenges may be on the horizon. Daunting though these things may seem, they are essential to the whole experience of school, because where would be the value of staying permanently in our comfort zones?

For TJ and I, writing this very speech has been the first hurdle of a very exciting year, and having put it off relentlessly for the entire 10 week holiday, the task loomed over us at the start of this week. What can we say to all of you to interest and inspire? Should we try to say similar things to previous Heads of School, and risk falling into the endless pile of clichés? In the end, we decided that the whole experience of trying to tackle the challenge had itself given us a theme.

Every pupil here today has potential in many areas of life, and you are privileged to attend a school where there is every chance of turning that potential into a reality. We have excellent, supportive staff, great facilities and the kind of atmosphere that kindles creativity and determination. However, it is definitely true that not all students justify the money their parents spend on their fees, leaving the school having cruised through their education, shying away from challenges and therefore leaving potential success untapped.

The difference between pupils who are successful here, and those who aren’t, is all down to their attitude, something the Chaplain made clear in his Welcoming Service on Saturday. Some people treat every day of school as just another day to get through, every class as another lecture to endure and every challenge as a new opportunity to embarrass themselves. This term might be seen as a long dark tunnel with a dim light at the end of perhaps some faraway Christmas lights, or even the warm glow of a Facebook notification on an iPhone when LightSpeed is no longer the reigning power.

But this is, of course, the wrong way entirely to approach school life. When you have left school and look back on time spent here, the things you will remember best will not be the evenings wasted playing video games or lounging around. Instead, we will remember the times we did something challenging, attempting something that does not come so easily and achieving something in the process.

We must not turn down challenges because we are afraid to fail. If we all took this approach, Andy Murray would not enter Wimbledon next year, since he might not improve on his 2013 win; TJ would never perform another song, for fear of hitting the wrong note or chord; I would never play rugby again, in case I trip over my own laces and land flat on my back while re-joining the back line, as happened in the match against Sudbury last Friday! Failure is part of life, and something that we have to accept will happen to us occasionally. But we must have an attitude that allows us to laugh off a mistake and come back stronger.

This is clearly easier said than done, but we can take inspiration from some very high profile examples of people making mistakes, which are sometimes very funny, but not being fazed by these setbacks. While collecting her Best Actress Oscar in 2013, Jennifer Lawrence famously tripped on the stairs and went sprawling in her huge dress in front of all the world’s media. However, she quickly composed herself and received a standing ovation for her speech, partly because the mistake was such a natural thing that the crowd all fell in love with her. In a press conference, US Secretary of State John Kerry reportedly declared that ‘the Syrian Crisis needs a safe pair of hands’. To illustrate his point, he was then thrown an American football by one of his team but, in a panic, he fumbled the ball and dropped it on the floor.

These are the sorts of things that can happen to any of us, but if we learn to see that failure does not mean the end of the world, then we need no longer fear any challenge that the year ahead can pose us. So we ask you how you intend to challenge and stretch your own abilities this year: setting academic targets, physically challenging yourself by entering the Mini Marathon or perhaps something more personal? If you ever find yourself with hours and hours of free time, ask yourselves why?

As your Heads of School, we look forward to an excellent year and witnessing all the success and achievements that you will enjoy as you respond positively to your challenges.

RM 350 Parade at Buckingham Palace


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On Tuesday 08 July, seven Royal Marine cadets from the Royal Hospital School CCF took part in the 350th Anniversary Parade in London for Her Majesty’s Royal Marine Cadets.


The Parade consisted of some 350 cadets and 100  instructors who trained for the event at the Royal Navy Drill School (HMS Excellent) in Portsmouth for three days beforehand before taking up post in Horse Guards Parade in London. There they were met by the Band of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines and formally marched in formation up The Mall, into Buckingham Palace. The formal Parade took place on the lawn of Buckingham Palace with Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh (the Captain General of the RM Cadets) as the inspecting officer.

The Parade was attended by many high dignitaries, ministers of state and the most senior military officers as well as over 1,500 other guests of the participants.

The Parade marched past the Duke who took the salute before marching out of Buckingham Palace, up Birdcage Walk to Wellington Barracks – the home of the Guard’s Regiment for a well-earned reception. The Duke and Ministers then mingled with the cadets and guests for some well-earned refreshments. During the reception CCF promotions were delivered to Cameron Fairrie, Jordan Scott and Liam Crismani to Sergeant, Matt Khan to Corporal and Natasha Scott to Lance-Corporal.

Choir perform in front of Duke of Cambridge, Prince Harry and Ambassadors from around the world


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The Chapel Choir of the Royal Hospital School were proud to be invited to sing at the opening of the Invictus Games on Thursday 11 September.

Invictus choir

Over 400 competitors from 14 nations are taking part in the Invictus Games, an international sporting event for wounded, injured and sick Servicemen and women. Teams have come from the armed forces of nations that have served alongside each other. The Games will use the power of sport to inspire recovery, support rehabilitation, and generate a wider understanding and respect of those who serve their country.

Choir at Invictus 2

The event, which is championed by Prince Harry, is a celebration of resilience and passion. The Games will shine a spotlight on Armed Forces personnel and veterans who have put their lives on the line for their country demonstrating how they and their families are valued, respected and supported. For competitors, it will offer a memorable, inspiring and energising experience in their journey of recovery.

The Chapel Choir sang at a Drumhead Service at Lee Valley Athletics Centre before the competition began. Director of Music, William Saunders, said “It was a tremendous privilege for the choir to be asked to sing at such a significant occasion. The choir was honoured to be performing in front of the Duke of Cambridge, Prince Harry and Ambassadors from thirteen different counties. It was an amazing occasion, one which we will all remember for many years.”


West Hill Park come to RHS for Team Racing Clinic


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The Royal Hospital School Sailing Academy is looking forward to welcoming sailors from West Hill Park Prep School for a Team Racing Clinic.West Hill Park

The Clinic involves a full day of training in a RS Fevas with the Royal Hospital School’s RYA accredited Sailing Academy instructors on neighbouring Alton Water Reservoir. This will include an afternoon of competitive fun as West Hill pupils race against the RHS junior squad.

For more information on Team Racing Clinic opportunities contact


Mr Coleman raised just over £3000 for the Royal Centre for Defence Medicine Patient Welfare Fund


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Dan Coleman

Dan Coleman, teacher at the Royal Hospital School, walked nearly 200 miles from the School to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham in just under a week this summer, raising more than £3000 for the Royal Centre for Defence Medicine Patient Welfare Fund (RCDM PWF).

Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham

Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham

The RCDM Patient Welfare Fund is used to pay for the daily needs of patients in the primary receiving unit for all military casualties that are injured overseas. It relies on the generosity of the general public and charitable organisations and can help to make a real difference to the recovery of casualties from any of the three services.

Dan was stirred to take on the challenge after hearing Brigadier Colonel Kevin Beaton OBE QHP MA BA BmedSci BM BS DRCOG psc(j), former Commanding Officer of RCDM, talk of the amazing work and inspirational people at the Unit during his address at the Royal Hospital School Remembrance Service in November 2013.

Mr Coleman said, “I had a brilliant reception at RCDM and the generosity of the staff and parents at RHS has helped raise just over £3,000 (and counting), which works out at about £300 a blister!”

To find out more or to make a donation go to


Headmaster urges pupils to ask the question “What am I learning?”


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James Lockwood

At the beginning of a new academic year, it is important to emphasise that the most important thing that happens in any school is learning. We must also be mindful of that fact that, at RHS, learning is never restricted by the walls of a classroom.

I’d like to develop this theme a little further and suggest that to you, our pupils, it is fundamental for you to be constantly asking yourselves this question regularly – ”What am I learning?”

If this seems unnecessarily obvious to you, I recommend you ask yourself this question after every academic lesson, instrumental lesson, drama rehearsal or sports practice.  What is it that you were meant to be learning during that period of time?  I am sure there will be occasions when you cannot answer this question; if you find yourself in this situation; seek the clarification you need from your teacher, tutor or sports coach.  I am sure our Director of Music, Mr. Saunders, would be able to draw the distinction between playing the piano and practising the piano.  Similarly, there is a difference between doing practice papers for an exam and seeking to learn how to do the questions on a paper which one currently isn’t able to do.  There is a difference between running around with a rugby or hockey ball, and practising skills or planned moves for a team.  There’s a difference between completing a leadership task or a Duke of Edinburgh expedition, and learning from it.  In each case, focusing on and knowing the intended learning outcome is really important.

When pupils do a practice exam, paying special attention to the questions they can’t do, looking up the answers and the method and practising lots of similar questions, their marks go up.  If they simply complete lots of past papers without considering why, their marks may go up, but they won’t go up by much.

A pupil who turns up for a rugby practice, simply to run around like a headless chicken, probably won’t get much better.  One who simply plays their way through pieces of music repeatedly, won’t get much better either.  Practice is repeating small segments of a piece that are found difficult; until they are played exactly as desired.

I am convinced that a large number of you see the learning activities of your school day as things to get through: lessons, sports practices, activities, drama and music rehearsals.  Viewing such activities in this way deafens the participant to the learning that can and should be taking place.  Instead, I urge you all to be alive to what teachers call, “the intended learning outcome”. I want all of you to accept that the habit of asking “what am I learning?” is one you can master and which might assist you making your school experiences more profitable.

In closing, make sure you are fully engaged in the learning process and commit yourself to a range of activities – both inside and outside the classroom – that stretch your talents and expand your horizons.


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