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This term has been fuller than ever and it has had its challenges for many members of the School.  Some of those challenges have been very good ones, and the prizes and awards that I am about to present are testament to the way in which members of the School have risen successfully to those challenges.  Other challenges, however, have been very difficult ones for many of us, both staff and pupils alike.

A key challenge the School faces as it moves forward is the management of change. Whilst I strongly believe that change should not be advocated for its own sake, I also take the view that a forward thinking organisation is the one that knows when change is needed.

The Royal Hospital School is a very special place; a lively balanced co-educational boarding and day school which aims to provide academic excellence with an outstanding range of cultural and sporting opportunities. This is strongly backed up by first class pastoral care and a commitment to leadership, service and spiritual awareness. However, RHS is no different from any other independent school, in that it cannot afford to stand still and that in order to thrive; it must change in tune with the environment around it.

My message to you all is very clear: we are all very privileged to be members of this School community and we all have a role to play in making it even better!

The most important constituents in any school are of course the pupils. Throughout the course of the term I have received countless letters from visitors, prospective parents and friends of the School highlighting the exemplary conduct and manners of our young people.  As I pointed out at the first Headmaster’s Assembly of the year, the pupils I respect the most are those who look after each other and go out of their way to show kindness to those in need.

Of course, I expect all pupils at the School to work hard. Having read through nearly 700 end of term reports, I have to say that I am very encouraged by what I have read. I was particularly interested in your individual effort scores in each subject. Whilst there is never any room for complacency, I congratulate the vast majority of you on your academic endeavour throughout the course of the term. I would like you all put your hands together for the staff who have worked tirelessly on your behalves.

Sports Round Up:

HOCKEY 2012

U12 Hockey

The U12 team have had a fantastic season having won all their fixtures, bar one against Ipswich School, at the start of the season. They have gone from strength to strength improving their own individual core skills and then developing their team play. Matilda Arulampalam was player of the season and top goal scorer with a phenomenal 13 goals.

Junior Colours are awarded to:

  • Matilda Arulampalam
  • Emilia Salter
  • Victoria Williams

U13 Hockey
This age group of players have had a busy term improving their existing skills and learning new skills in the training sessions and playing a total of 23 matches in addition to 4 short qualifier games at the Under 13 Suffolk Schools Tournament. They have struggled against the stronger prep schools however their best win was against St Felix School where top scorer Beth Dwerryhouse scored all 6 goals.

Junior Colours are awarded to:

  • Serena Brown
  • Isabella Durrant
  • Beth Dwerryhouse
  • Isabel Pearson
  • Jorgyella Thorpe

U14 Hockey

The U14A team has had a successful term; in particular the tactical team play of the squad has finally come together. Their best win was a superb 3-0 win against Woodbridge School. Captain Millie Ainsworth has been instrumental in raising the team’s spirit and she has been ably supported by Millie Orr, and Charlene Tait and Sophie Rennison.

Intermediate Colours are awarded to:

  • Camilla Ainsworth
  • Millicent Orr
  • Sophie Rennison
  • Charlene Tait                        

U15 Hockey

The U15A & B squad have worked really hard all term to improve both their individual and team performances. Although they have not been particularly successful, in terms of results, there have been some very close games. The A’s best win was against Woodbridge when all players pulled together showing their talent and skill winning 1-0. The B’s have also had their successes, mainly on grass with their best win being against Framlingham 1-0. Mention should go to the goalkeeper Alice Vickers, Captain of the A’s Simone Rossouw and Charlotte Baldwin- Cole for their close skill work and competitiveness.

Intermediate Colours are Re-awarded to:

  • Simone Rossouw
  • Charlotte Baldwin- Cole

Intermediate Colours are awarded to:

  • Beth Richardson
  • Lauren Guy
  • Sarah Murrison
  • Alice Vickers
  • Anna Wynn

3rd XI Hockey

The 3rd XI has played a number of fixtures this season, with particular flair on grass. Captained very successfully by Sarah Laurie the team have maintained a good team spirit. The team’s strengths were particularly in defence and all players demonstrated improvements in their skills.

2nds XI Hockey

The 2nd XI has created a great team spirit and has developed their skills and tactical play throughout the season. This has culminated in a number of very good draws against strong opposition. Hannah Corrie demonstrated great determination and commitment. Captain Rebecca Anstey has played an important role, Chloe Tribe has been named player of the match on a number of occasions and Francesca Speight scored a number of goals from short corner strikes.

1st XI Hockey

The First XI Hockey team has worked hard this year under the admirable leadership of Captain, Laura Brown. A challenging schedule meant that the season seemed to be a never-ending uphill battle. But with perseverance and teamwork the squad was able to win key matches against Langley and Norwich High.  Several of their toughest opponents brought out the best in individuals, with excellent play from Vice Captain goalie Florence Gould, tireless efforts from defenders Jenny Myatt and Laura Brown and skilful play from midfielder Emily Sweeney.  The team should be proud of their persistent efforts to succeed and the noticeable development of their individual and team play as a result.

Senior Half Colours have been awarded to:

  • Hannah Ilori
  • Kimberley Smith
  • Charlotte Shelley

Senior Full Colours have been awarded to:

  • Laura Brown
  • Florence Gould
  • Jennifer Myatt
  • Emily Sweeney

TROPHY PRESENTATIONS:

HOCKEY KNOCK-OUTS

  • Junior Hockey – Francis
  • Senior Hockey – Howe

NETBALL LEAGUES

  • Intermediates Netball –Howe
  • Seniors Netball – Hood

RUGBY 2012

U12 Rugby

This year group have had a super start in rugby at RHS. The A team has been captained by the impressive Elliot Chilvers. Comprehensive wins against Greshams, Perse  and Felsted were very pleasing indeed. Elliot and Marco De Nysschen also played for the junior 1st. The Bs and Cs also enjoyed some successes with nearly all the boys in the year group representing school at some point.

Junior Colours are awarded to:

  • Elliot Chilvers
  • Apakuki Daunakamakama
  • Marco De Nysschen
  • Max Orr

U13 Rugby

An outstanding season for the U13`A` team was captained by influential number 8 Zachary Puckey. The team has played some superb rugby with Zach and wing Harry Pugh scoring over 20 tries each, Elliot Rayment kicking very well also. A comfortable win away at Norwich was a highlight. Zachary and Harry have been selected for the Midlands prep Barbarians and play in the National festival at Rugby School next term.

The 13B’s have had a mixed season. Fernando Trenor and Enrique Belda have given the backs a touch of Spanish flair and some bite in the centre. Scott Taylor was a superb full back while Ollie Leggett worked tirelessly at scrum half. Callum Hensby was a reliable and mature captain. Nathan Mellors improved apace, and Mark Johnson’s powerful running saw him move up to the A’s.

Junior Colours are awarded  to:

  • Benjamin Arulampalam
  • Zachary Puckey
  • Harry Pugh
  • Elliot Rayment
  • Kevueli Ro Tavainavesi

U14 Rugby

A season of two halves; on a competitive Yr. 9 circuit there were flashes of collective brilliance and individual ability throughout the team. Notwithstanding the win-loss ratio, their performances showed how rugby should be played. An improved team work ethic resulted in a satisfying win against Gresham’s and great games against Ipswich and New Hall.  Recognition must go to Francois Rossouw, Toby Allday and Sam Hindley for their consistency of performance and effort.

An impressive year for the B’s, with many players having an excellent season. Pleasingly many players were promoted to the A’s. Up front, Daniel Farmer has been an impressive performer along and Captain Sam LeRoy who led from the front combined with the powerful running of Robbie Elms. The squad of 28 have all contributed to a very positive and pleasing season.

Intermediate Colours are awarded to:

  • Tobias Allday
  • Francois Rossouw

 U15 Rugby

The side have developed into a team around the major contribution of its captain Alex Rayment. There have been a large number of changes throughout the term due to injuries and this disrupted their play. Highlights include wins against Bishop’s Stortford College, The Perse and Gresham’s and some very close fought losses against The Leys and Norwich. But without doubt the home win in the last game of the season v Framlingham was the top moment.

The U15B, captained by the ever-present Charlie Steptoe, scored freely and won almost all their games; beaten only by New Hall (narrowly) and Norwich (more convincingly).

The fact that over 20 players scored points shows the wealth of talent in this squad. Jack Dakin was perhaps the most consistent of the regular players, and Tommy Chang the most improved player.

Intermediate Colours are Re-awarded to:

  • Benjamin Kelland
  • Alexander Rayment
  • Lyam Thorpe

Intermediate Colours are awarded to:

  • Ben Harrison
  • Jessie Vogel

U16 Rugby

The U16 A’s had a successful season in which they were unfortunate to lose more games than they won. As a group of players they adapted to the rigours of senior rugby. The losses to Norwich School and The Leys showed how fine the margins can be between winning and losing at this level. George Butt led by example in both attack and defence. He was ably supported by half back pairing Josh Allday and Thomas Miller.

After a faltering start, the Under 16Bs put their heart and soul into training this term and made evident progress. Victor Shing moved into a fly half, after Barney Horsfield was moved up to the A squad. Despite constant change in personnel, all the B players remained steadfast in their attitude and a win against Felsted was a highlight.

3rd XV

The thirds have blooded many new players this term as replacements for the half of the team went on to play Seconds XV rugby.  As a consequence the season had two distinct flavours, fine dining before half term and smorgasbord afterwards.  Jack Rennison had a fine season, orchestrating the line with panache, equalling his tally of 46 points from last year and finishing as captain.

2nd XV

The 2nd XV have had a great season winning 8 and drawing 1. Lead ably by Cameron Cullen they notched up some memorable victories. Highlights of the season were; hard-fought, close wins over Norwich and Felsted by only 1 and 2 points respectively and totally dominating against Ipswich winning convincingly 72-0! This 2nd XV have been a very close and enthusiastic group and this has certainly helped them grind out some of their harder, closer victories.

1st XV

The 1st XV season started promisingly with two very good wins over Bishop’s Stortford College and Cooper’s Coborn. After this the intensity required in matches rose and RHS struggled to put together enough of a game plan and pattern to dictate play. The final game of the season against an extremely successful Framlingham side saw RHS very nearly come through as victors and provide what would have been the shock of the season. Ben Moore has been an outstanding captain in adversity due to serious injuries to key players. Ben was player of the season and showed a genuine understanding of match play. Very strong finishes at the end of the season came from James Rutledge, Joe Dakin and Jack Baverstock, combined with the strength of Daniel Smith.

Senior Half Colours have been awarded to:

  • Richard Adderley
  • Benjamin Allday
  • Angus Beaton
  • Daniel Smith
  • James Rutledge

Senior Full Colours have been Re-awarded to:

  • Benjamin Moore

TROPHY PRESENTATIONS:

FOOTBALL LEAGUES

  • Senior                  Winners – Anson
  • Intermediate       Winners – Anson

 

Model United Nations (MUN) Report

On Saturday 1 December, 16 delegates went to the London Oratory School representing China, Israel and Italy. Michael Stokes was a Highly Commended Delegate representing China on the Security Council.

On Monday 10 December, 35 delegates travelled to Beneden School in Kent representing China, Afghanistan, Canada, Chile, Lithuania, Macedonia, Malawi, Trinidad & Tobago and Zambia. Andrew Mitchell was selected as Highly Commended Delegate for Malawi on the Economic and Social Committee – a great achievement for his first conference (and on his birthday too!). Rupert Powell was Highly Commended Delegate representing China on the Disarmament Commission, Michael Stokes was voted Outstanding Delegate in the Special Summit on Technology once again representing the People’s Republic of China.

Duke of Edinburgh Award

Bronze

  • Elizabeth Leaver
  • Philippa Murrison
  • Sarah Murrison
  • Abigail Donald

Silver

  • Oliver Ainsworth

Gold

  • Rebecca Butcher
  • Claire Cuddihy
  • Emily Hassall

 

Devizes to Westminster 2013

Congratulations to following who were selected from over forty pupils to represent the School in the 2013 Devizes to Westminster Canoe Marathon. The squad is as follows:

  • Richard Branch
  • Anran Chen
  • Nadine Edwards
  • James Rutledge
  • Zach Tabor
  • Adam Hunkin
  • Jordan Scott
  • Will Hassall
  • Sophie Murrison
  • Carys Todd
  • Cameron Kerr
  • Matt Cantelo
  • Ed Bourne
  • Oliver Bagley
  • Rachel Miles
  • Molly Shoesmith

In an action-packed term there have been many other highlights, including: the Remembrance Day Parade and Service attended by over 1,600 people, a wonderful inaugural Model United Nations Dinner, two hugely successful Open Mornings (attended by over 150 prospective families), a superb inter-House Singing Competition, two outstanding Trafalgar Night Dinners, and a very entertaining Theatre Club Drama Production (The Tortoise and The Hare & scenes from Blackadder).

This has been another signal term for the School Choir. Earlier in the term the Choir performed in the National Seafarers’ Service at St Paul’s Cathedral; the National Festival of Remembrance at the Royal Albert Hall; and at the Admiralty Carol Service at St Martin-in-the-Fields, following which I received a laudatory letter from the First Sea Lord, Sir Mark Stanhope, and I am sure you are all looking forward to this afternoon’s end of term Carol Service.

We say farewell to two members of staff at the end of this term. Mrs Sophie Harrington joined RHS in 2008 to teach Modern Foreign Languages having completed a Languages degree at Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford. She has been a Resident Tutor in Hood and has also been attached to Cornwallis and, latterly, Howe, as their Non-Resident Deputy. Throughout her time at RHS Sophie has contributed extensively to the co-curricular life of the School and her involvement in our extensive Community Action Programme and the Choir has been greatly appreciated by the whole School community.

Whilst Mrs Helen Snoddon only became the Matron of Cornwallis in September 2009, it is the case that she has been an integral member of this School’s community since Mr Snoddon’s appointment in 2004. Mrs Snoddon departs for pastures new and takes up a pastoral role at the prestigious Winchester College in the New Year.

We thank them both for their unstinting commitment to The Royal Hospital School, and wish them both all the very best for the future.

Hopefully many of you will have collected your copy of The Royal Hospital School Celebratory Book. Book orders have broken through the £30,000 barrier and I cannot praise our very own Mr RHS300, Rob Mann, enough for his energy and drive in making this ambitious project a reality. Of course Rob has been ably supported by our brilliant Development Manager, Mrs Lucy Pembroke. I congratulate them both on this fantastic achievement – the Book is a magnificent publication.

I would like to pay tribute to all those pupils who have held positions of responsibility in the School throughout the course of the Term. The School reports is assembly have been delivered with poise and precision and I thank the School Prefects for their contribution is this regard as well as for their unstinting energy and enthusiasm. Finally, my heartfelt thanks go to my Deputy, Mrs Godfrey and the Heads and Deputy Heads of School.

In closing, the Royal Hospital School remains faithful to its aims whilst undergoing a period of significant change. As any biologist will tell you, it is not the strongest organism that survives but the one most adaptable to change. The reason why this unique school is so well placed to meet the demands of the future is because it continues to remain faithful to its core values.

I commend RHS to you at the end of another busy, challenging and successful term. We are confident of the future and proud of our past. We are mindful of the traditions and values that have stood the test of time and will remain faithful to them.

At the beginning of this assembly I talked about challenges – both good and bad – that we’ve all faced this term. Next term will bring new challenges, not least for those of you who will be coming straight back to public and mock examinations in January.

I hope that in the meantime you will all have a very Happy, Peaceful and Relaxing Christmas!