From the Heads
Burns Night is one of the great annual fixtures in the Wellesley Haddon Dene calendar, and it was wonderful to see pupils in Year 4 and above fully immersing themselves in the Scottish Dancing, ably led by our very own Mrs Spencer. Aside from the delicious feast prepared by our catering team, we would like to make special mention of Raf Cable who addressed the haggis as if he were a seasoned pro. Another highlight was Efren – our hugely popular and respected catering assistant – toasting the haggis (with a wee dram of whisky – for show and not for drinking) with his much practised Scottish accent. Much fun was had by all.
In unrelated news, it is with great sadness that we announce the departure of Mrs Golding, our drama teacher, at the end of this half term. Her last day with us will be Thursday 9th February, our Pre-Prep show. Mrs Golding has been a source of inspiration, positivity and sunshine during her time at our school. We cannot thank her enough for her dedication and excellent teaching which has provided the platform for countless children to shine. She will be sorely missed but we wish her the very best for her new adventure at Kent Mining Museum. Mrs Golding’s Trinity lessons will continue up to Easter, and potentially beyond as an extra-curricular activity.
Mrs Bourne, our LAMDA teacher, will take over the teaching of drama for the remainder of this academic year whilst a permanent teacher is recruited. Mrs Bourne’s reputation precedes her and we are very grateful that she will be responsible for delivering our prestigious Elocution Cup and Junior School production – yet to be revealed. I am sure you will join me in welcoming Mrs Bourne next term.
Mr Gavin Franklin and Mrs Jo Parpworth
School Last Week
Pupils in Year 4 and above enjoyed a delicious haggis supper last Tuesday followed by an evening of Scottish dancing, to celebrate Burns Night. Raf Cable (Year 8) took on the responsibility of addressing the haggis and performed Robert Burns’ poem with great aplomb and an excellent Scottish accent. Mid-poem, as Raf recited the lines “His knife see Rustic-labour dight / An’ cut ye up wi’ ready slight” his enthusiastic “stabbing” of the haggis caught Mrs Parpworth slightly off guard who was seated in very close proximity to both the haggis and the aggressive knife! Fortunately, our Headmistress survived to enjoy the Scottish dancing in the Old Hall. As always, the evening was tremendous fun, thanks to our fantastic catering staff and to Mrs Spencer and the teaching staff who taught and led the dancing.
Rowland Constantine GK Shield
This is a regional General Knowledge competition with, this year, 7 schools participating. There are 5 rounds of individual questions on a variety of topics, together with a team question. We did really well across the board, struggling only on some rather difficult religious festival questions. We scored 56 points out of a possible 90 in this first round and this qualified us for the final round in May, when 5 schools will take part. Well done to the team!
Year 8 – Raf Cable
Year 7 – Freya Ralph
Year 6 – Olivia Dilkes
Year 5 – Theo Alifrangis
Choir trip to Wellington College
Last Thursday the choir rose bright and early to depart for Wellington College in Berkshire, to join nineteen other Prep Schools for an exciting choral day. Throughout the day the young singers learned Bob Chillcott’s Times and Seasons, rehearsed and conducted by Bob Chilcott himself, and performed the piece in a short recital before heading home. The children were impressed with the grandeur of a school like Wellington, and thoroughly enjoyed the singing. Well done to everyone who took part in this incredible musical experience.
Squash v Holmewood House
Please see below a report from Mr Hallam on a (rare!) victory against the formidable Holmewood House squash team:
It is always a challenge to play against Holmewood House, a school that takes great pride in its squash. In the past we have only beaten them twice and those successes were at the Under 11 level (when those matches were played pre-Covid). We began with the 8th, 7th and 6th seed matches, playing their respective seeds, and it was heartening to record wins for those three. In the first set of ‘best of three’ matches we lost only two, but those were hard fought. In the second round, when our players competed against their opposite pairing in the seeds, we again recorded wins in all but two matches, with the top two seeds meeting strong players but giving them good matches. It was great to see all matches played in good spirit, showing true sportsmanship, as well as a favourable outcome for WHD.
Team: Will Franklin, Rio Goddard, Freddie Loudon, Jamie Montgomery, Thomas Spanton, Reuben Carss, Wilbur Henry and William Quinn
School This Week
Big Read Day at WHD
On Monday 30th January, our school is getting together for our first BIG READ. Older year groups have been paired with our younger classes for a 30 minute session of story reading, discussions and even a bit of character acting. It promises to be an exciting and fun event and we look forward to sharing our photos with you.
Ski Trip to Italy
On Friday 5th February, 10 pupils will be travelling to Bardonecchia in Italy for our yearly Alpha Schools Ski Trip, accompanied by Mrs Crompton.They will be joining 66 pupils from various Alpha Schools. The ski group will be staying at the Hotel Villaggio Olimpico with 9 members of staff across Alpha Schools. Their daily routine will consist of four hours of ski lessons per day, followed by an activity each evening :- Cinema, Sledging, Pizza night, Disco and Crepe treat night. This is always a fabulous and exciting adventure for the children.
Netball tournaments this week
We are delighted to be hosting two prestigious netball tournaments here at WHD this week. On Wednesday, we welcome 9 other prep schools to compete in an annual Kent Prep Schools’ tournament on our courts and on Friday morning, we are delighted to host (for the first time) the ISA regional U11 netball tournament, welcoming 11 other schools. We wish our girls all the very best in both tournaments and look forward to welcoming all visiting schools onto our grounds.
Pre-Prep Values Awards
Phoebe for always being ready to learn and enjoying school.
David for increasing his confidence in school and making progress in phonics.
Pixie Jarman for her fantastic work in English this week. She has got on with her work independently and has created her own version of the model text using imagination and care.
Teddy Beattie for showing wonderful manners and respect to teachers and fellow pupils. He always tries his best and has a ‘can do’ attitude.
Claudia Flockhart continuously makes a huge effort and works hard in class while showing respect and consideration to others.
Louie Moat for having an excellent attitude to learning and rising to every challenge given.
Langa Ngwenya-Robinson for reading aloud with beautiful expression and intonation; it is a joy to listen to her.
Oliver Eve for putting more effort into his written learning to improve his standard of work.
Emmy for showing courage and compassion and facing challenges bravely.
Nicholas Chabra for his positive attitude.
Angus for courage on the rugby field and determination to improve his spellings scores each week.
Lila Grady for resilience and courage during sport and showing kindness and empathy towards her peers.
Teegan for her diligent approach to work set, and by maintaining a high standard of behaviour and maturity in some sometimes testing environments.
Team of the Week
Each week, a group of pupils is invited to meet with Mr and Mrs Franklin in the library at break time to enjoy some squash and snacks prepared by the catering team. This week, for their outstanding victory away at Holmewood House, as a result of their commitment to training during activities, it is the 1st VIII squash team and also, for their brilliant teamwork, skill and energy in their successful fixtures on Thursday, the U8/9 netballers. Very well done to both teams.
Mr Boyne Channel Swim
I will be swimming the channel as a part of a 6-man relay team this July. Each swimmer will take it in turns, swimming an hour at a time in an attempt to battle through to France. The obstacles standing in our way include the busiest shipping lane in the world, strong currents, jellyfish, fatigue, cold and seasickness. All of that aside, I am super excited to take on the challenge and have been busy training.
Having seen the support that Aspire has given to those with spinal injuries, I am so proud to be contributing towards such an incredible charity. Whilst I can never imagine the full extent to what people with spinal injuries have to deal with on a daily basis, I have had a small insight into paralysis. After suffering an extradural haematoma in 2010 whilst playing hockey in France, I woke with paralysis of my right side and difficulty with my speech. I was fortunate enough to have regained control after a short period of time, and can only imagine the difficulties faced by those less fortunate. Aspire is such an incredible charity, who support people suffering from spinal cord injuries throughout the entirety of their journeys. If you can spare a few pounds to donate to such a worthy cause, it would be hugely appreciated.
Thanks for taking the time to visit my JustGiving page.
Thanks very much!
Please click here and scroll through for the most up to date calendar of events for the term.
Matches This Week
2.15pm start unless otherwise stated
Tuesday, 31 January
Squash v King’s: U13 A Boys (a) 2.30pm
Wednesday, 1 February
Rugby v JKS Milner Cup: U11 A Boys (a) 2pm
Netball Festival U13 A Girls (h) 1:30pm
Netball v SLC: U11 A Girls (a)
Netball v SLC: U11 B Girls (a)
Rugby v King’s Rochester: U13 A Boys (a) 2:30
Thursday, 2 February
Netball v Lorenden: U9 A Girls (a)
Netball v Lorenden: U9 B Girls (a)
Friday, 3 February
ISA London & South East Netball Tournament U11 A (h)
Saturday, 4 February
Rugby v Northbourne Park: U13 A Boys (h)
Netball v Parents: U13 Girls (h) POSTPONED – new date TBC
Please always refer to the website calendar as it is the most up-to-date place to check for fixture changes and locations.
If your child has been selected for a fixture, we will communicate with you prior to the fixture with information regarding the recommended pick up time from Wellesley HD.
Matches Last Week
Rugby v Foster Cup: U13 A Boys
Netball v JKS: U11 B Girls
Netball v JKS: U11 A Girls
Rugby v Northbourne Park: U9 A Boys
Lost 7 – 6
Rugby v Northbourne Park: U9 B Boys
Won 10 – 6
Netball v Duke of York’s: U13 A Girls
Lost 21 – 27
Netball v SLC: U9 A Girls
Netball v SLC: U9 B Girls
Squash v Holmewood House: 1st VIII
Won 12 – 4