Weekly Newsletter 18 November 2022

In the Newsletter this week ..... Head Master, Pre-Prep, Music, Art, House Competitions, Sport, The Dot, Uppingham On the Buzzer, Lost Property, SHSPA, Online Safety

From the Head Master

Marking Your Mark

Those of you who have been in school today will have seen on the terrace that there are some large spheres, decorated with ‘dots’.  The children and staff were asked to make a mark on small, round pieces of paper starting with a dot and then simply seeing where it takes them.  This is all part of our push on increasing resilience and trying to reduce anxiety with our pupils and staff.  The idea is inspired by an award-winning story of self-expression and creativity from Peter H. Reynolds, in which a child thinks she cannot draw, but her teacher is sure that she can. She knows that there is creative spirit in everyone, and encourages the girl to sign the angry dot she makes in frustration on a piece of paper. This act makes the girl look at herself a little differently, and helps her discover that where there’s a dot there’s a way. (Please note: The spheres are not our Christmas display as that will be emerging in a couple of weeks’ time!)

Dance Club Assembly

I, along with the rest of the school, thoroughly enjoyed Dance Club’s performance in assembly this morning.  It was such an uplifting and enjoyable way to start the day and I could see just how much the older children in the school were enjoying it and were totally behind all the younger performers.  I have no doubt that the parents who attended the second showing straight after assembly enjoyed it equally.  Very well done to all the dancers and, of course, to Ms Bianco for choreographing it and putting it all together.

Sporting Success

I was so pleased to hear how well the Jets A Hockey team did at the IAPS National Finals last week.  They progressed through their group into the Plate Competition (the middle tier) where, unfortunately, they lost in the semi-final.  This means that they came 12th overall, so effectively 12th of all prep schools in the country.  Very well done to their coach, Mrs Jess Clarke and all the girls in the squad.

I have also heard great reports about how well our runners did at the District Cross-Country on Wednesday.  There were some superb individual efforts with many pupils progressing through to the county stage.  Well done to them all.

Music in Quiet Places

I thoroughly enjoyed the concert on Monday evening where there was such a range of ages of the children, with those just starting out on their musical journey and those more experienced Year 8 players and singers performing so brilliantly.  It was a lovely evening, thoroughly enjoyed by all who attended.

On the Buzzer

Well done to both our A and B teams who took part in the Uppingham On the Buzzer General Knowledge Quiz on Tuesday, competing against 11 other prep schools.  Both teams acquitted themselves really well, with the B team being knocked out in the quarter-finals and the A team making it into the semi-finals, where they were beaten by Witham Hall. Well done to all the Spratton quizzers!


Our senior pupils left this morning on their respective hockey and rugby tours with the girls heading over to Shropshire and the boys to Yorkshire.  I wish them all the very best in the matches and I am sure they will enjoy the whole tour experience.

Vocal Music Day

Next Thursday, we are very much looking forward to welcoming children from three primary schools: East Haddon, The Bramptons and our neighbours at Spratton Primary, all joining us for a very special music day.  Our own children from the Year 5 Senior Choir will be joining them, culminating in a short concert at 2.30pm.  I am sure this will be a most worthwhile experience for our visitors and I do hope they enjoy their time with us.

Thank you

Simon Clarke


Year 2 Delve Back in Time … to the Egyptians!

The Year 2 topic of ‘Around the World in 80 Days’ has lent itself to some insightful learning opportunities across the curriculum.  The children are currently immersed in all things Egyptian and are dipping back in time to explore some historical facts – of course, it is the rather gruesome facts from Egyptian history that have captured their interest the most!  Eager to learn more about the ancient art of mummification, the children have had a go themselves … with tomatoes!  There are now rows of ‘Canopic jars’ in each of the classrooms, containing tomatoes wrapped in bandages which have been treated and preserved in salt, so that they last well into next year!

Year 1 Visit to Gallone’s Ice Cream Factory and Parlour

Little fingers in Year 1 were feeling rather chilly on Tuesday morning and it had nothing to do with the downturn in weather.  The children in 1S and 1N enjoyed a lip-lickingly delicious visit to Gallone’s Ice-Cream Factory and Parlour.  Having watched the ingredients tumbling and churning around in the big mixing machines, the children were keen to tuck into the ice-cream and sorbet treats that followed.  The perfect accompaniment to their topic on Italy!

Reception Bring Stories to Life

This term, across Pre-Prep, we have been embracing the ‘Talk for Writing’ approach to developing children’s language, reading and writing skills.  A key feature of this creative method is that children internalise the language structures needed to write through ‘talking the text’.  It is amazing to hear the children speaking to each other in character, asking each other questions to enrich their understanding of the story in hand.  “In London, I saw a big red bus,” declared a child in RG, chatting to their friend on the telephone, “and I went to Big Ben.” “Did you see a lion?” came the response, following the pattern of the story ‘Katie in London’ by James Mayhew.

Seating Allocation for our Christmas Nativities

Rehearsals are well under way for our two Pre-Prep Christmas Nativities.  Reception and Year 1 are busy rehearsing ‘The Bethlehem Builders’, whilst Year 2 are preparing a groovier twist on the Christmas story, entitled ‘The Inn Crowd!
If you have not already done so, please can I remind parents to let me know of your seating requirements, by responding to the e-letter sent out earlier this week.  The deadline is Tuesday 22nd November, after which time Mrs Hopwell and I begin the process of allocating names to seat places.  With safety in mind, there is a limit to the number of people that the Hunter Hall can accommodate – we will, of course, endeavour to fulfil requests as best and as fairly as we can.

Pre-Prep Pupil Achievements

Many congratulations to the following children for their swimming achievements:- Max Ley (1S) Level 1, Noah Carlin (1N) level 1 and 5m, and Thomas Hassell (2A) Stage 3.

Very well done to Sam Proudley (2A) for gaining his first belt in Karate and to Bethany Lofts (2A) for achieving her blue belt.

Final congratulations go to Alex Schwartz-Jones (2L) who achieved 1st place in an U7s’ Chess Competition.

Fiona Sanchez
Head of Pre-Prep


Music in Quiet Places Concert

It was wonderful to hear such a variety of instruments and styles of music in our Music in Quiet Places concert on Monday. St Andrew’s Church is such a lovely place to perform and the children did brilliantly. Congratulations to all those that took part.

Christmas Concert – Monday 12th December

All of our music ensembles will be performing in the concert, please keep the date free!


Exam Success

Grade 1
Luke Mackaness – Pass
Alice Ogbourne – Merit
Ottilie Green – Merit
Elodie Farrow – Merit
Evelyn Labrum-Eggleton – Pass
Grace Evans – Pass
Lilly Brook – Pass
Isabella Woollcott – Distinction
Grade 2
James Marchant – Merit
Grade 3
Zayn Shah – Pass
Shyla Pal – Merit
Grade 4
Shanaya Phatak – Merit
Grade 2
Raghav Sreejith –  Merit
Grade 1
Chloe Spencer – Pass
Grade 2
Shanaya Phatak – Merit


Artist of the Week

Artist of the Week goes to India Woollcott-Price for her excellent observational drawing of a glass of water, with lots of tone and detail.


The whole school (children and staff) has been involved in a wellbeing project to encourage everyone to reduce their fears and ‘have a go’ at something, make a mark and see where it leads to or how it develops. All children heard a recording of ‘The Dot’, by Peter H Reynolds, a story of a teacher who encourages a shy and doubting student to trust in her own abilities by being brave enough to ‘make her mark’. What begins with a small dot on a piece of paper becomes a breakthrough in confidence and courage, something that can be reflected in all areas of school life.

The Art Department and Miss Jacques have been very busy putting the dots together, in year groups, creating an installation for The Terrace. I will await to hear the delighted voices when a child has found their ‘dot’ and recognised how much their contribution matters towards the Spratton Hall community. If you would like your children to share the story with you click on the following link:

Mrs Fordy


MasterChef – Year 6

Well done to the Year 6 MasterChef participants who took part in last Friday’s competition.  There were some wonderful cupcake creations and Archie was awarded ‘Star Baker’.


South Northants District Cross-Country

Well done to the 51 Spratton runners who took part in this challenging event at Courteenhall Estate, 47 of which achieved top 20 placings.  This is a tremendous achievement and demonstrated great teamwork on the course.

21 of our children in Years 5-8 have now been selected to run for the District County Championships next term.

There were some excellent performances and 7 children were placed in the top 3 in their event.

Individual medals went to:-

U13 Boys:  Hugh Smith 1st, Teddy Blake 2nd
U15 Girls:  Ellie Allsopp 2nd, Cecile Jackson 3rd
Y6 Girls:  Isla Allsopp 2nd
Y5 Girls:  Isabella Szechenyi 2nd
Y4 Boys, Bertie Glason 2nd
Y3 Boys:  Ralph Drage 2nd place.

See the full report on SOCS and more photos on the Gallery – links below.

U11 IAPS Hockey Finals

Jets A played extremely well in the U11 IAPS National Hockey Finals in Cheltenham last Friday.

The girls finished 4th in their pool with a 2-1 win which ensured they went through to the Plate competition. They played fantastic hockey in the quarter final to secure a 2-0 victory with goals from Isla and Ginny. They played a very strong team and, sadly, lost the semi-final. This meant they went into the 3rd place play-off where they were just pipped into 4th place, but that still equates to being in the top 12 of all prep schools in the country, which is a fantastic achievement.

It was a great experience and the squad rose to the challenge and should feel very proud of how they played. Well done to Mrs Clarke for her super coaching!


Spratton competed against 11 other schools at the “On The Buzzer” quiz, beautifully hosted by Uppingham School. The questions were challenging and answering really did require lightning fast reactions to ensure your team earned the pivotal bonus questions. Both the A and B team made it through their opening rounds, with Spratton A team amassing the highest overall score in the round. Spratton B made it to the quarter finals before being knocked out but, to their credit, they did beat eventual finalists, Witham, in an earlier opening round. Spratton A then beat Beeston Hall convincingly 280–130 to progress to the semi-finals. Here they were beaten by Witham Prep. The competition was eventually won by Brooke Priory, a team Spratton A had beaten in the opening round. It really was a superb afternoon of quizzing from all pupils.


Christmas Fayre

We require a number of donations for a variety of stalls at the upcoming children’s Christmas Fayre please:-

Nearly new toys (no books)
Clean, soft toys
Tombola prizes
Jolly jars (no nuts or chocolates, no jars that have had nuts in)
Lucky dip prizes (small, wrapped gifts)

All donations to be left in the box in the Hunter Hall foyer please.

Many thanks for your support.

Christmas Baubles

The deadline date for ceramic baubles has been extended to 25th November.


Ethan Higgott & Bodhi Higgott: tracksuit tops – both named
Josh Tomlins:  one trainer, blue boot bag – named



This week we are looking at ‘Roblox’ which is a very popular online game aimed at children.

For a useful guide to help keep children safe using this platform, please follow this link.

This is also the link to the school website where you will find more details and further helpful information in general about online safety.