Michaelmas Newsletter Number Nine

From the Headmaster

What a great weekend we had last week!  Congratulations to all who sang in Fauré’s Requiem, and to all those who played so well in their matches on Saturday.  It was a tremendous thing to take such a notable victory against Mowden Hall: it was superb to do it with such aplomb!  I congratulated all those who gained Subject Commendations this week – there were many – and of particular note were Mateusz Teclaw and Peter Pilling for great work in English. P eter gains a Headmaster’s Award for a short but excellent piece. 

On Tuesday, Pre-Prep Assembly was a great opportunity for us to look at a book I have mentioned often: The Lost Words.  We all liked it, and we discussed owls, goldfinches, herons and adders. 

Over the last few Assemblies I have spoken variously about getting the most from the moment, and about being mindful of others, and of our environment.  I developed that a little this week, and spoke about our duty to ourselves and others, and about service.  I reminded the school of my words last year about Robert Bolt’s play A Man for all Seasons.  I explained that the character of Richard Rich in that play is offered the Mastership of the local school by Sir Thomas Moore.  Rich is crestfallen – he wants to go to court and wield high office and be ‘a great man’ in the public eye.

Sir Thomas More:     Why not be a teacher?  You'd be a fine teacher; perhaps a great one.
Richard Rich:            If I was, who would know it?
Sir Thomas More:     You; your pupils; your friends; God.  Not a bad public, that.

Rich ultimately betrays Moore.  He is bribed to do so with a position as a secretary of state.  Rich’s rise to power is seen in the film of the play in his increasingly opulent robes (a motif in the play) and an increasingly worried, haunted, pallid facial expression.  The moral in part is that we cannot serve two masters, and in part that we must be true to ourselves – and therefore to what is right.  Earthly power in this play is synonymous with corruption, and real, spiritual, power with learning and serving God.

David Moses

School News

School Uniform

As the weather is getting colder please can you ensure that your child has a St Martin’s Ampleforth winter coat.  They are available to purchase from www.perryuniform.co.uk and we do have some in the second hand uniform shop.  For the second hand uniform shop please contact Matron Pat on pxm@ampleforth.org.uk

Weekend 11th / 12th November

Saturday 11th November – Armistice Day

Parents and friends are warmly invited to join the school for our Service of Remembrance and Two Minutes’ Silence in the Front Courtyard, beginning at 10.55am.

Because we had the Whole School Mass for St Martin’s Day on Friday, there will be no Years 3, 4, 5 and 6 Mass on Saturday.  Lessons will end at 12.10pm, as usual.

Sunday 12th November – Remembrance Sunday

Just a reminder to parents that our School Mass (of the Dead) will be at 10.00am, rather than the usual 10.30am.  Following Mass, we will be driving the boarders down to Gilling East village, to join the villagers for their annual Service of Remembrance, beginning just before 11.00am.  Again, parents and friends are very welcome to join us for Mass and for the Service.

The 1st XV and U11 Rugby matches against Cargilfield School, here at St Martin’s Ampleforth, kick off at 12.00pm.  Following the matches, the teams will have lunch in the Great Chamber and a ‘match tea’ will be provided for parents in the Front Hall.

In the afternoon the boarders are off to the cinema, to watch Paddington 2 or Thor.

Exeat Weekend

The sharp eyed among us may have spotted the incorrect dates in the blue book!  To confirm that the exeat begins for day children and some boarders at the end of the school day on Thursday 17th November and for the remaining boarders, including those on the train, on the morning of Friday 17th November.

Year 3, 4, 5 Nativity

The Year 3, 4, 5 nativity will be performed on Thursday 7th December starting at 4.30pm in the Blackden Hall. 

Maths Quiz

Maths Quiz number six is attached to this newsletter.  The winners of the quiz last week were Isabella Fogg, Mariella Mycielska, Noah Rothwell, Lauren Connor, Clemmie Hewitt and Annie McGovern.  Well done! 


The next Lyceum is on Tuesday 14th November.  This week’s Lyceum is entitled ‘Badger: Friend or Foe’ with Mrs Wood.


The Pre-Prep would like to invite parents to a ‘Stay and Play’ session on Monday 13th November from 8.15am to 8.45am.  This is a lovely opportunity for you to meet with staff and for the children to show you around our classrooms and share examples of their work on display.  There is also time for you to engage in activities with the children related to our new topic ‘Toys.’  We look forward to welcoming you soon.

During this week’s Forest School the Early Years played games using toys made from Woodland objects such as noughts and crosses and log skittles as well as making ‘leaf’ artwork.  Nursery have been completing toy collages, looking at old and new toys, how toys move and tracing numbers.  Reception have been looking at their favourite books, inventing their own superheroes, learning new sounds j, w and v and creating their own pictograms.

Year 1 and 2 had a great time with Cheese Week. On Monday we enjoyed a tasting session, describing and ranking our favourites; then on Wednesday, we used the results to make graphs in our IT session.  We capped off the excitement in Woodland School on Thursday, watching various cheeses melt, then drawing up the changing states.  Our maths focus was odds and evens, doubling and halving.  And our poetry unit has continued, this week looking at sounds from the playground and the kitchen. 

We're looking forward to seeing plenty of parents at Monday morning’s Stay and Play!


Our Parent and Toddler group, Smarties, meet every Wednesday morning between 11.00am and 12.00pm during term time.  We would be delighted to welcome you if you have little ones and would encourage you to bring your friends with you!  If you know of anyone who would be interested in attending, please ask them to contact Lynn Harrison on lynn@ampleforth.org.uk or telephone 01439 766601.

Gilling Parents’ Association

Date for your diaries: Cheese and Wine Evening 7.00pm, Friday 2nd March 2018.

Christmas at the Castle

On Saturday 9th December, there will be two events for children run by the Gilling Parents’ Association.  The first for children up to 7 years old will be from 10.30am to 12.00pm and will include meeting Father Christmas and lots of Christmas crafts.   Christmas costumes are option and tickets are £10 per child and available from Lynn Harrison in the school office.

The second event is for children from 7 to 13 years old and is at 5.00pm to 6.30pm.  This will include a Harry Potter Themed Tea, Christmas crafts, science demonstration and other activities.  Harry Potter costumes optional.  Tickets are £10 and available from Lynn Harrison in the school office, lynn@ampleforth.org.uk or telephone 01439 766601. 

Both of these events are open to families of children who do not attend our school.