It seems extraordinary that we are now approaching the first exeat weekend; time has certainly flown since last Wednesday evening. Term has undoubtedly started with a bang and the children have been enormously busy over the past couple of weeks. With 57 new children starting across the school, things have certainly been exciting (and occasionally rather hectic!) and now is a perfect opportunity for me to thank the many children who have acted as guides to the new boys in the prep school.
From an academic perspective, there has been a tangible air of industry about the school and it has been a pleasure to see the children hard at work from day one of the new academic year.
Away from the classroom, the rugby teams have started the season on the front foot and, after a series of exciting training matches against St Olave’s, the season started in earnest this weekend with a win for the U13B team against St Martin’s Ampleforth U13A.
On a musical note, Mr Atherton has worked wonders with the new Senior Choir and their performances during last weekend’s Evensong and yesterday’s morning service (with Mr Leo Winkley, Headmaster at St Peter’s, York as our visiting preacher) were simply beautiful. Our full team of peripatetic music teachers are also hard at work and I look forward to hearing the many ensembles bands and orchestras in the weeks and months ahead.
On the stage, Mrs Locke has completed the auditions for the Form 2 play and rehearsals are now in progress. In addition there are a record number of boys attending LAMDA lessons; as I have said before, there is no shortage of dramatic talent in the school!
Further activities have included the School Council Hustings (voting will take place on Wednesday), the DT scholars trip to Oakham School, Inter House rugby and PP2 visiting Souter Lighthouse.
The boarders have been particularly busy; last weekend saw the Form 1 travel to Saltburn for a day in the surf, Forms 2 and 3 enjoyed the ropes course at Adrenaline and, for those back at school, there was a full programme of activities ranging from swimming to 5 aside football and the waterslide. Yesterday’s events included cooking, high ropes at Adrenaline, Laser Quest and Form 5 leadership day (plus swimming, football and the inevitable waterslide!).
The evening activities programme is now in full swing (yoga and lacrosse being new additions to the existing programme) and it has been a pleasure to see the children so enthused by all that is on offer. Of course rip sticking, scootering, football, games of tag and the ever present COW continue to entertain and excite. Life is never dull here at Aysgarth!
Catherine Pearson, Head of French, will be retiring from Aysgarth life at the end of term. We wish her every success in the future and hope that she will keep in touch with us here at Aysgarth. We have already begun the recruitment process and I will, of course, keep you up to speed with any developments.
Also leaving us this term will be Rachel Pinkney, Pre-Prep secretary. Rachel leaves Aysgarth to take up the post of Schools and Families worker between the Methodist Church and local schools and community groups in the Richmondshire area. We wish her every success in this exciting new venture and look forward to hearing of her inevitable success. The recruitment process is already underway and I look forward to appointing her successor in due course.