Newsletter – 18th October 2017

We were all thrilled by the structure of our expeditions day on Friday last. There will be a similar day each term and the purpose is to concentrate trips to a greater degree, minimising weekly disruptions of the time table. I particularly enjoyed the expeditions to Rome and ancient Egypt taking place back at base here and hope that the Y3 teddy bears have been dis-embalmed!

It was a pleasure to be able to lift a lid on a few of the mysteries surrounding application and transfer  to senior school at my presentation on Saturday morning. Thank you to all of the parents who attended and the door is now open for any hitherto hesitant Year 5 parents to call my P.A., Cecilia Desmond, to book an appointment to discuss future schools.

The rest of Saturday was happily taken up with matches and Open Day visitors. The following morning we greeted a large number of parents for one of our regular sporting tournaments of football and netball against the staff. There were no injuries and a great deal of skill was on display! I would like to thank publically all of our staff who worked and played so hard over that Friday, Saturday
and Sunday period.

Perhaps the highlight of this week so far has been our presentation to the representatives of the Motor
Neurone Disease Association of a cheque for over £153,000. Our Christmas Fayre last year raised over £30,000. Then the extended parental community came together in a series of further events which led to the end total. Pictures of the presentation in Prayers today should pop up fairly rapidly on Twitter and the website.

You will, no doubt, be keenly and painfully aware that this week concludes with half term starting at
3.00pm for the Pre-Prep and 5.00pm for the Prep School. In last week’s newsletter I spoke about our responsibility to be aware of the age appropriateness of films that our children have access to on television and on-line. May I raise a separate but connected point this week? I could offer copious statistical proof as to the recent growth in cyber bullying amongst young children and teenagers. We have always advised that computers, or other digital devices, are to be used in ‘public’ spaces
at home (e.g. sitting room, hall and kitchen) rather than in the enclosed citadel of a bedroom. We have also urged parents not to allow children of prep school age to take a mobile device to bed with them. It is at these times and in these situations that messages and images are both sent and received that are more likely to cause upset whether wittingly or not. I know that I may be readily dismissed as a dinosaur from another era, but our own children were only allowed a mobile phone when they went to boarding school at 13+. You might be aware that one of our feed schools, Cranleigh, has recently banned mobiles which, of course are mini digital tablets, from being used by Year 9s when they first arrive. I attach the note written by the Cranleigh Head, Martin Reader, which explains the reasoning behind this (Cranleigh article). As a final comment I would suggest that far too many of the children at Cumnor have unsupervised access granted by you to Twitter, Instagram & Facebook and all of the more trendy newcomers in this social media field. Please make yourselves aware of how your children are using this media and make a judgement as to whether you are happy. Do not be ‘laissez-faire’.

Cumnor w/c 6th November
On Tuesday 7th November, please note there will be NO OCCUPATIONS due to a Staff Training event therefore all day children to be collected at 5.00pm.

That same evening at 7.30pm there is a iPad Parental Review for parents of children in Y7 and Y8 in
Mr Fuller’s classroom in the Peake. Kindly RSVP via the following link (Y78 iPad review).
On Saturday 11th at 11.00am the whole school gathers in the North Quad where we shall be holding our annual Act of Remembrance Service. If you happen to be passing you would of course be most welcome to join us. Our boarders will be joining the Danehill Parish on Sunday for a similar ceremony.

Meanwhile on Saturday 11th and Sunday 12th November Cumnor House Sussex is heading up to Battersea for the Independent Schools Show; if you happen to be in London please do call in at our stand and we will happily give you a glass of fizz and a cheese straw! Please do encourage friends who are thinking about a move out of London and are wanting to plan their child’s future to come along and visit us at the Show. Please see for a free ticket!

Cumnor Outings
Wednesday 8 November Y4 Sheffield Park
Cumnor Academic
Christopher Walker writes: On Friday the first set of grades, for the Prep School children will be
published. For children in Years 6,7,8 the grades will be emailed directly from the Tutor whereas the grades of Year 4 & 5 will be emailed via the Office.

There has been a slight ‘tweak’ to how the grades are presented – details are on the Parent Portal but in
summary The grades come in two parts, ‘Attitude to Learning’ and Attainment’.

Cumnor Christmas Fayre
As the build up to Christmas Fayre begins you may well find you are receiving a fair few parentmails with requests for this, that & the other! Of course, all are in a good cause – our chosen charity Chailey
Heritage. However, in an attempt to keep your inboxes ‘tidy’, the office will ensure that any parentmails, about Christmas Fayre will have that title in subject line as a warning! We realise that on occasion people feel a kind of charity ‘ennui’ or ‘malise’ but ask you to consider that the work we are doing for a charity each year is part of educating our children about greater community responsibility and it really does make a difference, albeit at a cost of extra emails and an hour of our time being stuck behind a tombola stall!

Cumnor Community
Could you be an Ambassador for St Peter & St James Hospice?
This is an exciting new volunteer role to help St Peter & St James Hospice reach out to the local community, attend more fundraising events and have greater representation throughout Mid Sussex. The Hospice Ambassador will be key in helping St Peter & St James deliver the ‘Hospice story’ and explain why the Hospice needs support. The role is varied and flexible depending on previous experience, commitments and skills.

The new Hospice Ambassador will be offered training and support and be part of a friendly team. You will need to feel confident about speaking in front of groups and be seen as the ‘face’ of the Hospice – making a real difference by encouraging others to engage and fundraise on behalf of St Peter & St James. If you’re interested in finding out more, please contact Carol Hughes, Community Fundraiser on 01444 470726 or email her on

Cumnor Sports
Wednesday & Saturday Matches – Please refer to the website (Cumnor Sport) for the most up-to-date
information regarding Team Sheets and relevant timings and logistics.

Prize-Giving Cups & Trophies! During half term could all parents kindly search out cups & trophies that were awarded last term/last year and bring them into the Office as soon as possible on return to school. We need them back in order to award them for our Prize Giving in December.

Cumnor Credits
Cumnor Credits are awarded weekly to children who go above and beyond to help others within our school community and are subsequently awarded 2.5 housepoints. It is an achievement we take great pleasure in awarding. As ever, I am delighted to share our weekly list of Cumnor Credits and these are now available to view on the Cumnor website using the following link (Cumnor Credits)

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