Newsletter – End of Term – Summer 2017

Dear Parents,

In our Prize-Giving last Friday, I spoke as follows:-

Good morning and welcome to Prize Giving and a very warm welcome to Niall FitzGerald, Chair of Governors and also to Peter Roberts, Headmaster of King’s School, Canterbury and his wife Marie. Peter is going to give out the prizes and then address us thereafter.

What a beautiful week of summer we have been treated to for this end of term! Three nights of Open Air Shakespeare – and Midsummer dreamy nights at that.

So, the end of the summer term 2017 – a time for farewells. Our 49 Year 8 Leavers head to 21 different Senior Schools with our love and best wishes. We are proud of them all:

BRIGHTON COLLEGE Alex H, Samuel H, Jo Jo M, Lottie S
BRYANSTON Amelia C, Ellie S, Bea W
CRANLEIGH Natascha C, Catie C, Charlie K, Sam S
HURSTPIERPOINT Rory B, James CP, Olivia C, James D, Olivia G, Sam H, Alex HD, Georgia N, Paddy NS, Olivia S, Louis vA, Jai WR
RADLEY William G, Freddie J
SEVENOAKS Fenton D, Peter O
TONBRIDGE Charlie F, Oscar T
WORTH Casper C, Fin T

It remains at the core of the Cumnor purpose that we serve so many different schools. We are also proud to have everyone going to their first choice school and to have amassed, a stunning number of awards!  his year, 32: 5 Academic, 12 Sport, 7 Drama, 3 All-Round, 5 Music
Addendum: I was delighted to receive news this morning that Rory B just been awarded an All Round Hurst Award.

Earlier today we said farewell to Billy H, Olivia C, Emmanuelle T, leaving early to join siblings, Antonia & Rupert W, Harry & Amelie K relocating, Max & Hattie T and Joe H. (Also to the H’s, Claudia, Emilie and Sophie who have been with us for the summer term).

During our assemblies this week, we have said farewell to the staff who are leaving and each of them deserves another mention now – albeit we shall have our own staff party goodbyes tonight!

Xanthe Lindsay
A teaching assistant in pre-prep for the last 5 years. She has contributed to all local schools, having been a parent at Ashdown and a volunteer helper at Brambletye. Now off with her ambassador husband to Brunei.

Jo Clancy
Been here since 2005, a Montessori-trained teacher who has been a mainstay of the pre-prep. Now going to join her husband David and her daughter, OC. Katie, in their family business in France.

Fran Moulds
Been working since 2009 with us a teaching assistant, a form teacher, RWInc co-ordinator, nativity play producer and pre-prep magazine editor. Also on school ski trip. Wonderfully proficient as befits an ex stage manager of the Bristol Old Vic.

Sarah Snell
Started here in 2007 – offered her a job whilst she was holidaying in South America. Head of pre-prep from Sept 2010. Was at Roedean School and a very much local girl. She had a perfect career path: Eaton House – Wetherby’s – Cumnor.

Nick Tier
Maths teacher, play producer, video star and DJ – who joined us from Windlesham in 2009 with Emily to run our boarding house for 3 years.

We also say goodbye to Gary Janks – a super supply teacher – a South African golf enthusiast and film maker who has contributed a great deal in a short time and for whom nothing was too much trouble & James Tunstill

We thank Will Anderson, who has been with us as a Gapper for the last two terms but now leaves to go back home to Australia and Jo Hammond and Brad Evans – who are both now off to University. My thanks also to the ‘new’ staff who have come in and made such an impact: Katie Kemp, Henry Tressider, Reem Acason, Nick McAdam, Cecilia Desmond, Craig Burgess, Rachel Pengelly, Octavia Serrano & Crystal Gwilliam.

May I also take this opportunity to wish Ben Henderson all the best for his forthcoming marriage during the holidays.

We say goodbye to 18 Cumnor families today from amongst our Year 8 Leavers; Bowden, Cordeschi, Dunford, Hardy, Humphrey-Davies, Judd, Kitchen, Moulds, Oesterlin, Robson, Rose, Sommers, Spink, Tier, Tomlinson, Turck, Van Asselt, Willink-Regan. They have accumulated 156 years of Cumnor life between them! (Last years’ leavers could only manage 117!)

Honourable mentions should go to the following families who have managed to accumulate very close to the critical figure required (in terms of having a continuous run of children here at Cumnor) that bring us close to The Ashdown Forest Pooh Bear country! The Hardy, Oesterlin, Sommers and Spink families have been here for 10 years.

Now in award territory and it’s a very close run thing! Joint 2nd place goes to the Bowden family with Christopher, Alexandra & Marina and the Judd family with Henrietta & Freddie, who both have 11 continuous years at Cumnor.

Very well done to Sarah & Nick Turck who are in 1st position, with Jason & Matty who between them have been here for 12 years from 2005 to 2017. Congratulations to them all.

Carminger, Kolade, Pickard and Scott are building up the years for 2019, 2020 and 2021!
(In case you are interested the record, so far, is 18 continuous years, currently held by 3 Old Cumnorian families: Brittons, Minchs & Weltons!)

You will remember my claiming in Leavers’ Evensong that these prep school years of our childhood are perhaps the most formative period of our lives. We develop as characters as well as learning as students. The most important influence in this period is the sensational staff around us – teachers, cleaners, maintenance, admin, grounds, medical and pastoral support – from their example we all learn…treating others as we wish to be treated, always giving of their best without favour, without cynicism, with goodwill and relentless hope.

This School is restless. We look for change for the better – with the impact on children being the measuring stick for any decision. Our new science building and nursery and library are evidence. The new dining room opens in September.

Now I am really sorry if you haven’t won a prize today. I know it is not for want of effort or desire (although the two have to coalesce – to combine for chances to be drastically increased). This, today, is not a finishing post, even for Leavers – but rather a staging post – a way station on a marathon – that is to be your life.

And now to the prizes…

In addition to talking of the staff who are leaving I should also mention next term’s joiners. It will be a pleasure to welcome two Old Cumnorians into the fold: Bede Tyler as a GAP student and Peony Grainger as a teaching assistant, both for the term.

Meanwhile, a new young mathematician joins our team in the shape of Lucy Reeve. Lucy went to the University of Gloucestershire and then taught at Tenterden Junior School completing her NQT year. She then took a gap year to explore New Zealand and we have been fortunate enough to nab her on her return. She will teach Maths across the junior part of the Prep School. You will also remember the return to the Pre-Prep of Chloe Blantern and Jacqui Freeman.

In an effort to keep you as up to date with Cumnor events as the minutes on the clock we have made the transition to a fully electronic version of our Kalendar. This means there will no longer be the little red booklet but you can access the Kalendar through the school website. This works in tandem with the new online sports application too as detailed further below. There is the facility to subscribe to the Kalendar which means you can receive the information to your own online calendar and it will automatically update if changes are made. Please note we will always notify you of any significant changes as well as major forthcoming events through the usual Parentmail and/or Newsletter system. The dates of events will be for the next academic term and future dates will also be in the Kalendar for your long-term planning. Please note they remain provisional dates until the term before.In the meantime time, please note that the Autumn Term starts on Tuesday 5th September for the boarders, with day children returning to school on the morning of Wednesday 6th September.

Once you have had a look at the new system and tried to set it up for your personal use, if you have any queries about dates or timings of events or setting up the calendar, please contact Yvonne Turner on

Sports Department writes: Over the summer we will be fully launching our new Sports Calendar, which you can access via following address, our Sports Website: For any information or help please contact Mr Burgess directly on

I was delighted to see the strong potential uptake of our Friday Night Boarding initiative and we shall be sending out further forms at the beginning of next term so that you will be able to book a week or two in advance.

Next term also sees us develop the use of our Nursery building further and we have employed Louise Hackett, currently Head of Bede’s Nursery, to mastermind the extension of the Nursery terms, working gradually towards a 50 week+ provision of care. Louise will be working entirely in concert with Emily Tier; albeit Emily will continue to be here within the prep school term dates.

May I also remind you that we are now in a position to offer families the opportunities of dropping their children (for children in Years 1-8) off early in the morning for breakfast and to hold them through into the evening to have supper with us also.

  • Breakfast Club – £15 per morning per Half Term or £2.50 one-off
  • Supper & Supervision – £10 per evening

Having completed one cycle of Pre-Testing towards Senior Schools, we are about to begin the next for our new Year 6s. Any questions or indeed statements about the pre-testing routine should be directed to Kim Lambert at and similarly any questions about the non-academic scholarship routine for our fresh Y8s should be directed to Jane Sykes at

During the course of next week we will publish on the Cumnor website the Form and Tutor Lists for the Autumn Term.

On a different note if you have any old Cumnorian children who are safely ensconced into secondary school or indeed leaving senior school we would be delighted to hear of their news thus far; do please send information, alongside photographs, to our Development Officer, Olivia Henley ( so she is able to include in our regular OC Newsletter.

We are looking to recruit 2 boy Gappers for the Autumn Term; if you know of anyone who maybe interested please contact Teresa Mockridge on

And finally, Belinda and I wish you all a very happy and peaceful summer.


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