News Archive

Autumn 2013

Mill Hill School Foundation and The Mount School to Merge

We are pleased to announce that the MHSF Schools (Grimsdell, Belmont and Mill Hill) and The Mount School are to merge. Girls currently studying at The Mount will be offered places to join MHSF in September 2014. In addition, in September 2015 MHSF will open The Mount Mill Hill International Study Centre on the current Mount School premises. For further details, please see the letter to parents from Dr Chapman, The Chairman of the MHSF Court of Governors, and Dr Luckett, the Chief Executive of MHSF and Headmaster of Mill Hill School. A Question and Answer sheet has also been prepared which we hope will prove useful.

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National Anti-Bullying Week (18th-23rd November)

As always, the School’s Anti-Bullying and Mentoring Council (ABMC) played a leading role in co-ordinating Mill Hill’s involvement in National Anti-Bullying week. On Friday 22nd, pupils were able to come into School wearing their own clothes, just as long as they were blue, in order to reflect the physical and emotional damage caused by bullying. A number of ABMC members got involved in making and selling blue cakes and biscuits on the same day. The proceeds from both of these activities raised a four-figure sum that will be donated this year to Oxfam’s Typhoon Haiyan Philippines appeal.

Throughout the week, a wide range of pupils had taken part in a thought-provoking Chapel presentation seen by every member of the School. The Chapel service highlighted the poem that teenager Izzy Dix left behind before taking her own life in September 2013, used a short-piece of drama to raise awareness about the very real hurt that apparently harmless ‘name-calling’ can cause, showed pupils a YouTube clip entitled ‘To This Day’ by Shane Koyczan.

To express an opinion that the old saying that ‘Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me’ is in fact false and that the damage caused by words can last a lifetime and reminded pupils of the need not to suffer in silence but instead to tell someone if they are being unfairly or unkindly treated. This might involve telling friends or trusted adults at school but might also involve confiding in family members too – the poem ‘My Mom and Me’ by Andrea Wilson was read aloud to show the relief that victims sometimes feel through confiding in a loved one:

It used to be I’d hop out of bed, So eager to start my day. But times have changed. I ask my mom, “Can I stay home from school today?”
I find a lot of grounds, to justify my stance. I plead, I beg, I frown, I do a little dance.
“My ears, they ache. My tummy’s sore.” I blow my nose and cough some more.
“What are these spots upon my chest?” I wheeze. I sneeze. I do my best.

My Mom sits down beside my bed. “You are not sick.” I turn bright red.
I know she hates it when I lie. She’d understand if she knew why.
So should I tell her of my woes? And will it change things if she knows?
I fear she’ll only make things worse. If I don’t tell her, I think I’ll burst.
And so I tell her of the clique. The girls who say that I’m a “geek”.
I tell of giggles, the whispers, the rumours. I talk of their spite, and their cruel sense of humor.

And …It feels so good to vent, although it’s so private. I talk and talk. My Mom’s very quiet.
She says to me gently, “I’m terribly sorry.” We hug and we cry. We go over my story.
Together we look at the things we can do. I’m no longer alone; we have a plan too.
I think I can face being teased and harassed. With Mom on my side, my power is vast.

A final prayer then closed the Chapel presentation:

Dear Lord, we know that you have given us the freedom to choose.
We can choose whether to treat others with kindness and respect or to scorn, bully and abuse them.
Help us to choose rightly. Help us to recognise the divine image in each one of us, however different we may be as individuals.
Help us to resist the pressures of others who want us to join them in making someone a victim of their cruelty.
Help us to know that in hurting others we are harming our better selves and hurting you.
Amen

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Christmas Rugby Camp

The Saracens Rugby Camp Programme is aimed at U7-U16 playing age groups and provides organised, educational, inclusive and structured activities. With the RFU implementing the new laws of play across all counties for the 2013/14 Season, Saracens have designed a brand new delivery structure specifically for U7-U10 as well as other age groups unaffected by the new laws of play. Individuals can expect to cover content specific to their age group ensuring the best possible personal development on and off the field. Camps will cover all rugby aspects in a fun and enjoyable way, utilising development through game play, the latest equipment and one on one advice within a professional environment.

For further information on the course and the total rugby experiences on offer please visit www.rugbycamps.com/saracens or call Jon Baker on 0203 675 7242.

Click here to see the full advert pdf16.

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Remembrance Day 2013

On Monday 11th November, the School community came together for the traditional Remembrance Day commemorations. Poor weather conditions meant that the School did not process through the Gate of Honour, as has been the tradition for over 90 years. Nevertheless, there was a moving service in the Chapel led by Reverend Dr Warden, who referred to Alex Todd, the Old Millhillian rugby international, whose story had been told by author Stephen Cooper as part of the Lecture Series (8th November).

History Teachers Peter McDonough and Mark Dickinson used School archive and other material collected over many years of taking School groups to the Western Front, to engage Lower School pupils with some of the questions surrounding Remembrance, War and the Celebration of Peace.

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Old Millhillians in the News

What a diverse bunch Old Millhillians are. Recent weeks has seen media attention for alumni on the sports field, in medical research on overseas aid project and on the television screen.

Leanne Armitage

Dr Marc Dweck (Senior Monitor, McClure 1997) has been featured on BBC Radio and Television News to talk about recent research at the University of Edinburgh dealing with the early identification of people who may be as a high risk of heart attacks. Click here for more.

Recent leaver Leanne Armitage has been featured in the TES Magazine (8th November) in a report detailing the achievements of a group of teenagers working on a building project in Kamoda, a remote village in the Western Indian state of Rajastan. Leanne, who is pictured carrying a load of rubble, had this to say about her contribution to the Virgin Atlantic Free the Children Project “If you can choose something you’re passionate about, the impact is going to be a lot more effective”.

We recently reported on Harry Melling’s success in the West End hit play “The Hot House” but in recent weeks it is Harry’s Grandfather, old Millhillian Patrick Troughton, who has been in the news. 50 years on, there has been much debate about the relative merits of the various Dr Who incarnations. In the Times Saturday Review (16th November), David Aaronovitch is clear that Troughton gets his vote “His greatest glory was a marvellous voice – like a knife spreading buttered gravel”.

In the Independent (11th October), it was reported that archivist Phillip Morris had uncovered classic Troughton episodes from the 1960s that had been lost for 45 years. The episodes are said to “burst with the energy of the Sixties” and are available on Apple downloads.

The School has also been the beneficiary of a selection of Dr Who novels kindly donated by Dr Who enthusiast David Dovey. David has been blogging about his project which was set up to inspire children as to what can be achieved through courtesy, communication skills and teamwork. Click here to see his blog.

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Fives

Our U14 Fives team recently competed against ten different schools including Harrow, St,Olaves, Westminster and Charterhouse in the Southern Schools Championships. 45 pairs of players in total competed in this tournament. Our 1st pair of Charlie Plummer and Jonathan Becker beat St Olaves’ 2nd pair 12 – 10 in the semi-final and St Olaves’ 1st pair 12 – 8 in the final.

This follows on from the success of our U14s in the REFCA Individual Competition. Five Mill Hill boys entered and Charlie Plummer and Jonathan Becker reached the final but unfortunately lost 12-2 to St Olaves. So revenge was had!

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Mill Hill Pupils Talk to Boris Johnson

London Mayor, Boris Johnson, has phone-in on Nick Ferrari’s LBC Radio Show every month where people can call in to discuss issues that affect them.

Mill Hill Latin pupils Chloe Noble and Isobel Whitby called into the show this week to ask “is there value in studying Latin today?”. Boris has an Oxford Degree in Classics and is former President of Association of Classical Teachers so was well-placed to discuss this issue.

Click Play ► on the MP3 player under the photo to listen to the call.

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Mason Caton-Brown Rugby Success

Many congratulations go to Old Millhillian Mason Caton-Brown who scored a hat-trick for London Broncos recently at Hull Kingston Rovers to help them avoid finishing bottom of Super League.

To read more about his outstanding achievement, click here.

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King’s College Cambridge Scholars

Following Old Millhillian Jack Weller’s excellent result in this year’s Tripos examination at Kings College Cambridge, the College Council have elected him to be a Scholar of the College. This title, which dates from the foundation of King’s, carries an emolument of £250.00. He has also been awarded a travel exhibition for his work.

Jack attended a short ceremony in King’s College Chapel at which the Provost, Professor Mike Proctor, formally awarded his Scholarship and invited him to sign the Scholars’ Book.

This was a doubly significant moment for Mill Hill School as Professor Proctor, who is still a Governor here, had just relinquished the Chairmanship of the Court of Governors on taking up the position of Provost at King’s College.

Joining Jack as a Scholar at King’s this term is Choral Award winner Benedict Kearns.

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Todd-Raphael Salver Rugby Match

Wednesday 16th October saw the inaugural game for the Todd-Raphael Salver, played between the First XV’s of Merchant Taylors’ School and Mill Hill School at Allianz Park, home of the Saracens. The game was a keenly contested affair with MTS gaining a deserved 3 – 0 lead after an impressive start. However, a highly motivated Mill Hill side then started to win the battle of territory. With this territory, points and much-needed confidence began to grow for the Mill Hill side. Man of the Match, Lewis Leader, drew the sides level with a penalty, before finishing off an excellent team try and adding the conversation.

After half time, the Mill Hill forwards began to dominate proceedings and were unlucky not to add more points before the excellent Christos Theodorou touched down from a well-executed driving maul. Leader added the extras from wide out. With the forwards dismantling the MTS set piece, the back line began to look an ever increasing threat. The highly impressive Raph Levy was dangerous throughout and Harry James was a constant thorn in the side of MTS. On the rare occasions that MTS won quick ball, the midfield defence of Mill Hill, led by Alex Conn and Guy Woyda, proved an intensely destructive force.

The win was secured by the an outstanding solo effort from Leader who again converted his own try, giving him a personal tally of 19 points in his team 24-3 victory. The main event was preceded by an U16 fixture between the two schools. This resulted in a hard fought victory for a very talented MTS side by 15-3.

The evening was hugely atmospheric and a fantastic occasion for all involved; I have little doubt that it will be a high point of the season for both schools for many years to come.

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Inter-House Cross Country

Nearly 400 of our boys and girls ran courses of varying lengths (1.5 miles for Fourth Form and Remove), 2 miles for senior girls and 3.2 miles for senior boys. The conditions were very wet and slippery for the Fourth Form but good (if slightly muddy) conditions were ‘enjoyed’ by all other year groups.

4th Form

The Fourth Form race was extremely competitive this year and the individual placings were:

Girls

1st

Kimberley Balcombe, McClure (in a joint new girls’ course record)

2nd

Sophie Lewis, Murray

3rd

Ellie Georghiou, McClure

Boys

1st

Jamie Delane, Priestley

2nd

Jamie Prunas, Priestley

3rd

Archie Craddock, School

Team

1st

Priestley

2nd

School

3rd

Weymouth

Removes

Girls

1st

Carlota Franques, McClure (in a joint new girls’ course record)

2nd

Mizuki Sakurai, Collinson

3rd

Yasmin Denli, Cedars

Boys

1st

Jamie Cohen, Cedars (in a new course record, beating his time from last year by more than 50seconds)

2nd

Jack Fitzpatrick, Atkinson

3rd

Edward Goode, Cedars

Team

1st

Atkinson

2nd

Joint Boarders team

3rd

McClure

Senior Races

For the first time ever both races were won by Fifth Formers, with a new name to look out for in the boys races for the future:

Senior Girls

1st

Phoebe Dart, Fifth Form, Murray

2nd

Sophie Tingle, Fifth Form, School

3rd

Gabriela Grant, Lower Sixth, Priestley

Team

1st

McClure

2nd

Atkinson

3rd

School

Senior Boys

1st

Hadrien Meyer, Fifth Form, Atkinson

2nd

Luke King, Lower Sixth, Priestley

3rd

Gareth Kong, Upper Sixth, Priestley

Team

1st

Priestley

2nd

Murray

3rd

McClure

Overall

House Cross Country placings:

1st

Priestley (and therefore the new winners of the House Cross Country Shield)

2nd

McClure

3rd

Atkinson

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12th October Open Morning

School building

A warm welcome awaits prospective pupils and their families at our Foundation Open Morning on Saturday 12th October. All three Foundation Schools – Grimsdell (pre-preparatory), Belmont (preparatory) and Mill Hill – will be open between 9.30am and 12 noon. No appointments are necessary – please come and meet Senior Academic staff and tour the Schools. Parking will be signposted for each School from The Ridgeway.

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Girls Excel in Sport

Following a successful sporting summer, our girls have equalled the boys’ achievements with some notable performances in golf, badminton and netball.

Priya Pankhania (Remove, Priestley) has been selected for the England U16 girls’ golf team. This is an exceptional achievement by Priya and testament to all her hard work in the past year at Mill Hill.

Cindy Cui (Remove, Collinson) entered the Middlesex Junior Restricted Badminton tournament, run by Middlesex County Badminton Association, winning the singles competition and being runner-up in the doubles. This is an annual tournament held with the aim to find the best talent in the county. From this, players get picked to represent Middlesex in inter-county matches.

Finally, Lauren Abrahams (Upper Sixth, Murray) won a gold medal with the GB junior netball team at the Maccabiah Games in Israel over the Summer.

Lauren Abrahams, Cindy Cui and Priya Pankhania

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Changing Pressures on Teenagers: Lecture Report

On Tuesday 24th September, we had the privilege of watching and listening to a thought-provoking lecture by the quirky Dr Nick Baylis, who has lectured at the University of Cambridge and has previously written for ‘The Times’ newspaper. Dr Baylis explored many aspects of mental well-being and he encouraged the audience to consider personal relationships, fulfilling our potential and how to cope with stress. He gave a range of inspirational examples of how well-known individuals have channelled potentially over-powering stress into positive attributes and managed to stand up to high pressured situations rather than run away when they almost reached breaking point. Dr Baylis went on to give us his view that humans thrive off of stressful situations and such instances are likely to extract surprising levels of accomplishment from us and sometimes the most remarkable outcomes. In addition to building courage within ourselves, he also juxtaposed his use of high pressured scenarios with relaxation techniques and reminded us that in order to do well we must relax and stay calm. He involved the audience in his teachings by presenting us with an array of ideas on how to maintain a tranquil state of mind, and soon The Large was taking part in his deep breathing exercises!

As new pupils to the Sixth Form, we found this lecture particularly insightful as it gave us a new outlook and different approach to handling our stress, whether it be induced by a heavy work-load or teen related peer-pressure. Dr Baylis struck a chord in both of us due to his accessible, charismatic and personable presentation style. We both thoroughly enjoyed meeting the inspirational Dr Baylis and his talk will surely influence us on our journey through the education system and further on into our lives.

Chloe Mettle (Lower Sixth, Atkinson) and Sophie Ward (Lower Sixth, Cedars)

Sophie Ward, Dr Nick Baylis, George Sheppard and Chloe Mettle

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Outstanding Exam Results

Many Mill Hill pupils have again secured some excellent results in this year’s GCSE examinations. The A*/A pass rate was over 51%, with 80% of exams being graded A*-B.

49 candidates achieved 6 A*/A grades or better, with 15 candidates securing 9 or more of the top two grades. Special congratulations go to Fifth Former Laminn McLay who has secured a prestigious Arkwright Scholarship for Design Technology.

2013 Arkwright Engineering Scholarships Press Release

“I am delighted that so many Mill Hill pupils acquitted themselves so well in their GCSE exams. We very much look forward to welcoming them and our new Sixth Form entrants as they embark upon their A level courses.”

Dr Dominic Luckett, Headmaster

We are also delighted to congratulate this year’s leavers on their outstanding A level results.

Our candidates achieved 82% A*-B grades, a new School record, including 44% A* and A grades. As a consequence of these excellent results, the most popular university destinations this year are: Nottingham, Bristol, Birmingham, Bath and Leeds. (View Mill Hill’s top ten University destinations this year ).

Just a few of our successful pupils and their destinations are shown below:

Alycia Bohannon (will be reading Computer Information Systems at Bath). Alycia has won an apprenticeship with Capgemini on their Higher Apprentice programme.

Jinxi Chen (will be reading Geography at Cambridge)

Jack Davison (will be reading Politics and Sociology at Sheffield)

Jessica Loizou (will be reading English at Bristol)

Osman Mirza (will be reading Medicine at Liverpool)

Jake Sachdev (will be reading War Studies at Birmingham)

Amy Welch (will be reading Modern Languages at Exeter)

“I am delighted that this impressive and talented group of young people have performed so superbly. To have secured such outstanding grades and places at Oxbridge and other leading universities is something of which they can be justifiably proud. I congratulate them all.”

Dr Dominic Luckett, Headmaster

Special congratulations go to Benedict Kearns on securing his place to read Music at King’s College Cambridge, with a Choral Award.

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New Head for Grimsdell in 2014

Mrs Kate Simon

We are delighted to announce that, following a rigorous selection process, the Court of Governors have appointed Mrs Kate Simon as Head of Grimsdell with effect from 1 September 2014. She will succeed Mrs Pauline Bennett-Mills who is retiring after a highly successful and distinguished career as the School’s founding Head.

Mrs Simon is a current Grimsdell parent. She read English Literature at University. Between 2002 and 2008 she was Head of Junior School at The Royal School, Hampstead, and since 2008 has been Head of Girls’ Upper School at Garden House School in Chelsea.

During the coming year, Mrs Simon will work closely with Mrs Bennett-Mills and other senior staff in order to get to know the School, its staff, pupils and parents before she formally takes up her post.

Whilst we will be very sorry to say goodbye to Mrs Bennett-Mills in a year’s time, we are very pleased to know that she will be succeeded by someone of such high calibre. Mrs Simon said of her appointment:

‘I am excited about working within the Mill Hill School Foundation community over the coming years and very much looking forward to getting to know the pupils, parents and staff even better during the handover period with Mrs Bennett-Mills.’

Dr Roger Chapman, Chairman of the Court of Governors, is greatly looking forward to working with Mrs Simon, adding that:

‘The Governors are delighted that Mrs Simon will succeed Mrs Bennett-Mills in a year’s time to continue her outstanding work as Head. They are confident that under her leadership Grimsdell will continue to go from strength to strength.’

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