The carol service is always a really warm and lovely way to end the term, and this year it was no different. The quality of the music and the singing, under the expert guidance of Mr Manwaring, was outstanding and very moving in places. The singing from the boys and girls from both upper schools was outstanding and angelic. There is tremendous sense of community with so many old boys, parents and friends of the school coming to support and share the experience as they did before. The whole event is a great summary of what makes the school so special and different from many other state schools. Because of the passion of our teachers, the enthusiasm of the students and the support of our parents we can hold onto our traditions, achieve excellence and develop our unique character. Thank you to all who supported the carol service this year, including Reverend Ainsley Swift and the Windsor Parish Church; thank you to all the musicians and singers from both schools; and thank you to Mr Manwaring for orchestrating such a memorable event. Well done all.
It has been a very exciting week at TWBS leading up to the Christmas break. Throughout the week, directors of year have been rewarding students who have made significant progress in their subjects, and the number is very large. Year 9 in particular have made a very impressive start to their school careers with us. But this morning we held a whole school assembly recognising other students who have achieved so much this term. Here are some highlights: Four students, Jude Compton-Steward, James Matthews, Arun Matharu and Arun Sharma are undergoing the Oxbridge interview process and are waiting with baited breath for the outcome. Fifty-four students have achieved their Duke of Edinburgh bronze award and are now moving onto the next level. Two students, James Matthews and Patrick Whiteford, made it the final of the European Mock Council held at the Law Society in London, beating hundreds of others to the honour. Freddy Whennell did extremely well in the Bebras Computing Competition, coming in the top 60 out of 71,000 entrants , and is invited to the finals at Oxford University in the spring. Seventy-eight of our top mathematicians in years 11, 12 and 13 took part in the United Kingdom Mathematics Trust Senior Maths Challenge and several students won gold, silver and bronze medals; but special mention goes to James Matthews, Max Greasley and Lucas Bartlett who all achieved best in their year. And twenty-three year 10 boys took part in the Dragon’s Den Challenge in Windsor town centre and made over £1000 profit in a matter of hours. And there were many others recognised for their achievements. Well done to everyone who has shone this term, as well as those who have done their very best and achieved so much.
We also honoured boys who have done so much in the sporting arena, which have been mentioned before in this newsletter, notably in swimming, judo, cross country running and bowls. (That range alone tells us how diverse and capable our boys are!) But we paid particular attention to the boys who have committed so much to rugby this season. It was a chance to reflect on the highs and lows of the fixtures this term across all age groups. Participation and enthusiasm in rugby has been very high at all levels, but particularly in year 9 and 10, where several boys were cited for recognition and applause. All year groups have had victories that they are proud of, and narrow losses that will build their character and determination. All reports talked about their Uno Animo spirit, which I have regularly seen on the playing fields. Awards were given to members of the first XV for their dedication to the sport this season: Half colours for “commitment and consistent performance” were awarded to Tom Macklin, Tom O’Hara, Nathan Thompson, Calvin Barreto and Rory Naylor. And full colours for “outstanding performance and total commitment to the team” were given to Jamie Jarvis, Aidan Taylor and Jack Hopkins. The ‘Front 5’ Cup was given to Nathan Thompson and the Most Improved Player of the Year was Tom O’Hara. The Outstanding Player of the Year, for his incredible performances and outstanding leadership throughout, was awarded to captain Jamie Jarvis. Many thanks and applause were given to the many staff who have given so much time and expertise to the development of rugby in the school this year. Thank you all so much.
Today was a perfect end to a fairly perfect term, with so much being achieved in the academic and the extra-curricular dimensions. Everyone has worked hard this term, not least the staff, who seem in a miraculous way to keep on doing more and more with less and less. They have earned my gratitude and my admiration for their dedicated attitude. I sincerely hope they all have a really good rest this holiday. And I also wish all our parents and students a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.