Mr Phelan’s Weekly Round Up 28th January 2022

Wow! What a week! Let’s start with the amazing news that our U11 Netball girls this week become IAPS Regional Winners! This is the second time in four years that Duncombe have won this accolade really putting Duncombe Sport firmly on the map as a centre for excellence. The girls acquitted themselves admirably on an extremely long and cold day at Ipswich School. The competition was fierce and required every player to be constantly at their very best. A semi final victory over St Edmund’s, with earlier victories against Prep schools like Highgate, saw the team enter the final with Littlegarth School Colchester. A match of two periods of strong play from both sides saw Duncombe take the crown with a 7-6 nail-biting victory. This is the stuff of Hollywood sports movies. Both Mrs Johnson and Mrs Price were thrilled with the conduct, supportive nature of each team member and the willingness to be pushed out of normal playing comfort zones. Already coaching sessions are underway for the final due to take place in Bournemouth in March. We will, of course greatly look forward to this, but for now let’s take a moment to congratulate the U11 IAPS Regional Netball Champions – Duncombe School!

On Monday, Miss Morley led assembly with the dual focus of celebrating the recent whole school write with our Patron of Reading Mo O’Hara announcing the winners in Upper and Lower School as well as reading them to the pupils. The work has been exceptional, and it is a tribute to the pupils and staff that deciding on eventual winners was exceptionally hard. Well done to all involved. Miss Morley also spent time in reflection for Holocaust Memorial Day that occurred this week. The pupils listened, reflected and discussed the importance of remembering and the importance of respecting all people regardless of any differences. It is a universal message that is as relevant today as it ever has been. Do take the time to look at the video used as part of the assembly and the useful information link for children

Year 1 lead assembly today looking at the theme of friendship and inclusion, based on the story ‘Alien Tea on Planet Zum-Zee’. As ever they were well rehearsed and showed the excellent journey that they have all taken this academic year in growing confidence and skills. With singing, facts and fine acting they really did the entire Year 1 team of pupils and staff proud. A wonderful way to top off an exceptional week for Duncombe. Well done and thanks to all.

Next week will see our Harmony Choir attend and compete in the Haileybury Choral Festival Competition. You may remember that in March 2020 the Harmony Choir were National Finalists in the Choir of the Year Competition. Whilst circumstances of Covid prevented such competitions, Mrs Sutton has found ways to keep singing alive at Duncombe. A far from easy task where rules of what could and could not be done were extremely restricting – still Mrs Sutton and her team have kept the flame alive and we are thrilled that they will have the opportunity to showcase their abilities on Monday next week. During the school day we have heard the Choir practise their rendition of Swing Low which has sounded angelic. We of course wish them every success for the entire day’s experience which will also see the pupils enjoy choral masterclasses and a final performance.

We shall also be marking Chinese New Year and technology allowing, hope to hear from our sister school in Hong Kong about how children celebrate the Chinese New Year there. Knebworth will be launching the charity events for the term and on Friday our musicians will be providing another morning concert for invited families. There are further fixtures scheduled too, so plenty to keep everyone busy.

Finally, a reminder to parents of Year 4 and 5 that we are hosting our Future Schools Evening and I am delighted to share that Mrs Cameron, Principal at Queenswood School will be joining Mrs Donna Cresswell, Director of Communications at Queenswood and the team here at Duncombe including two former pupils, to talk through the experience of moving from Duncombe at 11+. Please do let us know if you are attending so we can plan our set up accordingly.

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend.
Mr Phelan.

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