Seniors Learn about Antarctica

Last week, Senior School pupils had an incredible opportunity to learn about Antarctica, a land of constant subzero temperatures, home to 90 percent of the world’s fresh ice, and the natural habitat of penguins, seals, killer whales and some fascinating under-sea life. Guest speaker Thomas Bracegirdle, parent of two Heritage pupils, researches atmospheric science and climate in his role with British Antarctic Survey. During the assembly, he shared his impressive knowledge about and enthusiasm for this remote continent, highlighting its most notable features, the challenges of data collection in such an extreme environment, and the exciting potential it presents for climate study and international collaboration.

He also shared the story of how he landed  in his field of study. Growing up as a child in Scotland, Dr Bracegirdle began to take an interest in the climate around him with its changeable weather patterns, winds, and  interesting cloud formations. Spurred on by his natural curiosity, he went on to study physics and maths—two fields of knowledge that are essential for understanding the ups and downs of weather—and then studied physics and meteorology at university, eventually earning a PhD in meteorology.

This is just one of many assemblies where Seniors have heard from individuals who were led into a rewarding profession by the ideas that captured their interest. As our pupils consider their own future career paths, we hope that they will take time to reflect on the things that fascinate them, and pursue a lifetime of learning more about them.

A Joyful Christmas Concert & Nativity

Last night’s annual Christmas Concert and Nativity, one of the most eagerly anticipated events of the Heritage year, offered up an opportunity to celebrate the season in song. Joyful musical performances by Infants, Juniors and Seniors—as well as each of our Choirs—displayed a delightful range of musical styles, from traditional to calypso. It was lovely to see staff members joining in with the Seniors as well, and to sing along to seasonal favourites with the congregational carols. The Nativity featured our Infants, with readings by the Head Girl and Boy and narration by pupils in Year 7 through Year 10. The event began with Mr Fletcher inviting us to consider the question ‘Is humanity humanity’s only hope?’; he reminded us that the Christmas story points to a hope beyond ourselves in the form of Emmanuel—God with us. Special thanks to Mrs Caldwell, Mr Dalton and Mr and Mrs Wright for their superb musical accompaniment; congratulations to Mrs Lowe, Mrs Good, Mrs Shore and of course Mrs Zurcher for their brilliant musical direction; to Mrs Carter and the Infants staff for their hard work on the Nativity programme; and to everyone involved in the preparations for an altogether heartwarming and festive evening.

A Word from our Head Girl and Head Boy

Each year, the Head Girl and Head Boy play an important role in the life of the school. They serve as role models for our younger pupils, act as ambassadors, and support the practical functioning of the school in a variety of ways. Our current Head Girl and Boy, Emilie and Silas, have been very busy since first taking their post, serving at the Leaver’s Service, helping to run activities at the Year 7 induction afternoon, and giving a tour of the Senior School and speaking about their experiences during the Information Evening for Year 5 and 6 parents. During the October Open Morning, Emilie and Silas also gave speeches to prospective parents and served as guides along with the other Student Council members. They are also part of the Senior Council and meet with the Deputy Head regularly.

Head Girl Emilie

I was delighted to be chosen as Head Girl this year, which has given me the chance to give back to my school which I have been part of over the last twelve years. This term, I have hugely enjoyed running a football club for those in the Junior school, enabling me to share my passion with others. Heritage has really helped me see the joy that small year groups give, where I am able to get to know those who are not so close to me in age, which is really precious. As well as playing football in my spare time, I also love playing my violin and reading. I hope that in the rest of my final year at Heritage, I will be able to help sustain the atmosphere of community we have in our school in which all pupils are able to flourish.

Head Boy Silas

I feel hugely privileged to be Head Boy this academic year and to serve my school through this role. Having joined Heritage in Upper Prep, I have really appreciated the opportunity to participate in the diverse range of sports offered to Infants, Juniors and Seniors. Exposure to a variety of team sports has allowed me to develop as a team player as well as an individual athlete. It’s been amazing leading the Senior Running Club with the Deputy Head and having such a nice group of runners from across the year groups, watching them improve as athletes, as well as getting to know them. In addition to running, I enjoy table tennis, chess and Art. I am interested in how things work, particularly those relating to the physical sciences. I hope to study Engineering at university and perhaps contribute to making our world greener.

An Inspiring Author’s Visit

This morning, author Ben Harris paid an inspiring visit to our Infants and Juniors. Our youngest pupils were enthralled with his picture book The Christmas Swallow, a beautiful retelling of the Christmas story from the viewpoint of a swallow. And our pupils in Year 5 and 6 put their knowledge of classical languages to the test  asMr Harris read from his Latin translation of Julia Donaldson’s The Gruffalo. It was lovely to see the pupils so engaged and asking lots of questions, as Mr Harris took advantage of the opportunity to speak to them in a very relatable way about the use of perspective in storytelling, Latin conjugation, and much more. Copies of both of his books can be found on most online booksellers’ websites.

Year 6 Create an Enchanted Evening with A Midsummer Night’s Dream

At the beginning of Year 6’s recent performance of William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, there are two important reminders for the audience. First, that love doesn’t run smoothly. And second, that this play is a comedy. And so the stage was set for the remainder of the production; a madcap exploration of enchantment and folly that marked Year 6’s first foray into bringing Shakespeare to the stage. In addition to the familiar story of the chaos and confusion of love, there were some wonderfully unexpected moments as well, including the mischievous Puck as a Mission: Impossible-type spy, and a sword fight scene set to the Rocky III theme music. The pupils’ enjoyment of the material was evident, with Mr Fletcher noting in his concluding remarks that ‘it was good to see them entering into the comedy and slinging insults at one another.’ (Take note pupils, this will probably be the first and last time that Mr Fletcher approves of such a thing.) Bravo to the class for their excellent performances, to Mrs Watkins for her hard work in preparing and directing them, and special thanks to Mrs Eldridge for stepping in to run the lighting at the last moment. Each of the pupils and teachers involved worked together to create a delightfully fun evening.