6th February 23
Creative Arts week is nearly upon us! I am really looking forward to the week’s
events and also to catching up with one of my former pupils, Sarah Mardel, who
will be running some of the workshops. I taught Sarah English when she was a
pupil at a local grammar school and also directed her in a production of
“Oh! What a Lovely War”, the famous play by Joan Littlewood. I remember
casting Sarah as the MC who is, effectively, the commentator throughout the
play. Sarah was a most reliable, engaged and determined performer who glued the production together
Fast-forward to about 2009 and I was in London with Years 7 and 8 one afternoon to watch The National
Theatre’s production of “War Horse” by Michael Morpurgo. The lights came up and the pupils were
enthralled by the story and, obviously, the rather spectacular puppetry that makes the production so
memorable. Being a cheapskate, I had not bought a programme so I had to turn to one of the pupils and
ask for theirs as I could not quite bring myself to believe that the woman on stage playing one of the lead
roles was one of my former pupils! Indeed, the programme confirmed that it was indeed Sarah. As the
curtain fell, I raced round to the stage door and asked politely if Sarah was able to pop out and say hello. I
was delighted when she bounded out of the theatre with a big smile saying, “Hi, Mr Harrison!” This was
my chance to get maximum “street cred” with the pupils, so I gathered them together before we got on
the coach and said that I had arranged for one of the actors to speak with them. Sarah had a lovely chat
with them about the production, her roles in it, the puppetry and how she had followed the pathway to
becoming a professional actress. As we left, I did have a laugh with her saying that she started off in a play
about World War One with me and she was now in a play about World War One in the West End!
I hope that the pupils really enjoy the week and, if you are available, and your child is in Years 3-8 please do
pop in to the exhibition of their work which will run in The Centenary Centre from 11:15 am to 12:30 pm on
I will finish with a reminder that there is no school for pupils next Friday as it is an INSET training day for
The highlight of the week has been our fantastic Pre-Prep Hockey Tournament. Huge thanks to Mr Worgan
and Miss Ablett for organising such a brilliant, fun and engaging morning for the children. It was amazing to
watch the children’s progress through each year and to watch their increasing skills as they grow. There was
such a buzz of excitement in the classrooms even before we left for Hollybush and once they were running
around, their enthusiasm and enjoyment were clear to see.
I would also like to extend my huge thanks to our delightful Year 8 assistant coaches: Archie, Marek, Lyla
and Charlotte. I was so impressed by their coaching skills and their attitude towards our little ones, such
fabulous role models for them to look up to.
Thank you to all of those parents and guardians who came along to support the children at Hollybush. The
children loved having you there and I hope that you enjoyed the opportunity to see how much fun they
We are very much looking forward to Creative Arts Week next week. Mrs Fuller has already sent through
some wonderful ideas on a shared arts project for the children to get stuck into and I know that Mrs
Hougham has organised some very exciting workshops for the Pre-Prep children too and I look forward to
sharing more about these next week.
I hope that you all have a wonderful weekend.