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ASSEMBLYWINTER 2009 From the Headmaster


e are always delighted when old boys come back to visit Arnold House, especially if they have something interesting to say to the boys. This term Eddie Villiers (1968-76), father of Freddie and Jamie in Year 7, gave a perfectly judged presentation to the boys in assembly.

His topic was The Homestead charity in Cape Town, South Africa, which does wonders to help young boys get off the streets into schools and meaningful employment. To date, the boys, with the help of the Arnold House Parents’ Association, have raised £5,500 in support of The Homestead, our international charity for the year.

It was also a pleasure for Year 6 boys to meet Richard Hunter-Coddington (194548) and hear about life at Arnold House in the forties, as well as his exploits as a long-standing member of the Serpentine Swimming Club in Regent’s Park. In a similar vein, current parents regularly accompany school trips and come in to talk to the boys about an interest of theirs which complements a topic of study on

the curriculum. On 4th November we took this one stage further by holding an ‘Open House’ to enable parents to see the School in action on a normal working day. The event was very well received and has encouraged us to look towards doing something similar for grandparents in the not too distant future.

Vivian Thomas Headmaster

What a Drama!


he Shakespeare Schools Festival is the largest youth drama festival in the UK. This Autumn, 10,000 young people performed half-hour versions of some of Shakespeare’s greatest plays in 67 professional theatres across the UK; among them were our current Year 8 boys along with other state, grammar and independent schools and youth theatre groups. Returning from their summer holidays in September, the Year 8 boys were eager to prepare for their performance of “Macbeth” at the Unicorn Theatre. The boys had precious little time to ready themselves: a week spent in Burgundy, academic deadlines and the usual mix of extracurricular activities made rehearsal time more pressured than ever. November 5th crept ever closer. The night itself was a thrilling one with our boys acting alongside three other schools, from Kingston, Stepney Green and Pimlico. The boys exceeded all expectations, setting Bonfire Night ablaze with some powerful performances belying their


tender years. They certainly looked the part with their hessian tabards and gold lame cloaks produced specially for the event by Veronica Faulks. After the performance, the Arnold House boys changed clothes and joined the audience to watch further renditions of “Henry V” and “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”. Finally, all the performers were commended by the Festival organisers who fed back to each cast in turn – Arnold House’s “Macbeth” was lauded for its ‘filmic’ look and for its ensemble production.

The boys found the experience exhilarating, as their hard work over the previous two months reached a climax on a professional stage in front of a full-house of 275 people at the Unicorn Theatre. For Mr Marks and Mr Maddocks directing was a stimulating challenge; a valuable experience that the School hopes to repeat and make a regular fixture in the Arnold House calendar.

David Marks Head of Drama

Advanced Technology at Arnold House

AH Boys Embrace The Homestead



ollowing the introduction of the interactive Smartboards in 2003, we have continued to remain at the forefront of advanced technology both in the classroom and behind the scenes. Our aim is to ensure that our technologically astute boys are challenged and that the day-today running of the School is as efficient as possible.

ollowing a successful Charity Day earlier in the term , the AH boys embraced the idea of creating their own fairground style stalls at the Canons Park Autumn Festival to raise more funds for the cause. The day was a great success with a fantastic turnout and a wonderful atmosphere, despite the wet weather. A magical Aladdin’s Den, a tombola, a classroom full of arts, crafts and cupcake decorating, a magician, fantastic fairground attractions, a Beat the Teacher Penalty Shootout, mulled wine, mince pies, and a delicious BBQ all added to the success of the day which opened with the Jazz Band

Introducing laptop use in class One of our more recent initiatives has been the introduction of laptops into our Year 7 & 8 classes. When Dell launched their Latitude 2100 netbook, Arnold House was the first UK School to give them a trial. Starting from January 2010 boys in Years 7 & 8 will be able to collect a laptop from the trolley in their classrooms at the beginning of the day and use them in a number of their classes.

Remote access to homework through the Drop Box The Drop Box system was initially set up as part of the contingency plan should the School need to close down for a period of time due to an emergency. However,

The boys raised nearly £3,000 from their stalls bringing the total raised for the charity this term to £5,500 which will enable The Homestead to build a bathroom with showers in a new home for the boys they help. Many thanks to the Parents‘ Association for all their hard work and organisation, without which this event would not have been possible. Stephanie Miller Director of Development

Above: The headboys try out the new Arnold House laptops

The boys will have filtered access to the internet through the School’s new wireless network and they will be able to save and retrieve files using their personal log in. As well as having the opportunity to use numerous interactive websites to support their learning, the boys will also be able to present typed work for selected assignments across the curriculum. Challenging pupils with the latest media software This term, the School purchased a bank of digital camcorders which will allow the boys to carry out video recording and editing tasks using Media Impression software. Senior boys will soon be learning how to use them for producing their own stop animation sequences.

and closed with a spectacular fireworks display.

of shared on-line calendars. Staff are now able to access the School server from any PC with internet access and thereby keep up to date with details of all School trips, meetings and events through the shared calendar. Improving communication between the School and parents.

the benefits of such a system were soon recognised and it is now used on a daily basis. Staff can upload worksheets, homework and revision notes for each form for boys to access at home through the School website. There are no longer any excuses for mislaying required worksheets to complete homework! This is a secure system which is likely to be expanded in the future. Upgraded email and calendar system Over the summer, the School upgraded its internal communication system with improved e-mail access and the introduction

School Website The School website continues to be a good source of information for current and prospective parents, pupils and old boys. Our weekly newsletter “In House” keeps parents up to date with recent School events, sports reports and new activities. The School Magazine can now be viewed by all old boys and prospective parents using the latest presentation software available on the market. This year, we have also installed an alert box system which appears in a red box on the home page should there be a school emergency. It is always worth visiting the website for the latest information. Clarion Call With the recent installation of Clarion Call, the School is now able instantly to send a text message or e-mail to parents in the event of an unexpected change to the School day. The software can be accessed by staff from any PC with internet access and we are able to communicate with parents, from small groups such as an after school club to parents of the whole school, in a simple and efficient manner.

Rekha Ruda Head of ICT

Above: Arnold House boys set up their stalls at the Autumn Festival

The Annual Fund 2010

Dates for the Diary


27th January 17:00pm Year 6 Informal Concert

nstruments, a book scanner, new gymnastics equipment and a much needed PA system are a few of the items on our current Annual Fund list. The Annual Fund is a key part of the School’s development effort and was created as an immediate source of finance for small projects and specific items that directly enhance the teaching and learning environment. If you would like to purchase an item or contribute towards the Annual Fund, please contact Stephanie Miller at or telephone 020 7266 6989. The full Annual Fund list can be found in the Development section of the Arnold House website.

9th February 17:00pm Year 5 Informal Concert

27th February 10:00am Rugby & Hockey Festival at Canons Park

5th March 19:00pm Arnold House Disco Years 6-8

23rd & 24th March 6:00pm Years 3 & 4 Arts Festival

Above: Daniel Fried demonstrates the new digital camera ASSEMBLY


Interview with Arnold House old boys James and Charlie Kilner:


fter leaving Arnold House (James in 1992 and Charlie in 1995) both brothers followed in their father’s footsteps and went to Oundle School.

club with the bursar. Perhaps my overriding memory is playing a disastrous piano solo at the American School, two nights running! James: Crippling stage fright at having to be the first on stage during a school play. I had to march out as a soldier, but it was nearly all too much. Milk and biscuits at break time. Eating lunch in silence. Travelling to and from Canons Park in silence. Mr Grey’s determination to finish his science lesson despite having a stomach bug that forced him to leave the room every ten minutes to vomit – I was terribly impressed. Mr Clegg’s gentle kindness towards his pupils. Chess with Mr Allain.

Above: Charlie looks slightly worried before leaving home with his brother James for his first day at Arnold House in September 1987 Afterwards James read History at Leeds and then set out to become a foreign correspondent. He worked in former Soviet Central Asia 2002-4 as a freelancer and then with Reuters news agency in Norway, Russia and the Caucasus. Charlie read History at Edinburgh and then joined the British Army, first at Sandhurst and then 2nd Battalion, The Royal Green Jackets (now 4th Battalion, The Rifles). He commanded his platoon in Iraq and is now a Captain and the Adjutant at Eton College. What are your overriding memories of AH? Charlie: Multiple-choice science tests with Mr Grey; Cricket tour in the Lake District; singing songs in the minibus with Mr Newman on the way back from rugby matches; chasing sheep on a geography field trip with Mr Prosser in Wales; spending up to 50p at tuck shop; dribbling out of the end of my recorder; having to dress up as a girl in the junior school play; forgetting my tracksuit for games and receiving a malus; French role plays with Mrs Cooper; chess

How has being an AH pupil had an impact on your life? Charlie: AH gave me an excellent allrounded education and plenty of sporting opportunities. Most significantly, the school made me into a polite and well mannered boy – an extremely valuable attribute to have. James: I agree. AH really was such a friendly, polite place that its indelible mark is probably fairness and perspective. There was also a sense that if you set your mind on something and you prepared properly then anything was possible. Where has your career taken you? Charlie: I’ve been to some pretty cold and wet places in all four corners of the UK with the Army. I have also trained overseas in Cyprus and Kenya. Operationally, I served in Iraq. There are also opportunities for fun with what is known as “adventure training”. I have been skiing in the Alps; survived the Cresta Run in St Moritz; sailed in the Adriatic Sea; and trekked in California. James: Journalism has sent me to many unheard of places. It’s been a great adventure. I’ve reported from remote villages in Siberia, the endless steppe of Central Asia, neat Norwegian oil fields, exotic Presidential palaces, street demos, conflict. The list goes on. What advice would you give someone who would like to following in your career footsteps?

Charlie: The earlier you realise you might want to join the Army the better. There are many different careers within the Army that you need to make sure you pursue the right one. Once you realise you want to join – whether it is only for four years or for a whole career – you talk to as many people as possible so you can make an informed decision as to which path you want to follow. Once you know where you are heading, you can then focus on one goal and with enough determination and an Arnold House foundation, I am sure you will succeed! James: Again, start preparations early. I absorbed myself in the foreign pages of newspapers every day when I was a teenager and at university I worked on the student newspaper. Foreign journalism can be a rather chaotic career path but, if you get yourself abroad, learn from experienced foreign corros and are persistent, you’ll get noticed by editors and work will start coming your way. What is the most dangerous thing you have done in your job? Charlie: Being in the Army involves doing a lot of things which you wouldn’t normally choose to do. These things are often dangerous and not always much fun. During my operational tour of Iraq there were a lot of dangerous moments. One moment unsurprisingly sticks out for me: during a strike operation in Basra, whilst attempting to drag an injured colleague to safety, I was shot in the arm. Corporal Wilson, who was helping to drag our injured colleague, was sadly killed in the process. Fortunately I managed to rally some help and both men were recovered. James: Frontline reporting duties in Georgia during a brief but intense war against Russia in August 2008 were dangerous. I was never shot at or bombed but the threat was always there as it was such a fluid and chaotic period. Missions to report on rising violence in Russia’s north Caucasus, centred around Chechnya, always had an element of danger. On solo missions, working with a local fixer, you have to keep very focused. I always found dealing with nerves in the pre-deployment stage quite difficult.

Arnold House School 1 Loudoun Road St.John’s Wood, London NW8 0LH Telephone: 020 7266 4840 Facsimile: 020 7266 6994 Email: Website: Arnold House School Ltd (Limited by Guarantee). Registered in London Number 889424. Educational Charitable Trust Number 312725