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Headmaster’s Foreword This newsletter, packed though it is, can barely do justice to all that has gone on at Skinners’ this summer. Quite apart from the exam season, the range of music, drama, sport and outward bound activities has been breathtaking. There are two reasons for this. Firstly, we believe that positive experiences outside the classroom are of immense educational value. Secondly, we have extraordinary teachers here who willingly give up so much of their time to make the experience of school that much more memorable. At the staff drinks yesterday, to bid farewell to leaving staff (to whom I have paid tribute on the end of term bulletin), we tried to define what makes Skinners’ special. We concluded that it is based on really positive relationships between outstanding pupils and outstanding staff. Long may that continue. I hope therefore that you enjoy this summary of what the boys have been up to. And now the summer holidays are here, I wish everyone in the Skinners’ community a wonderful break.

Edward Wesson Sports Day 2017 – new school records Year 7


9 10



Brown, Nathan



Previous School Record 27

800 m

Brown, Nathan




Triple Jump

Pincott, Alex





Dolley, Christian




200 m

Ponsford, Jack




1500 m

Taylor, Matthew





Houghton, Ponsford, Pincott, Raffelt




Triple Jump

Clare, Matt





Murphy, James




1500 m

Bingham, Oliver




200 m

Seagrove, Daniel




800 m

Seagrove, Daniel




1500 m

Hussey, Oscar







2017 Distance/Time


The sun shone on our Lower School Prize giving this summer and a delightful afternoon honoured those who had achieved excellence or special efforts this academic year. Our Guest of Honour Lt Col James Cackett (Old Skinner) spoke warmly about the effort and detailed preparation required for success in any field . Pictured above, Alex Maltby gives an account of the activities of Year 8 over the course of the year. Pictured below, the prize winners.

PRIZE LIST 2017 L.S. Betts Shield Edward Hillsdon The Ashman Prize for extra-curricular STEM Samuel Sleath The Carnegie Challenge Cup Huw Ford Year 9 Art Prize Year 9 Biology Prize Year 9 Chemistry Prize Year 9 Drama Prize Year 9 English Prize Year 9 French Prize Year 9 Geography Prize Year 9 German Prize Year 9 History Prize Year 9 Maths Prize Year 9 Music Prize Year 9 Physical Education Prize Year 9 STEM Prize Year 9 Physics Prize Year 9 Religious Education Prize

Joshua Marzola-Browne Will Opie Nyal Patel Will Opie Edward Hillsdon Daniel Heatherwick Matt Kohler Oliver Knudsen Rohan Gupta Scott Hall Sam Fineman Horatio Blackman Daniel Newman & Nyal Patel Thomas Ingham Tom Blaber

Year 8 Art Prize Year 8 Drama Prize Year 8 English Prize Year 8 French Prize Year 8 Geography Prize Year 8 German Prize Year 8 History Prize Year 8 Maths Prize Year 8 Music Prize Year 8 Physical Education Prize Year 8 Science Prize Year 8 STEAM Prize Year 8 Religious Education Prize

Alfie Glass Thomas Price William Murphy Luca Swinnerton Alexander Maltby Alexander Maltby Marcus Budack James Middleton Thomas Crane Jack Ponsford Oscar Chatfield Alexander Maltby Duncan Paterson

9B Form Prize 9G Form Prize 9R Form Prize 9W Form Prize 9Y Form Prize

Matthew Lawson Aidan Wilkins Sam Fineman Matthew Bonin Ryan Doukkali

8B Form Prize 8G Form Prize 8R Form Prize 8W Form Prize 8Y Form Prize

Elliot Shah Marcus Budack Luca Swinnerton Arthur Branch Nicholas Edwards

Year 7 Art Prize Year 7 Drama Prize Year 7 English Prize Year 7 French Prize Year 7 Geography Prize Year 7 German Prize Year 7 History Prize Year 7 Maths Prize Year 7 Music Prize Year 7 Physical Education Prize Year 7 Science Prize Year 7 STEAM Prize Year 7 Religious Education Prize

Jake Wright Sam Schipper Nic Lehmann Nic Lehmann David Zou Efe Shimwell Maxime Desbrousses Frederick Reid Edward Raynor Arthur Plunkett Sam Schipper Samuel Chillington Dominic Traube

7B Form Prize 7G Form Prize 7R Form Prise 7W Form Prize 7Y Form Prize

Harvey Galloway Maxime Desbrousses Ruben Le Roux Josh van Heerden Zak Alderman

SPORTS AWARDS EVENING At our recent Sports Awards Evening with students receiving their awards from our special guest Paul Farbrace, the Assistant Coach to the England Cricket. Pictured is Tom James receiving the 1st XI Hockey Players' Player Award and Ben Adams receiving the Kent Cup following the success of U13 Cricket team this year. On the right, former student Will Edwards presents his England Sevens shirt to the Headmaster having competed in the IRB World Sevens this year.

SKINNERS’ CCF – WATHGILL ANNUAL CAMP 2017 This year, Skinners’ Combined Cadet Force travelled to Wathgill Camp, situated just outside the Yorkshire Dales, for another annual week of intense military training, adventurous outdoor pursuits and self-development for every cadet. We have our officers and the previous SNCOs to thank for an inspiring week that topped off a great year of training. RSM Ed Bowness

Junior Maths Challenge Olympiad Qualifiers (Back row, Left to Right) James Quill, Elliot Mulley, James Middleton. (Front row, Left to Right) Jake Wright, Freddie Reid (Bronze Medallist), Nic Lehmann


Intermediate Maths Challenge Olympiad Qualifiers (Left to Right) Scott Hall, Samuel Richards, Asher Beckett. Not in picture Jamie Hood.

This academic year, 447 Skinners’ pupils entered the individual maths challenges organised by the UK Mathematics Trust. These national mathematics competitions, established in 1996 now attracts over 650,000 pupils from 4,500 schools each year. The top 40% in each age group receive gold, silver and bronze certificates in the ratio 1:2:3. As I am sure you’ve already worked out, gold certificates are thus awarded to the top 6.7% (rounded to 1 decimal place of course) of entrants. Of that 6.7%, the top thousand or so are invited to take part in the follow-on challenge for each age group known as the ‘Olympiad’, while the next best are invited to enter the ‘Kangaroo’ challenge. This year has seen an amazing set of results for Skinners’ pupils. It’s worth bearing in mind that while we have achieved plenty of gold, silver and bronze certificates and pupils qualifying for the Kangaroo round in the past, we had not seen any Skinners’ students become Olympiad qualifiers in recent years. Congratulations to all our Olympiad qualifiers this year: Jamie Hood; Samuel Richards; Asher Beckett; Scott Hall; James Middleton; Elliot Mulley; James Quill; Freddie Reid; Nic Lehmann ;Jake Wright; with special mention to Freddie Reid (7W) who earned a Distinction and Bronze Medal in the Junior Olympiad. A big well done too for Ed Faught, who achieved the highest score nationally in the Senior Kangaroo round, and Karam Al Robaie who was only one correct answer away from the top score in the Junior Kangaroo round. Although celebrating our highest achievers is merited, it’s the taking part that is most important element of this competition. I hope many more students will want to participate next year so that Skinners’ performance in these challenges goes from strength to strength. The maths challenges themselves do not only require maths skills, you need to apply logic, creativity and innovation to see your way through the puzzles to a solution. And intriguingly there is often more than one way to get to an answer. If you want to keep those brain cells buzzing over the summer holidays, why not check out some sample questions and solutions on the maths challenge website; I encourage you to have a go as problem-solving. As an added incentive, remember problem solving is a key skill in both the new GCSE and A level maths courses. I am delighted to tell you that we will also be launching the ‘Skinners Maths Olympiad Club’ for pupils interested in developing their problem-solving skills further and gearing up for the maths challenge 2017/18 competition. Look out for more details in September. Julien Wildman

Maths Challenge

Year Groups

Skinners' Entries

BRONZE Certificates

SILVER Certificates

GOLD Certificates

Kangaroo Qualifiers

Olympiad Qualifiers


12, 13








9, 10, 11








7, 8















On Monday 26th June we were pleased to welcome 33 boys looking to join the Sixth Form at Skinners’ in September. Alongside some Year 11 helpers, they spent the morning taking part in a range of team building activities organised by Mr Thorpe and Mr Holding, breaking the ice and getting to know one another. From constructing pulley systems to bridging toxic lakes, it was wonderful to see how quickly they embraced challenges posed, working together in true Skinners’ style. After a tour of the school, Kent & East Sussex Climbing laid on a session on the climbing wall in the Sports Hall. The new boys certainly held their own and our very own climbing aficionado Mr Johnston (junior) had his mettle tested. It was great to see how quickly everyone integrated and we look forward to welcoming them to Skinners’ in September.

James Coltella Assistant Head


Our inaugural Activities Week saw students across the school come together for a range of new challenges. Year 7 started their week rehearsing and performing Latin plays before descending upon Arena Pursuits for a day of action packed adventure where houses were pitted against each other and where even the obstacle course was too enticing a challenge for one member of staff. A Sustainability Day in school topped off their week, during which they investigated new methods of transportation from rockets to solar cars. Whilst 120 boys from Year 8 were revelling in the Loire, the remainder of their compatriots joined Year 9 for a triumvirate of trips including the Imperial War Museum at Duxford, Hastings (Old and New), and a STEM day at Thorpe Park. Meanwhile Year 10 Geographers also spent time at the seaside and falling in rivers in Ashdown Forest before embarking upon Duke of Edinburgh hikes, wandering around the Weald of Kent. It was great to see the sense of spirit and adventure from our young men; a week we hope to develop next year.

93 students took part in a hugely successful Bronze DofE this year, taking place in the Swattenden area, across a period of three days. Students did well to remain in high spirits throughout the course of their program. All groups hiked for approximately 6 hours on each of the two days, which is no mean feat considering their reduced sleep due to camping. The assessors were impressed to such an extent that many of the Skinners' groups were recommended to take part in Gold DofE, such was their competence and maturity. Well done to them all!


As part of Activities Week Year 9 were taken on a trip to Hastings with Ms Wright, Mr Cannan-Braniff, Mr Randall and one of our ex students, James Pancaldi. Students had to complete a booklet on the history and geography of Hastings and enter the House Photography Competition. They travelled by train from Tunbridge Wells to Hastings. Students walked along the beach, where the tide was low so they also climbed amongst the rock pools. A short ride up the Funicular Railway took them to the East Cliff where lunch was eaten. There was an afternoon stroll through the Old Town before heading home. The weather was perfect – a good day out.


We arrived at the airport sleepily at 5:30am and boarded our flight to Cologne at 9.00am. We were all rather apprehensive, but were soon warmly greeted by Mr Muschellik from the Bonn Gymnasium, who took us by bus to Bonn where we met our exchange partners who took us to their homes to meet their parents. Later that day we returned to school where we started our tour of Bonn. Initially we had a tour of the school and then visited the School’s rowing club, followed by a walk to the Rhine to a famous park with many statues of famous people including Beethoven. We also went to the University and had a short tour around Bonn to get our bearings. It was a fantastic introduction to life in Germany and I was really looking forward to the week ahead! The next day brought many new adventures. After a short journey we arrived in Cologne. An amazing view of the huge cathedral greeted us as we stepped off the train. After climbing all of the 536 stairs to the spire of the cathedral, although exhausted, we were stunned by the fantastic view. Whilst in Cologne we visited many other sites such as the Lindt chocolate museum and even played football on the roof of the Olympic Museum! A great day was had by all!

My favourite day of the trip was when we went water-skiing. For many this was a new experience, but certainly an enjoyable one! Even though it was hard it was lots of fun and a fantastic day out in the sun! Other trips were just as pleasurable, such as our trip to Drachenfels and Koblenz. It was a very busy week that gave us the opportunity to gain a better insight into German culture and create good memories. This trip was truly memorable und- total unvergesslich! It was certainly one of the best experiences of my life – 10/10!

Dominic Radley


What I have found since I joined Skinners’ is the opportunity to learn and enjoy myself in destinations abroad as well as learning in the classroom. One of which is the annual Year 8 trip to June trip to the Loire Valley in France for 6 days. The prompt 5.00am departure, followed by a 13 hour journey is a long day, but we had plenty of opportunities to stop for refreshments. I stayed in a room of five and got a good night’s rest each night. The food at the hotel was simple, but there was something for everyone and many chances to buy something elsewhere. What I enjoyed most is the sense of freedom. You are given an activity book and given time to complete a section at each venue we visit. My group finished the various sections early and it meant that we had the rest of the time to relax and explore. It gave us a sense of independence and on the first day, after visiting Leonardo da Vinci’s house in Amboise, we had 45 minutes to reflect over an Orangina and to admire the setting. My best purchase was a coffee éclair at a local Boulangerie and Pâtisserie. I was a little jealous when my friend bought the last Fougasse, a French bread made with olive oil and green olives. The days can seem quite long. However, after dinner there are evening activities where you can join the majority and play football on the pitches or use the hotel’s facilities such as the ping pong table and the pool table.

During the first half of the trip, we visited lots of old monuments such as Amboise Castle but Wednesday was the highlight. We visited Futuroscope, a modern and brilliant theme park. My favourite activities were the 4D Around the World in 80 Days-inspired trip, the Dancing with Robots and the 4D Cosmo Adventure. We arrived at the park at 10am and stayed at the park until 4.30pm. It was so much fun and my brother can’t wait to go! Friday was the last day and my group visited the Radiotelescope station where we were taught all about space - my kind of thing! There was another 4D activity where you could lie down and look at the ceiling where a story was being told. It was a fitting end and I especially liked the fact that towards the end of the trip the activities were more relaxed. On the last afternoon we went to a Hypermarket to stock up on a few things before our last night of evening activities. My particular highlight of the night was scoring a left foot volley at football, which went right in the top corner! Mr Burns was particularly enthusiastic! The 6.45am wake up time on the day of departure was bearable and there wasn’t a single complaint in my room. The coach journey home was comfortable with regular breaks and we arrived back at school earlier than anticipated. I would like to thank Mr Renaudie for arranging the trip. Merci beaucoup! Edward Lahner


The middle school French exchange has recently returned from a fabulous week in Provence. Based in the medieval city of Avignon, the group lived with French families, attended school lessons and visited a variety of locations including Marseille (old port pictured below) and canoed down the Gardon below the Pont du Gard. Many thanks to Messrs Randall and Fleming for a superb experience.


is a rock band formed by four Year 9 boys earlier in the year. They have been busy rehearsing and have now performed at Skinners’ Got Talent, on the playground, at Sports Day and down at The Black Horse on Camden Road. Look out for more news about this talented outfit coming your way in September!

A team of 15 Skinners' students were selected


to take part in a STEM Collaboration Event at Invicta Grammar School on 7th July 2017 involving 6 other schools from across the county.

Here, the students had dedicated many a lunch time and independent study to constructing a Lego Mindstorm EV3 Robot, two VEX robots and a humorous attempt at a 'hovercraft' (we were short on time!). They were then provided with the opportunity to compete in a; 'bomb disposal course against the clock' with their VEX robots; a set of routes to negotiate and test the programming skills of their Mindstorm Robot; as well as a set of other activities to inspire innovation in a friendly, but competitive, environment.


This year we hosted our first mini cricket week, held over 3 days at the Nevill Cricket Ground.

On Monday 10th July Skinners’’ 1st XI hosted Geelong College from Australia in a 40 over game. This was the first time the school had played a cricket side from Australia; in addition, hosting them for the evening provided a great experience for our boys. Skinners’ 1st XI fell 78 runs short of the target. The following day we hosted a T20 tournament with two sides from Geelong and St Olave’s. A great day of T20 cricket played over two pitches saw Geelong run out as winners on the day. Our 3rd match of the week was due to be another all day game against Judd, but unfortunately the rain came and put a stop to any cricket being played. A great few days of cricket, and I look forward to a 5 day cricket week next year, and continued enjoyment and success of the sport at Skinners’ Tim Watts Head of Cricket

Ben Adams and Theo Whittingham pictured after their unbeaten 144 run partnership in the Kent Cup quarter-final against Langley Park. Skinners’ won by 10 wickets.

Lance and Horatio Blackman with their Southern League winners medals, won through playing for Kent U15 this winter and spring.

Ewan Pedder and Ben Adams are pictured with the Kent U13 Cup, won at Southborough CC in July with a 5 wicket win over New Beacon.

David Fullbrook, pictured right and below, has achieved 6 new personal bests out of the eight events and an increase overall of 447 points at the recent Kent Schools boys’ combined events team at Kingsmeadow Athletics Centre. His results were: • Long jump 5.83 • Discuss 26.6 pb • Javelin 44.87 400m 57.20 pb 100m Hurdles 15.73 pb • High jump 1.83 pb • Shot 10.79 pb 1500 5:06.57 pb The Kent team finished 50 points behind Berkshire and therefore did not qualify as a team for the finals in Lincoln in September. But David has been ranked third of the nine non-automatic qualifiers in the Regional combined events and has therefore earned a wildcard for those finals.

Kent Schools Athletics Championships In the 200m Finals (Junior Boys - Years 8 and 9) Jack Ponsford finished in 6th place in 25.55 (a year younger than the others and is the fastest time in the country for U13 this year). Matt Clare came 7th in the final with a time of 25.61. Nathan Brown, pictured below with his medal for javelin success

Harry Stafford finished 8th in the Junior Boys’ shot putt. Matthew Taylor finished 14th in the 1500m junior boys final and Henry finished 19th. (a year young again) In the year 7 boys : Victor Daniels came 8th in the 100m. Eduard Cummins came 2nd in the high jump. Arthur Plunkett came 3rd in the long jump. Ruben Le Roux came 3rd in the shot putt. Nathan Brown came 1st in the javelin.

At the English Schools Track & Field Championships at Alexander Park Stadium in Birmingham in early July James Puxty won the Senior Boys 3000m so is now English Schools Champion. It is also worth

noting that he still has another year in the age group. This triumph goes with his National Cross Country title, won in March this year.

James Puxty shown below winning the 3000m Senior Boys’ Race

SUMMER CONCERT The Summer Concert, which is set up jazz cafe style, played to a packed house on Tuesday 4th July - a range of music largely inspired by stage and screen. A thoroughly enjoyable evening. It was also a chance to say farewell to our violin teacher Roger Smith who is retiring after in excess of three decades teaching here. Our team of visiting teachers go about their business unsung and unnoticed by most of the school population – but they do a huge service to their students and to the cultural and community life of the school. His contribution has been gigantic and of high quality, always maintaining high standards yet keeping music enjoyable for his pupils of whatever standard. He will be much missed by pupils, fellow visiting teachers and the department.

John Hendry Head of Music


It has been another exciting and adventurous year in the Skinners' Drama department and it has been rounded up in a spectacular fashion by Mrs Kirk and her very talented cast who performed Private Peaceful on the 12th and 13th of July. A professional and engaging performance which showcased the very talented students who range from Years 7 to 9. It was evident that the work and commitment shown by all had lead to a comraderie and enjoyment that is brought about only by a shared experience of this kind. All students gave their very best during the performance, a range of challenging characters told the story of brotherly love set to a background of WW1. Mrs Kirk directed a beautiful and mature performance with patience and encouragement, enabling the cast to fully engage with their roles no matter what the part played. A brilliant set design by Mike Taylor utilised the space in the Thomson Theatre in a way that transported us from Devon to Flanders in the flash of a light. The play even brought back Old Boys James Dean and Jordan Wilkes, without whose help our tech may have been somewhat lacking. Congratulations to all and I will pre-empt the boys by asking...."What's next Mrs Kirk?"

Henry Drew from year 10 and his Mum are going to swim the Solent to help raise money for Aspire. Aspire support people with Spinal Cord Injury to help them live full, independent lives. This is a huge effort from Henry. See below for the link for their Just Giving page: if

you want to support then click away. They would appreciate anything we can give.

Newsletter June 2017  
Newsletter June 2017