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ASSEMBLYSPRING 2018 From the Headmaster We have just under 270 boys on the roll at present and while we like them to be actively engaged with their learning and ready to contribute to the wider life of the School at every available opportunity, a lot depends on having the staff to match their energy and enthusiasm. At Arnold House we have 32 full-time equivalent Teachers, 9 Teaching Assistants,

10 Support Staff and 14 visiting Teachers for Chess, Music, Taekwondo and Theatre Studies. A total of 65 adults (28 of them men) who act in varying degrees as the boys’ role models and mentors as they evolve from five year olds in short trousers into the beginnings of civilized and enlightened young men when they reach the top of the School at the age of thirteen. That the boys turn out so well is testament

to the commitment and expertise of the staff in this pursuit; one that no doubt requires a good deal of patience on their part along the way! So to the staff who take a share in this responsibility of helping the boys gain the most out of their days at AH… thank you.

Viv Thomas

Top row left to right: Snow Day, Winners of the Haileybury Debating Competition, Year 7 Rugby Match at Allianz Park Middle row left to right : Year 4 Performance of Shakespeare Rocks, Year 6 Forest School Science Competition, Verse Speaking Competition Bottom row left to right: Year 1 Trip to the Foundling Museum, Year 7 Trip to Rome, Pink & Blue Charity Day in aid of St John’s Hospice


On 8th March, 295 parents and staff gathered at the American School for the special occasion of the Bursary Quiz Night and Art Auction. The evening started with a welcome from parent and MC for the evening Sam Washington. Parents Graham Jacobs, Colin Jelliff, Janet Lear, Stephan Michel, Nuzy Sayani and Ash Sethi then each presented a round of the quiz providing some exciting new challenges such as the Arnold House Landmarks, Smells and ‘Château Arnold’ rounds. A highlight of the evening came ASSEMBLY

with the very first Arnold House Bursary Art Auction. Excitement around the room escalated as piece by piece, the boys’ collaborative art works were auctioned to the highest bidder by art expert and professional auctioneer, parent Francis Outred. As the final hammer went down it was announced that over £50,000 had been raised from the art works – a fantastic amount for which the boys can feel very proud. The evening was a great success raising a total of £91,500 from the auctions, raffle and

general donations which will be used to support our next intake of bursary boys this September. We would like to thank everyone for their continued support of the bursary fund and all the Quiz Masters, Sam Washington, Francis Outred, the Art Department, the Fundraising Committee and the AHPA for all their help putting together a great evening. Stephanie Miller Head of External Relations

Bursary Art Collaboration

Year 8 – Gallery Number Eight

The idea for hosting an Art auction was first raised by Stephanie Miller towards the end of the summer term. She popped into the Art room to share her idea and wondered if it was something that the Art Department might be interested in. Sophie and I were instantly keen and thought it would be a wonderful opportunity to showcase all of the exciting Art work that goes on at Arnold House and to involve all of the boys in collaborating on such a large scale project. Our minds went into overdrive thinking of all the ways that we could approach the project and how we could best represent the boys and show the department in its very best light.

Year 6 – One hundred and eighty six minutes


I wanted to highlight the breadth and diversity of our programme of study, as well as celebrating the skills and creativity of our boys. Sophie and I left for the summer break with tentative plans for each piece and met on several occasions to formalise a programme of study for each year group that would culminate in a final large scale piece. The multi-coloured scribbled post-its and pages of notes got fleshed out into diverse and exciting schemes of work that encompassed mark making, drawing, painting, print making, ceramics and digital design. The boys drew from life as well as their imagination, they looked at established traditional artists as well

Year 4 – 32 Little Plants

Year 5 – Content, Form, Process, Mood

Year 2 – Flight

Year 1 – Tessellate

as contemporary designers and makers. Several year groups were lucky enough to work with visiting artists to further enrich their experiences.

pride in the finished books created from the photographs and it really focussed their minds on the journey they had been involved in.

From the beginning I felt that it was important to document the journey of each project and Sophie took on this vital role, photographing the boys and their work each and every lesson as the art work came to life. This really highlighted the development from single marks on a page to the complex collaborative outcomes. The boys had such a sense of

It has been wonderful to be a part of the creative buzz both in the Art department and around the school as the pieces came closer to being finished and then were professionally framed. Boys were impressed with all that they had achieved and proudly signed the back of the finished Art works.

Year 7 – Architectural Geometry


I feel that I can speak for both myself and Sophie when we say that a highlight for us

Year 3 – Colour Series 3

was the positive response that the pieces received in the preview exhibition. Every boy in the school had come together and their combined efforts resulted in eight wonderful pieces. The icing on the cake was the success of the auction where we were staggered to raise more than £50,000. I feel so proud of each Arnold House boy that played such an integral role in contributing to their class piece and creating a beautiful legacy collection. Kate Housden Head of Art

A New Era of Computing at Arnold House -

Learning how to use graphical software gives the boys a chance to express their creative sides and understand how the pictures they see on so many computer programs are created. Additionally, animation software is great fun to use, and just like the graphical software, gives the boys the chance to learn how all the animations they see so much of on the internet are created.

book. It’s a very powerful language that is used throughout industry. Having learned the programming basics using Scratch the boys find it easy to transfer those skills to building Python code. The boys like taking a page of complexlooking code home to proudly show their baffled parents!

“The programmers of tomorrow are the wizards of the future. You’re going to look like you have magic powers compared to everybody else” Gabe Newell – world leading computer game designer. In 2013 the UK Government realised that there needed to be a sea-change in how children were taught to use computers. Children no longer needed to be taught how to use Microsoft Office. Instead, they needed to learn how to program the next office app that everybody would be using in the future. This is the difference between being taught how to use IT and being taught how to code the IT programs that other people use. So, it’s an exciting time for children to be in a computer lab and studying the computer languages and technology that are transforming the world around them.



It is essential that our boys know how to be safe on-line. So alongside learning how to ensure they can navigate the internet safely, the boys in Year 3 are given their own email address and taught how to manage and keep their email account secure. Crucially, the boys also learn how to report anything they see on-line that they are not comfortable with. Google Apps is a fantastic innovation, and has changed the face of how people can work on documents and presentations, so we ensure that the boys are proficient in using their Arnold House Google Apps account. The ability to use this software gives the boys transferable skills that they can use in many of the other subjects that they study in their working day at school.

After the success last year of a lunchtime coding club and regular programming lessons for the Year 4 boys, it was decided that we needed to transform the computing curriculum here at Arnold House.

The Senior School – Creating Code In Years 5 to 8 the boys get the chance to work on many different aspects of programming and attain a varied range of coding skills:

The Junior School – Learning The Basics Before they learn any programming skills, it is essential that the boys have a rocksolid understanding of how to use the many different aspects of IT. Mrs Ruda now teaches the boys in Years 1 to 4 all the essentials they will need:



Touch typing is a skill that is often overlooked in many schools, but in today’s world it is perhaps as important as learning how to hold a pencil. So that is why the boys at Arnold House are given the chance to practise this essential skill using tailor-made software.



A whole page of code typed in plain black and white would be a daunting sight for anyone. So to begin with, the boys in Year 5 learn how to use Scratch. This is a graphical programming language developed at MIT specifically for children. Different commands are represented by different coloured blocks that can be fitted together, making programs appear like puzzles rather than chunks of bewildering text. Python is a text-based language developed so that someone could read it almost like a sentence in a reading


Designing and coding a website in html is a chance for the boys to express their creative side; mixing pictures, fonts, and colour schemes together to produce an impressive looking web-page about a subject of their choice. The boys learn how to understand and use the code that professional web designers use in a cutting-edge industry.


The BBC micro:bit is a credit card sized device that can be programmed to display digital messages, react to physical movement, and produce electronic notes, amongst many other things. Not only have the boys in the senior school learnt how to program the micro:bit, but they have also been given the chance to build electrical circuits that can be controlled by the programs they have written for the micro:bit. Programming the micro:bit has also given boys who are really proficient coders the chance to use JavaScript – a complex language that takes a real skill to use.

The transformation at Arnold House from merely using IT to learning how to build the programs that power the IT has begun a new journey for the boys. This journey will be constantly changing as technology in the world around us continues to advance and that makes for an exciting time ahead!

Andy Wilkins Head of Computing

Interview with Arnold House old boy Mat Morrison (AH 1978-84) What have you done since leaving Arnold House? I left Arnold House for Winchester College, and from there to Warwick and then Keble College, Oxford. I’d developed a real love of English Literature at Arnold House; and was considering pursuing an academic career. But I’d also grown up during the early years of the personal computer, and like many of my Arnold House classmates had developed a deep fascination with them. I’d tried with varying degrees of success to combine my two passions: I was getting deeper into a world of “hypertexts” when I first stumbled on the early web. It wasn’t love at first site, but something very close to that. I immediately dropped out of the doctoral programme I was on and found myself a job in the emerging world of new media. Since then, I’ve worked for big advertising agencies, public relations consultancies, and the occasional lobbying group. I’ve been really lucky: it was probably the best choice I’ve ever made. If you’d told the young Mat at Arnold House that he’d spend the rest of my life being paid to play with computers and language – and being rewarded for it – he’d have been thrilled. What are your overriding memories of Arnold House? Back then we had a system of “bonuses” for good work and “maluses” for shoddy. I was a high scorer, my own homework generally received one or the other in equal number. We took our work to the headman, Mr Clegg, to be tallied – he’d draw a simple squiggle for the bonuses and a harderto-forge version for maluses. Today it’s probably all managed on the blockchain. I’d carefully husband my marks until the bonuses outweighed the maluses then rush to Mr Clegg’s office. I assume we all did that. Except David Pepys, who only ever received bonuses. The teachers were such a huge part of our lives that they still figure prominently in my memories. But those memories are the memories of a child: it’s almost impossible to think of them as real people with real lives outside their classrooms or the smokefilled common room. It’s strange that I am much older now than most of them were. I don’t feel it. I remember tiny moments of responsibility that filled me with pride: helping Mr Stobbs run the Roneo mimeograph (his stencils

were complex works of art), sorting the stationery cupboard for Mr Williams, running errands for Mr Clegg. I think I’m probably almost alone in recalling that I wrote one of the two school songs. My song was called “Hoorah, hoorah for Arnold House!” (yes, I know.) I can still hum most of the verses. My favourite runs,

“In Maths, French, Science, Latin too, We try to get a bonus. We work [quite hard] Is that the bell? Oh sir, have pity on us.” It’s an utter mystery to me why they dropped it. What are the main changes you have noticed since coming back as a parent? Well, they’re not singing my song, for one thing. And everything is tiny. I think we can all agree that the place has shrunk. I’m very pleased to see that the school seems to have kept up with the times while maintaining a clear sense of itself, and its place in the world. I’m looking forward to watching Bertie’s journey through the school. Is anything exactly as you remember? It’s been 34 years since I left AH. A lot has happened in the school, and the world, in the intervening years. The school is almost unrecognisable. And yet there does seem to be some continuity. In some odd ways the school feels familiar. Bertie and I have been here for only a couple of terms, but it still seems as though I’m returning to something comfortable and reassuringly recognisable. How has being an Arnold House pupil impacted your life? I spent longer at Arnold House than I did anywhere else, and at an important time of my life. It’s hard not to feel that it’s had a huge effect on who I am. I suspect it’s given me a sense of confidence in my abilities to face life’s challenges. More importantly, it fostered a sense that politeness and concern for others are paramount: one must try to make one’s own little corner of the world a better place for friends, colleagues, and strangers. When we learned this, that little corner was described physically. Our world was the school corridors, our homes, the bus or the tube. Today, I live a great deal of my life on social media platforms – more than most people reading this, I suspect. I find that AH has prepared me admirably for this world: it’s more important than ever to be courteous and considerate.

What was your favourite subject at School and why? For all that I loved English, Science with Mr Brown affected me the most. I had no natural bent towards becoming a scientist (my maths was pretty excruciatingly bad if I recall correctly, and this would always hold me back). But Mr Brown had such an infectious enthusiasm for his subject that despite myself, I’ve tried to maintain a grasp of the discipline through my life. I even struggled to take a single science A-level (against strong and well-meaning opposition from my school.) Mr Brown had a tendency to fling his chalk at any boy he thought was making a noise behind his back. The results weren’t precise: more shock-and-awe. He wielded his metre rule like a claymore. And yet he could generally be persuaded to read from the books of Gerald Durrell, performing the accents with theatrical gusto. I’ve since started reading the books to Bertie: it strikes me in retrospect that many of the chapters end with the zoo collectors getting pieeyed. Have you stayed in touch with any of your fellow pupils? Going away to school meant it was harder to maintain the close relationships I’d built up at AH. For some reason unknown to us both, Simon Newell and I would bump into each other in unexpected places for much of our lives, as would James Hyman later. On the whole, though, my AH friends gradually faded away until I started coming to the ‘42 Club dinners. The first one I attended was in honour of Johnny Clegg’s retirement: and I thought it was wonderful to see everyone again. Now I try to go to as many as I can. I’d recommend the dinners to everyone who has the good fortune to be invited.

The next ‘42 Club Dinner will take place on Monday 14th May 2018 at The Cumberland Hotel. If you would like to attend please contact David Burr at

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Arnold House Spring Assembly 2018  
Arnold House Spring Assembly 2018  

Arnold House Spring Assembly 2018