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Have a lovely Half Term break!
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10th February 2017

Dear Parents,

Half Term is upon us already … now where did the past few weeks go?

As ever, Downside has been a hive of activity lately; the House Music Competition on Sunday evening provided an extremely entertaining conclusion to a busy few weeks of work, sport and cultural activity.

One event to look forward to: the Parents’ Association Masquerade Ball is on the 29th April next term, the day before the Concours d’Elegance. You will shortly receive an invitation. Keep the date free! If the recent Burns Night is anything to go by, the whole evening should be great fun and a wonderful opportunity to meet people in the wider Downside community.
 
Your children emerged from assembly yesterday having been encouraged to be ‘Witnesses to others’ of a Christian approach to life, prepared to speak about their faith and about a shared commitment to serving others. I hope that this approach reveals itself at home over Half Term! If you are taking a break yourselves, I very much hope it is a good one.

FIFTH FORM RETREAT

Last week, the Fifth Form pupils were able to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday school life and enjoy an overnight retreat at one of four centres throughout the South West, click here to read more. Many thanks to the Chaplaincy team, led by Fr James, who last week coordinated this successful retreat.

FRENCH THEATRE COMPANY

On Tuesday, the Juniors and Third Form enjoyed a production by the Flying Theatre Company who specialise in educational language drama. Click here to read more. 

HOUSE AT HOME

During the past fortnight the girls of Caverel and boys of Smythe have each hosted their annual 'House at Home' event. The pupils put a lot of effort into preparing the entertainment for these events and it's always lovely to hear that you, as parents and friends, really appreciate it. 

STORYTELLING WEEK

Last week marked National Storytelling Week and at Downside, the Library Prefects worked alongside Ms Craig to encourage their fellow pupils into the Petre Library. As part of a series of initiatives, we enjoyed 'loud library lunchtimes', and we each returned a Lego brick to form a replica of the Roberts Tower! 

FOOD BANK 

The pupils have been working with Fr James to coordinate a Food Bank delivery for Care4Calais ahead of the start of the next Half Term. Items are very welcome and will be collected from the Main Hall on Monday 20th and Tuesday 21st February. To learn more about the 'Month of Service' initiative at Downside, click here. 

INTER-HOUSE MUSIC

As always, the Inter-House Music Competition was an entertaining event. Huge congratulations to all pupils who took part. This year, we enjoyed performances of music for harp, piano, cello, drums....we even experienced musical mime from the boys of Smythe! Click here to view more.
Email Katie Walker if you would like to subscribe to the Google Calendar.

Friday 3rd March
Drop-in Open Evening
Please encourage friends and family who cannot make our Saturday event to attend this Friday drop-in evening. Click here to email.

Saturday 11th March
Open Day
Please encourage friends and family to attend. Click here to email.

Saturday 18th & Sunday 19th March, 7.30pm
West Side Story

Thursday 23rd March, 7pm
Choral Concert - Haydn's Nelson Mass 

Friday 24th March
12noon Parents' Association lunch for Lower Sixth Form parents
1.30pm Lower Sixth Form Parents' Conference

Term ends

Saturday 29th April, 7.30pm
Parents' Association Masquerade Ball

Sunday 30th April, 12noon
Concours d'Elegance 
The classic car show makes a return to Downside.

Thursday 4th May, 10am
Visitation of the National Pilgrim Virgin Statue

Click here for Future Term Dates
We're really looking forward to seeing you at the Parents' Association Masquerade Ball on Saturday 29th April. Click into the image below to book your tickets today. Remember, you can contact the Parents’ Association directly at any time by emailing parentsassociation@downside.co.uk if you have any queries.
 
There is a pop-up exhibition in the Visitor Centre during the next few weeks. If you'd like to learn more about the OG, Cyril Burnand, please do pop in! Click here for more details.

Remember, this term we will host an Open Day, on Saturday 11th March, and an informal 'drop-in evening' on Friday 3rd March. Please do encourage any interested friends and family to book their place by emailing our Admissions team. There’s a bottle of fizz for anyone whose recommendation results in a family visiting for an Open Day!

Have a good weekend.

Yours ever,

Dr James Whitehead
Head Master
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