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Happy New Year

I hope you had a lovely Christmas and enjoyed time with your families over the holidays - Marie and I wish you a very happy New Year.

My thanks go to Victoria Anglim who arranged a very successful ski trip to Austria at the start of the Christmas break. The whole group had an amazing time and I congratulate our students for not only winning 4 gold, 4 silver and 4 bronze medals on Race Day but for being overall winners out of 4 schools and 150 skiers.  

I was very proud to see Amplefordians involved in the televised King's College Cambridge Carol Service on Christmas Eve. In the Choir we had Ben Turner Berry (H18), who was an Organ Scholar at Corpus Christi College with a First-class degree in Music and now a postgraduate choral scholar at King’s, and Theo Carter, chorister at King’s, who will be joining us in Year 9 in September. Alice Hunt (A20) who got a Double First degree in Classics at Gonville and Caius College and is now taking an MPhil at King’s, did one of the readings. At the Westminster Cathedral Choir School Christmas Celebration, Chris Too (J18) who held Organ Scholarships at King’s and Jesus Colleges Cambridge, at Gloucester and Salisbury Cathedrals, and now at Westminster Cathedral, played the organ. Henry Laird (O16), who was a Choral Scholar at St John’s College Cambridge, was the Tenor Solo, and Dean Fernandez, chorister at Westminster Cathedral and joining us in Year 9 in September, sang in the choir. Congratulations to our Music Department for nurturing such talent and also for taking the Schola to sing Vigil Mass at Westminster Cathedral tomorrow, accompanied by Chris Too on the organ! What a wonderful opportunity.

At Assembly this week I congratulated everyone on a successful last term where I had asked pupils to be good, which they were.  This term, I encouraged them to do good. Click here to see my summary sent to pupils after Assembly - parental support is vital for this. We also welcomed Georgia Bellaro (B, Year 12) and Jett Mierisch (DO, Year 12) from Rosebank College, Sydney who are joining us for two weeks as part of the International Benedictine Schools Exchange Programme that we have been running for almost ten years now.  They will be hosted by Anastasia Wu (B) and Elliot James (DO) respectively who enjoyed two weeks with them in Australia last July.  

The valley was brimming with energy this week as students took part in the annual Inter-House Cross Country competition - many congratulations to St Margaret's who won the Inter and Senior girls' races, to St Cuthbert's & St Thomas' who won the Inter and to St Dunstan's & St Oswald's who took home the Senior boys' title.  I look forward to seeing similar energy at the Inter-House Swimming competition on Sunday.

As I joined colleagues to wish a fond farewell to our CCF School Staff Instructor, William Steele, this week, Marie enjoyed a wonderful Organ Recital in the Abbey Church by renowned Organist, James Thomas, who performed La Nativité du Seigneur by Messiaen beautifully.  The following evening, we had the pleasure of welcoming Tom Turner (T88) for our latest Headmaster's Lecture.  Tom has been a very successful entrepreneur and leading expert in the world of cyber-security in the US. He gave a wonderful talk giving great insight and reassurance on how one's life and career path can take many turns, which are not always obvious or easy. His approach has been to throw himself fully into everything he does and live life in a purposeful and good way, based upon the principles and support he received at Ampleforth, particularly through Fr Richard, his Housemaster.

Finally, my congratulations go to Will Shipsey (H) who has been offered a place to study Classics at Oxford – exactly as his two older brothers and father, all Amplefordians, were before him!

I look forward to seeing many of you at the Year 10 Parents' Day tomorrow.

Best wishes,


A Compass for Life

Full Boarding & Day School for students aged 11 to 18