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Weekly Newsletter

December 1, 2023

Headmaster’s Welcome


Dear Parents and Guardians,


Welcome to the second to last newsletter of this term. This week has been another busy one at Bethany.


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On Monday our Year 7 and 8 pupils had an informed talk about road safety.


I attended Year 13 and Year 11 Drama performances earlier on this week, and both were wonderful events. I really do marvel at the acting abilities of our pupils.


Our Sixth Form taster day on Wednesday was enjoyed by all and I know that our Year 11 pupils got a lot out of it.


Our boarders enjoyed their Christmas outing on Wednesday even though it seems a bit premature to be having a Christmas event in November!


Yesterday pupils in Years 7-9 were treated to talks from the novelist Eve Ainsworth and I hope that they have all become more informed writers as a result.


Next week is the final week of term.


Our Carol Service takes place at St Dunstan’s Church, Cranbrook starting at 7pm and it will last one hour. We will transport all of our pupils to Cranbrook and different year groups will sit in designated areas in the church. Parents are expected to sit with their children during the service and will be ushered to the designated areas upon arrival. Where there are siblings involved, all siblings will sit in the area designated for the oldest sibling. I hope that as many parents as possible will be able to attend.


After the service is over, pupils and their parents will be asked to leave first, then unaccompanied pupils will be asked to wait in the church until their parents arrive at the church to collect them and finally boarders will be transported back to School.


The Carol Service is always my favourite part of the term, because for me it signals the start of the Christmas season.


On Friday, pupils are allowed to wear a Christmas themed jumper to School and if they choose to do this they must bring £2 to pay for the privilege. All money raised will be donated to the Save the Children charity.


Friday is also our Christmas lunch day, which is always a popular meal. The day finishes at the normal time of 4.55pm.


I look forward to seeing as many Year 9 parents as possible at this evening’s Parent Teacher meeting. It starts at 5.30pm in the Assembly Hall and there are also presentations explaining how the GCSE subject choices work at 6.00pm and again at 6.30pm in the Bethanians room which is located inside the main dining room.


The Canadian novelist, W P Kinsella, once wrote, “success is getting what you want, happiness is wanting what you get”. No wonder Bethany’s desire is for our pupils to be happy and successful.


Have a good weekend.


Francie Healy


Latest Bethany Blog


This week’s Bethany blog has been written by Mr Bolton, Head of Key Stage 4 and Director of Performing Arts at Bethany School. He writes about what our Year 11 pupils have been up to this term from exciting school trips to their first taste of GCSE examinations.

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We would all be forgiven for believing that the end of November is a time to pause, dig out the tinsel and reflect on the year that was, however our KS4 pupils were continuing to prepare for their GCSE’s. This half term began with some of our Year 11’s returning from a successful football tour in Malaga over half term, swapping their scarves for sunshine and their school bags for football boots. The Spanish climate suited our Year 11 boys and they certainly played some first class football.


On their return to school Year 11 were straight into their first GCSE of the season and Mathematics was top of the list. Our pupils were supported in September with revision technique training and pre-exam warm ups in the Assembly Hall to prepare them for the November entry. I am very proud of our Year 11’s and how they demonstrated such resilience and independence. These two papers will be crucial and the results in the New Year will inform parents and pupils of their next steps in Mathematics.


With their first official GCSE under their belt we moved into our Mock Examination period. These examinations further prepare our pupils and inform teachers of any vital gaps in subject knowledge ahead of the real GCSE’s in the Summer. I am grateful to the invigilators and support staff for the high quality provision they gave our pupils and I am also immensely pleased to report our external invigilators spoke very highly of the manner in which our Year 11’s conducted themselves.


With the Mock examinations completed we will now await for our Mock Examination morning on Thursday 7th December. At 8.30am our Year 11’s will receive their results and more importantly their feedback in each subject on how they can develop their learning further and gain a higher grade.


Our Year 11 Artist’s were then asked to step up and sit their practical examination. This one day practical assessment will go towards their final GCSE grade. The day itself was an opportunity for our pupils to create their artwork from preliminary ideas in class and with permission to be in their own clothes they certainly were motivated. Mrs Smart and Mrs Clough supported our pupils appropriately and many thanks goes to the Art team for delivering a successful practical assessment.


The Term continued with our Year 11 Drama pupils performing their Devised pieces to parents and Staff. This unit of work was completely created and scripted by the pupils and the two separate pieces demonstrated the theatrical literacy of our pupils. Elements of naturalism, physical theatre and the theatre of cruelty were showcased and our pupils enjoyed the applause they received at the end of the evening.


KS4 (Year 10 and 11) is a vital time in our pupils lives and it is only through their own determination, energy and independence can real success be achieved. They key for a fruitful Christmas will be to continue on their current trajectory and revise, recall and finally of course relax, the first two, however are more important.


This term has been superb and I am grateful to the KS4 tutors and the relentless support they provide our pupils. I trust we can all see the excellent work our KS4 pupils are providing.


Mr Bolton

Head of Key Stage 4

Latest Sports News

Header 1 Dec

The latest news from the Bethany School sports department. An extremely busy week saw 12 fixtures across 4 different sports. This week also saw hockey and football teams bring their seasons to a close.

Swimming | Bethany Junior v Dulwich Prep v Claremont Prep

The Bethany Junior swimming team hosted Dulwich Prep and Claremont Prep last Friday afternoon and performed very well.


In a competitive meet there were several strong swims for all school swimmers, and some stand out performances by the Bethany team. Beatice Kay was excellent and achieved a hattrick of first positions, winning the backstroke, butterfly and front crawl events. Hamish Henderson swam to victory in the breaststroke race while Harry Sweeting achieved an impressive win in the butterfly event.


All team members once again illustrated improving swimming competitiveness as commented on by both visiting coaches with Bethany achieving several runners up positions and pushing the eventual race winner to last stroke.


The Junior team, along with the Inter team coming back into the gala programme, now look forward to swim meets at Sevenoaks School in January and February and a home gala against Sutton Valence School in January next term.

Football | Bethany U13A v Farringtons (away)

Bethany U13A travelled to Farringtons for the penultimate game of their football calendar.


With the grey skies and persistent rain, we were delighted the game went ahead, albeit on a very big pitch. Farringtons fielded a very strong side which included two Chelsea academy players in their starting line-up, so the Bethany team knew they would need to be on top of their game.


A steady start was made by both sides, Farringtons then took firm control of the game, with Bethany playing most of their football in the defending half of the pitch. Farringtons did manage to make their dominance show and opened the scoring. Bethany made frequent changes to keep their legs fresh, and finished the first half having conceded four with no reply.


The second half was much improved, Bethany continued to rotate players which helped to have more success in the opposition defending half. During the second half, Bethany scored a couple of goals – the stand out was Max Morgan, having noticed that the Farringtons goalkeeper was way out of position, Max shot and scored from at least 40 yards out.


A special mention must go to the Bethany goalkeeper, Gus Tuson, whose consistent improvement throughout this campaign should be recognised. His handling, kicking and communication to his teammates have proven to be invaluable.


Final score: Bethany 2-6 Farringtons

Player of the Match: Max Morgan

Coaches Player of the Match: Gus Tuson

Football | Bethany U13A v Skippers Hill (away)

For their final game of the season Bethany U13A travelled to Skippers Hill with a squad of 13 players. We were somewhat surprised at the size of the pitch meant that it become 9aside. The team literally went from the biggest pitch on Monday to the smallest on Wednesday.


So, with a new system and lots of rotation with our four subs, we battled away. Bethany controlled 70% of the game and played possession based football on a small and muddy pitch. The Bethany coaches were truly happy with the manner in which the players embraced a new and unexpected challenge.


Skippers Hill certainly used previous knowledge to their advantage, literally filling the goal with three players when under pressure. Bethany created a whole host of scoring opportunities, yet failed to convert any. Skippers Hill defended extremely well, counter attacking just as well, scoring three goals against the run of play.


Final score: Bethany 0-3 Skippers Hill

Player of the Match: Gus Tuson

Coaches Player of the Match: Ollie Scott

Football | Bethany U13B v Farringtons (away)

The U13B team travelled to Farringtons School on a very cold and grey Monday afternoon this week. Bethany arrived at the fixture on a run of good results and were hoping to further increase that run with another positive performance.


Bethany started off promisingly with some lovely passing and moving on a sticky pitch and in trickery conditions. However, it was the home team who scored first with a counter-attack play and their forward player scoring a goal against the run of play. Bethany was a little unsettled for a while but battled in the tackle and continued to try and create opportunities. From a corner that was not cleared, Oliver Candeloro shot from distance and found the back of the net for a scoreline of 1-1 at half time.


After some positive words from the coaches at half time, Bethany started the second half well, dominating the ball, and passing with growing confidence and accuracy. This confidence didn’t take long to pay off as some lovely passing from Bethany found Eduardo Fernandez in on goal to confidently strike the ball into the corner for a 2-1 advantage to Bethany.


Farringtons kept pushing and at times they were very physical, but Bethany was up to the task, battled well and stood firm, both in midfield and defence. Afie Munthali and Harry Russell both showing great strength and composure on many occasions to break up Farringtons play and feed the ball to Bethany teammates.


It was not long before a fine passing move led to a Bethany third goal and Eduardo Fernandez getting his second. With Farringtons struggling to keep possession, Bethany continued to press and find gaps on the pitch. As confidence flowed, Oliver Candeloro scored his second of the match, making the score 4-1 in Bethany’s favour.


As the game was coming to a close Eduardo Fernandez found himself in space and one on one with the goalkeeper. He kept his composure and slotted the ball into the corner to claim well deserved hat trick. In the last few minutes, centre back Toby Chapman came up for a corner and as the ball ricochet off a defender he hit a well struck shot into the top corner to make the score 6-1. A great display by the team.


Final score: Bethany 6-1 Farringtons

Player of the Match: Harry Russell

Coaches Player of the Match: Eduardo Olivia Fernandez

Football | Bethany U13B v Skippers Hill

The U13B team travelled to Skippers Hill, Mayfield on Wednesday afternoon and due to the away team having a smaller pitch the game was a 9 a-side match.


The conditions were sticky under foot and from the start both teams struggled to move the ball around smoothly. The home team were first to get a shot on target giving Bethany’s goalkeeper Andrew Stubblefield a comfortable save to make. 15 minutes into a very even game and suddenly Bethany’s captain Felix Hardie found space and perfectly placed the ball into the corner for a 1-0 lead to Bethany. With one minute left in the half,  Jack Le Vine doubled the scoreline with a good left foot finish.


The second half started at a fast pace, with Bethany dominating and a good passing move resulted in Eduardo Olivio Fernandez scoring in the first minute of the second half. Benji Stapleton came off the bench and in no time at all and with his first touch of the ball, added to the scoreline with an excellent finish to make it 4-0. Benji was involved again from a set piece as he pressured the home team centre back, causing a hurried clearance that ended up in his own net for an own-goal.


Skippers Hill then started to concede lots of possession and territory under the constant pressure that Bethany was applying, and this led to Jack Le Vine scoring his second of the game and shortly after, Felix Hardie also doubling his tally for the game. After a string of recent wins for Bethany their confidence was soaring, and the constant pressure resulted in Eduardo Olivio Fernadez scoring a hattrick and then both, Felix Hardie and Jack Le Vine also scoring a third each for their hat-tricks. In the last minute of the game left back Rafferty Mahoney broke clear and scored his first of the season.


A 12-0 win was a fourth victory in a row and completed an excellent season for the team.


Final score: Bethany 12-0 Skippers Hill

Player of the Match: Felix Hardie and Jack Le Vine

Coaches Player of the Match: Eduardo Olivio Fernadez

Football | Bethany U13C v Battle Abbey

The U13C football team hosted Battle Abbey School on Wednesday afternoon.


Battle Abbey started the game well, forcing an early corner which resulted in the opening goal when an excellent near post run was flicked in to make it 1-0. Battle continued to press and after some accurate passing in the final third which released their centre forward, he fired the ball low into the bottom corner for a 2-0 lead.


Bethany remained confident and began to win more midfield possession and build positive attacks. Mid-way through the half a free kick on the left-hand side was whipped in by Nico De Widt and an excellent first time shot from Stephen Kakouris lobbed the goalkeeper and nestled into the back of the net for 2-1.


VIDEO: Stephen scores with an excellent first time finish


Bethany stood firm for the rest of the first half with Seb Graham and Jake Krovina playing well in central defence and shutting down any Battle Abbey attacks.


The second half began with Bethany keeping the momentum and pressing for an equaliser. After good battling work down the left side from Toby Chapman, a ball was fired across the box by Nico De Widt and Greg Eijofor was on hand to slot the ball home at the back post.


VIDEO: Bethany equalise thanks to Greg’s back post finish


As the half progressed Bethany dominated the play with strong tackling and accurate passing to take advantage of the gaps appearing. Bethany pressed well and from a Battle Abbey goal kick the ball was quickly won back, played to Greg Ejiofor who bravely beat the outrushing keeper and slide a pinpoint pass to Stephen Kakouris who was on hand to roll the ball home for his second of the match and a Bethany lead of 3-2.


VIDEO: Bethany complete the comeback as Stephen grabs his second of the game


Bethany closed out the match well with effective defending from Jake Krovina and Arthur Seal and battling play in the midfield areas from Toby Chapman and Hamilton Cridge.


A fantastic come back and 3-2 win for Bethany in the final match of their season.


Final score: Bethany 3-2 Battle Abbey

Player of the Match: Nico De Widt

Coaches Player of the Match: Jake Krovina

Hockey | Bethany U13A v Marlborough House (away)

The U13A team travelled away to Marlborough House for their penultimate hockey match of the season.


We could see from their warm up that they were to be a strong side but that didn’t stop the team being keen for a strong start. Marlborough House were well drilled and had seemed to have played with each other for a long time as numerous goals were conceded in the first half. Bethany were mainly backed in to their defensive half as we stepped in to half time.


After a strong half time talk with input from all members of the team, we had some tactics to go in to the second half with. There were a couple of chances from Bethany which kept the Marlborough House score line was kept down and there were many improvements from everyone in the second half. The effort and the energy brought by the team did not reflect the score line. Some fantastic defending skills were once again showed by the team with a special mention to Ciara Carnegie who defended very well with some great clearances to get the ball out of Marlborough’s attacking D.


Once again, the score line really didn’t reflect the positive attitude and effort bought by Bethany and we look to move forward and improve from this game next week.


Final score: Bethany 0-16 Marlborough House

Player of the Match: Matthew Clark

Coaches Player of the Match: Ciara Carnegie

Hockey | Bethany U13B v Marlborough House

Similar to previous weeks due to significant absence, illness and injury, unfortunately it took Bethany a while to settle in the first quarter, but the team managed to hold an experienced side to 2-0, defending in our half and giving 100% effort. Marlborough house came out with a strong performance in the 2nd quarter scoring a further 5 goals.


In the 3rd quarter the team stepped up their game, using correct technique and making stronger tackles. Bethany managed to make a break and set up Betsy Spruce who scored the teams first goal.


Juniper Ambrose-Gordon made fantastic improvement and progression throughout the game in terms of positioning and accuracy. In the 4th quarter Nelly Adams made a clean strike of the ball to score our 2nd goal. Playing against pupils that have played for 4 years, this game as always going to be a challenge but we progressed as a team and never gave up.


Final score: Bethany 2-11 Marlborough House

Player of the Match: Juniper Ambrose-Gordon

Coaches Player of the Match: Martha Spruce

Hockey | Bethany U13C v Marlborough House

On a chilly afternoon, it was Marlborough House who started well and had several chances to score but the strong Bethany defence kept them at bay. Nevertheless, it was the opposition who took the lead and then just into the second quarter of the game they added another to make it 0-2.


However, the U13C team began to hold a better playing formation which led them to play better hockey and make some excellent passing moves. Dasha Hordiienko pulled a goal back for Bethany early in the third quarter to make it 1-2, and then with about 3 minutes of the match to go Dasha scored again to level the game at 2-2. As Bethany went for the win, Marlborough House broke away and scored the winner in the very last minute.


For most of the players in the U13C team not only this was their first ever hockey match, but this season was the first time most of them had even picked up a hockey stick and played the game. So, for them to all perform so well against an experienced Marlborough House team is something they should feel very proud about.


Final score: Bethany 2-3 Marlborough House

Player of the Match: Dasha Hordiienko – For always being involved in the play and scoring two wonderful goals.

Coaches Player of the Match: Amber Johns – Amber played an excellent game in central midfield by both halting any Marlborough House attack but then turning that possession into opportunities for the team to start their own attack.

Hockey | Bethany U15A v Kings Rochester

In a closely contested match on Tuesday, Bethany’s U15A team faced Kings Rochester.


Despite a slow start resulting in conceding an early goal, Bethany demonstrated resilience, limiting the score to 1-0 at halftime. The second half saw a great turnaround, with Bethany dominating play, creating numerous chances. Cecily Chettiar’s well-struck Penalty Corner found the net, leveling the score at 1-1.


Both teams fiercely battled for a decisive goal, but the match concluded in a hard-fought draw.


Final score: Bethany 1-1 Kings Rochester

Player of the Match: Cecily Chettiar

Coaches Player of the Match: Maisie Frankum







Hockey | Bethany 1st XI v Kings Rochester

On a freezing Thursday afternoon, Bethany’s 1st XI faced Kings Rochester in a challenging encounter.


The game remained tightly contested in the first half, with Kings capitalising on two chances while Bethany struggled to convert multiple opportunities. Despite their best efforts, Bethany couldn’t find the back of the net, resulting in a 0-2 loss.


All players exhibited determination and skill in adverse conditions, highlighting their commitment to the game.


Final score: Bethany 0-2 Kings Rochester

Player of the Match: Stella Flynn

Coaches Player of the Match: Elsa Taylor

Rugby | Bethany 1st XV v Lingfield College

The 1st XV rugby team hosted Lingfield College on Tuesday afternoon.


Lingfield started the game in very positive attacking manner, stretching the Bethany defence out wide as well as driving through the middle of the pitch with quick ruck ball and swift hands along the back line. Bethany defended superbly well, scrambling on the outside with relentless tackling from James Candeloro and Luca Chettiar, and repelling phase after phase through the middle of the pitch with strong defence from George Vincent and Tom Fyffe. As the half drew to a close, the Lingfield attacking pressure finally told, and the visiting team scored out wide with numbers to spare. In the final minute of the half Lingfield College crossed for a second converted try after a powerful midfield run to take a 14-0 lead into the break.


Bethany pushed hard for a try in the second half with strong running lines from George Vincent, Charlie Baker and George Gardner, but turnover ball at the ruck often conceded possession and the strong speedy Lingfield College back row and backline runners were able to counter attack, exploiting the ever-increasing open spaces with several tries to take the game away from Bethany.


A very strong defensive display in the first half deserves a notable mention.


Final score: Bethany 0-56 Lingfield College

Player of the Match: George Vincent

Coaches Player of the Match: James Candeloro