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Weekly Newsletter

February 9, 2024

Headmaster’s Welcome


Headmaster's Welcome

Dear Parents and Guardians,

 

Welcome to the last newsletter of this half term. Christmas now seems like a long time ago, so much has happened at Bethany in the last 6 weeks.

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Last week, of course, was dominated by the whole School production, Dancing Queen. All three performances were brilliant with Saturday night’s show being particularly smooth. It has been a joy to see almost 80 pupils working in harmony and achieving excellent outcomes.

 

The Open Morning last Saturday was a great success, thank you for continuing to spread the good word about Bethany.

 

I am delighted with the number of sports fixtures that have taken place in the last week or so and our pupils have once again represented the School very well indeed.

 

There is a ski trip departing to Austria very early on Sunday morning with pupils expected to arrive at Bethany at 4am.  Pupils return very early the following Sunday and can be collected from Bethany at 1.30am.

 

Chinese New Year starts tomorrow Saturday 10th February and ends with the Lantern festival on 24th February.  The Chinese public holiday lasts from 10th February to February 17th.  This year is the year of the Dragon and the lucky colours for 2024 are gold, yellow and green.  The dragon symbolizes strength, energy and vitality.  I wish all of our Chinese pupils and their families a very happy and prosperous New Year.

 

On Friday 23rd February, we have our annual Festival of Scholars event.  This will take place in the Science building and is always a most enjoyable evening.

 

The following week, Year 10 pupils have their internal examinations all week and I wish them well as they revise for them.

 

I would also like to remind you that FOBS are organising a Wine Tasting event on Saturday 9th March and tickets can be purchased via this link.

 

I hope everyone has a great half term and that the pupils return with renewed energy, ready and able for the joys and challenges of the second half of term.

 

It seems appropriate that I should end with a quote from the Chinese philosopher Confucius.  “It doesn’t matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop”.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Francie Healy

Headmaster

Latest Bethany Blog: Dancing Queen!


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The latest Bethany Blog of the Spring Term has been written by Mr Bolton, Director of Performing Arts at Bethany School. He writes about the Bethany School Performing Arts production of “Dancing Queen” whereby the cast worked tirelessly and put on an amazing show – which for some Year 13 pupils was a bitter sweet moment as it will be their final performance for Bethany.

Dancing Queen leads to the next level in performance stakes
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This week saw Bethany School Performing Arts Production of ‘Dancing Queen’ come to a successful close.

 

The show takes place on a Greek Island where Sophie Sheridan (Millie James) invites her three potential dads (Toby Castle, Owen Ellifritt and Charlie Eddy) to her dream wedding. Sophie’s mother Donna (Edith Lowe) is unaware of this and seeks to send all three men back to England. Donna is joined by her friends Rosie (Lewis St Clair Bishop) and Tanya (Frances Lye), reuniting the trio with their past when they were Donna and the Dynamo’s. Sophie’s fiancé Sky (Bert Dicker) tries to resolve the issue by facing Sophie with some home truths, with his best friends Pepper (David de La Rozz Flynn) and Eddie (Thomas Gerrish) spicing up the story with some moments of comedy.

 

The cast began rehearsing for the show in September and choreography was led by Rachael Payne. The challenge for this year’s show was in the staging and many of the dance numbers were performed with the cast using the floor with the audience around them. Scenes were rehearsed taking into account where the audience were placed resulting in a new feel for what will be the Assembly Hall’s final outing as Whole School Production venue.

 

The cast worked tirelessly on the show. “This year brought many challenges,” Alex Bolton Director of Performing Arts reflected, “The cast had to be off script long before the first performance due to the developments in sound; this year they were working with West End Sound Engineer Andy Sharman from “Sound Quiet Time”, the industry professionals responsible for “Frozen”, “Macbeth” and “Mama Mia” and “The Lion King”. The cast microphones were queued in from their lines spoken, and not their entrances; they had to be slick and I am proud to say they were ready and the final technical rehearsals were superb. It was a great experience for everyone.”

 

The show included well known favourites “Dancing Queen”, “Mama Mia” and “Does Your Mother Know” performed with Year 13 pupils Will Parsons on drums and David Kennedy on bass. They were joined by Laura Williams on keys and the school Chaplain Paul Feesey on guitar. This was all conducted by Sam Harris Green in her capacity as musical director for the show.

 

‘Dancing Queen’ was an opportunity for pupils across all year groups to come together and perform as an ensemble. The cast looked amazing in their outfits with some pretty quick changes overseen by the wardrobe department and Year 13 pupil Celeste Amos.

 

“I am very lucky to work with such a great team” Alex continued, “working with industry professionals in costume, lighting and staging enabled this show to feel the most professional ever.” The performing arts team are now in pre-production for next year’s show and planning how the move to the Performing Arts Centre will develop performances further. “We have started using the technology that will be in the PAC and Aaron Ramsden has been putting his skills to the test”. Aaron has been using the lighting desk that will be in the PAC ahead of its opening in September and in this year’s production, the results were certainly stunning for all to see.

 

Whole School Production was a bitter sweet moment for many of our Year 13 pupils as it will be their final performance at Bethany. It is however exciting to see the new talent and next generation of performers shining through. Year 8 pupil Alfie Bennet proved this to be the case with his role as “Father Alex”, making it a performance to remember.

 

“We can’t do anything without the parents” Alex paid tribute to the majority of the audience, “we are given the opportunity to work with dynamic, energetic and talented performers. Without the parents bringing them to Bethany we would not be where we are now. Thank you.”

 

Dancing Queen closed on Saturday 3rd February and included a special preview to prospective parents on Open Morning.

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Latest Sports News


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The latest sports news from Bethany School. This week saw another busy week of fixtures which included a Sports Scholars Cricket Event, our swimming team achieving a very impressive first place position in six individual races and some fantastic wins in Netball and Hockey!

 

A special mention and thank you to FOBS for the Year 9 & 10’s new netball dresses!

Swimming | Sevenoaks Invitational Gala
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The Junior and Inter swimming squads travelled to the Sevenoaks Invitational Gala on Monday, competing against Sevenoaks, St Olaves and Lingfield College. With 50-meter races on the gala card being a first for the Bethany squad, all swimmers rose to the challenge and performed with outstanding efforts. The growing competitiveness and overall performance levels continue to go from strength to strength and resulted in the squad achieving a very impressive first place position in six individual races, along with several runner up positions, which was outstanding.

 

Grace Holmes achieved an excellent first place position in the Inter100m individual medley and then stormed to a dominant first place finish in the Inter breaststroke event.

 

Lauren Baxter was an impressive first in the Junior backstroke race and then completed a brace of wins with a terrific finish to secure a first-place position in the Junior frontcrawl event.

 

Hamish Henderson cruised to victory in the Junior backstroke race and Harry Sweeting powered to a very impressive first in the Junior Butterfly race.

 

Oliver Marten, Beatrice Kay and Hazeley Kalisch achieved notable runner up positions in some close races.

 

A true gala event that the whole squad contributed to with an impressive display of race swimming.

 

Cricket | Sports Scholars Event
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The Sports Scholars took part in a cricket skills event on Wednesday morning.

 

All certainly had their skill set tested when they took part in a cricket session led by Brian Gasking, the Community Disability Cricket Coach for Kent.

 

The Scholars took part in skills training and small sided matches from the perspective of a disability athlete. This included being visually impaired and in a wheelchair.

 

The session focused on how communication methods are key, which is vital in many sports, as well as performing the skills with the physical restrictions, which gave them an appreciation of how the activity is played and the additional skills needed to be successful.

 

All Scholars enjoyed the session, leant a new skill or two and experienced how sports can still be accessed and played for all.

 

 

 

 

 

Netball | Bethany 1st VII v Claremont School
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In very wet conditions the 1st VII played against Claremont. We struggled with the conditions and to settle in the first quarter, the end of quarter 1, 4-1 to Claremont. The 2nd quarter we managed to calm our play and get the ball into our shooters. This quarter was a draw 3 -3 but 4-7 to Claremont overall.

 

After a change around of players and positions, our 3rd quarter was our best. We took care of the ball and moved into space which allowed us to move the ball well and create space. We won this quarter 4 -2, and just one goal behind and our first centre pass.

 

In the 4th quarter both teams made mistakes and errors. But this was not surprising considering the conditions which made the ball slippery and it was slightly harder to change direction. The game was stopped early but not before Bethany could secure another goal to make it a draw.

 

All players should be congratulated on their versatility, many playing out of position and not playing their preferred position, however they just got on with their job in hand and listened to the coaching points given.

 

Special mention to Frances Lye and Millie James who calmed the attack, worked the ball around and fed the shooters well. An extra special mention Holly McClure and Lily Fielder who both played out of position in the defensive end.  

 

Final score: Bethany 9-9 Claremont School
Player of the Match: Ella Smith
Coaches Player of the Match: Millie James and Frances Lye  

 

 

Netball | Bethany U16 v Claremont School
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Bethany started the game strongly keeping up with Claremont and scoring goal for goal in the first 5 minutes of play. However, with a dynamic shooting combination from Claremont, Bethany defenders found themselves getting drawn out of the circle and losing their players as they found space near the post. This allowed a series of goals, with the first quarter finishing 7-2 to Claremont.  

 

In the second quarter Lydia Veale (GS) found some lovely back space in the circle and Annie Walker made some great feeds from the circle edge seeing an improvement in the goals scored by Bethany- with Q2 finishing 6-13 to Claremont.  

 

Stella Flynn had moved into GK for Bethany and did an excellent job at front marking and tracking her player meaning lots more turnover ball and a reduction in Claremont’s goals in the second half. However, increased rainfall meant a wet and slippery ball and a lot more errors occurring, with lots of poor passing and dropped balls, meaning Bethany were not able to make up the lead Claremont had established. 

 

Final score: Bethany 7-19 Claremont School
Player of the match: Emma Kuhepa
Coaches player: Stella Flynn 

 

 

 

 

 

Netball | Bethany U15A v Gads Hill
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This was a very windy match and the players did well to get the ball down court and into the shooting circle. The fact that the shooters, Olivia James and Summer Stewart-Welch were then able to execute their shots accurately was very impressive indeed. Ellie Turner and Maisie Frankum made an excellent contribution throughout the whole game, reading the game well and giving 100% in every action both on and off the ball. The centre court took a while to gel, however pulled it together in the last quarter and pulled away. Up until that point the game had been very even. Special mention goes to Safi Chettier who fed the circle well and stepped up in the last quarter making sensible decisions sending the ball into the shooters.  

 

Final score: Bethany 17-9 Gads Hill
Player of the Match: Olivia James
Coaches Player of the Match: Summer Stewart-Welch 

Netball | Bethany U15B v Gads Hill
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Sporting their new dresses our U14 girls faced Gad’s Hill this week in windy and chilly conditions. The squad of 8 played well as a whole, but some congestion in the centre court area caused some errors and allowed the opposition to secure a few more goals than perhaps they should have.   

 

Having said that Bethany only did 2 or 3 footwork infringements in the whole game and there was solid shooting from Grace Holmes and consistent mid court intercepts by Sophie Finnamore and Lily Marshall.

 

Final score: Bethany 21-11 Gads Hill
Player of the Match: Mia Castle
Coaches Player of the Match: Grace Holmes faced with windy conditions still managed to sink the majority of the 21 goals.

Hockey | Bethany U15A v Claremont School
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In a challenging encounter, Bethany’s U15A hockey team faced off against Claremont on a Tuesday afternoon. Despite facing a more experienced opponent, Bethany showcased their tactical acumen and determination throughout the game.

 

From the outset, it was evident that Claremont possessed a higher level of experience and skill. However, Bethany refused to be intimidated, utilizing their understanding of the game to compete effectively, particularly as the match progressed.

 

The initial two quarters proved to be a learning curve for Bethany as they adapted to the pace and technical intricacies of the game. Despite facing pressure from Claremont, Bethany gradually found their footing and began to assert themselves on the game.

 

A standout performance came from Lucien F, who demonstrated exceptional skill and composure in goal, making two crucial saves in the first quarter that kept Bethany in contention. His contribution was instrumental in maintaining the team’s confidence throughout the match.

 

While Bethany may not have emerged victorious, their performance was commendable, reflecting their continual growth and improvement in the sport. Each game serves as a stepping stone for Bethany, and this match was no exception.

 

Final score: Bethany 0-5 Claremont

Player of the Match: Lucien Franklin

Coaches Player of the Match: Oscar Scott

 

 

 

 

Hockey | Bethany U15B v Claremont School
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Claremont started on the front foot and with a more experienced team, passed the ball well and created opportunities around the top of the circle. Bethany stood firm and the defensive players of Seb Baines, Chris Hanslip Ward and Henry Shaw, were tested, but they all played well, timing tackles and clearing the lines.

 

Bethany grew into the match as skills improved, and all started to play some good attacking hockey, passing with speed, accuracy and finding teammates in space. The Bethany pressure resulted in Claremont needing to scramble the ball away from their goal on several occasions. Bethany applied more pressure in the later stages of the second quarter with good play from Sam Lobo and Jackson Skillicorn, forcing a few short corners that were well worked but saved by the Claremont keeper.

 

Bethany worked more shooting opportunities, but the Claremont keeper was in excellent form. Bethany did take the lead when quick passing down the left resulted in Sam Lobo firing the ball in from close range. Claremont came out in the third quarter with individual players dribbling the ball forward with speed and accuracy. Increased possession resulted in lots of play in the Bethany circle.

 

After a couple of excellent saves by Gabor Kulcsar, Claremont drove down the right side, whipped the ball into the circle and a first-time sweep saw the ball fly into the corner for a 1-1 scoreline.

 

Bethany came out in the 4th quarter and regained possession of the ball and territory. The midfield of Jackson Skillicorn and Sam Lobo were heavily involved, breaking up play and driving forward. A passage of quick inter-play between Leo Lyndon Stanford, Sam Lobo and Winston Boudet-Fenouillet resulted in Sam Lobo finding space in the shooting circle and sweeping the ball into the goal. Bethany held out for a 2-1 win in a competitive match that saw further improvement in match play ability from all the team.

 

Final score: Bethany 2-1 Claremont
Player of the Match: Sam Lobo
Coaches Player of the Match: Jackson Skillicorn

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hockey | Bethany U13A v Claremont School
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Bethany U13 A” hosted Claremont Prep for their third game of the season. Claremont started on the front foot, retaining possession, building attacking plays and creating chances. Bethany defended well, keeping their shape, clearing their lines and settled into the match. As confidence grew, Bethany began to play with accuracy, good stick skills and moved the ball well. After a passage of defending and attacking play from both sides, the ball was played out to the wing to Max Morgan who drove all the way to the baseline and into the circle, then from a very tight angle, slotted the ball past the Claremont keeper to score an incredible goal and give Bethany a 1-0 lead at the break.

 

The second half was a challenge as Claremont pressed for an equaliser with dominant possession. Some great hockey by moving it around our players resulted in a goal despite the good defensive efforts of the whole Bethany team. Bethany rose to the challenge, and with excellent play at times, to keep Claremont out of our defensive D, Bethany were able to break quickly into the gaps, and pressure the Claremont backline. The Claremont keeper stood firm and cleared well, until one clearance fell at the stick of Oliver Scott who calmly slotted the ball in for a 2-1 lead. The boys then defended incredibly for the last 5 minutes in order to maintain their lead.

 

Well done to all the boys for their team effort in not only today’s game, but all the games that came before. There have been some great results this side of the half term and I hope that continues on the other side of the break!

 

Final score: Bethany 2-1 Claremont
Player of the Match: Oliver Scott
Coaches Player of the Match: Zac Catania 

Hockey | Bethany U13B v Claremont School
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The U13 boys Hockey B” team played Claremont on Wednesday afternoon. Looking to build on their win from last week, Bethany started in a positive manner, moving the ball swiftly and creating attacking pressure. In a very even match, both teams defended well with the keepers in particular keeping the score line at 0-0.

 

Both stick skills and match play awareness continued to develop for all Bethany players, and notable improvements from Felix Hardie and Harry Jermyn, while the more experienced James Cheesborough, Michael St Clair Bishop and Jack Le-Vine led by example.

 

Bethany started the second half well and were rewarded when some accurate and fast inter play down the right led to an excellent hit from Jack Le-Vine at the top of the circler, which flew into the bottom corner. Both teams created more opportunities, with Oscar Hughes denied by the Claremont keeper on several occasions and Steven Kakouris denying Claremont with two excellent saves on breakaway attacks.

 

Bethany worked hard into the final minutes and saw out the match for a 1-0 win.

 

Final score: Bethany 1-0 Claremont
Player of the Match: Jack Le Vine
Coaches Player of the Match: Steven Kakouris

Hockey | Bethany U13C v Claremont School
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After Mr Henson’s skills masterclass, Bethany U13 C” made their way onto the pitch to play against Claremont Prep. They started with energy and determination, but lacking a little composure on the ball, allowed Claremont more possession. However the defenders stood firm, clearing their lines and restricting Claremont to the middle third of the pitch. Once Bethany settled in to their game, they started moving the ball around well, making the small and simple passes to progress forward.

 

Stanley Faulkner played very well in midfield, creating attacking plays by passing with accuracy into the wide channels and towards the shooting circle. This allowed Bethany to get a couple of goal scoring opportunities, but the Claremont keeper saved well and kept the score line at 0-0 for the first half.

 

The second half saw Claremont use their experience and press forward. However, the Bethany team defended incredibly well, with special mention to Hamilton Cridge who did not give up on the tackles and resulted in Bethany turning over Claremont’s possession more often than not. Andrew Stubblefield also shone in the half, defending well and breaking forward with good stick skills and passing range to keep the Claremont team very alert to any counter attacks. A competitive half ended with no scores, and this was a testament to how far the boys have come with their hockey since the beginning of term! Well done!

 

Final score: Bethany 0-0 Claremont
Player of the Match: Andrew Stubblefield
Coaches Player of the Match: Stanley Faulkner 

Hockey | Bethany U13D v Claremont School
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The U13 boys Hockey D” team played Claremont on Wednesday afternoon. The team moved the ball well and showed an ever-increasing skill set and match play understanding as the halves passed. Bethany moved the ball well and timed tackles effectively to regain possession when Claremont had the ball. Toby Chapman was a driving force in midfield along with Callum Rae, creating attacking opportunities. Oliver Candeloro became a threat down the left-hand side as the match developed.

 

Midway through the first half, Toby Chapman found space inside the shooting circle and placed the ball powerfully into the bottom corner of the goal. Claremont did produce a few attacking plays, but the defence stood firm and when they broke through, Steven Kakouris, in his second match as keeper, was more the equal to the shot.

 

The second half continued with lots of play in both the middle of the pitch and the Claremont defensive third. A number of very well worked inter-play phases between Toby Chapman and Oliver Candeloro created opportunities, but the finish was just wide. Mid way through the half, Oliver Candeloro stormed down the left side, beating defenders with controlled stickwork, and fired an inch perfect pas into Toby Chapman, who slotted the ball into the goal with excellent timing for his second of the match. The team defended the final minutes to seal a good win.

 

Final score: Bethany 2-0 Claremont
Player of the Match: Toby Chapman
Coaches Player of the Match: Oliver Candeloro & Callum Rae