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Weekly Newsletter

March 15, 2024

Headmaster’s Welcome


Dear Parents and Guardians,

 

I hope you are having a good week.

 

Sadly my trip to Twickenham last Saturday afternoon was not as enjoyable as I had hoped, although my son, who is an evangelical English supporter, was over the moon. It did not help that we were sitting beside each other during the match!  I have to admit that the better team won.

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Abi Foster who spoke to pupils in Years 9 and 12 last Monday regarding their personal online and offline safety was most impressed with how mature they were and in their very sensible contributions.

 

On Tuesday evening there were some excellent LAMDA performances, and it was a great way to spend an hour.

 

The Open Morning on Wednesday went very well and I am pleased that the weather held up given that it rained very heavily on Tuesday morning. What a difference 24 hours can make to the weather!

 

Yesterday, pupils gained a lot from attending personal finance workshops and once again, the presenter had great praise for the participation levels of our pupils.

 

I hope that as many Year 7 parents as possible can attend tonight’s parent teacher meeting.  Unfortunately, I am unable to be there as I have to attend an alumni function in London tonight. I hope you hear nice things about your children.

 

I am looking forward to the Year 10 Drama performance next Tuesday evening, as well as the next meeting of the Sixth Form Cultural Society, The Pengelly Society, which takes place after school on Thursday.

 

This week is Cheltenham week, tomorrow has the last round of matches in the Six Nations rugby championship and Sunday, of course, is St Patrick’s Day. I thought I should finish with a suitable joke.

 

An Englishman and a Scotsman each had a horse but they couldn’t tell them apart.  So the Englishman cut the tail off his horse and all went well for a while.  But then the Scotsman’s horse lost its tail in an accident so they were back where they started.  Finally, they consulted an Irishman and he said: “You two are a right pair of fools, anyone can see that the black horse is 3 inches taller than the white horse”.

 

Have a good weekend.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Francie Healy

Headmaster

Latest Bethany Blog


The latest Bethany Blog of the Spring Term has been written by Mrs Wareham, Head of Year 9.  She writes about how a survey completed by Year 9 revealed some interesting answers about friendships, achievements and success.

Reflecting On The Year So Far…
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Having been a Head of Year and Housemistress for all the different years at school, I am very aware that Year 9 can be one of the toughest. Pupils are neither young nor grown up, they have conflicting hormones, puberty onset (or continuation) and friendships seem to be a challenge for even the most hardy.

 

This week, I asked Year 9 to complete a survey to see how they think the year is going for them. The answers were interesting; questions about what they wished they had known often included higher expectations, more prep and harder work. When asked what they would change, the length of the school day was raised and one pupil actually said they would like to start at 10am!

 

However, most seemed to feel they were navigating friendships well and felt comfortable and secure within the year group. This does not mean that they all do, but it gives hope for those who are struggling with this aspect currently.

 

When asked about their achievements, pupils were keen to share their successes and feel (justifiably) proud of their growth. The answers included participating in school activities, helping others, building friendships, learning how to resolve conflict and recognising when my actions may not be welcome. The pupils have certainly given some thought to this question and some of the replies are below:

 

 

However, for me, the best answers came from the question asking, ‘If you were asked to describe Bethany to a new Year 9 pupil joining, which words would you use?’ Sometimes, when they are struggling, our pupils feel that school is the problem and that they do not fit it. It is heartening to read that many of them are very aware of the time and effort spent by those in the school to ensure it is the best experience possible. How lovely that the word ‘fun’ stands out for our pupils, that ‘great school’ and ‘nice pupils’ and ‘lovely teachers’ are words that they think of when they think about Bethany.

 

 

Year 9 is racing away and my current cohort will soon be approaching the next two very significant years of their school careers. I am proud of the way they are dealing with the challenges and my team and the other staff are school are working hard to help them navigate the trials and successes along the way.

 

Mrs Wareham

Head of Year 9

Latest Sports News


The latest sports news from Bethany School. Fixtures succumbed to the weather this week, however there were final games of the netball season for the 1st VII and U16 teams. For some, this was the last game of their entire Bethany netball career.

 

The 1st XI football team were away to Kent College in their final game of the season, whilst our U15 hockey teams took on King’s School Rochester.

Netball | Bethany U16 v Ashford School
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On Thursday it was the last match of the season for the U16 team against Ashford School. Ashford started very strongly, having a lot more height across the court and some good skill and movement within their team. In the first quarter we struggled to get on the score board and Ashford quickly ran away to 13-0 lead.

 

In the rest of the game we saw some improvement, with Ashford scoring less goals. In defence Emma Kuhepa (GD) and Emilia Dillon (GK) did a good job of keeping their shooters high and wide in the circle forcing them to take long range shots, but Ashford had good accuracy. In mid court, Emily Fraser did a good job stepping in to centre bringing the ball through court and into the shooters, and we had an improved final quarter with both shooters securing goals.

 

A big well done to Emma Kuhepa for receiving Player of the Match in every game for her second season in a row – a great way to lead by example as Captain! 

 

Final score: Bethany 3-31 Ashford School 

Player of the Match: Emma Kuhepa 

Coaches Player of the Match: Emily Fraser 

Netball | Bethany 1st VII v Ashford School
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This was the last match of the season for the 1st VII and for some of them, the last fixture at Bethany.  

 

Unfortunately the game didn’t go our way from the off set and we threw the ball away too often and didn’t manage to capitalise on the numerous interceptions we did make. Ella Smith and Tilly Hatton both worked extremely hard throughout the court in every position they played, whether this be in the shooting circle, defence or holding the middle in centre court.

 

Tilly has been a fantastic captain, she has lead by example and always encouraged others as well as liaising with staff.

 

Special mention should also go to Millie James who has played in the 1st VII since joining us in Year 12 and to Frances Lye who has played netball, hockey and cricket throughout her 7 years at Bethany.   

 

It is unfortunate to finish the season with a loss however it has been a good season with many highlights. 

 

Final score: Bethany 8-23 Ashford School 

Player of the Match: Lucy Shaw 

Coaches Player of the Match: Tilly Hatton

Football | Bethany 1st XI v Kent College (away)
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The last game of the football calendar was away to Kent College this week. Bethany started the stronger side, dominating possession in every aspect of the game. Femi Folarin began extremely well on the right, coming close to scoring Bethany’s opening goal on a few occasions. The hosts had a couple of chances that were quickly stopped by our very good defensive line. Therefore, it was a bit of a surprise when Kent College attacked and scored the first goal of the game, a goal that gave them a degree of confidence and hope.

 

Bethany continued to probe, Archie Cashman and Femi coming close. After a move down our right wing, Femi collected the ball elegantly, passing the left back by cutting inside on the edge of the opposition’s eighteen yard box, before releasing a thunderous shot into the bottom corner of the goal, to bring the scores level.

 

VIDEO: Femi equalises for Bethany

 

Our delight didn’t last for long as Kent College retook the lead quickly after their kick off, a defensive mistake combined with good closing down by the striker, caused our goalkeeper George Vincent to strike his attempted clearance against the oppositions back, which ricocheted into the Bethany net. 2-1 to Kent College.

 

A few changes made at half time saw Josh Maynard replace George Vincent in goal, and George replacing Henry Brown up front.

 

Kent College started the second half the stronger side, winning a few early corners. One of which was headed home from six yards to extend the hosts lead to 3-1. Both teams battled away with Bethany trying their best to gain an upper hand. Changes were made to ensure everyone that had travelled had a fair share of game time. Usually this would prove to be detrimental to the sides performance and balance, but not today!

 

Femi was on form and had two chances to score Bethany’s second, the first saved by the goalkeeper, the second whistling just wide past the opposition’s top corner. It was third time lucky for Femi, as he ghosted past the opposition defence, before showing supreme composure to score his second goal, and bring the score back to 2-3.

 

VIDEO: Femi scores his second to reduce the deficit

 

A bold move was then made from the Bethany coach, substituting the captain James Candeloro and vice captain Archie Cashman with 15 minutes to go. With Luca Chettiar and Sam Denny moving into the midfield, we had a little more bite rather than the flair of James and Archie. Bethany started to gain a firm advantage all over the pitch, with Sam Aberenika, Monty Farmer and the impassable Josh Hughes standing firm in defence.

 

In a last throw of dice, Archie was subbed back on the pitch for George, who looks promising as a sole striker. A corner for Bethany, taken superbly well by Sam Denny, saw Archie charging in from beyond the far post, rising above everyone and powering his header against the back of the net.

 

VIDEO: Archie’s header completes the Bethany comeback

 

Final score: Bethany 3-3 Kent College

Player of the Match: Femi Folarin

Coaches Player of the Match: Josh Hughes

Hockey | Bethany U15A v King’s School Rochester
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The U15A boys hockey team travelled to Holcombe Hockey Club on Tuesday to play King’s Rochester.

 

Bethany started well with Hux Maunder Allen and Ollie Hughes dominating the midfield battle and feeding balls through the channels to Oscar Scott, Lucas Schippers and Jonah Burrows. After several near misses and a couple of short corners defended by the home team, Hux drove into the circle, where Oscar picked up the ball and rounded the goalkeeper to slot the ball in for a 1-0 lead.

 

VIDEO: Oscar opens the scoring for Bethany

 

A second goal followed when Ollie Hughes drove towards the top of the D, played a slick one-two with Oscar Scott and then accurately fired the ball into the bottom corner for a 2-0 lead. Rochester gained some attacking territory as the half entered the final quarter, but Bethany defenders Michael Sargent and Noah Mund stood firm and with the whistle imminent, Ollie Hughes picked up a loose ball, passed to Hux Maunder Allen who squared the ball for Oscar Scott to score a very well worked goal and a three 3-0 lead at the break.

 

VIDEO: Oscar makes it 3-0 shortly before half time

 

Bethany continued to play well in the second half and developing passing skills and ball retention wherever possible. Rochester posed a threat and with positional changes for Bethany, effective tackles and good defensive shape was required at times. After a couple of opportunities drifted wide, Ollie Hughes won the ball in a Shooting circle scramble and reacted quickly to strike the ball into the goal for a 4-0 lead. In the final minute of the half, Bethany had a short corner and the ball eventually fell to Hux Maunder Allen who fired the ball towards goal and it bounced in off the goalkeeper for a 5-0 scoreline to Bethany and a match win.

 

Final score: Bethany 5-0 King’s School Rochester

Player of the Match: Ollie Hughes

Coaches Player of the Match: Oscar Scott and Hux Maunder Allen

Hockey | Bethany U15B v King’s School Rochester
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Following a slight delay to the start of match and with the rain finally relenting, the U15B’s hockey team were champing at the bit to take on King’s School Rochester in the warm hazy sunshine at Marden.

 

From early on, it was clear that both sides were evenly matched which showed in their play which made it exciting to watch as both teams battled to gain dominance over the other. Both teams also were forced to have stand-in goalkeepers and for the U15B’s, it was Henry Shaw who stepped forward and had a good first game in goal with some excellent saves.

 

The U15B’s defence held up well despite a lot of pressure from a skilled and very fast King’s School Rochester Forward. Chris Hanslip-Ward was the pick of the U15B’s defenders with his control and calmness under pressure. One of the moves of the match was his long slap pass out of defence which cut through the highline of the opposition towards Charlie Eddy on the left wing. Even though it didn’t end in a goal, it was the pass of the match.

 

However, after about 10 minutes it was the U15B’s who took the lead. After snuffing out another King’s School attack down the left, Thomas Gerrish and Chris Hanslip-Ward combined to pass the ball into Samuel Lobo in the Midfield. He them swept the ball out wide to Ben Henry on the right wing. He then drove the ball to the backline and hit a pass into the scoring ‘D’ whereupon Leo Lyndon-Stanford placed the ball into the righthand corner of the goal. Brilliant hockey!

 

In addition, there were two goals (and one assist) from a very focused Leo Lyndon-Stanford, one goal each from Ben Henry (and two assists) and Charlie Eddy (and one assist).  There was good control of the game from our Midfield players Samuel Lobo (Captain) and once again from the skilful Sebastian Baines.

 

King’s Rochester didn’t give up and kept applying pressure onto the U15B’s goal and won several Penalty Corners but couldn’t quite find the goals that their play deserved.

 

In the end, the difference between the two sides were the U15B’s goalkeeper and the clinical finishing of our forwards.

 

Final score: Bethany 4-0 King’s School Rochester

Players of the Match: Samuel Lobo and Sebastian Baines

Coaches Player of the Match: Henry Shaw and Chris Hanslip-Ward