Sunday, 22 September 2019

Where boys discover their talents

Where boys discover their talents

MOULSFORD offers boys superb opportunities for learning while having fun. A restructured curriculum was successfully introduced in September 2017, which moves away from the traditional Common Entrance preparation.

The focus is not only to prepare boys for senior schools but also to ensure they have the skills for life beyond.

The new curriculum encourages boys to have a go, take a well-thought out risk and, on occasion, fail.

Exploration and enquiry is strongly encouraged and Moulsford life aims to develop boys’ resilience.

Through our activities programme, we aim to offer each boy opportunities to develop new skills and talents while becoming a conscientious citizen.

Our programme gives boys the chance to try magic tricks, bike maintenance, bushcraft, photography, drama, sailing, genealogy, Subuteo, chess and bridge, pantomime, parkour, night-running, golf, stand-up comedy, geocaching, and many more. The most popular activities are kayaking, climbing, archery, cooking and ceramics.

This non-compulsory activities programme has a 75 per cent take-up rate and our talented staff are able to offer these activities in-house, so most are free of charge.

Moulsford’s reputation for sport, and particularly rugby, remains extremely strong.

While sporting glory is always the goal, and often achieved, the primary aim at Moulsford is to achieve opportunity across the ability range with all boys in teams A to F regularly playing competitive matches.

Minor sports have also seen significant successes in golf, skiing, fencing and judo, with some of the less overtly sporty boys finding their niche and talent in these arenas.

Music and drama remain popular at Moulsford and roughly three-quarters of the boys from years 3 to 8 play an instrument, with 14 per cent learning two.

Places in the choir are hotly contested, with a total of 58 boys in the senior choir and 80 in the junior choir.

As well as two outstanding productions a year, the highlight of the musical calendar is the open-air summer concert with the choirs, orchestra and various ensembles (wind, string, jazz) performing on a July evening on the lawn beside the river, with parents bringing picnics.

Our core values of respect, compassion and independence are at the heart of all that we do.

Expectations are high in terms of manners and discipline and the boys respond accordingly. There is a strong rapport between staff and boys and a sense of mutual respect.

Mental wellbeing for both staff and pupils is taken very seriously. We are in regular contact with mental health charities to understand the latest research.

We also have an independent school counsellor who is available to meet boys weekly. One measure of Moulsford’s success is the broad range of scholarships and exhibitions awarded each year.

For 2019 at 13+, three boys have gained awards to Abingdon School, three to Radley, three to Magdalen College School, two to Cokethorpe, one to Bradfield, one to St Edward’s Oxford, one to Wellington and one to the Oratory.

These are a range of academic, sports, music, drama, art, design and technology, and all-rounder awards.

In addition, other schools to which Moulsford boys progress this year include Marlborough, Eton, Shiplake and Pangbourne.

A daily bus service runs to and from Shiplake via Henley as well as minibus routes via Watlington, Upper Basildon and Culham.

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