Clarence Festive Newsletter

It has been a very full and busy half term in Clarence, the pupils never cease to amaze me by how much they manage to achieve. As well as working extremely hard, they have also played hard and there’s never a dull moment when you are living with 98 Upper Sixth pupils!

The term took a very spooky turn when we returned from long leave. We started the week with a Halloween pumpkin carving competition pupils dressed up for House Order. As UCAS deadlines were looming one Clarence house decided that this should be the scary theme for their pumpkin!

Music is very important to many of the pupils in Clarence , as well as to one Clarence Housemistress who will remain nameless, and we have had a few wonderful concerts this term. I had the privilege of playing alongside some of the pupils at the James Bond concert in November, which was a fantastic evening. I also enjoyed watching the Archer concert which Claudia tells us all about “On November 13th, several Clarence pupils took part in Wycombe’s annual Archer Concert, with soloists Sharen, Vivian, Lauren, Elaine, Claudia, and Wing. The programme was highly varied, from the Symphony Orchestra’s ‘The Marriage of Figaro Overture’ to the Holst Singers’ ‘The Way You Look Tonight’. It was a very enjoyable experience, especially for Clarence, as it was one of our final concerts at Wycombe.” 

Another highlight of the Clarence year is the annual lacrosse match against Eton. Olivia and Ginny were both heavily involved and share their reflections on the evening’s competition, “In November, we had our annual lacrosse match against Eton College. While it may seem like a fun and friendly evening, it was highly competitive and a chance to show we always win, on and off the pitch. The match started off with a bang and Wycombe ended the first quarter 3-0 up against the boys. After half time, the boys pulled back slightly, but we were never going to let them win and ended on a fantastic score of 9-6. After the match, we enjoyed a lovely dinner with all the players and coaches. Many thanks to the catering staff for organising our wonderful meal. The captains from each team gave speeches and gave player of the match and a massive shout out to Eton for giving prizes of tutor2you beanies. Thank you to everyone who came out to support us on the evening, we wouldn’t have got the win without all your encouragement. Overall, we had such a fun evening with the boys and so glad we came out on top!”

Both Mr Sparks and I enjoyed attending the wonderful Caledonian Society St Andrew’s ball. Phoebe tells us all about her exciting experience.  “After a busy week, it was lovely to be treated to an incredible night of fun at the Cal Soc Ball with Eton. We started the evening with a delicious meal in Daws Hill, enjoying a Scottish classic of salmon. We then all walked down to Big School where we were spun around for a couple of hours of intense but fun reeling. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed the live band, and it was a great opportunity to do something different and meet new people! We would like to say a big thank you to Mrs McNeill and Kim for organising it and we look forward to the next ball.”

This half term has seen lots of excitement about the football world cup in Clarence. Pia tells us all about how we have been following it. “With the Football World Cup currently on, the CCR TV has been on almost every night for us to enjoy what has been a World Cup of surprises. At the beginning of the tournament, we put up the flags of all the participating countries and have slowly removed them 1 by 1 as they get eliminated. We have also been running a World Cup predictor for every round of the tournament – winner will be announced imminently! It has been a great way for us to switch off from the stresses of work, and despite England sadly being knocked out, share some time together having fun and making collective memories.” 

One of the highlights for me this half term had to be carol practice. As a new member of staff, I went along expecting to just practice the carols for the upcoming services. Well, I could not have been more wrong! It was the most fantastic, amazing sing song of carols and Christmas songs sung at full blast with some additional gusto for good measure! Claudia tells us all about not only carol practice but also the wonderful carol service. “The Clarence girls attended their last Carol Service Practice on Friday, where they all dressed up in their festive costumes and sang a range of Christmas carols in preparation for their last Carol Service on Wednesday. The Carol Service ran smoothly with various Clarence girls singing solos alongside the Chapel Choir, with Vivian accompanying on the harp. Chapel Choir sang beautifully and the Clarence girls singing the solos are to be especially commended. Overall, all the girls participated in the service with great enthusiasm.” I asked Claudia what it was like to sing the first verse of Once in Royal. “I was quite nervous but it is also something that I have anticipated for a very long time as the solo is performed every year by the respective heads of choir and when it was finally my turn, I was very excited.” 

On the final Monday of term we all enjoyed our delicious Clarence Christmas dinner and our Head Girl, Hattie, has this to say about the evening, “It was so lovely to be able to come together as a House on Monday night to enjoy our Clarence House Christmas Dinner. We were welcomed to the event with glasses of champagne,  before sitting down and enjoying an excellent meal together. The dinner was followed by a thoroughly entertaining quiz led by the Head Girl Team and the Clarence Chairmen throughout which the Upper Sixth had to take on questions about sport, literature and various other topics. A special thank you must go to the catering team and the Clarence House staff who both organised such a wonderful evening.”

This month we had a very special visitor to Clarence. Izzy and Bella tell us more “This month we were joined by a new member of Clarence: Clarice the Christmas Elf. She has been on many adventures around school, even venturing as far as Dr Carrier’s office, and has thoroughly enjoyed herself. Currently she is taking a sabbatical and has been spotted in The Oracle, Reading, presumably keen to do some Christmas shopping. We wish her a safe journey back to Clarence where we hope she is excited to spend Christmas”

All that is left for me to do, is to wish you a very well deserved Christmas holiday. I am so proud of each and every pupil in Clarence and everything they have achieved over the last term. It is an absolute privilege to be their Housemistress. I look forward to welcoming everyone back in January.