The merits of boys who are 10 and 11 years old taking vital senior school entry tests at such a tender age is always contentious  – a decision made by senior schools and not The New Beacon I hasten to add! With so much at stake so young, it is no surprise that we have noticed increased anxiety levels in Y6 boys (and their parents!) over previous weeks and months, and I am sure we have all breathed a collective sigh of relief now that ISEB testing is complete. The vast majority of our Y6 cohort sat the exam on Tuesday and Wednesday this week, and we were so impressed with the manner in which they tackled these challenging tests which are a culmination of over a year’s hard work and preparation. The boys were calm and collected and we are pleased to say, even with some very minor IT glitches, the test sessions passed without drama. A huge ‘well done’ to those Y6s involved and we now await offers from senior schools over the next few months.

Y5 have an exciting trip to Preston Manor to look forward to next week (see further details below) and will be travelling back in time to the late 1800s. Depending on the weather, we may even be able to treat them to an ice cream on Brighton sea front!

Y5 Trip to Preston Manor – Tuesday, 21 November

Please follow this link for more information and to confirm your son’s attendance.

  • Please arrive at school promptly for an 8:20am – 8:40am registration on the day of the trip.
  • After registration, boys are to make their way to the School Room to meet their group leader.
  • We will be departing school at approximately 9:00am so if you are running late, please contact the school office.
  • Boys must bring a rucksack to carry their sandwiches and water bottle. The school will be providing extra snacks and drinks.
  • Card games and books may be brought for the journey.
  • Any travel-sickness medication must be taken before arrival at school, and any other medication given to group leaders before our departure with clear instructions. If in doubt, contact Mr Probert.
  • Boys are to come to school in Victorian-themed attire – see previous communication here.
  • Boys are not to bring any spending money.
  • Return to school is around 4:00pm.


  • Bring fizzy drinks.
  • Bring any electronic games, ipods, mobile ‘phones, etc.
  • Bring any spending money.
  • Bring any food containing nuts.
  • Bring any clipboards or writing instruments.


It has come to our attention that a number of boys are wearing black trainers to school instead of the more traditional black leather shoe, which is part of the school’s uniform. A reminder that trainers are not permitted to be worn unless there is a medical exemption – please make your son’s Form Tutor aware of this should this be the case.


Y5 classes for January
We have begun the process of looking at the composition of the Y5 classes ready for a re-shuffle in time for the new calendar year. As outlined at the Y5 information evening in September, there will be two mixed-ability classes and one streamed class. Y5 parents will receive a letter with further details towards the end of term informing you of your son’s class for next year, along with their form tutor. A polite reminder that the composition of the new classes is the school’s decision.


Lost Property
Whilst the vast majority of boys have clearly labelled items of clothing and stationery, I have in my office a large number of items, including clothing as well as and pens, pencils, rulers, etc. that are not named and therefore we are unable to return these  to their rightful owners. Lost property is a constant battle in any school and The New Beacon is no different – please check to that all of your son’s belongings are named and they should eventually find their way back to him!


The football season has now come to a close and rugby will be coached in Games lessons for the remainder of this term and the next. A reminder that upcoming fixtures (and results) can be accessed via the sports page of the school’s website. We welcome parental support at matches and all are most welcome to attend both home and away fixtures.


School Uniform
It is lovely to see the boys in their winter uniform since our return from the half term break.  We understand that Horncastles are waiting for their next batch of our new blue shirts.  Until all boys can acquire one, a reminder of what should be worn:

  • Grey trousers or shorts
  • New blue shirt* and tie
  • Long grey New Beacon socks (if wearing shorts)
  • Smart black shoes (leather)
  • New Beacon jumper
  • Blazer (this should be worn to school every day)
  • New Beacon coat (either the newer-style waterproof or the more traditional duffle coat, if you still have this)
  • Armbands on outer-most garment

* Shirts – the new version of the blue shirt from Horncastles (or boys may wear their existing short sleeved blue summer shirts underneath their jumper or their existing grey shirt until that is outgrown).  Please do not purchase new grey shirts or blue shirts that are not The New Beacon shade of blue.  Our onsite second hand shop may be able to help provide grey shirts for those who have no other option at the moment.


Dangers of Engine Idling Poster Competition
We are delighted to be running an initiative put forward by our Eco Committee with regards to engine idling.  We are asking boys to produce an A4 poster highlighting the negative aspects of engine idling.  Please bring these to Mr Hutchison or electronic copies can be emailed to him on The deadline for posters is Friday, 1 December.

A winner from each class will be selected and have their design blown up to an A3 poster that will be weather proofed and placed around the school where cars tend to be static. These will hopefully serve as reminders for parents of the harms of engine idling.

Posters might say “save petrol, turn off your engines when stationary,” or “particles in petrol harm children’s lungs” and so on.

Please see the three video links below for more information on the dangers of engine idling. These will hopefully create a discussion and kick start the process of developing the posters.  In addition we will be discussing this at assembly and in class.  We would ask for your help in this.

A few helpful facts:

  • Running an engine unnecessarily while stationary: pollutes the environment, costs money and is illegal under Section 42 of the Road Traffic Act 1988.
  • An idling engine produces twice as many exhaust emissions than an engine in motion.
  • The Royal College of Physicians estimate 40,000 deaths in the UK are linked to air pollution; engine idling contributes to this.
  • It is illegal to engine idle outside schools.
  • Idling for 10 seconds wastes more fuel than restarting your engine.
  • Exhaust emissions contain air pollutants such as carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, hydrocarbons and particles that are so small they enter the lungs. Young children are particularly vulnerable as young lungs are developing.


Stonepitts farm Christmas Trees 2023
As in previous years, Stonepitts farm would like to offer a £2.00 donation to The New Beacon for every tree that is bought by families and staff. Please present a copy of this article when buying a tree and this will count towards the final donation to the school. For details and directions please visit

Supporting charities: A donation will also be made by Stonepitts Farm to Demelza Hospice care for children for every tree sold.


Drop off / Collection Times
Please ensure you drop off and collect your sons at the correct times. Boys arriving before 8:00am should be booked into early morning/breakfast club (arrivals prior to this cannot be supervised and therefore boys cannot come into the School Room or their Form Rooms until 8:00am) If your son is staying later then the usual end to the school day, he must be attending a booked activity, prep (no booking necessary) or be booked into After School Club. We have had a number of boys arriving very early recently and roaming the building – we appreciate your cooperation in this matter.


Road Safety
Next week is Road Safety Week and therefore a timely reminder that parents should drive responsibly around the school site at all times. No mobiles, keep to the 5pm speed limit and please turn off your engines when stationary. Boys will be attending a number of assemblies next week reinforcing road safety and thus we ask parents play their part, too!


Song words for the Christmas Carol Concert
We are very much looking forward to our Middle and Senior School Carol Service on Thursday, 7 December at 7.30pm in Tonbridge Chapel. This event involves all boys and is one of the year’s musical highlights. Further details will follow but we would be grateful if you could encourage your sons to look at their carol words over the coming week.

Middle School Carol Words

Mr Probert
Head of Middle School