Senior School boys are back into the rhythm of school life and with activities having commenced on Monday, it feels like we have never been away. It is pleasing to see the that so many boys have signed up for the various activities/clubs.

The Rifle Club remains an extremely popular activity and the boys are so enthusiastic about attending and improving upon their previous target scores. A super competitive streak is detected amongst the participants.

On Thursday, in advance of their scholarship auditions at Tonbridge next Tuesday, Tom Smith and Severo Boyd performed in a short concert in Music Room 1 to an appreciative audience. We wish them all the very best. What talented musicians they are!

The Sport, Drama and Art Scholarships also take place within the next two weeks and here too, we wish our candidates well. We know that they have worked hard and will be showcasing their talents. Good luck, boys!

On Saturday we will be hosting our first rugby sevens tournament. Schools participating are Solefield, Bickley Park, Dulwich Cranbrook, St Ronan’s, The Hawthorns and of course, our own formidable team. The boys who have been selected for this tournament will be named on SOCS. Parents are most welcome to attend and to also enjoy the refreshments on offer in the dining room.

Have a pleasant weekend.

Eddie Knipe
Head of Senior School

Here are a few notices that you should be aware of for the next few days and weeks:

U13 Rugby Festival Postponement
Unfortunately we will be unable to host this event on Saturday, 20 January due to the continuing cold weather.

Our pitches have yet to thaw, and we cannot safely play on them. We are most disappointed, however this is only a postponement, not a cancellation, and we plan to host the Festival on 16 March 2023.

Thank you all for your continuing sterling support of Rugby at The New Beacon.


Mathematics Department – Calculators
Please could all boys in years 7 and 8 ensure they have a scientific calculator.  We recommend any Casio fx edition (ex fx 85GT, fx 85 GT plus, fx 83….).  These can be bought from Amazon, WH Smiths, most supermarkets and various other outlets.  The cost should be between £10 and £15 maximum.  Please do not buy anything more complicated as it may not be allowed in some exams.  Year 8 will need one for their upcoming exams and it is very important that boys get used to their own calculator.


Senior School Chapel Service
There will be a chapel service on 26 January when we look forward to welcoming Mr Steve Cole, host of the Wonderspace podcast, to speak to the boys. Steve is also passionate about working for change in the local community and in business, and he visited The New Beacon just over two years ago when he gave an engaging talk, so we look forward to welcoming all family and friends along to this service.


Off Games
We would just like to remind Middle and Senior School (Years 5-8) parents, that if boys are ‘off-games’ they should either email the Form Teacher or write a note in their son’s planner to show the Form Teacher.  If a boy becomes unfit for games during the school day, Mrs Hoffmann, our First Aid Lead, will take them ‘off games’.  Boys who are ’off games’ report to Mrs Hoffman and then join the ‘off-games’ group where they can read, do their prep, or catch up on work.  The exception to this is on a Wednesday afternoon when they can join the full and varied activity programme.

Boys who are ‘off-games’ do not usually go home early unless specific permission has been given by Mrs Brownsdon.  Exceptions to this would be if a boy is returning after an extended period of illness and/or surgery or is newly injured. In such a case, please email the Form Teacher with the time and arrangements for collection.  If necessary, the Form Teacher will seek permission for a pupil to leave early from Mrs Brownsdon or Mrs Yeats-Brown.


Vaping has become a topic of conversation amongst the Senior School and some boys appear to be quite versed in the many flavours that are available. Dare I add to that, the actual taste.

Mr Bromwich includes a discussion relating to how young children are easily enticed by the ‘attractive’ advertising of vapes and, the associated dangers of vaping in his PSHE lessons.

E-cigarettes produce several dangerous chemicals including acetaldehyde, acrolein, and formaldehyde. These aldehydes can cause lung disease, as well as cardiovascular (heart) disease. E-cigarettes also contain acrolein, an herbicide primarily used to kill weeds.

This is certainly not meant to cause any alarm, but possible signs that may tell if your son is vaping are: –

A sweet scent in the air.
Unfamiliar pens and USB drives.
Drinking more water.
Smoker’s cough or mouth sores.
New batteries and chargers.
Discarded vaping pods and devices.

Of course, the physical symptoms mentioned could be due to some other underlying problem and not be related to vaping at all.

What can I do if my son is vaping?


Cold Weather Clothing
As the colder weather sets in, it is crucial for the boys to stay warm and comfortable. On this note, please make sure boys are dressed appropriately for the chilly temperatures and have their hats, scarves and gloves with them every day.

Please ensure the hats and scarves are The New Beacon branded ones and the gloves can be either black or navy blue.

Boys can wear blazers, duffle coats or the New Beacon fleece-lined coats.


Year 7 External Examinations and Extra Sessions

This notice serves as a reminder to all boys in year 7 who will shortly be sitting external examinations (March and April) to attend my extra Mathematics sessions in room 1 on a Monday at 11.00 a.m. Should they not be able to attend, they should see me so that we might make alternative arrangements. There was a good attendance at the additional Thursday session. Keep working hard, boys.

The extra Mathematics sessions are not exclusively for the boys sitting examinations shortly as I readily accommodate all who need that extra bit of reassurance.


Big Garden Birdwatch – RSPB Initiative
We are working with the RSPB to encourage the Big Garden Birdwatch.

The Eco Warriors have shown an interest in helping birds through the winter with bird feed, and with birds more generally. The following link will take you to the relevant site where you can register for the Big Garden Birdwatch –   You spend an hour watching the birds in your patch, between Friday, 26 and Sunday, 28 January, and record the birds that land.

There is no joining fee for taking part although some may wish to donate.  The website above will give you everything you need including:

  • A how to guide
  • Coloured pictures of all the relevant birds
  • A tally form for your results

The Eco Warriors are keen to get as many boys as possible taking part. We have promoted this to all boys in assembly in the Pre-Prep and Junior School with the details of the importance of this initiative, together with pictures of the relevant birds (around 15) and showing them how to identify the birds by their colour, size, song and beaks.  Middle and Senior school are also participating.  We hope you will be able to help the RSPB in the world’s largest wildlife survey.  Please let me know if you have any questions –

Charles Hutchison


Contact Books and Reading Books
We are getting to the stage in the year where the boys are beginning to ‘lose’ their contact books. I have in the past week handed over three to boys who say than they have no idea where the book was lost.

We further encourage boys to bring a reading book into school and to ensure that they have another one at the ready should they be close to finishing their present book.


Summer Fete – Please Save the Date!
The NBPA are really happy to announce that The New Beacon Summer Fete 2024 will be held on Saturday, 8 June from 12pm to 3pm. This is a wonderful family and friends fundraising event with all kinds of activities. Including, game stalls, inflatables, tractor rides, food, live music, the Year 8 Tug of War, Junior and Adult raffle, and the famous Year 7 Long Bar, where we get to relax and enjoy watching our children having lots of fun! Look out for more details over the coming months.



Please click on the following links to catch up with the past week’s highlights 

Early Years’ Highlights


Year 1-8 Highlights