Autumn Term Lectures

The start of term saw the boys receive a series of lectures as part of their extra-curricular learning. Year 4 & 5 learned about the history of Elstree School, Year 6 heard about Ernest Shackleton and Year 7 had a lecture on jobs.

History of Elstree School

Mr Bates came to talk to the Years 4 & 5 about the history of Elstree School. He covered the influence of the Sanderson family over 100 years of headmastership. This included the move from old Elstree to Woolhampton House during the Second World Warand what developments were needed to accommodate a school. There were some notable schoolmasters: Brian Hewitt, Ted Channer, David Cooper and Terrence McMullen, most of whom served for many years. Mr Bates also spoke about how the uniform had changed over time, as well as the curriculum and buildings.

Endurance – The Greatest Adventure Story Ever Told

Mr Attwood took Year 6 on a journey with Ernest Shackleton, the man who wanted to cross Antarctica with a band of brave British buccaneers in 1914. His expeditionary exploit ended with disaster when his boat, the Endurance, became stuck in pack ice and his group were stuck in very sub-zero temperatures. Mr Attwood made the experience very real to us, while the survival and rescue mission story taught us a huge amount about resilience and determination. Just the ticket for our boys entering a new year with new challenges.


Year 7 were treated to a lecture by Mr Reavill entitled, ‘Jobs’. The room was hushed in anticipation that only such an ambiguous title can inspire. It soon became clear that this was not a lecture about professions or employment in the big bad world. Mr Reavill started with 3 stories, all based on sport. A baseball pitcher who so almost delivered a ‘perfect game’ but for an umpire’s mistake. A rugby coach who did not give half time team talks (and has been referred to by the Headmaster of Wellington College) and a little wicket keeper who was an unsung hero in a team to all, apart from those that truly understand the game. All three stories were linked by the fact that people were just doing their job and how doing your job has huge ramifications.

The talk then shifted in emphasis as a rather loud piece of music was played and the boys were meant to try and work out what the lyrics meant. The feeling that the boys then had was again linked back to jobs as the question was asked what is their job in Year 7? It was decided that their jobs were not to be influenced by others, not to worry about mistakes, not to be proud of their ignorance and not to worry about not knowing things.

The enlightening talk was then wrapped up with the knowledge that of course they should all be kind and try hard, but being in Year 7 at Elstree can be so much more and offer so much more, if all boys work out what their jobs are and do them with enjoyment, fascination and energy.