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All must have prizes: Headmaster Hoyle's 2023 school report

Illustration: Tracy Worrall

7 min read

As a tumultuous term draws to a close, Robert Hutton hunts though the debris and hands out gongs
Illustrations by Tracy Worrall

Dear Parents,

It has been another difficult year for staff and pupils at St Margaret’s School For the Chronically Over-Ambitious. We are grateful though to have got through the year (almost!) without losing any more Head Boys (or Girls!). 

After the sad expulsion of Johnson B and the difficult weekend of Truss L, I’m pleased to say that Sunak R (Tory House) has delivered a great deal of joy to the school. In particular, we all enjoy his weekly satirical relaunches. There’s much debate in the staff room as to which was funnier, his plan to make Chess Club the most popular society in the school, or his proposal for compulsory maths after school every Friday evening. To me, they were both delightful.

Next year’s Head Boy has yet to be decided. Starmer K (Labour House) has delivered a petition to me arguing that the school needs new leadership. His letter makes very interesting reading, especially as it was, for some reason, covered in glitter. Starmer promises to do almost all the things that Sunak has been doing but better. I always say that one of the most rewarding things about teaching is the way that children’s optimism hasn’t yet been diluted by experience. 

Serious Face: Pupils should remember that while we welcome the rough and tumble of interhouse rivalry, some activities are not funny. In particular, I don’t want to see any more graffiti claiming that “Rishi Loves Paedos”. I know your handwriting, Starmer.

I am also extremely concerned about bad behaviour during school assemblies. I want to hear what the Head Boy is saying, and anyone who stops me can expect to be sent out. I’m looking at you, Bristow P.

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy 2024,

Headmaster Hoyle

Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle (Credit: PA Images / Alamy Stock Photo)
Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle (Credit: PA Images / Alamy Stock Photo)

School Notice Board

The Small Boats Society has once again been forced to cancel its trip to Rwanda, after the Lawyers Of Tomorrow Society pointed out problems in its risk assessment. Their latest plan is to send an advance team of the lawyers to Rwanda – “See how they like it,” as Jenrick R said. Great work everyone and fingers crossed for next year!

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Band Society has had a very busy year creating the rock stars of tomorrow. We all enjoyed watching Windsor Framework strut their stuff at their lunchtime concert in February, and if I personally found Ulez Expansion a little too “experimental”, it was clear they inspired a lot of heated discussion!

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EuroSoc: Cash Sir W will be giving a talk on Notwithstanding Clauses Through The Ages. Bring sleeping bags.

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Bullying: It was with great sadness that we asked Raab D to give up his role as Deputy Head Boy. We are aware of the theory that Year Fours work better after their heads have been held down the toilet, but despite Dominic’s enthusiastic advocacy, we remain unpersuaded.

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School Boiler Fund: This has been paused after Sunak explained that we can continue to heat the premises with coal until 2040. He has also calculated that the minibus has got another five years in it. Well done, Rish!

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Sixth formers Hallett H and Keith H are continuing their biology project on virus transmission. Thanks to everyone who's gone along to one of their lunchtime discussions, especially Johnson B, who interrupted a holiday to attend. Apologies to anyone who was offended by the language, especially that of Cummings D. We at St. Margaret's are an inclusive community, but the behaviour of some of our more troubled pupils can be hard to watch. I also know several people were worried after Hancock M became a little overwhelmed, but you'll be pleased to hear that he had dried his eyes in time for afternoon school. 

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It’s been a tricky year for our sports teams, with the First Eleven walking out in sympathy after their captain, Lineker G, was suspended for accusing members of Tory House of being Nazis. Fortunately they were persuaded to go back onto the pitch after we agreed to all their demands.

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We have always placed great emphasis here at St Margaret’s on extra-curricular activities, and it’s wonderful to see so many members of Tory House getting involved with TV Society. A gentle reminder that producing your “shows” shouldn’t get in the way of regular schoolwork, Anderson L! 

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Oh Yes She Was! Congratulations to Mordaunt P, whose star turn as Sword Maiden Of The Abbey was the highlight of the school panto. It’s a demanding role, but anyone who’s seen her at DebateSoc on a Thursday morning knows she can handle a sharp point.

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In the light of the unusually cold weather, Corbyns can be worn long until the end of Burgon Half. 

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MathSoc: Zahawi N’s talk, “Accounting For Fun And Profit”, has sadly been postponed indefinitely.

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The Inter-House Chess Tournament has been postponed once again. And I note that while it’s always nice to see pupils enthusiastic, Reeves R has been told to stop chasing Sunak around the playground waving a board and yelling “Play, you coward!”

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The Model Railway Society’s long-standing plan to build a line to the North Playground has been modified to stop at the edge of the South Quadrangle. The money saved will be used to build a Scalextric track for the Sixth Form Common Room, and a remote control helicopter for the use of the Head Boy.

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Recycling: The plan to put seven bins outside the school has been scrapped. 

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I must apologise that this term’s fees went out with an unfortunate error. Parents should please ignore the charge for “Meat Tax”.

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Craft Society: Davey E reminds everyone that they’re welcome to join him on by-election Thursday lunchtimes building props for his popular “Blue Wall” street theatre appearances.

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It’s also been a tough year for our sister schools. By tradition, no one at St Margaret’s really knows anything about Cardiff Bay Comprehensive, but Sunak R informs me that their sanitorium is in terrible shape. Stormont Grammar continues to be shut due to structural problems set off by their novel heating arrangements. And at Holyrood Academy new head boy Yousaf H has been struggling to understand the tuck shop accounts left by his predecessor, Sturgeon N. But we congratulate Nicola on passing her driving test, and wish her every joy in her planned campervan tour of countries without extradition treaties. Just remember to turn off data roaming!

Alumni news

Dorries N, who sadly left us in the summer after being told there was no place for her in the Sixth Form, has published a very lively book that she says explains how the school is really run. 

The vivid imagination we all enjoyed so much when she was with us is on full display, but I have had a word with Mr Waterstone in the school library to explain that the book should be shelved under fiction, or ideally not at all.

Nadine Dorries (Credit: Alamy)
Nadine Dorries (Credit: Alamy)

International news

We were delighted to welcome our exchange student Zelensky V, Head Boy of Akademiyi Kyiv. 

He was very popular, and we are giving serious thought to his proposal that the Model Aircraft Club should send him all its planes as soon as possible.

Ukrainian President Zelensky in Parliament (Credit: American Photo Archive / Alamy Stock Photo)
Ukrainian President Zelensky in Parliament (Credit: American Photo Archive / Alamy Stock Photo)

Vale, salve

It was very exciting to welcome one of our former pupils, Cameron D (Tory, 2010-16) back onto the staff body. Mr Cameron – as we must now get used to calling him! – will be teaching Geography for the rest of the school year. 

I hope his “second chance” will be inspiring to pupils who fear they are going to make a total “hash” of their school years, like he did. 

David Cameron (Credit: amanda rose / Alamy Stock Photo)
David Cameron (Credit: amanda rose / Alamy Stock Photo)

 

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