I'm Gail Ganney, a parent here and Chair of the Haileybury Parents Association (HPA) which is here for one simple reason, to make your tenure here as parents as enjoyable as possible.
I've been a parent at Haileybury for 13 years and currently have a daughter in Fifths. My oldest son and daughter, Matt and Michelle, spent happy years here, have graduated from Leeds and Nottingham respectively and are now gainfully employed. Richie, my third child, is in his first year at Bristol having achieved what he needed to read History and Charlotte, I'm sure, can't wait to sit her GCSEs in the summer of 2014!
Haileybury has been marvellous for my family and me and there are many opportunities to be involved through watching your child in sport, theatre and music performances, House functions and whole school functions.
The idea of the HPA is to work seamlessly with the school and to organise various functions, from formal balls to casual quiz nights - all with a view to parents socialising and making the most of their time here. You will be delighted to know that we are not interested in fundraising at all. Current parents will find a very small contribution to the HPA on your school invoice, which funds the activities. Where charges are made they are simply to cover the costs of the most extravagant events. We are purely interested in creating opportunities and environments for you to get as much from the school as you wish to.
Every house has a HPA rep, who you will have met - if you're not sure who yours is just check the list on the site (here shortly). Your rep will keep you fully informed of functions both within your own House and whole school functions.
Please check the HPA pages for forthcoming functions and don’t hesitate to contact any of us on the committee for any information that we, as fellow parents, can help you with. I look forward to meeting you at one of our events!
Gail Ganney, Chair of the HPA 2013-14
Kipling House held its annual boys and parents social evening on 7 March in the Attlee Room. We call this the Kipling Event for historic (and to me unknown) reasons, which makes it sound very grand. In fact it is a relaxed and informal opportunity for boys, parents and tutors to get together and socialise.
This year we departed from tradition (which in the past had involved the HM making chilli for 100 people) and asked Haileybury to cater, which they did magnificently and parents provided a sumptuous spread of desserts while the Kipling tutors ably manned the bar. The evening also provides us with an opportunity to raise some money for HYT, a charity close to the heart of everyone in the Kipling community due to Russell Matcham's strong connection to both; the bar takings plus raffle raised over £750. We were also treated to entertainment by some boys who bravely "volunteered" to play and sing: huge thanks to Matthew Bond, Shivam Garg, Seyi Salako, Joel Amoa, Ram Raman and our Head of House Ediz Gun who put on fantastic performances in front of about 140.
The annual Cabaret evening, organised by teacher Ann Spavin and supported by the HPA, was a great success with over 140 parents enjoying superlative performances by pupils and typically wonderful 'finger food'. Around £3,000 was raised for the three school charities.
February is quiz season - I had no fewer than three invites to take part in a quiz on the same day (maybe I need to get out more) but the HPA Quiz was a proper night out for £10 each which included a delicious lasagne and salad supper provided by school and several bottles of wine per table of eight. The Kipling table was made up of Vs parents and our new HM Harry Baxendale, who added cricket and English knowledge but more importantly relative youth!
The quiz masters, led by Sue Andrews (Alb), had clearly worked very hard and set fun, imaginative questions ranging from Abba hits to Lady Chatterley's Lover. There was a quite brilliant twist on the usual joker for each round: each one had different odds, up to 1:9 so you quizzers took double risks playing them but it kept the results open until the very end - a team could come from way behind by playing a blinder in the final round and their 1:9 joker!
It was somewhat comforting for the parents in the room, that the table of mainly teachers (three Chemistry PhDs amongst them apparently) were the runaway winners, with the table including a certain Mr Davies and Mr Smith cioming a close 2nd. Definitely one to put in the diary for next year.
The annual 'Mistletoe & Lanterns Dinner' is the HPA’s most popular and well attended function, held immediately following the College Carol Service each year. This year we sold 230 tickets, at £45 each, which is excellent value for a three course dinner and wine. For the second year running we had the use of Dining Hall which had been decorated by the Catering Department. All we had to do was add the mistletoe which we festooned above the doors and put sprigs on all the tables tied up with tartan ribbon.
As soon as the Carol Service commenced, we created a trail of lanterns from the Chapel to the Grubber (looking rather like a landing strip). This year it rained so we were very glad to have moved from tea lights to little marshmallow shaped battery operated lights which do not get blown out or waterlogged!
Pre-drinks in the Grubber allowed everyone to dry out and this year we returned to a 'black tie' dress code which seems fitting with the occasion. Dinner was called at 8.30 and the Rev Briggs kindly blessed us all. We dined on a warm mushroom salad to start, followed by delicious guinea fowl or vegetarian wellington. The piece de resistance was the pudding - the catering staff excelled themselves. The lights were dimmed and two by two the staff brought out flaming crème brulees.
Our second Bartle Frere Curry and Ice Cream night took place in the Galpin Rooms at the beginning of the Autumn Term. There was a great turnout and catering, once again, produced a delicious curry for us all to enjoy. It was a fun and relaxing evening and lovely to catch up with friends after the summer.
It is a great opportunity to gather parents, new and current, to socialise informally, above all it helps to bind us all together and build house spirit for years to come.