Latin Prayer Spring Term 2017
Monday 20th March 2017
It feels as though the last week of term has come upon us very quickly, but you have all fitted a lot into these past ten weeks or so. This is the final assembly before we break up, as there are some trips leaving on Friday, so I shall be making a few presentations today.
Firstly, some comment on things that happened last week. Bethan Wesley and the Monitors introduced us to the concept of how we might avoid wasting so much food, in their day focusing on sustainability. She tells me that the staff won quite considerably by only producing 2.5kg in total of food waste. However, if you measure it per person, OH was the winning house with 50 grammes per person. In second place was GH with 51 grammes per person and third was Petergate with 54 grammes per person. Overall as a school we threw away 35.75kg of food waste, which is quite a substantial amount given that we completely serve ourselves. I hope that we can think more about that as we go through the dining room this coming week.
Those training for Ten Tors were out again on Sunday for a final training walk before the Easter Brecon Beacons training camp. The weather was more forgiving, and the challengers did well to cover 25km in a short period of time and all returned safe and well and in good spirits. As always a huge thank you to Mr Morrison, Mr Mycock and Mr Dawe for all their support over the weekend.
Also with an outdoor theme, you will remember that those going on the Borneo trip have been working towards a fitness goal by counting their steps. The aim is that they could amass a collective step count that would be equivalent to the distance from school to Mount Kinabalu in Borneo, a virtual journey of some 11,500km. By the end of term, the challengers will have walked as far as Vietnam, just 2500km short of their target. Some incredible individual totals have been amassed, including 600km by Elliot Cole and 530km by Kiera White. At least five other challengers have walked 400km. To walk 600km, you have to walk nearly 1 million steps, an average of 13,500 steps each and every day of this term. An average UK adult walks just 3000-4000 steps per day (though perhaps not one at Blundell’s). In recognition of their contribution Elliot and Kiera will be awarded a prize from Cotswold Outdoor which will help towards the significant kit list. With only 100 days to go until their departure, we wish the Borneo team the best of luck with their ongoing training.
Last week, I thought FH did a terrific job with their House play “How not to mess up your university interview”. Under Barney Ames’ excellent direction the cast from all year groups were excellent, with Freddie Davies and Alexei Michalopoulos taking the lead roles as the very stressed out university admissions team. It was really funny and very well done. Congratulations.
Next, of course, we had the major concert of the term, where our musicians played alongside the London Chamber Orchestra. Having sold over 350 tickets, Big School was completely full and we were treated to an evening of contemporary music of the highest quality that was probably a first for many. For all those who took part, and especially Dr Leaman and the Music department, it was a really impressive event from which we will have won lots of acclaim. The choir of course have had a very busy week, as they set off for London on Friday to compete in the final of Barnardo’s Choir of the Year. I understand they performed really well and enjoyed this exiting and new experience. Thank you also to choir members who sang in the Tenebrae chapel service last night.
I would like to award some School Half Colours this morning:
For Music, Mantha Unsworth-White, Sophie Donne and Freddie Davies and for Drama, both in performance and behind the scenes, Flic Charlesworth and Jonathan Lane.
I would also like Orlagh Noone to collect her ESU certificate for winning best Chair in the South West Regional final last weekend.
We must also wish Gorton House the best of luck with their House play this week, “Puppylove dot con” which will be performed on Wednesday and Thursday at 7.30pm in Ondaatje. They will be raising money for the Blue Cross Rescue Centre and Neuroblastoma Cancer.
A few weeks ago now, Twelve pupils from year 11 competed in the GCSE Physics Olympiad Challenge, pitching themselves against the best physicists of their age across the country. Well done to all those who entered, with specific mention to; Zitian Ni, Max Baker and Josh Huggett for achieving a Bronze grade 2, to Victor Mills for achieving a Bronze grade 1 and to Alastair Johnson-Ferguson and Bill Gao for an excellent silver award.
Finally, before we move on to the sports fixtures from last week, I would like to say a few words about someone who has given their all to Art in and around the School for a number of years, Tobias Francis.
Joining Blundell’s at Year 7, the Art department swiftly identified Tobias as a student with creative potential. As an Art Scholar, he has been an active and inspiring member of the Special Art Status club, attending and excelling at visiting Artist workshops throughout the years and taking responsibility as an important role model in Art. His joint Speech Day Art Exhibition drew many comments on the extremely high standard of his draughtsmanship from many visitors in the wider school community. He has run independent practical workshops in portraiture and the technique of oil painting for Art Scholars to pass on his experiences, skills and advice.
Last summer Tobias was commissioned by the school to paint the portrait of Mr Goodwin on his retirement. Tobias independently undertook a Royal Art Academy Masterclass in London with BP Portrait Artist and Prizewinner - Susan Du Toit; with the confidence gained directly reflected in his exceptional A Level studies. In addition, visiting OB professional portrait Artist – Rupert Brooks commented: “I thought Tobias had a real eye for portrait work” and “I only wish my work had been of that standard when I was his age, I fully expect to see him forging a successful career as a professional Artist”.
Selected for entry to the International Saatchi Art Prize for the last two years and the Royal Academy A Level Summer Exhibition - On Line 2017, Tobias continues to pursue the wider creative practice of Fine Art. Therefore, I am delighted to award Tobias Francis Full Colours for Art.
Moving on now to the Sport, as this is the final assembly I have a few awards to present.
On Saturday the boys played Hockey against Wells Cathedral School. The winners out of that block fixture were the 3rd XI who have won three quarters of their matches and the U12A and B who have won well over half theirs. The U14 and U15B teams have also had good seasons.
The1st XI have not had the easiest season, but Mr Jones wanted me to thank both Ben and Hugh for their committed leadership through the term. The 2nd XI have had an enjoyable season with excellent wins against Exeter, Wellington, West Buckland, Colston’s and Kings Taunton. They ended the season with a narrow 2-1 defeat to Wells Cathedral, but My Mead tells me that the boys were missing their top scorer for the game and for their dinner earlier in the week too due to musical commitments, as he was heavily involved in the LCO concert. Therefore, I would like to present Kieran Smith with his Golden Stick award.
I would like to award School Half Colours to the following people for Hockey, Dan Hoaen, Jake Attwell Stephen Walton, Tom Kennaugh, Ollie Clough, Alfie Gardner and Alex Kilbride.
For the footballers this week, it was an OB fixture. Dr Balsdon reports that “The Old Blundellian footballers returned with probably the strongest squad we have ever played against. Despite playing against the wind, the 1st XI created many chances in the first half yet failed to score. In the second half the team continued to play some great football, however were undone by a hat-trick from Mr Lewis who surprisingly, given the strength of the OB squad played the whole game. Dr Balsdon would like to take this opportunity to thank all the 1st XI for what has been a tough yet enjoyable season.”
Half Colours are awarded to the following: Charlie Donovan, Henry Davey, Jono Slee, Caspar Montgomery, Karl Still, Freddie King, Jacob Hung, Tim Jones, Ed Penhaligan, Tom Adams, Om Trai-Ukos, Ben Morgan, Tom Adams, Charlie Fanous, Minsung Jean, Theo Belcher.
The girls’ netballers finished off their season with wins for the 1st VII against both Queen’s and the OBs, and a loss for the 2nds against the OBs, although it was a very tight 24-22 scoreline. Mrs Candler reports that “This was by far the strongest OB side that we have played against since the Netball fixture has been introduced to the OB weekend. A very competitive OB side were tough to beat. The 1sts played superb netball in this game and fully deserved the win. It was a brilliant all-round performance, especially having already played a match prior to this.” The thirds also won their match 20-11 as did the U15As, U15Bs, U14A and Bs.
I would like to award Half Colours for Netball to Millie Eaton-Jones.
The canoeists were also out again this weekend. In the nationwide competition for U19 yet again Francis and Dougal proved themselves to be incredible paddlers, Francis came first and Dougal came second. Dougal is currently leading the U19 series with one race to go. In the schools competition Julia Huntingford and Jess Gardner were first girls, Bobby Burnand and Mantha Unsworth-White came second in the mixed class. All of the crews are to be congratulated on superb performances, especially Sophie Donne and Alice Channon for their sheer resilience after only one term of paddling, confounding everyone with their high spirits and determination. We must thank Miss Ho for joining the support team for the day in a true act of altruism. We wish those competing in Devizes to Westminster the very best of luck over the Easter weekend.
I would like to award Half Colours for Kayaking to Bethan Wesley and Half Colours to Lucas Amory for Squash, having captained the side and played in the 1st pair for the last four years.
If you would like to submit entries to the Blundell’s Open Poetry competition, please get them to Ms Lewis before the end of the week.
In a contentious round of house debating, Westlake suffered a shock defeat to Petergate over the hate speech and freedom of the press, and GH beat OH in arguing that an Oxbridge education was more valuable than any other, although the popular vote swung the other way. To see all heat winners compete in the grand final, please be in Ondaatje at 5pm tomorrow (Tuesday) where six teams will debate the point of poetry, human progress and whether it is better to be male or female.
To conclude this morning and this term, I just want to congratulate you all for the way you have managed your very busy lives this term once again. I would like to thank your staff who always go the extra mile in everything they do. Please give them a round of applause.
You certainly all deserve a holiday when it comes and for those who are heading off through the week to Rosslyn Park, the U18s, U16s, U14s and the girls’ team too of course, we wish you the best of luck. This week will be another busy one, so please think of others when you can.