Latin Prayer – Summer Term 2021
3rd May 2021
Welcome to week 3 of the Summer Term and this morning I would like to wish the Year 10 and 12 pupils good luck as they begin their week of exams. I would ask the rest of the school to be mindful of the exams going on and to move quietly around the exam venues. In and around house please be respectful of the need of many pupils who will be revising for their exams – Year 11 and 13 included. I expect you to be settled and focused in these coming weeks and getting that right in houses, in the library and in other places where people are working would be much appreciated.
It has been so good being back at school and I would like to think that it is already beginning to feel like we are returning to normality with some sports fixtures and with the time we can spend outside. We have much to be grateful for and I know from many of you that you are happy to be back at school. I am also conscious, however, that for some people being back at school has been a real challenge and this past year has taken a considerable toll on the mental health of some of you. Some of you are also still feeling a bit detached from school life and perhaps you have struggled to find the happiness that you were expecting. Could I encourage you to be patient and gentle with yourselves? It has been an extraordinary past 4 terms and we will all be experiencing this return to school differently: some of you will be anxious, some of you delighted, some perhaps are feeling a bit overwhelmed. Some of you may be missing the quiet lives of lockdown and some of you may be finding having people around quite exhausting. Some of you are loving being with friends and playing sport again. Some of you are feeling all those things in one day. Wherever you are, hang in there and make the most of the good things and be patient with yourself in getting back into the swing of school life.
One thing that I will be very clear on is our expectations of how you treat each other. Over the past week we have dealt with an unacceptable number of issues of pupils just not treating each other very well. If you behave in a manner that intentionally puts others down and deliberately makes them unhappy then you can anticipate very severe consequences for that. I am speaking here especially to the younger year groups who have been getting this wrong, but it applies to everyone of course. If you deliberately make other people unhappy then there has to be a question mark over whether you ought to be here at Blundell’s. We pride ourselves in looking after each other and making people feel included. We will not tolerate behaviour that undermines our school community.
I expect you to know right from wrong and I expect you to stand up against pupils who are thoughtless, careless or unkind in how they treat others. This is your school as much as it is mine. It is not only my job, or Mr Radley’s job, or a teacher’s job, to stop unkindness. If you want a school that is kind and considerate then do something about it.
Of course, there are times where we get things wrong and I would like to think that we are also a school who are quick to forgive people who have made mistakes. If you say or do something that you know has hurt or upset someone then there is something you can do about it. You can take responsibility for it and you can apologise and speak to someone about it.
This really matters. We have not been away from school for months only to come back to be nasty to each other. I know it is a small minority, but it stops here.
Full Colours for Art
Grace Dash has been actively involved in the Art Department since joining the school in 2015. An Art Exhibitioner, and more recently awarded Art Half Colours, her calm demeanour and open-minded approach to being creative has seen her make the most of every opportunity afforded her.
A constant attendant at weekly Art Clubs, extension activities and workshops with professional Artists, Grace has enthusiastically entered internal and external competitions, taken part in Gallery visits and most recently virtually exhibited her work through the Engagement and Enrichment site; Grace has always been keen to take part, supporting and assisting in any way she can. Securing her Grade 9 at GCSE with ease, her work is meticulous and detailed, taking many hours to complete in a variety of media. Most recently at A Level her ideas centred on utilising the humble ball point pen to impressive effect. She is focused and diligent with enviable organisational skills, yet it is her generosity as an Artist and person that sets her above the rest. Grace is never too busy to help another student, never too busy to stop what she is doing and be the subject of a photoshoot, never too busy to support a fellow student by being body cast in Modroc plaster. Her interaction with visiting children from seven primary schools on Field Day last year, showed her composure and empathy as she sensitively helped them to create over 100 mono prints over the day from collected Natural forms.
Grace is, without fail, a positive energy in lessons, actively listening and naturally curious about the creative aspects of world around her. She was successful in the first ever Gold Award in the Arts undertaken through Trinity College London, gaining herself special mention from Trinity moderators, valuable UCAS points and an insightful and well researched presentation on her selected Arts issue “Is tattooing an Artform or body mutilation?”
Grace epitomises exactly what an Art student should be. She works hard to improve her visual skills and techniques, is open to critique, learns from taking risks and achieves highly. Her sustained genuine involvement and achievements in the subject make her fully deserving of Full Colours in Art.
Full Colours for Art
There are certain essential qualities required of a successful Artist. Commitment and hard work to practice your skills; self-awareness and natural curiosity to extend your ideas development, and most importantly a growth mindset to allow you to learn and grow without the fear of making mistakes along the way. A student of instinctive and expressive talent, Izi Smart has proved, since gaining her Art Scholarship and more recently her Half Colours, that she has these qualities in abundance and is an excellent role model and ambassador for creativity in the school.
Fully engaged in her practice, Izi is fearless in her pursuit of her visual language. She will push herself beyond her comfort zone, tackling endless workshop sessions with professional Artists working in two- and three-dimensional media. She is pro-active, entering every competition open to her since Year 7, both internal and external, including recently the Royal Academy Online Summer Exhibition. Securing the top 9 Grade at GCSE, Izi is currently working at A Level, on a 7ft high Abstract 3D painting which reflects her bravery in applying all she has learned about this challenging Art Movement. Exhibiting her work virtually through the Engagement and Enrichment site, Izi is currently working on a mural for the School site. Izi’s energy and prolific work rate is impressive, and she has the strength of character to follow her own path.
With the creative heart of a lion, Izi Smart is fully deserving of Full Colours for Art.
The 1st XI continued their good start to the season with an away win against Taunton School. We bowled them out for 176, with Tom Hatton taking 3 wickets, Troy Dos Santos 2 and Ben Coen 2.
Our chase got off to a flying start as we got to 100-2 off of just 13 overs. However, a flurry of wickets meant we needed 30 to win with just 3 wickets in hand. Ed Carter and Ben Coen batted superbly to see the team home with 10 overs to spare.
Tom Baxter was announced as the Captain of the 3rd XI Gentlemen, a position as prestigious as a British Lions Captain, along with the Vice-Captain announcement of Chris Dunstan. Smartly dressed as always, the XI are as strong as they have ever been and took on a confident Taunton side. The Gentlemen were put into bat and despite losing a wicket to the first ball of the match looked on for a good first innings total. When the rain came in the Gentlemen were 80 for 4 off 14 overs. (Dunstan 32, Cragg 18*)
In the U14A match, Taunton made 148 for 7 from their 30 overs. Freddie Bucknell and Will Edwards bowled well up front and there were some great catches from Charlie Rogers and Seb Linnitt. Seb took 3 wickets before batting very well for 57 to see us home with overs and wickets to spare. Ethan Moran and Elliot Butterfield also contributed with the bat. A very good win for the Year 9 boys.
The U14Bs also won but by just 7 runs with Kit Cameron top scoring.
I watched quite a bit of the School House 1st XI match and I was impressed by the spirit and attitude shown by the boys as they played through the rain. Rory Oram-Evennett impressed with the bat.
The senior girls have had an excellent week of tennis results, following on from their loss to Clifton in the first week.
The 1st team played King’s Taunton at home, winning comfortably by 7 sets to 2. Maddy Cotton and Lydia Weston won all of their sets, with Eva Bennett and Millie Evans, Ella Taylor and Cosi Munday winning 2 out of 3 sets each. This clearly gave the girls a lot of confidence as we have not seen a win against King’s for many years. They took this winning confidence to West Buckland on Saturday where the girls had secured the victory after the second round of matches, but went on to win 6 sets to 3 overall.
The 2nd team won their mid-week fixture against King’s by 9 sets to 0. Mia Butterfield and Ylva von Blanquet dropped only 4 games in the whole afternoon. On Saturday, they came up against a tougher side at West Buckland, and had to work much harder. It all came down to the last round of matches and West Buckland took the win by 5 sets to 4.
The 3rd team also had an excellent win mid-week against King’s Taunton. Issy Gleichmann and Molly Joyner won all 3 of their sets. The final winning score was 6 sets to 3.
The following have been appointed Swimming Captains for this year:
- Boys' Captain: Harry List
- Girls' Captain: Molly Clayton
Please can Year 13 remain in Big School after Latin Prayer as Mr Baily and Miss Isdell-Carpenter want to speak to you about your testimonials.
26th April 2021
Good morning everyone and welcome back to the second week of the summer term. I hope you had a good weekend and enjoyed the sunshine. It was so good to see so many of you participating in sports and activities over the weekend and it certainly resembled something like a normal sporting weekend.
Speech and Drama
- Beatrice Tanner – Grade 6 Shakespeare with Distinction
- Georgia Withey & Alex Heathman – Grade 6 Duo Acting with Merit
- Finnian Batsford – Grade 6 Poetry and Prose with Merit
- Daniel Musvondiwa – Grade 6 Reading for Performance with Merit
- David Case – Grade 7 Reading for Performance with Merit
- Hebe Stone – Grade 7 Speech & Drama with Distinction
- Kabir Mehra – Grade 7 Acting with Merit
- Misha Pemberthy – Grade 8 Acting with Merit
- Molly Clayton – Grade 8 Speech & Drama with Distinction
- Jessica Kaia – Grade 8 Shakespeare with Distinction
- Honor Jones – Grade 8 Shakespeare with Distinction
- Holly Nugent – Grade 8 Shakespeare with Distinction
We had a group of Year 10s out on a bitterly cold but very sunny day on Dartmoor. The group consisted of students who started the year training for Ten Tors. Sadly, the event has been cancelled again so, by way of a consolation, we completed our own Ten Tors challenge on Sunday. The groups navigated across Dartmoor covering 19 kilometres via ten different Tors in just over 5 hours. Obviously, this did not replace the event, but it was good to get back out on the moors. All students should be congratulated and though navigation was not challenging, it was still a tremendous achievement. More hikes are planned throughout the term.
- Captains of Athletics – Kitty Dart and Leo Dummett
- Vice Captains – Meg Hamilton-Strong and Dan Hamilton-Strong
A great first week in the sunshine. School meetings aren’t happening at the moment, but athletes can go as individuals to COVID licensed meetings. Will Saltmarsh did just that and threw the shot 14.60m at Yeovil yesterday. This is 40cm above the National Standard and sees him currently 2nd in the UK rankings. Since receiving that result, I heard that Will went even further with a new PB but I have not heard whether he is now No 1 ranked in the country.
The girls had an excellent first match against strong Clifton side.
Maddy Cotton and Lydia Weston won 2 of their 3 matches, with Eva Bennett and Millie Evans beating their own pair.
Overall we lost by 6 sets to 3 but a very encouraging first match.
The 2nds lost 7 sets to 2 with some excellent play from Ylva von Blanket and Emily Jakes.
The 3rds lost 6 sets to 3 but Rachel Stevens and Hattie Tremlett won 2 out of their 3 sets. A super first match for them too.
The U14 and U15 teams had a tough afternoon but the U14Bs drew 3-3 and the U15Cs narrowly lost by 4 sets to 5.
I am very pleased to announce that Maddy Cotton has accepted the position of Captain of Girls’ Tennis for 2021. She has played 1st team tennis since Year 8 and has already made an excellent start to motivating the girls on court and her 6 years of playing 1st team tennis will be invaluable in integrating younger players into the team.
The 1st XI played a Heathcoat 2nd XI that included a number of our own 2nd XI players. Blundell’s batted first and amassed 284-4 in their allotted 40 overs with Sammy Broomhead hitting an excellent century in his first game for the school. He was ably supported by Tom Reynolds who hit 68 and Ed Carter with 30 not out.
In reply Harrison Linnitt scored a well compiled 33 for Heathcoat 2nd XI and wickets were shared around by Ben Cornford, Ben Coen and Tom Hatton.
Heathcoat 2’s ended up with 171-8.
It was lovely too to see Mr Menheneott back at school doing some umpiring.
A very promising start to the season and a very good runout for those boys playing for Heathcoat’s.
William made his debut for the 1st XI in year 10 as a left arm unorthodox spinner who would, on occasions make some valuable contributions with the bat. However, he has shown a huge amount of determination and commitment to turn himself into a top 4 batsman. He was part of the leadership group in the recent tour to India and made valuable contributions both on and off the field.
He is a thoughtful cricketer who has an appreciation for the more tactical elements of the game and often will make astute observations about opposition players or the game situation. He has taken some key wickets throughout his time in the 1st XI, including a 5-wicket haul against Queen’s Taunton in year 10. William is a batsman who has found a technique that works well for him and shows a mature approach at the top of the order. His innings in the 34-degree heat in Goa, India demonstrated the grit and determination he possesses when he approaches batting.
Will is a leader amongst his peers as shown by his appointment as Head of House and as Deputy Head of School and he brings those qualities to the cricket club too. He, along with the other senior players have helped change the culture of cricket at Blundell’s and for this and his performances on the field, he is fully deserving of his full colours.
Tom has played in the 1st XI cricket team for the past four years. He has played a key part in raising the standards of cricket at Blundell’s.
He is a three-dimensional cricketer who can contribute with bat, ball and in the field. A naturally aggressive batsman, Tom can take a game away from the opposition in the matter of a few overs. His century against Downside off just 61 balls demonstrated this. However, he also has the ability to assess a situation and bat accordingly. He has opened both the batting and the bowling, which highlights what an important member of the team he is and someone who will be extremely hard to replace in the years to come.
Tom has shown a maturity over the last couple of seasons, and will regularly help out some of the younger members of the team and integrate them into the changing room. He has represented Devon in the junior age groups and is currently part of the Heathcoat 1st XI squad.
He is an excellent sportsman and has matured into a fine young man. He is fully deserving of his full colours for cricket.
Tom and I have already had a brief conversation about the coveted White Jacket. Under normal circumstances we would consider awarding a white jacket to a pupil who wins colours in three separate disciplines, but Tom and I agree that under the circumstances, having played so little sport this year, it would not be appropriate to make the award. However, winning three colours awards in three different team sports is an outstanding and rare achievement and I warmly congratulate Tom on his success and I would like to thank him for the remarkable contribution he has made to rugby, hockey and cricket during his time at Blundell’s. Not only is he seriously talented but his humility and his work ethic are admirable. I observed a simple example of that when I watched the team play in India. The team were playing in Mumbai in heat that was probably nearing 40 degrees in the sun and the squad were regularly rotating fielders so that everyone had a chance to rest and rehydrate in the shade. After bowling a long spell Tom came off to get a drink, but having deserved a much longer rest, he was the first to volunteer to go back out to field in the heat when the next person came in for a break.
Could we give Tom another round of applause for his achievement.
This morning pupils in Year 8 – 11 will be doing their AS Tracking assessments.
Just as we monitor academic development, AS Tracking a tracks your social and emotional development. It tells us where not who you are. If you only completed it once, it couldn’t track your development. By tracking your responses over time, we can see how you are developing throughout adolescence. Of course, once you have done something once – you know what is coming. This is okay, the assessment is not a test; remember there are no right or wrong answers.
The AS Tracking assessment gives us an important, perhaps the MOST important piece of our pastoral care jigsaw: your voice. There are no right or wrong answers, we simply want to help you develop the skills to be your best.
19th April 2021
Welcome back wherever you are this morning. It is good to have the Year 7s and 13s here in Big School with Year 8s in Ondaatje and many of you dotted around campus in your tutor groups. I also expect that some of you will be tuning in from your bedrooms in boarding houses if you are still completing your quarantine and perhaps there may be one or two of you who are watching this from home. Wherever you are, welcome back.
Pupils have been coming back to school since the 6th of April to do their quarantine in order to start the Summer Term and I want to commend pupils for the determination you have shown in order to make it back to school. There are 10 pupils new to the school this term and we wish you a very happy stay with us. Some of you are here on a permanent basis but some are just here for this term and I hope you have a great experience here with us. We often say that this is the best term in the year and I certainly hope that proves to be the case again this year. It has been a long time since we have been able to enjoy a summer term together and there is much to look forward to.
I would like to take the opportunity to welcome Mr James Yule to Blundell’s. Mr Yule takes over from Miss Hunter in the Art and Photography department. He will be tutoring in GH. We wish him a good start and a fulfilling time with us here at Blundell’s.
It was really good to have a few weeks at the end of last term to be back at school after a long lay off and to be honest, we were quite happy to be relaxed about various things, but now at the start of a new term I ought to remind you of some of our most basic expectations.
I appreciate that some of you may have found it difficult to get all your items of uniform sorted out for the start of term, but you have the next 48 hours to get to the School Shop to purchase any items you may have outgrown since last summer. There should however be no excuses for not being turned out neatly. Shirts tucked in, top buttons done up and ties made properly. Could I also remind you to wear regulation belts and jumpers?
A reminder too about jewellery. You can expect to be asked to take out non-regulation earrings and any other items that are not worn discreetly. I will ask the house parents to go through the specifics of what you may and may not wear in house assemblies but suffice it to say multiple rings and bracelets are not acceptable and if you want to wear a necklace it should not be seen. Only clear nail varnish should be worn.
I appreciate that it may not have been easy to arrange haircuts in the last week since things reopened but you ought to have regulation haircuts in your natural hair colour. Please can I ask you to attend to that promptly if you know you are not meeting the regulations.
None of these things are novel or new so I hope that these things are all familiar to you.
At the end of last term it also became noticeable that there were a lot more mobile phones out on display. We very deliberately have quite a relaxed phone policy because we want to encourage sensible and responsible use on your part. We therefore allow you to keep your phones with you in the senior years but we expect you to be discreet in your use of your phones. We do not want to see phones out when you are walking around campus or between lessons. If you need to check your phone then quietly pull over and answer the call or reply to a text or check your timetable, but please don’t walk around with headphones plugged in or texting whilst crossing the road.
Speaking about road crossings, a reminder again that only Sixth Form pupils may use the crossings between the chapel and North Close and the one outside Petergate. The rest of the school need to cross at either the traffic lights outside Big School or the crossing at the astros. You are generally very good at thanking drivers who wait for you and could I encourage you to keep doing that.
- Social distancing, especially inside
- Wash hands frequently
- Continue to test Monday and Thursday
- Mindful of others
Colours – Boris Ames
Boris Ames is synonymous with Fives at Blundell’s School. From the outset of his time in FH it was noted that he spent a great deal of his spare time ‘on court’ learning the game and in turn forging a deeply held passion with a sport peculiar to a small number of public schools around the country. Naturally athletic, agile and with an eye for the Fives ball his talent blossomed under the tutelage of the former world champion and Blundell’s coach Wayne Enstone. Very quickly Boris became a notable player on the circuit and from his second season he started to make great strides in U16 competitions and he reached the semi – final of the Colquhoon and the quarter final of the West of England. Another year on and as an U16 Boris claimed the coveted Colquhoon U16 trophy, he was a semi – finalist in the South West and he reached the quarter finals of the U16 singles and the semi-final of the doubles.
Whilst he has been an immense presence on court, he has also had a huge impact in promoting Fives and he has been the club captain for three years. Through his distinct leadership Boris has instilled a tremendous sense of camaraderie and the Fives Club is something that Boris has driven forward with his wonderful joi de vivre and ‘hail fellow – well met’ approach to life.
Boris was showing great promise in the run up to the 2020 Nationals he was undefeated against Sherborne and Malvern College, he won the U18 Colquhoon trophy and he won the West of England (often a strong indication of how the Nationals would pan out). There is no doubting that Boris would have been in strong contention for some major silverware in the 2020 and 2021 seasons.
For all of these reasons Boris richly deserves the award of school colours for Fives.
Colours – Joe du’Gay
Joe has played in the 1st XI cricket team for the past four years. He was part of the leadership group in the recent tour to India, where he led the side both on and off the field with a maturity beyond his years.
As a senior player in the side, he has led by example and has set himself extremely high standards. He also expects others to meet those standards, which has helped raise the performances of others around him. He has been a regular at the winter training sessions, which is all the more impressive as he has had demands on his time from being head boy, academic studies and other sporting commitments. He has also represented the 1st XV rugby and 1st XI hockey. He is a role model for younger members of the school as his will to succeed and dedication to training are second to none. He is always there to offer advice to some of the younger members of the squad and to help out leading training sessions.
Joe is a batsman with an excellent technique who has matured as a player. He now understands his strengths and weaknesses and has developed a game plan around this. His concentration and valuing of his wicket is his real strength and something that seems to be going out of the game with the dominance of T20. His century against Queen’s Taunton when he was in year 11 demonstrated all of the aforementioned strengths. He is currently in the Devon Academy and part of the Heathcoat Men’s 1st XI squad.
Joe is a very talented sportsman and also a fine young gentleman. He has played a key role in changing the culture of cricket at Blundell’s and is fully deserving of his full colours.
With some of you still needing to sign up for an activity can I remind you of what the Blundell’s Garden offers. Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons are for Year 9 Chicken Club and SH Roots and Wings but Thursdays are available to you all to volunteer at Pine Lodge Hospice Garden redeveloping and maintaining it for the terminally ill patients who use the centre. Friday activities are again open to you all for working on landscaping and horticultural projects in the Blundell’s Garden such as developing the new tropical garden. All the activities will again be entered into the Britain in Bloom Awards for Tiverton. So please sign up or see Mr Olive for more details.
Volunteering and developing Skills in these activities are great for those sections of your Duke of Edinburgh’s Award at Bronze, Silver and Gold.
You are all more than welcome to use the Blundell’s Garden when you have a spare moment, to sit with friends and relax, revise quietly or get away from your work for some quiet time and space. The Garden Café with its new summer menu will open soon.