Latin Prayer – Summer Term 2021
22nd June 2021
Good morning everyone and welcome to Latin Prayer. The end really is in sight now and the last 10 days or so will go really quickly. Of course, yesterday was meant to be the day that all our Covid restrictions were due to end but alas it was not meant to be and we remain stuck with the restrictions in place. Most of the things we had planned will carry on as planned but it would have been nice to have been able to have a normal Latin Prayer in Big School and to be reminded of what a normal chapel service is like. Those are all things to look forward to next term.
I hope you enjoyed Field Day yesterday. I appreciate that the weather was some way from ideal, but I hear from your teachers that it didn’t stop you from making the most of things. As you can imagine, a great deal of work goes into making days like that happen with many staff putting in big hours to ensure that you have a good day out, so if you have not yet thanked your teachers for taking you out yesterday, please remember to do that. I especially would like to thank Mr Dawe for coordinating the day and I know he will be out and about again today with the year 9s who are undertaking their Bronze DofE expedition today, amongst other challenges. I would also like to thank Mr Barrowcliffe and Mrs Wheatley for their efforts in setting up the Year 11 Celebration Dinner last night – and I hope you Year 11s had a good time.
I heard very positive feedback regarding last week’s UCAS week and I hope you found that beneficial. It was so good to have recent Old Blundellians speak to you about their experiences of different courses, and I hope that you made the most of the opportunity to get things ready for your UCAS submission early next year. A big thank you to Mrs Bucknell,Miss Isdell-Carpenter and Dr Ratcliffe for the work they invested in making that week such a success.
Blundell’s 1st XI played Heathcoat Cricket Club on Thursday evening at Knightshayes. The game was played in front of a large crowd, consisting of lots of Old Blundellian, teachers and pupils. It was played in excellent spirit and resulted in the game being tied with both teams scoring 146. Tom Hatton scored a superb 75 and was ably supported by Seb Linnitt and Tom Reynolds. Ben Coen starred with the ball.
On Saturday the 1st XI hosted Sherborne, a team we have not beaten for quite some time. We lost the toss and bowled on a batter friendly wicket. Although wickets were hard to come by initially, the opening pair of Ben Coen and Tom Reynolds both completed their allotted 10 over spells conceding just 20 runs each. Troy Dos Santos picked up three wickets with Seb Linnitt getting the vital wicket of their set batsman.
The chase got off to an excellent start with Sammy Broomhead scoring a fluent 18 before being adjudged caught behind. We then found ourselves 130-7, needing another 92 runs with just three wickets in hand. Enter Ben Coen and Ed Carter who proceeded to match counter attacking stroke play with solid defence. Ben was run out for a match winning 46 off just 40 balls, leaving Ed to hit the winning runs and finish 34 not out. It was a superb team effort which showed great character and keeps the excellent run of results going. I understand that the T20 semi-final against QEH Bristol had to be cancelled due to a Covid outbreak there so we have been put straight into the South West final.
Blundell’s 2nd XI v Sherborne 2nd XI
Sherborne 106 all out in 29.2 overs
Pryce 3-16 (6 overs)
Mayor 2-17 (6 overs)
Linnitt 2-20 (3 overs)
Wielenga 1-12 (6 overs)
Blundell’s 108-4 in 22.3 overs
Blundell’s won by 6 wickets.
An excellent performance in the field, followed by a good batting display. Sherborne were not on top at any point.
U14A beat Sherborne by 3 runs.
Elliott Butterfield scoring 50, and Ethan Moran chipping in with a quick fire 25.
Sherborne were bowled out with just 2 balls left, needing 3 runs. Archie Oram-Evennett and Elliott Fenton provided some excellent death bowling.
Sherborne 208 for 6 off 30
Blundell's 127 all out
Will Maunder 28 top score. Pick of the bowlers was James Clarkson.
The U14B’s lost by 39 run with James Dawkins picking up 4 wickets.
I popped into the swimming gala during the course of last week and from the short time I watched it was clear to see that we were very dominant in the match v Queens. However, what was also clearly evident was the excellent spirit shown by Blundellians and I was very impressed to see how you didn’t only encourage each other but you were very gracious towards our guests as well. That reflects very well on you – so well done.
As I have said before, the last 10 days are going to be pretty busy. I wanted to mention to you that on Thursday the pupils who are due to be joining the Lower Sixth in September will be with us at school to participate in the Pre-A-Level courses. I have no doubt you will make them very welcome but if you do see a new face looking lost on Thursday, please point them in the right direction. On Saturday we are again hosting new pupils who are due to join us next year but this time it is for next year’s Year 9s. Our Year 8s along with the new pupils will be visiting the houses on Saturday morning before the Sports Day begins. The weather forecast is getting better and better so hopefully we will have a sunny afternoon for the interhouse athletics event.
Under more normal circumstances I would have already announced School Monitors for next year, but I would like to leave that announcement until the final assembly at the end of next week when I hope that we will have Year 12 and 13 here in Big School.
This week I did want to finish with a short reflection. As we come to the end of an extraordinary year and we are all feeling rather stretched and tired, it is good to remind ourselves that we have so much to be grateful for. At the end of any term, when we are feeling worn out, often the last thing we feel is gratitude. We may be feeling a bit low, grumpy and generally it becomes easier to have a bit of a moan when we feel this way. I want to challenge you to deliberately and intentionally consider all the many good things we have to be grateful for and I am going to ask you to make a point of expressing that gratitude to those people who have helped to make your life better. At the end of the term we all head our separate ways, some of us will be departing for good, and it is important that above all else we remind ourselves that we are tremendously fortunate and blessed. Thinking on that and expressing that to someone is a sure antidote for grumpiness and tiredness. We are blessed – do keep reminding yourself and others and let it show in your actions.
Enjoy the rest of the week.
14th June 2021
Hello everyone, and welcome to another Latin Prayer. I had intended to be back in Big School today but there are on or two things that I want to share with you today that are easier to do this way. Next week we will hopefully be back in Big School. Of course, if everything goes as planned then all restrictions will be lifted next Monday. To be honest, that is not looking that likely, but we will hear more about that by the end of today.
There is a huge amount happening over these last three remaining weeks of term and we very much hope that almost all the things that we have planned will be able to go ahead regardless of what the announcement later today is. I suspect that it will affect you less, but whether we can have parents in for Speech Day and the like will be more of a challenge. I can assure you that for most things we have Plan B and C ready to go. As I say, we will know more about the outlook by the end of today and by the end of tomorrow we will let you and your parents know of any changes to our plans.
I hope you managed to make the most of the great weather of the weekend and one group who were outdoors yesterday were a group of FH Year 10 boys who competed in a team triathlon in Dartmouth yesterday. A big congratulations to Mr Frappart’s tutor group for completing the 750m swim, the 20km bike ride and 5km run. They have raised nearly a £1,000 for their chosen charities.
I thoroughly enjoyed watching the cricket here at school on Saturday afternoon and I was especially pleased to catch the moment that Seb Linnitt went to his hundred in the U14As match against Exeter on Big Field. Well done to Seb – and to the whole U14A team – on a very impressive performance. Making a hundred is a big deal in cricket but making it on Big Field against good opposition is a special moment. The team won comfortably in the end with good bowling contributions from a number of bowlers.
Other cricket news to report...
I was pleased to hear that the U13As beat Exeter School to reach the Devon Cup Final. Rory Oram-Evennett scoring 55 not out and James Pugsley took a hat-trick. For the non-cricketing afficionados, a hat-trick is when a bowler takes three wickets in three balls. It is a pretty rare thing to achieve.
The U15As were disappointed to lose but there was a good performance with the bat by Dan Pugsley scoring 34 runs.
Following their win against Bryanston last week the 1st XI will host QEH Bristol in the semi-final of the South West T20. Date to be confirmed. Against Bryanston, Joe du’Gay led the way with an accomplished 69 with contributions from Harry Southgate and Sammy Broomhead. We ended up with a very good 163 and Bryanston could only manage 136 with Tom Hatton and Troy Dos Santos the pick of the bowlers.
I was pleased to hear that Harry Southgate scored a tidy 77 in his Bunbury trial match. Bunbury cricket week brings together the best U15 cricketers from around the country in 4 regional teams. Making it to Bunbury is a great achievement and many players go on to make successful careers in cricket from there.
We had a brilliant fixture against Wycliffe on Friday evening.
We did not know what to expect as we do not usually play them on our circuit. They brought a large group of girls and we also fielded a large squad. Considering we were playing out of season with little practise the standard was high and very competitive. All Year 13 girls who wanted to be involved (ranging from 1st-3rd VII players) played, as well as potential Year 12s for next year.
As ever the girls played with commitment and intensity. Although we started a little cautiously and were down at the end of the first period of play, the girls got better and better and rectified the scoreline!
Final score 40-28 Win
9 athletes went to the Devon AAAs Championships, which incorporated the Devon Schools. It was very, very hot in the arena, but all performed admirably.
David Case ran the Senior Mens 3000m in the midday sun. He finished as the 2nd U20 man in 10m 50s. Charlie Tempest was 6th in the U20 200m in 24.10s and 4th in the LJ – 5.68m. Isobel Morrison was 2nd in the U17 Triple Jump and ran 13.75s to make the final of the U17 100m. Taylor Saltmarsh was 4th in the final of the U15 100m (13.81s) but claimed 2nd in the U15 LJ with her final jump.
Gus Tiernan jumped 5.68m to finish 3rd in the U17 LJ, then won the U17 HJ. Noah Fenton won his U17 200m heat but was just pushed into 2nd place but ran a fast 23.92s. Will Saltmarsh won the U17 Shot (and I think he might have won the Discus but I can’t find the result!).
Bella Peyton-Jones won the U17 80m Hurdles, was 2nd in the U17 1500m Steeplechase and threw a new PB (10.36m) to win the U17 Shot.
Meg Hamilton-Strong was competing in the toughest of competitions. In the Hurdles, she was one of 4 athletes who are all inside the top 18 in the country. Meg was 2nd in the High Jump and threw a new PB of 11.01m to win the Shot.
Dan Hamilton-Strong was 2nd in the U20 Long Jump, but won the U20 200m (22.33s) and won the U20 100m in an incredible 10.89s. Breaking 11s is a phenomenal achievement, and we haven’t had a Blundellian do that in my time here.
Kayak Squad Have-a-go-session
On Thursday, 17th June at 5.00 pm there is an opportunity for anyone who is interested in kayaking next term to come and have a go, before the Year 10 BBQ. Meet at the canoe shed in shorts and t shirt and trainers at 5pm. Bring a towel, water bottle and something warm to wear afterwards. Please let Mrs Taylor-Ross know if you intend to come. No commitment, just a fun time to find out more about the kayak squad, racing, surfski and the Devizes to Westminster race. Open for all in Year 10 and above.
After a challenging term for all of us, Week 11 allows us to take the time to enjoy some activities that we may not have had the opportunity to try before and finish the year on a really positive note.
Year 7 are hosting dinner parties and making films, Year 8 are out on the Source to Sea adventure, and Year 9s are taking part in the Islands Project.
- For Year 10, 11 and 12, on the first three days of Week 11, you will rotate in your year groups, to show us your entrepreneurial skills in The Apprentice. Year 10 on the Monday, Year 12 on the Tuesday and Year 11 on the Wednesday.
- On the 2 days you are not in The Apprentice, you will be offered the Multi Activity Programme. An email has been sent to all of you in Years 10,11 and 12 with a PDF summarising each session on offer. Some are Half Days, and some are Full Days. There is also a link to the form where you select your preferences and clear instructions on how to do it.
- Put simply; you will choose 6 preferred options from the list on the form, and we will then confirm what you are allocated to and where it will take place. You will get 4 from your 6 choices wherever possible.
- Year 10 and 12 will sign up in Tutor period today and the form will close at the end of P4 on Wednesday. Year 11 will have the chance to do it in their own time.
There is a wide variety of interesting and fun sessions on offer and staff are really looking forward to spending time with you all, outside the classroom.
If you have any questions about the activities, in the first instance ask your tutor or Mrs Armstrong Williams in the Art School.
Garden Open Day
The Summer Garden Open Day was a huge success last Friday with groups ranging from Year 1 to the Tiverton Council and retired members of staff enjoying various activities, Cream Teas, BBQs and the day finished with an excellent Year 10 Music Concert in the evening. Mr Olive would like to thank all those who came along and everyone who has supported the Garden and the Café throughout this year. Special thanks also go to the small army of volunteers who have run the Café each time. Without their help it could not have happened, thank you!
Year 10 Concert
I thoroughly enjoyed the Year 10 concert on Thursday which happened at the bottom of my garden, and which brought an excellent end to the Open Garden Day. It was lovely to have a live audience and to be able to enjoy high quality music – and quite a variety of it – in such a lovely setting. I hope we will do more like that in the months ahead.
The Year 13s are working hard on their live performance of their A’Level devised pieces next week. Mrs Winsley has put together a short video which I am going to ask Mr Dyer to play for you now.
I expect some of you will be following the Euro 2020 football competition and may have watched some of the matches on television over the weekend. In the match between Denmark and Finland, Christian Eriksen, the Danish captain, who played for Tottenham for many seasons, collapsed and suffered a cardiac arrest. Essentially his heart stopped, and he had to be resuscitated on the field in front of thousands of fans, his teammates, and his wife. It was a truly shocking incident. Eriksen was rushed to hospital, and he seems to be recovering well but it could well be the end of his football career.
In that moment, where the player collapsed, the entire stadium – and I imagine audiences at home – held its breath and hoped and prayed that he would be okay. Everybody in that moment understood that football really did not matter. It was a grudging reluctance to stop thinking about the score, it was literally an instinctive and unanimous understanding that a player’s life was on the line.
What struck me at that moment was the incredible rawness of the emotions of all the spectators in the stadium. I imagine that when two Scandinavian countries play each other that there are some serious rivalries at stake and certainly football is known for its vociferous and passionate supporters, but it did not matter whether you supported Finland or Denmark, you just wanted Eriksen to pull through.
Football is a game, and only a game, and the world has many more serious issues on its hands, but it is also a microcosm of society, that we may have many things that separate us and that polarise us, that cause us to choose sides, sides that we care passionately about, but when something like this happens we all unite around the values and the principles that matter most – we focus on what unites us not on the things that divide us.
I hope we remember that at Blundell’s too – and I am not talking about things like Black Lives Matter or Sarah Everard – I am talking about all those niggly smaller things that drive wedges between us. Let us remember what really matters and honour them and celebrate them through the way we treat and care for one another.
7th June 2021
Hello everyone and welcome back for this short sharp four-week burst until the end of the term. It is going to be a very busy period and I hope there are plenty of things for you to look forward to.
The Year 1’s and 13s have three days left of their exams and if any of you are tuned in this morning, good luck to you. They will have a few days break before their Pre-A-Level and Pre-university courses kick off next Wednesday.
This week the Year 7s and 8s have a series of assessments and next week the Year 9s have a week of exams. As I say every year, the importance of these assessments is not just about the outcomes. Yes, of course, you want to do well, and we want you to do well, but their real purpose is to give you an opportunity to learn how to learn. There are a number of things we want you to learn:
- We want you to work out how you revise and work best. That comes through trial and error. Some of you will use flashcards, others mind maps, and there will be various other techniques to help you remember work. The more you practice, the better you will get.
- We want you to build stamina in your learning. Studying for exams is probably not the most exciting thing in the world but building discipline and stamina for the task will stand in you in good stead as you move through the years.
- We want you to become familiar with and comfortable with writing tests under exam conditions so that it is not intimidating or frightening.
I am sure there are other things too, but my main point is that we focus on the process of preparing and writing exams – the results will take care of themselves.
1 - Two groups of DofE students completed their Gold and Silver Practice walks on Dartmoor at the start of half-term. It was great to be back out wild camping and developing individual and team skills over the three days on Dartmoor. All managed to navigate the route well and hone their skills in preparation for their assessed awards later in the term. The Silver group will be back out on Dartmoor while the Golds planning for the Brecon Beacons. All students did extremely well and should be proud of their achievement, planning now starts for their assessed expeditions.
2 - The following students also completed their Bronze awards during the expeditions:
Georgia Baxter (GH)
Oliver Hedley-Lewis (OH)
Elizabeth Honey (GH)
3 - Despite the challenges of the pandemic, we are immensely proud of the dedication, effort and achievement of students completing their Duke of Edinburgh Awards. Students from Blundell's School dedicated 1,495 hours to volunteering between April 2020 and March 2021, with a social value of £6,802.25. This is an amazing figure particularly as in includes two periods of lockdown. Well done to all those currently completing their awards, you are making a difference.
Cricket results from before the Half-Term
Blundell’s won the toss and elected to bat first, which gave Harry Southgate the opportunity to open the batting as captain Joe du’Gay and Will Bucknell were still sitting an exam. Harry made a patient 51 and was ably supported by some powerful hitting from Tom Reynolds, who fell for 39 off just 18 balls. We posted an above par 159 off our allotted 20 overs. Tom Reynolds then led from the front with a fiery opening spell, swing the ball late and at a good pace. He was brilliantly backed up by the reliable Tom Hatton who went for just 11 runs off his allotted 4 over spell and Ben Coen who picked up 2 wickets. We restricted Queen’s to 105 for 8. The team will play Bryanston away after half term, which will decide whether we progress to the next round of the national cup. They have done fantastically well and have won 8 out of 8 games this half of term.
The U14s won their quarter final of the Devon Cup against Exeter School. Exeter scored 114 runs of their 20 overs. Blundell’s knocked the runs off without losing a wicket with Seb Linnitt scoring an explosive 81 off 50 balls and Freddie Bucknell scoring 27 not out. They will play their semi-final at home after half term.
Sport this week...
From the calendar it looks like there is quite a bit of sport happening in the next few days alongside the traditional tennis, swimming, athletics, and cricket matches we expect to see at this time of the year. I have spotted a water polo fixture as well as hockey and netball fixtures. I am not sure if they are all going ahead but if they are, it should be a pretty full week of sporting action.
On Wednesday we welcome our new Head Chef, Mr Ankar Biswas. Some of you may recall that our Head Chef, Craig Samson, left just before the first lockdown in February 2020. In the interim the catering staff have all had to step up to fill the gaps and they have coped admirably well in difficult times. The catering team have worked harder than ever making sure that everything is ready for the different sittings and their work has been made quite a lot more complicated by the bubbles we have maintained and the restrictions that we have had to have. Now that things are a bit more relaxed the arrival of Mr Biswas is perfectly timed for him to get his feet under the table in the remaining few weeks of the term. Mr Biswas trained in Mumbai and in Canada and has been Head Chef at the Royal Naval College in Dartmouth.
On Friday we are hosting an Open Garden Day and we are expecting various groups of visitors. Thank you in advance to those of you who are helping with that day.
We continue to hope for the best with regards to things reopening on the 21st of June. We are planning for it but, of course, if some restrictions remain in place, then we will just have to deal with it as we have been dealing with things for the past 18 months. We will hear more next week Monday. In the meantime, could I encourage you to continue to take your Lateral Flow tests on Mondays and Thursdays for the next two weeks at least.
Have a good week.
24th May 2021
Hello everyone, and welcome to the last Latin Prayer of the first half of the Summer Term. It has gone immensely quickly, but I am sure you are looking forward to a break at the end of this shortened week. Well done to the Year 11s and 13s who have had a week of exams behind them. I expect that most of you will feel like you have broken the back of the challenge. Well done, you are nearly there.
Despite the incredibly grim weather, we managed to get a lot of sport in on Saturday. I will tell you a bit more about that in a moment.
Monty Bayley-Skinner has made the South West Regional Squad of Surf Life Saving Great Britain.
The following students have had their DofE awards approved this week:
- Ash Richardson who completed her Silver Award.
- Toby Peyton-Jones who completed his Gold Award.
A remarkable achievement by both students who had to overcome several challenges particularly with the restrictions that have been put in place over the last 12 months.
The Boys’ Tennis Team continued with their excellent season comfortably beating Downside to make it 3 wins out of 4. Artem Savitsky once again played outstandingly. The seconds also fought hard for a 5-4 victory.
On Wednesday, the firsts won a dramatic match 9-7 against a strong West Buckland team, with Ben Wright and Jack Curry winning the deciding rubber. In addition to Ben, Jack and Artem, Alex Raetsch, Pierre-Louis Lacroix and Tom Nicholson have made brilliant contributions this season and Senior boys tennis is the strongest it’s been for a good few years.
Girls’ Tennis. The 2nd team won all their matches against Queens, dropping just 2 games in 9 sets. They managed to win all 9 sets within 1 hour. The 1st team had a similarly easy afternoon winning all 9 sets comfortably. There was excellent play and the girls can be proud of the way they played.
We had a good block against King’s Taunton, despite the terrible weather this week.
The 1st XI game was a rollercoaster of a match with both teams taking control during different times in the contest. Batting first, Blundell’s were struggling at 80-8, but mature batting from Tom Hatton and Ben Coen, meant we posted a par score of 168.
We fought really hard in the field and wrestled control back from King’s with the spin duo of Tom Hatton and Tom Murphy. However, it was man of the match Ben Coen, who completed the win, picking up his fourth wicket with an excellent diving catch from Ben Fitzherbert.
The 2nd XI came up just short chasing King’s target. However, there were good bowling performances from Alex Grubb, Max Mayor and Dom Wielenga who shared the wickets. Kit Barnes hit a well compiled 34, however the boys could not quite get over the line.
The U14 As lost by 6 wickets. Harry Cracknell scoring a patient 16, and Freddie Bucknell leading the way with the ball.
The U14Bs won comfortably. Jemima Mitchell picking up 3 wickets with her spin.
In the Gentlemen’s XI match, nearly all the team got a bowl, and none disappointed, as King’s struggled against the accuracy and length of the Gentlemen’s deliveries. Chris Dunstan was the pick of the bowlers and Jacob Cole in the field was magnificent. A target of 106 was set and the Gentlemen reached this relatively easily in the allotted time with Nick Jones being retired at 50 and Will Farmer and Zeb Winzer scoring the winning runs. A thoroughly entertaining and enjoyable afternoon.
Blundell’s recorded their first victory over the Devon Dumplings for a number of years.
Batting first, Blundell’s amassed 158 off their 35 overs with Joe du’Gay starring with the bat, scoring 58 not out. He was ably supported by William Bucknell and Ben Fitzherbert.
In reply the Dumplings were 40-1, until the introduction of Tom Hatton. Tom bowled beautifully, mixing up his pace and showing great variation to record figures of 7 overs 5 for 16 runs. The Dumplings were eventually dismissed for 110.
The game also saw our live feed be supported by commentary from Dom Wielenga and Ted Phillips. Both did a tremendous job and provided listeners with a combination of game analysis and an interesting insight into life at Blundell’s.
Miss Mercer would like to invite all students, of any year, to take part in the Blundell's Hopeful Reflections Poetry Competition. We would like you to write a poem on the theme of coming back from the pandemic. It could be about returning to school, or the gradual return to normality. Overall, we would like you to reflect positively on this year and life as you look to the future. The first prize winner will receive £50 in Amazon vouchers, with 2nd place receiving a £20 voucher. Entries need to be submitted by Wednesday 23rd June to Miss Mercer at email@example.com, to be judged by a panel.
After such a long spell of absence, live theatre is coming back to the Ondaatje. Not only are rehearsals already underway for next year’s school play, but the Year 13 Drama A-Level students have also been busy preparing for their final practical exam which will take place this Wednesday. Whilst this performance will need to be behind closed doors, they are planning to perform it again, this time to a live audience, on the evenings of 22nd and 23rd June. If you would like to be part of the invited audience, please listen out for more details in the near future. And in the meantime, we wish the Year 13 Drama students the very best of luck for their practical exam on Wednesday.
The Garden Café is open on Wednesday this week selling a range of milkshakes, ice creams, lollies, cakes and hot chocolate. Everyone is welcome to pop along at break and lunchtime. Fingers crossed for some good weather!
We won’t be meeting again until after Half-Term and perhaps, after the 21st, we may even be able to all be back in Big School for Latin Prayer.
There is a lot of work being done to ensure that when we get back after Half-Term, we really make the most of the short 4 weeks before the Summer holidays. There will be plenty to look forward to – especially if the weather plays its part.
A final thought from me...
I speak to many pupils about life at Blundell’s and the overwhelming majority of you say that you really love and care about the school. That’s not to say that you don’t have setbacks or that things never go wrong – or that you are never sad or struggling – but most people will say that they are happy at school and that they are proud to be part of this community.
If so many of you are proud of being part of Blundell’s and you care about the school then there are a few things that we can draw from that.
Don’t do stupid things that jeopardise your place at the school.
Don’t do anything that prevents others from enjoying and loving this place.
Do ensure that you do everything in your power to help others who are finding things tough, so that they can enjoy being here too.
It is not a difficult message. It seems obvious to me. As the weather improves and as the opportunity to enjoy each other’s company grows, keep that simple message in mind.
Have a good week and enjoy Half-Term when it comes your way.
17th May 2021
Good morning everyone. Today Latin Prayer is happening from behind my desk. Big School is being used for the Year 11 and 13 exams and so it will be a while before we will be able to be back in Big School. For the two weeks until half term and for the first week after that, those exams will continue. Please be mindful of that and be as supportive as you can of those pupils writing these exams.
After those exams are over, we still have three weeks left before the end of the term and we are working hard to ensure that those last few weeks are really enjoyable ones for everyone. The Year 9s have a series of assessments in Week 9 of the term but other than that, it will be an opportunity to enjoy many of the things that we have been unable to do for a long time. There are two things that we cannot control: the first is whether the full restrictions will be lifted or not on the 21st of June. We will just have to wait and see. If the restrictions are lifted then we will be able to have a near-normal end of term with House BBQ’s, swimming galas, chapel services and Speech Day.
The second is the weather. Hopefully all the rain will have happened by then and if it continues to rain as it has these last few weeks then hopefully there will be no rain left to fall late in June. Let’s hope it all goes to plan.
Today, of course, is the next step in some of the Coronavirus restrictions being lifted and to mark that we are going to move to Year Group bubbles from today. That means that you can mingle together with other pupils in your year group in lessons and the dining hall. Please continue to be really sensible though about washing your hands and, where appropriate, keeping distance from one another. As far as facemasks go, we are going to keep going as we have been with facemasks. So, no changes to the rules around facemasks. Please do keep using your Lateral Flow tests.
Some news from Mr Dawe:
The 35 mile Ten Tors completed their final and qualifying walk across Dartmoor in atrocious conditions on Sunday, a route was selected to accommodate easy escape routes due to the very poor weather conditions. The students managed to navigate the route and took the conditions in their stride. Completing 25 kilometres in such conditions is testament to the grit and determination of the group. Often navigating with limited visibility due to the thick glagg (fog) covering the moor along with the driving rain, which always appeared to be in their faces no matter which direction they were travelling. Their route will be sent in for approval by the Ten Tors staff, regardless of their decision all the students can be justifiably proud of their achievement on Sunday.
Prior to and during the last lockdown several students completed the ILM level 2 course in 'Effective Team Member Skills', most have now received their awards, and we have just received confirmation that Wilf Sargent has been successful and will receive his award in due course. Wilf should be commended for his application to successfully complete the award.
Miss Gill reports that in dreadful conditions at Exeter Arena, Taylor Saltmarsh, Meg Hamilton-Strong and Dan Hamilton-Strong competed in an Athletics Meeting, showing real grit and determination, on a track that had puddles everywhere.
Jumping was extremely difficult due to the weather, making it very tricky to get on the board. However, Dan ran 11.01s in the 100m, just 0.01s outside National Entry. This places him just outside the top 20 Under 20s in the country.
Meg showed excellent form in both hurdles and shot. She ran 15.32s in the 100m Hurdles; this is just 0.02s outside National Entry time and places her inside the top 15 Under 20s in the country. She then followed this with 10.55m in the Shot – a National Entry distance, which again places her in the top 15 Under 20s in the country.
NSEA 15th May 2021 Arena Eventing
Blundell’s Team: Jemima Cameron, Tess Grubb, Scarlett Eames.
The team came 2nd and qualified for Hickstead Arena Eventing Championships
Tess Grubb 2nd placed individually.
Blundell’s Red Team: Tess Grubb, Scarlett Eames, Ruby Wetherell, Evie Goddard- Appleby
The team came 2nd and qualified for Hickstead Arena Eventing Championships
Tess Grubb was 2nd placed individually and Ruby Wetherell placed 5th individually
Connie Haywood-Smith who also attended the event and took part in the 1m and 1.10m class.
The torrential rain and horrendous conditions did not deter our brave riders or prevent them achieving great success. We wish the riders well when they attend the Arena Eventing Championships at Hickstead in a couple of weekends’ time.
Mrs Thomas reports: It is never an easy task taking to the stage to deliver a speech, never mind in a competitive sense surrounded by your peers. This year’s Junior Debating Competition was a celebration of years 9 and 10 and their enthusiasm for debate. As well as the team prize, we have certificates for the winning speakers:
1st speaker – Freya Gillard (special commendation to Chester Johnson)
2nd speaker – Toby Johnson (commendation to Scarlet Burden)
Summary speaker – Jack Ramsay was a stand-out performer (commendation to Angus Rackham)
Finally, for the team prizes. Based on the English-Speaking Union scoring system, they are as follows:
4th Petergate – 57 points
3rd NC – 70 points
Joint 2nd – FH and GH – 78 points
1st OH – 82 points
Mrs Thomas would especially like to thank Mrs Weaver and Mr Hayward for judging and to teachers and pupils who supported in the audience. It was a highly entertaining evening, and the bar has undoubtedly been set to a very high standard for the Senior Competition scheduled for June 22nd.
A notice from Mr Olive regarding the Garden Café:
The Garden Café is open this coming Friday at breaktime and lunch selling chocolate, strawberry and banana milkshakes, hot chocolate, ice creams, lollies and cakes. During period 5 and 6 it will be open to celebrate the final performance of the Year 7s work this week: “Shakespeare in the Garden”. If you are free, you are more than welcome to pop along then as well.
Cash or contactless is accepted as before and a final decision with regards the weather will be made on Thursday.
This week is a special opportunity to use the Lady Chapel for quiet reflection. The Lady Chapel is, of course, always available to you if you need a quiet space to think, to get away from everything, or to pray and reflect. This week, there are a number of resources in the Lady Chapel to help give focus to your quiet time and you are most welcome to make use of those.
The Lady Chapel will be open to you before school, at lunch time and in the early evening before supper time. Do make use of that space.
10th May 2021
Welcome back to Week 4 of the Summer Term.
Well done to the Year 10s and 12s who finished their exams last week. I’m sure it is a good feeling to have those behind you and to have some weeks of the summer to look forward to until the end of the term. Whilst I do hope that you make the most of what will hopefully be better weather, it is important that we keep moving you along in your respective GCSE and A-Level courses.
As far as the exams last week, they were more about the process than the outcome and I hope you used the opportunity to hone some of your revision techniques, to work out how you learn best. Any work you did for them will stand you in good stead in future. One of the things we know about learning is that when we learn something, and then come back to it again in future, the previous learning is not lost and future learning builds on the foundations laid down before. So the more work you did for these exams, the more benefit you will derive form it when you come back to it in the future. The other aspect of course is the experience of sitting in the exam room and having to perform under pressure. The outcomes are secondary for you – the process is what mattered most.
Of course, for the Year 11s and 13s your exams are about the outcomes and it is a time to see whether the processes you have had in place have been good. The reality remains that you cannot control the outcome of those assessments, all you can do is to attend to the process of preparing for them. That includes effective revision and effective exam technique. It also means resting well and exercising. There is lots that you can do – that you can control – to give yourself the best possible chance of success. I appreciate that it is stressful – and that is not surprising – because it is right that you should care about the results – but make sure you focus on what you can control and that you do not waste energy on the things you cannot control.
At the end of this week you will have the option to attend lessons on Friday and Saturday. Lessons will happen as normal and you may find it helpful to spend that extra time with your teachers preparing for your exams, but if you need the time to work independently then you have permission to do so on Friday and Saturday. If you are not going to attend those lessons that is your prerogative but it would be polite to let your teachers know in advance if you are not going to attend their lesson.
An excellent determined walk by the 45 mile Ten Tors teams on Sunday. Covering 33 kilometres across undulating terrain, though very windy and the occasional shower, conditions were very good, and the teams navigated extremely well. Their route has been submitted to the organisers of Ten Tors and if approved they will receive certificates and medals. Considering they have completed limited training this is a remarkable achievement, and all students should be congratulated for their determination particularly towards the end of the walk when legs were tired and feet sore.
On Friday 30th April the senior girls went to King’s for the MCC Women’s cricket day. After a one-sided affair against Millfield the girls played King’s and in a good match, chasing 143, the girls required 45 runs from 5 overs before the rain intervened.
Then on Wednesday the Year 9 and 10 girls played against Wellington.
Blundell’s 150-2 Lucy Fitzherbert 22*, Rosa Flay 41, Demelza Short 36* Jemima Mitchell 15*.
Wellington 105 all out. 5 run outs. Millie Wivell 2 wickets, and one each for Georgia Withey, Maria Wiggans and Florence Crease
Warminster 81 All out
In the first game of the T20 cup, the 1st XI made the long trip to Warminster. We won the toss and stuck the opposition in. The spin twins Tom Murphy and Tom Hatton were the pick of the bowlers, added by an excellent Ed Carter outfield catch. We then knocked the total off in just 11 overs with Joe du’Gay and Will Bucknell scoring 38 not out and 31.
Queen’s 108 All out
Blundell’s lost the toss and bowled first in fairly miserable conditions. However, the boys put in a great effort to bowl Queen’s out for 108. The wickets were shared between Reynolds, Dos Santos, Murphy and Hatton. We then knocked them off with 15 overs to spare, lead by 44 from Joe du’Gay and a well compiled 29 from Harry Southgate.
Queen’s 34 (Harry Pryce 5 wickets for 0 runs!!)
Queen’s 129 (James Clarkson 3 wickets in an over)
Blundell’s 130 off 12 overs (Chris Van der Walt 62, Will Maunder 40 not out)
Won by 70 runs
Oram - Evennett 45
Artie Evans 20 not out
Bea Morrison 4-7
George Cox 2-5 (last minute call up from the Prep School!)
Tom Holley 2-9
Won with Toby Jones and Monty Charteris putting in some match-winning performances.
The 1st XI travel to Bryanston for their next National T20 cup game on Saturday.
Harry List is an exceptionally talented swimmer; he is also one of the most unassuming swimmers. A dependable member of the team, both in terms of performance and leadership, Harry’s commitment to his training and to all his races is second to none. He can be relied on always to give his best, resulting in him often achieving first place in individual races and he is a crucial member of all the relay teams. Harry leads by example quietly and assuredly and never seeks the limelight or attention.
Harry is well-respected in the team and it is with great pleasure that he has been appointed as Boys’ Swimming Captain for the 2021 season. He is a superb individual swimmer who is exceptionally focused and motivated and always demands the best from himself, performing at the highest level and dedicated 100% to the team. His example to others in training and determined performance is an inspiration and he is certainly very popular and respected within the team. Harry has also proved himself a crucial member of Petergate’s house swimming team and he represented the school in their first appearance at the ESSA South West Regional Relay Team Competition at Millfield in September 2019.
Outside of school, Harry is a dedicated member of Tiverton Swimming Club where he was club captain in the 2019/20 team. He was part of the club team for the South West Swimming League in 2019 and he has a successful history within the club. In 2018 Harry first qualified for ‘Counties’ for two events – 50m and 100m Butterfly. He followed this up in 2019 by qualifying for 11 events at County level and also in the 50m Butterfly at the South West Regionals. In 2020 he was on track to enter all county events and a number of regional events – unfortunately, the pandemic prevented these events from taking place.
On top of all these achievements in the pool, Harry has proved himself to be a superb sportsman in a number of disciplines and an academic of the highest standard. He has the admiration of his peers and staff alike and it is his leadership, application, achievements and general kindness that signify that Harry is fully deserving of Full Colours for Swimming.
Maddy Cotton has been the strongest female tennis player this school has seen for twenty years. She has a real passion for the game that extends on and off the court. Maddy first played for the 1st VI when she was in Year 8 and relatively new to the school. It was clear she could hit the ball with pace, but also had an understanding of the game that others did not have.
Over the last six years Maddy has proven to be pivotal in the squad. She trains with enthusiasm and determination, demonstrating to others that hard work in practice sessions pays off in matches. Maddy is well known on the circuit for her hard-hitting ground shots, and the harder the ball is hit to her, the more she gains enjoyment from the sport. She is aggressive and attacking making the most of short balls and getting to the net as soon as she can. She can adapt quickly to different surfaces and takes each match in her stride. She has worked hard to develop her play at the net, but the serve is probably the area of most improvement. She has dedicated time to improving her technique ensuring she is able to consistently use this shot as a weapon, or setting up her partner at net. Maddy is a real confidence giving player, always encouraging her partner and never quick to throw the game away. She has a fight-to-the-end attitude which is why she has had amazing success against strong tennis players from other schools.
In the last couple of years, Maddy has successfully completed her LTA Level 1 coaching award and enjoys giving back to the sport in and out of school. She has played club and tournament tennis in the local area which has inspired others to get involved in the sport, even at a social level.
Every coach really wants to have a Maddy in their side. Someone who is reliable, dependable yet has the skills needed to take the game further. Maddy leaves the school with a rich depth of tennis players at senior level, and younger members ready to follow in her footsteps.
In recognition of her dedication, commitment and passion for the game, Maddy Cotton is fully deserving of her Full Colours for Tennis.
Junior Debating happens this Wednesday with three excellent topics to be debated. GH and Petergate will be debating whether the Monarchy should be abolished. FH will be proposing that detentions are unnecessary and inhumane with OH opposing the motion. And finally, NC will be arguing that The Russell should be banned.
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.