Alex Bradley (Lower Sixth) and his father trained exceptionally hard with a view to taking part in the gruelling Devizes to Westminster Canoe Race over Easter and made a terrific start from the line on the opening Friday, beating their expected time for the day but constantly aware of the rain and the impact that that might have on the event. All competitors were allowed to start on Saturday morning but by the time Alex and his father reached the Thames at Reading, the river was in full flood conditions and the Environment Agency banned all traffic. Incredibly frustrating for our pair and for the other competitors but they made history as this was only the second time in 70 years that the race has been stopped as a result of treacherous weather conditions. Alex ended his race clear that, had he been able to continue, he would have smashed his target time so he has much to feel proud of. Despite not being allowed to finish, Alex and his father still raised almost £2500 for their two charities, The Not Forgotten Association and the PWRR Benevolent Fund, and he and his older sister, Pip, have pledged to enter the non-stop Seniors’ Race in a couple of years’ time. Mr Bradley is very much looking forward to being able taking his place in the support crew for once!
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The St Edmund’s Chamber Choir sang beautifully at Evensong in Canterbury Cathedral this afternoon, performing responses by Jackson, the Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis in B minor by Noble. The uplifting anthem was My Beloved Spake by Hadley plus a Psalm and Hymn for the day. It was a privilege to hear such stunning music in the splendid surroundings of this magnificent building. Thanks go to our talented singers, to Dr Rowcroft for conducting and preparing the programme, to Charles Francis and Adrian Bawtree who played the organ wonderfully, and to the Reverend Bennett, our Chaplain, for leading the responses.
Good luck to Assistant Head, Mr Millard, who is due to run the London Marathon on the 22nd April. He received the wonderful news last year that he will line up for the elite runners’ race and his target time is to break the 3 hour barrier. We will be willing him on and look forward to see his walking style when he returns to school on Monday morning. Alongside the race being an immense physical and mental personal challenge, he is also fundraising for the St Edmund’s Kenya trip 2019 when our pupils will work with local Kenyan communities in need of aid. If you would like to show your support, please click on the following link : https://www.justgiving.com/
St Edmund’s Trinity and Associated Board Music results in the Lent term were simply outstanding and quite unlike any I have seen in any school before. All of the pupils involved and their teachers should feel incredibly proud of all that they have achieved. Particular congratulations go to those who have reached grade 8 standard :
Caspar Bainbridge Voice Grade 8 with Distinction
Charles Francis Organ Grade 8 with Distinction and Piano Grade 8 with Distinction
Olivia Harris-Harding Flute Grade 8 with Merit
Sophie Hopkins Voice Grade 8 with Distinction
Will Inscoe Piano Grade 8 with Distinction and Percussion Grade 8 with Merit
Aidan May Voice Grade 8 with Merit
Alex Thorne Piano Grade 8 with Distinction
Oscar Wong Piano Grade 8 with Merit
‘Strictly Icons’, St Edmund’s all singing and dancing extravaganza, once again lifted the roof this year when a number of lucky pairings stretching from the Junior School through to the Senior School and to the staff competed for the prized ‘Strictly’ trophy. The Pre-Prep kicked the night off with a fabulous excerpt from ‘Thriller’ and so the proceedings continued, showcasing our GCSE Dance candidates, a ‘secret’ flash mob and simply phenomenal music courtesy of our Big Band and vocal stars. Apt commentary was provided by our hosts Mrs Jones, Mr Millard, Miss Walker-Reid and Alex Castle (with suitable cringeworthy jokes from the usual source which ensured audience participation!) and our masterful judges offered pithy and witty comments (we thank our professional judges and also Charlie Bourne and Mr Comfort). Congratulations to dancers Isabelle Mousley and Nic Yanni who were awarded the trophy by last year’s winners, Mimi Sorrentino and Ayos Kerung. Mr Sell, Mr Sykes, Mrs Gordon, Mr Swatman and their teams delivered a terrific evening with that distinctive St Edmund’s spirit of fun very much in evidence.
I am delighted to report that Form 8 rising fencing star, Ella Wheadon, competed in the South East regional heat for U14 girls’ sabre and won bronze, qualifying for the National Finals to be held in Sheffield in May. What makes this achievement all the more remarkable is that this was Ella’s very first fencing competition. We congratulate her and look forward to seeing how she progresses in this competition and in others to come.
An appreciative audience gathered in Canterbury Cathedral on Wednesday evening to see the St Edmund’s Music Department at its very best at our Gala Concert, featuring guest soloists and renowned professional musicians, John Harle, Catherine Futcher, Greg Tassell and Andrew Rupp. Upper Sixth musicians, Phoebe Sandey (voice), Aidan May (saxophone) and Jacob Titterton (‘cello) delighted us with expressive and accomplished performances, while the Symphony Orchestra, including the highly regarded Tippett Quartet, the String Orchestra and the Chamber Choir gave stunning performances ranging from Gombert to Dowland to Dvorak. The second half of the concert featured the combined efforts of the Symphony Orchestra, Chapel Choir, Choral Society and boy Choristers performing Goodall’s ‘Eternal Light’. A phenomenal achievement which brought together the constituent parts of our community and friends of St Edmund’s. Many congratulations to Director of Music, Spencer Payne, and his team for their hard work and vision.
Congratulations to everyone who was involved in what turned out to be a remarkable Junior School drama production last week. Aimee Walker-Reid, our Drama Assistant and former pupil, along with her Assistant Director, Form 8 pupil, Ella Wheadon, should be incredibly proud of the fast paced, positive and entirely young play which they directed. Much work went into producing a play of this calibre and I thank everyone involved on stage and behind the scenes, including the talented pupil groups of actors, front of house crew, music direction, light operation, poster and programme design, make-up and hair; and staff and parent team involved in set and lighting design, sound design and operation, costumes and props, ticket design and box office. The future of Drama in this school is an exciting prospect.
As a result of the energy and vision of Lower School teacher, Mrs Thyssen, St Edmund’s pupils benefited from a visit from Mahyana Sari, a coffee farmer and Secretary for KSU Arinagata Fairtrade Co-operative. The involvement of St Ed’s Junior and Senior School pupils and the range of questions posed were impressive indeed. The media took some interest in the visit and it is likely that a short film of the visit will appear on television soon. St Edmund’s is an accredited Fairtrade School and we work to raise awareness of the need to improve the lives of those who work in developing countries.
Lower Sixth pupil, Patrick Mridha, received the terrific news over half term that he has passed his black belt exam in karate in the shortest possible time after starting the sport as a novice only a few years ago. Within his karate school, Patrick is now known as Senpai Patrick (meaning a Master or Teacher), and he is already putting his skills to good use in coaching others while also continuing his own martial art training.