The Chapel was packed on Tuesday morning with pupils and parents for the eagerly anticipated annual Junior School Pirate Chapel produced by the talented Mrs Thyssen, Mrs Swatman, the Chaplain and Lower School staff. Pupils acted, sang and danced beautifully, leading to the revelation that this year’s Pirate King was Mrs Lawrence whose spelling prowess (being Head of English) was immediately put to the test before the whole school. Mr O’Connor brought the mini production to a close with some clever Johnny Depp-esque references. A terrific way to start the morning and the bar is raised high for next year.
Talented St Edmund’s pupils, Will Inscoe and Jonty Harris-Harding, were delighted to have been asked to play with the University of Kent Symphony Orchestra in the Gala concert which closed the University’s annual Summer Music Week. Will joined the percussion section and Jonty the brass section in a programme including music by Strauss, Khachaturian and Elgar. The photo shows the boys making excellent use of the popular selfie frame in the Concert Hall! It was a lovely occasion and we thank the Will and Jonty for continuing to forge the strong link between the University and St Edmund’s.
The St Edmund’s community and many friends from Canterbury and beyond celebrated the opening of the 2018 St Edmund’s Festival last night in true style with Lottie-Lou Smith reciting the Festival’s and St Edmund’s own inspirational poem followed by the internationally renowned violinist and pianist, Tasmin Little and Martin Roscoe. A magnificent, moving and exhilarating evening with Tasmin persuaded by her adoring audience to give us two encores. The beginning of what we are sure will be a wonderful week of the Arts on the hill.
Many congratulations to Upper Fifth cricketing talent, Ben Mills, who at the age of 15 has debuted for Kent 2nd X1 v Glamorgan. Bowling his first five overs for just seven runs and another two overs at the end of the match, he had a terrific start to his senior cricketing career and we wish him well for the matches to come.
Wonderful news for Lower Fifth touch rugby star, Connor Hughes, who has been selected to play for the England U15 squad in this year’s European Junior Touch Championships in Stirling. Aged only 13, Connor is one of the youngest in the team. Everyone at St Edmund’s is delighted for Connor whose natural sporting talent, perseverance, practice and patience have allowed him to reach the very highest echelon.
Society was the theme of this years’ Roche Reading prize at St Edmund’s. The supportive atmosphere allowed performers to feel at ease and deliver their poems with aplomb. Fatherly advice from Kipling’s ‘If’ was conveyed by Alex McGovern (M5) and Isobel Wanstall (M5) whilst Catherine Wanstall (M5) and Carl Le Hegarat (M5) tackled a more modern view on our world through their readings of ‘Societal Glasses’ by Kelly Kurt. A more cynical turn was taken as Anna Baker (L5) read Auden’s ‘The Unknown Citizen’ followed by Lily Pickles (M5) with Vernon Scannell’s entertaining ‘Frying Tonight’ and ending with with Ellie Rymill (M5) reading Maya Angelou’s ‘Still I Rise’. All participants were confident, erudite and had much fun as they gained valuable points for their Houses. The overall prize was awarded to Watson House’s Catherine Wanstall.
A number of St Edmund’s pupils of Drama were involved in the competition to enter the National Youth Theatre this year and I am delighted to report that all impressed and were highly commended for their efforts. There were two who won through in this incredibly competitive arena, Seb Coleman (Lower Sixth) and Timon Staehler (Upper Fifth), who deserve many congratulations on being awarded places to join the NYT this year. This brings St Edmund’s total of NYT members to a most impressive 7.
Congratulations to Lower Fifth pupil, Daniel Mridha, who has just fearlessly completed the Individual 5k Swimathon Challenge. Swimming non-stop for 2 hours 7 minutes is an incredible feat by anyone’s standards and he received enthusiastic applause from the school in the Head’s Line on the announcement of this achievement. Through this endeavour, he has raised £600 for Cancer Research UK and for Marie Curie.
Charles Francis (Lower Sixth) gave an inspiring organ recital to a sizeable audience in the Chapel on Sunday afternoon. He played at full throttle for around 50 minutes with a repertoire of Langlais, Howells, Elgar, Brahms, Bach and Vierne that would test the most professional of players and his hard work was most enthusiastically received. It is much to his credit that he chose to donate the retiring collection to Team Malawi.
A memorable and exciting day for St Edmund’s with our stunning new Academic Hub opened by Michael Terry, former pupil, former parent and former Chairman of Governors, followed by Michael Stewart, former pupil, doing the honours in cutting the ribbon to open the new Theatre. Chris Nickols, former pupil and current Chairman of Governors, segued beautifully from the Chapel Choir’s singing of James Futcher’s (Upper Fifth) composition ‘Fungar Vice Cotis’ (the school’s motto) to launch the next phase of our ‘Soaring Beyond’ Campaign. Terrific for the whole school to see our development plans begin to be realised and the community looks forward to similar events in the next few years.