Revision season is upon us and, to that end, the Upper Fifth were met by Mr Comfort and Mr O’Connor this morning with the message that, with new grading systems in some subjects and varying approaches to how universities view those grades, the importance of revision over the Easter break is paramount. A four stage system of organisation, communication, planning and output was outlined followed by a foray into the influence of lifestyle and sleep. And so with a parents’ drop in session on Tuesday morning and a formal presentation on Wednesday evening, the revision season has officially begun and we wish our exam candidates well as they pick up the baton.
23 March 2017
Junior School Concert
The Junior School lifted their performance to a new level last night at their termly music concert which was a collaboration between the Music and Drama departments. Some wonderful film clips and various raconteurs seamlessly segued us from one item to another. From the wonderful Junior Band, to some stunning solo and group performances, to the finale of the East Kent Children’s Orchestra, our pupils and staff lifted the roof and gave their audience an evening to remember.
22 March 2017
Drama School auditions
Past and present pupils have been busy learning classical and modern monologues for audition to the country’s most prestigious drama schools. Aimee Walker-Reid, Luke Jones and Max Macdonald have auditioned for RADA, LAMDA and Rose Buford, with Aimee earning recalls to RADA and Rose Buford, Luke to RADA and Max to LAMDA. With over 90% of candidates rejected at the first audition, from thousands, this is already a huge achievement. There will be further challenges at the ‘call backs’ where Aimee, Luke and Max will have to have their original monologues redirected, take part in all day workshops and perform scenes and monologues from the works of Russian playwright, Anton Chekhov. There is a long road ahead and we wish these talented young people the very best as they attempt to realise their ambitions and dreams.
22 March 2017
Choristers of Britain release a CD
Last Friday Decca released a CD “Jubilate – 500 years of Cathedral Music”, with most of the music recorded by the choir of St Paul’s Cathedral. It also includes four tracks sung by The Cathedral Choristers of Britain. This is the group of choristers, one from almost every cathedral in the country plus the St Paul’s choir, assembled by the Diamond Fund for Choristers for their launch last year, and who came together again to take part in the recording. We are delighted that Caspar Bainbridge, a pupil in Form 8 at St Edmund’s, represents Canterbury Cathedral.
An introduction to the CD can be seen at https://youtu.be/lFf_hUjXO-A, and you can purchase it at http://decca.lnk.to/stpaulsID. For each copy sold, the Diamond Fund for Choristers will receive a royalty. The money raised will be used to help support Choristers, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds, and it will also play an active part in sustaining a unique strand in the UK’s cultural heritage. Those who buy before 5.00pm on Thursday 23 March, will help help propel the CD towards No 1 in the UK classical music charts!
21 March 2017
A Fantastic Fairtrade Fortnight
Fairtrade Fortnight has been supported magnificently by our Junior School this year, with a host of fun and informative activities on offer to help raise awareness of Fairtrade and messages given about life in other parts of the world, how we are connected with others, sustainability and health. The ‘From Field to Fork’ programme included a range of workshops from designing a healthy Fairtrade snack to making a football, Ghanaian style, where the pupils demonstrated their creativity, teamwork and enthusiasm. One of the highlights was the launch of the first St Edmund’s Fairtrade Cook Book – a whole school project – and the finale involved our Fairtrade Club being awarded the National Fairtrade Fortnight Schools Award. Huge thanks are due to Mrs Thyssen and her team for their hard work, determination and ingenuity in support of this most worthy cause.
20 March 2017
Upper Fifth pupil, Timon Staehler, has returned from Brussels today where he played in the Northern and Eastern Europe round of Germany’s “Jugend Musiziert”, one of Europe’s most prestigious music competitions for young musicians. Timon won a first prize with distinction, having been awarded the highest number of points available and a qualification to play in the German National Music Finals in early June. Altogether more than 150 young musicians played in this round, coming from Moscow, Prague, Helsinki, Oslo, Paris, Dublin and a number of other European cities. The competition in Brussels was run under the auspices of the President of the European Parliament and was adjudicated by an international jury. Timon had a fantastic day of music, received invaluable feedback and enjoyed a wonderful concert in the evening. Only the day before his success in Brussels, Timon received the news that his composition “Blurred Lines” and his improvisation of some jazz standards have won him a place in the final live-selection round of the Swiss national youth jazz and pop competition which will be held at the Basel Music Academy on 29 April. Timon is one of only 16 young musicians selected for this event nationwide. An incredible weekend for an exceptional talent.
20 March 2017
Pre-Prep pupil and champion go-karter, Sonny Mortensen, has, at the age of only 7, won 3rd place at the prestigious UK MSA Bambino Championships. Despite his young age, Sonny trains in go-karting every weekend at either Bayford Meadows track in Sittingbourne or Buckmore Park in Chatham, supported by his Grandad who acts both as his chauffeur and personal kart mechanic. He is showing great dedication to this sport and we hope that he will continue to shine as the years progress.
17 March 2017
Form 8 pupil, Connor Hughes, has received the terrific news that he has been selected for the England U15 Training Squad for touch rugby. Earlier this year, Connor took part in Junior Discovery Days for England Touch, the governing body for touch rugby, which saw over 130 youngsters competing to fill the U18 and U15 England Training Squad teams. 90 players were selected to fill each of the teams, with Connor, at the age of 12, being selected for the Boys U15 Training Squad. Connor will next take part in a series of training sessions in Oxford, Cambridge and London in the upcoming months, before the teams are announced for the Junior Touch Championships, taking place in Dublin later this year. The international teams competing at this event include teams from China, Singapore, Netherlands, France and Czech Republic. Many congratulations to Connor and we wish him every success in the training sessions to come.
17 March 2017
Nietzsche at lunchtime
Mr Whitman, Head of English, joined the ranks of esteemed Curiosity Shop speakers at our series of lunchtime talks this afternoon with an insightful, beautifully wrought and urbane presentation on the philosopher, cultural critic, poet and Greek and Latin philologist, Friedrich Nietzsche. He took his audience of pupils, which packed out the Library, through a whistle stop tour of the concepts of the Übermensch, the Apollonian and Dionysian, the Eternal Return and the Will to Power before answering questions on the seeming contradiction of Nietzsche’s thoughts on pity being the practice of nihilism versus his impassioned response to the Turin horse. A thought provoking lunchtime for all and many thanks to Mr Whitman for putting us all through our paces.
15 March 2017
Gala Concert in Canterbury Cathedral
This evening’s Gala Concert 2017, held in the superb setting of Canterbury Cathedral, enthralled an eager audience with the Symphony Orchestra playing the rousing ‘Overture to the Mastersingers of Nuremburg’, the Chamber Choir singing the challenging ‘Trois Chansons de Charles d’Orleans’, and our wonderful Upper Sixth concerto soloists, Thomas Platts, Emily Hopper, Emily Kirsch-Mills and Damien Balay, giving some breathtaking performances on oboe, harp, trumpet and ‘cello respectively. Elgar’s stunning ‘Give unto the Lord’ showcasing the massed Choir and Orchestra followed the interval which then segued perfectly into the Choristers, Choirs, Chorale and Orchestra performing Fauré’s Requiem alongside distinguished soloists and former St Edmund’s pupils, Andy Rupp and Danni O’Neill. A truly remarkable evening displaying St Edmund’s at its very best.