Head’s Blog

Sophie’s Voice…

Well done to Sophie Hopkins, one of our star sopranos.

At the Michaelmas Concert last Friday, Sophie sang what Mr Payne described as “an effortless top line” to The Blue Bird by Stanford. Then on Saturday, Sophie sung the Pie Jesu from Faure Requiem with the Bearsted Choral Society in their Armistice Centenary Concert. My congratulations on two great performances.

The Formula for Success

Not just 1 but 3 podiums over the weekend for our Lower Sixth motor racing phenomenon Tom Emson.

Last weekend saw Tom return to his home track for the Junior Ginetta winter series.  There were 18 competitors in contention.  All of the cars have exactly the same specification and power (top speed of 125mph). So results are purely down to the driver ability. Entrants are aged between 14-17 and some have vast racing experience. During the summer series Tom finished 11th out of 25 drivers, competing in front of crowds of up to 40,000 people.

On Saturday he qualified 3rd for Race 1 and 2nd for Race 2; Race 1 saw Tom have close battles following a great start, finally clinching 2nd place. Race 2 Tom had a phenomenal start and by the second corner had made it to first place.  However, due to a serious collision on track the race was cancelled and no points were given. This left Tom in 2nd place within the series going into day 2. On Sunday, he qualified 3rd and 4th for the races. Race 1 After some closely fought battles Tom ended up 4th in a very tight finish. Race 2 Tom had a poor start off the line losing places. But after 15 minutes of phenomenal racing he ended up 3rd. This meant that Tom ended up 3rd overall in the Winter Series – a fabulous achievement for a first year driver!

 

 

Queen for a Day: House Song Contest

It was always going to be close.

Four hyper-competitive Houses going head to head and grappling for musical supremacy. We had Freddie Mercury impersonators galore, pom-poms, inflatable guitars, make-up and about a million moustaches. Ultimately, Wagner prevailed with their brilliant rendition of Radio Ga Ga. It was a robust and rocking afternoon’s entertainment. In true rock style, we even blew the fuses on the sound board.

And well done to the staff choir who earned a standing ovation for their unique interpretation of Bohemian Rhapsody.

More details on this and on St Edmund’s Day are in my newsletter

St Edmund’s Day

We had a great day at school yesterday commemorating our patron saint, St Edmund of Abingdon.

The programme started with a superb service at the Colyer-Fergusson Hall that brought pupils and staff from across our three schools together. The address was given by the Bishop of Dover, The Right Reverend Trevor Willmott who encouraged us to reflect upon what St Edmund’s School means to us as individuals. Once back at school, the pupils enjoyed a wide and exciting ranges of activities onsite from baking and board games to Woodland Workshops and Treasure Hunts. It was an excellent day and the pupils were great ambassadors for the school throughout.

Sixth Form Open Evening

Thank you to all those parents and pupils who attended last night’s Open Evening. I hope you found it to be a useful and informative event.

As decisions approach regarding A Level choices, please don’t hesitate to contact Mr Mount (Head of Sixth Form) or subject teachers if you need advice.

WW1 Remembered

A brilliant assembly on Monday led by Mr Morrissey.

Following our Remembrance Service last week, our Head of History talked expertly on the last two years of the Great War. History syllabi over the years have neglected the importance of the campaigns of 1917 and 1918. Mr Morrissey explained their significance and dispelled many other myths about the war.

It was a fantastic presentation that held the attention of the whole school and was a fitting end to our remembrance period.

St Ed’s Heads v Baker

Yesterday lunchtime, the sharpest minds in Baker House took on the combined academic might of the Senior School Staff Quiz team. It was a savage encounter, a rumble in the jungle (in the Library) where no punches were pulled and no quarter given. The format is a series of one-on-one question rounds between pupils and staff. It is fierce, funny and informative. The audience learned a great deal too.

We learned that Tim Smith is a razor sharp Geographer, that Mrs Wightman is actually a secret historian and that Mr Dawson thinks Cleethorpes is in Wales.The highlight of the quiz was an epic tussle: Horder v Comfort (Senior).  Both dazzled with their knowledge of world cuisine. Horder, I think, surprised herself with some spectacular answers on Middle Eastern cookery.  The round went to sudden death after Comfort (Senior) erroneously declared that Philadelphia Cheese Steak comes from New York. Like that famous son of Philadelphia Rocky Balboa, Comfort (Senior) was on the ropes. But, the proud old academic prize-fighter, facing a nimble footed young pretender,  dragged himself up back relying on wisdom gained across the years. He counter punched by remembering that “vongole” means “clam” and then from nowhere swung the knockout blow –  somehow translating an obscure South American dish in to English by cross-referencing the French, Spanish and Latin words for potato. It was an unbelievable comeback and it inspired the staff team to their eventual victory.

My thanks to Mr Comfort (Junior) for compering so expertly despite his plaster cast! Great fun.

A Passage from India…

India Tabony in the Lower Sixth is already forging a career for herself as an online journalist. She has started writing pieces for the website Celebmix and is building up quite a portfolio.  Her work so far has included interviews, concert and festival reviews and general news relating to celebrities or charity work. India has interviewed Ava Cota from Dance Moms, Novul (the up and coming solo artist), Dusky Grey (a Welsh pop duo) and DJ James HypeShe has also successfully reviewed many shows including The BBC Radio 1 Teen Awards, Summer in the City and The Vamps when they headlined at Newmarket Race Course. I am hugely impressed with India’s rapid progress and her determination to break into the exciting world of online media.

Reception refurb

Visitors to St Edmund’s are always guaranteed a warm reception. Now they will enjoy a redecorated one too!  Over half term, under the guidance of our creative guru Ms Florence, our Main Reception has had a rather impressive makeover.  Next door, the new post room should also spell the end of parcels piling up in the corridor outside.  When you have a chance, pop in to Reception and have a look – the new sofas are a sight to behold…

Alex Millard – British Athletics Pathway

Athletic prowess certainly runs in the family.

Alexandra Millard in Year 12 is a superb middle distance runner and has been selected for The British Athletics Pathway. This is an elite athlete programme consisting of 11 training weekends over two years. It is designed to prepare outstanding young athletes across the UK for competition at international level. It is a great achievement to be chosen and my warmest congratulations go to Alexandra (No. 8)