HIGHLIGHTS OF A BUSY MICHAELMAS TERM
The Michaelmas term traditionally sees the academic year start on a very busy note, and 2014 has been no exception. Those who follow the School’s Facebook and various Twitter accounts will have gained a sense of the range of activities and achievements across all parts of Berkhamsted School.
St Cecilia’s Day Concert – pupils from Year 7 – 13 performed in the annual St Cecilia’s Day Concert on Tuesday 25 November. The concert featured the Concert Band, Chamber Choir, Girls’ Choir and Big Band and smaller ensembles such as Guitar Group, Opera Group and Junior Barbershop, as well as a taste of what lay ahead with a performance by the Les Misérables cast and orchestra. EPQ and HPQ presentations – for the second year the Year 13 students who have completed Extended Project Qualifications were assessed on their projects and had the opportunity to share their research and findings with parents, staff and fellow pupils who attended the open session on Tuesday 2 December. The first group of Year 10 students (photo below) to undertake the Higher Project Qualification presented their findings to an audience in Old Hall on Friday 28 November. Michaelmas Fayre – a drizzly, grey Saturday afternoon did not deter the Berkhamsted School community from supporting the biennial Michaelmas Fayre on 22 November, organised by the Friends of Berkhamsted School. There was plenty on offer for those looking for Christmas gifts, a wide variety of tasty treats, and lots of interest in the various stalls and activities run by the various Houses. There were queues for the Churchill House of Horrors, a steady stream of inmates in the Loxwood prison and a line of customers keen to throw soaking wet sponges at brave teachers on the Adders stall. This well organised and successful event raised sufficient funds to cover the cost of the First Aid Room in the new David Case Pavilion at Chesham Road Fields as well as fund other items for the School. Les Misérables – around 1,500 people were treated to a production of Les Misérables: School Edition over three nights from 3 – 5 December in Centenary Theatre. To say that it was an absolute triumph for the cast, orchestra and crew – who put many long hours into presenting an incredibly professional production – would be no exaggeration. Audiences were unanimous in their praise for what will live long in the memories of those who were privileged to see it or be part of it as the very best example of what a talented group of students and staff can pull together with the necessary commitment and determination. Congratulations to all involved! Mock EU Council – Two Berkhamsted sixth form students were invited to Westminster on Tuesday 9 December to debate current European issues in a Mock EU Council. Designed to replicate the interaction and negotiation that takes place between the 28 member states at the European Council, the Mock Council stimulates debate and provides a platform for students to learn more about the politics of the European Union and also the art of negotiation. Thirty schools from across the country each sent two sixth form delegates to London’s historic Locarno Rooms at the heart of the Foreign Office to debate two of today’s most topical issues – climate change and child criminal law. Rugby – the end of the Michaelmas term brings to a close one of the most successful terms of rugby in the School’s history. The 1st XV is the first to record an unbeaten season (regular fixture card) since 1956; prior to that it was a feat last achieved in 1920! The 1st XV’s season culminated in a memorable win against St Paul’s in the last play of the game on the last weekend of the season. This followed the School’s first fixture against Rugby School, which ended on a 6-all draw. Credit must be given to Captain Matthew Pugh on his outstanding leadership of the team. First team players Tom ffitch, Jack Nay and Edward Tidey continue to represent the Saracens Academy. At an end-of-season rugby dinner this week full colours were awarded to Matthew Pugh, Casey O’Gorman, Alistair Walters, Tom ffitch, Edward Tidey, Peter McCall, Oliver Green and Tom Day, while half colours were presented to Matthew Phillipson, Tom Daffern, George Dunn, Joe Lucas, Timi Sanusi, Alex Brown, Scott Duguid, Will Hughes, Oliver Holdroyd, Nick Tivey (2nd XV Captain) and Tom Mills (2nd XV Captain). Ed Tidey received the Wiggill Cup, Ali Walters the Hart Shield and Player of the Season was Tom ffitch. It was not only the 1st XV who excelled; the 2nd and 3rd XV enjoyed another successful season, losing only a handful of matches; the U15 year group was outstanding with both the U15A & B teams unbeaten on the regular fixture card, the U15Bs for a second year in a row. The 15As reached the fifth round of Natwest Cup where they lost narrowly to Bedford School. The U14As were crowned County Champions for the first time, beating St George’s, Harpenden in the final 19 – 7. Josh Barton had an outstanding match and was named player of the season. A total of 13 Berkhamsted boys have been involved in representative rugby this term. Well done to all!