Documented in issue 73 of WB Post were the fundraising activities for Broxtowe Youth Homelessness Charity who want to say a massive thank you to staff and Year 11 students who helped raise a total of £1875.00. The charity are overwhelmed with the money raised. They collected the cheque at the Year 11 Celebration assembly in December.
One of the paramount achievements of a young musician in the UK is to attain a place in the National Children’s Orchestra. In footballing terms it is the equivalent of playing for England Under-16’s at Wembley, or a dancer appearing on stage at the Royal Ballet. The competition to take one of the limited number of places is fierce and some regions of the UK struggle to get just 1 or 2 musicians accepted.
The school is thus very proud of the fact that we have 4 NCO musicians in our school community. Kate Roadknight Yr 8, Annabel Stevens Yr 9, Erin Vinter Yr 9 (all viola) and Katrina Culshaw Yr 8 (violin) are all in the NCO simultaneously. Kate, Annabel and Erin have successfully gained a place in the Under 14 NCO, also known as the main orchestra. This, sadly, will be their last year in the orchestra. Annabel and Erin have also been leaders of the viola section.
The main orchestra is extremely difficult to get into. The girls make up a quarter of the violas, which we believe, is unheard of. Katrina has been a member of the under 11's & 12's in the 2nd violins. She has successfully gained a position in the Under 13's. The competition for violins is extremely fierce as the standard is very high. For all of the girls to retain their place is a credit to them and is a reward for all of their hard work and talent.
To achieve such excellence requires a lifetime of effort and the dedication of a string of excellent teachers. They all started their string career with Mrs Alison Sutton at Jesse Gray primary school. It was under her tuition that they first gained a place at NCO. As well as the main orchestras, the girls (except Katrina) are also part of the NCO Easterlies region and play each month in Cambridge.
They will face 3 residentials this year, all over the country, and will play together in December in Birmingham. All four girls are members of the Nottingham Youth Orchestra, play in a quartet and play with other local string groups. They are also members of the school string and orchestra groups. Mr Dyer has concerts throughout the year, featuring the talented musicians that the school is lucky enough to have within its community.
If you have never attended we cannot encourage you enough to buy a ticket for the next one, on the 8th February in the School Hall. The standard of musicianship is masterly.
(Many thanks to Mrs Roadknight for supplying information on the girls’ progress)
We have enjoyed some wonderful successes this year with our Oxbridge applicants
Every year, the school supports a significant number of our students who choose to apply to either Oxford or Cambridge with our Oxbridge Application Group as well as an Oxbridge Information Evening (running this year on Tuesday 31st January) and two mock interviews— one subject-based and one personal statement based.
I am delighted to be able to report that we have gained 8 offers for Oxbridge courses! The students in question are (from left to right below) Leon Hughes (History at Oxford), Imogen Dobson (English at Cambridge), Gabrielle Saperia (Economics & Management at Oxford), Sara Rashid (Experimental Psychology at Oxford), Helena Trenkic (History at Cambridge) and Amy Forbes (History at Oxford). Two students from last year’s cohort—Eleanor Collard (Chinese at Oxford) and Jeevith Gnanakumaran (Engineering at Cambridge) were also successful in gaining places.
Congratulations to all those who got offers but also to those students who gained an interview against the toughest competition to be found anywhere nationally.
On Wednesday 11th January 33 Year 10 & 11 Drama students visited the Queens Theatre in London to experience Les Miserables- the tale of political and social upheaval during 19th century France, where students followed two characters through an epic and life-defining adventure as one tracks another for two decades of his life whilst a new revolution peers over the horizon.
The students were very impressed with the production, and the day after were able to take part in a 60-minute practical workshop at Pineapple Studios with a West End professional based on the ‘At the end of the day’ scene from the show. Here, students were challenged to inject energy into their work and consider matching their body language to their tone of voice.
Following this, students were given the opportunity to explore Covent Garden Piazza before taking their seats for the much anticipated performance of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time at the Gielgud Theatre on Shaftsbury Avenue.
Adapted by Simon Stephens from the award-winning novel by Mark Haddon and directed by Marianne Elliott, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time won seven Olivier Awards in 2013, including Best Play. Fifteen-year-old Christopher Boone, an Asperger’s syndrome sufferer, is determined to solve a grisly murder. Struggling with the limitations of his condition, Christopher goes in search of the pieces to this puzzle but instead starts to uncover important clues about his own life. Graham Butler as Christopher brings the boy’s inner turmoil and painful honesty uncompromisingly to life. The stage is transformed into a giant mathematical grid by Bunny Christie’s brilliant set design and projections are used to transport the audience to different locations and to give us a glimpse into Christopher’s anguished mind.
A tired but satisfied group set off back to school that evening through the snow fall in London.
having to contain immense excitement, we slept for no longer than 4 hours before making our way to Luton Airport with Barcelona awaiting us.
Once in Barcelona we were all thrilled to see the sunshine that we had not witnessed for a long time in cloudy England as we drove through the streets of Barcelona to Hostal Fernando where we were assigned to our dorms and given time to settle in.
We then went off to explore the streets and allowed some free shopping time, and to look through the lively, vibrant Spanish markets.
To kick the day two we went to a language class where we were put into 3 groups and interacted with a teacher who couldn’t speak that much English to help boost our knowledge. On that day we also visited La Pedrera, a Gaudi building, the Olympic Stadium and went to a flamenco show which was a great experience of Spanish culture. We then retreated back to the hostel where we enjoyed our second and final meal there.
Day three was a holiday day in Spain which meant no school!! Therefore we had an early start and strolled to La Sagrada Familia, another one of Spain’s beloved Gaudi’s buildings with a guided tour. We also went to the Nou Camp Stadium where we and the boys, especially, were in their element. Then, we went to Parc Guell, which is- surprise, surprise- designed by Antonio Gaudi. We went to dinner at Frescco which was a buffet style and all you could eat! After that, we went bowling which was a highlight of the trip for many and were allowed to go in the arcade afterwards. Awards were given for bowling to 1) Andrew for being most improved- and trust me, the improvements were huge. Mr Hannigan got the highest individual score much to Taylor’s disappointed who came a close second with 122, and Ruby, bless her soul, got an award for getting the lowest score. 18.
On the final full day, we returned to class at the language school, followed by a bit of free shopping time and then a visit to the aquarium where a shark was spotted with half a fish in its mouth, and penguins were also seen. With the cable cars fully booked, we had to admire the beautiful beach where some of the boys played football and we went for a hot chocolate in a nice cafe. Later on, we went for dinner at Frescco in a different location to change it up, before returning back for our last night in Hostal Fernando.
The next morning, we had a slightly earlier start where we had breakfast, cleared our rooms and got on the coach to the airport. It was very sad to be leaving Barcelona where we thoroughly enjoyed interacting with the locals in a different culture and leaving the sun. It was also sad to leave the teachers who made it very enjoyable and leave an overall memorable trip.
Me encantaría visitar Barcelona otra vez un día, gracias por todo.
Written by Lucy Norwood and Ella Filz