Movember 2022

Over the month of November, the School took part in the Movember campaign. Movember aims to raise awareness regarding men’s mental health, as well as testicular cancer. Across the School, pupils and staff held fundraising events and activities to raise money for Movember. 

On Friday 11th November Queens’, Edinburgh and Oakeley joined forces to help support Movember to complete an event organised by Sophia C. It was a lovely, clear evening when the girls congregated on the hockey pitches. Each House was set the challenge of completing at least 60km in recognition of the 60 men around the world who we lose to suicide every hour worldwide. This meant that all the girls needed to complete at least 4 laps each of the hockey pitches. It was a great atmosphere with lots of people encouraging each other followed by hot chocolate and flapjacks. The girls donated money as part of the event, which resulted in £203.62 being raised. Well done to all those who took part.

Sixth Form boys in-House grew ‘Mos’, held House competitions and also Moved for Movember. The Oddballs Foundation gave a Chapel talk to raise awareness of men’s health, and House Assemblies and Tutor periods have been used to discuss men’s health concerns #knowthynuts.

In total, the School raised in excess of £1,100. This is a fantastic achievement and is testament to the hard work of the pupils and Mr Sharrock, who organises the Movember campaign every year.
Thank you for all the parental support, it is greatly appreciated and we are looking to make Movember bigger and better next year.

The annual Gresham’s Guys and Girls singles are out!

Pupils have recorded two new singles to raise money for the School’s charity of the year, Holt Youth Project. The two groups, Gresham’s Girls and Gresham’s Guys, are going head-to-head to see who can produce the best charity single.

Gresham’s Guys have produced their own funky version of Britney Spears ‘Baby One More Time’. The original video was produced by Old Greshamian Nigel Dick, award-winning film and video director, who also directed and produced the Band Aid single, ‘Do They Know it’s Christmas’. Johnny D, Eduvie O, Freddie B, Ben P, Will B, Rory R, Jake O, Raphael C and Jimmy T have once again released a catchy rendition of a well-known song with an equally impressive video, produced by Year 13 Jake O.

The Gresham’s Girls have gone with a melodic, dreamy arrangement of The Beatles ‘Across the Universe’. Voices float over a melancholy piano accompaniment, whilst their video is shot on a very atmospheric Cley beach, in Norfolk. The voices and tone of Tavi P, Ruby S, Tamsin S, Summer H, Jemima P and Michelle W have created another memorable single. Both singles can be viewed and downloaded on major platforms such as Spotify, iTunes, YouTube, Bandcamp and from these links on the Gresham’s Media Channel.
Click here to watch the Gresham’s Guys single and click here to watch the Gresham’s Girls single.

A JustGiving page for Holt Youth Project has been set up, click here to visit the JustGiving page.

English Department activities this half term

Auden Society

The English department have had two meetings of the Auden Society this term, and it has been wonderful to see the breadth and depth of literary interest from our students. At the end of November, the Society was led by Phoebe W, our President, who spoke on Mary Wollstonecraft, her life and her works as well as the importance in considering Mary Shelley alongside – this was particularly useful for our Lower Sixth pupils who are currently studying Frankenstein. Felix D M and Toby P-R followed with an engaging snapshot of John Donne and a great performance of two The Flea and Death Be Not Proud (Sonnet X). Lastly, Ben H spoke passionately and personally about his love of theatre, and gave the group an insight into his familial inspiration that has been so important to him. In December, the English Department held our Christmas-themed event and, alongside Maddie W’s excellent quiz, the group heard from a number of speakers, all with a festive focus. Miranda H-S and Kitty R spoke on The Muppets Christmas Carol and argued it should be seen as a postmodern masterpiece, not just as a film with puppets loosely connected to the Dickens novel. Larkin A presented confidently on Tolkein’s Letters from Father Christmas and the group were able to discuss the longevity of tradition and the place of letter writing in modern society. Ruby concluded with a focus on Carol Ann Duffy’s The Mistletoe Bride and The Christmas Truce, as well as a link to her role as Poet Laureate and the controversial 2009 poem The Twelve Days of Christmas. From here, the meeting ended by considering the role of a Poet Laureate and the role poetry has as in politics or as a form of protest. Thank you to Phoebe W who has continued to lead the Auden Society with unbridled enthusiasm this year. The English Department’s next gatherings include the Burns Night Supper in January, and a gathering in February to celebrate the life of Auden during his birthday month.

Year 9 and 10 Poetry Recital Competition:

The Year 9 and 10 pupils have worked hard to learn their poems, some of them self-written, for the various rounds of the recital competition this term. To learn a poem off-by-heart is not an easy thing to do, so the English Department would like to commend everyone who has taken part. The following pupils have got through to the final round which will take place in Fishmongers’ Hall when we return to school in January:

Amelia M-L, Do Not Go Gentle by Dylan Thomas

Scarlett H, Last Breath by Carly Dugmore

James C, O Captain! My Captain by Walt Whitman

Zac I, The Brightest Field by R.S. Thomas

Ilana B, Dear Mum by Brian Patten

Sam H, Climate Change (own poem)

Cerys D, He Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven by W.B.Yeats

Klara B, Save Our Earth by Jessica Roberts

Year 9 and 10 pupils delivered an exceptional performance of their latest production ‘The Government Inspector’

This term, pupils from Years 9 and 10 rehearsed and performed an adaptation of the play ‘The Government Inspector’. The Drama Department chose to set our production of this comic play in a modern-day rural town, filled corrupt and lazy townsfolk. There were two fantastic casts, pupil lighting and sound technicians, and a dedicated pupil backstage crew. Everyone had so much fun working on the show and loved to hear the audience laughing along during the performances. Thank you to all of the cast and crew for all their hard work and commitment during rehearsals and the performances, and we look forward to seeing future productions.  

The Charity Committee have been hard at work over Michaelmas Term

Here at Gresham’s we know that we live in difficult economic times, and that this Christmas may be a hard time for many people. All three Gresham’s Schools have been working closely with local organisations again this half term to do what we can to help the most vulnerable. These projects have included:

  • Raising over £6000 for the Holt Youth Project who work with so many families in need in our local area.
  • Raising over £400 for The Buckingham Emergency Food Appeal which provides food to numerous local charities over the Christmas period.
  • Continued financial support for the Holt Community Fund which will help those who need support with their energy bills this winter.
  • Distributing a large number of ‘Secret Santa’ Christmas gifts to local young people via The Benjamin Foundation and Holt Youth Project.
  • Donating 70 Christmas selection boxes to the Holt Community Fridge at the Treehouse.
  • Distributing left over food from our school kitchens to the local community.
  • Raising £300 from our Christmas Jumper Day to go towards Nelson’s Journey, which provides support for children and young people in Norfolk who’ve experienced the death of a significant person.

Nativity and Carol Services

Carol Services 

Gresham’s Prep and Senior Schools ended the term with a series of traditional Christmas Carol services in Chapel. The beautiful Christmas songs and Carols performed by our amazing Chapel Choirs provided the perfect end to the term, and a super start to our festive celebrations.

Nativity Services

On the final weekend of school this year our Prep and Senior pupils enjoyed a festive Nativity Service in Chapel. They had enormous fun singing Carols and watching a hilarious adaptation of the Nativity story written and performed by Year 12 pupils. The star of the show was Spice the Donkey who made a dramatic entrance into Chapel to help Mary and Joseph in their hour of need.

GCHQ Languages Competition 2022

The GCHQ Languages Competition kicked off on Monday, 14th November and ran until Friday 18th, with Year 9 Teams from all houses getting involved, to solve as many online decoding problems as possible to capture the flag before the end of the competition.

GCHQ is a world-leading intelligence, cyber and security agency, who along with MI5 and MI6 keep the UK safe from threat. So, as you can imagine, this competition was not for the faint-hearted.

The Languages Department would like to congratulate Team Farfield: Will B, James C, Connor M and Alex P, for their tenacity and the many hours spent cracking codes. Although they did not win the national competition, they did come in the top 10% of the country out of over 3000 Teams, which alongside following the Gresham’s timetable was no mean feat. Congratulations too to the Edinburgh and Woodlands Teams who came 2nd and 3rd respectively.

Languages play a huge role in intelligence in the UK, and we hope this competition has inspired our Year 9s.

Colloquium Michaelmas 2022

The Colloquium offers regular academic enrichment to all pupils, especially the most able (Juniors meet on Thursday afternoon, and Seniors after Saturday chapel, in the History Department). The group began in September looking at the rapidly changing events and people in and around 10 Downing Street and the Conservative Party, and the various Prime Ministers. This was followed by an excellent presentation on veganism and the ethical and practical challenges of food production and consumption faced by the modern world, courtesy of Year 12 pupil, Tillie C. Black History Month (and why Columbus didn’t discover America,) was the focus in October. After exploring the importance of the COP27 Climate Change conference, the second half of term hit it big with presentations to the Senior Colloquium drawing on the expertise of members of the Gresham’s teaching staff, including:  Mr Haniewicz, The Universe’s Illusion of Gravity; Mr Kinder, A Whistle-stop tour of British Politics since 1900; Mr Brettel, Greek- Cracking the Code. More next term, including a return visit to Mars… 

Pupils held an Afro-Caribbean evening in Farfield

On the 1st December, a group of Afro-Caribbean pupils put on an evening of entertainment for invited pupils in the Farfield common room. Pupils made jollof rice, rice and peas, asun, meat stew, dumplings, jerk chicken and mocktails for their guests, who thoroughly enjoyed their meal. It was a huge group effort, and Mojo, Michelle, Albert, Toby, and Eduvie are to thank for leading the cooking; Cerys and Teagan for their help in the kitchen; Daniel from the catering team for his help, and Ms Masters for her efforts.

Music and Munch December 2022

December’s Music and Munch was a joyful celebration of all things Christmas! Guests from the local area, including residents of Lloyd Court and family members packed into Tig’s to listen to our musicians whilst nibbling on mince pies. The concert featured 29 pupils, showcasing the variety of music on offer. Gresham’s Concert Band and Brass Ensemble performed the Christmas hits ‘Sleigh Ride’ and ‘Feliz Navidad’, complementing vocal and piano solos which covered the breadth of Christmas repertoire, from ‘Walking in the Air’ and ‘O Holy Night’ to ‘Glasgow Love Theme’ from Love Actually and, of course, ‘Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas’. Thank you to all of the performers and guests. The next Music and Munch is on Friday 20th January 2023.