Festivals of Light celebrated at Chapel

Many of the major world religions have ‘Festivals of Light’ (such as Hannukah, Advent and Diwali) as the nights draw in at this time of year.

Pupils were invited to celebrate, Chapel was filled with hundreds of candles (and doughnuts)! on the evening of the 13th October.

Our Charity Committee help tackle rising Cost of Living

The pupils and staff at Gresham’s School, Holt, are acutely aware that we live in difficult and uncertain economic times and that many people in the local community are struggling as a consequence. All three Schools have been working closely with local organisations this half term to do what they can to help the most vulnerable. These projects have included collecting a vast amount of quality clothing for the Community Clothes Bank at the Holt Youth Project, Gresham’s long-term charity partner, as well as raising £1,000 for the Holt Community Fund which will help those who need support with their energy bills this winter.

The Charity Committee are committed to helping those in need in as many ways as possible, and have reached out to a number of local charities to help provide support. They have raised £1,000 for the Holt Community Lunch, which will provide local residents in need with a traditional Christmas dinner on Christmas Day. The Committee also organised for left-over food from the school kitchens top be distributed to the local community, and helped facilitate the donation of books, toys and practical help to Norfolk YMCA, who support people across the country who struggle to afford adequate accommodation.

The school also recently collected one tonne of food during Harvest Festival, to then be distributed to local families via the North Norfolk Foodbank, alongside donating food to the Community Fridge at The Treehouse in Holt.

The Charity Committee are planning many more projects next term, including support for families who might struggle to buy presents this Christmas.

Careers activities this half term

Academic Enrichment Talks

We were treated together with community school pupils to a superb, charismatic and inspiring enrichment talk from Yasmin Al-Ani Spence on her Architectural Journey.
Yasmin is Director with WilkinsonEyre Architects https://www.wilkinsoneyre.com/ and was the lead architect on the Dyson Building.

Her talk got pupils buzzing with awareness of integration, diversity, sustainability and innovation in architectural projects and encouragement into “Taking An Original Thought and Taking it Further”.

For Black History Month, we were lucky enough to have guest speaker Andreena Leeanne; author, poet and diversity advocate speak to our pupils. Andreena, who speaks from life experience, spoke about her authenticity, intersectionality, equality, diversity, inclusion and belonging from a lived experience perspective. https://www.andreena.co.uk/ 

Old Greshamian speaker

OG Keith Bunker (OSH 1957 – 61) returned to the school and gave two fascinating talks in the Makerspace in the Dyson Building on his experience of engineering, design and business.  Keith talked using the example of designing and engineering a car of the range of different skills and careers involved including marketing, artistic design and craft skills, engineers on design/manufacture/construction/project management, accountants, city finance and fund raising, legal and compliance/contracts.

Degree Apprenticeship Information Session

This was an opportunity for current sixth formers to hear from Exeter University on the degrees they facilitate for degree apprenticeships in Financial Services / Digital and Technical Solutions / Civil Engineering.

Plus the opportunity to hear from two Old Greshamians both doing a degree apprenticeship. OG Zara Raslan with investment bank JP Morgan and OG William Retter doing an undergraduate degree apprenticeship in Law with Cohen Davies.

  • Degree apprenticeship applications are through the employer
  • Not applied for through UCAS
  • They are competitive, with entry requirements

OG Alexander Claybourn (H 2017 -22) is doing a degree apprenticeship with Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) with their surveying programme – https://www.jll.co.uk/en/careers/earlycareers-recruitment/our-programmes/school-leavers

OG Frederick Todd (k & H 2015 -22) is doing a degree apprenticeships with investment bank JP Morgan.

OG Alexander Roper (k & H 2008 – 22) is doing a higher apprenticeship with NFU Mutual in North Norfolk.

OG Charles Howard (W 2017 -21) is doing a degree apprentice with RG Carter Degree – UCEM (University College of Estate Management) Undergraduate BSC (Hons) Construction Management

To source degree apprenticeships:



English activities this half term

In English lessons this half-term Year 9 students have been studying a range of poetry, written by a variety of poets, all linked by the theme of conflict. This unit of work is very much designed to enhance the students’ experience on the History Department’s trip to the WWI battlefields in Ypres. In Mrs O’Donnell’s class, students were assigned a ‘conflict’ poem to present to the class in House ‘teams’. The results were newsworthy! The presentations showcased the students’ research skills, IT skills and presentation skills – and, most satisfying of all, their growing confidence to independently analyse poetry with an insight that will serve them well at GCSE. Some of the poems we were treated to included Evacuee by Isobel Thrilling, To My Brother and Perhaps, both by Vera Britten, Mametz Wood by Owen Sheers and Refugees by Adam Zagajewski.

Year 9 pupil achieves bronze medal in Judo competition

Congratulations to Year 9 pupil Pullo W of Tallis, who managed to win a bronze medal in the East of  England Championship and British Championship/British Schools Championship qualifier. This is even more impressive as he had moved up an age group so was in a category with 16 year olds! We wish him the best of luck going forward in the competition.

1st XI Football report

On Saturday 8th October, Gresham’s first football team took on Culford school at home in the Eastern Region Independent School League.  

The game started end to end, but within 10 minutes Gresham’s were the dominant side and some excellent work by George B led to the first goal. He battled to win the ball on the half way line before evading several challenges to take the ball into the Culford half and passing to Jude P, who was able to thread it through to Albert W to score his first goal of the season. Having gone ahead Gresham’s continued to push forward and had chances to score through Jude P, Albert W and Ru M but an excellent goal line block from George B kept the game at 1-0 at half time. 

In the second half, Culford came out strongly and pushed for the equaliser, but mid-way through the half Gresham’s scored a second following an excellent free kick from Henry B, which caused confusion in the defence, allowing Albert W to score his second goal of the match. The third followed shortly after, when Jude P turned in the penalty area to fire in to the bottom right corner of the goal.  

Cheered on by a good crowd, the side showed excellent mentality and controlled the rest of the match to win the game 3-0. This was an outstanding team performance where every player worked hard and played their part in an excellent result.  

On Tuesday 11th October, the first team travelled to Woodbridge school and quickly dominated the opening exchanges of the game, going 1-0 from a confident Ru M finish when one on one with the keeper and this soon became 2-0 with a super finish on the volley from Charlie H. Max W scored the third before Ru M was brought down for a penalty, which was duly converted by Charlie H to take the score to 4-0 at half time.  

Woodbridge played better in the second half, scoring two goals themselves before Ru M scored his second of the game and Max W ran down the right and fired in a powerful strike to silence the crowd and take the game to 6-2, which was how it ended. These were two excellent results for the football team and set us up well for next round of fixtures.   

England and GB Hockey player holds workshops for Gresham’s budding Hockey teams

We were lucky enough to have Sam Ward, 2016 Olympian and bronze medallist in the 2022 Commonwealth Games, hold workshops for our Boys and Girls hockey teams on Monday. Sam focused his workshops on scoring and drag flicking. We hope that our pupils enjoyed these training sessions and can take what they’ve learnt into future fixtures!

CCF enjoyed an excellent first half of Michaelmas term

The CCF enjoyed an excellent first half of term. Following a very successful summer camp which saw cadets enjoy both adventurous training and a field exercise, there has been a packed training schedule in the first half of term.
The team of newly appointed Senior Cadets (LH Maddie S for the Royal Navy Section, CSM George R, CSgts Hal S, Nico A, Molly P and Freddie S for the Army Section and Flight Sergeants Julius R and Georgie C for the RAF Section) have overseen full contingent parades each week.

We look forward to the junior leadership course and RAF gliding at half term, followed by the full remembrance service and parade in November.

Scholar’s choral success

Jimmy T, Yr 12, (F) is following in his father’s footsteps by recently gaining a place in the prestigious Rodolfus Choir, a leading UK Youth Choir, directed by Ralph Allwood for young people aged 16-23. Jimmy attended a choral course last summer and was subsequently invited to audition in September for a coveted place in the choir.  His success will give him access to further courses, workshops and concert opportunities in some of the UK’s leading choral venues and Festivals.  Music Scholar Jimmy is no stranger to choral singing as he came to Gresham’s having been a chorister at Westminster Abbey.  He also plays the violin and organ and is one of the cast of Phantom of the Opera, next term’s musical.

First ‘Page to Stage’ of the academic year takes place

Our first Drama Evening of the year took place on Friday 30th September. This Page to Stage covered a range of styles from musical theatre to Greek Tragedy, In Yer Face to the poetry and prose of Shakespeare, classic adaptation to stylised realism – truly a night of contrasts. Compered by year 9 scholars Bella, Ilana and Scarlett the company of Drama Scholars and some of our most gifted and talented performers presented material selected and directed by themselves to a highly appreciative audience. From Fleabag to Comedy of A Bank Robbery, the audience shared moments of dark and light and everything in between ending with comedy to take us laughing into the night.