In late September, Year 9 and Year 10 pupils who study Mandarin travelled to London for a day trip to ChinaTown. We first stopped off at Golden Phoenix restaurant in ChinaTown, where we tried the best Chinese food for lunch, and the pupils put their excellent chopsticks skills into use. We then visited the British Museum, where pupils looked at their new exhibition exploring the cultures of China from 5000 BC to the present, through different historical objects. pupils learnt about the background, meaning and culture of the Chinese language. On the way back, pupils enjoyed their bubble tea drinks. The trip was informative and fun. A special thank you to Mr Braithwaite for joining us for the trip and driving us safely.
On the afternoon of Saturday October 1st 20 School and House Prefects took to a 10 kilometre, 26 Obstacle race in Thetford, raising money for East Anglian Air Ambulance. ‘Only The Brave’ was ran by the following students and staff; William J, Theo M, Jake O, Miami, Konsti L, Emil S, Boaz V, Alice D, Lily C, Tanya P, Phoebe W, Hattie R, Grace H, Molly P, Cameron H, Arthur B, Raph C, Alex M, James A, Johnny D, Mr Sharrock, Mr Burnett and Mr Cox. Thanks too to Mrs Robb for being our official photographer!
It was a great afternoon with sunny skies, lots of water and plenty of mud! Collectively they have so far raised almost four hundred pounds for the East Anglian Air Ambulance. It is not too late to sponsor their efforts at: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/greshams2022
Strathmore Records was launched at the end of September. The new record label aims to support our budding young artists by giving them a platform to record and release their music. Year 12 pupil Ruby performed at the launch event, alongside fellow pupil Jake, and will soon be releasing her EP through the studio. Another Sixth Form pupil, who goes by the name 4-Entrial, recorded the first official release which is a four-track EP heavily influenced by 80s cinematic electronica and her love of classic video games.
The launch of the label follows the opening of the Britten Building, home to our Music Department, by the Princess Royal in 2017. The £6.5m centre, named after composer and OG Benjamin Britten, provides facilities to enhance pupils’ learning and includes a recording studio, a live room and a 140-seater recital hall, in which lies a Steinway C Grand Piano. Pupils at Gresham’s can study Music throughout their time at the school, and have the option of studying BTEC Digital Music Production in Sixth Form.
Mrs Wolfe, Director of Music, said “the studio and record label have provided a great opportunity to provide real-world experience for our pupils and a great platform to share the incredible and exciting work being produced.”
Music from the label is available on Spotify and other digital platforms. Other output from the studio, including the annual Gresham’s Girls’ and Gresham’s Guys’ Christmas singles, can be found on the Gresham’s Media YouTube Channel.
IN THE NEWS
School launches record label for up-and-coming musicians
On Thursday 29th September the Senior School enjoyed a fun morning in Chapel celebrating Michaelmas (St Michael and All Angels) Day. Our heavenly trumpeters filled the building with wonderful music, playing above the heads of the congregation from the West Window. The Chaplain then challenged the pupils to be angelic messengers of love, hope and peace in our world. Drawing on the Parable of the Talents, he gave each House a small amount of money to ‘invest’ in projects which will make a positive difference to others.
Gresham’s Senior School has once again achieved the Green Flag Award but this time with distinction. We received wonderful feedback from the charity, who were impressed by the dedication and organisation of our Eco Committee. They said that the planning and evidence for the award was conducted by our students in a mature and professional manner.
The Green Flag Team were impressed by the different measures the school has in place to be more sustainable. We now have more recycling bins in our school and less general waste bins. The site team are installing more LED’s and sensor lights to help reduce our electricity consumption. We have built bird boxes and feeders and are creating more biodiversity. The Queen’s House beehives were also highlighted by the judges as well as the school’s ban on plastic bottles. They were also really impressed at how staff have linked environmental issues to a variety of curriculum areas in their lesson plans. It has been wonderful as a whole school to work towards a common goal.
There are still more improvements which can be made, and this year’s Team Eco have already been meeting to discuss ways of promoting more green agendas in our school. We welcome any ideas for our parental body too. If you would like to be involved, please contact [email protected] .
Year 6 Solve the Mystery of the Stolen Candlesticks!
Transported back to 1865 with Queen Victoria on the throne, Year 6 met an array of costumed characters who gave them a taste of workhouse and farm life from the time, whilst they also tried to discover who had stolen Mrs Clackett’s precious silver candlesticks. Could it have been the school master who had drilled rote times tables into the children? Maybe it was Alice, the overworked and resentful washerwoman, or perhaps Plowright, one of Gressenhall’s habitual returnees or even Mrs Clackett herself, furious that her husband had given them to the chapel. Only Year 6 know the answer!
In a venue befitting the talent of our musicians, the stunning Marble Hall at Holkham Hall proved a magical setting for the Scholars and Choirs concert on Wednesday 21st September. Scholars from Years 9-13 took to the stately stage to perform a variety of instrumental and vocal solos, while Schola Cantorum, joined by pupils heading to Malta for a Half Term Choir tour, gave the large and appreciative audience a flavour of their a cappella programme.
The evening opened with the Choir circling the audience, making use of the upper balconies, to sing Mozart’s V’amo di core, a piece sung in canon, which was followed by pieces from Bruckner, Walton and a wonderful setting of Shenandoah by Erb. The first half continued with a duet from Ruby S, Year 12 (voice) and Isadora A Year 10 (violin), and solos from Isadora A, Rose T Year 10 (piano), Zinnia-Claire B Year 10 (cello), Julius R Year 13 (voice), William J Year 13 (trombone) and Freddie S Year 13 (trumpet). Brass Ensemble, consisting of William J, Levin R Year 13 (trombone), Freddie S, Freddie G Year 12 (trumpet), and George B Year 12 (cornet) gave a rousing rendition of Pastime with Good Company as part of their set under the direction of Prep School Director of Music Lynne Roberts playing French Horn.
An interval in the beautiful salon above the Marble Hall allowed the audience time to enjoy their surrounding further before returning to their seats for a series of solos and further pieces from the Choir. An encore of May the Lord Bless You and Keep You from Choir and final bows from the performers was met with rapturous applause, and concluded what was a memorable concert to start the new academic year. Soloists following the interval were Year 13s Tavi P (voice), Hannah B (piano), Johnny D (voice), Raphael C (voice) and Grace H (flute), Year 12 Jimmy T (voice) and Naomi H-S Year 10 (oboe).
The U15A girls hosted Norwich school in the first round of the Independent Schools National Cup on Thursday. The match got off to a tense start with Gresham’s missing a host of chances and Norwich going close once. Gresham’s took the lead in the 19th minute and from there did not look back, scoring two more in quick succession to cruise into a 3-0 lead. Norwich converted a penalty corner on the stroke of half time to set up an exciting second half. Grace H-K took the bull by the horns and with some excellent play by Drew W and Georgia D Gresham’s scored 3 goals in 5 minutes to take a 6-1 lead. Phoebe B and Darcey F continued to run at the Norwich defence and created a host of chances in the latter stages which Georgia lapped. An excellent display by the whole team saw us run away 9-1 winners on the day, and the girls head into the next round with their tails up looking for more goals!
On Saturday 17th September, we celebrated Harvest Festival in style. A tractor stood proudly outside of the Chapel and inside our staff and pupils had a great time celebrating all things food! An enormous amount of produce was collected for the North Norfolk Foodbank which will go to support families in need across the local area.
On Sunday our Chapel Choir sang at our first service of Choral Evensong this academic year. The stunning music they produced created a moving atmosphere of calm reflection for everyone present in Chapel on the eve of Her Late Majesty The Queen’s funeral. We are so proud of our wonderful choir and grateful for all they do to keep the ancient tradition of Choral music at the heart of our school life.