OG George Stiles gave a special presentation to pupils on his career in musical theatre

On 16th April George Stiles (OG) came back to the School to give a special presentation on his career in musical theatre to both Gresham’s pupils and pupils from local schools. In addition to this, George conducted two workshops focussing on audition room performances and the process by which you conceive and develop a score or script for the stage. The pupils learnt a great deal about the industry and how to go about putting on a play, whilst a number of Gresham’s pupils performed both musical numbers and monologues that were critiqued by George. 

George is a prolific composer and producer and has made significant contributions to musical theatre. Collaborating with Anthony Drewe, he crafted successful shows like “Honk!” and “Mary Poppins.” As a producer, his co-production of “Six – the musical” continues to be a global sensation, earning multiple awards and full houses around the world. His work has earned critical acclaim, including an Olivier award and Tony nominations, showcasing his talent for creating memorable melodies and engaging productions.

Our international pupils, in conjunction with the Diversity and Inclusion team, did an assembly to share their cultures

On Wednesday 17th April some of our international pupils, in conjunction with the Diversity and Inclusion team, did an assembly aimed at sharing a little of their cultures and educating us about the French concept of dépaysement: literally “to be uncountried”. Alma R explained that, for our overseas pupils, their experience at Gresham’s is coupled with adapting to a different country with different customs, traditions, language, music, food and so on. Grace S introduced our speakers, starting with Aziz.

Aziz told us all about Ramadan and how, before Islam, Ramadan in Arabia was a sacred time marked by prayer and communal gatherings, charity and fasting. From the evening of Sunday 10th March until Tuesday 9th April, the Muslim members of our school community had been fasting and this was concluded by Eid Al Fitr, a day of gatherings, prayers and joy shared with loved ones, embodying the spirit of gratitude and unity.

Then Alma and Iciar told pupils about aspects of France and Spain which differ from English ones:

While English people have dinner at 5pm, Spanish people are just finishing their lunch and getting ready for ‘siesta’; while in England you enjoy tea time with tea and cake, in France we have this thing called ‘apéro’ where we have a glass of wine, some savoury snacks and cheese and come together with guests before having dinner; English sports are very formal and civilized and then we have Spanish people who enjoy being chased by bulls! Iciar is from the Basque Country where there is a sport called ‘eskupilota’ which involves wrapping a stone in leather and bouncing it against a wall. It’s like squash but instead of a ball is a stone and your hand replaces the racquet; French food is considered to be of UNESCO cultural heritage and includes such delights as escargots, boeuf bourguignon and an array of cheeses; in Spain, every region has a different dialect and even language. In the Basque Country, Euskera is spoken and that is a huge part of the culture. For us to see the difference between these two languages Iciar introduced herself in Spanish: ‘Hola me llamo Iciar y soy de Bilbao’ and then in Basque, ‘Kaixo nire izena Iciar da eta Bilbotarra naiz’.

The assembly finished in a very moving way with Heidi W playing the piano and singing ‘Irgendwas bleibt’ by Silbermond.

The audience was captivated by the beauty of the music and Heidi’s haunting voice.

The Headmaster echoed Alma’s words, encouraging us to “look outwards”. Our hope was that pupils would leave chapel reflecting on the wealth of life experiences in our midst and to recognise how our own lives may be enriched by the ways in which others live, honour and celebrate life.

Delight for Ormiston Venture Academy pupil Tegan as she secures scholarship at Gresham’s School

Tegan Engstrom, currently in Year 11 at Ormiston Venture Academy in Great Yarmouth, has secured a boarding place in Sixth Form at Gresham’s School from September 2024. Her ambitions of going to university and joining the army, coupled with her ability to give an opinion whilst using evidence and experience to support her arguments during interview, impressed staff and helped to earn her the scholarship.

During her time at Gresham’s, Tegan hopes to study A levels in Psychology, Business and Physical Education, whilst also participating in the school’s Combined Cadet Force to support her dreams of completing a Business and Psychology degree and going on to serve in the British Army in the Explosive Ordinance Disposal Regiment.

Tegan’s further interests include swimming, something she has worked hard at over the last year as she rejoined her local team after a break due to covid restrictions. Her determination shone through as she regained her strength and stamina through running and weight training. She has also shown entrepreneurial spirit throughout her life, excelling in part time jobs and even running her own jewellery business.

She will certainly contribute to the Gresham’s community and be able to thrive in the school’s Sport department, benefitting from the extensive sporting facilities including a state-of-the-art Strength and Conditioning centre, 25-metre indoor swimming and athletics track.

Deputy Head Academic of Gresham’s, Darrell Chart-Boyles, said “During interview, Tegan demonstrated that she had researched Gresham’s and showed an excellent understanding of the opportunity that coming to study here would offer her; she will certainly make the most of this and we look forward to welcoming her in September,”

Gresham’s has partnered with Ormiston Venture Academy, to annually offer boarding places to aspiring pupils. Last year, Gresham’s awarded the OVA scholarship to Riley, who is now in Year 12 and is studying Biology, Chemistry and Psychology.

Three Year 10 LAMDA Drama pupils auditioned for the National Youth Theatre summer course

Three Year 10 LAMDA Drama pupils recently auditioned for the National Youth Theatre summer course in London – an amazing opportunity for pupils to ‘find their voice’ and fine tune their performing skills. They are also preparing for their medal grade Solo Acting LAMDA exams which take place here at the Senior School in November.

Eliza Miller, LAMDA teacher, said “I’, so lucky to teach so many talented and enthusiastic students and it’s a privilege to watch them develop in confidence and ability year on year.”

The Senior School marked their own ‘Good Friday’ in Chapel

Towards the end of the Lent Term the Senior School marked their own ‘Good Friday’ in Chapel. During the service pupils performed a powerful dramatization of The Passion, before leading the school in the ancient tradition of ‘Stripping the Altar’.

Well done to our girls U15 cricket team who are once again County Champions

The U15 Cricket Team headed to UEA Sportspark for the County Finals of the National Indoor Cup. They won all 5 matches – against Wymondham, Norwich High School for Girls, Langley, Thorpe St Andrew and finally Norwich School – to retain their title as County Champions. This also sees us qualify as Norfolk’s representatives at the Regional Final, which will be at Cambridge University on 24th April.

Team: Georgia D (Captain), Amelie H (Vice-Captain), Henrietta C, Charlotte F, Olivia M, Tilly B, Angelica H, Holly M, Issy P, Georgina W

International pupils and those in the school’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion group enjoyed a mini Easter egg hunt

International pupils and those in the school’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion group enjoyed a mini Easter egg hunt as part of their regular get together in the Library this month. These occasions offer valuable opportunities for pupils to relax, swap experiences and build friendships over tea and coffee (this time expertly made by Mr Chart-Boyles) and biscuits. The eggs didn’t remain hidden for long, although pupils did manage to miss a few in their haste!

The annual Chapel Easter Egg hunt was a joyful event

The Senior School took part in their Annual Chapel Easter Egg hunt just before the end of term. This joyful event took place in the woods with pupils searching for a share in over a thousand chocolate eggs and other goodies. Pupils had a brilliant time running to find them as always!

Our netball teams have competed in many excellent matches this term

This term has seen the girls compete in many excellent netball matches. We have had 5 senior teams and 8 junior teams representing the school. The players have worked very hard in training sessions and have played the games in a very competitive, spirited way. It is clear to see that we have great depth across our junior and senior sides with our players often being far superior in skill levels compared to their opposition which is a real credit to the players. This is evident with our 15B and C teams and 14B and C teams all having unbeaten seasons.

We have also had many players this term that stepped on the court in January having never played netball and they have showed incredible improvement throughout the term. Across the teams we have scored 2062 goals excluding tournaments and in many of the matches have had to play players out of position to manage the scoreline. When in this position, many of the opposition coaches have complimented the sporting way our players have approached the game.

We have competed in the INSC competition at U15 level and in the Brentwood tournament in both U15 and U19 age groups. This tournament is a brilliant opportunity to play teams that we don’t come across in our fixture schedule. We had the opportunity to face schools such as Brentwood, King’s Canterbury, Chigwell, Kimbolton and Felsted.

The second part of the term brought lots a great results, with block fixtures against Norwich High School in both juniors and seniors. To finish the term we fielded 11 teams against RHS. The 1st team proved a tough encounter against a strong RHS 1st team but our girls still put out lots of great passages of play. RHS just pulled away in the last couple of minutes taking the win. A special mention to our 2nd team who finished in style with a huge 40-14 win, they have had a brilliant term. We finished with 9 out of 11 wins against RHS.

Finally, we completed the term with house netball. The games were played in fantastic spirit in both A and B competitions. It really showed how much depth the school has as the B team competition was also to a very good standard of play. For the first time we introduced Arkell House to the competition, their housemistress looked extremely proud of them.

There have been many great moments throughout the term. One stand out block fixture against Ipswich School saw us take 9 out of 10 wins. Mr Higgs was delighted to have his third unbeaten season and finally a complete performance by the 1st team to take a stunning victory against a strong Norwich School team.

A special mention to Sophia and Harriet who have done a fantastic job as captain and vice-captain of the 1st team this term. They have been great role models for all the players in the club.

A huge thank you to all the players and coaches for the enthusiasm and knowledge you have brought to Gresham’s netball this year.

The Auden Theatre have immersed their audience in the colourful world of Amelié for four amazing nights

Since September, the Music department have been working with the Amelié ensemble and the band to realise the incredible sound of the show with a professional approach and a group of dedicated and talented singers to create the amazing sound of Amelié. From January, pupil designers have been working in the Auden to create the physical world of Amelié’s colourful imagination whilst the highly efficient stage crew and technical team have been in rehearsal alongside a tight knit ensemble working to stage a complex production within a challenging stage configuration. The audience have been very close to the action and immersed in the imaginative and colourful world of Amelié for four amazing nights.