Our First XI football team won a competitive match against the OG XI team

On a blustery day, the Lent term football season kicked off as the long-awaited fixture against the OGs finally arrived. Having been postponed from September, the OG side (consisting of former pupils who left in 2021 and 2022) arrived with many beards and slightly longer hair, but in good shape and ready to play!

The game kicked off and was even, with both sides having good possession of the ball, but 10 minutes in Gresham’s took the lead, with a goal kick from Jakub N being flicked on by Jude P into the path of Albert W, who scored his first of the game with a confident finish. The score shortly became 2-0, as Jude P finished after a run at the defence, firing low inside the post and the first team were on top. The lead would have been extended, except from some excellent defending by OG Nick Morgan and some outstanding saves by OG keeper Harry Short.

The OGs did not give up and a good passage of play led to their first goal, with a ball over the top being latched onto by Joel P, who scored to reduce the deficit whilst the home team debated the lack of an offside decision! Half time and the score was 2-1 and it was still anyone’s game.

The OG’s gave Gresham’s a fright after the break, with a clearance from a corner being volleyed home in spectacular fashion by Bobby Rash, restoring parity and bringing the score to 2-2. This galvanised both sides, as they both pushed for the decisive goal that could win the game. However, in the final 15 minutes of the match the Gresham’s first team took charge, with another three goals from Albert W (the second of which was a sublime curling shot) and a header from a corner by George B ending the contest.

The final result was 6-2 to Gresham’s first team. This was a competitive game played in an excellent spirit and it was fantastic to welcome back some former pupils to the school. Many thanks to all who took part and for the many spectators who came along to watch.

OG Samuel Chan named one of the “Forbes Elite”

OG Samuel Chan (k & F 1998 – 2007) has this week received special recognition for his work from Forbes China, the leading international business magazine.

Samuel is an entrepreneur and innovator within the field of education. He has been named one of the “Forbes Elite” this year, in recognition of what he has achieved with his company Britannia StudyLink.

Based in Hong Kong, Samuel has grown his education agency from a start-up to a household brand in Asia, all in a little over a decade. Initially a consultancy, offering guidance to Asian families trying to choose schools for their children in the UK, his company now provides everything from comprehensive tutoring to ground-breaking school exhibitions and high-tech marketing services across a range of industries. And he attributes his success to the drive and confidence instilled in him by his education.

Reflecting on this special recognition from Forbes, he said: “I am delighted! And I feel that much credit is due to my teachers at Gresham’s. I wasn’t the most academic of students. I did OK, but I always jumped at any opportunity to miss lessons! But it’s the extra-curricular activities that I think really gave me confidence. I was involved in anything the school offered, from sports to music and art – I was a very keen artist. I learned grit and resilience from rugby and cross-country in the winter, along with team work and communication skills.”

He added: “Everything I learnt at Gresham’s helped me in the business world. Negotiation, thinking on the behalf of others, what to do when things don’t go well – things often don’t go as planned in business! The school didn’t just educate me academically, but it also gave me good values – traditional, yes, but very applicable in the 21st Century.”

Samuel plans to continue to grow his business, and is currently taking his company into the world of property and finance, working with some of the biggest firms in Hong Kong.

OG Toby Sutton receives OBE

Congratulations to OG Toby Sutton (T 1989 – 94) on receiving an OBE in the New Year Honours List.

Co-founders of one of the UK’s leading assistive technology companies, Scanning Pens, were both honoured with an OBE on Friday 30th December. Jack Churchill and Toby Sutton received this honour as a result of ‘services to international trade, and to the dyslexia, and special educational needs and disabilities community’.

Over the last 20 years, Jack Churchill – who himself is dyslexic and Toby Sutton have built an assistive technology powerhouse at the heart of the dyslexia and special needs communities. Scanning Pens is an organisation that provide portable text-to-speech pen scanners which empower young and adult readers by giving them the tool to instantly access printed text anywhere.

This assistive technology is now used daily by thousands of schools, in the workplace, and even in prisons. The organisation has for many years been active both in the UK and in more than 100 countries. More than 50% of the company’s business is attributed to international trade; this success has been reflected in two BETT award wins: Exporter of the Year 2019, and Company of the Year 2020. In 2021, Scanning Pens received the most prestigious accolade in British business when it received The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise.

The recipients made a shared statement: “To say we are honoured by this announcement is an understatement. When we first started this venture over 20 years ago, we saw the opportunity to establish a business that could help millions of individuals with their literacy needs. Looking back, it is fantastic to know that through our technology we have supported so many to succeed. The success of Scanning Pens has allowed us to establish a goodwill organisation, Succeed With Dyslexia, which has made a reality of our wish to spread awareness around dyslexia through positive stories within this often-forgotten community. Without the support of our families and the whole team, neither of us would be receiving an OBE today. We look forward to many years ahead as we drive our business forward, whilst at the same time helping even more individuals in their daily lives.”

A significant donation – US scholarships at Gresham’s

Earlier in the year the Gresham’s Foundation received a remarkable donation from a most generous Old Greshamian (OG). £1 million was donated to endow a scholarship programme that will give US pupils the chance to come and study at Gresham’s.

The donation will ensure the scholarship programme will be in place in perpetuity. It will restart the influential English-Speaking Union programme (ESU) at Gresham’s – a programme that a great number of OGs were a part of when they came to the School from the US between 1960 and 1998. The donor wishes to remain anonymous.

Douglas Robb, the Headmaster, said: “We are thrilled to be in receipt of such a generous donation, and most grateful to the OG for having revived and endowed a scholarship programme that was in place at Gresham’s for many years and which had a lasting impact on the School community. Their support will ensure there will always be a US scholar at the School, giving them the chance to expand their horizons and benefit from a Gresham’s education before they embark on the next stages of their educational and professional journey. The scholars will enrich our community, and the programme will also enable us to strengthen our ties with leading US institutions. We look forward to welcoming our first scholar next year.”

The programme will see one student per year from one of the ESU’s US partner schools come to Gresham’s upon completion of their studies at high school. Each scholar will stay at Gresham’s for one academic year, with the first scholar joining the School in September 2023.

Separate to the endowed scholarship, there will also be an opportunity every year for current Gresham’s pupils to apply to study at a US high school for a year. Although the ESU offers a smaller number of fully funded scholarships for UK students to go to the US, the School’s hope is that a number of pupils over the coming years will be successful in applying for a scholarship and thereby get to experience the final year of high school in a prestigious US institution.

OG Cricket – The Ramblers vs Norfolk Invitational XI

The Ramblers won the toss and elected to Bat with ‘Matthew Bromham’ & ‘Tom Beckett’ facing up to the first over of this fixture bowled by ‘Robert Wilson’ from the Invitationals. The two openers had a job to do and saw off the new ball with fantastic grace in an opening stand of 40. ‘James Buxton’ was in at 3 for the Ramblers and top-scored with great elegance and panache. The Ramblers were teetering at 85-6 when ‘Tom Lomax’ was dismissed by a stunning one handed ‘Fred Combe’ catch, the spectators and opposition brought to their feet, erupting in amazement and applause. Some last-minute maximums from ‘O.J Flux’ though knocked the wind out of the invitationals, but former Uppinghamian, ‘Cameron Mcfadyen’ had other ideas, striking regularly, finishing with figures of 5-14 from his two overs. The Ramblers bowled out for a respectable score of 127.

A fantastic lunch, watered down with plenty of Rosé nearly saw the Ramblers to a famous victory. ‘O.J Flux’ thunderbolts restricted the invitationals to 124-9 with 4 to win. Man of the match Mcfadyen finishing things off for the Invitationals to secure a famous win. A seriously fun day made possible by Gresham’s and the OG club – one hopes this can be made an annual fixture.

Edmund Parker (T 2013 -15)

OG Christopher Tracey spoke to pupils about his passion for hang gliding

OG Christopher Tracey who is Aerospace Engineer, engineering Project Lead for Collins Aerospace returned to school to talk about his passion for free flight. During the week he works on interior monuments for Airbus A350’s, but at the weekend he flies hang gliders, enjoying real aviation!

He and interested pupils gathered outside Chapel with a glider set up so that he could talk about the basics behind flying hang gliders, how they are constructed and the distances that can be covered. This was followed by a discussion in the CLT about some of the physics behind flying gliders.

Christo is happy to talk to pupils more specifically about aeronautical engineering careers.

The Gresham’s Foundation ran a successful telephone campaign

Over the Easter break, the School and Gresham’s Foundation ran its first telephone campaign in almost eight years. Nine recent leavers rang up former Old Greshamians to speak about Gresham’s, hear about their time here and since leaving, as well as provide an update on the School’s plans and charitable objectives. It had a fantastic response: more than 300 Old Greshamians afforded their time, and many individuals very kindly decided to give back to the School by offering both careers and financial support.

An important part of the campaign was to promote the impact that donations to the Gresham’s Foundation have on the School and current pupils. £50,000 was raised over the two week campaign, the majority of which is in support of the Bursary Fund and newly established Bruce-Lockhart (endowment) Fund, which will support means tested provision at Gresham’s in perpetuity. And this fantastic show of support from so many OGs has been matched by a generous donor, 1:1, meaning £100,000 has been pledged in total.

The School and Foundation are extremely grateful to all OGs who took part in the campaign and to those who very generously donated towards the School’s widening access and development aims.

One hundred years since lecture from pioneering ornithologist and bird photographer

On 27th February 1922 Miss E.L. Turner gave a lecture on ‘Birds of the County’ featuring lantern slides taken by herself of birds of Breckland, the Broads and the coast. No doubt Emma included the iconic image she took of a nesting bittern in 1911 which was the first evidence of its return to the UK, and of other rarities in decline thanks to the fashion for ladies’ hats adorned with their feathers.  Emma had become a member of the Royal Photographic Society as early as 1901 and soon began exhibiting regularly and attracting public attention for her photographs of birds in their natural surroundings. She developed a career giving illustrated lectures, writing 8 books and numerous articles, becoming one of the leading natural history writers of her day.

From 1905 Emma lived on a houseboat, The Water-Rail, on Hickling Broad in order to photograph birds, a venture which resulted in the publication of her ‘Broadland Birds’ in 1924.  Later she became warden or ‘watcher’ on the isolated Scolt Head for the Norfolk Wild Birds Protection Committee, her tenure leading to a huge increase in numbers of nesting colonies. In the largely male world of bird photography, Emma Turner was one of the first women to be elected Fellow of the Linnean Society and was the first female honorary member of the British Ornithologists’Union. In an article on ‘Bird Photography for Women’ in 1915 she claimed that “Patience and a thick skin are the two essential qualifications for successful bird photography” and would spend many hours in cold and wet conditions in pursuit of her prey.

The report on Miss Turner’s lecture at school questioned whether it was possible to prevent more bird species from being lost and expressed support for the bird protection movement.  Bird watching, and even collecting birds’ eggs, was a popular hobby at school, much encouraged by Headmaster George Howson and his successor James Eccles, and the recently established Natural History Society was one of the largest hobbies groups. Emma Turner was just one of many distinguished lecturers who visited in the early C20th, including the enigmatic Captain Knight with his golden eagle Mr Ramshaw who was welcomed back on several occasions. The lecture programme was part of a raft of cultural provision in the school at this time including Shakespeare plays, concerts, and societies such as debating, which gave pupils an important eye into the wider world and its current affairs.

Pupils are benefitting from this term’s OG Career Bite talks

Through the Lent Term there will be weekly talks open to all year groups from OGs working in a variety of sectors, giving the pupils to engage and hear about former pupils’ education journeys, their job roles, the opportunities of future work and contacts for work experience.

The talks will be from OGs working in Business, Law, Environment, Photography, Civil Service, Architecture, Infrastructure Engineering and Marketing/Branding.

The first talk was with OG James Rodgers (F 1993 – 98) who talked to pupils about his background and role with Page Executive; what other OGs in his year are doing; the difference sectors and career paths in Business; the recruitment process, trends and policies and the importance of work experience.

Careers events

Year 13 & Parents Applying for Uni Finance presentation – 5th March

Business Breakfast for all Sixth Formers – 10th March

Year 12 Pupils & Parents Post Sixth Form Information Evening – 12th April

Year 12 Pupils & Parents Conference with visiting speakers – 10th June

Year 12 visit to UCAS Fair (Universities & Degree Apprenticeships) – 16th June

Work Experience

The Careers Department and the OG Club are working together to collate a directory of OGs offering work experience to current pupils. Further information to follow.

INVESTIn – InvestIN empowers pupils with the knowledge and experience they need to make the right choices about their future careers. They offer pupils aged 12-18 the opportunity to learn from top industry professionals through hands-on activities, interactive demonstrations, networking opportunities, site visits, career coaching sessions and much more.

Visit their website to register. To receive 10% discount insert the Gresham’s Partner code – GRESHAMS10

Please contact Mrs Osborne, Head of Careers for further information [email protected]

OG Victoria Vanhoutte spoke to pupils about her career in Biological Sciences

Victoria Vanhoutte (E 1995 – 98) hosted an online talk to pupils about her career from undergraduate, post grad, working in research and industry during the last twenty years.

She spoke about the many careers open to those who study Biological Sciences and advised pupils to study what interested them rather than possibly what they felt they should do to move forward in their careers, hers has been varied.

Her particular interest is cell therapy and she was extremely informative about this field (using cells from another human being to treat another) and the progress that has been made in science in general (sequencing of the human genome, genetic editing using CRISPR-Cas9 technology, development of human induced pluripotent stem cells were among her chosen examples).

This was a fantastic opportunity for pupils to ask questions about where science could take us!