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.

Congratulations to OG Glyn Barnett who has won the silver medal in the 2024 Individual World Long Range Championships, and to all of the OGs who are taking part

Dr Glyn Barnett (OG), along with several other Old Greshamians and many other competitors from around the world, are currently in South Africa shooting in the World Long Range Championships.  Yesterday was the conclusion of the Individual World Long Range Championships, in which Glyn was leading going into the Final at 900 meters. The competitors had previously shot 9 separate shoots at distances of 700, 800 & 900 meters and Glyn was a single point clear on his closest competitor, Ash Bidgood of Australia, but had fewer central bullseyes. The Final was a fantastically close competition, with the lead going backwards and forwards between the two of them but, despite finishing on exactly the same score, Ash Bidgood won the Gold medal as a result of having 6 more central bullseyes than Glyn.  Glyn won the Silver medal in the 2024 Individual World Long Range Championships. Gresham’s School, and its Rifle Club, are hugely proud of all that Glyn has achieved in the shooting world and are thrilled with this latest achievement. Many congratulations to Glyn.

Earlier on in the Championships, the Great Britain Under 25 Rifle Team competed in the U25’s World Championships and two former Gresham’s School pupils were representing this team. Toby Cubitt (OG) and Toby Little (OG) were both members of the GB team that successfully became the U25 World Long Range Champions for 2024. Huge congratulations must go to both of them and the entire GBU25 Rifle Team on this wonderful achievement and for becoming Gresham’s most recent World Champions.

Tomorrow will be the first day of the Senior World Long Range Championships (The Palma Trophy) in which there will certainly be Old Greshamians representing the Great Britain Team. We wish all of the former Gresham’s School pupils and the entire Great Britain Team all the very best for this forthcoming match and we hope that, by the weekend, we can celebrate even more World Champions.

A Gresham’s team of more than seventy took on the Blickling Half marathon

Massive well done to the 17 pupil runners who joined a Gresham’s Team of more than seventy to take on the Blickling Half Marathon on Sunday 17th March. It was a tough two lap course around the Blickling Estate in pretty damp conditions with a start and finish in front of the iconic Blickling Hall! First home for the pupils was Freddie G on an impressive 1hr 51 and first for the staff was Mr O’Connell with an outrageous 1hr 25. So far we have raised more than £3,000 for Young Minds which is an excellent team effort!! There was outstanding support at the event particularly from parents and OGs, so hopefully this event is ‘a keeper’ for forthcoming years!

Congratulations to Charlotte A, Eliza A, Hippolyte B, Allesandro D, Caspian G, Severin G, Joe G, Freddie G, Sammi H, Darcey L, Alex M, Paloma M,  Jude P, George P, Charlotte T, Honor S, Alf S and Rosie W!!

New Chair of Governors Appointed

Paul Marriage has been appointed as the School’s new Chair of Governors from July 2024, taking over from Michael Goff who will step down after a six-year tenure.

Paul is an Old Greshamian (Kenwyn & Tallis 1982-1990), a Liveryman of the Fishmongers’ Company and he became a Governor in 2012. Having read Modern History at University College, Oxford he began his career in the insurance market before entering the investment industry in 1997.  Having run leading specialist UK equity funds at Cazenove Capital and Schroders, he founded Tellworth Investments in 2017.

Paul Marriage, said: “I am honoured to be taking over from Michael Goff as Chairman of the Governors, he has done an exceptional job and will be a hard act to follow.  Parents, staff, pupils, OGs and my fellow governors can be assured that I will do my utmost to keep the School on its upwards trajectory as we approach our 475th anniversary.”

Public speaking coach and OG Susie Ashfield was welcomed back to speak to pupils and staff

What a fun visit and trip down memory lane we had with Old Greshamian Susie Ashfield, (c & E 2000 – 07) returning to Gresham’s for the first time since she was a pupil to give not just one but three talks!

The first talk was in Chapel, where Susie recounted some very amusing school memories whilst celebrating the positivity of a Gresham’s education. The second interactive talk was in the Auden Theatre for Year 13 pupils on ‘finding your career path’. The third talk was for teaching staff, on Susie’s professional work in communication coaching.

We welcomed back OG Irenosen Okojie for a Q&A with Year 13

We welcomed Old Greshamian Irenosen Okojie, Nigerian born English writer back to Gresham’s as part of Black History Month.

Irenosen visited the Prep School where she was a pupil for 6 years; embracing the dual culture and the introduction to the books of Roald Dahl.

Irenosen talked to the Year 13 pupils in a Q&A discussion with Year 12 pupil, Mojuba, from Nigeria.

The platform of this discussion gave opportunity for both to give further depth and insight to the richness of embracing dual culture and people; the authors that have inspired and influenced Irenosen’s writing and her positivity in embracing the dual culture together with the superb inclusion and diversity of teaching and culture that the Gresham’s education gives its pupils.

We welcomed OG Tom Youngs back for our Michaelmas Day celebration

It was wonderful to welcome OG Tom Youngs back to Chapel for our Michaelmas Day celebration. The service began with our heavenly trumpeters filling the building with wonderful music, playing above the heads of the congregation from the West Window. Our pupils then asked Tom questions about his career in professional Rugby, life in farming and his time at Gresham’s.

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.”