OG and author, Iona Rangeley visits the Prep School

News > OG and author, Iona Rangeley visits the Prep School

Gresham’s Prep were delighted to welcome OG, Iona Rangeley for a fantastic author talk to launch her amazing debut novel, Einstein: The Penguin.

The pupils were absolutely captivated as she shared some of her very early writing from her time at the Prep School as well as readings from her novel. The children even a took part in a fun quiz on little penguins!

Prep School LAMDA pupils enjoyed filming ‘showreels’ over half term

News > Prep School LAMDA pupils enjoyed filming ‘showreels’ over half term

February half term might be remembered for the storms that howled around the country, but three Gresham’s LAMDA pupils made a storm of their own in front of the camera, performing a series of monologues they had been working on and which had been successful graded exam selections in Solo Acting. LAMDA stands for the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art and OG Eliza Miller has been teaching it at the Prep and Senior School for over a decade. She liaised with professional photographer and videographer Andy Langley to give some pupils an idea of what it is like to be in front of the camera and to hone their performance skills.

When speaking about the project, Eliza said “A year or so ago I saw the London casting agency who casts for the hugely successful Netflix series, The Crown, was looking for a young actor to play a prep school aged Prince William. One of my pupils got through to production casting and I realised then how helpful it would be for any aspiring pupils to have a professional series of video clips and performances filmed to showcase their acting talents – hence the idea for filming showreels!”

Speaking about LAMDA as a whole, Eliza said “The syllabus provides students with the opportunity to improve their confidence through speaking in public and acting. Communication is key to every aspect of life and these lessons give them the tools to express themselves clearly and confidently – while also having great fun!  The higher exam grades also provide valuable additional UCAS points for the senior school students.”

Pride as OG Ben Youngs breaks the record for England men’s rugby appearances

News > Pride as OG Ben Youngs breaks the record for England men’s rugby appearances

On Saturday 26th February 2022, Old Greshamian Ben Youngs became England’s most capped male rugby player. The Six Nations fixture against Wales saw Ben achieve his 115th cap and surpass the record previously held by Jason Leonard.

Ben attended Gresham’s from 1996 to 2005 and represented the school’s rugby team throughout his time here.

Ben Youngs comments “I look back on my Gresham’s days with fond memories. I am very grateful to the school for starting my rugby journey.”

Looking back at school magazines, it’s clear to see that the scrum-half’s talent was recognised at an early age. Reporting on the U14A team at the time, one coach said “Ben has the speed necessary to cut open defences and scored many a try using his twinkling feet. It must also be said that Ben has a feel for the game, which means that he usually makes the correct decisions.”

Following his GCSEs, Ben was invited to attend the Leicester Tigers Academy. He also played for the England U16, U18 and U20 teams before making his Senior England debut in 2010. Talent for the sport runs in the Youngs family, Ben’s father Nick and brother Tom also attended Gresham’s and went on to play rugby for Leicester Tigers and the national team.

The incredible achievements of Nick, Tom and Ben continue to inspire rugby players here at Gresham’s. We maintain strong links with Leicester Tigers and regularly see players from our First Team in the starting line-up for Tigers’ academy fixtures.

Douglas Robb, Headmaster said “Many congratulations to Ben on this fantastic achievement. The record speaks for itself but more than just an outstanding rugby player, Ben is a terrific role model for our young people. The whole Gresham’s family are proud of this landmark achievement, but more importantly we are proud of him as a person.”

Richard Brearley, previously Rugby Coach and Deputy Headmaster of Gresham’s Prep School said “This is a magnificent achievement from a wonderfully talented rugby player. It is his electric pace, competitive spirit and determination that I remember about him at Gresham’s. He was a match-winner who was a pleasure to coach and I have thoroughly enjoyed following his career with Leicester Tigers, England and the Lions.”

Gresham’s players are part of unbeaten Under 10’s Hockey Team.

News > Gresham’s players are part of unbeaten Under 10’s Hockey Team.

Last weekend, 5 players from Gresham’s Year 3 and 4 were part of the North Norfolk Hockey Club Under 10’s team competing at the County Championships.

Otillie B, Sophie M, Megan L, Otillie W and Bea W were all part of the team that came away as unbeaten County Champions – winning all 5 of their matches. They will now represent Norfolk at the Regional finals next month. Wishing them the best of luck!

Year 7 STEAM activities

News > Year 7 STEAM activities

Year 7 pupils spent an afternoon in the Dyson Building, participating in a range of STEAM activities.

The afternoon was part of a preparation for the upcoming Year 6 Outreach programme which will welcome more than 550 pupils from over 20 local primary schools. The activities include making electromagnets; making and racing balloon cars; making and testing model boats; and robotics with ‘Sphero bots’.

Pupils from the Prep school have been making powered gliders on a Saturday afternoon in the Dyson Building and will soon be having a competition to see which group can make theirs go the furthest.

Grants from the Gresham’s Foundation

News > Grants from the Gresham’s Foundation

Every year the Gresham’s Foundation (registered charity no 1109441) invites teachers and staff from all three Schools to apply for grants towards projects, equipment and initiatives requiring funding that typically falls outside of departmental budgets. This is the Small Grants to Enhance Scheme (SGTE).

Such projects/equipment must benefit a large range of our pupils, and teachers/staff are able to apply for funding of up to £2,500. The funding in question derives from the generosity of the Gresham’s community (Old Greshamians, parents or friends of the School) and, in particular, from those who make unrestricted donations to the Gresham’s Foundation.

Below are some pictures and further information on just some of the projects that received funding from last year’s Small Grants to Enhance scheme. For more information on the scheme or if you would like to donate to the Gresham’s Foundation, please contact Edward Margetson, Director of Development, on 01263 714529 or email emargetson@greshams.com   

Sensory, speech and language resources at the Pre-Prep

A sensory garden has been installed in the Pre-Prep and is being used extensively for relaxation, exploration and stimulus activities. In particular, the garden is helping to support children with learning and development needs.

Spiideo: Video recording and analysis software being used on the AstroTurf and rugby pitches

Spiideo has revolutionised the way in which we are able to educate our pupils in sport.  Video is an enormous part of helping the pupils to understand more about sport as well as supporting the coaching staff with a clear debrief of the game.  The video hardware is easy to set up and very portable, meaning we are able to transport to any location we would like.  The cameras record the whole pitch throughout the game, meaning they are incredibly easy to set up and don’t miss any of the action.

The software ‘Spiideo Perform’ allows us to analyse matches and share directly with the pupils on their mobile devices as the match is being played.  We can then present the key coaching points to come from the game and annotate the video for a real match of the day experience. 

The cameras are being used across the major sports and teams.  Our aim will be to record each team at least once per term – in order for the value to be shared across the sports clubs – and to also start to stream matches live for those that cannot be here in person to enjoy all the excitement of Gresham’s School sport.  We are incredibly grateful to the small grants committee for their support in this project; it really is a game changer. (Joe Cowan, Director of Hockey)

The Jetson Nano AI platform

In 2021-22, our Computer Ccience students have been exploring computer vision applications, coupled with artificial intelligence, thanks to a generous grant from SGTE to enable us to purchase a number of Nvidia Jetson Nano single-board computer kits.  This small computer is based on Nvidia’s industry-leading graphics card technology, which is ideal for the high-speed, intensive calculations involved in AI.  Students are currently building self-driving cars based on this computer, which will soon be ready to race through the Dyson Building. In September 2021 the UK government launched its UK AI strategy, with the medium term goal of enabling school pupils to experience and explore the use of AI applications; Gresham’s is already doing just that! (Bill Robinson, Head of Computing)

Kit car building

Two GreenPower F24 kit cars are currently being built in the Makers space in the Dyson Building thanks to the generosity of the Gresham’s Foundation’s SGTE scheme. The teams of pupils are enjoying the challenge of interpreting technical diagrams, working out the appropriate tools and methods for the build and dealing with problems that arise – such as drill bits that keep snapping and bolts that don’t quite align. Once the electronics are in, the teams will need to test drive the completed frame to ensure everything works before starting on the bodywork. We hope to have both cars competing in the Summer F24 Race Series. In these races the cars go around a track for 1hr to see who travels the furthest on the 2 x 12 volt car batteries. This requires a careful balance of speed and weight vs car design and battery efficiency. Watch this space for an update in summer!  (Lisa Stringer, Teacher of Computing)

The boys U13 hockey team enjoyed success at the IAPS regional tournament

News > The boys U13 hockey team enjoyed success at the IAPS regional tournament

The boys U13 hockey team managed to follow on from the amazing success of the girls last term by winning their regional IAPS tournament and so securing a place at the National Finals at Haileybury School in March 2022.

The boys started well with wins over St Hugh’s, Town Close, Beeston and Framlingham, but a 1-0 loss to Langley Prep meant we qualified for the quarter-finals in 2nd place from our group.

In the quarter-final against Orwell Park, the team controlled the game and won 3-0 to set up an incredibly tough semi-final against St.Faith’s.

A slow start saw us go 1 nil down but the team dug deep and equalised just before half-time. In the second half, we started strongly and went in front from a well worked penalty corner and 2 late goals saw us head to final with a 4-1 win.

In the final we came up against the host school Culford and put together a commanding performance, winning 5-0 and ensuring we head to the Nationals as the number one seed from the region.

This was a superb performance by the entire team with every player contributing significantly to the successful outcome. Well done boys!

The Prep School’s Greenpower Go Kart has been completing its first trial runs

News > The Prep School’s Greenpower Go Kart has been completing its first trial runs

The Prep School’s Greenpower Go Kart has been completing its first trial runs. All of Year 6 will take part in time trials to find the fastest drivers, who will go through to the inter-school competitions. They hope to compete alongside the senior School’s go-karts which will be competing in a different category at the same events.

Georgia Lees, Mintridge ambassador, visited our netball players

News > Georgia Lees, Mintridge ambassador, visited our netball players

On Saturday 15th January we had Georgia Lees join us for the day. Georgia is part of the Mintridge programme which allows players access to a high-performance athlete within their specific sport. Georgia is currently a Saracens Mavericks super league netballer and has been part of the England pathway. Alongside training and performing at an elite level Georgia is a high achiever academically, qualifying as a doctor during the pandemic.

During the day Georgia coached two practical sessions for our 1st, 2nd and 15A followed by our 3rd, 4th and 14A teams. During these sessions, the players were fully engaged and were able to interact and ask questions. Georgia watched our B and C teams play matches against our prep school during the afternoon and offered coaching advice to several of the players. Our 1st team and some of our coaches joined Georgia for lunch where they had the opportunity to chat and ask questions.

All the players attended a fantastic, inspiring talk by Georgia where she spoke about the way she has balanced sport and life, the challenges faced and how she has used these experiences, both good and bad, to drive her to succeed. At the end of the day Georgia selected two players from the sessions to take part in a mentoring programme over the next 6 months. The mentoring is tailored to the needs of the athlete.

Congratulations to Kate W and Mojubafoluwa A who were selected for this. It was a brilliant experience for all our players and coaches, and we would like to say a huge thank you to Georgia and Mintridge for joining us for the day.

Prep pupils performed at the Music and Monologue Evening

News > Prep pupils performed at the Music and Monologue Evening

Year 5 – 8 Prep School pupils held a Music and Monologue evening at the Fishmongers’ Recital Hall and the pupils enjoyed treating the audience to a wonderful array of musical performances. The evening also gave the Year 6 and Year 8 potential drama scholars an opportunity to perform their monologues to an audience.