Congratulations to Sophia who has been shortlisted for the Youth Art Award at the Norfolk Show

Art students studying at GCSE, A Level or Higher Education were invited to submit work to the competition, which was assessed by a small panel of professional local artists. A short list of 10 artists was generated, and after viewing original artwork, one winner & runner up will be chosen.

The competition aims to help promote youth art talent in Norfolk, help young artists get a foothold in the professional art market and boost the influence of new artists at the show.

Year 12 pupil Sophia did incredibly well to be shortlisted, and she has therefore been invited to exhibit two original pieces of artwork at this year’s Norfolk Show, which takes place at the Norfolk Showground on Wednesday 26th and Thursday 27th June. We wish her all the best for when the winner of the competition is announced!

Team Frog reflect on their incredible journey to the VEX World Finals in Dallas, Texas

As Team Frog prepared to catch their flight home, they reflected on their journey over the past three years.

They have competed in multiple regionals across the UK and reached two National finals. They have achieved multiple awards including their Innovate award that ultimately got them to the VEX World Finals in Dallas, Texas.

They were among over 850 teams in Dallas which puts them in the top 5% of teams from across the world. They finished in the top 200 in the skills challenge which puts them in the top 1.2% in the world.

Georgina, Chloe-Leila and Emily have shown such resilience and determination over the past 3 years in VEX and the confidence and maturity at finals was a product of all this hard work. They plan to mentor upcoming VEX groups at Gresham’s to support future teams wishing to reach the dizzy heights of worlds.

There were over 115,000 people who visited the finals in Dallas with robotics teams from over 45 different countries, it was a wonderful experience for all, and lots can be taken from it.

On the final day in Texas, they explored Dallas city centre via a tour bus and soaked up some of the atmosphere and culture.

Many thanks for all the support to get these young women to World’s!

James Dyson donates £35 million to create a state-of-the-art Prep School for Gresham’s

  • Donation funds purchase and restoration of Grade II listed Holt Hall, set in 85 acres, and building of new state-of-the-art facilities for pupils aged seven to 13
  • James Dyson has now donated more than £50 million to Gresham’s School, which provided him with a full bursary after the death of his father, a teacher there, in 1956
  • The Dyson STEAM Building at Gresham’s opened in 2022, following a previous £18.75 million donation; the new Prep School will open in September 2026

The James Dyson Foundation today announces a new £35 million donation to Gresham’s School. It will create a state-of-the-art Prep School with a brand new building incorporating STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths) facilities for pupils aged seven to 13.

James Dyson boarded at Gresham’s from the age of nine, attending the school from 1956 to 1965. He has always acknowledged his deep gratitude to the school and its then Headmaster, the late Logie Bruce-Lockhart. The school gave James’s family support so that he and his brother could continue their education for free at Gresham’s after the untimely death of their father, Alec Dyson, aged 43, who taught Classics there.

James Dyson, Founder of Dyson and Gresham’s alumnus, said:

“Holt Hall is a magnificent setting and when it came up for sale we had the extraordinary opportunity to rescue this Victorian hall, to provide a new setting for a cutting-edge Prep School for Gresham’s pupils. As the son of a Gresham’s teacher, I had the free run of Gresham’s grounds and playing fields in the school holidays – but the arcadian park of Holt Hall was out of bounds.

The architecture and design of the new wing – with a mirrored external surface – will reflect the ancient woodland, allowing it to blend into its stunning setting. We will also restore the Victorian building and protect the surrounding ancient woodland for Gresham’s pupils to discover and learn in, adding state-of-the-art facilities.

It is so important to inspire young people through problem-solving and discovery. I’m forever grateful for the generosity Gresham’s showed me when my father – who was Head of Classics at the school – died when I was nine. Logie Bruce-Lockhart, the Headmaster, allowed my brother and me to continue our studies with a bursary, when it would otherwise have been impossible. I’m so pleased to be able to support the school and to see it shaping incredible young people who go on and flourish.”

The £35 million donation will enable a much-needed restoration of the adjoining Holt Hall and the surrounding 85 acres of grounds which are in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, increasing the area of the school grounds by a third.

The plans for the new Prep School include:

  • A sustainable, naturally ventilated, mirrored new building adjacent to Holt Hall – inspired by Dyson’s research building (D9) in Malmesbury, Wiltshire – that reflects nearby ancient woodland. The new building will have:
    • High tech equipment and STEAM facilities.
    • Solar panels on the roof.
    • Heating and cooling via a ground source heat pump.
    • An irrigation system using recycled rainwater.
  • Careful restoration of Grade II Listed Holt Hall which will become the heart of Gresham’s new Prep School.
  • Investment into an ancient woodland management plan.
  • Removal of invasive plant species protecting the site long-term.
  • Preservation of the walled garden.
  • Installation of a Field Studies Centre and outreach programmes for local schools, including outdoor activities at Holt Hall and residential stays.

Douglas Robb, Gresham’s Headmaster, said:

“This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to rescue Holt Hall and breathe new life into its grounds. We are enormously grateful for the generous donation of Sir James Dyson and the James Dyson Foundation. The natural setting of Holt Hall and its ancient woodland will be the new home for Gresham’s Prep School – currently a superb school limited by its cramped location at a crossroads. No land will be sold off during this development and we will repurpose the Prep School’s existing site to expand the Senior School facilities. I am particularly grateful that Sir James has chosen to further enhance the school’s facilities and build on the tremendous success of the Dyson STEAM Building.”

From left: Michael Goff (Chairman), James Dyson, Douglas Robb (Headmaster). Credit: Dyson.

On average Gresham’s provides £2.5m worth of bursaries and financial support a year, benefitting 200 pupils. 1,000 children from local schools have made use of the school’s existing Dyson STEAM Building, which opened last year, in workshops provided by the school and there are plans for local children to use the new Prep School campus.

The new Prep School and restoration of Holt Hall will be designed by architects WilkinsonEyre. WilkinsonEyre have a long relationship with Dyson, with Sir James Dyson and the late Chris Wilkinson developing Dyson’s Malmesbury & Hullavington campus, the Dyson Institute’s undergraduate village, and the Dyson STEAM Building at Gresham’s together.

Dyson STEAM Building at Gresham’s. Credit: Dyson.

All photography copyright Dyson.

The winners of the STEAM Primary School Competition 2023 have been announced

The overall winners of our STEAM Primary School Competition, which is held in the school’s Dyson Building, have been announced. Congratulations to Hattie, Charlotte and Delilah from Reepham Primary School who have won this year’s trophy, funded by The James Dyson Foundation. Their superb work was scored on success, performance, and design.

11 primary schools took part in the final, including Reepham Primary, Astley Primary School, Sheringham Community Primary School, Tunstead Primary School, St Mary’s Roughton, Aldbrough Primary School, Langham Village School, Wells-next-the-Sea Primary School and St. Peter’s Easton Primary School. The pupils were challenged with navigating three different tasks; building and launching rockets, coding sphero bots to complete a predetermined course in the fastest time possible and building a model space station whilst exploring a ‘real’ space station using VR goggles.

Since February, we have welcomed over 30 local primary schools, including over 610 pupils, to take part in the competition, with pupils leaving ‘excited and inspired’ after enjoying the tasks. Working closely with The James Dyson Foundation, the Dyson Building is now a hub for STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) education in Norfolk. This project has enabled a large number of children to work with Gresham’s staff in the Dyson Building, inspiring them to consider STEAM subjects as future careers. It has been a very popular event, one that will also happen next year with the hope that even more schools will take up the offer to come and compete.#

The F24 Greenpower electric car team took part in their first race at the Lotus test track

The F24 Greenpower electric car team (Grace S, Freddie L, Sam H, and Alastair S) travelled to the Lotus test track at Hethel to take part in the team’s first F24 race.

It was a great day, the car performed well initially but had some teething problems with wires being shaken loose and we managed to shred a tyre. However, they finished many laps in the hour thirty race and finished mid table. The team has many ideas on how to develop the car for the next race and had a great time.

The STEAM Outreach Competition 2023 has begun

The STEAM outreach competition 2023 started this week, with Reepham Primary being the first of over 30 Norfolk primary schools attending. The pupils were fantastic and fed back that they were all ‘excited and inspired’.

Congratulations to our VEX Robotics team, who have qualified for the National competition

Our VEX Robotics team secured the top 2 positions at the VEX Robotics Competition that took place in Sunderland on Wednesday 8th February. The pupils competed with and against 20 registered teams from all over the UK. The action-packed day required high school and sixth form students to execute the 2022-2023 VEX Robotics Competition game, Spin Up presented by the Robotics Education & Competition (REC) Foundation.

As regional champion recipients, the team has qualified for the National competition in Telford in March extending their journey as they seek to qualify and compete in the VEX Robotics World Championship in Texas USA.

Georgina B, Chloe-Leila G, Avis F, Gabriella H, Emily M and David K prepared for the tournament by working together to design, build and program a robot using VEX V5, that could quickly and efficiently solve specific challenges that come with playing the 2022-2023 VEX Robotics Competition game, Spin Up.

Each week, they applied what they’ve learned about STEAM in the classroom, to build these semi-autonomous machines. An equally important set of skills is learned through the competition — communication, project management, time management, and teamwork.

Robert Hazelwood, the team’s advisor (STEAM Coordinator) said, “I am extremely proud of this group of students, some have been developing their skills in VEX for over 2 years within the Dyson Building. This achievement is the reward for hours of extra-curricular commitment and vast amounts of resilience and teamwork. To achieve a top 10% position nationally is an achievement in itself. I hope they enjoy the national competition and who knows, we could be travelling to Texas for the World Championship!”

The VEX Robotics Competition team meets every week during GAP’s. The pupils learn about electronics, programming, mechanical systems, animation, 3D CAD, computer-aided machining, web design, and materials fabrication.

Rockets were built and launched by Prep pupils during a new after school activity

On Monday 6th February, Dr Louise Betts brought 17 Prep School pupils to the Dyson Building to build and fire some air powered rockets with Dr Taylor (Head of Chemistry). During this after school activity, the pupils all designed, built and decorated their own rocket before launching them. As it was dark, they attached glowsticks to the rockets before launching them across Chapel Lawn. The event was a great success and Dr Taylor is already looking forward to the next batch of Prep School pupils coming to build more rockets.

This rocket building activity will also form a new addition to the STEAM Outreach events, where pupils from over 25 local primary schools will spend an afternoon enjoying STEAM activities in the Dyson Building.

Toby has used 3D printing to enhance the Auden Theatre play library

Toby used the Makerspace in the Dyson Building to 3D print some original alphabet dividers for the Auden Theatre’s play library.

Our VEX robotics teams achieved a top 5 place in the regional competition

The VEX Robotics teams have been working hard since September to prepare for the regional competitions for the ‘Spin Up’ challenge this year. They travelled to Colchester and displayed excellent teamwork, problem solving skills and resilience to reach the top 5 position out of 20. They hope to improve further in other upcoming competitions to enable them to attend the National competition in March.