Since January, we have been inviting Year 6 pupils from local primary schools into the Dyson Building to complete STEAM activities. In total, over 550 pupils from 25 different local schools competed in teams to navigate different challenges, where they were scored on success, teamwork and design. The winning teams were invited back for a final competition day on the 4th July. During this day, teams competed with each other making air powered rockets, rocket powered cars and completing tasks using the Sphero robots. At the end of the day, the points were totalled and Erpingham Primary School were the winning team, taking home a trophy donated by the James Dyson Foundation. This outreach project enabled a large number of children to work with our 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.
On Sunday 26th June, 61 pupils began their silver and gold DofE expeditions in the Yorkshire Dales. They worked very hard over the coming days to carry out the tasks necessary to complete the awards. Well done to all involved!
The June Field Days saw our pupils enjoy a range of activities.
Year 9 CCF
All Year 9 pupils who are enrolled in the CCF were involved in basic expedition & skills training on the summer field days. It involved a skills assessment based at school plus a half day practical navigation assessment on a walk in North Norfolk. The aim was to develop the skills required in the CCF proficiency syllabus as well as complete some of the requirements of the DofE Bronze award for a practice expedition
80 pupils and staff volunteered in the local community, giving their time, energy and enthusiasm to make a difference during the Field days.
Here are some snapshots from the activities:
A great pile of clothes, about the size of a car, needed to be shifted out of storage and then sorted into piles according to age, size and gender. This will become the stock for a new clothes bank in Holt.
Yards of fencing, made up of pallets or panels, located at two different sites, required painting. It took 18 pairs of hands over two days.
Four Year 12 pupils paid some older people a visit and put a smile on their faces as they shared experiences and stories whilst playing Bingo.
An organic vegetable garden and orchard was worked on as shovels and wheel barrows were used to move a mound of woodchip, which was spread thickly as a mulch to suppress weeds. Picture a hay meadow, recently been mown, also undergoing a process of transformation from a daffodil field to a habitat for turtle doves to breed. The hay needed to be raked into piles and then cleared.
An outdoor community space was given a new lease of life by pressure washing jets and brooms. The outdoor furniture that is made of pallets was painted a sky blue. In a nearby churchyard, there was a roar of engines as mowers and strimmers cut back the invasive weeds and long grass. New paths were created and outdoor courtyards were spruced up.
A £20,000 cheque was presented by the school to the Holt Youth Project, our school charity. This represents 10 months of work. It is the fruit of ingenious fundraising ideas and a generous school community who have supported each event.
Every pupil contributed and made a difference. They were warmly praised by those they worked with at Thornage Hall, St Andrew’s church, the Holt Youth Project, the Felbeck Trust, the Treehouse community café and Age Concern in Sheringham.
The pupils conducted the final part to the Intelligent Self-Protection course. Following on from the soft skills lectures covering Personal Security Management, Avoidance, Behavioural Analysis and Confrontation Management, they covered the Law of Self-Defence and a comprehensive physical skills component including defensive actions against the most prevalent and current threats.
The BTEC Agriculture group teamed up with REME for a Field Day fence building experience; the new fence around the recently developed Cairns Sixth Form social area adds an outdoor space to this and at the same time provided pupils with a valuable chance to develop their Estate Skills. A great job all round!
The Ten Minute Play Competition took place on Friday 29th April.
This year was another incredible competition with nine plays submitted including a ten-minute musical.
Five plays made it to the stage thanks to the sheer grit and determination of the companies who invested a huge amount of creativity and time in rehearsal to realise the playwrights words.
This was an evening that had everything – 6 world premieres – if we include an excellent mockumentary trailer for Little Shop of Horrors thanks to Larkin Armstrong, magic, comedy, heist, a Pineapple god and a hard hitting domestic drama.
Truly an evening to remember.
The House Cup for Best Play went to Spike C and “?” for Woodlands, judged by local Playwright James McDermott purely for the written text.
The Best Director going this year to Tobias N of Howson’s with his play The Mischievous Gildary Grape awarded by our very own Mrs Futter.
Gresham’s Lower Sixth theatre pupils took to the stage at Wells Maltings as part of the Sea Fever 6 festival of poetry and prose May 2022. The pupils performed extracts from two plays from the 1930s which were collaborations between OGs W H Auden and Benjamin Britten, The Ascent of F-6 and On the Frontier, in a one-off performance that concluded the festival on Saturday night. These were demanding pieces brilliantly directed by Bridget O’Brien, Gresham’s Director of Drama, and the actors performed very impressively in the varied roles they undertook. Historical context was provided by commentary from Anwen Hurt and Simon Kinder, Gresham’s Head of History.
Jim Ring, director of the Sea Fever 6 festival, commented: “the students produced an astonishingly accomplished performance of material both theatrically and technically challenging. It was hugely creditable to all concerned at the school and really remarkable that they dealt so brilliantly with such ambitious pieces.”
As the weekend of Greshfest draws ever closer, Stephen Hussey and his principal singer Gina Burrows from the Urban Soul Orchestra came to school on Saturday 21st May to work with orchestral players from the Prep and Senior School and players from other schools across the county. Gina spent the afternoon putting vocalists Ruby S, Tamsin S, Callum R and Nureyn M through their paces to learn the music to sing lead vocals. All these lucky pupils will perform with the USO in the first part of the Greshfest Classic Ibiza evening on Saturday 18th June.
As if this isn’t exciting enough, the Year 12 A Level Music cohort, consisting of 6 boys, have been working with Stephen over several weeks on their own arrangements, and these too will be performed on the night. What an extraordinary opportunity for our pupils to see their work move from page to stage and be performed by professional musicians and their friends.
Visit www.greshfest.com for tickets and further information on the Greshfest weekend – Classic Ibiza on Saturday 18th June and The Big Sing on Sunday 19th June.
The CCF has enjoyed a busy term so far with a Biennial Review, Royal Navy afloat at Hickling Broad and a formal dinner to say farewell to the U6 SNCOs. This has been in addition to usual training programme for Year 10 cadets and the start of the basic expedition training programme for an intake of 98 new Year 9 recruits. We look forward to marking the Queens’ Jubilee with another full parade including music from the newly re-formed CCF marching band, and a busy field day with the Army section due to complete both live firing on the ranges and a blank firing field exercise. The summer camp this year will offer a 48 hour military battle scenario, followed by an adventure training package with kayaking, powerboating, rafting, climbing and biking. It promises to be an action-packed summer.
On Wednesday 4th May, our Sixth Form pupils were entertained by a jazz night, organised by a group of Year 12 IB pupils for their CAS project. It took place in the newly refurbed Cairns’ Centre bar, running from 9 – 10.15pm, with the addition of jazz and £3 tickets supporting this year’s School charity, Holt Youth Project. Nearly all of the brilliant musicians were pupils, and massive thanks go to Mr Cooper and Mr Myers for their accompaniment. The pizza and drinks systems were a great success, with appreciation for the great Sixth Form doormen who kept out any juniors. The evening was a welcome break from studies and raised over £200 for the school charity.
The first ever girls 1st XI match was a momentous occasion and the team rose to the challenge with 5 Year 9s, 4 year 10s and 2 year 11s turning out against a far more experienced Leys XI.
Losing the toss, we batted first and settled into a decent rhythm with Esther B (25 not out) and Grace H-K (13) leading the way, eventually posting 82 for 5 off our 20 overs.
Bowling second was a tough task on an increasingly windy afternoon but the 6 who took the ball all showed that we will have plenty of fire power to win in future matches. Charlotte G looked particularly menacing with some impressive pace and Poppy G showed consistent line and length.
Player of the match was Esther B, facing the first and last balls of the match to carry her bat with 25.
In their second game, the team played Norwich School in the first round of the National Cup and progressed thanks to an impressive performance with both bat and ball.
Losing the toss and being put in the field, we nevertheless started strongly with Charlotte G taking 1 for only 12 runs off her 4 overs. Charlotte T and Grace H-K both took 3 for 16 and we restricted Norwich to 92 for 9 off their 20 overs.
Esther B and Charlotte G started brightly in response and by the time Zara U-B had quickly got to double figures, the match was looking well-placed for a Gresham’s victory. Grace H-K made sure with a swash-buckling 36 runs, finishing with five 4s in 12 balls. The win was secured with two and a half overs to spare.
The Firsts ended 94 for 4 and will play Leicester Grammar School in the next round. Player of the Match was Grace H-K.
Gresham’s Senior tennis team took part in the Abadare Cup on Thursday 28th April against The Perse at Easton Tennis Centre. Our 1st team comprised of Daisy W, Issy M-E, Annabel G and Phoebe W. Although we lost the match convincingly overall, our girls played superbly, and the standard of play was extremely high. The Perse team was incredibly strong throughout, but Gresham’s fought bravely and thoroughly enjoyed the occasion. We would like to congratulate The Perse team and wish them luck in the next round of the Cup.