Mr Majid spoke at No.10 about the experience of veterans and the importance of the Guinea Pig Club

Last week Mr Majid had a very different kind of school day. He was invited to talk at No.10 and have a tour of the building with the CASEVAC club (a group of service personnel who, like him, were injured during active service). He was there speaking about the experiences of veterans and the importance of the Guinea Pig Club – a group of people injured during World War II who underwent experimental plastic surgery and reconstructions and which can be thanked for huge advances in prosthetics and plastic surgery. It was a successful meeting in which Veterans Minister Jonny Mercer and Akshata Murty both agreed on the importance of clubs like CASEVAC and its members being points of contact and figures for the veterans community.

Our U14 and U16 teams performed excellently in the Rugby 7’s competition

On Saturday 10th February George M represented Leicester Tigers U18 academy, claiming a 33-17 victory over Midland’s Central at Loughborough University Ground. George will be involved again this weekend in Sunday’s Finals Day at Kingsholm Stadium in Gloucester.

On Sunday 11th February, we held an U14s and U16s 7’s competition, hosting Oundle, Uppingham, King’s Ely, Langley School, Framlingham College, Wymondham College, Samuel Whitbread and Norwich School. It was a great tournament with some excellent rugby on display. Gresham’s U16s competed well and despite losing a few players to injury, they managed to finish third overall. Gresham’s U14s had a brilliant day, they managed to put together what they’ve been practising during training sessions and came out victorious beating Wymondham College 33-0 in the final. A fantastic day had by all and we’re already looking forward to hosting it again next year.

Looking ahead we have the County 7’s competitions coming up as well as the Queen Elizabeth Barnett 7’s and at the end of term we have the notorious Rosslyn Park 7’s competition. 

Sports Science pupils embarked on a trip to the Human Performance Unit at Essex University

Before Christmas, the A Level PE and BTEC Sport pupils travelled to Essex University, and Jemima C, Macey T, and George W, all A Level PE pupils in Arkell, wrote about their experience:

“The purpose of the visit was to gain an insight into Sports Science at University and beyond as well as enhance our understanding of our Sixth Form courses. On arrival, we had a tour of the university followed by a presentation about the day ahead, and then a session on Biomechanics. This was to aid the practical tasks which would follow. The first task was a jump test on a force plate to measure our explosive power and the force exerted from the muscles in our legs. We then had a throwing task to measure the force generated by our upper body. This involved using an iPad to measure the time and distance and thus the velocity that the ball travelled at. We were also able to analyse our throwing technique. Next, we did a one repetition max test, using a dynamometer that measured the maximal force we could exert. The final task was to use limb kinematics to analyse movement. It was a hugely beneficial and unique experience to be able to use specialist sports science equipment, as we could deepen our understanding of Biomechanics and how we can analyse athletes’ specific movement patterns to refine their technique and improve their performance.

In the afternoon, we were shown around campus where we were allowed to experience all that Essex university has to offer. During this time, we were able to start to experience what student life would be like. After a delicious lunch, we met up with the team of staff and students from the University. There were five stations we were to take part in, all testing various aspects of our fitness like strength, power, reaction time and aerobic capacity. It turned into an incredibly competitive afternoon amongst staff and students alike, especially during the wattage test where everybody was competing for the greatest output. At the end of the day, one of the Gresham’s pupils got the chance to partake in a V02 max test whilst the rest of the group analysed the data which was produced during the test. We all got a chance to help throughout the test, reading out different figures and numbers from the screen and plotting graphs. It was so interesting to see how oxygen uptake changed throughout the course of the test.”

Our netball teams have represented the school extremely well in recent fixtures

Over the past few weeks the netballers have had lots of highly contested fixtures in a packed schedule. There have been many great victories, in particular our block fixture against Ipswich School where we secured 9 out of 10 wins.

Our junior sides have scored a huge amount of goals against their opposition, in one game our 15C team scored an amazing 51 goals! In another of our big fixtures we played Framlingham College, across all age groups there was some great netball played. Again, our juniors proved extremely strong showing what great depth we have across all the sides.

The senior games were fiercely contested with the first team just being pipped by a physical and experienced Fram team. It gave the girls the incentive to be stronger and more determined. We have had some great matches against Norwich High School and look forward to playing them again in the second half of the term.

In our Culford block fixture we took 7 junior teams away, with every single player taking part, again securing many great wins. The first team had a very good 40-29 win against a strong Culford team. The team backed this up with an outstanding win at Norwich School, after a nervy start the team relaxed and began to create turnover coming from 7 behind to take a win by 6 goals. The squad interchanged well with all players having impact when on court. Our 14As faced a very strong Norwich side, it was a loss but it highlighted to the players key areas to work on as a team. Again our depth proving to much for Norwich with our B and C team taking convincing wins.

All our other senior sides have played some excellent netball taking many wins and often pitched against teams of a higher level. The players have represented the school extremely well, they have worked hard in the sessions and we look forward to playing lots more great netball in the second half of the term. 

Schola Cantorum performed their Mid-Winter Concert in St Mary’s Church, Walsingham

On a typically very unpleasant evening in February, a small but appreciative audience were treated to what Mr Robb, Headmaster, described as ‘one of the best choral concerts he’d ever heard during his time at Gresham’s’. Advent to Ash Wednesday was the theme for Schola Cantorum’s mid-winter concert in St Mary’s Church in Walsingham on Friday 9th February. The programme gave several of the choir opportunities for solos and included many sacred favourites, such as Britten’s A Hymn to the Virgin, a contemporary setting of In the Bleak Midwinter, Allegri’s Miserere and Pergolesi’s Magnificat. A string quartet consisting of Isadora A, Ilana B, Lucy D and Zinnia-Claire B accompanied the Pergolesi with the violins providing instrumental accompaniment for Elgar’s lyrical piece, The Snow. Other secular pieces included a choral arrangement of Fields of Gold, Over the Rainbow and Blow, Blow thou Winter Wind. Given the theme of the evening, We need a little Christmas justified its place in the programme and reminded everyone of one of the jolliest times of the year! 

The Senior School marked the beginning of Lent with Ash Wednesday events

The day began with a special Chapel service in which the choir sang Allegri’s Miserere. Rev Jack, with the help of one of our cricketing stars Grace, then drew on the phenomenon of ‘Bazball’ to explain the meaning of Lent. At break pupils were offered ‘Ashes to Go’, an opportunity to stop for a brief moment of reflection in the middle of the daily busyness of school life.

Well done to our debating team who have made it to the final of the Oxford Union Schools’ Debating Competition

Gresham’s has had more success in competitive debating, this time in the Oxford Union Schools’ Debating Competition. Two teams took part in the online Eastern Region heat. They discussed two motions with just 15 minutes preparation time for each: using AI to assist school work and affirmative action for men in female-dominated occupations. Kitty R and Aziz M did well in the competition, but the other pairing of Miranda H-S and Eva O’D went even better, being one of the best six teams on the night and qualifying for Finals Day in the Oxford Union in March. This is the second year running that we have had a team make Finals Day and also the second successive year for Miranda.

Darcy and Joey discovered an interesting fob watch in the Gresham’s Archives

The Archive Group have been very busy on Friday afternoons exploring the school’s collection. Two Year 9 pupils, Darcy and Joey, became intrigued by a fob watch they discovered. This turned out to have been manufactured in Birmingham in the 1880s and sold in Holt in the 1890s by Owen Neal, father of Archer B Neal, a day pupil who attended Gresham’s, served in the Coldstream Guards in the First World War and was killed in action during the Battle of the Somme. The pupils took the watch to Webbs jewellers in Holt where they were able to explore its inner workings and investigate its provenance.  

The Careers Department have delivered engaging Art talks from Mary Blue, and successfully placed Year 13 pupils at The Geelong College

Day of Workshops and an Enrichment talk with visiting visual artist, Mary Blue

Mary visited the Art Department to talk to a Year 9 Art class and to Year 12 International Baccalaureate Art pupils.

Mary talked about the artists who influence her work on painting water and waves; then gave a watercolour demonstration to facilitate both year groups being able to enjoy and practice what they had learnt from Mary in painting their own watercolours of crashing waves.

For the Year 13 Enrichment Talk, Mary talked about ‘The Artists’ Perspective on Creative Thinking and the Creative Economy’.

Gresham’s Gappies 

Congratulations to three Year 13 pupils, Milly H-K, Taylor S and Freddie G, who successfully applied to The Geelong College, Victoria, Australia for a 11 month Gappie placement starting in mid-July 2024.

For further information on applying to be a Geelong Gappie, please contact Mrs Osborne [email protected]

Senior pupils competed in the Annual Chapel Pancake Races

Our pupils had a wonderful time competing in the Annual Chapel Pancake Races on Shrove Tuesday. House teams competed against each other in relay races around Chapel Lawn. ‘The Mixing Spoon of Victory’ was awarded to the fastest house.