Our Mental Health First Aid Champions spoke in Chapel about the course offered to pupils

This year’s Mental Health First Aid Champions spoke in Chapel this week about the Mental Health First Aid course that is offered to Year 12 pupils as part of the Services provision on a Friday afternoon. They talked to the School about the importance of raising awareness about mental health as well as promoting the course for others to take advantage of. The course teaches the pupils to:

  • Spot the signs of mental health issues in a young person.
  • Offer first aid and guide them toward the support they need.
  • Build confidence to reassure and support a distressed peer.

Year 12 Geography pupils had a great trip to London and Dorset

Just before half term the Year 12 Geography pupils attended a 3 day fieldwork trip to support their learning for the A level course. On the Tuesday the group headed early in the morning to London for a day of urban fieldwork. Starting at the London Olympic site, the group explored the site for the 2012 Olympics, East Village and Westfield whilst discussing the reasons, impacts and legacy of hosting the event on the local community and country.

They then headed to Kings Cross for lunch to investigate the new rebranding of the station and subsequent urban development in recent years. Using all forms of transport and trying to dodge the showers, they took an Uber Clipper boat to the Docklands from Tower Pier. There the pupils studied the impacts of de-industrialisation in the 1960s and 1970s and the legacy of the redevelopment strategies.

That afternoon they made the long journey to Dorset for the second part of the week. Staying on the Isle of Portland was beautiful when the weather was fair; they had stunning views from the bunkhouse at Portland Bill. The morning was spent undertaking a sand dune transect at Studland bay to view the changes from highwater mark to the climax vegetation of pine woodland. They sheltered in the minibus waiting for the weather to clear and walked up to the iconic Old Harry’s Rocks before heading down off the headland to Swanage in search of an elusive ice cream. Nandos and bowling in Yeovil finished off a wet, long but fulfilling geographical day.

They were blessed with beautiful weather on the Thursday as the journey along the Jurassic coastline continued. Chesil Beach was soon followed by a visit to Lulworth Cove where some of the most incredible geology can be seen. They walked up over the ridge to Durdle Door and finished the trip viewing one of the great landforms in Geography textbooks! A long trip back to Holt concluded around 10pm with a tired yet happy group of pupils. A big thanks to Miss King, Mr Liberman and Mr Atkinson for the driving, geography teaching and everything else to make this possible. It was the first time in a while that the Geography Department had been on a residential trip and they are very much looking forward to next year!

Well done to Woodlands who have won the Year 9 Inter-House Debating competition

The Year 9 Inter-House Debating competition has come to a conclusion and the standard of debate this year has been exceptionally high. The semi-final matches were hotly contested, with Woodlands seeing off the challenge of Queens’ and Farfield holding out against a very strong Oakeley. 

The final took place for the first time in the Dyson Building as Woodlands – Isaac B, Xander B and Johnnie O – proposed and the Wild Card, Farfield – George J, Tristan B and Alex B – opposed the motion This House believes that the UK should follow the lead of Ireland, Norway and Spain and recognise Palestine as a state. 

Both sides displayed a mastery of the complex history and issues related to Palestine and Israel and responded very well to Points of Information and some very tough questions from the floor. 

The final result was very close but proposition Woodlands emerged victorious and lift the Carolyn Thomas Cup for 2024.   

A group of brave pupils took on the National Three Peaks Challenge

The Charity Challenge event this year looked to build on the success of the Yorkshire 3 Peaks from last year and take it to the national level. Taking on the National 3 Peaks is not easy; Ben Nevis 1345m, Scafell Pike 978m and Snowdon 1085m, each is a day’s walk in their own right. The total walking distance this is 23 miles (37km) and the total ascent 3064m (10,052ft) – twice that of the Yorkshire Three Peaks, over a similar total walking distance. The team went for the recognised 24-hour challenge with the option of dropping onto the ‘sensible’ challenge – competing all 3 peaks up and down in under 15 hours – useful should the half term traffic not be on their side.  

On the Thursday of the summer half term, they departed after weeks of preparation and kit checks. To break up the mammoth 9-hour journey (even longer in a restricted minibus) to the start in Fort William, they stopped and tried their hand at panning for gold in the Leadhills and stayed the night in Moffit. Mr Majid led the prospecting team which may have had limited success but they were happy to be out of the bus all the same. After a couple of hours, they conceded there was not enough gold for a retirement fund, so headed back to Moffit. They found an Italian restaurant for the team to get their final carbohydrate intake, then returned to the hostel for one final kit check.  

When they finally arrived in Fort William there was still a wait to be had as the departure time of 1700 had to be stuck to, to ensure maximum light and the least amount of traffic, or so they thought. Mr Daniels led the team and Mrs Brighton-Watt set a great pace as they attacked the steep slopes of the first peak. Ben Nevis took them 5:38:04 which was only slightly slower than expected. Leaving the base of Fort William in the dark, driven by O Liberman and N Liberman, they made great time to the Lake District. After a quick breakfast they were up and down Scafell in an amazing time of 3:51:44. Sadly their luck turned, and they hit some terrible half term traffic on the M6 which would meant they would not finish in the 24 hour window. With the planning, effort and distance travelled, they knew we had press on all the same. It was poetic to be walking off Snowdon, the final peak with the sun setting down the valley. With 4:30:14 on the clock, they got into the minibus for one last time. The team’s total walking time was 14:00:02 which was an hour quicker than the average time taken on the mountains and achieving the Sensible Challenge! Lydia F D, Callum B, Will S, Sammy H, Limony A, Inez C, Finn S and Alf S made up the rest of the summit team and raised a great amount of money for charity and pushed themselves to the limit, not just physically and mentally on the mountain but what also the amount of time one can spend on a minibus.  

You can support the trip by donating to: https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/greshams-national-three-peaks

CCF Afloat Camp

The CCF held a tri-service afloat camp at Hickling Broad during the half term break. On Saturday and Monday the cadets took RYA training focused on courses in powerboating and dinghy sailing with cadets earning stage 2 & stage 3 qualifications in sailing and level 2 powerboating. Sunday was an upriver trip to Potter Higham in sail and powerboats. All cadets also enjoyed evenings of paddleboarding & canoeing, all delivered by our own qualified instructors. It was a great weekend of water-based activities, despite the relentlessly challenging wet weather! We look forward to more afloat activity on CCF field days and further adventure training events in the future.

Charlotte Ambrose spoke to pupils about her career path to becoming a Systems Engineer

Charlotte Ambrose MPhys ASEP MInstP MINCOSE MWES visited our Year 12 Physics pupils to talk to them about her career path to becoming a Systems Engineer and her 5-year university education, leading to a Masters degree in Astrophysics. Charlotte shared some of the exciting projects she has been part of, including sensing software for stealth aircraft, designing and building satellites, and conceptual aircraft designs.

Our girls tennis teams have played some excellent matches this term

Our girls tennis teams have played fixtures against Framingham, Kings Ely, RHS, Cromer, Beeston, Norwich High School and North Elmham. The senior team have competed in the national Aberdare Cup tournament narrowly losing to Framingham. The junior team are still in the competition having had a first round win against Norwich High, which they won in a fiercely contested battle 4-2. There has been some fantastic tennis played with good results for both senior and junior teams, the Junior A team still remain unbeaten.  

Spanish translation success

Maddi W in Year 12 has once again received a commendation in the 2024 Anthea Bell Young Translator’s Competition for her Spanish entry. Maddi worked on a text entitled “Aviso de Correos” and the extract was from the opening of La nostalgia de la Mujer Anfibio by the Galician writer Cristina Sánchez-Andrade. The novel is inspired by events surrounding the sinking of a steamship in 1921 off the Galician Island of Sálvora. Huge congratulations to Maddi for this commendation in a competition with over 16,000 participants.

Rain doesn’t stop play; a successful start to the boys’ tennis term

The announcement in April that England had endured the wettest 18 months on record (since 1836!) was a rather ominous start to the tennis season; and, unfortunately, we have not been blessed by the weather gods in the first half of the “summer” term, meaning we are yet to host a senior boys’ fixture on our chapel grass courts and lots of training sessions on the hard courts with the girls’ teams. Nonetheless, we have still managed to play plenty of tennis and enjoyed a successful start to the season, winning 5/7 matches under the captaincy of Seb B and excellent coaching of Mr Thomas.  

In our first senior game of the season on 20th April, we hosted an experienced Cromer Men’s team on the astros. For the only time this season (due to exams and injuries) we managed to field our strongest team, winning 5-1 and 9-0 respectively. Year 10 pupils Connor M and Ted K deserve a mention for convincingly winning all their matches, as does Liam M who played his final game after representing the 1st VI over the past two seasons.

In our second fixture of the season, on 27th April, our senior boys’ teams travelled to Framlingham. The 1s narrowly lost 7-5 in a well contested fixture against a strong side. Liam (whose IB exams had just begun) was sorely missed, although Marc R stepped up and played brilliantly in his debut alongside Nikolaus P, as did Charlie R and Morris J in their 1st team debuts. Meanwhile, our 2s again won comfortably, winning 9-3, with Alessandro D and Severin G winning all their matches.

The following week, on 4th May, the senior team were on the bus on the A140 once again, this time to RHS. Our 1st team bounced back brilliantly from the previous week’s defeat, winning 9-0, a perfect farewell to Nikolaus P and debut for Tomas R-C. Meanwhile our junior team kicked off their season on a positive footing, winning 12-3 on the grass against the RHS juniors. Connor M and Ted M continued their strong run of form, winning all their matches, whilst Arthur L, Emilio H, Fernando M, Myles D and Ulysses O made their junior debuts. However, the juniors met their match against a strong King’s Ely team the following week, losing 6-4.

This week, the U15a’s (Connor M, Ted K, Laurie W & George J) begin their LTA competition journey, against Hethersett, before playing Wymondham and Norwich next half of term.

 Meanwhile, the seniors thoroughly look forward to the return fixture on Cromer’s fantastic grass courts and the rescheduled Adney Paine Invitational, which was cancelled due to driving rain, hopefully this time on the chapel grass courts in the sun.

The Careers Department held a successful Lower Sixth Conference and have exciting work experience placements lined up

Work Experience

Lots of Sixth Form pupils have got some excellent summer work experience placements lined up:

  • Charles K & Will N were both successful in their interviews for a week’s placement at Stockbrokers Barratt & Cooke in July.
  • OG Jonathan Beckett has given back in helping with placements for Amelia H at the Burgess Yachts Monaco office, Zac J crewing with Burgess Yachts from Italy to Greece and Fred B with a week in the London office getting insight into yacht brokering
  • OG & MP Duncan Baker North Norfolk is providing work experience weeks with his constituency office for Eva O’D, Emily G, Austin K
  • Purcell UK Architects are providing work experience for Polina Z, Finn S, Dan L
  • Surface Generation Ltd are providing engineering work experience for Aidan R
  • Caspian G will be doing half term work experience at Adarga in Southwark to learn more about cyber security.
Lower Sixth Conference

All of the year group together with their parents attended talks to give a broad cross-section of options for post Sixth Form.

The event included talks from universities on the application process / personal statements / applying to competitive universities, as well as:

  • OG Joe Oxtoby returned to talk about his Gap year experience, to now studying at LSE and what it’s like to study and live as a student in London
  • OG Isabelle Reading returned to talk about her journey to doing an apprenticeship with Investment Bank JP Morgan and the positive pathway of where doing an apprenticeship can lead.
  • Greg Murphy from Balfour Beatty came in to talk about the variety of roles in Construction and Civil Engineering.
  • Mrs Futter and Miss Emily talked about applying for Performing Arts / Drama School and University Applications.
  • The Armed Forces gave insight into joining the Army, Officer Entry, the Army Medical Corp.
  • The University Guys gave insight into applying to study in the USA
  • A Career in Fashion / Buying / Marketing – Natasha Colk, Buyer with Bakers and Larner’s, gave insight into her university learning and fashion buying career
  • Norwich University of the Arts talked about their variety of arts and culture courses