Assemblies illustrate the importance of black history within the complex history of Britain

As part of Black History Month 2020, Mr Kinder, Head of History, engaged pupils in assemblies this week, enlightening them as to why the past is not always, what it first might appear to be and why Black History Month has a relevance for everyone. Drawing on examples from Africans resident in Britain under the Roman Empire as early as the Third Century through Anglo Saxon times to the Tudor period, on to the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, he very clearly illustrated why black history is important within the complex history of Britain; and how it was not always a relationship of imbalance. Everybody needs to engage in learning and discovering all aspects of the past as that makes us richer citizens and historians that are more effective. To study history properly means gaining greater insight into and awareness of all aspects of the past.

The academic enrichment lectures this month which pupils have been able to access online with visiting speakers have also been informative and thought provoking, drawing attention to how empire building had a significant impact upon black identity and the black cultural influence on modern poetry and music.

Tallis Year 9 soar down the zip wire

Tallis Year 9 soared down the zip wire on Saturday and then replenished energy levels with a barbecue, s’mores and some spooky stories around the campfire that they had helped build and light. They then retired to the hammocks in the bunkhouse for a night in the woods.

Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme expeditions go ahead

Despite the five-month break we are pleased to report that the sign up for the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme this term has been stronger than ever which is against the UK trend.

Over the recent Field Days, twenty-nine pupils completed their Silver assessment expedition under new guidelines allowing them to achieve the full Silver Award. Map reading, walking, pitching a tent and being able to prepare food is still within the assessment. Twelve Year 13 pupils completed their Gold practice. Their four-day assessment expedition will take place during this half term break and a direct entry Gold L6 group completed their training expedition.


Reception class take to the beach

The Reception children had a fantastic time at ‘beach school’ this morning, where they enjoyed writing their name with various stones that they had collected. It was a beautiful day and everyone loved roaming through the rock pools, trying their best to keep their feet dry!

Field Day fun in the Library

We had Field Day fun in the Library last Monday, a group of dedicated Year 10 pupils worked their socks off to produce and perform wonderful creative pieces. Whilst the some Year 13 students attended academic research skills sessions to prepare them for life at university and beyond!

The Lower school cohort designed bookmarks and displays, created posters, played an array of literary games and even wrote, illustrated and performed their own fantastic stories and monologues. Their fabulous fictional creations included a teenage ghost, a basketball player with something to prove, a superhero Grandma who takes on the devil, and lots of geese! Special thanks go to Mrs Myers who helped with the fun.

Upper Sixth pupils also joined Mrs Corder to learn about accessing quality academic resources, the research process at university, and how to get to grips with referencing their work.

Prep School inter-house Science challenge

Last week some of our budding Scientists were competing in the annual inter-house Science Challenge. At the junior end we saw the creation of some marvellous marble runs and witnessed pupils applying their knowledge to design, build (and sink!) boats. Meanwhile, the Seniors have been busy building bridges out of spaghetti or turning into Forensic Scientists and using flame tests to solve a mystery. Well done to everyone involved and congratulations to the winning house overall, Borrow.


Pupils mark World Mental Health Day

Throughout last week there were assemblies marking World Mental Health Day, the theme this year was ‘Mental Health For All’ #DoOneThing. The assemblies suggested ways in which to acknowledge each other, listen, be patient, be a friend, smile and be kind.

On Saturday, Reverend Jack at both the individual House Chapel services asked pupils to take a moment of reflection and in their year group pews to use the post its supplied to write encouraging messages to their neighbours. These will be delivered to Houses this week to brighten each other’s days.

Amy and Poppy who are U6 Mental Health First Aid Supporters in Edinburgh spoke about well-being activities to take part in during half term. They are part of a cohort of Upper Sixth pupils who are committed to reducing stigma and are prepared to have open conversations about mental health. They have been training with the utmost respect, maturity and curiosity that the School Mental Health Practitioners would expect from Gresham’s pupils.

Both assemblies included musical performances that offered time to contemplate.

The Chinese mid-autumn festival 2020

Unlike previous years, our students studying Mandarin Chinese enjoyed celebrating the Chinese mid-autumn festival in their individual classes. Special thanks go to Freddie Brett for making his unique chocolate filled cake, which was shared with our year 9 class.

The event was a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the cultural diversity in our school – and we are already looking forward to next year’s celebration!

We would also like to thank Pre-Prep parent, Mrs Wang for offering a tutorial on how to make different shaped cakes.


Year 2 learn at the beach

Year 2 enjoyed an afternoon at the beach this week. They continued their learning on maps and compass points by using the sunshine and shadows to work out which direction is North. There was also an opportunity to explore the rock pools and get thoroughly wet feet!

Pupils start new survival course in School woods

Farfield Year 9 have started the new ‘Survival course’. The course is based loosely on a military escape and evasion exercise. They have experienced shelter building and fire building and will as the weeks go by take part in wild food preparation, open fire cooking, emergency first aid, and participate in ‘escape and evade’ exercises. Designed by Mr Majid, Head of Adventure the course is open to all pupils and is intended to hone interpersonal and life skills such as team building, leadership, resilience, and self-confidence and will encourage pupils to care about the outdoors and their local environment.