On Tuesday 19th September Year 12 and Year 10 GCSE Drama pupils had a workshop with Paperbirds Theatre Company. The company have become hugely influential with their powerful and thought provoking productions and their generous approach to sharing their highly accessible theatrical toolkit which they use for creating original theatre. Over the two hours pupils were given a 5 point approach to the devising process.
W H Auden attended Gresham’s from 1920-1925 and 29th September marks the 50th Anniversary of his death. He was a leading poet of his generation and having collaborated with another OG and friend Benjamin Britten during their lifetimes it was only fitting the school should acknowledge him. A Special Evensong on Thursday 21st September in the full candle-lit Chapel where both Auden and Britten would spend many hours, included poems written by Auden. Stop all the Clocks and O Tell me the Truth about Love, were eloquently read by boys from Auden’s boarding House, Farfield and the choir sang Hymn to St Cecilia, Britten’s lyrical yet challenging setting of Auden beautiful poem honouring the patron saint of music and musicians. Former teacher Steve Benson delivered the address recounting the life of Auden.
Last year our pupils raised an amazing £23,486 for our main charity partner the Holt Youth Project. The pupils, involved in the school’s Charity Committee, worked hard throughout the academic year to raise money through a variety of innovative activities and events. On Wednesday 20th September Julie Alford, HYP Founder, joined the Senior School in Chapel to thank them for their donation and to share some of the wonderful and moving work the project has been involved in over the summer.
On Saturday 16th September, we celebrated Harvest Festival in style. Tractors stood proudly outside of the Chapel and inside our staff and pupils had a great time celebrating all things food with a fun game of Harvest themed Countdown! An enormous amount of produce was collected for the North Norfolk Foodbank which will go to support families in need across the local area.
Gresham’s is delighted to announce that Chloe-Leila (Oakeley, Year 12) has been awarded a 2023 Arkwright Engineering Scholarship. This scholarship is a highly prestigious national award designed to inspire engineers of the future, by providing financial support and industry mentoring throughout their A levels and beyond. The selection process is an extremely rigorous one, requiring candidates to submit a technical project and report, followed by sitting a two-hour aptitude exam and finally undergoing a challenging interview with a panel of academic and industry experts. Chloe-Leila’s extremely sophisticated medicine dispensing and monitoring design, controlled remotely by her online software application, was regarded by the panel as “highly commendable”.
Well done to our two girls Tennis teams who, having won the County tournament in their respective age groups, went on to play Culford in the East Regional Finals. Tennis players at Culford are all on Tennis Scholarships, training for 15 hours a week, and so it is always exceptionally tough. Our junior team met two girls who are on the GB pathway and, whilst they fought hard, were heavily beaten. Our senior team did extremely well with Jemima M-E and Romilly H winning their singles 7-6 in exciting tie-breaks. This meant that after the singles round it was 2 matches all. Culford played some strong doubles resulting in them winning the rubber 4-2 but the girls did well to put up such a strong fight!
In July, Sgt N Protzen went off to ACLC (Air Cadet Leadership Course) which took place at RAF Cranwell, the first time a Gresham’s pupil has attended ACLC for several years. Initially placed in a group with 9 other Cadets from across the UK, Sgt Protzen learnt some of the fundamental skills of leadership and how to manage a team through challenging tasks. As the course progressed Sgt Protzen demonstrated a sound ability to absorb the leadership theory and he developed the confidence to become an effective leader. His course report cited that he “has the natural qualities needed to be a very capable leader back at his unit” and he was awarded a pass with merit in his graduation in front of RAF College Cranwell.
In addition to success at ACLC, Sgts K and E Tallinn attended a Gold Cyber Course at RAF Cosford over the summer. Trained by the RAF’s Cyber Security Flight at No1 Radio school, they covered threats, defence, cyber offensive and more specialist subjects like SCADA systems. With only 16 Cadets on the course, they got access to some high-quality training with the RAF that will help them with their IB studies back in the classroom. Once they finished the course, they even got to have a play with an original Enigma Machine that’s kept at RAF Cosford as a reminder of the importance that cyber has had throughout recent history.
A huge well done to all three Cadets who have achieved these prestigious awards.
Monday evening witnessed a piece of school history as Gresham’s oldest house, Howson’s, took on its youngest, Arkell, as the two teams locked horns over the motion This House prefers Barbie to Oppenheimer. Howson’s – Freddie B, Alex M and Elliott H – presented Barbie as a welcome celebration of female empowerment whereas they questioned Oppenheimer’s appeal as both a mainstream piece of entertainment and as a historical figure. Arkell – Maddi W and Olga B – disagreed, finding Barbie shallow and body-obsessed and the movie to be a marketing sales gimmick, whereas Oppenheimer had depth, complexity and was a brilliantly made film. Avid audience participation and a passionate exchange of views confirmed the success of an entertaining debate. The result was a victory for Howson’s who constructed a strong and unified proposition case, but Arkell walk away with great credit from their first house fixture in any competition.
The U15s travelled to Rugby on Sunday 3rd September in preparation for the National Cup Finals Day at Rugby School.
First up was the Semi-Final, in which we were drawn against Canford School from Dorset, the champions of the Southwest Region. Batting first, the girls set about posting a daunting total. Amelie H opened with 28 runs, seeing off the best of the bowling, with Georgia D hitting a quick 18 off 8 balls at the other end to set the tone for some rapid scoring. Georgia was replaced by Grace H-K, which precipitated the most impressive innings of Finals Day, as Grace hit a remarkable 95 runs off 63 balls, including eleven 4’s and three 6’s. Etta C and Liv M finished off the innings as the team posted 175 off their 20 overs. Canford simply couldn’t match the run rate and could only manage 130, with wickets falling to Alice H, Esther B, Grace; and Georgia taking 2 for 12 off her 4 overs.
That put us into the National Final against Repton School. It was a quick turnaround for us after the long midday match in searing heat, while Repton had despatched their semi-final opposition quickly and had a 2-hour break in the shade. Georgia again started brightly with an impressive 17 off 13 balls, but was unluckily run out while looking set for a large total. With our opening three batters out, our strength in depth was then on display: Etta scored another 20 before Liv M hit 32 from 30 and Esther B hit 24. Lottie Bowden finished off the innings as we posted a competitive 120, the highest total anyone had scored against Repton this year. However, their batting was incredibly strong, with 2 girls in the U18 regional academy – although both fell to the pinpoint bowling of Alice H, who took 2 for 12. The trophy slipped away, but the girls showed remarkable character to keep taking wickets and catches to the last ball.
The squad was completed by Isobel C, Ella J, Ruby P, and Molly R, all of whom have played a significant part in a 9-game unbeaten outdoor season (to add to the 13 of 14 indoor victories that saw us become runners-up in the region) leading up to the National Cup Final.
It says much about the girls’ character that they were so saddened in defeat and have returned determined to strive for even greater honours in the years to come. The girls can be incredibly proud of their absolutely justified title as the second best cricket team in the country.
Gresham’s UCAS coordinator organised a help session for Year 13 pupils as they start the UCAS / University application process.
The session was presented by UEA Outreach Adviser, Lucy Nottingham, giving insight and help on how to perfect your personal statement.