Charity Committee supports The Treehouse 2020-2021

This year the senior school is supporting the Treehouse; a local charity situated in Holt that aims to help vulnerable children and adults within the community. Charity events will be organised by the Gresham’s Charity Committee with the aim of raising money to go towards a low wheelchair-accessible treehouse as well as a sensory garden where the treehouse will be situated.

The Treehouse operates a zero-waste eco-friendly cafe, a community fridge for vulnerable families and organises various workshops for children. The amount of work that they do ranges from: workshops for vulnerable adults and children, music lessons, supporting women who suffer from postnatal depression as well as children with speech and language difficulties. Their cafe serves freshly ground coffee, delicious cakes and light lunches whilst offering a warm and friendly environment for visitors. A community garden is a place where fresh produce can be grown and gardening sessions can be hosted which offers a large open space for families to spend their time at. The services they provide will really help people who need it and make a genuine difference to the lives of many vulnerable people within the community.

A group of Gresham’s pupils have already volunteered for the charity earlier in the year and have started to dig up the ground for the sensory garden. Our donations and support will be invaluable to the newly established charity, especially considering that their work was halted by the lockdown in March. Although unnoticeable initially, Holt is considered a ‘blackspot’ for childhood poverty and the area has the second highest rate in the county. Therefore, the committee’s efforts in supporting The Treehouse, whose main goal is to tackle this, are really important.

In support of The Treehouse and the many people that they impact, the Gresham’s Charity Committee would really appreciate your invaluable support in aiding to further such a vital cause within the Holt Community. The committee has set up a JustGiving page where parents and the Gresham’s family can contribute towards donations that will go towards the sensory garden and The Treehouse. They would really appreciate your contributions and they can be made at:

The charity committee will dedicate time throughout the year to plan and publicise events and schemes to raise money for The Treehouse.  They meet as a group each Friday afternoon and use this time to plan for the weeks ahead.  The members of the committee are as follows:  Shahd Abdelrahman (O), Esme Siddall (E), Amy Garrod (E), Joshua Anthony (H), Hugo van Vradenburch (H), George Beeson (H) and Charlie Howard (W).  Keep your eyes peeled for further details of the work that they get up to.

Kate sings in Evensong and Barnes Festival

We are very proud to see Gresham’s student Kate’s recent accomplishments within her role as a chorister.

Kate sang as part of the Evensong at St Gabriel’s Church, Pimlico, and the service can be seen viewed by clicking here.

She was also a part of choir of 8, singing in the Barnes Music Festival. The performance can be viewed by clicking here and their songs can be found at the beginning of the video and at 26 minutes in.

Year 2 learn computing skills with Beebots

Year 2 had lots of fun in their Maths lesson today learning about the vocabulary associated with position and direction, as well as developing their computing skills. They used classroom resources to design mazes for their Beebots to carefully navigate through. The children were challenged to use new vocabulary such as ‘quarter turn clockwise’ and did brilliantly working with their friends.

Pupils engage in online boat design and engineering lecture

Alan Goodchild, managing director of Goodchild Marine shared his knowledge of design and innovation in naval architecture online to pupils and staff who were keen to learn more about boat design and engineering. He has been involved in boat building for many years moving to designing commercial port support craft in 1980 and recently worked on the design and manufacture of a groundbreaking vessel, the ‘Vanguard’ pilot boat.

‘Leader’ is the UK’s first hybrid pilot boat and is built by Goodchild Marine Services for the Port of London Authority helping to pave the way for dynamic improvements to the carbon footprint of cutters. This in depth talk was particularly interesting for those studying design, technology and physics showing how to apply what is learned to specific projects.

He has very kindly offered a tour of the boat yard and offices for interested pupils once restrictions are lifted.

Pupils remember OGs who survived conflicts as well as those who died

Mr Kinder reflected on how moving this year’s Act of Remembrance had been and that remembrance is hard to avoid at Gresham’s given that we meet in a War Memorial Chapel. He challenged pupils to remember those who survived conflicts as well as those who died, and reflected on the contrasting experiences of life after conflict uncovered by four Sixth Form researchers in their Friday Service activity.

The fate of survivors was varied and almost always carried the scars of war. Holt boy ‘Chummy’ Preston who worked as a photographer and died in 1971; George William Thomas Pretty of Aylsham who died in Hellesdon Mental Hospital in 1930; and Henry Frederick Rilot of Bengal Lodge and Farfield who died as a cotton and fruit farmer in South Africa in 1924. Some of the OG survivor discoveries have been unexpected, that of Blasio Kagwa of Uganda, the German soldier Carlo Zino Thomsen and the American Allen du Pont Dimmick who fought with the American army in WWI and protected by the French Resistance in WWII.

Mr Kinder encouraged pupils to enter this year’s Hugh Lock Peace Medal challenge, to produce a creative piece – prose, poetry, art, music, drama or a film – on the theme Make Peace Indestructible. The winner will be announced after Home Weekend.  Hugh Lock OG, seriously wounded during WWII gifted two peace medals to be awarded to students in 2005.


Queens’ Year 9 work together on their ‘survival skills’

Head of Adventure, Mr Majid demonstrated the correct way to use a knife, saw and axe so that the girls could collect and prepare wood and other material to make a fire. They will build on this initial skill in the coming weeks, working together to hone their ‘survival skills’, learning how to prepare wild food, cook on an open fire, and the rudiments of emergency first aid. Shelter building is the next skill to perfect when Queens’ return to the School woods.

Sports leaders learn from double Paralympic Champion

Five pupils across year groups and sports have joined The Foundation for Leadership in Sport programme through Sport Director, Bob Reeves and double Paralympic Champion, Danielle Brown MBE to explore in great depth what the purpose of leadership is in their respective bubbles.

Having Danielle’s insight from her archery career, that began at the age of 15, instantly gave students the relatability that was needed to place the theories in a practical sense. Danielle openly shared the techniques that she put in place to improve her self confidence that took her to World Number One.

Self awareness is key to leadership and participants were keen to make the session as interactive as possible with the online constraints that the Covid – 19 Pandemic brings. Therefore, in pairs, the Peer Mentor Group scored themselves and their partners on various aspects of leadership. From self confidence through to commitment to high level performance, scores ranged between 1-5 and the group openly shared with each other about what they can do to help improve the lower scores.

Max, Jemima, Georgia, Callum and Kate will present the Leadership topic and exercise to their year group cohorts in January and we will look forward to another group presentation in February. Our thanks go to Alex Wallace (nee Paske OG) and her company, the Mintridge Foundation, for allowing us this opportunity to be the pilot programme for Schools.

‘Sensational’ Auden Society meeting

The second meeting this term of the Auden Society was sensational – not least, because Mrs Sharrock presented on her top three Victorian Sensation novels!  If you want scandal and melodrama, pick up a copy of Wilkie Collins’ The Woman in White, Ellen Wood’s East Lynne or Mary Elizabeth Braddon’s Lady Audley’s Secret!

The evening ‘kicked off’ with an excellent presentation by Lizzie P-R on the (sensational) life of the Metaphysical poet John Donne – a rule-breaker who ignored all the conventions of Renaissance poetry.  Dally A followed with a very insightful and entertaining comparison of the presentation of Pygmalion in Ovid’s Metamorphosis and Carol Ann Duffy’s poem Pygmalion’s Bride, from her collection of poems entitled The World’s Wife (which Dally is studying as part of his English Language and Literature IB studies).

To prove that – at the Auden Society – anything goes, Callum R and Flo O’L presented on the many and varied links they have made in eight weeks of A level study between English Literature and their other chosen A level subjects.  Callum adeptly illustrated how his study of Economics has encouraged him to consider how the economic status of characters in Tennessee William’s Streetcar Named Desire impacts both their relationships and life chances.  Flo made similarly insightful links between her study of English Literature and History of Art, in particular how the context of production and reception inform how we read both literary texts and visual images.

Finally, Mrs. Robinson topped off a sensational evening with an excellent exploration of the Modernist movement in art and literature. Tracing the movement, or, rather, the development of it, Mrs. Robinson’s presentation looked at a trio of artists (Manet, Cezanne, and Braque), each of whom developed the other’s approach to style. The presentation continued the theme from earlier where links were found in abundance between different subjects and made for an informative, but also interesting final talk.

The Auden Society will meet again on Wednesday 9th December.

Service of Remembrance

The CCF contingent of over 280 cadets paraded alongside the rest of the Senior School in beautiful sunshine on Saturday 7th November for a well-observed and fitting Service of Remembrance with some newly learned drill manoeuvres, to enable social distancing to be observed.

Cdt CPO Alex T of the Royal Navy Section carried the CCF Banner, flanked by the senior cadets of the Army & Royal Air Force Sections, Cdt CSM Jack G and Cdt WO Charlie C, who also collected the wreaths. These were laid in the School Chapel at 11am on the 11th November.

The CCF SSI & Contingent Commander read out The Roll of Honour of over 220 OGs killed in the World Wars. Schola sang the introit, the Chaplain then led a full Act of Remembrance and preached on the symbolism of the poppy, and the School Captains delivered the reading and the prayers. School brass instrumentalists sounded The Last Post with clarity and precision and the School observed the two minute silence impeccably before being led in an act of dedication by the Headmaster.



The Mintridge Foundation – Sporting Leaders programme

On 6th November, 24 students from Yrs10 – 13 had the opportunity to be involved in a new programme for young aspiring sporting leaders. This initiative has been set up by Alex Wallace (nee Paske) (OG) from the Mintridge Foundation.

The programme was delivered by Bob Reeves, former Director of Sport at Bristol University and past England Rugby (RFU) President, alongside Eboni Usoro-Brown, England Netball and Mintridge sporting ambassador.

The three groups, based in bubbles with Mr Adams, Mr Pienaar and Mr Cowan, were presented ideas about leadership and given tasks throughout the presentation ranging from; what is a good leader, who stands out as an effective leader, behaviour characteristics required for good leadership and a personal reflection of their leadership qualities and areas to focus upon to improve.

It was a really beneficial experience for all involved and there are three further sessions planned through the remainder of this academic year. A peer mentorship programme will be set up to share ideas and discuss the principles of leadership.