Latin Prayer

Latin Prayer Spring Term 2018

Final Spring Assembly: Tuesday 23rd March 2018

Firstly I would like to congratulate all those who took part in the wonderful spring concert last Wednesday. It was both really good fun and showed off your excellent and developing skills as musicians. It is also really good to see the supportive way that all those singing and playing in the huge orchestra worked with the younger prep school musicians. Thank you for all you support and enthusiasm. For those that were there, one of the highlights once again was the singing of our senior trio, Redmond, Keiran and Freddie.

Music half colours are awarded today to Sparkle Menzies, Julia Huntingford, Lennert Friedrichs, Hal Dare, George Stubbs, Cecilia Cheng.

Another fascinating event out of the normal school day came as we finally got the chance to see Alex Thomas’ cast perform ‘A Shortened Story’. Written through very emotional personal experience, Alex was able to draw out the many frustrations that must come from seeing your cherished memories disappear far too soon as happens through the cruel disease of dementia. As Alex told us, many people contract this far too young and it is a tragedy for family and friends to watch your loved ones fade in front of your eyes.

I am sure, with the help of his excellent volunteer cast, who came from all different year groups, Alex has been able to educate and highlight a really important cause. In addition to the cast, I know he would like to thank Lars Frick, Hal Dare and Barney Ames particularly for all the support they gave him, and special mention must go to the upcoming star of the lighting and technical box, Chris Churcher. The play raised over £1,000 which is fantastic and will be a much-needed boost to this deserving charity.

I have a few certificates to present this morning too. A number of physicists took part in the Oxford University AS and GCSE Physics Challenges a few weeks ago.

Pradyut Sekhsaria gained a silver in the AS round and Millie Davis, Misha Pemberthy and James Elderfield gained silver in the GCSE rounds. Harry List was awarded a Gold certificate. The grade boundary for Gold was 29/50. Harry achieved 38! This almost certainly puts him well within the top 1% in the country.


This week of the spring term is always dominated by the Rugby Sevens at Rosslyn Park. It involves a lot of different year groups and this year has seen some terrific results. The U13’s won their pool, before they headed off to play in the National Hockey finals, showing they are a force to be reckoned with for the future. The U14’s and U16’s have played very well and the girls sevens team competes today. However, the resulting win of the Vase competition by the U18 team will definitely be a highlight for all of us. The headline of the Fifteen rugby website last night was ‘Brilliant Blundell’s’ and that is exactly right. Mr Johnson sent me this report:

The squad of players have achieved something that is incredibly rare in winning the Rosslyn Park Vase competition. There are many extremely well recognised rugby players that do not have the title of Rosslyn Park winners on their CV.

Over the space of two days the squad's performances were exceptional and were a great credit to the hard work they had put in over the term. Winning games against Cheltenham College 15-14, or coming from 12-0 down against Stowe in their semi-final pool, tests players' physical and mental determination to the limit. Such excellent performances are earned on the training field and the effort and application shown by this squad of players has been unmatched. To play 10 games over two days is unbelievably difficult. The final against St. Peter's York was a great advert for how to play intelligent and efficient sevens, with the side once again having to remain calm after falling two tries behind early in the first half. To run out the eventual winners, 24-20 was a fitting end to a brilliant tournament.

Fifteen rugby noted that the ‘Outstanding’ Troy Sixton won the Akuma Player of the tournament, and they also had plenty to say about the flamboyant Barrie Karea but it is fair to say several of our players were in the running for the player of the tournament award and it is not an exaggeration to say the whole squad were star performers and they all contributed to the tournament victory.

To quote from Fifteen Rugby, after defeats last term in our national finals for both St Peters and us, ‘Here was a chance for redemption in the short form of the game, and both had seized it gleefully. In the end though, sheer quality was the deciding factor, Blundell’s were simply too good, as they had been over the whole two days.

At times for those on the sidelines they were a joy to watch and for Blundell’s themselves, this was the major trophy they have been craving, the reward for all of those hours and hours of work, and the trophy that demonstrates the brilliance that they showed not just here at the Rosslyn Park HSBC National School 7s, but throughout the season.’

Oscar, as captain, please can you and the team come up to collect the Vase and your medals.

I asked Mr Bucknell, Mrs Candler and Dr Balsdon for a summary of the hockey, netball and football teams.

In hockey, the 1st XI now play on a good, competitive circuit. Victories have been limited but the recent win over Colston's was pleasing as it was the first time we have beaten them in four years. The 1st went out in the first round of the National School's Cup against Wellington. The U15's have done well so far but the real success has been lower down. The U12's are unbeaten. The U13's beat Kingston Grammar on the way to the semi-finals of the Independent Schools Cup which was played this week in Birmingham. They came 4th in the country. In the Devon Cup, the U16's and U14's both reached the semi-final.

Hockey half colours are awarded to: Jack Watt, Ed Smith and Jack Klinkenberg.

Netball has also had a good season, having begun with the National Schools Competition in the autumn term, when only a limited amount of netball is played. Both the U14 and U16 squads qualified for the County Round and both unfortunately lost extremely tight semi-finals. This term the senior netball has been thriving and we have had regular 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th team fixtures. The girls have been extremely committed to playing competitively in all matches. The 1st VII have played some thrilling netball and so far this season have had notable wins against Bryanston, Exeter School, West Buckland, Wellington and King’s College.

Mrs Crease and Miss Isdell-Carpenter have been very pleased with the performances and winning ways of the 3rd and 4th VII, particularly the 3rd VII’s result against Exeter School, and 4th VII’s against Taunton School.

Netball half colours are awarded to: Mantha Unsworth-White, Grace Francis and Betty Stone.

A large proportion of the Year 10 cohort have appeared at some stage this season for either the U15 A, B and C teams. This has been the case for the U14’s as well, who deserve particular praise as between them this term they have scored 256 goals and have only had two defeats – fantastic.

The 2018 season proved to be a challenging one for Blundell’s football, not only in terms of the weather! The first XI got stronger as the term went on as the young team grew in confidence, winning their last two games against Wellington (3-1) and the Old Blundellian’s (4-2). Despite rarely being able to put out a full team, the 2nd XI won two of their fixtures claiming the scalps of both Downside and Millfield.

Great potential lies in the U16’s however, with three of their year group being regulars in the 1st XI, the U16’s proved to have strength and depth, returning two wins, two draws and a single loss on a tough circuit.

Football half colours are awarded to: Alexie Michalopoulos, Masato Watanabe, Oliver Li, Max Payne, Freddie Davies, Liam Syed.

There have been many individual successes, and fives, with Ben FitzHerbert, Felix Stone, Oscar Wetherall, Jacob Cole, Harry Southgate, Barnaby Hull, Dan Pugsley and Charlie Tomlinson doing very well in the U13 nationals. Kayaking and equestrian have had terrific seasons too. We wish the crews the best of luck with the Devizes to Westminster canoe marathon over Easter. The golf team had a tremendous result at the WoE Independent Schools Championships. Captain Will Hall-Tomkin, Harry Edworthy, Sam Pryce, Artem Frolov and Will Bucknell beat Cheltenham College to qualify for the finals. The team lost out to Radley, but Artem remained unbeaten in his debut match for us.

To finish the sports reports, I would like to announce the results of the House matches this term.

  • Junior competition – Winners NC – 25 points
  • Senior competition – Winners NC – 26 points
  • Junior competition – Year 9 – Old House
  • Junior competition – Year 10 – Francis House
  • Seniors – Old House

Football was won by: Petergate

To finish this morning, I would like to recognise one more person for their all-round contribution to School life.

Will McIntyre is one of life’s true All Rounders. He is the holder of both Academic and Drama scholarships in recognition of his talent. Will thrives on academic challenge, claiming both the Year 12 History and English prizes and he earned himself 11A*s and 1 A grade in his GCSEs. Will is an outstanding student of History. He also has a natural aptitude for English and regularly gives informed, personal and creative responses to literary texts. In French, he is able to use his skills to develop fluency, both in writing and speaking. His ability across his subjects means that he has been predicted 3 A*’s and ensured he was offered an interview at Cambridge and places at Birmingham, Leeds, Nottingham and his first choice – Durham.

Will has also been a regular contributor to Blundell’s Drama for the past seven years. He can be fully relied on to give his all to whatever role he plays whether that be as a crow in the Snow Queen or Oberon, the King of the Fairies in A Midsummer Night's Dream. He tackles every role with determination, which really came in useful when he portrayed the salacious Wolf in Into the Woods. Most recently, he gave a commanding performance in The Crucible as Judge Danforth.

Will has been an outstanding contributor to Blundell’s football throughout his career at the school, starting way back in Year 9 with his captaincy of the U14A’s, displaying from an early age the kind of leadership qualities and calm, measured commitment to the game and his team, that have become such a trademark of his approach in more recent years. As a former Russell winner, his fitness and stamina have always been of the highest level. Will’s reading of the game is excellent. When one combines this with his top quality timing of tackles, physicality and pace, we begin to see what an asset he has been as Vice-Captain of the 1st XI this year.

This array of talents has meant that Will has stood out, in addition to being an excellent Head of House, he has led by example as a School Monitor this year. I believe therefore that Will is genuinely deserving of All Round Full Colours.

All that remains is to thank all your teachers, and all the support staff for their sterling efforts over the term, even battling the snow last week to get here. I hope you have a very good Easter holiday. Whilst Year 11 and the Upper 6th will need to get to that all-important revision, I believe that you all deserve a very good holiday.

Nicola Huggett
The Head