Latin Prayer

Latin Prayer Spring Term 2018

Monday 15th January 2018

This morning I am pleased to have three music certificates to award. Well done to the following:

  • Rebecca Hamilton – Grade 6 singing with merit
  • Laura Smith – Grade 7 violin with distinction
  • Imogen Cotton – Grade 7 singing with merit

I would also like to congratulate all those 15 U6 who made applications to Oxford and Cambridge this year. It is probably one of the most competitive application processes. In 2016, over 26,000 students applied for just 3,200 undergraduate places at Oxford and the statistics are similar for Cambridge. That means around 50,000 applying for 7,000 places and this rises every year.

In the last three years three current pupils have gained places each year with additional places going to OB’s. This year all our applicants were current Blundellians and I am delighted to say that of the 13 U6 who gained interviews, once again three gained offers of a place. In addition three U6th were placed in the pool which means they are worthy of a place in the eyes of the college, but the college they have applied to just didn’t have space left. All 15 deserve our congratulation and the successful three are:

  • Addie Chai who will read Maths at Churchill College, Cambridge
  • Keiran Smith who will read Medicine at Jesus College, Cambridge
  • Megan Grant who will read English at Downing College, Cambridge

Sport

Moving on to our matches this week, it was a busy day for netball, hockey and football.

The boys’ hockey teams played a block fixture against Exeter School. The 1st XI played their match on Friday evening and it was a very close 3-4 defeat. There was some outstanding play from Dan Hoaen, Jack Klinkenberg, Ollie Clough and Stephen Walton with strong debuts made by Dan Hitchin and Theo Rees. I am pleased to announce that the Hockey Captain this year is Dan Hoaen and Vice-Captain is Ollie Clough.

On Saturday, The 2nd XI had a good first win 3-2, and the U15A’s put in a great effort in a convincing first half performance, holding Exeter School to a 1-1 half time score line, though they finished in second place. The U14B’s won in convincing style 6-3.

I enjoyed watching the 1st and 2nd XI football who played at home against Downside this weekend. The Downside teams had enjoyed a successful autumn term fixture list. Despite conceding soft goals, Dr Balsdon tells me that the young squad performed admirably with Lucas Jones calmly scoring his first goal for the 1st XI following some great build up play. Congratulations to Charlie Fanous on his appointment as 1st team Football Captain. He will be supported by Liam Syed as Vice-Captain.

The 2nd XI were probably our team of the week, as they made an excellent start to their season beating Downside 6-4, at times playing assured and fluent football. Joe Hancock scored a hat-trick, with goals also coming from Oliver Li, Ernie Sin and ‘Man of the Match’ Masato Watanabe. Mr Dawson had every right to be proud on the touchline.

The netballers played a triangular match against both King’s Bruton and West Buckland. The 1st VII won against West Buckland in an excellent game with a completely mixed squad. Millie Eaton-Jones was the only person who had played for the 1st VII before, as a number of players were at the indoor hockey nationals.

The girls worked incredibly hard, playing in a calm and controlled manner. Milly Curtis played very well in her debut as Goal Shooter. The 2nds also played well but were not able to win through this week. Captain of Netball for 2018 is Millie Eaton-Jones and Vice-Captain is Mantha Unsworth-White.

The 3rd team had a hard couple of matches, and Polly Muirhead played very well. It was a double win for the 4th VII team, with Player of the Match going to Ella Park, as GS, along with GA, Claudia Rattigan in their 19-8 win against West Buckland.

Player of the Match against King’s was Kira Schiffer and Jodie Lister and Annabel Chatwin, played extremely well. The 5th team also had an encouraging win, with Serena Hay scoring some excellent goals & Poppy Davenport a key player in centre court.

The U15A’s won against West Buckland and Olivia Cowap and Mariia Karpova were stand outs. In the B team, Zoe Dare, Olivia Highton and Grace Chapman were excellent. The U14A’s won both their matches with Lydia Weston and Honor Huggett as players of the respective matches. The U14B’s also won both their matches.

The Fives teams had a warm up this week playing the staff, which was enjoyed by all, and whilst the staff won this time I am sure there will be a rematch of that.

Finally, the U16 girls have been playing their final hockey match at the Indoor National Finals. They did very well, winning against Wakefield, and only losing out to the eventual winners, St George’s, Weybridge 2-0.

It was excellent exposure for the girls to get to a national indoor final which we haven’t been at since Miss Hosking was in charge back in the early 2000’s. I hope it is not long until we repeat that. As a number of the team are also playing indoor nationals for ISCA, they will certainly get a bit of practice.

Notices

There will be a very brief meeting for those going to Peru today at 12.35 in Big School Foyer.

Please also remember you must attend the meeting this Friday in P3 at 5.30pm where you will be choosing the activities and venues to visit on the expedition. The meeting will end at 7.30pm.

A few thoughts on...

Many of you will have heard this quote before; “I don't agree with what you say but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” It is commonly attributed to Voltaire, the French Philosopher, and it is always used to defend the principles of free speech that stand at the heart of our democracy in the UK and all other liberal democracies worldwide.

Over the weekend I read a synopsis of the new book ‘Fire and Fury’ that was recently published in the US, which gives an apparent insider’s view of Donald Trump, the President and the man, as well as a pen picture of the way in which he runs his office and the US government. I have to say it made entertaining reading, and tempted me, as it was intended to do, to get hold of the book itself.

I wouldn’t hold it up as any sort of real biography. However, the reaction that it prompted from the US President himself which was, as usual, transmitted via his Twitter account, not to mention the way in which he has been quoted this week again, makes it a bit of a conundrum. It is difficult not to wonder what, this ‘smart genius’ thinks allowing himself to speak as freely as he does is doing for his country, the people he represents, the integrity of the office and also of course, his own personal reputation globally.

Does freedom of speech and expression actually need to have some limits? I would imagine the President’s press secretary would secretly want there to be some limits though, I doubt he would say that out loud, as the last two short-lived press secretaries probably did to their cost.

So closer to home, do we have anything to fear from free speech? We would probably think not, but we all need to consider the way in which we communicate, either speaking or online as there is no doubt that what we say or post, says a lot about us.

The first thing most businesses do these days is to look up their candidates for job interviews on Google and look into their visible social media. Everyone does that as standard before they even meet you. For those of you heading off to university interviews in the next few weeks, I hope you have checked what a typical undergraduate working part time in the admissions office could have access to. You might not think someone of my age can look you up, but not everyone who works in recruitment and admissions is my age.

Look at what you have on your phone, or post on Twitter, Instagram or Snapchat. If the things that you put on your story show you in anything less than a good light, then I would think seriously about how you want to be viewed by people that matter to you.

The people who see what you post are those in the years above you and the years below. They are also people who have the power to give you a university offer, or not. They are the people who have the power to give you a job. Or not.

Do we really have the right to criticise people who use social media to say unacceptable things or share unacceptable messages, or worse, unacceptable photographs? The answer is yes, we most certainly do.

If I can encourage you to do one thing today or this week, it is to look through everything that is visible online and on your devices. Look at who you are following and even more importantly, who is following you. They are able to see everything you post. And you do not know who sees what they see. Another interesting quote is that ‘Freedom is not free’. If you show yourself in a negative light online, which you are essentially free to do, you do so in front of those who have far more opportunity to change the course of your life than I do, and they won’t be giving you the benefit of the doubt either. Use this freedom wisely.

Nicola Huggett
The Head