Latin Prayer

Latin Prayer Spring Term 2019

Monday 6th May 2019

Good morning everyone. I hope you enjoyed a sunny weekend. This week the exams begin in earnest and I want to wish all of you in Year 11 and 13 all the very best. You have worked hard for this and you deserve to do well. It is important that you look after yourselves and each other in this time. Make sure you keep getting your sleep, eating properly and get regular exercise. In the last few weeks I have spoken about taking responsibility for yourselves and this is a good example of that. I wanted to share an email with you that I received from a member of the public this past week. It is a reminder to us all that the little things we do really matter. The mail goes like this:

Sorry, this is probably a bit of a funny one, but I just wanted to email over a quick thanks and compliments to your pupils, two of whom helped me when I trod on dog poo and slipped over wearing a somewhat too high pair of heels last evening! There were a fair few people around but it was your pupils who helped and even cleaned off my shoe saving me trying to do it hopping about with one bare foot and one foot in a high heel. I wanted to compliment the school on having helpful pupils especially as I'm sure it would be a very funny sight - and somewhat smelly experience! - but they were only keen to help which is a credit to them.

Such emails are a pleasure to receive and my thanks to those pupils who this message refers to. I don’t know who you are but well done to you. Members of the public notice your behaviour. They notice when you say thank you when you cross the road – and they notice, and let me know, when you don’t. Just be mindful of such things and continue to do the things you know are good and right.

Bodywork

This week sees the much anticipated Year 9 and 10 play come to the Ondaatje Hall. I know the cast has been preparing for this very ambitious production for a very long time and I know that it will be an exceptional show. On Thursday night the playwright Sir Richard Stilgoe will be in the audience to see his work being performed. That is a real treat for us to have him here and it shows just what an interest he has taken in your performance. I hope that many of you will have the chance and we wish Mr Rochfort and Mrs Winsley and the cast all the very best for the coming week.

Academic Award

With the exam season upon us could I remind you all that we really do want business to continue as normal at school? My advice to you is that you make as much use of your teachers as you can and that during your study leave you use the facilities around school to find a quiet space and where you can also touch base with your teachers on a regular basis.

It has been a very good year to date form an academic perspective and only a fortnight or so ago I handed out numerous certificates as proof of your academic endeavour and ambition. It is therefore a great pleasure to close off the academic year with a colours award to a pupil who has shown exceptional determination and application in his studies, especially over the last couple of years. He is not only one of the highest achievers in the year but arguably he is also the most improved student in the year.

Full Academic Colours: Josh Huggett

Josh Huggett is one of Blundell’s top academics. He is focused, driven and demands the highest standards of himself in all that he undertakes. He works independently and takes a pride in achieving excellent results. He is thoroughly committed to a career in medicine, having gained a place to read Medicine at St Andrews, and he has also been awarded the fiercely competitive Arkwright Scholarship (one of only 400 in the country) as well as a Sixth Form scholarship here at Blundell’s.

In all of his subjects Josh strives to achieve the best results, as evidenced in his AAA in his mock exams, consistently achieving A or A* in class, with predicted results of 3 A*s in the final exams. He enjoys new academic situations showing considerable intellectual flexibility. He is comfortable asking questions to cement his understanding and is quick to apply new knowledge. He naturally takes the lead in small teams and class group work and his ability to organise and inspire his peers is clear to see. Having not studied Biology at A level, and in order to prepare for studying medicine, Josh took the initiative to arrange additional tuition with Dr Ratcliffe, spending an hour a week studying Human Biology to A grade A level standard. He backed this with 4 hours per week of independent study. Josh also completed a brilliant EPQ based around the ethical uses of CRISPR on humans, a practical investigation which is only recently being undertaken in universities. His report went into degree level detail of the technique.

Coupled to his academic work, Josh has a wide range of interests that he pursues with vigour without compromising academic excellence. He is a serious competitive swimmer and he represents the school in Rugby and Hockey, testament to his ability to lead and work as part of a team. He has also completed the 45 mile Ten Tors challenge on Dartmoor. He also plays the saxophone and has taught himself the guitar.

All things considered, Josh manages a very busy Blundell’s career with relative ease. He is therefore fully deserving of Full Academic Colours.

Sport

Tennis

The U14 and U15 girls played against Queens, Taunton. There was some great tennis played, our U15 girls proved too strong with the A team winning all of their sets and the B teams also winning comfortably. The U14 found things a little more difficult and narrowly lost both although Clem Bantock and Eva Bennett won all three of their sets.

The 1st team boys’ lost to Sherborne’s 3rd team by 6 rubbers to 3. It was a close match and by all accounts they thoroughly enjoyed playing on such Sherborne’s new high quality grass courts.

Mrs Crease reports that the 1st team girls’ team played superbly on Saturday to take a convincing victory over the Queen's side. Maddy Cotton and Lydia Weston only dropped 3 games from three sets, in super quick time. Betty Stone and Sparkle Menzies won all three of their sets whilst Georgie Acland and Maddie Wright won two of their sets to make the win secure. The girls are certainly enjoying this excellent run of form and we look forward to playing Downside next weekend which is a new school for us to play at tennis.

Mrs Payne reports that the 2nd team girls’ team fully deserved their first win of the season. The 1st pair of Milly Curtis and Charlotte Mallinson played confidently to win 2 out of their 3 matches. Izzy Gleichmann and Lucy Benson convincingly beat the Taunton 2nd pair 6-2. At 4 matches all, it was down to the dynamic duo of Sav Regan and Harriet Andrews to win their final match and take us to a 5-4 victory.

Fives

I have been waiting for some time now to be able to present a number of Fives medals to a group of School House girls’ who competed in the National Championships at the start of term. I wanted to wait until School House were in Latin Prayer before making these presentations.

Jemima Mitchell won the U13 Plate Final. Honor Tobin did brilliantly to be the runner up in the U13 Singles Final. And in an all-Blundell’s affair, Flossie Ames and Tilly Lane became the National U13 Doubles Champions beating Honor Tobin and Jemima Mitchell in an excellent final. Could those 4 girls please come up and collect their medals?

Boy’s Cricket

Today I will start off with the 1st XI who won their third game on the trot. After finding themselves 20-4 they did very well to post a competitive total of 206-7. The innings was held together superbly by Joe du’Gay, who finished on 100*. It was an innings of great maturity and selflessness. Tobin Barker chipped in with a patient 44 and George Gibbs who struck some lusty blows to ensure we got beyond 200. The spin duo of Will Bucknell and Will Kennaugh put the brakes on with a couple of wickets each, which left Joe Hancock to blast out the tail with a superb exhibition of straight and accurate fast bowling. Will Hall-Tomkin put in another tidy performance in behind the stumps and my congratulations to Will and his team on a very promising performance.

I thoroughly enjoyed watching a bit of the U12A game which we won very comfortably with a very accomplished team performance. Harry Cracknell retired on 45* and Seb Linnitt 74*.

Odward Yeadon took 4 wickets to ensure a comfortable 70 run win.

The U12B team included 5 Year 7 girls making their debuts. We bowled really well to keep Queen’s down to 122 but despite good batting by Raffy Crowe and Jacob Tucker we fell short by 8 runs.

The U13A’s had a very comfortable win with Harry Southgate making 85* and Dan Pugsley a gritty 58. Archie Joyner took an excellent 5 wickets for just 10 runs in his spell. The U13B’s had a competitive game with Maya Corbin and Isabel Morrison both making good contributions and with Toby Low batting and bowling especially well. A special mention goes to Alex Yi who took a wicket with the first bowl he has ever bowled for the school. It’s an easy game really!

A combined U14 and U15 team had a very narrow win with Ben Coen hitting the winning runs in the final over. Troy dos Santos was the best bowler and Josh Brown top scored with 33.

Earlier in the week the 1st XI Twenty20 team beat Mount Kelly by 51 runs with Tom Reynolds hitting five 6’s on his way to 74. Joe Hancock took 4/11 in his spell alongside Will Bucknell and Will Kennaugh who took 3 and 2 wickets respectively.

Swimming

Last Wednesday, the U13 and U15 teams travelled to Exeter School for a gala.

Double individual victories were recorded by Meg Sharp and Will Jeffery

Other individual victories were recorded by Promise Lee, Bella Boyde, Freddie Clayton, Klara Faulhaber and Sam Friend

Miss Young says that it was great to see how well the new squad members performed in their first gala. Everyone swam their hearts out and they were a great credit to the school - overall a great gala! In the end we fell short by just 8 points.

On Saturday the U16 and U18 teams were at King's, Taunton for a highly competitive gala. Despite a myriad of changes to the team - many at very short notice - the team performed superbly well and I am pleased to announce the following:

Double individual victories: Meg Sharp, Harry List and Katherine Walton

Other individual victories: Sam Friend, Misha Pemberthy, Eva Gu, Issy Leyshon and Molly Clayton

Final position: Blundell's 158 points, King's 121 points

Whilst this was a great team performance - and team is very important - it is worth mentioning the individual performances of Harry List and Katherine Walton who pulled their respective relay teams to victory despite having been behind by over half a length.

As always, may I refer pupils to the Highlights sheet on the swimming noticeboard - some great improvements in times again, especially from the U16 girl’s medley and freestyle relay teams?

Athletics

Full Colours: Trixie Nicholson

Trixie is a talented and dedicated performer and has been one of the most successful athletes ever to have attended Blundell’s.

Trixie has shown whole-hearted commitment to school training sessions and competition at every age group. Trixie is a talented thrower, specialising in Javelin, and she has worked hard to improve her technique and build on her natural ability. She has represented the school in all years, generally finishing 1st in matches against other schools. Trixie has been Victrix Ludorum at two Senior Sports days and is the school record holder for Javelin at Junior and Senior level.

As well as competing for Exeter Harriers and Taunton Athletics’ Clubs, Trixie has been Devon Schools’ Javelin Champion each and every year since she started at Blundell’s in 2014 – an unprecedented achievement. Trixie remains the South West Schools’ record holder for Junior Girls’ Javelin and on two occasions she has been crowned South West Schools’ Champion. She finished 2nd last year as a Senior, despite carrying an injury.

Trixie has been selected to represent Devon at the English Schools’ Championships on 4 occasions, finishing 5th, 4th and 3rd when she was able to compete. In 2017 Trixie earned a Bronze medal at the UK School Games and she ended the season ranked in the Top 10 in the country from 2015 to 2017. In 2018, despite injury, she was ranked 11th as a first-year U20.

As Trixie recovers from an ankle injury, she has continued to attend training sessions, our home athletics meeting and has helped organise and encourage, leading by example at all times. In recognition of her outstanding achievement and her dedication, Trixie is awarded Full Colours for Athletics.

Announcements

From Mr Lodge: A group of Year 12’s in FH have spent a few weeks creating a series of challenges to test the best and brightest of you in Blundell’s very own escape room – titled “Escape from Detention” - which takes places in the old gym this Wednesday afternoon. Check your e-mails for the link to book tickets, or contact Ollie Leyshon.

Ten Tors

I have kept the Ten Tors reports for the end of Latin Prayer today. I was very pleased to be able to be at Okehampton yesterday to see most of the teams arrive. I wasn’t quick enough to meet Tommy Ryder and his team as they galloped round at an unbelievable rate and were already in camp by 10.15. It was great to have such good weather but perhaps that was well deserved considering the conditions that the training walks have taken place in. The Ten Tors event really is one of the great things we do as a school. I love the fact that the teams are mixed with boys and girls and looking at the makeup of each team there really is a diversity in abilities, personalities and skill sets. Yesterday I was reminded that it really is all about the team and I was so proud of you when you came in together having shared that challenging experience. It is something that I am sure will stay with you for the rest of your lives. It was a real treat for me to be able to be there at the end to see you coming in. And my apologies to Tommy and the team that I didn’t get up early enough to see you.

The report from Mr Dawe reads as follows:

The Ten Tors teams travelled to Okehampton on Friday to prepare and take part in the 2019 Ten Tors Challenge, or 11 Tors for the keen!!!

Preparations went well and all the teams were up for the challenge, and it would be fair to say that some were slightly apprehensive ahead of the formidable challenge. All the teams did remarkably well, and Blundell’s representation was good with 2 x 45 mile and 2 x 35 mile teams, and 2 students completing the challenge with St Peters School.

Having had a hearty meal and good night sleep the teams awoke at 5 AM to the sound of ‘Chariots of Fire’, the traditional wake up for Ten Tors. The groups moved to the start and after a few speeches, a prayer and a parachute display, the 105 light guns fired, starting the 2019 challenge and the teams set off. Walking a variety of different routes in groups of approximately 16 teams. The conditions were perfect.

The 45 A team led by Tommy Ryder planned an excellent route, which they executed well, hitting all the check points as planned and maintaining a good pace, methodically covering the ground. They should be commended for their faultless challenge finishing first amongst their group of 16 at 10.17.

The 45 B led by Kira Schiffer again planned an excellent route. However, they decided to do an 11th Tor which put the team back and when many teams would have buckled, such was the resolve and determination of the team they pushed hard through the night and next day finishing the challenge at 13.36 and tenth in their group. A real credit to the leadership and teamwork to get the job done.

The two 35 mile teams were led by Freddie Clayton and Bea Tanner. Both teams planned good routes and executed them perfectly. The personal qualities that we strive to instil during training of courage, determination, selflessness and cheerfulness in adversity were on display for all to see. The sense of teamwork was humbling and all participants should be very proud of their achievements. Freddie's group finishing 4th at 11.13 and Bea’s 6th in their group at 12.26.

Max Mayor and Ollie Butler having completed all the training managed to complete the challenge with St Peters School CCF finishing a credible 4th in their group at 11.52.

Could the following students please come up and collect their well-deserved 45 Mile and 35 Mile Ten Tors medals? First could I invite the following to come up and get their 35 mile medals?

35 Mile

  • Freddie Clayton - William Cave - Amos Curtis - Ella Taylor - Eve Nugent - Alice Burnand
  • B Tanner - Tyler Read - Tilliana Landray - Lilinka Lambert-Gorwyn - Thomas Labdon - William Venner

45 Mile

  • Tommy Ryder - Ollie Leyshon - Theo Rees - Hannah Kidner - Nell Curtis - Sophia Marr
  • Kira Schiffer - Zoe Labdon - Klara Faulhabor - Tom Greenfield - George Cochrane - William Harbud

St Peter's School CCF

  • Ollie Butler - Max Mayor

Needless to say, a big part of the success of Ten Tors is the excellence of our supporting staff and this weekend Mr Driver, Mr Mycock and Mr Dawe were again heading up an exceptionally slick operation. We are fortunate to have such an expert team and I know that pupils and parents alike have absolute faith in Mr Dawe and his team that when the Blundell’s team steps up to the starting line they are probably the best prepared teams on Dartmoor. My thanks to Mr Dawe, Mr Mycock and Mr Driver for all the effort and enthusiasm that they have invested into making this such a memorable occasion for the Ten Tors teams.

Ten Tors
Ten Tors

Bart Wielenga
The Head