Latin Prayer

Latin Prayer Autumn Term 2017

Monday 13th November 2017

Firstly, I would like to congratulate all those in years 11-13, as well as the choir, the CCF cadets and Monitors, on the very courteous and diligent way you conducted yourselves yesterday in our Remembrance Day service. It was once again a highlight of the year and the way you behave says a huge amount about the respect we have for our forebears. Thank you.

It has been a busy week or so and I am sure we will be ready for our exeat weekend on Friday. Well done to the scholars concert performers on Wednesday. I know the choir have had a very busy week with evensong in Truro too. Congratulations also to FH for what I hear was a terrific play at the end of the week.

Sport

This weekend we had some very exciting hockey against King’s Bruton who always keep us on our toes. I arrived at the astro to see a few glum faces as the second half of the 1st XI match began with us 2-nil down, but in a terrific show of determination from the whole team, Sparkle Menzies, Betty Stone and Emily Lowe scored three very good goals back to back making it 3-all. After putting King’s through a huge amount of pressure in a nail-biting second half, we were finally rewarded by Betty Stone, who calmly scored her second, which put Blundell’s ahead for the first time in the game. The girls then defended extremely well for the agonising final minutes in order to come away with one of the best wins of the season so far a 4-3 victory.

This morning, on the subject of hockey, I would like to say a few words about Georgina Pitts. Georgina has been a stalwart of the team for the last three years. She is a natural defender; strong on the ball but even stronger off it putting in crucial tackles at key points during games and intercepting dangerous passes through her outstanding ability to read the game. George’s persistence and tenacity means she never gives up and continually works up and down the pitch to get pressure on the ball at any available opportunity. Her strength on the ball is just as impressive; she carries aggressively and her small unit play means she eliminates defenders with ease. This year George has undertaken the vice captains role with utter professionalism and no task is too small for her. She sets high standards and leads by perfect example. George has a quiet steadfast nature that means when she is on the pitch other players feel more confident knowing she is there.

In addition to her school hockey, George plays for Isca hockey club where she has both captained and vice captained sides and played in both the indoor and outdoor competitions, achieving 5th place at the National Indoor finals in 2015 and 4th at the National Outdoor finals in 2016.

George has also represented Devon at junior academy centres, Junior Regional Performance Centres and HiPac where she has played for the regional team the Wessex Leopards at U17 level. She is part of the England Hockey Performance Centre and AASE programme.

George often helps coach the younger years during junior games sessions and is an exemplary role model for others to follow. She is also a keen paddler for the canoe club in her spare time and showed her grit and determination through the Devizes to Westminster canoe marathon last year. As if she is not busy enough, George has also recently been promoted to Cadet Regimental Sergeant Major bringing her trademark enthusiasm and commitment to the CCF. She has had to show real resilience this year, but she is a shining example for others of how to overcome difficulties regarding injuries. For these reasons, I am delighted to award Georgina Pitts Full Colours for Hockey.

In our other hockey games, The 2nds and 3rds both lost to Bruton in close games on Saturday, but the 4th XI had another win this week. Also triumphant were the U15A’s where Ellie Sproul had a superb game, and the U15B’s. The U14A and B’s also won, with Eliza Lloyd scoring 5 goals. The U13A’s drew against King’s Hall, whilst the U13B’s won their match midweek. The U12A’s held Millfield Prep to a 2-2 result on Saturday too. Special mention to Flossy Ames and Sophia Rochfort for their excellent marking in defence as well as Honor Tobin and Isobel Morrison.

In rugby mid-week, the 1st XV faced Stowe School in the next round of the Championship trophy. Mr Johnson reports that after a four hour coach journey it was unsurprising that the team started the game slightly below par. However, the strength and resilience of the squad was proven when Alfie Gardner came on as a forward replacement in the first five minutes and went on to produce an excellent individual performance. The victory against Stowe was, once again, a magnificent team effort, especially in the second half. We were worthy 16-3 winners. Kingswood School awaits us in the semi-final on the 22nd November, here at home.

On Saturday we played our block fixture against Millfield, with some tough competition for the 2nds and 3rds this week.

The U14A’s recorded an excellent 19-17 win. Mr Lewis reports that the boys played with a maturity beyond their years and were superb in defence. Despite the fact that it was a tough game for the U15A’s, Mr Moore reports that Boris Ames played extremely well.

The U13 and U12 rugby players, in both A and B teams have continued their very successful seasons with some excellent mid-week match performances against King’s Hall and Sherborne Prep.

Over 300 runners from 12 different schools tackled courses of different lengths set up on 10 Acre and the Amory Athletics field for this year's Exeter Area Cross country competition this week. Ms Gill thanks all those pupils who volunteered to help. There were many successes but a number in the top 10 placings for different age groups.

The Year 7 Girls were 2nd in the team competition with a 6th place for Georgia Withey. The Year 7 Boys team came 3rd, with 1st for James Clarkson and 5th for Jasper Kolowski. Top ten placings for the juniors came from Mattie Kowloska, Lydia Weston, Freddie Mercer and Kieran Williams. In the Inter classes, Theo Rees, Jack Winzer, Rose Stanton and Alice Smith all came in the top 10. These and several other team members in each age group will now represent the Exeter area at the Devon Schools meet later this term.

The Blundell’s Bulls played old rivals Taunton School on Wednesday, and although they played what was probably their best game yet (including a fantastic 21 points from Wenteng Ma), Taunton’s well-established team were just too strong this time. Well done to the whole team.

You might have seen in the calendar that this week is our annual Kindness and Tolerance week. That is particularly apt I think, following on from remembrance. The Monitors will be leading on this theme this week and I am going to invite Jack Watt, Head of School, to say a few words about what they planned.

‘This Monday marks the start of the Tolerance and Kindness week. For anyone new, each year, a week is dedicated to the consideration of Tolerance and Kindness. This is led by the Upper Sixth Form Monitor team with the aim of promoting open-mindedness and generosity of spirit, within the Blundell’s community. Being a relatively small school with a friendly atmosphere, we would like to think that levels of bullying or unkindness are extremely low. However, it would be naive to think that it is completely non-existent. Fortunately, most cases are caused by ignorance and the intention of this week is to create awareness of the result of our actions to others.

So as part of Tolerance and Kindness week, there will be assemblies by the monitors, a talk from the newly formed Respect Committee and - similar to the handprints last year - there will be photos taken of all students to make a school logo collage. So as a notification for the year 7’s and 8’s watching this in Ondaatje Hall, please go to the art department at 12:35 for your photos to be taken.’

Notices

For all Years 11, 12 and 13 interested in finding out more about applying to American universities there will be six representatives in the Beale Centre during the tutorial period today who are looking forward to meeting them.

To conclude this morning, I have saved some exciting news until last. You will know, I am sure, that I shall regrettably be leaving Blundell’s at the end of the summer term next year. Over the last few months, we have been conducting a search, using a professional recruitment company, to select my successor to become the next Head of Blundell’s.

This morning, as you, the pupils, are the most important people in the School, it is right that you are the first to know. A letter to your parents and to the OB’s is being sent by email this morning.

Therefore, I am delighted to announce that the Board of Governors has chosen Mr Wielenga to be the new Head, with effect from September 2018.

From a strong field of 68 applicants, we chose nine candidates to come for a first round of interviews during half term and after that four candidates of high calibre were short listed, each of whom was interviewed over two days last week. The Governors considered that Mr Wielenga was the outstanding candidate and I agree wholeheartedly with their decision.

As he has been our Second Master at the Senior School for just over five years, and all the time I have been here, he knows you and the School extremely well. I know he is looking forward very much to having the opportunity to lead Blundell’s into the next exciting phase of its history as its 30th Headmaster since 1604. This is excellent news for us as a School and I am sure you will join me in congratulating him.

Nicola Huggett
The Head