News 2008 - 2009

[ back to previous page ]

Summer Term

Bess Menheneott - first girl's White Jacket holder

Bess Menheneott - first girl's White Jacket holderBess Menheneott NC/W made history by becoming the first girl at Blundell’s to be awarded the coveted White Jacket. She was 1st Team Hockey Captain and a Full Colour; she also played 1st VII Netball. Bess also excelled at Athletics of which she was also Captain and a Full Colour and she competed for Devon. As Captain of Athletics and a Full Colour in another major sport, Bess joined a very elite group of Blundellians, to be awarded the prestigious White Jacket. Bess was also U18 Grade 2 National Trampoline Champion - she twice competed in the Devizes to Westminster Canoe Race, she was joint Head of Corp and held a Navy Award for solo glider pilot. The boys had better look to their laurels, because if they didn’t already know it, here come the girls!

Lizzie Wessely, National Athlete

Lizzie Wessely, National AthleteLizzie Wessely has just been selected to compete in the national under-20 athletics championships in Sheffield. Hurdler Lizzie, from Ashbrittle, has been at the nationals for the last three years having progressed from 80m to 300m and has now achieved the qualifying time for the 400m hurdles. Lizzie competed at the southwest schools meet recently and ran in a time of 63.5 seconds. This has enabled her to compete at the U20 age group and hopes to do better than her silver medal from last year. She says that she is aware that she will be competing against women older than herself, but is ready for the challenge and hopes to win or achieve a personal best at least.

Devon Athletics Championships

Over twenty-five athletes from Blundell’s School attended the recent Devon Schools Championships in Exeter. Of those the following eight have been selected for the county squad to represent Devon at the Southwest Championships: -

  • Emma Selby - Int. Girls - High Jump
  • Kate O’Hanlon – Junior Girls - Long Jump
  • Katie Robbins – Int. Girls – Shot
  • Lizzie Wessely – Senior Girls – 400m Hurdles
  • Bess Menheneott – Senior Girls – Javelin
  • Tom Fayers – Int. Boys – 100m Hurdles
  • Archie Miller – Senior Boys – 110m Hurdles
  • Jimmy Hawkins – Senior Boys – Javelin
Katie Robbins, Bess Menheneott, Tom Fayers and Jimmy Hawkins were all Devon Champions in the above events. Coach Nicky Klinkenberg was very pleased with the individual performances and also added that the team results from the South West Regional B Final of the English School’s Cup were also impressive: -
  • Junior Girls – 4th – 286 points
  • Junior Boys – 1st – 373 points
  • Intermediate Girls – 1st – 323 points
  • Intermediate Boys – 2nd – 388 points

Junior Inter-Schools Eventing Championships

Junior Inter-Schools Eventing ChampionshipsJunior Inter-Schools Eventing ChampionshipsCongratulations to the team of Maddie Simonson, Amy Clarke, Charlotte Hare and Rupert Batting, who put on a strong performance at the Junior Eventing Championships held at Stonar school. With nearly 50 schools represented, competition was at the highest level for this age group. Sound dressage performances by all put them in contention. The show jumping proved tricky and did cost a few of them some annoying penalties; however, impressive cross-country rounds from Maddie (8th individual), Rupert (12th Individual) & Amy (14th individual) strengthened their position greatly, with the team finishing 7th overall at National level.

All Things Bright and Beautiful

All Things Bright and BeautifulThe Special Art Status pupils have collaborated with the Lantic Gallery in Tiverton and local professional artists to put on a wonderful exhibition of postcard sized original art. The theme for the show was All Things Bright and Beautiful and this was interpreted in myriad ways by the artists from traditional landscapes to colourful jelly babies set in plaster. The works were exhibited anonymously and sold for £15 each raising over £600 for Hospiscare and Carers Unite on the opening night. Ruth Shorrock our Artist in Residence must take much credit for the organisation and success of this show and we hope to make it an annual event. (This article is an update to the entry Could You Pick a Masterpiece? below.)

International Rugby Board SOS

International Rugby Board SOSNow the rugby season has come to a close boys and girls from Blundell’s School Tiverton have just donated four kit bags of rugby shirts to the IRB SOS fund. Presenting a shirt to Richard Westaway is Blundell’s first fifteen vice captain Will Denford. Richard said that the fund had been running for about seven years and is the brainchild of a former player, John Broadfoot, whose garage was slowly filling up with discarded kit. He felt that the kit could be put to good use and so started the ball rolling. The shirts from Blundell’s will be now taken to a central collecting point near London and from there they will be distributed to the RFU emerging nations such as Bulgaria, Poland, Lithuania, Romania and others. If anyone would like to donate any rugby kit to this worthy charity please contact Richard on the IRB SOS website.

Could You Pick a Masterpiece?

Could You Pick A Masterpiece?Could You Pick A Masterpiece?Students from Blundell’s school are working in conjunction with the Lantic Gallery on Gold Street to raise money for local charities. Alongside the students’ work, the “Artist’s Postcard Exhibition” will comprise of a range of postcards made by regional artists including Pam Pebworth, Linda Stevens, John Maltby and Mary Sumner. The postcards will be on show at the Lantic Gallery between the 8th and 15th of May and all postcards will go up in an anonymous sale for £15 each. This is a great opportunity to buy original art work at affordable prices and the public are warmly invited to the exhibition.

Spring Term

Charity Rock Concert

Charity Rock ConcertRecently Blundell’s hosted a Charity Rock Concert in aid of House of Hope Nepal, a small orphanage project based in Kathmandu. The Rock Concert was the inspiration of Russell Fleming, a pupil in the Upper Sixth at Blundell’s, who also organised the event. The evening was a huge success and raised just under £1,800 for the charity, thanks to the generous support of nearly 400 pupils, staff and parents. The acts were entirely made up of Blundell’s pupils of all ages and the audience were treated to a huge variety of music as well as some very impressive Street Jazz dancing. The charity benefiting from this fantastic event was overwhelmed by the amount of money raised. The funds will be used to finish the building project for the orphanage as well as continuing to develop the sustainability and self-sufficiency projects which will eventually allow the home to entirely run itself, without the need for outside aid. For more information about the work of the charity please visit their website The organisers would like to thank local firms for their donations and help. These included Tesco, Griffith the Butchers, Stage electrics, Rebekah and Angel Ceramics.

Cricket Pavilion Gets General Makeover

Cricket Pavilion Gets General MakeoverThe cricket pavilion on Big Field is undergoing a major renovation in time for the start of the Summer Term. The sitting-out area has been re-surfaced and much improved and the inside is being redesigned to improve the trophy and team photograph displays. Alongside the pavilion the new mobile triple-nets sit waiting for the new season to begin.

New All-Weather Outdoor Cricket Nets

New All-Weather Outdoor Cricket NetsWork is well advanced on the new outdoor cricket nets and they will be ready for the beginning of the 2009 campaign. The carpeted area has two types of surface, one where the balls pitch and another which allows the bowlers to wear normal cricket spikes. Cricket coach, Rob Turner, says that 'the new nets will greatly increase the amount of quality net-time available to all ages and they are just one of many areas of the overall cricket programme receiving a great boost at Blundell's. We are determined to continue to be at the fore-front of developing cricket in Devon'.

New Floodlit Astro-Pitch Gets Underway

New floodlit astro-pitch gets underwayThe welcome improvement in the weather has seen work on the new astro-pitch get underway. It is to be situated alongside the existing pitch on Gornhay Field and it will include an adjoining warm-up area. The new pitch should be completed by the end of the Summer Term in time for the start of the next hockey season. Two other building projects have also started; they are the all-weather hard surface cricket nets near the Beale Centre and the Athletics Field new pavilion.

National U13 Singles Fives Champion

National U13 Singles Fives ChampionSamuel Wyatt-Haines has become the National U13 Singles Fives champion this weekend after an emphatic performance in the tournament held at St Paul's School in London. He dropped only 6 points in ten games and overcame some very strong opposition from The Pilgrim's School, Winchester, in the final. He went on to also win the National U13 Doubles Cup with his partner Jack Webber who also had an impressive tournament. William Sobczak and Jack Grandfield completed the Blundellian domination of the competition by winning the Doubles Plate in a remarkable day. Michael Bennett and Toby Pilkington also recorded some notable victories in the opening rounds. RDJM

Devon U15 Cricket Tour to South Africa

Devon U15 Cricket Tour to South AfricaHarrison Folland and Tom Ansell of Blundell's School have just returned from a Devon U15 cricket tour to South Africa. They played all their cricket in the Capetown area and managed to win four of their six matches. Right hand bat Tom managed to top score in two of the games and Harrison played a true captain's innings against a strong Western Province U16 team, being undefeated on 43 at the close. Harrison, the Captain of the team, said thet the tour was brilliant. They all had the opportunity to visit Kruger national park, seeing the 'big five', and also saw Penguins at Boulder Beach near Capetown. They also visted the famous Newlands cricket ground to watch a 20-20 match and saw some super 14 rugby between the Stormers and Queensland reds. Chairman of Heathcoats, John Smith, managed the team and commented on what good ambassasors all the boys had been on the trip and what a great experience it had been for them, particularly on the field.

Oxbridge Five

Oxbridge FiveFive pupils from Blundell’s School in Tiverton have been made conditional offers at either Cambridge or Oxford Universities, to begin their studies next October. Matt Cole has been offered a place to read Natural Sciences at Trinity College, Cambridge, Seb Zubov will read Mathematics and Computer Science at Keble College Oxford, Alice Woolley has been offered a place to read Medicine at Balliol and Louise Youngman has an offer to read Law from Oxford University. Harriet Rix , who left school last year has an unconditional place to read Biochemistry at St Edmunds’ Hall, Oxford. Headmaster Ian Davenport commented that he is delighted that five Blundellians have competed with the very best pupils in the country to study at these ancient universities and been successful.

Six Blundellians Get the Call

Six Blundellians Get the CallLast December Blundell's School hosted a Prep Schools Barbarian Rugby day. The event was sponsored by the telephone directory company 118 118 and open to Prep schools from the South West. The day involved the players, who had been put forward by their schools, undergoing intensive coaching sessions provided by staff from the schools and assisted by members of the Blundell's 1st XV. After this the U11 groups were divided into two teams and played a full match on the main pitch. This was followed by the U13 group. During the matches the coaches kept a close eye on the players so they could select individuals to represent the southwest team which played against the South team at Harrow School recently. Following this the six Blundellians have been nominated to play for the South XV versus the North in February.

Autumn Term

Wooden Spoon Charity Presentation

Wooden Spoon Charity PresentationPictured are boys from Blundell’s school wearing their Canadian rugby tour shirts, sponsored by Cushman’s and Wakefield retail services. As part of their fund-raising efforts they agreed to donate 20% of the total fund to charity. This time they chose the Wooden Spoon charity which is for underprivileged children. The charity was started by International rugby players after England had been beaten and were offered the wooden spoon by their Irish counterparts. This event triggered the idea of starting the charity which has blossomed ever since. Receiving the cheque for £4176.97 on behalf of the charity is former Blundellian and Tivertonian, Ryan Hopkins. Ryan, who is currently playing for Plymouth Albion was recently selected to play for the Barbarians against Combined services. The fundraising committee were delighted to have been able to donate a large cheque to the Wooden Spoon and would like to thank the parents and staff of Blundell’s for their time and generosity in raising this money.

Hockey Triple Crown

Hockey Triple Crown The U14, U16 and U18 hockey teams have all been crowned County champions this season. It is believed to be the first time a single school has lifted all three titles. The teams all had to win their preliminary rounds against local teams before progressing to the county rounds. Here they took on the best of the Devon schools where the competition was more demanding. Despite this the girls battled on and all the hours of practice came to fruition with victories at each level. Having won the County section the U18’s represented Devon at the West tournament Clifton Hockey Club in Bristol, managing to finish a creditable fourth. The U16 also played as County representatives and came third with the winning side just two points ahead. The U14 will be at the West Tournament this Sunday. Head of Hockey Niki Klinkenberg said that all the Girls and their coaches had worked very hard and this has certainly put Blundell’s on the Hockey map.

Bangers and Mash with Banger

Bangers and Mash with Banger On Friday 10th of October we were very fortunate to host an evening with Marcus Trescothick as part of his benefit year. Bangers and Mash with BangerThe evening was a thoroughly enjoyable event and raised a good deal of money for Marcus, School cricket and his chosen charity, Children’s Hospice South West. It is no secret that Marcus is a big fan of sausages, hence the format and after sampling the excellent ‘Westaways’ Sausages, kindly donated by Mr Baughan and made by Marcus himself earlier in the week, we moved on to a small auction. Lots included a signed England cricket shirt, a signed Ashes winning squad print and the opportunity to bowl at Marcus during the dinner, an opportunity taken by most of the 1st XI boys on the evening.  The main attraction of the evening however, proved to be an interview of Marcus by OB Vic Marks and an open question and answer session. Marcus spoke openly and in detail about many aspects of his career and we are very grateful to him as a result for entertaining us throughout the evening.

Booked Up Programme

Booked Up programmePictured are some Year 7 pupils at Blundell’s School receiving brand new books after taking part in the Booked Up programme, which gives a free book from a choice of 12 to every 11-year-old in England. Run by the reading charity Booktrust, Booked Up is a national programme which encourages Year 7's to read for pleasure. Assistant Librarian Penny Deighton-Gibson, also pictured, said "This initiative will help to generate interest, debate and enthusiasm for reading which is very important for those of us who love reading and want young people to get pleasure from it too. We are fortunate to have a well stocked library of over 20,000 books and this initiative will certainly help the younger pupils to discover some new literature." The Booked up website allows Year 7s to vote for their favourite Booked Up book, submit reviews and enter competitions. They will also be able to send each other personalised e-cards based on the Booked Up characters, and play Booked Up games.

Devon Air Ambulance Cheque Presentation

Devon Air Ambulance Cheque PresentationPictured are Holly Keevil and Helena Sexton holding a cheque for £580, surrounded by Blundells pupils. The money was raised by pupils who organised a home clothes day recently. Each pupil had to pay £1 for the privilege of discarding their uniform for one day and attending school in their home clothes. Piers Le Cheminant, the Air Ambulance education officer attended morning Chapel at the school and gave a talk about the work carried out by the charity. He also thanked the school for their contributions over the years which amounted to many thousands of pounds. Charity organiser, John Brigden, also said that collections from Sunday chapel services would also be forwarded to the air ambulance. He added that the Headmaster Ian Davenport was intending to cycle from Jon o' Groats to Land's End next year to raise money for the air Ambulance.

Primary Schools Partnership

Primary Schools Partnership Blundell’s has recently formed a partnership with the Culm Valley Small Schools Association with the first initiative being launched on Field Day. Fourteen of our senior artists spent the day at four of the local primary schools helping to deliver art workshops. The day was a great success with a variety of activities taking place at Uplowman, Kentisbeare, Culmstock and Plymtree ranging from Weaving, Baking, Mask Making and collages and an even impromptu concert!
This is the first of several activities in which we are working with the CVSSA which will culminate with a carnival being held on Big Field in July.

Kilve Photography

Kilve PhotographySophie Anderson's image of Kilve has been voted joint winner along with Hatty Hosegood's in a photography competition initiated by Andrew Nadolski after an excellent day-long workshop with him on the north Somerset coast. The photographs have been on exhibition in Ondaatje Hall where visitors were able to vote for their favourite image. The standard of entries was particularly high and made for an impressive exhibition. Sophie and Hatty have both won a signed copy of Andrew's book, a photographic exploration of the Cornish coastline.

Life Saving Champion

Life Saving ChampionLewis Steer from Blundell’s School has just been selected to compete in the National Lifesaving Championships. Thirteen year old Lewis, with team mate Seth Crosby, managed to win the under sixteen section of the Royal Life Saving Association competition for teams from the southwest held at the police pool at Middlemoor recently. The boys completed a series of lifesaving tasks and resuscitation techniques in a given time and managed to win against much older opposition. The boys will now go on to compete at the Nationals in Sheffield in November. Lewis was very modest about his achievements and hopes to do as well in November.

Ten-Day Musical Triumph

Ten-Day Musical TriumphThe traditional Blundell’s ten-day musical got the new term off to a fantastic start. Oklahoma!, the Rodgers and Hammerstein classic, wowed audiences for the three packed houses at the beginning of September. The enthusiastic and talented cast worked incredibly hard to learn the songs and routines, thoroughly enjoying themselves along the way. They gave polished and professional performances. Briony Deuchar, Ben Oddy, Emily Turner and Alex Miles particularly gave stunning performances, as well as Siobhan O’Kelly, Patrick Howe, Julian Strong and Ciara O’Kelly.

One Day Event Success

One Day Event Success at StonarRupert Batting receives his Individual Gold Medal Sophie Birchmore, Emily Mayes, Rupert Batting and Emma Selby put on a true team performance at Championship Intermediate level, with all 4 completing the challenging three phases of the One Day Event without difficulty. Impressive Dressage performances from Rupert and Emma in particular set the scene, and was followed by 3 clear rounds showjumping over a track that caused difficulty for many. The most challenging phase was the cross-country with all 4 team members going clear; this was wonderful to see and a testament to their riding skills. Rupert and Emma finished on their dressage score with no penalties to add. This is unusual at such a high level of competition, and as a result Rupert won individually, the first Blundellian to do so, and Emma finished 11th. A consistent performance by the team as a whole secured a credible 5th place out of 21 teams that started. Blundell's flew the flag for the Westcountry, securing the highest position of schools in the region, relegating both the Millfield teams. It was a very proud moment - they took Stonar by storm!

Fashion Show

Fashion ShowThe Blundell’s fashion show, which is organised entirely by the pupils, took place recently. All proceeds will be donated to the Save the Children charity. The main organisers were Ellie Frankpitt, Rosie le Page, Tamar Symons and Katrina Appleby who put an enormous amount of time into the event. They approached local shops who kindly loaned outfits for the models to wear on the night. The girls also dragooned the senior boys to model outfits and Robin Hill and Theo Weedon acted as comperes for the evening. Over three hundred friends and parents attended and over £2000 was raised for the charity. Staff coordinator, Sarah Burnett, said it was amazing how much the pupils had done to make the event such a success. A grand cheque presentation will take place in October, which will include a further £2000 raised by the pupils in a charity tennis tournament.

SCUBA diving trip to the Red Sea

SCUBA diving trip to the Red SeaA group of 20 Blundellians, Old Blundellians and friends went to Egypt this summer on a SCUBA diving expedition of the Northern Red Sea. Based on board the Motor Yacht Whirlwind we toured the waters around the spectacular Sinai peninsula Although the group dived on beautiful reefs around the area most of the trip was spend in exploring the many wrecks which litter the reefs. Most notably the wreck of the SS Thistlegorm which sank after being hit by a bomber during the second world war and is still full of the cargo she carried for the 8th Army in Africa; this includes Bedford Trucks, BSA motorcycles and aircraft parts. A final day was spent in Sharm el Sheikh enjoying the sunshine and catching up on a little retail therapy.

Lizzie scores five to humble The Maynard

Lizzie hits five to humble The MaynardThe 1st XI continued their good form by trouncing The Maynard 6-0, despite the opposition boasting four ISCA league players. The girls’ disciplined and organised teamwork, combined with the brilliance of the in-form Lizzie Wessely proved to be irresistible. Lizzie scored five of the six goals and was described by Mrs K as being ‘on fire’ in front of goal. Once again the strong defence laid the foundations for success, with Captain, Bess Menheneott, driving her team on from midfield; this allowed Mrs K to give her Year 11s, Tory Margesson, Jess Mudge and Sophie Birchmore increasing amounts of valuable pitch-time.

Lizzie Wessely – bronze medallist at UK Schools’ Athletics Championships

Lizzie Wessely – bronze medallist at UK Schools’ Athletics ChampionshipsLizzie was unable to compete at the ESAA National Championships last July owing to injury. However, she was selected to represent the South-West region at the UK School Games in Bath on her qualifying times. This competition is for selected under 17 athletes throughout the UK.
Competing in the 300m Hurdles, she qualified for the final in a personal best time of 44.19s (previous PB 45.3s). In the final, running in lane 8, she came 3rd in a time of 43.25s, just 0.16sec behind the winner (from Wales) and 2 hundredths of a second behind the silver medallist from Northern Ireland. All the more remarkable was the fact that the race was held in foggy/misty conditions where the athletes could not see all the hurdle flights when they started their race!
In the process, Lizzie defeated the England Schools champion as well as the girls who came 2nd and 3rd at the Nationals. The standard of competition in these Games is obviously extremely high – and this performance from Lizzie places her as the 3rd best 300m hurdles for her age in the United Kingdom.

U18 Girls Hockey triumph again at Sherborne Tournament

U18 Girls Hockey triumph again at Sherborne TournamentOnce again the Blundell’s U18 girls showed the rest of the South West that they are going to be tough to beat. Competition is great for places in the squad of 14; all of which demonstrates the strength of the girls’ games programme here and augurs well for the future. Strongly captained by Bess Menheneott, the team showed great teamwork, fitness and adaptability, with the mercurial talents of Lizzie Wessley at the forefront and the brilliance of Rosie Le Page in goal proving unbeatable. The defensive unit of Hattie Hosegood, Nat Waddington, Paula Kuennecke and Amy Woodruff were particularly strong and did not concede a goal in six matches. Having won the strongest pool containing Bryanston, Canford, King’s Taunton and Leweston, the girls beat Prior Park 3-0 in the semi-final before beating Bryanston 1-0 in the final.

2007/8 A Level Results: 71% A/Bs - another excellent year

I am delighted with these provisional results. The pupils and staff have worked very hard together to ensure real success. In recording 71% A/B grades the pupils have done extremely well. As a year group these equal the best results the school has ever produced as measured by UCAS points (343) per pupil, which is a reflection of the pupils' hard work and endeavours. Twenty-two pupils, which is a quarter of the year group, achieved three A grades or better which shows the academic strength of the year. As a consequence of these excellent results there has been tremendous success with university entrance. IRD

Year 8 Art Excursion

Year 8 Art ExcursionThe whole of Year 8 braved the poor weather on Tuesday with an Art trip to Paignton Zoo. A variety of sketches and photographs were made as useful research for the term's projects and the animals were on the whole co-operative models calmed by the tropical downpour. All returned safely and inspired, despite several requests to stay behind with the monkeys! An exhibition of the work produced will be on show in Ondaatje at the end of October.

Year 7 Art Excursion

Year 7 Art ExcursionThe whole of Year 7 braved the weather on Thursday with an Art trip to Broomhill Sculpture Park and Woolacombe Bay. The rain held off for most of the day and everyone was able to sketch from the wide variety of sculptures on show. The afternoon was spent on the beach creating animal sand-sculptures to the wonder of many passers-by. Rex Southwick, 7G, was voted to have constructed the best piece - a life-size dolphin surrounded by waves.