News 2011 - 2012

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Summer Term 2012

Blundell's Head to Lead New Education Charity

Blundell's Head to Lead New Education CharityIan Davenport, the Head Master at Blundell's School, has been appointed as Chief Executive Officer to a new charity, the National Foundation of Boarding Bursaries. The foundation will offer life-changing opportunities to disadvantaged children by providing 100% funded bursaries at independent and state boarding schools.

Mr Davenport will take up his post in September 2012. He has been Head Master at Blundell's since 2004 and, before entering the teaching profession, spent five years as a city trader. Speaking about his new role he said: "Having been involved in boarding schools for over twenty years I have seen first-hand the transformational effect the environment has on pupils from diverse backgrounds. To be asked to run such a significant charity with this transformational aspiration at its heart, thus benefiting those pupils who have a disadvantaged background, was just too exciting an offer to refuse."

Education Secretary Michael Gove and Lord Adonis are among senior figures from across the political spectrum to have endorsed plans for this schools-led national bursary foundation, which was drawn up following a pro-bono study by McKinsey & Company. Children from disadvantaged backgrounds who will benefit from a boarding education will be selected through an objective process via established partner organisations, including charities and schools in the maintained sector. Member schools will be party to an accreditation scheme – the Quality Mark – which ensures the quality of care these pupils need. This Mark will become a standard for funders, partners and the schools involved.

A wide range of donors has agreed to support the foundation. Funding is in place for the start-up phase. The NFBB will also raise money from donors and organisations which would not be available to individual schools.

The foundation will draw on the best practice in boarding schools on pastoral care today. Tim Bunting, a general partner of Balderton Capital with considerable experience in education, will serve as its Chairman, and an advisory panel, including the former Labour education minister Lord Adonis and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Leeds Michael Arthur, will support the NFBB in its mission.

New Head of Blundell's

The Chairman of Governors is pleased to announce that Nicola Huggett will succeed Ian Davenport, as Head of Blundell's. She is currently Deputy Head of Downe House School in Newbury, where she has been since 2007. She has specific responsibility for the pastoral side of the School including discipline as well as the management of the academic departments. She is married to Spencer and they have four children. Nicola was educated at Marlborough College before reading Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Oxford University. After a brief career in advertising with J Walter Thompson Ltd she moved into teaching in 1994. From 1996 to 2007 she taught at Haileybury, where she was a housemistress and for the last two years Head of Boarding. She has a keen love of music and in the sporting arena, she has competed in the London Marathon and played Club Hockey, was Captain of her College Boat Club and was President of the Oxford University Riding Club. As a talented horse rider she competed in several international two star level 3-day events. Nicola will begin her term in January and we are delighted that Randall Thane, the current Second Master, has accepted the position of Head of Blundell's for the coming Autumn Term.

Lamda Students Celebrate Exam Success

Lamda Students Celebrate Exam SuccessCongratulations to the Blundell's LAMDA pupils who have attained outstanding exam results again this year with a 100% pass rate including 20 distinctions and 14 merits. Seven pupils achieved over 85% in Speaking of Verse & Prose, Acting and Using Spoken English which is a tremendous achievement.

The LAMDA Speech & Drama lessons are are designed to equip students, whatever their age or aspirations, with a range of skills that will serve them throughout life. The exam options available to LAMDA pupils allow students to develop areas of interest whilst enhancing their self-confidence and self-esteem, as well as acquiring skill certification for career development which include UCAS points. Mrs Tamarinda Winsley, LAMDA teacher, is very proud of the students' achievements: "There are currently 50 Blundell's students from across all year groups opting to take Speech & Drama lessons, and I'm delighted that all their hard work has paid off in a fantastic set of exam results. In preparing for these exams, the students learn about creative thinking, build their confidence and self-esteem and develop their communication skills, for now and for the future."

Fives: U14 National Schools Rugby Fives Champion

Fives: U14 National Schools Rugby Fives Champion Fives: U14 National Schools Rugby Fives ChampionEmily Combe has recently won the U14 National Schools Rugby Fives Championship. Year 9 Emily from Bampton has been playing fives since year seven and this was her first major tournament at Marlborough College in Wiltshire. In the knock out rounds she played four games winning all of them with ease. This put her into the semi-finals against another Blundellian, Lizzie Fearnley. Emily won this 15-11 to put her in the final against Amy Cross, also from Blundell's. In a titanic battle the girls fought out a very close contest with Emily eventually winning 15-12 to be crowned Champion.

Emily was also partnered by Amy in the doubles tournament which saw another all-Blundell's final against Lizzie Fearnley and Abigail Bundy. This ended in victory for Emily and Amy by 15-10.

Head coach Mr Chris Hedley-Dent stated that the girls had done particularly well and it was good to see them doing so well in what has traditionally been a male-dominated sport. He hoped this would encourage more girls to compete in the future.

Teacher Helen Youngs Carries Olympic Torch in Totnes

Teacher Helen Youngs Carries Olympic Torch in Totnes Teacher Helen Youngs Carries Olympic Torch in TotnesMy 'moment to shine' happened today as I had the huge honour of carrying the Olympic Flame up Bridgetown Hill in Totnes. There are no words to describe the feeling as I stepped off the Olympic bus with my torch in preparation for my leg of the relay. We stopped right by my family and friends and I was immediately overwhelmed by pride and excitement, all previous nerves were immediately banished. Waiting for the torch to arrive was great, loads of people swarmed around me to touch and have their photo taken with the torch, including a family from Rackenford who I didn't know but who had travelled all the way just to see me as I was from Tiverton!

When it was my turn, a policewoman from the Met. on a white bike came and told me everything to expect. And then it was time to receive the flame (it's called a 'kiss'!) from Axel and to start my leg. I'd already decided that I would walk so that I could enjoy every single second of the 300 metres but I stuck to my 'excuse' that it was to give my police guard a rest from the Devon Hills! We were all glad of that excuse as the hill got steeper and steeper. Carrying the flame was awesome but coupled with seeing so many of my friends and family made it so much more special. The torch itself was relatively heavy so I felt safest carrying it with two hands for a good part of the journey and the flame was strong and hot!

And then, all too quickly, it was time to hand the flame on. As I was the last on the Totnes section, I had to pass the flame back to the lamp ready for it to be passed on to Jacques who was waiting near Paignton. Then it was quickly back onto the bus, to applause from my fellow torchbearers, before following the torch all the way back to Oldway Mansion in Paignton.

The atmosphere, the excitement, the support, the camaraderie add up to be a truly magnificent day, one to be treasured for a lifetime. Truly a day when Britain was Great!

Junior UKMT Maths Challenge 2012

Thousands of pupils from across the UK sat the UKMT Junior Maths Challenge with roughly the top 6% receiving Gold, the next 13% Silver and the next 21% Bronze. The questions get progressively more difficult and can result in negative marks if you start guessing. This year 42 pupils from School House received certificates, I think this may be a record. Well done to all of you! The Certificate winners are as follows:

Gold

Yr8: Toby Whitehead (Best in School), Gregory Cole, Archie Stoneman, Antony Liu, Hatty Nash,
Yr7: Kieran Smith (Best in Year), William McIntyre

Silver

Yr8: Luke Bartlett, Ben Morgan, Alex Davidson, Liza Lapina, George Hill, Jack Lockwood, Charlie Brown, Archie Fraser, James Tierney-Jones, Will Klinkenberg
Yr7: Imogen Cotton, Henry Olsen, Harry Olive, Ottilie Mundy, Ross Harvie, Stephen Walton, Monty Crowe

Bronze

Yr8: Hugh Green, Sara Wright, Louisa Kitson, Tabby Pring, Imogen Bishop, Hannah LeGassick, Alix Mountbatten
Yr7: Dan Hoaen, Will Scripps, Annabel Chatwin, Sophie Al Hussaini, Sam Taylor, Max Payne, Addie Chai, Flic Charlesworth, Ellie Emo, Bonnie Price, Katherine Cridland.

Rugby Trip to Toulouse

Rugby Trip to ToulouseIn the first week of the Easter holidays, year 8 Archie Stoneman was lucky to receive the honour of playing for the Independent Schools Rugby team (formerly known as the Prep School Barbarians). After a series of gruelling trials Archie was included in the 21 strong squad to tour France over Easter. Due to air traffic control strikes the tour was disrupted but Archie managed to play in both games. Normally a centre, he was reassigned to the open side flanker's position and relished the challenges of being more fully involved. The first game was won easily but the second game against older boys proved to be more difficult. Despite this the boys dug deep and with some excellent defence managed to keep the French at bay finally winning 21-5. After the trip Archie said the whole experience had been great and he really enjoyed playing in a team with pupils from schools from all over England.

Engineering Education Scheme (EES) Project

Engineering Education Scheme (EES) ProjectSince October 2011 four year 12 Blundell's pupils have been working on a for real Engineering problem whilst carrying out their Engineering Education Scheme project. Under this scheme a school team of four is partnered with an Engineering Company. The company sets the pupils a design brief which they must then work on.

The pupils from Blundell's were Gary Abdoll (Team Leader), Will Muirhead (Report Editor) Tom Golden (in charge of design) and Alex Holme (in charge of the presentation). They met Simon Turner and Nick Baker, Engineers from Supacat at the scheme launch at Plymouth University in October. Supacat are a local company who design impressive world class high mobility vehicles and had been commissioned by the RNLI to design a vehicle to launch their lifeboats, a Launch & Recovery System. The boys were given the brief to design an engine bay handling system for this vehicle. The engine bay plus attachments (weighing approx 2.5 tonnes) would be safely removed and stored exposing the engine for maintenance.

Engineering Education Scheme (EES) ProjectWork on this project took place at school with several meetings with Simon Turner (from Supacat) and Peter Shrubsall (our EES Mentor). There were also visits to Supacat to see the vehicle itself and get an idea of the scale of the task in hand. A residential at Plymouth University in December helped as this gave the team 3 days to concentrate on this project away from their other school work.

A written report of all the designs and research was produced by the team and sent away over the Easter holidays for assessment. On Wednesday the 2nd May the Celebration and Assessment Day took place at Plymouth University. The team gave a 15 minute presentation to a panel of 7 engineers from various industries and were also questioned about their design at their display stand. They achieved their EES certificates for their project and the scheme will help them when applying for University next year as it is widely respected and shows that the pupils were willing to put in that extra effort above and beyond their AS exams. They have learned a huge amount about working in industry but also improved their team work, report writing, planning, timekeeping and presentation skills. I would like to thank all at the EDT for organising this brilliant scheme in the South West and Peter Shrubsall our EES Mentor. Last but not least thank you to Supacat for setting the team's challenge and particularly Simon Turner for giving freely of his time, expertise and patience.

Jenni Olive (Teacher Co-ordinator, Blundell's EES Team)

Sam Wins the U16 National Fives Title... Again!

Sam Wins the National Fives Title... Again!The Rugby Fives Association School's National Championships take place each year at St Paul's School, London over the Easter holidays. This year there were about 40 players entered in the Colts' Cup. Having won the Colts (Under 16's) last year, Sam Wyatt Haines from Blundell's School entered hoping to defend his title. He warmed up in the South West Championship early in the year but lost to his main rival Yul Kahn Pascal from St Paul's. This made Sam even more determined to win and, having recovered from injury, he entered the Nationals in a very focussed manner.

On the first day he played 3 group matches and won against players from Tonbridge, Alleyn's and Derby Moor, 11 - 0, 11 - 3 and 11 - 0 respectively. This put him into the quarter final which was against Arnold from St Paul's. In a masterful display Sam won 11 - 1, 11 - 0. The semi-final was played on the Sunday against Lawry from Sedbergh. The score in this match was 11 - 2, and 11 - 3. This meant he was into the final and up against Kahn Pascal on the Monday. After three days of playing fives fatigue was beginning to set in, and he knew it would be a tough match. The first set was relatively straightforward and Sam won 11 - 3. However, Pascal fought back and in a thrilling set won 11 - 9. With the scores even this set up a dramatic final set. With his usual determination Sam managed to hold off his rival and eventually won the deciding set 11 - 3 making him the U16 National Champion for the second successive year. Sam is pictured receiving his trophy from Dick Warner, President of the Rugby Fives Association.

Spring Term 2012

Classics Day at Blundell's

Classics Day at Blundell's Classics Day at Blundell'sBlundell's School recently hosted a Classics Day, when pupils from eight local primary schools and the Prep School learned about ancient Romans and Greeks. Year 5 and 6 pupils from the Culm Valley Small Schools network found out about the hard life of a Roman soldier and handled replica weaponry and armour, studied mosaics and made one themselves and improvised Greek plays, using specially bought masks. They worked with professional actors, Blundell's staff from the Classics and Drama departments and sixth formers. The event was co-ordinated by Leigh Menheneott, who is responsible for Partnerships at Blundell's, with the aim of encouraging pupils to develop an interest in studying the Classics and as a way for teachers, pupils and young students from state and independent schools to work together. It was generously funded by The Dame Violet Wills Will Trust, Viscount Amory's Charitable Trust and The Elmgrant Trust.

Success at Devon Performing Arts Festival 2012

Success at Devon Performing Arts Festival 2012Over 700 youngsters from across Devon took part in the annual Devon Performing Arts Festival held in Exeter between 6th and 9th March 2012. Blundell's entered 25 Speech & Drama pupils from all year groups, performing in front of students from other schools, parents, families, friends, teachers and, of course, an adjudicator. Those who took part did themselves and the School proud and are to be congratulated on their efforts, especially considering that the week before they were all busy taking their LAMDA exams.

The winners in their Classes were:

  • Will McIntyre & Jack Watt (Distinction) – Duologue Acting
  • Henry Sloman (Commendation) – Original Story Telling
  • Henry Mules (Commendation) – Sight Reading
  • Harry Handyside (Commendation) – Solo Improvisation
  • Lizzie Morris (Commendation) – Humorous Verse
  • Oliver Tobey (Distinction) - Solo Improvisation

Rugby Sevens: U13s Devon Champions

Rugby Sevens: U13s Devon ChampionsThe U13 Sevens squad continued their impressive season by becoming the Devon Champions defeating St Peter's, Exeter in the final by three tries to one. The try scorers were Alex Kilbride, Hugh Hamilton-Green and Sam Maunder. They are currently undefeated at Sevens, having also triumphed at Tournaments at St Peter's, Blundell's and in the highly competitive Port Regis Event, where many of the top Prep Schools were competing.

Rugby Sevens: U15s Devon Champions

U15s Rugby Sevens Devon ChampionsAfter starting slowly the U15 Squad duly won the Devon '7's Finals. In the pool they defeated Park School 29-10, Torquay Boys Grammar 34-0 and Tavistock 30-7. In the semi-final they overcame Combeshead 32-0, setting up a final against a physically strong Ivybridge. The starting seven saved their best rugby for the final and dominated the game throughout, coming through well 31-7. The whole squad played their part in the rounds, which is always vital in a long Sevens tournament. Jack Maunder bossed the show superbly from scrum-half, scoring 8 tries, bettered only by the blistering pace of Harry Pilkington out wide with 9. Isaac Hydleman moved the ball well at fly-half and also did most of the kicking. The squad: J Maunder (Capt'), I Hydleman, A Robertshaw, H Pilkington, B Clarke, B Brown, T Wardle, D Bess, T O'Brien, A Kitson, G Dart, B Willder.

County U13 Hockey Winners

County U13 Hockey WinnersFor the first time ever, Blundell's won the Devon U13 Finals at the tournament held at Exeter University. In the group stages the boys remained unbeaten, scoring seventeen goals and conceding none. They defeated Exeter School, S. Dartmoor, Kingsbridge, Plymouth College and Stoke Damarell. This meant they progressed as group winners to the semi-finals against Exeter School 'B', which they comprehensively won 3-0. This set up the final against Exeter School 'A' which ended 1-1 and therefore went to flicks. Ben Clarke, Alex Kilbride and Will Klinkenberg held their nerve to record a 3-2 victory. Ben Morgan was the tournament's top goal scorer with seven, with Alex Kilbride second with six goals. Hugh Hamilton Green was voted the best goalkeeper conceding only one goal in the whole tournament. The boys now go on and represent Devon in the regional round at Millfield.

Poetry in Motion at the Pre-Prep

Joining in at Blundell's Pre-Prep is Poetry in MotionOn Friday 2nd March, the children in the Pre-Prep decided to celebrate World Book Day with a focus on poetry and rhyme. The Year 8 Speech & Drama students were invited to help with the celebrations. Five students visited the Pre-Prep and recited 'The Dragon Who Ate Our School' by Nick Toczek and really brought the poem to life, encouraging the young pupils to join in. All the Pre-Prep students were fantastic in the way they supported the day. They all came to school dressed up as characters from poems and rhymes. Many of them had learned poems which they bravely recited in front of their friends and teachers.

Hockey: Devon U16 Tournament

Devon U16 Hockey TournamentBlundell's hosted the Devon Schools U16 hockey tournament recently. In the pool we drew with Okehampton (0-0) and then played South Dartmoor (1-0 thanks to a stunning goal from Michael Bennett). This was a special win as South Dartmoor were crowned indoor national champions recently. We then went on to beat King's Ottery and St Luke's from Exeter. This set up a semi-final with West Buckland. We won this 1-0 courtesy of a stunning reverse-stick strike from Oliver Clarke. This set up a final with Exeter School. This was a highly skilful game and we matched them for most of it, only conceding with 20 seconds left on the clock, thus losing 0-1. In fact, this was the first goal we had let in all afternoon and Jack Grandfield had a superb day in goal. As runners-up, we progress to the West Prelims after half-term.

Paris Art Trip

Paris Art TripThe Artists and Photographers of the Lower Sixth spent a very happy but freezing 5 days in Paris during the Spring half term. Temperatures dropped to -10°C but that did not stop them from seeing the Louvre at night, where the galleries were full of musicians and acrobats performing in front of the paintings, the Musée d'Orsay, Rodin's garden, climbing the Eiffel Tower at sunset, the Pompidou Centre and the Arab World Institute. A highlight was attending morning Mass at Notre Dame and sketching the magnificent architecture. There will be an exhibition of the drawings and photos created during the trip soon.

Valentine's Roses for Charity

Valentine's Roses for Charity Valentine's Roses for CharityThe girls from North Close distributed roses to pupils and staff to raise money for a charity of their choice. This year they raised funds for the Special Olympics which is a charity for children and adults with learning disabilities. This gives them the opportunity to compete in various sports, including athletics, swimming, football and many more. The charity is national with 135 registered clubs but the money raised will go to the local South Devon branch. This year the girls managed to sell in excess of 500 roses and were able to send the charity a cheque for over £320. Housemistress Rachael Crease said she was very proud of the girls who had worked tirelessly to make the event such a success.

Rugby Sevens: Second Win for U13 Squad

Second Win for U13 Sevens SquadThe U13 Sevens squad won their second tournament, which happened to be their home event. They beat St Peter's Lympstone 37-5, Mr Folland's St John's Chepstow 28-24 and Heathfield 48-0 in the pool before easing past Truro 22-10 in the semi-final. Having suffered a couple of early injuries, including losing star back Archie Stoneman, the same seven had to play the last three games without a break. In the final against Mount House the tiredness began to show but tigerish tackling and ball-winning by Jack Lockwood, Tobias Francis and Hugh Hamilton-Green secured a steady supply of possession for Sam Maunder to keep Will Vickery, leading try-scorer Alex Kilbride and the indefatigable Will Klinkenberg pressing forwards. With about a minute to go Will K chased back half the length of the pitch to make a try-saving, and possibly match-winning, tackle 10m from his own line; having won the ball as well, he set off back up the field where various teammates were dragging themselves up off the ground. Will then found Will V who side-stepped into the opposition half before a beautifully timed pass put acting skipper Hugh H-G free to gallop the rest of the way and score under the posts, much to the relief of coach Mr Saunders.

Cricket: South African Tour

South African Cricket TourJack Maunder and Dominic Bess have been selected, for the second successive year, to tour S Africa with the Devon U15 cricket squad. The tour will commence in February half term and will last three weeks. There will be six matches starting near Johannesburg and finishing in the Cape Town area. Jack is a wicket keeper, batsman and a member of Premier League club Heathcoat. After last year's tour Jack actually played several matches in the club senior side and is looking forward to the challenges of South Africa. Dominic plays for Sidmouth and is an off spin bowler and models himself on Graham Swann.

Biathlon: Will's off to The Nationals!

Biathlon: Will's off to The Nationals!Will Klinkenberg Yr 8, qualified for the National Biathlon Finals at Crystal Palace recently when he finished 3rd in the Regional Finals held at Bath University. In only his second Biathlon event, out of 58 competitors Will came 6th in the 100m Freestyle in a time of 1.05.26 and 5th in the 1,000m run in 3.15.46. His trophy was presented by the World Junior Pentathlon Bronze Medalist, Freyja Prentice, who has already qualified for the Olympics this year.

Rugby Sevens: U13 Squad Win St Peter's Tournament

Rugby Sevens: U13 Squad Win St Peter's TournamentThe U13 Rugby Sevens squad made a very promising start to the season by winning the inaugural St Peter's Tournament. Captained by the impressive Archie Stoneman, they comfortably won their pool by beating Mount House, King's Hall and St Peter's B. In the semi-final they cruised past Exmouth College, setting up a grand finale against the hosts. St Peter's took a deserved lead and held it until close to the end. However, with two minutes to go, following strong work in the contact area by Hugh Hamilton-Green and Will Klinkenberg, Archie Stoneman broke free and scored two decisive tries. Jack Lockwood then completed the victory by burgling the ball close to their line and scoring the third try. The whole squad played their part, the others being Will Vickery, Alex Kilbride, Tobias Francis, Monty Crowe, Mack Butterfield and Sam Maunder.

Autumn Term 2011

SH Cake Sale in Aid of Charity

SH Cake Sale in Aid of CharityPictured are members of years 7 and 8 from SH, avidly waiting to purchase cakes at a sale recently. The pupils all went home and baked a wide variety of shortbread, flapjacks, cupcakes, buns, chocolate brownies and even prawn crackers. These were then sold in break time in aid of Children in Need. Senior Housemistress Kate Wolford said the response was overwhelming and the sale managed to raise over £200.

Tae Kwon Do Champion

Tae Kwon Do ChampionYear eleven pupil Sapphire Reed Yang, from Blundell's School, has just been crowned double National Champion in Tae Kwon Do. Sapphire, who only took up the sport just over a year ago, won the awards at a recent tournament in Telford, Shropshire. Competing in the 14-18 age group she managed to come first in the Team and Patterns section of the competition. As a member of the Tiverton Tae Kwon Do Club Sapphire trains three times a week and clearly the effort has paid off and she would strongly recommend this sport to anyone looking to keep fit.

Year 11 Work Experience Preparation Event

Year 11 Work Experience Preparation Event Year 11 Work Experience Preparation EventOn Tuesday 29 November, Year 11 students from Blundell's took part in a work experience preparation event organised at the Tiverton Hotel with business partners from a variety of local companies. Participating companies included Red Earth Developments, MJA Pro- Engineering Services, the Army, Graphic PLC, Stags, Flybe, Fine Furniture Design, Keystone Law, Best Western, Route 2 and Eco-friendly holidays.

Students were continually assessed during all the morning activities with the business partners applying criteria that employers feel are vital in the workplace. Activities included: preparing a C.V, researching target positions and companies, writing letters of application and presentation skills all of which were put to use in a mock interview situation.

At the end of the morning one student from each group who had demonstrated the greatest 'entrepreneurial spirit' was 'hired' by the business partner with the organised treat of lunch at the Tiverton Hotel!

The work experience day was a great success because it gave all the students a chance to think in more detail about different options for future careers as well as teaching them to handle applying and interviewing for future jobs. Sue Norman

Art: a Portrait of the Head Master

A portrait of the Head MasterAn intrepid group of year 10 artists have produced a portrait of the Head Master. Using a process called Solar Plate printing they have each been responsible for creating a section of the face using a variety of mark-making. Detention or distinction, that is the question!

Fives Doubles Tournament at Winchester

Fives Doubles Tournament at Winchester Fives Doubles Tournament at WinchesterThe Winchester Fives Doubles tournament always attracts the very best schoolboy players on the circuit and this weekend was no exception. Our team of Wyatt-Haines, Oddy, McPherson and Cumberlege equipped themselves admirably playing with great presence and at times a sublime synthesis of power, skill and intelligence. I have not seen Samuel or Matt play better and the match against Bradfield 1 lasted over an hour, contained several rallies of 40 plus hits, and their victory (13-15, 15-13, 16-14) to reach the semi-finals was testament to their superior fitness, determination and teamwork. It was certainly exhausting to watch. There is no embarrassment in losing to St Paul's 1, probably the best pair in the country, in the semis and at times we looked tantalisingly dominant. Unfortunately Tantalus groaned and Sisyphus smiled. All very promising for the forthcoming season and both pairs should feel very proud of their performance.

Cricketers' Charity Donation

Cricketers' Charity DonationThe 1st XI cricket team toured Sri Lanka at Easter this year, led by Master in Charge of Cricket and former Somerset wicket keeper Rob Turner. Traditionally, touring sides have combined their fund-raising for the tour with a contribution being donated to charity. This year the cricketers organised many events including Pig Racing, a Blundell's Got Talent evening and an Auction of Promises. As a result the boys were able to donate £1250 to the Exeter Leukaemia Fund (ELF) and £300 to BIBIC which is a national charity offering practical help to families caring for children with conditions such as autism, cerebral palsy and Down's syndrome.

The boys also took with them two sets of cricket shirts and cricket equipment to support one Blundell's twin school in Saraputra which was affected by the Boxing Day tsunami. Pictured is Sarah from ELF receiving the cheque from Mr Menheneott, Mr Turner and pupils Jack Grandfield and Sam Wyatt Haines.

Grass Tracking Competitors

Grass Tracking CompetitorsBrothers Jack and Leo Dummett competed in the national Grass Track Championships at Danebury in Wiltshire recently. Jack has been riding his bike competitively for the last four years with much success. At the Danebury event 11-year-old Jack won the 125 British championship over a series of three events against riders from all over the country. His younger brother, 8-year-old Leo, also managed a podium place coming third in the Auto Cadet class. He was thrilled at the win and stated that he would like to beat his older brother in the future. The biking calendar runs from March until November and so the boys have been putting in a huge amount of time during the year practicing and competing – their hard work has clearly paid off.

Art: Haldon Forest Park Trip for Year 9

Haldon Forest Park Trip for Year 9 Haldon Forest Park Trip for Year 9For the year 9 field day we went to Haldon Forest Park near Exeter, a site run jointly by The Forestry Commission and the Centre for Contemporary Art and the Natural world (CCANW). The purpose of the centre is to encourage artists to respond to the natural environment and exhibit their work and in many cases make site specific pieces. We did exactly this! They explored the themes of Environment and the Natural form through drawing creative writing and sculpture. There was also time for them to soak up the scenery and get a little exercise on an extended walk following one of the chosen trails.

Art: Sixth Form Field Day Trip to London

Sixth Form Field Day Trip to London Sixth Form Field Day Trip to LondonSixth Form artists travelled to London for Field Day to see a particularly special exhibition at the Royal Academy. Degas and the Ballet is an extraordinary collection of drawings, paintings and photographs demonstrating how the artist utilised the media to explore the figure in movement. As the L6 has just started their course in life drawing this show was even more relevant and helpful, proving that there is really no substitute for seeing the real thing. Lots of good drawing and sketchbook work was completed and the photographers were able to take some useful shots of city life and architectural details for their coursework and a live project to create printed glass panels for a London office.

Equestrian: Inter-Schools Championships at Stonar

Hot on the success of winning the South West Schools ODE the Blundell's Team of Saskia Simonson, Maddie Simonson, Alexa Batting and Rupert Batting went on to the UK Inter-Schools Championships held at Stonar The team produced very good dressage scores of 28, 36, 38, 32 respectively and with only one collecting 4 faults in the show jumping, they were well placed going into the cross country phase. The course was fair, but still caused significant trouble, however all four of the team completed clear and inside the time. With three of the team finishing on their dressage score they could not be beaten and were thrilled to take the title of National Senior Eventing Team Champions. Sarah Harrison, the Blundell's team trainer commented "This was a prestigious title which has eluded Blundell's until this year. I am delighted for them, as it is well deserved".

Blundell's Junior Novice team of Didi Eaton, Lydia Stuart, Bird Wood at their first Championships came a very respectable 5th out of 24 teams, with Lydia gaining 3rd place individually. The Junior Intermediate Team of Lola Watt, Lydia Stuart and Eleanor Ansell also came 5th in the closest fought class, as only 1 penalty separated them from 2nd place. Lola Watt also came 3rd individually. Collectively, this was the best representation of Blundell's at the Championships in the 25 years it has been running.

Marcus Trescothick Drops By

Marcus Trescothick Drops ByFormer England star and current Somerset Cricket captain Marcus Trescothick paid a visit to Blundell's school this week. Marcus is on a charity cycle ride from Bristol to St Austell raising money for Children's Hospice Southwest. En route he will be visiting all the hospices and some schools to raise awareness of the good works carried out by the charity. He is being sponsored by Chartered Bank and was accompanied by employees of the bank. His visit to Blundell's involved receiving a cheque, from 1st XI cricketer Harrison Folland, for £1100 which was raised from a home clothes day recently. Marcus then donned his pads and challenged the pupils to bowl at him in the outdoor nets before he and his entourage departed on the next stage of their trip to Barnstaple. Master in charge of Charity fund raising Henry Roffe Sylvester said it was a pleasure to be able to donate so much for such a good cause.

CSI Day Earns Blundell's School an Independent School Award Nomination

CSI Day earns Blundell's School an Independent School Award NominationA day of Murder, Mystery and Mayhem has earned Blundell's School an Independent School Awards Nomination for the Best Independent-Maintained School Collaboration. This recognises an initiative that involves an independent school working with state schools. The Forensic Science Day conceived and organised by Blundell's Science Department brought primary school pupils from nine local schools into Blundell's to examine and investigate a carefully prepared "murder scene" complete with chalk body outlines and fake blood. Assisted by Blundell's staff and Year 12 pupils the children examined all the evidence and, having identified the murderer, were rewarded by sweets and a finger print kit.

CSI Day earns Blundell's School an Independent School Award NominationBlundell's is proud and pleased to have been nominated for this award in 2011, the first year the school has put forward a submission. The aim of these awards is to reward schools that have been particularly successful within the independent sector and to acknowledge the excellence that has been achieved. This is another accolade after the school's superb OFSTED report. The winners of each category are put forward to be judged for the Best Independent School 2011. The winners are announced at a ceremony at the National Motorcycle Museum in Birmingham on 16 November 2011.

"We are extremely pleased to be nominated for this award" said Head Master Ian Davenport "particularly as it was for such an innovative and enjoyable project which really inspired the children from the local schools and allowed us to strengthen our collaborative links with the community. I know the chalked body outlines and crime scene tape round the Chemistry Department startled a few parents who were dropping off their children but we think it was well worth a few worried phone calls! Certainly the Heads of the primary schools involved are waiting with baited breath for the next project."

The Independent School Awards are supported by businesses including Coutts Bank, Charities Aid Foundation and HSBC Merchant Services. Roger Black MBE, will be the speaker at the awards ceremony and will present the awards to the winning schools.

Art: Gloss Gallery's Rising Stars Exhibition

Gloss Gallery's Rising Stars ExhibitionDuring the summer holidays a selection of photographs and paintings were exhibited at Gloss Gallery in Exeter as part of their Rising Stars exhibition. This was a wonderful opportunity to show work beyond the confines of the school and the exhibition was very well received. Congratulations to Ciara O Kelly, Lauren Kalsi, Ben Prevett, Otis Baxter-wright, Jess Berry, Alice Lindley.

Drama: LAMDA Exams Success

LAMDA Exams SuccessThe results from this year's summer London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA) examinations were excellent. Several subjects were taken including Acting, Devising Drama and Speaking of Verse & Prose. All 19 students passed with strong grades with the majority of them achieving Distinctions and several being awarded over 90 marks which is a remarkable achievement. Well done to all of those candidates. Mrs Winsley & Mrs Reed are delighted for them. The next LAMDA exams will take place at the end of February and this year we have nearly 50 students opting to take LAMDA lessons.

Rugby: Under 16 Selections for Devon Rugby

Under 16 Selections for Devon RugbyFour aspiring young rugby players from Blundell's school have recently been chosen from many to be a part of the under 16 Devon team. The boys have been playing rugby from an early age and are currently playing at U16 and U15 levels. Pictured left to right are Andrew Hamilton, Jack Maunder, Paddy Canterbury and Toby Pilkington.

Fifteen year old Toby Pilkington is a natural ball player who relishes the opportunity to control the game from fly half. Paddy Canterbury is also fifteen and is a utility back playing at Fullback and wing. He is a fearless defender and is equally good in attack using his pace to score many tries. Fourteen year old Jack Maunder plays at scrum half and has excelled despite playing out of his age group. He has a very good pass and is looking forward to developing his game at a higher level. The only forward is hooker Andrew Hamilton. He has worked very hard at his game over the years and has improved considerably and clearly impressed the selectors. Coach Dan Richards said all the boys have worked hard over the years and fully deserved their selection and hoped that they will all learn from the experience.

Art: Broomhill Sculpture Park and Woolacombe Bay Trip for Year 7

Broomhill Sculpture Park and Woolacombe Bay Art Trip for Year 7Year 7 pupils were treated to an excellent day of Art activities at Broomhill Sculpture Park and Woolacombe Bay. The sun shone throughout and some very good work was produced, first sketching from the exciting array of artwork in the woods followed by the building of ambitious sand sculptures. The sculptures were judged by a willing member of the public and whilst noting the high calibre of work (a giant tortoise, jellyfish, and unicorn to name a few) the mermaid was voted 'Best on Show'. Many thanks to Miss Drew for organising the trip.

Record A Level Results in 2011!

I am delighted with the provisional A level results. The pupils and staff have worked very hard together to ensure real success. In recording 73% A* to B grades the pupils have done extremely well; these results are a reflection of their hard work and enthusiasm. The UCAS points per pupil figure (380) is by some way the highest recorded in the history of the school. Among many strong aspects of these results is the doubling of the A* rate, which shows strong evidence that the ablest pupils are rising to the challenge of performing at the highest level. It was also especially pleasing to see that nearly 50% of the grades were at A* or A grade. Nearly 30% of the year group achieved three A grades or better thus demonstrating the academic strength of the year and is testimony to the strong relationship forged between the teachers and the pupils. A significant number of departments recorded A* to B rates well in excess of 80%. All those who held offers from Oxford and Cambridge achieved their required grades; indeed most pupils will be headed to the university of their choice. We are awaiting the results of a number of enquiries made to the various examination boards; therefore it is likely that these results will improve. Ian Davenport

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