Summer Term 2014
Strong GCSE results at Blundell's
Blundell's students have produced another strong set of provisional GCSE results. In a year where nationally the A* grade has been predicted to fall, Blundell's A* result has actually increased on the previous year, with nearly 20% of all pupils gaining this maximum mark. Similarly, almost half the grades achieved are at A*/A with 98% of all pupils gaining five or more A*-C.
The Head Nicola Huggett said: 'These very pleasing figures are due to the hard work of the pupils who can be very proud of everything they have achieved and the dedication and commitment of the staff. I am particularly proud of the 27 pupils - a quarter of the year group - who have gained an impressive minimum of eight A*/A or higher.' The 27 pupils are Eleanor Ansell, Sophia Bateman, Rebekah Brinkley, Emily Combe, Natalie Cotton, Amy Cross, Imogen Dickinson, Arthur Friend, Euan Friend, Edward Gardner, Lydia Gibson, Christopher Hamilton, Jessica Harvie, Harry Handyside, Eleanor MacPherson, Jennifer Mettam, Oliver Mitchell, Elizabeth Morris, Henry Mules, Courtney Nation, Benjamin Oliphant-Thompson, Isabelle Rees-Davies, Cameron Seymour, Katy Stevens, Benedict Summers, Edward Taylor, Tabitha Unsworth-White.
Excellent A Level Results
Congratulations to Blundell's A level students who have achieved some outstanding provisional A Level results this year. Almost half (47%) the results gained were at A*/A (a rise of 9% on last year) and almost three quarters (72%) of the year group gained A*/B, while 87% gained A*-C grades. 26 pupils gained at least one A* and 31 pupils gained AAB or better, from a year group of 83. Particularly impressive with three A grades or higher were: Nixie Acfield, Luke Ansell, Harry Bodington, Jim Bremner, Janice Chen, Alistair Chilcott, Bryce Clark, Gus de Falbe, Sam Combe, Tetiana Doroshenko, Elliot Finch, Tristan Free, Jack Friend, Maggie Fu, Lawrence Gash, Holly Keevil, Sam Mills, Clym Montgomery, Archie Muirhead, Jonathan Reid, Saskia Simonson, Rory Trevelyan Thomas, Christie Wang, Edward Wickstead, George Williams, Sam Wyatt-Haines and Tom Youngman.
The Head, Nicola Huggett, said: 'I am thrilled with all the hard work put in by our Year 13 pupils and they are fully deserving of these excellent results, especially as alongside their academic studies they are involved in a wide range of sporting, musical or other commitments. They have some exciting university destinations ahead of them - all our pupils with offers from Oxford and Cambridge have met their offers and other popular destinations include Edinburgh, Durham, Bristol, Imperial College, London and Nottingham University. I know the pupils are enormously grateful for all the support shown by our staff who have worked tirelessly on their behalf.'
Blundell's Equestrians Raise Funds for Charity
Following their many successes in the arena over the year, Blundell's School Equestrian team were able to donate £1000 to the Devon Air Ambulance Trust. This is a charity they support annually through the running of the South West School's One Day Event, which this year will be at the Bicton Arena on Sunday 21st September. The team have also raised £250 for Hospiscare at Pine Lodge in Tiverton, by providing refreshments at a school event in the Spring Term.
Careers: Work Experience at John Lewis
Kiera McMaster and Miles Stimpson both Year 11 students have just spent a week in the workplace at John Lewis, Exeter. They will go down in history as the first ever work experience students that John Lewis, Exeter have taken. Both Miles and Kiera had a fantastic time and were so impressive that their managers were keen to offer them a position on a permanent basis!
Cross-Curricular Morning for Year 9
The Year 9 pupils gathered for an exciting cross curricular morning on Tuesday. This was an opportunity to put into practice some of the skills they had learned throughout the year. During the first workshop, the school gym was turned into a newsroom as pupils worked together to produce a front page of a newspaper, imagining they were reporting on the events of D-Day as they happened in June 1944. Writing in both French and English, pupils reported on the landings on the Normandy beaches, using facsimiles of newspapers written at the time taken from www.historic-newspapers.co.uk and first hand photo footage of the events. In the second workshop, using their Maths skills and business acumen, pupils took on the role of oil traders. All the pupils worked extremely hard and should be very proud of everything they achieved.
Go4SET Presentations by Year 8
On Thursday 26th June the 4 Blundell's year 8 Go4SET teams went to Exeter University to display their projects and give presentations to the Go4SET panel of judges. They then also moved venue to display and be judged at the Big Bang Fair South West. All the teams did an excellent job of conveying their project outcomes to the judging panels and were highly praised by the judges. They have been supported throughout by engineers from Mouchel who have been fantastic. The pupils have been inspired and challenged to do their best throughout the projects. The reports and models they have produced are amazing but more than this the skills they have learned about teamwork, meeting deadlines and communication are so impressive to see. This great experience is thanks to the EDT and the wonderful expertise and encouragement from the Mouchel engineers. All of the teams received Go4SET certificates, Big Bang certificates and will achieve Silver CREST once processed.
Team A: Go4SET – Most Innovative Award for their "Shark project a floating eco-classroom".
Team D: Big Bang Fair STEM Club – Prize for Best Presented Stand for "Recycling in our School" and Big Bang Fair – Best Communicator Engineering & Technology.
Team C: CREST (A British Science Association Programme) Prize for Creativity in a Project Process or Outcome for their Create Sport "Eco Gym" and a place in the finals of the National Science & Engineering Competition 2014/15 to be held at the NEC Birmingham from 11th – 14th March 2015.
Cross Curricular activity for Year 7
The Art and History departments organised an enlightening and enjoyable cross-curricular workshop on heraldry for Year 7. After an illustrated lecture about heraldry from Mrs Sherwood, when they learned that the colours and images used in heraldry all have specific meanings, the pupils set about designing, then painting, their own shields. The designs ranged from the elaborate to the austere, but each was very personal to the artist. After completing their shields, the group gathered together to present their work, explaining their designs and reviewing what they had learned.
Excellent Athletics Results
There have been some excellent results from the athletics teams recently. In the Devon County Championships, Blundell's had 24 top three finishes. All athletes performed to a very high standard and six were crowned county champions:
- Jack Webber - Senior Boys 100m and 200m (in a personal best of 22.93s)
- Ben Clarke - Senior Boys Javelin
- Ruth Squires - Senior Girls 3000m
- Millie Blackmore - Senior Girls Long Jump
- Lucy Walliker - Inter Girls triple Jump (in a pb of 10.07m)
- Karl Still - Inter Boys 1500m (in a pb of 4m 16s)
Earlier in the week the teams competed in the Regional B Final of the Track and Field Cup at Yeovil for schools ranked 8 to 16 in the Western half of the country (Cornwall, up to Hereford and across to Hampshire and Berkshire). The Junior Boys finished 4th, Intermediate Boys finished 2nd and Intermediate girls 6th. All the teams performed to an excellent standard, with exemplary behaviour and those taking exams revised between events. For individual results, please see the Athletics page under Sports on this website.
Having won the first round of the Devon heat in the UK Year 10 TEAM Maths Challenge, the Blundell's team of J K Song, Toby Whitehead, Hattie Nash and Luke Bartlett recently competed in the South West Challenge final. The team were up against 23 other schools, answering questions in five rounds. They took second place, just missing out on the top spot by two marks but getting full marks in the round on Matrices. Congratulations to them all on their great achievement.
Ten Tors Challenge
Eighteen pupils from Years 10, 12 and 13 took part in this year's gruelling Ten Tors challenge, with one team in each of the three categories of 35, 45 or 55 mile walk. As usual with this event, the weather conditions for much of the weekend were tough, with extremely high winds and lashing rain, but that did not stop the 35 mile team (pictured left) from finishing first in their group of 15 teams from around the region. The team, Charlie Brown (leader), Dougal Glaisher, Francis Huntingford, Ed Penhaligan, Karl Still and Bethan Wesley maintained an excellent pace for their first attempt at the challenge and were awarded the Bronze Ten Tors medal.
The 55 mile walk is considered to be amongst the toughest physical challenges at school level in the country and Blundell's upper sixth team (see right) proved themselves to a hugely determined group as they achieved an average speed of well over 5km an hour, finishing a close second out of their group of ten teams. Team members Harry Bodington (leader), Freddie Morris, David Kellett, Archie Muirhead, Saskia Simonson and George Williams organised themselves over the year, undertaking all the necessary training walks in their own free and were awarded the coveted Ten Tors gold medal as a result of the achievement. Unfortunately the 45 mile team were casualties of the difficult conditions and were taken off the moor at the end of the first day.
Hockey: Fifth in the Country for U13 Squad
Blundell's U13 Hockey squad recently took part in the National Finals of the In2Hockey competition for the second consecutive year, having already won the Devon and West of England titles.
The girls were well prepared and ready to take on the opposition at the national tournament. Their first game did not quite go to plan, but a tremendous last two minutes saw the team come from 1-0 down to beat Felsted Prep 2-1. A convincing 2-0 win over Leeds Grammar School followed but a lapse in concentration against Kingsmead School saw the opposition score three goals in quick succession and, despite a second half fightback, Blundell's lost 3-2. The next game saw a winner takes all situation, with either Blundell's or Danes Hill advancing to the final with a win. Unfortunately, some early chances by Blundell's saw great saves from the Danes Hill keeper and, despite a late fightback from Blundell's, Danes Hill won (and went on to win the final). The Blundell's team then played some excellent hockey to beat Wakefield 4-0 to finish fifth in the country, a great achievement especially as they scored 59 goals and conceded just 11 in the whole competition.
Team: Anna Gabbitass (Capt), Millie Attwell, Tabby Vause, Grace Francis, Immy Hamilton-Green, Serena Mundy, Kinna Yewdall, Jodie White, Amelia Low, Maddie Wright, Sparkle Menzies.
Fundraising Crazy Ties
The Charity Committee's recent 'Crazy Tie Day' inspired by Mr Pilbeam's crazy taste in ties raised £300 for the local cancer charity FORCE. Pupils and teachers entered into the spirit of the event with pupils sporting striped bow ties and colourful ties, Mr Wielenga wearing a Pilbo original Bart Simpson number and Mrs Huggett showing her enthusiasm for horses, particularly multi coloured ones! The school raises thousands of pounds every year for local, national and international charities through events and activities.
Engineering Education Scheme (EES) Assessment for Year 12 Team
This year's Yr 12 team attended the Celebration and Assessment Day for the Engineering Education Scheme at Plymouth University on Tuesday. The team gave a 15 mins presentation to a panel of judges from industry and answered questions at their display stand from judges and invited guests. The judges gave very positive feedback to the team saying "the report was flawlessly written, very professional... the presentation was delivered confidently and it was clear from the question and answer session that the team had worked very successfully together playing to individuals' strengths". The team are Rita Tao, Run Zhao, Hector Pring and team leader Ben Willder who was also praised for his leadership of the team.
They qualify not only for their EES certificates but also for the GOLD Crest award which is highly recognised and respected by UCAS for university entry particularly in the STEM subjects. Our thanks go to Adrian Irwin from TDK Lambda UK for supporting the team and the EDT for this great opportunity.
Rugby Raises Charity Funds
The Touch Rugby tournament organised in aid of charity by James Perring and Ben Willder (both Year 12) attracted a great turnout from School House to Year 13 and some impressive outfits were worn by players and spectators! The winners of the tournament were The Gaters (George Dart, Harry Michelmore, Austin Robertshaw, Anton Hoek and Charlie Henderson) and the event raised more than £300 for the Teenage Cancer Trust.
There have been some excellent individual achievements in rugby recently. Will Vickery, Will Klinkenberg, Hugh Hamilton-Green and Archie Stoneman were selected for the Under 15 Devon rugby squad and represented Devon in the Inter-counties 10 a-side competition at Chippenham (only 15 boys were selected for this from the Devon squads). Meanwhile, Will Scott was selected for the Under 17 Exeter Chiefs team that recently played against Bristol and Jack Maunder continues to excel, having represented the England RFU Under 18 team in the European tournament in Poland. The team beat Portugal, Wales and finally Ireland to win the final and Jack played in all matches.
Cultural Trip to Italy
A combined History, Geography and Classics trip saw thirty two students and staff spending six days in Italy during the Easter holidays. The group visited Rome, taking in sites such as The Vatican and the Sistine Chapel, and then travelled around the Bay of Naples to Herculaneum, Pompeii and Mount Vesuvius. Highlights of the trip included perfect weather, Mrs Milne's tours around Rome and Herculaneum and the great company of the students.
Cricket Tour to Barbados
The Senior Cricket Squad had a 12 day cricket tour of Barbados in the Easter holidays, playing six matches against some very strong Barbadian representative sides. Blundell's were victors in only one of the matches but competed well throughout and could have come away with a couple more wins, but it was an ideal preparation for the coming season. There were notable performances from many of the squad with both bat and the ball including Sam Wyatt-Haines, Luke Ansell, Tom Youngman, Dom Bess, Jacob Wood and Will Thompson. Many of the younger players made significant progress which is a good sign for the future of Blundell's cricket.
Spring Term 2014
Saxophone and Song
Blundell's pupil Jack Armstrong Williams had the privilege of playing at the Military Wives Choir concert recently held in Bampton. Jack, in Year 8, played a saxophone solo set for 25 minutes at the start of the concert. The famous choir pulled in a capacity audience to the event in St Michael and All Angels and more than £4000 was raised for repairs to the church.
BBC News School Report Day
Thursday 27th March was BBC School Report News day. The team of 20 pupils selected from year 8 worked hard gathering and writing the news ready for a 4pm broadcast. All of year 8 have been involved in the project this term through their lecture programme, tutor sessions and English lessons and all pupils have contributed in some way to the process. Well done to all who took part and thank you to Mrs Winsley, Mr Dyer and the IT department, particularly Mr Markel and Mr Winwood, Mr Fisher and year 13 pupil Holly Keevil for making it all happen on the day! You can see the pupils' work on the website, they particularly enjoyed the article on Blundell's 25 years ago where they were able to interview staff about the school back in 1989. The year 8 team photo was also on the BBC website on the day!
Congratulations to the Blundell's golf team who finished runners up in the West of England Independent Schools Golf Championship at Burnham & Berrow Golf Club. The team beat Monmouth and Canford Schools before losing to Radley in the final. Reaching the final was a great achievement in itself, as the three other schools each have at least one golf professional on their staff and a golf course on their school grounds. The team were Nick Acfield (captain), George Williams, Ben French, Ollie Clarke and Alex Gibson.
Nick is one of only eight boys in the country to be selected to take part in The Swifts tour, playing on some of the finest courses on the Eastern Seaboard of the USA, during the Easter holidays. The field for selection for this 22nd British Independent Schools Golf Tour to the USA was very strong and Nick has been selected for his golfing talent, generous contribution to a team and soundness as an ambassador for the School and Country.
Marine Biologist for a Day
Blundell's was one of four schools participating in thi s event at the National Centre for Marine Biology in Plymouth. The day featured a Plankton Safari, Something Fishy and MBA Behind The Scenes and proved to be highly educational.
We compared the formation of sea 'scum' to whisking eggs, extracted otoliths from the head of fish to age them and toured the fish water tanks to see the cutting edge research that goes on including the use of sea creatures for medical research.
This trip was a great experience and certainly gave us all a good insight into the different areas of marine biology.
Year 13 National Science & Engineering Competition Finalists
Elliot Finch, Gabriel Cheung and Ollie Pritchard Barrett represented the South West and Blundell's School in the final of the NSEC at the NEC in Birmingham this week. They were one of only 10 projects in the South West to win through to the finals and show cased their project to a visiting public of approximately 30,000 plus several panels of judges at the NEC over two days. It was an honour to be one of the 200 projects chosen across the UK out of thousands of entries to inspire the next generation to take part in STEM subjects. They were also featured in a BBC film on day 1 of the competition when they were interviewed at their stand by Ellie Taylor.
Congratulations to Jack Maunder (Year 12) who helped England under 18s to a 28-6 win against Scotland last weekend when he started the match at Dalziel RFC and to Andrew Hamilton (Year 13) who has been selected as a non-travelling reserve for the England Clubs and Schools XV against France at the end of the month.
Year 7 are corresponding with pen pals at Collège Léon-Marie Fournet in Jassans with the aim of broadening their horizons as well as improving their French. The Year 7s hope that they will also learn more about the education system in France and are finding the letter writing an excellent experience. George Gibbs reports: 'It uses skills from across the academic curriculum and will also play an important role in improving our English, such as letter planning and handwriting'.
DT: A Talent for Design – Jack Wins National Competition
Year 8 pupil Jack Armstrong Williams has won a national Design and Technology competition. Jack designed and prototyped a vehicle for the future in the Alu Challenge, beating 600 other entrants from schools across the country to win first prize of £200 for himself and a 3D printer for the school. The challenge, for students aged 11 – 14, was to design a vehicle that demonstrated an entirely new way to get around using aluminium whilst discovering how design can make products more sustainable to make, use and dispose of. Jack travelled to Birmingham's Thinktank Museum to receive his prize and a certificate of achievement from Professor Michael Stacey from the University of Nottingham.
Go4SET Launch Event with Year 8
This year we have 4 teams of year 8 pupils who have signed up to take part in the Go4SET project. The launch event took place at the Flybe Training Academy in Exeter on 5th March where pupils attended workshops on project planning and report writing skills and got a tour of the academy plus a look at the flight simulators. The pupils will be guided by expert engineers/consultants from Mouchel including Emma Bazeley who worked with Blundell's last year. The team will work on their design of an Eco Classroom or a Sports Venue and prepare a report, presentation, model and display stand to present to the judges in June. Good Luck to all those taking part!
Art: Outreach Activities on Field Day
For the past few years Blundell's has been running a very successful programme of CVSSG outreach projects involving local primary schools. This Field Day 60 pupils from seven schools were invited to participate in an exciting day of creativity in the Art department. They explored the theme of a bird's eye view and after a morning of research and drawing they decorated and built kites which were flown with flair on the Astro pitch despite it being the only windless day in a year of storms! Many thanks to the Art department, Mr Menheneott and the Sixth form assistants for organising an excellent day.
Public Speaking Winners Meet the Princess Royal
On Feb 25th Tim Dyke came out of retirement to lead last year's winning ESU Public Speaking team of Oscar Mustard, Freya de Lisle and Rowan Carew up to the House of Lords in London, where in the gorgeous surroundings of the River Room they were presented with commemorative certificates by Her Royal Highness Princess Anne, who then talked to them about the competition, of which she is President.
This was followed by a sumptuous tea in the equally fabulous venue of the ESU's headquarters, Dartmouth House, one of the most celebrated venues in London, location for many of the Bafta parties last week.
All the organisers commented on the aplomb and charm of the Blundell's team, who were given an experience none of them will ever forget.
BBC Radio 4's Any Questions? broadcasts live from Blundell's
Around 400 people enjoyed the live broadcast of the BBC Radio 4 programme Any Questions? from Blundell's on Friday (21February). The panel of the Secretary of State for Scotland Alistair Carmichael, Conservative backbench MP Nadhim Zahawi, New Statesman columnist Laurie Penny and Labour backbench MP Frank Field, was chaired by Jonathan Dimbleby. The BBC was impressed by the range of questions submitted during the evening in advance of the broadcast and one of the ten people selected to put their question to the panel was former Master Charles Noon who received a round of applause from the many of the audience when he was called forward (unfortunately, time ran out before he could put his question 'Is the country caught between a cruel housing shortage or the bursting of a housing bubble?' to the panel). Once on air, the panel debated several topics of the day including Kiev, Scottish independence and whether it was a good idea to put a calorie count on bottles of wine!
Ten sixth formers, several of whom are studying politics, helped at the event and were able to talk to the panel and Jonathan Dimbleby, and gain an insight into public life as well as into broadcasting.
Art: Justin Quinnell Visits
Justin Quinnell, the pinhole photographer extraordinaire, spent the day at Blundell's last Thursday delivering workshops to the scholars art group (SAS) and several year groups to much excitement. All were given the opportunity to make their own cameras from aluminium cans and develop the prints in the darkroom. He also brought in his homemade camera obscura which gave a greater understanding of the way cameras and light behaves.
Exeter Trip for Year 8
On Wednesday 5th February, Year 8 visited Exeter Cathedral on an Art/Classics and Divinity Cross Curricular event. The year group studied Roman Britain at the Museum and toured the Cathedral, sketching imagery and symbols they will use to create an Art installation for the chapel alter. The 14 works will initially be displayed around the school, taking their place one by one as the Reverend Hunt discusses "The Stations of the Cross" leading to Lent. Despite very wet and windy weather, it was a very enjoyable and productive afternoon.
Judicial Awareness Course
Students in Years 11, 12 and 13 were fortunate enough to welcome His Honour Judge Horton to Blundell's.
Students learnt how the public legal system regards fairness as being an essential part of the legal process. It has been this feature which has driven the changes in the way trials are conducted. To assist in understanding this, the course commenced with the enactment of an actual trial which took place in 1843. The prisoner called Jones was accused of pick pocketing a handkerchief. The entire trial took two minutes 53 seconds. He was sentenced to seven years transportation.
This is just one example of what proved to be a thought-provoking morning of activities.
Oxbridge Offers and Academic Success for Blundell's Pupils
Congratulations to the four pupils who have been offered places at Oxford and Cambridge Universities. Gus de Falbe has an offer to read Natural Sciences at Queen's College Cambridge, Rory Trevelyan Thomas has an offer to read Psychology and Linguistics at St Hilda's Oxford, Christie Wang to read Material Science at St Catherine's Oxford, while Alec Reade, who applied post A level, has gained a place to read Natural Sciences at Sidney Sussex College Cambridge.
Several other Blundell's pupils are also celebrating academic success: the seven students who took the Extended Project Qualification (which is taken in addition to A levels and shows ability to go beyond traditional learning) all had excellent results with five achieving A* and two an A. In the British Maths Olympiad, Blundell's pupils gained 12 bronze awards, nine silver and eight gold, placing the students in the top 10% of the 75,000 students taking the test.
South Africa Cricket Tour
Jack Lockwood (left) of Heathcoat Cricket Club has been selected to tour South Africa in February. Jack is part of the Devon Schools under fifteen cricket squad who will embark for South Africa for a two week trip starting in half term. Jack is a sharp right handed batsmen and has score numerous runs at club and school level. He is currently a year ten pupil and will be accompanied by another Blundellian, wicket keeper Ben Phillips (right) who plays for Thorverton. Both boys are relishing the thought of the trip and have had plenty of practice under the guidance of master i/c cricket Rob Turner at the school. Mr Turner stated that the boys will learn a lot from the experience and he is pleased to see the school and club so well represented once more. Chairman of Heathcoat's, John Smith presented a cheque to Jack to help him on his way and wished him luck.
National Science Film Wins for Clym
Congratulations to Clym Montgomery (Year 13) who won two categories in the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) Science Film Challenge and was runner up in three others with his film 'What happens if you take off a space helmet on the moon?' The aim of the challenge was to make a short film on an aspect of science correctly and in an engaging way and 26 teams or individuals took part. Clym's film won the most entertaining film and best animation categories and was runner up in cinematography, best explanation and best overall independently produced movie. Clym was awarded trophies for winning the two categories and also received £150 worth of Amazon vouchers. He was inspired to make the film following a Physics lesson about space. His original video, which was edited down for the competition, can be viewed on YouTube.
Autumn Term 2013
Maths Success for Blundell's Team
Blundell's mathematicians are celebrating after the Sixth Form team of Gus de Falbe, Lori Burian, Run Cong Zhao and Maggie Fu Shaoyi won the South West round of a national Mathematics competition. This year saw the highest number of entries in the regional competition of the Senior Team Maths challenge with 25 of the top independent and grammar schools in the South West taking part in the three and a half hour competition, run by the UK Mathematics Trust. It was an exciting finish for the Blundell's team: they were in joint first place with Torquay Boys' Grammar as they entered the final round but, by scoring a bonus point for getting full marks in the quickest time, Blundell's were victorious by one point. The team will now take part in the national final to be held in London next February.
Careers: Global Study Fair
A small group of Lower 6 attended an event in Taunton aimed at broadening their horizons for world study.
Representatives from universities in Australia, Canada, Grenada, Hong Kong, The Netherlands, USA, Spain and Germany were represented by individual institutions together with talks on studying in the above countries.
Careers: Law Event
James Bullock and Nick Holt, two high fliers in the law profession gave a very insightful and inspiring talk to a group of thirty interested students.
Following a presentation detailing the work of a barrister and solicitor, amongst other legal professions, the students had so many questions that James and Nick were still chatting away a good hour after the event!
Careers: Year 11 Employability Event
All Year 11's participated in a fun and interactive event run by PUSH. During the course of the day they learnt: how to sell themselves, to identify their USP's, how first impressions count and tips for interviews.
Moj Taylor and Johnny Rich provided an exciting programme and the students themselves made an excellent contribution.
94 students gave feedback:
- 60% of students rated the talk '5/5 Excellent'
- 36% rated the talk 4/5
Top comments: "I didn't stop listening all the way through! Great day!"
Hockey: Devon U16 Champions
The U16s followed the example of the U18s by also winning the Devon Schools finals. Despite looking to be one of the strongest sides at the West of England finals they lost unexpectedly in the quarters having cruised through their pool beating King's Taunton, Bryanston and Truro.
Hockey: Devon U18 Champions
Blundell's entered a Sixth Form side into the Devon Schools, instead the full 1st XI and the senior girls still proved too strong for the rest of Devon. They also got through their pool round at the West of England Finals, losing in the quarter-finals to Millfield.
Riding: Blundell's Equestrian Team Wins National Championships
Blundell's equestrians are celebrating after winning the coveted title of national champions at the National Schools Equestrian Association (NSEA) championships. They were taking part in the very competitive Jumping with Style (JwS) Open Class, against 24 teams from across the UK. The team, Lola Watt, Lydia Stuart, Rupert Batting and Eleanor Ansell, had qualified at earlier competitions. Blundell's was one of two schools representing the South West in the discipline at the finals, held at Addington Manor, Buckinghamshire.
Jumping with Style, also known as Arena Eventing, consists of a course of show jumps, followed by a timed course of XC fences, with skinnies and awkward turns to test both horse and rider. The whole round is also judged for style by a BE accredited judge. The style penalties, together with the jumping and time faults are added together to determine placings. Blundell's Blue team were fourth to go and took the team decision to go for the time. Lydia Stuart was the only team member to execute a fast clear round, with the other team members following suit with fast rounds, only notching up four jumping faults each. However, the skill displayed both in the transition from a collected show jumping round, to a galloping XC section whilst still executing the tight turns and maintaining balance was recognised generously in the style marks.
Blundell's has been attending the NSEA Championships for many years, but this is the first time they have taken the title of Open JwS National Champions. The Blundell's Yellow team of Eleanor Ansell, Rupert Batting and India Knott also put on a good show but, with only a team of three didn't have the luxury of a discard score, and achieved a very creditable ninth place overall.
Engineering Education Scheme Students Visit TDK-Lambda
This year's Engineering Education Scheme is in progress and the team have started the process with their company visit this week. The team is made up of Year 12 pupils Ben Willder, Run Zhao, Rita Tao and Hector Pring, all are studying AS level Maths and or Further Maths and have an interest also in Science and Engineering. Ben and Run went to the Tdk-Lambda site in Ilfracombe this week to meet with Manufacturing Engineer Adrian Irwin and to have a tour of the site. Adrian is working with Blundell's for a second year after a successful partnership in 2012/13. The project this year is to calculate the Carbon Footprint for the two Devon Tdk sites and then to come up with a workable strategy to reduce it. The team may even have time to come up with a working model to calculate month on month a prediction for the footprint to inform all staff at the sites. An exciting few weeks are now ahead to get ready for the residential at Plymouth University in December!
Riding: British Eventing Festival of Youth, Weston Park, Shropshire
The inaugural KBIS sponsored U18 BE100 Championships proved very successful, with SW team leading with a significant cushion of 13 penalties from the dressage phase and maintaining this position to the nail-biting finish of the XC phase. Although an enviable position it was one which provided the added pressure of "there to be lost". Emily Proud and Holly Parker notched up winner and runner up placings, closely followed by Emily Kendall in 4th and Lola Watt 11th. Emily Lee their BE SW coach, and SW assistant co-ordinator Georgina Batting were quick to praise the wonderful team spirit throughout the four days of competition and this played a significant part in securing the win.
Cross-Curricular Workshop for School House
The Mathematics and Art departments have teamed up this week to give an excellent cross-curricular workshop to School House. The aim was to stimulate a deeper understanding of topics covered in an exciting fusion of subjects and to foster an intellectual curiosity extending beyond the curriculum. Year 7 have been studying Transformations in Maths which proved a perfect starting point to reflect, translate, rotate and enlarge a variety of shapes to make large scale patterned drawings in the gym. These were then developed with colour and construction into large kites to be suspended in the Maths block. Many thanks to Mrs Olive, Mr Roffe-Silvester and the Art Department for organising the event.
The Championships at Wimbledon
The strawberries and cream season may be over but an invitation to play at and tour the All England Tennis Club was an opportunity not to be missed for Mrs Frankpitt and Miss Norman. It was a real privilege to be able to share the facilities used by the top players in the world and see behind the scenes. The day concluded with afternoon tea in the clubroom and was at the invitation of Save the Children following Blundell's School fundraising over nine seasons of tennis tournaments.
National Championship for Jack
Jack Aldridge in Year 9 was recently crowned National Young Shepherd of the Year for the second year running. Jack took part in the prestigious Rare Breeds Survival Trust's competition held at the Newbury Show and walked off with both the Junior Champion and overall Championship title.
Having qualified to compete at an earlier show, Jack was up against 11 others in his age group of 8 to 12 years and had to impress the judge with his knowledge and handling of his Oxford Down ram Trevor. Having won that, it was head to head with the winner of the 13 to 16 year old group, this time showing a sheep he hadn't handled before. Once again Jack was victorious and was presented with an impressive rosette to add to the cup and rosette he had won earlier.
Jack said 'I wasn't sure if I had won as the ram was very strong and lively and wanted to run out of the ring we were walking around.' Winning the title was the culmination of an amazing season for Jack; despite having had no involvement with sheep until he was nine, he has taken seven breed champion or reserve champion awards for his Oxford Down sheep at shows during 2013.
Nicola Huggett, Blundell's Head, said 'At Blundell's, we celebrate all our pupils' successes, whether academic, sporting, creative or extra-curricular. This is a great achievement for Jack, especially as he has had to juggle training and competing with his school work.'
Art: Year 9 Haldon Forest Trip
Year 9 had a very successful and fun field day at Haldon Forest, our 8th visit to the site. It was a chance to enjoy and engage with the natural environment. Pupils found it a stimulating day and in addition to drawing were challenged to make sculptures incorporating found materials, each group explored different themes ranging from Green Men and animals to sacred gardens. Much interesting work was produced. Reverend Hunt and other staff commented on how receptive the groups were to the walks.
Careers: Jobs for Girls
On the 26th of September fourteen GH girls took part in jobs for girls at Maynard School.
When we arrived, we were split into three groups; yellow, blue and red. Each group were taken to different rooms to learn about the wide variety of different jobs available for girls. In each room were three or four speakers who enabled us to explore the range of interesting jobs that they live themselves on a daily basis. These jobs ranged from being a surgeon to a police sergeant to a physicist. Some of the more popular jobs, that several people were interested in, were the more creative jobs; these included photography, garden design and architecture. Fashion design was also a popular one that many girls took an interest in.
After we had listened to the ten speeches, we went to the jobs fair. At the fair, we were able to talk to the speakers in person and we were given lots of extra information about their subject. We were also given lots of information about university choices. It was a very enjoyable evening and I am very pleased I was given the opportunity to go. Thank you Miss Norman!
Art: L6 London Galleries Trip
The L6 artists have just returned from an excellent trip to London to see a selection of galleries. The Australia exhibition at the Royal Academy which opened last week was an amazing spectrum of Australian art throughout its history with some stunning aboriginal bark paintings hanging next to relatively unknown Australian impressionists. After lunching under the blue chicken on the fourth plinth in Trafalgar Square, the pupils had the opportunity to see and study from some of the great masterpieces first hand in The National Gallery.
Art: Year 7 and 9 Hand Painting
Year 7 and 9 art activists this week created a spectacular series of hand paintings depicting animals and birds. In the space of forty minutes they were able to transform their hands and pose for the cameras.
Art: Trip to Broomhill Sculpture Park and Woolacombe Bay
Year 7 pupils were treated to an excellent day of Art activities at Broomhill Sculpture Park and Woolacombe Bay. Despite setting off in heavy fog with the threat of heavy rain, we managed to dodge the raindrops 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 based on the theme 'Mythical creatures'. The sculptures were judged by a willing member of the public and whilst noting the high calibre of work (a dragonfly, a snail and the Loch Ness serpent to name a few) the octopus was voted 'Best on Show'. The sketches and poems produced here will form the basis for the term's projects and there will be an exhibition in the Spring term. Many thanks to Mrs Armstrong-Williams and Mr Hedley-Dent for organising the trip.
Head Joins in DAAT Cycle Ride
The Head Nicola Huggett joined in for part of the 30 mile 'Flying by the seat of our bikes' sponsored cycle ride around Mid Devon in aid of the Devon Air Ambulance Trust (DAAT). The cyclists stopped off at Blundell's so that she could hand a cheque for £500 to Caroline Creer, DAAT's Fundraising Director; the money was raised by events held by the school which has raised £20,000 for local, national and international charities over the last year. Other members of staff and a number of Blundell's parents took part in the ride.
Tour of Britain Passes Through Blundell's
Blundell's pupils turned out in force to cheer on cyclists in the Tour of Britain race when the route went past the school. They were lucky enough to see top international cyclists including Sir Bradley Wiggins (in the yellow jersey) and Mark Cavendish taking part in the sprint right outside Blundell's. Many of the pupils made signs to speed the cyclists on, including Year 10 chemists who had used the chemistry lesson prior to the race to fashion chemical symbols into messages for the cyclists.
Blundell's Head Nicola Huggett said: 'We were very excited that the Tour of Britain cycle race passed right by the school. Our pupils are keen sports men and women so it was a privilege for them to see what these elite cyclists achieve through their hard work and dedication. The entire school was cheering on the cyclists as they sprinted past.'