News 2017 - 2018

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Spring Term 2018 *

Success for Young Musicians

Sixth Form students Redmond and Lafite competed in the Mid & East Devon Area Final of the Rotary Young Musician 2018 Competition, held at Ottery St Mary. Both performed extremely well and with great success, Lafite winning First Prize in the Senior Instrumental category and Redmond winning First Prize in the Senior Vocal category. They received a trophy each. In addition, Redmond won best overall vocalist of the evening and now goes through to the Devon and Cornwall District Final, which will be held in Fowey on 10th February. Congratulations to both performers.

Top of The Bench Chemistry Challenge

Top of The Bench Chemistry Challenge A team of Blundell's Chemists competed in the South West round of the national 'Top of the Bench' competition at the University of Bristol. The students completed two practical tasks and a knowledge quiz in an allocated time period. The students completed all the tasks to a very high standard, and finished in 2nd place out of 16 competing schools. Matilda, David, Issy and Harry were excellent ambassadors for the school and all agreed that it was a very enjoyable and educational day.

Three Successful Oxbridge Applications

Congratulations to the three pupils in the Upper Sixth who have been offered places at Cambridge University. Addie has an offer to read Maths at Churchill College and Keiran to read Medicine at Jesus College, while Megan has received an offer to read English at Downing College.

The Head, Nicola Huggett, said 'This is a terrific achievement by Addie, Keiran and Megan and they have worked incredibly hard for these much deserved offers. We are very proud of them and of all thirteen pupils who were interviewed for places at Oxford or Cambridge. I would like to pay tribute to everyone – families, teachers, tutors and our Oxbridge coordinators – who have supported the pupils while they have studied here.'

Celebrating Mathematical Success

The Maths Department have begun the term on a high celebrating the news that the Senior Maths Team have reached the final of the Senior Maths Challenge, which will be held in London on 6th February.

In addition, UK Maths Olympiad gold awards were presented to 7 pupils across years 10 to 13 for their recent performance, with specific mention to Bill in year 12 who achieved best in school.

Autumn Term 2017

OB wins I'm A Celebrity

Congratulations to OB Georgia Toffolo who has won ITV's I'm A Celebrity whilst demonstrating those true Blundellian values of courage and determination.

Champions Trophy Final at Allianz Park

Rugby: Champions Trophy Final at Allianz Park The Champions Trophy Final at Allianz Park did not disappoint, with spectators who journeyed to Saracens' home ground and the hundreds of pupils and staff packed into Big School witnessing a truly remarkable game of rugby.

The seventy minutes of the match were a rollercoaster of extraordinary emotion from the lows of the first conceded points to the highs of Barrie's spectacular try in the corner.

When the whistle blew to signify the end of the match, the result did not go in Blundell's favour, with Dulwich winning by 5 points (34 -29). However, there was much to celebrate; a team that collectively dug deep and showed what it is to have guts and determination, selflessness that allowed for individual moments of brilliance, resilience and a team spirit that battles to the very end.

The performance of the 1st XV made our school proud and whilst they may be still nursing disappointment they have ignited a wealth of admiration from Old Blundellians and the wider rugby community in the South West.

Champions Trophy Final – Wednesday 6th December

The Final will be streamed live on the England Rugby website as well as England Rugby Facebook. Kick-off is at 2:15pm.

It will also be broadcast free on Premier Sports TV channel which can be accessed via Sky (HD - Channel 428 / SD - Channel 462).

Mathematicians Enjoy success at Senior Maths Team Challenge Competition

Sixth Form pupils Addie, Aahil, Bill and Prad recently participated in the South West Senior Maths Team Challenge held at Exmouth Community College. From a high quality field of over 25 schools Blundell's were narrowly beaten into second place, by only three points, by Exeter School. Whilst Exeter will automatically qualify for a place in the UK Final in London next February we await to hear, with such a close score, if Blundell's will also be joining them. Well done to our Mathematicians!

Jazz with the Leeds School of Music

Staff and students from Leeds College of Music came to Blundell's for an afternoon of workshops with the Blundell's Big Band, and the jazz bands from Wellington and West Buckland schools. Overall forty-six students participated in the workshop, learning about, and developing, their skills as improvisers. That evening, the workshop was followed by impressive performances from each school's jazz band, and an inspiring set from the Leeds College of Music Band. The evening included a standout performance from Year 12 pupil Jack, who performed an exciting rendition of Sandu alongside the Leeds College of Music Band.

1st XV reach National Champions Trophy Final

Sublime Rugby in the Semi-Finals After a hard fought match on Wednesday afternoon, Blundell's 1st XV were victorious over Kingswood School, Bath beating them 27-5 in the semi-final of the Champions Trophy. They now play Dulwich College in the final at Allianz Park on Wed' 6th dec'.

A final at Allianz Park, home of Saracens, on the 6th December against Dulwich now awaits the team.

'Women in Science' Event at The Maynard

'Women in Science' Event at The Maynard The girls had a wonderful trip to Maynards School on 14 November 2017, our hosts were perfect.

There were over 90 students in total from 5 different schools and the whole day was based on competitive tasks. We were all mentally drained but enthused by the end of the day.

The first round was to design an eco-house, build a model of their design, exam style questions based on this issue. Although we did not win any of these rounds we were close runners up with the design and build. The next round was to design a trebuchet, build and test it and answer "trebuchet trigonometry" questions based on projectiles. We came third in the build and launch but won the questions round, only one group out of the whole event got all the questions correct and that was one of ours!

There were also talks from PhD students and working engineers (one of which designed the Tree-top Walk at Kew gardens), which were very motivating and inspirational.

Blundell's Announces New Head

Blundell's Announces new Head The Board of Governors of Blundell's School, have today 13th November, announced that Mr Bart Wielenga has been appointed as the new Head of this leading co-educational day and boarding school. Mr Wielenga will take up the position with effect from September 2018.

Mr Wielenga will become the thirtieth Head of Blundell's School and will succeed Mrs Nicola Huggett when she leaves to become Head at Cheltenham College. Mr Wielenga is currently Second Master at Blundell's and has made a significant contribution to the growth and reputation of Blundell's in recent years.

Commenting on this announcement, Mr Cedric Clapp, Chair of the Board of Governors said:

"The opportunity to lead our school attracted an excellent field of candidates all of whom recognised Blundell's as a first class school that is flourishing. As a result of a rigorous interview process we are delighted to have appointed Bart Wielenga as our new Head following on from Nicola Huggett. We believe that the strength of our school lies in its ethos, its traditions and the education it provides for its pupils. We know that Bart will build on the fantastic achievements made under Nicola's leadership and take the school forward to the next exciting chapter in its long history. The market for independent education remains challenging but Blundell's is well placed and well-resourced to meet those challenges."

Bart graduated from the University of Natal in South Africa in 1994 after majoring in Economics and from the Rand Afrikaans University in Johannesburg in 1996 with Post Graduate Honours majoring in Organisational Change. Prior to joining Blundell's, Bart taught at two leading schools - Michaelhouse in KwaZulu-Natal followed by nine years at Wellington College in Berkshire where he was a Housemaster and Head of Economics.

On his appointment Bart commented, "I am delighted to be given the opportunity to lead Blundell's in the next stage of its history. The school is in excellent health, with numbers at an all-time high, with boarding flourishing and with exceptional academic success at Oxbridge level. It will be a privilege to build on the strong foundations that Nicola Huggett has set down. We are fortunate to have a dynamic and ambitious common room and I feel immensely proud to work with them to continue to help young people thrive in our beautiful Devon school".

ESU Public Speaking Competition

ESU Public Speaking Competition Last week two teams of pupils attended the ESU-Churchill National Public Speaking Competition.

Team one had a successful round. Year 10 pupil Erica gave a powerful speech entitled 'Dunkirk - a crushing defeat or a proud military moment for the Allied Forces?' She argued with eloquence and knowledge that too often it is the victor who writes the history books. Orlagh in Year 11 was an articulate questioner, asking insightful questions on the topic of 'if we could live forever, would our lives be meaningless?' Tom, Year 10, made a professional chair and injected some humour into proceedings.

In the second team, Year 9 pupil Bea made an enthusiastic and engaging speech on 'What has happened to all our rebels?!' Encouraging the audience to stand up for moral and civil rights and rebellion, in moderation of course! George, Year 11, was a warm and humorous questioner, asking questions on the topic of 'does it matter that we exaggerate so much?' Eloise in Year 9 displayed poise and humour as chair in her public speaking debut. Good luck to Erica, Orlagh and Tom who will be competing in the branch final in December.

Kayak Squad Race into the New Season

Last weekend the Kayak Racing Squad competed in their first race of the new season. In their respective K1 races, Sam Taylor came 3rd, Julia Huntingford and Ella Moore came 1st and Matilda Huntingford and Jess Taylor placed 3rd. The new paddlers on other races also showed excellent promise.

The Club has clearly benefited from the legacy of OB's Dougal Glaisher and Francis Huntingford. During the summer holidays they were the second fastest paddlers in a race around the Island of Jersey, beating seasoned Islanders with local knowledge of 10m tides and 40 miles of dangerous rocky coast. Also last weekend, the day before he started at Nottingham University, Francis won the Men's National Haslar Finals, in Division 2.

Sporting Success for Blundell's pupils

Sporting Success for Blundell's pupils Last term Year 11 student Millie Attwell was selected to play for England in the International U16 team. Having scored her first England goal against Spain at the Six Nations, she then went on to be awarded player of the tournament at Futures Cup whilst playing for Wessex Leopards. In another terrific achievement, Millie has been selected for the England U18 squad just this week.

The summer is always a busy time for the equestrians and here too we are due to see national honours with many congratulations to Bird Wood who has been invited to compete in Belgium later this month by the GB Junior eventing selector as part of an U18 development squad. In the high level British Eventing Youth Championships, held at Frickley Park in July, Polly Muirhead and Bird Wood were selected to represent the South West at the UK Eventing Championships. Bird finished in 2nd place overall against 80 riders.

This weekend we will perhaps see a unique event for the School as two Blundellians will be playing for their country in different teams at the European Rugby Sevens championship in Heidelberg. Sam Maunder will be playing for England and Oscar Kolowski, for Poland. We wish them the very best of luck.

Macaroons in Paris

Macaroons in Paris During the half term break, twenty Year 11 pupils travelled to Paris on the Eurostar where they had a busy three-day schedule of language classes, sightseeing, picnics and a treasure hunt with a group of French school children from our penfriend school. Mrs Wheatley reports that a lot of French was spoken and the sale of crepes and macaroons vastly increased thanks to our pupils. Everyone had a fantastic trip and Mrs Wheatley would like to thank Mr Lecharpentier and Miss Cruchon for all their help as well as the pupils for being great company.

Restart a Heart Day

Restart a Heart Day Restart a Heart Day 300 Blundell's pupils recently took part in CPR training for Restart a Heart day, a campaign that takes place across Europe. Organised by the Resus Council and British Heart Foundation in the UK, over 150,000 young people take part to learn life-saving cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) skills.

The Ondaatje Theatre Company Presents...

The Ondaatje Theatre Company Presents... The Drama department will be having a busy term with this year's senior play - Arthur Miller's 'The Crucible'. This is an emotionally charged story about the Salem Witch trials of 1692 and it was Miller's own response to what he felt was an anti-communist hysteria in post-war America. The play is widely recognised as one of the most tense and absorbing plays of the twentieth century.

It will be the Ondaatje Hall's biggest event of the school year and the 22 strong cast will be led by Jack Watt, Flic Charlesworth, Will McIntyre, Barney Ames and Izzy Fitzroy as the infamously chilling character Abigail Williams. This will take place from Wednesday 22nd November until Friday 24th November and as usual we anticipate a high demand for tickets!

Blundell's One Day Event

On Sunday, Mrs Batting and her team of parents, friends and staff spent a very long and productive day running the Blundell's One Day Event at Bicton. A huge thank you for the generous support and seamless organisation of all those who helped.

Over 160 competitors from schools across the South West, enjoyed a busy day of competition, supported by over 100 officials and helpers.

The 70cm Class saw Blundell's bring home 4th as a team, with Lucy Vaux securing 5th individual.

Molly Joyner, Scarlett Vaux, Archie Guinness and Mattie Kolowska just missed 1st place, but were worthy runners up as 2nd place team in the 80cm. Molly placed 2nd individually, with Archie 7th and Scarlett 8th.

Ivybridge Community College Team put in stunning performances to win both the 70cm & 80cm classes.

In the 90cm, Uffculme won the team class for a 2nd year running, with Blundell's team of Rachel Brown, Flic Charlesworth, Scarlett Vaux and Josh Brown 3rd. Rachel was also 3rd individual and best Blundellian, with Josh 6th and Flic 7th individually.

In the Open class, Georgia Wood put in a stunning performance, finishing on her dressage to secure the individual win and help ensure a Blundell's team win with Hannah Kidner, Polly Muirhead & Oscar Kolowski against tough competition from Wellington and Sherborne.

We have also had an update on Bird Wood's GB progress, as she produced a stunning double clear in the Junior FEI Nations Cup in Belgium last week. Achieving 4th place individually, as the best British rider, she was pivotal in helping to secure a team Silver medal.

Maths and Chemistry Pupils Rise to the Challenge

Congratulations to the Lower 6th Chemists who recently took part in Cambridge Chemistry Challenge 2017. This competition aims to stretch and challenge students interested in chemistry. With tasks set by an experienced team of teachers and university chemists, the Challenge takes competitors significantly beyond the syllabus of A Level. There were a total of 7056 entries into this year's competition. Of those 543 students won Gold awards. Amongst our competitors, we were awarded 3 Gold, 4 Silver and 10 Copper awards.

Having successfully completed the Junior UK Maths Challenge early last year, Year 8 pupil James List qualified for the Junior Kangaroo having achieved a score that was in the top 1% of the country. He was one of 5,700 students invited to participate. The top 25% of these students were awarded a Certificate of Merit and impressively, with a score of 108 out of 135, James was one of these.

Field Day

Field Day Field Day Field Day was action packed as always with trips to Cheddar Gorge and Colston Hall, activities including surfing, the Canal Challenge, mountain biking, fishing and much more. Year 9 enjoyed participating in a Refugee Disaster Management day. Topics covered included the Humanitarian Principles for aid, how the UN and aid agencies work to respond to emergencies and the difficulties of coordinating the many sectors. It was clear that the Year 9 pupils have benefited from the recent Islands Project (as featured in The Diary summer edition) backed up by the William's Cup – demonstrated in how quickly they settled into their research tasks, their team work and communication skills.

Blundell's campus turned into crime scene investigation site for the renowned CSI Day when Year 7's from St Peter's Prep and the Downs School came to the Senior School to discover the culprit. Working with 6th form students, they followed a series of practical clues to find the evidence. The day was enjoyed by all and at lunch the pupils were treated to a gruesome meal with slow cooked human flesh (pulled pork with crackling), baked brains (cauliflower cheese) and a side of mealworms on the menu.

An Intrepid Adventure to Borneo

An Intrepid Adventure to Borneo During the summer holiday, a large group of pupils set off on an intrepid adventure to Borneo with Mr Olive, Mr Morrison, Mrs Francis and Miss Isdell-Carpenter. Despite the rigour of the trip, every member of the team returned fit and well having had an incredible three weeks of expedition. Amongst other hardships, all the Challengers trekked through primary rainforest, spent nights in hammocks in the jungle, came face to face with endangered animals and summited the 4095m high Mt Kinabalu (the highest peak in South East Asia). Some finished the three weeks by snorkelling with black tipped reef sharks. The support that we had from World Challenge was superb and discussions are in place for a 2019 expedition. Well done to everyone involved and thank you once again to the generous staff that led the trip.

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