School News

First England Cap for Bancroftian

Congratulations to Fifth Former Will Hopkins (5S) who has made his hockey debut for England U16s.  Will’s journey began last summer with the JRPC camps.  He was chosen to represent Saxon Tigers at the Boys U16s Futures Cup (a competition for North, East, West and Midlands Regions) which they won.  This led to selection for the initial England Squad of 36. After three training weekends in December and January, the list was cut to 26 with Will making the final squad.  He said, “It would have been really disappointing to have been left out at this stage having put so much effort into the process.”  Practice games followed against the U17s and also British Colleges before the fixtures against the Netherland, one the strongest sides in Europe, over the Easter weekend at the National Sports Centre in Lilleshall.  “We were nervous going in to our first match as England had not beaten the Dutch for a number of years.” The scores for the three matches were 2-1 to the Dutch, 4-3 to England and 1-0 to England.  All the matches were hard fought and very close with the deciding goals scored in the final minutes.  It was nail biting and, understandably, the Dutch were devastated! Of the results, Will said , “We won 2 matches out of 3 and were the only England team to do so. It was a brilliant feeling.” 

He describes his England selection as a “privilege” saying, “I am passionate about all sport but mainly hockey and cricket.  I love hockey because it is fast paced requiring a high level of skill and precision as well as combining the team ethos.  I enjoy the banter before a match and encouragement during the game from my fellow team mates.”

The programme continues throughout the summer with further training at Lilleshall as well as camps and matches against Ulster and Scotland. A camp in Belgium in early July is swiftly followed by the Six Nations Tournament in Breda which Will describes as “the real culmination of everyone’s efforts throughout the last year”.

As well as playing for Bancroft's, Will has been a member at Old Loughts since he was nine.  He has played for Essex for five years and captained the team for four of them.

He says, “I have to thank School for allowing me to miss rugby during last September and October which enabled me to stay injury free and concentrate 100% on my hockey. Thanks to Arram in the gym who has helped with my fitness and conditioning programme and to Mr MacLeod who has supported me along the way.  The end of July brings about the School Hockey Trip to Singapore and Malaysia which should be a great experience in itself not just on the sporting front but as a cultural experience too.”

Reader's Digest Winners

Many congratulations to Hope Smedley (3S) and Ben Bagley (3W) who have been named as winners in this year’s Reader’s Digest 100-Word-Story Competition.  As ever, this competition received thousands of entries and, with the high quality of the short stories, the judges were faced with tough decisions. Hope’s story “Coma” won the Schools 12-to 18-Year-Olds Category and Ben was declared the winner in the Schools Under-12s Category for his story "100-1". The judges said that Ben's story, with its subtle twist at the end, was the "unanimous winner in its category" while Hope's story was praised for its "economy of language" and described as conveying "so much without wasting a single word." Both pupils will receive £250 of high-street vouchers of their choice.   In addition, Julia Jones (5W) has been declared a runner-up in the Schools 12-to 18-Year-Olds Category for her story “Aware” and Benedict Hughes’ (3S) story “My Brothers and I” is a runner up in the Schools Under-12s Category.  Both Julia and Benedict receive £50.  All four stories have been published in the May issue of Reader’s Digest.

Intermediate Maths Olympiad 2015

We have seen a very impressive set of results in this year's Intermediate Maths Olympiad. Well done to Dharshan Balasirishwaron, Daffodil Dhayaa, Lily Meech, Meera Murali, Jaspal Channa (all U4) and Anwar Jouhary (L4), all of whom gained Merits on an extremely challenging paper. Special congratulations go to Sayon Uthayakumar (5th) and Soumya Krishna Kumar (L4) who have been awarded Distinctions and Medals, placing them within the top 100 pupils for this age group in the UK.

Bancroft's Badminton Silvers

For the second year of entering the National Schools Badminton Championships, Bancroft’s managed to get two teams through to the Regional round, representing Redbridge, which also was jointly the final of the Balfour Beatty London Youth Games. These took place on Tuesday 2 March at Crystal Palace.  This year we had a KS4 boys team and a KS3 girls team competing.  Performances were strong all round and there were some fantastic games to watch, particularly some of the singles matches. We beat two out of three of the teams that had got to the regionals, losing against some very strong teams from Sutton, meaning that in both categories we placed second, going home with silver medals for a consecutive year.  With some more training and hard work I hope that next year we might go one better and get through to the finals of the Championship.  All the students should be proud of their performances.

Dani Mugridge, Director of Sports, said, "Badminton has really taken off at Bancroft's in the last couple of years and we have lots of children playing both recreationally and competitively. I'm really pleased that within the first two years of entering this competition that we have achieved silver medal position both times. It gives an exciting status to a sport that can be played by anybody at any stage in their life.

John Raw, Badminton Coach


Jordan Goes One Better!

Following the announcement that his entry "Wasted Lives" had been shortlisted  in the Reporter (Lower School) category for this year's Amnesty Youth Awards, third former Jordan Gordon-Harris learnt this week that it has been judged as one of the top three entries.  The top three in each age group for each category will be invited to attend a prestigious ceremony at Amnesty International’s headquarters in central London on 29 April when the prize winners will be announced. The ceremony will be hosted by Radio 1Xtra’s Nick Bright.

When asked about what inspired him to write his piece Jordan replied, “I am interested in topics about young people and why some people seem to get on well and others have a rocky start in life.  I started thinking about people who get into trouble at school and are excluded and how their life might change.  My Aunty works in prisons and she told me what life is like being ‘inside’ – not fun!  This made me more committed to writing about young people and why prison is not the answer to changing their lives.”

Jordan’s mother said “I have spent most of my career promoting equality and human rights so I am proud to see Jordan’s interest and passion for social inclusion.  I’m delighted and thrilled that Jordan has been shortlisted for writing an article aligned to his values.”