School News

Taal - 2016

Friday 6 and Saturday 7 February saw almost 200 pupils take part in this year’s Taal.  With its fusion of dancing, music, acting and even a fashion show, Taal is more than just another School production, it has grown over 14 years to become an integral and much anticipated fixture in the School calendar, as well as an important part of the School’s cultural life.  The event is totally student driven with members of the Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist and Muslim Society writing, choreographing and directing the event. This year’s script was a Bollywood style update of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, written by Fahed Gani and Shaan Mann (both U6); Shaan also was the Director and oversaw the choreography.  In addition, the Bancroftians assume full responsibility: everything from finding sponsorship from local businesses to sourcing costumes.  Shaan said, “Taal is a chance for Bancroft’s pupils to embrace and show off their culture and different talents which they might not be able to show in regular School events.  I was so proud not just at putting on a large scale production but also at bonding as a family with the rest of the Taal team. This year was particularly special because of how much we connected.”

Taal is also a major fund raiser for charities and this year it is supporting United World Schools, a charity which is transforming the lives of some of the poorest and most vulnerable children in the World through educational opportunities. UWS builds schoolsand provides a free basic education for children who would otherwise not receive any education.  Jack Clark, School Partnerships Director at United World Schools, was a guest at the Friday night performance, which he described as “spectacular”. We hope that this year’s Taal will have raised ten thousand pounds for this charity.

Marwan Mikdadi, Deputy Head, said, ““What a fantastic show. I felt privileged to be part of such a spectacular event, with pupils from all year groups and cultures coming together to raise money to support our commitment to Takok Charai school in Cambodia. In a short period of time the pupils managed to put together an adaptation of Pride and Prejudice, which made use of every opportunity presented to include a dance and some uplifting music. Well done to them all; they did Bancroft’s proud.”


Bancroft's to Hans Woyda Semis

Following their victory over St Paul’s Girls in their first knock-out match, Bancroft’s faced Queen Elizabeth Grammar School, Barnet in the Hans Woyda Competition on Monday 8 February.  After a sluggish start in the first two rounds, during which time QE pulled ahead by 14-10, the team snapped into action so that, by the team round, the scores were tied at 17-17. In the team round, which was played as Five Fives, QE Barnet produced 16 correct answers as did Bancroft’s. Each team, therefore, secured a maximum five points and, at half time, honours were even at 22-22.

We then began to assert our authority and built a tentative lead to enter the last round (maximum 16 points) with a six point lead. In the final Quick-Fire Race Round, Peter, Sayon, Soumya and Alex held their nerve to hold out for a six point victory:  42 points to 36. This was a considerable coup against a very good team who had in the previous round beaten Habs Boys.

Congratulations to each of the team Peter Andreev, Sayon Uthayakumar, Soumya Krishna Kumar and Alex Yan, together with coach and manager Mr Conington, for being the first Bancroft’s team to reach the last four of this prestigious competition. In the Semi Finals, we will meet the winners of the Quarter Final between Watford Boys Grammar and either City of London or Harrow.

The Hans Woyda competition has been established for more than thirty-five years and is named after a former Head of Mathsat Kingston Grammar School.  It involves 64 schools from Greater London and the Home Counties. A team comprises one pupil from each of the Years 9, 11, 12 and 13.


U16 Boys March On

Following a dramatic day of hockey at the Essex Cup, during the course of which our U16s progressed to the next round but missed out on winning the group on goal difference, they were back in action on Thursday 4 February at the East of England championship, in Ipswich.

A very impressive 2-0 victory over The Perse in the first game of the day was the perfect start. Max Sydenham scored from a well worked short corner and Nathan Rose finished off a beautiful through ball from Zayne Avril to stave off signs of a fightback from a very skilful and determined opposition.

The day’s second game against Framlingham was an equally impressive but infinitely more nerve-wracking win. Having fallen behind early in the game, the boys showed impressive resolve to equalise just before half time, with Nathan Rose again keeping his composure in front of goal. Another Sydenham goal from a short corner put Bancroft’s 2-1 up shortly after the break and when Nathan Rose was on target once again the points seemed safe. Framlingham, predictably had other ideas, and a quick response set up an incredibly tense finish at 3-2 with Bancroft’s withstanding a barrage of short corners in the last play of the game to hold on for the win.

With six points secured, the other two protagonists, Framlingham and The Perse drew 1-1, leaving Bancroft’s in pole position; two further wins from the final two games meant the boys topped the group convincingly with a maximum haul of twelve points. They are now into the East of England finals in Norwich, where the top two from a round robin tournament involving Bancroft’s, Bedford School and one other TBC will progress into the national quarter-finals.

This was a very impressive performance from a very impressive team. They showed a great positive attitude and team ethic throughout; the comradery was matched only by the skills on display. Congratulations to the whole squad and we wish them the best of luck going forward in the competition on the 8 March at the University of East Anglia.

Richard Hay

U13 Boys Essex Hockey Champs

Bancroft’s boys’ U13 team put in some fantastic performances in the Essex Championship, held at Redbridge Sports Centre on Tuesday 2 February, to emerge as convincing champions.

The boys played seven matches against other local schools, including Chigwell and Forest, as well as Felsted and Coopers’ Coborn, both of which have strong hockey credentials.   The Bancroft’s team managed a most impressive straight run of seven wins, so achieving the maximum score of 21 points. 

Although this was very much a team effort, three players deserve special mention.  Jacob Jayaraj ran the midfield selflessly with composure and power while Oscar King, a Thirds pupils, created havoc in opposition defences despite being a year younger than the rest of the squad.  Theo Life demonstrated his class as the goalkeeper, making some fine saves.

U13s’ Coach, Jonathan Prole, said, “The boys played very mature hockey, despite their young age. They distributed the ball quickly and created a wealth of chances. I was very pleased with their goal ratio – scoring 21 and conceding just 2.”

This was a great day of hockey with fabulous performances from the whole team and a great team ethos. Now the preparation starts for the East Regional Tournament, when they will represent the county, on 3 March.

The U16s also enjoyed success in their Essex Cup competition, played on 28 January.  They enjoyed wins against Forest, Felsted and Chigwell.  Although they finished joint fist on points, they were placed second on goal difference.  They too progressed to the East Regional round.


Oxbridge 2016

This year we are delighted to report that eleven members of our U6 have been offered places at either Oxford or Cambridge to read a variety of subjects.  Such places are highly oversubscribed and increasingly competitive, particularly for Maths, Medicine and Economics.  The students will have faced a tough selection process consisting of pre-tests, intensive scrutiny of their academic achievements and rigorous interviews.  All places are conditional on their A2 results this summer. 

Six have been offered places at Cambridge and five at Oxford.  Heading west are: Ishan Kapur for Law at St Hilda’s; Nasr Islam, who has a place at Hertford to read Geography; Ruchi Bagga also hopes to read Geography but at Keble; Tatiana Blagoderova plans to read English and French at St Ann’s and Shamus Anwar has an open place for Law.  The six hoping to be off to Cambridge are: Tony Aloysius to read Medicine at Downing; Emma Jackson is another Medic and has been offered a placed at Robinson; Peter Andreev has a coveted place at Trinity for Maths; Hannah Bousfield at Newnham for Philosophy; George Margetson-Rushmore (absent from photograph) hopes to read Economics at Girton and Lucy Ruben plans to read Music at Christ’s.

We wish all of them, together with all of our U6 pupils, the very best for their A2 exams this summer and will be supporting them over the coming months.