School News

Junior Maths Olympiad 2014

We have seen some fantastic results for the Junior Maths Olympiad!

Congratulations to Daniel Leung  (RN) for gaining a Distinction and Silver Medal and to Soumya Krishna Kumar (RE) for gaining a Distinction and Bronze Medal.  Special congratulations to Alex Yan (3W) who has gained a Distinction, Gold Medal and a Book Prize. This places Alex in the top 50 pupils at this age group in the UK.

We believe that getting three medals and a prize at Olympiad level equals the Bancroft's record set by current members of the L6 Kavin Vijayakumar, Francis Clark-Murray and Alex Ruben when they were Removes

Well done to all those who qualified for this prestigious contest.


Poetry at the Prep

The Prep School held its first Poetry Slam on Wednesday 25 June.  All year groups have been studying Poetry in English and for an entire day the children focused on writing and performing poems.  Every child was involved, with early rounds taking place in classrooms.  One soloist or group from each class got to compete in the grand final and all eyes were on the prize of the handsome golden microphone trophy, inscribed “Bancroft’s Poetry Slam 2014”.  The finalists faced a judging panel of two staff and four children, selected by Mrs Yelverton.

The winners were Prep 1 children, Sundeep Sharma, Amala Sangha, Charlotte Hitching, Fadheela Aminu, who had written a poem about the secret life of teachers… and what they do when the children have gone home!  In addition, some of our Thirds made their way across the field to perform poems they had written or learned.

The event was inspired and MC-ed by Chris Lawrence, Roundhouse Poetry Collective Performance Poet. He describes his poetry as, “Poetry that captures the imagination with a touch of the comedic and whimsical.”

Pupils were enthusiastic about the day, loving Chris Lawrence’s poetry; Grace Kumar, of P1KY, said, “It was a great first experience of a poetry slam and I really hope we do it again next year.”

Bancroft's raises the Roof

On Thursday 26 June, Prep School pupils were joined at assembly by  Bishop Aaron Kilanjali of the Diocese of Kagera in Tanzania.  He was at School to receive a cheque for £4,000 for the “Raise the Roof” appeal for the Mugoma Health Centre in Tanzania.

The money had been raised by members of North House in the Senior School through their “Roaring 20s” themed family evening.  In addition, the Prep School has raised a further £1,500, partly by some of the proceeds from its annual Charity Day and partly from a sponsored 5K run in which a number of staff and pupils took part.

The Mugoma Health Centre Health will serve a desperately poor part of north west Tanzania, working primarily with children and mothers in an area with a high rate of infant mortality.  The centre is the dream of a local health worker, Edwin, who wanted a lasting memorial to Dr Annabelle Joyce who had done much valuable work in the community.  The local people had donated the land but there were no funds for the building itself.  Dr Ciaran Joyce, who is the father to Iona, Theo and Lucy.  three of our pupils,  has driven forward fund raising and has previously spoken at Bancroft’s about the project, inspiring pupils to help with raise money for the roof of the hospital.

The Bishop thanked the pupils, “This means a lot to me as a Bishop, but also a lot to the people who I serve.” He also said that the support of Bancroft’s has been fundamental to the project and that a bond has been created which extends beyond the raising of money.

U13s South East Cricket Champions

On the afternoon of Thursday 12 June, Bancroft’s entertained Whitgift School, the Under 13 Surrey school cricket champions, in the South East Region Final of the National Schools Cricket Cup. En route, we had already triumphed in last year’s Essex Cricket Cup and this year, in the National competition, they had beaten the London Champions Dulwich College and the Hertfordshire champions Watford Grammar. Effectively, this was a meeting of two of the top eight Under 13 schools cricket sides in the country.

It was a scorcher of a day. Bancroft’s batted first and, despite two unfortunate early run outs, there was some solid batting from Zain Piracha (37), Zach Foster (42), George Whalley (46) and, combined, Bancroft’s managed to post a competitive batting total of 166 for 6 wickets from their 30 overs. In the Whitgift reply, Bancroft’s opening bowlers Harry Vallance and Deven Solanki both struck early to dismiss the Whitgift opening batsmen. However, led by Sewell (40) and Kemp (27), Whitgift fought back and, with 10 overs left, they required 83 runs with 6 wickets left. However, a a tight bowling performance by Alex Agedah, Anil Sood and Zach Foster and another crucial wicket from Harry Vallance kept them in check; the run rate continued to rise and there was an almost inevitable clatter of wickets in the last 5 overs as Whitgift threw caution to the wind in pursuit of the total, the consequence being that they were all out, dismissed by Bancroft’s for 136 runs.

Bancroft’s, therefore, emerged victorious by 30 runs and move to the last four of the National Competition where they will meet the South West champions Millfield School.  Congratulations on an excellent match played by two talented and competitive sides in the best of spirit.

Martin Flaherty

Award for Bancroft's Teacher

Dr Simon Oakes of Bancroft’s Geography Department has been recognised for his work in education.  On Monday 9 June 2014, he was presented with the Ordnance Survey Award for Excellence in Geography Education at Secondary Level at the Annual General Meeting of the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG), at the Society’s headquarters in Kensington.  Since 1832, the RGS (with IBG)’s medals and awards have celebrated excellence in geographical research, fieldwork, teaching and public engagement. They are presented annually to those who have made outstanding achievements.

Dr Oakes, who has taught at Bancroft’s for 8 years, is a well-respected member of the School’s teaching staff.  Lower Sixth pupil Henry Meech, who plans to read Geography at University, said, “Dr Oakes is an inspirational geography teacher who encourages us to look beyond the syllabus and develop strong perspectives on important issues.” 

The RGS acknowledged Dr Oakes' achievements, “His thoughtful and academic approach to teaching reaps huge rewards in his pupils. He epitomises the ‘bridge’ between secondary and higher education. His A Level students are encouraged both to think holistically and to think critically about the world and he always helps them to see the relevance of the subject.  Simon is well known and highly respected in the wider teaching community for sharing his knowledge through his regular writing and also in the teaching resources which he has prepared, including those for the RGS’s website Geography in the News.  His links with Edexcel and the International Baccalaureate demonstrate a support for examining, and he is currently Chief Examiner of the International Baccalaureate Geography syllabus.”

Dr Oakes said, "I think it's fair to say that a lot of the work I've done over the last 8 years in curriculum development, specification writing, assessment design and publishing owes a huge debt to the cohorts of Sixth Formers I've taught at Bancroft's. They've been both my collaborators and guinea pigs (both knowingly and unknowingly!) for a whole range of materials; and their experiences of learning have helped me greatly to engage critically with the UK schools' geography curriculum."

(Photo courtesy of Mark Earthy)