School News

Jordan Goes One Better!

Following the announcement that his entry 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.”


Best School Production?

So was the excitement surrounding last week’s Senior production of Les Misérables School Edition justified?  Most definitely.  “Best ever school production”, “Tremendous”, “Reduced me to tears”, “Absolutely fantastic” were just a few of the enthusiastic comments overheard.  The nightly standing ovations were a tribute to the work of the cast, band, crew and production team all of whom contributed to make this such a memorable production.  Under the sure direction of Ms Middleton, Head of Drama, this was a show which looked and sounded terrific.  The band, conducted by our Director of Music Mr Bluff, excelled itself in dealing with a complex score.  Vocals were no less easy, and Mrs Foinette did a great job with the singers.

The leading performers displayed great maturity and sensitivity in their portrayal of the characters and their singing.  Of especial note were Upper Sixth Formers, Charlie Layburn as ex-convict Jean Valjean, whose story forms the basis of the plot and Dom Innes-Taylor as his nemesis, Javert.  Fantine, who has probably the most well-known song in the production with “I Dream A Dream”, was touchingly portrayed by Julia Jones.  Olivia Hitching (Cosette) and Zara Myers (Éponine) gave strong performances as rivals for the affections of the student revolutionary Marius (Joe Aggarwal).  This is not a production renowned for lighter moments but some welcome comic touches were introduced by the Thérnardiers (Ollie Parker and Pria Kalsi).  They were all ably supported by a large ensemble cast, all of whom had worked hard for several months leading up to the performances.

Head, Mary Ireland, summed it up, “Quite simply the best school production I have ever seen; well-acted, terrific singing and an ensemble who clearly loved every minute!” 


CCF on Parade for Biennial

On Tuesday 17 March, all members of the CCF were out in force for their Biennial Review by the inspecting officer, the Admiral of the Fleet the Lord Boyce KG GCB OBE DL.  It was a busy day with cadets spending the morning and afternoon in Epping Forest, where they demonstrated some of the practical skills which they have learnt during their time in the CCF.  Resourcefulness, teamwork, observation were all under scrutiny as they progressed around a course of stations organised by senior cadets, such as first aid, command tasks, orienteering and laser tag.  Lord Boyce was joined by the Mayor of Redbridge, Cllr Ashley Kissin, representatives from the School governing body and the President of the Old Bancroftian Association, as well as several Old Bancroftians.

Upon returning to School, Senior members of the CCF, drawn from both the Army and RAF sections, formed a Guard of Honour which had been well drilled by the CCF’s SSI Damian Pascal.  The Guard of Honour was commanded by CSM (Company Sergeant Major) Max LLewellyn while RSM (Regimental Sergeant Major) Annabel Smith commanded the parade as a whole. 

Following the final parade, Lord Boyce awarded annual awards to the cadets.  In his address he spoke about the work of the CCF and how impressed he was with the Bancroftian cadets he had met during the day.  He also commented on how it was clear that cadets thoroughly enjoyed their time and were ready to take full advantage of all the opportunities the CCF offers them.


Erasmus Essay Success

(Francis Clark-Murray, left, Professor Williamson, centre, Dr Neil Croally of Dulwich College, right)

Congratulations to Upper Sixth Former Francis Clark-Murray who was placed second in this year’s prestigious Erasmus Essay Competition.  Four Bancroftians, Francis, Marianne Cain, Amelia Little and Thomas Hutchinson, were invited to attend a presentation lunch at Dulwich College.  The Erasmus Essay Competition is an annual competition in which pupils are required to submit essays completed under exam conditions on a philosophical topic set by an external examiner. This year the examiner was Professor Timothy Williamson the Wykeham Professor of Logic at Oxford The competition is designed to encourage pupils to read extensively beyond the normal school curriculum and to develop and defend informed views on an advanced topic in academic philosophy. The topic for the essays this year was 'Relativism'. 

Francis writes, “On 3 February Mr Berg and four Bancroftians headed for the idyllic surroundings of Dulwich College for the finals of the Erasmus essay competition. We were treated to a slap-up meal, including a delicious pecan pie, and were then lucky enough to attend a lecture by Professor Tim Williamson, a philosophy professor at the University of Oxford. Professor Williamson spoke eloquently about relativism, the subject of this year’s Erasmus prize, and gave everyone present plenty of food for thought. It turned out that I had won second place in the competition, amid very stiff opposition from top schools. The whole day was very informative and provided a rare opportunity to speak to an expert in the field of philosophy.”

Team Maths Challenge 2015

Congratulations to our team of Soumya Krishna Kumar, Jathavan Thevarajah, Swasthi Surendran and Alex Yan who were victorious in the Essex Regional Final of the UKMT Team Maths Challenge. Teams from thirty schools took part in a day of mathematical problem solving challenges and, in an exciting and closely fought contest, Bancroft’s emerged triumphant. Runners-up were King Edward VI Grammar School, Chlemsford and the third placed team was Colchester Royal Grammar School. Bancroft's now go on to the National Final at the Royal Horticultural Halls in June.