School News

Senior Maths Olympiad 2014

Congratulations to sixth formers Kavin Vijayakumar (U6E), Peter Andreev (L6E) and Francis Clark-Murray (U6W) who have all gained Distinctions in the Senior Maths Olympiad (BMO1).  Kavin has also been awarded a Bronze Medal and a Book Prize.  Both Kavin and Peter have qualified for the follow on round, the elite BMO2 Olympiad, which will take place  in January. Very well done to all three!

Taal - The Beat of Life

Images courtesy of JPix

Around 150 pupils from Thirds to U6  took part in Taal on Friday 5 and Saturday 6 December.  Taal, which means “the beat of life”, is an exciting fusion of Asian dance, music and acting.  Now in its 13th year, Taal has become a much anticipated fixture in our 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 (HSBM Society) writing, choreographing and directing the event. The script this year was written by Aqib Ahmed with Avantika Sood  overseeing the choreography.  In addition, the pupils assume full responsibility for everything from finding sponsorship from local businesses to sourcing costumes.  President of the HSBM Society, Aisha Chowdhury said for her, “Taal has been a great way of making friends from all year groups.  I’ve been involved since the L4 and it has become a massive part of my school life, I’m really sad that this will be my last one.  It’s a lot of work, but so worthwhile.”

Taal is also a major fund raiser for charities and this year it is supporting Smile Train and Charity Right.  Charity Right provides vital food aid to starving people in the most underprivileged places in the world. Their amazing work has served 1.4 million meals in 6 countries worldwide. Smile Train is a charity which provides free cleft repair to those in need while helping to train local doctors. Every year, over 170,000 children are born with a cleft lip or cleft palate. The cleft repair makes it possible for a child born with cleft to eat, breath, speak properly and smile.  Representative of both charities enjoyed the performances.  we hope that this year’s Taal will have raised in excess of seven thousand pounds to be divided equally between the two charities.

Mrs Ireland was enthusiastic about the evening “Taal 2014 continued the strong tradition of pupil-led entertainment of a terrific standard! Music, drama and dancing all to help support those who are less fortunate; bravo!”


Celebration of DofE Successes

Once again we have seen a fantastic year for pupils involved in the Duke of Edinburgh Award programme.  This year a total of 148 pupils from the Fifth and Sixth Forms have achieved success in the Award.  Ninety six Bronze Awards and thirty one Silver Awards were presented to pupils by Peter Fleet, the London Regional Director for DofE on Monday 17 November at School.  In addition, a further twenty one pupils will be presented with their Gold Awards at special ceremonies held at St James’ Palace.

After presenting the successful students with their badges, Peter Fleet also spoke about the long term benefits of the Award. He spoke of his own experiences with the Award, including his memories of working for Redbridge.  Afterwards he said, "Bancroft's School represents one of the best examples of DofE delivery in schools in the capital.  Bancroft's understand the value of DofE to its students and how it perfectly complements academic attainment and raises level of achievement.  As a charity we often see the impact DofE participation has on student's progress and prospects in terms of accessing university, apprenticeships, a job and career. I congratulate Bancroft's School on their significant success with our programme and appreciate the value placed on it by the Head, Governors and teaching staff."

OB and Gold Award holder Matthew Tembey spoke of the challenges he had faced  and undoubted life skills he had gained while working towards his Gold Award: from his voluntary work to the demands of the expedition to Snowdonia. 

In addition to these achievements, during the recent October half term thirty U6 pupils who are working towards their Gold Awards spent a week in Snowdonia on their expedition.  Although the expedition section, which includes a night of wild camping, is meant to be tough this year’s cohort faced another challenge: the conditions presented by Hurricane Gonzalo which forced the students to delay the start of the expeditions and reconsider their routes.

The evening was a fitting celebration of the dedication and work put in by these Bancroftians over the past year and also a tribute to the support given by their parents and members of staff at the School.

U14 Netballers County Champs

Facing truly appalling conditions, our  U14 netballers were crowned the Essex Met Champions for their age group in this year’s National Schools' Netball Tournament on Sunday 23 November.  During the tournament, which was played in consistently heavy rain  at Redbridge Sports Centre, the girls played seven matches to win seven, emerging as the clear victors for their age.  They faced teams from Robert Clack, Coopers’ Coborn, Chingford, Trinity, Forest, Chafford and Barking Abbey Schools.  Bancroft’s were never seriously threatened in any match and their main competitor on the day was the weather.  The team had faced similarly awful conditions last year during the Regional Round of the National Tournament and on that occasion had been defeated by the conditions; how they dealt with the rain this year and how they maintained their professionalism throughout the day was a measure of how much they have matured as a team.  In such conditions the weather can be a great leveller, but throughout the girls showed consistently accurate passing and a real hunger for success.  All the team played well with a real feeling of camaraderie and superb communications. Of particualr note was Yoma Toweh who did a fantastic job in defence making some fantastic interceptions and putting the opposition shooters under constant pressure.    Eloise Caswell playing Centre held the centre court well throughout the match.  They now go on to represent Essex Met, along with the Coopers’ Coborn team who finished in second place, at the East of England regional finals on 25 January in Croydon.

African Children's Choir at Prep

Prep School pupils had a very special assembly on 25 November with a visit from the African Children's Choir.  The Choir is a touring and performing group of 18 Ugandan children, many of whom have lost one or both parents through the devastation of war, famine and disease.  The members are drawn from a school in Uganda which is funded by the registered Christian charity Music for Life. The Choir aims to fund-raise but also to be ambassadors for the talent and potential of African children:  “Helping Africa’s most vulnerable children today, so they can help Africa tomorrow.”

Since its foundation in 1984, the choirs have performed for Her Majesty the Queen, Presidents - including Barack Obama and Nelson Mandela -  and many other celebrities and dignitaries. They have appeared on many TV shows, including GMTV and Blue Peter in the UK.  One of the choirs sang with Gary Barlow in the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Concert and later took part in the recording of the official jubilee song.

The Bancrofts' Prep School presentation came after eleven months touring in the USA and Canada where they performed in nine states in the US, including Alaska, and appeared on Canadian TV as well as singing live on several radio station broadcasts.

Prep teacher Sarah Strong described the visit as “A ray of light” and said, “The children melted the hearts of Prep children and teachers alike, with their charming smiles and delightful tunes, accompanied by traditional instrumentation. The presentation featured songs, hand clapping and dancing. The children were radiant with hope, musically gifted and wonderfully entertaining.”  During the presentation some of the Bancroft’s Prep boys were invited to play the drums alongside the choir and some Prep girls invited to dance along.

The assembly culminated in both schools coming together and singing two of the Prep’s favourite songs. Prep Music Director Adam Baum played the trumpet, whilst the African Children’s Choir accompanied him on the drums. He said, “Our children were inspired, transfixed and excited by the rhythm and energy of the visiting choir. They showed us what we can bring to our music.” The children spent the rest of the morning visiting classes, joining in a dance lesson and playing with the children at break time. We were so privileged to have them at Bancroft’s.