School News

UKMT Team Challenge 2015

A Bancroft's team of Soumya Krishna Kumar, Jathavan Thevarajah, Alex Yan and Swasthi Surendran put in a fantastic performance UKMT Team Challenge National Final on Monday 22 June.  They finished the day as Runners Up in the main contest to Westminster Under School (with University College School in third place).  They also finished as Runners Up in the National Poster Competition, which is an independent part of the day's activities.

Teams from over 1700 schools across the UK participated in the competition, with the top 88 qualifying for the National Final which was held in the grand surroundings of the Lindley Hall, part of the prestigious Royal Horticultural Halls in Westminster.

The day began with the Poster Competition.  This was followed by the main competition comprising four rounds: the Group Circus (involving practical materials for problem solving tasks); the Crossnumber;  the Shuttle and the Relay (a fast and furious mathematical race involving much movement to answer a series of questions in pairs). The competition promotes team work and encourages pupils to think mathematically in a variety of ways. Each team consists of four pupils in Year 9 or below, with no more than two from Year 9.

The prizes were presented by Dame Frances Kirwan, Chair of UKMT and Professor of Mathematics at Oxford University.  To finish the event in 2nd place in both parts of the event is a fantastic achievement. Very well done!






CSI Bancroft's

Bancroft’s has been burgled, but “whodunit”?  This was the scenario presented to our Removes pupils by Jon Bates of Sci High, during a series of forensics workshops held on 18 June. 

The pupils were divided into teams and given a list of possible suspects, as well as bags of clues and evidence.  Their job was to review the evidence and solve the crime, by examining  suspects’ clothing, matching footprints, and analysing handwriting.  Meanwhile several pupils were appointed as Scene of Crime Officers, who were charged with finding additional evidence: spots of blood on the wall, fingerprints on the door and imprints of shoes by the “body”.  Before the “judge” declared the suspects guilty and passed sentence, the pupils learnt about DNA testing and modern ways of retrieving fingerprints, which supported some of the work carried out in their science lessons. Jon Bates, who ran the session, is a retired forensic scientist with a degree in chemistry; he now visits schools up and down the country to present these events.  He said, “I enjoyed my day at Bancroft; it’s one of the best schools I visit and a very rewarding day.  The children were lively, fully engaged and with lots of ideas.”


Boccia at Bancroft's

Saturday 23 May saw the inaugural Epping Forest Phab Club (EFPC) Boccia Open tournament at Bancroft's School and what a thrilling tournament it was, surpassing all expectations.  Joining Epping Forest were three other Phab clubs - Unity 70, Chelmsford and Reading - with each fielding two teams of three players each.  

The teams were separated into two leagues of four teams with each team playing every other team in their league.  The top two teams in each league played a semi-final before the final to determine the tournament winner.  Each match was refereed by experienced Boccia coaches and officials.

The league games were played in a competitive but friendly manner with experienced players sitting alongside match debutants.  After two tense semi finals, the final was watched by everyone packed around the pitch.  The quality of play was excellent from both teams but eventually the Cougars (from Chelmsford) beat the Happy Wanderers (Unity 70) 6 to 3.  All participants received a certificate with the winning team players getting a winner's certificate and medal as well has having their team name engraved on the tournament shield.  Finally, the referees chose the Player of the Tournament, based not just on performance but on their overall team contribution and conduct throughout the day.  There were several deserving candidates but the stainless steel plate went to Elliot Knight (Chelmsford Chargers) whose sportsmanship was outstanding.

The day was a great success and it was agreed that instead of an annual event, EFPC would try to host two tournaments a year!  A big thank you to the referees Ray Harris (EFPC), Olivia Worsfold (Epping Forest District Council), Simon Brown-Lamont (Chelmsford) and Steve Reed (Chelmsford), the volunteers who were so essential to the smooth running of the event and the staff at Bancroft's for supporting the event, especially Dave Bish and his team for marking out the courts with military precision.

Tony Warn
Chairman Epping Forest Phab Club

Reading & Rugby in the Prep

Alphas and Prep 1s in the Prep were treated to a visit from prolific children’s author Tom Palmer on Monday 15 June.  He has been described by The Guardian newspaper as “one of the best football writers of our time” and his football based children’s stories have won him acclaim as well as several prizes.  In his latest series of books he has moved away from writing about football to writing about rugby and even hosted book signings for his “Rugby Academy” series at Twickenham during the Six Nations Tournament earlier this year.  Rugby World has described Palmer’s books as “pacey, but also thought-provoking …  just the thing to whet the appetites of rugby-mad primary school children at the start of the World Cup year.”

Palmer confessed to his young audience, “When I was your age I didn’t really like reading, which might seem strange for an author.  My mum encouraged me to read the sports sections of newspapers, football magazines and biographies of sports stars.”  He said that visiting schools and meeting the pupils gave him a buzz.

Both boys and girls were involved in the day’s activities which combined reading games, in the form of quizzes, with sporting drills.  Afterwards the children got the opportunity to have copies of Palmer’s novels signed.

Karen Yelverton, English Co-ordinator for the Prep said that, in general, reading still seems to be the preserve of girls, “We have a beautiful new library, but at lunch times it is filled with girls!  It’s great to have a visit from an author who taps into the interests of boys.”  This was a busy but very productive day, at the end of which Tom Palmer said that he had enjoyed meeting our articulate, friendly and happy pupils!

Record for Prep Charity Day

Pupils at the Prep had a very special guest on Wednesday 3 June when Tansy, a pony from Chigwell Riding Trust for Special Needs, visited along with Deborah Hall.  The Trust had been chosen as one of four charities to benefit from money raised by the Prep's annual Charity Day.  The day raised over an amazing £9,000 which will also benefit a second local charity, Epping Forest Sportability Club which meets at Oakview School, as well as the African Children’s Choir, which visited the School in the autumn, and the Nepal Earthquake Fund.  Chigwell Riding Trust plans to use the money from Bancroft’s Prep to buy a new horse and Claude, who is reported to have a "kind eye", is currently on a month’s trial to see if he is suitable for the Trust’s riders.

During the day pupils were encouraged to raise money through sponsorship; Prep 1 and 2s were challenged to row the length of Lake Victoria (where the African Children’s Choir, has a boarding school).  Alphas and Betas did their bit by running the equivalent of the height of Mount Everest.  In the afternoon, Prep 1 and 2s organised a colourful and well supported fair with lots of stalls and competitions (including a popcorn stall,  guess the weight of Lucy the giant tortoise, cake stalls, craft stalls, face painting and soaking teachers!)

Mr  Layburn also commented, “The children worked hard and enthusiastically to raise funds for these fabulous charities which help disabled local children and children worldwide.  I am immensely proud of their efforts in raising a record sum by this annual event.”