School News

New Head for Bancroft's Announced

Professor Philip Ogden, Chairman of Bancroft’s Governors,  announced today the appointment of Mr Simon Marshall MA, PGCE (Cantab), MA, M.Phil (Oxon) as Head of Bancroft’s School with effect from 1 September 2016.

Simon is currently Headmaster of The English College in Prague. He was previously Deputy Head (Academic) at University College School, London (2007-2013) and Head of English at King’s College School, Wimbledon (2001-2007).  He will replace our outgoing Head, Mrs Mary Ireland, who retires after eight successful years here at Bancroft's.

Educated at Merchant Taylors’ School, Crosby, Simon graduated in Classics in 1988 from Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge where he was a Choral Exhibitioner. He also gained his Postgraduate Certificate in General Education from Cambridge. He subsequently graduated in 1995 in English Language and Literature from Trinity College, Oxford and took an M.Phil there in Eighteenth Century Studies in 1997.

A keen mountaineer and runner, Simon also enjoys gardening, music and theatre. He and his wife Eleanor are very much looking forward to joining the Bancroft’s community.  He says, “I am honoured and delighted to have been appointed to lead such a flourishing and successful school. When visiting the School I was struck by the friendly and purposeful atmosphere and by the great affection felt for Bancroft’s by everyone I met. I very much look forward to joining the Bancroft’s community next year and working with pupils, staff, parents and governors to build on the superb legacy of Mary Ireland.”

Professor Ogden said that the Governing Body was delighted with Simon Marshall's appointment and looked forward to working closely with him. “Mr Marshall's experience equips him ideally for sustaining Bancroft's excellence across a broad front and leading the school during the next stages of its development.”

Good Schools Guide Award for Bancroft's

Congratulations to members of staff in our Modern Languages Department. Bancroft's has been awarded a 2015 Good Schools Guide Award for the best performance by boys taking French at GCSE at an English independent school.

Bancroft’s has been presented with this award by The Good Schools Guide for out-performing all other English independent schools in this category. The prestigious annual awards, which are in their 9th year, are based on a detailed analysis of the most recent examination results, and are designed to highlight consistently good teaching. The Good Schools Guide Awards are based on a series of calculations which take into account relative popularity and performance of the subject, absolute performance, and percentage of pupils taking the subject

Ralph Lucas, Editor of The Good Schools Guide, comments, “Our annual awards scheme is designed to recognise and reward excellence in teaching in every subject area at both GCSE and A Level or equivalent. Our awards give individual teachers and departments where teaching is at its very best the recognition they deserve."

We are delighted to have won this award and to be acknowledged in this way for our excellence.

Alexander the Great: Hero or Villian?

Classical Society was delighted to welcome Professor Paul Cartledge on Monday 21 September to speak on “Alexander the Great: Hero or Villain?”  We also welcomed pupils from Brentwood, Kelmscott and Woodford County High Schools. 

Professor Cartledge is A.G. Leventis Senior Research Fellow at Clare College and A.G. Leventis Professor of Greek Culture Emeritus at the University of Cambridge. Heis also a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London and holds the Gold Cross of the Order of Honour, awarded by the President of the Hellenic Republic to those who have contributed to the promotion of Greece. He was chief historical consultant for the BBC TV series The Greeks and the Channel 4 series The Spartans, presented by Bettany Hughes.  He has written numerous books about Classical Greece, including Alexander the Great: The Truth Behind the Myth(2013) which received critical acclaim, Tom Holland, author of various classically based novels, said, "Fascinating...blends all the pleasures of Hollywood epic with those of a subtle and deeply intriguing detective tale".

This very well attended lecture gave a thought-provoking account of Alexander the Great’s lifetime and campaigns and posed the question of whether he deserved the title “Great”.  Professor Cartledge left the audience to make up their own minds!



Girls through to U18 Hockey regionals

Bancroft’s U18 girls set off to the Essex hockey tournament on Wednesday 30 September with a few of their usual team members missing, due to injuries and prior commitments; therefore, they included some of the younger players, who really held their own, and played exceptionally well at times.

They started positively against Chigwell, their first opposition; although they had most of the possession Bancroft's struggled to convert. Eventually, from a penalty corner, the Bancroft’s girls managed to score a dubious and lucky goal (but they all count) to win 1-0.  The second game was against Brentwood, and they were determined to score early on; luckily their hard work proved fruitful and they scored twice for a  2-0 win.

Next, they took on Felsted and Coopers’ Coborn in back-to-back games with no rest. The Bancroft’s girls knew these would be their toughest opposition and were proved right; in two hard fought games they drew 1-1 with Felsted and lost 1-0 to Coopers'.

The last two games were really important as they needed to win both to go through to the Regional finals.  First, they took on Forest and won 3-0 and then New Hall and won 2-0 leaving Bancroft’s in second place and meaning they progress to Eastern Regional Final at UEA on Tuesday 13 October.  It was a great day all around with some beautifully taken goals, and some solid defending. Well done girls!

Best Ever GCSEs

Our Fifth Form had a lot to live up to this week following the record breaking set of results at A Level last week.  They did not disappoint as we can confidently say that our GCSE results for this year are the very best ever.  A phenomenal 99.4% of all exams taken were graded at A* to B.  A* was the most common grade, with 63% of exams at A*.  The number of pupils achieving a clean sweep of A*s has also seen an increase; last year 9 pupils achieved 10 A* grades, this year the number has risen to 15.   A stunning 38 pupils have 9 or more A*s, and over half of the year group of 121 pupils has achieved 7 or more A*s.

Mary Ireland  said, “Naturally we are delighted with this set of results.  The children were aware that with the move to linear A levels their GCSE results would matter more than ever and they worked really hard.  Every one of them has achieved 8 or more good GCSE results and should be pleased with all they have achieved.”

The reaction from the pupils was one of delight; Julia Jones (10A*) said, “I feel I have waited so long to get these results and they are amazing.” Christina Okafor was equally thrilled with her 10A* “I am overjoyed that all our hard work has paid off.”

For breakdown of GCSE results, click here