Ackworth today spring 2018 4school

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TODAY Ackworth SPRING 2018

VOL. 02


Save the da t Ackwo e: r th Summ er Bal l 7 July 2018


An incredible 22 students earn certifcates

OLD SCHOLARS Dr Edward Caine life in music


Highlights of Berlin, Kingswood & Skiing in Italy

Our careers advice is excellent and starts from an early age. The state sector significantly reduced or dropped careers advice when budget cuts had to be made a few years ago. All of this and our renowned pastoral care differentiates us from local schools and colleges; the opportunities that stem from this give our pupils an advantage that cannot be claimed by other schools.

Academic excellence is important, and our records show that pupils do very well here: most go on to their first choice at Russell Group Universities. Above all, we support our students’ ambitions, and everyone is supported equally, whether aspirations are towards apprenticeships or Oxbridge entry. This is a school where relationships between staff and pupils are strong, which assists learning. Not surprisingly, research shows that an environment that is conducive to learning is an environment where pupils feel valued, secure, and which builds self-esteem.

R HEAD’S WELCOME Head Anton Maree

In this issue Anton Maree discusses what sets Ackworth School apart and how it prepares pupils from Nursery through to Sixth Form and beyond into the work place.

ecently, after an event in the Fothergill Theatre involving a visiting speaker, I asked one of our many international pupils why they had chosen Ackworth School over any other. “It was easy,” she said: “It is an amazing school. I don’t think everyone knows just how lucky they are to be here. It has taught me how to learn, given me the confidence to ask questions and developed my interests in ways that I never imagined.” School days have a powerful influence on future success in life and I believe that an Ackworth education gives you the best start. Ackworth has always been and remains a family school, educating children from Nursery through to Sixth Form. We expect all of our pupils to stay here all the way through the school because we can cater for all. Just as we attract pupils from other schools to Ackworth for Sixth Form, I realise that some Ackworth students see the end of GCSE as a time to consider their options and to look at alternative places of study. It’s a natural time to consider options, but I believe that there is something special about Ackworth that is worth continuing with and that will make a real difference to their futures.

Ackworth’s Sixth Form offers so much more. We have international boarders from over 20 different countries, which brings with it a rich, cultural diversity which is not just important for a modern educational institution today, but also gives critical experience in understanding how to collaborate and work in the international, globalised environments that our students are likely to encounter as they take up employment. We are also not subject to the cuts that amount to as much as 24% per person in the state sector and which inevitably means a reduction in choice, in the quality of provision, as well as the insecurity this causes.

A Quaker School places significant importance on values. Quiet reflection keeps us all grounded in a world where constant change is creating mental health issues. Our brains were not made for the rapid change we are encountering in the 21st Century. Careful preparation in a considerate and appropriate environment is increasingly important. A common complaint among employers is that many school leavers are simply not able to function in the world of work. They may have the qualifications, but they lack the social skills, don’t know how to behave in the workplace and timekeeping is poor; furthermore, grammar is lacking and research skills are non-existent. Many cannot follow instructions and are easily distracted. We encourage all of our pupils to learn these skills. Good results alone do not guarantee success in the future; resilience, imagination, the confidence to be assertive and the ability to articulate well in public, are equally important.

We educate at Ackworth and we do that very well. We are preparing young people for jobs and technologies that don’t yet exist.

Ackworth Sixth Form is an excellent platform from which to build. This is only a part of what we do. We also provide a breadth of opportunity for boys and girls to find and develop their talents and to grow into excellent human beings. The School is full of surprises, ranked 13th out of the 100 best sports schools in the UK, an incredible achievement for a small school in the north of England, Ackworth also has an exceptional science department, along with so many others, as well as facilities and activities that offer an exciting range of opportunities to all. It is inspirational to see the skills and qualities that our pupils develop through the Duke of Edinburgh Award, inter-house competitions, music, drama, sport, through the innovative vertical mentoring approach we take to help integrate them and through the Quaker values that teach us to ask questions, something that employers look for, something that sets an Ackworth scholar apart. There is every reason to stay at Ackworth for Sixth Form. It truly is an amazing school!



Meet a Pupil

Sam Todd S

am Todd confirmed his reputation as the best Under 15 Squash player in the world, when he secured the British Open title for the second time. He secured the title with a clinical performance to defeat India’s Neel Joshi 8-11, 16-14, 11-0, 14-12 in a thrilling final at the University of Birmingham.

Sam Todd follows, James Willstrop, who also attended Ackworth School into the record books. Sam also hopes to follow in James’ footsteps in becoming world number 1 and securing medals at a future Commonwealth Games.

Sam said: “Having won this U13s British Junior Open 2 years ago, the U15s British Junior Open was a title that I really wanted and have spent a long time working for. When I won that final point, I could feel a sense of relief and the feeling of being crowned U15 World Champion was simply amazing. The Junior Open is the biggest tournament of the year for juniors and I was fully aware that I would need to be playing my best squash to win the title. Being seeded number 1, did put some pressure on, however I tried to put that to the back of my mind and focus on my squash. I took each match as it came and didn’t think too far ahead, just taking each game as it came. I was really proud of the way I played and delighted that I only dropped 2 games in the whole tournament. I’m always

“Squash has given me many opportunities to have a better life and to meet people from all over the world. I train every day at Pontefract Squash Club, with my coach Malcolm Willstrop. I train every day after school for about two hours with many great players and even get chances to play people like James Willstrop, the former world number one, which is a fantastic opportunity for me and helps me to improve my game a lot.

Squash success for the girls!

I first started playing when I was just five years old. I have fallen in love with the sport ever since, and love playing. The great thing about squash is how hard the sport is and how hard you have to work to become a top level squash player. As well as how hard the sport is, I love the fact that it is a one man sport. I also love playing squash because the social life is amazing. I get chance to go all over the world meeting new people, visiting great countries and I have some great friends just from playing squash.

I played my first squash tournament when I was five years old and I have never thought that I want to have a break. I will continue to play to try and be the best I can be and will continue what I’m doing. Hopefully squash will take me somewhere on in the future.” Sam Todd, Year 10

looking to challenge myself and as I look forward, I have set myself an ambitious target of winning the U17 Open a year early.” Sam, who is currently studying his GCSEs at Ackworth School hopes to turn professional next year.

Jessica Le Hanie

Have you settled in at Coram House since you joined Ackworth School? What do you enjoy most about being here? I’ve settled in great, I love it here and I enjoy everything! My favourite subjects are Maths and Swimming. I’ve met lots of friends since I started here; my best friend is Millie.

Where were you before you joined Ackworth School? I come from South Africa. My favourite thing about South Africa is that the summer is really hot and I can go swimming all the time!

A special mention to Jaspreet and all the girls who have played squash this year:

Jaspreet has represented the Girls UNDER 17s squash team during the course of this school year, a magnificent achievement in itself when you consider she is only 9 years old. Every time I watch Jaspreet play, it is obvious to see the progression she has made. There is no doubt that Jaspreet is an exceptionally talented squash player and I am tremendously excited to watch her squash develop as she grows in strength and size. The girls beat Gosforth Academy on Monday 26th February in a very hard fought fixture meaning that they will now compete in the National Finals on the 19th and 20th March in Birmingham. Well done to Amber, Asia, Layla, Jaspreet and Eleanor. Patrick Roberts

they’re so cool. I would also like to be a parrot so that I can repeat everything. That would be funny. If you could visit anywhere in the world, where would you go and why? I would visit the North Pole so that I could visit Santa and look at his workshop.

Do you like the food that’s provided at lunchtime here at school? I absolutely love the food at lunchtime, especially the desserts! What would you like to be when you grow up and leave school? When I grow up I would like to rescue wild animals in need. When I lived in Africa, I always saved bugs that ended up in our swimming pool.

Have you joined any after school clubs or societies? I’ve joined two clubs at school, one is French and the other is Gymnastics.

Do you take part in Forest School during your lessons? If so, what is it that you do? Yes, I have done some Forest School lessons. It’s really fun because our class got to make controlled fires. There’s also lots of fairy doors on the trees in the woods. I tried to open one of the fairy doors one time but couldn’t do it, maybe you need fairy dust to open them? If you could be any animal in the world, what would you be and why? If I could be any animal, I would be a lion because 4




Life Drawing

Before we went to the life drawing class at the Hepworth Art Gallery, we were all slightly apprehensive as it was a new experience and something none of us had ever done before! Once we started to draw we began to feel more at ease with looking at a nude model. We were taught different measuring techniques in order to scale-up our work. These proved particularly useful when trying to achieve an accurate figure drawing as the curves of the body were initially difficult to capture. Life Drawing was a great experience which has proved invaluable back in our studios.

Amy Kildea and Jessica Tither, Year 13

13th best for sport in the country

Congratulations to our pupils. Ackworth School is the 13th best independent school for sport in the country. We are the third best in the North and the best independent school in Yorkshire. An incredible achievement!

Table Tennis

Great performance by the boys U16 table tennis team to win 6-2, 6-2, 6-2 and progress to the ESTTA national schools final. Brilliant performance by Ben in the final to win a match. 6


Snow Boarding

Snowboard Cross is the most watched Winter Olympic sport. It’s high intensity racing over huge obstacles and turns at high speeds against other riders.

Weather conditions in Chatel were very wet and cloudy meaning that it was hard to see very far in front of me: not really ideal conditions. The first five days we concentrated on technique and speed (known as flat boarding). The lady coaching me was Laura Berry, who was fifth in the world at freestyle. My last day was spent with Martin Divers of Torr Snowboarding. He gave me coaching based on genuine knowledge, race experience, and he also does coaching for International athletes. FIS races to European Cups We started with the technique I had learnt with Laura and progressed to doing kickers and rollers on an actual border cross course. We ended the coaching with a race scenario in which Martin and I competed. Matthew, Year 9



National Cross-Country Championships On Saturday 24th of February, Harriet, three other people and I, from Wakefield Harriers, took a long trip down to Parliament Hill in London. There we took part in the Nationals Cross-country 2018. It was freezing and of course very muddy. The atmosphere was great as there were over 450 people in our race. The start line was very long as we all had a single start. At this point our nerves were starting to get the better of us. The start was a big hill which seemed to go on forever. We then ran 4K. We all finished in very respectable places and were very relieved it was over. It was a great experience. Millie Hinchcliffe, Year 10

Inter-House Cross-Country G

On the last Friday before half term break the inter house cross country competition took place. After a few showers of rain the sun was shining and we had perfect running weather. The students were gathering at the cricket field and getting ready for their race. To demonstrate which house each student supported, face paint was used and colourful tops were worn. The race course was, despite being very muddy, beautiful and we could enjoy the lovely landscape of Ackworth on the way up to Hessle Farm. At the finish teachers and students kindly supported and cheered participants.

Rebecca Puels, Year 12

I really enjoyed cross country. The atmosphere was great as everyone was taking part, including the

Head. It didn't really matter how well you did as long as you tried your best - after all everyone competing was winning points for their house. I'm happy to say my house, Fothergill, won the cross country for the girls. There was also the incentive of a doughnut at the end which really helped. It was an amazing way to finish the half term!

Evelyn Salter, Year 9

Inter-House Cross-Country Results Junior Winners Boys - Max Cooper 13:10 Girls - Molly Mackenzie 14:48

Intermediate Winners Boys - Josh Dawson 17:32 Girls - Millie Hinchcliffe 20:05 Senior Winners Boys - Daiki Kawasaki 22:41 Girls - Rebecca Puels 24:42

House winners Girls Hessle 4th - Penn 3rd - Gurney 2nd - Woolman 1st - Fothergill



Boys Badsworth 4th - Fothergill 3rd - Penn 2nd - Woolman 1st - Gurney Overall 4th - Penn 3rd - Fothergill 2nd - Gurney 1st - Woolman

Ackworth School

Pentathlon Activity Exciting opportunity! Laser Shooting Club 13 March 2018 4.30pm to 6.30pm

For more information and to book a place contact Philip Eames or Justin Dunn



More Maths Challenge News Spurred on by the success of the seniors last term, 53 students from the 3rd, 4th and 5th forms took the Intermediate Maths Challenge on 1st February with 22 of them earning certificates. Ruby Chan, Jon Jo Holden-Stokes, Amirul Hussain, Joe Morton and James Sandison achieved bronze level.

Silver certificates went to Izaak Brindle, Harry Dean, Edward Ducker, Henry Hackwell, Mac Jimenez, Eleanor Morris, Reven Singh, Rachel Swales, Jasmine Walker and Alex Watson.

Seven students received gold certificates: Jamie Liu, Madison Cusworth, Oliver Foster, Josh Dawson, Rhys Wickham, Kathy Su and Jamie Dobbie. They all qualified for higher rounds in the Challenge.

Jamie Liu, Madison Cusworth, Oliver Foster, Josh Dawson and Rhys Wickham will now sit the Kangaroo challenge in their respective year groups.

Kathy Su achieved ‘Best in School’ for Ackworth with a score of 130 (out of a possible maximum of 135). Jamie Dobbie was close behind, and both Kathy and Jamie will now take the Maclaurin paper of the Intermediate Maths Olympiad, for the top 500 students nationally in their age group.

Well done to Annie who won a Silver medal in the Yorkshire Junior Epee event at Cullingworth.

Well done also to Harvey who achieved a distinction in his grade 6 drum exam.

This is the sort of question they’ll be up against. Could you answer it? How many solutions are there to the equation m4 + 8n2 + 425 = n4 + 42m2, where m and n are integers?

Susan Swales

Out of School Activities Well done to Amelie who achieved a Distinction in her LAMDA grade 5 solo acting with a score of 90 out of 100!



Libby, Emily and I have been rehearsing for six months on Barry Manilow’s ‘Copacabana’. It has been a stressful and hectic six months but we got there in the end and performed four shows from March 15th to 17th – one on Thursday, one on Friday and two on Saturday. We have been rehearsing every Sunday from 2pm to 5pm and sometimes more than that – for seven hours! Lucy Roche, Year 8



NURSERY NEWS Chinese New Year Nursery celebrated the Chinese New Year and enjoyed a week filled with fun learning experiences based on the Chinese traditions.

They started off the week looking at the different artwork based around the Chinese New Year and created their very own Chinese lanterns. They also worked together to create a dragon head which they used to perform.

Two of our own Chinese international students came into nursery to talk about their traditions they had growing up around the Chinese New Year. They even taught the Nursery children some Mandarin words such as counting to three.

Nursery and reception enjoyed a visit from Yorkshire Air Ambulance! Thank you for telling us all about how you help people!


YAA Visit

Nursery have had a busy week starting our new topic ‘Transport’.

Big thank you to year 4 for our fantastic new bug hotel! Love from nursery xxx

Bug Hotel

We hope you like our new signage branding our new name. Kindergarten sessions have now started for all 2018 Reception Pupils. Children from other settings are welcome to join us. French lessons a la Camenbear and Madame Clugston. Fifteen hour free entitlement funding for 3-4 year old is now available 12




School Officers Being a school officer is a great privilege, because you are given more responsibilities and the chance to experience different tasks, such as going in to help tidy up teachers’ class rooms, at lunch you tap people’s tables for when they can go up for lunch and on Open Day you hand out flyers to visitors and tell them where to go.

One of my favourite tasks is on Open Morning; you take visitors around the school to see if they want their child to come to Ackworth. I also love going to pre-prep and playing with the children. It brings out the younger child in me, which I like more than I expected!!

If anyone were given the opportunity to apply to be a school officer I would fully recommend that they give it a go, ‘it has made my Year 6 experience so far very memorable. Grace Hughes, Year 6

Being a school officer means doing jobs around the school. We get to play with the Reception children and read them our own stories. We get to take people round and talk about how great Coram House is. In assembly on Fridays, we give out school officer certificates to people who have stood out for us that week. We tap tables to indicate which people can go up and get their lunch (they all get it). At some break times we go inside and help get sporting equipment ready and we also tidy up the Music Centre before a lesson. Being a school officer is great! George Philip, Year 6


Forest School


Coram in the Community

The Year Six children at Ackworth School are taking part in the Young Leaders Award with the aim of getting involved in the change they want to see in the local community. This is achieved through a number of interactive lessons, practical challenges and community projects; our children will be involved in serving our local community and making a difference.

Young Leaders Award 14


The programme was launched by Rozy Brian from the Archbishop of York Youth Trust on Friday 12th January 2018. Following on from this launch there will be opportunities for parents and family members and the local community to be involved in a community action project that will take place later in the year. Once successfully completed, the children will receive their Young Leaders Award certificate at the awards ceremony later in the year. Year Six children have been out in the community speaking to the public about how Ackworth (as a village) could be improved for their Young Leaders Award (@abyyt). For more information visit Katie Staton, Year 6 Teacher




hroughout the year, a variety of different lectures, workshops and talks are organised for the Sixth Form students of Ackworth School. These take place throughout the year. The subjects explored in these events are exciting, relevant and some of the most critical learning for Sixth Form students. Sixth Form Specials play a very great role in general intellectual, moral and cultural enrichment. The aims of these Sixth Form Specials are: G G


to broaden horizons and push students beyond the scope of the academic curriculum to give different experiences and allow students to explore new ideas with curiosity and engagement

to purposefully push students out of comfort zones, by allowing them to safely engage with subjects about which they may know little or nothing, without being fearful or uncertain of ignorance

“Knowledge is power,” said Francis Bacon – but it is so much more than that. “Knowledge is power,”

agrees former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, but he goes on: “Information is liberating. Education is the premise of progress, in every society, in every family.” Indeed, knowledge not just is power: Peter Drucker argues that, “today, knowledge has power. It controls access to opportunity and advancement.” The idea that knowledge fundamentally influences your ability to improve yourself, to shape a better future for yourself and your loved ones, is a sobering thought when you consider how many opportunities for knowledge-acquisition that we squander, for paltry, petty reasons.

“Knowledge will forever govern ignorance,” James Madison states – but that is not enough. Knowledge does not just require acquisition; it requires action, in which that knowledge is put to use. “A people who mean to be their own governors,” Madison believes, “must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives.” And what is the end result of gaining the power of knowledge? “Love,” says Helen Keller: “Love and light and vision.” In other words, things worth fighting for.

Gender Issues

Nuclear Disarmament


Labels and gender issues are dominating the headlines. Gender topics are constantly in the news, be it a debate about a transgender child’s rights at school or a new label about defining sexuality or how someone feels. Gender topics are unavoidable, and as young people it is important we know about all the different aspects of gender and labelling as well as understanding other people’s views from a point we might not have considered before. An important talk to understand gender issues was given to us by Jan Simpson from a UK charity Mermaids U.K. This charity is dedicated to changing the lives of families with children who may be transgender or LGBTQ. It transforms the lives of children who feel like they don’t fit in with what society contextualises as ‘normal’ or the right way to live. Mermaids UK offers guidance and counselling to the children and parents of the children. Counselling and support is vital in the early period of transitioning for transgender children. This counselling makes life changing differences to their lives as without the prevention they are more susceptible to mental health issues. Early prevention is life changing as we heard Jan’s own link to Mermaids UK. Her daughter was still in the transition period and the support Mermaids gave to her did make an impact. It was an impact large enough to make Jan want to educate other children about gender issues that affect real people. Mermaids UK is an



representative from the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament UK visited school to inform the Sixth Form on Nuclear weaponry. Given the current state of US and North Korean politics, it was incredibly beneficial and refreshing to hear arguments both for and against the use of them.

important charity that helps educate others but more importantly, they work with the two gender clinics in the UK Tavistock clinic in London, which has helped many children overcome gender dysphoria. Mermaids UK is a crucial link in providing families with the support to understand and make sense of what journeys their family may undergo within a certain period of time and they can offer help families get help more quickly. This Sixth Form Special was eye-opening and life changing. I learnt about a spectrum of gender and the impact of how little phrases can affect someone who is transgender or gender neutral. It has equipped me with a better understanding of other people’s issues and problems. This Sixth Form Special was pivotal for the whole of the Sixth Form as we can now make sense of the issues that we, as young people might face.

Paris Williams, Year 13

He explained how they came to exist in the first place and the process of their invention, and discussed the irreversible damage and destruction they caused in the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings by the USA in World War Two. Horrifyingly, he continued, due to advancements in research and technology, today’s nuclear bombs could be more than 3000 times more destructive than ‘Fat Man’ and ‘Little Boy’, which levelled entire cities more than 70 years ago. There are complex and convincing arguments both for and against a renewed contract with Trident, the company which provides he UK’s nuclear weaponry. For example, although a 30 year contract costs an estimated £167 billion, many people argue that simply having them available acts as a deterrent against attack from other countries. However, ICAN - the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear weapons - counter that “when it comes to nuclear weapons, there are no safe hands. So long as any country has these weapons,

others will want them, and the world will be in a precarious state.” Furthermore, they argue that while it is true that most countries in possession of nuclear weapons do not anticipate having to use them, as long as countries have the power to do so it will almost certainly happen whether it was planned or not: “There have been many documented instances of the near-use of nuclear weapons as a result of miscalculation or accidents.” Finally, he displayed the staggering number of nuclear weapons in possession of various countries such as Russia, North Korea, the UK, and the USA. To imagine the sheer destructive potential of the UK alone, which has 215 warheads, is terrifying. To do the same with the USA and Russia, which are in possession of 6800 and 7000 warheads respectively, is sickening. Personally, I could not imagine a more necessary topic on which to be educated, which is why it was such an interesting Sixth Form Special. It is easy to become desensitised to the prospect of such devastation when it is being discussed by the President of the USA on Twitter so offhandedly. Nevertheless, we must remain informed and concerned, as we could very possibly be the generation which must shoulder the consequences. Isabel Johnston-Knight, Year 13



Harry Potter Night & Trip

Shanks Waste Centre Visit On Tuesday 28th November 2017, the Upper Sixth Business Studies students visited the Shanks Waste Management Centre at South Kirby. The visit is intended to help students to understand this particular business, what they do and how they do it. The visit included a site tour of the household waste recycling facility and a meeting with employees in different departments to discuss their job roles Drew Wallace Ross writes about her experience at Shanks...

“On the trip to Shanks recycling centre we got to speak to employees of different functions in the business. This helped us to understand how the different components work together as a business. After the talk we went to see the pre-sort area of the MDR, which is in the recycling facility so we could see the practical side of how the business worked. This involved people physically sorting recycling from a conveyer, and then seeing how the machine crunches up the material and bundles it for resale. Then we had a tour of the household waste recycling facility (which is where the public can drop off/recycle their waste) and discussed the complexities of this operation. All of this helped us to understand how the business worked together and the importance and interdependence of the different functional areas.”

At 4.15pm earlier this term, about 17 others and I took part in a “Harry Potter Night”. First we had a Harry Potter quiz – there were 6 categories. After the quiz we played heads up – Harry Potter style – a few of the names we used were: Lord Voldemort, Kreacher, Dobby, Dumbledore and Fleur Delacour. I had to go then but a friend and I came second out of the teams. The next day we met up opposite the Music Centre at 7.45am for a trip to London for the day. The main bit of the trip was the British Library where there was a rather excellent History of Magic exhibition. We got on the train at half past eight and set off for London. On the train we shared around sweets and played a few card games. When we got to London – Kings Cross Station – we came off the train and headed over to the British Library. After going through security we went to an exhibition with lots of old and important pieces of music and writing. Miss Clark set us missions to find the oldest, smallest, longest, shortest and newest books in the place. Eloise Celino, Year 7

The Wonkey Donkey trip B@B

Get in touch if you would like to join our networking group Business@breakfast. Please contact Michael Atkins at:



Earlier this term, we went to the donkey sanctuary. It was 20 minutes by car from school. When we arrived, we saw several little donkeys. We have never seen a donkey before, so we were really excited! A few minutes later, the guide came and explained to us about donkeys. She knew all of the donkeys’ names and why they were there. I think that she really liked the donkeys. She took us to see all the donkeys. Fortunately, that day was the birthday of one of the donkeys, so we sang Happy Birthday. It was an unforgettable experience. Also, we had a chance to hug the donkey, and take a picture with a donkey. It was really funny. After watching the donkeys, we came into the café and had a hot chocolate. About 30 minutes later, we went back to school. It was really happy trip. I would like to go there again. Yi -O! Joo Yoon Lee and Mike Hu, Year 11




Kingswood Residential On the Kingswood residential I learnt resilience, teamwork and how to conquer my fears and doubts. Before I went I was nervous for the Nightline because I don’t like being unable to see. I was also worried that I’d be tired all day. First thing was the Nightline which I was dreading. It turned out to be really fun because we had to work as a team to complete the course. The only bad part was they made us crawl through mud. It was funny to watch everyone crawl on hands and knees through the muddy ditch. I would recommend it to future first forms because it teaches you to trust and make friendships with new students and strengthens old ones. Ethan Harper, Year 7


On 9th February we embarked on a trip to Berlin. On the first day we went to the Reichstag building which is historically significant because it was where the Reichstag fire took place on 27th February 1933. We visited Tränenpalast which was the building which people who wished to emigrate to West Berlin had to travel through. Following on from this we went to the Kulturmuseum which exhibited the culture of East Berlin during the Soviet control of East Berlin. In the evening we walked alongside the Berlin Wall, looking at the East Side Gallery. We took lots of great photos as the art was very diverse and interesting. The second day was mentally strenuous as it involved visiting Stasi Prison in the morning followed by Sachsenhausen concentration camp in the afternoon. Both of these, whilst being hard hitting, were very interesting and a crucial part of German history. After this we went to the Allied Museum which had a plane which was cool. Before leaving we paid a visit to Checkpoint Charlie which is on the boundary between West and East Berlin. Overall we had a great time in Berlin. Georgia White and Holly Rice, Year 12 & 13

We recently visited Folgarida in Italy on the school ski trip. I have been on every school ski trip since I started in senior school.

meandering river. These things all attracted my attention. What a wonderful world nature gives to us, I thought.

Jacob Roberts, Year 13

I enjoyed the days I spent there; not only were we staying in beautiful countryside, but also I had great fun throughout the week such as the evening entertainment, quiz nights and ice skating.

School ski trips are fantastic because they give you time to relax and meet new friends, and this one was no different. The snow was perfect this year and the views from the slopes were awe inspiring. Looking back I have loved every second of my ski trips and made memories I will cherish for the rest of my life. It is an experience not to be missed and I would recommend it to anyone.



Skiing in Italy

I had been waiting a long time for this skiing trip. It was my first time trying a winter sport, so I was really looking forward it and I was curious to know about how it felt to ski. Eventually, the day was here. With the leading of Miss Clark, Miss Speake and Mr Roberts, team Ackworth took a plane to Italy and began their amazing ski trip. The first thing that took me by surprise was the picturesque view on the way to the resort: a village surrounded by mountains, a forest and a clear

Before the trip, I thought skiing was a dangerous sport and I was at risk of breaking my legs or that a natural disaster would wipe me off the slopes. This trip changed my mind completely! Skiing is safe, free and liberating. You may not imagine how excited I was when the person who lives in the south of China where you never see the place covered by snow, saw the snow everywhere.

It was a unique experience for me as an international student. I have got something I had never had before from a trip, and it inspired me that there are a lot of things in the world that are worth exploring and giving a go. Branson Gan, Year 13



Jennifer Chambers

A Day in the Life of...


ndefatigable Jennifer Chambers, 68, has been an early morning familiar face in the Andrews Wing and in the boarding houses since 1994. Now she can also be found helping out in Coram with dinners and playground duty. I begin my day at 4am. I have a cup of tea, do my hair and maybe watch something on television to help me wake up and get ready for the day. I don’t have any breakfast then – it’s too early!

I walk into school. It doesn’t matter whatever the weather is, I’ll still walk in and get in at about 5.30. I begin officially at 6am, but I like to get in early just in case something crops up. If someone’s ill or if there’s been a flood or something like that, it just helps to be prepared in terms of time. We work from 6am up until our break at 8.40. We take the break just opposite the laundry, but before that I’ll have worked my way through seven classrooms, the corridors and the stairs. I always begin with rooms 9 and 10, then move on to rooms 7, 6, 5, 4 and 3. I’ll wipe all the tables, sweep the floors and deal with the rubbish. Sometimes I’ll empty a dehumidifier as well. I like to see a room all clean and tidy – it’s satisfying. 22


At our break I’ll have a cup of tea and something to eat and then at 8.55 I begin round two. I’ll do the boys’ dorms and Mr Bailey’s flat – it depends on the day. We have to swap around and change and adapt to deal with things when people are off ill. In the boys’ dorm I used to tidy clothes and shoes away, but the next day it’d be just as bad as it had been before. Then I couldn’t work out what was clean and what was dirty, so now I just clean rather than tidy as well.


On Sunday 31st December 2017, Francis Hickenbottom facilitated a New Year’s Eve Nature Walk around the school grounds. The walk was well attended by the local community, staff and parents. The walk focused on trees, as well as other things that could be spotted in the school grounds, for example, birds’ nests, woodcock and mink and otter along the River Went. The walk was concluded with refreshments in Centre Library.

A frosty breeze always brings a smile to my face. The snow rolls over the hills and into this back garden. The house behind me is my red brick guardian against the warm spear of the sun’s light in the morning. Sometimes the sun smites me with its warm glow and I hope the snow will come to heal me. Occasionally a small creature will steal my carrot nose, but I know that my creator will always replace it. I always have dreamed of seeing the world, but of course, I can’t. Even though I can’t move, I try to enjoy my time on Earth. Morgan Hunt, Year 7

At 11.45 I go up to the dining rooms, change into dining uniform and help with Coram dinners, so I get to come into contact with a lot of children. Then I’ll walk over to Coram and be on playground duty until 1pm. I suppose some people may say that it’s hard physical work that I do, but you just get used to it all. At 1pm I go home and tidy up there and do housework. I’ve been working on my son’s wedding cake recently. The first tier was a fruit cake with marzipan and icing and the second tier was a chocolate sponge, so I’ve certainly been kept busy.

I’ll go out on a Monday night to the community centre to play Bingo, but other nights I’ll just stay at home. I sometimes go to bed at 7 or 7.30pm. I might watch television; it just depends how I feel. It is early, but I’ll be ready for the early start again the next day.

Big Freeze



The week started off with cake sales in the Fothergill Foyer. The cakes were donated by staff and sixth form and certainly went down well.

Wednesday’s Founders’ Day is always an enjoyable experience to acknowledge the history of our school and those who grew up in the same school as we have. The bangers and mash was of course excellent and is one of our favourite traditions. The junior disco was enjoyed by all in attendance. Thursday was filled with enjoyable activities: guess how many sweets in the jar, weigh the head boy and the girls vs boys netball, which has always been hilarious to watch. We ended the week in our own clothes and enjoyed doughnuts at break, provided by the kitchen staff. At lunch, elected sixth formers were headed for the stocks, a huge attraction. What does it tell us that our student body will pay to drench their favourites in the upper sixth? At least it’s all for two very worthy causes. Well done Ackworth School! Ellie White and Olivia Howden, Year 12

CHARITY WEEK Every year we look forward to Charity Week as an opportunity to have fun together while raising money for two well deserving charities. This year we managed to gather a huge amount of money for Levi’s Star and for Lumos, all the while bringing our school closer together - everyone loves charity week from first years to the upper sixth!

The highlight of the week was of course, Staff and Sixth Form Entertainment, hosted by Ksenija and Daiki. The evening was filled with great sketches and excellent prose delivered by Bohdan, Mr Bootyman and Mr Swales, judged by Mr Boucher. Let’s not rehash the ‘disagreement’ between Mr Boucher and Mr Emmett later on. Let’s just say we’re glad to have never messed with Mr Boucher’s ‘lucky boxers’!

Tuesday break time hotdogs were served. As vegetarians we can’t contribute much here but we can tell you they were very popular! This was followed by the frugal lunch later on.

Mercy Ships Dr. Christopher Rigg from Mercy Ships gave an Evening Reading on 21st January regarding the work that Mercy Ships does in bringing health and hope to the “Forgotten Poor” in Africa. His presentation showed the students what the donation of £1,412.36 will achieve and also to inspire them further. Mercy Ships currently operates the largest nongovernmental hospital ship in the world providing free healthcare and improving healthcare delivery systems in the poorest nations.

This international organisation was a true miracle for people who had already lost hope of being saved. Because of the ship’s equipment - five operating theatres and 82-bed recovery wards - the Mercy Ship organisation was able to treat a wide range of problems from cataract to burns and bone deformations.



The idea of being able to save lives was and still is breathtaking for all of us. It was only after the talk that Dr Rigg gave on Sunday that I realised that anyone can save lives if they want to. Mercy Ships has saved over

500,000 people since it began, visited over 580 ports and we had helped raise over £1,000 for them.

Making a difference doesn’t mean moving mountains, it means trying and helping as much as you can. We live in a society where medical treatment is easily accessible, and because of that, we tend to diminish the importance of it. Not being able to get the treatment you need for your child, your parents, your friends or for yourself is both emotionally and physically painful. This is what true kindness is: helping the ones who cannot help themselves. The presentation on Sunday not only brought awareness to the things we took for granted, it also inspired and showed us what compassion is all about. It made me want to do more. There are 1,600 volunteers annually from more than 45 nations helping in locations around the world. I promised myself that if I can ever be useful to them, I myself will volunteer. Elisa Curcean, Year 13



Morning Reading

Richard Vergette, Head of Drama, is leaving Ackworth this Summer. This was his last Morning Reading.


few months ago I was at the theatre in Doncaster – a quite new theatre which opened 4 or 5 years ago. I was there to see a touring production of a new play called The Gypsy Queen written by, and starring a friend of mine, Rob Ward. It was only playing for one night so I was particularly concerned to see it.

Before I continue with my story I need to tell you a bit about my friend Rob. I’ve known him for 6 or 7 years. He’s an actor and a playwright in his early 30s and for most of his adult life he has lived openly as a gay man. This is relevant to my story because when he writes plays he often attempts to address areas of prejudice that he has encountered or experienced in his own life. In both of plays of his that I have seen, he has addressed the issue of homophobia in sport. Rob is a keen amateur soccer player and, if life weren’t challenging enough trying to make it as an actor and playwright, he’s a lifelong supporter of Everton! In his first play Away from Home, he depicted the situation of a Premier League footballer in denial about his sexuality. His more recent play The Gypsy Queen tells the story of a young boxer who struggles to come to terms with his sexuality and makes him face the dilemma of either keeping quiet about it and enjoying a successful career or being open about it and running the risk of encountering prejudice. I collected my ticket from the box office and waited for the performance to begin. As I was waiting I noticed a group of a dozen or so people in a corner of the bar having what seemed like a private party - tucking in to some drinks and nibbles and I felt a little bit jealous.

However, after a while a lady of around my own age came over to me and asked if I was at the theatre to see The Gypsy Queen. I said that I was, whereupon she asked me if I would care to join her and her group. “We’re members of the local branch of Pride,” she informed me. Only then did it occur to me that as I was on my own going to see what was advertised as a play featuring a gay theme that it might be assumed that I was gay. I have to say that this bothered me not even slightly and I was very happy to accept the kind lady’s invitation. She told me that she was on the board of management for the theatre and was trying to organise cultural events for the gay community in Doncaster to attend. I passed a thoroughly enjoyable few minutes (and had a free drink and nibbles) before the play started. Often touring productions that are only on for one night don’t receive big audiences but the small studio theatre was nearly full that night. The play had only been going for around 10 minutes when there was something of a commotion from the other side of the theatre to me. Two rather elderly ladies got up and left in a somewhat marked and noisy manner. They muttered loudly about something being ‘disgusting and disgraceful’ and off they went. Given that it was a small theatre, their departure would have been noticed by the actors. I’m afraid my thoughts turned somewhat un-Quakerly. It was obvious from all of the publicity and information given out about the play what the subject matter would be. I am convinced that some people enjoy being offended and look for opportunities to be, or even pretend to be offended, just so they can complain. I sincerely hope that these two women asked for their money back and I hope with equal sincerity that the Box Office Manager gave them short shrift.

The depiction of gay characters in film and television hasn’t always been as dignified and human as my friend Rob Ward makes them in his plays. When I was growing up in the 1970s gay characters were often depicted as ludicrously effeminate and as stereotypes – not really to be taken seriously. John Inman’s character Mr Humphreys in the sitcom Are you Being served might have been very funny but it represented a somewhat two-dimensional and highly effeminate portrayal. Or gay characters were psychotic murderers like in Alfred Hitchcock’s Rope or North by Northwest. It was 1986 and the soap Eastenders that first presented a reasonably three dimensional gay character - Colin Russell played by Michael Cashman. In 1987 the first gay kiss was broadcast on UK television provoking something of a storm of protest – not so much from the viewers as, predictably, the tabloid press who – like the two old ladies – enjoy pretending to be offended. That was 30 years ago and much has changed since. Perhaps the change in the depiction of gay characters

26 l

on television has matured as our laws have changed and developed in order to protect the rights of gay people. Until 1967 it was illegal to have a relationship with someone of the same sex. Up until 2001 the age of consent – the age at which you could legally have sexual relations remained higher for gay people than the rest of the population. In 2001 it was brought to 16. In 2005 gay couples could have legal partnerships and since 2014 they have been able to marry. So, given how much society has moved on in this issue, what is the point of me talking about it? Surely apart from a pair of fairly silly old ladies in a theatre, isn’t homophobia a thing of the past? I can honestly say that every time I do morning readings, I use it as an opportunity to air concerns. They may be concerns that I have held for a lifetime or concerns that have emerged recently. They may be concerns that I have beyond the school community or they may be ones I have here.

I have a concern about the language we use and how we sometimes choose to express ourselves. I hear – all too frequently – the word ‘gay’ being used as a term of abuse or a term of negativity. Something is described as ‘gay’ if somehow it’s not very good or is a bit rubbish. People accuse others of being gay – not as a reference to their sexuality but if they think they’ve done something stupid. I’m sure that most people who fall into using the word in this manner wouldn’t think of themselves as homophobic. But by using the word in such a manner you are reinforcing prejudice; you are confirming the idea that the meaning of the word is something negative, something shameful or bad and, therefore sadly, if you use the word in this manner then you are – perhaps unintentionally – homophobic. The words we use are important because they can either express respect or contempt and they contribute

to the atmosphere of our community. If our school is to be a safe place then it’s a safe place for all regardless of colour, creed, physical ability or sexual orientation and if we feel that using the word ‘gay’ as a term of abuse is a reasonable thing to do then our school is not altogether safe. Quite some years ago I spoke in a morning reading about disability – very much with reference to my son who is disabled. At the time I exhorted the school population to stop using the word ‘retard’ as a term of abuse and to be fair, I hear it far less now than before.

A few days ago on Twitter, a former economics editor for Channel 4 and now one of Jeremy Corbyn’s top advisors - Paul Mason – referred to the King of Spain as a retard. He was unhappy that the King had not spoken out against the heavy-handed actions by the Spanish police in trying to stop the Catalan vote on independence. To me – and obviously I’m going to be more sensitive about this than most – there is no distinction – no distinction at all - between the worst racist slurs and a term like that. Mason was subjected to a torrent of criticism and demands to withdraw his comment. After some defensive blustering he did just that. Now it may be that you don’t agree with me. It may that you come from countries where homosexuality is still outlawed or for religious reasons you can’t agree with gay marriage. But I ask you, can you really look someone in the eye and regard them as less than you are because of their sexuality? Could I look Sir Ian McKellan, Sir Derek Jacobi or Sir Anthony Sher in the eye – three of the greatest actors of their generation – and tell them that they are less than I am? Of course I couldn’t! I revere them and respect them.



Pippa Scott A

Old Scholar News

ckworth was my home up until July of 2001. I was a boarder from the age of 14 until I graduated Upper Sixth.

Upon leaving I attended The University of Manchester and got my BA in History (2:1). I remember my first day of University seeing a lot of people crying as this was the first time they had left home. Ackworth gave me independence - I had already adjusted to living away from home and this allowed me to be more adventurous.

After graduating University, I auditioned for a place to study Musical Theatre at Circle in the Square (this is the last Broadway theatre in New York that still teaches new talent) I packed my bags and moved to New York in my early twenties.

I ultimately ended up working in the film industry for a decade and this work took me back to London where I worked as PA to British Film Director Ken Loach. I also had the privilege of working for some very successful women in the industry. I lived in Penrith & London while I worked for one of these brilliant women - she was a talent agent who represented some of the UK's top talent including Rik Mayall & Billy Boyd.

After returning to New York to mentor at a Film & Celebrity PR agency - I decided to re-locate to Los Angeles where I worked with more greatly admired women. One of these women was a commercial agent and the other a manager. The manager I worked for was one of the most successful agents in the world and also one of the first women (in a field that was mainly dominated by men). She was an inspiration to work for and was responsible for forming the acting careers of Naomi Watts, Kathy Bates and Brian Dennehy.

will continue to work on his writing. He is currently working with George Takei in writing a story about his life experiences at internment camps. I am mentoring in Photography and am in a year long programme studying Family Documentary and Photojournalism. Sometimes I can't quite believe it has been nearly 17 years since I left Ackworth, but I suppose a lot has happened since my time there. Ackworth gave me an extended family and I am happy to still be in touch with so many of them despite living abroad.

It was here in Los Angeles that I met my husband (Steven) in 2007. He was also working in the film industry but on studio lots and doing set work. We had our wedding in San Francisco in 2009 and moved to Canada (Vancouver) for a year after. Our work has taken us all over and after Canada we moved to NYC, Connecticut, San Francisco and our current home in Southern California (San Diego). During all the moves our daughter (Tessa) was born in Stamford, Connecticut in 2014 and our son (Elliot) was born in 2016. My husband has now for many years worked in the comic book industry and I have also worked for a top comic book publisher in San Diego.

Our adventure continues, and later this month (March) we will be returning to Greater Vancouver, Canada. We are both pursuing freelance work there. My husband 28 l



Dr Edward John Caine

Old Scholar News


y love of hillwalking started at Ackworth. In 1962 (our ‘O Level Year’) John Lammin, the new maths teacher, took small groups of us into the Yorkshire hills and then further afield on camping trips in the Lake District and Snowdonia as training for a trip to the Pyrenees in the summer holidays. We travelled to the Pyrenees in his Land Rover and after a few days camping and climbing in Andorra, we headed west on the Spanish side and climbed the high peaks. Although I was only age 15 at the time I remember well the climbs of Pic d’ Aneto (11,174 ft) and Perdido (10,998 ft), probably still the highest mountains I have ever climbed on foot. Recently I uncovered a small sketch book with some pencil drawings I did on that trip having no camera. After Ackworth my opportunities for hillwalking diminished and my outdoor activities involved some fairly serious potholing and later some cycling. However, my elder son so enjoyed his Duke of Edinburgh expeditions that we started to visit the hills, firstly in the Lake District, then in Snowdonia with my friend Peter Speirs and then in Scotland to


fter leaving Ackworth School in 1999, I moved on to study for a Music Undergraduate degree at Durham University, focussing on performance (Piano) and Composition. I graduated with a 2:1.

While there I had composition lessons from Roger Marsh at the University of York, and as a result moved to York for a year out in 2003. From 2004 - 2013, I studied part time for a Masters and PhD in composition at the University of York. While doing this I received a number of high profile commissions and "opportunities" to work with esteemed orchestras and performers such as virtuoso Ian Pace, Amsterdam based Nieuw Ensemble, Orchestra of Opera North, the Arditti Quartet. At the same time I was busy paying for my degrees by doing a wide portfolio of musical work which included running a concert series dedicated to new music, teaching piano, working at a music shop and for a publishing company, running an amateur music programme at Vanbrugh College in the university, playing in bars and restaurants and lecturing. After finishing my PhD I worked for a couple of terms as Musician in Residence at Bootham School (which reminded me of Ackworth a lot!). Then I moved down to the West Midlands to perform a similar role for Old Swinford Hospital School in Stourbridge for two years. Since then I have been working for Birmingham30 l

based choir Ex Cathedra as Research Assistant to the Artistic Director, Jeffrey Skidmore OBE, and continuing a busy freelance musical life which includes being Musical Director and Accompanist for Brierley Hill Musical Theatre Club, accompanist for the educational arm of Armonico Consort choir in Nottingham, accompanist for In Sound Choir, Stourbridge, Peripatetic Piano Teacher at Winterfold House School, Arts Quality Assessor for the Arts Council England and general freelance conductor and pianist. I also now have a beautiful wee girl, Sophie.

climb some of the mountains which had been recommended to us. And so the Munros were discovered! Without going into detail, the ‘Munros’ is a classification of Scottish mountains listing the main summit of all the mountains 3000 ft or higher and at the moment they number 282.

Peter and I then visited Scotland with friends a couple of times each year when we climbed hills and mountains of interest, some of them Munros, some not. When we both retired at a similar time Peter thought that the two of us could make slightly longer and more adventurous trips and so the tally of Munros gradually increased. When climbing the last of the Munros it is customary to have a few friends and walking companions present to celebrate the occasion and so when my round was completed a few years ago on Ben Lomond I was delighted to have in the party two Ackworth classmates , my wife Jane and Peter (a recent AOSA President) to remind me of where it all started. My round of the Munros took about 13 years to complete and although I still revisit favourite mountains it is not with the intention of completing another.

Stewart Huntington

Ackworth School changed my life. Before going there I was destined for a single Scottish Standard Grade (GCSE) in music, and my life was very much spiralling out of control. Going to Ackworth gave me a "way out" of that existence, and a sense of purpose and confidence to explore the things I knew that I should be good at. It took a lot of fight to catch up with those around me who had led less of a chaotic childhood, but as a result my path took me to some amazing places, whether it was touring 17 venues in China with an amazing choir, visiting Amsterdam and Copenhagen to work with professional musicians, having my own orchestral work performed, performing music I had never dreamed I'd be able to play or learning that a piece of mine was being toured in Copenhagen. N.B I was known by my second name John at school.



Ackworth: The Early Days

Old Scholar News


hen John and Henry Burtt went to Ackworth School in 1847, their father and mother took them by road with a good horse in a two wheeled trap called a “Sociable” in which 4 persons could ride comfortably. The first day they went as far as Gainsborough, about 30 miles, and spent the night with their grandfather, Simon Maw Bowen.

The following day they drove on to Ackworth arriving in the afternoon; it was Summer time so they would enjoy the trip very much. Now, Mary Burtt had provided her boys with very nice clothes, probably more suitable for a school like Eton than for Ackworth, which was at first intended for children whose parents were not in “affluent circumstances.” When they arrived on the playground in their silk hats, the said hats were soon pulled off by their play fellows and kicked about like footballs until they were battered beyond recognition and the poor “weather beaten silkers” were no more use! Imagine the consternation of poor Mary who could never see a joke! Probably Joseph was “tickled to pieces” by the incident, tho’ it must have been a trying scene for the fond parents to witness upon introducing their boys to the rigours of a public school. The next Summer, when they had their first holidays, they returned by rail part of the way. They took the train at Newark via Derby to Pontefract. The “railway carriage” was an open truck without seats, so they had to stand during the journey. It was a novel experience for them to be drawn by an engine, but their father’s “Sociable” must have been much more comfortable drawn by a favourite horse, which would stop and graze by the road side while they had a picnic and wait patiently while they gathered some fresh flowers to add to their collection. On arrival at Pontefract they were met and put into a covered waggon and taken to Ackworth.

In those days the boys helped in various duties in the school and once Henry was appointed “Churner”. He was taken down the cellar where he turned the handle of the churner and produced butter from the warm

cream placed in the wooden barrel. His brother, John, lost him and was sadly perplexed as to what had become of him during the butter making process. As Henry was a farmer later in life it was well for him to learn something of the art of butter making as a lad at school. Still later in life he served many years on the School Committee at Ackworth and was very helpful in that capacity. When his grandfather, Simon Maw Bowen, was on that Committee the scholars drank ale instead of the good new milk that Henry enjoyed so much; and a boy was brought before the Committee Friends because he would not or could not drink the ale which was considered good for him in those days. They brewed their own ale at Ackworth so it was well made, but lads did not like it always. However, he was not altogether excused, one Friend told him that he must open his shoulders and give his mind to drinking his ale. How much better it was when they had milk given them instead!

Ackworth School Reunion 1962 - 69

Old Scholars 1962-69: David Wood, Deborah Watkinson (as she was), and Antony Hurden (“Cecil”) are considering holding a re-union sometime later this year. You may remember we did something similar as we turned 40. If 32 l

you would like to take one more trip down memory lane, please send an email to so we can find out who would be interested.

Trees Tribute


eorge Smailes was an Ackworth scholar from 1907 – 1910. He served as a Second Lieutenant in the West Yorkshire Regiment and was killed on the Somme in October, 1916.

His mother was so heartbroken, she had 12 oak trees planted in Goathland where they had a home, in memory of the 12 young men from that village who were killed in the war. The trees are now going to be given the attention they need.

Also, new trees have been planted and small plaques and 12 metal mannequins placed by the trees, one for each man. It is to be inaugurated as a centenary memorial walk on July 7th.



Annual Reports of The Ackworth Old Scholars' Association


Following the recent change in the administration of Ackworth Old Scholars, it seems an opportune moment to take a look at the Annual Reports of the Ackworth Old Scholars' Association. These have appeared with absolute regularity since the formation of the Association, dating from 1882 to 2017. Little can the writer of the first report have imagined that collecting these small volumes has developed a cult-like status over the years, with some issues even appearing on eBay in recent times.

The first named editor was Albert Linney, who managed the editing in the difficult years of 1914-17. Margaret Andrews (daughter of Frederick Andrews) edited the 1918-19 editions, and was followed by the long-serving James Westwood, who shared the 1919 edition with Margaret, and then continued as the sole editor until 1949. Subsequent editors were: J.B. Harris (1950), Ashton Watts (1951-62), Peter Heywood (1963-68), Christopher Morris (1969-74) and Michael Hargreave (1975- 84). Then followed my predecessor, Anne Telford-Kenyon, who edited the Annual Report from 1985 to 2014.

A new cover design appeared in 1902, including a line drawing of the school by Margaret Hodgson. This same issue was the first one to be given the title of “Annual Report”, but the continuity of numbering assumed that earlier ones were considered to be the same. Two years later, the first photographs appeared. These were views of the school and portraits of prominent old scholars, and by the turn of the 20th century, every issue had an array of interesting illustrations. An obsession with age was apparent; pictures of the oldest surviving old scholars were a notable feature of early Annual Reports.

Mary Hodgson's cover design was dropped in 1909, with a new Wedgewood-designed embossed image of school founder, John Fothergill – something that continued in future Annual Report cover designs until 1990.

All photographs were to remain in monochrome until 1979, but a reproduction of a colour painting of High Ackworth from The Flashes, by Margaret Andrews, was used as the frontispiece in the 1910 Annual Report – surely an expensive luxury at the time. Annual Report production cost was the major financial headache for the Association in the early days. This was something that never went away. Some Annual Reports were not far short of 200 pages long, including illustrations, and this had to be curtailed, particularly during the austerity of World War I, when Annual Reports were slimmer, though still including much information on old scholars involved in the conflict. 34 l

were appreciating the benefits of the online version, as it was able to have full colour photographs throughout. On the left (below) is a page from the printed 2017 Annual Report. On the right is the same page as it appeared in the on-line version. When I took over as editor of the Annual Report, I was following on from a distinguished list of Old Scholars and teachers. Before World War I, no editors were credited in Annual Reports, but it must be presumed that the work fell upon the shoulders of the AOSA secretaries of the time: John William Graham, J.H. Stone, John William Matthews. Joseph John Jopling, Joseph Spence Hodgson and Malcolm Sparkes.

The very first issue was just 30 pages long – the shortest by far – a significant part of which was the first list of members, numbering just 167 people. Historically, these early issues are fascinating, but early recipients of these “Proceedings of the Ackworth Old Scholars” may have found them less than exciting. Aesthetically, they were unimaginative, other than having a format placing the text within a wide margin with a box within another margin. Looking at this today, the excessive white space might be considered a waste of paper, but these “frames” persisted until 1909, giving a slightly more modern look.

Mary Hodgson had provided the early illustrations in Annual Reports, the first one appearing in 1893.

Old Scholar News

But what is the value of the 135 volume collection of Annual Reports? Obsessive collecting may be something of a pointless exercise in itself. No basic change in Annual Report design was made again until the sky blue cover introduced in 1954. The cover colour was changed to a golden yellow for the special school bicentenary issue of 1979, and green for the AOSA centenary Annual Report of 1982. The 1979 and 1980 issues also contained colour photographs of the presidents. Colour photographs only became a regular feature as recently as 2006, but even then it was restricted to the opening and closing pages. All other pictures were in black and white in order to keep down costs. In 1991, the image of John Fothergill was replaced by the school's cupola design. This more formal modern design was complemented by a policy of rotating the colours annually with the three official AOSA colours of green, gold and silver-grey. Perhaps this was done to enhance the effect of the appearance of Annual Reports on members' bookshelves.

There was to be one more twist in the publication of Annual Reports. An online version was published on the AOSA website, and people were encouraged choose to read this, rather than having printed versions. Many did, but some still preferred to have their physical copies, so a dwindling number were printed each year until the school took over the administration of the association in the autumn of 2017. Many more people

Taken together, the collection provides a fascinating journey through the school's history from the late 19th century to the present day. One of the first thing the reader discovers is that the Ackworth Old Scholars' Association, as we know it, actually had a predecessor. The earlier association was relatively short-lived, in the early years of the 19th century. What should strictly be referred to as the second AOSA began when Ackworth's most famous headmaster, Frederick Andrews, hand not been in the position for very long. Furthermore, we wasn't actually called a headmaster, having the title of "superintendent", the more familiar title being conferred many years later, We can trace the gradual merger of the boys' and girls' schools, as they continued to work together in parallel, but with differing requirements, and frequently differing standards, rules and expectations. The move towards co-education was extremely slow, largely because the buildings did not favour such an arrangement. A joint sixth form was followed by mixed first year classes, but after World War II, it was finally agreed to take the plunge for Ackworth to become fully co-educational in 1947. What followed on from that was a dark period for which the school cannot be proud. Ackworth School still had a headmaster, Philip Radley, and a headmistress, Kathleen Cottrell. The School Committee decided, that both would step down from their positions in 1952, and be replaced by a

headmaster and a deputy headmistress. Reorganisation of this kind is often painful, and this was no exception. Kathleen Cottrell quickly found another post, so it seemed to Philip Radley that he might be able to stay at Ackworth. The School Committee of the time would not allow him to apply for the new headship position for the whole school, and a great deal of unrest followed. All of this was quietly sanitised in Elfrida Vipont Foulds' history of the school. However, in the 1952 Annual Report, there is a full description of what actually happened, and how the matter was resolved. Philip Radley did leave, and was replaced by Albert Lindley, with Phyllis Sadler as his deputy. The School Committee did acknowledge its failures and its insensitive handling of a difficult situation. Thus Annual Reports can provide us with a history of the school that is more alive than some of the more official publication. As a postscript to the co-educational change, it seems appropriate to note that by the time I joined the school in 1961, the two schools still had not completely merged. Opportunities, expectations and rules differed in many areas. Segregated dining rooms for two out of the three daily meals wasn't really an issue, but the midday dinner highlighted the fact that girls were required to wear napkins, but boys were not. First year girls had to wear full-body overalls, but boys did not. Boys in the swimming team could swim daily before breakfast; girls could not. Boys did woodwork and metalwork; girls did cookery and needlework, though this was standard in schools nationwide. In the 1960s, sporting activities were taught along traditional gender lines, but on reading early 20th century Annual Reports, it was quite clear that girls had played cricket regularly and seriously in those earlier times. The Badsworth cross-country run was for boys only, with no alternative for girls. Girls were known and addressed by their forenames, but boys were addressed by surnames only. Instead of having a yearly Annual Report, old scholars will now have access to the termly magazine "Ackworth Today", with each issue containing news of events such as the Easter Gathering (including the President's Address), smaller reunions, Birth's Marriages and Deaths, and features on prominent old scholars of all ages. We now have the opportunity to celebrate our past, alongside news of the school as it is today.



President: Belinda Walters T

he annual highlight of the Ackworth Old Scholars - the Easter Gathering - is getting closer. The Easter weekend is a wonderful opportunity for Old Scholars from across the generations to get together and enjoy the hospitality of the School.

There is always a long and varied list of activities to get involved in, sports to play, music and POP to join in with. There is also plenty of opportunity to sit down and chat with old friends and new - and always lots of sustenance from the School kitchens. Many people come and stay for the entire weekend, and many others come for a shorter stay, or just drop in for the day. Whatever the choice, all are very welcome!

Old Scholar News

The Easter Gathering is also the significant event of the Presidential year and I am very much looking forward to the weekend and being able to welcome Old Scholars to the School. After the trips around the country to get involved in Guild events, Easter is a return to the centre of Ackworth life. Easter also marks the beginning and the end of the year as Old Scholars’ President. I have enjoyed enormously this year, and I look forward to handing over the role to our next President on Easter Monday. I do hope that you, as current pupils of Ackworth, will keep the Old Scholars, and the Easter Gathering, thriving in future years.

Reflection: Molly Fowler

During term time Ackworth School is an outstanding educational establishment with unique and historical buildings and stunning landscaped gardens. During School holidays the Weddings


An extract from the Eulogy

Molly was born in Pontefract on 14 January 1936 to Granville and Annie Millward. Annie’s maiden name had been Birkby.

Granville worked on the railway, as an engine driver, and Annie was the homemaker. Molly was one of two siblings, she had a younger brother, John, who sadly predeceased Molly a while ago.

She moved on to a post at Ackworth School, in Pontefract, where she was to teach GCE Mathematics. She also taught Science to the Junior School and, in time, rose to be both a Form and House Mistress.

It was during this time at Ackworth School, that she met her husband to be, Peter. He was in banking and his father was the pharmacist at the school. Again accompanied by excellent references Molly moved to Welwyn Garden City where she took up a teaching post at the Mater Dei School for Girls. Here she was to teach both Mathematics and Physics GCE Olevels.

This move didn't affect her love affair with Peter who, I 36 l


same splendid Georgian buildings and impressive gardens are available to Great Garden @ Ackworth events department to host a variety of events for the school and the wider community.

Corporate Team Building Days




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oday we gather to celebrate the life of Margaret Birkby Fowler, ‘Molly’- a dearly loved wife, mother, grandmother, sister and friend.

Molly’s first teaching appointment was to teach mathematics at West Park County Secondary School in Leeds, a post she took up in September 1957. She left here in 1960, with excellent references, including a recommendation that she could easily continue her own studies to degree level , if she so wished.

Great Garden @ Ackworth

understand, also moved to Welwyn (but we don't think that they moved in together – that would not have been Molly’s way!) Either way, the relationship was placed on a more permanent footing on 2nd April 1964, when they were married in Ackworth. It was far earsier for them to go to Ackworth than to bring both families down to Welwyn.

It’s now time to say goodbye to Molly, a loving wife, mother, grandmother, and friend. She will be missed but leaves many happy memories for those who knew her and loved her. Jesus said: “For my Father's will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day."

Jesus also said this: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you…do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid”

Old Scholars who have recently passed away

Juliet Morris Shirley Cliffe Margaret Birkby Fowler Mary Crib (nee Whitaker) Claire Lawrence Norman Kenneth Bennett




Beatles Museum

‘The Beatles are ‘Les Beat’ Our Beatles trip to Liverpool Took music students from Ackworth School. We went to the Beatles museum and the Docks And were finally let in a sugary sweet shop.

Two hours it was, from here to there, The surprise killing us and raising our hair, Where we listened to music to get in the mood And shared loads of sweets and scoffed lots of food. Those two hours passed by We could then relieve a sigh. We were now finally there And could breathe the fresh air.

There was much we learnt And lots of knowledge we earned From going round the exhibit, Which was really quite exquisite.

Hamlet Theatre A review of the English Department’s theatre visit to see the RSC’s production of ‘Hamlet’ on tour at The Lowry, Salford.

The instant I saw the photograph for the programme’s cover, I was thrilled. ‘Hamlet’ had always been my least favourite Shakespeare play with its dark setting, sullen mood and complex dialogue. However with my eyes glued to the stage I had never been so glad to experience ‘Hamlet’ live. The vibrant spray of colours against Paapa Essiedu’s skin made for a fantastic contemporary programme cover. Not only was the character’s performance thrilling and unique but the incorporation of an African republic setting with drums and soldiers carrying semi-automatic handguns instead of swords was what made performance extraordinary. My favourite contemporary twist to the performance was Hamlet being depicted as a graffiti artist which meant he was covered in bright sprays of paints for most of the performance. I would highly recommend this play to anyone interested in a refreshing rendition of the play ‘Hamlet’.

Anna Brummeler, Year 13

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After learning of their hits There was no time to sit For the Dock was where we went With pounds and pence to spend.

And so that brings us to the end of it – The end of the glorious trip, So I’d like to thank Miss Hussey and Mr Marks For the great experience we had embarked.

Robyn Wickham, Year 10


Fourth form boys analysing interpretations in History


Development & Alumni

Development & Alumni Office If you would like to attend an event, update your details on our database, provide a story for Ackworth Today, make a donation, or revisit the School, please do get in touch as we would love to hear from you. Kate Dawson Alumni and Development +44 (0)1977 611401

Staff News

Summer Term at a Glance School Events April 16 26 May 12 12

19+20 28 At the start of this academic year, Francis Hickenbottom and Tom Bootyman have clocked up 50 years of service to the Physics Department at Ackworth School. Francis arrived in 1991 to teach Physics and took over the Head of Department’s job in 1993 when Grenville Needham retired. Unusually, Tom has worked here twice. He came as a young man in 1982 to teach Physics and work as an assistant in Boys’ School House. He left in 1987 and spent time in two sixth-form colleges but returned in 1998 to run Boys’ School House and to teach Physics with Francis and has remained with us since. They have both contributed enormously to the school outside their subject area. Notably, Francis has inspired hundreds of children with his skills and knowledge of Natural History and Tom with his Chamber Choir and Photography Club.

Alan Rothwell

We are sad to announce the death of Alan Rothwell who passed away on Monday 12th February, after suffering a long illness. Alan taught at Ackworth from September 1966 to August 1994, during which time he was Head of German and Boy’s Housemaster.

June 20 23

July 7

Term Begins 4th Year Parent-Staff Meeting 6.30 - 8pm

Leave Weekend General Meeting 10.30am - 3.45pm Made in Ackworth

Half Term (until 1 June) Inter-House Athletics 2pm - 4pm Leave Weekend

Open Day – Term Ends 3pm Ackworth Summer Ball

Coram House April 23 June 28 July 6

Parent forum meeting 3.45pm Y6 end of term production 7pm

Y6 leavers’ assembly 10.45am

Ackworth School Pontefract Road, Ackworth, Pontefract, Wakefield, WF7 7LT Tel: +44 (0)1977 611401 l Email: l

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