The Cupola 2018

Page 1

Cupola The


Ackworth School Year Book 2018

Contents The







children skills, giving them new experiences, whilst providing leadership opportunities for our scholars. There is no doubt that this is an effective way of exporting Quaker values and also of destroying the myths that abound about faith schools. Another sign that it is working is the increase in the level of interest from other sporting bodies. GCSE and A Level exams in a number of revamped subjects. Our pupils and their teachers have worked hard to prepare them for their examinations and we hope that their work will be rewarded.

The end of a school year brings with it some goodbyes. Several members of staff have retired after many years of loyal service to the school, for which we thank them. Richard Vergette retires as our Head of Drama as well as Head of Learning and Teaching and with the 100th anniversary of the end of the Great War approaching in November 2018, we were fortunate to end our year at Open Day with a superb performance of his excellent play, ‘Who We Are’.


We continue to excel at sport. We are at present ranked as the 13th best independent school at sport in the United Kingdom. This has been achieved without spending the ridiculous amounts many other sporting schools do. It suits us to focus on sports that are not commonly played and it gives many children opportunities they would otherwise never have. We are National Champions for boys and girls at table tennis and squash for the second successive year and look to repeat this next year. We also continue to have expectations in terms of our academic provision bearing in mind that we are not a selective school. We have never departed from our Quaker ethos; we remain a happy school community where children’s curiosity about life is treasured and encouraged.

CHANGES C Head Anton Maree

hange is a constant feature in education. The world around us is forever changing. Without the willingness and desire to change, we fall behind, but also, and perhaps more significantly, do not move forward.

This year has been a year of many changes, both to give our young people a wealth of opportunities and to become increasingly involved in our local community. We must take advantage of new initiatives and I have an effective team that is helping me to achieve success. We are working hard to improve our relationships with our neighbours and communication and cooperation is a key factor. There is a strong sense of purpose about what we are doing. More people know about us and we work with more schools and more organisations than ever before. We have a vision for the future and this is being realised.

We have been talking for some time about the need to incorporate and become a company limited by guarantee, and this will have been completed by September 2018. It is an historic moment in the history of the school and will help to safeguard our future. This year is the first year that students have taken part in

One of our success stories has been the refurbishment of our swimming pool complex. Looking after Grade One listed buildings is one of our biggest costs. We are adapting our plans and moving the café to another part of the building. A lot of work is taking place behind the scenes. I hope that you can all contribute to our continued success by donating to our Renewal Fund which will enable us to revitalise our facilities. In the meantime, the Old Library is being refurbished to offer our sixth formers a modern, collaborative learning and IT friendly facility with washroom and kitchen facilities included. The West Wing has been refurbished and School Reception, Marketing, Finance and the HR office have all been improved. I hope that you have noticed the new signage and our new website.

There have been many new initiatives across the school this year and particularly in our Nursery and Coram House. The Nursery children visited Stella House, a retirement home, in Pontefract following on from the Channel 4 documentary Old People’s Home for 4 year olds this year. The Year 6 class in Coram took part in the Archbishop of York’s ‘Young Leaders’ Award’ and Forest School sessions have expanded with our Mayfly project. A highlight for Coram and the Senior School this year was the Tour de Yorkshire week - which culminated in an exhibition in the Meeting House. Year 5 children wrote their own questions and interviewed David Bunney, Chair of Ackworth School Committee, about Quakerism at Ackworth School and produced an informative short film on Quakerism based on their perspective and findings. We are an all through school and a busy one at that. We have a partnership in place with over 15 state primary schools in West Yorkshire. We host events designed to teach

One example of the scale of our involvement took place towards the end of the year when we invited 10 primary schools and 270 children to our Olympic Day. It was a spectacular success! Our charitable status is under close scrutiny in Parliament and in the future our associations will make membership conditional upon our partnerships with state schools and the work we do within our community.

We managed to attract sponsorship from the Tim Henman Foundation, and the Yorkshire Tennis Association for a Community Tennis Coach who has introduced tennis to primary school pupils at their schools whilst also helping Ackworth School and Ackworth Tennis Club to increase the number of people playing the sport. We work with 500 primary school children a week through our table tennis initiative and hope that we can reach 100-150 per week through our new tennis initiative We will introduce a Football Academy in September 2018 and we hope that it will drive excellence in football at our school. Locally we have formed a close relationship with Ackworth Juniors Football Club, which has led to them increasing the number of junior teams they have playing for them and also to the introduction of several age group girls’ teams this year.

We also worked hard to make a difference for a group of 30 refugees from Wakefield, who spent a respite day with us at Ackworth School. With snow falling heavily, they shared our facilities, trying to learn new skills and playing new sports with the help of several members of staff and pupils who helped to make them feel particularly welcome. The day ended with a walk and quite a few snowballs along the River Went and the surprise and very welcome distribution of a Christmas gift for each of our visitors.

We have certainly stepped up our level of engagement within our community. One of our recent initiatives was to involve ourselves in the regular village litter picking. 780 kg of rubbish was collected from the village and surrounding areas. Collectively 120 man hours of clearing up took place. The school also helped to decorate the village for the Tour de Yorkshire and our lamb, chosen as the emblem for our item of field art, won admiration from the television commentators in their helicopters as they flew over the school.

I am delighted to see how our music department is taking music to the community. Not only will we host the Pontefract Music Festival next year, we have also performed in public on several occasions, adding high quality performances to events. Our Party on the Green at the end of the Summer Term, featured the Senior School, Coram, teachers and a visiting school group from Hangzhou, China, and was a great success.

We have a wonderfully able group of pupils who have propelled our academic, cultural and sporting success supported by a very effective body of teachers and coaches. We feel that we are adding social responsibility to our curriculum through appreciation of our Quaker values: simplicity, truth, equality, peace and sustainability and instilling a desire to help others. What all of us have learned is that our children want to do more for others and that we should introduce them to a greater range of issues. Our children want to be involved and we will help them achieve that.



Coram & Senior School 1st Form

2nd Form


3rd Form

4th Form Year 1

5th Form

Year 3D

Year 4 6


Year 2

Year 3T

Year 5A

Lower 6th Form

Year 5P

Upper 6th Form

Shed Court

Year 6



Autumn Term


NE W S TA FF Daniel Marks 6WDUWLQJ DW $FNZRUWK 6FKRRO ZDV WKH È´UVW WLPH , KDG HYHU PRYHG VFKRROV VR QDWXUDOO\ , ZDV YHU\ unsure as to what to expect. Now I am a term in, I realise I had absolutely nothing to worry about!



Q1. How did you become Head Girl?

Q1. How did you become Head Boy?


I’m not sure exactly how I became Head boy but from what I’ve been told

like to think that it was because I actively took part in the school community-

and heard from others the decision is made from a variety of sources. SMT

whether that was by going to clubs or just by talking to the people around

have a meeting to discuss it then there is another meeting where teachers


can have their input. Also people in my year could vote (not on who should

Emma Bell The atmosphere at Ackworth School is quite different to any school I’ve previously worked at, FHUWDLQO\ WKHUH LV D JUHDWHU VHQVH RI FRPPXQLW\ )URP WKH YHU\ ȴUVW GD\ , KDYH EHHQ PDGH WR IHHO very welcome by both staff and students.

Michael Dancer , KDYH UHDOO\ HQMR\HG P\ È´UVW WHUP DW $FNZRUWK ZRUNLQJ ZLWK JUHDW VWDII DQG IULHQGO\ VWXGHQWV The school is a wonderful environment to teach in and to help support our students towards achieving great things in PE and Games.

EH +HDG %R\ EXW ZKR WKH RÉšFHUV VKRXOG EH DQG FRXOG SXW QDPHV IRUZDUG Q2. What are your main responsibilities in the role of Head Girl?

The old 6th form were asked as well apparently who they thought would be best.

A lot of it is organising people to help with certain events at certain times but I think that my main responsibilities are universal to the whole School

Q2. What are your main responsibilities as the role of Head Boy?

2ÉšFHU WHDP :H DOO DFW DV WKH EULGJH EHWZHHQ VWXGHQWV DQG VWDII DQG LI ZH hear about problems within the school then we can discuss them with Mr

My key responsibilities are organising guides for the school for families and

Maree or Mr Boucher and Miss Collingwood.

prospective students alongside Vicky.

Q3. How often do you meet with tutors and SMT?

Q3. How often do you meet with tutors and SMT?

At least twice a week - we have meetings on Monday mornings with the


Head of Sixth Form and on Friday mornings with the Head. If we need to

Boucher and Miss Collingwood, where we openly talk about any issues or

meet with them more than that, we just ask and arrange another meeting.

possible new ideas to implement into school life.

Q4. What do you enjoy most about being Head Girl?

Q4. What do you enjoy most about being Head Boy?

That people trust me enough to be able discuss their problems with me.

I really enjoy taking on the required responsibilities and although I haven’t made a massive impact yet, I am lucky enough to be in a position where the



William Elliott (YHU VLQFH P\ È´UVW GD\ DW $FNZRUWK 6FKRRO , KDYH IHOW YHU\ ZHOFRPHG E\ VWXGHQWV DQG VWDII DOLNH , have enjoyed teaching as part of the mathematics department - a great team to work with.


Polly Benn My start at Ackworth has been wonderful. I have been welcomed so warmly by all of the staff and students, especially those in Coram House. It is great to be a part of such a lovely, positive and inclusive school environment.

Boarding. I really enjoy it- it’s really convenient to just roll of bed in the morning and already be at school. Also, you get to become close friends with

Q5. What do you dislike most about being Head Boy?

some really fun and interesting people from different parts of the world. I have no problems. Q6. What are you hoping to do once you’ve left Ackworth School? Q6. What are you hoping to do once you’ve left Ackworth School? I’m hoping to study medicine at university and go on to train and practise as a doctor. I think that would keep me busy for a little while.

to take me to but I love it, and if you’re not doing what you enjoy, you’re not doing what’s best for you.


I can hardly believe a whole term as gone by! Everyone has been so helpful and welcoming that it KDV EHHQ YHU\ HDV\ WR È´W LQ 2XU SXSLOV DUH GHOLJKWIXO DQG , DP YHU\ PXFK HQMR\LQJ P\ QHZ UROH , am looking forward to getting to know all of the Ackworth community.

I hope to go off to university and study mathematics - a subject I have been passionate about since I can remember. I have no idea which job I’d like that


Helene Clugston

Abbey Mason I have settled in wonderfully at Ackworth School. From the moment I started I instantly felt welcomed by such a great team of people. I feel like I’ve been here for much longer than two weeks (in a good way!)



ISOBEL HARRISON YEAR 6 Meet Isobel, a new member of Year Six. We caught up with her to get her thoughts on life at Ackworth.


e start this quarter’s Ackworth Today with an interview with Isabelle Harrison, one of the new pupils at Coram House.

Have you joined any after school clubs or societies since you started? I’m joining the PQA Drama Academy and I also do netball club on a Wednesday.

Do you feel that you have settled in at Coram House? What is it that you like the most about being a part of the school?



Do you like the food that you can get at lunchtime at Ackworth School?

It’s really good, I’ve made lots of friends since I started here a couple of months ago. I have two best friends called Claudia and Grace.

Yes, the food here is much better than my other school!

What are your favourite subjects at school?

I went to Kirk Smeaton Church of England Primary.

English and Drama are my favourite subjects.

If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?

Do you have any relatives that have been to Ackworth School in the past? My older brother and sister came here. My brother is now a lead singer in a rock band and my sister is currently working in a shop.

Where did you go to before you started here?

I would want to go to either Rome or Africa. I’d like to go to Africa so that I can help children that are less fortunate than us, and I’d like to go to Rome to see the famous Trevi fountain.

What would you like to become when you’re older?

If you could be any animal in the world, what would you be and why?

I really want to become an actress or a wedding dress designer when I grow up.

I would be a wild horse so that I can run around and be free.






Jane Donnelly – Head of Girls’ PE Hockey is going from strength to strength and we are having many students SDUWLFLSDWLQJ HDFK ZHHN DW WKH WZR KRFNH\ FOXEV :H KDYH SOD\HG PDQ\ ȴ[WXUHV so far this term, including a 0-0 draw with Rishworth School, two wins and a ORVV DW 5HDG 6FKRRO ZLWK ERWK XQGHU DQG ZLQQLQJ FRQYLQFLQJO\ 7KH JLUOV

The inexorable march of

have been introduced to the 11 a side game and are starting to get to grips with the bigger pitch size. We have played Silcoates twice and each time we have

our budding sportsmen and

improved massively. We have also played Silcoates at 7 a side with the under $ DQG % WHDPV :H ZRQ ERWK JDPHV DQG :H UHFHQWO\ FRPSHWHG LQ WKH :DNHČ´HOG 'LVWULFW XQGHU KRFNH\ WRXUQDPHQW ZKHUH ZH FDPH WKLUG LQ

sportswomen continues with


more sporting excellence.


There have been two individual successes this season so far: Charlotte Glasby and Imogen Strawson have been selected for their age groups for South Yorkshire. Well done, girls, on such a fantastic achievement!

The hockey team meet Sam Quek

Will Cross - Y6

This summer I was so proud and happy to be selected for WKH <RUNVKLUH &ULFNHW X $ WHDP 2XU Č´UVW JDPH ZDV LQ Derbyshire, where I was presented with my county cap, DQG , ZDV OXFN\ HQRXJK WR VFRUH DQ XQEHDWHQ UXQV ZLWK WKH EDW WR KHOS WKH WHDP WR RXU Č´UVW ZLQ Further wins followed against Nottinghamshire, Warwickshire and Staffordshire but my highlight has to be the 2 wins against our biggest rivals Lancashire. I opened the bowling in both games (even though I bowl leg VSLQ DQG LQ WKH Č´UVW JDPH WRRN ZLFNHWV IRU UXQV DQG LQ WKH VHFRQG JDLQHG P\ EHVW Č´JXUHV IRU WKH VHDVRQ RI wickets for 2 runs. Both games were watched by Andrew “Freddieâ€? Flintoff whose son was playing for Lancs! :H Č´QLVKHG WKH VHDVRQ XQEHDWHQ IURP RXU JDPHV playing with a great set of lads who are so good at cricket and it has been a really enjoyable experience. I have also made some great friends from all over Yorkshire.

SQUA SH SAM Will Cross with Jack Leaning


&RUDPȇV \HDU IRRWEDOO WHDP KDV PDGH DQ H[FHOOHQW unbeaten start to the football season with a convincing ZLQ RYHU 6RXWK .LUNE\ $FDGHP\ WZR KDUG IRXJKW YLFWRULHV RYHU %RRWKDP DQG DQG D WKULOOLQJ draw with Grove Lea Primary.



I played the British Closed at the weekend and was very KDSS\ ZLWK KRZ , SOD\HG WKURXJKRXW WKH GD\V , ZDV very consistent and didn’t drop a game which was my aim from the start. I was happy to win the title again. I felt like the tournament went pretty comfortably, however I still had to play my best for the win.

,W ZDV P\ ȴUVW \HDU LQ WKH XQGHU DJH FDWHJRU\ RI WKH British Championships which unfortunately meant I had D WRXJK ȴUVW URXQG 7KHUHDIWHU , ZRQ P\ QH[W PDWFKHV I’m extremely proud of winning the plate and my performance throughout the whole tournament. I hope to take this form through to my next major events like the British Junior Open being held in Birmingham in January.


We had the Yorkshire presentation dinner in November where I was delighted to receive the Bowler of the Year award from Yorkshire 1st XI cricketer Jack Leaning.



On the 21st of November I and the rest of my club were rewarded for getting gold in Green Bowls in the Special 2O\PSLFV :H YLVLWHG WKH 0D\RU LQ :DNHČ´HOG 7RZQ +DOO My team partner John and I brought back one silver each that we won in triples and gold in doubles! I am very proud to be part of my club community and to have taken part in the Special Olympics.


Aden Ball - Year 5 Teacher







Ksenija, Anna, Rebecca



Sam Rab Raby by and d Ben Cawood

Gary Guo and Mik Mike e Hu

It was an amazing g experience to tak take e eat A ckworth Bak e part in the Great Ackworth Bake


Some of our intrepid sixth formers took part in the

Off. The challenge ge was to mak e a make VWDEOH WRZHU RI FRRNLHV FP WDOO

The trip p to Leeds University was mpressive and useful. It is a quite impressive ace and the trip helped me to good place LPSURYH P\ (QJOLVK DQG WR Č´QG RXW

Northern Schools’ Quaker Pilgrimage as part of an

There was a llong ong da y of hard day work and teetering ing biscuits ahead,

e in the UK. what a university is lik like y big and there are so man y It is very many

exercise to explore the roots of Quakerism.

but Miss Hodge dge was alwa ys always there to help hold them up.

utiful buildings, but inside old, beautiful the buildings build dings is a modern style. The eful thing was the students most useful ng the best wa y to go from A explaining way Level to University University..


ome of Ackworth’s sixth form students joined with similar aged students from The 0RXQW DQG %RRWKDP WR VHH country as part of the Northern Schools’ Quaker Pilgrimage. They climbed Pendle Hill and visited the new Clitheroe Meeting House, the Quaker Tapestry in Kendal and Swarthmore Hall. There was time IRU UHȾHFWLRQ DV ZHOO DV GLVFXVVLRQ as they followed the journey George Fox made, ending with Meeting for :RUVKLS RQ 6XQGD\ DW %ULJȾDWWV

‘The pilgrimage was certainly a very unique experience. We decided to take on the opportunity even though we didn’t know what exactly to expect, and we were surprised by how interesting a pilgrimage can be. It is said to be a journey of discovery, and we can say for sure that we discovered a lot about the story of Quakerism, which is essentially the background story of our school. This made us see the point of all the, traditions and practices related to the religion and feel as though they

have a purpose of cherishing such an intriguing and motivating movement that Quakerism is. Furthermore, it was an opportunity to integrate with students from other Quaker schools, share experiences and views on the Quaker ethos, which made the whole experience richer and more enjoyable.’

W e were inspired d by by an idea which We we then took to the next level to get the McDowells’ approval, with our HVHPEOLQJ D VQRZ\ ȴQDO FUHDWLRQ UH UHVHPEOLQJ We hope in the future clock tower. We Woolman will be e able to retain the Woolman Bake Off title. Inter-house Bake

e to study harder I would now lik like nt to go to university. university. They as I want m y wonderful places for man have many library y, a gym and students such as a library, ming pool. a swimming All the people were lovely and friendly I think I would be very happy if I could get in there. happy

This year’s year’s Peace Lecture was held eld in othergill Theatre on Thursda rsday the F Fothergill Thursday WK 2FWREHU 2FWREHU DW SP SP LQ WKH IRUP play ‘This Evil Thing’. The of a play play premiered last year att the play Edinburgh Fridge F estival and tells Festival the compelling and inspiring story of the men who in 1916 said ‘no’ no’ to war. It was written b y the pla ywright wright by playwright d he and actor Michael Mears, an and play himself. performed the play Michael takes takes the part of Bert Brocklesby, a World War I Brocklesby, World War conscientious objector from South Yo orkshire, who sent both his Yorkshire, Ackworth School. Bert’s B s Bert’ daughters to Ackworth granddaughter Jill Gibbon attended nded granddaughter e about ut the on the evening and spok spoke play after the performance. play

HIS EVIL THING Michael Mears



‘One exceptional man

ael Mears





oving and dynamic’ THE LIST




rational and disturbing’ FESTMAG



‘Gripping’ ‘A magnificent tour de force’ SCOTSGAY







BUCKINGHAM PALACE We hear about what happened after Head of Coram House, Sally Slater got a mystery invitation from the monarchy.


magine my surprise when, in the middle of the Summer Holidays an envelope arrived for me, with the postmark “Buckingham Palace�? The invitation read that I was invited, by the Duke of York, to attend an Education Forum in October. Apart from a security request the rest was a bit of a mystery. , DUULYHG DW WKH 3DODFH IRU P\ SP DSSRLQWPHQW IHHOLQJ quite nervous. I showed my ID at the front gates and walked across the gravel wondering if the tourists peering through the railings were wondering who I was. It was certainly a surreal moment. Once inside we were all shown to the Throne Room where we listened to speakers from all walks of life, talking about the merits of Outdoor Learning and their own personal experiences. Perhaps most moving was a talk by an 18 year old refugee who had been living in the UK for the last four years and described how the British Education system had helped her development both academically and socially. The interior of the Palace was sensational and the whole experience was one that I will never forget. As I left the palace I looked back and really did feel extremely lucky.

Head of Coram House

Sally Slater





Our International Centre Students took a trip south to RXU FDSLWDO FLW\ :H Č´QG RXW ZKDW WKH\ JRW XS WR ZKLOVW


they were there.

et’s Go! We got up at 6 a.m. We took the coach to the train station and went to Kings Cross station by train. Some people slept, and some people talked in the WUDLQ 7KH ȴUVW SODFH ZH ZHQW WR ZDV St. James’ Park. Many people had a picnic there. There were many cute squirrels and different kinds of birds. But I hate BIRDS! The second place we went to was The Royal Mews. There were many gorgeous carriages there. I want to be a QUEEN, too! And then, we went to Buckingham 3ODFH $OWKRXJK WKH ȾDJV ZHUH XS unfortunately I couldn’t see the Queen. But I could see the Changing of the Guards.

It was amazing! Finally, I went to a Korean restaurant with my friends and ate dinner and then returned to our hostel. We chatted until 12 RȇFORFN ,W ZDV D YHU\ LQWHUHVWLQJ ȴUVW day.

in my life. We had lunch here. Then we went to Parliament Square, The 6FLHQFH 0XVHXP 0 0 VKRS DQG Chinatown where we had dinner. I felt a little more tired than yesterday, but it was an exciting day.

Morning!! Though I was tired, I got up and went down to eat breakfast. After breakfast, we went to Tower Bridge. We walked on the bridge. There were lots of people, but it was fun. Next, we went on the River Cruise. We saw Big Ben and many wonderful buildings. And then we went to the London Eye. I’ve always seen it in pictures, but it’s really gorgeous! Also, it was the day when I saw the greatest roof

Finally, the last day! In the morning, ZH SDFNHG DOO RXU EDJV DQG ȴQLVKHG breakfast. We went to Oxford Street. But it was too expensive so I just walked around and stayed in MacDonald’s. Then we returned to school. It was a fantastic London trip for me






In July I travelled with 11 Sixth Form students to the Greater Accra region of Ghana to work at the Rising Star orphanage in Dodowa. The main purpose of our visit was to build a new toilet block for the orphanage to encourage improved hygiene practices and allow a cleaner, safer environment for the children. We quickly learnt how to mix mortar, make blocks and build, tasks which most of us had not attempted before, and which were very challenging in the humid weather. Nevertheless, due to the hard work of the students, we completed our build, UHVXOWLQJ LQ DGXOW VL]H DQG FKLOG VL]H WRLOHWV $ORQJVLGH this manual work we got involved with the children at the orphanage, especially those who were not in school for various reasons, and spent time with them teaching English and maths as well as playing games (and learning Ghanaian ones!)

Ros Noble - Trip Leader



Going to Ghana with Projects Abroad has to be one of the most rewarding things I’ve done and although building the toilet block was a lot more physically demanding than ,ȇG H[SHFWHG LW ZDV IXOȴOOLQJ WR VHH LW ȴQLVKHG LQ WKH HQG My favourite part of the trip was learning and playing the local games with the children at the orphanage. At the weekend, we went on a canopy walk through a rainforest and we got to see the amazing views there from a whole new perspective - it really was beautiful. We also went to visit Cape Coast Castle to learn a little about the history of empire and slavery in this region. I would recommend volunteering to anyone who asks about it.

Vicky Patel We stayed at a local home and ate local dishes for our meals which were very different to our own, and often very spicy. I really enjoyed our drumming and dancing

lesson with a local group; I have a passion for dancing so it was fun to see how different cultures dance. I also had P\ ELUWKGD\ LQ WKH ȴUVW ZHHN ZKLOH ZH ZHUH WKHUH DQG everybody made it really special for me. It is a memory I will treasure forever.

Brooke Elsworth

The trip to Ghana was one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever been involved with. Not only did I grow as a person and become more thoughtful, grateful and culturally aware, I helped several people have a better quality of life and a better foundation to reach their full potential. My favourite part of the trip was spending time with the people at the orphanage and getting to know them.

7KH ȴUVW WKLQJ , QRWLFHG RQ DUULYDO LQ *KDQD ZDV WKH happiness and friendliness of the people and how infectious it was. One of my favourite parts of the trip was on the second day when we took a football to the orphanage and we managed to start a massive football match where nearly everyone got involved. It was amazing to see such a simple sport that I love bringing us closer to the kids and I knew it would be a moment I’ll never forget.

The trip helped me develop team-work skills as we had to work really hard together. The sense of achievement DIWHU ZH ȴQLVKHG WKH SURMHFW DQG GHOLYHUHG WKH K\JLHQH presentation was well worth the effort and the memories from the trip will stay with me forever.

Sam Raby

William Day

Ellie Williamson




Grace Dibb


IWHU D ORQJ KDUG VFKRRO \HDU LW ZDV ȴQDOO\ the summer holiday. What better way to kick it off than jetting away to Tuscany with the choir for a week! $IWHU EUHDWKLQJ LQ 7XVFDQ DLU IRU WKH ȴUVW WLPH ZH DUULYHG in Pisa. We all took some ‘original’ photos holding up the Tower! After a good sleep in the hotel, we set off to Florence (or Firenze). We saw Ponte Vecchio, the Duomo and the Statue of David. For lunch we stopped at the amazing Mercato Centrale, which had all sorts of amazing food on offer! Obviously there was chance for a bit of shopping. 7KDW QLJKW ZDV RXU ȴUVW FRQFHUW LQ WKH %DVLOLFD 6DQWD Assunta in Montecatini Terme. We sang amazingly, and ended the night with an a capella performance for the remaining audience! The next day we made some amazing pizzas, and had a nice trip to the beach – thanks Mr. Lenihan for the lilos! In the evening, we took a funicular to Montecatini Alto. It was beautiful. 2XU ȴQDO IXOO GD\ WRRN XV WR 6LHQQD :H VDW LQ WKH VTXDUH and had some (well, lots of) AMAZING gelato! Then we drove to San Gimignano, a gorgeous mountain town. My friends and I shared a gigantic slice of pizza. That night was my favourite night so far. We sang in a music festival called the Mercantia Festival 2017. We had quite a big crowd gather round to watch us perform – including people hanging out of their windows to see our choir! There were lots of other acts to see, from a brass EDQG WR SHRSOH ȴUH EUHDWKLQJ Altogether it was amazing, and myself and the choir had the best time ever.





COR AM MAYFLY PROJ EC T Katie Staton - Year 6 Teacher


Following on from staff training in May with Dr. Paul

Sam Raby

Susan Swales - Maths Teacher

Ben Barker and I have developed an after school club ZLWK RXU 3UHS FKLOGUHQ EDVHG RQ WKH Ȇ0D\ȵ\ 3URMHFWȇ



of Kathy Su, Zoe Ma, Jamie Dobbie

braved the Senior Maths Challenge on

The Environment Agency provided Ackworth School with three sampling nets, some sampling containers and

and Sam Raby travelled to Outwood Academy in Doncaster to take part in

7th November, and over half of them ZHUH DZDUGHG FHUWLÈ´FDWHV HDFK RI

waders for staff. We have also secured a bid with the


bronze, silver and gold. The two top

PSA to extend our resources for the club over the coming

problems, competing against other

scorers, Kathy Su and Jamie Dobbie


schools – our regional heat of the Senior Team Maths Challenge. We were very excited as for the past few weeks we had been training together IRU WKLV PRPHQW DQG LW ZDV ȴQDOO\ here. The competition consisted of three rounds, each one testing our mathematical ability in new and GLIIHUHQW ZD\V 2YHUDOO ZH ȴQLVKHG second (narrowly missing out on a WULS WR /RQGRQ IRU WKH ȴQDO ,W ZDV an amazing experience I will never forget.


Gaskill and Alec Boyd (from the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust),

7KH 0D\ȵ\ 3URMHFW LQYROYHV FKLOGUHQ DFFHVVLQJ WKH 5LYHU :HQW WR FROOHFW 0D\ȵ\ ODUYDH WKHQ EDFN LQ WKH FODVVURRP WKH\ VWXG\ DQG REVHUYH WKH OLIH F\FOH RI WKH 0D\ȵ\ EHIRUH WKH\ DUH UHOHDVHG EDFN LQWR WKH ZLOG 7KH 0D\ȵ\ DUH NHSW in specially designed water containers with a pump that are constructed by the children. The children are also responsible for keeping the water cold by changing ice packs daily. The project aims to educate children, not only on the HFRORJ\ RI WKH ULYHU LGHQWLȴFDWLRQ RI SODQW DQG DQLPDO OLIH but also on the effects of chemicals used by local farmers. ,I WKHUH LV D ORZ 0D\ȵ\ SRSXODWLRQ WKHUH LV D OLNHOLKRRG RI a highly polluted river system. The results of the species found in our river samples are sent to Dr Gaskill for collation at the Environmental $JHQF\ 'U *DVNLOO YLVLWHG WKH FOXE RQ 0RQGD\ WK October to check our progress. Ben and I also intend to use the club as an outreach project (for other local schools along the River Went); show them how to set up the water containers and how to survey the

BUS IN ESS LU NCH Drew Wallace Ross - U6 Business Business Lunch takes place in school on the last Friday of each month. The club is somewhere for students to discuss current business and economics topics with peers. We discuss what’s happening in the business world right now! Whether it’s discussing what we’ve seen in the news, discussing video clips or undertaking the latest tutor2u quiz challenge, we discuss a whole range of business



The Mayfly Project

Kathy Su, Zoe Ma, Sam Raby and Jamie Dobbie topics. In the club we talk about what is happening now and how it affects us. Even students that don’t study business come along, as even if you don’t take Business as a subject it’s still important to be aware of the business world and how it affects everyone.



Studies show that time spent with the elderly greatly EHQHȴWV ERWK \RXQJ FKLOGUHQ DQG ROG SHRSOH DOLNH 2XU ȴUVW YLVLW RQ 1RYHPEHU WK ZHQW YHU\ ZHOO LQGHHG 7KH FKLOGUHQ KDG IXQ PDNLQJ FKRFRODWH FRUQȵDNH EXQV DQG sharing stories with the residents. We plan to make regular visits in the future and encourage our children to communicate with their new friends via letters and cards.

Vicky Patel

Nursery children involved in the project

Levi Star and Lumos were the two worthy charities that we chose to dedicate this year’s charity week to. The Sixth Form had packed the week with as many activities as we could

- amongst the these were the and, of course, Entertainment.

most memorable of bake sale, the stocks Sixth Form and Staff The entire week took

an immense amount of hard work, collaboration and organisation, with not only our peers but, with the teachers and catering staff as well. Thankfully, the week turned out a success and we managed to raise over £2,800 for charity.




HE PWORTH G ALLE RY Louisa Young & Rebecca Puels


‘’It’s the Museum everyone would dream of having on

Lucy Roche

their doorstep’’ - Stephen Deuchar, Art Fund Director. On Friday the sixth we went on a trip Last term all of the Sixth Form art students visited the

At Mappleton coastline it didn’t smell WRR ȴQH


To look at the Yorkshire shore. With cliffs of unconsolidated rock.

course. Together with one of the artists at the Gallery we began looking at some amazing artist sketchbooks to

We went on a bus, the teachers and

gain inspiration and to develop our own ideas. Much of this work expressed the artists’ own thoughts, feelings and ideas. We also explored the artwork created by Henry Moore, Barbara Hepworth and Howard Hodgkin. We sketched, discussed and even sculpted out of paper responses to the work around us.


It would not have been bliss if it had fallen on Miss

About twenty, maybe some more. And would have been a great shock.

We went to three beaches and talked to the teachers,

Visiting the gallery was a great experience and enabled us to learn about and understand a lot more about the role of an artist.

In Hornsea that day we saw boulder clay

We visited Flamborough Head. And defences against the sea. The wave-cut platform we saw, and lots, lots more

COM M U NIT Y SU PPORT On Sunday 22nd October 2017 the Ackworth Community Ramble took place to raise money for Children in Need. The ramble was organised by John Cousins and ZDV DWWHQGHG E\ PRUH WKDQ PHPEHUV RI WKH ORFDO FRPPXQLW\ 7KH Č´YH PLOH UDPEOH VWDUWHG DQG HQGHG at Ackworth School, with well-earned complimentary refreshments on return. The ramble was a wonderful opportunity to get to know others in the village and raised RYHU e IRU &KLOGUHQ LQ 1HHG Č‚ ZHOO GRQH WR -RKQ DQG DOO those who attended and donated.

The Hepworth, Wakefield

The groynes split the beach and eventually we reached

And a lighthouse we spotted ahead. The bus to get home for tea. coach and my team manager Ian Hawkins. We are all UHDG\ IRU P\ Č´UVW UDFH LQ 9DOHQFLD LQ )HEUXDU\ , DP DOVR testing at Silverstone race track at Izone where all of the best racing drivers train. We train in the gym, on a neuro tracker then in a simulator. This is for my vision strength and reactions.

7KH ȴHOG WULS ZDV IXQ ZH HYHQ KDG sun I liked being on the beaches the most. I’ve learned to respect, keep clean and protect The wonderful Yorkshire coast.

FORM U L A 1 K ARTING Zac Meakin , Č´UVW VWDUWHG P\ UDFLQJ FDUHHU LQ LW ZDV LQ D +RQGD cadet. I won the novice of the year award. My main aim for 2016-2017 was to gain experience racing at national level but I always knew in the long term I wanted to race in the European championship. In 2018 I will be racing a much larger and more powerful kart. We are doing a lot of testing with my mechanic Josh Parker and driver



Zac Meakin - speed demon.




Old Scholar News


OLD SCHOLAR NEWS PREFACE President - Belinda Walters

each of the three Guilds – a visit to the New Forest Wildlife Park for the Wessex and South West Guild, for a lunch at an Old Scholar’s house for the Manchester Guild, and a trip to Nunnington Hall and a weekend at Worfolk Cottage, near Whitby, with the East Coast Guild. There is also each year a weekend at Glenthorne Guest House, in Grasmere where a group of Old Scholars from across the years get together. I hadn’t been to Glenthorne since I worked there for a few months after leaving school (in 1982) so it was a lovely opportunity to go back and see all the changes, as well as enjoy the company and some walking. The big change that has taken place recently has been the School taking over the main administration of the Ackworth Old Scholars. The connection that many feel with the School after their time as pupils is shown by the number of people who have connected with the AOSA over the years – whether in the old fashioned way of coming back to Ackworth, coming to an event, or by keeping in touch via social media or the AOSA annual report. Whichever way people keep in contact with the School, the growing numbers connected with the Ackworth Old Scholars can only be good both for the School and the Ackworth Old Scholars and I do think that this change is very welcome.


l w w w. a c k wo r t h s c h o o l . co m

SAM PLE R School has just received the gift of a sampler made by $OLFH %ODNH\ LQ IURP 0U 3HWHU 9RQ .RUII DQG 0V Gresham of New York State. $OLFH ZDV D SXSLO KHUH DORQJ ZLWK Č´YH RI KHU VLEOLQJV in the 1820s. They came from Wensleydale. How the sampler got to America is a bit of a mystery, but it has now ‘come home’ and will be added to our world famous collection. $OLFH ZDV ERUQ RQ WK 0D\ WKH GDXJKWHU RI -RVKXD and Alice Blakey of Thornton Rust, which is a village in Wensleydale, Yorkshire. She arrived at Ackworth on WK -XO\ DW WKH DJH RI DQG OHIW RQ WK -XO\ 6KH KDG Č´YH VLEOLQJV ZKR DOVR FDPH WR $FNZRUWK School - Mary, Ann, Margaret, Henry and Elizabeth. There were also several other Blakeys from the same area who I suppose could have been her cousins. So, the Blakeys were a big presence at Ackworth.


I have the pleasure of being the current President of the Ackworth Old Scholars Association. The year as President starts at the Easter Gathering, when on the Monday evening I was presented with the badge RI RɚFH E\ ODVW \HDUȇV 3UHVLGHQW 1LFN 6HHG 7KH (DVWHU *DWKHULQJ LV DOZD\V D EXV\ ZHHNHQG ZLWK D whole host of different activities to try, lots of people to talk to, and a large amount of food to navigate past! I was very pleased to be able to come to July’s Open Day where, amongst other things, I was able to present the Old Scholar’s Cup to Jenny Morton. So far this year, I have also been to events organised by

Pictured: Sandra lending support to us at a recent School Fair in Prague

After leaving Ackworth I enrolled at Charles University in Prague. I am pursuing a degree in mathemtics at the faculty of mathematics and physics. If this is to be a success story, it might be worth mentioning. WKDW DIWHU WKH ȴUVW \HDU WKLV FRXUVH KDG D SDVV UDWH RI DERXW Fortunately, I made it and I am currently in my third year. I’m also starting to work on my bachelors thesis. I have devoted my summers to studying Spanish and seeking internships to gain experience in my ȴHOG , KDYH PDQDJHG WR VHFXUH RQH at Deloitte, where I started working this July. I am part of their advanced analytics team, which analyses data in order to predict future behaviour of customers and markets. I use my free time to better myself at ballroom dancing or climbing.



Old Scholar News

We sat down and had a chat with Old Scholar and famous Indian Author Sanil Sachar about life, his career and his books. Below is an excerpt of the conversation.


When were you at Ackworth School?

What inspired you to write a book?

I joined Ackworth in 2009 and was there


till 2011, for my A levels I was in Fothergill

work in my study at Ackworth. Of course,

house and a boarder in room 11, BSH. After

I wasn’t supposed to be doodling and


writing words but this is the one time I am

like only a few days, I am still greedy to

glad I didn’t concentrate on the assignment

spend much more time in an institution

I had to submit.

Kate Dawson

that shaped my thinking on how to pursue my goals.

7KH ȴUVW WLPH , ZURWH , GLGQȇW NQRZ LW ZRXOG lead to a book. Even now, when I write, I

Were there any key experiences or

don’t plan to make it a book because that


immediately adds the business element to






the art of literature. I constantly try and segregate the two and avoid them from

It’s not as much of an experience as it is


a way of life, and that’s the unity amongst each and every person associated with

I don’t question why I write because there

our school. Of course there are loads of

doesn’t seem to be a suitable answer to this

key experiences, several I wouldn’t (and

so I am just going to continue going – one

couldn’t) reveal, just yet! But the faculty

word at a time.

was always encouraging. From taking a knack towards poetry through Mr. Boucher

What is the book about?

and his contextual approach towards each student, to realizing my interest in


business, through Mrs. Mitchell and Mrs.

inspired by a true story. It is the tale of a

Tod’s lessons. Each of them have been

schizophrenic who is born into the circus

extremely pivotal for my development as

life and is trapped there for the entirety

an author and entrepreneur.

of his life, until the end of his teenage years. ‘Rebound’ narrates the life of the

One key experience that stays with me is

protagonist, Abhimanyu and his battles to

the last silent meeting we had as upper

live a life on his own means while battling

sixth students leaving Ackworth. Everyone

the demons within and outside.

was as transparent as they could be and this was the one and only silent meeting,

It’s a story inspired by love, loss and

where we actually got to break the silence!

longing, and is currently available in all stores around India, and on Amazon (on

Non sibi sed omnibus - truly is this the

order and Kindle) for those around the

Ackworth way of leading and creating









Old Scholar News

ell, the last report I got at

the night after my arrival, I was woken by a

of New York’ with Kirsty MacColl, which, as



girl who thought I was someone else. We got

you’ll know, is the perennial Christmas classic,

‘cavalier’. I didn’t do well in my A levels.

talking, as you do. She invited me to travel with

struggling to get to No.1 in the charts since it

‘Cavalier’ might have had some academic

her to West Berlin with her friend the following

came out, but never managing it.

heft to it, but the truth was that I was on a

day. I had nowhere else to go, so I accompanied

romantic mission in my last couple of years at

the girl and her friend.




After we sacked Shane, I stayed on the group for a couple of years. I married Danielle von

Ackworth and devoted most of my time to it, and its chief mode of expression, which was

I spent three months in Berlin. I accompanied

Zerneck, who was Donna from ‘La Bamba’, in

music - piano-playing mostly (though I’d given

a French African on guitar at a club. He


up lessons years before) and guitar. The year

advised me to quit accompanying artists on


following graduation from Ackworth, I had to

guitar and go and get myself in a band. The

to Los Angeles to be a dad.

spend back in my home town near Manchester

hippy community I was living in disassembled

to retake my A Levels. It wasn’t an easy year,

just before Christmas 1977 and I went back


socially, romantically - and academically too,

to England. I worked on a Fearnley and Sons

called The Low and Sweet Orchestra, with actor

but I managed to scrape through German and

(Salford) Ltd. building site for a few months,

Dermot Mulroney, his screenwriter brother,

French and English and a thing called ‘General

earning money for an electric guitar. I bought

Kieran, along with LA punk guitarist Zander


a Telecaster in Manchester and took it down

Schloss (Circle Jerks, Thelonious Monster, etc.).

UCCA to the point that I got an offer of a place at

to London, to start auditioning for bands, from

We made a record for Interscope Records and

Liverpool Polytechnic and Ealing Polytechnic.

Harrow to Lewisham, Kingston-upon-Thames

then split up. My second daughter was born

My desire to escape, individuate, whatever, was

to Leytonstone and points in between. I was in a

in 1996. I wrote and recorded the music for an


band called the Mixers, in Teddington, for a bit,


be counted as ‘London’.

but the band broke up. I ended up auditioning

by my brother-in-law, Francis von Zerneck).

for a ‘name band’ in Islington, which turned I started a course at Ealing Tech (the same

out to feature Shane O’Hooligan, as Shane

In 2001 the Pogues reformed. We never

college attended, though a few years before

MacGowan was then known, as the lead singer.

recorded anything again, but travelled the

me, by Pete Townshend and Freddie Mercury)

I was in the Nipple Erectors for maybe six

world (bar a couple of continents) and sold out



months, living in short-life community housing

Brixton Academy every Christmas. The last gig

included Economics and History - not ever my

with Shane and Jem Finer, who became the


strongest subjects. I chose it as some sop to

Pogues’ banjo player.




During that time, I wrote a memoir of my

my dad, Walter Fearnley, who was a captain of industry, I suppose, and also the President




of the Old Scholar’s Association in the year


It’s called ‘Here Comes Everybody’. It was

of the school’s bicentenary. After six weeks I

anything. I moved house, up to Mornington

published by Faber and Faber in the UK in

transferred to a Humanities degree course,

Crescent, where Jem Finer visited me one

2012 and by Chicago Review Press in the US

graduating in 1977 with a B.A. (Hons) majoring

afternoon, bringing with him an accordion



in English. I didn’t pursue music much while

which Shane was sure I’d be able to learn, for

Dermot and Kieran Mulroney, forming a band

at Ealing Tech, though there was a Twentieth

a band he was starting. By October 1982, Pogue

called Cranky George. Our debut album, called

Century Music module on the curriculum


‘Fat Lot of Good’, came out at the end of 2016.

which ticked a few boxes with me.


Now, I’m working on a couple of projects for

After the summer holidays of 1977, I went to

I suppose the rest is history - in the course of

career, recording and performing with ex

work for the London Chamber of Commerce


members of a couple of the bands which the



to let Shane go in 1991, we made a number of

Pogues spawned - Flogging Molly and Dropkick

probationary period was coming to an end and



I would be required to give a month’s notice

another by Elvis Costello (with whom we went

to quit rather than a week’s, I gave my week’s


I’ve kept up with a handful of people from

notice in October, and, fed up with England,

(U2, Rolling Stones, etc.) and, the last one I


as I told myself, I hitched to Marburg, West

played on, by Joe Strummer of the Clash. We

at the Hollywood YMCA regularly. On occasions

Germany, to meet up with a squatmate of mine

played Madison Square Garden once, Croke


who had attended Ealing Tech as a foreign

Park in Dublin and Wembley Stadium. We

was a scholar at Ackworth a couple of years

student. Owing to a misunderstanding, by the

were I suppose a composite character in one of

below me. Odd, that.

time I arrived at a hippy farmhouse outside


Marburg, my friend had gone to Spain. During

out in 1986. In 1987 we recorded ‘Fairytale

television and the establishment of a solo

“We played Madison Square Garden once, Croke Park in Dublin, Wembley Stadium. We were I suppose a composite character in one RI $OH[ &R[ȇV Č´OPV Ȇ6WUDLJKW WR +HOOȇ ZKLFK FDPH RXW LQ Č‹











Celia Wolfe - Hon Archivist

VERONICA BIRD Rounding off the Old Scholars’ News section is a few words from Veronica Bird and how her start WI LLIAM I N E SON



William Brook Ineson who was at school


John Barclay Clibborn is buried in grave


September 2017.

A6 at Maple Leaf cemetery, Flanders.

in life at Ackworth set her up for an entirely out of


the ordinary career path.

the Royal Field Artillery, and was killed

DUULYHG DW $FNZRUWK 6FKRRO LQ 6HSWHPEHU ZKHUH , VWRRG ORRNLQJ XS DW WKH PDJQLȴFHQW IDFDGHV DV if in paradise. Within an hour’s travel I had come from the extreme poverty of Doncaster Road, Barnsley to a veritable land of milk and honey. I was underweight, fearful and lonely. By Christmas I was beginning to put on weight, I had made friends and was enjoying, and excelling in, every sport thrown at me. I loved every minute of my time at Ackworth but was pulled away before I was due to complete my GCE exams. Afraid again and seeking help, I realised I would only be safe if I was inside a prison, so I applied to and was accepted into the Prison Service at a time when very few women wanted such a job. This was in August 1968. Ackworth had taught me to work hard if I wanted to achieve in life. Application to my job proved this so, and I received rapid promotion as I worked daily with headline criminals such as Myra Hindley, Mary Bell and the Price Sisters. Eventually, I became a governor in Armley Prison, face to face with some of the hardest inmates in the country. &ORVH WR UHWLUHPHQW WKLUW\ ȴYH \HDUV later I won the prestigious Butler 7UXVW $ZDUG Ȃ WKH ȴUVW 3ULVRQ governor ever to do so) presented to me by Princess Anne. A year later I was honoured by the Queen. I ended my career by being asked to join a team to go to Russia to help advise on the many issues arising in their prisons. This alone, was a fascinating time in my life. Now, my book – ‘Veronica’s Bird’ – is to be published in January 2018 with a book launch inside Pentonville Prison.

John was a pupil at Ackworth Quaker


Peter passed away peacefully aged 78 after

School in Yorkshire from 1898 to 1900. As

Passchendaele. He is buried in Ypres.

a long illness. He was born at Stratford-

archivist, I am trying to visit and record as


many of the Old Scholars’ graves as I can.



William came from Batley.

moved to Bletchley Park and occupied

The cemeteries never fail to impress me

His brother, James Walker Ineson who was

a house once lived in by Alan Turing -




the Durham Light Infantry. He was killed


on 19th May, 1917 and is buried near to

enjoyed a carefree childhood at Bletchley

Arras. Both boys’ names are on the school

Park where he developed an interest in

Shirley Cliffe (née Cartwright) was born in

war memorial.

aero-modelling, something he enjoyed at


Ackworth and throughout the rest of his

in the town all her life. She was educated


at Wentworth School before her time at








Ackworth, where she made friends who

centenary of the start of the battle of Passchendaele, I noticed that the


she kept in touch with throughout her life,

inscription on the base of his headstone is

joined G.C.H.Q. and after training travelled

enjoyed studying languages in particular

the school motto - he certainly lived up to


and also represented the school at tennis.


KH OHIW WR MRLQ D FRPPHUFLDO È´UP SURGXFLQJ satellites, pooling his previous experience.

After Ackworth she studied the piano at

We know of one other old scholar who has

He was rightly proud that some of the

the Royal Northern College of Music in

the school motto on his headstone and that




had been produced by him. 6KH PDUULHG 7RP &OLIIH LQ DQG LQ

killed on 21st October, 1916 on the Somme, and is buried at Heilly Station. He was a

After retiring Peter and his wife Carol

private in the Royal Fusiliers and was just

moved to North Cumbria and enjoyed a

19 years old.

busy and happy life there. This included

In the last few years of her life she

going to Carlisle Meeting House. Carol died

developed Alzheimer’s Disease, but never

in 1998. They had two children: Sophie

lost her happy and friendly nature, or her

and Matthew and two granddaughters.

independence. She died suddenly but very


peacefully on 10th July 2017. She is greatly

will be very much missed by family and

missed both by her family and her many



OSCAR WALLI S Oscar Wallis Order of Service, 26th August 2017


‘Veronica’s Bird’ © 2018 Published by Clink Street Publications





Spring Term

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 38




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. 40


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 46




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 48


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. 56


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

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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 62 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 Birmingham64 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 66 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


ollowing 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. 68 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 70 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




Room Hire

Please contact our events department to discuss your requirements on 01977 611401 or

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

Staff News

‘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.

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 semiautomatic 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’.

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

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

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.

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 Boys’ Housemaster.

Fourth form boys analysing interpretations in History

Alan Rothwell


Anna Brummeler, Year 13

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Summer Term



Sports Day Pontefract Castle

On 23rd May our annual Sports Afternoon gave the children the opportunity to proudly show off their athleticism in front of their families. All the children competed in the running, obstacle, bat and bean bag and bunny hop races. Badges and certificates were awarded to each competitor for participation and sportsmanship. The post race ice cream was also very well received!

On Tuesday 8th May we enjoyed a visit to Pontefract Castle. The children explored the grounds and were really interested to learn about how the residents of the castle lived all those years ago. Our exciting visit ended with a picnic in the sunshine. On our return to Nursery, the children were eager to reinforce their learning by painting, drawing and building models of how the castle looked when it was first built.

Hepworth Visit

On Sunday 20th May we visited the Hepworth Gallery in Wakefield to see the Anthony McCall exhibition. The artist had used a projector to draw shapes onto a wall in a dark room. The light rays caught particles in the air which looked like smoke enveloping you while you stood in the light. Every so often the shape from the projector would move and change, allowing a different feel to the space around us, letting our imaginations change along with the light rays and shapes. After exploring McCall’s work and learning how he had created the projections, we went down to the café for a lovely coffee to end a nice day. For Viktoria and myself, it was an amazing way to spend our last trip in U6th before we go on study leave. A massive thank you to Miss Devine and Dr Aziz. Jessica Tither and Viktoria Davydenko, U6th (Year 13) International Centre students creating fantastic scraperboard responses for their Portraiture project


Watercolour from Oz

Towards the end of April the school was sent a watercolour of Ackworth School in the 18th century. The picture arrived from Perth, in Western Australia, from a man called Peter Hammond. The picture had been rescued from a waste recycling plant in Perth, simply because Peter Hammond was interested in the frame. The watercolour is a copy of a black and white print which we have in school. Having researched both the picture and the school, Peter Hammond kindly sent the watercolour which has now been framed and will go in the Head's office. The Head also has the original black and white drawing, both of which can be seen below.


Our older children have been experiencing life in big school by attending Kindergarten each Friday. Their day begins with a swimming lesson with Miss Hoar followed by a fun but carefully structured day. This valuable learning experience will continue until the end of term to prepare the children for Reception Class in September.





Coram House



oram children have been busy over the past few weeks. As well as sessions in school on ‘what makes a good leader?’ they have also been completing their own individual ‘challenge grids’ at home. Tasks such as random acts of kindness, helping out a neighbour, taking old newspapers to the RSPCA, washing a neighbour’s car and donating to a charity shop are just some of the environmental and community challenges they have been involved in. At school pupils have researched inspiration leaders and presented them in assemblies each week. In addition, they have carried out class challenges to make as many paper bags as possible under strict criteria (to appreciate how many paper bags children in India have to make to earn rupees). We have been out into the community to talk to the public about any issues they find with Ackworth. The children created questionnaires and had great feedback from everyone they met. We are on the final stretch now...the children have decided on a community project, and using Francis Hickenbottom’s recent video footage of otters in the



Moderation for Early Years

This term, Wakefield Council chose Ackworth School to moderate their Early Years setting. A moderator from the council came into Coram House and looked at the teaching and assessment of Reception children and gave a percentage mark on its effectiveness and accuracy of its students’ learning. The moderator was very impressed with the setting and awarded us a mark of 100% saying “all judgements were accurate and in line with the exemplification” and that “the work on transition is a particular strength of the setting”.

Ullswater Trip A lovely morning at Ullswater

River Went (one of which is snagged in rubbish) we are focussing on a ‘river-pick’ in and along the River Went in Ackworth. The children will be writing to WMDC to secure litter-pickers, gloves and bags, as well as our local MP about the issue of rubbish in the river and surrounding area. We are hoping also to invite families and the public in to help with the litter pick along the River Went and in the river too. There are very exciting times ahead! All the children have been thoroughly involved in the whole decision and planning process and are really becoming the ‘change you want to see’ in their local community. What a fantastic experience it has been for them.

Katie Staton, Head of Teaching and Learning and Year 6 Teacher

Climbing with a view Silent reflection time before hot chocolate and bed in Ullswater

Coram House


First Form Geography

“I really enjoyed how everyone worked really hard and had great enthusiasm on the Mount St Helens drama work.” Theo Culff (1H)

The First Form (Year 7) have been studying tectonic hazards this term. They started with plate boundaries and 1H made some fantastic models of destructive boundaries. 1W also worked on individual projects at home on any aspect of plate tectonics – with some great results, including posters, models and even delicious cake!

We have also done a case study of the Mount St Helens eruption – and pupils have worked in groups to create and present television news programmes as if from the day of the event. Ros Noble, Head of Geography “One of the many reasons I really enjoyed doing the Mt St Helens skit was that I got to combine two of my favourite lessons in school, geography and drama. We also got to share our group’s knowledge with the rest of the class and entertain them with our Oscar-worthy performance!” Luke Peaker (1H)

“I was really interested in my project and enjoyed thinking about how I was going to make it. It came out better than I thought!” James Bower (1W)

“I really enjoyed the whole team building challenge because we worked together, helped each other and learnt a lot about how we all work in different ways.” Annabel Harper (1W)

“I challenged 1W to create a piece of work based on the structure of the earth or plate boundaries. The results were all brilliant and beyond my expectations, especially the cake which showed the four layers of the interior of the Earth in full colour!” Elena Clark, Geography Teacher 80


HSK Chinese


Royal Wedding Party New Officers

To learn Chinese in England is not an easy thing, because there is not a Chinese atmosphere. Every day when I get home, I practise Chinese for 20 - 30 minutes. I have passed level 1 and 2 in my HSK test. My next goal is to pass level 3 next year. I wish I could study and work in both countries when I grow up, also to understand different cultures. James Linch, Year 6

Bake Off

The Bake Off was a fabulous experience. We started off being nervous when we looked around at the seven other teams. However, when we took our biscuits out of the oven they were amazing and the decorating went exactly to plan. The technical scone challenge went well and we were finished in no time. We had time to watch some of the Royal Wedding too which was good fun. The judging was so nerveracking waiting to find out how we had all done. When Woolman was called out and we were given first place we were overjoyed. Ella Hinchcliffe and Bani Bhinder, 1st Form (Year 7)




We have appointed new School Officers for the coming academic year: Jason Lok is Head Boy and Ellie White is Head Girl. Jason and Ellie are supported by Marlo de Abreu, Harry Anderson, Emma Forrester, Hannah Wilson, Neda Radonjic and Okemdinulochineke (Okemdi) Ahaneku.

On Friday 18th May, Shed Court celebrated the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle by having a small party. We had buns, sandwiches and I made a Victoria sponge cake. We also made some masks imitating the royal family; we put up a banner, hung bunting, and wore flower fascinators and a hat to make it look like we were guests. Hannah Britton (ARU)

Shed Court Relief

For Sport Relief we took part in the one billion steps challenge. This was a challenge set by Sport Relief for the country to complete one billion steps per day. The staff and pupils at Shed Court did extra walking in PE, break time, lunchtime, and any spare time we had. The pupils, including Stevie, Evie, Jack, Claude, Hannah, Jamie and myself, used pedometers to measure how many steps we did. Also Hannah and Evie sold some cakes that Hannah and Miss Finn had made.

We hit our target of 500,000 steps in a week and we managed to raise over £100!


The money will go to various projects around the UK and the world including helping more than 50,000 people, in the UK, living with a mental health problem.

Ross Bolland (ARU)

On 23 April, Shed Court incubated seven chicken eggs for 21 days. Only three chicks hatched, but we were okay with that. One of the chicks was born with a deformed leg, but we took extra care of it with the help of Mr Roots. The chick is now in a sanctuary where it is being cared for. The other two chicks were fit and well trying to fly, so we let them free in Methley Farm, where they will be safe and happy.



French: Les Fourberies de Scapin Theatre Visit


rom 17th century to the Roaring Twenties, this Gatsby-style adaptation of Les Fourberies de Scapin gave a new lease of life to the French classic. The updated story took place down by the docks of New Orleans in the height of the Jazz Age, and there was twice the slapstick, twice the laughs, and a production positively oozing with glamour and style!

The story begins with two sets of lovers, whose relationships are forbidden under social convention, and whose parents intend to marry them off to other people, in order to form strategic alliances. Enter Scapin: a loveable rogue and conartist who agrees to help the couples (with some selfish motives, of course), scamming their miserly parents out of their large fortunes, leaving chaos and hilarity in his wake. There are love-triangles, misunderstandings, and as much slapstick as you can shake a stick at.

“It was a great experience going to watch a play in French. We arrived at Leeds University not knowing what to expect, whether we would understand it, or how difficult it would be. As soon as the play started we knew it would be a challenge to keep up, but we realised that if you concentrated really hard and picked out words you knew you could understand the gist of the story. After the lighting exploded half way through, there was an early interval, where we found ourselves buying cake and sweets in the students’ supermarket. The second half was much easier to understand for me, probably because we had got a feel of it in the first half. All in all, it was really useful to go and watch, to see how much French we know and how much we need to improve as some of the time everyone in the audience was laughing and we were sitting there confused or pretending to laugh! I hope there is another trip to go on.”

Ben Cawood, 4th Form (Year 10)

House Readings


ouse Readings are an important part of the Sixth Form experience at Ackworth. Although public speaking can be quite a daunting task which exposes fears and insecurities, it can also be an empowering one. When the sixth formers have done a ‘good’ House Reading and connected with their audience it can really boost their confidence, raise their profile and give them a great sense of achievement.

The process of writing a House Reading enables the sixth formers to strengthen their critical thinking skills. Working in pairs to research, draft and redraft a reading which others will find interesting makes the students think carefully about the way they communicate. This is particularly important as our sixth form is wonderfully diverse and English is not everyone’s first language. House Readings this year have been particularly strong and I think this demonstrates the value that the sixth formers place on them. Alex Collingwood, Assistant Head of Sixth Form

Gurney House Reading – Tom Wilks, L6th (Year 12)

“If you cannot teach me to fly, teach me to sing”, said Peter Pan. This quote sums up perfectly the pleasure and importance of singing for me. Henry Wordsworth Longfellow said, “Music is the universal language of mankind” and whilst languages have never been my strong point (in fact I’m rubbish at them), music has opened doors for me and allowed me to travel to different countries and experience some wonderful sights.

at the Menin Gate, at the Ypres Memorial, is a memory that will stay with me forever. Not only was it an amazing experience but it also had a very personal aspect to it.

My great, great uncle was killed at the battle of Passchendaele in 1917 and having passed through the Menin Gate on the way to battle, he was buried at a War Graves Cemetery just down the road. No member of the family had ever visited his grave but this gave us the opportunity to pay our respects and lay poppies at his grave. It was a moving family experience that only became possible through my singing.

Choral singing is a team game and I learnt from a young age that a lack of practice impacts on everyone else. Four evenings a week and two services on Sunday soon makes you appreciate that practice really does make perfect, and the feeling of satisfaction when everyone is consistent and supporting each other is amazing. Whilst singing is my main hobby and I want to make a career out of it, I appreciate that not everyone has this same passion. Some strange people, for example, love maths or football. However, I would urge anyone who has never taken music seriously to simply give it a try. Our music teachers are supportive and encouraging and the personal satisfaction that you will achieve by being a member of a choir is very rewarding. I am not asking you to practise every night or give up your Sundays that you spend on the football pitch, but just take part. Join the choir or wipe away the dust from that musical instrument that you haven’t taken out of its case since Junior School. Who knows, you may get the bug and open up a new chapter in your life.”

My singing journey began at seven years of age, when I received an invitation from Jonathan Bielby, the Director of Music at Wakefield Cathedral, inviting me for a voice test to become a chorister. ‘Sing Hosanna’ has never been so important to anyone and the benefits of singing that one hymn have shaped my life ever since.

German: ‘Elfchen’

Pupils in the Second and Third Years studying German wrote ‘Elfchen’ poems this term after reading the poem ‘Gefunden’ by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. ‘Elfchen’, as the name suggests, are poems containing eleven words, and pupils chose topics as diverse as ‘Tears’, ‘Leaves’, ‘Pets’ and even ‘Pizza’ as the subject of their writing. Hopefully, writing their ‘Elfchen’ and reading Goethe’s beautiful poem will help to dispel the myth that German is a mechanical and harsh-sounding language. Andrew Hilton, Head of German



For many people, their school days are spent on the football pitch or at some other sporting activity but mine have been spent in a succession of draughty cathedrals. My parents often tell me that they will be forever grateful that I was a singer and not a sportsman. They much prefer to be sitting on an uncomfortable wooden pew in a Cathedral, than standing in the freezing cold rain at the side of a football pitch in the middle of winter.

Apart from St Paul’s Cathedral and York Minster, I also have been fortunate enough to sing live on Radio 4 Choral Evensong and done two recordings of Songs of Praise. It is unbelievable how many recordings are made before the producer is happy with the version to be broadcast on television. If you have ever marvelled at how well the congregation sing during Songs of Praise, it is because they fill the Church with choirs from around the area and only admit a small number of the normal congregation. My singing has taken me to Belgium, Holland, New York, Italy and the Isle of Man. Singing at the Closing Ceremony



Conisbrough Castle


I had been investigating ‘Were the German people active and enthusiastic participants in the Holocaust?’ for my History coursework. As part of this I had the chance to participate in the Holocaust Education Trust’s ‘Lesson from Auschwitz project’. This included meeting a holocaust survivor Eva Clarke who was born on the steps of Mauthausen death camp (there was a BBC documentary made about her). Her story was heart-wrenching and

highly emotive. Being in the same room as someone who had lost her father and many of her family at the hands of the Nazi regime had a lasting effect on me. I also visited the death camp in Poland ‘Auschwitz and Birkenau’. The most powerful images that I will take away were the victims’ shoes on display in one of the exhibitions. The quantity and the human context of this had a profound effect on my understanding of the period. Francesca Whiting, U6th (Year 13)

We think they’ve had a good time!

Tenner Challenge Engaged by enjoying - making a judgement about home or defence.

The Tenner Challenge is run by Young Enterprise. It provides a highly interactive way for students to develop their key employability skills as they make as much profit as possible from £10.

“The Tenner Challenge encouraged us to work together as a team, starting with coming up with our own idea for a business and organising how we were going to run it. We each had different roles: marketing the business, doing the accounts and the logistics of purchasing the products to sell. We all took part in selling and we made over £100 over the four week challenge. Our business was an international sweet shop, selling snacks and sweets for pupils who wanted to have a sweet treat at break time. We found that running a shared business was not easy; it did come with its fair share of challenges! We had to share out the tasks fairly and spend the money wisely, based on what our customers wanted.

Students are now exploring the castle in the glorious sunshine. 86


First Form taking part in ‘Tales from the Keep’ at Conisbrough.

Overall, we learned a lot about how to run a business and how to work with others. We think we did a great job and had an interesting time doing so.”

Darcey Ducker, Jasmine Edwards and Grace Dibb 2nd Form (Year 8)



Inter-House Drama


ast year many people from the sixth form who took drama left, so it was up to the GCSE students to step up and take control of Inter-House Drama. I decided that I fancied taking on the role as the director for Woolman so set about hunting for a script. This was the hardest part of the job. Looking online, all the scripts were written by amateurs, or for children, and so I found it extremely hard to find anything that was remotely suitable. I signed up for countless script companies (many of which I still get spam email from!) although none of them were any good.

It was then I remembered going to the theatre to see ‘The Play That Goes Wrong’ a few months previously. I remembered constantly laughing throughout and it was then that I decided that that was what we were going to do. I bought the play on Amazon and spent a Saturday cutting and typing up the rest of it. This was another tricky part as I am a bit of a hoarder when it comes to cutting although I thought I had managed to cut the play to about 25 minutes. In the end though, it turned out that it was 40 minutes long! I found out that that was twice the length of any other inter-house drama piece and suddenly realised the amount of work it would take to put on the play, because it was not only so long, but also because there were so many stunts to get right and so many props to have in the correct place. After cutting and typing I needed a cast of people who were willing to spend the term rehearsing the piece of drama. It was then I realised that I’d have to stand up in house meeting. It was the first time I had ever had to do anything like that so the nerves were kicking in. I did it, and got a cast of 12, with almost an equal number of boys and girls. The final cast was:


Head of Drama Society

Harry Anderson


Plays Thomas Colleymoore Ben Cawood

Jonathan Plays Charles Haversham Daiki Kawasaki Dennis

Plays Perkins


Plays Florence Colleymoore Amelie Harper

Backstage Crew Max

Thea White & Ryan Lie

Plays Cecil Haversham

Ed Ducker

Stage Manager

Libby Pawson


Plays Inspector Carter


Member of Crew


Pete Jackson

Darcey Ducker Sam Raby

The first read through was on the final week of the autumn term. I asked everyone to learn lines during the holidays, knowing that it wouldn’t happen! After the holidays we practised after school on Thursday and about two lunch times a week, depending on what we needed to do and who could make it. But to start that all off I had to start up in Morning Meeting. This was a step up from house meeting. I waited for a free slot and stood up and started speaking, although it turns out I interrupted Mrs Donnelly which must have been quite funny, but I was oblivious to it all. All I could see was many pairs of 1st-3rd year eyes staring at me! The rehearsals started off almost straight away, however they got off to a rocky start. My trouble was keeping everyone on task which I found really difficult as I struggle to be strict. However, I realised a way round that was to only rehearse small sections at once and spend more time on small bits. That worked well, I found, and the rehearsals began to move much more smoothly

and they were much more productive. Maybe they weren’t as enjoyable for people, but we were making progress. Another issue was that people are so busy, me included, so fitting rehearsals in was a job, but I found that if I brought cake, somehow everyone turned up!

The rehearsals were moving along swiftly. I originally thought we had until the end of term, but by half term the date had been set for 8th March, which was two weeks earlier than I originally thought. However, I had no issues with that other than the fact that the knowledge of lines was limited. The days were passing and I was actually getting concerned about line learning. The Sunday before 8th March we came into school and rehearsed for two and a half hours. However still not many people knew lines. After a quick cast switch, we entered the final week. Lines were learnt by the Wednesday and inter-house drama was on the Thursday.

The night of the performance went better than in rehearsals and so I was incredibly pleased. For some reason the performance generally does go better than rehearsals but I guess this is because you have an audience watching, who hopefully react to the performance and make you do the best performance you can do. ‘The Play That Goes Wrong’ is a farcical play, which is incredibly funny if it is done well. When the night was over I felt that the whole cast had done exceptionally well and had done themselves proud, especially since a couple of people on stage had never done anything like this before. The atmosphere back stage was calm and cool which is great to see and it was obvious to me that everyone backstage was enjoying themselves immensely. For those of you that don’t know ‘The Play That Goes Wrong’ was written in 2012 by Jonathan Sayers, Henry Lewis and Henry Shields. The play is a play

Lucy Assassa

Best Prop - The Barrel

Best contribution to the Festival - Robyn Wickham Best Male Performance - Dominic Sanderson Best Female Performance - Hannah Savage Most Innovative Production - Fothergill Best Production - Woolman

The performance of ‘The Play that goes Wrong’ by Woolman for the Inter-House Drama Competition was a highly polished and brilliantly sustained piece of theatre. To have singled out one of the performances for special mention would be a disservice to the other l

We performed only the first act of the play, with the second act being cut, mainly because we didn’t have enough time but also because the second act involved many tricky stunts, such as a whole platform falling down from above with people on it, people getting rolled about in a clock and the whole set collapsing on the cast as the finale! Directing the inter-house drama was a great experience that gave me the opportunity to have a go at group leadership which is a very valuable life skill in my opinion. Also having to stand up in meeting has given me another great experience and according to Mr Dancer I improved from start to finish (Mr Dancer gave me some tips!).

My biggest regret is not filming it so we could watch it ourselves, but the mad dash before the performance made it completely disappear from my mind! I am looking forward to taking part in inter-house drama next year and I can’t wait to see what play we do next time. I hope that Woolman can have a chance at winning again next year.

Inter-House Drama Commendations Emily Sanderson


within a play, and the idea is that the cast are part of the Cornley Polytechnic Drama Society and they are appalling actors. Because of this the play is full of things that go wrong. My favourite example is when the character of Sandra, playing Miss Colleymoore is accidently knocked out by many of the other stage crew bursting open the door. I find that moment incredibly funny. In our version though it was impossible to yank Sandra (played by Amelie) through a window so instead we dragged her through a curtain which was just as good.

performers – and indeed the whole team. To get laughs from an Ackworth audience is not easy, to get them all the way through a production from beginning to end is virtually unheard of. There were so many special moments: the barrel – obviously, the sword fight with ribbon blood and dragging Amelie’s body off stage from under the curtain! They deserve the highest praise and commendation.

But particular praise must go to their director – a young man who has been the face of inter-house drama this year and who has distinguished himself directing a team of people many of whom were two and three years older than him: Ben Cawood. Richard Vergette, Head of Drama



Meet a Lab Technician

Christine Readman Factfile Name: Age: Home: Children: School: Job Title:


Chris Readman A touch over 21 Campsall, South Yorkshire One Campsmount High School Laboratory technician

hris Readman joined Ackworth School in 1986, 32 years ago, not as a lab assistant as most people now know her, but as an administration assistant, responsible for booking all the travel arrangements of the boarders.

“Back then, there were a lot of overseas boarders,” she says. “There were five houses – Coram, which at that time was the junior boys’ boarding house, Boys’ School House, Girls’ School House, Ackworth House (for the intermediate age girls) and Seatons for the older girls. There was a lot of work to do and it was quite a stressful job. Often on the last day of term I’d have to stay until 10pm in order to complete all the charges for flights, rail and taxi bookings which went on the bill as they were done manually then. “The school was a very different place then. It has definitely evolved. With more boarders were more staff who lived in school and who stayed until late. Most staff would eat tea in school in the Housekeeper’s Room. Nowadays, with more day pupils, staff tend to be ‘day staff’ and go back to their own homes for the evenings.”

Chris had her office tucked away at the side of the Meeting House. “Attention to detail was key, having lots of young borders to organise the travel for. They went down on the trains unaccompanied to London, had to be picked up from the train by carers known as ‘country aunts’ and had to stay overnight with them. Then they were escorted to their respective airports and handed to the airport staff as unaccompanied minors.”

Nowadays she is generally to be found in her lab room on the science corridor, next to the lab of the Head of Chemistry, Nayyar Aziz. Chris moved roles back in 1992 when the lab technician before her retired. “It was time for me to start a family and with term time work and school holidays, along with more regular hours, it was the right job at the right time,” she says. Now her daughter, Nicole, is 24. She has followed Chris into a similar role, studying Food Science at the University of Nottingham and now working as a food scientist. 90


However, the role of a lab technician is not a simple one. Her responsibilities are wide-ranging. “I’m not from a science background, but I’ve had to learn,” she says. Chris started her working life at 16 for Doncaster Council. She was given day release to do shorthand and typing and worked in administration in the housing and lettings department. After that she moved to the National Coal Board and worked there for ten years as PA to the manager in the Central Store. When the coal crisis arrived, so did many redundancies and so Chris finished there in 1986.

“Because I was made redundant I did an ABTA qualification in travel and applied when the travel job came up at Ackworth,” says Chris. Now though, her duties include making up solutions, working out and measuring the quantities required for different chemicals and doing the dilutions from concentrates which are used in practicals. Among her many different roles, she orders glass wear, makes the glass wear for experiments, heating and bending the glass, sorting out charge sheets, photocopying and stock keeping. She also has to check the specific hazards in the labs and helps with any risk assessments.

Salters' Festival

Earlier this term four members of the Second Form, Max Cooper, Evelyn Salter, Layla Johnson and Emily Sanderson represented the school. They competed against 15 other schools in the regional round of the Salters' Festival of Chemistry Competition at the University of Leeds.

The competition involved forensic chemistry, neutralisation and code breaking. The students did extremely well in a highly competitive environment and came third overall. Daniel Jones, Chemistry Teacher


The following members of staff have left during the school year: Roy Simpson, Deputy Clerk of Works, who began at the school in August 2006 retired in April 2018.

Andy Rushton, Clerk of Works, who began in December 2005, retired at the end of June 2018.

Steve Winder, Joiner, who began in January 1994 retired in March 2018.

Brent Moran, Assistant Bursar, who began in July 1999 retired at the end of June 2018.

Christine Horbury, Domestic Assistant, who began in September 2012, moved away from the area in January 2018.

What qualities are needed for a lab technician? According to Nayyar Aziz, a lab technician needs to be organised, able to multi task, have a careful attitude, work with precision and accuracy and able to see dangers and react to dangers. These are all qualities Chris has, he says, adding that he could not do without her.

“I see this place as my family,” says Chris. “All the heads of department that I’ve worked for have been lovely and supportive. It’s like an extended family and I’ve loved working here. You don’t stay here for 32 years if you don’t feel like that!”

Staff News

Michael Isherwood, Teacher in the Autism Resource began at the school in September 2015. He leaves to do supply work nearer to home.

Rebecca Nicholson, Maths Teacher, who began in September 2004 left in January 2018 after the birth of her baby last year. In RE, Year 6 have been studying Quakerism. We got to decide what we wanted to learn about because it is a child-led project. We are making our own booklets about Quakerism. Once we are done with this, we are presenting a video to the whole school. So far, we have learnt about George Fox, Quaker values, a question of your choice and silence.

We met and interviewed a Quaker, David Bunney and asked him some questions about Quakerism. Before this project, when we had silence, everybody thought this silence was wasting time, but it’s not. Can you think of the last time when you had a moment of silence to reflect?

Richard Vergette, Head of Drama, who began in September 2011 retires at the end of August.

Stevie-Ann Harrison goes on maternity leave in September. Long Service Awards The following long service awards have been made:

10 years service: Patricia Rowbotham, Catering Assistant, 10 years, 18 February 2018

Denise Shaw, Catering Department, 10 years, 2 May 2018 Susan Armitage, HLTA in Coram House, 10 years, 16 June 2018

Anita Deal, Catering Assistant, 10 years, 29 October 2017

25 years service: Tom Plant – Head of History – 25 years on 1 September 2017



Junior Maths Challenge

There are ——— vowels in this short sentence.

Which of the following options should replace "———" to make the sentence in the box true? A twelve D fifteen

B thirteen E sixteen

C fourteen

UKMT Junior Team Maths Challenge

On Thursday 19th April Layla Johnson, Evelyn Salter, Jasmine Walker and Rhys Wickham attended the UKMT Junior Team Maths Challenge Regional Final at The Mount School in York. The competition combined mathematical communication and teamwork skills and allowed the students to develop their enjoyment of mathematics outside of the normal classroom setting. The students worked brilliantly the whole day and whilst the team did not qualify for the National Final, they should be proud of their hard work and what they managed to achieve.

That was question 21 of the 25 in this year’s Junior Maths Challenge. Thirty-five of the 1st and 2nd form pupils were brave enough to allow themselves to be entered for the challenge, no doubt spurred on by the successes they have witnessed by pupils further up the school. Fourteen of them received certificates recognising their achievements. Bronze: Bani Bhinder, Ink Chantima, Jake Hanson, Layla Johnson Silver: Faith Butterfield, Earnearn Jiraprapakorn, Steven Nguyen, Isabella O’Donnell, Luke Peaker, Nicolas RobissonBarthelemy, Evelyn Salter, Dori Suntornsuk Gold: Freddie Barr, Milly Martinez-Turnbull Showing particular promise of emulating our senior students was Freddie (1W) whose score of 97 (out of a theoretically possible 135) earned him a place in the follow-on “Kangaroo” Challenge, possibly a dubious reward as it saw him sitting the one hour challenge paper in the same week as his 1st form exams. It should have served as a good warm-up for his first maths paper!

Ackworth School Open Morning

10am Wednesday 19 September Head’s Address l Tours l Buffet



Art Trail

In January we met as a group to design a map for the Art Trail, ‘Made in Ackworth ‘. The design work involved creating drawings and paintings of different locations around the village. On the day of the Art Trail, we visited each of the featured artists. We really enjoyed looking at the artwork, particularly that of Claire Lake, who kindly gifted us a glass fusion workshop in thanks for our help with the map design. We had never used glass as a material in Art before and enjoyed the opportunity to explore this new technique.

Coram Choir came joint second in Pontefract Music Festival. A fantastic achievement _ well done!



Rebecca Puels, L6th (Year 12) and Louisa Young, L6th (Year 12)

Night out at the Opera! Music students having a real experience of The Marriage of Figaro.

Inter-House Music Intermediate Mathematical Olympiad

Three students recently sat the Maths Olympiad paper for their age groups, with six involved questions to answer in two hours. Third former Jamie Liu was awarded a merit and fifth former Jamie Dobbie gained a distinction and a medal for being in the top 100 for his paper. Kathy Su (also fifth form) achieved a distinction, gaining a medal and a book prize for being in the top 50. We congratulate all three on their achievements and the delight they show in applying their skills so successfully beyond the regular class work.

The Inter-House Music Competition was a very successful event with many stand-out performances from each House. Many came to support the event and it was great to see pupils getting behind each house. Penn House choir deserves a special mention with an energetic performance of ‘Five Hundred Miles’, complete with dance routine and they had the greatest number of competitors. It was a close race to the end with Fothergill winning the Choir category, including some excellent solo performances, but the overall winner of the Inter-House Music Competition was Gurney. Daniel Marks, Director of Music

Recently we participated in Inter-House Music. This event involved a huge amount of preparation, particularly when trying to coordinate the different year groups. It was also difficult finding enough solo performers as many people have talents we do not know about. However the event was a success and Gurney managed to have a performer for each category which meant we got the maximum number of points for participation. Everyone performed exceedingly well especially the choir. The hard work paid off as Gurney won the inter-house trophy. Thank you to everyone who made the event a success! Sydney-Jay Barlow (U6th) Gurney House

HMC Singing Day

Having a great time at the HMC singing day at Yarm



School Trips

Sicily Trip


At the beginning of the Easter holidays, we travelled to the island of Sicily on a Geography and History Trip. We landed into a rainy Catania before visiting the Cyclops Riviera and several Baroque-style churches. During the trip we saw the breath-taking craters of Mount Etna, climbed a volcano and bathed in natural sulphur mud baths on the island of Vulcano, learned about the beautiful Alcantara Gorge and soaked up the Sicilian history and culture in the cities of Syracuse, Noto and Taormina. We all discovered so much about this beautiful part of the world, had so many laughs and made so many memories!

Paris Trip

Madison Cusworth, 5th Form (Year 11)

Paris, the capital of France, is famous for romance and history. This is what attracted us to it so we decided to go there during the Easter holiday. This was a wonderful opportunity to explore the other side of the world as international students. It was well planned and fortunately, the weather was absolutely gorgeous most of the time. We visited so many attractions in Paris, which are well-known for their history and beauty, such as The Louvre, The Eiel Tower, Tuileries and Luxembourg Gardens, The Pantheon and the Sorbonne University.

As the sun shone in Sicily we enjoyed learning about Mount Etna and the history of the islands, including the Baroque-style architecture of the towns. For me it was 94


We were mostly impressed by the Louvre Museum, not only by the appearance of the pyramid outside, but also the inner layout and artwork which are extraordinary. Seeing the Mona Lisa and Venus de Milo was amazing! This gave us an insight into why Paris is so popular all over the world and why it is so attractive to everybody. We tried the local food, which was dierent, and we had delicious snacks while walking in the park. We really appreciate the amazing trip Miss Sochacka put together for us. We really enjoyed it and wish we could have stayed a bit longer in Paris. Branson Gan, U6th (Year 13)

the perfect last trip to end my time at Ackworth School, so many thanks to everyone who organised, and came on, the trip. Eleanor Ward, 5th Form (Year 11)


Meet a Pupil Amelia Beckwith


melia was born with hip dysplasia but was not diagnosed with her condition until she was 22 months old. Amelia’s parents knew there was something wrong as she couldn’t weight bear and still could not walk. Eventually Amelia was seen by an Orthopaedic Surgeon who immediately knew what was wrong when he met her and she was then given a closed hip reduction operation resulting in her being in a hip spica for several months. Amelia enjoys all genres of dancing including ballet, tap, acro, freestyle, musical theatre, street dance and spends lots of her spare time at dancing school. She is a student teacher on a Saturday and the little ones adore Miss Amelia!

“I’ve been dancing since I was two – as soon as I could walk really,” says Amelia. “My favourite forms of dance are tap and modern. In tap it’s just about your feet and ankles, whereas with modern you have to move your whole body. I dance every week: Tuesdays 5-9, Wednesdays 6-8 and Saturdays 9-4. It’s a real escape from working. Your brain doesn’t have to work and it’s just creative and gives me a sense of freedom. It’s a different way of expressing yourself and it gives me a whole different community to be with – it’s just like family.” Amelia already teaches young children to dance on Saturdays in the morning session, before she moves on to her own dance lessons in the afternoon. The children are aged from one to seven years old and she has decided that teaching dance is what she wants to do as a career.

Teaching dance, says Amelia, has helped her with her confidence and helped give her a greater sense of responsibility, as she has to make sure the children don’t injure themselves as well as planning the lessons. With Amelia’s mother a dance teacher and her grandmother, at 83, who still helps out at the dance school, it really is a family business and one which Amelia definitely wants to continue.

Amelia Beckwith (5th Form) with her medal and certificate for obtaining 90 per cent in her recent Freestyle Street Dance Exam. She came top of her class and achieved the highest mark in the school. 96


Rebecca Puels


started boarding in Ackworth School in September 2017. As I have neither boarded nor lived abroad before everything was quite overwhelming in the first weeks. Getting lost on the campus was not a rarity! Not only was the daily routine completely different from what I was used to, but also living together with people from different nationalities was a new experience to me. However, I immediately found friends, who I will definitely miss next year when I go back to Germany.

Knowing that I would only stay for a year, I wanted to make the most out of my experience here in Ackworth. That is why I took part in a variety of activities that the school offered, trying out many things that I never did before. I really enjoyed running, cooking and basketball club, but I also took advantage of great weekend trips. As a result I got to see many different places in England like York, Scarborough, the Yorkshire Dales and many more. As an art student I was also very pleased by the opportunity to visit the Yorkshire Sculpture Park as well as different exhibitions in the Hepworth Art Gallery. Besides those trips, I looked forward to going horse riding each weekend. It was one of my dreams to do horse riding, especially because Yorkshire offers such a beautiful landscape, and I am very grateful that I was able to do that. Trying out so many new things was hard at times but definitely a challenge that I will never regret taking. I am sure that everything that I learned this year, whether in lessons, activities or other situations, will be helpful in the future. Most of all, I am very happy about getting to know so many lovely people from around the world, that have inspired me so much!


On 23rd April the school Warhammer team went to Warhammer World in Nottingham to take part in our first National Warhammer School League Semi Final. Everyone played well and the team finished 7th out of 20. For our first year going I believe it went rather well and was

a great learning experience, which we can build on in future years. The team members were Rhys Wickham, Adam Nixon, Matthew Holliday and Bohdan Vynohradov. Rhys Wickham, 3rd Form (Year 9)

Fencing Duke of Edinburgh Well done, Alistair! Alistair competed in his first fencing competition, in which he scored 10 hits, and came sixth overall in the tournament.

Over two weekends in May, five groups of fourth year students travelled to the Howardian Hills, along with many kilograms of luggage. The first day was from Slingsby through many different villages and then back to the campsite. We set up our tents then cooked our meals. The second day was from the campsite to Welburn. It was a very good way to build team working skills as quick group decisions had to be made. Annie Bamford, 4th Form (Year 10)



Sports Round Up Sports


e are pleased to announce our upcoming Sports Tour to Cyprus in December 2018. This football and netball tour is open to the current 3rd form, 4th form, 5th form and L6th students. There has been a good level of interest so far, however there are still places remaining. If you are interested in finding out more details, please contact Patrick Roberts (Head of Boys’ PE) –

New Tennis Coach

There is an exciting new coaching programme coming to Ackworth School. Pupils of Ackworth School can develop their tennis skills by signing up to an after school club on a Wednesday and if you want even more tennis please see our programme below.

The first half of summer term has been a busy one for boys’ PE. The U15s footballers participated in an excellent fixture vs a Chinese Touring School. Ackworth won 2-1, with goals coming from Josh, a superb header, and Will from the penalty spot. During the first half of the summer term the girls have continued to show a super attitude to both attending practices and competing in matches and fixtures. New activities have been introduced such as volleyball and this has been well attended and the pupils are making excellent progress with the skills of the game.

We have played seven rounders matches with 13 games in all. Matches have been played with tremendous spirit and the girls are showing real improvement in their understanding of tactical play when fielding. Their individual skills in both fielding and batting are progressing allowing them to achieve success. There have been fixtures both mid-week and at the weekend and it has been lovely to see so many girls taking part.

Five tennis matches have been played by the 2nd, 3rd and 4th years where the girls have enjoyed success in both singles and doubles games. Tennis practices are held every night after school and the attendance is superb with sometimes as many as 35 children playing. Rounders practices are held every Wednesday with around 20 pupils attending.

We have competed in the Wakefield Schools’ Athletics Competition where pupils from 26 schools performed across all the track and field events; from these performances pupils have the chance to be selected to represent Wakefield at the West Yorkshire Championships in June. We fielded 45 competitors from 2nd, 3rd and 4th form; all of the pupils gave a good account of themselves and supported each other well during the two events.

We are pleased to hear that Millie (1500m), Max (Shot Putt) and Josh (800m), were all selected to represent Wakefield. Well done to all those who took part. We are looking forward to at least seven more rounders matches involving 12 games; there are five additional tennis matches planned and further opportunities for the athletics teams to compete, with three matches for 1st form pupils and the Wakefield Schools’ Championships which will involve pupils from 1st- 4th form.

The U13s boys played a hockey fixture against Kettlethorpe at the start of May. This was a fantastic game that finished a very respectable 2-2.

The cricket season also got under way. The U14s participated in an excellent fixture against Hull and the first team travelled to Bootham on Wednesday 23rd May. The U15s played Hull again on Thursday 24th May. l

On 19th March we travelled to Nottingham Squash Club with the aim of returning with the Boys U17 national schools squash championships trophy. After hard fought matches against the likes of Gosforth to reach the finals day, we had made it. Our first match was against Kenilworth school. We came through the match 4-1 and had progressed to the final, one step closer to being crowned champions. In the final we faced a strong Aylesbury Grammar School who were strong throughout the team. With great determination we managed to pull through 4-1 and were the champions. It was a pleasure playing for the team and I can’t wait to push for another title with the team in 2019.

Harry Anderson, L6th (Year 12)

The end of the summer term sees us looking forward to the Olympic Day for local junior school pupils. This will be run by our Sports Leaders and other pupils throughout school and will be a real opportunity to see members of our community working alongside each other enjoying the challenge and responsibility of leading an event.



Ackworth School

Community Tennis Coach Alice Robson Alice will start her work with Ackworth School on the 1st May and will provide tennis coaching to all of Ackworth’s partner primary schools as well as Coram House. Alice will also provide coaching to Ackworth Tennis Club at Ackworth School in the evenings and is available for one to one coaching.


A Foundation for Life

Alice is an LTA accredited Level 3 Coach. She has been coaching for 7 years and is a qualified referee and Cardio Tennis coach. Alice has reached an LTA rating of 5.2 and competed for the women’s 1st and 2nd team when she was studying at Leeds Beckett University. Alice has had experience working in several tennis clubs including the Avenue Lawn Tennis Club, Leeds Beckett Tennis Club and Horsforth Tennis Club. She has also worked at summer camps in London and America. Alice has previous experience of working within schools through a combination of after school clubs and delivering tennis in PE lessons. Alice would like to use knowledge gained from

her undergraduate degree, Sport Development, alongside her tennis experience to increase participation. She enjoys teaching all abilities and likes to see players develop.

Congratulations to Matt on completing his first triathlon at Driffield. He finished a very respectable 7th out of 25.

Sports 99

Focus on Basketball


asketball at Ackworth in 2018 has thrived with a combination of new coaches, more matches and great enthusiasm from the students. We have seen all year groups participating including the girls’ team who have enjoyed some match play for the first time. Basketball is a sport loved particularly by our international students, this being reflected by their attendance and enthusiasm at practice and their availability for games.

Our senior boys’ team has been very successful winning every game except against Bootham School. The skill level on show and the application of tactics has helped to develop a disciplined and positive mind set. The main contributors each game have been Danny Chan (U6th), Charles Batte (4th Form), Bruce Cheung and Eddie Ye (L6th), however every student has made an impact and they deserve great credit. It has been a privilege to coach and manage the team this year. Our junior boys’ team is an enthusiastic group who love to play. The development has been rapid and being defeated by more established schools has been a great learning curve although it was great for them to have won some games too. We look forward to seeing this progression next season as they learn more about the game and work together as a team. The girls’ team has played a few games against our local rivals, King’s School in Pontefract. The enthusiasm has been generated from sixth form lessons as the girls have quickly adapted to the fast paced nature of the game. With much learning from match play, the standard of play has improved quickly. It has been terrific to see their enthusiasm at training and their appetite to learn new tactics. Winning one of the games against King’s

was very satisfying for the team and encouraged some younger girls to join in.

We have enjoyed some Spanish skills on show this year from Pablo Aparicio Villar (3rd Form), Juan Toledo (2nd Form) and Mac Jimenez Vilalta (4th Form) that shows off our European influence at Ackworth. However, the contribution from all the international students has been fantastic and their attitude at training as well as in matches and inter-house competition needs special mention. Their impact has been remarkable at Ackworth.

The tournament began with the group round, where the ten teams were randomly split into two groups. The standout team at the end of the group round was Mahdi Yaseen, Rebecca Puels and Eddie Ye. They dominated the rebounds and played well together as a team, which led them to be the top seed in the knockout tournament. The nature of the knockout tournament meant that the teams knew that they would have to up their game, as if they lost they would be eliminated. The standard of the basketball certainly rose, as did the tension. Mahdi Yaseen, Rebecca Puels and Eddie Ye



Earlier this term six students took part in the National Schools Indoor Open Championships for Skiing. It was only the second one of these events held at Xscape and we are really pleased with our overall results. Individually each student who took part achieved a medal. Harry Copley came 4th in the Under 14 boys, Hannah Morgan came 3rd in the Under 16 girls, Oliver Nicholls came 4th in the Under 16 boys, Rebecca Puels came 3rd and Neda Radonjic 4th in the Under 18 girls and finally, Jacob Copley came 3rd in the Under 18 boys. On top of all of this success, they were combined as two teams. Team A: Hannah, Oliver and Jacob came 2nd; and Team B: Rebecca, Neda and Harry came 3rd in the mixed team event.

Basketball is a part of life for many of these students and they have gained great confidence from playing games and feeling an identity as part of the community at Ackworth. It has been commented that basketball has had a positive impact upon their studies in class too, showing how sport can have a very positive impact in terms of character building and self esteem. Whether it is a young student playing their first game in an Ackworth shirt, an established student scoring a three point shot or the whole team chatting away in the minibus after the game, it is the intrinsic love of the game and participating for Ackworth School that has given staff the greatest thrill of leading the sport. Winning is always nice yet you can’t succeed in every game and learning from your losses is often a more important lesson.

Basketball has just begun a momentum drive in 2018. There are aims to get more pupils involved next year, more curriculum time, interhouse tournaments and more school matches. Having an international influence in the game needs further encouragement and to welcome new students from abroad to Ackworth to help us develop the successes in basketball this year. Michael Dancer and William Elliott

3 on 3 Basketball Tournament

On Thursday 10th May Ackworth School hosted a 3 on 3 Basketball Tournament for fourth form students and above. The event was extremely well received, with 30 students participating and around the same number spectating. The competition was friendly but competitive and it was clear that although the teams wanted to have fun, they all wanted the honour of being named the champions.

Ski Championships

were on course to make the final, but there was a small matter of beating Danny Chan, Anna Brummeler and Abdalla Jalal in the semi-finals. In what was a titanic battle and arguably the match of the evening, the top seeds were eliminated. This set up a final match of Danny, Anna and Abdalla versus Harry Anderson, Ellie Williamson and Daiki Kawasaki. It was a marvellous spectacle, with everyone sitting watching the conclusion of what had been a brilliant evening of basketball. And we were not disappointed with what was a masterclass from Danny Chan. Harry Anderson made some very good shots for the other team, but ultimately it was Danny, Anna and Abdalla who emerged victorious; congratulations to them. I would like to thank Bruce Cheung and Kan Chan for assisting me in the running of the event and a special thank you to Vincent Yung who worked with me to organise the event.

William Elliott, Maths Teacher

Tour de Yorkshire Exhibition Coram House had a very exciting week, where they were off time table and experienced phenomenon based learning in preparation for the Tour de Yorkshire coming through the village.

Each house, Fry, Dalton and Barclay, spent the week planning and creating an exhibition to be showcased in our Meeting House on Friday 4th May 2018, at the start of the race. Each house prepared something different which is linked to Yorkshire in some way. The areas that they covered were: G



Food and Drink – i.e. Yorkshire tea, liquorice, rhubarb, etc. Local artists – Barbara Hepworth, Henry Moore, etc.

Local landmarks – York Minster, Yorkshire Moors, Dales etc. The exhibition was led by the children themselves, which was a brilliant opportunity for them to be able to talk confidently about their participation in the event. They worked in mixed age groups and worked together in order to create their displays.

Isabella O’Donnell - 1st Form (Year 7) “For my bike design I wanted to include a part of Yorkshire, which used the Yorkshire Rose to represent the county. To represent England, I used the flag and drew it on the rider’s leg. I put a ‘Y’ on the rider’s arm to also represent Yorkshire. My colours on my wheels were dark blue and red as they are the main colours of the English flag. Finally, I coloured the top half of the rider in light blue and yellow, as they are the main colours of the Tour de Yorkshire.”



Ackworth Old Scholars’ Association: Easter Gathering 2018


aster 2018 was, for the most part wet, cold, snowy... did this weather dampen the spirits of Easter Gatherers? Not for one minute. Yes, some of the activities had to be changed or cancelled, but there was certainly plenty going on to keep everyone entertained, whether you were eight or eighty. The weekend started with lunch and we experienced the new servery and style of food introduced to the School since Easter 2017. Gatherers then dispersed to take cases to rooms, go swimming, chat and generally catch up until... tea and cake (food, and plenty of it is a recurring feature of Easter at Ackworth!). The Easter Egg Hunt for Junior Gatherers was the first event to be affected by the weather. It did not, however, prevent great fun being had by all.

President Belinda Walters welcomed everyone to Easter before Dinner. A children’s film was then shown whilst adults gathered in Girls’ Dining Room for Chas Stuart’s Quiz… You have to know everything about everything to answer the actual questions - "dingbats" and "name the advert" were more my level! We then retired, as we did each evening, to the Fothergill Foyer for a social get together and/or the Easter Secretary’s Office (aka the Common Room) on Centre Passage for general hilarity, especially if watching others contort themselves playing giant Twister... ! Easter Saturday arrived - damp - so, hockey was rescheduled to the astro-pitch and those who were of a mind were ably instructed by Rachel Belk... They had so much fun that another session took place later in the weekend.

Decopatch, cardmaking and other crafts were going on in the Art Room; then, after more coffee and cake, Laura Mortimer led a Laughter Yoga session – you didn’t have to stand on one leg or contort your body into strange positions, and attendees ranged from about six years old to well over 60. Safe to say that all those who took part had a great time - and yes, we did laugh, a lot. The Head Anton Maree presented School Today. There was a display of the Ackworth Samplers, an Ack-Apella session with Tom Bootyman for the singers amongst us and more arts and crafts, including Easter egg painting.

The Annual Meeting of Ackworth Old Scholars was followed by President Belinda’s lively and enjoyable address, which, in turn, was followed by a formal dinner, with your own wine. This was followed by Jack Mortimer’s slide presentation of “Overlooked Britain”. Jack takes the most amazing photographs of the small things that you or I would miss when out in the countryside. On Easter Sunday, there was Meeting for Worship, followed by a jewellery workshop, some of us coming away with some wonderful silver pendants, all made by our own fair hands. Mike McRobert led a local walk after lunch and after tea, and more cake, former pupil, Veronica Bird, gave a very interesting talk on her life 102


since leaving Ackworth, within the prison service. Before dinner, a shortened version of the Grand March took place on the Terrace. Former President and Belinda’s father, Chris Rengert gave an Evening Reading, before several of the Gatherers presented "Music for a Sunday Evening" in the Music Centre.

Easter Monday dawned, with snow… This did not stop the hardy amongst the group (including me!) from venturing out on to the Badsworth course. Some, like me, walked, some walked and jogged. Others ran, and John Golding gazelled over all the mud! After more coffee and cake, Nick and Annabel then helped those who wanted to plant sunflower seeds. There is now an on-going competition to see whose sunflower will grow the biggest, flower the soonest and have the most flowers. The afternoon saw a Whacky Workshop led by Easter Secretary, Sal Wright, and those who still had energy played the finals of the badminton, tennis, squash and table tennis competitions. Those with less energy enjoyed poetry with Joyzelle Kelsall. After dinner, Pop took place in the Fothergill Theatre followed by the presentation of the sports prizes and the Presidential Handover from Belinda Walters to Aidan Mortimer. All too soon, it was Tuesday morning and the last cooked breakfast. Everyone said their goodbyes and departed – all vowing to return in 2019. I hope I’ve given you a taster of what goes on at Easter Gathering. It’s a fun, social time for all those who come along whether for the full weekend or just for a day visit. There is something for everyone. Make a note in your diary to come and join us next year; it all kicks off on Friday 19th April 2019. Nici Fletcher-Causer

Old Scholar News

President: Belinda Walters’ address at the Easter Gathering


ckworth School formed a distant backbone to my childhood from a very early age. I didn’t visit Ackworth until the year before I started at school, but I remember hearing about Ackworth particularly from my paternal grandmother. Grandma had had tuberculosis when Dad was young, and that was why he had come to Ackworth. The path by which a boy from Southend ended up at a Quaker school in Yorkshire was fully explained in Dad’s presidential address, so I won’t go into detail, but my grandparents must have been happy with the school for Dad.

My path to Ackworth really started in 1974, when my then headmaster decided that there wasn’t much value in my staying at primary school any longer. My parents, with his support, tried to get Essex LEA to take me up to secondary school early but the LEA wouldn’t. So, my parents started to look at the options of private school, and the Friends schools were their (or Dad’s) point of reference. Ackworth was an obvious option (obvious, that is, except for being 150 miles away). Saffron Walden Friends School is – or sadly was, as it closed last year – only 7 miles away from our home in Thaxted, so would have been more convenient. We went to see both schools, but my grandmother’s messages of positive reinforcement had obviously done their job, and Ackworth was the preferred choice, certainly by me. I had to sit the entrance exam; I have a very clear memory of sitting those papers in the storeroom at the back of the primary school hall, surrounded by mops, buckets and gym paraphernalia, and with my lovely headmaster, Mr McHugh, pacing around and making sure that I had sharpened pencils as needed. Looking back, I can only assume that it was a relative rarity to have a pupil sitting entrance exams. It sounds quite Harry Potterish, doesn’t it, sitting in a cupboard – just not a cupboard under the stairs! When we came to visit Ackworth, I remember meeting Gordon McKee and hearing him say to my parents that the School would take me at a younger age than usual, because I could of course always repeat a year if needs be. I was horrified at the very suggestion – and decided then in a typical child’s way that I certainly wasn’t going to do that. With a birthday at the end of August, the upshot of all this is that I started at Ackworth just shy of a month after my 10th birthday. I am sure that being up to 2 years younger than many of my classmates must have made me an immature baby in their eyes. After all, children do grow and change so much over those few

years of early adolescence – and so I offer a heartfelt and profound apology to everyone in my year at school for any irritation and grief that I caused as a result!

My parents decided that it would be good for me to have some experience of Ackworth before I started as a pupil, and we came as a family to Easter for the first time in 1975. When I arrived at Ackworth that September, the place felt very familiar and I had the head start of knowing my way around. That Easter was also the first time that I met Karen, Clare, Peggy, Anne… some of the regular Easter Gathering crowd that I still count as good friends. In later years, the traditions of Easter involved Saturday morning trips to Pontefract, which mainly seemed to be to buy blue mascara and face-packs – remember those days of innocent fun, ladies? Belinda Walters

To see the full address, please go to the following link:



Joanna Johnson S

ince leaving Ackworth in 1992, my life has been somewhat of a roller-coaster! I began working pretty much straight away, filling a gap year between school and University by moving to Lyon in France, to be an Au Pair to a lovely 4-year-old boy. Whilst I was there I attended a French school and very quickly began to speak (and dream) fluent French which stood me in good stead for my French with Music degree at University of Surrey.

experience in a fast paced retail environment, working for a supermarket currently owned by the largest retailer in the world – Walmart.

My roles have included category management, marketing and brand management, with my current role being Head of Innovation for our Own Brand business, influencing Asda colleagues but also our Walmart colleagues from around the world. I have just returned from an International Own Brand Summit at our Head Office in Bentonville USA, where we worked together on global strategy. Life in the world of retail is certainly varied! Whilst at Asda I have married, and have a 6-yearold daughter, Imogen, who is also grabbing every opportunity life throws at her, whether that be swimming, trampolining or tennis. She enjoys anything sporty! Whilst on the roller-coaster of our life, we have had a house fire, where we lost everything (including the house), built a new house and, more recently, my husband has taken over our local village pub – The Spread Eagle at Darrington – so we are a busy family enjoying the challenges and excitement that life throws at us! Here comes my biggest advice. If you are wondering what to do in your life and career, take every opportunity and grab it, and do not worry if you do not know exactly what you want to do. Dive straight in, have a go and see where the journey takes you. With hard work, tenacity, and a will to win, you will succeed in whatever you do… just make sure you enjoy the journey!

I would highly recommend a gap year to anyone, and studying for a French degree meant I spent another year abroad in my third year. This time I headed to Brussels to be a researcher for the Member of European Parliament for South West London. I enjoyed this year as much as I did my first year abroad. I studied translation at school, whilst being on the European “gravy train”. On my return, I finished my degree and then started to work in London for Air France, as a bi-lingual PA, but I craved being back in the North of England, so within a year I moved home, wondering where my next move would take me. It came in the form of Asda, where I began at the bottom of the ladder. I just wanted to get a foot in the door and, nearly 20 years later, I am still there enjoying every minute, having climbed up a few more rungs of the aforementioned ladder. I have had a little bit of luck along the way, but mainly due to “graft, grit and grace”, I have enjoyed a varied career at Asda. My roles have taken me all over the world, but above all have given me a waft of



Old Scholar News

Jo Botham I

n my years at Ackworth, I loved the buildings and gardens, especially the wild bits by the Went and the trees to climb off Back Lane. The swimming pool was my favourite location, however. I made lots of great friends and enjoyed the trust that many of the teachers placed in us. The routine suited me and I loved the out-of-school activities we were encouraged in too. My favourite school subject was Geography; I’ve always loved maps and love to travel. It’s a great subject which embraces a wide range of skills and applications.

Being at Ackworth helped to develop my confidence and taught me a degree of self-reliance but also the value of teamwork. As I grew older I began to appreciate more the value of silence!

I left Ackworth to do A levels nearer the sea at Scarborough, and then did a degree in Plymouth, followed by a year in Australia, before going full time in the family bakery business.

Today, the family is still baking. I am always involved in production, but my other responsibilities are the purchasing and New Product Development. In reality I could end up doing anything from making strawberry tarts or baking bread at 3am to promoting our biscuits and cakes on the other side of the world!

Our location has helped to boost our business success. Whitby is very isolated and has remained largely unchanged which has become its unique selling point. Botham's of Whitby has grown to be a part of the fabric of the town over the last 150 years and has ridden the ups and downs with it. We work hard as a close family and try to treat others - staff, customers and suppliers - as we would have them treat us, with openness, respect and honesty. And we make things that taste good!

We often return to Ackworth for a day at Easter and I have been back on Open Day several times. It’s always a nostalgia fest, even amongst the many changes that have occurred.

In my spare time, I go surfing as often as my schedule and the weather permit. Yorkshire is actually better for surfing than most people would realise, but I do travel overseas to surf as well. If the surf is flat then open water swimming takes over, I have two 10km events lined up this summer. I also coach swimming for our local club, which is very rewarding. We are having a particularly good year with our team in the league and some individuals are doing really well at county and regional level.



Old Scholar News

John Richard Wilkinson (1945-50) J


ohn Richard Wilkinson was born in Barnsley on 10th July 1932. He married Bernice Walkden in 1958 and has a son, Nigel, now a practising Chartered Accountant in Barnsley, and a daughter, Tracy, a fashion designer and manufacturer in Los Angeles, USA. He was blessed with a lovely granddaughter, Beth.

After attending St Mary's, Gawber and Ackworth Schools, Richard spent two and a half years as a trainee farmer at Egton and Cawthorne, before a career change involved gaining articles with the family firm of JW Wilkinson & Co, Chartered Accountants in Regent Street, Barnsley. A few years after qualifying, the firm merged with another firm, James Gibson & Son, to form Gibson Wilkinson (now Gibson Booth). As well as practising accountancy for 40 years, he served as a non-executive director of Barnsley Health Authority for eleven years, as well as periods as Secretary of Barnsley Chambers of Trade & Commerce. Richard retired from practice in 1992. Richard had always been interested in sport, playing cricket as an opening batsman for Stainborough, Barnsley and Saltaire cricket clubs. Richard opened the innings for Barnsley with Dickie Bird for three years before leaving for Saltaire, after which his place was taken by Geoff Boycott! He played golf for most of his life and was a past captain and president of Silkstone Golf

Kate Schaffer (1944-51) K


ate's Quaker faith developed from her family upbringing. Her early years were affected by World War II, their home being taken over by the army, causing them to move to several West London addresses. Kate was evacuated and attended Elfrida Foulds' Yealand Manor School, an experience she enjoyed, triggering her interest in plants and gardening. In 1944, her father died and Yealand Manor closed. Kate moved on to Ackworth, which her mother had attended. She enjoyed her time there, playing both in the hockey team and in the school orchestra. She would later say that it was Ackworth that gave her a spiritual foundation in the Quaker way of life. Following teacher training in Bristol, Kate had teaching appointments in Cambridge and Reading. During this time, she took an active role in Young Friends, leading her to represent British Young Friends at a conference in Kansas, USA, in 1959. Three years later, she visited America again on a British Council teacher exchange in Philadelphia.

Club. He later became an active member of the senior section of Wakefield Golf Club. His other hobbies included walking, photography, Rotary, computing, travelling and spending time with family and friends.

Benjamin and Lucy, their first grandchildren, were shortly on the scene. Over the years, they travelled widely, visiting South America, Asia (a highlight being the Trans-Siberian Railway) and Europe, the proximity of the Channel Tunnel being an advantage.

Later they moved to Cumbria. Kate had spent her formative years in the north, and many of her ancestors had lived there. They began walking the Cumbrian Way, seeing some beautiful places. Sadly, age limited their dreams of completing it.

Their final move was to York, where they could be closer to their family and enjoy city life. Their small garden offered Kate the chance of designing and planting from scratch. Wherever they lived, it was Kate's warm personality and lovely smile that endeared her to those she met. In the words of a friend: “We remember our circle dancing friend – her sense of fun, her lovely smile.”

On returning to the UK, Kate took up the challenge of teaching in an inner city school in Brixton, London, living at the Quaker International Centre. She attended Westminster Meeting and the Cellar Club (where young people met informally to discuss issues of the day and play chess and table tennis). It was here that she met James, whom she married at Westminster Meeting in 1966. The occasion was the foundation on which they built their long and loving relationship, leading to many adventures. They bought a rag-stone cottage in Sevenoaks, with enough land for Kate to enjoy gardening, remaining there for 31 years. Kate worked as Head of the Infant Department at a local school until the birth of Jane and Robert. Kate created a loving and supportive family home, aided by Sevenoaks Quaker Meeting. They became interested in self-sufficiency, buying a ten acre field and building a barn. Although they abandoned the plan, Kate and James decided to build a boat in the barn, an act of craftsmanship and love for both of them.

Kate returned to teaching, retiring in 1994, and she became a volunteer guide at the Henry Doubleday Research Association's organic garden in Yalding, Kent.

When James retired, they moved to Rye, celebrating the move with a trip on a 77 foot long fishing smack, a magical journey that opened up the world of sailing. Kate ceremoniously launched their own boat in 2005. 106 l




Old Scholar News

Eileen King

Easter 2018 Report - A flavour

Eileen King came to Ackworth in 1964 as a Domestic Science teacher. She took on the role of Housemistress in Ackworth House one year later, then moved across the road in 1970 to take over as Head of Girls’ School House which she continued to do until her retirement in 1993. Eileen’s methods were very much of the time, but she ran the place like a tight ship, never giving up on the ‘difficult girls’ and showing great kindness to the homesick ones. All the more remarkable was that she combined this demanding job with her teaching and her role as Senior Mistress, while keeping an eye on the welfare of the staff, not to mention looking after a donkey, a pony, and overseeing the Pet Hut.

Eileen’s life was Ackworth, and she was part of its very fabric. Even after her retirement, she maintained strong links with the school. As someone remarked on hearing of her death, just a few weeks short of her 90th birthday, ‘we thought she was immortal.’

John Bunney 1934-39

John William Bunney was born into a Quaker family in South London, the eldest child of John and Helen M Bunney. The family moved to Amersham in 1932 before John went to Ackworth at Easter 1934, not a good time for a shy and dutiful son to start a new life. John had an unexceptional school career but he enjoyed the Natural History Society, history and playing the oboe in the school orchestra. He was followed to Ackworth by his brother George and sisters Elizabeth and Helen. John left Ackworth in July 1939 and became a conscientious objector on the outbreak of war, during which he worked in horticulture. He then ran a market garden on family land in the Midlands having married Margery (nee Wilson - scholar 108



1941-1945) in September 1950. They remained here with their children David, Andrew and Catherine until August 1967 when Margery took up appointment as domestic bursar at Ackworth. John joined the garden staff becoming head gardener in 1972. In 1975 John and Margery moved to the Mount School in York where he was the Head Gardener and from where he retired in 1987. Retirement meant travel and time with their growing family and supporting Margery during her time on the School Committee. John had served as Clerk at the Quaker meetings in Amersham, Sutton Coldfield, and Ackworth and was a faithful supporter of Acomb meeting. In his later years John became the school archivist and he never lost his interest in the School. John is survived by Margery, his wife of 67 years, David and Andrew, George and Elizabeth, as well as 6 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

ou’ve heard of “Not the Nine O’Clock News” – well this is “Not the Old Scholars’ AGM!” I would like to extend a warm welcome to you all. As we are no longer a formally constituted Association, but a part of the extended School Family, certain elements of the proceedings will no longer be required, but there will be a general familiarity with tonight’s programme! Hopefully all will become clear as the evening progresses.

I would like to begin by giving the following greetings from Old Scholars not able to be with us this year: Ann Lambourne, Tim and Fran Benson from Ontario Canada, John and Margery Bunney, Gill Rabong from Sydney, Australia, Penelope Feeney, Dorothy Robbins, the last direct descendant of Frederick Andrews, and Norman Fryer.

The Executive Committee met for the final time in September 2017. At the AGM at Easter 2017, we agreed that the Executive Committee would step down and the administration of the Association would transfer to School as of 31st October 2017.

We agreed that the Bank Accounts held by the Association would be closed on 30th November. The balances of our three accounts totalling approximately £15,000 were paid into the Ackworth School 1950s Trust, to continue to be used for the good of the School.

No annual subscriptions are due from any Old Scholar. Those wishing to continue to donate to the School may do so by amending their standing order to the new details. These are available from the school, if you have mislaid your letter. The new Steering Group has met three times during the year and has been looking at the School's vision for the future and how we can reach more Old Scholars, by offering a variety of events over the course of the year, and how the school can manage them.

Work is still in progress updating the databases held by School and Old Scholars. Once this is complete, we will be able to reach more Old Scholars and inform them on a regular basis of events taking place. Likewise, work is still progressing on the new website.

Gillian Morgan 1950-57

Lifetime Member Gill Morgan passed away peacefully on 27th April 2018. She always lived by Quaker values. She will be sadly missed by children and grandchildren.

Lesley Hall 1980-87

Old Scholar, daughter of Bob (Head of Maths prior to Cindy Hamill) and Ann Hall, was diagnosed with cancer a few weeks ago and has sadly died. Bob and Ann also lost their son, Tony, to a brain tumour several years ago.

Steve Slack 1975-08

We were sad to learn of the death of Steve Slack, Head Gardener from 1975 to 2008, who died after a short illness.

Roger Ashton Allen 1954-61 Mary Whitaker 1960-65 Juliet Morris 1979-86 Clare Lawrence (nee Knowles) Marjorie Jackson

Great Garden @ Ackworth

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


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




Room Hire

Please contact our events department to discuss your requirements on 01977 611401 or



Old Scholars' Fell Walk _ Glenthorne Weekend –It was agreed at breakfast time on the Saturday morning, with the weather looking so good, to plan a walk. Mike McRobert and Nick Seed offered to lead the group, and thirteen of us said: "Yes please!" The meeting point was in the car park.

Well - trying to get thirteen people ready, all at the same time, in one place and with their boots on, can be quite an art, and the non-walkers were taking photos of us before we set off! The walking party consisted of Mike and Annabel McRobert, Nick Seed, Trudy Seed, Stuart and Jane Huntington, Phil Taylor, Stephen Lonsdale, Belinda Walters, Michael Bliss, Janet Blann, Phil Taylor, Gwyneth Lindley-Jones, David Bunney and Andy Whiteley. This mix gave our leaders quite an age and ability gap to consider.

The autumn weather was dry and sunny as we set off for High Raise peak via Easedale Tarn. We walked via the Annexe building, hopped over the fence and proceeded up towards Alan Bank House. We turned right up the road and then branched left onto the footpath and headed for Easedale Tarn. The group enjoyed one another's company and there was much chatter, as we admired the views.

We walked high above Easedale Tarn and found a grand spot for lunch, looking down towards the tarn. With the group being of mixed ability and fitness, it was decided, after lunch, to head around the tarn then proceed downwards, with a view to returning to Glenthorne for afternoon tea.

Before we moved off, Mike referred to his handbook, which recommended that we should view the peak, which was another 500 feet above us, in the beautiful sunshine. Then David Bunney and I felt we should not miss out this peak. Phil Taylor agreed, so the three of us headed for the summit. I endeavoured to keep up with the cracking pace the other two set, but it was well worth the effort, giving us a great view of Windermere. (As you all know it's not a lake.) We then followed the others down a very tricky path and joined them back in the lounge for a super afternoon tea. As you can imagine, there was plenty of conversation over those cups of tea. I may not have been a full Ackworth Old Scholar, but I am on the School Committee. It was a great weekend in the Lake District, and an opportunity to catch up with good friends. Andy Whiteley

500 Words


3.45am alarm call would normally result in a foul mood, but not on this morning. I leapt out of bed, got ready and left the hotel by 4.30am, driving to Hampton Court Palace to join a very long queue. Everyone was excited, chatting with friends and strangers alike. At 6.30am I had taken my seat alongside 3000 others and the party began. ‘Fester the Jester’ was our warm up man and had us whooping, clapping and cheering and by the time Chris Evans came onto the stage we were at fever pitch. The final of the 500 Words competition had begun. I have been one of 5000 competition judges for a number of years and have always loved receiving and reading my allocated stories. This year’s judging was no different to any other, but the aftermath certainly was. This year my name was ‘pulled out of the hat’ to become a guest at the final! I couldn’t believe my luck when I received my congratulatory email and I definitely needed to pinch myself when I saw Chris Evans and the Duchess of Cornwall in such close proximity. I was in awe as famous actors including Jim Broadbent and David Walliams read a tremendous range of stories by the very talented finalists. This was certainly a day to remember and I felt part of something very special. The competition encourages young people from the ages of 5 to 13 to use their imaginations and create a story of 500 words. Those 500 words can contain the power to make the reader belly laugh or gently weep, a fact confirmed not only by the live audience, but by the thousands of listeners to the Chris Evans Breakfast Show.

closely followed by Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, driven by Chris Evans with the Duchess of Cornwall and competition winners as his passengers. The two groups slowly wound their way through the cheering crowds but Jill (my guest for the day) had spotted the photographers rushing out of a side gate. We looked at each other and ran…

Through the gate was the River Thames and sitting on the river was the Royal Barge. Within a few moments we saw the carriage and the car moving towards us and come to a standstill directly in front of where we were standing. We were able to see all of the people who had made the morning so magical and the beaming winners. This was the perfect end to a perfect day. Erica Dean, Librarian

After the show had finished the celebrity judges and readers jumped into a horse-drawn carriage. They were 110




Senior Theatre

Who We Are


ho We Are, a play written by Head of Drama Richard Vergette, has been revived four years after it was first performed.

“It was written to commemorate the centenary of the beginning of the First World War so it seemed appropriate to perform it again for the anniversary of the end of that war,” said Richard.

“I also decided to include a new scene featuring Ayham Alhalabi – a student at the school and Syrian refugee – which reminds us that war is very much part of the present as well as the past. With my decision to retire at the end of this term, it seemed a good idea to perform a play that I wrote for the school one last time.” Richard Vergette





Coram Theatre

The Amazing Adventures of Superstan T

he year 6 production was shown to a packed house on Thursday 28th June at 7pm in the Fothergill Theatre. Battling the heat, the children performed the musical with its witty script, crazy characters spectacular songs and dancing, giving all of our children and the audience an unforgettable show that was quite simply... SUPER! Stanley Marvel (played by Charles B Rockli) is the clumsiest clot in Megaville, but he's happy to read his comics and dream his life away. That is until his life is turned upside-down when he discovers that local hero, The Candy King (Noah Clegg), is actually a Super-Villain determined to conquer the world with his corrupt



confectionery! Stan knows Megaville is in need of a Superhero. But when his Gran (Claudia Cross) and her chums reveal an earth-shattering secret, Stan's shocked to discover his own true identity! However, the audience soon discovered that Stanley needed to look within, and ďŹ ght for what is right without any of his superpowers. The story was a tale of self-discovery, courage and inner strength. The children have worked so hard on this production throughout the Summer Term. They received rapturous applause for their performance. Many thanks to all of those involved in making the performance so AMAZING.



Coram Sports





Inter-House Athletics





Party on the Green





Olympics & Address I want to tell you a story about a girl called Yusra.

Yusra was a teenager who lived in a country called Syria. Her favourite sport was swimming. Yusra swam every day at her local swimming pool. Going swimming is easy for you and me, but it was really dangerous for Yusra, because the country she lived in, Syria, was at war. As she swam, bombs could fall from the sky, buildings could be destroyed, lives could be lost. Many were.

Yusra survived the bombings, but her home was destroyed, as was her beloved swimming pool. With nothing left and nowhere to live, Yusra decided to leave Syria and travel to somewhere safe – Germany. This was a hard journey that took nearly a month: Yusra and her family travelled across several countries and eventually had to sail to Greece on a tiny boat. The boat was only meant for six people: instead, crammed on board were twenty frightened, hungry, cold refugees, trying to reach safety. Thirty minutes into their journey, the motor-engine of the boat failed: they couldn’t move. Most of the people on the boat could not swim. People thought that they would be lost at sea. But Yusra was on the boat, and while she was young and scared, she would not give up. This young girl took the rope attached to the boat, jumped into the water and, with three others, towed the boat to safety. They kicked and swam and dragged and pushed the boat for more than three hours, until they finally reached the shore.

Yusra helped save the lives of all the people on that boat. And the reason she could was because of sport.

Yusra’s story reminds us all of how important sport can be. Sport gives you pleasure and pride. Sport allows you to challenge yourself so you can become “swifter, stronger, higher”. But sport does more than this. Sport leads you to others, and enables you to help them. Sports takes you to places that you have never been. Sport allows you to do things that you never thought you could. Without her sport, Yusra would not be here today and would not have taken part in the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio. Yusra’s journey began with small steps: she played her sport for fun with her friends; she took lessons to get better; she trained and played matches and entered competitions. These may be the same small steps that you are taking in your lives now. Think about what sport has done for Yusra. Think about what sport may do for you.

We all must begin somewhere. “The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not winning but taking part; the essential thing in life is not winning, but playing well.” “The human spirit soars with hope when lifted by an encouraging word.” Compete well, work hard and support each other on this, your Olympic Day. Alistar Boucher, Head of Sixth Form

Ackworth Gala





Work Week

Work Experience Polina

Polina worked in the school library. She helped Mrs Dean with general librarian tasks such as sorting books and reorganising shelves. She also helped by making some of the displays for Open Day.

Hannes & Nicole

Hannes and Nicole worked as teaching assistants in Coram House. They helped individuals to complete work and worked with different groups on things such as reading and writing.

Katia, Mac & Sonny Katia, Mac and Sonny spent the week with the PE department helping out in lessons and on fixtures at home and away. They also helped by tidying and sorting the equipment in the battery.




Josh spent the week in Malta working for Perennial Malta Ltd, an investment banking firm. He spent the week working in a variety of different aspects of the firm.


Abigail worked for Valli Opticians as an Optician Assistant. Her role included assisting with appointment making, taking calls, meeting and greeting customers. She also helped with stock, general housekeeping duties and keeping display frames in order.


Harvey worked at Jessop Motor Bodies. Some of the tasks he completed were to observe and shadow bodyshop technicians, helping with the removal of basic car parts. He also assisted in rubbing down car bodywork and masking of bodywork prior to work being carried out.


Dominic worked for Stickyeyes, a digital marketing agency in Leeds. He shadowed a range of jobs throughout the week and was even allowed to work on the social media profile of one of the companies.


Thomas worked at Ripon Farm Services for the week. Some of the tasks he was able to do were observing and shadowing technicians working on tractors and farm equipment. He also took part in things such as checking lights, oil and fuel levels and tyre pressures.



Eleanor worked at Propaganda Design Agency shadowing and observing the design team. Her tasks included assisting with planning and online research on the current creative projects.

Eleanor worked at Jon Trickett’s constituent office for the week. She gained an insight into the running of an MP’s office. During the week she was involved in various duties such as: policy work, case work, constituency concerns, letter writing and research.


Alysha worked over in the Austism Unit. She spent the week acting as a support assistant and helped the team with a range of activities.


Joe worked at St. Joseph’s R.C. Primary School. He assisted teachers, helped with indoor activities. He also supported children in learning and helping with daily routines.


Lucy spent a week in the Marketing Department of Countrywide Healthcare working as a marketing assistant. She has created online banners, assisted in sending a campaign and learnt a number of transferable skills that will assist her in her future endeavours!


Nadia worked at SJ Horses & Ponies. She helped with daily tasks such as mucking out, feeding and walking horses. She also helped with general duties like keeping the stable yard tidy and free from obstructions, assisted in grooming horses and helping keep the tack room tidy.


Rachel spent the week at the Ffestiniog Railway in Snowdonia. She worked in all aspects of the business including on the trains as a ticket collector and as a shop assistant.



Trophies & Prizes Inter House Athletics - Individual Trophies Junior Girls Grace Kaine Intermediate Girls Nicole Mugwidi Senior Girls Theodora White Junior Boys Max Cooper Intermediate Boys Joshua Dawson Senior Boys Okemdi Ahaneku

The Alice Greenwood Sporting Endeavour Trophies The Alice Greenwood Sporting Endeavour Trophies are awarded to a Junior boy and a Junior Girl who have worked hard in PE and games lessons, have consistently attended practices to improve their skills and knowledge, have represented the school in several sports, have always been encouraging to their peers and who have been very reliable and helpful to the PE department throughout the school year. This year the awards go to: Rachel Swales David Mpofu Junior Prizes

Thanatorn (Dori) Suntornsuk Art Thanatorn (Dori) Suntornsuk Biology Emily Sanderson Chemistry Emily Sanderson French James Bower Design Technology Grace Dibb Drama Max Cooper English Evelyn Salter Food & Nutrition Bani Bhinder Geography

Lucy Holden-Stokes Geography Nicolas Robisson-Barthelemy German Nicolas Robisson-Barthelemy Religious Studies Isabel Cawood History Layla Johnson Mathematics Freddie Barr Music Grace Kaine Physical Education David Mpofu Physical Education Rhys Wickham Physics Archie Carr Spanish Intermediate Prizes

Joshua Ward Art Charlotte Glasby Chemistry Charlotte Glasby Geography Charlotte Glasby History Charlotte Glasby Biology Jasmine Walker Biology Jasmine Walker Food & Nutrition William Harrison Design Technology Maisie Waite Drama Harry Dean English Harry Dean Physics Eleanor Morris French Eleanor Morris Mathematics Rachel Swales German Rachel Swales Music Lucy Kitching Physical Education Millie Hinchclie Physical Education Miguel Jimenez Vilalta Physical Education Oliver Foster Religious Studies Rachel Forrester Spanish

Lower Sixth Prizes

Kin Long (Jason) Lok Business Studies Alex Rudkin Economics Ziyang (Eddie) Ye Economics Ziyang (Eddie) Ye Physical Education Emma Forrester Physical Education Louisa Young English Shan (Roy) He Further Mathematics Olivia Howden Geography Holly Rice Geography Holly Rice German Eleanor White History Chenyu (Sam) Wang Mathematics Tom Wilks Music Andrey Gizdov Physics Rebecca Puels Psychology Paige Booth Religious Studies Gibson Awards

1st Form Isabel Cawood Natanee (Ink) Chantima Annabel Harper Ella Hinchclie Thanatorn (Dori) Suntornsuk



2nd Form Emily Sanderson

3rd Form Ruby Chan Nathan Charlesworth Yansia (Yanie) Chomsin Charlotte Glasby Emily Greenwood Harriet Greenwood Jasmine Walker Josephine White Rhys Wickham 4th Form Benjamin Cawood Joshua Dawson Harry Dean Eleanor Morris Joseph Morton Hannah Savage Rachel Swales Alex Watson Robyn Wickham



International Centre Graduation & Prizes Certificate for successfully completing the 2017-18 course in English as an Additional Language BAO Xuan Hao (Boris) CUI Guangda (Robert) DUAN Jinglai (Jemma) Guo Xianthang (Gary) HU Chen (Ricardo) Hu Juncheng (Mike) JIANG Yuechang (Jonathan) Evelina Kalinina LEE Joo Yoon Li Chung Ming (Sunny) Li De (Liam) LI Xi (Lee) Liu Hailong (Jason) Phonthaweewathanachai Ratsamiman (Baitong) SU Haoyu (Irving) TSE Cheuk Fung (Jerry) Wu Ziwu (Alex) XU Tianyu (Eason) Yasir Yaseen Ying Ho Lam (Ronald) YING Ming ZHENG Jialin (Katelyn)



Certificate for successfully completing two terms of the 2017-18 course in English as an Additional Language LIU Hongxu (Kevin) ZHOU Jia Bao (Alex)

Certificate for successfully completing one term of the 2017-18 course in English as an Additional Language ZHENG GanYun (Kiko) ZHONG Lin IC Academic Prizes

EAL 1 HU Juncheng (Mike) EAL 2 ZHENG Jialin (Katelyn) EAL 3 BAO Yuan Hao (Boris) Maths LEE Joo Yoon (Joo) Physics BAO Yuan Hao (Boris) Chemisty LEE Joo Yoon (Joo) Biology Robert Cui Art Phonthaweewathanachai Ratsamiman (Baitong) Design Technology Katelyn Zheng Business Studies Yasir Yaseen History Phonthaweewathanachai Ratsamiman (Baitong) British Culture Yasir Yaseen Games WU Ziwu (Alex) Integration Award GUO Xianzhang (Gary)

Upper Sixth University Destinations The following have places confirmed

James Leeds Beckett, Business Studies Amy York St John, English Literature Drew Hull, Business Management and Marketing

The following have firm offers from the following:

Ayham Bradford, Pharmacy Al-Waleed Westminster, Business Management Sydney-Jay Bradford, Clinical Sciences/Medicine Foundation Danny Coventry, Finance and Investment Elisa Aberystwyth, Criminology with Applied Psychology Viktoriia Brighton, Law William Loughborough, Geography Ksenija St Andrews, Economics and Mathematics Khalil Sheffield, Aerospace Engineering Brooke Leeds, Psychology Matthew Leeds, Accounting and Finance Branson Durham, Economics with Management with Study Abroad Jason Salford, Interior Design Abdalla Manchester, Biomedical Sciences

Wenbo Manchester, Management (Accounting and Finance) with Industrial/Professional Experience Daiki Essex, Management and Marketing Phyllis Coventry, International Finance and Accounting Zoe Cambridge, Engineering Matthew Salford, Computer Sciences Victoria Bradford, Clinical Sciences/Medicine Foundation Sam Newcastle, Mathematics Eric Durham, Business and Management with Business Placement Jacob York, Chemistry with a year in industry Dominic Leeds, English and Music Jessica Bolton, Psychology with Foundation Bohdan Essex, Computer Sciences Georgia Newcastle, History Theodora Birmingham, Pharmacy Francesca Durham, Combined Honours in Social Sciences Paris Goldsmiths, Politics Ellie Birmingham, Dentistry Mahdi Queen Mary, Biomedical Sciences Holden UCL, Mathematics



Open Day Ackworth School

Old Scholars’ Cup


his person has set themselves extremely high academic standards, and would be forgiven for focusing solely on themselves and their attainment. That is the least that they have done. They have supported members of their community; they have acted as last-minute teacher, coach and source of reassurance. This person does not just support others of a similar age: they are an important figure in their community, and are a pillar of support for the young and old.

This student knows what it is like to be without security and remembers the pressures and burdens this brings. It is a sign of empathy and determination that he was instrumental in bringing about Ackworth School’s first refugee respite day, in which people who have sought refuge in the UK from all over the world were able to visit Ackworth to enjoy a day of games, art, music and community friendship. Outside his A Level academic studies, this student

has worked as a volunteer translator, project worker, befriender, receptionist, resettlement support worker, tutor and community activist with a number of different organisations: the Claremont Community Centre, the Horton Housing Association, Enable 2, Bevan Healthcare, the Syrian Association of Yorkshire and The Refugee Council.

There is a saying, that when it comes to telling a personal story, you should speak from your scars, not from your wounds. This student’s story is one which resonates and still hurts, but it is shared openly and honestly, not to elicit sympathy but rather to communicate the powerful reality of what is happening in the world. This student has spoken of his feelings and experiences on countless occasions, sharing his factual, heartfelt and inspiring words to year groups, house groups and subject classes in the school; this student has shared painful and tragic details of events so that they could contribute to a powerful and compelling scene in the School’s summer production; this student has presented to and on behalf of charities, statutory and voluntary agencies across the country, to audiences in their hundreds. This student speaks in the pursuit of truth and learning, for knowledge and empathy, sharing openly to help others learn more, regardless of the cost to themselves. The criteria of the Old Scholars’ Cup are to show the best qualities of initiative, innovation, enterprise and service in a way which benefits the school, local, and indeed, national communities. This student does all of this and more. He conducts himself with politeness, kindness and respect, possessing a profound sense of joy and morality at his core. The winner of this year’s Old Scholars’ Cup is Ayham AlHalabi.





Summer Ball



Ackworth School Pontefract Road, Ackworth, Pontefract, WakeďŹ eld, WF7 7LT Tel: +44 (0)1977 611401 l Email: l M /AckworthSchool l N @ackworth_school

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