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The Word


Inside: Swing Band Success PLUS: Matt Dawson • Hockey Triumph • Lowry Art Competition Winners and more

Our Opening News Buzzing

Matt Dawson




On Wednesday 14th March, four year sevens excitedly went to Manchester Metropolitan University to take part in the regional finals of the MFL Spelling Bee.

On the 7th of March, a group of Year 7, 8 and 9’s got the chance to meet Matt Dawson, a retired England rugby player. When he arrived, the Year 7 and 9 rugby captains, Mr Gartside, Mr Morris, Mrs Thomson and some Sodexo staff greeted him and asked questions about what he is doing and what TV shows he is in.

The Summer Term is always an enjoyable one with its warmer and longer days. The boys are, weather permitting, able to use the playing fields at lunchtime to play football and many also enjoy the summer sports of athletics, cricket and tennis. This is not to say that there are no pressures: for Years 10 upwards public examinations hang over them for much of the term whilst Years 7 to 9 have internal examinations to sit as well. At the end of the term Years 7 and 8 are issued with reports whilst Years 10 to 13 have the agonising wait until August and the publication of their exam results. During our special Centenary year we have more School events planned for the Summer term than usual. I hope that every family in the School will be represented at our Centenary celebration concert in the Bridgewater Hall on 30th of this month. Then on 10th May we have a special Robert Anderson Centenary Day – raising funds for Asthma UK and at the same time trying out sports which were played one hundred years ago.

In July we also have two very special events. On 6th July we hold our Founders’ Day to remember those who established the School in 1912 and we welcome as Guest of Honour Dame Professor Nancy Rothwell, the Vice-Chancellor of Manchester University. She has been invited to our Centenary Founders’ Day because one hundred years ago it was one of her predecessors Alfred Hopkinson who first opened the School. The photographs below show how the School looked when it was opened, with the first Head Master Mr Saville Laver at the School opening ceremony. Then on Saturday 7th I invite you all to our own “Party in the Park” (or Party on the School Field!). We plan for a superb Centenary music festival featuring an eclectic range of entertainment which we fully expect will take place as the sun goes down over a blazing hot day! I wish everyone a very happy Summer term.

Hamza, Mathew, Success and Adam passed the classroom and school finals. There were three different languages to take part in, Spanish, German and French. Pupils were learning the words for weeks beforehand and could not wait for the big regional finals. Tension and anxiety ran through their veins and as the important time grew closer, the four students spent all their free time practising with the help of their school mates. The competition began immediately after arriving at the university. The nervous but prepared boys tried their best and faced the judges with their fantastic frenzy of foreign words. There were a lot more French students, than Spanish and German so when the French competition continued, the other language pupils took part in challenging but fun activities, including Chinese origami and Italian hand gestures and words. These were popular amongst everyone who attended including the AGSB pupils.

When the results were in, AGSB hadn’t won or got through but they are still proud School Opening Ceremony, taken from the Guardian. of how far they got in the competition and of how much their language has improved. This was the first time Year 7’s had entered and there is talk of entering the future year 7’s next time. Overall, it was a fun and spelling-tastic evening that was exiting and enjoyable for everyone who took part. Hamza Rana

After a drink of water, we went to the Food Tech room where we met up with the other boys and then had a cooking session with Matt and made one of his favourite prematch meals called linguine. This is a pasta based dish which is quick and simple to make. Matt gave us a demonstration and then we made the dish which was great fun and very enjoyable. We had to boil the pasta in a pan with salt to flavour it. Then, we added it to the chilli, garlic, onion and tomatoes that we had in a pan. Then we added pepper, more salt and some olive oil. After that we served it into bowls and tidied up. A while later, he announced the winner of the recipe competition and that was Liam Paulson from 7WD for his stew. He won a

cookbook written by Matt Dawson and then got Matt to sign it. In second place was John Norton from 7WD with his kebabs. Both of the dishes will be soon available for purchase in the Stamford hall. Then, the camera-man took pictures with Matt at the front and everyone else in the background and we each received a signed picture. After that it was the rugby teams turn to meet Matt. They listened to an astonishing speech about what it was like to win the world cup in 2003 and about what sort of training the England team had to do to prepare them for the world cup in order you win it. He also told us stories such as what happened to Buck Shelford when he was kicked by a French player. After that he answered a number of questions that we had and showed us a video clip of the World Cup Final in 2003. Everyone had a great day and was very inspired by his talk in the Coleman Hall. All of the people who cooked with him had great fun and a great experience talking to him. John Norton

Activities Days JULY 16TH, 17TH & 18TH At the end of the Summer Term, over 100 boys in year 7 and 8, and many of the staff are away on language trips abroad, so ordinary lessons are difficult to maintain. Instead, I organise three days of activities for the remaining 470 boys in year 7, 8 and 9 during this final week. Lessons are suspended; Monday and Tuesday are divided into three one-and-a-half hour sessions, with Wednesday being a day out on a trip. There are 48 activities altogether, some for specific years, some for everyone, and each boy can choose which seven activities appeal to him. At the end of this Spring Term, each boy receives a booklet explaining what the

activities are, together with a choice form, on which he lists his seven choices. When these are returned, I allocate the sessions and give out a provisional timetable for boys to check (this will be at the beginning of May). When the timetables are correct I will issue the final timetables and the total cost, which we ask you to pay by half term. The activities are very varied; many are run by staff and are free, catering for a wide range of interests. There are several sports related sessions – football at the JJB, tennis, skating, BMX biking, rock climbing, golf and a morning at the Chill Factore. Two popular visitors give sessions on African Drumming, and Making your own

Animated Cartoon. Some activities cater for specific interests such a Photography, how to play Bridge, maintain your bicycle, and produce healthy Fast Food. There is even an opportunity to do some voluntary work at the Children’s Adventure Farm. Wednesday is the day for trips – Alton Towers, Blackpool, Knowsley and Paintballing or a relaxing local walk. Many of the activities are free, but it is a good opportunity to learn a new skill or try something different. It is always a fun three days, and a perfect way to celebrate the end of the school year. Mrs G.Murray







The Under 14 Basketball side won the South Trafford Schools League, remaining undefeated throughout the group stage. The results were as follows:

The year 9 Rugby team played in the Rydal Penrhos 7’s tournament. It was clear from the start that our biggest rivals in our group were Kings School Macclesfield whom we were to play in the final match of the group stage. With all subsequent games going as expected both us and Kings were undefeated meaning the winners of our game would go through to the cup final and the losers through to the plate final. With superior tries scored we knew a draw would be good enough to send us through to the final.

We are pleased to announce the success of our U18 and U14 Hockey teams in the North West Finals of the English Schools’ Cup.

Won Won Won Won Won Won

36-16 vs ACA 35-26 vs St Ambrose 29-2 vs North Cestrian 60-9 vs Sale High 42-8 vs BTH 25-5 vs Sale Grammar

Unfortunately the boys were knocked out in the semi-finals by a strong Stretford Grammar side, narrowly losing 28-22. Hopefully we can go one better next year. Well done to all of the boys who were part of the squad!

Having beaten Kings twice already this season at fifteen aside we knew we were in for a tough game. Unfortunately due to two missed tackles and a missed conversion by us we lost the game 14-12, sending us into the plate final to face Manchester Grammar School. Although we were disappointed we dusted ourselves down ready for the final. We played some of our best rugby which saw us easily beating MGS as they could not handle the pace and ferocity with which we played. So we finished the day with mixed emotions, unhappy that we did not make the cup final which we were confident we could have won but also happy due to bringing some silverware back to AGSB. Special mention should be given to Alistair Whealthall who was superb throughout the tournament. Also to Charlie Whitelegg for entertaining us all with his comedy run! Mr S. Meakin

Mr S. Jelly

Our U18s were crowned North West Champions last Wednesday after winning all their matches in the Finals tournament held at Timperley Hockey Club, beating Rossall School, Calday Grange and Cockermouth in the group stages, Wirral Grammar in the semi-final and Rossall School again 3 – 2 on penalty flicks, after 0 – 0 at full-time. Congratulations to the whole squad, Jack Burgess, Tommy Norris, Jack Williams, Ben Morris, William Tobin, Stephen Magee, Patrick Jones, Rob Clift, Joshua Branch, Charlie Dowdle, Mark Balfour, Matthew Hardern, and particular acknowledgement should be made of our keeper Andy McNaught’s performance throughout the tournament and for playing a key role in the team’s success in the final penalty shoot out. Big brother Duncan McNaught led the team superbly and took responsibility for the final penalty flick which he needed to

convert to give us the trophy. The next day in the parallel tournament for U14s, our boys were runners up, again to our nemesis Rossall, unluckily losing 0 – 2 in the final. In the group stages, we beat MGS 4 – 0, Cockermouth 3 – 0 and drew 1 – 1 with St Anselm’s College. In the semi-final we beat Calday Grange 4 – 1. Congratulations to Harry Christopher and his squad, Adam Laitt, Alec Mackenzie, Alex Blair, Anthony Feeney, Austin Scott, Ben Little, Daniel Mironov, Elliot Duff, Eoin Rogers, Euan Gilchrist, George Hallwood, Jack Entwistle, Jacob Farrelly, Leo Poulson, Robin Curnow, Sungjoon Kim and Vaikkun Venkat.


Mr T. Lowe



Mr S. Meakin


As a result of their successes both squads now progress to their respective North of England finals in which they will be playing against teams from Yorkshire and the North East.

Flying Our school link with MUFC allowed several pupils the opportunity to be flag bearers in their recent Europa Cup match against Ajax. The boys thoroughly enjoyed the day.

A real racket!

The year 9 Rugby team have experienced more success this year! Having beaten Kings School Macclesfield in the Cheshire Cup semi final we are now in the Final awaiting the winner of Wilmslow HS or Stockport Grammar. Having played some superb Rugby all season we are very confident in bringing the trophy back to AGSB.

Winners U13 TABLE TENNIS Our U13 team won the Trafford Table Tennis competition held at the ‘Grammar’. We faced Sale GS in the final. After some close games we won and were named Trafford champions. We now travel to the City Games held at the Eithad Stadium and Sports City on Tuesday 27th March. The team is full of players who train regularly and they are confident of doing well in the tournament. Mr S. Meakin

Mr S. Meakin

Adistars YEAR 7

7 pupils in year 7 have been chosen to be Adistars for the school. Their role is to promote sport and 2012 Olympics. They raised money for Sports Relief by selling wrist bands and helping organise a Year 7 sponsored Sports Relief mile which took place on Friday 23rd March. Thanks for buying the wrist bands and supporting a great cause.

Swing Band SWING BAND IN MUSIC FOR YOUTH HEATS “Each section plays with precision and accuracy to a high standard.” “Very sophisticated playing leading to a hugely competent performance.” These were just some of the comments that the adjudicators wrote about the AGSB Swing Band when they competed in the Music for Youth heats in Warrington a few weeks ago. After an early start on the Saturday morning when some boys discovered that there are actually two 8 o’clocks on a Saturday, the coach departed with Swing band, Concert Band and Barbershop – oh yes and not forgetting Mrs Bold, Miss DJ and Mr Myers. The journey was fairly subdued as the boys were still in the process of waking up but once we arrived it was all hands on deck to unload the bus - at this point I must just mention a new

member of the department -our very own roadie Will Briggs. Barbershop performed first -it always amazes me how these boys can go from mono-syllabic grunting in the classroom to singing melodies that bring a tear to the eye (in a nice way!) The barbershop were complemented on their smiles, outfits and ties and were referred to as confident but not arrogant. Their singing provoked some excellent comments from the adjudicators who wrote phrases such as beautifully balanced, glorious singing and exciting performance – Miss DJ was also given a mention for her fantastic accompanying! Next Concert Band performed – after a few minor mishaps such as a tenor saxophone that refused to work and a self-exploding oboe – they were ready to perform. Their

playing was described as accomplished, confident, charismatic and vibrant. Another brilliant performance led by Mr Myers and his red pencil. Swing Band performed Café Rio and Big Noise from Winnetka. Big noise was definitely a big noise with the drummers playing like their life depended on it (and in Toby’s case it did). In both pieces each section was complemented on their playing and particularly the improvisation skills of various players. After the adjudicators had delivered their feedback then it was back on the bus and homeward bound. We will not find out until after Easter which ensembles have been successful so until then the music department turns it’s attention to the Centenary Concert where many of the ensembles will be performing together. In between the Music for Youth heats the music department has also put on two spring concerts. Well, you know what they say…….no rest for the wicked! Mrs J. Bold

Stop Hunger WITH A TWIST - CHARITY EVENT Stop Hunger is the Sodexo Charity of choice - raising funds for projects worldwide. Sodexo asked Chad’s Challenges to help them to run and event to raise some money - so we came up with idea of linking it to Oliver Twist - so we had Mark Balfour as our artful dodger, Julie as Nancy and Norma as an urchin! At break we played very loud Oliver Music and

then auctioned off shoe shines to the Sixth Form by Mr Pearson, Mrs Harvey-Voyce, Mrs Barratt and Mrs Williamson - and of course we also had the collecting buckets out! The staff had previously bid for a shoe shine from Mr Gartside who sportingly took up the challenge and at lunch he shined Mr Hall’s Shoes in the Stamford Hall watched by students eating lunch. We continued with

our Oliver Music and songs. Sodexo handed out Bread and Water when our brave “Oliver” ( Alex Lunnon of Year 7 ) dared to ask Mr Gartside for “MORE”.

Centenary News

Thank you Gold Sponsors We would sincerely like to thank all sponsors for their support and contribution to Altrincham Grammar School for Boys Centenary. Their donations to help fund the Centenary celebrations has been invaluable. Each decade has been sponsored by a gold patron


In recent years Tom Green has become a familiar face around the School as he and his team at Michael Hyde and Associates have been transforming the School’s facilities. This has included creating a new Food Technology Room, a new Art Room, a new home for the Mathematics Department and giving the Staff Room a much needed facelift. The greatest change to the School has been to the sports facilities, with the creation of The Grammar and the floodlit artificial pitch. Bernie Jones, the Chief Executive of Trafford Community Leisure Trust, who has been closely involved with the recent developments commented “Michael Hyde and Associates have designed one of the best dual-use sports facilities in the North of England..”

1932-1941 Duerr’s, Britain’s oldest family owned jam makers, have been making quality jams, marmalades and other sweet spreads in Manchester for the last 130 years. Duerr’s have a rich history of product innovation, as the first preserve company to vacuum seal their jars in 1905. This reputation for innovation in recent years has come in the form of new product development; the ongoing roll-out of ‘Orbit’ easy open lids has received unprecedented levels of national media and consumer attention and has scooped the Consumer Convenience Award 2011.

Tom, who is an Old Boy of the School, said “It has been a real privilege to be able to make a positive change to the School, helping it to continue being a great place to study. I am proud that The Grammar has been recognised as a first class facility and it is great to see how it has transformed sport at the School. Ironic really as sport was never my strong subject.” Michael Hyde and Associates have done some outstanding work for the School but their experience is not limited to this. They are involved in a wide variety of sectors including designing houses and apartments through to offices and hotels. To see a full range of services and portfolio of their work go to or give Tom a call on 0161 834 1018.

In Autumn 2010, Duerr’s expanded their premises, moving peanut butter production from the original Prestage Street site in Old Trafford, to a purpose-built factory at Dallimore Road, Wythenshawe. This state-of-the-art building is also situated close to the Floats Road site, home to production of jams and marmalades. Family values and commitment to the local community are at the heart of everything Duerr’s do. In addition to creating over 200 local jobs, Duerr’s have a strong history of supporting local causes. They are proud to have raised more than £500k over the last 10 years with their annual ‘Duerr’s Ball’; £42k of this benefitting the local Wythenshawe Hospital, helping with essential items for the maternity and neonatal units. We are pleased and proud that a member of the 6th generation of the family attends AGSB.


To find out more about Duerr’s visit:

Sodexo Education are pleased to be a gold sponsor of the AGSB Centenary and extremely proud to have been the Schools’ caterer for the past 13 years. Young people are the future and we believe that we play an important part in supporting their education; providing healthy and nutritious food that gives them the fuel to learn.


Construction and development

The government school food guide lines are the foundation of the menus we offer at AGSB. We have worked with the School to develop an approach that both respects the guidelines but also recognises the need for well educated pupils to be able to make informed choices. We are committed to providing great value and innovative food choices that meet the needs of today’s young people. Our food is prepared fresh on site with quality, wholesome ingredients, well cooked, seasonal and predominantly sourced from the UK. Our fresh fish accredited by the Marine Stewardship Council, our fresh meat is Farm Assured and our eggs are Lionmark accredited.

The origins of the Pochin Group date back to the 1930s when former Altrincham Grammar School boy, Cedric Pochin, pictured here circa 1920 in a science lesson, established a joinery company in Manchester. The Head Master’s prediction of success in Cedric’s last school report proved right; the business that started underneath the railway arches in Castlefield became publicly listed in 1965. From these humble origins, the company has grown considerably, diversifying into the construction industry and subsequently property development. Over the years, Pochin has been involved in some of the North West’s and North Wales’ most significant building schemes, including Manchester University, Manchester Science Park and the Welsh Assembly Government’s new offices. Most recently, Pochin has come back to its roots in Altrincham, having been appointed as preferred bidder for the new Altrincham General Hospital. If approved, work is expected to commence on site by late autumn 2012. Cedric Pochin would have been pleased to know that his great grandson currently attends AGSB, and that the company he founded over eighty years ago is sponsoring his former school in its centenary year.

Building on the success of the new sixth form café, we are working with the school on plans to develop the dining facility in the Stamford Hall and look forward to an exciting future with the School.



Thank you Silver & Bronze Sponsors Silver Sponsors RN Humphreys Associates, Chartered Surveyors

Lowry ART COMPETITION Once again, we returned to AGSB victorious, from the 12th Annual Schools Art Competition at The Lowry on Saturday 17th March. In our opinion, all the participants are winners, because their work had previously been selected from a large pool of excellent art work produced here in the department, which made the job of selecting who would represent our school this year even harder than usual. In the 18 and under category, Tom Marsh (Y13) submitted an excellent self portrait which was praised highly by the judges on the day. This category was very tough this year, with some equally strong work from a variety of other schools and he was up against tough competition. In the 16 and under category, a beautiful portrait of his grandmother by Arnav Srivastava won highly commended and in the 14 and under category, Will Menzies won 1st prize for his unusual and very creative painting of a ‘tennis player’ All three works are on display in the front entrance of School. Belinda Hochland

Bronze Sponsors Innovative garden landscaping

Design I Advertising I Packaging

The Morris Family

3rd Altrincham Scouts

Get the picture? PHOTOGRAPHY I’m Alastair Adams, Y13, and for 5 years now I’ve been doing sports photography in an official capacity for a football club which some of you may have heard of called FC United of Manchester. I got into photography a couple of years before I started at FC after watching the other professionals taking pictures at matches – I eventually just thought “that looks pretty cool, I think I’ll have a go.” Little was I to know that only 5 years later I’d be getting paid for having pictures published in the press – the Daily Mail and Zoo Magazine being a couple of notable mentions. Photography is quite an expensive hobby, before anyone decides to start immediately (my kit is worth well over £1000) – and it takes a lot of practice and perseverance to get it right – but all of that is made worth it when you know your pictures are being viewed by thousands of people

across both the UK and the world. It’s one of the most rewarding hobbies around if you put the effort in. View my site at and the official FC United site at

Up for debate




It was on the brisk evening of Thursday 23rd of February that 16 Sixth Form youngsters with nothing better to do stormed the Coleman Hall stage, to subject 110-ish paying customers to a veritable smorgasbord of questionable thespian pursuits and inappropriate musical interludes. This unfortunate audience had nowhere but their fancy-onion flavoured potato snacks to turn to as the now school-renowned LAMDA drama group literally performed their own brand of caustic humour, deep emotional investment and pure unadulterated profanity - in what has now become known as the greatest drama event since the last drama event.

“How on earth did I get roped into this?” This was the question I asked myself at eight o’clock on a cold Saturday morning, standing on the steps of Cheadle Hulme School. Little did I know that when I had volunteered to do a “bit of a debating competition”, I would have to prepare for 5 different subjects, including the nuances of how religion may, or may not make good men evil. Entering the reception hall myself and Patrick Hackett (the School’s French team) were greeted by a delightful French lady who informed us that our School’s entry was not registered on their list. The day was going well so far. A cup of tea and a biscuit later, we sat down to be briefed on the rules and do a bit of last-minute preparation

LAMDA Drama is an eclectic group of intrepid creatives who, between them, have aspirations for futures in music, television and publishing, wish to extend their studies and understandings of the world beyond curricular academia, and really don’t want to do P.E. Formed in the winter of 2010 with 10 now-Year 13s, the LAMDA group - in the more-than-capable hands of working actress and Drama tutor Jenny Hennessy - works towards an A-Level equivalent in Drama over 2 years through 2 distinct modules. Our first year focused on the production of a 20-minute devised body of work through improvisation and flair, based on a news story, whilst the second year takes a look at performing duologues (scenes involving two characters) from plays and productions through the ages using popular and infamous acting methods…like the Method. An Evening With LAMDA Drama was the result of 18 months of hard graft working towards completing the qualification, and included duologues from both Year 12 and 13 students, the devised piece the Year 13s created to get a Level 8 Distinction last summer, and some individual creative efforts from Year 13 students. Rehearsals began in earnest at the beginning of February, but not much got done as a certain article author was in another country looking at rocks, whilst others were at music festivals, eating biscuits, and just didn’t have much else to do. Then it was the holidays, and, y’know. Before we knew it, the 19th of February was upon us and we had a show to put on! Biscuits were unhanded, oars were stuck firmly in and the project was unceremoniously removed from the ground, as unfinished scripts became lifelines for the lighting and sound setup and a foreign substance appeared on the surface of a table used on-stage. Through Mrs Harvey-Voyce’s audible intercom shrieks of “That wasn’t in the script!”, sticky trousers from inadvertently parking oneself in said foreign substance and the discovery of a substantial, mysterious mould that had been cultivating itself in a decanter of apple juice for the last 4 years, we persevered, and by Thursday afternoon we felt that we had a show. Fake tea-lights were duly brought out to set the mood, and we waited for our audience. They eventually arrived, and for some nerves kicked in big time - then were kicked out because they had no ticket. The clock struck 7:37, we finished our cups of tea, and the show began. The evening was kicked off by the duologues, sneakily and untimely ripped from the wombs of such plays as Alan Bennett’s brashly witty ‘History Boys’ (Tom Stanley and Bob Horton), Johann Goethe’s dark reimagining ‘Faust’ (Chris Cherry-Hully and myself) and Arthur Miller’s incendiary ‘The Crucible’

We were soon ushered off to our Group’s “debating chamber” (a language lab, illustriously re-named for the day) and after engaging in a little pre-match conversation with our opponents, the group was informed that due to our last-minute registration with the powersthat-be, whoever won our group’s heat would bypass the semi-final, and head straight for the final round. So no pressure. After settling in, the first two teams were called forward for the first motion for the day, picked out of a hat. Patrick and I sat back and watched the fun begin. Above all, we were pleasantly surprised. Despite being the only state school in the competition, it seemed their French was no better than ours. (In fact, quite the opposite in some cases!) Eventually, our names were called, and in our first debate, against Bolton Boys, we were told to “defend ourselves and our property, at any price”.

(Jack Corcoran and George McGough), with a brief interlude by Sam Fairbrother performing his own hilarious poke-of-fun at Alan Bennett’s Talking Heads monologues. All of a sudden it was the interlude, and Dan Lockett’s fine compère skills were put to good use rousing the audience for original musical performances by James Grimshaw and Jack Corcoran - a piece written for a production of Twelfth Night last year, set to Shakespeare’s words, and a controversial piano performance of a song questioning the nature of deities in good, and dark, humour respectively. We ended on our devised piece, the story of two brothers forced apart by a father diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, and a £60,000 savings account, told through the format of a crass breakfast TV show “That Morning”. And then it was over! We had blagged it, we had managed, they had bought it, fallen for it hook line and sinker, and with this we were indeed proud. Jenny’s mother approached us, after a few glasses of the red stuff, and insisted what she had just witnessed was “the best piece of drama I have ever seen”. We were immensely touched by the kind words of the audience, and, job done, we retired for well deserved pats on the back from all involved, particularly each other. I considered the journey we had taken as a Drama department, the adversity and adventure we had faced in order to retain our right to be dramaqueens. Long live the Arts! If you are entering the 6th Form next year, and are interested in joining the LAMDA drama group, talk to Mrs Harvey-Voyce. James Grimshaw

The daunting prospect of debating in a foreign language soon melted away and by our second and final debate in the ‘heats’ stage, we were in full swing; furiously scribbling notes whilst the other side were giving their speeches, improvising arguments for the audience of

three adjudicators, and ravaging our opponents’ points in the “lutte acharné” (fight to the [metaphorical] death). Then, we waited. We watched the semi-final between Cheadle Hulme and St Bede’s, and followed our fellow debaters back to the main hall to hear the results. To our complete shock, we were announced as finalists, to do battle against St Bede’s. Like lambs to the slaughter, we filed out to the final debate of the day, this time in a “debating chamber” packed to standing-room-only with teachers, adjudicators, and competitors knocked out in previous rounds. The nerves then really did start to kick in. We were arguing in opposition to the motion that “religion makes good men evil”, and against a Catholic school, we had a job on our hands. Nevertheless, we did our best, focussing our argument on the choice of the individual’s interpretation of perceived self-interest, against our adversaries’ argument that religion indoctrinates young minds. At the end of the debate, we really couldn’t be sure who had won; St Bede’s gave as good as they got, it seemed that we had really met our match. A few tension-filled minutes later, and all the teams who had participated in the competition gathered in the main School hall to hear the result – that the runners up were... St Bede’s! We couldn’t believe that we had won the regional round, being judged better than the ten or so other schools who had participated, and I think we both came out of the competition thinking in French for the rest of the day. So watch this space, next stop is the National Finals in London, and the preparation has already started! Oliver Carroll On Thursday 23rd February two Year 10 pupils Anoop Rao and Oliver Chow went to the Chinese Embassy in London to take part in the finals of the Pandapals national Chinese speaking competition. They had reached the final by submitting a three minute video speech in Chinese to celebrate the arrival of the two Giant Pandas in Edinburgh Zoo, Sunshine and Sweetie. They had been chosen alongside 13 other finalists from over 150 entries from schools throughout the U.K.

Giant Panda Competition CHINESE EMBASSY LONDON

The Panda project represents important scientific and zoological cooperation between China and the U.K. as well as cementing further cooperation and friendship between the two countries. During the day the boys presented their speech in Chinese live in front of an audience of 100 people and an eminent judging panel including His Excellency Liu Xiaoming, Chinese Ambassador to the United Kingdom, Sir William Ehrmann, former U.K. Ambassador to China and Mrs Sue Williamson, CEO of the Schools Network. They performed brilliantly, both being awarded joint second place in the competition, and the prize was an all expenses paid visit to Edinburgh with their parents to visit the Panda enclosure. Well done Anoop and Oliver! Mrs A. Lacon

Almost everything you want to know about... Gill Williamson



Over 100 Year 5 students from local primary schools flocked to AGSB on Saturday 25th February. This was the first STEM day organised by the Science College and over 90% of the students said that it was a ‘fantastic morning’ and they ‘really enjoyed it’. An impressive range of activities was laid on: Lego robot programming, rocket building, chemical flame testing, hands on engineering and a rain forest roadshow. A ‘Big Bang’ finale laid on by the Chemistry Department of the University of Manchester draw the morning to a spectacular close. The morning was a great success due to a lot of hard work from numerous members of staff from the Maths, Technology, ICT and Science departments and over 20 Sixth Form students. However, the biggest thank you goes to Mrs Lacon and Mrs Crowther who brought their exceptional organisational skills to the event ensuring a smooth running, very informative and hugely enjoyable STEM morning.

On the evening of Wednesday 7th March Dr Squire and Mr Birtwell attended a cross-curricular event at the Airkix indoor skydiving centre in Manchester. In support of the government’s STEM agenda (Science Technology Engineering and Maths) scientists from MOSI (Museum of Science and Industry) and the UK Space Centre presented a series of lectures and interactive demonstrations to help teachers bring lessons to life. As well as this they both got to have a go at indoor skydiving! “It was hilarious and invigorating” Dr Squire was heard to say. Afterwards, when he’d regained his composure and stopped crying, Mr Birtwell said “Wow! Physics really is fun. Maybe I’ll retrain to teach a real subject ”. Keep your eye out in lessons for the video they both got as a memento of their experiences.


Mr E. Thomas


Born: Mossley Hill, Liverpool Position: Sixth Form Administrator Responsible for: Helping the Sixth Form Students and the Staff get the most out of their time in the Sixth Form! Supports: Not interested in watching any sport, and I hate it when they reschedule my favourite programmes for football to be on TV! Famous for: Having fun and making people smile as part of the Chad’s Challenges Team Infamous for: Dropping out of Leeds University back in 1982 Often seen: Giving out Freddo Chocolate Bars Did you know: I am a fully qualified Project Manager, Computer Programmer and Database Designer

Sue Bracegirdle Born: Locally Position: Office Administrator Responsible for: Day to day office routines Supports: Admin Office and Admissions Famous for: Her weekly meetings with HM when she says they discuss the School Bulletin! Catchphrase ‘if the caravans rocking don’t come knocking!’ Infamous for: Her dry sense of humour and infectious laugh! Often seen: Eating Mackerel pate Did you know: Sue once turned up for work an hour early, forgetting the clocks had gone back!

Mr S. Squire


MATHS TEAM CHALLENGE REGIONAL WINNERS In March this year we took a very strong team to the North West regional heat of the UK Mathematics Team Challenge, a national event for which the regional winners get to compete for the trophy in June in London. The boys performed brilliantly, dropping very few marks and sweeping aside some good competition. The boys - Arya Tandon (8HW), Alex Jackson (8HE), James Harrison (9LY) and the captain Munetomo Takahashi (9KL) were delighted with their win and are relishing the challenge in June. Very well done to the boys for representing the school so well and the best of luck to them in the final. You can try some of the questions similar to those the boys had to do by going to the Team Challenge link on the UKMT website. Mr M. Herrington

Garry Binns Born: Sale 1961 Often seen: On the set of the new Bond Film as Daniel Craig’s body double Interests: Clock Making and Ice Hockey Likes: Galaxy Chocolate Bars (especially if given as a gift!) Dislikes: Pupils who disturb him at lunchtime. Famous for: Polishing the Centenary Clock parts to a mirror finish for 496 hours and 42 minutes. Infamous for: Refusing to taste any food that is not English.

Therese Harvey-Voyce Born: Manchester Position: Head of PSHE; Head of Year 12; Drama Queen Responsible for: Never responsible for anything; always says, ”Yeh, well that’s not my fault.” Supports: Manchester United and Marks and Spencer Famous for: Bullying people into building her a spiral staircase for the production of Romeo and Juliet; wearing scarves even more stylishly than Sam Fairbrother Infamous for: Innumeracy. Hear the staff room resound to the wailing cry, ”I don’t do numbers!” Often seen: Eating bananas Did you know: In her flighty youth Therese dated a member of legendary Manchester band New Order and is also a professionally trained hairdresser!

Spring Calendar 2012


Mon Tue Wed Match Thur Mon Wed Mon

16 Week A 17 18 19 23 Week B 25 30 Week A


Tue 1 Wed 2 Thur 3 Fri 4 Mon 7 Week B Tue 8 Wed 9 Thur 10 Fri 11 Mon 14 Week A Fri 18 Sat 19 Sun 20 Mon 21 Week B Wed 23 Mon 28 Week A Tue 29 Wed 30

June Fri Mon Tue Mon Wed Thur Mon Fri Mon Tue Wed Thur Fri


1 4 5 11 Week B 13 14 18 Week A 22 25 Week B 26 27 28 29

Sun 1 Mon 2 Week A Tue 3 Wed 4 Thur 5 Fri 6 Sat 7 Sun 8 Mon 9 Week B Wed 11 Thur 12 Fri 13 Sun 15 Mon 16 Week A Tue 17 Wed 18 Thur 19

SPORT FIXTURES CAN BE School opens for Staff and Pupils. PFA Meeting 7.30pm FOUND ON THE AGSB WEBSITE GCSE Art Exam GCSE Art Exam. Sixth Form Charity Celebrations Assembly. Old Boys v 1st X1 Football Match. Old Boys v 1st XV Rugby Y12 (and re-sits) Chemistry EMPA coursework am. Y13 Chemistry EMPA coursework pm Parent Information Evening for prospective Y6 parents – In area 7pm School Closes 14.25pm. Centenary Concert at the Bridgewater Hall 7pm School Opens 10am. Y10 Geography trip to Grasmere. Parent Information Evening for prospective Y6 parents – Out of area 7pm National 20/20 Cricket Group Stages (1st XI) Spanish AS Orals. Y10 Geography trip to Grasmere Spanish AS Orals. Y12 Study Leave begins at 3.25pm School Closed – May Bank Holiday PFA meeting 7.30pm A-level Art Exam. French AS Orals. Oxbridge Evening 7pm A-level Art Exam. Robert Anderson Sports Day pm A-level Art Exam. German AS Orals. Isle of Man Cricket Tour U13 & U15 departs; returns Sunday 13th May Y11 Study Leave Begins. Y7 & Y8 Internal Music Exams SMT 9.10 – 10am. French & Spanish A2 Orals. External Exams Begin Y13 Study Leave begins – Leavers Lunch in Sixth Form Common Room. Y10 Annual Reports sent home French Connection Clothes Sale French Connection Clothes Sale Entrance Exam Appeals until 25th May Y7 & Y8 Exams until 25th May Y7 Trip to Chester Zoo - 7KD, 7NW and 7BY Y7 Trip to Chester Zoo - 7JY, 7SQ and 7WD Y12 return from study leave. Sandbach Super 8’s Cricket Competition (Under 13) School closes for Half Term Late May Bank Holiday Diamond Jubilee Bank Holiday School re-opens after Half Term. PFA Meeting 7.30pm Y9 Exams until 15th June Y8 Space Day Y9 Olympic Day 8ME & 8HE Geography trip to Stockley Farm am. 8EW & 8DR Geography trip to Stockley Farm pm 8HN & 8HW Geography trip to Stockley Farm am. External Exams Finish. Senior Sports Awards Evening 7pm Centenary Golf Day at Chorlton cum Hardy Golf Club. School Closes 12.20pm. Open Evening for prospective parents & pupils School Opens 10.50am. Book Return Day Y10 Geology Trip to Pembrokeshire departs; returns 6th July Science College visit to APJ school, Pitampura, Delhi until 9th July Junior Sports Awards Evening 7pm Centenary Sports Day. Y12/13 World Challenge Expedition to Argentina departs; returns 2nd August Induction Evening for New Y7 Pupils 7pm Induction Evening for New Y7 Pupils 7pm. Y12 Finals of the European Youth Parliament competition in Liverpool Founders Day – Guest of Honour Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell, Vice Chancellor of Manchester University – 11am St Marys’ Church, School Closes at noon Centenary Picnic Hosting Australian Cricketers from Scotch College until Tuesday 12th July Paul Rankin visit to Food Technology. 1st XI v Scotch College Cricket Match. PFA Meeting 7.30pm Alternate Induction Meeting for New Y7 9-10am Chad’s Tea Party in the Sixth Form Common Room. Y10 STEM Careers Fair 7-9pm. Y10 Enterprise Day German Trip to Rhineland departs; returns 18th July. Y8 Annual reports sent home Venice Trip departs; returns 19th July Activities Week. Y12 English Trip to London departs; returns 19th July. Y8 French Trip departs; returns 20th July Y10 Work Experience all week. Y12 Challenge of Enterprise Activities Week. Y12 Challenge of Enterprise Activities Week Y7 Annual Reports sent home School closes for Summer Holidays at 12.20pm

Altrincham Grammar School for Boys, Marlborough Road, Bowdon, Altrincham, Cheshire WA14 2RS. Tel: 0161 928 0858. email: web:

The Word Magazine  
The Word Magazine