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news & views from bablake school issue 61 summer 2013

In this issue Opportunity knocks 2 Atmospheric Oxford 3 The right chemistry 4 Classics competitors 5 Auschwitz 6 The real Madrid 7 News shorts 8 Charity news 9 Bravo, Bravo!! 10 Creative shorts 11 Out in the cold! 12 D of E 13 Sport 14

Engineering success


he Engineering Education Scheme came to a highly successful conclusion recently when the team of Joshua Rowe, Anu Bose, Andrew Haughian and James Tumber exhibited their work at the Midlands Region assessment day. After working with sponsor company, Arup, for two terms, the group presented its solution to crossing a 22km stretch of water between Norway and Germany. The team proposed a tunnel carrying both rail and road access and produced a model of a cross-section explaining their idea.

John Border, Arup Associate Director, Fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineers, one of the judges, said of the team: “I was one of the assessors for Bablake’s presentation and display stand. It stood out from the others, due to a number of factors: • Dynamic PowerPoint that added to what they were saying, rather than just repeating it. ; Obvious enthusiasm of all participants. ; Well-rehearsed presentation with everyone actively contributing and knowing their role.

; Really good presentation skills (e.g. eye contact, not staring at the screen or their notes). ; Very logical approach to the problem set, including a lot of relevant research. ; The decisions reached were clearly those of the team from the understanding and learning gained throughout the project.” The team won top presentation from among the 75 schools present. So impressed were the judges that they awarded a special prize to the group of a trip in the Network Rail survey helicopter and the team will be taking to the sky for the trip of a lifetime once their exams have finished. In addition to this, the team has also been successful in achieving individual Gold CREST Awards.

Bablake News

Opportunity knocks The Upper Sixth have recently selected their first choice of university for next academic year, having received a range of excellent offers from first class institutions. Exeter is the most popular destination this year, with ten students heading down south, with Medicine and Accounting & Finance being the most popular courses. Two of our international students, Shirley Wu and Flora Zhan, went on a fact-finding trip to Durham University, having been offered places to read Economics and Mathematics respectively at University College (Castle). As well as touring the college, faculties and libraries, they were able to meet up with former Bablake students currently studying at Durham and found out first-hand about life as an undergraduate. Sophie Lilley, in her first year studying Natural Sciences, was enthusiastic about the many extra-curricular opportunities available and is to be congratulated on being part of University College Women’s Novice VIII that triumphed in the recent Durham Regatta.

World Book Day 2013 To celebrate World Book Day, the Library held a range of fun bookrelated activities during lunch time. Pupils enjoyed quizzes and a treasure hunt on the ‘Roman Mysteries’ by Caroline Lawrence and ‘Spooks’ by Joseph Delaney, word searches on Coventry-born author Cathy Cassidy’s very popular books, a ‘How to Draw’ activity based on Dav Pilkey’s ‘Captain Underpants’ series and craft-making activities based around Gwyneth Rees’ book My Super Sister. It was good to see Lower Sixth helpers joining in, not to mention Head of Careers Mr Woodward, who also showed his artistic flair! We also had a ‘Design a Bookmark’ competition and pupils entered some fabulous designs. The winning entries received a certificate and book token and a copy of their design was made into a bookmark by Mrs Mair in Reprographics. Joint first prize was awarded to of winners Svetlana Kim and Shannon Maguire of Shell N, second prize to Alesha Robinson 4M and third prize to Xander Bennett of Shell G. The winning designs will also be available as bookmarks in the Library.


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“The winning entries received a certificate and book token and a copy of their design was made into a bookmark.”

Bablake Spirit Following a successful trip earlier in the academic year to catch up with former Bablake students studying at the University of Oxford and Oxford Brookes University, the Headmaster and Alison Tumber, Head of Sixth Form, travelled to Birmingham to meet up with Bablake alumni. The ‘spirit of opportunity’ engendered at Bablake certainly stays with the students and it was great to hear how well they were achieving academically and about the wide range of activities in which they were involved. Fond reminiscences of Bablake flowed throughout the evening and we wish Chris Haidar (Economics) Lucy Tucker (Law) and Jodie Shaw (French), every success in their forthcoming finals.

Bablake News



As we pulled out of the turning circle, there was an interesting atmosphere on the bus, for everyone was excited but had little idea of what the day would hold. Certainly, it didn’t seem like just another school trip and it was not too long before we arrived at the atmospheric Oxford Town Hall and were ushered into our seats for the first speaker of the day, write Matthew Rowlands and Matthew Hayhurst.


“As the conference drew to a close, we had some time to enjoy the sights of Oxford...”

ulie Arliss, a lecturer at King’s College in London, was our first speaker, and a very powerful one at that. Her topic covered the question ‘Does a snail have consciousness?’ It seemed like such a simple topic, but we could not have been more naive. The detail that she demonstrated was amazing and it became a philosophical discussion centred on the nature of simple and complex entities, and what it means to be sentient and/or intelligent in our selfunderstanding and self-awareness. After a short break our second speaker of the day, Jeffrey Hodges, spoke about sporting limits and personal belief. He gave a very moving and invigorating presentation that truly gave his listeners renewed motivation to turn effort and selfbelief into success. Having worked with some of Australia’s most promising sporting youngsters, he really knew what he was talking about and everything he said was delivered with conviction. After lunch and a brain break, we came back to a heated debate between Jeffrey and Julie on animal rights. After very strong arguments from both speakers the floor was given to any participant who wanted to contribute, and many added valid points. The final speaker of the day, and our personal favourite, was Dr Mark Lewney or as he prefers to be known, the ‘Rock Doctor’. He is a guitar physicist who presented ‘Rock in 11 dimensions’ or ‘Albert Einstein meets Jimi Hendrix’. This was for many the highlight of the day, as we not only learned a great deal but had fun doing it. Using the power of his electric guitar, and a few other interesting props such as a foam brick and a ceiling-high magic wand, he demonstrated the effects of sound waves, harmonics and the Large Hadron Collider, expounding the possibility of a complete knowledge of the universe via String Theory. He ended with a rendition of Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody, but with physics-related lyrics. As the conference drew to a close, we had some time to enjoy the sights of Oxford with former Bablake pupils Chris Starkey and Millie Ross. As well as taking us round Christ Church College and St Catherine’s College, they gave us first hand insight into student life at Oxford and patiently answered all our questions. We all thoroughly enjoyed the day and it certainly motivated many of us to achieve the standards necessary for successful Oxbridge applications. We were thankful that Mrs Tumber and Mr Mellers had arranged and encouraged us to take part in a very special experience. bablake school


Bablake News

The race is on! After some pleasing results in last year’s F1 in Schools season, the new 2013-14 season is now underway. Chosen from a number of impressive applications, the new team of Rachel Faulkner, Adam Keir, Chris Blackett, Adam Newton, Tom Betts, and James Hamer has made an enthusiastic start to its preparations for competing in the 2014 regional final in February. ‘Black Hawk Racing’, as the team is known, will now have to make links with industry, negotiate sponsorship deals, research aerodynamics, and design and test their car using CAD software, before manufacturing begins at the end of the Autumn Term.

The right chemistry... A clutch of creative chemists have been successful at achieving their Crest Awards this term. In the winter term, Chemistry Club began with a taught programme of fun lessons centred on electrochemistry, with a different practical focus each week. Some of the experiments included electroplating metals, making fruit batteries and even assembling and testing Voltaire cells made from 2p pieces, aluminium foil and washers. Pupils were then invited to choose their own projects and consider working on a Crest Award. The idea of the award is to encourage pupils to complete real life research about the use of science or technology and to then use that to test a hypothesis in the school science lab. One of the main assessment criteria is then communicating their findings to others. Eight pupils took up the challenge: ; Amrit Gill was successful in obtaining a Bronze Award for his work investigating whether electroplated electrodes can still be used to make a fruit battery. This is a great achievement as Amrit started his Crest journey just weeks into being a Shell. ; Katerina Jackson and Georgina Owen worked together to make a fruit powered motor, which also saw them achieve a Bronze Award.


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; Iain Suren, Dan Williams and Henry French worked together using silage to make biogas. After a lot of practical investigation and an engaging presentation, they were successful in securing a Bronze Award. ; Matt Hayhurst and Tom Betts worked together at rapid crystallisation of a variety of different liquids. Their excellent video footage and presentation ensured that they achieved a Silver Award.

“The pupils have shown dedication and imaginative problemsolving. They have all worked very hard and it is wonderful that their work has been recognised by achieving Crest Awards.” Chemistry Teacher Mrs Thompson

Shine Media Awards 2013 After receiving nominations for seven categories in the 2013 Shine Media Awards, Issue 9 of Stretch, our student magazine, has been shortlisted for two of these at the final of the Shine 2013 School Media Awards, which is to be held at London's historic Stationers' Company in late June. Editor Ellen Parker commented: “I am so pleased for my team that Stretch has received the nominations. With vital A2 exams looming, the excitement of whether we would make the final shortlist has definitely been a welcome distraction! The ceremony is now something to look forward to once we have finished our exams.” Well done to the team for bringing Bablake's student journalism, of which we are very proud, to a wider platform; we wish the team all the best for the ceremony and final judging.

Bablake News

Young Sports Reporter of The Year Many congratulations to Sam Lowe who is the BNY Mellon, sponsors of the 2013 Varsity Boat Race, Young Sports Reporter of the Year. Sam, who entered the competition at the suggestion of Head of English, Mr Gary Park, had to write a report on the dramatic 2003 Boat Race which Oxford won by just one foot. Sam’s report was chosen as the winner from a shortlist of five reports drawn up from over 1300 entries. One of the judges, BBC sports reporter and commentator Jonathan Legard, commented: “Sam’s report read like a good sports report should, with a well-judged race description and nicely selected quotations from the rowers.” As a prize, Sam and his family spent the day at the 2013 BNY Mellon Boat Race on Easter Sunday where they experienced the excitement of this year’s battle of the Blues first-hand. As well as enjoying a family fun day organised by the sponsors, Sam had a grandstand view of the start of the race from the banks of the river Thames. Sam also received his award from Jonathan Legard himself who was commentating on the race for the BBC.

Bablake’s Classics competitors In March, a group of intrepid explorers, otherwise known as the Bablake Sixth Form Classicists, made their way through a very snowy Birmingham to compete in the annual panEuropean Latin and Classics Cicero competition. Following a warm welcome (in a rather chilly school hall!), entrants sat the cultural test on Alexander the Great and then after lunch mingled with pupils from other schools. Our visiting speaker, Professor Robin Osborne of King’s College, Cambridge, spoke most engagingly and informatively on models of kingship in Greek literature, from Homer and Hesiod through to the time of Alexander the Great. This provided an excellent taster for students to university lectures and an enticing window into the work of some authors who seldom feature on the school curriculum. The Latin translation paper then took place in the afternoon, whilst students who had entered only the cultural paper used the opportunity to visit the nearby Barber Institute. When we received the results we were delighted to hear that Sam Paplauskas was ranked second nationally for his Latin translation, and Marlie Cummings came third. Congratulations also to Holly Twigger, whose entry on Alexander the Great was commended by the examiners.

“Sam’s report read like a good sports report should, with a well-judged race description and nicely selected quotations from the rowers.”

Jaguar Land Rover apprenticeships Many congratulations to GCSE pupils Erica Ash and Jonathan Utting, who have landed much sought after Advanced Apprenticeships with Jaguar Land Rover. This is particularly commendable since Erica and Jonathan are just two of 100 new apprentices to be chosen from over 5,500 original applicants. Erica and Jonathan, who are both thoroughly looking forward to starting the programme later this year, each passed a rigorous selection procedure. After completing an online test, they passed a practical test, impressed in individual interviews and successfully undertook an observation exercise and group interview. When asked to comment on the four year programme, Erica said: “I am really looking forward to the mix of college and practical study. In the first year, I will spend four days at college and one at Jaguar Land Rover. As the course progresses, more time is spent in the plant which will really suit me as I have really enjoyed the practical work in Design Technology over the last five years.” Jonathan added: “I’m really looking forward to the programme and the opportunities ahead of me.” bablake school


Bablake Travel

Auschwitz tell it to your children...

Bablake was once again privileged to be part of the Lessons from Auschwitz project, run by the Holocaust Education Trust writes Thomas Ryan Moulder.


harlotte Loasby and I successfully applied to be part of a group from the West Midlands that took part in three informative and inspiring events, including a trip to Poland. Here is a snapshot of their experience: Shoes en masse – worn and tired; spectacles – shattered; suitcases piled – individually named; pots and pans – with which meals would never again be prepared; keys – never to reopen the doors of homes; hair, prosthetic limbs, children’s


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toys, photographs… The possessions of those who lost their lives due to industrialised murder at Auschwitz are displayed throughout the site, a constant reminder of the reality of what happened there. As we learnt in late April, visiting Auschwitz delivers a perspective on the Holocaust which no textbook or television documentary can provide. As part of the Lessons from Auschwitz programme, along with other students from the region, we spent a day visiting both Auschwitz I and Auschwitz II (Birkenau) and also the original Polish town, Oswiecim.

Auschwitz I, famous for its deceitful entrance sign stating ‘ARBEIT MACHT FREI’ (Work makes you free) consisted of row upon row of red-brick buildings. Although originally Polish army barracks, they became ‘home’ for many thousands of prisoners. A key feature of the site is the house in which Rudolf Höss (camp commander) and his family lived, which overlooked the first gas chamber used by the Nazis for extermination; the thought of standing within the very space where so many died was almost incomprehensible. After a short drive, we arrived at Auschwitz II – this purpose-built extermination

camp was overwhelming in size. Regimentally aligned huts span across the area of over 400 acres. The camp is divided by the train line which leads up to the first two gas chambers, crematoria 2 and 3. After several hours touring the site, we concluded our day with a memorial service in which we condemned what had taken place at Auschwitz, and looked positively to a future where such an event could not recur. Finally we understood the significance of the one grave and underlying factor which had allowed everything that had happened there: discrimination.

Bablake Travel

The real

Madrid Spanish trips are very popular with Bablake pupils and all the places for our last Madrid trip were filled in just one day. The programme was packed with fun educational and cultural activities. We visited Madrid Zoo, El Rastro, the popular open air flea market in the centre of Madrid, where pupils spent the morning shopping for presents, and Warner Brothers Movie World Theme Park; the highlight of the trip was definitely our visit to the Real Madrid Stadium, Santiago Bernabéu, and pupils and staff enjoyed having their picture taken with José Mourinho and Cristiano Ronaldo. Our visit to Palacio Real de Madrid (The Royal Palace of Madrid), which is the official residence of the King of Spain in the city of Madrid and the largest royal palace in Western Europe, was enjoyed by all and was preceded by a tasty paella lunch in La Plaza Mayor in bright sunshine. On the last day we visited the impressive El Prado museum, Madrid's top cultural site and one of the world's greatest art galleries, before relaxing in the popular Retiro Park.

Bablake in


Early on 29th March (my birthday!), troops from the Third Year along with three commanders gathered to embark on a two-day educational trip to the battlefields of the Western Front of the Great War. The privates were under the command of Captain Grantham, ably assisted by Sergeant-Majors Ormsby and Chahal. During our advance to Calais we dipped into ration packs and everyone was treated to a cupcake, scoffing them down. Once in Calais, accompanied by real life Major, we stopped to get more rations from the locals and then progressed toward Allied lines near the Ypres Salient in Belgium. While freezing in the cold weather, we explored trenches, the last remnants of a system of fortifications that stretched from the North Sea to Switzerland. We also examined artefacts, visited museums and cemeteries. Our campaign, unlike World War One, was over well before Christmas, as promised. We returned to Blighty on Saturday 30th March. Unlike Field Marshal Haig’s troops from World War One, we all made it back fighting fit – apart from one cut knee – and everybody had a jolly good time.

Vive la


At the beginning of the Easter holidays, the A level French group went to the Nord-Pas de Calais region of France for five days, to see at first-hand the things they had learned about as part of the cultural element of their A level course. They explored the coast where, despite the cold, a foray onto the beach to watch the kite surfers and a walk to the top of Cap Blanc Nez were in order, followed by a very welcome chocolat chaud. They explored several of the key towns in the area, including the regional capital, Lille, visited a mining museum and spent an afternoon at the brand-new Louvre museum in Lens. They also studied the impact of the Occupation of France during WWII at La Coupole and went to the 3D planetarium. As the visit coincided with the Easter Monday outing of the regional géants (giant figures representing local folklore), they were able to go to a ducasse (local festival), and try some of the regional specialities. Evenings were spent relaxing by the fire, getting warm after days spent in the bracing weather.

Chloe Harper

bablake school


Bablake News

news shorts Sewing for Pleasure and Creative Stitches at the NEC On a bleak, cold and snowy Friday morning, a group of enthusiastic Fourth Year Textiles pupils made their way on a day of exploration into the world of inspirational fabric artists and designers. Upon arrival, the scene resembled a One Direction concert with a mad dash to various stalls to sign up for workshops which were allocated on a first-come first-served basis. Pupils had the opportunity to try a whole range of different techniques from water-soluble fabrics, needle-felting and screen-printing to embossing on fabric. They also watched demonstrations including hand embroidery, conductive textiles, making rag-rugs and the latest in machine embroidery technology. Whilst waiting to participate in their chosen workshops, pupils were given the freedom to explore the many displays, to talk to professionals and to see the work of other students. Highlights included the period drama costume display and the main fashion catwalk. Weary, happy and penniless, all the pupils had nevertheless thoroughly enjoyed the day, taking with them many useful ideas and materials for their major coursework.

TEDxWarwick 2013 On 9th March, a group of 15 Lower Sixth students were lucky enough to be invited to TEDxWarwick, a conference centred on building bridges and inspiring ideas. The Warwick University coordinators approached Bablake before Christmas with the task of promoting the event. Previous to the main event in March, Bablake’s TEDxWarwick team attended two small TEDxYouth events at Warwick, in which they watched a series of inspiring speakers and helped with photography, filming and stewarding the events. They visited other schools, promoted the event within Bablake and met on several occasions with the event organisers. The main event itself was an all-day conference including interactive events and wellknown, incredibly inspiring speakers. Bablake students from both the Lower Sixth and the Fourth Year attended. Speakers included Sir Phillip Craven, President of the International Paralympic Committee, who spoke about the importance of sport and education, and Derek Paravicini, an incredibly talented blind piano player who has coped with severe autism his entire life, yet has been able to pursue music and inspired all there at the TEDxWarwick event. It was indeed a most worthwhile and inspiring event. Crystal Ball 2013 The Fifth Year thoroughly enjoyed an evening of glamour in the transformed Main Hall at school. The school drive was once again graced with elegant limousines and an assortment of classic cars; there was even a tandem to add a new twist to the arrivals and ice-cream vans for that extra bit of flavour and variety. There was a fairy-tale collection of dresses and the young men looked very sophisticated in their tuxedos and suits. The helium balloons decided to take up residence on the ceiling of the Main Hall as a reminder of the fun had by all! Thanks go to members of the Sixth Form and to staff, who helped make the evening such a success.


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Chess Report The A team had an excellent season, finishing second in the Coventry Schools League Division 1. In his final year, Daniel Rowlands led the team by example on board one and ended with 5.5 out of 8. George Esworthy was very consistent, scoring 7 points in another excellent performance. Matthew Rowlands also had a good season, contributing 5 points. Other scores were: Tom Hingston 3, Monty Dosanj 3, Vikesh Puri 3 (who also scored 4 points for the B team), and Rajen Parekh 2. The B team won Division 2 with an excellent team performance. The top scorers were: Lucas Zhang 8, Ciara Wyman 6, Jake Shoker 6, Michael Parvis 6 and Arjav Patel 5. We are looking forward to their continuing development next season. Congratulations must go to Rajen Parekh, who won the Coventry Schools’ Lightning Cup with a perfect 6 wins out of 6 - Bablake’s first winner since Mark Lam. Daniel Rowlands, George Esworthy, Matthew Rowlands, Tom Hingston, Vikesh Puri and Monty Dosanj all won 4 games, Lucas Zhang and Ciara Wyman won 3 games, and Kalika Puri won 2.

“Chess Club has thrived this season, with many pupils coming along for a game.” 16 players entered the Rowlands Cup, in which Daniel Rowlands beat his brother Matthew in the first semi-final and George Esworthy beat Rajen Parekh in the second semi-final. Daniel and George then contested the final for the fourth year running – Daniel had won the first two finals and George won last year. In a very exciting match both players had chances to win, with George eventually coming out on top. Chess Club has thrived this season, with many pupils coming along for a game. Dulcie Emery has been especially helpful on a Friday evening, and it has been good to see so many girls at the club.

Bablake Charity

charity news Thinking of others is an important concept at Bablake and we started the term by raising £345 for a Rugby-based charity for the homeless called ‘Hope4’. Wet weather in March did not dampen the spirits for Red Nose Day. 2A eventually managed their sponsored walk and raised £162.00, wet sponges were thrown at brave Sixth Form volunteers, cakes were made and sold, Easter eggs were raffled, the staff held a sweepstake and drop scones were freshly prepared by Shiksha Gill L6PC and quickly eaten. A grand total of £840.05 was raised. Over the years, we have seen a number of staff take part in the London Marathon. This year Mrs Kelly Kerrigan of the Geography Department took on the challenge in aid of the Meningitis Trust, completing the race in around 4 hours 40 minutes. Talking about the race, Mrs Kerrigan said: 'It was the greatest experience ever and so worth all the hours of training in what was not the easiest of winters and springs weather-wise. Spectator support in London on the day was overwhelming and I would also like to thank all the pupils, parents and staff who have supported me so enthusiastically all the way with encouragement and donations.' Her final total was a very impressive £3,100. A group of Fourth Year pupils recently took part in a Fundraising Enterprise Challenge sponsored by Jaguar Cars, to raise money for Mary Ann Evans Hospice and we are delighted to announce that they raised a total of £600. Hard work, determination, and dedication are just some of the words that come to mind to describe the team. To help raise funds, they organised such events as a FIFA 13 Xbox tournament, cake and doughnut sales, raffles and much more. Congratulations must go to the whole team on this wonderful achievement. Other events raised funds for Leukaemia Research and Liver Research, and 4C are currently collecting funds for ‘Bliss’, the leading charity looking into premature baby health.

“So far this school year, we have raised a record-breaking total of £18,757.83.” We’d like to thank Mrs Alyson Heath for her endless enthusiasm in encouraging pupils and staff to contribute so positively to charity events, and in helping the Bablake community raise tens of thousands of pounds for local and national charities in recent years. As she steps down as Charity Co-ordinator, we remember a few of her key charity moments!

bablake school


Bablake Arts

Bravo, Bravo!! Amazing performances were given in the A level Theatre Studies practical exams. Extracts from two plays and an entirely original adaptation were presented to a visiting moderator. Parents and a supportive audience made the affair extremely enjoyable for all. The Hothouse – by Harold Pinter James Laurenson and Thomas Grantham performed this most unsettling yet comic masterpiece. They utilised the skills developed on their recent Stanislavski workshop. Bronte – by Polly Teale In the tale of Charlotte, Emily and Anne and their often forgotten brother Bramwell, Lara Morley-White, Megan Evans, Rachel Hepworth and Rory Dulku worked in the methods of the very current company ‘Shared Experience’. The Picture of Dorian Gray In a devised piece, Sachin Sharma and Simeon Blake-Hall made inventive use of space to take us on Dorian's journey.


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Bablake Arts

Activities and achievements by Bablake pupils in the creative arts

Phantom of the Opera “On the 24th April we went to see a performance of The Phantom of the Opera at the Birmingham Hippodrome. The story was exciting and the transition between time zones gave the play a sense of mystery. I particularly enjoyed the switches between scenes, where in just a few seconds you could be transported from a river to an office! The acting was superb, and the music and dance aspects were beautiful. I would definitely recommend this musical to anyone who is interested in the arts and, given the impressive set design, I would also recommend it to Design Technology pupils.”

“The acting was superb and the music and dance aspects were beautiful.”

Jessica Brake arts awards programme We are proud to announce that all seven pupils moderated last term have gained their Arts Award. Congratulations go to Sam Lowe, Anna White, Jody Wong and Lydia Bruton (not pictured) who all received Bronze Awards, whilst Aron Sood, Beth Carter and Avni Kant received Silver. There are now around 20 pupils involved in the Arts Award programme, with Aron, Beth and Avni starting work on the prestigious Gold Award this term.

art for art’s sake Roisin Bowe, Charlie Kane, Robyn McDaid and Grace Wye have all taken part in a scheme called the National Art & Design Saturday Club. The scheme, which lasts for 30 weeks and is hosted at Coventry University, aims to give young people aged between 14 and 16 years old the opportunity to work with university lecturers and practising artists. The course culminated in an exhibition at the prestigious Somerset House at the Embankment Galleries in London, which ran between the 24th May and 5th June. Drama Workshop success Nick O’Brien, author of Stanislavski in Practice, recently ran a workshop for our A level Theatre Studies students. Over a decade of acting and teaching, including work as an examiner for Edexcel, has made Nick O'Brien perfectly placed to train young actors in Stanislavski's system and the fourhour workshop was a tremendous success. Students found the workshop both challenging and fun.

West Side Story On Monday 13th May, the Fourth Year GCSE Music class, accompanied by Mrs Scott-Burt and Mr Cooper, went to the Concordia Theatre in Hinckley to see classmate Joel White of 4E perform in Leonard Bernstein’s West Side Story. They were very impressed with the performance, and especially enjoyed seeing Joel dancing! It was a strong cast with many highlights, but the group particularly liked the Sharks rendition of Officer Krubkey and Joel’s dancing in the gym. They are all hoping that Joel makes it into The Sound of Music next year, so that they can have another class night out! Georgia and Shannon's Festival Win Bablake actors celebrated a first and second place at the Nuneaton Festival of Arts earlier this term. Congratulations to Georgia Kelsey and Shannon Maguire who took the top two positions in the Shires Trophy for solo acting. bablake school


Bablake Action

Out in the cold!

February is never the warmest of months, but this year, you will remember, was particularly cold.

“Lower Sixth geographers are, however, a hardy breed; so they wrapped up warmly and headed to the mountains of Snowdonia for their annual fieldtrip. In the event, the weather was relatively kind to us. The rain and the snow held off, but the wind was bitter. The understanding of the glaciated features of Cwm Idwal was enhanced by snow in the hollows and on the mountain peaks. Water levels were low in the streams, due to the frozen ground, but the data collection day, during which we studied downstream changes in the Afon Nant Peris, was a success. The field centre’s hearty Welsh food was appreciated by all, but some seemed to do it more justice than others! Yet again, the group benefited from the local geographical expertise of our tutor, Helen, and enjoyed the company of her tireless mountain rescue dog, Cluanie. Helen and Cluanie are booked for Bablake’s return next spring.” Mrs Pam Marchant

Flying high! Bablake cadet, Richard Coton, enjoyed a residential gliding course with the RAF at RAF Syerston and RAF Cranwell during the Easter holidays. He was successful in flying his first solo flight and gaining his Silver Wings Award. Richard is also the driving force behind the school’s vibrant Flight Simulator Club and hopes to become a professional pilot when he leaves Bablake.


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Going that extra mile Upper Sixth Formers Katie Bottomley and Lauren Hughes simply can’t get enough of D of E, and when the opportunity arose to support Fourth Year pupils with their Bronze Award practice hike, they were quick to volunteer. Lauren and Katie decided to help with the Bronze D of E last year as part of their volunteering section for our Gold D of E. Their role included training pupils before the hike and, whilst at Rough Close, they checked that tents had been put up properly and walked with pupils the following day to make sure they read their map correctly and didn’t get too lost! It was a very enjoyable trip, despite the cold weather overnight, and it was great practice for their Gold expedition in the summer.

Bablake Action


Having postponed the Bronze Duke of Edinburgh training trip from the original date due to heavy snowfall, we were all very glad to see a fine weather forecast for the new weekend writes Miss Jayne Simmons.

“By lunchtime there was bright sunshine and the walking groups were stopping every few minutes to remove more and more layers and to apply lots of sun cream.”


fter arriving at Rough Close scout campsite on the Friday evening, 95 pupils managed to put their tents up (some more quickly and a bit straighter than others!) and to cook themselves a ‘nutritious’ meal on their camp stoves before darkness closed in. After a peaceful but cold night’s sleep, the pupils were obviously keen to get up and walking, judging by the 5am wakeup call they gave the staff camping alongside them. A few huddled hot drinks later the groups gradually started to set off, and the day started to brighten up. By lunchtime there was bright sunshine and the walking groups were stopping every few minutes to remove more and more layers and to apply lots of sun cream – advice not taken on board by all of the teachers present! Apart from one very muddy patch and lots of sore feet, the day went very smoothly, with pupils impressing staff with their emerging navigation skills and their willingness to push on with their heavy bags. Everyone completed the day successfully and we’re all looking forward to the assessed expedition.

Kings Camps. We’re ready for YOU! Inspiring sports and activity camps for children and young people running this summer at Bablake. 22-26 July – King’s Multi Active with International Cricket Schools, Jump & Splash 29 July – 2 August – King’s Multi Active with International Soccer Schools & Splash 5-9 August – King’s Multi Active, International Cricket Schools, Jump & Splash 12-16 August – King’s Multi Active 19-23 August – King’s Multi Active Come along and meet our inspirational staff this summer. We’re poised and ready to share our passion for sport!

bablake school


Bablake Sport

Boys’ sport Bablake Cricket – @bablakecricket Covers 2013 has seen the arrival of brand new cricket covers on our 1st XI square, kindly provided by a group of parents who worked exceptionally hard to raise the necessary money. Fundraising events included a very successful and enjoyable quiz night and a cake sale. The covers were donated in memory of Mike Payne, father of Nick and Matthew, who was a huge supporter of cricket at Bablake. On Thursday 25th April a memorial cricket match was held in Mike’s honour which was the official ‘opening’ of the covers. Brothers Nick and Matthew captained a side each in what was a thoroughly enjoyable and memorable match followed by a fantastic tea provided by the parents. Bablake Bears Congratulations to Daniel Mousely (U12 & U13), Daniel Smith (U13), Ross Parnell (U15), Matthew Clements (U17) and Mark Best (U19 & 2nd XI) who have all been selected to represent Warwickshire. Ross, Matthew and Mark have also been awarded Bablake Cricket Scholarships this year in recognition of their outstanding achievements and commitment to school cricket. We wish them the best of luck and success with Bablake and Warwickshire this season. Tweeting Highlights Daniel Mousley scores 106 against Arnold Lodge in the U13s on @bablakeschool debut #promisingtalent BOOM BOOM! No fielders in the car park. Parnell hits 75* to beat Solihull School (1st XI) #smashedit 1st XI come up short in the National T20 Regional Round against Denstone and Ellesmere College #nicedayout Bisal (48, 51) and Wreford (56) on form as the U13s progress to next round of Warwickshire Cup #openingpartnership 1st XI snatch victory from the jaws of defeat against BVGS #teamworkmakesthedreamwork Bhathal (82, 41) on form for the U15s who win against BVGS and Solihull #quickfire


the lion Summer 2013

Shell cricketers – Lewis Carroll (batting) and Rajan Vraitch (keeping). Inset photo: Daniel Mouseley

Daniel Smith gets into the Warwickshire U13s with one arm in plaster #onearmcricketer 5-wicket hauls for Saghir (U13) and Rowland (U14) #lineandlength Clean sweep of wins in the block fixture against Princethorpe (U12A, U12B, U13, 1st XI) #teamBablake Daniel Cox hits 4 off the last ball to win against President Kennedy in the U14 Coventry Cup #hero 2nd XI game witnesses a player holding the bat the wrong way round #nonames Mousley, Smith, Parnell, Clements and Best all gain representative honours @CricketingBears #Warwickshire Boys’ Athletics The season has started brightly for the boys’ athletics teams, with many very good individual performances and team successes. In the City Championships, the intermediate team retained its title while the juniors were very close runners up. The junior and intermediate teams have both qualified for the Midlands finals of the English Schools Cup and the Second Year team won the District Relays and Super Sixes competitions. Well done to all the boys who have taken part. Bablake Football 2012-2013 Football has never been the sport of kings, or independent schools. Famously outlawed by Henry VIII, it has never been a main sport at Bablake. This season though, the team has achieved new heights. During this meteoric rise, unprepared teams were systematically torn

apart by the ‘total football’ displayed by Captain Jack Orford and his band of hugely talented men. The likes of Coundon Court, Lawerence Sheriff and long term rivals Princethorpe were all toppled, falling to score lines of 3-1, 3-2 and 2-1 respectively. After losing assistant manager John Pease mid-season, the team needed once again to reassert itself. The Bablake squad recorded a 9-1 victory over Leicester Grammar School – a fitting end to a hugely entertaining and unsurpassed season. The future is bright, the future’s maroon and gold (and not, as the mobile phone ad once suggested, orange)! Vice-Captain Sid Saje Bablake Rugby The end of the rugby season occurred in the Summer Term due to delays caused by poor weather. Thankfully, the Coventry Schools U13 and U14 finals took place at the Butts Stadium in glorious sunshine on a firm pitch. Both finals were played on the same evening and against old rivals King Henry VIII. The U13 team played first and raced to a fantastic 36-0 win. Wing Tom Whitfield was the star of the show with a hat-trick of tries, all of which were finished in real style. Other tries came from Ewan Fraser, Jack King and Jordan Motlib. This win capped an excellent season for this talented group of players. The U14s have shown huge improvement this season and their final proved to be a nailbiter with real intensity and skill. The result was in the balance all the way through to the final whistle. The only try of the match came when Alex Glendon-Doyle peeled from the back of a ruck and raced away to touch down, and this proved to be the only score of the match.

Bablake Sport

Girls’ sport Equestrian No-one will have found former pupil Nick Skelton's Olympic success last year more inspiring than Lucy Farrington and Lucinda Roche, two Bablake girls who are heading for the Longines Royal International Horse of the Year show which will be held at Hickstead this July. Lucinda Roche, riding her pony ‘In The Shade’, qualified at Arena UK, while Lucy qualified her pony 'TGF Puzzle' at Addington Manor Equestrian Centre. There are only 25 riders from the whole of the UK that can qualify for this class, so it is a tremendous achievement for both of them. Lucinda also went to Ireland and competed for three weeks in Millstreet which is the most prestigious show centre in Ireland. She took two ponies and two horses, and not only won Seven class but also was placed in the top six in every other class she competed in. She also won two final classes on her horse Quiberon D, jumping up to Grand Prix level and then travelled on to Mullingar and was placed there too. Lucy entered the Blue Chip Championships with her pony ‘TGF Puzzle’ and won the Coral Final, a class for which you have to qualify during the winter to compete at the final. This was a very strong class of 55 entries, so a welldeserved win too. We wish both Lucinda and Lucy all the best at Hickstead and for other competitions at home and abroad during the summer.

Netball The Spring Term concluded with the annual Dominique Matthews netball tournament. The 1st VII were victorious in all six of their matches and were declared winners of the cup. Meanwhile the 2nd VII fought hard to gain a respectable runner up position in the plate competition. Similarly, the 1st XI hockey squad ended its season with a 3-0 victory over a strong King Edward’s High School team. We would like to take this opportunity to thank all the current Upper Sixth girls who have shown commitment to both training and matches throughout their time at Bablake and we hope to hear about their continued sporting success in the future. The girls have now traded in their hockey sticks and netballs for rounders bats, tennis rackets and javelins. Tennis The U14 tennis team kick-started its season with a 3-1 victory over KHVIII, which was shortly followed by a 7-1 victory over the same opposition in the U18 age group. In the Midlands Girls' Tennis Tournament, both senior pairs lost a place in the semi-finals by just one game. The girls all played really well and the standard of the competition was extremely high.

“Goodbye and thank you to the Upper Sixth girls who represented the 1st XI hockey squad and the 1st VII netball team.” Rounders The rounders teams have played an impressive 29 matches in the first three weeks of term, a rarity due to our traditionally poor British weather. The U12 team has made a good start to its season, winning four fixtures in one week, including a 33.5-4 win against Thomas More and a nail bitingly close 18-17 victory over KEHS. The U13 team has lost by only fractions in some of their games but also beat Thomas More convincingly: 17.5-9. Similarly the U14 team won 17.5-9 and the U15s won 9-8. The U14 and U15 teams came up against strong opposition when playing King’s High and King’s Worcester and were stretched to close defeats. The U18 teams played their penultimate fixture against Princethorpe where the B team came home with a respectable 31-14 victory. Athletics The junior girls’ athletics team has had a tremendous start to the season, winning the Coventry Year 8 Super Sixes, Solihull Competition and the Junior Championships. The senior girls’ team has followed closely behind, winning the Solihull Competition and gaining second position in the Intermediate Championships. Special congratulations should go to Lucy Farrington for breaking the school high jump record, clearing an impressive 1.52m, and to Eleanor Faulkner for breaking the U13 hurdles record, completing the race in 12.6 seconds. Both the junior and senior teams performed excellently in the first round of the English Schools Cup and have qualified for the Midlands finals.

Sixth Form Football Squad bablake school


Bablake Update

Headmaster’s notes As I write, our Upper Sixth Formers are about to depart for study leave and will have their final assembly this week. I don’t delude myself into thinking that pupils ‘hang onto every word’ of my assemblies (especially first thing on a Monday!), but I do hope that the message conveyed sometimes strikes a chord and contributes to their spiritual and moral growth, as well as the happiness of our school; it is one of the ways in which we nurture and share our values as an outward-looking and reflective community. This year’s Upper Sixth is particularly special to me, as most joined the school at the same time as I did, in September 2006. I spoke to them in their first assembly about Martin Luther King, and about one of his famous speeches: “I have a dream”. I issued the following challenge to them: “If your dream is to earn lots of money and to lead a cosy, comfortable life, then it’s not very original. But my challenge to you today is to dream exciting dreams. Believe in yourself, believe that you can make a difference, believe that you can change the world – and you will.” We are now seven years on, and our most senior pupils have come a long way – by many unique (and sometimes circuitous!) routes, as they are all refreshingly different. We have seen them achieve remarkable things, in the classroom, in sport, in music, in drama and in myriad other activities, including charity fundraising and community service. Life is never straightforward, and for all there will have been tears as well as laughter. Some have taken longer to get to this point than others, but we hope that all leave us ready to embark with generous confidence on the next stage of their journey. We are very proud of them, and wish them both fulfilment and success not only in their examinations and careers, but in all their future endeavours. I shall end their assembly with this Irish blessing, for all our leavers, both pupils and staff: “May the road rise to meet you,
may the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
the rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
may God hold you in the palm of his hand. May green be the grass you walk on,
may blue be the skies above you,
may pure be the joys that surround you,
may true be the hearts that love you. May the warm rays of sun fall upon your home, and may the hand of a friend always be near.”


the lion Summer 2013

Staff news Several staff will be retiring or leaving Bablake at the end of this academic year: Mr Mike Masters, Chemistry (1973), Mrs Gill Thomas, Deputy Head (1977), Mrs Chris Friebe, Learning Support (1983), Mrs Pam Marchant, Geography (1989), Mrs Beth Hill, Modern Languages (1992); Miss Katarzyna Dzikowska, Art (2010), Mrs Kelly Kerrigan, Geography (2011), Dr Sian Foster, Classics (2011), Miss Ina Rengelink, Temporary History (2012), Mrs Michelle Baker, Temporary English (2013), Mr Stewart Dear, Temporary Geography (2013). Full tributes will be paid in my end of term letter and in The Wheatleyan to some outstandingly loyal servants of Bablake. I have made the following appointments: Miss Laura Watts, Temporary Teacher of Girls’ P.E.: Miss Watts will cover the remaining maternity leave of Mrs Suzanne Webley, until Easter. She taught for a short period at Bablake in 2009 and her specialisms are netball and football. Mr Kristian Johnson, ICT Technician: Mr Johnson will replace Mr Liam Connelly, who moved to another job over Easter. Mr Johnson currently does very similar work for companies near Leicester. He is likely to assist with our Games programme in the future. From September 2013: Dr Louise Greenway, Head of Learning Support: Dr Greenway has been covering Mrs Alexander’s maternity leave in Biology. She studied Genetics and Immunology at Swansea University before taking a PhD in Mucosal Immunology at St Bartholomew’s Hospital in London. She has taught at King Henry VIII School, where she was SENCO, and also worked closely with students with special needs and learning difficulties at Rainsbrook Secure Training Centre. Mr Phillip Neale, Teacher of German and French: Mr Neale is a graduate of Oxford University, where he studied Modern Languages, before completing his PGCE at the University of Birmingham. He has previously taught at Kineton High School, and comes to us from Lawrence Sheriff Grammar School, where he has been Assistant Head of Sixth Form and Head of French.

Mrs Jo MacGibbon, Teacher of Geography: Mrs MacGibbon is a former Bablake School Captain. She studied for her first degree at the University of Leeds before completing an MSc in Environmental Technology at Imperial College. She worked as an Environmental Consultant before becoming a teacher. She will relocate from Norfolk with her family, and is a keen sportswoman. Mr Allan Mansfield, Teacher of Physics: Mr Mansfield is a former pupil of King Henry VIII School, and studied Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Bath. He has taught English as a Foreign Language in Thailand, and is currently training as a teacher of Physics and Mathematics at the University of Reading. He is a hockey-player and a musician.

Diary dates Friday 5 July Summer Term ends 12.00 noon

Thursday 15 August A level Results Day

Thursday 22 August GCSE Results Day

Sunday 18 - 25 August Bablake at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Tuesday 3 September New Shells in School 9.00am - 1.00pm

Wednesday 4 September Autumn Term begins

Saturday 7 September Shell Olympics Morning 9.30am - 12.00 noon

Thursday 12 September Prize Giving at Coventry Central Hall 7.00pm

Saturday 21 September Upper Sixth Mock Interview Morning 8.45am - 1.30pm EDM

Saturday 9 November Open Morning 9.30am - 12.30pm

Bablake School, Coundon Road Coventry CV1 4AU t 024 7627 1200 f 024 7627 1290 e w f t

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The Lion - Issue 61  

Bablake's termly newsletter.

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