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The Wheatleyan

One of the country’s leading independent schools is closer than you think...


celebrating 2007/08 Bablake School

Coundon Road, Coventry CV1 4AU t +44 (0)24 7627 1200 f +44 (0)24 7627 1293 e w

celebrating 2007/08

Issue 194 | ISSN 1759-0302

‘At Bablake, we aim to inspire and challenge our pupils, and to give them rich and diverse opportunities to discover new gifts, new horizons and new friendships. They thrive on each other’s support and on the encouragement of teachers and tutors. Through shared experience, they grow in self-esteem and aspire to achievements beyond their wildest imaginings. This edition of The Wheatleyan bears ample testimony to the colourful endeavours and happy successes of so many in the Bablake community. We are very proud of them.’ john watson, headmaster

TheWheatleyan the team Faith Hannon (Editor) News and Features Zain Ali, Performing Arts Neil Baker, Flair Kate Byrne, Former Students John Haidar, News and Features Thomas Hine, Beyond the Classroom Lara Jackson, Sport Tom Jackson, Sport Tej Kalsi, Former Students Ira Kleine, Performing Arts Orlaith Norton, Flair Siobhan Robinson, Beyond the Classroom Jodie Shaw, Flair Roxana Ziaie, Flair

design Mustard Design print Windrush Group contributors Thanks especially for the photography to Zain Ali, Abhi Bose, Paul Cleaver, the Clarke family, Carol Davey, Rob Dougall, Faith Hannon, Paul Hollingsworth, Richard Smith, Sue Smith and the PE department, Chris West, Mark Woodward and many more. front cover photograph Laura Dean by Rob Dougall

Bablake School, founded in 1344, is a school within the Coventry School Foundation (registered charity No 528961) and exists to provide quality selective education for boys and girls. The senior school of around 880 pupils shares the site with the junior school of some 190 pupils. A language study centre at Le Fousseau, an 18th century manor house near Fougères in northern France, is used by pupils of the Foundation schools. King Henry VIII School founded in 1545 and Cheshunt School founded in 1909 are also part of the Foundation. Coundon Road, Coventry CV1 4AU t +44 (0)24 7627 1200 f +44 (0)24 7627 1293 e Printed on paper sourced from sustainably managed forests.





News & features

Headmaster’s annual review 3 Prize winners 9 Final destinations 12 Bablake at the Beeb 25 1066 and all that 26



Beyond the classroom

A cracking time in China 30 An Auschwitz experience 32 Charity at Bablake 34 10 reasons for the D of E 36 House reports 41

34 41



From Shakespeare to shutter speeds 48 Life in Britain 52 Creative writing 56 Art & design 62 Retro Flair 64



Performing arts Any dream can come true 67 Great Expectations 69 House Music Festival 72 From Latin to Latin America 74 Flautist all over the world 76




Sporting superstars 78 South Africa rugby tour 80 A week of sporting drama 81 Individual sports 85


Former students

Grapevine 100 Ivor Lee and all that jazz 101 Call the doctor 102 Pride in the green beret 103

102 bablake school



‘As Editor of this year’s issue, what has struck me most is the vast array of activities available at Bablake. We are very well prepared for public examinations and a lot more beyond! Whether it is sport, drama, music or challenges like the Duke of Edinburgh award, there is definitely something exciting for everyone to get involved in. Many of our reports show that such opportunities often become some of the most memorable and treasured moments when we reflect fondly on our time at Bablake. As the editorial team embarks on its last year here, there is excitement at the new challenges to follow Bablake but we will eagerly treasure our final moments at the school. We urge you all to embrace the opportunities on offer and enjoy your time at Bablake as much as we have.’ faith hannon, student editor


the wheatleyan 2007/08

Edited by faith hannon & john haidar

news& features Highlights Headmaster’s annual review 3 Prize winners 9 Final destinations 12 Bablake at the Beeb 25 1066 and all that 26


Bablake prize giving for 2007/08 Headmaster’s annual review Mr John Watson celebrates the achievements and experiences of Bablake’s pupils in his annual speech to parents


ast year, you may remember that this epic show clashed with the rugby world cup first stage match against South Africa, when England went down to the Springboks 36-0. It was, anyway, a match to miss, but I hope you’d agree that we’ve been a bit more considerate with our timing this year – and you even have Friday night at home. And in this hall, there are only winners seated before me, so we clearly have much to celebrate. I’m not going to be quite so comprehensive in my speech this year, so I’ll begin by apologising to those I don’t mention – it might be deliberate, but it certainly isn’t because you’re not valued. As parents, you receive regular feedback on the many successes of our young people, and you have plenty of time to read tonight’s programme, so I have no intention of being exhaustive or even exhausting. Let’s face it, you’ve only come tonight for those few seconds of pride, when your son or daughter mounts the stage (hopefully without tripping up the step – we’ve rehearsed that bit very carefully!) and shakes Mr Hoffman by the hand. I’ve certainly sweated away in the past as a dad, longing to rise from my small hard primary school seat, longing for the protracted agony to end as the same child goes up for the twentieth time to receive the tiddlywinks prize, longing for some fresh air. I’m sure you’ll identify with some of those sentiments, but I am, of course, being deliberately cynical. We’re here tonight to celebrate numerous individual achievements, the sum of which has contributed so much to Bablake as a thriving community over the past year. We’re here because of the pride which pupils, teachers, parents and governors share in the school. And I don’t forget that we’re also here to listen to some words of wisdom from a former pupil, Mr Hoffman. As you write out that cheque for the fees every term, I hope you might console yourselves with the thought that it’s because Bablake is indeed a special school. Well, I’m going to be a bit selfish

tonight as I’m going to pick out some of last year’s highlights which have made it special for me. I do spend many of my waking hours at Bablake during term-time, and I’m thrilled by the diversity and richness of what I see and experience. Many of you will have attended the spectacular concert and food-tasting which formed the culmination of our International Week in April. During the week, pupils enjoyed inspirational talks and workshops including African drumming, Tai-chi and Caribbean music. They were able to celebrate the richness of their own cultures, and share this with others. It spoke volumes about the outward-looking nature of our community, and also about the support of parents, as the Parents’ Association took such an active role in the organisation of the week. We also encourage our pupils to be generous and outward-looking through the community service scheme and their charitable giving. Last year they raised in excess of £13K, for various worthy causes, at home and abroad. This included supporting Mr Hall as he ran the London Marathon for HEART UK, and £2.5K for Malcolm’s charity. Malcolm Martin is our caretaker, who was given weeks to live when diagnosed with cancer in February 2007. He made a miraculous recovery, and such is the esteem in which we hold him that pupils and staff were eager to support his quest to raise money for morphine release machines at The University Hospital. Malcolm never lost his sense of humour throughout his illness. Having once dared to allude to the Headmaster’s lack of hair, he came to see me bald as a coot during his treatment and said: “It’s pay-back time, sir.” It was Malcolm and his wife Sue who opened our Dining Hall up at 3am as a refuge for 30 local residents, evacuated because of a house fire. Malcolm often speaks with great affection about the sense of community at Bablake, and I would like to pay tribute to all our support staff who work with great dedication, often behind the scenes, to enhance the education of our pupils. bablake school



‘As you know, the school was adjudged ‘outstanding’ in most respects’


the wheatleyan 2007/08


My appetite not entirely satisfied by the wonderful and varied cuisine of International Evening, I shortly afterwards helped to judge the House Ready, Steady, Cook competition, in which pairs of pupils worked against the clock, on a shoestring budget, to produce some exquisite culinary delights. This wasn’t an easy competition to judge, so I’m happy to say that it required lots of tasting before we reached our decisions. By common assent the highlight of the house calendar last year was The House Music Festival. We all emerged stunned by the quality and variety of our evening’s entertainment. Arranged and rehearsed almost entirely by pupils, it epitomised everything that is good about our house system, as boys and girls between the ages of 11 and 18 sang and danced alongside each other. One of the most memorable highlights was an extraordinary solo-performance of Bohemian Rhapsody by Rory Dulku, a Shell Former. Simon Cowell and co. would undoubtedly have been most impressed. I was delighted to spend a few days in June in Fousseau with 2J, and returned convinced that the week’s stay at our French manor house is of enormous benefit to our pupils – both socially and linguistically. Conditions are by no means luxurious, there is no TV or PS3, and the house is in the middle of the countryside, but the pupils simply love it. When asked by Mr Johnson what they were most enjoying, one pupil didn’t hesitate: Ludovic’s French cooking. I too really enjoyed that part, but my greatest regret was having to leave early, before the table-tennis tournament; I had somehow rather fancied my chances! Bablake pupils have benefited this year from numerous study visits and trips, some annual fixtures, others fresh departures. The Economics and Business Studies Department ventured with 27 U6th Formers to China in the run-up to the Olympics, and our musicians performed in New York. Drama remains a strength, and we are unique as a school for having performed for 22 consecutive years on the Edinburgh Fringe. Another group of pupils from the RS Department made a very moving visit to Auschwitz. I was fortunate at Easter to attend the Combined Cadet Force biennial inspection. The contingent passed with flying colours, and I was struck by the teamwork on display as cadets encouraged one another over a fearsome obstacle course; I fortunately wasn’t invited to participate! Parents may lament the amount of time spent by their offspring in front of a screen of some description, and it appears difficult to persuade some to walk a few yards up the road to their cars at the end of school, but our pupils aren’t shy of physical effort when the purpose appeals. They are joining up in their droves for the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme, and continue to enjoy participation and success in a large number of sports. One of the highlights for the girls was reaching the U19 national netball finals in Bournemouth, whilst hockey, netball and rounders teams at all age groups have enjoyed conspicuous success in local and regional tournaments. The 1st XV rugby team had a fine season, and snatched victory from the jaws of defeat to beat a strong King Henry VIII side with a gargantuan final effort in the last few seconds at the Butts Stadium in December; old boy and England player Shane Geraghty presented the trophy. In a welcome break between rainstorms we won our own Twenty 20 cricket tournament against the West Midlands’ strongest schools, and our U12 team somehow managed to play 15 matches during a wet term, and only lose one. There were many fine individual performances by boys and girls, and county and regional representative honours

were won by numerous pupils. Particular congratulations go to: Lucy Horn and Holly Payne for playing for England U18s in hockey, and to Kai Hartshorn on his selection for the England U16 rugby training squad. A boys’ hockey tour went to Gibraltar, and this undoubtedly enthused them, as our boys’ hockey teams go from strength to strength. Our rugby players have recently returned from South Africa, and our girls are looking forward to a hockey and netball tour of Trinidad and Tobago next summer. As you know, activities begin early at school, and this is particularly true for those pupils who faithfully record the weather on a daily basis under the guidance of Mr Jackson. On 19th September last year we celebrated Bablake Weather Station’s 30th birthday, and it is the longest-running Met Office registered school weather service, providing readings for the local region. If you don’t trust the BBC, log on to BWS. Pupils continue to enjoy numerous other clubs and societies, with the addition this year of an equestrian club, although we have yet to build stables onsite! The environment has been a hot topic, and the school group Green Feet has been urging us, with various initiatives, to turn it off or to cut back. Our L6th work experience journalism group produced a thought-provoking green issue of the annual Stretch magazine, followed very recently by a fashion edition, featuring a scoop interview with Lucinda from the Apprentice. Pupils have represented the school in diverse competitions. The Chorale sang their way to equal second in the Leamington Festival, and the Junior Maths Challenge Team won through local and regional rounds to compete with 64 teams from around the country in the national finals in London last term. They were placed 17th overall, and their imaginative mathematical poster won second prize. In amongst all these activities, you’ll be pleased to know that a fair bit of study has gone on. Our A Level results were the best ever, and a record 10 of the year group were offered places at Oxford or Cambridge. The unprecedented AS results bode very well for next year provided that pupils remain inspired and focussed, and the GCSE results, whilst not our strongest at the top end, have enabled pupils to continue with confidence to the next stage of their education. You will perhaps have noticed that the majority of last year’s U6 is missing tonight! It’s not because they’ve boycotted the event, but we are inviting the whole year group back to school in December for a graduation evening. We have, however, made two exceptions this evening, and I’m delighted to welcome back one of our school captains, Jamie Stefaniak, and one of our senior prefects, Will Chamberlain. We decided to invite them after discovering that Jamie won’t be in the neighbourhood in December, as he’ll be exploring the Antarctic on a naval research vessel; he won this quite exceptional prize for his Gold Crest project. Will’s excuse is less convincing, for surely he could have returned in December from his skiing holiday on the continent – it’s hardly the other side of the world! Both of these star pupils have contributed a remarkable amount to Bablake, and undoubtedly have a very bright future. We wish them every success as they proceed to the next stage: Jamie to Downing, Cambridge for Medicine and Will to Lincoln, Oxford for PPE. You may be surprised that I haven’t yet mentioned the Inspection, for its findings certainly gave cause for celebration. You all received a copy, so I have no intention to read out great chunks tonight. What I didn’t say to parents at the time was that there is no longer a ‘very good’ category between ‘good’ and ‘outstanding’. bablake school



As you know, the school was adjudged ‘outstanding’ in most respects, and any ‘good’s were qualified by ‘and in many cases outstanding’. We had, of course, done a fair bit of navel-gazing prior to the inspection, so I’m pleased to say that none of the recommendations came from left field. We were already reviewing the delivery of what was once PSE, then became PSHE and now is PSHCE. I’ll leave you to work out what all those letters stand for, but suffice it to say that we regard our responsibilities in this area as extremely important, as we prepare pupils to make informed and moral choices in a complex and challenging society. We were also asked “to promote greater and better use of ICT and library resources as learning and research facilities to the highest levels”, and we continue to train and encourage both pupils and staff to make the best educational use of our 450 computers. It’s great having so much modern kit, but it’s how you use it that matters. We have also refined the Library Development Plan, as we seek to inspire a love of books and reading – not easy in a world where learners will often have first recourse to technology. Although inspectors recognised that “lessons are distinguished by a powerful sense of purpose to learn, in a shared enterprise between teacher and pupil”, they urged us to inspire in our pupils an even more “powerful sense of intellectual challenge and curiosity”. We had already identified greater independence of thought and learning as a clear aspiration in our development plan, as pupils will often equate how well they are being taught with the quantity of notes that are served up, rather than with the extent to which they are challenged to think for themselves. We have a duty as educators to ensure that our pupils are prepared thoroughly for exams, but we must also seek to inspire and provoke, so that they become adaptable learners and discoverers for life. Ultimately, our aim is to give our young people the very best start in life, and, to this end, we shall continue to review and improve the education which Bablake has to offer. For example, we have been reviewing the structure of the school day, and how to make best use of that precious commodity: time. The Lower School Council suggested that we have an extra lesson Monday to Thursday, so that school can end at lunchtime on a Friday. Well, that’s one suggestion which won’t be adopted, however tempting the idea is – although there may no longer be a lesson called Friday 9! Inspectors further observed: “The quality of relationships between staff and pupils and among pupils is outstanding. They develop naturally from the friendly, supportive ethos of the

school” and “All staff take a pride in the school and share a sense of achievement in its success.” Every year we bid a fond farewell to several colleagues, for reasons of promotion, relocation or retirement. They have all enriched the school community in their own way, and they all leave us with happy memories. I mentioned them all in my letter at the end of last term, with special appreciation for two colleagues who joined us in the mid 80s. Mr Peter Hancock was a most enthusiastic teacher of Design Technology, who was involved in many aspects of school life. Most staff had forgotten that he was once Master i/c the Dining Room, but scores of pupils will forever recall his passion and encouragement both as Assistant Head and then Head of Wheatley House. Mrs Pam Goodwin taught Art, with a particular specialism in Textiles. Many individuals benefited from her care, creativity and encouragement, and she was a motivating force behind the school’s charity fundraising and Community Service. She was recently given a Lifetime Achievement Award for her charity work in Rwanda. We wish Peter and Pam much happiness in their retirement. It’s at this point that I would like to pay tribute to the care, enthusiasm and dedication of all the staff, and ask you to join me in showing your appreciation. And thank you to you too as parents for all your enthusiastic support this year, and to the governors for giving so generously of their time and expertise. Well, we’re almost ready for those “few seconds of pride” and those “words of wisdom” which I mentioned at the beginning of my speech. I’m delighted to welcome Mr Gary Hoffman. As you have read in your programmes, Bablake must have given him a good start in life, for he has gone on to achieve great things. As Chief Executive of Northern Rock, he apparently has to repay the £24 billion outstanding on Northern Rock’s central bank loan, although I hope that’s not from his own pocket. Mr Hoffman may remember learning about rocks in Geography. In fact, he has always enjoyed challenges, and may recall the time when his Geography teacher, Mr Rhodes, told his class that it was impossible to scratch granite. Well, I have the proof here that Mr Hoffman refuses to accept that anything is impossible, especially when you’re equipped with a compass. I dread to think what his kitchen work surfaces look like. I can’t, I’m afraid, present you with this trophy, as it happens to be Mr Rhodes’ pet rock, Shap, dating from 1962. Anyway, we’re very grateful that you’ve joined us tonight, and we’re very much looking forward to your presenting the prizes and then speaking to us.

‘All staff take a pride in the School and share a sense of achievement in its success’


the wheatleyan 2007/08


bablake school




the wheatleyan 2007/08


Prizes awarded There were over 200 individual prize-winners this year. The most prestigious of these included: Shell Scholars 2007-08 Academic Scholars Matthew Bird, Jack Brown, Rebecca Carter, Elliot Forbes, Honor Klesnik-Edwards, Amy Kuner, Connor Putnam, Danujan Sivanesan, Imogen Stern, Jimhill Xu. Music Scholars Aaron Sood, Helena Worthington Art Scholar Francesca Bellingeri

William Townsend Form Prizes Shells Attainment – Thomas Grantham, Lara Morley-White, Luke O’Neill, Aaran Patel, Joshua Rowe

Excellence at GCSE Emily Burns, Jim Chen, Tom Chen, Hannah Clarke, Rebecca Dale, Rory Doherty, Martyn Gray, Kai Hartshorn, Daniel Lawrence, Nadine Minty, Jayson Parmar, Ami Shirley, Jonathan Smith, Josh Sood, Daisy Twigger, Paramjit Uppal, Uma Venkataraman, Michael Whitlow 6th Form Scholarships Whitehouse – Lauren James, James Vallance, Roya Ziaie Academic – Kai Hartshorn, Nadine Naguib, Jayson Parmar, Ami Shirley, Jonathan Smith, Paramjit Uppal Music – Abhimanyu Bose, Marie Low, Josh Sood Sport – Emily Burns Lane Scholarships awarded to L6th pupils for outstanding academic achievement Charlotte Burton, Lewis Dawson, Sunera Nawab, Anshu Sachdev, Bhajanpreet Virk The J V Rattigan Cup for Merit Faith Hannon The Jackson Progress Prize Kim Male

Progress – Ishta Bhagat, Charlotte Cooper, Rebecca Jones, Pavesh Sehmar, Jenny Tasker

The Leonard Ward Trophy for Sportswoman of the Year Rebecca Stuart

2nds Attainment – Rebecca Brown, Joseph Cashmore, Melissa James, Lois Miller, Maneesha Sehgal

The Seabourne Trophy for Sportsman of the Year Andrew Hextall

Progress – Katie Bottomley, Christopher Easterlow, Ben Evans, Lauren Hughes, Sophie Jones 3rds Attainment –Anuriti Aojula, Tom Calderbank, Bethany Evans, Henry Hirst, Ceri Smith, Robert Vallance Progress – Benjamin Charlesworth, Hayley Griffiths, William Knight, Louise Poole, Hugh Samson, William Skalka 4ths Attainment – Luke Briggs, Emily Chomitzki, Matthew Lewis, Christopher Starkey, Oliver Towlson, Jemma Williams Progress – Emily Aucutt, Christine Goldfinch, Lucia Mountain, Adam Pitt, Daniel Richards, Sarah Tuckey 5ths Lisa Pendrey, George Skalka, Sophie Smith, Paramjit Uppal, Jennifer Wood

Best Contribution to the School by Students new to the 6th Form Francesca Clifford Former Pupils’ Association Prize for Merit Jessica Blake, Sam Brown, Matthew Hall, Isabelle Moran, Hannah Sheard, Rebecca Stuart, Simone Willis The Chris Ashworth Prize for Outstanding Achievement Liz Collison The H Curt Prize for Service William Chamberlain The Hawley Cup for Service Laura Dean The Humberstone Prize for Character and Scholarship This Prize is awarded each year by the Trustees of the Humberstone Memorial on the recommendation of the school staff, in memory of F W Humberstone, Headmaster of Bablake School 1870–1890. Jamie Stefaniak bablake school



Notable achievements

Individual Sport Great Britain International Children’s Games (San Francisco) Emily McNeice England U18 Hockey Lucy Horn, Holly Payne U14 Hockey Development Jessica Horn U16 Netball Talent Camp Georgia Horn, Beth Hushon, Danielle Smith U16 Rugby Kai Hartshorn Midlands U17 Cricket Paul Best U17 Hockey Performance Lauren Boon, Lucy Horn, Holly Payne U15 Hockey Performance Jessica Horn U15 Hockey Development Georgia Horn U14 Hockey Development Louise Poole U14 Hockey Jake Basra U16 Rugby Max Goodyer, Kai Hartshorn West Midlands Intermediate Athletics Dominic Ainsworth (100m), Philippa Collison (heptathlon, 300m hurdles), Danielle Smith (shot) Junior Athletics Rebecca Pearce (javelin), Lucy Smith (shot) U15 Cross Country Jamie Cozens U17 Netball Georgia Horn U12 Water Polo Eleanor Davies


the wheatleyan 2007/08

Warwickshire Over 60 students represented their county – a tremendous performance. Arguably the highlight of these were: Cricket Paul Best (captain), Chris Walters U19 (Leicestershire) Hockey U21/ U19 Peter Sidwell, U19 Chris Popplewell; six girls at U17 Netball seven girls at U16, eight at U14 plus five at satellite level

Team Sport Family Achievements Paul and Mark Best; Lucy, Georgia and Jessica Horn; Beth and Erin Hushon; Danielle and Lucy Smith for representational sport at every level. West Midlands Netball U19s reached The Nationals, Senior 2nd team West Midlands’ Colleges South League Division 2 runners up Midlands Hockey U13 boys third in Yazoo Midlands Mini Hockey Finals Bablake Twenty 20 tournament Cricket 1st XI, winners Solihull Sevens Rugby U15s, winners


Academic Royal Society International Expedition Prize Jamie Stefaniak received 1 of 2 national awards after his project was judged to be the best in the West Midlands at the Gold Crest awards ceremony Top 5 nationally at A2 (AQA) A2, Liz Collison (Geography), Jamie Stefaniak (General Studies and Chemistry) Top 10 nationally at A2 (Edexcel) A2, Jamie Stefaniak (Physics). AS, Sarah Barnard, John Haidar (English), Ira Kleine, Sunera Nawab, James Ross (Maths), Anshu Sachdev (Physics). 6 Grade As at A Level for Jamie Stefaniak Senior Maths Challenge Gold Awards for Sam Brown, Thomas Bend, Alex Owens, James Ross, Jamie Stefaniak Arkwright Scholarship (Design Technology) Adam Rogozinski Public Speaking and Debating Taylor Trophy (Best Speaker in the final) Paramjit Uppal British Professional Women’s Public Speaking Competition (Best speaker) Christopher Lamb

Officials School Captains Lara Jackson James Ross Senior Prefects Faith Hannon Katherine Hull Ira Kleine Paul Best John Haidar Thomas Hine Thomas Jackson

school aims The purpose of Bablake School is to provide an excellent and stimulating education for boys and girls, by developing character, intellect and physical well being within a happy, scholarly and caring community. In order to achieve this, the School aims to: Provide well-qualified, dedicated and enthusiastic staff, who enable pupils to enjoy their education and to fulfil their academic potential whilst at school. Encourage the growth of reflection, intellectual curiosity and creativity, within a spirit of independent and co-operative learning. Value and support each individual, providing a high quality of pastoral care, and nurturing self-esteem and mutual respect, in partnership with parents. Provide a challenging and balanced curriculum, which prepares pupils for adulthood, enabling them to succeed in higher education and their chosen careers, and equipping them with skills for life. Offer a wide range of activities and opportunities for enrichment, enabling pupils to develop sporting and cultural interests through participation with others. Celebrate achievement and success in all areas of endeavour, within a purposeful and secure community. Encourage development of character, a sense of responsibility, spiritual values, and a strong personal and moral code, leading to the highest standards of behaviour and consideration for others. Welcome pupils of diverse beliefs and backgrounds. Promote an awareness of the world beyond school, a generosity of spirit, and a sense of service to the wider community.

bablake school



10Top Tips

Laura Dean and Jamie Stefaniak received offers from Oxford and Cambridge respectively. The Wheatleyan asked them for some advice on how future cohorts could maximise their chances of entering a top university

1 Be sure of what you want

Go to any university Open Days you are interested in. Details will be found in prospectuses or on university websites. A good university is only good if it is a place you want to be at, and an Open Day gives you a feel for a place. Aim for weekend visits as far as possible as missing too many lessons, although tempting at the time, may mean you slip a grade and therefore won’t actually go to that university you visited... both ironic and disappointing.

2 Be prepared

Before you enter the 6th Form, have a clear idea about what you want to do at university and where you might be interested in studying it. Surf the web to have a look at what different universities offer and using their websites, send away for some prospectuses towards the end of the 5th Year so that you have a head start for the L6th.

3 Be organised

Around exam sessions, organise your time carefully so that your revision is effective and therefore your grades are as you would hope. It’s really important to do well at GCSE as well as A Level: top universities will look at these results when deciding whether to accept you. Yes, other things may seem more tempting around exam leave (sunshine, ‘Neighbours’, sleeping), but exam sessions don’t last forever: push yourself to the limit so you can achieve your goals.


the wheatleyan 2007/08

4 Be busy

Your personal statement gives you the chance to show what else you do alongside your studies. Although your academic drive and potential are more important, a place is more likely to be offered to someone with good grades and a well-rounded extra-curricular life rather than someone with just good grades. Many courses expect these extras, so get involved! Bablake makes this incredibly easy: netball, hockey, rugby, Duke of Edinburgh, drama, music, CCF, Young Enterprise, journalism, mentoring, volunteering et al. Get busy right from the first year so that you have plenty to brag about by the time you’re in the 6th Form.

5 Be experienced

Gain some form of work experience under your belt well before you apply to university. The best time is during the L6th when you haven’t got the pressure of your personal statement or driving lessons to deal with. Work experience proves to universities that you’re passionate about your subject, and you can also pick up helpful advice about the application process. Finding a placement is more important for some subjects (e.g. medicine, dentistry or law) than others (Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic studies), where extension reading and studies may suffice, but asking the Careers Department or friends’ parents is sensible as a starting point.

6 Be creative

Your personal statement (as mentioned in point 4) gives you the chance to speak to the admissions officer about yourself: it should come from you and sound like you speaking, to convey an idea of the type of person you are. Write a first draft in the summer holiday before the U6th or early September so that when the UCAS deadline comes, you don’t have to throw together a rough jumble of words about rugby, Bronze D of E and how much you love earthquakes and volcanoes. Ask members of staff to check your drafts so that you send your best piece possible to UCAS.

7 Be an early bird

Once certain of your direction, complete your UCAS form as soon as possible in September: don’t wait for deadlines, thinking you have lots of time. Top universities will offer a place to someone who wows them when they receive their application: you don’t want to lose out by being lazy!

8 Be realistic

When applying, don’t apply to five universities which demand three As unless you really are predicted those grades: you don’t want to be caught out if you slip a grade. To be safe, you may want to apply for a course demanding a slightly lower set of A Level grades, although you must be certain you want to apply to that place as you may end up there.

9 Be brave

Although applying to university requires some sense and realism (see point 8), you must also reach for the stars. Don’t be put off applying to a top institution if that’s what you want to do: if you work hard, you have just as much chance of getting an offer as any other applicant. Don’t have any regrets!

10 Be well-read

Some subjects and some universities may include an interview as part of their application process: make sure you’re aware of what your subject demands. Read around the subject (books, journals, newspapers, e-digests), search the web, and watch related TV programmes so that when called to interview, you have plenty to draw on.


U6th University destinations


112 students (inc 7 deferred to 2009) » Birmingham 13 » Nottingham 12 » Manchester 8 » Leicester 7 » Loughborough 6 » Cardiff, Exeter, Oxford, Southampton 5 » Cambridge, Reading, Sheffield, University College London 4 » Bournemouth, Coventry, Imperial College London 3 » Hull, Leeds, Newman College Birmingham, Warwick 2 » Aston, Bangor, Birmingham – City, Bath, Durham, Edinburgh, Keele, Lancaster, Liverpool, Newcastle, Notre, Salford, Surrey, Westminster, York 1


Business related 29 » Economics 12 (inc Management 3, Financial 1, Geography 1, Philosophy 1) » Business 5 (Management 3, Marketing 1, Administration 1) » Management 5 (inc International/ American Business Studies 1, Textile Marketing 1) » Finance 4 (inc Accounting & Management 3, Banking 1)

» Hospitality Management 1 » Public Relations 1 » Statistics, Economics & Finance 1 Health & Social Sciences 26 » Psychology 9 (inc Child Language Development 1) » Biology 6 (inc Medical 2, Human 2) » Medicine 6 » Dentistry 2 » Medical Physiology 1 » Neuroscience 1 » Pharmacy 1 Humanities 24 » History 7 (inc War, Peace & Int Relations 2) » Law 6 (inc Business Studies 1) » Geography 4 (inc Management 1) » Philosophy 3 (inc Politics & Economics 2) » American Studies 1 » Archaeology 1 » Criminology 1 » Theology & Religious Studies 1 Creative Arts & Media 18 » English 8 (inc Education 2, History 1) » Fashion 2 (Design 1, Textile Management 1) » Architecture 1 » Communications, Media & Society 1 » Contemporary Media Practice 1

» Dance 1 » Drama with Philosophy, Religion & Ethics 1 » Fine Art 1 » Journalism, Film & Media 1 » Television and Radio 1 Science, ICT, Environment & Engineering 12 » Engineering 3 (inc Chemical 1, Mechanical 1) » Physics 3 » Aeronautics & Astronautics 1 » Building Surveying 1 » Computer Science 1 » Geology 1 » Information Technology Management for Business 1 » Mathematics 1 Sports 2 » Sport & Exercise Sciences 1 » Sport, Physical Education & Community Studies 1 Education 1 » Education Studies 1 (Psychology)

Photo: evening on the University of Warwick campus bablake school




Mrs Pam Goodwin ‘Through the Head’s eyes’ Dr Stuart Nuttall Twenty four years ago, the then Principal, Martin Barker, appointed a talented and enthusiastic Art teacher. He knew he was appointing a good teacher but he did not realise just how good and inspiring Pam Goodwin would be and just how much she would contribute to Art and the Bablake community in general through her involvement with Drama, CSV, Charity, Senior Citizen parties and pastoral care over the next 24 years. Pam immediately struck up a very good working relationship with her first Head of Department, Tony Weaver, and they formed a superb team. Together they oversaw an expansion of Art and Design both in the facilities and numbers taking the subject at GCSE and A level. Pam’s interests in textiles allowed pupils to extend their range of abilities in Art and Design and she formed good and beneficial links with the Home Economics department. Pam worked with three Heads of the Art department and each very much valued the experience, knowledge and enthusiasm she brought to the department. Although Pam never aspired to be a Head of Department one was never in doubt at times as to who was the guiding light and force behind some of the innovations that took place within Art and Design. Indeed, at times one often wondered who was in charge of the department!


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Pam was a tireless worker and was usually one of the first members of staff to arrive at school in a morning. It was not uncommon for her to knock on the Headmaster’s door at 7.45am with the opening words: “Headmaster, I wonder if I could have a few minutes of your time?” One knew immediately from this that Pam had some new and good idea(s) for Art/Drama/CSV/Charity or the school in general. Pam had a real and lasting interest in the lives and conditions of others and when an opportunity arose for someone to take responsibility for the Charity work in the school it was only natural that Pam would be that person. As ever, Pam worked tirelessly to galvanise the whole school to raise monies for numerous charity organisations, both in the UK and abroad. She was, quite rightly, very proud of the links she forged with many new organisations, not least the very successful one with an African village in Uganda. It was no surprise that she received a national award for her charity work two years ago. There is no doubt that Pam will be sorely missed by colleagues and pupils alike. She was at the centre of so much that was good at Bablake and I, like my predecessor, Martin Barker and my successor, John Watson, very much appreciated all that Pam gave and achieved for the pupils and Bablake. She leaves with our best wishes for the future which, knowing Pam, will be very busy, our thanks for all her good work and safe in the knowledge that the Art department will be in good hands in the appointment of her successor, Amy Jones, who is a Former Pupil and one of Pam’s very many protégées.


‘Pam the artisan’ Mr Anthony Weaver Pam joined the Art department as it moved from a Cinderella subject to one that is now valued by pupils and staff alike. She brought to the subject a wide range of skills and expertise, in particular printing and textile design. This gave a whole new dimension to the subject, so that as a department we were then able to offer a full range of both two and three dimensional skills and techniques. Her popularity and relationship with the pupils meant they were eager to learn and experiment, which in turn made for exciting results and in the end rewarding grades. It can be said that nothing was too much trouble for Pam. She made sure each pupil was individually resourced, at times providing from her own personal artefacts and materials. Her enthusiasm and willingness to share her knowledge and experience reflected directly in all she came into contact with. This applied not just to lesson times but the many extra activities in which she participated, from the PHAB Ball, school charity and of course the plays that relied so heavily on her input. Pam was a joy to work with both as a colleague and a friend, always willing to offer support and advice, especially in times of difficulty when her prayer support could also be relied upon. It is said that purple is her favourite colour and stars her most used motif; without doubt she herself is a star who shone throughout her time at Bablake. We pray that the light reflected from her will continue to inspire people for many years to come.

Mr Peter Hancock Mr Chris West Peter joined Bablake from Woodlands School, where he was Head of Department, in 1985, bringing with him a considerable range of experience and workshop skills. However, not only will he be remembered for the contribution he made to the Design Technology department but also across many other areas of the school. Current pupils will always remember him for his enormous energy and enthusiasm in the House system where he was Head of Wheatley but former pupils and staff of the school will recall his presence in a variety of roles. Peter quickly became involved in the school sports afternoons, taking on coaching and refereeing U12 rugby. He would be the first to acknowledge his skills were limited but in a manner which was to become familiar to many colleagues, his drive to do the job properly soon overcame any shortfalls and many pupils owe their interest in the game to his enthusiasm and cheerfulness even when things were not going too well. In more recent years Pete became a familiar and welcome sight on senior games, helping out with shooting where, once again, his ambition to do things well soon saw him establish himself as a good shot. Even after his retirement he will remain involved on a Wednesday afternoon where his competitive edge will severely test those who bablake school



think he is there just to make up numbers. Those staff who recently enjoyed a morning’s shooting with Pete are only too well aware of how seriously he takes his shooting. He did let slip that day how he hopes to purchase his own gun with his retirement money. I only hope he has informed his ever supportive wife, Trish, of the budget he was working to! As Head of Wheatley he was a formidable opponent too and his teams were always instilled with the same competitive edge while also managing to enjoy themselves. As well as being the first to get out there and support his house and congratulate the winners, he always had a consoling hand for those who had given their all in representing Wheatley for Pete knew how important the House system was, and still is, to Bablake and for making students feel involved in their school. If there was a team to be picked and play a game, or make music, or perform drama, Pete would always be there to lend encouragement even if he had not a clue about the actual performance. Plenty will remember him in environments where he rarely trod, helping out, encouraging, laughing with pupils, and consoling others, all of whom were giving their best for Wheatley. However, most pupils will recall how he entertained them as they encountered him in his natural environment, the DT department workshops. In his final year he always referred to himself as ‘the dinosaur’ and he often sported a tie with such creatures on to make his point but this should not hide the real point behind the remark. Pete was a true craftsman, he loved to work in wood, metal or plastic and he had a command of skills in these materials which is almost impossible to replace and his enthusiasm soon transferred to the pupils. He knew his subject inside out and testament to this is the range of outstanding projects produced by his GCSE classes over a long period of time. He never relaxed and in the last couple of years adapted his ways to encompass new technology with CNC work and especially laser cutting. He would be the first to admit computing was never his forte and his hands were better suited to working with tools rather than keyboards. Occasionally, his frustrations would boil over and result in a rant about the incompetence of computers but once he had had his say he would move on and try again. He could be a hard taskmaster, but he simply wanted the best, and those that appreciated him most knew that it was easier to work with him because at the end of the day a job was to be done correctly or not at all. He has great plans for his retirement and he will finally be able to devote more time to his family and his grandchildren, who can be assured of a doting and kindly grandfather. It will be all too easy to imagine him disappearing into the garage or shed and passing on to them his interest in all things mechanical. Perhaps he will also be able to also ‘invest’ in that classic car he has talked about for so many years! We will miss hearing that raucous laugh that has rung out from his workshop so many times. I am sure caravanning will remain a priority but would respectfully encourage him to avoid more traction engine driving! His contribution to Bablake has been huge, from greeting staff at formal occasions to spending time on the sports field, marshalling a diverse array of House events and mainly teaching in the DT department. Everything has been done with total commitment and willingness to be the best. We all wish him a healthy and enjoyable retirement.


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Mrs Janette Foster Mrs Gail Timothy and Mrs Beth Hill Janette joined the Languages department from Tile Hill Wood School in 2002 as a part-time teacher of German and member of the 6th form team. She was instrumental in setting up the Munich Exchange within the school which is a Coventry and Warwickshire initiative aimed at A Level students of German. It involves students spending two weeks in their summer holiday with a German partner in Munich, working in a kindergarten or industry. The German students then make a return visit to Coventry the following September. In conjunction with Mrs Billings, she was also instrumental in setting up the popular Languages Club for Shells and 2nd years, spending many Wednesday lunchtimes co-leading a range of activities which included language quizzes, handicrafts and decorating Christmas biscuits! She later went on to teach some junior French classes and accompanied a 2nd year class to Fousseau. Unfortunately during her time at Bablake, Janette was dogged by ill health and had two lengthy periods of absence. Ultimately, this led her to make the difficult decision to take early retirement. She has now returned to her native Scotland where she is able to spend much more time with her close family. Her kindness and consideration for others in the department will be greatly missed and we wish her happiness and good health in the future.

Mrs Joyce Hall Mr Bernard Sutton, Mrs Patricia Tatum and Mr Mark Woodward The welfare and education of the pupils, together with spreading her love of music, were the aspects that most mattered to Joyce who came to Bablake initially to cover for Mrs Tatum who was away on an inspection week. When extra lessons were required in the Music department, Joyce was the obvious choice. She was previously Head of Music at Myton School, Warwick and though once retired, she displayed a great deal of youthful energy and enthusiasm that certainly impressed younger colleagues. Joyce brought a great love of the subject and great desire to inspire and entertain her pupils. She combined a touch of eccentricity with positive, hard work. A larger-than-life figure, her glass was definitely more than half full and her lessons were never boring; indeed she was never scared to try out new ideas in the classroom and pupils enjoyed her unusual but entertaining approach to musical history. No voice was left unpraised. Two of The Wheatleyan editors remember 3rd Year lessons where their lusty singing of Beatles and Coolio songs at their heartiest pitch was lauded with


encouragement to head for professional singing circles rather than a dispatch to a detention. While her pupils left the classroom impressed both by her empathetic, caring approach and her penchant for designer shoes and fine outfits, they will also remember being regaled with grand tales. Who will forget the ‘blue boy’?! Joyce was sent as examiner to the house of a particular candidate and everywhere she looked was blue: every room, every wall, every ornament, every piece of furniture and in our editors’ recollection, even the boy himself!? Joyce has made many friends in her short time at Bablake and no doubt will continue to assist the orchestra with her prodigious viola-playing when the occasion arises. In the meantime we all wish her and her husband, Gordon, a very happy and fulfilling second retirement.

Ms Shona Thompson Mrs Helen Billings Shona started her teaching career in Japan where she taught English in a Senior High School for two years. She arrived speaking no Japanese and very quickly learnt to communicate through gesture with the odd word thrown in here and there! As a linguist, she knew that if she wanted to make the most out of her time in Japan, she would have to learn the language to a level where she could at least communicate without simply grunting and pointing. She found a sympathetic teacher and started the long hard slog of learning two new alphabets and some essential kanji. After much hard work she got to the stage where she could communicate in basic situations and make herself understood without looking like too much of an idiot. Upon her return to England, she continued her studies in Japanese and in 2006 sat her A Level in Japanese at Bablake amongst all the other nervous A Level candidates and was delighted to receive a grade A. This experience in Japan made her realise that teaching really was the way forward and with a degree in French and German, she decided to follow the Graduate Training Programme. Shona followed this programme at King’s Norton Girls School where she taught for three years before arriving at Bablake in 2005. She quickly became part of our furniture with her outgoing personality and ability to enthuse the pupils. She involved herself fully in school life, accompanying a group to Fousseau and running a very popular Japanese club. It was always her intention to spend a long period of time at Bablake, however the lure of France became too great. Shona and partner Ken bought a holiday home in France five years ago and when pregnant with her second child, she decided to spend her maternity leave in sunny south-west France. As you can imagine, the decision to remain there was not a difficult one. They bought a beautiful old farmhouse where they now live with the further addition of a dog and three donkeys! Shona has found a job teaching English part-time at a local senior school, Ken is busy renovating the barns for gîte accommodation and Amelie and

Annabel are learning French at a rate of knots! If anyone fancies a relaxing holiday at “les trois ânes” near Navarrenx just inland from Biarritz, then Shona and Ken will be ready to welcome rental guests from summer 2009! We wish them every success in their new venture!

Mrs Lucy Hardstaff Mrs Helen Billings Lucy joined Bablake’s Design Technology department as Miss Hancock in 2005 after working in Engineering. She was however no stranger to the school since she attended as a pupil from 1988 to 1995 and was Fairfax through and through! During the short time she was with us, Lucy quickly established herself in the classroom and also involved herself with the extracurricular activity. She assisted with refreshments at numerous drama productions, helped with boys’ hockey, ran the Engineering Education Scheme and took over the running of Warhammer Club. She was responsible for the introduction of the ‘Spaghetti Challenge’ in Design Technology and also lent a hand every year at the Shell Olympics. Even after moving on from Bablake, Lucy ran the Race for Life with girls from her form to raise money for charity. Lucy married in November 2006 and became Mrs Hardstaff. She now plans to return to a career in Engineering and we wish her well for the future.

Mr Pete Millard Mr Mark Woodward from information supplied by Mrs Danny Thomas Pete offered much as IT Technician, helping develop and maintain the network infrastructure and associated software in the Senior School, the Junior School and the Foundation Office. Whenever called for support, he completed tasks quickly, to the requested level and beyond, with the minimum of fuss or distraction. He was also endlessly patient- a very important quality when dealing with adult IT illiteracy! He was happy advising on a range of technical issues, never pitching his wisdom beyond his challenging pupils’ level of understanding. Pete also supported the D of E award, the CCF and ran a canoeing option for the 6th Form. Courteous and professional, he was an excellent colleague. Supporting school gigs as photographer, technical maestro or paying customer, he was a pleasure to see in attendance. Socially, Pete was always good humoured and pleasant. One of Pete’s greatest strengths is his eagerness to learn. He gained a School’s Lifeguarding qualification and a British Red Cross First Aid qualification and was training for his Level 3 Kayak bablake school



Coaching certificate. Once he started studying for the Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer examinations and added to his already impressive range of expertise in both hardware and software, it was clear Bablake would soon lose his skills. We were extremely fortunate to have his services at Bablake but wish him well in his new Systems Manager role at the Co-op.

Mr Andrew Homer Mr Julian Bunce Andrew Homer’s reputation preceded his arrival at Bablake. ‘You’ll find he has a great sense of humour,’ said a mutual friend. And so it transpired, though we learned to appreciate his other qualities as well, like his encouragement of academically high standards, his care and concern for students and colleagues and his enthusiasm for involvement in school life outside the classroom. For two years he guided the Classics department from a precarious existence to prosperity. No student taught by Mr Homer will forget phrases like ‘scenically-challenged Coventry’ or ‘Surly Mr Homer slumped dejectedly over his nasty formica-clad desk.’ If sniffing the chemicals on Banda copies was the fix of the 1970s, a Mr Homer worksheet introduced by a hilarious stream of consciousness piece involving the names of the whole class would be addictive for many classes – and entertaining for parents too. And they weren’t complete without a cartoon; even colleagues would receive one with their instructions when covering a lesson. Emails about Chedworth trips too were guaranteed to raise a laugh. Partly this was the dormant author in Andrew rising to mischievous wakefulness, but a serious purpose was evident too. If Andrew came across as a private man, the performer in him came to life in the classroom. He loved to condition students to own their own cleverness, but he was aware of the need to tailor what he was doing to fit the needs of the class. There was always room for entertainment in his philosophy of education, and many a Friday afternoon lesson was enlivened by demonstration of the ancient Olympic long jump technique or a Latin story acted out as a Star Wars-style drama. Students will no doubt miss his guidance as a 6th Form tutor complete with a typically idiosyncratic assembly on noise pollution, his energy spent organising squash fixtures and his part in knitting together the viola section of the orchestra. Among the many things I will miss about him are the encouragement he gave of my own career development and the numerous descriptions of traffic mayhem on the M1. Andrew could affect disorganisation (his desk could ‘disappear’ for weeks), but it was a tribute to his skill that he took charge of a very happy trip to Italy within weeks of his arrival. Ultimately the main yardstick of his success at Bablake is the large number of students who decided to study Latin, Greek or Classics through contact with him. He has now taken up the position of Head of Classics at Mill Hill School, London.


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Mr Michael Johnson Mr Rob Burdett Michael Johnson joined from Rugby School, with his reputation as a (Double) Olympic Hockey player preceding him. Expectations were high and he met them in every way, bringing boys’ hockey to a new level. The number of boys participating in the sport in the Shell and 2nd Years grew quickly and the U13 team won the Warwickshire Cup in just his first year in charge, a feat repeated in his second year when the Under 16s also reached the Warwickshire final. At the senior end of school Michael increased players’ expectations, greatly improving the team technically and tactically. He also successfully reintroduced senior hockey tours to Bablake with an extremely enjoyable visit to Gibraltar. Away from the astro, he helped achieve fine results in cricket and tennis, worked hard to achieve excellent academic results in A Level PE and always enthused, motivated and improved those he taught. Michael also showed his individual sporting talent on the ski slopes of Winter Park and whilst representing the staff cricket, hockey and football teams. Michael has left to become Head of PE at King Edward’s School, Birmingham. We suspect he will continue to attend his favourite Elvis tribute nights on a regular basis!

Miss Vanessa Hawkins Mrs Sue Smith Vanessa joined Bablake in September 2006 for one day a week to assist with PE lessons and coach senior hockey, with a view to becoming a teacher. When Miss East (now Mrs. Mason) left for a promotion at King Henry VIII, Miss Hawkins took over the full-time PE post and started her Graduate Teaching Programme in September 2007 as well as foolishly sharing her 5 year plan with the rest of the PE staff – finding the right man, buying a house and getting married, for which many boys at school would have wished they were old enough! Vanessa was a dynamic, bubbly, friendly personality with an infectious laugh. She brought an abundant amount of energy to the department and was very enthusiastic. She specialised in hockey, having been part of the England squad and a member of the Leicester Ladies 1st XI. On arriving at Bablake she was keen to make her mark and many girls have benefited from her teaching by improving their skills and understanding of the game. She took an active part in school life, assisting on two ski trips and a tour to South Africa. The first ski trip came close to finding her perfect man! By Easter 2008, Vanessa had completed all her assessments for her GTP and said farewell to her position at Bablake. This was a


huge disappointment as she had been a tremendous asset to the department. She was to embark on a job in Sports Marketing for an American company called Under Armour. This post had been offered prior to Christmas and it was a package she felt she could not refuse at this stage in her life. She hopes to return to teaching in the future, but at present planning your own week, better pay, health care cover, meeting new people, a company car and phone seem strangely preferable! Vanessa is enjoying her new job and with flexible hours is still able to come and coach girls’ hockey on some Monday and Wednesday evenings.

Mrs Karen Orwin Mrs Brenda Wood We would like to thank Karen for stepping into the post of part-time Art teacher of at short notice. To find someone as positive and enthusiastic as Karen was an unexpected bonus. She settled in immediately and was popular with staff and pupils from day 1. Karen’s bubbly, positive personality complemented the Art department in many ways and the pupils’ work hanging on the walls and included in their folders says a lot about her commitment to share her enthusiasm for Art. Karen’s teaching brought a significant contribution to the development of the pupils’ learning and achievement. She will continue to teach at Warwickshire College where she also taught last year and we wish her every success for the future. A big thank you for a great year, Mrs Orwin!

valete ‘All the best to those who have left Bablake for retirement or opportunities with a new employer. Their legacy is very much appreciated by students and staff alike’

and finally... Thanks to Herr Thomas Hirsch and Mademoiselle Laure Denis, our German and French Assistants – see Flair for a special feature. Also thanks to Ms Yasmin Zimnowodzki and Mrs Claire Black, who offered invaluable Modern Languages cover and Mr Jan Williams who taught Design Technology in the summer term.

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A warm welcome to a highly talented group of new members of staff

Miss Amy Jones (Art)

Mr Paul Shelley (Design Technology)

Amy is a former Bablake pupil, whose degree is in Fashion Design with Print from Central St. Martin’s College of Art. She has taught at Woodlands School, where she was also PSHCE Co-ordinator, and joined us from Coundon Court where she was Stage 3 Art Co-ordinator. She has also worked as a Design Assistant in the fashion industry, has played hockey to a high level and will be involved with coaching at Bablake.

Paul spent 14 years working with the Australian Submarine Corporation and running his own electrical contracting business. He retrained as a teacher, taking a BA Design Technology Education degree at Nottingham Trent University. His wife is a teacher and houseparent at Rugby School. Paul looks forward to involvement with school sport and outdoor activities.

Mr Daniel Menashe (Classics) Daniel joins as Head of Classics from Kingsley School in Leamington Spa. Prior to this, he taught Classics at Warwick School, after graduating from Durham and Cambridge Universities. Beyond the department, he hopes to help with cricket, bridge or squash.

Mrs Maria O’Neill (Spanish) Maria joins as Head of Spanish and has degrees in Modern Foreign Languages from Moscow State and Coventry Universities. She has worked at Sidney Stringer and President Kennedy Schools, has been a head of department before and is an Advanced Skills Teacher of Spanish, French and Russian.

Mr Andrew Phillips (PE) Andrew was a pupil at Lawrence Sheriff and is a graduate of the Sports Science with Management course at Loughborough University. He joins us from Etone College in Nuneaton, where he was also Hockey Co-ordinator. He is a National League hockey player and a cricketer of some stature.


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Miss Suzanne Symonds (PE) Miss Symonds was a pupil at Bromsgrove, before studying Sport and Exercise Science at Loughborough University. She completed her PGCE at Birmingham University. She is a National League hockey player and has also excelled in athletics and cross-country running.

Mr Craig Wiles (Design Technology) Craig has a BA degree in Contemporary Furniture and Related Product Design from Buckinghamshire Chilterns University and completed his teacher training on the Graduate Teacher Programme in Milton Keynes. Before embarking on the GTP, he worked for Youth Matters. He enjoys sport and outdoor pursuits.

Mr Preet Chahal (IT Technician) Preet has joined us from a similar post within the Foundation at Coventry Preparatory and King Henry VIII Junior school. Two of our U6th leavers, Miss Emily Power and Mr Peter Sidwell, will return to Bablake to work part-time as PE Technicians in the Autumn and Spring Terms.


Miscellaneous staff news Congratulations to... Mr Rob Dougall on completion of the Great North Run Mr Andrew Hall for completing his second London Marathon Miss Laura Neale on her marriage to Mr Michael Reddish Mr Mark Woodward for his role as Careers ‘guru’ for Etc magazine

New responsibilities The following took up new posts in 2006-07: Mrs Lorainne Alexander – Assistant Head of Crow Miss Rana Blattner – Internal Examinations and Invigilation Timetabler Mr Julian Bunce – i/c Fousseau and now full-time Classics Mr Peter Burden – School Archivist Miss Caroline Hall – Assistant Head of Wheatley Mrs Sarah Harris – Director of Marketing and member of the SMT Mrs Amanda Jones – Head of Shells Mr Gary Park – i/c The School Library Mrs Ceri Rees – Assistant Head of Shells Mrs Chris Scott – Assistant Year Head for 2nds/3rds Mrs Dianne Surgey – Head of HE and Textiles Mrs Alison Tumber – Assistant Year Head for 6th Form Mr Mark Woodward – Press Officer, The Wheatleyan and Work Experience

‘At Bablake new and established staff relish fresh challenges’

The following will take up new posts for 2007-08: Mrs Lorainne Alexander – Head of Crow to cover maternity leave Dr Trish Archer – Examinations Officer Mrs Diana Booth – i/c Front of House and Hospitality Mr Alan Brown – returns from retirement as the Examinations Officer’s Assistant Miss Clare Connelly – permanent Art and Textiles Technician Miss Caroline Daley – returns from maternity leave as vacation Administrative Assistant Mrs Louise Fletcher – Gifted and Talented Coordinator Miss Caroline Hall and Mr Clive Mohamed – Head and Deputy for Wheatley Mr Jeremy Hobday and Miss Lynsey Cheffings – Head and Deputy for Wheatley Mrs Lynda Jackson – extended role as Head of PSHCE Mr Chris Mellers – CSV Coordinator Thanks to: Mr John Drury for many years’ stirling service as A Level Examinations Officer Mrs Cath Mills for teaching Girls’ PE full time in the summer term

Miscellaneous Congratulations to former staff: Mr Mark Warner – the honour of an exhibition of his paintings at a gallery in Ludlow over the summer and a commission to provide four paintings for Starbucks in Shrewsbury. bablake school



African diary

U6th student Liz Collison won the PA’s Liz Riddoch Gap Award this year. Below are extracts from her diary about The Wild Coast Wildlife Conservation Project on South Africa’s east coast…


‘Every day was packed with both voluntary work and more adventurous activities’


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s part of our orientation, we spent a day travelling through the Transkei region to enjoy ‘cluffing’ (jumping off cliffs into a freezing cold river) before an uncomfortable journey by road and track to Mama Tofu’s traditional Xhosa village. This was an experience I shall remember for many years to come, as we were greeted with some amazingly loud singing and dancing, treated to a traditional meal of lamb stew and butternut squash and we slept on mattresses on the floor of a surprisingly warm and comfortable mud hut. Throughout the evening we enjoyed lots of dancing with all the local children, as they taught us their dances and we shared the Hokey Cokey and Macarena. We also had our faces painted to match the patterns they were marked with and the children particularly enjoyed seeing themselves on our camera screens. The following morning we headed to Inkwenkwezi Private Game Reserve where I spent most of my stay with four other girls in a permanent safari tent, built on a wooden platform a couple of metres off the ground to avoid being trampled by wildlife. We had proper beds and wardrobes – luxury! Unfortunately, our position above the ground did not prevent the arrival of wolf spiders- despite warnings, these were still larger than I was willing to share a room with! While we had to be aware when walking around camp, particularly at night, there could be rhino or buffalo waiting to charge, during the day I could look up to see a giraffe gently walk across my path or watch a nyala (a striped antelope) grazing only metres away from my balcony.

Every day was packed with both voluntary work and more adventurous activities. When I saw the weekly programme I was always surprised there were totally new activities. Voluntary work ranged from chopping down or ring barking alien vegetation, stabilising soil erosion sites, digging holes in dry solid ground and planting posts for a new animal rehabilitation enclosure, caring for the semi wild horses, game monitoring of giraffe and zebra and bottle feeding the lion cubs several times a day. One particularly memorable job was helping return a giraffe, which had jumped into a neighbouring farm when spooked by a passing helicopter... and yes, we had the job of putting the fence back up. I always enjoyed the voluntary work as I felt my assistance was appreciated and I was helping the conservation of the area. I also learnt a lot about conservation techniques and principles. The second half of each day we were treated to a leisure activity: mountain biking through the reserve, an elephant back safari, a 35m abseil, canoeing, meeting the tame cheetahs, bush walks and numerous game drives. These game drives, for me, were one of the highlights. As a volunteer I spent a lot of time out in the reserve and saw different wildlife you often wouldn’t on a one-off drive. After nearly three weeks we saw two rhino less than 10m away in the Land Rover for about 20 minutes. Paying safari guests would only take a quick photo before having to move on. A few days later, we got scarily close to them on foot before the huge bull looked up and our guide gestured for us to move back into the bush. It is far easier said than done when you are told ‘whatever you do, don’t run’!


Warm for midwinter, the sunset arrived early evening with a chill. Campfires under the clear dark skies involved 1,000s of bright stars, including the Southern Cross, and too many toasted marshmallows! I also spent one night on a bush sleepout, which involved a 2-3am animal watch. ‘Braai’ (BBQ) night was also good fun, and to celebrate a fellow volunteer’s birthday, we enjoyed a spit roast warthog. It was strange to dine in luxury (on Sundays) and then take a 10 minute drive a few days later to watch a fundraising concert at the local Bulugha Farm School. There were only three classrooms, four teachers and three toilets for 210 pupils, yet it was great to see how happy, smiley and friendly all the children were. The singing and dancing, without accompaniment, was still vibrant. The classroom was packed with children performing, whilst others sat amongst us behind the small wooden desks and yet more stood outside peering through the small windows trying to be involved.

When I had first set off independently from Heathrow, a month so far from home had seemed a long time away. At the end I reflected on just how much I’d done and how much I’d learnt about the culture, the landscape, the wildlife, the people and conservation, and how many people I’d met. It had all flown by so quickly. For someone that never cries, I shed many tears as I said goodbye to the guides and volunteers I had lived and worked with for only four weeks, yet felt I had known for many years. I knew I would take home so many photos, experiences and memories that I would never be able to explain fully to family and friends. One thing’s for sure, my African adventure was only the first of many more trips to come, as I’m now desperate to plan more travels to meet new people, see new landscapes and gain new experiences. Thank you, Bablake PA, for helping me experience this. bablake school



Strengthening the Bablake community Treasurer of the Parents’ Association Hayley Hunter reports on the role of the PA ‘The Parents’ Association has gone from strength to strength in recent years. Parents are automatically entitled to become members and there is no fee’


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Bablake Parents’ Association is an established committee that meets informally twice each term. One of its main roles is to organise and carry out fundraising events which directly benefit the school and pupils, for example money raised provides extra sporting and craft equipment to improve facilities. The Parents’ Association also helps strengthen the school community. As a group, it is committed to organising events such as the Shells disco held in June each year to welcome new pupils to the school before they start in September. It is also involved in the Shells activity morning held at the beginning of the new term. The PA organises the annual OBNO (outgrown but not outworn) uniform sale to enable parents to purchase good quality second hand items of uniform and sports equipment. It also supports a number of events throughout the year such as providing refreshments at parent teacher consultation evenings, some sporting events and Open Mornings/ Evenings. International Week is held every other year and the PA is very much involved with the organisation and running of this cultural event. The week concludes with an internationally themed concert involving many of the pupils and food tasting from around the world. Each year the PA allocates £300 to help fund gap year students planning to carry out worthwhile work during their time out. This award is in memory of Liz Riddoch, a former PA stalwart. In May, the PA sends a letter to all U6th students asking them to apply in writing to be considered for assistance with their gap year. There is a vote and the award is often shared between two or three of the applicants. Liz Collison, this year’s only winner, has written about her placement on pages 22-23.

In order to help raise funds, the PA runs a 200 club where parents, families and friends are invited to purchase a number at a cost of £10 each year. The numbers are then entered into 10 monthly draws from September to June where a first prize of £40 and a second prize of £20 are drawn. At the end of the school year, an extra draw takes place for a prize of £200. The Parents’ Association’s biggest event is the Christmas Fair. Preparations for this start at the beginning of the academic year; there are a wide variety of stalls and activities for all the family and it is a most popular event. There is a clear pride in its success and in 2007, it raised £7120. Examples of how the money raised is spent: » New lighting and refurbishment of the Main Hall in the Senior School. » Playground equipment in the Junior School. » Picture frames for the EDM. » Contribution to the Edinburgh Fringe production. » The U19 netball team: contribution towards kit. The PA also holds social activities such as an annual ball: this took place recently at Stoneleigh Deer Park Golf and Country Club and was a huge success, raising £1482, as well as being a great night which provided the opportunity for parents and friends to meet each other in a social setting. The Parents’ Association AGM is held in October every year. All parents are welcome to come and enjoy a glass of wine and learn more about the PA’s actions. The Parents’ Association has gone from strength to strength in recent years. Parents are automatically entitled to become members and there is no fee. It is always looking for new members or just an extra pair of hands to help out at events. If you would like more information about the committee or would like to join please contact by email ( or via the School Office.


Bablake at the


Parking in the Round, where days earlier Coldplay had been broadcast live, added to the excitement of interviewing Martine Croxall, BBC News presenter, explains Faith Hannon We met Martine three hours before she was on air so tracked her preparations for the broadcast, interviewed her and survived the unfairly lamented BBC canteen before being shown into the official Green Room (a large cupboard). We even stood off set during the live broadcast. Martine knew Otis Ferry did not attend Bablake but we might have needed to spring into action had sports presenter Sean Fletcher not calmly appeared seconds before his cue! ‘Bablake pupils have a great can-do attitude’ said Martine, and this positive determination has fashioned her broadcasting path. A Geography degree at the University of Leeds was an easy choice: ‘I’m nosey and intrigued by the world. My degree has proved invaluable for on-air discussion.’ She joined the BBC in 1991 as a BBC Radio Leicester producer and was soon on camera, reporting for East Midlands Today before moving to London to present on Newsroom South East in 1997. In 2000, Martine moved to present UK Today before joining BBC News (formerly BBC News 24). It was soon apparent how fondly Martine recalls her time at Bablake, especially the inspiration for Geography, from Mr Martin Rhodes. She has been a regular delegate at our biennial Careers Conventions and longs to find a school for her children to match her educational experience. Note to Director of Marketing: ask governors to build Bablake satellite in Central London or re-establish boarding!

Martine fronted a programme about the US elections from Washington earlier this year and she is just as much in love with her job now as on day one. She used to listen to Radio 4 on the way home from school and dream of broadcasting. Not only is she now doing that but she is presenting with the delightful Chris Lowe, whom she used to listen to as a teenager in that car home! ‘If you want something badly enough, you will work for it, no matter how long it takes; from local radio to community journalism, if this is a world you want to be part of, perseverance is the key.’ In the newsroom, there were headlines flashing across the live-feed screens, and even on a “quiet” Sunday, journalists were at their desks, watching international news stories develop. ‘Every day is different’ agreed Martine, ‘and the best thing is I get paid to have a heated argument!’ Martine’s on-air highlight was handling four breaking stories at once single-handedly, on just her fifth overnight shift at BBC News. An achievement to lay to rest the ear-splitting howl she caused as a rookie, when she forgot to switch off speakers in a live report from a radio car in rural Leicestershire. With our Head of Careers in attendance, we had to ask her advice for anyone looking to break into broadcasting. ‘Prove you really are interested in TV and radio – listen and watch widely, get as much work experience as possible. Think carefully before taking an undergraduate degree in Journalism or Media Studies – they rarely give you an advantage. Better to study something else to keep your knowledge base as wide as possible for as long as possible.’ As for her own ambition, before her career ends, she would love to do more radio broadcasting. Two young children swallow most of her spare time but she chairs a charitable trust which runs a community playgroup and enjoys pottering in her garden... early, before anyone’s up! With our passes still in our clutches, we headed back to Coventry, excited and impressed by Martine’s professionalism, passion for her job and regard for her former school. Watching BBC News now has an added dimension! Martine’s closing words stand out: ‘Never give up! I wouldn’t know how to... and that’s what Bablake taught me.’

‘Never give up! I wouldn’t know how to… and that’s what Bablake taught me’

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and all that.... Wheatleyan Editors Faith Hannon and John Haidar met former School Captain Lucy Bassnett-McGuire at Hardy Pictures in Twickenham


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ithin the world of television production, Lucy BassnettMcGuire is emerging as a prominent figure. Meeting her at the studios where her company Hardy Pictures is based, we soon realise that this has only come about through sheer determination and hard work, and of course, a driving passion for story-telling. As Head of Production, Lucy is involved with every aspect of the team’s current project, from casting to working out on location. She admits that some of her work does live up the glamorous image many would associate with such a career, with the opportunity to travel and gain unforgettable life experiences, most memorably watching the sun rise over the Pacific Ocean. However, when the sheer level of work needed to create such successful features as The Relief of Belsen and Trafalgar Battle Surgeon is considered, the more unglamorous aspects of Lucy’s work become apparent, none more so than the constant battle with the budget! Lucy describes her time at Bablake as ‘one of the happiest periods of my life’ and says


‘these are not films for the sake of films... IT’s all about the core idea’

the school ‘helped form the person I am today.’ Her love for drama and story-telling was first discovered under the guidance of Mr Appleby, who ‘gave a love for literature’ and this passion is evident in her current role. During her Bablake years, Lucy claims she learnt the importance of ‘taking on too many things’ and somehow managing to get them done, and this continued into her later education, as she went on to study English at Cambridge, gaining a love for rowing along the way. Keen to travel, Lucy then decided to go to America. Taking her first steps into the world she now works within, she spent a number of years in Boston, working for various companies, including Disney and Discovery, doing, as she puts it ‘whatever had to be done.’ As much as she can now appreciate the experiences this time gave her, soon, Lucy was looking to move back to the UK, and began networking with companies, moving back to the training ground of London. She knew London would be expensive, but also felt ‘most of the opportunities were here’ and so working gave her the chance to gain experience and contacts, and eventually, led her to her role within Hardy Pictures. When explaining how ideas are first developed and worked on, Lucy emphasises the need to find a niche which will allow an audience to become part of ‘real history involving individuals. If a film relates to an individual, you can place yourself in their situation and immediately, a sense of reality is created.’ Hardy Pictures is known for its historically accurate work, and has received much acclaim for this aspect of its documentaries. Lucy emphasises the careful balance which her team is constantly aware of, between sensitivity and the truth, a true history and dramatic success. It uses archive footage and documentary-style camera work to emphasise the scale of the work, always focusing on the ‘story of the little people’ whom she describes as ‘the real heroes.’ Lucy gave us the chance to visit the offices

of Hardy Pictures, where there were models of sets, sample props and costumes scattered around, with the team ‘in a field somewhere’ trying to finalise the location for their current project. It was immensely interesting to see the level of work that goes into such films, with such care taken to give an honest portrayal of an individual’s experience of such notable moments in history. In the office, there were also the awards received by Hardy Pictures on the walls, alongside posters and photographs taken from their various projects. The team is rightly proud of these accolades, but Lucy says they ‘help with commissions but they’re not a driving force. If people like our work then great!’ When we ask what the future holds for Lucy and Hardy Pictures, she tells us of future pitches planned for Channel Four and the BBC, though she is keen to emphasise that these are not ‘films for the sake of films’ as her team is only keen to take on projects it truly believes in, which stay true to the history, whilst taking an approach different from that of others. In conclusion, Lucy says ‘it’s all about the core idea.’ It is clear Lucy is keen to keep aiming higher, and constantly work to produce films of the highest calibre, in which it is clear she is succeeding. When we ask her how she rates her accomplishments, she simply says that one day she realised she was on set, and had no walkietalkie, which she assures us, control the lives of the runners who do possess them. At that moment, ‘I realised I was the producer’ which was, she says, an enjoyable moment. ‘Trafalgar’ won the Royal Television Society Award for Best History Film. This year ‘The Relief of Belsen’ won Best Drama at the Broadcast Awards and was nominated for BAFTA, RTS and Grierson Awards. ‘City of Vice’ has won an RTS Special Jury Prize for Innovation. 1066 airs on Channel 4 on 2 and 9 February 2009 bablake school



Welcome to the new Shells! A big welcome to our new Shells – their year begins with the House Olympics which is a great morning of fun with the chance to meet new friends


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‘At Bablake, there is a phenomenal range of extracurricular activity on offer, from language clubs to life guarding. Almost everybody seems to be involved in an activity outside the classroom, which gives students an opportunity to discover new found passions and above all, have fun! It is easy to fill your extracurricular passport. Bablake has always valued the importance of extracurricular activity and we have all been encouraged at one point or another to sign up to the ever expanding array of opportunities on offer. But it isn’t just important in a school environment, employers in the real world of work are not only attracted by A grades and degrees but yearn for well-rounded individuals with hobbies, interests and something to talk about other than passing exams!’ siobhan robinson

Edited by siobhan robinson and thomas hine

beyondthe classroom Highlights A cracking time in China 30 An Auschwitz experience 32 Charity at Bablake 34 10 reasons for the D of E 36 House reports 41

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A cracking time in China Laura Hutchison and Caitlin Jones 27 eager U6th students and five even more excited teachers set off on the Economics and Business Studies trip to China- the holiday of a lifetime.


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A 12 hour plane journey sent us to Shanghai where we spent two days sightseeing. The bustling city was interesting to observe and experiencing such a contrast of culture was both enlightening and revealing. We visited the Pearl Tower, and the Jade Buddah Temple; we walked around the old city and had a river cruise in the rain along the Bund. Our regional guide Mary, along with our national guide Tom, took us for our first taste of the stereotypical trade in China, where we had the opportunity to try out our bartering skills and spend our money on Gucci bags and Rolex watches. Whilst in Shanghai we also visited the first of many factories, a silk ‘factory’. A 12 hour overnight train, with somewhat cosy cabins, took us to Beijing. Our three day stay began with Tiananmen Square, the largest square in the world. It was overwhelming how celebrated we were in China, with many locals asking us for pictures, supposedly good luck for them. We toured the Forbidden City, quite literally a whole city in the centre of Beijing. Whilst in Beijing, we also visited a pearl factory, the stunning Summer Palace, drove around the Olympic Stadium, and visited The Ming Tombs. One evening we joined in some impromptu street dancing outside our hotel and again drew the crowds – now we know what it’s like to be a celebrity.

After two more knock-off markets and The Temple of Heaven, we were taken around the old town of Hutong in rickshaws, and we had our very own grand prix around the town. The highlight of Beijing had to be the Great Wall of China, which, although tiring to climb, was a memory we will treasure forever. The views were truly breathtaking. Another highlight definitely had to be seeing the food market near Beijing’s main shopping area. The cows’ stomachs, dried sea horses on sticks and every kind of tentacle you can imagine, helped us identify the unknown various meats we were being given. We also became very familiar with signature Chinese dishes, stodgy rice and battered fish heads. Ashamedly, after four days, a visit to Pizza Hut has never been so welcome. The second overnight train ride to Xi’an was both bumpier and cosier than the previous train journey. Our hotel location was perfect, right in the city centre, which more than made up for the hotel’s interior and questionable breakfast. The first thing we did in Xi’an was climb the city wall and complete a 13km tandem/bike ride around it. Mr Faulkner and Mr West were overcome with nostalgia, reminiscing about bike rides and fishing trips when they were much, much younger. During the two day stay, we visited Banpo village, which is the oldest part of Xi’an, saw the Wild Goose Pagoda and took another chance to go shopping. But the highlight had to be the Terracotta Army; it was remarkable that each life-size warrior was unique, with a different facial expression. Back in Shanghai, the boys who had ordered tailored suits had a chance to show them off and we all settled down for our last night before catching the fastest monorail in the world to Shanghai airport. China was not glamorous, but experiencing Chinese customs, seeing rural China and taking in some truly breathtaking sights made this one of the best holidays we will ever have in our lives. Seeing a country so different was a real eye-opener and truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Thank you, Mrs Friebe, Mrs Thomas, Mr West and Mr and Mrs Faulkner for providing such an opportunity.


On the slide in the USA


Mrs Chris Scott

Bablake’s annual ski trip to the United States

CCF Mr Trevor Hyde

80 pupils accompanied by 10 staff in two separate groups via different routes, surprisingly, all arrived at the Winter Park resort late the same evening. Despite travel exhaustion and altitude sickness, Bablake pupils were up early to be fitted with ski equipment and to meet their ski instructors- a charismatic bunch who challenged, cajoled and entertained throughout the week. Recognising the intelligence of our pupils, one instructor gave his group a Natural History lesson, explaining moguls were formed by a type of white mole known as “mogues”. These animals were known for their nasty bites inflicted on skiers caught off balance! No Bablake pupil would fall for that, surely?! Altitude sickness was the worst ailment we faced, affecting pupils and staff alike. Mrs Smith even took Health and Safety checking very seriously by testing out the efficiency of the American Health system. Drips and an oxygen tank were readily supplied and she was eventually allowed back on her skis. James Lambert later upstaged Mrs Smith’s experience of the emergency services by breaking his arm in disappointing circumstances, after surviving many impressive wipe outs all week. Trees featured heavily on the slopes, causing a variety of tree hugging finishing positions! To avoid crashing into a group of pupils, Mr Burdett collided memorably with a tree. Some groups seemed to get lost in the trees for hours, but were really just experiencing the amazing off piste powder snow which resulted from a couple of very heavy snowfalls during the week. Certain staff named themselves The Powder Boys and were frequently seen disappearing into and under freshly fallen snow. The après ski was superb, provided you had the energy left after a hard day on the slopes. Relaxing in the outdoor pool and hot tub surrounded by deep snow was heavenly for aching limbs of all ages, though one member of staff did overdo the hot tub bit! Bowling and an unforgettable trip to an outdoor sulphur spring spa, followed by a perilous bus journey back in a blizzard was one evening’s entertainment. However, the highlight of the après ski had to be the tubing evening. Groups of pupils and staff abandoned any sense of decorum and threw themselves down a slope in large rubber rings, screaming and yelling as they went. People struggled more with chairlifts, either by getting stuck in them, falling off them or, in the case of Mr Drury and Mr Smith, being unable to coordinate sitting down together! The skiing was no problem! Final memories of being on the slopes will be the group photo and massive snowball fight that ensued, with the staff coming under heavy fire. We finished with a shopping mall (planned) and then a detour to Amsterdam (unplanned), after two inches of snow at Gatwick delayed the return but nothing mattered as the trip, superbly organised by Mr Burdett and Mrs Smith, had been great. Our pupils had behaved admirably and by the time you read this, Mr Hobday and Miss Simmons will soon be leading the ski trip to France, which no doubt will also be huge success.

The Headmaster has praised the Army contingent already and their training camps gain in popularity. In the RAF corps, Nick Maurer should be congratulated on successful completion of a Leadership course at RAF Cranwell and Joshua Taroni impressively gained his Silver Wings which allows him to fly gliders solo. Sarah Reynolds and Jasmine Simmonds also enjoyed an exhausting week of adventurous training at Lake Windermere – hill-walking, kayaking and sailing were just three of the key exercises.

Bablake Weather Station Faith Hannon After celebrating its 30th anniversary on the 19th of September 2007, 2008 saw Bablake’s Weather Station become a fully functioning Met station. See for more information and forecasts.

Careers Mr Mark Woodward Our biennial Careers Convention was excellently attended by current students and delegates from a wide range of professions. It was good to see so many former students return to advise the new breed on how to stand out. The message very clearly was, choose subjects you enjoy and aim for fine results but ensure you complete as much work experience and extracurricular activity as possible. Portfolio building begins in the 4th Year when students are encouraged to look at their own branding. This year, Bablake also helped pilot a new website, I Could. Career paths and stories from a broad range of professions are told by the use of short video clips. Some of the U6th even starred in the promotional video! Work experience became a test of our students’ organisation, improvisation and courage as they were urged to examine what counted best for their intended future and had to earn placements often by dint of phone calls, emails, covering letters, a CV and effective deadline/ admin management! Life-coach Rasheed Ogunlaru rallied the 6th Form and a representative from Greenforce excited thoughts of the values of a gap year – this is a growing trend with students increasingly spending a year in gainful UK employment before university to gain much needed cash and priceless experience to allow them to jump the graduate job queue. bablake school



An Auschwitz Experience Tom Jackson

‘The story of Auschwitz reminds us that evil is real. It must be called by its name and must be confronted’ Former US Vice President Dick Cheney

Most of this party was studying History and/or Religious Studies so, as we set out, had an inkling of what would be a life-changing experience for the 15 of us. However, I don’t think any of us realised the exact extent. Easter, traditionally a joyous, family occasion, celebrated with themes of spring, new life, and chocolate, was as far divorced from the experience awaiting us as you could imagine. We spent a day in Poland, acclimatising ourselves and exploring the beautiful culture and history Krakau’s Market Square had to offer, before it was time to confront the Auschwitz Birkenau Concentration Camps. We had been well prepared by Mrs Jackson, the only member of the group to have visited the Camps before, for what we were about to experience; various meetings


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and discussions were held before leaving, for us to share our feelings, anxieties and trepidation and realise we were not alone in what we were about to discover. For some unexplainable reason, I had romanticised my preconceptions of a concentration camp. Although it sounds naïve, I had pictured the camps as being remote, almost gothic buildings, where the sun never shone and where vegetation was forbidden to grow. Disturbingly, this was not the case. The building we arrived at could have been a factory, a town hall, even a school. Birds were singing, trees and bushes were beginning to bloom, even the sun was making an appearance. All feelings of being comfortable with what I was about to experience, were immediately unsettled. I realised that no amount of

discussion in a classroom or time spent on research could have prepared me. Auschwitz concentration camp, although deeply unsettling and disturbing, was actually an extremely informative museum, with various maps, letters, and Jewish property on display. Rooms filled with human hair, people’s glasses, children’s shoes and gold teeth fillings obviously chilled and angered me to my core. However, Auschwitz has been very much commercialised, and as you stepped out of the converted museums, you could visit the on-site café – if your stomach felt up to the challenge – or sit and reflect on the park benches. Birkenau, however, was a completely different experience. As we arrived at Birkenau, the sun had stopped shining, and the heavy snow began to descend. As we got off the bus, no birds were singing this time, no trees or flowers were reminding us of the vitality of Easter, no tourist guides were reading information boards or leading groups through packed hallways in order to get to the next tourist point in scheduled time. There was merely a vast, white, open landscape with organised, structured wooden blocks where the millions of Jews, homosexuals, gypsies and disabled people met their fate and were mercilessly sentenced to death merely because they didn’t conform to what was deemed a superior race. This is what I had imagined a concentration camp to have been like. The sheer size and capacity of the land which was surrounded by barbed wire and guard towers, was astonishing. This experience was very real and for the first time, I felt I could engage- if only extremely remotelywith the loneliness, fear and abandonment felt by those in the camp. The snow continued to fall heavily as we walked along the open railway line which brought so many innocents to their deaths, and thankfully, as a group we managed to meet again and share our feelings, together. I think it is incredibly important to call evil by its name, and confront it head on, so that humanity may learn from its past. We must embrace and share such experiences, not so that we look on life and humanity with bitter resentment, but so that we may actively seek a more harmonious, mutually respecting world, where such repulsive atrocities like the holocaust, can never surface again.


Inspired by Jessica Phillips’ Green Issue team and with wisdom gained from our traditional visit to Etc magazine in Harrogate, the new Stretch reporters chose Fashion as their theme and preparations began in earnest early in the summer term reports Mr Mark Woodward. The highlight of the issue included a photo shoot that combined the best of Bablake former and present. Claire Harris (see Flair) returned with her customised Trash Blooms clothing and accessories and persuaded Indigo and Clare Lee to volunteer a day in school to help style the models for the Floral Pirates theme. Blessed with excellent light and climate for the shoot, five of our 6th Formers, Zain Ali, Laura Dean, Caitlin Jones, Jamie Parsley and Rosie Tressler, were immaculate models for our expert photographers Paul Hollingsworth and Isabel Meyrick, while Lucy Hardy provided excellent assistance for Claire, our Fashion director for the day. Undergrowth and ponds were explored like never before and we were blessed with hundreds of photos to choose from for our spread. To interview undoubtedly the star of the 2008 Apprentice, Lucinda Ledgerwood, would have been a highlight in any format but to travel to London and spend 90 minutes with her in the Literary Café in Tufnell Green was a major highlight for Kate Byrne, Siobhan Robinson and Lara Jackson.

Stretching fashion to the limit

Interviews with dynamic designer, Hannah Marshall and cult magazine editor Amelia Gregory were triumphs for the issue while Clive Hushon helped us with a feature on French icon, Lou Doillon. Once again, there was a very clear focus on the best of Bablake and the local region with Mr Pease the subject of a style examination, staff cajoled into giving their views on fashion and features on Gladrags, Hannigans and the fashions on show at the Leamington Peace Festival. Orlaith Norton’s discovery of a Chanel handbag being sold at a mere fraction of its four figure original retail price inspired a fine piece on Charity Chic while Kate Byrne and Lara Jackson contributed excellent pieces on Fashion Statements and Fijian fashion respectively. Roxy Ziaie and Zain Ali successfully charted fashion through the ages and its influence on music and film while Zain, in turn, offered an excellent

insight into male fashion. Lucy Hardy’s expose of the fashion industry gave a fine edge to the issue. So much more besides was offered in the issue, edited expertly by Roxy Ziaie. It was another fantastic week for the staff editor and once again more fun than any magazine deserves to be. An eco bag, with a custom drawn print by Alex T Smith, given away with the first copies added exclusivity to a very special edition. The reporters now have a definite insight into journalism and advertising and the punch of Stretch 5 in their portfolio cannot be underestimated. Watching the emergence of Zain Ali and Siobhan Robinson as authors of vibrant and exciting prose written to deadline and the discovery of a love and talent for Fashion Photography felt by Isabel Meyrick was particularly rewarding.

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Abhi Bose and the U Foundation Pam Uppal

‘What a beautiful world we live in. It is a world of extreme joy and of extreme pain and suffering. It is full of inequalities of riches in the west and of hardship in the developing nations. There is a distinct lack of food, water and shelter, and an overwhelming fight against disease, pest and drought’ Jay Tailor

Abhi has been working with The U Foundation Charity which helps to promote self sustainability through the provision of food, water and shelter and empowering people to achieve this by themselves. It has its administration base situated in Hinckley but it operates 5,000 miles south in four main locations in Zambia. How did you get involved in doing so much for charity? I’ve always enjoyed helping people, and one of the easiest ways to help is to get stuck in, hands on, with a charity you are regularly involved in. I play the Sitar so have been fundraising through festivals and various performances. Last year I had the opportunity to travel to Zambia to see where the money raised was going to. Was seeing the effect the money you raised has, emotional in any way? It was the first time I had seen real poverty and children orphaned due to AIDS related diseases. I realised how important a glass of water and a grain of rice can be. I saw how much we take for granted and it really moved me and made me think. But the most amazing thing I remember from the journey is that everyone was smiling, all the kids were running around and having fun, with what little they had. Shoes made from plastic bottles and a small football made from a stone wrapped around with old rags.


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I spoke to one boy of 15: “I walk to school with my brother and sister who are four and six. We walk about five miles every morning to travel to school. Then we walk home and then we have to find firewood, cook, tidy up and sleep. Our parents died when we were young, and now we do all the work... but now I can come to school and study, I would like to become rich and help my brother and sister more...” I put myself in his shoes, and then realised how much hardship these kids go through. Come the blistering heat, the torrential rain or the unpleasantly cold

nights, they don’t have parents; they don’t have brick houses with central heating and double glazed windows with blankets or even clothes to keep them warm. They live in mud-huts which are open, and often collapse in the torrential rain. The kids walk up to 17km a day just to fetch firewood and water to cook with and keep warm! These things we don’t see in Britain, but it’s out there in many more places. It is really moving to interact with these children who can’t complain. Who will they complain to? They can’t give up, or they will die. They thrive on what they have, yet they miraculously keep a smile on their faces! The money which I raised is going to help in the development of the schools and the investment in Solar Cookers so that these villages can cook using the sun, rather than having to walk 17km. Yes, it had a phenomenal emotional impact on not just me, but my whole family. I look at life in a different view, remembering those children I visited every day. Abhi also rode from London to Paris in July this year, when the stress of GCSE exams was over. He rode with 19 other people and four support staff in extreme cycling conditions, torrential rain, partially flooded roads, and gale force winds over steep undulating hills but as he rode round the Arc de Triomphe, he waved his flags and rang his bell. He had successfully cycled 300 miles to raise more money for the U Foundation and other charities.


Once again, the school (as forms and individuals) has supported a wide range of local, national and international charities and the final sum raised for the year was in excess of ÂŁ13000. Most poignantly the school has been able to see our caretaker, Malcolm Martin (left), recover miraculously from a vicious cancer and raise thousands of pounds for key machines.

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10 reasons for the D of E In the year that Bablake’s Duke of Edinburgh cohort became one of the largest in the country, John Haidar sets out the lure of the award. The stated goals of the award are to inspire, guide and support young people in their self-development and to recognise their achievements. 10 clear reasons for joining are: 1. Non-competitive D of E is a personal challenge, not a competition against others. Every participant’s programme is tailormade to reflect their individual starting point, abilities and interests. 2. Achievable by all The D of E Award really is achievable by any young person who chooses to take up its challenge, regardless of ability, gender, background or location. 3. Voluntary Whilst D of E programmes may be offered within school, college, work time or extracurricular activity, young people choose to do a programme and commit some of their valuable free time to undertake their activities. 4. Personal development I really do believe D of E inspires personal and social development. Even so, the value to young people is dependent upon personal commitment, the learning process and the quality of the experience but the rewards are potentially huge. 5. Personalised Young people design their own programme, which can be tailored to suit their personal circumstances, choices and local provision. They start at whichever level suits them best and they can take as long as they wish (within the age limits) to achieve an Award.


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6. Balance I think the aim is to ensure that participants experience development of the whole person; mind, body and soul. By undertaking activities focusing on at least four different aspects of development, young people complete a balanced and wide-ranging programme. 7. Progressive At each level of engagement, a D of E programme demands progressively more time, commitment and responsibility from the participant. No-one is thrown in at the ‘deep end’. 8. Achievement focus Before starting an activity, young people are encouraged to set their own challenging goals. If they aim for these goals and show improvement they will achieve a D of E Award. 9. Demands commitment and persistence D of E cannot be completed with a short burst of enthusiasm. Participants are encouraged to continue with activities and to maintain their interest beyond their programme requirements. 10. Most importantly, it’s fun! Young people and leaders should find participation enjoyable, fulfilling and rewarding. Everyone has their own reasons for participating in D of E. You will have the

opportunity to try new activities, learn new skills and have a great time along the way. The Awards are highly respected so future employers will look favourably upon you, knowing you’ve developed a range of skills. As a prospective undergraduate who has just submitted his university application, this is particularly attractive! The physical component means you will have the opportunity to improve your health and fitness as well as build your self-confidence. I am choosing to play badminton in my free time; across the year group I know 6th formers who have been involved in activities ranging from aquatics to yoga, and everything in between. The Service component gives you the opportunity to get involved with your local community and give back to others. We pioneered Green Feet, an environmental awareness team, consisting of 12 6th Form officers and Bronze/Silver Duke of Edinburgh Award participants, dedicated to inter-school, regional and national ecological initiatives. Through the expedition, you can try exciting activities like camping, hiking and orienteering over almost every type of terrain and, of course, it is a great opportunity to spend a few days with a group of friends. My group has just finished a 50 mile hike in the North Yorkshire Moors where we climbed hills, waded through marshes and navigated the cliffs of the North Sea coast. We managed to set records! We were the first Bablake D of E Group lost in a forest in complete darkness after a long day’s walk. The teachers managed to commandeer the 4x4 from a local farmer and drive into the dense woodland to rescue us. The only obstacle was a cliff face 30 feet above a ravine, upon which we were all inconveniently located. As we saw the flashing torchlights in the distance, Mr Hyde’s first high-pitched scream was to warn us of our impending fate if we were to venture further. This was the first of many high-pitched screams and we were forced to accommodate ourselves at the top of the summit, heavily reliant upon the emergency rations of chocolate and biscuits. Nevertheless, it was a happy ending, as we had already covered the distance required upon exiting the forest at 7am after a night in unwelcome surroundings. It was an adventure... one none of my team will ever forget!


staff profile


Caroline Hall The Galloping Major (compiled by Faith Hannon) Very few pupils miss out on the extracurricular activity Miss Hall is involved in. We felt it was time to set out her CV. Name Miss Caroline Hall Origin The North East! Skelton, Middlesborough Education University of Lancaster, Biomedical Sciences degree. University of Warwick, PGCE Officers’ Training Corps (OTC) Work Experience Bablake 2000 – present » First teaching post » Helped with Duke of Edinburgh before arrival » Shell form tutor » Set the CCF up in 2002 » I/c Duke of Edinburgh: largest contingent in the Midlands – 126 Bronze, 66 Silver, 83 Gold students » Set up an Equestrian club » Head of Wheatley House Extracurricular » Territorial Army – 18 months » Special Constable for two years – arrests: 17 » Within CCF, Contingent Commander and a Major: highest position within a school » Riding for 25 years at club and county level – show jumping and cross country » Invited to the Queen’s garden party for services to CCF and D of E » Met Prince Philip– helped him sign the certificates at St James’ Palace » Nordic skiing with the army » Countless school trips but not as many as Mr West

shorts Chess

Mr Andrew Chowne

This was another successful season for the chess teams. The C team reached their city final and, sadly, lost to a stalemate, while the A team came 2nd in the league and narrowly lost to KHVIII in the final of the cup. Mark Lam played his last game for the school there. He has been playing for the A team for eight years since he started when still in the Junior School and will be greatly missed. My thanks go to him for all he has done and also to two other long-serving players, Jamie Stefaniak and Sam Brown. The season’s best performances were: Sam Brown 8.5, Mark Lam 8, James Ross 7.5, Adam Trailor 7, Thomas Hingston 7, Michael Goldfinch and Sarah Strong 6. In the Coventry Schools Lightning Competition there were strong results from Mark Lam, Michael Goldfinch, Jamie Stefaniak, Tom Chen, Jamie Paxton, Adam Trailor, Robert Chowne and Louis Osborne. My thanks to Mr Smith for all his help throughout the season.

Crest Award

Mrs Marilyn Prowse

The Gold Award continues to be a popular option for over a dozen of our 6th Formers. It is excellent proof to universities of extension reading, intellectual potential and passion for science. Jamie Stefaniak excelled as a national award winner but many participants are increasingly seeing their work credited in research papers.

Debating and Public Speaking

Mr Gary Park

After the dizzy heights of the two previous years we expected 2007-08 to be a fallow time for the debating and public speaking teams. However, there were several things to cheer about. We competed in ten different competitions and secured three pieces of silverware. Perhaps the proudest moment was reaching the final of the Midland Schools competition, at our fifth attempt. This was achieved by the formidable pairing of Jamie Stefaniak and Will Chamberlain, who were placed fourth overall, received the Committee Shield of the Birmingham and Midlands Institute and each were given a Chambers English Dictionary. It could have all been so very different: Will had to summon all his mettle for the first round after flying back from New Zealand only hours earlier. Elsewhere, Pam Uppal received the prestigious Best Speaker Award in The Taylor Trophy and Chris Lamb won the equivalent prize in the BPW Public Speaking competition. Both awards were deserved rewards for these two stalwarts of Bablake’s debating teams. Much new talent also emerged and we look forward with confidence to 2008-09. bablake school



shorts Languages

Mrs Helen Billings

Languages Club was once again a hive of activity this year. Members from the Shells and 2nd year came along on Wednesday lunchtimes to involve themselves in a variety of different activities and fill up their extracurricular passports. Although in the past the group learnt some Japanese, the Languages Club concentrates on cultural and social aspects more than learning an additional language. Some of the highlights included decorating Lebkuchen biscuits for the festive season and making masks to celebrate Karneval and Mardi Gras. A wonderful display about famous people and the languages they speak was created for open evening and provoked quite a few conversations as many of the sports personalities, film and music stars who young people consider to be role models today, can actually speak another language. A special mention must go to Mrs Foster. We founded Languages Club when we both started teaching at the school in 2002 and she was the source of many an inspiring idea. Her dedication and enthusiasm will be missed and we wish her well for her retirement.

Lee Cooper Denim Design Competition

Mrs Dianne Surgey

Our Lee Cooper competition this year was keenly contested and finally there were two very strong entries that could not be separated. Mr Clive Hushon kindly negotiated for Lee Cooper to make up both garments for the girls. The winner was Roseanne Elkington and the runner up, Pippa Collison. Both girls also had a second garment made so that we can put one on display while they wear their own versions. They were thrilled with the results and can be proud of their very own creative designs.

Life Guarding

Siobhan Robinson

For many years Bablake has offered pupils aged 16 and over the chance to undertake training in order to qualify as a “lifeguard.” Each year, between September and December pupils complete the 36 hours of both practical and theory work so that they can take up, if they so wish, the well paid part-time job as a life guard. Max Phillips completed the training in December 2006 and found the course extremely worthwhile as he commented: ‘It was good fun because lots of the work was hands on. At the same time I learnt important skills such as CPR.’ Max now works as a life guard during his spare time and is thoroughly enjoying it; it has been a chance for him to take on a responsible role and earn a good wage of around £7 an hour. It is also a skill that stands out as different on a UCAS application or CV.


the wheatleyan 2007/08

Library notes Mr Gary Park

2007-08 was another exciting year for the Bablake library. Many events, occasions and competitions stick in the memory, but above all it was the author visits that left the most lasting impression. These are the kind of times too that remain in the minds of pupils long after individual lessons have merged into one homogenous mass. The first visit of the year was by local author Derek Leinster, who impressed the Shells so much with tales of his childhood in rural Ireland that he spent forty-five minutes answering their questions, most of which were very probing. Jean Ure, a well-established and widely popular children’s writer, spoke one afternoon in May to the whole 2nd year. Many members of her audience had read Jean’s books, which are generally regarded as being for girls. However, she proved as popular among the boys, many of whom purchased one of her most recent titles Sally Tomato at the end of the presentation. Finally, and only two days after Jean Ure, Richard Cuddington, who has published modern verse versions of all Shakespeare’s plays and most of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, spoke, recited and answered questions from an enthralled 3rd year audience.

Junior Maths Challenge Team, National Finalists 2008


Making a mark

Mrs Louise Fletcher A group of 5th formers went to an award ceremony at Broad Horizons Enterprise Centre recently. The Solar Cooks had taken part in a nationwide Make Your Mark competition designed to introduce and inspire young entrepreneurs into the wider business world. The group, consisting of Abhimanyu Bose, Jayson Parmar, Kenny Sangha, George Skalka, Stephen Taylor and the ‘mentor’ Devan Pankhania came joint first overall, winning their category, Make it Count, arguably the hardest of the three. They delivered a brilliant presentation, with Mr Watson in the audience, and were commended by many of the organisers for their professional approach. They were awarded with a trophy and £250 in vouchers. The challenge brief was simply: “This challenge is for people who want to create an environmental enterprise which helps the community. This could be your local community, a community abroad, or helping the whole world! This isn’t about making big profit for your business, but working to maximise how much benefit you give to your market, and return any profits to the community. Think Social Enterprise with an environmental twist!” Their business idea was an innovative, charitable restaurant chain, with high potential to become reality. The restaurants would only use organic, fair-trade produce sourced as locally as possible, to lower the harm to the environment and provide a fair wage for poorer farmers, increasing the quality of life of everyone. The main idea however, was the idea of taking a sizable percentage of the profits to buy, transport and donate Solar Cookers to people in Third World countries, further benefiting the consumers, who as well as enjoying the tasty, exotic food, can rest easy knowing they’re doing their bit! The success of the team in both this and earlier competitions has inspired many new enterprise opportunities within Bablake, such as the new Make Your Mark Club, and the Young Enterprise. The team has carried on to form a Young Enterprise team, so look out for many new, exciting proposals to come!

Engineering success Mr Chris West

The L6th team of Simon Archer, Puja Bhardwaj, Lauren Carpenter and Sunera Nawab linked with our sponsor company, the civil engineering group, Arup. After an arduous selection procedure reflecting the prestigious status of the scheme, the team soon embarked on their design brief to redevelop the area around Coventry Station. Following a site visit and some detailed investigation with plans supplied by Arup of the Friargate area, the team decided to focus their energy on designing an iconic structure to attract people into the proposed redeveloped area. Using the idea of attracting more people to the station and into the general area around it, a proposal was put forward to design a combined footbridge and cycle path into the station. The team managed to arrange their busy study schedules to include a weekly meeting starting at 8am with their link engineer Chris Jackson who set them deadlines and objectives for each meeting which, in most cases, they managed to achieve. Time was spent between October and early December designing the bridge and the surrounding area with new buildings and finding ways to encourage people into the area while feeling safe and secure. The end of term saw the team attend a three day residential workshop at Birmingham University where they were able to start manufacturing a scale model of their bridge and road layouts of the Coventry ring road. Once back at school, and with the Christmas holidays over, more time was spent finishing the superbly detailed and extremely well received model whilst at the same time a detailed, comprehensive project report had to be written. Once again, each person took responsibility for sections and regular meetings still had to take place with the visiting engineer. Late March saw the report completed and sent off to several engineers who would then meet the team in April at the presentation day where questions would be asked about their proposals. A practice session at a working lunch at Arup presenting to a daunting and challenging roomful of engineers went well. The audience was mostly won over but some very constructive feedback was taken to heart for before the final assessment . Feedback after the assessment day was very positive and despite the huge commitment needed to complete the EES, all members of the team thought it a challenging yet worthwhile experience and more than useful in helping them decide whether engineering was their future or not. Many thanks once again to our sponsor company, Arup, for their guidance and considerable input. bablake school



Vive la France Mr Simon Timothy and Mr Julian Bunce

In 2007-08 France was a popular destination for Bablake trips. This year there was the Normandy exchange for 4th Year students, a week in Fousseau for all our 2nd Years, the Shell trip and the Battlefields visit for the History GCSE students. Next year of course the ski trip will be heading to the French Alps. The Long Weekend

Every year, some of the Shells set out for a long weekend in the Pas de Calais. This year 42 of them took an early shuttle crossing to France and headed for Etaples for a traditional French breakfast in a café before mooching around the market and practising their French for an hour stocking up on essentials such as sweets, cakes, sweets, berets, sweets and watches. There were an enjoyable few hours at Aqualud, a water theme park in Le Touquet, with plenty of water rides and a pool with a wave machine. After this there was a thought-provoking stop at the Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery nearby with a minute’s silence at the grave of a Bablake Old Boy who was killed in World War I. A wreath from Bablake School was laid at the Cenotaph. The day finished with a visit to a chocolate factory, a traditional French meal in a restaurant, some football and at last a well deserved rest. Breakfast early on Saturday morning was followed by a trip to Nausicaa Sea Life Centre in Boulogne. After lunch the group ‘went ape’ doing an aerial obstacle course in the trees. Rope bridges, zip wires, beams and the like with the whole party properly harnessed! A lot of physical exertion but great fun... even for the intrepid staff. The final day was the Bagatelle theme park for lots of rides, thrills and spills. Unfortunately, the weekend was soon over and Monday morning school arrived all too quickly.


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One of the most eagerly anticipated activities for the 2nd year is the visit to Fousseau, a 17th Century manor house owned by the Foundation on the border of Brittany and Normandy. The primary functions of the trips are to practise speaking French, learn more first-hand about French culture and develop friendships in the form group. Fousseau itself, though an old building, has been extensively modernised and extended so that it can accommodate parties of up to 30 in comfort. Sleeping accommodation is in dormitories in two separate blocks. There is a lounge and a dining room, where excellent home-produced food is served, though as a treat, on a warm evening, dinner can be served al fresco. While situated in a fairly remote location, there is much to enjoy on site, including outdoor facilities such as a tennis court and a football pitch, while indoors there is a games room with a table tennis table. A set of boules can add an authentically French flavour. Among the many activities on offer are visits to Le Mont St Michel and the nearby reptilarium (a chance to witness the crocodiles being fed if the timing is right), the markets at Ernée and Pontorson, where you have to work hard to speak French to the traders before they speak English, the castles at Lassay and Fougères (the best preserved in Western Europe according to the locals), the D Day exhibition at Arromanches, the Bayeux Tapestry, Cherbourg and the excellent aquarium, not forgetting indulgence in the chocolate factory gift shop and stocking up at the hypermarket. Personal fitness is tested with a visit to one of the local parks and its adventure course. The days finish with a classroom session to reinforce what has been experienced during the day and a chance to update diaries. Whatever the weather, fond and long lasting memories of the week-long trip to Fousseau abound among both pupils and teachers.


House reports


Mrs Lynda Jackson House Head House Deputy

Mrs Lynda Jackson Mr Jeremy Hobday

House Captains

Simone Willis Jamie Stefaniak


Thomas Bend Victoria Bolstridge Sam Brown Elizabeth Collison Natalie Jones Jodie Kirk Mark Seeley Dominic Watson

The sun shone on the 8th Shell Activity Morning as each of the Shells had a go at a variety of events such as welly wanging, netball and hockey shooting, a penalty shoot out, a relay race and obstacle course, encouraged by the House officials and staff, Shell tutors and parents. The Bayley Shells showed great team spirit and undertook each of the events enthusiastically, which bodes well for the future. Special congratulations go to the boys who came second in their individual competition. The following week was the Shell, 2nd year and 6th Form Scrabble. We shared the 2nd year boys’ competition with Fairfax, but the girls went one stage further, outright winners. The 6th Form, after winning the competition for many years, were beaten by Crow, but it was hard fought. The basketball competition is always very exciting. All the boys played extremely well, expertly coached by Mr. Hobday, but we couldn’t match the skill of Wheatley at senior level, and Fairfax at intermediate. All the boys who took part and the spectators enjoyed the competition immensely. Bayley has had a great deal of success in squash. Our junior champion last year, Callum McDonagh, won convincingly at intermediate level and then at senior level Holly Payne went one better than last year, winning the Hemsley Rose Bowl. As I said to the House, it was the first year that I was aware of, that any Bayley girl had won this prestigious trophy. We are always looking to extend the variety of competitions, so this year introduced Ready Steady Cook, which was organised by Mrs Davey from Home Economics. This was a huge success! We asked two students from all year groups bar the 5ths, to cook dishes ranging from omelettes to an Italian meal. Besides being

judged on their culinary ability, the teams were also awarded points for presentation, and this is where Bayley really excelled! We incorporated our house colour red wherever we could, and even dressed the table for the meal from Italy with an Italian flag! Needless to say we won this competition overall, and so commendations were awarded to James Tumber and Sandeep Palit (Shells), Jennifer Scoular and Katie Bottomley (2nds) and Sophie Tumber and Pippa Collison (4ths). We hope this will be a permanent fixture in the House calendar. Then came the Music Festival, and once again House Officials ran the whole show! Simone Willis was our musical director, ably supported by Victoria Bolstridge. But many others took on different roles from programmes to costumes, and then backstage on the night to ensure the smooth running of the evening. All the 6th Formers, who worked so tirelessly, are to be congratulated on what they achieved with the younger students. The whole evening was a terrific success and Mr Watson spoke for everyone when he said that it was a musical extravaganza that represented everything that was so special about the House system in Bablake. As the end of year neared, preparations for Sports Day began in earnest. The pupils signed up for the many events and then on the day competed with great sportsmanship. Within Bayley, there were some excellent individual performances, but the 3rd year boys need a special mention as they won their competition. It is the end of my time as Head of Bayley House, as I take up another challenge within the school. I offer my congratulations to Mr Hobday, who will now lead Bayley, and his newly appointed assistant Miss Cheffings. I wish them both as much happiness, fulfilment and joy, as I have had, being the Head of such a wonderful House. I would also like to thank all the members of staff, and the many House Officials, that have supported me over the years. bablake school




Mrs Louise Yates House Head House Deputy

Mrs Louise Yates Mrs Lorainne Alexander

House Captains

Laura Dean Rhys Horton

Deputy House Captains

Mark Lam Hannah Sheard

Sports Captains

Lewis Jackson Emily Power

Cultural Captains

Jess Blake Tom Dubock

House Prefects

Lisa Bird Ross Harrison Jenny Maudsley Lauren Newbury Chris Popplewell Rebecca Stuart Henry Swanson

For the Shell Olympics, something of an institution, Crow fielded an excellent team with full attendance on the day. Although we didn’t win, this event is always about the taking part – but we would say that, wouldn’t we? It is a great chance to see the Shells for the first time, meet the parents and for House staff to get an indication of the talent within! Our girls excelled as highest scorers in the penalty shooting. The Shells were soon able to exhibit their more academic skills in the popular Scrabble event. Victory eluded us but together with the 2nds, we were placed a pleasing second. Some serious word power from Rhys Horton et al won the 6th Form round and suggested the seniors were going to prove a force to be reckoned with this year! In basketball, Crow had high hopes at all levels. We were not disappointed as there were some terrific games and very close finishes. The senior team fizzled out somewhat leaving Fairfax clear to take the title while we came second to Wheatley at Intermediate level. Thank goodness for the power of the 4th year! We obliterated the opposition in every game and were worthy winners– well done to all who competed. With hardly a pause for breath, a series of quiz competitions appeared on the horizon. We didn’t really excel until the Junior quiz which we won with the combined brainpower of Maneesha Sehgal, Abigail Mason, Georgia Powell and Avril Patel. Congratulations to such a bright and well organised team. Continuing our success in the more cerebral events, our Chess team was magnificent, crowning the Lams’ career at Bablake with another win. Matching the success of his brother Paul (our victorious


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captain on many occasions), Mark Lam ensured we didn’t lose a round trouncing the opposing teams and proving ourselves clear victors. Congratulations to the team and to Mark for all his efforts with House Chess over the years. Badminton competitions usually herald the beginning of the end of term so it was pleasing to achieve some success on those dark nights in the sports hall! We won the senior girls and came second in the senior boys. By now the term was drawing to a close and the cold weather was starting to bite – surely the time for House hockey! Crow fielded a great boys’ team and narrowly missed out on a win overall, coming second. Our senior girls – I told you they would be a force to be reckoned with – were impressive winners of both hockey and netball. With victory in 3rd year boys’ football, the House was set for the Music Festival preparations. Impressively, rehearsals happened regularly at lunchtime and after school, alongside other events. After losing both the Junior and the Intermediate netball competitions, we restored our pride by winning the Intermediate girls’ badminton. We also won the inclement 2nd year Netball and Alex Owens and Becky Sewell respectively won the senior boys’ squash and the intermediate girls’. It was Alex Owens’ last victory for the House in squash and we would all like to thank him for his efforts throughout his time at Bablake. At the start of the summer term, House music was on our mind. Rehearsals for choirs, sitar players, bands, pianists, violinists etc continued apace superintended by the diminutive Jess Blake. Jess was Crow’s driving force during the whole term and it was because of her efforts and ability to stay calm and ‘see the whole picture’ that Crow was able to put on such a tremendous set of performances on May 1st. The diversity of what we offered coupled with the skill and panache of its delivery impressed and surprised many! Who knew that Rhys Horton was such a gifted singer and dancer? Or that Mark Lam had the voice of an angel? One of the most thrilling moments of the evening (and there were so many) was the 6th form performance of The Rhythm of Life – its perfect choreography and harmony drawn out by Jess’ craft. One of the most touching moments of the evening came in the Beatles Medley. As the combined junior and senior choir sang beautifully together, Bradley Gill and Mark Lam harmonised during their rendition of Michelle. Many of the audience remarked it brought a tear to their eye. Powerful indeed!


The 3rd and 4th year girls shook off music fatigue and won the badminton which inspired our junior boys to emulate them, while in the event we hope will become a mainstay of House activity – Ready Steady Cook – from verdicts delivered by the Headmaster, Head of 6th Form and countless other hungry teachers, Crow probably amassed the most points overall as we came second almost every week! After a long and event-packed term it was time for Sports Day. We were determined that, despite the weather, the event would go ahead. Crow came a creditable second to Wheatley who won almost as if to signify Mr Hancock’s retirement! It has been another tremendous year for me as House Head and I would like to thank the entire House, both staff and pupils for their support. It was sad to say goodbye to the outgoing U6th. My House captains, Laura Dean and Rhys Horton, were fantastic role models, leading by example and ever ready to de-stress the House Head come Thursday morning! I thank them and all my House prefects for their efforts throughout the year – Crow House will be lucky indeed to get another year group as committed, helpful and supportive as them. And thank you to Mrs Alexander for being a fantastic deputy House Head this year. She will have even more to do next year when I go on maternity leave in October but I am sure that the House will go from strength to strength under her stewardship.


Mr Martin Rhodes House Head House Deputy

Mr Martin Rhodes Mrs Pam Marchant

House Captains

Bianca Phillips Peter Sidwell

Vice- Captains

Will Chamberlain (also Webmaster) Sarah Reynolds

Sports Captains

Annabel Charlesworth (also Secretary) Oliver Manning

Performing Arts

Francesca Clifford

First Deputies

Matthew Hall Jennifer Bufton

Autumn 2007 started very well for Fairfax – and so it continued all term. The Shell Form Olympics revealed once again we had been blessed with outstanding athletes among our newcomers. Our boys took 3rd place only 6 points behind the winners but the girls were well ahead in their competition so overall first place was achieved by a comfortable margin. Welly-wanging and netball shooting saw both teams take first position – Eleanor Davies, Mara Hartshorn, Bethany Shaw, Dominic Rae, Matt Clements and Jack Webber were especially successful – but altogether more satisfying was the verdict of the 6th

Formers present that morning: “Fairfax had the nicest people and the best team spirit.” Success soon followed at Scrabble too, with wins for the Shell girls and 2nd year boys and a runners-up place for the 2nd year girls. But what came next was very, very special. Senior basketball had been the Achilles heel of Fairfax for nearly two decades. It was the event it seemed we would never win, but in 2007 we did just that. Three big wins out of three but more importantly hardly a single foul committed. Matt Wood alone scored an emphatic 19 points and Kristian Ostrowski 10 points. Admittedly, the 4th formers couldn’t quite produce the same success without Kilian Kleine. Chess started well with a win against Wheatley but tougher competition would soon follow. We finished third despite Jonathan Smith and Jess White both coming out on top twice. For our intellectuals, however, it was in the House quiz that they flourished. The juniors tied for first place with a different team tried out each week, but the Intermediates were resounding winners – played 3, won 3 – with a massive 700 points scored. You win some, you lose some. We lost the senior netball – only narrowly and despite the goal shooting success of Joanne Simons. Not to be outdone, and on the very same day, the senior boys took a trouncing, this time at badminton. This was, however, the only notso-good day in a whole term. Recovery came swiftly in the form of a double first. The Shell boys took on the opposition at basketball – a new competition for this age group– and just about every member of our two teams got on the score sheet. These teams were well organised, dedicated and a joy to watch, thoroughly deserving their success. But best of all was the remarkable over arm hook shot perfected by Hayward Rodgers. Then for the 5th year running came success in the senior boys hockey. We scored six goals, despite captain Peter Sidwell’s early departure for hospital, showing just what depth we had through the whole team. Two wins and a draw for a team with so many younger players brought us a most satisfying end to what had been an especially successful term. The Spring Term was especially busy. Squash was well contested at every age with the most pleasing results coming in the juniors where Shell Jack Webber and 2nd year Jessica Horn were clear winners. In the intermediates, Georgia Horn and Rees Herrod both claimed runner-up spots. Sadly after a decade in our possession, the Hemsley Rose Bowl for Open Squash was lost despite our spirited efforts. A new competition for 2nd and 3rd years at basketball produced some very exciting matches with tight results. Luke Fry’s long-range, shallow approach shots were remarkably successful but defeat by Crow left us tied for runner-up place. Many of the same boys were in the intermediate boys badminton team. Played 12, won 11 reflects the sheer strength and skills of the Fairfax squad, who it has be said thoroughly enjoyed themselves too. Competition for a place in the junior girls badminton team bablake school



was huge, so it was a case of let everyone have a go. Good fun, but time and again we were pipped by narrow margins. Then came netball – with the Shells already champions and 2nds runners-up, the competition for the Intermediates turned out to be very close. For the A squad Aisling Flanagan controlled the midfield magnificently and Emma Davis produced some fine goal shooting, but it was the B team who produced the competition’s most outstanding results, with a 100% record and Lauren Adams scoring 8 out of our 9 in the final game. Only drawing for first place overall seemed rough justice. There was some real icing on the cake – girls hockey. Shells – champions, 2nd years – champions and seniors – joint champions. Not for two decades had our senior girls had a sniff of success on the hockey pitch but two fine goals from Lucy Horn and an excellent defence in front of brave goalkeeper Sarah Reynolds meant that at long last the jinx had been broken and for the first time both our senior boys and girls hockey teams were champions. More importantly, we also had people queuing up just to get into a Fairfax team and that more than anything has been the true measure of our success as a House. Summer 2008 was met with a degree of foreboding. The House Music Festival had been threatening for some time, but first there was tennis to deal with. Chris Reynolds, Matt Hall and, in particular, Philip Catherall played superbly to achieve a clean sweep and first place for the boys. Joanne Simons and Becky Devall were doing much the same in the girls’ competition till they fell at the final hurdle to finish as runner-up but it was enough to leave Fairfax overall champions. House Music still wouldn’t go away. Francesca Clifford seemed to have to organise just about everything for a long time, but here was a young lady with talent and the ability to use it. Her choreography of Dirty Dancing was brilliant, but inspirational too. Who else could have persuaded Charlotte Loasby to take a flying leap twice her own height into the air? Lauren Deeth-Kelt, Paul Jordan and Samy Shebl all performed solo pieces, but how marvellous it was to see some of Fairfax’s old-timers tutoring and performing alongside our very youngest– Katherine Hull, Hannah Sugrue, Ji Kim and Hayward Rodgers with three flutes, two stools and one piano. It all took a lot of talent, practice and above all organisation from Peter Sidwell, Annabel Charlesworth and Chris Starkey, but above all Francesca. Most importantly, was it all worthwhile? The pleasure and enjoyment derived by both performers and audience showed it clearly was! What then can you come up with to follow such a success? Answer: Ready, Steady, Cook! Did we win? Well, yes, but only if you go on taste alone! We could tick the scrumptious and inventive boxes every time but we were being outshone on presentation. Enter Eva Ball and Mayanka Patel with a ‘healthy, colourful and interesting’ stirfry, beautifully presented and irresistibly tasty. Top marks all round! This was, however, a competition in which every Fairfax contestant did themself and the House proud. Finally came Mr Burdett’s favourite day of the whole year – Sports Day. In an exact repeat of 2007 we came fourth, again scoring more than 99% of the points the winners earned, showing just how close this competition is year on year. Our girls, it has to be said, were especially strong but the star athletes were probably Sam Jack and Kilian Kleine. Most encouraging of all, however, was the Shell Form Trophy won by our youngsters – a sure sign that Fairfax can look forward with confidence!


the wheatleyan 2007/08

Wheatley Mr Peter Hancock House Head House Deputy

Mr Peter Hancock Miss Caroline Hall

House Captains

Paul Hollingsworth Isabelle Moran

Deputy Captains

Francesca Melhuish Richard Parsley

Sports Captains

Oliver Millerchip Meisha-Grace Nicely

Cultural Captains

Philip Hefford Laura Hutchison

House Prefects

Amy Bruck Lara Morris

Wheatley started by welcoming new Assistant House Head, Miss Hall and preparing for the very successful and enjoyable Shell Activity morning. Again, this year we had almost 100% participation and gained a very close second place. In Scrabble, while the Shell girls were second by just one point, the boys demolished the other teams and won by a huge margin. The 2nd year boys, however managed only 3rd place and the girls came a very solid second, a place mirrored by the seniors. The senior basketball team lost heavily to a strong Fairfax side, had much the better of an injury affected game v Crow and lost to Bayley by just three points. The 4th years beat Fairfax, then thanks to Chuka Ogbuneke rallying of a full squad easily defeated Crow. Winning the final match gave us the title for the 2nd year running. Wheatley’s quiz team was once again very strong. After wins over Fairfax, by 110 points and Crow by 270 points, in the final round Bayley was eventually beaten by just 100 points, giving our seniors a brilliant overall win. Our thanks must go to the exceptional squad of James Ross, Faith Hannon, Thomas Hine, John Haidar and Amy Bruck. The intermediate squad with a win, draw and defeat came second. Well done to Millie Ross, Matt and Sam Lewis and Ellie Jones. A huge number of junior pupils wanted to play chess and we attempted to use everyone. Unfortunately we could not match last year’s win and came fourth. The junior quiz followed – the first and second rounds were not a success and the final round showed consistency, if nothing else! Shell basketball proved very popular and both A and B games were fast and furious but resulted in close defeats. The squad did eventually find their form in the last round and ended up a respectable third. It was at this point that the badminton season started, with the senior girls managing a close third while our very strong senior boys simply whitewashed the other Houses. In the first of the final two events of a very busy


term the senior netball squads, captained by Meisha-Grace Nicely and Isabelle Moran, did very well in coming second overall in a very strong competition. In the senior boys hockey the final event was very hard fought by all the Houses and we ended up third thanks in the main to great goalkeeping by James Krestovnikoff. Again we had a large number wishing to take part in the junior squash. Emile Pokoj and Erin Hushon were our champions and in the finals, Erin managed an excellent second place. In the intermediate squash, however, we had a much harder time of it, with our two champions, Tyrone Thiara and Julia Ryland, both coming fourth. In the same week the intermediate girls, with a very large squad, played badminton. The competition was very strong and they managed a very creditable second place. The boys, however, could not match the girls’ success and came fourth. In the junior badminton, we had great success with the girls winning with ease, especially the C pair of Bethan Morday and Priya Virdi who won all their games. The boys’ badminton was a much closer run thing, but in a three way tie we were delighted to edge out first. The 2nd and 3rd year basketball started with a very close match against Fairfax which we only just lost by two points. After meeting a very strong Crow team, we won our final game and came second overall. The other competition going on was the senior squash. Matthew Drage reached the semi-finals but sadly Beth Hushon could not equal this. Unfortunately the senior girls’ hockey team fared no better losing all their matches. However the girls’ intermediate netball squad played to their very best of their form, won both A and B squad sections giving us the title. The House music is bound to dominate the House calendar. Over the spring term we had rehearsals and meetings every week and then panic set in once the summer term began. However, we had a secret weapon in Miss Hall. She took control and instilled a military style regime for rehearsals, programming, artists and all other aspects of the event. We produced the widest possible variety of music, from solos and groups to a choir. Our chief organiser, Phil Hefford, managed to co-opt numerous members of the 6th form as well as performing in a spectacular group number. Several parents

commented it was the best night’s entertainment they had ever had and almost without exception all the performers enjoyed the evening. Thanks must at this point also be made to Amy Bruck for her long term help in organising the event and to Faith Hannon for organising tickets, programmes and posters. Ready Steady Cook was meanwhile in full flow. Organised by the Home Economics department for all age groups, it was very popular indeed. Shells Francis Mahony and Olivia Luciano produced an excellent salad with pitta bread which came a very good second. Master chef, John Haidar, assisted by Ravinder Claire, produced an excellent international dish which far and away outshone all others and won first place. Erin Hushon and Amelia Brook produced an excellent tuna and cheese omelette which gave them second place, a position the House was getting used to. The third year entry, which was a stir fry, ended with a third place while the final round, an Italian meal, for the fourth year gave us another third position. In the middle of the Ready Steady Cook, we had the senior house tennis. Again we took second place in the boys event with John Haidar, Neil Simmonds and Richard Parsley. However, the girls could not match this and were fourth. Sports Day, the last event of the House year, is also one of the largest, with all of the first four years hopefully taking part. We decided to ensure we had competitors in every event that were capable of getting as many points as possible and this proved to be a successful strategy. Although we only won one year group, the fourth year, we won the overall title for the first time in many years. So this was a great ending to a very busy and exciting year. As you now know this was my final year as House Head as I retired at the end of the school year. It has been a great privilege to be House Head over so many years and see so many students develop skills and talents in House events. Without the pupils’ commitment and enthusiasm there simply would not be a House, let alone a House system. So in my last report, I wish you all the very best for the future and Miss Hall a very happy and successful time as House Head and Mr Mohamed likewise as her assistant.

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‘The Saddhu’ by Rob Dougall


the wheatleyan 2007/08

flair flair (fl창r) noun. [Middle English, fragrance, from Old French, from flairer, to scent, from Late Latin flagrare , alteration of Latin fragrare, to emit an odour.] 1 A natural talent or aptitude; a knack: a flair for interior decorating. 2 Instinctive discernment; keenness: a flair for the task. 3 Distinctive elegance or style: served us with flair. 4 A vibrant section in The Wheatleyan: including some of the best creative work of current and former Bablake students.

Edited by neil baker, orlaith norton, jodie shaw & roxy ziaie


Highlights From Shakespeare to shutter speeds 48 Life in Britain 52 Creative writing 56 Art & design 62 Retro Flair 64

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Mr Rob Dougall from Shakespeare to shutter speeds... Zain Ali Bablake has pride in the various extracurricular talents that exist in its pupils, from sports to musical excellence; however, the teachers’ talents outside the classroom are often overlooked. Photography has the power to inspire, allowing thoughts and emotions to be captured in a form that can be shared with others. For English teacher, Mr Rob Dougall, this is definitely true. More familiarly known in the classroom for teaching Bablake pupils about literature and the English language, Rob is also a well established photographer and has spent most of his free time in recent years travelling all over the world, capturing magnificent landscapes and inspiring lifestyle shots in colour or black and white. His travels have taken him to all sorts of exotic countries including India, Burma, Vietnam, Tanzania, Ethiopia and many other parts of the world that many of us will only perhaps dream of visiting. His outstanding photography is inspirational and this glimpse of his travels has allowed us to share in his experiences overseas. You may have seen some of his work at an open evening or school event on cards or framed. His interest in photography began at university when he had access to a dark room where he concentrated on black and white photos. After a lapse post-university, he picked up his interest once more when he started to travel. He takes many of the photos that feature in the prospectus, in The Lion and on the school website. As well as this he also runs a photography class for 6th form pupils as a General Studies option, teaching skills in picture capturing, editing and other aspects of photography and picture production, giving us the opportunity to share in his passion.

Left: a selection of Bablake drama production posters Right: a selection of images taken by Rob Dougall on his travels


the wheatleyan 2007/08


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Ready Steady Cook

Twice-Cooked Chicken ‘Epicé’, Pipérade, Coriander Foam Serves 1 For the pipérade 1 tbsp olive oil 1 2 / red onion, finely chopped 60g chorizo, finely diced 1 2 / tsp ras el-hanout spice blend* 220g jar roasted red peppers 1 tbsp tomato ketchup Few drops of Tabasco, to taste Fresh coriander, finely chopped For the chicken 1 2 / tsp ras el-hanout spice blend Sea salt, to season Black pepper, to season Olive oil 1 free-range, organic chicken breast, skin-on For the coriander foam 200ml full-fat milk Fresh coriander, shoots and leaves 1 fresh lime micro cress and leaves, to garnish

John Haidar’s winning recipe from the 6th Form Ready Steady Cook competition

1) For the pipérade, heat the olive oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. Add the red onion, chorizo and ras el-hanout and fry for 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently. 2) Drain the roasted red peppers, discard any seeds and thinly slice. Add to the pan and cook for another 3-4 minutes. 3) Add the tomato ketchup and Tabasco. Season, add fresh coriander and set aside. 4) Preheat the oven to 200ºC. 5) Place the chicken breast into a small pan of simmering water (just below boiling point), and add salt. Poach gently for 6 minutes. 6) Remove the chicken from the pan and place on a baking sheet. Toss the chicken in a little olive oil and season with the spice blend, salt and pepper. Place in the preheated oven and cook for approx. 7-10 minutes or until the chicken is completely cooked through. Remove from the oven and thickly slice. 7) For the coriander foam, heat a large bunch of fresh coriander in the milk (up to a very gentle simmering point), allow to infuse. Liquidise. Pour coriander milk back into pan and agitate with hand blender until foamed (approx. 30-60 seconds). 8) Arrange pipérade in a chef’s ring (centred on plate), 3 slices of chicken on top, add a squeeze of lime juice and spoon over the coriander foam. Garnish with micro-cress and leaves. Serve immediately. *Available in some Middle Eastern stores (or online). If not available, substitute with a good quality curry powder spice blend


the wheatleyan 2007/08


Political Integrity and Democratic EuphoriaUS Presidential Election 2008

What will be the defining legacy of the Presidency of George W. Bush? Obviously, Iraq was crucial, however, in fact, it was Hurricane Katrina that was definitive in evoking a real awareness of domestic policy, an understanding of the President’s obvious buffoonery and universal dissatisfaction with the Bush administration and its governance In the last election campaign, George W. Bush asked Americans to vote for him as the man who would best fulfil the most essential obligation of government: the impartial and vigilant protection of its citizens. After Katrina, the fraudulence of that claim had come back to haunt him, not in Baghdad but in the drowned counties of Louisiana. In the recoil, disgust and fury felt by millions of Americans at this abdication of responsibility, the President – notwithstanding his comically self-serving promise to lead an inquiry into the fiasco – would assuredly reap the political whirlwind that would ensue. What are the American people searching for in the upcoming election? The United States is engaged in a search for political integrity. Americans have been widely discredited by a significant division of the international community and are now living in fear of reprisal under the current regime. It is for this reason that Senator Obama’s political manifesto is so attractive (epitomised by his campaign slogan, “Change We Can Believe In”) because it signals a time wherein something old must come to an end for something new to begin. How much of a factor do you believe race will prove to be in deciding the election? Race will undoubtedly prove to be a predominant issue in the 2008 Presidential Campaign amidst the working classes, especially in areas of ‘white poverty’, and will be controversial in deciding ‘battleground’ state supremacy, as we have already seen in the primaries.

John Haidar has conducted a number of high profile interviews over the year. The following is an abridged version of his interrogation of Professor Simon Schama who filmed The American Future: A History. John asked about race, faith and freedom in the political future of the United States.

What is your opinion of Barack Obama? I think Obama represents a way to honour Martin Luther King’s high-minded visionary optimism while at the same time getting beyond it. To what extent is spirituality significant within the 2008 Presidential Campaign? However we might turn our secular noses up at the thought of it, it’s impossible to understand American politics, right or left, without giving religion its fair due. Down at Obama HQ, the volunteers hand out literature making no bones about his calling, perhaps in an effort to counter the story, firmly established in ‘blogland’, that he is a madrasa-schooled Muslim. Morehouse College, where the Obama campaign is manned by troops of students, was originally a seminary and it was no accident that its most famous alumnus, Martin Luther King, was both Rev. and Doc. How do you see the future of the American Presidency? What’s going down is the most fundamental of all political arguments; the choice between pragmatism and idealism; the virtues of undeluded practicality against a blossoming faith, Franklin or Lincoln? “Man,” one voter said to me, recalling Hurricane Katrina, “the country’s in a mess. I can’t rightly remember a worse one since Vietnam. It needs a serious rescue job if it isn’t going to go under.”

‘The United States is engaged in a search for political integrity’

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lifeinBritain Roxy Ziaie and Ira Kleine examine life in Britain through the eyes of Bablake’s Language Assistants Quelles sont les différences entre les deux écoles? La première chose qui m’a frappée lorsque je suis arrivée est bien entendu l’uniforme des élèves. En effet, en France, il est rare d’en voir. Les jeunes vont à l’école en jean et autres tenues décontractées. Ensuite, le cadre de l’école est vraiment agréable, les bâtiments sont très beaux, je n’ai jamais connu d’écoles aussi bien entretenues, je me souviens que dans mon lycée, les plafonds tombés en ruine et que personne ne les répare... Une autre différence très importante est l’organisation des cours car en France, la durée minimale d’un cours est une heure et non 35 minutes. Les lycéens français sont habitués à avoir des leçons de 2h ou plus, surtout en terminale, mais je pense que c’est une bonne chose de ne pas avoir des cours trop longs car cela évite de s’ennuyer. Avez-vous remarqué des différences dans le comportement des ados? Je pense que les ados français et anglais sont assez similaires, ils ont les mêmes préoccupations et les mêmes loisirs (shopping, boîtes de nuit...), bien que les ados anglais avec qui j’ai travaillé soient à mon avis bien plus polis et intéréssés que les français, ou peut être faisaient-ils semblant... Qu’est-ce qui vous assure surtout plus en Angleterre? L’atmosphère générale, les gens sont assez relax finalement, surtout lorsque je compare à Paris. Quelle est votre nourriture anglaise préférée? Burger King ! J’aimerais bien qu’ils en ouvre un à Paris... Sinon, j’ai beaucoup aimé la nourriture des pubs avec les sunday lunch et la nourriture indienne.


the wheatleyan 2007/08

Quels sont vos projets pour l’avenir? Pensez-vous revenir en Angleterre? A la rentrée je vais faire une école de commerce qui propose des semestres d’études à l’étranger, donc oui je pense revenir. Peut-être à Londres (je sais que les écoles ont des partenariats avec les universités de là-bas) ou ailleurs pour faire des stages. Est-ce que vous recommanderiez votre expérience à d’autres étudiants? Oui ! Je pense que c’était une super expérience de travailler dans un pays étranger. De ce fait, on est vraiment en contact avec la societé et on se sent vraiment intégré. Et puis c’était vraiment génial de travailler à Bablake car tous les élèves étaient vraiment intéréssés et tous très sympas! Donc j’en garde et j’en garderai un très bon souvenir et je ne manquerai pas d’encourager des amis à postuler pour être assistant. Avez-vous fait des visites particulières? Qu’est-ce qui vous a plus le plus? Je suis allée à Fousseau et à Alton Towers. Les deux voyages étaient super! Mais j’ai préféré aller à Fousseau car j’ai bien aimé montrer le pays d’où je viens aux autres même si la Bretagne n’est pas la plus belle région de France (à mon avis). Ce que j’ai préféré à Fousseau, sans aucun doute était la visite du château et la traduction de la visite! (N’est-ce pas Madame Scott?).

Laure Denis Agé de 22 ans Diplomé en anglais Actuellement dans une école de commerce à Bordeaux


Was ist Ihr Englisches Lieblingsessen? Ich sage dann einfach mal Chips und Cheese.

Thomas Hirsch 24 Jahre alt Kommt aus Dieburg, 40km von Frankfurt am Main entfernt Studiert Sport und English auf Lehramt

Was ist bei Bablake anders, in Vergleich zu Ihrer Schule in Deutschland? Bablake ist im Vergleich zu allen Deutschen Schulen sehr sehr traditionell. Allein das die Schüler Uniformen tragen ist schon ein großer Unterschied. Das finde ich aber gar nicht schlecht, weil die sehen alle recht schlau aus. Es sind hier auch die Klassenzahlen sehr klein, besonders bei den A-Levels und es wird eine sehr gute individuelle Betreuung gegeben. Wenn Schüler Probleme haben, werden sie auf jeden Fall immer Hilfe bekommen. Welche Unterschiede in Verhalten gibt es zwischen englischen und deutschen Jugendlichen? Ich denke, es gibt keine sehr großen Unterschiede, jedoch hier in der Schule ist mir aufgefallen, dass die Schüler sehr sehr viel Respekt haben; aber dass Kinder Blödsinn machen, das hat man in Deutschland wie in England. Das ist auch normal; es wäre auch schlimm wenn dies nicht so wäre. Was hat Ihnen in England gut gefallen? In England hat es mir besonders gefallen, dass das Wetter nicht so schlecht war wie jeder sagte. Die Leute waren auch sehr nett und mir ist aufgefallen, dass es sehr sehr einfach ist, wenn man ins Pub geht, mit Leuten ins Gespräch zu kommen. Das ist in Deutschland nicht so. Da geht man in eine Kneipe, trinkt etwas und geht wieder heim. In England kann man es fast nich vermeiden mit jemandem ins Gespräch zu kommen.

Was wollen Sie später im Leben machen? Kommen Sie irgendwann zurück nach England? Also ich werde in Deutschland erstmal das Studium und meine Ausbildung als Lehrer, beziehungsweise das Referendariat, fertig machen, und werde dann warscheinlich in Deutschland als Lehrer arbeiten. Es würde mich aber auch sehr reizen das ein oder andere Jahr in England zu verbringen. Würden Sie die Erfahrung die Sie hier gemacht haben anderen Schülern empfehlen? Auf alle Fälle. Wenn man eine Sprache lernen will, geht es einfach nicht anders. Die Schule macht alles was sie kann, einem eine Sprache beizubringen, aber die Sprache beherrscht man eigentlich nur wenn man sie in dem Land selber lernt. Haben Sie in England besondere Ausflüge unternommen? Was hat Ihnen am besten gefallen? Ich habe einige Ausflüge unternommen; ich war im Süd-Westen gewesen, Bristol, Bath, Wales, Cardiff, Exeter, Stonehenge, Schottland und Irland. Am besten hat mir Irland gefallen, die Landschaft war wirklich sensationell! Ich werde auf alle Fälle wieder zu der Westküste von Irland fahren, irgendwann...

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the wheatleyan 2007/08


a bazaar experience Roxy Ziaie takes us into an exotic world where East meets West on the A level art trip to Istanbul I was privileged to go on the trip to Istanbul as part of my A Level Art course, and I came back bursting with ideas and influences from the cosmopolitan atmosphere of one of the world’s most vibrant cities. We experienced the cultural fusion of East and West everywhere we went, with the rich artistic heritage of Turkey oozing from every street seller, museum and bazaar. Our traditional hotel offered excellent views over the Golden Horn towards the historic quarter and the Galata Tower, and we were allowed to explore the city that spans over two continents. We visited galleries and museums rich in historical and contemporary art, as well as enjoying the culinary, mercantile and entertainment opportunities of this captivating city. Over the few days, through everything we saw, we traced the rise and decline of the Byzantine Christian Empire, the rise and spread of Islam and the development of modern Turkey. The awe-inspiring scale of the Hagia Sophia and opulence of the Topkapi Palace contrasted with the intimate and beautifully decorated Church of Saint Saviour in Chora, Rustem Pasa Mosque and the Basilica Cistern. Aside from the art, we found time to catch ferries to Asia and back to Europe, experience a world-renowned Turkish bath, and eat some extraordinary food. A personal favourite was being let loose in the Spice Bazaar and the famously effervescent Grand Bazaar. bablake school



Felicity Chapman Poetry Prize Winner: Hannah Elsy

I was once unaccustomed to her. I stood proud and white, but dead. She breathed life into my heart, sending electric pulses through my veins. She was my other half. Each waking moment we spent bonding. I was her rock, her lifeline link to infinite information. I lovingly captivated every detail of her existence and guarded it in my boundless Vaults. There it lay dormant, waiting to be discovered once more. I would leap to the click of her fingers, hankering to every need. I try to communicate, but my language is limited and predetermined. I long for her, but we are incompatible. Her radiant face shines into my eye, and I feel a judder of hope But when gazing into me, she always has the view of someone else. I am growing old. My memory is fading. I cannot run as fast, but my feeling for her is still strong. I catch a bad contagion off a stray wanderer. Now she looks after me. A man is called to perform an operation. I am scared – I do not want to lose her. I wake up, but I am blinded. My last heartache is never seeing her beautiful face once more. She picks me up. I hope she will cradle me, but she just passively throws me aside. I lie on a bed of my species, unwanted and unloved. She has a new companion, now. I am abandoned, but my lonely heart is still beating. How could she be so fickle?


the wheatleyan 2007/08


A new day is dawning and the sun spreads over the earth. The dragonflies dance and flicker around in endless mirth. Amongst the soft silent grass stands a solitary poppy, proud. Overhead in the blue, blue sky sails a cotton candy cloud. The dew dripping from the green grass, like tears of delight. The swallows gracefully glide towards the soaring sun, shining bright. Bursting burgundy berries swinging from the tall trees. A weeping willow tree sways sadly in the gentle breeze. The crisp leaves unfurl in the sun’s glowing affection. A heron bows majestically in the river at its reflection. Suddenly, the ground shakes beneath a muddy shoe. A silent ladybird darts under a quivering leaf, new. The grass is squashed and ripped into the soil. Spades split; trenches torn; lives lost. A new day is dawning and over the earth there is frost. The anxious animals leap and jump for a place to hide. On the ground the muted eyes of the soldiers speak: “We tried.” Overhead in the grey, grey sky sails a heartless storm cloud. People say a single prayer spoken aloud. The dew dripping from the green grass, like tears of pain. Bodies are scattered where they were slain. Blood spilled in senseless disarray. An officer shouts orders for his men to obey. The missing of loved ones. The blazing scream of guns. Mindless murder is all around, is there anyway to stop this fight? Is there anyone out there that can put this right? A new day is dawning and there is nothing.

Illustration: ‘The Scream’, Edvard Munch, 1893

Felicity Chapman Poetry Prize Runner up: Laura Weaver

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The Secret Life of Barney Howard David McLennan

Inspired by The Secret Life of Walter Mitty by James Thurber

“Conclude safety procedures,” was the reverberating voice of one of the nearby stewards as he clicked his visor into place. All background noise was eliminated by the menacing roar of the 12 cylinder, V8 engine that was pounding from within the high-tech, carbon-fibre chassis. His heart was going at almost the same rate and his entire body shook from side to side. A man reached in and fastened him down to make sure he wouldn’t be thrown from the car under high force, with his thick, hefty fireproof clothing choking at his neck. Chief Technical Manager Rob Greening pierced through on the inbuilt radio to give a definitive “all clear” and the track was cleared of mechanics. All that driver Howard could see now, through the murky window in his helmet, was a grim looking track with 67 laps of prospect in front of him and a final countdown until the lights turned green for the start of the race. His palms sweating, he glanced round at the fiery car next to him and focused on the task ahead. The roar of over a dozen revving engines could be heard from all sides as the final light shone green before him. He was off... “Off you go, Barney. Go! The lights are green!” called a frantic Mrs Howard from the back seat. Barney Howard just gave a tired grunt and lodged the old Rover into first gear. The car screeched and got off the line with dozens of furious motorists tooting from behind. Oblivious to all of this, Barney reached for the inbuilt radio, then sighed when he realised all he had was a glove compartment with a faulty hinge. “I don’t know why you never pay attention on the road. I’m surprised we’ve never crashed before now. Honestly, if you were to listen more to me you’d find it far easier. Have you booked that appointment yet for the opticians? I said to him myself that you were some trouble with your long distance vision. Don’t forget to pop into Tesco and get us a pint of milk – you finished that bottle yesterday on your cornflakes. I told you not to have such a big bowl, you’re becoming overweight. It’s all that extra sugar you put on it. Heaven knows what it’s doing to your cholesterol. You’ll need to get this car serviced tomorrow and I don’t want you going out anywhere tonight because there is cleaning to be done. Do you understand Barney? Barney? Are you listening? You’ll fall asleep at the wheel one day and then what would happen. You know I can’t drive and it’s too far for me walk when I want a lift into town. You’re swerving Barney. What’s the matter with you?”


the wheatleyan 2007/08

“Check the readings Lieutenant.” “Depth: 200 feet from the surface.” He was abruptly cut short as Rear-Admiral Jacob Harlenby burst into the cabin. He was sweating and his voice trembled with uncertainty. “Sir, Sir... the submarine... taking on water...,” he gasped for breath. “There are a couple of men there constructing something to plug the hole but we may need to make an escape.” “This is dreadful news,” he said alert. “Our target was to get to South Qatila Bay by sunset in order to fulfil our objective. How long do we have before it takes on too much water?” “Only a dozen or so minutes and if the men cannot stop the leak then we must surely abandon the mission and escape to the surface.” Lieutenant Falshaw read the dials. “We’re sinking further. 210. 214. 219.” “If we’re going to survive this, we will need to act now. As Admiral I am going to take the initiative. There is no alternative than to put on diving jackets and escape through the top. We are about to lose a £200 million submarine, men, but it is at the price of protecting Her Majesty’s naval officers. Are we ready?” “No luck with the leak, Admiral. I’ve got all the men together.” “Keep calm, men, this is it. We will have to be quick but the pressure will be immense.” They took a deep breath and collected their minds. “Stay strong lads. Open the hatch, Wilson!” A voice said solemnly, “Try and force it open. It’s a terrible job we have to do.” The battered door was wrenched open and a paramedic leant inside. Barney Howard and his wife lay in the smoking car, still conscious, but in a great deal of shock. The lorry driver in front emerged from his vehicle with a large dent forged in the back. “Are you alright, Sir? My colleague will attend to you and treat any wounds.” “Is the guy behind alright mate?” the lorry driver said, rubbing his head in astonishment and also from the pain. “They should be fine. It seems he was probably asleep at the wheel. Lucky really that no more damage was done. It’s their Rover that appears to have come off the worst.”


How to... survive apacking backweekend Oliver Towlson

Inspired by Guy Browning’s ‘How to’ column in The Guardian


ack-packing is not to be confused with the altogether more refined, luxurious past-time of camping. Campers are those pampered individuals who, sitting in the comfort of their beige Volvo, effortlessly transport their ten-man tent (with separate bedrooms), portable stoves, loo, 14 gallon gas bottle and satellite dish to their ‘well-appointed’ camp-site! No, no! We’re talking back-packing; the genuine outdoors, macho-man (and scarily macho-woman) experience of conquering the elements, whilst laden down with 25 tonnes of equipment and, armed only with an ‘easy-to-read’ map and a ‘totally reliable’ compass, hiking through the wilderness, where the only company is cow-pats, in varying degrees of sloppiness, and the occasional mindless sheep! The key to any successful expedition is all in the preparation. Women, the undisputed champions of list-making, definitely have the edge over men here. Armed with their comprehensive inventory (organised along the lines of a meticulously planned military operation), women co-ordinate, prioritise, fold and efficiently pack their items, according to what will be needed first. Men however, don’t quite line up to the same standards, leaving any thoughts of packing to the morning of departure, whereupon they simply chuck whatever has been left on the bedroom floor into a bag, in a desperate and frantic attempt to get out of the house ten minutes ago. It is only when the hurricanes, tornados, monsoons and blizzards descend upon you, that you realise your bright orange waterproof should probably not have been stuffed at the bottom of your rucksack. To be honest, it is questionable whether it is even worth unpacking the entire contents to retrieve it, as a heat-wave will undoubtedly hit at the very moment you finally manage to pull on the last of your Arctic layers.

When choosing your tent, only one Golden Rule applies: ignore the rugged, ‘out-doorsy’ type salesman who will smugly assure you that the two-man tent will offer more than enough room for you, your rather large chum, two pairs of size 15 boots, two 80 litre rucksacks, two 15 season sleeping bags and 36 cans of cheap lager. If you want to avoid sleeping (or not sleeping!) with your legs permanently contorted into a figure of eight formation and your face squashed against the condensation-saturated tent liner, simply go for the largest tent you can stagger along with. Unnecessary items, such as underwear, can always be left behind if you need to lighten the load. Next, invest in decent, heavy duty plasters. You can guarantee that, the 15 pairs of socks, along with cushioned insoles and soothing foot spray, will not prevent your feet from erupting into a myriad of blisters. Your fellow back-packers will think you have bizarrely bathed in some pustule –inducing acid or that you contracted a bad case of the Black Death. Never believe the claims of Tesco that their ‘super quality plasters’ will perform any useful function. Rolling themselves up into mini boulder-shaped balls of torment, the Tesco Wonder Plasters will attach themselves, with uncharacteristic stickiness, to any obscure part of your anatomy that is not growing its own moon-sized blister. Finally, do not be deluded into thinking that, as you wake up at 3.30am for breakfast, you will be able to roll up your sleeping bag into the micro size necessary to fit it back in its carrier. If you want to avoid experiencing what it must be like to squeeze a sumo-wrestler into a pair of lycra cycling shorts, dump the original bag and stuff the ever-expanding life form of your sleeping bag into a bin liner. Alternatively by-pass the whole back-packing experience and book into a cosy Bed and Breakfast. bablake school



shellspeak Kate French and Kian Patel read out their impressions of their first year at Bablake at our summer Open Session.


Hello ladies and gentlemen. I hope you are having a good evening. I can’t believe my first year at Bablake is nearly over. The summer holidays were long and sunny but as September approached I began to feel quite excited and very nervous. Would I make new friends? Would I get lost? Would the work be too difficult? Would the teachers be nice? Would I ever grow into my new school uniform? I needn’t have worried! Despite the fact that I didn’t know anyone, I made friends straightaway – it turned out that everyone was nervous and everyone’s school uniform was too big for them. I did get lost once or twice but I was always with my new friends and the teachers weren’t cross with us if we were late – they are now though! On the first weekend we had an activity day – it was great fun! We were in our Houses and did things like welly-wanging and fancy dress obstacle courses. My parents came to watch, although my mum was too busy talking to the other parents to notice me wanging wellies! I’ve joined a lot of clubs like netball and choir and I’m busy most lunchtimes. Playing in school teams is great fun even if I do have to get up early on a Saturday, and no, I didn’t break my wrist by doing games at school, but playing football, with boys! The highlights of this year have been going to the Black Country Museum, International Week, when we learnt to play the African Drums, and the House Music Competition. I do get quite a lot of homework but it’s not too difficult and usually quite interesting. I feel as though I’ve learnt loads this year and yes the teachers are nice, they’re kind and funny and hardly ever grumpy! So I’ve got through my first year at Bablake and it’s onto my second year. I’m looking forward to staying in France with my form, but not until after the best bit about school – eight weeks’ summer holiday!


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Making the step from primary school to Bablake is a big move. It’s an opportunity to achieve, a chance to make new friends and be in a different place. Of course this can be daunting and scary. When that first day in September came along, many thoughts trailed through my mind. Like Kate, I wondered about teachers, friends and getting lost. I was excited but worried. However I can assure you, parents will be more worried than the child. Before my first day in September, Bablake held a Shell disco which gave me a lot of confidence because I was the only one coming from my primary school but at the disco I made lots of friends and immediately my worries faded away. The first days at Bablake were gradual; they just didn’t give you your timetable and let you go about your day. We got to know the staff who are all really nice; no really they are, they didn’t make me say that. The whole of Bablake on my first few days seemed like one big happy family. The atmosphere in the school is amazing. Pupils were helpful on the first couple of days when you didn’t know where to go. I felt comfortable very quickly. My first year at Bablake has been brilliant. Bablake offers something for everyone whether it is orchestras, sports teams or Interhouse events. I am particularly proud of my sporting achievements in cricket and rugby. I am also pleased with the academic progress I have made this year. I have been to Drama club and done House basketball and the House quiz. I am absolutely positive that the rest of my time at Bablake will be a success. Bablake is a great place to be.


Shell Exam Essay

Beside the lake Kalika Puri

It rose from the suddenly rippling water like a monster from a nightmare, its demonic howl shattering the silence which had been so complete only a moment ago. Kate stumbled back fearfully, her expression frozen in a multitude of emotions. Moist, scaly skin covered the creature’s body making it seem slimy and fish-like in the dimming light. As it shook itself of the droplets of tepid water, Kate saw it was more man-like than she had first thought. Two lean, muscled arms dangled down, fingertips brushing the glassy surface of the lake. Tree-trunk like legs propped it up so high its head brushed an overhanging tree, and its fiery crescentmoon eyes gleamed savagely back at her, causing a shudder to run down her spine. Kate had absolutely no idea, not even an inkling as to why the creature was in the local park’s lake, and neither, it seemed, did it. Turning its head warily back and forth and finding no threat, or indeed landmarks as to where it was, it turned its malevolent eyes back on Kate. Just then, a sudden movement beside the lake made Kate catch her breath. There, crouching among the long reeds, was a young boy holding a gun, which was pointing straight at her.

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public examination work for art and design technology The culmination and celebration of the hard work and creativity of our Art and Design Technology students in various media


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designed by Claire Harris Claire is a regular lecturer at several FE and HE institutions across the UK and also a postgraduate researcher in Textiles, Fashion and Surface Design at Birmingham City University.

She has just launched her own range of eco-kitsch fashion accessories under the label ‘Trash Blooms’ ( Products include eye-catching colourful customised bags, shoes, purses and floral corsages made from up-cycled fabrics, reclaimed garments and vintage trimmings. Claire regularly creates pieces to commission for weddings, for theatrical or burlesque performance and styled fashion photo shoots. She has a second website under construction ( to house her academic research, works on paper and gallery-based projects. Following a first degree in Fashion Design, she worked for eight years in the creative industries in London within graphic design, print and photographic agencies. She has also been employed as a freelance artist, designer and fashion stylist since 1995. Brands she has created projects with include ICI, Harvey Nicholls, Urban Outfitters, Selfridges, Elle Decoration, The British Fashion Council and Hussein Chalayan. She returned to Coventry two years ago and now produces work from her studio based in Earlsdon. Currently she is selling pieces at vintage, fashion and eco events across the Midlands, at gallery exhibitions and through a growing number of retail outlets. Her online store will be developed in 2009 and she also produces an exclusive, luxury collection for jeweller John Aspell and Company in Spon Street, Coventry. Snippets » Left Bablake in 1988, after just six weeks of A Levels to dye her hair in dayglo colours. » Her earliest attempt at accessory design involved painting her wellies with black ink in the shed at her grandma’s house, aged three » Past fashion collections have combined diverse materials including broken glass, bicycle inners tubes, human hair, fish skin and boiled leather » Her favourite things are: liquid eyeliner, big jewellery, vintage fashion bargains and really smelly cheese » Rummaging in drawers, collecting things dropped on the pavement and dragging things out of skips are still a big part of her design process. Luckily for her boyfriend, she now has her studio to house all of these important finds » Claire’s ultimate aim is to be an eccentric granny with very purple hair, even larger jewellery then she wears now and an extremely fast, stylishly customised shopmobility scooter » She has a deeply ingrained fashion motto: ‘More is more!’


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‘what is drama but life with the dull bits cut out?’ alfred hitchcock

In the performing arts, the team is real. Everyone is a vital presence, whether front of house, backstage or the star of the show. Enjoy reports from Bablake’s thriving performing arts community.


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Edited by zain ali & ira kleine

performing arts Highlights Any dream can come true 67 Great Expectations 69 House Music Festival 72 From Latin to Latin America 74 Flautist all over the world 76


Any dream can come true Darren Carnall by Kate Byrne

As a GCSE student Darren Carnell shared the dream of many 16 year olds and wanted to pursue a career in musical theatre.

‘In January 2007 Darren started an epic six months of rehearsals for The Lord of the Rings as understudy for Gollum’

Disregarding the advice from his RS tutor, ironically now one of his greatest fans, that leaving after GCSEs would be a ‘huge mistake’, Darren decided to follow his ambition and can proudly state he has been involved in top West End musicals such as Guys and Dolls and Chicago. Perhaps even more remarkably, his dream has never faltered, and as he described to us backstage at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane, he still can’t imagine doing anything other than ‘stepping onto a stage’. Shortly after leaving Bablake, Darren’s talent won him a place at the prestigious Laine Theatre Arts in London for a three year musical theatre course, with influences such as Bob Fosse inspiring him. He described how, since such stage schools bring together the elite of the business, this course invoked the fight or flight response as the competition was so fierce. The training was also incredibly intense, yet Darren recollected how experiencing such exhaustion was the best decision. He whole-heartedly recommended this route

for anyone interested in theatre as it will either intensify your ambition or destroy it, fully preparing you for the future. In January 2007 Darren started an epic six months of rehearsals for The Lord of the Rings as understudy for Gollum. This relentless process involved three weeks of boot camp where stamina was pushed to the limit and various techniques such as circus skills were taught. He also described the intense personal research he had to undertake- for example research into schizophrenia to successfully portray the multiple personalities of Gollum. Although the production has now come to a close, he conveyed extreme pride to have been involved due to its sheer scale and the fact that a project so huge would not be staged again for a long time. As Darren moves to a role in La Cage Aux Folles at the Playhouse, he let us know his wishes for the future. It is clear how his passion has never wavered. He confessed his ideal role would be the lead of Rusty in Starlight Express, although his greatest

desire to work with the choreography of Bob Fosse had already been fulfilled. His advice to anyone hoping to pursue a career in the Performing Arts was, if you consider yourself to have the passion, to simply go ahead and join a theatre school, as the intense process will naturally prove if the business is right for you. Darren humbly stated: “I started because I loved it, and I have simply been lucky enough to make a living out of it”. Budding actors will note that since performing in the likes of Little Shop of Horrors and Animal Farm at Bablake, Darren’s incredible journey through to huge West End successes gives hope that with hard work and belief, dreams can come true.

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Talented Mr Ripley Lawrence Accardi

Year 22 at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival

After weeks of rehearsals and stress for Mr Prescott, 10th July had finally come. Mr West had somehow managed to fit all the cast, props and scenery into two minibuses and we ventured north. Morale was still high amongst the group, despite concern about the prospect of living with Alex for a week! After seven hours of motorway and one over-priced service station (‘the award winning, franchise free, no McDonalds, local produce only, Tebay services’ – DFP) the frantic nature of the festival week hit home as we stepped off the minibus. People on the streets all appeared intent on seeing a number of shows each day and showed signs of rigorous planning. Our aim was now to persuade them to see our offering, The Talented Mr Ripley. Threats of parking tickets galvanised us into action, removing everything we had brought with us from the minibus and placing it in the theatre under the watchful eyes of the manager. The rest of the day was spent in a slightly nervous state, exploring the six bedroomed flat that was to be home for the week, and nearing realisation that soon we would actually have to perform. Luckily, ever present, was the matriarchal figure of Rosie Tressler, with useful past experience of Edinburgh. Each day adhered to roughly the same formula: wake up, start your day with a nutritious serving of bacon, if Paul Wye had left you any, and then head out onto the Royal Mile to do some leafleting.


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Leafleting style was a very personal thing: Chris’ surprise leaflet delivery, usually accompanied with loud noises contrasted sharply with the girls who hung around in a group and displayed the age old female trait of multitasking, simultaneously handing out leaflets and chatting to one another. Our first night wasn’t quite the stable affair wished for by Mr Prescott but from then on, every single member of the cast overcame their butterflies and the show ran smoothly and ticket sales were excellent. Life in the flat brought some marvellous culinary moments, reaching their pinnacle on the last night with the teachers serving what Mr P referred to as, ‘a 70s style buffet’, complete with cheese on sticks and haggis, a dedication to the wonderful city we had spent a week in . In the evening, we took a break from treading the boards and saw some stand up comedy or drama. Deepcut, based on the supposed “suicides” at the infamous army base in Surrey, had a lot to live up to after its excellent critical reception and it certainly delivered. In stark comparison to the thought provoking and dark Deepcut we were always guaranteed laughs with the brilliant comics we saw during the festival: Jason Byrne provided a fully interactive experience, the climax of which involved three Bablake students on stage trying their best at Irish dancing in front of a theatre packed to the rim with an audience in hysterics. The experience of the fringe was amazing, the whole group bonded brilliantly and every day provided amusement, interest and excitement.


Great Expectations Dave Prescott

A large cast was gathered after a long audition period, and it was good to see so many boys coming forward and getting involved in school drama. Much of the story was told through chorus narration, and creating the various atmospheres and locations through narrative dialogue worked very well. Pip’s early life with uncle Joe Gargery and his wife, his encounters with Magwitch and his first visits to Miss Haversham’s were vividly described in this manner, and came to life after some very lively rehearsals. A key feature of this production was the use of stage trucks to represent the key scenes; Mr West built mini-stages that became Satis House, Jaggers’ office and the local pub. With painting and set dressing by the Art department, convincing locations were established that could (in theory) be quickly moved around and put in position. When turned around, the backs of the trucks were painted to suggest the flat marshlands of Pip’s childhood. With sensitive lighting to emphasise the shifts in location, the moods were established and reinforced. Projection was used to provide the flame effects for the death of Mrs Haversham, and the River Thames scene near the end. It was a large scale and ambitious project that was well appreciated by an encouragingly positive audience. Chris Walters was excellent as the mature Pip, producing a range of character and emotion. The scenes with the cold and aloof Estella, played by Laura Dean, were particularly engaging for the audience, as Pip’s desperate love and Estella’s heartless nature contrasted convincingly. Becky Beatty produced a telling performance as Mrs Haversham, fully in control and cruelly selfish. As Magwitch, Devan Pankhania was both commanding and sympathetic, being the bully to Young Pip (Marcus Judge) and the victim himself of Victorian savagery in the later scenes. Other impressive character performances were contributed by Rosie Tressler (a sadistic Mrs Joe), Lawrence Accardi (long suffering Joe Gargery), Paul Wye (as the villainous Orlick), and John Haidar (as the moral but coldly professional Jaggers). However it was the chorus ensemble that made the whole production work, and their creative efforts and ability to link everything together were possibly the most important feature of the piece.

A party from Bablake had seen this adaptation at Stratford in 2005, and when it became available for school performance, we leapt at the chance to present it. With a particularly well known story told in a lively ensemble narrative style, this seemed like the perfect end of term production.

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Celtic Feet

Siobhan Robinson, Faith Hannon Gemma Grealy and Aisling Flanagan are keen and successful Irish dancers whose stars are rising. Happy to commit hours of their week to their passion, whether they are dancing themselves, teaching eager youngsters or giving taster sessions, both attend dance schools in Coventry, Celtica and Turley respectively. Both girls have come from Irish backgrounds and have danced since the age of four thanks to family encouragement. While Aisling enjoys entering competitions as a solo dancer, Gemma likes to dance as part of a troupe in shows. Two years ago Aisling was internationally acclaimed as an Irish dancer when she came 6th in the World Championships in Belfast. After the National Irish dancing competition at the end of the summer, Aisling hopes to return to the world championships in Philadelphia next year as one of just 16 finalists from the UK. Aisling has found the encouragement and support from her mother and the expertise of her dance teacher, Roisin Gibbons, ten times world champion in Irish Dance, instrumental in her success. Combining charity work and Irish dancing, Gemma’s group raised £6000 last year through taking part in two Irish dance shows. The money raised went to Myton Hospice, an orphanage in India and the Coventry Telegraph Snowball appeal. Gemma continued to raise money over the summer with performances in Blackpool and Southport. Although both girls do see their dancing as a hobby rather than a future career, they encourage anyone, young or old to get involved: ‘Be patient with the basics’ says Gemma, but as their enthusiasm proves, the perseverance is definitely worthwhile. Both girls comment the key qualities for a top Irish dancer are ‘perseverance and a high level of fitness.’ The girls showcased their talent at Bablake during International Week and taught some excitable Shell pupils to dance. Keenly competitive and confident, it will be no surprise if we see the girls performing on Britain’s Got Talent at the very least in the future!


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New York, New York Clare Samson

With the traditional three days of rehearsal, the eight hour plane journey and jetlag all successfully overcome, Mr Bernard Sutton led us into the New York night. We ate Italian before walking up 5th Avenue, across 42nd Street and finally down Broadway. After enjoying our morning rehearsal, the day was ours to spend around the city, so we decided to check out New York’s music scene. A subway trip allowed us to check out the next day’s concert venue, we visited various music shops and saw Julliard before taking a tour of the Lincoln Centre, where we later enjoyed a Mostly Mozart concert. Our first concert was at the Church of St. Paul the Apostle. The programme consisted of some traditional songs, along with the recorder trio, and solos from Sarah Barnard, Josh Sood, Chris Starkey and Matt and Sam Lewis. The performance was well received, and the rest of the day was spent locating our next concert venue, visiting Central Park and spotting the Statue of Liberty from a ferry’s distance. On the penultimate day of our tour, we sang at St. Paul’s Chapel, directly opposite Ground Zero. We had a warm response from the audience, and an especially warm response from a kind stranger, who asked for an encore of Amazing Grace and saw fit to bless our whole group. Later the same day, repeated demands to see the Broadway version of Phantom of the Opera paid off and the majority of the group went to see the show, which at $100 per ticket was fairly expensive, but all agreed it was worth the price. We then went to the 86th floor Observation Deck of the Empire State building, just before closing time. The view at night was incredibly beautiful. A final dart around New York for last minute shopping allowed a tour around the Rockefeller Centre for some while others decided to go to Time Square in a Yellow cab. The airport lounge presented itself as the perfect place to hold the annual Bernie Awards and with one final rendition of Amazing Grace in the lounge, we boarded our flight back to Heathrow. Huge thanks go to Mr West and Miss Hall, who graciously gave their time to transport us from Bablake to Heathrow, and special thanks to Mr Sutton and Mrs Tatum for organising such a wonderful tour.




Mr John Pease

Bablake enjoys a proud theatrical tradition whose future is most definitely in safe hands. We look forward to unearthing more budding thespians in the near future and encourage everyone to come along and get involved with extracurricular drama. It was most exciting to see such a diversity of talent amongst the junior members of the school in Sparkleshark by Phillip Ridley. Thanks to the discovery of an unexploded World War 2 bomb in Coventry’s city centre, our three night run became two but the production was a resounding success, with the cast rising to the challenge of a near capacity audience on the final night.

Arden City

Big Dave’s Rave

Zain Ali

Following the success of last year’s One Big Gig to raise money for Comic Relief, U6th students Chris Walters and Paul Wye organised another night of live music with the moniker derived from a legendary member of Bablake’s English department. Guaranteed as a bigger and better gig, it proved an unforgettable night of entertainment. An additional, unexpected treat from the evening was DJ Fluke (aka Mr John Pease or ‘Peeze’ to the crowd), who played various drum and bass, old skool and hip-hop tracks at the start of the evening, in between bands and then a closing set

at the end of the night. Yet another skilled member of the English department with a definite talent outside the classroom. This fulfilled the night’s ‘rave’ aspect, with the theatre being transformed into a nightclub with the whole standing area being used for dancing. Much of Bablake’s exceptional contemporary musical talent was on show. The Basics eased the audience in gently with a soft piano and acoustic sound. 4th years Vinyl Riot had an indie garagepunk sound, playing classic covers with a lot of energy. Metal band Soul Storm played covers of tracks by Rage against the Machine and Guns ’n’ Roses, while Bang à la Bang’s highlight was a cover of Blur’s Song 2. The Griff brought an indie-rock sound with original material and covers of songs by The Libertines and The Smiths. Then it was my turn to take to the stage with Vinni Valentino. We played original experimental rock with exterior effects and pre-recorded samples to add to the sound. The final band of the night was Faze with a mixture of covers and original material inspired by classic, contemporary rock. The night was very successful, raising money for Comic Relief and giving everybody a great night of live music. The crowd responded warmly to all acts, with just as much energy as the bands. Look out for these bands at future school events!

Hannah Elsy

As part of the National Theatre festival, Bablake was given the first scripts of a new play called Arden City, a modernised As You Like It – Shakespeare’s cross dressing comedy. A motley crew of 2nd and 3rd years had 10 days to rehearse the play before we performed it at the Derngate Theatre in Northampton. Rehearsals were completely manic and intense, but we just managed to squeeze a full dress rehearsal in an hour before the first performance at Bablake! The day in Northampton was very memorable; we had laughs a-plenty; we watched other schools work, professional workshops were provided by actors and our final performance went almost as planned! bablake school



House Music Festival Jessica Blake

After many rehearsals and much stress, we managed to pull off, what was unanimously felt to be a very enjoyable, entertaining evening and a celebration of musical talent. During probably the most hectic period of the school calendar, with exams pending for all year groups and extracurricular commitments in full flow, fitting in practices was not an easy task! However, the four Houses somehow managed it, with help from House Heads and enthusiastic senior students. Anyone involved could look back at the Festival with pride. So before we knew it, May 1st was upon us! Our dress rehearsal had gone as smoothly as we’d hoped and we all felt the nervous excitement that makes these events such a great experience! With the audience settled in its seats, our hosts for the evening, Jamie Stefaniak and Will Chamberlain took their place under the spotlight and introduced the first act: The Bayley Band. What a great way to start the night with the Three Dog Night classic Mama told me powerfully sung by Dominic Watson and backing singers. Cameron Taylor followed singing and playing his own composition, before two very talented Shells took to the stage for a jazz duet: Lara Morley – White on flute and Bradley Gill on piano. Bayley’s Shell choir then sung Bernstein’s America with a wonderful enthusiasm and brilliant diction, co-ordinated by Simone Willis and Victoria Bolstridge. Next, cellist Lauren Deeth-Kelt played Etude Caprice accompanied by Hannah Sugrue and then the ‘last minute’ act bravely followed: Wheatley’s version of Wonderwall, originally a duet for just piano and drums, now accompanied by the whole house singing the words. Many congratulations for pulling it off! A household favourite, Paul Jordan wowed the audience yet again with Brahm’s Sonata for Clarinet, before it was Crow’s turn again with their popular Beatles Medley, introducing some newly discovered talents and a number of senior students losing their inhibitions in the somewhat cheesy choreography... my apologies! Music from Bayley’s flute ensemble, a Wheatley/ Bayley duo, a wonderful duet by Hannah Sugrue and Ji Kim, and a solo from Emma Gallagher followed, before the first half was nearly over. Crow’s Acoustic Group, comprising Laura Dean, Rosie Tressler and Jessica Blake, performed the Corrs’ Runaway and Wheatley closed this half with a brilliant rendition of Top of the World and Baker Street.


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Fairfax opened the second half with Take That’s Never Forget, coordinated by Francesca Clifford, before a very courageous Rory Dulku sang Bohemian Rhapsody acappella. Rosie Tressler, from Crow, played a classical guitar solo, Julia Ryland and Millie Ross performed I Know Him So Well from Chess extremely convincingly, Fairfax’s flute ensemble played Country Fair beautifully, and Bayley’s string quartet performed the infamous Pachelbel’s Canon, directed by Simone Willis. An upbeat trumpet solo by Hannah Elsy followed, before Crow’s Abhi and Anu Bose took the audience on a journey to India with their stunning Tagore’s Monsoon on sitar and tabla. Samy Shebl played next with two fantastic classical guitar solos, followed by Nainu Sriram’s rendition of The Voice Within. The much awaited Dirty Dancing at last took to the stage, and Fairfax’s dancers didn’t disappoint! Francesca Clifford stretched them to their limits, not mentioning how many from the audience were attempting the ‘mash potato’ in their seats! Ellie Morris and Rebecca Brown performed Brazilian Walk splendidly before the last act was introduced. Crow’s version of The Rhythm of Life provided so much fun not only for the 6th formers taking part but for the audience too, that by the end of all the jazz hands, everyone was cheering for more. Let’s face it, who wouldn’t be after such a jampacked programme of talent and marvellous efforts from all. This event only comes round every three years, so however young or old you are or whatever musical talents you possess, do not leave Bablake without taking part in this wonderful occasion! Yes, the festival is absolutely brilliant and the audience will say it’s definitely not one to miss, but it’s all the preparations that make it such an enjoyable experience; it brings out the best in everyone and can create friendships like you could never imagine! My final year at Bablake just would not have been the same without this, and I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone involved: front of house, stage management, lighting and technical help, backstage runners, House Heads, and of course all the performers! You should all be very proud and may the next House Music Festival live up to 2008’s standards!


Classic entertainment... Mrs Patricia Tatum, Mrs Ceri Rees and Mr Bernard Sutton

Choirs In true Bablake tradition, the beginning of the year heralded the Autumn concert where both the Chorale and Chamber Choir sang works from the 20th century. The Chorale opted for folk music with a Joni Mitchell classic Both Sides Now and the Chamber Choir gave a spirited rendition of some of Howard Goodall’s television themes, including Red Dwarf, Mr Bean and Blackadder. The Carol Service produced a backdrop to some beautiful liturgical music. Sophie Tumber confidently opened the service with the solo first verse of Once In Royal David’s City whilst the Shell Choir gave an energetic performance of Tomorrow Shall Be My Dancing Day, accompanied by flute, clarinet and piano. The Junior concert in January enabled the small, but nevertheless really keen members of the pop choir, to perform some lively show numbers. The more formal Easter concert saw the Chamber Choir sing a French madrigal Il est bel et bon followed by Mascagni’s famous Easter Hymn. This was quite an ambitious project with operatic demands put on all voices; the tenors in particular. Jessica Blake was the soloist in the Easter Hymn, having earlier displayed beautiful tone and versatility in three German Songs by Handel. The Chorale gave their first performance of I Will Sing with The Spirit by Rutter and America by Bernstein. They repeated these choral classics as their programme for the Schools’ Choir Competition at the Leamington Spa Music Festival where they really rose to the occasion and sang their hearts out, achieving a very respectable second equal position. The summer term was also memorable for two other occasions; the excellent House Music where choirs formed an integral part and the International Concert that saw all choirs, including the junior school, join forces. Both concerts gave opportunities for solo singing and ensemble work. The highlights must be Rory Dulka’s unaccompanied and very personal rendition of Bohemian Rhapsody for House Music and the moving performance of soloists and combined choirs in World in Union which provided a fitting sentiment to end the concert, celebrating the diverse and harmonious nature of Bablake’s community. Recorder group The recorder group enjoyed a good year. We played festive tunes as people entered for the carol concert, accompanied the choir and contributed to the spring term concert. The size of the recorders have both grown and shrunk this year as we have added a bass and a sopranino to our repertoire. The year was brought to a glorious end with a rousing version of Mamma Mia in the Summer concert.

Classical concerts Concerts this year for both juniors and seniors were packed with interesting items and overflowing with pupils offering to play solos. The autumn concert was distinguished by a wonderful performance of Dvorak’s evocative Romance for Violin and Orchestra, brilliantly played by Simone Willis and sensitively accompanied by the orchestra. It was followed in complete contrast by some of Handel’s Music for the Royal Fireworks. Another highlight was a composition by Jess Blake for flute, oboe, clarinet and piano with the composer playing the piano. Pianists James Ross, Nadine Minty and Josh Sood came to the fore in this concert and enjoyed the use of a hired grand piano while clarinettist Paul Jordan showed great sensitivity in Poulenc’s Clarinet Sonata. The choirs and ensembles also contributed well to make a memorable concert. The concert in March also had its moments, the orchestra playing an orchestration of Rachmaninov’s Prelude in G minor for piano and the well-known Morning Mood from Grieg’s Peer Gynt Suite. The second half probably contained the most interesting solos with Rachel Powell’s sensitive account of the slow movement of Bach’s A minor Violin Concerto followed by some exquisite German songs by Handel sung by Jess Blake with Simone Willis providing the obbligato violin, and Chris Walters joined by his teacher Jane Kimberley in a virtuosic duet for two flutes by Doppler. In complete contrast Chris, this time playing keyboards accompanying Jess Blake’s singing with Laura Dean playing the violin and singing, performed a number by the Corrs. The junior concerts were full of items of great variety, particularly from soloists, and made for a very enjoyable evening’s entertainment. bablake school



From Latin to Latin America Olivia Broadfield by Ira Kleine & Zain Ali

After starting a Latin and English degree at Warwick, Olivia moved to Coventry University’s music composition course and has not looked back since. With her own record label, release of a debut album and her songs featured on MTV’s The Hills, the soundtrack of major motion picture The Eye and American TV show The Real World, her career is at an exciting stage.


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With a devoted fan base in Brazil and Russia and an album review in the revered Rolling Stone (Russian edition), her star is definitely rising! Zain: What first started your interest in music and encouraged you to pursue it as a career? I played the piano from a young age but it was never really more than a hobby. Even when I left Warwick and went to study music, I didn’t think I would be able to make a career out of it. During my time at Coventry, my passion increased and I was determined that when I left I wouldn’t let myself get drawn into a 9-5 job that I hated. It’s taken four years to get here though, so it’s taken a while! Ira: How did you get to where you are now? Determination and hard work; sending thousands of emails and making phone calls and just not giving up until I found the right people. Ira: Where do you see yourself in a few years’ time? Hopefully making a good career just from music and developing different areas of my career. I really want to write for other people as well as doing my own thing. I want a long career if possible! Ira: What type of music do you listen to? Feist, Imogen Heap, Gwen Stefani, but essentially I love pop music so I think people like Girls Aloud and Kylie are great too. I love a good song but also people with individuality. Zain: Your music could be described as a blend of artists like Imogen Heap, Feist and Tegan and Sara. How have other artists influenced you and would you like to work with them in the future? Ha! For sure I would like to work with them. I doubt that will happen but I can dream. Listening to other people’s music influences your own in some way. The electronic sound obviously draws reference from Imogen Heap but I hope within that there is still a definite originality, a sound people can’t quite pinpoint as being like anyone else. Zain: Your album Eyes Wide Open was released earlier this year. What does the album mean for you and are you pleased with the response of your fans? The album doesn’t necessarily hold a great meaning emotionally; it’s the culmination of 18 months’ hard work though, so it’s just something I’m really proud of, especially getting it made while still unsigned. I’m blown away at people’s response. I’ve read reviews on iTunes and people are just so kind about it. When I had a song on The Real World, the album sold about 1000 copies in a month so I’m really pleased with how it’s selling too! Ira: How did you feel when you heard that one of your songs was to feature in Jessica Alba’s film The Eye? So excited, mainly because we got to see my name at the end of the film. The song was so quiet in the actual film that, if you couldn’t hear your way past the coffee machine, you’d never have known it was there! I was so pleased though, it’s a great thing to have on your credits and it’s given me a real desire to keep pushing for film placements. Seeing your own name has never been so exciting! Zain: In 2006 you set up Cherry Bang Records in Coventry. What did and do you hope to achieve with this and how successful has it been? Cherry Bang Records was about having fun within music and

producing some great really diverse material. There are four of us on the label and each one is so different. We made a great little EP which we’re all proud of. The other girls are in very different states of their career, one is still at uni, another has just moved down to London so music isn’t necessarily their focus right now. That said, music is still their passion and Cherry Bang helps fund them so they can buy equipment and record material so in the sense of keeping people’s passion alive, I think it’s been pretty successful. Zain: How has your music been received in the US? Better than in the UK. I always thought America would like it more, I didn’t really know why, it just seems more their thing. We are quite formulaic here in the UK – indie pop bands and retro female singers. It’s much easier in America to do something a little different and have people like it. Ira: Do you have a role model? How has he/she inspired you? I have lots of role models for different reasons. Seeing the way Imogen Heap just stuck her neck on the line and made a record on her own is very inspiring when you see the success she has now. Then there are people like Ingrid Michaelson who is one of the biggest unsigned acts in the world. She had songs on Grey’s Anatomy and is now selling hundreds of thousands of records on her own. I think that is incredible and I would love to have that level of success and stay unsigned. The record industry is a fragile place right now, so if you can succeed on your own, it’s the best thing all round. Zain: How did Bablake help you with your musical career? I didn’t really know I wanted to do music while I was at Bablake, it was my lowest grade at GCSE! I think that my time at school started to help me learn what I did and didn’t want to achieve with my life, and then music came along later, by which point I knew that that was it for me. (I still recall the day Olivia brought a tape of songs she had recorded, into her U6th Latin lesson, Editor). Ira: Have you kept in contact with any friends from Bablake? Yes! Lots of people have moved to London so I don’t see them a lot, but I still count them as some of my closest friends. Cassie Leedham designed my album artwork and website. Zain: What would you like to see in the UK music scene in the near future? Something different. I’m tired of the same things being successful. People never try and break the mould. Zain: What would you say was your greatest achievement as a musician? Without doubt, The Real World placement has had the biggest impact on my career. We are speaking to labels now off the back of that show and things have started to move so much more quickly. It’s pretty amazing what one song on one show can do. Zain: What advice would you give to young musicians who want to make it in the industry? Keep a clear head and work hard. I think when some people choose a career in the arts, they can get a bit lazy and think if they play enough gigs, somehow they will get famous. It’s not all about luck. Of course luck is involved, but you have to work really hard to earn that bit of luck. Also you will fail a million times before you succeed so, if you think you have the talent, you just have to refuse to give up.

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Flautist all over the world Rebecca Lenton by Ira Kleine

After Bablake, between 1984 and 1991, Rebecca studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London with Averil Williams and the MusikAkademie Basel in Switzerland with Felix Renggli. She has worked with orchestras such as the London Philharmonic Orchestra and played throughout Europe at The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. She has won numerous prizes including the Yamaha Music Foundation of Europe award and the International Flute Competition. Rebecca now lives in Berlin, where she is a member of the Kammerensemble Neue Musik Berlin, with whom she has played at many of the major contemporary music festivals in Europe, including Donaueschinger Musiktagen, Torino Settembre Musica, Maerz Musik, Ars Musica, Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, Wien Modern and World New Music Days. Rebecca’s desire to play the flute began before starting junior school, at the young age of six. Once at Bablake, she completed her grade exams as a Shell and joined the Junior Orchestra for her first ever orchestral training. Her talent did not go unnoticed however and she was soon promoted to the Senior Orchestra, with which she went on several tours to Warminster.


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At 15, Rebecca achieved a place at the Coventry and National Youth Orchestras, where her passion for music really took shape. “It was a fantastic orchestra, excellent training and great fun!” In the 6th form, she was given the opportunity to perform two solo pieces with orchestra, Mozart’s Andante and Chaminade’s Concertino, a nerve-racking but thrilling experience for the young musician. She recalls her time at the Guildhall as ‘eye-opening years: lots of practice, lots of hard work, meeting new people, finding out what the music profession is really like – not something for the faint-hearted.’ In her final year, she had her first professional orchestral experience whilst travelling between London and Cardiff to play with the BBC Orchestra. After graduating, Rebecca accepted a postgraduate place at the Akademie in Basel, where she spent three wonderful years, refining her playing after the hectic atmosphere of London. This is where her passion for contemporary music was unlocked, leading her to where she is today; playing with KNM Berlin. ‘Works by composers such as Sciarrino, Furrer and Ferneyhough are more frequently on my music stand than Beethoven or Bach, but I still relish the chance to play the classics when I can.’ Rebecca’s work has taken her all over the world, with a fantastic highlight being a KNM Berlin concert at the Carnegie Hall, New York, in November 2007. Although she has her hands full with her four month old son and three year old daughter, she still manages to find time to practise for her next big performance.


‘We would like to thank the players for their commitment and dedication, the captains for their organisational and leadership skills, the staff for their coaching and finally our parents for the support and time that have been given to enable us to develop and excel in our sport.’ lara & tom jackson

Edited by lara & tom jackson

sport Highlights

Sporting superstars 78 South Africa rugby tour 80 A week of sporting drama 81 Individual sports 85

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Holly Payne

Sporting Superstars Tom and Lara Jackson put Max Goodyer, Kai Hartshorn, Lucy Horn, and Holly Payne, four of Bablake’s many sporting superstars under the spotlight… Can you update us on your current sporting achievements? Holly and Lucy: We were both selected last season for England’s U18 squad. To get there we were both a part of the Midlands U18 squad and were scouted for national trials at the Midlands tournament. This same tournament is coming up in two weeks time so at the minute its fingers crossed that will be as successful as last year.

How do you all approach playing different levels? Lucy: It can be difficult because you do have to be understanding that standards are very different and now and again it can be frustrating. Formations can also be dramatically different. At the same time it’s also nice sometimes to just play for the enjoyment with none of the pressure. It’s good to have a mix.

Max: This season I’m involved with Warks U18, Scottish Exiles U16/U17, Midlands U16 and the Warks Schools squad.

Max: I approach both levels with the same intensity and dedication. Obviously the standard and quality differs, and I found this quite strange in the past when I was playing for the third team at school the day after playing for Midlands. It was also much more devastating when I picked up an injury in the third team, which put me out for months. But I do enjoy playing at all standards and take positives from all experiences.

Kai: I was picked to train with the England U16 squad last year. Unfortunately I never had the chance of making my debut for England because I injured my shoulder which will need surgery in the coming months. Holly and Lucy, describe your feelings on your debut appearance for England. Lucy: Extremely excited and nervous to start with, but as soon as you’re on the pitch and playing you lose the nerves and it’s no different from a normal game. Holly: For me it’s when the National Anthem plays that you realise this is an England game, but yes, the nerves do quickly go.


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What is your proudest sporting moment so far? Holly and Lucy: Definitely beating the Dutch 3-1 at the 4 Nations this year in Germany whilst representing England! Max: Playing for the Scottish Exiles in Leeds, where bagpipes played us onto the pitch, as we ran out from the tunnel. That was a very proud experience.

What is your worst or most disappointing sporting moment so far? Holly and Lucy: Losing in the final of the 2005 National Schools finals after we had come so far and were so close to winning. Is it hard to balance sport with your academic and social life? Have you had to make many sacrifices over the years? Lucy: Yes, sometimes your social life can go out of the window. It can be really difficult and you do have to be committed. Sometimes you are really not in the mood to train but you have to make yourself do it. It’s worth it in the end. Holly: With training regularly in the week and matches every Saturday you can’t go out every Friday night and sometimes you do have to be quite strict, but when you’re at Midlands and England, everybody’s in the same boat so it’s ok. Often you end up socialising more with your team mates because you’re all under the same restrictions. Hockey has made me more organised with school work though. You get your work done when you have that one free evening! Max: Yes, fitting work in can be difficult. It’s sometimes hard to find the time for studies with training, matches, gym sessions and especially travelling as all my Exiles matches are played in Leeds. Kai: During GCSEs, I sometimes found myself training more for the upcoming season than revising. My social life is compromised more than my academic studies as I am always quite tired. My teachers sometimes allow exceptions if I explain what a hectic weekend I have had.


Kai Hartshorn

Where have your achievements taken you globally? Holly and Lucy: For training camps and tournaments, we have both been to Ireland, Barcelona, Gibraltar, Portugal, Spain, Germany and Holland How influential will sport be in your life post Bablake? Holly: It will be a huge part of our lives. Already it is determining where I go to university. I am choosing to apply to universities that are near to high standard hockey clubs such as Birmingham and Nottingham; ideally I would like to continue at my current club Leicester. I’m going to study Human Biology. Sport will be central to my university life but it seems hard to make a career out of playing in this country. Kai: Obviously my dream is to play for a rugby team, however if I don’t, I want to study Sports Medicine at university and then be affiliated to a Premiership Rugby Club, as a physiotherapist or conditioning coach. Lucy: I’m hoping to study Medicine and become a Doctor. Knowing people like Francesca Kinsella (see Former Students) have carried on their sport at a high level is very encouraging. Who would you say has most inspired and aided your success? Kai: Well when I was young, about 9 or 10, I was 12 stone. My mum was trying to push me to lose weight, get fit and find a hobby so because of my size and my Dad’s interest in rugby, she suggested my local club, Nuneaton. The coach was brilliant, although I was hopeless. With their encouragement and my

Max Goodyer

extremely competitive nature, I managed to really get involved. Do any of you have an ultimate sporting goal? Holly and Lucy: To represent Great Britain in the 2016 Olympics. Have you met any professionals? Do you have any idols? Holly: There are many England players at my club; I train with girls who played in the Olympics. It’s not like football or rugby where playing with professionals is a real rarity. I do think hockey should be considered more mainstream and be given more media attention though. It has been better in recent years, but even in the Olympics this year it wasn’t given half the coverage it should have been.

Lucy Horn (left)

definitely introduced me to rugby; however it might have been completely different if only hockey or football were on the syllabus. Thankfully I believe that, at Bablake, there is something for everyone. What advice would you give Bablake’s budding young sporting stars? Holly and Lucy: Start young and join a good club! Kai: It’s important never to give up! Even if you are not good at something to begin with, keep working on that aspect and you will improve. Also, enjoy it all… whether it is training or a match. Max: Definitely, stick to it whatever happens, and it’s always important to take constructive criticism in your stride and learn from it.

Kai: That would have to be Martin Johnson. Every game he leads from the front, he is an inspirational leader and team player, and he would never ask anyone to do something he wouldn’t do himself. Do you have any sponsorship deals? Holly and Lucy: We are both sponsored by Mercian. Do you think sport is accessible enough for youngsters at school in this country? Max: To a certain extent. Every school offers a certain range of sports in which it specialises. Unfortunately there is only a substantial variety at some. I think it’s important every school kid receives the widest range of opportunities, as you only really stand a chance of playing at a high level when you play and are scouted at an early age. Bablake

‘It’s important never to give up! Even if you are not good at something to begin with, keep working on that aspect and you will improve’ bablake school



Day 8: Time to climb the legendary Table Mountain despite being pretty sore from the game the day before and several injuries. The amazing views over the city lifted spirits and left us in awe.

South Africa rugby tour Excerpts from the diaries of Adam Simmonds and Tom Jackson on the Bablake rugby tour to South Africa Day 1: The travelling tourists arrived, very apprehensive about the forthcoming adventure. Day 2: Overnight flight to Cape Town and famous beach in Strand for playing beach rugby. We met our hosts and first opponents. Bemused response, with the majority of us dressed in typical British summer attire – flowery shorts, flip-flops and t-shirts – whereas they were wearing winter uniform with scarves, coats and hats. First home-cooked South African meal of the tour. Day 3: Nerves due to the stories told by previous tourists who had faced Strand High School. The game was played in harsh weather – heavy wind blowing directly down the pitch, additional rain in the second half – more like England than South Africa. We took an early lead, things were looking up. However, Strand replied straightaway with a try. By half time things were looking bleak, facing the heavy wind and rain and losing the game. We struggled throughout the second half and ended up losing the game, unable to clear our lines due to the wind, receiving several injuries and constantly defending on our own try line. After the match, we sported our new suits and the hosts had organised an evening meal.


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Day 4: Departed for Robben Island, famous for Nelson Mandela’s stay at the prison. The tour, given by a former in mate, was very informative and entertaining. Met our next opponents and hosts at Bergfliet High in Cape Town. Day 5: Despite losing the tour captain due to a knee injury, we won! Despite the horrid underfoot conditions, some good flowing rugby was played and everything went to plan. A Dan Lawrence tackle was the highlight of a structured team performance, but the injury list was beginning to increase. Day 6: Enjoyable trip to Seal Island, brief bus journey to the entrance of Cape Point, short climb to the top of Cape Point. We then moved onto the ‘Jackass’ Penguin Colony at Boulders Bay – one doesn’t anticipate seeing penguins in such a warm climate. Day 7: Third match day. New experience playing a township side, Lagunya – we scored very early on after a 5 minute period of solid possession, with Josh White finishing off the movement. We did well to contain a side renowned for their pace and ended up winning relatively comfortably. We then met the local kids and played a bit of rugby with them.

Day 9/ 10: We made our way to Glenwood High, Durban, much warmer than the southerly Cape Town. This game was guaranteed to be the hardest of the tour. One casualty from our beach excursion, Adam Walters, fly-half to be, broke his toe by running into the sea and hitting his foot on a rock. Disaster then struck, lunchtime food bought at the mall had a devastating effect on our new stand-in fly-half. Food poisoning left us on a 5th choice fly-half and a hard game and loss resulted. Day 11/12: Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park for our safari adventure. This was our first taste of the African wildlife and we saw elephants, hippos and springboks in the space of a couple of hours. A Zulu Cultural Show involved lots of energetic dancing and music. Day 13: Returning to Durban, we stopped at the St. Lucia estuary for a cruise. The main animals seen were hippos and crocodiles. Day 14: Final match against a Natal Development Squad. The best team performance on tour. A win was quite an achievement. The evening’s entertainment involved watching the Natal Sharks play against Xerox Lions at the Shark Tank, followed by the end of tour dinner, with trophies and novelty awards given out. Day 15: Ushaka Marine World – a large aquarium, dolphin and seal shows, large water park, beach and snorkelling with sharks for all those that dared. All ready to return.


A week of sporting drama If you ever wanted proof that sport can 7 amazing provide fantastic drama, the following days 7 days bear testimony.

Day 1

Two centuries in one day Mr Mark Woodward

Brothers, Paul and Mark Best created Bablake history on 1st July each scoring a century on the same day, something that not even Adam Smyth and Steven Byng could claim as their extraordinary innings of 234 were separated by almost a year. That morning, Paul scored 136 not out on the 2nd day of the Twenty 20 v Nottingham High School while in a Warwickshire Cup match that afternoon, Mark scored 100 not out for the U13, reaching his century with the final ball of the game. Both players continue to make excellent representative progress. Paul will begin a 4th year in the Warwickshire Academy and Mark has been offered a place in the county’s elite Emerging Players Programme.

Day 2

A day in the life of... Mr Stuart Slater

Stuart, a key member of Bablake’s skilled maintenance team, flew to Moscow for the Champions League Final between Chelsea and Manchester United. Here is his report:

The amazing day began in Coventry at 2.30am. A few hours later, after checking in at Luton Airport, we were on our way to Moscow. We received our match tickets on board and these acted as visas for the day. On arrival at Vnukovo International Airport – used mainly for Chelsea fans – we were greeted by a line of coaches. The organisation was excellent – in fact, rival Manchester United fans had been mainly directed to another airport. Our journey to the Luzhniki Stadium took about 40 minutes. The views on the journey felt strange, with pockets of detached houses on one side of the motorway, drab high rise blocks of flats on the other side, and from time to time, beautiful looking churches with splendid gold detail. The coaches dropped us about 10 minutes from the Olympic Park. The walk felt eerie – the locals were staring at us and soldiers and security police seemed to fill the route. A flash of our passport and ticket gained us entry to Chelsea’s fan zone around the stadium; it was time to soak up the build-up and the next 7 hours just evaporated. Once inside, the stadium reminded us all of the old Wembley except the food and drink were both incredibly cheaper and the staff far less sullen. So the game did not have the result we desired. Almost in sympathy the return coaches disappeared, leaving us to agree a taxi fare back to the airport – which was promptly inflated upon arrival. By 8am, I was safely returned to Coventry. A long, tiring day! Next stop, Rome 2009?

Day 3

Pride in my black belt Nicola McIntyre

Tang Soo Do is a form of Korean martial art. We are taught the very strict discipline of self defence to protect ourselves and others. One of the golden rules is that we never use this discipline outside our lessons unless completely necessary. Grading takes place every three months but we always have to pre-grade first to see if our techniques and attitude warrant the opportunity to advance to the next grade. To grade you have to perform all of the techniques and forms you have learnt in front of a panel of judges. These include my teacher, other black belts and Master Khan who is one of the Masters of World Tang Soo Do. Once you become a Cho Dan Bo, you have to train seriously to become a black belt for at least a year. During this time you help to support and teach the lower belts as part of your training. We are part of a Tang Soo Do family and it is all about giving back what I have been taught. This is great fun and an enjoyable experience. I have trained hard for five years. For the past year I have been trying to train five times a week and have lessons straight after my schoolday. For one lesson bablake school



a week, on a Sunday, I have had to train in Cambridge, as this is a special black belt lesson with Master Khan. To become a black belt, I had to learn all of my forms, steps and weapons from the very first lesson up to the last black belt techniques with weapons. I had to wait for a letter to confirm that I had passed my pre-grading before I could be entered for my black belt. So I actually had to do the grading twice. I also had to do a written test of approximately 130 questions, 95%of which I had to get correct. Luckily I got 100%. The questions are written in Korean as they are the commands and techniques of Tang Soo Do and I had to write the English version as the answers. As well as this I had to write an essay of 1000 words about what Tang Soo Do has taught me and what I have gained from it. On the day, you are also interviewed and asked some questions by the Masters at the end of the grading. Plus in front of everyone I had to break three roof tiles, stacked on top of each other, with my bare hand. 17 people, adults and children approximately my age, graded on that day. I was the only one from my Coventry club which made me even more nervous. However, I was determined to gain my black belt. I worked solidly for practically four hours, physically putting a lot of effort into it, so I was exhausted both mentally and physically at the end. During your grading you have to do a physical at the beginning, then do hand and foot techniques, forms, pad work, self defence, sparring (fighting) then break the roof tiles. I was judged and assessed by a panel of six Masters. The hall is also full of other black belts and Cho Dan Bos who are there to support you from the various clubs. Although exhausted, I felt very good about my black belt grading, as a lot of the black belts and even the Masters came up to me and told me how I stood out and what fantastic effort I had put in. It was a very proud day for me. I was even prouder when my mum said she had been told on the day I had passed, as we usually have to wait two weeks to see if we have passed. Fortunately I didn’t receive the fail letter so now I am the proud owner of my black belt. I am officially presented with it when the Black Belt Association meets in Cambridge and initiates me into their association. What a special day that will be!


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Day 4

Bablake vs KHVlll rugby Right from the whistle, you could feel the tension, the nerves and the overwhelming pride in every player standing on the pitch at the Butts Arena. With over 1000 fans and Bablake Old Boy Shane Geraghty (London Irish and England) watching, this would be the biggest crowd most of the players would ever entertain. The game started at an extremely fast pace, with everyone on the field wishing to impose their intentions on their opposite number in the first ten minutes. All nerves seemed to have evaporated as everyone knew what they were there for. The flow and tempo of the game were remarkable, however Bablake failed to convert their early pressure and possession, leaving the pitch at half time with only a three point penalty from Ollie Millerchip, as any proof of their hard work. Henrys, however, had tactfully managed to use the conditions in their favour and score both a try and a penalty. After inspirational talks by captain Andrew Hextall and coach Mr. Burdett, Bablake returned to the field, incensed at the scoreboard which read 8-3. We knew we had to keep up the pressure and dominate once more, only this time convert our possession into points. It was simple, fast, effective rugby which led to two unconverted tries by Hextall and Millerchip. Bablake was playing to its strengths, using the dominating forwards to secure the phases and the ball. When Henrys Number 8 was sent off, Bablake looked to be securing victory, however an electric, action-packed last 15 minutes saw Henrys gallantly fight back with 14 men and score a try in the corner to make the score 13-13. Bablake seemed to have run out of steam, and though we put up a valiant defence, we were camped within our own 22 and Henrys managed to slot a cunningly crafted drop goal. The cheers that echoed around the stadium and the Henrys team who had already begun celebrating what seemed to be an epic fightback, lit a spark in the tired legs of the Bablake XV. With seconds left on the clock, Bablake took a quick kick off and the forwards, playing with nothing but pride to fuel their last efforts, managed to turn over the ball. Time was running down. The backs were waiting patiently, wondering which one would try to bisect a gap and score? It was all on

this last phase of play on the opposing 10 metre line. The forwards pressed forward, constantly recycling possession. Still the back line waited for the pass. Who would buckle and drop the ball under pressure? Who would break the line and go for glory? Who would be caught in two minds and hesitate? The forwards piled through once more into a rolling maul from the 22 metre line. Clean ball here would surely be fizzed out to the backline. Yet the forwards gained momentum, wrestling the ball to the back of the maul. Cheers reverberated around the ground, as the previously disheartened Bablake crowd began to realise the opportunity that awaited. The blind side winger and fly half even abandoned their posts, it was all or nothing. If the maul went down, or the ball was dropped, all glory would be received by Henrys this year. As Andy Hextall took control from the back and steadied the wild rampage, the forwards crossed the 5 metre line. This was it, the last valiant effort to heave the maul over the line and secure a remarkable, gallant comeback. This was the last chance for many of the team on the pitch to beat their rivals and prove themselves to the 1000s watching. Andy crossed the line, securing his team’s victory and then proudly received the trophy from Shane Geraghty. What a game and being a part of that squad, playing in front of all my classmates, teachers and family, epitomized, for me, Bablake’s spirit and dedication.


Day 5

Netball Nationals

Mrs Gill Thomas & Lara Jackson Friday 15th March 2008. The U19 Squad headed off to Bournemouth For the National Schools Netball Finals. Full minibus, nine players and three staff. Four hours journeying for the fine weather to change to drizzle and cause a Fine mist to shroud the pier as we walked along the sea front. Thoughts From fathoms deep began to surface – warm up, opposition, advice, Faith in our preparation... Full breakfast – for most anyway. Fuelling bodies and minds for the demands of the day. Families travelling. Finally Sir David English Sports and Leisure Centre. Feelings of anticipation, excitement and fear. Final warm up... First game; faces etched with nerves waiting for the first whistle to be blown. Finger tip control and bodies stretched to the limit as two of the first three games saw us matched against the eventual finalists including Formidable Cardinal Newman College from the north-east. Following three defeats, the team showed their self-belief, true spirit and

Focused, disciplined, inspired play forced errors from the next five teams to restore the squad’s Faith in themselves and the wins then Flowed. Fantastic victories over St. Anthony’s, Beaconsfield, Hymers, Bishop Stopford and Flamboyant Millfield resulted from firm defending, fast attacking and Fabulous shooting. Not even the Fickle weather, changing from fine drizzle to heavy rain could dampen the resolve of the squad. Final whistle – waves of exhaustion, relief and immense pride. Fifth in the section, 10th equal in the country. Phenomenal achievement! From start to finish the girls were a pleasure to be with. We received Fantastic support from families, school, staff and friends. The players were Fine ambassadors for the school and were a credit to themselves and their families. Forget the occasion? Never. Was it Fitting reward for all the hard work in meeting the challenges throughout the season? From start to finish, September to March, Definitely – such was the journey. Few months to go until next visit?

Day 6

U18 Girls Midlands hockey Miss Vanessa Hawkins

Bablake battled through the county round of this competition and achieved the honour of representing Warwickshire in the next stage. The Midlands round was to be held at Rugby School, an all day event where the girls were competing against 10 teams also representing their county. The teams in our pool were Worksop College, Shrewsbury High, Bromsgrove School and Oakham School. All are very strong hockey schools recognised by their sporting excellence. Our results were as follows: vs Worksop WIN 2-0 vs Shrewsbury High WIN 3-0 vs Bromsgrove School LOST 0-1 vs Oakham School WIN 2-0 The games were only short being 20 minutes one way so we had to employ an attacking emphasis in each match. Lucy Horn and Holly Payne had scored some superb goals in the opening matches proving their international status. We were denied an equalising goal against Bromsgrove School when Sam Brindley deflected the ball into the goal, a touch the umpire failed to see. However, we still finished top of our pool section meaning we were drawn against Oundle in the semi finals. The match finished 0-0 meaning we were straight into penalty flicks. The girls were very experienced at penalty strokes and 5 of the team stepped up to take a flick. We eventually won on sudden death with Lucy Horn, Holly Payne and Lijana Kaziow scoring their strokes. The aim of the season for this Under 18 group was to reach this stage, the final, against Repton School who are 3 times National champions. The girls, led by Lisa Bird our captain, stepped up to the challenge that was ahead of them and performed well competing against international players. On the day they got the upper hand and won the final 1-0. This was the first time an Under 18 side has reached this far in this competition and every player did Bablake proud. Mrs Smith and Miss Hawkins have now started their preparations to make sure next year it’s Bablake representing the Midlands at the National Finals! bablake school



Day 7

House Sports day through the lens of Mr Rob Dougall For just the second time in five years, the weather held and Mr Rob Dougall was there to capture the excitement and pain.


the wheatleyan 2007/08


Athletics Boys’ Athletics Mr Rob Burdett There have again been some outstanding performances in boys athletics this term but unfortunately the teams have always been the bridesmaid and never the bride, finishing as runners up in the year 7, 8, Junior boys and Inter Coventry events. Dominic Ainsworth and Kilian Kleine were selected for the Coventry Cup in the 100m and shot. Dominic then proceeded to run a sub 11 second 100m and went on to represent the West Midlands. Suraj Majevadia was selected for the Coventry Junior boys in the high jump. The Shell team deserves particular mention for producing 6 individual Coventry champions: Richard Price in the 1000m, Lewis Marshall in the 600m, James Faulkner in the high jump and hurdles and James Tumber in the shot and javelin.

Girls’ Athletics Mrs Sue Smith The girls have had an excellent season which started with a new triangular fixture against Solihull School and Tudor Grange. Bablake performed well, particularly on the field and won both the Intermediate and Junior competitions. In the Coventry Schools Championships, Bablake took a clean sweep, winning the Intermediate, Junior, U14 & U13 trophies. Individual winners were Danielle Smith – shot, Alice O’Connor – 1500m, Pippa Collison – hurdles, Emily McNeice – 100m and 200m, Beth Evans – hurdles, Lucy Smith – shot, Olivia Harrison-Dodd – discus, Jodie Harvey– high jump, Ashleigh Green – javelin, Beth Jepson – shot, Vicky Aldridge – hurdles, Lucy Richards – hurdles, Rebecca Timms – 150m, Annabel Knight – 600m, Beth Morde – high jump and Lauren Carr – long jump. In the English Schools track and field competition, both the Intermediate and Junior team reached the Regional B final and both came 2nd out of 8 teams. Girls who competed for Coventry in the West Midlands this season have been Emily McNeice, Pippa Collison, Rebecca Pearce, Danielle Smith, Lucy Smith, Beth Evans, Olivia Harrison-Dodd, Kayleigh Herschell, Ashleigh Green and Jessica Horn. Well done to Olivia and Danielle on becoming

West Midlands champions in their events. Pippa Collison also represented West Midlands in the hepthalon and Rebecca Pearce in the javelin. Danielle Smith competed in the shot in the Mason Trophy and finished 3rd; unfortunately due to a planned holiday Danielle was unable to attend the English Schools. Following in her sister’s footsteps, Lucy Smith, threw 10.76m in the Junior shot to finish 2nd in the Mason trophy, reaching the English Schools standard. Lucy threw over 10m again in the English Schools to finish 5th overall, a fantastic achievement. The girls taking places above her were a year older than Lucy, so the expectations are high for her next season. Lucy’s hard work this year, including attending county training sessions at the High Performance Centre, Birmingham, has paid off. A big thank you to all the staff (Mrs. Friebe, Mrs. Mills, Mrs. Reed, Mrs. Thomas, Mr. Burdett and Mr. Hobday) and 6th form student Lijana Kaziow who helped train both boys and girls in their events on a Monday evening at the track and at lunch-times.

Children’s Games Emily McNeice Emily McNeice who competed in the Children’s Games in San Francisco this summer writes: Getting to the stadium was when I really started to feel nervous. Seeing everybody I was up against sent my heart racing with anticipation. I came 3rd in my 100m heat to get through to the next round. We had heats for the relay and we qualified for the final. For the second round of the 100m the stadium was full and the atmosphere was tense. I felt tired as our flight had been delayed 24 hours and I had not adjusted to the time change or had enough sleep. This reflected in my running and I was disappointed not to reach the semi-final, however I did finish 17th out of 80 people. All I had left was the 4 x 100m relay and when it came to it, I did not get the chance to run my leg as my team mates had dropped the baton so our team was disqualified. We knew we had a strong team and so decided the 4 x 400m was our last chance for a medal. I was so scared because I had never run this distance before. We were determined to do well as we had trained hard for these games. I was delighted when we came 3rd and received our bronze medals. bablake school



Cricket Twenty 20

Mr Mark Woodward

Bablake won its annual Twenty 20 competition beating Warwick School comfortably in the final. Played across two days, teams from Warwick, King Henry VIII, Lawrence Sheriff School (Rugby), King Edward’s Grammar School (Aston) and Nottingham High School as well as Bablake competed in a round robin format. Bablake and Warwick emerged as the finalists. Set 137 to win, Bablake achieved their target with the loss of only one wicket with their captain Paul Best scoring 87*. Paul proved to be the star batsman across the two days accumulating 353 runs, including a whirlwind 133* against Nottingham High School. But Bablake also benefited from having the leading wicket-taker in Mark Lam with 14 victims as well as the most economical bowler in Chris Walters whose 24 overs went at just over 4 runs an over. Deputy Head Chris Seeley said: “It has been a marvellous couple of days with some excellent cricket played at a very high standard. We are looking forward to hosting the tournament again next year.”

Ist Xl

Paul Best & Tom Jackson

The 1st XI enjoyed yet another successful season losing only 4 games. We won our Twenty 20 tournament convincingly and built upon the previous year’s achievements. The atmosphere produced by the team was both enjoyable to be a part of and a catalyst for the excellent performances produced. There were many outstanding contributions made by players with both bat and ball. The team had a good blend of youth and experience retaining 7 players from the previous summer exploits. To replace the big hitting of Brett Chatwin at the top of the order, Charlie Taylor stepped up well, the highlight of which was a boundary-filled 62* while chasing a total of 70. While he needed to be cautious with the pull shot, when not behind the stumps, his fielding at short extra cover earned his on-field nickname of ‘The Cat’. Emerging glove-man Elliot Bates’ safe, quick hands yielded many crucial stumpings and catches behind the wicket.


the wheatleyan 2007/08

Veteran left-armer tweaker Chris Walters had a fine season taking wickets galore and adding many useful contributions with the bat at the top of the innings. Mark Lam’s cunning dibblydobblies were once again often unplayable and more than one team also felt the wrath of his underestimated big hitting as he bullied deliveries over deep midwicket. James Mitchell, entering his second season as a 1st team player, again produced fine fielding displays at backward point to keep the batsmen (and our fielders alike) on their toes as well as impressing with his wristy, workmanlike batting. Tom Jackson’s straight bat once again found fine form as he drove his way to an impressive 82* against a strong Lions Team and he chipped in with many useful contributions with the ball either at a nagging medium pace or his ever-improving leg spin. Skipper Paul Best was a focal point all summer. A highly-rated captain, heading the batting with key innings like 138* against Nottingham High School, 87* against Warwick School and 83* against Solihull, he led by example. Lined up behind him, the team always had a genuine belief in its ability. Paul’s catchphrase ‘head up and back yourself’ summed up our season. Craig Lawlor added crucial experience to the ranks with his fine hands and athletic fielding. Tej Kalsi’s fast swing bowling was a revelation as he strangled sides at the top of the innings with his unerring accuracy. Adam Walters made extremely useful contributions with the bat both up and down the order while offering very good options with his tight bowling and excellent fielding. Ollie Manning made a huge impression to the team in the Twenty 20 tournament adding experience and team morale which was invaluable. The season was very much enjoyed by both players and coaches alike, especially with the Twenty 20 win. What was lacking in raw cricketing talent, was made up for in undeniable team spirit and morale and one of the 1st XI’s most successful seasons for a long time. The camaraderie, both on and off the field, aided by the genuine desire to train and pick ourselves up after a loss, was the most impressive aspect of the season and victory in the tournament rewarded this.



Alex Popplewell

The U15 season started well with promising performances against teams such as Aston Manor and Tudor Grange. Simon Godfrey was looking on top form with the bat, scoring runs with ease before a freak high jump injury stopped him in his tracks. Alex Popplewell took his cue, and began to score the runs Bablake was missing. His 50 and quite brilliant bowling from Morgan Baker and Ollie White brought a win against Cardinal Wiseman. An extraordinary game against Lawrence Sheriff followed: Bablake hit 193 off 20 overs with 50s from Popplewell and Kilian Kleine but Lawrence Sheriff knocked off the runs from just 14 overs. Another game against Newman saw Morgan Baker and Alex Newbold excel with the bat, Baker scoring a rapid 67 in an easy victory against an 8 man side. KES Camp Hill posed the next challenge and, after big 6s from Popplewell and Adam King, helped set a big target, Baker took wickets with his sheer pace and devastating swing. An unlikely hat-trick hero also emerged: Adam King. His unorthodox spin has a 100% wicket to balls bowled ratio, after these first 3 and most probably last 3 balls for the school side. The season ended on a low as the team slumped to defeat at the hands of KHVIII, despite some quality bowling from John Masser and Baker.


Richard Miles


Mr Jim Burns

The old saying about lies, damned lies and statistics certainly could not apply to the U12s this year. 12 wins out of 14, winners of the Coventry Cup, semi finalists in the Warwickshire Cup, plenty of runs and wickets from a variety of sources all suggest that the team had an outstanding season – and they would be correct. Only one team, Lawrence Sheriff, defeated Bablake and on both occasions those games were very close. The team was superbly led by the two Matthews, Clements as captain and Payne as vicecaptain. Both boys took wickets and scored runs at vital times as did Jack Webber and Chris Sewell. Other major contributors with the bat were Dominic Rae and Andrew Haughian, and with the ball Harry Pashley, Adam Clements, Will Kirkman and Nishant Patel. All of our bowlers ensured that the side had a varied and accurate attack that many sides could not cope with. James Hunter and Huw Edwards were also key members of the successful squad who contributed for both A and B teams. Highlights of the season undoubtedly were the crushing victory at Warwick School, bowling Bishop Vesey out for 36 at Sutton Coldfield and the many exciting victories “on the road” in the Warwickshire cup. However the most pleasing aspect of the summer was the enthusiasm that the team and the band of loyal parents who followed them brought to every match. The future of Bablake Cricket looks very bright in the hands of these boys.

We did not have the best of seasons but there were some high points: the Coventry Schools cup final; good batting from Ben Cooper in a hard game against Warwick; a few good knocks and excellent cover and point fielding from Will Kenney-Herbert; and also a good 50 from promising keeper Will Vines against Kineton. Will Newcombe, with his crafty singles, did well opening the batting with hard-hitting all-rounder Josh Buggea. There was also some excellent bowling from Ben Davies, Devpal Kalsi, Charlie Mulhall and Matt Smith.


Ryan Parnell

Overall another great year for the U13s, as we lost just 3 games. With great team spirit developing over the season, we won the Coventry Schools cup. Talented cricketer Mark Best saw us to a 9 wicket win. The team also reached the semi-final of the Warwickshire Cup beating teams like King Edward’s, Aston thanks to posting some challenging totals. The semi-final was close but despite Matthew Clements scoring a fine 44, King Edward’s Birmingham bowled very tightly for a win. Notable performances included Hugh Kenney-Herbert making 32 against Princethorpe, David Fish taking five wickets against Woodlands, Ryan Parnell making three 50s and grabbing a 5 wicket haul and Mark Best making two 50s and an amazing unbeaten century against Woodlands. Well done to Mark Best making it into Warwickshire and Midlands reserves, and Ryan Parnell on selection for Coventry District. Things are looking bright for the next season.

bablake school



Hockey Boys’ 1st Xl

Peter Sidwell

The team had a very successful season, only losing 4 home matches. The season started well beating a strong Warwick side 4-0 and drawing 2-2 with Solihull. The 1st team squad then headed to Gibraltar for a very warm and enjoyable short tour where it won, drew and lost a game: the highlight a draw against the Gibraltarian U21s. We were unlucky not to beat rivals KHVIII, drawing 1-1, and were then knocked out of the county cup, losing 5-2 to Warwick in a match where nothing went our way. The toughest game of their season was just before the Christmas break against a Bromsgrove team containing German internationals and a couple of strong English players too! Though losing 5-3, we were never outclassed and showed great spirit, battling under severe pressure during the 2nd half. The 2nd term of the season produced a battling win against Worcester and a slightly weakened side was very unlucky to lose 2-1 to KHVIII. The final home fixture against Solihull summed up the season: a strong performance in which the team worked and battled hard together, but lost 2-1. The team’s leading goal scorer was Chris Popplewell with 20 goals and his drag flicks proved to be a priceless and sometimes accurate weapon. Many thanks to Mr Johnson for all his work this season; he will be sorely missed by the young team that will be developing next year.

Boys’ 2nd Xl

Matt Fellows

It has been a season of mixed results. The scores ranged from a 5-1 victory over KHVIII to a 6-0 loss to Solihull. The players worked together very well, with some exceptional performances from Robin White, Luke Horvath, Saawan Patel and Tom Hine. Chris Reynolds showed a few original moves that helped during some of the matches and Joe McKenna, whilst a late addition to the team, scored several key goals. Oliver George, the team goalkeeper, had some very good performances and Kenny Sangha organised the defence skilfully. I’m sure that next season the player’s performance will only improve; many players have the potential to move into the first team.


the wheatleyan 2007/08

Boys’ 3rd Xl

Mr Michael Johnson

This year has seen a new squad emerge from talented 5th and 6th year pupils. They proved both a challenge and a sporting host to the opposing teams and, although not all games were won, they kept their heads high and were victorious in terms of high spirit and good sportsmanship! There were also a lot of changes to the team –from promotions to demotions-but such commitment and bonding between team members allowed there to be an understanding of who played where and how to change strategy according to the type of players on the pitch. Even during training, there was a great enthusiasm, especially in games against each other, for playing hockey and a definite improvement in all of the individuals, some of whom looked highly talented players. Many congratulations should go to the whole team as this is how they played- as a team. They should be very proud of themselves and were a pleasure to coach. Special thanks should go to Mr Bunce and Mr Rhodes for supporting, training and transporting the team through thick and thin! I wish all players the very best and good luck in the future.


Boys’ U15

Alex Popplewell

Bablake U15s enjoyed a varied season of results this year, with both high and low points throughout the season. The team, strengthened by new additions to the squad, suffered heavy defeats against the likes of Warwick and Solihull with much more experienced squads but did manage several well earned victories against strong opposition like KES Camp Hill, Nottingham and latterly against Princethorpe whom we beat 5-1 with 4 goals from Alex Popplewell. This season goals came from Dec Jones, Alex Popplewell and Oliver White with good supporting from Eddie Owen and Jay Brahach. Our defence was marshalled consistently by performers such as Ben Maudsley, Arandeep Banwait, Paul Wilson and Adam Pitt, with good goalkeeping from Daley Gavin. Thanks go to Simon Godfrey who stepped in to deputise in goal for the last game of the season and produced a very competent display. All in all, the team show promise for 1st and 2nd team places next year and no doubt the performances will further improve.

This was a much tougher season for the U14s. We played against some much better teams than last season and they all seemed physically bigger than us. We were also knocked out of the Warwickshire Trophy in the first round on penalty flicks by KHVIII. However that did not stop us from playing fantastic hockey at times. Perhaps our best moment of the season was against the extremely good Warwick team where, thanks to four goals from Will Newcombe, great last ditch defending and fine keeping from Samy Shebl, we held onto a 4-3 lead. Another highlight was the 7-1 win against Queen Mary’s, Walsall. Everything seemed to click in this game and we dominated the possession and converted our chances. We went through a tough patch in the middle of the season losing 6 games on the trot. During this period we were constantly outmatched physically and mentally and the team spirit was very low. Towards the end of this period the team sat down and discussed how we could improve our team spirit. As a result we finished our last three games of the season on a high. Congratulations go to the whole squad including Ben Charlesworth, Joe Jenkins, Chris Abrahams, Will Vines and Callum McDonagh who played for the As for the first time. Will KenneyHerbert and Charlie Mulhall are congratulated for Warwickshire U15 and U13 representation.

only conceding 2 goals in the whole tournament. After beating Princethorpe 2-0 in the final, we progressed through to the Midland final at Cannock. We won our first two group games 1-0 and 2-0, but then lost our last group game against Cannock. This meant we qualified for the semi-finals but had to play the top team from the other group, Trent College. They were a strong team and though we played some great hockey, eventually they scored from a short corner. This was hugely disappointing for all of us but we won the 3rd/4th play off against Cannock, a game that went down to penalty flicks with Hugh Kenney-Herbert, Mark Best and Ronan Jones all scoring their flicks. This was a great way to finish the season. We had commanding defensive players in Ben Evans, Hugh Kenney-Herbert, Emile Pokoj, Suraj Majevadia, Matt Corden and Matt Hollinrake. Ronan Jones, Karan Pankhania, Simeon Blake-Hall, Dhyan Patel and Shell Jack Webber controlled the middle while our attack was quick and nimble with Mark Best, Tom Bird and Chris Sewell providing us with pace and goals aplenty. Our biggest strength was in goal: Jake Basra, a Midlands player, letting very few past him and getting us out of some very tight situations. Hugh Kenney-Herbert, Jack Webber and Jake Basra were chosen for the county squads whilst Jake Basra also got chosen for the Midlands squad. Overall the season was a great success and we would like to thank Mr Johnson and Mr Sutton for the superb coaching we received throughout.

Boys’ U13

Girls’ U18

Boys’ U14

Will Kenney-Herbert

Hugh Kenney-Herbert

This season had many positives. We started with a few games lessons and a few Friday night practices and within a few weeks had our first hockey game versus Warwick School. We won 8-0 with Mark Best scoring four. This set us off on a run in which we won or drew all our games up to Ratcliffe College. They were by far the biggest team we had played so far and had a few quick players; they proved too much for us in the end, and, due to some silly mistakes, we lost 2-0 which was very disappointing for us, but we kept on trying and improving. After this we enjoyed a great end of season win against a very strong Princethorpe team. Towards the end of the season we had the Warwickshire minis. The pressure was on us to repeat last year’s win and that is exactly what we did. We won all our games,

Miss Vanessa Hawkins

This year we started pre season training particularly early before term began. It was an ideal opportunity to get our top hockey players together and set some goals for the season ahead. Our main target was to progress to the final of the Midlands tournament and to compete for a National Schools Competition place. The squad played 20 matches over the course of the season. From these games the girls won 13, drew 5 and lost 2. We had a large squad of over 20 players meaning we were able to have a 1st and 2nd team squad. Captain, Lisa Bird was an organisational wizard and drove the team during their preparation for the county tournament, where they were a dominant force, winning in style. In the run up to the tournament, the squad was developing a structural base and sensing bablake school



how to play the game at pace, with discipline and determination. Both teams beat Solihull (6-0 and 8-0). We then drew against Oakham 2-2, beat Newcastle Under Lyme 4-0, Wrekin 6-2, King Edward’s Birmingham 2-0 and Bloxham 2-0. The Midlands tournament soon came around and the team continued to impress. The squad had a mixture of experience in Lisa Bird, Emily Power (Vice Captain), Ellie Donaldson, Bianca Phillips, Vicky Bolstridge, Izzy Moran, Lauren Newbury and Gerri Cassidy, combined with the talent of the youthful Holly Payne and Lucy Horn (England Internationals), Lauren Boon, Sam Brindley, Lauren Carpenter, Lijana Kaziow, Adelle Middleton, Ira Kleine, Charlotte Weaver and Roxy Ziaie. Rebecca Sewell also excelled and represented the 1st team a year young. The squad beat Oakham 2-0, Shrewsbury High 2-0 and Worksop College 3-0. Despite losing 1-0 to Bromsgrove, we secured a place in the semi-final as winners of our section. The semi-final was against Oundle, a very reputable hockey school. After extra time, the match was still at stalemate so we moved to penalty flicks. With all the girls scoring their flicks, we won 6-4. The final was against Repton, the national champions 5 years running! We had reached our aim for the season, a Midlands Schools Finals place against Repton School. The game was tight but Repton scored in the early minutes to secure the National Finals Place. Over the course of the season the girls learnt how team cohesion and hard work are a winning formula, and their results signified this. I have thoroughly enjoyed working with the senior group this year, and have had lots of laughs along the way so thank you all for your efforts and your humour. Good luck for the future girls.


the wheatleyan 2007/08

Girls’ U16

Rachel Hollinrake

Despite a difficult start to the season, the U16s developed individual team skills and were enthusiastic right up until their final match. For some it was their last year together so there was a definite emphasis on enjoying playing as a team. The U16 Warwickshire Hockey Tournament saw us draw every match against Twycross, Stratford Grammar and Rugby which took us through to the semifinals, where we lost to the eventual winners, King’s High, 1-0. Later in the season was the U16 Super 6s Tournament at Rugby School where we drew against both St. Edward’s and Wellingborough. Unfortunately we lost again to King’s High 1-0, but later in the season we drew 2-2 with them after a brilliant reverse stick goal from Becky Sewell. Some of the U16s formed a successful indoor hockey team and came 2nd in the Warwickshire Indoor Hockey Tournament. We progressed to the regional second round, where we faced tough opponents and were eventually knocked out by King’s High once again. Near the end of the season, the U16s won and drew against most of their opponents including Twycross, King’s Worcester , King’s High and Kingsley. There was also a 2-0 win against KHVIII. Congratulations to Becky Sewell who was selected for Warwickshire U17s and the Midlands this year.

Girls’ U15

Georgia Horn

The U15s enjoyed a reasonably successful year with victories in 10 out of 16 matches. The season started poorly with a 4-0 defeat against Oakham, but our determination to improve after this led to much better results. We won 5-1 versus Kenilworth with Alice O’Connor scoring a brace, had a 3-0 win at Newcastle-under-Lyme, beat King’s, Worcester 6-1 and defeated KHVIII 4-1. Forwards, Mia Leonard, Millie Ross, Roseanne Elkington and Aisling Flanagan, worked hard to create space and put away goals. Midfield players, Georgia Horn and Alice O’Connor, distributed the ball well and contributed to the goal tally, whilst Olivia Battle-Welch displayed excellent individual ball control. The early season 7-a-side Loughborough Festival produced 2 wins, 2 defeats and a draw, resulting in a 3rd place finish in our section. During this tournament Beki Wells made her goalkeeping debut and has proved to be a most useful addition to the starting line-up. After failing to make the Loughborough semi-finals, we were keen to improve and played consistently well in our remaining 10 matches. Regular attendance and concentration at practices contributed to raising our performance in matches. In defence, Emily Mason, Hannah Mulhern, Beth Sargent and Jemma Williams worked at their channelling and tackling, and were constantly encouraged by Shannon Thompson’s determination and effort in her role as sweeper. We only had two defeats in the remaining games and they were at the hands of our arch rivals King’s High, Warwick. At the end of year Warwickshire Schools tournament, Bablake finished runners up to King’s High, a result decided on the earlier results as the final was cancelled twice, firstly due to weather, and then because of a bombscare. Representative level: Georgia Horn also played hockey at county and Midlands development centres.


Girls’ U13

Mrs Chris Scott

The U13s had a pleasing season with some excellent results. Captained by Ashleigh Green, the girls proved their strength as a team by beating Solihull 4-0, Twycross 4-1, KHVIII 2-1 and the previously formidable King’s High 3-1. However, in the Bablake invitation tournament, we were inexplicably off form finishing only 5th in the A team tournament and 7th in the B team tournament. Later in the season the U13s reached the final of the Warwickshire Tournament by beating KHVIII 3-0 and drawing with Twycross 1-1. In the final, which was a triangular event, Bablake played superbly to beat Stratford Grammar 2-0 but then lost to Bilton Grange 0-2, thus finishing runners up. The final event of the season was the Warwickshire U13 Schools and Clubs mini 7-a-side tournament. Bablake won two of their matches, beating Coventry and North Warwickshire 2-1 and Nuneaton 5-0, but lost to Stratford Grammar 0-2 and Sutton 0-1. They eventually finished 3rd in their section. All in all, an exciting season. Attendance at practices was superb, as was commitment to the team. They will surely go on to be another formidable Bablake team.

Girls’ U12

Girls’ U14

Miss Vanessa Hawkins

The U14s started very well this year drawing their first match against Kenilworth and winning their next two against Solihull and Newcastle Under Lyme. Their county tournament came early, however this did not deter the girls from the challenge. Only 4 weeks into their hockey season, the team progressed to the final of the tournament losing narrowly to King’s High. The team then worked towards their ‘hockey marathon week’ where they had 3 games in one week. This was an excellent opportunity for the team to gather momentum and start to work through their weaknesses. The opposition was very tough too: Rugby, King’s High School and King’s Worcester. Despite missing the strong influence of Beth Evans, the girls fought hard losing two of the games and drawing one. During that week, though, the team developed much tactical game-play and went on to win their remaining 5 games, beating Twycross 3-1, KHVIII 6-1, Kenilworth 4-0, Princethorpe 1-0 and KHVIII again 4-1 to win the Coventry trophy. This team was very conscientious throughout the season giving 100% in effort, commitment to training and enthusiasm. Ashni Desai captained the side and developed as a competent leader. Alice Haywood, Rebecca Appleton and Beth Evans all displayed additional leadership qualities throughout the season. Ellie Hutchinson-James and Harriet Simmonds were the most improved players throughout the year and Emily Duerdin, Mandeep Kaur, Sophie Lilly, Georgina Mosley, Becky Pearce, Louise Poole and Katie Wainhouse all made exceptional contributions to the team. Special thanks go to Dr Archer for helping transport the team to their lunchtime practices.

Miss Vanessa Hawkins

This year the U12s had a few weeks’ preparation before their senior school hockey debut. In this time the team worked extremely hard on their individual skills, concentrating predominantly on their techniques for the basic skills. During this time it didn’t take too long to learn the names of the group, their birthdays and their favourite ice cream flavour! The players all brought their individual characters to the training field and certainly did not lack any of the attributes a hockey team require. They were enthusiastic, committed, lively and supportive of each other. The A and B teams combined had over 20 matches playing various opponents including the county champions, King’s High Warwick, Solihull, KHVIII, Twycross and Princethorpe. The A team was captained by Eleanor Davies and the B team by Philippa Chowne. The first match played was against strong opposition, King’s High, and the girls lost 5-1. They then faced Solihull where the As won 3-1 and the Bs lost, in a close fought match, 2-1. The girls then faced KHVIII; with the extra motivation of the local derby clash, the girls were victorious 6-3 and 2-0. Twycross then made the journey to our fields and thanks to excellent performances from captain Eleanor Davies and right winger Bethany Shaw were beaten heavily 7-0 by the As while the Bs drew 1-1. The team then faced KHVIII again and we made up 4 strong teams, testimony to the depth of talent in this age-group: the As lost narrowly 2-1, the Bs won 7-0, the Cs drew 1-1 and the Ds won 5-0. Alexa Goodyer played particularly well in her A team game driving the team on through the treacherous weather. The final challenge for this group was the Coventry tournament. The girls started well beating Kingsley 4-0 before drawing against Princethorpe and KHVIII 1-1. The team finished 2nd in the group, progressing to the semi-finals where they were beaten by the eventual winners, King’s High. Overall, the girls developed very quickly throughout the year and there is a very large pool of talent within this year. Special thanks go to Mrs Marchant for her contribution to the U12s this year. bablake school



Netball Seniors

Mrs Gill Thomas

With many of the senior netball players returning from a very successful tour of South Africa we looked forward to a demanding and challenging season. The challenges came in different forms – how to ensure all players who had ‘signed up’ were to be provided with a positive experience; rebuilding a 1st team squad to compete in the national competition, with only three of last year’s squad remaining; and overcoming injuries which travelled through the squads, demanding changes and adaptability from the players as well as time for healing. The season began with an ‘old girls’ game on the first Friday of term and we were pleased to welcome back players from the past who showed that their skills were still sharp and, in great spirit, provided an opportunity for some short friendly matches for everyone. There was a considerable amount of movement between and within squads in the first part of the season as several players were encouraged to try out new positions both by design and to cover for injuries. After two matches, three teams were entered in the Coventry Tournament, the 1st team squad emerging as winners and the 2nd and 3rd teams gaining valuable match experience against 1st team opposition. The 1st’s next goal was the area Triangular Tournament to gain entry to the West Midlands Regional Round of the National Schools’ Competition. This was played in November and Becki Stuart and Lauren Boon had returned from their injuries so the squad were able to enjoy a more consistent team selection. Despite a slow start, the squad won their section, scoring 58 goals and conceding only 21. In the semi-final they played Princethorpe College winning 8-5. They then entered a nerve wracking final against King Edward VI College Nuneaton. At the end of full time it was 10 all but in the five minutes extra-time Bablake pulled ahead to win 16-12. We had met our goal. The 2nd and 3rd teams meanwhile had gained great momentum and, prior to Christmas, had lost only two of their friendly fixtures, one against Wolverhampton Grammar School 1st VII, who had qualified for the West Midlands finals. There were excellent wins against Old Swinford’s 23-6, Sutton College 35-17 and Solihull 6th Form College 45-26. With AS/A2 exams looming, it was difficult to find opposition to give the 1st team squad match practice in preparation for the West Midlands Tournament. The girls had trained very hard, but with only two matches before the tournament, we weren’t sure how sharp we would be. If the nerves weren’t stretched enough, this day certainly extended them to new lengths. It was a rather nervous start and in nearly all the games we found it difficult to establish a good half-time lead. However the team moved up a gear in the 2nd half of the first four games recording good victories over Hereford VI Form College 10-3, Wolverhampton GS 11-8, Bishop Vesey 12-2 and Shrewsbury High 12-5. City of Stoke then upset the winning streak (8-10) and it was the game against Bromsgrove which was to determine our fate as to whether we would reach the semi-finals.


the wheatleyan 2007/08

Much to everyone’s relief, having been 2-4 down, we emerged as 10-6 winners. We were then faced with a tough semi-final against Newcastle-under-Lyme. Down 4-7 at half time the team fought back to 12 all at full time. Two minutes extra time each way and we were still level and then with the golden goal rule, the nerves were stretched again until, finally, Meisha clinched the goal to win 16-15. The players who on at least two previous occasions had reached the semi-finals (only to be beaten and denied a place at the National Finals) had at last reached their goal. In the delirium the final was almost forgotten but it had to be played, and having lost Becki Stuart and Lauren Boon to injury within the first three minutes, we were 2-7 down at half time. A magnificent effort in the second half saw the team pull back to 10-11 but, having realised their dream, no-one seemed too disappointed to be runners up. Following this tournament the 2nd team, having lost three games, one to KHVIII 1st VII, regained their winning ways and were victorious in the remainder of their matches, bar one. It is difficult to find matches of a good standard for the 2nd and 3rd teams but they were a talented group and all worked tirelessly throughout the season to improve their skills, ‘push’ the 1st team along and develop their tactical awareness of the game. They notched up impressive wins against Wolverhampton GS, Solihull and Warwickshire College. The visit of Parel Vallei High School allowed some of the girls to reacquaint themselves with players from South Africa. Thank you to the girls and those families who hosted our visitors and to all players who committed to a rather late, cold evening during the exam period to play. It was a different style of netball with an element of enthusiastic contact but the staff and girls enjoyed their visit and were extremely grateful to everyone for being made to feel so welcome, particularly by their hosts. Whilst the 2nds were continuing to impress, the 1st team squad was looking towards building for the National Schools Finals. Although training hard, games were proving difficult to find and cancellations added to the problem. However we were very grateful to Princethorpe, Greyfriars Netball Club and King Edward VI College Stourbridge for coming to our aid and we had three really good sessions of netball. The report of the Nationals is documented earlier in the Sports section but suffice to say the girls were a credit to themselves, the school and their families in every respect.


It was unfortunate that the weather turned at the end of the season and the Dominique Matthews Tournament for the 2nd and 3rd teams had to be cancelled. The 1st and 2nd team squads played in the end of season West Midlands Colleges South Tournament. The 2nd team found it difficult drawing three 1st VII teams in their section and they were placed 3rd in their group, which was most creditable. For the 1st team, it was a tournament too far in some respects. They won their section and then met King Edward’s Stourbridge and Old Swinford in the three way play off. Despite injuries (again!) they beat Old Swinford but lost to King Edward’s and were therefore runners up. The results of the Colleges’ League showed both teams as runners up of their respective groups – a fine achievement. All in all it was an extremely busy but fantastic season and was testimony to the commitment, dedication and hard work of all the players. 26 players started the season and 26 were still there at the end – that in itself speaks volumes about the character of the girls. To Becki, Meisha, Abby, Ellie, Laura, Lara, Lisa and Liz, thank you for your valuable and continued contributions to Bablake netball over seven years – it was a pleasure working with you and we wish you every success in the future. To Lauren B, Alice, Becky, Charlotte, Ira, Jo, Kendal, Lara, Laura, Lauren C, Lijana, Orlaith, Natalie, Puja, Roxy, Sareena, Selina, and Siobhan, thank you for all you have contributed this year. Your positive approach as a group and desire to improve saw you all compete effectively at senior level and we look forward to an equally enjoyable and successful season next year. Thank you also to Mrs Friebe for her invaluable coaching and input to the senior teams and to Mrs Smith for her support. Finally thank you to Becki and Meisha, and Liz and Lara for their excellent leadership as captains and vice-captains of the 1st and 2nd team squads respectively.


Mrs Chris Scott

We started the season with a great trip to Millfield. Although we lost 17-19, that was the smallest losing margin for some years. In our first home match against Kenilworth we drew 14-14, and it showed our improvement when we beat them later on in the season. We won the U14 Coventry Tournament, winning all our games, scoring 78 goals and conceding 20. In the next round we won the Warwickshire Tournament beating Higham Lane on goal difference. The West Midlands Tournament was a fun day, despite the cold, and we came 3rd in our section, unfortunately not enough to play in the semis. In the Bromsgrove Tournament we also came 3rd in our section, winning 3, losing 3 and drawing 1. We played some strong teams and the teams played well. We had a great record over the season, wining 24, losing 9 and drawing 2 out of the 35 games we played. Also, we were undefeated against certain local rivals! The B team won the Round Robin Coventry Tournament and had excellent wins over Millfield School 24-9 and Solihull School 18-9. Out of their 15 games, they won 12, drew 2 and lost only 1.

U13 As

Beth Jepson

We had a very successful season winning 24 out of our 29 matches, including King’s High, Nottingham High and Loughborough High. We were the winners of the Loughborough Festival and finished runners up in the Foremarke Invitation Tournament to Bromsgrove. Shooters, Lucy Smith, Ashleigh Green and Victoria Aldridge scored 336 goals between them, while Jodie Harvey and Beth Jepson only had 146 goals scored against them. At the end of the season the Coventry tournament was played at Tile Hill Wood. We came through the group stage conceding only 1 goal and scoring 42, showing equal strengths in both attack and defence with good centre court play from Ashleigh Green, Erin Hushon and Jennifer Reay. In the semi-final against Tile Hill Wood, we won 8-2. Continued good play led to victory against KHVIII in the final. Let’s hope we are as successful next season. Warwickshire county players: Victoria Aldridge, Ashleigh Green, Erin Hushon, Beth Jepson and Jennifer Reay

U13 Bs

Maneesha Sehgal

We began well winning our first match against Loughborough High 10-6, but then lost to King’s High. However, we retained our confidence, winning our next five games, with the best score being 24-8 against Bilton Grange. In a match against Princethorpe, we won 15-4, despite it raining so hard that play had to stop. Towards the end of the season we lost again to King’s High 6-19, but this just made us push even harder for the Coventry Schools tournament where we were unbeaten, winning all five of our matches. We only conceded five goals throughout the tournament, with excellent defence from Charlotte Pinkham and Beth Rowland, while Maneesha Sehgal and Mia Davies scored 57 goals for us. Our best score was an impressive 17-0 against Cardinal Newman in just 14 minutes.

bablake school




Mrs Mandy Reed

After an enjoyable but rather unpredictable year, the U12s finished their season as runners up and winners of the U12 A & B Coventry Netball Tournaments respectively. All players worked extremely hard and showed great commitment to practices and matches. Without exception all have improved their individual skills and team play. For the As, fixtures started early in September and finished 3 tournaments and 15 matches later, at the end of the Spring Term. The team completed a season of mixed fortunes; their performance at the Loughborough Netball Festival was encouraging, they won 3 of the 4 games in their section, and qualified as 1 of the top four teams of the morning for the main tournament and, although they lost the remaining games, they can be proud of their achievement, especially as this was the first time they had played together as a team. Whilst new shooters were being established Bablake suffered several losses but team spirit remained high and work rate was always exemplary. The Spring Term saw a change in fortunes and a fine 13-3 victory over Princethorpe instilled confidence in preparation for the U12 Coventry Schools Tournament. The As defeated Cardinal Wiseman, Cardinal Newman, Coundon Court and Bluecoat to win their section and a semi final victory over Tile Hill Wood secured a place in the final against King Henry VIII. Our opponents took an early 3 goal lead which was reduced to 2 at half time. In the 2nd half, the Bablake team drew level at 6-6, with great determination they had several opportunities to take the lead but found themselves 6-7 down on the final whistle to finish as runners up after a superbly fought match. The Bs played confidently throughout the season to win 9 and draw 3 of their 15 games. Several players played matches for the As in addition to the B team. 16 pupils played in matches during the year. There were some fine victories, 18-3 v Tudor Hall, 10-2 v Princethorpe and 8-5 v KHVIII. In the Coventry Schools B Team Tournament they defeated all their opposition in a round robin tournament, scoring 31 goals and conceding only 5 to secure the winner’s trophy. A special mention to Mrs Friebe for her invaluable help during lunchtime practices and to Mrs Mills for her assistance at the U12 Tournament. I wish all players future success in their netball careers.


the wheatleyan 2007/08

Rugby 1st XV

Mr Rob Burdett

Led by the outstanding trio of Andrew Hextall, Mark Lam and Oliver Millerchip, the 1st XV again had a successful season. The team recorded a number of outstanding victories including those against Malvern, Bishop Vesey, King Edward’s Birmingham- a tense 7-6 win, Solihull and Shrewsbury. The most dramatic of all, the last minute win against KHVIII, is described earlier in the Sport Section, but all of the players should be congratulated on an outstanding effort and the crowd should be thanked for the vocal, well mannered and positive support. There were disappointments during the season, not least the early exit from the Daily Mail competition, but overall the team should be extremely proud of their performances. At the heart of all things good was the strong team ethic that the boys possessed. There was also a hard working, determined and resilient approach. The team had to dig deep to achieve all their successes, with captain Hextall often leading by example from the front. In the forwards he was ably supported by Bharat Joshi, Richard Parsley, Jeremy Riddell, the impressive Jamie Stefaniak and Dominic Watson. As a group they consistently guaranteed a steady supply of ball to the backs whilst working hard to defend, turnover opposition ball and generally disrupt. Further support came from Daniel Jack, Andrew Thomason and Charlie Taylor. A cutting edge in the backs was supplied by Paul Best, Oliver Millerchip, Simon Hancox, Neil Simmonds and of course, Sam Bristow, Gavin Harman, Ross Harrison and Rhys Horton provided further support. Kai Hartshorn had high hopes of an international cap after being selected for the England U16 training squad. After originally being selected in the Midlands squad Kai actually represented London and the South East in the divisional festival against the Midlands and the North. Furthermore Kai then represented the North of England in the final England trial. Unfortunately Kai was unable to win his cap due to injury, but this should not detract from an excellent achievement. Max Goodyer should also be congratulated on representing the Midlands at U16 level against London and the South East. He was also selected for the Scottish Exiles U16 squad with hearty encouragement from Mr Wilson! I would like to sincerely thank all of the senior rugby players for their outstanding approach throughout the season.


2nd XV

Mr Andrew Hall

This season was again a very successful one with only a handful of losses throughout the whole of the year. The first few games saw us conceding very few tries and putting weaker sides to the sword. Unfortunately we were victims of our own success and several players were quickly moved up into the 1st XV. This seasonal occurrence allowed us to introduce several 5th Years. To their credit they stepped up and proved hungry for game time. Harry Gogarty, Toby Donaldson, Neil Simmonds, Alex Myers et al all took the opportunity to shine, whilst the grizzly old stalwarts from the 6th Form provided the nouse and bulk. Dan Beech, Sam Clarke and James Mitchell were three of these who could not be faulted for both commitment and versatility.

Sam Jack and Alex Popplewell (in the forwards) and Adam King, Charlie Ladbury, John Masser and Ollie White, we were confident of victory against strong opposition. However, when the Princethorpe fixture came around, we were missing key players like Kilian Kleine. After the Christmas holiday, Bablake faced the Coventry trials, and out of everyone who tried out, Morgan Baker, Sam Jack, Kilian Kliene, Adam King, Alex Popplewell and William Thornhill were selected. Our semi-final match against Woodlands in the Coventry Cup turned out to be quite exciting but unfortunately ended up in a loss. However the U15 team were determined to end the season on a high so a week later they went to the Solihull 7s tournament which included some tough teams like Warwick. The U15 team played amazingly well and won all their matches including versus Warwick 22-0 in the final.



Chuka Ogbuneke

The season started off really well with a lot of victories, including a narrow win against Wellingborough and 2 wins in the Daily Mail Cup. We won all of our matches in that first half term but could not rest until after just one more match against John Cleveland College in the Daily Mail cup. Though determined and up for the challenge, unluckily we lost the match by 4 points. With Bablake playing really well with players like Morgan Baker,

Ben Cooper

WOW! What a season and what a huge improvement for the Bablake U14s side. The season started with a great win against Malvern School, Bablake ending up being victorious, very convincingly, 66-0. The season carried on progressing with a handful of very good wins, including a 48-5 win over Lawrence Sheriff, even though Bablake had many players out of position, on a bitterly cold morning. bablake school



Perhaps Bablake’s toughest game was against Wellingborough, with Bablake going down 15-14 until the last kick of the game, when Ben Cooper kicked a penalty to steal the match 17-15. Bablake only lost one game, which was a very tough defeat against Nottingham, but Bablake had a lot of key players injured prior to and during that game. The Coventry Cup was again very successful, with Bablake winning a very tough encounter with Coundon Court en route to the final 5-0. Bablake managed to better last year’s disappointing final defeat with a draw. Bablake was 12-0 down at half time, even though we had defended very well with some huge hits going in from Richard Synnott and Ben Davies. Bablake managed to score two tries in the second half, thanks to Joshua Buggea and Richard Synnott. However Bablake’s hard work could not be rewarded, as they could not manage to score again, the match ending 12-12. So the cup was shared; hopefully next season can be third time lucky. Well done to the lads. A big thank you to Mr Tyas and Mr Lang for all their help and support over the past two years; the team is very grateful for all your hard work. The team had great success with a large selection of the team being selected for the Coventry district side, and five of the boys being selected to play for Warwickshire: District Players – Josh Buggea, Ben Cooper, Sam Cooper, Ben Davies, Tom Lane ,Shaquille Magee, Richard Miles, Enyi Ogbuneke, Will Sibley, Richard Synnott. County Players – Josh Buggea, Ben Cooper, Ben Davies, Will Sibley, Richard Synnott.


Dr Patrick Knight

We struggled only winning twice all season. Statistics can be misleading but unfortunately these statistics do reveal a true story. So what went wrong? If I were Sir Alex Ferguson, then I’d blame all the referees. If I were Arsene Wenger, then I’d say that I couldn’t comment because I didn’t see any of the opposition tries so therefore they couldn’t have happened. If I were Avram Grant – well... are you still concentrating there? Actually, the truth is that many of the sides we played were just physically much bigger than us. We played with spirit; we improved as the season went on and we’re not a bad side. We just need to grow and then we’ll start to beat the opposition. Mr Seeley has checked the size of both the mums and dads involved and he’s confident that this will happen soon. In the meantime, we’ll keep training, playing with commitment and enthusiasm, improving our skills so that by this time next year we’ll be able to say that the statistics reveal that we are an improving side. In fairness to the team, they never stopped trying, and by the Easter term they had begun to gain some ball, and scored some exhilarating tries which drew warm applause from spectators and coaches alike. In the Coventry Cup we were narrowly beaten by Coundon Court but could easily have sneaked the result. Aspects of our game that showed definite signs of improvement included the loose play in the forwards with a lot more initiative and stronger body positions and better defence, especially tackling, in the later fixtures. The approach to matches and training was very good for a select ‘hard core’, but for some players it took rather a long while to develop a mature approach. We are looking forward to building up our strength, teamwork and stamina next season because we know that we have shown the potential for some very good rugby.


the wheatleyan 2007/08


Mr Mark Woodward Last year’s promise and spirit was aided by the addition of four outstanding L6th footballers in Adam Pearman, Martyn Dawes, James Vickery and Andrew Moran, each in a key area, and a new technical director, Mr Grantham. We finally gave Coundon Court a decent game or two, losing narrowly on two occasions but gaining a draw in our final contest. This was the measure of our improvement. We scored goals merrily, in fact double figures twice, against teams that were weak, with Moran scoring five goals both times before half-time and a five minute Thomas Varley hat-trick to commend. The games we lost had calls for the aid of technology, but more vitally goals and excitement: 4-5 against Arden, an ideal example. If Sky Sports was looking for any school fixture to broadcast, we would have offered fine entertainment each week. The confidence gained from our victories and close contests inspired two particularly epic games which both ended 3-3, away from home. Against Princethorpe, we recovered from losing a goal almost before we realised the game had started, led 3-1 after a long range speculative shot from captain Lewis Edwards, missed an open goal for 4-1 and eventually conceded two goals in the final five minutes amid fierce pressure from the home team, but it was still a fantastic team performance. The second thriller was against Old Swinford Hospital who had faced our goal onslaught and were playing for pride. With county/district/1st team players added as the game developed, it was our toughest game yet. Similar in pattern to Princethorpe, we went behind early, went ahead, then wonderfully, as Pearman stood commanding in goal, Sam Willacy stabbed a late equaliser. Goalkeeper turned goalscorer, Willacy bagged a brace even in one fixture after having performed heroically between the posts against North Leamington. Results were gained only through teamwork and spirit. Each week Deniz Kog ran his socks off, Dan McSorley charged down shot after shot, Will Hall marshalled the defence alongside young pretender Dawes, Craig Lawlor found his range as an emergency striker late on in games, Moran scored for fun, James Vickery distributed the ball imperiously in midfield, Kyle Green played an intelligent midfield role and occasionally Paul Wye converted an open goal!



Junior Open success Chris Reynold is a keen golfer and a member of Maxstoke Golf Club. He has impressively reduced his handicap from 13 to 6 and two monthly medals. Chris shot four over at Maxstoke Junior Open to finish an esteemed second place. His recent success follows a childhood of playing golf and in recent years he has also won the Harold Whittle Bowl and the Silver Medal.


Mrs Chris Scott & Mrs Mandy Reed

In the Coventry Schools’ Doubles Tournament, Bablake reached the finals of three out of the four tournaments. The U14A trophy was won by Jonine Bains and Alice Hayward, while the U14 B tournament was won by Alex Clark and Becky Appleton. Olivia Battle-Welch and Georgia Horn were runners up in the U15B tournament. Unfortunately, due to exceptionally bad weather in June, the Coventry Schools’ Singles Tournament did not take place. However Bablake entered the National Team Tennis Event giving girls the opportunity to play competitive singles and doubles. The U15s performed very well beating Kenilworth, Kingsley and King’s High. Meanwhile the U13s beat Kenilworth, KHVIII, and Kingsley. Both Bablake teams finished second in the area. A series of friendly matches was also played offering the chance of competitive tennis to a wider range of players. Attendance at practices is always good and in such a short term it is sometimes hard to give everyone the opportunity to play other schools. The seniors’ season is exceptionally short with the start of the examination period. The highlight of the practices was a mixed tournament with strawberries as if we were at Wimbledon. Several of the senior players now play league tennis outside school in the Coventry and District adult league. The U12 tennis team has made an impressive start, winning three of their four matches. They defeated KHVIII 51 -41 games, Twycross 3-1 sets, Princethorpe 10 – 6 sets but lost to a strong Edgbaston High side. 12 pupils played for the team, and although most games were doubles, some girls were fortunate to play short court singles. Thank you to all the players for their commitment during the season and to Mrs Mills for her assistance at lunchtime practices. Philip Catherall has maintained his relentlessly high standard of tennis this year, reducing his rating and reaching as high as number six in the County at U16. The highlights of his season include winning performances at Stratford, Tipton and Leicester. Numerous wins at ratings events at Esporta Warwickshire have capped a very successful season!

Rounders U15

Aisling Flanagan

We had a good start to the season by winning our first match against Princethorpe 17.5 to 3. Victories then came against Kingsley 26.5 to 18.5 and King Edward VI High School 18 to 4.5. Unfortunately we could not hold our form with our fielding when we played KHVIII and lost narrowly 17.5 to 19.5 with the final rounder conceded after a clash between Shannon Thompson and Rebecca Wells going for the same catch. In the Coventry schools tournament, our first game was against Coundon Court which we won 8 -2. Charlotte Mosley as bowler, Rebecca Wells at backstop and Shannon Thompson at 1st base made an excellent combination and got the opposition out very quickly. Georgia Horn, Olivia Battle-Welch and Alice O’Connor displayed their batting skills against Tile Hill Wood to win 10.5 to 2.5. After that game we played Cardinal Newman in a close game where strong fielding from Lizzie Stubbington, Aisling Flanagan and Mia Leonard ensured a 6-4 victory. Lizzie had her wrist in plaster, but that was not going to stop her from playing rounders! Pippa Collison and Hannah Mulhern both played well against Bluecoat to win 13.5 to 4 and we beat Stoke Park 14 – 2.5. The last match was against KHVIII; we were determined not to lose and had planned our tactics for fielding. Bablake put on an excellent team performance, winning the game 12 – 9.5, and the tournament overall.


Mrs Chris Scott

The rounders team enjoyed a very successful season. A total of28 girls regularly attended practices, meaning that each place in the school team was actively competed for and the disruption of forms going to Fousseau hardly affected the fixtures. This was quite a luxury. We were also able to play some B team fixtures. The girls enjoyed excellent results in all their matches with pleasing victories against Princethorpe, King’s High and KHVIII. In the Coventry Schools’ Tournament, Bablake won all their section matches convincingly. The semi final against Cardinal Newman School was a nail biting match which Bablake won by one rounder, putting them into the final to face KHVIII. The final was also a very close match with excellent fielding and batting by both teams. Bablake eventually won the match and the tournament on the last ball. Well done to everyone who took part in teams and practices this season.

bablake school



former students The Former Pupils’ Association is always looking for new members. If you attended Bablake (or King Henry VIII), then for a small amount each year, you can become an official member. The membership cost goes towards the running cost of The Old Boys’ Club, where you are always welcome. We also have rugby, football and cricket sporting subsections. Membership also entitles you to a free copy of the school magazine and you will receive regular updates on what is happening within the association and at the school. Please contact one of the following, for more information or to become a member: Alan Partridge: 024 7667 9095 Dean Bryant: 077 1287 7772 Former Pupils’ Association Officers President: Bob Beere Chairman: Geoff Eames Secretary: Graham Paine Treasurer: David Edwards Membership Secretary: Alan Partridge Management Committee: Dean Bryant, Geoff Clamp, Mick Hibbert, Ivor Lee, Ted McQuillan, Simon Miles, Dave Parnell, James Paxton, Dave Stidworthy, Brad Thompson, John Watson Sage and Wyley Scholarships The Trustees of the Coventry School Foundation Prizes Fund invite applications for: » The Sage Scholarship: tenable in any subject by a former pupil of the school at any university, college or other institute of further education (including professional and technical education) approved by the trustees. » The Colonel Sir W F Wyley Scholarship: similarly available to former pupils but restricted to those studying science subjects. The Trustees envisage offering assistance towards the cost of projects, expeditions or travel relevant to an applicant’s subject of study. Application should be made in writing to the Headmaster, Mr John W Watson, giving full details of the purpose for which a scholarship is being sought.


the wheatleyan 2007/08

Edited by kate byrne & tej kalsi

With thanks to Mr Geoff Clamp and Mrs Laura Baines (Bablake Reunited).


Grapevine 100 Ivor Lee and all that jazz 101 Call the doctor 102 Pride in the green beret 103


Obituaries CathArine Parker (1993–2000) Mark Edwards, Jenny Briggs, Edward Preston

Harvey Antrobus (1991–1998) Adapted from William Antrobus’ oration “And when he shall die, take him and cut him out in little stars, and he will make the face of heaven so fine that all the world will be in love with night.” (Shakespeare) Harvey was a warm, thoughtful, self-contained young man whose parents and brothers are justly proud of his achievements and considerate character. His energy lit up any room and he is sorely missed by his family, girlfriend Zoe, his dog Bede and many friends. There are many cherished memories from family holidays of Harvey’s gentle antics that now help warm hearts that are devastated by his death at such a young age. Sometimes the good die young and while there was so much more to live, Harvey was living every moment and opportunity. At Bablake, Harvey had enjoyed rugby, squash and badminton, had a close circle of friends and is remembered as a student who would dig beneath the surface of a question or statement. Merely accepting a fact or theory did not give enough intellectual satisfaction! A keen interest in engineering was evident throughout his life – from energetic early morning tree house construction at the age of 6, through to his graduation in Aeronautical Engineering at Coventry University and consequent employment at Coventry’s airport. Harvey was dedicated to his work and fortunate enough to find a job that was also his passion. He met challenges scientifically and logically. In fact, nothing was too difficult; there simply had to be a solution. Farming too was close to his heart and he had already acquired land to harvest and cattle to farm. Harvey’s trademark was his opentop Land Rover. Even those who did not know him personally knew him by his Land Rover and the ready wave and smile. He was heavily committed to Young Farmers and an established DJ for events. Harvey had grown very close to his girlfriend Zoe. He was somebody very special whose relationship with his brothers Richard and Charles was also strong. His parents, William and Stella share the memory of the banter, the honesty, the sense of fun and yet that lovely caring kindness the three brothers shared throughout their lives. Everyone who was close to Harvey has lost a dear friend who had a terrific impact on their life. Harvey was handsome, kind, caring, compassionate, strong and inspirational. His achievements and legacy speak loudly. Many of you will remember the news of the mid air collision over Coombe Abbey on August 17th 2008 in which Harvey lost his life. His passion was flying and aircraft and he died doing what he loved.

Catharine joined Bablake as a member of Shell J. She enjoyed her time at the school, making full use of the opportunities available, and even taught a maths lesson on one occasion! She was an active member of the music department, as a singer and cellist, touring with the school several times. At Bablake, Cat developed a passion for Geography and furthered her interest with a degree in that subject from Durham. At university, Cat also developed her shopping skills and discerning taste in shoes and handbags, excellent training for her initial graduate post at Harrods. She then progressed into the world of finance, qualifying as an accountant with KPMG and later working for UBS. Cat was an endless source of fun and amusement, with her bubbly personality and witty comments. Sadly, Cat died suddenly in her sleep earlier this year but will remain fondly in our thoughts. Her memory lives on with an Epilepsy Research UK memorial fund ( Deepesh Patel (1996–2003) Shekar Venkataraman Deepesh was a warm and sincere friend to all who knew him and his loss is something that I can’t fully express in words. The majority of the 10 years for which I knew him was during our time at Bablake and my memories of Deepesh will forever be intertwined with the school in which we both grew from boys to men. He loved Bablake and the time he spent there, with the school leaving a mark that did not fade from his life. Bablake gave him an education which allowed him to achieve his goals of a career in the city but it provided him and all of us with so much more, a social circle of supportive friends that will never forget his memory. He maintained fond and funny memories of the school, both its teachers and students. He enjoyed his time at Bablake with the same gusto he brought to the rest of his life and this is how he will be remembered. He will be missed by many and forgotten by none. Also: John Carson (1938- 1944) Peter Gill (1941- 1948)

Erratum from 2006-07 issue: Michael Clare, son of Derek, died in 2001. In the next issue, we hope to report on a new Memorial Garden that is being constructed at Bablake. bablake school



grapevine Ana Arreola (2005–2007) Accepted for the course of her choice at the University of Michigan.

Amy Jones (1988–1995) Left the Art department at Coundon Court for a return to her alma mater.

Lucy Bassnett-McGuire (1984–1991) See News and Features for more.

Alex Kaye (2000–2007) See interview in Former Students.

Olivia Broadfield (1992–1999) See Performing Arts for more.

Rebecca Lenton (1984–1991) See Performing Arts for more.

Sarah Brown (nee Thompson) (1988–1995) No 2 in the Christmas Classic FM chart as part of the renowned Huddersfield Choral Society, singing Hark! The Herald Angels Sing.

Emily Morris (aka Amelia Tyler) (1992–1998) Voiceovers and continuity breaks for the sci-fi channel and lead role in short film.

Darren Carnall (1990–1995) See Performing Arts for more. Jonathan Cox (1996–1999) Another NUS president from Bablake. The third in the same year of office as those mentioned in last year’s issue. Martine Croxall (1981–1987) See News and Features for more. Richard Drury (2003–2005) More TV performances and still proud to have been in a Girls Aloud video! Ben Duffy (1986–1993) Booked up for weddings of his 1993 peers. Further glamorous assignments with Gail Emms, Ade Adebayor, Wayne Rooney and ran a photographic workshop in Saudi Arabia. Maggie Edwards (née Little) (1984–1986) Executive Officer of the Coventry Local Medical Committee, commented on how her whole family from her eldest brother (1959–1966) through to her son in the Shells had enjoyed the new Wheatleyan format. Phil Ewing (1971–1978) Director of Harrison, Beale and Owen, now President of the Warwickshire Society of Chartered Accountants. Wes Finch (1989–1994) Gigging and released album. Playing Warwick Arts Centre early 2009 with his Dirty Band. Daniel Friebe (1991–1998) Features editor at Pro Cycling and regular cycling correspondent for The Sunday Telegraph during the Tour De France. Shane Geraghty (1997-–2002) Bright moments for London Irish. International progress hampered by niggling injuries but selected for Martin Johnson’s elite squad. Proud guest of honour at the annual Bablake – KHVIII 1st XV fixture and honoured to be patron of the Down’s Syndrome charity. Alex Hill (1996–2003) Working as a freelance designer for his own company with the RNLA as a client. David Hill (1994–2001) Amateur bouts as a cage fighter. Looking at options on the professional circuit while pursuing a personal training course. Gary Hoffman (1972–1979) The Sky Blues vice-chairman presented our prizes for 2007-8 but will face a more daunting challenge when he becomes Chief Executive of Northern Rock.


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Jamie Parsley (1996–2003) Led PSHCE sessions on mental illness and took part in Stretch photoshoot. Law degree to start summer 2008. Various modelling assignments and bit part in Hollyoaks. Alan Pollock (Left 1980) One Night in November at the Belgrade. Helen Price (2005–2007) England elite squad and Wasps. Dr Donna Robilliard (1988–1995) Extra in Nativity. David Sheppard (1955–1963) Received his second doctorate (PhD from Leicester University). Settled in Allesley Park. Alex T Smith (1996–2003) Illustrator whose exclusive design adorned the Stretch Fashion issue eco bag. Home to be published in January 2009. Sophie Staniforth (nee Dyball) (1992–1999) Celebrated her marriage to Paul this summer. Lizzie Wallace (1996–2003) Making waves in Bollywood after completing degree in Northern Ireland. Alex Walsh Atkins (1984–1991) See interview in Former Students. Melissa Walton (2001–2006) Speaking part in BBC drama Filth: The Mary Whitehouse Story and leading role in government Safe Sex campaign advert. Hollyoaks! Captain Lucy Webster (1990–1996) Progress through the ranks of the Army and featured in recent Army promotion of women’s roles in the service. Adjutant, assisting the Commanding Officer for the Territorial Army Unit 40 Signals Regiment. Ryan Wells (1996–2001) See interview in Former Students. Speaking part in BBC drama Mary Whitehouse and government Safe Sex campaign. Congratulations to the following: Jed Bamber (1996–2003) Medicine and Surgery (Aberdeen) Kaleigh Howat (1998–2005) 2.1 in Theology (Durham). Rebecca Lane (1998–2005) Distinction in Physics 1st Public Examination at Hertford, Oxford. Colin Littlewood (1998–2005) 2.1 in History (York). Mark McKelvie (2000–2007) First Class in Medical Sciences Tripos. Luke Murphy (1998–2005) Class I in English Literature (Durham). Anna Seeley (2004–2006) First Class in Medical Tripos 2006-07.


Ivor Lee and all that jazz By Mr Pete Chambers, local musical authority and author whose weekly Backbeat column appears in the Coventry Telegraph Ivor Lee is one of those special kind of people that Coventry should be proud of. This is a man who loves his music, and Ivor’s music is jazz. He is a man on a mission and will do all he can to promote the genre in the city he lives. Jazz entered his life at the tender age of thirteen. ‘The BBC rarely featured jazz,’ he recalls. “The only programme I can remember was World of Jazz on a Saturday afternoon around the time of Sports Report. It was on because my dad was waiting for the football results. It was on that programme that I heard Anybody Hurt? by Gloria Wood and I became a jazz fan.’ He started to buy the Melody Maker and the Jazz Journal. In the back of the latter were listings of new releases from people like Sam ‘The Man’ Taylor, Louis Jordan and his Tympany Five and Moon Mullican Moondog. Even better than that were the comprehensive broadcast listings in the Melody Maker. ‘The best radio programme was RTF 1860 LW,’ Ivor reveals. ‘One hour of Gospel and on Sunday afternoon there was another 45 minutes of Dizzy, Miles and anybody else you cared to name. I would dash home from school in the dinner hour to hear Jack Dieval with Jumpin’ with Symphony Sid, a super catchy riff. But the very best was The Voice of America broadcasting on the 31 and 41 metre band. Four hours of jazz a night, year in, year out introduced by Willis Conover. No problem then for me to stop in and do my Technical College homework’. About 1962 after the Trad Boom, the more trite Rock and Roll acts began to take over followed by the likes of the Beatles, The Stones and Soul Music. Jazz was on the decline; I went to hear the Buddy Rich Band at the Hippodrome about 1968/69 and there were only 60 people in the upper circle. Buddy said: “You had better applaud or the band will come up and beat you up”, implying there was more folk in the band than in the audience. Finally in the 1970s I saw Blood, Sweat and Tears and War as a double bill. Only enough to

fill the first two rows of the front stalls bought tickets, the theatre closed the circles and brought us all down front. I sat with a reporter from the New Musical Express and he said if he had not seen it with his own eyes he would not have believed such poor attendance for such a fine programme. Ivor is still very much involved in promoting jazz, especially at The Corner Pocket Jazz club, based at Bablake Old Boys Club. He organises one jazz gig every second Tuesday in the month. Along with Paul Shilton (ex Bablake) he was also part of the committee that for a couple of years ran a successful Coventry Jazz Festival. I’ll leave the last words to Ivor himself: ‘I think it is good idea for musicians in the popular field to go and listen to jazz and blues more often. It did the Stones and their contemporaries no harm; there is a wealth of music in the jazz field to be found. Get to know the various styles. I suppose listen to as much live music as possible and then go and develop your own style. There is a shortage of brass players and often a brass band will have a storeroom full of unused instruments. It is a tradition of the brass bands that they teach for free; only commitment is required from the pupil.’

‘It was on that programme I heard Anybody Hurt? by Gloria Wood and I became a jazz fan’

bablake school



Call the doctor

Dr Francesca Kinsella (1992–1999) by Tej Kalsi Former school captain, Francesca has returned to Bablake a number of times either to offer advice to prospective medics at careers conventions or help with practice interviews for our U6th medics. From the staff reaction when she returned to talk to the Medical extension group this summer, it is clear she was a star student. Still playing netball at a very good level, learning Italian and even playing in her own band, the Arrythmics, she is now embarking on her medical career after what seems like one of the longest degrees on record. For most, Medicine is a long, gruelling process requiring lots of determination and intelligence right from the application for a place through to graduation and it is difficult to find time for other pursuits. Francesca knew she wanted to be a doctor at the age of 3 but was keen to enjoy every opportunity along the way on her medical degree at Birmingham. She spent three years on a PhD in Immunology, the highlight of which was a year in Seattlethe birthplace of so much good music that

University snapshot


the wheatleyan 2007/08

Francesca is a fan of. As for the 9 years, she ‘loved it’ all and says ‘it all went very quickly!’ I asked her: ‘Do you ever think about Bablake and what it would be like to be back here?’ She smiled at me and replied, ‘Well yes, initially, when I first started my degree. That’s the way that Bablake gets to you, it is a really great, nice place to be!’ We began talking about the application process for Medicine, as I myself want to study Medicine and needed some invaluable advice from someone who had been through the course. Francesca was happy to offer me lots of advice which I was extremely grateful for but I think the best piece of advice she gave was: ‘With Medicine, don’t feel you have to apply to one particular reputable university. Pick the university which offers a course that suits you. But there is less variation with the subject as the General Medical Council regulates course content across the country.’ She cheerfully said: ‘You will make it wherever you go. Medicine is a treadmill. Once you get on it, you don’t come off!

The treadmill just gets steeper and steeper but I am loving what I do!’ Francesca advised me if I wasn’t sure about Medicine that I could do a different degree first, like Chemistry, and then look at the Graduate conversion course. Now she has graduated, Francesca will most definitely not rest on her laurels. She still has plans for the near future; this could mean an academic or clinical career, a family and time to play more netball. Francesca, I wish you all the best in the future!

The Wheatleyan asked former student Nadia Garratt, editor of Stretch Issue 2 (1999–2006), now in her third year at Nottingham University, studying Politics, to offer some advice for those leaving school for university. ‘Firstly, I’d encourage you to explore your interests and cultivate some new ones but don’t go overboard; resist the urge to sign up to every single society that catches your eye, choose only those that you can feasibly make time for. Freshers’ Fayres will capitalise on your enthusiasm, so being selective will serve to avoid spending a needless fortune on membership fees in the first week. Secondly, if you’re not even vaguely domesticated, I’d suggest you get a little prepared. It helps to know the difference between the washing machine and the dryer The sudden freedom from parental shackles is likely to incite some heavy partying. Enjoy it, but at least try to exercise some self-control. Accident and Emergency departments are swarming with alcohol related injuries during Freshers’ week, so make sure you’re not the one who’s bed-bound with leg casts in the first few months. These are only a few tips to keep in mind. At the risk of sounding clichéd and unoriginal, your main priority should be to get the most out of your experience as these really are the best years of your life.’


Pride in the green beret Ryan Wells (1996–2001) by Kate Byrne

While on placement in the Armed Services office in Coventry, former student Ryan Wells came into school to talk to students keen to find out more about the marines.

‘... set your sights high, and if you are prepared for the intensity, you can be prepared for an amazing experience.’

The Royal Marines are renowned for being the elite of the armed forces – having to complete intense training which is constantly emotionally and physically demanding. However in spite of this, after serving two years in the Marines, Ryan is still enthusiastic about his position and excited about the future. He spoke to us about his training, his upcoming tour of Afghanistan and advice for any students interested in the armed forces. In sorting the strong from the weak, the training is definitely effective. Ryan described how during the first phase of infantry, the intense 32 weeks resulted in 56 out of the 64 recruits dropping out. He mentioned that once when one man gave backchat to the commanding officer, the whole troop were commanded to take all of their uniform off and were thrown in a lake, and on another occasion the troop was forced to live in a forest for 48 hours with a rabbit and chicken alone to develop key survival skills. Following this he progressed to the elite commandoes which specialise in parachuting and beach assaults, and at this point he also received training in arctic and jungle warfare- seemingly unconventional to many with limited knowledge on the Marines, but it is these specialised techniques in diverse terrains that are essential to the Marines, Ryan made clear. He is proud of his Green beret and his family and Bablake are proud of his bravery and tenacity. His achievements have extended beyond the training, as after previously playing for Leicester Tigers he was selected to play rugby for the Navy and Marines, and most recently he was selected to play for the Combined Services against the Home Countries. He commented that he was extremely proud to be selected, and that the skills developed in rugby also aided his training as it was a valuable method of team building.

After his two years of service, Ryan has not succumbed to the intensity of the Marines, and he is looking positively towards the future. Starting in September 2008, he is currently touring Afghanistan for around 6-7 months. He commented that although there is the obvious apprehension of such a dangerous situation, he is thoroughly excited to be involved as it will finally put his training to use, and he is encouraged by the stories of fellow Marines who have fought there. After this he is still not looking to leave and considers his future to be in the armed responseencouraging for any hopeful member of the armed forces. His final words to us were of advice for anyone hoping to apply – to be thoroughly prepared for the physically and emotionally demanding situations – reflected in the fact that the Victoria Cross award can’t technically be offered to a marine as the behaviour to deserve one should be typical to a Marine, and not beyond the call of duty. Ultimately, he said to set your sights high, and if you are prepared for the intensity, you can be prepared for an amazing experience.

bablake school



Staying ahead of the rest Alex Kaye (2000–2007)

The Wheatleyan asked former student Alex Kaye (2000- 2007) to describe his gap year experience with Year in Industry. Alex wrote: ‘For my Year In Industry I worked at a company called ClearSpeed Technology based in Bristol. ClearSpeed is the world leader in acceleration technology for high performance computing applications – “supercomputers” to the rest of us. They make massively parallel coprocessors (the same sort of idea as the dual – and quad-core processors that are around today), and mount them on accelerator boards. Together with software written specifically for their hardware, their products give financial services, universities, national laboratories and other disciplines immense number-crunching capabilities. My job at ClearSpeed was to write web-based tools (software that runs in a web-browser) for internal applications. In this capacity I was constantly face-to-face with my customers (fellow employees), and thus had to deal with constant demands (and occasional complaints) day-in day-out. There were two main projects that I undertook during my time (in addition to countless smaller ones). One of these projects was to maintain and improve a bespoke bug-tracking system written by the previous Year in Industry student. This was no small application as it used hundreds of files of code, and I had to remember the functionality of each code. This was used by almost everyone at the company on a regular basis, so I had to test it very thoroughly to make sure that there were minimal bugs to disrupt productivity. The other main project I undertook was to do with the company’s end of line testing system, namely the testing done after the accelerator boards have been manufactured. The testing logs outputted by the old system were messy and


the wheatleyan 2007/08

only really human-readable. The first thing I did was to suggest XML as a machine readable log format that could also be very easily displayed in a human readable format. From there I wrote a program to automatically read information from the logs into a MySQL database, and created a group of tools that queried the database and displayed reports containing very concise and relevant information to the user – all via a web-browser. Although I had a good salary (£12,000) for a 17/18 year old, most of it went on rent and food or in taxes to the government, leaving very little for me to keep. However, this didn’t matter at all as the experience I gained during my placement was more valuable than any salary they could realistically have offered me. At the start of the placement I was little more than an amateur programmer, finding the first month – during which I was trained by the previous student – incredibly challenging. By the end I was a well-seasoned programmer with the confidence and skills needed to launch my career in WebApp design, skills which are now proving very useful at University in that I can apply what I am learning to real situations and relate it to what I have already done. My reasons for doing a Year In Industry were mainly to have a break from formal education, and to gain some industry experience in order to hit the ground running when I graduate. My advice to anyone considering this scheme would be not to be afraid of moving away from home (it’s hard at first but gets much easier), and also to see the placement through to the end, even if it gets difficult, as the rewards for doing so far outweigh any hardship endured.’

‘My reasons for doing a Year In Industry were mainly to have a break from formal education, and to gain some industry experience in order to hit the ground running when I graduate’ For more information about Year in Industry, log onto


Laying down the Law Alex Walsh Atkins (1984–1991) by Sarah Strong and Michael Goldfinch

Alex Walsh Atkins, who has been a regular Mock Interviewer over the last 10 years, kindly agreed to answer some of our questions about a legal career and his own path. He revealed that he first studied Law at Brunel University, West London, narrowly missing a 2:1 grade, and completed his Legal Practice Course at Birmingham, before joining Carvers, where he was made a partner aged only 33. Carvers later merged with Tuckers Solicitors, one of the largest companies of defence lawyers. He now co-manages the Birmingham office. When asked for a description of an average day, Mr Walsh Atkins responded that one of the reasons that he enjoyed the work so much was because there was no average day. ‘The job of the defence is not just to get a defendant found not guilty’ he said ‘but also to get them the best result.’ He went on to explain that this sometimes meant pleading guilty early on to reduce a sentence when there was overwhelming evidence against the defendant. Most people arrested for dishonest crimes, such as theft, test positive for drugs. Alex thought that it was a shame that most people had to wait months to get on rehabilitation courses, but if they committed a crime then they would quickly take precedence. Alex also told us that he had many fond memories of Bablake, especially of one of the Classics trips to Greece, and of the friends he made whilst here, some of whom he is still in contact with. At the end, he did give us some very good advice, which was to be as open-minded as you can and try to think of any problem from all sides.

‘The job of the defence is not just to get a defendant found not guilty but also to get them the best result’

Bablake & WW2 Trevor Harkin

Less than 20 years after Bablake School dedicated its War Memorial to the men who fell and those who served in the Great War, the Second World War had broken out. This war would be different: the inter-war years had seen the development of new weapons and priority was placed on the role of the RAF and home defence. During the war, 98 Old Boys would be killed and over 660 men would serve in various capacities with the Royal Navy, Merchant Navy, Royal Air Force, Fleet Air Arm, Army or Civil Defence. Bablake was represented in many of the major campaigns including the evacuation of Dunkirk, the Battle of Britain, the Normandy landings, the fight for Cassino, El Alamein, the sinking of the Bismarck, the Battle of the Atlantic and the bombing of strategic objectives in Europe. The outbreak of war meant that shelters had to be built in the school grounds and schooling was interrupted due to daylight raids and sleepless nights. The school escaped relatively unscathed until the night of the 14 November 1940, when a massive air raid resulted in the loss of the library with all its treasures. The school shelters suffered a direct hit resulting in deaths to members of the surrounding community and causing extensive damage. With the Pioneer Corps commandeering the school, a chance encounter between Mr. Curt, a teacher at Bablake, and Mr. Hooton, the Director of Education at Lincoln, led to the school being evacuated to Lincoln where it stayed until 1943, although some of the boys remained in Coventry. The Wheatleyan published accounts of the men’s experiences, details of those taken as prisoners of war, the activities of the Comforts Fund and updates to the Roll Of Honour. After the war, a Memorial Fund raised enough money to perpetuate the memory of the Fallen with the installation in the assembly hall of a new school organ and a Book of Honour. Over 60 years later, this book pays tribute to the Bablake Old Boys who died and those who served during the Second World War. Copies are available at £11.95 by contacting Trevor Harkin on 077 6251 1234 or Borders, WH Smith, Waterstone’s and the School Shop. bablake school




Mark woodward

Final comments from the Staff Editor of The Wheatleyan

‘I opened the magazine to have a quick glance and ended up reading it from cover to cover. The end product struck me as better than many professional magazines’ Former student

‘A truly great school and one I am proud to be part of’ Former member of staff

Submissions for Flair and The Wheatleyan 2008/09: Please submit photographs and text digitally for inclusion to by 1 Sept 2009. Please submit further reports of former students to mgaw@ for inclusion in the next issue.

The most encouraging feature of the response to 2006-2007’s issue was that it drew positive comment from every area of the Bablake community and Coventry School Foundation. However it presented the new team of student reporters with what contemporary musicians will recognise as the difficult second album syndrome. Additionally, with this year’s ISC Inspection Report rating the Bablake educational experience as outstanding, we would have loved to burst the banks of our budget and make the magazine almost encyclopaedic to cover all areas of excellence! It has been both a pleasure and a challenge to condense and then bottle that Bablake excellence into this issue but I hope you will agree my team of editors, six of whom are veterans from this year’s outstanding Stretch magazine, has done a splendid job. Once again my main editor has been outstanding. Faith has been discerning, professional, unflappable, diligent, hardworking and patient as well as being excellent, entertaining company. She is a modest student with a tremendously bright future. Plans for 2008-2009’s issue are already well under way and the new team will work hard to make its own journalistic impact. Don’t hesitate to contact me with ideas on how to ensure once again the representation of the Bablake experience is as interactive and vibrant on paper as in reality.


the wheatleyan 2007/08

Get involved – 1994 Reunion Dinner 15 years after leaving Bablake, Former Students and staff of that era are invited back to school by Mr Peter Burden for a reunion dinner and reminiscences! The 1994 leavers are asked to spread the word among their peers and watch out for further information about their dinner that will take place in May 2009. Please email pfb@ if you wish to find out more!

lastpost? Student excellence. On this page and the back cover are examples of photography by U6th student Neil Baker

The Wheatleyan

One of the country’s leading independent schools is closer than you think...


celebrating 2007/08 Bablake School

Coundon Road, Coventry CV1 4AU t +44 (0)24 7627 1200 f +44 (0)24 7627 1293 e w

celebrating 2007/08

Issue 194 | ISSN 1759-0302

The Wheatleyan 2007- 2008  

Bablake's official annual record of the academic year.

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