Bancroft's Insight Spring 2022

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Insight SPRING 2022

the Bancroft’s newsletter

What’s Inside Primary Science Fair Music Sport Diversity & inclusion Prep News

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Primary Science Fair

Dr M Lim, Deputy Head Academic

On Friday 11 March, the science department and eighty of our Lower Sixth Form pupils ran the Bancroft’s Primary Science Fair. The theme of this year’s exhibition was ‘Growth and Change’ and we had the pleasure of hosting 180 visitors from sixteen local primary schools as well as those from our Prep.

very reason why we, as your teachers, go into teaching in the first place? The care you have put into your demonstrations and the passion with which you have tried to communicate your topics are what all of us, as your teachers, hope you will experience in every lesson we craft.

It was such a lovely spectacle, brimming with enthusiasm, excitement and energy all day. I had the amazing privilege of judging the stalls which were lovingly crafted by our pupils. My speech on the day embodies how humbled I was by the generosity of spirit of our pupils and staff.

Mr Jaques has given me a few metrics to help me score the stalls: complexity, clarity, poster, table, engagement and relevance.

“Words cannot express how much pride I have for you at the moment. For those of you who I have not yet had the chance to meet, I am Dr Lim your new Deputy Head Academic and just started in January. Just to share with you a bit more about me, before I was a teacher I was a scientist and had the opportunity to work with some amazing colleagues both here in the UK and over in the US. While pushing back the cutting edge of science is pivotal to our advancement of knowledge, research is funded by organisations where scientists have to continually apply for grant funding in order to make this possible. Every top scientist in the world has to be proficient at communicating incredibly complex technical knowledge in a way which is accessible, engaging and meaningful. For all of you this is exactly what you have done today. Who knows, for some of you here today, this may become an integral part of your life’s story. There is a saying that when “one teaches, two learn.” In your preparation for today and the joy you have put on the faces of all of the younger children who have come here today, I hope that beyond the science, you have been able to take away a satisfaction from having done an excellent job that extends far beyond knowledge itself. I am talking about character. Today I have seen: curiosity, kindness, integrity, courage, balance and excellence embodied in all of you. I might be new to our community, but feel it is never too soon to let you know how very proud I am of you. As your teacher, I wonder if you have ever thought of what it might be like walking in our shoes? Do you know the “light-bulb moments”, the gasps and “Wows!” you have heard today are the 2

It was a very close call, so before I announce the winner I would like us all to give each other a round of applause. I would also like to thank Mr Jaques, Mr Kerr and all the science staff who have supported you and made today possible. The winner for the Best Stand at this year’s Science Fair is: “What Makes a Bouncy Ball Bouncy?” by Aleesha R and Erin W. The second prize is awarded for the most popular stand, as voted for by the visiting pupils. The top five groups were: • Chemical Gummy Worms • Instasnow • Volcano • What Makes a Bouncy Ball Bouncy • How Oobleck Works And the overall winners were Shivam A, Haseeb I, Zaki L and Nathan T for their stall “Instasnow”. We are very grateful to everyone who participated and made this event a resounding success.”


Music For the first time in three years, Bancroft’s Music returned in all its glory to the splendour of Drapers’ Hall. Ellie, one of our Thirds, gives her account of the day below. Mrs Whitbread brought us a fantastic programme of eclectic music which fully displayed the many talents of our pupils to family, staff and friends. We heard from the Thirds Choir, the Boys’ Voices and the Bancroft’s Singers (both directed by Mrs Foinette) and the Barbers (directed by Ms Middleton). Instrumental performances were from Bancroft’s Camerata (a small chamber orchestra, which performed Vivaldi’s Concerto for Strings in D Minor under Mr MacManus’ direction); the Sinfonia; as well as the Soul Band. We heard from our U6 music scholars: Isher L, Tom J and Matthew S. Matthew P is to be congratulated for conducting the Sinfonia in his own Drapers’ Waltz demonstrating great musical maturity and confidence.

A huge thank you to Mrs Whitbread for organising such a memorable concert as well as conducting the Thirds Choir and the Bancroft’s Sinfonia in their performance of Leonard Bernstein’s Overture to Candide. Our first Percussion Concert took place on Wednesday 2 March. Thank you so much to James Crook and Luke Taylor, our visiting teachers of drum kit and percussion for putting this event together. Pupils from both the Prep and the Senior Schools performed, including members of the Drumline Club. We also heard from an ensemble made up of some of our music teachers. We also saw another rush hour concert held at the end of a busy week in the intimate surroundings of The Stave. Such events give some of our soloists a chance to perform, perhaps even for the first time, in front of an audience in a relaxed

atmosphere before we all head home for the weekend. At the end of the term, we said a farewell to David Bacon, who has been a long-established member of our team of peripatetic music teachers. David has been responsible for the many incarnations of Bancroft’s Soul Band over the years. With their performances, The Soul Band always bring big smiles to everyone’s faces at concerts.

The Drapers’ Hall Concert Ellie Barbaneagra, 3N The Drapers’ Hall concert is definitely something to remember! I don’t exactly know how to describe the beauty of the hall, but one thing I can say is that when we entered the ‘dressing room’ there were gasps from all around. Old paintings, gold around the ceiling and massive mirrors were along the walls. I was pretty sure that everyone was impressed! Thirds Choir had a great rehearsal and it felt like that time whizzed by. Waiting for the other groups to finish their rehearsals took hours but some of us watched these and found it amazing. However, all us Thirds were growing impatient and quite hungry. When the time finally came, the food was excellent (though it was quite hard to wait in line). Parents slowly started making their way into the hall, which meant only one thing was approaching very soon: performance time. It was quite nerve-wracking and the fact this was our first year here and our number was one of the last didn’t really help much. When the time finally came, we entered the stage and sung our hearts out. The outcome was terrific; everyone ended in smiles of joy for performing as well as we did. I am so grateful that we got to have this experience of a lifetime; all the pupils and teachers were fantastic and everyone had a very enjoyable time.



This Is Me. These Are My People. This Is Where I Come From.

A few weeks ago, I presented my final A-Level art piece in response to the theme ‘home’ called This is me. These are my people. This is where I come from. It explores my family’s immigration story from Nicaragua to Costa Rica to London. It took form as an installation where the viewer was directed into moving into rooms one by one, exploring the movement of people by the literal movement of people. After leaving Nicaragua due to the dictatorship in the 1970s, my father’s family were too poor to own a house with rooms and, in order to give each sibling privacy, they hung bedsheets from the ceiling. This inspired me to create an installation where I could divide each room by hanging sheets from the ceiling.

Marisol Rojas, U6N

The third room, ‘This is me. These are my people. This is where I come from.’ is a short film I adapted from the film my father made about moving to London. It has three moving screens, each one representing a place my father lived. The title is taken from the clip when my father passes the border into Nicaragua for the first time in twenty years which I thought was authentic, poetic and effective and therefore became the name of the installation.

The first room was named ‘Abuelitos’ (grandparents) and was a double portrait of my grandparents with an audio recording of waves and them wishing me a happy birthday. The viewer is physically separated from the warm inviting portraits due to a large water tank representing the Atlantic Ocean. This room discusses the emotional and physical distance I have with them as they live in Costa Rica and we do not speak the same languages.

The final room, ‘Papito’ (dad) is about a movement into being British. When the viewer walks in, they see a very large oil portrait of my father facing them which is of the photo from his new passport. At the time I was painting this, my father was applying for his British citizenship and revising for the test. To incorporate this, I created a small home scene in front of the portrait which was a table with the Life in Britain book open which papi revised from with a practice test, pens, a family photo and a lamp. To exit the installation, the viewer has the Nicaraguan flag on their left, the Costa Rican flag on their right and the British flag in front of them which they must walk through. This shows how papi’s home is in England although he has a multi-faceted identity rather than just one.

The second room is a projection of an extract of my abuelito’s autobiography, his birth story. I dedicated this whole piece of work to him after his death on the 23 January 2022 and felt it was very important to tell his story as well as my father’s.

I was very happy with the outcome, people’s reactions and how many people turned up to see it. I would like to thank the art department once more for giving me the opportunity, resources and help to realise my ideas.


L4 Artists Visit The Warner Brothers Studio Tour


Rafi Ahmad, L4W The Warner Brothers Studio tour is a spectacle from the moment of arrival. After going through the usual ticket stalls and security, you enter the lobby. Immediately, you cast your gaze upwards to the sight of a perfect replica of a Hungarian Horntail, just like Harry would have fought, ornate from its battle scars, rusted chains and curved talons. You are led onwards to the first part of your Potter-themed tour: the cinema.You watch a short film starring all of its cast; they explain their experiences filming, acting and becoming part of the Harry Potter family. With the lights back on and the film quickly ended, the projector screen is raised to reveal, concealed behind: the Great Hall. Walking through the large wooden doors, into the Great Hall itself, you are given a background into how set design and construction took place in the studio.You then make your way to the interior exhibition, filled with props, costumes and all types of sets from the films. It is truly the Holy Grail for any wholeheartedly passionate Harry Potter fans, just like myself.

The Harry Potter tour was incredible and inspiring. Even if you aren’t the most die-hard of fans, there is something for everyone to enjoy, from just wanting to learn more about the sets or enjoy some butter beer.

Hockey - Spring Term

Mr D Webster, Head of Hockey

The Boys 1st XI started the season off with a rather shaky start as not many of our 1st XI had picked up a stick in almost three years. The playing statistics for their season are played 13, won 8, drew 2, lost 3. 35 goals forward and 25 against. They managed to pull back their season and qualify for U18 England Hockey Regional Finals, but, unfortunately, they narrowly missed out on qualification to National Finals due to a narrow defeat to Langley Park (2-1). Our 2nd XI this year, or U16s, managed to reach the U16 Tier 3 England Hockey National Finals in Nottingham after winning the Regional Round (see report on page 6). They had three pool matches against Nottingham High (1-1), Katherine Berkley (0-2), and Eton (0-2). Unfortunately, with these results it meant we placed fourth in the group, which wasn’t a true reflection on their success, fight and spirit in the games. This did mean however we were placed into the 7/8th play off, where we managed a 0-2 defeat against Malvern. In the domestic season, they played 9, won 6, drew 2, lost 1, with goals forward 21 and goals against 9. The members of the U16 team should all be very proud of what they have achieved this year: they have done the school proud.

The Boys U14s manged to follow in the seniors’ footsteps by qualifying through the England Hockey Tier 1 Regional Final. They stormed through to the regionals with a win against Haberdashers (4-3) and a win v Watford Grammar School (5-2) which meant they placed first. They U14s started the day well, managing a close win against Kingston Grammar School (1-0), then they faced a tough opposition of Whitgift (0-6), they finished of the day with a very competitive fixture against Trinity with a narrow defeat (1-2). Our U12s manged to scrape through the England Hockey County Finals with a third-place finish which meant they qualified for the Regional Finals. The scores from County Finals were: Haberdashers (1-2) loss, Fortismere (4-0) win, Forest (0-2) loss, Aldenham (1-1). In the Regional Finals we found some very tough opponents with the likes of Whitgift, Trinity, and Kingston Grammar School. Although it was a tough day, the boys enjoyed themselves and learnt a lot. 5


U16s at the Regional Finals

Fiaz Akhtar, 5W

On the 1 March, a team of sixteen U16 boys went to Southgate Hockey Club where we played in the U16s England hockey regional finals tournament in Tier 3. This tournament consisted of two 40-minute games against Aldenham and Fortismere. Our first game was against Fortismere where we got an early lead via a short corner which Fiaz scored. The team dominated the rest of the game and went on to score another four goals which Alex, Uwais and Fiaz scored giving Bancroft’s a comfortable 5-0 win. In our second game against Aldenham the team started off a little slowly and did not manage to get the ball moving as quickly as in the first game. However, we did manage to get quite a few good chances which the team failed to benefit from by missing the target. Bancroft’s never looked like losing the game with the opposition having minimal shots at our goal. However, there were quite a few scares towards the end but we came away with a 0-0 draw putting us in first place. The U16s the progressed through to the next stage playing the England National Finals on 21 March in Nottingham.

Netball Mrs H Marchant, Head of Netball With over 100 fixtures taking place throughout the netball season, it is safe to say it has been busy with a real mixed bag of wins and losses. Our Senior 1st team highlights included an outstanding win at the Chigwell tournament, runners up at the County Nationals tournament and seventh place in the National Regional Finals. Overall, participation at Senior Netball has been fantastic with 1st-5th team fixtures being a regular occurrence. Middle school highlights included the U14 squad placing first at the County Round of the Nationals Netball tournament and eighth place at the U14 National Regional Finals. Junior highlights included a spectacular squad of Thirds with over sixty pupils regularly attending training after school resulting in A-F teams playing thirty matches and winning nineteen of these. The Thirds netballers also got the opportunity to go on tour for the weekend to 6

Manchester, please see some pupil accounts of this trip below. Teams of the season go to the Senior 1st team, U14A team and U12B team. All in all, it has been a wonderful season and all involved should be pleased with their achievements and progress.


Manchester Netball Tour Ellie Barbeneagra, 3N Going to Manchester was one of the best trips I have ever been on; not only could I have fun with my friends, but I could play my favourite sport: netball! It was quite an early start to the first morning on Friday and we spent what felt like days on the coach. We were already tired when it came to our first activity but we had to put in our maximum effort; it was a match after all.The match was over before we knew it and it was back to the coach. However, we were finally going to The Village Hotel to have a short rest. With only a half hour break to get sorted into rooms, get washed and changed, we were at our second activity: pizza and bowling.The pizza was delicious but the group did take up half the restaurant. Bowling was very competitive – every single team took it quite seriously but we did have a laugh when someone was attempting to throw the ball in their lane, but it ended up bouncing to another! Finally, we went back to the hotel and had a well-deserved sleep. Day two, Saturday.Yet again, an early start and had a training session with Mancheste Thunder! It was amazing and tiring and straight after training, we had a tournament. We performed well,

coming third only by goal difference. I think that InflataNation was one of the highlights of this trip. There were straight drop slides, ball pits and we even made some interesting friends. Day three, Sunday started with the usual routine of waking up early and having breakfast; we were on the coach yet again to another training session. We had a rally and well done to those who won Player of the Day! It ended quickly but of course we had the long, long coach drive ahead of us. Seeing the school ahead brought on a sigh of relief – we were finally back home!

Alayna Hussain, 3W On Friday 25 February, the Thirds girls went on a netball tour to Manchester where we all had a wonderful time. We played fixtures against schools such as Birkenhead. They were all amazing, but we played well too. We also had great training sessions where we got to meet and train with a Manchester Thunder netball player and have a Q and A with her which was inspiring. One of my favourite times on our trip was getting to go bowling with all our friends! But altogether the tour was amazing, and we were so lucky to have been able to go!

Fencing and Me Sophie Tsang, 5N My fencing journey began at a holiday club when I was nine. I eventually joined my current club, Newham Swords, who are coached by Olympians Pierre Harper and Linda Strachan. I was fascinated by the strategy required, tactical involvement, and anticipating my opponent’s next moves, in addition to the actual action and fighting itself. Some liken fencing to chess with swords, such is the mental requirements, as well as the physical fitness. I was soon encouraged to enter my first competition which I won. I have been training and competing ever since. I spend a lot of my time travelling and staying in hotels! The domestic competitions allowed me to test myself against other fencers in the country and then, in 2018, I was selected to represent England Under 13s at a tournament in Poland. I was selected twice more by England (in Paris and Poland again), and I was on course to be selected to represent GB at Under 17 level before Covid hit. Competitions resumed in the summer of 2021, and I was eventually called up to represent GB in Hungary, France and Poland. However, Covid was still causing disruption, which meant that visits to other destinations such as Rome and Bucharest were cancelled. Fencing has given me amazing opportunities to travel to different parts of the world and experience a variety of cultures. It has allowed me to make new friends and bond with my teammates. Whilst fencing is usually seen as an individual sport, there are also team events in

which team work and tactics are essential, also the time together allows us to support other members of the squad. I hope my performances continue to improve so that I can gain even more memorable experiences. I was equally proud to have represented Bancroft’s at the recent Public Schools Fencing Championships where I collected a bronze medal to add to my silver on the previous occasion. I am also the current Eastern Region Under 18 champion.The season has now ended just in time for my exams, but, once they are over, I will have a rest before preparing to represent England Under 17s at the Fencing Commonwealth Games in August, for which I am very proud and honoured to have been selected. 7


Oxbridge Many congratulations to the members of the U6 who have been offered places at either Oxford or Cambridge for this September. Seven pupils have received offers from Cambridge colleges and two, Akhila and Alex, from Oxford. Maha D, Alex D, Lawrence L, Tahsinul H, Akhila N, Aarav S, Fawzan S, Florence T and Ananya V have all received conditional offers. As ever, we see a wide range of subjects represented: maths, theology, land economy, chemistry, engineering, economics, medicine and MML. The table shows their colleges and courses.

Aarav Akhila Alex Ananya Fawzan Florence Maha Lawrence Tahsinul

Economics Mathematics Chemistry Engineering Theology Modern & Medieval Languages Medicine Land Economy Medicine

St John’s Christ Church St Edmund Hall St John’s Jesus Trinity Robinson Trinity Sidney Sussex

The Historical Association’s Great Debate On Thursday 27 January, Will O (L6E) travelled to Cambridge to compete in the Historical Association’s Great Debate regional finals. As the Queen is its patron, this year the challenge was to research, write and present a five-minute speech (without notes) on what has changed in their local area in the seventy years of her reign. With a focus on Waltham Forest, Will documented and tracked the change in air quality starting from the impact of the Great Smog in 1952 to the present challenges in the modern day and the area’s inclusion in London’s Ultra Low Emission Zone. Will did incredibly well and received positive feedback from not only teachers at other schools, but Professor Peter Mandler of the University of Cambridge who praised the structure of his essay, the quality of his research and presentation. History teacher Ms Stone said, “As a department, we are all incredibly proud of the research and effort Will has put into this competition.” 8


Historical Fiction Success Well done to Rafi A (L4W) whose story Borders drawn in 80 Days was runner-up in the 11-15 age group of this year’s Young Walter Scott Prize for historical fiction. The story was based on his grandmother’s childhood is set in Kashmir during the tumultuous division of India in 1947.

It is also an important part of my family’s history, and I wanted to explain my grandmother’s story. My story is an attempt to convey the trauma that my grandmother, Nano Asgheri, experienced. During her childhood, she had to flee Kashmir, crossing the border of Pakistan, eventually settling in England.”

Rafi enjoys writing about things close to his heart, especially about his heritage and previously had a piece called A Step Back Home published in The Tea Cup our termly literary publication. Rafi said, “This is a period of history, I am interested in and have researched.

The organisers of this competition for historical fiction received many hundreds of entries, and said, “As always the selection process has been a tough one.” Rafi has received an invitation to The Imagining History Programme UK 2022 Summer School.

Love Letters to London – Winner We are delighted to announce that Faith C (L6N) was named as the overall winner of the U18 section of the inaugural Love Letters to London writing competition organised by the London Society. Her evocative poem how to warm up cold ears led to her being awarded both a plaque and a generous prize. Congratulations to Faith. She said that in her poem, “I tried to capture that feeling after a long day, going into Castle’s “Premier” after school, the shopkeeper knowing your face by now. That feeling where TfL actually works in your favour, and the bus or tube is coming in one minute. You’ll be home in fifteen minutes, and you think, “Wow, how lucky am I to live?” and suddenly things start to look and sound more beautiful than they ever did before. I write anything: screenplays, articles, poems, reviews. After a certain amount of writing, it’s mathematically impossible not to produce one good thing so I think winning the competition was that. I’m undecided now what to do after school, but whether it’s biology, English literature or any other degree, writing will always be something I do and I will be published soon enough: everyone reading this has an indissoluble duty to buy my first book when it’s done.”

Year 10 Maths Feast Bancroft’s entered two teams of four pupils in this year’s Cambridgeshire Round of the Year 10 Maths Feast competition run by the Advanced Maths Support Programme. The teams comprised Abisola D, Joy A-A, Amit B and Freddie G in one group and Olivia G, Aryan C, Ted H-C and Anish O in the other. Both teams performed well against sixteen other high-quality teams which included King’s School Ely and Saffron Walden County High and it is, therefore, pleasing to report that the team of Abisola, Joy, Freddie and Amit emerged triumphant in a close-run thing, victorious by the narrow margin of three points. A pleasurable afternoon was rounded off by a well-earned McDonald’s. 9


Rev Jesse Jackson’s Visit Faith Cunningham, L6N, President of Afro Caribbean Society On a cold morning in December, a Rolls Royce appeared in front of the school and out walked a living legend. Bancroft’s were very honoured to welcome the veteran civil and human rights campaigner and US politician, the Rev Jesse Jackson. He spoke to and inspired the Sixth Form and the members of the Afro Caribbean Society at Bancroft’s. Despite suffering from Parkinson’s, Jackson took to the stage and created a surreal environment like no other with his signature technique of say-repeat style talk. Amongst the claps and choral speech was an undeniable buzz that we were a part of something bigger.Topics such as decolonisation of the school curriculum and tips for young activists today were covered.

Abbey, Vice President of ACS, comments on this experience: “Meeting and listening to Jesse Jackson’s must be one of the most thrilling moments of my time here at Bancroft’s School. His style of delivery was impeccable and like nothing I have ever witnessed before. I was very inspired and motivated, and before I leave Bancroft’s School I promise to, or at least attempt to, give a speech as good as this one.” A big thank you to Jesse Jackson’s son and his support system to ensure the comfort of Jackson above all but also to everyone at Bancroft’s involved in making this possible. This day will never be forgotten.

Healthy Masculinity Speaker – Chris Hemmings Henry Knight, U4W On Friday 4 March Chris Hemmings came into Bancroft’s School to talk to the Upper Fourths about Healthy Masculinity. We have quite a few speakers come into Bancroft’s, all bringing insight into areas that will help us both while we are at school and when we leave. I found Chris Hemmings particularly inspirational. His presentational style was enjoyable to listen to as well as informative and inspiring. His personal, sometimes comical, anecdotes made him seem human and easy to relate to and his way of engaging with a hall full of teenagers was admirable to say the least. Although this was a serious subject, the humour he used helped. Chris Hemmings is the author of the book Be a Man and also works as a journalist. In his speech he talked about how his previous laddish behaviour caused problems and hurt for both himself and others, something he hugely regrets now. In a world where I am sometimes not sure if masculinity is a good thing or bad thing, Chris Hemmings demonstrated how this masculinity can be channelled in a healthy way. Unlike previous 10

generations, we are learning that it is OK to show emotion, OK to talk to friends/others about areas that are troubling us, and it is OK to call out others for their behaviour/attitudes. It is also OK not to cave into peer pressure whatever age. As teenagers we are exposed to many different ideals and expectations, sometimes this can feel overwhelming and we can lose who we really are. Chris Hemmings made me realise I can use my physical and emotional strength to promote healthy masculinity. The message that really stuck with me from Chris Hemmings speech was when he said “Be strong enough to say no. I wasn’t and that is my biggest shame.”


Amina Poernome, L6S, Joint Chair of EqualiTEA

EqualiTEA Society This Spring Amina Poernomo, L6S, Joint Chair of EqualiTEA This term EqualiTEA society and many others helped in the first in-person International Women’s Day celebrations since the pandemic. From a publication of the IWD magazine to a mixed netball match, the week of activities was certainly a success. I particularly enjoyed a talk from PhD student and OB, Rioghnach Sachs, who discussed the ancient poetess Sappho in tandem with the International Women’s Day theme of ‘Breaking the Bias’. The in-depth insight about the contemporary and modern impact of the ‘Tenth Muse’ was fascinating to witness. The same day, EqualiTEA society met to debate the need for feminism in the 21st century, which triggered an intriguing conversation about the gender pay gap and the way men understand feminism. It was amazing to have such a bustling week of discussion and celebration of women, and we must credit the help of various teachers and students who organised events.

Beyond International Women’s Day, the other Chairs, (Tara K, Shyam P) and I enjoyed leading interesting debates. After an engaging meeting about the ‘toxicity of toxic masculinity’, where we debunked and explored the negative stereotypes, we were lucky to have a talk from Chris Hemmings about the subject itself. Hearing the experiences of my male peers was a breakthrough which was important in advocating for true equality and was eye opening for many. The importance in tackling gender issues from all perspectives has been an idea we have focused on, and we hope to explore it further in the future. We welcome any topic suggestions for next term’s discussions to accompany the ideas the Chairs have planned as we appreciate the insight of our community. We look forward to seeing many old and new faces at EqualiTEA in the summer!

Bancroft’s Pride Club

Ms Entwistle, Mr Aitken and Members of Bancroft’s Pride Club Pride Club has had a busy term. Students from Pride Club delivered assemblies on anti-LGBT bullying to Thirds, Removes, U4 and 5ths, having previously presented to the L4. All were well received and the feedback was very positive especially to the videos which portrayed young LGBT people who had experienced homophobia and how they had dealt with it. February was LGBT history month and we celebrated by putting together an assembly covering LGBT history, particularly looking at Stonewall and Section 28, this was delivered to L6 students and was again well received. A competition was held for artwork for a new Pride Club Poster. The winner was designed by Harriet Draper in U4.

celebrations for the forthcoming Pride Week in June (20-24). Members of many of the student societies will be present. Finally, a big thank you to all those students brave enough to represent Pride in assemblies this term. Pride Club meets every Tuesday and everybody is welcome whether a member of the LGBT community or an ally.

Another initiative has been to contact LGBT OBs who have been sending information about their lives and photographs. We plan to put a display together soon. Mr Aitken very kindly put together a series of PowerPoints created by the Pride Club members to celebrate International Women’s Week with information about LGBT women such as Christine and the Queens, Lily Elbe, Dodie, Marsha P Johnson and Sally K Ride. Looking ahead, Ms Chana is hosting another Diversity and Inclusion meeting for pupils in April. The main topic of discussion will be


S U S TA I N A B I L I T Y / L I B R A R Y

Sustainability at School Krishan Arya, L4E Over the past spring term, lots of volunteers have been helping Mr Pollock in doing many sustainable things for the school. We started off by clearing and removing all the weeds in the garden bed of the Head’s Garden. Huge amounts of effort from Mr Pollock and his amazing volunteers made the garden bed weedfree. We could now start planting our vegetables. The first vegetables we planted were potatoes. We each chose and took our potatoes out to the garden. Then, we all dug out a shallow well where the potatoes would be able to grow and prosper. After that, we tenderly placed the potatoes into the well and carefully covered them over with soil. The following week, we went on a litter pick, collecting all the rubbish and junk at the front of the school. Exhilarated and electrified, we set off picking up all the litter we could find. We first litter picked all the grass area just in front of the tower; we had managed to collect two whole large bags of litter. We then crossed the road over to the grass area opposite the school and continued our litter picking. At the end of it all, we managed to fill four large bags with litter. It was an amazing experience and incredible fun. A week later, we went through the corridors and classrooms of the school collecting any unwanted scrap cardboard than we could use

to lay over old soil and put on new soil. We were amazed at how much scrap cardboard was lying around. After this we went out to the Head’s Garden and started watering the soil which had our potatoes and other fruit and veg in it. Mr Pollock ordered in a few tons of fresh new soil to lay over the old and worn-out soil. First, we laid down the carboard we had collected over the old soil. Then we carried the heavy sacks of soil and poured them over the cardboard. It was very enjoyable. The past term has been truly brilliant, great thanks to Mr Pollock for inspiring us to make our school more aware of sustainability issues.

Removes’ Hunger Games Week

Before half term, the Removes had a week of activities based around dystopian fiction and, more specifically, The Hunger Games series. The week was launched with Dystopia Day. Author Sarah Mussi came in to give a talk about writing dystopian fiction and the inspiration for her own book Breakdown. She spoke about wellknown dystopian novels, explaining what the genre is. She also speculated on what would happen were the bees to vanish, a theme touched on in her own novel. This led onto tutor groups getting together to design bee gardens. These are being judged by Mr Rogers and Mr Pollock and it is hoped that Sustainability Society will 12

create the winning design in our garden at school. Some were quite ambitious in their plans and may need a little adaptation. During lunch times, Tributes from each of the Districts (ie pupils from each tutor group) visited various zones each with a Hunger Games theme: Survival (Do you know what is safe to eat? Can you brave the taste test and eat bugs?); Escape Room; Debate (Can violence can be justified if used for the benefit of the majority?) and Combat (a series of fun physical challenges, such as archery and limbo). Participants were awarded points for these challenges; well done to the winning group RNb. Thank you to Mrs Squire and the library team for organising this week.


Careers Spring Term Ms M Dean, Head of Careers, Innovation & Entrepreneurship The spring term is always a very busy one at Bancroft’s, but for careers education it has been particularly busy this year. The fact that we could attain some semblance of normality after the strict rules of Covid, allowed us to hold all our planned events face to face. For the first time in two years, we were able to host all our presenters and visiting schools and our pupils benefitted from careers and employability events held in school. It is a significant year for our L4, as they are faced with subject choice for GCSEs. I was able to have four enrichment lessons with each class in which they explored the importance of owning one’s career and, therefore, making good subject choice decisions based on pursuing subjects you like and are good at. The L4 explored their personal attributes and skills and were able to see how these would affect both subject choices currently and university and career choices later on. They were introduced to the JED (Job Explorer Database), which allowed them to research many different jobs.

Inside Knowledge also ran a workshop for the whole year group, which looked at the following four areas for future employability: thinking about your future now, self-management, employability and interview skills It is also an impor tant year for our Fifth Formers who need to make A Level subject choice. These choices have a little more at stake as the selection can ultimately determine which direction they can pursue after school. All Fifth Formers were able to join Unifrog which is a platform which holds the world’s biggest database of Post 16 and Post 18 oppor tunities. To assist our Fifth and L6th pupils to start thinking about subject choices and university courses respectively, we held our biennial Old Bancroftian Careers Evening. We invited approximately 56 OBs from 30 different areas of employment who spoke about their roles and how they got into their chosen career paths. Parents and pupils were invited to attend and the evening was a great success. The OBs were very impressed by the excellent questions our pupils asked. This was followed by a Competitive University Admissions Workshop in which admissions tutors from Oxford, Cambridge, UCL, Edinburgh and Durham spoke to our pupils about their UCAS application, personal statement, admissions exams and interviews. Just after half-term we held a Degree Apprenticeship evening when Queen Mary University spoke about degree apprenticeships from their perspective, followed by a representative from the HR department of UBS, giving a corporate view on degree apprenticeships. We then had three recent OBs who are currently doing degree apprenticeships speaking about the application process and their progress thus far. They were able to dispel some myths both parents and pupils held. A current U6th pupil also gave a detailed account of their experience applying for degree apprenticeships this year while also doing a UCAS application.

Pupils in our L6th, interested in Law, were invited to attend a Law Day at the Royal Courts of Justice, which was facilitated by an Old Bancroftian (a separate account of this event is in the “Out and About” section). Besides these events, we also held the following five “Connect with Careers” lunchtime events: getting into St Martin School of Fashion, becoming a software engineer, Bio Medical Degrees at UCL, interviews for medical students and working as a bio technician. The busy term culminated in the biggest ever University and Careers Fair held at Bancroft’s thus far. We had approximately 34 universities and 16 employers present. All pupils from the L4 to the U6 were given an opportunity to visit the fair during the day. We also hosted visitors from Roding Valley High School, The Drapers’ Academy, Sir George Monoux College, Trinity High School and Woodbridge High School. We hope that attending many of these events will motivate our pupils to make informed, appropriate and realistic decisions about their education, learning and employment options. In the careers department we continue to provide Bancroftians with opportunities and experiences to develop essential employability skills in order to make both good subject choice decisions as well as university and career decisions later on which will allow them to become effective employees capable of contributing to future economic prosperity. 13


Law Day at Mayor’s and City Court Joseph Ormsby, L6S In collaboration with Drapers’ Academy, Sir George Monoux College and St Paul’s Way Trust, twelve Lower 6th pupils visited the Mayor’s and City Court on the 10 March in order to learn about careers in law, training in law, and different types of law. It was a glorious spring day in the City of London and the walk from Liverpool Street to the Courts, through the bustling heart of the City, was an experience in and of itself. OB and HHJ Marc Dight had arranged the day, but was unable to attend due to Covid. Instead the Law Day experience was led by HHJ Saunders and HHJ Monty, two well respected and well-educated lawyers who are circuit judges at the Court. They spoke of their experiences and understanding of law and the current legal environment. HHJ Monty was a former barrister, while HHJ Saunders has a background as a solicitor. They discussed the unique history and architecture of the Mayor’s and City Court, and their own legal careers, while also explaining how they managed to arrive at the positions they are currently in. There were sixty students in attendance and all followed proceedings intently, asking questions when appropriate, and interacting with those around them.

After we heard speeches from each judge, we began to prepare for mock trials based on two real-life scenarios, in which we were split into the two cour trooms, and some made speeches as the defendant and claimant’s lawyers. We were for tunate to have a trainee barrister model a plea in mitigation, and then had a few minutes to prepare our own plea and attempt to address the entire room of students, teachers, and judges! While it is likely that we

performed a subpar job, because we used complex and realistic cases, this only meant that people were all the more involved in discussion and debate. It was a fantastic learning experience which each student greatly valued. Many Thanks to Mrs Rogers and Mr Harrison for coming with us, and Mrs Brough and Mrs Dean for organising the day

L4 Visit to Kew Gardens Shravan Sriram L4E Kew Gardens contains a lot of education and historical context, as well as its magnificent designs of botany. If only I could’ve immersed myself for just a minute more in viewing the diversity of species housed in the gardens and absorbing all there is to know. We visited numerous locations including the Hive, which taught us about how bees communicate to each other and the Palm House which had numerous plants such as the 14

bamboo which have had to be chopped due to their height! What’s more, if you like plane-spotting, like me, you get to view low fly-bys of aircraft landing into London Heathrow (I saw three A380s). As well as that, we competed in a group challenge to answer questions in a booklet. Although my curiosity had no limits to finding those answers, time did. This will be one of the most memorable trips stored in my memory – the trip to Kew Gardens.


City of Dionysia- Brought to Warwick Amina Poernoma, L6S On Friday the 28 January, the Sixth Form Classicists visited Warwick University for the Annual Ancient Drama Festival. Along with several other schools, we were welcomed with a brief overview of the importance and meaning of dramatics in the ancient world. Both Lower and Upper Sixth classes have studied Euripides’ tragedy, Bacchae, and were looking forward to seeing it being performed by the university’s ancient drama society at the end of the day. We spent the majority of the day in a series of lectures, beginning with a talk about The Historical Context of Euripides’ Bacchae from Professor Michael Scott. He illuminated us on the impact of the Peloponnesian Wars in the 5th Century BC on Athens which was fascinating to consider in the light of Euripides’ work. After a short break we went on to a lecture on The Bacchae in Twentieth -Century Performance from Professor Fiona Macintosh. The ideas she discussed about the controversial female maenad chorus and the presentation of it in the past one-hundred years were interesting, considering the rapidly evolving role of women during that period. Macintosh also talked about the influence of The Bacchae on maenadic and Greek dancing, which paved the way for

an interest in female freedom of expression. She also focused on the enigmatic Maud Allen, who was an iconic dancer known for her controversial Dance of the Seven Veils. We learnt of her influence within the groups of ‘new women’ in society, who endeavoured to exclude the so called ‘Pentheuses’ of the Edwardian era. I found it intriguing how Euripides’ work could trigger such a reaction almost two thousand years later. Following lunch, we went to a final talk on The Mysteries of the Bacchae from Xavier Buxton who discussed the Eleusinian Mysteries, an ancient Greek cult, and the role of cultism in Greek society. It was interesting to hear information on the unknowable corners of antiquity. The performance of Bacchae was unequivocally the highlight of the day. Being given the opportunity to see the play that we had been reading in class as utter neophytes to Ancient Drama was exciting to say the least.The students in grungy outfits reciting Euripides’ masterful Choral Odes in a vaguely kitschy musical style was an interesting take on the tragedy but was ultimately executed effectively. My fellow classmates agreed that by witnessing ancient drama performed live was highly beneficial in allowing us to truly visualise the characters’ personas and motivations.The day was extremely enjoyable, and it was truly a gift to be part of the Drama Festival.

Junior Craft Club Tara Johal, 3S

Every Wednesday lunchtime the legendary Craft Club takes place. It is a club that everyone enjoys and it’s a place where you can have fun and make new friends. Every week you can allow your creativity to run wild as we make a range of items to celebrate important events, from Christmas themed crafts to Thanksgiving heart baskets to Mother’s Day vases. It is incredible fun and a great way to socialise and spend more time with your teachers. It is an inclusive space that is open to everyone, regardless of your crafting ability and experience, where we make amazing and easy crafts. We have recently experienced a Pom Pom craze during which there was an obsession with making countless fluffy Pom Poms and we found that you can never have too many! If you feel like relaxing with your friends and creating beautiful crafts then Craft Club is the place for you. But, don’t just take my word; a member of the club said,

“Craft club is a great club where you get to know new people and make fun crafts at the same time!” I have made many of my friends at the club and look forward to it every week. Craft club also offers a

number of options so if something doesn’t take your liking you can simply move on to the next thing. It is a fun, sociable club and I would recommend it to everyone!



CCF – Biennial Inspection This year’s Biennial Inspection took place on a dry, unseasonably warm March Day. The new location of the Copped Hall Estate meant that the members of the CCF could spread out and enjoy different types of terrain without worrying too much about their exercises disturbing dog walkers or cyclists. The format was a little different this year with the focus very much on the cadets in action. The more formal element of previous inspections, namely a Guard of Honour and Inspection in the Quad, followed by the Reviewing Officer addressing all the cadets in the Great Hall gave way to a more relaxed and intimate inspection, as well as allowing the cadets more time in the field. During the day the cadets – RAF and Army – were divided into sections led by L6 and took part in several activities, displaying a variety of skills. These activities were, in turn, supervised by U6 NCOs while members of staff watched on and awarded points for performance. The activities included: first aid and field emergencies, observation, sniper stalk (in which the cadets were transformed into green slug-like creatures wriggling through the undergrowth), weapon handling, a command task and laser quest. The latter is always one of the highlights of the day as two sections rush about in a frenzy to battle it out! The stakes were high as the cadets were competing not just in the Biennial


Review Tournament but also for the Dan Clack Trophy, which has traditionally been awarded at the end of summer army camp. Section 8, led by Kailen P, was the winning section, with sections 3 and 1 coming in second and third place. Kailen was presented with the awards by Mrs Sue Clack and the Reviewing Officer, Group Captain Mark Manwaring. The Dan Clack Trophy is named in honour of Dan Clack, OB, who was killed in action in Afghanistan. Group Captain Mark Manwaring, who was joined by the RAF Test NCO, Trev Sanderson, our termly link with the RAF, was fulsome in his praise for the Bancroft’s cadets. He outlined the many valuable life skills which the CCF facilitates: leadership; teamwork; self-discipline and communication. He went onto to say that the CCF presents a brilliant opportunity to gain a real head start for future careers because of such skills. Group Captain Manwaring further encouraged the cadets to enjoy the moment, to seize the opportunities offered and to relish the camaraderie. He also thanked the members of school staff who give up so much time to enable pupils to participate in the CCF. Major Hitching gave his thanks to the senior NCOs for supporting the staff ad Mr Pascal for organising the day and making sure everything went smoothly.


Sea Scouts

Matthew Balchin, Scout Section Leader, 4th EFS We start the spring term for the scouts by doing land-scout activities and covering some of the key badges required by the Scout Association. In the second half of the term we welcome new scouts moving up from cubs and spend time in the pool with kayaks and safety equipment learning essential water safety skills. We started this term outdoors, still being heavily impacted by Covid 19 spikes and the need to keep scouts and leaders alike in school and in work. Wrapped up warmly we kicked off with an urban treasure hunt around Woodford Green, competing in teams to find local points of historical interest. The scouts were given maps of lots of possible checkpoints and a unique list for each team of coded locations they had to find. Our final destination led us to the local chip shop and we, naturally, stopped to warm up and sample their wares. The scouts this term demonstrated that they are quite capable of cooking for a small group of people over the small gas

Trangia cookers used by scouts and DofE expeditions the world over. Guided by some of our scout parents, they cooked vegetarian mince tacos with rice with all the usual extras. One of the most challenging topics we have to cover as a scout troop is differing attitudes to gender. This term we looked at this historically within the UK and also looked at differences across the world today. For many of the scouts it was quite thought provoking how, only very recently, some very historical laws and attitudes have changed in the UK and we discovered some quite surprising differences across the world today. With such a large troop, our older scouts play a key role in welcoming and sharing knowledge with our newer scouts and this helps them to attain various leadership badge requirements that are a big focus of the Chief Scout award. This year we didn’t stop for the Easter break as we competed in a friendly interscout sailing and dragon-boating regatta at the end of term and then jumped straight into our summer programme. The scouts

are ready and looking forward to the most exciting term for us ahead which we spend on (and in) the water, paddling and sailing. With seventy scouts on the water and plenty of new boats, the lake at Fairlop Waters will be certainly buzzing on a Thursday evening over the summer period.

Geography Society Primary Teaching Initiative Holly Rouse, 5N

When Miss McIlfatrick told us about the opportunity to teach geography to Year 1 pupils at local primary schools, it sounded like a great challenge. Having been given a PowerPoint of the pupils’ prior learning, we quickly got to work testing everything, creating activities and even asking an U4 tutor group to pretend to be year one students! When the day finally came, we arrived at Staples Road Primary School, armed with our maps and Bancroft’s geography well done stickers. It was an amazing experience, meeting and talking to the children whilst doing whole class games and discussions in smaller groups at their tables. I even learned a couple of new map symbols and heard some very funny stories from the children. A personal highlight for me was the game where the children had to decide whether I (standing on one side of the room) or Carrie (on the other side) was holding the right name for the map symbol on the board and then enjoying their celebrations after getting one correct. It helped us improve our communication skills as well as our ability to think on our feet, to answer questions and adapt activities on the spot to better suit the Year 1s, using the time and resources we had.

Overall, it was a fun and rewarding experience and I felt a distinct sense of pride and achievement seeing the children having fun and learning new things thanks to our activities and teaching. I look forward to doing it again soon as we have been informed that we will be teaching at Wells Primary School.



Litter Picking Mrs S Strong, Head of Charities and Community 2.25 million pieces of litter are dropped on the streets every day. Over time this becomes a danger to wildlife. An area degraded by rubbish becomes less visited and then further neglected due to it being unattractive and contaminated. Littering increases negative behaviour and if we do leave it to local authorities to clean up the cost is £50 million per year. Bancroft’s Prep felt that rather than just talking about the problem, they would get out and do something about it. Armed with wellies, litter pickers, black bin liners and hand wipes 260 children over two days made Woodford Green tidy. They were praised by local members of the community who were pleased to see the goodwill of our children. This generation seem to care so much more about the environment and were disgusted by the behaviour of some people littering our green belt. They all agreed it felt good to do good. Well done, Bancroft’s Prep!

MFL Day Mrs S Strong, French Co-Ordinator, and Mrs K Yelverton, German Co-Ordinator Wednesday 16 March was Modern Foreign Language Day, a biennial tradition when we celebrate our love of French and German through cross-curricular fun! Starting the day with a continental breakfast of pastries and chocolat-chaud, the Alphas and Prep 2s then enjoyed German storytelling with Martina from the Freshwater Theatre Company. After lunch the Betas and Prep 1s watched The World’s Gone French, a play by the Onatti Theatre Company. Later, everyone finished the day with some Black Forest Gateaux. Everyone looked fantastic dressed in the colours of either the German or French flag and it was so collaborative how teachers put a twist into their timetabled lessons by adding a French or German theme. Ms Kelly and Ms Dack made Une Chasse au Trésor, where the children had to search for sporting items in French. It was so much fun! Merci and Danke.



Book Collection

Mrs S Strong, Head of Charities and Community The Prep’s book collection for The London Children’s Book Project was a great success. We collected over 300 pre-loved books for this wonderful charity. Gillian Keegan, who visited our school, said, “I am delighted at the generosity of your children. You have made such a difference to others with such a wide range of beautiful, well-kept books. Thank you very, very much!” We are so lucky to have lots of avid readers at the Prep, a well-stocked, exciting library and homes where reading is a natural part of the daily routine. We are also lucky that we have kind pupils who love to share, so thank you for your generosity and keep reading!

Sustainability Mrs S Strong, Head of Charities and Community, and Mr C Hall, Sports Teacher The new food waste bin in the staff room collected 9.5 kg of food waste in its first week of action which was sent off to be composted and reused. We also have exciting news on our quest for planting and rewilding areas in our local area with our conservation project. The start has mostly come from the money that Business Enterprise raised together with some other fundraising projects. We have planted out the first twelve Bancroft’s trees. Hopefully, by the end of the year we will have planted a tree for every Prep pupil, amounting to 260 trees in total! We will keep you updated.

World Book Day Lara, 2PT On Monday 14 March, we belatedly celebrated World Book Day. On that day everyone could; choose to dress either as a book character or to dress down and wear comfortable clothes. We each brought £1 to raise money for the children’s literacy charity Book Trust. Throughout the morning, we had four activities to do in our houses. The activities were based on four different book genres. The first genre was fantasy and the activity we had to design our own fantasy map. The second genre was humour. In this activity we looked at the book called Aliens Love Underpants and we designed our own underpants, made up our own story similar to the story in the book, wrote a book review for our favourite book and created our own monsters. The next genre was action and adventure. In this we looked at pirates and talked about the different roles of pirates on a ship. We also tried to act like pirates. The final genre was crime and mystery. Here we decoded messages, tried to remember what was missing from a tray of items, did some problem solving and solved some riddles. It was a great day and we raised over £250 for the Book Trust.

In addition to this sustainability drive, we have collected an abundance of used pens and crisp packets to recycle. We have delivered them to St John’s Primary School which is now a teracycle collection point and Churchfields School which collects pens for recycling. Your empty toilet rolls and milk bottle plastic lids are flowing in and were upcycled on our Conservation Day at the end of the term.


Bancroft’s Parents’ Association Mrs S Dar, Chair of PA It’s been an incredibly eventful spring term for the Bancroft’s Parents’ Association with three key events. The popular, Comedy & Curry Evening returned after an absence of two years.The event was a huge success from the offset, with tickets sold out within hours. It was held at the Senior School’s Great Hall. Four fabulous comedians and the host entertained over two hundred attendees providing non-stop laughter for all.The guests were all smiles and giggles as the jokes and witty one liners continued through the night. A delicious three course Indian meal with a busy bar provided a thoroughly enjoyable evening for the guests.The sound of laughter filled the air as guests partied late in the night. The Spring Fayre replaced our annual Christmas Fayre that was cancelled due to Covid. The event was held in the Prep School’s hall and grounds. A beautiful fun-packed sunny March day saw a large number of the Bancroft’s community come together after such a long time. The audience was kept well entertained throughout the day by the melodious Prepettes, street dancing and Morris Dancers There were a variety of indoor and outdoor stalls and activities including: spring treasure hunt, arts and crafts stalls, face and nail painting, glitter tattoos, lavender bag making, plant stalls, sack race, egg and spoon race, football shoot out as well as bean bag and

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hoop throwing. The Prep 2 children also held a stall showcasing their talents selling handmade jewellery and cards. There was also scalectrix and gaming as well as homemade games to challenge the visitors to raise funds for charity. The fayre tickled the taste buds with food stalls including: a sweet shop, Easter Egg tombola, crepe stall, pizza bubble tea, Pimms and soft drinks. Overall, families and staff truly enjoyed this special community event! The Prep children were incredibly excited about the Secret Garden Pantomime production which marked the end of term, especially after the Christmas pantomime had to be cancelled due to Covid. The Bancroft’s Parents’ Association have had a really busy term but it has been thoroughly worth all the time and effort to see our community come together. Thank you to all the parents involved in supporting these events. We are looking forward to a busy summer term, with several events for the Bancroft’s Community including the Prep 1 and 2 Movie Night along with three new events: Thirds and Removes Disco, Wine Tasting and Family Camping. We hope to see many of you at our upcoming events!

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