…from the Headmaster Welcome to another new edition of Skylark, and one which finds our school in the very best of condition. Skylark is a reflection our core aims in practice: we challenge bright boys to achieve the highest standards, we develop a sense of community and shared values and that we support parents in preparing their sons for a fulfilled life. I feel immensely privileged to lead a school community such as Habs: through out my seven years as Headmaster I have found Habs to be a most enthralling and uplifting place. This is where the future of your families, of our country, begins. From age 5 through to 18, we are able to work with and nurture some of the brightest and most talented young minds in Greater London and the United Kingdom. They are all destined, if they so wish, for global success and Skylark and Skylight capture the essence academic excellence and extra-curricular vitality that allows our boys to graduate to leading positions in their chosen field in the UK, in Europe, in the Americas, in Asia and beyond. I have said this before but I believe profoundly that our exceptional boys and exceptional teachers – working together in magnificent surroundings and facilities – allow us to enjoy exceptional success. I was delighted with the splendid results achieved by the Leavers of 2009, the vast majority of whom achieved offers at their first choice university. Indeed, their examination results at ‘A’ level were our best ever. I was equally proud of the performances of the boys following at ‘GCSE’ and ‘AS’ level. We remain, rightly, one of the very best boys’ schools in the UK. Yet academic excellence is simply one aspect of life at Habs. More than anything, we are a community of friends, from many diverse backgrounds but with one shared objective – to make Habs the best it can be. We are more than a school – we are a community that together shapes and benefits from the unique Habs experience. Our aim, our calling, is be not only one of the best schools in Britain, but one of the best schools globally, offering the benefits of the Habs’ educational experience in its widest sense not just to those who can afford it, but also to those who could make the most of it without regard to financial constraint. It is my pleasure yet again to commend Skylark to you all. I hope you enjoy what you read. My thanks, and yours, to all those pupils and staff who have made these pages, and this finest of schools, come to life.
Peter Hamilton Headmaster
Performing Arts..........................................4 Events ......................................................15 Trips .........................................................27 Originals...................................................45 Features...................................................64 Prep & Pre-prep.......................................77 Clubs and Societies .................................89 Houses ...................................................100 CCF / SCS...............................................107 Sport ......................................................115 Old Haberdashersâ€™ .................................133 Common Room ......................................141 The Skylark Team ..................................147
Skylark 2009 Performing Arts
The Madness of George III Senior School Play Plays like The Madness of George III are done, these days, in only three places: the National Theatre, drama schools and boys’ schools. And it takes a boys’ school with a very particular blend of nerve and talent even to think of doing it, and to pull it off with such style and panache. It is almost ten years ago since the responsibility of doing justice to a Norton/Haberdashers’ production was last thrust upon me. Seemingly, despite the wonders of that performance of Henry V, talent runs even deeper these days, enthusiasm dwindles not and the HABS drama band-wagon has assumed, if possible, even more vim, even more swagger.
What an evening! The Madness of George III is a fantastic play, and a fantastic choice of play for a large, varied, intelligent and sensitive cast. In charting the temporary madness of George III it moves through various spheres of life, investigating as it goes the political, social, moral and emotional ramifications of insanity. His shocking and brutal treatment and his heartbreaking separation from his beloved wife, are not only of historical interest but stir us on a direct level emotionally. Of course, the scale of the play alone places a great deal of pressure on its performers; a pressure doubled by their greater responsibility here for setting the scene, its mood and tempo and especially for telling the story on such an elegant but sparsely furnished stage. It is to the enduring credit of Haberdashers’ drama that resources, vision, talent and execution all seem to run at such high levels together.
There is the danger for a large cast of a weak link, from which the thing can never quite recover: again, no such problem here. The cast went about their work with great aplomb. There were so many servants, butlers, doctors, artists, politicians, doormen, dressers, and waiting ladies pouring on and off the stage in a constant stream of business and colour that the ‘world’ of the play was so successfully created that I quite wanted, for a day or two, for ‘Sharp, sharp. The king, the king’ to accompany my every entrance into a room. A real household was created before our eyes, with all its devotion, loyalty, love, jealousy, cynicism and corruption. In essence an extremely strong ensemble performance. Olivia Renney, as Queen Charlotte, gave us an elegant and understated performance, perfectly balanced against George’s bluster and wit and brought both comedy and depth to their relationship. It was in no small part down to her
quiet and devoted devastation that their cruel separation was so heartbreaking. A swaggering, haughty, but not entirely despicable Prince of Wales was gorgeously brought to life by Sam Briggs, ably manipulated with varying degrees of cunning and stupidity by his ghastly entourage including a fabulously dense Duke of York from Alex Sherr, and the delightfully scheming Jack Finger as Mr. Fox. Matthew Cowen, by contrast, gave us the very essence of duty and purpose in his upstanding, responsible and touching Mr. Pitt. A strong and sturdy Dundas from Niall Moore played excellently opposite Charles Reith’s rather shady Thurlow. Bringing a fabulous mixture of absurdity and horror with them, the king’s doctors were perfect. We end up thanking and admiring the uncompromising Dr. Willis, played with great presence by Elliott Ross. Here was a performance unafraid to be disliked, sure of himself and of his purpose, entirely in character. Before him we had sat through three of the most terrifying idiots imaginable, none more so than the fabulous Adam Pabiani wonderfully insisting that ‘the stool is more eloquent than the pulse’! Magnificently bringing Dr. Pepys to grotesque life, he stood alongside the austere Dr. Warren (Sam Gaus) and the idiotic but loyal household doctor Sir George Baker (Sam Heitlinger), stood together onstage sneering and plotting against one another. Further comedy was offered by Philip Stocks as Sir Boothby Skyrmshir and Richard Breislin as his nephew Ramsden who, although mute, nearly managed to steal the show. At the heart of the play, of course, is the king. And what a king! A towering central performance from the outstanding Alex Woolf 5
Skylark 2009 Performing Arts
was not only wonderful in itself, but made the other performances possible. He supplied the play with its heart and soul and gave a performance of staggering maturity, subtlety and clarity. Bravely he allowed expression to George’s rampant sexual appetite, a source of great humour. He made his character’s famous ‘what, what’ so much his own that when it returned to him as he returned to health there was collective rejoicing in the audience. To have played so convincingly and persuasively an old man’s descent into madness at such a tender age, and to have done so encompassing all the rage, confusion, and pathos demanded by the part was no mean feat, but his seamless transition into ‘playing’ King Lear was simply extraordinary. Both Lear and George demand that we believe that it is possible to see truth in madness. This performance gave voice to that most eloquently. But one performance doth not a play make and credit must go to the whole company, not only for their individual performances but for the collective effort, for the fine ensemble playing which is lamentably so rarely found in theatre these days. The relationships were so finely wrought and pitched so well that none of the action seemed forced at any point and the audience were allowed in and allowed to care. I have mentioned the relationship between husband and wife, but special mention must also be made of the Pitt/King duo. Their scenes were played with poise and simplicity, never denying us the chance to see both the great personal admiration each had for the other and the intense frustration on 6
both sides at the impossibility of conducting constructive business: a marriage of a different kind, but as central as the other marriage in the play. There was great joy on stage throughout. The message of the play is to do with love: love as a tender, essential and healing force in life; as George himself says on his return to health: ‘love, that is the keynote’. This production never lost sight of that without ever toppling into sentimentality and using the brutal depiction of medical science and the absurdity of the Prince of Wales as potent antidotes. It is the job of professional critics to encourage audiences to see a production. Alas, I can’t
given Madness’ short life. Nevertheless it was a wonderful evening and one which will linger in the memory.
Richard Goulding Richard Goulding is a professional actor, who was plucked out of drama school to play opposite Sir Ian McKellen in the last Royal Shakespeare Company production of “The Eagle”, and has had an impressive start to his career.
Skylark 2009 Performing Arts
The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui Middle School Play Middle school plays are an odd phenomenon – young actors and actresses have the task of portraying mature adults in serious situations. At HABS, the actors are never given something simple to play, and this year was no different. Bertholt Brecht’s chilling piece The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui is one of the hardest tasks with which the middle school has ever been presented. Set in 1930s Chicago it is an allegory for the rise of Hitler in Germany of the same time period. This presented the boys with the seemingly impossible challenge of playing German characters, written by a German, in American accents and with American cultural references. However, they rose to it with ease, and the result was perhaps the best middle school play of recent years, and certainly one of the best school productions around. From the first moment, as Efe Uwaifo announced the situation of the play, and introduced the main characters, it was clear that they were not fazed by their task, and that the audience were in for a display of brilliance. Every scene is based on a real event, and despite the use of the Chicagoan accent, the political characters of Weimar Germany were made clearly apparent. Darius Price’s high maniacal laugh as Giri,
representing Hermann Goering, was enough to scare all those concerned, and Richard Breislin’s honest old Dogsborough (Hindenburg) was deeply moving, as he reflected on 80 years of work being destroyed by one moment of selfishness, shadowed by his adoring son, Imy Shibu. Other members of Ui’s gang were also played brilliantly, including the Matthew Perlman as the ill-fated Ernesto Roma, and Faadil Patel playing the limping Givola. Ui’s bullying bodyguards were played by Dominic Dyett and Alok Prinja. Eliot Cohen also impressed in his wonderfully over-the-top triple role of Actor, Judge, and Priest, performing Mark Antony’s famous funeral speech in a truly thespian style. The Cauliflower Trust, played by Jack Mackenzie, Sahvan Karia, Jack Reitman, Nick Royce, and Adam Kayani (who also took on the part of Defence Counsel) were the model of trust, showing how the honest workers were trapped into protection rackets, and the futility of resistance, as did Harry Krais, as Hook, whose warehouse was burnt down This futility was also seen in the performance of AkshayKishan Karia, who seemed both physically and psychologically bullied by the gang, as Ignatius Dullfleet. Another excellent performance well outside the normal boys-school comfort zone came from Loic Desplanques, as Betty Dulfleet, who had the incredibly difficult task of playing
the opposite sex. Scott Gordon was the model of the exasperated but well-intentioned police chief as O’Casey. All this was brought together, by fantastic ensemble playing. No actor seemed there to make up the numbers, and all pulled their weight in what was a magnificent success. As one teacher remarked, ‘One of the best things was the way that boys in smaller roles, playing in the background, had moments of unexpected brilliance’. Reece AugustinSpooner, as Goodwill, gave a memorable singing performance, and worked well with Glenn Edwards, as Gaffles. Jack Adler, Riyan Shah, Michali Demetroudi, Joseph Myers, and Zak Kay played the reporters and vegetable sellers who gave the performance its bustling nature. All of them deserve hearty congratulations. One deserves separate mention, however. In a play with a title character, one person is always placed under special pressure. And this year, as Arturo Ui, succeeding such heavyweights as Anthony Sher, Leonard Rossiler and David Tennant in the role, James Colenutt took the extraordinary weight placed on his shoulders and threw it around the stage. It was he who marked Hitler’s transition from angry ambitious bully to cool political operator, including along the way one of the best goosestep scenes outside Fawlty Towers. He fit the character
Skylark 2009 Performing Arts
perfectly, with his manner changing quickly and without warning from flattery to maniacal anger. This was complemented by his change, over the course of the play in vocal tones, from the unpleasant staccato of a mobster to the fierce rhetoric of a demagogue, in appearance, from slicked-back hair and pencil moustache to Hitler fringe and toothbrush ‘tache, and in gesture – his penultimate scene, played over the top of a recording of an actual Nazi Rally, was characterised by the sharp movements and violence of Hitler’s public speaking, so that by the finish the audience was in no way deceived as to who he was meant to be.
And it was he who reminded us, as he stepped out of character to break the ‘fourth wall’ at the end, of the real greatness of this piece – its antityrannical message. In Brecht’s words “The world was almost won by such an ape! The nation’s put him where his kind belong. But do not rejoice too soon at your escape — The womb he crawled from is still going strong.” The true success of this production came not from any individual display of acting, or any special technical effects – although the red Nazi banners unfurling with a snap does stick in the memory, and much credit must go not only to Hugh Silver and his team (Philip Whitehead,
Shaneil Shah, Ashley Talai, and Jack Tallboys but to George Cox, who made the fantastic tommyguns from scratch, Simone Jones, who provided wonderfully detailed costumes, and Bruno Heinen and Michael Winawer for performing live music) – but that this message was so comprehensively put across whilst maintaining the humour and involvement contained in the script – an almost impossible feat. Andrew Shipley L6
“Murder! Extortion! Highway Robbery!” After months of hectic rehearsals, a magnificent, thrilling and exciting performance of “The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui” was performed by students of the middle school (Year 9’s and 10’s). This was my first performance at HABS and I was anxious and somewhat nervous when auditioning because I wasn’t confident that I would get through. As I succeeded and was selected to be part of the cast, I was relieved and looked forward to the rehearsals. From then on there was serious work to do and there were rehearsals during lunch breaks and after school. And not only that, as we were getting closer to the performance nights there were rehearsals during the weekend usually on Sunday (a rest day! Ha Ha Ha!). Not only was I twiddling my thumbs at times and getting homework out of the way, I also had to forgo a cricket match here or there. 8
But this level of commitment had to be made for this performance to be presented to an audience for them to enjoy a piece of skilled art work of Drama.
thrilling pace. All three performance nights whizzed by as though “time was flying”. It was exhilarating with the last performance being the best.
The play was about Arturo Ui, a fictional 1930’s Chicago mobster who attempted to control the cauliflower racket by ruthlessly disposing of the opposition. The play also makes parallels to Adolf Hitler in Nazi Germany - Ui representing Hitler, his henchman Ernesto Roma representing Ernst Rohm, and fate of Cicero city was compared to Austria. Every scene is the play is based on a real event such as “the Warehouse-fire Trial” (the Reichstag Fire Trial) – just full of parallels!
What started off as a hotch-potch of people ended up being a team of actors. The hardworking and diligent team effort paid off in fabulous performances. This performance wouldn’t have been the same without James Colenutt playing the leading role (Arturo Ui) or without an ensemble of effort from the cast. I thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience, and I have learnt a lot and made some good friends.
As the days were flying by and the performance nights were approaching, we were all experiencing a mixture of emotions. On the first night the whole cast was apprehensive but excited and thrilled at the same time. As we progressed through the performance it was a breeze and every scene and act ran smoothly and at a steady yet
By Riyan Shah Year 9
Skylark 2009 Performing Arts
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Junior School Play As the lights opened onto the packed drama studio on a balmy summer evening, the audience caught their first glimpse of the great visual spectacle that lay before them. The entire stage had been transformed, by Hugh Silver and his enthusiastic stage crew, into a magical chocolate factory. The impressive set was enhanced by the audacious use of video projectors by the Director, Jeremy Cox. They provided the stunned audience with a multi-dimensional feast, with effects such as the fantastic Chocolate River, Nut room and the Invention room which appeared as though they were spilling over into the audience. The performance began with an assured and performance from the Narrator played confidently by Joe Fraser who introduced the very colourful characters who emerged from the audience. The Narrator was used all throughout the performance and brilliantly
linked the separate scenes. The audience was then transported to the Bucket household where the family, played by Danny Wiser, Boaz Levy, Yash Kejriwal, Irfan Allana, Arun Mehta, Rufus McAlister and Sam Sharpe as Charlie Bucket, were first introduced to us. The play soon progressed to Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory where we first met the protagonist, Willy himself. He was played expertly by the masterful Anand Patel who perfectly grasped the mystery and magic of the iconic role. Soon Wonka began his tour of the factory with the golden ticket winners, Simon Cobb playing Augustus Gloop, Zak Mandell as Varuca Salt, Chris Combemale as Mike teavee, Violet Beauregarde played by Harry Graham and of course Charlie our hero. As soon as the tour started the lucky winners began getting lost in mysterious ways. The most memorable was the disappearance of Augustus Gloop who appeared as though he was dragged into the projected Chocolate River
and under the stage. Mike Teavee’s end was also extremely imaginative. The use of live cameras and pre-recorded video meant it appeared as though the actor had actually travelled through a TV set and into a strange new world. With his expulsion Charlie was left as the final ticket winner and the end of the play. Charlie himself was played by Sam Sharpe, in contrast to the other winners, as an innocent and honest boy and much of the audience’s faith was invested in him. This year’s Junior School Play, marvellously fitting in with the fine drama tradition at Habs, was an outrageous success due to its fantastic cast, imaginative set and projections and brilliant direction from Jeremy Cox who’s priceless advice and instruction was valued highly by the entire cast and crew.
James Colenutt 11M1
Skylark 2009 Performing Arts
Barbican Gala Concert Pacing nervously through the labyrinth of corridors that forms the backstage to the Barbican hall, one cannot fail to be struck by the pictures of the world’s greatest musicians gracing its stage. And so it was that, suitably humbled, the joint choirs, bands and orchestras of HABS Girls’ and Boys’ Schools rehearsed on the afternoon of Monday 16th March 2009. HABS Boys last travelled to the Barbican in 2006, but following the success of the following year’s joint orchestral concert, it was decided that our next Gala concert should be a joint venture. The concert was opened by the compère for the evening, Alasdair Malloy, the Principal Percussionist of the BBC Concert Orchestra (and father of two performers), and the Combined Symphony Orchestra took to the stage. This force of over 150 players, under the baton of Andrew Philips, the Girls’ School Director of Music, started the concert vigorously with Stravinsky’s Circus Polka. The 1942 work, subtitled For a Young Elephant, was composed for a ballet performed by fifty elephants and fifty ballerinas. The music, therefore, mimics the sounds of the circus, with a dainty flute and piccolo passage played over elephantine tuba and lower strings. A great change of mood was to follow, as the sensitivity of the orchestra was displayed through Ravel’s moving Pavane pour une infante défunte (Pavane for a Dead Infanta,) evoking the elegance of a young princess and the Spanish court as she moves through the steps of the pavane. The piece affords the wind colorful solo passages, which were played to great effect, balancing the subtle pianissimo marking with the need to fill the large hall with sound. Finaly, the orchestra mustred up great nationalist spirit with the Karelia Suite by Finish composer Jean Sibelius. The second movement’s Cor Anglais solo was handled skilfully by Max Jenkins, and the stirring third movement (Alla Marcia) played energetically by the powerful brass section. There followed the enthusiastic Joint Prep Schools’ Senior Choirs, with Gummersson’s Singing all together, Simmons’ Butterfly, and Hine Ma Tov. This large choir, led jointly by Ms Hoffler of the Boys’ School and Mr Swindon of the Girls’ displayed an impressive sense of ensemble and great energy in their performance. Closing the first half was Mr Simm’s Big Band, a group that has so much improved over recent years. Their first piece was the demanding A Night in Tunisia, written by Dizzy Gillespie and Frank Paparelli, a rhythmic and loud piece, which showed off the performers’ ensemble playing. Their second piece was Gordon Goodwin’s hugely exciting Count Bubba, in which the Band played with great precision and clarity in the technical passages in which the theme is moved around the various sections of the ensemble Suitably refreshed, the audience returned to the Girls’ School St Catherine Singers, led by Ms Caperon, providing great sensitivity with Passereau’s Il est bel et bon, and Kodaly’s Mountain Heights, a wordless piece with evocative harmonic passages. They closed with Sondheim’s lively You could drive a person crazy. It was left, then, to Alasdair Malloy to introduce the final act, the powerful Combined Choral Society, accompanied by the Joint Chamber Orchestra. They played the seven movements of John Rutter’s Feel the Spirit, a work based around ‘seven negro spirituals,’ arranged to create a great range in the sounds of the orchestra. So the opening Joshua fit the battle of Jericho, was followed by the evocative Steal Away, with the mezzo-soprano solo sung by Kate Symonds-Joy, an opera student at the Royal Academy of Music. Various orchestral solos in the wind and brass punctuate the choir’s melodic lines, and provided a huge diversity in dynamic and timbre. The energetic finale, When the Saints go marching in, provided a very enjoyable end to a successful evening. Thanks, as always, must go to Mr Muhley, Mr Simm, Miss Cousens and Miss Valentine, along with the instrumental staff and the music teachers at the Girls’ School. The concert provided a valuable experience for the performers, and a wonderful evening for all.
Aaron Taylor L6
Skylark 2009 Performing Arts
Battle of the Bands For two days, on March 23rd and 24th, Haberdashers’ was transformed from a Hertfordshire boys’ school to a full-blown festival, complete with lasers, smoke and, of course, lots of very loud music. Yes, it is true: Battle of the Bands had returned to the Haberdashers’ Aske’s Boys’ School for yet another extremely successful year. The performance was opened with a brief, but impressive guitar solo from school legend Johnny Parr, before the audience was treated to the sight of presenters Raphael Rosler and Charlie Reith evidently in their finest attire. They introduced the first band, Inquest, a band that comprised two Upper Sixth girls from the Girls’ School and three Year 8 boys, who gave a spirited performance to begin the show. The next band was Peter and the Senior Management, who opened their set with a blistering rendition of Let Me Entertain You. Adorned with make-up and donning prefects’ cloaks, they embodied what the spirit of fun that surrounds this event. They then played the Supertramp classic Goodbye Stranger, complete with Wurlitzer and full guitar effects. The drummer, Matthew Anisfeld was subsequently awarded the prize of “Best Drummer” for his excellent performance. The final band on the first day, Beatless had clearly rehearsed every moment of their set to perfection. Lead guitarist Kaz Ong was set to win the award for “Best Guitarist” after a blisteringly fierce solo in the legendary song Sweet Child O’ Mine which he performed with flair and gusto. The band would go on to win the entire competition after a truly spectacular performance. The second day was opened by the aptly named Pokémaniacs who performed the Pokémon theme tune, bringing back fond memories of the past. They were quickly followed by L.S.D. who performed a highly experimental set including whipping out an unexpected cover of Low by Flo Rida, arranged for a full rock band. Their singer, Daiyaan Ghani won the “Best Vocalist” award this year for his spirited performance. The next band, Pancreas, saw the welcome return of an Old Haberdasher, Daniel Mahaffey, who was set to win the “Best Bassist” category. Pancreas performed popular hits by Radiohead, The Strokes and Bloc Party and pulled off an extraordinary performance, despite the lead singer forgetting to turn on his microphone at the beginning of the set. Shmully and the Gentiles, a band made up of the organisers of the event provided entertainment while the judges made their decision. Overall, the event was widely felt to be a resounding success.
Jonathan Metzer L6 11
Skylark 2009 Performing Arts
Wind Bands‘ Concert
The Seldon Hall rang with great music, it made the parents‘ and teachers‘ jaws drop.
Amid the turbulent weather and subsequent disruption that surrounded the beginning of the year, the Wind Bands‘ Concert stands out as one of the most memorable events of the first half of the Spring Term, with its eclectic mix of music ranging from the baroque period up to the present day. Proceedings were begun by the ever-popular Jazz Band playing Duke Ellington’s exotic jazz classic Caravan, played with flair by all members of the ensemble. As the concert continued, it was obvious to all present that ensemble wind music at HABS is of a high standard on all instruments and in all genres, whether in the form of the Senior Brass’s rendition of pieces evoking the atmosphere of New York, the Flute Quartet’s lively playing of the Gavotte & Musette from Grieg’s Holberg Suite or bassoonists Harry Mistry and Eshan Singhal performance of the traditional Scottish Skye Boat Song. This part of the concert was concluded with the Concert Band invigorating the audience with John William’s Raiders March from the Indiana Jones films, conducted by Mr Simm.
This was the Junior Concert. Although one of the smaller concerts, held this year in the Seldon Hall at on the 26th November, it is always a delight to see young and old musicians side-by-side performing such great entertainment in the Junior Concert. To some it was the first concert and all the young boys put their nerves beside and played the music they enjoy the best that they could, with spectacular results. Mr Pritchard started the concert with his famous Jazz Band, most notably performing Chameleon by Herbie Hancock. The Jazz Band played so fluently that it was hard for the other music groups to compete. The spectators were in luck: they did compete. After several skilled guitarists played Two Basque Folksongs, the quiet, gentle and peaceful flutes played Tango which was led by Miss Core. Next Miss Harvey directed the Saxophone Choir who played the Sea Song. Just before the interval the youngest band of the night played: The FT Band, a new brass band for beginners conducted by Mr Bentley, gave a fantastic rendition of the American Spirit Overture. The second half started well with FT Band‘s string sister: the String Orchestra which is the start of any great string player. The Brass Ensemble then played an audience favourite: the theme from Wallace and Gromit. The audience was then treated to an elegant solo by Keval Haria, who played a magnificent piece by Hasse. He received a standing ovation in what was surely one of the highlights of the evening. Another group of guitarists gave a vibrant performance of the Wild West Medley. Then the concert closed with the largest ensemble, the Wind Sinfonia. This was lead by HABS’ newest music teacher: Miss Cousens, who brought the best out of all the Sinfonia’s members. The parents left in high spirits after hearing the Armed Forces March and Soul Bossa Nova (the theme from Austin Powers).
Hugo Davidson Year 7
Guitar & Percussion Concert “Oh bother!” was an exclamation heard all too many times, in the Percussion Studio during the build up to the guitar and percussion concert. Whatever our doubts, the performances would come together in a most formidable way. Despite its reputation as one of the more noisy concerts (to put it lightly) Messrs Beryl and Woodhouse put on a plethora of contrasting and entertaining pieces. The concert took the audience on a journey around the musical world. A performance of Afro Amero by a percussion ensemble and Ghanaia performed solo by Raphael Rosler displayed a rich African influence. We visited Spain with a solo marimba performance of Asturias by Matthew Anisfeld and many Spanish influenced guitar pieces. Mr Woodhouse himself graced the stage to join a guitar ensemble playing a traditional Spanish mandolin. This was, as ever, the most diverse concert of the year. The audience was treated to a roaring finale of Sousa’s Stars and Stripes Forever, arranged for full percussion ensemble, which was promptly repeated for an encore, and the audience emerged having thoroughly enjoyed the evening.
Matthew Anisfeld L6
The second half began in fine spirits, as the Wind Sinfonia, under the baton of Miss Cousens, wowed the audience with the Mission Impossible theme tune, setting a high standard for the remainder of the evening. This was easily matched by the newly-formed FT Band, for younger members of the school, playing the old favourite, the Macarena. Special mention must go to the Jazz Flute Group & Friends, who not only played Gershwin’s Do It Again with considerable style, but also performed an original piece by pianist James Rose entitled What Of It? The final item was the Big Band, renowned throughout the school for their gutsy performances and powerful sound. This proved to be no exception, their renditions of Dizzy Gillespie’s classic Night in Tunisia and Gordon Goodwin’s Count Bubba stunning all present. Congratulations are due to Woodwind Prize winner Rohan Sheth and recipients of the Wesley Woodage Brass Prize Luke Tullo and Will Martin, all of whom were highly deserving of their awards. As the audience left the hall, their ears buzzing with the sounds of the evening, the minds of the Concert Band and Big Band turned to their impending performances in the National Festival of Music for Youth, only hoping that they could replicate the sheer sense of joy and energy of that night’s excellent concert.
Andrew Rose L6
Skylark 2009 Performing Arts
Autumn Concert Haberdashers’ Concert Band, under the brand new baton of Mr Simm, opened the Autumn Concert of 2008 to tremendous applause. Having just returned from a tour of Budapest and Vienna, the players were excited to perform a medley from the West End smash The Producers and did so with natural flair. We look forward to the forthcoming sounds from the Concert Band under its new direction. Leland Hui is an impressive performer with natural flair and tremendous technique. Through further study at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, his performance has been nurtured, leading him to win the much acclaimed HABS Young Musician of the Year 2008 Title. His performance of Brahms’ Rhapsody in G Minor was a very welcome addition to the evening. Mr Beryl, percussionist extraordinaire, led his ensembles to success once again, reminding us all of the music department’s diverse nature, owing to the fact that many of the percussionists play several other instruments as well. Big Band closed the first half with a remarkable rendition of Mofongo. Mr Simm has taken the ensemble a long way from when he joined the school and it was delightful to hear such a tight sound from a very successful ensemble. Mr Corrall who leaves the school after many dedicated years’ service put in a surprise appearance as Old McDonald whilst the whole of Year 7 sang a medley of popular tunes and the Symphony Orchestra closed the night with a night from The Nutcracker.
Raphael Rosler U6
Orchestral Concert The Orchestral Concert of 2008 saw a variety of performances including soloist Euan Au and two string quartets playing a huge repertoire of pieces for the audience’s enjoyment. Experienced performer and conductor Mr Bantock has always found fun and exciting articles for his ensembles to play. This year was no different and the audience was treated to Is this the way to Amarillo?, played by a cello ensemble and Russian Fantasy, played by the Philomusica ensemble at a level far beyond what is expected, even of a school of Haberdashers’ calibre. HABS String Soloists gave remarkable renditions of Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 3 and of Adagio for Organ and Strings. Their enthusiasm was matched by the delicate playing and attention to detail. New recruit, Miss Cousens performed with the ensemble on the school’s brand new organ. The Symphony Orchestra, under the baton of Mr Gee, performed a fine rendition of Legend 1, a contemporary work by Alfonso Romero as well as Double Bass Concerto by Alan Ridout, performed with finesse by Aaron Winsloe. a longstanding member of the Symphony Orchestra, Aaron recently became a member of the National Youth Orchestra, undoubtedly the UK’s best youth orchestra. After leaving the school this year, he will go on to perform in the BBC Proms with the NYO. His dedication and commitment to rehearsals will be sorely missed in the years to come. The audience left in high spirits after a greatly successful concert.
Raphael Rosler U6 13
Skylark 2009 Performing Arts
Summer Concert The Summer Concert is always one of the most memorable of the year at HABS, which was especially true this year on May 7th. An excited audience filled the hall and were treated first to a rousing performance by Mr Simm’s Concert Band playing Tribute to Count Basie, led by Aaron Taylor. The excitement continued with two of Mr Beryl’s Percussion Ensembles: the younger group playing Maheeko and a fine tribute to the USA in the elders’ rendition of The Stars and Stripes. The ensembles continued with some of the best saxophonists in the school and their director, Miss Harvey, playing Fairplay in a vibrant performance, followed by a beautiful and soothing recital of La Castãna by Mr Woodhouse’s Guitar Ensemble. Mr Bantock’s cellists then played with intricacy and style the Beatles’ classic Maxwell’s Silver Hammer. The final act of the first half was the Big Band, with their enthusiastic and jazzy conductor, Mr Simm. Their piece Hunting Wabbits was as always with the Big Band, exciting and superbly performed. As the audience enjoyed their surprise summertime ice-cream in the foyer, they were entertained by Mr Pritchard’s Jazz Band, who played The Girl from Ipanema as well as other fun pieces of different styles. The Philomusica ensemble was an act that nobody could forget. They showed their ability to play varying styles when they performed Gymnopedie No. 1 and the Austin Powers theme, Soul Bossa Nova, dressed in their elegant scarves, with their umbrellas, for the first, and in their bright 60s’ hats and wigs for the latter, and in some cases, dresses! The conductor, Mr Bantock, was seen in a completely different light, here, with his lit up baton, and crown. A marimba solo followed, played by Raphael Rosler, who showed his truly outstanding ability, amazing the audience with the virtuosic playing. The Jazz Trio also played very impressively together, with James Rose’s stylish piano, Ben Cherkas’ skilful bass, and Ishwar Mahesh’s talented drumming. The final act was HABS’ Symphony Orchestra, which first played the Rienzi Overture conducted by Mr Muhley, and then involved the all of the audience and pupils in an uplifting rendition of our beloved school song: Jerusalem. For many of HABS’ musicians, this was their final concert, and it was definitely one to remember. They all made this evening very memorable, as of course, did the teachers who made this all happen, including Miss Valentine as well. As a result, all of the audience left the hall very pleased, and not just from the interval treats!
Akshay-Kishan Karia Year 10
Keyboard Concert Much of HABS’ musical talent seems in some way related to the piano, and this was on full display in the Keyboard Concert. Although the Seldon Hall can be a daunting arena even at the best of times, all the students who performed pulled out the stops to make it a thoroughly enjoyable evening. Particular highlights included James Rose’s transcription of Yesterdays by Art Tatum, and Leland Hui, living up to his name as the current Young Musician of the Year and showing a tremendous talent for HABS to enjoy in the future. The concert was started off by WeiYing Chen, with a moving rendition of Chopin’s Prelude in D flat, providing the audience with a fitting start to the concert. The half was finished off by a breathtaking performance by James, lighting up the Seldon Hall with his dazzling fingerwork. There were many other performances of credit, showcasing the talent that was on offer and that will no doubt be put to use over the coming years. Highlights of the second half included a duet by Rufus BartKoranteng with his teacher Mr Lyon, a feat that he performed commendably. Ishwar Mahesh performed a good interpretation of Rachmaninoff’s Prelude in C Sharp Minor. The concert was closed off by Raphael Rosler with a tremendous performance of the 3rd Movement of Gershwin’s Piano Concerto in F, with his teacher from Guildhall School of Music and Drama playing the orchestral reduction on a second piano. Raphael skilfully led the audience through the nuances of the piece, making it a truly magnificent end to the concert.
Ishwar Mahesh Year 11
Young Musician of the Year This year’s music festival saw some of the most thrilling and passionate performances ever seen in the music school, in what was most certainly the highest quality final to date. A huge variety of acts performed ranging from intense cello solos to a heavy metal electric guitar duet. Adjudicating the final was Mr Quentin Thomas (director of music at Haileybury School, Ware), who admitted that picking a winner was an almost impossible task. He commended Oliver Rutherford highly for his tasteful and well-mastered drum solo and also Ryosuke Yamada on his effortless and emotional piano performance. In the end, Mr Thomas decided that the best performance of the evening came from Terra, Ventus, Incendia (or Earth, Wind and Fire for those non-classicists) who became the seventh winners of the Haberdashers’ Young Musician of the Year and the first ever ensemble to have been awarded the title, featuring trumpets, trombone, saxophones and a complete rhythm section.
Sam Freeman L6 14
Skylark 2009 Events
Orator of The Year The annual Orator of the Year commenced on a rainy Tuesday lunchtime inside the Aske Hall. After drawing randomly numbered cards determining the order of proceedings, the finalists went over their speeches on the fascinating title of 'Man is not Superman'. Luke Ilott began proceedings with an exploration of the origins of the 'Superman' character, created by Jerry Siegel, and how that related to our present day situation with a commanding style. Oliver Anisfeld began with a torrent of German before explaining to a perplexed audience the significance of the philosopher Nietzsche in the discussion and the concept of Übermensch and posed the question 'What is ape to man?', ergo suggesting that it was feasible for man to become superman in the future. Matthew Anisfeld enlivened proceedings and asserted his age by relating various erotic concepts and double-entendres to the question to the equal amusement and bemusement of his listeners. Willy Thong analysed the argument in a very structurally sound manner which guided his audience superbly, showing how technology is the superman, and the machines that we use make us superhuman. Edward Upson, the youngest of the group, intelligently related the ideals of hero worship and the superman and exposed the follies of
society in admiring a figure such as Paris Hilton by comparison with Roger Federer. The clear winner, however, was Akshay-Kishan Karia, who, without any prompting note cards, sublimely examined the idea of self-betterment, and argued that in reality everyone was too concerned with self-actualisation rather than the status of other human beings. This lucid critique was unanimously appraised by the judging committee as the winning speech. The Chief Judge Mrs. Gleeson voiced her praise of all of the candidates, who, she said, had put on
the best Orator final she had seen; she also said that the competition was so close that all of the other five speakers were worthy runnersup. Akshay-Kishan Karia received the shield from previous winner Ameya Tripathi, who commended the speakers on putting on an impressive and original showing.
Ameya Tripathi Year 11
The Senior Citizens’ Tea Party Although an event primarily organised by the Girls’ School, this year has seen the biggest contribution from the boys towards the organisation of the Senior Citizens’ Tea Party. After several months of intense work and coordination, the eight Lower Sixth boys on the committee managed to recruit volunteers and compile an entertainment schedule for the elderly guests. On the day itself, bright eyed volunteers arrived early to set up the hall and wrap presents, whilst entertainers crammed in some last minute practice. The senior citizens arrived soon after, and were politely seated at their tables – and whilst they were served tea, it was very encouraging to see the students actively chatting to guests. The entertainment then began, with notable performances from Wei-Ying Chen, Charlie Schaffer and Oliver Fox. The entertainment was brought to a close with an unforgettable stand-up comedy performance by Mr Metcalfe, who was greeted with rapturous applause. Mr Moriarty of the Girls’ School then led the audience in a number of traditional carols, many of which the volunteers had never heard, but to which
guests sang heartily. The highlight of the day for many was the dance floor, with guests and students dancing together for most of the afternoon. Having been presented with their gifts, it was a very satisfied group of visitors who left the school in their coaches and minibuses. Thanks must go to Mrs Gomez,
Miss McKenzie, my fellow committee members and volunteers, without whom the event would not have been such a resounding success.
Ravi Shah L6
Skylark 2009 Events
On Sunday 21st June, we opened our doors to over 120 visitors for the annual Mencap Funday. Our new and enthusiastic committee were determined that this was going to be the best yet, and right from the beginning we knew we were on to a winner. The weather was perfect, waiting time was minimal, and each organiser was armed with a walkietalkie to smooth out any slight wrinkles.
For the first time ever we hired a troupe of animals, and the two handlers put on shows during the day. The children loved stroking and holding some of the more cuddly animals such as the chinchilla, and some of the more daring even held a tarantula! We were also grateful to the Mill Hill Rotary Club, who gave the children rides on their train around the campus. Some of the regulars remembered and enjoyed our bouncy castle, disco, computer games, funfair, candyfloss and more.
Miss Marx and Mrs Lee, as well as the girls and boys school committees, put a huge amount of effort into the day and it really showed. Best of luck to all of those taking on the responsibility next year!
Freddie Fulton U6J1
Where else could you see the now School Captain dressed as a gigantic duck but at Mencap Funday? Every volunteer really got into the spirit of the day, some wearing costumes, some playing music for the lunchtime concert and others staying far later than they had to in order to help us clear up at the end. Dr Perera, Mrs Baron,
Skylark 2009 Events
Professor Anthony Slinn Lecture School-favourite Professor Anthony Slinn returned for another year on the 26th March to deliver a talk on Picasso’s famed painting “Guernica”. Although he may not have been expecting to share the day with a visit from Jesse Jackson, Anthony Slinn delivered yet another exciting and interesting talk, as we have become accustomed to expect. Indeed, Anthony Slinn delved deep into the creation and evolution of one of Picasso’s most famous pieces, retelling the history of the horrendous Bombing of Guernica that shocked Picasso into producing the painting. As ever, Anthony Slinn embellished his account with his own understandings and opinions, interjecting his slide-show with snapshots of articles and books, and personal pictures of his own visits to the market-town Guernica as it stands today. As insightful and impressive as all of his other talks to date, Professor Anthony Slinn’s visit to HABS was enjoyed by all.
Gregory Steckelmacher L6
Goldman Sachs Finance Day On Friday 19th September 2008, four Lower Sixth students (Parav Pandya, Wei-Ying Chen, Manesh Mistry, and Ravi Shah) had the great opportunity to visit Goldman Sachs along with students from five other schools across London. Incredibly, this visit coincided with possibly the most eventful and volatile week ever witnessed in the financial world due to the sudden collapse of Lehman Brothers and HBOS. Throughout the week, worried looks were passed around as we contemplated the possibility of Goldman Sachs following its fellow banks into closure. However, on Friday morning we were relieved to see that Goldmans was still afloat and our opportunity had not passed. The financial, ‘maths’ day included three lectures where we learnt about some financial aspects of investment banking such as bonds, arbitrage, call and put options and hedging. Before lunch, we were treated to a tour of the building which included seeing agitated traders running exasperated (no doubt due to the current financial situation) and also visiting Goldman Sachs’ very own fitness suite which boasted the largest underground gym in England. Everyone was deeply impressed but this could not prepare us for the cafeteria which included stalls where people could design their own pizzas and eat food from over 20 countries! However, hopes of eating there were quickly dashed as our group
promptly left the room and returned to the conference room to find a tray of sandwiches and crisps. The event was highly informative and to test what the boys had learnt, there was a quick game to end the day off, where (naturally) we dominated, winning a Goldman Sachs stationary set. The day was extremely enjoyable thanks to a fantastic lecturer and the enthusiastic spirits of everyone there.
Parav Pandya L6
The Monmouth Initiative The experience really began on Monday 10th November, with a large dinner at Haberdashers’ Hall, a dignified yet stylish building in the centre of London. I was seated at a table comprising one Haberdasher from each of the different Haberdashers’ Schools across the country, as well as three adults, from whom we would be learning the following day. Each table had been given one specific company to visit, and each of the professionals was a high ranking member of that company. The company I was to visit was a division of Hitachi, known as Hitachi Consulting. The dinner was the perfect place to break the ice, and introduce ourselves to the other students and adults we would be working alongside. By the end of the evening I already knew much more about Management Consultancy than I did at the beginning, and was eager to begin the next day. We met at Haberdashers’ Hall the following morning by 8.30, and we given instructions and maps on how to find our destinations. My group’s route was by far the most complicated, and involved some walking, a ride on a bendy bus and finally a train journey. On the positive side, this meant that I had plenty of time to read some of the background material that I had been given that morning, and chat to the other pupils. Once we had arrived, we were reintroduced to some of the executives who we had met the preceding evening, and we given croissants and hot drinks, so that we might be energised for the rest of the day. The majority of the day was listening to and participating in some minilectures. These were very interesting, varied, and often very funny. I learnt about what Hitachi does, what a Management Consultant does, and some choice Management Consultancy jokes, chosen by the vicehead of that division. My favourite talk however, was the presentation on Japanese. This was especially relevant, as this company (as well as 18
many others) was based in Japan, and regular business trips were necessary. The lady who was taking the presentation was fluent in five languages, and was giving us an insight into Japanese language and culture. We learnt some greetings and simple phrases, as well as customs and manners that are not used so much in England, such as the ritual of handing over business cards. Here, we tend to just shove them in our pocket, but that would be extremely rude in Japan. There, one accepts the card with both hands, bows slightly, and places the card in front of them on the table. Without basic etiquette lessons like this, one runs the risk of gravely offending a potential business partner, which can negatively impact the company as a whole. By the end of the day, I had been well fed, entertained, and had learnt a huge amount, not just about Hitachi, but about office life and the world of the Management Consultant too. The day had been very worthwhile, and I have even kept in touch with some of the people I met there, and would love to come back soon.
Freddie Fulton L6
Skylark 2009 Events
Art Private View Another year has passed and the art department has celebrated the hard work of its GCSE, AS and A2 students with its annual display of their finished pieces in the Bourne Foyer, starting with a Private View of the exhibition on the 21st May. In traditional fashion, a guest was invited to examine each boy’s display and hand out awards where he saw fit. This year, Mr. Corrall was asked to fulfil this role – Mr. Keenleyside announced that he has previously acted as a faithful reserve, in case those asked to do so have been unable to come – and did so with great skill and enjoyment. As someone who frequently visits galleries himself, Mr. Corrall took a keen eye to studying the works on display, even asking not to be told the names of the boys who produced the artwork, in case he had had the unfortunate circumstance of meeting them in detention.
The Junior School Disco The junior school disco was a delight for all boys and girls in the years 7-8 and even some teachers. This social event was held on home turf on the Girls’ School and cost £5. The teachers there clearly thought the music was deafening but the children loved it and the next day at school, half of Year 7 was humming the tune of “Low” and “Soulja Boy”. Refreshments were served but the Haberdashers wanted to carry on partying through the night... In the Bourne Hall there were spectacular lighting and a great field of smoke hovered over the floor and around the ankles of the pupils. The D.J. was outstanding and the spirit and energy of all the people was fantastic (probably due to all the sugar they were eating!) Even though the party was mostly in the Bourne Hall a lot of kids, at various points, went into the foyer to relax and chat to their friends whilst still listening to the music. At one moment of the night Kyle Portnoy did a fantastic dancing routine, appreciated by everyone around him. We were greeted by hearing dogs for The Deaf and Mencap which was extremely nice. The money that was collected, which was seventy-five pounds, went towards these hearing dogs. The night ended well with no difficulties and will be remembered by all of Year 7.
Hugo Davidson Year 7
Fred Knoller Visit On Thursday 29th January, Year 9 were fortunate to be addressed by Fred Knoller, a Holocaust Survivor who was invited to speak to the year group by the Religious Studies department. Mr Knoller enthralled his audience with candid recall of his harrowing experiences as a concentration camp prisoner in Nazi Germany and his further experiences following liberation. The Holocaust was such a terrible and devastating period of 20th century history and it was a real privilege to be able to meet and interact with someone who could speak with such authority on this subject. Mr Knoller’s visit was part of a work scheme where students were encouraged to consider the relationship and interaction between Religion and The World. When applying these concepts to the experiences of the Holocaust victims we were able to compare key concepts such as justice and mercy, punishment and forgiveness, and dignity and community, all of
This year was also the first year that two GCSE classes have not displayed their work. Indeed, the extension of the GCSE Art course into two years meant that the Bourne Foyer was not as busy as it has been in previous years, with the Year 10 artists absent. Nevertheless, the quality of work produced was certainly as consistently good as it has ever been, providing a varied range of sculpture, paintings, drawings, collages and other mixed-media works. Eventually, oil sets were awarded as prizes to Tom Herbert for his Cezanne-inspired cardplayers, and Tom Haniff for his equally impressive photo montage. Also at GCSE, Dan West received a prize for his detailed illustrations, as did Myles Houghton for his sculptural work. At AS Level, prizes were given to Dominic Keen for his delicate self-portraits, Charlie Schaffer for his atmospheric paintings, and to myself. Finally, at A2 Level, Michael Moore received a prize for his moody and sinister paintings. Overall, with snacks and drink available throughout the evening, the 2009 GCSE and A Level Art Show was enjoyed by all involved.
Gregory Steckelmacher L6
which are interwoven in such a complex period of history. I found Mr Knoller’s experiences particularly moving as it echoed the experiences of my grandfather who spent part of the war in Buchenwald concentration camp. Unfortunately I never had the opportunity to hear his wartime experiences first hand as he died when I was still very young so it was a real privilege to hear Mr Knoller speak.
Guy Lewy Year 9 Charlie Ugo Year 9
Skylark 2009 Events
Target 2.0 The Bank of England was founded in 1734. Since then it has influenced the economy through the use of monetary policy. On Friday March 7th 2009, the ‘Old Lady of Threadneedle Street’ faced up to her biggest challenge; to ward off Kishan Chotai, Kevin Ferriter, Ben Lewy and Apratim Gautam in the quest for victory in the Target 2.0 Competition. The national final was the culmination of local and regional events, both of which Habs had to have won in order to progress this far. The current economic climate made this year more exciting and unsure than most, something that Andrew Sentance, a member of the Monetary Policy Committee, was quick to point out in HABS’ regional final. Reassuringly, in both rounds previous, the Bank had followed HABS’ advice; in November the Bank cut by a percentage point to 2%, whilst it cut by 0.5% to 1% in February; both moves recommended by HABS prior to the Banks’ decision. HABS arrived on March 6th in high spirits, and were shown around the Bank of England, even getting to hold some of the little gold reserve the Bank has left, owing to Chancellor Brown’s policies. MPC Deputy Governor Charlie Bean was tasked with ‘randomly’ picking names out of a hat to choose the running order for the frivolities of the day after. It came as no surprise, then, that HABS were to kick off the day, in arguably the hardest position for a team to compete in. HABS politely declined tickets to Joseph and the Technicolour Coat on Thursday night; we can only hope Mr. King enjoyed the show without us. Friday morning’s presentation was preceded with a few nerves, but nothing to unduly worry the team. The presentation ran smoothly, with everyone performing as well or better as they had in practice sessions
and previous rounds. The question and answer session was an interaction between the judges (including Charlie Bean and Anatole Koltesky). The questions often bordered on University level, but HABS performed commendably, and were praised by a Times reporter as having an ‘excellent, high quality presentation’. The HABS team were unsure whether they were able to entertain the Headmaster, who was in residence for HABS’ presentation, but his presence was greatly appreciated. All that was left to do was to watch the other (sometimes less captivating) presentations from other teams. The moment of truth had finally arrived, but passed all to suddenly, HABS having been denied once more despite fielding its ‘strongest team’ of all past HABS finalists. In the end, deserved or not, commendations were given to Peter Symonds College, Winchester. HABS nonetheless valued their experience in the competition, and will, as always, be back next year with a vengeance.
Apratim Gautam U6
Social Skills Day “Manners maketh man” is an adage with which the HABS boy is surely familiar. On Friday the 12th of June, members of the Lower 6th learnt the practical importance of William of Wykeham’s words as they honed their ‘soft skills’ and refined themselves as sophisticated members of civil society. Rachel Holland Associates are the leading specialists in modern etiquette and style (notable for their appearance in productions such as ‘Ladette to Lady’) and offered the boys a number of different workshops with expert instruction. In a session on stylish dress, boys discovered the different skin and hair tones and how these were to be accompanied by the appropriate suits, shirts, and ties. There was also the opportunity to complete a ‘style questionnaire’ after which several boys were dismayed to learn their dress sense did not resemble that of Pierce Brosnan, the archetypal ‘International’ dresser. The topic of personal grooming was explored further than some had anticipated in a workshop featuring facials and even manicures. The importance of looking after oneself in society was espoused as a central tenet of modern etiquette, and one that allowed the young gentleman to project his best 20
possible impression. Modern manners also of course require promptness and thorough organisation, and this was duly addressed in a particularly engaging session on planning and events management. In small groups, boys were tasked with organising a (thankfully fictional) charity ball and then making a presentation of it to the wider group with a detailed timetable. Much of the more traditional subject matter of etiquette was dealt with in two classes on conversation and deportment. In the former, boys became skilled in the intricacies of polite discourse at various formal events. In the latter, the arts of standing, sitting, and walking
properly were studied and perfected, as was the perfect handshake. A welcome emphasis was placed on transferring these skills to the world of work and university, for example in practising how one might approach the manners of a formal interview. The day was both enjoyable and fruitful; the members of the Lower 6th will no doubt carry with them its lessons for the future. Thanks must go to Rachel Holland Associates for running the sessions, and also of course to Mrs Pollock, without whose organisation the day would not have gone ahead
Hasan Dindjer L6
Skylark 2009 Events
Dragon’s Den Temperatures soared at HABS on Wednesday 24th June. This was nothing to do with the weather, although “high pressure” was certainly a theme of the day. Instead the temperatures were raised by three fire-breathing dragons visiting the school to judge the final stage of the HABS Dragons’ Den competition. Ravi Shah, Serge Albohayre, Krishna Patel and the other legendary members of the team along with Mr. Hall, the new Head of the Economics Society managed the event with a carefully defined battle plan. Students of history will know that no battle plan survives the first few minutes of battle, and their plan was no exception – one team withdrew from the competition literally two hours before the start. In most environments this would have been a problem; in ours it was a great opportunity. Budding entrepreneurs Josh Manasseh, Casey Swerner and Matthew Worby leapt into the fray with gazelle-like elegance, preparing a stunning business proposition complete with financial projections over a leisurely lunch break. Moments before the off, they joined the other teams which included “old” HABS Boys Alessandro Furlotti, Sam Gaus, and Michael Hollins, another Lower Sixth team Adam Pack and Khilan Engineer and a HABS Girls’ team led by Gemma Caplan. When the clock struck 1.20pm, the ideas, the business acumen, and the wit were on call. The dragons strolled into the room, and immediately the audience of 30 realised that they were in for an afternoon of high tension. Mr. Hall, presenter and entertainer for the duration of the event, introduced the dragons and removed himself a safe distance off the stage as he introduced the first group of young entrepreneurs: the HABS Girls’ team. Immediately the attention of the audience was captured as they brought up a PowerPoint presentation supported by a slick narrative; their aim was to establish cheaper and more sustainable energy for the benefit of the planet’s future by loaning photovoltaic cells to the residents of Barnet. The dragons attacked them with a ferocity that brought the more fragile members of the audience close to tears. Yet the girls tamed the dragons with ease and skill. The next team to present was that of Matthew, Josh and Casey. They presented their idea of ‘PodStar’ to the fierce judges in a confident manner. Their idea was simple: to create a virtual school online whereby students can catch up on any lessons missed via a system of podcasts. All seemed well and good till they demanded £20,000 from the judges, at which point the judges put them under heavy
scrutiny. However, along with Mr. Hall’s apparent backing of the project and their oozing confidence in dealing with pressure, they managed to successfully convince the judges that it was a worthwhile investment. Next came the much-awaited partnership of Adam Pack and Khilan Engineer; a heated pen. Indeed, a pen that becomes hot. Not many people would have thought that it would come of much use; nevertheless the HABS boy charm managed to convince the audience otherwise. Having finally persuaded the judges that the product was safe and that this unique product was predicted 20,000 sales in the first year, the judges seemed on board. Finally came the re-launch of a helmet-style ice cream holder named ‘Cycone’. The group consisting of Alessandro, Sam, and Michael were attempting to break into the ‘novelty item’ market. Other competing products in such a market included a ‘Spiderman style Ketchup Dispenser’, a ‘Pen Fishing Rod’ and ‘a Boxing
USB Stick’. In an attempt to woo the judges and the audience, ice creams were distributed and thoroughly enjoyed. The product itself was less successful. At tea, orange juice and sandwiches were handed out as the dragons wandered off to another room in Aldenham house to discuss the potential winner of HABS Dragon’s Den 2009. Within 15 minutes, the dragons had returned. It was decision time. After a lot of deliberating, dragon Gabi Preston announced that ‘Podstar’ were second placed and each member received a box of chocolates. However, the jackpot prize of £100 was now between the other three teams. Game show style, the dragon held the decision off for as long as possible before announcing, with a smile on her face, that the winner of the competition was ‘Cycone’ for their innovative, witty and ‘highly-promising’ product.
Serge Albohayre L6
Skylark 2009 Events
England Engineering Education Scheme Bright was the day five intrepid Lower 6th-formers set out on a journey into the world of engineering. The England Engineering Education Scheme is a program designed for students in their first year of A-Levels to be given real experience into the multifaceted area that is: engineering - and we had seized this opportunity. Having already proven ourselves worthy of the task after passing a grilling, probing interview with Messrs Kerr, Roncarati and an engineer from Three Valleys Water, we took a trip to the company’s main site in the area, Clay Lane. The task we had been set was to find a way of predicting pump failure so that potential failures of said pumps could be avoided and predicted. We installed Alex Cheung as the project manager and set out on this seemingly large problem. After discussing at length the merits and problems associated with pump failure prediction via temperature monitoring (alas the heat-sinking effect scuppered us), vibration analysis (a fancy way of saying ‘sound listening’), discharge gauging and magnetic field examination, we eventually settled upon the idea of creating a ‘Vibration Analysis Device’. The theory that we propounded was that if the pump was deteriorating – we knew pump decline was a gradual process – the noise it would make would be different than to when it was working at full health and we could compare the sound given off. With this idea in mind, James Glanville’s inspiration led us to the discovery of a piezo-transducer that could be attached to a pump casing. With the other four of us unsure as to how it worked, eventually finding that it converts a compression into a voltage, thus producing an alternating current with alternating compressions and rarefactions, we began but hit an immediate problem. As the transducer picked up the vibrations and converted them into voltages we needed a way of inputting them into a computer. Again a James Glanville inspiration led to him writing a program that converted the generated voltage waves into sounds waves. Not only did it do that, but it converted this seemingly untameable waveform into a multitude of sine and cosine waves (in non-mathematicians language – wavy lines). These individual sine and cosine waves could then be compared. The overall idea was, to record the ‘noise’ produced by a pump running at full health, and in subsequent readings we would compare the normal noise signature of the pump to the newly recorded one and if the difference was above a set amount, the program would respond to warn the user. After what could only be described as a coup, Neeloy Banerjee was installed as new project manager after unrest within the ranks deposed Alex Cheung and the project continued unabated as the end date loomed, a date known only as the ‘Celebration and Assessment Day’. Nearing the end of the project our hypothesis was aided with positive results coming from the testing at Clay Lane, and we presented our project in front of Science Society, Three Valleys Water Engineers and finally, the assessors of our project, with success all around. In fact one of the assessors was so joyous that he mentioned that we might get our ‘Vibration Analysis Device’ patented because of its minute costs and functionality. What’s more, a senior engineer at Three Valleys Water confirmed that he would be continuing the tests with our device with a view to its large scale application within the sites. To conclude, our team, myself, Wajid Malik, Alex Cheung, Manesh Mistry and James Glanville, would like to extend our wholehearted thanks to our two mentor teachers, Mr Kerr and Mr Roncarati, and our engineering mentor, Andrew Macdonald, for steering us through the times of lethargy and diffidence.
Neeloy Banerjee L6
Economics Day Persuading one hundred odd sixth formers to attend a school day in the middle of that ‘relaxing’ period known as study leave is no mean feat. Yet the annual Economics Day once again provided such distinguished speakers that the Aske Hall was packed full of eager economists in the making. The first two speakers presented in the format of a debate, contesting the question ‘will the EU help member states out of the recession?’ However, the speeches soon devolved into the more general benefits and costs of Europe. Mr Derek Scott, a former economic advisor to Tony Blair, spoke eloquently on the problems that face countries within the central banking system and the difficulties faced by those who cannot control their own monetary policy. Ireland’s recent fiscal crunch and the dichotomies of the major European economies were given as examples. Graham Bishop, a city economist, on the other hand began for a while extolling the central ideals of the European system, the idea of a ‘level playing field’, before moving on to the direct benefits to Britain. Things got a little heated as the passion which each held for their own position came to the fore; the only place the two extremes met was on their dislike for Gordon Brown, and his own ‘spend, spend spend’ philosophy. The next speaker came from the famous think tank-cum-pressure group, The Adam Smith Institute. Mr Thomas Clougherty was a young and engaging speaker, who gave a brief introduction to the free market philosophy, its role in international economics and finally a description of that The ASI actually does. It seemed for a while that the ideas of Adam Smith were being preached evangelically to the converted. Releasing the economic system from government intervention is the prime aim of the ASI and, by using some staggering figures of the increase in wealth and the reduction in absolute poverty, these views certainly seemed to be justified. The real attraction was certainly the extended time for questions, in which controversial ideas about poverty and inequality were challenged by intelligent floor questions. The rest of the day was spent discussing Higher Education options for Economists, and concluded with a fascinating talk on the feasibility of City jobs in the future by our very own Mrs Wright. The opportunity cost of the Economics Day may have been high, but it was certainly a worthwhile experience for all involved. Philip Shipley L6 22
Skylark 2009 Events
Year 11 Physics in Action Every year the Physics department holds an Engineering competition open to Year 11 boys in teams of 6. At this event each team is given a range of equipment which they use to complete a practical challenge set by the Physics department. Having just returned from a hard Christmas break full of revision to sit mock exams, many boys were very keen to get involved and have a welcome change of activity. Consequently the quota of teams was filled within the week of the entry form being set up. So, on the 20th January a group of excited year 11 students gathered outside the Bourne Hall to await their challenge ahead. After being called into the hall there was an unexpected but very welcomed surprise of biscuits and drinks awaiting all the teams at their desks. Once all the teams had chosen their spot and had settled down the task was revealed: ‘Using only the supplied apparatus and equipment (but not necessarily all of it), your team is to construct a machine to time one minute (as precisely as you can). Once started, your timer is to operate without human intervention until, at the conclusion of the timed period, it gives a clear audible signal.’ The equipment supplied, with items ranging from crocodile clips to sand, gave a wide range of approaches to complete this task. Many teams utilised the sand available to make a sand timer using cups or the foil to hold the sand which was slowly released sand to cause a circuit to be completed thus setting off an alarm. Some teams used ball bearings rolling down a ramp using tunnel systems to try to slow the ball so it set off the alarm at the elusive one minute mark. But when the half hour was up all teams stood hopeful that theirs would be the closest to the minute. The judging criteria were as follows:
A judge will start a laboratory stop clock when your timer is started and the time shown on the judge’s stop clock when your machine’s audible signal sounds will be recorded. The team whose timer comes closest to timing one minute will win. Elegance is expected and this aspect may be used to differentiate between two close teams. The first team whose timer was put to the test comprised of Jared Ovsiowitz, Jason Li, Sam Healer, Ross Schlaikier, Luke Weide and Kamal Patel. All the teams watched in anticipation as their sand timer was started. Amazingly, they managed an incredible time of 57 seconds a
Tom Avery Lecture On Tuesday 24th of February 2009, as a fantastic diversion from the usual General Studies routine, the Lower Sixth were delighted to welcome one of the bright stars amongst the UK’s new generation of explores- Tom Avery. Tom, at only 34 years of age, is one of only 41 human beings to reached both poles on foot and has partaken in over a 12 mountain and polar expeditions. Tom’s speech can only be described as motivational. His engaging tone along with the exquisite footage captured on his travels created a very down-to-earth atmosphere and as a result he captured the attention of everyone in the Bourne Hall. He spoke of his ambitions and the motivation behind his excursions, whilst instilling a sense of possibility and opportunity in the audience. There was an underlying message that anyone can reach any goal, which was depicted by his life-long aspiration to climb the highest mountain on Mars! In addition, as well as retelling his marvellous adventures, he explained how cooperation, communication, passion and individual determination are the essential components in achieving results in a testing environment.
tall order to beat. Indeed, it turned out too tall an order; no other team was able to match their incredible time and they were the overall winners. Even though there can only be one winner all the teams enjoyed the event and there was much humour had at the more outlandish ideas and at the ingenuity of other ideas that ultimately didn’t work at all. All the boys enjoyed constructing their timers and their biscuits and would like to thank the Physics department for organising the event and coming up with a fantastic challenge.
Charlie Johnson Year 11
One of the most interesting adventures Tom recounted was his voyage to the North Pole. Avery set out to recreate the disputed 1909 Arctic expedition of the American Commander Robert Peary, in which he claimed to have become the first man to reach the North Pole in an outstandingly fast time. Traveling in a similar style to Peary’s with Canadian Inuit Dog teams and wooden sledges, that Tom had hand crafted to perfection, he set out from Peary’s original Base Camp and in April 2005 he and his team set a new world record as the fastest team in history to reach the North Pole on foot. Tom became, at the age of 29, the youngest Briton to have walked to both poles. Even more fascinating were the seemingly trivial details of this epic journey. He spoke of the difficult terrain and moments when the ice was literally mimicking the waves of the sea below their feat. He also described how, on running out of food, his team were preparing to devour their group of dogs before they were saved by a helicopter full of fresh supplies. Above all, Tom enthused us all to look deep into our souls and extract the explorer that lies within us, and for that we eternally thank him.
Josh Manasseh L6 23
Skylark 2009 Events
Jesse Jackson Visit We are a school amongst whose principle tenets we may count the acceptance and celebration of the cultural diversity. In our classrooms students of many different races are united in the pursuit of education and happiness. As such, we represent a fitting stage for the visit of the Rev Jesse Jackson, a renowned civil rights campaigner, activist and political commentator, a goliath on the international stage. The purpose of his trip was to educate students about the necessity of charity and generosity and the evils of prejudice. The Rev Jesse Jackson’s first forays into activism came with the 1965 civil rights marches. A cunning operator and inspirational orator, he soon rose through the ranks of the movement, in so doing placing himself at the heart of one of America’s greatest social upheavals. Like his ally and close friend Dr King Jr the Rev Jesse Jackson promoted change through peaceful means. After the death of Dr King he founded Operation Push, which would morph into the organisation Rainbow-Push which he heads today. The organisation styles itself as a progressive organisation seeking social change, in particular civil rights. Despite rumours of helicopters gunships, the Rev arrived in a motorcade as discrete as a motorcade of three jaguars can be, preceded by his entourage, all of whom bore on their lapels the rainbow insignia of his organisation Rainbow-Push. When the man himself emerged one noted that, at the risk of subsiding into meaningless clichés and superlatives, he had a gravity which held the attention. We forget in Britain how recently it was that a man of Rev Jackson’s age would have been denied the rights and privileges of a citizen. He took care when entering a room to seek the handshakes of all present, a time consuming but touching trait. Shortly thereafter, with proceedings having moved across to the Bourne Hall, the Rev Walked out on stage to an uproarious welcome from the students of years 11, 12 and 13 as well as a large contingent from the Girls’ School. The applause lasted for a full 54
seconds, thanks in no small part to the whooping, hollering and rabble rousing of the civil rights leader himself.
subsequent, inevitable classifications were an evil to be shattered by the ‘light’ and the virtue of acceptance.
He began by talking of his ‘joy’, a word whose significance would grow throughout the talk. He referred to the euphoria of speaking to young people, of the way in which the world was moving towards a freedom of information which could not help but banish the ignorance which was the source of all prejudice. Globalisation, and the boundless anarchy of the internet, could not help but dissolve the walls of racial, social or national partisanship.
He spoke to the generation sat before him as the bearers of an immense responsibility, placing them in a socio-historical narrative which would culminate with the dissipation of the evils of racial, social and religious prejudices. Ours, he made clear, was a generation born to be the first to truly rejoice in the many lights of diversity, rather than hide in the darkness of racial fear.
Many remarks made after the talk referred to the idiosyncratic nature of the man’s rhetoric. It is not a criticism to say that he did not set out to present a clear, concise and tightly formulated argument. It was not a talk of syllogism or sophistry. Rather the aim and achievement was to deliver a talk which reinforced a sense of good, which conveyed a simple message which did not require progression, elaboration or explanation. Time and again the Rev reverted to a biblical style and symbolism, entwining his message of racial and social acceptance with images of breaking walls and building bridges. He spoke of the two seeds, equally strong and equally nurtured, whose differing bounty once grown cast no reflection on the worth of the two seeds. Beneath allegory and parable the Rev made repeated exultation to the cause of acceptance. The judgement of one another and
It would be remiss of any commentary on the Rev’s visit to ignore the controversy which his presence must necessarily contain. Subsequent to his civil rights works, the Rev has led a fitful political career of his own. It was in such a context that he made reference to a Jewish conspiracy in New York, comments which jeopardised his credibility as a campaigner for civil rights and lead many to level the charge of anti-Semitism. Such comments ought not be taken lightly and many of the Haberdashers community were as such reserved in their praise than the frequent and joyous standing ovations would attest. Nevertheless, once the floor had been opened up to debate the boys engaged in civil and mature discussion. The Rev was less reserved, ignoring the worried glances towards watches of the members of staff and using questions as springboard into a far wider discussion on topics such as the nature of black America today. Yet he did finally conclude his speech and, after being presented with a copy of the School History by the Headmaster, the Rev left the hall to a din equal to that in which he entered. On his way out he partook in no small amount of handshaking. The meaning of the gesture was becoming clear; he would not shake the hand of a headmaster if he could not shake that of a student or a secretary. In his personable style he espoused the message of acceptance and the joy which it can entail to which he had dedicated the last 2 hours. No hand, great or small, would be left unshaken.
Oliver Ilott U6 24
Skylark 2009 Events
Eleven’s Day A time honoured tradition, Year Eleven’s Day 2009 was a great success. The day began with the awarding of Aske Ties to boys who have made a significant extracurricular contribution to school life over the last five years. An honorary tie was presented to Mr. Corrall, who is retiring and has made a significant contribution to the extracurricular life of the school himself. After this, the year group, who were very excited at the end of their school year, whooping in celebration, received a presentation from the new School and Vice Captains on Life in the Sixth Form. This comprised topics such as dress code, prefect duties and use of the library, interspersed with a fine selection of somewhat compromising photos of the year group to lighten the mood. Following this was an extended lunchbreak which featured various farewell activities such as signing school shirts with well wishing messages, the bizarre game of ‘Where’s my blazer pocket gone?’, mysterious incidents such as water abruptly cascading onto unsuspecting boys, and countless bouncy balls descending on to the Aske playground from above, adding a welcome dash of colour. In addition, the Year Elevens had a private lunch in the Bates Dining Hall involving pizza, luxurious chocolate brownies and nostalgic conversations. This was followed by the much awaited event of the day: a concert, produced by boys from within the year group. The concert was
presented by the witty Jack Finger whose acerbic jibes often yielded raucous laughter. We had a romantic piano recital from the Don Quixote that is Stephen Murphy, an abrupt karaoke of the anthemic Seven Nation Army where Arnot Birss sung magnificently, and a drum battle comprehensively won by Ishwar Mahesh. The year group was then treated to an ‘Act-Off’ between the venerated Samuel Skalla and the frolicking Josh Kaiser and a Guitar-Off in which Demetri Gerolemou was found winner. Nikhil Subbiah attempted to compensate for his relative lack of dexterity by playing with his teeth, which was temporarily impressive.
Mr. Cook, and Mr. Hamilton, who wished them well for their imminent examinations, issued reminders about results day, and provided examples of suitable dress to be worn for the Sixth Form. The year group offers its thanks to Mr. Dathan for producing and organising a fabulous day and an appropriate send-off.
Ameya Tripathi Year 11
In between these acts, Ed Moores attempted to rouse and electrify the audiences with his audacious and topless juggling. All of this though, was overshadowed by the act that was MC ‘Grinz’ Murdalicious (a.k.a. Sahil Shah). It was an exhibition in modern music and was critically acclaimed variously as ‘the sex’ and ‘absolutely topping’. Finally, the boys, still astounded at Sahil Shah who had been regarded with a mixture of awe and envy, attended an address from Mr. Parr,
Skylark 2009 Events
Mark Walden Visit On Tuesday 6th of June, The whole of the junior school were lucky enough to meet the author of the fantastic H.I.V.E. series, Mark Walden. Just as we were eager to hear his ideas, he was just as eager to hear our views of his books and our general thoughts. The fun thing that he did was he went on praising the deeds of various supervillans like Lex Luther and ‘The Joker’. He also explained why we should choose villainy as a career choice. Some of his reasons were “The bad guys get to wear nicer clothes than the heroes. I mean who wants to wear tights?” Mr Walden also asked us about our favourite villains. We came up with the wacky and wonderful, the villains who had deserved their rightful place, on the pedestal of the downright evil. He also read us a wonderful extract from his book, which had us spellbound. Mark has also told us about his origins and how he came to write the extremely popular H.I.V.E series. He actually started off as a designer for computer games. He then told us about how he was inspired to write about a school for super villainy (because he obviously loved super villains).
Big Brother’s Little HABS Boys Both are screened through elaborate selection processes before being confined to a small patch of Southern Hertfordshire. Both are observed and analysed relentlessly by advanced tracking and surveillance systems, and both are blissfully ignorant of the outside world.
His books have been very successful and have won countless awards. There have also been rumours of a movie to be produced by Paramount studios in Hollywood. Overall, Mr Walden’s visit was very entertaining and met by an enthusiastic junior school. We look forward to his future books!
Richard Quarshie Year 7
With the genesis of the HABS boy and the Big Brother Housemate being so similar it is perhaps unsurprising that the former were invited to discuss the latter by the producers of the hit television series ‘Big Brother’s Little Brother’ (BBLB). Ben Lewy U6, Akshay-Kishan Karia Year 10 and Shaneil Shah Year 10 were twice invited to Elstree studios to discuss issues as broad as misogyny, the role of punishment and whether the Housemate
Charlie was a troublemaker. Arguing against celebrities including John McCririck and Paul Danan was challenging, but the Habs boys came out on top and roundly defeated their opponents to roars of laughter. Thanks must go to Mrs Gleeson for kickstarting our television careers,
Ben Lewy U6
Skylark 2009 Performing Arts
Skylark 2009 Trips
Paris Art Trip In the second week of the half term, 40 students, ranging from Year 8 to Upper Sixth, travelled to Paris to study the artwork of some of the greatest artists in history. We were all given a sketchbook to record our visits to the museum, which could be used for any boys who took Art GCSE as part of their coursework, and prizes were given out everyday, ranging from tshirts to caps to paint sets, based on sketchbook work and quizzes. On the first day, all the boys made their own way to the school’s coach park, eager to make their way into Paris. Everyone was apprehensive about how long and tiring the journey to Paris would be, but, surprisingly, it went by extremely quickly. With two 45 minute stops, the journey only took nine hours. We decided to go to the River Seine straight away before visiting the hotel. We took a Bateau-Mouche, which gifted us with extraordinary and stunning night views of some of the most famous landmarks. Although it started to drizzle, we managed to get back in time for a satisfying dinner in the Acadie Hotel. We first visited the D’Orsay Museum, an old railway station. There was a wide variety of paintings and artists in the museum, which helped us to develop a deeper in-depth knowledge of different styles of art and brush strokes. We soon had to leave the museum to make our way to the next destination, Giverny, to visit Monet’s house and gardens. We had a stroll and made a few sketches around Monet’s house and gardens, where he painted his famous painting, Le basin aux nymphéas, harmonie blanche. We then made our way to another destination, the Eiffel Tower, where we climbed to the top and absorbed a stunning night landscape of Paris. On the third day, we first visited the Picasso Museum, which held many of Picasso’s famous paintings and sculptures. Unfortunately, we were not allowed to take any photos or make sketches, but luckily we could buy some postcards from the shop. We then made our way to the Pompidou
Centre, where we saw a different type of art from that which we had previously seen, modern art. We went to the fourth floor, where there were some very strange and unusual art works but then some that were simply breathtaking. After the Pompidou Centre, we visited the Sacre-Coeur, where we drew some phenomenal sketches of the interior and exterior of the cathedral and bought some paintings from the Artist’s Square and nearby town. Last, when we thought we could not fit in anymore, we managed to visit the Louvre Museum. In here, we saw many of the most famous paintings in the world, including the Mona Lisa, and made some useful sketches. On the penultimate day, we engaged in an in-depth study of the work of the most successful graphic artist of the 20th century with a day in Disneyland. Despite the rain, we managed to immerse ourselves with images of the beautiful grounds and the captivating castle. We also travelled around the park and collected any pieces of collage material to display in our sketchbooks. Even with the bitter weather, we all managed to have a lot of fun, and, as we left, were all delighted that we decided to come on this trip.
Akash Mehta Year 10
National Gallery Art Trips For the second year, the GCSE and A-Level outings to some of London’s finest art galleries have had the unfortunate nature of clashing with Transport for London’s planned line upgrades, making getting to the museums and back again a bit of a trouble. And, furthermore, the trip to the National Gallery and National Portrait Gallery, held early in the academic year, was met with traditional October weather – grey skies and rain. Nevertheless, when dry and inside we had the opportunity to browse these galleries’ incredible permanent collection of artwork, immediately setting a background to the work we would undertake throughout the year. Our second trip to the Tate Modern and Tate Britain also lay victim to this inconvenience, but such a hassle was compensated for not only by the enjoyable spring sunshine outside, but also by the further collections of inspiring art inside. The Tate Britain lay home to a variety of work, from more traditional paintings and statues – such as with its display of Polish art – to more modern and experimental pieces, including an incredibly impressive mushroom cloud made out of silver houseware, and its exhibition entitled “Ghost in the Machine” regarding the connection between artist and viewer. After a short trip on the Tate Boat service, we arrived at the Tate Modern, where we could view the more experimental works on display (including the latest installation in the Turbine Hall), as well as pieces by famed artists such as Picasso, Lichtenstein and Bacon. Overall, both art trips to the National Gallery and National Portrait Gallery, and to the Tate Britain and Tate Modern, proved an incredibly valuable experience for GCSE and A-Level artists to study art both in reference to their coursework, and in specific relation to their examined themes.
Gregory Steckelmacher L6 28
Skylark 2009 Trips
Bodensee Bilingual Seminar On the first Saturday of the October half term, a gaggle of excited Germanists from the boys’ and girls’ schools descended on Heathrow’s brand new terminal 5. Arriving promptly at Zurich airport, we met our new German friends. Although the coach journey began with some seat segregation - Germans sat at the back, English in front. They found some of our German pronunciations so hilarious that they told their teacher, who similarly burst into hysterics. Their English, on the other hand, was annoyingly fluent. Later on we headed towards our home for the next few days, the Lindenwiese Evangelische Freizeitheim. Being an evangelical hostel, as the name would suggest, it was awash with crosses and paintings of biblical scenes. A few hours passed, and we were called to dinner by the boom of a gigantic brass gong, which the chef obviously thought was funny. Nonetheless the food was delicious. Historical, linguistic and cultural barriers were smashed as Germans and Brits sat side by side, enjoying pleasant conversation and pleasant company. Having finished eating we went downstairs for an orientation and get-to-know-each-other session. We found German partners and chatted to them to find out about their hobbies and the like. We then presented our partners to the group, in German of course. The theme of the first seminar was ‘Globalisation’, and so we had the chance to learn about the economics involved and globalisation’s repercussions on the environment in German. We were split into two alternating classes. There were two German teachers, who conducted their sessions in German, and Frau Steinruck and Herr Corrall, who taught in English. That night we were split into teams for a friendly quiz. Herr Corrall devised a devilish round full of challenging questions on European politics and geography. The hardest part however was a charades-esque game in which we had to explain English words in German without using certain words. Rohan and Marios of the upper-sixth were crowned winners, along with their German partners. Herr Corrall announced gladly at the end that there was cake, a spectacular berry and jam creation fresh from the kitchen. He rounded off the evening by regaling us with his favourite ‘Doctor, Doctor’ jokes. The next day began with two more lessons; Frau Steinruck explored the hidden cost of our consumerist society, and Herr Corrall spoke about the history of empire, and its ability to artificially fuse one culture with another. After lunch we were given the opportunity to rent bikes. Several of the English students were keen, but the Germans needed a little more convincing. Eventually a group of 15 or so set out to explore the surrounding area, led by Mr Corral. We cycled a huge distance over three hours, stopping off at a cafe by the edge of Lake Constance itself and a unique baroque Church. Despite some issues with navigation the bike ride was a huge success. The next morning we packed up our things and, a little sadly, waved goodbye to the Freizeitheim Lindenwiese, being sure to stuff our bags with free apples as we left. On the way back to the airport we visited a Steinzeit museum, built on one of the oldest settlements in Europe. There were some genuine relics from the Stone-Age, and lots of realistic reconstructions of the houses stone-age man lived in, and the tools he used to hunt. The whole session was in German, so Herr Corrall and Frau Steinruck kindly provided us with a running translation. Having left the museum we drove on to the Germans’ home for the emotional farewell. We all promised we would stay in touch, and slowly but surely the faded into the distance as the coach sped away. From then it was straight to the airport and back home. The trip was a resounding success. We learnt much about globalisation and about the German language, we made friends for life, and most importantly, we all had a fantastic time. This seminar was special, as it is the last of Herr Corrall’s tenure at HABS. Everyone lucky enough to have spent these few days with him knows that he will be sorely missed.
Ben Jacobs L6
Skylark 2009 Trips
Classics Trip to Rome & Pompeii A mixed bag of year groups arrived expectantly at the Seldon hall in the early hours of Wednesday morning. We set off for Gatwick airport still half asleep, and dreading the thought of doing something. As we drove, the coach fell eerily silent and the initial enthusiasm was quickly lost as we contemplated arriving eight hours before the plane was due to leave. We arrived at Fuimincino airport and got our first glimpse of “the grandeur that was Rome” (grotty apartment blocks and some riverside slums). We then boarded the coach and were treated to a fascinating talk on the pine trees of Rome. After seeing our rooms and carefully throwing our clothes around them, Mr Whiteman promptly led us to McDonalds. That evening Mr Whiteman led the hardcore of us classicists to the Trevi fountain in the driving rain. Although the group seemed to be more intent on buying crepes and gelato than enjoying the artistic delights that the fountain provided us with. The next day we set out early for the Colosseum, or the Flavian Amphitheatre as it was known in its day. We were given a fascinating tour of the history and architecture, by our only English tour guide during the trip. We left the magnificent building armed with a great deal of knowledge and ready to confront any historical inaccuracies that we came across. We then moved on to the Forum and the Palatine hill. We found out that the marvelled seven hills, or mountains, of Rome were in fact little more than slight inclines in the landscape. After walking down the Via Sacra and looking round the Bassilica of Maxentius and Constantine we left our tour guide behind. We went for our first Italian lunch, and received our first taste of an Italian
restaurant bill with its many charges (bread, service, table etc.). We then visited the Pantheon which was by far the most awe inspiring structure we had visited so far. Its dome really showed the skill of the Roman craftsmen and the usefulness of concrete. We visited the Vatican City on the next day. We were treated to a rather small tour guide that relied on a plastic rose on a stick and a loud headset system to make herself seen and heard amongst the bustling crowds of the Vatican and the Sistine Chapel. All the classics teachers demonstrated their knowledge of the world of ancient art as we traipsed through mountains of Classical and Renaissance art. After we had visited Ostia, the port of Rome, we travelled by coach to Sacramento, a town just outside Pompeii. When we arrived we all very surprised at the quality of the hotel, as it was much better than expected. The rooms
overlooked an orange garden and the setting was extremely pleasant. Just outside the hotel was the restaurant in which we would eat all of our evening meals (a little bit better than ‘Chef Express’, but only marginal). We all went to sleep on the first evening excited about the prospect of going to Vesuvius the next morning, which we had passed on the way to the hotel. The next day we travelled to Vesuvius it was a long hike up to the top for some of us but others of us were a bit too keen to reach the top and even ran! The views overlooking the town from the top were tremendous and the volcano itself was larger than had been expected. On two days we saw two very well preserved towns. Pompeii and Herculaneum were both preserved in different ways, one by the ash from the volcano and the other from the actual lava. They were both very large and allowed us all to see in detail what a town would have looked like, although the beds did not look very comfortable in those times! While we were in Sacramento we also visited the Naples art museum which was interesting and related to what we had seen in Pompeii and Herculaneum. On the final day before travel, after a lot of phone calls home due to an earthquake near Rome, we were all very tired, especially Mr. Whiteman, and we travelled to Capri for a relaxing day of ice cream eating and looking round shops, from which none of us could ever buy, with the exception of Mr. Parr (if he sold that Ferrari he was telling us about). After this final relaxing day we had a quiz evening to celebrate the success of the trip, which was kindly organised by all the teachers and the hotel staff. At the end of this light hearted evening, with lots of wacky team name creations such as the Shahil Soneji Experience and Squids, we were all ready to wake up in the morning and go home.
Charles Colenutt & Edward Almond Year 9 30
Skylark 2009 Trips
Concert Band Tour to Budapest & Vienna Fresh from their performance at the finals of the National Festival of Music for Youth, the Concert Band embarked on their second biennial tour, which promised to surpass the high standards set by its predecessor. The summer of 2008 saw the ensemble travel to both sides of the former Iron Curtain, prompting interesting cultural and historical comparisons between two European capitals. After arriving in the twin cities of Buda and Pest on a glorious summer’s day, the band went straight to work, rehearsing their finelyhoned repertoire in preparation for a trio of evening concerts, to be held al fresco over the ensuing days. Following this exhausting experience, we embarked on a visit to a traditional-style restaurant, situated within one of Hungary’s world-famous wine cellars, at which we were able to sample both the local cuisine and Hungarian folk culture. Special mention must go here to Mr Pritchard, who joined in with the on-stage dancing with great gusto. Such excitement readied the band for the next day, which promised both visits to the fascinating historical sites of Budapest and the first concert. Unfortunately, it seemed that we had brought a portion of the British weather with us. During the night, the clouds had massed and let loose a torrent which dwarfed even the mighty Danube in size. The downpour was so heavy, in fact, that the day’s sightseeing had to be radically altered; no longer could we visit Buda Castle, one of the architectural and historical highlights of the city, since the funicular railway had been rendered unusable. Instead, we settled for the next best option, the local branch of Tesco, where we were able to stock up on supplies to sustain us should our hotel become submerged during the night. The rain gradually eased off, however, and we were able to make our way to the picturesque town of Szentendre, which we explored to calm our nerves before the concert, to be held in the main square. Concert Band, however, seemed to be attracting the storm clouds that day, since, within minutes of the first chords being played, the deluge resumed. A hasty evacuation to a nearby restaurant was executed, with music left to dry on tables. Eventually, the rain calmed enough to merit a continuation of the performance, although the audience had dissipated somewhat, leaving us playing to a mostly empty square. They soon flocked back, though, when the sound carried through the streets, enough that, when the rain returned once again, we felt that it could be worth continuing after a second unexpected interval. So, after much encouragement from Mr West, the band returned to the square triumphant, to an audience which deserved congratulations themselves for staying the course in order to
listen to us. In all, despite being a literal washout, the band agreed that the concert had been a success, even if some of the music was now ruined beyond repair and it was necessary to empty pools of water out of bassoons. Our hopes were raised the following morning, when not a cloud could be seen in the sky and the sun was shining as brightly as it had upon our arrival. This good fortune continued throughout that day’s excursion to the famous Széchenyi bathhouse, the largest of its kind in Europe, at which we were able to sample the local hot springs and investigate the acoustic properties of saunas with intricate twelve-part harmonies, which were strangely unappreciated by the locals. This also proved to be a place of relaxation for the band, attempts to wrestle Mr Simm to the bottom of the pool notwithstanding. That evening’s concert was held in Budapest’s Vörösmarty Square, a picturesque cultural centre for the city, and a popular tourist destination. Because of this, the concert was well-attended, with an audience in the hundreds, am impressive feat for a performance held seemingly without warning, providing an opportunity to the much-lauded saxophonists to play in a smaller ensemble to the appreciative crowd. The day of the final concert dawned, and with it the prospect of a day in neighbouring Austria. After a long, cross-border coach journey, we were able to spend much of the day touring Vienna, home of one of the greatest orchestras in the world and seat of one of the great former European empires. We wandered amongst the grand palaces form which so much of the continent was once ruled, and marvelled at the vast increase in prices of goods between Austria and Hungary. A short coach journey later, and we arrived in Eisenstadt, site of the final concert outside the Orangery in the gardens of the Esterházy
Palace, at which Haydn was once in residence. To the immense relief of all band members, there was no threat of poor weather as we prepared to play what would be the final performance in Mr West’s career at HABS. Hopes were understandably running high, but they were dashed when we realised that the location in which we had been asked to play was little-visited, resulting in a concert during which we outnumbered the audience. However, what the spectators lacked in number they made up for in spirit, prompting a first for the band in taking audience requests. This resulted in an impromptu performance of a medley of Beatles hits, after which the Dambusters March was well received, its irony lost on an appreciative audience. To conclude the concert, the tour and Mr West’s Concert Band directorship, the band played its signature piece, David Rose’s The Stripper, with great aplomb, before departing back across the border with a sense of deep satisfaction. Before we departed the next day, there was time for a brief cruise on the Danube in Budapest, accompanied by the strains of the somewhat poorly named Blue Danube Waltz, before the awards ceremony. At this, not only was every single member of the band awarded with the popular chocolate Mozartkugeln, but Messrs West, Simm and Pritchard, along with Miss Valentine, were presented with assorted “tourist tat and fizzy pop”, to use the former’s expression. It was on this note of fun that the tour finally ended, although not before Michael Freedman summed up the sentiments of every single member of the band with his outburst of “I love Hungaria!” It was now left to Mr Simm to continue Concert Band’s successes in the absence of the greatly appreciated influence of Mr West, whose tenure at HABS had finally come to an end as he approached a new life in Wales.
Andrew Rose L6
Skylark 2009 Trips
Art trip to Henry Moore Collection The Art department visited the Henry Moore Foundation in Perry Green in north Hertfordshire on Friday 3rd July. 25 GCSE and A Level students spent the day drawing and sketching the magnificent sculptures that are dotted around 'Hoglands', Henry Moore's old house and studios. During the first 2 hours of the trip the boys were taken around the foundation by a specialist guide (who just happened to be the Mother of Mr Maguire - our Head of Geography!). Visits to Henry Moore's various studios proved to be fascinating. The boys produced some splendid drawings during the afternoon and will use these as starting points for their coursework next term. The Art department would also like to thanks 'Bob - the driver' for driving one of the minibuses.
A K Keenleyside
The Hague International Model United Nations This year’s trip to The Hague International Model United Nations saw another run of success for HABS‘ MUNers. The conference, the largest of its kind, has always been an eagerly anticipated opportunity for HABS boys to flex their diplomatic muscles and revel in the spirit of community and debate. Representing Latvia, twelve boys flew to the World Forum in Den Haag, The Netherlands, for a 5-day conference. After taking in the sights of Amsterdam at the weekend we immersed ourselves in the spirit of the United Nations, finding allies and nemeses as we lobbied and debated our way to success. Due to the quality of student delegates that the conference’s high profile attracts, competition was as fierce as ever. But as before, we prevailed, with every HABS boy’s resolution gaining enough support to be debated. Furthermore seven boys passed their resolutions through committee and a further four through the General Assembly and Plenary stages. Due to our (and a couple of our rivals’) domination in previous years the THIMUN powers that be deemed it prudent to abstain from the awarding of individual accolades, but thanks to some spectacular speeches and vigorous debating, Haberdasher’s presence was most certainly felt. Seven boys from the Upper 6th and five from the Lower attended the conference and all deserve special mention: Andrew and Philip Shipley, Edward Schwitzer, Brett Bernstein, Miles Coleman, Arrash Yassaee, Ben Dive, Ben Lewy, Sameer Agrawal, Niall Moore, Oliver Ilott and Charles Reith. We of course look forward to returning next year, but, at the time of writing, eagerly await the first ever HABSMUN Conference in Easter 2009.
Niall Moore U6
Junior Trip to Barcelona During the first week of October half-term, thirty two Y8 boys took part in our annual trip to Barcelona. Our aim, of course was to improve our spoken Spanish, but we also managed to view some of Gaudí’s wonderful architecture, enjoy some late summer sunshine, dance some flamenco, eat some paella, participate in a workshop at the Chocolate Museum and visit the Nou Camp Stadium. On a visit to Port Aventura theme park, some of the group were not only brave enough to go on the ‘Dragon Khan’ and ‘Furious’ roller coasters once, but several times! A good time was had by all and we returned to London happy but exhausted!
A McKenzie 32
Skylark 2009 Trips
Cricket Tour to Devon We left a damp school at one o’clock with Mr. Haring marshalling us into the minibus. We were full of expectance as we travelled along the motorway as we drove towards Branscombe and to Mr. Yeabsley’s house. The team arrived hungry and were greeted warmly by Mr. Yeabsley and his wife, our rooms were allocated and we quickly changed and made our way down to the beach. It was turning out to be a wonderful evening, and the beach was a welcome relief to the warmth and we relaxed, playing football. No evening is ever dull with Sam Schusman around – he stripped down and jumped into a stream to rescue our ball! A hot dinner of chicken pie was awaiting us when we got back and at eleven o’clock we were all in bed. The next day turned out to be one of the easiest matches of the tour. We travelled down to Colyton Grammar School in the minibus to be greeted by our parents and our cricket bags H.A.B.S were put in to bat first and after a shaky start from our openers we regrouped to reach around 130. We were apprehensive at the start, as their openers
looked threatening, but with strong spells by Ishaan Patel and Amir Kumarathas, we dragged them back, soon had them on the rocks and eventually bowled them out for under 90. The day was topped off with great weather and a great trip down to the beach. The next day was supposed to be one of the “hardest” matches at Sidmouth Cricket Club, but it was not to be as we bowled them out for under 90 and forced to bowl everyone in the team. The ground had to be one of the most beautiful and picturesque in the country, with the sea just 20 metres from the edge of the pitch. Unfortunately, Sam Schusman was ill on that day and took no part in the bowling. After a strong start by Jaimin Patel and Will Wright, Sam came in and smashed a quick fire 30. We reached the target with 15 overs left to play. We continued playing, although when Josh Goldstein came in and smashed the ball so hard it nearly smashed a car’s windscreen and nearly went into the sea! Since Sidmouth was right on the sea side we bought fish and chips and ate them on the beach. That night
was also going to be the special dinner organised by the Mason’s Arms Hotel which was delicious and was topped of by speeches from our captain and from Mr. Yeabsley. We were very lucky with the weather this tour, but the last day was our hardest match and a miserable day. We were playing Ottery St. Mary on an unspectacular ground, but were met with a hardened side. For the first time we were put in to bat and were under pressure but were saved by good innings by Will Wright and Milind Chohan who both scored thirties. We thought we had done enough and at 176 it was always going to be a hard task for them. We were on a roll and they were crumbling at 50 for 8 but their penultimate wicket proved elusive and they went on to reach 150. The tour had ended and we had long goodbyes with our tour mates and with Mr Yeabsley and with Mr. Haring.
Rohan Mandumula Year 8
Year 8 Trip to the Black Country Museum The Year 8 expedition to the Black Country Living Victorian Museum was a great trip. We sank into the soft, spongy seats of the coach and set off. We clunked down the lush, green country lanes on the way to the museum. It was a rather long journey but we all managed to entertain ourselves. The first part of the day consisted of visiting reconstructions of various shops and houses. Shops back then were usually quite full, each one having its own specific items and selling point. Each shopkeeper explained to us in great detail the purpose of different items in his shop. After that, we looked at some of the old houses that people lived in. They were a great deal smaller than the houses we live in today. Back then, women tended to look after the house and do most of the cooking, and as the very informative tour guide told us, the children had a great hand in duties around the house as well. They didn’t have ovens; they would put their food in a pan and hold it over the fireplace. After that, we went down a mine to see what it would have been like for the miners having to live deep underground, for over twelve hours a day. We all put on safety helmets then plunged into the darkness. It was a very enjoyable although rather claustrophobic experience. Later we went down one of the mine shafts, we saw where a boy of our age would have spent his time opening and closing a door to allow air in and out of the mine. Various effects including noises and dummies of miners were there as well, which seemed a bit too scary for some of our party who started screaming like girls. The helpful guides informed us of the hard day’s work a young miner would have had to endure. Suddenly the prospect of history homework didn’t seem so bad.
back on the coaches to begin the long journey back to Habs, we were allowed a bit of spare time, in which some of us went to the brilliant old fashioned sweet shop, but the more adventurous went to the fun fair. After a long and enjoyable day it was time to head back to the coach and to school.At the end of this great trip we were on the coach, exhausted, our bellies full of chips, and most of all glad we had visited the Black Country Museum.
Edward Jeans, Robert Ley and Edward Nutting Year 8
Then came our reward for being so attentive during the preceding events of the day: fish and chips! The queues were enormous but when we got our food it was certainly worth the wait. We ate outside on the wooden benches, whilst enjoying the sunny weather. Before we got
...to join one of the finest and most exclusive golf clubs in the United Kingdom. Virtually unmatched for setting and elegance, Brocket Hall Golf ǯ ǡ ͤ͝ ǯ players and home to the first Faldo Golf Institute in Europe. The unique instructional programmes and improvement driven practice facilities combine to create an environment that will benefit golfers of every age and skill level. ǯ ǯǯ Ǥ
This renowned club is now inviting applications for a limited number of new Memberships for 2009. If you are interested in receiving further information on this unique opportunity and the New Members Introductory Package please contact the Membership Department
+44 (0) 1707 335241 firstname.lastname@example.org
Brocket Hall Golf Club - where golf is more than just a game...
Brocket Hall Golf Club, Welwyn, Hertfordshire, AL8 7XG. United Kingdom T: 01707 335241 E: email@example.com W: www.brocket-hall.co.uk
Skylark 2009 Trips
Golf Tour to Vilamoura The third annual golf tour led by master in charge of golf Mr. Ward and Director of Sport Mr. McIntosh travelled to the Hotel Dom Pedro Marina in Vilamoura in the Algarve region of Portugal for the third HABS Golf tour. Four highly competitive rounds of Golf were played over the Millennium, Vila Sol, O’Connor Amendoeira and Vilamoura Old Course over the following four days. After arrival in Portugal, it was straight to the Barringtons practice facility at Vale do Lobo, as the players took advantage of the kind of golfing conditions that were about as frequent in a British February as Harry Kovenklioglu arriving on time for breakfast! At Millennium, tour rookie Aidan Kovenklioglu took advantage of perfect golfing conditions and took the early lead with 33 points. Ben Cherkas displayed some splendid accuracy at the par 3, 6th hole, and claimed the nearest the pin prize for his efforts. Shot of the day honours went to Tom Haniff for his recovery shot at the par 5, 4th hole, threaded through what was described to be the vast majority of the Umbrella pines in the Algarve region, over a bunker and safely onto the green! An ‘off the cuff’ Portuguese wildlife lesson from Mr Ward preceded Round 2 of the golf tour at Vila Sol, with members of the tour being introduced to creatures such as the Hoopoe bird. Armed with this new wealth of knowledge of the Vila Sol wildlife, the tourists proceeded to tackle the fiendish Vila Sol layout. Scores improved markedly from round one for the vast majority of the players, and for the second day running, Aidan came out on top with a score of 35 points. Round 3 at the O’Connor course, Amendoeira provided a new and exciting challenge for the players and the immaculate nature of the course led to a number of fantastic scores being posted from the chasing pack, attempting to catch the leader Aidan who had opened up a considerable lead. Although still youthful, tour veteran David Fernie had been in the chasing pack on a number of occasions and this experience clearly paid dividends when putting together the days winning score of 38 points – the best score of the week thus far. Whilst the spritely Mr McIntosh picked up nearest the pin honours for the day, the tournament committee decided that he had surpassed the age eligibility requirements for that competition and this led to two shots of the day being awarded. William Aldred, a tour rookie with bags of potential, showed his undoubted class in making a 25 foot putt on the undulating second green following a bunker shot. The other shot of the day was given to golf team captain Marc Kuber for a shot for which any level of articulation simply does not do justice. A purely struck 7 iron from the cavernous fairway bunker on the 18th hole to within four feet sealed his first shot of the day honours in 9 rounds of tour golf. The final round, dubbed by the Portuguese locals as the ‘shootout in the sun’, saw a number of fantastic scores being posted, notably a quite unbelievable 43 points from Tom Haniff as well as a back nine surge from Kuber, who struggled early on, but produced a final 8 holes of two under par including an eagle on the par 5 13th leading to 37 points for the day. It was however, tour prodigy David Fernie who rose best of all to the occasion, and a final round score of 40 points handed him the title on countback; a stunning victory over youngster Aidan, who was cruelly denied a gallant wire to wire victory. The trip, once again, was a great success, and thoroughly enjoyed by all who were involved with it, being as enjoyable socially as on the course itself.
Marc Kuber U6
Skylark 2009 Trips
Football Tour to The Netherlands The 1st XI assembled for the much-anticipated tour to Valkenburg, Holland on a cool April morning, uniformly clad in orange polo shirts and hoodies, in an attempt to enter the traditional Dutch mindset of ‘total football’. The party were immediately introduced to their mentor for the tour – Ian; the final great bastion of Great British coach-driving, and although the side thought little of his presence at the time, his attendance on the tour soon became synonymous with success. Ian safely delivered the napping team to Dover, where they boarded the luxury cruise to Calais, and attention turned to the first game. On arrival in France, the target of a 6 o’clock arrival was made by Coach Ward, but Ian made mincemeat of the target by arriving fully two hours prior to schedule, and declared it ‘the best run he had ever had through France and Belgium’. Attention soon turned to the first game, however, and the task of finding a training pitch in order to prepare for the matches fell to Head Coach Ward and his assistant Dr. Sloan. The pair were able to secure a caged training field, perfect for the intensive warm-ups the team would need prior to battle against their European counterparts. The first game, though, was far from a battle. In the face of their intimidating British opponents, RKSV Olympia crumbled. After going 2-0 up at half time, HABS were looking solid, and when Simon Stanfield slotted in a penalty for his hat-trick before Will Gallimore hit a quick fire double, victory was assured. The side did not relax though, keen to put as many goals home as possible, and not even Zender’s posing for photos could stop him from nodding in Habs 7th. Indeed, even goalkeeper Tristan Minall got in on the action, playing a beautiful, curling, incisive, and altogether lucky pass through to Prashant Kukadia who put home the 8th and final goal of the game. Following the stunning 8-0 victory, the team were keen to keep the momentum going into the second game of the tour against BVV Caterpillar. Following a warning from PR-man Ian that Caterpillar were ‘a hard team, as they like to dig through their opponents’ (brilliant…) the side were ready to continue their winning form. A more testing first half lay in wait, as HABS twice fell behind, though a penalty from Gallimore put the team level going into halftime. Defensive frailties cost the side after half time, as they once again fell behind before upping their game for the final half hour. With Jonny Graham, Anto Rumford and Joel Saloman – man of the match the previous day - forming an unfamiliar back 3, the defense proved more solid as the game drew to its conclusion. Mirav Vyas went on to score goal of the game, as he danced, pirouetted and leaped his way through the Caterpillar defence, before posting the ball into the bottom corner to take the game out of reach of
the opposition. The final score of 8-3 might have flattered HABS, as the game was a close fought contest, but Alex Parker’s hat-trick – including a volley that contended Mirav’s goal for the accolade of goal of the tour and Joe Zender’s 5 assists had helped the team to their second victory of the tour. With the team well rested, the final game of the tour – and, indeed, of many of the players’ HABS careers – had arrived. The long journey North had yielded a victory the previous day, and it was with high hopes that the team ventured in the same direction, looking to end the tour with a 100% win rate. TSV NOAD, though, started the game determined to ruin the teams record, as they took an early lead, and doubled their advantage deep in the first half. A tall order faced the team at half time, as they knew that they would have to pull out all the stops if they were to turn the game around, and turn the defeat that was staring them in the face into a glorious victory – and all this without young right-winger Alex Parker who had been cruelly struck down by illness prior to the game, leaving his right sided partner Elliot Kaye . As had been the case all tour, Coach Ward persisted with his - thus far successful - policy of ringing the changes at half time, and when Gallimore burst through the defence to slot home after half-time, the comeback was on. A reinvigorated HABS side had emerged, and were desperate to finish the tour with a fighting performance, and - at only one goal in arrears anything was possible. Following wave after wave of attack, HABS were still a goal down, before a corner found its way to the far post, were Rumford and Vyas helped each other to bundle the ball home and draw the sides level. Although celebrations ensued, the victory was far from won, and the relentless onslaught from the tourists did not abate. It was with 10 minutes to go, and 11 leg-weary players still giving everything for the shirt, which they had adorned for three games, that the telling moment occurred. James Tan – who worked tirelessly all game down the right flank – played the ball to Vyas, who in turn switched the ball wide to Gallimore, before making his run to the edge of the box. The ball was delivered, and Vyas received the cross and powered an unstoppable half volley into the top corner of the net. The opposition, soon gave the ball away cheaply, and as the ball was squared to Zender, the striker finished with style to put the game beyond doubt – a fitting way to cap a most impressive tour for the striker. With NOAD having little left in order to mount a comeback, HABS successfully defended their lead for the remaining 8 minutes, and the most brilliant of all comebacks had been completed. A fitting way indeed to complete the season for the side, who had gelled together as a team over the course of the trip and pulled together to finish the season in the right way.
William Gallimore U6
Skylark 2009 Trips
Senior School Ski Trip Having assembled typically early, the party left for Tignes eager for would prove to be a thoroughly enjoyable week. The excitement began as soon as we reached the airport when Andrew Middleton discovered to his horror that he had brought his father’s passport. Despite this minor hiccup, the journey went smoothly and soon the band of winter sports enthusiasts arrived at the hotel. The next morning the skiing began in earnest. Having collected the gear the night before, the boys were on the slopes early regaining their familiarity with the snow and exploring the resort. After lunch the team reassembled for the trials which would lead to the groups being divided up into their lessons for the week. Andrew Middleton, James Devlin and David “Mr. Invisible” Walker proved themselves early contenders for the coveted Ski King trophy, which would awarded at the culmination of the week, as they progressed into the advanced group. The week passed rapidly, with each day offering new and varied skiing and each night laden with entertainment. The skiing highlights from my perspective were the Hidden Valley, which involved skiing down a very narrow gorge and at one point having to remove our skis and crawl through a low arch in the rock, trying the tricks (with limited success) that Bastian attempted to teach us and of course the rowdy behaviour of the Shipley twins in the ski lifts; they could share a womb, but not a gondola. In addition the Face black run kept everyone alert with its steep, icy slopes and the Trolles kept everyone amused as it seemed to be constantly covered in broken beginners who had failed to realise that this tricky black was the only way back down into town once a certain lift had been taken. The highlights of the nights included ten-pin bowling, the disco where Kayhan Izman was on particularly fine form, the numerous games of Mao and the illicit foray into Val Claret. As the week drew to a close, David Walker was deservedly awarded the Ski King trophy with Team FF (flying ferrets) and their internet-enabled iPods winning the quiz. A great week was had by all, and the excellent organisation of the party meant that everything ran smoothly without the frustration of a series of lengthy queues.
Basil Letts L6
Skylark 2009 Trips
Biology Field Trip to Nettlecombe Court, Exmoor In the sweltering heat of July, the biologists made their way to Exmoor to push the boundaries of investigative biology just that little bit further, all in the name of science. Hopes were high that previous HABS discoveries could be topped by this year’s crop of fine scientists, and we were not disappointed.
Junior Ski Trip At half past one in the morning on 3rd April, 27 excited children and 4 exhausted teachers turned up at the coach park in preparation for a long journey into the heart of the Alps. After a long journey to Gatwick and a longer journey from Grenoble, we finally arrived in the small skiing village of Serre Chevallier. Tired from hours of travel, we did nothing for the rest of the day in preparation for a long week’s skiing. The next day, we woke up early, and headed straight to the slopes. We split into three groups based on skiing ability and experience, and after having acquainted ourselves with an instructor, headed off with them to explore the wonderful views of the surrounding mountains for the morning, then, after having gone back to the hotel for lunch, went back for another few hours. In the evenings, we participated in several interesting activities, including quizzes, ice skating and the much-loved prize sessions, in which we anonymously nominated a person for a prize based on the day’s events, occasionally with a serious attitude behind the reason. We spent a lot of time in the hotel and the town, looking round the shops, buying souvenirs and sweets, and playing pool and table tennis. Like all other trips, there were much-dreaded room inspections throughout the week, and prizes were given to the best rooms (but for some reason, hastily hiding two Year 7s in a cupboard as Mr Thackrey knocked on the door held no bonus points for the Year 8 room). As the week progressed, we all improved in skiing ability, and enjoyed a lot of the sights and slopes seen in the 1990 Winter Olympics, including the dangerously steep Luc Alphand run, named after the skier born in the town. We also enjoyed the thrill of jumps and off-piste skiing; as well as a laugh every time somebody fell over (which happened as frequently to the experts as the beginners). All of the teachers accompanied us onto the slopes, including Miss Valentine, a firsttime skier, and they managed to have as much fun as we all did, as well as receiving several prize votes every time they fell over. All too soon, however, we had left the snow for the last time (with no serious injuries). After skiing awards being given out and one last night in the hotel, it was time to leave Serre Chevallier. It was a tired but content group of students, and some very weary teachers who returned back to the coach park.
Harrison Reilly Year 8
Setting off at an unspeakably early hour, we arrived at Nettlecombe Court five hours later and immediately got to work on our skills of species identification in river beds, comparing the relative diversity of such celebrated creatures such as the flatworm, the blackhead midge larvae and the freshwater shrimp. Afterwards, our statistical abilities were put under the proverbial microscope by our beloved guides. Day two saw the biological army fight on a different playing field; namely, the grass playing fields, comparing the number of species present on trampled and untrampled grass. This rigorous testing of the different species present on different areas of grassland set us up superbly to prepare and consider possible investigations for us to pursue on day three. Day three: investigation day for the biologists, and the Wimbledon final for a certain Mr. Roddick and Mr. Federer. The biologists entered the fields with high hopes that a momentous discovery would be made. Carefully designed experiments were put into practice ranging from “ An investigation into the effect of vegetation on the abundance of freshwater shrimp in a uniform stream” to “ the effect of proximity and tree density on the behaviour of sycamore tree growth “ and other classics such as “The effect of moisture content of the soil on yarrow plant abundance using a point transect “. Interestingly, the most unique behaviour observed all weekend was the fierce rivalry developing between the two Wimbledon finalists’ camps. After an epic battle the federrites; despite being outnumbered by the roddicists at least 1.3 to 1, were victorious. Back in the lab: soil pH, moisture content and Spearman’s ranks all round. After an intense number crunching session, correlations as good as 0.9956 were obtained. We cannot confirm the conclusions drawn, but the weight and importance of the experiments cannot be underestimated. Expect publication in your favourite scientific and technical journal, Scope, next year.
Casey Swerner L6
Skylark 2009 Trips
History Trip to Latvia and Lithuania For many in the Lower and Upper Sixth years, October marked the anticipated return of school-favourite history tour-guide Gabriel, and so people were excited for the 2008 History trip to Latvia and Lithuania before they even knew that it was the 2008 History trip to Latvia and Lithuania. The trip started at a traditionally ungodly hour, travelling to Riga via plane. Once we had arrived, the equally traditional drive to do as much as possible kicked in, starting with an impromptu quiz about our knowledge of the Second World War. Indeed, as tired and weary as we may have already become, this served well to underline the purpose of the trip: to broaden our perspective and understanding of the Second World War through challenging our underlying beliefs and questioning when the war really ended. This understanding was immediately strengthened by our first outing – a visit to the Museum of the Barricades of 1991 – which highlighted just how recently it has been since Latvia has regained its independence from Russia, something not often considered by those of us with no living memory of this event. In response to Russian attacks, the Latvian people started building barricades in that year to try and prevent the advances of these units, an act which has become adopted as a symbol of Latvian defiance in the face of oppression. Indeed, our next visits sought to emphasise the suffering of the Latvian people both during the Nazi-German occupation and beyond it. We first visited Rumbula Forest, the site of a Nazi massacre of Latvian Jews in both November and December of 1941. A profound and sombre experience, this immediately drew home the force and ruthlessness with which the Nazi power carried out its regime. This was only re-enforced by a later visit to a concentration camp at Salaspils, where many thousands of Soviet prisoners of war were put to forced labour. Although this also stood as representative of the terrible nature of the Nazi regime, it also represented the similarly terrible agenda run by the Soviet occupiers: huge memorials commemorating the suffering of the Soviet captives had been put up there, perhaps as an attempt to establish the legitimacy of the Soviet occupation. Although the Nazi and Soviet regimes may have worked for different purposes and towards different goals, visiting both of these places in sequence highlighted how, on a practical level, the two parties worked in a rather similar manner, eliminating the Latvian identity. On our second day, we visited the Museum of the Occupation of Latvia, an institution which further detailed the workings and happenings of the two occupying powers, of a 50 year-long period of subjugation. Although we did not go to as many places as we had previously, our visit to the museum solidified and strengthened our understanding of Latvia’s history. After being let free to eat lunch on our own, we visited the Victory Memorial to Soviet Army, a memorial constructed in 1985 to celebrate the victory of the Soviet Army over Nazi Germany. We could not help but feel that it only epitomised the Soviet attempts to impose their culture on Latvia’s own; the memorial stands not so much for Latvian freedom but for Russian power and might, an interpretation only strengthened by Russian attempts to reclaim other symbols of Latvian identity as their own. In this manner, we turned to another statue we had visited – the Freedom Monument, a memorial to soldiers killed in the Latvian War of Independence in 1918 to 1920, which had been reinterpreted as a symbol of Soviet pride. Somewhat fortunately, the day ended on a lighter note, with our group losing Dr. Wigley amid a bustling market, leading to half an hour of confused searching and worrying. Eventually it dawned on us that he had, in fact, returned to our hostel once he had become separated, and was simply lying in his room waiting for our return.
unknown, the practice of placing crosses on the hill has now become something of a pilgrimage, as the site was used throughout the Soviet occupation as a place of peaceful demonstration, becoming a testament to the Lithuanian people’s regard for their identity. Over 50,000 crosses adorn the hill, and the atmosphere proves to be a place for silent reflection and consideration very quickly. In the evening we settled into our hostel and walked through the Užupis region of Vilnius, an artistic area housing many cafés, galleries and workshops, and one which declared itself as an independent republic in 1997. As a result, it created its own constitution, whose declarations range from the unremarkable (Article 5, “Man has the right to individuality”) to the idiosyncratic and somewhat nonsensical (Article 12, “A dog has the right to be a dog” and Article 13, “A cat is not obliged to love its master, but it must help him in difficult times”). Our penultimate day began with a visit to the Vilna Gaon Jewish State Museum, a building dedicated to the memory of Lithuanian Jewry, a population which, like many others, was almost completely destroyed during the Second World War. In it we toured the Tolerance Centre, a section which seeks to spread the values of tolerance and acceptance in society, as well as seeing many examples of both modern and historical Jewish art, and Jewish artefacts saved from the destruction of Nazi persecution. From here we moved to the Holocaust Museum, a small museum unfortunately limited by its size and a lack of funding. Nevertheless, with the help of some museum assistants, visiting the museum proved to be a provocative experience, unflinching in its detailing of the workings of the Nazi regime and its effects on the Lithuanian Jewish population. This understanding was only compounded by a visit to the site of the Ponary massacre, where 70,000 Jews were murdered. This was yet another sombre experience, demanding thoughtful contemplation and reflection. The day finished with a visit to the Vilnius TV Tower, a place that played home to important events in the fight for Lithuanian independence. In climbing the tower we were offered not only astonishing views of the city, but also the chance of contemplating the strength of the desire of the Lithuanian people for their independence and self-determination as a people. Although we only had one day left, our last day was somewhat more slow-paced. In the morning we visited the Museum of Genocide Victims, a museum dedicated to the memories of those murdered by both the Nazi and Soviet occupiers. Indeed, this desire to highlight both powers as equally damaging in their regimes was highlighted by the museum’s history; it had been utilised as a prison by the Soviets during their first occupation of Lithuania in 1940 and converted by the Nazis into the Gestapo headquarters, before being employed once again by the Soviet KGB after Lithuania had been liberated. The torture chambers in the basement of the building were particularly chilling, and, along with the building’s colourful history, worked to portray just how similarly these regimes affected the Lithuanian people. From here we relaxed while atop the remaining segments of Vilnius’ Upper Castle, giving us views of the city from above. Overall, trip certainly proved effective, challenging our preconceptions about the Second World War and broadening our understanding of the workings of the Nazi and Soviet powers, and, most importantly, giving us an insight into the sufferings of two nationalities under two different agendas.
Gregory Steckelmacher L6
The next day, after a short visit to the Latvian War Museum, we embarked on a long coach journey to Vilnius, Lithuania. Here, many of the same themes remained, as Lithuania also suffered in very much a similar manner under Nazi and Soviet occupation. Indeed, this was reinforced almost by contrast when we stopped at the Hill of Crosses, a historical sight of Lithuanian nationality. Although its exact origins are 39
Skylark 2009 Trips
French Exchange to Strasbourg At the ridiculous hour of 5am, at the start of the Easter holidays, a group of twenty exhausted L6 French students assembled in a cold and deserted corner of Stanstead Airport, before their equally bleary-eyed teachers, too tired to get excited about the prospect of a week in the beautiful Alsatian city of Strasbourg; too tired, in fact, to do anything except complain about the 15kg weight limit on luggage, and buy copious amounts of coffee. Minutes after arriving in Karlsruhe, Germany, it was discovered that one of our number had left their mobile on the plane which, being Ryanair’s, was probably already flying back over the Channel. Cue groans from the group, as well as a look of utter despair upon Mr Thompson’s face. It was, apparently, going to be that sort of trip, and the teachers were left wondering what exactly they had signed up for. We arrived, after a coach into France, at our exchanges’ school, an attractive and enormous if somewhat prison-like building right in the city centre, where we said ‘bonjour’ to our exchanges, who had stayed with us just the week beforehand. We were generously given the rest of the day off to spend with our partners, most of the boys opting for a football game in a park and then staying in that night to watch France embarrass themselves in a World Cup Qualifier. At this point we found out that for the first four days of our trip there would be a ludicrous amount of ‘la police’ in the area, as Strasbourg was hosting a NATO conference that weekend, to be attended by President Obama himself. With this in mind, our armoured friends decided to loiter around each of the city’s many cobbled streets, wearing silly hats, and generally being an obstacle to all social activity. The next day the trip started in earnest, with a trip to the Cathédrale de Notre Dame de Strasbourg which dominates the city skyline, followed by a visit to the baffling Museum of Modern Art, where most of the exhibits were so confusing, that some of the group gave up and hit the café. The evening was spent eating the celebrated Alsatian delicacy of tarte flambée. Friday was spent in the picturesque city of Colmar, not far from Strasbourg, where we enjoyed some time away from les flics to go to the Unterlinden Museum of Art, where there was plenty of religious art to be admired. From there we went to a winery visiting first the vineyards then the cellars, where we sampled some of Alsace’s famous white wine. The tiring day was rounded off with a trip to an ancient château, which was enhanced by the appearance of groups of mediaeval history enthusiasts in period costume. The weekend was, as always on exchanges, spent ‘en famille’. On the Saturday, some were fortunate enough to visit
Skylark 2009 Trips
Europa Park, Europe’s largest theme park, whilst others spent the day sleeping, driving tractors, or going to the forest to swing from tree to tree on zip wires. Monday morning was spent at school. After dropping Physics, History, Literature, or Biology after GCSEs, few of us relished a return to those dark days as we sat in on our exchanges’ classes. The day continued with an excursion to the secretive Heineken factory, which got everybody excited, until, with dismay, we discovered that the free beer tasting would be ‘sans alcohol’. Tuesday started with a visit to the European Council, in its enormous Colosseum-like building. We managed to visit the debating chambers, which were fascinating, but also to watch a short film while sitting on the most comfortable chairs imaginable, into which some sunk, asleep, within minutes. We followed this up with a trip to see a new French film, Safari. Either we were just too unsophisticated or French humour was just lost on us though! We returned to our kind hosts, who graciously insisted that, although it was the last night of the trip, and they had promised us what is apparently called a ‘Skins party’, we get an early night. This left us feeling a little annoyed but still fresh for our trip back to Albion the following morning. We left the city at seven, were back in London for eleven, and suddenly a week of great experiences and fun times were over. We thanked Mr Thompson, Madame Ray, and the enthusiastic Madame Rutter-Gafie for facilitating said fun times, and then it was time to part. The emotion of the occasion seemed to overwhelm our thespian friend George Bach (although we suspect that he was, as usual, acting), but nothing could be done. It had been a wonderful week in Alsace, and whether we had gained linguistic prowess, foreign friends, or a fantastic tan line, we all left thinking that the first week of the holidays could not have been better spent.
Bharrathi Sarvananthan & Elan Shuker L6
Spanish Trip to Valencia On Sunday 15th of February, 12 intrepid adventurers met at Victoria station at the entrance to the Gatwick Express platforms, eager to start the first leg of our journey that would delve us deeper into Spain, in a way that no ‘Listos’ textbook could possibly achieve. From the station, we travelled as a group to London Gatwick where we boarded, at 4:45, an easy jet flight to Valencia. We arrived in Valencia around 8:00; the weather we had envisioned was slightly chillier than expected, yet much warmer than the changeable British climate. We travelled to the school, on the way taking in our surroundings and digesting, what was for many, a first time visit to this beautiful city. Once at the school, we had a little bit of a wait, before we met our hosts and where whisked off on foot in a flurry of Spanish words and hospitality, towards the homes that would be acting as our accommodation for the rest of the trip. Every morning of the duration of our visit, we had a study group in Don Quijote school. These were lead by various Spanish teachers, and were extremely useful and interesting; we did various things, ranging from speaking and listening activities entirely in Spanish, to a treasure hunt on the last day. The grounds of the school were extremely large, with a multitude of shops, and several other modes of entertainments such as tennis courts and a climbing wall. We usually spent our time here until around midday when we left for our homes in order to eat lunch and get ready for the afternoon’s activities. The next few days that followed were extremely enjoyable and insightful. On the Monday, after our stimulating session in a study group, we took a visit to the City of Arts and Sciences. This was an extremely inspiring structure, with the architectural brilliance taking our breaths away. The inside was a collaboration of insight and fascination, with many exhibits, showcases and interactive attractions. The trip was eye opening and they enjoyment was quite infectious, with no-one wanting to leave once time was up. The next day, we took a tour of the mediæval Valencia & Old Town. It was quite incredible to see the remains of what had been an impressive castle wall. Inside the walls was a town still very much alive and thriving. It gave us the chance to witness what was quite an in-depth contrast between the hustle and bustle of modern day Valencia, and the town that time forgot. On Wednesday the 18th, we went to Americas’ Cup harbour and the beach. Here we relaxed, indulging ourselves in a game of football on the white sands and, for the more adventurous, delving into the icy depths of the sea. The weather was true and fine on this day, and we had a great time. Later in the evening, we went for a meal out in one of the many Spanish restaurants in the Old Town, and had paella, a traditional and tasty Spanish dish. However, on Thursday, we woke up with heavy hearts, as we had to say good-bye to sun drenched Valencia and hello to rain-drenched Britain. The flight back was not filled with the same buzzing excitement that tinged the way there, but instead, there was a subdued aura of gladness, one that comes only after experiencing something worthwhile.
Aka Okoye Year 10
Skylark 2009 Trips
Year 7 History Trip to Agincourt The trip to Agincourt and Crécy was an intriguing mix of history, spending our parents’ money and experiencing something new. We arrived at the coach park and somehow grouped together into what some would call an organised group or as others would say a disorganised rabble, before the coach journey, which took about seven hours including the ferry crossing. Once we landed in France we stopped at the place that was Crécy and stared out at a field looking at the two most interesting things there, which were the huge expanse of battlefield and a tower. After an early start the next day, we were zooming through the French country side heading for the refuge of the underground city of Naours, which was a place of refuge for the townsfolk when the English came calling. We enjoyed it extremely and would visit again any day. The magnificent castle at Rambures was another treat, whilst the coach journey was made more enjoyable by Blackadder, a series set in the area of France we were visiting, bursting onto the screen all of a sudden the coach wasn’t that bad and we enjoyed a pleasant evening at the seaside town of St Valery. On the last day, after a slight lie-in, we made our way to Agincourt. The Agincourt visitors centre must have the highlight of the trip with massive models and excellent videos we learnt so much and the gift shop supplied us with enough weaponry to beat the hell out of each other for a joyous half an hour. A trip around the battle field followed and we enjoyed hearing about
where everyone had met their bloody end and also having an educational talk about how some English lords were boiled and taken back home. As we travelled home on the coach we watched the last couple of episodes of Blackadder and as we saw our heroes’ fall in the big push we thought about our trip, realising how lucky we were not to have experienced that, as well as how good the trip had been and how much we had enjoyed it. But I feel it is only right to say that as we stepped off the coach in the coach park I can only remember thinking “it’s good to be back!”
Edward Day Year 7
Skylark 2009 Trips
Warm Weather Athletics Training in Lanzarote April 2nd 2009 saw the beginning of what was to be one of the most successful school trips HABS has ever run. Whilst being an early meet of 6:20 AM in the school coach park, it seemed that spirits were high, and those that were more than half awake were enthusiastic and ready to get going on the journey. After a one and a half hour coach transfer from school to Gatwick airport most of the party had managed to gain at least one more hour of sleep, and that seemed to be enough for most to be awake and lively. The atmosphere of the party began to liven up and soon the friendly banter was wide spread and clear for all to hear and see! Upon arriving in Arrecife airport, anyone that needed it had been given the opportunity to gain yet more precious hours of sleep, whilst others that did not, had used the four hour flight to catch up with and get to know some of the girls from the accompanying Princess Helena College. A half hour transfer from the airport to the famous Club La Santa, in which the party would be staying and training, was then needed and by the time the coach pulled up outside the main gates most people were desperate to gain the keys to their room and have a wander round the complex, whilst others were desperate to know where the nearest WC was! A light training session was then taken by Mr and Mrs Keenleyside in which both boys and girls alike were instructed to stretch in the most flexible of fashions. Whilst the girls seemed to have no trouble bending their legs and arms in unnatural directions, the boys seemed to have more of a problem and in most cases experienced pain which words quite simply cannot do justice! However pain or no pain the stretches were completed and most of the party felt better and perhaps more supple at the end of the day. Dinner each night was eaten in a buffet style restaurant situated near the pool, called ‘Restaurante Atlantico’, which funnily enough over looked the Atlantic Ocean. This was followed by a variety of shows put on by the Club La Santa staff and often a pool competition organised by a sixth former of Mr Keenleyside’s choice – Kaz Ong. Training was structured daily in a way that allowed the boys and girls from both schools to have the majority of the day to do as they pleased around the campus. In the morning, from 9-11:30, field events training took place, in which the separate training groups (organised by Mr Keenleyside), were taught how to compete in that event. It seemed that it was this time of day that Mr Paul Valente was at his most comfortable, after failing miserably to ‘bite the bullet’ and take a plunge in the outstandingly cold pool during free time, he seemed to be content on dry land teaching boys, girls and occasionally himself how to throw a discus! The evening, from 5:30-7:00,
consisted of track training, in which Mrs Keenleyside (amongst others) seemed to take pleasure in making the boys do crazy stretches, co-ordination strides which only the Keenleyside family seemed capable of doing and strides in which the party were told to run in the correct running style. A feat which seemed fairly simple during the warm up, but seemed nearly impossible half way through a 1500 m race! However, all the training, no matter how crazy it seemed at the time, was all to the benefit of every athlete there, and at times that thought alone was the only thing that kept certain members of the party in that abnormal stretch for two seconds longer. Midweek a time trial took place in the evening, in which every athlete was told to compete in either a 200m race or a 1500m race. Unsurprisingly, the majority opted for a 200m and this created a spectacle for some fantastic races. This is what was produced, and after some agonisingly close finishes and stunning runs most athletes seemed content with the way that they had performed. Because of the number of athletes that were, or more to the point were not interested in the 1500m race, only one heat was run. However, it was a brilliant heat and one in which everyone tried their absolute best, producing not brilliant times, but the satisfaction of knowing they had tried their hardest in the first run of the year.
time limits the school had on the track and therefore the teams were chosen and the team relays were contested the evening before. Both the A and the B relays were strongly contested and every team deserved an accolade for the effort put in, regardless of positions! Not everyone saw it this way however, and many were disappointed with the results for their team. Of course, like any true athlete, anyone who was not satisfied with the results decided it was their responsibility to try harder rather than drown in their sorrows.
Training continued, and as the stretches got harder and harder it seemed that the boys had finally become more supple and were able to cope with them more readily…most of them anyway! However, people continued to work hard towards the big competition at the end of the week, the team pentathlon!
Year 9 – Ned Birss
A widely coveted event, it was important to every team not to suffer the humiliation of coming last and this continued to spur the athletes on to train harder ensuring they were at their best for the big day. The only time any athlete seemed not quite as motivated to train was at a time when the lure of shopping in a Teguise market grabbed them. Most athletes distracted, were of the female gender. The Pentathlon started officially, on the evening before the actual event. This was because of
The final day brought the pentathlon with it and after a large breakfast all athletes were at the track sitting in their teams discussing tactics that would be used throughout the day. As always it was a wonderful day of highs and lows (mostly highs) for all the participants involved. Many personal bests were achieved and those people that did not perform to their maximum capability left the track knowing that they had put in maximum effort. A final award ceremony was then held in which the following accolades were distributed and received: Winner of individual pentathlon: Year 7 – Miguel Perera Year 8 – Rufus McAllister
Year 10 – Ellis Hughes The Victor Ladorum Cup for the most points scored on a single event was also won by Ellis Hughes. A huge thank you must be given to Mr and Mrs Lowe, Mr Jenkins, Mr Valente, the sixth form boys – who were brilliant role models for all and coached tirelessly and of course Mr and Mrs Keenleyside. A fantastic week was had by the entire party; everyone was totally involved in the athletics and enjoyed the experience immensely. Thank you once again for an outstandingly successful trip.
David Fernie Year 10 43
Skylark 2009 Trips
Year 8 Chambéry French Exchange 25 boys and girls from Habs and NLCS travelled to Chambéry in France for the return leg of the French exchange, during the Easter holidays. Everyone was happy to see their exchanges and was eager to live with a French family for the week. We made friends with the girls from NLCS, talked to the girls and on the last day when it started raining some of us even acted like girls (not mentioning any names, or name I should say?!). All of us tried all of the food and enjoyed it. Although we were living with a French family, we went on trips with Mr. Thackrey, Mlle Houssaye and
Mr. Langdale from NLCS. This Included visits to the footballing capital of France: Lyon, as well as visiting Grenoble, Annecy and, hence the name of the Exchange, Chambéry itself. We would like to thank Mr. Thackrey, Mlle Houssaye and Mr. Langdale, for organising a great exchange, and we would like to thank our French families for making us feel so very welcome.
Charlie Briggs Year 8
Year 9 French to L’Alma School Exchange On the last day of the half term, 13 Habs girls joined 20 boys from Year 9 and travelled from St Pancras on the Eurostar direct to Paris. For some of the group it was the first opportunity of travelling on the Eurostar and was very exciting. When we arrived in Paris our French exchanges and their families were waiting for us at the station. Many of us continued our journey using the French metro to the central Paris homes of our exchanges, all of whom are pupils of Le College-Lycee L’Alma. We spent the weekend getting acquainted with our host families, practising our French language skills and enjoying the French cuisine. Schooldays saw many of us journeying to school by foot, bus, scooter or motorbike. On Monday morning we left school to visit the Eiffel Tower, which gave a brilliant view over Paris, including the Arc de Triomphe and other famous monuments. After that we had a picnic lunch in the park nearby and then walked to the River Seine and took a boat trip passing more famous landmarks. During the course of the weekdays we managed to fit in visits to the Louvre, the Stade de France and the Palace of Versailles. All the trips involved travelling by the Paris metro as we were so central and it was the easiest way to travel about. On some days after school we went off as a group to the panini shop for a snack and to chat before returning to our homes. Wednesday school finished earlier and we managed a game of football in the park in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower. 44
Socially, we covered a wide range of activities including Disneyland Paris, water parks, bowling, rollerblading, hunting, cinema visits and exhibitions with our families. It was a great trip and we all really enjoyed ourselves with the added advantage of improving our French skills. At the time of writing, we are expecting our exchanges to visit us here in June 2009 and are looking forward to seeing them again.
Liam Brady Year 9
Skylark 2009 Originals
Michael Moore “I find painting faces so fascinating because it’s an interaction with the audience: when you look at it, it looks back at you. The ability for your art to interact with the viewer is a rare quality, and one that I would love to possess.
“Many would say that there’s no point in spending all the time a photorealistic painting takes, when it doesn’t have anything a photo doesn’t or wouldn’t have. Many argue that there’s no texture, no interpretation of the scene in translating it into paint, there’s nothing left out, or added. Most importantly many say that there’s nothing in photorealistic paintings that engages you on an emotional level. However, the idea that photorealism is a replication of photographs, in my mind, is a grotesque misunderstanding. The winner of the BP portrait award 2008 is by artist Craig Wylie, of his girlfriend and entitled ‘K’. What I admire about this portrait is the apparent distance from the portrait artist and the sitter. ‘Every portrait that is painted with feeling is a portrait of the artist, not of the sitter’ Oscar Wilde once said.”
Skylark 2009 Originals
“When I hear the word ‘Discord’ and apply it to the body, I see an aggressive sculpture whose form, whilst powerful, domineering, excessive, is juxtaposed with the broken, fragmented shape that the body has come to possess.
“I attempted to pose a discord between the regality and luxury of gold against the frailty and inanimateness of the polystyrene from which the figure was created… I attempted to show the figure lunging forward at the viewer, whilst simultaneously being shown as weak, due to the need to be supported by the use of fishing wire from the ceiling… I attempted to portray the extensive, fortuitous curves as an indication of movement, which directly conflicts with the fact that the sculpture does not, in fact, move at all.”
Skylark 2009 Originals
“I looked long and hard and came to appreciate the inner beauty in this fascinating functioning, phenomena of the human body… throughout this year, and the exam period last year, I’ve grown to see the inherent beauty in a lot of functioning objects… and through exploring these objects, I have come to the conclusion that not only are function and beauty linked, but a well functioning object inherently leads to a beautiful object.”
Skylark 2009 Originals
Story of an Ancient Hero Hilak was the King of Scandivale, which was under threat by the vicious beast Grinda, a beast who massacred live stock without mercy. Starvation loomed until the brave Saowul came to rid the country of the beast. On the night Saowul arrived, the people rejoiced, thinking that at last, they would be rid of the foul beast terrorising the land of Scandivale. At dawn, Saowul went out to hunt down the beast, and slay it like it had slain all of the land’s livestock. The hunt went on for days to no avail, until one day the hunting party saw a massive footprint in the middle of the forest, near a clearing where the trees and bushes had been ripped apart. They carefully approached the clearing when, suddenly, an ear splitting roar pierced the air. All of the men except Saowul panicked and turned tail, fleeing back into the forest and back to the safety of their native city. As Saowul waited for the monster, the ground gave way, and fell into the abyss of the monster’s lair. The fall seemed to last forever until, finally, he hit the ground violently. Saowul arose, dazed from the fall, and staggered on to main chamber of the lair. When he got there, a horrible sight met his eyes; blood drenched the walls, and disembowelled bodies lay all around the cavern’s wall tied up by some outlandish type of web, and some were still dripping fresh blood over the floor. Then, from the back of the cave, a black shape stirred and flung itself at Saowul. Saowul blocked the first attacks with ease with his great shield and landed some blows with his sword with no effect. “What kind of foul magic is this beast?” Saowul bellowed. The battle still raged on in this underground cavern for many hours until, at last, Saowul saw a glint of a sword hanging off the wall. He made a desperate lunge for the blade which the beast noticed; the creature unleashed a desperate roar, and lunged at Saowul’s head. As Saowul laid his hands on the jewelled hilt of the mighty blade, a shot of pure power ran up his hands and arms. He swung the blade round and swept the beast’s head from its foul shoulders, and let out a cry of triumph as the beast fell to the floor. When his followers returned to the clearing, they saw the hole and trudged back to the city with heavy hearts, thinking only the unthinkable, that their master was dead. That evening, Hilak spoke fondly of the brave warrior when, suddenly, the doors of the hall burst open. Most of the warriors drew their weapons, fearing another attack from Grindla, but they soon recognised the silhouette in the door frame. A cry of joy ruptured the air as their saviour appeared, carrying the trophy of Grindla’s head underneath his arm. The next morning, Hilak gave Saowul the most prized weapons from the country’s arsenal of daggers and swords. Thereafter, Saowul ruled Scandivale for 50 years with an iron fist, until he passed away and was buried next to the Great Hall forever more.
Peter Glenister Year 7 Tom Haniff Year 11
Skylark 2009 Originals
Lower Sixth Art
Daiyaan Ghani 50
Skylark 2009 Originals
Greg Steckelmacher 51
Skylark 2009 Originals
Autumn The trees waved in the cooling breeze, waiting for their time to be chosen. It was autumn. Whilst for a child this meant the beginning of school, the end of the glorious, warming summer days, for a tree, it was something quite different. Autumn is the season when they are left naked to the world, cold and shivering in the winter months. However, who contemplates the tree at this time of year? Children joyously playing with the fallen leaves: red, orange, yellow and brown, “all the colours of the rainbow”, they exclaim. Mothers remain anxious for their precious gems; huddled, like penguins, waiting, waiting, for the first to fall. A maple watched the children from high above, contemplating when it would be his turn; his chance to lose his outdoor clothes, and bare all. “At least they will enjoy my leaves”, he told himself, as he had whispered time after time, year after year, an endless and repetitive cycle. “What if they do not grow back? What if this year, I lose them forever?” He panicked; he became flustered, terrified of what might be. All the same, I will be left alone for months now. “Who wants to look at an old, withered tree standing alone in the forest?” All this time, he had watched the oak, standing proud. With his leaves intact, he was king of the world, ready and waiting for any attack. He smiled at the children, so blissfully gathered at his foot. “Why am I not an oak?”, asked the maple to himself. “With my clothes on, so lusciously green, I would be surrounded by everyone!” The child patiently waited at the maple’s trunk, watching his panic, listening to his fears, eager to talk. “You are an individual”, he told the maple, “And nobody can change that.”
Marcus Chaplin Year 11
Doubt There was a time, back in days of glory, People would gather around, I would reign Supreme amongst mortals. And my story Would spread like the acidic, smelling rain. But now, I, a stain on the sidewalk, Slowly losing my mind as I wait here, For someone to come up to me and talk, We can speak of the days of yesteryear. A professional woman walks by me, In a brand new suit she strides with purpose, Looking down, typing on a blackberry. Lord, I am sick with sin of this, help us. Across the street, an old man walking, Could he be like me? I think to myself. I get up arthritically, start talking To him. He looks at me and hurries himself To be away from a madman like me. Am I really such a sight? That people run At a glance? When I was young, they smiled at me, And waved their ribbons, it was all fun. Now they avert their eyes, magnetically repelling, From one more ‘street crawling-lunatic beggar’. So I have no money, I like yelling At people who avoid said, sad beggars. Another hair falls out from my grey mane, No-one notices, I am now invisible. An extra slouch is brought onto my large frame, Only this time, the effect is unmissable. Like a dog, I lie down in huge relief, As if a weight has been lifted off my shoulders I smile, and embrace the darkness, pre-empting the grief That others will have, when they realise the truth behind my inner coldness. I am the last, the last, the last, I am the last, I say. Disillusioned with life after one fateful year, I want to give up and leave this place.
Shin Kitaoka Year 9 52
But a warm hand touches my frozen face, It melts away some of the previous frost, I open my eyes, and see an angel’s face, And she asks if I am hungry, or lost.
Neeloy Banerjee L6
Skylark 2009 Originals
Grandpa It’s Monday, I dash in and Grandpa smiles at me, I climb onto his bed and recount the day’s tales. He laughs, with mirth, and takes a sip of his Earl Grey tea, And watches my amazement as me, he regales. It’s Tuesday, I stroll in and Grandpa nods at me, Clamber onto his bed and recount the day’s tales. He smiles much, and laughs occasionally, He tells me stories of him and the Prince of Wales! It’s Wednesday, I stomp in and Grandpa frowns at me, It’s a bad day, I tell him, I’m not in the mood. He understands, calls me the wrong name, says sorry, His memory, he says, is not what it used to be. It’s Thursday, I walk in and Grandpa squints at me, I wave, he forgets and I plough on with my story. Although today he seems much more distant from me, As I tell tales of wonder and classroom glory. It’s Friday, I wander in and Grandpa looks through me. I don’t know why he can’t remember my name, And grandma’s been dead for a while, he thinks she’s here. I don’t think I want to see Grandpa again.
Hugo Bax L6
Max Prais Y10
Holidays. I have wasted this holiday, In the morning, twiddling thumbs, Passing the hours, wasting the days, Counting square tiles to a close, And we were restless in spirit also, Post-noon wandering, through streets That twisted unto themselves And we would not stop. And the light would grow tired, And start to fade and we would smile, The evening beckoned us. And through the evening too, We would not fare better, Eyes half shut, ears just closed And unfeeling, uncaring. And the nights would be squandered, Bright screens on tired faces, And touch-typing to death Until the early morning. I have wasted this holiday, Indeed I am sorry, For I shall not waste the next.
Neeloy Banerjee L6 Saif Khan Year 10
Skylark 2009 Originals
Junior Art Year 7
Skylark 2009 Originals
Thoughts for those who live in fear of death I chanced one day to walk upon A woman dressed in black, Who looked over the churchyard as She strode the muddy track. Of course went I straight up to this Old wom’n in her black shoal: With hope that with kind words I might Comfort her grieving soul. ‘Good sir,’ she said, ‘care not for me Though I am here to mourn. My husband lies beneath the grass But I am not forlorn. ‘My husband was a logger here, This track he took each day He ne’er was happier, than when He worked on this pathway. ‘But time, Sir, took its toll on him, His bones grew tired and weak, And work became a chore for him, More painful by the week.
Charlie Ugo Year 9
‘By God’s grace was his misery Then ended last weekend. His joyful soul was left now for To Heaven to ascend.
The Merchant Of Albion
So gird your tasseled sinews swiftly For swiftly the sun stretches into song; Catch on with strong fingers The quick thrusting flight The repair that leaves you behind Like a memory not following.
Upon a plateau, not far from Mardale A good merchant did breathe a gentle sigh, For his mule had grown tired ‘n’ deathly pale Doth the time of reckoning draw nigh?
You have gathered up your youth like firewood; Flaming a storm of summers behind you. You have gathered in your wake The gabbled gibberish of solitary worship And you walk Bare-bodied Into the stiff unyielding night, Until the frail fabric of your flesh clutches Its own supports. So slim and slender were the promises; Now so effete Travail beyond regain So, slowly, things change.
Alex Watts Year 11
‘Twixt valleys, held in great esteem was he Whose lifelong mission ‘twas to wander, ‘Choose some mutton, or perhaps a button No need for a quick glance, nor a gander!’ ‘My wares are revered across Albion Fine milk, fine silk doth I trade!’ Yet now upon the fell of Robinson, The legacy of a man is unmade. With heroic spirit, yet great sorrow, Our good, noble merchant with mule leaves, He fears for the premise of the ‘morrow Whereupon the fate of the mule weaves. Across rivers, gullies, streams did he stride To the storm and wind paid he no heed! For he was not about to swallow his pride, Nay, he would not concede! Yet as the sun rose in a calm yellow The mule began to submit to the call, Alas! On that, our poor merchant fellow, To the earth he fell in a sprawl. With teary face, and obvious distress Like a brother, he payed his respects, The amber sun shines on, as if to bless; He realizes – ‘Nature, I cannot complex!’
Jordan Walsh L6
‘No sadness if we realise that Immortals we are none. So live your time in happiness: You’ll weep not when it’s gone.’ Now, Reader, think you, like I did, That death can bring but woe? When really was this man relieved, Of age –his newfound foe. And since this chance meeting, her words, Then, have I kept so tender: Enshrined upon my heart, for when I’m saddened, to remember.
Aaron Taylor L6
The Examination Hall Lone footfall echoes amongst the rows Of scribbling pens, bowed heads: the throes Of yet another examination Whose candidates struggle at their station Regurgitating more and more Of what they’d learnt the night before And so the system sorts them out, The criterion being the amount, Of short term memory – make haste! Final hours must not go to waste! A nervous teen on every seat Which will you be: chaff, or wheat?
Thomas Ough Year 11
Skylark 2009 Originals
The Twin Towers
Morning. The patient sky is a magnificent masterpiece of pinks and brooding blue hues. Awoken by my arrival at this balcony, below a jet’s giant tear in the serene sky, Stubborn dew streams silently down from the sunroom’s watery window panes. The awakening sunrise grumpily greets the leaves like a crystal prism refracting a shady array of lime greens and greys. Filtering through the lanky limbs of the statuesque trees, light finally finds its way to. The awakening light sings its usual lullaby to this awakening world. And suddenly my garden is awake. Awake with squirrels, and howling foxes
It was a dismal day when my baby brother was hastily taken away, Three thieves greedily sneaked into my home on a mildly moist Monday. All carried blades, showed no shame, felt no blame; had no names. Slash. Split. Splinter. Screech. Squeal. Scatter. Screams. Silence. Now I am alone and think only of vengeance, violence and vigour. My brother brawled and battered the three thieves’ obscene treasure, Tumbling helplessly into darkness and despair forever, forever.
Two weeks have passed impatiently and I tire of loneliness and loss, The thieves still come and go, unaware of my melancholic madness. I sit. I think. I scheme. I wonder. I watch. I prepare. I ponder. I decide. I bend and I sway and I twist my nimble limbs until they get to see, The fury. The rage and the anger of a grieving two-hundred year old tree.
The squirrels watch me with suspicion as they scamper, scrounging around without a sound, defying gravity with every bound up the barely awake boughs of the trees.
Keval Patel Year 9
Then… The daily symphony of sounds begins:
Scampering. Scattering. Beavering. Weaving. Fluttering. Bustling. Hiding. Burrowing. Barking. Fearing. Preying. Fleeing. Cooing. Howling. Mating. And… Waiting. For me to leave.
Keval Patel Year 9
His last Christmas had been his best one yet. By some god-given miracle, snow had appeared, luxuriously piling up and obfuscating the world outside. He didn’t know if it was fake, like that of the ski slope he had been to earlier, but if it was so, he didn’t care; it was still snow, regardless of whether it was reconstituted tissue paper and wool or not. He was aware that his parents were enormously wealthy, and could have paid for the snow to simply appear. There’s a line from Henry Sugar, by Roald Dahl that he remembers – for he is an able child – that goes something along the lines of, to paraphrase, ‘the thick tapestries clinging on the gargantuan walls were too ostentatious, even for a flamboyant six year old donning a pair of pink rimmed, dark shaded, star shaped sunglasses’. Everything was, in fact, artifice in this town. The roads built into the sunset, the phallic towers and looming cranes, the air conditioned beaches and man made islands; it was all miserably fake, phony. The gaps between reality and these illusions were massive. Be it a jagged crevice in a pavement, a miner’s trailer opposite a gleaming glass facade, the lack of sealant at the point where the lintel conjoined with the ceiling, a charred Asian worker suspended thousands of metres in the sky mere millimetres away from a bathing Arab, the transient vacuity between the labia of a concubine’s tent, the reflection of gold leaf immersed in a pool besmirched with sweat, all were gaps, infinite ones. It was the rap of knuckles on the door that awoke him from his drowsy state. He tiptoed around the corridors only to see the maid open the door. She opened it, and outside stood a beaming man of raw physicality, fed as if he were a farm animal, yet worked as if he were a body builder, each one of his bulging muscles carved with such delicacy, that a sculptor would have to carve him out of something more malleable than obdurate granite. He reached out to embrace the maid; under her sweltering black swathes, she was curvaceous, bodacious and bidding. He gathered her in his arms with such paternal care that she could have been his wife or daughter, but she rushed back, hushed and shushed him indignantly and shooed him away albeit reluctantly, avoiding the kisses he attempted to smother on her neck. The door shut and he stomped off huffily, his scarlet face redder than even the eventide rays. That gap, it seemed, was sealed so hermetically, it could bear the brunt of the deluge of curiosity, of the spate of thunder and lightning and inquisition so loud and large and lively it could shoulder a Persian Gulf’s worth of questions as lightly as oxen wear a yoke.
Ameya Tripathi Year 11
Skylark 2009 Originals
Junior Art Hugo Chung Year 7
Chanuka Ranmuthu Year 7
Rriyesh Patel Year 7
Jamie Murray Year 7
Zach Lande Year 7 57
Skylark 2009 Originals
Niral Rabheru Year 10
Akash Mehta Year 10
The Falling Star
The subtle flash from the heavens, softly cutting through the evening sky, Brewed of subtle purples, cast in a sea of cosmic black, sprinkled with the sparkle of hope. Look to the north, between the glint of the dream and the seam of reality, The sky cries out tonight, one of its own, falling through the darkness, illuminating the realms that we daren’t see, the hint of shadow beneath the illusion.
He breathed a gentle sigh And he doth continue to endeavour, To remember what he had lost Away and forever; For this boy had somehow gained An unshakeable load, He takes the charge of the Wanderer As he treads a trodden road.
Behold as all its glory prevails, casting streams of heavenly pink and blue in its illustrious wake, Carving through the sky, seamlessly, soft as the melody. The celestial call to its brethren, “I’m falling! I’m falling!”, winking at its passers-by Gently, gently, cradle at the speed of light, it falls towards the looking glass, Passers-by stop and stare, the brightest shadows are cast; absolution incarnate. Subtly, she falls, smashing the looking glass into billions of unrecognisable pieces, reflecting off each other the brightest spark, the gravest wish, the undeniable truth, The ambiguous antithesis, scorched into the glass, dulled and meaningless apart. Together they retain the view of that star, falling through the sky, passing through the real, Melodious explosion, synchronised destruction; the pieces lose hope, and begin to tear from each other. The light never loses its way; there is a hint of the light in all pieces. The glow of the eternal, the spark of the divine, impalpable desire. Unkempt dreams and infinite logic, the star is lost to all but those who can see the pieces. See through the shattered dreams, the looking glass that shone the way, and into the blind faith Unrealisable commitment, see past the shattered pieces, see the light reflected in yourself! You are but a reflection of the star, she moves through you and in you. The greatest power, untapped; chorus of change, abandon the empirical. Join in her wake, the chords of purple struck harmony in blue bliss, Pink sung on high fading into the black lull, the brilliant white crescendo; Open your eyes, look into the shattered mirror, is it broken? Or are you? Will your star fall tonight? Will you outshine the heavens and bring the stars to bare witness? Look to the north, the brilliant spark of omniscience, you will see. Surely as the sky will fracture in its vast emptiness as the star cuts it in twain The stars will rise again.
Daniel West Year 11 58
Cherished memories he seeks, Favoured songs he sings, But his faith in love and music; Quenched, by vanity of Kings. Along this road the answer must lie? Along this road a letter? Something here must signify; Or beyond, and a better. Anguish consumes him Anger takes hold, For this child embraces something, Something quite old; Renewed with vigourous strength His eyes shine with truth, His shoulders broaden, his skin hardens, As he understands the passion of youth. He realises now, Him domineered, enchanted by death As he sees two riders approaching, He draws an excited breath. Shrouded in darkness, completed by shadow, And with the onslaught of ghosts, An arisen man takes up his bow...
Jordan Walsh L6
Skylark 2009 Originals
Anthony Tang Year 10
Dominic Stevens Year 10
Ubiquitous Hunger Cindy cowers in a corner conspicuously, covered by a tattered, month-old newspaper. She is in the corner of an airport terminal, seamlessly blending in with delayed, cranky passengers who look just as disheveled and out-of-place as she does. They contrast with the glass facade, marble floors, couture restaurants; their atrocious state is mercilessly exposed under harsh glow of floodlights. The delays have rendered the airport diverse; the polished executive, after hours of waiting, relents, gives up his haughty, somewhat supercilious demeanor, and is content to sit next to the laborer who dons only a vest on his flabby torso. The young children are allowed to roam freely from their exhausted parents, for their potential kidnappers are too drained for abduction, so toddlers freely scream in high pitched voices, fueled by expensive gelatos, causing pandemonium which the police seem diffident to - it is too early an hour, too foreign a situation, and even the airport is far too drowsy for alacrity. The policemen’s dreadful footsteps grow louder, but she ruffles her paper importantly, turning a heart-stopping page; almost too obviously, the paper obscures all of her, from head to toe, but they think little of her, and let her be. The police eyes, at four o’clock in the morning, fail to spot the muddy imprint of a footstep on the corner of the page, nor do they realize that the paper is more than a month old, and the big headline, sprawled all over the front page facing them, is a controversy which ended weeks ago, of a prolonged celebrity divorce which few cared for anyway. Cindy is familiar with the positions and rotations of the CCTV cameras, the airport’s prying eyes in the sky, such that only oblique angles, and slivers of her are available as footage, and she sits, purposefully motionless. She is rereading the same article for the third time. She can already half-memorize it, as she can for the entire paper, often lip-syncing to the words she has read for two weeks already. The crosswords and sudokus are done thrice over. Procuring the paper itself was an almighty task; a hurried rush across the Piccadilly Line, avoiding conductors, hasty strides across Heathrow, sneaking around under the cover of darkness, to a garbage bin, before foraging through the acrid stench to get the paper, her most valuable, and admittedly, only, possession. She stares at the paper and looks at the advertisements of holiday packages and credit card interest rates and stares enviously. Sans food, her mouth churns salivation at even this. As the uniformed figures disappear into a blur of people in the distance, she peers over her paper and stares at the advertisements in front of her; a provocative cologne advert, a beach and crystal blue ocean, and stares at the travelers’ plight as they try to reach such far off fantasies, of thousands of bags and canceled flights, and for the first time in weeks a weird, warm emotion spreads across her face’s nerve endings - in an epiphany of schadenfreude, she stares content, content that she has no belongings or money to lose, content with her life, content with the knowledge that there is hunger in every life, but tolerance in few, and as she stares at the corporate executive, now combusting and unleashing the tempest within him upon a terrified, hapless baggage handler, a faint, unfamiliar thing occurs; warmth rises into her cheeks such that they are no longer sallow, but are rubicund, and her wearied countenance breaks into a derisive smile.
Ameya Tripathi Year 11 59
Skylark 2009 Originals
Skylark 2009 Originals
Skylark 2009 Originals
Skylark 2009 Originals
Skylark 2009 Features
A Roman Adventure I have always been insecure about not being a classicist. Never having studied Latin at school, I felt I had missed out on quite a key part of my education. With this in mind, I thought it would be a good idea to travel to Rome with some friends on a journey of self-discovery and sun. Armed with the generous Lindgren Travel Grant from school, a guidebook, and suncream, I was ready to go. On arriving at Ciampino airport I found myself surrounded by rapid Italian, and catapulted into a hot, bewildering mob that turned out to be the queue for the bus. After a short journey to Termini, the main train station, we had lunch in a charming if slightly dank pizzeria near the hostel. We walked to the fountain of the Naiads and had a look around the basilica of Santa Maria degli Angeli, one of Rome’s most beautiful and least-known churches. There was a fascinating exhibition on science and art, with a selection of manuscripts by Galileo and many other relics of Renaissance science. Later on we walked through the piazza of the four fountains, which is more of a junction than a piazza, and visited the Quirinale, the official home of Silvio Berlusconi who, according to a stern Italian policeman, was there at the time and would be willing to come out to greet me. Exhausted and hot, we decided to head to the Trevi fountain, where we had a delightful dinner and sampled some of Rome’s finest 2 euro wine. At night the fountain is illuminated by underwater lights. Despite the herd of tourists, it is a truly serene place and a quite magical work of art. The next day was Vatican day. Having eaten a hearty youth hostel breakfast of bread, we set off for an ambitious trek across Rome to the holy city. On the way we passed some magnificent sites. The highlights were Trajan’s Forum, the Victor Emmanuel Monument, and the Ara Sacra to name a few. Around 2 hours into our journey we stopped for an espresso break on Corso Vittorio Emmanuele, often dubbed the Oxford Street of Rome. Energised, we carried on, crossed the Tiber, and arrived at the magnificent St. Peter’s Basilica. The queue subsided quickly, and we were inside within 10 minutes. The Basilica contains a vast number of chapels and shrines to various popes, as well as a vast collection of painting, mosaic and sculpture. We admired the ‘Pietà’ (the piety) by Michelangelo, which depicts the Virgin Mary holding the limp body of Christ. Further inside the building is the Treasury of St. Peter, a store of the Vatican’s oldest and most valuable treasures. The most impressive artefacts are the Crux Vaticana, a cross encrusted with precious stones and supposedly containing fragments of the original cross, and the stunning bronze monument to Sixtus IV.
That afternoon we went to the Sistine chapel, which houses Michelangelo’s famous painting ‘the Creation’ as well as the largest collection of classical sculpture in the world. We walked through the room of the animals and the room of busts, where I had my picture taken with the heads of Plato, Socrates, Pythagoras, Sophocles and others. We also went to see the Raphael Rooms, in which are showcased some of Raphael’s most well-known works, including ‘the School of Athens’ and the ‘Parnassus’. The Pinacoteca Vaticana also contained some great paintings by Titian, Caravaggio, Rubens and more Raphael. And finally we entered the Sistine Chapel itself, where we gazed skyward at Michelangelo’s masterpiece. The room is covered in biblical scenes and is awesome example of the artistic achievements of the Renaissance. We began day three with a trip to Piazza Venezia, where we climbed the Vittorio Emmanuel e monument. This is an imposing piece of architecture, completed in the early 20th century, which resembles a Greek temple and commemorates the unification of Italy. The Museo Capitolino was our next stop. Situated on the Capitoline, one of Rome’s seven hills, the museum is home to the ‘Lupa Capitolina’ (Capitoline Wolf), a bronze depiction of the myth of Romulus and Remus. It also contains a vast array of works by Velasquez, Tintoretto and Rubens. After lunch we walked back to the Piazza Venezia, where we started to explore the Roman ruins. We saw Trajan’s Column, a phenomenal 30 metre-high victory column built in 113 to boast of the Emperor Trajan’s success in the Dacian wars. We moved further down Trajan’s forum, and continued down the road until we reached the Colosseum. We were taken on a guided tour by an eccentric Italian who taught us about the building and the daily function of the Colosseum. The tour continued with the Palatine Hill, the Imperial Forum, and the Roman Forum. The relics have been so well preserved that it is easy to get quite a good picture of roman life. After spending a couple of hours exploring the area, we headed to the lively Piazza Navona for dinner. We spent the next day in Northern Rome, and
began by having brunch in the Piazza di Spagna, the centre of high fashion, and the location of the iconic Spanish steps. We meandered slowly towards the Villa Medici, and took a long walk through the vast grounds of the Villa Borghese. Later in the afternoon we went into the Museo Borghese, where we saw Bernini’s sculptures ‘Daphne and Apollo’, ‘the Rape of Prosperina’, and ‘David’, which were the artistic highlights of the trip for me. ‘Daphne and Apollo’ captures the moment when the nymph Daphne is about to be caught and raped by Apollo. She is suddenly transformed into a laurel tree, and it is this transformation that Bernini so delicately depicts. That evening we ate by the Pantheon. On our last day we travelled to the church of Santa Maria Maggiore on the Esquiline Hill, where we looked around the impressive 1600 year-old building. Keen to see some more Michelangelo, we then went to see the sculpture ‘Moses’ in the church of San Pietro in Vincoli. The sculpture has become famous for its portrayal of Moses with horns. Michelangelo was working from a bad translation of the Hebrew bible, which had mistaken the word ‘keren’, meaning rays of light, for the word meaning horns. This is why Moses has horns coming out of his head. Later we walked round the ancient Jewish quarter of Rome, and saw the Theatre of Marcello nearby. We rounded off the day by visiting Santa Maria in Aracoeli (another church), and exploring the rest of the Trajan forum. Sadly, it was time to go home. Visiting Rome was an experience I would recommend to anyone with an interest in history, Latin, art, and great food. I was enchanted by the beauty of the city, and there is definitely a charm about Rome that cannot be pinned down easily in a report like this. You have to be there to really understand the magic of being in a city so rich in culture and history. I would like to say how grateful I am to the Lingdren family, who give the travel grant each year to boys in the lower sixth. They made my experience possible, and their kindness is something of which the whole school should be aware.
Ben Jacobs U6 65
Skylark 2009 Features
Wings of Hope In September six boys, namely Branavan Rudran, Hamza Zahid, Matthew Naughton, Sachin Kotecha, Sahil Shah and Shiv Pabari, formed the Ribbon in the Sky group to raise funds for the Wings of Hope charity. The charity is designed to provide free education forunder-privileged children from Chennai, in India, and Malawi. After much deliberation, we agreed that our first event must be something unique, so we decided on sleeping rough whilst fasting for 24 hours in Northwood was victorious, after having turned down the idea of walking barefoot across India. We also set up a web page for our supporters to donate to the charity which meant that friends and families from anywhere worldwide were able to aid us in our challenge. We notified all the local residents, and, with no negative feedback, all that remained was to complete the task. On the night, we walked the streets with leaflets raising awareness and informing locals which brought about some significant donations. Having our base outside the local Waitrose made temptation our greatest enemy. The Hertfordshire police and our parents took shifts to keep watch throughout the night. From card games to football we passed the time even though the thought of food never escaped the back of our minds. Nonetheless, we were all exhausted form the day’s work which drew us into a deep sleep, only to be interrupted by the noise of the morning rush of cars that marked the end of our task. Once the Christmas holidays passed, plans began for our next big event with a charity ball being the popular choice. The venue was the most challenging component since we had to take into account the hall rental costs, catering, drinks, decorations, music, themes and capacity just to name a few; the best deal was found at the VIP Lounge in Edgware. Friday the 13th of February was the day that brought terror to Elm Street at the hands of the masked psychopath, Jason, however, despite the obvious superstitions associated, the group decided to host our event on that very night. A red and black theme was decided with Valentine’s Day the day after; guests arrived lavishly dressed for this special occasion. A generous relative of Sachin’s offered to DJ our event and he travelled all the way from the USA. He brought with him specially designed invitations for the guests and each ticket was priced at £30. The Head of Sixth form, Mr Parr, aided us greatly as his cousin donated thousands of pounds worth of luxurious perfume products by Amouage for our auction. With a 22 carat gold necklace and a week’s trip to Marbella also on offer, the auction was a hit. Overall, more than £4000 was raised on the night alone. All 200 guests and the six of us had a fantastic night full of enjoyment, great music and delicious food. As well as completing these main two large events, the group realised that it is the small things which count; over a weekend the team met outside the O2 centre on Finchley Road where we gave hugs for awareness on helpless commuters passing by. Although we may have received a few weird looks, our intentions were fulfilled since some of these pedestrians spared a moxment or so to hear about the charity and walked away with leaflets in hand. Some members of our group made a further effort by providing tuition to raise more funds for the charity. Our work was completed; we had pulled off two fantastically successful events and, in the process, raised a grand total of £9350. A sketchbook of all our months of work was submitted and we waited with anticipation until we received news of our place in the semi-final. Each group selected was invited to the House of Lords where the teams were to present in front of a panel of judges including Adrian Chiles, Sir David Jason and Lord Speaker, Baroness Hayman. We knew that with only a five minute slot, we really had to pull out all the stops to impress the judges so a standard PowerPoint presentation would not suffice. To set us apart from the rest we agreed to do a news round style presentation with Shiv as anchorman (since he is the funniest character of the group who also happens to share a striking resemblance to Trevor McDonald). Mrs Pollock adopted the role of our public speaking mentor 66
as she transformed us from shy students to confident, professional speakers. To begin, we played a short video containing memorable clips accompanied by the ‘Ribbon in the Sky’ song by Stevie Wonder. On the day in late March, not all went to plan to begin with as the video failed to start, however, after it eventually played and any nerves subsided, the team pulled off a fantastic effort as each individual delivered fluent speeches as the judges were thrilled by our innovative performance, chuckled at our jokes and were inspired by our efforts. We left satisfied that we had done justice to all the effort put in prior to the presentation and our months of work. All that was left was to wait for the final verdict at the awards ceremony held on the 24th of June in Wembley Stadium. We could do no more as it was now out of our hands; the decision was to be made by the Wings of Hope team and the judges. Five prizes were on offer, namely, Most Innovative Fundraising Team, Most Awareness Raised, Best Presentation, Most Funds Raised and the Best Overall Team. The glitzy and glamorous event was hosted by a BBC news presenter and a theme of Mardi gras was selected with colours of purple, green and gold. The semi-finalists congregated in the Atrium Hall where proceedings began. The student correspondent, Louise Bull, and one of the cofounders of the Wings of Hope, Rajni Sri Ram, combined to present the prizes with famous guests who have supported the charity. A number of delighted students took to the stage to collect their prizes as our group watched the awards slowly reduce in numbers. Hope of any success slowly diminished. Only the top reward remained. Had we won? Or were we merely placing our hopes in false beliefs? All was revealed in the moments which followed. The usual rush of adrenaline and jubilation did not occur. Instead we were in disbelief and totally surprised. As we received our awards, a shocked Mr Holmes grabbed his camera and clicked away to preserve this momentous occasion. The excitement eventually kicked in as we were interviewed for the Wings of Hope promotional video and website. We were then treated to the luxuries of a private box overlooking the stadium where we devoured some delicious food with our contemporaries in the girls’ school. Our prize is an all expenses paid trip to Chennai this summer which we are all eagerly awaiting. There we will teach at one of the schools which benefits from the charity and we will spend a week in their company. It will be a fitting end to a truly compelling journey for the six of us. We have learnt more in a year than others learn in a decade; we are very appreciative of this glorious opportunity provided to us by the charity. Without doubt, we would recommend for any student to participate in the competition as it is worth every ounce of effort put in.
Hamza Zahid L6
Skylark 2009 Features
Wings of Hope Diary Thursday 6th August We arrived at London Heathrow. As we queued up at our Air India check-in desk, Sachin handed out our custom made “trip hoodies” – a bizarre idea given the 30°C heat in Chennai. Upon sitting down Sahil and I noticed that we didn’t have arm rests. Sachin told us that this was tradition on an Air India flight. It also turned out that the in-flight entertainment was out of service. Good start to the trip. Our transit flight through Mumbai was surprisingly swift and we arrived in Chennai a decent 3 hours late. Not bad for IST (Indian Standard Time). On arrival we were to meet two men who frankly made my day, everyday. These were Ravi Shankar, our travel operator who seemed to always be willing to hug me, sometimes too frequently for my liking. The other was to be my new best friend, Lokesh, our driver, whose approach to driving always managed to amaze me. We arrived at our hotel and soon were asleep in our luxurious double beds.
Day 2 The majority of the day was spent recovering from our jetlag. Having recovered we visited a local beach with my new friend Ravi. The general commotion of Chennai was breathtaking to witness - children playing cricket, women carrying their shopping on their heads, two cars overtaking the same vehicle from either side amongst others. After taking awhile to soak up the atmosphere of the place we returned to our hotel to greet Mrs Sriram. Day 3 The next day we left the city and visited an impressive hotel near some historic sites in Mahalibalipurum. We had been warned before the trip that we wouldn’t be able to swim in the sea so we grabbed the opportunity to use the hotel’s pool. After enjoying a great day at the hotel we decided to stay for dinner, where we were treated to some renditions of famous tunes by the late Michael Jackson, Elvis Presley and even Justin Timberlake by the band, which consisted of two Indian men called Andy and Ryan. On the return journey we were treated to a monsoon and an eventful journey by our driver, Lokhesh, who didn’t quite understand the concept of ‘braking distance’.
Day 4 Sunday was planned as our rest day, so we slept until midday. In the afternoon we were treated to a local shopping mall, which seemed to possess anything from belts to pashminas. x Day 5 The day we had all been waiting for was upon us. With a mixture of excitement and anxiety we set off to the school early in the morning. We spoke to the Principal, who told us about the work Wings of Hope does and how important it is to the running of the school. It was now time to meet the students in the first of our lessons. Almost immediately all my fears were swept away. We were welcomed with open arms as we taught classes of different ages a wide variety of topics. Matthew and I taught our classes the basics of etiquette and social manner. We also had a conversation with the GCSE class, who enlightened us about their school day. We were amazed to learn that they woke up at 4.30am for prayer and yoga before starting school at 6am. We were shocked to find out that the classroom in which they learnt was also the room in which they would sleep at night. The school is apparently one of the best in the region at volleyball, and the team was very keen to challenge us. Our group of six with limited volleyball experience enjoyed an entertaining game against the 1st team. Despite a good match we were beaten convincingly. At the end of a tiring but brilliant day, the children gave us a warm farewell and we left for the hotel.
Day 6 Next morning the Principal mentioned that the younger years were keen to be taught by us. So we agreed to teach the Upper Kindergarten and year 2 classes. The little girls and boys were very welcoming. Taking into consideration the lack of English knowledge the little kids would have we decided to play some simple games, which I enjoyed as much as they did. We played old favourites like Simon Says, Musical Statues and also kept to the academic timetable by playing a few mathematical quiz games. In the afternoon, we visited a science fair in which our school was competing. The standard of science was impressive with topics ranging
from problems with pesticide to ways of improving water supply. We were to learn later on that day that we won the exhibition and were through to the regional finals. We returned to our hotel with the daunting task of preparing an assembly for the kids. After hours of discussion it was decided that Shiv and I were to write a comic skit of our journey to India. The script was approved by the rest of the group and we began to practice. In true Bollywood style we incorporated dance scenes, which took a while to choreograph and synchronise. Fully prepared we went to sleep.
Day 7 On our final day, we arrived to a jubilant welcome. We had a short meeting with the Principal and then went off to teach our classes for the last time. Matthew and I played musical chairs with the Year 1 class. Afterwards we went to teach the year 3 class French. We went through basic phrases and taught them to count to ten. At the end of the lesson we were swarmed by kids from various years who asked for our autograph, as they had heard it was our last day. I was overwhelmed by the sheer volume of hysterical children descending on me, thrusting pens and paper at me. Lessons were now over and the grand presentation in the assembly hall was to take place. The school went first with a demonstration of karate, yoga, dance and singing from a variety of ages. It was extremely entertaining to listen to the little kindergarten class sing and dance with confidence and verve. Then it was our turn. Our play went down well with the children, who found Shiv particularly hilarious. The day ended with a speech from the principal and a few boys, who summed up our stay with them. We presented each the junior classes with toys and each boy in the senior school with a Fila t-shirt. Saying goodbye to the children was very emotional and we shook hands with all the kids who swarmed us, yet again, to say goodbye. As we boarded Lokesh’s van they all waved goodbye as we drove out of the school for the late time. The next day we departed from Chennai and arrived home safely and exhausted. Our time with the Sai Sathya School of Educare was over. It has been one of the most humbling and memorable experiences of my life. I have never witnessed such a warm and loving environment and it is something I shall not forget. These children are being given the surest ticket out of poverty – a proper education. They will be able to enter the world and make lives for themselves, and I would like to think that in some small way, our work has contributed to their futures. This experience has taught me more than I ever imagined. It is impossible to single out one memory as the entire journey to winning the Wings of Hope Achievement Award has been incredible. I would like to thank Wings of Hope Charity and Mrs Sriram for all they have done in providing us and the children with such wonderful opportunities.
Branavan Rudran L6 67
Skylark 2009 Features
Aldenham House – Star of Film, TV, Radio and Literature In our daily routine, trudging from lesson to lesson around the school campus, do we ever really look at the very essence what it is that makes up the grounds and buildings of Haberdashers? We know that we are really lucky to spend our days being educated in such beautiful surrounding but have you ever thought about all the other things that have happened here, especially with regard to the film and broadcasting industries. And what happened to the sheep? Haberdashers and Aldenham House in particular has been used as a film location many times over the years. The siting of the large film studios at Elstree and Leavesden made this corner of Hertfordshire a very convenient place to film their features as it considerably reduced the cost of transporting the film crews and general studio paraphernalia around the country. One of the earliest first films to be made here was in 1938 called ‘In the Air’ starring none other than George Formby who will no doubt be familiar to those of you in the ukulele orchestra as he made the instrument famous in many of his old films.
the school who said that all the boarders would crowd around a television to watch The Avengers every Sunday evening and felt ‘very important’ that they recognised lots of the locations as belonging to them! Do you recognise Tyke’s Water? The Avengers pioneered the spy genre of films and ran for eight series. Diana Rigg starred in the first five series and then her role as Steed’s sidekick passed to other young actresses, the most famous of those being Joanna Lumley who has since become incredibly famous. Also filmed at Haberdashers was the very popular series ‘Danger Man’ starring Patrick McGoohan as an American secret agent John Drake who was a special undercover agent working for NATO in all the world’s troublespots (usually filmed around Elstree) and generally saving the world whilst simultaneously getting the gorgeous girl.
Ah, now we come to those sheep! In the opening scenes of the 1960 film the VILLAGE OF THE DAMNED a flock of sheep are seen grazing peacefully in the afternoon sunshine with a tractor doing something ‘farm-like’ on what looks suspiciously like our cricket pitch! The film is based on the John Wyndham book ‘The Midwich Cuckoo’ (no doubt there’s a copy in the library) and is really fun to watch as it is entirely filmed around Haberdashers and Letchmore Heath. It’s about a group of super intelligent children who all band together to take over the world – I wonder why they chose Habs then?
The Best known HABS series of all time, THE AVENGERS, filmed slightly later in the mid-sixties. Both these series achieved ‘cult’ status but it is The Avengers featuring Patrick Macnee as Steed and Diana Rigg as his glamorous sidekick Emma Peel that really took the country by storm. Indeed on the Old Habs website there is an article by an old boarder at 68
The home of Abdul Kassim in another nailbiting episode of Danger Man is, in reality, our own Aldenham House – yeah! During that same period another popular series, The Saint, starring Roger Moore was filmed at Haberdashers when Aldenham House became ‘Whiteways’ for the purpose of one of the episodes. Again the saint was a mystery/spy thriller with the main character called Simon Templar portrayed as a Robin Hood type figure. As all these series were filmed at approximately the same time in exactly the same location, didn’t anybody notice the similarity. I suppose television and its viewers weren’t so sophisticated in those day (apologies to all parents/teachers).
Many more films, too numerous to list were filmed in the grounds of Haberdashers but again these were mainly films that our parents watched when they were teenagers. To name a few: Quatermass (1957), The Trials of Oscar Wild (1960) The Abominable Dr Phebes
Skylark 2009 Features
(1971) and Uncle Jack and the Dark Side of the Moon (1992). Leaping forward a few years there are quite a few television shows whose names we will all recognise even if we don’t watch them ourselves. Eastenders, now there’s one I think we all know and it was our own Bourne Hall that provided the backdrop for Michelle Fowler’s graduation ceremony (Michelle who?). Holby City is another name that we recognise from BBC scheduling, I understand that an emergency involving a tree (!) was shot in the school grounds during one summer holiday. The school itself was used as a BBC Radio Services Station during the war when Aldenham House was requisitioned by the BBC and was equipped as an overseas broadcasting station, sending out allied propaganda to the Middle East and Latin America. I’m not sure if there is any current evidence but reports from Old Boys say that they still remember very clearly the soundproofing boards with lots of little holes in stuck to the walls from the BBC Days and that many lessons were spent counting the holes in the walls!
instance by reference to the school’s location, layout and, most tellingly, its motto – yes, it is Serve and Obey! I’m not sure whether it is a book that the teachers would choose for us to read but it is very funny and a quite irreverent look at school life – good holiday reading! I understand that the book has this year been adapted for the theatre so we should watch out for it. Again it would be wrong not to look at the mention of Haberdashers in the outstanding Alan Bennett stage-play, the History Boys. It is mentioned in the script (and in the subsequent film) as being a school of academic excellence. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that the production notes were supplied by the acclaimed historian Simon Schama who is an old boy of the school who happened to have a major influence over the play and the film.
One of the overseas staff who worked on the BBC Latin America Service was the journalist and renowned Brazilian author Antonio Callado (19171997). He was stationed at Aldenham House during the war and indeed his last novel was ‘Memrias de Aldenham House’ which he wrote in 1989. This novel is a political thriller set in the ‘country house’ where the BBC language services were located in the 1940s. When looking at the contribution that Aldenham House and Haberdashers has made to the media just by ‘Being There’ it would be impossible and quite wrong not to mention the contribution it has made to literature; not by virtue of all the great alumni who have gone on to write inspiring tomes but again by dint of just ‘Being There’. If you haven’t read William Sutcliffe’s slim volume entitled New Boy it would be well worth a read. It is a largely autobiographical novel set at an unnamed school that is easily identifiable as Haberdashers’ for
The Holloways Music Videos are a much newer genre of entertainment but during the last summer break the Holloways brought this experience to Habs when they filmed their latest offering to coincide with their award winning new album. So - Aldenham House, the star and Haberdashers Grounds the supporting role, it’s worth looking at those old (and not so old) films in a new light and with a discerning eye as you might just spot something a little bit familiar as the film unfolds.
Guy Lewy Year 9
Skylark 2009 Features
Interview with Mr Corrall Mr. Corrall retires this summer after teaching at HABS for over 30 years. He has held a variety of posts within the school, including Head of Modern Languages and Senior Master, and has amassed a vast number of friends and fans among pupils and staff alike. For his humour, erudition, and above all his kindness, he will be sorely missed. Ben Jacobs and Aaron Taylor were invited to find out more...
AT: You have for many years been the Senior Master; what does that involve? JC: That’s an interesting question. Senior Master is a rather old fashioned title which at HABS includes responsibility for activities, discipline, organising major events, and most importantly Pastoral Care. A new title of Deputy Head Pastoral is emerging. When I first arrived at the school the Pastoral Care was very different, and in the last ten years or so we have made some fundamental changes. It broadly encompasses all things concerned with the wellbeing of the pupils here, and this of course involves working closely with the Heads of Section, House Masters, Deputy Housemasters who liaise with the Tutors to ensure the individual needs of each boy are met. This group of teachers forms a committee known as the Pastoral Board, and this is my team, and a very fine team it is, too. Our current House support system was introduced about ten years ago and gradually worked its way up through the school; until then boys would have no direct connection with their House group beyond year 8. The tutor groups were based on sets in different subjects. Imagine, for example, your Maths set also being your tutor group. Complete nonsense
pastorally speaking when you think about it. Basing tutor groups on the House system gives organisational structure to the school. Each House of about 200 boys is like a small school. Not only all boys but also all teachers belong to a House, and a boy’s progress can be carefully followed throughout the school by the same team of teachers. My favourite aspect of the role, however, is involvement with extracurricular activities; I love to go to concerts, plays, and sports matches. To this extent my ‘Jack of all trades’ interests fit me very well for the job.
BJ: You are a keen linguist; when and why did you decide to study languages? JC: I was good at languages at school, but I became aware of their real value when I went on trips to France and Germany and made friends, some of whom are still close friends 45 years later. The other great advantage of learning a language is acquiring the ability to read works of literature in the original language. However good a translation, you will still miss out on some of the flavour of the original, the tone, the humour, the irony. In the days when A-level was a proper exam, we read a large amount of literature, not only many of the major English authors, but also great writers in French and German. This was a very good preparation for the traditional language course at Cambridge.
AT: On which note, what was your favourite book when you were younger? And now? JC: That’s quite a silly question [AT looks offended]. I don’t believe there is any such thing as one ‘favourite book’. I have lots of favourite authors. We are all shaped by a host of cultural influences and any single book or other work of art for that matter, adds to, or modifies our understanding.
BJ: What changes have you seen in the school during your tenure? 70
JC: As I mentioned before, the main change has been the growth and flourishing of the House system, with House tutors taking a key role in pastoral care and all the staff working as a team and not simply as individuals. The school continues to take in boys from a wide range of cultural, religious and social backgrounds. This makes the school such a rich and diverse environment to work in. Sadly the loss of government assisted places limits access to some deserving pupils – though we are doing what we can to offer bursaries to compensate for this. Otherwise the school is remarkably similar to how it was when I arrived. Many of the most important ‘Haberdasher’ characteristics have stayed constant – not only the sport, which you might expect in a boys’ school, but the music, drama, debating, art, MUN and so on. I have been struck over the years by the essential kindness of the boys here. About 20 years ago I had a major neurological operation which left me paralysed down one side of my face for six months. Not a single boy took advantage or made fun. Amazing…
AT: What would you say was your funniest moment here? JC: I have two places of refuge as, in the nicest possible way, people tend to pester me. One is cricket umpiring; the other is sitting in a concert. People generally leave you alone then. One day I was minding my own business, listening to a lunchtime concert in the Seldon, and a man came in clutching a painted cardboard box, containing a scrawny chicken. He explained he was from Aldenham Country Park, and some of our boys had attempted to steal it, abandoning box and chicken when they were spotted. After a visit to the Art department where clearly the preparation of the box had taken place and a few brief but painful interrogation sessions, I found the culprits and discovered that they had intended to release this poor bird at a party in the evening. It also
Skylark 2009 Features
great cities. I recently completed an Open University degree in Spanish, so I may spend some time in South America doing some useful voluntary work. But initially I want to chill out and look after my own education instead of yours.
BJ: In your time here you must have been on lots of school trips, do you have any stories you’d like to tell us about your overseas antics?
happened that this rather skinny chicken was a particularly rare breed, originally brought over by the Romans. Not surprisingly Aldenham Country Park – with whom we have cordial relations – was not amused, and I volunteered the culprits for a couple of days of community service. The warden suggested we renovate a hedge, and so sheers, rakes, and clippers in hand we marched to the park and he pointed to the longest hedge I have ever seen; in fact from one end you could not see all of it as it disappeared over the horizon.
Again typical of HABS boys they did a great job. This for me demonstrates the characteristics of a HABS boy: initiative, originality, enterprise, energy, humour - and a complete lack of judgement. Also fortunately they have the goodwill to make amends, and if directed, the skills to get themselves out of a hole.
AT: What plans do you have for retirement? JC: I would love to spend some more time in Europe, spending good chunks of time in the
JC: The funniest was when I was taking a guided tour of the ‘historic centre’ of Amsterdam which nowadays happens to be the red light district, and in a rather self important way was going on about Calvinism and the Reformation, not knowing that the mischievous David Snower noticed I was standing in front of a House of ill repute with gaudy neon signs to advertise the fact. And so he took a rather compromising photo, much to the amusement of the group. I promise you I was talking about the Reformation…. I can boast of having been on the more school trips than any other teacher here partly because of my age – (the youthful Messrs Keenleyside and Simm must be pressing hard for the title). As I mentioned earlier it is the boys themselves that make the school such a vibrant place, and the same applies for school trips. I have gone to the Hague Model United Nations, European Seminars; I established exchanges with a number of schools in France and Germany over the years, including Munich, Paris, Berlin, Offenburg, Strasbourg, some of which are still going and some not.
AT: Any final words of wisdom for our readers? JC: Continue to be proud your own personal culture and respect and value that of others. That is the special HABS’ ingredient. And remember also that being involved in lots of activities helps you with your work and keeps things in their proper perspective. I only worry if someone is doing too little. I could not have wished for a better school in which to have spent most of my career, nor a more interesting and delightful group of pupils to teach. It is often difficult to believe there is such a huge age gap as I find the pupils so easy to talk to.
BJ: Mr. Corrall, on behalf of everyone at school, we wish you the happiest of happy retirements. You will be sorely missed. JC: Not true; I won’t be missed after the first week or so… It is very important and a sign of good health for a school to move on; it shouldn’t look back, and HABS never has.
AT: Mr Corrall, thank you very much. JC: Thank you.
Mr. Jon Corrall, interviewed by Aaron Taylor and Ben Jacobs L6
Skylark 2009 Features
Leo Davidson: Bridging the GAP Having split his time at Haberdashers between leading Putsches on Aldenham House, playing in the Ukulele Orchestra, studying Greek, and mobilizing the oppressed, suppressed, repressed, and often depressed Proletarians of Elstree, OH Leo Davidson has relished the opportunity to take some time out of formal education. Here he tells the Skylark about his adventures during his gap year.
BJ: What did you actually do in your gap year? LD: Well, I don’t want to get political, but I came to what some might refer to as ‘Israel’ for the bulk of the year. The first six weeks were spent in a yeshiva, followed by a two month internship at the Jerusalem Post, and then a semester at the Hebrew University, all of which took place in what is generally known as ‘Jerusalem’.
BJ: What exactly is a ‘yeshiva’, and what does one do there? LD: It’s essentially a Jewish monastery or seminary, where in theory the day is spent poring over Hebrew and Aramaic texts, delving into such matters as how exactly one may come to own a female of the species (or, in Western culture, “marriage”). I, however, spent most of my time watching House and Curb Your Enthusiasm.
BJ: Would you recommend yeshiva to pupils at the school? LD: Maybe some of the Jewish ones. But at the end of the day it depends on the person: a lot of people find House repetitive, and don’t appreciate the genius of Curb. What can you say of such a person?
BJ: How did you find Israel? LD: Are you trying to get me to say, “Oh, it was easy enough, the plane took me right there”? Because I won’t, I simply won’t.
BJ: How do you think going to an all boys school has affected you? LD: Well, in the absence of a control sample, it’s difficult to ascribe the blame to the school system rather than any other factor. I mean, who’s to say that if I had gone to a co-ed state school I wouldn’t have a God complex, a Messiah complex, a persecution complex, superiority and inferiority complexes (alternating weeks), crippling awkwardness around members of the opposite sex and an irrepressible need to correct people’s grammar? And I’d like to think that the “for life”
bit is a bit premature, but so far it does look that way. (I don’t suppose I can really blame the school for the acne scars, either.)
BJ: You worked on Skylark - how does the Jerusalem Post compare? LD: For one thing, unless things have changed since my day, Skylark still doesn’t have a section headlined The Iranian Threat! Whether or not that’s a myopic editorial decision remains to be seen, but I think it gives you an idea of the main divisions. In addition, Mrs. Gleeson was much stricter with her deadlines, and harder to steal pens from.
BJ: Jerusalem or Elstree? LD: It has to be said that those calling for an undivided Elstree as eternal capital of the State of Israel constitute something of a minority, and a silent one at that. Furthermore, Elstree Day is almost unobserved. On the other hand, while Jerusalem is supposedly the site of the Holy of Holies, Elstree can boast of Aldenham House, so little competition there.
BJ: What have you learnt on your gap year? LD: Aside from educating myself about the politics and society of the region, I’ve learned a lot about myself, which one can do whatever one does and wherever one does it. For example, how much canned tuna I can eat in one sitting (1.1kg), how many consecutive times I can watch a man fall off a chair on Youtube (19) and how late into the day I can sleep (personal best, 8:50 PM).
Ben Jacobs L6
Skylark 2009 Features
A Theatrical Interview Ever since Mr. Norton joined the Drama department over 10 years ago, he has been responsible for directing some of the best plays this school has ever seen the likes of which included BUS!, Macbeth and last year’s spectacular The Madness of George III by Alan Bennett. He has recently chosen Berkoff’s adaptation of The Trial as next year’s senior school play. We wanted to find out what he’s like once the curtain goes down, and how he will be representing Kafka’s most chilling tale on the stage.
GB: What ignited your passion for Drama? TN: From the age of about five or six, my parents began to buy my sister and I string puppets for birthdays and Christmas presents. They came in beautifully illustrated boxes and I think most children of our age had at least one or two. By the time we were 8, I think we had about 20 puppets between us. We also had a small theatre in which we could stage productions. So the idea of creating live performance, designing scenery and lighting performances began at a very early age.
BS: Do you have a favourite style of theatre? TN: Not really, since I enjoy a diverse range of styles. When I’m writing a piece for a company I always prefer to cast the piece first and then write it later. I am a great fan of opera and did run a rather ‘cod’ opera company with singers from the ENO and The Royal Opera house for nearly 20 years which delighted in the name of the Saveloy Baggs…
Alchemist by Ben Johnson and there was a boy playing around with a sword who accidentally slashed the forehead of another boy. Having said that, accidents do happen. For example, during the final technical rehearsal for BUS!, the bus was intentionally exploded but then it unintentionally failed to extinguish itself.
BS: Talking of school productions, you have selected The Trial based on the novel by Franz Kafka for this year’s Senior School play. Why did you choose this? TN: The difficulty with choosing a play is that it has to be something that is completely different from any past ones. This year, I wanted to go for something that is very physical and where the visual images are perhaps much stronger than the text of the adaptation which allows us much more creative freedom. For example, I have yet to decide upon whether we are going to have a company of 12 or 40, or if we will have girls or an allmale cast!
GB: So there isn’t much chance of teaming up with the music department to do a musical? TN: Unfortunately, it hasn’t really been possible to arrange a musicals since the production of “Bus!” which is a shame. The cast for The Front Page had some great singers in it and I very much wanted to do “Kiss Me Kate” that year but it became impossible to get someone
to conduct the orchestra and take responsibility for the music. Organising musicals take considerably longer than ‘normal’ plays and it does crucially depend both on the schedule of the Music department and the plans of the Girls’ school as well as the strength of the singing talent in any given year. Nevertheless, I would love to do one next year if possible.
BS: There have been three film versions of the original novel and the story itself is quite surreal and sinister. Do you have any ideas on how the school’s version could be just as spectatcular? TN: I want it to be influenced by Fritz Lang’s Metropolis, those strange drawings of endless staircases by Escher as well as the factory segments of Charlie Chaplin’s “Modern Times”! Right now I am thinking about having a vast illuminated clock at the rear of the stage surrounded by cogs and wheels while the cast may have the benefit of a several gantries that cross the stage…
GB: Giant clocks! I feel like my time has already run out! TN: It has!
Bharrathi Sarvananthan and George Bach L6
BS: As a director what is it that makes you really stressed? TN: There are three things that do this. The first is people not turning up to rehearsals on time or at all. The second is people turning up to rehearsals without having learnt their lines. Finally, when you see something for the first time at a technical rehearsal and it isn’t remotely what you anticipated or want. Of course the converse is also true when something goes exactly as you dreamt it might in performance and there was every indication that the cast and crew were never going to get it right.
GB: In any of the school productions that you’ve either been in or directed, what would you regard as being the worst disaster involving props? TN: Accidents rarely happen unless people mess about with things. At the final dress rehearsing for ‘Front Page’ in 2007, the two leading perfomers were handcuffed together by a third boy who knew that he had already mislaid the one remaining key! The only way to separate them was to saw through the handcuffs, completely destroying the prop in the process. Another memory I have is from when I was a student. The production was The 73
Skylark 2009 Features
Life On The Fast Lawn There have been many fads and crazes to sweep through the school over the last few decades. These include the likes of PokĂŠmon, Digimon and Beyblades. However, whilst they came and then abruptly went, there has been one enjoyable pastime that has established its dominance: the noble art of croquet.
The croquet lawn at the side of Aldenham House has existed for over 50 years, well before the school established itself at Elstree and was presumably used by Lord Aldenham and his family and friends. But the modern history of the sport only truly began in 1980 when the school was presented with a croquet set as a token of gratitude from the parents of two former students. Although initially used by the staff at their annual summer party, its usage grew during the 1990s when Mr. LloydWilliams, currently House Master of Hendersons, and the former Reverend Lindsey decided to teach the game to A-Level RS students once the summer exams were over.
People who had learnt the game were so enthralled by it that they were quick to teach it to their friends, and quite soon large numbers of the sixth form were playing. Midway through the 90â€™s, the chapel-going community decided that it would be a good idea to conduct an annual croquet tournament to raise money for charity and to attract younger players. Unfortunately, some students approached the game with more strength than skill, resulting in great damage to some of the mallets and the loss of some balls. As a result, the school had no choice but to restrict the usage of the lawn and the croquet set, and
whilst the sportâ€™s popularity dipped at first, the last few years have seen it undergo a renaissance. Today it is still widely played during the summer as the students still value the game for its intellectual as well as physical nature and it appears that the rich tradition of croquet at Haberdashers will continue. The future promises big things for the sport. There has been talk of an inter-house croquet competition and several boys are trying to organise a match with Shrewsbury and Harrow Schools.
Bharrathi Sarvananthan L6
Skylark 2009 Features
Life after HABS A short while ago Mr. Stephen Wilson, the beloved Head of Junior School and languages teacher, retired after years of service to the school. He kindly agreed to tell the Skylark about how he has kept himself busy since his departure.
BJ: What do you miss most about school? SW: I suppose the direct involvement in a large community of young people with all their irrepressible enthusiasm and energy. The prevalence of humour and fun is a great feature of life at HABS, where the ‘fizz’ between pupils and staff is so noticeable. Being part of the staff at HABS. is a privilege: you work and relax with a host of people who are knowledgeable, lively and witty. One of the advantages of not moving away on retirement is that I am still invited to events (including plays and concerts) and still experience the power of school performances.
BJ: What do you miss least? SW: There is a downside to working with people. They can be over-demanding or exasperating. And you have to accept that in adolescence a boy may off-load his uncertainties by dealing unkindly with another boy or obstructively with a teacher. You need strength and energy to cope with all that – and I certainly no longer have the energy.
BJ: How are you spending your time in retirement? SW: There are still aspects to my life which remind me of my teaching days. In school we
think in terms of the pastoral as well as the academic: teachers are concerned with who they teach as well as what they teach. When you think of the pastoral side, you might be trying to reassure a new boy who is feeling anxious finding himself alone (without old friends and familiar teachers) in his large new school. Or you might try to help an older boy whose personal difficulties or family circumstances are problematical. In both cases, you hope to convince the boy that he is not completely isolated: that other people can understand and help, indeed that other people may be having the same experiences. In retirement I co-ordinate the work of a small group of ‘Befrienders’, who regularly visit isolated and vulnerable people in the community. Often they have limited mobility and live alone and at some distance from their families. The ‘Befrienders’ are not professional carers or psychologists: we simply offer our interest, warmth and humanity and hope to make a difference. For two years, I visited a lady who was bed-ridden and unable to speak. She taught me a lot (just as I used to learn from my pupils). The ‘academic’ side of this role is perhaps reflected in the fact that I have to write reports, letters, etc., and occasionally I do some public speaking, and then I am always trying to achieve the standards of clarity and precision which I sought to promote in my pupils.
BJ: Does retirement get boring? SW: I think there are three factors which contribute to an easy and fulfilling retirement: health, finance and occupation. I am lucky that
for me all three are in the ‘adequate-to-good’ category. My diary becomes quite full so that I am pleasantly occupied without being stressed. My activities bring me contact with people. That can be inspiring, humbling and frustrating – but never boring.
BJ: What is the best thing you have done since leaving the school? SW: Writing children’s stories. I’ve written eight all together, aimed mainly at seven and eight year olds. My stories have a message: they are often about a child with an upsetting problem (and show where help can be found) and sometimes they feature someone with a disability. (I owe my interest in learning disabilities entirely to HABS. The ‘Mencap Funday’ was my favourite day of the year.) It’s fun to do something creative and to visit schools to read my stories and discuss the issues. I think it’s a bit like being a grandparent. I take my special lesson and then walk away, leaving the follow-up work and routine matters to the regular teachers. I am also a governor of two prep schools.
BJ: What changes did you see at HABS during your tenure? SW: Most changes reflect changes in schools generally. There are more systems; preparation for exams has become more specific, more closely targeted. The modern HABS is no place for the over-casual or sloppy boy (or teacher). I don’t think that needs to squeeze out variety, eccentricity, non-conformity. The increased sense of accountability need not preclude individualism and fun.
BJ: How can HABS improve in the future? SW: The school is as rich as it is because of the individuals who bring something unique to it, but also because of the strong ties holding boys together. Those who are rather selfcentred or narrow need to have a stronger sense of the community of which they are members. And those who assume that the general way that the community does things is the only way need to have a stronger sense of diversity and variety.
BJ: What are your plans for the future? SW: “Life is what happens while you’re busy making plans.” I have no plans, no targets, and no goals. For me there are no annual reviews or key performance indicators. In all honesty, I hope to continue to enjoy an active retirement. That’s a sort of ambition, I suppose, but more a wish than a plan. And beyond? As you get older, you may think more about the end of life and – according to my religious tradition, for example - a final judgment. You can’t prepare for that by improving your C.V., checking that your referees are supportive or constructing a PowerPoint presentation emphasizing your good points. It’s all much simpler than that!
Ben Jacobs L6 75
Skylark 2009 Features
Going West Having been at Habs for eight very happy years, the time seemed right last summer for me to bid my very fond (and emotional) farewells and head off to the glorious beauty of the Brecon Beacons, to take up the position of Director of Music at Christ College, Brecon. Even in the rain, the scenery here is spectacular and there is a stillness and peacefulness to the landscape that I have seldom encountered elsewhere. Moving from a large, highly academic boys’ day school to a small, inclusive, mixed boarding school was always going to be a challenge. It had been an awfully long time since I last taught girls and I remain convinced that they are a breed apart… In my eagerness to accept the offer of accommodation from the college, which I felt to be something of a godsend, I rather neglected to read the small print: Assistant Boarding Housemaster and Resident Tutor. Instead of the working day finishing with the close of lessons at 5.15pm, therefore, I find myself supervising thirty Y7 and Y8s for entire evenings and regular overnight duties, making sure they brush their teeth and discouraging the practice of “dorm raiding”. The benefits of the accommodation have been significant enough to outweigh any potential difficulties, however. Not for me the fifty-minute commute that I used to “enjoy”, travelling down the A414 from Hertford. The walk from my front door to my office takes 1’55”. If I’m in a hurry, I can make it in under a minute. I am often in a hurry. I am also able to run musical activities both earlier and later than I would otherwise be able. The Male Voice Choir (every Welsh school should have one…) rehearsed on Monday evenings from 7.00 – 7.30, for example. Even the Chapel Choir rehearsals at 7.45am on Wednesday mornings meant I still was able to leave home considerably later than I ever did last year at Habs!!! Musically for me this has been an enormously exciting time. At first I missed the buzz and
well-established routines of Habs. My first concert here, in October, largely comprised soloists (particularly singers) and involved fewer than twenty pupils. Throughout the year I have vigorously promoted ensemble activities, supporting pupils’ involvement and seeing some really promising developments. Having reinstated the Choral Society, I was fairly satisfied with the performance of Mozart’s Requiem at Brecon Cathedral at the end of February (the singers being bolstered for the evening by a certain Mr AJ Simm). This year’s Summer Concert involved over a hundred and fifty musicians (about half the school) and we are looking forward to a much more dynamic start to the year next year, now that routines here have been established. I must confess to having occasionally taken for granted so much of what is highly effective about the musical provision at Habs. There is plenty of time available for the many
ensembles to rehearse and the performance opportunities are consistent and well supported. Having to re-establish and reinvigorate a school’s musical life is a different challenge from that which Habs offers, but knowing the needs and features of a successful department has been invaluable in my quest to develop music here. So what of Habs do I still miss? The people, of course. The zip and electricity of the place. Curiously enough, I also miss the systemic efficiency of the running of the school at most levels. Odd, I know. Even so, I am confident that I made the right move last year. Different though this school may be, some of its less formal routines of are quite charming and I have already been able to influence the culture and ethos of the school. I have also had to become more flexible in my outlook, accommodating the more fluid approach to the school day that is one of Christ College’s charming idiosyncrasies. Waking up each day knowing that I will be privileged to be working in one of the most beautiful settings in Britain is a priceless benefit. Knowing that I can make a real difference to children’s musical perceptions and aesthetic values is the reason I love my job and can think of nothing I would rather do. Only having to write about a hundred reports at the end of term is just brilliant. What a life!
Prep & Pre-prep 77
Skylark 2009 Prep & Pre-prep
Prep News been many Preparatory School. Once again there have Another exciting year has flown past in the l teams. schoo and pupils dual indivi s achievements by memorable moments and some tremendou of the hot snaps a de provi only can I and piece short Sadly, there are too many to mention in this delights of the Academic Year 2009/2010. newlyhave proved to be extremely popular – the On the extra curricular front two new activities at the d -case show was some exceptional work which formed Film/Animation Club has produced asting contr a As it! Grom and ce look out Walla Prep Commendation Day on Friday 3 July – now Club has gone from strength to strength and Judo ol Scho Prep ers’ rdash Habe activity, the National Judo U12 IAPS nt curre ol population as well as the boasts a membership of 20% of the Prep Scho a fine chance of stand both boy) ep ex-Pr an (also his brother Edward Champion – Tommy Almond! Tommy and boys. fully to the Olympics in 2012! Good Luck taking their sport to the highest level – hope Haberdashers’ Prep boys also won ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ (back in May) but The male dance group ‘Diversity’ may have for the end of term etition Year 6 chose to run a ‘Dance-Off’ Comp have their own diverse group of dancers too! y’ from High School ‘Ashle ting rsona impe me Charlie Davis (in full costu entertainment in December. The compere – dance to Mama Mia! – as ed two Latin American staff couples, a staff Musical!) introduced twelve acts which includ r. wood and the eventual winner Harry Share well as the talented tap dancer James Lock of ‘Motown Madness’ – was evident in the amazing Year 6 production The Prep boys love to sing and dance! This same theme, Jason Yau the On s. very own Drama Teacher – Mrs Grigg written, directed and choreographed by our successfully auditioned Max Noah and I’ and West End show ‘The King was successfully auditioned for a part in the Sol Paek won a place in National Opera in the production of ‘Godunov’. for a singing role with the English Schools’ competition, playing his violin. the U13 IAPS ‘Young Musician of the Year’ r Choir (who joined the was listening to the 50 boys in the Prep Senio One of my own special highlights of the year The Barbican in at ert Conc ols’ at the Haberdashers’ Joint Scho Haberdashers’ Girls’ Junior Choir) performing London.
thon and gave a Marmor, won a place in the London Mini-Mara Our School Council Chairman – Maximilian ilian was also a school assembly the day after the race. Maxim wonderful description of his experience in our pionships, Cham ols’ Scho were victorious in the Herts Primary member of the Prep Cross Country Team who Jordan Urban t, Wrigh ie Fredd ence, Lawr Benjamin Wright, George winning the U11 team title. County cricketers wood was Lock s Jame n. seaso t cricke g andin s to another outst and Bhanuj Gautam have all helped our team in the everyday role huge a ey Team and as always, sport has played selected for the Hertfordshire U12 Boys’ Hock ) r details – www.habsboys.org.uk lives of the Prep boys. (see website for furthe ty Centre and Orielton, ed their residential trips to Kingswood Activi The Year 4 and Year 6 boys thoroughly enjoy eons, London Zoo, Dung on Lond e, Castl enjoyed trips to Windsor Pembrokeshire and the whole school have few! a just name to ar, tre and Quas Shakespeare at Regent’s Park Open Air Thea ing we all appreciate how leading the Wildlife Explorers Club and ensur Jacob New has again been very pro-active l environment. lucky we are to enjoy such a beautiful schoo to give up their whole ols’ Bird-watch Week’ and inspired 72 pupils The Wildlife Explorers organised ‘The Big Scho results! ating fascin d the Prep School. There were some lunch hour to observe and log the birds aroun semi-finals at Pontins their London Zone match to win places in the Three of the Haberdashers’ Chess teams won won by were levels U11 and 0 ‘Supremo’s’ at U8/U9/U1 in Sussex. All four of the UK Chess Mega Final competitions of host a won del, Brein Jake by ined ‘A’ team, capta Haberdashers’ boys. The six boys in the U11 s League Ches ns Natio ties Championships and the prestigious 4 both including the Herts Primary Schools Inter-Coun were who Haria Ravi and Lee congratulations go to Lawrence s! The and a place in the EPSCA Finals. Particular Game World and alth onwe Comm the at to represent England selected for England. Ravi was also selected Title. nal won the English Primary Schools U11 Natio icing on the cake came when the U11 ‘A’ team st ranking Boys’ news that the Prep School was again the highe The Academic Year began with the fabulous us three years). previo the s (based on the Key Stage II results of School in the Sunday Times Parent Power Table where 28 boys enge Chall s Math ols’ in the Nationwide Junior Scho The year ended with some amazing success 13! of age the to up en childr etition intended for attained Gold Medals in a nationwide comp ers and all the staff at Haberdashers’. ssful year. Well done to the boys, their teach It was certainly another fun-filled, highly succe .
Yvonne Mercer Head of Prep & Pre-Prep Schools 78
Skylark 2009 Prep & Pre-prep
Words and Music The concert began in fine form with Mr Bentley’s wind band playing ‘Clog Dance’ followed by the Year 6 Brass ensemble’s enthusiastic rendering of ‘Frosty the Snowman’. Miss Worn’s string group rose to the occasion next - some of them for the first time - with the traditional ‘Frere Jacques’ played as a round. The very large string orchestra conducted by Mrs Hoffler played two carols and the whole year 3 group entertained us all with a playlet by Wes Magee and two carols played on the recorder. Year 4 joined Year 3 to sing Jan Holdstock’s round ‘Christmas Cake’ as a massed group in three part harmony. Year 4 were then centre stage with a Benjamin Zephania poem ‘Talking Turkeys’ and a ‘Silly Christmas
Poem’ by Gordon Lamont followed by two traditional carols on recorders with the whole year group. The school recorder group with the addition of Miss Grimes, Mrs Federman and Miss Core were directed by Mrs Hoffler in a wonderful performance of traditional carols. Miss Core’s splendid wind group had the audience tapping their feet to Abba’s ‘Mama Mia’ and this was followed by a huge junior choir singing ‘Caribbean Carol’ by Verrah and ‘The Christmas Children’ by Coombes. Year 5 were lucky to have their own in-house writer – Brian Levinson, a grandfather of one of the boys who all performed his ‘Christmas and Mrs T’ play superbly. Mrs Hoffler then directed the senior choir in a lovely three part unaccompanied African lullaby ‘Soualle’ followed by Malcolm Sargent’s ‘Cowboy Carol’. The concert was bought to a rousing end with a four part round ‘Gabriel’ by Alan Simmons sung by all the Year 5 & 6 boys.
BRITAIN’ S GOT TALENT! was “Motown Madness” written and The Prep School Year 6 production this year timetable after half-term and put the show directed by Mrs Griggs. Year 6 came off Motown was founded and the boys had a together in one week! It’s 50 years since of the company as well as learning many wonderful time learning about the history clapped, laughed and danced their way of the songs and styles of dancing. The cast in the audience joining in the fun. s through the evening with parents and friend
Art Club Movie Makers In 2008-9 Prep Art Club explored Film and Animation for the first time. Mr. Niall Halsall led and supported this exciting new venture, with Mrs. Herbert, Dr. Lessons and Mr. Jenkins learning alongside the boys. There were two choices of filming activity: live action, or animation. The Live Action groups filmed their material around the school and in the grounds, using themselves as actors or interacting with pupils and staff. They then edited their footage into a short story or “programme”, digitally adding text, sound-effects and visual links. This gave them a chance to be actors or interviewers as well as directors. The Modelling Group started by devising a simple story-line and then making a film “set” in a cardboard box, and making plasticine models of their characters. They used Motion Capture to film an animated cartoon story – think Wallace and Gromit, or Pingu! This involves taking many still shots, moving the characters very slightly each time to achieve smooth transitions and movements. They then edited their footage into a story. They became screenwriters and animators as well as directors.
Prep Art Marvin Gaye, Smokey Robinson and The Other acts performing were Lionel Richie, of the week, the boys actually knew their Miracles and The Four Tops. By the end left foot from their right!
As usual we had a fantastic year of Art in the Prep. Some examples of the work are on these pages, but there was MUCH more! Year 3 learned to identify and mix Secondary Colours, made clay models to accompany their Mr. Men stories, sewed Mother’s day embroideries and learned about Impressionism in painting. Year 4 observed the bare trees and glowing fiery Sunrise and Sunsets of November with a watercolour wash, and made studies of snowdrops in poster paint after capturing them with our inbuilt “camera” apparatus – the visual memory (Tiptoeing Through the Snowdrops) in early Spring, learned to draw using the soft sketching marks known as pentimenti, and explored Chinese and Japanese brushwork and culture – including how to use chopsticks! Year 5 made Mixed-media pastel & ink works based on L. S. Lowry’s “VE Day 1945” and Venetian –inspired clay masks, and designed a dynamic Strip Cartoon, among other things. Year 6 learned linocut printing, explored Graffiti as an art form, made dramatic Japanese-style hanging scrolls and African masks, helped to design and make the sets and props for their show Motown Madness, and finished their Art year by reinterpreting Western classical Master paintings as 3D miniatures in shoe boxes.
S Herbert 79
Skylark 2009 Prep & Pre-prep
Year 3 make a great start to their sporting careers! At the start of this year we had a group of 54 unsure year 3 boys! Now we have 54 confident, competent, future sportsmen!! The year began with a term of rugby union, a first opportunity to play the game for many of the boys. The boys went from not knowing how to hold the ball, being afraid of the mud to becoming tough, strong rugby players. Mr Matthews’ coaching along with the aid of the staff moulded the boys into what became undefeated champions! Freddie Nash, Romeo Box-Fahy, Oliver Russell and Nathan Kaye are but to name a few of the boys who excelled in the “A” team. We defeated both Berkhamsted and Chesham without any problems, with a very comfortable 11-3 win against Berkhamsted! In the summer term the boys have developed all aspects of their cricketing skills. Yet again the standard has been exceptionally high and next years team will be very strong.
Rugby U11 A rather mixed bag of results for the Under 11 squad - the B team enjoying considerable success suffering only two defeats and having comfortable victories over the recognised rugby school such as St Benedict’s and St Johns. Maximilian Marmor has enjoyed consistent point kicking and Karan Basu has shown potential as a scrum half. Probably the most marked improvement though has been in their understanding and team play, scoring some well worked tries from both the forwards and backs. The A team have some real talent, a very aggressive set of forwards who recycle possession well and some exciting backs with real pace. Their downfall has largely been in defence where missed tackles and sometimes a slow response have seen them concede some disappointing tries. Alex Cheng and Jacob Whitehead have been particularly tenacious around the breakdown and Harry Wilkinson Roberts has gained many yards over the game line in the backs. S. Lowe
U10 Potentially there is much to offer in the Under 10’s with some very strong ball carriers who are capable of breaking through tackles. Unfortunately their ability to work as a team has not been so great and consequently when in possession we have had the ball turned over on many occasions because the ball carrier has become isolated, lacking support from team mates. Joining local rugby clubs does help in understanding the game and Sohum Patel and Finn O’Riordain have benefitted from this – both showing a desire and determination to compete for the backs. When this squad moves to Under 11, with the bigger scrum and more varied play options, they will hopefully realise the need to work closely as a team. S. Lowe U9 The U9’s played their first term of full-contact rugby. We started with a tough match against St.Benedicts. Our boys were caught very much by surprise and the A’s took a hammering by a well-drilled side. The B’s fought hard and came away with a great victory. Following this, we knuckled down and had plenty to work on in our skills sessions! In our next match, we encountered Chesham Prep where we fielded three teams with mixed success. Next came Bedford Modern, at home. 80
Historically a very strong rugby school, we concentrated well and delivered a well-deserved result, with two convincing wins. Into October, we started to consolidate our game and understanding of positioning when we played Northwood Prep, away. With much animated encouragement from the sidelines, the boys pulled off a superb win in the A’s and B’s. In the lead up to the St Columba’s tournament, we managed to secure a fixture against another very strong rugby playing school. After a long half term break we were a little too sleepy and did not play at our previous high standard. The last full fixture was held in mid-November against The Beacon where we fielded 3 teams again – all running away with good victories. Finally, we would like to mention the St.Columba’s Rugby Tournament in St.Albans. We took 12 boys, captained by Luca Ignatius with Vice Captain Max Blum, who played five matches in fairly quick succession. We managed to come 3rd in the group stage and finally went out in the semi-finals of the Plate Competition. It is worth noting that the spirit and determination shown by the whole squad was first class. The boys can be very proud of their efforts and we would like to congratulate them for this. We would also like to thank our ever present team of cheerleaders who stood on the side lines and rallied behind the boys. There have been two boys from the Main School who have supported the U9 teams with their expertise and we would like to thank them for doing such a great job with real passion and constant enthusiasm. They are Branavan Rudran and Andrew Mushin. All the boys above are to be commended for their efforts this term and we know that Mr.Lowe has already got his eye on a few key players for Year 5!
P Whitby & J Rother
Skylark 2009 Prep & Pre-prep
Judo Well done and congratulations to Tommy who has been fighting his way to become the IAPS Judo Champion! Tommy won gold in the â€œBritish National IAPS Judo Championships 2009â€? for School Years 6 & 7 in the under 38kg category. In 2008 he also achieved the following Medals for the Under 34kg category; Gold, Amersham U12 Junior Open Gold, Hertfordshire County, U15 Open Silver, High Wycombe, U12 Mini-Mon Silver, Hertfordshire Schools, U12 Open Bronze, Northern Home Counties, U12 Open
Also, well done to Edward who did amazingly well at this tournament, finishing 5th out of 18 boys in what was his first national tournament. Edward needed to win four back-to-back fights in a row virtually without a break to win a Bronze medal. He won the first three fights and qualified for the actual Bronze medal play-off. He did really well in that contest too, but lost narrowly on groundwork.
Well done to James who has been selected for the Hertfordshire U11 County Hockey Team. He had attended three selection sessions over several weeks before learning that he was one of the eight players chosen for the team. James who plays for St Albans Hockey Club, will represent the county in the East of England Hockey Tournament held in Lincolnshire. Good luck James!
Swimming We are very pleased to report excellent results in the swimming pool this year. We swam a number of friendly matches against Aldwickbury, Belmont and Haberdashers' Aske's School for Girls, achieving a great deal of success. We also entered the Panagraphic league and years 4, 5 and 6 all made their finals. The finals were hotly contested by the best schools in the district. Year 4 fought well and finished third. Year 6 went one better finishing in second place by just 8 points. The stars of the show, as they had been all year, were year 5 who easily won their age group and so completed an unbeaten year.
Basketball Year 6 were introduced to competitive basketball for the first time this year. The sessions were open to all boys two lunchtimes each week. After a term of hard work we played our first games against Aldwickbury. The game was close for the first half but a combination of poor passing and slack marking allowed the Aldwickbury boys to win the game by 12 points. Our only other game was against St Columbas, the home of basketball. We played at their court. This was a great experience in impressive surroundings but very intimidating for us as relative novices to the game. St Columbas tore at us in the first quarter and led 14-0. However, as the boys settled they began to play good basketball. We lost the game by 18 points but felt pleased we had been able to raise our game to a good standard.
Skylark 2009 Prep & Pre-prep
Ski Trip “Tonight we want you to bring your suitcases downstairs, as we are leaving tomorrow at 5am.” Let’s rewind a week, from when we were at Grenoble airport at about 9:15pm……. We clambered aboard the coach under a starry sky; we were heading to Alpe D’Huez in the mountainous regions of France. We were about 1 hour into the journey when we faced treacherous roads smothered by snow on either side. We then arrived at Grande Rousses hotel overlooking a valley of clouds. Everyday we would march around in the heavily armoured ski boots, but all the aches and pains were worth it because of the enjoyment we received from skiing. We then asked Nikhil Amin of Year 6 and Joshua Sassoon of year 5 as well as Matty of Year 6.
Nikhil: “It was a great experience and was really fun.” Josh: “It was fantastic and highly exciting.” Matty: “It was so fantastic it was unexplainable.” We were put into four groups for skiing, Advanced, Intermediates, Beginners and the people who weren’t good enough to be in Intermediates but were a bit better than the beginners (the Interbeddiates). The ski instructors were great fun. We could have skied for hours on end. The hotel and main shopping street were really enjoyable. In the evenings after skiing we had activities and room inspections, the activities were Quiz night, Swimming, going to an arcade, indoor height challenges (Invertigo) and finally Ice Skating. In the room inspections one of the hardest challenges was set by Mr Bowley - to fold the end of the toilet paper into a triangle!
S P I R T It was 5am and we were upset that we were leaving France but too tired to show emotions.
Shaniel Lakhani and Aaron Goldberg Year 6
Skylark 2009 Prep & Pre-prep
Orielton After nearly seven hours on the coach to Wales, we finally arrived. On the way to Orielton, we stopped off at the SS Great Britain. The steam ship was very interesting, as we explored the decks. After the comedy of Mr Bowley heaving everyoneâ€™s suitcases off the coach, we all found out what rooms we were in and who we were with. We pulled all our suitcases up three flights of stairs, moaning all the way. After settling in, we did some exciting team activities. Later we had our first meal in the hall with the other school that were also at Orielton. Following showers, we went to bed; lights out was at 9:30. The following morning, we all got up and had to be down to make sandwiches for our packed-lunch at 7:15. Not the time we usually make lunch, but it would have to do! Following the Pembroke Castle visit, we went on the 4 HOUR coastal walk. On the way we saw dolphins; not a usual site in Wales! The next day, we hopped on the bus to go rock-pooling, and after we went orienteering and pond-dipping. During pond-dipping, we scooped marine creatures using nets into trays. After that we each selected one water-dweller each and looked at it under the microscope. Shelter Building and Mammal Trapping was next that evening. In shelter building, we crawled under our shelters, while the tutors poured a litre of water over us. It was brilliant. When we had finished breakfast the following day, we went to a river and did some experiments, such as how fast the water was flowing and the highlight of the day was either Siddharth falling in the river or watching Paul being heaved out of knee-high mud. Unfortunately, the next day we had to go home! Orielton was a fantastic trip and it was good that we learnt something from it too.
By Noah Austin and Sebastian Pell Year 6
Year 4 Chinese Dragon Toys
Adam Lande Year 5 Brueghel & Avercamp Winter Collage
Skylark 2009 Prep & Pre-prep
Sol Paek Year 6 Monet's Garden, Waterlily Pond
Noah Max Year 5 Japanese fan
Adiyant Lamba Year 6 Chinese Ink & Brush Drawing
James Lockwood Year 6 Van Gogh's Bedroom
Pierre Storey Year 4 Jungle Book puppet
Amaan Lakhani Year 4 Snowdrops
Craig Hall Year 5 VE Day Mixed Media
Skylark 2009 Prep & Pre-prep
Pre-Preparatory School Another exciting year has flown past in the Pre-Preparatory School. detail below a snapshot of ‘A Year in the life of a Kingfisher’.
I am delighted to
The boys performed with excellence in their Winter Production ‘A Christmas Cracker’ in December. The Kingfishers’ also enjoyed a trip to the Pantomime to see Dick Whittington and his Cat at the Watford Palace Theatre. The whole of the Pre-Prep enjoyed a day at Wyboston Lakes Leisure Village. The boys were introduced to award winning chefs who created some spectacular recipes for the children to sample, this was then followed by a question and answer session and then a tour around the kitchen to observe the chefs and preparation time. The Kingfishers enjoyed an afternoon of magical science when Professor Brainstorm and his friend Zog came to visit the Pre-Prep. The boys enjoyed taking part in various science experiments and learnt about electrical circuits, static electricity, disappearing water and much more. At the end of the show the Kingfishers were definitely agreeing with the Professor’s motto that ‘Science is fun’.
Year 2 with the help of parent Mrs Yates designed a colourful collage in relation to their seaside topic.
Other highlights of the year included World Book Day where the boys dressed up as their favourite book characters and Red Nose Day when the boys held a Mufti day for charity and came to school in their red noses. The Year 2 boys enjoyed a day trip to the Celtic Harmony Camp near Hertford. The boys plus the staff and mum helpers spent a very cold, but fun and educational day learning various hands-on activities incorporating the natural environment and ancient Celtic culture. In June we held our annual Parents’ barbecue. It was great evening for chatting and enjoying the food. There were some delicious desserts on offer – everyone forgot about their waistline for the evening! We had a rearranged Sports Day, a Year 2 trip to Brighton Pier (with 25 mum helpers), a Year 1 trip to Knebworth House and Gardens and lastly the Kingfishers’ End of term Production, The Pied Piper of Hamlin. We had our annual ‘Grandparents’ Tea’ on the afternoon of the 2nd July where the grandparents were invited for tea and cakes. Their grandchildren were tour guides for the afternoon and show off the fantastic work they have produced. There is never a quiet moment at the Pre-Prep. Well done to all who have helped and taken part in these events this year.
In the Summer term 2009 the Kingfishers’ with the help of Mrs McKever entered the St Stephen’s Gardening Club’s annual competition, where they won second prize in the competition to grow the heaviest quantity of potatoes.
Mrs A Fielden Pre-Preparatory School Senior Teacher
Kingfishers’ Butterfly Release To complement the Kingfishers’ study of mini beasts, Year 1 have been raising livebutterflies with a Butterfly Garden kit. The caterpillars take approximately three to five weeks to hatch into butterflies. The boys enjoyed releasing the butterflies into the environment. 85
Skylark 2009 Prep & Pre-prep
Little Red Riding Hoody The dull, drab housing estate - Marlbury Close, Chichester to be accurate - droned on with another grey-skied Saturday. The birds sang, not to be mistaken for wheezing and coughing, what seemed to be the Death March. A joyous din seeped from the Old Wagon pub down the road, created by the cheers of “one hundred and eighties” as a drunken merrymaker got a dart on target.
“I am here to help your grandmother sort out her pension funds.”
Rachel Hood, otherwise known to her friends as Red Hood for her long auburn tresses and because of the way she bundled them under the hood of her Nike sweatshirt, parked her battered moped against the railing of the flat in which her grandmother lived.
“My, what a nice Rolex watch you have.”
Further down in the car park, she noticed a commotion of teenaged boys, ranging from the tall spotty ones to the vertically challenged bossy ones. They were all crowding round a rather nice looking car. She pushed her way through the crowds, peered into the car window and noticed a pile of business cards selling William Wolf’s Investments Limited, lying on the dash board.
“All the better to sign cheques and forms for my clients.”
Rachel clambered her way up the chewing gum-enriched and cigarette encrusted staircase. Her grandma lived in the highest floor, the thirty fifth floor and today was the day that they had to service the lifts!
“Sorry, can I just go and get this call?” asked Rachel.
Rachel rang the door bell, which was probably one of the most annoying tunes a door bell could be. The old withered face of Rachel’s grandma appeared from behind the door. “Rachel!” “Grandma!” “You young children never stop growing, do you?” “I feel I must have aged a good ten years climbing those stairs.Any chance of a cuppa?” “Why yes, I was just making one for this charming young gentleman.”
The trio went in and started chatting for a good half hour. “My, what a nice car you have,” Rachel remarked. “All the better to get to my clients,” replied William.
“All the better to get to my clients on time, my dear.” “My what a nice gold Parker pen you have.”
William noticed Grandma arrive with Rachel’s cup of tea. “Just in time to finalize the documents.” Rachel’s phone started to ring.
“Sure darling.” Rachel went to talk on her phone in private. “Can we go in?” asked a voice. Rachel said the code words, “Hook, line and sinker.” For Rachel was not an ordinary girl. She was Rachel Harlison from Rogue Traders, the T.V. programme. For she and her team had been waiting to get William for months. Cameramen and journalists rushed into the flat. “Mr Squire, you are on national, live television,” announced one journalist.
“Allow me to introduce myself. William Wolfred Squire at your service.”
William raced down the stairs, escaping the cameras, and the sound of William in his car, followed by police sirens, could be heard racing off into the distance.
“Pleased to meet you and you are here because?”
Aaron Goldberg Year 6
Stepping smartly forward with a outstretched, hairy hand:
Comparing school Times In 2008 classrooms had everything. Paper, books, desks and so much more but now we have nothing. We are experiencing a real dark age. We go to school in a cave with a floor as our desks. There are 60 people in one section of the cave and 70 in the other whereas in 2008 you had only 20 children in a class and there were usually 6-7 classrooms. At break time, pupils could go to exciting activities like Art Club and Orchestra. If they did not go to any of these amazing clubs, they could go outside and feel the wind on their faces. Instead, if we are lucky we can open the cave door an inch but even then we experience unbearable heat. In 2008, the toilets were practically en-suite. Today a toilet is a hole in the ground and a few leaves. The lucky children could flush their loos and the waste would have gone down into a really weird system called the “sewers”. Somehow, they used their water again and called it “recycling”. The sport then was absolutely amazing: football, rugby and cricket to name but a few. Right now, we are lucky if we get the opportunity to throw a tennis ball around. The sport now is terrible but I am the best in the class. I was born too late. Pollution has taken over the world. We cannot breathe clean air. We have no plants left, no animals. I blame the people of 2008 for this.
Boaz Halberstam Year 6 86
“Oh great,” Rachel replied sarcastically.
Snowflakes as if they were Snowflakes fell gracefully ballerinas. flakes glisten The sun made the snow kes made a beautifully; some snowfla ul lovely doggy. picture of a giant wonderf snowflakes When it hit the ground the pieces, shattered into millions of ow. Making me fall into the sn rns in them made They had beautiful patte by angels. Like a winter wonderland. a Year 3
By Koby Ferdinand-Okpal
Skylark 2009 Prep & Pre-prep
A snail shape poem snail. I’m an excited and happy l. trai y slim a ke ma me Watch t, And today I get a trea greet. I’m finding more snails to n, tow into got I But when upside down, Something tall turned me And broke me. now I was dead. I only had my head and
Daniel Year 1
Seasons Up in the sky Forever moving There are clouds curtain of snow, Pouring out a pure white on the ground. lie to n Billowing down, dow old It is a beautiful sight to beh ed by bright, lively Then all gone to be replac green d with new life. The whole planet blesse Lamb’s bleating Bird’s tweeting baby. The cries of a new born h its shimmering Now comes summer wit heat, pleasant or not People go to beaches Swim in the sea of ice cream for Have a good time with lots tea!!!!!
wind Sadness is a cold winter deserted ruin and ty dus a like It smells ng epi It sounds like pitiful we ad bre le It tastes like sta of nothing It feels like the emptiness It lives on after death.
rks out Luck is a gamble that wo end of a lolly the on t rbe It smells like she t It tastes like a sugary trea clapping and g erin che like nds It sou k bac the It feels like a pat on et. tick ery lott g nin win It lives in a
Snowflakes h only a chilling It was calm and quiet wit h a numbing breeze that glided past wit sensation gracefully like The snowflakes drizzled ated a white cre ich wh rs delicate icy sta w carpet wonderland with a soft sno everything in its The snowflakes covered mercy it was path showing no signs of gentle and timid
r3 Purushot Sadagopan Yea
Finn O’ Riordain Year 5
and grow old Then all starts to wither gold and low yel , wn bro Green to Leaves falling Storms rising Then it comes again, the And so it goes on and on Never changing.
Daniel Hails Year 5
Skylark 2009 Prep & Pre-prep
Chess Report It has been an incredible year for chess with a packed calendar of competitions and events. Over the year, many boys have received chess coaching. For the elite chess group we have been fortunate to have a new chess coach this year, Lorin D’Costa who at present is an International Master and will soon be achieving his grand master status. The chess teams have entered many various competitions, and have won both the Hertfordshire Schools Major U11 tournament & the U11 Junior 4NCL. We would also like to congratulate Vincent Lee in Year 4 who holds the title of Hertfordshire U9 champion and Lawrence Lee in Year 5 who holds the title of Herts U11 champion. We are also extremely proud of Jake Breindel in Year 6 who holds the Herts U14 title at just 11 years old and won the English U11 title in November. This year Lawrence, Jake, George Lawrence and Ravi Haria all qualified for the England Trials in Liverpool. We are thrilled that both Lawrence and Ravi were selected as England players and have just returned from representing England in Holland. In the spring term, over 70 boys participated in the UK Chess Challenge, which was held as a very successful, whole school one day event on Sunday 8th March. After seven rounds of heated chess playing, 15 boys qualified for the Mega final. Purushot Sadagophan and Obadyh Khan battled it out against a number of competitors and finished joint first in the Under 9 section. Ravi Haria won the Under 10s with Lawrence Lee being awarded second place. Jake Breindel finished in first place in the U11s age category and Jonathan Clark finished in second place. These boys will all be attending the Giga Final and we have our fingers crossed that they will reach the Terror Final! The English Primary Schools Competition also began in the Spring Term and we entered 5 teams. All the U9 and U11 teams qualified for the Semi Finals. In the Summer Term these boys and their parents descended upon Pontins Camber Sands for the Semi Final. All the boys performed extremely well and represented our school admirably. As you can see from the slide show, we did not only play chess, our families were also given the opportunity to have a great deal of fun using all the Pontins facilities and we indulged in the Habs traditional barbeque and cricket on the beach. By the end of the weekend, the U9A’s finished in 8th place out of 34 teams and the U9 B’s finished in 6th place out of ten teams. The U11As were awarded the honour of 1st place out of 42 teams with 25.5points out of 30. The U11B’s finished in 20th place with 15 points and the U11C’s 3rd place out of 8 teams. The U11s will be competing in the finals at Brean Sands.
How could I have been so stupid? It was ten o’clock at night and I struggled to get to sleep in the top bunk of my brother’s and my bunk bed. I wriggled about trying to find the most relaxing position. After what seemed like half an hour, I decided to do something. I grabbed a sharp pencil, a rubber band and a Finding Nemo book and tried to make something. In my mind, ideas streamed through my head. Finally I thought of one, it was a ballista. I struggled to make one but I eventually did it. It was brilliant. I did a test shot and it slammed into the wall. Soon after I heard footsteps; it was my mum and dad! I quickly threw the covers over me (except my head) and pretended to sleep but in fact I was so tired I actually went to sleep! In the morning, I rampaged down the stairs, gobbled my breakfast up, ran back up the stairs, swapped my pyjamas for clothes, ran to the bathroom, brushed my teeth, ran back to my room and snatched a pencil and a rubber band from my desk. I also grasped some action figures, five to be exact. I finally ran downstairs and started to pant. I lined the action figures up and one by one I bolted them down, but when I was about to blast the last one down my brother zoomed in front of me and I hit him in the finger. “Ow!” went my brother, as my mum rushed to my brother to see if he was alright. “Thomas, go to your room, now!” she ordered. I went to my room secretly carrying my weapon. After a few minutes of boredom, I snuck onto the stairs to find no-one other than my mum. Without thinking I fired it into her forehead. Bamm it went. “Go back to your room this instant; you have lost your Nintendo DS (Nintendo double screen)!” “But…” I pleaded and with an upside down smile I shuffled to my room. After thinking about it, I walked downstairs and said sorry. In the end everyone was happy.
Thomas Johnston Year 5
Clubs and Societies 89
Skylark 2009 Clubs & Societies
Amnesty International Society Summary It has been a very busy year for the Amnesty International Society. Activities ranged from writing letters to some of the most powerful people in the world to selling pieces of cake to the rest of the school to raise money for a good cause. Fundraising events were held throughout one week, with all of the money raised going to the Amnesty International Trust. We had great success in selling homemade cakes and fine biscuits in order to raise money and we also made much progress in our campaign to gain new members. These events were a real chance for our team members to shine, showing their committed sales techniques and, for some of our talented members, showing off their skills in the kitchen. In addition to this, some of the letters that were sent off were very successful, with the society receiving some very positive responses from some of the world leaders. For one of the sessions we were shown the Amnesty International Policeman’s Ball, which we thought was both enjoyable and very informative. Much of the credit must go to Mr Whiteman, who was highly organised and provided us with anything we needed for writing the letters and for arranging the fundraising events. Furthermore, the team members were fantastic this year, always reliable and very efficient. They all showed the true meaning of the word “team”. I could think of no better way to spend my Friday lunchtimes than in the Amnesty International Society. We sincerely hope next year will be as successful as this one.
Aaron Jesuthasan L6
Bridge This year, the school’s bridge club and teams have excelled, further strengthening HABS’ reputation as one of the best Bridge schools in the country. The HABS Bridge Ateam, comprising of Basil Letts L6, Edward Hughes-Daeth U6, Rohan Sheth U6 and Grant Waissel U6, was entered into the Middlesex League and played against adult teams, managing two wins, as well as taking the most points off the eventual league winners. Our top pair, Basil Letts and Edward Hughes-D’Aeth won the regional U-19 event and finished 2nd in the national final. We are hoping that they and perhaps others may have attracted the attention of the England U-20 selectors. This year, HABS bridge club has experienced an unprecedented turnout on Monday Afternoons. With approximately 25 people attending each week and more at Lunchtimes, Bridge has never been more popular at the school. With so many participants, HABS, for the first time, sent three teams to the Schools Bridge Cup in Loughborough. The A-team performed brilliantly and finished as the 3rd best school team in the country. The B-team (Athirayan Kailayapathivagan U6, Anesh Patel U6, Rishi Chotai Year 10 and Hugh Brannen Year 11) just missed out on a spot in the semi-finals, but won the Swiss Pairs competition. This meant that the HABS B-team became both the 5th best team as well as the best B-team in the country, showing the school’s talent in Bridge. The C-team (Nikesh Arya Year 11, Josh Treon Year 7, Bhavik Patel L6 and Omar Ali Year 10) finished 3rd in the Harry Scully competition, but more importantly gained tournament experience, which will serve the 3 players who will be eligible for the tournament in two, if not three years time.
Rishi Chotai Year 10
Hindu Assembly The diversity of the Hindu religion is something that the Hindu Committee, with the unfaltering support of Miss Pindoria and my Vice-Chair Shiv Pabari has tried to utilise to its maximum potential. The year began on a strong note, with some informative assemblies delivered about the lesserknown festivals of Hinduism, as well as contrasting presentations about topical issues, such as the Hindu views on abortion, homosexuality and euthanasia. The notice board has been kept up to date with posters and translations of the Gayatri Mantra as well as other prayers that we felt students recited, but did not know their significance. There have been numerous speakers from the Hare Krishna temple, who have stirred genuine interest about the foundations of Hinduism amongst the boys. The Hindu Committee would like to thank Mr Corrall, who has tirelessly devoted an immense amount of time and support towards Hindu assemblies every Thursday morning – he will be missed!
Ravi Shah L6
Skylark 2009 Clubs & Societies
Chapel The highlight of the year for the Chapel Society was the recent visit of the Bishop of Hertford to Aldenham House to Confirm a number of students from the both the Boys’ and Girls’ schools. On a lovely spring evening, friends and family joined the candidates in a joyful and moving service. HABS’ Christian Aid Week was celebrated with the Annual Rich Man - Poor Man lunch, a very tangible reminder to the students that many people in the world are hungry through no fault of their own. We also welcomed Margaret Burbridge from Christian Aid who not only gave a challenging talk in chapel but had a very full morning visiting a number of RS lessons. May also saw the Fair Trade Stall out again, with mounds of ethically produced chocolates for sale and some very enthusiastic grocers from amongst the younger students to promote the values of Fairtrade products. Chapel continues to support two students, Gabriel and Gilbert, at Mvumi School in Tanzania. We are well on the way to fulfilling our commitment and a sunny sports day should help complete the fund-raising with sales of ice lollies and fizzy drinks. Our interest and enthusiasm for the school and students was reawakened by a very lively visit from Richard Morris, a former head of the
school. Richard spoke in Main School Assembly and visited various classes always addressing his audience with passion. Chapel has enjoyed hosting various social events through the year. They always involve lots of sticky food and a good deal of laughter. Jonathan Miller still holds the record for numbers of pancakes consumed on Shrove Tuesday, but there are definitely others in the running.
The Chapel community is strong and supportive. I would like to thank the boys and staff who contribute to our worship through organ playing, readings, prayers and Chapel council. We maintain strong links with the Girls’ school sharing services each term and regularly welcome Father Vladimir to lead Catholic Mass.
Model United Nations The inaugural Haberdashers’ Aske’s Boys’ School MUN 2009 was a sensational success due to the efforts of the Chairing, Administrative, Security and Press teams headed up by Secretaries General Arrash Yassaee and Julian Parmar; special thanks must be extended to the Girls’ School who played a substansive role in the conference. The delegates revelled in the community of debate with diligent diplomacy, salacious wit, authoritative oratory,and intelligence, making the weekend enjoyable for all who participated, coming from places as wide ranging as Dorset and Manchester. Memorable was the Bliss Attack Social and the unprecedented annexation of Uganda by Iran, as well as the fascinating opening speech of the conference given by the Right Honourable David Lidington MP, the Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs. Seeing the Bourne Hall converted into a General Assembly, as well as the Aske Hall, Old Refectory, Seldon Hall, Old Gym and Prep School Hall transformed into committee rooms represented an unbelievable sight, the culmination of a year’s hard graft and 16 years of enduring vision on the part of the directors of MUN, Mr Simm and Mr Corrall. The conference was large and almost flawless; remarkable for a first time event. The Secretaries General and all of those involved in making this vision a reality leave behind a huge legacy to be fulfilled by the inevitable HABSMUN 2010.
Hasan Dindjer L6 91
Skylark 2009 Clubs & Societies
Debating It is true that this year’s debating season was not marked by the endless stream of trophies from past years. Yet this should not take away from what was undoubtedly a year of both vast improvement and assorted successes for HABS debaters. Almost without exception, we ‘broke’ at national competitions to reach the semi-finals or finals. In a year of debating volatility and shock results, this is a more significant feat than it might initially sound. We have retained our position as a formidable debating institution, and the future promises a great deal more. Our first outing was at MPW, in which Ben Lewy and Hasan Dindjer were disappointed only to be awarded the ‘Runner-up’ prize for their performance in the final opposing the right to suicide in all circumstances. Nonetheless, we carried from this valuable lessons and in Cambridge we improved markedly on last year’s performance. Not only were we the only school to get three teams through to Finals Day, the ‘A’ Team of Ben Lewy and Edward Schwitzer reached the semi-final, while the ‘B’ team of Hasan Dindjer and Aaron Taylor were unlucky not to win in the final, opposing the motion that George Bush be indicted for war crimes. Whilst less successful in the Oxford Union and Mace Competitions, we improved upon our record at Durham, a residential competition held over an entire weekend, and hosting schools from all over the world. This test of sustained performance evidently suited us; we debated well enough to reach the semi-final in which Ben Lewy and Hasan Dindjer argued for the accommodation of religious courts into the British system. Although the team narrowly missed out on reaching the final, our spirits were lifted both by Hasan’s success in topping the speaker
tab for the whle competition, and by the large curry that followed. Outside of HABS, our tradition of supplying debaters for national teams has continued. Hasan Dindjer and Edward Schwitzer were selected to represent England at the Four Nations competition in Cardiff, in which both debated in the final against Scotland. Although the Scottish team won, opposing our motion to intervene in failed states, that two out of four on such a team were from HABS is both a recognition of the quality of our debaters and an indication of future successes. Hasan and Edward will take up the positions of Debating Captain and ViceCaptain respectively in the coming year. To focus on the achievements of the senior debaters would be entirely to neglect those of boys lower down the school, however. Two competitions this year have highlighted their ability and potential. In the International Competition for Young Debaters, the ‘A’ team of Akshay-Kishan Karia and Will Thong were regional finalists and came 12th internationally. At UCL’s competition for young
debaters, not only did the ‘B’ team of Jacob Rabinowitz and Daniel Gold reach the final, most HABS speakers ranked in the top 20, with Jacob coming 10th in his first competition. It is therefore clear that HABS has had a year of some considerable success. It is right that we aim higher though. The performance of our debaters who will be continuing next year demonstrates our capacity for once again lining our cabinets with trophies. Thanks must go to Ben Lewy, whose captaincy of debating has been full of leadership, skill, and wit. Dr StJohn’s Tuesday afternoon debates were certainly inimitable. Most of all, we must thank Mrs Gleeson, not just for organising all of our debating competitions and accompanying us to them, but also for her guidance and coaching, to which so much of our success is owed.
Hasan Dindjer L6
Skylark 2009 Clubs & Societies
Hasan Dindjer and Ed Schwitzer have been selected for The England Debate Team. They will represent England at the Worlds Schools Debating Competition, to be held in Qatar February 2010. Two other English students, from Leeds and Liverpool make up the team of four. 7 HABS boys applied for selection this year. 5 were invited to trials. 1 withdrew. 2 made it through to day 2. 2 were invited to the final 6 interview stage.
This is the first time that 2 HABS boys have been selected together. Previous HABS students who have been selected areNick Sloboda(2002), Jamie Susskind (2006,2007) and James Fox,who was part of the English winning team at Worlds in 2008.
Ex HABS debater James Fox, a member of the winning English team at the World schools Debating Competition last year, came into school this week to work with the 7 boys who have applied to the England selection trials this year. James was, as ever, an entertaining and informative speaker. Generous with his help, advice and tips to the applicants on “Worlds Style” debating.
Chess The departure of some of the strongest players in the summer always meant that this was a transitional year. It was up to the middle school boys to move up to the top boards, with Saravanan Sathyandha year 9 now the number one chess player. The B team players moved up to the A team and ‘fresh blood’ was recruited into the B Team. Come the Inter House tournaments in the Autumn term, it was hoped that some young talent would shine through in the new batch of Year 7’s. Russells have done well in recent years and retained the Senior trophy, while Meadows excelled in the junior ranks of the school, winning both the Year 7 and the Year 8 and 9 tournaments. The first major tournament of the year was the U18 “Rapidplay” in Birmingham. However, a depleted squad was unable to retain the championship, although they did manage to come a creditable third. A young team, consisting primarily of Year 7s went to the Midlands to contest the U14 “Rapidplay”. Again HABS were the holders, but were just looking at gaining experience rather than realistically winning it. But again, a strong performance meant that HABS’ up and coming chess players came third. The National Schools Championships was a much greater success and, as is often the case, the A Team breezed through the North London zone, winning the four games 6-0. The young B team’s journey was brutally short
however as they met Hampton in the first round in a different zone and lost 5-1. The zonal winners were drawn in the last sixteen of the National Schools, which saw HABS pitted against Dulwich and on paper it looked a very even contest. It turned out to be agonisingly close with Dulwich prevailing 3-3 on board count. This brought a premature end to our participation in this tournament, but it was
certainly a painfully close way to lose. This match brought an end to the HABS chess career of Gajern Kailavasan (L6S2) after an outstanding 135 games for the school. He now steps down to give a younger boy a slot in the A Team.
Skylark 2009 Clubs & Societies
Modern Languages Society It has been a particularly busy year for the Modern Languages Society with events for staff, the 6th form and younger boys alike. A new feature this year came with an interest in foreign cinema amongst L6 linguists. Again we collaborated with the Girls’ School in offering weekly viewings of foreign films ranging from the Galician horror of “El Orfonato” to the powerful German film “The lives of others”, and naturally our thanks must go to the Girls’ School staff who extended an invitation to the older boys. However a select group of L6 student began this year to take advantage of the wealth of foreign culture on offer in central London. This began in October with a trip organised by the Modern Languages Committee to the BFI London Film Festival to see “Parque Vía”, a groundbreaking Mexican film by up-and-coming director Enrique Rivero. We were lucky enough to meet the director following the viewing and were able to ask him about this spectacular film. This trip was followed up by a trip to see the challenging French feature film “Le silence de Lorna”. Whilst undoubtedly containing moments of inspired cinematography it was less convincing than “Parque Vía”. Along with a concert of classical Spanish song at Westminster School in December, this outing was another new venture including as it did L6 students from the Girls’ School. With Christmas approaching, the Modern Languages Society set about organising the annual Year 7 Christmas Party under the faultless direction of Mr Thackrey. With numerous members of staff helping to source traditional European food for the event, the boys were lucky in experiencing authentic festivities. This, in addition to Committee members giving engaging presentations on the local Christmas customs of Spain, Germany, Italy, France and Russia, ensured another highly successful Christmas Party leaving the Year 7s in decidedly festive spirits and with their curiosity awakened as to foreign cultures and traditions. Throughout the course of the year various clubs and societies have aimed to promote the sadly too often overlooked Modern Languages. Joshua Manasseh and I aimed to drum up interest in the dramatic culture and turbulent history of Spain with a lunchtime club ‘Dentro de España’ aimed at lower years. This was mirrored with Ben Jacob’s German club, again for younger boys. In the New Year, a new language was added to the existing circuit of clubs with Russian Club giving the boys a chance to gain an understanding of the basic structures of the language along with cultural insight. With Russian GCSE now offered at the school hopefully more boys will take an interest in this challenging yet rewarding language. With the Lent term drawing to a close, the Modern Languages Society launched the 2009 Foreign Languages Poetry competition with both students and teachers competing. Whilst student entries came predominantly from senior students, staff poems came from a range of departments and in various languages providing a challenge for our external jury. Thanks must go to all the languages staff whose unwavering support, enthusiasm and guidance have encouraged the Modern Languages Society to try new ventures and promote the study of languages across the school.
Patrick Ray L6
J-Soc Jewish Society has had another exceptional year. Under the chairmanship of Brett Bernstein and Ben Jacobs, the committee has helped maintain Jewish Society’s prominence in the school. As well as Jewish assemblies on a Thursday, the Society holds a weekly ‘nosh and learn’ session in the Old Refectory. This attracts over 40 boys a week from all year groups, and we have been particularly delighted to see new boys taking an early interest in Jewish life at the school. The sessions normally include a high-profile speaker, who leads an informal discussion on a topic in Judaism, while the boys are free to gorge themselves with as much free food as we can provide. The year 7 ‘Bagel Bash’ (as it became affectionately known!) was a resounding success, with over 150 boys and girls of all faiths, shapes, and sizes, enjoying some of the finest cuisine Grodzinski’s bakery has to offer. Ben Silverblatt deserves special mention for organising the majority of the event and lugging several hundred bagels into school. We are also grateful to The Sam Freeman Experience, who played music for the event. Later on in the Winter term we held our annual ‘Chanukah Burger Bash’, when we celebrate the miracle of Chanukah by eating excessive amounts of oily food and generally being merry. The event was open to all ages and was held in conjunction with the girls’ school J-Soc. The ruthless salesmanship of the committee helped bring over 250 hungry students through the doors, ready to devour their burger and doughnut. One of the highlights was the 10ft high inflatable Chanukiah (festive lantern) that had been purchased from America for the party. Freddie Fulton and Jonathan Metzer, the Treasurers of the Society, later defended their decision as a ‘prudent investment in both long and short-term’. We thought it would be wrong to let Purim pass without a celebration, and so we decided to hold the ‘Purim Pastry and Pizza Party’ in the Bourne Hall during the Spring Term. The event started with a reading of ‘Megillat Esther’, the story of Queen Esther and the Jews of Persia. In order truly to celebrate the victory over the Persian anti-semite Hamann, who tried to purge the Persian empire of its Jewish population, guests enjoyed an obscene amount of pizza and pastry. Some members of the committee even dressed up to get into the spirit of the occasion. The event was joint with the girls’ school, attracting over 150 students. As the year draws to a close, we begin to wonder how we will be judged by history. The committee who always ordered too much food? Perhaps. The committee who bought that inflatable Chanukiah? We’d like to think so. Either way, the year has been a grand success, and this would not have been possible without the tireless work everyone has put in. The committee, made of Ben Silverblatt, Jonathan Metzer, Freddie Fulton, Marc Charles, Elan Shuker, Sam Heitlinger, Joe Davis, Adam Bernstein and Daniel Lehmann, must be congratulated for their enthusiasm and dedication throughout the year. We would also like to thank our teacher in charge, Mr. Haring, for all his help. Lastly, we are grateful towards all our regular attendees at Nosh and Learn, who form the backbone of the Jewish Community at HABS.
Ben Jacobs and Brett Bernstein L6 94
Skylark 2009 Clubs & Societies
Science Society Firstly, we would like to extend our thanks to last year’s committee, who enabled the considerable growth of the Science Society last year, bringing in big names such as Professor Parham of Stanford and Lord Krebs of Oxford. But, as it always is with science, we look eagerly to the future. This coming year promises a great deal. We have lined up several top scientists over the Summer. One of these is Simon Baron-Cohen an old haberdasher currently directs the Autism Research Centre, Cambridge and his Theory of Mind-Blindness is one that has garnered global attention. Having also authored multiple books on Autism, he is a leading figure in global research and development. Next up will be Aubrey de Grey - the Richard Dawkins of gerontology – and a leading biogerontologist. That is to say, he researches the biological aspects of aging and he has proposed a contentious, but world-renowned, theory of mitochondrial free-radical aging, which specifies the seven steps of aging (including the famous telomere lengthening idea). As well as having authored the popular science book Ending Aging, he has set up, and runs the development Strategies for Engineering Negligible Senescence (SENS) which is developing methods to reduce the effects of aging in the body. Dr de Grey believes that people alive today can live to be 1,000 years old if his research goes well.
Finally, Professor Papineau will be talking on Scientific Realism. This idea, and the schism in science that it has caused, is a big one. In essence, realism states that all experiments and theories scientists propose and observe actually describe real life (e.g. an electron is both a wave and a particle). Anti-realists argue that the models and theories merely account for the observations we make and that nothing in science can define reality for what it is (e.g. an electron exhibits properties akin to those of a wave sometimes, and similar to those of a
Successes for Chemistry and Physics Olympiads We have had an exceptional run in achieving the selection of students for the UK squad at both the International Physics Olympiad and the International Chemistry Olympiad. The Physics Olympiad Team consists of five members, one of which is Haberdashers’ Ben Dive. Ben was also named as joint winner of the National Physics Laboratory Prize, presented at the Royal Society in April. Ben will go on to represnnt the UK at the International Physics Olympiad in Mexico.
particle at others during experiments). It is an interesting debate and we know the philosophers amongst us are keenly anticipating it. With gigantic speakers such as Craig Venter, Simon Singh and Douglas Hofstadter in the pipelines, the future of Science Society is going to be an exciting one!
Casey Swerner L6
On Thursday 12 the March Professor Parham, Professor of biology, microbiology and immunology at Stanford University gave an interesting talk to the science society about the genetics of the immune system. He explained how genetically different our immune systems are and how this aids the human race in surviving viruses diseases. He also explained how the genes that help us fight viral diseases can actually be a disadvantage when it comes to reproducing . C Glanville
Charlie McTernan was one of five HABS boys to win medals at this year’s National Chemistry Olympiad before being selected to represent the UK at the international Chemistry Olympiad in Cambridge. Last year Tom Flint represented the UK at the international Biology Olympiad in Mumbai.
C Glanville 95
Skylark 2009 Clubs & Societies
Economics Society Economics Society worked with Young Entrepreneurs Society to present Tim Steiner, the co-founder and CEO of Ocado, who explained why Ocado was still growing rapidly during the recession and how despite turning over £400m last year, Ocado is still a relatively small player in the grocery market. He also shared some business plans for the future, such as a new iPhone application that will allow you to do your Ocado shop using your iPhone. On a slightly different note, we also heard from Khawar Mann, a partner at Apax Partners, who was spoke to us about private and state healthcare. The talk was enjoyed by economists and medics alike, and gave us an insight into the way in which private healthcare is run in comparison to public healthcare, and the subsequent impact on patients, employees and also shareholders. Mr Mann also offered us some thought on the inefficy NHS, which highlighted the importance and value of economic knowledge for those in charge of running it. We also heard from Professor Dennis Snower, Professor of Economics at Kiel University and President of the Kiel Institute for the World Economy, in a talk which was organised with the Girls’ School Economics Society. Professor Snower gave us his views on the causes, effects and possible solutions to the current economic crisis, which included tighter regulation of bank lending and an international rating standard for loans. However, despite meeting with prominent central bankers like Mervyn King and JeanClaude Trichet, the fact that his solution had not yet been tested meant that it is unlikely to be implemented. He also spoke about his dislike of inflation targets, and the fact that it should be shareholders, not future generations, who should be forced to pay for
Young Entrepreneurs Society The Young Entrepreneurs Society aims to be the one of the best societies in HABS, de facto the world. With this mission statement in mind Simon Tankel and his band entered the murky world of business and finance in September 2008. Competition for places was “by invitation only”; the entrepreneurial mavericks selected comprised Cliff, Dallal, EliteGoldman, Grant, Greane, Lewy, Roth, Yates, Vyas and Wiser. With the team assembled and ready for action all that was needed was an ally on the teaching staff. Tankel, despite being what can only be described as devastatingly beautiful, failed miserably in this role. On the recommendation of Lewy, economist par excellence, Mr Hall was signed up as society supervisor and team leader and was an effective mentor, cheerleader and diplomat. The season began in earnest with speakers every two weeks from the worlds of
the costs of bailing out companies. HABS has also enjoyed some success in the ifs Student Investor Portfolio Challenge, in which teams of four students trade FTSE 100 stocks with a virtual portfolio of £100,000. The top two teams in the school, namely Investock (Ravi Shah, Neeloy Banerjee, Anand Shah, Nakul Patel) and Hall’s Heroes (Phillip
economics, media and finance. The first speaker was leading Imperial Business School professor Simon Stockley, who gave an excellent introduction to the world of entrepreneurship. The rest came thick and fast including a number of old boys; Michael Rosen, still in his twenties, left the world of Park Lane private equity one lunchtime to allow us to come face to face with a “master of the universe.” The term brought significant excitement too; Young Entrepreneurs Society became the only school society in the world to have established a partnership with the worldleading Harvard Business School. This had significant benefits; they provided careers guidance, mentoring and advice on entrepreneurship. In addition we had a tremendous day out with their London alumni too; a £400 a head all expenses paid trip to the famous Entrepreneurs in London conference for our most senior eight members. The following term was even more successful. Two speakers in particular stood out however. Firstly we had the pleasure of welcoming Jeremy Coller, CEO of Coller Capital, which is
Chee, Muhammed Gulamhusein, Bhavik Patel, Krishna Patel) progressed to the South East England regional final held on 20th March at the ifs HQ, Monument. Unfortunately, neither of the teams could emulate the success of teamexcel, although both were agonisingly close!
Krishna Patel L6
leading private equity secondaries firm worldwide with a current fund approaching $8 billion dollars. The talk was popular beyond belief; fights broke out in a bid to gain a coveted seat, and hundreds were turned away. However our merry band was not to be deterred as our next speaker was Ocado CEO and founder Tim Steiner. Steiner’s visit generated a huge buzz around the school. With true entrepreneurial sprit they promised “free food” to all attendees, gate crashed many teachers’ lessons to promote the event and Wiser himself even sung the “Ocado man” song as the strongest attendance yet was ensured. Steiner’s passion for his business and fantastic drive were inspiring and highly motivational for all the listeners in a packed out Aske Hall; even though the “free food” was not exactly forthcoming all went back to class extremely happy.
Simon Tankel U6
Skylark 2009 Clubs & Societies
Habs Mountaineering Club The Mountaineering Club, lead by Rev. Markby and Mr Roncarati, took a group of mainly Year 9 boys to North Wales over the weekend of the 13/14th June. For many of the boys it was their first experience of serious hill walking and all were exemplary in the behaviour and determination. Tryfan is an imposing and formidable lump of rock and it became our challenge for Saturday. Visibility was good and the rock dry so we chose the classic North Ridge path with large sections of scramble and interesting gullies. Despite the challenging aspects of some sections of this route all made the summit (915m) in good time and were delighted at their achievement. Sunday was again fine and dry with excellent visibility and we headed up Cnicht (689m). It was a stunning walk with views across Snowdonia and out to the Irish Sea (“We could be on the set of Lord of the Rings”). Although tired from their exertions the day before the boys ‘dug deep’ and coped well with the boot enveloping bog and steep slopes. An excellent weekend all round!
Skylark 2009 Clubs & Societies
Politics Society As I write, the politics that we all know just might be in the process of dying. Amid calls for sweeping constitutional upheaval and the deep anger felt towards that pervasive image of the ‘greedy banker’, the recurring complaint has been a failure to involve and respond to ordinary people. This is an issue the Politics Society has taken to heart this year, responding so adeptly as to in fact have pre-empted the aforementioned crises. In a concerted attempt not only to inform and stimulate our members, but to involve them directly in our meetings, the committee, rightly I believe, feels a certain satisfaction in the reflection that there is much Mr Brown could have learnt from us. The year started with a familiar concept – the BBC’s ‘Question Time’ – made decidedly unfamiliar by a panel comprising entirely members of the HABS staff. The discussion was topical, varied, and very much in keeping with our goal of wider school involvement. Much of the meeting was set aside for audience questions, in which key issues were the future of the Labour party, the economy, and child protection. Dr StJohn’s thinly-veiled support for guild-feudalism was perhaps the highlight. Our next event again harnessed the school’s internal talent, as we hosted a talk by Dr Green, HABS philosophy teacher and University of London lecturer, on the politics of Plato’s republic. This event was unsurprisingly an enormous success. Our next talk was also from the field of academia. Dr Ilan Zvi Baron, a fellow of the LSE’s School of International Studies, spoke to us during the height of the Gaza conflict on his theory of immigrants’ dual loyalties. It is remarkable in one sense that this speaker was so very well received, given the intense controversy surrounding the issue at hand. After exposing our members to the more intellectual elements within politics, the speakers that followed were mostly drawn from the world of politics itself. Sir Trevor Chinn, chair of the Mayor’s Fund, spoke to us about poverty in London, its causes and solutions. It was refreshing to hear about public policy decisions occurring so close to ourselves and so far removed from the machinations of Westminster. Our member’s thirst to hear from an MP was duly quenched when Joan Ryan MP, a former Home Office Minister and whip, spoke on ‘Labour and the economic crisis’. The speech was a powerful defence of Labour’s
Warhammer Club Every week, on Thursday, Warhammer club comes to the D.T department to play Warhammer 40,000. There are 9 of us in total and we come to enjoy the main different ways Warhammer 40K figures can be used. Generally we play organised battles with certain winning objectives. However you can also paint them. In the club we teach people how to play and we discuss parts of the hobby we find interesting! Last year, at the end of year 7, I had the idea of a Warhammer club. I asked other people if they would be interested. I soon had a sheet of names, it seemed quite popular. So I carried on and asked Mr. Roncarti if he would let us use his lab to host it (as I already knew his son collected the figures). He said it was fine. Over the short time the club has been running, he has become an active part of the club. I realise that it would have been impossible without him. I would also like to thank George, who has helped to make scenery. He has shown a great level of enthusiasm for what we have been doing. Warhammer club had been successfully launched
Sebastian Binns Year 8
actions during the economic crisis, as well as an exploration more generally of the life and work of an MP, especially with regard to negotiating the course between conflicting loyalties: to constituents, to party, to leader, and of course, to country. We were fortunate enough to hear from Kevin Bakhurst, an Old Haberdasher who now sits as Controller of BBC News 24. The difficulties of how politics is reported were explored with great interest to the audience, and particular reference was made to the US election. The end of the Academic year saw our inaugural ‘No Confidence’ Debate, in which two teams of students debated the government’s recent performance and public esteem. At some point in the future, we will witness a General Election, and thus will run a Mock Election. The future has much in store for us in the Society. I am proud to say that this Society has managed both to continue in its long line of excellence and to establish a new outlook, one which I hope has stimulated greater involvement from the student body of the school. Thanks are of course due to Mr Reid, on whose continued guidance and invaluable experience we have relied. I should also like to thank my ViceChairman, Aaron Taylor, and Secretary, Matthew Worby, whose assistance to me in leading the Society has never been without good sense and good humour.
Hasan Dindjer L6
Skylark 2009 Clubs & Societies
The Wednesday evening life drawing sessions completed another successful year of classes in 2008 and 2009, and continued to provide an incredibly useful hour and a quarter in which anyone could come and practice their drawing skills. Maintaining the variety in medium that I have become accustomed to, the boys and girls who attended would have managed to produce a range of pictures in pencil, chalk and charcoal, pastel, graphite and ink: the classes truly uphold their nature as a valuable resource to all, teaching students skills in line, colour and composition. Towards the end of the year, I gave a session to the budding Year 9 artists of the Turner Club, whereby I tried to get them to draw with a fluency and spontaneity, without sacrificing the technical accuracy that makes a drawing from life particularly good. And although these skills may seem quite contradictory, it is by attending life drawing sessions over a sustained period of time that enables one to master them.
Skylark 2009 Houses
The main House Charity was the RNLI. As ever, the Calverts’ Christmas Fête was a great success, with boys of all years working together to produce high quality stalls. The forty-five minutes of fun, food and festive ferment raised over £300. In April, four intrepid Year 7s (Ed Birch, Ben Jones, Ranishka Kumarage and Alec Moore along with Mrs Moore) each swam a mile in the school pool and raised over £1500. Mo Abbas and Harry Brian ran a very successful Junior Football tournament. Doughnut sales have again been a source of charity cash and calories, with Marcus Chaplin (11C1) and his team being at the forefront.
Calverts’ have been strong in each of the three Work and Conduct shields. Calvertians have been prominent in School events and competitions. At various points of the Middle School Play you would have thought that the event was a Calverts House Play! The Crossman Shield Inter-House competition has proved to be a rollercoaster experience this year as we have gone from 6th to 3rd finishing in joint 4th in July. The Year 7s have settled in well to competitive sport, learning to compete with grit and grace. The Year 8 teams were formidable as they have shown real dedication and organisation in their approach. The Junior Table Tennis competition was a real highlight as was the Year 8 Rugby and Hockey; not only did they win it but they were then victorious all over again when the event had to be rerun!
Year 9 talked a good soccer game and played excellent Water-polo and Tennis. The Year 10/11 football team reached the final, having been ranked 6th the previous year and the Seniors fought hard in all their competitions. Chess and Debating remain vibrant with all teams being a credit to themselves and the House. My thanks must go to all the Calverts’ School Prefects and House Officials who contributed to the smooth running of the House but especially to Alex Parker (House Captain) who throughout his time here at school has been a true Calvertian: hard-working, energetic, loyal and dedicated. The dedicated team of tutors both new and ‘old’ has loyally supported the House once again. For most of the year we ‘lent’ Mrs Jones to the Junior School in her role as Head of Year 7. The new cohort of House Officials is already proving to be a very well motivated group of young men. As Sam Gaus and Alessandro Furlotti (U6C1) once said, ‘The future is bright, the future is navy blue’.
Skylark 2009 Houses
Like all House Captains, I took on the role with the intention of leading my house to glory in all of the house shields. However, this success has not been immediately forthcoming, despite a strong showing in Senior Work and Conduct. Thus the Hendersons leadership of this year will have to be content with having laid the foundations for the future triumph which will hopefully follow under the guidance of incoming House Captain Basil Letts and his dynamic deputies Ben Jacobs and Joshua Manasseh. This year, some might say that the Hendersons machine has been better oiled than ever before. Mr Lloyd Williams and his hard-working tutorial team continue to inspire enthusiasm and dedication from all under their care. After many years of trying, Hugh Brannan finally
secured victory in the inter-house table tennis with his partner Daniel Paul. Justin HornsbyCowan, Pierre Binfoh and Kishan Ragunathan excelled in the triumphant year 10 Athletics team on Sports Day. Meanwhile, Mr Donaghey’s mighty 7H warriors led by Sam Rodgers also won their event. The latest batch of young Hendersonians to serve and obey with pride possess great promise. Sadly not every event went our way. In inter house swimming many Hendersonians did not realise until too late that water was for racing as well as washing, drinking and splashing about in, but the Hendersons support remained vocal and unbowed to the end. Our football formations and tactics will not be a model to future generations of coaches. But inter house competition is not defined
solely by victory. The cliché about the importance of taking part and competing as best you can hold some truth in this matter. Inter house competitors are not professional athletes, in fact some will only play badminton once a year when called upon by their house. The true spirit of the inter house arena is witnessed when a boy gives his all in something of which he has little experience because his house needs him. This spirit of selfless togetherness is well fostered in Hendersons, thanks in no small part to our collective rocks Mr Lloyd-Williams and his deputy Mr Clark. The charitable achievements of the Hendersonian fraternity have been among our greatest ever. The Hendersons’ Charity Fun Run, now an annual fixture, was a glorious display of sponsored mayhem, with boxer shorts and grass skirts featuring prominently. Both however, were overshadowed by Mr Lloyd-Williams and his handsome hairpiece. With over £3,000 raised for Macmillan Cancer Support, all the boys who contributed can be rightly proud of themselves. Our trophy cabinet might remain empty but undoubtedly Hendersons is on the up.
Luke Tullo U6
Skylark 2009 Houses
Joblings is a House unlike any other. We do not pride ourselves upon the trophies that may stand in our cabinet, nor do we seek to unduly glorify members of our House with a plethora of prizes and edible rewards. No, Joblings is a House that has transcended these hedonistic values and maintains a dignified air during its day to day business. And in times of drought (trophy-drought, that is), when all seems futile and hopelessness reigns, and all we have left is faith – there is something within the students of Joblings that will not let us avert our eyes, it will not let us give in and hang up our rugby kit, it will not let us bow out because there is no dignity in that. Instead we dig deep within ourselves, to something that stretches beyond loyalty and courage and in doing so, prove ourselves
worthy of belonging to this noble House. There has been a lot to learn over the past year for us as a House. As experienced faces disappear, more particularly our archery lord, Ben Gan, our hockey whizz, Anthony Pieri and our swim-king Adam Maxwell, we look to the new faces of Joblings to take up those very mantles to steer us towards higher success. With polished performances from the older years in cross country, hockey, archery and shooting we say goodbye to the old hands that have guided us through this year with confidence. The younger years must look on and learn from the successes that the upper sixth have had. On behalf of the House, I would like to thank the out-going upper sixth formers, Simon Oke, the House Captain, Anthony Pieri and Phillan Amin, the Vice Captains and the
rest of the Joblings Team – you have done us proud. However, strengths still remain within the House – the table tennis champions Anesh Patel and Neeloy Banerjee still reside amongst us. The athleticism of the soon-to-be year 12s has not gone unnoticed and the younger Jobloids are showing signs of increased commitment in inter-House events. Badminton ability extends throughout the House and our enthusiasm for cricket and hockey is unrivalled. Improvements on the disciplinary front would bring us a step closer to the trophies and next year we hope to see an increased amount of support in the inter-House events. I fear our long-standing tradition of being dire at swimming may live on, now Maxwell is gone, and we shall have to live with it but otherwise further success is very much within our grasp. It is not rewards that we seek, merely the smile upon Mr Dathan’s face when he knows we have tried our best. It is not for victory over others that we strive, but victory over our own fears. And it is not the applause and spoils for which we win, but for the handshake that we receive from Mr Swallow – for there is nothing more important to us than being acknowledged.
Neeloy Banerjee L6
Skylark 2009 Houses
‘Audaci Favet Fortuna’ - ‘Fortune favours the bold.’ No wonder that Meadows are once again at the forefront of nurturing excellence. It is relatively easy, in fact, to summarise the year in one word: a word that epitomises Meadows in the Haberdashers’ sphere of influence; a word that every boy in the house has resting on his lower lip; and, while beating the imaginary drum of purple pride and ambition, can look out across the field of battle, and smile with fatigued elation at those they passed along the way. That word, dear reader, is success. Our new Year 7’s have proven something of a force to be reckoned with this year, clocking up wins in the chess, basketball, and the joint Year 7 and 8 badminton and water polo competitions, clearly making their mark within the school. While the Year 8 and 9 combined chess team also tasted victory, so did their respective hockey teams – displaying determination and dedication at all levels within the house. Finally, wins in the Year 9 and 10 rugby, the year 10/11 football and the modern languages quiz, represented the much sought after balance between brains and brawn. Mr. Bagguley has consistently sought to improve the house. He has moulded the young and vulnerable into the men you see today. Never has one man lost so much hair to ensure that the pinnacles of ambition are reached. Much appreciated support comes from the well loved Mr Simm, who, with his 104
musical talents and boyish good looks, has been of vital importance in charming the other housemasters into a state of delirium. When their defences are down he delivers the final injection of fervent passion right into the veins of the house. Fortunately, we had the two most organised men in Britain, Kelvin Wong and Rohan Sheth, working tirelessly to ensure that an assembly is always on hand when all four boys scheduled to do one have suddenly contracted swine flu, and that the duty rota is still the envy of all other houses. Michael Hinstridge’s audio/visual prestige has also impressed, with the retiring
Mr. Corrall, after witnessing some of Michael’s magic in the end of term video, describing it as “the best house assembly he had ever seen”. Meadows has long held the patent for success within the school and with great responsibility resting on the capable, innocent heads of the next house team, I predict an even better year to follow. To present and future Meadowsians: ‘Be not afraid of greatness; some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them.’ Either way, it is never far away.
Rishi Naidoo U6
Skylark 2009 Houses
‘Cometh the hour, cometh the man,’ these words neatly sum up the maxim by which, moment to moment, members of Team Russells live their lives. Under the enthusiastic leadership of the U6th House Prefects, House Tutors, Mr Hardman and Mr Todhunter, the tending of the Russells ‘Greenhouse,’ has ensured that the journey of students from sapling to mighty oak has continued with great effect. After holding second place position consistently in the house trophies in recent years, hopes were high that 2008-9 would prove a breakthrough year for the house. To that end Russells’ lads, full of the house spirit of determination pumped their way round Aldenham reservoir in the cross country event and took up an early position atop the Crossman hierarchy; continued triumphs in debating and senior basketball tightened our grip on the house shields. As the year progressed a hotly contested battle for the Crossman emerged with our old rivals – Meadows. Despite success across the board in water polo and swimming the points remained neck and neck and as the end of the year drew close the hopes of a whole house would rest on the final event, the inter-house athletics. Team Russells needed a first place win to beat Meadows. We won the Athletics Shield, but not by the 12 point margin we needed to secure the Crossman Inter-House Competition Shield. Uncharacteristically low scores in the middle and senior school Work and Conduct shields
sadly harmed our average and we finished the year in second place for the overall shield, the Dunton. However, far removed from the furor of interhouse sports, Russells prides itself on being the house most involved in all areas of school life. We are known for seizing opportunity and seeking the development of well rounded character in the face of a school system that may at times be too focused on competition. Our involvement in charity is a reflection of this: The London to Brighton Bike Ride; Ukelele busking in the lunch queue; Wings of Hope (3 Russells’ boys being the national winners) have all raised copious amounts of money for worthy causes as well as providing the participants with valuable experiences. Indeed all this before mentioning the formidable Ironman challenge, the school’s most prolific charity event, now in its sixth year, having raised over £42,000 for the Teenage Cancer Trust. As well as charity, the house continues to develop the spirit of involvement that have seen members of Team Russells form large portions of those involved, in drama, music and the flagship HABSMUN Model United Nations.
committed to training and mentoring the younger years. The Russells’ house tutors have similarly been unwavering in their enthusiasm; their amassed knowledge and experience is passed on to boys ever-grateful for advice and guidance. Finally, Mr Hardman and Mr Todhunter, both giants of gusto and reliability have continued to inspire and lead the house to great victories. I am sure many years of Russells’ lads will continue to benefit from their supportive manner and inimitable passion. To oversee a House of such dedicated young men who consistently go beyond what is expected of them has been a great pleasure for my fellow U6th leavers and me. I would like to wish Branavan Rudran and his team of Prefects every good fortune for next year. I am sure that whatever successes they will have will also be matched by the continued cultivation of team spirit, good humour and mutual support that I have been so privileged to receive in my seven years in Russells.
Charlie Reith U6
Team Russells would not function as the unstoppable force that it is without the hard work and dedication of many individuals who have been unwavering in the support of the Russells’ mission statement. My two Vice Captains Randal Cliff and Tharun Puvaneswaren have both been dedicated winmen and have led a heroic year of U6 prefects 105
Skylark 2009 Houses
Hubris is a word which some may use to describe the attitude of boys in Strouts, and reading the House Captain’s report one might be forgiven for believing this to be true. I believe the boys in Strouts are indeed proud of their House, but proud for the right reason – they are not arrogant, but rather quietly confident and self-assured. Mrs Wijeratna and I have been very proud of all the boys in Strouts this year. They have turned out in force to either play in or support every House event, with some outstanding performances particularly in the tennis, football, cross-country and table tennis. Special mention must go to Edward Allchorne, year 10, who scored the most individual points in the inter-house swimming competition, narrowly beating boys in the upper sixth.
Other highlights of the year focus on the House charity events. Last year Strouts raised over £3400 for Cancer Research UK. This year we are raising money for Rays of Sunshine and through Rishi Chotai’s monthly cake sales, the launch of Will Thong’s homemade lemonade and the sixth form Easter Egg tombola, Strouts are building another fine total for 2009, while of course underlining the importance of healthy eating throughout! House Captain Niall Moore and his team did an excellent job of motivating the younger boys throughout the year; Niall leading from the front through his witty speeches, James Tan never once failing to put out a full sports team, Rishi Chotai moneymaking charity man extraordinaire, Jonny Parr mentoring the new year 7 boys into shape and Rishin Patni who quietly held everything together to help the House run seamlessly. Finally, special thanks must go to the House tutors for all their hard work in looking after the boys and for helping them pass through another stage of life at Haberdashers’. And of course I would like to congratulate Mrs Wijeratna on the birth of her second daughter Amelie Anouk, as well as share the exciting news that I myself got engaged at Christmas to Miss Valentine. The future looks bright for Strouts.
This year, the House of Strouts has dominated the HABS house scene, violating the competition to within an inch of their lives. At the time of writing Strouts currently holds 3rd place in the Crossman shield, quietly biding their time, bringing everyone else into a false sense of security and then……..BAM – victory. Should you be reading this report in 10 years time, let it be known that Strouts, the bastion of achievement and obliteration, rises in glory once again. We do not bow to statistics, we thrive only on the knowledge that there are few who can bear the Golden Glory in all its….err….glory.
Niall Moore U6
I’ve been assured by the men with the numbers that the Dunton shield (the holy grail of house trophies) is almost in our clutches, and for good reason. Sport this year has been under the auspices of James Tan; a man clearly blessed with his compatriots’ ability to win Olympic medals, a gift duly passed on to our younger boys. Debating gave us an opportunity to exercise our rhetorical dominance, stunning Hendersons and Meadows into submission. Our philanthropic side was brought to the forefront this year as the boys endeavoured to raise money for worthy causes such as Cancer Research UK and Save A Mole’s Japanese branch, despite overweening apathy. Under the supreme leadership of the supportive Mrs Wijeratna and her trusty sidekick Mr Thackrey, Strouts has blossomed, creating a serene and well-oiled environment for cultivating the able minds of our troops.
CCF / SCS
Skylark 2009 CCF/SCS
CCF Contigent Commanderâ€™s Report The CCF has had another very successful year. With 125 new recruits joining in Year 10 the contingent now has a total membership of 350. We took a record number of cadets on Field Day to Ampthill Park, to our Tri-Service Adventure training Camp at Otterburn in Northumberland, to Army Summer Camp at Warcop in Westmoreland and on our Silver Duke of Edinburgh Expedition to the Yorkshire Dales. The overall total at Otterburn was 138 Cadets and 20 Staff. The numbers now completing the Duke of Edinburgh Award is also impressive: 70 Bronze, 50 Silver and 12 Gold. Summer Camp to Warcop was a great success and saw the Army Section emerge victorious in the inter-school competition for the second year in a row. Victory in the outdoor range competition at Warcop, firing the SA80, completed a very impressive year for the shooting team. The Shooting Team also won the Winney Trophy (the CCF Competition for Hertfordshire) with Rishin Patni taking the medal for top shot and Miles Kaye taking the medal for top shot with a Number 8 Rifle. The CCF team came 8th in the Team of Eight Cup (the BSSRA national cup competition) and Cadets dominated the school A team which retained the Emsall Trophy (the Hertfordshire Cup) and came 5th in the Team of Eight Cup. The CCF team also took on the Old Boys at Bisley firing 7.62 at 600m which was organised by Dick Winney one of our cadets from the 1950s
saying goodbye to 2Lt Jon Corrall who has been a very strong supporter of the CCF in his position of Deputy Head with responsibility for extra-curricular activities. We will miss his conviviality and humour. Although 2Lt Wigley has left the school I am pleased to say that he is remaining as a member of the CCF and will continue to entertain us all with his very wide ranging knowledge and anarchic sense of humour. Corporal Major Gaddes, is also leaving us to join the Cadet Training Team in Dubai after a eventful year as our SSI. Finally, Lt Carl Watts has taken up a position as Lecturer in War Studies at the University of Birmingham. He will be missed for his energy, enthusiasm and love of discipline as well as his encyclopaedic knowledge of all military matters. We welcome Sub Lt Mike Cucknell who joined the Navy Section in April. He is a talented sailor and navigator who enjoys outward bound pursuits and was a real asset to the corps on our expeditions in the Yorkshire Dales and the Cheviot Hills.
Lt Dixon is standing down as Head of the Navy Section and she is being replaced by Lt Commander Hardman who has made an exceptional contribution to all aspects of CCF life for the last 15 years and this year led the Silver Expedition to Northumberland. We are
The CCF social calendar is as busy as ever. The Old Boysâ€™ Reunion Dinner at the RAF Club Piccadilly was a very enjoyable occasion where over 100 old boys, cadets and officers were entertained by our guest speaker Nigel Easton who is Deputy Colonel of the Fusiliers in London. He has been a great supporter of the Army Section. In 2007 he helped arrange Army Summer Camp with the Fusiliers in Cyprus and in July he hosted our Year 10 Cadets at Regimental Headquarters at the Fusiliers Officers Mess in the Tower of London. He gave us an entertaining account of the battle of Minden amongst other formative developments in the history of the Fusiliers. As ever, we thanked the Upper Sixth Form at a dinner at the Tower of London for all their hard work and said farewell to them and their parents at our open afternoon in May. The Section Heads Julian Palmer (Navy), Jonathan Parr (Army) and Anthony Rumford (RAF) and the senior cadets have managed to maintain the very high standards of the CCF and pass on a thriving organisation to the next generation.
N Saddington (Contingent Commander)
Skylark 2009 CCF/SCS
The army section has had a fantastic year. Under the leadership of RSM Johnny Parr, the section has expanded to greater numbers following the intake of 60 year 10 cadets in September. The army section is now the largest of the three sections and will hopefully continue to expand in the years to come. On the very first Friday afternoon, the cadets were marched up and down the square learning drill which is a very basic requirement of military discipline. To this day, some cadets still cannot perform drill correctly. The army section’s first Field Day was joint with the navy section, with the Year 10 cadets and the L6 heading off to Ampthill, Bedfordshire. The evening started out with a gentle 5Km walk into camp, a night exercise involving, glow sticks and the ability to evade capture by the L6, followed by a night under the stars. The next morning, leadership tasks were setup by members of the L6 and they pulled out all the stops to ensure that a memorable time was had by the Year 10s. In the weeks after Field Day, the Year 10s started their weapon handling lessons and in the following weeks took their weapon handling tests. However the techniques used to teach
the Year 10s were somewhat questionable as many cadets had to retake their tests two or three times. This may, however, have been due to the new tougher, more stringent MOD guidelines for rifle tests. Over the winter months, the cadets endured the hard labour of going over the assault course over and over again until they had set times that were of reasonable standard. However trying to cross the monkey bars just after it has been raining remains a challenge. The second Field Day of the year took place in Crowborough, East Sussex. Although the day had been meticulously planned by C. Sgt Ben Gan, a series of unfortunate events lead to much of the day’s activities being cancelled. We had been due to go paintballing and take part in a platoon level blank firing exercise. Due to the unforeseen circumstance of a paintball gun exploding in a boy’s face the day before we arrived, we were unable to participate as the entire batch of paintball guns was recalled with fears over safety. In the end, the L6 and Year 10s went onto the assault course and afterwards went live firing on the range. The U6 and Year 11s hid themselves in a field and arranged a camouflage and concealment exercise themselves.
Over the following weeks, the cadets were put through the paces of learning section battle drills and patrol formations. Every week between March and May, these skills were refined and practised by the cadets. The last Field Day of the academic year takes place in June and normally the section heads to Area H, Camberley. At this time of year, the exam season is almost over, the Year 11s are on their summer break and the U6 prepare to leave for good. Cadets from the L6 plan this field day and is every year enjoyed by cadets and officers alike. Thanks must go to Capt Simm, Capt Roncarati, 2Lt Watts, 2Lt Simm, Maj Saddington, Maj Lloyd-Williams and W02 Gaddes for the time and effort they have invested to make this year an unforgettable one.
Adrian Ko L6
Skylark 2009 CCF/SCS
Royal Navy The Royal Navy section this year has enjoyed a brilliant year, led ably by the senior team of Julian Parmar, Tharun Puvaneswaren and Charles Reith. Thanks must go to their assiduous commitment to the section. The field days were executed with precision, and immense enjoyment was had by all. The October Field Day saw the year 10 cadets camping at Ampthill, with the U6 adding an interesting twist to the wide game, using glow sticks to mark the lower years. On the second day the ingenuity of the L6 shone through with the various leadership tasks. It gave the years a taste of what is to come at Otterburn, the various naval courses and the Army summer camp. When the winter weather started to draw in, sensibly, the section moves indoors. We use this time to complete the essential topics of the syllabus. While both years 10 and 11 were learning useful skills from navigation to meteorology, the L6 gave their peers lecturettes. These were small talks on a variety of topics including naval stereotypes and ‘Boats’ lasting around half an hour.
With spring coming late this year, outdoor activities were eagerly anticipated. Raft building and the assault course were frequented, as too was the reservoir. The Spring Field Day saw the section travel down to Portsmouth, where the Year 10s viewed the heritage tour and the L6 went sailing. A small taste of proper naval life was given, from sleeping in the packed ‘mess decks’ of the HMS Bristol, an experience not forgotten, to the obligatory MOD full English breakfast. This was made all the more appetising due to the extended march from the bunks to the dining hall. The Tri-Service Easter training camp, at Otterburn Camp, played host to a significant number of Royal Naval cadets. Activities ranging from Mountain biking to Quad biking were experienced by the Year 10s, with the week climaxing in a Duke of Edinburgh Bronze expedition. The mild night was deemed bitterly harsh by the cadets, who were forced to live off a MOD 24 hour ration pack, and whatever Mummy had the foresight to pack. Arguably a tough challenge, considering everything had to be carried to the campsite, in a journey of roughly 12 kilometres. The leadership of Major
Saddington over the week, and his committed band of officers, helped the camp run smoothly, to which every participant was grateful. We look forward to his taking charge of the upcoming Yorkshire Duke of Edinburgh trip in the summer of 2009. While a number of new staff have joined the RN CCF team, they have done so with enthusiasm and commitment to rival Lt Cdr Hardman, who once again has cajoled, listened and motivated all the members of the section tirelessly. Thanks must also go to Lt Dixon, whose organisational prowess has enabled the section to advance to where it is today. The section is a reflection on those who lead it, from the organisation, to the activities. With this in mind the group of new SNCOs look forward to next year, hoping to build on the good work of Julian’s team, with one eye always on the upcoming BGI competition.
Matthew Worby L6
Royal Air Force The HABS RAF section has enjoyed a successful year under the tutelage of the ever-present Warrant Officer Anthony Rumford and his reliable deputies B. Dive & P. Amin. In September many fruitful ideas were brought to the fore in order to continue the progress of the section in its ultimate goal of regaining the much coveted BGI Trophy, which currently lies in the hands of the Army section. In light of this, traditional wide games were revolutionised with exercises involving various flights rescuing their respective flight sergeants from the opposition’s fortresses, commonly known as the “passion gates”, by following map directions and working as a team. Furthermore, the younger RAF cadets indulged in new games, involving leadership and team-work, most notably in an activity lead by J. Constance involving negotiations and trust between two teams in order to obtain their objectives. These new initiatives have been well supported with CCF excursions to a variety of adventure camps and RAF bases, where the cadets have gained from the invaluable advice of officers of rank within the Royal Air Force, who have given up their time to further our understanding of the essential skills which are not only pivotal within the forces, but within the realms of society. Activities which have challenged our cadets on these trips have included the “high 110
ropes” assault course, raft building competitions, wall climbing, and several leadership tasks. The annual “Inter-Flight” trophy has been a great success with the level of endeavour by the various flights highly commendable. The “Inter-Flight” trophy went to Flight 4 who continue to dominate the competition with their meticulous drill and knack for victory in almost all activities. The individual award, namely, the Rajani Trophy, was awarded to B. Rudran. This year’s Senior NCO’s leave the section in the capable hands of A. Campbell,
M.Naughton, O.Cohen & B.Rudran. Thanks must go to Squadron Leader Bass and Flying Officers Whiteman, Thackeray, Oldfield & Stiff, for chaperoning the section with their individual brands of humour and, of course, A. Rumford and all his team for all their hard work. With spirits high in the section, the BGI Trophy awaits.
Branavan Rudran L6
Skylark 2009 CCF/SCS
Skylark 2009 CCF/SCS
SCS SCS History Under the helpful guidance of Dr Sloan, Jonathan Metzer and Adam Landa toiled hard transforming a donation of almost 1000 books into the new HABS Military History Library. We worked hard, cataloguing vast quantities of text, until they we established a library soon to be the envy of the Bodleian, including (among other restricted works) a pamphlet on Soviet Arms of 1969, compiled by US Intelligence. As history is a passion of ours, we found performing our SCS duties to be a joy rather than a chore. Adam Landa and I will certainly miss our work on the Military History Library and we look forward to, in the future, collaborating again to produce another historical collection.
Jonathan Metzer L6
The Military History Library was opened in September 2009 by Mr Lionel Leventhal. Mr Leventhal and his son, Michael (OH), donated 2,000 military history books to the School, forming the basis of the new library. The Leventhals have been publishers of military history books for many years, amassing a large collection which they have been generous enough to give to Michael’s old school. There are books on naval history, aviation, Napoleon, Operation Barbarossa and many other topics. R Sloan
Leavesden Green Young Engineers Over the first two terms of the academic year, four lower sixth boys; Richard Berman, Adam Pack, Sam Briggs and Suraj Malde ran an after school Science society for the Leavesden Green Primary school. Accompanied by Mr. McKane, we set off to try and inspire a dozen 10-year-olds to unleash their scientist within. Every week on Friday afternoon, we were delighted with the number of pupils who decided to attend and sacrifice their finger painting time to learn about the exciting world of Physics.
We prepared a wide variety of activities for the pupils, including volcanoes, spaghetti bridges, electrical circuits and slime making. Despite our best efforts, some activities did prove to be very messy requiring much tidying up! The pupils always responded very well to the activities and we all enjoyed learning more about the children. Overall, our experiences visiting the Leavesden Green school were much enjoyed. We have acquired a number of skills from the workshops. These include knowing how to talk to young children of all different backgrounds
Princess Alexandra For four pupils of the school, Friday afternoons have become a highlight of the week. Not because of the weekend but our sure love of visiting the residents at Princess Alexandra Care Home. What started as rather simple conversations has grown into a multitude of organised games and activities. As the weeks have progressed, we have learnt much about the residents themselves. They have expressed great interest in retelling their lives and indeed their hopes for the future. Our weekly visits to the Bushey home for the elderly have often left us with a feeling of satisfaction as we mull over the afternoon’s events. Many residents were involved in World War Two ensuring every visit is an exciting one. The best way to describe the home is as a ‘labyrinth of friendly faces’ and it is true to say that wherever you go, you are sure to be captivated by the memorable stories which the residents have to offer. Marcus Chaplin Year 11
and personalities and, crucially, remembering not to leave 8-year-olds alone with slime in a classroom.
Richard Berman L6
Skylark 2009 CCF/SCS
HABS Archive This year has been a very interesting year in the HABS archive room. We have had many enquiries about the school, which culminated in a project for the St Albans and Hertfordshire Architectural and Archaeological society. Many pictures were picked out, researched and scanned onto a computer in order to enable our archivist, Mr Cheyney, to give a presentation about the school using the pictures. Another enquiry meant we had to bury deep into the archives to find information about a teacher (Joseph Ryder) who had been at HABS between 1878 and 1898. We had to use very old editions of Skylark magazine and report books to help with the enquiry. There was also a person interested in a Mr Galley who had left Northumberland Cricket club to join HABS as chief grounds man!
SCS Junior Debating “Why are you here?” I asked of the boys lined up outside E14, waiting for the first of many hearty debates. “Because we love arguing!” “Because we want to get our way at home!” “We want to be inspired by you, Freddie!” All of these were immediately called out (except perhaps the last one), and so we began. The majority of people who came along had no debating experience at all, and so were eager to learn how it was done. To help them, I produced a sheet of basic guidelines, and with Ameya Tripathi we started to teach them how to structure an argument, how to write a speech, and how to present their points of view in public. To encourage quick thinking and spontaneity we played a variety of speaking games, such as Just a Minute and Devil’s Advocate, as well as encouraging them to think about points for both sides of an argument. After only a couple of weeks we were ready for our first proper debate - everyone knew what their role on the table was, and spoke about why we should/shouldn’t ban smoking. After that, they only improved. We progressed to debates about private vs. public healthcare, curfews and some more challenging debates to do with international cooperation and economics that required some preparation. Ameya and I are both very pleased with the progress that has been made over the past year of coaching, especially amongst some of the younger boys. Some of them, who could previously barely ask to go to the toilet without a printed script, have blossomed into confident and articulate speakers. I hope that they continue their debating careers, and would also like to emphasise what a difference being able to express oneself makes both during school, and in later life.
Tom and I also prepared an archive display for open day containing, amongst other things, a Sergeant stick belonging to an ex-Haberdasher who had subsequently died in the Second World War. Tom and myself have had a very good year and we would like to thank the ever-knowledgeable pairing of Mr Cheyney and Dr St John for their continued efforts this year.
Harry Krais Year 10
Finally, I would like to thank Mrs Pollock and Mrs Gleeson for supervising the club, and offering the boys additional guidance over the past year. I really appreciated the help from both of those teachers back in the day when I was in Junior Debating, and I know that the current members do as well. I would also like to thank Ameya for running the club alongside me, and whose quick and cheeky wit made it more enjoyable for everyone.
Freddie Fulton L6
Skylark 2009 CCF/SCS
SCS Props With the start of a new school year at HABS the SCS Props team faced the annual challenge of preparing props and materials for the Upper, Middle and Lower School plays. As ever, worked started early, with the arrival of Alan Bennett’s “The Madness of George III” looming ominously in December. And, although Mr. Norton helped to alleviate our suffering by opting for a more minimalist approach with the set itself, we were still tasked with extending our traditional budget of nothing in as efficient a manner possible. Undeterred, we pressed onwards, creating a series of broaches and medals for Sam Brigg’s character, the Prince of Wales; a four poster bed in the shape of a trapezium (in order to fake perspective); and the chair for the somewhat infamous bloodletting scene that ends the first act. However, our work done and Christmas holidays only recently over, we had precious
tea. And, although our “Gasolne” canisters may have missed the mark, I’m glad to say that the audience did not notice our mistake.
little time to rest, with the Middle School adaptation of the satirical German play “The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui” (a joint effort by Miss Heinen and Miss Morris-Wolffe) only around the corner. This presented us with the most amount of work, charging us with the task of designing and creating a faux-Nazi symbol to represent the fictional Cauliflower Trust, which we then painted onto banners and arm bands; three wreaths with cauliflowers for leaves; and period newspapers stained with
Unfortunately, with a group comprising solely of Year 11 and Lower Sixth students, by the time the Junior School play, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, approached, public exams were on the horizon. Indeed, with the advent of block leave the group quite literally disappeared from school, and it was only a fortunate coincidence that Mr. Cox chose a production heavy on digital projection rather than physical props. (And yet, I don’t know what he would have done had he decided otherwise.) Nevertheless, with a new school year ahead, we will be given ever more challenges to meet and tasks to fulfill: perhaps a dead body or two, some decapitated heads, or even some decidedly un-kosher pork pies.
Gregory Steckelmacher L6
Heath House This year at Heath House, a care home for the elderly, has been a thoroughly enjoyable one. Every Friday, a group of Haberdashers’ Boys have descended upon the home to entertain the residents. After some initially awkward sessions of trying to get to know the residents and their varying levels of auditory awareness, Marc Charles, Spencer Richards and I were quickly made to feel at home by both the residents. We enjoyed many interesting conversations covering a wide variety of topics including American politics, Deal or No Deal and, the timeless classic, the weather. The residents were never afraid to delve into their past, and we were treated to many interesting tales of world war, love, and the ‘good ol’ days’. On one occasion, a resident informed us that he had built the Bourne Hall. We would often entertain the residents with a quiz or, a favourite past-time in care homes everywhere, bingo. We always enjoyed the feeling when presenting the winner with his or her prize from the ‘cupboard of mysteries’. This could include anything from luxury shampoo to talcum powder. Sometimes, the SCS Music
group would take over the reins, and treat the residents to some of their favourite musicians, including Bach and Jimi Hendrix. On other occasions, Spencer Richards would entertain
the residents with his masterful piano playing.
Jordan Walsh L6
Radlett Lodge Every Tuesday afternoon, Elan Shuker, George Watson and I visit Radlett Lodge. As a school founded by the National Autistic Society, it provides the necessary support and care for a large number of children on the Autistic spectrum, with some boarding on a weekly basis. Upon arriving at the school, we are greeted by the amiable and friendly staff, who help us organise activities for children. Over the weeks, we have become well acquainted with the children and have even developed friendships with them. We have all found the visits to be both an incredibly worthy and enjoyable way to spend a Tuesday afternoon, and certainly a fantastic endorsement of the benefits of the SCS system. As well as having personally found the experience to be very educational and enjoyable, we have grown to value the importance of giving up our time to helping others. We would like to offer our thanks to Dr Lexton for setting aside time every week to accompany us to the school and for transporting us.
Joe Attan L6 114
Skylark 2009 Sport
Rugby 1st XV This has been a season of ifs, buts and maybes for the 1st XV. The misfortune which led to us being unable to field a full strength side once throughout the season proved difficult to overcome. Our solitary two victories came against UCS and Dr Challoner’s. The first was not our best performance, but it was a victory nonetheless. The second was our most successful game as we ran out victors, 28-0. The match against QE Boys’ left us ruing missed chances and missed tackles as we conceded a try in the final play of the game which vanquished any hopes of victory with the defeat being by only two points. Against Latymer, having defended stoutly in the first half, the score at halftime was 0-0. HABS then dominated the second half, but as the clock ticked away, all we had to show for it was three points. Then, with a minute to play, in their first meaningful foray into HABS’ territory that side of halftime, Latymer scored. There was just time to kick off, but the game had slipped through our grasp, finishing 5-3.
2ND XV Mentoring my friends has been a real honour as captain of the 2nd XV and I really feel that under Mr. Bagguley’s leadership, the team has flourished. I feel that my role has been one of nurturing the excellence of the second team this season, as best shown in our inspirational win at the expense of a supremely fit Mill Hill side. The team must take great heart for fighting so bravely in their quest for victory. Indeed it is this fighting spirit of the team that I have been particularly proud of. Such determination was no more apparent than against the strapping Tiffin side who led by 14 points with just 5 minutes to go. However, a gargantuan effort from Newcastle born-and-bred Zuby Okoye led the team to a 22 all draw with none other than the captain himself going over for a try in the final seconds of the match. Excellent back-play bought wins against Bishops Stortford and Watford GS which highlighted the team’s ability to take great pleasure in physically dominating their opponents. Despite the fact that I, the captain, was unable to attend 27% of the games due to external and unavoidable circumstances, Branavan Rudran ably led the team to defeats against UCS and Bedford Modern. It was not solely Mr. Rudran’s fault though, as our forward pack was frankly unable to compete against those who were no different to a herd of Arctic walruses parading through the depth of the Ocean in search of sufficient plankton to feed their ravenous families.
The majority of our other defeats were by more comprehensive margins in matches against teams who we could not match physically. Despite this, our commitment on match days was never in doubt. Even when a match was lost, valiant defending was sustained to the very end. Creditable performances resulted, both as individuals and as a team. However, in the second half of the season, we suffered from being unable to get the ball over the opposition line. Each game we showed glimpses of fluidity and skill as tackles were broken and offloads collected, but at the crucial moment, we let ourselves down with our decision-making or handling. The final season of sport is always an emotional time for those Upper Sixth who know their last match for the school is bearing rapidly down on them after years of effort, shared triumph and shared defeat. As the end approaches, you hope that whatever happens, you can look back and not have too many regrets. Obviously, I regret only winning two matches this season, and I regret not being able to win my final match for HABS, but I do not regret the manner in which we played, I do not regret playing with and for my team mates, and I do not regret giving my all, for I know that those alongside me were doing their utmost, just as I was. You often learn more in defeat than in victory, and although this is not a reason to seek it out, it is a reason for those who have represented the 1st XV to hold their heads high and move on, whether it be away from HABS rugby or to next season for the school, where the potential for greater success lies waiting to be fulfilled.
Luke Tullo U6 116
Special mention must go to the inspiration that is Mr. Bagguley, who passed on many a pearl of wisdom; but this is the one I leave you with: “A strong positive mental attitude will create more miracles than any wonder drug.”
Jonathan Graham U6
Skylark 2009 Sport
U16B The Under 16 B team enjoyed an outstandingly successful season, maintaining a 100% record until the very last game when they went down at Merchant Taylor’s by a single score. In truth, there had been several occasions earlier in the season when they might have lost, notably in the match against Stowe, when the team were 12 – 17 down in the last play, until Declan Spiro picked up a great off-load and burst through some ineffectual tackling to score under the posts. Tom Roberts coolly slotted the conversion for the narrowest of wins.
U16A Under the lively captaincy of Marco Marcello, the Under 16 A XV enjoyed a challenging and successful season. The squad is blessed with athletic talent, capable of some excellent attacking rugby and, because of their versatility, will have positional decisions to make in the off-season. However, the first weeks of term saw a need to be committed to the basics of ball-winning and retention before any consistency emerged. A crucial step-up at this level is in game awareness and decision making under pressure. The team grew steadily in these areas, putting together five wins in seven matches in the second half of the season. Our best performances came in a superb away win at Bedford Modern and in victories over Watford, Stowe, Mill Hill, Berkhamsted and UCS. We played exciting, skilful rugby which employed our swift backs and ball handlers. Our front row of Hakim, Finger and Kaiser was very effective and enjoyed the scrum, with Finger hooking some crucial tight head ball from his opposition. Ball improved his lineout jumping to gain the A XV spot alongside a powerful Misra, in the second row. Our back row contained elements of skill, brute force and good humour. The captain, Marcello, was an unflagging example to his team and a mature presence, having played superbly in Argentina. He was well supported by a talented and physically intimidating pair in Lehman and Olorunshola. Oli Goldstein was unlucky to be injured and was a great support when fit. In the backs, McCormick played with more vision at scrum-half and boxkicked well while Charlie Johnson became a key decision maker and lively communicator at fly-half. His partnership with Jenkins and HughesMontoute was developed on the summer tour to Argentina, with both centres providing fine service to the demands of their positions. Alex Hughes-Montoute, in particular, tackled with extraordinary bravery and saved the line on countless occasions. We had a positional change in Anidugbe’s move to the wing and this allowed his free-spirited attacking instincts to emerge as a try-scorer and exciting runner. On the other wing, Edmunds had moments of great flair and his hurdling pace was an asset. Griffin was injured just when he was beginning to develop as a player and he is an inspiring tackler but we found a fine athlete and physically robust figure in Declan Spiro to cover at fullback. He is an excellent place kicker and converted many points with his football skills. We must note the outstanding season of the B XV, unbeaten until their final match under the guidance of Dr Mike Lexton. Their efforts are a fitting tribute to the 32 seasons of rugby that Dr Lexton has given to the School as a vital figure and terrific support for the boys and colleagues who have had the privilege to work alongside him.
This achievement was not accidental. The Under 16 B team has a wealth of ball-playing and athletic talent, but what marked the boys out was their competitive edge in both attack and defence. While the team lacked bulk and therefore some power, the front row of Niral Panchal, Adam Pabani and James Hoenig were always able to hold their own in the tight and usually had the better of the collisions and the breakdown; their consistency was a huge factor in the team’s success. Dominic Edwards proved an effective number seven when he was drafted in part way through the season. He read the game intelligently and played with considerable skill and commitment; a bonus was the quality of his jumping in the lineout. The blindside flanker position was rotated through much of the season with neither Nii Cleland nor Tosin Oshinyemi able to establish the position as their own, the latter also playing with success on the wing. In the boiler house, Oliver Murphy and Dominic Ball were sufficiently impressive to earn promotion. Aadarsh Gautam managed to exasperate his own team as well as his opponents with his determined, if frequently lateral runs but his commitment was exemplary. Behind the scrum, the team enjoyed the advantage in pace over most of their opponents with Josh Rose, Arshan Kara and Greg Nelson frequently shining. Tom Herbert contributed some deft footballing touches while Myles Houghton impressed with some brutal running and superb finishing. This skilful attack was backed up with a rock solid midfield defence, in which Joe Yarwood was outstanding and Nick Garside the bravest of fullbacks. The key factor in rugby is often the quality of the half-backs and the Under 16 B team was fortunate to have in Anthony Meyer and Ben Cherkas, two excellent scrum-halves who offered interestingly contrasting styles, and, in the captain, Tom Roberts, an outstandingly flyhalf. Tom marshalled his forces with great skill and considerable aplomb, demonstrating kicking and running skills of the highest quality.
1st XV 2nd XV 3rd XV U16 A U16 B U16 C U15 A U15 B U15 C U14 A U14 B U14 C U13 A U13 B U13 C U12 A U12 B Total
11 11 6 11 11 2 14 11 6 11 10 5 7 6 3 7 6 138
2 4 1 6 10 0 7 5 2 3 7 3 4 4 2 3 3 66
9 6 5 5 1 2 7 6 3 7 2 2 3 2 0 4 1 65
0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 1 0 0 0 1 0 2 7
104 150 36 210 328 22 291 178 104 218 241 92 182 114 112
309 299 237 204 83 100 242 238 137 317 166 116 114 128 27
Skylark 2009 Sport
U15A The season started with the team energised for a rugby term with Mr. Matthews. The team had trained hard and were well prepared to face our first opposition QE Boys School; we knew it would be tough, our predictions were right as we lost 34-5. Although the loss sunk some spirits it was clear that we had radically improved from last year and that we lost due to some brilliant break away tries from their quick backs. Inspired to win the first round of the daily mail cup against Kings Langley School we demonstrated our skill by beating them 53-5. It was brilliant to feel what it was like to put fifty odd points on another team and not receiving it! Next we faced UCS and we really showed the hard work put in throughout the past few weeks and beat them 36-0. The next two matches were lost, the first in the second match of the Daily Mail cup to a strong QE side and a very close match against St.Albans. These losses were followed by a nail biting match against Watford Grammar School which was eventually won 25-17. Tiffin school were unfortunate enough to be our next victim; after a tense period where Tiffin nearly scored and their Captain was red carded, the team pulled through and beat them 19-7. Some complacency meant the Dr.Challoners game was lost which marked a disappointing end to a promising first Half term. The team wanted to rectify last year’s loss to Bishop Stortford. Charlie Rubin who has gone from strength to strength this season really played out of his skin this game and helped with his kicking to beat them in nail-bitingly close game with score 31-27. In the Daily Mail Vase competition the team suffered an agonising loss to Orleans Park 17-19. The next game against Latymer Upper School has always been a hotly contested match with there always being a very close result. We showed we were the better team and beat them 31-12 with some brilliant breaks from Justin Hornsby-Cowan. Against a strong Bedford Modern School our defence was brilliant in the first half with Bedford only scoring once. Afterwards things fell apart and Bedford went over several times leading to our first heavy loss of the year. Berkhamsted got their revenge on last year’s defeat as they beat us this time round. The last came against Merchant Taylors. It was closely contested with Modestas Bukauskas scoring a try, but they ended up winning 17-8. This season, great improvement was shown with us closing the gaps on many opposition teams and we turned around a number of results despite the mediocre end to the season.
Lewis Stock Year 10
U15B We started out with a loss to Q.E Boys with a solitary try from Jeremy Hasson saw us lose 26-7. Our next game was against U.C.S in which we won 36-5, with Jeremy scoring 3 tries. We lost winger Brendan Anandaraja midway through the game after he fell into a spectator’s chair nonetheless Jonny Tho had an outstanding game for us and earned the man of the match award. After losing to St. Albans a week after we had a big chance to beat Watford Grammar in a midweek game. Although we played some fantastic rugby, we let Watford come back into the game so they ran away 19–12 victors. Two wins followed against Tiffin and Bishops Stortford, with Akash Kadiwar and Charlie Cohen played particularly well for us. Arguably our most satisfying victory of the season came next against Latymer Upper. We fought hard and, with a couple of sensational tries by Matt Perlman, managed to come away with a two point victory with the final whistle being greeted by cheers of delight. Against Bedford Modern James Colnutt performed outstandingly and deservedly earned our Man of the Match award. Our defeat against 118
Berkhamsted was our heaviest defeat with a score of 40-0. Our final game, against Merchant Taylors, was definitely the team performance of the season with the likes of Henry Preston, Kishan and Josh strengthening our side. We were in prime position to win after edging a try ahead and we had to hold on to this slender lead. However, the opposition scored in the last minute and needed a conversion to level the game. Luck went our way and we won 17-15. Last year the U14B team won only 2 games out of their 11games but the dramatic improvement is evident this year as 5 matches were won in the same number of games.
Antony Tang Year 10
U14A The Under 14s ran out onto the pitch in their first game against Queen Elizabeth’s hoping to get a better result against them than we did last year. The match started like the season finished, with poor rucking and tackling, and we soon found ourselves 12-5 down at half time. However, the first resounding team talk of the season was given on the opening day, and we came out determined to make the scoreline change for our benefit. Straight after the second half started, we got an early try thanks to one of the players of the season, Ned Birss, and as the conversion went over, the game looked like it was ours. However, after an impressive QE try, we had to fight from behind, but Efosa Uwiafo managed to sneak into the corner, and we were only 2 points behind with five minutes left. We pressurised right from the kick-off, and after some great forward work, we managed to score. We were 5 points ahead, and on the way to our first victory over our rivals. After an enjoyable game, in which we looked likely to win, a late QE score meant that we drew 24-24. UCS then came to visit us next, a game that we won comfortably 48-12. Next came St Albans, on a really foggy morning, and there was a real fear that the game might be cancelled. Our start was weak. and from the kick off St.Albans managed to score. 7-0 down within the first minute is not the greatest of starts. However, slowly we began to get a foothold in the game, and claw ourselves back into it. 7-6 down at half-time was a
Skylark 2009 Sport
very good score. We traded tries, and both were converted, and so we trailed 14-13 going into the last 10 minutes. However St.Albans allowed Darius Price the space to run all the way outside their winger, and then down the touch line to score. It was converted, and we leaded by 6 points. St.Albans did cross our line again, but we showed great maturity and composure in the way we closed out the game, keeping it very tight in the forwards, going through multiple phases. We managed to hold out for a one point win, 20-19. The next three games were all very close, but none of them went in our favour. We lost by a point to Tiffin, by fifteen to Dr.Challoners, and, in the final game, by 24-21 against Watford Grammar. After losing 49-0 to Bishops Stortford, we saw our best performance of the season against Latymer Upper. HABS’ fly half had an absolute fantastic game, scoring 21 of the 27 points. We were leading 24-17 with 2 minutes to go, and landed a penalty from the touchline to make the game secure. Habs won 27-17, a fine performance. That was the last time that we would taste victory, as the next three games were Bedford Modern, Berkhamstead and Merchant Taylors. We were always in the game against Bedford, but we could never get a strong foothold in the game, and we were beaten 21-14. The other two games were less close, and we lost 48-14 to Berkhamstead, and 42-5 to Merchant Taylors.
Robert Lynch Year 9
U13B The season started with a tough match against QE boys with the score 7-10 when in the last minute a fantastic team effort sent Mohamed Abbas in for the winning try and the game finished 12-10. We went into the second game full of confidence and won 41-7 with Zack Brinn and Amit Kurani scoring a few tries. The next match was against Tiffin which turned out to be very close remaining even at 5-5 for the whole match until the final minute when Mohamed Abbas and Ravi Desai combined to produce a break-away try as HABS won 17-5. A very strong St Johns Northwood ‘A’ team came next but we went into the match overconfident and lost 42-15. Against Latymer Upper we were missing a few players due injury and were forced to use two opposition players as well as Karna Sethia who played brilliantly in his first ever competitive game of rugby; the odds were against us and we lost 59-10 very well. The last match with our coach Mr Van de Venter was against a well organised Bedford Modern side. We trained hard before the match and were eager to end with a win. We scored a try within a minute and Karna Sethia added two more to settle a comfortable win and a successful season.
Mohamed Abbas Year 8
U14B The under 14B Rugby squad displayed great spirit this year winning seven and drawing one of their ten matches. The top try scorers were Rahul Doeger, Hugo Cliff and Anthony Dwek, and the team was captained superbly by Rhys Jenkins and Edward Almond. Twenty eight different boys represented the side as a number of those who had played for the B team in the opening games were later promoted for their efforts to the A team. The season included a number of notable wins. In the hot September sun, QE Boys were thrashed by ten tries to nil, including a sensation effort by winger Greg Harrington-Green who caught an Edward Almond cross-field kick on the full and ran 60 metres to score. The side showed grit and determination to hold out for last minute wins against UCS and Tiffin. They also came from behind to beat much larger opposition from Watford and Bishop Stortford. Rhys Jenkins, Ben Kohler and Nick Flaherty did much to bolster our, at times, stretched defence. These games would not have been won without their bravery and commitment in defence. Latymer Upper were dispatched by 59 points to 10, Suraj Joshi, Nick Flaherty, Mahnel Akhanney and Hugo Cliff all crossing for two tries each. Unfortunately, the team could not capitalise on Noah Levy's superb solo effort, running 50 metres through most of the defence, to score against Bedford Modern. A series of chances were squandered and the opposition managed somehow to equalise. The game finished 77 but not before HABS found themselves camped on the Bedford Modern line for the last ten minutes. The highlight of the season was undoubtedly the final game against that most bitter foe of a Haberdasher, Merchant Taylors' School. The side were without several regulars owing to injuries and illness, many players were forced out of position, including make-shift fly half Noah Levy who spent much of the game sounding like he was at death's door. With ten minutes to go, and the team 10-24 behind, the boys could have been excused for crumbling. But, with rare courage and belief, they managed to score three tries in the closing stages, Rahul Doeger sprinting over 70 metres to score the vital try with less than a minute to go. A fantastic season had ended in the most truly memorable and stylish fashion.
U12B The U12 Bs started the season with a 21 all draw against Latymer Upper. It was an end-to-end game and a worthy result. Everyone played well; a high standard for the season was set. In our next game, against Bedford Modern, we narrowly lost by three points, with the most inspiring moment being when Toye Ibunkle ran the length of the pitch to touch the ball down under the posts. Then we played Bishop Stortford, the team played well together with a top firsthalf performance. Great resilience was shown as two tries were held up! The Berkamsted and St Columbas games were cancelled due to snow and frost. We faced a real test against St Albans; a fierce game was fought with every yard contested as the 5-5 deadlock remained to the final whistle. Against Richard Hale we played fantastically and won 41- 5 with an all-round team performance. In the Watford game team spirit and determination prevailed as the game ended 39-0. The following Saturday we faced Merchant Taylors ‘A’ XV, winning 10-5 with the aid of a few A-team players. We have shown an infallible desire to succeed with some great talent and skilful handling.
Russell Hughes Year 7
Skylark 2009 Sport
Hockey 1st XI Hockey The 2009 hockey season was rather stop start with the weather playing a significant part in the number of fixtures being contested. Snow meant that overall 21 fixtures were cancelled in February. However, despite the forced mid season break, the consequent results were extremely encouraging. The 1st XI began the season with an impressive 6-1 win over local rivals Aldenham. The key to this early success was the pace and precision of the passing which at times cut Aldenham to pieces. The first team then followed this up with a hard fought 2-2 draw with St Albans; however the team were disappointed not to have reached half term with a 100% record as St Albans equalised with only 2 minutes left on the clock. A trip to Bedford Modern allowed the boys to get back to winning ways recording a comfortable, but uninspiring, win. A special mention should go to Adam Pack whose incisive, direct hockey was the catalyst for all 4 goals. Convincing wins also came against Mill Hill, Kingsmead and Bancrofts. Following the enforced snow break the boys met strong opposition in Haileybury, Watford, Windsor and MTS losing all four but showed fighting spirit keeping the score lines respectable. The season as a whole was very positive. The boys adapted well to a new formation, trained extremely hard and worked well as a group. A positive for the future was the impact of the younger member of the squads who will be hoping to continue where they left off last season.
2nd XI This season the second XI have gone from strength to strength. Despite starting with a slightly jerky 1-1 draw against St. Albans, we grew quickly as a team, smashing Bedford Modern 4-0 the next Wednesday with the help of some ferocious attacking from the triumvirate of Tristan Minall, Jamie Yates, and Hamza Zahid. The combination of sterling defence and Ollie Abrams’ commanding presence in goal ensured a clear victory that made Dr. Stiff beam with glee. A few weeks later we were back to continue our victory romp. We faced a physical Mill Hill side at home who expressed their displeasure at Mr. Swallow’s more controversial decisions by firing expletives at him and asking us if we wanted a fight. Thanks to Jamie Yates’ cool composure at the helm, we maintained our professional veneer and cruised to another great win. The first came from an audacious 120
4 2 0 2 1 5 1 2 1 3
Post poned 4 3 1 4 2 2 2 5 2 3
23 20 6 19 14 26 29 11 27 12
17 13 2 6 5 21 5 12 4 12
1st XI 2nd XI 3rd XI U16 A U16 B U15 A U15 B U14 A U14 B U13 A
14 11 3 11 8 13 11 12 8 11
5 4 2 5 3 4 8 3 5 5
1 2 0 0 2 2 0 2 0 0
U13 B/ U12 A
swipe from Hamza and two more added by Jamie and Sahil Shah. The latter notably played a blinder on the wing with his guile and stickwork. The following weekend was Haileybury, a match which was always going to be tough. The team played with sheer determination, fighting off a strong attacking team. Dr. Stiff remarked on our performance ‘that was the best 2nd’s hockey I have seen at this school’. A nil-nil draw was a fair reflection of an incredibly tough game for both sides. Our next two opponents, Watford and Bancrofts, proved slightly easier, and the team once again played with the skilful finesse that has come to be associated with 2nd’s hockey. We won both games by considerable margins, scoring heavily each time and conceding few goals. Thanks must go to Jamie Yates for his inspirational leadership and his unique style of pep-talks. With Ollie claiming an array of cleansheets, Hamza ending the season as top scorer and the rest of the team in superlative form, a fruitful season awaits next Easter.
Ben Jacobs L6
U16A The U16As started the year with some winter indoor training, aiming to improve our skill levels for the season that was fast approaching. Under the guidance of hockey guru Mr Keenleyside there was a definite change in approach within the squad. However, following this hard work and preparation, the season did not get off to the greatest start as we lost 2-1 to rivals St Albans with James Edgley scoring the single goal, and Joe Yarwood captaining the team for the first time. The defeat could have been heavier but if it wasn’t for Tom Edrich (ironically nicknamed BD) who controlled the defence and prevented numerous St Albans shots. Determined to put this defeat behind us, the team pulled together beating a decent Bancroft’s side 3-1. Athman Sivakumar, Max Jenkins and Hugh Brannan dulled the opposition’s attack down the left hand-side, allowing Habs to counter-attack and to score a number of times. The biggest win of the season came against Berkhampstead 2nds, with a mammoth score line of 9-0. Notable performances came from Ben Cherkas and Danny Wirth, with Danny scoring a hat-trick on his A Team debut; however, the opposition
Skylark 2009 Sport
caused little challenge to a confident Habs. In past seasons, the team have struggled against local rivals Watford, but not this year. Under the watchful eye of Mr Cook, the team were inspired to pull off our best ever performance, winning 2-0. Aneesh Misra and Aadil Hakim prevented numerous short corners from going in, whilst Tim Tsung proved that size really doesn’t matter…when it comes to hockey, keeping his attacker in his pocket throughout the game. The best moment in the game came when James Edmunds scored to seal the victory as he athletically rounded the keeper and, with great expertise, tucked the ball home to the delight of the rest of the team who then mobbed him in jubilation. Although the most recent game was a 2-1 loss to Merchant Taylors’, there is no need to go into greater detail and open up old wounds. The team’s last ever game as an age group was played against Windsor. Two people that haven’t had to do much this year are the goalkeepers, Greg and Akash. Greg has been the long-term keeper for the team, whilst this season Akash pushed his claim for the number 1 jersey. The season has been a successful one thanks to the whole squad for their continued determination and enthusiasm.
Joe McCormick Year 11
U16B It was a good season for the U16 B Hockey team, we began our season with a rivalry match against St Albans at Clarence Park, the
team had not fully gelled yet as a cohesive unit. Our two keepers, James Hoenig and Akash Alexander pulled off a few magnificent saves but it was not to be as St Albans scored three in quick succession and set the tempo for the game. However, we did however manage to claw our way back and score one in the dying minutes of the game. Our next game was at home against a Bancrofts 3rd XI, a team who physically were much bigger than us, however, we won this game 2-0. Five weeks later we played our next match, this is due to cancelations and two consecutive matches called as a result of snow. We with a rematch against St Albans, great runs from Nick Garside, Ben Kaye and Salil Patel gave us a promising start. We scored the early goal and kept up pressure for the first half, unfortunately, the team eased back during the second half allowing St Albans to run at us which cost us dearly as, in the last minutes, they scored and levelled the game. It was a disappointing end to a game we should have won and it left a bitter taste in our mouths. We ended the season with a game against our other local rivals Merchant Taylors School, it was again a game we dominated and took an early lead. However as with the St Albans game we sat back on our heels again and let them score. There on, our keepers worked very hard to keep the score level, using any and every part of their bodies, James Hoenig even headed the ball away to stop one goal attempt. I would like to thank Mr Kerry who’s desire to win and occasionally questionable coaching techniques kept the team up for anything and on their toes at all times.
Ben Dathan Year 11
U15A A rusty HABS outfit took to the pitch against Aldenham School and in every way looked completely lost in front of goal. HABS proceeded to dominate possession and failed to convert these chances. Two breaks by Aldenham, accompanied by two goals, left HABS walking from the pitch with a disappointing loss to start the season. Training intensity was immediately stepped up and the hockey was being taken more seriously. However, HABS continued to disappoint and the worst was yet to come. The next game was against St.Albans and whilst the level of play was hugely improved, a 4-1 defeat was conceded. In the next match a change was definitely needed and this came as HABS trounced Bedford Modern 9-0. A last-second goal was disallowed and the post was hit at least 3 times as well. An improved, more confident display? The team certainly seemed to think so as morale rocketed. Continuing with their spectacular sudden form HABS went into the clash with Dr Challoners the firm underdogs having been beaten easily last year.. Nonetheless, HABS produced a great performance and with 5 minutes to go the scores were level 2-2. A short up corner was given and Challoners grabbed the win to end a thrilling contest. The next 2 matches against St. Clement Danes and Mill Hill were without the captain and both ended in draws. HABS refused to lose hope with the next match against Bancrofts ending in a 6-1 win. Against Haileybury, everyone
Skylark 2009 Sport
worked together to produce a solid performance in which HABS walked away with a 2-1 win. During the course of the season, holes in the defence were beginning to be exposed, and suddenly, a team who had been fairly solid at the back all season seemed to be crumbling. Last minute goals in the Harrow clash led to a 2-2 draw which was a very flattering result for them. The match against Watford was less pleasing as HABS were 2-0 down at half-time and outplayed throughout the game. The game with Merchant Taylors was possible the most frustrating of the season. Having created plenty of opportunities upfront and finishing fairly well, the HABS defence caved in to leave the team 2-1 down with half a game to play. A quick goal in the second half meant HABS found themselves on level terms. This remained true until the last ten minutes where two sloppy goals were conceded.
David Fernie Year 10
The under 15 B team proved to be the most successful hockey team in the school with old fashioned grit and determination leading to a perfect 100% winning record. A total of 31 goals were scored and only a mere 3 conceded.
The season began with a game against Aldenham and with a great reverse sweep and short corner shot from Keval Patel along with goals from Aashish unadkat amongst others we finished the match 9-1, a fantastic start.
Saturday 24th January marked the U13 B’s first ever match against local rivals St Albans. HABS had a good start, having with some well crafted passing around the field. No goals were scored, the match ended in a draw, but this was a very promising start to the season things were looking good.
The season began with nervous excitement but as the season progressed, maturity levels rose and the results started to flow with wins against Aldenham, St Albans, Berkhamstead, Merchant Taylors and Harrow to name a few. The highlight of the season took place on a games afternoon where Pierre Binfoh produced the most fantastic curving hit that missed both the goal and the fence but managed to smash into Mr Kerry’s new car. The team has produced some outstanding performances all season such as Nick Mason, Herschel Lakani, Karan Setia, Aaron Patel and Tej Malde. who kept a six game clean sheet. However, the pinnacle of our success can be rooted to the dynamic coaching duo of Dr Pieburn and Mr Garvey. This version of Starsky and Hutch combined tactical lunacy and a divine knowledge of the game to create an unbeatable side. The strength in depth of the squad was highlighted when key players were promoted to the ‘A’ team but this meant others like Shymal Patel, Alex Briggs and the ever knowledgeable Koushal Shah stepped up.
James Colenutt Year 10
Next up was St Albans away. This was a very tough fixture since most of their team were at least a head taller than us. At half time we were up 1-0 but soon after St Albans managed to level the score. Eventually with a great effort from Felix Taljaard we scored another to win 2-1. Our first home match was against Berkhamstead A’s, who had a county level captain and but despite their advantage we managed to beat them 7-3 with great play from Luke Minett and Ishaan Rahman. Haileybury posed little threat as we managed to thrash them 10-0 with an amazing hat trick from Daniel Kaye as well as goals from Karan and Rhys. Next, the team swept aside Harrow 2-0, with our centre back, Amar Vaghela, getting in on the action by scoring a goal. By this time we were getting slightly cocky. This showed on our last match against Merchant Taylor’s. As our coach’s old school he was very eager to beat them. This was not to be and we lost 2-1 but we all knew that at our best we would have beaten them easily. Even so there were good performances from Kevin Sakata and Robert Harris. Overall this has been a very enjoyable and successful season as the team jelled well to win 5 out of the 6 games played.
Nikhil Joshi Year 9
Our next match was at home against Bancroft’s and we got off to a flying start in the first half. Tom Eldred scored the first goal off the short corner we and a second came minutes later. Another 2 goals came in the second half. Special mentions must go to Eli Bernstein for playing well on the right and the quartet of Rohan Madamula, Amit Kurani, Jordan Waobikeze and Kamvar Rafiee in the backline. The long awaited snow meant the Dr Challoners game was cancelled. Next came a rematch with St Albans. We were hoping to beat them this time but sadly it ended in a loss. After that came round two against Bancrofts with hopes of another brilliant victory but despite Jamin and Ishaan doing well upfront, the team were left with a disappointing 1-0 defeat. Our match against Watford saw us concede 2 goals with the new comer to the squad, Sam Goldsober scoring our only goal. The last match of the season saw us face Aldwickbury. Our only goal was scored again by Sam Goldsober. Yet the bad luck continued as the game finished in a draw. The results do not tell the full story as the team continued to fight hard, and with this determination we look forward to a more successful season as U14s.
Amit Kurani Year 8 122
Skylark 2009 Sport
Cricket The 2009 season proved to be one of the most successful in the history of HABS Cricket. Of 149 matches played by the Club as a whole, a new record in itself (a further 22 games were cancelled, mainly due to bad weather), 115 resulted in wins for HABS, beating last year’s previous record performance of 103 wins. There were, in addition, 3 draws (rarely an option these days), 1 ‘tied’ match and just 30 defeats. In this age of ‘limited overs’ cricket, the old-fashioned timed/declaration games (only the 1st XI play this type of cricket on occasions) are few and far between. However, to win nearly 80% of all the matches played this season represents a remarkable achievement.
1st XI The 1st XI, captained by Lewis Jenkins, won sixteen of its twenty games and lost only twice, to a strong MCC side, featuring amongst others last year’s captain Ajay Soni, who proceeded to score a century against us, and to a touring Australian school, Brighton GS from Melbourne, in a game we really should have won. In terms of the number of wins, this makes Jenkins’ side the second most successful in HABS history. Amongst the many memorable highlights, the wins against Merchant Taylors’ and Bancroft’s rank the highest. In defeating local rivals
1st XI 2nd XI 3rd XI 4th XI 5th XI U15A U15B U15C U14A U14B U14C U13A U13B U13C U13 Tour U13/U12 U12A U12B U12C Staff XI Totals
20 12 6 3 1 17 7 2 15 8 4 14 8 3 3 1 10 8 4 3 149
16 10 5 2 1 14 6 2 11 6 2 12 5 2 3 0 8 5 4 1 115
2 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 (+1 tie) 0 0 3 (+1 tie)
2 2 1 1 0 2 1 0 4 2 2 2 3 1 0 1 2 2 0 2 30
3 3 2 0 0 2 1 1 2 1 0 2 1 0 0 0 2 1 0 1 22
The U15A, U14A and U13A results include Lord’s Taverners Trophy (U15) and HSCA County Cup matches. An abandoned game is one in which no ball is bowled. The list of draws includes games that started but were later abandoned.
Merchant Taylors’, HABS became the first school side to win at Northwood for several years (it was our first victory there since 1993). A hostile spell of fast bowling from Kushal Patel proved decisive as MTs collapsed from 97 for 4 to 104 all out, 41 runs adrift of the
HABS total of 145. The Bancroft’s fixture saw an excellent game of cricket between two evenly matched sides in which HABS emerged victorious, successfully chasing 227 to win by 2 wickets with just 2 balls to spare and thereby inflict on our opponents their only defeat of the
1st XI Results 2009 1.
130 for 3
Habs won by 7 wickets
163 for 4
Habs won by 6 wickets
66 for 0
Habs won by 10 wickets
157 for 3
Habs won by 7 wickets
260 for 2 dec
MCC won by 42 runs
Habs won by 41 runs
227 for 9 (40 overs)
RGS High Wycombe
Habs won by 151 runs
208 for 8 dec
161 for 6
Bishop’s Stortford HS
100 for 3
Habs won by 7 wickets
129 for 3
Habs won by 7 wickets
Habs won by 22 runs
155 for 4
Habs won by 6 wickets
DI Yeabsley’s XI
Match drawn (Rain)
Old Habs CC
116 for 6
Habs won by 4 wickets
Fraser Bird XI
253 for 5 dec
255 for 6
Habs won by 4 wickets
226 for 6 (40 overs)
227 for 8
Habs won by 2 wickets
Brighton GS (Aus)
202 for 7 (40 overs)
Brighton GS won by 7 runs
229 for 6 (40 overs)
Habs won by 30 runs
213 for 9 (40 overs)
207 for 9
Habs won by 6 runs
149 for 6
Habs won by 4 wickets
NB The games against St Albans, XL Club, and Branscombe CC were cancelled. 123
Skylark 2009 Sport
4th and 5th XI The 4th XI won two of its three games while the 5th XI enjoyed victory in its only outing against St Albans. Such is the strength in depth of senior cricket at HABS, at least before the examination season commences, that we were able to field five sides all on the same afternoon!
season. Another successful run-chase came against the Fraser Bird XI, led by Michael Yeabsley and featuring three first class cricketers, as we reached our target of 254, this time with 5 balls to spare. In a tense finish against Queen Elizabeth’s, Barnet, HABS defended a total of 161 to win by 22 runs, a much closer game than it sounds with the result in doubt until the final overs. The majority of the other victories were won by comprehensive margins, including games against Mill Hill, John Lyon, RGS High Wycombe, Aldenham and Old Haberdashers CC whilst the games against Bedford Modern and Doug Yeabsley’s XI ended in draws, the latter after heavy rain, thunder and lightning interrupted play. This year’s Devon tour produced three more wins in the three games played against Exeter CC, Exeter School and Devon U16s, although in the final two games HABS struggled at times and had to dig deep for victory. Our success this season is due to a fine allround team performance in which each player made significant contributions. In fact, all eleven of the first choice team achieved the Wisden qualification of 150 runs or 10 wickets, some in both categories. Lewis Jenkins (693 runs at an average of 43.31, including 5 half centuries) led from the front, captaining the side superbly, as well as being the highest and most consistent run scorer.
1st XI Colours Full:
Lewis Jenkins (captain) Tom Edrichre-award Hemal Malde Neel Malde Amish Parekh re-award Kushal Patel re-award Seb Schusman Nishanth Selvakumar
Basil Letts Jonathan Miller Keshal Patel
The 2nd XI, led by Luke Tullo for most of the season and by Akhil Raithatha in the final three 124
games, was victorious on ten occasions, notably against Mill Hill, Berkhamsted, Bedford Modern, QEB and Bancroft’s, and lost only twice to a strong Merchant Taylors’ side and Brighton GS from Melbourne. Tullo was the most consistent batsman, but all the other players contributed at one stage or another, including Alex Watts, Arjun Sofat, Athman Sivakumar, Hamza Zahid and, particularly towards the end of the season, Kishan Alahendra. Zahid and Alahendra, along with Jaidev Devlia, Shanil Patel, Akhil Raithatha, Aadarsh Gautam and Kishan Patel, formed a bowling attack, which was usually too strong for the opposition. The success of this side in recent years is further evidence of the strength of HABS Cricket.
3rd XI The 3rd XI, under the captaincy of Joe McCormick, also performed well, despite losing a game for the first time in several years. The whole squad played its part, namely Kishan Alahendra (before his promotion to the 2nd XI), as five games were won, notably against QEB and Berkhamsted, before the disappointing defeat at Merchant Taylors’. Unfortunately, the season was curtailed due to the inability of Bedford Modern to raise a third team and the cancellation of the block fixture with St Albans after heavy rain.
The U15A’s had a remarkable season, winning fourteen games overall, including the County Cup (for a third year in succession), and reaching the quarter-finals of the national Lord’s Taverners Trophy Competition. After a disappointing loss at Berkhamsted, the team gelled under the captaincy of Tej Malde and proceeded to put in the performance of the season in beating Harrow in the Lord’s Taverners Trophy by 97 runs. Representing Hertfordshire in this national competition, we stunned our hosts, one of the top cricket schools in the country, thanks to a fine undefeated century from Nishanth Selvakumar (131*) in a total of 262 for 5 in 35 overs. In the next round, we defeated the Buckinghamshire champions, Dr Challoners GS, thanks to a fine all-round performance from Sahil Agarwal, before losing to a very strong Brentwood side in the Regional Final. To reach the last eight of this prestigious competition, however, is a significant achievement and congratulations go to all concerned.
U15B The U15B’s also enjoyed an outstanding season, winning six of their seven games and confirming that this is a very strong year group. The first game was against UCS, whose bowling was not good enough to challenge our batting line-up. Daniel Paul (108*) had the honour of scoring the first century of the season in a comfortable victory. However, our next game against Berkhamsted was a much closer affair. Having lost to them at U14B level last year, the boys were determined to
Skylark 2009 Sport
win. A sequence of easy victories followed as the team convincingly beat Aldenham (by 110 runs), Watford (by 78 runs) and Bishop’s Stortford HS, dismissed twice in an afternoon for 35 (inside 11 overs) and 40. In between, HABS scored 205 in 20 overs and so won by an innings and 130 runs! The only loss came in the final game against a QEB side on a sandy wicket at Barnet, where our batting collapsed for the only time during the season. The entire team played a part in the success, with all eleven boys offering something with either bat or ball.
The U13Bs were slightly less successful but still managed to win five of their eight games. Amit Kurani captained the side and other names to feature at one stage or another during the course of the season included Anand Patel, Shivankit Hora, Harry Brian and Mudit Taldar. The final game of the season saw a weakened side lose heavily to RGS High Wycombe, as our batting collapsed in dramatic fashion (all out for just 32!), but not before Harry Brian had claimed five wickets, including a hat-trick.
U14A The U14As enjoyed a successful season, winning eleven of their fifteen games, and great strides have been made by the squad as a whole. Before half-term, comfortable victories against weaker opposition such as UCS and Aldenham, in which Manaal Akhaney dominated with the bat, were separated by defeats to Berkhamsted and Bedford Modern. Against Berkhamsted, James Lawrence fell just two runs short of a century and Rhys Jenkins remained unbeaten with a half-century in an opening stand of 175, but two dropped catches allowed Berkhamsted back into the game and win in the last over. Against Bedford Modern, a total over 200 was still not enough to win, despite a devastating second spell from Akhaney. However, after a confidence-boosting demolition of Watford, with Luke Minett and Asad-Ali Rehemtulla both taking four wickets, Habs ended on the right side of several close matches. St. Albans, QE Barnet, RGS High Wycombe and Clifton College, Bristol, were all beaten despite being set low targets. A remarkable display of bowling restricted St. Albans to 62, having been set a target of only 93 in the County Cup quarter-final. In the other matches, captain Ronak Shah led from the front, taking 6 for 21 to beat Q.E. by seven runs and 4 for 26 to beat RGS by the same margin. Touring side, Clifton College fell just one run short in its chase. Unfortunately, a disappointing display against Watford in the Cup semi-final meant that a return to the final was not possible, but the season finished on a high with wins at John Lyon, where Lawrence made a half-century and Minett took five wickets, and at Bancroft’s, Aditya Modi making 75.
U14B The U14Bs had a mostly pleasing season, winning six of their eight games. The team hit the ground running in its opening fixture against UCS, scoring 195 for 1, with Edward Almond (88*) and Rahul Doeger (80*) both remaining undefeated. UCS were then dismissed for 92, with Shrey Agarwal taking 7 for 26, the best return from any HABS bowler all season. Captain and left-arm pace bowler,
U12A Suraj Joshi, led the way in the next two games, taking 4 for 10 to help defeat Berkhamsted by 93 runs and 5 for 10 in a 57-run win over Aldenham. Our next opponents, Bedford Modern, provided the toughest test during the first half of the term, in which Chinmay Kamat’s of 42 helped HABS to a score of 116. Another five-wicket haul by Shrey Agarwal brought the team to the brink of victory, although a determined BMS 10th wicket stand almost turned the match in their favour before Edward Almond held a vital catch with 4 balls left to secure a 9-run win. A spectacular innings of 71 off just 37 balls by Noah Levy and a steady 34* by Ben Lockwood led to a win against Watford. The side then beat Bishop Storford HS by 112 runs, Aditya Modi starring with both bat and ball, by achieving the rare feat of scoring 50 runs and taking 5 wickets in the same match. Unfortunately the team, weakened by various absences, went down to defeats in their last two matches. Against QEB, HABS failed to capitalise on an innings of 44 by opener Amar Vaghella, as the heinous crimes of no balls, long hops and overthrows cost us in a one wicket, final over defeat against our local rivals.
U13A The U13As worked hard throughout the year to become the most improved side in the school. They won twelve out of their fourteen games during the term, and also won all three games played on their Devon Tour at half-term. After losing the first game of the season to Berkhamsted (a much closer affair than the corresponding fixture at U12 level in 2008), the team did not lose again until the semi-final of the County Cup, when St Albans (the eventual winners) narrowly defeated them. In between, there were notable victories against Merchant Taylors’, Bedford Modern, QEB, RGS High Wycombe and Watford, amongst others. William Wright captained the side with authority and contributed consistently with both bat and ball. Harry Mistry developed into a hard-hitting batsman while Ishan Patel bowled with pace.
The U12As enjoyed an extremely successful season, winning eight games in a row, including victories against Berkhamsted, Merchant Taylors’ and Bedford Modern, up until the last week of term. ‘Fatigue, unfortunately, makes cowards of us all.’ (Mr. Metcalfe), and so it was this year as HABS succumbed, firstly at Watford and then to a good Bancroft’s team. Across the full season, however, the boys played some sensational cricket. In Nikhil Amin and Tim Tan we had an attacking pair of opening batsmen, who were ably supported by captain Oliver Marshall. The depth of the bowling attack was particularly impressive. Vinay Popat and Oliver Marshall bowled with fire, while Jay Purohit was a most beguiling leg spinner. Alex Mistlin (London Schools) was our highly skilled wicket keeper, and together with Purohit provided a deadly partnership. Batsmen were lured out of their crease like moths to a flame and Mistlin did the rest.
U12B The U12Bs also started well, winning their first four games against generally weaker sides. Having cruised past Bekhamsted and John Lyon, MTS put up a better fight, but were still defeated. Unfortunately, the boys were far too relaxed against the Kinsbury HS A team and had no answer to their three very strong cricketers. Having eased past Bishop’s Stortford HS, HABS faced their strongest opposition in the final two games against QEB and RGS High Wycombe, which resulted in a tie (101 runs each) and a narrow 2 wicket loss respectively. Russell Hughes deserves praise as captain and wicket-keeper, while Sam Grossman was the star batsman. The team’s clinical bowling attack was provided by pacemen Karan Amin, James Radcliffe and Daniel Reuben, and spinners Rahul Dawda and William Zucker. This was a most satisfying season, with a team that gelled together from the start and remained consistent and enthusiastic throughout.
Skylark 2009 Sport
Football The 1st XI saw their programme of fixtures hit hard by the snow in early February, but began well with wins over St Edward’s, Oxford and Immanuel. Bedford Modern inflicted the only narrow defeat in the early part of the season, and progress to the next phase of the LB (formerly Crusader) Cup was assured by tense 1 – 1 draws with Berkhamsted and Bedford. Captain Will Gallimore and Simon Stanfield were the main sources of goals, with eleven apiece, and Vice-Captain Jonny Graham, along with goalkeeper Tristan Minall have helped to ensure one of the best defensive records of recent years. Continuity is assured for next year, with eight regular starters in the side drawn from the ranks of the lower sixth; Next year's Captain Mirav Vyas at centre midfield and Elliott Kaye at right back have, in particular, been outstanding. The tour to Holland was a great success, with Habs comfortably winning their opener 8 - 0 against RKSV Olympia of Brunssum. The next test against BSV Caterpillar in Hertogenbosch was a sterner test, with Habs falling behind three times before overcoming their opponents with a superb second half display to run out 8 - 3 victors. The final game saw TSV Noad of Limburg open up a 2 - 0 half time lead over the tourists, but Habs dug deep to overturn the deficit and win the game 4 - 2.
1st XI 2nd XI 3rd XI U16 A XI U16 B XI Club
P 14 11 8 8 7 48
W 6 2 3 4 4 19
D 3 2 1 3 1 10
L 5 7 4 1 2 19
F 43 11 24 19 25 122
A 29 17 23 7 11 87
and change the game, but at 6-0 down the game was ever so slightly beyond reach. A high point following the narrow defeat to Loughbrough was a victory over the Old Boys, which included a number of recent leavers, and the team performed well, with a number of players raising their game for the big occasion. In the end, the difference was Joe Zender, who took his goal tally for the season to 3, just 37 short of his pre-season target of 40, which he refused to give up on with 5 games to go. He hasn’t scored since. A hard-fought draw against St. Albans indicated the season’s drawing towards its end, as Simon Stanfield bagged a hat-trick. Simon’s goals have added another dimension to the teams forward play during the second half of the season, as he has scored tap ins from a variety of angles, and has occasionally managed to stay onside in a manner that Prashant Kukadia could only dream.
1st XI This season has been one of mixed results and performances for the 1st XI, ranging from the sublime to the embarrassing. The sublime was rather wasted on one game alone, as the team battled to a hard-fought 9-0 victory over Immanuel college. With first choice keeper Jaidev Devlia in goal, the game signalled the first of 5 consecutive clean sheets for the side, and - despite the fact that 3 of these 5 games were snowed off - big things were expected after half term, as the LB Cup quarter final offered a chance for the team to further their growing national reputation. However, in the lead up to the game, the team lost two talismen. Jonathan Graham pulled his hamstring in training the night before, and Jaidev Devlia revealed that he was also unavailable. As a result, reserve keeper Tristan Minall was called up, and Habs ventured up north in the hope of progressing to the semi-finals. In a closely fought first half, Habs came away a narrow second best and went in at half time 1-0 down. All was not lost however, as Anthony Rumford delivered a rousing half time speech to his colleagues, hoping to inspire them to a great comeback. With the words of King Rumford still ringing in their ears, Habs pressed for an equaliser, and when Manesh Mistry has a shot cleared off the line, it seemed like only a matter of time before Habs would draw level. However, down the other end, it was clear that the pressure was beginning to tell on stand in keeper Minall, as his inability to save any shots in the second half led to Loughbrough slightly extending their lead to 6. With 5 minutes to go, coach Ward threw on a second striker to try
The team then lost 4-2 St. Paul’s. The defeat was a fair result for the side, who once again missed Jonny Grahams pace at the back. With Anto Rumford given the job of chasing the pacy centre forward time after time, it was all too clear that it was a job too far for the reliable centre back, as he managed to trip over his own legs on occasions, leaving stand in keeper Minall to add to his tally of goals conceded, as the team continued to rue the missing Devlia once again. The game did bring a first senior goal for Mirav Vyas, though, who has grown in stature over the season. The team’s progress this season would not have been possible without the guidance of coach Ward, who has put in countless hours both coaching and refereeing our matches.
Will Gallimore U6
Skylark 2009 Sport
fought 1-1 draw at Bedford School. The highlight of the season was undoubtedly the 40 thrashing of local rivals Merchant Taylor’s, but unfortunately this was to be our last success as the remaining three games against Aylesbury GS, St Paul’ (a particularly strong outfit) and UCS all ended in defeat (3-5, 0-5 and 1-4). Captain Janak Vyas led from the front and ended up as the team’s leading scorer with 8 goals, while others who deserve mention include Sam Rabinowitz, Philip Chee, Sachin Galaiya, Ally McBeath, Amir Khan and Mehul Shah.
2nd XI The 2nd XI has flattered to deceive during the first half of the season. Too often, despite dominating possession, a cutting edge has been somewhat missing and Habs have been vulnerable to the counter-attacking sucker punch. After a promising start to the season, defeating St Edward’s, Oxford 5-3 with a hattrick from Elliott Mayer, the goals dried up more quickly than at the Emirates. Following the nadir against a physical Mill Hill side which achieved an easy victory at our expense, a lastminute Berkhamsted goal dropped the team to a gut-wrenching and undeserved 1-0 defeat. Performances did improve with the midfield winning more ball, and some beautiful passing moves attracting ‘Olés’ from the spectator(s). A well-fought goalless draw against Bedford Modern ensued, only for Bedford School to come from behind the following Saturday to register the 2nd XI’s third defeat from five matches in a weather-curtailed season. The season finished with further defeats to Old Habs, St Albans and UCS despite good performances again in all three games. It was not all gloom and doom though as these reverses were interspersed by an excellent win against Aylesbury Grammar, with Prashant Kukadia even managing to score with his head, and a very creditable draw against a strong St Paul’s side.
3rd XI This was a far more enjoyable season for the 3rd XI than the previous two. After comprehensive wins against St Edward’s, Oxford and Berkhamsted (5-2 and 6-1 respectively), Habs contrived to let slip a three goal advantage against Bedford Modern, losing 5-4, before regaining respectability in a hard-
The U16A team enjoyed an impressive season, recording a total of four wins and only one defeat. A solid defence marshalled by centrehalf Scott Spurling and Oliver Goldstein in goal, was the platform for the team’s success, with both players at the forefront in keeping clean sheets in half of the team’s matches. In addition, the goals of Ademola Olorunshola were extremely vital, with the forward scoring a total of seven goals, including both towards the end of season tie against St. Paul’s, clinching a deserved 2-2 draw. As well as Ademola, the team can boast creative midfielders and other clinical strikers that helped the side secure a total of 18 goals in 7 games. The season began with four wins and one draw, including a 7-0 thrashing versus St. Edwards, in which Tom Roberts scored two. The most memorable moment of the season was clinched via a heroic away win at Aylesbury Grammar School, in which the team survived a closely-fought match to come away with an impressive 2-1 win. However, the proposed end-of-season party was cut short, as the boys seemed to be tiring after a physical first season playing football at HABS. The team suffered their only defeat of the campaign at the hands of St. Albans, before ending the final two games with draws against St. Paul’s and UCS. Nevertheless, it has been an extremely successful season for the team and everyone is already looking ahead to next year and joining up with the current lower-sixth.
Declan Spiro Year 11
U16B It would be fair to say that the U16 B team have had a successful season. The campaign started perfectly as St. Edwards struggled to cope with the physical presence of Josh Goodman upfront, who opened his scoring account with an uncharacteristic header. Whilst their players were slating us for being middleclass, we went on to score 4 goals, dominating the match and winning 4-1.
spectacular in terms of our defensive performance. In the first half, goalkeeper Tom Herbet didn’t touch the ball once. However, despite another poacher’s goal from Josh, we conceded two goals in the last few minutes of the second half, slumping to a 2-1 defeat. Chances were presented to a couple unnamed culprits, but neither could give us the two goal advantage and we were made to pay, which disappointed the team greatly. However, our reaction to this setback was superb, which culminated in a 9-2 thrashing of Bedford Modern. We should have read the signs when Dr. Sloan came out in a P.E. kit two sizes to small to referee the match. With three goals scored in the first 90 seconds, the match was ultimately tied up, although we were determined to have learnt our lesson from the previous match. Even so, with Josh firing on all cylinders and the luck of the Irish on our side, we comfortably saw the game through to the very end. After playing at home to Bedford Modern we played away to Bedford. In order to make the match worth the long journey, we hit the ground running. In arguably our best performance of the season, we hit seven past Bedford, including another Josh Goodman hattrick and a brilliantly played cross-shot that looped over the goalkeeper’s head. Eden Tarn and Nicholas Constantinou also contributed to the score-line with a brace each, which emphasized the enormity of our win and the togetherness of the team. Despite this recent run of consecutive victories, our next match would prove to be our hardest so far. A penalty save early on kept us in the game, but we were always on the back-foot. However, two goals from a corner, including one from Subomi Anidugbe, put us ahead. Aylesbury Grammar would equalize through a corner of their own and we would finish the match 2-2. Overall, it was a positive result for the team, as we had overcome a very resilient opposition to grab a draw out of a match that in all honesty, could easily have gone against us. Next came the biggest defeat of our season against a strong St. Paul’s outfit. With many key players missing, Freddy Sheldon came in for his first game, adding ‘height and strength’ to the midfield, and playing the best out of our eleven. However, we lost to one of their sixthform sides, as their U16 team already had a fixture on the day, resulting in the only match of the season in which the team failed to score. Nevertheless, the team rallied for the last game of the season and fought hard to win 2-1 and end the campaign on a positive note. It would be the team’s talisman, Josh Goodman, who would ultimately win the match with a penalty, to give the side four wins in seven games.
Gideon Caplin Year 11
Our second match was perhaps the most 127
Skylark 2009 Sport
Athletics We tend to judge the success of our athletics season on our progress in the English Schools Track and Field Cup. We will be able to look on 2009 as once again being a success, as the Under 16 team performed magnificently to finish a well-deserved third place in the national final, beating some of the top schools in the country, such as Millfield and Rugby. The team has worked very hard and has made incredible progress considering that as Under 14s they struggled to compete at the highest level in the Herts Schools athletics league. To add to this highly-credible achievement, the team also won the Herts League, winning Area A of the two-part league by a considerable margin. Encouragingly, the Under 14s also managed to accomplish this same success, as well as triumphing in the District Championships, in which the Under 16 team fell just at the final hurdle, finishing in second place. However, the Under 14s were not able to progress to the final of the Track and Field Cup. On what was a difficult day weather-wise
they finished a creditable second behind Campion School from Hornchurch, but unfortunately their points total did not match up to the scores posted in earlier regional finals in more favourable conditions. In our friendly fixtures, the Year 7 and 9 teams have shown promise, the 7s as yet remain unbeaten and the 9s have lost only once to Harrow and Eton in our first fixture of the season. Nevertheless, both teams, in addition to the already mentioned Under 14s (Year 8), were victorious and thus were named as District Champions. With three of the year groups winning, HABS won the overall trophy, with many district champions in each age group. Efe Uwaifo won the best performance trophy by a Year 9 boy for his winning jump of 12.53 in the Triple Jump. In the Achilles Relays, the Year 9 (U15) 4 x 100m team of Efe Uwaifo, Darius Price, Phil Sadgrove and Ned Birss gained an impressive victory in 48.1 seconds ahead of Bedford Modern, St Paulâ€™s and Southend Boys. In the same meet, the U17 4 x 100m Hurdles team finished third and the Senior 4 x 110m Hurdles second by point one of a second to Millfield. Individually, a number of junior athletes have gained individual selection to the Eastern Area team for the I.A.P.S. National Championships at Alexander Stadium, Birmingham, on June 29th. They are Tommy Almond (Prep school) Under
12 javelin, Jonathan Daitz U13 800m, Miguel Perera U13 Hurdles and High Jump, Rufus McAlister U14 200m, Sameer Atwal U14 400m and Henryk Hadass U14 Hurdles and Discus. Miguel Perera then went on to win the Herts County Schools U13 hurdles title two days later, smashing the meeting record by nearly a second. In that same meeting, Darius Price jumped an impressive 1.75m to gain selection to the County Under 15 team for the English Schools National Championships at Sheffield on July 10th and 11th. Joe Bamford won the Under 15 javelin with a new personal best just several centimetres off the school record. Hopefully he will be able to throw further and gain selection to the county team as well.
Skylark 2009 Sport
Athletics Highlights • The Under 16 team competed in the National Final of the ESAA Track and Field Cup at Copthall Stadium Barnet on July 4th. They had an outstanding day , at the end of the field events they were tied for 4th place but with some really strong performances on the track came through to finish 3rd. A brilliant day, well done to all the team. • The Under 14 and 16 teams both won their area leagues in the County Athletics League. The Under 16’s won the League Final by just 3 points ahead of St Clement Danes. The Under 14’s with many of the 1st team at Birmingham for the National Prep Schools Championships finished 7th but only 8 points from 3rd. • We had a virtual clean sweep of the age groups winning the year 7, 8 and 9 competitions in the Watford and District championships. We finished a close second to St Clement Danes in the Year 10’s and were clear winners of the overall boy’s trophy. • Congratulations to Miguel Perera who having won the IAPS Eastern Region 70 m Hurdles and the same event in the Herts County Schools Championships went on to finish second at the National Prep schools meet in the same time as the winner. He also finished 4th in the High jump at the same meeting. • Well done to Sameer Atwal (U14 400m), Rufus McAlister (U14 200m) Henryk Hadass (U14 Hurdles and Discus) Jonny Daitz (U13 800m) and Tommy Almond (U12 Javelin) who were also selected to represent the Eastern Counties at the National Prep schools championships and all gained top 10 placings. • Congratulations to Joe Bamford who is the Hertfordshire U15 Javelin champion for 2009.
English Schools Athletics Championships 2009 Congratulations to Efe Uwaifo who is the English Schools Under 15 Boys Triple Jump Champion for 2009. Representing Hertfordshire he won the competition with a jump of 12m90 cms improving his personal best in every round and producing this winning jump in round 5. Efe is the first Habs athlete to win an English schools title since 1989. During August he then competed in the UK championships in the same event finishing second to the runner up in the English schools.
British Schools National Judo Champion 2009 Edward Almond won gold in the British Schools National Judo Championships held at the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield on Saturday 28th March. Edward won his title, representing Haberdashers, in the Under 42kg category for years 8/9. This annual national event is only open to experienced judoka, with all competitors holding green, blue or brown belt status. After a cautious start in the early rounds, Edward quickly gained in confidence as the tournament progressed, eventually winning both his semi-final and final bouts with perfect Ippon scores from the sweeping hip throw, Harai-Goshi. Edward’s National title comes off the back of an excellent start to his judo for 2009. So far this year he has won five golds and one silver in all tournaments. At the Clacton Open earlier this month signs of his improving judo were evident when he beat an existing England Squad member and British Open 2008 medallist in the opening round. Also in March, he won both the Hertfordshire Schools County and Independent Schools National 2009 titles in the U42kg category. Following his win in Sheffield, Edward has now been invited by the British Judo Association to attend England Judo Squad training and he will join the EJS Cadets from next month at the main BJA Area judo centre in High Wycombe. The next major tournament for Edward will be the Kent Internationals at Crystal Palace in June where he will test his skills against Europe’s elite. Thereafter he is hoping to maintain his performance to gain qualification for the 2009 British Open in October.
Well done to Darius Price who also represented Hertfordshire in the same championships finishing equal 11th out of a field of 25 athletes in the Junior Boys high jump..
Skylark 2009 Sport
Water Polo The HABS water polo Team, the last bastion of sporting greatness. Whilst various other sporting teams have been halted on their quest to silverware, we have remained as the guarantor of success, with the bookmakers lamenting our continued success. After many years of intense training we have matured into a fine side. The likes of Alex Parker, Luke Tullo, Daniel Munger, Randal Cliff, Chris and Max Jackson, James Devlin and Aaron Winsloe have all been thrown into the melting pot, resulting in a fine waterpoloing broth. We opened the season against QE, in which the team achieved a comfortable win. After this was a match against City of London, who would provide a sterner test, demonstrated by our subsequent defeat. With the friendlies over it was off to some serious competition. This came in the guise of the London league, a competition for which we had high hopes; however, due to a cruel twist of fate we did not attend. One can only wonder at what might have been. With our season in need of salvaging, our last hope came in the Nationals, a competition that had previously cemented us as a great water polo team. Unfortunately, the coaching dream team of Mr. Stiff and Mr. Matthews were unable to attend, so we drafted in our past mentor, Mr Hyde. With the team pumped, due to some motivational singing on the journey, we went into our first match confident, yet we were not totally prepared. Unfortunately we lost our first match, and despite the need for the school’s anthem ‘Jerusalem’ to be sung loud and clear throughout the arena, even this could not halt the demise, and we suffered the ignominy of another defeat. The team were despairing and we desperately needed to up our game. This we did. Things were looking promising, and we were on our way to our first victory of the tournament. Unfortunately we could not hold on against the strong Torquay side and ultimately failed to reach the finals losing the next five from five matches.
Randal Cliff U6
Ultimate Frisbee It has been another great season for Ultimate Frisbee at HABS. The boys put in a lot of hard work in the sessions, and this paid off in our not-too humiliating loss to St. Albans. The squad continues to play with the rigour, determination, and sportsmanship necessary to succeed. For those still living in the dark ages, Ultimate Frisbee is a wacky combination of netball, american football and frisbee. Players throw the disc to one another and can only move when not in possession. The aim is to score points by catching the disc in the end zone. ‘Ultimate’, as it is known to its fans, looks set to overtake football as the world’s mostplayed sport in the next 2-4 years. We would all like to thank Mr. Bass, Mr. Stiff, and Mr. Cox for their support (both technical and emotional). With the lads already starting pre-season training, next year promises to be our best yet. If we can maintain the levels of effort and love, our 0% record can only improve.
Ben Jacobs L6
Skylark 2009 Sport
Golf season 08/09 The 2008/09 season was embraced with excitement by all members and fans of the golfing setup. The team are fortunate enough to be led by master in charge of Golf Mr Ward who has reached a level of proficiency that he in his own right could turn professional. The team enjoyed a 2.5-0.5 victory in their first game away at Felsted. In the regional semi final of the HMC foursomes Habs attained what Coach Ward dubbed a â€˜quite ridiculous victory,â€™ Whilst HABS 1st pair Marc Kuber and Harry Kovenklioglu produced a final hole victory in their game, another point was required from somewhere. Will Gallimore and James Tan came from what many dubbed an impossible position, winning 4 consecutive holes to win in a playoff, clinching a regional final berth for HABS . It was clear that the cold winter nights practice sessions at Top Golf had paid dividends. Over the Easter holidays Habs fielded teams in the Henry Tubbs trophy at Finchley Golf Club, giving some of the younger players a chance to experience the heat of competitive golf and make a claim for selection in future years. HABS was also represented in the Hertfordshire schools Rose Bowl competition, with Will Aldred (8S)playing an extremely solid round of golf (72 gross) and Kuber making an eagle three on the 18th hole to gain selection for the Hertforshire schools squad.
Habs Golf team will take on a very different look next year as five boys leave for University. Marc Kuber in particular has been the lowest handicap golfer seen at Habs in a generation, and has helped to raise the profile of the sport at Habs. We thank Marc, Will, James, Jaimin and Zain Arora for their company on the first few Golf tours, and for their contributions to Habs Golf over the years. We hope to see them at the Habs Golf Day every Autumn. A Ward
In May the regional final of the HMC foursomes was staged at the prestigious Brocket Hall Golf Club against Bedford School. Whilst the strength of the Bedford squad was undeniable, the HABS team of six boasted three players playing at county level and more national titles than can be counted on one hand. Gallimore and Tan took the momentum of their semi final win into the final and won their game convincingly whilst Jaimin Arya and partner William Aldred suffered an uncharacteristic loss. A win for Kuber and Kovenklioglu would have meant that HABS were regional champions however in a cruel break of luck down the last hole, a lost ball left HABS ruing what could have been, finishing the season as regional runners up.
Marc Kuber Golf at Habs continues to thrive. This year sees perhaps the strongest year group we have ever had pass into the ranks of the OH. Marc Kuber reached a handicap of 2 by the end of his Habs career, and has won countless titles along the way, including the EGU Gold Medal at Woodhall Spa aged just 15. Will Gallimore is not far behind off a handicap of 4. James Tan, Zain Arora and Jaimin Arya have all represented the school in the HMC foursomes and will be valuable assets to OH Golf. The HMC foursomes campaign this year saw us reach the East Anglian regional final, only to be pipped on the final hole of the match against Bedford School due to a lost ball. Next year's team will feature some new faces, although William Aldred of year 8 Strouts is already a veteran of the team. William, who has already reached a handicap of 4.1, has already won the Wessex Junior Masters and the Mid-Herts Junior Open against boys four years his senior, and he is clearly destined to be the first scratch golfer at Habs in over a generation. Harry and Aidan Kovenklioglu are single figure quality golfers with many years in the Habs team to come, so we look forward to the future with optimism. The third Overseas tour to Vilamoura in February 2009 was again a great success, with 10 boys plus Messrs. Ward & McIntosh enjoying 4 rounds in perfect weather over the Vila Sol, Millenium, O'Connor and Old Course layouts. David Fernie of Russells was the winner of the week on 132 points, narrowly edging out Aidan Kovenklioglu on countback. Next year's tour is eagerly awaited....
Badminton This has been an encouraging year for the badminton squad. The U18 team comfortably won all of their matches, conceding only three games out of a total of forty-five played, and Akash Jhunjhunwala and Alex Gomar secured victory in the Harrow Five Schools Badminton Tournament against teams including those from Harrow and John Lyons. The U16 and U14 teams played very competitively in with both remaining undefeated; however, both teams fell to high quality opposition in the national knock out tournaments. At the Under 13 Hertfordshire Schools Badminton Association Tournament, HABS managed to finish in first place amassing a huge total of 202 points against the 99 points of its closest rival, St Albans. A large number of boys this year have also played at county level; Bhavik Shah, Yash Kejriwal and Rishi Dattani have played at the U13 level, while Sahil Shah has played at the U17 level. Bhavik was also successful in winning the annual Junior School Badminton Tournament held on open day which is an outstanding individual achievement. The quality and enthusiasm of the boys, particularly at the U12/U13 level, bodes very well in terms of continuing the success of school badminton in years to come.
Akash Jhunjhunwala U6
Skylark 2009 Sport
Tennis The depth in ability of the Seniors, the enthusiasm and commitment of the Middle school, and the huge potential in the Junior School have all contributed to the success HABS Tennis has had this term. The BSTA (County League) teams have lost just once this season whilst the District teams are unbeaten in all three age groups and look on course for the finals of the Nicola Mabbit Trophy. Over sixty boys have represented the school this year and the standard of tennis has been consistently high.
HABS success at the Herts County Doubles Championships On Saturday 16th May, HABS were fully represented at both levels of competition at Rickmansworth. Despite the windy conditions, the standard of tennis was high and the HABS teams all performed admirably. The senior boys’ first pair, Kishan Chotai and Samir Majithia almost went all the way in the Plate Competition but were narrowly defeated in a thrilling final against Rickmansworth 5-7. Year 9 students, Joe Gold and Felix Taljaard went all the way in the Under 14 Plate, beating a talented St Albans pair 6-2 in the Final. The I.S.T.A. Tennis Competitions at Eton are still to be played: HABS have entered the senior Youll Cup, the U15 Thomas Bowl Cup and the U13 John Barrett Cup. The level of competition here will be extremely strong pitting our boys against some of the brightest young talent in the country. It has been a busy year for Habs Tennis and the standard of our play was consistently high with numerous successes along the way. The U13 and U15 BSTA (County League) teams have lost just once this season finishing runners-up in their respective box leagues. The huge depth of talent at the school was demonstrated in the District competition (for non-County League players) where all three teams were unbeaten in the group stage and won their qualifying leagues. In an exciting finals day at Queenswood School our year 9 and 10 teams finished a creditable second in the county whilst the year 8 team managed to go one better. The team of Jacob Harris, Alfie Bambaji, Sam Kempner and Raaj Vadodaria recovered from an early defeat to produce their best tennis of the season and win the Nicola Mabbit Trophy. Earlier in the season Habs also enjoyed success at the Herts County Doubles Championships with year 9 students Joe Gold and Felix Taljaard winning the under 14 Plate. Habs also took part in the I.S.T.A. Championships at Eton during Wimbledon fortnight: Samir Majithia, Sahil Malde, Jaimin Arya, Anuj Amarshi were our representatives in the senior Youll Cup; Brendan Anandaraja and Jonathan Tho in the U15 Thomas Bowl; Harry Mistry and Ben Steltzer in the U13 John Barrett Cup. The level of
competition here was extremely strong with many nationally ranked players on show. Although the boys suffered early exits from the competition the experience was a very positive one. Further down the school hopes are high for the current year 7 squad, many of whom have beaten several older opponents during the term. Elliot Reidy and Andrew Gilbert remained unbeaten throughout the season in both their friendly and County League matches. Interest in playing tennis has been exceedingly high. The fifteen school courts are frequently full at lunchtime and over sixty boys have represented the school during the summer term. The depth of tennis talent in the school was again in evidence throughout the Inter House Tennis Competition and the standard impressive in all the age groups. The new ‘killer-deuce’ rule helped to provide several close matches with a number of crucial sets going to 5-5 and deuce. The matches have been really well supported by pupils and teachers alike with the Finals Day in each competition proving to be an exciting climax.
Skylark 2009 Old Haberdashers’
Keith Edelman - Habs in the City It has often been suggested that the OHA should organise events to enable the large community of who work in the City of London, including accountants, bankers, fund managers, lawyers, surveyors and company executives to meet and network together. In March 2008, this idea became a reality with the first “Habs in the City” reception held at the offices of SJ Berwin LLP, the European law firm. Jonathan Blake (1971) the Senior Partner kindly hosted the event. Some 70 OH City men (and two OH girls) were joined by John Carleton, former Second Master, and Peter Spence, the School’s External Relations Director and found much to talk about as they compared notes with their contemporaries and made useful new contacts. For the second Habs in the City event, Keith Edelman, the former Managing Director of Arsenal Football Club talked about his experiences and views of the surreal economics of Premier League football under the title of “Is English football a serious business or just a playground for billionaires? He gave a fascinating insight into the forces driving up player transfer prices and pay packages as well as predicting the further polarisation of football between rich and poor clubs. Keith left Haberdashers’ in 1968 and has also been a Governor and parent (of Nick) at the School. He was Managing Director of Arsenal from 2000 to 2008 and led the successful financing and development of the club’s new Emirates Stadium and negotiated major sponsorship deals with Emirates Airlines and Nike. His previous business experience includes
being Chief Executive of Storehouse plc, Managing Director of Carlton Communications. Our host for this occasion was David Vogel, a senior partner at Dechert LP, the City law firm at whose offices we enjoyed a plentiful supply of drinks and canapés. I am delighted that “Habs in the City” has now established itself as a concept with some 80 OH’s attending one or both of the first two events. The next event is expected to be a wine-tasting so watch out for news of this. Several people have already offered to host future events and I would welcome any suggestions for speakers. If you have any suggestions or
are interested in coming to “Habs in the City” events please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Skylark 2009 Old Haberdashers’
Simon Shaps At a time when many commentators are reading the last rites for this country’s biggest broadcasters, Simon Shaps, an Old Haberdasher who spent twenty-five years at ITV, latterly as the Director of Television, remains resolutely upbeat. Yes, things are tough in broadcasting – as they are in many industries right now. Advertising has collapsed, investment has been slashed, jobs have been cut back more aggressively than ever before. But to question the “viability of a major chunk of British broadcasting” is wrongheaded. And the comparisons that have been drawn with Britain’s coal mining industry in the 1980s are even wider of the mark: “there is not a spiral of inevitable decline.” Things in the TV industry will have to change – as they have for Shaps himself, who left ITV in 2008. New technology has altered the landscape. But for the doomsday scenario to play out, Shaps argues, “you would have to believe that storytelling in moving pictures is dead. And it is extremely rare for technological change to bring about total displacement. What you find is that TV consumption is unbelievably resilient. There are grounds for optimism.” Shaps enjoyed a rapid rise up the ITV ladder in a career that included high-profile spells as Director of Programmes at LWT and as Chief Executive of Granada. But his entry into the world of television – after Haberdashers’ (which he left in 1975) and Cambridge – wasn’t quite so straightforward. He started out as a reporter at the Cambridge Evening News: “a two-year stint in Siberia”. His father, Cyril, an actor who at one time provided the voiceovers for Mr Kipling’s “exceedingly good cakes” TV ads, was keen for him to get a job at the BBC (“they had a very good pension scheme,” Shaps jokes.) But his interview for the sought-after BBC general traineeship lasted all of ten minutes. “They asked me about the point of public service broadcasting. And it was obvious that I wanted something more commercial.” Instead, his TV career began at Thames Television; he worked as a researcher on Thames News, a job which brought its own set of challenges. Shaps tells the story of an early misadventure that took place when covering a small news item about a dispute between neighbours in Ashford. “The problem was that there are two Ashfords, one in Kent and the other in Middlesex – and they are 75 miles apart. I sent the TV crew to the wrong Ashford. There were 100 people in the newsroom. Every single one of them knew that this guy in his first television job had made this mistake. And they were all fabulous piss-takers.” Haberdashers’ had prepared him for the cut and thrust. “It was a rather brilliant place for strong personalities,” Shaps explains. “A bit Darwinian, I suppose, he who was the funniest, the brightest, stood out. The further away you are from the school, the more insightful you can be about it. There was a bohemian quality to the place, it valued individuality and enterprise. You were encouraged to make something of your life.” And it was the teaching staff that created this environment. “They were an inspiring, provocative bunch with incredibly high expectations.” The boys would do their best to meet this level of expectation. “If I think back, if I look around the room at the people who were in my classes, they were, by any standards anywhere – Cambridge, afterwards – about the most remarkable group of people I ever met. The group I did English A-Level with, for example. They were not just bright, they were so interesting.” “And it never felt like a hothouse, a machine that was there to generate A-stars. Yes, the school got results, but they were something that happened, most of the time you didn’t think about it. It was a place that would stimulate, provoke, inspire. It was just as important to play Hamlet in a school play or to write something scandalous in the school magazine as it was to get straight As.”
Shaps, who has been described as an “ITV man through and through”, has worked in all parts of the business: “I’ve never found a conflict between the commercial and the creative side of television”. As a programme-maker, he produced Weekend World and the London Programme; he was responsible for poaching both Martin Bashir and Jonathan Dimbleby from the BBC; he commissioned “Britain’s Got Talent” for ITV, a show that is even more important for the station’s fortunes in today’s multi-channel market: “big brands become more valuable in a fragmented world.” “Over twenty-five years at ITV, I did all the jobs I ever wanted to do,” he explains. And the disruptive change that the TV industry is experiencing “has created some really interesting opportunities”. Audiences’ appetite for TV content is still there, Shaps emphasises, but consumption is moving across different platforms. And notions of what it means to be a media star in the digital age are shifting. Shaps is now working with Lauren Luke, a very new kind of TV celebrity. Luke, a 27-year-old single mother from South Shields, started out by selling popular brands of make-up on the internet site eBay. She began to record a series of ten-minute video clips that explained how to apply these products, which she posted on YouTube. In less than two years, her instructional videos have received 50 million hits from users in more than 70 countries. Luke has signed a book deal with Hodder & Stoughton, helped to create a Nintendo video game and is in talks about a TV show. “She’s the Susan Boyle of make-up,” laughs Shaps. And what of today’s Sixth Former at Haberdashers’, someone who might be thinking of a career in TV? “The kind of career I have had won’t be replicated,” Shaps says. “When I left school, it was possible to have an entire career as a producer, or as a director. That’s changed, job flexibility is greater, and the range of activities is broader. As I keep saying: the future will not be worse, but it will be different.”
Skylark 2009 Old Haberdashers’
5 Years On…
Where are they now? Sammy (Robert Samuelson)
It is hard to be succinct about what I have learnt over the past five years, or how I have changed. Eleven years at Habs leaves an indelible mark,regardless of whether you want it to or not. University may have made up my formative years, but Habs certainly represented my defining years. Undoubtedly the skills I gained at Habs helped me towards my present career path. Years of drama and debating, of going round for round on questions of history and literature with such luminaries as Messrs Lempriere, Lyons, Bass, Norton and Simm, inexorably and relentlessly pushed me into a profession where being argumentative is a virtue. It did not come as a staggering shock to my friends when I told them I was going to law school. While at the University of Nottingham I was lucky enough to take on the role of Commercial Director at the student radio station, organising marketing, advertising, promotional activities and other contractual obligations for the station. The business element of what was essentially a creative position helped me realise that media law was the way forward for me. I will begin a training contract at Olswang, a firm of solicitors specialising in media and entertainment law, particularly film, television and music, plus copyright and 136
trademark issues, in March 2010. Long-term, I hope my legal skills will help me in the entertainment industry more generally, perhaps in film production and finance. When I left school, the Haberdashers’ lifestyle had become the defining aspect of my young life, with its clever banter, confident attitude and camaraderie still resonant today. University came as a culture shock. It took me a while to settle into its vastness. Perhaps this represents the most significant change in me, or the most important lesson I have had to learn: to recognise that there is a world outside Elstree, but also not to shy away from what Haberdashers’ taught me. Habs may have changed over the years, but Habs Boys have uniformly enjoyed a unique education. I see it as tremendous good fortune that I was lucky enough to spend such a large portion of my life there. Five years on, then. No longer a student;not quite yet a working man. With so much still to learn and experience, it is likely that the next five years will represent an even more pronounced period of change. Yet wherever my law career, and eventual creative calling, takes me, the words of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Jazz Age classic ‘The Great Gatsby’, and no doubt the simultaneous image of an English department classroom in 2004, will stay with me, and remind me that while we each have our dreams and ambitions, our singular pasts have helped us to where we are now, and where we are going to next: “One day we will run faster, stretch out our arms further, and one fine morning…So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.”
Macca (James McNicholas)
The end of the year came, an agent was acquired, and before long I was trying the patience of my parents more than ever before as I played the waiting game of the professional actor. There is certain glamour to listing your profession as “actor”. There is, however, not much glamour to unemployment (do not be fooled, as I was, by Withnail & I). Fortunately, all this while, a hobby that had become a habit was bubbling under that would help fill some of that “resting” time. In 2004 I had started a blog about my beloved Arsenal Football Club. Over time it grew until eventually I was regularly getting around 10,000 readers every day. As the site’s profile increased so did mine, and before long I was being asked to comment on various media channels in the guise of an ‘informed fan’.
You would think, after more than decade within the confines of Haberdashers’, I might’ve worked out some sort of plan for when the day finally came to leave. Alas. I went to university because everybody else did, and I studied English because I wasn’t any good at anything else. I ended up at University College London, in spite of (or perhaps due to) an interview in which they mistakenly spent the entire time asking me about a book I had never read, let alone studied. No matter: I may have been terrible at economics, but I could be economic with the truth, and managed to fudge my way on to the course. Unfortunately, before I even turned up to my first lecture, I was having second thoughts, having belatedly determined to pursue a passion I had explored at Habs: acting. The following three years were a tug of war between my English tutors and the questionable allure of the bright lights of student theatre. All too predictably, cardboard sets and dreadful Shakespeare productions won the day. After finishing my degree, I immediately embarked on an MA in Classical Acting at the Central School of Speech & Drama, whose alumni include Judy Dench, Laurence Olivier, and former Haberdasher Jason Isaacs. I loved it.
Around a year ago I was introduced to the advertising agency Weiden+Kennedy to consult on some projects with Nike. This started a chain of events that has led to me and two partners creating a communications company that will formally launch in late 2009. My time now is split between acting work, football-related projects and other communications initiatives. I feel remarkably fortunate that I get paid for doing things I would undoubtedly do unrewarded – in fact, I believe doing so much unpaid work in these areas to begin with is what created the nexus of contacts that has enabled to get where I am now. Much like when I left Habs, there is no great plan. Just to keep “working hard” I suppose – though when you’re doing what you love, it never feels like hard work. I am still in touch with many of my friends from school, and am preemptively proud of all they look set to achieve.
Skylark 2009 Old Haberdashers’
Having left the warm and nurturing bosom of Haberdashers’, I decided to study philosophy, less because I thought it could provide answers to life’s toughest questions and more because I was convinced that arming myself with an arsenal of clichéd quotes would make me sound more intelligent to the opposite sex. Ultimately I left without achieving either, but I enjoyed my three year sojourn in rainy Bristol and the degree rendered me with some sharpened analytical skills, the frustrating idiosyncrasy of questioning nearly everything, and a newfound ability to pick (and occasionally win) an argument. However, despite developing affection for Sartreís nihilism and Descartesí uncertainty, I had long since harbored aspirations of another kind. I remember my philosophy tutor reacting with horror, when I told him, having spent an hour discussing and vehemently debating the merits of redistributing global wealth, that I had accepted a job in the advertising industry. I had got a place on WPP’s Marketing Fellowship Program- I still find it strange telling people I am part of a program called ‘The Fellowship’, convinced that it sounds more like an underground movement in a J. R. R.Tolkien novel than a respectable and legitimate job. The program lasts three years, and is unique within the world of marketing and communication, affording you the opportunity to work in three different countries, at three different WPP agencies, exploring three different areas of the communication business. It seemed almost too good to be true.
I spent my first year as an Account Planner at Grey London, an advertising agency in Farringdon, researching the lives of our brands’ target audience so I could help our creative team better understand what types of messages would convince the consumer that Pantene made their hair softer, that Pringles were the tastiest crisps and that they should spend more money on their Visa Cards. For the second year of the program, I moved to Manhattan to work as a strategist at a boutique interactive agency called Schematic where employees navigated our downtown office on skateboards, and built interactive websites, iphone aps and interactive digital experiences for brands like ABC, Target and Nokia. After a year immersed in the world of digital, I emerged a certified and self-acclaimed geek, convinced that this medium represented a real chink of light for my currently beleaguered industry, and excited about the incredible potential for digital technology to improve and transform our lives. Having fallen in love with Manhattan life, I elected to eschew the opportunity to work in some of the world’s most exciting cities like Beijing, Mumbai or Rio- I am fully aware that some of you are at this point questioning my sanity- and instead decided to stay and spend my final year of the program in New York. By now, my north London brogue is showing signs of weakening under the heavy pressure of American English and I now frequently refer to the mailman, elevator, sidewalk and dare I say it even (ever-sooccasionally) soccer. I have just started at the Advertising Agency J. Walter Thompson, and although it has been a real shock to the system working in an office of 500 people rather than 50, Iím looking forward to the challenges ahead, and my role in a newly formed ëInnovations department, exploring opportunities to work in partnership with clients where we share costs, risks and also gains on new brand and product launches. Five years carries with it the illusion of seeming like an awfully long time. As I write this article in a dingy bar in downtown
Manhattan, it ís tempting for me to think that my life today is as far removed from baked beans on toast in the sixth form common room and jumpers for goalposts on the park pitches in leafy Hertfordshire, as I could ever have expected or dared. Turns out, however, that despite the lack of geographical proximity to life at Haberdashers’, my life today, upon closer inspection, hasn’t changed all that much. I still support the same boyish looks (this is really another way of saying that I still look like a 15 year old), when I pick up the phone for a natter with a friend, it is nearly always someone I shared those eleven school years with, and invariably our conversations soon turn to school memories. I am nearly always left with belly-ache, laughing hysterically at something I have been reminded of at least one hundred times previously. It would seem that you can take the boy out of Habs, but you can’t take Habs out of the boy.
Five years? Is that all? It seems a lifetime ago that some other person was wearing a suit and trying to skip the lunch queue at the Bates’ dining hall. I was never much one for the camaraderie supposedly fostered by rugby scrums, detentions or chess club and so always felt very detached at HABS, sensing that life might one day begin, though not yet. But begin it did My plan to spend a year in Israel proved a bad choice. Trying to solve the Middle East peace crisis by volunteering on a co-existence project frazzled my nerves and getting wasted on a kibbutz frazzled my brain cells. I returned to the UK to sort myself out and come up with a new plan. The ‘new plan’ presented itself rather unexpectedly in the form of a very
striking and beautiful woman dressed all in purple sitting opposite me in a waiting room. To cut a very long, complicated but interminably romantic story short, she chased me to Venice where we fell madly in love and decided to get married six weeks after we met! There were only three problems in this beautiful saga; the first two came in the form of my parents who were strangely unenthusiastic about their nineteen-year-old Jewish son becoming enamoured of a purple-haired, pagan trapeze artist nearly ten years older than him. The third problem was that we were absolutely, totally, utterly skint. All things considered, we decided the only thing we could possibly do was run away, terribly fast. Flame and I were living in her converted ambulance in the courtyard of a circus school in Old Street, so we drove off leaving the last week of rent unpaid and headed for the coast. When we returned to the UK in the summer of 2006, we moved to Brighton so I could begin my degree at the University of Sussex. To support ourselves, we started our own entertainment company doing a bizarre mixture of cabaret acts on the Brighton fringe circuit. After Flame sustained a serious knee injury which disrupted her trapeze career we began to focus more on children’s entertainment, where we have made a name for ourselves as “Felicity Fairy and Muddlehead the Pixie.” It amuses me to think that I was probably the first HABS boy in my year to get married (aged 19) and also that I am probably the only one working as a professional clown (City bankers excluded of course!) So what now? Well I finished my degree, Flame and I are both ready for a change and so we are moving into our camper van and driving around the world. We have some properly rehearsed busking acts this time and enough funds to cover our diesel for the whole trip and we hope to be in Flame’s native New Zealand in about five years. Meantime, if you should be on holiday, touring round Morocco or Tajikistan and you happen upon two crazy-looking circus performers trying to hitch a ride, please stop and give us a lift, we’ll be much obliged.
Skylark 2009 Old Haberdashers’
Foundation Lecture Series For some time, the Headmaster has been keen to see if we can harness the support and collective strength of our external communities in support of our school. To that end, a number of new initiatives have been launched, ranging from the mailing of Skylight and monthly email bulletins to all our Old Boys and friends, the establishment of the Parent Ambassador programme, the assistance provided by over 200 volunteers as university and career mentors, and the raising of nearly £200,000 in cash in the first year of a fundraising drive. However, we were keen to provide a service that was of value to our entire community, not just to our boys, and to that end launched the Foundation Speaker programme in the summer of 2009 with ‘An Evening with Sir Garfield Sobers’. A packed Bourne Hall was proof of the immense reputation in which this retired cricketer was held, and it was particularly heartening that the audience was composed of past and current pupils, past and current parents, and teachers and friends. In the first event of its kind, we were all able to enjoy being part of an exciting and vibrant community. Since then, we have been privileged to welcome Sue Palmer, author of Toxic Child and Richard Wolffe, of Renegade: The Making of Obama. Once again, Habs proves it is more than a school. It is a community of friends united in a shared mission to ensure that we are the best we can be.
Richard Wolffe Biographer of Obama
An audience of parents, old boys, pupils and staff enjoyed ‘An Evening with Richard Wolffe’ in the Seldon Hall yesterday evening. The author of Renegade: the Making of a President, Wolffe was invited by Obama to accompany him in order to write a book about the 21 month campaign. Born in Birmingham and graduate in English and French from Oxtord University in 1992, he became a senior journalist for the Financial Times before moving to Washington to become the senior White House correspondent for Newsweek, and later for CNN and Fox News. He is currently a political analyst and commentator on MSNBC’s Countdown with Keith Olbermann. Released earlier this year in the USA, and now available in the UK, Renegade promises to be a best seller, and interest in the topic has led to a series of interviews and reviews in the UK and international press. We were treated to a wide-ranging discussion, from an analysis of the key figures in President
Sue Palmer Foundation Speaker Sue Palmer addressed a large group of parents in the Seldon Hall on Tuesday evening. An educational psychologist, Sue is one of Britain’s leading authorities on child development. In her books Toxic Childhood: How the Modern World is Damaging our Children and Detoxing Childhood: What Parents need to Know to raise Happy, Successful Children she notes her concern that rapid changes in our culture, prompted in particular by the digital revolution, have damaged our children. In her second book she went on to suggest strategies that would overcome the harmful aspects of these changes. Along the way, however, she became particularly aware of the harm that was being caused to boys. 138
This led to her latest work, 21st Century Boys: How Modern Life is driving them off the rails and what we can do to bring them back on track which was the topic of the talk last night. Sue Palmer made the point that boys and girls learn differently, and that boys needed physical stimulation, a competitive environment and a range of interests to keep them interested. She felt that Habs was well placed to meet these needs, with magnificent grounds for boys to explore and a remarkable range of extracurricular activities to keep them interested. And we know that our boys love to compete with each other! The Foundation Lecture series is designed to build stronger links with our community of parent and old boys, so that in working together we can make the school even better than it is now.
Obama’s inner circle (including Michelle Obama) to an assessment of the workings of the American constitution. Most fascinating was the assessment of the president’s working style. Though a keen strategist, evidenced in the carefully planned victories in the primaries, Obama tends to wait for events to unfold before seizing back the initiative. He can be tetchy and short-termpered, but his unusual childhood and experiences as a young adult have helped him bring a particularly inclusive world view to the White House. Particularly notable was the description of Obama’s political philosophy as ‘ruthless pragmatism’. Born in Birmingham and graduate in English and French from Oxtord University in 1992, he became a senior journalist for the Financial Times before moving to Washington to become the senior White House correspondent for Newsweek, and later for CNN and Fox News. He is currently a political analyst and commentator on MSNBC’s Countdown with Keith Olbermann.
Skylark 2009 Old Haberdashers’
Sir Garfield Sobers Sir Garfield Sobers addressed an excited audience of boys , parents and friends of the school on Wednesday 17th June. Gary Sobers is widely regarded as the greatest all rounder to have played cricket. He was incredibly versatile with the ball, bowling two types of spin and also operating as a fast medium bowler. His elegant powerful style of batting became a model for others to copy. His career highlights included six consecutive sixes hit off an over from the unfortunate Malcolm Nash, a superb innings of 365 not out against Pakistan and scoring 254 for the rest of the world against Australia. He was named Wisden Cricketer of the year in 1964, knighted for services to cricket in 1975, and selected as one of five Wisden Cricketers of the Century in 2000. Sir Garfield mentioned the passion for the game shown at Habs, not just formally using the superb sport field facilities but equally importantly that many boys play the game at break and lunchtime using any corner of a play ground and using bins for wickets. He explained that much of the West Indies Success at cricket in the past was due to boys playing for hours in less than idea conditions and so developing the knack of dealing with unpredictable bowling and bounce. Sir Garfield spoke about the Sir Garfield Sobers Cricket competition which is held in Barbados each year for school cricket teams from all over the world. He hoped that a Habs team will be able to compete in the competition in the near future. He conveyed the excitement felt when a young Brian Laura played in the competition for the first time.
before moving to Washington to become the senior White House correspondent for Newsweek, and later for CNN and Fox News. He is currently a political analyst and commentator on MSNBC’s Countdown with Keith Olbermann. Released earlier this year in the USA, and now available in the UK, Renegade promises to be a best seller, and interest in the topic has led to a series of interviews and reviews in the UK and international press. We were treated to a wide-ranging discussion, from an analysis of the key figures in President Obama’s inner circle (including Michelle Obama) to an assessment of the workings of the American constitution. Most fascinating was the assessment of the president’s working style. Though a keen strategist, evidenced in the carefully planned victories in the primaries, Obama tends to wait for events to unfold before seizing back the initiative. He can be tetchy and short-termpered, but his unusual childhood and experiences as a young adult have helped him bring a particularly inclusive world view to the White House. Particularly notable was the description of Obama’s political philosophy as ‘ruthless pragmatism’. Born in Birmingham and graduate in English and French from Oxtord University in 1992, he became a senior journalist for the Financial Times before moving to Washington to become the senior White House correspondent for Newsweek, and later for CNN and Fox News. He is currently a political analyst and commentator on MSNBC’s Countdown with Keith Olbermann.
Sir Garfield entertained the audience for over and hour and half with his insights into the differences between the game in his time and the present day. He reminisced warmly about the excitement he felt playing at Lords, the home of cricket, for the first time. He is a man of dignity and good humour and spoke generously of the great cricketers of his era and their strengths and weakness. He can see the reason for twentytwenty cricket but believes it is entertainment rather than true sport. As a token of thanks Sir Garfield was presented with a school cricket sweater by Habs cricket captain Lewis Jenkins. The evening concluded with an auction of cricket memorabilia signed by Sir Garfield. C Glanville1992, he became a senior journalist for the Financial Times 139
The Haberdashers’ Aske’s Boys’ School Nurturing Excellence
Stay with the team! Please make sure we have your contact details whenever you move (your postal address, email, telephone and mobile). • Call us on 020 8266 1820 • Register with Habsonline (top right menu bar) at www.habsboys.org.uk • Post a letter to: Alumni Office, External Relations, Haberdashers' Aske's Boys' School, Butterfly Lane, Elstree, Herts, WD6 3AF
Skylark 2009 Common Room
Secretary’s Notes At the time of writing, a canicule is casting glorious sunshine over pristine school lawns, bringing the promise of hot days and balmy nights for the close of term and its hectic social schedule. Many a casual conversation has included a mention of just how splendid the grounds are looking thanks to the endeavours of Daniel Beckley and his crew. The maintenance and catering staff are busy managing the logistics for two events in one day – the Fraser Bird lunch and the Common Room Garden Party. This typical teamwork, harnessing the expertise of talented individuals all around the school, makes Haberdashers’ a vibrant workplace for boys and employees. It is both the social and the physical environment that add vital cheer to our collective spirit in these days of swine flu and credit crisis. Keren Pollock, just like her predecessor as chairman, has recognised the value of recreation and made her mark with the kind of initiatives which encourage us to share our best experiences and appreciation of each other. Unfortunately, four pillars of the school community, whose exceptional gifts have been appreciated for many years, are among this year’s leavers and will be sorely missed. The following fleeting words do little justice to the huge impact made by these gentlemen whose enduring value to the school is reflected elsewhere in this publication. Jon Corrall, omnipresent Haberdashers’ icon, is retiring this year; as Senior Master, expert linguist and raconteur par excellence, Jon has always displayed unique charisma and supreme ability. Michael Lempriere, an inspirational Head of English - wonderfully wise and welcoming - is departing for fresh fields. His erudition and playful wit have made him a legion of devoted fans. Michael Lexton, a brilliant Head of Science with formidable intellect and exemplary professionalism, has always been a great friend to the Common Room - generous with advice and support for colleagues, not least as a very fine erstwhile chairman. John Wigley, Head of Economics, versatile schoolmaster, eloquent public speaker, accomplished author and close comrade to many colleagues, has also set off on a new path. All four have devoted over thirty years to their craft. The call of the Malvern hills is depriving the school of another favourite, Antonia Dable. Antonia joined as an English teacher in 2004 before finding her niche in ICT, fast establishing herself as an oasis of sanity and humanity for those anguishing over their desktop demons. Inevitably, other colleagues will also find pastures new in the autumn, having served Haberdashers’ with great energy, making a big impression in their relatively small time at the school. Aude Houssaye, a bright, charming French assistante who joined us in September 2007, will move on to Roehampton University 142
for her PGCE course; David Green has done a terrific job in Biology but also demonstrated his prowess in Games and CCF responsibilities – he returns to the dreaming spires of Oxford to start his PGCE. Carl Watts leaves us after a year teaching History and Politics and serving in the CCF Army section. Another historian, Emma Chandler-Thompson, has gained a permanent post in St Helen’s, Northwood. Eleanor Valentine, after outstanding work in a wide range of duties for the Music and History departments, is resuming her academic studies. We also bid a very fond farewell to three members of the support staff who have both conducted their essential duties with cheerful dedication. Yvonne Sedgwick, a receptionist for ten years, fulfilling a ‘front of house’ role with style and sensitivity, is retiring to Herne Bay with her husband. From the very start of her appointment, Giselle Da Silva has performed her tasks as Deputy Heads’ secretary with such calm efficiency combined with flair that it feels like she has been doing the job for years. She is moving to Portugal with her family. For the past nine years Gillian Jenkins has kept the thirsty, hungry hordes happy at Common Room break times, for which gallantry she has gained our utmost respect and gratitude. ‘Love is in the air, everywhere I look around’ once crooned a suave Aussie. It is certainly true of Haberdashers’ at the moment. Shortly before joining us last September, Andrew O’Sullivan tied the knot. Peter Thackwray announced his engagement to colleague Eleanor Valentine earlier this term. Christopher Whalley, likewise, proposed successfully to Maureen recently. In the Prep School, Tessa Loebenberg is set to wed Mark Witzenfeld in the summer; John Maguire is getting married to his fiancee, Kate, at the end of July; Nicholas Moss and Deborah will be man and wife in early August. Chris Hagley was joined in matrimony in April and his fellow caretaker (former pupil of the CR secretary!), John Miller, will follow suit in August. Our warmest congratulations go to each and every couple, wishing them every happiness. New additions this year include a son, Xander, for Diana Rhys-Brown; a daughter, Francesca Jane Clementine for Debbie and Melvyn Bardou; a daughter, Jessica Jane (to be known as Jess) for Lara and Mark Dixon; and a son, Daniel Gethyn, for Rob and Clare Oldfield - all born before the start of the Spring Term. Victoria Peck from the Pre-Prep gave birth to her daughter, Sophie, in January, and Su Wijeratna also had a girl, Amelie Anouk, in May. Florence Aspart and Andrew Pawlowicz were blessed by the arrival of her their son, Lucas, also in May. That makes a grand total of four girls and three boys - we are delighted for all these families. So extensive are the skills of the Common Room body that, while movement of staff throws up some challenges, there are always
those who will rise to the occasion magnificently. Simon Pyburn has been appointed as successor to Dr Lexton; Kirti Shah is the new Head of Economics; Peter Thackrey is acting Housemaster of Strouts with Robert Garvey as acting Deputy Housemaster - a dynamic young partnership; and Michele Jones has been a masterly, innovative acting Head of Year 7. Happily, Michael Cucknell has become a permanent member of staff in Biology after cutting a dash of work in CCF, Games and the classroom since his arrival in January. The calibre of academic strength in the teaching at HABS is exemplified by the number of published authors present. Peter Stiff, whose “Student Unit Guide for OCR AS” is now available, has been granted a Fawcett Scholarship to study at U.C.L. for the autumn term. Biology papers by Roger Delpech have appeared in the “School Science Review” and the “The Journal of Biological Education”. (Roger’s wife, Clare, was awarded an MBE in the recent Honours list for her services to mental health.) The sixth edition of Ian Jacques’ “Mathematics for Economics and Business” has been on the shelves since April. The Common Room is proud to celebrate their success. On a similar note, “Let’s Talk to Barry”, the latest literary creation of Tim Norton, whose virtuoso direction has been the mainstay of Haberdashers’ drama for many years now, was performed both in London and the Watford Palace Theatre in June. (Tim even shook hands with the honourable Alastair Darling, upon whose carpet Tim accidentally poured a libation of red wine.) Despite the gloomy messages in the newspapers – even a rare spell of clement weather prompts sinister headlines about level four heat wave risks! – there is an air of sunny optimism in the Common Room. We end the term on a high with our comrades from the Girls’ School attending the now annual Joint Common Room Party for some leisurely croquet and a glass of bubbly. We look forward to rekindling old acquaintances at the Leavers’ Party. And plans are afoot to refurbish the Quiet Common Room making it an even more comfortable refuge from the buzz of excited activity outside. The impressive array of new colleagues joining the school in September are sure to find a warm reception in a Common Room which looks for ways not only to bring out the best in its members but also to promote friendship and unity.
Skylark 2009 Common Room
Jon Corrall Jon Corrall leaves HABS as full of energy and enthusiasm as he was on his first day, after 31 years of outstanding service. He joined us from Merchant Taylors’, Northwood as an Assistant Master in the Modern Languages Department on the 1st September 1978. It proved to be a wise decision for all! He was appointed to Head of German in September 1982, Head of Modern Foreign Languages in September 1991 and Senior Master in September 1998. A true scholar and a razor sharp intellect, Jon is cultured and gifted linguist; a first-rate administrator always full of good ideas; a formidable man-manager and a compassionate pastoral leader; and above all, an outstanding teacher - in short, the complete schoolmaster. Jon has devoted countless hours to exchanges and to trips abroad. He has coached teams in Cricket and Rugby; his devotion to Games and to the extra-curricular life of the school in general is legendary. We shall all remember him in different ways: the Common Room will have memories of what I hope is a model of efficiency and kindness
and warmth, a man who has always been able to give of his time, has stuck to his guns, has worked easily with teaching and support staff, has praised and admonished with scrupulous fairness, and who has always put the needs of boys and colleagues first – this is not the legacy of an ordinary Deputy Head. Jon has gone consistently the extra mile for the school, for the boys, and for his colleagues. For the three Headmasters he has served, a few words spring to my mind: absolute loyalty, integrity, trustworthiness, diplomacy, discretion, precision, empathy, pride in a job well done, intimate knowledge of routines, people and parents, and most importantly the ability to keep me on the straight and narrow and fully aware of what needs to be done. The boys will remember the lessons from a first-rate linguist; they will remember a firm but fair disciplinarian, a galvaniser of the Prefect Body and a staunch supporter of the House system; they will remember trips accompanied by a man with a genuine interest in wider education, be it the CCF, MUN in The Hague, or countless expeditions to France or Germany. We lose not just a colleague and a great friend of the school, but a personal friend to many of
us; and yet “lose” is the wrong word because he will be a frequent and a most welcome visitor to Elstree. Fun to be with, immensely supportive and immensely popular, he will be sorely missed. I am sure you will all join me in wishing him a long, active and happy retirement.
Michael J Lexton Michael Lexton joined Haberdashers in 1977. He was born in Cardiff, South Wales, and at age 11 he went to St Illtyd’s College, Cardiff where he took O-levels and then A-levels in Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry. In 1966 he entered University College Swansea reading Chemistry, graduating in 1969. He went on to take a PhD at the same institution. His thesis was based on “The Reactions of Hydrogen Atoms with Simple Alkenes”, a subtle and complex aspect of gas kinetics and yet an area of chemistry that has real commercial value, as it is a reaction which is at the heart of the process that turns vegetable oil into margarine. And then, in one of those turning points that we all have in our lives, Mike forsook the ivory tower of academic research and decided to go into teaching. He left Wales for the first time and ventured into the heart of the English countryside to take his PGCE at Trinity Hall, Cambridge. His first teaching post was a plum job at Trinity School Croydon, where he quickly made his mark both in the classroom and on the sports field. Four years later and now an experienced school master, he was seduced by the greenery and open spaces of Elstree into joining the Chemistry department, headed by a certain John Carleton. In a department that was already more than pulling its weight, Mike added scholarship, erudition and accomplishment. The Chemistry office in those days was an exciting place; it
buzzed with discussion about azeotropes, allotropes and isotopes. Nick Clark-Lowes (spawned some said in the cellars of Balliol College Oxford) frequently emerged from the fumes and smoke obscuring his lab with his hair awry, his labcoat stained and burned, and with a fierce gleam in his eyes, whilst Doug Yeabsley managed to teach the body alls they needed for O-level Chemistry, while spending most of his lessons discussing the Lions tours or the Ashes campaigns. He had a passion for his subject second only to cricket, and Rugby, and Russells House, and his growing family, and his pupils, and his legendary barbecues – all right seventh only to those! In this select company, whatever the conversation, be it Chemistry, sport or current affairs, Mike was completely at home. In 1982, when John Carleton became Second Master, Mike was appointed Head of Chemistry. Like all good Heads of Department, his leadership is based on his outstanding ability as a classroom teacher. His subject knowledge is vast; if you need an answer to a question about Chemistry, it is always much quicker to find Mike than it is to look one up in a book or on Wikipedia (and, unlike Wikipedia, Mike does not get his facts wrong). As with any great teacher, it is not enough to have command of your subject, but you also have to be able to set this out before others in a way that is comprehensible and digestible. The clarity with which Mike explains a point, and the subtlety of his argument, is something all of us can recognise, and is something from which the
pupils here have benefited for over thirty years. The success of the Chemistry Department, in competitions such as the Chemistry Olympiad, is in no small part due to Mike’s teaching of the enhancement classes, in which he teases out of the boys that depth of understanding to which only the best can aspire. When Roger Wakely retired as Head of Science in 1990, Mike was the obvious successor. It is all too easy to take for granted the efficiency and effectiveness with which the Chemistry Department, and Science as a whole, runs. Schemes of work and departmental plans are always in place for the start of the academic year, amended and adjusted by Mike after discussions and consultation with the 143
Skylark 2009 Common Room
department. The departmental handbooks in all the science departments contain everything that a newly-arrived teacher needs to know (and that a well-established colleague needs to be able to remember). In school, Mike has played a major role in the running of the Common Room. He has been Common Room Treasurer, Chair of the Common Room Finance Committee and was Common Room Chairman from 2005 to 2007. On the extra-curricular front Mike is one of the longest serving members of the School Rugby club, and has seen countless generations of U16 boys pass through the school, partnering first Ian Rice and, of late, Chris Bass. The boys have a huge respect for Mike both as a tough but caring coach, and as a fine and scrupulous referee. When he first joined the school, he was also involved in school chess (and he continues to take great interest in the club’s progress) though his own playing, which is of a very high standard, is now mainly out of school.
Mike has also been influential in a number of roles outside school. For seven years, he was a member of the Association for Science Education Safety Committee, advising school teachers up and down the land about how to ensure that they minimise any risks to pupils during science lessons. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry and he has been an examiner for Edexcel Chemistry for 28 years; he has now risen to the upper echelons of the organisation, becoming Principal Examiner for Advanced Level Chemistry.
The formidable mind which powers his chess playing is also evident in Mike’s other roles in school. The ability to see complex moves several steps ahead is a real asset when Mike is constructing the science department timetable, and it also is apparent through Mike’s prowess with matters IT. He was an early adopter of IT in school when the BBC Microcomputer brought desktop computing into education; word-processed pupil worksheets and highly structured spreadsheets for data analysis were soon indispensable additions to the array of tools used by Mike to enhance the quality of teaching and the effectiveness of the department.
Despite having a reputation amongst the boys as a hard task master, Mike has a genuine concern for all the boys in his care, and has a wry sense of humour. This is just as well when one of his colleagues (who shall remain nameless, and whom I shall simply call “Mr. L”) managed to evacuate the entire Aske building shortly after its grand opening, by carrying out the “screaming jelly baby” experiment in the open lab, setting off all the smoke alarms. And, if you needed proof that Mike is also willing to laugh at himself, you need only to see the pictures of him dressed up as Ann Robinson, complete with bright orange wig, when he compered the Chemistry Weakest Link competition for Science Week a couple of years back.
Mike’s attention to detail (and ruthless interrogation of so-called “experts”) was also put to good use when we were designing the new home for Science in the Aske Building. Every detail, specification and design feature was scrutinised, tested and checked before
If teachers tend to take on the attributes of their subject, what properties would the element Lextonium exhibit? I suggest: • It always looks polished and smooth, though recent samples may have a touch of grey.
of a man simply known as Baptiste. Limply shaking with palsy, and moaning feebly like an old whippet in a damp blanket, the role might have been tailor made for Mike.
The first time I ever saw Michael Lemprière was in 1979 when he, quite literally, swung into view when appearing in a truly hilarious staff production, that wonderful Feydeau play, “A Flea in Her Ear”. Act Two is set in the sort of hotel that only exists in French farce: the scenery for this production not only included a ludicrous number of doors, but also a spectacular revolving bed. The function of this bed was to whisk any amorous couples instantly out of sight should there be an unwonted knock at the door from either party’s meddling spouse. At the press of a button on the headboard, the whole spectacular structure whirled 180 degrees whisking lovers into a concealed upstage room, while revealing a duplicate bed occupied by a rather surprised-looking, decrepit, stick-insect 144
being accepted, and the result is a fine suite of laboratories that are a pleasure in which to work. Mike also dealt with the incredibly complex logistics of moving out of the old science block and into the temporary threestorey Lego building in which we taught for two years, while the old science block was demolished and the Aske building rose in its place.
• It is thought to be very hard, although its internal temperature is considerably warmer than many suspect. • It is known to be anything but dense! • It is a powerful reducing agent, transforming complex logistical problems into simple solutions • It is highly volatile, especially in the presence of un-tucked shirts, reducing wayward Year 10 students who have forgotten their homework to jelly. • It is, however, rendered passive by classical music. Classification of this new element is problematic and opinion is divided as to whether it is metallic or organic or both. Students, however, know it as “the diamond geezer”. In his time at the school, Mike has seen a tremendous change in the physical environment, with wonderful new buildings and a fine range of new facilities. (Nevertheless, the original school and staff changing rooms still hark back to the 1960s, and so the proposed new suite of changing rooms planned for next year will be a big improvement.) The boys are not really that different from those he first encountered thirty years ago – bright, articulate, exciting and interesting to teach, and aspiring to better things through their own efforts – although perhaps they are not quite as polite and socially sophisticated as they once were. Retirement will mean more time for family, for chess and for keeping fit. Mike will continue his examining and also hopes to regain his interest in cooking. We will miss his scholarship, his efficiency and his companionship. We wish him a very long and happy retirement, and hope he will come back and visit whenever he can.
I remember at the time wondering, “How long until that ancient staff member retires?” Just a gauche Year 8 boy at the time, I had failed to recognise, beneath the costume and characterisation, the young teacher who was just finishing his first term at Haberdashers’. As it turned out, of course, the poor old boy managed to limp on - rather nimbly - for another 30 years. The happy tradition of the biennial staff play at Haberdashers’ sadly came to an end with a last revival of “The Real Inspector Hound” eight years ago. Now, equally sadly, we must accept the end of another great era, as Michael Lemprière bids us farewell to begin what we hope will be a long and very happy retirement.
The master of the withering look; waspish yet always stylish - habitually dressed from head to toe by Paul Smith or Nicole Fahri - he
Skylark 2009 Common Room
inspired a lasting passion and excitement for his subject in all the boys he taught. His knowledge of the contemporary novel in particular; of both classical and modern poetry, of music, art and theatre, is extraordinary. This wealth of cultural sensibility combined with – that rarest of gifts – the power to genuinely listen and to care made him a remarkable schoolmaster and very much loved by his students. His 6th Form classes were a great joy, full of laughter, and always ending with a sense that everyone had come up with a truly revolutionary interpretation of whatever text was being discussed; such was Michael’s skill in empowering his students and giving them the confidence to think for themselves, and to not simply spoon-feed them the answers. A great supporter of the individual rather than the crowd, ‘Lempy’ or ‘Lumps’ as he was to the boys, also took pains to celebrate and encourage the musical, artistic or dramatic talents of his tutees so that academic results were not seen as the beginning or end of a boys’ worth, nor the only measure of their success. His own contributions to the extra-
curricular life of the school encouraged boys to feel that they had an important role to play in its community outside the classroom. Editor of Skylark for almost 10 years before handing over the baton to Perry Keenlyside, Mike was an extremely efficient and inspiring leader of what was then a very small band of sub editors from the 6th Form. It was also Lemps who devised an evening of poetry and theatre in 1981 with members of the 3rd and 4th Year called “Your Attention Please”, thus paving the way for the first ever Middle School Play, “Albert’s Bridge”, which he directed with Nigel Turner the following year. Mike went on to direct a further three Middle School plays - the gloriously sticky incident when Tony Robertson accidentally slipped and dropped a vast jelly on the first night of “The Servant of Two Masters”, splattering it across the Headmaster’s guests, is now the stuff of legend, while his hugely successful production of “Our Day Out”, which ended with half a dozen live rabbits, hamsters, dogs and gerbils, will never be forgotten!
It is 20 years since Mike became Head of English at Haberdashers’. In that time he oversaw the radical changes to the A-level syllabus with a quiet and calming authority, which helped to soften the blow of what the government had potentially destroyed of 6th Form education, and established the department as one of the strongest in the country: it is particularly gratifying that this summer’s English results, at all levels, were the best ever for the school. His wry smiles, constant good humour and endless patience will be difficult to replace, and we thank him for his constant support, wise counsel, and encouragement over so many years. As he and Judith glide effortlessly between their residences in London and Suffolk, I hope he will find time occasionally to look up from his book, take off the gardening gloves or stop kneading the dough for his morning loaf, and remember what a huge inspiration he has been and how very much we shall all miss him.
John Wigley After studying at Oxford and Sheffield, John Wigley began to teach at Haberdashers’ in September 1973. John was one of Dr. Taylor’s last appointments and accepted his offer of a job at HABS, in preference to positions at other schools. John was appointed to teach Economics and Politics. He served for the ensuing 35 years. In 1973 the department had some 36 Economists and 12 Politicians in each Sixth Form year, but after he became Head of Department in 1987 numbers more than doubled, making Economics the second most popular Advanced Level subject in the school. Soon the department provided more Oxbridge entrants than any other at Haberdashers’, being recognised as one of the strongest in the country. John regularly taught a History class and from 1986 to 2001 was a distinguished Housemaster of Russells. Between 1993 and 1995 he completed a M.Ed. at Clare College, Cambridge, writing a thesis on the appraisal of head teachers! He was an Independent Schools Inspector, an OCR examiner, and contributed review articles to economics and politics journals. John made an extraordinary contribution to the wider life of the school. Over the years he acted as Box Office Manager, looked after Jain Assemblies, was master-in-charge of Debating, and supported the Economics and Politics Societies. He introduced Model United Nations to HABS, and for almost twenty years he came into school virtually every Autumn Saturday to provide hospitality for visiting Rugby teachers and referees. He accompanied Graeme Hunter on Duke of Edinburgh expeditions to Snowdonia, was twice
Tim Watson’s lieutenant on the walk from Siena to Rome, assisted the Classics Department on trips to Italy and Hadrian’s Wall, and went on every History expedition to the First War battlefields. Whilst in Budapest he impressed the boys by refusing to panic as street rioting erupted outside a restaurant where they were dining. In the 1970’s he helped with Cross Country running and ran himself. Among his many wellknown pupils from that time is Damon Hill, the former world motor racing champion. He was the last serving member of the HABS staff to have lived in Aldenham House when the Boarding Department was located there. Three years ago he joined the CCF, probably the oldest person ever to receive a CCF commission. John’s knowledge of the school is unrivalled, and his friendship with Old Boys extensive. He
represented the Common Room at the Old Haberdashers’ Association and is now a co-opted member of its Executive Committee. His fine history of HABS, “Serve and Obey”, complements his two earlier books, “The Rise and Fall of the Victorian Sunday” and “The Enterprise Economy”. John established an excellent rapport with his pupils and colleagues not only by his outstanding intellectual powers, superb subject knowledge, first-rate organisational abilities, hard work and meticulous attention to detail but also by his good humour, Stact, patience, accessibility, and openness to discussion. John’s style of speaking – he has always been much in demand as an after-dinner orator – is calm, measured and clear, highly persuasive and punctuated by appropriate witticisms. He exhibits those characteristics identified and often admired by foreigners as 145
Skylark 2009 Common Room
quintessentially English – tolerance, fairness, pragmatism, suspicion of unproven theory, and a disposition to ask awkward questions. John has his particular way of doing things. He was slow to embrace new technology in his home life and has resisted pressures to acquire a personal computer, mobile phone or DVD player. For years he drove a Morris Minor and bashed out his brilliant model answers and revision notes
on an old type-writer. To those of us from an older generation he recalls those slightly eccentric but very effective teachers who were regarded as ‘characters’ among school staff. John is difficult to replace, but perhaps we should not want to replace such a unique personality.
happy retirement and success in his new career as a Magistrate, to which he seems perfectly suited.
Earlier this year fifty of John’s colleagues and friends honoured him by inviting him to a dinner in the Tower of London. We wish John a long and
Kay Francis Everybody at HABS knows Kay. To many a Main School boy, she is the teacher they associate with their first year in the Prep School, and, when walking around the campus with her, you will be frequently accosted by the gruff tones of an enormous Sixth Former: “Hello Miss!” Kay always remembers their names and some interesting snippet about them. (“He once fell asleep in a lesson,” or, “He wore his swimming trunks over his trousers”.) They always remember her. To the non-teaching staff she is “That one who looks like Lady Di”. Again, every knows her even if they do not know her name, as she is always the one who calmly organises so many things and takes charge when disasters strike. Where to put the microphone for Commendation Day? Ask Mrs Francis. Where do I get more Blu-Tack? Ask Mrs Francis. Kay (wisely) maintains good relationships with all members of the school community. To Prep boys Kay is many things. Of course, she is a caring and efficient form teacher, yet she is also the driving force behind many initiatives, such as the sponsored read, “Mr. Men” books, interviewing new 7+ candidates, and the organising the practicalities of the Summer Concert and the Christmas “Words and Music” (including liaising with the Music School – not a job for the faint-hearted). The boys are immensely fond of Kay, but she is the kind of teacher who has the miraculous effect
of making Prep boys tuck in their shirts and slow down to a walk when she comes round the corner, without telling them to do so. The fact that Kay is still in touch with many of her ex-pupils says much about the esteem in which they hold her. Parents, too, view Kay with great respect. Her wealth of experience makes here a knowledgeable and skilled teacher, and many an anxious mum will have soon been reassured by Kay’s kind, firm manner with the new Year 3 boys. To the Prep staff Kay is a rock. She is always in the middle of everything, usually organising it and taking it seriously. Sometimes she may throw her hands up in despair, but she is always there, right to the end. Whether it is social events (“Do you think this dress is alright?), Common Room parties (“I’ll just show my face for five minutes.”), Prep functions (“I thought I’d better get here a bit early just in case.”), and even braving the Staff dining room and Headmaster’s notices (“It’s nice to keep in touch with what’s happening in the Main School.”), you can rely on Kay to appear sooner or later. Kay provided me with a list of highlighters of her career at HABS, but it was daunting that I shall restrict myself to the salient points. Suffice it to say that her contribution to the wider life of the school is unsurpassed. Twentyfive year’s unstinting service under five head teachers, Geography Co-ordinator, Year Group Co-ordinator, Acting Deputy Headship, service
on the Common Room Committee, many residential trips, singing in the choir, playing the saxophone in the Wind Band – all these are facets of her career which Kay remembers with affection. And it is with great affecting that we shall remember her. Kay is heading off to a new life in Dorset with husband Alan and Daisy the dog, but she intends to keep busy with jewellerymaking and perhaps even a little supply teaching. I can do no better than to quote one of my colleagues, who, when she heard that Kay was leaving, expressed her sadness with the words “She’s a real lady… everything a teacher should be”. As a friend, as a teacher, as a colleague, Kay Francis truly is “everything a teacher should be”, and so, so much more. She leaves with our very best wishes for the future, and our hope that her e-mailed accounts of an idyllic life in Dorset will not turn us too green with envy!
Kevin Long Kevin Long was appointed Head of Hockey and a member of the PE Department in September 1998. With his youthful good looks, wide ranging technical knowledge and organisational expertise, Kevin soon created a sound impression. As new teaching colleagues together at Haberdashers’, I was soon to discover that socialising with Kevin had its advantages. On the social scene he was regularly mistaken for Michael Owen – a useful tag to have ten years ago when Owen was scoring hat-tricks against Germany in Berlin. Acting as his ‘agent’ in those halcyon days was not a chore. Kevin transformed the Hockey Club from a mob of long ball specialists supported by questionable umpiring into intricate, skilful sides supported by questionable umpiring. His 146
final season as Head of Hockey yielded a 75% win ratio across the school – the most successful on record. In recent years, Kevin had acted as Head of Department and Director of Sport, most noticeably for a term before Mr McIntosh arrived. His professionalism during this time allowed RJM to slide behind the wheel of a well-oiled machine. (We were just drinking to get by.) Kevin’s administrative and IT skills are of the highest quality, and I pit anyone at Ryde School who hasn’t obtained their ECDL passport. In fact, in his absence, I stumble through my computer programs like a drunken sailor. He will be missed by others too. Most importantly, the boys will miss him, for Kevin
had the ability to relate to the boys whilst maintaining the highest professional standards. They respected him for that. He will be missed in the school holidays when he gave countless hours to the running of tours and trips, most notably the Junior Ski Trip. He will be missed by his colleagues in the Common Room, who all knew that Kevin was a man of integrity. Kevin’s legacy will be seen for years to come in the Kukri sport kit that he designed, ordered and distributed – a thankless task. May I wish him, Sarah, and his two boys good fortune in their new life on the South Coast.
Skylark 2009 Skylark Team
Aaron Taylor Editor
Assistant Editor Philip Shipley
Assistant Editor Freddie Fulton
Features Ben Jacobs
Events Hasan Dindjer
Events Jonathan Metzer
Drama Andrew Shipley
Clubs & Societies Miles Coleman
Clubs & Societies Edward Schwitzer
CCF Patrick Ray
SCS Sam Heitlinger
Prep Nakul Patel
Sport Jamie Michaels
Sport Hamza Zahid
Originals Greg Steckelmacher
Literature Jordan Walsh
DT Amir Khan
Head Photographer Josh Cowan
Photographer David Woolfman
Photographer Zuby Okoye
BAINES design & print 01707 876555 Printed on environmentally friendly paper A33934
The Skylark Team
The Haberdashers’ Aske’s Boys’ School Butterfly Lane, Elstree, Borehamwood, Hertfordshire WD6 3AF Tel: 020 8266 1700 Fax: 020 8266 1800 e-mail: email@example.com website: www.habsboys.org.uk
Published on Sep 6, 2012