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View The Bristol Grammar School Newsletter Spring 2014 Issue 26

BGS Infants and Juniors

Question Time


STEM Debate on Energy

Ski Stars

All the right moves

in the making

at House Dance

Charter Day • Philosothon UK • A2 Devised Plays • OB Olympian


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From the Headmaster Amid all the busy goings-on at School this last term, there has thankfully still been time to enjoy the progress of Team GB at Sochi – and, just as with London 2012, I have been inspired by the many examples of personal commitment and courage that our athletes have demonstrated, including our own Katharine Eustace, who left BGS in 1993, representing New Zealand in the Skeleton.


ne of the great things about being part of a high-achieving community such as BGS, of course, is that such stories of courage and commitment are not rare. Yet again this term, we have witnessed many notable examples of individual excellence as well as students working together to achieve remarkable things in teams. Individually, Tom Scammell and Issy Hoskins are already enjoying international recognition for their sporting ability. Tom is a champion sprint cyclist and is hoping to join the senior Olympic Development Programme in Manchester as a professional sportsman once he’s completed his ‘A’ Levels next year, whilst Issy, in Year 10, is a downhill skier who has just returned from representing England at the World School Games in Spain.

On the pitch, I was struck only last weekend by the power, confidence and awareness displayed by our First XI boys’ hockey players. Their speed on the ball meant I really could have done with an action replay! I’ve also been reminded that the best place to watch our senior netball team is from above: from the balcony in the Sports Hall, you really appreciate the intricate ways in which they create space off the ball and the speed and ease with which they move around the court. Confidence, skill, dedication: these are the values we aspire to engender in our young people, both in and out of the classroom. I’m proud to say that our students rarely disappoint. I’m also aware that these are the values our Upper Sixth and Year 11 students in particular will be relying on as next

News Back to School


We welcomed the Class of 2013 back to BGS in January for the presentation of their 'A' Level certificates. It was lovely to see so many of them and to hear about their adventures since leaving us.

term’s public examinations draw near. My message to them is to remember that the term is a marathon, not a sprint, and to build in time, as all the best athletes do, for rest, recuperation and social time with family and friends. These will be as important as the revision if they are to perform at their best. I wish you all a restful and happy Easter.

Roderick MacKinnon



Charter Day 4 Monday 17 March saw the School gather in Bristol Cathedral to commemorate the award in 1532 of Bristol Grammar School’s Royal Charter. Diamond’s House supplied the now traditional daffodils, raising funds for their House charity, St Peter’s Hospice, in the process.


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MODEL United Nations BGS delegates had substantial success at Kingswood School's International Model United Nations in March. Joseph (Lower Sixth) was a commended delegate on the Political Committee representing Jordan, and Sonny (Upper Sixth) was highly commended for his work on the Economic Committee representing India. Well done also to Shanuk (Year 11), who was the best delegate on the Disarmament Committee. This meant that not only was he automatically the best junior delegate in that committee but

also that he was chosen as the best junior delegate in the whole conference. Overall, the India delegation was chosen as a highly commended delegation, which meant that only two delegations did better than them during the weekend. Out of 600 delegates and fifty schools, this was no mean achievement, and is our best-ever Model United Nations performance!

Renishaw Competition On Tuesday 14 January the Prize Giving for the Renishaw Competition took place. 34 students entered their


1,000-word articles and there was an amazing range of topics covered. William Paul, an Applications Engineer from Renishaw, gave a superb presentation on the company and then went on to congratulate the winners and award their prizes. The winning students were: Phoebe Laura Robbie Sam Jenny Varun Saty and Sujan The winners’ abstracts can be viewed in the Parents’ Area of the BGS website.

y r a r e t Li A



For the second year in a row, BGS Library invited readers to take a chance on something new with their ‘Blind Date with a Book’ promotion to celebrate Valentine’s Day. Students were encouraged to borrow a book without knowing what it was, guided only by a cryptic clue. Some were introduced to a new author while others were reunited with an old favourite – either way, there were plenty of contented readers over the half-term break.

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Olympian efforts

‘Question-Time’ Debate on Energy

This exciting event on 21 March was one of the highlights of the STEM Calendar for 2014. A panel of experts answered a wide range of questions such as ‘As old power stations are turned off, what will replace them?’ and ‘Will the UK invest in wind, nuclear or shale gas technology?’ The panel included Stephen Williams (MP for Bristol West), Alec Beardsell (Wind Turbine Engineer from DNV GL Energy), Alex Murley (RWE Innogy – one of Europe’s leading renewable energy companies), Anne Lawrence (EDF Site Controls Manager for Hinkley Point C Construction Project), Alastair Evans (Policy and Public Affairs Manager at the Nuclear Industry Association) and

Philosothon U K On 21 January King’s College Taunton hosted the UK’s first Philosothon. This is a competition in which students are judged on their ability to influence a group of eight others in the discussion of a text which raises several philosophical questions. Philosothons began seven years ago in Australia and Singapore where hundreds of schools are now involved in the event and the teacher of the 2013 Australasia winning team was present in Taunton to award the first UK

Professor Mike Kendall (University of Bristol, Department of Earth Science and an expert on matters concerning the extraction of shale gas).

trophy. The BGS team, comprising eleven students from Year 9 to Upper Sixth, had a most interesting evening of discussions on topics ranging from Artificial Intelligence and the Mind-Brain problem, through to the morality of governments using secret surveillance. We were very pleased to be awarded second place behind Wells Cathedral School and also to have Ben win the prize for the Year 9 Philosopher of the Evening. Congratulations to all involved!

Every year, BGS students take part in Olympiads – subjectspecific competitions which see students from across the UK tackling some truly challenging questions and problems.


We are delighted to report that once again BGS students have achieved some impressive results. In the British Physics Olympiad there were more than 1,900 entries from the very best students in over 200 schools. Well done to all who took part, especially Jonathan (Gold), Navid and Calum (Silver), Qays (Bronze I) and Sonny (Bronze II), and the nine students who received a commendation. Twenty-six students from the Lower and Upper Sixth were amongst the more than 5,000 nationally who took part in the British Biology Olympiad. Congratulations to James (Gold), Samuel (Silver), Tom Ben Amy Rhiannon and Grace (Bronze) and to the thirteen students awarded highly commended or commended certificates. In the British Mathematical Olympiad fifteen students received the results of the papers they sat in December. Particular congratulations go to Michael (Year 11), who performed exceptionally in the BMO1 paper, gaining the top mark in the School and qualifying automatically for the follow-on BMO2 round. He receives a certificate of distinction, which is awarded to those in the top 25% of BMO1 entrants nationally. Three Upper-sixth Further Mathematics students – Qays Navid and Jae Been – also gained excellent results and took up the opportunity of tackling the challenging BMO2 paper.



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Infants & Juniors Mr Huckle writes …

“A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new”. Albert Einstein All the Junior School children have a pupil planner in which they record their homework, keep their house points and commendations and remind themselves of what they need to bring to school every day. In addition to providing a very helpful means of developing organisational skills prior to Senior School, it is also a valuable source of inspiration since for each day there is a quotation from a famous person. I was struck by the entry for 28 February, from Albert Einstein: “A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new”. This fits wells with our approach in the Infant and Junior Schools. We want the children to take reasonable risks – trying a new club or activity, experimenting with a new style of learning, having a go at something that may appear to be “too hard” or engaging in life-changing adventure outside the classroom such as on PGL trips or at Forest School. We all make mistakes from time to time. We try to provide a supportive environment in which Infant and Junior children can feel that, whilst we strive to succeed and do

our best, it is OK to get things wrong. As Einstein and others have exhorted, it is important to look upon every occasion when we don’t get things right as an opportunity to learn. The preparedness of our excellent staff to try new approaches as we look to build on our provision for the children is a very healthy thing. Like the children, staff have the reassurance of knowing that it is OK to take reasonable risks and to learn and to inspire learning by ‘having a go’ at something different and then reflecting, evaluating and improving next time round. Examples of trying something new include setting up new clubs for the children, such as musical theatre, Mandarin, business club or Irish dancing; introducing new approaches to learning such as the very successful Talk for Writing approach which has inspired creativity, or Guided Reading which has better enabled the individual needs of Infant children to be met; having a go at utilising new technologies in the classroom such as the introduction of iPads in Year 4 and the discussion the whole staff is engaged in

as to how best to harness their potential; or running different trips or special days such as the Junior Rainforest and Viking days and the Infant Aboriginal storyteller day or taking advantage of the tremendous support we get from the parent body with our Sport Relief activity afternoon or the Infant Bedtime Stories on World Book Day. These and other initiatives this term have helped to keep the school buzzing with fresh ideas and learning.

Peter Huckle Headmaster, BGS Infants & Juniors

Rainforest Adventure

As part of their Geography topic, Year 4 experienced a taste of the wonderful ecosystem that is the rainforest with a visit from rainforest expert and enthusiast Dave Shaw. Dave, who has been to more than 47 tropical rainforests around the globe brought a range of live creatures, artefacts and enthralling activities for the children to experience and enjoy. The children stroked a hairy tarantula, held a juicy millipede and studied a praying mantis and scorpion. They all had their face painted with a different tribal pattern, sketched drawings of various creepy- crawlies and created rainforest necklaces with feathers and beads. Overall it was an incredible day. Dave brought an exciting, interactive learning experience, enjoyed by all!

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Performing Arts Day w i nn e r s

A right Song & Dance!

As ever, this term has seen the many musical and creative talents of BGS Juniors shine. The first half of term concluded with two fantastic days: a Celebration of Singing and Performing Arts Day. Children from all year groups showcased their singing, dancing, acting and musical abilities and we congratulate everyone who took part. The winners from Performing Arts Day repeated their excellent performances at MADD Evening. The talent and enthusiasm of the children shone through in every performance and the event was a spectacular celebration of Music, Art, Drama and Dance at BGS Infants and Juniors.

Dance competition Year 3 Dance: and Sophie

Lauren Molly

Year 4 Dance: Emilia Sarah Maddy


Year 5 Dance: Bronte Mark and Finn Year 6 Solo winners: Tawona and Issy

Kate Donya

Year 6 Group winners: Philip Om Dheeran Angus Form dance winners: 6DC

Drama competition Angus Finn Helen Molly

. Om and Scarlett Emilia and Larissa

Music competition Year 3 Contemporary: Sam Year 3 Classical: Lola Year 4: Daniel Year 5 Contemporary: Katy Year 5 Classical: Theo Year 6 Contemporary Solo Joint Winners: Alex and Mia Year 6 Classical: Dheeran Duet winners: Ollie and Alex



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Infants & Juniors

All around the world

Children in the Infants have been exploring the world this term with topics including Australia, India and the Chinese New Year. They’ve had a fabulous time learning about the traditions, stories, geography, food and clothing of other countries. A big thank you goes to all the parents who supported this by sharing their knowledge, experiences and resources with us.

Adding up to success This term pupils from Year 4 and Year 5 have taken part in inter-school mathematics challenges. Eighteen schools took part in the Year 4 event at Red Maids’ School, where one of the BGS pairs, Ibrahim and Caleb, won their section of the competition. The Year 5 event was hosted at BGS and nearly a hundred pupils representing twenty different schools took part. Again the winning pair, Louis and Theo, were from BGS – the second year running that BGS Juniors have won this challenge.

A little goes a long way BGS Juniors Business Club has chosen to use the £90 raised at the Christmas Bazaar to support three micro-finance projects around the world with an investment of £30 each.

Year 2 had a surprise at the start of their Oliver topic when they discovered a crime scene at school. With lots of eager detectives determined to get to the bottom of who might have tried to break in, the children set to work looking for clues and found handprints, footprints, a hat and a purple Italian leather bag, to name but a few. Many of the children believed that the culprits were after Miss Pelanti’s money!

The chosen projects are: Bibiane, a woman in Benin who needs to purchase equipment to extend her rice and tapioca production plant; Muhammad, a market-stall trader from Pakistan, who needs funding to buy more stock and Koffi, a frozen food vendor from Togo, who needs the money to invest in a second big freezer. The Business Club believes these are three exciting

projects with lots of potential and thanks everyone who supported the Bazaar and made this possible.

Viking Invasion! A Viking invasion, possibly blown south to Bristol by some of the fiercest gales in recent times, landed in BGS Juniors this February. Year 4 certainly looked the part as they enjoyed a day of Viking activities.

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What’s the story?

Children in the Infants and Juniors got creative this half-term, making 3D representations of a story in a shoe box.

Wo r ld

Book D ay

Alongside the ever popular opportunity to dress as a favourite book character, World Book Day was celebrated by BGS Infants with some very special bedtime stories. Returning to school in their pyjamas, the children enjoyed chocolate milk and biscuits while they listened to stories read by their teachers (including Mr Huckle). Many thanks to Mrs Burling and all from JISPA who organised this event.

There were some fantastic entries which inspired plenty of debate as to what the stories were. As well as being a lot of fun, the competition raised money for this year’s charities; RSPB, Shine Together and Water Aid. Thank you to everyone who entered, either making a box or guessing the stories and well done to the winners, Gracie (Infants) and Isaac (Juniors).

Animal crackers

Young Voices On Thursday 16 January 145 children travelled to Birmingham to represent BGS at the Young Voices Concert at the LG Arena. This has become a very special feature of the school calendar and once again proved to be a wonderful experience for the children, singing as part of a massed choir and taking part in a truly uplifting performance.

Reception children had a brilliant trip to Bristol Zoo where they found out about animals from Antarctica, watched the Gorillas being fed and had plenty of time to explore. The next day they enjoyed dressing up as animals for Topic Day and did some fantastic writing about their trip.



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Sixth Form Students at BGS considering studying abroad had a chance to explore their options when the Student World Fair came to BGS in March, with representatives from universities in nine different countries on hand to give information and advice on learning overseas.

Oyster The world’s their

Miranda, Laura, Elena and Ellen; four of the students looking overseas Many of this year’s Upper Sixth have already been inspired to look abroad, alongside their UCAS applications to UK institutions. Students holding offers from non-UK universities include Ellen (Toronto), Miranda (Harvard) and Jack (American Academy of Dramatic Arts, New York), while OB Ben who completed his ‘A’ levels in 2013 and progressed to an Art Foundation course, has gained a place at the prestigious California Institute of the Arts. Also contemplating university abroad are

Elena and Laura who are both considering studying Psychology at the University of Groningen. With increased interest in study abroad, particularly in the USA, BGS is delighted to have become an official examination centre for students taking the Standardised Assessment Tests (SATs) required for entry to American universities. This means BGS students wishing to apply to an American University will no longer need to travel to take their SATs.

Simply the best!

Twelve members of the Upper Sixth have received offers from Oxford or Cambridge, plus one student from the Class of 2013, and fourteen offers have been made by UCL and Imperial College. BGS is also represented at the two American institutions which complete the top six. Miranda has received an offer from Harvard, where two Old Bristolians are already studying, while a third OB is currently at MIT.

Twenty-seven offers have been made to BGS Sixth-formers from the four UK institutions, Oxford, Cambridge, UCL and Imperial College, which are ranked in the top six of the QS World University Rankings.

Enterprising Very

This year’s Young Enterprise team, Innovation, has been hard at work designing and manufacturing products for sale. After successful Christmas Fairs selling tea light holders and sweets, their thoughts turned to the post-Christmas market and new products were devised. The team developed a range of wall art using both vinyl records and pages from old books. They also learnt a very important business lesson – the difficulty of creating original products in a crowded market – and were asked to stop selling the book prints due to similarities with an existing product range. Despite this setback, the team members are enjoying their Young Enterprise experience and it has certainly given them a very real insight into the business world!


Sixth Form Spoken from the


n u F Field th in


Lower Sixth Geographers enjoyed three days of fieldwork in the Gower at the start of March. As well as the opportunity to complete some hands-on practical work, they also had the time to enjoy the beautiful scenery and fabulous beaches the Gower peninsula offers.

Life, the universe and everything

To celebrate the absence of January modules, the Upper Sixth spent a morning preparing for life beyond school with the ambitious remit of learning about life, the universe and everything! Talks from recent leavers on the realities of university life, from Mr Clare on musical appreciation and psychologist Sharon Lloyd on how to win friends and influence people got the morning off to a great start and the event concluded with a ceilidh in the Sports Hall to teach the very important lesson of joining in and having fun!

Launched in 2013, Poetry By Heart is a pioneering national competition designed to encourage students aged 14–18 to learn and recite poems by heart. This recitation is not an excuse for a thespian rendition of the chosen verses, but rather an externalisation of an inwardly-understood and enjoyed poem. For the opening round in December, each student was challenged to memorise and recite two poems, one published before 1914 and one in or after 1914. The poems are selected from the competition timeline, which is an impressive anthology of over 600 years of poetry. Celia a member of the current Upper Sixth, won this round and progressed to the county round in January, held at Bristol Central Library. In addition to the two which she had already internalised, she had to select one new poem from a special anthology of World War One poetry, as part of the centenary commemorations. In her performance of Dover Beach, by Matthew Arnold, Celia conveyed the anguish of Arnold’s spiritual crisis depicted in both the beauty and poignancy of his language. Equally at home with Divorce by Anna Wickham, she captured the suffocating feelings experienced by the voice of the poem. Celia’s final choice was Mametz Wood by Owen Sheers, a chilling depiction of how ninety years after the cessation of the war, farmers ploughing regularly find the relics of gunned down soldiers. This round included six other contenders from across the county , and although BGS was not successful this year and therefore did not progress to the National Final, we will return next year and my memory of Dover Beach will forever be coloured by Celia’s mellifluous tones. Mrs Whitehead


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Literary Events Visit of

Francis Firebrace


L a u r a B at e s On 31 January, just before the whole School began a week dedicated to raising awareness of gender issues, my GCSE students studying Ethics were fortunate enough to hear a talk by Laura Bates, the founder of the ‘Everyday Sexism Project’.

There was great excitement this term as the Infant children entered the Junior School Hall to be greeted by an Australian aboriginal storyteller, Francis Firebrace. The teachers were welcomed, in his unique style, by a great big Aussie hug – and yes, even Mr Huckle had one waiting for him outside his office. Year 1, in particular, could not wait to hear from Francis, as they had been learning all about Australia in class. He started by leading an assembly for all the children, sharing stories about his childhood, and tales of how the aboriginal people lived many years ago. He even performed a special kangaroo dance with the boys, and an emu dance with the girls. The second part of the morning was for Years 1 and 2, who sat beautifully while Francis shared some more traditional dreamtime stories. They really came to life when he asked everyone to join in. He also brought some of his own paintings to show the children: they were truly spectacular. Year 1 were let loose with the paint after lunch, and they experimented with different aboriginal painting styles. They had a go at painting their favourite animals using a ‘dotting’ technique. In addition they created their own ‘cave paintings’ using aboriginal symbols.

It was a great day, a real life-experience for everyone involved. Francis’s impressive beard was definitely a highlight for many of the children, and they didn’t want him to leave! Miss Penny

We were indeed fortunate to have Laura visit BGS, given her increasing media commitments: in the preceding week she had been interviewed by Jeremy Paxman on Newsnight, and had received widespread newspaper coverage when – having rallied public opposition to an Apple app’s dubious presentation of surgery as a route to enhanced female ‘beauty’ – she had got the app in question withdrawn. The Everyday Sexism Project was set up originally just to raise awareness of the fact that sexism is still part of our society, even though legally there is equality of opportunity for men and women in Britain. What struck me from Laura’s talk was not so much the appalling statistics that show how frequently women are still sexually assaulted, but rather the extent to which comments that suggest that women are somehow inferior to men, or that what matters most about them is how they look, are still an accepted part of ‘group banter’. We have been studying ‘the bystander effect’ in Year 9 Religious Studies, and sexist comments are a good example of this. If ‘lads’ are together in a group, their attitudes towards women are likely to be far more sexist than if they are on their own. Laura showed us again that if something is happening around us we don’t often question it; so when adverts and newspapers continually portray women in a way that focuses on their sexual attractiveness rather than their other qualities, society can all too easily go along with that. We are indebted to Elizabeth and Lucy Shepherd for making contact with Laura Bates, and providing us all with a most thought-provoking morning. Mr Smith

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Literary Events

A visit to the

dragon’s dentist

The Infant children got a double treat on 6 February when they were paid a visit not only by the illustrator of the famous Horrible Histories books but also by a brand-new author on the day his first book was published. Illustrator Martin Brown and author John McLay, who have teamed up for John’s book The Dragon’s Dentist, burst into the Junior School Hall dressed in armour and wielding swords. John, a former director of Bath Festival of Children's Literature, and a literary scout, wrote The Dragon’s Dentist partly to read to his young son and partly because he himself loved knights, dragons and castles when he was growing up. The story follows the adventures of a young boy called Harry and a dragon called Eric. John captured the children's imaginations as he talked of mysterious dragons that live very near Bristol, and explained that, if the children hadn't seen any dragons yet, it was only because they were currently all hanging out in Bath. As he read his new book to the children, who all listened attentively, Martin Brown drew a large picture of Eric the dragon and encouraged the children to practise their own drawing skills. Harry in

Reception and Harriet in Year 1 were given starring rôles, dressed in knights’ armour, with extremely realistic fake swords! Finally, while the children had a chance to design their own knights’ shields, John and Martin handed each child a signed copy of The Dragon’s Dentist. We were all thrilled to have been among the first to hear this wonderful story, and to have met John McLay and Martin Brown. Thank you to the Year 6 Book Committee, and the Year 11 Literary Events Activity students who helped Lucy Shepherd to make this event so enjoyable. Miss Plaisted



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Literary Events Rachel Joyce Rachel Joyce joined a warm and enthusiastic audience on the evening of Tuesday 25 March to discuss, in conversation with her publicist Alison Barrow, her new novel Perfect.

Ben Kane On Thursday 27 March author Ben Kane was hosted at BGS by the Classics Department and spoke to all of Year 9 as well as the Lower Sixth Classical Civilisation students. The genial Mr Kane is a top ten bestselling author whose most wellknown books are his Hannibal and Rome series. These novels are set in and around the Second Punic War between Rome and Carthage (in modern Tunisia). Mr Kane explained that the war was perhaps the most critical in Rome’s history. It brought Rome to the very brink of destruction at the hands of the Carthaginian military genius Hannibal, who famously marched his army across the seemingly impassable Alps to take Italy by surprise. The author vividly brought the events and people of the period to life, emphasising that at this time Carthage was a huge city with an impressive double harbour while Rome was relatively insignificant; defeating Carthage would be the catalyst that would push Rome on towards European domination. Brandishing a Carthagian falcata sword and then a Roman gladius Hispaniensis, Mr Kane displayed an impressive range of replica arms and armour from the soldiers of the time and gave a gripping description of some

Her début novel The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry was released in 2012 and was the bestselling début hardback novel of that year. She revealed during the evening that having initially started the book as a radio play, The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry is currently being developed as a film. After being welcomed by music and canapés, the audience was swept away into the world of Ms Joyce’s novels as she began with a humorous extract from Perfect. Joyce went on to discuss the delights and challenges she had experienced during the writing of both her novels, which ranged from “Harold Fry look-a-like spotting” with her children to the emotional way certain characters and plots mirrored her own friends and experiences.

of Hannibal’s victories. In particular, his account of the ambush at Lake Trasimene in which 20,000 Roman soldiers were killed had his audience enthralled as the author described the lake’s water made red by the blood of the dying Romans. This was a thoroughly enjoyable and worthwhile visit, which vividly brought the topic to life! Gavin King Perfect is a novel set in two time periods, 1972 and the present day. The older plot follows eleven-year-old Byron, exploring the idea of what can go wrong in two seconds. This was, Joyce revealed, supported by a stroke of luck as during her research into the culture of 1972 it came to light that two seconds were added to the calendar that year. The second plot line follows a lonely and strange man in his fifties struggling through love. Joyce’s writing style and characters are based upon her experiences not only as an acute observer of people’s interactions, but also as an actress and author for radio productions.

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Performing Arts

s e v o t m h g i R


This year’s House Dance competition was a true celebration of the great array of dance being created and enjoyed by students at BGS.

Our thanks go to guest judge Grace Yaker-Ekall for giving her time to adjudicate and to everyone participating. All the dances are worthy of mention – the hard work and enthusiasm of the students who took part was apparent in every performance – but particular congratulations go to the winners:

Junior Group First: Goodman's Second: Diamond's Third: Scott's Junior Solo First: Charlotte (Hilliard’s) Second: Ella (Diamond’s) Third: Stephanie (Diamond’s) Senior Solo First: Erin (Hilliard’s) Second: Neda (Diamond’s) Third: Lydia (Edwards’s) Senior Group First: Goodman’s Second: Diamond’s Third: Hilliard’s

Well done also to Mr Jervis and Miss Finney who wowed the audience with some spectacular lifts during their very impressive routine.




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Performing Arts

t wice fun the


House concerts from both the Red and Blue House entertained audiences in the Mackay Theatre this term. Featuring music, singing and sketches, the variety of acts was broad but the standard was uniformly high and it was wonderful to see students from all year groups getting involved and taking to the stage. Well done to Catchpole’s and Edwards’s on two great evenings of entertainment.


devised plays

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Spring Concert at

St. 5 George's Eight different acts – featuring more than one hundred musicians – took to the stage of St George’s on 26 March for the Senior School’s Spring Concert. A2 Theatre Studies students produced two impressive plays this term as part of their ‘A’ Level assessment. Over a two week period the groups had to devise an original play in response to a choice of stimulus. Kinderkrieg was a thought-provoking piece, reflecting on the effect of war on childhood, while Sophia was a very creative exploration of how the pursuit of fame and recognition doesn’t necessarily bring fulfilment.

Opening with a medley from My Fair Lady performed by the Senior Orchestra, there followed performances from the BGS Choir and Cantata before the String Ensemble brought the first half to a close. After the interval the Wind Orchestra played Sea and Sky and Golden Hill by David Bedford before vocalists again came to the fore; Mantata sang We Were Gathering Up the Roses and The Battle of Jericho then the Boys’ and Girls’ Choir performed Happy which made sure everyone definitely was! The evening was brought to a close by The Khameleonz with December 1963 (Oh What a Night), Why Didn’t You Call Me? and Cry Me A River. Our thanks and congratulations go to all who took part in this impressive evening of music.



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e g n a Exch

A fair

A view of the past In February half-term 22 Sixth-form students were accompanied by Miss Humphrey, Mr Lever and Miss Yemenakis on a tour of Florence. The study of Renaissance Italy forms part of the Early Modern and Medieval History ‘A’ level offered at BGS and the visit was designed to enrich this programme of study and to offer students of Art the chance of an outstanding visual experience. The group was blessed with perfect weather for the three days which made wandering through the streets an absolute pleasure. Students were amazed by the respect with which Florentines treat the architecture of their city and the artistic treasures which lie within the churches. The first day started with a walk to the top of Boboli gardens on the outskirts of Florence and the group was blessed with a breathtaking view of the

city below. Places talked about in class were suddenly real and visible; many students began to talk about their ‘A’ level studies being brought to life. Under the guidance of Mr Lever the students had an extremely productive itinerary and could proudly talk of their time in the Uffizi, with Michelangelo’s David and surrounded by Masaccio’s work in the Brancacci Chapel. The trip ran smoothly and the students were a credit to the school as they asked intelligent questions and furiously photographed everything which caught their eyes. It speaks volumes of Florence that many from the group are already planning when they can return…. Miss Humphrey


This February half-term fifteen Year 10 Spanish students went to Ronda on the Spanish exchange. A 3am start did little to diminish their enthusiasm for a trip abroad and the opportunity to reacquaint themselves with the Spanish students they had met on the English leg of the exchange. It was a packed week with trips to Granada and the Alhambra, Seville and Marbella as well as a day in a Spanish school and a tour of Ronda itself. Highlights included avenging defeat in a chess tournament by beating their hosts at football, as well all the cultural and historical sights the region offers. However, most lasting will be the memories of the friendships forged, both with exchange partners and schoolmates on the trip. Reflecting on the trip BGS student Poppy said “The overall experience has been one that I will never forget. We all grew closer as friends and I know we will always remember the time we had in Spain. This experience has been the time of my life and I would do it all over again if I had the chance.”

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History trip to

Twenty-two students together with three members of staff took part in the fourth History Department USA Tour in February half-term.

Fun Family for all the

Arriving in Washington DC, their progress to the White House was held up by the Vice Presidential motorcade and the arrival of Mr Biden, accompanied by a mobile hospital wagon containing blood transfusions of the appropriate group. Our own group left few corridors of power untrodden – as Congress was in recess, a generous staff member allowed them to go further than the customary Capitol Building tour. Astonishingly, they were able to enter the House of Representatives and sit on seats normally the preserve of Congressional bottoms only! Visits were also paid to the Smithsonian Museums, a taster only possible of the nineteen great repositories of art, history and culture which resulted from the legacy of Briton, James Smithson, and the Washington Monument which commemorates those who gave their lives in war. Blisters and sore feet were then rested on the journey to Philadelphia for a whistle-stop tour of the Liberty Bell and historic centre before it was on to

New York. The visit to Manhattan was framed by two ascents, of the Empire State Building and to the 'Top of the Rock' giving stunning views of the cityscape. In between there was time for a walking tour of Harlem and sites associated with the Civil Rights movement, notably the Apollo Theatre and the Hotel Theresa where Fidel Castro insisted on eating with the kitchen staff. The New York Public Library and Grand Central Station never fail to impress; this is architecture of the people, by the people and for the people. The tour was a rollicking success and I should like to thank all who took part. Dr Massey

This year the BGS Infants and Juniors family ski trip took place in the Christmas holidays and there was plenty of festive fun enjoyed by all those who went along, in addition to lots of fantastic skiing. Six full days of skiing and an equally busy après-ski programme (quiz night, karaoke, a table football competition, disco, tubing and a talent show) meant that there were some very tired travellers returning to Bristol at the end of the week.



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Students from both BGS Juniors and the Senior School have been representing the School in a range of events this term.

The Senior School’s boys’ hockey teams have all been enjoying a very successful season. To date, the First XI has lost only two matches and recorded victories over several strong teams including Prior Park, Kingswood and Colston’s School. All the other teams have similar records – the U15, U14 and U12As with only one recorded loss

Netball The netball teams have been experiencing a mixed season with their record at the moment standing at played 81, won 31, drawn 1 and lost 49. The First VII has achieved some great results however, beating Taunton, Clifton College and Dauntsey’s and being defeated in only one of their Saturday fixtures. Most importantly, with four senior teams fielded every Saturday and A, B and C sides turning out for the U13, U14 and U15s (and A–D teams at U12 level), there have been great opportunities for all to play. Well done to Ada’ora (Year 10) who has been selected for Team Bath Futures Squad – a significant achievement.

each, the U15Bs are currently undefeated and the U13 boys are County Champions, winning the tournament with a record of played six, won six and without conceding a single goal! This means they join the U13 girls (who are also County Champions) at the regional finals at Millfield at the end of March. The results will appear in the next edition of View. Well done also to Nicole (Year 11) who has been selected for the England U16 Hockey squad and to the following who gained representative honours: County – U14 Cameron Sevven U15 Hugo Tom Benny U16 Joe U17 Alex U18 Dan Ben Nathan Redd Greg Regional – U15 Hugo U16 Joe Alex U18 Dan Ben

There were some great performances in the regional round of the IAPS swimming competition in February, notably from the U10 boys: Oliver Charlie Finn and Lucas and the U11 girls: Kitty Saskia Ella and Holly At the Bristol Schools’ Finals on 18 March a team of sixteen students competed for BGS Senior School. It was a successful evening for the BGS swimmers with the Intermediate and Senior boys’ teams collecting three trophies each, claiming a total of six of the nine trophies available. Well done to all of those involved.

Also in March, ten BGS pupils headed to the Olympic pool in London for the Bath Cup and Otter Medley relay competitions. It was a fantastic opportunity for the pupils to compete against a range of schools from all over England with over 1,000 pupils competing. Both the boys’ and girls’ teams swam well in their races, with the boys narrowly missing out on qualifying for the finals. Jono swam exceptionally well, and a special mention goes to Alysia (Year 7) who was swimming against girls up to five years older than her.



Ski Stars Football

in the making

Inspired by the Winter Olympics? Two BGS students are already well on their way to emulating the stars of Sochi.

Issy Hoskins (Year 9) has been selected for the England U16 ski team to compete in the slalom and giant slalom at the World School Games in Spain. The England team will be facing some of the world’s best young skiers, many of whom will have grown up with snow on their doorstep. Commenting on her team's chances, Issy said: "Teams from places like Austria have a massive advantage. A victory for us would be highly unlikely. I'll try to do as well as possible – I'm not thinking about winning."

Meanwhile Year 8 student Louis has been selected in the Slopestyle for the French snowboard championships held in Les Carroz (near Chamonix). In only his second year in the snowboard competition (having previously competed on skis), Louis is aiming for an ambitious top ten finish. Details of how Issy and Louis got on will be included in the next issue of View.

Athletics Badminton Following selection at the Avon Sports Hall athletics event held at BGS in February, four students represented Team Avon at the South West Regional Sports Hall Championships in Torbay. Well done to Lottie (U13 girls), Ada'ora and Emma (U15 girls), and Alfie (U15 boys). The Avon teams won each category and are now through to the National Championships in Manchester. A special mention must go to Ada'ora and Alfie, who both came first individually in their age-groups. Congratulations also to Miranda (U6) and Hugh (Year 9) who were selected to run for the South West in the England Schools’ cross country championships at Castle Donnington on 15 March.

BGS was represented at both KS3 and KS4 level in the Badminton regional rounds at the University of Exeter this term. The KS3 team finished fifth, but the KS4 team of Rishi , Ben Justin Jono and Alfie produced some great singles and doubles play to win the tournament and qualify for the national finals in May. Well done, boys!

It has been a busy, if mixed, season for our footballers this term. As well as facing some very challenging weather and playing conditions, they have also faced some very strong opponents. At the time of writing, the First XI has recorded two wins and two defeats, while the U15A remain undefeated. Across all age groups enthusiasm and increasingly strong teamwork bode well for the future.

Congratulations go to Tom (Year 9) who plays for Bristol Rovers Academy and has been selected for the Independent Schools (ISFA) U14 squad and also to Nancy and Annabel (both Year 11) on selection for the ISFA South West team to play in the National U16 tournament.


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Squash Squash remains very popular, with students from Year 10 to the Upper Sixth winning two of their three fixtures played against Millfield, King’s Taunton and Blundell’s. The House squash competition was fiercely contested. Over fifty girls took part in the junior and senior events which were won by Diamond’s and Hilliard’s respectively. Hillard’s also won the Junior boys’ competition which saw 47 boys taking part.

RUGBY BGS Juniors’ Rugby teams have been able to look back with satisfaction on a great season. The U8 and U9 teams all made excellent progress while the U10A, U10B, U10C teams finished the season unbeaten. The U11B team recorded many wins, including notable victories against the Downs School, Millfield and Clifton College. The U11A team posted many excellent results, with only three teams able to score more than seven points against them. They ended the season with an overall record of played 18, won 11, drawn 4, lost 3. They also racked up an impressive 352 points, conceding just 127.

In the Senior School, the U15 squad has been enjoying another successful season, winning thirteen and drawing one of their eighteen matches to date. They have amassed over 550 points this campaign, with Tom the top try-scorer, touching down 24 times. Four of the team have also been selected to play for Bristol Rugby's U15s. There has also been success in the Rugby Sevens. BGS won the Plate at the Bryanston Sevens tournament with Carew being named Player of the Day. At Rosslyn Park Sevens, both the U13 and U16 sides were group winners, losing out in the final play-offs. Unfortunately, despite some strong performances, the First VII could not replicate these successes and were eliminated in the group stages. Well done also to First team captain, Ben who was selected to play for the English Independent Schools’ Rugby squad (known as the Lambs). Ben performed well in all the games he has taken part in, being awarded Man of the Match in their most recent fixture against The Old Boys’ Club Wales.

Riding high Sixth-former Tom Scammell is continuing to impress in the world of track cycling. In January he was part of the GB Junior squad who competed in Belgium and he has also taken part in several British Cycling training camps as part of their Development Programme. His future promise was underlined when he was awarded the British Cycling Junior Sprint trophy (awarded to the winner of the National Junior Sprint final each year) and the Ernie Johnson Memorial Trophy (awarded to the winner of the National Junior Keirin final). Previous winners of these trophies include Olympic and World Championship medallists such as Jason Kenny, Matt Crampton and Andy Tennant.

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c i p m y l O


nt Wi


s ucc

Old friends 5


In March we were pleased to welcome back over 150 former pupils and staff to the 102nd Old Bristolians’ Society Annual Dinner held in the Great Hall. They came from all corners of the world (Canada being the furthest, we think) to re-unite with the common purpose of celebrating their time at the School. Dinner and a speech delivered wittily by BGS ‘legend’ Dave Perkins was rounded off with a rousing rendition of the School song (although with fewer shouts than from today’s cohort when it came to quotquot!) On my table we had a group of 1956–62 OBs who after a few speeches and glasses of wine began to reminisce about their fellow contemporaries of the late 1950s. We are delighted that since the event the

There was another mini-reunion this term when OB Robert Lacey returned to the School to give a Sixth Form lecture. Also in attendance were two of Robert Lacey’s old school-friends, Mike Burmester and Don Furze, and the trio’s former Housemaster David Trott. The meeting was the first time the four had been together in almost 52 years!

Foundation has, thanks to the database of Alumni who want to keep in touch, managed to track down some of them in Australia, France and sunny Clevedon and put them in touch after all these years. We are hoping to welcome them for a tour of the School followed by school lunch in the Great Hall in June. We love to have news of OBs and to welcome them back to BGS – if you know of anyone wanting to get in touch, please ask them to contact us. Email: or ring Anna Freeman on 0117 933 9637.



We were delighted to hear in January that former pupil Katharine Eustace had been selected to represent New Zealand in the Sochi Winter Olympic Games. Katharine has been competing on the Skeleton circuit for the last six years but missed out on qualification four years ago because she was ranked just outside the World’s top 24. Now ranked in the top ten Katharine still needed to be selected by New Zealand to compete in the Skeleton. After four runs Katharine finished in joint eleventh place; the event was won by Great Britain’s Lizzie Yarnold.

Katharine joined BGS in September 1985 and was a very talented athlete, competing in the 100m and 200m as a junior athlete before taking up 400m in the Sixth Form. In her final year Katharine finished second at the English Schools Championships. Selection for the GB Junior team followed and her GB vest is on display in the Pople Pavilion. After attending university in Birmingham, Katharine decided to spend “a few years” in New Zealand working as a physiotherapist but she fell in love with the lifestyle and has now settled in Wanaka on South Island. With very little funding and no ice to train on Katharine has to make the most of her sprinting speed to compete with the best in the world from November to March. Katharine came into School for a brief visit when she stopped off in Bristol on her way home to New Zealand.


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Diary dates

Bristol Grammar School University Road Bristol BS8 1SR Senior School 0117 973 6006 Junior School 0117 973 6109

April Wednesday 23 April: INSET Day Thursday 24 April: Term starts

May Friday 9 May: Whole School Open Morning, 9.45am–12.30pm Thursday 15 May: BGS Infants Sports Day Senior School exam week begins Wednesday 21 May: Year 6 Play Performance Thursday 22 May: Senior School Activities Day and

BRISTOL GRAMMAR SCHOOL AND PAVILION BOOKS invite you to an evening of chick-pea lit with

Jenny Chandler

celebrating her new book, Pulse

Monday 16 June 2014, 6.30 for 7. 00pm Bristol Grammar School BS8 1SR

Year 9 World of Work Day Year 6 Play Performance Friday 23 May: INSET Day for Senior School Monday 26–Friday 30 May: Half-term

June Thursday 12 June: Induction Day for new Year 7 students Friday 13 June: BGS Juniors Sports Day and JISPA Summer Fair

Tickets £7 (no concessions) Book sales courtesy of Durdham Down Bookshop

Jazz BBQ, 6.00–9.00pm Thursday 19 June: Puffin Prize Giving Assembly Monday 23 June: BGS Infants Summer Concert Tuesday 24 – Thursday 26 June: Middle School Play, Mackay Theatre 7.00pm Wednesday 25 June: Senior School Sports Day Monday 30 June: Induction Afternoon for BGS Infants and Juniors

July Tuesday 1 July: BGS Juniors Prize Giving Wednesday 2 July: Senior School Prize Giving Thursday 3 July: End of term

Design: Printed on 100% recycled stock using vegetable inks

Keep up-to-date

For latest news from BGS and to find out what’s coming up, you can keep in touch via our website We also have a Bristol Grammar School Facebook page and you can follow us on Twitter @BGSBristol

Bristol Grammar School is a Registered Charity No. 1104425

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