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Colchester Royal Grammar School

Newsletter Christmas 2010 Ref: 101045

Geoffrey Markham’s Visit It is said that the best way of improving yourself is to learn from experience, and the CRGS Student Archivist Society aimed to do so when we received a visit from Geoffrey Markham, former president of the Old Colcestrian Society. We had invited Mr Markham in order to gain an insight into how to ferret out information about the past, and to continue our research about those members of the school that died during the two World Wars. Mr Markham had given us a talk on one of those soldiers who he had researched (J.H.V. Willmott) when we were in Year 8, so we felt his methods would be invaluable to us. Mr Markham first took us through his personal experiences and we marvelled at his extensive travels ranging from the National Records Office, Kew to the cemeteries of northern France. He talked about how his work as a police officer came in handy, as finding out information about the past was like being a detective - trying to find as many leads as possible and following them all up, in order to find the one which hits the jackpot. We learned more about the workings of the National Record Office, and hope to organise a trip there in the future. His emotional descriptions of finding and laying wreathes at the graves of long-dead men, after days of tireless searching, moved us, and he also equipped us with the knowledge of many new methods to continue our research. Overall, the talk was very interesting and informative, and I would like to heartily thank Mr Markham for coming in. I also would like to thank Ms Holmes for organising the talk. A love of discovery has been kindled in us, and now only budgetary constraints (i.e. we have no money at all) stop us from going around the world in pursuit of our goal. Afham Raoof, 11S RSS Charity Fundraising This year, Year 8 and 9 have been fundraising for the charities ‘The Korban Project’ and ‘Christian Aid’. The Korban Project helps homeless and destitute teenagers get back on their feet. Christian Aid provides assistance to overseas poverty-stricken regions of the world. There were many ideas within the year group, including a ‘bring and buy’ sale, a ‘guess the baby’ competition and a 5-a-side football tournament organised by Lower School Form Representatives. All money raised by these ventures will be split between the two charities. The 5-a-side tournament raised over £100 and was enjoyed immensely by spectators and players alike. At one point, emotions reached such a tense climax spectators flooded onto the pitch when the winning goal was scored. The ‘guess the baby’ competition certainly drew a large crowd and was extremely popular. 19 staff donated a baby photo and everyone enjoyed guessing their identity. Beverages and confectionary were on sale with of course all proceeds going to charity. It proved a success, and we raised £65. The ‘bring and buy’ sale had computer games, books, CDs, board games, game console accessories, biscuits, cakes, sweets, chocolates and drinks on offer. This was also popular and we raised £135. Next year, there will be a charity music concert to raise even more. All in all, our fund-raising was a great help for our chosen charities while still being a lot of fun to organise, watch and participate in.

Tom Fadden and Freddy Billowes , 8R


End of term message Dear Parents As we approach the Christmas break, we can look forward to a period of relaxation, reflection and celebration and look back on an eventful and enjoyable Autumn Term at the school. I was particularly pleased with this year’s edition of the Colcestrian and am grateful to Mr Clark for overseeing the production of such an impressive record of school life. Many congratulations to Mr Clark on his promotion to the post of Head of History at the school from the start of term. September already seems a distant memory, and the CRGSA Autumn Fayre will be remembered as one of the best yet, with a wide range of activities, very good attendance and warm weather. It was Marcus Harrington’s last official engagement as Chairman of CRGSA, and he stood down this term having led the Association with enthusiasm, commitment and panache for many years. I would like to thank Marcus for all his hard work in this capacity and know that he will continue to support the school. I am grateful to Jilly Blaxill and Rebecca Bloor for taking on the role. The pace of life at the school has not let up as the term has progressed, and, as we approach the final week, there are still many events to look forward to. I have just seen the final night of ‘On the Town’ and was impressed by the performance, character and determination of all involved. It was a long journey, mapped out, planned in detail and negotiated with skill by Mel Billowes, and one which was shared by numerous staff and students at the school. It was a massive undertaking and challenge, and all involved rose to it admirably. I will make special mention of Mr Booth who put in hours and hours on the set and was one of the many unsung heroes of the musical. We are fortunate indeed to have staff who work tirelessly to provide the students with the very best of experiences. Mr Olive and the music department will have a quick turn around and change of genre as they prepare to perform at the Carol Services in the coming week, bringing the words and sounds of Christmas to the school. CRGSA kindly provide mulled wine and mince pies after the services and bring seasonal cheer to all who attend. The signs of Christmas are all around us: the Art department’s decorations are now hanging in the foyer and the Christmas lunches have been as popular as ever. Christmas is a UCAS deadline for the Upper Sixth, and many students have been preparing for Medical and Oxbridge interviews this term. I would like to thank parents, governors and friends of the school who have helped in these preparations. I wish the students every success but remind them that, as far as the subjective judgements made after interviews are concerned, they should treat the two ‘imposters of Triumph and Disaster’ just the same. They should not allow a successful outcome to lead to complacency or a disappointing one to give rise to self-doubt. We know that if the students work confidently, conscientiously and successfully in partnership with their teachers, they will be ultimately successful. The recipe for success at A-level requires hours of preparation but is nonetheless relatively straightforward. To borrow a reference from ‘On the Town’ we all know the best way to get to Carnegie Hall. Next term we will start on a building project to replace the relocatable Science lab and extend the Restaurant and Sixth Form Common Room. The project will be completed by September 2011 and will enhance the facilities at the school. We had hoped to be able to build a Performance Studio on site fell foul of the spending cuts. We will continue to look for ways to improve the facilities at the school so that the students have access to the very best education we can offer. It goes without saying that we appreciate the support of our parents in this regard. Next term will bring new challenges and opportunities, and the examination students will be greeted by modules and mocks on their return. This will inevitably take some of the vacation for essential revision and practice. There should still be time for us all to rest, reflect and take stock before we turn our thoughts to 2011. May I take this opportunity to wish all parents, students and staff a restful Christmas and a Happy New Year. Yours sincerely

K L Jenkinson

The Community Sports Leadership Scheme So, just what is the Community Sports Leadership scheme? That was my first thought when I was given my assignment for this term’s newsletter. Well, who better to discuss the scheme with than Mr Murray? The main teacher involved with the scheme. Luckily, when I asked Mr Murray whether it would be acceptable for me to interview him, he did not decline, I therefore met with him in the P.E office one lunchtime, ready to ask my pre-prepared questions. By answering my questions, Mr Murray explained that: ‘the scheme involves Year Twelve students learning how to lead groups and individuals by using sport. There are currently twelve students from the school’s lower sixth form who participate in the national scheme which is delivered locally, and much of the Community Sports Leadership Scheme is directed towards the 2012 Olympics, which is to be hosted by London. The 2010/11 school year is the fifth year that CRGS has been involved with the scheme, with training for the participants taking place in school, at lunchtime for one hour a week. This training culminates with the twelve students running two primary school sports festivals, one in November and the other in March. No specific sports are included in the scheme. However, mini, scaled-down activities aimed at primary school students are used’. Mr Murray also stated that the overall aim of the Community Sports Leadership Scheme is to ‘provide young people with leadership opportunities and to develop a wide range of leadership skills. The scheme prepares responsible, motivated, confident people who can lead safe, enjoyable sporting activities for young people’. This interview with Mr Murray enlightened me, and this article has hopefully given you an insight into what happens during the Community Sports Leadership Scheme. It appears to be a thoroughly enjoyable experience and it must be successful for it to be running at CRGS for five years. Long may it continue!

Glenn Wheeler, 11G


Fundraising at Colchester United for the India trek, raising money for Breakthrough Breast Cancer The team would like to say a big thank you to all who have supported this worthwhile cause. To date, we have collectively raised £19.000 towards our target of £28.000. Fundraising has taken many forms, including: barn dances, salsa evenings, auctions, music performances and much more. In the next few weeks and months we are planning a bucket collection at Marks & Spencer and look out for the Burns Night ceilidh which promises to be a night to remember, we look forward to seeing you there.

India Trek Team Thanks for your support! As you may know, the Student Archivist Society (SAS) have been busy raising funds to preserve the base used by Captain Scott in the Antarctic, which was the centre of his final mission, his race to the South Pole. One hundred years ago the students of CRGS made a contribution of one husky dog to this expedition. Once more we have been asked to contribute. We are very close to reaching our target of £1000 through sales of cards, bake sales, a non-uniform day and a donation box in the Library. Our next activity is to open the Tuck Shop for the final week of term to sell delicious candy canes, chocolate coins and Santa hats. With student support we should meet our goal. Whatever we raise will be doubled by the February Foundation. Thank you, to students and parents and staff, for your generous assistance in helping us reach our goal.

Debating Debating has grown this term to two lunchtimes a week. On a Thursday Year 10 and 11 and on Friday the sixth form have their turn. Debates have been wide-ranging, engaging, weird, wonderful, persuasive, eccentric and amusing – normally all in one lunchtime! Motions have included abolishing the monarchy, students sacking their teachers, the Ground Zero mosque, invading North Korea, tuition fees, Trident, the Pope and a single global language – an eclectic mix! On Wednesday 8th December 13 members of the 6th form travelled to Cambridge to take part in a debating workshop organised by the Oxford Union. It proved to be a very useful evening with instruction on how best to formulate arguments, offer points of information and provide analysis; we hope the benefits will permeate through Friday lunchtime! This year we have entered three debating competitions, Oxford and Cambridge Unions and the International Competition for Young Debaters (ICYD). Results will follow in subsequent newsletters.

Mr T Booth

Shadheeskumar Bhaskar, Rob Graystone,

History Society This term has been very busy for the History Society. September started with the Heritage Open Weekend, with some members attending a talk on the history of the school and exploring some of Colchester’s historic buildings. In October, Subodhana Wijeyeratne came in to give us an entertaining and fascinating talk on the history of Korea, his upbringing with his grandfather, the Sri Lankan ambassador to the USSR, and witnessing the fall of the Soviet government in Moscow. We went to see ‘Danton’s Death’ at the National Theatre, a play set at the height of the French Revolution. Members also helped in the year seven and sixth form open evenings, helping particularly in directing a play with lower school actors about the Tudors and the Stuarts. Throughout the term we have held weekly lunchtime meetings with talks from members on topics such as Henry V, the history of modern China and the constitutional history of the UK and have also had two very entertaining ‘balloon debates’ to select a historical figure to be the patron of the society and the greatest explorer in history (the winners were Boudica and Dr Livingstone). Some members have also helped raise money for a campaign to save Robert Scott’s Antarctic hut and we look forward to a talk next term on Scott by Martin Williams, the former British High Commissioner of New Zealand. Unfortunately his talk last week had to be cancelled… due to snow and ice! The term should finish nicely next week for the History Society with a Christmas quiz and meal. Included in our plans for next term is a trip to the British Museum to look out some of the objects included in the Radio 4 series ‘A History of the World in 10 Objects’. Students interested in attending meetings of the History Society should come to Room T on Mondays at 12.55.

Emma Snook (President of the History Society)


Music News On the Town A fluorescent New York taxi, sequined frocks, rubber chickens, and a dinosaur have been jostling for position on the school stage as part of the CRGS musical production. “On the Town” (music by Leonard Bernstein, composer of West Side Story) is a fast-paced music and dance extravaganza that is rarely performed by amateurs, but the cast, crew and musicians rose to the challenge magnificently. The musical follows the adventures of three sailors with 24 hours of precious leave to spend in New York. It’s a romantic comedy, with strong dance elements, skilfully choreographed by student Millie Binks and former student Mat Duke. “The show is as challenging for the chorus as it is for the orchestra and soloists,” said Luke Singleton, who played a number of roles, ranging from a Beauty Contest Show Host to a salsa-dancing night clubber and a stage assistant for a Coney Island sideshow. “There are a huge number of quick costume changes, as well as two rotating stage platforms to get scenery – and cast - on and off. The stage is on several levels and you have to concentrate really hard to remember where you are supposed to be and where you need to go next. I’ve been involved in school shows since I started in Year Seven – and this is the most ambitious yet. Where else would I have to dance in a chef’s outfit under ultra-violet light with a rubber chicken in a purple bikini?” The technical and backstage crew, under the direction of Mr Booth, have had as demanding a role to play as the cast and orchestra. Stage Manager Nathan Clements has had to coordinate his team to operate two rotating platforms, several levels of staging, props including a grand piano and collapsing dinosaur and a complex set of scene, lighting and microphone changes. The band, with players from Year Nine up to Sixth Form, deserve great credit for their mastery of the show’s extremely demanding music. James Bowstead has played an invaluable role throughout rehearsals as accompanist, attending every rehearsal to play for cast members as required, as well as performing the show’s piano part with customary gusto. It has been a great privilege to work with a team of such dedicated and talented students. The Music Department would also like to extend thanks to all the staff and adult volunteers who have helped to make this production a success.

Mr L Olive, Mrs A Chillingworth, Mrs M Billowes (More photos on inside back cover).

Laying of the Poppy Wreath on the War Memorial Window It was Geoffrey Markham, who visited the Archivist Society for a talk (as detailed in the article by Afham Raoof), who suggested to us that we ought to lay a poppy wreath on the stained-glass memorial window in the Library to honour the fallen of the school who died during the Second World War. We became aware that, somewhat to our shame, no wreath had ever been laid there. It being only a few days from Armistice Day, I was afraid that we would be unable to get a wreath – but luckily I was able to get one from the Royal British Legion, whom I thank for providing one at such short notice. On Armistice Day itself, the Headmaster, Dr. Jones, several sixth-formers, and I gathered in the Library at 11 o’clock for a brief ceremony. I presented the wreath to the Headmaster, who laid it on a small stand installed in front of the window. We then held the customary reverent silence. The wreath remained for a week. We hope to repeat the ceremony next year, and that it will become a tradition in years to come.

Jake Humbles, 11S

Safety of pupils on school visits   Parents  may  be  aware  that  European  cities  have  been on a heightened state of alert for some time  due  to  the  possibility  of  terrorist  activity.  At  the  moment,  the  school  sees  no  reason  to  limit  trips  to  London  or  other  European  cities,  but  we  will  continue to monitor the level of risk and base any  decisions  on  the  latest  advice  from  the  Local  Authority and the Foreign Office.    Mr T Chambers


Treasure Island October 2010 Reviews On the 15th October, myself and the whole of year 8 saw a live performance of the play Treasure Island, performed by pupils from our school. There were two casts; the performance I watched was the second of these. It was terrific. The voices were brilliant; clear, well projected and sounded exactly like pirates. The gunfight scene was dramatic and enthralling, as was the entire performance. The set was well constructed; it had two floors which really made it look like a pirate ship. The person who stood out for me was the main character, Jim Hawkins, played by Elliott Elder of 8G. He was very confident when speaking, didn’t forget any of his lines and he was extremely entertaining to watch. I conclude that the entire performance was a success!

Ted White, 8G My favourite character was Billy Bones; he had a rum addiction and beat a pirate called Black Dog in a fight…I enjoyed the accordion music which was very impressive playing…the fight scenes had some welltimed noises that sounded a bit like party poppers…it was a fantastic play and could not have been cast better.

Angus Archer, 8G The acting was very good, especially Jim Hawkins, Ben Gunn and Long John Silver, whose pirate accent lasted for the whole production… The costumes were realistic and the sound effects were good, too. My favourite was the stockade scene where the pirates ran through the audience to battle, making it feel like you were part of the action.

Oliver Cornford, 8G …well performed, good scenery, good lighting and superb deaths…the best ever!

Dominic Clark, 8R

In October, students from years 8 – 10 performed a version of the much loved children’s classic, ‘Treasure Island’ by Robert Louis Stevenson. When we heard about an upcoming lower school production we were extremely excited, as it was a rare opportunity for our years to perform in leading roles in a school production. After the auditions we soon discovered that the Directors (Mrs Chandler and Mrs Heaton) had chosen to have two casts so as to include everyone. When we got our scripts in the summer term last year and started to rehearse our parts, we soon realised that the adaptation was going to be exceedingly entertaining to perform. Having returned to school after the summer holidays, most of us having at least attempted to learn our lines, we went straight into weekly rehearsals in the hall, getting choreography directions and preparing for our performance. Meanwhile the Stagecraft Team, lead by Matthew Harris (Yr13), were working diligently to design and make all of the items on the long list of set pieces and props that were needed for the production to work. Our play was definitely enhanced by the addition of Sea Shanties. In-between scenes and as the ‘sailors toiled’, the audience was entertained by a selection of classic Sea Shanties (Including ‘Rio Grande’, ‘Spanish Ladies’ and many more!), the music was played on the accordion by Kyle Farhadian (Yr 10) with the singing being led by Luke Singleton (Yr13). As the performance date loomed the weeks seemed to melt into each other with all parties having to work extremely hard to make everything come together. All of a sudden our performance date was upon us. In spite of our fairly successful dress rehearsal (performed to years 7 & 8) the sheer nervousness of everyone was almost unbearable. However, it appeared that our fretting had been without cause; the performances went extremely well, with both casts performing admirably and the set changes and lighting working smoothly and efficiently as well. I would like to thank everyone involved, especially the directors, for helping us to put on a show we can all be proud of.

Toby Lehain, 10S


Sports News 1st XV Rugby

Under 16 XV Report – December 2010

At the start of the season scepticism was at the forefront of many minds. The path ahead looked an uneasy one due to a lack of depth in the 1st XV squad. However, with the recruitment of several talented, keen and energetic Year 11s the season got underway at the Brentwood Pre-season Festival. With less than half of the team having played at this level before, this relatively inexperienced and unorganised 1st team was never expected to achieve greatness from the outset. Despite this, the squad came away with a respectable two wins two losses record, a great sign for the weeks ahead.

This has been a challenging but satisfying season for a very talented and hitherto successful year group. Losing a total of six stars to the Firsts meant that fringe players in previous years had the chance to prove themselves, and they did so with gusto. The squad scored an impressive total of 39 tries in nine matches. Four wins were recorded including a tremendous demolition of Bishops Stortford College and only one of the losses was by a substantial margin (against Wymondham); it could indeed be argued that we should have beaten Coopers, Norwich and Bishops Stortford HS.

From here the season went slightly downhill. Our losses to Coopers and Wymondham were not down to lack of talent, because a victory in both of these games was in sight having been comfortably leading at half time in both. Instead, it was merely a lack of ruthlessness and discipline that allowed these games to slip from our grasp.

Front row regulars Guy Sullivan, Henry Turner and Josh Alcock put the squeeze on opposition packs and between them scored seven tries (an unheard-of feat for the ABC club); they were ably understudied by Henry Theeman, Jacob Murray and Matt Stoker. Will Dalby was a revelation in the second row, mobile and aggressive, and played regularly with Aran Uner. Jay Singh alternated between second and back rows, where Pat Geddis, Louis Blaxill and (when not training with Northampton and England) Sam Harry could be found creating their usual mayhem. Substitutes in the pack included Dan Macdonnell, Matt Wills, Jack Wilby, Nick Adams and, converting from crazy-legged winger, Rob Eveleigh.

Not disheartened the team decided to improve our game on and off the pitch, attending many curries where we discussed where we went wrong, or, in the case of the 40 point victory against Culford, what went right. It was clear that we were a team who played well both on and off the pitch. The pivotal game of the season was against St Joseph’s College, with an unbeaten season and the remnants of respectable teams lying in their wake, it was expected to be a one-sided contest. It was in essence a David vs Goliath affair, and as history repeats itself, we came the closest anyone has ever come to slaying the giant. It is tribute to the spirit of the squad that a good defeat was turned quickly and seamlessly into an incredible victory; it was precisely the jump start that was needed. From then on we won the majority of our games, falling short narrowly only to Ipswich and Bishops Stortford College I would like to congratulate all of the Year 11s who made appearances for the first team this year; they all made valid and vital contributions to the squad and it is hoped that in doing so firmer foundations are laid for the years to come. The past season may not have produced the best results seen by the school, but the people who produced them are right at the top. Playing as part of such an enthusiastic team has been a pleasure, and so I thank everyone who helped make this year so enjoyable.

We were blessed with three agile scrum halves in Ollie Stead, Alex Enright and Andy Cheng who shared the season between them. Reuben Dewa stepped in to play fly half with aplomb; Jack Bullock and Ben Stanton also appeared in this slot. George Shephard and Tom Hodder were fixtures in the centre, supported by Ben Pearey. Back three positions were filled by Nathan Macabuag, Ali Haines (until injury), George Turner, Niall Wishart and James Frost. The find of the season in the backs was Myuran ‘The Devastator’ Devaraja whose try-saving tackling swiftly became legendary. Unusually for Year 11, we also fielded a B team against Coopers which featured Fred Ashcroft, Alex Elder, Sam Griffiths, Ollie Harrington, Will Hodges, Tom Koziarski, Dan Lennard-Jones and James Mayes. Many Year 11 players also appeared for the Second XV and contributed substantially to their victories. Mr Hardy and I have been delighted with the enthusiasm and commitment shown by every player this season; we thank you for your efforts and wish you all the best as you move up to the senior squads.

Mr S Dowling

Jonathan Roome, 13Wh (Captain 1st XV) Under 13 Rugby Tour to Portugal The October half term holiday saw 31 year 8 rugby players fly off to Portugal. The outstanding Browns Club (England Rugby’s warm weather training base) in Vilamoura provided the base for 3 days of rugby matches and training. The centre piece of the week was the Algarve International Tournament which saw touring teams from England vying with the strongest teams in Portugal to be crowned as champions. Throughout the tournament the rugby was of a high standard but Colchester RGS proved to be the equal of all and were deservedly crowned as Champions at the end of Day 2. All in all it was a fantastic experience for the boys who were a credit to the school.

Mr N Murray


Ts Illustrious Pull Together For Charity! Cadets form Walton-on-the-Naze Sea Cadets entered 2 teams into September’s Great River Race rowing 21 gruelling miles from London Docklands to Richmond Surrey. Over 300 teams took part in this annual event with some competitors traveling from far a field as Holland and Germany to join in with the fun. The race also gave the cadets the first opportunity to try out the replacement to the ageing ASC and use the new lightweight Trinity 500 with excellent results shaving an hour off the normal time for the older craft. The Royal Marine Cadets completing the race in 4 hours 18 minutes and the Sea Cadets close behind in 4 hours 28 minutes. This year the Cadets also decided to maximise their efforts and to row for charity and have raised a stunning total of £2064.50 for ‘SSAFA - Forces who are celebrating 125 years of service and support to our Armed Forces and those who used to serve. Commanding Officer SLt Gary Dodd RNR said it is amazing what young people can do when they put their minds to it and also completes their volunteering section of the Duke of Edinburgh award as well. For 2011 the senior cadets will be forming a cadet fund raising committee and will sponsor a charity for the forth coming year.

Ashley McGrath, 11C

William Bettle: Fencing Team GB Our congratulations go to Will who has continued to be successful in being picked for international fixtures. His most recent visit, to Göppingen in Germany resulted in the team coming 5th overall.

On The Town (photographs)


The CRGSA (CRGS’s PTA) has had a busy, enjoyable and successful Autumn term. CRGSA started the year well with one of our major fund raising events the Autumn Fayre. It was a warm and sunny September afternoon and we were very pleased with the number of students of all ages, as well as their families, who came and enjoyed the fun. The success of this event was down to the hard work and superb organisation of two of our committee members Andrea Turner and Isla Drage with invaluable support from all other members of the committee. As a result it was a very enjoyable afternoon that raised significant money for the school. The AGM in October marked the last meeting taken by Marcus Harrington, the out-going Chairman. Marcus has been a truly outstanding Chairman for CRGSA for 4 years. Under his guidance the committee has grown into an extremely successful, well-supported, efficient and enjoyable concern. He shall be remembered for his enthusiasm, positive approach and the humour he brought to meetings. He will be much missed. The school and the committee thank Marcus and wish him every success with his new ventures. th

The Year 7 Social Evening on 24 September was very well supported. Almost 75% of Year 7’s and their parents were able to attend. This event is held early in the first half term to give the boys and their parents an opportunity to get to know each other and meet the class Tutors. It also gives CRGSA an occasion to appeal for new members, who are always welcome. The Autumn Family Quiz on 12th November was a sell out. Good fun was had by all age groups. The Question Maestro Chris Clarke compiled a range of questions which ensured that all members of the teams could contribute. Dr. Jones compered the Quiz, which ensured that all members of the teams were royally entertained. If you missed this event there is also a Spring Family Quiz Friday 12th March, so look out for e-mails or flyers and book early to avoid disappointment! Our Wine Tasting “Call my Bluff” evening went with its customary zing. The show-stopping panel of Mr Chambers, Dr. Jones and Charles Eaton was hugely entertaining. Once again the audience failed to discern who was telling the truth about the wines, and the panel proved what consummate story tellers they are! A very amusing, fun and alcoholic evening was had by all. The aim of CRGSA is to raise funds in enjoyable ways. The funds are to be used by CRGS to benefit the pupils of the school. Currently our fund raising efforts are going towards helping the school purchase a state of the art sound and lighting system to replace its old existing one. This will be a fantastic facility to contribute towards as it will be used for the many wonderful music concerts and drama productions put on at CRGS.

On Saturday 12th February we will be staging a Murder Mystery evening. A cast of characters act out the crime and the contestants are given the opportunity to interrogate the suspects. This is an occasion for all the family to test their detective skills and give full reign to those Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple traits that lie dormant in all of us?! The Spring Family Quiz on Friday 12th March as previously mentioned. CRGSA’s May Ball on Friday 6th May at Le Maison Talbooth in Dedham. This is a very popular biannual event and last time a sell out. Family Triathlon, date TBC, is a fantastic event for both adults and children. It is a great way for all the family to get involved in a fun competition on a sunny summer’s morning. All the CRGSA’s events and fund raising would not be possible without the consistent support from parents, their friends and the staff of the school. A huge thank you to everyone who has come along and got involved. If you have been thinking of finding out more about the CRGSA then do come along and join in. We are always pleased to welcome new members.

Jilly Blaxill and Rebecca Bloor (Co-Chairs of CRGSA) It’s a Tuesday afternoon in late November. I call at the St. Helena Hospice Shop in Head Street. Two of our students are in the back room, pricing goods. The manageress expresses great satisfaction with their work and their attitude. The following week they have a visit booked at the Hospice Day Centre in Highwoods. I continue my walk further into town to find two girls from CRGS helping at the Salvation Army Shop on the High Street. It’s a similar picture – today they are in the back room sorting clothes by size, but they tell me that they are given different jobs to do each week. Again the staff around tell me what a good job they are doing. Just around the corner, tucked behind the George Hotel, I ring the bell at the Castlegate Centre. Set up by the charity SCOPE, it’s a Day Centre for handicapped adults, mainly sufferers from cerebral palsy. Once again the manageress assured me that the two CRGS students have coped very well with their clients. About fourteen of our sixth formers this term have used their Tuesday afternoons to help in the community. They are a credit to themselves and to the school, and the organisations are grateful for the help they give, often performing fairly mundane tasks. It is one of the options offered to our sixth formers, alongside the sports opportunities.

Mr I Sydenham

Next year we will be holding several great events. If you would like to come along and join in we would love to see you. Combine supporting the school with an enjoyable evening out, by setting aside some or all of the following dates in your diaries.

On Wednesday 5th January 2011


CRGS Christmas Newsletter 2010