Hurstmere School Hurst Road Sidcup, Kent DA15 9AW Telephone: 020 8300 5665
r e t t e l s w e N
An Inter House Track event at Sports Day 2015
Facsimile: 020 8300 2039 Email: email@example.com Website: www.hurstmere.org.uk
Specialist Sports and Science Academy
Summer 2015 Issue 11
JAMIE MORELAND ‘SPEAKS OUT’ ON EDUCATION
The judges were looking for passion, poise and pizzazz. They got that (and more than they bargained for) in the shape of Year 10's Jamie Moreland representing Hurstmere impeccably at the Jack Petchey Speak Out Challenge.
YEAR 8 2014 - 15 A remarkable year! Unbeaten the whole season! Cup Winners in both competitions! North Kent Cup winner! Kent Cup winners! Double winners!
His speech entitled 'Our Say in Education' was inspiring and confident. He was full of conviction when he spoke eloquently to a theatre of 200 guests, which included the Mayor. He argued that children should have more of a voice in the education curriculum. Many of the guests were in total agreement when he said that, 'Teachers today are under too much pressure. This means that pupils cannot be treated as individuals, no matter how amazing the teacher'. He called for young people to do all that they can to protect creative subjects which are under threat. Up against 14 other schools in Bexley, he secured 2nd place (beaten only by the host school Townley Grammar).
The winning Year 8 team with Mr Joyce.
YEAR 7 2014 - 15 A fantastic first year at Hurstmere, with the A team finishing joint winners in the North Kent Cup and semi-finalists in the National Cup competition. The year 7 B Team finished the season unbeaten winning the final of the B County Cup. Both the A and B teams showing great potential for the years to come. Read more on Page 4.
Mrs L Murphy—Head of Media/One very proud form tutor of Jamie Moreland
Jamie receiving his award from the Mayor.
SPORTS DAY 2015 Hurstmere’s Sports Days were Thursday 11th June, Field Events and Tuesday 16th June the Inter House Track Day. The overall winners were Chaucer House. Well done to all the competitors. More on this in our next edition.
> Pg. 3
Jamie with his proud parents.
> Pg. 6 7
> Pg. 9
> Pg. 10 - 11
Mr Rushton joined us 10 years ago from Chislehurst and Sidcup Grammar School. His hard work has led to numerous students going on to study A’level Chemistry. Both have always been a major presence around the school and will be sorely missed by myself as Headteacher. In Mrs Bennett and Mrs Davis I have two outstanding successors and the changes at senior leadership have been carefully preMr Rushton pared for over many years to ensure we maintain our popularity and success.
We are heading towards the end of yet another very busy year. Our Year 11 students have been exemplary during the GCSE examinations and we hope that they all achieve some excellent results in the summer to reflect their hard work.
I would like to take this opportunity to publically thank my two deputies, Mr Silvester and Mr Rushton who are both retiring this summer. Mr Silvester has been at the school for 28 years and throughout those years has supported thousands of students both initially in his role as Head of English and also more recently Deputy Head. Mr Silvester
May I take this final opportunity of the academic year to thank you all for your fantastic support for our school and to wish you a very pleasant summer holiday. Mr A Stringer—Headteacher
NEW HOUSE CAPTAINS!
The House Captain and Vice Captain of Chaucer report on what being elected means to them:
The month of May saw the hotly anticipated election of the New House captains which is an important leadership role and forms a vital part of giving students a voice in the organisation of the school. Following comprehensive election campaigning, the following candidates were voted in by their respective house electorate.
Jamie Moreland I was very pleased that I have been elected Chaucer House Captain, and I am extremely grateful to everyone who voted me and Vice Captain Alex Cappuccio into these positions. My campaign has always been based on making a positive change in the school, and I believe it is important to act upon the key policies that the students have voted for. These include setting up a student-run tuck shop, improving the hygiene standards by refurbishing the toilets, reducing congestion in the corridors and updating the school’s social media status as a whole, as well as giving many more students a larger voice in how the school is run.
The winners were: Caxton -
Captain: Alex Hastie Vice Captain: Johnny Eades
I will be running more regular House and School Council meetings to be able to make sure that action comes, plus I would love to hear from anyone with views, suggestions or opinions about the school or the plans to improve it. I really hope to have a positive impact on the school and to improve everybody’s daily experience.
Cobham - Captain: Oliver Natusch Vice Captain: Tommy Olanrewaju
Sidney - Captain: Josh Barton
I am very pleased to have been elected Vice Captain of Chaucer. I am very grateful to everyone that voted for me. I will do my best to fulfil the needs of the boys in Chaucer. I look forward to working with the other House Captains and trying to make the school a better place.
Vice Captain: George Collins
CITIZENSHIP NEWS In March as part of Hurstmere’s Citizenship and SMSC programmes we welcomed Romance Academy for a day of workshops with staff and pupils. In the evening they hosted a Parental Road Show which was specifically designed to give practical tips, advice, and information to help parents and carers engage with their young people, understand teenage relationships and the online world they face. Those who attended were extremely positive and feedback was overwhelming in favour of a similar event next year.
Congratulations to the successful candidates; the competition was extremely close this year with just one vote separating one particular house! Commiserations to those who campaigned but unfortunately missed out. Mr M Wright—Head of Houses/Citizenship
A Specialist Sports and Science Academy
MATHEMATICS Mathematics Curriculum Changes In line with the government changes to the Maths GCSE curriculum and assessment, Year 10 will begin the AQA GCSE course from September 2015. The final examination will take place in June 2017.
UKMT JUNIOR MATHEMATICAL CHALLENGE 2015 Hurstmere School was invited to participate in this year’s Junior Mathematical Challenge organised by the United Kingdom Mathematical Trust (UKMT), University of Leeds. Nine boys from Year 7 and five boys from Year 8 were entered for the competition which was held on the 30th of April 2015 across the country. The UKMT Junior Maths Challenge ranks as one of the toughest and most challenging Mathematical competitions organised annually for the most able Years 7 and Year 8 Students in the UK. The boys spent a lot of extra curricular time preparing for the challenge in the weeks leading up to it, and worked very hard.
A new grading system will also be introduced for this examination. Students will be awarded a grade from 1 to 9, with 9 being the highest. Higher papers will be graded 4 – 9 and foundation papers 1-5. More information will be provided to Year 10 pupils next year as the year progresses, and resources will be available for pupils to purchase to help at home with their learning.
The Bronze awards and Certificates of Participation will be presented to the boys in due course.
Mrs D Halton – Head of Mathematics
Mr S Ayo-Adepoju - Deputy Head of Maths
Congratulations to the following boys who won Bronze awards in the challenge: Edward Brooker
Also, well done to the following boys who also participated in the competition: Matthew Crane
Cameron Macmillan Fred Delves
ART DEPARTMENT AND CITIZENSHIP HOUSE POSTER COMPETITION
Highly Commended designs certificates and additional house points. There were 4 prize winners and 1 overall winner who will receive art prizes, house points and certificates, which will be presented in forthcoming house assemblies.
This year's Art Department House Competition was run in partnership with the Citizenship Team (thanks go to Mr Wright for his enthusiastic support). Competition entrants were asked to design a poster promoting one of the following Citizenship themes - The Monarchy, Black History Month or Men's Health. There was a fantastic response to the competition with over 150 entries being submitted - and all the successful entries were awarded house points. The judges awarded 6 commended and 6
Congratulations to Ronnie Stowell for his first placed Men's Health poster, and all our other winners and entrants.
FIRST PRIZE: Ronnie Stowell Year 8 Rochester Sidney
Year 9 Sanderson Chaucer Year 9 Edwards Caxton
Year 8 Hever
Bruno Di Castri
Luke Mansell Year 8 Hever
Matthew Green Year 7
Aaron Niles Finlay Jones
Year 9 Edwards Caxton
Joshua Barnes Year 8 Deal
HIGHLY COMMENDED: Will Butler
Year 9 Holmes Chaucer
Year 8 Deal
Year 9 Sanderson Chaucer
Year 9 Ovett
Year 8 Hever
Caxton Chaucer y
Max Hooper Year 9 Sanderson Chaucer Adam Theobald Year 8 Hever Chaucer Thomas Willmott Year 8 Hever Chaucer
Mr D Blower - Head of Art
A Specialist Sports
and Science Academy
Year 7 Football ‘A Team’ Season Round Up
Year 7 ‘B Team’ Lift Cup
The Year 7 football ‘A Team’ had a very successful season. In this year’s National Cup competition the boys won 8 games to reach the semi-final. This was a great achievement to play in the last 4 of a competition that started with 663 teams. On Wednesday 11th March we travelled to Oxford Academy to play the eagerly anticipated semi-final. Hurstmere started slowly and very quickly found themselves 2-0 behind against strong opposition. A good comeback saw the game end three all. Unfortunately Hurstmere conceded early on in extra time and the game finished 4-3 meaning the boys missed out on a final at Readings Madejski Stadium.
The Year 7 B Team finished the season unbeaten with a 2-1 victory over Ellington and Hereson in the final of the B County Cup at Maidstone’s Gallagher Stadium. The game was played on Saturday 21st March in front of a large crowd. The boys didn’t let their nerves get the better of them and performed superbly as they have done all season. Goals on the day were scored by Thomas Bryant and Max Wyness. Congratulations to all players involved this season.
The season finished with a third meeting between Hurstmere and Beths Grammar School. Two very evenly matched teams played out a very keenly contested North Kent Final on Hurstmere's 3g pitch. The game finished 3 - 3 after extra time and the trophy was shared. Goals on the day came from Thomas Dolding (2) and Harry Beadle. In summary, the boys have had an excellent season; they have develop asRobinson a team, with and Itheir lookcoach forward toWillis. the team Benand Stockmatured and Oliver Simon making the transition from 9-a-side to 11-a-side. Well done to all involved.
Pictured above: Max Wyness prepares to lift the trophy Mr J Ball Teacher of PE/i/c Y7 Football
Year 8 Football Year 8 Win the Kent Cup and North Golf West Kent Cup Hurstmere pupils have had a lot of success in golf in recent years: ex-pupils Luke Spooner and Ross Maietta are currently on Scholarships in Universities in the States and often let us know how they are doing. Current pupils are continuing this success: Lewis Obourne has just completed a scholarship with Sidcup Golf Club and Year 7 boys Gethin Joyce and Andrew Fastiggi have just started a similar arrangement. The schools own 9 hole pitch and putt course is getting well used in Key Stage 4 lessons and Mr Joyce is running a Key Stage 3 extra-curricular club on Thursday lunch times for pupils to try their hand at a new sport.
Our Year 8 team are double winners thanks to the following boys: Tommy Kemp in goal – superb shot-stopper. Harry Saunders and Adam Cook, full backs, interlinked superbly with their wingers Freddie Spearing and Billy French (Captain) at centre back, read the game brilliantly and cleared up any goal scoring situations with style. Josiah Jones and Lewis Oborne, on the wings, were out of their usual position, but hugged the lines, created space, and nipped in with crucial goals. Bertie Valler, Tommy Broadway and Harrison Kemp, in centre midfield, dictated, dominated and were deadly. No team could handle the sheer quality of these three in the centre of the park. Freddy Barton, centre forward, was clinical scoring goal, after goal. He scored from the left, he scored from the right, Freddy Barton did everything right. Josh Adams, Tommy Tippett and Chi Ezennolim were our three super subs. I would have liked to have given them more game time; however, I appreciated their patience and loyalty. It was a season of great contributions from all the team.
Athletics The school attended a very wet Bexley Track and Field Athletics Championships. Year 8's Ronnie Stowell managed to progress to represent Bexley in the Kent Championships and we wish him every success. The Inter-house track and field competitions are currently taking place and, with the overall house standings being so close, these events could make the difference. All of the Intra School Cross country championships have now been completed and more boys than ever are finishing the 1.5 mile course in under 10 minutes. A number of boys are still to complete the course due to illness and injury and they will have the opportunity to do so before the end of term.
This has been an incredibly wonderful year to manage such a great bunch of boys, with superbly supportive parents who I would also like to thank. (Good Luck Freddy).
Hurstmere’s Year 8 Players Picked for North Kent District Team
Tommy Kemp, Harry Kemp, Freddie Spearing, Billy French and Josiah Jones, of our Year 8 footballers, have played all year for the North Kent District side and were successful in winning a 3-1 victory in the ‘District Kent Cup’ against Blackheath. Each boy was presented with medal to add to their growing collection.
Key Stage 4 pupils are trying their hand at this new sport. The game is becoming increasingly popular in London's parks and Recreation areas and our boys have shown a real flair for the game. Spatial awareness skills have been improved and this will help with the more traditional sports of Rugby and Football.
Mr G Joyce – Year 8 Football Coach
Mr M Robinson—Head of PE
A Specialist Sports and Science Academy
LEADERS TEE OFF FOR A SUMMER OF SPORT
REACHING FOR THE SKY!
Sports Leaders from Year 9 and 10 have started the summer term by organising the School Games Yr 5/6 Tri Golf Competition. On Wednesday 29th April children from nine Primary Schools across Bexley attended the Level 2 School Games Tri Golf competition at Hurstmere. The event involved eight different skill challenges where each team tried to score as many points as possible.
Twenty boys in Year 9 are participating in the Sky Living for Sport programme. The primary aim of the programme is to use sport stars and sport skills to help increase young people’s confidence, selfesteem, engagement in, and attitudes to learning, and improve their health and well-being. The group is a mix of existing sports leaders and those new to the role. The group have an athlete mentor assigned to them, Jake Sheaf, GB Beach Volleyball player, who will spend a day working with the boys later in the year.
Miss Allsop and Mr Reddy have been helping them to achieve a number of goals which they have set. In June the group will go into Birkbeck Primary School to run an Outdoor Adventure Activities Festival for their Year 4’s.
The boys have been attending a lunch time club throughout the term where
Miss S Allsop—Partnership Development Manager
To help facilitate this event, students have been on an Outdoor Adventure Activity weekend to Ty’n y Berth Mountain Centre in Wales where they experienced a range of challenges and developed their organisational and leadership skills.
HURSTMERE EXTEND ITS GLOBAL LINKS In preparation for the Hurstmere in Romania project which will be taking place this July, two members of Staff, Mr Robinson and Mr Jones, visited Bucharest in Romania. They went to ensure that a sustainable Tag Rugby project, similar to that which has been carried out in Zambia, would be possible in the Eastern European country. By forming a close working relationship with Grivita College we are hoping to be able to get our Year 11 boys to coach around 600 young people the game of Tag Rugby. On top of this, a number of community projects have been identified which will be completed during July’s trip, including the painting and redecoration of the Grivita Rugby Club. The boys will be completing these projects, alongside similar aged pupils from Romania, in and around the Bucharest area. Our link with Grivita Collage came about during our Hurstmere in Zambia 2013 project where ex-international Romanian rugby player Nicolae Ungureanu joined Hurstmere to complete its work. He now teaches in the Bucharest College and will be working with our boys in July, to “build futures through rugby”. We are planning on continuing our sustainable projects in Zambia in 2016, and through our link with Baobab College in Zambia we have been keeping abreast of all of the developments in and around the Lusaka region. We continue to work alongside the Tag Rugby Trust to give our boys the wonderfully insightful opportunities to change the lives of so many young people and their communities around the world. Mr M Robinson – Head of PE
Prior to the event Hurstmere Sports Leaders attended a Tri Golf Activators course run by the Golf Foundation to prepare them for the competition. During the course they learnt how to coach Tri Golf, set up a competition and run each skill challenge. The course tutor said, "I'd have no hesitation in asking any of the Hurstmere boys to run Tri Golf competitions; they have done extremely well on the training." Due to an unsettled day of weather, the Tri Golf competition had to be moved in to the Sports Hall but the leaders coped exceptionally well with the limited space and a great competition was enjoyed by all. After a closely contested competition where the lead changed several times the competition was won by Hurst Primary School who will now go on to represent Bexley at the Level 3 School Games Finals at Crystal Palace in July. The winner of the Skills for Life competition, where teams were awarded points for honesty, teamwork, cooperation and safety was East Wickham Primary Academy. The Hurstmere Sports Leaders were highly praised by the visiting schools and once again did themselves and the school proud. Miss S Allsop – Partnership Development Manager
ZAMBIA/ROMANIA FUNDRAISING I would like to thank everyone for all of their efforts in helping us raise money for the Zambia/Romania projects. The recent cake/cookie sale, organised by Miss Allsop and Ms Ritchie, raised £128.60. I was very proud to receive an email from Just Giving, informing us that we were in the top 3% of fundraisers in 2014. Considering the millions of pounds that are raised through this site, this is a massive achievement. We have now raised well over £100,000 since the project started in 2007. The current project (Romania 15/ Zambia 16) has so far raised £20,507.04. Thank you for your continued support. Mr M Robinson—Head of PE A Specialist Sports
and Science Academy
ROYAL SOCIETY YOUNG PEOPLE’S BOOK PRIZE
Hurstmere Heart Start Saving Londoners' Lives (SLL) is a partnership project* aiming to increase the number of people in the capital with emergency life support (ELS) skills. It is under this project that we run Hurstmere HeartStart. The most recent course has already helped to equip a Hurstmere boy, Tommy Twiner, with some potentially life-saving skills: ‘I attended the Heart Start Course and already my skills have been put to the test. On a weekend in March 2015 my good friend was run over by a car. He was screaming in pain and I thought he had severely damaged his neck. Luckily I knew what to do because of Heart Start. It is an extremely helpful course and teaches life skills which can save lives. “Simple skills save lives”.’ *http://savinglondonerslives.org.uk/
Every year the Royal Society create a shortlist of the best science related books written that year for young people. They select 75 groups of young people in the UK to read the books and judge them. This year Hurstmere’s Rocket Club has received the great privilege of being selected as one of the judging panels. This means that we will be reading some excellent, up-to-date science books provided to us for free from the Royal Society and sending them our views. We are very much looking forward to receiving the books and getting started! Mrs C Fletcher - 2 i/c Science, KS3
HURSTMERE ROCKET CLUB Hurstmere Rocket club has really taken off this year (sorry!). Some of our students have a real interest in the maths, science and technology behind rockets. The Hurstmere Rocket Club (H.A.S.A.) is a great way to help foster these fascinations. During our after school club we spend one hour a week designing, building and launching our rockets. We have built rockets in teams and individually.
atmosphere, you're going to have fun. Moreover, working on a Rocket Club team you learn an amazing amount of science, math, physics and engineering, not to mention collaboration, problemsolving, and project management. Well done to all the students who got involved this year.
Why do this? In part, rockets are just cool. Any time you can be part of launching a scale model into the upper
Mr C Richardson—MLE Manager Below: Hurstmere’s rocket scientists.
Above: Mr Richardson and the Hurstmere Rocket Club boys proudly show off their rockets. A Specialist Sports and Science Academy
SCIENCE WEEK March 2015 – This Year, the theme for Science week was ‘Space’. By coincidence (honest), there was a very rare total eclipse of the sun that week over the British Isles. Unfortunately, it was a very overcast day so we provided a large screen live feed from the Faro Islands which was viewed in the hall by hundreds of Hurstmere boys. Special thanks to Mr Sims for organising this.
ZOOLAB Special lessons and resources were delivered in Science lessons to Year 7 and 8, and the range of environments on different planets was explored. As well as looking at the different environments on planets in our solar system, we also explored the range of life and environments on our own planet when specialist Rangers from Zoolab came in to give hands on lessons to our Key Stage 3 students. This was an exciting, memorable and fun animal handling experience. During the workshop pupils learnt about how animals have adapted to a range of habitats on our own planet. This was a fantastic opportunity
that covered animal welfare, environmental awareness, confidence building and provided a genuinely unique learning experience that enriched learning from the Year 7 syllabus. The Rangers commented that Hurstmere Year 7 boys were an absolute pleasure to work with and their conduct and enthusiasm were some of the best they have ever seen. Well done Year 7 Boys! Mr J Sheehan – Head of Science
SCIENCE CLUB What do pupils do at Hurstmere Science Club?
Whether you are brilliant at science, want to explore exciting new science activities each week or just come and have some fun with new friends, come along one week and have a look. Science Club is held on Thursday lunchtime in room 48.
They get hands-on with science in the most imaginative and stimulating ways possible.
Miss F Clark— Teacher of Science
During the lunchtime sessions, the pupils watch demonstrations and participate in enquiry-based discussions. They make things that they get to take home, like model rockets, periscopes, hovercrafts and more! These 30 minute science sessions are themed around a particular area of science and include very many and varied topics such as electricity, optics, space, the weather, machines and many more.
Left and far left: These images show pupils using the Van de Graaff generator demonstrating the effects of static electricity on hair, and the ability to light a Bunsen burner with a static discharge. A Specialist Sports
and Science Academy
Y10 Fieldwork Visit to SEVEN SISTERS COUNTRY PARK
All the Year 10 Geography students went to visit Seven Sisters Country Park in the South Downs Nation Park to gather their data to complete their controlled assessment. We were very lucky to have great weather this year, a change from the normal wind and rain! The park was full of tourists ready to be questioned by our students and we even came across some tourists all the way from North Korea; seems our National Parks and White Cliffs really are world famous!
This event will be featured in our next edition of the school Newsletter and on our website — www.hurstmere.org.uk
The French Department have recently purchased a subscription to Vocab Express, a website enabling all pupils to brush up their knowledge of French words and structures. Vocab Express is an online vocabulary learning application for schools and individual learners which engages students, keeps them actively learning and raises attainment levels. Vocab Express allows the boys to practise their listening and pronunciation skills - by clicking on sound icons – and their translating skills from French to English and English to French.
Well done to all the students for their hard work and impeccable behaviour whilst on the trip.
The boys have responded en masse to the website and lots of rewards have been given out to the top scorers in their teaching groups! Vocab Express is also available as a mobile app for iOS and AnAbove: An example of Vocab Express. The droid. Download it student learns by listening to the word and for free now! then typing the translation. A Specialist Sports and Science Academy
Mme L Notton—Head of French
Mr T Baston—Head of Geography
From September 2015 the Government’s attendance guidelines are changing. From September ‘persistent absenteeism’ will now be defined as when a student’s attendance falls below 86%. This means that should your son miss school on approximately 11 or more days during the winter term, for example, he may be considered a persistent absentee and you could be asked to attend a ‘Fast Track Attendance’ meeting in school, together with the EWS, a School Governor and a member of the senior leadership team.
On Friday 27th March, 46 pupils and 7 staff set off from school and headed for the mountains of Stowe, Vermont in the USA. After a shaky start (one member of staff sustaining an injury and one member of staff being nearly left behind) we hit the road to London Heathrow. Seventeen hours later we arrived at the hotel safely at 3am local time. This did not stop the pupils being up and ready to hit the slopes at 8am. Once we arrived at the resort and after Ski Fit,
This is a legal process that the school is obliged to follow. I would also remind parents that the School is unable to authorise holidays during school term time. Should a parent need to take their child out of school for an exceptional circumstance they should, in the first instance, write a letter to the Headteacher. Whilst of course there will be occasions which merit special consideration, it will continue to be entirely at the Headteacher’s discretion and his decision will be final. Mr I Simpson - Assistant Principal
the pupils were placed into their ability groups and off they went in their bright blue bibs. Apart from the comedy nicknames, these bibs proved to be invaluable for the staff as we could easily spot our pupils on the slopes. The conditions for skiing were some of the best that we have ever had and the resort was brilliant, as were the pupils. After five days hard skiing and one evening taking part in the legendary Mr Jones’ quiz, we packed up and headed for one night in New York. This was after the shopping stop at the huge complex that is Woodbury Common Shopping Outlet. Three hours and many bags later, we set off for
FIT OR NOT - BRING YOUR KIT: Please can I remind parents that the school rule with regards to PE is that boys should bring their PE kit even if they are injured. They are expected to bring a note explaining the injury and the PE teacher will give him non-physical tasks to complete. These tasks could include refereeing, officiating, recording, organising or leading. We may also be able to give him the chance to carry out any exercises he has been given by a medical professional. Rest assured that we will not make your son do anything that will make his injury worse. Mr M Robinson – Head of PE
New York. On the evening we had dinner in the Hard Rock Café in Times Square and then had a city tour the next day. It was then the seventeen hour trip home. The boys were a credit to the school, to their parents and to themselves. We had appreciation shown to us from the air stewards on the flights, as well as the passengers, the hotel/catering staff and the instructors themselves, who spent the most time with the boys. On behalf of all the staff that went on the trip and school, I would like to personally thank the pupils for making it such a pleasurable experience. Mr M Wright – Teacher of PE and Mr K Wadsworth – Director of Sport
A Specialist Sports
and Science Academy
ICELAND 2015 DIARY Hurstmere’s latest trip to Iceland took place in the first week of the Easter Holidays with 42 Year 11s visiting this wonderful country. It was a truly amazing week. The boys had a fantastic time visiting and seeing some incredible things and we had astonishing weather with snow and sun. It’s hard to believe, but sunglasses were needed to stop us going snow blind from the blazing sun off the pristine snow! The trip really was one that they will never forget. But don’t take my word for it, here are some snippets from the diary of the trip and some quotes written by the boys who went.
All together at Solheimajokull Glacier.
Geysers “Magnificent! Going to the geysers was probably one of my best experiences on the trip. There was one geyser in particular, shooting out incredibly hot water between 80 - 100 degrees. Heights for the active geysers could reach up to 40m! Strokkur was the most active which spouted every 5 - 10 minutes. The biggest geyser was the most powerful but can only be triggered by seismic activity, such as an earthquake.” - Jack Monksfield. “I enjoyed seeing the exploding geysers as it linked with my geographical education and it was a spectacular sight to witness. However, I also liked experiencing a different lifestyle and culture as it provided a fresh view of Iceland.” - Raagulan Umashanker “I enjoyed the whole thing especially the amazing landscapes covered in snow. All of the things we saw like the geysers and volcanic material left by the volcanoes linked in with my geographical lessons. The geysers I particularly enjoyed because I learned how they work, and there is only a few places to see them in the world!” - Joseph White Gullfoss Waterfall “On the second day we went to the Gullfoss Waterfall. We walked up a pathway that led to the waterfall, which was very slippery as it was covered in snow and ice. It was only a short walk but it was still tiring. We were greeted by a spectacular view of the Gullfoss waterfall; the view was breath taking and it is a view that I'm never going to forget.” - Chris Mcintosh “Before we got to the waterfall I thought that it was going to be a waterfall that was quite small; it wasn’t. I was very wrong about that. It was so huge that at first I thought that we were at Niagara Falls, but the cold made me remember that I was in Iceland. The noise was so loud that I thought that I was near an airplane engine. When I got to the higher level of one of the cliff faces, I thought to myself this country can't possibly get any more amazing to look at! If I go to Iceland again with my family, it would be one of the spots that I would tell them to go and see first.” - Billy Cottrell Solheimajokull Glacier “The section of the trip I that found particularly stimulating was the Solheimajokull glacier. It was like a scene from ‘Game of Thrones’! My favourite elements of the stop included skipping stones in the glacial dam, climbing up the mountains of ash and, of course, admiring the fine scenery. I also enjoyed looking in the ice cave and nearly fell into it whilst washing my hands getting the ash off !” – Ben Murphy
DAY 1 - Journey/Blue Lagoon/Reykjavik The boys were exemplary on the journey navigating the perils of modern airports and arriving in Iceland in good spirits. First stop was the Blue Lagoon. Once the students had figured out how to use the lockers, it was a quick dash from the changing rooms through the freezing air into the warmth of the lagoon. From then on it was mineral face packs and relaxing in the warmth of the water for a few hours. What a great way to start the first day! “The Blue Lagoon was the first stop and was right next to a geothermal power station which aided in heating the hot spring as well as an underground volcano. It was extremely relaxing as we went from the cold air to the lovely warm Lagoon. You could also buy a refreshing drink.” - Calum Bradford “The first stop on our 2015 Iceland tour was the Blue Lagoon. With the smell of sulphur lingering in the air, the steam rising from the milky blue Lagoon, we plunged into the volcanic hot spring. The sun was shining in the clear blue sky as we swam and relaxed whilst making good use of the therapeutic mineral masks.” - Mrs L Bennett “I think that Iceland was a trip of a lifetime which I really enjoyed. It included many first time experiences including seeing: waterfalls, geysers, volcanoes and glaciers. One of my favourite parts of the trip was swimming in the Blue Lagoon which is a naturally heated pool in the middle of nowhere.” - Euan John DAY 2 Today was action packed and very busy with lots of exciting places to see and visit. Thingvellir National Park “This seemingly simple cliff face is actually the boundary on which the North American plate and the Eurasian plate meet and is quite a natural wonder. This was, as we found out, picked up on in the past. The Vikings had used this location as their Parliament, meeting at least once a year to discuss everything from marriage to disputes. They would also trade goods at this gathering and invent new rules for the clans to follow. This location is a majestic sight, with the rock formations near the cliff forming perfect platforms for speeches and gatherings, and the river at the base of the cliffs was a place of punishment, home to beheadings and drownings as a form of execution. All in all, our time here was very enjoyable, with everybody soaking in the natural beauty of the environment and taking many pictures of it as well.” - Zack French A Specialist Sports and Science Academy
Queueing to enter The Blue Lagoon.
DAY 3 We had a long drive today to visit Iceland’s most photographed feature the Jokulsarlon Glacial Lagoon. Located in Skaftfell National Park, the Jokulsarlon Glacial Lagoon is a lagoon created by Europe’s largest glacier and is a beautifully blue lake with huge icebergs floating in it. A truly stunning sight! But first a quick stop at an earthquake simulator… Earthquake Simulator “This day started with a simulation of an earthquake. It demonstrated how destructive earthquakes can be, and it was an ideal way to begin the day because it woke me up! It also showed me something that probably should have been obvious in the first place : EARTHQUAKES ARE PETRIFYING!” - Kian Midwinter Jokulsarlon Glacial Lagoon “There was a huge expanse of land enclosed by mountains and, of course, the huge glacier. The sun was shining down on the snow and ice which made a spectacularly picturesque scene. One that we were told was used in many films such as ‘James Bond’. It was a new experience for me and one that I will never forget.” - Lewis Hines-Street Wow! Just wow! What a sight! My favourite part of the trip was the Jokulsarlon Glacial Lagoon. It was like being in the land of giants being dwarfed by these huge icebergs floating in the deep blue water. It was like being in another world.” - Morgan Haggar A quiz evening tested students’ knowledge and provided much entertainment with some great team names. An Icelandic victory hot dog each for the winning team was enjoyed nearly as much as the volcanic rocks that the last placed team got as a booby prize! DAY 4 Thorsmork Valley and Eyjafjallajokull 8WD Monster Trucks We woke to another stunningly beautiful day, greeting us with stunning views from our cliff top hotel. The students were tired but soon got excited when they saw the Eyjafjallakokull and Valley of Thor Eight Wheel Drive trucks! We all climbed into the ex-NATO scud missile carriers that have been converted into the ultimate off road vehicles capable of crossing glacial rivers, conquering snow ice or anything else Iceland could throw it them. “The Ice Explorer tour started with a drive through the Valley of Thor which is a beautiful flat bottomed valley consisting of a number of braided streams flowing towards the coast over the black igneous boulders and sediment. The valley has been created over a series of glacial movements but more recently the shape has been determined by the latest eruption of the Eyjafallakokull Volcano and the resulting glacial burst which washed down the valley. We had an opportunity to go to the base of the glacier which burst as a result of the eruption. We walked towards the glacier, traversing the extreme landscape and avoiding the deep snow holes. The glacial
depositions on either side channelled us towards the front of the glacier. The eight wheel drive was very 'floaty' due to the amazing ex-missile launchers that carried us to the glacier and the outstanding views that TV programme 'Game Of Thrones' takes advantage of. It was an exceptional tour, hosted by the two guides. The fresh deep snow was also great fun to play around in; it was over a metre deep in some places!” - Henry Phillips “I enjoyed it very much at it allowed us to explore areas of the island that are not very accessible to most tourists. The area is very intriguing due to the fact that it is constantly changing due to diverse weather and constantly shifting glaciers. I also enjoyed visiting movie site locations such as ‘Intersellar’, ‘Batman Begins’ and ‘Noah’. Overall the experience was fantastic and I look forward to coming next year if I am lucky enough to be asked to come again.” - Mr B Maher Reynishverfi Volcanic Beach The sun was just going down and provided a stunning sunset to see the southern coastline being pounded by the huge Atlantic swell smashing into the cliffs. ‘Take That’ filmed their video for ‘Patience’ here and it’s also a favourite Hollywood set with Russell Crow having filmed ‘Noah’ onsite last year (but we had better weather!). “We made a quick 20 - 25 minute stop at Reynishverfi Volcanic Beach. Ultimately it was pretty cool. The shapes and patterns of the rocks, especially in the caves, were rather awesome. Moreover, the waves hitting the shore were incredibly powerful and violent. It was also very dangerous, as if you got too close, you could be sucked out to sea and meet your end.” - Jack Monksfield Final Thoughts on Iceland “I think that everyone that went on this trip will agree that we had an amazing time. The trip was filled with incredible picturesque views of the beautiful Icelandic landscapes, many chants and songs on the coach journeys and a lot of panoramic photos of us all in different spots around the country. It is definitely a trip that none of us will ever forget as we all had such an incredible time. Every day had plenty of memorable activities which gave us all the opportunity to take photos for our families back home. Overall, it was a fantastic trip with great people, and I’m so glad that I came along!” – Lewis Hines-Street “Iceland is a country of breath-taking scenery and geography in action. I will remember it as a trip with many memories and a group of fabulous young men who have done us proud!” – Mrs L Bennett So, as you can see, everyone had a fantastic time on what was truly a trip to remember! I would also like to echo Mrs Bennett in that the students were a pleasure to be away with, were impeccably behaved and have given me some great memories. If you’re interested in going to Iceland in the future, keep an eye out for information (or if you are in Year 10 and want to go come see me NOW!). Mr T Baston – Head of Geography
A Specialist Sports
and Science Academy
LIBRARY NEWS — World Book Day
WORD MILLIONAIRES The library, in collaboration with the English Department, run the Accelerated Reader programme with all Year 7 and selected Year 8 and Year 9 boys to improve their reading and comprehension. This year the Year 7 boys have read over 48 million Words. Special praise goes to the following boys who have become Word Millionaires and won Gift Vouchers as a reward. 3 Million Words -
1 Million Words -
Alfie Beattie, Cameron Freeman, Kieran Lowe, Ethan Dennis, Nathan Lea, Niall Hassan and Zachary Altman
Nearly 1 million -
Well done to all these boys. Year 7 boys consider all the clues during ‘Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner?’.
During a lunch time in March, the library celebrated World Book Day by inviting the Year 7 boys to take part in a competition to guess who the dinner guest authors were by looking at picture clues on plates. Well done to the many boys who participated and special congratulations to the winners. Winners:
Samuel Greenslade, Ewen Hares and Sean Okunnuga
Mrs E Tubbs and Mrs J Dowse—Librarians
Runners Up: Ben Bleksley, Callum Deppe, Sidney King and Oliver Seal
17/07/15 Last day of Summer Term 20/07/15 Staff Development (School Closed) 01/09/15 Staff Development (School Closed) 02/09/15 First Day of Autumn Term Open Mornings for prospective Year 7s— 26/09/15 Saturday Open Morning (10am—12pm) 28-29/09/15 Guided Tours (9am) 5-7/09/15 Guided Tours (9am) 12-14/09/15 Guided Tours (9am 19-30/10/15 Half Term (2 weeks) A S p e c i a l i s t S p o r t s Produced by J Dowse and Science Academy
ELECTRONIC/ON LINE EDITION— www.hurstmere.org.uk/15/publications
School photographs by Mr C Richardson and staff
Printed by F M Litho