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Autumn 2013

Helping in Malawi

Exam Success

This summer 38 Lower Sixth Formers and six teachers set off to renew the School’s strong connections with Malawi, having worked tirelessly throughout the year to raise funds for the trip. Such is the shortage of blood reserves in Malawi, 30 of them chose to donate blood during the Blantyre leg of the trip. Many commented on how rewarding, yet chilling it felt to know that their donations would be used immediately to save lives. Throughout the year pupils raised an amazing £10,000 for a much needed new hostel at Good News Children's Home in Sorgin, Southern Malawi. The pupils also enjoyed teaching at eight Blantyre Primary Schools using resources they had also fundraised for through the Charchar Trust. The average class size was close to one hundred pupils and on one occasion was an astounding two hundred. The group returned much enriched by their experiences having gained a cultural insight to Malawi, 'the warm heart of Africa'. Marion Black (U6), commented, "The gratitude for Culford's support is overwhelming", while Leila King (U6) expressed, "It was so lovely to be surrounded by the children, their faces glowing with pride and appreciation".

Culford pupils have once again reaped the rewards of their hard work in the summer examinations.

Over the last 3 years, 44% of all GCSEs and 36% of all A Levels were awarded A* or A grades. At GCSE virtually all pupils achieved 5 A*-C grades, and most performed considerably better than this, with our top pupils achieving suites of A* and A grades. Ellie Jones and Georgina Sutton each achieved 7 A* and 3 A grades. Amidst recent reports of a national downturn in mathematics results, Culford students bucked the trend, achieving excellent maths iGCSE results: in particular, the Year 10 top set, who sit this examination a year early, did better than ever this year with 16 out of the 21 pupils achieving A* grades and the remaining 5 achieving As. The next challenge is the tough Additional Mathematics course which will doubtless give them similar success next year. At A level there were a whole host of excellent performances, not just in terms of grades achieved but also with respect to value added. Over 40% of our leavers gained places at Russell Group Universities. Placements of particular note include Adam Rampling (A*AAA) who secured a place at the Royal Veterinary College, Marion Black (AAA) who has a place at the University of Birmingham to read Medicine and Lily Lv (A*AAA) who was accepted to read Chemical Engineering at Imperial College London, which is considered to be the best chemical engineering course in the world. A Level students

Culford Connections is a termly newsletter for Culford School bringing together news from the Senior, Prep and Pre-Prep Schools

Academic Prizes awarded this term Benefecits

PLT Skills

A benefecit is a positive reward for academic success either in a single piece of work, or in several pieces of work, which are very good relative to pupil ability.

This term’s PLTS (Personal Learning and Thinking Skills) award winners are:


Independent Enquirer

Maria-Luiza Kiryakova Shunichiro Asai Arantza Rascon San Martin Frederick Allum Joshua Chalfen Edward Chrispin Ella Dowling Elizabeth Keswick Harriet Kirby-Smith Anastasia Mozhina Eleanor Rushforth Charles Schofield Isabella Taylor Abigail Warburton Harry Davies Kieran D'Lima Anna Flynn Eve Holder

F4 F4 F4 L5 L5 L5 L5 L5 L5 L5 L5 L5 L5 L5 U5 U5 U5 U5


Team Worker Effective Participator Self-manager Reflective Learner Creative Thinker Tenacious Learner Overall winner

Arantza Rascon San Martin Sasha Gerry Casper Milbank Claire Bottomley Kathryn Veitch Sol Franklin Claire Bottomley Stanley Shaw

L5 Independent Enquirer

Eleanor Rushforth

Team Worker

Natasha Desmond

Effective Participator Stanislav Chistyakov Self-manager Reflective Learner Creative Thinker

Frederick Allum Joseph Gollifer Sebastian Woods

Tenacious Learner

Emily Wood

Overall Winner

Joe Foulger

TOP BRONZE AWARDS William Baines Joseph Beasant Hannah Burley Claire Bottomley Hannah Brecknell Charles Carter Rebecca Day Fraser Devoy Katie Farrant Abigail Farrow Sol Franklin Annabel Heywood Jintong Li Freya Luscombe Olivia Nicolai Alexander Packer Paula SansanoViana Thomas Smith Joshua Stephens James Barley Max Bickers Stephen Cheung Joseph Gollifer Natasha Horden Samuel Lucas Max McCrea Martin Sharples


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F4 F4 F4 F4 F4 F4 F4 F4 F4 F4 F4 F4 F4 F4 F4 F4 F4 F4 F4 L5 L5 L5 L5 L5 L5 L5 U5


Top Performers in End of Term Exams William Baines Fraser Devoy Sol Franklin Peter Hodgson Josh Stephens James Vickers Frederick Allum Max McCrea Eleanor Rushforth Charles Schofield Isabella Taylor Maria Alfaro Anna Flynn Martin Sharples Jack Veitch Holly Whittome

F4 F4 F4 F4 F4 F4 L5 L5 L5 L5 L5 U5 U5 U5 U5 U5

Sixth Form EPQ This year four Sixth Formers are taking part in the EPQ: Kate Balding (To what extent do changes in society dictate the development of the English language?), Annabel Muir (The relationship between HIV and the status of women in Malawi), Ruth Friswell (Designing and creating effective study bedrooms for students) and Emily Hounsome (The Poet, The Madman and The Lover: what was Shakespeare’s representation of madness and mental health issues in the context of postreformation England?).

Mathematicians in Competition Cambridge University’s Centre for Mathematical Sciences played host this term to the regional final of the Senior Team Mathematics Challenge. 30 teams of the best maths students from local schools and colleges gathered to tackle a series of demanding challenges; three rounds of group problem solving, team cross-number puzzle and mathematical relay races ensued, with the Culford team (pictured below) finishing in 17th place.

During November, all students studying maths in the Sixth Form took part in the individual Senior Maths Challenge. Four pupils achieved gold certificates, six were awarded silver and 21 bronze. Special mention must go to Anastasia Holovenko, who qualified for the Senior Kangaroo, and Elim Feng, who qualified for the British Maths Olympiad.

Eloy Torres Ramon, Elim Feng, Anastasia Holovenko and Kristin Chirica (all Sixth Formers)

Autumn 2013

Politics and… This year’s scholars’ programme began with a visit by British historian, academic and broadcaster Dr. Suzannah Lipscomb, who gave a talk entitled 'Politics and History: The Court of Henry VIII', prior to the annual scholars’ dinner. Other visits included Professor AC Grayling, founder of the New College of Humanities and author of over 30 books on Philosophy, who came to speak to scholars in October on ‘Politics and Philosophy’; Professor Gibson spoke on ‘Tackling world problems using Mathematics and Philosophy’; and Dr Rob Johns presented 'The Politics of Politics: Do Pollsters Shape or Measure Public Opinion and are Politicians Led by Principle or Polling Data’. Dr Suzannah Lipscomb with Isabel Davies, Head Girl, Headmaster Julian Johnson-Munday and William Chapman, Head Boy

Geographers in Morocco During half term 20 Fifth Form pupils travelled to Morocco on a 5 day cultural trip. The first two nights were spent in the High Atlas mountains staying in a beautiful five star hotel with stunning views, amazing food and traditional Hammam Baths. Walks in the mountain villages and traditional mint tea at a local Berber home really showed everyone a new way of life. The group then travelled to Marrakech for the final two nights where they enjoyed horse and carriage rides around the walled city, a smelly walk through the

leather tanneries, and some exceptional bartering in the hustle and bustle of Jemaa El-Fnaa. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed the trip and were sad to see the back of the sunshine.

House Singing Competition Tuesday 5 November saw Centenary Hall packed with pupils for Culford’s inaugural House Singing Competition. Christine McRitchie, a distinguished musician, teacher and author who has worked in numerous schools and adult education establishments around Cambridge was invited to invigilate.

Celebrating Britten’s Centenary On 25 November, Centenary Hall was full to the brim for a celebratory rendition of Britten's St Nicolas cantata, performed by musicians drawn from all of Culford's communities: the Culford Centenary Orchestra; Prep School Chamber Choir; Senior School Choir; and the Culford Choral Society. Professional tenor Nicholas Bewes was guest soloist. The audience was visibly moved as the three choirs joined together in a rousing performance that could be heard throughout Culford Hall. In front of such a large number of people, Prep School choristers Edward Baines, Joshua Cope, Oscar Hamilton and Evan Sykes did particularly well and sang beautifully.

There were 12 performances in total, with each House participating in various ensembles. The final section, Unison Songs, saw some enthusiastic and powerful renditions from all Houses, and everyone really got into the spirit of the singing! As the overall winners, Fitzgerald House, were announced, Centenary Hall was filled with high pitched screaming that could be heard all over Culford!

GB Calling Kieran Dibley (L6) has been identified by the GB Rowing Team Start Programme as having significant potential in the Olympic sport of rowing. Kieran has undergone testing by the Start Programme that analyses endurance ability, strength and natural attributes in body type, such as leg/arm length and shoulder width. From these results, the Programme coaches compared his profile to that of successful rowers, and they have asked Kieran to continue forward to the next selection phase.

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Senior School

Review: PressGanged Fool

It takes courage both to cast one’s own creation before an audience and to have the confidence that a new comedy will get laughs. As such, Director of Drama Maria Kane, her fellow writers and the entire company of this term’s production deserve great credit and respect. The Press-Ganged Fool proved extremely popular at its launch in Culford’s Studio Theatre over four November nights. It now sails for next year’s Edinburgh Festival where its jolliness and ribaldry will fit right in. The play is a tale of mistaken identity and girl power on the high seas. Rumbustious, the show is a kaleidoscope of theatrical caricatures and styles. Nautical ballads rub shoulders with slapstick, funky dance routines and elements of Restoration comedy. Four saucy Wailing Widows act as a warped Greek chorus, steering the show without a moral compass. It is they who dictate that, rather than a dismal or politically correct feminist ending, what the plot needs is a ukulele-strumming, fairy tale finale. Fresh and brash, The Press-Ganged Fool went down really well with young and old alike on its maiden voyage. An hour-long riot of song, dance, farce, fun, pastiche and parody, this was Culford’s cabaret before Cabaret (next term’s musical). Nicholas Hopton, Prep School Director of Studies

CCF Central Camp Twenty four cadets attended the CCF central camp this year at the 49 Brigade Training Camp, Beckingham, Lincolnshire. The week consisted of raft building, kayaking, sailing, climbing and mountain biking, as well as an excellent personal development programme including firing range, fieldcraft and military skills, culminating with the contingent exercise. In the schools competition Culford won the drill and clay pigeon shooting, coming a close joint second overall to a school who had nearly three times their number of cadets. In other CCF news, Ollie Oulton and Eben Robson (both U5) were promoted to Lance Corporal after a very successful Tactics Cadre deployment to the Stanta training area.

Harriet Clapp Harriet Clapp, art scholar, left Culford in the summer after achieving outstanding success in her public art examinations, gaining 100% at GCSE, AS and A2. She is now studying Politics and Eastern European Studies at University College London.

Environmental Clean-Up in Egypt During half term, nine members of Culford’s Sixth Form travelled to Dahab, Egypt, where they helped local school Futures complete an environmental project involving beach and reef cleaning. The group donned scuba gear and headed to the depths to remove debris from the local reef while Futures school children from years 9 and 10 concentrated on cleaning up the beach. The multinational team then joined forces to compare the debris they had collected before returning to the local school for a presentation involving the Dahab City Council and Ministry of Tourism in Cairo. The day ended with a friendly football match and a BBQ prepared by local Bedouins.


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Charity Fashion Show This year’s fashion show was bigger and better than ever before. Culford Hall was packed with stalls selling to Christmas shoppers before the fashion show, auction and raffle in the evening. Celebrity broadcaster Derek Thompson was guest auctioneer, with all profits going to the Art Department redevelopments as part of the school’s major new fundraising campaign; The Campaign for Culford.

Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Old Culfordians Emma Devlin and Alex Dobson (pictured below) were presented with their Gold Duke of Edinburgh awards at St James Palace on 25th September. The Earl of Wessex spent time talking to award winners before comedian Jo Brand presented the certificates. The Gold award takes 12 months to complete and covers five areas of expertise including service, expeditions, skills, physical recreation and a residential project.

This year has seen the Foundation at Culford launch The Campaign for Culford in support of our exciting development plans for a landmark Library and other facilities for the benefit of current and future generations of Culfordians. Culford’s priority within the Campaign is to build a new Library at the academic heart of the school. This £2.2 million project will ensure the school can meet the needs of growing pupil numbers, support new ways of learning and provide the latest technology for research and scholarship in a central location. We are therefore delighted to share the wonderful news that we have received a very generous donation of £250,000 from an Old Culfordian, Professor Harry Watson (1949 1959), who is originally from Barrow, and now lives in Australia. Professor Watson is the latest in a line of successful former pupils who have made a substantial gift to the school.

Artist’s impression (CGI) of the proposed new Library

RA Exhibition Opens New Foundation Gallery The new Foundation art gallery was officially opened this term when Culford hosted an exhibition of works of art by students of the Royal Academy Schools. The new gallery, funded by the Old Culfordian Association and other generous donors, is central to Culford’s plans for its Art Department within The Campaign for Culford, and is the first area to be remodelled, providing a stunning, professionally lit space for displays of pupils’ work. Future planned developments will provide a large teaching studio with a glass panelled roof and large picture windows opening out towards the North front and onto the 480 acres of parkland which surround the school. Following the Exhibition, the visiting Royal Academy students led workshops at Culford with Senior Art Scholars and Prep School pupils who attend art plus activities. Prep workshop

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Historic Unbeaten Hockey Season

At the Western Area Tournament, the U19 team performed outstandingly well winning every match and becoming Western Area Champions. The U15s lost to County Upper in a tense final but nevertheless a fantastic achievement as this is a young team. The U14s had an eventful section beating each opposition with ease and becoming Western Area Champions.

Culford Girls 1st XI Hockey squad have recorded an unbeaten season for the first time in the school’s history. The team recorded notable victories over Bishop's Stortford, Felsted and The Leys, and had a high scoring draw against The Perse. There were also comprehensive wins over Bedford Modern, RHS, Langley, Kings Ely, Wymondham and

Wisbech, with the team scoring more than four goals per game. The quality of the team has not gone unnoticed in the world of Hockey as two players, Maria Andrews and Lucy Holder (both U5), were selected to play in the ‘Futures Cup’ squad which forms part of England Hockey’s Single System pathway.

All three teams progressed to the County Tournament: the U14s again won with ease becoming County Champions, the U19 team came 4th overall and the U15s a creditable 3rd place. The U14 team now progress to the Regionals in January.

A Family Affair Culford tennis scholars Toby, Oscar and Noah Cutting (L6, F4 and L3 respectively) achieved a first in Suffolk tennis by reaching all four county finals and winning two of the titles. Noah claimed the U12 county title, while Oscar wasn’t so fortunate, losing out on the U14 title. Toby reached the finals of both the U16 and U18 finals, losing out in the U16s, but claiming glory in the U18s with an excellent win over Ryan Lambert.

Tennis Team Ranked GB No 4 A team of four Culford pupils has been ranked GB’s number four tennis team following the AEGON Year 10 and Under National Finals at Bolton Arena in November. Maria Andrews (U5), Lizzie Pam (L5), Kira Reuter (U3) and Hannah Vickers (U5), competed in the National Finals after a comprehensive win at the South East Regional Finals. The rankings take into account the performance of 577 teams nationwide from all age groups who entered LTA school tennis competitions this year.

1st XV Rugby Tour Culford had an extremely successful rugby tour to Scotland over half term. There were some really excellent performances, with wins against York RUFC (21-17), George Watson’s High School 2nd team (55-5); and finally a tremendous win against Dundee High School (33-25), a team who compete in the Scottish Cup Final.


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Prep School

Prep Pupils Set New World Record In November 30 Second Form pupils travelled to the Royal Albert Hall to perform in the Barnardo’s Young Supporters’ Concert as part of Culford’s membership of the Schools’ Music Association. In attendance was also an army of officiators from Guinness World Records, monitoring the performance. The World Record for the largest gathering of ocarina players (previously held by the Chinese) was smashed; the children performed extremely well, playing fifteen songs during the course of the evening.

Prep Poetry Winners During the Summer Term, all Prep School pupils entered this year’s Suffolk Young Poets’ Competition. The judges selected 30 Highly Commended poems from 919 entries; three of which were written by Culford pupils: Amelia Brayshaw (U2) for ‘Kitchen Crazy’, Sophie Connor (U2) for ‘The Mad House’ and Matthew Knight for ‘The Knight of Nights’. These pupils, along with the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners from the Upper Prep Poetry Competition, were invited to the 25th Aldeburgh Poetry Festival in early November where the 10 winning poems were read aloud. The event was rounded off with a performance by Grace Nichols, a children’s poet and author, well known for her on-stage warmth and verbal energy.

Prep Nativity This year’s First Form Nativity was called A Midwife Crisis and all the children certainly delivered terrific performances. The Upper First took the roles of narrators, census takers, camels, kings, shepherds and even donkeys called Steve and Nigel. The Lower First were all townspeople. There were some lovely songs and those with speaking parts were impressively clear. The show ended with everyone in the cast and audience singing Hark, the Herald Angels Sing.

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Tom’s Talent

Chloe-Jèane Parsley

Tom Dawson (L1) has won a competition to design a Christmas card. The competition was for children under 10 and run by Bard Ltd. based in Crawley. Tom won £20 in Toys R Us vouchers and 25 Christmas cards of his design.

In October Chloe-Jèane Parsley (L3) was invited to sing at the Menin Gate Last Post Ceremony in Ypres, Belgium. In full Prep School uniform, Chloe-Jèane sang the full version of Danny Boy, acapella, in front of her parents and grandparents and nearly 1,500 people, and brought tears to many eyes. At the age of 12 Chloe-Jèane is one of the youngest to sing at this ceremony. Afterwards she was presented with a Last Post Association badge.

Chloe-Jèane Parsley with the buglers

Prep Sport


This term the girls’ hockey squad were treated to a unique coaching experience by Alex Danson, GB women’s Olympic Bronze and European Silver Medalist. Throughout the day Alex showcased some of the skills needed to play hockey at the highest level, and it was a great opportunity to learn from one of the world’s best players and to find out what it takes to succeed at the highest level. Alex was also supported on the day by Ex England player Matt Taylor and current Irish International David Aymes.

Sporting Stars

Thomas Freeman (U3) was selected for the East Midland Barbarians team and played in the East Midlands v West Midlands Barbarians trial match in November. Laurie Cruickshank (U2) has claimed first place in the summer Mini Green Leader Board for Cambridgeshire. Laurie is amongst a number of up and coming players in the Culford Mini Performance Academy.

Prep tennis scholar Kira Reuter (U3), current U12 National singles and doubles champion, added another title to her trophy cabinet by winning the U16 doubles in the Tennis Europe event in Lisbon, Portugal, with her Russian partner Natalia Boltinskya.


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Millie Stennett (U2) has capped her showjumping year by winning the NAF Shining Star award for November, which is a monthly award for Junior British showjumping riders aged between 8 and 16 years old. Millie is an active and committed member of the British Showjumping Suffolk Junior Academy.

Thomas Hudson (U3) managed one better than his previous second placing at the British Championships, held at Norfolk Ski Club, in September. He finished a full half second ahead of the nearest challenge in the U14's group. The main event was held over two courses, and Tom did fantastically well in both and, as a result, adds his name to an illustrious list of previous winners of the GB U14 title.

Pre-Prep School

Forest School Launch Culford celebrated its new forest school accreditation in September with an open event attended by over 40 children and adults keen to learn more about the forest school method. Visitors were given the opportunity to take part in a forest school lesson in the school grounds before warming up with a bacon roll and hot drink. These sessions have also been opened up to local primary schools, and this term over 100 children from Barrow, Hartest and Risby Primary Schools have attended forest school lessons at Culford.

Lackford Lakes PP2 spent a fabulous day at Lackford Lakes, where the children were minibeast hunting in meadow land and woodland, using maps and learning about their keys, creating miniature habitats, studying trees and creating some wonderful natural art. They also saw a kingfisher and barn owl as well as some cows at very close range!


PP2 have been focusing on Electricity in their Science lessons this term. The children have learnt about the dangers of electricity and how electricity comes into our homes. They had great fun investigating how to make a bulb light up - realising a battery was required was quite a revelation for some! The children can all now make a circuit and have also used switches. They have also investigated materials which are conductors and those which are insulators.

Moyse’s Hall Trip PP1 visited Moyse’s Hall Museum this term, where they enjoyed learning about a Victorian wash day and had the opportunity to try using a dolly, a plunger and a slug iron! Everyone enjoyed looking at the different exhibits in the museum including a penny farthing bicycle and a very old doll’s house complete with miniature furniture. The pupils had fun getting involved with all the activities.

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Pre-Prep School

Steel Pan Band Workshop The sounds of the Caribbean could be heard in Culford when all children from Nursery through to Upper First experienced the delights of a Steel Pan Band. The children were then given the opportunity to try the pans out for themselves under the guidance of a professional musician.

Olympian Visits Pre-Prep British 100m sprinter and Olympic Gold medallist Mark Lewis-Francis visited PrePrep in October as part of a scheme to inspire children to get involved in sport. He spent the morning with Pre-Prep and First Form pupils, conducting fitness sessions, a question and answer session and assembly. Everyone was impressed by his charismatic and energetic personality that soon got the pupils and staff joining in with motivational exercises.

10 10 Culford Connections

Pre-Prep School


All Pre-Prep and Nursery children took part in the Nativity and the Dance Show at the end of term. Each child performed their part very well and everyone looked splendid in their costumes.

Dance Show

Culford Connections 11

Autumn 2013

This term has been another exciting one, with pupils exploring topics as varied as Harvest festival, Remembrance Day and Stick Man! Nursery are delighted to be able to offer a French session with Madame Mackenzie, and Mrs Whiter has been coming down from the Prep school to deliver art sessions with the children. Miss Trow has been leading a weekly forest school session, which the children have loved. The Open Morning, which now takes place on a Saturday, proved really successful, with a wonderful ‘Stick Man’ themed morning well attended.

“Pupils and parents alike rate the school highly“

Parent, Baby and Toddler continues to run on a Friday morning 10am-12am. Please do come if you have a toddler and would enjoy good company and a fun time!

The Good Schools Guide

An independent boarding and day school for boys and girls age 2¾ to 18 years



(ages 13-18)

Saturday 8 March at 10.00am



Friday 7 March at 10.30am

Tuesday 11 March at 9.15am

(ages 7-13)

01284 385308

(ages 4-7)

Please contact us for details or to register for the above events. Individual visits are also welcome.

Culford School, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk IP28 6TX

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Culford School, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk IP28 6TX Tel: 01284 728615 Connections 12 Culford

Culford Connections Autumn 2013