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Today

Winter 2013 No. 3

The Alumni Magazine

Romeo and Juliet and After Juliet Report and pictures

Where are they now? Two former students share their past experiences of AGS Page 1 December 2013


The next edition of

Today

will be available in June 2014

to ensure that you receive a copy please register your details at www.alcestergs.co.uk click on AGS Alumni/Update Your Contact Details or alternatively email d.chapman@alcestergs.com

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EDITOR: Wendy Cox SUB EDITOR: Denise Chapman

ALUMNI ENQUIRIES: Wendy Cox Alcester Grammar School Birmingham Road Alcester B49 5ED Tel: 01789 762494 w.cox@alcestergs.com AGS TODAY is also available to view on the school website: www.alcestergs.co.uk

Welcome

Christmas Music at The new AGS mural by Holly Clifford

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Dear Alumni,

Further aspects of a high performing school have also been evident in our In seemingly record time we have leapt recent drama and music programmes. from a new academic year commencing in Well done to all of the cast and crew and September to the imminent turn of staff involved in the stunning Japanese another calendar year. A packed ‘Romeo and Juliet’ and subsequently the Autumn Term has been brimming with accomplished ‘After Juliet’ which were opportunities and events which have been well received by sell-out audiences. Last reflected in newsletters, on our website week’s ‘ Music and Mince Pies’ and the and occasionally in local and national annual Carol Service were performed by press. I am grateful to everybody huge numbers of brilliant musicians under students, staff, parents, governors, alumni the fabulous direction of Mrs Timms and and friends –for contributing to such a Mr Seymour. The standard just keeps rich and stimulating school environment. getting better and it is a delight to see and hear so many able participants. Keep a In addition to outstanding teaching and learning we have in recent weeks look out for a coming tour and a special AGS musical concert in Stratford in 2014. witnessed some fine examples of opportunities, talents and achievements in The new sports pitch has been well used our school which reflect some rare and and students have mastered the awesome performances from students and redesigned bus and fire procedures. their teachers. To be in the national finals Hopefully the additional new buildings of the Bar Mock-Trial competition and and improved facilities will be worth the the Bank of England School’s competition wait and any temporary inconvenience. is remarkable and we wish the teams every success as their final rounds I hope that you enjoy the other items in approach. To be the best school (against this edition and thank Mrs Denise state and independent sector rivals) in the Chapman for her help with its production Midlands in both events is in itself hugely and the students and colleagues whose impressive. Congratulations to our skills and efforts populate its pages. talented ambassadors in both sides.

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Today

in this issue...

14 Romeo and Juliet

The AGS Drama department put on a spectacular version of Shakespeare’s ‘starcrossed lovers’ tragedy, ‘Romeo and Juliet’. Read more on pages 20 and 21.

23

Primary Purpose

Year 6 pupils from Bidford CofE Primary and St Nicholas’ CofE Primary came to AGS to take part in the first Ogden Challenge Day. Page 18.

9

Where Are They Now Business Partnership

Community Day

Former student, Hannah Blaikie, talks about her acting career and being the daughter of the head teacher on pages 26 - 28.

Various organisations benefitted from Year 8‘s enthusiasm and drive on our annual Community Day in July, read more on page 14.

Year 12 students have been working with business leaders on a diverse variety of tasks. Read more about the various workshops on pages 16 - 17.

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Today Alcestonian 6 8 10 11 12 29 30 31 33 34 35

School News Curriculum News Letters and Emails Letter from the Editor Reunion Information New Archives Room Facilities Hire Notices Obituary - Mr John Turner The Gift of a Legacy Dates for Diary

Features 7 13 14 15 16 18

WW1, 1914 - 2014 Old Boys/Girls Cricket The Wider Community International News Business Partnership Project Primary Purpose

Romeo amd Juliet and After Juliet

19 20 22 24 26

Shakespeare Week Romeo and Juliet After Juliet Where Are They Now - Shaun Coward Former Student - Hannah Blaikie

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School News The construction of our new three story teaching block, to be called Spencer, started during the summer holidays. As we back onto an ancient Alcester Abbey, the first job was an Archaeological dig. We uncovered a medieval industrial building ! Various items have been sent for analysis to establish its exact use. While this has uncovered items of local historical importance, it has also delayed the project by 8 weeks. The build has now started in earnest and will be ready for the additional form of entry in year 7 next September.

For further information on School News please visit www.alcestergs.com

Spencer

Other significant building projects were carried out over the summer including the construction of a new Sports Pitch behind the Sports Hall, the creation of a new year 7-11 hub and the refurbishment of the Library. All these exciting projects will equip us for our expanding school.

Building work in progress

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1914-2014 Remembering 100 Years Since The Start Of WW1 PUBLISHED IN THE ALCESTER CHRONICLE ON 19 SEPTEMBER 1914 FOR KING AND COUNTRY WE PROPOSE TO PUBLISH IN THE INDICATOR A LIST OF THE OFFICERS, NCO’S AND MEN FROM REDDITCH AND VILLAGES IN WHICH THE PAPER CIRCULATES AND WHO ARE ON ACTIVE SERVICE IN THE ROYAL NAVY OR THE ARMY DURING THE PRESENT WAR. THIS WILL INCLUDE TERRITORIAL YEOMANRY AND RECRUITS FOR THE KINGS NEW ARMY. TO ENABLE US TO COMPLETE THIS LIST, WILL READERS WHO HAVE RELATIVES OR FRIENDS IN THE SERVICE KINDLY FILL UP THE ATTACHED FORM AND FORWARD IT TO OUR OFFICE ADDRESSED TO THE EDITOR, INDICATOR OFFICE, REDDITCH. EUROPEAN WAR, 1914 TOWN OR VILLAGE TO WHICH THE MAN BELONGS NAME AND RANK NAME OF SHIP OR REGIMENT STATE IF SERVED IN THE BOER WAR NAME AND ADDRESS OF SENDER

NOTE: In the census of 1905 the Population of Alcester and Oversley was under 3000.

ALCESTER GRAMMAR SCHOOL, RECORD No. 1

July 24th

LIFE IN CAMP Camp life is not as fine as it sounds and after the first two weeks it loses all its charm and novelty. Indeed, at times, it seems like a perpetual hustle, cleaning up to go out, and spending five minutes searching for a tin of boot polish. Naturally when going to camp one of the first things to do is pitching the tents. This does not take very long if you have ten working. After that comes the question of how we sleep, remembering that the area at our disposal is only a circle of six feet radius. After a long discussion as to who shall sleep near the flap (front door), the matter is settled by tossing for it. Then you collect your luggage and deposit it on your sector (about 3 feet at its widest). The next act getting into bed - is always a lively one. You have your equipment, overcoat, rifle and kit bag to dispose of, and no peg to hang them on. Your bag forms your pillow and your clothes the

1915

mattress. There is only an old oil sheet between you and the turf. The rifle is tied to the pole and your equipment put behind your bag. To lay down your blankets you stand on the next sector, whence you are promptly ejected by the owner with a “Stand on your own blankets!” Politeness is unknown in camp, but you often find two working together. Thus,if you are busy cleaning, your chum looks after your breakfast as well as your own. Rising is as bad as retiring, for then you are hunting for your socks beneath a mass of blankets and overcoats. Breakfast is at 7.30 and your kit bag forms your chair and your knees the table. Sometimes in walking across the tent someone upsets your tea and spills some of his over your blankets. Still you accept this as part of the contract, and “carry on” after a small protest. Every morning we have an hour’s Swedish drill before

breakfast and afterwards an hours bayonet practice ventilating sacks. Then we get ready for 10.30 parade, when we march off to the hills for a sham fight. After marching three miles to the foot of the hills, we are halted and told by our officer that we are to attack an outpost line reaching along the hillside and hidden in the coppices. Divided into three parties, right, centre and left, we advance among the bushes in long lines, one behind the other with about 50 yards interval. The right and centre are small parties and have to make feint attacks. The left, keeping well hidden, advances steadily till sighted and fired on by the outpost. Immediately we take cover and ascertain the exact position of the outpost. Then the first line dashes forward and takes cover fifty yards ahead. The second and third lines follow covered by the fire of the first. When within fifty yards of our enemy the three lines join up and change position. The outpost is rushed just as their supports come to reinforce. Immediately we lie down and blaze away our remaining blanks while they are

running across the open. Again we charge and clear the field, being two to one. We are awarded the victory by the officer acting as umpire, and fall out, after the “Cease fire!” and “Assembly” have been blown. After a short rest we return to the camp singing, and very pleased with our success. We get back about 5pm and have cold meat tea with stewed rhubarb. This is typical of a good many field days of which we have two a week. However, we do not always win, and sometimes get in a mess, where with real bullets we should be “annihilated” as the sergeant said. This will give you some idea of how a sham fight is conducted, and of life in the infantry. We get a route march occasionally with full equipment, which is cruel on a hot day and causes Germany to be generally blessed (?) in soldier lingo. However it has to be done, and I do not mind having two more months in camp if the weather is good. T.H.G.

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Curriculum News AGS Celebrates Public Speaking Bar Council Mock Trial Competition A team of 12 students from Years 10-13 represented AGS in the Birmingham Heat of the Bar Council Mock Trial Competition. Fourteen schools from the West Midlands took part and having won our side of the draw we competed against King Edward School, Stratford in a local derby in the final. After a griping contest we won and will now go to the National Final in Cardiff in April 2014. The team members were Ryan Hesketh, Griffin Mosson, Jack Hodgkinson and Georgie Vale from Year 13, Haroon Sayyid from Year 12, Ollie Purser, Eliza Griffiths, Jo Lingard, Jack Lazenby and Jess Barlow from Year 11 and Finn Battersby and Frank May from Year 10. Well done to all, a great team effort!

The Times and Bank of England Target 2.0 Competition Nine of our year 13 Economists have been working hard this term for The Times and Bank of England Target 2.0 competition, where they must undertake extensive research on the UK and international economy in order to support their proposal for The Bank's next monetary policy decision to achieve the inflation target of 2%. On Tuesday 26th November a smaller team of four students from this group had to make a 15 minute presentation to representatives from The Bank of England on their monetary policy decision, followed by 15 minutes of tough questioning for the Midlands Heat 1. The competition was very tight given a high level of talent from a range of 7 top performing midlandsbased schools. However, our students did the school very proud and won their heat. They will now go on to represent the school in the Midlands regional finals next February. Fingers crossed! The participants were: Ryan Hesketh (Captain) Eve Ashley Calum Craig Martin Hall Wider team:

AGS was the winning school in the Warwickshire regional heat of the Institute of Ideas Debating in early December. They won both debates on Megacities and Sex Selection and will compete in the West Midlands final in March. Congratulations to Anna Adams , Anil Kumar and Laurence Smith from Year 13 and Nicholas Martin from Year 12.

Matt Stratton Laurence Smith Sam Cooper Holly Tremellen Grace Lynskey Megan Jones

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Christmas Music at AGS Music and Mince Pies The Music and Mine Pies Concert was once again an amazing success. The theatre was filled to the brim with an excited audience and with such a fabulous array of high quality music itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s hard to find any faults at all. The evening saw contributions from lots of different musical ensembles including Orchestra,Big Band,Option Choir,Rock Band and Wind Band who all gave brilliant Christmas performances. There were also some beautiful and incredibly skilled solo sixth form pieces. The audience had a great time and were very enthusiastic they even joined in with their keys jingling to create an even more special Christmas atmosphere. The night overall was absolutely amazing and the music department deserve a massive thank you for their dedication and organisation of the event. We hope to see everyone again next year. Isabella Richmond-Hewlett, Year 10

Carol Concert St Nicholas Church

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Letters and Emails I would just like to say how much I enjoyed reading the magazine. AGS is very lucky to have someone who has the skills and flair to put together a publication of this high calibre and who is prepared to devote the amount of time it must take to pull it all together. Thank you, Mary Gleaves

We welcome letters for publication, which can either be sent by post or by email. We reserve the right to edit them to meet space constraints. The best way to avoid this is to keep letters to 200 or fewer words.

Email your letters to: w.cox@alcestergs.com Write to Wendy at: Alcester Grammar School Birmingham Road, Alcester, B49 5ED

I would like to say what a great job you’re doing. I was in the class of 83 (I think....ended up leaving in 84!) AGS has changed a lot. My school days were incredibly happy and I’m pleased to see that although the school has grown considerably, it still has many happy students. Keep up the good work. Fiona Lichfield (nee Davis)

I left AGS in 2005 and am interested in joining the alumni. I have such fond memories of my time at Alcester Grammar and as I’m now a teacher I realise the benefits of maintaining links with the school community. From looking at the website, even in the last 8 years it seems to have changed a lot but nice to see that the character has been preserved!

Thank you for this, some happy memories of being in a production of Cabaret led by Mrs Green many moons ago, and a far cry from ‘6th Sense’, the 6th form magazine which only lasted 3 issues I believe! It is lovely that Mr Dobell is being honoured by having a house named after him. Lydia Woodroff (nee Stanley)

Tilly Shale (nee Burgess)

www.facebook.com/AGSalumni https://www.facebook.com/ags68 http://ags.web7.devwebsite.co.uk/page/?title=AGS+Alumni&pid=404

A great film, thank you! I hope there’ll be another open day to see all the changes that are about to happen. Gary Woodward

A page for the b&W generation circa ’68. The website above is dedicated to those who started in 1968! Gwen Nathan Page 10


Alumni Enquiries: w.cox@alcestergs.com

Update Your Contact Details To update your details or register as a new alumni member please logon to www.alcestergs.co.uk and click on AGS Alumni/Update Your Contact Details or alternatively email d.chapman@alcestergs.com

Letter from the Editor My role is to foster, in all those who care about the school, a life-long interest in sustaining its principles and securing it’s future. I’ll be liaising with former students from all eras, helping organise events for them and all friends of AGS. The Alumni Relations office has significant long term implications for the culture and stature of the school. The history of AGS, including the conversion to Academy status, provides a fascinating backdrop and diverse community of former students and friends of the school, with whom I have already had many interesting and productive contacts. There have already been positive early results. An annual appeal is in progress, raising funds for curriculum projects – some very generous donations have been given to the school (money and valuable items). Also a generous legacy has been pledged by a former AGS student (see p34 for more details about leaving legacies). I am always delighted to show former students and teachers around their old school. We are looking to create an archives room, which will be a wonderful opportunity to showcase all our photos, record books, trophies etc from years gone by. I ensure the contacts that the school has with all parties, particularly former students, staff and parents are timely, relevant, interesting and cost effective. To manage costs, I am keen to capture email contacts where possible and can be contacted via email – w.cox@alcestergs.com or via the school on 01789 762494 The Benefits Of Belonging To AGS Alumni A connection with your ‘old’ school, the experience you had within the school walls is part of your history a little bit of nostalgia. A dedicated alumni page (via a link from the school website). A biannual magazine, informing you of how the school has changed, latest news and what your contemporaries are up to. Reunions, events, school tours, meetings and social gatherings all in the name of networking and fundraising for the benefit of the school. A ‘School for Life’ - providing support for all our pupils throughout their entire life, professional networking and intellectual support. ‘Give something back’ - providing careers advice/guidance to current students. Generate exposure for the school- increase public awareness of AGS. Establish an AGS community. Page 11


Reunion Information

If you hold your own reunions anywhere in the world - please let us know and send us a photo!

Local Groups Class of 2003 Reunion Group

Class of 1981 Reunion

The Class of 2003 held their decade reunion on Saturday 10th August at Alcester Town Hall. There was a small, but respectable turnout from past students and teachers.

The Class of 1981 met at The Kings Court Hotel in September for their first reunion. After the event Rosemary Adams said “It was lovely catching up with people we hadn’t seen for 30+ years. The hotel looked after us very well. The buffet was excellent”.

Year 13 Leavers 2013

Year 13 Leavers Christmas Drinks at the Holly Bush .............. and a few former Yr 13 students!

Ex AGS students met at Pembroke College, Cambridge for a reunion dinner and alumni meeting.

Plenty of staff turned up for a Christmas drink on Friday 13th December..............

Future Events Class of 48

Class of 56

The next reunion is 12th April 2014 at the Kings Court Hotel. For further details contact Paul Davis - paulat.davis@btinternet.com

The Class of 56 are holding their next reunion on 17th January 2014. For further details contact Peter Wilkes- peterjohnwilkes@sky.com

Bob Woodfield will be holding an annual reunion on 28th April 2014, robert.woodfield@tesco.net

Alumni Page 12


Old Boys/Girls Cricket

Are you an alumnus from 2010/2011/2012 or 2013? Would you like to make up a team for our Alumni Cricket Day? We are looking to host a day on June 27th 2014 at Temple Grafton Cricket Club. Please email Mr Ian Young if you would be interested in a game of cricket and a social BBQ! i.young@alcestergs.com

Old Boys Rugby We are looking to field an ‘AGS Alumni’ team, against a local club or other alumni organisation. This is a great opportunity to bring players back together and pull on an AGS shirt – with the added bonus of not having to take it home and wash it. We would like to hear from ex-students who would be interested in playing or from teams who could offer opposition, plus any companies who would be interested in sponsorship opportunities. Please contact j.richens@alcestergs.com (1st XV) coach or w.cox@alcestergs.com (alumni co-coordinator) if you would like to be involved. We will be in touch, should we achieve sufficient numbers. Page 13


The Wider Community Helping Hands Community Programme One of our key purposes at AGS is creating good citizens. We have developed a volunteering programme to build even stronger links between the school and the wider community. Our Year 8 students offered their support for our annual Community Day when various organisations benefitted from their enthusiasm and drive. Two groups of students had the opportunity to entertain residents of Ceder Lawn care home, and patients in Stratford Hospital as part of a collaboration with locally based national charity â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Kissing it Betterâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; and a further 30 students worked alongside National Trust officers tidying the grounds at Coughton Court. 30 other students were part of a surveying team counting species of butterflies and a range of flora and fauna at the Arrow Nature Reserve with Warwickshire Wildlife Trust rangers. This programme has been so successful with Year 8 and 12, that next year we aim to roll out our community support with our Year 7,9 and 10 students. If you know of any local charity/ organisation who would benefit from having a group of our students help for a day, please contact Dan Brewer - d.brewer@alcestergs.com

Year 8 Community Day

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International News Madagascar - July 2013 The fifth AGS Operation Wallacea expedition took us once again to north west Madagascar, which we visited two years ago. The area is a dry forest with a lot of pressures to fell trees for timber and to take wood for charcoal, which is the main fuel for the fast growing population. Opwall scientists are highlighting the importance of conservation efforts and encouraging the local villages to look after their forest. Despite the human pressures there is abundant wildlife, with several species of lemur to be seen by day and night and a fascinating collection of reptiles-especially chameleons. All of the animals are endemic (unique) to Madagascar, and exist in relatively small numbers making the conservation efforts immensely important. Our party of 19 year 12 and year 13 students flew into Tana (Antananarivo!) the capital, then had a 2 day overland ride to the village of Mariarano, passing through the spectacular highlands which are pretty well deforested. The last few hours were in 4x4s as there was no road. On arrival, after a lunch of rice and beans, we set off on foot to the beautiful lakeside camp of Matsedroy, crossing dry rice paddies, logos over streams and wading along a river. Our baggage was taken by Zebu cart (zebu also provided excellent beef!). We camped for 3 nights here and took part in walking the lemur transects both day and night, spotting the magnificent sifakas by day and the mouse lemurs with their golden eyes caught in torchlight by night. The scientists were superb in their engagement with our students- they have been working here for at least 4 years, and they include local Malagasies as well as UK and Irish scientists. On one night walk the elusive crocodile in the lake was spotted.

The village has no electricity supply so as a gift to the clinic AGS paid for them (from our own solar panel income) to have a solar panel and car batteries to provide light at night. The kit had already arrived when we got there and we were able to present it to the clinic doctor. After a week at the forest camps we were back on the road to the island of Nosy Be near the top of Madagascar. The journey was through a lush fertile landscape with large rivers and irrigated rice and other crops. The final stage was a fast motor launch ride to the dive camp based behind a beach in Maradoca village. The students completed their dive training with the excellent young South African dive masters in this idyllic setting. The last day was spent visiting a tiny island marine reserve with spectacular fish and marine life, larger than the ones around the reef in the bay. Swimming with the turtles was an unforgettable highlight. The return to Tana was by air, when we had a day to go to a lemur park and visit the markets, and to stay once more in the amazing Manoir Rouge Hotel with its roaring firemuch needed in their cold winter nights! It was good to get back to the heat of an English summer, but armed with a great set of memories and new friends made.

From the lake camp we returned to the village where we stayed in the village camp by the school. We brought items of stationary and toys which we enjoyed giving to the children and to the Head teacher. Here at the camp there were all mod cons, with palm frond shower cubicles equipped with a mirror so the bucket shower could be a luxurious experience. There were even proper toilet seats over the long drops.

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Business Partnership Project Year 12 Business Studies students have been working with business leaders on a diverse variety of tasks. Each student had the opportunity to carousel around three different sessions led by industry experts. Lloyds Bank provided a session on the importance and application of Budgeting and Business Planning. This was well linked to the A2 Business Strategy course and suited our budding entrepreneurs ideally! The students now have increased awareness of the impact that the external environment can have on small business start up and how informed planning can enhance short term survival and long run profitability. Leaders By Nature conducted a session on Conflict Resolution and Behaviour. The students were fascinated by the impact that mind set can have on your ability to work as a team toward a common goal; and ultimately the effect this can have on a business' bottom line. Each group worked collaboratively through practical examples to enhance their understanding. LJB Sales Development delivered a practical Marketing simulation that ignited our students' creativity. Their project was to develop and market a new Energy Drink that had to then be pitched to a select team of 'Dragons'. Under pressure the students performed brilliantly and a vast array of new products came to the fore.

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On Thursday 7th November 2013, Capgemini visited Alcester Grammar School to offer a Smart Cities Workshop. The workshop was a fantastic experience for the Students concerned and gave them a valuable insight into the IT Workplace. The training company, ‘Mykindacrowd’ and the Capgemini employees were enthusiastic and spoke to students both during the workshop and afterwards to answer questions. The sixth form students will certainly be able to apply the experience gained to both their AS and A2 Level ICT examinations in the Summer of 2014.

Yr 12 students worked in teams (under the watchful eye of BP’s global recruitment director), to experience a realistic scenario –‘ Identifying and developing an oil field to maximise returns for an oil company and it’s shareholders’. Through forming companies and assigning key roles (CEO, Financial Director, Reservoir Engineer, Facilities Manager and Risk Analyst), they gained an understanding of how STEM subjects underpin business performance and profitability in the oil industry. Maths and Geology students worked together to produce a spreadsheet to predict a 10 year profit or loss for their investment. They then modified their forecasts in response to market developments through a series of yearly news bulletins. After 10 ‘years’ they compared final results and reflected upon their company’s performance against their competitors! Students were fully engaged in this scenario, finding the whole experience both challenging and competitive! The event was a fantastic way to apply their maths knowledge in a ‘real life’ situation. We will be starting a series of 6th form business lunches in the new year, focusing upon different careers. If you work in finance, law or a medical profession and would be happy to support these new ‘networking’ lunches please get in touch with Wendy - w.cox@alcestergs.com Page 17


Primary Purpose All the fun of physics....... Pupils from two schools in the Ogden Trust Bidford Primary Partnership took part in their first science event this academic year. A group of Year 6 pupils from Bidford CofE Primary and St Nicholas’ CofE Primary came to AGS to take part in the first Ogden Challenge Day. They enjoyed model car building, where they worked as part of a small team to problem-solve and apply scientific and design skills under the guidance of experts in their field.

Bidford Primary is the hub of the partnership between St Nicholas’, Alcester, Webheath First School, Ridgeway Middle School, St Bede’s Catholic School, Redditch and Bromsgrove Preparatory. The partnership has been running for almost a year and organises events to promote the teaching of physics.

The event was part of three workshops that will be held during the academic year, also including rocket launching and a Dragons’ Den day, funded by The Ogden Trust.

The trust provides funding for schools to network with other educational establishments and also provides opportunities to develop pupils’ engagement in physics with visits to the Symphony Hall, Birmingham Airport’s Flight School, Birmingham University and nominations for the ‘Primary Scientist of the Year Award’ for outstanding pupils in science.

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CELEBRATING FOUR HUNDRED AND FIFTY YEARS SINCE THE BIRTH OF SHAKESPEARE

The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust in April launched a new national, annual celebration to bring Shakespeare to life vividly for millions of primary school children. Shakespeare Week will be celebrated in schools, theatres, historic sites, museums, galleries, cinemas, and libraries all over the U.K. From the first Shakespeare Week, 17 - 23 March 2014, every child will be given the chance to be inspired by Shakespeareâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s stories, language and heritage. Already over 1,100 schools have joined the celebration. Go to shakespeareweek.org.uk for further information.

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Romeo and Juliet The AGS Drama department put on a spectacular version of Shakespeare’s ‘star-crossed lovers’ tragedy, ‘Romeo and Juliet’. Visually and stylistically stunning, the show was imaginatively set in Kyoto, Japan, where the Montagues and Capulets are two feuding and aggressive families backed by Samurai warriors. The masked ball had ribbon and fan dances and a spectacular Japanese dragon parading through to give the play an authentic Asian feel. The sword fights were incredibly realistic and so well executed which was a tribute to the dedication that they had put into these action-packed moments. However, the heart of the story was never lost on the cast and the audience as the students performed the whole script with wonderful storytelling and a clear understanding of nature of the play. What worked particularly well was the creation of characters from the lines of the play. The Nurse’s lines had been split between five contrasting Ladies In Waiting who portrayed their roles with delicacy and a deftness of touch. This really helped to give a sense of the two courts and the family rivalry, but was further enhanced by the overbearing Mother of Paris, the realisation of Rosaline and the paranoid Lady Montague. All the action took place in front of a magnificent Japanese tea house that had a well-positioned balcony with a colour scheme of gold and red. A chained circle hung above the cast which enabled wonderful projections of a shifting sun or controlling moon backed by brilliant lighting. The soundtrack helped create a fantastic atmosphere from classical Japanese music to Taiko drums while the costumes gave the show visual clarity with wonderful Kimonos to establish the characters and highlight the strong production values. As well as the acting being believable the audience were enchanted by the masked world where Romeo is exiled to an alien land that laughs at his own fate unravelling; also the delicate storytelling of Mab’s dream with Japanese style theatre techniques. The play ends with a climatic fight in the tomb with many of the warriors slaughtered and a sense this is not just about a play about two lovers. Page 20


A reimagining of a tragedy between two star–crossed lovers And their feuding families, set in Kyoto, Japan.

It was an outstanding ensemble performance but a number of key roles need to be mentioned. Jack Hodkingson who played the part of Romeo was an angry young man clearly rejected and confused but also incredibly articulate as he struts around the stage. Juliet (Claudia Musson) captures the independent girl ready to die for love with heart wrenching emotion and clarity of thought. She is clearly not understood by her capricious and subtly played mother (Jess Smith) and her aggressive and overbearing father who was brilliantly portrayed (Alex Sampson). Lawrence played by Chavonne Brown was a majestic Buddhist monk, whose emphasis at times gave the sense of a haiku or of Japanese proverbs, and demonstrated to us clearly his role with his misguided advice. Two outstanding roles that transformed the play were firstly that of the psychotic Tybalt (Oli Wolley) whose entrances created tension and hatred whenever he appeared. Secondly this was contrasted with the whimsical, waggish and swift-moving Mercutio (Sam Young) who had wonderful comic timing and characterisation, often using the bemused and cutting stage presence of Benvolio (Griffin Mosson) as a foil. However, it was the sense of everyone involved in every scene that made the play come to life. The cast were able to take us on a fantastical journey, whether it be Juliet’s funeral, Buddhist Lawrence’s disarming of the Capulet boys or the play’s slick transitions. This was an incredibly epic production. Nick Dereza, Head of Drama

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…AfterJuliet Year 10 and 11 Drama Production 2013, ‘After Juliet’ by Sharman MacDonald, directed by Caroline Spencer This interpretation responded stylistically to the sixth formers’ recent production of the classic Romeo and Juliet, which was set in traditional Japan with Samurai and Geisha filling the stage. This play was a modern sequel, set during the height of summer in contemporary Tokyo, in the suburb of Shibuya- the hub of fashion and youth culture today. To create a clear impression of the hot city life and the postmodern world in which the story is told, students were lounging around the stage playing with mobile phones and iPods, slinking in and out of the shaded areas created by the wonderful lighting designers. In addition to special thanks going to the Lighting team, I must express my deep gratitude and awe toward the other crew, cast members and to Iain Henderson (Year 11)who produced the highly electronic and synthesised soundtracks. Also the costumes were a visual feast! Inspired by contemporary Japanese youth fashion and the Manga artwork trend, India Peart-Barr and Beatrice Taylor, two Year 11 students, worked diligently and proactively to source, adapt and fit costumes that reflected each individual character perfectly. They also helped the cast with hair and make-up to ensure the coherency and consistency of the look of the show; absolutely beautiful work! The show wouldn’t have been so stress-free for me, nor as complete, without the invaluable support and hard work put in by Issy Solloway and Nick Crowther who came in on a weekend to graffiti the set and helped to source all the props for the show (and keep the cast in order on show nights!). It was wonderful, also, to be able to showcase other students’ artistic skills through the publicity of the show, and I hope you enjoyed the posters and programmes made up of drawings by several AGS students (named on the publicity itself). The Young Enterprise team were fabulous in not only providing refreshments for the audience but also welcoming the audience, taking and selling tickets, and even delivering a warm-up for the cast (Vivi Balyiss!) Every single member did a stand-out job in bringing their role to life and making the play ‘their own’. Particular mention must go to the well-needed and appreciated comedy double-acts played by Will Farrell and Declan Harris, and Thom Farrell and Ben Jones. Their scenes enchantingly brought light-relief to the audience amidst the tense and dark undertones of the play’s main plot. Sam Teale’s Valentine was grippingly bitter and aggressive, but beautifully vulnerable as Sam was able to convey Valentine’s grief over his brother’s murder! Katie Stratton, though, must be my finale, as I have rarely seen such talent, sensitivity, commitment and hard work put in by anyone her age. It really is such a challenge to learn so many lines AND bring a character to life in a way that moves an audience to really understand and empathise with them. Congratulations to you all. Caroline Spencer Director

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Where Are They Now? Emily Brealey interviews former AGS student Shaun Coward

When looking for former AGS pupils to inspire the current students, Shaun Coward is probably one of the best examples. A DJ since 1991, he has dedicated his passion to setting up DubHouse DJ School in 2012. The aim is to provide young people with the opportunity to learn how to DJ using professional studio quality equipment. During his time at AGS (1986-1993), he met his now wife, Beth, also a talented AGS student who has applied her love of art to the business she coowns, ArtBase, which specialises in childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s art workshops in the area, including partnerships with local schools. But how does he feel AGS contributed, and what is still in store for him in the future? 1) What inspired you to start DubHouse DJ School? In short, my wife. She co-runs an enterprise that provides art workshops for young people, and together with her partner has created a successful business doing something she loves. She'd never done anything like it before, but they made it work through their passion for art. DubHouse came about at the end of a frustrating time in my working life. I'd been running my own retail business for a few years, but made the difficult decision to wrap that up at the end of 2012. Once I'd managed to tie up all the loose ends, I needed to find something else to do. And to be honest, after the (at times) stressful experience of keeping a business going during a recession, I was determined to do something enjoyable. I looked at what Beth had achieved and applied it to my love of DJing. 2) How did your AGS education help either you or your wife, Beth, with your businesses? You've got both ends of the educational achievement spectrum with me and Beth! At one end, you have Beth: essentially a straight-A student right the way through, and a hugely talented artist thanks in no small part to the guidance she had at school. And at the other end you have me- I wasn't the greatest student in the world, but there's no doubt that my time at AGS was instrumental in shaping the kind of person I became in terms of treating people with respect. I'm going to stubbornly cling to the idea that that's more important. 3. How do you think your life would have been different without AGS? Tough question. I have friends that went to both of the other secondary schools in Alcester, and they all turned out pretty well! Certainly my family life would be very different (his and Bethâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s siblings also attended AGS) but as for my career, I can't really say. What I can say is that it's difficult to imagine having had seven better years elsewhere. And I haven't even been paid to write that. 4. Are you still in contact with people from AGS? Very much so. I can't think of a single close friend I had at school that I'm not still in touch with now. And in most cases we live some distance apart, so it's not as if we're in the pub together every week. We all make an effort to keep in touch and see each other as often as work and family commitments allow.

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5. When you were still in education, where did you see yourself in the future? If you'd asked me this question when I was eighteen, I'd have probably frowned and considered it for a while before replying, "The Dog & Partridge. About nine o'clock?" I really didn't have any clear idea about my future while I was still at school, and it's something I regret. Careers advice wasn't great back then. (I remember telling my careers advisor about my love for music and film, after which he paused and asked me if I'd ever considered joining the RAF.) My advice to my own children and other young people would definitely be 'have a plan'. I didn't, and consequently it took me a long time to figure out what I really wanted to do and, more importantly, how to do it. If you don't have a plan, work hard and broaden your horizons until you can come up with one! 6. What do you now think is in store for you in the future? My long term ambition for DubHouse is to move the business from my own studio into full-time premises and run affordable courses in DJing and electronic music production. Through the work I've done so far, I'm convinced that learning to DJ gives real benefits to young people, so bringing what I do into schools is definitely on the agenda. I'm also keen to get more involved in community work, taking DubHouse out to people with limited opportunities. Unfortunately, funding for things like that is hard to come by at the moment, but hopefully the situation will improve. 7. You and your wife met at school in year 11 and have been together since 1991 (and married since 2003)-how did you properly meet? It was a strange thing; we'd been in the same year since we started at AGS, but our paths had somehow never really crossed. Then one day, we ended up playing a game of cricket on the playground during PE, boys and girls together. I don't claim to speak on behalf of all 16-year-old boys, but at that age I was essentially an animated bag of hormones with silly hair. If it wasn't for that game of cricket, who knows? 8. Do you know any other "AGS couples" that are still together? I personally know two other AGS couples, although they didn't get together until after we'd left school. [I gave] a speech at the wedding of one of them last year. 9. What advice would you give to current students that are looking into creative careers like yours and your wife, Beth's? Practical advice would be thinking where you'd like to be in ten years, choosing university courses that are relevant to what you want to achieve and trying to get as much experience as you can. That's all good advice but to be honest, if you're serious about some kind of creative career, then the most important thing you can do is - do. Practice, every day if you can. Work hard at whatever it is you do, and don't be discouraged if the results don't meet your expectations, particularly at first. You'll get better, and as you get better you will start to actually believe what you've been thinking all along: "hey, I could actually make a living doing this!" It takes time, and it takes real commitment. You will be your own worst critic. But if you keep at it, you'll push through. Finally, a bit of advice for any up-and-coming DJs out there- don't wave your arms around behind the decks. I know you might be tempted, but trust me on this. It looks stupid. If youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re aged 8 to 18 and interested in learning to DJ, DubHouse tuition and workshops take place in a purpose built studio near Alcester, where students can learn all the techniques required to be talented, well rounded DJs. Visit www.dubhouse.co.uk for more information. Emily Brealey

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Former Student takes ‘Principal’ Role Emily Brealey interviews Hannah Blaikie 1) What was it like to have your Dad as head teacher? For the majority of my time at AGS I felt like any other student at the school. I was treated in the same way as others if I didn’t hand in my homework or when I was caught talking in class (a particularly bad habit of mine!) Having said this I can’t say I was afraid of being sent to the head teacher’s office! I most often came across my Dad during assemblies when my relationship with him was brought into sharp focus – every time he told a ‘teacher joke’ I would get nudged by my peers. I would be quick to remind them that even though we were related - it was my Dad’s joke and not mine. Added to this on my eighteenth birthday my Dad was able to post a selection of embarrassing baby photos around the sixth form common room. I got my revenge when playing him in the sixth form pantomime; I donned a lustrous ginger beard, put on my thickest Northern accent and took great satisfaction in delivering assembly. There were many perks too. My Dad and I have always shared a passion for Performing Arts and I was able to benefit from the improvements that he made in the Drama, Music and Art departments. Furthermore I always received a very warm welcome from new students entering the school. 2) When you were still in education where did you see yourself in the future? When I was still in education I always hoped that one day I would have a career in acting. At the time I didn’t know the best way in which to achieve this but I felt as if gaining as much experience in the area was a good start. I studied drama throughout school and was constantly visiting the Royal Shakespeare Theatre and performing with local youth theatre company 'Playbox'. When applying for University I stumbled upon a course at Cambridge in English and Drama and I decided to apply as a means to extending my theatrical education. I knew how renowned the theatre scene was in Cambridge and I was fortunate enough to gain a place at Homerton College which helped me to pursue my chosen career path.

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3) What do you now think is in store for you in the future? I hope that I am able to achieve a long and successful career in acting. I would be extremely happy if I were able to stay in work consistently and live comfortably from my professional acting experiences. I believe that if you want to be an actor you have to pursue it because you are truly passionate about it and can’t imagine your life without it. For many actors the profession rarely means fame and fortune, although it is often equated with glitz, glamour and red carpets. Many actors quit within years of training for various reasons ranging from an inability to cope with continual rejection to a lack of funds. I hope that I will have the tenacity to stick with it as I have learnt that creating theatre is an incredibly rewarding and worthwhile experience. It has the power to inspire, educate, entertain and move an audience. It's an endlessly fascinating career as it gives you the opportunity to explore human beings and to step into other people's lives. It brings you into contact with new people and new places and no two auditions or performances are ever the same. It is an eclectic and ever-changing career which keeps you on your toes and never fails to challenge you. I relish the fact that I have permission to 'dress up' and a license to play. I am encouraged to use my imagination when many adults are beginning to stifle theirs. I never want to stop playing and creating. Currently my dream job would be to perform with the Royal Shakespeare Company as I have grown up watching and being inspired by actors gracing the stage in Stratford-upon-Avon. I would also love the opportunity to take part in a period drama the television version of Pride and Prejudice has always been my steadfast favourite... "Oh Mr. Darcy!" 4) What inspired you to go into acting as a career? I can't put my finger on the exact moment that I was inspired to pursue acting. I think my choice came instead from an amalgamation of my theatrical experiences. I attended theatre groups from the age of seven and my parents often took me to see open-air children's shows and plays at the RST. I distinctly remember being transfixed by Henry Goodman's performance of Richard 3rd at the age of thirteen and insisting on waiting to get my programme signed. I've always had a vivid imagination and an inclination to play and acting provided me with an outlet for this as I grew older. By the time I reached sixth form I had performed in a multitude of roles and I was adamant that acting was the career for me. I couldn't imagine doing anything else after having devoted so much of my free time to the discipline. At Cambridge I was further able to immerse myself in a rich array of theatrical opportunities. Performing at the ADC where Ian Mckellen, Stephen Fry, Olivia Colman and so many others had kick-started their prolific acting careers made me feel one step closer to achieving the goal. 5) How has your AGS education helped you with your acting career? Although I talked about becoming an actor from a young age this aspiration often felt like a dream that was unattainable and unrealistic. It wasn't until I was studying drama at AGS that I really began to believe that I could pursue this dream and make it a reality. At AGS I was extremely lucky to take part in theatre tours to schools in San Francisco and Chicago with a show called ' The Comedy of the Physical' which drew inspiration from mime, clowning and commedia dell'arte. I began to regard acting as a craft and to fully appreciate the energy and dedication required to become a professional. We went through a rigorous training, devising and rehearsal process spearheaded by Mr. Steinhaus. We were taught to be consistent in delivering energised and focused performances in every school and to work together as an ensemble. We were lucky to have extremely dedicated teachers who regarded acting as a plausible (rather than a laughable) career choice and celebrated our efforts to pursue the arts. Further to the tours, performing as Maria in West Side Story in my final year at AGS was one of the highlights of my time at the school. To be given the opportunity to play such an exciting role in Bernstein's brilliantly written musical was an experience I will never forget and one that served to confirm my choice of career. 6) Are you still in contact with people from AGS? I keep in contact with several people from AGS. It’s fascinating to hear about the careers that my peers have gone on to pursue and to see the adventures and travels they have been on since leaving. It’s so rewarding to see my friends from school going on to accomplish the things that they set out to achieve. On an additional and more romantic note I am still in a relationship with William Hemming who I met in the sixth form at AGS.

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7) What advice would you give to current students that are interested in performing arts, theatre and acting careers? Several people have told me that a career in acting is not a sprint - it's a marathon. You can't and shouldn't expect to bag a leading role in Star Wars when you have just started out in the industry. There are a very lucky few who happen to be in the right place at the right time but the majority of actors have to work extremely hard and have to learn to deal with a lot of rejection before they achieve their big break (if indeed they ever achieve one). You have to be prepared to keep on going and to pick yourself up if you want to stand a chance in the industry. You have to be persistent and you can't take rejection personally - after all many casting directors base their decision on looks as much as they do on talent. Furthermore, never rest on your laurels. There are so many people vying for roles that if you want to get a look in you have to keep working hard. Go to extra classes, read plays, visit the theatre, write to people who inspire you and stay creative - devise your own show if you have too. There is no substitute for experience. It is worth bearing in mind that actors are often taken more seriously if they have trained at Drama school - it's not essential but it can pay dividends. Drama School provides a vigorous, thorough and disciplined training and can give you a spring board into the industry if you don't have any personal connections within it. Many people audition a few times before they get in so don't be dissuaded if you don't make it the first time. 8) Whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s happening next for you? In September I completed a Masters in Acting at Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts in London. At Mountview I had the opportunity to play some significant roles including Ophelia in Hamlet and Agnes (a novice Nun) in Agnes of God. After performing in my final acting showcase at The Criterion Theatre on the West End in Piccadilly Circus, I was fortunate enough to sign with an acting agent. Since then I have been auditioning for theatre productions, films, commercials, music videos and touring shows. I am currently playing Cinderella in a Christmas tour of the pantomime in the North East. In one rehearsal I forgot to leave my slipper behind - much to the amusement of my Director! In the new year I intend to continue working professionally as an actress and I hope to extend my experience in all areas of the industry. My work thus far has principally been in theatre so I hope to gain some more work in film and television in 2014. 9) Do you mind giving a brief overview of the sort of work you do? Hannah is a professional actress who has recently finished training at Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts in North London. Hannah has performed in a wide variety of roles at Cambridge University and Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts as well as working with a range of theatre companies and in some filmed media . Her roles include Truvy in Steel Magnolias, Maria in West Side Story, Honey in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf, Lydia in Struts and Frets, Agnes in Agnes of God, Ophelia in Hamlet, Egle in The Dispute, Cecile de Volanges in Dangerous Liaisons, Anya in The Cherry Orchard, Bridget Bening in the Independent feature film 'Super Tuesday' and most recently Cinderella in a touring production with Alterego theatre company. www.hannahblaikie.com

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New Archives Room Dear Friends and Alumni of Alcester Grammar, Following the launch of AGS Alumni in 2012, our development office has been extremely busy getting in touch with former students, sharing news of the school’s progress and organising reunion events. Throughout the course of the year we have been pleased with all the support we have received, in particular, kind donations to the school through the Principal’s Annual Appeal, the ‘Buy a Brick’ campaign, donations of expensive items to the school and even pledges of legacy donations. We would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their kindness. In order to celebrate our history and continue with our Centenary celebrations, we would like to create an ‘Archives Room’ here in school, a designated space where Alumni and family can be welcomed back and reminded of their time at school, by viewing old school admission books/ records/photos/ old uniforms/ trophies etc or even being given the chance to look up family generations who benefitted from an education here at AGS. What a fantastic opportunity also for our new students; entering a school with a rich heritage steeped in tradition. It is never easy for our school to ask for contributions, especially in the current financial climate, but that task is made slightly easier when you take a moment to reflect upon your time spent at AGS. If you are interested in supporting our school, to create a new ‘Archives Room’, contributions can be made to the school, by cash or cheque – Alcester Grammar School, addressed to the Development Office. Alternately, if you have any memorabilia from your time at school that you wish to donate to our Archives collection we would be most grateful. Without your generosity, we would simply be unable to go that extra mile to provide such a fantastic facility, that will enrich the lives of students present and past.

Making Your Contribution Please return this tear off slip to: Development Office/Archives Room Appeal, Alcester Grammar School, Birmingham Road, Alcester, B49 5ED

I would like to support the Archives Room Appeal Archives Room

Your Address Details Name: .................................................................................. Address: .............................................................................. ............................................................................................. ............................................................................................. Postcode: ............................................................................ Tel: ...................................................................................... Email: .................................................................................

Cash Donation I enclose a cheque/cash for:..........................................

Gift Aid Declaration I would like the AGS Appeal to treat as Gift Aid this and all donations I make from the date of this declaration until I notify you otherwise. Signature: ............................................................................ Date: ................................................................................... Please notify us if you: 1. Want to cancel this declaration 2. Change your name or home address 3. No longer pay sufficient tax on your income/capital gain. • You must pay an amount of income tax and/or capital gains tax equal to the tax we reclaim on your donations. AGS will reclaim 25p of tax on every £1 you give. • This does not affect your personal tax position. • If you pay a higher rate of income tax you must include all your Gift Aid donations on your Self Assessment tax returns.

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Facilities Hire Thinking of starting a new class? New venture?

Booking charges per hour

Sports Hall (whole)

£30

Sports Hall (half)

£20

Conference Room

£15

Dance Studio

£20

Theatre

£50

  Drama Studio

Classroom

£20 £20

For further details please email Will Wyatt, w.wyatt@alcestergs.com or phone the school, 01789 762494

Sports Hall The aim of Alcester Grammar School Sports Facility is to develop sport, particularly for young participants, by making the facility available to sports clubs who offer structured sporting opportunities, or by providing sessions run by qualified coaches. The Sports Hall is available for booking 6-10pm Monday-Friday. Weekend availability is dependent on business needs.

Theatre The purpose built theatre is ideal for plays, concerts, lectures, and dance. The theatre has a small welcoming area for guests and tiered seating that can accommodate approx.165 spectators. There is a backstage area for performers, a lighting box for qualified users and an area to serve refreshments. Community/Conference Room The conference/community room is situated in the Sports Centre and is ideal for business meetings, community events and clubs. The seating can also be moved to accommodate classes such as Pilates and Yoga. There is a large Reception area, projector, screen, whiteboard and access to wired internet (no wireless) Classroom Alcester Grammar School has a variety of classrooms available for training sessions and educational courses. These can be used in conjunction with other bookings or on their own. Each classroom has a projector, screen, whiteboard and wired internet access (no wireless). Café Area This is an informal area with chairs, tables and sofas and is an ideal space to serve refreshments. Dance Studio The dance studio is suitable for dance classes, yoga, Pilates and gymnastics. The facilities include a sprung floor, mirrored wall and extendable gym equipment.

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Notices

BIRTHS MARRIAGES OBITUARIES

APPOINTMENTS AWARDS

Births Mrs Liz Bremner Smith and husband Julian are proud to announce the arrival of baby Joseph Michael. Joseph arrived at 1.09pm on Saturday 23rd November weighing 5lbs 7oz.

Mr Jamie Richens and wife Lucy are proud to announce the arrival of baby Isla Laura. She was born on 18th September 2013 weighing 6lbs 4oz.

Marriages Head of Physics, Lauren James, married Paul Goodwin in August.

Mrs Kathryn Farrelly and husband Edward are happy to announce the birth of baby Peter Fitzgerald, born early September, weighing 8lbs 10oz.

Past student and ex ICT Technician at AGS, Luke Russell, married Helen earlier this year.

Past student, Hannah Faulkner married Joe Alexander at Stratfordupon-Avon Town Hall in May this year. Joe and Hannah met at AGS and now live together in Stratford.

Dr Penny Robotham and husband Ian are proud to announce the birth of Elizabeth (Beth) Lily Robotham, born 24th October at Warwick Hospital, weighing 5lbs 11oz.

Music teacher, Mr Edward Seymour married Elizabeth Atkinson on Sunday 18th August 2013 in Worcester Cathedral. Elizabeth is an English teacher in Worcestershire. They are just about to move into their new home in Worcester. Miss Katie Underwood became Mrs Katie Parsons over the summer holidays when she married Owen Parsons on Friday 26th July, at St Nicolas Church in Kings Norton, Birmingham, followed by the reception at The Welcombe Hotel, Stratford. They had an amazing day!

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Retirement - Chris Moore I have been employed at Alcester Grammar School since 7th January 2002, (12 years in January), my first role was school secretary based in the main reception area of the school. I held this post for 10 years and then became Office Manager of this area. Since September I have been employed as the 7-11 hub Administrator which I have enjoyed enormously and wish I could have given it more time. I shall miss all the students that I have had contact with over the years, either pastorally, a shoulder to lean on, or for first aid. The students and staff of the school I have great affection for and will miss them all dearly. I am looking forward to my new venture in my new home in Herefordshire, (with my husband Peter) and hope to live a bit of the good life, having chickens, ducks etc. and growing my own vegetables.

You are very welcome to drop in at any time between 4:30pm and 6:00pm. If you are unable to come on the 6th you can collect certificates from the sixth form office during normal school hours. Your certificates are vital proof of your qualifications and you may be asked to provide them when applying for courses and jobs in the future so please do your very best to pick them up and then put them in a safe (but memorable!) place. If you are intending coming on the 6th please could you let Denise Chapman know - d.chapman@alcestergs.com

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Obituary - Mr John Turner 1930-2013 John Turner, former Headteacher, died aged 83 on Monday October 21st, of heart failure after returning from holiday in Cyprus with his wife, Joyce. Originally from London, the couple attended the same elementary school but Mr Turner was evacuated for five years during the Second World War to South Africa aged nine to stay with his aunt. He returned and the two met after the war at a church youth club in West Hampstead. Mr Turner attended King’s College in London and then St Catherine’s College in Cambridge before qualifying as a teacher and moving to his first role in Bolton. After positions at schools around the country, he took the headship at Alcester Grammar School where he remained for 20 years. On retirement, Mr Turner became a lay minister and was closely involved in All Saints Church, Evesham, and was chaplain to the local Burma Star Association. Mr Turner served at Alcester Grammar School from 1970 until 1990 and he will be remembered for 20 years of dedicated leadership, at a time when grammar schools were under threat and many changed their status. He was a hugely respected, most caring and principled man whose service to Alcester Grammar School will never be forgotten. His funeral was held on Friday 9th November at All Saints Parish Church Evesham. The tribute was read by The Rev’d Andrew Shearn, former colleague and Mr Turner’s successor at AGS.

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The gift of a legacy is...... A very personal way of giving future generations the opportunity to benefit from the AGS experience.

MAKE A LASTING DIFFERENCE

MAKING YOUR WILL

A legacy is one of the most meaningful and enduring gifts you can make. It is a personal way of benefitting the pupils at the School.

If you wish to leave a gift to AGS, we suggest you consult your solicitor when preparing or amending your Will, to discuss the legacy options available. If you already have a Will, AGS can easily be included through the addition of a Codicil. There are numerous ways of leaving a legacy in your Will or Codicil. The five main types act in different ways with different benefits. Your solicitor will be able to advise you on what is best for you.

It may be made to express gratitude or loyalty; to remember a loved one, perpetuate a family name, or promote the ethos of the School.

THE 1912 SOCIETY The 1912 Society, named in honour of the year that AGS was founded on the new site, has been set up as an exclusive Society for all those who indicate their intention to make a bequest for the benefit of the School and its pupils. By making a gift and to recognise your intent you will receive invitations to 1912 Society events. The Development Office will also keep you informed of other events at the School, ensuring that you are very much a part of the AGS Community. Society membership is discreet and a request for anonymity will always be respected.

ADVANTAGES OF A LEGACY Leaving a legacy to Alcester Grammar School enables you to support a cause which may not have been possible during your lifetime. It also means that you can give something back to the School as a ‘thank you’ for the difference it made to you. A gift of this kind is extremely tax efficient and may reduce the overall Inheritance Tax burden on your estate. Your solicitor will be able to advise on the legal implications.

If you would like to discuss any aspect of leaving a legacy or making a donation please contact The Finance Manager at AGS on 01789 762494. Any information you provide will always be kept completely confidential.

• A Residuary Legacy leaves all or a percentage share of your estate after your other legacies, expenses and taxes have been taken care of. • A Pecuniary Legacy is a gift of a fixed amount - this can be index linked to protect the value of the legacy against inflation. • A Specific Legacy is a gift of specific property such as land, shares, books, musical instruments and works of art. • A Reversionary Legacy gives a named person the use of income from all or part of of your estate or assets during his or her lifetime, after which the capital passes to AGS. • A Substitutional Legacy is a gift that passes to AGS in the event that the intended recipient is unable to receive it. It is important that any gift you decide to make to the School works in the context of your Will and your estate planning generally. You should ensure that you take personal advise from your solicitor and financial adviser on the terms of your Will. You can also make a bequest through your pension scheme or through a trust. If you have a personal pension fund, you may be able to nominate Alcester Grammar School as a beneficiary of any benefits payable out of the fund on your death. As a gift to a charity, a payment of this kind is generally free of Inheritance Tax.

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Dates for Diary Monday January 6th

Coffee, Cakes and Certificates, The Studio, 4.30pm-6pm

January 31st - April 4th

Lunchtime Live, AGS Theatre, 1pm.

(Most Fridays, please contact Denise d.chapman@alcestergs.com to confirm details)

6th Form recitalists entertain Free Student parents and friends welcome

Thursday 6th March

Lunchtime Live - Roderick Williams, baritone, 1pm

Wednesday 9th April

Choral and Orchestra Concert, Stratford -upon-Avon Civic Hall, 7.30pm A celebration of music-making at AGS

Tuesday 6th May

Summer Concert, AGS Theatre, 7.30pm A summer concert featuring jazz music played by soloists and ensembles.

Tuesday 1st July

Year 7-11 Drama production, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Goldfish and the Ice Maiden/ Dragonfly, Shiva and the Red Balloonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;, 7pm, AGS Theatre

Thursday 3rd July

Prospective Year 7 Open Evening, 6pm-8.30pm

Staff and students from Alcester Grammar School wish you

Seasons Greetings and a Happy New Year Page 35


â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;At the forefront of education for over 100 years, Alcester Grammar School successfully blends tradition with a forward- thinking, internationallyminded, educational philosophy that truly meets the needs of young people growing to adulthood in an increasingly complex worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;

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Ags today dec 2