A-Level Congratulations This yearâ€™s cohort â€“ a much larger one than in previous years â€“ gained the results predicted, showing considerable progress over AS results last year, which were disappointing. 71% gained A*-C and the pass rate remained high at 98%. We congratulate our candidates as they move on to university and, this year, we are delighted to report, to a number of BAE apprenticeships. It is expected that competition for university places will be fierce. Historically, the school has maintained an excellent record of university successes, with take-up of university places consistently being well over 95%. We were particularly encouraged this year by the achievements of a large number of pupils who only joined QEGS two years ago to study for their A-levels. QEGS welcomes applications to its Sixth Form from pupils throughout Lancashire and the surrounding areas. Visit www.qegsblackburn.com/sixth for entry requirements, more information, or to apply.
The Importance of Being Earnest It takes a particular level of skill to conjure up a balmy summer’s day in the Home Counties on a freezing night in Blackburn, yet that is precisely what the cast of ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’ achieved. Oscar Wilde’s witty and acerbic play never ceases to amuse and the pace of Ben Ventress’ production built perfectly. Theo Roberts set the scene with style as Algernon Moncrieff; a young man enjoying the freedoms of youth and wealth, whose wit and affable nature warmed audience and characters alike to him. James Henaghan was equally engaging, and the interplay between the two was a delight to watch. As with any good comic double-act, it was particularly entertaining to watch the two develop as more was revealed about their friendship, with Henaghan’s intense sincerity contrasting perfectly with Roberts’s puckish sparkle.
Anyone wondering where, precisely, they may find the Northern Powerhouse need look no further than Lady Bracknell, in the form of Wendy Askam. Her authority, issued with a sparkle in the eye and exuded style. Mrs Askam’s authoritative, commanding delivery was perfect comedy: her classroom must be a wonderful place to be!
Mention must go to Kyle Wells-Stonehouse and Annabel Harvey, whose comic timing was used to perfect effect as Lane and Merriman. Their reactions as servants was reminiscent of the droll wit of Jeeves, and a very funny addition to the action, particularly during Cecily and Gwendolen’s rather waspish afternoon tea.
Then, of course, came the young ladies. Mariam GooraniNejad, as Gwendolen Fairfax, exuded the manners and enthusiasm of her age, along with a generous helping of wit, while Kate Newborough’s Cecily Cardew was hilariously sharp in her idealism. Their performances were most outstanding when they played opposite each other, first as friends and then as rivals, whilst retaining their outward manners.
Equally hilarious was Seb Roberts who, as Canon Frederick Chasuble, created such an affable, adaptable clergyman that he shone in what could have been a more minor role. His benevolent nature and understated responses were, again, perfect examples of comic timing. Together with Samantha Hepworth as the restrained and somewhat prudish Miss Prism, they added a warmth and additional lightness of touch which was very well received.
This adaptation was, simply, hilarious. Wilde’s wit was allowed to speak for itself; the pace of delivery was so appropriate that even the famous one-liners were delivered as fresh and original. Theo Roberts, in particular, had the pace and confidence of a stand-up comedian, whilst retaining the elegance and mannered delivery of late-Victorian London.
This was a pleasingly intimate, in-the-round performance which certainly warmed a winter’s night and should be remembered as a real success for Mr Ventress and the entire cast and crew.
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Debating Competition Our Sixth Form linguists took part in the Northern Schools Debating Competition at Cheadle Hulme School. We entered two teams: James Henaghan and Danyal Rashid for Spanish and Joseph Ashworth and Hafsah Valli for French. The students had to debate challenging topics such as Brexit and the value of technological advances as well as more abstract ideas, for example ‘numbers are better than letters’ in their chosen language. They prepared thoroughly and had only bullet points to help them during the actual debate; Mrs Tattersall was impressed, not only with their fluency and spontaneity but also the quality of their arguments. Our students may have missed out on a place in the semi-final, but acquitted themselves superbly and were excellent ambassadors for the school. They had the opportunity to listen to other debates and visit information stands from Manchester University and Halsbury Travel who were sponsoring the event. A most informative and valuable evening!
Inspirational Young People
The outstanding achievements of teenagers in Lancashire were recognised by a charity created after the death of a young Blackburn man. The Lancashire Inspirational Young People’s Awards saw 21 winners aged 15 to 19 recognised by the Every Action Has Consequences charity, set up in memory of Adam Rogers, who lost his life whilst acting as a peace maker in a single-punch attack in Blackburn in July 2009. Subsequently, his parents Pat and Dave set up the charity which campaigns on issues of aggression and seeks ways in which to help young people resolve conflict without violence. No fewer than 3 of our pupils were included in the list of 21 winners : Safa Kapadi for her contributions to volunteering, Will Smith for sport and leadership and new pupil Sulayman Tabassam who was nominated by his previous school, Sir John Thursby, for an ‘Overcoming Adversity’ award. Sulayman later commented that he was “surprised and delighted to be asked to this event” and that it was interesting to meet so many people who have achieved so much. Congratulations and well done to you all!
Head of Junior School Awards
This new award is given to a child every Friday in Junior School; the award is a special pin badge that they wear during the following week consisting of three gold stars, and a picture of them is also placed on the noticeboard outside Mrs O’Donoghue’s office. The image is accompanied by a few sentences explaining why they received the award. Since this award was introduced Mrs O’Donoghue has been pleased to report that many other children have displayed acts of thoughtfulness towards each other and to the staff in the department: “It has been a pleasure to see the children interact in this way. I have overheard many of them ask how each other are; they are genuinely keen to hear the answer. They subsequently engage in conversation about how their friends are feeling and discuss their thoughts about the school day and the many wonderful activities that have been engaged in. Such acts of consideration demonstrate the kind and thoughtful children we have here at QEGS & it certainly makes coming to work for the staff and me a real pleasure!” Michaelmas Term awards were presented to: Cara Zawistowski 3T, Sami Hussain 5R, Zainab Kothia 4C, Ibraheem Ahmed 4C, Isabel Velutheppilly 6W, Husnain Muhammad 6W, Zayyan Hussain 5R
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Law Day Mr Taylor (Head of Careers) took nine Year 12 and 13 students - Juwairiyyah Mubarak, Sana Ahmed, Haarith Mulla, Alistair Gordon, Naeem Ahmed, Samee Khan, Samira Rahman, Marriam Ali and Seb Lilley, who are all potential law students, for a day at Westholme School run by Lancaster University’s Law Department. They attended excellent talks by Dr Ben Mayfield, the Law Admissions Tutor and Dr Siobhan Weave, a Senior Lecturer, on the structure and entry requirements of
law degrees and criminology with particular focus on the evidence issues of eyewitnesses. They also enjoyed an interactive talk by a postgraduate student on the complexities of particular high profile cases. After lunch, in groups, they prepared for a mooting session of a case study acting as prosecutors and defenders of a burglary appeal case and then presented their case to Dr Weave. The day was an excellent insight into what they might expect during a law degree and certainly allowed the students to think in more depth about the career. Everyone very much enjoyed the day and the hospitality of Westholme School.
National Media Museum A most entertaining and educational day was enjoyed by Year 6 at the National Media Museum, Bradford. Accompanied by Mrs Courtney, Miss Iqbal, Mrs Roberts and two parent helpers, forty eager and curious children learnt much about the history of media and had ample opportunities to experiment with the interactive displays. A highlight of the trip was the workshop entitled ‘Lights, Camera, Action!’ where the children consolidated their understanding of Science whilst having fun. Activities included proving: that light travels in straight lines, that shadows can be different colours and that light can be directed to bounce off other surfaces. Volunteers directed light from two mirrors to switch on a dancing bear, much to the delight of the children.
The photographs shown were taken by our guide, Siobhan, using a thermal imaging camera. She also demonstrated the use of an endoscopic camera; for a few nerve-wracking seconds it was unclear whether she intended to probe the camera down the throat of Zaid Desai, our game volunteer... But no, thankfully this was not her course of action! She used the endoscope on a stuffed dinosaur, projecting the image onto a screen so that children could see what he had eaten: two Premier League footballers! The children had chance to visit all the Levels of the museum - there is a lot to see and do - and they were enthralled when viewing how large mobile phones and other technology had been until relatively recently. The children, we are pleased to report, had a fabulous day at this fascinating venue.
Modifying Humans Students from Years 12 and 13 attended a lecture by renowned researcher and broadcaster, Professor Robert Winston at King George’s Hall. The Lecture was a fascinating look into how medical technology and improvements have influenced mankind; sometimes for better, sometimes for worse. Professor Winston also talked about the challenges in maintaining ethics in the medical profession, and encouraged young prospective medics to engage in the key debates surrounding ever advancing technology. The students delighted in listening to such an influential, enthusiastic and thought-provoking leader in medical science, as well as meeting with Professor Winston after the lectures, for book signings and the occasional selfie!
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National Poetry Day Poem for Poetry Day It was poetry day at QEQS And I couldn’t really wait So I got there nice and early For a start at half past eight. Escorted to the library Which was oh so very grand Mrs Dewhurst offered me a tour And then gave me a hand.
Finally, after a tremendous build up to National Poetry Day (NPD) throughout school, including assemblies, members of staff submitting their favourite poems, a competition, poetry display and even creating themed bookmarks in Bookmark Club, National Poetry Day had finally arrived. The annexe set the scene; workshop style layout and lots of poems displayed; we were ready! To help make this day even more special, all form tutors were invited to read/share a favourite poem/ verse during morning registration; this certainly got the day off to a very good start with poetry chatter filling the corridors. This year to help us celebrate the day we invited into school local author and poet Paul Jenkins, author of Requires Improvement and Poems from Villagetown. Paul worked tirelessly with Year 7, 8 and 9 English groups, including hosting a lunchtime poetry session where all students and staff were invited to come along to share their favourite poems. His energy was unstoppable, his passion for writing shone through each and every session - complete with his juggling act, our pupils loved him and were quickly captivated by his performance. As an author/poet/ performer his grace and skill enthralled the audience throughout. Paul and QEGS pupils created a wonderful poem as a keepsake which will always remind us of such an exciting and inspirational day.
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Even after the celebrations of NPD, poetry continued to echo throughout school; Mrs Wild’s House assembly (Frobisher) continued into a second week of sharing poems, and there was also an assembly by Mr Vyse who shared Paul’s poem with students. The NPD competition was well received with over 20 entries and one very special winner - Owen Hardman of 8AVJ - who wins a signed copy of Poems from Villagetown by Paul. Well done Owen! The NPD staff poetry display was indeed a talking point in the library; it was good to see the continuation of the celebrations in full force. To conclude, NPD this year was simply one of the best, and one we will not forget for quite some time. With over sixty pupils attending the lunchtime session it was truly a day to remember. Upon departure Paul left us with some very kind words, not only the words written in his poem which was kindly created just for QEGS, and now proudly displayed in the school library, but also in his feedback after the event, saying ‘how thrilled I was to be invited to QEGS’- ‘how proud I felt to work with such engaged students’ - ‘how magnificent the dining hall is’ and of course - ‘I thoroughly enjoyed sharing NPD at QEGS in Blackburn’. After any event it is always good to seek feedback - here is what our English Department and some of our Teaching Assistants had to say: “The author visit was a huge success with my Year 8 classes. Paul Jenkins was engaging and really inspired the classes to be creative with their writing. The poetry readings from his new book were enjoyed by all.” K. Dadhiwala
“It was very enjoyable. Paul Jenkins made the pupils laugh and enjoy poetry as well as inspiring them to put a lot of effort into producing their own poems. Their confidence in reading their own work and their attention and appreciation of others was a delight. Well done all!” S. Parker “My Year 8 class were absolutely captivated, laughing throughout and engaging in a thoughtful and meaningful way. Poetry brought to life!” M Smallridge,Head of English “I thought Paul provided an excellent opportunity for students to explore poetry outside of the classroom. It was excellent that he was able to provide a safe and encouraging space for the students to write freely; the students that attended seemed to thoroughly enjoy his workshop and I know my Year 9 class got a lot out of it.” H Southwell,Teacher of English “Paul Jenkins’ feverish excitement entranced the pupils and inspired their writing during his visit. I thought his approach to capturing ideas really demystified the idea that writers sit down and a poem or novel simply pours from the end of their pen. Paul’s infectious enthusiasm has certainly inspired the pupils, some of which have already come to me with new poems they have written since his visit yesterday.” R Cornwall, Teacher of English “I thought Paul Jenkins led a dynamic poetry session on NPD, the pupils were quickly drawn in and soon created their own wonderful poems. I particularly enjoyed the ode to the black pudding!” G Frost,Director of Learning Support I’d personally like to thank Paul for helping us to celebrate NPD, what a day! My thanks also go out to everyone involved for helping to make this day as successful as it was. V. B. Dewhurst,Head of Library
To set up all that poets need When writing awesome words Some paper, pens and people And a space to make them heard. Year sevens, eights and nines all came To wow us with their verse And I was told about the school But they were not averse. To tell me how it really is All round this site so vast The details shocking to the core I really had a blast. They told of the dining hall Like Hogwarts in its shape And Tuna on the menu With that fishy smell it makes. The volume of the top quad With its students loud and high And the smell of chlorine wafting From the swimming pool nearby. They told me of the sports hall With its vast expansive floor And the nasty odours made In the changing rooms next door. But most of all they told me How this place is really not so bad How actually as schools go They’re really rather glad. That QEGS is where they come to Each day from 9 till 4 Despite the many groans and moans It’s really not a chore. By author and poet Paul Jenkins Contributions: Year 7, 8 & 9 QEGS Blackburn
Roald Dahl 100 What an amazing atmosphere there was as we celebrated yet another Roald Dahl Day but this year with even bigger celebrations, marking the anniversary of 100 years since the birth of Dahl. From the start of the day with Tutors sharing their favourite Dahl quotations and stories, to a wonderful Dahl lunchtime session in the Library. With over 38 entries to the various competitions on offer - over 60 pupils attending the session during their lunch break, it was clear to see Roald Dahl Day was a real success. From Matilda to The BFG, from George’s Marvellous Medicine to The Twits and then on to The Great Mouse Plot .... pupils had the opportunity to share their favourite Dahl stories with their peers. Thank you to everyone who helped to make this event so successful, with very special thanks to our team of Year 8 Pupil Librarians for all their help. Thank you also to Nayha Firaz of 7ZMS for the super Roald Dahl cake ....but most of all thank you to pupils in Year 7 and Year 8 who took part for really getting into the spirit of things. The winners for the Roald Dahl 100 competitions are: Book Quiz: Year 7: Hamza Bux - Year 8: Abigail Hardman Crossword: Year 7: Henrietta Reed - Year 8: Muhammed Asif Dream Jar: Year 7: Gohan Donnelly - Year 8: Aminah Batool BFG: Year 7: Jessica Fellows - Year 8: Gabriella Sandham George’s Marvellous Medicine: Year 7: Henrietta Reed, Madina Jan , Milo Gammon, Shaan Shah, Abigail Duxbury, Demi Smith, Nabaa Almitwally, Niamh Hamilton, Sabaa Ahmed, Safaa Moosa and Sahil Gulnawaz - Year 8: Fiona Fleming, Daahiyal Hassan, Priya Morjaria , Aminah Batool, Muhammed Asif, Felicity Woodward, Maha Hassan and Sophiya Kamil. This was an absolutely delightful lunchtime session - we certainly celebrated 100 years of Dahl in a big way! More photos about this event and all our past library events can also be found on the QEGS Library Blackburn Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/QegsLibraryBlackburn
European Day The annual event for Year 8 pupils started in the traditional way with a continental breakfast in Big School. Pupils very much enjoyed their pains au chocolat and proceeded to the Library Annexe where they listened to Old Blackburnian Paul Singh talk about his language learning experiences. Our French language assistant then talked about some cultural differences and pupils expressed their thoughts about Brexit. Pupils also took part in a European Quiz and had an introductory lesson to Russian. In the afternoon they worked in teams to design a t-shirt with a European theme and write a poem with the title “Our Friends Across the Water”. The standard was particularly high this year and Mr Hart was very impressed with the original and colourful designs. Mrs Tattersall was equally impressed with the poems.
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Rome Roaming in
During the half-term break, the Art department ran a five-day trip to Rome, Italy. Mr Birtwistle led the trip, accompanied by Mr Braime and Miss Burton, who took 19 Year 11, 12 and 13 students to the eternal city. The trip was highly successful, as each day had a packed itinerary which covered all the most important elements of Rome’s Museums, Galleries, Architecture, Churches, general sightseeing and of course all of ancient Rome.
Roman Trip Year 4 pupils enjoyed their visit to the Ribchester Roman Museum. This trip supplemented their studies in History and truly brought this period of history to life! They experienced Roman life first-hand, investigating real-life artefacts and dressing up as Roman soldiers in armour. They enjoyed learning more about life in Roman Britain and exploring the museum. A particular highlight was handling the historical objects including: weaponry, soldier equipment and an amphora (a Roman jar or jug). The pupils visited the ruins of an original Roman fort, including the bathhouse and granary. To close the day, they expended their remaining energies on the nearby adventure playground. A great day was had by all.
Pictured above is the group who took part in the 2017 visit to Uganda, who got together for a walk in the Pendle Hill area. Refreshments were kindly supplied by parents Mr and Mrs Wright.
BIMM Manchester visited Year 9 pupils and delivered an informative presentation about Career options in the Music Industry. BIMM offers further-education courses in Music Technology, performance, sound-engineering and many more. There are also summer courses available for pupils who wish to experience what it would be like working in the Music Industry environment. After the presentation, pupils were treated to a performance from current BIMM performance musicians and were able to ask them questions about their areas of interest.
Over fifty pupils from various schools in Blackburn met at QEGS, Blackburn to pool ideas in order to produce a Peace Charter for Blackburn with Darwen. Pupils mixed and shared ideas and the leaders of the event, Jo Siddle from St Thomas’s and Steve Archer from Witton were delighted with the imagination that the young people showed. The young people are now going to fine-tune their ideas and decide which of them will make the final charter. The Peace Charter will be published in near future and will, we hope, influence young (and older!) minds far and wide.
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The Infant School children have learnt how Diwali is celebrated by Hindus all around the world. They were able to experience different aspects of the religion, rotating around different classrooms. The children had a fantastic time learning about the Hindu festival and made lanterns, diwa lamps, mendhi patterns, decorating masks of Rama, Sita and the Golden deer.
Kes QEGS was treated to an exceptional performance of Kes, Barry Hines’ realistic and often moving tale about a young boy who, on the verge of leaving school to start work, discovers that he has an incredible talent for training a Kestrel. What made this performance even more impressive was that the director, Mr Ben Ventress, selected a cast entirely made up of pupils from Year 7. Kes was performed ‘in the round’ in Singleton House, which proved a perfect venue due to the proximity which the audience had to the actors. As we watched, the stage was transformed, due to subtle changes in lighting and scenery, into Billy Casper’s house, various areas around his school and the field where he trained his Kestrel. Special mention must go, here, to Rhys Millington who was exceptional in the lead role of Billy Casper. He conveyed Billy’s streetwise confidence and his youthful vulnerability equally well and illuminated the stage with his tales of how he had trained Kes from a young kestrel. There were particularly impressive performances, too, from Lucas Burridge, Bradley Ashby and Thomas Buckle: all of whom played the roles of the school staff with authority and, in the case of Thomas Buckle, genuine compassion for Billy’s situation. Lucas Burridge’s domineering and authoritarian Headmaster was genuinely noteworthy; thank goodness times have changed at QEGS in 2016! A real highlight was the scenes surrounding the school assembly, where the audience felt a part of the school community and then able to be a fly on the wall, privy to the misdemeanours of these young school children. Louis Strand, Matthew Procter, Alex Bendell, Leah George and Esme Wilcock as Billy’s classmates gave
highly convincing and often hilarious performances, again communicating the tougher nature of these young people, whilst still giving an interesting insight into the way their characters differed from Billy’s more independent, thoughtful nature. There were also some very entertaining performances in ensemble roles as the shop keepers, milkman, and other people of the town, which provided lighter moments and, again, re-created an authentic atmosphere for the time in which the play was set. As we glimpsed into Billy’s home life, the audience were both amused and horrified at the way in which Billy was expected to fend for himself; an element made all the more poignant due to the youthful nature of the cast. Ewan Metcalf was suitably brutal as Judd and Gabriella Sandham was excellent as Billy’s young mother. As the play reached its climax, we felt powerless to assist Billy against the inadequacy of his mother and the cruelty of his brother and the ending was truly poignant. Kes is not an easy play to perform. Much of the action depends upon the audience connecting with Billy and engaging with him as he recalls his adventures with his Kestrel, so it is entirely to the credit of Mr Ventress and his talented cast that we were transported to 1970s Barnsley so well. There were some highly mature performances, which brought real meaning and life to the play’s text. Commendations must also go to the stage crew: Theo Roberts, Alex Creamer and Mrs Walmsley, and for the lighting, set up by Mr Broadhurst, which helped to establish the optimum atmosphere. This was an entirely enjoyable evening. All we can hope for now is that this talented group, led by the ever-impressive Mr Ventress, will continue to dazzle as they move through their school careers.
Engineering Students visit Manchester University Three members of Year 13, Wesley Machie, Nathaniel Cunningham and Haroon Khan, who have all applied to study engineering at University, were invited as part of a work experience programme to complete an undergraduate shadowing placement at The University of Manchester’s MACE department. The placement was organized by Dr Andrew Weightman, the Director of Postgraduate Studies and a lecturer in Medical Mechatronics who specialises in data acquisition. During the 2 day experience they learnt a great deal about the hard work, time and precision that goes into being a student of engineering. They were allowed to see the vast array of machinery and equipment available,
including the Osbourne Reynolds experiment of fluid flow (aerodynamics). They also used a CNC machine which they programmed to mill a screw out of a billet of aluminium. On day two they participated in a master’s level lab. They were shown the basics of the system design software Lab View, and were given the task of gaining information gained from a pressure potentiometer and analysing the results. In addition to this they were set two research tasks, one of which was about rehabilitation robotics and the second was to research the basic workings of a jet engine. One of the doctorate students talked them through how to programme an automated robot, which was required to navigate a maze autonomously. The experience was incredibly valuable, confirming their decision to study engineering at university and allowing them to get a real feel for the engineering course.
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Music in Manchester The GCSE and A Level Music classes headed for a night out in Manchester. A feast at Pizza Express put food in tummies and smiles on faces before we headed to the Bridgewater Hall for an evening’s entertainment and of course musical inspiration and analysis! The Manchester Concert Orchestra, plus the Bridgewater Hall organ with the stops out can make the seats at the back of the circle vibrate as we discovered during the first piece played at the sound-and-light extravaganza: Richard Strauss’ ‘Sunrise’ from Also Sprach Zarathustra. Memorably used for 2001: A Space Odyssey, the music was also used in the UK as the musical backing for TV coverage of the Apollo space launches. It was immediately followed by John Williams’ Star Wars main theme, the new GCSE setwork; before self-confessed Trekkie conductor, Pete Harrison, introduced us to Arthur Bliss’ march from the 1936 film Things to Come. The things to come included Holst’s ‘Jupiter’ and ‘Mars’ from The Planets suite, Jerry Goldsmith’s stirring main theme to Star Trek, The Motion Picture and Stu Phillips’ theme for the original Battlestar Galactica. Given his long and triumphant association with the science-fiction genre, it was no surprise that John Williams’ music featured heavily. Not only was there much more from Star Wars including pieces from Attack of the Clones
and The Phantom Menace which proved that the music was worth revisiting,but we also heard from E.T: The Extra-Terrestrial and Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Throughout, the swirling stage smoke and sweeping lights provided a visual accompaniment that was almost as stirring as the music. Spotlights and flames blazed orange for Sunrise; searchlights swept the hall during Things to Come; rainbow wedges of laser lights twisted and danced to Johann Strauss II’s Blue Danube Waltz. For the Close Encounters theme, the circular lighting rig over the arena was turned into the mothership as it lit up and rose toward the ceiling. There was audience participation for Barry Gray’s Thunderbirds theme (the final piece listed on the programme), with the orchestra and audience providing the 5-4-3-2-1 countdown as well as a hearty shout of ‘Thunderbirds are go!’ As the theme blasted to a climax, flames and fireworks blazed overhead and around the gallery, bringing cheers and a standing ovation. When Harrison returned to the stage in Jedi robes and wielding a light-sabre, it was clear that the entertainment wasn’t over. For an encore, he led the orchestra through the end-title theme to Star Wars (A New Hope). The second encore, and final piece, was heralded by Harrison pulling his white shirt open to reveal a Superman t-shirt beneath, and again the theme was accompanied by pyrotechnics and a dazzling display of lights and lasers. It was a stirring, dramatic finale to a wonderful concert enjoyed by all!
Joel Rothwell Shares the Stage Old Blackburnian Joel Rothwell shared a stage with pop royalty when he appeared alongside Gary Barlow recently, performing at The Hidden Wounds charity concert in the Vulcan Experience aircraft hangar at Robin Hood Airport in Doncaster. The 20-year-old singer-songwriter is soon to release his debut solo album, and joined a line-up featuring the Take That frontman for a charity concert in aid of Help for Heroes. The sold out gig raised more than £65,000 for the war veterans’ charity - which supports those ex-service personnel suffering with mental illness and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Bury-born Joel joined QEGS at Sixth Form level, where he pursued his dream of a career in music.
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Joel said: “It was great to meet Gary but I was just focusing on my performance. This is definitely one of the biggest things I’ve done, especially as a solo artist. It was an honour to be on the same stage as such a music industry legend. I started putting out YouTube music videos when I was 16 and have just been trying to meet the right people and working on my music. I was also with a band for three and half years but I’m solo now. It feels pretty amazing and my family have been really supportive. I’m still not where I want to be though, I want to be in the charts.” Joel is currently based at Spinningfields, recording and preparing to release his debut solo album under the Steelworks Studio label with the support of songwriter and producer Eliot Kennedy, who has worked with the likes of the Spice Girls and Take That. Kennedy and Barlow teamed up for the concert, which was dedicated to the memory of Leeds businessman and philanthropist Jimi Heselden, who invented the Bastion defensive barriers system for the British Army, which are credited with saving many lives, and donated more than £24 million to charity, including Help for Heroes.
Michaelmas Concert The Michaelmas Concert took place on a cold, chilly Winter’s evening. On entering the Main Hall, it was instantly warming to hear the excited chatter of Year 7 pupils waiting to perform together as a year group for the first time! Highlights of the evening included debut performances from the new guitar club, folk group, woodwind ensemble and GCSE band. There was also a range of individual performances including emotive vocalists from Years 9-13 (Amber Goodeve, Julie Mathew, Sebastian Roberts, Beth Ellison and Fiona Green), a musical treat from Lucy Hargreaves our excellent Year 12 trombonist, a piano medley by Zakariya Bux and technically demanding violin pieces composed by Vivaldi were played by Sophie Fellows and Elizabeth Fielding, Jazz-saxophone by Joseph Ashworth and a particularly memorable Viola solo by Theo Roberts, Head Boy, accompanied by his younger brother Sebastian. Choir thoroughly enjoyed singing their favourite Hairspray song to open the concert, whilst Jazz Band boasted some talented new members to close the evening with improvised solos! It was wonderful to see a large supportive audience as our pupils confidently took to the stage and performed for their families, peers and teachers. Well done to all the pupils who took part and many thanks to the members of staff who gave their time helping to ensure the evening was a success!
Music at Boundary Mill The senior school choir went to Boundary Mill to sing carols and play seasonal music in small ensemble groups. Members of the public enjoyed traditional treats such as ‘Silent Night’ and ‘Hark the Herald Angels Sing’ from the choir, the GCSE Jam Group’s rendition of ‘Frosty the Snowman’, a winter medley from the Wind Ensemble and a vocal solo performance of ‘Mary’s Child’ from Beth Ellison.
Natasha Hartshorne-Evans received the news over the summer holidays that her audition for the Hallé Youth Training Choir was successful. As one of the most prestigious youth choirs in the North she was absolutely delighted.
A large heavy medallion 50mm in diameter and 5mm thick was included in one of the donations to the archives received from Mary Naylor, Philip Johnston and the family of John Law deceased in 2016.
Rehearsals are every Sunday in Manchester with a number of concerts across the year with the Hallé Orchestra and other choirs and soloists, culminating in a week-long residential course in the summer.
The medallion hallmarks on one side inside a wreath garland and the School badge on the other side. The two hallmarks are H&R on the left and ‘Anchor’ ‘possibly a Lion’ ‘M’ on the right. The School’s Honorary Archivist would love to hear from anyone that may have an idea of the origin of the medallion, or for what it was intended to be used for. We assume an inscription was to be made in the centre of the garland wreath?
Natasha is an active member of all the QEGS choirs and regularly performs in the QEGS concerts in addition to taking her grading exams. She is looking forward to developing her singing with the Hallé and using that experience back at school. Well done, Natasha!
Please send any information to: firstname.lastname@example.org
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Songaminute Simon receives special recognition at Pride of Britain Awards Old Blackburnian Simon McDermott collected the Special Recognition Award at the Pride of Britain ceremony on behalf of himself and his Dad, Ted. Known as the ‘Songaminute Man’, Ted, 80, suffers from Alzheimer’s and he and his son were chosen to receive a special award for their Carpool Karaoke-style fundraising videos which collected more than a million views in a matter of weeks, raising more than £130,000. Simon also set up a crowd funding page with the aim of raising funds to produce and release an album of songs from his father who suffers from Alzheimer’s and the family has been working with Guy Barker and Alex Van Ingen, formerly of Decca Records, over the past month to work out ways to release an album. Simon explained:
The fundraising target for Ted was initially just £1,000, but he and his son received worldwide coverage for the videos, including support from areas such as Brazil, New Zealand and the Philippines. They are looking to raise £74,000 which is the amount worked out by the team to cover copyright, production costs and distribution. Any profits made will then be split between Ted and the Alzheimer’s Society. Anyone who donates £12.99 will be sent a physical ‘Songaminute’ CD when it is produced, and anyone donating £25.99 will receive a vinyl copy. He said: “If we can get near that amount then we’ll try and do it anyway. If we don’t reach it then we’re still going to be listening to my Dad singing at home all the time, but it would be fantastic to release an album.”
“We had literally thousands of requests for Dad to make an album. There were a lot of complaints after the single that it was only available as a download, and people wanted to hear more. I think it’s more because of everyone else who has supported him, we get to hear him sing 24/7.”
National Poetry Day You’ve got to be in it to win it! We are delighted to share with you the winner of the recent National Poetry Day competition, Owen Hardman of 8AVJ. Owen was awarded first prize for gaining the highest score out of many entries in our recent NPD competition. Seen here with a personalised signed copy of Poems from Villagetown written by visiting author Paul Jenkins. Congratulations Owen and well done to everyone else who entered.
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Year 9 Seven-a-Side Bronze Award for Football Festival at Year 8 Librarians Pleckgate School Year 9 represented the school in great fashion losing narrowly to Blackburn Central 1-0. They improved every game, securing two 0-0 draws with Our Lady and St John and Pleckgate, followed by a good 1-0 win against St Bedes. Football was the winner on the night. Well done, boys.
After a very busy term, our Year 8 team of pupil librarians have reached the end of the Bronze Award for the SLA Pupil Librarian Training Programme. Pupils were awarded their certificates and a book of their choice in a presentation which took place in the school library.
Languages Enrichment Year 11 enjoyed a Languages Enrichment afternoon, listening to various speakers explaining the advantages of learning languages and how this skill is valued in the world of work. Pupils had the opportunity to listen to OB Ian Brown speak about his experiences in industry and how communication and understanding other cultures has proved essential; student Joe Carroll from Manchester University described his course in Biology and French and Dr Birgit Smith from Lancaster University explained all the different pathways that are available for pursuing languages, with courses focussing solely on languages to the various combinations available, for example Chemistry and German or Economics and French. Taster lessons in new languages were also on offer, with pupils having the chance to sample Russian with Mrs Lapinskas, Japanese with Mrs Deacon, and Italian with Ms Mariner. Our linguists responded very well and gained a lot from the experience.
Quite a show... Hard work and dedication paid off for Matthew Procter recently as he attained 2nd place in a hugely competitive class at the Horse of the Year Show. The ‘Showing World’ involves not only those who show their ponies for a hobby, but people who also produce them for a living. Full credit to Matthew for achieving such a fantastic result - he is planning to join the Shetland Grand National Team and we wish him every success!
Year 1 Photographs
Cuerden Valley Park
Year 1 were very lucky and enjoyed spending some quality time in school with their parents.
Year 1 visited Cuerden Valley Park for a fun-filled day in the woods.
The children spent time discussing photographs from their life with their parents before creating some lovely timelines for display. Thank you very much to all of the parents who attended!
The children had chance to go pond dipping, finding fish, water scorpions, water boatmen, water spiders and lots more in their nets. We also explored the woods looking for mini-beasts. But most importantly, we went on a BEAR HUNT! After creeping through the woods, we approached a dark gloomy cave, inside it were 3 bears getting ready to go into hibernation. We had to be extremely quiet! Thanks to this, all of Year 1 now know how their teddy bears would survive if they accidentally got lost. PHEW!
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Anti-Bullying Week As part of their work on Anti-Bullying Week, the children in Junior School enjoyed a thought-provoking assembly on the theme of ‘What makes a good friend?’ A short Pixar film, ‘For the birds’, opened up discussions about being different and how this may sometimes lead to unkind behaviour and children feeling left out. Following this, Miss Singleton flipped things around and, instead of focussing on the negative, looked at all the positive behaviour we have in Junior School and the children offered their suggestions as to what makes them a good friend. Due to our recent work in both PSHEE lessons and self-esteem assemblies, the children were bursting with ideas about the things that they do to support and help each other. They listed the qualities that they look for in a friendship: honesty, kindness, supportiveness and the ability to make one laugh when they are feeling sad or lonely. In our final reflection, the children listened carefully to an animated version of Bruno Mars’s ‘Count on Me’, before joining in with the words themselves.
The Lowry Year 5 went on a trip to The Lowry, Salford Quays as part of their Art topic: ‘Great Artists Through Time’. The pupils had a fantastic time learning about L.S. Lowry and his life. After taking a walk through the gallery and looking at the different types of artwork that Lowry produced, they felt inspired to replicate his style in their own work. They used techniques including stippling and cross-hatch in order to create texture in their drawings.
All of the pupils were extremely proud of the work that they produced and could not wait to show Michelle, the in-house artist leading the session. Michelle was extremely impressed with their interpretations of Lowry’s work. She also commented on the lovely manners of the children and how well they demonstrated our core values: aiming high, believing in ourselves, standing together, being kind and being responsible. In the afternoon, the pupils had the opportunity to create some of Lowry’s famous ‘matchstick figures’ using cocktail sticks, wire and clay: most returned safely back to school with them! A very enjoyable day was had by all.
Year 3’s Day at the Museum Year 3 enjoyed an exciting, activity-packed day at the World Museum in Liverpool. The pupils journeyed through space and time in the planetarium, and had many of their searching questions answered by our knowledgeable guide. The main focus, however, was exploring the Museum in relation to our ‘Stone Age to Iron Age’ History topic. The pupils experienced what it would have been like to live during these times: they learnt about the tools they would have used and the clothes they would have worn. Ultimately they gained a true appreciation of how life was very different for the people who lived then in comparison with how we live today. Looking at the artefacts was an activity relished by all; being able to hold and examine different types of tools, pots, weapons and even dress up in some Stone Age clothing certainly brought this topic to life! Well done to all the musicians who performed on this day; a tremendous effort from all involved!
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Fantastic Firemen Year 2 were extremely excited about a visit from the Firemen from Blackburn Fire Station. They came to teach us all about how to stay safe if there was a fire in our house and reminded us about the importance of wearing our seatbelts when we travel in cars. We looked at how important smoke detectors are and how they are essential to have in our homes to help us stay safe. We acted out a fire plan too and learnt what to do if the smoke alarm alerted us at home: Fire - Check the door with the backs of our hands; Keep low and crawl to find parents, shouting their names; all stay together and get out of the house; call 999 and NEVER go back inside! It was brilliant and we will all be going home to check for smoke alarms and make fire plans!
A big “THANK YOU” to all staff and pupils for their efforts for Children in Need. The total raised was £1,381.12, a very respectable total!
STAR Experts Meet some of our STAR experts in Accelerated Reader - yes, we have discovered many, so many that we feel we should recognise these pupils and encourage them to help others who are also using the reading programme. We awarded a number of students in Year 8 with their STAR badges. After a short presentation, Deputy Head, Mr Vyse, delivered a very encouraging talk. After this, some of our STAR experts had the following to say: Abigail Hardman said, “We now feel we are extremely confident in using AR and would very much welcome the
opportunity to help others. I also think by now at this level in Year 8 we should be experts.” Lucas Burridge commented, “This is another way in which to help others during our pupil librarian duties.” Sophiya Kamil was also keen to add her thoughts, “In Year 7 the book levels for AR can be confusing to start with, so this is a good opportunity for Year 8 to use their own knowledge and help others.” So far, most of the STAR experts have been made up from our team of Year 8 Pupil Librarians, but we do envisage and will of course encourage more students to get involved. We want nothing more than all users of AR to be confident and successfully achieve with the programme – having STAR experts on duty at break and lunchtimes in the school library will make an enormous difference and, of course, help raise confidence.
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Hyndburn Sports Awards : Young Achiever Of The Year 2016 Congratulations to 12 year old Baylie Seery who has been awarded the title of ‘Young Achiever of the Year’ at the 2016 Hyndburn Sports Awards. The Hyndburn Community Sports Awards is a celebration of local sporting achievements from athletes, coaches, volunteers, teams, clubs and schools across Hyndburn and is organised by Hyndburn Leisure; this year is the 13th year and took place at Accrington Town Hall.
Baylie swims in Pioneer 79’s ‘B’ Squad and her achievements over the past 12 months have been recognised by the judges. The award ‘Young Achiever of the Year’ is awarded to the most talented performers across the district, who show exceptional dedication to their sport and have the potential to perform at the highest level.
LCCC Academy Selection We were delighted to hear that Year 13 pupil Tom Lawson had been selected for the Lancashire County Cricket Club Academy intake for 2017. The Academy, led by former Lancashire off-spinner Gary Yates, consists of twelve players and for the very first time, below the Academy, Lancashire CCC will have an EPP Excellence squad with eleven boys selected. Along with the other players, Tom will have access to sessions alongside the Academy players throughout the year. Well done, Tom!
Qasim plays alongside cricket legends Qasim Shah had the exciting opportunity to play alongside James Anderson in the recent Burnley Cricket Club President’s Day event. Also pictured are former QEGS OB’s Michael and David Brown, who both played county cricket themselves and lined up alongside Qasim. We are sure he will remember the day for many years to come!
Water Polo Success for Jacob Gibson Jacob Gibson was selected for Under 14’s North West Regional Water Polo Team. The Inter-Region Championships took place in Walsall recently and the North West Ravens came 8th overall, ahead of the Welsh National Team, and secured a draw with the Scottish National Team. Jacob is ‘over the moon’ to have been selected, as he only began to play the game in May! He has clearly shown great potential and should be very proud of himself. We are sure that his enjoyment, enthusiasm and determination to succeed will see him achieve even greater things in the future.
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Senior House Basketball Winners Drake House was victorious in the Basketball Tournament this term, beating Grenville 26-10 in the final.
Jacob Qualifies for British Biathlon Championships Old Boys Football Fun
Following months of intensive physiotherapy, Jacob Gibson’s hard work and determination was rewarded by achieving 1st place in the North West Regional Biathlon Championships.
Boys from five leavers’ age groups arrived at Lammack to take part in what turned out to be a lovely morning of sport. The atmosphere was tremendous as all teams enjoyed this annual get together.
In the same competition two years ago, Jacob managed 4th place, in 2015 he came 2nd and despite being injured this year, he has worked hard to achieve outstanding results. We are all extremely proud of his drive and dedication. Paying tribute to the PE staff, especially Miss McCreadie, Jacob and his parents said that he couldn’t have got this far without their support and commitment. Baylie Seery also competed, achieving 3rd in her swim, 11th in her run and finishing 10th overall. Well done!
The Old Blackburnians raised £75 towards the Royal Marine Charity Trust fund into the bargain. Same time, same place next year!
Blackburn Cathedral Carol Concert The final day of the Michaelmas Term finished at Blackburn Cathedral; both the chamber and senior school choir performed brilliantly! The programme included ‘The Infant King’, the 16th Century Carol ‘Gaudete’ and the Sussex Carol ‘On Christmas Night’. Solo performances were particular highlights; Amber Goodeve began the service with the vocal solo of ‘Once in Royal David’s City,’ Elizabeth Fielding sang ‘The Little Road to Bethlehem’ and Kimlam Nyugen performed Arabesque by Debussy on piano. Well done to all the musicians who performed on this day; a tremendous effort from all involved!
Gymnastic Fantastic Year 7 pupil Dan Eardley-Spalding started gymnastics at the age of 5 and although he showed a natural ability, he was reluctant to take part in club competitions, preferring instead to do it for fun... How things have changed!! Dan took part in his first club competition aged 7 and competed in floor, vault and high bar, winning medals in all disciplines. From then on, Dan has been keen to compete and always strives to improve his skills. He now has over 35 medals. Over the last few years Dan has taken part in club competitions in and around the North West. He was invited to compete in a national level competition , in Milton Keynes. He trained for up to 9 hours a week for this and his effort and hard work have resulted in a gold medal in the parallel bars, silver medals for both vault and high bar and a bronze medal for his floor routine. We are extremely proud of your achievements, Dan - your commitment is impressive!
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Bringing Hogwarts to QEGS Celebrations took place for what is now the annual Harry Potter Book Night by holding a Harry Potter Movie Night - rekindling the love of Rowling’s books. With over 37 students across Year 7, 8, 9 and 13 attending, the atmosphere was indeed one to be remembered. The Library Annexe was quickly transformed into our very own Hogwarts as we celebrated with a night of fun, games and plenty of food! The night started with helpers from different year groups who were extremely eager to get involved by decorating tables, hanging bunting and gothic paperchains, displaying the magic wands, filling the sorting hat and Harry Potter treat bags, then finally laying out lots of delicious nibbles including Snitch Truffles, Hufflepuff Popcorn, Chocolate Frogs, Bertie Bott’s Every-Flavour Beans, Treacle Flapjacks, Jelly Slugs, Chocolate Slabs, and of course lots of Pumpkin Juice. Following on from the preparations there was a short sorting ceremony to form the four house teams; Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw and Slytherin with each student receiving a House badge which gave a brilliant atmosphere to the whole event. To start off the evening, students shared their Harry Potter knowledge as they took part in the ‘How well do you know J K Rowling’ quiz. After all of this, it was then time to settle down to the most important part of the evening: Page 18 | Q Review
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban movie – followed by an interval when there was, of course, a fantastic feast for all. The latter part of the event was spent judging the costume competition – with some amazing entries. The prize for the best Harry Potter costume was awarded to Hamza Bux in Year 7 – well done, Hamza - who was awarded with a copy of the Harry Potter Year Book, Harry Potter magic wand, Harry Potter broomstick sculpture and a certificate. It was a truly magical evening with everyone really entering into the spirit of things with their spectacular costumes and limitless imaginations! I can’t wait for the 2018 event when there will be another opportunity to share the never-ending delights of Harry Potter. Another important celebration to help promote the love of reading and all things Potterish.
Visiting Artist Alan Birch, printmaker/artist spent the afternoon with our Year 12 and Year 13 art students. Students explored printmaking techniques and produced a series of dry point etchings for their portfolios. “I really enjoyed the opportunity to have a professional artist teach me more about dry point etching, and, with his help, I was able to produce some etchings that I’m really proud of. Overall it was an amazing experience that taught me valuable skills”. Year 13 Student
Carnegie Medal Book Award 2017
Royal Mail Christmas Stamp Competition
Another year has passed since we celebrated the Carnegie Medal Book Award for 2016 – so we were delighted to welcome Alison Turner to QEGS to kick-start the shadowing for this year. And, what an amazing launch it was too, as Alison met up with many keen students who hopefully will go forward with the shadowing. This year is also an extra special year for the book award - celebrating its 80 years of Carnegie. A busy few weeks prior to the launch meant that students keen to take part were kept aware of the long list - with the shortlist swiftly following. This was indeed excellent preparation for the award, giving students a chance to look back on the history of Carnegie, browse/read books from past winners and of course build up their own knowledge and understanding of how the award works. We have now shadowed this prestigious book award for over a decade - with another eager team of students just waiting to get on board. Twelve weeks of reading and eight books to read - indeed challenging ...but also very exciting.
Children in the Junior School took part in the Royal Mail Christmas Stamp Competition to design the official stamps for Christmas 2017.
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The Carnival Comes to School The Carnival came to our Junior school, as the Year 4 and Year 5 pupils took part in a Samba Day. They explored their musical talents, contemporaneously gaining an insight into the culture and traditions of this vibrant and energetic music.
Each class attended a Samba drumming workshop and a Samba dance session, learning new skills throughout the day. The pupils then put on a colourful and energetic performance during the afternoon to parents, family and friends. The performance truly demonstrated just how much fun they had developing these new skills and learning about Samba. They worked incredibly hard and truly immersed themselves in this popular Brazilian cultural expression.
Year 11 Business Studies Students Get a Visit From the Police Our Year 11 Business Studies students had a visit from PC Jason Manning and PCSO Kirsty Sharp. The students were gathering primary market research on the social needs in Blackburn with Darwen for their Controlled Assessment. This year’s assignment required students to design their own social enterprise to help their local community.
Choir Festival The choir travelled to the annual Burnley Music Festival to sing in the Thomas Witham Auditorium. QEGS opened the festival with a rousing unaccompanied traditional South African folk song Sin Nje Nje sung in the Zulu language followed by Bob Chilcott’s Can You Hear Me?, a simple and beautiful setting describing the wonder of a world seen through the eyes of a deaf child. In the chorus, the choir signed the words they sang resulting in a very moving performance. The feedback from the adjudicator was positive and the choir look forward to performing at more local events this year.
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Kate Walmsley, Head of Business and Economics said “It’s quite a challenging brief this year, but we’ve got a proactive cohort of students who are really eager and excited to propose new ideas to help the town. We’re also grateful to our local community, including the police force and PCSOs who have been extremely willing to help our students to gather their data”.
Book Week We are delighted to share our recent Book Week news, which included a very extra special World Book Day.
As the celebrations got under way, the book buzz soon travelled through school - more students visited the library, borrowed books and, of course, as expected, more students took part in the activities planned, making the whole week indeed a very special one.
As always, there was a wealth of events and activities planned for Book Week; a week of fun, competitions, workshops, author visit, literary lunchtime menu, book token exchange, Where’s Wally and so much more, making sure there was something for everyone. This year many other departments got on board and helped produce a thrilling programme of events.
There is always a lot of planning which goes into any Book Week, but in particular this year there was a great deal extra as we were fortunate enough to welcome Professor David Crystal for our World Book Day celebrations. Well done to everyone who helped and supported our Book Week for 2017.
Physicists Visit the Christie Hospital Our Year 12 physicists attended the Medical Physics Open Evening at the Christie Hospital, Manchester where they were treated to a number of seminars, demonstrations and lectures.
Junior School World Book Day 2017 Everyone in the Junior School had a very exciting day as they took part in World Book Day 2017. This year, every year group chose their favourite Roald Dahl book and selected their costume in accordance with this. All involved had great fun dressing up as their favourite book character (even the teachers!), with the parade of costumes in the morning being a particular highlight of the day.
Our first presentation was about proton therapy, the first centre for which in the UK is currently being built at the Christie. The inspirational talk not only told how the therapy is useful but also the many roles current students may be able to take there in the future. We then went for a demonstration in the CT scanning room where some students were able to lie on the £10,000 carbon fibre bed and be manoeuvred into the scanner. This made an ideal opportunity for a group photo! Our keynote lecture was given by Professor Marcel van Herk from the University of Manchester. He is famous in his field for developing imaging technology that can be used at the same time as radiotherapy is given, reducing the margins radiated around tumours. Our final presentation of the evening was about magnetic resonance imaging or MRI. Students were given an overview of how images were formed before finishing with a quiz, attempting to recognise the various fruits and vegetables that had been scanned.
The event was ably led by Mrs Twit (aka Miss Rushin) and the impact of this occasion was clearly evident in the pupils’ final pieces of written work. “We always find that immersing the pupils in a themed and multi-sensory day such as this inspires some truly auspicious work,” commented Miss Rushin. Throughout the day, there were many original and exciting activities to take part in including: following George’s footsteps, making magical potions and medicines, entering Mrs Twit’s kitchen to make ‘wormy spaghetti’ and creating a Mr Twit dirty beard, making personal fact files about their character with a focus on life journeys, and fashioning Charlie’s delicious lollypops from an array of materials. After taking part in these entertaining activities, every class made their own class books in the style of Roald Dahl. Our Book Week extended into two weeks as the annual House QUEST followed on ...helping to keep the book buzz going!
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World Book Day with Visiting Author, Professor David Crystal OBE Linguist • writer • editor • lecturer • broadcaster. The Fascinating World of English Language was shared with both students on staff on World Book Day 2017. World renowned linguist Professor David Crystal delivered two lectures during our celebrations on the recent World Book Day, to schools within Blackburn with Darwen, including schools wider afield. David Crystal was the perfect author to have in school on this special day in the literary calendar. David’s passion for language is so inspiring and his vivacious delivery gave students an unparalleled experience. The event not only celebrated World Book Day but also benefitted A Level students enormously with their English studies. Feedback from attendees has
been amazing - David really did inspire everyone, both students and staff alike. It was a packed afternoon of seriousness and humour - a Q&A session, book sales and a signing session with lots of books being bought - who says children don’t read anymore! During the afternoon we were constantly reminded of David’s witty and engaging delivery style which, though very thorough, was easily digestible for everyone in attendance. David was able to interact with students, helping them to become even more aware of the issues surrounding language today, and managed to exemplify his points by providing examples relatable for his audience. This was truly an amazing experience for everyone involved, and I am sure a most memorable one.
Blackburn with Darwen Lancashire Indoor Dance Festival 2017 Athletics Competition 18 QEGS girls performed magnificently at King George’s Hall at the Blackburn with Darwen Dance Festival. This year we picked a musical theatre “mash up” from the musical “Matilda”. The girls have been rehearsing once a week under the guidance of Claire Hardy, a qualified dance teacher and choreographer who trained at SLP in Leeds after completing her A Levels here at QEGS. Well done to everyone involved and a special thanks to Claire!
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Well done to our Year 8 Boys Indoor Athletics Team who placed 8th in Lancashire and represented Blackburn with Darwen at Blackpool Sports Centre. A great effort by everyone.
The Economics Club is Born The Economics Club is new to QEGS and is a pupil-led venture which explores the economics behind a wide range of events and scenarios. Each week, pupils will give a presentation on a topic of their choosing and the group discusses and debates any potential implications. Our first presentation was from Daniel Smith, Oliver Cass and Shuayb Ahmed on ‘The Economics Behind the Colonisation of Mars’ which was extremely well-researched and entertaining. Harry Newman talked about ‘The Success of Economic Failure’ in the second week, drawing inspiration from ‘The Big Short’. He gave an interesting insight into who benefits from global economic catastrophe and it was definite food for thought. Alongside the club, the group are also developing an Economics newsletter which they hope to get out to pupils and staff termly.
Year 12 Economists Visit Stonyhurst The Year 12 Economists went to Stonyhurst for a talk from the MD of International Investment Banking at Goldman Sachs, Stephen Withnell. Our pupils got a great insight into what the day to day life of an investment banker is like, as well as getting the opportunity to grill him on the path he took to get to his current position and insider tips on beneficial university courses and internships. It was a great networking experience for them and has inspired a few to pursue careers in the City!
German Language Students’ Workshop:
‘Wintertochter’ Seventeen members of Year 10 and 11 GCSE German classes joined students from other schools in the region at the HOME Cinema, Manchester for a workshop on the German film ‘Wintertochter’, in which a young girl discovered that the man she knew as her dad was not her biological father. Having watched the film in German, students were invited to participate in discussions related to the film. As Zaynab Patel (10PNL) commented, ‘The whole event was highly enjoyable and interesting and the film certainly gave you food for thought.’
Year 9 go to the HIVE Year 9 attended the HIVE Enterprise BWD Careers Event hosted by DACA. Students had the opportunity to spend the afternoon talking to a range of employers from many sectors including finance, health service, construction, manufacturing, engineering, retail, sport, science, creative, volunteering and the forces. Students were able to have direct one-to-one conversations with employers about their sector and possible careers/apprenticeships. The employers were drawn for the local Blackburn with Darwen area so that students could start to make direct links for the future. The aim was to provide impartial, good quality CEIAG that demonstrates to students the career opportunities that are available in Blackburn and Darwen while supporting business in their future skills needs. The event gave students an insight into what career they may choose and therefore assist in their educational development. It was an excellent event and there were very many positive comments from the students and many questions to stimulate future careers discussions.’ QEGSblackburn.com | Page 23
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Hawkins Victorious! Over 130 parents & supporters attended our Senior School’s Junior House Swimming Gala; the place was full to bursting and the atmosphere was terrific. The standard of swimming was fantastic - well done to all swimmers and to Hawkins House who were overall winners. Our guest presenter was Mr Albert Eastham (OB 1946 – 1951; Member of Staff 1960 – 1965). Further guests were Mrs Patti Harper (married to a former OB) and Mr Barry Brown (President of the OB Association). Final points were as follows: 1st Hawkins 2nd Howard 3rd Raleigh 4th Frobisher 5th Grenville 6th Drake
House Football Before the Easter holidays all the Junior School pupils represented their Houses in the Round Robin Football Competition. The pupils played five games each; with points being collated at the end of each game. All the pupils enjoyed playing outside at Lammack despite the pitches being quite muddy. The mud, thankfully, seemed to add to the fun for them.
The Junior School Chess team have had a mixed start to the defence of their league title; winning comfortably against Wensley Fold CE Primary Academy, but losing narrowly to St. Mary’ s RC Primary School (Langho) A Team. With many of last year’s players moving on to QEGS Senior School, it is very promising to see that the current squad is dominated by pupils from Year 5; with new players joining the Development Squad in Year 3 and Year 4, this all bodes very well for the future. Page 24 | Q Review
The Year 3 and 4 results were added to the Year 5 and 6 results. In overall 1st place with 19 points were Hawkins: The House Captain, Charlie Wood, received the Blane Cup in assembly. Final results: 1st Hawkins 2nd Howard 3rd Grenville 4th Raleigh 5th Frobisher 6th Drake
QEGS Junior School have entered a girls’ football team into the Blackburn with Darwen Primary Schools’ League for the first time this year.
The Junior School Boys’ Football Squad enjoyed a fantastic festival of football.
They have made a tremendous start, winning 6-1 and 1-0 against St. Thomas’ CE Primary School and St. Stephen’s CE Primary School respectively. This is even more impressive when you consider that six of the eight-player squad are from Year 5 and were up against many, more physical, Year 6 girls. Well done to Billie Caffrey (Captain), Maryam Omar, Alayana Ahmed, Ruby Caffrey, Inaayah Balapatel, Fatimah Asif, Grace Keeley and Aysha Imran.
Seventeen Year 6 pupils played in a number of matches against teams from Lady Barn House School (Stockport). All the players excelled themselves, running out comfortable winners; they all showed great determination to prove that they deserve a place in the A Team.
Year 8 Librarians Receive Silver Award
We were delighted to award our team of Year 8 Pupil Librarians with the silver award for the Pupil Librarian training. The award offers pupils taking part the opportunity to cover a wealth of library skills ranging from organising stock to even stock selection. Lent term training ensured that our Librarians were very much involved in the successful Book Week, Harry Potter Book Night and the launch of the Carnegie Medal Book Award. Training also covered compiling book reviews, looking more closely at e-resources, display work, blog writing and how to get the best out of our resources -
indeed our Librarians put 100% into all of these activities, while also aiming to boost pupil awareness of the Library. The process of recruiting new Librarians for September will very soon start all over again, when our existing team will present a showcase of their skills to pupils in Year 7. The team will also be very much involved in the application process near to the end of this term – a key preparation for working life. Pupils involved also compete for the Pupil Librarian of the Year Award within school - including a chance to be nominated for the Pupil Librarian/Library Assistant of the Year Award which is a national award organised by the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP) and the School Library Association.
http://libpupilaward.wixsite.com/home Congratulations to our Pupil Librarians on completing their silver award: Rowan Abbott, Muhammed Asif, Lucas Burridge, Eleanor Connell, Abigail Hardman, Ella Hardman, Owen Hardman, Maha, Hassan, Sophiya Kamil, Rhys Millington, Baylie Seery, Esme Wilcock and Hamza Yazin. Prizes and certificates were awarded during a short presentation in the Library.
Head of Junior School Awards Lent Term awards have been presented to: Harry Wood 4O, Alfie Thomas 3T, Kiyham Mitchell 3T, Aaminah Patel 6W, Rayhan Motara 5R, Sami Hussain 5R
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Third Place in the UK Maths Challenge! A team of Year 8 and Year 9 students achieved a podium finish by finishing third out of 25 teams at the regional heat of the UK Mathematics Trust Team Challenge. Zakariya Bux and Hasan Musa from Year 9, along with Aahil Jouher and Reilly Morphet from Year 8, performed extremely well on the day to finish above notable local schools such as Stonyhurst, Lancaster Grammar School for Boys and Westholme, finishing only behind winners Clitheroe Grammar School and second placed Lancaster Grammar School for Girls (and hence as the top non-selective school in the region). The team were, understandably, truly delighted with their success!
Linguistics Olympiad Students grappled with various linguistic problems as part of the United Kingdom Linguistics Olympiad 2017. 24 students from Year 9 tackled the Foundation Level data problems, which involved interpreting words from languages that had European roots as well as translating
Youth Emily’s in Elections the Grey! Following months of campaigning, a week of voting and over 9000 votes cast, the Youth MP for Blackburn with Darwen was announced in Council Chambers. This year QEGS was delighted to see Zakariya Bux, a Year 9 student, stand in the elections. As the youngest candidate, Zakariya narrowly missed out on being elected as Deputy Youth MP, an outstanding achievement in his first election campaign. He will now continue to work with the Youth Forum to ensure the voice of 11 to 18 year olds can be heard in our local council. Well done, Zakariya.
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What a fantastic find for Year 1 pupil, Emily Short, who is now the proud owner of an ultra rare GREY nose! The chance of finding one of these ‘Francinose’ designs is, we believe, 1 in 900, so this was truly a lucky find for Emily.
more obscure languages such as Tshiluba and Inuit by recognising patterns. Year 11 and Year 12 students attempted the Advanced Level problems. The 2½ hours went very quickly and students commented that although they were incredibly challenging, they very much enjoyed the experience.
Year 3 Trip: Manchester Museum of Science and Industry Year 3 visited the Manchester Museum of Science and Industry for a jam-packed day of fun! During lesson time, the pupils have been studying the topics of forces and light. To really bring this unit to life and enhance their understanding, they were given the opportunity to take part in a number of hands-on workshops. These included exploring the ‘Wonders of Light’ and further examining ‘Forces and Flight’. In the ‘Wonders of Light’ workshop, the pupils learnt that light travels in straight lines, it reflects off objects into our eyes so that we can see them and light can even be absorbed by certain surfaces. The pupils engaged in many practical activities to see if they could work out the science behind each task; they even got to see their teachers take part in some experiments too! An enjoyable, science-filled day was had by all.
New Kit Inspires Fresh Determination Our Year 7 boys’ football team has been fortunate enough to be provided with a new, state-of-the-art Nike kit. The existing Year 8 kit had been something which the boys admired and, as a result of generous donations from the OBA, the boys were able to stride out feeling “like proper professionals”. This certainly had an immediate impact, with victory over local rivals Westholme and a renewed camaraderie which remained throughout the season.
Year 10 Netballers Win Blackburn with Darwen Schools’ Tournament! Congratulations to our Year 10 netball team who won the Blackburn with Darwen Schools’ Tournament at Witton Park. They beat DACA 8-3 in the semi-finals, and then beat Darwen Vale 6-2 in the final.
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Courtney Pine Trip to Liverpool Philharmonic Courtney Pine CBE is a British born jazz giant, his contemporary style integrates modern British sounds such as drum and bass and UK deep rooted influences from across the Caribbean into his jazz. The new A Level Music course includes three of his pieces as part of the set-work list for the Listening and Appraising paper. The Music A Level students thoroughly enjoyed the trip to see him perform live with the prolific soul singer Omar at the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall. A meal at The Refinery with live jazz artists performing every Saturday made it a night to remember!
Year 2 Make New Friends in Westhoughton
Success for QEGS’ Newly Formed Club
Year 2 have participated in RE exchange visits with Sacred Heart RC Primary School, Westhoughton.
The QEGS Ski Team was created this year and found success in its very first event, the North West Skiing Championships, held at Pendle Ski Club.
We visited Sacred Heart to learn all about Christianity and find out what it means to be a Christian. We learned some new prayers, found out about different symbols and took part in a collective worship. It was very interesting learning about what happens in a Church. The Year 2 children from Sacred Heart also visited us to learn about Islam and Hinduism. We tried on some religious dress, drew mehndi patterns, talked about prayer and worship and wrote in Arabic! Our Year 2 children loved sharing their knowledge and practices. We all learned lots about respect and tolerance, one of our British Values, as well as making plenty of new friends.
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Year 7 Sadie Merritt claimed third place in her age group and together with Connie Clarke (Year 7) and Amber Goodeve (Year 8) won the lower senior competition. The other members of the team were Louis Strand (Year 8), Isobel Currie (Year 9) and Bea Clarke (Year 9). Amazing results on their first (of many!) competitive events.
Year 8 Pancake Sale Raises £100 for Charity! 8RMT organised a Pancake sale on Shrove Tuesday to raise money for the Todonyang Mission in Northern Kenya – a charity with which Mrs Tattersall (Head of Modern Foreign Languages) has a long-standing connection. In this war-torn region which frequently suffers drought, our aid helps fund places in the school for children from the warring Turkana and Dassenech tribes in northern Kenya and neighbouring Ethiopa. Mrs Tattersall was impressed by the Form’s assistance and the £100 raised. Well done to all involved.
QEGS Has Got Talent QEGS Has Got Talent made a triumphant return to the Junior School! Sixteen acts were chosen as finalists, having been through a tough selection process. A wide range of talent was showcased including singers, dancers, comedians and even magicians! This year, the show was hosted by Buzz and Woody from Toy Story (otherwise known as Miss Rashid
and Miss Trafford) who made their entrance to the song ‘You’ve got a friend in me’. They did a fantastic job of hosting the event; the pupils thoroughly enjoyed observing and supporting each member of our QEGS family! After much deliberation by the judges, it was decided that the overall winners for 2017 were Maisie Roberts and Aysha Imran who won with their beautiful singing to ‘Writings on the Wall’ by Sam Smith.
Year 3’s Day at the Museum Year 3 enjoyed an exciting, activity-packed day at the World Museum in Liverpool. The pupils journeyed through space and time in the planetarium, and had many of their searching questions answered by our knowledgeable guide. The main focus, however, was exploring the Museum in relation to our ‘Stone Age to Iron Age’ History topic. The pupils experienced what it would have been like to live during these times: they learnt about the tools they would have used and the clothes they would have worn. Ultimately they gained a true appreciation of how life was very different for the people who lived then in comparison with how we live today. Looking at the artefacts was an activity relished by all; being able to hold and examine different types of tools, pots, weapons and even dress up in some Stone Age clothing certainly brought this topic to life! Well done to all the musicians who performed on this day; a tremendous effort from all involved!
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The Power of Sport QEGS was privileged to welcome Stuart Robinson to our school to give some powerful and enlightened insight into his life and how he utilised the power of sport to overcome the personal challenges presented to him in the face of adversity.
Having shown remarkable courage and determination to overcome his significant injuries, which resulted in double leg amputation, Stuart told the story of his life and recalled that fateful day when his life changed forever. In front of a packed audience exceeding 400 Year 9, 10 and Senior Sixth Form pupils and students, he spoke of how he has used the power of sport, and more specifically wheelchair rugby, to come to terms with his injury.
Stuart was a former Royal Air Force Regiment Force Protection Commander who served from 1999 until 2013. He was a serving officer in many war torn countries including most recently in Afghanistan when in 2013 he suffered multiple life changing injuries when the vehicle he was driving was blown up by an IED device.
He has been to two Invictus Games events, the most recent in Atlanta in 2016. He hopes to be part of Team GB’s wheelchair rugby team in the Tokyo Paralympics of 2020. In addition, he now works with several UK Armed Forces charities and is the founder of Disabled Discoveries, an online portal helping the disabled community.
Year 9 Royal Marines Charity Fundraiser A group of Year 9 students embarked on a fundraising challenge. The mission was for them to complete a Modern Biathlon where they would complete a run followed by a swim. This was a personal challenge, open to all abilities, with the goal of running as many laps or swimming as many lengths as they could. We were raising money in memory of David Fairbrother, an Old Blackburnian who was sadly killed on active service in Afghanistan. As a Royal Marine, David upheld the values and spirit of excellence, integrity, self-
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discipline, humility, courage, determination, unselfishness and cheerfulness; all qualities that we hope our students strive for. Despite conditions comparable to manoeuvres on Dartmoor, 22 students committed themselves to the challenge and all acquitted themselves admirably. Special mention must go to Harvey Chadderton who led the way on both the run and the swim. David would have been celebrating his 30th birthday that week and we thought we would mark his memory and reflect on our place in the wider QEGS community. The chosen charity for this event was The Royal Marines Charity with a nice round total of £300. An afternoon very well spent and very well done to all those who took part.
Junior and Infant Lent Term Ramble We were overwhelmed to see the fantastic turnout at the Lent Term Ramble. Despite the weather being unpleasant and the ground being a little treacherous underfoot, everyone remained in good spirits. It was lovely to chat with many parents in the informal setting of Brockholes Nature Reserve. Thank you to all the families that were able to support this event.
Six of the Sixth
Six of our Sixth Form pupils begin the first leg of their sponsored ‘Swim across the English Channel’ challenge in aid of fundraising efforts for this summer’s Uganda Appeal. Completed over a series of Monday lunchtimes, each student swam 266 lengths, and this combined distance equates to a paddle over to France!
Speedy Sisters with Stamina!
Year 7 Liverpool Philharmonic and Slavery Museum Trip
Year 8 sisters Ella and Abigail Hardman took part in the Winter Warmer 2km fun run in Blackburn; a popular event with all club runners. Ella, who trains with Blackburn Harriers, came 25th and Abigail came 60th. Well done to both of them!
Year 7 had a fantastic day out to Liverpool to experience the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra’s Key Stage 3 Music Revolution Concert. The concert featured a variety of musical genres from traditional Baroque music, Bach’s Toccata, to Beethoven’s Eroica Symphony from the Romantic period, contemporary minimalism by Cage and film music by John Williams, to mention but a few. The pupils had the opportunity to sing with the orchestra and meet the composer of the song, The Sound Collector. Afterwards, Year 7 travelled to the Albert Docks to explore the Slavery Museum, a prelude to the first topic studied in Year 8, Blues and Jazz Music. A picnic in the sunshine before returning to school finished off an exciting, educational day.
Year 5 Smithills Hall Trip Year 5 visited Smithills Hall. The excursion supported last term’s History topic on the Tudors. The pupils participated in many exciting activities linked to this era. These included recreating life in a Tudor merchant household, investigating Tudor household artefacts and being transformed into a variety of characters from the past. They also took part in an impressive Tudor-style ‘mannequin challenge’ where they all managed to stay completely still! The pupils learnt a plethora of important and interesting information about Tudor times; an enjoyable day was had by all.
Sportshall athletics Year 5 pupil Alayana Ahmed represented Lancashire in the inter counties indoor athletics competition at Sports City Manchester. She competed in the standing Triple Jump and finished in an excellent 6th place. Lancashire finished in 1st place overall. Well done, Alayana. QEGSblackburn.com | Page 31
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GCSE & A Level Recital Evening Bethany Ellison (Year 13) performed a varied programme of vocal and instrumental pieces to open the recital evening in Big School. One of her more unusual pieces for flute featured the story of a young goat enjoying the pastoral delights in the warm weather, we all enjoyed listening to her perform a traditional song in German too. Lucy Hargreaves (Year 12) brought jazz trombone repertoire into the mix, playing classic Gershwin followed by a piece that described Junk Email! The GCSE students performed their solo and ensemble pieces with aplomb, treating us to a folk piece that included improvisation from Joanna Sleigh (Year 11). Well done to all the performers!
Sophie Fellows Well done to Sophie Fellows (Year 9) for receiving the Dean and the Bishop’s awards for choral singing. A great achievement!
Sixth Formers Enjoy a Spanish Cultural Evening in Manchester Mrs Tattersall and Mrs Lapinskas took current and aspiring Sixth Form Spanish students for a cultural evening in Manchester. Having negotiated the Manchester rush hour traffic, our first destination was La Evuna – a Spanish restaurant – where we were able to sample a variety of delicious tapas. We then went to the Royal Exchange theatre to see The House of Bernarda Alba which is one of the set texts at A level. Lorca’s final masterpiece is a bitter and darkly comic tragedy that charts the tyranny, jealousy and desperate struggle for freedom that will tear Bernarda and her daughters apart. An enjoyable evening was had by all.
QEGS Pupil Librarian Becomes Scout Librarian We were delighted to hear from the parents of Owen Hardman in Year 8 who wrote in to share their good news; Librarian Scout badge awarded to Owen. Owen, who has helped in the Library since Year 7, moving onto the training programme for QEGS Pupil Librarians in Year 8 becoming team leader, is an absolute asset to the smooth running of our Library. His ideas amaze us all, his confidence and his knowledge are to be praised. This award was truly deserved and we have every confidence that skills gained here at QEGS will have helped him go forward for this award.
Swimming Gala 82 pupils represented their Houses at the annual Year 5 and 6 Swimming Gala. With every pupil swimming at least twice, they all accumulated points for their own Houses.
This year there were also inter-form competitions with Joseph Parkinson 5T, Alayana Ahmed 5T, Sebastian White 6C and Yasmin Nightingale 6W winning gold.
Each pupil swam in at least one traditional stroke race and then enjoyed the fun of the ‘Seahorse Race’ or the ‘Bits and Pieces Race’. The traditional races culminated in finals, with the pupils challenging each other to win trophies and medals.
1st Howard 127 points 2nd Drake 125 points 3rd Hawkins 108 points 4th Grenville 89 points 5th Raleigh 74 points 6th Frobisher 70 points
In the front crawl and backstroke races, Yasmin Nightingale was crowned the 2017 champion and, in the breaststroke, Sebastian White came out on top.
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The overall House results were as follows:
Junior Table Tennis Teams Perform Well in the Emerging Schools Competition The ‘A’ team lost narrowly in the final having won their group in the Emerging Schools Table Tennis Competition for Blackburn and Darwen Schools. The team consisted of Alex Bendell, Sam Weston, Louis Strand and Alfie Walton. They were narrowly beaten by Pleckgate. The ‘B’ team also performed well, winning some matches and like the ‘A’ team gaining matchplay experience. The team was Sadie Merrit, Elliot Martin, Sam Midgely and Hamza Bux. Well done to everyone for representing the school in an exemplary fashion.
Rotary Club Technology Tournament 2017 The Design Technology department took a Year 9 team and two Year 10 teams to the Hollins Technology College for the annual Rotary Club Technology competition.
Lukman Dad, Awais Hussain, Sajad Taj and Zain Sonvadi all worked well as teams and constructed the vehicle to complete the task.
All teams were asked to design and construct a remotely controlled recovery vehicle that could clear a debris from a tunnel and return to its starting point.
The Year 10 team of Alex Webb, Matthew Web and Aaron Parkinson were competing against many older teams in the Key Stage 4 competition. After completing a portfolio that illustrated solutions to the task, they successfully tested the vehicle in front of the judges and won the competition.
The Year 9 team of Essa Ughratdar, Joe Ellison, Adam Balapatel and Lea Robinson, and the Year 10 team of
Pictured are the Year 10 Rotary Club Technology Champions.
Uganda Bucket Collection at Ewood Park Several Sixth Formers, Mr Buckingham and Mrs Mercer braved the chills at Ewood Park, holding a bucket collection at the match against Newcastle to raise funds for the Good Samaritan School and Orphanage in Uganda. Pictured here is James Henaghan with the Blackburn Rovers’ mascot - Roar the Lion. He certainly brought luck both to the Rovers who won 1-0 and to our collectors - a grand total of just over £600 was raised!
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Connie Flies the QEGS Flag Year 7 pupil Connie Clarke came 29th overall in the Lancashire Cross Country Championships, competing against nearly 80 runners. Connie was the third Blackburn with Darwen girl to cross the line, and although the downpours of rain the night before meant the ground was very heavy underfoot, it was a beautiful morning and Connie did QEGS proud!
Verse Speaking Competition The annual Verse Speaking competition allows every pupil in the Junior School to showcase their amazing talents when reading a brilliant poem of their choice. It is all about bringing poems to life, celebrating how good they sound out loud and performing them with fabulous expression. Every pupil selected a poem to learn off-by-heart, before reciting it to their classmates on the first day of the new term. Pupils and Form Teachers listened carefully and used a points system to select the top five performances - the finalists - in every form. The following day, these finalists performed in the Main Hall, in front of all of the pupils in Junior School and a panel of three judges: Mrs Bamber, Mrs Mitchell & Mr Whiley.
The outstanding talent seen impressed all of the staff and pupils and the final results were very close indeed! In a total contrast to the four female winners of 2016, 2017 was very much the year of the boys. The individual Year Group Winners are: • • • •
Year 3: Umar Patel Year 4: Karel Wilson Year 5: Rayhan Motara Year 6: Sebastian White
Yet again, the Overall Winner was a pupil from the youngest year in the Junior School, Umar Patel (3T). Well done, Umar! Congratulations to all of the children who worked very hard to learn and perform their poems in front of their peers.
Easter at the Junior School Easter was celebrated in many different ways. Firstly, Mrs O’Donoghue led an assembly explaining the Easter story and its origins; she went on to describe the customs that take place at this time around the world. During the latter half of the day, the pupils took part in a fun-filled Easter afternoon, where pupils took part in a variety of eggciting activities!
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Pupils prepared for this event by creating a ‘blown egg’ at home to bring in to school. At school they then added elaborate decorations using paint, some even morphed into animals! Pupils worked hard, thinking carefully about their designs, before creating their finished product. The results were very impressive. Other activities in the afternoon included an Easter Quiz, furthering their understanding about how Easter is celebrated in different countries and also taking part in an Easter Egg Hunt. The Easter Egg Hunt saw one lucky winner receive a chocolate Easter egg! It is evident that the pupils had a splendid day.
Fish and Chip Lunch
A number of former pupils and teachers attended school for one of our regular Fish & Chip Lunches. This ever popular event was attended by Old Blacks and former teachers who attended QEGS as far back as the 1940s up to the present day. The highlight of the lunch, besides the obvious Chippy delights, was a tour of the school conducted by our Head, Claire Gammon. Mrs Gammon led our guests around the grounds and into a number of departments and classrooms, introducing the group to current pupils and explaining that many years ago our visitors had sat exactly where they were sitting today. Those attending the lunch had the opportunity to spend time with Mrs Gammon and ask questions about the school now and future plans. The lunch was thoroughly enjoyed by all who attended: so much so, that they all requested a place at the next one!
Where is She Now? Many of you will have had dealings with Joanna Lavelle over the years in her capacity as OBA Administrator and Foundation Director. Having retired from QEGS in December 2015, Joanna is now enjoying her artistic and thespian side and sharing her talents with audiences nationwide. After a successful stint at the Edinburgh Fringe in August last year, Joanna moved on to the Buxton Festival Fringe where she could be seen in two plays for the price of one!
OBA Legacy Special thanks go to Dr Peter Day (OB 72-79), Professor of Archaeological Materials at The University of Sheffield. Peter’s Uncle, Ronald Day, sadly passed away a short time ago and left instructions that £1,000 of his estate should be donated to a worthy cause, on the proviso that it was cricket related. Peter, very kindly, thought of his days at QEGS and contacted school. His uncle’s legacy has enabled our PE Department to purchase two new indoor cricket mats for the school gym. Dr Mark Butler, our Head of PE, thanked Peter and advised him, “Cricket is going from strength to strength here at QEGS, particularly amongst the younger age groups. We are county champions in Year 8 and have approximately 5 pupils playing for county squads at various age groups. Approximately 10 play for the various district squads. One pupil, Tom Lawson, is contracted with Lancashire CCC and is due to sign professional terms when he leaves Year 13”.
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Old Blackburnian Launches Major Oxford Text Book An academic from the University Centre at Blackburn College has celebrated the publication of his first major text book with a launch event at the University Centre at Blackburn College. The former Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School student went on to attend the University of Sheffield to study Law before completing his PhD in Applied Social Science at Lancaster University whilst working full-time at Blackburn College. Dr Phil Johnson, who lives in Blackpool and is the Course Leader for BA (Hons) Criminology unveiled his book “Criminology” at a launch event in the University Centre’s lecture theatre. The text is co-authored by Professor Stephen Case from Loughborough University, David Manlow from the University of Westminster, Professor Roger Smith from Durham University and Professor Katherine Williams, from Aberystwyth University. Dr Johnson was invited by Professor Stephen Case to become a co-author for the text – lending his experience particularly to the graduate employability and criminal justice sections.
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The launch marks the 20th anniversary of students studying Criminology at Blackburn College. Dr Johnson said: “The teaching of higher education Criminology in Blackburn has always focused on the needs of the students and the book seeks to meet this aim through relevant personal examples that provide meaning for everyone who uses it. “The main point of the book is to encourage undergraduates to recognise that at university, they are responsible for producing knowledge not just consuming it. This focus on higher-level skills can equip the reader with the tools they need for developing a sustainable career in the justice sector.” The text also includes a written submission from former student Saima Afzal MBE who explains how her degree in Criminology has influenced her work into forced marriages and domestic violence. At 39 Saima was recognised for this work when she received the MBE for her Services to Policing and Community Relations in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list. The text, which is designed to work in partnership with the Oxford Handbook of Criminology, is the first book that Oxford University Press have published in full colour.
Whilst QEGS tries to keep in touch with as many former pupils as possible, unfortunately we lose contact with some, as people move house, change telephone numbers and email addresses. On our Old Blackburnian’s pages on the website the “lost alumni” are grouped in decades according to the leaving year and are in alphabetical order.
QEGS Revisited Three long standing friends who left QEGS in the mid-1960s returned to school on 1st June after a 50-year gap. Nigel Hanson (OB 58-65), Revd Jeff Astley (OB 58-64) and David Bateman (OB 57-64) have remained close friends since their school days, along with David Winterburn (OB 59-61) who sadly was not able to join them on their visit to school. Although they live at opposite ends of the country, they meet up regularly and this year decided to return to the area of their childhood, which wouldn’t have been complete without a tour of school. Nigel had this to say of their visit: “The four of us have been friends certainly since the sixth form in 1962, though for Jeff and I, this goes back to primary school. We have been holding a reunion for the past three years at various UK locations. This year was to be a special year to visit old haunts and primarily to see QEGS again for the first time in over 50 years. It was, therefore, fascinating to recall so many features of the school, such as the stained glass windows that had lain domant as memories for all that time. Nevertheless, these were instantly recognisable, even to the faces on the portraits in Big School. It was a pleasure to see the Science block, where we spent our sixth form years, with memories of masters and incidents flooding back. Much, of course, has changed in terms of building work, though I think I speak for us all when I say the spirit of the school remains unchanged. Long may it continue and QEGS prosper.”
Please see if you are on any of these lists then let us know your contact details if you are, giving your full name, years at school, and full contact details including postal and email address. If your name has changed since you were at school, please include that too. If you want to contact another Old Blackburnian, we are happy to forward emails or letters on your behalf.
If you know someone on the missing list, please let them know we would like to get in touch and ask them to contact us. Alternatively if you know their contact details please forward them to us and we will contact them to ask if they would like to be added to the list of former students so that they can keep up to date with news, information and be invited to events and reunions.
An Evening of
The summer show this year was hosted by our compere Sebastian Roberts and consisted of a kaleidoscope of numbers from our favourite musicals. The programme included all the different musical ensembles that rehearse regularly at QEGS supported by our dedicated instrumental teachers, our new senior dance troupe, selected soloists and duets. The senior school collaborated with the junior school to include their talented dancers as part of the choir’s Matilda number and year 4-6 pupils also performed an incredible dance to a mash-up of all the Matilda songs. Year 8 sang a medley of songs from Oliver! led by stage veteran Theo Roberts as Fagin, Mariam Goorani-Nejad as Nancy and Mr Bendell as Bill Sykes. Highlights of the evening included a tap number from Sebastian Roberts, a montage from Phantom of the Opera performed by Alistair Gordon and Beth Ellison, who were both very much in character(!), a duet from Fiona Green and Miss Thomas and a heartfelt rendition of Close Every Door by Ben Martin.
New to the stage was Lea Robinson as a demure Audrey Hepburn and Ruby Brandon & Hamza Bux as the lead characters of the musical ‘Once’. The Jazz Band, GCSE Band, Guitar Group, Folk Group, Woodwind Ensemble and Brass Group all did an excellent job performing on the evening, supported by enthusiastic teachers such as Mr Conefrey on the tin whistle, Miss Madden on her guitar and Mr Moriaty-Eames on the euphonium. We must also acknowledge the expertise of Mr Bendell & Miss Bowker for the set design and to the wonderful exstaff and pupils who returned to lend their expertise; Mrs Arkwright, Cara Murray, Harry Martin and Jessica Pierce.
Ribble Valley Jazz Festival Pupils, students, parents, governors and staff met at Holmes Mill in Clitheroe to set up for the QEGS Jazz Band’s debut performance at the Ribble Valley Jazz Festival. The programme opened with an energetic rendition of Cee-Lo Green’s Forget You, followed by Tico Tico, (sung by Renia Memmory). Joseph Ashworth played the solo for Sax’s with Attitude and Lucy Hargreaves provided a fantastic improvisation on the trombone during Soul Bossanova! Zak Bux and Kimlam Nyugen demonstrated their jazz knowledge and improvisation skills with their version of Autumn Leaves and, to close the set, Julie Mathew sang the final number with panache: Stevie Wonder’s ‘I Wish’. We are grateful to Trish Ferrarin for arranging the opportunity for our pupils; a great day was enjoyed by all.
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Year 6 Adventure Holiday at Robinwood
Year 6 children set off for three action-packed days at Robinwood in Todmorden. This was to be a fitting reward after a hard year working towards the SATs. We arrived at Robinwood in drizzle and indeed the forecast was for it to rain throughout our visit. Nevertheless, the children’s spirits were in no way dampened as they walked the final mile to the centre.
Children spent the next few days learning valuable lifeskills such as cooperation, team work, communication and resilience through a mixture of indoor and outdoor exhilarating activities. Their enthusiastic and well-qualified group leaders encouraged them to try activities such as The Giant Swing, Caving, The Trapeze, Knight’s Quest and even the fabled Piranha Pool, to name a few. It is testament to Robinwood that the children are still talking about it weeks later and are moaning that it’s not fair that the current Year 5 will get to go to their brand new flagship centre next year.
Young Volunteer Credit - Jacob Gibson
We were delighted to receive thanks from John Gibson, Volunteer Sports Events Fundraiser for Leyland Lions and Bamber Bridge FC, for help from Jacob Gibson on a match between Hollyoaks and the Colin Hendry Legends, in support of St Catherine’s Hospice. Jacob was one of several volunteers on the day.
Champion School Status Accelerated Reader We were delighted with the news of being awarded Champion School status for Accelerated Reader by Renaissance Learning. This award shows that we have demonstrated outstanding achievement in our implementation of the reading programme in senior school.
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Civic Sunday Inauguration of Mayor Colin Rigby Pupils and students attended the Civic Service at Blackburn Cathedral to celebrate the inauguration of the new Mayor of Blackburn. Colin Rigby.
Year 3 Brockholes Nature Reserve Trip Year 3 visited Brockholes Nature Reserve this term to link with our Science and Geography studies. In Science, Year 3 have been learning all about plants. At Brockholes the pupils got to explore the types of wildlife that grow in this area and learn about the things they need to thrive. They looked at how bees help flowers with the pollination process. They also examined how seeds are dispersed and what they need to germinate in order for them to grow into new, healthy plants. During the geography workshop, they split into groups to compare their map-reading skills. It was tricky using a compass but they soon got the hang of it! The pupils had to study the map carefully to work out which would be the best route to reach the destination. Once they arrived there, they hunted for the different features that were shown on the maps. They then got the opportunity to get creative as each group constructed their own 3D map, made out of the resources found in the woodland! To top off the fantastic day, the sun shone throughout and we were lucky enough to have a picnic and play on the adventure area.
Extending the Bench of Friendship Mr Case (Paul Case Furniture) and his skilled craftsmen created this bespoke item for us. It really is a ‘friendship’ bench; a typical friendship bench that allows children - perhaps three or four at a push - to sit alongside each other. Our bench offers multiple seating arrangements. This benefits many more children than an ‘off the peg’ bench can and alleviates any child feeling left out. We are sure that the children will benefit from the space that the seating affords. We are delighted with its addition to the school, and are very grateful for the time that Mr Case and his team put into its design and construction and, of course, the donations from parents and guardians.
Music Makers Meet Future GCSE Music students in Year 9 and the current Year 10 and 11 GCSE Music students gathered bright and early in Brooklands ready to embark on a full day of music-making. The event was led by Henry Priestman and his fellow band member, Les Glover, who began by giving a presentation to the students about their early musical influences. The students were taken on a mystery tour of popular music culture through the decades from the revolutionary hits of Yesterday, also taking inspiration from more recent artists such as Take That and Ed Sheeran.
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Picture Someone Special The children in the Infant School recently entered the John Lewis ‘Picture Someone Special’ competition. The task was to draw the face of someone special to them and write a sentence about why they were so special. All the entries were sent off to John Lewis and last week we received a telephone call with the exciting news that Hana Butt from Year 1 had won one of the prizes. We have proudly displayed her art work in the Infant and Junior School office.
Salter’s Festival of Chemistry Winners Year 8 students: Omar Almitwally, Sofia Carerra-Knowles, Reilly Morphet and Madison Roberts along with Dr. Jones and Mr Haworth, embarked on the short journey to Manchester University to take part in the annual Salter’s Festival of Chemistry Competition. The main focus of the morning was “The Salters’ Challenge”, a competitive, practical activity, in which the students had to work together to deduce the identity of the murderer in a Forensic style analytical chemistry challenge. After a break for lunch the students then tackled “The University Challenge”, which is a practical investigation chosen by the University. The students had some strong competition from 19 other schools from around the Lancashire area. The students worked amazingly well and we were pleased to hear that they had won third place in the University Challenge, receiving a modelling kit for the school!
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Year 12 Visit to University of Leeds Open Day The Year 12 students spent the day in groups looking around the different faculties, talking to current students and attending a number of subject specific seminars and general UCAS application talks.
Year 8 Make Music in Manchester Manchester University PGCE Course Leader, William Evans, hosted a Creative Composing Day with his newly qualified music teachers. Year 8 pupils participated in three workshops held at the state-of-the-art Music Department in the Brooks Building. Pupils were given the opportunity to perform Indonesian Gamelan Music and design their own Shadow Puppet shows, learn how to play electronic instruments using Jam-Hubs and create music on a variety of percussion instruments.
Year 12 Visit the Annual North West UCAS Fair The Year 12 cohort travelled to Edge Hill University Campus to attend the annual North West UCAS Fair. With over 70 universities from around the country represented, there was a huge amount of information for the students to collect and absorb. They were able to ask direct questions to the university representatives about prospective degree courses and the suitability of particular institutions.
Year 10 Geographers take a Trip to the Lake District As part of their preparation for GCSE examinations, Year 10 geographers travelled to the Lake District National Park to investigate how the negative effects of tourism were being managed. All students measured footpath erosion along the trail to Easedale Tarn and got to see real examples of glaciated landscapes as we scrambled over a rôche moutonnée, walked up a hanging valley and had lunch in a windswept corrie beside a tarn!
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A Celebration of Reading
Journey’s End Review
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This year we decided to host a Celebration of Reading event. Awards were presented for several achievements including Accelerated Reader: Champion School Award, Year 8 Pupil Librarians who have now completed the 3 stages of the training programme, and all those pupils who have helped in some way or other in the library this year, all deserving to be recognised.
The Singleton House common room has become the summer home of QEGS drama in recent years and this year the venue was utterly transformed into the dugout officers’ quarters in the trenches of World War I for Mr Ventress’s production of R.C. Sherriff’s ‘Journey’s End’. Continuing with a recently established tradition of staff participation in Drama productions were Mr Cornwall, who was every inch the loyal, efficient, serious-minded Sergeant-Major and Mr Eames, who, with his superbly
bluff, hale-and-hearty persona as the Colonel also provided us with some unscripted comic moments when first-night nerves kicked in! At the centre of the whole production was QEGS stage veteran Sebastian Roberts, in his second major role this academic year and his largest to date. All cast members, who had been rehearsing their roles since the beginning of the Trinity Term, worked together effectively to produce two genuinely moving evenings of ensemble theatre.
Year 8 Careers Day The whole of Year 8 attended a ‘Meet the Employers’ event put on by the Careers Department. It was a fantastic opportunity for students to ask direct questions to employers about their own personal career route and about the employment sector in general.
Year 7 and Year 8 Enjoy Geography Trips Year 7 visited Ribchester and Middlebrook Retail Park as part of their urban geography studies. In Ribchester they examined housing styles in and around the village. Meanwhile, Year 8 enjoyed a wonderful day in the sunshine and beauty of Ingleton Waterfalls in the Yorkshire Dales. Walking the 4 miles visiting the famous Thornton Force, they behaved in exemplary fashion.
Oxford University German Essay Writing Olympiad House Singing Competition Meesha Dad and Zakariya Bux of Year 9, as well as Zaynab Patel and Sebastian Roberts of Year 10 entered the highly challenging Oxford University German Essay Writing Olympiad. The theme of the competition was ‘Germany and Beyond’. Sebastian achieved a Certificate of Commendation for his quirky take on the story of Hänsel and Gretel which he set in the present day. To quote the judges, ‘this was a wonderful achievement, especially considering this has been our most competitive Olympiad yet, with just under 550 entries.’
House staff were given a morning to prepare their performances and the pupils showed that they can make rapid progress with tight deadlines! Miss Berry’s music staff moved between the Houses to offer expert advice and there was choreography and even some enthusiastic staff participation. The song choice ranged from choruses from ‘Les Mis’ to number ones from ‘The Spice Girls’. Mrs Regina Arkwright was kind enough to come in and judge the competition and, prior to making a rapid exit from the building, announced Grenville as the winners for their version of a song by Oasis.
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Annual Art and Design Technology Exhibitions GCSE, AS and A-level students’ work was exhibited at both the Annual Art and Design Technology Exhibitions. This year’s exhibits were outstanding and the range of work was inspiring. It was very clear to all who visited that a great deal of time and effort had been put in by the pupils and students to create work of such a high standard. The exhibitions were very successful and well attended by the Mayor, staff, parents, pupils, and members of the local community.
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The STEM Challenge Year 10 Chemistry students attended The STEM Challenge. The team of Alex Webb, Joe Clarke, Joe Miller and Dylan Treanor competed on our behalf in a fun and challenging day of activities.
Year 12 Biologists University Style Conference Year 12 biologists took part in a University style conference in the Garstang Room, where they were given the dry topic of “Factors effecting Photosynthesis in industry”. Their brief was to make this dry topic stand out and fascinating for other students. They definitely achieved this as the Garstang Room was a standing room only for the hour time slot, and the work produced included the spectacular efforts of Zainab Ilyas’ 3D art, and Sulayman Tabassam’s Mad Scientist-style demonstration. This proved to be a rousing success for everyone involved!
The Royal Society of Chemistry’s Schools Analyst Competition This year’s competition took place at UCLAN. Our team comprising of three Sixth Form students Kimlam Nguyen, Uzair Dadabhai and Sulayman Tabassam performed extremely well. It was announced in the final ceremony that three students (out of the forty-eight competing) had scored the equal top mark. Kimlam and two other students were pulled to the front of the lecture theatre for a grand head to head. Kimlam’s response was spot on and he received the prize for the individual competition!
Junior Maths Challenge In the Junior Maths Challenge Gold certificates were won by Reilly Morphet, Aahil Jouher, Alexander Bendell, Abdullah Ibn-E-Masood of Year 8 and by Conner Jones in Year 7.
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OBA House of Commons Dinner - What A Treat! The MPs may not have been visible during a visit to the House of Commons, but that definitely can’t be said of the Old Blackburnians. A tour of the houses took place before the President, Barry Brown, welcomed everyone to the dinner, followed by Alex, Lord Carlile of Berriew. Harry Newman, the Head Boy, said grace before everyone tucked into a wonderful meal!
British Values Day British Values Day took place with a variety of activities taking place throughout the day. This included morning break buskers and a traditional British meal of Fish and Chips and Chicken Tikka Masala. Traditional British games were due to take place at East Lancs Cricket Ground, however the traditional British weather prevented this. We then held our very own general election, with William Gedling, representing Labour, being victorious. This was an exciting day for everyone involved.
Having eaten our fill, we heard from Claire Gammon and our Chief Guest, Anthony Pickles (OB 19992006), who was previously Chief of Staff for the Conservatives in Wales and is now Head of Tourism Affairs at VisitBritain. Anthony spoke fondly of his time at QEGS, giving special praise to former teacher and friend, Regina Arkwright, and entertained us with anecdotes of his school years and working years. Following a rendition of the school song ‘Cantilena’, the evening was all too soon brought to a close by Paul Tattersall, OBA Chairman who gave a vote of thanks to the organisers and to our guests for attending and making the event a memorable one.
Tea Time Concert This year’s Tea Time Concert was held in Big School and provided the perfect opportunity to showcase the talents and achievements of our KS2 and KS3 musicians. There was an extremely eclectic mix of performers from both the Junior and Senior School. The students were delighted to perform to a full audience and, although this was the first time many of them had performed in public, they displayed a great sense of confidence and enthusiasm. The evening concluded with a beautiful rendition of Elvis’ ‘Can’t help falling in love with you’.
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All Year 7 pupils took part in the QEGS WaterAid Challenge.
purified water in Chemistry. There was also a team work activity on Top Quad where pupils had to work together to make a pipeline.
The day began with an assembly before pupils went off to complete different activities. In Maths, pupils considered the amount of water their families used and how this could be reduced. The English Department ran sessions on poetry while in Science, pupils built water pumps in Physics and
After lunch, pupils completed a physical challenge, organised by the PE department, where each pupil carried four litres of water around Corporation Park. The day ended as it did last year, with the drenching of Mr Hargreaves, Head of Year 7.
The Student Investor Challenge The Student Investor Challenge is a national competition where teams of four students are able to invest £100,000 of virtual money on the stock market. This year we had more students than ever enter with 72 forming teams of four to battle it out. Part of the challenge was to create a portfolio that could be changed on a daily basis in response to market changes. This is called the Active Investor Portfolio. The
Strategic Investor Portfolio required students to have a more long-term outlook on the value of their chosen shares as each team was limited to 10 trades a month. We were able to offer financial prizes courtesy of our former Deputy Head, Mr. Fred Bury, who kindly bequeathed a fund to the school to use as prize money to encourage students to invest in the stock market. When this money isn’t being used as prize money (as it is intended to have a five-year life span) it is used as micro finance for students who want to set up their own businesses.
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Arran Geography Field Trip An enthusiastic group of 14 geographers embarked upon the residential field trip to the beautiful island of Arran. Thankfully, the weather was kind to us, and we were able to conduct the entire field tasks planned. The pupils worked extremely well together, both in the field and for the follow-up sessions back at the hotel. Mr Northin who recently retired from QEGS was able to join us and impart his expert knowledge of the geology and geography of the area. Miss Purvis was making her first visit to Arran, and she was very impressed by the variety of landscapes that are located so close together on the island. We are sure that everyone enjoyed the trip and found it extremely beneficial for the preparation of the A Level papers.
Years 7 & 8 visit Northern France Students from Years 7 and 8 and staff enjoyed a visit to northern France. For many it was their first visit to France and their first experience of French culture. Visits were made to a traditional artisan boulangerie, a chocolaterie and a snail farm, which were all sampled by our students. We also enjoyed the local theme park Bagatelle, a visit to the medieval town of Montreuil-sur-mer as well as the national sea life centre in Boulogne.
Berlin 2017 In the early hours of the morning 14 pupils from Years 10, 11, 12 and 13 set off from West Park Road heading for Berlin. Despite the best efforts of the driver, Mr Morgan, who managed to get lost on the way to Manchester Airport, they boarded the plane with seconds to spare. Over the next two days they were expertly guided around the city by Nick Evans. Many valuable lessons were learnt.
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Year 12 Students visit Oxford and Cambridge
Year 12 Physics Students visit Cern
Year 12 students went down to Oxford and Cambridge to attend the open days and experience what student accommodation was like first-hand!
Five Year 12 students visited the CERN site in Geneva where they were shown the testing and IT departments.
Spanish Pupils visit Cantabria
Annual Activities Day
Year 7 and 8 Spanish pupils enjoyed a trip to Cantabria, Northern Spain. The pupils visited the Santander lighthouse, the Alta Mira caves and took cable cars into the Picos de Europa, where they enjoyed a picnic in the mountains. The final excursion saw pupils visit the Guggenheim Museum, which the pupils found very interesting.
During our annual ‘Activities Day’, all Year 7 pupils went to Lightwater Valley theme park near Ripon, Year 8 took a trip to Lytham, Year 9 had an afternoon with the army participating in leadership development exercises and Year 10 and Sixth Form students went to Blackpool Pleasure Beach.
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QEGS in Uganda Project 2017
WRITTEN BY MR A BUCKINGHAM UGANDA CHARITY ORGANISER & TEACHER AT QEGS
When Dr Paul Wright (former parent) approached me in 2009 about being part of a community project in Kampala Uganda, I did not envisage it turning into the journey that we have travelled. The project (Good Samaritan Primary School) involved building the school that had been started by a local clergyman who wanted to give local children a chance of an education. Many of the children are AIDS/HIV victims, either living with ageing relatives or on the streets of Wakiso district. Dr Wright had experience and contacts in the area and he knew I was interested in such school visits. The class of 2017 from QEGS raised £12,000 by following individual and group challenges like relay swimming the English Channel in our pool, to putting on music concerts, fashion shows and afternoon teas. This money is subsequently being used to build 6 teacher houses on the site. The teachers earn £35 per month and this is our way of helping them, by reducing their outgoings on transport and rent, as well as improving their living conditions. We also had Sarah Collins from radio 2BR with us this time, and she reported back live to the morning programme each day. She made some excellent video clips that can be viewed on their website. The success of this project cannot be counted in just bricks and cement. We are now witnessing former pupils of the primary school going on to become teachers and starting degrees. One such pupil is aiming to come back when he has qualified to teach in the school. Our students have experienced a life-changing visit, they carry a sense of pride and empathy for those less materially well off than us. They also witnessed a vibrant and tight-knit community that does not exist in the UK. It inspires some to seek work in the voluntary sector and one former pupil now has a job with an aid agency. This is experiential learning in its most potent form. Over the years several improvements have been made to the school. There have now been 91 students from QEGS who have made a visit to the project. They have raised over £60,000, which has transformed the school: they now have classrooms with stone floors, dormitories with beds, clean water, electricity and new housing for teachers. I look forward to giving the class of 2019 a trip to remember!
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Annual Sports Awards Presentations Old Blackburnian David Brown (1995-2001) was Chief Guest at this hugely popular event, which was attended by over 200 pupils and their proud parents. Following Dr Butler’s opening welcome, Mr Morgan gave a review of the rugby year, followed by a review of the netball year from Year 13 student Annie Johnstone. No fewer than 11 awards were made to ‘Club Players of the Year’ across a range of sports and ‘Volunteer of the Year Awards’ went to Samantha Hepworth (Infant Swimming) and Eden Forth (Junior Swimming Coaching). Year 13 student Wesley Machie gave his review of the football year, preceded by the presentation meal and a Q and A session with Chief Guest, David Brown.
Theo Roberts and Mariam Goorani-Nejad then gave a joint swimming review of the year and Tom Lawson followed with his cricket review. Presentations were also made to pupils selected for Lancashire County Schools’ Teams, as follows: Rehan Zore (LSCA Cricket U12’s), Qasim Shah (LSCA Cricket U14’s), Ella Barton (County Netball U14’s), Alex Minozzi (LSRFU Rugby 15’s) and Tom Currie (County Hockey U14’s). A ‘Special Achievement Award’ went to Tom Lawson, who has been awarded a place on the Lancashire CCC EPP Programme; this is a professional contract and one which Tom has worked incredibly hard to achieve. We are all extremely proud of his success.
Other Special Achievement Awards at national or international level went to Jacob Gibson (U14 NW Regional Water Polo), Bea Clarke (U14 NW Regional Netball), Baylie Seery (National Schools Biathlon Championships), Nathan Smith (National Club Swimming Championships), Dan Eardley (UK Gymnastics National Championships) and Nicole Saunders (Team England Fencing, ranked number 1 at U13 level and British Youth Fencing Champion - Sabre). And finally, our very own John Morgan, Director of Rugby, received an Honorary Award for Outstanding Service to School Sport, in recognition of his services to QEGS sport, 10 years at the school and 34 years in the profession. The evening was another success, attended by many and enjoyed by all.
Baylie Battles Through the Pain in the British Biathlon Championships Two days before competing in the British Schools Biathlon Championships, Year 8 pupil Baylie Seery suffered an injury at swimming training which resulted in a slightly sprained ankle. However, not wanting to miss the opportunity to compete at Crystal Palace, Baylie pushed on with her plans.
Still sporting the ankle injury, Baylie gave it her all in this competition and achieved a Personal Best in the swim which placed her 11th in Britain! She then followed this up with another Personal Best in the run. Her performance meant she gained nearly 100 points more than she did at the Regional competition and finished in 71st place overall. Baylie received praise, together with a slight telling off from the medics who were quite amazed that she had managed to compete! Well done, Baylie: you did yourself and QEGS proud!
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Golfing Success in the Lancashire Golf Regional Competition Our talented golfers played some outstanding golf in the Lancashire Regional Competition which took place at the Bolton Old Links course. Year 8 pupil Ahmad Musa finished 3rd in the net competition against 40 golfers. He shot a gross 90 for a net score of 66 (24 handicap) which was an excellent performance. Year 10 pupil James Andrew recorded an impressive gross 77, nett 74, with a handicap of only 3. He finished equal 3rd in the gross event, but didn’t receive a medal because the other 3rd place golfer beat James on a card play-off. James also won the gross event at Pleasington against all the adult field, scoring a truly excellent gross score of 70 on Saturday in the Captains Day competition (securing a £200 voucher to use in the club shop!). Year 9 pupil Max Powter finished in the middle of the field, playing well and recording the only 2 by any golfer on the day on a par 3.
Golfers Gain Great Ground Year 10 pupil, James Andrews finished second in the Lancashire U15 Boys Championship out of a field of over 80 golfers at Blackburn Golf Club. James carded a superb round of 5 over par; his round of 76 gross was only bettered by one shot. QEGS have not had a top 3 finisher in this prestigious event since 1999! This was achieved after a double bogey on the first hole; James was able to recover his composure and play some excellent golf throughout the rest of the round.
QEGS Beat MCC by Three On a gloriously sunny Wednesday afternoon at Alexandra Meadows, QEGS’ 1st XI performed outstandingly well against MCC, winning by 3 wickets with a score of 191 for 7. MCC were 190 for 3 in a great run chase.
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U15’s Lancashire batsman Qasim Shah scored 112 - and Lancashire U13’s Rehan Zore scored 26. Well done to all for a brilliant team performance. As a result of his ‘Man of the Match’ performance, Qasim now gets an expenses paid trip down to London to the home of cricket, Lords!
Ahmad Musa also played fantastic golf to record a gross score of 92, which resulted in a nett score of 67. This enabled him to finish 4th out of the 80 golfers from around the county in the handicap event - a truly remarkable effort for a year 8 pupil playing for the school in his first ever golf event. Max Powter (Year 9) also played well on the day, scoring a 3 over par nett score of 74. Overall, it was an excellent day for our golfers who represented the school brilliantly, both on and off the course. Well done to these three boys!
This year we were very lucky with the weather as the sun shone for the entire day. The pupils from the Junior School had a full and funpacked day. We arrived at Lammack in the morning, with the pupils partaking in various sports such as cricket and rounders; this was followed by a picnic lunch. In the afternoon, in front of a large and supportive crowd of parents and grandparents, the pupils all ran a sprint race, with the winners of each race going through to a grand final at the end of the event. There were medals for the pupils finishing in Gold, Silver and Bronze positions. Every pupil also competed in various field events such as the javelin, long jump, triple jump, cricket and rounders ball throwing. The Year 6 House Captains had the responsibility of putting together a relay team to compete for double points. They also had to gather a team to participate in the Tug of War competition. All the points from all the events were collated and an overall winning House was crowned Sports Day Champions. This year’s winners were Grenville, and the House Captain, Grace Keeley, was presented with the trophy by Mrs Gammon.
Working Her Way to Achieve Her Goals Year 7 pupil Nicole Saunders is steadily working her way towards becoming a British Fencing star, having only started to learn the sport in 2013. Nicole is a member of the football, badminton and netball squads, and outside of school she attends both the Marshall Fencing Club for Sabre and Lancashire Sword Club for Epee. She also plays netball for Chorley Inferno and athletics for Blackburn Harriers. Nicole finished 10th in her cadet sabre competition, which now means that she is ranked 20th in the U17 girls’ sabre in the UK! Nicole’s dream would be to fence for Team GBR, so we shall be following her progress with great interest over the coming years!
More PBs for Baylie! In the North West Regional Swimming Championships, Baylie qualified for 5 events and chose to compete in 4, starting with the 200m Butterfly.
Not only did she achieve a PB by 13 seconds, she also qualified for the final! This was Baylie’s first qualifier at this level. A few hours later, after putting nerves and shock aside, she was back in the water for the Final finishing 8th in the North West for 200m Butterfly - quite an achievement!
Baylie had entered this event as the slowest competitor in her age group at this competition and was racing for the experience along with hoping for a Personal Best at the very most.
The following day saw Baylie back at the Aquatics Centre to compete in another 3 events, 50m Back, Free and Butterfly and again, she came away from those events with a PB in each, meaning that over the whole of the Regional competition she had managed a 100% PB rate! Another amazing achievement!
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Netball Report I am delighted to be able to say that the netball squad have been the most successful sports team at QEGS this year, which is a massive achievement! With the number of girls at QEGS continuing to increase every year, the netball teams at every age group have been able to develop more depth which has produced an increase in the quality of performance. The Year 7 team have had a terrific year! There are many talented players in this team who have done well to gel quickly and produce some fantastic performances. In the Blackburn with Darwen League, they have beaten all the schools they played very convincingly. These strong performances continued to their Saturday games where they have had noticeable victories over Liverpool College, St Bede’s, Kings Chester, Rishworth, Rossall and AKS Lytham. With all the promise they have shown during their first year at QEGS, they have a bright future ahead of them! Like the Year 7 team, the Year 8 team also played extremely well throughout the Blackburn with Darwen League, where they ended up finishing as runners up, a very respectable result. They have also played well on the Saturday mornings with victories over St Bede’s and Kings Chester. Hopefully this team will keep up the hard work for the next netball season. The Year 9 team have continued to show their impressive abilities throughout this season. They were unlucky not to win the Blackburn with Darwen League as they only lost one match, however they still finished 2nd which is a fantastic result. They also performed well in the Blackburn with Darwen Tournament where they finished 3rd after a narrow defeat in the semi-final. The Year 9 team have continued to play well during their Saturday matches and have yielded many positive results with victories over Liverpool College twice, St Bede’s, Rossall and AKS Lytham. I must also mention Bea Clarke who is at the heart of this Year 9 team and has represented Lancashire this year - a terrific achievement. The majority of the plaudits this year has got to go to the Year 10 team who finished 2nd in the Blackburn with Darwen League and, for the second year running, are the champions of the Blackburn with Darwen Schools Tournament. However, it wasn’t without controversy after being told initially that they hadn’t made the semi-finals. Then, after a recount, they were told they had qualified which led to there being a replay of the semi-finals and finals on a different night. In the final, they met a very strong Darwen Vale team who they had lost to in the league. However, the girls played exceptionally well and were able to win. This team continued to perform at their high standards on Saturday mornings throughout the year and were able to gain victories over Liverpool College, St Bede’s, Rossall and AKS Lytham. Ella Barton has continued to excel and has once again been selected to play for Lancashire- an excellent achievement.
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Finally, the Senior squad who have had a bit of a mixed season this year. The main issue we have had is the lack of height. Saying this, we have never lost our spirit and have continued to play to the best of our abilities. The Senior team is made up of players from Year 11, 12 and 13 who have gelled well as a team and have had many close matches as well as victories over Liverpool College and Carr Hill twice. Sadly, this is my final year at QEGS and my final year at the sports presentation evening. I started QEGS in the Junior School, 10 years ago which is where I was first introduced to netball. Even with the very limited number of girls, Mrs Bamber was determined to form a netball team and it wasn’t long before we were playing high- five netball matches, which is the netball equivalent of 5-a-side football. I continued to play netball throughout my time at the Senior School even though we only had 8 girls in our whole year, week after week, year after year we managed to get a netball team out. Many of my favourite times at QEGS have revolved around netball and I am grateful for all the amazing opportunities I’ve had. I couldn’t leave without saying a few words about the amazing teachers and coaches I’ve had throughout my time here. Firstly, I must mention Miss McCreadie, who is the happiest person I know. She always has a smile on her face and remains positive no matter how badly we are getting beaten. Also, Mrs Bamber, what can I say. She was the one to introduced me to netball, has taught me everything that I know, has kept me calm over the years when I have got a bit too involved and competitive during a match and really is a wonderful woman! QEGS and the netball teams are lucky to have two amazing, dedicated coaches. As I mentioned before, it is an exciting time for netball at QEGS as all the squads continue to grow and have gone from strength to strength. This has led to there being a netball tour to Barbados in 2018 for the Year 9s and 10s- which I am very jealous about. I hope that all the girls continue to take part in school netball and continue to produce quality results. I would like to finish by saying a few thankyous: firstly, to all the girls who have played netball this year, thank you for representing the school and girls sport at QEGS- I know it’s not always fun getting up early on a cold Saturday morning to play netball. Thank you also to all the parents whose continued support is very much appreciated. Finally, I would like to offer a massive thank you to the teachers. Miss Wilkinson has been with us for a few years now and has been a great addition: she is always there on a Saturday morning to support the teams. Miss McCreadie gives up so much of her time to sort out our matches and is always there to motivate us. Thanks must also go to Mrs Bamber for your honesty and for the wise words given to all of us at one time or another. Annie Johnstone Senior Netball Captain
I would just like to add my thanks to a few people! I must thank the fantastic group of girls we have in the netball teams – all of their success is down to the girls’ hard work and commitment. Also thank you to the girls’ parents for their ongoing support and taxi services! Thank you to Miss Wilkinson and Mrs Bamber for their help with training and fixtures. Finally thank you and good luck to the senior girls leaving us this year and I must give a special mention to Annie who has been an invaluable part of the netball squad since she was in the Junior School and has captained several of the teams during her QEGS career – she has been an outstanding Senior Captain and will be greatly missed. Thank you Annie. Miss S McCreadie Head of Girls’ Games
Swimming Report It has been another successful year for the QEGS swimming team. With the swimming team consisting of a mixture of age ranges, it is one of the only sports that actively encourages integration of year groups. This friendly environment on the poolside and encouragement for others explains why 201617 has been such a fruitful season. We continue to be regarded as a very strong swimming team in the north-west and were invited to attend several very prestigious galas including the John Parry relays. Results in head-to-head galas have continued to improve. We have won over 60% of our matches, with notable victories including Bury Grammar, Merchant Taylors and Kirkham Grammar. We also had two galas against Stonyhurst which both ended in draws. We performed well in the Quadrangular Gala and the Bolton School Fast water Gala, finishing 3rd and 4th respectively. One of the major positives this year has been the success of the Junior teams, in particular the Year 10 team, who have won nearly all the galas in which they competed. This year we took our youngest ever team down to compete at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park Aquatics Centre in the 2017 Bath Cup and Otter Medley Relays event, competing against over 80 other schools from around the UK.
There were a number of notable performances. The following swimmers were town champions in their various events: Daniel Ainsworth, Jacob Gibson, Evan Cunningham, Louis Strand, Harvey Ashworth and Harvey Chadderton. The Year 8 team were also victorious in the medley and freestyle relay. We also came 2nd in the girls Blackburn with Darwen gala, where Baylie Seery was the Year 8 Butterfly champion. Improvements were also made in the Junior House Swimming Gala, managing to get the relay races right and Miss. McCreadie only needing her life saving pole once. This was a vast improvement on last year when a number of houses couldn’t quite grasp the concept of a relay event, with swimmers simultaneously diving in at both ends and colliding in the middle. So, all in all, it has been a very interesting and exciting year for the QEGS swimmers as we have continued to improve. This is mine and Mariam’s final year in the QEGS swimming team and we have both thoroughly enjoyed being part of it. This wouldn’t have been possible without the tireless and endless support of Dr Butler. This great man has been our leader, time recording engineer, health and safety officer, mentor, marathon runner and organiser of all events. And so, on behalf of all the swimming team, I would like to say a massive thank you, for all the hard work that you put in and for making swimming at QEGS such a memorable experience.
You have said it all in your report and highlighted the many individuals across year groups that have contributed to the success we have had. To see the school evolve as a Free School with all the challenges and opportunities this brings, is exciting. Similarly, how we progress over the years ahead will be a journey of adventure. I am delighted to see the Junior girls do so very well in the Town Gala finishing 2nd: our best ever performance. Our challenge next year boys should be to win back our Town Champion status again having relinquished it after 27 years. Let’s hope the new September entry is full of enthusiasm and verve: a modicum of talent might also help! Dr ME Butler Head of PE and Games
Mariam Goorani Nejad & Theo Roberts Senior Captains
Swimming in a 50 metre pool is no mean feat, believe me, however the team put on a marvellous display, finishing in very respectable positions. Sadly, this will almost certainly be the last time we will be able to compete in this event and each swimmer did themselves proud. On an individual front, Nathan Smith qualified for the National Club Swimming Championships during the summer of 2016. He qualified in all breaststroke events and secured a position in the 50m breaststroke final. Also, Baylie Seery was awarded the ‘Young Achiever of the Year Award’ for swimming in Hyndburn Sports Awards Ceremony in September. Finally, Jacob Gibson was selected for the U14 North West Water Polo team in December 2016.
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Football Report Starting with the U12s, led by Mr Cornwall, a steady season was had, most notably completing the double over Westholme in two closely fought games, winning 4-3 and 5-4, Mathew Dutton receiving man of the match on both occasions. Another memorable performance was against Manchester Grammar School: although they narrowly lost the game 1-0, the pupils put in an excellent performance with the goal keeper Milo Gammon winning Man of the Match. The Under 13s were co-managed by Mr Bendall and Mr Topping; they, without doubt, used multiple mathematical equations to come up with the winning formular. This strategy certainly worked through the season with the boys scoring 113 goals in only 20 games. The season opened with a strong 5-2 win against Bury Grammar School and this form continued throughout most of the season, inevitably gliding through to the final of the Blackburn with Darwen cup at Ewood Park and becoming Champions for the 2nd successive season with a victory over St. Wilfrid’s. The Under 14s, I believe, are the most improved team this season, going from winning only 2 games last season to boasting a positive win loss ratio this year. The boys have put this down to the tactical genius, Mr Burton, who altered the formation to best suit the opposition. The top goal scorer was Faadil Khan and Tom McCann picked up the most assists. This team looks really promising. The Under 15s have always had a strong team and this year was no exception, Jonny Bradford led the team, setting the example as the top scorer to win the majority of the fixtures, most notably a 9-1 thrashing against Manchester Grammar (which is a superb achievement). The team reached the quarter finals of the Lancashire cup and were defeated in the final of the Blackburn with Darwen cup at Ewood Park by a highly talented DACA team.
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Mr Rafsha once again managed the second XI team this year and has done excellently, succeeding the mighty Mr Wooldridge, making the role his own. He oversaw multiple impressive victories including a 6-0 win over Stonyhurst where the top scorer for the season, Idriess Ahmed, picked up a perfect hatrick. A notable mention also goes to Joe Bridge who put in a last ditch tackle in order to keep a clean sheet against rivals Liverpool College at the end of the season. Joe Ashworth, the captain, has asked me to thank Mr Rafsha for the season and wishes him good luck in next year’s campaign. And finally the first XI: this has been a very successful season, not to say that it has been all positive (winning 9, losing 9 and drawing 3), but this year, rather than having just a group of good players, we have a group of good footballers who are able to work as a team and support each other on all areas of the pitch. This point was evident in the very first game of the season where we played Bury Grammar School, grinding out a 1-1 draw, with an excellent performance. Two moments stand out and sum up the season perfectly; Firstly, from Saturday the 12th of November through to Saturday the 10th of December, the team went on a streak of clean sheets, for 4 games, which was a great achievement. The next moment was away at Cheadle, who had reached the final of the English Schools cup the previous year. Having conceded within the first 5 minutes, it’s at this point in other years the team have gone on to lose by a greater margin. However, the players fought back through an excellent counter attacking goal from Arbaaz Ahmed. This 1-1 score line was kept until the 90th minute where Cheadle scored a controversial goal. At school the following day, everyone was told that the game was a draw! To conclude this summary of our season, the word team has been mentioned on numerous occasions, but it is safe to say none off this would have been possible without a great manager and coach behind us. All squad members pass on their thanks to all the team managers. Mr M Hindle Teacher of PE and Games
Cricket Report U12 Cricket Report
U13 Cricket Report
U14 Cricket Report
It was a brilliant cricket season for us as we won 7 out of 11 matches and got to the quarter final of the Lancashire cup. Our main bowling attack was Connie Clarke, Ibraheem Musa, Mackenzie Cunningham, Josh Asal, Faiz Babar and Hamza Bux. Our main batting attack consisted of Abdul Nadeem, Milo Gammon, Ibraheem Musa, Josh Asal, Faiz Babar and Mackenzie Cunningham.
This has again been a very enjoyable season with our U13 team just missing out on silverware once again in the Town Pairs Festival. It proved to be a roller coaster of an affair. Without playing our best brand of cricket at any stage, we secured qualifying victories over St Wilfrid’s and Blackburn Central. Defeating St Bede’s in the semi-finals was a good performance but then we came unstuck with the pressure on in the final deservedly losing to BCHS who we had beaten earlier in the competition.
The U14 cricket season started with a game at home to reigning county champions Merchant Taylors. QEGS batted first and posted 98, Jack Braithwaite top scoring with an aggressive 30. In reply, Merchant Taylors looked comfortable at 70-2. However, a mixture of great bowling and complacent batting saw them collapse to 95-8. Unfortunately, their tail enders knocked off the remaining runs to seal a narrow two wicket win.
Milo Gammon hit 25 in our first match against Lancaster and Ibraheem Musa hit 18 consecutively in 3 matches to name two highlights. Also Mackenzie Cunningham hitting 25 and bowling brilliantly by getting a hatrick. Josh Asal had a brilliant performance when he hit 20 off 3 overs. It was a very successful season for us. Josh Asal and Ibraheem Musa Captains
A defeat to Manchester Grammar School in the ¼ final of the LSCA Cup was a similar scenario to last year. With some terrific performances over the likes of Bowland High School & St Bede’s to get to that stage, the batting yet again came unstuck after our openers had put the opposition under pressure and got us off to a good start. At 40 for 1, the opposition were clearly rattled yet a succession of wickets and most notably those of key players, led to a middle order collapse and 80 off 25 overs was never going to be enough. Early wickets were not taken and the team lost by 9 wickets in the end. No disgrace by any means losing to MGS at this stage of the competition but one of the differences between the two sides was the standard of fielding and this is an area that we can improve upon if we are prepared to put in the hard work Louis Strand made three half centuries with a top score of 68* and was our leading run scorer, ably supported by Ayan Farook and Rehan Zore in the main. Several others contributed at crucial times (Tom Sleigh) and this meant that we were able to post competitive scores batting first which invariably placed the opposition under pressure. With any early loss of wickets, batting second often results in a collapse. However, with a bowling outfit of Zore, Elliot Martin, Ayan Farook, Faheem Hussain, Adam Umerji, Cameron Hegg and Jibran Karolia bowling his off spin, we were always in the game. This was proven to be the case and our wins to losses ratio this season was good. Our fielding is an area which remains under-developed. Catches, mobility in the field, awareness and attacking fielding instincts win matches. In summary, further pleasing progress has been made this season and it is good to see one or two players who did not really feature last year, stepping up to the mark and contributing when required. Thank you to Mr Morgan who has taken the team regularly on Saturdays and to Mr Hardman who has stepped in on occasions at short notice. As always parents, your support of QEGS sport is one of the aspects of our school that makes us different from the great majority: it is very much appreciated!
Next up was Bowland in the LSCA Cup. QEGS batted first and made 122-1, with Hussain Patel top scoring with a maiden half century. In reply, Bowland were bowled out for 70. That Saturday we had a game versus Hutton GS. QEGS were put in to bat and scored 105-7, with Zainul Sarwar scoring a crucial and entertaining 20*. In reply, Hutton were in the driving seat needing 28 off the last 4 overs with 8 wickets in hand. Just when the game looked over, Hasan Musa took an impressive 6 for 3 from 2 overs. QEGS won by 10 runs. We played Stonyhurst in the next round of the County Cup. QEGS batted first again, posting 105 on a difficult track. In reply, Stonyhurst were bowled out for 67 with Ali Musa taking 3 wickets. The next game saw the A/B team comfortably beat TIBHS. Umar Dadabhai, Adam Balapatel and Uzair Ghaswala all made their QEGS debuts. Our next two games saw us comfortably beaten, first by a very strong Rossall side, then in the last 16 of the county cup by an impressive Lancaster Grammar. Our highlight of the season was our trip to AKS. We were put into bat and scored 122-3, with Ali Musa scoring 35 and Tom Clarke hitting 5 consecutive boundaries in the last over. In reply, AKS were bowled out for 25, with Ali Musa taking 3 wickets, including 2 in the first over. Our final game was a Year 8/9 game vs Ormskirk. QEGS recorded a 40 run win with Faadil Khan taking a wicket on debut. Although we had a rain affected season with six games cancelled, the team have had quite a successful campaign with everyone contributing to the victories. We would like to thank Mr. Hindle and Mr Morgan for managing our team this year. Hasan Musa
Dr ME Butler Head of PE and Games Rehan Zore Captain
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Q Review 2017
Raleigh House It’s been another great year for Raleigh and I have loved being your Head of House. Thank you to all members of Raleigh for making my job so rewarding and thank you to the staff team in Raleigh whose support and enthusiasm throughout House assemblies and events has been fantastic, especially during my absence in November. We are lucky to have such a fantastic staff team in our House. Similarly, I placed great emphasis on the role of the ‘Year Captains’ this year and these pupils and students were regularly called upon to pick and organise teams, ensure full representation at House events, and to promote fair and equal representation among all House members. So thank you to our excellent Year Captains who have all been superb in their roles: Alfie Walton, Shyam Patel and Bryony Craine for Year 7; Madison Roberts and Yaseen Siddique for Year 8; Isobel Jones and Ben Martin for Year 9; Rebecca Mitchell and Holly Weatherall for Year 10; and Ammyrah Hassan and Aima Toppa for Year 11. Again, we have been very lucky to have had a fantastic Senior Captain, James Watson, and deputies, Annie Johnstone and Lewis Warner. These sixth formers have led by example from the outset, always demonstrating true Raleigh spirit by participating in any House event asked of them, turning up to House events to support and motivate the team, and helping to organise/manage various House teams. I cannot thank them enough for all they have done and they have been a credit to the House. James, Annie and Lewis all leave us this year, and so I wish them all the best of luck for the future. Our new Year 7s to Raleigh have already made a fantastic contribution to the House on both a sporting and academic front. They launched themselves into the House sport competitions early on and demonstrated true Raleigh spirit by giving 100% effort and some outstanding performances in the House Cross Country, to finish fourth overall. They put out a full team in the Swimming Gala and Shyam Patel finished second in the breaststroke and Alfie Walton and Lilly Short both took third in the Butterfly and Breaststroke respectively. The Year 7’s best result however came in the House Dodgeball competition, where they finished first. Special mention must go to Zainab Iqbal, Maryam Khattak, and Alfie Walton who have already gained their Half Colours for representing Raleigh in a number of events.
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Our Year 8s started the year equally as impressively with outstanding performances in the House Cross Country to finish third overall with Mohammed Khan and Sam Weston taking individual first and second places. In the Swimming Gala our Year 8 girls team shone with Esme Wilcock and Madison Roberts gaining top three finishes in all of their races. In the House Tag Rugby, the Year 8 team did the House proud, finishing an excellent second overall and it was two Year 8 boys who led the Table Tennis team who finished second in the Table Tennis. A third place in the Dodgeball rounds off a very successful sporting year for the Year 8s. Esme Wilcock also produced an excellent poster on ‘British Values’ in the Art competition and went through to the final round. Special mention goes to Ali Ahmed, Madison Roberts, Yaseen Siddique, Christian Variyam, Sam Weston, and Esme Wilcock who gained their Full Colours this year. Well done Year 8s! Raleigh’s Year 9 team has been fantastic this year, excelling throughout the sporting events. Notably they finished second in the House Cross Country (with Ben Martin finishing third overall), first in Rugby, first in Football, first in Dodgeball, second in Netball, and second in Table Tennis. A truly outstanding set of results for a year group – you have done the House proud. Jacob Gibson again performed very well in the Swimming Gala, as did Isobel Jones and Lea Robinson who were all competing against Year 10s. Many of the Year 9s gained their full colours for representation, and special congratulations must go to Jacob Gibson, Shabaz Hussain, Isobel Jones, Ben Martin, and Lea Robinson who were rewarded their full colours. Thank you and well done to all the Year 9s. The Year 10 team have had a mixed year with their best performance being in the Rugby. Individual members of the year group have been outstanding, putting themselves forward for most of the events. Special thanks goes to Jonny Bedford, Ben Beaumont, and Seb Blackley who have competed in all of the sporting events including the Swimming Gala, Golf (in which we placed fourth), and Sports Day, and have performed very well throughout. Indeed, Ben and Jonny achieved the highest house award, the house crest, for their contributions to the house. Equally, Rebecca Mitchell, Holly Weatherall, and Zaynab Mahmood have also contributed to a number of House sporting events. Raleigh’s Seniors (Years 11-13) have, this year, relied largely on the contribution of a small number of house members. Harrison Thomas, Jasmin Yeung, James Watson, Annie Johnstone, Lewis Warner, and Josh Gaffney have participated
in most of the House events alongside Nick King and Wesley Machie who helped the Senior Basketball Team achieve fourth place. Other successes came in the House Cross Country (finishing third), House Rugby (finishing second) and Swimming Gala (finishing third). Thank you also to Harrison, Jasmin, Annie, Sana, Lewis, Josh and Nick who came back after finishing their exams to compete for the house on Sports Day – it was great to see you. Good luck to those Seniors who are leaving us this year and thank you for everything you have contributed to Raleigh over the years. One of the final, and most important, sporting events in the house calendar is Sports Day and, just like last year, it poured down! This didn’t dampen the Raleigh spirits and we had some excellent individual performances. Standout performances included those from Zainab Iqbal who won the Year 7 300m and came second in the 200m, the Year 7 girls’ relay team who won their event, Madison Roberts who won the Year 8 800m, Holly Weatherall who won both the Year 10 100m and 200m, Jonny Bedford who won the Year 10 400m and 800m, and Jasmin Yeung who won the 100m and 200m for the Senior Girls. Well done to all competitors. Unfortunately, a depleted Senior team due to exams and University trips left some of the senior events unfilled allowing Howard to edge ahead of us in the final few races leaving Raleigh in fourth place. The Holden trophy is the sporting prowess of the House competitions and it was again fiercely contested throughout the year. During the year Raleigh has had some great sporting victories. Stand-out performances have been in the Junior and Senior Swimming Galas (third in both), and Dodgeball, leaving us in an excellent third place in the Holden Trophy. Well done, and let’s build on this for next year! On the academic side, and in pursuit of our retention of the Marsden Merit, we performed well in the House Quest (second overall) and in the poster competition thanks to Esme Wilcock from Year 8 who gained second place. We also finished top in the credits total which is a fantastic achievement so well done to all of you who keep gaining and handing in those credits! Unfortunately, we only came fifth in the chess competition and fourth in the House Singing Competition despite unrivalled enthusiasm of staff and students alike. I must also thank Miss Wilkinson for looking after Raleigh for me during this last event while I was in Uganda – but received regular updates. Unfortunately, we could not replicate last year’s victory in the Marsden Merit competition.
When the two trophies combine to give us the overall Champion House and winner of the ‘Cockhouse Trophy’ 2016/17 it came down to a matter of a few points. Howard House were the overall winners and Raleigh placed fifth. A disappointing result given our sporting achievements and indeed our credit score. This reiterates the equal importance of having full representation in both sporting and nonsporting House events. I look forward to building on this result with you all next year! It has been another remarkable group effort this year and the members of Raleigh have continued to impress me with their commitment, effort, and desire to do their very best for the House and to be victorious over other Houses. The fantastic team spirit that exists within Raleigh is unrivalled by any other House and makes me proud to be Head of Raleigh. This year, the Raleigh spirit and determination to do your best has shone through. Once again, many of you have given time, effort, and enthusiasm, and have demonstrated a ‘have a go’ attitude even in areas outside of your comfort zone. For this I have to say a massive thank you. Next year, I would like to see more of you taking part and gaining your colours for representation – if we all do our bit we will be unstoppable! I would like to wish Miss Wilkinson good luck as she leaves Raleigh to take over as Head of Grenville, and to Miss Cockshot who is leaving QEGS to join a new school in September. Thank you for your contributions to the House over the past year. Finally, goodbye and good luck to Mr Morgan who is retiring at the end of this year after several years at the school and as a member of Raleigh as well as a former Head of House – you have made an invaluable contribution to Raleigh over the years and will be greatly missed. Miss S McCreadie Head of Raleigh House
QEGSblackburn.com | Page 59
Q Review 2017
Drake House 2016/17 was an amazing year for Drake House. We competed for the top honours in many events and managed to win several of them, including House Netball, Rugby, Accelerated Reading and Cricket, as well as overcoming fierce opposition and truly horrific weather conditions to triumph at Sports Day; a well-earned victory and a testament to our House members, their talent and their exemplary attitudes. On that day, as ever, they were keen to turn out and give their all for the House, as they had been over the course of year, with almost every House member participating in at least one event or another during that time. It’s been a great effort by all once again and I thank each of the House members for it, particularly those who participate in many events. You know who you are! Without your positive attitudes, and those of your year captains in particular, any successes would be much harder won.
This was never more evident than during the House Singing Competition, where we really pulled together as a House, set aside the painful memories of the previous year and worked very hard to deliver a performance more befitting of Drake House. We pulled it off in fine style, and the judges seemingly agreed given our second place finish, which was a vast improvement on last year, as we all know. With similar commitment next year, who knows, we might even win, or at least have some fun, as some of us might begrudgingly admit we had this year. Mr Hindle and Mrs Askam spring to mind! Along with House singing, there were other notable results. Our House excelled at Cross-Country, came second in Dodgeball, third in Junior Basketball and second in Senior Basketball, where we agonisingly lost a closely contested final match to Grenville. Despite that, I am optimistic that we will fare better next year in both the junior and senior events, particularly given that many of this year’s teams will be returning next year. In short, Drake House was the model of consistency throughout the year, producing a number of outstanding performances in a very competitive environment. Our House members did us proud and managed to return us to something like our former glories after the unusually low finish of last year, for which I thank each and every one of you. I know that with your continued support and that of the year captains and House tutors too, we will continue to deliver results and performances like the ones I’ve described above, but, above all else I hope we’ll be able to continue to enjoy representing Drake House, as I have over the last two years. I look forward to next year and the years to follow, as I hope you all do too. Thanks again Drake House and here’s to 2017/18! Mr S Rafsha Head of Drake House
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Grenville House As we finish another year, we look back and reflect on the House performance across all the competitions. And we see that overall, we have had another good year.
Although House Chess was disappointing in our overall placing, particular credit should go to Adam Balapatel, who was playing all three boards at one point during the second round of matches. Easter came and went and so the Trinity term began. In blessed relief of the examinations that appear in the second half of the term; House Cricket and Athletics were at-hand.
In House Football, exceptionally strong performances from the Years 7 and 8 teams, topping both their tables, ensured a second place finish overall.
Unfortunately, due to inclement weather, the Years 9 and 10 cricket had to be cancelled. The Junior teams of Years 7 and 8 cricketers were able to compete, and did so well, finishing a creditable 3rd.
In the gym, the Basketball teams competed well. Despite some injuries and lay-offs; the Junior team completed their matches with some very exciting battles with the opposition. The Senior team blew away most of their competition with ease as they romped to an overall first place in the competition!
For the second year running, the field events had to be cancelled on Sports Day. The poor weather did not dampen the team spirit for the track competitors. Great performances were seen across the age groups; with real grit and determination shown by the athletes. In Year 7, podium finishes for Shaun Santosh (100/1500m), Zayd Badruddin, Mackenzie Cunningham(800m) and the relay team. In Year 8 top 3 places for the following athletes; Shazmeen Jangda (200m), Owen Duxbury (1500m), Elliot Martin (200m), Evan Cunningham(100/800m) and relay. Elsewhere, placings for Hamaad Chisti, Harriet Woods, Julie Matthew, Azeem Hussain, Yazmin Hussain, Ben Ibbotson and Arbaaz Ahmed. Charlie Obank narrowly missed out on the double after a very unusual 800m he left himself open to becoming the victim of a sprint finish with Jonny Bedford. Other important performances came from many other athletes across the year groups; their contribution to the points total were significant.
Other House sporting activities included House Netball, Dodgeball and Table Tennis – well done to all those who took part in those competitions. James Andrews, yet again, demonstrated his prowess on the greens, ably supported by Tom Nixon-Taylor, in winning the House Golf Competition. James completed with a gross score of 26, 13 ahead of his next nearest rival! It was a cold dark evening in January when we saw a fantastic evening’s swimming from all the Houses in the Junior House Swimming Gala. The small Grenville team did us proud, with particular praise to Abi Duxbury and Skye Mitchell in Year 7 who, despite not being the most confident swimmers at that point, nevertheless dived in, swam and scored us valuable points. Abi placing second in the back crawl and Skye fourth in freestyle. Josh Asal, the sole Year 7 competitor for Grenville, made his debut by winning his individual event. Evan Cunningham showed his class by winning the breast stroke and front crawl and helping the team to first place in the medley relay with Rehan Zore, Tom Sleigh and Elliot Martin. In Years 9 and 10, great performances were provided by Kyle Robinson, Alex Minnozzi, James Heys, Seb Roberts and Julie Matthew; finishing in first and second positions on the freestyle and medley relays respectively on top of several individual placings in their respective events. Unfortunately, our lack of competitors meant that 8 races were unable to be filled meaning that overall we only finished in 5th position; hopefully next year we can bolster the squad a little more to fill those vacancies.
Finishing in second place overall, we were just 25 points behind Drake; interestingly, we lost that same number of points to Drake in events where we did not field an athlete, going to show that every point really does matter in competition. The final week of term saw the House Singing Competition, a fitting finale to the year. Great performances were seen by all the Houses, with some fantastic staff performance to boot. Grenville’s blend of solo, small choir and full choir gave a rich textured performance with particular notes of credit to Julie Matthew, Seb Roberts, Jane Brown, Ella Barton and Yazmin Hussain. The choreographed performance of Messers Conefrey and Ventress during the guitar solo made an overall polished performance, which saw us walk away with the trophy for a second year. Mr R Cordwell Head of Grenville House
The library was the venue for the House Quest and, of course, the hub for the Accelerated Reader programme. The Quest team of Abi Duxbury, Nabaa Almitwally, Shazmeen Jangda, Priya Morjaria, Adam Balapatel and Shazmeen Jangda took on Mrs Dewhurst library challenges.
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Q Review 2017
Howard House Howard House - Winners of the Cockhouse Trophy 2017 Howard House had an excellent year and were consistently strong in all activities and events. The enthusiasm shown from everyone who took part was superb. Well done and thank you to everyone who contributed in an activity, whether it be in sport, academic achievements or the good work recorded through the credit system. The first year that I took over as Head of Howard, we won all trophies and to complete my final year as Head of House winning the Holden Trophey, joint first place in Marsden Merit award and first place overall, winning the Cockhouse Trophy made me very proud indeed. In the sporting events that contribute towards the Holden Trophy, we had some superb performances throughout the year. As usual it began with Basketball, which is always an excellent event. The Junior teams came a close second in both Dodgeball and Cricket, whilst the Senior teams had a splendid year and achieved first place in both the Table Tennis and joint first place in the Netball tournaments. The Swimming Gala is always a wonderful event and it was great to see all participants at all levels cheering each other on. It was a brilliant team effort and there were some superb performances on the night, such as Harvey Chadderton who came first place in both the backstroke and breaststroke races. As ever, the Clarkes had some splendid performances with Bea Clarke winning the Year 8 girls backstroke race and Joe Clarke winning the Year 9/10 front crawl race. The big sporting event of the year was Sports Day and for the second year running, the typical Lancashire summer weather let us down, but of course this did not stop us. Due to safety reasons, it was impossible to continue with the field events, but all of the track events continued and there was a great atmosphere throughout the day. There were so many excellent individual performances in such terrible conditions and the support from the soaked pupils, students and staff was also superb. On the day, there were some outstanding efforts from the likes of Connie Clarke, George Jones, Husnain Arshad, Shaan Shah and Joshua Inch who all came first place in their races. Taha Dabir also did an excellent job organising teams. It was a close contest and I was delighted that we achieved third place overall. However, consistency throughout the year is key and our confident performances in sporting events resulted in us achieving first place in the Holden Trophy.
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The credits collected throughout the year contribute towards the Marsden Merit award and again we had some super results. As ever, the everyday good work was recorded in the credit system and there were some exceptional individual performances, however, a special mention should be given to Safa Moosa and Sadie Merritt who both gained over144 credits, Connie Clarke with 182, Aminah Batool with 115 credits, Owen Hardman with a splendid 272 credits and Abigail Hardman with a staggering 302 credits. The final credit scores overall placed us in joint first place with Raliegh House with 5155 points. The year ended with the tremendous House Singing Competition. This was only the second year that this event has taken place and this year the standard was raised to a new level. It was wonderful to see all members of the House together singing, waving their arms and generally having lots of fun. Our choice of song “Our House” by Madness was completely appropriate as it allowed everyone to take part, but special mention must be made to Abigail Hardman who did a wonderful job learning the lyrics and performing a solo to “the fast bit” and Rhys Millington who most impressively learnt and performed the piano section. This year we were far more organised as a unit and everyone gave it their best shot. I was very proud to see everyone singing with such enthusiasm on the day. Mr Braime did a splendid job leading the singing on the day and conducted with infectious enthusiasm and the rest of the staff were also excellent and made the day run very smoothly. I would like to thank all the staff, pupils and students for making it such a super event which gave us a result of third place. I would like to thank all Year Captains who did a fantastic job in organising teams and helping me throughout the year. In particular, the Senior House Captains, James Hennaghan, Danyal Rashid, Harry Newman who did a splendid job. As this is my final year as Head of Howard House, I would like to thank the Year Captains staff and all pupils and students of Howard House for their amazing commitment, enthusiasm and hard work over the past four years. The house system at QEGS is an important aspect of the school. It is all about taking part and the beauty of the system is that it enables everyone to participate in different types of events. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time as a Housemaster and, although I will remain a loyal member of the team, I am delighted that Mr C Braime will be taking over as Head of Howard from September 2017. I am confident that he will be a superb Head of Howard and that his commitment, leadership and enthusiasm will take the House forward. Mr T Birtwistle Head of Howard House
Frobisher House We have had a mixed year with some notable successes in House Football where we were in top position and Junior Basketball and Golf where we took second place. In other competitions, we have taken third place which included the Years 9 and 10 Table Tennis and fourth place in Junior Cricket, Junior Swimming Gala, Dodgeball, Chess and Netball. Although our performance in the House Singing Competition was memorable and entertaining the critique of our actual singing skills meant that last year’s 4th place became 6th in 2017. There have been major contributions to teams by some of our new Year 7 members including Milo Gammon, Daniel Ashworth, Ruby Brandon and Saffron Barnes. Mattie Holden and Alfie Jones played as the Golf team and competed in our Junior Basketball and Football teams. The Junior Swimming Gala saw excellent performances given by Daniel Ashworth, Baylie Seery, Felix Taylor and George Morgan with great support given by Zaiynab Patel. Charlotte Hepworth again swam successfully for the Year 10 team. The Year 9 girls were as organised as usual competing with a full and enthusiastic squad.
Cameron Hegg, in Year 8 has made significant contributions to Football and Athletics events and Joseph Young and Max Dawson in Year 11 were both awarded their House Full Colours this year for their many contributions to house events. Max is a very important member of the House Athletics team always winning his events on Sports Day. Ithezaz Ali played a significant role in representing the house in our Athletics team, stepping in to run extra events when competitors failed to show for their race. There has been a much improved contribution to House events this year with people coming forward to offer their services in competitions. This effort has been much appreciated by me and has left me with a feeling that progress has been made in Frobisher House. I have enjoyed my time as Head of Frobisher House and will continue to be involved in helping to organise teams and events as the new Head of House takes over. Ms P Wild Head of Frobisher House
Coming first in the House Football Competition is testament to the enthusiasm and skill shown by our boys led by Joseph Bridge and Haroon Khan at a senior level. These two have contributed much to house events in their seven years as members of Frobisher House and their efforts should be given much credit. Gabbi Cuffin should be applauded for her excellent support given to me as Head of House. She organised Netball teams and helped in the Junior Swimming Gala and House Singing Competition in 2016. Other members of Year 13 who have given time to Frobisher House are Joshua Hudson, Beth Ellison, Annabel Harvey and Danny Islam. Frobisher House wishes all leavers good luck in their future studies and careers.
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Q Review 2017
Hawkins House The 2016-2017 academic year has flown by. I began this year, my first as Head of House, with a great sense of excitement and, I must admit, a little trepidation. My predecessor, Mr Bendell, had helped Hawkins secure a fantastic second place overall last year; a big act to follow.
One of the aspects of the House system that I really enjoyed when I was at school, competition aside, was simply the opportunity to get to know other students across a range of different year groups. With this in mind, I organised the first Hawkins House social event; a Christmas Film night. This was a lovely occasion that allowed members of the House to relax, see one another in a more social way, and unwind after a busy term of competitions! It was a well attended event, and I hope it will continue to grow next year.
The House System at QEGS is a wonderful thing. It enables students of all ages and different talents and interests to work together, participating in a great variety of activities and events, with a common goal and sense of pride for their House uniting them. It also fosters a healthy, friendly competition between the students (and staff!). I couldn’t wait to get more involved.
I would like to thank this year’s Hawkins House Captains for all of their help in organising teams and setting an excellent example to other students with their positive attitude and frequent contributions to House competitions. I would also like to thank the new Year 7 “Hawklings” for embracing the House System so enthusiastically and for their admirable commitment and participation throughout the year. Finally, I would like to wish the Hawkins leavers from the staff, Year 13 and Year 11 students the very best for their future.
Although some of the sporting events were not a huge success for us this year, there were certainly many excellent achievements and successes for Hawkins. One of the most memorable of these was the House Swimming Gala, which we won for the second year in a row. This was a truly exciting and enjoyable evening to be a part of, and I was immensely proud of all my swimming team. Special mention must go to Nathan Smith who won all of his events, including the individual medley race. Hawkins students also performed exceptionally well in several other events, including coming first in House Chess, Junior House Basketball, House Table Tennis and House Quest. Congratulations to all who competed in an event this year. Also worthy of note was the House Singing Competition. Our Hawkins students and staff worked tirelessly, with a little help from some sweets, to put together a lively and enthusiastic performance of S Club 7, Reach. I must mention that there was a superb solo from Jessica Fellows in Year 7, and energetic dancing all round. Well done, everyone!
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Sadly, it wasn’t our year in terms of the overall results, however, I could not be more proud of my House. The students and staff have contributed so much, both time and energy, to this year, and I wish to thank them for all that they have done. I am very hopeful and optimistic about the future for Hawkins and look forward to seeing what we can achieve next year. Miss S Burton Head of Hawkins House
Andrew worked as the Primary School SEND Coordinator for eight years, in addition to his main role as a Year 4 Form Teacher. During this time, he coordinated the work of teaching and nonteaching staff in order to meet the needs of the pupils in our school. This involved assessing pupil needs, setting targeted interventions and analysing outcomes. He worked closely with our Teaching Assistants and developed positive working relationships with them.
Antonella joined the Junior School in September 2006, working with us for over ten years. Before the birth of her son, Luca, Antonella was Deputy Head of this department. Over the years she proved to be a dedicated and hardworking member of staff. She was committed and energetic and constantly strived to do the very best for the pupils that she taught.
Before this role, he coordinated Art and Design Technology and taught a range of subjects across Key Stage 2. He was at ease with the many people that he encountered at QEGS and had an excellent rapport with the parents, pupils and his colleagues alike. He was very well liked by the pupils and parents and they responded well to his caring nature. The pupils particularly enjoyed his whole school assemblies and the ‘What’s in the box?’ ending to each one! Andrew was always approachable and warm, with a good sense of humour. His door was always open to those requiring support or guidance. I don’t remember him ever having a bad day; if he ever did, he hid it well! New staff always commented as to how helpful he was and that however insignificant their queries or concerns, he was always happy to assist and guide as required. Art and Design was a particular interest of his. During the working week he ran a lunchtime club – Wonderful Watercolours; he also ran an iPad Animation Club. He worked with our Senior School pupils and staff during the weekly Reading Partner Club sessions. These sessions aimed to support and stretch pupils with their reading skills in the Junior School, supported by the older pupils in our school.
She set high expectations, managing the pupils in a fair and consistent way; developing strong relationships with the pupils in her care and was always interested in their well-being, progress and achievement. Her classroom was a pleasure to step foot into: it was child-friendly, interactive and ever-changing, providing constant stimulation for the pupils to achieve their very best. Antonella was keen to support extra-curricular activities too: she had, and continues to have, a keen interest in keeping fit, in particular running, and enjoyed Drama. Her sense of humour and relaxed nature saw her develop good working and personal relationships with her colleagues. She oversaw countless school plays, attended many after school sporting fixtures and attended the Year 6 Adventure Holiday – even when heavily pregnant! She ran a Cheerleading and Drama Club amongst others, and enhanced our Handwriting provision by providing a Calligraphy Club for those Upper Key Stage 2 pupils that had achieved their Pen Licence. Antonella took the decision to leave QEGS last year in order to explore other lines of work. I know that she is embracing the new challenges that she has encountered. It has been a great privilege working with Antonella, and all the Junior School staff wish her the very best with whatever direction her career takes her. Written by Mrs K O’Donoghue
Andrew moved closer to home with his work in order to better support his family. He has a new role this year as a Class Teacher in a secondary setting, working with pupils with generic learning difficulties. I know that he will find this new role extremely rewarding, as he had a great passion for supporting those with complex learning needs. He will be sorely missed; we wish him all the very best in his newfound career. Written by Mrs K O’Donoghue
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Cockshott Elizabeth joined the Music Department as an NQT in September 2016. Her background of choral singing and experience of being an organ scholar at the University of Leeds enabled her to bring a fresh approach to the school’s Cathedral Services; she introduced the choir to a range of exciting new repertoire.
During her training year, Elizabeth took on the responsibility of developing the choir and organising the instrumental Teatime Recital Concert. She assisted with the organisation of department trips and extracurricular rehearsals for the GCSE and A-level Recitals. Elizabeth was an asset to the department involving herself fully in the life of the school; jazz band members in particular took great delight in her playing alongside the altosaxes, learning both a new instrument and a new style of playing for her own personal development, demonstrating her commitment and enthusiasm for music to the pupils. Written by Miss A Berry
Cornwall Gemma joined us after working in Dubai for a number of years at a top performing international school. Living, working and studying in three different continents made her ideal to teach the Macro section of the Economics course where her students could develop a wider perspective on world events. Originally scheduled to start working at QEGS in January, Gemma selflessly offered to cut her maternity leave short so that the school could have a permanent teacher. She quickly showed her team sprit by volunteering to help run a school trip to London (on her day off!) and even caught the Emirates Air Line cable car that rises to an elevation of 300ft. It was only when the cable car was halfway across the Thames that she mentioned that she was deathly scared of heights! Gemma’s approach to teaching and learning puts emphasis on the students exploring and discovering the subject for themselves. She expertly crafts lessons that enable the learners to debate key issues and develop chains of analysis verbally. Gemma could never be accused of ‘spoon feeding’ but rather created a schedule of work for the students that gave them responsibility for their own grades, whilst also giving them ample opportunity for tailored feedback. She was quick to make her classroom her own by creating colourful displays of the key messages from the course and kept the students exam-focused by having a ‘number of days until the next exam’ countdown board! Gemma made full use of Google Classroom to engage the students outside of the specification where she would often post information relating to interesting articles or career opportunities for the students. Gemma embraced the key business concept of ‘Kaizen’ (continuous improvement). When some of her Business students struggled to grasp the key concepts of the Human Resources section of the course, Gemma invited in John Macdonald who is the Vice President in charge of Human Resources at Lamprell, an oil services company based in the UAE. When her Economics class expressed a desire to learn more about the subject, Gemma launched an Economics Club, where they could debate important issues such as inequality and ‘The colonisation of Mars’ and took them to a talk by the MD of Goldman Sachs at Stonyhurst College. When one of her GCSE students was absent for an extended period of time, Gemma tailored an exam paper to meet their needs and enable the student to succeed. She truly cares about the welfare and development of her classes and did an amazing job of supporting and inspiring them to succeed. If her talents in the classroom were not already impressive enough, her baking inspired the students further! Gemma created biscuits with macro diagrams on to reward her students and the day before the last A-level Economics exam of the year, Gemma drove into school on her day off to give them all cakes to wish them good luck. Even after leaving, she is still sending details for possible contacts for trips and talks and congratulating her students on partaking in work experience. On a personal note, I cannot thank Gemma and her husband Ross, enough for the kindness and support they have shown me since they joined QEGS. I am honoured to call them my friends and will miss working with them greatly. Written by Ms K Walmsley
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Gottard It was with great sadness that the Mathematics department bid farewell to Mr George Gottard in July after six years at QEGS. George’s unique wit, charm, teaching style and outlook on life lit up Ormerod House’s classrooms and staff room in equally emphatic measures and he is sorely missed.
George joined the school on what was supposed to be a temporary basis in 2011 but his temporary position clearly lasted for much longer! Students loved his unique approach to teaching which stemmed from his belief that first students had to enjoy their study in order to be motivated to learn; once this was achieved, great things could happen. Mr Gottard went about this by injecting all his lessons with good humour and a sense of fun whilst working outside lessons to find innovative resources which would challenge and educate. For so many students Mr Gottard was their favourite teacher, they looked forward to his lessons and Mathematics became their favourite subject. Amongst the Mathematics staff George was held in great affection. For him, education was always about teaching children. As he did for his students, George cared about the welfare of his colleagues and this was very evidently reciprocated. George will be missed in Ormerod House but we will continue to see him in more relaxed environments in the future. Written by Mr P Topping
Madden Ever since spotting Miss Holly Madden as an outstanding trainee at Manchester University, Head of Department, Mrs Tattersall, had hoped that a post would become available at QEGS. The department was, therefore, delighted to welcome her in September 2016. Holly’s dry sense of humour, dedication and professionalism ensured that she quickly settled into the department and she impressed everyone with her meticulous preparation. She was determined to make her lessons as creative and engaging as possible for the pupils in her care, sharing her own passion for languages. For Holly, teaching is a true vocation and she generously gave of her time, both to help pupils and share her original ideas and resources with colleagues. She recognised the importance that extra-curricular activities play in the development of young people. A talented table tennis player herself, Holly could be relied upon to assist Mr Buckingham at table tennis club every week. She was also a valued member of the Music Department during her time at QEGS. Specialising in Guitar, she led the Guitar and Ukulele group on a weekly basis and helped prepare pupils to perform in both the Autumn and Summer Concerts. Holly enjoyed playing alongside pupils in both events, supporting those who were new to the instrument by boosting their confidence with her enthusiasm and positive nature. A talented young teacher, it is with sadness that the department bids Holly farewell as she starts at a new school closer to home with more Sixth Form teaching; however, it is also a relief that we are saying “au revoir” and not “adieu”. Written by Mrs R Tattersall
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Colleagues come … and colleagues go … but few have impacted more on the life of our school than John Morgan. The mild mannered, quietly spoken Welshman from the ‘Valleys’ was at QEGS for just short of eleven years. If longevity is a criterion for service then John’s time at QEGS is not unique. It is true that many hundreds of staff in our distinguished history have been at the school for longer. That said, professionalism should be judged by gauging the impact that that person has had on its pupils and students and has made to the life of the school. With this in mind, the school appointed a gem back in January 2007. ‘Gentleman’ John arrived from Central High School in Lancaster with a wealth of experience behind him having at some stage been Head of Faculty at Preston College. John was appointed to teach Physical Education across all Key Stages, to contribute to the delivery and teaching of the scientific modules within A-level PE, and to promote the playing of rugby. He soon proved to one and all that he was a terrific practitioner and a superb teacher. His softly spoken & affable style was liked by all the pupils in his care. Indeed, he proved himself to be wonderful teacher of swimming, sensitive to the needs of the beginner yet sufficiently forthright to progress the capabilities of the more talented. But it was with the sport of rugby that John really made his mark, a daunting task given that football would continue to hold its number one winter sporting status within the school. John’s style of leadership suited the playing of rugby beautifully. He could cajole, encourage, arm twist and inspire and in the end, continued to offer the playing of rugby at QEGS in often challenging circumstances, particularly when our numbers were so few for so very long. His coaching prowess is second to none. A former Welsh 7’s international, John coached at all levels of the game from youth through to county. Respected and known across the county and beyond for his knowledge, coaching ability and tactical astuteness, John has contributed extensively to the development of the game across all levels. He is a member of the County Schools’ Rugby executive and was the brainchild behind the Emerging Schools competition that has served non major rugby playing schools such as ourselves so well. His teaching of academic courses at A-level was similarly inspiring and should not be underestimated. His forte was Sports Physiology, a notoriously difficult module to deliver. Inspirational, knowledgeable and innovative, pupils have commented frequently and fondly of how John could make the complex come across as relatively straight
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Deacon forward. His module marks were always consistently high and, combined with the excellent marks that were further attained as a result of his guidance and critical support in practical classes, his contribution to the success of our A-level students has been immense. Inevitably, John’s management style and talent would soon be tapped up in various other roles within the school. Having served as Head of Raleigh House for several years, he was appointed to the role of Head of Sixth Form, a position he held for eight years. Joining a formidable team of experienced form tutors, the academic guidance and pastoral needs of QEGS students were clearly in very good hands. And so this proved to be with some of our best ever results coming at a time when John was at the helm. The transition from fee-paying independent school to Free School has been one of challenge, adaptation and learning for all concerned. This was particularly so in adapting and modelling a Sixth from to satisfy the needs of a different inspection system and regime. In typical John Morgan style, he continued to galvanise his team expertly and map out a route for the medium term and beyond. On a lighter note, John has organised several rugby tours to France and Spain during his time at QEGS, and has frequently made the journey to Scotland to play a round or two of golf with Mr Buckingham on the ‘lads & dads’ tour. A further highlight for John was when we embarked on a QEGS Penrith to QEGS Blackburn sponsored run over an Easter weekend back in 2012, in support of the fundraising efforts of several accompanying students who were involved in the Uganda Project that year. Hard work, sore feet, aching hips & knees but wonderful memories: crossing the finish line with John, Paul Oliver, and Paula Wild amongst others, is something that both he and I will never forget. Nearly eleven years of service and plenty of fond memories. QEGS will miss his dedication to duty and his enthusiasm for encouraging students and pupils to participate in sport. As a teacher, friend, confidante, mentor, agony ‘uncle’ and surrogate father to some, John is renowned for always putting the kids first. As fine a role model you could ever hope to come across. On a personal note, both John and I know that the time was right for him to pack away his boots and hang up his whistle. Thirty four years of teaching Physical Education and motivating pupils takes its toll. At one time I thought that we both would retire and ride off into the sunset together but that was not to be. I have lost one of the finest, most trustworthy and dedicated colleagues you could ever hope to meet: a true professional, a great friend. Written by Dr M Butler
Mrs Racheal Deacon left Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School after 17 years in April 2017. Mrs Deacon has contributed a great deal to the school both academically and through the extra-curricular programme. She was an outstanding teacher of History, Classics and English, alongside her commitment to Lammack and sporting extra-curricular activities. Her students benefitted from her expert knowledge and hundreds of students were able to gain excellent GCSE and A-level grades. Mrs Deacon’s lessons were always very well planned and delivered with precision and appropriate good humour. Her students appreciated her calm and measured approach. She gave generously of her time leading and assisting with School trips both in this country and abroad and was a caring form tutor and head of year. In the latter years she was best known as the School SENCO. She pioneered the Special Needs Department and will be remembered for the time and support that she dedicated to the pupils in her care. We wish her luck in her new post at Bury Grammar School and hope that she stills keeps in touch.
Matthew joined QEGS in September 2016 as Head of English, succeeding Miss St Jean. In his short time with us he did much work in the department updating and harmonising schemes of work. However, he soon found a desire to return to his first love, which is A-level teaching and he left us in August 2017 to join Rochdale Sixth Form College. We wish Matthew all the very best for the future. Written by Dr C Farmar
Paula joined the Art Department at Queen Elizabeth’s as a cover teacher in the Trinity Term of 2014. She had such a positive impact on the department that she was appointed as a full time teacher of Art in September 2015. She was an excellent asset to the school and her contribution to our extra-curricular program was invaluable. Her commitment to helping pupils achieve their best was one of her strengths, and she made a huge difference to the GCSE pupils that she regularly tutored during lunchtime sessions. In addition to further developing her own tutoring business, in October Paula will be taking a maternity cover position at Sir John Thursby Community College. She will be remembered for her cheerful smile and friendly, positive attitude and her motivation to help all pupils. Written by Mr T Birtwistle
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Philip Pratt joined the Classics Department as a part-time teacher in November 2015, an awkward time to join a school and find one’s feet. However, he settled in well over the coming months and made a positive impression on teachers and pupils alike in the relatively short time he was with us.
Mr Ross Cornwall joined the QEGS teaching staff in September 2016, having taught English at the International College in Dubai. Despite having only been with us for a year, Mr Cornwall made quite an impact in his short time here.
Philip, highly academic and passionate about his subject, instilled an enthusiasm for the rich heritage of the ancient world into many pupils from Years 7 to 13. He was particularly at ease in his teaching of A level Latin, where his academic background and the tutoring he did at Harvard, just before joining the school, helped to create inspiring and stimulating lessons. He made some excellent suggestions to help promote the subject in the school and was enthusiastic in his conversations with pupils, parents and staff alike. He also regularly gave up his free time to give extra lunchtime revision sessions to those pupils underperforming and organised holiday revision sessions for GCSE students. Those members of staff who had the opportunity to get to know Philip found him to be an amiable and witty man and valued his opinion on a diverse range of topics. Pupils were also saddened to hear of his departure, having enjoyed many memorable lessons with him. This was Philip’s first teaching position and he learnt much about pedagogy and the school during his time here. He will no doubt continue to develop professionally and successfully in his future of teaching and we would like to wish him luck as he starts his post at Stockport Grammar School in September 2017. Written by Miss R Wildman
His engaging and personable, yet no-nonsense teaching style quickly made him one of the most trusted and popular members of the English department. His innovative use of group activities and of technology in the classroom made English learning fun yet genuinely beneficial for the progress of his GCSE students in particular, many of whom will remember the regular “Kahoot” quizzes for which use of mobile phones in class was permitted for once! He had a great love for his subject and a particular enthusiasm for Dickens, which he communicated to his students with great passion. His love of sport, and for football in particular, endeared him to many of the Year 10 boys and he was more than willing to use his sporting prowess for the benefit of the school by coaching the Under 12 Football team and by his regular presence at Lammack on Saturday mornings. In his final weeks at QEGS, Ross proved his mettle as an extremely able thespian when he added to the growing roster of staff members who have been cast in school productions by playing the Colonel in the Trinity Term production of “Journey’s End”. At one of the busiest periods of the academic year, he dedicated much of his own time to after-school rehearsals and was a most receptive Drama student in his own right! All who saw his performance were hugely impressed by how convincingly he inhabited the character and by how seamlessly he interacted with the student cast members. The English department and the wider teaching staff remember fondly a kind, supportive and friendly colleague with a great appetite for life. He will be missed greatly by all. Written by Mr B Ventress
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Vikki joined QEGS in September 2014 as we opened as a Free School. Her job was to introduce Computing to the Free School curriculum, a task that she set about with tremendous energy. After only a term and a half, Computing was so popular with Year 9 that 2 classes worth of them opted to take it as a GCSE. Every lunchtime, IT3 is a hive of activity as pupils engage in computing-related activities such as Minecraft or programming with Raspberry pi.
Joining us as Head of Psychology in September 2013 Wendy was an instant hit with the students as her lively and engaging lessons were enjoyed by many.
Vikki was also the driving force behind an overhaul of the IT facilities, the introduction of iPads for both staff and pupils (in the Primary Phase) and the adoption of Google Classroom as an online platform for delivering learning materials. Vikki’s lively personality will be missed around the Common Room. She leaves us to take up a post at Brighton College, Bangkok. Written by Dr C Farmar
Psychology has become one of the most popular A-levels at the school and results are good year after year. Wendy did not restrict her activities to the Sixth Form. She took a form in Year 10 and Year 11, ran the School Council and turned her hand to the teaching of Ethics & Philosophy in Year 8 and Year 9. She was also a very active Social Secretary for the Common Room and organised some memorable evenings out. Yet it was her stage debut as Lady Bracknell in 2016’s production of “The Importance of Being Earnest” which will live longest in the memory. Wendy leaves us for pastures new, teaching Btec at Wigan and Leigh College. Written by Dr C Farmar
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Queen Elizabethâ€™s Grammar School, West Park Road, Blackburn, BB2 6DF Call 01254 686300 Email reception@QEGSblackburn.com QEGSblackburn.com
Published on Jan 4, 2018