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OurLady's Lady's Convent Convent School Our LoughboroughEndowed Endowed Schools Schools Foundation Foundation Loughborough Issue • Summer 2018 Issue4745 • Winter 2017 @LboroAmherst @LboroAmherst Like us@lboroamherst Follow @OLCS_News @LESConvent Follow us onus Twitter @OLCS_News Issue 44 • Summer 2017

Challenge••Care Care •• Confidence Confidence Challenge

A few words from the Headmaster Dear Parents Welcome to the final newsletter of this academic year. What a busy term it has been! The term began on 23 April with the announcement that we will be taking boys into the Senior School from September 2019, and that our name will change this September to Loughborough Amherst School. So, things started with a bang, and haven’t really slowed down since. As ever, there is far too much for me to cover in a short introduction, so I will just mention a few events and achievements that have stuck in my mind and give a flavour of the term. The dominant theme in my mind this term has been sport, but things have been as busy as ever in all other fields. This has been a good year for the budding entrepreneurs on our Young Enterprise programme. In particular, ‘Burton and Gray’, a company comprising some of our girls and some Grammar boys, designed and marketed several niche products, which included a variety of potted cacti and a wide range of designer socks. In January, Burton and Gray, won a place in the Young Enterprise county final where they won Best Trade Stand. They proceeded to the regional final, where they were runners up in several categories. A special mention must go to their Managing Director, Lois Bird, who led the company to such great success. Congratulations also to Serena Fathers, Orianne Capsticks, Georgia Morris, Stephanie Henshaw, Alya Alshalan and Charlotte Parry. Following these successes, Burton and Gray attended the natonal Enterprise Festival at Buckingham University where they met with festival organiser, Peter Jones of Dragons’ Den fame.

Before we finally leave the theme of physical endurance, I would like to pass on my congratulations to all the Bronze Duke of Edinburgh girls in Year 10, who completed their expedition during 2-3 July in the hottest conditions in the UK since 1976. A Duke of Edinburgh expedition is reasonably testing at the best of times, but in this heat it became a whole new level of challenge. I am proud to say that all the girls completed the expedition in good time and good health.

The Easter holiday saw the launch of our triathlon programme, with a number of taster sessions, which proved very popular. We then competed in the ISA National triathlon competition on 2 May. Following this successful launch, we are now running a regular triathlon club on Thursday evenings and Saturday mornings.

At the end of the Mass, Will Holland from the Knights of St Columba presented Esther Ruth Tremeer in Year 7 with her national first prize across the entire 11-18 age range in the Knights’ annual Easter Art competition. The prize money received by the School as result of Essie’s achievement has enabled us to purchase two beautiful icons for either end of the Chapel alter.

This term also saw the announcement from the Lawn Tennis Association that Loughborough will be one of two national centres for the training of the young tennis stars of tomorrow, and that we will be the School that boards and educates these youngsters. This is an exciting coup for Loughborough and for our School, and coincides perfectly with our drive to develop a greater diversity of sports (including tennis) within our curriculum and across our extracurricular clubs. Staying on a sporting theme, as part of our fundraising to complete the equipping of the fitness suite and dance studio in the new


sports centre, during September 2018 to April 2019 we are inviting as many sponsored runners as possible, whether parents, staff or pupils, to take part in our ‘Run to Tokyo.’ The aim is to collectively run the distance from Loughborough to Tokyo (host of the 2020 Olympics). All are welcome to contribute, however large or small their personal target distance. We are kicking off the Run to Tokyo on Saturday 22 September, with a Great Olympic Run, during which runners representing either Amherst or Loughborough High will keep our own Olympic torch in motion for a continuous 12 hours from 7am to 7pm. I have rashly volunteered to kick things off on the day by covering 5k from 7am. Details of how to take part in the Run to Tokyo and in the Great Olympic Run are all contained in a letter from me that should have reached you all on 4 July.

On 2 July, we celebrated the Feast of the Blessed Antonio Rosmini with our customary whole school Mass. The Mass carried an extra layer of beauty and meaning as it saw the baptism and first Holy Communion of Layla and Isobel Jennings. It was a moving moment to see these two young members of our community begin their lifelong journey as new members of the Body of Christ.

I have barely touched the surface of the many sporting, musical, artistic and intellectual events and achievements of the last term, and – as I write – the charity concert at Emmanuel Church, the Leavers’ Ball, Prize Giving and Sports Day all still lie ahead. It is a privilege and a pleasure to be at the centre of a community of such vibrancy, talent and positive energy … but I must confess to looking forward to a nice lie down come 13 July. Julian Murphy

Silver: Alice Bradley Heather Brown

Bronze: Charlotte Allen Lucy Bennett Philippa Higgins Abby Higham Hollie Lewin Daisy Russell Lydia Johnson

Highly Commended: Jessica Higginson Millie Sherwood Hannah Bardsley

Biology Challenge Just before the Easter break pupils from Year 9 and 10 participated in the Biology Challenge. A national competition held annually by the Royal Society of Biology, this year more than 43,000 students took part. The grade boundaries were released during the Easter holidays and we were delighted to hear that two of our pupils had been awarded a silver award, there were also eight bronze, three highly commended and nine commended. Congratulations to everyone who was involved.

Commended: Allie Drane Elili Kallu Isobel Laxton Tia John Katie Long Heidi Marlow Lucy Moore Jess Watkins Yasmin Wilbram

USA POLITICS TRIP, EASTER 2018 The biennial trip to New York, Philadelphia and Washington DC was once again a huge success during Easter. At an unearthly hour in the middle of the night, Stephanie Henshaw (Year 12) joined 42 students from the Grammar School and High School and made the trek to Heathrow and arrived in New York with glorious weather and no small amount of traffic. They visited the Ellis Island Immigration Museum, taking in beautiful views of the Statue of Liberty en-route, to learn about the American ‘melting pot’, before visiting Wall Street, Federal Hall and the incredibly moving 9/11 Memorial and Museum. Departing for Philadelphia in six inches of snow (really!) the students visited the original home of the United States government and attempted to eat a traditional Philly cheesesteak. In Washington DC, visits to Congress, the Supreme Court and the Pentagon allowed students to see the reality of the course they had been learning. Of course, the highlight in DC is always the Segway tour, and the visits to the Lincoln memorial. The students were exemplary in every respect and packed a huge amount into just six days…taking some of them, including the staff, considerable time to recover!


A Night at the Musicals This year our annual production was an extravaganza of song and dance as the pupils took the audience on a whistle stop tour of a night at the musicals. There were outstanding performances from all age groups with the Prep children almost stealing the show with their Fat Sam’s Grand Slam routine from Bugsy Malone.

It was a particularly poignant show for some of our older performers, for Amber Savage, Grace Elliott, Lucy Baker and Rebecca Pendery, for whom this was their last school production before they head out into the world. The production was a triumph of hard work, team work, determination and overcoming challenges with a ‘can do’ attitude. Both of the performances were perfect and we can only echo the sentiments of one parent who emailed after the event to comment on the joie de vivre and enjoyment which was so plainly in evidence from all the performers.



Creeping, Crawling, Slithering, Sliding and Scuttling… ENGINEERING FOR THE FUTURE Ella Astbury left us, in Year 13, three years ago. In her own words she was relieved to leave school with ‘good GCSEs and alright A Levels in Physics, Maths and History’. Ella knew from Year 12 that she wanted to explore other avenues rather than just following the herd to university. She focused on finding an apprenticeship and this term she came into school to give an assembly about her experiences. I applied for, and was accepted onto, an apprenticeship with BAMNuttall, one of the largest construction firms in the UK. There are different levels of apprenticeship and mine is a higher apprenticeship that will lead onto a degree. My scheme involves block release which means I am at college at Leeds College of Building for three months and then on site for three months and so on. Currently I’m working in London on the Thames Tideway West project as an apprentice Quantity Surveyor. I am training to be responsible for the costs of projects whether that is buying materials or paying contractors. I get to go out on site to gain an understanding of all the different engineering works at different points in the project and support the Site Engineers. My work is very varied, having Thames Tideway West project on my CV makes me stand out from the crowd and I’ve grown in confidence. Another benefit is that I’ve expeirenced living in different parts of the UK and living in London is something that I never thought I would do. Apprenticeship is not the easy option, it’s a huge amount of work, however knowing that I’m learning, being paid and have a guaranteed job at the end makes all the hard work worthwhile. I would say to anyone considering their future, don’t rule out apprenticeships or think of them as something for people who don’t get good enough grades. Often trades such as the one that I am in are very practical jobs, therefore they are often a better route for you to gain experience as well as qualifications. Employers often look for people who have experience of the job and you won’t have any student loans to pay off, you will have the same qualifications at those at university and you are, in most cases, guaranteed a job at the end. Ella Astbury


Recently our Year 5 and 6 pupils joined with Loughborough Grammar School for an educational session as part of the Grammar School’s Year 6 Insect Week. Everyone was fascinated even if they were at first a bit wary of all the interesting creatures they got to meet, including a giant snail!

Stars Align for Maud Maud Wainwright-Pilton has had one heck of a year! At about Christmas time she decided to write a book, more about that later. Since then she’s been published, shortlisted for a literary prize and been interviewed on the radio and all this has been on going against a background of Year 11 GCSEs. So when the pressure is on with summer examinations looming why would you write a book? Maud’s answer is simple, “I needed to raise at least £300 for a charity project as part of my church group, I didn’t want to bake cakes or help at football and I certainly didn’t want to wash cars. So, I thought about what I did want to do. I love reading and want to be an author, so why would I not write a book and see if I could sell it to raise money?” And the rest, as they say, is history. In the space of a month Maud wrote her novel, Neon Sky, about twin sisters at a juncture in their life, one wants independence, the other is not so sure. After showing her story, written in verse prose, to a friend, he recommended that it was good enough to get published.

Pretty Good Laughs…PGL! The boys and girls from our Year 6 recently joined with Year 6 from the Grammar School for a fun packed few days at PGL. They tested themselves in different ways whether it was staying away from home overnight, raft building or scaling new heights. Everyone enjoyed it and discovered new skills and depths of courage and confidence they didn’t know they had.

The day the first imprint of the book was delivered saw Maud dancing round the kitchen in delight. Since then that first edition has sold out to family, friends, church congregation and school friends. An author friend of the family read the book and recommended Maud submit it as an entry to the Leicester Writes – Leicester Book Prize. Not only was she long listed but she was shortlisted down to the final four entries, she was also the youngest entrant by several years in one instance and a few decades in another! BBC Radio Leicester heard about Maud’s achievements and were keen to talk to her; so the day after her final exam she was on air at 07:50 being interviewed by Martin Ballard. As the sales of the book continue to grow, so too does the fund for supporting Go MAD in Tanzania, the charity that Maud and her church group will be going out to support in August. Their original fundraising target was £2,400 but now they are nearing £5,000 thanks to the £800 donation from the sales of Neon Sky. Congratulations to Maud for, as she puts it 'doing the brave thing!' she is certainly an author to watch out for in the future. Well done Maud. For more information about Maud’s book or to purchase a copy of Neon Sky priced at £7.99, please email her publisher at


Year 7 Space Centre Trip In Year 7 we have been studying space, which is full of extraordinary wonders most people couldn’t even dream of. As our planet is only one part of our solar system, which is only one small dot in our galaxy, which is only one galaxy in our entire universe, who can tell what is out there? Many astronomers become almost addicted to their curiosity of space as it is fascinating and unpredictable. But since our school cannot send 10+ people into actual space we were fortunate enough to have the chance to go to the national space centre which luckily is right on our doorstep. When we arrived at the National Space Centre, on 13 June, our first stop was a workshop where we found out what life would be like if we were astronauts. We found out that there is tones and tones of training that goes into becoming an astronaut. To adapt to living without gravity for a long period of time it requires complex preparation as you will be floating rather than standing. The closest thing to zero gravity is swimming in a pool wearing scuba gear. This is one of the methods that astronauts use, for example, to try using the mouth pieces and breathing. You would also need to know vital information about how to work in space on the spacecraft and how to repair things if something were to go wrong. We also learnt that the space suits that astronauts wear are made up of loads and loads of layers for protection. We used a special camera that detected heat which we did experiments with. This workshop was beneficial, informative and interactive.

At the end of the trip I felt so amazing as I know that I, and many people in Year 7, had been to the National Space Centre before, all these memories of being there in my childhood were again reinforced. Overall, I found this trip most enjoyable and I hope I can go there again soon.

On Wednesday 13 June the whole of Year 7 went on an amazing day trip to the Space Centre in Leicester. Starting off with a great workshop on how to be an astronaut. Two unforgettable facts we learnt were that astronauts have to train in water as it is the closest atmosphere to space, as you would need a tank to breathe oxygen from, and also one funny fact was that astronauts have to use nappies if ever they need to go to the toilet, whether they are outside the rocket or if ever they are in a rush. This is because if they went to the toilet it would take them over an hour to actually go, after taking all their layers of their space suit off and also it would be a very messy job! After that we experienced a fantastic planetarium show where the life in space felt like reality. After lunch we then explored the exhibits where we learnt many interesting facts about the whole Solar System. Then closing the trip, we went to the top of the rocket tower where we experienced the launching of a space shuttle and we even saw a proper rocket! After a long trip we all had a lot of fun and who knew that the Space Centre could actually encourage me to be an astronaut!!!!!!!!

Lauren Van Bunnens, Y7

Ayeka Edirisinghe, Y7

Throughout the trip we were given a booklet that had questions to answer while we went around all the exhibits. Each level of the building had fascinating facts about space, such as a dog that went to space or the moon with an actual piece of moon stone included in the display. I found this so interesting, to see how these things in history have impacted our world today on the discovery and study of things in space. Also, we were lucky enough to watch a video in the planetarium on life in space. It was insane how the screen surrounds you and makes you feel as if you are there.

Sofia in the Limelight

Recently Sofia’s parents received an invitation to our annual Prize-Giving. Unfortunately Sofia is unable to attend due to a commitment to participate in a performance at Curve Theatre, Leicester on the same night. In writing to decline their invitation they included this photograph taken from the Curve Facebook page which shows Sofia with Gloria Estefan who she had the privilege to perform with recently. We are delighted to support our pupils in all their endeavours and we look forward to sharing their achievements in future editions of the newsletter or on social media.


Caritas in the Community with Year 12 On Friday 22 June the Year 12 Caritas team, lead by the new caritas prefect Stephanie Henshaw, organised a wonderful event for the local senior citizens of Loughborough. Year 12 had also made a special effort to invite and include eight Rosminian sisters for afternoon tea. Two talented pianists: Ayeka Edirisinghe and Aditi Kapur entertained our VIP’s with some wonderful music. The afternoon was further enhanced by two pupils inviting their own grandparents; Eloise Smith’s Grandmother said “it was thoroughly enjoyable, particularly the fresh strawberries and the young company.”

Lois Bird put a great deal of time and effort into organising the bingo for all our guests, which was a great hit. Mr Gallagher, Head of Sixth Form commented on how proud he was of all the team’s effort and that the spirituality of a Rosminian school was evident. Well done girls. From September this community centred year group are pioneering V.S.U. (Voluntary Service Unit) in the School with Orianne Capsticks (Deputy Head Girl) and Stephanie Henshaw (Caritas prefect) currently looking for opportunities to work in the local community.

BEFRIENDING DRAGONS Some of our Sixth Form students had a great day when they met Peter Jones, one of the original dragons from Dragons Den at #ENTFEST for young entrepeneurs.


Art Exhibition 2018

This year’s Art Exhibition in the Cloister on Friday 15 June was a great opportunity to see some fabulous artwork created by GCSE and A Level students. There were some outstanding examples of both 2D and 3D creative works and there was a great deal of very positive feedback from everyone attending.



SPORTS ROUND UP This year has seen good success in rounders. Both the Year 8 and 10 teams were champions of the North Charnwood rounder’s league and winners and third place in the County tournaments. We have had a fantastic athletics season where individuals have shone. In the county championships Naomi Wilbram achieved 1st in the 300m, Esmee Esho came 1st in the 100m, Charlotte Allen 2nd in the High jump and Katie Long 3rd in the High Jump. Lauren Van Bunnens, Sarah James, Esmee Esho (pictured below) and Demi Locker all won their respective events in the Midlands Athletics ISA and represented the School at the ISA National Championships. A special mention to Chelsie Locker in Year 5 (pictured right with sister Demi) who did an incredible job in becoming the National ISA 600m champion!

Naomi Wilbram has also qualified to represent at the English Schools Athletics Competition in the 300m in mid-July and we wish her luck with her race. Congratulations to all of these girls who have represented our school in such a wonderful way.


In the spring term, we showcased our annual dance show, which for the first time was combined with other musical talents. The show involved 190 performers ranging from Reception to Year 13. We owe the success of this show to Miss Stanley and Mr Morris who worked with the performers to produce some outstanding choreography and vocal performances. We wish the new dance teacher Mrs Davey every success when she joins us in September as a full-time member of staff, she is already planning on entering dancers into ISA National competitions. The links with Loughborough University have developed well this year and new opportunities in sports have been introduced into the curriculum and at weekends. In addition the links with the Lawn Tennis association have begun, with pupils acting as the ball crew for the LTA Loughborough Challenger Tour in May.

Sport and Physical activity has become a foundation of the extra-curricular programme with more demand for diverse sports and activities. We will welcome two new members of staff next year, Mrs Davey who ran her own dance company and Mr Perham, who is a triathlete, currently representing Great Britain in the world Tri series. This will enable each pupil to access daily physical activity, which will improve their mental and physical health as well as the School’s sporting success.

The Foundation Triathlon club has been exceptionally popular. The club has two sessions, swimming on Thursday and cycling and running on Saturday. The School team entered their first ISA competition this year at Lucton School. All pupils performed fantastically well, led by Daisy Sawford as team captain.


Educating Tennis Stars of the Future Loughborough Schools Foundation has been entrusted to deliver a first-class education to the country’s leading junior tennis aces, following a new partnership with Loughborough University and the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA). Loughborough University has been announced as one of two National Academies for tennis, intended to nurture 14 to 18-year-olds who demonstrate the greatest future potential in the sport. Alongside world-class coaching, science, medicine, and welfare expertise, from 2019 those selected will also be provided with an excellent mainstream education at Loughborough Amherst School. From September 2019, Loughborough Amherst School, currently known as Our Lady’s Convent School, will provide a full co-educational curriculum for the first time. The tennis players will receive a high-quality, flexible education and boarding that will fit around their training. Dr Murphy, Headmaster, said that the Foundation was looking forward to working with the country’s finest tennis talents. He said: “We are honoured to be working with Loughborough University and look forward to providing an education for future British tennis champions at Loughborough Amherst School. “It’s a testament to our reputation for delivering a first-class education and we are confident that the athletes chosen to attend the National Academy will leave us, not only as better sportspeople, but as mature and confident adults. “It’s a big responsibility but one that I know our superb team will rise to and we can’t wait to welcome the first cohort in September 2019.”

BALL GIRLS You may have seen in the news or on the television that there was a brand new tennis tournament held between 19 and 27 May at Loughborough University. This was the highest level profile professional tennis tournament held in Leicestershire since 1971 and the prize money was a total of $100,000. Year 7 and 8 pupils from the School were invited to participate in this hugely prestigious event by being ball girls. The girls received training from a team of coaches and then spent up to a week at the tournament, working hard until often late into the evening. The girls learnt all of the rules, witnessed some world class tennis being played and some have since been inspired to start playing tennis themselves! They even enjoyed having to hold the player's sweaty towels in between points! The feedback from the girls was unanimously positive but we also received specific feedback from the tournament organisers, the tennis coaches and even the security guards as to how great all of the girls were in terms of their enthusiasm, manners and behaviour. A fantastic event in every way.


Young Women in Media Journalist, broadcaster and past pupil, Jo Bostock, is a good friend to the School and it was our Sixth Form she turned to when she wanted young women’s take on how they are portrayed in the media. Our fabulous, articulate students were a credit to themselves, their families and of course the School when they were interviewed for her BBC Radio Leicester Sunday morning show. Congratulations to Grace Elliott, Sam Needham, Serena Fathers, Stephanie Henshaw and Charlotte Parry for their excellent contributions.


There Me ‘arties Children from the pre-School in The Nursery recently joined our Pre-Prep children for an exciting pirate themed sports day. The event was managed by the Year 10 Sports Leaders and lots of treasure was gathered and physical challenges overcome as the teams tackled a range of obstacles and races. The day concluded with an excellent relay race to find the fastest team to dress their pirate ready to go to sea.

PA Royal Wedding Street Party The Parents’ Association very kindly arranged a Royal Wedding street party celebration for children from The Nursery and our Prep children. There were fun games to play, dressing up, face painting and a delicious street party style tea. Thank you to our brilliant Parents' Association.


Marvellous Manor Farm

The children from Reception and Year 1 and 2 had great fun at Manor Farm recently. They enjoyed learning all about owls and met a 73 year old tortoise!

Year 11 Pre-Exam Picnic

The Pre-Exam Picnic is a much loved annual tradition. It marks Year 11's transition from Seniors to Sixth Form students. Sitting in the sun in the Cloister Garth, sharing their lunch, cups of tea and cake with friends and staff, is a lovely start to the exam season. We look forward to seeing everyone back in school for GCSE results day on 23 August.


Parents joined the whole school to celebrate the annual Exam Mass in preparation for the start of the Summer exam season. A lovely opportunity to catch up with parents and family members and enjoy some quiet contemplation.

A Fond Farewell to Year 13 Saying goodbye is never easy but the friendships formed at School will last a lifetime and that is no different for our Year 13s who enjoyed a farewell service and afternoon tea in the Sisters’ Convent before embarking on their summer exam leave. We wish them all well and look forward to seeing them on 16 August for their results and hearing about their university placements.


Founder’s Mass and First Holy Communion

On Monday 2 July Layla and Isobel took three Holy sacraments in one day. They made their first confession and then later in the day, in front of family, God parents, friends and a packed whole School congregation they were baptised and took their first Holy Communion. The mass was a beautiful, spiritual and memorable occasion presided over by Fr Simon Gillespie, a great friend to the School.

Mr English, Representing Leicestershire in County Bowls Pairs Final Mick English and his pairs partner, Darren Allsopp, have just reached the Bowls County Pairs Final. Reaching this stage qualifies them to represent the county (Bowls Leicestershire) in the National Finals at Leamington Spa in August. When asked about his achievement he says, “I don’t think I have ever been so proud in my life!”

Gray Street, Loughborough, Leicestershire LE11 2DZ Telephone: 01509 263901 Email address: Web: Established in Loughborough since 1850. Member of ISA.

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Convent School Summer Newsletter 2018  

A review of the exciting activities and achievements of the pupils attending Our Lady's Convent School (Loughborough Amherst School from Sep...

Convent School Summer Newsletter 2018  

A review of the exciting activities and achievements of the pupils attending Our Lady's Convent School (Loughborough Amherst School from Sep...