The Magazine of Reading School
Strength through Diversity
Return to the Alma Mater Two intrepid young Old Boys came back to join us for the Lent and Summer terms and help out in various ways (including designing this Magazine). Here, they share some of their feelings about the experience.
Nelson Mandela once said, ‘There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find ways in which you yourself have altered’. Coming back to Reading School as a multi-tasking intern it’s surprised me how little has changed about the place. From Mr Baldock’s Coventry City FC beanie to the Year 7 fashion of carrying bags large enough to carry them, Reading has retained its essential and endearing characteristics.
The staff room… the final frontier. As a student, I would peer down the pigeon-holed corridor and wonder at the mystery that lay beyond. Some claimed it was a place of retribution, where naughty students were entombed to wander disconsolately amongst dusty volumes of Shakespeare and Encore Tricolore textbooks. Others believed it to be a place of idle luxury, If the great Madiba was right, then my return should have where teachers reclined in wingback chairs and sampled correspondingly revealed to me the ways in which I have changed delicacies from the Americas and the Orient, their feet since departing for university. In fact, despite graduating from the massaged by the gentle pulsations of a Beurer FB50 playground to the staff room, I’ve found that little about me has Luxury Foot Spa. really changed either. The essential elements of the Reading School boy, whatever those may be, still resonate within me. I have slipped Returning to the School as a staff member and stepping right back into this homely into that hallowed enclave for the first time, the reality environment like a freshwater salmon was a little more prosaic. In place of the wingbacks, a homogenous cluster of chairs; into the paws of a twelve-foot Grizzly. in place of the culinary delicacies, a stained coffee flask and a forlorn piece of leftover birthday cake; and in place of the latest in massage technology, a pile of disused carrier bags. The dream was over.
The law of diminishing returns states that if one input in the production of a commodity is increased while all others are held fixed, ‘a Until break-time … Suddenly, the staff room was a hive of activity, the distant point will be reached at which additions of the hum of the photocopiers providing a dull backdrop to the lively chatter. Senior input yield progressively diminishing output’. It staff rallied the troops to the cause, disseminating tactics and advice to seems like neither the inputs of Reading School nor secure another day of success in the perpetual struggle to develop young those of myself have changed significantly in my minds. I had stumbled across the nexus of Reading School, the real absence – so I can only corridor of power, the beating heart of the establishment. conclude that my time as a I answered the door to a young student and, as he spluttered the member of staff here is bound name of his requested audience, his bulging eyes looked past to produce positive results. Or, at me, desperate to obtain a glimpse of the secrets beyond. least, no diminishing returns. “Poor fool”, I thought. “Your wildest imaginings cannot begin to comprehend the power upon which you look.” Michael Livesey, 2004-2011 Jamie Grocott, 2004-2011 Learning Support Development Assistant
Strength through Diversity
Combined Cadet Force
A Little Bit of TLC
Hail and Farewell
Cover image: Comet Lovejoy, captured by Reading School Observatory © Terry Tucker (t2landscapes.co.uk) 2
Strength through Diversity Diversity is an organisation’s mix of race, ethnic origin, gender and other characteristics. Diversity enhances performance by bringing multiple perspectives, increased creativity and a wider range of knowledge to bear on problems and issues. A winning sports team depends on the different talents of its members. A first class orchestra needs many varied instruments. We believe that diversity is a critical attribute to a well-functioning organisation, in which differences can be used to gain a better understanding of one’s own attitudes and their impact on others.
we actively promote British Values, we are also committed to the core values of the United Nations: integrity, professionalism and respect for diversity. We seek to encourage an optimistic outlook and develop young men who are committed but flexible; resilient but compassionate; whose development will be shaped by a mixture of ability, effort and attitude.
The diverse strengths of Reading School are founded on the diverse nature of our students. As a meritocracy founded on the ability to learn, we strive for excellence and a focus on the central importance of potential, performance and partnership – the last including support from ORs, the Reading Foundation and RSPA which helps ensure that we can, in the context of decreasing government funding, continue to provide opportunities for our pupils.
Intellectual curiosity This last attribute is arguably the most important. It is one positively manifest in the intellectual curiosity which is the hallmark of so many of our students’ activities and endeavours, including the extremely successful Inspire Lecture series, generously funded by an OR. Indeed, the Inspire Programme is at the heart of our drive to maximise opportunities for leadership, resilience and a balanced approach to mental health. In addition, as evidenced by the plethora of activities and competitions displayed in this publication, we are committed to enhancing the enrichment opportunities of our boys, many of whom compete with credit on the national and even the world stage.
A positive sense of belonging At Reading School, we strive to nurture a model for diversity that values educational excellence and equity. Diversity, as stated, is a key factor in producing effective teams. Collaboration and partnerships lead to mutual support. We passionately believe in partnerships; in operating locally, nationally and internationally to maximise opportunities for our pupils; in developing thought, energy and insight to achieve and maintain effective leadership and excellence. Most importantly, we believe that the dynamism of our community depends not only on diversity itself, but on promoting a positive sense of belonging among those who may consider themselves outsiders. Our Future Stories Project (see below) is one example of the priority we place on broad-based entry and inclusion. It is our ethos and values which bind and integrate us all, shaped by our core values of Excellence, Integrity and Leadership. Whilst
Future Stories Project – Outreach with Primary Schools This term, staff and students have been working on a range of outreach projects with local primary schools who have a large number of pupil premium students and achieve good results, but have not sent many of their students to Reading School or Kendrick in the past. ‘Future Stories’ seeks to increase levels of aspiration across Reading by building strong links with our Primary partners (Ranikhet, Whitley Park and Geoffrey Field). We are particularly keen to raise the personal aspirations of students from disadvantaged backgrounds both now and for the future
Sense of community Through our houses and our teams, the Reading School community achieves more together than it could as a mere collection of individuals. In both boarding and the day school, this sense of community is strengthened and our performance enhanced by the value we place on diversity, a moral outlook which encourages tolerance and the effective blending of different people and ideas. Through our core values of Excellence, Integrity and Leadership, we grow in humanity. Through our diversity, we grow in strength. Through our love of Reading School, we share in a collective mission to grow a place renowned for learning; an institution shaped by people. Mr Robson, Headmaster
behavioural and learning difficulties, built such a strong relationship with the boy that the work he subsequently produced merited a visit to the Headmistress’ office! His experience is testament to the impact Reading School boys are having on the lives of some youngsters through a project we hope to develop in the future, and which, in its own small way, perhaps, is helping to make the world a better and more open place. Mr Harris, Deputy Head Teacher
Our boys have been helping out in Maths and English lessons, running a chess club and organising public speaking sessions for children from Years 4 to 6. This initiative builds on previous outreach work and will develop both our engagement with the local community and our broad-based approach to admissions. School visits offer prospective applicants – as well as their parents and teachers – a chance to see how they might benefit from a Reading School education. The benefits of the Project are profound and mutual. Patrick Sharman (9W), tasked with helping a student with major
Aex Kurowski-Ford helping a pupil at Ranikhet Primary School
Captain’s Farewell, Kieran Toms 13W Over the last twelve months, I have learned a great deal, and although the role of School Captain has been stressful at times, I can safely say it has been a fantastic year! Having worked with both staff and students, I have gained an appreciation of the amazing work that goes on behind the scenes to make Reading School a great place to learn. I hope during my time as Captain I have given something back in return for the brilliant education that I have received over the past seven years. A number of thanks are in order, especially to the prefect team who have worked tirelessly throughout the year, but also to all of the staff and students who have supported me. Of course the biggest thanks of all must go to Andrew Fisher and Sam Dexter, my two Vice-Captains, for the immense amount of advice and assistance they have given me – I don’t know where I would have been without them! I wish the next School Captain, Neil, and his two Vices, John and Matt, the very best of luck, in the full confidence that they will do an outstanding job. The future looks very bright for Reading School with such a superb group of teachers and pupils, and I am sure many of them will achieve great things both in their remaining time at the school, and well beyond.
Captain’s Hello, Neil Shabong 12C Being School Captain is a privilege I am really proud of and I’d like to thank everyone who gave their support. I could make a light-hearted comment about my new right to graze sheep-like creatures on the school field, but being mainstream always gets my goat... We have a very capable prefect team elected this year. It’s gratifying to see such a dependable and skilled group of people – including, of course, our two Vice-Captains, John Livesey and Matthew Le Croissette. Our intention is to act as worthy representatives of the School and leave a positive mark, whether helping out day to day, getting the student voice heard through the School Council or showcasing what Reading School is all about at bigger School events. There is much to be optimistic about. We can expect a great year ahead if we pull together to give back to the School some of the benefits we have already derived from our time here.
Student Council From the beginning of the year, our primary aim has been to give a greater voice to students in Years 7 through to 9, which we achieved by allocating the 16 Key Stage 4 prefects who make up the Council to various Key Stage 3 form groups. Lots of possible areas for debate were quickly identified in September and October, including Wifi access for Key Stage 4 as well as for the Sixth Form, the PSHE topics that boys find most important and, unsurprisingly, the amount of space available for playing football during lunch break. A handful of suggested developments have been made, including the launch of a new Student Council Bulletin to provide students and parents with a fortnightly summary of life at Reading School and an overview of recent house events. The Council also approved a new Key Stage 4 rewards scheme to be implemented next academic year, featuring gold, silver and bronze awards conferred on a termly basis. We have been led excellently by the School Captain and Vice-Captains. Although the football problem will have to wait a bit longer for full resolution, hopefully the changes which are being implemented will prove successful and the School Council will continue to function as a viable and popular forum for debate and an engine for change. William Clennell, 10E 4
Inspire Lectures 2014-15
The Inspire Lecture Programme Reading School’s occasional Inspire Lectures are open to all staff, students, parents, governors and ORs. The School also extends invitations to other local schools, including Kendrick and Queen Anne’s, who regularly attend our lectures as ‘guests’. The aim of the programme was to set up six lectures per year from outside speakers, experts in their field, to provide our boys with the opportunity to ‘think outside the box’. Classroom time is short and subject content constrained by the requirements of specifications and exams, so the lectures provide an excellent opportunity to move beyond what we learn and teach; to consider
other disciplines and approaches. This year’s lectures have addressed issues such as what is humanity, the future of the planet’s ecosystem and the role of prison in the British legal system. This year, there has been increasing student involvement in the programme, including a number involved in producing and disseminating the publicity and write-ups. My thanks go to James Roberts who has worked tirelessly since the launch of the programme, and to Neil Shabong and John Livesey who are proving worthy successors. Mrs Smith, Head of Year 13
University Entrants This year, a remarkable 25 of our Year 13 students have received offers from Oxford or Cambridge Universities. We wish them every success for their studies and their lives beyond. In 2014, 68% of our leavers went on to study at Russell Group universities. They have been tackling a myriad of different subjects with an impressive 19 studying medicine or dentistry and 17 studying engineering.
Oxford Brendon Casey: PPE (St Edmund’s Hall) Ed Clennett: Earth Sciences (Exeter) Alex Cobb: PPE (Lady Margaret Hall) Tom Fairclough: Materials Science (Corpus Christi) Tom Gavin: Classics (St Anne’s) Matt Hankins: Biochemistry (New) Alex Illingworth: Classics (St Anne’s) Henry Irvine: Geography (Keble) Elliot Jones: PPE (Balliol) Morgan Keenlyside: Chemistry (University) Jonathan Machin: Biochemistry (Corpus Christi) Dan Mead: History and Economics (St John’s) Churchill Ngai: Engineering (Open Offer) John Richardson: Economics and Management (Keble) Alex Stepanyan: Law (St Hugh’s) Anthony Tat: Economics and Management (Balliol) James Toole: Chemical Engineering (Somerville)
Cambridge Alex Johnstone: Asian and Middle Eastern Studies (St John’s) Stephen Parkinson: Geography (Gonville and Caius) James Roberts: Engineering (King’s) Sohum Shah: Land Economy (Sidney Sussex) Arjun Thayyil: Medicine (Girton) Kieran Toms: Medicine (Christ’s) Omar Uwais: Medicine (Gonville and Caius) Roy Zhang: Medicine (Pembroke)
The Old Redingensians Association When I came to Reading School in 1968 to teach in the Modern Languages Department, little did I think that I would spend my whole career here or that I would be OR President in 2015. However, my promotion to Day Housemaster (West House of course), then to Head of Modern Languages and finally to Deputy Head (1989 – 2005) kept me on my professional toes and gave me a great deal of job satisfaction. I am proud to have contributed a little to making Reading School what it is today: a school well-known for its academic excellence and the impressive relationships it builds. An enjoyable place to teach One of the most enjoyable things about teaching at Reading School in my era was school sport. I was able to coach rugby and cricket, my two sporting passions, and the period between 1980 and 1990 when I was involved with the 1st XI, alongside the late and much-lamented Dick Owen, was the high point of that experience. To put it in a nutshell, the reason I am still here, and writing this, is that Reading School was such an enjoyable place to teach. So it is with great pleasure that I now watch the school going forward confidently into a bright future. Support for the School The ORA is continuing to support the School in a number of ways: from the Enterprise Awards, Senior Prizegiving and the refurbishment of Big School, to financial support for a new CCF Shooting Range when a site has been chosen. Another raison d’etre of the ORA is to create and maintain links between ORs, and between ORs and the School. We run a number of sports and social events designed to effect this. The rugby and soccer sevens and cricket six a side events in September, March and June are popular and we would be delighted to welcome more ORs to these. My main focus this year is on increasing membership of the Association and I am sure that this aim will be uppermost in the mind of my Vice President, Ned Holt, in the future. I am delighted to contribute to the Reading School Magazine. The years in which it has not existed have left a real hole in the ongoing history of the School, and while the OR magazine, The Old Redingensian, has partially filled the gap, it is good to know that the School’s many events, activities and achievements are being recorded in a more thorough way. So it is with genuine pleasure that I wish Floreat Redingensis a long and successful life and share wholeheartedly in the message of its title. Mike Evans, ORA President I left Reading School in 2008, after a fulfilling and action-packed five years. Particular highlights include raising my bat after a 50 on the front field, and playing a gig in the Teachers’ Garden. I went on to study Economics at Durham before qualifying as a Chartered Accountant. I now work in Equity Research at an investment bank. I participate in the Old Redingensians Association to contribute to the School and help ensure that the ORA remains relevant to both members and boys alike. I can remember the generosity that the ORs showed towards a number of my own endeavours, and am keen to maintain the legacy of support. Against the background of a UK General Election, I decided to give some focus to the considerable success of Old Redingensians in politics. I aim to celebrate the achievements of a distinguished group of former ORs and not to promote any political view. I am delighted to have the opportunity to participate in this publication, and would like to thank Mr Beahan, Mike Evans, Ken Brown, Chris Widdows and Mrs Greaney for their help and contributions. Arthur Truslove, ORA Council
The ORA Council President J M (Mike) Evans Tel: 0118 942 4578 Email: email@example.com
Vice President E S (Ned) Holt Tel: 0118 926 8948 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Secretary P G (Peter) Chadwick Wellington Manchester Road Sway LYMINGTON SO41 6AP Tel: 01590 683505 Email: email@example.com
Immediate Past President D B (David) Cox Tel: 0118 958 6311 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Treasurer I R (Ian) Moore Tel: 0118 969 1597 Email: email@example.com Social Secretary B (Barrie) Shelton Tel: 01491 599 137 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Chairman of Council Prof M L (Martin) Parsons Tel: 0118 9744 607 Email: email@example.com
Membership Secretary C J (Chris) Widdows 21 Bulmershe Road READING RG1 5RH Tel: 0118 962 3721 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Archivist K C (Ken) Brown Pearmains, Peppard Road Emmer Green READING RG4 8UY Tel: 0118 327 9917 Email: email@example.com
The above form the Executive Committee. The remainder of the Council are as follows: Alex Beckey: Director of Sport Adam Carson: Accountant David Hemsley: Honorary Chaplain Rodney Huggins: Chairman of the Reading Foundation; co-opted Councillor Haris Hussain: Head of Computer Science and Engineering, Reading School Francis Pocock: Former Executive Search Consultant Ashely Robson: Headmaster Arthur Truslove: Banker Alistair Wrenn: Chartered Surveyor
ORA Enterprise Awards 2015 Each year, the Old Redingensian Association awards funds to help inventive, enterprising students complete a personal project. In order to receive an award, the boys must present a clear case as to why they are deserving of the ORA’s investment. In addition to any funds received, the boys get a valuable lesson in how to pitch an idea to potential investors. A kind of Reading School ‘Dragons’ Den’? This year, the assessment panel consisted of Martin Parsons and Haris Hussain for the ORs, as well as the Headmaster and Captain and Vice-Captains of the School. In total, 17 awards were made, covering both individual submissions and joint projects, with a total value of £5000 . Abhishek Manikandan and Rohith Manikonda, Year 9: Building a quadcopter (£150) Anthony Shorrocks and Yun Tian Fang, Year 8: Designing a computer game (£50) Cameron Leask and Tom Hunt, Year 12: Developing an iphone app to help students with revision (£150)
Leadership Challenge Cameron Ward, Year 12: Volunteering as a squash coach in a deprived area of New York (£700) Charlie Taylor, Year 13: Goal to achieve Category 2 race licence for road bike racing (£100) Daniel Li and Rohan Tuli, Year 12: Resources for an Inter-house cooking competition (£250) Douglas Calder, Year 9: Designing and building an electric car (£250)
Edward Sale, Year 11: Leadership role in Scout group trip to World Scout Jamboree in Japan (£150)
Creativity Gautham Senthilnathan, Year 11: Equipment for a new after school club (£100) George Archer, Year 9: Expedition to Uganda (£700)
Jack Cooper, Year 10: Football coaching qualification (£100) Neil Shabong, Year 12: Participation in Debate Chamber Economics Summer School (£150) Peter Drew, Year 11: Leadership role in Scout group trip to World Scout Jamboree in Japan (£150)
Sohum Shah, Year 13: Volunteering in India (£700)
Surya Kongara, Year 12: Voluntary work in local Reading primary schools to support maths and science sessions (£350) Toby Deans, Year 9: Participation in Berkshire Scouts Project Africa (£700) Yousouf Mohamed-Ahmed, Minghua Yin, Nikunj Paliwal and Abdel-Rahaim Abdalla, Year 11: Development of a vocabulary learning programme (£250)
2014 winners Of last year’s award winners, a number of boys travelled far afield to engage with projects in developing countries. Jonny Rowe visited South Africa to build houses, visit orphanages and run a kids’ club for the local children. Alexander Johnstone, on an equally intrepid adventure, travelled to India to teach English, work in an NGO supporting children in poverty, and help out on a farm in the Himalayas. On a more technological note, Cameron Leask and Tom Hunt designed and released iFont, an iPhone app which allows users to import their own typefaces. Richard Shen, meanwhile, built and installed a solar panel on his garden shed which now provides a renewable source of mains electricity. We wish this year’s award recipients the best of luck in matching the many remarkable successes of previous years!
Reading School: A Well-Represented Constituency As a provider of world class education, Reading School has consistently produced more than its fair share of leaders in a wide variety of fields. In politics, where 33% of MPs were privately educated, the Schoolâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s achievement is particularly impressive. In the last Parliament, Reading was the 4th most represented school in the UK, with 4 sitting MPs. Since the 2015 election, this figure has risen to 5. Andrew Smith OR (1962-68) Andrew studied at St Johnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s College Oxford and later worked for the Cooperative Society. He served as an Oxford City Councillor before being elected MP for Oxford East in 1987. Between 1997 and 2004, Andrew held a number of government posts, including Minister for Employment, Chief Secretary to the Treasury, and Minister of State for Work and Pensions, helping to bring about changes in the funding of health, education, and overseas aid. Sir Oliver Heald OR (1966-73) Oliver studied Law at Pembroke College Cambridge. His interest in social issues began while he was training as a barrister in London, when he did voluntary work at the Free Representation Unit. He practised as a barrister for twenty years, and was a candidate in the 1987 election before entering Parliament as MP for North Hertfordshire in 1992. In 2012, he was made HM Solicitor General for England and Wales and helped steer two Bills through the House of Commons. Damian Green OR (1967-74) Damian studied Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Balliol College, Oxford, and was President of the Oxford Union in 1977. He was also vice-chairman of the Federation of Conservative Students (now known as Conservative Future) from 1980 until 1982. He was elected MP for Ashford in 1997 and held several shadow cabinet posts before being appointed Minister of State for Immigration in 2010, and Minister of State for Policing and Criminal Justice in 2012. Mark Field OR (1976-83) As MP for the Cities of London and Westminster, Mark represents the economic, political and cultural heart of London. His involvement in politics began in the late 1980s when he was Deputy Chairman of the Conservative Party in Islington North. He was elected councillor in the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea and stood as a candidate for Enfield North in 1997 before entering Parliament in 2001.
David Warburton OR (1976-81) David was elected last May as MP for the constituency of Somerton and Frome. After leaving Reading School, he built a career in music and business. He studied at the Royal College of Music and later with the renowned composers Sir Harrison Birtwhistle and Sir Peter Maxwell Davies. He is also involved in several charities, including Age UK, and a youth mentoring service. 9
In Memoriam RG Owen (Staff 1970 – 2007) Richard ‘Dick’ Owen, who retired in 2007 after 37 years teaching Mathematics at Reading School, was one of the most dependable and sensible of men. That was no doubt why the then Headmaster, Andrew Linnell, asked him in 1998 to take on the crucial role of Assistant Head with responsibility for admissions, an area full of change and potential difficulties for a school in charge of its own entrance examination. But Dick’s contribution to Senior Management went far beyond this one role. He initiated links with primary schools, shouldered responsibilities for the whole of Key Stage 3 and gave wise advice to colleagues across a range of issues. Dick was the quintessential team player. In the Maths department, he was not only an outstanding and devoted teacher, as his pupils constantly testify, but was loyally supportive to his colleagues who had the utmost trust in him. Dick’s contribution to his department was a major factor in its achieving and maintaining the outstanding level of success for which it is known nationally. A great believer in getting to know his pupils outside the classroom, Dick’s contribution to the School’s extra-curricular activities was second to none. As Head of West House, he was a gently firm tutor to a generation of young entrants and a strong encouragement to more senior members. A keen cricketer himself (his wicket keeping prowess took him into the Berkshire side on several occasions in the 1980s), he was in charge of the 1st X1 from 1977 to 1993 and coached a School team in every year of his career. He was responsible for many a young cricketer going on to enjoy the sport at club level. Badminton and chess also flourished under his guidance, School teams winning local and county competitions year in year out. In his later years Dick also took up golf and, not long before cancer laid him low, achieved to his delight the only hole in one it has been my privilege to witness. Outside school, Dick was a keen gardener. A life-long vegan, he tended his vegetables lovingly and, in his retirement, spent many hours on his allotment. Dick died on 9 November 2014, aged 66. He is survived by his wife, Beryl, two daughters, Kate and Claire, and four grandchildren. Mike Evans, ORA President
Richard Owen Cricket Awards: MCC Training Course In April, Ragan Jain and Mark Cobb were the recipients of the first annual Richard Owen Cricket Awards, providing two days of cricket coaching on a course run by the MCC at Lord’s Cricket Ground delivered by qualified MCC coaches. For many years Dick was Master in charge of Cricket, responsible for ensuring boys throughout the School had regular fixtures and were coached by experienced cricketers. He himself coached the 1st XI for many years. A wonderful wicket-keeper-batsman, he played for Redingensians CC and for Berkshire. These awards are being financed in Dick’s memory by the Old Redingensians Association. Their annual cricket festival on June 28th will this year consist of a match between ORs and local cricketers who knew him. Ned Holt, ORA Vice-President ‘Small stuff makes a big difference’ From the 7th to 8th April, Mark Cobb and I spent two days at Lord’s being coached on cricketing skills by a group of MCC players. Altogether, 30 boys selected from schools around the country who had proven their worth through regular attendance at matches and practices, were present. Sessions were held indoors and outdoors, and much use was made of high-tech equipment, including slow-motion replay. Being primarily a batsman, I appreciated the advice I was given about how to find and target gaps in the opposition’s field. Mark and I enjoyed the experience immensely . You understand your strengths and weaknesses better and are motivated to take action to improve. You pick up a lot of small stuff that makes a big difference in the long run. Our thanks go to Mr Bellinger for organising the event, and to the Old Redingensians for initiating and funding this once in a lifetime opportunity. Ragan Jain, 10S
Cedric Scroggs (1952-59) lived life to the full, gaining many friends and admirers along the way and achieving great success. A member of County House, he became Captain of School and a triple School Colour (athletics, rowing and shooting) as well as Secretary of the Debating, Dramatic and Poetry Societies, winning the Elocution Competition, the McIlroy and Laud Prizes, Seekers Initials and a Sir Thomas White Scholarship to St John’s College, Oxford – amongst much else. At Oxford, he rowed 7 in the St John's boat that went Head of the River in the Torpids and gained a degree in English Language and Literature. His business career occupied many lines in Who’s Who. He became CEO of a FTSE 100 company (Fison’s Plc) and amongst a host of directorships and appointments he was also a visiting Fellow of Nuffield College, Oxford, sometime Chairman of South East Oxfordshire Primary Care Trust, Deputy Chairman of Oxfordshire & Buckinghamshire Mental NHS Foundation Trust, President of the Old Redingensians Association (2008) and a Governor of Reading School. He greatly enjoyed his boat on the Dart and was an enthusiastic golfer and member of Leander Club, where the reception was held after Cedric’s Service of Thanksgiving at Dorchester Abbey, attended by many ORs, including his lifelong friend, A J S (Tony) Brown (1952-60) who was one of the speakers. Cedric Annesley Scroggs collapsed and died on 11 February 2015 after winning a golf match. He was 74 and is survived by his wife, Trish (née Ogg), three children and five grandchildren. KCB Will Lunn (1951-58) was for many years a well-known local businessman controlling C & G Ayres Ltd (the removals and transport company established in 1825) in harness with his father, Peter Lunn (1921-27) and later also with his brother, Rodney (1953-60). He had been a member of Round Table and subsequently 41 Club (of which he became Chairman) and of Probus. Cheerfulness, enthusiasm, decency and dedication, informed by strong Christian values, were the hallmarks of his character. Will was a stalwart of the OR Association, both on and off Council; in later years he was the Secretary of the OR Golfing Society. At School, he spent two years in East before becoming a boarder in South House. The CCF, shooting and rowing were his great interests and he remained active in the two sports in adult life. He also gained Seekers Initials and became a School Monitor. In 1957, Will went on the BSES Expedition to Finnish Lapland and wrote memorably about it in The Old Redingensian of Autumn 2008. St Barnabas Church, Emmer Green, was overflowing at his funeral service. Amongst numerous ORs were six former Presidents of the Association including R P (Rodney) Huggins (1944-52) who was one of the speakers. William Edward Lunn died on 17 December last, following lung failure. He was 74 and is survived by his wife, Sue (née Fenton), his two children and a granddaughter. KCB We also remember: Dr D M (David) Latto (1951-58) General Practitioner Died 2 January 2015 aged 74
D M (David) Russell (1937-45) Schoolteacher Died 23 February 2015 aged 86
Rev A B E (Arthur) Brown (1926-35) Clerk in Holy Orders Died 27 January 2015 aged 97
Rev W L (Bill) Halling (1954-61) Clerk in Holy Orders Died 25 March 2015 aged 71
P (Peter) McDonagh (1960-66) Director of Broadcasting BFBS Died 11 February 2015 aged 66
D F (Duncan) Sturrock (1952-58) Civil Engineer Died 12 May 2015 aged 73
ORA Dates for your Diary (as of June 2015) Saturday, September 5th: OR Rugby, 12 noon, School Field Thursday, October 15th: Commemoration Service, 2pm, Minster of St Mary the Virgin Sunday, November 8th: OR Remembrance Service, 10:30am, School Chapel Wednesday, November 11th: School Remembrance Service, 10:30am, School Chapel Thursday, November 12th: Inter-house Music Competition, 7pm, Reading Town Hall Saturday, November 28th: OR Association AGM & Annual Dinner, from 5pm, Lecture Theatre & Refectory Monday, December 14th: Carol Service, 7:30pm, St Luke’s Church, Erleigh Road Thursday, December 17th: Senior Prize Giving, 2pm, Great Hall, University of Reading
ORA Ties Old School Tie (right) Silk £20 OR Association Tie (left) Polyester £15, Silk £20 Available from: Chris Widdows, 21 Bulmershe Road READING RG1 5RH. Cheques payable to: Old Redingensians Association.
Development News Building an even better Reading School The Development Office is a small cog in the finely tuned Reading School machine, but we play our part in keeping the larger wheels turning, and in helping to make improvements across many areas. As well as raising funds for new teaching facilities and enrichment activities, we also help to organise parentsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; evenings, alumni events and social events, as well as co-ordinating communications to the wider School community. Highlights this year have included the opening of the refurbished Computer Science laboratories and Lecture Theatre, when we welcomed back former teachers, John Oakes, Clive Cousins and John Emmerson, and some of the donors who supported the project so generously. It was exciting to see the start of work on the new Biology and Chemistry Building, and to have a very successful Spring Fayre when, for the first time in years, we had sunshine instead of rain. We had many fine speakers in the Inspire Lecture Series, including a very timely debate on Europe from Andy Lebrecht and Richard Robinson, and it was great to see some of our Year 10 students mentored by three young engineers from Amec Foster Wheeler, who included Rafiq Thayer OR (1998-2005).
Our new Computer Science Labs are well used
Our young engineers with Rafiq Thayer OR (1998-2005) of Amec Foster Wheeler
Next year, we are looking forward to opening the new Biology and Chemistry Building; fundraising for improvements in Sports and PE facilities, and developing Future Stories, our new outreach project with local primary schools. No doubt, it will be another busy year! Frances Greaney, Director of Development A sunny Spring Fayre fundraising for our new Science Labs
Sponsor an Element Campaign Work on our new Biology and Chemistry Laboratories is now well under way. The ground works are done and services are installed. By late summer, there will be visible progress with the steel and brick work. We have already raised enough funds to cover the cost of the bricks and mortar, and we are now in the final phase of fundraising for the fittings, furniture and equipment needed for fully functioning teaching labs. The Sponsor an Element Campaign will enable us to buy all the benches, seating, projectors, and equipment that we need to provide more hands-on learning and practical science for our boys. By sponsoring an element of the periodic table, you will be helping to inspire future generations of scientists, doctors, engineers and inventors. Whether you choose an element whose atomic number matches your age, the initials of a loved one, or because you feel it is an important element for life on earth, you will be helping to build an even better Reading School! You can download a sponsorship form and a list of the available elements from the "Support Us" section of the school website, or you can contact Frances Greaney (0118 9015600 ex 264 or firstname.lastname@example.org) if you have a favourite element that you wish to reserve.
2014/15 has been another busy year for PSHE at Reading School. Students across all years have engaged with topics ranging from healthy eating to gun crime, and from sexual health to internet safety. In Year 7, PSHE is a once-a-week timetabled subject. During their very first lesson this year, students saw a ‘Show Racism the Red Card’ video ahead of a hands-on workshop led by the football-affiliated education charity. Talks from outside speakers followed, including Jan Lever on building relationships and PC Dave on cyber bullying. There were also several pupil-led lessons – presentations about drugs, for example, were considered particularly relevant – as well as more practical advice on how to cope with the stress of exams and the transition from primary to secondary school. During Year 8, PSHE moves into form time, where tutors can tailor the programme of sessions to the interests of their particular group. There is a strong emphasis on careers in Year 9; part of a more structured curriculum encompassing topics like diversity, risk and relationships. I particularly enjoyed creating a Game of Thrones-themed fantasy football league with one form group, who also discussed Scottish independence and crafted biased headlines for different newspapers! PSHE becomes a fortnightly timetabled lesson in Years 10 and 11, often based on sessions from outside speakers. We heard from Ian Jeffreys, team leader for Source, Reading’s Young People’s Drug and Alcohol Service, on the topical issue of legal highs. Ryan Yao-Smith, Thomas Surridge, Seth Peiris, Nikunj Palliwal and I also stood in at the last moment to deliver a session about depression and the stigma surrounding mental health, which poignantly coincided with former footballer Clarke Carlisle speaking out about his own experience of mental illness. In Year 11, we begin to explore our future careers, discussing CVs, job applications and interviews. Seb Young and I were also lucky enough to visit the Houses of Parliament to hear the views of two world experts currently advising the government on alcohol and cannabis policy. This consolidated what we’d learned on the booze bus (pictured below left). Sixth Formers again had a range of different activities and sessions, from a practical demonstration about healthy eating (hopefully tastier than a takeaway from Just Eat) to a talk by Michael Sani (pictured left), founder of ‘Bite the Ballot’, in preparation for the May General Election. In February, a cake sale which coincided with the Harry Potter Book Night raised over £200 for YoungMinds. Through a series of assemblies and a themed display of books and resources in the LRC, they have worked to raise awareness and reduce inhibitions about the issue of mental health – one that the PSHE department will return to next year, in conjunction with other local organisations involved in protecting and promoting young people’s health and wellbeing. Sam Miller, 11E
We Can Hardly Contain Ourselves… Sure 24, based in Nakuru, Kenya and run by Sammy Nawali and his team, manages a school for 280, three children’s homes for 150 orphans and vulnerable children, a weekly feeding programme for local children and general support for the local community. Last year, we were paid a visit by the school and orphanage; this year, a drive for donations from boys, parents and staff resulted in enough to fill three storage lock-ups on top of more than 140 bags of clothing, toys, guitars, furniture and computer equipment. All has been sent by container to Kenya, with our thoughts and best wishes.
A Personal Contribution Last year, Reading School had the pleasure of hosting the visit to England of a group of 12-13 year-old students from Kenya. It was a pleasure meeting them. When I learnt that their visit had been completely paid for by fundraising, I felt motivated to make my own small contribution. During my time here, I have noticed that selling small sweets and snack items can be an effective way of raising money. A recent cake sale in support of MacMillan Cancer research, for example, raised over £125 in a single day. I decided to adopt this successful strategy over a longer period of time and one month later had raised almost £200 (my parents matching the original £100 raised) from selling small sweets every break-time for between 10 and 50 pence each. Special thanks have to go to the Year 10s who proved to be regular customers and to those fellow students who gave extra money. With the PE department having strong connections to the Sure24 Charity that funded the Kenyans' visit, I handed the total raised to Mr Beckey, our Director of Sport. I'm hopeful that my small contribution will make a difference and I eagerly encourage others to take part in all future charitable events, whether by organising them or making a contribution: I will certainly continue my involvement. The satisfaction of knowing that every single penny raised will help someone of our age but less fortunate than ourselves is immense. Edward Davies, 9E Tough Mudder On May 2nd, after some months’ training, ten Reading School staff bravely undertook the 5th Tough Mudder Challenge at Culden Faw Estate outside Henley. Tough Mudder is a 12-mile army assault course with 20 obstacles, including electric shock, tear gas, and running up and down gruelling hills with lot and lots of mud! It is an organised event and hundreds of people from all over the world take part. It became a huge team-building exercise and I have personally made friends I will never forget! All proceeds went to the charities Help for Heroes and the Nepal Earthquake Appeal. Mrs Willoughby, Head of Art 15
ECONOMICS our policy would have on exchange rates and the government’s target of 2% inflation. We must have impressed the judges as we won the round and progressed through to the area finals.
Left to right: Brendon Casey, John Richardson, Dan Mead and Dan Binchy
The Times and Bank of England’s 2.0 Challenge This year, for the first time, Reading School took part in the Times Target 2.0 Challenge, a competition where a team of four students takes on the role of the Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee. They assess the country’s economic conditions and the outlook for inflation and tell a panel of economists from the Bank what monetary policy they would employ in order to achieve the Government's inflation target of 2.0%. The finalists of the competition have the opportunity to present their policy to members of the real Monetary Policy Committee.
The second round was held a stone’s throw away from the Clifton Suspension Bridge in Bristol at the Avon Gorge Hotel. We faced competition from two grammar schools, two top independent schools and the largest sixth form college in the country. Our opposition were much better prepared than those we had come against in the previous round and the questioning after our initial presentation was far more robust and challenging. When asked whether all types of growth were beneficial, Dan Binchy’s short answer of “No” elicited the most laughs of the competition. Unfortunately, we did not win the round and were therefore unable to progress to the finals, with Pate’s Grammar School from Cheltenham crowned champions of our heat. Overall, the competition was a fantastic learning experience. We had to do a huge amount of independent research and study, and produce a presentation that would be taken seriously by representatives from the Bank of England. Working as a team to produce a coherent decision was a real learning experience as the four of us had to sit down together and flesh out an argument on which we could all agree. Considering we were in unchartered territory, with the School never having entered the competition before, I was proud of our performance and the stage we reached. Hopefully next year the team can do even better!
The first leg of the competition was held just 10 minutes away at the Hilton Hotel in Reading. Our principal arguments Special thanks go to Mr Dawes, Dr Tabtab and Mr Sharp for helping to facilitate our participation and for providing were that interest rates and quantitative easing should be kept the same. After outlining our proposal, we had to fend support throughout. off a fierce round of questioning which included the effects Brendan Casey, Team Captain, Year 13
‘Projects such as these are invaluable. They provide students with the chance to hone their skills for a practical purpose.’ Mr Robson, Headmaster This year, under supervision from Mr Mogridge, 7S and 7W have been working incredibly hard in their Art lessons to design and prototype an app that solves a social problem. The project is part of the national ‘Apps For Good’ competition (www.appsforgood.org), intended to encourage secondary school students to consider careers in technology. During the course, all students had the opportunity to interact with Apps For Good 'experts' who are industry professionals, to refine and develop their ideas. Harry Lauchlan, Connor Smith, Tom Hunt and I mentored groups of students, witnessing discussions and decisions that real companies and entrepreneurs have to make. Apps created included one that helps the individual get up on time, and another that generates sight reading tests for 16
ABRSM exams. All were entered into the competition, the winner of which will have his/her app idea developed professionally. I am incredibly proud of all the work that the groups put in this year; participants rose to the challenge and embraced it, and this was evident in the noteworthy apps they produced as a result. Sean Laing, 9C
Comenius: An Exchange of View and Values Our School is part of a two-year British Council-funded Comenius Project entitled ‘Classical Time lights the way for our future’, looking at how shared Classical History has affected the cultural outlook and identity of four participating European countries. We are delighted to have formed such strong links with our European Partner Schools: Le Collège du Sacré-Coeur in Britanny, Nisantasi Anadolu Lisesi in Istanbul and IES Pablo Neruda in Madrid. European multilateral partnership culminates in Istanbul In November 2013, the families of 21 Reading School boys hosted students from our Partner Schools. The activities they enjoyed included visits to The British Museum and the Roman Baths in Bath, and a typically British banquet. Phase Two of the exchange took place in March 2014, when seven Year 10s visited Spain and saw Alcala and Toledo (both World Heritage sites) and the Royal Palace of la Granja. Phase Three (September 2014) took the same number of Year 10s to Brittany, France, visiting Merlin the Magician’s home town of Ploermel and the Medieval Park of Put de Fou. The last phase was Turkey in March 2015, where the staff and students at Nişantaşı Anadolu Lisesi were fantastic hosts, offering our boys a flavour of family life in Istanbul. The days were long and packed with visits to museums, bazaars, and historic buildings, including an exclusive tour of the Dolmabahçe Palace and an audience with the Mayor of Şişli, one of the 39 administrative districts of the city. All who attended the end of visit student presentations could not fail to be impressed by how much they had discovered and absorbed. The enduring influence of the entertainment, trade, language, and architecture of our Roman ancestors is certainly alive today. A truly joint effort in teamwork and collaboration between the Classics, Geography and Modern Foreign Languages departments helped make the European cultural partnership such a success. A big thank you must go to the staff, Miss Chhokar, Miss Drummond, Miss Fondu, Mrs Greaney, Mr Longstaff, Miss Moore, Mrs Readings, Miss Rogers, and Miss Senftlechner, who ensured that the students maintained such positive and productive relations. Mr Norgaard, Head of Geography An Education I will Treasure Looking back, I can say that I am very glad that I did not have a say in our group arrangements. I don't know about you, but seeing classical buildings all day for a week, would never have seemed like my ideal holiday. However, in Istanbul we soon found out that there is more to life than just old buildings. A hub of culture, Istanbul provided me with not only educational teachings, but also lasting friendships and a delicious variety of incredible Turkish delicacies. It is for these reasons that I will always treasure this trip and the development of character that the Comenius opportunity has given me. I must thank all our teachers that devoted their time and hard work to make Comenius happen for us all. I will always be grateful for this incredible project and I hope to maintain and build on what I have learned. Tom Fleming, 10C
Geography Competitions Go National! After representing the UK at the Geography World Championships last year, we returned to our more familiar More Field Trips domestic competitions by hosting a regional round of the Year 10 geographers ventured to Shrewsbury to investigate prestigious Geographical Association WorldWise Quiz. the Carding Mill Valley Stream as part of their Controlled Reading School was represented by two teams: Team One Assessment, staying at the Preston Montford Field Study (Joshua Blake, Sanjay Arulchelvam and Tom Haley) came 4th Centre in Shropshire. Although the 20-hour report (which they are happily writing at the moment) accounts for 25% of overall, while Team Two (Hariharan Subbiah Ponniah, Rohith Manikonda and Andrew Yang) won the competition and their overall GCSE grade, they found applying geographical were duly entered for the GA WorldWise Challenge. Here, concepts in the real world genuinely enjoyable. the boys recount their experience. Year 12 visited Juniper Hall Field Studies Centre in Boxhill, where the Olympics Road Cycling Race took place, to investigate the River Tillingbourne as part of developing geographical techniques for their Paper Two exam. Briefed extensively on data methodology, sampling techniques, details of the river system and potential risks, our determined students braved cold, murky waters and a few nettle stings to the betterment of their resilience, character and geographical knowledge. Mr Norgaard, Head of Geography
Come Back To Sorrento! With stunning and varied scenery, high temperatures and more classic culture than you could shake a stick at, the annual Year 10 Geography and Classics trip to Sorrento proved once again hugely popular and enjoyable. The fiveday visit featured tours of Capri, Mount Vesuvius, Pompeii and Rome (to name just a few) in a packed but wellorganised schedule. The boat ride around the island of Capri, situated in the Bay of Naples, was voted as the best part of the trip with the beautiful views and vibrant colours, though the ice cream, pizza, and afternoon outing to Magic World Water Park also ranked highly in the popularity stakes!
Recently, the Reading School Geographical Association WorldWise Quiz Team embarked on a special trip to Malham Tarn Field Centre in North Yorkshire. We had won the regionals and were now tackling the Nationals, jointly hosted by the Field Centre and the GA. After a gruelling fivehour train journey, we arrived at a picturesque village called Settle, where our expedition started! After going up and down the Yorkshire Dales (literally), we finally arrived at Malham Tarn, the site of our study.
The next day, our task was revealed: â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;What made the area around Malham so special?â&#x20AC;&#x2122; To respond, we undertook field work, observing the many features left behind from the last glacial period, such as the Tarn itself, and visiting the iconic Malham Cove, a well-known beauty spot which was once a waterfall higher than Niagara! After a trip packed with fascinating features of the Yorkshire Dales, we returned and started preparing our presentations.
We presented on the final day to two panels of judges, both of whom were impressed with our content and findings. In the end, we came second overall, although we were told that we were extremely close to winning and received William Clennell, 10E special recognition, while Rohith won the Fieldwork Prize. We thank the GA and the Field Study Centre for giving us this opportunity, and offer special thanks to Mrs Readings and Mr Norgaard for sharing the long journey with us and providing us with the support and encouragement we needed. Hariharan Subbiah Ponniah, 10C, Andrew Yang, 8C and Rohith Manikonda, 9S
Thingvellir National Park, captured by Henry Irvine
Skógafoss waterfall, Josh Janes
Land of Ice and Fire During the Easter holidays, a group of A-level Geography students set out to Iceland, the land of ice and fire, where, over the next five days, we would see the content of our textbooks and class notes come to life. We arrived to snowy and sub-zero conditions, but that did not discourage us from making a stop at the famous Blue Lagoon. Having covered ourselves in mud and wallowed in the geothermal waters there, we were fully refreshed and headed for our guesthouse through miles of barren, rocky terrain. Some were even fortunate enough to catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights later that evening.
Eyjafjallajökull Volcano, Jack Ginger
storm clouds quickly gave way to blue skies and sunshine, so we headed east towards the Kerid volcanic crater, which was highly impressive in its frozen solid form. After making a stop at an eerily quiet church and village, we went on to the Hekla Volcano Visitor Centre. Here we learnt of the volcano's previous eruptions and the potential consequences (including thrill-seeker tourism) of any future ones. And of course, no day in Iceland would be complete without braving a swim in an outdoor pool, although sadly the slides were off limits.
For our final full day we visited the area surrounding the Eyjafjallajokull Volcano, best known for the airport mayhem it caused when it last erupted in 2010. Perhaps less known is We kicked off our first full day with a walk through the plight of the local farmers and families following the Thingvellir National Park, where the North American and eruption, so our time at the visitor centre was very engaging Eurasian tectonic plates meet, and incidentally where the and informative. We also had time to take in two stunning first Icelandic Parliament was held. Breathtaking views across waterfalls, complete with rainbows, icicles, and dramatic the great expanse of ice, frozen meandering rivers, and fault views. One of the highlights of the trip came that afternoon lines proved ideal for the panoramic settings on our cameras. when we set foot onto the Sólheimajökull Glacier, the Next up was the Geysir National Park, home to the ‘thermometer’ of Iceland's glaciers (its movements mirror spectacular Strokkur Geyser whose frequent yet temperature changes). Armed with ice axes, crampons and unpredictable eruptions teased and enthralled its audience. harnesses, we stepped carefully towards the top of the ice It was here, however, that we first felt the full brunt of the sheet while our guides taught us about the Glacier's past, Arctic winds. The chill continued as we made a fleeting visit present and future. to the huge Gullfoss Waterfall and then the local (outdoor) A walk through Reykjavik for sightseeing and souvenirs was swimming pool. The weather did, at least, provide perfect all we had time for the next morning before heading back to conditions for snowball fights and snowman-building that the airport for our return flight – not much wiser on Icelandic evening. pronunciation, but much wiser on the geography of this The downside of this weather again became clear the next remarkable island. It was a wonderful trip: thank you very morning though, as our coach was almost stranded in a much to Mr Nicholas for organising it, and to Mr O'Halloran, blizzard on a mountain-side. Luckily for us, our driver’s Mr Wheal and Mr Allen for accompanying us. expertise shone through as he guided us through the whiteHenry Irvine, 13S out and back to safety. In typically Icelandic fashion, the
As another year of History passes, in every sense of the phrase, I ask myself which events from the past 12 months will be studied in 500 years’ time. From the rise of ISIS to the dismantling of the Liberal Democrats, the emergence of Scottish nationalism as a major UK political force to Adam Federici’s unfortunate FA Cup butter fingers, it is anyone’s guess as to what students of the discipline will be poring over in the future. For now, I hope that the emphasis we put on ensuring our curriculum is as relevant as possible means students always place such current affairs in their historical context. Human beings understand themselves
and give themselves purpose by seeing the role they play in a bigger picture and it is this that makes History so exciting and interesting.
Debate and Discussion Staff v Student Debate Every year, two students take on at least one history teacher at the debating club on Thursday lunchtimes. This year, Dan Mead and Alex Cobb squared up against me and Jack Eaton as we proposed that Hitler was the most important agent of change in the 20th Century. It was a packed audience and there was an increasingly lively atmosphere as the exchanges became heated. The proposal was vociferously challenged by Dan and Alex, who swayed the audience by arguing we had adopted a far too Euro-centric view that also failed to address the little discernible impact Hitler had on other significant 20th Century social shifts, such as the role of women. Indeed, they argued that if they had to choose one person, it wouldn’t have been Hitler at all. Step forward…Vladimir Lenin.
Lunchtime Discussion Group The History Department is very proud of our recent record that any student who has interviewed for history at Oxbridge has been offered a place. Our efforts to ensure the culture of debate, alternative thinking, and diverse discussion have been ably boosted by the arrival of former student Mr Livesey. Mr Livesey has been running a history discussion group all year which has taken in a remarkable range of thought-provoking topics and has been well attended by our Year 12s. The preparatory reading has pushed everyone’s perceptions of the past and he has been a real asset for the department. We wish him luck in the future! Professor Richard Overy It was an enormous pleasure to invite Professor Richard Overy, an award-winning writer on 20th century history, to talk at Reading School in February. He delivered two well-received talks, with many of his comments resurfacing in essays in the following months! Most pleasing was the students’ response to Professor Overy’s talk, with a host of thoughtful questions showcasing the perceptive skills and opinions developed in the boys’ history lessons. 20
It has been a wonderful year for our department. Our exam classes have been great to teach, with a real buzz permeating each and every classroom and discussion often continuing long after the bell. Our younger students have actively participated in an incredible range of activities and projects and also have much cause to be proud of what they have achieved.
A selection of backdrops to the History Department’s online revision songs
The History Department’s YouTube channel continues to go from strength to strength with over 20,000 views since 2013. This year there was one significant addition to the canon of treats available for students as the Year 10 History Band recorded a revision song about the Civil Rights Movement, with violin, cornet, and saxophone in attendance. We thoroughly recommend you check out William Phoon’s impromptu sax solo. Reading School World War I Commemoration Day On 29 January, the whole of Year 9 took part in a project to commemorate World War I. Having studied the context of the war in lessons, the boys followed the journey of former school pupils who enlisted. They also looked at the effect of the war on the town of Reading, lending a personal feel to the project In the latter parts of the morning, the boys took part in workshops exploring cultural depictions of the war, from the paintings of John Singer Sargent to the poems of Wilfred Owen. The boys went on to explore the different ways in which we remember, from the distribution of poppies to minute silences. In the afternoon the boys gathered in groups to bring together all that they had learned and propose a design for a Reading School memorial. A winner was chosen and their design, a calendar with specific dates to commemorate A page from the final Memorial Calendar those former Reading School pupils who were killed, was created. The day was a huge success and thoroughly appreciated by all involved.
Auschwitz, Mr Bailey-Watson In July we took 40 Year 10 students to Poland. We were based in Krakow where we made the most of the beautiful Polish city. We descended to the depths of the famous Salt Mines, explored the infamous Jewish ghetto and toured Oscar Schindler’s famous factory. The second day involved the main purpose of our visit – an excursion to Auschwitz. The Year 10s had studied the Third Reich earlier in the year and knew about the rise and fall of the Nazis, but one can never be fully prepared for the horrors of Auschwitz. The morning was beautifully sunny, perhaps alleviating the darkness of what we were trying to understand. However, realities such as a prison cell for four adults only a metre-square ensured the dreadfulness of the camp remained tangible. In the afternoon we headed to the sister site of terror, Birkenau, and the weather shifted to reflect the experience. As we arrived the heavens opened and a fierce storm ensued, with lightening striking mere kilometres away. It was a remarkable and wholly sobering experience.
It must be said that, despite the profound darkness of the places we visited, the behaviour and maturity of the students was exemplary. Moreover, the evenings were hugely enjoyable. Be it Mr Roca’s dance moves, random challenges between quiz rounds, or a certain Head of History’s morning time keeping, every aspect of the trip was truly memorable.
Speech to Chapel, Sam Miller 11E On the coach to Auschwitz, I wrestled with what I wanted to get out of the trip. Could the Holocaust be ‘confronted’ – would the dry facts and statistics of textbooks translate to the actual bricks, watch-towers, and barbed wire? The horror is undeniable, but it is also unimaginable. Even when I stood in Block 11, where prisoners were placed four to a cell, and where the Nazis first used the chemical Zyklon-B to kill people ‘efficiently’; even when I stood in front of the Wall of Death, where 11,000 inmates were shot for not adhering to the camp rules, I struggled to imagine being forced to stand, naked, and wait for my own execution.
‘Mantel’ (‘coats’) stolen by the Nazis from their prisoners. What kind of psychological self-trickery could allow someone to rationally, precisely catalogue how many glasses or walking sticks you had robbed from elderly Jews; prosthetic legs you had taken from the infirm; or tiny, delicate shoes you had snatched from the feet of shivering children? The question brought home to me what the Jewish writer Hannah Arendt called ‘the banality of evil’: an atrocity that is committed every day, systematically, so it becomes mundane.
The most profound impression I got from exploring Auschwitz was the disturbing juxtaposition of cold, efficient, technological processes – signs of modernity and progress – with barbaric, animalistic actions and ancient prejudices. I took pictures of meticulous notes about the ‘Zahne’ (‘teeth’) ‘Schuhe’ (‘shoes’) and
On our return, there were two events which made the effort of running the trip unquestionably worthwhile. The first was to overhear three students reflect four months afterwards how they had only just started to come to terms with what they had seen. The second was the chapel run by Sam Miller, Thomas Surridge and Ryan YaoSmith, where the boys explained in eloquent and thought -provoking terms what studying the Holocaust had meant to them. I was immensely proud to be a part of Reading School.
Whilst the Holocaust is uniquely evil, that is not to say that a comparable event is beyond the realms of possibility. To prevent such, we must confront some frightening truths about humanity, and not turn away. Ultimately, visiting Auschwitz has left me with far more questions than answers. Which is perhaps the point.
MODERN FOREIGN LANGUAGES German Another active and successful Germanic Year. Our first IGCSE cohort has completed its exams with very good results and German numbers at GCSE and A-level are healthy. Year 8 are packing their bags to go on another trip to the Mosel Valley, with numbers increased from 30 to 40 participants. As always, there will be a mixture of Sport (football, swimming, minigolf), History (medieval and Roman), Geography (valley formation and agriculture) and German culture, and we are all looking forward to the trip. Year 10 boys enjoyed (I hope) German poems, films, songs and breakfasts (see photo, below) in addition to working hard on the syllabus. Six boys from Years 11 to 13 made excellent contributions to a Lancaster University Essay Competition with thoughts on Foreign Cultures, now on display in L3: they are varied, insightful and worth reading. Finally, as part of the 70th anniversary of the opening of Auschwitz Concentration Camp, and for their module on Law and Order, our Year 13s studied the life and trial of Adolf Eichmann. Dr Materlik, Subject Leader German
French and Spanish This year has been an exciting one for French and Spanish. Two new members of staff have joined our team and done a great job of promoting languages around the School. Miss Trujillo organised a Spanish Fiesta Day which provided insights into the festive side of Spanish culture. We have had two trips this year: Year 12 conducted their work experience in France with our longstanding Partner School, while Year 13 attended the BFI in London for a conference and an afternoon of French films. At the time of writing, forthcoming highlights include a Year 8 and 9 trip to the south of Spain, where students will practise their Spanish in a host family and enjoy visits to some of the most renowned historical cities of Andalucía. Year 9 will also refine their poetic skills when a French poet visits us in the next few weeks. As far as results are concerned, our GCSE results in French this year were the best recorded since 2002, and our first full GCSE Spanish cohort is currently taking its exams. We are now starting to look at the new 2016 GCSE and A-level syllabuses, which are sure to bring some interesting changes. Mrs Pang, Subject Leader French and Spanish
Fougères Exchange From 28th February to 7th March, AS-level French students from several schools in and around Reading embarked on a French exchange with Lycée Jean Guéhenno in Fougères, Brittany, north-west France (see photo, opposite). My placement was in a primary school in Romagné. Unlike most of my exchange comrades, I was the only British placement there, which made it more challenging but more rewarding, as it obliged me to speak in French the entire day! As the week went on, the kind of work I found myself doing ranged from helping the little ones write out their alphabet, to doing a presentation to the older years about my primary school experience in England. Overall, my experience of working in France was fantastic and also, to the delight of my teachers, my ability to speak the language sky-rocketed. Max Wallace, 12W BFI Visit In January, seven Year 13 French students visited The British Film Institute on the Southbank in London. Braving ticket issues and the winter chill, we spent the morning learning about the history of French Cinema. It was intriguing to see how cinema develops to reflect the mood of the times. For example, postWWII troubles inspired ‘La Nouvelle Vague’, when directors favoured telling real -life stories. There was also a discussion of La Haine, a film set for our A2 course. Our presenter, Madame Huet, tried to get us involved, but the teenage audience lacked the courage to answer questions in French! For the afternoon session, we were treated to, and asked to comment on, a film (Paris) which featured some of our favourite French actors. Our thanks go to Mesdames Ancel and Fondu for arranging this enjoyable and informative trip. Alex Stuart, 13S 22
Avengers Assemble: East Wing Students Tobi Adekola, Fiyin Ilesanmi, Shiv Mistry, Seb Watanabe visiting Vue
Will Taylor during the East Wing trip to JBSki Waterskiing
New boarding prefects: Hugh Greatorex (SH), Albert Joseph (EW), Barney Darrington (SH)
Boarding goes from strength to strength! 2014-15 has been an incredible year for the boarding community. For the first time in a long while, the number of boarders reached 80 this year and both East Wing and South House have been full of activity and achievement as a result. As ever, trips have been a memorable part of the boarding experience. Highlights this year include the Christmas theatre outing to London to see Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, some awesome rock climbing and the ever challenging water skiing in the summer! The boarding houses continue to change and improve. Current building works to create new and improved Sixth Form Common Room areas and kitchens will add real value for our oldest boarders – as well as giving them a chance to hone those all-important life skills of cooking and laundry! A new merits system and the introduction of magazines and journals in both houses are just a couple of the new ideas that the boarders
South House senior football team playing in the Boarding House Competition. The SH team won 4-1 on this occasion with 2 goals from Paddy Byfield.
have helped to raise and implement through their student council. Boarders continue to excel in all aspects of school life. Representation in School teams and activities is very high and we’re very proud to have so many outstanding role models within our senior boarders, not least the outgoing and incoming House Captains. Timi Sanusi (East Wing) and Jay-Den Wong (South House) have led both houses admirably and Mr Evans and I are delighted that Nelson Chan (EW) and George Henderson (SH) have been elected to this role for 201516. We’re sure that they, alongside their peers in Year 13 next year, will provide the guidance, leadership, and support that make boarding at Reading School so distinctive.
South House students at the Reading Climbing Centre
Mr Nicholas, East Wing Housemaster
Barney Darrington, Tony Xu, and Seb Watanabe participate in the Boarding Orchard project.
‘Oh County house is wonderful…’
County’s victory in Year 10 football
Joe Taylor, Jacob South-Klein and Aleks Stepanyan in Senior Eisteddfod
The meteoric rise of County House continues. Such is the growth of character and skill of the Mighty Maroons that current County Colts and Juniors will have no conception of the house that ‘never won but always had the most fun’ I knew as a Year 7. After another stellar year of passion, drive and skill, our ability to generate consistently excellent results combined with the vibrant and exciting community of County is a cause for celebration. The spirit and enthusiasm of the House has yielded terrific results across the board, especially in sport. Dominance amongst indoor sports has been a key feature of County’s success with wins across almost all years in table tennis and basketball. The prestigious events of House Football and Rugby were rife with County success, with wins from Years 9, 10 and 11 in the former, and Years 8 and 9 and the Sixth Form in the latter. The character of County House that manifests itself in intense determination, passion and brotherhood also drove the House to an outstanding win at Sports Day and a wonderful performance in House Music. These events again highlighted County’s lethal combination of style and skill and allowed us to see off a late charge on the Cock House Cup by School House. Whilst there were low points in County’s march to the Cup, the ability of the House as a collective to pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off and continue to demonstrate commitment is a testament to the resilience and character of its members. None of this would have been possible without the outstanding leadership and dedication of Mrs Hall, along with the tireless and inspirational guidance of County’s sage leader, Jacob SouthKlein, and the truly incredible team of house prefects. It has been a privilege to witness the talent of County House this past year and I am confident that next year will be even better.
County’s victory in Year 11 football
The Beast that is East It is probable that in 890 years of competition for the Cock House Cup, there has never been a House worse than East 2014/15 at winning. I can say this with some confidence, since to preside over a House with a worse record of wins than mine would require a House to have won a maximum of one event. The East House Band in full swing
What have we, the students of East House, learnt from this? Well, the immediate and obvious answer is that we are not very good at table tennis, or chess, or athletics, or, well, anything that doesn’t involve music or Year 8’s singular ability to win a football competition. Now that we’ve got that out the way, we should ask: is there anything else? There is. Failure. This year, East House have learnt to deal with failure in its many forms. We are intimate with nail-bitingly-close-just-second-place, lucky third place, DNF, the wooden spoon, abject failure - you name it, we’ve experienced it. Learning to deal with failure isn’t something we do much here at Reading School; maybe sometimes you do badly on a Chemistry paper, or you don’t get through to the Kangaroo Maths Challenge, but on the whole it doesn’t happen a lot.
The Year 8 House Football Team celebrate their victory
That is why the lesson is such an important one, and why the determination of East House has impressed me so much. Giving up an afternoon to play in House Competitions is laudable – but it is altogether something different to give up your free time for East House, knowing you are likely to get battered, bruised, embarrassed and humiliated while engaged in some activity you are not particularly good at. The courage of East House, from 7E’s 100% participation rate to Senior House Rugby’s Magnificent 7, blew me away – East House has earned far more than trophies, medals and ribbons this year. Forged in the fiery crucible of defeat, we’ve learnt more about teamwork, camaraderie and ourselves than any number of house points can attest to. Thank you East House, you’ve been inspiring.
Edward Jee The East House Relay Teams
School House: The Future is Bright (Green) As the race for the Cock House Cup draws to a close, I can honestly say it has been a privilege and an honour to lead this ‘merry band of green’. Things may not always have gone our way, but never have the boys allowed the smiles from their faces to fade, such is the immense spirit and brotherly nature of this house. Early setbacks were overturned, culminating in the glorious victory at House Eisteddfod, where it was truly inspiring to see the camaraderie of boys of all ages enjoying themselves and demonstrating the willingness to perform no matter what the outcome that is such a part of the School House character. The sporting events have also been a mixed bag, but beating County for the first time in the lower years has been a great achievement and a particular highlight was our stunning performance across the board in Rugby. Second place for the second year in a row generates hope for a future victory!
Sean Kuponiyi (left) powers home in the Senior 100m
The steadfast leadership of our fellow prefects always helped prepare us for the best possible chance of victory, without detracting from the pure enjoyment of participation, while the Year 12s have all shown immense dedication and willingness to help the House. In their hands, we will continue to grow and become even more formidable. It is a sad time for the Year 13s as we say goodbye to a House which has been a happy Home for much of our school careers – so all that is left to say is: Goodbye and good luck! SCHOOL HOUSE!
Year 7 House Rugby Team
The Best of West This year’s House events have been a rollercoaster ride for West, but with Divyansh Dixit and Stephen Munck by my side, I remained staunchly proud of how West House always rises to the challenge, and it’s that attitude that really motivates us to strive for victory! We began the year with a first place in senior table tennis, thanks to Kwame Dogbe who battled it out with Eastie, Churchill Ngai. Badminton has always been a strong point for us and this year, with the help of Surya Kongara, first place was easily secured for the Juniors and Colts, with the Seniors coming a close second to School House. Our Rugby fortunes are a little different: every year group came an honourable fourth in the House Competition, with the exception of our third-placed Year 7 tag team. Nonetheless, I think big congratulations are in order for West House’s very own Ben Loader, who won the Sports Personality of the Year award for his superb rugby skills!
John Wu and Stephen Munck singing their hearts out to ‘Let It Go’ at House Music
Finally, I would say the most impressive event this year was the Inter-House Music Competition in the Town Hall, where West House were led by superstar John Wu with the help of Bijoy Das and Matthew Cottam. With their forces combined, they managed to take a sad song and make it better! Our performances of Hey Jude by the Beatles and Let It Go from the Disney movie ‘Frozen’ were beyond extraordinary, allowing us to come second to East by only two points! It’s been an absolute honour to manage the House alongside Mr Cooper, who never fails to impress his indomitable spirit and devotion on a group of boys whose enthusiasm, determination and fellowship is unshakeable.
Colts House Badminton winners Saket Koti, Pranav Shyam, Michael Li, Russ Houghton, Matthew Shao, Karthik Neelamegam
MUSIC Highlights It becomes something of a cliché to read in the reflective writing of any school department’s report that this year has seen achievement and progress as never before. I cannot, nonetheless, recall a year when this has been more the case than 2014-15. There is so much that could have been mentioned here, that I have restricted myself to my own personal highlights. The standard of the solo and group items in this year’s astonishing House Music Competition and the thought and polish that went into every element resulted in an event that felt more like a celebration than a competition. We were honoured to have the amazing Gwyneth Herbert delivering insightful and inspiring feedback, but facing a real challenge with the unenviable task of picking the winners.
The standard of choral singing in our Carol Service moved up another notch in richness and blend on the previous year. We were extremely fortunate to have Richard Gowers, Junior Organ Scholar of King’s College Cambridge, in attendance. To have a world-class musician working with us was a real treat. This year saw an expansion of the Year 7 Project. It was overwhelming to be in front of more than 100 students all
In December we were delighted to learn that James Foran had been awarded a place at the Royal Academy of Music to study viola. He has made a huge contribution to the musical life of the School and we wish him every success in his career.
playing ensemble instruments, of which, back in September, most had had no experience. The attack they brought to March of the Titans, a new and ambitious work specially composed for the evening, would count for me as one of the Department’s greatest achievements. We are especially grateful to tutors Jess Ortony and Caro Owens, who inspired a number of highly promising students to develop their skills and promise much for the future. This year also saw the second Big Band Ball. Tickets sold out in under 24 hours! With the refectory glammed up by the Friends of Music, who work tirelessly to promote and enhance the work of the Department. Guests were treated to two fabulous jazz sets by Reading School Big Band.
Finally, just before all thoughts turned inevitably to public exams, we held this year’s Spring Concert in St. Mary’s Church, Burghfield. Building on the success of Beethoven’s 5th Symphony the previous year, Reading School Symphony Orchestra gave a spirited interpretation of Dvorak’s New World Symphony. Special mention must go to Ewan Millar for his mature cor anglais performance in the deeply affecting slow movement. Mr Meehan, Director of Music
In commemoration of his recent passing, Toby Davies, a real asset to the School’s Music Department, was honoured with some illustrious company by the Friends of the Musicians Chapel of St Sepulchres, London.
Inter-House Music On Thursday 20th November, Reading Town Hall came alive. Quoted as the “best House Music ever” by Mr Meehan, each House produced an incredible display of musical talent, stunning the sell-out crowd and creating a memorable occasion for everyone involved. County House started the evening with Happy by Pharrell Williams, before producing a set of excellent solos, including Noam Rosenbaum's full mark performance of Syrinx by Claude Debussy on Flute, and ending with Do you hear the People Sing? as their large ensemble.
Let it Go from Frozen, followed by Ewan Millar's 10/10 Oboe solo and finishing with over a 100 boys singing Hey Jude. Finally, School House rounded off the concert in spectacular fashion with It's a long way to Tipperary and various solos.
Ultimately, Gwyneth Herbert, this year’s House Music adjudicator, awarded the victory to East House, noting that the quality of the concert had rendered her “speechless”. It was, however, a close-run affair, with West coming 2nd by only two points out of 150. In addition to the grand prize, East House also won the trophy for the best large ensemble Next up on stage were East House, whose long-held House with their brilliant rendition of I’ll Make a Man out of You. Music crown was claimed by School House last year. Their The final award was handed to Roy Wang who won the displays of I'll make a man out of you and Hungry like the prestigious solo prize for his remarkable performance on the Wolf got the crowd on their feet, with Anthony Tat receiving piano. After this year's dazzling spectacle, it will be difficult an equally huge round of applause for his rendition of to top such an impressive night when November rolls around Rachmaninoff's Prelude in G Minor. again! William Clennell, 10E The standard remained sky high with West House's response, starting with an outstanding rock arrangement of
Year 7 Instrumental Project Since its inception in 2011, the Year 7 Instrumental Project has gone from strength to strength. This year we expanded it still further by enlisting the help of Berkshire Maestros to deliver group instrumental lessons to an additional 40 students. The project culminated with the Year 7 Concert in which over 100 students gave a rendition of March of the Titans, a new work composed for the evening. We are especially grateful to Jess Ortony and Caro Owens for their inspirational tutoring. The future looks bright indeed for these young musicians! Recording This year we were delighted to have the use of some new studio equipment in the department, enabling recordings of a quality not previously possible. A particular highlight was recording Anthony Tat’s Rumpelstiltskin, in which a full symphony orchestra was recorded one instrument at a time. Thank you to the ORs for the generous donation that made this possible.
Year 10 Project, Voyage Dans La Lune This year the 20 Year 10 students taking GCSE Music wrote and performed a soundtrack to George Méliès’ seminal work, Le Voyage Dans La Lune. This colossal 16-minute score comprised some wonderful character, as well as sensitive use of colour and shade to bring to life what is credited with being the first sci-fi fantasy film. Mr Meehan, Director of Music 27
DRAMA Year 10 Scripted Performances Soon after embarking on their GCSE Drama ‘Journey’, Year 10 students performed their practical scripted piece in December 2014: extracts from R.C. Sherriff’s Journey’s End a play that explores the lives of a group of officers in the WWI trenches. Their performances created realism and tension – and ammunition for Drama and English essays!
William Dunnigan and Jordan Bovell
Nathan Galpin and Max Henderson
Year 12: Scripted Piece John Livesey, Theo Patrick, Peter McNamara, Alisdair Grice and David Jordan brought Steven Berkoff’s Dahling You Were Marvellous! to life in their exam and showcase on Tuesday 10th March, playing a group of idiosyncratic actors and producers in a satire about the theatrical profession. Characters ranged from the big-shot American Brick Bergman to the famous Gary Oldman, in what turned into a successful and hilarious evening. I can’t wait for their devised piece next year!
Year 13: Devised Piece On the same evening, Year 13 Drama students performed their devised epic, A Red in the Whites, a highoctane, tense black comedy. Their performance continues the legacy of Reading School devising, following on from the success of Hyacinth Diamond in 2013, and The Hunt for V3 in 2014. The actors moved their audience between laughter and tension from beginning to end, creating realistic and uproarious characters in their final, notable performance at Reading School. 28
Chris Humm, Smit Vaidya, Seth Peiris and Karman Bhullar in Neville’s Island, a comedy-drama about a ‘team-building’ trip gone wrong
A Dramatic Year by Ryan Yao-Smith
Year 11: Scripted & Devised It’s been a busy year for Year 11 who showcased two sets of practical exams (scripted and devised), whilst preparing for their summer exam. With exciting interpretations of famous plays and imaginative devising, it’s been a year to remember.
Karman Bhullar, Naeem Bajwa and Sam Liu in their fairytale ensemble Run Robin Run
Joe Roberts, Sam Liu, Charlie Fletcher, Seb Young and Meekaeel Khan in Stalag Luft, a comedy based on the Great Escape
Alex Jenkins, Jack Buckberry, Peter Drew, Suliman Ali and Joe Roberts in their comedic Western The Wild Quest
Kene Obienu, Seth Peiris, Luca Moffat and Ben Loader in their devised tale of two gentlemen and their race around the world
Will Taylor, Victor Ulisov, Seb Young, Smit Vaidya and Ryan Yao-Smith in their piece Time for a Drink, where a Professor goes back in time for alcohol
Rowan Smith, Alex Jenkins and Ryan Yao-Smith in their extract of John Godber’s Teechers, a fast-paced comedy about three school leavers
DEBATING AND PUBLIC SPEAKING
by Mr Hurst
‘East is East and West is West—and we did both!’ Those of us involved in debating and public speaking at Reading School have had a varied year of activity, not least in terms of some of the locations in which we have found ourselves! We have been as far west as Oxford and as far east as Hong Kong and debated and discussed issues ranging from whether Tony Stark should hand over his Iron Man suit to the United States government to whether we should be compelled to use the ballot box on election days. We have much agility of mind, energy and talent among the debaters and public speakers in Reading School and with these attributes, look forward to achieving even greater things next year.
The ESU School Mace Competition in the LRC
The Debating Programme… The debating programme on Thursday lunchtimes has continued to run and we have found ourselves responding to world events more frequently in our discussions. Our open forum event after the ‘Charlie Hebdo’ tragedy springs to mind here, as does the mock General Election we held in May. This was complete with preelection debates including the seven party head to head ‘Question Time’ on the day itself which drew a massive attendance in the Lecture Room. (The Conservatives won the fictional Reading School seat by the way, but by a narrower margin than in the real thing!) In the Summer Term, debating lessons have been running with Key Stage 3 groups in the English Department – there is a lot of talent in the junior end of the School waiting to be tapped!
In Competition We have also had a good year on the competition front. Jacob South-Klein and Aleks Stepanyan made it through to the second round of the ESU Mace (we hosted both rounds this year in the LRC) where they faced competition of a very high standard, with Eton and Wellington College ultimately making it through to the next stage. Josh Wallace, Vinay Patel and Ryan Woolaghan took part in the Rotary Youth Speaks competition where Ryan spoke movingly on commemorating the dead of the First World War. And in the ESU Churchill Competition heat held at Reading School, Adithya Rajeev picked up the certificate for best speaker on the night for his talk on whether Britain should apologise for its imperial past. Unquestionably though, the highlight has been our involvement in the World Individual Debating and Public Speaking Championships held in Hong Kong over Easter, where Jacob South-Klein, Aleks Stepanyan, George Henderson, Ritvij Singh, Abhishek Adavikolanu and Kiran Phadnis , accompanied by Mr Robson and myself, competed alongside some of the best school debaters in the English-speaking world. We achieved places in the finals in two categories, and the Grand Final, held in the magnificent auditorium at the Diocesan Girls’ School, is not something which any of us are likely to forget.
Left to Right: The debating team in Hong Kong; With some of the best in the world at WIDPSC 2015; Ryan Woolaghan at the “Youth Speaks” competition
Moving On The most important change this year has been the departure of Patricia Williams. Over the years, Patricia has given enormously of her time and energy in organising the public speaking and debating programme and encouraging boys to push themselves to giddy heights. Any successes in public speaking which the School has enjoyed in recent times have been a result of her dedication and inspiration. She is much missed by all of us. 30
ENGLISH 2015 is an auspicious year as far as textual anniversaries go: eight hundred years since the Magna Carta, one hundred and fifty years since Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, sixty years since the first Guinness Book of Records, and four years since Fifty Shades of Grey. So, what has the English Department done this year which will leave an equally dramatic imprint on the literary landscape? What have we done since September 2014? In no particular order: Every Year 11 student experienced live theatre at the Watermill in Newbury for an explosive performance of the GCSE set play, Journey’s End.
We introduced our own Department Award for excellence, effort and commitment: 67 students from Years 10 to 13 are now fully decorated English Ambassadors. We initiated an exchange with Welham Boys’ School in India, loaning out Mrs Geraghty-Green for a week to them. In exchange they sent teachers here for a visit to see the Reading School Way, and we forged a media partnership online between Welham’s in-house TV station and our own BBC News School Reporters. We’ve been named by OCR as a Beacon School for the exam board’s Living Texts qualification, and will be advertised as an example of best practice as they encourage more schools to adopt an innovative and challenging Year 9 curriculum.
The BBC News School Report had another successful It’s also worth noting that we’re the only subject in School iteration, including a starring role on the TV coverage of the preparing for brand new GCSE and A Level qualifications FA People’s Cup for the new Lineker and Hansen: Josh Blake from September 2015. Get ready as a family! Start reading and Jack Cooper. all of those new texts with your sons! English A-level students paid visits to the new Sam Parents and students alike will be glad to hear that new Wanamaker indoor theatre at the Globe to see a rarely audio visual equipment is due to be installed in our main performed C17th Revenge Tragedy ‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore, teaching rooms over the summer holidays. and to the V&A Museum for performances of Equus and King Lear. Fingers crossed that reading this magazine right now is a Reading School student who has enjoyed the challenges of The House Eisteddfod scaled new dramatic heights. English lessons in 2014-2015, and perhaps has already been We joined in on the LRC’s amazing Book Festival fun with a inspired to write a debut masterpiece which will, in a nicely visit from the author who invented the Panteater, Jason rounded number of years’ time, be celebrating an Beresford. appropriately grand anniversary. Mr Baldock, Head of English
Watermill Theatre, Newbury
The Globe, London
Victoria and Albert Museum, London
‘Tis Pity We Adored! In November, 12 motley English Literature students descended upon the Sam Wanamaker playhouse – a small, Jacobean theatre lit by candlelight – to indulge in the magic of John Ford. Standing upon the balcony, enjoying an authentic 17th century experience, we were enthralled by the shocking nature of ‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore, a play we shall be comparing to John Milton’s Paradise Lost in our A-level course. It was illuminating to see the effect traditional elements like candlelight, restricted viewing boxes and live music had on the performance. The opportunity to watch the play performed in this manner bettered our understanding of the Revenge Tragedy style, which ‘Tis Pity exemplifies and encapsulates. When it comes to studying the text itself, this will certainly prove invaluable. We will remember the whole experience as a series of sudden flights and drops: a balancing act between comedy, despair and violence. Josh Janes, Daniel Gillett, Henry Smith, Sam Dexter 31
In torrents of night A sea of serenity Deep well of darkness Zareef Ali, 8S
Short Story: The Cellar Entered for last year’s Waterstone’s Halloween Story Competition.
BANG! The door shuts behind me and the room is plunged into darkness. I can barely make out basic shapes now. I wait in vain for someone to come and check on me. My fall must have been muffled by the music.
My legs and arms are grazed and hurting. I try to stand up, but immediately a searing pain shoots down my spine. Using the cold, damp wall for support, I haul myself up. The dull, continuous beat of music in the background means no one My Mum comes into the room as I’m shoving sweets down will hear me calling. A faint scratching sound from my left – I my throat and asks me to get some drinks from the cellar. turn and come nose to nose with a horrible, snarling face; This is not good news. The cellar is the scariest place I have beady black eyes and an evil grin. One of the dolls. Sighing, I ever seen. It is full of junk and cobwebs; weird things, like old make my way to the stairs, keeping a hand on the wall. dolls and ancient books. Also, you have to go all the way Suddenly, I feel a cold touch on my shoulder. I freeze, peer down to turn the light on. I don’t want to look like a wimp, around … It’s another doll, staring straight at me: pink dress though, so agree to go. stained by black; yellow, stringy hair lying limp on its head, in I walk confidently to the entrance door, twist the handle and tufts and patches. Her face is also fixed in an evil grin, but push firmly. I peer into the darkness. The narrow staircase one of the eyes is missing – the one remaining stares straight descends into endless gloom; the stairs themselves are like at me, black and beady. Is that a smear of blood on her lips? angular teeth jutting out of the floor. The ceiling is patched with plaster, but there are gaps through which you can make Scrambling up the stairs, pain or no pain, I smash the door behind me and sprint to the safety of family and kitchen, out rows of dark red bricks, some of which look very worn. casually inventing a story of how I’ve gone to the loo instead My grandparents always said they would do up the cellar: of getting drinks. unfortunately, they never have. But I’m not comfortable. What types of dolls are down I summon up my courage and step in. The stairs creak ominously. I take another careful step. And another. Maybe there? How many are there? I should ask my grandparents … I glance up and see my grandmother looking at me. Her eyes this isn’t going to be so bad… Suddenly, my shoe catches a nail and I tumble forward, landing in an undignified heap on seem to narrow and grow dark, just like … just like the … Then they twinkle and she grins, as if she knows exactly what the floor. I am thinking. I have just got back from trick or treating. My brother and I are counting our sweets and everyone is having fun celebrating Halloween at our grandparents’ house.
Hugo Rompani, 8C
Caption Competition Ho, ho, ho your boat … Well, it may not be the season to be jolly, but we thought this photo of the Reading School Rowing Team getting into the Christmas spirit during one of their training sessions last year would be ideal for a caption competition. Send your entry (maximum 15 words) to: Email: email@example.com Twitter: @rsenglishdept Please head your entry ‘Santa Caption Competition’. Receipt deadline: 10th September 2015. The winner will be announced in our next Floreat newsletter and receive a £20 Waterstone’s book token to be redeemed at Waterstone’s in Broad Street, Reading. 32
Curry Chop dice I’m making some curry To go with my rice To fill my tummy. I hope it’s nice I hope it’s yummy My first bite Of my first ever curry. My first bite I hope it’s all right … Oh no! I forgot the garnishes I need to finish with a flurry. Fire! Fire! Call the brigade Bring lemonade It’s an oral 999! Sweating and squawking and fanning my face To try and get rid of the shine. My very first curry Not one I’ll forget. The spiciness was probably Its only good asset.
Poetry Corner Me and You Peas from the same pod Carried in the tight clutches Of the mother’s jaw, Set down outside the den But vanished, no more. The road forks in two With the weight spread Unevenly. The distance seems sound-proof Like a brick wall, believe me. Not just touch But vision lost too; But never is lost the Connection of me and you. Jack Buckberry, 11C
Poetry The way it goes on and on and on; can’t wait for it to be done. None of it makes any sense; words like ‘wherefore’ and ‘whence’. Armitage so pretentious and fake. Just stop. For God’s sake. How the structure is always regular or not. Poetry is actually quite poor repetition: knock knock knock on the door. I can’t even spell anthologee. Someone might care, but not me. It bores me to sleep; it sleeps me to hell. I don’t want to hear about the sounds of a sea-shell. See? Poetry may rhyme but I ain’t got time to listen to it. Taran Uppal, 11W
Tejas Sukumar, 8W
Picture Poem—Fireworks City light sparkle – an intrusive splash on the rolling hills While fireworks crack like an echoing rifle and a lake shines bright filled with bursting stars. The sky is alive tonight. Wisps of smoke drift like rags gently on a calm ocean while boats float , rigid machines on the liquid light, and nova explosions of colour fill the sky. The sky is alive tonight. Robbie Usher, 8S
Picture Poem—The Desert The purging coldness lingers As a blazing yellow sphere climbs Whose scorching rays illuminate Barren tracts of sand. Above - a sky bright blue Below - gold hills. Clouds quickly dissipate Winds pick up Flick ripples across slopes Arid Waterless The desert is everywhere. Hugo Warner, 8C 33
Reading School Book Festival The aim of our second annual School Book Festival is to inspire an enjoyment of books and reading. It also supports the School core values of Excellence, Integrity and Leadership by engaging pupils’ intellectual curiosity and enabling opportunities for pupils to work together. The Festival this year took place during the first week of March and coincided with World Book Day on Thursday the 5th of March.
Before the Book Festival NEW: The Scholastic Book Fair 2015 A Scholastic Book Fair run by prefects and pupil librarians was held for three days in the LRC. Pupils could redeem their World Book Day vouchers against the cost of a book. We raised a grand total of £173 in commission to spend on books for the Learning Resources Centre. Year 5 pupils from local primary schools who attend an after-school Academy in the LRC were also invited to buy books from the Fair. Book List Challenge School staff were asked to give their Top Ten ‘book bucket’ books. This information was used to create a tutor time quiz which was delivered the week before the February half term. Each form was challenged to match the books to the correct member of staff. This was a great starting point for starting a buzz about books and inspired pupils to try titles such as Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman and Perfume by Patrick Suskind. Science Writing Competition Inspired by Festival author, Simon Singh, Sam Miller proposed a Science Writing Competition. The aim was to write a short essay on any science topic that pupils were passionate about. Pupils had the autumn term to write their essays, which were then judged by library staff, pupil librarians and staff from Maths, Biology, Physics and English. The top 10 finalists were invited to a lunch time Science Forum at the beginning of February, where they had just one minute to discuss their topic and one minute to answer questions. Finalists represented pupils from Y7 to Y12 and it was wonderful to hear so much passion. Chris Priestley Alternative Book Cover Competition Before gothic fiction author Chris Priestley started to write books, he was an illustrator. Inspired by this, Sam Miller proposed an alternative Book Cover competition. Pupils in Year 8 all had the opportunity to read books by Chris during their English classes and Sixth Form English students were encouraged to read his work as part of their course. There was also a gothic fiction display in the LRC which included examples of his book covers and the Art Department helped by setting the competition as homework! The winning entries were put on display in the LRC and in form rooms to help promote his visit. Chris presented the winners with their prizes when he delivered his gothic fiction workshops for the Book Festival. 34
Book Festival 2015: A Summary by Mrs Kesteven Monday 23rd of February Historian Richard Overy: a Sixth Form talk during period four and an after school event in the LRC which was open to all pupils, staff, parents and family. Monday 2nd March Reading School teacher and author Drew Fermor: lunch time talk open to all pupils and staff in the LRC about his book GWR/BR (WR) Castle Class (Owners’ Workshop Manual). Drop Everything and Read… Year 7 Classics lesson. rd
Tuesday 3 March Science and Maths author and TV producer and director, Simon Singh: after-school joint Book Festival/Inspire Lecture in Big School: ‘From Theorums to Serums, From Cosmology to Cryptology... and Bart Simpson’, open to all pupils, staff, parents and family, with a book sale and signing after the talk. Thursday 5th March Author of the ‘History Keepers’ series, screenwriter and actor, Damian Dibben, talked to Years 7 and 8 in Big School. His series has been translated into 26 languages in over 40 countries. There is currently a major film in development with Working Title (who produced Les Miserables and Billy Elliot). Friday 6th March Gothic fiction author and illustrator, Chris Priestley: two Year 8 talks and workshops, and a Year 12 workshop. His award-winning ‘Tales of Terror’ series are in the tradition of Edgar Allan Poe and M. R. James. His novel Mister Creecher was nominated for the Carnegie Medal and included in the Booktrust ‘Future Classics’ Library Pack in 2013. His most recent publication, The Last of the Spirits, is a tale that links to Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. Friday 13th March Author Jason Beresford: a Primary writing workshop for Years 12 and 13, followed by a workshop on ‘How to write your own superhero’ with a Year 8 class (one he delivered at the London Children’s Literature Festival earlier this year) and a lecture to Year 10 on careers in writing (he’s written for Coronation Street) and the media (he’s presented TV in the UK and Japan).
Simon Singh gives students the secrets of code-breaking...
We had the whole School reading!
Author Wishlist The Book Festival Survey asked pupils which authors would they like to see next year. Here are the most requested authors… Anthony Horowitz Robert Muchamore and Rick Riordan J.K. Rowling Derek Landy Chris Bradford, Charlie Higson and Jeff Kinney Fortunately, we have confirmed one of the names on the list. Chris Bradford is so popular we had to book him a whole two years in advance! He will be giving two talks on Monday, February 29th 2016. We’ve started next year early! 35
Mind for Maths competition The Year 9 Mind for Maths Inter-School Competition regional heat took place at the Royal Grammar School in High Wycombe on Wednesday 29th April. Year 12 students Alistair Fleming, Joseph Taylor and Freddie Harding all helped ultimately lead the Reading School team to victory, including Tommaso Leonardi, Michael Lee, Alex Fisher and Ben Blaker (pictured).
MATHS: Numbers in their Prime
Maths intelligence Group— MiG25 MiG25 Maths club is an active club that takes place in M3 every Tuesday lunchtime. The club encourages students to think creatively and helps them use and develop strategies to solve challenging high level maths problems. The sessions are primarily run by Miss Sikkel and selected Sixth Form students, who all provide mentoring and refreshments on a regular basis! The club is a fun way to build up students’ ability at Maths, as well as team work and coordination. William Clennell, 10E
Endgame: Chess Champions Again? In July 2014, Reading School beat Manchester Grammar School by the tightest of margins to become ECF National Chess School Champions – the first state school in 20 years to achieve this honour. This year, under the captaincy of Roy Zhang, we are again through the semi-finals and set to defend our title at Uppingham School in July. Wish us well for a repeat sterling performance!
The annual United Kingdom Mathematics Trust (UKMT) challenges are designed to encourage students across the country to use their mathematical knowledge to answer a series of complex logical and Maths-based problems. This year, even more certificates and follow-on round invitations have been achieved, outclassing last year’s already phenomenal results.
Held at the end of April, there were even more chances to win certificates in this year’s Junior Maths Challenge. The multiple choice paper, sat by all Year 7 and 8 students, resulted in over 200 certificates for Reading School boys, with an outstanding 97 of these being Gold. Twelve boys ultimately made it through to the Olympiad round, led by Peter Isaksen of Year 7 who outscored all other year 7s and 8s in the paper. An additional 46 boys made it into the Kangaroo, with both follow-on rounds being held on the 9th June.
Cha Junio llen r M ge a com ths peti tor s
es S u
In contrast to previous years, Reading School allowed all boys from Years 9 to 11 to take part in the Intermediate Maths Challenge, instead of just the top Maths sets of each year. The results of the 2015 Challenge – 91 Gold, 128 Silver and 75 Bronze certificates – were stunning, with over 150 more certificates won compared to 2014. It just goes to show that you don’t have to be in top set to score highly in the UKMT challenges! The Best in School prize went to James Sun of Year 10, who, along with 21 other boys, made it through to the s ath tors or M mpeti i Olympiad round. Of n Ju e co g n e these, Elijah Price, l l Cha James Sun, Minghua Yin, Alex Fisher and Karthikeyan Neelamegan all received medals and book prizes. In addition, Karthik also won a week away in Leeds to take part in a week of Mathematics because of his high score.
An outstanding 162 certificates were secured in the Senior Challenge (54 Gold, 56 Silver and 52 Bronze) by Further Maths students in Years 12 and 13. Alfred Wong topped the lot with 125 marks scored, with James Sun from Year 10 scoring a fantastic 120. 12 boys made the cut for the Olympiad, with three getting distinctions and James Sun making it through to the second Olympiad round. 23 boys who missed out on the Olympiad made it into the Kangaroo round, with six merits gained.
s ath m M nge a e T lle Cha
On Friday 20th March, Mr Bywater and Mr Hurst took Year 9s Elijah Price ng Wo d e and Istvan Darok, and Alfr Year 8s Saleem Rashid and Charles Yang to Horris Hill School in Newbury to compete in a Regional Final of the UKMT Team Maths Challenge, against 26 other local schools. The Reading School team acquitted itself fantastically, across three preliminary rounds involving various different problem-solving challenges. In the final round the team competed in a relay challenge, with a strong performance earning us a place at the National Final. Elijah Price, 9E 37
SCIENCE: A Whole New World Following successful applications for funding and planning permission, work on the new Biology and Chemistry laboratories began in April and is now well under way. When completed early next year, the new building will provide three Chemistry and four Biology labs which meet current standards for our class sizes. It will also include improved staff preparation areas and a new chemical store, while the old Biology labs will be refurbished to provide four multi-purpose classrooms. The majority of the cost is being met through a major grant from the Academies Capital Maintenance Fund, while the cost of furniture and equipment will come from fundraising.
Out with the old...
… And in with the new! The view from the Chemistry block... With the rapid disappearance of the old Chemistry block and nothing yet to look at but an empty site, we are looking forward to the day that we are presented with our new labs. We have, meanwhile, moved into temporary accommodation, which has turned out to be a real surprise, offering us a reasonable level of work space as well as two teaching areas that we can make the most of in terms of support for learning through practicals. The expansion offered by the new labs should help support the practical work required by the new A-level and GCSE Practical Assessment, as well as continuing to entice the lower years into the subject. I am aware of some of the support offered already for furnishing and equipping these labs and would like to take this opportunity to say an early thank you for all the assistance given and to come. Mr Longstaff, Head of Chemistry
Raja Khan – sustainability essay competition winner I asked my Year 12 Chemistry class to enter an international essay competition organised by The Living Rainforest based on ‘My Vision for Sustainability Education’. Three boys entered: Cameron Leask, Joseph Taylor and Raja Khan. They were selected as Finalists, then the competition organiser called me and told me the fantastic news that out of all the entries from across the world Raja had won – he is the grand prize winner! They were really impressed with his ideas and how professional the essay was – so much so that, although Raja will attend the Competition Final in Oxford this July when his success will be announced, he will also be invited to attend next year’s Final in Dubai. The following link provides details, and an idea of the competition Raja was up against: http://www.livingrainforest.org/explore/schools-debate/ Miss Ayres, Chemistry
Chemistry Olympians Reading School’s Chemistry Department enjoyed another successful year of participation in the Chemistry Olympiad. Organised by the Royal Society of Chemistry, the Olympiad saw Reading compete amongst thousands of schools – with 30 of our Sixth-Formers sitting the test on-site. The competition provides a good testing ground for future scientists and medics, and our students proved up to the challenge. The questions were tough: one problem proved too difficult even for Mr. Longstaff to solve! Nonetheless, our boys distinguished themselves by winning four Golds, including Year 12 Chris Pegrum, who earned himself Chemistry colours (usually the preserve of KS4), and the possibility of a call to the Cambridge University Chemistry Summer School.
The Year in Physics Our refurbished IT and Electronic Labs are the envy of many and are not just helping Physics and Science, but also providing a useful resource to other areas in the School. When the new lab building work began in earnest in February, we breathed a sigh of selfish relief, thinking it We’ll be hoping to emulate our Olympian success in June at was now Biology and Chemistry’s turn to suffer, only to the Cambridge Chemistry Challenge, and to do our find that we had to move more of our stuff again – but we prestigious record justice: in the past four years, exceptional now have a different view of Black Holes. Reading School students have ranked in the overall top 40 In November, myself, Mr Webb, Mr Longstaff and a group three times. of boys travelled to CERN in Geneva (pictured below), where we learned about particle physics, symmetry and the Higgs Boson. What was especially impressive was Biology Olympians hearing about the spin-off benefits in engineering, medical 6,189 students took part in the first round of the British imaging and monitoring. Biology Olympiad this year. The 129 students with the highest scores took part in the more demanding second round – these included seven of our boys (the best of our 16 Gold Medal winners). Subsequently, Year 13 pupils Matthew Hankins, Kieran Toms, and Kevin Gurung (pictured below) were amongst just 20 final-round students from schools across the UK in contention for a place in the UK team to compete at the international Biology Olympiad in Denmark from July 12th to 19th this year. After several days of selection tests at the University of Warwick in early April, Matthew secured one of four places in the UK team who will be up against top preuniversity Biology students from 60 countries around the world. The host city of Aarhus – with its beautiful surroundings, beech forests and beaches – provides the perfect venue for focussing on Biology and for participants to get together in a fun and educational setting. Congratulations to all three boys on their outstanding achievement. Getting three boys into the last 20 and one into the UK team is a pretty amazing feat. We wish Matthew every success in Denmark. Mrs Maunder, Head of Biology
Despite rising damp in the Observatory, our Astronomy Club was keen to look at two major events this year: the eclipse (more below) and Comet Lovejoy. Whilst the latter was not easy to observe with School telescopes, many of our students got to see it in their back gardens, and I managed to capture a decent photograph (see cover).
The second event we geared up for was the Solar Eclipse. We planned ahead and spent several hours making our telescopes safe. We bravely staggered into school before breakfast, set up and glumly watched the fog get thicker and thicker… At least we now know how to make telescopes safe for sun-viewing and how to deal with celestial disappointment. As a final thought, ancient civilisations believed eclipses and comets were portents of change. What those changes will be, we will have to wait and see. Mr Tucker, Physics
SPORT When you’re interested in doing something, you do it only when it’s convenient. When you’re committed to something, you accept no excuses, only results—Kenneth Blanchard Once again it has been a successful year for House and School Sport. Every student from Year 7 to 11 has represented his House in at least one event. We have had over 300 competitive fixtures with at least a third of all boys representing their School. Our staff have, between them, offered over 20 weeks of after-school coaching, training and fixtures, in addition to the House Competitions. Our U12 Rugby team won the County Plate final with our U14 Team being crowned Tri Counties Champions. Coach of the Year Mr Pedlow gained county success with both our KS3 and KS4 badminton teams, the former finishing 4th in the country. The Chess Team has once more made the National Finals and our U15 footballers lost narrowly in the County Cup Final. Our students have also gained individual success away from School. We have national champions in Rock Climbing and Trampolining, while Ben Loader scored a great try on debut for the England U16 Rugby team against Wales (pictured below).
variety of reasons, the most common being disappointment at not being selected, perceived lack of enjoyment, and pressure of other (sporting and non-sporting) commitments. In rapid response, I would simply offer the following thoughts. (1) Pure ability has to be weighed against effort and attitude – and the need to field balanced teams which give as wide a range of boys as possible a chance to participate. (2) ‘Enjoyment’ is a relative term and often a transitory experience. What is true is that, in sport as in life, things are not always going to be easy, and that the noblest ends sometimes require highly challenging means. (3) The benefits of competitive physical activity – resilience, discipline, a sense of achievement – are profound but subtle; therefore difficult to measure in an exam grade or present on a CV.
The most important point, however, is this. Nobody is in the business of forcing children to undertake activities they do not enjoy, or feel equal to, or cannot see the point of. And I know and understand that your son's interest in things will change, especially through adolescence. It’s a question of degree and timing: of process. If it really is time to move away from a school sport, then encourage him at least to see it through to a logical ending time (preferably the end of a season). Assist him in formulating a forward plan which will include some form of physical activity. Finally, get him to say good-bye – and possibly even thank you – rather than simply So we have done well again this year, and shown evidence of dropping away. His teachers and his teammates will, I know, talent and hard work. At the same time, I am becoming a appreciate it. little concerned about the numbers of boys who are opting Mr Beckey, Director of Sport out of School team commitments. This can happen for a
England versus Wales U16 It was a great honour to be given the chance to represent my country and play rugby for England at U16 level. Rugby matches don’t come much bigger than England against Wales, and to make my debut away in Wales was a daunting prospect. In the end, it was incredible to be a part of the win, and even better to make a scoring contribution! From the very beginning, the whole process has been an amazing experience: from starting to play here at Reading 40
School, then at county level with Berkshire, on to London Irish Academy, and from there being selected for the South West after numerous trials, and finally playing in the Wellington International Festival with everything coming together in that international fixture in Caerphilly. I feel so grateful to have been a part of such a talented squad, and proud that we managed to get a winning result. Ben Loader, 11W
Sam Slocombe leads the way for East House in the Year 8 hurdles
Tom Crook competes for School House in the Year 7 800m
What Lies Under the Lid: The Success of Failure Looking back on seven years here, I realise that what has left the largest and most indelible impression on me are not the green doors, green radiators and green piping of my surroundings, but the green, green grass of Morgan Road. For all of my School’s academic track record, there was another track that taught me as much about myself, my friends, even life, than anything else: the running track.
In hindsight, the idea of ‘recreation’ takes on a new meaning – there was nothing that could quite recreate the same team camaraderie as kicking a plain simple ball could. In an ultra-competitive grammar school, it was refreshingly uplifting to have the same (very literal) goal to aim for, intertwined with a healthy dose of the same competition to which we had become acclimatised. I loved it. I miss it.
This coming Friday is our annual Sports Day – my last one, 15 minutes. Seven years ago, you would have been waiting and personally important in several ways. It will be the final 15 minutes for me to finish a 1500m run. I was not as fit as time that I compete in the 100m hurdles , something which a fiddle. I was probably on a par with a cello. But over time, began as a (literal) running gag in Year 8, and which has Reading School beat me into shape – if ‘beat’ is the right been my responsibility for six years now; but it will also be word. Far from feeling negative, seeing seconds shaved off the final time that I’ll compete for my School, ever. The my lap times, with the seconds becoming minutes, was a finish line is in sight. It’s a sobering thought. real source of personal pride and achievement. As a disclaimer: my hurdling record leaves a lot to be If running and outdoor exercise was the meat and potato of desired. In a four-man race, it currently stands at 4th, 4th, my formative Reading School P.E. ‘diet’, there were also 3rd, 4th, 4th. Sixth time’s a charm, eh? For six years, with plenty of exotic side-dishes to whet my whistle. One year, varying success, I’ve cleared hurdles at Reading School. And my class took great satisfaction in showing off personal yes, a cheap and cheerful metaphorical device it may well collections of peacock-blue bruises, accrued from a term of be, but I think it’s an apt one. wrestling. My experience of the sporting culture at Reading School – a Then followed the ‘recreational’ football of my GCSE years. culture that will continue to throb, thrive and improve the Don’t be fooled by this softly-softly vernacular – there was lives of young men like me for years to come – is one that nothing recreational about the cheek-by-jowl, blood-andhas helped shaped me into the person I am today. It has thunder climate of what was essentially Foot Warfare. This encouraged me to find motivation during the times when it was Rock and Roll Football, at its drippingly debauched feels easiest to give in. It has gifted me an appetite to keep zenith. We wouldn’t have had it any other way. fit, clear hurdles, and push personal boundaries – into my time at In years to come, I shall look back upon memories of Mr university and beyond. That is Beckey marauding down the wing with gleeful relish, and something for which I am inexpressibly Crawford (Reading School’s interchangeable answer to grateful. Peter Crouch/Pele) wheeling away to celebrate a rare and beautiful hat-trick. Every time I do, I’ll bask in the same Sir, this is to you. Thank you, very warmth that I did being part of it. Metaphorical warmth. much. It’s been a blast. Forget a cold and wet Tuesday night in Stoke – Messi Jacob South-Klein, 13C should try a cold and wet Wednesday afternoon in Reading. 41
Combined Cadet Force Life is never dull in Reading School CCF and this year has been no exception. In the Michaelmas Term, we found ourselves in the spotlight of the highest echelons of the Ministry of Defence and as the year has progressed, our cadets have managed to rack up a wide variety of distinguished achievements. In the course of this, most members of the CCF have managed to take part in enjoyable training in which they managed to avoid the worst of the elements (apart from those who went to Nesscliffe at Easter!).
Distinguished Guests At the time of writing, the Army and RAF Sections are coming to the end of the training year and we are looking forward to welcoming new Year 9 recruits into our ranks. They found themselves very much under scrutiny earlier in the year when in two successive weeks we were visited by the Secretary of State for Defence, Michael Fallon, MP, and then underwent our Biennial Inspection in the field by Lt. Col. James Bryant, the CO of 7 Rifles. On both occasions, our distinguished visitors were hugely impressed by the enthusiasm, initiative and knowledge shown by the Reading School cadets. Training The Army Section had a successful overnight exercise in November at Bramley and a day exercise in March where those taking part were able to hone their understanding of section battle drills amid many loud bangs and much shouting! The RAF Section has been fortunate in having had plenty of opportunities to fly with 6AEF at RAF Benson throughout the year and we also had a successful Field Day visit to RAF Odiham in March. We still await news of when the gliding fleet will be back in operation so that we can provide even more air experience for our cadets. At the time of writing, we are looking forward to summer camps in July at Longmoor for the Army Section and Odiham for the RAF. Finally, it is worth mentioning that the CCF made a key contribution to both the OR Remembrance Sunday Service and the Schoolâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Act of Remembrance in November . The Defence Secretary, Michael Fallon, visited us in October
The cable guys are here!
A real lifesaver at RAF Odiham
Competitions We have enjoyed considerable success in the competitions we have entered this year. Unusually for us, we performed very strongly in the South East Cadet Skill At Arms meeting at the end of September, coming fourth overall in the competition and reaching the quarter finals of the Falling Plate. Cpl. Omar Uwais was ranked eighth overall out of the 124 cadets taking part . However, we have managed to do even better than this in the ‘black art’ that is signalling. At the end of November, we reestablished our HF station in the newly reroofed signals attic and took part in Exercise ‘Christmas Cracker’ which involved establishing radio contact with stations throughout the UK and further afield, including the north eastern seaboard of the USA. We came third overall in this competition. Not content with this, Messrs Meerman, Le Croissette, Lobo, Yao-Smith and Green spent the last weekend of the Easter Holiday
at Blandford, accompanied by Capt. Hurst and 2Lt Morris at Exercise ‘Rolling Thunder’, the national cadet signalling competition. We knew we had done well in the round table quiz at the disco on Saturday evening and were very pleased to find out that we had won this, being presented with a Royal Signals teddy bear (promptly christened ‘Jimmy’ for obvious reasons!) We were less sure how well we had done in the main events of the day - voice procedure, line laying, masts and antennas and so on and it was to our considerable surprise that we learned that we had achieved first place. This competition has run for eight years so far and in that time , Reading School CCF has won it three times and come second once. So next year’s team has a lot to live up to!
Left to Right: Communications in the signals attic - Exercise ‘Christmas Cracker’; The winners of exercise ‘Rolling Thunder’ with Jimmy the Bear; WO Roberts in his Merlin helicopter
Individual Achievements The wide variety of courses available to members of the CCF means that there is scope for outstanding individual achievement. This year, Philip Meerman and James Roberts both completed flying scholarships awarded through the Air Cadet organisation and at the time of writing, Matthew Le Croissette , Andrew Green and Tom Moffat have received awards for the next round. These are very keenly fought for prizes and to achieve three in an RAF Section from a relatively small unit speaks volumes about the calibre of our cadets. Joseph Taylor and Andrew Green completed the arduous Cadet Leadership Course at Nesscliffe in Shropshire amid changeable weather conditions and we have more candidates who have been successful in
gaining places on the summer round of courses at Longmoor. Other members of the contingent will be taking to the water with the Royal Navy during the summer holidays and we will wait with bated breath to hear of their adventures when we return in September. Finally, we should thank all the adult staff who make it possible to run this programme throughout the year, in particular Major Simon Donegan for his continued leadership. We are also deeply grateful to all those other members of Reading School who continue to support our cadets in ways which all too often remain unsung. Capt. PFE Hurst
A Little Bit of... Keen to know more about the School’s ‘Front Line’, our interns, Jamie Grocott and Michael Livesey, conducted a revealing interview in late May with ‘TLC’, the peerless trio of Turner, Lidbetter and Chhokar who run the School Office and, in truth, much of the School with it. Grocott: So, question one, what do you all do? Jo Lidbetter: OK, I am the Office Manager. And I act as Secretary as well; I receive and respond to all the correspondence that comes to the School from anywhere in the world. Livesey: And what’s the furthest away that an email has come to Reading School? The strangest location? Lidbetter: The strangest… I can’t really say those, they’re probably confidential! They come from China, India, Russia, quite often they’ll be to do with admissions. Boarding enquiries and the like… Grocott: I always assumed boarding enquiries came from just outside the local catchment area. Lidbetter: No, we get enquiries from Singapore, Hong Kong… Livesey: From Wokingham to Ouagadougou. That would be the catchphrase. Grocott: And what about you, Jas? Jas Chhokar: I help organise the trips. Grocott: (writing notes) Trips.
Left to right: Emily Turner, Jo Lidbetter and Jas Chhokar.
Chhokar: Fingerprinting for the boys and for staff. And things like work experience for the Year 11s.
Lidbetter: It probably came from Robert [Baldock]. He also calls us Jo Jamily.
(Voice of Fran Smith, interrupting proceedings: Have you two cheeky chappies done my display yet?
Chhokar: Like a pop group.
Livesey: Jas, what has been the most stressful school trip in your experience?
Livesey: What happens to your data?
Livesey: Emily, we forgot to ask: what is your role? Grocott: No, we got side-tracked with journalistic commitments. Emily Turner: I’m in charge of data; so anything to do with Smith: Just remember who you’re working for.) analysing data. And exams administration.
Chhokar: The most difficult trips are the residential trips.
Turner: We analyse it and we try to use it to help us make interventions or changes around the School.
Livesey: What is a residential trip?
Chhokar: She has an air of calmness about her.
Lidbetter: Trips abroad.
Livesey: Are you looking forward to… Childbirth?
Chhokar: And the day trips are really quite easy – as long as parents’ consent forms and fees are received on time.
Livesey: We’ve been reliably informed that you guys are an oasis of calm in the School. Would you say that’s true?
Chhokar: Yes; they call us the TLC. Livesey: Where did that nickname come from? Chhokar: From our surnames: Turner, Lidbetter Chhokar. 44
Livesey: I mean, what about the bit after childbirth? Livesey: What are you fearing the most and looking forward to the most? Turner: What am I fearing the most… The lack of sleep. And I’m looking forward to meeting my baby.
Chhokar: It feels so surreal, doesn’t it? You can’t imagine the other side.
Turner: In my old job I used to get sworn at. Here the boys leave the office and they say, ‘Have a nice day’…
Livesey: I was told that for the mother you kind of know them Livesey: Note to self, say ‘Have a nice day’ as we leave… already; and for the father it feels a bit more like meeting a Lidbetter: Students are never rude to us… They might be new person… How much do you feel you know your baby different in the classroom! already? Grocott: Can you give us three words to describe the school? Turner: You do feel the movements, so you can imagine what Lidbetter: Warm… the baby’s like in a way… Livesey: We’ll have a follow-up article for next year. Is it a boy Livesey: What, in terms of weather? The heating is warm? or a girl? Lidbetter: No the heating’s cold, it’s the staff that are warm. Turner: It’s a girl. Livesey: Oh I see! Three words to describe the school: very Livesey: And what are you going to call her?
Turner: That’s a secret.
Chhokar: Friendly, inspirational… I need Robert [Baldock] here to help!
Livesey: How has the School changed since you’ve been here, Jo? Lidbetter: It’s become more computerised: data, emailing. When I first came, calls were recorded on a notice board and sat there for days. I think the school’s been taken into a different century now.
Lidbetter: Inspirational. Everyone here is so well-educated, so broad in their thinking: I feel really lucky to be surrounded by that. Chhokar: I like the selflessness of the teachers. All the moneyraising they do, and the other projects they’re involved in.
Grocott: Did you spearhead that move?
Lidbetter: All the commitment they give.
Lidbetter: Fran [Smith] had a hand in it as well.
Chhokar: No-one really understands it: they think teachers get long holidays but they don’t see the amount of work teachers do. I know boys here can send a paper to a teacher and get it marked overnight… How many schools does that happen at?
Smith: We spearheaded it together, didn’t we! It was quite chaotic. This place is a real hub, though. If you need a bit of information about the School, these girls will know it.
Grocott: Emily, we need your three. Livesey: So the office has earned itself a position of quite high Turner: Quirky. regard within the School. Grocott: So, overall we’ve got friendly, inspirational, quirky … Lidbetter: We just try and be helpful, we service the departments, we try and please everybody – though you can’t Where could Reading School go in the future? do that all the time! Lidbetter: I think it could be more Smith: They’re the people you go to when you need information - a really well-functioning information desk. This accessible to all walks of life. It’s a is John Lewis, not Primark. community school but Lidbetter: We’re the front line. Our office, our function, if you don’t know includes the other room: Reception and School Office... someone from here Reading School, it’s quite old-fashioned but the people in it you don’t know much aren’t. about the School. I Grocott: That’s a good quote: modern staff, traditional setting. think it’s a bit of a bubble. Chhokar: When I first came here, although you can’t put this in, I thought the School could be in a horror movie. Chhokar: We also need more facilities. Sports especially. Turner: Will Bailey-Watson entered one of his short stories into a competition last year and said he struggled to invent Livesey: One last whacky question… characters more colourful than his colleagues. Grocott: School comedian? Livesey: Why was that? Lidbetter: School comedian? Baldock! Turner: I think this place attracts eccentric characters. Chhokar: And Peter Hurst. They could do an Ant & Dec Duo. Lidbetter: We’re used to it now, but when you first arrive… It’s Grocott: Morecambe and Wise. like Alice in Wonderland. Livesey: Probably more Morecambe than Wise! Livesey: So with that in mind, would you consider working in Grocott: And on that note … Thank you very much for your another school? time. Chhokar: I love the people here, I love the School. Livesey: And have a nice day! Lidbetter: I think we’re lucky to work here. 45
Hail and Farewell
Miss Ayres, Chemistry The boarding houses at Reading are unique, and I’m more than loving being a part of the action! I’ve been welcomed into the boarding family with open arms and I really appreciate how supportive everyone is of each other, especially the upper years. Recently I experienced my first water skiing trip, and now I cannot wait for the fun that the summer months will bring!
Mademoiselle Fondu, MFL Reading School has really exceeded my (great) expectations. The building itself is impressive but the best thing is working with such supportive teachers (avec parfois un petit grain de folie). Then there are, of course, the boys – and all the witty or unwitting French puns they come up with on a daily basis. How lucky I am to be working here with you all. I know it’s cheesy, but my name’s ‘Fondu’. What did you expect?
Miss Hooker, Maths The welcome I have had at Reading School has been fantastic; I am struck by the relaxed but productive relationships between staff and students and impressed by the quality and calibre of my students and their work. Becoming an East Wing Boarding Tutor has enhanced my participation and perspective. I am very pleased to be here and look forward to contributing to the life of Reading School in general and Maths in particular.
Mr Lloyd, English To dub myself a ‘new arrival’ seems a little disingenuous. This is not my first venture into the world of Reading School. As a student I was School House Captain, before going on to study at Manchester University. On my return, I have been welcomed by familiar faces, routines and traditions, not to mention an incredibly talented department. My affection for the school is undiminished from my new vantage point, on the other side of the staff room door.
Mr Steadman, PE Before coming here I was a Professional Rugby player at Bristol Rugby. With the School’s history and academic prowess it was a little daunting moving to a new place and coming to teach at Reading School. However the staff and pupils have been very welcoming and made my transition into teaching one that I have really enjoyed. The boys at this school are unique and are always a pleasure to work with and teach.
Dr Tabtab, Economics I consider myself fortunate to have joined a world-class institution with superb academic results! The support I get within the Department is tremendous. Members of the Common Room are congenial and accommodating. To top it all, pupils come to lessons eager to learn and equally enthused to contribute. It has been a fulfilling year – happily, teaching is a-buzz with committed professionals who continue to inspire young minds to aspire!
Señora Trujillo Delgado, MFL I taught English and Spanish in Spain at secondary level for 10 years before moving to the UK. In the UK I taught Spanish as a foreign language at Thames Valley University, Reading Adult & Community College, Kendrick School and UTC Reading before joining Reading School. I am a very enthusiastic and passionate teacher and this seems to combine well with the talented and intelligent students and the engaging environment at Reading School.
Dr Materlik – Subject Leader for German Joined: 2006 Moving to: Cologne International School
Madame Pang - Subject Leader for French and Spanish Joined: 2008 Moving to: Our Lady’s Abingdon
I will miss my fantastic, inspiring and highly entertaining pupils. I might be exhausted when I arrive in school, but I will be wide awake and buzzing the moment they enter the classroom. Watching Felix Clutson, who was registered blind, play hockey with his mates was definitely one of my favourite moments, as was the A-level drama performance in 2006 and my year 8s this year singing ‘Je ne regrette rien’. Give me a book, I would probably fill it. I guess that’s what you become a teacher for.
Although I am looking forward to my new role, I have to say that Reading School is really not an easy place to leave. I have had fantastic colleagues and students here and I am dreading the day when I will say goodbye. To all of you boys whom I have taught and who have motivated, challenged, amused, annoyed, impressed, helped and educated me, I want to say a big thank you. You are what makes my job so enjoyable and I wish you all the very best in your future studies and careers. A bientôt.
Mrs Willoughby – Head of Art and Educational Visits Officer Joined: 2005 Moving to: Cologne International School
Mr Norgaard – Head of Geography Joined: 2006 Moving to: Lord Wandsworth College
I will miss the camaraderie of all the staff, Milly the dead bird in the art department, and Giles (the sleeping boy sculpture who used to live in reception). My most memorable moment is being carried by my wonderful team mates to the finish line in Tough Mudder. And of course you –all the wonderful art boys at Reading School. Many thanks for all the great memories.
Reading School will always be very special to me. I have been honoured to teach and work alongside incredible boys and have made amazing friends amongst the staff. My abiding memories are the various trips and Comenius exchanges I have led and I am happy to leave the School with a strong Geography department. I am particularly proud of our international success in the GA Quiz.
Mr Bywater – Maths Teacher Joined: 2011 Moving to: A school in Kuwait
Mr Dawes – Head of Economics Joined: 2000 Moving to: Leighton Park School
I will miss long summer nights on the field playing massparticipation games with the boarders. My favourite memories will always be of the boarders’ water-skiing trip, and watching everyone struggle with the dreaded first corner.
I have had so many great memories at Reading School but two in particular stand out. The first is the cricket tour to St Lucia in 2004, especially the carnival and the day trip to St Vincent. The second is the Y8 German trip to Traben Trarbach in 2006.
We also bid farewell to: Mrs Cavagan (1992-15), Mr Tucker (2001-15), Mr Mogridge (2002-15), Dr Pike (2003-15), Ms Sheriff (2005-15), Mr Patel (2008-15), Mr Ivanovski (2014-15), and Mr Gunasekera (2015-15). 46
Art Gallery In celebration of Mrs Willoughby’s outstanding service to the School over the past nine years, we’ve put together a retrospective of some of the pieces her students were inspired to produce... Michael Livesey, 2010
Robbie Cottle 2014
Thomas Brewster 2015
Ken Shephard 2013
Billy Huntington 2013
Andrew Crawford 2011
This year, Mr Judd will be departing the School, having been a part of its life for 53 years. Between 1962 and 1969, Mr Judd was a boarding pupil, returning in 1975 to take up a teaching post, after completing a degree in Agricultural Chemistry at Leeds University and a PGCE at Oxford. Since 2007, he has served as Director of Examinations, ensuring both internal and external exams run smoothly. His experience, dedication, and attention to detail will be sorely missed. Mr Judd’s remarkable career at Reading School has spanned an era including the premiership of Harold Macmillan; England’s last World Cup victory; man landing on the moon, and Duran Duran.
Martin Chak, 2014
Dates For Your Diary 2015 Saturday, September 5th: OR Rugby, 12 noon, School Field
Wednesday, November 11th: School Remembrance Service, 10:30am, School Chapel
Saturday, September 26th: Wine & Welcome for New Parents, 7pm, Big School
Thursday, November 12th: Inter-house Music Competition, 7pm, Reading Town Hall
Thursday, October 1st: Inspire Lecture by Mark Stevenson “An Optimist’s Tour of the Future”, 3:45pm, Big School
Saturday, November 28th: OR Association AGM & Annual Dinner, from 5pm, Lecture Theatre & Refectory
Thursday, October 1st: RSPA AGM, 7pm, Big School Wednesday, October 14th: Career Convention, 7pm, Big School & Refectory Thursday, October 15th: Commemoration Service, 2pm, Minster of St Mary the Virgin Saturday, October 17th: RSPA Quiz Night, 7pm, Big School
Thursday, December 3rd: Inspire Lecture by Professor Richard Crowther, Chief Engineer of the UK Space Agency, 4pm, Big School Monday, December 14th: Carol Service, 7:30pm, St Luke’s Church, Erleigh Road Thursday, December 17th: Senior Prize Giving, 2pm, Great Hall, University of Reading
2016 Friday, January 29: Year 7 Concert, 6:30pm, Big School
Wednesday, October 21st: Michaelmas Concert, 7pm, Thursday, February 4th: Inspire Lecture by Sam Parker, Big School Director of the Shell Foundation, 4pm, Big School Wednesday, November 4th: Junior Concert, 7pm, Big School Sunday, November 8th: OR Remembrance Service, 10:30am, School Chapel
Saturday, February 6th: Big Band Ball, 7:30pm, Refectory Monday, February 29th-Friday, March 4th: Reading School Book Festival, including visiting authors
Your 2015 Editorial Team