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Floreat Redingensis 2017 September

The Magazine of Reading School

Memories Edited by Mr A Lloyd, with special thanks to neil goulding

Headmaster’s Words: ‘Memories’


hen you are part of an organisation that was founded nearly 900 years ago, you are surrounded by history, by memorable events, memorable people and hopefully positive memories. Memories are too important to be entombed in museums. The best memories engage us, enrich us, and enable us. The best memories shape our current actions and our future dreams. Memories should help us to rise above potential thoughts of futility and absurdity. We need to go beyond the awful memories of the Twentieth Century baked in bloodshed and drive a more positive view of what is possible. What legacy can we leave? Can our actions lead to positive memories? Can we rise above indifference and seek to create our own, new memories of a better future? We are relying on Reading School boys to be the leaders of the future, creators of a more positive

future filled with memories of what can be achieved rather than regrets of what might have been. According to the Japanese novelist, Haruki Murakami, in his work entitled ‘Kafka on the Shore’, “Memories warm you up from the inside. But they also tear you apart.” At Reading School, we want memories of school days to be positive ones. Our approach to wellbeing, pastoral care and safeguarding is driven by a desire to nurture positive memories. We aim to create positive memories through the provision of opportunities, through a desire to enhance social mobility and educational progress. We have the duty to cherish our memories, seek to improve in our present situation and look to leave a positive legacy. This call to action is as valid on an organisational level as an individual one. The Reading School family should work together, strengthened by memories of the past and motivated by the challenges of the present to ensure that 2025 is celebrated as part of a memorable positive legacy. We want to create positive memories formed from a culture of compassionate meritocracy. We aim to develop an organisation that champions positive memories through the promotion of able people or those with talent regardless of wealth, family background, race or religion. But we do not want to be part of a

system where our students seek to advance their own interests without caring for others or at the expense of others. We do not want to be remembered for being a selfish meritocracy, rather we need to create and recreate memorable experiences of compassion and character. This undoubtedly can be achieved through our partnership work and our emphasis on Student Leadership. On Sunday 25th June 2017, we welcomed back the class of 1967. They were able to see how continuity was evident in the midst of considerable change and improvement. By being faithful to our shared fundamental values, we can take up the mantle and successfully ensure positive memories are not a myth but rather drivers for further sustained high performance. We are entering a period of volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity. It is therefore even more important for us to be strengthened by our patrimony, our shared memories of excellence and character and be determined to shape a positive future and leave a memory of a positive legacy. But we can only do this if we undertake to work together as a united Reading School family. Thus we need to remember our past successes and reflect on the negative impact of the memory of our shortcomings and failures. As a consequence our determination to shape the creation of positive memories for those who will celebrate the 900th anniversary and beyond will be even stronger. Mr A Robson, Headmaster

What are my key memories of the year? The first cohort of Laud House The victory in the U18 1st XV Rugby County Cup Final, December 2016 The success of our Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4 badminton teams 3rd place nationally of all state school at GCSE 7th place in the state school tables as demonstrated in the Sunday Times Parent Power league tables The outstanding outcomes of the February 2017 Ofsted Inspection of Boarding The ‘Celebrating Our Past, Present and Future’ event held at the Palace of Westminster, 26 th April 2017 The visits of our partners from Sure24 Orphanage and Rain Edge High School. Sammy Niwali, Millie, Sammy T, Jackton, Iso, Onesmus and Patrick are all inspirational. Certainly, our memories were all positive The inaugural Grandparents Day, July 2017 The excellent work of the Reading School Charity Committee which raised over £10,000 for local, national and international charities.



Deputy Headmaster’s Words

A week ago on a wonderful German exchange trip I was asked by an anonymous Year 10 student, “What does a Deputy Headmaster actually do?” I realised then that I’m not entirely sure what a typical Deputy Head might or ought to do, but that my own context affords me a privileged opportunity to strategise, mediate, intervene, support, plan, worry, organise and make mistakes! In many ways my daily work is equivalent to that of an Operations Director in a company. The Boardroom sets the direction and the Operations Director tries to manage the delivery. Thus,

working with Mr Pedlow to ensure a broad an balanced curriculum for 2017-18 has been one of my priorities; working with Ms Amole, Mrs Turner and the Heads of our different Departments to ensure appropriate reporting of progress and attitude has been another; supporting Mr Nicholas and Ms Mole in planning sixth form admissions numbers has been important and helping Ms Chhokar and Ms Lidbetter to balance competing demands upon the school calendar has also been significant. The developments I have been most impressed with have been many and varied. I have enjoyed the genesis of our Student Leadership programme – which is fundamental to our convictions that Reading School students are not just ‘brains on legs’. This work is being taken further next year by Mr Fairchild. I’ve been hugely impressed by the work of Tadeusz Ciecierski-Holmes and the charity committee, which will be led by Dhihran Bisram and Rhim Shah next year. This work is where we prove that the intelligence and energy of our students is at its best when creatively applied to compassionate action. Working with Mr Sellwood on the School’s new website has also been encouraging, as was witnessing the leadership and organisation of our

prefects including through Sam Miller’s welfare strategy and Ryan Yao -Smith’s audit of student perceptions. Above all my new role has given me a window into the remarkable care and diligence of so many of our staff, such as Ms Fooks and Miss Drummond, who have guided me through my new role as the Head of Sixth Form. It has been a real privilege to witness from a different angle the investment undertaken by Sixth Form tutors regarding writing and checking UCAS statements; the sensitivity shared by Heads of House in discussion of pastoral matters, uniform policies, welfare or academic interventions; and the concern that each Head of Department has for the progress and development of the students under their care. I miss living with all the South House boarders, I wish I’d given a little more time to Chapel and it has been strange not to teach and get to know all of the Year 7 students. Nevertheless, despite the odd moment of grumpiness or feeling overwhelmed, I have thoroughly enjoyed the privilege of working strategically with Mr Robson and the Senior Leadership Team towards the shared goal of making ours a genuinely world leading school in every regard. Mr C Evans

Contents: Cover: ‘Memories’ by Shaan Mohan

Page 16: RSPA

Page 31: Art

Page 2: Headmaster’s Words

Page 17: Student Initiatives

Pages 32 - 33: PE and Games

Page 3: Deputy Headmaster’s Words

Pages 18 - 19: Houses

Page 34: Drama

Page 4: OR President’s Report

Pages 20 - 21: Boarding

Pages 35 - 37: Sciences

Page 5: Westminster Reception

Page 22: History

Pages 38 - 39: Maths

Pages 6 - 7: Memories of School

Page 23: Geography

Pages 40 - 41: Music

Pages 8 - 9: Distinguished ORs

Page 24: Economics

Page 42: Religious Studies

Pages 10 - 11: OR Events

Page 25: English

Page 43: Careers

Pages 12 - 13: In Memoriam

Page 26: Student Leadership

Pages 44 - 45: Debate

Page 14: New Facilities

Page 27: PSHE

Pages 46—47: Leaving Staff and Quiz

Page 15: LRC: The Hub of the School

Pages 28 - 30: Classics and Languages Page 48: Key Dates and Social Media

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Old Redingensians Association President’s Report 2016-17 Michael Barrott (EW 1966-73)


s I noted in September 2016 when I was elected President to succeed Ned Holt, our course for 2016-17 had been set by the responses to our Spring 2016 stakeholders’ survey and that is the path we trod having consulted with Governors, parents, staff and students about our draft strategy. Ned had also bequeathed to me two important developments – the start of a systematic reunions initiative and the admission of all willing Year 13s into the OR Association, without paying a subscription, until 24 years of age. Throughout the year he has helped see these initiatives through. I should start with our membership. After years of slow growth, we have increased our membership from 1,250 to 1,500 in 2016-17. Almost all of these are under 25s which will change the focus for our future activities. In addition, via the reunions programme (five have taken place this academic year), we have re-established contact with another 300 ORs whom we hope we can persuade to join the OR Association at some point in the future.

We have a LinkedIn page, through which we can contact ORs who are mainly engaged in commercial activities and its membership has grown from 364 to 656. Membership of our Facebook page has grown from 892 to 934. Obviously there is an element of double- or triplecounting in some of these figures with one person being in contact via multiple means but the underlying picture is one of vibrancy and growth. In addition we are using modern means of communication - e-mail and social media. A very significant change this year is that we have synchronised our Annual General Meeting, and our Presidential elections, with the academic year. This has enabled John Taylor (Vice President), Ned Holt (immediate Past President), David Cox (Chairman) and I to develop productive contacts with both staff, boys and parents. We all set off at the beginning of the year knowing what the ORA was trying to achieve and, without mid-stream changes of personnel, we have achieved much success and greater consistency of approach. As a direct result, we have

“A highlight of 2016-17 was undoubtedly the Palace of Westminster reception” been able to build on Sam Miller’s (School Captain) wish to establish better mental well-being support for all boys and this includes training for current Year 12s to carry on Sam’s initiative. John Taylor has established a rugby 1st XV fixture against Redingensians Ram s Colts for December 2017 and, from a standing start, he arranged an U21 fixture ORs v Rams in December 2016 (to be repeated in December 2017) accompanying our first Christmas Gathering. Sam and his Vice Captains


have attended one of our ORA Council meetings and we have established a dialogue with the School Council on careers and other t opics. We participated actively and successfully in the Parents’ Association Spring Fayre, with David Cox and John Taylor leading our liaison with the RSPA. A highlight of 2016-17 was undoubtedly the Palace of Westminster reception which was attended by over 120 ORs, staff, Governors, parents and other supporters. Andrew Tuggey (OR 195866) Chief Executive of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association provided the venue (for which I repeat my personal thanks) and the ORA funded the canapés and refreshments. Much that is good has already come of this event, including 8 ORs willing to speak to the Sixth Form on careers and other topics, and even more helpful assistance is in the pipeline. The charitable objectives of the ORA are to advance the education of pupils at Reading School and to relieve poverty amongst past, present and future pupils. Apart from the initiatives I have already outlined above, this year, in pursuit of these goals, we have given £2,500 to the library, £5,000 to the Future Stories programme, £5,000 to pay for the School Magazine, £2,000 towards next year’s expeditions to Kenya and Tasmania, £2,400 for the St Lucia cricket tour, £2,000 for sports equipment and £1,500 to well-being/ charity projects. As our income grows, so will the range of activities we support. Next year I hope we will be reporting on additional benefits to Reading School students resulting from our many new contacts with old boys and our collaboration with the RS Parents’ A s s o c i a t i o n . A n d m ay b e e v e n more….but to go further would spoil the plot! Michael Barrott

Celebrating our Past, Present and Future


emories are important. Positive memories should remain evident longer than bad memories. If this is the case, then the Reading School/Old Redingensians Association partnership event held at the Palace of Westminster on 26th April 2017 will certainly live long in the memory of those 125 who had the privilege of attending. Representatives of key elements of the Reading School family, staff, students, governors, parents, Friends of Music, members of Reading Foundation and members of the Old Redingensians Association participated in a memorable event. Special mention should be made of Andrew Tuggey, CBE, CEO of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Society, Michael Barrott President of the ORA, Sir Oliver Heald QC MP and Neil Goulding who made the event possible.

Westminster Palace The event certainly celebrated the Past and Present of Reading School and also motivated us all to work hard to ensure that we continue to have positive memories in the future. Patrick and Onesmus from Rain Edge

Mr Robson delivers his speech to the assembled ORs, at Westminster Palace High School in Nakuru, Kenya were our honoured guests. A visit to the ‘mother of parliaments’ was a memory that they will always cherish. We asked for advice, expertise and engagement from the plethora of talented people associated with Reading School. If we want to improve the future whilst continuing to celebrate the memories of the past, then it is vital that we work together to create a positive legacy. In my speech to the 125 guests, I emphasised the importance of three priorities: - Raise aspiration and drive social mobility through an academic education thereby making positive future stories or memories. - Develop partnerships which will enable positive memories to be nurtured with organisations in Commonwealth Countries such as Kenya and Australia. - Ensure that positive memories are strengthened through development in people and facilities leading up to the fulfilment of the 2025 vision.


Significantly, feedback from the event was universally popular with positive memories in evidence as Roger Titford (OR 1966-1974) stated ‘It was an excellent evening – and in particular the sense of vitality and that all/many generations were represented’. The sense of history engendered by the surroundings of the Palace of Westminster served to enhance our memories of Reading School. We were renewed with a fresh determination to ensure that the living tradition of a fine institution like Reading School would continue. It is our responsibility to create positive memories and a positive legacy. The focus can be on 2025 as much as 1125. We can work together to create new memories, new positive memories, linked to our strategic priorities for the future and our renewed drive to use the memory of past glories to drive us on to even greater success. If we work together, our future memories will be bright. Mr A Robson, Headmaster

Memories of School - Michael Hinton

J W (Sugar) Saunders is in the front row fourth right; S G (Timmy) Timms is not shown Rev J (Jack) Newman is in the third row second right; B L R (Ben) Dowse is in the second row third right R (Jock) Jessop is in the third row first right; S (Sid) Taylor is in the third row fourth right J W (Johnny) Liddell is in the back row fourth right and C E (Kipper) Kemp (headmaster) is front row centre. Editor’s Note: Michael is third right in the back row in the c1952 group image above, taken on the terrace in front of Big School.


hristopher Widdows has suggested to me that I may be the only surviving member of the staff of my time at the School, and has asked me to share some memories. As I reflect they crowd in, and almost without exception they are happy ones. Reading was my first appointment at the age of 22. Nearly all the staff were much older than I; they were either too old to have undergone military service or recently returned from it. On the whole they were very kind to me, though occasionally I was firmly and deservedly put in my place. Sugar Saunders was my immediate boss, and was generous in the way in which he gave me my head in the classroom. In particular, he allowed me to teach medieval history to a small group of sixth-formers; it is a joy to me that I have recently been in touch with several of them. Saunders also gave his blessing to my creation of a history society; he supported me when I raised a few eyebrows in the

age of the Cold War by giving a lecture on Communism. Timmy Timms welcomed me to the School scout troop, put up with my sometimes misplaced enthusiasm, and in due course retired to give me free reign. Jacko Newman, the chaplain, as well as scandalising me with stories of goods he had smuggled through customs, supported me in my bid to become a lay reader. I preached my first sermon, in much fear and trembling, in the School Chapel. Ben Dowse gave me a rugby division to train and Ray Jessop used me in the boat club. Sidney Taylor was a very good friend; so was John Liddell, my fellow Scouter. Kipper Kemp, the head, was not popular with all the staff, but he was very kind to me. He encouraged me to make links with Reading University; the outcome was my embarking on a Ph.D. The seven years’ labour which ensued were hard on my wife and


family, but did me much good. My connection with the University also played a part in the invitation I received to write my ‘History of the Town of Reading’. I taught in seven schools in all. Reading was the easiest, and in many ways the pleasantest. There was a plethora of able and committed pupils. There were no discipline problems to speak of, and the work load was eminently bearable. Prefects dealt with routine chores which elsewhere fell to staff. There was a full and rich life outside the classroom. Inevitably there were some tensions among the staff, but even at the end of term they never reached boiling-point. I was of course very poor – my starting salary was £7 a week – but so were most other people; it was after all a time of national austerity. I consider myself very fortunate to have begun my career in such a good and happy school Michael Hinton

Profile of Michael Hinton Whilst at Reading School Michael Hinton wrote A History of the Town of Reading: (Harrap 1954) which remains significant in the literature about the town and, quite rightly, includes many associations with the School. Firstly, his dedication is to 'The Staff and Boys of Reading School'. Then, in the preface he pays tribute to three fellow masters (all now deceased, alas); E L Moor (known to the boys as ‘Elmer’ and on the Staff from 1949-79) R Jessop (‘Jock’, 1945-71) and F R Bleasdale (‘Fred’, 1952-57). Sir Frank Stenton, once Chairman of the School Governors and Vice Chancellor of Reading University, is also thanked as are two senior boys, P C Stevens 1944-54 and the late J F HodgessRoper 1948-54. The latter became Lord Roper of Thorney Island: Peter Stevens now lives in Cricklewood.

Michael Hinton gave the School the prominence it deserves in his history and, indeed, of the thirteen plates illustrating the book many have direct relevance to the School, featuring as they variously do, the Abbey, St Laurence's Church, Hugh Faringdon, John Kendrick, Archbishop Laud and the School in the time of Dr Richard Valpy. The book stands as an excellent example of the indivisibility of School and Town. Far better known, however, amongst Michael's writings is The 100-Minute Bible, a world best seller from first publication in 2005 and with subsequent reprints including translations into other languages and both audio and kindle versions. Michael, image below, is more correctly the Revd. Dr M G Hinton, MA. (late Postmaster of Merton College, Oxford) and nowadays is a widower living in retirement in Dover

where he writes on religious matters and is a member of ‘Christians Together in Dover’. He was educated at Bristol Grammar School and always wanted to teach. History was and is his subject, and from Reading School, where he taught from 1949-53 (and was nicknamed ‘Scruffy’), he went as Head of History to Lancaster Royal Grammar School, staying until 1960. His subsequent career brought him the unusual distinction of being a Headmaster of a Grammar School (Dover), a Public School (Sevenoaks) and a Comprehensive School (Broadoak, Weston-super-Mare). That journey would require a separate article: it would be about a dedicated man who developed strong beliefs on the future of education but retains an unshaken affection for his early teaching days at Reading School. Ken Brown

Postscript: Readers who are not familiar with The 100-Minute Bible may like to know its point and purpose. This is best encapsulated by the text on its rear cover which is quoted with due acknowledgement to the publisher: ‘So many people know about the Bible but so few have read it at all, let alone from cover to distant cover. This version of the Bible has been written to bridge that gap. The 100-Minute Bible picks out the essential elements of the Bible from Genesis through the Revelation of John using universal language. Most people will be able to read it in 100 minutes, making it the ideal read for that upcoming rail or aeroplane journey, or for an enjoyable evening of enlightenment.’


Distinguished ORs: Careers Beyond the Armed Forces Andrew Tuggey CBE DL (OR 1958-66)

Andrew attended Reading School between 1958 and 1966. During his time at school, his main academic interests were the sciences, while outside the classroom his activities were indicative of his pursuit of a career in the military – he enjoyed field trips with the school’s scout troop before taking an active role in the CCF and reaching the rank of Staff Sergeant. On leaving Reading School, Andrew immediately spent two years training as an officer at Sandhurst. Upon completing his officer training he spent three years at the Royal Military College of Science, graduating in Engineering. During his University summers, he worked on the construction of the M4 motorway. Andrew married in 1974. He and his

ORs and the 2017 General Election June 8th 2017 saw the re-election of all four Old Redingensians who were standing for Parliament. Rt Hon Andrew Smith (62-68) decided not to stand again and we offer him our warm congratulat ions on his distinguished career, during which he served in the Cabinet 1999-2004 as Chief Secretary to the Treasury and Secretary of State for Work & Pensions. We hope we can welcome Andrew to some events in the future.

wife Clare have three sons. He commented that during their first 28 years of marriage, Clare endured 29 changes in location! He spent over six years in Northern Ireland, experiencing challenging periods during the Troubles in the 1970s, and the elation of the Good Friday Agreement of 1998. During his early career, he worked with the Gurkhas in Malaysia, before becoming the Adjutant of The Queen’s Gurkha Engineers, based in Hong Kong, in 1975. He has also served in Germany and Canada, and speaks French, German, Malay, and Nepalese. In 1989, it was announced that he was to be made Commanding Officer of the Royal Monmouthshire Royal Engineers (Militia). After serving at the MoD during the 1990s, he served as a defence diplomat with the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, with a particular focus on the Baltic States after the end of the Soviet era and as the States, particularly Latvia and Lithuania, were joining NATO and the EU. After leaving the Army in 2003, in 2004 Andrew became Chief Executive and Secretary of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA UK), based at the Houses of Parliament in Westminster. CPA UK uses the human resources at Westminster to partner developing Parliaments within the Commonwealth, helping to clarify the role of MPs, the Speaker, Opposition and Whips, oversight and holding the Executive to account. In addition, Andrew has focused on issues such as modern slavery, empowerment of Rt Hon Mark Field (76-83) was returned for Cities of London and Westminster with a slightly reduced majority and became Minister of State at the Foreign Office with responsibilities for the Asia and Pacific region: Rt Hon Damian Green (67-74) was returned for Ashford with an increased majority and was appointed First Secretary of State and Minister for the Cabinet Office: Rt Hon Sir Oliver Heald QC (66-73) was returned for Hertfordshire North East with an increased majority but has left his Government post at the Ministry of 8

women, human rights and equalities, sustainability and climate change. He will depart the role later this year, having completed over 50 years of public service. In early 2015, Andrew’s name was ‘pricked’ by the Queen to be High Sheriff of Gwent. The appointment of High Sheriff is over 1,000 years old and is the oldest civic appointment in the country. The voluntary appointment is for one year and includes the tradition of looking after High Court Judges, but also has evolved to supporting the police and the other emergency services, and supporting community projects that focus primarily on the needs of young people. Andrew now is Vice Lord-Lieutenant of Gwent in Wales. In this role, he supports the Lord Lieutenant, Her Majesty The Queen’s representative in the county. The role involves assisting with royal visits, managing civic, voluntary, and social services and activities within Gwent, liaising with the Armed Forces, and supporting the local magistracy. Andrew was awarded a CBE in the Birthday Honours List 2016 for services to the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association and the community in South-East Wales. We are very grateful to Andrew for allowing us to use the conference room at the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association for the Westminster Reception, which he provided free of charge. Arthur Truslove Justice: David Warburton (77-82) was returned for Somerton and Frome with an increased majority. Damian Green’s role is considered the most senior ministerial post in government other than prime minister and is the highest political post held by an OR in modern times. Rt.Hon Damian Ken Brown Green MP

Jeremy Chadwick OR 1979-86 J e r e m y a t t e n d e d Reading School from 1979-86, along with his brother who attended from 1979-84. He excelled in Maths and Economics. Jeremy was also Captain of the School swimming and water polo teams, and was the Staff Sergeant Armourer of the CCF. He has fond memories of John Vaughan and Bob Lewis’ support for his sporting ambitions, and enjoyed the CCF under Tom Walter. Sponsored by the British Army, he attended St Andrews’ University, graduating in 1990 in Management Sciences which led to his subsequent career in insurance. While at St Andrews, he managed 250 people as Senior Under Officer of the Officer Cadet Corps.

Nick Sealey OR 1968 -75 Nick attended Reading School from 1968-75, where he enjoyed Maths and Science. Outside the classroom, he enjoyed rowing, and often spent time in the workshop. He even constructed a trailer for the rowing boats, which was driven to a number of regattas. Nick was a keen member of the CCF for his last three years at school, and reached the rank of Staff Sergeant. He was a School Prefect. On leaving school, Nick joined the Royal Navy. He spent his first year at Dartmouth Britannia Royal Naval College and at sea, receiving his basic training as a naval officer. He then spent 3 years completing a degree in M e c ha n ic al E n gi n e e rin g f ro m Newcastle University. Nick’s career in the Navy involved a

On leaving university, Jeremy went to Sandhurst to train as an officer, but left as a Lieutenant two years later with a knee injury sustained in training, which left him limping for several years with doubts over whether he would run again. He had surgery four years later, and took up fell-running. Now, he continues to follow a rigorous training regime, cycling many miles most days, and continuing to swim competitively. After leaving the Army and facing the physical and mental challenges associated with a long-term injury, Jeremy began a career in insurance. He spent five years at Commercial Union, completing the demanding Chartered Insurer and internal exams, a feat completed by just a small percentage of his intake. Since, he has worked in senior business development roles for General Electric, Barclays Insurance, HSA, Aegon, and Zurich Insurance, defining strategy, delivering marketing initiatives, and on M&A. substantial amount of travel. Nick spent time away on ships, travelling to Chile at the breakout of the Falklands war, spending time in the Arabian Gulf, travelling through the Great Lakes, and even visiting Australia. N ick progress ed through the Engineering ranks of the Navy, attending the Royal Navy Staff course, for those identified as having the potential to become senior officers. One of Nick's career highlights came five years later, when as Senior Naval Officer of HMS Somerset he was responsible for preparing the team for the ship's launch into service. Subsequently, Nick assumed senior roles in resource management. From 2002 to 2005, he worked under the Second Sea Lord as the Deputy Director for Naval Manpower Planning, and in 2010-11 after being promoted to the senior rank of Commodore, he was the Ministry of Defence's Head of Resource Planning for Defence Equipment and Support covering all three services. After a couple of years as a Commodore, Nick began to think 9

Since 2013, Jeremy has worked at VSP Vision Care Insurance, as Managing Director of EMEA. VSP is the US’ largest health insurer by customer numbers, and Jeremy is focused on growing the business in the UK, France, and Ireland, while exploring new markets for entry. Unlike many insurance companies, VSP is managed on a not-for-profit basis, focused on delivering long term benefits for customers and stakeholders alike. Outside of work, Jeremy is married with four children. He is appreciative of the grammar school offering, and is proud that his three daughters attend Kendrick School. He is an active CoMembership Secretary of the Old Redingensians’ Association, a Parent Governor at Kendrick (and leads the Finance and Resources Committee), and is a Trustee of the Reading Foundation. Arthur Truslove

about what he might do on his return to civilian life. Supported by the Navy, he did a number of courses at the Institute of Directors, and completed his ACCA diploma in financial management. He then obtained the first civilian role that he applied to, on the prudential regulatory side of the Financial Services Authority. He now works at the Bank of England, managing the supervision of a number of building societies. His role is to ensure organisations are effectively governed with sufficient financial and non-financial resources to withstand stresses to the financial system, have sufficient capital and liquidity to withstand shocks, and encouraging them to maintain adequate systems and governance. Nick is especially proud of his work in preparing the crew to launch HMS Somerset, and his clean successful progression through the Navy. He also takes pride in his transition to civilian life, identifying the strengths that he had developed in the Navy and how he could apply them in a different environment. Arthur Truslove

Not Just Henley

OR Events OR Rugby at Christmas 21st December 2016 With A List referee Ashley Rowden in charge, the “Under 21” match A fiercely competitive OR game between Redingensians Rams and Old Redingensians kicked off under floodlights at the Old Bath Road ground. The match had been a long time in the making, with Alex Beckey for the ORs and Owen Espley for the Rams seeking commitment from U/21 players for months beforehand. Finding players proved difficult but the more flexible definition of “U/21+” allowed two full squads to take the field. An appreciative crowd applauded the high standard of rugby on display, which was a very satisfactory feature of the event and a credit to both sides, Oxford Blues included. A good contest was won by the Rams, who had the best of the second half. The event, out of term time and close before Christmas, made a timely opportunity for ORs to get together, refresh old friendships and exchange seasonal greetings, and over 150 people came along. Whilst the players enjoyed their post-match supper and ale and mulled wine were quaffed, ORA President Michael led the carol singing on his keyboard. The measure of success of this new event was that, before the end of the evening another fixture had been agreed – for 20th December 2017 at the Old Bath Road ground. Let’s hope for more fine weather as the winter solstice approaches John Taylor

On 1st July, only a stone’s row upstream from Henley Regatta, another important annual competition was held. The School and the Old Boys raced in Coxed Fours, over 1 km. and 500 m. Supporters watched the boats pass the halfway marker in the first race with only a nose between them, but the Old Boys took it later, and their stamina helped them win the second race.

OR Crew, right to left: E Mills, H Stevens, C Iddon, A Gower, T McManners Everyone then came together for the social side of the afternoon, a barbecue enjoyed by rowers and spectators alike. This was expertly prepared by Steven Longstaff, to whom a sincere vote of thanks was made for his organisation of the whole event. Then, for some, it was on to Henley. John Taylor

OR Cricket and reunion – 24th June 2017

OR Football and Reunion

OR cricket is in a fragile state after some years of neglect, but after much effort an OR XI was stitched together with the help of two gap year students from Auckland Grammar School.

On Saturday 1st April, the Old Redingensians hosted a five year reunion for the Class of 2011, which took place alongside the annual Old Boys Football tournament. Although much cannot be said of the footballing talents of the 2011 team, the support was certainly enthusiastic. Luckily sporting prowess was not needed for a thoroughly enjoyable day, where many of our class were able to reconnect, and make well-intentioned plans to stay in touch. Perhaps most importantly, we finally had the chance to try the Refectory. We reluctantly agreed it turned out better than expected.

Ragan Jain watches on as the ball sails to the rope The 20/20 format started at 11am and ended in a six wicket victory for the ORs. Captain Oliver Donaldson took two wickets in the first over, including one with the first ball of the match, but the School nevertheless managed 141 runs in their allotted overs. These runs were mostly knocked off by Ragan Jain (69), currently in Year 12 but an OR for the day, and New Zealander Bradley McKnight (36). 20 from the Class of 2007 enjoyed their impromptu reunion and the cricket, the OR licensed bar, a barbecue and a tour around the School led by the Headmaster. Mike Evans 10

Given I featured so heavily in Mr. Holt’s speech on the day, I felt it only fair to finish with some of his wise words from our final assembly: “It usually doesn’t take something to happen very often, for it to become tradition at Reading School”. Hopefully this will be the case for future reunions!. “Luckily sporting prowess was not needed”

Anurag Aggarwal

1971-84 South House Reunion: 3rd September 2016 ORs who were boarders in South House between 1971 and 1984 held a reunion on the 3rd of September 2016, visiting the school in the afternoon and gathering at the Penta hotel in Reading in the evening. The reunion plans were ably supported by Francis Greaney, the school’s exde v e lo p m ent o ff ic e r, t he OR Association and Chris Evans the South House Housemaster at the time. Out of a total of 127 boys who had stayed in South House over this period, 117

were positively identified and invited. On the day we had over 30 of the cohort who were enthusiastically shown round the school by the Headmaster, Mr Ashley Robson. The group toured the Chapel, Big School and most importantly South House. Although the house had changed dramatically it was still sufficiently recognisable to jog many memories for all those in attendance. The backdrop to the event was the annual OR Sevens Competition, which looked exhausting but provided a much welcome bar. Also in attendance were members of

the ORA council and Housemasters JVO and Bob Lewis joined in. The conversation and beer flowed late into the night and when things finally slowed we sent out two expeditionary forces made up of those with energy to spare to the Purple Turtle bar and Casino. Ian McKinnon

The old Dining Room, now a Common Room

1967-74 Year Group Reunion: 25th June 2017 On Sunday 25th June 40 former pupils, with a degree of trepidation perhaps not felt since their arrival in September 1967 as 11 year olds wearing new school caps, assembled on the school terrace to renew acquaintance with contemporaries not seen in many cases since departure from the school in July 1974. Some had arrived from overseas and elsewhere within the UK, others more prosaically from within Reading. A number of partners were in attendance keen to hear tales of teenage life along with four masters who had early in their careers sought to impart their knowledge into the (then) receptive minds of the attendees. In addition to recounting life experiences after leaving school, many memories were rekindled and shared. This was not concerning past

New School Captain, Nathan Galpin, giving a tour academic achievement, but incidents contact and it is hoped that others, of behaviour perhaps not now who for various reasons were unable t o l e r a t e d , p e c c a d i l l o e s a n d to join them, will feel sufficiently nicknames of masters and the encouraged by reading this report to communal norms of daily school life. attend similar reunions in the future. Continuity with the present was maintained with the attendance of the Headmaster and a number of school prefects who provided guided tours around the site showing both how much and how little the school site had changed. Having undergone many decades of mutual silence there is now the desire amongst the attendees maintain

With some encouragement from Michael Barrott (President of the ORs), a number of individuals filled out the subscription forms to join the OR Association. The event could not have passed off without the active support and encouragement of the OR Association. The obvious departure from tradition was an empty cricket square. Jeff Morgan

1990-97 Year Group Reunion: 1st July 2017 "On Saturday 1st July, the Reading School Class of 1997 met for a 20 year reunion at the School. Around 60 old boys (accompanied by around 40 partners and children) and 12 former members of staff from that era flew in from all corners of the world to see each other and the school once again. Alongside much talk and food and drink, the day included a tour of the school and speeches, including one from the former Headmaster of Reading School, Peter Mason. A fantastic day was had by all, and the bonds of friendship that were evident after 20 years, showed the positive impact that the school has had on the lives of its old boys. Crispin Williams Around 60 old boys and 12 ex-members of staff 11

Commander R I C [Robert] Halliday OBE (pictured below) went to Dartmouth and became a career Naval Officer (44-52; died 27 August 2016 aged 80). F N [Frank] Fenner, when in the Senior Service played fullback for the Navy XV. He was an outstanding all round sportsman, a school master in later life and the father of two boys who attended Reading School (40-53; died 22 December 2016 aged 90)

In Memoriam We remember those ORs whose deaths have been recorded since the 2016 issue of Floreat Redingensis. May They Rest in Peace and Rise in Glory. There are businessmen: H G [Gordon] Bond (40-46; died 27 October 2016 aged 88); B R [Barry] Hardcastle (3949; died 21 November 2016 aged 85); R H [Roger] Anstey, once Captain of School Boats (47-52; died 10 October 2016 aged 82); J C [Jim] Rivett a School Rugby Colour who owned the iconic High Wycombe department store Murrays (25-31; died 23 June 2016 aged 100); D K [Doug] Smith (pictured below) Manager of Milwards in Broad Street and one of three brothers at School – a skilled ceramicist (31-36; died 16 October 2016 aged 96); D W [David] Morris of EAMES, of Reading (53-57; died 16 April2017 aged 74).

D K [Doug] Smith Two were In Holy Orders: Rev P B [Peter] Marr who was a fine organist (48-53; died 11 October 2016 aged 79); Canon F J [John] Room, once Mayor of Thetford, Captain of School in 1942, also Captain of County House, School Rugby and Hockey, CSM in the Cadet Force and much besides (3742; died 10 March 2016 aged 92). Schoolteachers such as B A [Bert] Salmon (pictured) who spent his career teaching history at Lancaster RGS (50-57; died 29 September 2016

B A [Bert] Salmon aged 77): G H [Geoff] Wilkins, member of a Reading School family, who captained the School in 1952, was a triple School Colour and had played for the English Colts XV; he became a noted Educationalist in Vancouver and a tireless worker for charity and the church (46-52; died 19 November 2016 aged 82). A J [Alan] Freer had a long association with the University of Pisa first as a lecturer and then for the rest of his working life Head of the French Literature Department (46-53; died 18 January 2017 aged 81). T A [Terry/Tabby] Boyington, a French master at School 64-83 renowned for his enthusiasms for skiing and sailing, and subsequently Head of Modern Languages at Maiden Erlegh School in Reading (died 22 June 2017 aged 77). A D [Andrew] Veitch was a trailblazer in science journalism, a TV presenter and documentary maker (57-65; died 4 September 2016 aged 70). Nigel Rayment on leaving the Police Force became a Health and Safety consultant; he had been a School Rugby Colour (a robust lock forward) and was a holder of the Queen's Commendation (49-54; died 1 August 2016 aged 78). Local Government Officer C G [Colin] Griffin was a powerful advocate for Cornwall, a forward thinking early champion of renewable energy and played a major part in ensuring that the Eden Project and Tate St Ives were sustainable (4556; died 4 July 2016 aged 78). 12

Dr R K [Robin] Ditchburn was a JP in North Yorkshire, Orkney & Shetland, the author of many medical papers and also the biographical works North Ronaldsay Doctor and Shetland Doctor: The Life of An Island GP (4652; died 19 September 2016 aged 82). Dr J A [Jack] Loeb, yet another Rugby Colour, had a distinguished medical career in Canada becoming chief of surgery at Oakville Trafalgar Memorial Hospital and subsequently a tutor in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto (40-43; died 10 March 2016 aged 90). Dr D G [Derek] Thomerson, medical practitioner, distinguished himself at School as a superlative boy soprano (40-47; died 13 February 2017 aged 87).

Cdr R I C [Robert] Halliday OBE Civil Servant S R [Ralph] Stafford TD had three sons all of whom attended the School (51-53; died 20 July 2016 aged 81); L L [Lindsay] Brook, Director of the National Centre for Social Research was also a noted genealogist, on the council of the

Harleian Society and a former chairman of the Foundation of Mediaeval Genealogy (55-60; died 4 January 2017 aged 74); A A P [Paul] Fabian of HM Diplomatic Service was a former Chief Secretary of the Turks and Caicos Islands and once British High Commissioner to Tonga (41-43; died 2 February 2017 aged 86). We remember also M E [Michael] Harradence – Businessman (61-66; died 12 April 2017 aged 69); D E J [Dennis] Smith – CEGB Engineer (3843; died 18 April 2017 aged 89); M G [Maurice] Weait – GPO Engineer (3843; died 5 April 2017 aged 90); A E [Allan] Bartlett – HM Diplomatic

Service (41-47; died 2 February 2017 aged 86) and last but certainly not least, two gallant soldiers, Major R P M [Ray] Child MC, a banker in civilian life and a keen sportsman (24-33; died 20 November 2016 aged 102), and Major J M [John] Perry RA (pictured right), wounded in Korea, dogged fighter for servicemen's pensions, stalwart of Help for Heroes and most loyal of ORs, once Captain of Swimming and famously runner up (with Bill Hedges) in the Cadet Pair Trophy at Ashburton 1947 (42-49; died 27 August 2016 aged 80). Chris Widdows and Ken Brown Major J M [John] Perry RA

Remembrance Sunday: 13 November 2016 The ORA Chaplain, Revd. Clive Windebank (1952-59) presided at this year's service in the School Chapel, held one year to the day after the death of his predecessor, Revd. David Hemsley (1948-55), to whom tribute was paid. It was good to see David's own predecessor, Ven Peter Coombes (1939-47) in the congregation. The service followed its familiar course, aided by Richard Meehan, Director of Music, at the organ. Chris Widdows (1955 -62) read the lesson ‘I saw a new heaven and a new earth....’ (the Revelation of St John the Divine); John Spence, a pupil at School, sounded the Last Post and Reveille. Ken Brown (1955-63) spoke the Act of Remembrance and read out the names of those Old Redingensians who fell in 1916. The wreaths were laid by members of the School CCF who also provided the Guard of Honour. After a thought provoking address by the Rev John Ogden (pictured right) prayers, the collect and the General Thanksgiving preceded the final hymn (Love divine...), the Blessing and the National Anthem. After the service, there was much animated discussion in the Refectory where light refreshments were provided. All members of the School, whether staff or pupils, are reminded that they also are most welcome at this annual service together with parents and/or guests. Do come along and join us this year. Ken Brown

A thought-provoking address by Revd. John Ogden Other members of the ORA Council as at 1 September 2017

Members of the OR Association Exec Committee & Council President: Michael Barrott

Treasurer: Ian Moore

Vice President: John Taylor

Co-Membership Secretary: Chris Widdows 0118 962 3721

Events Secretary: Ned Holt Chairman of Council: David Cox Hon Secretary: Peter Chadwick

Co-Membership Secretary: Jeremy Chadwick Archivist: Ken Brown 0118 327 9917


Nick Burrows Mike Evans Simon Lambert Ian McKinnon Ashley Robson, Headmaster Ray Sawyer Arthur Truslove Rev Clive Windebank Alistair Wrenn

New Facilities


uildings can evoke positive memories. The view of Reading School from the drive is a fine example of this. The work of Waterhouse never ceases to impress, especially on a clear day with the backdrop of a blue sky. However, listed Victorian buildings are not without their challenges and we are thankful for the excellent work of our Estates team who ensure the school is open for business.

Philip Mitchell Science Block Our new Science Block provides 21st century facilities that harmonise with their historic Victorian setting. This £3.7m flagship project was achieved through the tireless work of the School Business Manager, Amanda Snow, the Estate Team and governing body. The generous support of donors, including alumni and parents, was crucial to its success. We received significant grants from the Wolfson and the Weston Foundations, as well as major gifts from individual alumni, and will record their names in the new building with pride and gratitude. The three Chemistry and four Biology laboratories will be formally opened in October 2017 by Dr Mitchell, former Chair of Governors. There are some final landscaping and finishing works to complete, so it is not too late for parents and alumni to participate in the campaign. Just a few elements remain to be sponsored if you would like your name or your son’s to be commemorated in this splendid building. Five gifts of £500 or three at £2,500 can name an element, and other contributions, such Diamond gifts of £120 The Philip Mitchell Science Block exterior and interior or Pearl at £50, will help in finishing this new addition to Reading’s excellence in science. Please email development@readingRodney Huggins Fitness Suite if you would like to help close out the campaign. It is unclear how the squash courts were

The interior of the ‘Rodney Huggins Fitness Suite with various exercise zones

Further Developments

permitted to be built in the 1970s Waterhouse would probably be turning in his grave. However, 2017 has seen a transformation with the provision of the Huggins Fitness Suite. This excellent facility was recently opened by Reading Football Club's Chris Gunter and is named in honour of the President of the Reading Foundation. Staff and students alike are able to use the facilities and the importance of fitness and exercise is increasingly appreciated.

The governing body have ambitious plans to nurture further improve the school environment by including the provision of multi-use games area and a Sixth Form Centre. We are not a museum but rather a living flourishing institution that needs to respond to the needs of our students, staff and stakeholders. We have a positive vision to create attractive memories in the future. Mr A Robson, Headmaster

Special Thanks Mr S Longstaff: The Chemistry Department would like to thank all involved in providing funds towards the new Science Centre. Our and the boys’ reward for two years of making-do in the Portakabins is the huge increase in practical work, and an environment fit to do it in. We would like to continue to improve our facilities and will be looking to renew and extend equipment as funding allows so as to ensure the boys get the best of such a modern building. Thanks again.

Mr A Beckey: The PE Department would like to thank the school community for the support it received for the fundraising of the Rodney Huggins Fitness Suite. Many thanks to the Reading Foundation, boarding, Parents Association but most of all to Rodney Huggins who was the inspiration and drive behind the project.



The LRC Hub of the School “We're in a library! Books! Best weapons in the world! This room's the greatest arsenal we could have. Arm yourself!” – The Tenth Doctor (2008)


o c i a l h u b , f o nt o f knowledge and wisdom, jewel in the crown of Reading School. All of these, and more, could describe the Reading School Learning Resources Centre. Not many concrete memories remain from my first visit to Reading School as an impressionable ten-year-old, but one encounter that attached and seared itself onto my consciousness was my first visit to the LRC. My Year 7 LRC induction also looms large when I think back over seven years at Reading School – I can even remember the first book I took out! For every stage of my Reading School journey, the LRC has loomed protectively like an Obi-Wan Kenobi or a Yoda, whether Mrs Kesteven calmly going through the principles of referencing as I stressed over my history coursework or as a place of tranquillity before my German A Level speaking exam.

children’s novel Journey to Jo’burg was banned in her native South Africa until 1991 – one year after Nelson Mandela’s release. The LRC regularly publicises and is host to charity events, from our now annual participation in Macmillan’s World’s Largest Coffee Morning (which this year raised £140) to our extremely popular German Christmas Market in December 2016, where we raised money for local homeless charity Launchpad and the national children and young people’s mental health charity YoungMinds, all while promoting German language and culture and eating far too much Stollen and homemade gingerbread! Over the last year, pupil librarians have organised and run many such events. Spearheading reader development initiatives, the library sets a summer reading challenge for incoming Year 7s and this year offered every pupil in Years 7 and 8 the chance to discover new genres and authors through book speed dating! Book Club continues to run every Tuesday lunchtime, run by the indefatigable Mrs Jackson, providing an opportunity for boys, particularly in the lower years, to meet new people. Last June, the LRC was even the location to cast ballots in Reading

School’s very own in/out referendum! When asked what makes her most proud about the library, Mrs Kesteven quickly pinpoints the pupil librarian team, who help not only the day-today running of the library, issuing books and laptops, collecting fines and patiently navigating printing queries, but also to ensure the LRC is able to offer the fantastic range of extracurricular activities and to promote the library to the greatest possible audience. This year alone we have run an induction for all Year 12s to the LRC’s sixth-form oriented resources; a special boarders-only open evening and the new Senior Pupil Librarian team are currently planning an electronic resources festival for June. I am sure that for all students and staff, the LRC forms an indelible backdrop to their memories of Reading School (even as just a place to dash into to fill up a water bottle!), because it is such a part of the school’s fabric. “A library…is a cross between an emergency exit, a life-raft and a festival. They are cathedrals of the mind; hospitals of the soul; theme parks of the imagination.” – Caitlin Moran Sam Miller, School Captain

Since then, the LRC has become busier and more integrated with every aspect of Reading School life than ever before. During the 2016 autumn and 2017 spring terms the LRC recorded unprecedented visitor numbers, with 44369 visits, and 5594 book loans, in autumn alone – compared to 40181 and 3350 in 2011. Three years ago, the LRC introduced the first Reading School Book Festival. Since then, Reading boys have been lucky enough to meet, listen to and ask questions of lum inaries from b est -s elling, contemporary fantasy novelist Taran Matharu to Beverley Naidoo, whose

Students from Y7-11 congregate in the library for Harry Potter Book Night

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Reading School Parents Association With record fundraising, new links forged with the other Reading School organisations and huge support from the School and Parent Community, it has certainly been a year the RSPA will not forget. This year we set ourselves some clear goals, focusing on fundraising towards the building of a new MUGA (Multi-Use Games Area) and the development of the leadership programme, to be introduced by Mr Robson into the school curriculum in September 2017. We worked closer than ever as a community to make the Spring Fayre, which is the major fundraising event of the school year, an outstanding success. The parents, the Old Redingensians (ORs), the School Governors, the Friends of Music,

Friends of Reading School, school staff and not least the boys all working together to make it as feedback quoted “The best Spring Fayre ever!”. We hope that these links will grow stronger with time to help us succeed in our shared aim of supporting the school. Spring Fayre Success The Reading School Spring Fayre 2017 raising a record-breaking sum for any RSPA event. We had amazing feedback on what was quoted as a memorable, fun day for all. “Thank you for your hard work and commitment to make the Fayre a huge success, everyone we saw and spoke to was having a great time.” Highlights included the new classic car display, a range of fantastic food served in the quad, great fun boys’ stalls, tours of the new laboratories and the opening up of the School

Fun at the Spring Fayre archives displaying a colourful account of the school’s history. For the first year the Spring Fayre Auction went online raising an amazing £3364, the raffle exceeded £4700 and the day of the Fayre was hugely successful thanks to the fabulous stalls and the great variety of foods we had on sale and the many willing helpers on the day. Our overall total is yet to be confirmed but currently stands at over £20,000. Mrs C Shandling

Joining the RSPA The RSPA is enthusiastic and ready to take on the challenge of organising events and fundraising in 2017-2018. We welcome new ideas and the experience that many varied people can bring. In the coming year we already have a comprehensive programme of events supporting the school and fundraising, including; New Starters Welcome Picnic Year 7 Wine & Welcome Evening *New* 2017 Christmas Fayre SPOTY (Sports Personality of The Year Awards) awards - refreshments and raffle October & March Quiz Nights - open to all, children welcome 2018 Spring Fayre – (May) Leavers drinks for Year 13s after their exams- (June) *New* Reading School Parents Association 500 Club (September) Parents Evenings – Coffees & Teas

Some of the RSPA’s invaluable helpers

We would like to express our thanks to everyone who has helped at, or attended an event in 2017 and we would also like to use this opportunity to appeal for new joiners and supporters of the RSPA. We can only put on these great events and continue to raise money if we have enough volunteers and as we all know the current cuts to government school funding will impact Reading School and in turn affect our boys, so we want to be able to do more to support the school moving forward. Please let us know if you can offer any help, from your time, to corporate matching via your work, to Auction Prizes or baking cakes, we always need ideas for new events and would love to hear from you. Please contact us at

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Student Initiatives Mental Health


his year, Reading School students have shown a passionate commitment to the mental health and wellbeing of their peers and of the wider community. Sixth Formers volunteered form times to become buddies and mentors to Year 7s, in order to smooth the dramatic transition from primary to secondary school, running teambuilding activities such as bridge building, and even a silent football match outside chapel (no mean feat with dozens of Year 7s), as well as simply providing opportunities to talk and be heard.

driving rain and perhaps most difficult of all, consumed vast quantities of cake, to raise money for YoungMinds, the UK’s leading charity committed to improving the resilience, emotional wellbeing and mental health of children and young people.

Last, but by no means least, the 2017/18 Charity Committee and Kendrick School have decided to support No. 5, which provides free, confidential counselling and support to children and young people aged 10-25 in Reading.

Boys have completed Tough Mudders, Reading School’s continuing mental run marathons, manned water stations, health revolution has truly drawn on all formed aerial photographs in the branches of the wider Reading School community. In addition to the perennial, invaluable and often behind-the-scenes work of Mrs Goulding, the School Nurse, Mrs Gwyther and Miss Rogers, SENCO, in L5, the School Nurse, Bev and counsellor, Steve, as well as the support provided by form tutors, heads The boys capture this image with a of house and heads of year, there have drone to raise awareness of the charity been numerous examples of staff

Student Council Strengthening the student voice at Reading School was one of the 2016/17 captaincy team’s three overarching objectives. To this end, we launched the Captains’ Challenge, whereby Year 8s devised and researched ideas for improving the school, and pitched for money, Dragons’ Den style, to fund their projects. We were impressed by their creativity, passion and courage; one Year 8 spoke without cue cards, PowerPoint presentation or back-up for five minutes. More importantly, we aimed to put the students at the forefront of the Student Council. We ran regular meetings, open to all, in the Lecture Theatre, to encourage ideas from as broad a cross-section of the student

generosity. Mrs Kesteven, the School Librarian, has given up time to help widen the LRC’s range of mental health resources. Mr Goulding, Events and Future Stories Coordinator, kindly gave up a day to allow two students to attend mental health awareness training at Mind in London. The Old Redingensians Association (ORA) provided funds to allow these initiatives to go ahead. Several parents also cheerfully assisted at the running of a water station in the Reading Half Marathon Finish Funnel in aid of YoungMinds. Sixth Formers were fortunate to hear Dick Moore give an inspirational and stereotype-shattering speech on mental health from a particularly male perspective. To find out m ore a b out t he organisations and people mentioned in this article, and for more information about mental health and different kinds of support available, please see: Sam Miller, School Captain

body as possible. It was a privilege to see the Year 11s and Sixth Formers lend their advice and experience to younger boys, while treating them with respect and creating a supportive atmosphere where they could contribute with confidence. This dovetailed with our other key aim of improving cross-year cooperation.

up abuse of the Refectory queue system, which shaped how the queue is now set up and managed. Students spoke with one voice on the lack of recycling opportunities and often tortuous people flow in the Refectory, which the school has started to address with a mixed recycling bin and menus displayed in the LRC.

At its best, the Student Council acted as a bridge between staff and students, allowing collaboration on issues which affect all students, funnelling student feedback into a Mental Health Action Plan and Refectory Audit, the delivery of the PSHE curriculum, and the school’s internet safety policies. It highlighted the student desire for the return of the much-missed student planners, and to be included in the Headmaster’s weekly bulletins. Younger boys flagged

As with any committee or board, there have been times when the Student Council has felt, and been, sluggish, inefficient, and frustrating. There is still ample room for improvement to win over doubters and channel their energy and ideas into collaboration. Yet, the Student Council has also shown Reading students at their best this year, imaginative, compassionate, good-humoured, and we’re sure it will continue to do so. Sam Miller, School Captain



The Houses The house system has always been an integral part of life at Reading School. This year, rivalries have only intensified in pursuit of the Cock House Cup. A new house has been thrown into the mix: Laud House, which was named after William Laud. He attended the school in the late 16th Century and was Archbishop under Charles I. Unfortunately for Archbishop Laud, his close relationship with Charles was to be his undoing, as his unpopularity with the Puritanical elements of the church and Parliament’s increased control of Charles’ ministers led to the arrest and eventual beheading of Laud, in January 1645. We hope none of the boys in his house befall the same fate.

Final Standings 2017 This year, bragging rights have fallen to County House after a dominant performance across the colt and junior sections. Laud’s future looks secure with an impressive second place in Year 7 in their first year.

Year 7

County 47.5


East 35.0


Year 8





Year 9




Year 10



Year 11


Seniors Total

Laud 37.0

School 28.0


West 32.5

















































Laud House What a year for Laud House! I could not be more proud of the boys and their integrity, grit and house spirit throughout the year. Led from the top by a fantastic team of prefects who have been energetic and enthusiastic, guiding the Year 7s to victory in many a house competition, we have really made our mark as a new House. I’m so grateful for each and every 6th former and the leadership they’ve shown to help shape the House and bring some of their character to it. Incoming House Captain Oliver Pizura has been equally excited by our first year: ‘It’s been a strong first year for Laud house, we have thoroughly enjoyed seeing the 6 th form and new Year 7’s get so stuck in to building this house up into a friendly environment and a force to be reckoned with in house competitions! It has been so rewarding to play a part in this and we very much look forward to helping lead Laud house to further successes in the coming year. Miss L Ayres

County House Well, what a first year in charge of County House. I would love to take credit for the continued success that County House has had this year but that would not be fair to the work that has gone on behind the scenes. Sam Lloyd (House Captain), Adam Selcon (Vice Captain) and Tom Henderson (Vice Captain) have led the prefect team in such an outstanding way this year that every success should be credited to them. They have set a superb example this year to the whole house and to the Year 12s on how to lead by example, volunteering and dedicating so much time to the House and the House competition. Joe Steveni and his new prefect team certainly have a lot to live up to, but I have every faith in their abilities. I wish the best of luck to Year 13 on their new adventures and to any Year 11 that will not be re-joining us next year in their pastures new. I would also like to welcome the new Year 7s who are at the start of their journeys into County House. Mr J Steadman

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East House Having become the Head of East House in September 2010, this is the year that my very first 7E tutor group have come to the end of their school career. Being part of the journey for each East House student whether they join us as nervous (but excitable) year 7s, cool (but a little anxious) year 9s, or ambitious (but a little bewildered by Reading School) year 12s, and watching them develop into the confident, articulate and wonderful young men of Year 13 is genuinely the greatest privilege of being a Head of House. I am tremendously proud of each East House student who is leaving us this year and have incredibly fond memories of their Reading School journeys. As for this year, my top two memories (and there are lots to choose from) are: - Watching the beast that is East House senior rugby team win House rugby for the first time during their tenure at school. George Malone started coming to support the East House senior rugby team under floodlights in Year 7 and came to support our house every year until Year 12 when he could finally take part himself. - The House Music competition this year. Yes, I realise this might be considered to be a bit of an odd choice for one of my favourite moments. However, the way in which Easties from across year groups got involved in both the large and small ensembles was magnificent. Never before have we had practically the whole of 9E take part in House Music but this was the year that a 9E tutor group stepped up and turned up in droves. I was also immensely proud of the way in which our House managed the disappointment of coming last despite putting in a fantastic (albeit too long) performance. There were no complaints. No finger pointing. No letting our heads drop. Instead, there was acknowledgement and gratitude expressed for everyone’s hard work. Mrs V Geraghty-Green

West House Another year is drawing to a close and it is this time of year when people begin to reflect on the achievements they have accomplished. I would like to take this opportunity to reflect on the West House highlights of the year. Back in November, a month where lots of boys spend time diligently rehearsing for House Music it all comes to fruition in a brief 25 minute period and what an event it was this year! My personal highlight was the evening opener of West’s large ensemble performance of ELO’s Mr Bluesky. That fantastic performance set the tone for the rest of the evening. Another highlight this year was working with Alex Jenkins as House Captain. Alex threw himself into his duties and brought boys from all year groups together along with his team of prefects, to all of whom I am extremely grateful for their hard work and time. I would like to congratulate the Year 7s on making it through their first year at Reading School and for settling in so quickly and bringing a fantastic verve to everything they do. I look forward to another year of leading the mighty West House and to inspiring the future generations about the value of the House and the competition. Mr T Bellinger

School House I feel very honoured to be Head of School House and to lead us into all the inter-school competitions. As a teacher the main thing I've always wanted to do is help students fulfil their potential and be the best they can be. Reading School students are very competitive by nature and I think it's important to behave in a positive manner, taking victory and defeat with the same degree of dignity and also treat your team mates and opponents with the upmost respect. I also want to help as much as I can with the challenges that come with being an academic student as well as a young person in general. I know how difficult this is! I want to be as approachable as possible so that students know they can come to me for help whenever they need to. Our motto is 'striving, believing, achieving and I want all our students to do so with the right work ethic, self-confidence and sense of humour. We are privileged to have such brilliant staff and students in School House and I could not think of a more rewarding job. Mr S Allen

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News from Boarding


nother eventful year for the boarding community has come and gone with the usual mix of fun, friendships and learning (and a little visit from Ofsted!)

Clubs and Activities Central to much of the boarding experience are the many clubs and activities that the boarders have a chance to take part in. This year, a mix of new staff members and new ideas led to the creation of a number of some innovative clubs.

Inter-house football on the front field

Miss Fondu’s new ‘Escape Game’ was a huge hit over the winter months with groups of boarders working together to solve the clues and claim the prize! As well, the newly established cooking club with Miss Cash saw boarders from across the year groups developing their culinary skills and getting the chance to sample foods from around the world. 31 students in Years 7-11 competed in the inaugural ‘Ready, Steady, Cook’ competition which was judged by Seniors from both houses. The standard was extremely high and the winning dish from John Spence and Tony Xu (homemade ravioli with tomato and basil sauce, - all from scratch) was delicious! The new ‘Rodney Huggins Fitness Suite’ has been another excellent addition to the boarding facilities. As well as making use of the various weights and machines in there, the boarders were also able to try out some yoga under the guidance of Miss Ayres.

Boarders using the Rodney Huggins Fitness Suite

Ready Steady Cook champions, John and Tony pose with Miss Cash


Pastoral Care

As ever, the boarding trips were a highlight of the year. From trampolining to ice skating and water skiing, each term had another opportunity for the boarders to show off their undoubted skills and have fun. The trip to see Mamma Mia in the West End was a big hit and the sight of the whole boarding community singing and dancing along at the end is one that will live long in the memory!

Boarding at Reading School boasts a fine team of Matrons who go above and beyond to keep boys safe, happy and informed. Over the past year Nikki, Karen and Emma have produced a series of newsletters to help both houses with different issues. These range from: building resilience, to positive thinking, to mindfulness. Mr Teixeira was full of praise for the initiative, saying, “Finding ways to engage teenage boys with important issues can be tricky at times. Each newsletter produced by the Matrons will resonate with different individuals, so collectively they are all given the opportunity to reflect on their own particular area of interest, whether it is healthy eating or awareness of mental health. This empowers each boy to take responsibility for his own wellbeing and often stimulates a healthy debate within groups, leading to greater openness and understanding for all concerned.” The welfare of the boys is, as always, at the forefront of everything that is done in boarding.

From top-left, clockwise: The boys bouncing at Gravity Force; Climbing at Reading Climbing Centre; Senior team building on the water.

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Ofsted calls February this year saw the visit of two Ofsted inspectors for a three day inspection of boarding, focussing on the overall experiences and progress of the boarders. In what was an extremely thorough review, the inspectors were able to speak a range of groups (including boys, parents and staff), observe boarding clubs taking place, visit the boarding houses and eat meals with the boarders.

Below are just some of the quotes included within their report: ‘Boarding is an integral part of the school. It is highlighted as an area of excellence by staff and young people. Young people are proud of their progress, which they attribute directly to their boarding experiences’


Their judgement of Outstanding in all areas is a real testament to the hard work of the boarding staff, the quality of the boarding students and the strength of the boarding community.

‘The positive relationships between staff and young people form the base on which young people develop as individuals safe in the knowledge that they are secure, and that they are valued and respected as individuals’

Miss L Ayres

Dr J Matthews

Staff Goodbyes As another year draws to a close, it’s time to say farewell to some of the boarding staff. Miss Ayres has been with us in South House for 3 years. In this time she has proved herself a reliable source of energy, fun, and above all, hot chocolate! We will miss her ability to take the boys out of their comfort zone (yoga club anyone?) and her tireless enthusiasm for the house. South House’s loss is Laud House’s gain, as Miss Ayres will devote more of her time to her role as the Head of the ever growing Laud House. Thanks for the memories Miss and come back and see us for a hot choc and a natter.

Dr Matthews has spent 9 years as a key cog of the East Wing machine. In this time the guidance and support he has offered, particularly to boarders taking external exams has been hugely influential in countless boarders fulfilling their academic potential. We wish him every success in his on-going role as Head of Mathematics at Reading School. Where to start with Mr Hurst? A stalwart of the boarding community for over 20 years, Mr Hurst has seen it all. Ever reliable in offering sage advice to boys of all ages, we shall miss his wisdom, his affable character and above all his dry sense of humour. While September will certainly feel strange without him, we

‘The needs of the young people are exceptionally well met by the highly trained and experienced staff who look after them’ ‘Young people were able to describe the positive impact that boarding has had on them as individuals. They stated that boarding has helped them to: build empathy; be more tolerant; have more confidence; be independent; and, above all, to have fun. The highly inclusive, supportive and nurturing environment enables them to make exceptional progress.’ We are delighted with this report and will always continue to improve the provision for our boarders.

Mr P Hurst wish him every success in his next adventure, working in a school in China. Mr Hurst informs me that this will include supervising 3hrs of silent prep every evening (!) as well as preparing students for life studying in the UK, including an introduction to British culture and social customs. I cannot think of a more qualified person for the job. Good luck and safe travels Mr Hurst and please pop in and see us when you are next in the country! Mr C Nicholas and Mr P Teixeira (East Wing and South House Housemasters)

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limey, it seems as if the political world wants to keep us History teachers busy! Are there parallels between contemporary world leaders and leaders of the past? What does history have to tell us about the expectation-shattering global shifts that have taken place this year? From a historical perspective, we are living through a fascinating period, and it has been exciting to tap in to the present when bringing the past to life in the classroom. The new GCSEs and A Levels have provided challenges. Our Year 10s are having to race through content at breakneck speed, while our Year 13s wrote their coursework with no real advice from the exam board. We have had to adapt and curtail our creative instincts (not completely, as our photos show!) in order to focus on knowledge retention, through the use of regular quizzing and questioning. Once more textbooks have become vital instruments of learning in the classroom. And yet at this time of radical change to curricula, perhaps it is the radical change to the world that is encouraging our students to turn to

the past for insight. The History department has been aided enormously by the arrival of Mr Whitehorn in September, who quickly became a trusted teacher, one who students know they will get knowledgeable, perceptive answers from. In creating a sense of curiosity far beyond the classroom, Mr Kearle’s Battlefields trip was again an enormous success with every student taking away their own special, individual memories from the experience. Furthermore, the History section in the LRC is a real source of pride as we continue to stock its shelves with ground-breaking historical arguments. As a result the upcoming year is one of tremendous excitement. Our students are a joy to teach; the curiosity, the rigour, willingness to get involved in whatever hare-brained idea I have, the aspiration to be informed…well, that’s what makes this job so fulfilling. Our numbers at GCSE and A Level are booming into 2018, to unprecedented levels.

The LRC has a new section on Cold War literature for A -Level students. the leafy pastures of the old Biology block where we will have three large classrooms and a whole learning space t o devot e t o Hist ory. Furthermore, my departure offers an opportunity for the department to take stock of all that we have achieved over the past five years, and identify how to proceed to the next step. Messrs Kearle and Whitehorn have supported me with passion, and I am delighted that together they are spearheading this transition. Mr W Bailey-Watson

As a department we are relocating to

Y10 Battlefields Trip - clockwise from top left: The students approach Vimy Ridge; Jack Lewis, Mr Whitehorn and Dhruv Mehta lay a wreath at the Last Post Ceremony, Menin Gate; Thiepval Memorial; All of the students at Hooge Trenches



Above: Year 11 making 1930s’ Depression era photos.



t has been a very busy year for the Geography department, with new specifications being introduced at GCSE and A level as well as providing a range of new and exciting activities for our students, including expert lectures on topics such as changing places, world cities and disaster management. A small number of our Year 10s attended the Model Climate Change Conference, which was set up to reflect the COP22 discussions held in Marrakesh attended by many world leaders. Furthermore, the British

Y9 at Lulworth Cove

Cartographic Society came to visit the school and led the boys through disaster mapping in response to a major earthquake and tsunami as detailed below. Our annual Geographical Association Worldwise Regional Quiz was a success, once again. Congratulations to Tanubhav Saha, Dan Page and Jack Davis, who came from behind to win by two points. We also took our Year 10 geographers to Preston Montford, Shropshire, for their GCSE fieldwork and we teamed up with Classics to run the annual trip to Sorrento, Italy. Towards the end of this year we ran several competitions for Year 7 and 8.

Y10 at Restless Earth

Geography Club

Restless Earth Review

Geography Club has been amazing this year! Not only has it been great fun, but it has enhanced my learning. My particular favourite thing we have done has been the study into Microclimates. We each did a weather study in our local area and then saw how this compared over all our local areas. Then, we attempted to explain why this was the case, and each wrote a booklet on the study, with a prizegiving at the end. I also enjoyed the volcano design. We had to consider how explosive it would be, the design (composite or shield) and many other things, before building them. All in all, it has been a lot of fun, and I would recommend it to anyone next year. Beck Walker, 9W

On Monday the 28th of November, the Reading School cartographical contingent plunged straight into the spine-wrenching action of emergency map-making for the 2011 Japanese Tsunami and the infamous Fukushima meltdown. We were ably assisted by members of the British Cartographical Society. Starting out with just a couple of pieces of paper, a voluminous guide to the ‘quake and subsequent tsunami, and a pencil case, each team had to carefully manufacture their own maps, detailing where aid could come through; how the elderly and injured could be evacuated; major ports; international airports and railway lines. So invigorating was this activity to Year 10 Geographers that some even stayed during lunch to continue with their cartography! As we neared the end of the competition, the typical Reading

Geography Club in full flow

The Year 7 winners earned the opportunity to go orienteering at Dinton Pastures, and a trip to the Living Rainforest awaited the Year 8 champions. We also took our Year 9 Geographers to Lulworth Cove and Durdle Door for the day to see coastal processes in action and to start developing fieldwork skills. We are always looking out for new and exciting opportunities for our students to get involved with real world Geography to bring the subject to life. The boys should be very proud of all that they have achieved this year. Dr K Young

The Climate Change Conference School boy attitude to a challenge set in, with each team pouring painfully over the maps, heads down and scribbling furiously. At the end of proceedings, the winners were announced; their maps presented and much applause ensuing. But it did not finish there! With 15 minutes to go, we were shown heart-breaking images of weeping couples, their houses destroyed by the tsunami; frightened children, evacuees of the 30km wide radius surrounding the place known as Fukushima power plant and finally (and most evocatively for me) photos of simple, white blankets placed over the dead. A sobering sight. It was, of course, not all bad, with a warm round of clapping for the unimpeachable volunteers from the Cartographical Society, without whom, in all sincerity, we would not have been able to have been granted such a pleasure and wealth of experience. Tomasen Haley, 10W

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Economics Student Investor Success


our Reading School Sixth Formers overcame testing market situations to become ‘Online Traders of the Year’ of the Student Investor Challenge, an online investment competition run by the London Institute of Banking and Finance. Using prior and acquired investment knowledge, we (Abhinav Heble, Pranav Shyam Prasad, Karthik Neelamegam and I) were able to

From left to right: Saket, Karthik, Pranav, Abhishek

Quick-Fire Questions with Miss Cash Jonny Umerah, a Y12 student and boarder, was tasked with quizzing Miss Cash, the new, wonderfully energetic, Australian, Economics teacher on life at Reading School. JU: How does your day to day life at Reading School compare to back in Australia?

outcompete over 6,000 other teams internationally (as well as 20 other teams from Reading School), increasing the value of our virtual stocks by the largest margin. The first round of the competition began in October and ended in January, with teams investing a virtual £200,000 over two portfolios into FTSE 100 stocks and other selected shares. The active portfolio allowed unlimited daily trading, with prizes being awarded for the highest percentage rise each month. The strategic portfolio however encouraged long-term thinking, as only 10 trades were permitted each month. During the first two weeks of the challenge, we climbed steadily, reaching 23rd in the combined league table. Our progress continued further, winning the December monthly challenge and then ending the first round as top of the combined and individual portfolio leader boards, booking our place in the semi-final. As a result of winning a monthly

Five hundred teams then progressed to the semi-final of the competition, battling it out for only eight spots in the final. The semi-final lasted four weeks, with teams predicting the closing price of certain stocks at the end of each week. Unfortunately, we were unable to match our performance from the first round in the semi-final, finishing 23rd in this round. Ms Smith, Head of Economics, said of the team: “The team have combined meticulous research with an enviable financial acumen to get them this far. Their infectious enthusiasm has generated real excitement in the Investor Challenge across the school and increased pupil awareness of the stock market and the factors that drive share prices.” Saket Koti, 12AC

JU: What's different at this school from the last school?

AC: No! It was a double. It was a tough lesson, ok.

AC: At my last school the summer was so hot and so I had to deal with pubescent boys who haven’t discovered body spray yet. The smell was awful.

JU: Finally, what is the best thing about the UK?

JU: What do you miss the most about Australia?

AC: My school day is a lot different, because back home I would be teaching so many different subjects, like Geography, Economics and Maths whereas here I just teach Economics.

AC: Chicken Salt

JU: Specialisation – It is the way forward. Boarding must have also been a big change?

JU: During your time at the school so far you have become quite famous for dropping pens. What’s the record for most pen drops in one lesson?

AC: I love boarding! My school day ends and I have to deal with the chaos of the Year 9s which can be stressful, but it is also so much fun. There is always something going on.

challenge and finishing as winners of round one, we were awarded cash prizes of £700 in total.

AC: The weather is really nice. JU: Well, you clearly haven’t been here long .

JU: So not your family or friends? AC: Well yeah, but in Australia we have this thing called Chicken Salt and we put it on everything.

AC: Umm…I think the most I’ve managed is well over 20…maybe 25. JU: In one lesson?!

Jonny Umerah and Miss Cash Certainly no stone has been left unturned in Jonny’s pursuit of the truth and the weather is the UK’s main selling point. Who knew? Jonny Umerah, 12AL

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t’s been another terrifically busy year in the English Department.

We’ve hosted a literally all-singing -and-dancing Professor, forced students to sit in witness of a violently bloody post-apocalyptic battle, and awarded top honours to a student who believes that thirteen year olds should be allowed to choose our nation’s leaders. When internationally renowned literary expert Professor Nicolas Tredell visited our sixth formers in the spring to share his knowledge of “The Great Gatsby”, none of our students was expecting to finish the afternoon joining in with a Golden-Age American Jazz sing-along and posing for Panama hat selfies. They also perhaps did not imagine that one man could have such a terrifyingly encyclopaedic instant recall of any line from the novel for which they could care to ask. We were treated to a truly inspiring lecture which will live long in our memories (or at least, longer than Myrtle lasts in the book…). Year 11 students descended enmasse on London’s South Bank in February to witness the gory destruction of ambition, deceit and the supernatural. The National Theatre’s “Macbeth” entertained and appalled in equal measure. This is what some of the innocent flowers had to say about it: “I liked the post-apocalyptic setting because it enabled the story to be explored in terms of primal emotion rather than the social context we are used to.” “The angelic singing which accompanied some characters’ deaths emphasised to me how Shakespeare believed God was on the side of the victims and not on the side of Macbeth.” “Showing Duncan’s murder on stage was an interesting interpretive choice. It allowed the audience to see how evil and corrupt Macbeth was becoming.”

Y8s enjoying BBC News School Report The Sixth Form Literature cohorts didn’t want to miss out on the dramatic action. The RSC livestreamed their production of “Hamlet” direct from Stratford to Big School, and our collection of little Rosencrantzes, Guildensterns and Yoricks were all moved: “This production changed my view of Ophelia…the performance has also had a dramatic impact on how I view Hamlet.” “Seeing it live gave me a greater understanding of the relationships.” “It felt so much more dark and suspenseful than I expected, and I was also surprised by the upbeat releases of tension.” “It made me appreciate the complexity and depth of the characters, which is lost when just reading the play. It made me sympathise with Hamlet and his position more effectively.” Our Year 8s participated in the triumphant eleventh iteration of the BBC News School Report. Their incisive journalism attracted the attention of BBC Local Radio, and BBC Berkshire brought the satellite van to the LRC to broadcast live for the Breakfast Show throughout the morning on the annual News Day. Another Year 8 student John Spence became the youngest ever winner of the Reading Foundation McIlroy Essay Prize, beating off competition from Year 12 and Year 13 wordsmiths. And, gloriously, every student in the

school participated in the annual Eisteddfod, either watching, performing or writing some stunningly inspiring works of prose, poetry and drama. Depending on your point of view, the brand new reformed GCSE and A Level specifications have either been looming large like rapidly approaching storm-clouds spreading their sinister shadows over innocent children’s heads, or instead playfully gambolling up the garden path like a pair of happy yappy dogs eagerly greeting their owners’ return home. They have challenged / excited / perplexed (delete as applicable) students and staff alike, and Reading School’s English Department has been at the forefront of local preparation for the new exams, hosting network meetings and training on behalf of the board for teachers around the South-East region. We can only hope that by the time you read this magazine our students feel confident that they have managed to do their talents justice as they stand at the vanguard of this new national experiment. Certainly they have a hard act to follow, with the GCSE class of summer 2016 setting new records of achievement and attainment in both the Language and Literature exams. Overall it was a year which did Harambe proud. Phew. Aren’t we all lucky? Mr R Baldock

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Student Leadership Tasmania Exchange


n July 2016, Reading School welcomed six students from H u t c h i ns S c ho o l, H ob a rt , Tasmania as the first leg of the inaugural, annual exchange between the two schools. Just like Reading School, Hutchins School ( is steeped in history and prides itself on both academic success and, crucially, its vision of ‘Building Good Men’. It was this character-building aspect which attracted Mr Robson’s attention at the 2015 International Boys’ School Coalition conference in Vancouver and led to him setting up the exchange programme. Having treated the Tasmanian visitors t o s u c h B r i t i s h d e l ig h t s as International Cricket at the Oval, a wet walk in the Chiltern Hills, the Titanic exhibit in Portsmouth and a day at the Jurassic Coast, in October it was the turn of the seven Reading School boys along with Miss Mole and Mr Fairchild to embark on the epic 24-hour flight to Tasmania. It was here that we saw the tangible benefits that the Hutchins Boys gained from the ‘Building Good Men’ ethos and which formed the rationale for the Reading School Student Leadership programme in which all Year 8 to 10 students will take part from September 2017.

The flagship aspect of Hutchins School is the ‘Power of 9’ programme, where Year 9 students spend one term on a separate campus, in a different uniform, taught by dedicated staff who are trained in Positive Psychology, Expedition Leading and Counselling. The curriculum is in the form of workshops, with the emphasis on providing a safe space in which self

these mental and physical challenges engendered life skills that the Reading School community could learn from. The students returned with a determination to embed these leadership skills into their school day, and it was no coincidence to us that the ‘Governors’ Grand’ competition was subsequently won by three of the group with an idea inspired by their

Lifelong friendships made through transformational experiences -discovery and controlled risk-taking can take place. The skills of resourcefulness, teamwork and problem-solving developed in these lessons are then applied during the two week ‘Expedition’ phase, which takes place in either the Outback, the remote Tasmanian coastline, on a sailing ship, or in Fiji!

visit, whilst another two delivered a highly mature feedback report to Mr Robson and the Senior Leadership Team. Feedback from the parents was equally glowing, with one saying of their son: “He seems to have changed for the better – he is more mature, more independent and better at reacting when things go wrong.”

Aside from the envy and awe that these opportunities generated in our seven boys, it was clear to them that

It is for this reason that we are very excited at the potential of this unique Student Leadership programme in 2017. By bringing together diverse leadership opportunities, from sport to the CCF and Future Stories, the taught aspect will challenge students socially and cognitively in order that they develop the skills necessary for success both at Reading School and most importantly, beyond. If you feel that you or your organisation could offer any support to the Student Leadership programme i n t h e fo rm of o p p or t u n i t y, sponsorship, advice or resources, then please contact

The entire Hutchins School forms a Guard of Honour to bid farewell to the departing Year 13s

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Mr G Fairchild



t's been another very busy year in the Reading School PSHE department, with the development of a new project to improve the school and even the whole of Reading. All boys from Year 7-13 have now been given a PSHE lesson in their timetable, so every student is informed about the areas covered in this subject. PSHE is taught not only for short-term skills we may use now, but also long-term life skills. We are encouraged to feel positive and prepare for changes we may face ahead: something no other lesson can provide. It is in lessons like PSHE

Students teaching students where we are urged to look back to our memories and actions of the past, and look forward to the change of the future. We can only then realise our mistakes and correct them for the future: something useful in not just school, but life. So far this year, we have been very lucky to receive talks from visitors and other groups, to explain to us everything from cyber-bullying to drugs and alcohol. Some popular talks have included that from the theatre company: Chelsea’s Choice, given to Year 8. They presented a sensitive topic in a fun and informative way, shedding light onto something students may have never taken the time to consider before. Other talks of interest included those from PC Lesley, and from SOURCE (Reading’s alcohol and drugs unit, that helps young people directly). These talks opened our eyes to topics that we

Year 9 Youth Health Champions would otherwise not be as well educated on, and allow us to make informed decisions on them. One of the big projects that has started this year is the introduction of the Youth Health Champions scheme; aimed to educate and improve the school, as well as the wider community. This group meet up every two weeks and plan various workshops, project, activities and many more exciting ideas for various year groups. The scheme really kicked off with our first assemblies to Year 7 and Year 8 on the subject of alcohol. It was our first time presenting as a group and we all connected really well, making the presentations a big success. They were encouraged to further pursue this area of work, aiming to develop the understanding of all the years we presented to, so that they may be able to make more informed choices about alcohol when

they decide the time is right. Although they may have started with simple assemblies, we have grown in confidence over each presentation, and are now beginning to develop their ideas further. As a Youth Health Champion myself, I have seen first-hand how our initial ideas, with a little help from staff and students alike, have improved the understanding of those we have already spoken to. In doing workshops, students have had the chance to ask us questions which we can answer, or signpost them to the best advice. Recently, we had a surge of new talent join our team, bringing all their ideas and wisdom with them. We have used this and now have even bigger plans to branch out on topics: we would like to start doing things that get more of the whole school involved. Beck Walker, 9W

Year 7 showing off their “Perfect PSHE Students”

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Classical Studies and Languages Keine Schwäche, Keine Gnade "No weakness, no mercy", a phrase we learnt on the football pitch from our German partners during the recent exchange which has just been established between Reading School and St. Joseph Gymnasium in Rheinbach. Indeed, the eighteen of us showed no weakness or mercy (on ourselves) when we signed up for spending six days in the home of our new German friends and taking part in lessons in a German grammar school. We would, however, like to take this time to say that contrary to popular belief, we did not dream in German by the end of our stay. Sorry, Mr Cooper. Although, having been immersed in the language and culture for six days,

we did learn a lot of German language skills, which we are ready to bring out in class to the amazement (envy?) of our classmates. In any case, it was at first an exciting, if at times daunting, prospect to get involved in an exchange, but looking back we had a fantastic time and gained an enlightening and unique insight into the lives of our contemporaries in Germany, especially their education system. We also found that the famous England-Germany rivalry is a bit oneway, in that it consists of desperate England fans trying to beat Germany, and Germany not really understanding the importance we attach to this, but beating England anyway. However, this was finally reversed when the Year 9 boys beat Germany 3-1 in torrential rain, while Year 10 also mustered a draw.

Year 9 correcting 51 years of hurt It is at this point we need to say thank you to the teachers with us on the trip, Frau Majorossy-Young (trip-leader), Frau Senftlechner and Mr Evans, who all did an admirable job planning, organising and accompanying this visit; as long as we overlook them abandoning us in strangers’ houses on arrival. Theo Sharkey, Alex Ward, Mithesh Duddekunta, Tian Fang, Benedict Bradley, Ed Priestley and Nathan Lau

Vienna Trip, Oct 2016 From nervously walking up to the shop counter to test out my German and purchase a pretzel, to taking part in a silent disco outside a beautiful Austrian church - the Vienna trip offered me a chance to immerse myself in Austrian history and culture, and to extend my use of the German language. I will never forget the stunning view at the top of the Riesenrad.

United Kingdom Linguistics Olympiad (UKLO) Following on from last year’s national successes at the Advanced Level, this year saw all students in Years 7-11 also enter the Olympiad. Years 7-9 entered in teams at Foundation Level, Years 10-11 entered in teams at Intermediate Level and all Linguists in Year 12-13 entered individually. The aim of the Olympiad is not to test academic knowledge of previously studied languages, but rather to apply existing knowledge on the mechanics behind how languages work to entirely new languages and by using logical deductive and abductive reasoning be


We were not only able to explore the Austrian palaces and cathedrals and engage with its history, but we were able to get a real sense of what Vienna had to offer as a modern-day city too, and that was what made the trip special for me. Y11-13 assemble in front of Belvedere Castle, Vienna

able to translate the new language. The languages this year were as follows: Foundation: Inuktitut, Tshiluba and Basque


Intermediate: Tshiluba, Basque, Maori and Tamil

Adam Selcon, 13 WBW

Foundation: 24 GOLD, 64 SILVER and 105 BRONZE Intermediate: 20 GOLD, 36 SILVER and 77 BRONZE Foundation: 6 GOLD, 7 SILVER and 10 BRONZE Mr M Cooper

Advanced: Maori, Tamil, Choctaw, Abkhaz and Kaytetye The results from our centre were then entered into a national database from which certificates were awarded (At each level the top 5% in the United Kingdom get Gold, the next 10% Silver and the next 20% Bronze). The results for Reading School were as follows: 28

Year 11 get to grips with the UKLO

Exploring Spanish The Spanish department have done a lot to celebrate their subject this year. Year 11 Spanish pupils were visited by Dr Par Kumaraswami, Associate Professor of Latin American Cultural Studies and Programme Director BA Spanish, and Mr Raul Marchena

Year 11 celebrating Spanish

European Day of Languages 24th September 2016 This year we decided to celebrate the European Day of Languages over a whole week. Each day of the week had

Year 13 French Debating Competition at St Paul’s Girls’ On 7th February, the Year 13 French class took a trip to London to compete in the Regional French Debating

Tom Henderson and Luca Moffat debating against Eton College

Magadán, Spanish Language Coordinator at the University of Reading. They were able to discuss the value of learning Spanish, while tasting some delicious Spanish tapas. The lower years also got a treat, with the arrival of ‘¿Cuántos Me Gusta Tienes¿’, a Spanish play for Years 8 11.

Y12 enjoying some tapas

Year 12 benefited from studying Spanish, outside of the classroom. They enjoyed some tapas in the Spanish tapas bar, Picasso. They ordered a meal in Spanish and also conversed in Spanish for the whole meal! ¡Qué ricas! Mrs B Trujillo

The European Languages Quiz winners

a theme (Greek, French, German, Latin and Spanish). Posters with interesting facts appeared each day around the school; there was a short film shown in the Lecture Room each day; the food in the Refectory was

themed daily as well, with appropriate national music playing in the background; to top it all off each lunchtime there was a themed quiz in Big School with cumulative point scoring across all five days.

Competition. This was the first time that Reading School had entered such a competition. The topics were all relevant and politically charged, arguing for and against: the cases of nuclear proliferation, the French political system and drug injection centres. We were debating against a variety of teams, including St Paul’s Girls’, Dulwich and Eton College.

Moffat) successfully won one debate out of the three. Given that many of these schools have competed multiple times before, we stood our ground and put forward a performance to be proud of.

Team A (Tom Henderson and James Messer) had tight results in all their debates, losing all by only one point, and Team B (Ed Davies and Luca

It was a valuable experience for our debate style speaking exam in the summer, and we all found that putting our French speaking towards alternative topics in a different environment to the classroom both exciting and rewarding. Tom Henderson, 13MRC By watching and analysing a series of clips from French films from different eras, and being encouraged to discuss and note down any thoughts, we were soon able to gain a real insight into French cinema - a topic which forms a key part of our A-level.

Year 12 Conference on French Cinema at the BFI On Wednesday, 9th November, Year 12 French students got to experience a journey into the heart of cinema, at the BFI Southbank in central London. The session was led by an ex-French teacher who had travelled all the way from her home in France to give the presentation, and her enthusiasm soon translated through to the students. Feverish note-taking at the BFI 29

Two hours of French cinema elapsed in no time as the absorbing and poignant film, Au Revoir Les Enfants, was projected onto a cinema-sized screen, and our day at the BFI drew to a fitting and moving end. Alessandro Giacometto, 12AL


Onatti Play The MFL department has been quite busy this year. For the first time students were able to enjoy plays in a foreign language. The group ‘Onatti’ came to school and performed to students of different year groups in French, German and Spanish. The plays were fun, especially because students were used to help the characters. Ms S Senftlechner A French play, mid-performance

Ancient Classroom Experience

Students sat in the Ancient Classroom Writing with quills Studying Maths with beans In July this year a 53 strong contingent of Year 9 GCSE classicists experienced an ancient Roman classroom at Reading University led by Professor Eleanor Dickey. The students were dressed in Roman tunics and shoes, sat on straw and taught Roman style: studying Maths with beans; writing with a quill; handling artefacts; learning classical Greek; learning about Roman food; and given a brief lecture on virtual Rome. A very good day! Mr M Cooper

Year 7 Romans Day

Year 12 dressed up for Romans Day

Year 7 students in battle formations

7W constructing ballistas

Last summer the Year 7 students were transported back to the Roman world. They spent the morning doing Roman engineering. They had to make a Roman fort, a theatre (with working crane and trolley system), a temple, a working catapult, a working ballista, and a working aqueduct. After this, the students were trained to be Roman legionaries on the front field, having to form line, testudo and battle an imaginary enemy – all to the blasts of a trumpet (they had made their own shields in advance). They turned out to be a well -drilled and slightly intimidating body of men. The whole day was conceived and led by the Year 12 Classicists – most of whom were in costume! It was a great success. Mr M Cooper

Year 11 Set Text Re-enactment

The Year 11 Latin students take time out of the classroom to film their prose set text, which included the Romans against the Gauls and the Romans suppressing Boudicca’s rebellion. A lot of fun was had by all, even if it was a little anachronistic as far as weaponry was concerned at times!



Art The Class of 2017


very personable bunch, and, although at times they led to near-permanent furrows of my brow, I have greatly enjoyed watching them develop into more confident and skilful artists over the last two years. Boys do not take an examination in Art, Craft or Design to gain entry to Reading, and as such, there is a broader spectrum of ability in each class when compared to other subject areas such as English, the Sciences, or Mathematics. From Years 7-13 every Art class is mixed ability, which enriches the experience of the boys, with research suggesting weak or inconsistent evidence to support grouping by ability 1

This year, I have been particularly pleased to see the individual responses boys produced for their chosen areas of focus; outcomes were very personal, covering a broad range of potentially challenging topics including alienation, identity, the pressures of school and adolescent life, homelessness and inequality, and loss, as well as more straightforwardly aesthetic projects such as texture, close-up, and time. As the course progressed, growing maturity was shown through increasing aptitude and sensitivity in the handling of a wide range of media. Through careful thought, boys were more able to produce artworks that had depth in their meaning, as well as increased complexity and sophistication visually.

Stefan Darling: Out of Place

Knowing the talented artists we have in Years 10 and 11, I am excited to see their development in the coming years. Congratulations to all on determination, hard work, achievement.

their and

Ms A Creegan Presented below are a small selection of works by our GCSE and A Level artists.

1. Ireson, J., Hallam, S. and Plewis, I., 2001. Ability grouping in secondary schools: Effects on pupils’ self�concepts. British Journal of Educational Psychology, 71(2), pp.315-326.

Alex Kurowski-Ford: Out of Place

Thomas Hill: Contrast Oscar Cullura: Absence

Jakab Zeller: Contrast

Wei-Den Wong: Water Jason Ku: Journeys

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PE & Games


Memories of Movement n ‘Memento’, Guy Pearce plays a character called Leonard Shelby. Leonard, a former insurance investigator, suffers from anterograde amnesia: short term memory loss, meaning he cannot make new memories.

Guy Pearce in Memento He suffers from this because of the injuries he sustained whilst trying to save his wife; he is now fueled by revenge and vengeance. I sometimes feel that Physical Education in school is like that. Bear with me whilst I explain. In award winning research, ‘“I Just Remember Rugby”: Remembering Physical Education as More Than a Sport’ on how Grammar School boys remembered their experiences of Physical Education, the overarching “logic” of memories of PE was sport. Almost all of the boys' articulated memories were of doing sports, albeit in various capacities. However some of the strongest memories were about being trusted with their own learning and sharing their opinions. This has got me thinking a lot about memories. Are the memories we

create for children in PE and School Sport a powerful driving force for the continuation of having an active and healthy lifestyle? A survey of 18,000 people’s early experiences of physical activity from 5 to 18 years old indicates a strong correlation between memories of physical activity at school and the impact of the amount of exercise taken in adult life. After leaving school I think most of us only have snap shots of what it was really like. Just like Leonard Shelby in Memento we are left with looking at a bunch of polaroids (before Instagram) of our memories. I believe those pictures can have a huge impact on the choices we make in our future. If they are negative moments, then they will influence us to make excuses not to engage or follow certain areas, leading to disengagement and a downward spiral of activity. However if those pictures are of positive moments they can have a huge impact on continuing to be engaged with sport for a lifetime. Ensuring we give children happy, enjoyable and long lasting memories in PE I feel is important for our overall aim. The more varied and deep

Key Stage 4 badminton boys win the National Schools trophy memories we can give them will only help once they have left school. However, if parents and significant others in their lives can help build upon those memories too, then we have a much greater chance at keeping them healthy and active. We also need to under pin those good memories with knowledge and understanding, creating an environment where we allow children to take responsibility for their own learning and to feel like they have choices in their physical education lessons. That way we can then ensure we don’t lose our way as PE Teachers and neither will the children we teach when they leave us and are left only with the memories of our time together in school. Mr A Beckey

Boys forming memories of school sport in a fixture versus Windsor Boys.

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Rugby Rugby at Reading School has continued to grow this year. 231 players represented the school across nine different teams in nearly 90 fixtures in the first term, and as a department we are proud of the hard work, dedication and achievements of these individuals. This increased level of participation at all levels is aimed at increasing competition for places and ultimately success on and off the field. On the field last season we had two year groups make it to County Cup semi-finals and the senior 1st XV went on one step further beating Downs School 241st XV after winning the County Cup 13 in the Cup Final to be crowned County Cup champions for the first time in nearly a decade. This success for the seniors was not built overnight; a number of Year 13 students have represented the School across seven seasons. To ‘rest on one’s laurels’ and bask in the glory of the 1 st XV’s success would be foolish. Next year we hope to build on this season’s success. We have picked up more block fixtures for both the U13 and U14 B sides, the Huggins Fitness Suite will be accessible to players and the 1 st and 2nd XVs have been asked to join a local league with other secondary schools. None of this would be possible without the members of staff that give up their Saturday mornings and time midweek to be able to provide opportunities for the students. A huge than you to Mr Beckey, Mr Bellinger, Mr Allen, Mr Sanchez, Mr Koefoed, Mr Kearle, Miss Garcia, Mr Hurst, Miss Ayres, Miss Hooker and Mr Lloyd for their help in the rugby term and their continued support of rugby at Reading School. Mr J Steadman

Cricket Cricket is thriving at Reading School. This year we have seen 172 boys represent the school across 80 competitive fixtures. It is no surprise that the increase in participation and fixtures has led to the continuation of success of the school sides. The U15s reached the County Vase final and gave a great account of themselves, but unfortunately finished runners up. The U14s reached the County Cup quarter finals before coming across strong opposition. The U13s reached the County Plate Semi-final and the U12s are still in contention as they have their county league semi-final still to play. The 1st XI have shown real promise this year and the highlight so far has been the morning session versus the MCC where they were able to get them 126-5 in front of large home support.

Cricket on the front field is as beautiful as ever

Looking to the future, the 1st XI is off to tour the Caribbean island of St. Lucia in July for a taste of international opponents. Thanks go to the ORs for their continued support of both the tour and also for funding a new portable batting cage to assist with training sessions for next year. Overall an amazing term of Cricket, thank you to all members of the PE team and to other staff who regularly assist in the running and organising of school cricket. Mr T Bellinger

Football I am very proud to say we had around 250 boys playing in nearly 100 fixtures across all year groups. Football is going from strength to strength at Reading School and becoming ever more popular. We continue to take our Year 7 and 8 teams to the Joe Hart Soccer Tournament, at Shrewsbury School in the last week of term which is 4 days of competitive football against schools from all over the country. As team manager of the Berkshire County Under 14 team we regularly have boys from Reading School representing the squad. This year it was Peter Isaksen who played in the national final at Birmingham City FC against Kent. This was an incredible achievement as it was the first time Berkshire has made the final in over 30 years. Sadly we were runners up but will try and go one step further next year. I am incredibly grateful for the support of all the staff that give up all their time for school football, including staff outside the PE department as without them we would not be able to provide so many opportunities. Mr S Allen 33

The 1st XI pose with Mr Robson after a 2-2 draw with Abingdon



introduction for us to the world of GCSE drama.

A Look Back at the GCSE Class of 2017

Following on from the success of ‘Our Country’s Good’, we soon began work on our devised pieces ahead of our next exam the following June.


hether it was Harry Manocha’s gleefully over the top portrayal of a Nazi Officer against Joe Hick’s bumbling British spy, or Jamie Cottle’s scarily convincing portrayal of O’Brien from Orwell’s 1984, over the two years together as a class, the GCSE Drama class of ’17 have produced some incredibly memorable performances. In December 2015, after little more than 3 months together as a class, we performed our first assessment, a collection of extracts from ‘Our Country’s Good’ by Timberlake Wertenbaker, interspersed with poems and other writings around the theme of the convict colonies of Australia. This was an incredibly successful exam with the whole class gaining top band marks, and was a fantastic

Moving into Year 11, we started our next set of scripted performances. The unending multi-rolling chaos of John Godber’s ‘Teechers’ left the audiences in stitches as it does year after year, while ‘Neville’s Island’ provided more thoughtful musings on the nature of life, death and leadership set against a darkly comedic backdrop. Extracts from ‘Journey’s End’ were as impactful as ever, while the (previously unperformed at Reading School) choice of the Torture Scene from the new adaptation of ‘1984’ was as chilling as you would expect. To round off our two years in GCSE Drama, we performed our final set of devised pieces. ‘Auf Wiedersehen’ echoed classic British Comedies like Dad’s Army in its portrayal of wartime Britain and Germany, while ‘That Night

GCSE students perform their final pieces at the New Falls Hotel’ managed to find fantastic humour despite its murder mystery premise. ‘Anonymous’ followed the trend of the previous year, being the singular piece to tell a more harrowing story, this time of drug addiction, charting the stories of three people as they suffered. Our final evening showcase to parents was rounded off with a moving thank you video put together by the class, because of course without Miss Capon and Mrs Fooks none of our achievements over the course would have been possible – a fitting end to a brilliant two years. Sean Laing, 11C

Reading and Kendrick Will Rock You! In September 2017, rehearsals will begin for the first whole school production in over a decade! Led by a team of future Year 12 students in collaboration with a team of students from Kendrick School, we will be performing the smash hit West End musical: ‘We Will Rock You!’ featuring the music of Queen. The last school production was ‘Les Miserables’ with St Joseph’s in 2003 and it was directed by Miss Capon. I spoke to Miss Capon and find out some more about this last production, and to get some advice ahead of our new project. What was your favourite memory from directing Les Miserables? I think we were doing ‘Do You Hear the People Sing?’ and I was just sitting in the audience and it was completely rousing. I was just watching all the cast; we’d worked out all the choreography and everybody was working together – that was amazing just watching it and feeling so proud. The other thing was that it was a really creative performance, we did it on a very symbolic level, paring everything back so things were done through colour and just through an imaginative moving of rostra around to create the design – and that worked really effectively. . Did you enjoy the musical element of Les Mis? I’m not really a ‘musical’ person, but actually Les Mis is more like an opera than a cheesy musical, and I loved that. At the time, Derek Harris was our Music Director, he and I are fantastic friends, so working with him so closely was brilliant; he was such an inspiration – we had a great band – and I did love the musical element, I wasn’t sure that I would, but actually in that show, there was such skill in our student body when it comes to music, they were able to add to that orchestral element, and the singing was really top notch. We Will Rock You! casting occurred in July 2017 for current Years 10-12. For next year’s Years 7-13, keep an eye out for posters around school in September detailing how you can get involved! Sean Laing, 11C

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Science Biology Competitions British Biology Olympiad (Y13) William Chadwick triumphed over 7,500 other pupils to represent the UK at the 2017 International Biology Olympiad. The UK team will compete against students from over 60 other countries, taking part in theoretical and practical tasks and challenges designed to test their Biosciences acumen and to stretch their understanding of the subject to the limit. Every participating country sends four students, who are the winners of the respective national competitions. In bringing together gifted students, the IBO tries to challenge and stimulate these

students to expand their talents and to promote their career as a scientist. The International Biology Olympiad (IBO) is taking place for the first time ever in the UK, at the University of Warwick, from the 23rd to the 30th of June. Beyond William’s success in the BBO, many other Reading School boys excelled. Gold Medal: Andrew Barwick, William Chadwick, Sri Harsha Dintakurti, Bovey Zeng Silver Medal: Amaar Ali, Aeron Alvarado, Ruben Beecham, Karmanpreet Bhullar, Peter Drew. Samuel Lloyd, Sam Miller, Seth Pieris, Jordan Poulos, Daniel Shao, Owen Slade, Smitkumar Vaidya

William Chadwick Bronze Medal: Wing-Kin Chang, Dev Gakhar, Rajghogulan Mukuntharaj, Isaac Pearce, Edward Sale, Joseph Sherwood.

Intermediate Biology Olympiad (Y12) Gold Medal Winners: Roy Wang, Tim Chen, Sebastian Blackwell, Thomas Jia, Mark Cobb, Dominic Cooke, Sohaib Ansari, Chris Youssef Year 10 Biology Challenge The Biology Challenge rewards those students whose knowledge of the subject goes beyond the curriculum and many of our students did exceptionally well. Gold awards: Andrew Yang, Theo Sharkey, Alex Sutton, Tomasen Haley, Max Harrison, Muhammed El-Beik, Parth Mahendra, Siddharth Sasindran Silver awards: Alexander Barrett, Ian Shang, Jack Lewis, Thomas Parkinson, Shaan Mohan Bronze awards: Shivam Bharati, Benedict Bradley, Ajai Gill

House Science Competition The first House Science writing competition took place in May this year. Students were asked to submit 600 words on a topic of interest to them. Finalists then had to talk for one minute about their entry and answer questions on the topic from

House Science Writing competitors

the other contestants and the audience. Entries were judged on: the ability to communicate complex scientific ideas; effective use of English; evidence of passion and interest. Thank you to all those who took part and congratulations to all the finalists. The winners were: Juniors: Sida Li West House. Sida explained to us the theory that everything is made from twodimensional, vibrating stands of energy called ‘strings’ and took us through the development of the ideas 35

Successful Biology Challengers Mrs M-C Maunder reaching five ‘superstring theories’. (Title: From Particles to Strings’) Colts: Muhammed El-Beik East House. Muhammed ensured that we were not ‘perplexed’ by Black Holes! (Title: Black Holes – the universe’s Chasms) Seniors: Jack Lawrence School House. Jack managed to explain how to get into orbit in 600 words and persuaded us that it was not after all ‘rocket science’. (Title: How to Get into Orbit in 600 words). Mrs M-C Maunder


Physics: All Change A year of change in the Physics department. It has been a very positive year in the Physics department with lots of changes and a lot of new faces. We have welcomed Mr Tuggey from Reading Girls’ School, bringing many years of teaching experience and new ideas such as the Isaac Physics

Robotics Team Success


eading School Robotics Club had another successful season at the First Lego League (FLL) Robotics Comp., coming second in the regionals, closely missing out on a place to represent South East England at the National Finals. 11 students were picked to represent the club, forming ‘Black Thunder’, our team for the regionals. The FLL competition is made up of four parts a project, the robot game, robot design and core values (which tests teamwork, sportsmanship and the work put in over the previous months) all revolving around a common theme. This year the theme was Animal Allies which explored how humans interact with animals. Under the overall leadership of Alex Barrett the team was organised into two groups, one concentrating on the project, led by Ridge Falcao and Hugo Warner (both Year 10), and the other concentrating on building the robot using Lego Mindstorms with Andrew Yang (Year 10) responsible for the coding and Rohan Chikkam (Year 9) responsible for the construction. The team tirelessly improved the robot all term, Abhishek Bhandari (Year 11), Andrew, Rohan and Alex even working over Christmas! For the robot game this year, the robot had to perform as many as possible of thirty different tasks

programme that Reading School will soon be running. Dr Yadsan-Appleby has joined us part-time whilst also continuing her world-leading research work. She is looking forward to stretching our most able students and helping with their preparation for university applications. Miss Purnell started in September, fresh off her PGCE course. She has including moving a shark in its tank to a new location, repairing a panda enclosure, and distributing food to various animals from a refrigerator. These tasks are laid out on a large board and have to be executed autonomously by the robot. During the day the robot carried out three runs of which the best two were added to give a final score. No corner of the board was left untouched as the robot accomplished more tasks across the three runs than any other team in the competition. However lack of consistency let it down and is a clear indicator of where to improve next year.

Andrew Barrett and Andrew Yang with the second place trophy In the project our team had to present a marketable idea to the judges solving one issue between animals and humans. Our idea was the MovaBowl - a bowl on wheels controlled by an algorithm which dealt with four different aspects simultaneously: the stimulation of the animal’s hunting instinct; the prevention of over and under feeding in pets; the exercise of the pet autonomously in the home; saving local ecosystems from becoming unbalanced due to pets overhunting.

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brought a real sense of enthusiasm to the department and getting involved with running of robotics club (see below). Finally Mr Baker joined us in January on a temporary basis until the summer. He has brought a huge amount of experience to both Physics and Computer Science and has excited the students about the subjects. Mr D Wheal

A working prototype of the MovaBowl was built by Jack Haynes (Year 9) using a Raspberry Pi and electrical components. This prototype was demonstrated at the competition and the whole team gave a presentation written by team members including Ridge Falcao, Hugo Warner, Vamshi Darisi, Sida and Siyuan Li exhibiting the positive impacts of our idea. Our team did exceptionally well, scoring highly in robot design, obtaining second place in the robot game, and winning first place in the project. Last year the club also won the regional competition, and went through to the national finals coming an impressive overall fourth place. Despite not quite hitting last year’s heights, we are very happy since there has been a lot of change with senior members stopping due to passing age limits or exam pressure. However, Abhishek, even in Year 11, still contributed massive amounts of time to the team. Also special thanks are due to Ms Purnell who stepped in after Mr Fermor left the school last summer, a tough act to follow as he was an inspiration over a number of years. We could not have done it without her. Before next year’s tournament, we are focusing on preparing how to design a robot that will be much more precise. The club is now active Friday after school, if you have an interest in coding, technology or simply building Lego, feel free to come along to E2. Alex Barrett, 10S; Andrew Yang, 10C; Abhishek Bhandari, 10W

Reading School Medical Society To help students planning a career in medicine, we have a student-led Medical Society, where pupils come together to practise for their UKCAT, debate current issues, share tips and work experience contacts. The society is run by student leaders, elected at the end of Year 12, who coordinate activities until they go on study leave in Year 13. The boys are encouraged to arrange their own activities and we support them in their endeavours. Outside of the society, we are fortunate to have the help of a doctor who is dedicated to assisting

STEM Club - Science


his year has been another highly successful year for STEM Club. Firstly, a big thank you goes to our Year 12 volunteers who help to run the club weekly. Due to the large amount of Years 7-9 who attend, the sessions could not run without the Year 12s. They have helped to craft the minds of our lower school boys and keep them inquisitive and determined in their research and practicals. Alongside this, a massive thank you to our technicians as the departments and extracurricular clubs could not run without you. Thank you! This year has seen an array of short weekly practicals, including making slime, bath bombs and testing cosmetics and even looking after stick insects and creating insect hotels! We’ve also seen a variety of project-

Y8 STEM Club

students in their efforts to access medical school. He gives highly effective afterschool talks on choosing the right medical school for their needs and on how to successfully navigate the interview process.

the help of local medical professionals, where students are put through their paces, having to think on their feet. This year we have over 30 students wanting to pursue a medical career and potentially not enough interviewers!

Within the Biology Department, we help with personal statements, facilitate applications for the Royal Berkshire Medical Careers Day and provide help with BMAT essay preparation. We also coordinate the return of past students to give their insight on the medical school experience.

If you think you can help with this valuable and rewarding event, please contact Mrs Pickering (

In November we run a Multiple Mini Interview (MMI) practice evening with based learning, such as entering the Shell Bright Ideas Challenge with a focus on renewable energy. A group of Year 9 pupils successfully researched, developed and tested a Stirling engine with a view to harvest and then combust hydrogen. Another Year 9 pupil used the idea of lime to absorb CO2 with a view to attach a working prototype to car exhausts. Our ‘Pioneers’ (led by an external STEM ambassador) have also used lots of different technologies to develop a working product to the brief of ‘Make Us Laugh’. One of our teams is a winner and will be representing the School at Google HQ! Speaking of success, we’ve had lots of pupils represent the school in a variety of competitions this year. Notably, six Year 12 pupils will be debating the ideas of a sustainable future with pupils from all over the world at Oxford University, having reached the finals of this year’s TSL International Sustainability competition. The Chemistry Challenge at Reading University saw two teams of Year 9 pupils battle against other secondary schools, with our two teams meeting in the final. The RSC also hold their own Chemistry Challenge and lots of lower school boys took the written test. A team of one Year 11, one Year 10 and two

In addition, each student gets at least one practice interview arranged by the school. In this way, our potential medics get the support they need to follow their chosen career path. Mrs J Pickering

Year 9 pupils were selected, based on their results, to represent the School and the region at the National RSC Chemistry Challenge Final, impressively coming 4th overall. A special thank you to Mrs Ridge and parents for accompanying the team. To round things off, two Year 8 pupils will be representing the School at Syngenta as finalists from the Farm Tech Challenge competition for the second year running. Within lessons, some Year 9 classes have had the opportunity to live chat with scientists in an online competition, ‘I’m a Scientist – Get me out of here!’. Memorable quotes include, ‘Can we do this every week?’ ‘Wow! I didn’t know they got to do that!’. Science Week was also very exciting for all those involved with sixth form students taking the lead, delivering science lessons in non-science subjects. Boys in Economics observed how to turn copper coins into silver ones, and a special English lesson included Harry Potter potions! Demo day was also an exciting day and wont be forgotten quickly, with rockets being launched on the front field. With some exciting new projects lined up for next year, why not think about getting involved in Reading School STEM Club? Miss L Ayres

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Maths STEM - Maths

concepts that are used within, for example bridge building and tower building. The club has acquired many resources, including K’NEX, which can be used to help students develop an understanding of mathematical engineering.

The Maths-STEM Club has been a new addition to the Maths department’s extra-curricular activities this year. The club is supervised by Mrs Sikkel and Mr Owen and runs every Monday lunchtime, we focus on applied mathematics within various engineering principles. By working in a safe and friendly atmosphere, students support each other when exploring mathematical

Y8 get to grips with some construction

At the Maths-STEM Club, we also run different strategy enhancement games which help cognitive development within students and their mental agility. Mrs C Sikkel

Team Maths Challenge


n Friday 17th March, four students represented Reading School in the regional stage of the UKMT Team Maths Challenge. Ewan AzlanLuk, 8E, Anirudh Khaitan, 8W, Ed Bruun, 9C and Nikhil Kadambadi, 9W, along with Mrs Seals and Mr Hurst, attended Horris Hill School in Newbury and competed against around 35 other schools in an attempt to reach the National Final of the Team Maths Challenge. The day started with an unusual minibus journey, as Mr Hurst led the bus through the woods leading to the school, a place no minibus has ever set foot, or rather, wheels. Perhaps owing to the trusting nature of Mr Hurst, he decided to listen to Mrs Seals navigating with the Google maps app on her phone, which clearly wasn’t aware that the vehicle of choice for this journey was a minibus and not a 4x4! We were greeted by staff from the school, who, on showing us the main entrance, congratulated us for this unbelievable feat. Upon arrival, we found our allocated table and worked on some maths problems to warm ourselves up. Nikhil worked with Anirudh as Ed teamed up with Ewan to efficiently breeze through the questions. After a quick introduction, the first

round began. We did really well, getting 48/60 in the first round; this put us in fourth place. Only the winners go through to the national final so we had to work hard in the next rounds to catch up.

The Team Maths Challengers with Mrs Seals

The second round was a crossnumber challenge; just like a crossword but with clues to find numbers, not words. All four of us worked really well and we were the first to finish with full marks. This moved us up to third place, with two rounds left. The penultimate round was the shuttle. Each pair had to answer a question, and that answer is needed for the second pair to solve their problem and so on through the questions. The first set saw us getting full marks plus the bonus. Unfortunately, we lost 15 marks in the next three sets, as the combination of tricky questions and

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time pressure got to us. Now, we were back down to fourth place, with one round left. The final round was the relay consisting of 30 questions. The pairs were separated and we had to run between our supervising teacher sitting at the end of the hall and the other half of our team. The first pair would run and get the question from the teacher, answer it, hand it back to the teacher to be marked, and get the next question to give to the next pair. We did get a couple of questions wrong the first time, but most of them we were able to correct after a second attempt so we were progressing well. Time was of the essence, and at the very last second, we finished. This proved vital, as no other group had come close to completion. As the announcer thanked the school for hosting the event, we whispered in anxiety, as we waited for the results. To our amazement, we came FIRST! That last round pushed us up the leader board. It was a fine achievement as Reading School hadn’t won for a few years. Finally, it was time to head home, celebrating with Haribo and doughnuts, and this time, we went avoided any off-roading. We now look forward to the National Final held in London in June. Nikhil Kadambadi, 9W

nce again, all of our Year 7s and 8s took part in the Junior Maths Challenge in April, which looks to extend the applications of mathematics, as well as challenge the brightest students in the country through the use of puzzle-type questions. Considering that only 7% of pupils receive a Gold certificate, it’s fair to say that 116 Golds, 74 Silvers and 50 Bronzes is in keeping with the reputation that Reading School has obtained in recent years in this competition. Im pressively, 14 students reached the Olympiad round. Congratulations also to the 63 students from both year groups who reached the Kangaroo stage, which is sat by candidates across the globe.

Over 350 boys took part in the annual Intermediate Maths Challenge, designed to test a combination of logic and maths across 25 multiple choice questions. Once again, Reading School had some outstanding results, with 130 Gold certificates, 115 Silvers and 63 Bronzes. In addition, several students reached the follow-on rounds of the challenge, with around 130 reaching a second round. Of these, six Year 11s, one Year 10 and five Year 9s reached the prestigious Olympiad stage, reserved for the top 500 pupils in each year group across the country. Tom Haley (Year 10) and Arlan Abzhanov (Year 9) deserve special mentions for winning prizes, which are only won by the top 50 students in each year. Congratulations to Try this question from this year’s everyone who took part! Junior Challenge: “In the window of Bradley's Bicycle Bazaar there are Try this question from this year’s some unicycles, some bicycles and Hamilton Olympiad: “The largest of some tricycles. Laura sees that there four different real numbers is d. When are seven saddles in total, thirteen the numbers are summed in pairs, wheels in total and more bicycles the four largest sums are 9, 10, 12 than tricycles. How many unicycles and 13. What are the possible values are in the window?” of d?”

William Clennell, 12 CZ

is a great way to be introduced to higher levels of the subject in an accessible and engaging way. Sadly the club bids farewell to its current team for pastures new, this year every member of the MiG25 team have been made offers to study at Cambridge University. We welcome our new MiG25 Team, we have the talented mathematicians James Sun and Karthikeyan Neelamegam as joint Team leaders and some of the Core Team members include Saket Koti and Anthony Nicolaides. Mrs C Sikkel

Intermediate: d = 7.5 or d = 8

MiG 25 continues to thrive. It is having a great positive impact on both the MiG25 Team and the students attending the sessions. The club is supervised by Mrs Sikkel, it takes place in M3 during lunchtime on Wednesdays and this year the Team Leader Minghua Yin and the Core Team consisting of Deasil Waltho , William Davies, Naglis Ruksnaitis, Jimmy Liu and Owen Aljabar have not only delivered phenomenal presentations to the most mathematically gifted students across all years, but also launched ‘MiG News and Recommendations’, a fortnightly newsletter. Each issue of the newsletter was themed around a certain area of Mathematics, it

included mathematically interesting recommendations, a timetable of upcoming MiG sessions, a biography of an influential mathematician, regular news both about MiG and Mathematics in the wider world and a Mathematics puzzle. Some of the concepts discussed at the club have even included ideas that are normally first met at University, for students enthusiastic about Mathematics this

Try this question from this year’s Senior Challenge: “How many times does the digit 9 appear in the answer to 987654321 x 9?” (Answers below)

Senior: Once


In all, out of the 171 boys taking part, 64 boys won Golds and 163 boys in total got a certificate. However, it is often our success in the latter stages of the senior competition in particular which is so impressive, and this year didn’t disappoint. Over a third of candidates reached the next stage, with 41 taking the International Kangaroo paper, while 17 took the first round of the BMO, or British Mathematical Olympiad. The BMO serves a qualifying competition for repres ent ing t he UK at t he International Mathematical Olympiad, and only the top 1000 pupils from Sixth Forms across the UK are invited to take part. Six boys received a certificate of distinction, for which the field is reduced to just 250. Finally, as has become the norm in recent years, James Sun reached the second stage of the BMO, an achievement matched only by 99 other people in the country

Ming Yin and his team offering Maths inspiration

Answers to Maths Challenge questions


Intermediate Maths Challenge Senior Maths Challenge

Junior: 2

Junior Maths Challenge





November - House Music or those members of County House, who had had to put up for so long with languishing in third place, the taste of victory must have seemed particularly sweet. This year’s competition was the hardest fought anyone could remember, with only four points between the first and last teams, and everything coming down to the smallest margins and the occasional time penalty. A packed house was treated to some pitch perfect solos, backed up by some astonishingly sensitive student accompanying (Ming Yin even played without music!). School House’s decision to play six sad songs for their set worked surprisingly well, while the other houses delivered rousing large ensemble performances, including Jonny Rowe’s arrangement of Take That’s Shine for East House, West House’s Mr Blue Sky, conducted by Year 11’s Patrick Sharman, and Samuel Lloyd leading his house to victory from the front with The Circle of Life. We should also not forget that this was

the night when Laud House officially arrived on the house competition scene, with Year 7’s Sam Ou playing Mozart’s Rondo a la Turca, and a band of Year 12s (mainly defectors!) playing a beefed-up arrangement of Lady Gaga’s Applause. In her adjudication Catharine Rodgers praised all the houses for their musicianship, team spirit, creativity and energy, before singing a soul arrangement of Puccini’s Un Bel Di to close the event. All the boys who take part in any way are to be congratulated for keeping this extraordinary event so fresh and exciting.

February - Big Band Ball The other big event of the year, this year’s ball saw the event really hitting its stride in providing an electrifying evening’s entertainment to a packed refectory of suitably glammed-up guests. This year featured a large number of guest vocalists. Alex Caballero kicked off the proceedings with three Frank Sinatra numbers, Jonny Rowe, who spent most of the evening keeping the band together behind a drum kit came out the front to sing two sweetly soulful numbers, including Mr Bojangles, and duet with

Big Band-Oke in full swing. James Popplestone on Me and My Shadow. Harriet Robson, Mr Robson’s daughter, made her guest debut with the band singing three numbers, including a duet with Andre Christie. Ewan Millar and Samuel Lloyd finished off the proceedings; before all the Year 13s sang the Theme from New York, New York in a show of camaraderie that no one who saw it will forget for quite some time.

September - Big Band-Oke The first event this year was our first ever Big Band-Oke, in which we invited anyone who had ever wanted to strut their stuff in front of a big band the chance to do so in a night of raucous fun in aid of the Syrian Refugee Fund. The nerve of the great sports who volunteered meant that the sequel was already being prepared as the event was taking place.

Spring and Summer - Music for Youth

Alex Essery and Raffie Seccombe performing ‘Lady Gaga’s ‘Applause’

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We are always excited to participate in Music for Youth’s fantastic activities, and having not taken part last academic year, we once again took groups to a regional festival this spring. Rather than take the Big Band, which has never quite convinced the jazzers at the National Festival, we decided on a change of approach. This time we entered the AS students forming a jazz combo The Cole Porter Sextet and the Male Voice Choir, singing Britten’s quirky The Ballad of Little Musgrave and Lady Barnard. This has been a particularly good year for singing as anyone who heard the carol service will know. We were delighted to

receive effusive, but insightful, praise from both adjudicators, which highlighted both the musical independence and assurance of all the performances, and the range of music we had to offer. In fact so good was this independence that it was not noticed that Year 11’s Istvan Darok, had accompanied the choir, the highest (albeit backhanded) compliment an accompanist can receive. At the time of writing we are rehearsing both groups for the National Festival, so watch this space!

September - Welcome Concert We were extremely pleased to see so many Year 7s take part in the Welcome Concert, and a packed music school enjoyed listening to a large range of promising new talent. Congratulations to Mr Newman for keeping the event, which threatened to last forever due to the high level of involvement, so slick.

January - Sherlock Holmes and the Red Herring Many of you may remember old boy Chris Poon who is just finishing at Warwick University. He has been making waves as a Musical Director for various youth music theatre productions, including Sondheim’s fiendishly difficult Follies at Warwick Arts Centre, and Sunday in the Park With George with the National Youth Music Theatre. To celebrate having five houses this year (which required not one but two Year 7 Concerts on consecutive nights) we commissioned a children’s oratorio from him. The boys really took to the resulting Sherlock Holmes and the Red Herring, a none-to-thinly disguised love letter to Chris’ time at Reading School. The two Moriaties, Andres Buencamino and Josh Sidhu had particularly great fun chewing the scenery in their villainous role.

March - Spring Concert There have been so many great concerts this year, most filling their respective spaces to capacity and full of expected and unexpected excellence from all quarters. The second half of the spring concert, however, was a cut above even this standard. Senior Orchestra, with its largest string section to date, delivered an immaculately rehearsed and extremely passionate performance of both movements of Schubert’s Unfinished Symphony. They showed a maturity of sonority and understanding well beyond their years. Barely 10 minutes after this triumph, Concert Band hosted the incredible playing of pianist Roy Wang to deliver an electrifying full performance of an entirely faithful transcription of George Jacob Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue, which received a standing ovation. Mr R Meehan

County House’s small ensemble perform Uptown Funk by Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars arr. Paul Murtha, on their way to winning House Music

House Music was this year, as it has been every year since I have been at Reading School, simply ridiculous. The level of professionalism and dedication shown by the students, from the choice of repertoire and weeks of rehearsals to the hours spent on programme design, was remarkable. The whole ethos of giving it everything is not unique to this one competition, and this trait is what makes Reading students so fantastic in so many extra-curricular activities. I have no doubt that next year's House Music at the Hexagon will be even better than the last."

Samuel Lloyd and his County House teammates celebrate winning House Music with Catharine Rodgers Tickets for 2017/18’s House Music at The Hexagon are available now:


Samuel Lloyd, 13 KS reading-school-inter-house-music-competition


Religious Studies (Philosophy)


started this academic year with a bit of fear and trepidation because the Religious Studies department has embarked on a very ambitious project, namely to offer Philosophy (A-level) as a discrete subject from Year 9 onwards. This will challenge our students and hopefully push our students to achieve way beyond what they thought were possible! We are attempting to achieve in one lesson per week over two to three years something that students usually get about 5 hours for per week. We entered 58 Year 10 students in the first ever Philosophy AS examination and now we are waiting with great excitement for the A-level results in August. The





examinations in Philosophy for Year 9 also look very positive and I believe many students are amazed at how much progress they’re making in becoming real ‘philosophers’! The quality of work and the excellent examination results in Year 7 and 8 prove that our students have the ability, the self-belief and the ‘can do’ attitude to make a success of our am b i t i ous p r oj ect t o em b ed Philosophy as a desirable and prestigious subject at Reading School. This year saw the continuation of some clubs and activities in the RSdepartment. The Christian Union continues to meet on a Thursday during lunchtime in Room 8 while the Philosophy Club meets on Fridays during lunchtime in the same room. An Apologetics Club will also start in all earnest in the new academic year to enable students, and especially students of faith, to be better

Famous philosopher, Plato equipped to defend their faith on a rational basis. In the RS Department we are keen to play our role in developing the school’s values of excellence, leadership and integrity in our students, through a rigorous, high quality academic approach and a relentless focus on positive habits of character. Mr G Cornelissen

Chapel The Chapel in Reading School stands as a testimony to the faith and vision of a generation of believers who came before us and therefore we are eager to continue this vision which, among other things, included the aim to “promote shaping godliness” in the boys of Reading School. As the Chaplain of Reading School I feel very privileged to play my part in pursuing this admirable vision. This of course presents its own challenges in the pluralistic and diverse community that we have here at Reading School; however, fortunately the Message that the Chapel represents is by its very nature an inclusive one. This message of inclusivity and equality before God is precisely the message that I am determined to be faithful to while refusing to water down the core truths of the Gospel. This year has seen a very impressive Commemoration Day service, well-

Chapel: an inclusive place for our diverse community attended services for the new boys and Boarder Carol Service while Mr Meehan has once again produced a wonderful and high quality Carol Service. We look forward to building on the rich tradition of the Chaplaincy in order to shape the thinking and

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actions of the boys of Reading School and to equip our boys to successfully face the moral, spiritual and cultural challenges that will come their way. Mr G Cornelissen, Chaplain and Head of Religious Studies



he Careers Department at Reading School embarked on a major shift in direction for 2016-17 with a new team and a prodigious array of new opportunities for students. Under the leadership of Clare Desai, our independent careers consultant, 200 students have had independent appointments, 375 have had access to online careers advice packages and all 163 Year 12 students are about to embark on a week of work experience.

Work related learning is a fundamental aspect of our curriculum and we encourage all our students to consider carefully how their options, their current learning, their character, teamwork, personality and skills might shape their future opportunities. Ms Desai’s expertise, and Ms Chhokar’s incredible organisational work have also been supplemented by great work by Michael Barrott (ORA president) and the Old Redingensians who’ve helped to find placements for Year 12 and also the Parents’ Association who managed the logistics of the ever

popular Careers Fair (no mean feat with almost 400 students attending and with 80 delegates from sixty companies). We are grateful to all those who’ve stepped into to help our Careers programme to flourish and would welcome any additional opportunities that could be provided by our readership. Please contact if you can lend your support and help a student have a valuable and engaging experience of the working world. Mr C Evans

Le Stage Professionnel There are few French teachers cool enough that, when a student tells them that he wants to work at Charlie Hebdo that summer, they actually find him a job in a French journal. Unfortunately, despite their best efforts, this wasn’t quite possible. Undeterred, a suitable replacement publication was found and so it was that at on a Friday at the start of this summer I found myself on a plane from Gatwick to Charles de Gaulle airport, Paris, from where a series of trains took me to Reims: the city I’d be spending the next week in. Work at L’Union journal started on Monday morning at 08:45. Following a group meeting with Mme Despagne and her team, in fairly rapid French, I spent a morning shadowing various journalists, watching them at work and learning about how the paper was put together. That afternoon. David, a young journalist and I were sent to Reim’s courts to report on the trials taking place there. The visit was an extremely interesting insight into not only the people we are commonly quick to associate with criminality, but also the journalist’s role and job as presenting them either as public threats or simply ordinary people who have ended up at the wrong place at the wrong time.

The next day, as well as writing up the reports from Monday’s trials, we visited a local school on results day to interview the local students as they graduated. Obviously, we saw a huge variety of reactions, and, with my own results day looming, it provided an interesting alternative perspective on this emotionally-charged event. That afternoon Mme Despagne gave me my own story to write. Handing me a slip of paper with some basic information on the new Segway tours in Reims city centre, I was told she wanted a piece on the tours, with enough detail that any reader could, and would be encouraged to, give it a visit. So, at around 4:00pm, I cycled down to the Tourist Office, and interviewed Tristan Bournerias, the man in charge. After gathering the information I needed, almost exclusively (to my delight) in French, I headed back to the rédaction, ready to write up my work the next day. A day of writing and editing later, I was a published journalist, making it onto the tenth page of L’Union Reims on « 7 juillet 2016 ». To conclude, I could not have asked for more from a work experience: not only did I learn a huge amount about

Harry’s article in print t he journalis t ic proces s , m y experience in Reims was meaningful in and of itself, as I was forced to adopt not only the French language, but also the customs and culture - not to mention cycling on the ‘wrong’ side of the road. Just roaming round the city, going out in the evenings or ordering lunch I felt like I was learning things about life and myself in a way I don’t think I could have done in a similar week in the UK. I really hope I can visit Reims, the Michel house and L’Union again next year, and want to say a huge thank you to Mme Fondu for her hard work in making the trip possible. Harry Fox, 12KY

43 43

Debating UK World Debating and Public Speaking Championships: Australia


etween the 5th and the 14th of April 2017, Rohith Manikonda 11S, Abhishek Manikandan 11S, Ben Coneybeare 10C and I had the honour of representing the UK in the World Individual Debating and Public Speaking Championships in Sydney, accompanied by Miss Cash and Mr Allen. It was trip full of amazing experiences and fantastic opportunities. On the first day (having been able to miss double Maths) we left from Heathrow to fly to Sydney through Manila, pushing us through three different climates in one day. We flew with Philippine Airlines, which was fine, unless you were vegetarian. Rohith and I suffered. Nevertheless, we soon arrived in Sydney and reached the host venue for the competition, Ravenswood Girls School (a place which contained something which was rather a novelty for us - I’m clearly referring to Australian education), where we took part in the opening ceremony as Team UK, and were introduced to our


Taking in the local culture fellow competitors for the first time. The opening ceremony also featured semblances of indigenous Australian culture, which was very eye-opening, as we learned more about the customs of Australia hitherto unknown to us. That evening, we were lucky enough to experience a quintessential Aussie barbecue, sweetened in part, no doubt, by the plane food we had been eating, where we got to sit down with people from all over the world and learn about each other. As we were still struggling with the burden of jet lag, we slept deeply that night. The next day, the competition began.

The morning opened with the first round of the Interpretive Reading event, reading excerpts from books and ‘bringing them alive’, and, since people want to score highly, it ended up as an exploration of fiction’s most depressing moments. Nevertheless, we moved on to the afternoon’s event, the impromptu speaking. This is essentially speaking on the spot after a minute’s preparation time, where topics can range from anything between Blueberries to ‘All Men Must Die!’ The incredible thing is how creative people can be with these, especially one girl who received ‘Hot Potato’ as her topic and proceeded to talk about international responsibility. In the evening, after a long day of competition, we were taken by coach to the Kiribilli Club to have dinner, a stunning venue right on the Sydney Harbour, where we got to know each other a little better. On the third day, we delivered our prepared speeches for the first time. It was an unforgettable experience, getting up before a crowd of incredible people and speaking from memory. Evidently, it was rather nerve-wracking, but we managed to deliver our speeches. We got fantastic feedback from our judges and we could tweak them before the next round.

The assembled nations pose for a team photograph 44

That evening, we set out to take a cruise through Sydney Harbour. This was, in line with all the other amazing excursions we took, breath-taking. We had dinner, cruised on the harbour during the sunset hours, and saw Sydney’s crown jewel, the Opera House, lit up and in person for the first time. After this, we had a ‘dance’. The morning after, we had our first debate. Now, we as a team had minimal debating experience, but with sincere thanks to the help (read: crutch) of our partners, we were able to soldier through, and maybe even enjoy it a little. Upon completing the rest of the events, we were taken to Taronga Zoo. This was the largest, most diverse zoo I had ever seen, where we saw our first kangaroos! And koalas, the real reason we came! They were stupendous, and every bit what we had imagined. We also got to see Tasmanian Devils, which weren’t exactly what my Looney Tunes-trained mind was expecting, but fascinating nonetheless. On our fifth day in Sydney, it was finals day. We didn’t qualify, but we

The team showing some national pride still went to watch the best speakers compete in performances that thoroughly entertained us. That evening, we went to the beach to get some Australian fish and chips and experience Sydney’s famous coastline. Here we bonded with the South African crew over the concepts of Grime and Zulu music.

On Friday came our last day in Sydney: Grand Finals Day. This is where the crème de la crème of the competition would compete for the highest honours. Before the event kicked off, we explored the boulevards along the waterfront, and we were then able to explore Sydney itself for some time. It was a beautiful city, with wide streets and gorgeous buildings, peppered with historical landmarks that made it so much more interesting. Later that day, we watched the Grand Finals, which were even better than we had hoped, featuring furious debate, creative, impromptu and thought-provoking speeches. The humorous after-dinner speech segment was by far my personal favourite, and the winner had chosen to talk about “UKIP and the PostBrexit Apocalypse”. Afterwards, we went to a conference centre with views of Sydney’s elegant skyline to have a final dinner and hear the results. We had to leave that night because our flight was early in the morning, but we had all experienced an amazing trip and will never forget what we learnt and did. To next year’s competition! Sushrut Royyuru, 11C

Beach volleyball got competitive



Leaving Staff A boys’ school … really? Is there still such a thing? This is what my French friends told me in September 2011, when they heard I would be working at Reading School. Not that they have any idea what a grammar school looks like or how diff e r ent it ca n b e fr om a “mainstream” school, but they were genuinely shocked to hear that yes, places like that (I mean “schools for boys”) exist for real in Albion. At first I also thought that it was a touch strange, a bit like entering a novel by Charles Dickens: an inflexible, exam driven, relic of a bygone era, where anything but an A* is considered failure. Well, I suppose on the surface it can appear that way,

Hasta la vista When I arrived in Reading School for the first time, I drove through the gates and the first thing that caught my attention was the majestic, elegant and grandiose building. It looks smart and boastful on the outside but inside, I soon discovered, it is warm, supportive, but always challenging. The appearance of the school building can be compared to the students, who also have a smart appearance while inside they have a desire to learn, are warm and challenge the teachers at every opportunity. The school has made me grow as a person and as a teacher in many ways. I have met amazing people

Hey Ho… Reading School is a special place and I appreciate my time here enormously; I have learned as much as any pupil in one of my classes. The high standards people expect from one another and themselves, the compassion for our community, the value placed upon traditions, and just the warmth I have felt from so many History students over the years, mean this place will live with me. From September I have


but, after a while, I discovered another layer and then another until I finally altered my view and realised the possibilities, that, as a teacher of modern languages, it is actually possible to talk about French New Wave cinema, debate about GM, cloning or the impact of May 68 in France whilst eating delicious cakes or blue “macarons” made by students themselves…how crazy is that! I have had awesome colleagues who quickly became friends, adoptive mothers or confidantes. Many of them have left now, but I am lucky enough to still have partners in crime in the MFL department and many colleagues I can learn from and who provide precious advice when I’m stuck with the renegades of 9C, or students who think that French people always say along the way, very supportive colleagues and have always a shoulder to lean on or a friend to laugh with. I have enjoyed teaching the students from: raps to tapas to singing ‘Vivir Mi Vida’ at the top of our voices. Definite highlights of my time at the school would have to be: the trip to South of Spain (not so much the early starts); running A level Spanish for the first time, (a first for the school, and me); singing ‘La Roja’ the Spanish Hymn for the 2016 Euros with my Year 9s; and designing the poster of Tenerife Carnival.

“comme si comme Ça”: we don’t . Yes, the students are clever, sharp and witty. Yes, they have insane results, excel in Sports, Music, Drama, Art in or / and outside of school. Yes they can be arrogant (at times) and, most importantly: yes, I will miss them! Thank you all so much for these six years (wow, already!) spent with you,. It was an intense, fun and real learning journey for me. Marie Ancel

sure they will be spectacular! For me, it is not a farewell, it is an “hasta la vista”. You may not be rid of me so easily, because I’m not that far away in my new school! As I said to my students after the Spanish trip to the South of Spain ‘contigo al fin del mundo’. Bea Trujillo

I simply wish my amazing Year 11s the very best in their exam results. I am been appointed as Lecturer of History Education at the University of Reading, which is an incredible opportunity but, boy, am I sorry to say goodbye. Upon leaving, I return to the Whitman poem I cited once in Chapel: ‘that the powerful play goes on, and that you may contribute a verse’. History is about locating ourselves in time and when my students look back on their time here, maybe a verse is too much to ask; but if, in the most powerful of plays that is a student’s 46

time at Reading School, I contributed a rhyming couplet, an alliterated line, or a choice turn of phrase, then I can be immensely proud. Will Bailey-Watson

End of an Era According to Mr Lloyd, the editor of this esteemed publication, I have become something of an institution at Reading School – or at least that is what it sounded like. Instead, he may have said that he thinks I have become institutionalised. Anyway, what I think he was really after was some sort of reflection as my time at the School draws to a close, so here goes. When I first started teaching here in 1993, a lot of History , Geography, Maths and RS was taught in accommodation which was described as “temporary” when first erected during the Attlee administration. Happily, teaching and learning no longer has to take place in those conditions, although we managed to have some good times there while

they lasted. (“What do you mean the form room’s filthy, sir? You could eat off the floor in here!”) Boarding also had a very different feel back then and I believe that the work done by successive generations of boarding staff over the last two decades has been central to creating an atmosphere where the inmates of South House and East Wing feel safe, happy and well cared for and support each other better in different ways.

respect that they feel towards their fellow Redingensians. Perhaps it is too easy to get caught up in competition with ourselves and with those around us and to lose sight of how our words and actions can affect others. That way, the memories of loyalty and friendship which I will take away with me can continue to be part of the Reading School experience for as long as the School continues to exist.

I think that because of both societal changes and changes in the way that education is run in this country, staff and pupils are under far more pressure now than has ever been the case in my lifetime. If I could wish for one thing as I leave Reading School, it would be that all members of the school community continue to try to improve the way they look out for each other and communicate the care and

Peter Hurst

Memories of PFEH: staff and students share some thoughts

“Peter Hurst is what I would term an old school master;. He is a true academic of his subject, who also believes in the educational power of enrichment, through his perennial, committed involvement in school sport, CCF, boarding and debating. As an old school master he is the last of his kind. With his departure our school, and what we offer, will be poorer for it.” Mr A Beckey

“Mr Hurst is a piece of boarding that can never be replaced. His jokes and his character will never be forgotten.” Kit Haley, 8W

“Whenever you need something in boarding, Mr “Legend!” 8E “He has become notorious at The Hurst is the one to provide.” Muyiwa Aruna, 10C Shrewsbury Football Tournament for eating cheese and drinking red wine with Charles Hart (father of England “Peter Hurst is a man of an angel's wit and singular learning. A man of that gentleness, goalkeeper, Joe)” Mr S Allen lowliness and affability. A man of marvellous mirth and pastimes, and sometime of as sad gravity. A man for all seasons.” R Baldock / Robert Whittington, 1520

Memory Test Are you smarter than a 13-year-old?

These quick-fire questions will let you test your knowledge against the KS3 curriculum! Has your memory failed you or are you still capable of completing Year 8? 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.

In which part of the cell does respiration take place? Who discovered the vaccination for small pox? Which Norwegian artist painted, “The Scream”? What are the six Latin cases? Who was Henry VIII’s fifth wife? Name one Urban Land Use Model. In literature, what does the term “pathetic fallacy” mean? Which colour light travels at the fastest speed? How far away is the Moon from Earth? Inside the Earth’s crust, what is the most abundant element? Answers on inside back cover



Key dates for your diary: ORs:


9th September 2017

23rd September 2017 - RSPA Wine and Welcome

– ORs Rugby 7-a-side tournament & 19771984 reunion at 12 noon; ORA AGM at 5pm & ORs Annual Dinner at 6pm

19th September 2017

– OR Golf Society – Springs Golf Club,

Wallingford at 8.15am

9th November 2017

– OR London drinks evening – The Counting

House, 50 Cornhill at 6pm

12th November 2017

– OR Commemoration Service at 10.30am in School Chapel – “The boys of Reading School and Kendrick Boys who died in 1917”.

1st or 8th December 2017

– Reading School Rugby 1st XV v

29th September 2017 - New Bloke Croak and Soak (Music) 6th October 2017 -

Big Band Karaoke

12th October 2017 -

Commemoration Service - Reading Minster

14th October 2017 - RSPA Quiz Night 1st November 2017 -

Junior Concert

5th November 2017 -


Redingensian Rams Colts at 2pm

12th November 2017 - House Music - The Hexagon

20th December 2017

25th November 2017 -

RSPA Christmas Fayre

28th November 2017 -

Colt Concert

– Christmas Gathering 6.30pm at Old Bath Road Ground plus at 7pm Rugby - ORs v Redingensians Rams U21

13th March ‘18 – OR Golf – Harleyford Golf Club, Marlow – 8.30am 24th March 2018 – ORs Football 6-a-side tournament & 2012

11th December 2017 - Carol Service - St Luke’s

leavers reunion at 12 noon

13th December 2017 -

Late April 2018

17th January 2018 - Year 7 Concert 1

– Reading School & ORs London reception at


23rd June 2018 –

18th January 2018 - Year 7 Concert 2 ORs v School 1st XI Cricket & 1963 & 1964

leavers reunion at 11am.

24th June 2018 –

Senior Prize Giving - School Chapel

ORs 6-a-side Cricket tournament & 1968-75

24th February 2018 -

Big Band Ball

10th March 2018 - RSPA Quiz Night

reunion at 11am

12th May 2018 - Spring Fayre

30th June 2018 – Family picnic and 1991-98 reunion at 12 noon.

TBC June 2018 - 6th Form Leavers Event

1st July 2018 – East Wing 1960-80 reunion at 12 noon.

TBC June 2018 - Junior Prize Giving in the School Chapel

2rd June 2018

–ORs v School v Queen Anne’s rowing event and barbecue (Boat House upstream from Caversham Bridge) at 12 noon

Follow the School and ORs on social media to get all the latest news: ORs

School Twitter:



@Readingsch - School account - Art Department groups/2216021486

@RSPAReading - Parents’ Association @RSSportandPE - PE and Games


@RSBoarding - Boarding

@RSMaths - Maths @RSHistory - History @RSGeography - Geography @RSChemistry - Chemistry


Linkedin: groups/2346992 Website:

@RSLib - LRC @RSPhysicsandCS - Physics and Computer Science

(1)Mitochondria (2) Edward Jenner (3) Edvard Munch (4) Nominative, Vocative, Accusative, Genitive, Dative, Ablative (5) Catherine Howard (6) The Hoyt Model or the Burgess Model (7) A form of personification that gives emotions to inanimate objects; e.g. weather features reflecting a mood. (8) Red (9) 384,000 km / 240,000 miles (10) Oxygen comprises 45% of the crust Answers:

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