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2016 / ISSUE 1

SWEENEY TODD – The Demon Barber of Fleet Street EXCEPTIONAL ISI Result

Art Trip to Paris

BBC’s THE One Show

RGS wins in CLFS language competition


RGS Hockey Makes History



‘EXCEPTIONAL’ Reigate Grammar School is extremely proud to have been awarded the rating of ‘Exceptional’ for Achievement and Learning in the recent Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI) inspection of the school. All other categories on the inspection were scored at the highest level of ‘Excellent’. It is fantastic to know that the work students and staff both put into learning, really is a model of success.

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WELCOME This has been an incredible couple of terms at Reigate Grammar School. I couldn’t be more proud of our Reigatian students nor more grateful to the staff, parents and friends of RGS for making this such a super year.

From the HEADMASTER As you know, there is so much more to a great education than exam results and so we tend to fit the academic work in amongst the other priorities: such as House events, clubs, activities, sporting, artistic and cultural events. In this edition of the Pilgrim Review you will find a plethora of highlights from the last few months to include the drama and music departments’ collaboration for Sweeney Todd, RGS Unplugged, trips to Iceland and Belize, the House Gun Run plus much more. The year started with some record exam results and with 9 out of 10 students heading off to either Oxbridge or Russell Group universities. Autumn 2015 saw another batch of RGS medics start medicine courses – the third year in a row that RGS students had a 100% success rate in medical applications. Of course, it is individual vocations that matter and

last year’s Head Girl, Dannie Harris, summed up the RGS approach which is to find the right course for an individual. She spoke to me just before Christmas about her decision to go to Drama College following her A*A*A success at A Level and I am delighted that she is following her dream. In January the school inspectors published a report suggesting that the school is “Exceptional” – a judgement that ISI had never before given to a co-ed day school. ISI view that RGS is one of the top schools in the country. The new building is well underway and The Peter Harrison Foundation Centre is a transformational development which will benefit all Reigatians, housing a new library, study centre, ICT facilities, social spaces, café and more. I am so very grateful to Sir Peter and the trustees who supported the proposal.

Digital RGS is very much a flavour of the moment: do follow us on twitter at either @rgsheadmaster or @reigategrammar. Alternatively, follow Reigate Grammar School on Facebook. The new website at is now fully up and running and has proven to be very popular among visitors. RGS tries to make these e-communication channels informative, highlighting celebrations of our students, while also making school news accessible to all. I would be really pleased to hear any feedback. I am delighted that RGS students have been excelling in so many areas. Almost more importantly, the staff and students continue to make RGS a lovely, affirming and supportive place to learn and work.

Shaun Fenton Headmaster


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The Peter Harrison Foundation Centre

On Tuesday 19 January 2016 construction work began on the new RGS student building, The Peter Harrison Foundation Centre. Staff and students stood in awe, as a crane digger took aim and demolished the previous building to make way for the exciting new development. The new centre will host a university quality learning-resource centre and a flagship library with learning zones and e-readers. A new Sixth Form Centre with café, social facilities, study areas and classrooms allowing students to study, learn and relax will be included. The new facilities, designed by award-winning architects Walters and Cohen, will enable technologyrich learning for students of all ages and will be surrounded by beautiful landscaped gardens.


“This major capital development will be transformational. We are honoured that Sir Peter Harrison KGCN CBE and the Peter Harrison Foundation are supporting this project with their generous donation of £4 million. This AMAZING gift will enable the school’s biggest ever capital building programme to take place over the coming year.” Shaun Fenton, Headmaster

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The One Show

When BBC One’s popular earlyevening programme, The One Show, wanted to make a film about children of famous parents, it wasn’t long before they came knocking at the door of Reigate Grammar School to speak with the Headmaster. Shaun Fenton’s dad just happens to be iconic 70s pop star Alvin Stardust, once described as ‘the Godfather of British Rock ‘n’ Roll’ by Rolling Stone Keith Richards. Mr Fenton’s distinguished teaching career may be a million miles away from his father’s in showbiz, but the RGS head is immensely proud of his dad’s achievement and was delighted to have the opportunity to share his memories of him in front of the TV cameras. “Sadly, my father died in 2014, but I have very many happy memories of my childhood and leapt at the opportunity to keep his legacy alive. He was my hero because he was my Dad! So I am biased and his biggest fan, of course. I loved his brooding stage persona and think he’s a brilliantly creative part of our musical past. He was also just ‘my Dad’ and whilst I grew up sharing him with fans and others, I have many fabulous memories of growing up. Yes – there were Champagne moments with limousines and groupies but I treasure the times when he was on the touchline cheering me on playing for my school Rugby team.

where Shaun is now Headmaster. So Shaun decided to take The One Show cameras around the school to see the choristers at Reigate Grammar School, to the music recording studio and to his study. Alvin and Shaun spent time in his last years talking about life, families and all sorts of things in that study. It was clear that Alvin was as proud of Shaun as Shaun was of Alvin. In fact, Shaun reports that Alvin was never short of advice about how to run a successful school and often referred back to his own school days. But the high point of The One Show piece was when one of the school’s music groups performed My Coo Ca Choo, probably Alvin’s best-loved single, which peaked at number two in the UK singles chart in 1973 and was a world-wide number one hit record.

Being a star must be a huge thrill but being a Headteacher allows me to delight in the success and talent of the young people in our care every day. It is a privilege.” The One Show film on Shaun Fenton and Reigate Grammar School was aired on the BBC One on 16 February at 7.00pm.

Mr Fenton said, “I was really proud and actually quite emotional that the students had put in all that effort, in honour of my father. I was so grateful that they did that for me and also grateful that noone turned up wearing black leather or sporting a big black quiff hairstyle – that might have been just too much!

What people don’t often realise is that, behind the glam rock persona, he was a chorister and a grammar school boy from an independent school in Nottingham. This upbringing gave him very traditional values. We would often talk about the importance of good manners, of sport and of the difference that a great school can make.” Alvin’s musical education began when he became a choirboy at an independent grammar school – Southwell Minster Grammar School – that could have been very similar to Reigate Grammar School 03

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In Remembrance we stand united Cadets from all three sections of the RGS CCF attended Shaw’s Corner Remembrance Service on Sunday 8 November where Maddie Withers had the honour of laying a wreath on behalf of the school. This was followed on the Wednesday by RGS’ own Remembrance Service where the entire school came together to remember those who have given their lives in war. In a moving ceremony, bugler Yasmin Herbert played The Last Post and Reveille and silence was observed in memory of the fallen. The Corps of Drums played and Polyphony

sang Abide With Me as the senior cadets in all three sections of the CCF took a wreath to lay at the memorial by the library. There were readings from Head Boy Hugh Blayney, Second Former Phebe Gray, and Old Reigatian Mr Fred Lister (OR 1940-1947). Members of the Second Form observed a ceremony led by the School Chaplain, Mr Chesterton, in the Memorial Garden where Mr Lister also laid a wreath. Over 60 Old Reigatians who were at the school during WW2, or immediately after, stayed for the RGS Foundation’s War

Years Exhibition after the service. The exhibition included a wide-ranging display of photos of the school and its pupils during both World Wars, which featured a great many of the guests, as well as copies of The Pilgrim magazine from WW2 and a number of other original documents from the school archives. A book on the 55 names on the WW1 Memorial by the Library, meticulously researched and written by Mr John Rowlands (OR 19661973) and Mr Tony Morgan (OR 2004-2011) was also handed out to guests during the Exhibition.

CCF Celebrations In January, cadets from all year groups and sections attended this year’s CCF Recruit Training Cadre at Napier Barracks, Folkestone. In spite of bitterly cold conditions, Third Form recruits excelled in all areas covering basic drill and turnout, how to conduct themselves with integrity and meet the other CCF core values. They were instructed by senior


cadets, notably Amber Rothera, who delivered a fantastic lesson on major bleeds impressing the CCF Training Sgt. Awards were as follows: Best Recruit: Harvey Nutt; Most improved: Adam Browse; Best NCO: Isaac Osterreicher; and Best Cadet: Jonny Coyle. Commander Powell RNR attended the event to review the parade and judged the RAF Section to be the best drill team.

“The CCF is an important and immensely enjoyable part of life at Reigate Grammar School. The CCF has played a significant role in the school’s history since it was first established in 1907 and remains popular with both boys and girls who relish the challenges and training it brings.”

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FUN IN THE JUNGLE FOR SIXTH FORM BIOLOGISTS And GEOGRAPHERS This was truly ‘a trip of a lifetime’spending ten days studying tropical ecosystems in the Central American country of Belize.

males. Those of us brave enough to climb to the top of the High Pyramid were able to view the forest from above the canopy. What a spectacular site!

The first stop was in Miami and then onto Belize with our tour guides from Programme for Belize.

Later that afternoon we reached our final destination at Hill Bank, a working conservation field station, which is set amongst forest and with views over the New River lagoon. Students were happy to explore these very special surroundings. Over the course of our stay, we explored a looted Maya site and spotted Spider Monkeys, spent time with a family of Mennonite farmers, played a game of football against a group of students from the local village school, took part in sunrise birding, hiked on a medicinal trail through the forest, discovered the safe way to handle tarantulas and scorpions on a torch lit night walk, went croscorpions on a torch-lit night walk, went crocodile spotting (even getting within touching distance!) and floated on tubes down a mangrove lined creek and into the lagoon before taking part in a canoe race back to the jetty at Hill Bank. This is only skimming the surface of our adventure! In the evenings we were treated to lectures from the experts at Hill Bank on protection, research and

It became clear that Belize was not going to disappoint: the sights, sounds and smells had us all gripped in spite of the jet lag. None of us wanted to miss a thing! We transferred onto a boat to take us to the Lamanai archaeological site, once home to a major city of the Maya civilization. En route through the sub-tropical forest, our guides educated us on the flora and fauna of Belize including Black Orchids, the national flower of Belize, and the KeelBilled Toucan, the national bird. Other highlights were the Strangler Figs and Leaf Cutter Ants, images previously only seen in textbooks. The loud growling noises in the distance, likened to dinosaurs, actually belonged to a group of endangered Black Howler Monkeys and we were treated to a territorial stand-off between two groups of

conservation methods of Programme for Belize. We were all very sorry to leave the idyllic and magical location of Hill Bank as I think we all fell in love with this very special place. After a bus journey to Belize City, and a short water taxi ride, we arrived at our contrasting location of San Pedro on Ambergris Caye, an island in the Caribbean Sea. Here the students spent the remaining time learning to scuba dive (or for a few improving their previous skills) and every student new to diving managed to qualify as a PADI Open Water Scuba Diver. They were thrilled to encounter nurse sharks, turtles and even dolphins. When not diving, the students had the chance to explore the island. Our last evening was spent on a sunset catamaran trip along the coast followed by a barbecue at the dive shop. It was the perfect end to an amazing trip which definitely lived up to the hype of being ‘a trip of a lifetime.’


R e igate G R A M M AR SC HOOL

Sweeney Todd

Sold-out audiences raved about the Christmas production, as they filled the concert hall to the rafters to see Sweeney Todd – the macabre tale of a Victorian barber and his search for revenge. 06

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The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

With a revolving, gothic set, excellent orchestra and a cast and crew of over 80 students, the production of Sweeney Todd ran for five performances at the beginning of December. A truly ensemble event, the atmosphere and mood created by the entire cast and crew was electric. This passion and energy, combined with one of the most ambitious stage and lighting designs ever seen at the school, created a show that will live on long in the memory – especially for those who were splashed by stage blood! Cris Zaccarini and Oliver Massey shared the title role across the run, with Holly Bowling shining as Mrs Lovett, Sweeney’s landlady and partner in crime. Appearing in their last production at the

school were some familiar faces from over the years: Jack Kelly and Miranda Harding were endearing and engaging as the love-struck Anthony Hope and Johanna Barker, who drive the plot, while Megan Farnfield’s Beggar Woman was complex, nuanced and subtle. James Ingram as a sparkling Pirelli, Alex Pangalos’ deep, resonant Judge Turpin, Will Tuckwell as the sinister Beadle and Alex Moroni as Tobias showed that RGS drama will be in safe hands when the current Upper Sixth Form moves on, as did Katie Frost, who excelled when asked to step in and understudy at short notice. Sweeney Todd was directed by the new Deputy Director of Drama Mr Hugh Edwards, who joined RGS in September 2015. 07

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Iceland Trip Over February half term 41 students had the adventure of a lifetime visiting Iceland in winter for the Upper School Geography field trip. The trip highlights included bravely exploring pitch dark icy lava caves under the Blue Mountains, catching geyser eruptions at the world famous Geysir geothermal hot spot, shivering at huge frozen waterfalls and staying up late on freezing nights to catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights. Weather was the usual Icelandic combination of diamond-bright Arctic blue skies and frighteningly fierce glowery Atlantic storms. Whilst our whale watching trip failed to produce any sightings of whales, the rest of the trip was filled with the endless wonders of Southern Iceland‌ which was gripped in one of the snowiest winters of recent years. The staff were delighted to run the trip because the students had so much fun and also showed interested in their first experience of the land of ice and fire. PS: if you want to go there, contact Mr Collins first!


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Art Trip to Paris What a wonderful city: we started at Sacré-Cœur to take in the views of Paris, then went onto the Musée d’Orsay taking in beautiful paintings from the likes of Van Gogh, Gauguin, and the stunning sculptures of Degas. Day two we ventured over to the Pompidou Centre. It was wonderful to see such a variety of work: from Giacometti sculptures and vibrant Delaunay paintings to Kandinsky, Matisse, Picasso and Pop Art! We stopped for a traditional French lunch and then went off to the Rodin Museum, where we were in awe of the size, scale, complexity and the amount of time invested in his sculptures.

RGS Unplugged

Day three was the day we packed in as much as was physically possible! At 9.00am

we arrived at the Louvre; what an amazing museum. We could easily have spent all day there! We then took a stroll down to l’Orangerie where we experienced Monet’s magnificent Water Lilies and the work of the Impressionists and Post Impressionists. The Eiffel Tower was our next port of call for a couple of quick snaps, followed by a visit to Notre Dame: the stained glass windows and the architecture were awe inspiring. On our final day we managed to squeeze in a final gallery visit to the Musée des Arts Decoratifs where we saw a brilliant exhibition of wallpaper and fabric designs. One memorable piece was a video installation where the movement of the spectator’s bodies created digital paint splatters and made for much entertainment! Mrs Burns, Art & Design

The RGS Unplugged concert in February was another reminder of the number of talented musicians we have in the school. The students all selected and rehearsed their own pieces and performed them to an excellent standard. There are too many students involved to mention everybody, but First Former, Lily Fadai, deserves particular congratulations for putting herself forward to perform Jar of Hearts so brilliantly alongside much older students. Also, this marks the final RGS Unplugged concert for Rachel Dungate and Miranda Harding, who are the only performers ever to have performed in every school year at RGS since they joined RGS in the First Form. The Upper Sixth Form students dominated the programme and demonstrated a very high level of musicianship and talent. However, it was also evident that we have another strong group of performers in the lower years to fill the gap that they will leave behind. Congratulations to all who performed, once again this was an excellent and thoroughly enjoyable concert.


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Model United Nations


Day of the Dead comes to RGS

Two RGS MUN teams attended the London Oratory School’s Model United Nation Conference (LOSMUN) on Saturday 28 November. The day was absolutely brilliant, starting off with a brilliant speech from Nick Clegg and ending with a military coup in the DPRK. RGS had a great team of Afghani delegates, made up of Ben Adey, Harry Armstrong, Jo Welsh and Fraser Cadman who debated well, especially since this was some members’ first conference.

Third Form Geographers enjoyed a trip to London in late November, where part of the day was spent at The Crystal. Close to the O2 arena and home to the world’s largest exhibition on the future of cities, it is also one of the world’s most sustainable buildings. Students used the interactive displays to investigate a variety of urban and global issues. They also visited the Museum of London Docklands to learn about the changes and regeneration of the area around West India Dock and Canary Wharf. Upper Sixth Form Geographers attended a series of lectures at UCL’s Institute of Education. Topical issues of migration, globalisation, climate change, flooding and “planet oil” provided valuable material for the A2 geographers. Speakers included Professor Iain Stewart who has presented a number of science programmes for the BBC including “Earth: the power of the planet”.

“The Mexican... is familiar with death, jokes about it, celebrates it. True, there is as much fear in his attitude as in that of others, but at least death is not hidden away: he looks at it face to face, with impatience, disdain or irony.” Octavio Paz

Our experienced Russian delegation, consisting of Aaron Gilchrist, Tom Rowell, George Colvin, Robin Buchan, Charles Lee and George Beglan did extremely well. Aaron’s resolution about LGBT+ rights was passed with a slim majority after some intense discussion, while George and Charles achieved Highly Commended Delegate awards and Tom won the highly sought after Best Delegate award. Benedict Springbett was a guest chair, having received a special invitation from the school to take on this difficult role which he did with poise and expertise.

El Día de los Muertos – The Day of the Dead – is a holiday celebrated throughout Mexico which focuses on the gathering of family and friends to pray for and remember deceased loved ones. One of the Spanish classrooms was transformed into a unique pop up exhibition as a replica of a Mexican House on El Día de Los Muertos. There was an altar covered in photos, flowers, favourite foods of the deceased, candles and skeleton and skull replicas (the symbols of the day of the dead). The altar is used to welcome the spirits of dead ancestors back into the home. Students flocked to see the exhibition and not only learnt about this incredible festival, but they were also given the opportunity to remember lost loved ones. A survey about adopting this tradition in England was carried out and students voted favourably.

RGS Choral Honour In late January the RGS choir, Polyphony joined forces with RSM choristers to sing Evensong at Southwark Cathedral. The cathedral nestles in the busy area of London Bridge and Borough Market, overshadowed by the impressive heights of The Shard. After rehearsing in the historic choir room, the students processed down the cathedral aisle in formal gowns to stand in the stalls and sing the service as choirs have traditionally done for centuries. Mrs Glynne-Jones and Mr Carden were delighted with the singing and the students openly expressed how much they had enjoyed the experience. RGS has been invited back by the cathedral officiant, which is apparently a rare honour for a school choir! 10

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Spanish Exchange

Science Week Science Week at RGS once again had the whole school involved in a range of science activities from building bridges to handling exotic animals and attending lectures and demonstrations. The action packed week of interactive lessons allowed students to learn in environments other than the classroom. The sports hall became a lecture hall and building site, while the chemistry classrooms became a petting zoo. Every day saw something new, including a rather large tarantula walking the floor in the science block!

The Spanish exchange school, Maristas Cristo Rey, sent twenty Fourth Form Spanish students to visit our school and stay with RGS students as their guests. Excited, yet nervous, the group spent their first full day here going to lessons and experiencing British school life. Teachers warmly welcomed them to their lessons and some even added a Spanish twist to activities. All of the Spanish students really enjoyed the experience and left saying that they’d had an amazing time. We are looking forward to visiting them in April.

Careers Convention In January, around 70 delegates from a wide range of professional fields visited RGS for our biannual Careers Convention. Many careers were represented including Veterinary Science, the Civil Service and Racing. There were some very enlightening talks in the library which gave RGS and visiting students a real insight into studying abroad, careers in insurance and how to go about working out what you want to do! The various professions represented, provided such invaluable, honest and helpful advice to our students and their parents. The evening was a huge success and students are encouraged to visit the Careers Department in Cornwallis for any further advice.


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A Moment of Mozart On Tuesday 1 March a collection of RGS’ most dedicated singers gathered to perform A Moment of Mozart. My personal favourites included Miranda Harding with “Porgi Amor”, Ava Warriner with “Als Luise die Briefe ihres ungetreuen Liebhabers verbrannte” and Jack Kelly with “Se vuol ballare” but every single piece was amazing with the additional creative flare of Mrs Daniels. It was a great experience, albeit not an easy concert for me as I had to play Cherubino, who is a teenage boy! I was one of the few non drama students included however Mrs Jonas was adamant about the importance of performance aspect. Overall, though, it was a fun experience enjoyed by the cast and the audience alike and one which I hope will be repeated in the future. This all came about thanks to Mrs Jonas when a few of her students (myself included) happened to be learning different pieces from The Marriage of Figaro. In the intervening time she asked some of the other teachers if their students would like to showcase their work by putting on a show and it snowballed from there. The idea for the event was formed last year and involved 16 students performing a variety of pieces from The Magic Flute and Don Giovanni as well. Lavinia Horsfall, Fifth Form

Bella Italia Pasta Workshop The Fourth Form GCSE Food Technology students were treated to a pasta workshop run by specialist visitor, Mandy Kirsten-Foster. Students learnt to make pasta by hand, “The authentic way!” according to Mandy, whose enthusiasm and love of pasta was clear for all to see. The students made Ricotta and Spinach Ravioli with a sage and butter sauce, they then made beetroot pasta the “modern way” in a food processor and created a range of shapes from tagliatelle to farfalle. The students absolutely loved the workshop and they will be able to use their new practical skills for their controlled assessment work next year (and possibly for supper at home!). We look forward to Mandy returning and helping with more workshops in the future.

Off to Cambridge Thirty two members of the Lower Sixth Form visited Cambridge in January. They heard from the Admissions Tutor of Churchill College, Dr Jonathan Padley, about what Cambridge University has to offer and what the university was looking for in students. They had a tour of both Churchill College and Pembroke College as well as having some time to wander around the town soaking up the atmosphere, even spotting Professor Stephen Hawking!


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Weather Station Met Mark


RGS Weather Station was the first school in the country to win the new Royal Meteorological Society and Met Office “MetMark” award to recognize excellence in weather teaching and raising weather awareness. The school weather station has won wide acclaim amongst weather enthusiasts and professionals both locally and internationally in our quest to raise awareness of weather and climate. Amongst our varied activities, the school weather club won the award for our first high altitude balloon launch in November 2014, our own BBC school report on the eclipse weather and publication of weather club students, Jasmine Hull and George Beglan, in the RMetS Weather magazine in 2015. The school weather club is thriving and now has 20 enthusiastic student members who meet weekly to produce weekly forecasts and plan the next exciting weather activity. Remember the best view is up!

In February carnival celebrations took place in the Languages Department where students enjoyed Dominik’s presentation on this German festival. This included dancing, singing and sweet throwing. The atmosphere was electric!

Electives Mr Powell’s All About Boats, Elective group took place in the RGS swimming pool and saw Jake Foote demonstrating the use of an automatic life-jacket with the whole group gaining experience of swimming in light clothing with a buoyancy aid.

World Book Day On World Book Day, RGS welcomed a Year 5 class from St Matthew’s Church of England Primary School in Redhill for a creative writing masterclass. This was the culmination of a competition organised by Sixth Former Finty Hunter who invited Year 5 pupils from local junior schools to let their imaginations run wild and imagine their super hero powers by writing a story titled “If you could have a super power what would it be? What would you do with it? And Why?” The response was incredible and Finty was inundated with entries. The winning entry came from a pupil at St Matthew’s whose class was invited to join us for the masterclass. Each student received an anthology which included the winning and highly commended entries.

Thank you again to our German Assistant for his enthusiasm and for the sweets. Pupils found out that the Cologne Carnival (German: Kölner Karneval) is a carnival that takes place every year in Cologne, Germany. Traditionally, the “fifth season” (carnival season) is declared open at 11 minutes past 11 on the 11th of the 11th month, November. The Carnival spirit is then temporarily suspended during the Advent and Christmas period, and picks up again in earnest after the 6 January (Biblical Magi) in the New Year. The time of merrymaking in the streets is officially declared open at downtown square Alter Markt on the Thursday before the beginning of Lent. Street carnival, a week-long street festival, also called “The crazy days”, takes place between the Fat Thursday (Weiberfastnacht) and ends on Ash Wednesday (Aschermittwoch). The highlight of the carnival is Rose Monday (Rosenmontag), two days before Ash Wednesday. All through these days, Cologne folk go out masqueraded. The typical greeting during the festival is Kölle Alaaf!, a Kölsch phrase which can be translated as “Cologne above all!”


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Frothy, fun and musical, this piece of theatrical candy floss caused parents to reminisce and teenagers to cringe. Beyond the silly innuendo and laughs we saw a warming tale highlighting that being a good person wins in the end. A fantastic cast and crew took the audience on a journey through teenage angst and broken hearts. Heart thumping songs and toe-tapping dance routines kept everyone enthralled.


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Kieran Twaites has been awarded the Chief Scout Gold Award which is the highest award given to scouts who must complete eight challenge badges over their time in the Scouts.

Jenny Strange, Sixth Form student, has been awarded a certificate by the Royal Geographical Society. She became the joint highest achiever in the 2015 Edexcel International GCSE Geography exam. This Award for Excellence in Learning, highlights a passion for learning and a love of the subject.

It has taken Kieran two and a half years to complete all the work necessary (which very few scouts complete) to receive the coveted Gold award. Kieran also fulfils the role of Senior Troop Leader – a rare honour, seldom awarded – which allows him to assist in the running of the troop and organise camps and expeditions. Well done Kieran.

Biology Brilliance

RGS wins in CLFS language competition On 4 February twelve RGS students from the Second Form participated in the Love Languages Competition at City of London Freemen’s school. They performed a play in French, German, Spanish and Russian entitled, ‘Komm flieg mit mir! Allons-y! Vamanos!’ and won the competition in the Year 7 & 8 category. The students performing were: Leah Beglan, Ellie Bodkin, Lauren Crighton, Tally Goss, Charlie Jenner, 16

Stephanie Rockall, Edward Shires, Millie Wootten, James Lee, Leilah De Meza, Frederic Jebson and Jack Grant. Special thanks should also go to Freya MacTavish and Lois Rawlance who helped with the preparations and rehearsals but sadly couldn’t perform on the day. Thank you also to Dominik Doersching, our German assistant who helped so much with all the rehearsals and who also accompanied students on the day and of course to all colleagues in the MFL department who supported this project.

Just before Autumn half term, Biology Week was a huge success recognised by RGS students through creative challenges and quizzes, as well as specialist assemblies and lectures. The Junior Modelling Challenge, judged by Upper Sixth Form biologists Romy Evans, Lisha Madhyanum and Emon Uddin saw entries of an extremely high calibre for their artistic use of a range of media and scientific detail. Congratulations to Malvika Santosh, Jack Roberts and Jeevan Dhillon who were recognised as runners up in the extremely competitive Third Form category. Isabel North’s structure of a leaf was Highly Commended for her effective approach to labelling a model. Ellie Trimlett won the First Form prize for her model of DNA and Oliver Hartley won the Second Form prize for his Lego model of a Brachiosaurus. William Ayling scooped the title of Overall Winner for his eukaryotic cell showing the full A Level standard ultrastructure!

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Top of the Bench Four RGS chemists – Oscar SubuhSymons, Gabriele Brasaite, Kieran Twaites and Jack Roberts travelled to Ardingly College for the Top of the Bench Chemistry Competition – and won – placing RGS as the top school in Surrey and Sussex for chemistry beating St Paul’s, Burgess Hill and hosts, Ardingly. There are two further heats to go before we hope to represent the region in the national finals in the Summer term.

MATHS MAGIC After fantastic performances in the Senior Maths Challenge, the BMO1 and BMO2, Fifth Former Connie Bambridge-Sutton, has been invited to attend the Olympiad Training Session at Trinity College, Cambridge which takes place over five days during the Easter holidays. Connie is one of only 22 students in the whole country to have been invited, which is a momentous achievement and we are all delighted by her success. Of the 22 students attending, half of them will be picked to represent the UK in various international competitions taking place this summer. Connie is very young to have been picked, most students attending will be from the Sixth Form. It should be an amazing experience, whether or not she is picked for one of the UK teams.

MFL BLOG LAUNCH On Thursday 25 February the MFL Sixth Form Blog was launched to a captive audience of French, German and Spanish A Level students. The blog has been designed to support students’ independent study by sorting the most up-to-date current affairs from France, Germany and Spain on one easily accessible page. Hopefully it will prove popular with teachers, students and parents alike. The blog can be accessed at


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House Events House Sports Winter House Sports saw an exhilarating and fun morning of hockey and rugby.

House Gun Run In the first House competition of the term – the House Gun Run – Bird came first, with Cranston, Williamson and Hodgson in second, third and fourth place respectively.


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Pancake races

House Bake Off

The House Pancake race in honour of Shrove Tuesday, saw much merriment in the playground. First Former, Lily Fadai, beat Third Former, Corey May, in a thrilling dash across the playground which included obstacles, flipping and a mad sprint for the finish line. Well done to all, you have done your houses proud.

It’s been a very busy term for our bakers. There were a large number of students who make cupcakes in the hope of being selected to represent their house. The standard of entry was very high and the tasters certainly enjoyed tasting them! When the finalists had been selected the cupcakes were sold at morning break and raised £164.45 for the House Charities.

In the Junior Bake Off Final, the quality and presentation of the flavoured short bread was outstanding. The entries were judged by Mrs Bader, Miss Godbold and the Headmaster. Many congratulations to our Junior Finalists: Lucy Bushell, Tom Tatham, Florence Kirsten-Foster, Annalise Hansen, Amelie Davies, Ellie Genillard and Thomas Elkeles.


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RGS SPORT RGS Golf Success

U14 Triumph at Surrey 7s Tournament We arrived at John Fisher in wet weather which made the conditions tough to play in and on top of that our minibus got stuck before we had even stepped on the field. As we couldn’t get the minibus out, we left it there and made our way to our first match against the formidable Whitgift.

The 1st V golf team won the prestigious Smarden Bell in September. This is a major competition for nine of the top independent schools in the South East. The winning team pictured was; Olly Kail, Tom Riddick, Sam Brill (c), Alex Skinner and Sam Dukes.

The RGS XV rugby team was joined by England and Wasps rugby star, Elliot Daly to guest coach a team training session. Elliot immediately got to work testing out the boys’ handling and decision making skills before putting them into various match play scenarios. All the boys thoroughly enjoyed hearing fantastic advice from a current star of the game who was very impressed by what he saw, in particular the effort put in by the squad during the fitness work at the end. The session clearly inspired Elliot because he then put in a man of the match performance for Wasps against Leinster the following weekend! 20

It was a hard fought match and we played with pace and physicality but at the final whistle we had not done enough. Not a bad start but not the start we wanted. Epsom College were our next opponents and they are a very strong side. We played really positively but were unfortunate and lost two tries to one. Thankfully, after two tough games, we came through to win our last three games, finishing 3rd in our group. In the semis we faced Rutlishians who came third in their group so we knew it could be tough. Our confidence gave us the push to beat them which put us in the final against St John’s. After being beaten by them earlier in the season, the team knew we would have to play at our best in order to win. It was an amazing game!

At full time the scores were tied and we went to ‘Golden Point’, and what a point it was! Both teams tried their hardest to win but after a drawn out battle, we managed to draw in their defence and capitalise on the space left on the wing. Some slick passing put Joe Jenner over to score the winning try and our first Silverware of the Year. Unfortunately, our celebrations were interrupted as we all had to push the minibus out before we could go home! I am extremely proud of Owen Knowles, Nat Kenyon, Will Timmons, Theo Ellis, Joe Jenner, Theo Colvin, Matt North, Patrick Florida-James, Tom Leitch, Matteo Villa and Harrison Watts. I hope we carry this good form into the upcoming tournaments. Finn Skinner, Captain RGS U14

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RGS KNOCK OUT HARROW! Reigate Grammar School put in an astonishing display of determination as they knocked Harrow out of the NatWest Cup with a superb 25-18 victory on Harrow soil. Reigate has been impressive all year, losing just once all season, but Harrow was expected to be their toughest test yet; a top quality side playing on a top quality circuit. They might well have been, but Reigate came through that test with flying colours as they played with an intensity, particularly at the breakdown, that Harrow struggled to live with. It was a measure of Reigate’s mental strength as well as their physical ability that they were able to secure the crucial try before the half time whistle, Max Coyle again was at the heart of things, releasing his full back, Joe Wills, an electric threat all day, down the right hand touchline to secure a most crucial of tries. It sent Reigate in at the break 18-10 up, perhaps not as much as they might have liked, given the wind, but enough to give them something secure to hold on to through the second half.

It certainly felt crucial as the second half began. The wind picked up and was now followed by a nasty rain being blasted through the pitch too. With it, Harrow was on top and putting pressure on Reigate right from the off. A Ford penalty narrowed things to 18-13, a straight from the kick off Harrow put boot to ball, sent themselves back into Reigate territory, and camped there. Reigate simply could not escape and eventually Harrow secured possession and launched a series of narrow attacks. With defenders sucked in, they looked wide, but as they floated the ball wide it was plucked from the air by the Reigate paw of who else but Max Coyle. He was on his own five metre line as he gobbled the ball up but showed superb pace, and stamina, once again to go coast to coast and finish off underneath the sticks for the most sensational of tries. Overtoom converted easily and suddenly, almost against the run of play at this stage, Reigate was 25-13 up.

It was a sensational moment, but it was the reaction to it that was perhaps what made it the decisive moment of the match. Reigate’s intensity at the breakdown became something that Harrow could not live with. While Harrow dominated possession, Reigate’s work at the breakdown was making it slow and scrappy, and was forcing a lot of handling errors from Harrow at close quarters. Harrow got to seven points behind at 25-18, but with a draw still sending Reigate through, the last few minutes were frantic, with Harrow knowing they had to score twice and Reigate doing everything that they could to stop them. Stop them they did, and how outstanding for Reigate Grammar School it was that they did. This group did wonderful things as Colts, and have been superb all year. After a win of this magnitude, they will be well and truly on the nation’s schools rugby radars now. Full Time: Harrow 18-25 Reigate Grammar School


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Going for GB Gold Niamh Brown, Sixth Form student, was recently selected to represent Great Britain as part of the GB Team in the Great Edinburgh Cross Country Competition. This fantastic honour came hot on the heels of Niamh winning a Silver medal at the European Cross Country Trials. Niamh ran in the Nationals in Castle Donnington at the end of February and became National Under 17 Cross Country Champion 2016. She also anchored her team to win gold. We are excited about what Niamh will achieve next.


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Biathlon Success RGS had enormous success in the Surrey Schools Biathlon Championships with 32 students competing at the K2 Leisure Centre in Crawley. Each student completed a run and a swim to earn points towards an overall total. For many, this was their first Biathlon and they should be really proud of their efforts. RGS had a very successful day with top ten finishes achieved by: Machayla Dewdney (5th U13 Girls) Owen Knowles (5th U15 Boys) Tomos Knowles (6th U13 Boys) Oliver Leitch (8th U12 Boys) Jemima Potter (10th U13 Girls) Charlotte Robinson (2nd U19 Girls) Georgina Robinson (1st U17 Girls) Ashleigh Smith (3rd U15 Girls) Toby Stewart (8th U13 Boys)

Cross Country RGS had a very successful day at the Surrey County Cross-Country competition held in Reigate. Niamh Brown and Oscar SubuhSymons both qualified for the Nationals having won the senior girls’ race and coming fourth in the intermediate boys’ race respectively and a number of students also qualified for the inter-counties events. Well done to: Lucy Broderick, Patrick Florida-James, Lily Grant, Clara Grinyer, Theo Lewis, Charlotte Robinson, Georgina Robinson and Freya Taylor.

RGS Outreach Hockey The RGS Sports department has been teaching Year 4 students from Reigate Priory Junior School hockey and rugby in their PE lessons. The community programme aims to allow local schools to share staff experience and facilities with RGS. Mrs Wickham, Mr Birkett and Mr Bowen organised and delivered the lessons, which engaged and encouraged the students to try new skills and play as part of a team. Mr Moses, Headmaster at Reigate Priory Junior School said, ‘We are extremely grateful for their enthusiasm and experience!’ Pupils from Reigate Priory Junior School had this to say about the lessons: ‘It was epic learning hockey at Hartswood and our favourite part was playing matches on the astro-turf. It made us want to play hockey for life and we can’t wait to play rugby next!’ Jake and Freddie (4LY) ‘We loved playing hockey on the astroturf at Hartswood. We had a great time and the coaches were very kind and funny!’ Tess and Ava (4LY)

‘Rugby was really fun! We learnt so much - we learnt to pass backwards and we learnt invasion skills. Our favourite game was Zombie Chief!’ Oscar and Oliver (4LP) ‘We loved going to Hartswood and enjoyed playing rugby games, especially Zombie Chief. It was a treat to be taught by Reigate Grammar School teachers and we have really improved our backwards passing.’ Maddy and Isobel (4LP) RGS was delighted to have reached 140 local students, allowing them to learn and play sports which they may not have played before. ‘We have amazing facilities at RGS Hartswood and it is a pleasure to be able to share these with the surrounding community. Sport is so important in promoting healthy living and is the ideal way for children to learn new skill sets in and out of school.’ Mrs Wickham


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EVO Hockey Camps

UNDER 15 JERSEY HOCKEY WEEKEND The first weekend of half term saw 31 boys and girls involved in the traditional trip to Jersey to play a series of matches against local opposition. Success on the field was subsequently forthcoming, with three wins and a draw from a total of six matches played by the group. Players enjoyed the opportunity to pit their skills against opponents not normally encountered, and all squad members were able to make significant contributions to the on-field achievements of their respective teams. There was also time for a team dinner at a local restaurant as well as a visit to the picturesque St Brelade’s Bay for a stroll on Sunday morning. The students interacted positively with each other and their behaviour was a credit to the school.

Hockey Tour Forty First and Second Form girls travelled to the West Country in the last weekend of November for the Taunton Hockey Tour 2015. The girls played a total of 16 matches and only lost two. They also managed to fit in a film night with an opposition school, bowling, swimming and Pizza Express meal and all came home very tired, but happy.


EVO Hockey was formed in 2015, with the aim of providing the most innovative hockey camps and coaching services in the UK. Although we have been relatively recent in forming, we have been developing our coaching models and ideas for a number of years. EVO Hockey was founded by Chris Bowen who was Head of Hockey at Epsom College and then Head of Hockey Development at Whitgift School, in which he was involved with numerous championship winning junior teams. He is currently Performance Director for Hockey at Reigate Grammar School. Our camp models were developed and tested successfully within that environment and we then decided to launch them last year. At our last camp in February, our coaches included senior and junior international players from Germany, Australia, Great

Britain, Czech Republic, Wales and Sri Lanka. Our camps are quite unique in the way we approach the coaching – we seek to show young players a variety of different international playing/coaching styles and philosophies, and encourage them to be creative rather than overly formulaic in their play. We also aim to inspire youngsters with love for the sport and our coaches also act as mentors, so young players get to know them individually as well. Our camps usually have Q&A sessions, where youngsters can find out about the athletes and also get to see and hold medals from the Olympics, EuroHockey Championships etc. Although EVO Hockey Camps are run at different venues throughout South London and Surrey, EVO has recently formed a partnership with Reigate Grammar School as their base.

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RGS Hockey Makes History The hockey programme at Reigate Grammar School has been steadily improving over the past few years. With a team of dedicated staff and motivated pupils, RGS has experienced positive results across the board each year. With this success being impossible to ignore, the decision was made to invest in a second astro pitch. This dream was made a reality when, in 2013, the second astro was launched. Even though it is still in its infancy, the birth of the second pitch has enabled hockey at RGS to increase and flourish. In line with the expansion of Hartswood, RGS decided to increase the hockey expertise on the coaching front and appointed Chris Bowen as Performance Director for Hockey in September 2015. The RGS Hockey Centre at the Hartswood ground is pleasing on the eye as the facilities are world-class. However, various planning permission restrictions have limited the time and availability with which both RGS and Reigate Priory Hockey Club may utilise these facilities. These include not being able to train or play on the new astro after 3pm on Saturdays and not at all on Sundays, together with nothing permitted on the pitch from 6.30pm on week nights. Considering RGS runs up to 16 teams, together with the ever-growing Reigate Priory Hockey Club based at Hartswood, it has been a logistical concern which has hampered the programme of both the School and the club somewhat. Even with these constraints placed upon the programme, RGS has made hockey history this year by qualifying for the South Rounds of the national hockey competitions, across three age groups in the same year, for the first time in its history. The U14 A girls competed in the Surrey competition and managed to qualify for the next round by defeating Lord Wandsworth

in a place-off game for the spot in the next round. Win a 3-1 win over their Hampshire opponents, the girls travelled to Stowe School in Buckinghamshire where they competed against Wellington College, Royal Latin and Headington. It was a truly successful day for the team who won, lost and drew their fixtures. Unfortunately, they were not able to qualify for the play-offs due to goal difference. The U16 A team was introduced to a ‘Performance’ style programme this year for the first time. The team was made up of U15 and U16 players as RGS implemented their successful Player Development Programme (PDP). This enables players who demonstrate higher hockey ability to be tested in the age group above. The team pulled together strongly and trained harder and more frequently than they have before. They demonstrated maturity and talent which was excellent to witness as they qualified for the South competition by defeating Epsom College in a tightly contested match 2-1. The team was placed in a difficult group for the South competition with prestigious hockey schools. They played with a fast, exciting and attacking style and won all their matches beating Surbiton 6-2, The Portsmouth Grammar School 3-0 and Ardingly 3-1. In the quarter-final round, RGS was seeded against giants Wellington College. The game was a nervy affair with Wellington dominating the first half and going into half-time with a 1-0 lead. The RGS girls started the second half ferociously and continued to pressure the opposition until they were rewarded to level the score. For the remainder of the match, RGS peppered the Wellington goal and their goal keeper made some impressive saves. The RGS play was relentless however Wellington managed to snuff out any clear cut goal scoring chance.

Wellington’s resilience paid off as with only minutes remaining, they managed to break away and slot the ball home for a 2-1 lead. The RGS girls threw everything they had at the opposition but Wellington held strong. It was a disappointing end to what was the RGS girls’ best performance this season so far. That is the way sport goes sometimes and we will come back stronger for it. Lastly, the U18 girls squad was invited to attend the Surrey Indoor Hockey competition held at JAGS. Chris Bowen and the RGS staff started up the indoor programme this year at RGS with the girls attending morning practices. The girls adapted well to the different format of the game and began to show real promise. However, with injuries, illness and academic pressures, the team was limited in its selection and only six of the girls were available to play. This meant we had no substitution players so we would have to manage ourselves physically. The girls stuck to the game plan and adapted to the opposition (Kingston Grammar School, Godolphin & Latymer and hosts JAGS). Their performances were outstanding and they managed to qualify second, thus being put through to the South competition. The girls applied themselves well at the tournament. Results were not favourable, as expected due to having a really young team. It has been a fantastic year so far for hockey at Reigate Grammar School. The hard working staff should be commended on their motivation, commitment and attitude in training and improving the girls thus far. However, this is simply the beginning. RGS has high ambitions for their hockey programme and with further pillars being put in place, the future looks bright. 25

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Fencing Luke Jones competed in the Miller-Hallet London International Open EpÊe Competition, which is one of the top senior events in Europe and won half his key poule matches including wins against the U17 Commonwealth Champion and members of the British U20 squad. Luke also competed in an U17 British Selection Competition against 73 of the top cadet fencers in Great Britain winning all of his six poule matches and after a further six direct elimination fights was eventually placed 10th – his best ever result at this level which now improves his British U17 ranking to 18th.

High Five NETBALL Success Congratulations to the U12 and U13 Netball teams who took part in the first round of the Surrey County Netball competition in January. Both teams played fantastic netball, winning all but one of their matches. They have now qualified for the Surrey finals later this term. This success means that all five Reigate Grammar School A netball teams, from U12 through to the U18 VII team, have qualified for the Surrey Finals. This is a huge achievement and displays the strength and depth of netball talent at the school. Girls will be training hard across all age groups in the coming weeks and months and will be targeting a top three position in the county.


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SWIMMING In September the year got off to a great start with our most successful Surrey Relay Championship ever. We fielded teams in all races were crowned Surrey Champions in two events – Junior Boys (U13) Medley Relay and Senior Girls Medley. We also achieved two silver medals for Senior Girls Freestyle and Inter Girls (U15) Medley Relay along with Bronze Medals for Inter Boys (U15) Medley Relay and Junior Boys (U13) Freestyle Relay. Following our success at the Championships our Juniors Boys team qualified for the Nationals at the Olympic Park and had a most successful day improving on their placing of 29th to come 20th in the Country. In the District Competition we won the Senior Girls, Lower Junior Boys and Juniors Boys events. We were the only school in the District to be placed in the top three for every age group. We also had our best every results in the Trinity Group Competitions with the girls winning the First and Second Form event for the first time ever and the First Form boys placing 2nd and Second Form boys 4th. Aside from the main competition we have had a number of ‘friendly’ competition wins including CLFS, Dunottar, Wimbledon College and Caterham. Swimming continues to go from strength to strength and we look forward to seeing school records tumble in the Summer Term internal events.

Flying Frisbee! 12 Upper School pupils attended the UK Ultimate Junior Indoor Tournament in Wolverhampton. The team competed against the top Ultimate (Frisbee) teams in the country. Despite only a short amount of time to train after the mocks before the tournament the team worked excellently together.

Thanks to Mr Dare and Mrs Garcia for their support on the trip and especially to Old Reigatians Jordan Sloan (OR 2012) and Mike Eliss (OR 2013) who offered invaluable advice and support for the team, including a three hour training session ran by Jordan on the Sunday before tour and in depth video analysis by both.

We set off at 5:45am on Saturday and competed in six intense games over the course of the day. The team really developed over the tournament and learnt a great deal by playing against more experienced players. By the final game on Sunday the team had made the plate final and played Air Badgers 3. Despite a gutsy performance they lost 10-7; in addition to the plate, Air Badgers were winners of the main tournament too. Our result placed us 10th Nationally which is a great result. The players voted Mark Pangalos their Most Valuable Player, Lewis James Most Improved Player and Nick Pangalos was awarded Golden Disc for most points scored. 27

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RGS Foundation

RGS Foundation at the House of Commons On Monday 14 September a large number of Reigatians attended a House of Commons River Terrace Reception hosted by Crispin Blunt MP for Reigate, and on behalf of the RGS Foundation. This was a splendid evening which raised awareness of the work of the Foundation, particularly with the important Changing Lives campaign and also to celebrate the School’s 340th anniversary. The highlight of the evening was a memorable violin solo performed by Karolina Csathy (OR 2015), who took up a place at Cambridge to study Music in October. Karolina also gave an emotional speech highlighting the impact the bursary she received has had on her life.

“I promise to continue to make the most of the opportunities available to me, because I am constantly reminded of the journey which has brought me here and realise that it began with the gift of a Reigate Grammar education.” Karolina Csathy


RGS London Professionals September saw another very successful RGS London Professionals event take place at Commerzbank with the backdrop of magnificent views over Guildhall and the city. It was especially pleasing to see such a wide spectrum of attendees at various stages of their career. We had current RGS Sixth Form Economic students, recent leavers who are just starting out on graduate programmes and Managing Directors who have years of experience behind them. It was fantastic to see all these groups mingling and chatting with each other in a relaxed professional environment. Thank you to Christopher Day (OR 1978) General Manager, Head of Leveraged Finance at Commerzbank for making the evening such a success.

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THE REIGATE CHARITY 7s 2016 A HUGE SUCCESS Sunday 6 March saw over 40 schools descend upon the RGS Hartswood for the 2016 Reigate Charity 7s sponsored by John Laing. Now established as one of the most prestigious and popular schools’ rugby tournaments for U18s in England, it attracts teams from across the country.

570 players 103 matches 20 referees

Over 2000 visitors enjoyed an action-packed tournament with passion, teamwork and skill on display. In the Boys’ Cup Final, a young and talented Reigate Grammar School side lost 34-14 to powerful Harrow School team that included Jacob Ford, the younger brother of George, current England fly-half. These young schoolboys were lucky to have the services of Wayne Barnes, England’s premier international referee and a week before taking charge of Scotland v France. Meanwhile, in the Girls’ competition SGS Filton produced a fantastic display of attacking rugby to overcome a valiant Christ’s Hospital side 49-5. “The Reigate Charity 7s brings together so many of the best features of today’s young people and we celebrate their talent, team work and personal dedication. Whilst winning is important, I welcome the traditional sporting values attributed to this great game and these cultural ingredients that makes it so special. As all of the schools represented at the tournament know, so much is learned on the sports field that can help prepare a young person for later life.” Shaun Fenton Headmaster, Reigate Grammar School “We were delighted to welcome England and Wasps star Joe Simpson along with International Rugby World Cup and Aviva Premiership referee, Wayne Barnes, as our special guests for the day. Now an established charity event, significant sums were raised for Breast Cancer Now and the RGS Foundation’s Changing Lives Campaign which looks to create life-changing educational opportunities for children from disadvantaged backgrounds. We are extremely grateful to all of our sponsors. Sport and charity have always had a close association with each other and this event was no exception, highlighted by the overwhelming support of all our commercial partners.” Jonny Hylton RGS Foundation, Tournament Director


The Autumn term saw the official opening of the new RGS Hartswood Tea Pavilion which has been generously funded by the RGS Parents’ and Friends’ Association. It will be used to serve pitch-side refreshments to spectators on the astro-turf as well as post-match teas to the players during mid-week fixtures. Thank you to Mrs Philippa Withers (former PFA chair) and the committee for choosing to support this exciting new addition to RGS Hartswood.

Catch Up Online As this newsletter illustrates, RGS is an action-packed school with a wealth of news and activities happening around the clock. To keep up to date, visit our website or join in with RGS online:

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