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the johnian Once St John’s... always St John’s

The Magazine for Association Members and Past Parents of St John’s College School


Upcoming Events Association Day 9th July 2018 Golf Day 13th July 2018

Innovations: Flexible Learning & Sustainability

News from over 190 members Also available online at

63-75 Grange Road, Cambridge CB3 9AB ~ 01223 353532 ~

The Eaglet 2017

The Eaglet 2015

Please contact Mr Robert Grove ( or Senior House Reception ( 01223 353532) to request a copy of The Eaglet 2017 or our annual summary, Highlights 2017

Front Cover: Anthony Fray at Machu Picchu Back Cover: Anna Colquhoun

© St John’s College School

the johnian Once St John’s... always St John’s


editor’s letter


head’s welcome



choir tour












44 eaglets to pelicans

46 dr maxwell retires






diary dates

47 memories rekindled

staying in touch To keep abreast of current school news throughout the year please visit our homepage,, where you’ll see links to recent news articles and publications and follow us on Twitter @SJCS_Cambridge for up to the minute news. You can also subscribe to receive email newsletters using the link at the bottom of the Alumni page of the website. Please note that with the upcoming changes to data protection legislation, we will be contacting anyone who is currently registered to receive email newsletters asking you to confirm your consent to continue to receive them. Should you wish to manage your preferences you will find a link at the bottom of each newsletter or you can alternatively contact Mr Grove directly to ask for your preferences to be changed at any time. If you’d like to keep receiving emails from us, please do make sure you take action to confirm your consent by 25th May 2018. Producing The Johnian is possible thanks to your kind submission of news and photographs. Please help us to make next year’s edition even better by staying in touch. You will find a form enclosed for this purpose.

getting involved The enrichment programme at Senior House continues to flourish by providing a varied diet of activities for the children. We have enjoyed successful visits from a handful of former pupils and would be delighted to welcome back any of you who would be interested in returning to St John’s to enlighten, amuse or excite the children with details of what life can offer. Please let Mr Grove know if you would be keen to do so. It has been wonderful in recent years to welcome several former pupils back to St John’s to perform alongside current pupils in concerts at the West Road Concert Hall. Former pupils have joined the school’s Visiting Music Teachers to form a chamber orchestra which has accompanied current pupils as soloists in performances of various concerto movements.

horse racing ‘taster’ event On Tuesday 17th July 2018, past parents, racehorse trainer James Fanshawe and his wife Jacko, would like to welcome Association members and other past parents to a ‘taster’ morning at Pegasus Stables in Newmarket, where their son Tom has also been working. If you are interested in horse racing, this will be an opportunity to visit the stables, speak to James and go out onto Newmarket Heath to watch some horses on the gallops. If after visiting the stables you would like to take your interest in horse racing further, Mr Grove would like to invite you to consider the possibility of purchasing a share in a racehorse as part of a syndicate, the members of which would all have connections to the school, either as former pupils or as past parents, with the horse being trained by James. Over the years, St John’s has had numerous connections to the horse racing fraternity in Newmarket and this could be a good way to both further your interest in this sport and to keep in touch with other Association members and past parents. If you would like to attend the ‘taster’ morning and/or would like more information about the possibility of joining a syndicate, please contact Mr Grove.

The Tin Man, trained by James Fanshawe, winning the Champions Sprint at Ascot

Tom Fanshawe (2nd from right) with The Tin Man (Both photos courtesy of Jacko Fanshawe)

editor’s letter Dear Association Members and Past Parents, Welcome to this year’s edition of The Johnian. This magazine is designed to share members’ news and keep you all in touch with current school developments. The success of the previous publications has been the result of all the news items which I received from you and your contribution of such wonderful photographs; please continue to send us high resolution images to illustrate your news. The magazine starts with a word from the Headmaster, Mr Neil Chippington, which is then followed by a look at some of our recent innovations in teaching and learning as we continue to evolve and improve. You will then find members’ news, initially from those of you at secondary school and then arranged by decade. After this there are some articles, which include a series of interviews with Association members who currently teach at The Perse Upper. I intend to have interviews as a regular feature within future publications. Many of you will be sad to read of the death of former pupils Georgina Gatenby (née Cross) and Rajen Mahendra, as well as that of Mrs Muriel Andrew, who was the Headmaster’s Secretary and later the Registrar at the school, following which she was responsible the administration of the Association. We then close with details of upcoming events and dates for your diary. Please remember to contact me with news and photographs at any time, either using the enclosed form or by email. It is good to hear what members have been doing and, though some time may have elapsed before it appears in print, I know you too very much appreciate reading this news. The school will be saying farewell at the end of the Summer Term 2018 to Dr Sarah Maxwell, who has announced that she will be retiring after teaching at St John’s for thirty-eight years, which is an outstanding achievement. Dr Maxwell joined the staff in September 1980 and has taught Religious Studies, English and Latin, as well as being responsible for the school Chapel for many years and editing the school magazine, The Eaglet, for nine years. She also managed to find the time, alongside her teaching commitments, to complete her doctorate. I am sure that many of you will have been inspired by her wonderful teaching and will have fond memories of her playing songs on “Gordon”, the guitar. Also retiring at this time will be Mrs Mary Skinner, who has given thirty-six years of fantastic service to St John’s as a Teaching Assistant at Byron House, as well as working in the Boarding House for eight years. I trust that you would like to join me in wishing each of them all the best for a very happy retirement and to that end there will be a special tea in their honour on the afternoon of Association Day (Monday 9th July 2018). Although I have retired from teaching at St John’s after thirty-five years, I am continuing to look after the Association and its members and would be very happy to tour around the school anyone who might be interested to see how much it has changed in recent years. Please also get in touch if you are keen on returning to St John’s to be part of our enrichment programme or if you are musical and would like to participate in the school’s Summer Concert. In addition, now that I have more time to devote to the Association, I am hoping to set up some other ways of bringing members together, for example our new horse racing ‘taster’ event which you can read about on the page opposite. Please do let me know of any plays, concerts, sporting fixtures, book launches, exhibitions or anything of interest in which you might be involved as I would be delighted to come along to support you. Finally, I send you all my best wishes and look forward to seeing many of you during the year, whether it might be at Association events, at your own ventures or whenever you might simply be passing along Grange Road. Yours ever,

Robert Grove

the johnian 2018 ~ editor’s letter


a word from the headmaster The end of the school year is a time for congratulating, celebrating and thanking. Speech and Sports Day in July 2017 was an occasion to congratulate all the children in the school, celebrate some wonderful achievements and thank everyone who works so hard to make St John’s such a wonderful school and community: children, staff, governors and parents. It was also a chance to thank our most thoughtprovoking and entertaining speaker, the Right Reverend Graeme Knowles, former Dean of St Paul’s Cathedral. It was also an opportunity to say farewell to a few members of staff and to Robert Grove in particular. Robert’s 35 years of service to St John’s has been remarkable and his dedication and loyalty should be an important lesson for our children. Robert remains very much a part of the St John’s family as he continues to do invaluable work in keeping in touch with our former pupils and their families. 2018 is to see the retirement of an even longer standing member of staff and there will be much to celebrate and thank as we say farewell to Dr Sarah Maxwell at the end of the summer term after 38 years’ extraordinary service. ‘Here is Edward Bear, coming downstairs now, bump, bump, bump on the back of his head, behind Christopher Robin. It is, as far as he knows, the only way of coming downstairs, but sometimes he feels that there really is another way, if only he could stop bumping for a moment and think of it.’ I hope that A.A. Milne would value what we try and achieve at St John’s. We live in an increasingly complex, busy and unpredictable world and the challenge for educationalists is to work out what is best for our children who are growing up in a time of great change. We can’t afford to ignore environmental matters, particularly as the number of people in our city, country and world increase. Neither can we ignore the exponential change in the use of technology. There are many who believe that a large proportion of the jobs in which our children will be employed have not even been thought of yet. As artificial intelligence takes its hold on society and the jobs market so, it seems to me, aspects of our world computers and robots can’t replicate – human interaction with other humans – will become ever more important. So, we need to stop for a moment, stop ‘bumping’ along and give ourselves a moment to think of that other way of doing things. Anyone who has gone


the johnian 2018 ~ a word from the headmaster

downstairs headfirst will know that it hurts. In a world where there is so much hurt and where we see levels of anxiety and the number of mental health issues amongst young people rising, one can only feel that there must be another way. St John’s has an enviable culture of innovation which my predecessor, Kevin Jones, had instilled over many years. A current parent wrote this during the 2016 – 2017 academic year: ‘SJCS really does have the courage of its convictions. They put great curriculum and inspiring people behind things that other schools don’t even do. The focus on emotions for learning, philosophy and character development isn’t just window-dressing, it’s at the core of what the school offers. It’s about developing the whole child of which the academic experience is just part. It shows real bravery from the school to work like this. As an ex-governor of a similar school I can tell you with near certainty they are continuously resisting the siren call to focus on what can be easily measured and inspected.’ It is so important for the school to continue being innovative and always ask itself whether it is doing the best for the children in its care and their future. Our Emotions for Learning programme is vital to us and its value only increases; the school will therefore continue to develop this part of its work. It will also extend creative and critical thinking in the curriculum and keep our children asking questions and being as good philosophers as they can. I hope our children will never be afraid to ask difficult questions of their teachers, of what they read online or elsewhere and continuously seek the truth in all they study. Jacob Bronowski, in the book which accompanied the extraordinary BBC series ‘The Ascent of Man’ said, “It is important that students bring a certain ragamuffin, barefoot, irreverence to their studies. They are not here to worship what is known, but to question it”. The school will continue to help our children understand the importance of kindness, courage, resilience and curiosity and make sure we provide the most caring environment we can for them to thrive. We want them to have the courage to make mistakes, for that is, of course, how we learn. As adults, we are certainly not perfect and do not get things right all of the time. We can also learn from what we get wrong if we have the courage to admit to failure. By having the courage of our convictions as a school, understanding the importance of continuous learning for ourselves and instilling a love of learning in our children, we will remain a great place of education. Even if the future might be unpredictable, it is an exciting place and St John’s has an exciting part to play in that future. The school continues to thrive and we are in the fortunate position of having a great many parents interested in sending their children here. I hope that those of you who are past pupils, parents and staff will continue to stay in touch and always feel that you are part of the vibrant community of St John’s. You are always welcome here. Neil Chippington

choir tour St John’s College Choir completed a successful Christmas Concert tour to Birmingham, Budapest, and Berlin, performing alongside the renowned concert organist Thomas Trotter. In Budapest, the Choristers were able to visit a Christmas market where they could do a spot of Christmas shopping for their families and sample some local delicacies. The Müpa Budapest (formerly ‘Palace of the Arts’) is a relatively new venue (2004) with a variety of different performance spaces. The concert below took place in the Béla Bartók National Concert Hall, which has one of Europe’s largest organs, built under the cooperation of Pécsi Orgonaépítő Manufaktúra and Mühleisen Orgelbau Stuttgart.

Top: St John’s College Choristers enjoying their time in Budapest; Bottom: St John’s College Choir performing in Budapest as part of their Christmas Choir Tour 2017; Photos courtesy J Beddoe

the johnian 2018 ~ choir tour


innovations Flexible Learning One of the most important skills to develop in our children is the ability to think flexibly to help them prepare for tomorrow’s world. Our children need the skills to be good learners - to learn how to learn so that they can develop their own strategies to solve problems and evaluate their own learning. This might include developing a sense of ownership and purpose in their learning as well as enabling them to reflect on what they are doing well and what they need to do better.


the johnian 2018 ~ innovations

Teachers have been exploring a range of creative approaches to developing flexibility of thinking, which fall into three main groups: a ‘My Mind’ curriculum (including Mindfulness and ‘Learning Dispositions’), ‘Challenge by Choice’ and Digitally Enhanced Learning. You can read more about these in the pages which follow as well as updates on our continuing developments in Compassion, Philosophy and Sustainability. You can also read about our new Forest Garden at Byron House.

‘My Mind’ Curriculum In today’s world, we are preparing children for jobs that do not yet exist, using technologies that have not yet been invented, in order to solve problems we don’t even know are problems yet. It is estimated that a week’s worth of today’s New York Times contains more information than a person would have been likely to come across in a lifetime in the 18th century. A good education today therefore needs to teach children learning skills, attitudes and dispositions that will enable them to flourish in a quickly changing landscape. The aim of the ‘My Mind’ curriculum in Forms 2-6 is to teach the children the skills to think flexibly and adapt as the circumstances around them change. ‘My Mind’ consists of lessons in philosophy, study skills, mindfulness (including Tai Chi), critical thinking and PSHEE (Personal, Social, Emotional, Economic and Health Education). Though different curriculum areas, the themes and objectives of each of these subjects are interwoven and include: understanding that you can change the way you think; meta-cognition, or thinking about thinking, supports creativity; training your mind and body can help you learn better; focus and attention are key to learning and to happiness; learning skills in attention, speaking, listening and argument can help us to learn better together and think more creatively through collaboration. Across the different strands there is a combination of theory about the mind and self with practical ideas for implementing this theoretical knowledge. Whilst the ‘My Mind’ curriculum does prepare children for exam success, its scope is far wider and aims to help children understand themselves, their learning and their relationships in such a way as to be better able to manage themselves in the future.

‘Paws.b’ Mindfulness The ‘Paws.b’ Mindfulness programme, which stands for ‘Pause, Breathe and Be’, is designed for the younger age group and has been used for the third year at Byron House with Form 2. It supports, in a highly practical way, the children’s emotional development, teaching them to recognise and regulate their emotions. It focuses on teaching children about the different parts of their brains and the role these play in how they experience the events that happen in their lives. ‘Paws.b’ also teaches some Mindful practices which support attention and concentration and can be used as a calming tool in times of difficulty or as a way of noticing when things are going well. Some of the ‘Paws.b’ sessions have included topics such as: dealing with difficulty; the storytelling mind; growing happiness; brain training; steadying a ‘wobble’. The children also learned about the parts of the brain such as the prefrontal cortex, amygdala, hippocampus and insula and how these parts of the brain work together to help us concentrate, focus, stay calm and make good choices.

Mindfulness In Senior House, Mindfulness teaching continues to be an effective way of helping children to slow down, bring attention to the moment and reduce stress. For example, one Form 6 child described how on entering his Common Entrance exam, all his revision was like “pages flying about” giving him only “glimpses of information and then it disappeared”. During and after the mindfulness practice used before the exam began, he said that he “saw the information drop down into trays marked with each subject and the writing became still” so that he could access the information that he needed.

A Tai Chi lesson, part of the ‘My Mind’ curriculum

Tai Chi This year we have extended the teaching and practice of Mindfulness skills through a programme of Tai Chi lessons for all children in Forms 2 and 3. While practising Tai Chi, the focus of one’s awareness in the present moment is on the movement of the body. The goal is for the children to be able to integrate these key Mindfulness skills into their everyday lives. Taught by specialists from the company Cambridge Kung Fu, this martial art nurtures the connection between body and mind and provides the children with a more accessible means to develop their skills in awareness, focus and resilience, through whole body movements. Scientific research specifically pinpoints these attributes as being important for a number of factors including academic selfefficacy, the development of effective coping skills and positive mental health. Critically, these skills can be trained through practice.

the johnian 2018 ~ innovations


Challenge by Choice

Learning Dispositions

‘Challenge by Choice’ is a model of working that incorporates a ‘challenge for all’ philosophy where every individual in the classroom is extended throughout the lesson. The lesson is structured to offer the children a choice of level, varying in difficulty, and they choose the one that they feel will provide an appropriate challenge. This provides opportunities for developing self-awareness, reflection and ownership, allowing them to work at their own pace. It encourages children to challenge themselves without the level of work being capped by a teacher’s expectations.

We live in a complex, rapidly changing world and it is now well recognised that having positive learning behaviours, such as perseverance and creativity, are just as important to a person’s success as their subject knowledge.

‘Challenge by Choice’ was first introduced in the Maths department in Senior House and has now been successfully adopted by many departments across the School. Children have embraced the concept and find it motivational and beneficial to their learning. Our own evaluations support nation-wide research in showing that giving children a choice of levels of work usually increases the level of challenge they are prepared to have a go at. Far from opting for the easiest task, in the majority of cases children will exceed the teacher’s expectations. Children report that it is ‘motivational’ and ‘challenging’, finding that they like to be able to “push yourself to the next level”.

“Using ‘Challenge by Choice’ in English, Maths and Topic subjects has really helped me become a more independent learner. You can decide how confident you feel about a particular project and can select the level of difficulty and you can move to harder or easier at any time.”


the johnian 2018 ~ innovations

According to research by Carole Dweck, Professor of Psychology at Stanford University, a ‘growth mindset’ is one in which people believe that with effort they can develop their abilities, become more successful learners and achieve more. When students believe they can get smarter, they understand that effort makes them stronger. We are in the process of identifying the characteristics that underpin effective learning that we wish to develop in the children and that will help them achieve their full potential and become lifelong learners. The result will be a programme to teach children about the process of learning and how to adopt a ‘growth mindset’ and put it into practice, through the explicit teaching of ‘learning dispositions’. These are ‘habits of mind’ or ways of thinking and approaching problem-solving that will equip our children for life. Once complete, the programme will introduce the learning dispositions identified by an icon, colour or image, thereby providing a visual hook to support the children’s understanding of the concept. Initial trials have been very positive showing that children as young as 6 or 7 are able to think about and discuss how they learn and to identify dispositions they display and those they need to develop.

Byron House Forest Garden The new Forest Garden has been designed around a new circular teaching and meeting space, surrounded by an alley of hornbeam, which is large enough for an entire year group to sit and discuss and learn together. The whole space has been designed to mimic the natural ecosystem of a woodland, with nearly 3,500 plants being planted. Although there is a practical hardcore base under the main teaching areas and pathways, there are no hard edges and the paths and plantings have a fuzzy edge which allows them to grow and contract over the year as the plants grow, bloom, set seed, colour for autumn, loose their leaves and hibernate. Plant communities have been designed to work together in drifts throughout the under-storey, to seed just enough to take on a life of their own and to cope with being trampled and picked, without one variety dominating. In the winter there is strong evergreen structure of shrubs, bushes and trees so that there are plenty of spaces to hide, paths that curve out of sight and spaces for play even in the depths of winter. Much of this strong winter skeleton is created by existing mature trees, whose crowns have been lifted to bring more light and to create the largest possible footprint for play. Additional hollies, viburnums and crab apple trees have been planted alongside multistem specimens such as juneberry and flowering dogwoods.

“I like caring for the plants in our Forest Garden and learning about each one.”

Kindergarten Forest School In Forest School the children progress their learning and development through leading their own explorations in woodlands or wild spaces. They engage with the natural world using all of their senses, exploring the environment and developing a deep respect for nature. The children lead their own exploration in Forest School and so every session and every child’s experience will differ. Children often choose to: dig, run, jump in muddy puddles, climb trees, saw fallen branches, make mud pies, collect sticks, swing on branches or the rope swing, cook on the fire, make up their own games, build dens and look for creatures. Routine is important in building the trust that allows us to stay safe even whilst engaging in more risky play, so each session follows the same basic structure. They begin with a mindful moment in the ‘sit spot’, listening and noticing any changes to the woodland since the last visit. After sharing experiences together there is a short team building activity such as a blindfold trust rope trail to imagine what it would be like to be an animal with poor eyesight, or making natural instruments to replicate woodland sounds. This is followed by a period of independent learning. The children come back together to base camp to enjoy some storytelling, usually in the form of an oral folk tale, which teaches them something about the animals, plants or seasons in the woodland habitat.

“I love playing in the mud kitchen because you get all messy! It is fun.”

the johnian 2018 ~ innovations


Sustainability At St John’s we aim to foster the aptitudes and nurture the growth of each child so that they can become their best selves. To be one’s best self involves being compassionate and aware of the world so that one has the skills, ability and courage to re-envision the world and take action to right what is wrong. We want to encourage our children to find their ‘voice’ and to understand that they can make a difference. This is the aim of our sustainability development, which will be a long-term development over the next five years and beyond. ‘Sustainability’ is used in its ‘integralist’ sense to include environmental issues as well as humanitarian concerns (social awareness) – care for the world and for each other. Three of the ways in which we have begun the sustainability development this year have been through our Refugee Day, the sustainable kitchen garden and through our funding of a school in Ghana.

Humanitas funded school in Ayensueko, rural Ghana


Kitchen Garden

St John’s has begun working in partnership with the charity, Humanitas (, to fund the initial set up and building of a school in rural Ghana. Funded initially by the school’s ‘Grow a Pound’ campaign, the small community of Ayensueko now has a thriving school where the children can learn the skills that they need in order to be able to make a difference in their community and their futures.

The idea of the school’s Kitchen Garden is for the children to develop a greater awareness of sustainability through having the opportunity to grow their own food. A range of vegetables, flowers and herbs have been sown and planted which have been tended on a weekly basis in raised beds. As well as the fixed growing beds, children have grown vegetables in pots to take home during the holidays to continue to monitor and care for. The children also have responsibility for weeding, watering and maintaining the beds, cultivating the compost, preparing the soil and mixing the manure. The Kitchen Garden club has enjoyed weekly sessions where children have planted, maintained, studied and enjoyed learning about germinating seeds, growing vegetables and creating compost. The children have gained responsibility for their own ‘plot’ within a raised bed and where they have really shown enormous care over their seedlings and plants over the term. Children have brought in seeds from kitchen scraps to grow, an abundance of butternut squashes and chilli plants are thriving.

Aside from the fundraising efforts, there have been many shared experiences for the children in both schools, including blog posts, shared lessons and letter-writing between pupils. The links with Ayensueko go beyond raising money; there is real scope in the future for a lasting bond between both communities and the roots of this have already been planted.


the johnian 2018 ~ innovations

Kitchen Garden at St John’s

“Some of the vegetables we have planted will be used in Food Technology Club too for cooking, some of the edible plants as well.” “‘Lasagne’ gardening is where take all the weeds out of the soil, then lay cardboard over, so the sun wouldn’t let the weeds grow back, then you put leaf litter and soil on.” “We have planted lots of seeds as well as transferring lots of small plants to bigger pots. We also made seedling pots from newspaper.” Refugee Day ‘Refugee Day’ involved a whole school programme of events organised to raise awareness of the plight of refugees and to generate commitment to practical action. ‘Refugee Day’ saw a full day planned with workshops and visiting speakers including authors, poets, charity representatives and musicians, some of whom were refugees themselves. All donations were split between Cambridge Calais Refugee Action Group (CamCRAG), Save the Children and Oxfam. The day started with the whole school going on a ‘refugee walk’. They brought with them a rucksack that contained things they would take if they were given a couple of hours’ notice that they had to leave their home, never to return. In school, they had talks and workshops from Nola Ellen and Richard Asquith on an introduction to refugees using Paddington Bear, charity speakers including Oxfam, Save the Children and a Red Box talk. Anthony Robinson and Annemarie Young provided workshops based around their refugee-inspired books, poet Harry Baker based his sessions on writing poems inspired by the refugee crisis and Vanessa Altin spoke about her personal experiences with refugees, examples of which can be found in her book The Pomegranate Tree, a moving novel about the Syrian war for young adults. Top footballers from The Red Card spoke about their campaign to educate children about racism and the children also looked at the paper boat refugee art by Bern O’Donoghue. ‘Music For Change’ artists (Emmanuel, Lucky and Black Voices) also provided workshops to celebrate the diversity and richness of different cultures.

“It is really shocking to hear the stories of refugees...... and how fragile life is.” “Although the day couldn’t be a replica of life as a refugee, it has given us a good representation of some of what it is like and raised our awareness.”

the johnian 2018 ~ innovations


Digitally Enhanced Learning Our digitally enhanced learning programme of development has continued to expand. All classes in Byron House are now equipped with class sets of either iPads or Chromebooks. Our rigorous programme of monitoring and evaluation has shown continued improvements in collaboration, research skills, independence, breadth of learning and motivation as well as improvements in basic skills such as spelling. In the words of one child, “I think that by introducing Chromebooks into lessons, it greatly enhances the way that you can learn, therefore widening education and open-mindedness.” In Physical Education (PE) lessons across the whole school this year, we have been trialling the use of iPads, which has opened up a world of self-reflection. Whilst children are very good at peer-reflection and this continues to be a valuable learning tool, they comment that the iPads can sometimes be “better because you can see yourself and improve.” As a result, an incorrect action in, for example, swimming, can be explained more clearly and corrected more effectively. At Senior House, we have also been trialling iPads in Music and Art. In both subjects, evaluations have shown that iPads have supported with developing skills in three key areas: The breadth of work and resources has expanded. Children are able to view a much wider range of stimuli, including the work of other artists; in Music a wider group of children have been able to engage with digital composition for a longer period of time, applying skills learned in lessons to an expressive recording that they can edit repeatedly, carefully tuning in to the fine details of their compositions.

“When you watch yourself on the iPad you can actually see what you are doing well in PE but it also helps you know how to improve your skills for the future.” “Playing other people’s games is one of my favourite parts of Game Maker Club. I sometimes get to make my own game, which I like as it is fun doing both and I feel proud when I get to play a game I have designed myself.” “It was an amazing experience to use the iPads in Art and being able to do art differently as well as physically too. I even learned to smudge my work!” “I enjoy coding games because there are lots of things to learn on the computer. I think this is important, so that you know lots of different codes as these skills are important for our futures.” “Using iPads in Art was fun because you could use it in lots of different ways. It also inspired me to try different techniques without ruining my work and I found that I could draw much better too.”


the johnian 2018 ~ innovations

Individual pupils’ engagement has improved. Particular groups of children who had previously found the subject area more difficult have been more engaged with the subject. The new technology has offered them new and different forms of expression within each subject area, whether digital art or composition and they have been able to produce higher quality expressive work as a result. The quality of all the pupils’ expressive work has deepened and been enhanced. Quality is developed in different ways, sometimes through the capacity of iPads to focus in on the fine details of an area, such as features of the face in portraiture or the timing of an entrance to a bar of music recorded; at other times through the exploration of combining different genres, such as the layering of heavily textured paint on top of flat digital art or through combining a soaring classical melody with pop rhythms. The improvements have been evidenced not just in the children’s work output, but also in their discussions about their work and their individual progress. When discussing the use of digital technology in the classroom, many of the words the children now use are linked to meta-cognition or ‘thinking about thinking’. They use reflective words such as: try again, improve, concentrate, your brain gets stronger, explain, understand, be creative, inspiration. Learning dispositions such as these have been identified as key both to improvements in learning as well as being core skills looked for by employers.

Byron House Computing Curriculum The redevelopment of the Byron House computing curriculum has continued this year. Each year group now has access to digital learning tools in their classroom, providing them direct access to tools to improve their digital literacy. For example in Forms 1 and 2, pupils are following a touch-typing programme and markedly increasing their typing speeds as a result. The computing curriculum continues to focus on coding, logical thinking and sequencing skills. This is supported by using apps such as ‘Scratch’ and ‘Scratch junior’, robotic toys and beebots (programmable floor robots). iPads continue to be used across Byron House to develop video work, animation and digital art pieces. The younger year groups have enjoyed using the iPads for further independent research and for collaborative learning, as well as to create posters, digital books and to practise key phonics skills. Forms 1 and 2 have made excellent use of their Chromebooks via Google Classroom and are now proficient at accessing online resources, sharing their work digitally and providing feedback to each other. Apps such as ‘Padlet’ allow them to brainstorm with ease whilst video editing software has added an additional creative element to their work in humanities subjects.

Raspberry Pi, Coding & Micro:bit The aim of the Raspberry Pi Foundation is to place the Raspberry Pi, an inexpensive, pocket-sized stand-alone programming device to which a screen, keyboard and mouse can be connected, into the hands of young people to inspire the software developers of the future. As one of the first schools to make use of the Raspberry Pi as a resource for teaching the physical computing elements of our Computing curriculum, we now have considerable expertise in this area for which we have been awarded Lead School status within the Network of Excellence by Computing at School (CAS), a foundation set up to give children a better education in computing. We also actively support and contribute to the teaching of computing in local primary schools through a number of initiatives. In the process, in addition to our continued close association with the Raspberry Pi Foundation and CAS, we have built up close relationships with: the East of England Broadband Network (E2BN) which works to raise standards of teaching and learning by the use of broadband technology; The Centre for Computing History, a Cambridge-based charity which promotes education in computing through its museum, hands-on exhibitions, learning workshops and events; The Teaching Schools Network, a close association of teaching schools that provide teacher training in and around Cambridge; gPiO, the company that builds the control interface (general purpose input/output) for the Raspberry Pi. In the Senior House Raspberry Pi users club, we are able to give the children hands-on experience of creating and programming physical systems which interface with a wide range of input and output devices. They are able to select the projects they wish to work on and cover a wide variety of computer controlled applications including: programming music using Sonic Pi; controlling 240v mains equipment via a radio transmitter; building a line-following vehicle; learning how to make a camera trap for wildlife photography. We have recently introduced the BBC micro:bit, a pocket-sized codeable computer with motion detection, a built-in compass and Bluetooth technology which is able to connect to Raspberry Pi, for the teaching of Computing and also as a resource to use in Science to teach data logging and control. We hope to use the micro:bit as a basis for Form 5 work in DT on feedback control systems. the johnian 2018 ~ innovations


Earth Sciences Trip to Iceland A group of Senior House Geographers and Scientists set out to explore the wonders of Iceland. The children investigated volcanic activity, lava fields, hot springs, geysers, stunning waterfalls and mysterious beaches.

“The main highlights of the trip were the Blue Lagoon and the waterfalls we visited. One was surrounded on all sides by rock, with an opening at the bottom, where a river flowed. We went inside this cave and stood right next to the waterfall, even though we got very cold and wet it was amazing.”

STEM STEM lessons (Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics) have continued for children in Form 2 this year, giving them the opportunity to take ownership of the curriculum and make connections across different disciplines with projects often culminating in designing, building and testing a physical model.

“I have enjoyed designing our own bridges on ‘Bridge Builder’ on the Chromebooks. One of my favourite parts of STEM has been making the bridges, testing them and taking snapshots of them. We have learnt how to make a strong, big and cheap bridge.” “We have been measuring liquids, solids and gases in STEM, as well as coding using the Scratch program. STEM is important because these subjects are such a vital part of the world we live in.”


the johnian 2018 ~ innovations

Child-led Independent Learning In Byron House, the children in each year group from T1 to Form 2 have continued to choose their own topic for one term each year. This year, these covered a diverse range of subjects including Japan, North America, Extreme Earth, Chocolate, Future Technology and Toys. The children are given the freedom within the topic to further their learning in areas that interest them and planning by teachers responds to this. As in previous years, high levels of motivation, engagement and involvement have been observed. The children take ownership of their learning and can often be overheard chatting animatedly to each other about their topic outside of lessons. The child-led topics also provide opportunities to further embed the thinking skills that are taught in discrete lessons across Byron House, covering questioning, information skills, critical thinking, creative thinking, decision-making and memory skills. The purpose of these lessons is to foster higher level thinking and encourage independent, active thinking and learning skills, skills that will serve the children for life.

“It was really fun how we got to use the equipment that real divers use. We got to go down so deep and breathe under water. It was like we were flying under the water!” “Child-led topics make learning more interesting because they get voted for.”

“We went on a ‘Farm to Fork’ trail and tried different foods. We used a rainbow chart to try and find out where fruit and vegetables come from by putting each food in the right category. My favourite part has been learning about food from around the world and being able to research what I wanted to learn.”

Above: Form 1A’s ‘Bubblemaker’ session with a professional diver for their ‘Under the Sea’ topic and top: Form 2D creating ‘Extreme Earth’ in an art lesson

the johnian 2018 ~ innovations


members’ news 2013-2016

Oliver Brown performing in Macbeth

Ben Neville performing in The Caucasian Chalk Circle


St Edward’s, Oxford

Oliver Brown took the lead in the school’s production of Shakespeare’s Macbeth. His powerful and compelling performance was part of a most gripping presentation of the play.

Ben Neville won the Henry Williamson Society Schools’ Writing Competition in 2016, for which the theme was ‘Shadow on the Hill’. In his first term at St Edward’s, he took the lead in his house Shell play and they won best overall play, with a special mention for his performance. He also played a leading part in a cabaret evening, which his house organised for charity, was awarded the Shell Drama Prize at the annual Speech Day and completed two LAMDA exams. He is thoroughly enjoying life at the school and was given a major role in this year’s whole school play, Berthold Brecht’s The Caucasian Chalk Circle, a challenging work which was very well received. He is enjoying his GCSE course, especially Classical Civilisations and Drama. He is in the army section of the CCF which is good fun, apart from the fact that his older brother, Huw, is an NCO. He rows in the spring and summer terms but his main sport is still rugby and this season he played loose head prop for the Junior Colts A team.

Clifton Beth Ambler is a boarder at the school, where she received an academic scholarship. Last year, she had the opportunity to take Greek, instead of DT. She said that knowing the alphabet and a few words already from Greek club at St John’s definitely gave her a slight advantage at the beginning of the year! Jonathan Ambler was awarded an academic scholarship to the school and boards there, like his sister.


the johnian 2018 ~ members’ news 2013-2016

Huw Neville (pictured opposite) is in his final year at St Edward’s, Oxford where he is enjoying the challenge of the International Baccalaureate, specialising in Physics, Chemistry and Philosophy. He is a Prefect and senior CCF cadet and has completed his gold Duke of Edinburgh. He is as keen as ever on sport and fitness, running for the first team harriers and playing rugby for the 1st XV. The highlight of his year was being chosen to represent the school to kick off the county poppy appeal. This involved flying by Puma helicopter from RAF Benson over the city of Oxford, landing on the school playing fields to deliver the first box of poppies to the Royal British Legion. He intends to read Philosophy at university before pursuing a career in the armed forces. In preparation for this, he completed a week of potential officer training with the Royal Marines at their base in Lympstone.

Huw Neville as a senior CCF cadet

From left: Conrad Bell, Alexander Tomkinson and Alec D’Oyly at Eton with their group The Incognitos

Eton David Bryson performed an organ recital at King’s Lynn Minster in August 2016, where he played Bach’s BWV700 and 659, Vierne’s Carillon and Berceuse and Boëllman’s Suite Gothique, receiving a standing ovation at the end. He introduced each piece on the microphone from the loft and the big screen was in action. Alexander Czernin is taking Economics, History, Mathematics and Further Mathematics for his A Levels. He loves his sport, especially cricket and football, and is hoping to read Economics at university. He acted as Stage Manager and Producer of the theatre group, Young Fry. (See page 16) Alec D’Oyly is studying Divinity, English and Politics at A Level. He was shortlisted for the Newcastle Essay Prize for his essay on Descartes. He sings countertenor in the school’s Chapel Choir and alto in the group, The Incognitos. He is also running this group this year and took the auditions for the trebles, from which he chose Conrad Boyle and Alexander Tomkinson, both former St John’s pupils, to be the new members. He played the part of ‘Hotspur’ in Shakespeare’s Henry IV, took the role of ‘Prince Escalus’ in the school production of Romeo and Juliet and was a member of the theatre group, Young Fry, (see page 16). He has been offered a place to read Theology at St John’s College, Cambridge and has been awarded a Choral Scholarship.

Jolyon Glynn playing rugby for Harrow

Sebastian Wade really enjoyed his first year at the school. He joined the Lower Chapel Choir, where he is singing bass, and also took part in the Music Society’s performance of Haydn’s Creation. He is doing lots of music, being in the Junior Concert Band and one of the ‘Big Bands’, as well as having performed in a few school solo song recitals. He has continued to enjoy his studies and his rowing. He came 5th in the individual sculling time-trials at the end of the year and has now moved on to sweep oar and eights. In the autumn half term, he did some work experience with his MP in the Houses of Parliament, which he found to be very enjoyable. He was able to sit in on a debate in the chamber, write a blog post and help to organise his local jobs fair.

Harrow Jolyon Glynn is leading a very busy life at Harrow. He is working towards his GCSEs, which include Mandarin and Astronomy. He is singing with the Chapel Choir, has taken part in the Glees and Twelves competition and has played rugby, hockey and cricket for the school. He is very involved in drama and played the role of ‘Ismene’ in Antigone. He is one of only ten boys in the school who has been asked to take part in the Shaftesbury Enterprise Theatre for Young Audiences Project. The group is devising an interactive show and a workshop and will tour the show to primary schools in the local area.

the johnian 2018 ~ members’ news 2013-2016


Hills Road Sixth Form College

Mary Downer’s photo of Chloe de Uphaugh on their exchange in Paris

Mary Downer (pictured on page 27) has moved from The Stephen Perse Foundation to Hills Road Sixth Form College, which she is enjoying very much. She is studying English Literature, French and History. To help with her French, she has been on an exchange to Paris, where she was joined by Chloe de Uphaugh. Both girls were lucky enough to have exchanges who lived in the centre of Paris, where they had a lot of fun and attended the Lycée for a week. Alex Jones left King’s Ely, after taking his GCSEs, and is currently at Hills Road Sixth Form College studying for A Levels in Spanish, English Language and Business Studies. He remains close friends with Chris Oliver and Josh Borrett from his time at St John’s.

Kimbolton Chris Oliver is thoroughly enjoying the Lower Sixth and is studying Mathematics, Politics and Economics at A Level. He still has a passion for flags and is very good at watching Pointless and winning virtual money.

King’s Canterbury Francis Bushell is Vice-Captain of School in his final year at King’s Canterbury. Playing the bassoon, he has reached the final of the Woodwind category of the BBC Young Musician of the Year competition in 2018. Emma Chaplin is studying English, Latin and Spanish for her A Levels and is planning to read English at Keble College, Oxford. Among her hobbies she counts playing hockey and she went on tour to South Africa in the summer of 2017. She performed at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2017 with the group Young Fry (see right).

Back row from left to right: Alexander Czernin, Alec D’Oyly, Thomas Lane, Alexander Rich (2nd from right) and Emma Chaplin (far right); Front row right: Guy D’Oyly The group, Young Fry, performed the play, Macbeth Redux, at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2017

Thomas Lane is taking Drama, English, Music and Theology at A Level. He has been offered a place to read English at Keble College, Oxford. Away from his academic studies he is the frontman of his own band. He performed at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2017 with the group Young Fry (see right). Alexander Rich is studying Drama, English, History and Politics for his A Levels. He has performed in productions of Romeo and Juliet and The Miller’s Tale at the school and also enjoys co-writing sketch radio and screenplays. He performed at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2017 with the group Young Fry (see right). Tim and Ben Saxton with Joey Taylor (current Sixth Form) and Will Taylor


the johnian 2018 ~ members’ news 2013-2016

King’s Ely Will Taylor (pictured opposite) is thoroughly enjoying King’s Ely and has been awarded his Junior Full colours for rugby. He is also enjoying swimming and rowing at school. He is enthusiastic about the Outdoor Education on offer and is taking part in a Level 2 hillwalking expedition on Dartmoor at Easter. He is looking forward to doing his work experience at St John’s in the summer term, where he will be helping out in the PE and Games department.

The Leys Andrew Bramley won the Cricket Society All Rounder of 2017 in Schools Cricket for his 803 runs, at an average of 73, and his 25 wickets, at an average of 22, for The Leys. He received his award at The Oval in March. Lottie Casey, who is in the Lower Sixth, performed in an emotional scene from Arthur Miller’s The Crucible, which kicked off an evening of intense Drama called Claustrophobia. She also participated in What You Will, a variety of entertaining and thought-provoking scenes on the subject of gender stereotypes.

Lizzie Lethbridge moved to The Leys for the Sixth Form, where she is a Prefect in her final year. Thomas Nicholls is doing well at The Leys and is thoroughly enjoying himself. He performed in an evening of scenes about gender, What You Will, where he notably played the part of ‘Dr Henry Maudsley’ in Blue Stockings by Jessica Swale. He was in the CCF Honour Guard on Remembrance Sunday in November. Rory White played the role of young ‘Pip’ in the production of Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations. Oscar Youngman played the part of ‘Orlick’ in the school’s play, Great Expectations, and took the role of ‘Gabriel Utterson’ in the powerful production of David Edgar’s Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde, based on the story by Robert Louis Stevenson.

Elise Dawes is in her final year at the school, where she is a Prefect and the Head of Barker House. She took part in an intense evening of dramatic sketches entitled Claustrophobia, in particular performing in pieces from The House of Bernarda Alba by Federico García Lorca. Charlotte Doggett is enjoying her time at The Leys. She loves her sport, especially hockey, where she plays in the A team. She is continuing to play the piano and the oboe and performs in the Orchestra and the Wind Band, as well as singing in the Chapel Choir. Matthew Hill played the part of storytelling ‘Pip’ in a brand new adaptation of Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations. He was a member of the unbeaten Under 14 A hockey team and received a Progress Prize on Speech Day. Rosie Knighton, playing the French horn, was joint winner in the school’s Concerto competition in November 2017, in which some of their finest musicians took part. She played the Allegro from Strauss’s Concerto for Horn and Piano in Eb major no1. Op.11. The competition was judged by Richard Mayo, Director of Music at Dulwich College and a former St John’s pupil himself. The prize is the opportunity to play with the school Orchestra in a concert at Saffron Hall, Essex, in May 2018.

Top: Thomas Nicholls in the CCF Honour Guard on Remembrance Day Left: Andrew Bramley playing cricket for The Leys Right: Elise Dawes (photo courtesy of The Leys School) at the Drama Scholars’ Evening Lottie Casey in What You Will (photo courtesy of The Leys School)

the johnian 2018 ~ members’ news 2013-2016


Ellen Lloyd

Jessica Agar in the play, Hamilton

Long Road Sixth Form College Ellen Lloyd is studying Criminology, Photography and Sports Science and is really enjoying her subjects. She continues to run and play tennis and has an active social life. She is also pursuing her musical hobbies of singing and guitar playing.

Mahindra, United World College, India Jessica Agar is in her second year of the Sixth Form at the college. After spending a couple of weeks travelling in Tamil Nadu at the end of last academic year, she returned home to England, where she was happy to see her friends again and catch her breath from a gruelling first year in the IB. The first year was full of the highest highs and lowest lows. She says that she has travelled to parts of the world she might never have seen, met incredible students and adults from almost countless countries, but she has also learnt sobering lessons about both herself and the world. Her fourth and final term has been by far the best, but also the hardest term. The college holds a ‘theatre season’ where any student can choose to direct a play. She signed up to direct Hamilton at the last moment, which quickly became her obsession. She found this experience to be unexpectedly life-changing and, working with a budget of 1000rps (about £12), she managed to pull off an amazing but exhausting finale to the season. She is now entering her last months in India before she sets forth on a gap year, where she is aiming to undertake Land’s End to John O’Groats, but with no other hard-and-fast plans at the moment.

Malvern Olivia Hyde moved to the school from St Mary’s, Cambridge for the Sixth Form, where she is studying Mathematics, History, Latin and Chemistry. She has also been playing hockey and rackets. She continues to play cricket and was the Cambridgeshire Under 17 wicketkeeper in the 2017 season. Gabriella Baker at the Airbnb Headquarters in San Francisco


the johnian 2018 ~ members’ news 2013-2016

Amelia Smith

St Mary’s, Cambridge Cate Baker has received a conditional offer to study at Marlborough College for the Sixth Form, where she would like to focus her studies on History and Fine Art. Gabriella Baker (pictured opposite) is in the Upper Sixth and has received an offer from the Oxford School of Hospitality Management at Oxford Brookes University, where she is very much looking forward to beginning her studies in September. She has also secured a work placement with the events team at Hotel Chocolat in April as part of her hospitality training. She toured the Airbnb headquarters in San Francisco a few months ago and is interested in working for that company in the future. Beatrice Buchanan has been enjoying the drama at St Mary’s and played the part of ‘Lottie Ferguson’ in Rob John’s play Living with Lady Macbeth. She was awarded a Drama scholarship to The Leys and will be moving there for the Sixth Form. Annabel Quantrill has been selected to represent Cambridgeshire schools at the English Schools’ Cross-Country Championships. She is looking forward to a gap year before university. Mia Robson Brown took the role of ‘Rochelle’, one of the Ronnettes, in the musical Little Shop of Horrors, which she really enjoyed being part of. She came 2nd in the school’s Young Musician of the Year Piano Competition. Amelia Smith has stayed at St Mary’s for the Sixth Form, where she is taking Biology, History, Psychology and Theology. She is still singing and playing the clarinet. Hockey continues to be her main love and she has been selected for the England Performance Centre for the second year running. She plays for the Cambridge City Women’s 2nd and 3rd teams but has also been training with the 1st team and has been registered to play in the National League. Below left: Mia Robson Brown (middle) and below: Beatrice Buchanan, both performing in Little Shop of Horrors (photos courtesy of St Mary’s School)

the johnian 2018 ~ members’ news 2013-2016


Michael Tuft in Tamil Nadu, India

Mill Hill Michael Tuft spent two weeks last June in Tamil Nadu, India, working with the children of the Sri Jayendra Golden Jubilee School. He went with twenty-one other pupils and the main reason for visiting was to continue a lasting relationship between Mill Hill and the school, with a visit happening every year. They taught basic reading, writing and speaking English to pupils aged between 6 and 11 and also spent a lot of time with the pupils, as well as with the monks who live at the school. He really enjoyed the opportunity to experience many cultural activities, such as visiting waterfalls, going to temples, shopping and visiting other local schools and pupils, who were less fortunate and a lot poorer than the pupils who went to Sri Jayendra.

Oundle Thomas Cairns joined his older sister, Lucy, at Oundle. He has a very good group of close friends in Bramston House and has played scrumhalf for the A team in rugby, been top goal scorer for the B team in hockey and kept wicket for the B team in cricket. Guy D’Oyly is in his final year at Oundle, where he is Head of Bramston House and is taking A Levels in History, Philosophy and Politics. He continues to be a keen sportsman and is playing football for the school’s 1st XI. In the Lent term, he led and participated in the winning Bramston House close harmony and House Shout singing groups. He had his first serious flirtation with the Performing Arts by joining a number of his friends in forming the theatre group, Young Fry, (see page 16). He is currently planning his year off in Australia. Thomas Lethbridge settled well into life in Bramston House, where he quickly made new friends. He represented the school at B and C team level for the main sports, particularly enjoying the cricket season. He continues to play the guitar and enjoyed his Duke of Edinburgh activities. Eleanor Macintosh (pictured opposite) is steadily building up her work towards her GCSE exams, but is still finding time for debating, swimming and, of course, cross country. In addition, she has a wonderfully wide group of friends, with whom she is planning some major post-exam adventures. Millie Tusa (pictured opposite), who is in the Upper Sixth, played the part of ‘Eponine’ in an outstanding production of the school edition of Les Misérables. After a number of performances in plays, this was her first musical at the Stahl Theatre and she found it an incredible experience. In September, on the same night, she directed a play and acted in another one, which was a very exciting challenge. She was back on the stage in February, when she performed in a Sixth Form play, Vinegar Tom by Caryl Churchill. Hockey and choir commitments keep her very busy when she is not in the theatre. She is applying to read Classics at university. She keeps very much in touch with many great friends from St John’s.

Guy D’Oyly celebrating House singing successes at Oundle


the johnian 2018 ~ members’ news 2013-2016

Oscar Kohler

Parkside Federation Oscar Kohler is enjoying life at Parkside, where he is particularly involved in extra-curricular Music Tech, following the inspiration and support in the lighting box from Mr Clarke at St John’s. He has continued to play the guitar regularly and is currently doing his Duke of Edinburgh Bronze award. Outside school, he is a member of the Army Cadets and has now been promoted to Corporal, after achieving Lance Corporal within just over a year of joining the detachment.

Above right: Eleanor and Isabel Macintosh with King Abdullah II of Jordan Above: Millie Tusa in Les Misérables

the johnian 2018 ~ members’ news 2013-2016


The Perse Upper Conrad Bell is in the Lower Sixth, where he is studying Economics, Geography and Mathematics. In his spare time, he plays for Whittlesford Football Club and works one shift a week serving at Gonville & Caius College. Jake Borrett has seen lots of success in triathlon, representing the Eastern Region in the National Finals in the summer. He captains the Perse Prep cross-country team and races for Cambridge & Coleridge most weekends. Josh Borrett is now in the Lower Sixth, studying double Maths, Physics and French at A Level. As extras he is taking Mandarin iGCSE and the Spanish DELF. He represented Great Britain Under 20s in the World Triathlon Championships in Rotterdam in September 2017. He completed the course in 1 hour 11 minutes and 23 seconds, which was an outstanding performance given that he was the second youngest competitor in the field. Tilly Borrett is working hard at school, with hockey, in particular, taking up most of her free time. She has been “playing up” for both the 1st team and the Under 16s, which has pushed her to improve. She is reunited with other St John’s girls, Lucy Ewbank, Tor Lovell and Sofia Traversone, in the Cambridge City Under 16 team which got through to the regional finals. Her love of Mathematics continues. She has enjoyed much success in various competitions and was invited to sit the Girls’ Intermediate Maths Challenge. Jonathan Chan and Matthew Chan (pictured opposite) were members of a team from the school which won the national title of the Senior Schools’ Challenge in 2017, triumphing over Lancaster Grammar School in a nail-biting final, 740-720. The competition, which took place at Westminster School in London, is regarded as the secondary education equivalent of University Challenge, testing students in general knowledge.

Top: Jake Borrett (3rd from right) Middle: Josh Borrett representing Great Britain Under 20s in the World Triathlon Championships in Rotterdam Bottom: Tilly Borrett playing for The Perse Upper 1st hockey team


the johnian 2018 ~ members’ news 2013-2016

Rupert Gardiner has enjoyed great success both on the river and on the cross-country team. He participated in the coxed quadruple sculls category, coming 3rd at Peterborough, whilst, in indoor rowing, he finished 27th nationally at the British Indoor Rowing Championships. He helped the school’s cross-country team to a 9th place finish in the country. He is heavily involved in outdoor pursuits, where he has taken a number of important roles and enjoyed attending the Perse Exploration Society’s summer camp on the Isle of Wight last July. Dylan Karmiloff intends to study Engineering, hopefully at Bristol University, after taking a gap year, which he is very excited about. Joden Karmiloff is preparing for his GCSEs and plans to do his A Levels in London like his brother, Misha. Anna Klenerman has settled really well at The Perse Upper and has made some lovely new friends, as well as still being close to her longstanding St John’s friends. She is thoroughly enjoying her role as a Patrol Leader in the Perse Exploration Society and attended their summer camp on the Isle of Wight. Camillo Padulli is enjoying his time at The Perse Upper and is making the most of all that the school has to offer, although he does miss the camaraderie there was at St John’s. He was a National Finalist in the English Speaking Union’s ‘Performing Shakespeare’ competition and performed his ‘Shylock’ on the stage of the John Gielgud Theatre. In tennis, the A team, in which he played, had an undefeated summer term. He is currently hard at work on an HPQ (Higher Project Qualification) on the Fall of Bronze Age Greece and is looking forward to some holiday time eating gelato in Italy.

Jonathan Chan (far left) and Matthew Chan (3rd from right), winners of the Senior Schools’ Challenge in 2017

the johnian 2018 ~ members’ news 2013-2016


The Perse Upper, cont’d. Felicity Potter is in the Upper Sixth at the school. She has spent the past year as Vice-Chair of the National Youth Board of Anti-Bullying Ambassadors for the Diana Award, representing their work and more than 24,000 young people taking a stand against bullying. Amongst many things, she worked with Paul Mitchell, modelling for their new products which celebrate being unique. She has given a speech for the MPs at the Houses of Parliament and has spoken in front of Prince William. She worked on Prince William’s project “Stop Speak Support”, which aims to help people stay safe online. In October, she supported Facebook in their announcement that they would donate £1m to training more AntiBullying Ambassadors and visited their offices to discuss safety on social media. She attended the Anti-Bullying Week, speaking in front of thousands of students on a panel and posing with celebrities for the paparazzi. She finished 2017 by receiving an invitation to the premiere of Star Wars: The Last Jedi. She was one of the runners-up in the World Book Day Christmas poem competition and is tossing up between creative writing courses at the University of East Anglia or Bath Spa University for her further education.

Sidney Watson has moved from St Mary’s, Cambridge to The Perse Upper for the Sixth Form, having been awarded a general scholarship. She is studying Economics, English, Mathematics and Spanish for her A Levels. She is working on her gold Duke of Edinburgh and, following her sister Catherine’s lead, has given up hockey and athletics for rowing. Indeed, she hopes to race in a double with her sister during the summer.

Sidney Watson with her GCSE art show

Felicity Potter at the Houses of Parliament

Emma Holmes modelling her brother, Tom’s, clothing range


the johnian 2018 ~ members’ news 2013-2016

Lucy Ewbank (middle of back row) with the 1st hockey team

Edward Burkitt

Uppingham Edward Burkitt had a very successful first year at Uppingham. He is singing in the Chapel Choir, playing saxophone in the junior Jazz Band, as well as doing lots of sport and taking advantage of all the school has to offer. This year, he played the part of “Curley” in the Lower School production of John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men. He sees a lot of Tom Hogarth as their houses are near each other. Ellie Buttery had an extremely busy but fun beginning to her time at the school. She is a member of the Chapel Choir and played in the Under 14 A team for hockey, being part of the team which won the Leicestershire County tournament. Anna Ewbank is still loving Uppingham and, with GCSEs happily behind her, she is busy in the Sixth Form. She is a member of the 1st netball team which became Leicestershire County Champions, is a school tour guide and has joined the Law Society amongst other things. Lucy Ewbank is working hard towards GCSEs but is still enjoying her hockey. She has been playing for the 1st hockey team and has represented the school in both indoor and outdoor tournaments. She is particularly enjoying DT Textiles and is busy putting together her final piece for the summer exam. Harry Fish continues to enjoy Uppingham and has stayed for the Sixth Form. His passion is drama and theatre, which is one of his subjects at A Level. He has had parts in The Crucible by Arthur Miller and Lord of the Flies and wishes to pursue a career in film and theatre.

Tom Hogarth has settled well into Brooklands House at Uppingham. He performed notably in the house football and has played for the school at hockey.

James Simpson made a good start to his time at Uppingham, where he is in Lorne House. He has enjoyed his subjects very much and played in midfield for the B team in hockey.

Emma Holmes (pictured opposite) is having a great time at the school, where she has made many new friends. She has played in the B team in hockey and is really enjoying all the extra-curricular activities, including gymnastics and trampolining. She has also had a very successful time in the pool. She has broken some school records and has represented the school at the Bath Cup, a relay competition held at the London Aquatics Centre in which she reached the finals in both her events.

Hugo Turnbull-Hall has found his House, West Deyne, to be amazing and he has made some really nice friends. He is enjoying the academic side of school, as well as the sports, and was chosen to represent Uppingham in a shooting competition at Bisley in July.

Tom Holmes is in the Sixth Form and is studying Design Technology, Business and Geography. In his free time he has been getting involved in plays and building a Land Rover Series 3, which has been great fun. In 2015, he established Tommy’s Trunks, an online brand specialising in beach and bed wear and using the most suitable materials and processes possible. All of the products are made from natural or recycled materials with a share of every sale going to Tom’s Trust, the charity he set up to care for children with brain tumours. This year he hopes to take the brand on a tour of the United Kingdom, using the Land Rover which he has been building at school and going to a few festivals, such as Latitude and Bandmasters.

Harry Fish (front) in Lord of the Flies

the johnian 2018 ~ members’ news 2013-2016


members’ news 2010-2012

Erik Bell climbing at Stanage Edge, Peak District National Park

Ethan Bamber was in the England squad for the Under-19 Cricket World Cup, which was held in New Zealand in January 2018. He opened the bowling in England’s first match against Namibia, returning figures of 1 for 26 from 7 overs. He followed up this performance by taking 3 wickets for 19 runs in 6 overs to help his team defeat Bangladesh. In the quarter-final versus Australia, his 3 for 31 from 8 overs played a major part in England dismissing the opposition for a total of 127. Unfortunately, England could only muster 96 runs in reply and so were knocked out of the tournament. In March, he signed professional terms with Middlesex on a three-year summer contract, which means that he will be able to play cricket when he is not pursuing his Theology studies at Exeter University. Erik Bell, after attending Hills Road Sixth Form College, is at the University of Sheffield studying for a Masters in Biology. His main hobby is rock climbing/bouldering which he is able to do lots of in Sheffield and the nearby Peak District. Alex Bower-Brown had a gap year as a Choral Scholar at Norwich Cathedral and has now started at the Royal Academy of Music studying baritone. He earned scholarships to both the Royal Academy of Music and the Guildhall but chose the former, where he is really enjoying his studies. Sophie Burkitt, after an amazing gap year spent in South America, with Kirsten Coleman, and inter-railing in Europe, has gone to Newcastle University. She is studying Geography, along with Will Crane, Mamie Nicolle and Henry Whittley. She is really enjoying Newcastle, especially the social life!

Ethan Bamber playing for England Under 19s


the johnian 2018 ~ members’ news 2010-2012

Sophie Burkitt in Berlin

Tabitha, Mary and Bill Downer

Lucca and Sukey Clark

Tom Burkitt came back to Cambridge to do A Levels at the Cambridge Centre for SixthForm Studies. He is very interested in fashion and is hoping to study a degree in Fashion Management and Marketing at the University for the Creative Arts in 2018, with a view to working in the fashion industry.

She has a place at Pembroke College, Oxford to study Music from October 2018 and is looking forward to all that will have to offer. She is a now a member of the National Youth Choir and sang at the last season of the BBC Proms, with other exciting performance opportunities ahead later this year.

Amelia Cant completed her A Levels at Hills Road Sixth Form College last summer and is currently in her gap year, travelling in the USA. In May, she is volunteering at the 2018 Street Child World Cup in Moscow, where 24 international teams of street-connected children will be participating to promote their rights through football and the arts.

Lucca Clark is spending her gap year volunteering on a wildlife conservation project in Costa Rica and then travelling around south-east Asia. She has a deferred place to read Geography at Exeter University in September 2018.

Tom Burkitt

Sukey Clark spent a year doing an Art Foundation diploma at Leeds School of Art and finished with a Distinction. The course made her realise that Textile Design was the most interesting route for her and she is now at Falmouth University, loving her degree course and having a great time surrounded by sea, surf and students.

the johnian 2018 ~ members’ news 2010-2012


Tom Fanshawe riding The Tin Man on the gallops at Newmarket Heath

Bill Downer (pictured on page 27) is in his second year at Exeter University, where he is enjoying studying History and International Relations. Last summer, he worked at Glastonbury and at Wimbledon, where he was fortunate enough to be posted on Henman Hill. Tom Fane still remembers his time at St John’s as being a very happy one. To this day, many of his best and closest friendships are ones he made while at the school, including those with Ollie King and Oliver Quantrill. He is now in his second year of studying French and German at Brasenose College, Oxford. He says that he has to thank the brilliant teaching and inspiration of all his teachers at


the johnian 2018 ~ members’ news 2010-2012

St John’s, in particular the French teaching of Madame Brohm, for this. He is enjoying his time in Oxford immensely and has found it to be a great place to live, with plenty to do and loads of really interesting people to meet. He likes the relaxed atmosphere of college and loves getting involved in things like college sport, where he is the captain of the hockey team. He has also recently taken up Spanish, so alongside his work and friends there is plenty to keep him occupied. His course is spread over four years and so he will be spending next year abroad in France and Germany, where he is hoping to secure work and internships, before he comes back to Oxford to complete his degree in 2020.

Tom Fanshawe has worked at his father’s stables in Newmarket. He rode top sprinter The Tin Man out every day during 2017 and was rewarded with him winning the Group 1 Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot in June, where the trophy was presented by the Queen. At the end of the year he left Newmarket and is currently working for a trainer in Australia. He is trying to gain as much experience in the horseracing industry around the world as he can, having already had a short stint in America, although he would like to go back there for longer. His aim is to one day train racehorses himself.

Charlie Field, Tristan Tusa and, far right, Nicholas Lethbridge in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam

Charlie Field spent the first part of his gap year working in London for a venture capital company, after which he went travelling with friends to India and Asia. He is now at Bristol University reading Mechanical Engineering. Peter Hicks is enjoying his first year studying Mathematics at Durham University. Dominic Hill is reading International Relations and Politics at Royal Holloway, University of London. Susannah Hill, as part of her degree, is spending the year in Berlin so she becomes fluent in German. She is studying Social and Cultural Anthropology at Berlin University. She is really enjoying living in Berlin and is managing to find the time to go to lots of concerts, do some teaching, babysitting and also work in a soup kitchen on Sundays! In November, she took part in a project with the Schola of the Rundfunkchor Berlin, which ended with a concert in the Philharmonie, the concert hall which is the home to the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. Hannah Holmes has begun her studies at the University of Nottingham, where she is reading Medicine, which she is thoroughly enjoying. She also loves all the sport the university has to offer and plays for both the University of Nottingham Hockey Club and the Nottingham Medics hockey team. Sarah Holmes is now in her second year of studying Nursing at York University. Edward Hyde is in his first year at Jesus College, Cambridge. He says that it has been a lot of fun so far and he has even met up with former St John’s pupils, Tom Last, Alex Petter and Ben Thurlow, in his Geography lectures. He is a member of both the University Cricket Club and the University Hockey Club. Outside his life at university, he won the British Under 21 Real Tennis Singles Championship in January 2018, was the British Under 21 Rackets Doubles Champion in 2017 and was the captain of the Free Foresters cricket team, which won the Tom Orford Trophy in 2017. Susannah Hill singing in a concert in the Philharmonie, Berlin

the johnian 2018 ~ members’ news 2010-2012


Misha Karmiloff is at Leeds University studying Art after completing a foundation year at Camberwell Art College. Nicholas Lethbridge (pictured on page 29) is in his first year at Durham University studying History. He is settling in after a gap year spent in Asia and the USA. He is going to Mongolia to ride a horse around the Steppes this summer and has also developed a keen interest in film photography, which is keeping him busy. Lucy Lloyd is taking a gap year but has her place at Durham University, where she plans to study English and French. She worked/holidayed on a sustainable farm in the Umbrian hills in Italy for the month of October, learning about permaculture and bio farming, which she is really interested in. She then returned to Cambridge to work and save for another trip to Europe, where she will be visiting Paris, Berlin and Florence to get some practice in on her languages. Later in the year, she is hoping to visit Japan with one of her friends from The Stephen Perse Foundation. She continues to row at the 99s club and has taken on a coaching role for the younger squads. She took part in the GradeOne-Athon, passing her harp with distinction, and has embarked on a piano diploma which is challenging but delighting her.

Luigi Murton, having finished at Culford, is now in his first year studying Politics at Newcastle University. He has joined the Conservative Party society and is in the process of being selected to run for the Newcastle City Council local elections this year. He is now a political writer for an organisation called “Opinionate”. He has been continuing with his rugby refereeing and has been selected for the “Referees with Potential” programme. Megan Neville is in her final year of a degree in Classical Civilisations at King’s College, London and lives in Chiswick. After two happy and successful years coxing for the University of London Boat Club, where the highlight was winning Women’s Henley, she has moved to London Rowing Club to free up more time for her studies. She is, however, still ‘enjoying’ 6 am training sessions on the Thames. She has no wish to leave the academic world and is planning to do a Master’s degree at the University of London and to continue rowing competitively.


the johnian 2018 ~ members’ news 2010-2012

Oliver Quantrill (pictured opposite) had a fantastic gap year, obtaining a place on the Deloitte Scholarship scheme which entailed working in Manchester for them for 7 months before travelling round New Zealand, Australia, Indonesia and Vietnam. He is loving his first term at Durham University reading Economics. Rosie Reith is loving her first year at the Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance in London, which consists of much limb-shaking and sore feet, as well as exciting choreographic projects outside of training. In February, she performed in Victoria Station and on Channel 4 in period dress, to mark the centenary of women winning the right to vote, and is thrilled to be producing her first choreographic work, which will be performed in May.

Alex Nicholls is studying Business at Newcastle University where she is really enjoying herself. Joe Oliver is studying Automotive Engineering at Loughborough University, where he is staying in Faraday Hall. At the start of the year, he joined cricket, American football, baseball and canoeing. Jenny Potter is in her third year of four at Oriel College, Oxford and has switched from Civil Engineering to Electrical Engineering.

Lucy Lloyd (middle)

Stephen Potter has started his first year reading Computing at Southampton University, where he is active with the Photographic Society.

Megan Neville with her crew at London Rowing Club

Oliver Quantrill in Queenstown, New Zealand

Alex Schumann on his placement at Mercedes-AMG High Performance Powertrains

Alex Schumann is currently on a year in industry placement at Mercedes-AMG High Performance Powertrains, working on the development of the most successful hybrid power-unit in Formula One. Following this, he will return to Bristol University to complete the final two years of a Master’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering.

Harry Schumann on the first stage of the Haute Route (Chamonix to Arolla)

Harry Schumann is loving life at Durham University, playing both football and hockey for his college. He has also been selected to play hockey for one of the University teams. In his spare time he is studying General Engineering! He has signed up to fundraise for the charity COCO, which helps to build schools in areas of poverty in Tanzania, and to do a sponsored climb of Mount Kilimanjaro in the summer.

the johnian 2018 ~ members’ news 2010-2012


Justin Stollery, having left Harrow after completing his A Levels, enjoyed visiting Vienna during the summer. In his gap year, he is studying full time at the Royal Academy of Music in London on the bespoke Organ Foundation course, which is further developing his organ/choral direction skills in preparation for his Cambridge organ scholarship. He is also the appointed organ scholar for this year at St Mary’s, Primrose Hill, London. He will return to Cambridge in September to read Music and to take up his organ scholarship appointment at Trinity Hall. John Templeton is now attending university at Gettysburg College in Pennsylvania. Ben Thurlow, having recovered from a serious two-year illness, was able to start a degree in Geography at Girton College, Cambridge in September, after finishing his A Levels with fantastic support from Hills Road Sixth Form College, where he received a ‘High Achievement’ award in French. He chose Girton because, unlike other Cambridge colleges, it has a portrait of Buster, the college cat, in the entrance hall, and because the buildings are like Hogwarts with a heated indoor swimming pool, set in 50 acres of grounds that include a full-size cricket pitch, orchards and a wild-flower meadow. He continues his love of singing and performed with the National Youth Choir at the Proms in 2017. He is currently a member of Trinity College Choir in Cambridge, with whom he is looking forward to going on tour to Europe in the summer.


the johnian 2018 ~ members’ news 2010-2012

Juliet Tyndall is currently having a gap year and is working as a lab technician and Personal Assistant to the group Head at the Zernicka-Goetz research lab in Cambridge. She will be taking up a place to study Medicine at Edinburgh University in September but will manage to fit in a little travelling with friends in Malaysia in the summer.

Catherine Watson is in her first year at the University of Portland in Oregon, where she is studying Environmental Engineering. She is a community involvement scholar, for her bronze, silver and gold Duke of Edinburgh environment related volunteering, and was also awarded a rowing scholarship. Her Division 1 crew primarily travels the western part of the USA for its races.

James Tytko completed his A Levels at The Perse Upper and is now in his first year at Somerville College, Oxford reading English Language and Literature. In his spare time he is still a keen footballer, playing for the college and following his beloved Arsenal. Isabelle Upton won the individual gold medal in the Junior European Eventing Championships held in Millstreet, Ireland in July 2017. Riding her horse Eros DHI, she also won a silver medal as a member of the Great Britain team. Having completed her A Levels, she is taking a gap year before going to Edinburgh University. Will Vail took Economics, Government & Politics and History for his A Levels at Uppingham. He is now in his first year at McGill University in Montreal, Canada, where he is studying Political Science. He is still very close to his friends from St John’s.

Isabelle Upton

Georgina Owen and Catherine Watson in South Africa

members’ news 2000-2009 Daniel Agar, having spent two years working, which concluded with a trip to Namibia with an elephant conservation charity, is now in his second year at Exeter University where he is studying Animal Behaviour. At the start of this year, he decided to transfer onto the professional placement scheme and has been able to secure a placement with the Mauritian Wildlife Foundation, which he is very excited about. He will be starting this at the beginning of 2019 and it will involve working on a variety of projects in the conservation of endemic species. He is based on the Cornwall Campus, where he is very happy and has been enjoying the proximity to beaches. He has continued to be part of the Army Reserve and is hoping to use the latter part of this year to go through the All Arms Commando Course as part of his training. He has also managed to utilise the adventurous training segment of the Reserves effectively, having done a foundation mountaineering course last year and is looking forward to taking part in climbing and kayaking courses this year. Outside of university, he has become involved in pilot gig rowing and is enjoying being back on the water, since he last rowed when he was at St John’s. At the beginning of May, he will be travelling to the Scilly Isles with his club to take part in the World Gig Championships, which he is very excited about as it is meant to be an amazing weekend with hundreds of boats attending. Last summer, he went to India for just over a month to take part in a thirty day survival course, during which he learnt a lot of interesting skills, as well as finding out a bit about the mentality of survival. At the end of the course, he was able to visit his sister, Jess, and see where she has been for her Sixth Form education.

Rachael Bashford-Rogers obtained a first in Chemistry at Oxford University and a PhD at the University of Cambridge (Welcome Trust Sanger Institute) in Genetics and Immunology. She is now a Fellow of Jesus College, Cambridge, and a Sir Henry Wellcome Postdoctoral Research Fellow working between the University of Cambridge and Stanford University, researching the immunological changes associated with disease and developing technologies to provide insights into disease development and therapeutic intervention. Martha Bickerton decided to go to Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, where she is studying Economics and History. She is doing lots of debating competitions (mainly because travelling to tournaments means that she can go on trips all across America) and is having a great time. She is now in her third year and has one year left after this. She is still in very close contact with all her friends from St John’s and makes sure that everyone gets together over the holidays.

Angus Bower-Brown graduated from York University in 2016 with a degree in Music and spent the last year doing a 1 year intense acting course at the Oxford School of Drama, which ended with a fourth term in London. He loved the course and has now started looking for acting work. He is working in a boutique cinema to pay the rent in the meantime. Alice Buchanan is in her second year at Durham University, where she is studying Anthropology. Her highlights this year have included organising her college charity fashion show and being secretary of the netball team. Olivia Buchanan will graduate this year from Durham University, where she has been studying Ancient History. She will miss it hugely but is looking forward to returning to Cambridge to study for her PGCE at Homerton College. (back row left to right) Martha Bickerton, Iona Cameron, Rosie Martin and Laura Perkins; (front row) Tara McKenna and Charlotte Grace

Daniel Agar building a shelter in India

the johnian 2018 ~ members’ news 2000-2009


Archie Cornish is enjoying his DPhil at Oxford University, where he is performing with the Improvised Comedy Group and playing lots of real tennis. Charlie Cornish is enjoying working as an engineer in London. Duncan Cornish left Oxford University in the summer of 2017. He is doing an internship and has been in Liberia and Tanzania. Emily Cornish is back from South Africa and is now working in London doing Obstetrics and Gynaecology – she can now perform Caesarean Sections! Alex Cossor and friends completed the Sierra Leone Marathon in May 2017 and have so far raised over £24,000 for Street Child. The lads report feeling exhilarated and the common sentiment seems to be that it has been the most incredible experience of their lives. Tabitha Downer (pictured on page 27) graduated last summer from Exeter University with a BA in Philosophy and is now working for the jewellery designer Cassandra Goad. She is also studying for her Gem-A exams, which are professional Gemmology exams. Harry Field graduated with a 2:1 in Economics from Edinburgh University. He is currently working in Hong Kong for a company where he organises extreme events. Jack Field is in his last year at Bristol University where he is reading Engineering Mathematics.

Anthony Fray, having worked at Last Night of Freedom, selling stag and hen parties, for two years in Newcastle, decided that 2017 was the year he wanted to spread his wings. He flew out to Mexico City in early January, with a friend, and they travelled through Central and South America for six months, finishing up in Montevideo in early July. He kept in touch via an online blog, “Have Beard Will Travel”, which was well written and most entertaining. He flew home from Panama City for his brother Edward’s wedding and then returned to continue his travels. He is now back living in Newcastle and enjoying his new job as Marketing Executive for a management training company. Edward Fray married Ellie Vale on 1st April 2017 at Cookham Parish Church, with his brother, Anthony, as Best Man. It was a joyous occasion – the sun shone, the flowers were beautiful, the bride and her bridesmaids looked stunning and music filled every corner of the church. The groom and his groomsmen looked impeccable in their blue waistcoats, and Edward’s brother, Anthony, did a great job at calming his brother’s nerves! Edward and Ellie have created a beautiful, modern home together in a flat near the Oval. Edward is still a Project Manager with Turner and Townsend and is currently working on the possible sites for Heathrow’s third runway. Ellie is moving fast up the ranks in the Civil Service, which she only joined four years ago. She is now Deputy Principal Private Secretary to the Justice Secretary and is very much enjoying her job. Charlotte Grace (pictured on page 33) has begun her pre-doctoral studies with the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research at Stanford University.

Edward Fray’s wedding to Ellie Vale This page: Above: Fraser Heathcote travelling in South America Left: Tom Heathcote Opposite page: Top left: Edward Fray’s wedding to Ellie Vale Bottom left: The Cornish family Right: Anthony Fray at Machu Picchu

The Cornish family


the johnian 2018 ~ members’ news 2000-2009

Anthony Fray at Machu Picchu

Anthony Fray at Machu Picchu

Cassian Graham graduated from Edinburgh University in 2016 with a degree in Sport Science. He spent two years working as a performance analyst with the Scottish Rugby Union and their national squad, from 2015 to 2017. In August, he moved on from the Scottish Rugby Union and went to Coventry where he is working as the Academy Performance Analyst for Wasps Rugby Club.

Above: Fraser Heathcote travelling in South America Left: Tom Heathcote

Fraser Heathcote, who was notorious for a while for his ‘musical’ rendition of the “Mock Turtle” in Mr Tim Clarke’s Alice in Wonderland production at St John’s, went on to study Engineering at Oxford University. After a First, a published paper on tidal power generation, three Blues for rugby and an academic prize, he has taken a wellearned break to go travelling in South America. However, playtime will soon be over for him and a contract with Bain Consulting will see his nose against the grindstone for the foreseeable future. Tom Heathcote, who learned to love English under the tutelage of Miss Sarah Patterson at St John’s, is now the speechwriter for the Secretary of State for International Trade. He arrived in the civil service via a Master’s in Business Management from Manchester University, after gaining a First in Archaeology and Anthropology. With a lifetime of interest in Politics and History, this is a riveting time and place to have landed after university and time will tell what direction he might go from here. the johnian 2018 ~ members’ news 2000-2009


Angus Nicholson at Air Edel studios before his first orchestral recording session

Alexandra Hebblethwaite is now Assistant Manager at The King’s Head, Earl’s Court in London. It is amazing what a degree in Philosophy and the History of Art can lead to! David Holding and his wife had a son, Joshua, in September 2016. Will Hooley is now playing rugby for Bedford, having previously been with Exeter Chiefs. He scored 11 points on his debut for his new club. He was named, as one of three fly-halves, in the USA squad to compete in the Americas Rugby Championship in February 2018, qualifying for the USA through his grandmother, who was born and raised in Hollywood, California. He came off the bench against Argentina to make his USA debut and kicked two penalties to help his team record a 17-10 victory. Harry Jeffery studied for a BSc in Computer Science at Coventry University. From July 2014 to July 2015, for his placement year, he worked for the Science & Technology Facilities Council at Rutherford Appleton Laboratories in Oxfordshire, developing data analysis software for their particle accelerators, specifically, software for their Neutron scattering experiments. He graduated in 2016 with a First class degree with honours. In August 2016, he moved to London and started working for Bloomberg LP as a financial software developer. He develops trading software used by hedge funds and other institutions to trade equities, bonds, derivatives and other assets, and to manage their portfolios.


the johnian 2018 ~ members’ news 2000-2009

Will Hooley playing for Bedford

Alex Lethbridge has finished his Masters and started work in Dublin in August. Jenny Lowseck (née Granroth) (pictured opposite) married Richard Lowseck, from Perthshire, Scotland, on 15th July 2017. The ceremony took place in her family church in Vörå, Finland, and was followed by a reception at the family home in the same village. Former St John’s pupils were well represented with Lizzie Reid acting as bridesmaid and Harolyn Graham, Mimi Morley, Milly Reilly, Claire Riddell, Blonnie Walsh and Breezy White all in attendance. Her sister Agnes Granroth was also there and, together with the other female family members, wore traditional Finnish dress. It was a fantastic day, made all the more memorable by having so many of her oldest and dearest friends come all the way to Finland to celebrate with her and Richard. They are living in Stockholm where she teaches Year 1 at an International Baccalaureate school called Europaskolan Söder, while her husband works as a railway engineer consultant.

Harry Jeffery

Alexandra Hebblethwaite on holiday in Cornwall

Charlotte Mantle completing a 10km run

Charlotte Mantle started a new job in August 2017 as Sales Manager with the New Homes team at Knight Frank, working at their head office in Baker Street. She is living with a friend in Fulham and is thoroughly enjoying the London life and meeting up with old St John’s friends. She is still very keen on tennis and running and completed her first 10km run in a time of 47 minutes, raising over £1000 for the charity Dreams Come True in the process. She loves playing the piano and singing and is hoping to join a choir in London, as well as continuing to sing at weddings.

Ciara McKibbin, after graduating from Bristol University, spent two years at Ernst & Young (EY) as part of the financial services consulting division. She has since moved to a rapidly scaling technology start-up, Rotageek, which provides data-driven work scheduling solutions to retail businesses. She is really enjoying the fast-paced and varying nature of working in a start-up. Outside of work, she continues to be an avid traveller, having recently backpacked through Colombia, Panama, Costa Rica and Nicaragua between changing jobs. She is still a keen sportswoman, although, for the time being, she has traded horses for more Londonfriendly pursuits, including running, and is targeting a few half marathons this year. Theo McKibbin, after a year of post graduate work at an investment bank, is now working in London at Ernst & Young (EY) in audit.

Jenny Lowseck’s wedding to Richard Lowseck in Finland, from left to right - Joshua Sheehan (Harolyn’s boyfriend), Harolyn Graham, Milly Reilly, Mimi Morley, Jenny Lowseck, Richard Lowseck, Breezy White, Anthony Smith (Breezy’s boyfriend) and Claire Riddell

the johnian 2018 ~ members’ news 2000-2009


Stephen Menon is training as a broadcast journalist with BBC Cambridgeshire, where he is involved with the nightly news and production of packages for Look East. Angus Nicholson (pictured on page 36) is studying for a Master’s in Composition for Screen at the Royal College of Music with a BAFTA scholarship. As part of his BAFTA scholarship, he gets an industry mentor and he found out in December that his mentor is none other than St John’s former pupil Rupert Gregson-Williams, who left St John’s in 1980, and most notably composed the soundtrack for Wonder Woman, Hacksaw Ridge and The Crown. He is also working on his song writing and arranging and has had the opportunity to work with BBC choirmaster Gareth Malone. Emma Nicholson has returned to King’s College London, where she has commenced her PhD studies after a year out of education, during which time she worked as a freelance cycling journalist. She is still keeping up with the world of cycling and has been riding as much as possible with Alex Petter, when she has not been researching the implications of media saturation on the film and TV industries for her PhD.

Juliet Powell graduated from Exeter University last summer with a BA in Politics. She worked as a volunteer with the Medal Ceremonies Team at the World Athletics Championships in London, meeting all the athletes and several spectators, notably Mr Grove! In September, she participated in a university sponsored trek to Everest Base Camp, raising money for Hope for Children. Luckily not succumbing to altitude sickness, she made it to the highest point at 5545 metres – an incredible, if extremely arduous, experience. She is currently working for a year in Cambridge in digital marketing but hopes to move to London ultimately. Nick Rutter took the photos of the St John’s College Choir in 2017, which was a fun and nostalgic day for him. He has also found it interesting that his Housemaster when he was a pupil at Winchester, Mr Neil Chippington, is now the Headmaster at St John’s.

Stella Savvidou (pictured opposite), following her graduation from the Methodist Ladies’ College in Melbourne, Australia, has been a student/athlete at UCLA in the USA. She is studying Biological Sciences and is a member of the UCLA gymnastics team. She has enjoyed every minute of her time at college where she trains, studies and competes in National Collegiate Atheltic Association (NCAA) meets and championships, under the guidance of her coaches and head coach, Valorie Kondos Field, who has guided the team to six NCAA national championships during her tenure. Ben Saxton (pictured on page 16), with his sailing partner, Katie Dabson, won the 2017 Nacra 17 World Championship, which was held in La Grande-Motte, France. In only their third regatta together, they finished narrowly ahead of the Spanish pair, Fernando Echavarri and Tara Pacheco, to claim the title. He described their success as “unbelievable” and also said that “it’s every dream come true.”

Isobel Nicholson is in her second year of studying French at King’s College London. She is spending the second semester (JanuaryMay) in Paris. Barney Palmer competed in the 2017 Ironman 70.3 World Championship in Chattanooga, Tennessee. He completed the course in a time of 4 hours 49 minutes and 26 seconds to finish 57th in his category. Helena Powell studied for four years at Somerville College, Oxford, graduating with a BA in History and an MSc in Latin American Studies. She spent a month volunteering in Bolivia before joining Smith & Williamson Investment Management in the City where she is now a Chartered Wealth Manager, looking after private client portfolios. She thoroughly enjoyed an impromptu Johnian get-together in London recently, organised by Charlotte Anthony. She met Charlotte, Joe Bullough, Elly Dennis, Jack Eastwood, Harriet Morton, Jonathan Pearson, Miranda Reilly and Alice Taylor and all agreed they should do this more often!

Juliet Powell on a sponsored trek to Everest Base Camp


the johnian 2018 ~ members’ news 2000-2009

Stella Savvidou as a member of the UCLA gymnastics team

Ellie Thorne (née Herbert) and her husband, James, had a daughter, Ottilie, in November 2017.

Anna Vail is in her third year of reading Anthropology at Edinburgh University and remains close to her old St John’s friends.

Alex Tyndall, having completed his training in London and Glasgow, is a sub-Editor on the Features desk at the Daily Mail, where he has recently been joined by Christiana Bishop, one of his old classmates. Despite the antisocial hours, he is still almost managing to catch up with Charlie Palmer as they both live in the same corner of south-west London.

Dominic Walsh graduated with a 2:1 in Jurisprudence from St Hilda’s College, Oxford. He is currently completing his legal practice course at Cambridge prior to commencing his training contract with Mishcon de Reya.

James Tyndall is enjoying the varied nature of life as a freelance Assistant Producer. This year, he worked again on the Invictus Games, spending a lot of time interviewing and filming the veterans who featured in the programme, before heading out to Canada to film the Games themselves. He is currently working on Sport Relief, which has afforded him the chance to make a couple of failed dropkicks, aimed (loosely) at Jonny Wilkinson, and to meet several of his footballing heroes, including Jürgen Klopp. He has moved south of the Thames and loves it there.

Lylie Walter launched her start up eco jewellery brand, Lylie’s, ( in September 2017. The precious metals she uses are all recycled from electronic scrap, the stones are lab grown and the diamonds are recycled. She is also delighted to complete bespoke commissions and has started making engagement rings since launching. She still has a full time job working for an art dealer in Mayfair, to support herself, and has been living in London with fellow former St John’s girl, Pippa Goodfellow.

Ellie Thorne with her daughter Ottilie

the johnian 2018 ~ members’ news 2000-2009


members’ news 1990-1999

James Radmore and his daughter Eleanor

Sophie Allan (née Kidman) and her husband currently live in London with their two children, Rowan and Isla. Charles Archer has recently moved back to the area and is now based in Therfield with his wife and two children, George and Annie. Matthew Bailey and his wife, Lucy, had twins, a boy, Sam, and a girl, Sasha, in May 2017. Thomas Bashford-Rogers gained his first degree in Computer Science at Bristol University and his PhD at Warwick University on the numerical simulation of light transport. He is now a post-doctoral researcher at Oxford University, working on machine learning methods for Computer Graphics and Cyber Security. Freddie Bols became engaged to Sam Willmot in May 2017. Catherine Byford (née Greenwood) and her husband, Tom, have two girls, Elizabeth and Charlotte, and they live in Petts Wood in the London borough of Bromley. Jessica Campbell (née Holding) is now living in Oxfordshire and has two daughters, Ruth and Chloe. Iestyn Davies played the part of “Francisco” in Thomas Adès’s The Exterminating Angel at The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. The opera is based on Luis Buñuel’s 1962 surrealist film. He performed the role again at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York in the autumn of 2017, following which he has been reprising his role as “Farinelli” in


the johnian 2018 ~ members’ news 1990-1999

Oonagh Harrison

Frank Paul

Farinelli and the King in its run of 16 weeks at the Belasco Theatre on Broadway. At the 40th annual Gramophone Classical Music Awards in 2017, he won the award in the Baroque Vocal category for his recording of Bach: Cantatas Nos 54, 82 & 170. Elizabeth de la Vega (née Wheater) ran in the 2017 Vienna Marathon, completing the course in a time of 3 hours 47 minutes and, in the process, raising over £600 for the British Liver Trust. Oonagh Harrison (née Carnwath) is living in Belsize Park, north London with her husband Matt and their two daughters, Seren (6) and Emme (4), although they will be moving to Cheltenham in July to be closer to family. She is currently struggling, for which read stressing, with managing a house renovation remotely! She is a financial services lawyer, who recently returned to Allen & Overy to help run the firm’s Brexit campaign. Fortunately the firm is forward thinking and is happy for her to work remotely for part of her time come July. She is still in touch with Marigold Dixon (née Thackray) (see pg 42) and is very jealous that her move back to Cambridge has enabled her children to go to St John’s. She only has positive memories of her own time at the school and remembers Mrs Sue Petri with great fondness. Nicholas Hays is working for PriceWaterhouse Coopers in Toronto, Canada. Peter Hicks is teaching Geography at The Perse Upper School in Cambridge, having previously taught at Dean Close School in Cheltenham.

Jessica Campbell’s children, Ruth and Chloe

Edward Hill (pictured opposite) has finished his employment as a teacher at St Paul’s, an international school in São Paulo. In July, at Maresias, near São Paulo, he married Julianna (known as Ju), who had also taught at the school, with James Cowan as one of the ushers. After a party in England in August, they have been travelling. They have visited Greece, Italy, Turkey, Morocco, Ethiopia and South Africa, where they had Christmas with relations. They then continued on to Australia for New Year, staying with Alastair Zobel, which they followed by going to Bali, Singapore, Cambodia, Kuala Lumpur and Borneo, where Edward had previously taught for four years. They plan to go on travelling until July and then start teaching again.

James Milner working on an oyster farm

Edward Hill and his wife Julianna

Louise Hood (née Whitlock) and her husband, Campbell, have returned to this country after five years of living and working in Dubai. They are now happily settled near Royston with their sons, George and Angus. Michael Lorimer ran in the 2017 London Marathon, completing the course in a time of 3 hours 52 minutes and 56 seconds, while raising money for the Scoliosis Campaign Fund. Mark Macdonald became engaged to Jessica Phan in June 2017. James Mantle completed his first halfmarathon in October, when he ran through London’s Royal Parks. As a person better suited to the public house than to the public park, in his own words, he trained up to five times per week to ensure that he made it around the course without the assistance of the St John Ambulance Service. Alongside some friends from work, his team raised over £3000 for a local London charity, Momentum, which works to support children with cancer and life-limiting conditions, as well as their families. James Milner married an Australian girl, Carly, and they have three children, Poppy, Albie and Jasper. He returned from Australia in September 2013 and stayed for nearly three years, working as manager of Tucker Gardner’s Cambridge office. However, the pull of Australia was too strong and he returned there in June 2016 and bought a house near Hobart in Tasmania. He is now working as an oyster farmer. He still has ties to the United Kingdom, having a house in Newmarket which he rents out, and he remembers fondly his time at St John’s.

Frank Paul (pictured opposite) has written and illustrated a book called Cryptic Pub Quiz and, as a member of a team called the Escapologists, has appeared on the television quiz programme Only Connect. The presenter of the show, Victoria Coren Mitchell, has described him as “an extremely impressive chap and a dazzling quizzer.” He and his wife, Maria, have a daughter, Eve Pamela, who was born in April 2016. Kate Radford (née Archer) has moved back to Godmanchester with her husband, two sons and Roger, the dog! She is loving being close to Cambridge again and near some old St John’s friends whom she sees regularly. Her eldest boy, Oliver, has just started school and he was delighted when his baby brother, Ben, made an appearance last July. She enjoys working as a part-time teacher locally. James Radmore (pictured opposite) and his wife, Jane, had a daughter, Eleanor, in April 2017. Ben Taylor and his wife, Joanna, live in Bourn, near Cambridge, with their two sons, Lucas and Theo. Their eldest, Lucas, is due to start school at St John’s in September 2018.

James Mantle completing a half-marathon

the johnian 2018 ~ members’ news 1990-1999


members’ news 1980-1989

Emily Casey (née Hoskins) (pictured opposite) seems to have never really left St John’s as she has spent the last fifteen years there twice a day on the school run for her three children, Peter, Lottie and Polly. During this period, she has survived her time as secretary of the school’s Parents’ Association and she was, for a number of years, the parent in charge of the school’s equestrian team. She says that it has been lovely to have regular contact with the likes of Mr Grove and Dr Maxwell from the past and to get to know all the fantastic new teachers as well. She has stated that she is going to miss life at St John’s enormously when her youngest, Polly, leaves in two years’ time. Anna Colquhoun seems to need a new career every ten years. For the first decade after university, she worked in the international development sector, focusing on educational development in subSaharan Africa. She then trained as a chef and spent the next decade working freelance as a cooking teacher, caterer, food writer and consultant. Now into her third decade as a grown-up, she finds herself back at university doing a PhD in the anthropology of food, while also running a culinary guesthouse in Croatian Istria ( along with her husband Matt. She has fond memories of St John’s and is still good friends with several classmates from Group IV of 1985. Indeed, Francesca Anderson (now Wells), Emily Clarke, Libby Clarke (now Plumb) and Bim Collis all came to Croatia together to visit in August 2017, along with her sister Rhona Colquhoun and Fleur Curtis. Marigold Dixon (née Thackray) and her husband, Tom, have relocated to the Cambridge area and their children, Isabella and Harry, joined St John’s in September 2017. Josh Healy, who left St John’s in 1983, returned to the school a couple of years ago when he and his wife started the process for their son, Otis, to become a pupil there. When he visited as a prospective parent, he says that a tall, distinguished looking gentleman arrived through the door of the room where he was waiting, whom he assumed was the Headmaster, Mr Kevin Jones. He was mistaken, for it was actually Mr Grove, who had, in his role of looking after the Association, popped in to see him. His son now has Dr Maxwell as one of his teachers, like his father had done. Josh has had a career of more than twenty years in film marketing and states that what got him into trouble in Divinity lessons, such as composing headlines for essay topics, “Jesus Christ - Madman or Messiah?”, actually set him up to write marketing copy lines, for example, “Now ... To Save His Family ... A Robot Renegade Cop ...” As a house husband, he now has the privilege of being a part of Otis’s St John’s life.

Anna Colquhoun and her husband Matt at their guesthouse in Croatia

Libby Plumb (née Clarke) lives in south-west London with her husband Tim and children Oliver, 14 and Abigail, nearly 12. She works for the international development charity Farm Africa. Fabian Redpath and his wife, Alex, have moved back to Cambridge from London and their son, Theodore, is due to start school at St John’s in September 2018. Daniel, Matthew and David Rycroft


the johnian 2018 ~ members’ news 1980-1989

Kathy Sawtell, Emily Casey, Sam Macdonald and Francesca Wells in Hinsley Hall at St John’s

Daniel Rycroft (pictured opposite) has shifted the emphasis of his academic work at the University of East Anglia from lecturing in art history to international and partnership programmes for the India Dialogue. David Rycroft (pictured opposite) and his wife, Vinciane, are still working for their education charity Mind with Heart and have adapted their house in Stoke Newington to accommodate their lengthier stays in London. In 2017, he spent three months teaching mindfulness in Australia and, in 2018, as his painting continues to flourish, there will be an exhibition in London of his Montpellier cityscapes. Matthew Rycroft (pictured opposite) has completed his term in New York as the British Ambassador to the United Nations and has now returned to London, where he took up his new post of Permanent Secretary at the Department for International Development in January of this year. Kathy Sawtell (née Scrase) and her husband, John, have three children, Oliver, Benjamin and Lucy, who are all pupils at St John’s. Allan Walker is currently Director of International Schools for Malvern College, where he has been responsible for setting up the College’s sister schools in China and Egypt and, this year, in Hong Kong. He has found this to be an interesting and challenging role, although it does involve more time in an aeroplane than he would prefer. He and his wife, Minnie, have a daughter, Maggie, who attends The Downs Malvern (the College’s prep school) and plays the horn and piano. He still manages to find time occasionally to play the organ though not as frequently as he would like.

Francesca Wells and Alex Wright

Elliot Wallis has taken over the family business of Wallis and Son Ltd, which sells many brands of car, as well as having vehicle hire and service departments. He is the fourth generation to run the business which was founded in 1937. He initially joined his father in the business in 1999 after doing a Marketing and Business degree at Oxford Brookes University and spending eighteen months with the Marshall Motor Group. His wife, Hannah, is also involved as she looks after the HR and HSE department. They have a daughter, Jessica, who may one day want to carry on the business as Wallis and Daughter as she has already shown an interest in cars at the age of five. Francesca Wells (née Anderson), having lived and worked in London for fifteen years organising high profile celebrity events, such as film premieres and their after-show parties, press conferences and parties for Formula 1 teams and their drivers, moved back to Cambridge. However, whilst working at the 2012 Olympics, she realised that, having to spend so much time away from home meant the long hours involved in doing events did not fit in with family life. So, those few weeks were her last taster within the event world, although it was lovely to be able to stay in London with her oldest friend from St John’s, Anna Colquhoun, at that time. She is now doing something completely different, working locally for a Medical Software company which fits in perfectly with having a family. She keeps in touch with many friends with whom she was at St John’s and they share so many happy memories of the school. She and her husband, Ed, have two daughters, Jemima and Eve, who are now pupils at the school, with one of them actually wearing her rather grubby red blazer!

Katharine Williamson with her daughter Jenny

Katharine Williamson lives in London and works for Save the Children, where she leads their child protection work in conflicts and disasters. After many years living and working for NGOs and UN Agencies in places like Cambodia, South Sudan, northern Uganda, Pakistan, northern Sri Lanka and Haiti, she is now happily grounded in London with her daughter, Jenny. She has very fond memories of her time at St John’s, of great friendships and really rich learning. Ski trips, school discos, school plays and the 1981 Christmas Carol Service, with the chapel wrapped under a thick blanket of snow, are some of the magical moments of her childhood. Alex Wright worked for ten years in sports marketing, based in Switzerland. Two years ago, he moved back to Cambridge and took over part of the family’s farming interests. In addition, he runs his own building company in the area. He has a son, Louis, and a daughter, Ophelia, at St John’s. Karen Yik is working with JP Morgan in London.

the johnian 2018 ~ members’ news 1980-1989


eaglets to pelicans

Back row: Ravi Mahendra, Peter Hicks Front row: Beth Gladwell, Hannah Firth, Ellie Thorne

Over the years, several Association members have gone to The Perse Upper or, as it used to be called, The Perse Boys’. However, it is not just pupils at the school who have links to St John’s but teachers too. St John’s alumni, Ellie Thorne (née Herbert), Hannah Firth, Beth Gladwell (née Parker), Peter Hicks and Ravi Mahendra, are currently members of staff at The Perse Upper and shared their reminiscences and thoughts in a series of interviews with Mr Grove.


the johnian 2018 ~ eaglets to pelicans

Peter Hicks

Beth Gladwell

I started at St John’s in 1992. I remember it being a lot of fun – playing football in the Piazza with a tennis ball, spending lunchtimes on the playing fields in the summer and lots of clubs – DT was my favourite at that age.

I started at St John’s in the Second Form. My best memories are all from being outside, either rolling around in the barrels at playtime or clambering up what seemed like the highest climbing frame in the world at the time.

I went on to Uppingham and then to Durham University to read Geography, before returning to Cambridge for the PGCE. I think really enjoying studying Geography at university was a big part of my decision to go into teaching as well as working with children on summer camps. Teaching seemed like a good fit for what I enjoyed doing and is also very worthwhile. I have previously worked at a school in Cheltenham as a Geography teacher and resident tutor in a boarding house. I joined The Perse Upper in 2014 as a teacher of Geography.

I went to The Perse Girls’ and then on to University of East Anglia and University of Aix-Marseille II to study Environmental Sciences and a PGCE. Having studied in France, I started to understand the value of good teaching and the opportunities to travel that teaching offered. I had always worked with young people through the Scouts so it was a natural progression and working in an office for a while just did not suit me.

A good proportion of my time now is spent on pastoral care in my role as a Head of Year, working with years 7 and 8. I find that the school can be a very stimulating environment intellectually, so, although I am teaching, I also feel I am constantly learning too. The breadth of my work is a great part of it as well, so, in addition to my core roles, I coach hockey and outdoor pursuits – being able to summit Mount Toubkal in Morocco last summer as part of my job was a real privilege. Outside of work I play hockey all too infrequently now, but do manage to cycle and play an active role in my church. When talking to current Perse pupils who are also St John’s alumni, I think there is an affinity that comes from having been at the same school and, of course, they always want to know which teachers you knew. I am actively in touch with one of my St John’s contemporaries, Ben Whitlock, who I shared a canoe with on the Ardèche leavers’ trip many years ago!

I taught for a few years in Abbotsholme School in Derbyshire. This is an idyllic boarding school with a working farm and acres of open space, where lambing duty was part of the normal running of the school! I then joined The Perse Upper in 2005 as a teacher. I was Head of Years 7-9 and a Perse Exploration Society outdoor pursuits teacher. I have now had a child and am part-time but I am still the Head of Pupil Voice, a position which I love because it gives pupils a chance to shape their school. I enjoy the opportunities at the school – if you have a passion for something, you are bound to find pupils that are interested and you can form a club and start developing it! Outside of work I enjoy British Military Fitness, gardening, baking and, now I have a toddler, lots of painting, random crafts with loo rolls and tissue paper!

Hannah Firth

Ellie Thorne

Ravi Mahendra

I was at St John’s all the way through from Kindergarten to Sixth Form, and left in 2005. I have many fond memories from my time there, although highlights include being in the play Peter Pan, the annual cross-country race and an amazing trip to Italy before leaving in the Sixth Form. I also have some very special memories of the Christmas carol services in St John’s College Chapel – and it is where The Perse has its carol service, so every time the star on the organ turns round in the last verse of O Come All Ye Faithful, I am reminded of being in the Chapel Choir at St John’s!

I started in T1s, but left half way through to go to live in Chicago for a year; I came back half way through T2s and stayed until the Sixth Form. I have lots of memories of the people and the place; most of my happiest memories are on the sports field. There are also the big things like going to the Ardèche in the Sixth Form, but there are the little things too, such as playing football on Green Court, playing ‘It’ around the Piazza, when Miss Patterson gave an assembly on not judging a book by its cover with a mushed up mars bar in a cat food tin and Miss Maxwell naming the things in her classroom.

I started at St John’s in Kindergarten, KGA, with Mrs Armitage. My fondest memories of St John’s are playing football on Green Court, going over to the field in the summer during lunch times and Mr Stewart trying to convince us that writing an essay in English is the same as making a banana smoothie.

I went to The Leys, where I had a great time playing lots of sport and music and continuing to be friends with many people I had met at St John’s. I then went to Durham University, where I studied an Undergraduate BSc in Natural Sciences (Geography and Biology) and then a Masters in Risk, Health and Public Policy.

I left in 2003 and went to St Mary’s for three years, followed by The Perse for the Sixth Form. I left The Perse in 2008 and went to study Geography (BA) at the University of Exeter. When at St Mary’s, I did some sports coaching as part of the Duke of Edinburgh Award, and then, at The Perse, I did sports coaching as enrichment. After leaving The Perse, I helped out at The Perse Summer School. When I came to think about my future career while at university, teaching was an obvious choice for me. I was really inspired by Geography at university and wanted to share that passion with others. Plus, sport had always been a huge part of my life, so I knew I wanted to do something which would also let me pursue this love.

I only started thinking of going into teaching during my Masters, when I realised that an office-based job wouldn’t suit me. There are lots of teachers in my family – both my grandparents were teachers, my uncle is a Headmaster and my cousin is a teacher, so I felt confident that I would enjoy it. I also found it an attractive career as I would be able to continue doing so many things I had enjoyed growing up, like music, sport and being part of a school community. I had spent many summer holidays helping at Hockey camps, but other than that I had no formal experience of teaching at all! I joined the staff at The Perse Upper in September 2014, initially as a Graduate Assistant and became a full member of teaching staff in my second year. With the support of the school, I underwent my teacher training and gained my QTS, and became an NQT. I have subsequently become Head of Tennis and now arrange the Tennis programme for boys and girls and arrange all the fixtures with other schools, such as St John’s! I also teach PSHE, Biology and Emotional Wellbeing and am a form tutor. The thing I enjoy most about my job is being part of a thriving, busy and supportive community of staff and pupils. There is always so much going on and lots to get involved with, and no two days are ever the same! I have always loved sport and still play a lot of netball and tennis. I also run a lot and always enjoy getting a wave from Mr and Mrs Palmer on the route of the Cambridge Half Marathon who are there supporting every year! I have some friends for life whom I met at St John’s. I was bridesmaid at the wedding of Rebecca Macfarlane (now Langmead) and see a lot of Sarah Stuart, who now works in music technology in London, and Sally Whyte, who is also a teacher at Stowe School in Buckinghamshire.

The Perse Upper was my first teaching experience. Just three years after leaving as a pupil, I joined as a member of staff in 2011, initially in a Graduate Assistant role; I shared three Geography classes with members of the department and I did every games session, as well as being a form tutor and teaching PSHE. I became a full member of the Geography department in 2012, also retaining a large portion of Games in my timetable. I have always been a form tutor for the Lower School (years 7 and 8) and in the last few years have also taken on the role of Head of House and Head of Netball. I have also continued to teach PSHE and have been involved in the enrichment programme. I adore The Perse. I have loved it since I started there as a student in 2006, and I feel incredibly lucky that I have been able to call it my place of work for the past seven years. There are lots of things that I enjoy about working there. It is an incredibly special place full of wonderful people.

After St John’s I attended King’s School Ely and Hills Road Sixth Form College. I then went on to study Sports Science at the University of Hull. When I was in my final year at university, I contacted Mr Jones about gaining some experience working in a school. After completing my first year as a Gap student, Mrs O’Sullivan suggested that I seriously consider taking on teaching full-time; eight years later here we are! After my first year at the school as a sports coach, Dan Cross (Deputy Head) asked me to stay on with the view of making my position permanent. In September 2013, I became a full-time PE teacher and middle school tutor. In 2015, I was appointed Head of Boys’ Hockey. Working at an upper school has many challenges. I particularly enjoy the pastoral side, working with pupils in order to get the very best out of them, whilst taking care of their personal wellbeing. The sport at The Perse is also very strong; we have qualified for many National Finals in both Boys’ and Girls’ Hockey with many Old Johnians forming part of the teams. I also enjoy taking the 1st XI cricketers in the summer. Perse pupils who are themselves Johnians always smile when you tell them you went to the same prep school. A lot of the pupils already know me from when I taught at St John’s so it is always nice to see them. Outside of school, l still play cricket for Foxton Village Cricket Club in the summer. I also coach Cambridgeshire County Under 17s and Cambridge Nomads Hockey Club… not much time for leisure! I am still best of friends with Ollie Lepage-Dean and I play cricket with Alex Hooley. As a family, we are very good friends with the Creeses, Baileys, Lanes and Hooleys, so I see the boys regularly.

Currently my days are taken up by entertaining my daughter, who was born in November 2017. Aside from that, I play netball, run, bake (a lot!), read and I love to travel. My husband has just started his own wine merchants so I am also trying to learn about viticulture. St John’s alumnae Lucy Crosland and Kirsty Ayton were both bridesmaids for me when I married in 2014 and are very close friends still. the johnian 2018 ~ eaglets to pelicans


dr maxwell retires Then there were Bernie the Bin, Rodders the Recycling Box, Frank the Filing Cabinet, Furry Bag and, further back in time, Terence the Television and Vernon the Video who lived in Rose Cottage. If you are not a former pupil, you will have no idea what any of this means, but these are characters I feel sure my pupils will never forget. Indeed they are a recurring theme in the pictures and pieces of writing done for me annually by members of my forms for my 38 volumes of the epic series “My time in 2M” or, from 1995, “in 3M”. These volumes are a fascinating record of the numerous changes that have taken place at St John’s since I arrived in September 1980 as a Form 1 class teacher, based in a demountable classroom which was for just one year immediately opposite the double doors from the main Senior House building. On what is now the site of Hinsley Hall was what looked like a very large shed, which constituted the Chapel, the Gym and a book store. This was demolished at the end of my first term and the Hinsley Hall was built as the second storey of the present building, the lower storey housing the Library, the Reading Room and a games room for the boarders. While it was being built we somehow managed with very little play space and to squash ourselves like sardines into “Room X” - two small demountable classrooms with the dividing wall removed - for daily assemblies and weekly Eucharist services. It was after the Hinsley Hall building was finished that the Headmaster, Alan Mould, named the welcome new play space “The Piazza”, by which name it is still universally known. On a happy June day in 1983, Prince Philip Duke of Edinburgh visited the school to open the new building officially.

It is always heartening when speaking to a past pupil that they remember the really important things that I taught them. The first question of many of a certain generation is “How’s Gordon?”, a reminder of the happy hours my forms and I would spend singing along with my guitar, before the ever increasing pressures of syllabi and schemes of work made this impractical. Many can call to mind the songs that we sang most often, and I was particularly touched to read a reminiscence on Facebook that, when this particular old boy wanted to sing bedtime songs to his children, he would remember the ones he sang with me all those years ago. Gordon the Guitar was very fond of chocolate, and managed to persuade many children to bring some in to share with him and the form. I once came across a lady who told me that when her son was in my form he had asked her if he could take chocolate in for Gordon “who has no arms and no legs”. “Poor little boy”, thought this kindhearted lady, and Gordon did very well that year.


the johnian 2018 ~ dr maxwell retires

Various other, less drastic building changes happened during the next decades, but it was not until 2011 that the demountable classrooms at Senior House were at last demolished (the even smaller ones at Byron House were replaced in the late eighties) and, in another major building project, this time less intrusive on our space, we ended up with the splendid classrooms you see today. By this time, of course, we had acquired Garden House, which made a huge difference to the play space available. From the beginning I taught English, “Divinity” and some beginners’ Latin. In those early days, I also taught general primary subjects. Somehow I managed to teach Form 1 Maths with some success for several years, but my brief foray into junior Science teaching was most notable for the afternoon we searched for mini-beasts in the woods and encountered items we hadn’t expected. From 1983 to 1991, I also edited The Eaglet. There were of course no computers in those days, so the articles had to be typed on a typewriter, sent away to be typeset, extensively proofread when they came back full of errors, and then cut up and manually fitted onto page mock ups, rather like doing a jigsaw. It was a great way of knowing about everything that went on in the school. For my first 10 years, the pupils in Form 1 upwards were in single sex forms - boys at Senior House and girls at Byron House. Boys were addressed by their surnames and I remember being initially bemused by having to address boys as “Joyce” or “Darling”. When Kevin Jones became Headmaster in 1990 all this changed. There was an exciting change for me too. I had always taught Divinity, but Kevin appointed me Head of the subject, which I renamed “Religious Studies”, and also asked me to take charge of all the assemblies and worship in the school Chapel.

Dr Maxwell and her class of 1989

It has been a huge privilege to have done so ever since. It has been very special to have been able to teach every pupil from the time they listen raptly to a Bible story in Form 1, through their explorations of world faiths in Form 4 to their in-depth discussions of spiritual issues in Form 6. I have always thought it important to distinguish between the academic rigour of studying religion objectively as a phenomenon in lessons and taking the opportunity to show pupils the possibilities of a personal faith in assemblies and services. It has been heartwarming to see the numbers of pupils asking to join the Confirmation class every year. There is obviously an infinite multitude of highlights, amusing moments and happy times that I could write about ad nauseam if space allowed, but they can probably all be summed up in two words: “pupils” and “staff”. As all readers no doubt know, St John’s is a very special place, where pupils and staff can have great fun together while learning in an atmosphere of mutual affection and respect. In addition, the staffroom has always been a wonderful place of friendship, support and laughter. I was encouraged to apply to St John’s by friend and eventual colleague Jane Greenfield, who kept repeating the words, “St John’s is a lovely school”. I have known for 38 years that she was absolutely right.

former pupils’ memories rekindled In February 2018, Robinson College, Cambridge held an art exhibition which included a painting, accompanied by a letter, about the visit of the Queen to open the College on 29th May 1981. The painting was by Anna Colquhoun (age 7), a pupil in Form T2A at St John’s, and the letter, thanking Professor Lewis for allowing a group from the school to stand on the grass and watch, had been written by Karen Yik (age 7), also a pupil in Form T2A. Dr Steve Trudgill, a member of the Visual Arts Committee at Robinson College, with the help of another former pupil, Francesca Wells (née Anderson), made contact with Anna and Karen nearly thirty-seven years since that day in May. Although neither of them was able to attend the exhibition, Francesca and Anna’s father, Patrick Colquhoun, were able to go to represent them. In Anna’s words, “Francesca and I have often talked about that painting. Francesca has long accused me of copying her painting! Unbelievably we still joke about this all these years later! I am delighted she can go to see it for me!” Karen added, “I have often wondered whether Anna’s painting was still lurking somewhere in Robinson College. I remember being so excited to have been invited for tea by Professor Lewis. I do not recall much about the tea – just being very nervous walking up the ramp to the big red building and worrying about whether I would have to eat cucumber sandwiches. The painting may have got us some points at interview but sadly neither Anna nor I ended up studying at Robinson – Anna went to Jesus, Cambridge and I went to St Catherine’s, Oxford. Having lost touch over the years, Her Majesty has now put us back in contact!” Anna’s painting, with Karen’s letter on the back of it, is now hanging in a College Meeting room next to the Chapel in Robinson College.

Above: Anna Colquhoun’s painting from 1981 which hangs in Robinson College Below: Karen Yik’s letter from 1981 which hangs on the reverse of the painting

the johnian 2018 ~ former pupils’ memories rekindled


Georgina Gatenby

(née Cross)

(1984-1991) Tribute by Dr Neil Cross, Georgina’s father:

obituaries Muriel Andrew Headmaster’s Secretary and Registrar (1972-1985) Subsequently Administrator of the Association

Georgina died on 7th August 2017, a few weeks after her thirty-seventh birthday, seven months after being diagnosed with incurable cancer. She was extraordinarily positive and uncomplaining throughout her illness and derived much support from her school contemporaries who visited her and kept in touch with her regularly. Georgina started at Byron House in autumn 1984, not long after her fourth birthday, and stayed until summer 1991. She then went to Benenden School, after which she went up to Durham University in 1998 to read Philosophy at Hild and Bede College. Her interest in tennis, which had started at St John’s, continued and she became College Captain of Tennis and so, when she graduated with a 2:1 in 2001, she looked for a job associated with tennis if at all possible. Before starting work, she had the obligatory Gap trip to Thailand, Australia and New Zealand. On her return, she did an internship at the Mark McCormack organisation, IMG, and then obtained her dream first job in marketing at the Lawn Tennis Association. She did well there but, eventually, the organisation couldn’t offer the growth she wanted and she then joined Mills & Boon where she stayed for five years, leaving in 2012 to go to Harrogate with her partner, Chris Gatenby, who was joining the family business just outside York. She found a maternity cover position at the well-known Yorkshire company, Bettys, famous for their tea rooms, but also for their growing mail order business for their cakes, chocolates and other products. She was offered a permanent job at Bettys at the end of the maternity cover and worked there for five years, latterly as Direct Marketing Manager, when her illness was diagnosed. Georgina and Chris were married in May 2014, from our house in the Lake District, which was one of Georgina’s favourite places, and one of her three adult bridesmaids was from St John’s, Kate Radford (née Archer). Georgina was very good at keeping in touch with friends from St John’s, Benenden, university and the various places she had worked and it was wonderful the way they all rallied round when she became so ill. Her funeral service was held at our village church in Cambridgeshire and the church was packed. A parent is biased towards their child and we were unprepared for and incredibly touched by the avalanche of letters and the beautiful things said about her and the love and sense of loss that came through all the letters. She was clearly special to so many people and this has been a great comfort to our family.

Muriel Andrew joined the staff of St John’s as Secretary to the Headmaster in January 1972. During her time in the position, Byron House was purchased and incorporated into the school, there was a massive fundraising appeal and the building of a two-storey extension and new wing for Senior House. After eleven years as Secretary, she became the school’s Registrar. She performed this role until 1985, following which she took on the responsibility for the administrative side of the Association.


Georgina Gatenby (second from right)

the johnian 2018 ~ obituaries

Rajen Mahendra (1996-2005) Tribute by Ravi Mahendra, Rajen’s brother: Rajen attended St John’s College School between 1996 and 2005. During his time at St John’s he will be remembered for being one of the friendliest of individuals who always made time for those around him. The kind and nurturing environment of the school allowed Rajen to flourish both in and out of the classroom and provided him with a fantastic platform for his future years. Rajen attended The Perse School (2005-2010) where he continued his close friendship with many of his friends at St John’s. Rajen became a very popular member of his year group and one of his strongest traits was to bring together friends from different friendship groups. Sport played a huge part of Rajen’s life. St John’s College School, The Perse School, Newcastle University and Cambridge Nomads Hockey Club, St Giles Cricket Club and Cambridge Touch are but a few of the schools and clubs Rajen represented over the past 26 years. Some of Rajen’s most memorable moments came on the sports field where he spent endless summer evenings playing colt’s cricket for St Giles CC along with many of his friends from both St John’s and The Perse. Rajen was also part of the “Golden hockey era” at The Perse School where his Indoor Hockey team won three back to back National hockey titles. Whilst Rajen found lots of success on the sports field, it wasn’t the success which drove him to continue playing, it was the camaraderie and friendship which he valued far more.

Rajen’s sense of adventure shone throughout his life. After he graduated from Newcastle University he went travelling on his own to India for three months. Rajen also had a passionate love for skiing and in his year off after University he worked as a ski rep for Wasteland ski. Last year he visited Zimbabwe where he fulfilled one of his life ambitions of doing a bungee jump over the Zambezi River and fishing with a beer in hand. Post University Rajen completed an internship at Essex County Cricket club, where he worked closely with their media and marketing team which helped him secure his job as an account manager working for digital advertising company, Media Brands. We have spoken to friends and family who have come and shared their stories and memories of Rajen, kind, loving, generous and magnetic are some of the words which have been used to describe his personality. However, we will remember him as the Perfect Gentleman, with a splash of colour and a vibrant personality. Rajen’s ability to bring people together and make people laugh and cry is something we will forever remember him by. We have been completely over-whelmed by the love and support which has been shown to our family. The sheer number of people who have contacted and visited us has been very moving and is a testimony to how many people Rajen reached out to over the last 26 years. We cannot thank you enough.

the johnian 2018 ~ obituaries


events Association Day 9th July 2018 Association Day this year will be on Monday 9th July 2018. The proceedings will start with a Barbecue Lunch on the Playing Field at 1pm and there will, as usual, be the opportunity for the younger members to play cricket or tennis, all of which will take place after Lunch. Although the majority of those who attend are usually recent leavers, the invitation is open to all and it is always very pleasant to see some of the older members, often with spouses or partners, as well as past parents. It is hoped that some of the 1993 leavers will be able to return this year to celebrate the 25th anniversary of their departure from St John’s. They will have the chance to see how much the school has changed since they left and, of course, to meet one another again, as well as those members of staff who taught them and are still at the school.

Association Golf Day 13th July 2018 The fifth St John’s College School Association Golf Day, which was planned to take place at the Royal Worlington and Newmarket Golf Club in July 2017, unfortunately had to be postponed due to a lack of numbers. We are intending to return to the Royal Worlington and Newmarket Golf Club on Friday 13th July 2018 for the next Golf Day, when Mr Robert Grove and Mr Tim Clarke sincerely hope that there will be a sufficient number of members of the Association wishing to play so that this wonderful event can go ahead. It is a great opportunity to play golf at a marvellous course and, more importantly, for former pupils to catch up with what their fellow Association members have been doing since they left St John’s College School.

Top: Association Day 2017 Bottom: Association Golf Day 2016


the johnian 2018 ~ events

Please contact Mr Grove if you are keen to participate in this event.

diary dates 13th May 2018 Parents’ Association Charity Fun Day 24th May 2018 Parents’ Association Evensong 2nd June 2018 Choir Association Garden Party 2nd July 2018 School Concert at West Road Concert Hall 7th July 2018 Speech & Sports Day 9th July 2018 Association Day Sixth Form Leavers’ Drama Production 11th July 2018 Summer Term ends 13th July 2018 Association Golf Day 6th September 2018 Michaelmas Term begins 5th November 2018 Parents’ Association Fireworks Night 24th & 25th November 2018 College Advent Carol Services 11th & 12th December 2018 Services in Preparation for Christmas 14th December 2018 Michaelmas Term ends

Top: Service in Preparation for Christmas 2017 Bottom: Parents’ Association Charity Fun Day 2017

the johnian 2018 ~ diary dates


St John's College School is part of St John's College, Cambridge, registered charity no. 1137428

The Johnian 2018  
The Johnian 2018